My Tray of Randomness

I don’t know what this thing is called exactly.   I don’t know if this thing is even ‘a thing’ in the world of the  fashioned minded, but I was recently challenged by someone who made herself a tray chocked full of random objects that express her sense of style.   She saw something on Pintrest, copied it and supposed I should try to be tray cool, too.

As if a mere tray could ever really contain ANYTHING that could convey my essence.  

There are no rules to apply here, she assured me.   Nothing has to match, it can be as random as I wanted; as crowded or sparse as I wanted; nothing right or wrong about anything I chose to place on the tray. The only requirements were that a tray had to be involved to the hold all the stuff and  the stuff needed at least a brief explanation as to why it belonged on said tray.

Since I really have nothing to base my tray on in terms of design—my friend was of little help—I went with the old bridal theme, something old, something new, etc., etc., as a basis.

Here’s the finished product:

LK tray

I used a Lucite tray I found….standard issue, two handles and placed it in the corner of my service country of my kitchen, then went about my house looking for the things that screamed or whispered, “Laurie” .

Well, I does love me some pop art.   And nothing says pop, like Judy Garland in her the role that made her a famous gay icon para siempre,  Dorothy from the ‘1939’s  72 percent Technicolor epic, The Wizard of Oz.    Now, what’s cool about this particular photo?   Its made up entirely of repeated lyrics from the movie’s theme song, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.

If you look closely, you can see “happy little blue birds flying” right there on Miss Thing’s lips.  dorothy's lips

Color was added to the type, but its all there, the whole damn song.

The tray also includes an Ashanti vase (upper left hand corner).  It’s the turquoise gold make shift pencil/pen/magnifying glass/, groovy cheetah- handled scissors holder.     Truth be told, there’s actually more to the vase than I let on.   The actual name of this l’objet is the  Fortuny  Ashanti  Vase in Teal.      It’s the handiwork of a Venetian gad about, the legendary fashion and textile designer Marian Fortuny.   The Ashanti part of the name must be an homage to the traditional art from the Ashanti tribe in Africa…..at least I think so.   Educated guess, basically.   That’s real by God 24k gold you see there, but that  wasn’t the reason why I bought the vase,  nor had I heard ever hear of Señor Fortuny or his talents.    I liked it because it reminded me of a pencil holder I might have made for my mom out of an old frozen orange  can.   You know, as  in an pre-Mother’s day assignment in my third grade arts and crafts class.

Those are ordinary silk flowers in a vase I’ve had for years.    Near base of the vase  is a green crystal skull tea light holder.    A symbolic  a brand identifier good enough for Alexander McQueen tis certainly good enough for my tray.   My mother insists that I inform you that it’s a Kosta Boda product, which I think is Swedish for “ugly ass crystal tea light”.

A Buddha sits nearby.  Don’t wanna brag but it is Baccarat.    See,  I’ve always wanted to own some Baccarat crystal and while I applaud the deity and his teachings of peace, love and understanding, Id like to think he would have been a backer of frugality well,  because  The Buddha was the least expensive Baccarat item in the store.

A blue Cloisonne ball adds to the confusion.  I’ve had that thing since the mid 80’s.    I’ve wanted to throw it away time and time again, but I just wouldn’t make myself do it.  .  We’ve  been through a lot together.   So one day ago I freed it from its dusty prison.   It had been on a neglected shelf collecting dust where dust goes to collect dust and to no doubt hide from me and a can of Pledge, that oddly enough, also hides itself from me (have I mentioned??  I’m not exactly a fan of housework).

That matches are from Mexico and represent a very positive time in my life.     My  first TV job right out of college was at a station in Laredo, Texas, right on the Mexican border. This was the early 80’s when cartels were places tired Fords and Chrysler checked in for a good night sleep before hitting the road again the next morning.    I spent a great deal of time both working and playing in Northern Mexico.

