Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Books, Art, Blogger and Other Stuff

I just sent out my new blog. I hit that little "publish post" bubble and wa-la, it was posted, but not on the friggin' blogger roll...in other words, my friends, it didn't exist!! Am I pissed, you bet, but I know many of you have had these problems in the past and I know how frustrated it's all been for you and I sat there and would say, "that's never happened to me, " well, I too now can wear my "I got screwed by Blogger" badge!! Now I have to commit to total recall as to what words of wisdom and wit I conjured since I had to delete the whole damn thing...even tried to cut and past on a new page, but nope, they're too smart for me...pinchis ([pronounced: peenchees] not a nice word in Spanish, but oh, so effective).

So let's see what I can remember. Oh yes, I mentioned my book club meeting from last week. We read "Water for Elephants," and it was an excellent read. We usually meet at a restaurant because we just don' t want to cook for everybody or even "pot luck" it, that would mean we'd have to enter our kitchens and make something. But this time, we met at one of the members beautiful home. She has an interesting story. Even though she and her children were all born here, they have lived in Mexico for many years due to her husbands business. He has a furniture factory and makes these wonderful large pieces of formal and informal furnishings. Well, since the cartels began flexing their drug induced muscles, many areas in Mexico have experienced total political anarchy, especially the city across the river from us here in El Paso. Well, many regular non-cartel thugs have decided to get a cut of the action since neither the city nor federal police are doing a thing about it and the police are even getting into the act, needless to say, there's very little law in Juarez presently. They lived in a very nice residential enclave, the country club area of Juarez, an area my grandfather helped to established many years ago. Since then, it's gotten the name "Narco Village" for the number of families involved in the cartels, however, there were many who still lived in that area who were not connected at all, and I say "lived," because so many of them have moved here to our city to get away from the violence and have established my of their businesses that were successful there.

So, this friend's husband was abducted by a group of these "wannabes" and held for ransom. They waited till he left the office and grabbed him...they had been watching his every move since they decided to kidnap him...seemed he had lots of $$ since he owned a factory. Long story short, my friend hired a mediator, which is common over there, they don't really want to involve the police since so many are in cahoots with the bad guys. He was released, the kidnapper, a 17 year old kid, was tried and got 7 month...go figure. Well, to add insult to injury, they found out that now the entire family was in danger, so one evening, they grabbed what they could, threw everything in their vehicles, stopped at her mother's house to get her out also; this poor woman was in heavy mourning for her husband who had just died 7 days before...awful. They all caravaned out of Mexico and into the U.S. where they all happily and safely live. Her husband still runs his company but in the comfort of their home in his office here on this side of the Rio Grande. He has these large screens mounted on the wall showing the different areas of the factory and is in constant contact with the foreman of that particular room.

Well, back to the book club meeting. One of my friend has access to how shall I put it, black market movies, but they are downloaded from the Internet. So Cari had this wonderful spread of delish treats, much wine and we watched the movie. Now if you saw the movie and not read the book, let me know what you thought of it; I was very disappointed because as usual, the book was much better, but then that's usually the case. Hollywood has a habit of crapping up and good story and they exercised that right with this movie. Now that's not the end, this movie had Spanish subtitles and that's where the evening became hilarious. Most of us are bilingual, for the exception of our Barbara and Carolyn, Barb is of Irish/French decent and Carolyn is Lebanese, but we translated for them! We figured out that the translator of this movie either had minimal command of the Spanish language, spoke "English very few," or Chinese!!! Whatever, but we roared at some of the translations...not even close!! Our next book selection is "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," by Lisa See. So far it has been very intriguing, especially the process of "foot binding," ouch!! I recall many years ago, my father telling me that when he was in China during the war, Shanghai, to be exact, they were still binding feet...he'd see the ladies in the street shuffling along, some using canes, since the binding was botched. I just discovered a couple of new books that I've read about, "The Peach Keeper," by Sarah Addison Allan and "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," by Ransom Riggs. I read the review and saw the trailer for Riggs book over at http://maggiessecretgarden.blogspot.com/. If you're into the dark and macabre, this sounds like the book for you...go check it out.

