Archive for the socialization Category

Major Props for B

Posted in family, Mind Power, socialization, travel with tags , , , , on June 9, 2011 by darcyarts

Major props are due to my son Brian Michael Pratt as he  makes a serious, life-changing transition. This last weekend I traveled to Santa Rosa to see Brian graduate from law school. He and his longtime pal, Barack Arnold, have , in the last year devoured combined 3rd and 4th year law curriculum. Bravo, boys.

I would give credit to the photographer of these pix but there was such a mad orgy of photo taking with so many cameras that I do not know which is which. That is not completely true all my photos completely sucked. Blur for days in the low light, no tripod and no time to capture an image.

Camera troubles were meaningless. There was a beautiful energy to the whole event. Everybody was ecstatic, proud, amazed by the mighty feats accomplished.

Despite the uber serious tone befitting such passages Brian managed to inject humor. Yea, him.

He chose just the right moments for little bouts of visual comedy. Moon in Leo people love and need an audience. Brian is a tower of good cheer.

It was kind of mind-blowing being in the midst of B’s world at such a moment. I was so very proud and as always humbled and moved by this life I’m living. Great gratitude fills my heart.


Why I Hate the Mall

Posted in projects, socialization, travel with tags , , on May 19, 2011 by darcyarts

The decision to walk through the Mount Shasta Mall and take photos of amusing/repulsive corporate displays seemed a good one. Better than waiting in the very smelly waiting room of the tire store while they replaces worn tires on the family vehicle.

An impromptu art blog project seemed just the thing to fill the hour. I never go the mall to shop or to see the latest fashion trends. I still remember quality cotton items, well made. Even as a teenager I used to buy things from the Army Navy store because everything else seemed a cheap and tacky manipulation. Plain old super soft cotton army pants have always been my favorite item. Basic Navy work bells — 100 percent cotton denim were heavenly to me. Lame synthetic shifts, dorky coo-lots, no thank you Penny’s, Zody’s, KMart.

Thrift store have more exotic choices and, yes, far better quality items.

Very few people are in the mall at 8:30 a.m. A few olderly walkers taking advantage of the smooth floors and the “safe” environment. You might catch sight of a janitor.

Some pleasant merch could be seen in the windows of Old Navy.

“Hello, Kitty.”

I encountered a flock of funny faces frozen in delight. Ah, Summer! At least Old Navy seems to have a sense of humor about how they market their cheaply produced yet refreshingly basic items. They were pretty much the highlight of this photo hunt. Most other windows were dark and dull.

Another teenage dream store filled their windows with fairly tacky post-porn chic meets Housewives of New Jersey tight jeans and spangled, sparkly t shirts.

Why did this store put their ugliest candy next to the window? It looks like a surreal prison photo, or an element of the Toy Story 3 dystopia.

The quiet, lonely atmosphere was nice.  Most malls should have the shops closed 2o hours out of every day. I say, keep it spooky.

My peaceful rummaging for images was soon interrupted by the authorities.

A middle-aged mall defender, whose job it is to keep terrorists from casing the joint, came up to me while I shot this super shiny mushroom. It was located in a children’s play area adjacent to where the music shop used to be.

“You can’t take pictures in here.”

We were standing just outside the storefront window of  the local TV station whose tele-reporters routinely prowl the mall with cameras in hand.

In another incarnation, I was allowed to prowl  the mall — camera in hand –asking the question of the week for the local newsrag.

I argued for a while with the mall man about these obvious trespasses of  the alleged no-photos rule. He threatened to call security. I decided the shitty pictures were not worth escalating this retarded situation. The menacing silver-haired lady, armed with her flashless point and shoot made for the exit. It turns out security was a very nice red-headed woman. We had a talk about the instances in which photography was allowed, about the repercussions of 9/11 and then I left for less hostile grounds.

I did get a picture of See’s Candy  —  always sweet and tasty. Beware the Happy Habit. But . . . caramel  . . . drool.

My parting shot at the mall, just outside the west entrance is appropriately an X.

I do not ♥  the mall.

LA Ink, Ruthless?

Posted in socialization, TV with tags , , , on September 2, 2010 by darcyarts

As discussed in this recent post I’m into the new season of LA Ink. I was foolishly hoping that the drama between Cory Miller and Kat von D would smooth out but I guess the powers that be thought ” what’s reality TV without a train wreck?”

Kat was embarrassed, the help was bummed, Cory was working off his wounded pride.

It looks like the real tacky drama will transfer to American Electric where the amazingly eccentric Craig will probably not let it get too out of hand but DUDE!!!! WTF is up with Ruthless. I think assuming she is a victim of some sort of childhood abuse is a safe bet. Well adjusted, loved people do not usually threaten to beat their coworkers head on the curb.

could Ruthless just be acting out her wanna be outlaw presumptions about the tattooing world? Is she a tweeker with a really low threshold for the sound of the human voice?

