Holiday Bow Jobs: Supplies Not Included

adannn

I worked with a young designer once who, although she was incredibly gifted in matters of both design and detail, was rather innocent, naïve, and occasionally dim. I say that lovingly, matter-of-factly, and without the slightest iota of measurable judgment, I assure you.

Normally I would disguise her name as to protect her anonymity and honor, as well as shield myself from her scorn and revenge, but her very name is so apt in this situation that I shall no longer take the risk. I shall simply and most-fictionally refer to her as Beauxette. You, dear reader, may wonder most privately as to what proper given name could be so appropriate and quick to incite a blush.

One day at the office, Beauxette was preparing a holiday flier announcing her availability for home decoration and fluffing, as well her fee schedule to which she would gleefully add her hourly rate:

$75 to create a custom wreath (excluding materials); 
$250 to decorate a Christmas tree, or similar plantlife (again, excluding materials); 
$50 to create holiday flourishes intertwined in a chandelier; 
and $100 to create a seasonal mantle vignette (yep, excluding materials).

I think you get the picture, my friends. My friend offered a full-service holiday treatment for the home!

Needless to say, Beauxette knew her way around French ribbon and could tie an effulgent, gorgeous bow like no one I had ever or since met! Further, she adored Christmas and would certainly treat each assignment as if it were special and her only one … offering the job both uniqueness and full attention.

After completing her flier, she summoned me to proofread her rough draft, as I was the official grammarian at our firm. While she took a break, I corrected the few spelling errors, reformatted it a bit (perfectionisto that I am!), and started toying with various ideas for a better heading.

I had the naughtiest of epiphanies, if indeed there is such a mixed moment or sentiment. I typed in my fake title, with every intention of eventually returning to the project and creating a more suitable and tasteful banner!

I printed several copies and placed them on my coworkers’ desks, squelched any laughter, and awaited Beauxette’s return. She indeed joined me a few minutes later, read the “final” product, and was delighted: 
”Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”

She looked at me blankly as I finally let loose in an uproar that only could emanate from one as naughty as I! Oh my God: I was going to have to explain it to her! Reluctantly, I did. She was embarrassed, not because of any vulgarity but instead because it went right over her blonde, well-coiffed head!

She had no realization that she had fallen victim to (let’s say) the “aural” version of a trompe l’oeil moment.

Beauxette corrected the phrasing and we printed one hundred pristine tasteful copies of “Seasonal Stylings by Beauxette”.

She then hurriedly mailed them out, anticipating a flurry of responses, yet her efforts only yielded one such Christmas project. At least, it was for a full house of decorations, involving myriad rolls of festive ribbon and what must’ve been a mile of juniper garland. Beauxette did, however, share with me her reluctant irony in this matter. When she was finished, and her client was writing her a substantial check, she noticed her flier on the counter. As she approached it, she soon realized it was one of the original “gag” ones I had prepared. Neither she nor the client ever mentioned anything to each other about this most glaring of “errors”. She simply got in her car and came back to the office.

I, of course, was mortified: filled with mental images of humiliation, embarrassment, and tawdry discourse! Fortunately all was averted.

It seems as though Beauxette’s client was also innocent, naïve, and dim. In this case, I remark thus not-so-lovingly and perhaps indeed with a modicum of seasonal judgment!

“Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”. We all still smile about it, except for Beauxette of course. Then again, she was never fond of innuendo!

I think of my coworker often. That is especially true whenever I finish preparing a gift, with a particularly spectacular bow, with all its perfect and dramatic flourishes.

Don’t even go there, my friends! Don’t even look for the key to that filing cabinet!

(Image: “Red Ribbon” by David Stoupakis, 2006.)

Evelyn Opens: Ichabod’s Portmanteau of ShowPiece Piecegoods

Unlike any such purveyors in any such markets, Mr Crane’s renowned establishment is a distinctive,splendidly-staffed, and fully liquor-licensed Textile Gallery nonpareil. He is an eager merchant of the rare, of the impeccable, and of the painted.

Crane’s showroom swatches are drawn from gorgeously fabricated clothing, upholstery, and window treatments as depicted in paintings. The samples are divinely textural with hyper-detailed velvets, silks, tulles, Fortuny silks, taffetas, damasks, brocades. All the bolts are stunning as placed: perfectly arranged by color and “ilk of the silk”, as it were. Your senses will stirred beyond the broadest of kens and the most obscure of imaginations.

