Sunday, January 30, 2011

Goodbye Swedish toothpaste

My Swedish toothpaste has finally run out. I had been rationing it since August (and still no cavities!). I got this toothpaste at the 7-Eleven down the street from my hotel on my first day in Gothenburg. 7-Elevens are everywhere in Sweden - who knew? I had to buy this tube because in my half-asleep state I left my Tom's of Maine toothpaste in the bathroom of my hotel in Dublin. (I once had one degree of separation from the real Tom of Tom's of Maine because I went to college with this son, and once, he gave me a ride back to campus from my internship at Real Art Ways so I wouldn't have to wait for the bus in the rain.)

I know Pepsodent is an American product, and I never buy it here at home, but it's way more interesting with some Swedish words on it. The fact that I am so enamored with this tube of toothpaste is probably a sign I should get out more, but, you could also argue I am easily pleased.

Here's an interesting fact about Pepsodent: according to my good friend Wikipedia, one version of Cole Porter's song "You're the Top" mentions it. The song is from the 1934 musical Anything Goes and is about a man and a woman who take turns complimenting each other. It was the most popular song from that musical, and was the subject of hundreds of parodies. The lyrics are particularly significant because they offer a snapshot as to what was highly prized in the mid-1930s, and demonstrate Porter's rhyming ability:

"You're the baby grand of a lady and a gent,
You're an old Dutch master, you're Mrs. Astor,
You're Pepsodent!"

I also want to give a shout-out to my little buddy Giovanni, who hopefully is making good progress on his school project. Hey Giovanni, make sure you brush your teeth before bed! :-)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One more

Continuing with Appreciating Other People's Art Weekend (see below!), I want to include this one. Any sculpture I can stand inside of is alright in my book. This was a good way to end the day yesterday.

Other people's art

I am declaring this weekend to be "Appreciating Other People's Art Weekend". Truthfully, for me, every day is appreciating other people's art day - whether it be their painting or their shoe/sock combination. But, for this weekend I am more fully struck by all the good stuff that has been created.

This idea was kicked off yesterday when I was at Borders Books and I accidently came across The Paper Doll Primer by Emily Martin. Such a delight!

While in D.C. over Christmas, I had rewarding visits to the National Gallery and the Museum of the American Indian. I like Rothko's black paintings better than I thought I would, and if I could think of another good reason to go to Houston, I would love to go to the Rothko Chapel there. My picture above is a study of his painting "No. 2". And the functional art of American Indians - beaded clothing, woven blankets, shoes from a single piece of leather, carved instruments, painted pottery, arrowheads for specific animals, house posts, and spirit masks - always knock my socks off.

I used the proceeds from the selling of my two sheep paintings to buy myself some art...specifically a gorgeous painting of three feathers by Holly Ward Bimba.

A short movie has been made about the Sartorialist (see his January 6 posting). His photos make think that maybe I should start wearing clothes that fit. I like that he says he "feels very lucky to get to have part of my day leading a visual life." Lucky indeed.

And you can make fun of the 80s all you want, but that era gave us both Dire Straits' Making Movies and Paul Simon's Graceland. Two flawless albums that for more than 25 years (holy crap!) I've been happy to put right back on the turntable as soon as they are over.

Who or what have you been appreciating lately?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clean plates and clean slates

I like when a New Year starts. I get that back-to-school feeling which makes me want to line up my pencils and get a new notebook. The coldness and short days promote being more cerebral than physical, so it's a perfect time to organize, reflect, and choose a Word for the Year* to guide my choices and actions over the course of 2011.

I had a word all picked out, but it still felt a little off. I even announced it at the gathering of friends on New Year's Eve. Then I heard P's brilliant word and instantly knew it was right for me too. So, we will share the word Ownership. It captures a lot of things well, and makes me simultaneously uncomfortable and hopeful, which is probably a good sign. I am curious to see how it will go for both of us.

* If you want to learn about picking your Word for the Year, some good places to visit are Christine Kane's site here and Susannah Conway's site here.)

Let me know what you will choose for yourself in 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy 2011! I hope your year is filled with peace and joy.