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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

"A New Chapeaux, I Suppose!"


With all the various garments floating atop women’s heads this time of year, a funny thought entered my mind.

Many women nowadays do their Easter parade thing at church sporting all kinds of ornamental designs of Spring. It got me to thinking about the tradition of women and headdress on Sunday at Mass or a holiday service.

How come men don’t wear headgear when they go to church?

I do remember, as a teenager, the de-evolution of the churchly chapeaux. It must have been a sin as a woman in the Catholic faith to enter into church without a covering of some sort. Maybe it was a way of demanding obedience to the church, that patriachal thing, or a symbol of the Virgin Mary since I’ve never seen her without a veil of some sort.

I remember in high school, when I started paying attention to girls and the strange things they do, that they were all concerned about going to Mass “uncovered!” Being raised in a Catholic environment, it seemed we were always going to church for one thing or another. I don’t remember high school girls rushing to their lockers to pull out the ubiquitous beret, beanie or bandana or whipping out, frantically, some fold up fedora or fez hat from their knapsack just before walking through the doors of church. 

One thing is for sure, in the sixties, it was fairly obvious that girls worried about what was gonna accompany their head in church. Those less than organized young ladies resorted to any and every thing before crossing the vestibule.

It was at that point, the devolving of the traditional redress occurred. White veils, scarves and beanies became bobbie pinned doilies, handkerchiefs and sometimes in a fit of desperation, a clean Kleenex!

No kidding!

Don’t quite know when that “tradition” ended. Maybe it ended with the pill and the sexual revolution that it spawned. Maybe not. I guess I need to look further into this intriguing subject, but I probably won’t.

More fun to speculate!

Copyright 2018/ Ben Bensen III

Saturday, October 21, 2017

"Elect-Trickle Banana..."

C'est la vie!
Good late morning Thursday, y'all.
So weird, but funny. About a month or so ago, when I felt like I was finished for a while fixing things around the house, the kitchen sink light burned out. Or so I thought...
I preceded to grab the kitchen stool and replace the old bulb with a new bulb. When that didn't work, I moaned about having to replace the switch. I mean, I just completed to my satisfaction so many things, it just didn't seem fair that something else needed to be fixed.
My obvious next move was to check the panel. Perusing the switches, I noticed one of them had flipped off somehow, so I flipped it back on. In the process of my very limited electrical troubleshooting, I also noticed that we had connection for a GFI socket. One was in the kitchen and one in the two bathrooms.
Well, I thought to myself, that's the problem. Now it is just a matter of trying to find the GFI plug and turn it back on. Naturally, it was a plug that was way off in the far reaches of the kitchen wall hidden behind a bunch of bottles and flower vases.
I reset that socket switch and then, flipped the switch for the kitchen sink light. Bingo... all is well with the house and therefore, all is well with me.
But the story doesn't end there. Even though the entire place was re-insulated, the rebuilt garage that I turned into my studio about three or four years ago had a window air conditioner installed when I really couldn't stand the heat.
The unit worked fine for about a year or so and then quit on me. Disgusted that the damn thing died just as the warranty ran out, I decided to just open the studio to the house central air and suffer the consequences.
It's been over a year that I've been without that air conditioner and every time I saw it sitting there idly, I had to bite my tongue.
That same night that I "fixed" the kitchen sink light, Therese awoke around 2 am and headed for the kitchen looking for a late night snack. It was then that she heard a strange sound emanating from the studio. It was the air conditioner that I suffered all summer long without... it was running like all get out!
Apparently, that one switch on the electrical panel that I flipped on thinking it had an effect on the entire kitchen is the one switch that works the air conditioner. The thermostat that automatically turns the machine on when it gets a bit warm, turned the unit on.
There are a couple of lessons learned here. I'm still trying to decide which one is the better of the bunch... it may take some time!
Sixth cup...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"Sketching A New Orleans Icon"...

Arriving two hours before takeoff to Denver out from my water soaked hometown, I decided to do a a little bit of passing the time away. This drawing was the best of the bunch. "Lucky Dogs" were sold from carts all around the French Quarter. Some said the weenie concessionaires also peddled drugs from these carts, back in the Sixties.

Now, they are doing fine selling the straight stuff at the many airline food courts. Truth be told, I haven't had one since my teenage days. I'm not sure why these dawgs are "lucky". Maybe, you're lucky if you don't get heartburn!

Maybe, I should try one to see and rectify that...

Copyright Ben Bensen/ 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

"I Hope No One Was Around To See That!"