In addition to Hermione’s choices, the moderately-priced Scalamandre and Schumacher, customers will experience the lush, visual threads of many international designers:
Zoffany, Bonnat, Ingres, Parrish, Alma-Tadema,
Dvorak, Waterhouse, Klimt, Rochegrosse, Hodler,
Mucha, Millais, Bouguereau, Gérôme, among myriad others.
New arrivals are introduced daily.

Upcoming “Portmanteau Show” will be held on Friday, September Something. Latest introductions will be featured including the latest from the fabulous distinctive creations from several avant-garde design studios. This year’s participants pay both homage and nostalgic tributes to the provocative and divine examples of 19th c. Neo-Classicism, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Orientalism, and Art Nouveau.

Personal shoppers and models are available, including: Ann Boleyn, Jayne Mansfield, Catherine Howard and guest floaters.

Ichabod’s Portmanteau of ShowPiece Piecegoods
Open 12-4, Tuesday-Friday. or By Appointment

Another Exquisite Establishment of Evelyn’s Fine Designs
Managed by one of her other Personas
It is both a privilege for us to serve you and a privilege for you to shop with us.

Please: no smoking, no beverages, no tags, and no toile du jouy .

Yes, you are indeed correct. Mr Crane is a distant relative of the late great Edith Head, the design impresario. Obviously, there was a little grafting onto that family tree!

Her New Collection at Miss Nell’s Olde Bi-Curiosity Shoppe

Once a Favored Gallic designer, Edith Head-less is still centuries away from becoming the fashion icon of her inevitable, future legacy. Neither has she any knowledge of the many Golden Orbs and Pantomine Guild Awards she will accrue, the latter fondly referred to as the Panties.

Absolutely no other 16th or 17th century tailor-type could surpass her edgy vision, impeccable seamstry, and joust-stopping details on sleeves, epaulets, anywhere that could flash a bauble or bibble.

The drama of her legendary run-ins with the British monarchy made her name famous throughout the shires, at least until the glory days of Restoration glamour were long gone.

The casual reference to Headless’s surname has led to a great deal of Olde English slang as well as modern paraphernalia in Miss Nell’s Olde Bi-Curiosity Shoppe. Local Merchant Ambassador, Mrs Lovett, is working on new promotions to lease the remaining retail space.

The merchantress offers a great many styles of hoods, initially marketed by Miss Edie as Head Cozies for “men on the go”. They cleverly even doubled as overnight bags and/or modern skivvies for a proper Renaissance man.

We present the latest in men’s dress R-T-W fashion from the Renaissance era, including a humbolt of German, Italian, Gallic, Finnish, and French designs.

The collection includes daywear, evening clothes, and fashionable battle attire: exuding elegance in every situation. That Miss Head-less is a crackerjack business woman.

Lean back and let the boys do their thing. I, no doubt, shall be involved in yet another silly or whimsical venture. I bet you sense a pattern, Dear Friend. And please don’t chastise me for century-hopping.

I’ll simply let it be.

Ichabod’s Unlikely Salon of Visual Texture

While there may be such purveyors in most markets, Mr Crane’s renowned establishment is a distinctive and splendidly-staffed Textile Gallery nonpareil. He is an eager merchant of the rare, of the impeccable, and of the painted.

Crane’s showroom swatches are drawn from gorgeously fabricated clothing, upholstery, and window treatments as depicted in paintings. The samples are divinely textural with hyper-detailed velvets, silks, tulles, Fortuny silks, taffetas, damasks, brocades. All the bolts are stunning as placed: perfectly arranged by color and “ilk of the silk”, as it were. Your senses will stirred beyond the broadest of kens and the most obscure of imaginations.

In addition to Hermione’s choices, Scalamandre and Schumacher, customers will experience the lush, visual threads of international designers:
Zoffany, Bonnat, Ingres, Parrish,  Alma-Tadema, Dvorak, Waterhouse, Rochegrosse, Hodler, Mucha, Millais, Gérôme, among myriad others. New arrivals are introduced daily.

Upcoming “Portmanteau Show” will be held on Friday, February 7. Latest introductions will be featured including the latest in several design studios. This year’s participants pay both homage and nostalgic tributes to the provocative and divine examples of 19th c. Neo-Classicism, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Orientalism, and Art Nouveau

Personal shoppers and models are available, including: Ann Boleyn, Jayne Mansfield, Catherine Howard, and guest floaters, Judi Dench and Amy Adams.