I've been quite busy this past month. I'm preparing to send out some more work to Xico, Inc, the gallery in AZ. I made some little figurines and Christmas ornies. I thought if I sent the ornies early, I might not get slammed with special orders later in the season, but then, I assume nothing. So here's the latest that is coming out of my lab/studio:

Two very jolly Catrinas

The finished Virgen de Guadalupe

The shy little Mermaid

The Calaca Lovers

Miscellaneous ornies

Tree of Life ornes

Little Mexican Maiden ornies

I was doing some research the other day on Sumerian clay work and I found this pic of Sumerian votive figurines. They seemed awfully familiar to me, not because I had studied them back in my art history days, but because their eyes seemed similar to my little maidens above! Thought that was really funny....must have been receiving inspiration from them!! LOL

This year has been the year of realizations, lightening hot epiphanies, and many "a-ha" moments. Some have been the result of some rather unpleasant experiences and other from trial and error. One "trial and error" realization I had the other day was that, never and I do mean NEVER try to stock-pile paper clay when you live in a desert climate!! I haven't made any dolls this summer, so I decided to get back into the saddle and take up a couple of challenges over at ADO. I have the buttons on the side bar for those challenges, so you'll have an idea what I'll be working on. The other day, I took out my paper clay to start my Celestial doll and the darn stuff was drying in my hand as I was trying to wedge it. I had an oscillating fan behind me, which sure didn't help, but I'm sorry, it's friggin' hot in my house and I need that fan! However, for the sake of art, I turned it off and the clay still cracked which means the whole batch turned to "dreck." So this was my "a-ha" moment, don't stock-pile paper clay, buy as you need it and don't work with it in the summer unless you have central air conditioning, not that lousy swamp cooler crap!! We happen to have the latter of the two cooling systems and the swamp cooler is quite efficient when it's below 95 degrees and 8-10% humidity, so it works great in early May and again in late September and October, but in the throes of summer, forget about it!!! So I will be making my doll and marionette out of polymer clay since the clay isn't affected by the house temps, at least not right now!!

Oh for those of you who live Texas or are familiar with this store, "Specs" has arrived in El Paso. Of course, I had to go in and get my discount card!! Specs is this lovely store that specializes in booze...lots and lots of it!! It also carries specialized foods, spices and party supplies. My brother is a wine connesiur, no really, he is!! He lived in Northern CA for many years and lived in the heart of wine country, so his knowledge of wines, especially the CA wines is commendable since I know nothing about it, or rather, I don't know a thing about it, but I know what I like!! Anyway, I FB'd about it and he texted me and asked what it was and I called from the store and told him. Every Saturday, he drives down with his girlfriend and they spend the afternoon and evening with my mother, so I told him on his way to mom's, stop by. His girlfriend told me they entered and the first thing he said was, "Jesus Christ!!" He saw row upon row of wines and the guy thought he had died and gone to heaven. He mentioned that he found some wines that are cheaper than his "Wine Club" yes, he's in a wine club...insert finger down throat now!! LOL My mother said he came in with 2 sacks of wine bottles...told her it was more than just bottles!! LOL I feel sorry for the local liquor venders, though. My dad was in the liquor bidness, owning as many stores as this friggin' state allowed at the time. Yes, booze clothed us, fed us, sent us to school, etc., so leave me out of any Temperance Movement!! LOL

Also, to add to my pure delight, a brand new spankin' Michael's is opening up also and both Specs and Michael's are just down the street from where I live...heavenly!! Hey, I'm easy!! Well, my friends, time for me to check out and get my arse into the studio and start on my dolls. Thought I might add some more stuff to my Etsy shop too...nah, do that tomorrow....ok, Scarlet O'Hara!! Have a great weekend and will write more when I have something or anything else to say!! Peace out.


Caroline said...

Wow, you've been super busy! Blogger has been acting up with me too lately :(

Gloria said...

