A Shift in Priorities

Had to drop off my husband at work for an early meeting. As I am headed back home on the freeway, I notice that the usual Hooters billboard (cutesy blond in a tight t-shirt with a ‘come hither’ look in her eye) has been replaced. Now all you see are long, pink and white snow crab legs with a small tub of melted butter for dipping. No blonds, just seafood.

Could this be the influence of Ramadan?


In the Valley of Extremistan

“Many people labor in life under the impression that they are doing something right, yet they may not show solid results for a long time. They need a capacity for continuously adjourned gratification to survive a steady diet of peer cruelty without becoming demoralized. They look like idiots to their cousins, they look like idiots to their peers, they need courage to continue. No confirmation comes to them, no validation, no fawning students, no Nobel, no Shnobel. ‘How was your year?’ brings them a small but containable spasm of pain deep inside, since almost all their years will seem wasted to someone looking at their life from the outside. Then bang, the lumpy event comes that brings the grand vindication. Or it may never come.”

-from The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb p 87

Lessons from San Francisco

Dear white, hipster foodees,

Please remember to come early to your authentic, taxi cab driver-patronized, Desi restaurant during the month of Ramadan. Orders placed or picked up around iftar time might be delayed due to the myriad of pre-iftar fights and heated discussions which are commonplace at this drama-laden transition time.

-The Management

Ramadan Gallery 3

Did not start off well this week. Painted something that was rotten, will eventually paint over, but here is the fleeting image:

slush pile
slush pile               oil

Decided to retreat and paint something safe.

Veronicum                                        oil                                          6 x 6 
hollyhocks                                              oil                                                6 x 6

But sometimes it is important to sit with one’s mistakes for a while. Decided to go for something riskier. Started with this….

autumn tree
autumn tree                                           fluid acrylic                                  11 x 14

Then  moved on to this….

blue coastal
blue coastal                                  fluid acrylic                                           oval

Ended with this….

enchanted forest
Enchanted Forest                               fluid acrylic                                   11 x 14

Family Catch Phrases


“Are you going to finish that?”

“Truth be told…”

“Bear in mind…”

“What’s f0r lunch/dinner?”



“Are we going to be doing anything in the next hour?”

“I’d like to file a complaint.”

“Leave. NOW!”



“Do I have anything on my face?”

“You think I am the most horrible person in the world!”

“Oh, child…”

“I hate the world.”



“It’s a diverse neighborhood.”

“Stop the nonsense.”

“Move along.”

“Figure it out.”



“What?!! (grumbling) $%^&#!”

“Does anyone wanna come with me to the store?”

“You need to get your act together.”

“How do you turn this on?” (this being any electronic item including but not limited to printers, computers, cell phones, televisions, DVD players, iPads, etc)



Window Fight

My son and I have been arguing about whether or not to open his bedroom window. I say, “Open it! You need fresh air in this room!”.

He says, “If I open the window, the flying ants will come in. Then because it is Ramadan, you won’t let me kill them and I spend all this time catching and releasing them outside. I don’t want ants in my room. It’s gross.”

“The ants don’t come in all the time. They only come in on hot breezy days when they can fly.”

“They do not, Amma! They come in all the time!”

I cross my arms and stick out my chin. “Do you have any data for that?”

He frowns. “Yes, actually I do.”

“Then e-mail it to me.”

This is what he sends me:

Ramadan Gallery 2

Not as much time for painting this week. It has been hot, and running errands in the heat is exhausting. Thanks to car air conditioning I have an on-again/off-again cold. Grr.

I am trying to get a little more organized in my studio as well as finish some paintings which I have started, such as this one:

Valley of Dreams
Valley of Dreams                        oil                                        10 x 20

I have decided I need to go bigger on this painting, so I am treating this small one as a ‘study’.

Now onto originals for this week:

Dying Cells Stained with Lucifer Yellow
Dying Cells Stained with Lucifer Yellow                   mixed media                      11 x 14
front yard
Front Yard                                                       oil                                   11 x 14
garden nocturne
Garden Nocturne                          mixed media                                         11 x 14
Red Cloud
Red Eye                                             fluid acrylic                                  6 x 6

Ramadan Gallery 1

Made whilst fasting.

Coastal                                              mixed media                                             20 x 20
June front flowerbed                                        oil                                11 x 14
Land of 1000 Lakes                          fluid acrylic                                   11 x 14
Love letter                                           fluid acrylic                                            11 x 14
Nexus                                           fluid acrylic                                           11 x 14