Ichabod’s Portmanteau of ShowPiece Piecegoods
Open 12-4, Tuesday-Friday. or By Appointment

Another Exquisite Establishment of Evelyn’s Fine Designs
Managed by one of her other Personas
It is both a privilege for us to serve you and a privilege for you to shop with us.

Please: no smoking, no beverages, no tags, and no toile du jouy .

Holiday Bow Jobs: Supplies Not Included

adannn

I worked with a young designer once who, although she was incredibly gifted in matters of both design and detail, was rather innocent, naïve, and occasionally dim. I say that lovingly, matter-of-factly, and without the slightest iota of measurable judgment, I assure you.

Normally I would disguise her name as to protect her anonymity and honor, as well as shield myself from her scorn and revenge, but her very name is so apt in this situation that I shall no longer take the risk. I shall simply and most-fictionally refer to her as Beauxette. You, dear reader, may wonder most privately as to what proper given name could be so appropriate and quick to incite a blush.

One day at the office, Beauxette was preparing a holiday flier announcing her availability for home decoration and fluffing, as well her fee schedule to which she would gleefully add her hourly rate:

$75 to create a custom wreath (excluding materials); 
$250 to decorate a Christmas tree, or similar plantlife (again, excluding materials); 
$50 to create holiday flourishes intertwined in a chandelier; 
and $100 to create a seasonal mantle vignette (yep, excluding materials). 
I think you get the picture, my friends. She offered a full-service holiday treatment for the home!

Needless to say, Beauxette knew her way around French ribbon and could tie an effulgent, gorgeous bow like no one I had ever or since met! Further, she adored Christmas and would certainly treat each assignment as if it were special and her only one … offering the job both uniqueness and full attention.

After completing her flier, she summoned me to proofread her rough draft, as I was the official grammarian at our firm. While she took a break, I corrected the few spelling errors, reformatted it a bit (perfectionisto that I am!), and started toying with various ideas for a better heading.

I had the naughtiest of epiphanies, if indeed there is such a mixed moment or sentiment. I typed in my fake title, with every intention of eventually returning to the project and creating a more suitable and tasteful banner! I printed several copies and placed them on my coworkers’ desks, squelched any laughter, and awaited Beauxette’s return. She indeed joined me a few minutes later, read the “final” product, and was delighted: 
”Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”

She looked at me blankly as I finally let loose in an uproar that only could emanate from one as naughty as I! Oh my God: I was going to have to explain it to her! Reluctantly, I did. She was embarrassed, not because of any vulgarity but instead because it went right over her blonde, well-coiffed head! She had no realization that she had fallen victim to (let’s say) the “aural” version of a trompe l’oeil moment.

Beauxette corrected the phrasing and we printed one hundred pristine tasteful copies of “Seasonal Stylings by Beauxette”.

She then hurriedly mailed them out, anticipating a flurry of responses, yet her efforts only yielded one such Christmas project. At least, it was for a full house of decorations, involving myriad rolls of festive ribbon and what must’ve been a mile of juniper garland. Beauxette did, however, share with me her reluctant irony in this matter. When she was finished, and her client was writing her a substantial check, she noticed her flier on the counter. As she approached it, she soon realized it was one of the original “gag” ones I had prepared. Neither she nor the client ever mentioned anything to each other about this most glaring of “errors”. She simply got in her car and came back to the office.

I, of course, was mortified: filled with mental images of humiliation, embarrassment, and tawdry discourse! Fortunately all was averted.

It seems as though Beauxette’s client was also innocent, naïve, and dim. In this case, I remark thus not-so-lovingly and perhaps indeed with a modicum of seasonal judgment!

“Beauxette’s Bow Jobs”. We all still smile about it, except for Beauxette of course. Then again, she was never fond of innuendo!

I think of my coworker often. That is especially true whenever I finish preparing a gift, with a particularly spectacular bow, with all its perfect and dramatic flourishes.

Don’t even go there, my friends! Don’t even look for the key to that filing cabinet!

(Image: “Red Ribbon” by David Stoupakis, 2006.)

There Really Is a “Burnt Sienna”, Virginia

10805771_10204087332496553_3501787218438419143_n
“It’s hard to live your life in color, and tell the truth in black and white.”

