Bang bang…my baby shot me down.

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photographer:  Robert Trachtenberg. photo from  NY Times Mag 8-1-99.

Robert Trachtenberg.
photo from
NY Times Mag 8-1-99.

When I worked at an Art Museum, what I liked the most about it was that I didn’t have to talk.

Yes, pretty amazing to hear from me, isn’t it?

But I really did all the time anyway, in the way I like the best. And the other day, I was passing one of the patrons with whom I’d chatted it up while on my post.

[I saw her at the Saturday morning market in Old OP, I was browsing the beets. She was on wheels, parked at the periphery by the parsley, but fully aware of her presence.]

Paula: “Heeey!” “It’s been a while!”

Stroller Girl: “what’s up! look at all these colors…makes me wanna’ paint, what about you?”

Paula: “…workin’ on it, more like drawings….”

Stroller Girl: “Any new codependents in your life….?”

Paula: “well, you know what they say ‘54 is the new 65′….I’m getting wiser everyday…

My Grandmother Millie only made it to 97, though.”

“What if they bump up that number in the system and make it higher…

I might not re-set to your sagacity. “


Stroller Girl:  “I still haven’t shaken these two…I’m going to give them some time…

I’ve heard if you can get them to three they get a little better.

I just have to stick with my program….”

“they’re such whiners sometimes, though. A little self-discipline

tempered with Gaga-acceptance would go a long way.”

“But, the food is good…and, it pays the rent.

so….until I get a Barbie Car and grow a pair, these wheels are as good as it gets,”

Paula:  “You know it is nice to have a little of my own space and hi-place, but the solo thing is overrated…

And I’ll tell you, so is lookin’ out for yourself and growing up….”

“I’ve now been known to grow a pair, too, these days.

But, only when warranted & I really get pushed.

Sugar coated, of course.”

Paula: “But, I didn’t mean the kids…you know what I mean…”

Stroller Girl: “well, you know they say ‘one is the new 5...'”

You know these guy babes, though….I don’t get it...

Bald is the look and they’re wearing rugs

White is the new black but I’m only seeing it at the roots…

Who in heaven’s nursery taught them all this stuff…

Is this supposed to be what we want? So much work!  hi maintenance stuff!”

Paula: “Well, I think WE did, but it’s kind of a chicken or egg thing, don’t know what came first…”

“I just look at it as Pay Back. “

“It’s pretty weird times, though…

just when I thought I must look 80 with all the attention from ‘peers,’

I mesmerized some four year old across a crowded restaurant…cute guy.”

“It was really pretty flattering …he hadn’t even tasted my fried chicken.

…really had a nice van, so I was curious about the nod.”

I think it was my shoes….”

Stroller Girl: “Yea, I know that guy….buggy’s a Porsche P’4911, right?”

Paula:  “Yes! …..and….?”

Stroller Girl:  “Well, I’m sure your shoes were great, but I think he has a foot fetish.

And remember what they say….”

Paula: “What’s that?”

Stroller Girl:  “It’s only when a babe gives you a key to his Porsche

that you know

you’re close to winning his heart.

Call me Mama...

Call me Mama…



Ode de Savage and the Good ol’ boys at Eddy’s.

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Prince Michael Savage, Paula Graves Adams, Eddy de la Hunt. First Meeting sum '11.

I saw Michael Savage, The Artist, the other day at Eddy’s.

We have different coffee schedules with our respective yoga-paint patterns.

Anyway, we only had a minute for an update.

We don’t really need to get into the context.

And, I don’t want to put word’s in someone else’s mouth, but I think it went something like this.

To paraphrase the Sauvage:

“Well, in the [good] old’n days, the wife [in the country] just died!”


Anal retentive men.

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The Anal Retentive Chef. Miss you Phil.

