Beer Clug

 

 

Mister and I hosted a Beer Clug meeting this past weekend, and we managed some major damage, er, drinking. And eating. It was a lot of fun.

 

The meeting marked the first time having folks over at the new pad. Boxes are still in corners. The floor is half-stripped. The walls aren’t painted. We had to use paper plates because most of ours are still packed away, somewhere in the garage. This state of flux would ordinarily keep me from allowing the mail carrier a peek inside. Seriously, I’ve pretended I wasn’t home when the carpet’s needed vacuuming. But for some reason, I wasn’t phased. It was all okay. There was room for the clug members, and that was enough.

 

 

Maybe I’m finally learning to let go. I’m not sure. That would be nice, though.

 

Growing up. It does a body good.

Breathe

 

 

Nothing artistic about this morning. For I am about to have my breasts compacted by the force of a mac truck, all in the name of health and science. Go figure.

 

Maybe Charity’s tattoo can serve as a reminder. Maybe she herself can. It’s a beautiful design, you know. Life.

 

Gotta love it. Squished tits and all. Wish me luck.

Island of the Blue Dolphins

 

 

During my foot recovery, I am trying to get some reading and sewing done. Today I’m sharing the first book I’ve completed while being laid-up.

 

I didn’t grow up in California. I don’t know squat about the state’s history or lore. The things learned by Cali schoolchildren escape me.

 

I spotted Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins on a friend’s bookshelf and asked to borrow it. I’d heard of the book when other friends mentioned it as being part of their children’s school reading lists. I thought I’d give it a spin.

 

Turns out, this is a darling book about a real-life 1800′s girl in California’s coastal history. She ended up living alone on San Nicolas Island for 18 years. It’s an easy read, but does contain some very real loss (death), so it may not be appropriate for the youngest kids. But if you have a kid who reads, and you’re not living in California, look for this book for your child. This big kid really enjoyed it.

 

By the way, the tape on the cover is due to my negligence. I accidentally tore my friend’s book. I am now on the look-out for a replacement. Dag!

He Stopped Loving Her Today

 

 

The possum is gone.

 

If you’re familiar with George Jones, then you know what I mean. If you’re not, do yourself a favor and listen to “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” And please, really listen to the words. For this is one of the greatest sad songs ever.

 

I’m so very grateful he brought this song to the world.

 

May he rest in peace. Finally.

South Beach

 

 

We hadn’t planned to spend the day walking around South Beach Miami, but the opportunity presented itself. Fearing it wouldn’t knock twice, we said yes. Excellent choice.

 

We were with brand-new friends, freshly-met on a music cruise. They were familiar with South Beach, so we let them lead the way. Not only did they show us around and feed our faces with great food and coffee (the very best cortadito I’ve ever had, thank-you-very-much), they also fed our souls with great views and company. Mister was busy taking pictures and when he snapped a lady who lunched – and smoked – I knew I wanted to paint her.

 

After a week of music, cruising and frivolity, that entire day in South Beach was a bonus, thanks to our friends. But it was also thanks to us, for we could easily have said no when asked if we wanted to tool around Miami, and just waited for our flight at the airport instead. But we said yes. We got memories out of that yes. I got a painting out of it. Excellent choice.

Faithful

 

 

I’m still dealing with my gimpy-foot thing. Actually, I’ve not been dealing with it. Not very well, anyway. I’ve got another week or so of being laid-up, and today I decided to force myself to be still and actually recuperate. I have a few things I plan to do while being still, and I will enjoy myself, dammit!

 

But that’s not what I want to tell you about today. I want to share something that happened a few days ago, when I was out in the world and not at home with my foot propped up. I was limping out of an estate sale (where I scored a massive, unabridged dictionary) when the lady running the show reached out and touched my hand. She began to pray for me and my injured foot – aloud – and I was quite touched. She didn’t ask, I didn’t ask, and it seemed to be truly spontaneous and genuine. Her prayer was brief, and then it was finished. I thanked her, and she went back to eating her lunch. It was simple. And it only lasted a few seconds.

 

Crossing paths with that lady of faith was a bright spot in my day. I can’t claim to always have a lot in common with the truly faithful, but I do admire them. And I won’t lie here, that lady’s faith and her prayer affected me positively. In fact, here I am a few days later and I’m still feeling the glow.

 

Good people. They make the world go round.

Time – Sock It To Me

 

 

A friend and I were e-conversing and he mentioned that he was tight on time, that it seemed he had misplaced any and all spare time he might have had.

 

His thoughts got me thinking about time. About life. And it occurred to me that life is like a great, big dryer. And time is like socks. Who hasn’t experienced the lost-sock-in-the-dryer syndrome?

 

Time does seem to get misplaced, doesn’t it? It’s amazing. No matter how well-planned our schedules, time just disappears once in a while. Just like socks in the dryer.

 

I’m not giving up on time, though. I still believe in planning, and I still plan to set goals. Will I lose some time here and there? Sure. But I happen to love laundry day. I love the fresh smell of clean clothes. If the dryer of life loses a sock of time here and there, well, okay. After all, you’ve got to burn a pancake now and then.

