Supporting the Arts

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This is for Bill W.:

Artists come in all sizes, colors, backgrounds, nationalities, and just about any flavor of human being that you can imagine.  Being an “artist” does not make you a painter or sculptor only, but a human being that brings beauty and thought into life.

Actors are artists.  They often bring to life the dreams of writers and the feelings of themselves and others on screen, on stage and in life.

Chefs/Cooks are artists.  They share their love of flavor, texture and visual aesthetics in a way that can be held only for a moment and then evolved into something else.

The crocheters, knitters and sewers are artists.  They take their ability to blend texture, color and pattern into beautiful objects that can be used, shared and loved.

Even the graffiti makers whom leave such amazing statements on society and life in the most impossible places are artists.  Their expression of the world around them is full of color and impossible shapes and ideas that touch the mind.

The mathematician is an artist.  They take simple basic plans and make them into unbelievable, impossible and often absolutely unproveable shapes  and pockets in the universe.

The Human Mind is capable of immense beauty.  The human that chooses to share that beauty in their own way is an artist.  To fail to support that choice and assist the artist in growing, sharing and becoming is to fail to support life.

Bill, I will always support your “crazy obsessions” because you have more to give than most people are willing to see.  Never stop being you and remember to support those other artists out there in all their forms…. for they can make your art even more and you can the same for theirs!

I Used To….

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I used to worry about what others thought of me,

Did they like my clothes,

Was my hair just right?

I used to think that it mattered to life….

Was my smile bright enough or just top bright?

Was my dress in style or my hair a mess?

Did I have the right shoes?

What about my breath!

I used to think it mattered to me.

My dress is old, my hair a mess, and I brushed my teeth so I have good breath.

I don’t look svelt, but my butt is comfy.

I like my shoes, even though they are a bit dumpy.

I used to think do they like my smile,

Now I think, oh well!

When Did You Stop Living?

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When did you stop living, learning something new?

When did you stop caring and being, growing with the dawn?

When did you stop loving, living in the now?

When did serendipity become your enemy?

When did you become the gray and sad old man?

When did you stop doing all that you can?

I miss the happy person that lived in flamboyant style,

Never worrying about what was gone, but growing on with grace.

I miss the gentle heart, the laughing, loving face.

When did you stop living?

(c) Lori Trevino 9-7-2014

Dedicated to Andy Stephens, I hope he wakes up and starts to live!

Dear Walmart

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Dear Walmart,

I moved to this small town where the only real shopping that could happen, with regard to reasonable prices for clothing and other items, was your store.  That was 11 years ago.  In one month I am moving back to my big city and many stores that are reasonable prices.

When I started shopping at the local Walmart Super Center, the food was reasonable and filled with things that local people would eat and buy.  The clothing, electronics and other items were also reasonable.  The store was well stocked, clean and the staff friendly.  Management was always visible and easy to communicate with if there was a problem.  Products were more U.S.A. than foreign.

5 years ago, the changes in Walmart became very apparent.  The entire management team had changed over and purchasing and stocking of items had changed into more foreign and less U.S.A.  The store was not as clean as it had been and the management was inaccessible to customers for the most part.

2 years ago, again there was a huge change.  The staff, who had been friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming, were now rude, ignorant and unwilling to help any customer that was not a personal friend.  The shelves were never stocked properly and the racks were a disaster, never actually reflecting the products that were supposed to be hung on them.

Now, the store is filthy.  The staff that have been there long term are tired and angry looking and often complain (not at work) about the poor pay and poor benefits.  The new staff is mostly people that can’t get work anywhere else and who often have no clue what they are doing.  Management is now invisible.  The stock is often left undone – with entire sections of shelves with absolutely no product on them and the product that is there is often open and missing items.  The bathrooms are disgusting and rarely cleaned.

30+ years ago, Kmart did this same kind of thing.  Your company appeared then in the Western U.S.A. as a huge competitor.  Kmart is still struggling to compete in the U.S.A. because of their policies.  While I understand that you need to compete in an ever increasingly poor economy, your policies are making it worse and you will sink your own ship this way.

In business courses in college and even in high school one of the things that every businessman/woman that ever spoke to us said “You have to spend money to make money.”  I asked what that meant – I was told this:

For a business to succeed, their employees have to succeed.  Even if it means losing a little profit to the paying of fair wages to employees, spending a little more for that extra touch to make the business place more inviting to the consumer and keeping the cost of goods and services commiserate with the wages paid to the employee.  Any business that fails to remember that will fail.

Remember that, because you are failing.

Thank you for your attention,

A Consumer

Why Can’t We?