The best men are the anal retentives.  They’re clean, tidy, take care of their person, and are picky about people touching their stuff. They aren’t open to suggestions of going “dormitory style” on vacation (I think this sounds fun). This is because after living in a fraternity they don’t want to bunk with other men, ever. Sometimes it takes a while for it to come out, but it’s there.

The anal retentive architect. Redundant.

The anal retentive drummer. Vicks in the vaporizer.

The anal retentive rancher. Knows every head count, in his head. Look at the iron pile organization and the cattle organized by breed (hereford, angus, black baldy), then age, then confirmation, the use of buildings. It’s all a painting, it’s all good business, but it is anal.

The anal retentive cowboy. The nymphet saddlemaker, the poet, the cutting horse trainer, the jockey, the artistic welder, the Oklahoma Sunday preacher, they’ve all been here, the list goes on.

The anal retentive falconer. Birds with little helmets says it all.

The anal retentive contractor-developer. This guy just keeps it coming; albino snakes in glass cases in the man cave.

The anal retentive journalist carpet sales associate. Exactly 7 pairs of pants in the washer. This is scary.

The anal retentive candyman. After getting some help with the manpad in his late 20s, mentions that the decorator  “threw in a few contemporary pieces with the antiques to keep it from looking too stuffy.”

The anal retentive lawn man.  I think a two-decade long house remodel describes it. Still married.

The anal retentive lumberman. Carries peeled garlic cloves in a jar on the hunting trip.

The anal retentive car salesman. Sending back the bottle because the red was the wrong room temperature.

The anal retentive paper man. Restaurant table setting re-arrangement. Clothes organized by hue. …and it goes on?


Pervasive Bald men and Blue Eyes trend…some research on roots…and why it could work.

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Michael Stipe, R.E.M.


I have noticed more and more men are choosing to completely shave their heads.

And, I just noticed that so many of them have blue eyes. 

Michael Stipe, R.E.M.

a note: to remind you, I have lived on a ranch in western Kansas and spent a lot of time painting, jewelry-making, designing, french-teaching, history-researching, driving, cooking, running and raising children. So, this may be something that everyone else noticed long ago, but I’m just now opening my eyes to these things since I now spend time in the big ‘Ta Town. 

So the two observations lead me to propose this generalization:

Men experiencing early male pattern baldness and blue eyes are rushing to shave their heads to get women. 

Now, we can all accept the fact that many, if not most men are motivated to do anything, by one thing. So, this doesn’t seem like much of a statement. 

But this is so prevalent and apparently so effective, that even others without this syndrome seem to be following suit.

Wentworth Miller, whoever he is…


So let’s look at the steps from predicament to solution from a balding perspective.

a) Too much testosterone.  No explanation needed there. Getting plenty, no problem.

b) Blue eyes. a single mutation which arose as recently as 6-10,000 years ago from one ancestor around the Black Sea was responsible for all the blue-eyed people alive on Earth today. AndEuropeans are far more likely to have blue eyes. They also have a far greater range of skin tones and hair colour than any other ethnic grouping. One theory for the proliferation of so many blue-eyed persons in such a short period of time is sex selection. Sex selection comes to the fore when there is a lot of competition for mates of one sex or the other. The theory is that in Europe, where men had to spend weeks at a time out on the hunt, males were in very short supply. Therefore, the blue-eyed, more unique men were at an advantage...again, getting plenty, no problem. 

c) Hair loss, the problem arises. Hair, in a general historical sense, has traditionally associated with virility in males. So, the men who were winning with too much testosterone were now at a disadvantage.

First, a little background material on hairinesss. It’s not really a tangent, stay with me…

There is a differentiation between the effect of the level of testosterone in body hair versus that at the top of the head.

In the body,

more test is more,

unlike on the head,

where more test is less.

So, by the text books, more body hair indicates men that are fertile, sexually mature and strong. And if you believe in evolution, fertile women should go for the hairy bods.

But Finnish psychologists actually found the opposite to be true.

