One of My Favorite Toys

One of the most prized toys in my Playbox is my cousin Don, who’s old enough to be my father, yet in all the time I’ve known him he’s never grown up, even now, at 90. He’s the quintessential example of a person who has lived a life of play – well, he also worked, but that’s beside the point. Or maybe that IS the point. Despite working, he always made time for fun, and so we grew together, along that same path.

Truly, Don’s among the most creative people I know, as can be seen by stepping foot into his house full of toys, handmade jokes, and of course, art.

His style is whatever happens, happens – unpolished, imperfect and incredibly inventive.

He’s fabulous at capturing gestures…so graceful.

He nimbly morphs wire, clay, glass, paper, wood, useless whatnots, into utterly clever, comical, and unique statements.

I mentioned I’d like to make marionettes – he beat me to it.

Inspired by my bookworm, Don made one too. He even finished his.

Clearly I’m not the only one who loves his work.

We’ve played together a great deal over the years at his house on the beach, in his magical garage, where we’re forever kids having fun.

I periodically take immensely embarrassing pictures of myself for laughs and for family’s eyes only. Although everyone’s amused by them, Don has the audacity to display them proudly and prominently in his home. We’re sincerely each other’s biggest fans. The Playbox wouldn’t be complete without him. Here’s a little something I wrote about us.

Our Story

There once was a boy with a creative bean up his ass,
who never much cared whether the thing would pass,
yet when he moved to the beach and squatted in the sand,
the bean was squeezed out, and burrowed deep in the land,
providing a perfect place for the boy to play.

Along came a girl with a creative bean in her ear,
which made her lean in so she could better hear,
until one day she bent totally in half,
hence the bean fell out and rolled down her calf,
planting itself at her feet so every day she’d remember to play.

When boy met girl, a few years in,
damn if they weren’t introduced as kin.
From the onset they’d been sharing genes,
now they looked at each other and screamed,
“Hey! Matching beans!”

And so it went from that day on,
the girl named Soozer and the boy named Don,
were forever connected by their creative whims
his often comical, hers sporting odd limbs.

To each other they were a huge inspiration
always in awe of each other’s imagination.

If there was one thing they’d repeatedly say
it’s, “Damn we’re glad we were made this way.”

Big Top

I’d like to welcome you to a place where
nothing’s too weird or nonsensical, too sad or misshapen.
It all lives in and under The Playbox.


Inside The Playbox you’ll find an array of works that express the bulk of my story, beyond Pondering Pool – writings, drawings, sculptures, and videos that speak about such things as a love so deep, being a Band-Aid, compassion, neuroses, you had me at ha, and so much more. What doesn’t fit inside lovingly resides beneath, where it needn’t worry about smiling or taking care of anyone else, it can simply rest.

It’s taken me a while to be ready to talk about the delicate, sticky areas, but dammit, the poignant stuff can be very connective and healing, and dare say, funny.  On that note, I hope these works will not only be amusing and meaningful to you, but will inspire you to create, fill, and share your own Playbox.

Click here to watch my video interview.


Breaking free

Big Top

So I’m sitting in my chair, twiddling my mind, tweaking each moment into a smile, when to my left I hear a roar then a burp.  He’s awakened, and if I don’t remain twiddled, chances are my smile will fall into a slack and drool and I’ll morph into a lap dog, there only to serve him.  I’ve managed over the years to step beneath his loud voice and negative vibrations and in so doing, burrowed underground.  To my delight, there was an entire circus awaiting me.  So instead of lowering my head in sorrow or subjugation, I clowned it up, made nice with the ringmaster and became friends with the wonderfully intriguing array of characters that lived beneath the “big top.”  This turned into my second home, where I grew new versions of myself full of charisma, humor and color (lots and lots of red) – take-offs on peculiar thoughts I’d always had but had been afraid to nurture for fear they’d send me spiraling out and away from home.  Then I realized they were my home.  Lucky me.


Tarletta – one of the many dear ladies I met who were born with a touch of clown.