Monday, September 17, 2018

Artnotes: Nice Fish

Fields near the Sassi   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   20 x 14"   50 x 35cm  400.00

Fish for Lunch   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10 x 14"  25 x 35cm  unstretched  95.00
Tilled Field    Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 12    30 x 30 cm     175.00
Painting in the Hot Sun   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 13 x 16"   33 x 41 cm  275.00
Petunias  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  10 x 12"  25 x 30 cm  175.00
The Neighborhood   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas   18 x 11" 45 x 27cm 225.00
I just couldn’t get artnotes out in a timely fashion this week.  I got myself into a giant funk, and it took a visit from an old Paris friend to get me out of it.  As we picked  through the bones of two fresh orate (fish), we dissected the merits of Italy and France. 
Of course, it’s a futile exercise.  One place is never better than another -- only different.  We agreed on how wonderful the Italians can be; that Paris is an outstandingly beautiful, intellectual city.  Italy won hands down on the subject of coffee.  

I showed off my library, which never ceases to give me joy.  It’s walls are being primped in anticipation of paintings.  It’s unfortunately warm and humid in there right now – as it is everywhere near Rome.  Even the lady dispensing mortadella samples at the grocery store was bemoaning the heat and humidity.  In past years it has been hot and dry.  The humidity is a new level of Dante’s hell.

I knew things weren’t right for me when I turned down that mortadella – like when Harika is sick, I was “off my food”.  Food is my passion.  Creating new recipes and tweaking the old is my reason for being.  That is something I learned about in France.
Once I am off kilter here, it’s hard to get the washing machine in my head balanced again.  I can go to a doctor and explain a stomach ache, but something as abstract as feeling like a washing machine is harder to explain in another language.   And there’s the nuances:  is washing good or bad?  Am I brainwashed (as a child, I had a hard time grasping that concept)?
In any case, we hung pictures and made lunch and I got far enough out of myself to look around and say, “hey, nice fish!”
Laurie and Blair PESSEMIER

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Artnotes: Hospitality

Orsini Castello  Blair  Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 20"   40 x 50   

 Santa Severa  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 18'   30 x 45  

The Beach Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   10 x 14"  25 x 35cm  

The Open Door   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  20" x 8"   50 x 20

In the Garden   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   12 x 16"  30 x 40cm

We’ve been remaking the library/studio in Stimigliano this week.  I cleaned the fireplace.  We’re removing the hideous kitchen cabinets that line three sides, and sealing the ancient walls in their “patina-ed” state.  We’ll move the non-fiction to lower bookcases (maybe utilizing the ugly cabinets, refashioned), to hang artwork above. The large bookcase remains.  The books are their own kind of art.   We’ve decided to bloom where we are planted, and invite travelers visiting Rome up to Stimigliano for an art experience.
I’m listing my one day painting workshops “in the Roman Countryside” on Airbnb Experience (god willing they accept me).  In any case, I am promoting our work and workshop with Google Adwords.   Stimigliano is a very artsy town, in fact, featuring a gallery and a chapel   created by Mario Bagordo, who lives two doors away from us.
I visited with Mario this week, as he spruced up his modern chapel  (  He was upset that the waste bin by the commune (city hall) hadn’t been emptied in more than a week.  After yelling and jumping up and down, he took the artist’s approach, and put a sign “pop arte” on the side of the can, and posted it to the internet.  It was emptied in an hour.  The power of art (and technology).
Filling out my Airbnb application to offer an “experience”, I have to write what hospitality means to me.  It’s one of those trick questions like the one about team sports, that caused me to fail the essay section of my foreign service exam years ago, despite acing the rest of the test.   Hospitality can be seen from a variety of viewpoints, not only the pleasure of the one guest you are trying to please; if pleasing one involves the displeasure of others, that’s not hospitality.  Of course I didn’t say that on my application.   I know now.
I recall the gracious and fragrant hospitality of the Grand Hotel in Mobile, Alabama at Christmas. Another year we spent Christmas in the Warwick, New York, where we had our own Christmas tree and entertained nightly.  The porters made recommendations and arrangements for our dinners every night, including one at the Russian Tea Room.  In our hotel on the Copacabana in Brazil one summer, they polished all my shoes during the night, including my sneakers.  The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta anticipated our every desire; even if I was stressed from an overnight flight, they smiled and made it better. 
It’s been a long time since we stayed in a fancy hotel.  Airbnb threw a wrench in the works; economy is hard to ignore.  We rent apartments in buildings that were once inhabited by regular folk.  Our last two apartments in Paris were both converted into vacation rentals; in fact our last building was at least half transient.  It changes the complexion of a neighborhood.   Which brings me back to the fact, I must earn money so I can stay in those deluxe hotels once again: enjoying hospitality at my own expense.
I swam in the Mediterranean this week, at Santa Severa, a “free” beach with a castle and waves, on the Western shore near Rome.  It was great.  We both painted pictures, as Harika lounged in the sand. People and dogs of all ages, shapes, and colors were having a wonderful time.   Later in the week, a friend in Stimigliano let us use his pool, while the house wasn’t rented to vacationers.  Now that’s Hospitality!    