Here are their propositions:

Fertile women aren’t looking at the body hair, they are looking at the man’s muscles to work out whether he’s got good genes. Less body hair in the way reveals the structure. This is reflected in current aesthetics for idealism in both sexes of defined bod musculature and hairlessness. I am interested to see that this seemingly narcicisstic trend might actually has some positive (?) genetic basis.

The Finns also propose it’s not the testosterone but the estradiol. As estradiol increases, it changes males character slightly, making them better able to take care of their children. So less body hair may reflect a man’s greater caring potential. This might explain why women not desiring or post child-bearing age have no problem with hairy male bodies.

d) So, the solution. The balding men have taken it a step further. Being unable to do anything on their head (implants, plugs, rogaine, all humiliating and make women laugh at them even more) they have found a clever solution to regain their ability to get.

They are marching the smoothness-in-body hair trend vertically upward to tap into a visual characteristic that will trigger a women’s perception of caring potential, a positive trait equally effective in getting sex.  

And I give them a great deal of credit for researching the genetic, historical and cultural trends that have brought them to this point.  It’s a great look to add to the men’s team and very timely:  modern, clean, streamlined, low maintenance, functionally simple.

Michael Chiklis from The Shield.

But most important, why it works? 

Bald blue-eyed men remind of us our babies….smooth heads and their  blue eyes at birth.

I remember…..carry on sweet thing…

These testosterone-laden men are fully aware of the feeling that comes over a mother when gazing into the eyes of her infant.

…no words…

They have tapped into that desire for women to nurture their newborn and are attempting to channel it elsewhere, and where else would that be? They’ve done their homework and history. I have to say,  I’m very impressed with the sophistication of this thought process.

But, I would warn that conjuring up an infant in a woman’s mind to get sex might carry some risk to be aware of.

That is, that infant also came with some other more challenging nascent characteristics. I won’t mention these because, of course,  we all possess them and their potential is there to arise at any moment when unchecked.  But, of course, we all know how worth it they were in raising with our children.

Why I felt I had to share, since of course, this has no real relevance at my age. 

  • As a trying-to-be-a little-wiser older woman who gains most wisdom from my children, I thought I should share this proposition with the gals’ team.
  • To all the bald, hairy, shaved, bearded, waxed, paternal, nurturing, caring, maternal, bachelor, whatever men out there:  I think you’re neck in neck in the race. Keep working it, whatever your angle…


And to women of all ages…

  • Start looking….
  • Please do post and share if you notice the same thing.


le sketch du jour: Sun. July 6, 1980. Beware of Italians in the Louvre admiring your sketches….

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I still have flashbacks to this day at the Louvre. Especially because sometimes even now I will get myself into situations where I am thinking one thing and engaging, but realizing a little too far into it that it is turning out to be something else entirely. And, it usually starts with flattery. In particular, flattery to my work or artwork. This generally happens when I am in the field and drawing, so I am alone. If it happens before I am through with my sketch and the man lingers to talk, it has the opposite effect. I cannot talk and draw.

Some Italian man probably just pretending to be an architectural engineer who admired my sketches and me, Louvre.

From my journal Sun. July 6th, 1980. 6:30 pm, 1980.

Went to Louvre & Marché aux Puces this afternoon.  Had an awful experience. This engineer from Rome walked up behind me while I was sketching the Museum of Decorative Arts from across the lawn on the south side of the Louvre.  He was very complimentary of my drawing at present and asked to see others.  Then, he offered to “show a Young American Girl the Louvre.” I was thinking that this sounded like a wonderful adventure, an Italian engineer showing me Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre… 

He walked abound the whole Louvre, not really stopping to tell me anything in depth, but speaking with the guards. So, I thought he must be a regular.  Then, he started taking my hands, putting his arm around me, and would touch my face with his hands. I did not like it and it was awful, but I did not really know how to handle it.

He then took me to the snack bar and bought me coffee, speaking with the employees on a first-name  basis. I was embarrassed because they seemed like nice people and I couldn’t imagine what they thought of me as a young American girl who would allow an older man to touch her face.