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This week was my niece’s wedding.  She married a young man that loves her and whom she loves.  They have been in love from the first time they met…. and yet, they didn’t marry or date immediately.  Either way, this marriage was lovely and, with perseverance, faith and love it will endure.  But what about the people that were included in this wondrous event?  The bridal party?  The Grooms men and woman?  What about the families?  What about the women that surrounded this young woman in her life changing event?

Well, let’s see.  There was me, obviously.  I gave the only gift that no one else could.  I gave my wedding rings to her to wear, hopefully, for at least the amount of time I did – 32 years.  I did all the right things organizing, etc. and was duly excited to be part of this event.  I was, in truth a bit envious of her joy, but not truly jealous or spiteful as some could be.  I miss my late husband, but am very happy that she will carry forward our tradition of love and respect.

The mother of the bride, my sister, was excited, delighted, thrilled and sad.  She made the gown that her only daughter wore and it was beautiful.  I knew it would be.  She cried, which she never does really, and she laughed and was happy.  She enjoyed the young women that my niece has surrounded herself with and their laughter was something that lifted her spirits.  It was beautiful to watch and bittersweet since I have never had these events with the only child I had.  But it remained something I would not have missed for the world.

The bridesmaids – her best friend here is a young woman who is very quiet, and a bit unusual, considering her size and height.  But she is beautiful with gorgeous eyes and a good heart.  Very smart, but prone to thinking things over many times before acting.  Which isn’t a bad trait at all.  The other three ladies in the event were ones I met for the first time and they included others that were also special and wonderful.

One, outspoken and strong, made me laugh and made my heart heavy for her.  Her life is complicated and her ability to deal is epic.  I will always respect and like her, I think.  She didn’t take anything from anyone and it was not in a mean way, but firm and well done.  One, strong and well rounded, so very different from her peers and yet, she fit so well with the group.  I admired her.

The last, the grooms woman, was amazing, sweet and very nice.  Her girlfriend was a lovely girl that I could see why they were together.  I liked her a lot.  She was amazing.

Then, there was the “adopted” mother of the groom.  She is older, a bit wild, but she loves him as a son and has been very nice to my niece.  She makes an awesome “Bucket Salad” – I am seriously considering begging for the recipe.

The hair dresser I could have skipped….. while she may have been a friend to one of the ladies involved, I did not care for her or her judgmental, rude ways.  She made the maid of honor weep (inside) and the bride uncomfortable.  She insulted the mother of the bride and me….. I wear dentures, and it was early so of course my teeth were not in and it was busy busy in my kitchen.  She commented, after she saw me dressed how pretty I was with my teeth in – I commented back “I know!  But I am always a pretty woman!”

The rest of them, I will leave alone…..mostly because it will serve no purpose and it will hurt people needlessly.  But, as you can see this group of people was very diverse and, particularly the women, I watched them carefully.  I wanted to understand something.

Why can’t we be supportive of each other?  I don’t mean agree with every word or pretend that someone looks good with the nasty bed head and cheddar teeth…. but when someone is nice, tell them so!  When you feel a warmth to another person, be kind, not critical!

With women this seems particularly hard.  It is as if we are so afraid that the other person is going to “steal” some attention or be “prettier” than we are that we don’t see the truth at all.  Everyone gets attention for different things…. be it someone just likes them or they did something nice or they are interesting to look at, aesthetically pleasing… etc.  You can’t steal those things and no one is prettier than anyone else, except inside.  Because everyone sees you differently than everyone else.

Women, the only part of the species that has allowed themselves to be cowed.  To be bought and sold for millennium by the males of our species…. they should stand together.  But they don’t.  They sell each other as fast as males do and with more callous ways than a man does.

Why can’t we stand together?  Why can’t we see this is why we are not  able to be equal to our counterparts?  Sigh.

They Learn What They See…..

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To the Lady at the Dental Clinic:

I saw your younger daughter bouncing that baby boy, able to care for him as if he was hers and knowing how to hold him and play with him – at 3 weeks old – and wondered if he was hers.  She might have been 14 years old.  I didn’t realize it was her sister’s baby until she told me.

You came out of the clinic and took the baby…. wearing black spandex and a sleeveless top with sandals.  I didn’t think much of it until I realized that you are at least 15 years younger than me….. and then I saw the mother.  She couldn’t be much more than 17, wearing bright blue eye shadow, jeans so tight her belly hangs over the top and sandals with spangles…..

Most of the time I ignore it, but you woke me to something – your younger daughter will, most likely, be a mother prior to age 18, probably with a boy she won’t marry and who won’t pay child support.  She also sported the bright eye shadow and very tight jeans, along with a push up bra that made her tiny B cup breasts look like C’s.

