This week I’ve been busy with some of my “real work” and haven’t had much of a chance to write. But since my desire to share good things with you remains undaunted, I will introduce you to the folks I share space with on my pages. In case you haven’t noticed, there are some shorthand references to links on the right hand side of the page under the title of “blog roll.” I didn’t make that up word…my host service calls it that. I would entitle it “Friends of Mine.”
Let’s begin with Suzanne Lewis (“Art with Wit”). I knew Suzanne originally from our O. Henry/Austin High days, but didn’t pay too much attention to her because she was younger and just another really cute gal with long blonde hair. We had so many, it was hard to keep them straight, but Suzanne was good friends with my good friend’s younger sister, so she was a sometimes-blip on my radar screen. Now I want to keep track of her all the time! She grew up to be a talented artist in various media. What I find most fascinating are her collages of “found” objects. She takes discarded objects and puts together clever assemblages based on a phrase or expression in a unique marriage of language and art. She takes recycling in a fun direction.
Ruby Spurflower, Girl Detective, (“Ruby Spurflower”) is a recent addition. Cait, its author, is about half my age and chances are I don’t understand all her funnies, but reading her blog is like a roller coaster ride….you have no idea where she is going next! She has great verve and a gift for language and humor that undoubtedly will lead her to bigger and better things in the years to come. In fact, she has just been hired as “Miss Information,” the advice columnist for nerve.com. In response to a query about whether to break up with a girlfriend right before the holidays, holding off until after Christmas, she responds, “It’d be one thing if you stomped through her church’s Living Nativity on Christmas Eve, announced ‘I don’t love you anymore,’ flipped the manger and punched a goat. But it’s early November, dude. She has plenty of buffer time for her tears to dry.” I’m sure she’s channeling Ann Landers…she’s just doing it in a different language! I just hope her column duties don’t keep her from her Ruby blogging. I should also mention she comes by her humor honestly, as her dad is one of the funniest and wittiest people I’ve ever known and been fortunate enough to call my friend (another who hails back to our O. Henry/Austin High days). Don’t be nervous – give Ruby a read!
Barbara Puett (“Swinging with Barbara”) teaches golf. She may stand out as a strange choice for my blogroll (or friends list), but she is a real Austin treasure, particularly if you are interested in golf, or think you might be. She was a six-time City Golf Champion and learned under the famous Harvey Penick (teacher to Austinites Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite). She is also an authoress, having written a couple of good golf books, including “Golf Etiquette,” which, strangely enough, is a fun read. In the section about buying balls, I had to laugh when she explained the parade of offerings in the ball department, but that “Most of us can get along quite happily with round.” If you folks contemplating retirement want to find out if golf is the game for you, or you just want to improve your game (or buy lessons for your golfer for Christmas), call Barbara. She is endlessly patient and has a warehouse of teaching tips. You can also sign up for her classes through the UT Informal Classes. The best thing about her is that she believes the game should be fun and even when you have a bad game, there’s still something great about being outdoors on a beautiful Austin day.
Finally, Albert Bronson (“Through Albert’s Lens”) spent a lot of time cooped up in an office enforcing environmental laws both in New York and here in Austin at the Attorney General’s Office where I met him.. He has long been an avid collector of folk art, but several years ago, he, escaped the office confines, hung up his lawyer togs, and began to pursue photography. And, by Jove, I think he caught it! The nice thing about Albert’s work is that he travels to some amazing places to take his pictures. Not all of us have a subscription to “National Geographic” but Albert’s photographs will allow you to take a gander at Patagonia or Iceland. Some of my favorites are shots he took at some ghost towns in Montana and California. By taking pictures through the windows of old buildings, he achieves an interesting effect where two realities are captured – the reflected exterior and the one through the window. His archives are full of interesting and beautiful images.
Finally, Mike Wegner writes about his travels with wife Terri. I first met Mike when we were working at the Comptroller’s office over 20 years ago. I was doing administrative-clerical work and he was estimating revenues so the Leg would know how much they could spend. One day I was doing an inventory of his office furniture as I was required to do from time to time (particularly since Bullock had lost some typewriters in the not-so-distant past), we started up a conversation that made us both giggle…and many years and changes later, we are still having great conversations. I left to go to law school and he eventually retired and moved to Fort Worth so that he and his wife can be close to the DFW airport and engage in their mutual passion in traveling. Writing the blog “Glimpses,” and I think of Mike as my very own Rick Steves – he travels light and seeks out bargains. Plus, his observations on cities as diverse as Chicago and Buenos Aires are always interesting, sometimes droll, always well-written. He is also pretty handy with a camera, so you get to see some great travel shots. The beautiful blonde with glasses, is his wife and favorite subject, Terri.
By the way, I am now a grandmother, thanks to my son and his wife. Kyler was born at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 13, weighing in at a healthy 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and spanning 21 inches. Neither of my kids look like me, and neither does Kyler . . . but I can tell he is talented . . . he has taken to air-breathing and breast-feeding like he’s been doing it all his life!