Friday, November 30, 2007

Playing Hookey

Well, I was going to paint today; after I dropped off the kids, I was going to enjoy that last cup of coffee, savor the silence, and then hunker down to workin'.

The best laid plans...yadda yadda...

Enter, the 8 year old - he's home sick - cultivating his IBS symptoms for use later in life, no doubt. The Professor we dropped off at school - he is a stickler for being there (so NOT like me). So we headed for home, the Bohemian and I, to try and do some painting together.

Its just not in the cards today.

Upon arriving home, I see a message waiting for me on the phone - its Bea- she has thrown in the towel and is playing hookey, er...taking a Mental Health Day. The office is having another one of their "Stuff Your Face" festivals, which are relentlessly undermining to a diet, or even a healthy lifestyle. Ever the queen of Passive Aggressive, she Chose not to attend. If you're a fan of the film The Big Chill this will make perfect sense.

As much as I wanted to paint, the prospect of someone to play with is far more enticing - will we go out to lunch? It could happen - it is payday. Maybe even do a little shopping - that suburbian housewife hunter-gatherer ritual, though malls are out - its is my personal creed to never enter a mall or strip mall after Thanksgiving, until after the first of the year. I'm not superior - I just know that the odds of me killing someone go up drastically if I'm in a mall - I'd like to be home for the holidays, see...!

Ah! there she is - my partner in crime! Let the planning and plotting and general coffee consumption begin! (Unghhhh! I just had the thought of where to go for lunch, and get a really good cup of...."cappoocino, sweetie-darling" (Edina, Ab Fab)!!! Bea is groaning over my shoulder as I type this - is that a yes???

The Aftermath: Sobering Up In Carpool

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Talking Barbeque

I don't know what it is lately, but I have been eating like I'm "going to the chair", as Bea would put it. After Thanksgiving I stepped on the scale and realized that I was pushing maximum density, and that it was time to step away from the fridge and the late-night rifling.
It is very hard, but I've been a good girl all this week, except for a few gumdrops, which are easy enough to rationalize.
But it isn't cutting it - I'm craving; have been craving ever since Thanksgiving, some really good Down East NC Barbeque. In this part of the world, there is a lot of it to be had, but it isn't all on the same level of OMFG That's Orgasmically Good, so I went hunting with The Google and found some conveniently located choices. The best list of where to go was compiled by this guy and he's pretty thorough. Many of the places he listed I've been to and agreed with his rating, so I think I can trust his opinion. my opinion, the very best barbeque is made by this man:Unghhhh! My mouth is watering, just remembering how good this stuff was! The Daveman goes on down to Smithfield to buy his hog from Nahunta, and he usually gets a Duroc, which are known for their quantity of lean meat, and I will testify...M R Good!

He trekked his cooker all the way out to the upper Outer Banks, above Corolla, so he was toting it up the beach, to make us some kick-ass barbeque for the Fourth of July. Slow-cooked it all day, while we were frolicking on the beach, and then we demolished it. The guy on the right, below, said he was going to "go Roman on us", and eat until he puked - it was very close - and while it may seem excessive, understand that he lives in Washington State, where the 'Que don't shine, so he was making up for a long absence from his beloved pork. It isn't traditional, but I can't help but wonder just how a Pig Pickin would go down with the family, in place of Christmas Dinner...yeah, probably not so well.


Mmmmm....barbeque....hushpuppies....fixins....ten pounds added to my ass...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Look At My Undies

Ok, I changed my mind. Maybe it was the moral support, maybe its because they're going so well, I figure I should try to throw a monkey wrench in the works, but here you go - a look up my dress, or rather, a look at the underpaintings.
(Note* picture has been cropped to eliminate the child messes in the background - if only it were just that easy!)

Don't I have a wonderfully professional set up here? You won't hear me knock my beloved easel, but the kindergarten chair is a must have for anyone with lighting issues. And don't get pissy with me and tell me that the painting of the women doesn't look anything like the photo - did you want to see my underwear or what? Then quit pointing out how my elastic is shot - I'm wearing it - I already know it.

And there you go, folks - a look up the dress of the artist. (Is this the point, Bea, where I should quote Diane Wakowski - "I never know how far, for the sake of wisdom, to carry a metaphor."?) Seemed like the right time.