Next to the matches sits, a pretty little yellow butterfly made from sea glass collected  the Gulf of Mexico.    It’ originates as a glass bottle tossed over board from a ship or from a motorist crossing a bridge.   It’s broken on impact, usually and the pieces bob around for a while and then was made smooth by the pounding waves.   It makes landfall on a beach and artistic types make stuff out of it, jewelry mostly, but I found a lovely yellow butterfly.  Since it came from The Gulf of Mexico, I inspected it carefully before buying at a gift shop down near Galveston way, didn’t want a hypodermic needed mistaken for am antennae emanate.      At the time of purchase the Gulf wasn’t known more for its combustibility and disease  communicability more so than its er…uh…well, loveliness.

That old rusted spurs signify I am Texas through and through–fifth generation, to be exact  and after being scratched by one of the pointy rowels on the heals of one of those damn things,   I am also a Tetanus shot candidate through and through.

The Spirit of Flight is a little book with that  includes wonderful inspirational saying from authors well known and completely unknown.    I’m really not sure; I bought it because it was cheap, small and the cover had the right colors in it.

The little bunny ring holder as been around a while.  It mocks me because I’ve never been married.   I will someday return the insult by making a ring out of at least 24 carrots and placing it millimeters away from the holder, just out of its reach, but still completely in that little pink oculared  bastard’s eyesight.

And lastly, the old lock in the corner is just that….an old lock.  I merely saw it for sale and slammed two bucks down for it.    It had a simple, unspoiled rustic charm to it, not unlike me

And like me, its stopped working a long time ago.

So there you guy,  my little random tray.

Tootles ya’ll.

 

 

 

 

 

Living Green

I could never live off the grid.   Indoor plumbing, a refrigerator, microwave,  air conditioning and my flat iron are all too important to me.  I know ease of living and vanity are hell on the environment.   And by the time, that old pine box with my name on it calls me home, I suspect my carbon footprint will be large enough for children to swim in it, providing if there’s any safe, clean water left anywhere in the world when my time comes.

Yes, my little tree- huggers, I WILL try harder.

And will do so by recycling more, walking more, dry cleaning less, hang drying my wet clothes more often AND  telling you all about my new love affair with the color green.  Or to be more specific, two particular shades of green:   celadon and green yellow.

Celadon is shade that’s more green than anything.   A nice, calming hue to be sure.   It used to be everywhere back in the early to mid 80’s.   These were the “Miami Vice” and “Dynasty” years, so women were always traipsing around in clothing that hid   shoulder pads as big as a baby bed mattress and the men would wear round collar t-shirts under a suit jacket and sockless…always sockless.   Their rooms were all decked out in this shade of  green mixed with peach shiny lacquer furniture.   Rounded corners.    You’d find  decorative borders adorning the ceiling line.

Remember this?

wallper

 

Pic courtesy of Huffposthome.com,  by the way.

See what I was talking about in terms of color combos?      Peach and various shades of green.     And why were there so many ferns in every room back then?

I couldn’t sleep in a room like this today.  Doing so I think, would actually give me ADD.  The heavy furniture would make me feel claustrophobic and the quilt effect of the comforter would make me yearn for corn pone and discovering ways  to sign up for FarmersOnly.com.

Furniture must also have a lightness of being, I think.   This isn’t it and oh my Deity, look at the hideous 80’s wallpaper border along the ceiling line AND baseboards!!!!!!

Oh the pain, the pain……

But back to my new found respect of green.   For the first time ever in my life, I like green-yellow.       Back in the day, this at was my least favorite color in crayon in Crayola’s  box of 64.     Here’s why:   I’m the baby of my family, but I had younger cousins.   I remember when they were  fresh out of the womb and watching their diapers being changed.  I stood here both repulsed AND convinced the Infamil formula they had for supper was performing somgreen yellow crayolae sort of  strange alchemy in babies’  stomachs.    The stuff  they drank went  in white and liquid—I saws the bottle myself,  but a short time later, came out greenish- yellow and liquid.    And the smell?       That particular smell was almost palpable.

As a result, I was turned by that color off forever.