Of course, most of the folks I know are oblivious to life’s infinite hues, as well as the concept of “gray”. They simply allow colors to blindly sweep them away on some utopic highway. When they reach a black & white moment, they become flustered and unable to reach resolution.

True, some wise or open-minded people may understand Crayola’s reach, but that is “Baby Aspirin” in the medicine cabinet.

They blush. They turn red. They become blue. They turn green with envy. They turn white as a ghost.

What a pity we are never taught the power of color. I blame thee not, Sr Edward Patricia.

Life paints us in more than primary colors! We have no clue on how to really see and interpret them.

As songstress Buffy St Marie once said: “There are sixteen million colors.”

Dan Barry’s Art: My First Recall Of Pansies

Most people I know either condemn social media, secretly rely on it, or just refuse to contemplate change. Even the diehard protesters, though, seem to have come around. They may never admit such, but will all know that secretly they explore Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Once that happens, the die is indeed cast.

I have been on Facebook since the summer of ’09 and on WordPress since early last year. (Prior to that I posted my blog, Tartuffe’s Folly, on Posterous which was bought out and dissolved.) In the five years I have established many new relationships or rekindled others. Many are with artists from all over the world of Hopeful Surrealism.

Austin artist Dan Barry was the first such new friend. The introduction particulars escape me but, as they say in the South albeit deeper than here: “That don’t make no never mind.” Since then I’ve “met” many people and respond usually to those that share my obscure aesthetic or humor.

Dan’s collages at once stirred me with their emotional nostalgia and the gentle, extremely thoughtful assembly and ink details. They are wonderfully augmented with modernisms and often conflicting points of reference.

The first of Barry’s ethereal collections that reeled me in was one involving pansies, rich hues, and meticulously printed and tiny text. Anthropomorphism is, perhaps, my favorite type of Surrealism, at least in that it often appeals to the child within. Many of the older, Victorian examples can be more clever and detailed than contemporary ones.

But I digress, as is my nature.

I will skip my sweet, initial recollection of pansies, their faces, and their world. I’ll save my initial feelings about being an older brother. My sister Polly was a newborn and I was in kindergarten in Chapel Hill. The elderly couple across the street devoted their entire front yard to their love for the deceptively sturdy flower. They were my best friends at the time, at least until I was in first grade.

The 1500 sq ft lot became a brilliant, multicolored, and intricate canvas, save for the cobblestone path. I could sit on that patchwork bed for hours. I’d readily imagine that I was in some magical kingdom, safely tucked away in Chapel Hill. (Mind you, that “elderly” couple was probably in their 40’s at the time.)

Their surname is long lost in the cavernous recesses of my memory. As I mentioned, I won’t bore you, Gentle Readers, with further details.

I do remember, however, visuals that evoke my young emotions and wonderment. A snapshot of our neighbors’ flowers is on page five of my life’s secret album. There might even be one of that velvet bower’s infinite blooms pressed between pages.

I’ll also always remember Dan and his beautiful work. And the subtle paths our friendships follow.

(All images are by Dan Barry.)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dan-Barry-Art/133020120046257

Barry’s 2014 Shows Include:
Welcome to the Dreamtime – Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
DISCOS IMPOSIBLES
– Galeria Safia, Barcelona, Spain
Mysterium Cosmographicum – Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Small Indignities – Red Truck Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Post-It Show
– Giant Robot, Los Angeles, CA
Don’t Wake Daddy Group Show
– Feinkunst Krüger, Hamburg, Germany

Pining Away to Spruce It Up

Marklewood could certainly use a little updating, remodeling, or at the very least, a dust and a spruce. If Jon and I are finally emerging from the emotional paralysis of financial woes, any changes might perk us up. They might signal that we are embracing the concepts of future and hope. The mechanics of our daily routine might, by default, become more efficient. If we should have visitors such as Evelyn or Janet, any perceived message would be positive, and not the gloomy lackluster mediocrity that has made both our separate and joint convalesces disturbing and worrisome.

Of course, should we have some sort of real estate emergency, we’d be closer to being “prepared”. Dr Markle’s Finishing School for Erstwhile and Wayward Pusses graduating pride would have a renewed pride, as it were. (“cloudier” can be such an awkward word.)

Unfortunately, our priorities are still of pragmatic nature and intent. Although we will have one day moved beyond the scope of such tight living, our health situations currently still demand rigid regimens and management.

