Monday, June 28, 2010

Blame it on the Weather

photo by John kerstholtsm

For as long as I can remember, my mother has blamed things on the weather. Things that have little or nothing to do with the weather.

All kinds of medical issues are blamed on weather. I'm not sure whether they are humidity or temperature related. I'm pretty sure that things such as ankle swelling and arthritis can be affected by weather, but some other things, well, I'm not so sure.

According to my mother, the following can result from weather:

cold sores
hemorrhoids (implied, but not discussed)
irritability (no doubt)
acid reflux
diarrhea (implied, but not discussed)
poor circulation

This morning, we are having our usual 8:30 check-in. She tells me what's going on down in Virginia. I say uh-huh a lot. Just like she did decades ago when talking to her mother. She has moved into the modern age just a tad -- she was using her cell phone. Every damn day, her cell phone cuts off. I try to call her back. Busy. I try again. Busy. I wait. Nothing. I try again. Busy. I wait. Finally she calls back. This usually happens again. Conversation. Uh-huh. Click. Silence. Today . . . conversation . . . uh-huh . . . click . . . silence.

She calls back. I tell her that I don't think it was my fault. She says, "Must be the weather."

I'm going to get on her weather bandwagon. I have lots of blame to lay.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'd Like to Make a Citizen's Arrest

Gigantic, flaming, stupid, arrogant asshole

A few minutes ago, I was driving home after completing my exciting errands. My Target bag was bulging, and I was still a tad irritated at my financial institution for not being able to cash a check in my business name (which I never use, but took written proof that it was indeed me). And stopped up beside me at a traffic light was a woman I just wanted to yank out into the street and beat senseless.

Was this a mom in her mini-van just having a cruise? Was it a glutenous, roiling, sweat pants-filled idiot? (Not that comfort in clothing is necessarily a bad thing). I'm going to assume the latter. Cigarette in one hand, beverage in another, God-awful music blaring. I mean, how is she going to be able to answer the phone with all of that going on? Should I have rolled down my passenger window and loudly explained that she could kill herself and others driving like that? It's not like she would have been able to take a shot at me unless she had an extra hand or two.

Can't I just keep spare set of handcuffs in my glove compartment for this purpose? How about several sets. I'll just jerk these damn fools out of their cars, slap on those handcuffs, and drive off before they can say "Starbucks and a smoke."

This is the kind of idiot that will eventually do damage to someone. Probably not themselves, unfortunately. If any member of my family is ever damaged by the stupidity of one of these f@ckers, bad bad bad things will happen to this person by my hand. BAD.

There's just nothing worse than driving with a combination of stupidity and arrogance.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Well Stated?

As an artist, I know that one of the most important things to do as an artist (other than create art) is to write an artist statement. To me, its about as much fun as a visit to the dentist for a root canal. But, these things must be done. I’ll redo mine one of these days. After I decide to stop procrastinating. I haven’t gotten around to making that decision yet.

If and when I redo my artist statement, I want my words to reflect myself and my work. I do not, DO NOT want to sound like a pompous ass. This does happen a great deal. There are words frequently used by artists to get the message across that they are pompous asses. As if pompous assery sold greater quantities of art. It probably does. Unfortunately.

I feel that an artist statement should avoid certain words. The use of one or two of these words is no great sin. But to combine them all into two unbearable paragraphs is a criminal act.

Today, I finally opened the book Masters of Collage, a compilation of today’s masters of collage. I kind of like the stating of the obvious. I hadn’t gone far when I came upon an artist statement that contained every word on the pompous artist statement list.

Want to hear it? Here it goes.


















I very much liked (I use simple person words) the artwork. But just a tad less after reading that string of the pompous artist words.

There has just got to be a stable middle ground between this and just saying “I like to create pretty pictures.” I haven’t found this middle ground yet.

Are there any pompous artist words that I have forgotten? And, if anyone has ever come across the perfect artist statement, I would love to read it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Business as Usual

As my daughter would say, "I see London, I see France, I see ______'s underpants."

This scene happens far too often for me. Hubby's clothes laid out and ready to be packed up. This time for a week. I'm seeing tennis shoes and a tie in this photo. Those scientists are sure whacky. He left last Thursday. It is Sunday morning. There have been tears already (on my part).