Besides, the crayon itself was only good for coloring squash and how many times did squash come up in any coloring book,  unless its one produced  Burpees Seeds or Martha Stewart on a gardening bender?

And might I add, this is the first time I’ve looked at a crayon in years.   It’s multi-lingual!!!     How urbane.     But what a great teaching tool, as well.     More on green-yellow in the next week.

So anyway, I decided a few years ago to bring back celadon….in moderation, of course.

First,  I found this cream colored mid-century chest,  total reproduction (it would probably melt if left out in the sun long enough) but it was so cool, I had to bring it home with me.    I grew up in the 60’s, so I saw lots of this style.   I didn’t appreciate it then, I do now.

I put it in the corner of my great room, next to some built ins.

my room

I forgot where the art work is from or what its called or who the artist is, but i liked it because it reminded of the Earth’s  layers.

When I placed the cream colored chest underneath it, I noticed how much that brought out the lighter tones .    So, I found this big round glass plate in pure Don Johnson 80’s celadon and placed it on a bronze stand.

But needed more.    A statue or something and just the right dimensions.

A friend suggested I use Venus de Milo, but I sad “Nah, everyone has Venus somewhere in their home.  I want someone few people have”.        I remembered seeing this headless, arm less angel somewhere and thought it had a cool art- deco vibe about it.     So, while perusing a website for the famed Louvre in Paris, there she was.big nike

The Winged Victory of Samothrace (AKA  the Nike of Samothrace )  is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture  and pure Greek.     Excavators believe she  formed part of the Samorthace Temple Complex dedicated to the Great gods, Megaloi Theoi, whoever they are.     It’s been prominently displayed at the famed Paris museum since 1884 .   Experts say  it represents a near perfect example of Hellenistic sculpting.

Yeah maybe,  but what about her head and arms?

No one knows where those are, but various other fragments have since been found Nike;’s initial unearthing in 1863.    Almost 100  years later in 1950, excavators found her missing right hand, but it was fingerless and check this out….it slid out from under a rock where the statue had originally stood.   Out of nowhere.  Right in front of the scientists.    Poof!!!!!    It  just slid on out, as if wanting to be found.

A subsequent dig at the temple coughed up the Goddess’s ring finger and her thumb.    Both are kept in a special drawer at a museum with a very difficult to pronounce Teutonic name, in Vienna, I think.    For those who are curious and with plenty of time on their hands, here’s a hint: the name begins with a “K”….maybe.  Not sure.

Fast forward to 2014 for a gander of the glass plate and Nike in the corner of my living room.

nike and plate

You cant see it in this pic, but in the painting above it, there’s a lovely celadon green veining that just makes the plate pop and when you mix the statue with it (which is just bronze paint over plaster,  but quite pleasing visually), it offers a tremendous overall effect. , I think.     The plate’s goldish-bronze  painted accents tie everything together..

I then chose to place a tall mid century floor lamp next to it with this oversized post modern shade that I’m sure t Sally Rogers  wouldhave sat near during one of of Rob and Laura’s many parties  for Alan Brady and well,  there you go.

If memory serves,  this entire to homage to the color green, Greeks and Geeky mid-century was well under $300.     And while it might not be your taste, that’s fine.   It’s not mine either.   At least it wasn’t.   I basically copied it from various design mags and websites.  How do you know what you like –and don’t like unless you investigate?  Do a little digging….R&D?    And besides,  isn’t copying in this way, the penultimate form of flattery?   I think so.

I like it, it makes me comfortable.    And that too is the essence of one’s own style.   Find what you like.    Screw what anyone else thinks.

I really like the warmth of the painting, married with the cool, aloofness of the chest.   Then there’s  that lovely plate with ol’ arm less Nike standing up there without a head, completely unaware of the vast design mistakes I’m making on the other side of the room.

Seeing here in her French element is on my bucket list and just as soon as Americans are better received around world and the terrorist develop lousier  aim, I am so going to Paris.

Until then, join me soon for more questionably  tasteless ventures down Style Street.

Tootles.