Works in Progress

It was a good start yesterday, in the world of painting. I jumped right in and threw several huge gobs of Pthalo Blue on the rug, just to warm up, Pollack-style (I missed the canvas - not really, I just have butterfingers). I was going to do a painting based on the picture I posted in The Wicked Witch Of The North, but its going to be fairly complicated, so I warmed up with a happy little landscape (a la Bob Ross? Hzzzzzzzzz!), because clouds are always fun, and landscapes are easy. Well, easier than painting women, though once I get warmed up, they'll be easy too.

I'm just not ready to post a picture of what I'm working on - hell, I won't even let Bea look at it. But I can put a couple of older pictures in here, for your viewing pleasure, until the new ones are ready. My love for Flutter is such that I actually contemplated sending her an email with a picture of the underpainting - but its kind of like looking up someone's dress, and while I know she would be nothing but supportive, I am the chicken shit who doesn't want to flash her with an image of my underwear. (that doesn't sound right, but you know what I'm saying...I hope!)

This is what I consider the best of the mermaid triptych that's hanging in the dining room. Bea hates the sea serpent - thinks its too "cute", and while I secretly agree with her (shh!), her dad says this is his favorite. If he could smuggle this and my A.R. Cole vase out of the house, he would be a happy man.
This is my favorite fairy tale themed painting - The Handless Maiden - if you've never read this story, don't feel bad; my sister and I are obscure fairy tale fiends - her Christmas present last year was a wonderful old copy of Household Stories, by the Brothers Grimm (it killed me to give it to her, but those are the best presents). I especially like the tree in this, as well as her fab Renaissance Fair clothes.
And there you go - a taste of what is hanging on my walls. Now I'm off to work - hope the rug fares better today - its going to look like crap for the Solstice party if I keep dropping paint on it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Later Virtual World

I am presenting my "Get Out Of Jail Free" card at this time, and leaving the cyber world. Instead of "Gone Fishing", I am "Gone Painting".

I finally have all my supplies together and have done the underdrawing. Its time to start with the wet stuff.

The perk of writing only for yourself is that if you don't want to write, you don't have to. I think I might paint a few words instead.....

the hordes of eager readers (hahahahahahaa) will have to be content withreading old posts - I'm on an internal vacation.


Monday, November 26, 2007

The MEME that Keeps On Giving

I was tagged by Lemonade and Kidneys to do this meme right before Thanksgiving. It was way too hectic around my house to think of randomly weird things about me, so I put it off until now.
I think this may be the same MEME I did last week, but poor Lemon didn't have anyone to ask.

a. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
b. Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
c. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
d. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

All right, it has already been established that I don't know anyone in Blogland, and after two months of trying to establish a network, with little success, I am done like dinner. What that means is there will be no links from this to other bloggers - I have no one to ask, so the Meme stops here. (Sorry Lemon!)

1. When I'm nervous, I rip all my fingernails off, sometimes down to the quick.
2. I am NOT a girly-girl.
3. I don't really like People - the masses, in my opinion, are morons.
4. When I drive in traffic, I turn into a NYC cab driver - I might even know a few curses they don't.
5. I have a terrible addiction to peanut-covered cake donuts.
6. I never dust. Ever. My allergies are very upset about it.
7. I have an OCD sheet fetish - they have to be put on just right and no one can sit on or touch them, except for me (and the Big Gorilla Man).

And that is that.
The End

Things to Do On Black Friday

We took a drive out to Raven Rock State Park on Friday to go for a hike; maybe walk a few turkey-pounds off. We've never been there before, and thought it might be fun to check it out.
We passed many old farms, and I was compelled to commit a few drive-by shots. Looks like the cotten is done in this field.
I loved the colors of the trees behind this old barn. My mother, who is from up north, would say this isn't a "proper" barn, but you see this kind a lot around here, and I love how they hug the ground.Wonderful old house with a tin roof, rusted...could this be the B-52s' "Love Shack"???
Beautiful old house in "downtown" Lillington. Its still such a small town - I'm kind of jealous.
Mom knocks a few heads...nah, not really. But you can't see my butt when its tucked up in this crevice!
A pensive moment for "Lord Monkey" by the riverside.
(Don't ask, I have NO idea why he calls himself that)
The Hamasaurus in his natural habitat. The cave wall was so enormous that I had to shoot from underneath to give it any scale. Who knew there were such humongous rock formations this close to the coastal plain?
Raven Rock was a great place for nature compostitions. This was a symphony of yellow.
We all loved the roots of these two trees, juxtaposed near the cliff wall. They squiggle down from the trees like a mass of serpents. Very creepy, but very cool.
The view from the overlook. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it might, given the state of our current drought, but you can still see the large expanse of exposed shore. This is far creepier than the snake roots - seeing our river dry up.