So, the kid had a friend here for a sleepover Friday night. Her mom was out of town on business (is there an epidemic or something?), and he was way busy, so could I take care of two kids instead of just one? Well sure. Those little cockroaches didn't go to bed until 10:00 (my darn bedtime). Those little cockroaches got up at 5:45. That's a.m. Since hubby is gone, I heard all sorts of noises and slept only a couple of winks. Then I got to cook breakfast for those early risers. The sight of me cooking ain't pretty. But I didn't cry. Not then.

I woozily entertained the young one yesterday. Lunch out. The library. The duckpond. Then mama, sleeping standing up, decided to have some coffee. It's hot and I'm crabby (understatement). We come home and I have my coffee and I walk the dog in the sweltering heat. I'm waiting for someone to call and perhaps return the favor of child-watching for a couple of hours. That doesn't happen. I bow to the DVD player and insert a disc. Ahhhhh. The Sound of Music is quite a long movie. At movie's end I hear a lot of sniffling. I figure she's seen this movie one too many times to be moved to tears. She dramatically clamps her hand to her forehead and declares she is ill. I get the thermometer. She is indeed ill. So we will spend our Sunday in exile. Sort of. While we can't go to the pool or have a play date, we will be sitting in the air conditioned comfort of the local movie bunker to watch the new Shrek. I'll load her up with Benedryl and we will have a dandy time.

Perhaps its the end of the school year stress. School will be out at 12:15 on Tuesday. That leaves several days of entertaining until summer camps start. Perhaps it is lack of sleep. Perhaps it is the fact that I broke the bedroom shade and now everyone in the neighborhood can see me reading in bed at night. Or maybe its the kitchen cabinet door that broke. Or maybe that I waited all morning for hubby to call in from Portugal and I left the phone in the attic and missed his call. Or the vomiting cat. Or the barking dog that is eating the cat vomit (could that be an advantage). Or the dog who vomits after eating the cat vomit. Maybe heat and neglecting to get the hubby to put in the window unit before he left. Or the fact that there is no food in the house and I don't want to take a sneezing snotting kid to the store. Could be that I'm just a whiner and don't like it when I whine. But I'm just driven to tears this morning.

I know what happens next. Happens every summer when the man leaves town. Bats. The bats come in. And I duck and scream. And I'm up to 2:00 am trying to shoo them out of the house. Will that happen tonight? Tomorrow? They're out there looking for way in. They'll find it.

Now I'm off to play cards with the kid. Then I'll employ my culinary skill for lunch (peanut butter sandwiches). I'll say bless you 435 times. We'll go to the movies. Eat something from the freezer. I'll crawl into bed in full view of my neighbor (is this why he is planting a hedge today), and lie awake listening to murderers creeping into the house. Then when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning, I'll be thinking of what medicines to fill my child with so she can go to school and hopefully reinfect the slimebucket that germed her up to begin with.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday.

Friday, June 11, 2010



Voluntary ignorance is not an option.

You must make another selection.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Favorite Words






What are some of yours?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Typical Saturday?

So what is everybody out in blogland doing on this fine Saturday?

Are you boating at the lake? Visiting downtown, where all the people are? Painting by the stream? Oppressing others and spreading fear?

I'm dusting. I think my weekends, unless I'm out of town visiting family, are spent attempting to eradicate dust.

I don't vacuum, unless its with the little portable thing. I do not push around the big beast. Its too similar to heaving a dead elephant around, so I don't do it. So today, I'm Swiffering (is this a verb now?). I've got the whole artillery of Swiffer products and so the minutes just fly by on Saturdays.

Not much to do around these parts. I've seen the museum here dozens of times. Shopping essentially does not exist unless one has a penchant for cheap Walmart products. I'm not too much into the outdoors, which is what this area seems to be known for.

Guess I could weed. Or mop the front porch. Or dive once more into a fluffy gray pile of dust. So many options, so much time.

Done bitchin'. Laundry wins. Sigh.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Some Things Never Change

Remember this post about dream careers for girls.

Well, it seems as if some things never change.

