Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something I ran across

In the fall, I will be working on a state arts awards ceremony (more on that another time). While discussing the ceremony, I was told that, for the first time in the history of the awards, there will be a keynote speaker: Sir Ken Robinson
I was given this link as an intro:
It is worth the time it takes to watch, even if you just listen to it and do something else.
For more on the series, read here.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

An open letter to parents whose children attend art camp

Dear Parents-

I'm sorry to just call you "Parent" but I know that when I introduced myself at the beginning of camp, all I got from you is "this is Joey." So you are only known as Joey's mom/dad/grandma/sister/vague relationship that I'm not sure of/pimp/brother etc.

If you see me, Kiki, (the helpful camp assistant in her late 30's who is getting paid minimum wage to help out with art camp because they begged me to lend a hand and all the interns are too hung over to deal with the am camp) at the end of the day and I look like I want to throw your child out the window, please take a minute to ask how she did today. This is not the time to say that your worthless ex-husband did not give her her morning meds. (Umm that is the second time this week, is it always his fault?) If you can, take a minute to tell me at the beginning of class so that I am mentally prepared to deal with your son/daughter in a caring manner rather than raising my voice and pulling my hair out.

Do you think your child has a special talent? let me know, I can encourage the teacher to think about it while working on the projects, but having her tell me that she can't do today's project because it's not what she's good at doesn't fly. There are 14 other kids in class, I can't just stay with one. Why should the kid's that are truly trying and need assistance suffer because you insist on doing everything for your child.

I know that I'm not a "real artist" but I am the one who is with your kid every day of camp. While I don't need the fawning that you give the artist, a "thanks" or something along those lines would be nice. If I look like a zombie at the end of the day, it's not because I'm disinterested, it's because your child and the other monsters have sucked my soul out through my finger tips.

And by the way, I don't care if you clean up after you children constantly at home, I'm not doing it here. Please encourage them to be responsible. It's bad enough I have to help clean up after the artist.

Please don't send your child to a glass studio in flip-flops. I can't believe I had to tell you that. Really. And why are you surprised that he got a cut when he was doing the glass project? And if I have my way, crocks and flip flops will be banned from kids camp. Just because I said so.

It says in your letter of information that we take a snack break. Is it really too hard to pick up a piece of fruit or a bag of crackers to send with them? I can't afford to feed all these kids. (remember the minimum wage thing up there)

Oh and dads, this one is for you. I know when Mom is out of town you let little junior pick out his snacks and lunch treats, but really, a little common sense. Please do not send your already "excitable" child with a movie theatre pack of Twizzlers, a box of JuJuBees, and some sour patch kids. The squeeze yogurt isn't really "health food." Neither are chocolate chip granola bars. If the top ingredient is "Sugar" or "Corn Syrup" think about what you are doing to me. Please.

And finally, this is ART camp. Not cell phone camp or toy camp so those can be left at home or put somewhere where I can't see it. And when making art, children tend to be messy. 3 hours with paint and glue some of it is bound to find its way to your child's clothing. Not my problem. It's bad enought that I have a huge paint mark across my boob because someone "handed" me a white brush. Oh well, black tee shirts are boring any way. Now HP has a place to aim for.

Hugs to all of you devoted parents and your shining offspring.

PS. Last week's kids were much better to deal with and their projects were nicer too. Nyhnie-Nyhnie-Nyeh-Nyeh


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tap, Tap, Tap. Is this thing on???

Testing. 1.2.3.
Check, check, check!
Oh, this is how this thing works...

Uh, hey guys, how are ya?

Sorry, it's been a while, but ya know one thing lead to another and well, I kind of forgot how to type this thing.
I tried to make random, lurky visits to friends, but I really haven't spent much time on the computer. I'm only here now because HP wore himself out and I'm trying to do something quiet since I'm still awake. sort of.

I've read some excerpts of people's summers, I think a lot of people are getting out & doing things that sound like fun.

I'll give you the "Reader's Digest" version of my summer. I've uploaded some pictures to flickr, but then the battery died on the camera, and I have to start over except the camera and the computer have rarely shared the same floor of the house, so those are still to come.

Kiki's Summer Vacation

3 weddings (in 5 weeks)
my sister's birthday. she's 2 years older than I am
The Girl's Sweet Sixteen. Somehow I ended up doing a dinner party for 10 in my yard after I had already started clearing out the kitchen for the great budget makeover that never ended and went over over budget
HP's 40-somethingth birthday
Uncle Dick's 75th birthday
My niece's 7th birthday
HP's adventure on the other coast.
3 weeks of wondering if we were moving to the other coast
2 weeks and a random weekend in the Pocono's. I brought my computer with every intention of blogging, but there were children who had different ideas for me (like swimming and making blueberry pancakes) and for my computer (like barbie.com) and their mother who had different ideas for me (like swimming with her kids so she could get work done, and driving around in the convertible) and for my computer (ebay!) So, I didn't get much blogging done. I did take pictures, but most of them didn't make the great file transfer.
Summer Camp I got a call the day I was recovering from The Girl's Sweet Sixteen asking me to work for an art's camp. starting THAT day. Please! I've been going full tilt since then. I've played with clay with kids, I've fused glass with kids, I've read to kids, I've gotten ice for kids who run in crocs, I've filled out forms for band-aids, I've painted a giraffe, I've had to pull structured-theme-oriented mixed media projects out of my ass, I've tie-dyed, I've had art shows, I've been run ragged...
and finally
The great budget kitchen makeover The idea was to give the kitchen a $500 makeover. New countertop ($100) New sink ($100 (plus $12 for the drainbowls and strainers, sold separately)) New faucet ($70 so far--still need another piece to make it work with our ancient portable dishwasher) Paint (about $100). So far that sounds reasonable, but what about all the $50 trips to Lowe's?? what are we getting there that keeps adding up? Today it was copper pipe, fittings, connectors and things like that to actually hook up the sink.
The great budget kitchen makeover was also supposed to only take about 10 days. 2 weekends plus the days between to do extra coats and things like that. That was over a month ago. Of course, the trip to the Poconos, all of the birthdays and summer camp were all after we started the great kitchen makeover.
And while we have been working on the GKM, HP finished grad school! Yay. I am soo proud. and so is his Ma, who will be coming for a visit. ON FRIDAY. We have a lot to do before Friday! Ma will be here for 10 fun-filled days. I hope she likes to watch paint dry, that's what we have for excitement. I think she wants us to go to that whole commencement thing which will be smack dab in the center of the state. So, we have a visit to my dad (who goes by YOM--Your Old Man) and his wife, who just goes by her name.
And still to come this summer, My birthday (30 somethingth), our anniversary (4th) and getting The Boy back to school.

So that is the abridged version of my summer. At some point pictures will follow. I think. I'm trying to work towards getting back on my computer at least a couple evenings a week (the last couple weeks I've checked email, occasionally visited your blog. if you have one. and looked up the weather.)

Oh, the kitchen? It is a kind of yellow, almost a yellow ochre (brought about by a beer glaze) with white "wainscoting" (ok, it is paneling that was cut down at some point in the house's history, but little oddities like that are part of the fun of an old house). The cabinets are white and the counter top is beechwood. We have a bright white cast iron sink and pewter faucet (I think--the package was mismarked, which was part of the reason it was only $70 instead of $275).
My kitchen was a warm tera-cotta color, with dingy blue cabinets and an icky laminate counter top, now it is bright and cheerful. Or at least it will be when we get all the tools and crap out of it, sand and refinish the floor, and put the shelves and kitchen island back in.
I can't wait to show you the finished pictures, and I can't wait to get back in it!


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