Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I have a wierd toe.

I knew my toes would be seen today. I had to try on dresses to get the evaluation and approval of one the three dresses I brought home from Macy's. (It's the wedding, its all about the wedding from here on out.) The hot little black number by Calvin Klien won by a landslide. But to give all the dresses the proper showing I knew the shoes would be off and the contest I have been having with myself to see if I could avoid stripping off the toenail polish from my second-ever pedicure and just let it "grow off" was over. I caved. I searched out the nail polish remover and took off that last 1/4" strip of color from my pale clammy white toes. Only the big ones had any left, its been awhile.

But there it was, it hadn't gone anywhere the whole time I had steadfastly ignored it- that weird toe. Actually its a weird toe nail. Right in the middle of my previously perfect nail there this deformity I can only describe as an outward bend. A corner? A crease? A tent? Its small but its there. "Go to the doctor" you say! Well, it took me three months to get to the doctor to ask about those pesky chest pains so I am pretty sure this nail oddity isn't going to make the to-do list unless it writes itself on there.

But as I looked down, all bent over and my face scrunched up in self loathing a thought simmered in my brain and then rose to the top in a full rolling boil. Is this it? Is this the beginning of the "decline?" Have I started the process, officially of getting old and aquiring that kind of- shhh, Helen, I know you can hear me wherever you are but I mean this with all the love in my heart- old people- grossness?
Are my girls going to have that conversation- "Have you checked in on Mom lately? Is she- you know- showering regularly and is she grooming herself like she should?" And the other one says "Well, she looks pretty good, fashion sense aside and all but- I don't know, I'm not going near those feet if I don't have to! She's got that weird toe, ya know!" The other one nods with her face scrunched up like mine is at the moment and she says "Oh yeah, the toe- hope that doesn't run in the family!"

That's the story that played in my mind this morning and then I put that foot away in a shoe to keep my unsavory little secret safe just a little longer. There's a reason I go to the Asian girls at the salon in Meijer- when they talk about my feet I can pretend I don't know what they're talking about!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm way sneaky, I'm too sneaky for my ....

Well, you know the song I'm too sexy for my shirt...what? Who thinks up these things anyways! So, I haven't been posting much. It's not that my life has settled down any, crazy things still happen every day but you know me- if I don't write it down its gone. I've been busy! I've got company coming and a house that hasn't been spring cleaned-in years. I'm overbooked in all areas. A trade show coming up at work, a wedding that I, and Chinamommy (yeah, that's right, I remember co-ercing you into saying yes, probably the real reason you want to poke a fork in my eye!)are doing 33 arrangements for in the same week as the trade show. I may die-I do have high blood pressure you know! And, then there's this learning studio art gallery opening up that I have weaseled my way into. Oh yeah, let's not forget the drafting class I teach is being re-vamped into a technical drawing class and they "need" my input in revising it...yeah, catch me if you can, fellow professors....better put your roller blades on!
So what am I being sneaky about? Well, for one thing, I'm down here in my office posting but hubby thinks I am hard at work cleaning up this minor flood he caused. Ok, if you go by the version I gave him its really a major flood and as a former flooring expert I felt it my duty to apprise him of all the damage that could occur.

MOLD, I say, black mold under the carpet and wall. Carpet seams pulling apart. Water stains on the wood work near ground zero. "I'll be here all night!" "Don't worry, luckily- I'm good at these things. The carpet cleaner is pulling some of it up and I'm getting as much as I can with towels. The space heater, a couple of fans and the dehumidifier should get the rest!" I have the carpet cleaner running right now for sound effects. I ran upstairs twice for new towels. Truthfully, I am using the carpet cleaner- to get those two areas the dog pee'd on in the last thunderstorm. Been meaning to get that done before the company comes!

Yep, mischievous and devious, that's me. If only I had the opportunity to use my powers for good and not evil. Maybe some day. Excuse me now, I have to move the carpet machine to a new spot before the rotating brush wears a hole in the carpet. Don't worry- dry rot will explain that away if necessary.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I shoulda' been a writer.............