For now, Gentle Readers, Jon and I will forego any re-upholstery of the tattered Baker sofa that is desperately clinging to its heritage. We’ll make do with the current kitchen window treatments. In lieu of “faded or fraying”, I much prefer to call them vintage. We definitely cannot invest in new seating for the television viewing corner of our bedroom. We can neither repaint the living room, nor wallpaper the downstairs bathroom. For now.

What we can do, however,is dust … at least regularly and with greater enthusiasm.

Mind you, I am not complaining. My chipper demeanor has returned from its two-year hiatus and I am happy.

(Our mind can lead us on scavenger hunts and goose chases, especially when prompted by some internet keyword. I started mulling this post after stumbling upon some adverts for rare, vintage wallpaper designed by British artist and graphics impresario, Edward Bawden. Among his broad and prolific portfolio “bullets” would be these innovative wallpapers, mostly from the 1920’s and early ’30’s. The asking prices averaged in the aggressive neighborhood of £350. I can’t bring myself to verbalize such a figure or even convert it to US dollars.)

The Artist’s Mother: Perfect Arrangements

I can’t really remember when I first realized the concept of color. Presumably it was before or during kindergarten at Chapel Hill’s Little Red School. The nuances, hues, and complexities of colors followed.

The following year, we learned the color charts and became experts on primary colors.To my excitement, my mother bought me a bigger and better box of Crayolas. Perhaps, it held 18 crayons, maybe not. My memories of those years are safely locked away in a desk drawer, keeping at bay the more curious pusses. Naturally, I misplaced the key.

My point is that I had moved up some unspoken notch, improved a skill, or experienced a minor rite of passage. In Mrs Sawyer’s first grade class, I kept a cigar box in which I hid “whatever size or how many ever” of crayons.

One spring day, my mother was preparing to take me to school, a newly built Catholic school, with actual nuns, and potential uniforms. As she grabbed her keys, I studied her eye-catching blouse.

The color was odd and one of which I was unfamiliar. As she turned the ignition, I blurted my query and quickly paused. I never, ever blurted as a child. It was unmannerly, rude, and unaccepted in a parochial school such as St Thomas More. My parents expected that also. That, my friends, is an entirely different tale, one of familial dysfunction and oppression.

My mother never noticed my unseemly enthusiasm. She just started talking and talking about nuances, hues, prisms, and the infinite number of colors in the spectrum. Of course, she worded it differently as I am prone to embellish. We soon came upon the red brick structure. I finally had to ask: “But what color is your shirt?”

She quickly corrected my use of shirt and replied a reserved, yet warm: “chartreuse”. Finally. It took almost fifteen minutes to get an answer.

“Chartreuse, hmmm” I thought. It quickly became my favorite color, although I couldn’t pronounce the word for at least a year. That yellowish green color was wonderful and exotic and special. And it was at once my color.

I soon (if soon can describe two years later) graduated to a bigger box, the overwhelming but altogether satisfying “64” count one. I searched for chartreuse but never found it. I did, however, find “Cornflower Blue” and “Burnt Sienna”. My look of puzzlement faded away in a quick blush. It had a pencil sharpener.

I am now more than a half century older. Those days are long gone. Chartreuse, though, is still my favorite color. I always notice it first, if it was indeed on the fabric wall, home furnishings, liqueur bottles, or paintings. The last I use as a “catch all”! I detest the word “artwork”. It’s bland, unemotional, and wholly without direction or purpose.

Please. Gentle Reader, forgive me for squeezing illustration, sculpture, watercolors, oils, and the like into one tiny, limited, and now teeming word. I will say three Holy Marys. And I will surely recall Sr Jane Raphael’s serious and intimidating glances during our studies for First Holy Communion.

Sr Jane married the parish priest two years later, by which time Hal, Margy, Polly, and I had moved to Greensboro. There, it would be Srs Mary Joseph and Mary Fitzpatrick that would show me the greater range of modern “nunnery” and the like.

Go ahead and ask me.

Truthfully? Yes, I still always smile and look for chartreuse and cornflower blue. The temptation then wakes up and I lull it back into blissful oblivion.

Alas. I have not purchased crayons, in any size package, since the mid-70’s. That would’ve been for my sister.

(Images: “Arrangement in Green and Black, Portraits of the Photographer’s Mother” by Aline Smithson.)