Monday, September 03, 2018

Artnotes: and an Olive

 Rainstorm from via Dante  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 12"  40 x 30 cm 

 Castello Orsini  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  20 x 16"  50 x 40cm

 Tiber from via Dante  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   16 x 20"  40 x 50cm 

 Blue/Black Hen   LaurieFox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 16"  30 x 40 cm

 Swimming at the Panero   Blair  Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   18 x 36"  40 x 80cm

Trees end of August   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 20"   40 x 50 

At coffee this morning we joke with the barman about the tonneau of gentian liquor on the bar.  “Is that Vladimir’s brew?”  of course.  He makes liquor from a local plant.   I tell him how it brought tears to my eyes.  “Do you not drink alcohol?” he asks.

We are back in Stimigliano after months in the USA and in Rocca Malatina.  We’re actually only here for a short visit, and even though we’ve been gone just 2 and a half months, we’ve had a rousing welcome.  Ignatio gave us tomatoes, cukes peppers and an eggplant.  Dario brought the mail he’s been collecting: strictly bills.  He rearranged our lemon trees (which he waters) for maximum sun.  We have a half-dozen big green fruits in place.  We wish a hearty “Buon Giorno” and “Salve” to all.

The road which circles the town is open again – it’s been closed for years for construction.  Now one can double back up behind commune, formerly a medieval church, and find parking.  It leads to our Dutch friend’s house, where Harika thinks she belongs, with Monet’s garden and the infinity swimming pool. The fields are mowed, and the wheat has given way to tilled earth.  There could be another planting this year.

The view from our apartment is fabulous, the Tiber taking on a flat green shade.  The trees are thick alongside, a result of our very rainy spring.  I am itching to take a boat ride, available from near Poggio Mirteto.

A friend from far away just asked me about Stimigliano, and I told him, “it’s nowheresville”.  And it is nowhere.  Nothing big will happen here, but it’s a good place for getting things done.  In Blair’s and my case, we write, we paint.  For 4 euros, we can take the train into Rome, something on the agenda this week.  I promise to send my friend pictures, and info on some houses for sale (they range from 35,000 Euros upward), and a little written piece, which you are reading, about the town. 

Amazingly, we are really part of this Italian hill town.  Because there are less than 50 of us living in the borgo, we all know one another.  There are a few people we don’t take to, or they to us, but mostly, we’ve been woven in, like a couple of bright stray threads, into the fabric of the place.  We don’t agree with everyone’s politics (maybe no one’s), but that’s the case throughout Italy.  Politics doesn’t matter as much here.  In fact, where can one go where philosophies are to our liking?