 

PS:   I really, really want shoulder pads to make a comeback.

 

New Style Blog: Episode One. IN COLOR

Dauville Bowls.

Don’t ask me what the history of these things are. I’ve Googled, Blinged and Asked Jeeves, but to know avail. I’m assuming they ‘re from a collection designed by someone with Dauville for a moniker or crafted in a French berg by the same name.

They’ve been around a while and mostly in knock off or DYI form. But you can get them at various on-line efforts, around 22 to 25 bucks, a tad more if they’re a larger size. If found mine for an absolute steal, on the back shelves of a little Hill Country gift shop, collecting dust, next to ghoulishly hideous metal welded farm animals.

I assure you, this wasn’t a mere “purchase”‘, it was a rescue.   Picture Entebbe with a credit card and better shoes.

Dauville bowls are quite simple in their elegance, often white or cream in color,cavalierly swathed with a silver or gold lining.

Like so:

dauville bowl

I’ve also seen them with pastel shades lining the bowls. That’s nice and all but I think other colors  casualize them (is that even a word???) and removes the pretentiousness for which social schleppers yearn.   They’re for entertaining only, not real service wear.   I’ve seen them used as jewelry, key and candy holders…wrapped kind only, please.   You don’t want leaded paint in them thar M&Ms for your guests.     Here in Laurieland, we like them gold, polished and empty…nekkid.  You can also find serving  pieces with the painting on the outside.   Sugar bowls, creamers, salt and pepper shakers, etc.   But none of those grab me like these little bowls, a mere three inches in diameter.

If you find yourself  jonesin’ for one of  these bowls, and they are lovely, keep in mind the line just under the lip is supposed to be uneven;   to imply the flawed charm of a hand-painted item.

Soon, I’ll demonstrate how I’ve tastefully paired them with a book about interior design choices of famous people and in in certain  iconic locales.  A friend gave it to me years ago, assuming I cared that Ringo Starr liked paisley couches.    But it’s a cool book by and large; lots of photos with nice, big print and perfect for ye olde coffee table. It also goes quite well with carefully placed Dauville bowls, size and color. Proof of this later this week.

I’m also in the process of snazzying up both of my bathrooms. I have always believed in bathroom art. Why not?  When one goes potty, there should be a certain aesthetic in place besides an aging Motor Trend magazine and a book of matches from some bar.

My pissoirs are both currently yawn inducing, style-wise.      Barren, devoid of color. Blah.     All bodily voiding experiences have been lackluster experiences.      But not for long, kiddies!!!

Later this week, I will write about all the changes I made with recent purchases from this uber chic designer I just discovered called “Amazon”.       Not sure, but I think he’s from South America.    How exotic!!!.     This cat can make anything apparently.

Before and after pics will be included.

Tootles!

Major Changes In Store

Hello all.

This blog was was born on March 31, 2007 in a fit of creative boredom during unemployment. It has been, is and always will be a humor blog first and foremost. But in it’s years of existence, I covered many topics, some serious, but still included carefully placed aspects my butter knife sharp wit. Subject matter varied; my crazy ass family dynamic was a fave as were tales of my many , MANY failed relationships, my ever fluctuating weight, my life as a (now 55 year old) crone and the accompanying errant hair growth that boggles the mind—and chin. I touched on politics which currently scare me, and I made jokes at certain celebrities’ expense.

I have now decided to convert this blog into one of style and pretty living, well, my version of it. That’s not to say that if a certain topic rears it’s head, I’ll ignore it. Or maybe I will. The downed Malaysian planes, Israel and Hamas, the porosity of the US/Mexican border, the various White House related scandals that makes Nixon look like a piker, you know subjects like that, could find a place here.

Example: What a well dressed Jihadi is wearing these days. Ways to stylishly embellish a deleted IRS e-mail. How a simple font change can make a cyber directive urging staffers to target politically conservative organizations so much more fun.