Do people ever ask for your help in writing letters? I get that once in awhile (Chinamommy)and it always starts with a whiny "Chris, you're so good at this...could you help me...." To which I reply, "Oh thank God, another opportunity to prove my value to the world...Please, let me write three!" I might have some self worth issues...Or not, I like me...just not naked.

So my friend at work was in despair. Her genius son who could dissect a molecule in his sleep had only one fault (well, more to her but she expects a lot, just ask her co-worker) he writes like he talks and he talks like a surfer dude. Kyle needed a letter for his application to medical school. A worthy cause.

Accepting my mission I was presented with an example letter from a different medical school applicee (not sure that's a word but I can't dissect a molecule either, awake or asleep)and was told what a wonderful reception it had received. Apparently the golden gates swung open and palm fronds were laid down for this kid. How would Kyle ever compete?

So I read it. First my face scrunched up like it does when I bite into a pickle. I looked at them, they nodded a keep going it gets better nod, I looked at them again, they were serious. I pretended I was, too. OK, I said, I think we've got this. Seriously, folks, it started like this...

A Peruvian boy lay bleeding on the gurney of this third world hospital...
and then it went on extolling how this young man's eyes had been open to his good fortune of being born in America where in he had superior medical care, teaching and learning facilities available to him. But it read like a quickly written, thirty minute soap opera. It was so bad that it became funny to me. I cackled. I was lit from within by a fire! I would expose this charlatan medical student turned writer for the charlatan tear jerker he was.

Later that evening my co-worker and her son received the following through the miracle of e-mail. It was my version of Kyle's Official Letter of Application. I am pretty sure its what got him in. I even included a true childhood story of theirs for authenticity.

A small Peruvian boy was losing blood. Doctors could not identify the source. As a new intern on the floor of this third world hospital I was left wondering. Wondering what would ever become of this boy? Why couldn’t someone, anyone just do something, anything to stop the bleeding? Realizing that I, Kyle (name witheld for Chris's safety), medical student, was having a moment of self discovery, I paused. I paused to wonder what had brought about this moment of self absorption at this in -opportune moment, while the small Peruvian boy still lay bleeding.

It must have been that connection to all that blood spurting out of that small Peruvian boy. I remembered a not so long ago time when I, too, was covered in blood. Not my blood, of course, I would have surely have died by now, once again , causing me to wonder just how did that one, small Peruvian boy have so much fortitude as to not have bled out by now? But I digress, yes, once as a small boy myself, although not Peruvian, I was in a similar situation.

Blood was everywhere. On the walls, covering my new microscope, covering my fish, even on my atlas, turned to Australia, where I had hoped to find an Aborigine wife in the near future. I had just had it. I mean had it. Had it with the nagging. “Kyle get your hair cut” “How do you ever expect to get accepted into little league with all that hair?” Have you sent out your letters of application to the coaches yet? You only have two more years to get them in! Why are you sleeping? Do you think a new day starts after every night? And what is up with that hair? I mean really?” So there I was. Even at just a mere four years old I knew I had to do something. I had to strike a blow for all young boys against parents who wanted too much.

I grabbed my plastic wiffle bat and held on tight. I rounded up for the big swing. When it came I don’t think my mother had any idea of what just collided with her eyeball. It was my screams that vibrate in my head to this day. Yes, blood was everywhere and I was screaming like my sister. My dear mother’s eyeball was hanging out bouncing around as if it were attached by crazy string. Even then I felt a strong curiosity as to the anatomy of the human body. How long could it continue to dangle? Would those nerves lose their elasticity? Could we just scoop up her eye and all those tendrils and just shove it back into the socket? I was willing to try except for the fact that I was just a small boy, screaming my American head off.

As my mother calmed me I began to wonder about my higher calling. She pressed a towel up against her eyeball, tendril and socket and then another as that filled with gooey blood. She hustled us to the car and lectured us all the while about using every situation as a learning experience. Her voice still echoes in my ears even over my own screams. I credit her with my drive and ambition as I haven’t slept a full night since. Not because of the guilt I know I should feel, but because of the ring tone of her cell phone as she calls me to ask me about my hair.

