September 25, 2007

Function Follows Form

I didn't notice right away. When I did I was shocked. My paper clips were loose! The problem was obvious. My lower lip reflexively assumed the position. My forehead wrinkled in consternation.

Wendy mislikes when I pout, so I've tried to break the habit, at least to omit outward manifestations such as sticking out my lower lip. It's not easy. Growing up, I was known far and wide as the Princess of Pout. "An elephant could ride to town on that lip!" I got pretty damned sick of hearing that as a child. (I was too shy polite back then to tell anyone who said it to bugger off, but now I'm not. You've been warned.)

Children's art projects are often gifted to their parents. Our little darlings are presented with a lump of clay or fingerfuls of paint and told, "Go crazy! Create something! Make something for your mother!"

The Boy brought this particular something home from kindergarten. I adore it. To this day.

There I was and here I am, in possession of the Great Art my son crafted with his own two hands. Hanging it on the refrigerator is obviously out of the question. Since I work in an office, I opted to find a function for it there. While away from my little darling, I have a reminder of how creative he is and how much he loves me because, really, he must love me in a HUGE way to have gifted me with this Great Art made with his VERY OWN HANDS.

(Yes. I really believe that. I am not the only mother who thinks this way, am I? We all know better and just don't care. At least I don't.)

Perhaps you realize where this is going. That's right. This Great Art serves as my paper clip holder and had been broken by some unknown person in some unknown manner between the time I left the office Thursday and returned on Monday.

The Boy's work of Great Art! Broken! I felt justified pouting for a moment. Fortunately the damage was easily repaired with a touch of glue. Soon it will be back in action corralling my clips and keeping them within easy reach.

Practical, durable art. My favorite kind.


September 24, 2007

"You Were Right!"

Last week, I received an email from Wendy with that title and smiled. It's usually nice to be right. The optimist in me automatically assumed it to be one of those usual times.

I was wrong. It was not nice to be right. The email reported the untimely death of an author, Robert Jordan, the man behind The Wheel of Time series. Perhaps you know of it. Perhaps you, like me, have spent great huge honking chunks of your always-limited and ever-so-valuable leisure time through the years absorbed in Mr. Jordan's character and stories.

Not that it wasn't time well spent. On the contrary. I don't regret a minute. What I do regret is how many times I predicted he would die before The Wheel of Time finished turning. Eleven books, people. Plus a prequel. A tale more than seventeen years in the telling. Still the story spun on. The question often arose: "Is he is ever going to wrap up this series?"

So here I am much as I ever was, wondering not only if the story will be finished but now more if, by whom? Seems his wife was his editor and there are rumors of outlines... is there enough material left behind to wrap his series up and tie it with a pretty bow? Or is it better to let the series die where he left it? I am torn.

R.I.P, Robert Jordan.
Thanks for sharing your imagination.


September 21, 2007

Moving Right Along

I spoke to The Boy Wednesday. He was in North Carolina, near where he used to belong but now just passing through.

Is it the change of seasons? Is it the new routine being anything but routine? Is it PMS? Am I losing my mind? I have a little ache in my heart. I have a lingering rash on my face. I am unmotivated. I am feeling anxious. Those things may or may not relate to each other or anything else.

He sent us a book, the schedule for the tour he is on. I am so simple. I consult it daily, saying, "Good morning! Stay safe! I love you!"

The Boy has traveled quite a bit in his 22 years, but not often to what I will call Small Town America. I am curious as to the impressions he is absorbing.

I decided it would be fun, and indeed it has been, to plot his stops on a map. This is the southeastern leg, the first third of his adventure. He's been on the road since September 11, covering 2,600 miles equating to over 43 travel hours and as many towns in as many days.

Calculations and visual aids bring me comfort for some odd reason, much the same as sending good morning wishes his way.

Getting by. At times it's the object of the game.


September 18, 2007

My Fine Feathered Friend

I freely admit to having an abiding crush on Vanessa Williams. She's a long-standing member in the top ten of my Who-Would-You-Do list. I've adored her since she first came to national attention as Miss America in 1984.

