Friday, September 30, 2011

Texas A&M Defects to SEC for 2012 Football Season?

Why talk politics when you can talk football? Well, college football anyway ... Just heard that the "Big 12", which only has 10 teams this year (but they are not the "Big 10" ... that is another conference, which happens to have 12 teams this year? talk about confusing!) will lose yet another team at the end of the season. You see, it seems that Texas A&M is defecting to the SEC at the end of this football season, and the SEC voted to let them in?

I'm sorry, being a U of Texas graduate and having worked with a rather arrogant individual from Texas A&M: I AM NOT a Texas A&M fan!! Quite frankly, I think the SEC is going chew Texas A&M to pieces. And while I will be all too happy to see this chewing on Texas A&M, I feel for the "Big 12" conference and U of Texas in particular. I mean, the UT and A&M rivalry is a fundamental part of the university cultural fabric in Texas. Now after decades of mostly good-natured and spirited rivalry ... this university rivalry will just be gone? Something is just not right about that!?! Granted UT and U of Oklahoma still have their rivalry, but somehow that's just not the same. Know what I mean?

I have sneaky suspicion that Texas A&M is going to come crawling back to the "Big 12" with their tail between their legs ... that's my prediction anyhow, psychic that I am  (I could be wrong ;)   And of course, I shall immensely enjoy seeing Ken's team (my adopted team), the U of Florida "Gators", "whoop up on" Texas A&M. I may just have to throw a BIG party for that game.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Next Book Purchase ...

You're never too old for Dr. Seuss, right? ... Well, I just heard on the news that they are releasing a new Dr. Seuss book.  Apparently this will be a collection of previously published stories in magazines and other literary publications.  The new book will be titled, "The Bippolo Seed & Other Lost Stories."   It will be published by Random House and will also be available for iPad (hopefully for iPod too ... if images are included). 

(Image via

Here are summaries of the seven stories from Oceanhouse Media’s press release (via

The Bippolo Seed, a mischievous, greedy cat leads an innocent duck astray;
The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Zinniga-Zanniga, a single eyelash saves a rabbit from an insecure bear;
Gustav the Goldfish, a boy overfeeds his pet fish, causing it to outgrow its surroundings;
Tadd and Todd, identical twins in search of their individuality;
Steak for Supper, Seussian creatures follow a boy home hoping for a steak dinner;
The Strange Shirt Spot, a boy who can’t seem to get dirt off of his shirt and everything else around him; and
The Great Henry McBride, a day-dreaming boy fantasizes about his career choices.

I just love Dr. Seuss! ... He was the inspiration for each of my children to learn how to read.  I remember lying on the floor with my oldest when she was just 2 months old reading "Green Eggs & Ham" to her.  That book would stop her crying when nothing else would.  I read it to her so often that I could recite the entire book from memory ... very useful for crying baby on the go ; )

Dr. Seuss took me and my daughters on such magical adventures from rainy days, with "The Cat in the Hat", to far away foreign lands, with "Oh the Places You'll Go" (my personal favorite).  I loved the short story "What Was I Scared of?" too ... And reading and watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (narrated by Boris Karloff) became a family tradition in our household.  I can't wait to pick up a copy of this newest Dr. Seuss treasure!  Happy reading ya'll:  Share the joy of reading with a child = )


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Night Vision ...

"Night Vision"

One of the search tags for my blog today was "scary psychedelic black and white pattern."  Well, I don't know if this fits the bill or not, but it made me think of this photo I had just finished processing.  So here it is ... maybe this helps?  This image is finished in IR.

I posted another really cool photograph that was shot in near IR on my Flickr site.   In the latter photo, I darkend the sky, added some clouds and a moon  to give a nighttime silvery reflection in a pond.  It turned out pretty cool, I think.  There is a link to my photo site under the links section of my blog.  I also have some foggy photo captures there too (another search tag this day), but I am still perfecting shooting in fog.  I'm not really happy with what I've done thus far.  Someone suggested shooting with a polarizer?  I haven't tried that yet, we don't get much fog over the summer months.  Hopefully, some wonderful foggy weather will be on its way here for the month of October. 

I want to shoot in a cemetery with fog ... think that would be tres cool.  And I did finally find someone to go into a cemetery with me at night for some far IR photography.  Just need to locate the costly IR film now and make sure the Cannon 35mm I have is in working order.  I'm excited!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Poem Written By MY Youngest ...

A poem written by my youngest.  Erynn is just 10 years of age, biologically speaking.  Spiritually speaking she is an old soul.  I learn so much from her on a daily basis.  She is very wise, yet generally abundantly joyful.  Sometimes, I have to wonder where her insights come from?  I think we are going to enter this one into a poetry competition for a national magazine for her.

"I Sit ..."

I sit on the day where my solomn parents once played.
I sit where nothing made sense.
Knowing I am no match for what I have to face.
The days keep coming by.
I sit where my life was broken.

