Sharing My World 5

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Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

My dad used to say the only pictures people liked of themselves were the ones that didn’t look anything like them.  Maybe that’s why we can look back at photos from years ago and finally see them objectively because that’s not who we are anymore.  Hey, look at me, I was kind of cute back in the day, who knew?  In real time I have never considered myself photogenic so I’m the one snapping pictures and shying away from being in them.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

I most enjoyed being the recipient of attention and concern as to my well-being.  Who doesn’t enjoy that?  Best to milk it for all its worth when it happens, hey?  I have been filling my “healing time” with lots of reading, sleeping, coffee drinking, drawing, pencil sharpening, pill taking and movie watching.  Maybe I’ve died and gone to heaven.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I am always trying to curb my many excessive and unnecessary expenditures.  It’s hard to decide what exactly the greatest one might be.  You could sell me pretty much anything in a health food store, for instance, even though the same products might cost much less somewhere else.  I’m a sucker for skin care products.  Coffee is hugely important to me.    But for the sake of making myself sound slightly less self-indulgent, let’s say it’s books.  I would like to line every wall in my house with book shelves and fill them all up.  So far I’ve done only a wall and a half.  I could do another wall full if all my e-books were real.  I used to have a library card, but discovered that it was much too stressful having to give books back.  Now I buy them and keep them and cherish them.  I will never be rich as long as people keep writing books.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

I don’t know – M?  It’s the thirteenth letter of the alphabet.  Thirteen has been a significant and even a lucky number in my life.  The top of a horned owls head looks like the letter M  and I like to think I’m at least as wise as some pointy headed bird.  I am a MOM.  I like M & M’s.  “Mmmmmm” is the noise I make when I can’t think of anything intelligent to say.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming?

I’m grateful for not having to make a Thanksgiving dinner.  Is that a selfish thing to be thankful for?  Probably.  I should have said my alphabet letter is Z because it figures prominently in the word LaZy and signifies sleep.   (zzzzzz…..)  I’m also grateful for four seasons of the 4400 on Netflix and a theme song that is now stuck in my head forever.

It drives me a bit crazy every time that bath tub overflows.

Next week I’m looking forward to sharing with you whatever happens next.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 41

The Cats Pajamas

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“We carry our ancestors in our names and sometimes we carry our ancestors through the sliding doors of emergency rooms and either way they are heavy, man, either way we can’t escape.”

“Her father is fastened to his room, with his records and his drugs and his quiet. She crawls under her covers. It is her fault for triggering one of his spells. Normally she can tightrope through his moods. At least it had been brief. Most girls do not have to deal with a father like hers. They would be afraid of the way she lives, lawless in a roachy apartment. They would be scared of his fits. Madeleine would be scared too, she thinks, falling asleep. If she had only experienced finished basements and dads who acted like dads. But Madeleine loves her father, and how can you be scared of someone you love?”

Marie-Helene Bertino, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas 

There is no picture on the cover of this book so I drew my own damn picture.

There is no picture on the cover of this book so I drew my own damned picture.

I don’t know why I included the word “damned”  in that caption.  Maybe because convalescing is dull and I think profanity will jazz up the experience.

Anyway, speaking of profanity and jazz, here’s the blurb about this book from Amazon:

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.

I was a bit in love with Madeleine from the first page.  And crazy about her by the last one.  Sometimes the quirky prose in this novel reads like poetry.  It’s a good story, written from several different perspectives, over a time span of just 19 hours.  You’d be surprised at how much can happen to so many people in such a short time.

It’s a book made to be read in one sitting I think, and I might have done that if I hadn’t been so doped up on pain pills and falling asleep so much.  Today I haven’t taken anything, so I guess I can’t blame my sketch on mind altering drugs. This is how my brain sees a bar in the middle of the night.  What can I say.

I hope Marie-Helene Bertino writes another book soon.  I’ll illustrate it for her if she asks.  Huh.  Maybe the drugs aren’t completely out of my system.  But I’m very clear-headed when I say it’s the mark of a great author when she leaves you wanting more.

Really

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Our gigantic tree dropping its leaves in at least four backyards.

Several things yesterday got me saying “really?” or even “REALLY??”  It was really that kind of day.

