Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March… ironically, it is primary election day here in Ohio.

No, that is not a portrait of Presidential candidates. It is a glorified doodle… I was coloring with the boys, my 3 and 4 year old grandsons, while their mama ran errands. Surprisingly, it was the youngest who asked me to break out the colored pencils. It is usually their sister, who was at school yesterday.

I don’t know who to vote for… my candidate of choice opted not to run.

The way I see it, I have four choices:

  • Let a coin toss decide between Clinton and Sanders on a Democrat ballot, as neither one has captured my attention, must less any sense of anything.
  • Ask for a Republican ballot to vote for ANYONE BUT TRUMP as my opinion of him as being an obnoxious pompous ass from years ago has NOT changed regardless of campaign rhetoric. BUT, here in Ohio, voting a Republican ticket would make me a registered Republican.
  • Ask for a Green Party ballot… that’s one way of saying “NONE OF THE ABOVE” as no one on the Green Party ticket has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning POTUS.  One the plus side, I could vote for a friend who is running on the Green ballot for some kind of state office.
  • Give up my “bitching rights” by opting to not vote at all.  It’s only the primary… I can vote in the general for anyone I darn well please without declaring any party loyalty.

I have until the polls close to decide.

In the meanwhile, today is Mr. Marsberry Cat’s 18th unofficial birthday. I don’t know exactly what date he was born, so the Ides of March is a good guess of ye about when. He was the last of the litter, already two or three months old, when we brought him home in Spring of 1998.

I can’t believe that he is still breathing on this planet. Sometimes, I’m not so sure he still is… he sleeps a lot. I’m told that he “rules the roost” around here, but that’s not true. He just thinks he does.

Thanks for reading!




Living DoYo

I love living in DoYo, which is short for right smack downtown Youngstown, Ohio. There is always something new or interesting going on, even when it is not festival season. Saturday, I went to a comedy show at the M Gallery. That was fun. This Tuesday (tonight) is a poetry reading at the Pig Iron Press and then next Tuesday is the first Open Mic night at the M.

My only complaint about living in DoYo is the lack of retail stores. It is pretty bad when you have to hop a bus to go buy common things like paper and ink pens.

We need a grocery store. The Circle store sells basic groceries and household goods (milk, eggs, bread, dish soap, &c.) but you’re paying convenience store prices. I would love to see a bakery, maybe a meat market or deli, something with fresh fruits and product, if not a fully stocked store.

Gift shops would be nice, perhaps a Maker’s Market of some kind, like little mini shops sharing a storefront space, where you could buy candles, soaps, and a variety of other handmade items.

They are opening “Youngstown Flea” this summer downtown here, but the name is a bit misleading as it will be an outdoor art and maker’s market each month, not a “flea” market. They are vetting vendors through an application process. I understand the need to control the vibe, to limit what is allowed to be sold, so you have to list what you plan to sell (and only sell what you list) and submit photos and links so they can check you out and decide if you will be a good fit, limit types of items to ensure good variety, &c.

I have issues with excessive control, but thought about applying. Then I remembered how often I got rained on (or rained out) last year when I tried doing outdoor events. And straight up, I think the fees are too high for my low end items… I never count on selling art as art sales are unpredictable. That’s why I make buttons and little trinkets; sometimes dollar items are the only things that sell.

Why is it that anything to do with selling art or handmade things comes with high fees?

For $15 or less, I can set up at a real flea market with thousands of people wandering by… if it is an art or craft show, fees start at 25, the Youngstown Flea wants 50 for a one day outdoor spot (rain or shine), and some places want way up in the hundreds.

I would like to see an “itinerant row” in DoYo… street vendors set up in the same locale, same days, same times. An itinerant retailer’s permit is only 50 a month, or 150 for an entire year.

Words to the wind:  I want my own little store, an indoor place to sell whatever I want (art, buttons, handmade things, whatever) with no application or vetting process required so the only “permission” I need is from my own self  and whatever applicable laws may apply.

Thanks for reading.


WIP: Blue Day


Worked on some blues on the left side tonight while listening to Pandora radio… it is slowly coming together. I did not plan on tears dropping into her lap. As always, emotion twirls into the art.

Someone asked, “What is it?”

I don’t know… it doesn’t have a title yet.

Officially, it will a mixed media piece done in layers of watercolors and colored pencil on two large pieces of art paper that will be laced together like a corset, embellished with beads and handmade lace, and mounted on a gouache painted board before framing.

Size is 35 x 29 inches, bit odd… but I’m recycling a frame.

The basic ideas going into this are: woman, bound, fire, pain, grief, heartache, endurance, and strength. When it is done, it will just be what it is.