@2011 Erynn J. Smith.  All Rights Reserved.

Please take a moment to visit the photographer's site for the above photo. Dorothea Lange is so very talented. Her work is stunning and thought provoking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There is a light within that will not be extinguished ...

We are none of us ever completely forsaken, I think ...

Light filtering through a water glass on the counter ...

Not bad for a cell phone shot, eh?  I did nothing to stage this ... just set my glass on the bathroom countertop and this is what I happened to see.  Light seems to do strange things around me?

What struck me as odd about this lighting effect is that the glass was just a plain, smooth water goblet.  It had no seams, etching or intricate glass cuts.  And it was only 1/3 of the way full with room temperature water ... no ice.  Thus, the source of three almost angel-looking patterns of light was/is a bit baffling to me?  Oh well, you know me:  I love the mysterious and unexplained.


Have since done some post processing on this image in order to unlock the ART within.

@Copyrighted Image 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

Hasta la vista Facebook ...

Sigh ... Facebook is giving me grief now?!  Connecting on Facebook is just getting to be toooooooooooo much.  They are implementing all sorts of changes these past few days. Don't get me wrong ... change can be good in small doses, but they are changing too much at one time in my opinion.  It's overwhelming, disconcerting and confusing!! 

The  final straw for me is the Friends "Sneak Peak" Preview Window.  In this window you can view ticks of all of your friends current whereabouts, posts, comments, likes, etc. ... all in real-time.  You can see where every body is, what they are saying and doing:  voyerism made easy.  Think one friend hit the nail right on the head when she said this is "stalker enabling."  You know me low-key, mysterious, private ... lurk in the shadows.  Yeah, this is not going to fly for me.  These changes are just too much for me to deal with right now.  I need less stress ... NOT more?!  I think it is time to deactivate my account and let Facebook flesh it out with the people.  I'm going to take few weeks off ... a "sabbatical" of sorts.  Maybe I'll reactivate when the Facebook renovation dust settles???

I will miss my writing, photography and other ART friends, but it is what it is ... Hopefully, these friends will still be there if and when I reactivate my account.  So for now:  Hasta la vista my dear Facebook!

[9/24 Side NOTE (Early, early a.m.)  ... My daughter has a FB account.  Her account has not undergone the changes that my alias account has?  Nor has my small, family only account.  My artist/alias account must be part of a select set of test subjects to preview and out the featured changes?  I did switch to "English U.K." for FB and that worked to temporarily reset my account to the old FB format for a few hours ... then the new changes were once again reinstated.  I even tried "English (Pirate)."  That was a laugh! I did not know they even had such an option until pressed to look.   I do miss the interaction with friends and fellow artists on Facebook, but the downtime is doing my stress levels (and health) a world of good thus far.]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Late Night Painting ...

Five days of little to no sleep ... Late Night painting.  I took a baseline candlelight photo that I have of a castle votive from England.  The rest is painting.  Not brilliant, but I think it turned out okay.  Good way to kill waking hours late at night when I am too distracted and tired to read or write.

"Castles in the Sky"

@Copyrighted 2011.  All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

Are castles in sky better than castles made of sand?
Well, I'm working on a poem that is a tribute to Jimi Hendrix and his "Castles Made of Sand".
I'll post it if I finish and it reads well.


Candlelight Photography ...

Experimenting with candlelight and long exposure photography ....

"Escape ..." (re-sized)
@Copyrighted 2011.  All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

(All of My Photographs (enlarged canvas sizes) are available to license via my Flickr website: 
Hope to have an artist website set-up soon to sell individual prints and cards.)

This wine glass makes me think on a recent write I composed for a friend about 'escape into alcohol' and his assuarances that he had everything under control.  I titled this poem "Control".  Makes me think now ... Escape Control ...


Thursday, September 15, 2011

"The Kiss"

A stunning visual delight in this video ... Such beautiful imagery and cinematograhpy set to the magical piano of the talented Philip Glass.  Enjoy!

"The Kiss" ... YouTube music video By, IlSignoreNeroo

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brooding Skies ...

Can sometimes open weary eyes ... A beautiful low-level clouds display at sunset.

"Brooding Skies"

@Copyrighted Photograph, September 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

... Do you ever get a song stuck in your head?  How about a word ... words?  Well I had two words weaving in and out of my conscious thought this day (who knows, maybe in my subconscious as well ... perhaps where they first came to life?).  The two words were:  melancholy and superfluous.  An odd combination?  Well, didn't think I was melancholy, but sometimes I feel superfluous ; ) 

Anyhow, these two words rattled about in my sleepy, sleep-deprived head all day.  Was not until making dinner this evening, while sipping on a nice merlot, that I was finally able to weave these two words into a short write and thus set them free ...