Blair tells Gianfranco that I drink wine.  I suggest to him we develop a Gentian cocktail.  “A cocktail?” he asks. “With Vermouth, or Club Soda,” I reply. Yes, we’ll call it “The Stimi”.  And add an olive from Sabina.

ps.  in fact, gin was the thing -- and a touch of aperol for fruitiness

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Artnotes: November

Cosmos  Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas    12 x 16"    30 x 40cm   

Beehives  Blair Pessemier  acrylic/canvas  12 x 12  30 x 30 cm  

Fog Lifting   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 12"  30 x 30 cm  

le Grande Caniche  (resting, standing)   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  17 x 24"  41 x 63cm   

It was foggy this morning.  That’s nothing new for November, but a bit unusual in August.  The outside world was covered with a soft dew that also imparted a coolness to the air.  It seemed like heaven, although the same situation another time of year could suggest hell. 

You know how it is, don’t you?  You wait, you plead you beg for summer and before you know it you are like, “ok, already! Let’s cool down.”   And the same in winter, when one is mad for the sun and warmth.   I don’t mind the heat during the day.  We can sit in the shade, work on indoor projects, go for a walk after dinner with Harika, when the sun goes down.  But the nights have been quite warm, and I like to shut the windows against barking dogs and passing cars at night.
My flowers are fabulous, but I have a scale bug infestation on my oleander.  I have chopped back, sprayed with soap, and killed many with my bare hands, but I really can’t do anything else until May, when I can spray oil.  In fact, I will try the oil treatment when they are relegated to the basement in November. 
You can see I am thinking about November, when one can open the front door and gasp from the cold air.   Socks.  A sweater.  The frozen dew on the lawn – Harika’a grass gelato.  And we’ll move down to Stimigliano.

I am not the only one thinking cool.  Last night, Ludovico, our caretaker, talked about cutting the pomegranate trees down to bush size in November.   He says we need to change the soil for the oleanders.  The line painters painted the white lines on the sides of SP623 this week, in anticipation of our November fog (in fact, the white line is sometimes all one can see in the fog).   We can only take so much summer.

It’s due to be warm this week here in Rocca Malatina.  I have had the best summer here ever, in any case.  We made new friends, visited with old friends, and played hard in the yard.  We opened the living room to make an indoor/outdoor house:  we have large doors and panels at either end of the room, and when they are both open even butterflies fly through.  I met a musician from New Orleans (was born here and visits in the summer) and we’re taking about a NOLO concert and barbecue in the yard next summer.   Meanwhile, we take our meals beneath the parasol out back and listen to the radio.
It will be November soon.

  PS.  I've been painting a dog for somebody, but just can't hit the mark.  He's a cutie, and offered at a very good price.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


 Roses in a Wicker Basket  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 14"  40 x 35cm

 View from the Tower Windows   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 24"  30 x 60cm

Trees from the Tower  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  14 x 18"  35 x 45cm

 Roses on a Dark Background  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 19.5  40 x 50cm

 Harika en Guard  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  10 x 14  25 x 35cm

 Oleander  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  19.5 x 16"  50 x 40cm

 Mown  (Pieve di Trebbio)  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 18"  30 x 45cm

 View From Pieve di Trebbio  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 24"  40 x 60cm

Rock-hard Pears   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 18" 30 x 45 cm

Today we painted at the Pieve di Trebbio, an old church site at the edge of Rocca Malatina.  We’ve been painting with a new found friend here in Rocca.  She is from Milan, only here for the summer, but she has been a dream.  While Blair and I can paint together, sometimes a third person gives us the impetus we need to GET OUT THERE.

Rocca Malatina has been agog with activity.  We just celebrated Ferragosto, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   There was a procession, with men bearing the Mary statue on their shoulders, followed by the Rocca Malatina band, and a collection of “the faithful”.  That evening there was a community dinner (in fact, the fifth night of community dinners), followed by dancing and fireworks.   On Sunday last we went to see the clowns, who entertained children and adults alike.

