It’s easy to remember 1934 because that’s when Hitler became a full-fledged dictator.
It’s easy to remember 1934 because that’s when Hitler became a full-fledged dictator.
I recently completed the below set of collage/paintings and I’m ready to start on the next one.
People frequently never ask me, “What’s your process for creating your artwork?” I thought I’d share with you, imagined reader, my answer to that oft-unasked query.
First, I light some incense to set the mood:
Naturally, they are both two different shades of The Color Purple, one much deeper than the other.
Then I go to the small Oprah altar I have on the bottom shelf of my toy closet, on top of the box of Cyndi Lauper bubblegum cards:
Then I say the Creativity Prayer, which I wrote as part of The Artist’s Way program. They had a suggested prayer in there and I modified it to make it more Oprah-ish. And then I went over it in colored pencils so it would be a rainbow. You can pray to a different deity if you don’t like Oprah, but I can’t guarantee the same results.
Oh Oprah, the Great and Powerful
I beseech thee in prayer that I may be of greater service to you and to your creation.
I offer myself as an instrument in your divine creation.
I open myself to your creativity in my life.
I surrender to you my old ideas, and I welcome your new and more expensive ideas.
I trust that you will show me the way, and I trust that it it safe to follow you.
I know that you created me and nurtured me.
Creativity is your nature and mine.
I ask that you unfold my life according to your plan, and not my low self worth.
Help me to believe it is not too late, that I am not too small or too flawed to be healed by you and by those around me, and the broken parts made whole.
Help me to love those around me, to encourage their growth, and understand their fears. Help me to know I am never alone, that I am loved and lovable.
Help me to create as an at of worship to you.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Then lay out all the old copies of O, The Oprah Magazine that I have saved up and see which one speaks to me:
Then I get distracted playing with Snapchat:
And then I make it into a blog entry and it’s almost lunchtime and I haven’t picked one yet. I may have to binge watch some more Stranger Things to amp up my creativity.
Have a nice day! Vote for Hillary or we’ll all die in a nuclear winter!
That is all,
Many people are surprised to learn that Oprah Winfrey is actually an accomplished singer in addition to being a talk show host and omniscient deity. She will be releasing a new album this fall and the artwork was just released today! It looks terrific!
As I’ve mentioned previously, every poem by Emily Dickinson can be sung to the tune of The Yellow Rose Of Texas. (Feel free to test it out here.) I think there’s maybe like one that doesn’t work. My favorite is “Because I could not stop for death” because the words are so depressing but they fit the jaunty tune perfectly.
Well, this morning I was listening to my usual Spotify Radio channel (Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Radio) this morning and “That’s Amore” came on. I don’t know how I didn’t realize it before, but you can sing the words to “Packing A Musket” to the very selfsame tune!
Try it now in your best Dean Martin voice!:
When you work from your home and johns call on the phone
you’re a call girl.
When you walk ’til you limp and give a cut to a pimp
you’re a street whore.
When they’re beggin’ you please to get down on your knees
near their groinage
“Excusa me,” but you see, don’t you touch where they pee
I’ll be singing it all day long today on my Snapchat (DavisMcDavis) – tune in!
That is all,
Do you remember where you were when pashminas first happened? I remember like it was yesterday! I worked in the billing department of Calvin Klein’s internal advertising agency at the time. I did filing, copying, and coding invoices – something that I was good at, but disliked. It was determined that we would be switching to a new computer system. As a result, we were gaining a new employee, Francesca, who was hired as the “expert” on the new system, and who would supervise me.
Around the same time, high-end stores started selling pashmina scarves – big, thin, scarves the size of bed sheets that were made of a fine cashmere wool coaxed from the belly of Nepalese goats. Pashminas allowed a woman to wear a tank top and miniskirt in an air-conditioned office by covering it all up with a ginormous scarf so she still appeared appropriately dressed. They became very popular. Soon it seemed every woman spent the workday cuddling a blanket-size scarf like Linus Van Pelt.
Francesca dressed much more modestly, in sober tops and ankle-length polyester skirts with stretch waistbands, but even she could not resist the siren call of the pashmina. Who could? If it had been even mildly acceptable for men to wear them, I would have loved to be swaddled in a security blanket all day while navigating the icy wasteland that was the harsh cold minimalist concrete Calvin Klein office floor.
Shortly after their introduction, knockoff pashminas soon made their way to the sidewalk sellers of Midtown, and by the time Francesca was hired you couldn’t walk 15 feet down 39th street without passing a folding table covered in an array of “pashmina” scarves and prayer bead bracelets, which were the other things at the time that were popular to sell off a folding table on a sidewalk. Like the “jade” bracelets they sat next to, these $5 scarves used the word “pashmina” to mean “big” and were, at this price point, no longer made from the silky belly fur of a foreign mountain goat, but instead a careful blend of synthetic fibers of indeterminate origin, possibly China.
Along with the arrival of Francesca, I was given training on the new software. Afterwards, I found I didn’t particularly need Francesca’s expertise, so with almost all work having been delegated to me, Francesca’s job was mainly making herself look busy while sitting at her terminal. This was more difficult to do than you might think because it was 1999 and we didn’t have Facebook yet. Looking busy for a full three hours must have been a lot of work, but somehow Francesca managed to do it.
After a morning of “supervising” me, at 12:30, she’d let out a sigh, a sort of high-pitched simpering Skeksis sigh, and say, “Hmmmm, time for lunch!” and head out to the elevators. An hour later she’d come back, having navigated the folding table bazaar set up on the sidewalk corners outside, and tell me about the deals she’d gotten on pashminas and prayer beads.