Back at the third world hospital filled with Peruvians, I was jolted into action. I grabbed that small boy by his scrawny underfed, malnourished shoulders and yelled into his Peruvian face “stop crying you sissy boy- before I pee all over you!” Well, at first he just seemed shocked at my tone. Then as the interpreter told his parents and him what I had said he seemed afraid. I am not sure what happened next as his not so small Peruvian father grabbed me by my American shoulders and hustled me out of the hospital and threw me into a dumpster filled with McDonald’s trash and medical waste. As I crawled out, picked off used needles and munched on a couple of old fries I knew then what my path in life was.

I hope you will consider my enclosed application to become a fry cook favorably. It would make my mother very happy. I am not willing at this time to cut my hair but would consider wearing a hair net.

Kyle (name withheld to keep me safe from liability)

So today, Kyle is taking his boards. (Yeah, I know, where's he taking them to, right?) I hope he does well. As I have mentioned to him several times now, I hope he specializes in cosmetic and plastic surgery. And, I hope he gets done quickly so I can use his skills to my advantage before its too late! Congrats Kyle! (and congrats on the upcoming nuptials to that great girl, pretty good for a surfer dude!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Very Big Secret Exposed

This is a new piece that is a gift for a friend of mine, you may know her as Chinamommy on her blog. What is it you ask? Well, let me first give you the background of us.

"Us" met at a carpet store where we found we had been tricked by the sign outside declaring "Designer needed" Hah! Needed for torture through stagnation, perhaps! Now, I don't want to say we took that place by storm but really, I could. It was a sneak attack, a few tricks on the manager, a lot of hiding under our desks from real customers, a couple of intercom dedications.... HEY, carpet is boring!!!! Did I mention the pregnancy test in the bathroom and the subsequent announcement to the manager that I was preggers? M. stood up for me though, she claimed to be the father to save me from the shame of being 34 and not understanding the need for regularity in birth control. What? Merely my solid belief that I was not meant to have children and another solid belief that I would not be able to cultivate an egg into a human-not enough to actually prevent the event? ASTOUNDED, I was!

Well if that gives you a little insight into our relationship let me also explain that somewhere along the way we discovered we had a tendency to replace words in songs with what we thought they should say. To us "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John became "Tiny Pole Dancer"

Yes, I decided to celebrate all that is Chinamommy I would create a statue-ette in her honor. Not just any statue-ette but the grandmother of them all! (Because I have no other obligations in life, right now!) I e-mailed her, "If you could not choose brunette what other hair color would you choose?" The reply "Pink, no really, cotton candy pink! DONE! Cupcakes are a theme of hers, had to be integrated in- ok, as I see pink and red developing as a color scheme, "Cherry Cupcake" will be our little dancer's name. And, she will carry a cupcake and wear ruby red Mary Janes because Chinamommy loves Mary Janes. But she had to go and say she had a fetish for argyle knee hi's, didn't she? Damn, those were a bitch! So for revenge I added "Teddy" her real life dog she bought for her daughter. Unfortunately for her, as she really doesn't like dogs, Teddy won't leave her alone while the child is at school.
I have been in love with "Cherry Cupcake" since I painted her face on and its been killing me not to share pictures of her progress. I even tried to give her hints but she wants to be surprised so until she was finished I could not share with you all the gloriousness that is "Tiny Pole Dancer, Cherry Cupcake". But here she is!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Are dryers supposed to sound "crunchy" ? Just wondering........

Monday, March 15, 2010

I've got nothin', folks, nothin!

Except for this conversation I had with my hubby. You've had these conversations with your man, right? Please say yes!

Setting the scene- we're painting the tall wall. The wall by the stairs that goes up while the stairs go down. It's been needing to be painted for the six years we've lived in the house and finally with new carpet going on the stairs it became a must to rent the scaffolding-finally. So he's up on the scaffolding which makes me nervous. He is the breadwinner right? Or at least the one in the family that can make the cars run and the driveway clear of snow. I need him. But at 6' and 230, he's not what you would call graceful.