We went to lunch on Ferragosto at a friend’s house.  There were 28 at the table, which gives me confidence for the 9 I have scheduled tomorrow.  

I have been astounded that we have so much personal interaction here.  In fact, we were never so busy in Paris.  People stop by with baskets of tomatoes and zucchini, or just to visit.  Of course, there are the Moroccan “touts” who come by with rolling baskets of dish towels and Kleenex, underwear and potted plants.  I almost always buy something.

Harika had a traumatic visit this week from a German shepherd who was “on the loose” – the big dog chased Harika, crying and barking, around the yard, before Blair was able to remove it.  Harika barked for over an hour and seems permanently affected (PTSD).  The next day a friend, who has multiple dogs, came by and had a remedy.  It is a bottle which plugs into an outlet, giving off a vapor (all natural, of course), to calm the pet.  Harika became unusually docile and quite affectionate.  I had to turn it off during the night.

We’ve painted all around our yard with our painter friend.  She helps me see what used to be just a boring rock-hard-pear tree in an entirely new light.  Whenever I paint a lot, especially outdoors, I see beauty everywhere.  Yesterday I found myself admiring how good the flies look in the golden sunshine, against a dark background:  yikes.


Assumption  Acrylic/newspaper  Laurie Fox Pessemier  17 x 24"41 x 63cm

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Little Things

Roses and Fig Leaves  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 14"   40 x 35cm   

Panaro:  Under the Bridge  Blair PESSEMIER  Acrylic/canvas  10 x 20"   25 x 50cm  

Rocks (bracelet and choker)  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  17 x 24"   41 x 63cm  

Flowers in Green Glass  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  18 x 15"   45 x 38cm  

I started a little journal a couple of months ago, and really enjoy just jotting down in pen or pencil a few thoughts about the day.  It makes me think of Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book from the 11th century (unlike the tawdry 1996 movie); or Samuel Pepys Diary from the 1600s:  only a gazillion times more humble.  Both of those rate among my favorite books, ever.    Holding the pen in my hand brings out a whole other side of me – and being able to pick the journal up, toss it aside, no thought of electricity or using a keyboard, or “connecting”.   It seems revolutionary, like touching dough. 

I write about the fig leaves and florescent pink/yellow roses I’ve arranged in the recently found demijohn.  Or the look of the butterfly on the cocoa-mat at the front door.  Things that are so beautiful, it is difficult to cross the line from visual into written description.  There are equally many things I see that just don’t make it into words.

We went to the Panaro river to swim twice this week.  We’ve found a new place, easier to walk in.  There is an eddy that the neighbors warn about:  a vortex of water spinning and pulling one in and down.  Fortunately the water is shallow and there are lots of people around.  The people vary from old to young – mostly older or middle-aged, some with dogs, often with chaise lounges set up in the water, two or three inches below (and yes, there was a dog on one).

Two men are throwing rocks into a hole in a collection of wood at the base of the bridge.  The bridge at this new location is a key feature:  one can go under the bridge to find shade.  It is a pretty big, two lane bridge.  The light filters in from a side and seems like there is illumination from beneath.  The two men are practicing their precision throws.  We go home (20 mins away), get Harika, and return and they are still there, redder and browner.

On the way down the hill to the river we see a bicycle rider, off his machine, motioning us to stay to one side.  We stop and I see he is trying to help a giant beetle cross the road.

Life is made up of so many of these little events.  Why is it so hard to slow down and enjoy them?

Saturday, August 04, 2018


 My Favorite Green Hat
 New Hat with Old Scarf
 Blair's Hat
 Summer Hat   All Hats by Laurie Fox Pessemier  17 x 24"  41 x 63cm

Sunshine on the wall  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas board  10 x 14" 25 x 35cm

Artnotes 1 vanished from my screen, so here I sit, scanning my brain for a new idea.  In fact, the last version wasn’t really so good – I talked about coming off vacation with a wellspring of ideas:   OK, so let’s see them.