We do what we see as children…. Thank you.  It reminded me why I don’t do those things.  I hope you aren’t a grandmother by the younger one too soon and that you don’t spend the years you would have loved to have spent being grandma, being mama to the grandchildren.

Be well.

Signed,

OMG DO THEY NEVER THINK????!!!!

Lost Generations…… Did We Create Them?

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The children of today are “encouraged” from birth to believe things that are beyond not true and right into fantasy.  This sounds improbable, but it is true.  If the behaviors that are allowed, encouraged or even simply ignored are any indication of what the children (meaning from age  0 to age 38) think that life is, then we have failed in EPIC ways.  We have failed in ways that previous generations could not understand or even consider.  To that end, the reader must consider several things… the “center of the universe” that exists solely in the head of the child….. the “instant gratification” that creates lack of understanding or ability to consider before acting….. the “youth and beauty” values that appear to be constant.

The “center of the universe” that is discussed here is that belief that seems to be universal to children of today… the belief that the universe exists to service the needs of the child.  One example is the child that never learns to care for their own belongings, but simply expects the adults in their lives to service their needs, wants and desires…. The child is taught that they are “first” in their parents lives and that their “needs” supersede the needs of the family or parents.  While there are some things in which the child’s needs do, indeed, come first, the majority of an adults life should be about them.  Meaning that while it is important to provide food, shelter, love and guidance to a child, it is not important to build your own life completely on their happiness.  In fact this is detrimental to positive growth for the child.

The child that believes that they are the reason for the sun rising in the morning is often disappointed.  The expectations built out of that belief are usually unrealistic and overblown, leaving the child to confusion and unhappiness.  This understanding is borne out by the very healthy view point of those children whose parents give them the values, attention and material goods that are actual needs rather than wants.  A child whose parents balance their own lives and make themselves important while still allowing the child to see that they are important as well, is often the child with an understanding that life is not simple, but that each individual has the life that is what they make, not what is given to them.

This brings the conversation to the “instant gratification” issue.  Instant gratification is something that society, for what ever reason, has chosen to embrace.  The receipt of goods or services in rapid succession with the thought of or desire for these goods or services is considered “instant gratification.”  In the case of children, this is taught by parents that tend to over indulge their young.  These parents have trained their child/ren to ask for and instantly receive items and rewards without any thought to what will happen when these needs are not met, as in what happens when they have to work for the money to get the things they want rather than be instantly satisfied by parental giving.  This is something that is truly scary.  Children used to know that they had to earn some things in life.  Most of us had some kind of “kid” job like a paper route, babysitting, etc. and gifts were for holidays and birthdays.  Now, children simply throw themselves into scream mode and are instantly given what they want.  This teaches nothing and devalues even the parents that are doing the giving.

Youth and Beauty, yes, the model on t.v. or in the magazine.  The expensive hair styles, clothing and jewelry that seem to be pushed, nay FORCED into the very crevices of the human brain, as how a person should look – YOUNG!  No matter how old you really are.  Beautiful in a way that is unrealistic (Ladies, seriously, that child is not going to hell if they eat the ice cream and NO you can’t get fat eating right as long as you exercise), like that bone thin woman with the space between her thighs that is so wide her toddler walks through her legs when they are held closed…..  Listen, the truth is this is what you are teaching:  Thin, to the point of emaciated, is healthy and right.  You must erase any look of age or you are worth nothing.

Now… remember this, NO ONE stays young forever.  Only the very rich or celebrities (and no not every celebrity is rich), will be able to afford that face/body lift that will keep them young until they are hideous and hiding because every surgery has its cost over time.  Seriously – do you want your children to believe that they must remain looking like a 5 year old to be perfect?

We are creating this bizarre group of people, or rather have created this bizarre group of people that will hate themselves in the end, have no realistic goals and who believe that parents should live only for them…… Did your parents stop living when you married or left home as young adults?  Probably not.  Did your parents give you everything you ever wanted?  I am betting they didn’t.  Do you not remember that spoiled rich kid that no one liked because they were ass hats? The one that got everything they wanted all the time?  Yeah – I know you do…

Did we create this?  I believe so.

Crunchy

The angry, crunchy rage builds inside me each time. The words are mean and angry, spoken when love should be used. Does anyone listen to themselves anymore? Are you so dead inside that you feel nothing? Are you gone to the other side of ugly?

I live in a world of torn apart treasures, sadness and pain…. The flowers are still beautiful and so is the smell of the rain.

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