All in all, a great way to spend "Black Friday", in my opinion. We loved Raven Rock - it was so beautiful and woodsy, and far more rest-for-the-soul than fighting the crowds at the malls. Fuhget abowt it - I'm shopping on the internet and staying away from the dens of insanity. If you live nearby and would like to visit Raven Rock, here is a map:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Incriminating Evidence

The Turkey gets dropped in the fryer by my talented brother-in-law, who always shows a knack for accessories.

Vulcan finger gestures from my nephew:

The boys had fun and stayed out of the way with this groovy rope swing.

Our lovely hostess begins to crack under pressure (though she never blew, which really is amazing!)

Dinner is served!

Bea and me!

more of the motley crue - my nephews and my future niece-in-law

The Big Gorilla Man poses for the camera

Hope everyone had a great holiday, surrounded by loved ones.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Turkeys Avoid Being Eaten

Try dressing up as a Roman - they not only don't have Thanksgiving, they don't even know what a turkey is!
Picture by Bitty B

I Promise I Won't Bite

Alright, I was a tad over the top yesterday, with the rant to the unseen. My apologies for the vitriol; though the sentiment is still valid I could have been nicer. Many thanks to Flutter for talking me down off the roof - she's the kindest, realest, most generous person I have ever met in Blogland, and Bea and I just adore her.

Evidently a lot of people are feeling the pre-holiday strain - many of the blogs I read yesterday had similar signs of stress. I didn't think I was stressing, but maybe I am - our family gatherings can be kind of volatile. Luckily, Bea will be going with us, and we are armed with many and mighty bottles of the lovely bubbly - it will either soothe the savage beast or initate an Ethel Merman sing-off - either way, its a distraction.

There is also another, darker side to the holiday season that I could never sum up as well as one plus two has - who says that while its lovely that folks want to help the homeless at this time of year, they need our help and compassion all year round. Have you given to your local food bank yet? They need our help, now and all year long.

I think I want to go over to lemonade and kidneys for dessert though - check out her FABULOUS desserts! I gained 10 pounds just looking at the pictures, and another 5 reading the instructions. When should I be there and can I bring a date?

Happy Turkey Day to All!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What am I doing?
What makes me think I can write anything that isn't drivel, that isn't trite?

Nobody really reads this blog, so what does it matter if I write or not? The only people who do read it, besides my friends, hardly ever bother to comment - these faceless, nameless people read my thoughts, look at pictures of my life and tiptoe out again, on their way to looking into someone else's window.

I used to do some of it as well, before I started writing; before Flutter asked all of us to delurk at her site. Then I realized just how rude it was, like rifling through someone's underwear drawer, reading their innermost thoughts and not making yourself known. Maybe that's the thrill - maybe you don't like having an accusatory finger pointed at you, but what you like or want doesn't enter into it, if you are nothing but a shadow.

Maybe you're someone who can relate to what I write, maybe you're some creepy pervert who's ogling my children - its hard to tell. Maybe I have just pissed you off - again, I have no way of knowing, so its really hard to give a damn.


After spending almost 3 hours trying to upload a damn video clip to this site, with ZERO success, I'm thinking there isn't going to be damn blog today. Supposedly its OH SO EASY to upload, but either the video clips are of the wrong type (they SAID AVI was OK) or the blog site is just not working today (and it wouldn't be the first time).


It doesn't help that my kids are home today, being, well, kids. But it doesn't make it any easier to concentrate.

I am very grumpy right now.
There will probably be yelling.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Turkey Tapdance

Later this week we will all be assembling for one of these:

For some of us, this is the bi-yearly conflagration - where the idea of having to go home and co-mingle with the objects of our disfunction, is enough to produce a stomach ache, raging insomnia, and a self-introspection with our closest friends that amounts to either ranting about WHY we don't want to go home, or just the pre-game mantra of "I don't want to go".

That could all be said to be true of my own family (and maybe yours?), but in the past couple of years, we (the siblings) have undertaken to rotate the hosting of the dreaded Turkey Day, in an effort to keep the stress down, as well as eliminate those last minute phone calls from my mother (when it was at her house), asking you to pick up beer, soda, clementine tangerines, bakery-fresh bread, your grandmother from the airport; you name it - the more ludicrous, the more difficult it is to find, the more likely she would be to ask for it.