Our Mighty Hunter...

Well, Happy "before the big patriotic bang" Monday, y'all.
So funny. With my first cup firmly in hand, I take 'da Pup to our designated poop spot. As he gets himself to a comfortable squat position, I notice a bunny seated and frozen in that clasic chocolate bunny position.
I thought to point it out to Pierre Le Pooch, but decided that no one likes to be disturbed during that wonderful early morning adventure, but all through that "vunerable time", his nose lockes onto a fragrance that is his.
"Pierre, I said, as he turns to me from tidying himself up a bit, "Look, a bunny!"
The bunny is not more than five or six yards away, but the dog's nose rules and Pierre obligingly obeys even though his nose is taking him further away from his "quarry."
The bunny barely moves but turns his gaze to me nodding in disgust.
"I know. Crazy, huh? Sometimes I wonder about him too," I said.
Suddenly, like a shot, the dog lunges from the azalea bush toward the rather nonchalant rabbit.
I think the rabbit's been here before. 
Just as Pierre is within the attack range, the bunny takes off in a straight line for a couple of yards and then, with a tweak of it's white cottontail, takes a hard ninety degree right turn. Pierre could not only negotiate the turn, he slipped in the morning dew and did a complete 360 degree body roll.
When he gets up and shakes himself off, he looks around as if to say, "I hope no one was around to see that!" 
"I saw ya," I said between sips of coffee...You big buffoon!"
Second cup!

Copyright 2017/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Margaritas And My Sketchbook."

A pen and ink sketch while sipping margaritas...
My wife fell two weeks ago and needs to have her left elbow operated on today. We decided, after hours of waiting marked by moments of repetitive questioning at the "pre op", yesterday, that we'd treat ourselves to dinner... somewhere. We landed at a Mexican restaurant called La Carretas in Mandeville. We got there just in time for the luncheon menu which ends a 4pm, I believe. 

We sat in the patio because it was a very nice afternoon considering the time of year. The addition to the restaurant is fairly new and a welcome site to the indoors hustle and bustle. Of course, this time of year brings out the flies which were a bit aggravating. I don't recall what my wife had but my steak burrito supreme was perfect. I enjoyed the salsa so much that I topped my burrito with it. The salsa was pretty stock except that they added more onions and cilantro to the mix, which made it extra special.

The pen sketch is from the patio while lingering around after we had eaten. It took a while to complete and the waiter came around occasionally to make sure we didn't require any more attention. I am pretty happy with the sketch although the fountain design seems more Oriental than Hispanic.

Copyright 2017/ Ben Bensen III

Saturday, June 17, 2017

"The Girls ( Chicks! ) Are Working Overtime!"

My sketch of farm fresh eggs from my good friend who's girls are working overtime!

My champion barrel racing friend, Paula, is an animal lover. She loves her horses like her own children. She has quite a few chickens that just love to lay eggs. She pets turtles and stops along the highway to help them get across the street. ( Who knows why turtles think the other side of the street is any better! ) She has a snake that occasionally drops by to sample a few of "the girls' handiwork" and allows the cat and mouse game between coyotes and peacocks to continue. She does bring her chicks in at night, but allows Nature to do what Nature needs to do in almost all cases.

We'd been away for a few weeks and hadn't visited the local coffeehouse to find out what was shaking in the town. For a while, when we did manage to make it for a cup of coffee and some good conversation, Paula was competing all up and down the local barrel racing circuit. But, today we struck it rich with two dozen eggs plus two as lagniappe. 

And just in time for some Father's Day quiche!  

Copyright 2017/ Ben Bensen III

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"A Place To Sketch Or Write Your New Screenplay..."

A sketch of the plane I'm commissioned to paint.
Good Thursday morning, all bodies.
Had a fun meeting with a prospective client at Giddy-Up this morning. She is looking for someone who can paint her in a PT-17 Stearman flying over Lake Ponchartrain. Sounds like she found the right guy!
She seemed to like the western decor at the Folsom coffeehouse, Coffee and panini's... I always try to get folks to drive up to Folsom to see this beautifully laid out place. Very relaxing with computer plugs ins at just about every table or sofa... just perfect to sketch or write your new screenplay, ha!
Man, I got up early and took 'da Pup for an early morning, thirty minute walk. So glad I decided to shower after the walk. Whoa, it is gonna be a hot humid day today.
But, for now, it is a panini and a second Giddy-Up cup!

Copyright 2017/ Ben Bensen III