I like Amy. She is styling big and doing pretty good work. She seems like a person who is fairly calm and has a sense of fairplay. Ruthless seems to be under the impression that we here on planet earth are meant to eat or be eaten. I really thought we moved beyond that one after the saber tooth tigers roamed the land.

If you are truly in love with what you do and are able to focus on and commit to your work you do not need to throw down and engaged in shit-talking ‘tard* fights over imagined “territory.”

Reality TV, I hate you. You folks out there willing to “act” as if we are still drooling and walking on our knuckles, grow up! Bleep all the tacky bridezilla, the hater housewives of  backwardville.

Oh, Mike Judge, how deeply you hit the nerve with your Idiocracy. I am still trembling.

TRASH TV. WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE WOMEN that fall for this trope???  Don’t do it. You are setting us back hundreds of years.

Amy, dear, just ignore Ruthless. Dont’ hang back with the beasts. Let her flounder in her own vitriolic stew. Maybe she’ll spontaneously combust.

*by “tard” I do NOT mean people  with any sort of brain anomaly. If you have known anyone  intellectually or genetically challenged you know that they are very special teachers fully in possession of great, shining spirits unlike the creeps who want to act like dumbasses just to annoy others. You know who you are, dumbass. Just STOP.


Posted in family, reading, socialization with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by darcyarts

If you can think for yourself, are passionate about questioning assumptions and open to a bit of subversion read this book! Here is your chance to have your mind opened if you will allow it.
Gilbert gives herself to the conundrum of commitment as only a very bright questioner of authority could. She gamely challenges her own nagging doubts about the institution of marriage. She explores the twisted route (or roots) of its transformation, and maps its frequent changes over the last few centuries.
If you are perfectly comfortable following the prescribed societal routines, if you are deep-fried in any kind of fundamentalist religious beliefs and opposed to discovering historical context that might rattle your adamantine notions, if you expect this book to sing the praises of the bloated undertaking that is currently assumed to fulfill all a girl’s princess-shaped fantasies, go elsewhere.

That’s the Amazon review I wrote this morning for Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage. I was irritated by reviews obviously written by a.) People who were pissed that this book wasn’t Eat, Pray, Love 2 or b.) jealous academicians who wished they could have gone to Italy,India and Bali, met a beautiful Brazilian man and had to research marriage before doing the deed with their passionate lover.

Come on, haters! Open your hearts. Go buy a buddha at Two Buttons Import meditate, chill. Let go of your anger.

Getting what you want in life does have something to do with surrendering your lame fear-based plans, opening up to what life/god/providence will offer if you can let go of your assumptions, see the real thing and grab it.

LGBT friends, this book is full of good information that may potentially correct the mind of fundamentalist-blind or uninformed anti-gay marriage folks to whom you may be related in some way.

Excerpt from committed after Gilbert has realized people have always created the secreted, loving  unions they need and want  inspite of what the man says in recognizable in the name of the state, law, or religion.

pg. 264 — “It is not we as individuals, then, who must bend uncomfortably around the institution of marriage; rather, it is the institution of marriage that has to bend uncomfortably around us. Because “they” (the-powers-that-be) have never been entirely able to stop “us” (two people). from connecting our lives together and creating a secret world of our own. And so “they” eventually have no choice but to legally permit “us” to marry, in some shape or form, no matter how restrictive their ordinances may appear. The government hops along behind its people, struggling to keep up, desperately and belatedly (and often ineffectually and even comically) creating rules and mores around something we were always going to do anyhow, like it or not.”

Silent Prayers and Heartfelt Thanks

Posted in Art, constructions, dolls, etsy, family, handmade, rock n roll, socialization with tags , , , , , , on August 23, 2010 by darcyarts

This week I’m working on a number of my favorite projects for Etsians.

I am finishing off two lovely fat donut pillows, a joy to create each and every time. These donuts go down under for a repeat Australian buyer, custom chocolate icing with sprinkles.

Thank you Eymael!

 I get to make another Mick Jagger doll.

This Soft Boy will be the first  to Canada. Thank you, Frewfan! 

This morning I found an order for a Big Red Catnip Squid. I’ll be sending this squid duo to Austin, Texas. Thank you, Illustratedink!

I have been uttering a silent prayer this year for work to keep me living on the natch, living free and arty.

Things were kicked things up a notch when Paste Magazine  included a big plush donut in an online piece. Thank you, Paste!

Last week I sent a big pink plush donut and a big maple bar to Ontario, Canada. Thank you Jekjek !

And 4 orange star pillows went to Tallahassee, Florida. Thank you, Kensy!

No thanks would be complete without a big nod to Jordan3000 for his patronage of the DarcyArts  Soft Boy series. Jordan rocks! Thank you.♥

Last winter I lit my devotional candles each morning with a prayer in my heart for the chance to make cute things that bring a smile and a little joy to others.

