Thursday 28 October 2010

Notice the little yellow duckie.

up up and away!

Up Up and Away
(buy here)

Today I woke up to a gurgling baby who threw himself onto my breast and then made cute cooing noises for 15 minutes while nursing. After that I proceeded to tickle him and kiss the bottom of his chin which had him in fits of laughter and me fill up with light inside. I am so incredibly in love with my child. :-)

There is something we can all learn from Dylan (and all other babies for that matter). He really lives in the present. Now, I know it's probably because he hasn't really developed his long-term memory brain cells yet, but memory or not, at the moment, he lives ::here-now:: . Let me give you an example:

Last week, he had the most horrible nappy rash. Very painful, red and raw. Each time we changed his nappy he would burst into tears and scream his little lungs out for the duration of the nappy change (btw; nappy = diaper). The interesting thing was though; as soon as we put some cream on the soreness and the pain subsided, he would get up and immediately return to his happy self and go over to his ducky (fav toy at the moment) and continued on with his happy playing. There was no: 'dwelling on the past' -> (ooh, my nappy change; it was so awful, why did mummy do this to me, why do these things always happen to me?), nor was he' worried about the future' -> (ohmygod, in another 2 hours I'll have to go through the same horrid pain, I'm so depressed, I never want a nappy change ever again, I hate my life ..). Unlike with most of us 'grown-ups' he does no dwelling at all; when he's in pain: he's in proper pain and let's everyone know by screaming, but when the pain is gone; it's gone and he's back to focusing on what is going on for him there and then, that minute; not an hour ago, not yesterday, not two hours later, not a day later, no; now.

We can really really learn from that. :)

Us grown-ups, had we been in Dylan's position: we'd be endlessly muttering on about how horrible our nappy rash is, how it was so painful to have it cleaned, how we're so worried about that it has to happen again in 2 hours time, how the world is unfair to us, how we can possibly speed up the healing so we don't have to experience it again ... all the while missing out on how beautiful that yellow little ducky is ...


So, I'm a bit addicted to working digitally at the moment. There is something really satisfying about working with the wacom tablet. When I first got it, I did really need to get to used it, but I'm now getting more and more confident with it and am really loving it. The image above was done digitally and the other two wintery ones too! (I'm probably going to make these into Christmas cards).

bear snowman & bear whimsy

skating bearsie

Though I've added in an extra week between week 2 & 3 of Art, Heart & Healing, I'm up to my neck in work. Loads of filming, editing, doing packages, emailing oh and I updated lots of stuff on my website But I have decided to run Magical Mythical Makings in January instead of November so that I have a bit of a breather. I really feel I could do with a holiday of 6 months in Thailand on the beach with blue ocean water and a yummy coconut with a straw. Hey, a girl can dream.

Oh, in other very mundane, unimportant news; I want to talk a little about some of the tv shows I have on in the background sometimes when I work. One of them is 'Gossip Girl' (I know; shame on me), I've also, over the last year watched several seasons of the 'L-word'. I wanted to write up a whole review of the L-word, but I have so much to say about that show, it'd take up too much of my time. What I wanted to say about these shows -and I know; no one is forcing me to watch them-, what aggravates me deeply is the lack of character development and the continuous deja vu I keep experiencing when semi-watching these shows.

For instance, with Gossip Girl, now, I know; the name of the show, obviously, says it all, but it has/ had some kind of entertainment potential and instead it keeps playing out the same story over and over again again with the characters not growing or developing out of their tedious personalities by even one iota. Now, I get that is a lot of judgement and I don't usually do judgement, so let me rephrase this, or rather; let me explain why it bothers me so much when a character on a show just stays the same.

It leaves me without hope. This because the subliminal message is that people don't change (while they do, or can). The moment someone like Chuck shows an inch of humanity, something unfortunate happens returning his menacing bitterness and kerblam he's back in the business of spreading misery.

The other thing that annoys me a lot about this type of story writing is that, to me; it's a cop-out. It feels like the writers think to themselves: 'well, the viewers want this dude to be evil and remain evil so we'll keep him evil so that the ratings stay up and we make money'. While the more socially responsible thing would be to imply growth, change and transformation in a character like Chuck's.