This year we're all going to my sister's house, so I am totally relaxed - YeeHaaa! There had been talk of a deep-fried turkey this year at her house, but the aforementioned High Maintenance Mom (HMM) threw a little (for her) tantrum about it. So now, its the roasted variant. My poor sister - she is a far nicer person than I am, although I suppose, we all take the hit in the different ways.

When we had Thanksgiving at my house, two years ago, my mother insisted on coming over early in the morning to prepare and put the turkey in the oven - evidently I am not to be trusted with the job of roasting a turkey - so she was in our Kool-aid bright and early that year. Nothing that can't be remedied with copious imbibing. Weird thing-I hardly ever drink more than a beer, or a margarita, except at family functions, (guess what kind of dysfunction we are!!!) where it is imperative to begin anesthesia upon arrival.

If this seems strange, you should watch the movie Home For The Holidays - other than the gay brother, they have us pegged. (Random random fact about me - I love movies and quoting them. Don't get me started, it can get ugly.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Passing Season

I took a picture of this place, from a slightly different spot a few weeks ago. since then, I've been watching the color change and become more dramatic, almost daily. I think its finally at the peak of what its going to do, so here ya go:
Try comparing it to the earlier shot, you'll see just how much color change there has been. Pretty cool. The changing seasons caught in the act!

The boys were with me this morning when I took this picture. They hadn't gotten out of the car at that place before and were all impressed with the old bridge that sits below the newer one. The newer one was built after Hurricane Fran, because the older, and much littler bridge was done in by the torrential rains that not only came with Fran, but had preceeded it, for most of a week prior.

With the sun off to my right, and not directly on this area, it doesn't look nearly as vivid as the other pond shot, which was nicely lit up. Not that I really have time to do it, but it would be interesting to stay out there all day, shooting different variations of the same place, as the sun passes over. I know, its the kind of compulsive thing only an artist would find pleasure in - a hundred pictures of the same place, at different times of day, maybe even weather. Its sort of like trying on shoes, or dresses for a formal occasion - they aren't all going to fit right, or look right - you have to try on a bunch.

The heating guys are here today, putting in the new heater/ac system. Oh Happy Day! As picturesque as a fire can be, it doesn't heat the whole house, and its way too much smokiness and dryness for my seasonally outraged sinuses (they don't call me "Kaa" like the snake in the Jungle Book because I'm skinny - hahahhaa, hair is skinny, does that qualify me?). I think we may have to give up our first-born to pay for the new heater, but what the hey!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Me Me Me Me Meme

Flutter has tagged me with my very first meme (what exactly does that stand for? ), for which I am so very honored; at the same time I'm having chain letter PTS. But she says I can do it, and really, once I looked at the rules, it wasn't so very bad.
Here we go!

These are the rules:

*Link to your tagger and post the rules.

*Share seven facts about yourself, some random and some weird.

*Tag seven people at the end of the post and list their names. (Seven??? I don't think I know seven. Can I just do one? Its that chain letter thing again...)

*Let them know they were tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.


1) I am a really bad loser at board games, even when I play kids. In the early days of my relationship with my husband we played monopoly together and I won. I was horrid - I laughed in his face. He's always said since then, that if he had won, we would never have "hooked up". He might be right - isn't that awful?

2) I am the epitome of Scary Cat Lady, and proud of it! We currently have...steady yourself...Eight Cats...I know, its obscene. We go through 20 lbs of top shelf cat food every month (because I am an overly indulgent Scary Cat Lady - and it cuts down on the, ...ahem,...refuse...that I have to clean up, though I'm working on training my two-legged cats to help out there (oh! those are kids????) I don't really want eight cats, but its really, REALLY hard to say no (for me, anyway) to some poor little skeleton off the street. I even have pictures of cats I used to have, framed and sitting on tables around the house.

3) I want to be a fabulous photographer when I grow up, but when it comes to having to learn all the intricate stuff of the really cool digital cameras, I turn into my dad, and want someone else to read it and explain it to me (its so sad, to see genetics in action, sometimes).

4) People always laugh at me, when I tell them how, as a child, during nap time, I would stand up on my bed and do show tunes, instead of sleeping. Even though I didn't know any real show tunes. (See? you're laughing...shut up)

5) I'm the more popular parent these days, and secretly (well, not so secretly now!) I like it that way. when the Hub-man was the Big Cheese (when the kids were toddlers), I was kinda jealous. I know, I'm a bad, petty person, when it comes to being popular with the kids. I AM more fun though...!

