Friday, September 24, 2010

Fatherhood Friday: Randomness

"Shout!" a new pic on display here in Jackson!
Today seems to be a day for randomness, so here goes:

1. A week after my dental implant surgery, I am slowly moving to more solid food.

2. Speaking of, I now have the bones of three cadavers in my mouth. HOT.

3. The new tooth will not go in until June. Can’t wait.

4. Vicodin is a bitch. The Versed they gave me made it almost impossible to function on Friday. It took me over an hour to make a grocery list. The feeling you get around the spring time change when you lose an hour is the feeling I have been battling all week. Ugh.

5. Great day, albeit long, at the college today. My students were busy at work so I was able to glaze 8 pieces and create 12 on the wheel. WOOT.

6. Speaking of, I have nothing to complain about at all this semester. My classes are wonderful. I am blessed.

7. Tod’s parents are here, as we are heading west to Campit on Friday, can’t wait. It’s Bears in the Woods. You do the math.

8. No, we’re not tenting; we’re borrowing a pop up camper from one of Tod’s coworkers. So much easier. Not as butch for sure, but hey.

9. Yukon will join us. He’s the bear magnet when we go. “My St. Bernard brings all the Bears to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours…”

10. Anna fell asleep on the bus ride home and was more than an hour late coming home. Thankfully, I was at work and wasn’t dialing 911 to find out where she was. Oy.

11. Eli is a punk. We dodged the bullet with Anna and the terrible twos. He is paying us back big time.

12. My show, The Dangerous Lives of Children, is now here in Jackson. We’ll see how many folks actually come to see it now that it is in town.

13. The show, The Politics of Fear, which features a picture of our wedding, is waiting to be reviewed by the Ann Arbor News and the Ann Arbor Observer, both big names in critical art review. I am eager to hear what they say about the show and about my piece in particular. In looking at the curatorial statement for the show, I think my piece is one that fits the bill to the tee.

14. And, I will have a piece, although not my first choice of work, in the next show, “What’s so funny.” My original idea was to do a piece related to the very sick joke: What’s funnier than a dead baby… a dead clown!!! I wanted to make a clown hanging from a noose with a tipped chair and nothing else. The curators felt that the noose was too powerful of an image and asked me to reconsider. I did.

15. I am reading “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall and I can’t wait to pick it up each night. It’s a great read. Really.

16. Our new kitty, Edwin, is growing by leaps and bounds. I think he’s going to be a monster. His striping is amazing.

17. We’re coming up on the year anniversary of Lola’s death. I miss her.

18. I am the Humanities Scholar for our county’s Prime Time Family Reading Program. It’s what took us to NOLA this summer for training. The trial event is this Tuesday, eager to see how it goes with our test audience.

19. The maples are changing color, I love it.

20. That’s it. What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A reader in the UK?

At a recent protest of Pope Benedict. I think she reads my blog.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fatherhood Friday: Ch ch ch changes

Forgive my lack of originality here today. I went under yesterday for implant surgery in my mouth. The tooth I lost last summer will finally be in sometime around May. Until then, there is a lovely post in my gum calcifying around some more cadaver bone. I swear to God, at some point there is going to be more dead people’s bone in my head than my own (no snarky comments please!)

However, I did get this email from Sue S, an amazing woman that I am honored to know. Back in the day, she was my cooperating teacher for when I did the high school part of my student teaching at Libbey High School in Toledo, Ohio. Even though several decades (Yikes!) have passed since that time, we still remain in contact, and for that, I am thrilled.

She sent this email the other day and I found it quite interesting:

ABC just aired a spot about the changing American family and I thought of you and yours. ABC also aired a story awhile back that was interesting.

You know the riddle: father and son are in a horrible car accident. Father dies instantly. Son is rushed to the hospital where the emergency surgeon says "I can't operate on him, he's my son" and the question then is: how is this possible?

In the 70's, the expected answer was "the surgeon is the boy's mother" as an argument about stereotypes and expectations.