But seriously, you get enough dire news, even Facebook offers no reprieve. So, I dare to offer an option. This new version of the la blog will still contain all the bad puns, grammatical errors and typos you’ve come to expect from a Kendrick production, just less sob story and current events and far more self indulgent…and yes, all done will with a light hint of jest. and of course that will apply to the decor and my description of it, my reasons or motivation for purchasing and room placement and how by Christmas, it ‘ll no doubt be used for kindling.

Here’s my motivation. I was extremely fortunate enough to retire from a 30 year broadcasting career in the fall of 2012. Shortly after that, I moved from an overpriced tenement in Houston and into a new home in the Texas Hill Country. As a retiree, I decided to make my very first house a home and decorate it accordingly—my taste, my style whether design mavens Allegra Hicks or that very fey British guy Oprah uses to overdo every room she owns, every party she hosts, agree or not.

With the help of magazines, books and pilfering ideas from people
much more money and taste, I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot. This smallish, 18 hundred foot abode is rapidly becoming distinctly “Laurie”. How so? Well kids, I’ve learned to make bolder color choices, break free from my lifelong fear of non-symmetrical design and that patterns within reason, can be mixed without nauseating results. I’ve also learned that sometimes, a true object d’art must costs money.

And as they say here in The Hills, some time it don’t.

So, from this point on, this chick tries to go chic and I invite you to come along on my journey with me as I make countless mistakes trying to attempt to reach faux bourgeoise status.

It will be fun.

My first style blog offering? Join me soon for ways to decorate a cheap, undersized living room coffee table that’s scratched all to hell and back.

Tootles.

Love and Film

There is a song, which Casey Kasem once described As “skyrocketing to the top of the charts” back in the late 60’s. The title is “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes” by the Spiraled Edison Lighthouse Bridge Fruit Gum Company” (boomers might laugh at that ). It’s a kicky little tune, which featured the exploits of a bubbly sprite named appropriately, Rosemary, who apparently sheds love like wonton seeds on fertile firma.

Hhhhhhmmmmmmmm…..I picture former model/actress Kay Lenz at the time of her made for TV movie, “Breezy”, which paired her with 40’s Hollywood heart throb, William Holden. She was a much younger Hippie; he was some much older establishment cod piece and somewhere amid the turbulence of the lat 60’s and more personal differences than any one of Highlights Magazine games, they find love.

Kiss, lame dialog….the end.

And then the orchestra emerges from behind a tree, music swells and they walk hand in hand into the glorious sunset of a Tinsel Town soundstage.

Then the closing credits roll.

Directed by William  Asher (he directed EVERY TV show in the 60’s.)

Produced by Freddie De Cordova (he produced EVERY TV show  in the 60’s)

Suits from Botany 500

Animal Trainer:  Rudd Weatherwax

Colored by DeLuxe

Craft Services

copyright, studio boiler plate, etcetera, etcetera…

An aggravated feline roars.

Fade to black, then , cue Winston Cigarette commercial before local news :15 promo.

Frankly, if it’s that easy, this thing called love, then it should come with gaffers, Best Boys, In CinemaScope and  Technicolor plus a four picture deal offered to Mr. Mayer, authored by Mr. Swifty Lazar and negotiated over kosher ravioli at Chasen’s.

Imogene Coca, Chico Marx and Billy Barty seated in an adjacent table looking oddly bemused, hoping their SAG insurance lasts one more month.

A Love Letter…Of Sorts

Tonight isn’t special. Nothing seminal happened on this date, but for some reason, you were on my mind all night long. I thought of those piercing blue eyes, the wavy hair that had a mind of its own and your  combustible smile. In my pubescent mind, you were the sun and I was all nine planets (Pluto still existed in the early 70’s) trapped in your spherical rotation. Drawn to you like the Amish are to real horsepower.

You were the cutest guy I’d ever seen, my juvenile idea of perfection. Every song on the AM dial was written about us, for us. Colors were more vibrant, I laughed more. I felt safe and secure. At 12, I could actually envision a life with you: joy-filled, deliriously happy and totally bereft of reality.