I think it is worthwhile to mention that I want a job!  As in, some regular rewarding (aka paid, financially or spiritually, preferably both) activity.  I want what I do to be beneficial to mankind, whether it is expanding horizons (the library? language? lessons?) or expanding stomachs with new recipes.  My love for cooking was reignited, like my stove, on 27 July.    I can wear many hats.

I’ve been making some terrific recipes using the fruits of the very bountiful Italian harvest.  This week I made a pasta with cherries, nuts and gorgonzola; quail with kiwi chutney and blueberries; endive glazed with nut liquor and hazelnuts.  Vittorio has kept us supplied with fresh tomatoes and radicchio.  We’ve eaten tons of salad, as the temperatures, extremely humid, skirt the 90s.

This week, in quest of cooler climes, we drove to Sestola, higher in the Apennines.   It was chockablock with people for the weekly market. We fell upon teeny-tiny wild blueberries from Monte Cimone (6 euros/kilo); three flats of cherries for 2.50; and tomatoes and peppers.  We canned, froze and made jam from the fruit.  It is remarkable to me how good these blueberries taste, as well as the other foods, IN SEASON. 

And I wonder what season I am in?  I am trying to learn Adobe’s Creative Suite, on the week long free trial, so I can get my Baseball book into a hard cover format that the Baseball Hall of Fame will put on their shelves.  My expiration date on being able to quickly learning a new computer program might have expired.  I move this task into one that I don’t want to do.  It’s harder to do what I don’t want to do these days.  Meanwhile, I press on learning Italian.  I like that.

Today I am on track of a new curry recipe I found, using direct, rather than blended, spices.  I have an idea for a fresh pasta dish, if that fails.  We take our meals outdoors, for the most part, under the tent out front, or the shade in back.   The drawback is mosquitoes, who seem particularly vicious this year.
We moved the piano aside and both ends of the living room are open to the air.  The wind blows through, albeit warm and I hold onto my hat.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Artnotes: Home

Yellow Butterfly   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper    17 x 24"   41 x 63cm    

Cabbage Butterfly   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper    17 x 24"   41 x 63cm   

 Lizards, too     Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper    17 x 24"   41 x 63cm   

Roses Galore   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 16"  30 x 40cm   

Gee but it’s great to be back home.  Rocca Malatina: friends, the big house, the yard, roses and hundreds of butterflies.   One of the first things I noticed upon our return were the butterflies.  Not fancy Vladimir Nabakov varieties but, the run-o-mill cabbage butterflies (white with black dots), or the red admirable, tiny blues (that’s a Nabakov favorite) or the many yellows…   There are tons of them. 
The butterflies love this hot weather.  For the first time, this summer, it is very humid in the mountains:  temperatures in the 80s, but “real feel” highs into the 90s.  We shun the outdoors, and Harika only lies in the deepest shade.  I hesitate to eat lunch outdoors on account of it, and the mosquitoes are ferocious.   I am thinking of a pool, the wading variety.  There is almost no “wild swimming” here; in fact is is dubbed “very dangerous” by Italians.  Only if you can’t swim.

As if to welcome us, one of the chickens made a nest and hatched a half dozen chicks on our side of the yard.  Harika sniffed it out.  “I think it’s dead,” Blair commented on the nonmoving bird.  I pointed out is open, sparkly eye and that it was likely on a nest.  Sure enough.   Normally, the chickens repulse me, but this one, with the now little chicks, is quite nice.
I laid on my living room floor and did yoga for the first time in more than a month.  Hemlock Lodge doesn’t lend itself to lying out on the floor, knowing there are wild animals lurking just inches below the living room carpet.  We left the lodge in a deluge of rain, falling from the roofs over the porch, dining room, and bathroom.  The driving rain found its way into every south-facing window.  It felt like a hurricane, but now we are saving that designation for more fierce storms, but then again it wasn’t even August.