6) I'm afraid that I will run out of things to write about on a blog, and give it up after a few months. Then I won't be able to show my face in Blogland anymore (this goes back to that popularity thing again, I think).

7) I love to cook, but I hate to HAVE to cook. If I didn't have to make dinner, it would be more fun to do it (it wouldn't hurt to have children who didn't say, "EEewwww!" every time we tried a new dish, as well, but HeeYahh! That isn't gonna happen! Not on this planet.) I don't like to follow recipes - it takes all the fun out of it. I want to be that guy who comes to your house and creates a gourmet meal out of Gino's pizza rolls and a can of Spam. (although that would take some doing, using that shit as a basis!)

And there you go! Seven random (and I mean RANDOM) facts about me, the tapdancer.

Wow - I never even mentioned that I tapdanced once, on stage, under hypnosis. Talk about your subject-related randomness.

So now, I am passing the meme torch on to....Bea, over at Trapped Under Something Heavy, who informed me today, that she had never heard of a meme - what the hell am I trying to do to her???

I told her Flutter did it (was that wrong?)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just a quickie, something Ms. Q told me yesterday, as only she can:

A couple of cannibals took over a circus
and began eating the circus folk.
When they got to the clown,
the one cannibal asked the other cannibal,
"Does this taste funny to you?"

I know, its funnier when she tells it - I have the curse of killing jokes.

It reminded me of Steve Martin's joke about being funny:

People ask me, "Steve, how can you go out on stage and always be funny?"
Well I'll tell you-
Before I go out on stage every night, I put a piece of balogna in each of my shoes.
That way, I feel funny.

Yeah, don't worry, I'm not giving up my day job yet.

Beauty and the Beast

I'm posting this late Tuesday night, because tomorrow, on Wednesday, I will be up to my behunkus (ma butt) in small children and do-gooding at school. (It also sort of goes with the Sprawling Rant, so there ya go!)

Ok, ha-hum. Hah-hum...(clearing my throat) (oh right, like you don't need to ever get into the mood- What. Ever.) (and yes, Bea, I'm making the finger gesture you have coined, right now!)

I love Fall! It is really my favorite season, in spite of being so close to the hectic (and depressing) mayhem of Christmas. Sometimes it seems we are in such a hurry to get on to Christmas, that we miss the whole Fall thing.

Before the kids were in school, we could go for morning walks and watch the seasons change a little bit every day. We still do some of that, but its on the drive to school instead (see my post about the pond shot).

This picture is the view from my backyard. I love the crimson of the maple tree as it peeks from behind the stubbornly still-green pecan tree. Its been too dry for the really dramatic colors this year, but the maples can always be counted on to make the best show.

I missed this old tobacco barn when I got out and shot some stuff nearby, was it last week? After talking about it with the Big Gorilla Man, who also liked this place, I decided to go back and get a shot of it. It's going to fall in anyday now, it would seem, and with the fabulous colors of the trees, it was just so beautiful. I'm sure it won't be long before this old barn is razed, and yet another cookie-cutter subdivision takes its place.

Deep cute little town is rapidly disappearing, and being replaced with some generic "Edge City" that has no soul, no history, no pride in itself. It is no longer the small town where everyone was friendly and knew each other. Its very sad to me - if I had the means, we would be long-gone.

Ok, I promise to "hang by the neck" all day on Wednesday, "until I CHEER UP!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sprawling Rant

Ah, Progress! Growth!
All I know is that it makes my town look like this:

Instead of leaving it well alone, so it looks like this:
(Note the blurriness of this - it is a true drive-by shooting)
This house had a fantastically huge yard and a grove of oaks nearby, until the road had to be widened to accomodate the multitudes who have swarmed here recently. Somehow, it doesn't seem like a good or fair trade, but then, Im not the Fat-Cat developer who made millions off raping the land, so what do I know?

It still hasn't occurred to the city and town managers that all this growth is a BIG part of why we have no drinking water left, after January. I'm sure Fortune Magazine, who periodically reports Raleigh as a super place to live and work, neglects to mention all the problems growth has caused - congested highways that are sub-par, overcrowded schools, and diminishing resources. It does make it hard to sell the many million dollar homes in the area, when the prospective buyers learn that they can't fill their pools or jacuzzis; or water their brand-new sod yards. Over half of all the homes bought in Wake County last year were foreclosed this year, and they are still building more.