By the end of the tour, I was just trying to get away but he didn’t seem to understand. I said I had to go home, and he would say that he would take me. I was afraid to go outside. I didn’t know if he would kidnap me or what. Finally, I got away after being downright rude. It was humiliating & awful & I will never get myself in a situation like that again!

Flea Market is huge and packed with people!!

Went to a Tunisien restaurant & had some kind of tuna sandwich & an ice cream cone.  Headed back home. 

Charlie was back, but out to dinner again tonight. She showed me all these clothes that this guy from Kuwait bought for her.  To bed. 

So, the moral of this story is…

…a woman has to be wary of a man who invites her up to see his sketches.

…for a woman who provides her own drawings, she might think to be wary of the man who admires them.

…unless of course, he then offers some good constructive criticism. 


A moment’s pause from gems from the young gals…State Line: Yoga and Hi Hat and Ted.

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I was late to arrive at Yoga Fix at the bottom of the Reece Nichols Building in Mission Woods. I’m an out-of-towner so I always want to respect each neighborhood’s protocol. I had experienced that Bikram on 39th locked the doors and people are advised to arrived 15 minutes early. Never going to happen. But, I was still a minute late and my mat was 200 miles away in Wichita. So, I whipped out my card and asked if I could borrow one and pay after class so that I would not further disrupt.

So into my hot [ter than hell] yoga went I….

My child’s pose was endearing.

My wheel was spinning round and round…

My pigeon cooed…

My crow cackled with glee!

My prayer pose brought thankful thoughts…



My Shavasana (corpse pose) always lacks a little. Time enough for that when I’m dead. I’m out of the door.

Forgetting about the dollar I owed, the woman stopped me, “Are you Paula Adams?” she said.


“There’s a post-it here about the mat rental.”

I pay the dollar and ask, “how did you know it was me?”

“The last girl left a description.”  Of course, I had to look at the post-it.

It said:

Paula Adams

Slender white-haired senior

owes $1 for her mat

Well, I was feeling so fit and alive but it did put a bit of a crimp in my happy baby.

So, onto Hi Hat to grab my mocha and pain au chocolat (post yoga, max chocolate, must get all the endorphins going).

And, saw these handsome gentlemen holding court in the 9 x 9 space that T. Jensen has allowed for those choosing to sit inside (it is brisk February).

Men's Morning Coffee at T. Jensen's place. See what I mean about the size? It's an old cottage-style brick gas station. FB has identified far left as Dorcy Troutman.


I’m looking and feeling a little a little low and they kindly struck up a conversation as I waited for the decaf mocha. At this point in time, I didn’t wear lipstick or mascara to work out and the ballcap was on. I’ve now changed my tune on that.

I think there was some kindly remark about working out, so I had to show them the post-it that I had kept.  And the man at the right offered his story.

Trop de Testosterone Ted and his buddy at left.

It went something like this…

“I was on a golfing trip with some guys in [some exotic place or well-known course or something, don’t play golf, don’t remember these things]. An attractive younger woman was talking with my friends and asked who they were here with.  They gestured to me. I overheard her say, “that short bald guy over there?”

I said, “too much testosterone?” His friends said, “hmmm…it’s a gift.”

So, Too Much Testosterone Ted, keep it up.  I think we’re all lookin’ good.

And, for the record, a senior is when one reaches 50 so  I was, at that time, indeed 50 for a few more days. So, it doesn’t bother me so much. It just doesn’t seem like this should still be the term, though, until we get some good stuff like discounts on movies and airline tickets. 

Girls Night Out: Award Winning filmmaker, Chicago news journalist, and the Object of his Erec…

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They always start out so charming….and this was kind of cute…

Ms. Mann moving in for the low angle on man.....

But they’ve ALLLLways gotta take it too far, don’t they? 