As I'm watching him try to be so very careful as he reaches far over the safety rail into the corner where the paint changes to another color I'm thinking do I tell him now that we're painting that wall so not to bother being so careful? Do I really want to tell him that and bring up the ensuing "debate" where he questions why it needs to be painted- do I just try to do everything the hard way to make his life more difficult -even though I will be the one painting it. And why would it be a different color? Yeah, folks, you explain "accent wall" to him- I'm 41 and after 20 years of marriage to someone who only thinks about decorating when he thinks its time to tell me what I'm doing is wrong, I'm not really up to it. Wow, I wish he would have set me straight before the 40 grand I dumped into my bachelors degree-in-interior design!

But as he leans over yet again I hear this whiny little voice in my head saying "OOOHHH, so dangerous....ooooh...." See, I do have a heart, because the other voice in my head was saying "just a little push....after all the scaffolding was rented, how were you to know it was faulty...."

"Honey, don't worry too much about that corner- that wall is going to get painted anyways."
"I said, don't worry about that wall, it's going to get painted a different color, so you don't have to be fussy"
"What? It's got to be painted? Huh?"
"Yes, but not that color, so don't worry about it , I'll take care of it!"
"Well why don't I paint it now, that doesn't make sense!"
"Because it's another color."
"Another color? it is?" He's color blind and an interior designer.
"Yeah, I painted this tan about 4 years ago after we moved in."
"It's always been this color"
"No, it was pink, we had a pink dining room, so I painted it."
"It wasn't pink, the bedroom was pink but this was white."
"Actually, the bedroom was white with pink roses pasted on the wall and pink carpet, this room was a soft baby pink, I have pictures if you need to see them...but it doesn't matter, I just said not to be fussy in the corner to make things easier for you! Don't worry about it!"
"Well, why don't you paint it while we have the scaffolding here- that would be the smart thing to do!"
"I thought, if I had time, I would paint that area while the scaffolding was here, but I really didn't want to bother you with it and if it happened great and if not I'd use the ladder that I used the first time I painted it 4 years ago when it used to be pink and I made it tan!!!!"
"I'd paint it now while you have the scaffolding, that's what I would do."
"Wow, that's a good idea. So glad I brought it up."

Just a little push, really, no one ever has to know....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Great! Just great!

I just checked in and immediately noticed I had a new follower, Tallulah Belle. I thought-I'm going to send her a note right away to thank her and say hello- right? Well, a screen popped up that said I had to join or sign in and I thought that meant that I had to be a follower of hers to leave a message so I "joined" and another screen popped up and said "Congratulations, you are now a follower of Chronicles of an unusual girl named Chris". YES, that's right, I am now following my own blog. Way to say thanks to Tallulah Belle! I think I need to go to bed and fix this tomorrow. I am way to busy to follow my own blog! Thanks and Welcome, Tallulah Belle!

Isn't this lovely?

My friend Kristi from posted this. I think its fabulous and have always been drawn to felt so I thought I'd post it. Felt takes me right back to when I was a kid and my mother was always doing some craft project. It's pretty interesting when I think about the evolution of crafts during her time. Her sources were Ben Franklin, the local five and dime and Franks Nursery and Crafts. Here's what I remember about Ben Franklin- the smell in that old musty building and the really old owner who followed me around because he thought for sure I was going to pocket some 5 cent wood bead with a hole drilled in it. See- even then I was searching for inspiration- pretty difficult with an ornery old guy following you around!

But back to Kristi (see- even when its about Kristi-its about me, go figure!) She works in upcycled sweaters and wool. I upcycled wool once when I thought I'd help with the laundry- we always washed in hot and I put a sweater in that I was thinking would fit me and when it came out my favorite teddy wore it instead.