I know, I'm laughing out loud reading that paragraph back, I don't know why I expect writers of a show like Gossip Girl to feel any sense of social responsibility {hilarious, really}, but I don't know; I just feel sad and annoyed when I notice that writers don't want to take risks or do something original or (welp) something that might actually bring hope, love and understanding into the world ... (oh no; not if it's not going to make any money!)


Ok, the L-word: The most frustrating thing about that show was how they developed Jenny Schecter's character (this was character development gone completely hay-wire and beserk in my opinion). Jenny's character had a lot of depth, integrity and authenticity in the first season. I know, she had an affair with someone, that's not the kind of authenticity I'm talking about. Her integrity and depth lay in the fact that she cared about stuff, thought deeply about life, living, she felt deeply, she was aware and simply felt everything. By the end of the entire show, no one cared that she died, because they had turned her character into some kind of fame seeking, power hungry, arrogant, distorted diva, which I really didn't think did her initial character any justice. There was so much more to her, they could've done so much with her. What a waste of a character.

Overall, with the L-word I have a similar commentary as I do with Gossip Girl; while in general there was a little more growth with the characters; the same things kept happening. Shane always always always had to fall back into her pattern of having sex with everyone, never able to commit to a relationship. While I understand that Shane had big psychological issues and part of her defense mechanism was to use sex as a way of dealing with her pain, the writers never made Shane confront this part of herself on a deeper level, or learn to understand that side of herself, no they just made her fall back into the same pattern without any hope of change or understanding of herself.

Alice always ended up in a relationship that didn't work out. The only person who really developed and changed was Tina, from a shy submissive woman to a much more independent person grounded in her own power. But then there were so many loose-end stories in the L-word as well, for instance; Bette & Tina wanted to be attachment parents to their child, this seemed to be significant at one point in the story line and then just sizzled away. Why not go deeper into that story?

A last thing that annoyed me about the L-word: the ridiculous amount of sex scenes. Why was there so much more sex in the L-word compared to other shows? This annoys me so much. Is this to attract men to watch the show? Is it attempting to represent the lesbian community "realistically"? Even if it's realistic, why show so much sex on the show? (Way to stereotype)? On heterosexual shows there isn't a representational amount of sex on shows either, but no; now that there is a show specifically about lesbians; we have to saturate it with sex scenes otherwise we don't ... uhm, live up to the what?

Talk about segregating a group of people! Here you are having the huge responsibility to bring a show about lesbians to national tv, scary, hard, difficult to do. It's a precarious subject, you want to make sure that the world isn't going to view 'these people' as 'different to me', so I know; why not make them have rampant sex with each other all the time! That will really help with the inclusion, integration and 'not seeing them as different;' (end sarcasm) ...

Let me be clear; this is not me being angry about sex on tv. I really don't mind sex on tv, if it's relevant, realistic and a fair representation of whatever story line is being presented. It annoys me when sex is being used for something other than fairly representing the story line, which is what it felt like a lot, for me, in the L-word.

To me, this much sex was a way to attract viewers, to sensationalise being a lesbian, to make the show (supposedly) more interesting. Which just makes me feel very sad. Why does a show about lesbians need lots of sex to be interesting? It's people, just people, not weird "other" people that have lots more sex than you (heterosexual person) does ...

It's not necessary, it's not representational, it's stereotyping. I would've liked the show if there was some sex, not loads (or so glaringly more than other shows), more depth, more transformational character development, an attempt at going deeper into interesting story lines (attachment parenting) and specifically a different character development for Jenny Schecter.

I think it just makes me sad that there is so much potential for certain characters which would actually send positive messages into the world somehow, instead the focus is on making money and creating tv shows that sensationalise and stereotype and imply no hope or that change is possible.

It also makes me sad, as it just seems to cause more separation rather than a bringing together.


Now, Peepshow, with David Mitchell & Robert Webb -> THAT is the most awesomestest tv show ever created in the history of ever. :) Comedy genius' at their peek. (Quote on Porn: "Is it not just dead eyed men fucking dead eyed women in a world of pain?!")

