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Monday, October 31

rewriting the cliché

OK, I was grumpy. It had been a trying day at work. A part time job at a theater sounds like perfection, and it often is, but Sunday had been a parade of problems and I was tired. And I needed to buy groceries. That task needed to be checked off the list of weekly chores so I could devote real time during the week to getting stuff done for the Christmas shows.

So, maybe I was a tad impatient as I tried to stuff a cauliflower the size of a small country into the fridge. Maybe I should have thought it out. But I didn't and so the new container of half and half that had perched precariously on the edge (sort of like my life lately) gave into the gigantic veggie and toppled to the floor where it popped open like a creamy grenade.

Instantly, I was standing in a puddle of cream. The hems of my good work pants were white. My feet, still in the black trouser socks, were white to the ankle and I was standing in the middle of it all. Our old house hasn't a level floor anywhere, so the milk ran to the back door, under the fridge, behind me, beside me. All of this as I alternately yelled for Russell to save me and cursed the heavens, the hells, the girl scouts, anyone who came to mind. He came to my aid with a roll of paper towels to make a paper trail upon which I could escape my mess. I hopped off, pulled off one, sock, then the other, grumbling, whining, self pitying. Stepped put of my soggy slacks.Now I am barefoot, wearing a sweater and underwear, Holding my dripping duds, I turned back to assess the situation and, probably wallow in some more poor me prattle and what do I see? Russell, on his knees, mopping up my mess and Scooter the cat sitting placidly at the edge of the mess, lapping it up, in kitty heaven.

Scooter seldom comes when I call. Russell almost always does. Russell knew I needed help, Scooter somehow knew there was cream on the floor. Whatever the reason, there they were and it cracked me up and I changed into my jeans and dry socks, made dinner and all was well with the world.

Laughing over spilt milk.

Monday, October 24

the art of economy

For a long time now I have been trying to understand this economic mess we find ourselves in. I know 2 things: the current POTUS did not cause it and (2) politics is getting in the way of fixing it. Other than that I am clueless. I did take economics in college. Well, I got a lot of rest during economics in college, but I remember clearly the instructor telling us that no matter how one tinkers with the economy, if left alone it fixes itself. Maybe I'll call the prez and reassure him, tell him to not sweat it, focus on the environment or health care or something.

A friend was set up next to another artist at a show last weekend who opined that we cannot raise taxes on the job creators. Now, the job creators, who I assume are the folks with the money, have had a break for a decade now and there are fewer jobs than ever. Obviously this is not the case. So I pondered this and decided to apply it to the art show life with moi being the job creator. I do pay taxes but the amount is so pathetic that for the sake of pondering, I will use show fees instead of a tax rate. Are you with me? Great.

The shows charge an average of 30-40 bucks to apply to a show, then, if accepted, the booth fees are anywhere from $150 to $500. When I calculate my profit after a show (as if!) I deduct the expenses like materials and fees. With the economy gasping for air, our sales have been less and less. Now lets give me a choice between cutting the booth fees (taxes) in half or selling more. Naturally I will choose selling more. To sell more, my customers need more disposable cash, need to feel free to spend money on whimsy instead of canned goods for the disaster pantry.

Hmmm...OK. Seems to me that the answer is to give tax breaks to the job doers, to the little guys, to retired folk, to the middle class. Because when I started this gig 15 years go, the country was rockin', throwing money at us. The job creators were not throwing money at me. Regular old people like me were spending. And the more they spent, the more I spent. I bought clothes, furniture, a car, food, a Golden Retreiver. We went on trips, filling the gas tank as if gas was 2 bucks a gallon. Oh, wait...

Anyway, folks like us are good for the economy because we spend our money and keep stores and gas stations and PetSmart and Holiday Inn Express in business. Job creators, it seems, sit on the money and wait for it to hatch.

Mr Obama, there is your answer. Give financial help to the spenders, the little people. The beautiful people who wander into our gypsy caravans longing to leave with something pretty. I promise, the money they spend will be spent again and again and again.

I'm tellin' you, I think I'm onto something here. Sure hope it works, I need new appliances.

Wednesday, October 19


This morning, bright and early and without coffee, I find myself yet again in a facility with nurses and doctors and solemn looking waiting room people and the smell of pine-sol and ammonia in the air. The usual furniture, this year's color appears to be teal, Are there no decent magazines willing to sit on waiting room tables? Is it only fishing periodicals and medical journals that get the nod? Where is the New Yorker? Vanity Fair? The Esquire Summer short story issue? I mean, it's bad enough without trying to pretend the price of waders is enough to hold your attention while you wait for your name to be called.

Yes, I'm digressing again.

So, today was a good thing. I was to finally get the sight in my left eye back with a simple cataract surgery. It has been 8 months of walking into people, squinting, searching for glasses. Even with all the reassurances in the world about how simple and painless this procedure is, I want it to be over. The endless questions with the usual answers. the IV, the unknown, the shower caps. and that smell. The smell that says "not gonna like this".

You get to keep your street clothes on but they still wheel you down that hall full of supplies (don't any hospitals have closets for this stuff?) and back you into a room with a lot of light and even more supplies. This brought back unpleasant memories of last year at this time, but I chided myself silently. This, after all, was to be a happy surgery. And it was. The only ting I felt was cold drops every so often that ran down my face. The visions were pretty cool. Dancing cotton balls, mostly 3D. Weird. And then a kaleidoscope of dancing silver circles as the new lens was slipped into place. They pulled off the drape that had been on my face. That was actually the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing. Then my little cart was off again, this time away from the bad place and into a curtained cubby with a window and a comfy chair where I was served..finally! and urged to relax for a few minutes. Russell came in, happy to see me, carrying my stuff and it was then that I looked, really looked out the window and realized I could see. Out of both eyes. I could see.

OK, the blinds were wavy and focusing was a tad odd. It was like twisting the lens on my Nikon. A tweak here, there, once more..Aha! But I could see. It had been 8 months , almost to the day, that I lost the sight in that eye. Boy, the world is wide!

Now, I have to admit I am a little peeved that the eye seems over corrected which means I will probably need reading glasses. But maybe it will be better tomorrow. we did, after all, have lengthy discussions about how this was my reading eye, uncorrected, just fine as it was, so please just make it as delightfully near sighted as it always was. The contact in my other eye serves for distance. My brain accepts this chaos and switches seamlessly from near to far to middle without a flutter of indecision. A person could pretend they had normal eyesight with this system (called monovision) It was perfect for a decade. I am sad to lose it mostly because I can't keep track of my reading glasses. For 8 moths now I have been unable to keep track of my reading glasses. You'd think a person would learn.

I admit to getting a bit teary about it this afternoon. I was weakened by the happy shot they gave me in surgery. I had been waiting a long time to see normally again and, it appears, that is not going to happen after all. So I had a short pity party. Until I remembered that besides the fact that I am lucky to be alive right now, I am also lucky to have regained the sight in my eye at all. What is wrong with me? Cripes.

I'm not sure whether to look up to the heavens when I say thanks, or directly at the assorted Docs who did the work or the sweet man who sits beside my bed/chair/table during all of it. But thanks I say. No more pity party. I'm going to buy the most kick ass pair of readers you ever saw and get on with it.

After I do a little jig to "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone....."