Melancholy thoughts, seeping forth unconsciously.
Stir melancholy words, weaving brooding tapestry
Now pouring out of me.
Saving grace of the melancholy write:
Words are not bled superfluously in deepest, darkest night.

@Copyrighted Poem: Isabelle Black Smith, September 2011.

What do you think?  Should this one remain titleless?  How about "Superfluously Melancholy"??

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We remember ...

Our Spirit will not be broken.  We remember, with Love and Hope for the future.  God Bless the U.S.A.!

World Trade Center Reborn  (via

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


    @Copyrighted Image, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.


Reflecting on 9/11 ... I think that perhaps,

"We live in Black & White, while we Dream in COLOR."

~Me, Michelle ... Isabelle Black Smith (Aerosmith, "Dream On")

Friday, September 02, 2011

Do you dream in Black & White?

Well, my last post left me feeling rather vulnerable.  I haven't been that honest ... here or with myself ... in a very long time.  Any bets as to how long I leave the last post up before I hide it? ; )

So anyhow, this is me putting up some cover.  And truly, I am wondering:  Do you dream in Black & White?  My dreams often resemble and old movie ... the sepia film.  Sometimes they are black & white, but with elements within the dream that are various colors ... usually a primary color like red, yellow or blue and ocassionally I'll get an odd color like green, purple or orange.  How about you?  I'd really like to know.

In keeping with dreams, a Facebook friend of mine has inpired me to spin my alias character off into a fictional short story.  I've started the intro and the idea seems rather intriguing.  I might just see where I can take this tale ... (a whole new spin on zombies?) ... that is if the task doesn't take away too much from my other writing endeavors.  It might just be a fun diversion?

@2011 Copyrighted Image.  ALL Rights Reserved.

9/2/2011  ... Thought for the day.  Have your kids ever said to you, "Mommy, it hurts when I do this [poke themselves in the eye or something]?" ... And you laugh, lovingly of course, at your kid and smile. Then you say, "Well, then don't do that silly!"   Your child then smiles up at you as if you've just bestowed some great wisdom upon them.  Well, I wonder why we, as adults, forget so easily our own advice ... "If it hurts (stupid) then don't do that!!?!!"

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Need to Share?

The need to share ... that is the subject of my ponderings for the day. Logging into to Facebook for my daily lunchtime foray, it clicks in my mind today for some peculiar reason that Facebook is about sharing. Sharing thoughts ... ideas, hopes & dreams, pains & heartaches, personal triumphs, challenges, and more often than not sharing a SMILE and happy times. Sometimes it's about shared passions, photographs, art and words woven into art. But fundamentally Facebook is about sharing ... And so I begin to wonder: What compels people to want to share ... to open up ... to be exposed, vulnerable? Is it perhaps easier for people to "share" because they are 'hidden' away behind a keyboard and isolated screen? Are people more open and revealing on Facebook than they would otherwise be in their real, daily lives? Is Facebook helping people to truly "connect" or does it, in truth, disconnect them from the real world? Well, I suppose the answer depends on the given individual and how they "use" Facebook ... that is if you happen to subscribe to the notion that people "use" Facebook and not the other way around. Remember: two sides there are to every truth ...

Arthur Hacker, A Quiet Cove Girl Canoeing

Following the logical progression of exploring the "need to share", I reflect upon my own need to share ... I wonder, do I have a compelling need to share? Should I take a long hard look in the mirror or simply choose to walk right on through to the other side of my 'Looking Glass'? Well, walking through the glass would just be avoiding the issue so I'll not go there today. I'll stay on course and navigate further into the deep murky waters. Taking a first pass at this pondering of my own personal need to share, I would have to say that I have perhaps the opposite of a need to share ... I have a need to hide. I am a very private person. Life's lessons have taught me to be wary, distrustful, and observant. I seldom feel the urge to post a photograph or poem, sketch or snap of my latest jewelry creation. In fact, rather the opposite seems to be my case. I have to force myself to share. I much prefer to ponder, to question, to explore, to try to understand this journey that I am on ... the reason for my existence in this here and now. I find little satisfaction in sharing beyond the fact that it seems to keep the friends on my list from dropping like flies. Sharing makes me feel vulnerable and vulnerable scares the hell out the me.  Luckily, I've found a work-around ... I use an alias.  Kind of like here ... I'm me, but who I am is not written in black & white.  Still, I truly do enjoy experiencing the sharing of others. I admire others for their ability to be open and give so freely. So perhaps in that respect Facebook is good for me. Perhaps, Facebook is teaching me "how to share"? ... How to open up, how to be seen without feeling the need to quickly run away and hide? Maybe some of life's painful lessons can be unlearned?

So what about you?  Where do stand on the need to share?  Are you an open book?  Are you guarded and cautious ... Are you above sharing?  Are your interests in sharing self-serving?  Are you attention seeking?  Do you receive as well as you share?  Some food for thought, maybe?