 

Wait… Wrong metaphor.

Another View of Boston

 

 

 

The above photo was snapped by Mister when his buddy came to town. This shows Jack feeding one of the giant squirrels in Boston Common.

 

Many of the squirrels there have been desensitized to humans. On more than one occasion, I saw a squirrel climb a person’s leg for food. As I don’t feed wild animals (and I’m a total wuss), I never engaged in that sort of activity. In fact, when a squirrel did venture too-close-for-comfort, I generally freaked out. But hey, that’s just me.

 

On a side note, one night Mister and I were walking home through the Common when he commented on a cat in the street’s gutter. He was wondering aloud why that large cat was hanging out near a street drain, so late at night. All of a sudden, Mister pulled my arm and we booked it out of there pretty danged fast. Turned out that wasn’t a cat at all. It was a giant rat.

 

Ah, memories!

Her Name Was Christina

 

 

When I lived in Boston, I was a flight attendant. Mister was in grad school and my job paid the bills. We lived in a tiny apartment in Beacon Hill. When people heard where we lived, they assumed our place was super-swank (being in Beacon Hill and all). Swank it was not. In fact, Mister and I used to say that we lived in the slums of Beacon Hill. Didn’t matter, as I loved it anyway.

 

Many of my flight attendant buddies lived in a 2-bedroom apartment on Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay. A couple of those gals were fixtures and lived there for years, but the rest of the cast changed fairly regularly, as other girls transferred to other cities. After Mister graduated and moved to L.A., I was stuck in Boston for a while, waiting for my own transfer. That’s when the Comm Ave apartment became my commuter pad.

 

By that time, there was a new flight attendant living there. Her name was Christina, and she was a hoot. And a holler. She would regularly pull some little quip, tale or saying out of her repertoire, slaying us all with laughter in the process. There was the time several of us were wrapping up lunch and we made a group-visit to the ladies’ room. Christina took her turn after one of our gang, and as she entered the stall and closed the door, she said, “Chrissie – if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie.” On another occasion, she broke into song as one of our roomies returned from a trip. This particular gal’s last name was “Beaver.” For reals. When Christina saw the girl walk through the front door, she sang/shouted, “Beaver! In the morning, Beaver all through the night! You give me Beaver!”

 

Christina did more than make me laugh. She seemed so mature, so knowing, and I often consulted her about my being stuck in Boston while Mister was on the other coast. Though she was a few years my junior (and unmarried), she just had a grip that manifested as wisdom. She was smart, beautiful and funny. She was always up for a trek across the city to a gallery or a short trip around the corner to a pub. She was game. She was fun. She was deep. I trusted her. More importantly, I liked her.

 

One afternoon, I myself was returning from a 3-day trip and upon entering the Comm Ave apartment, one of the gals told me we needed to get to Mass General right away, as Christina had suffered a seizure. This girl had already gathered some of Christina’s belongings and was on her way to deliver the requested items. I changed as quickly as I could and we rushed off to grab the train. On the T, this girl told me she had been alone in the apartment when Christina became ill. She had called 911 and had gone to the hospital with Christina. By the time they’d arrived, Christina was lucid and answering questions. The answers she provided had surprised this girl and had left her at a loss. As she shared this private information with me, we both wondered how we’d known so little about our friend. Who was the real Christina?

 

We visited the hospital. Christina seemed embarrassed and our being there felt like a strain for her. Turned out Christina was bulimic, and the toll of her illness had been more than her body could tolerate. She would be in the hospital a long time.

 

My transfer came through, and I moved my few belongings out of the Comm Ave apartment for the last time. Christina was still in the hospital when I moved away, and, as email was hardly yet known, we fell out of touch. The last I heard, she had moved back to her home-state of Utah. I have no idea if she recovered, got better, or what. I suppose I’ll never know.

 

I guess Christina popped up in my mental rear-view this week because Boston is news. She isn’t the only Boston memory to surface, just one of my favorites. And no matter how or where Christina’s life may be, I feel nothing but fondness for her. I’ll always remember how she made me laugh, but more importantly, I’ll remember late nights at the Comm Ave apartment, the two of us on opposite sides of the room, in the dark, trying to fall asleep. Christina’s quiet voice, assuring me that everything would be okay. That it would all work out. Such calm comfort from that sweet, worldly young woman. A woman I never really knew at all.

A Photo I Love…

 

 

Since I haven’t photographed any of my paintings in a while, I thought I’d share art of a different variety – a photograph.

 

Sometimes I turn to old photos to remember. Sometimes I want to be an armchair traveler, visiting places in my mind. Sometimes I want to be calmed or soothed by the beauty of art. Photos allow me the privilege of all these experiences, and more. This photo is no exception.

 

I don’t remember if Mister took this pic or if I did. I do remember we were in Venice, Italy, and I love this photo to this day. And do you know I only just now noticed something for the first time? The statue dude is flashing a peace sign.

 

No wonder I love him!