We were kids, from two different planets on so many levels, it would never have worked, even had it worked. I loved you on that juvenile surface level. It wasn’t complicated, yet wonderfully difficult.

Even so, first loves are indeed the rarest ones and easy to idealize 40 years later. Was I ever that naive? Not a rhetorical question: yes, I was, but who cares? I committed far more emotional atrocities as an adult, but even in the midst of all those romantic failures, you were there, always there in the vast baggage, large enough to fill the cargo hold of a Boeing 777.

You broke up with me just as my parent’s marriage was deteriorating. Your timing couldn’t have been worse. So naturally, I remember you and our relationship as something it wasn’t. It wasn’t real love but somehow, it was the stuff of dreams. When we were together, everything was good and warm and felt oh so safe. You diluted all the evils in my world; a most welcomed distraction to the fights, the tension and the public shame of a familial sinking ship.

At the time, we were a big boat in a very small body of water. Daily fodder for the gossip mongers.  But I had you and you helped make all of that irrelevant.

I can honestly say I loved you as much as my ingenue heart allowed me to. And I can honestly say, I’ve never loved in that way since. Oh, I’ve loved others, but not like that. You were my first love, destined by every romance author, to remain in my heart till it beats no more. You set the standard. You have that honor. Every relationship after you would have to live up to your ideal. But how can anyone compete with a first love that coincides with the last vestiges of childhood emotional stability?

Since that fateful day in the early fall of 1973 when you told me you needed to be an unencumbered High School Sophomore, I’ve  filled the voids in my life with many things: college, career, travel, relationships that have run the gamut, amazing experiences that I never would have had, had I not been so simultaneously devastated d by your departure and the loss of my family unit.

You were a happy time in my life. A “go to” memory I employ regularly. And let it be known here and now that I have forgiven you for merely assisting in the trenching of my heart (I too have shovel-calloused palms) and I have finally entered the process of forgiving myself for not forgetting you and holding on to some idealized crush way longer than I should  have.  What does that say about my psyche as an adult?

I think it indicates I’m a romantic, lucky enough to have had an experience so profound.    I’m asked to define “love” and I think of you.  I never admit it.  I give the enquirer some pat Oprah response.   And while love has morphed and grown as I have, it was never more pure than when I loved you.   To me, you were an adorable 13-year-old boy with more greasy kid stuff than sense; Hormonal surges, Junior high problems, popularity, dances, cheerleading, coed parties, hokey love songs, three hour phone conversations, love letters handwritten in real ink on paper which began with, “God, I love you!!!”    Can you imagine that kind of dialog at 12 and 13?   It was as life when living was easy. It was before  Clearasil, debt and the whole startling Gestalt of adulthood.

It was having a cohesive family like all three TV networks would have us believe.

Dare I ask in this scenario if that old chestnut applies: forest for the trees?

Be that as it may, I will always love you, but I have released you.   But I think about you with a tremendous fondness, often at the damnedest times.    As I drive in my car, when washing dinner dishes, in the quiet of an insomnia addled evening.     But so what?

I seem to remember some singer once warbled, “whatever gets you through the night”.

 

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

I turned 55 last week. If we break that down, I was born in April 1959. I was four when JFK was assassinated, ten when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. Thirteen during the fateful Munich Olympics. Fourteen at the discovery of Watergate break in. In graduated from High school in 1977. I was 20 when all those middle aged looking “college” students overtook the American embassy in Iran.

Chrome or Firefox can help you figure out the remaining milestones in my life.

Those helped me learn that More than 79 million children were born during the boom years between 1946 and 1964. And despite a definitive trailing off of stork deliveries between 1958 and 1964, babies were a bumper crop. As a side notes, I hardly EVER meet people my own age. Advances in birth control perhaps……more saltpeter in the diet.

Anyway.

Essentially, what this means is that I’m at the very tail end of the storied baby boomer generation, that post war period in which our fighting boys came home from the Pacific and European Theaters to a country of burgeoning prosperity, growth and massive randiness. Lots of babies were conceived to the dulcet tones of Harry James, The Ink Spots, Elvis, Patsy Cline, Puccini and countless others who performed all the many languages of love…..even the sweaty operettas that were the one white stands.