Peace in Georgina! :) Wow you have been doing a lot. Sorry you lost the previous post but it happens. I think it's fun to meet up with friends at a place to eat. You know why? Because then one can eat. tee hee. hehehehe.I love your latest work. What kind of clay do you use? I have to try my hand. I made a mermaid before and a bust of Diego Rivera and a little totem that I made recently. You have a lot of goodies there mujer. It's awful about the family and those terrible people who do horrible things. So sorry but glad they are okay. As long as the mean ones don't come looking for them here in the USA. I better go, I'm making some pickled cucumbers. I printed out a recipe that as long as the cucumbers have been pickled, they can be put into plastic containers and frozen and will be fine. Pretty good, huh? thanks for the email and the well wishes, etc. on going to San Jose via train. Take care.

amy said...

1. I love Love LOVE Lisa See. You will adore that book.
2. please please ask your friend where she is downloading her movies from and hook me up. I watch very very few films (as you know, i don't watch the tube), but the ones i want to see are rarely at the cinema.
3. Lies! Her husband was kidnapped! My manperson was in loredo last week like totally right at the border. He said it really was quite dangerous. So, no it's not a lie, is it? I'm glad they are okey doke now.
4. I am apeshit over your ornaments. I really want to work three dimensionally - you inspire me to 'come off the canvas'
5. I'd like to be in a wine club if all i had to do was drink it. I'm not terribly picky about the kinds - as long as it's the kind that i can swallow.
6.There is no six. I'm buying time to see if i have anything else to say.
nope. not right now i don't.

karena said...

OMG I had so many giggles reading this post...except for the misfortune of the 'narco village' friends. Your are just a riot. I look forward to finding the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. And I've yet to read Water for Elephants but have heard all good things about it. thanks so much for the Maggie mention. I am putting you on my side bar...I think you have a an awesome blog and look forward to visiting more often. Thanks Georgina...and btw your artwork is pretty cool. Sorry about your clay...bummer.

julie Haymaker thompson said...

I have not finished water for elephants yet it is so good So I will not see the movie untili have read it . Even though it is such a good book I keep getting sidetrackedand it is taking me over a year to read it Yikes .. Maybe I too need to join a book club .

La Doña Jenny said...

You always make me laugh too much, especially when I'm enjoying and adult beverage. Hope the "Narco Village" people are fine though, no pun intended - just tragic what is happening to my parents homeland. You know, we have a home in the state of michoacan but none of us want to go for a visit- such a shame. Love your ornies as you call them- especially your Virgen de guadalupe. I need to get my "arse" to be bed so see ny friend. Take good care and don't stock pile paperclay, LOL!.


oldblackcatboo said...

I LOVED the book "Water for Elephants" and that is probably part of the reason that I had a hard time making myself go see the movie. So...I waited too long, once again and now I must wait for the DVD.
Have you ever watched "Weeds"? Sounds like they could use the "cartel, etc" in some of their episodes. Looks like you have been very busy. I really like that "The Calaca Lovers", that's my fav this post! :D
Take care! XOXO - Cindi
Hmmm....I wonder how my paperclay is doing upstairs in the spare room. I think I can hear it drying out as I type this! Eeeeekkkk!!!!

Janine said...

You are such a talented lady.
Your figurines and ornaments are gorgeous.
Don´t worry about blogger, everybody seems to have problems with posting and commenting.
I had to.
Cést la vie.
Have a great week my friend

Chaska said...

Georgina, you are the only person I know who has as much fun as I do while having bunches of interesting experiences!!! Standing here, a little North of you...but only in body....cheering you on! I adore you!

Peachy Cheek said...

Hello Georgina! I am sort to hear about your post! I have experienced other similar issues for example I haven't been able to consistently comment on other blogs because I keep getting an error message indicating the server is unavailable. I have been thinking about joining a book club. I love to read and your group of friends sound really fun!

Your sculptures and ornaments are wonderful! I was getting into clay and made a few little things here and there, but you are inspiring me to get into it, thanks for the tips about the weather!

Stay cool!!

Take care and be well!