The potters are here! The potters are here!
The Oregon Potters Association is holding its annual Ceramic Showcase this weekend. Today and Saturday and Sunday, the nation’s largest show of handmade ceramic art is on display (and for sale), as over 170 Oregon and Washington artists take over the main exhibition hall of the Oregon Convention Center. Free admission!
Teapot by Patrick Horsley
If your head is spinning like a potter’s wheel after a few hours of viewing the coolest teapots on the planet, take a break and check out the neighboring exhibition halls, where more than 200 Oregon artists will display their one-of-a-kind artwork, handmade from metal, beads, glass, wood & hand-woven fabrics. The Creative Metal Arts Guild, Oregon Glass Guild, Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, Portland Bead Society and the Portland Handweavers Guild have joined forces to present this show, which they refer to as…wait for it… A Gathering of the Guilds.
This is year 32 for the OPA showcase. I’ve attended this event for at least twenty years, usually accompanied by friends who are also pottery and art admirers and collectors (and even artists themselves).  After years of attending, I’ve no excuse (read: room in the house) for further pottery purchases, be they utilitarian or ornamental. Or so I thought, until a fortuitous tragic event in December, when a longtime member of the Wall of Faces (only partially pictured above) committed suicide, as it were.  And now, there is room for one more.
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Complesults and Insulments.
You’ve probably been on the receiving (or spewing) end at least once, even if you aren’t familiar with these terms, which I (think) am just-right-now making up. A complesult or an insulment is a sly statement that allows an ostensibly positive remark to cover a dis. Think of disparagement masquerading as praise. Or, an insult disguised as a compliment – sound familiar now?
“I can see why you like Carol Burnet’s TV show; she proves that a funny girl can be successful even if she’s not pretty.”
I received that lovely bouquet from a grade school rival. The other 6th graders standing in the tetherball line didn’t seem to get it, but I sure did. Hsssssssssss.
And now, I’d like to hear yours. Uh—not about moiself, thank you. But, if you’re up to sharing, what are some of the most memorable complesults and zingiest insulments you’ve received? Or delivered – ‘fess up and don’t worry; I’ll assume the targets were worthy. Judgment shall be withheld.
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More From The Department of Withholding Judgment
Earlier this week I received an email from Scarletta Press, the publisher of The Mighty Quinn, notifying their authors that Scarletta’s director of publicity has resigned. Further communication will reveal who will fill the vacancy. I’m hoping for someone interested in doing…well…consistent and vigorous promotion.
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A Day Late and a Dollar Short 
Ever had a great idea, only to find out someone else – in fact, several someone elses – beat you to it?
Me neither. Until I toyed with the idea of starting an advice column.
Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it.
(Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet)
I had the column’s title, format (via another blog, at first) and rationalization raison d’être for the project. My niche was to be advice in various areas – from personal and professional quandaries to matters of protocol – from and for Brights, Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinkers. The religion-free consistently encounter a plethora of WTF? situations, as we navigate a society that bestows privileges and even positive attributes upon religious believers.
I even had some topics in mind, for how I would organize the issues, including:
* Fun with Fundamentalists
* Are those your holy scriptures in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? (dealing with proselytizers)
* Say What? (how to respectfully but firmly deal with family/friends/neighbors/co-workers who pressure you to participate in their overtly religious rites and ceremonies)….
Oh, what fun. Oh, what the (mythical realm of eternal torment) was I thinking? It’s already being done.
The Humanist magazine, to which I’ve recently subscribed, is doing it (in their colun, “The Ethical Dilemma”) , as is the Freedom From Religion Foundation,via a relatively recent addition  to Freethought Today, their monthly newsletter…which I would have known had I more carefully read the journals’ recent issues instead of passing them on to my son and other interested parties, oy vey.
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
(Erica Jong, American author)
And so it goes. Stay tuned for more info on this project. Or, less. Until then, my advice to you is to let the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Why aren’t there any footnotes, you may be asking?
 Apropos of nothing, it dove (or so it seemed) from its perch on the wall and plummeted to the tile floor.
 Yeah, that also has already been done. Or, said.
 Something along the lines of “Ask a Freethinker.”