Low Country Paintings

 

As if there weren’t enough weight in this world, the dire news of our climate crisis has now landed. But we already knew this, right? I mean – a person would have to be a complete fucktard to deny this science, right? Right.

 

For a while now, I’ve been obsessed with the eastern United States’ Low Country. Something about the area’s beauty has gripped me. Fear of it disappearing forever swirls, too. And I’ve been working on a series of paintings featuring my own visions of the Low Country…

 

Low Country Peace

 

This one came first, and it’s my favorite.

 

2 Low Country Paintings

 

These two little paintings were next. I want to go to there.

 

Low Country

 

This one caused me grief. It just didn’t want to cooperate and I nearly drop-kicked the canvas more than once. Then my sweet friend Gwendelyn suggested I change one simple angle and it made all the difference. Go figure.

 

The thing about these paintings, for me, is the uncertainty of what’s going on. Is a storm a-comin’? Or are the clouds clearing out? I suppose it depends on the mood of the viewer. Speaking for this viewer, there seems to be a never-ending storm on the horizon.

 

And yet, still, no rain.

Summer in the Rear View

 

Mikki in a Mirror

 

Another summer has passed and I’m not sure I’ve anything to show for it. It wasn’t wasted, mind you, but I can’t claim to have bettered myself. Honestly – if I weren’t writing this post, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. But when you take an assessment, details – or the lack thereof – become apparent.

 

Happy Birthday, Gwendlyn!

 

On one fine summer day, my friend Gwendelyn persuaded me to go register voters with her, south of L.A. She does this on a regular basis, because she’s a giver. But me? Not so much. It takes a lot of energy for me to interact with strangers and as I’ve been dealing with a fair level of anxiety for the past few years, I’m reluctant to engage with people I don’t know. But Gwendelyn is persistent. And she’s one of my very favorite souls, so I agreed to accompany her. In a very red part of the state. (I’m a proud liberal, don’t you know.) So there we were, trying to get people to give a damn, and Gwendelyn was dealing with more than her share of push-back from people who didn’t seem too thrilled with her Obama t-shirt. I was wearing one, too, but for some reason, the flack seemed reserved for my friend. And then it was my turn. I asked some passersby if they were registered to vote and a lady looked my way and said, “You’re on the wrong team!” I don’t know what possessed me, but without skipping a beat I responded, “Oh – as Americans, I thought we were all on the same team.” The lady stopped walking, looked at me, stammered a bit, and when she was unable to come up with a reply, she turned and walked away. That was the worst of it. Otherwise, it was a fine way to spend a Wednesday. And you’ll never catch me complaining about being with my friend. She really is that awesome.

 

Gwendelyn Cake Topper

 

Speaking of Gwendelyn, that girl went and got hitched to a swell guy this summer. As she’s an amazingly creative person, she wanted something a little different for her wedding cake. So she and her fella got themselves duplicated and then she and I built a mighty fine cake topper. I think it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to make. And I think she and her Mister really liked it.

 

Pool Rules

 

There were more pool days than I can remember. A lot of them ran together, though, as Mister and I took it upon ourselves to scrape the tiles surrounding the top of the pool. All 1500+ of them. I don’t know how many years of mineral build-up there was, but we addressed all of it – by hand. We finished the task just as the summer was ending and the water temperature was dropping to an unsavory level, making it too cold to swim. It was a lot of work, but I’m glad it’s done.

 

You're Never Too Old...

 

Physical Therapy was a constant for me all summer, due to some tearing in my shoulder. My range of motion has definitely improved, and that’s a very good thing. The cringe-worthy pain has finally gone – thank all the gods. A little remains, however, and I still can’t move my shoulder as fully as I’d like, but I’m working on it. This particular injury has forced me to acknowledge my age in a way I hadn’t previously. Healing is so much slower now. And that sucks, friends. No doubt about it. But I’ll tell ya – I’ve seen some folks in PT that aren’t doing so well, so I’ll take what I can get. Really.