A Peculiar and Zoloftig Metamorphosis

I do not know what stars ascended or whose prayers were cited, but I awakened yesterday feeling terrific. Beyond that actually. I was energetic, lucid, and motivated. Hmmm. The agony of my pinched nerve was already beginning to subside. Frankly, if I had closed my eyes and allowed my imagination its passage, I’d probably guess it was back when I worked with Evelyn and Chrysanthemum (actually Nancy and Chris) in the most surprisingly stressful business of interior design.

We were all, as they sometimes say in the deepest of Southern annals, “decoratizers” back then. Jon and I were both happy, healthy, financially secure, and extremely employed.

And so it goes. And so it went.

Saturday morning, I didn’t feel like “the guy that lives down that long drive and needs a heart transplant.” I started to actually count my blessings, albeit it on only one hand, the one not communing with my pinched nerve. My dreams had been vivid and emotional with my mother and grandmother, the key players.

For a few moments after I opened my eyes and stared down that darned alarm clock, the two women seemed real and not a memory’s folly. I had to grieve all over again for them, but was still invigorated from the “visit” as it were. In the oddly offered “one word”, I was happy.

As I took my many morning medications, my Zoloft stood out. Yet it had never really had much effect on me. 200mg of “not much at all!”

I had still not pinpointed the Universe’s purpose for my mood. It couldn’t be random, nor could I be getting well. It was time for my morning iced coffee with the rest of the day free to ponder.

My voice has been stronger lately and not the strained prolonged squeak it has been. It was, for a weekend, indeed effortless to talk. I so took advantage of my vocal enigma and talked with a few close friends, my sister, and my cousin (who was two years older than my mother). Catching up is always revitalizing, except for the repetition of pertinent health news.

It was time for a call to my friend Laurie, who recently followed a job to Albany. I was anxious to express and share my jubilation about the recent District Court ruling, making same-sex marriage legal in North Carolina. It was inevitable. The various counties already had the proper forms and our conservative governor announced his plan to respect the judge’s decision.

Of course. the elections are a month away and he might think he can still convince enough democrats to defect. Although that “ship of fools”, I believe, raised its rusty anchor and embarked on its doomed Kathy Lee holiday two years ago. Is it naughty and unkind of me to suggest a convoy of dinghies. “10-4, Good Buddies!” 

My friend Andrew and I had had a month of unfulfilling phone tag … until Friday. After a few minutes of exchanging both questions and answers, we were both ranting. About the upcoming elections. And the state of the Mid-East. And the horrific beheadings. And the inconsistencies from state to state. And how we were each trying to resolve family issues (regarding the ultimate death of a loved one). And, finally, how we had spent well over thirty minutes in heated discussion. The last being quite an inappropriate state for a mid-evening.

My conversation with Polly was particularly satisfying. I knew, when her daughters were 1, 3, and 5, that it would probably be a two-decade wait before she’d be able to have a lengthy conversation. Although they were usually well-intended, interruptions were endless. Friday night, the wait ended and we caught up, both committed to try to resolve any lingering family dysfunction. (Please note earlier reference to both the deaths and the funerals of loved ones.) It was time for me to assign to her a perkier, yet tasteful ringtone.

By ten o’clock Saturday morning: I had emptied the dishwasher, filed all of my papers, and other oft-skipped missions. Normally, any one of these activities would squeeze the breath out of me. But there I was, subconsciously putzing around downstairs while my ponderances were passengers on LaLa Land’s “local”.

I actually gave up trying to make sense of my mood. Perhaps, it was best to neither tempt fate nor make sense out of that which can never be sensible.

Oh, my. I love my iced coffee. In the past few years my java consumption has dwindled from ten or more cups to just one, if any.

The outside cats were gathering at the the double glass doors, pawing the glass. One was climbing a screen to the roof. Little Yorick and the growing Beamer, however, waited patiently for me to deliver their AM victuals. The others reminded me of zombies.

And that, Gentle Readers, reminded me that the season premiere of “The Walking Dead” is to be on AMC Sunday night. That made me smile (In a Chicago or even Cockney Rebel manner).

A stint on Facebook was imminent.

I continue to feel robust, perky, lucid, and motivated.

(Images: by Colleen Parker.)

Food, Glorious Food

10307373_577454422367570_2735131431934009428_n

sil7-93-04aWhen I unexpectedly stumbled upon the first image, I was intrigued by (what looked like) both a forthcoming and teeming consumption and an excruciatingly detailed presentation.