ABC wanted to see if things have changed, and ran that riddle past adults on the street, and many had no answer ... but the best part was when they ran the riddle past kids. Some of the kids came up with Boy's Mother ... but the one I really liked was the boy who said "It's because the surgeon is his other Dad"

.... time out for cheers and applause.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hop on Pop

My right arm sleeve is a mix of NW Coast Indian art and Children's Literature creatures. I have the Pop and the two kids bouncing on him from Dr. Suess' "Hop on Pop" around my wrist. Why? Whenever I lay down on the couch or on the floor, the kids pile on.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fatherhood Friday: Scissor Sister

We dodged the bullet for the past few years.
We wondered if we should even cut our own hair at home, worrying that Anna would see it and take tonsorial matters into her own hands, and for the past few years, she’s done well listening to our admonishment to only let Teresa (her stylist) cut her hair. We have grown her hair out since birth, since she has rock star curls and her hair is amazing. But in the immortal words of VH1’s Behind the Music “that all changed” as of last night. As an art teacher, I have tried to instill in Anna respect for materials and media. She has had art supplies at her will since she was able and has done well. Sure, we’ve had a few incidental tagging of various furniture pieces, but for the most part, she’s done okay with her supplies, including the scary scissors. We cringed when her well-meaning preschool teacher gave her a pair of scissors that actually cut shit up, but she (Anna) promised that she would only do good with the new tool.

Until last night.

The first day of kindergarten went well, even though the bus was late and I ended up taking her to school on my way to work, but things seemed to be okay. However, this morning (day two) we woke up to a pile of hair in her bedroom and denial of any wrong-doing on her part. Apparently a “friend” came in and cut her hair for her, so she remains blameless of any wrong-doing with this event. The “friend” gave her a rather un-styled mullet, the kind you see at county fairs or in a Die Antwoord video (just Google it okay? Thank me later).

Thankfully, my former student Teresa is one of the owners of a great salon downtown and we put up the signal this morning, and her amazing team went to work this afternoon and un-styled the mullet and in the timeless words of Tim Gunn, “made it work.” It’s short, it’s sassy, it’s kind of Meg Ryan, but it looks nice. Someone asked me if we kept the hair for Locks of Love, the short answer is NO. The hair was so crazily cut by Anna, sorry, the "friend" that none of the hairs were the same length. I don’t know too many punk preschoolers on chemo, so the hair went into the trash instead of a wig.

A young girl who came to Family Week this summer had done a similar deed and ended up needing a VERY short do that made her look like a boy. She spent most of the week yelling “I’M A GIRL!” at the top of her lungs to the boys that tried to engage her in play. Anna still looks like a very cute girl and is rockin’ the look. Tod hates it, but I think he missed out on having the giant Barbie head as a kid to style and play with and Is using Anna as his own surrogate Barbie head. I am thrilled that I don’t have to mess with the screaming and the yelling as I comb her hair each morning. And yes, I am the ONLY one who makes her scream when I do her hair. Perhaps my many years of teasing out manikin wigs at Jacobson’s made me deaf to their silent screams. I followed all the rules for dealing with kid’s hair, but each day that I came at her with the brush, the screams started, many times even before I touched her.

So now her golden locks are gone, but she is still amazing, and even if she was bald, I’d still love her to death. And, for the record, I did NOT sneak into her room last night and cut her hair.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fatherhood Friday: Musings on my Muses... or what inspires me

My kids are my muses, and I find a great deal of wonder and fun in their daily lives. As an artist, and as a parent, I document our lives by taking photos, creating a trail of images and memories from birth right on up to yesterday. While some of the photos I take are staged, many of the images in our collections are spontaneous and a reaction to the current situation and environment. How my kids respond is what makes these images so much fun to view. My daughter is a genuine ham and knows how to make the most of her time in front of the camera; she makes my job as the photographer easy. My son, upon seeing the camera will smile and say “cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese” until his photo is snapped.

The ancient muses were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians, I wonder if my kids can also un-inspire me and become a hindrance. While they physically are the body of most of my work, they can also work very quickly to suck any innovation and energy out of my projects. It’s tough to balance being a parent, working full time, and trying to develop my secondary career as a working artist. As much as I love em, they can bring me to a state of total artistic chaos with one dinner or outing paired with their toddler/preschool antics.

I need to work on that balance, finding inspiration in the mundane and the moments that I want to pull my hair out as well. So dear readers, what inspires you?