 

London Concert Day - Happy Anniversary - Photo by Mister

 

Mister and I had a big, fat anniversary along the way and we celebrated in London and Edinburgh. I’ll work on sharing some of that in a later post, as some of the sights, sounds and experiences seem worthy. But for now, you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you it was an awesome trip.

 

Mikki Dancing

 

This is definitely an abridged version of my summer. Some of that’s because I don’t keep a damn calendar for all of damned time, like a damned freak (ahem, dammit). Some of it’s due to my knowing that most of my summer was of interest to exactly one person – me. And even then, sometimes, not so much. But you know what? I still had fun here and there. I can honestly say that there were a few times I laughed so much, I cried. It’s been a while, y’all. Joy has been a bit of a stranger in my little world. To have her visit, and to assert herself, well, it was a gift. I’m hoping for more of that. Always hoping, at least…

 

Dancers Hearts

Edwardian Ball

 

 

Last week Mister and I attended the Edwardian Ball in L.A. I can honestly say that day was the first time I’ve ever uttered the words, “Don’t wanna be late for the ball!”

 

 

This all came about because I said Yes. My friend Gwendelyn invited us to go and the idea seemed just crazy enough to push me a little sideways. I’m trying to be aware that such moments are opportunities, if I only get out of my way and explore them. Hence the Yes.

 

 

Costuming was in order, friends. The universe was dialed up when I looked for a dress, I tell ya, as I found a second-hand, perfect-color, happened-to-fit dress the week before. It was rather nondescript, so I set to jazzing it up. We found some of Mister’s pieces at a costume shop, where I also rented the fabulous head piece shown above. Mister borrowed a hat from our sweet friends over at FlipBookIt and his look was done. We were set.

 

 

I knew Gwendelyn would come up with something amazing, but I didn’t have a clue as to what she had planned. When Mister and I saw her getting out of her ride at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre, we were duly impressed. Her fella – Chad – was none too shabby his own self.

 

 

The Ball itself was a spectacular, gorgeous, colorful spectacle of a spectacu-larrrrrr! The sold-out event featured over-the-top and under-the-radar costumes, covering a wide variety of themes. As I understand it, the Edwardian Ball was started by members of Rosin Coven with the idea of putting on an event aligned with Edward Gorey-like styles, as well as re-imagined Edwardian period costumes.

 

 

The soiree started in San Francisco, then began popping up in Los Angeles as well. This marked the 7th year in Hollywood. Lucky for us, the Fonda Theatre has a rooftop patio. More than once we found ourselves up there, taking the airs…

 

 

There were loads of steampunk aficionados…

 

 

And quite a few dapper dans…

 

 

There was live music…

 

 

And other forms of live entertainment, too…

 

 

Now I have to tell you something. I knew that Mister’s borrowed hat would be a hit. But I had no idea he’d be the belle of the ball! That guy posed for more pictures than I could count, and people just kept asking. To his credit, he did hand out our friends’ FlipBookIt bid-ness cards and he smiled and obliged each and every eager photographer. It was a lot of fun to watch, actually. And y’all – he really did look great…

 

 

Just as we were calling it a night and readying to leave, we came upon a goblin.

 

 

He asked me for a terrible story, in 12 words. Gwendelyn suggested a topic and I said, “I don’t wanna talk about her.” The goblin said, “6 more words.” I was mum. Mister then said, “She’s not a very nice person.” 12 words. At that, the goblin presented me with the currency shown below. He told me I could now place all the bad feelings about the barely-mentioned person in the currency and that they’d stay there. I thought that was pretty cool. I plan to keep it in my desk. I also plan to put any other bad feelings I have into that currency. Hope it works.

 

 

I’m so grateful Gwendelyn thought to ask us to join her at the Edwardian Ball. I’m so grateful I said yes. I don’t know if I’ll ever go again, but it sure was fun this time. And hey – the seats even held my initials. I think it was meant to be…