Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It’s A Beautiful Morning….to-do-dooh!

My friend JAF was telling me about waking up at 3:30 yesterday morning, despite sleep aids (I love euphemisms. I even love the word euphemism.)  I told her that I wake up any time between 3:30 and 5:30. It is just the time that my body wants to wake up. She had a hard time processing this information. Actually- I think she had a hard time processing the attitude. For her, waking up at 3:30 is a terrible event to be avoided at all costs-even with the use of sleep aids.

Once my mind starts humming there is no point in laying in bed. It  has been my defining trait and my curse. My brain will get stuck in loops of endless lists, forgotten items, imagined feelings and great ideas- thus, my profile: “I think too much.” I often wonder if the inside of other people’s heads looks like mine.

I was reading Smith Kaich Jones’ post on why she blogs. She talks about looking for a release from her anxiety through blogging. While she has always defined herself as an artist, she has discovered that she is really a writer. I connect with her journey, it feels like mine….. right down to the plague of anxieties.

Relief from my spinning head is a wonderful side benefit, but I have found that the exercise of writing is really an exercise in creativity. It hones the skill of communicating what is the shared human experience. I am not looking for accolades, but I love the feedback because it lets me know when I have touched a nerve- the shared feeling.

So, here it is, 3 AM. I have been up since 2. It’s a beautiful, quiet, lovely and thought provoking morning.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Toy

Michelle's new shoes

Just checking out a new blog toy….. and inflicting it on all of you.sarah at the camp 2008

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tweet, Tweet

So I am trying to figure out twitter. I get how it works, but I just don't get it. Why would anyone want to keep up with my hourly activities? On a daily basis my life is pretty boring. If I start tweeting will it take all the mystery out of me? I mean really, if you get right down to it, doesn't my life look an awful lot like the photo to the left.... all dried twigs that need to be cleaned up and cellar windows that I forgot to close?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Would It Hurt You To Be Nice?

Photo of a bunch of NICE people. You might be thinking Charlie's Angels, but it is just me and my beautiful friends.

A high school English teacher told us to never use the word "nice" as it has become so overused as to be trite and non-descriptive. But it has also become a quality that catches people by surprise when it is encountered. How could it be trite AND surprising?

I found this post while surfing and thought.... hmmmm... niceness is something missing in our daily lives. I strive to be nice which is often a struggle. It requires putting other people's needs before your own. But I know that it is what makes me ultimately the happiest.... especially when it gets reciprocated.

Yesterday I was IM-ing with a friend. I was having a bad day. I ended my rant with "I am unloved and under appreciated." She shot right back with "I love you." It just made me smile and changed my mood immediately.

I am thinking that niceness is underrated.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I don't often indulge the tics, flaws & quirks of my brain. Otherwise I would be left walking back and forth between my car and the kitchen to see if I turned my coffee pot off.

I am sharing this personal obsession because I have found a fellow traveler in my father. He came to a party at my house a few weeks ago and stayed overnight. The next morning during conversation he approached the microwave to reheat his coffee. I had to help him because every control panel is different.

"How much time?"

Pause. Deep thought.

"I usually put it in for 44 seconds," I suggested- knowing that my question had initiated a chain reaction of questions in his head. Do you set it at Hi or Medium? Is it a powerful microwave? Will it make the coffee mug too hot to handle? In my family questions just cause the brain to retreat into further indecision. "Or how about 33?"

Then we both had to admit that choosing a microwave time amount is a big choice. It has to be the right number or the day is bound to go wrong. 30 seconds or one minute are not times that portent a good day. My father & I shared our favorite numbers. I often go for the doubles- 22, 33, 44, but recently I have been picking odd numbers- 47, 49, 1:27.

It is a relief to know that I am not such a weirdo after all. Or is it just my family?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kitchen Magic

This photo is to convey to my boyfriend that in his absence I am both eating food that requires cooking and cleaning the pans afterwards.

My boyfriend is the world's best housekeeper- bar none. He knows every tip to make your world cleaner, safer & more efficient. He leaves Heloise in the dust.

One of his tips is to use the tin foil liner from the broiling pan to scrub the scunge off the rack.... so as to not scunge up the dish scrubby too much- sort of pre-scrub descunging.

His other big tip is to turn on the overhead light so that I can actually see what I am suppose to be cleaning. I am pretty sure that in the wild I would be dead within weeks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pretentious Enough For you?

I watched the Westminster Kennel Club Show. It holds the same, sick sway over me as ballroom dancing. What can I say?

I saw the PBGV (which I previously have intimated might be the key to my lovable mutt's background) entry and learned how to correctly say Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. It has one more syllable than I thought.

Peh-TEET Bah-SAY Grif-ohn(say way high and in back of your palette) Von-DEE-on.

Kinda' makes you feel like a viscountess-hmmm?

My Dog Is Gifted

In the past I have mentioned that Henry is untrustworthy off leash which means he needs to be tethered at all times. I thought I was going to have to give up cross country skiing when I gave up on training him to stay with me- or at the very least to come when called. Of course, it is inconceivable that I would go outside without him and equally inconceivable that I would just take my chances that he would return home safely if he ran off (pretty much 100% guaranteed).

Then a friend suggested skijoring. This sport basically hooks a dog up to a skier with dogsled equipment, which the dog then uses to pull the skier. Mind you, the thought of my 32 pound terrier/hound/whatever mix pulling a full grown person is ridiculous, but it serves as a much safer way to attach my dog to me while I ski. My previous method of just tying a piece of rope from my waist to Henry's collar was painful and potentially dangerous.