Why does it make me crazy? Why doesn't it make other people crazy? I don't know - I guess they don't love trees and open spaces as much as I do. I guess a strip-mall on every corner is more important than woods, parks, clean air and fresh water to them. Me? I want to find a million dollar internet business so I can get the hell out of here, before they issue Still Suits, like in Dune.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Well the guys got home from Richmond fairly early on Sunday, and they were so glad to be home - it didn't hurt that I had picked up a couple of awesome pizzas from Piccola Italia's the night before. Once you reheat them in the oven on a pizza stone, its an instant hot lunch! Needless to say, they were starving - a condition that, I hear, only gets worse as they head into the teen years - why did I want them to have healthy appetites again?!

I'm trying to make better food choices for us, so we head into Raleigh once a week to hit the Whole Foods store for hormone-free milk, cage-free, all natural eggs, butter, chicken, veggies (all organic or all natural), etc. Its worth the 25 minute trek, because not only is the food better for us, but its cheaper than the regular stuff in the regular grocery store. I love Whole Foods!

Here, the Bohemian (left) and the Professor (right) are caught in mid-ennui in the lucious produce section. I am over to the left, out of the picture, stocking up on Nittany Apples - an incredibly hard, not-too-sweet, kind of pear-ish apple from West Virginia that is only around for a few weeks in November, and only at my beloved WF. (Photo by Big Gorilla Man)

I asked Big Gorilla Man (a term used with love, by the by) to shoot a few casual shots while we were at the store; sort of a slice of life kind of vignette. Here I am in my favorite section of all: the cheese section. A moment of reverent silence, please...........

Right after he took this picture, some guy came up to him and told him that you can't take pictures in the WF.


Do we look like infiltrators from Piggly Wiggly, trying to scam a few secret pics of their store, in an effort to compete? Do infiltrators generally take kids with them on their infiltrating missions? My mind was teeming with questions- It also interrupted my profound and deeply spiritual reverie of cheese tasting, and there were some pretty good cheeses to nibble. I am surprised that the Bohemian isn't in this shot - he lives to go to the cheese section, so he can try all the samples. (he's getting a pretty sophisticated palate for cheese in the process)

Just a bit of silliness, really, the whole No-Photos thing, but it IS Cary that we were shopping in - the land of Insane Uber People, whose immaculate kitchens are never used for cooking, everything can be resolved with throwing a tantrum, and who cannot get off of their cell phones long enough to inter-relate with the world right under their noses. There is a saying around these parts about the canker-sore that is Cary (Center for All Relocated Yankees, and it ain't no joke, chile) - Find A Cure For Cary - I hear there were even bumperstickers available at one time. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a cure discovered yet.

It isn't that folks around here don't like outsiders - hell, I'm from NY (though we moved down here before the dinosaurs were extinct). It has more to do with moving in and, instead of embracing the place and culture you have moved to, trying to recreate the ugly urbanism that you left, replete with the ugly manners.(and yes, I am using the word Ugly in its finest colloquial form - ie; "ya'll are acting UGLY!")

OK, I have potentially stirred up the hornet's nest for the day - my work is done here!

Later, Ya'll!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Heady-ness of Flight

A Very Silly Cat - Also known as Scrawny Joe McAllister - the guy who jumped off the Tallascratchy Bridge.

The guys have gone to Richmond for the weekend, to visit the grandparents, also known as my inlaws. My very tightly compressed lips (darn! you can't see them, but trust me- they're compressed!), the lack of any descriptive passage concerning them, and the fact that I am here, instead of there should give you the heads up on how I feel about them.

Ah! A brief mental shake, releasing all the negative energy....Ohhhhmmmmmm! OK, better. I still have a month or so before I have to confront the "Butt-Kiss God Lovers"... oh shit! Did I say that outloud?! (See how big I can make my eyes, in mock-innocence?)

So, anywho, as I was saying,...the guys are Gawn! and I am free...FREE!!!! For the weekend, anyway. Bea and I are going to leave the podunk-ness of our town, and head into the Capital City for a day of shopping (such a luxurious rarity) and top it off with a visit to our favorite Italian restaurant (even more luxury), where the best calzones and cappucinos can be had, around here, anyway.