This dress she wore to the recent Emmy Awards, this lovely feathered frock, this whimsical garment in the most delightful shade of sea green, worn with impeccable posture topped with a radiant smile and perfectly coiffed hair, her fine form wondrously svelte and curvy in all the right places, has been roundly criticized in the press as a fashion faux pas!

I so beg to differ.
She can feather my nest any day.


September 16, 2007

Vain Hypochondriacal Moment

I've got a rash. On my face.

It's not pretty.

I look like Fred-fucking-Flintstone. Imagine it. You know what I mean. I know you do. There will be no pictures.

It itches. I'm complaining. Right here. Right here, right now, I'm complaining. I may even be whining. You decide.

This goddamn rash itches. WTF caused it? Why now? Why me? Why on my face?!

It's official. I am whining.

But it's on my face.

How rude.


September 5, 2007

Hair Today

When my hair is short, it's the anti-style. I don't have to think, it always looks the same, there are no choices to make. It just is. Long hair is more interesting. But it takes effort. One must think. One must choose. One must act.

Before this current growth experiment, I wore the same basic hair length for at least 25 years. Well. Except for an unfortunate early-90s foray into... well... I'd like to just call it a youthful hair indiscretion. In reality it was a mullet and I did it on purpose. Please, let's all pause for a laugh at my expense.

My hair is now long enough to form a respectable ponytail. A milestone of great import, I became aware of it the moment the necessary stars aligned. Something shook. My inner hair diva has always yearned for a ponytail. The excitement remains palpable.

I find to my mild chagrin wearing a ponytail leads to moderate self-consciousness. Seems my ponytail is an attention whore. Surely I'm not imagining it. She perkily sprouts from the back of my head and announces her presence, singing, "I'm a ponytail! Yes! Yes! Here I am! Look at me! Look at ME!" Bounce. Swing. Bounce! Bounce!

My ponytail may resemble other ponytails, but she has a life all her own. I never felt that way about that other style. Yet I wonder, if like now, I'll look back fifteen years hence and wonder what the fuck I was thinking.


September 3, 2007

Yard Art. It May Involve Eggs.

This is an interesting article about yard art.

It tells of one homeowner in litigation after his yard art was deemed litter, another who moved across country after his art was decried by unappreciative co-citizenry, and a third who survived neighbors' complaints about sanitation when they got a gander at her version of yard art.

Many neighborhoods have an eccentric homeowner with non-traditional yard stylings. Some are seasonal, others permanent installations. We all know where they live, those Yard Artists. One may be glad, understandably, to not live next door.

Let's talk about the female Yard Artist, Rebecca Pickens. Here's a clip of her 30 seconds, quoted from the above-linked article:
When Rebecca Pickens moved into her Olivette house a few years ago, she said she despaired that her small backyard looked like everyone else's. "It just wasn't my style," she said. "It just wasn't me."

So she built a human-sized bird's nest, complete with ceramic eggs. A post next to the nest reads "2014," the year Pickens' son will leave for college.

"This is my empty nest," she said.
That's when the beer snorted out my nose. (Having survived my own empty nest debacle, I've earned the right to snort when I see any bizarre behavior relating to nests, particularly empty ones. I'm certain others have snorted at me.)

This woman, this artist, Rebecca, built a nest in her backyard... to human scale... put some eggs in it... but calls it empty. Huh. I want to know how large the eggs are and the square footage of the nest. Is it up in a tree? There is no mention of comfortable seating or nesting functionality or structural integrity. The article is woefully lacking photos.

The pièce de resistancé, the icing on the cake, froth on the latte: a post to represent a point SEVEN years in the future when she assumes she will be graced with empty nest status! Pffft. She's an empty nest amateur.

Part of me wishes someone had warned me to get busy planning so far in advance for that delicate time when the fledgling flew and life irrevocably changed whether I was ready or not.

Another part of me thinks she's just batshit crazy.