I’ve had many discussions with people born two years ahead of me and three years behind me. Most agree that our years under the boomer heading left us feeling undefined and lacking a purpose.

Those born in 1946 to 1954 got to be Hippies. Peace, love, dope were ways they “countered” the Vietnam war. Protests in front of the university’s administrative office and eventually taking it over was the order of the day. Tossing a Molotov cocktail in the ROTC building and watching it burn, baby burn. Getting gassed by the National Guard when a gathering for draft card burning became a bonfire. They defied their parents and grew out there hair, wore the weirdest clothes and attempt to live in their version of Utopia, no rules, just love…..and lots of it.

The problem is, perfect worlds take work and these communes needed money. Nature can sustain but it’s a helluva lot easier to buy the seeds and the equipment needed for everything to take root. An all for one and one for all mind set has it’s merits, but not in a practical across the board application, not in a working self sufficient commune. They ‘re still around I know, but would guess they number in the tens….if that much.

The basic structure of a fully functioning society currently and always will consist of leaders and followers and with any luck at all, the followers get to decide who these leaders are in office

And when they must leave said office

Then, suddenly with crows feet and receding hairlines comes insight and awareness.

We traded the tie/dye for Brooks Brothers and Ferragamo and thought to,ourselves, “Gee, there’s something to this capitalism stuff. This Madison Avenue gig sure beats helping Arlo and his old ladies, Moonbeam and Starlight slop hogs back at the commune. And yet, we’re still groovy people so communal living can work……but for a profit; as apartment complexes, but instead of working for the common good, tenants “pay”to live there”. They’re on their own for everything else.”

“Cool, no more mass feedings And guess what? This college degree thing is helping me make money!!!! That shit is more magic than mushrooms!!!

“And we need to make all of this happen with cars of our own. Our own stereo equipment, fabulous furnishings An the occasional four cocktail lunch at Trader Vic’s is nice. “

Growing our own food turned into trips to the supermarket and if we still felt compelled, climate permitting, all we needed was the occasional trellis of tomatoes growing on the balcony of the 24th floor two bedroom/2 bath apartment on the Upper Eastside.

We were entrapped by the trappings. We became the very thing we tried to convince ourselves we weren’t. The Establishment.

And so it goes.

I was too young to be a hippie. It might have been in the generation that gave birth to them, but I didn’t feel apart of the chaos, which really didn’t change things. I watched the Sixties unfold on the nightly news. President Johnson kept sending troops and the North Vietnamese kept sending them back to us in body bags. I got the fact that this war felt futile. I remember looking up where Vietnam on the map. Texas is bigger, I thought. And at the same time, I didn’t see civil disobedience helping the country return to peacetime any faster either.

I heard my father’s views on the the war, Commie Pinkos and damned grass smoking Hippies and crazy women who went braless; How LBJ looked like an opossum and Nixon seemed sleazy. And the more criticism I heard, the more I wanted to be one of these, cool, indignant, stand up people. In tried. At 12, I bought peace symbol,patches and black light posters and a cool mobile with the word, “moratorium” in neon letters hanging down.

Moratorium? Isn’t that stage thing at a school with seating?????

But as I said, my timing was off…..as were my verbal skills.

I entered High School in the fall of 1973.. Troop withdrawal from Vietnam happened in ’75. Nixon left office shortly after that, then came the American Bi-Centennial and after that, we welcomed in the insidious disco era and with that came THEE ugliest clothing style EVER.

By the time I graduated from HS, there weren’t any grandiose causes. Sure there was Save The Whales effort, the ecology, inflation, gas shortages, feminism struggled and while that worked to a degree, women still make less than men, but by God, Title 9 allowed us femmes to participate in sports. Strides were made but that which didn’t work, didn’t prompt mass protest.

Why?