Skijoring for Henry & me has met with mixed success. His DNA tells him to run back and forth in front of me to partake of the fabulous smells on both sides of the trail and to stop suddenly if something is particularly delectable. And, like most dogs he views my skis and poles with a bit of apprehension. If I start catching up to him, he will veer off to the side and let me pass, so that he is then following me. I have also had to learn to ski with a rope wrapped around and between my legs- the product of him zigzagging and me skiing over the line. It nevertheless provides both of us with good exercise, lots of laughs and fresh air in these long, winter months.

I am calling my dog a genius because despite his inability to learn certain commands, he has picked up the really necessary ones. He has also, intuitively, learned what is the appropriate behavior for a small dog being pursued by a full grown human on slick 6 foot boards with two pointy sticks. The most important command he has picked up is "run." I say this in a deep, loud and meaningful way because we are going down a hill at a pretty good clip and there is no time to dally. The tone is meant to convey that there will be "no sniffing" right now. He seems to get it. He also knows, intuitively, that if I do overtake him he better get the hell out of the way- and fast!

We have only had a few accidents- mostly to the detriment of me. Going down a steep hill he somehow got on the wrong side of a tree. We both came to an abrupt halt at the ends of the industrial strength bungee cord that attached us. It wasn't enough of a jolt to spring the quick release toggle, but enough to land me on the ground looking at a snow covered & apologetic terrier/hound/whatever mix. There have also been some embarrassing moments when nature's call didn't give me enough time to come to a complete stop. Poor Henry, en flagrante, trying to both shit and maintain his dignity while being forced to pogo along at the end of the bungee cord.

I commend my little pup for coming so far in his short life. From a street dog in Arkansas, to a not quite loved enough pup in Boston, to the wilds of NH where I am trying to turn him into a Husky. He has done it with verve and affection. I love my dog. He is gifted in many ways.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Inconclusive Voting

Well, the poll on my hair is inconclusive..... but this faboo photo of me by Julia Newman has helped me to come to a decision. This was taken this past summer in my short, short phase and I kinda' like it. Even though a friend tells me it screams "lesbian, lesbian." I think I am ready to fend off the advances. And, well, it isn't like I was fighting off the men when I had long hair so chances are nothing will come to pass. Besides, I am long past caring what my exterior appearances scream. If people want to know, they'll have to come talk to me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Artistic Savant

I am not talking about the artists whose work is pictured.... it is just the only picture I had of some art.

I was driving to work yesterday and was thinking of all the artists who have called to make sure my gallery/business is doing okay. I know they like me, but I am also an important cog in how they make their livings. Nevertheless I am touched by their concern. We need each other.

My mind turned to all the artists out there who are struggling to meet their bills. One in particular came to mind. He mentioned that in about 3 months he will have no more work. His commissioned pieces are generally stacked up for a year. He is highly skilled and esteemed. But my biggest concern is I can't imagine him doing anything else to support his family. Working in a factory?- he would be useless on an assembly line. An administrator for a non-profit?-I don't think he could take or give directions well. A truck driver?- he would wander off the road looking at the landscape.

He has one skill set and one skill set only. He is an artistic savant. When I thought of that I almost fell to the floor laughing. I am so funny. Besides - there is nothing left to do in these tough times but laugh about it and keep on plugging.

Which once I have wrapped my mind around the whole stimulus package I will no doubt have a whole post on the role of the arts in our economy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cooking With Gas

I am a terrible eater. Big revelation-Huh?

It isn't that I don't like food. I like good food, and despite my lack of the sense of smell I am pretty good at distinguishing tasty food from not so tasty food. Except for that one experience where I actually ate something rancid and had no clue...... LYC can tell ya'll about that.

My problem is that eating is one more chore in my day to get out of the way. I am driven by what my mother taught me is nutritional and what is available.

My boyfriend is well aware of this problem. He was disgusted with my refrigerator when we started dating. There was cheese, tuna fish, chicken sausages, and.... well, that is about it. The food was easy and kept my finely tuned, Ferrari of a human body going. He now fills the freezer with good vegetables and soups to keep me fed during his annual stay in Florida.

So... after my Mexican party I found some things that needed to be used up. (I also HATE the idea of food being wasted or thrown out) So what do you do with a 16 oz. container of sour cream? My solution to any surfeit is to make muffins. They are the great absorber of leftovers. Old rice? Refried beans? Jelly? Polenta? Sour Cream? Throw it in!

But to my dismay, it was a container of no-fat sour cream. Not just low-fat, it was no-fat. I tried a dollop of it. Blech. But I thought that putting it in with other ingredients would mask the chalky flavor. No dice. I don't know which one of my esteemed guests was responsible for this blaspheme of a food product, but I will track them down. Probably my health conscious brother and his skinny as a rail wife.

So what does this have to do with being a terrible eater you may ask? Well- I choked down all 12 of those muffins this week- those anemic, chalky muffins slathered with butter in an attempt to mask their flavor. They tasted like crap, but it was easier than pouring a bowl of cereal.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bed.....And Breakfast?

My boyfriend has been in Florida for almost 6 weeks.... and there are 4 more to go until his return.

This is our bed. He usually sleeps on the right side. I have found a replacement for him- books. And lots of them. This current pile is two New Yorkers, a Newsweek, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace and Volume I of "Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander. The pile ebbs and flows but it is my constant companion while the boyfriend is gone. I have even learned to make the bed around them.

I can't figure out if this is sad.... or just maturity. At least there are no coffee mugs and toast crumbs mixed in with the books.