“These are for good luck,” she’d say, showing me a bracelet of plastic beads that were clearly hoping to resemble fake jade, and almost achieving it.
I remember one time specifically she said, “You should have seen these pashminas, David. So many colors – and only $5! I was shopping so much I forgot to get lunch.”
Francesca wasn’t fat, but she didn’t look like the type to forget lunch, either.
“But you know, I’m not hungry – shopping fills you up!”
I remember it to this day because I had never heard a more stupid thing in my life. If a person could lose weight by shopping for scarves, Francesca would look like Kate Moss, and I’d be out there myself walking around looking like an adult Linus, shaking my lucky beads. I can hardly complain, though, because when pashminas happened wasn’t even half as bad as when stretch pants happened. I don’t want to gross you out, so I’ll save that story for another day. THE END
PS – So I wrote a version of the above bit for my humor writing class, but I didn’t really like it so I never posted it here. Then another assignment was to revise an earlier assignment, so I did revise that one. I like the revision better, but both Handsome Mister Goats and the teacher said I should have some more dialogue in the beginning. I thought and thought about it and I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything she’d said other than that one thing about shopping. Then this morning I finally remembered she once showed me a recipe for scrambled eggs in a magazine and said something about how delicious the eggs looked, but I couldn’t figure out how to work that in. But I think it was something similar to the way I scramble my eggs these days: melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter over low heat. Whisk three eggs until fully mixed, and pour the melted butter into the eggs and mix well. Then pour the mixture into the pan. Continuously mix the the eggs over low heat with a silicone spatula. They will slowly get thicker and finally curdle. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan if any eggs get cooked, and squish them back into the main mixture. You want to take it off the heat when it’s just barely cooked, with the consistency and dampness of oatmeal.
But I couldn’t figure out how to work the egg recipe into the story so here they are now. I had them for breakfast today, they looked kinda like the picture below. Life is a circle, like an egg, or the letter O.
Our assignment was to rewrite a previous assignment using a different voice. I couldn’t really figure out what to do at first, but then I thought of this. The teacher didn’t like it and said it was really an entirely new story. But I didn’t really like the assignment the way it was assigned, and I’m 42 and it made me laugh. Isn’t me what’s important? I think it is.
John: How are you?
Interviewer: Good. How are you? What’s your name again?
John: Don..I mean, John Miller.
Interviewer: Thank you for calling today! What would you like to say about The Hobbit?
John: Yeah, Mr. Jackson asked me to help out. I’m somebody that he knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes. And I’m sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it. He’s just been doing so well that I’ve sort of been put in here to handle because I’ve never seen anybody get so many calls from the press now that this movie, The Hobbit: An Expected Journey is coming out on DVD.
Interviewer: And what would you like to say about that?
John: It’s the most tremendous movie ever. It is excellent, I can tell you that much.
Interviewer: So you are a real fan of this movie!
John: Oh, without a doubt. Better than Citizen Kane! Madonna called, she wanted to be in the picture, that’s the kind of classy picture this is. It was actually such an unbelievable story that Peter split it up into three separate movies, that’s how much of a story he had.
Interviewer: Wow, I’m surprised to hear that! Well, thank you for calling in…
John: Well, I can tell you off the record that Donald Trump was a silent partner, he was helping produce the picture, so of course there was no shortage of money. If you know one thing about Donald Trump, you should know that he has just tremendous amounts of money and he always makes wise investments. Always. So that wasn’t the issue, I can tell you that much. In fact, it was Mr. Trump’s idea to make at least three pictures in the first place. He could have made 18 pictures if he wanted. He could have directed them, too, but he thought he would be a nice man, because Donald Trump is a nice man, and he told his friend Peter he could direct them.
Interview: Donald Trump is also a film director?
John Miller: He would be if he wanted to, he just has other things he’s doing, with so many beautiful women calling him all the time, so even though he’s excellent at time management he felt it would be too much. But he had the film rights to The Hobbit, along with many other books, because he’s such a terrific reader, so when he saw the trailer for one of those Lord In The Rings movies, he realized that Peter would be the guy to direct it.
Interviewer: I’m surprised to hear Donald Trump produced the movie.
John: I can only tell you that off the record, because he is modest and didn’t want his name in the credits of the movie. Officially on the record you wouldn’t know it, except by the fact that it is such an amazing movie and I assume people naturally associate “amazing” with “Trump.” I do!
Interviewer: Thank you for calling in…
John: What happened was Mr Trump got on the phone and said, “Peter, I can tell you’re a classy guy – I want you to direct The Hobbit for me, but I know things are better when you make them as large as possible and cover them in gold. Can you make three huge incredibly long movies out of a children’s book?”
Interviewer: You were in the room when he made this phone call?
John: Um, he told me about it afterwards, that’s what happened.
Interviewer: It was Mr. Trump’s idea to make three movies instead of one?
John: Yes, and at first Mr. Jackson said no, but as you know Mr. Trump is the world’s best negotiator – it’s unbelievable how good he is at negotiating, he’s always winning at negotiating because he is very, very strong – and he convinced him to make the picture, and then Mr. Trump negotiated them into three pictures, three really huge ones, three hours apiece. Things are better in threes, don’t you think?
Interviewer: I bet Melania would agree with that! Well, thank you so much for calling in to Home Shopping, we do appreciate hearing from all of our customers. And you are so going to love the DVD, I can’t wait for you to get it!
John: Thank you, thank you very much.