Here endeth the sermon by Tam on the mundane topic of the day; tv shows.


I so must go to sleep.

Huggles. x

PS. aren't I diverse & all-encompassing? -> covering both something like 'Gossip Girl' and 'being in the now' in one blog post? ;P


  1. Great post Tam - your digital work is some of the best I've seen - so creative and adorable!!!

  2. But but but.. Everrrrryone knows that lesbians are unstoppable when it comes to having sex. They always sneak off with their best friend's friend for a quickie. Didn't you know that? Stay away from lesbians, you just never know when they'll jump your bones because they just can't help themselves...... *LOL*

    As far as Jenny goes, I could not stand her from the very first scene. Something about her voice or the way she spoke or just something I could not put my finger on but I didn't like her one bit, and I just could not figure out why she was so well liked in the beginning.

    I gave up on Gossip Girl. I prefer 90210...

  3. great post,tam.....i like castle myself....yum, yum... ;-)

  4. Fab post - makes me love you all the more . . . xo

  5. You see now that is why I watch Vampire diaries and ugly betty instead, so much more realistic....Not!! ;) lol

    Loved what you wrote about Dylan and the ducky, it made me think a little about how much i whinge ;)

  6. I never watched Gossip Girl nor The L-word... but I totally agree that most tv shows are stuck in a deja-vu loop, where no one changes, and it's always the same meaningless crap, over-and-over-again. One of the things I really like about NYPD Blue is the growth of characters -- particularly Sipowitz, who begins the show as a self-destructive alcoholic biggot teetering on the edge of no-return. But as the show prgresses, so does he (as well as other major characters who realistically struggle with their own personal issues.) We see Sipowitz climb out of the downward spiral, and begin a new path of rediscovering how to be a decent, functioning human being... a likeable person even! I think that point alone is what made the show worth watching, beacause I want to see him be a better man. I suppose if one is a pessimist, one wouldn't care at all about the growth of fictional characters, ebcause they might better relate to circles of self-depreciation and despair, and the 2-D cardboard personalities that the tv shoves in our faces as an example of "realistic drama." Personally, I think that's crap. You're better off watching gnats on your fruitbowl... at least they have unpredictable flight patterns.

    Oh, and a word about over-sexed tv lesbians : I think it's to sensationalize the show, and catch the interest of both homo- and hetero- viewers alike. I also agree that it's not really sending the best message to people who are already homophobic (or even "iffy" about gay people.)If anything, it does help to perpetuate the notion that all gay people are over-sexed, promiscuous perverts who are "different and amoral" at the core. Yuck.

    P.S. I'm going to live in the NOW, which means just take a breath, enjoy my soy-tchai, and send you and Dylbee big glittery hearts and yellow ducks with the power of my 3rd eye. Teehee! <3

  7. Eveline is right. I just can't help myself. ;-)

    I tried a number of times over the years to get into The L Word and I just couldn't. I had a hard time sympathizing with anyone on the show. They were mean, selfish, and absorbed in things I couldn't find meaningful. And Jenny ... omigoodness, I don't care whose team she played on or if she even had one; as a human being, she was awful. I spent my time watching and recoiling at the same time, and that wasn't very engaging for me.

    As a Northern Californian, it was interesting to watch (in teeny-tiny doses) because "L.A. Lesbians" are a strong stereotype in the community -- or, they were. It goes like this: San Francisco lesbians don't care how they look and are all about political rallies and veganism, while L.A. Lesbians are beautiful, fashionable, and shallow, carrying more about who they are wearing and where they are seen than what they stand for. I thought maybe the show was going to show that the stereotype is untrue and unfair. But they really never did that, because that would have required the character development that you noted was missing, and besides, I don't think this show was ever for women. Honestly, I always let the show build up in my DVR buffer so I could fast-forward over all the sex scenes that were as glossy as a girlie-magazine. I'm sure that appealed to some women, but I wrote it off as soft porn to keep the straight guys in their demographic.

    As you can see, I'm still working out what I really think. ;-)

    Love the new art!

