Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's funny about Clouseau?

I am catching a Turner Classic Movie Channel viewing of "Shot Before Dark", one of the first Petr Sellars/Inspector Clouseau/Pink Panther movies.

What's funny about Clouseau?  His accent, his deadpan looks with rolling eyes, the hat and trench coat, with hand tucked into the coat pockets? The slapstick moves and sight gags?  Preposterous plots?  Inconcongruous pairing of Clouseau with a beautiful woman?

You tell me your favorite comedic element.  I like them all.

I don't laugh easily, but when I can catch some slow time with Inspector Clouseau, I make the date.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

900 years ago

Two pit houses, Walnut Creek National Monument, near Flagstaff, Arizona,  photo by anita c. fonte 7.4.17

I am awed by the reminders of how short a life span we have, how our time on earth, and in this land is brief.  Maybe we leave behind a few rocks to say "we lived here," or a poem, or a painting.  But all things eventually are worn down by time, and that humbles me, brings me to appreciate this moment, now.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Creative Clutter

Clutter has been criticized for being a messy collection of things that should be reordered, discarded, or avoided.  But I am arguing that clutter can be creative, too.  Having a collection of things that are bound together by a creative urge, idea or practice can be a stimulus to create.  At least, that works for me these days.  Walking the World by Julia Cameron and Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey led me to shop for small blocks of cloth, needles and pins so I can start a small hand sewing project.

What do you think?  Can creative clutter be a "push" for you to create something new? If yes, send me a photo and brief description of your creative clutter. and I will share it on my blog.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Creative Lives of my Mom and Dad

For most of my life I have not thought of my parents as creative people. Children of the Depression Era, they both worked hard in and out of the home.  But, as I reread Julia Cameron's book, Walking in This World..., I have come to understand a broader definition of being an artist.

My dad, while still in high school, made this cabinet.  First, for his mother, and then it became his wife's sewing cabinet.  The top drawer is still full of her sewing tools and the side shelves used to be full of patterns.  I recall her putting patterns for ballet costumes, dresses, and aprons into those shelves, the tissue paper rustling within the McCall's envelopes.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

play ball

Summer can be, and is, a tough season for those of us who live in the Sonoran desert.  I have found one way to beat the heat is to follow the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games on tv, in the comfort of my living room with good air conditioning, and, once or twice a season, I see them live at Chase Field. (I used to be a White Sox fan, but only check them out in the newspaper now, having left the Chicago area years ago).

My love of baseball started early with my dad tossing me the ball in our backyard on McClure Ave. in Elgin, and listening to the games broadcast on the radio.  He had a white and red transistor radio that now sits on a shelf in my husband's office, and it still works in a scratchy sound kind of way.  Once a year in the summer, Dad took my sister and me into Comisky Park.  I think, at some point, she stopped going, but I continued into my early teens.  It was a rare way for me and my dad to have a good time together and I cherish those memories.
Ralph Fonte, a White Sox Fan, two weeks before he died, 8/14

In my thirties, baseball became a conversation point that I had with Henry Kissinger.  Yes, I met the former Secretary of State at the LBJ Library and Ranch when I worked with the Kettering Foundation.  We talked about baseball as a way to find common ground on the issue of National Security which he and I definitely did not agree on in any way.  Years later, when Kissinger came to Tucson as part of a community forum, he crossed the yard at the resort, with local security tagging behind, and said, "Oh, my little activist!"  Then he proceeded to tell me how our baseball conversation earlier (he hadn't understood the game), eventually led him to have box seats at New York Yankee Stadium.

I don't pretend to be a political guru from that experience, but, as demonstrated at the recent moment of  a "coming together" baseball game between Congressional Democrats and Republicans, playing baseball, talking about baseball, watching baseball can move the needle enough to create space to share our uniquely American sport--between political parties, a liberal activist and Secretary of State, and a dad and his daughter.

On line coloring by Anita C. Fonte

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

update summer 2017

Keep watching this site. It will be updated soon to reflect my renewed creative and, yes, slow life.