A couple of years ago the Hipsters decided socialism was the order of the day so the Occupy movement began…..then ended. There was a fair degree of good ol’ 60’s style anarchy at the WTO protests in Seattle a few years ago and every once in a while you see protest marches, picket lines, union disputes rear their heads, but nothing like that which happened on a daily basis on college campuses and outside political conventions 45-49 years ago.

Why is that? Why do we no longer go all Abbie Hoffman and The Weather Underground over issues?

Protests do work. Women and African Americans can vote and are offered the same freedoms as everyone else thanks to the bravery and bloodshed of those who dared to take on the mysogenists and the bigots.

Union demands are met with walk outs by the members. Am organization can’t make money is no one is running the factory, but that only benefits the members. Very often the rest of us have to pick up the tab fir their pay increases. Unfair??? Only if you choose to look at it that way.

Your piece of the pie is out there, but please understand once and for all YOU have to bake the damn thing yourself. Baking a pie takes time and the right ingredients. It’s a labor of love. But as in life, work, effort the driving force to make it a pie rivaling anything Martha Stewart could create.

But I do believe what we learned from the Hippie era was valuable. They, like every other know-it-all generation eventually grew up. Being hip doesn’t help the new titanium one that you had to surgically inserted a few weeks ago feel any better. We’ve grown up. Time mellows us all. Logic infused by mature reality replaces ideals.

Now don’t get me wrong; to rise up for a Common Cause is great, but what do protests and huge rallies with placard holding hordes of people shouting rhyming insults en masse do today, other than make great headlines?

I appreciate everyone who devoted their time and in some cases, their lives to causes that brought about true change and forced a nation to stop, rethink and rewrite it’s Constitution.

I appreciate the Peaceniks and Pacifists. Change can come by a persistent belief in a cause through non violent means.

But this is America and still a Democracy when I last checked. We thrive in a free market system. Capitalism. Free speech, the right to assembly within limits. L-I-M-I-T-S. Everyone has the chance to grab the brass ring of his or her making. Individual “failure to launch” in its truest form, is the fault and the responsibility of the person.

Lots of things contribute to bad economic times. The fault lies everywhere; In big business, sure— corporate greed is real, but not destructively rampant. If so, there would be repeats of Enron and World Com happening every day. Do corporate giants play a role? Only to a degree. They get away with what they’re allowed to get away with. Wall Street isn’t entirely to blame for the whole magilla, neither is Big Oil or Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Banking. All the problems start , as they have and always will—in Washington. The lawmakers there are the ones who allow tax breaks for corporations, these are the people who allow subsidies, who make the laws that work for some, while impeding others. Laws are the unfair way to keep us equal. And we as a citizenry put lawmakers in office, we actively chose the people, these professional politicians and their federal regulations. Washington is a mess. It’s in dire need of deep analysis and meds. Lots of meds. Thorazine drip time.

The next time you want to participate at a sit-in in a bank lobby or fire bomb a building or go out and fight the forces that were sent there to keep you from getting violent in the process of exercising your free speech, stop and think. Save for the glorious triumph of Civil Rights and certain other causes, protests—a la the Chicago 7—-don’t work. Not like they did or ver did, for that matter. These bloody, anger fueled rages didn’t bring US troops home any sooner. Whales are still being killed, the ecology is still gasping for clean air, as is the economy.

As Dorothy learned from Glenda, The Good Witch, you hadthe power the entire time.

The next time you want hope and change, vote…not only at the ballot, but with your wallet. Affect the bottom line if anyone or anything bothers you that much. In this day and age, refuse to buy a product because you disagree that its manufacturer has relocated its headquarters in a country ruled by tyrannical regime. Or they dont hire homosexuals or ban prayer from the classroom.

Then take it one step further by voting against then governmental tool who allowed the move and grant the tax break it guaranteed.

Vote people in and out of office, refuse to purchase certain things made by companies whose policies you despise…these things are the new Molotov cocktails. Do this and embrace your own version of a scorched policy.

Trust me, someone will get burned.