Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hormonal Lethargy with a Dash of Antihistamine-Glazed Eyes Produces Nostalgia-Palooza

I wrote this yesterday, but was too tired to check for errors (yes, I check. Shut up), so I saved it for later. I'm feeling slightly better today, thanks for asking...

I can't raise my hands above the keyboard. I'm cold. I'm hot. I'm cold again. Mostly, I'm holding onto the couch and eating chocolate kisses.

Other than being a little achy, I don't feel so bad. Just like somebody opened a drain in my big toe and let all the energy run out. And filled my head with cotton. No, packed my head with cotton.

Since I have no energy for anything else, I keep drifting over to the computer, and once there, not knowing what to do with it. So what did I do? I looked up my best friend from when I was a kid, and was shocked, no, freaked out to find that she was right in the Qwest telephone directory in the town that she was living when I last saw her twelve years ago. That was too easy. Now what do I do?

I guess the only right thing to do is to get back in touch with her. Calling her on the telephone is out (please refer to title of blog - an affirmation that is decidedly not working). I will have to write her a letter. How queer (definition 1: odd) is that? What do I write? "Hey, remember that time when we told each other we would grow up and marry Elton John and Roger Daltrey? Ha-Ha!" Who wants to be reminded of that?

I could write about my fascination with her gerbil "Tilly" (no, this was very pre-Jennifer Tilly). I can't remember where the name came from, but I thought it was a cool name. And Tilly was so small and cute. I wanted to take her out and play with her, but that was not something that was done, so I didn't. But I wanted to.

I could write about dancing in her family's big front room to her Monkees records when we were maybe 7 or 8. I still like to hear a Monkees tune from time to time. And I probably still dance like I did when I was 7.

I could write about our trips to my family's beach cabin in Florence (Oregon) (classy joint with an outhouse, complete with boogy man for nighttime trips). When we would roll into town, Mom and Dad would stop at the store to buy presto-logs for the stove and food to stock the icebox and let each of us buy a handful of candies, which would become our "provisions" for our expeditions to the beach (okay, we are not talking about beachfront property here - what, do you think money grew on trees? The beach was a quick 1/2 mile walk through huckleberry bushes and beach grass. This was no sissy cabin).

I could write about our trip to Canada a little later on, when we were probably around 13, wishing we were around 21, looking around 11, and feeling like hot, hot stuff. Oh, my poor parents.

I have a few pictures of a trip taken maybe a year later, when we went on an epic canyon tour, hitting Brice Canyon and the Grand Canyon and I'm sure many other hot spots where the two of us were much more interested in our looks than the scenery. That's the trip where I lost my contacts and had to borrow my mom's glasses whenever I wanted a glimpse of the world past my nose for a few days until a new pair could be shipped to me care of General Delivery, Podunk, Utah. My poor parents.

Our friendship withstood a lot of things that would normally end tenuous kid-bonds: first, her family's move to a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood when we were six, and when I was nine, my family's move an hour away (if you drive fast on narrow windy roads). Despite the growing distances, we kept hounding our parents for visits and writing lots of what I'm sure, if I had saved them, would be thrillingly artful and clever glances into the lives of pre-teen girls. I'm sure we thought we were being artful and clever. I only remember one rule of letterhood, and that was that all letters must end with the phrase, "and my ol' lady, she don't care!" - a reference to a bit of an Elton John song that had at one time been the punch line of what I'm sure was a hilarious pre-teen joke, now lost to the fog of time.

But the high school years were a little too teenage, a little too melodramatic, to try to bottle up all the angst and freak into a letter or a weekly call or monthly visit. Our letters and visits slowed and eventually stopped as we resorted to friends closer at hand to be our sounding boards and/or shoulders to sob into. As we soaked in more of our own town's culture, we were a little puzzled at each other's differences. What we thought could never change, changed.

Now we are way old. What would our teenage selves think of us now? I'm sure they would be appalled. But it sure would be fun to sit down with my old friend and a bottle of wine and reminisce.

And my ol' lady, she don't care.

A One Time Story

Some of the worst - and some of the best - stories start with the phrase, "One time..." such as, "One time, at Band Camp...," which, I have to say, as an alumni of a particularly awesome Band Camp, I have actually uttered in all seriousness on, I'm sure, more than one occasion.

I shall now regale you with a "One Time" Story that has nothing to do with Band Camp.

One time, when I must have been around 5 years old, my best friend's family got a new dog. It was a cute (hello, obviously) ball of black poodle fluff with barely visible black shiny eyes and a little black wet rubbery nose and smooshy curly ears.

My friend had one brother; two kids, one dog. You can imagine the life that this poor living tug-of-war prop had to endure each day of its ill-fated puppyhood.

Oh, my God, I just read that - doesn't it suck? Sorry.

Anyhoo, although most of the battles fought over the little fluff died out once his captors grew a little and turned to other forms of entertainment, one particular scar of the dog wars left a pain that the dog felt every day for the rest of his life - his name.

Since their parents were unable to take sides on who would be the one to name the poor fluff, they allowed the children to each choose a name, and he was then forever tattooed with the tandem thoughts of a five- and a six-year-old. My friend, being a lover of a good word (usually one special word at a time - a One Time story for later), chose the word that best described the subject at hand: Blackberry. My friends' brother, not being able, at 6, to give up his dreams of having the sleek, smart, action-dog he had seen on TV, with all evidence of the sort of dog in view to the contrary, chose Lassie.

Blackberry-Lassie lived a very long time, and every day was coaxed in from the yard, or called to breakfast, or rounded up for bathing, or just petted, to the tune of that name. I can still see the look on that dog's face, in his later years, when called by his name. He would just look at me, saying (I'm certain) "Can't you do something about this?" Unfortunately, as his must have been many times during his puppy years, my hands were tied.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I have half a brain

I have been experiencing a creative frenzy...well, not a frenzy, so much as relief of a creative constipation, so to speak. However, the creativity has all come upstairs, in my painting studio, and not in the form of words.

All winter I had so much to say. I thought about great new subjects to write about, couldn't help but start them, come back to them, massage them and rearrange them. But I could not make myself start any new project in my studio. I had painter's block. Now, the sun is out, and I constantly think of new projects to attempt upstairs. I can't concentrate on a book for more than 10 minutes. I think about ways to fix yesterday's mistakes, go back upstairs to just fix this one thing, and realize several hours have passed in the blink of an eye.

Is it that my brain can only be creatively active on one side or the other? Was this past winter the season of the left brain, and has the spring pollen awoken (is that a word?) my right brain, and in the process, stolen its creative juice from the left brain? Can I only work one side of my brain at a time? And do I have to wait another couple months for my left brain to wake from its coma?

You tell me. I'm no good at writing today.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Things I've been wondering

Things I've been wondering:

Why don't they make velour jogging suits inside out? I would wear them all the time.

Why do I keep blogging when I seem to be talking to myself?

Why do they keep developing new TV channels when there is nothing on the existing ones?

Who is buying all those "bestsellers" that are written so badly and haphazardly?

Where does God live?

Why am I such a spaz?