This book was taken last weekend at an independent bookstore (yep, they still exist) in Roanoke, VA. Look closely at the photos on the covers of those books. Indeed, girls are still encouraged to become nurses and teachers. Certainly not truck drivers or pilots. I must say, I never had an interest in becoming a truck driver, but I may have considered pilot. It was just never brought up.

I won't go into another rant about this. But now I have visual proof to share with you.

And yes, Virginia, there is an independent bookstore. Oh, wonder of wonders! This is Ram's Head bookstore in Roanoke, VA. One of the coolest kid sections EVER.

We supported the independent bookstore. Items were purchased. Just not those shown in the photo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Was Raised by Hermit Crabs

(Mentally insert a close-up photo of a hermit crab. The caption would read: My Mother. Or is it my father? Blogger will not let me insert a photo today. I've done all sorts of tricks for it, but I am not being rewarded. I tried. Sigh)

I have no idea when my parents turned into hermit crabs. Was it at a young age? Did it happen after my sister and I came along? Should I take it personally?

Stories my mother told of her teen years did lead me to believe that she had a few friends, and once in a while, when I was young she would visit with other women. This seemed to happen less and less as I got older. The same with my father.

You would not believe the chaos that ensues when their doorbell rings.

I’m assuming that most people have seen the movie Finding Nemo. There is a scene at the beginning when father clownfish is teaching son clownfish how to look out for trouble. Young Nemo was instructed to peek out of his anemone home and go back in. Peek out and go back in. Peek out once more and . . .

I was taught to never peek out and that the best things happened at home. I never really thought to disagree. Often, I did get out to play with the neighborhood kids. I was the youngest and smallest, so I took a great deal of abuse. I never really took it personally. But, eventually, the elder hermit crabs taught me to take it personally. I became a hermit crab myself.

My childhood bedroom became my shell. I could pretty much do what I wanted in there except make noise, make a mess or get into my sister’s things. And when I outgrew that shell, I moved into the unfinished back room in my house and made that my new shell. I did things that I assume other hermit crab children did: read, listen to music (quietly) and write poetry.

Eventually, I grew up. But not out. I never was able to leave behind my hermit crab shell. If I didn’t think something (a friend, a job, a party) was going to work out for me, I just avoided it and withdrew into my shell.

One of my parents' favorite questions (I took it to be a statement) was, “You don’t really want to do that, do you?” I have to admit, at times they were right. Every now and then somebody did “put me up to something.” But, other times, I did have ideas on my own. And I thought they were good ones. No matter whose idea, I usually heard, “You don’t want to do that, do you?” The only time I did not get asked that question (heard that statement) was when I said I was going to go to my room. I was safe there, so they thought. Out in the streets I could be accosted by a pervert; run over by buses, cars and trains; be abducted, teased or mauled; meet up with drug dealers; be struck by lightening; attacked by dogs; brainwashed by Hare Krishnas; offered cigarettes, rides or sex; or just fall of the edge of the earth. These things could not happen to me while I was in my room. I could, however, watch all of these things happen on my little black and white televison.

Occasionally, we would venture out to dinner. My sister often would be off with her own friends. For the better, since she was not a hermit crab and had no patience with hermit crabs. So the hermit crabs would venture out just a bit. And back. My dad had to make sure the windows were closed. And out and back again. My mother had to make sure she had put her cigarette out in the sink. And out and back again. Was the door locked? Finally into the car. At the restaurant, we requested to sit in a booth. I always wondered why it was always a booth. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that in a booth, you were in the outskirts of the restaurant, protected by upholstery and not on display in the center of the room at a table, where somebody might recognize us and say hello. The waiters could have served us shoes and spit on our food in front of us. None of the hermit crabs would have protested. We would have nibbled on our shoes and avoided the areas where we believed the spit to be. Send something back? God forbid. The hermit crabs paid up and went home.

I'd love to be able to say I've overcome all of that. I can't.

Slowly, through the encouragement of my husband and a few others, I have slowly ventured out of my shell. Not too far. I often ask myself the question, “I don’t really want to do that, do I?” Ask somebody to show my art? Sit in a tent at an art festival for four days and answer questions? Teach a class? The mere thought makes me shiver and look behind me for a shell.

I will, however, send back a shoe that has been spat upon.