I wanted to spread the love and I hope I am doing so.

Thanks to every single person who has, through their Etsy purchase, helped me see my little homemade dream coming true. Necessity is the mother of invention.

I’ve been able to care for those I love, tend to their needs and desires, keep a close eye on them each day, while making funny soft sculpture. What could be better?

I hope we learn, as a society here in America to do more small-scale exchanges, to grow, think, live and create and share local knowing that these days, via technology, “local” can be a very big community. Local is in the heart and the intention.

“One world,” said Mr. Marley. Hey, I think I have a new Soft Boy to do.

Good Times

Posted in nature, socialization, travel with tags , , , , on August 18, 2010 by darcyarts

This weekend was magnificent and mellow and heartwarming as Frank and I mingled with dear souls from decades past in San Francisco. We gathered at the farm homestead of Kevin and David. These generous hosts shared their abundance with us and we were grateful and glad.

Go here to see the photos.

The trip was dreamy and Frank and I got to the beach, too.

I communed with my beloved eucalyptus trees. Found a stand of blue gum along  the road to Dillon Beach. Heavenly.

Found a lovely old catholic cemetery with beautiful statues.

It was a cool misty morning. I was delighted to be wearing long pants, a couple of shirts and my Led Zeppelin sweatshirt. So cool.

Is that Saint Christopher with the baby?

There were lovely fauna and flora everywhere.

So many beautiful things to see and smell and remember.

Dillon Beach seemed much more of a town this time and the waterfront was locked up. There was no access.

Frank and I had a great breakfast in the little cafe in Tomales and then drove on to Bodega Bay.

We just had to get to the ocean. It had been a long time.

Great to hear the waves crashing on the shore, to get sand in my shoes and pick up little pieces of driftwood.

They have been placed in our bathroom. We’ll see them everyday and think of the beach.

Frank was so happy to be there.

It was a great morning.

Off to Reunion

Posted in family, socialization with tags , on August 13, 2010 by darcyarts

Frank and I will be leaving this afternoon for Sebastopol. We are going to join up with old friends, some we have not seen for decades. This will be an amazing and a moving experience.

It has been dubbed Geezerpalooza.

Ready set go. I’ll be back Monday.

I, Consumer

Posted in finds, food, shopping, socialization with tags , , , on July 29, 2010 by darcyarts

We are living in interesting times. Our consumerist paradigm is slowly shifting. We are doing things differently than we once did. Our expectations of what we should have and what we should want were molded in an earlier world. One that is passing away.  The internet has changed almost everything. Some changes are obvious some slowly shuddering, rattling and causing slo-mo upheavals that may escape our attention as we continue our work-a-day lives with eyes averted. 

Our mental and even physical geography is changing.  These changes seem to be democratizing aspects of our culture, even our commerce. I expect our consumerist desires will evolve. 

I spend the money I have on the basics — food, shelter, transportation, reading material, music, cinema, art/photo tools and materials and thrift store finds. 

I think I’m still learning about the relationship between work and consumption. Money is a strange beastly mechanism. It freaks me out. I struggle with the one to one relationship spelled out on each dollar. What does money mean? 

Yes, we need money to live. Yes, I have accepted help when I really needed to do so, but money for money’s sake has never been my goal. There are many kinds of enslavements born of wealth. I want to be as free as I can be. 

I work seven days a week but pretty much on my own terms. I feel I still need to buy less, consume less. I know that when the time comes for a change in my lifestyle, when I am no longer occupied with caretaking, I can sell off or recycle a thousand little odds and ends, and move lightly through the world once again. 

I must have lived previous lives of great self-indulgence. I have some strange and disembodied guilt, shame, disgust about possessing giant wads of cash. 

As Andy Warhol said about sex, it’s so abstract. 

Yes, I imagine that great wealth grants a certain kind of freedom but it has a sickening power to pervert relationships between the haves and the have-nots. It becomes a necessity to swim with one’s own kind to avoid the unpleasant aspects of power imbalances — jealousy, envy, murderous intent. 

I have been able to observe a sort of muddy area from my worm’s-eye view. 

I was raised by my grandparents in what would be identified by sociologists as a working class environment. Though we had everything we needed, we were low men on the economic totem pole. I noticed, only occasionally, through accidental encounters with more lavish lifestyles. These were few and far between and the gap was fairly small. There are barriers in place to prevent crossover of from semi-poor world to exceptionally well-off  world. Moving between these worlds has been, traditionally and intentionally,  discouraged. 

If a young man/woman grows up with money and fails to follow the prescribed path to produce $ at the level of his/her elders he/she is in for a very rough transition from his/her privileged world to a less well-endowed reality. That is, if he/she believes that lots and lots of money is the goal of life. They are condemned to a sort of  limbo. Remembrance of all the comforts they had in youth stick with them, taunt them, as they live with less, as they fall just short of what once was theirs. 