I did start sketching out the beginnings of my first painting in almost ten years last night. With Ms. Q's gift of lovely new paints resting in my paintbox, I am nearly ready to begin. I had toyed with the idea of just painting all weekend, but with the guys gone, and money jingling in my pocket (well, in the bank, and jingling my debit card), and only a few more weeks until Thanksgiving (my official cut-off date for being done with Christmas shopping - I ain't gonna make it this year, by the way), I'm going shopping, girl! I might even splurge and buy myself a tube of Sap Green- my favorite color of paint. Am I lucky or what? (Did I just quote PeeWee Herman? I think I did...hmmm.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Ugly Wuglies

This is my very favorite picture of...ME! (Note the introspective finger position - I am contemplating world dominion, no doubt) My parents, from time to time, felt they needed to record our growth as children, so they took pictures of us. The individual portraits tended to be better pictures, but the group photos came out so badly, so frequently, that we have dubbed them, over the years, as The Ugly Wuglies (a term that was coined by my sister and I in respect to Cinderella's Ugly Stepsisters).

This is an early Ugly Wugly Group Photo, and we're still cute enough to somewhat overcome the abysmal photography. (OMG, could we be less harmonious in our color scheme? My brother's sweater is tee-iny and the blue sneakers really don't make my outfit. WTF is going on here, MOM?!)

Yet another shot, a few years later, and the worst part is the flash blow out (oh, and the continuing bad composition - how any of us developed artistic tendencies is a bit of a miracle, really. And if you doubt me, well you just haven't seen the nautical theme of my mother's living room - living proof that taste does skip generations.)

This picture was taken by a professional (go ahead, fall out of your chair and roll around laughing at the thought of someone calling themselves a professional with a picture like this to their credit). Evidently, we were so squirmy at this shoot, the photographer promised us ice cream to get us to sit still. So we sat, but like other traumas in my life ( eg; having my tonsils out, for no frickin reason) the ice cream was not forthcoming. Ice Cream Denial has really messed with my head, let me tell you.

This one was taken by my grandmother, at my father's graduation. My mother was very excited, and is particularly cute on this day. I cannot say the same of the rest of us - dig that Morticia Addams hair on my sister, along with the 70s smock thing going on. My own outfit, made by my mother out of (horrors!!) polyester, has to be the shortest damn dress I've ever worn - luckily my ass hasn't reach its legendary proportions at this time. My younger brother is giving his trademark toothy squint, but it does appear that his other trademark, his zipper, is closed, for this shot, at least.

We had this picture taken for Father's Day, about 1980. It is probably the very best picture ever taken of us. We were trying to emulate the stiff, serious poses of the tintype period; all except for my sister, the drama major - strike a pose girl! Even though the costumes are nowhere near accurate, it still has a great flavor, and sepia tone makes my skin look good!

And finally, another professional shot, taken at my wedding. My sister would have smiled more, but she did have two little kids running around at the periphery of this shot, like wild animals, so it was hard to focus. Other than that, its one of the better pictures of us - mostly because Dad didn't take it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Discomfuckulated Wednesday

Ah, Hell Day has arrived! I do my utmost to never over-schedule because it tends to make me grind my teeth, and since they don't fit in my mouth right anyway, that makes me bite the inside of my mouth, which if you've ever eaten an entire bag of caramels, and chomped on your inner mouth instead of the wad of caramelly goodness (or Evil-ness, depending on how you look at it- I dare not even entertain the question of how many points there are in a bag of caramels - roughly the same as a Big Mac?) (Whew, was that a long-winded tangent! Where was I? Oh yeah...the wad of caramelly goodness.) you will know whereof I speak.

So yeah, to sum it up... over-scheduling - BAD. But in order to have the heating and cooling people come to my house and bring a new system with them; actually SET it up, I'm gonna have to go do a little tapdance for the bank folks. I WILL keep my clothes on, in case you're wondering - Bank People aren't known to be particularly receptive to nekkid tapdancing - at least not while they're on the clock.

I will also be at school today, hard at work, undermining authority whenever possible. Needless to say, the first and second graders love me - I think they're pretty RAD as well. the stomach-clenching conference with the Fourth Grade Bitch,... uh, Teacher, isn't until NEXT week, even though I requested today ages ago, but Please, I beg you, don't get me started on THAT woman.

I have put a picture of Jezebel, my favorite warm and fuzzy thing, as a beacon to guide me through the day ahead. Hi 'Be-Bell! After all the crap is past today, I can go home and hunker down with my fuzzy little purr-machine.