Oh yeah, Kristi- She has this art "room" in her downstairs that would make you drool. It has everything. Well, it is less one thing....confession time here, Chinamommy said I could take that spool of wire home with me from your crop- remember I was deep into the bracelet and she said your wire was better than mine? NOT to rat her out but usually its me being the bad influence on her....

Kristi knows how to throw a crop, too. She had contests and presents. I'm still trying to figure out how to get those pictures of me off facebook because my ugly sweater fromt the ugly sweater contest makes a liar out of all those other pictures I carefully selected to make me look gorgeous to all my highschool facebook friends.

Yep, that's my post about Kristi. Did I mention that she looks like a certain celebrity from HGTV? Paige Davis, no less!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Once in a while I get that question- "How do you do that? How do you think of these things?" and I my instinct is to go in to the whole Lake Placid, alligator, mermaid and aqua car story again but can usually stop myself before they haul out that funny jacket where the arms tie in back instead of the belt.

How do we artsy people come up with this stuff? Well, I know that I have been this way all my life. Looking out through these eyeballs I never realized other people saw things differently than me. I can tell you I had to develop my imagination- I needed a pretty place to go.

As an adult I have learned to not look at things as what they are but to see them as what they could be. Turn them upside down or sideways- lay them down or hang them up- no one or no one thing is only just "one thing" every thing, every person has potential to be something else.

I find inspiration as you might call it just about everywhere. I search it out. Today I say a phrase in a book "Takes Risks". I thought- wow, I wish someone would label me that way. Then I had an image of my self holding a placard like they do when you are arrested but mine would say "Takes Risks" and the look on my face would be similar to someone who was realizing they were having their mug shot taken. Yeah, me take risks? I hope so but I still have a scaredy cat living in my heart.

Enough about me! Here is a source of inspiration I reference often-

I found Tracy Gallup at Shullers Book Store. Her book anyways. I bought one for Chinamommy as I like to share really cool things with my very good friends. She got it. She knew just how very cool this book was.

The text that goes with this India ink "poem painting" is

Do our dreams understand our secrets?

"Are things that never happened true?"

"If the earth is our home can we ever be lost?"

"Is there a song that is mine alone?"

"Who should I ask?"

So that's one source of inspiration I added to my library. Tracy Gallup is an author and illustrator from Ann Arbor, MI and has several other books- Stone Crazy, King Cat, A Crazy Little Series. I think she rocks. How about you?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thought I'd share some pics of my greatest creation ever- something my creativity had very little to do with- my kid! Yeah, yeah, I know there was a man involved but do we have to talk about him? Good job, hubby! Ok, now back to her- she's seven!!!! She sang in the bathroom that morning- "I'm seven, I'm sev-en, I'm seven!"
How cute, I thought, as my heart cracked just a little bit. Seven already. Next she'll be asking for the car keys.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Still waters run deep....

If still waters run deep then I am Lake Placid.

People have a tendency to make assumptions about me, I think, based on my appearance. Then at some point I surprise them by not being exactly who they categorized me as. I believe the category changes with the different people and is actually an interesting reflection of their own world view.

As I've mentioned before I kinda like to hang out on the down low. I don't readily verbalize how fabulous I am as it really doesn't come off that well. Plus, I like having the upper hand of knowing more about the other person than they will ever know about me. Its a control thing. With my husband I like to claim "I am the queen of witholding." Well-not to him- because why would I reveal that important bit of intel, never divulge more info than you have to! More in passing, when I speak of him, usually when I am really pist and I have to call one of my girlfriends to go over in detail just exactly why I am so upset.

But how do you explain to people- yes- I am Lake Placid, but my Lake Placid is the one from the movie where Betty White has started her own alligator farm- but before you get too frightened- Nessie from the Lach keeps the alligator population down a bit so the mermaids and mermen can travel safely to and fro. I know this because the little man who drives the aqua-car telegraphed me the message that all was well with the merpeople just the other day. He was on his way to the center of the lake where the secret door to the middle world is hidden by a large bunny shaped growth of coral.

Yeah, maybe its better I let people draw their own conclusions about me.