It is no easier to make the transition from poor to well off. We’ve all heard the horror stories of  what happens to  big-cash lottery winners. The good news is when Oprah-rich you can hire gurus to guide you through your mass-cash discomfort. New age econo-gurus who will show you how to feel deserving. You can institute all sorts of helping agencies. You can encourage others to do so. You can arrive at the belief that every man/woman is responsible for their own economic enlargement. You can believe that you are helping the bedraggled to step a bit closer to wealth by exposing them to hucksters who will sell them “The Secret” on DVD for $35. There have been times for some of us when $35 was an impossible sum to raise for non-essential goods. 

Can we learn to be happy with something less than the dazzling candy mountain of goods paraded daily before our hungry consumer eye? I’m stuck right in the middle of the spider web. I love to make things. I can’t keep them all so I sell them on the interwebs. I contribute to the vicious cycle of wanting more than what we need. I’m trying to be my own guru. What a sloppy struggle. 

Maybe I’m incapable of paring down to essentials until I have no other choice. Lordy.


Posted in family, socialization with tags , , , , on July 14, 2010 by darcyarts

Life is good. I am busy working on my Soft Boys (and Girls). I am newly married to my longtime love, Frank Miller ♥. I am in touch with the best and brightest people I have tangled with over the course of my life so far, and by in touch I mean Facebook.

My life is full of color and richness. I can buy, read and sell all manner of books. Thanks, Amazon. And sell my work from my house via Etsy. I’m growing herbs and veggies and I’m even doing yoga once again. Ah, limberness and quietude.

Now if I could just get my longtime best friend to buy a computer and get her butt hooked up.

Melodie Miller Turturro, come on!

She’s witty and fun, and like me, a loner at heart but in this day one can be a loner and still avail oneself of a satisfying virtual community.

This little photo booth pic is she and me in 1980. We were young and full of it. Melodie is a charmer and there is no reason to hide your light, Mel.

I hereby issue a challenge on the World Wide Web for you to carpe the virtual diem. No, I beg of you, sweet thing. Come into the ring like a Rock ’em Sock ’em Robot. Knock their blocks off!

It’s still a good artistic outlet to communicate with Mel via snail mail. I love to make postcards and snow her with mass mailings, four-postcard rants and trips down memory lane. Still, I crave the immediacy of opening the Facebook page and seeing her latest comment.

Mel, you don’t have to write a genius comment every time, though you could. No pressure. It’s casual. Come to us, Mel. Puleeeze.

The Fourth and the Eighth

Posted in family, nature, socialization with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2010 by darcyarts

Ah, delight on a hot Fourth of July to know that I can stay indoors and experience my own alterna-celebration. Why? Because every day  should be a celebration of life.

Anyone who really knows me understands my holiday kink. I can’t repeat the greasy, forced, unimaginative, jello-laden holiday tropes of my forebearers. Not that there is anything wrong with ants, sunburn, raunchy potato salad — I love raunchy potato salad — or even, beer. It’s the forced communal emotional soup that sunk me.

I love fireworks too, but hate crowds, crowds on ratty picnic blankets, combined with explosives, cheap thrills and crass patriotism. I’ll be okay.

I don’t mean to rant here, but you may know what I mean. With everyone trying to be civil, trying way too hard to have a good time, needing the beer, sweets, etc. to cope with the no-choice groupings, it can be trying.

Wow. What does that say about my clan? Let’s not go there today. Chalk it up to too many ill-fitting energies stuffed in one familial can.

I think I found that combination of things very unsettling as a child. I am hypersensitive to dullard insincerity and hypocrisy. The recipe is off.Take one family, allow no wiggle room for individual points of view, subtract curiosity and imagination, add food and let the fun begin. It’s inorganic.

Gatherings should grow out of shared values and real interest in exchanging ideas but, good god, one should not get carried away with any group concept that hinges on forced engagement even in the name of shared ideas, values goals, or there you go trotting down the road to dogma.

Do what you do, do your own work  and then come together to relax, because you enjoy the company.

If you have a family, of any kind, in which everyone takes joy in the presence of all the others consider yourself lucky and wealthy and blessed.

I’m hanging out with Frank N. Miller, the best partner ever, and together we will work, snack, and probably watch too much of HBO’s sumptuously produced The Tudors.

Last night we watched a bit of The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth. The 70s PBS mini-series looks so pitifully bland and empty compared to The Tudors. It seemed a shabby recitation of the facts, from the historical documents. Once you’re hooked on HDTV you can’t go backwards.

I learned there will be a new Six Wives of Henry the Eighth on PBS. I haven’t yet found a listing for it on KIXE. It is scheduled to air on some stations on July 16 and 23.