Life is Still Good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Boyz In The 'Hood

The guys were standing close to each other, chanting something in a low voice. My curiosity was piqued - what heinous saying had they picked up during recess now! I had to push my way into the huddle to hear what it was they were saying. It went like this:

"Yo yo yo
I'm a Silk Worm, yo
And I like to
Poop out silk,

I like to eat
mulberry leaves,
washed down with a glass of milk.

Yo yo yo
I'm a silk worm, yo
and I like to
poop out silk,

I spin my web
to make your threads
I'm a Home Boy that's fo sure.

When I asked where they had heard this enchanting little ditty, the Professor informed me that he had made it up. Yes, I am biased, but is that frickin cute or what? Of course, now I can't stop chanting it...

Yo yo yo... I'm a silk worm, yo...!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Drive-By Shooter Gets Out

I was so tickled with the way my last drive-by shots came out, that I felt I needed to do a few more. The old tobacco barns that were once so vital to this area's economic growth, are now mostly defunct and crumbling. What was once a major weighing station for tobacco leaf is now a burgeoning suburb of the capital city, and its rural roots are rapidly being swept away.

Even though I'm no fan of tobacco, its still sad to see a rural area stripped almost completely of its cultural and historical heritage, and rolled over with concrete and asphalt.

I shot this barn from across the street, from a grove of old oak trees. There must have been an old house here at one time, but all that remains is the protective ring of ancient trees that once surrounded it.

I believe that the field behind the oaks is still being plowed and sowed - there were sweet potatoes runts left behind last fall, after the harvest, that some of the poor but thrifty went out and collected. Not exactly like Ruth and Naomi, gleaning wheat in the Old Testament, but it still had a certain timelessness to it (and lest you think I stand upon some wealthy and remote pedestal, let me assure you that I ate a few of those gleaned sweet potatoes - my brother knows where to go for all the leftover field pickings, and usually has plenty to share.)

I had to go back and get out of the car to take this one, but its such a cool old building, that I felt it needed to be revisited properly. Coming around to the front and shooting the side angle put it in a different light and made it look like a completely different place.

Can I just say how much I love to take pictures with a digital camera? The immediacy of the results helps me to learn what I'm doing wrong and fix it, instead of taking the 15 rolls I've accrued over the year in to be developed, and then not knowing what I did to make everything look so blurry, and dark, but hating that I've spent hundreds of dollars on crappy pictures.

I love this house! It overlooks the pond I took a picture of last week and is just a beautiful house. I actually did get out of the car and climbed up the hill to get a better shot - luckily they don't shoot trespassers - at least they didn't shoot me, but maybe no one was home, so I got off lucky.

I have been told by my favorite house historian (Hi George!) that this house is a classic example of Georgian architecture. In his words, "oh my God that's Georgian; yeah, those chimneys, the hip roof and oooooooh the symmetry!....yeah that's Georgian...ooooh I love it! see how that roof goes flat and the chimney's on the corners....ooooh-ahhhhhh....!"When I asked him how old he thought it was he said "no way it was built in the 1880s - 1780's maybe but not 1880's..."

Aren't the steps going up to the front so cool? If I lived here, I would have to play dress-up a lot. "War, war, war! Fiddley Dee! If I hear the word War one more time, I'm going to go right in the house." (Oh shush! You know you would be playing Scarlett O'Hara too if you lived in this house!)

Okay, so now you should have a better idea of why I hate to see the 'burbs come creeping and infiltrating, and ruining my beautiful little town. I have focused on showing you this, rather than bore you with the details of my defunct heating/cooling system, and the hoops we will be jumping through to obtain a new system, or the even more stressful (if you can believe it) situation of absolutley HATING my son's fourth grade teacher, at the same time we're trying not to make his life any more hellish than it is already, by going all Outraged Parent on her.

Why not get all up in her Kool-aid, you might ask? Well, its because my own mother did that kind of thing, presumably to help me, but it made life much harder, because then my teacher punished me for the crap my mom pulled. We have our first conference with her (the fourth grade teacher, not my mom!) this week (Wednesday), and we're trying to go into it as serenely as possible. Depending on how it goes, I may be having a "Come To Jesus" meeting with the principal later (Please bear in mind that in five years of school I have never asked for a conference with the principal, so if I have to go there, I obviously think things are pretty bad) (Gack! it makes my stomach hurt just think of having to deal with this..."person" - I won't smudge up my blog, calling her what I WANT to call her, but you can play along with me; just go through the alphabet and think of something nasty to call someone for every possible letter! Ready, Set, Go!