Archive for the ‘Soap Box’ Category


Earth day 2012


Remember when earth day meant something other than a date on the calendar? Me too.

I have been thinking a lot about our planet and what our responsibility is to her. We are grateful are we not? I think we owe her mindfulness. Consciousness of what we consume, how it is consumed and how it goes back to her. Can we agree to think about our consumption? This is the root of what we impose on our planet. Is it not our responsibility to take  care of her?

Happy earth day.


kaboom, be thankful!


We are still in recovery mode here in CT. If you are a tree lover (and I am) these are sad days. The recent premature snowfall (snowmageddon) left our trees shattered. It is like Edward Scissorhands ran through every neighborhood. Piles of branches sit curbside at every home. What is not down is in need of attention. Everywhere you turn there are trees that will need to come down as they have been seriously damaged. So sad!

I could complain about all the inconveniences that this brought into our lives with 9 days of no power, no phone, no internet. Instead I would like to say how lucky we were that family and neighbors were with us through this ordeal. People opened their doors and offered what they could. As we get ready for Thanksgiving let’s remember how much we take for granted and be truly grateful that we rarely go without. Let’s be thankful.


The Object of Me


I hate having my picture taken.

I have been working on a website for one of my art groups and the guy who is putting the site together suggested we have a picture of the group on the website and our individual pictures on the artist pages. Subsequently, we are prepping for a show at a UConn gallery. “We could put your pictures on your artists statements” the curator said excitedly. Ahh, there it is again.

So I have been examining the reason for my photo phobia and have some reflections on the subject. It is not all about how badly I photograph.

I am not sure our obsession with representing ourselves in a photo everywhere is a healthy thing. It strikes me as a form of objectification. Is this not the same as calling me the wife? The woman? The middle-aged person? It removes me from my creative persona to my physical self. Like any artist and designer I want to be known for my work, my ideas. Actually, isn’t that what everyone wants?

I used to work for a boss who always called his wife, “the wife”. You don’t hear women saying I have to go home to “the husband”. It was a subtle but effective way to make his wife an object instead of a person. I also have relatives who come to family events laden with cameras of every form to capture each and every moment. In some ways it becomes more about photo ops than the event itself.

So I ask you to consider the use of photos. More importantly where you post them. Yes, there is a time and place for photos. But if we are to see each other for who we are we need to see beyond the face, the body, the sex, the age. We need to see the person.


The End of the Affair


My life has hit so many speed bumps lately I feel like I am on a ride at the amusement park. I usually love grocery shopping but when time after time you can’t get what you came for, the romance is over.

Our Whole Foods market opened in 2005. As a cook and a food lover I was ecstatic. Finally, a grocery store with quality ingredients, a range of organic foods, local ingredients. Dan and I were quickly hooked. In the past 6 years we have found wonderful people and food at WFM. Yes I shopped at other stores but certain ingredients were better at WFM. Based on these convictions I persuaded friends and family to shop there.

“You know this meat has so much flavor” my Mom told me.

“I know!” I replied. We were all so happy.

Then it happened. Over and over and again and again. The cheese I had grown to love was no longer carried. “Try this one.” the WFM Team Member told me. We went from Pepper Colby to Colby, then from one Swiss to another and finally to Emmenthaler. Now we no longer can get the Emmenthaler despite going round and round with the CSR (who was great by the way) who assured me the items were in stock. One problem, when I told the deli department that I had spoken to her, I was rebuffed with a form of “she does not tell us what to do.”

Today I went to get some cans of beans. Cannellini was my first choice. The shelf was bare. Black beans or chick peas perhaps? No and no. Yes, they did have the pricier organic chick peas but in addition to the extra 30¢ per can they were not sodium free. Ok, we will have hamburgers. No 85% ground beef. Not in the prepackaged case, nor in the butcher’s case. No American cheese. What about that rice mix I like? No, that was out too. This unfortunately has become the norm for Whole Foods Market. And that was just Wednesday at 3:30 pm. Can you imagine what 5 pm on Saturday is like?

My quick dash through the market did spy price increases all over the store. If they had the 85% ground beef it would be $1 more per lb than last year. And my favorite chocolate? 40¢ a bar more than last year.

Sigh. It was so much better than this once upon a time.




Our Element was declared totaled this week. Yes it is just a car, but it was the perfect car for Dan and I. It fit us on a lot of different levels. The designer in me appreciated the well thought out features; seats  that could fold up or move out to haul artwork, flea market finds and luggage. Sometimes all at once! The artist in me liked the roominess for schlepping my art supplies including my fan base, Dan. Yes, it was not a car of luxury but that is really not my style. It was a car that fit our do it yourself, can do lifestyle.

It is sad to me that they no longer make the Element (2011 was its last year in production). It is also unconscionable that options for better gas mileage in this category of vehicles has not improved in the 8 years since we bought the Element. You either have to pay twice as much and buy a hybrid or settle for the same. When SUVs and station wagons are such a big portion of the car market how is that possible?




“I think the world could be transformed if we all would take responsibility for our actions and care about it a little more.”  – gretchen wohlgemuth


Something is in the air!


I keep running into clients who want things created for them: logos; layouts; illustrations. When I create in my own style I get the feedback; “I wanted something artistic”. What this really means is I don’t know what I want or Read my mind. In one case I tried to get an idea of what they wanted by trying to ask some targeted questions. The response was ” I will know it when I see it“.

First of all I take issue with the idea that artistic has to fit their definition. What is artistic is as subjective and wide open as the universe itself. Second, for anyone to think that “I will know it when I see it” is constructive or helpful in achieving anything is beyond the absurd. Do other professions have to deal with these kind of things?

It all comes down to communication. As a society we are so conditioned to doing things quickly and having them immediately  that we have forgotten how to articulate direction. The irony is that ultimately we waste more time to get the results we were after.