Cannot be real and uneven tanningbedlines on the asscheeks...

By the end of his number, we all felt really bad for this probably nice guy for having to make a living this way. And the poor object of his affections had broken out in a cold sweat, not exactly what you’d call foreplay.

“It’s so degrading,” said the journalist.

Plus, I don’t think we tipped very well. Who wouldn’t be afraid to touch something so writhing and goatish?

I’m sure men feel the same sympathy for women working the stripper pole.

And by the way, if you ever travel to Canada on a sales trip, my brother-in-law says getting taken to the Strip Club is just part of closing the deal.



Brotherly love

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The Baldwin Brothers

The Baldwin Brothers, looking good.

I had a sister and only one male cousin Russ who survived all the women. I don’t really know of any names that Gina and I had for each other behind each other’s backs. We did do a lot of digging with fingernails and biting, but it had to be very quiet since we weren’t allowed to fight.

Having now two families of  brothers within my extended family, I’ve noticed the recurring fond terms brothers use for each other. Not face-to-face of course, someone might get hurt.

It takes three boys to bring this out, four is best. In general, it begins with the younger brother using one of these to describe the older brother.  The older brother is at first, either oblivious or could care less, being so confident in rank and superiority. As life marches on and experiences shake it up a bit,  it starts to work in both directions. Families in business together are no exception, maybe worse, though not in public. It slacks off a bit in their 40s. (see Raymond Adams, Tom Finney, and H.G. Adams II at the Eklund Hotel, Elkhart).

The ones that come to mind are bonehead, meathead, dumb@s$ and %ickh#@d.  This next one I felt was particularly creative:

Middle brother calls a younger brother.

Nephew, age 4, answers the phone.

Younger brother yells to son, “who is it?”

Nephew responds, “it’s Johnson.”


Guys, guys….tell us what you really think…

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"View from a few bleachers down"

The view from a few bleachers down

  • Tom Noonan to John Adams, seeing this poster at an SME Reunion. “I don’t know about you, but I would never have hung out with those fat girls in high school.”

I think we look great, but he’s got a point. While the low angle shot gives us presence and is symbolically appreciated, it was unflattering to the thighs and the neckline and face, an area where we stored teenage fat.

Here’s another. The comparisons to domestic interiors and objects:  this is a genetic thing passed from father to son in a family I’m around a lot.

  • “She’s about the size of that refrigerator.”
  • “Her bottom is as wide as that doorway. There’s a reason why you don’t see it in photographs.”
  • “___’s as big as a barn.”  This is actually a western Kansas favorite from my mother’s side, the Wards.
"Marc B. at the Las Vegas, NM Depot"

Marc B at the Las Vegas, NM Depot

Now, Marc, if you get the internet I’ll take this off.  And I will mostly remember that you took me to see the oldest metal clad building across from the Depot in Las Vegas before I got back on the interstate. But, after asking if I had a sister, your last words were commenting on the local produce, “I don’t want a woman with three stomaches.” Quit while you’re ahead.

In Marc’s defense, he did say he’d just had surgery and had gained a little weight.

This being said, please don’t stop with the great stuff, I won’t use your name.

Just accept that we’re all goddesses at every size and you’ll be fine.

Venus of Willendorf, Austria, 18,000 BC

Venus of Willendorf, Austria, 18,000 BC, cast of stone original

"Cycladic idol"

Cycladic idol, Syros, c. 2500 BC

"Seated Goddess"

Seated Goddess, Catal Huyuk, c. 5900 BC, baked clay

The best man at my wedding

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Mare and colt with a stud.

Mare and colt with a stud.

The beautiful yogi mother of 6, the Wichita Falls decorator, and the late Washington lobbyist. “He wore them out” said my friend who is an artist, a house flipper a decade before the term, and grew up on a ranch in Colorado. She knows the rancher man-type.

He certainly didn’t wear them down and continued to keep company with intelligent and interesting women throughout his life.