I was also curious about the soon-to-be diners and their purpose for convening.
How long did it keep the whelmed tablesetter away from his/her iPad and the warmth and fuzziness of the internet?

Who is the unfortunate soul that gets to wash the all those dishes, utensils, pots, pans, and the silverware? How sad it is to think how half of the forks, knives, and
spoons went untouched, but still need to be washed and dried?

But then I caught a glance of the pink Champagne and became frightened, very frightened.

I said “Bon Appétit” and moved on. Quickly. And then stumbled upon the second one within minutes.

Really. True story!

God Bless Happenstance.

Surreal Estate Dabbling: Celebrating Understatement

Understatement is always relevant and, here in the hinterlands, stands alone in such a residence.

For a soul who is nourished by the Universe’s full buffet of colors, the garden is moved indoors. This cottage “imaginaire et pittoresque” would be surrounded and well-guarded by a sentry of ancient oaks, pines, and fruited walnut trees. In a mossy glade just off the stoop, there is a weathered wrought iron table on which the pusses sleep and, under which, they hide.

It thunders and threatens rain. The acreage is now vacant, ready for the next time that the palette is in hand. Marklewood is creaking just a little too often on these late summer days. Our minds are tricksters just waiting for us to our guard to the wind.

The threat is no longer idle.

While the Universe pounds our roof into submission, I survey the clutter and dust, shaking my head. I know that Jon and I are just two more budding “hoarders without borders”.

Henry rubs against my leg until I lift him to my chest. He purrs and, in Cat-onese, confidently suggests: “It is indeed time to call Mini Maids by Miss Haversham!”

Those savvy pusses!

A Nod to Pink Freud: For Hedy and Jeanne

I have never been much of a pink person. It always seemed to be the standard-bearer of the pastel milieu, rarely given to emotional and expressive “hue” responses. Pink was always subtly forced upon young girls as the cloak of femininity from pre-school to pubescence. And I saw very little of the color in my home, except for a large mid-century painting that hung in my parents’ bedroom as long as they remained coupled.

Nevertheless, I have always been a color-driven person, surrounding myself with rich shades of eggplant, cornflower blue, chartreuse, Chinese red, and persimmon. This has only intensified with maturity, as the only color phobia is that of a monochromatic white, grey, or black environment.

As an exercise to prove myself once foolish and judgmental, I have scoured and pored through the back alleys, dusty portmanteaux, and obscure foreign digital sites … in search of shades and images of pink that I fancy. What has resulted is a collection of ephemera, photographs, and “art” that would either look terrific at Marklewood or that I might (just the teeniest bit) covet.

Raspberry, fuchsia, sanguine, rose, and the many other pinky hues all have a place in our spectrum. I shall resist any further condemnation, scoff, or sigh when faced with pink, in concern that I shall once again be red-faced or blush.

Note: some of these images may have very little pink, but what they do have seems to dominate the feel, and is often quite shady.

New Batteries and Proud Plumage

IMG
Shoulder bags and luggage in the steamy shower.
Tubes protrude discreetly from my ever-shaved tummy.

My teal world is now rather plum. The hues have blossomed. Wicked and haughty colors raise the dusty glass to cheer the new Vlad.

The Penny Road peadaddy has strewn figs and magnolia blossoms across Marklewood and harked an era of hope. Thank you, Oh gentle Dresden Dolls: I am no longer a coin-operated lad. A little thick and new pills of newt thwart new Petrol. Perhaps, “Run Four Life.then run . It’s all good. I’ve progressed to pristeen Persian rugs in unexpected resources.” You must simply find that formula that is you. The angels, Headless Nurse, and the nelly newly sober seem content with the candidates, but are still shaking nice guys from those silly libidinous mistakes and yet can rationalize and future prospect.

I must decide on my future now and am always willing: to meet new coworkers, study a new cast of carefully culled friends and “study cases”. I am fighting the sudden loss of all funding for the Auxiliary folk. At the least please bring us freshly-made lemonade to swallow those heavy pills. Those pesky and antsy constant hoops and hurdles provide challenging renderings.

I am usually scared of a midweek ponder. This time, I shall easily hold my ground and toast the non-ending plethora of ancient pines that secure me from the otherwise bothersome Penny Road Peadaddy.

It is indeed time that Tartuffe return from his incredible journeys. My DaDooRunRuns are all akimbo.