Harika’s boarding was delayed at JFK because they didn’t want her out in the rain.  We stayed with her until the last minute, rushing ourselves through security in order to board.  Blair was carrying a large silver-plated pitcher that had to be minutely examined.  We breathed a sigh of relief as we all (I made sure Harika got on) took off for Milan.
Off the plane, we drove our one-way rental car HOME. 
Laurie and Blair PESSEMIER

now found on Instagram:  lauriepessemier

Monday, July 09, 2018

Better than Art

Dishes  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 16" 

Stop at the Beach    Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas 14 x 18" 
Flowers in a Periwinkle Pitcher  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/panel  14 x 18     sold
Boys with Inner Tubes  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 12   sold

Cottages    Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  11 x 14" 

1-2-3 Dive  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/newspaper  22"square

Black eyed Susans in the News   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/newspaper  22"square  

Girl in Lake    Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/newspaper  22"square 

The Heron  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/newspaper  22"square 

Cooling off   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/newspaper  22"square

Tiger Swallowtail  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/panel  12 z 12" 

We are readying ourselves for our show in Brimfield.  Some of the great old  paintings and bargains punctuate this posting of Artnotes.   I am under great pressure to sell as my life in Winsted, Connecticut changes.
On the Fourth of July, Blair and I went to Ralph Nader’s Museum of Tort to hear a reenactment of Frederick Douglas’s speech:  what the 4th of July means to a slave.  It was an abbreviated rendition of the speech, because the original, given in the first half of the 1800s was nearly two hours long.  It was a remarkable recitation, as timely today as it was then.
It’s an unbelievably hot summer here.  I had sunburn on one shoulder, which I cured with a sliced potato, per the suggestion of a Polish woman in Florida.  I swim two or three times a day. Harika has taken to jumping into the lake, for the first time in her eleven summers here.  The fans are working overtime, although it sometimes seems like being in a convection oven.

We buried my father, and my aunt  died the day I got here, so we have spent significant time at the cemetery.  My father was buried in the catholic cemetery, my aunt in the protestant. My father has the slightly better view, were he to be looking out.  Both preachers spoke of the day everyone will be released from the grave up to heaven, which always puts me in the mind of the skeletons in the Jason and the Argonauts movie.  I had no sense of my father or Beverly being in those coffins:  their respective 20 watts of power have moved on.  My aunt’s funeral was most sad, with those stoic Connecticut Yankees reduced to tears of sorrow, heat and resignation.  One just didn’t expect it.  My Dad and Bev were tough as nails.

The grand black man who gave the speech at the museum, Professor Best, was larger than the podium.  There were to be further discussions in the afternoon about whether it is better to “desecrate the Flag, or desecrate the Constitution” – this seemed to speak to the time in which we live.  Blair and I didn’t go.   Professor Best advocated liberty for all:  Black, Women, LGBT; if we are all human, we deserve to have equal rights.  I couldn’t agree more. The crowd was as eloquent as the speaker.

We visited Herman Melville’s house in Pittsfield, Massachusetts yesterday.  He didn’t make a living at writing in his lifetime.  He sold less than 300 copies of Moby Dick, which he wrote at this house.  We went out to lunch and instead of going to the Berkshire Museum, found ourselves candlestick bowling at a second floor establishment downtown. 

When I was a teenager here in Winsted, if one were to stop walking and just linger on the Main Street, one could be charged with “loitering”.  When I left here in 1975ish, it seemed like the stupidest place on the planet.  I realize now that my point of view was biased by my youth, my lack of experience, and the prejudice imparted toward  "hippies” by the authorities.  I now see myself as a privileged white woman, with the wisdom that comes with age.  And it tells me bowling with my sister is sometimes better than art.