  8. Being a Trueblood fan, I have never watched Gossip girl or the L-word, and I have decided that I prefer my sex on Tv to be totally unrealsitic, such as sookie being a total tart with vampires, werewolfs and the like. Well, she is a fairy. with wings that is. Appparently her cousin is the gay fairy... ;)
    The media and writers of most shows though, have a lot to answer to, being in part, the reason why we dont live in the here and now. We are bombarded from birth with images, messages, goals, functions, roles, ideas, values, morals, ethics that we are supposed to be, live up to and live and not all of them on the positive side of things. Children are free of all of this, until we and life teach them otherwise. Part of the reason I chose to spend my life working with children rather than adults! Id rather have to deal with a temper tantrum than with office politics. It doesnt last as long and you often get a cuddle and an apology when its over! Tams right, play with the little yellow ducky as often as you can...

  9. Very sweet faces and beautiful soft colors!

  10. Hmm - being an old granny, I have to say that I have never watched either programme - and from your reviews, I doubt that I would be tempted now. LOL

    I just loved, adored, your write up regarding Dylan, your sweet baby boy. Brought back similar and happy memories of my two sons. Life is so simple at his age - so sweet and all emcompassing - it would be nice to 'return' to that age,as an adult - just to experience the equisite joy of living in the 'yellow duck' moment - thank you so much for sharing.

    My goodness your digital art is brilliant - how do you get the time to fit so much in - such talent.

    Just finished Week 2 Part 1 - and I am so relieved that I have extra time to do part 2 - thanks for that.

    Today I have been busy in the garden, and for the first time in years, whilst looking at the autumnal colours, the chickens scratching about and the autumn leaves, I found myself thinking of 'happy memories' of my young childhood years.

    The gardeners where I used to live were really busy this time of year, but would always chat to me - and I remember walking in parts of the village where the wind had blown piles of leaves and would take sheer delight of walking along kicking them up as I went - pure joy, living in the moment - just like Dylan!

  11. Hi Tam,
    I wanted to let you know that I've awarded you with a beautiful blogger award. I so appreciate everything that you do and I wanted to let you know. You can read more about it here:


  12. I miss my babies, breastfeeding was The Best Experience,

    I wish existentialism was a real possibility - THE BEST I CAN DO is live in this moment where I live to share and do a bit of art and not think about the ironing or work tomorrow....I also adore the Chinese mantra - this too shall pass- (prefer it to 'seize the moment' 'cos it works for all moments in time positive or negative....)

    the only things I found time to watch last week was Spooks and Masterchoof, I think your thoughts (for me) are related to too many people getting their information and (arghhh perish the thought - Education?) from TV - not real life - so hard to convince people it's not real - so when there is a poor portrayal of a minority group (usually written by someone outside that group with an 'advisor') it can do harm
    especially if a person has been growing with in a less than plural society,

    ...'tis my humble opinion that real people are best met and befriended (no matter who they choose to sleep with or their chosen beliefs).....

    ah hoo - I am loving your free lesson (I had just paid for a Suzi class and paid the student son's rent and bought my new iMAC so I am more skint than a skint thing) but I shall pay for and join your January class, thank you for giving me a freebie - it's fab...


  13. Hi Tam, another here who just discovered you through your free class and now can't wait for your January one (am keeping back some of my recent eBay sales that were supposed to be for Christmas pressie buying just for that! Oh how selfish of me! Mwahahahar!) Anyhoo - thank you for opening my eyes. I will fully admit to you right now thatI only joined up to the class for the art side of it as I don't do all the sentimental guff. Or so I thought - you've really opened my eyes missus and am on such a positive vibe at the mo. So - sentimental guff, it appears you have brought me over to the light side ;)

    As for the Peep Show - OMG I love that program. I never really got into Gossip Girl or The L Word. I'm more of a True Blood, Being Human gal myself. Am hopping up and down just HOPING that new zombie one comes onto Freeview!

  14. i enjoyed my visit to your blog. so many wonderful art pieces to enjoy and wise as well as funny words to read. thanks for sharing!


Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


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