  • We got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital.  There is construction going on all over this city and we are running out of alternate routes.  Everyone says it will be nice when it’s done, but construction is like housework and will never be done.
  • The nurse at admitting asked me if I hadn’t already checked in because she had me marked off on her list.  Nope, just got here.  So off she went to find my impersonator.
  • Flipping through a home decor magazine I came across instructions for kitchen art. Paint some utensils white, hot glue them (artistically arranged) to a red board, put them in a frame and hang them up. On the same page there was an ad for glass cocktail wands.  So much classier than swivel sticks.  I guess.
  • The many people around me were comparing their various wait times and how far behind things were when a nurse called me to say my doctor was running ahead of schedule.  Do I know how to pick a surgeon or what?
  • Hospital garments confuse the hell out of me.  What goes frontwards and what goes backwards with a gazillion dome fasteners and ties and elastic papery things for gawd knows what.  By the time I got it all figured out we were probably back on schedule.
  • I lost count of how many people with clip boards and check sheets asked me the same questions over and over.  I think they were all planning to meet up in the O.R. later and compare notes.
  • One minute the anesthesiologist was starting my  I.V.  and the next minute it was two or three hours later and I was somewhere else.  This is what time travel must feel like.
  • On a scale of one to ten, one being discomfort and ten being the worst pain you’ve ever felt, how would you rate your pain?  I don’t know.  I hate math.  I had different levels of pain in different places – neck, throat, back, head.  I didn’t want to sound like a wimp or a whiner so I said it was a four.  Wrong answer!  No extra pain meds for you.  Next time they asked I upped it to five.  Still not high enough.  Sigh.
  • After i was declared sane enough to leave, W wheeled me down to the main entrance and left me sitting in front of the hospital directory sign while he went to get the car.  No one asked me for directions.
  • It’s impossible to keep your head still in a moving vehicle even if you hang on to it with both hands.  I suffered a thousand mini whiplashes on the drive home because we kept braking for pedestrians and red lights.  Yes I am being overly dramatic.  I believe most post op patients are.

The pain med prescription bottle says one or two tablets every four hours as needed and they gave me 30 of them.  They are supposed to cause drowsiness but I managed to have a restless night anyway.  I am supposed to leave the steri-strips in place for seven days.  They told me not to have a shower for two days.  REALLY??  That rule is already broken because our shower is hand-held and I kept my neck dry.  Fewer people will die as a result.

Now once again we wait for answers.  Follow up is in two weeks.  By then I should look less like a bus ran over my face.  Another drama queen statement.  Sorry.  I’m drowsy.  Not quite as exhausted as this topic, but close enough.

Sharing My World 4

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You’re given $500,000 dollars tax-free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

Do I have to spend it?  Can’t I just do the typically Canadian thing and sock it away for a rainy day?  I read somewhere that’s what we tend to do.  I can’t remember why.  I also read that we spend much more on food and beverages and alcohol than Americans do.  Perhaps it has something to do with our long winters.  Anyway, I digress.  I’d probably give most of it to my kids who need it more than I do with their growing families.  And sock the rest away for a rainy day.

What’s the finest education?

Ever notice how little kids start off absolutely loving school and then end up hating so many things about it from about grade five on?  Part of the problem is that we don’t focus on having them develop a love of learning.   Their primary motivation is to pass their exams and get to the next level.   The finest things a teacher can teach are the skills needed to find things out for themselves.  How to have an informed opinion.  How to discover and develop whatever their talents are,  so they can spend their lives doing whatever it is that contributes to their day-to-day happiness and well-being.  Little kids know how to live in the moment, and then school teaches them how to live for the future, set goals, dream about the day they can call themselves successful.  We forget to teach them how to be happy and have fun in the process.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

At the moment it’s mixed media.  Taking a blank canvas and making it beautiful with paint and paper, pencils and brushes, glue and markers.  It’s like being six again.  Except for having better developed scissor skills.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

Yes!  Hamlet’s soliloquy.  The first 12 and a half lines of it anyway.

To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

Isn’t that beautiful?  I loved it then, I love it now.  It’s the only bit of Shakespeare I can still recite.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a visit with K and C last week, and an invitation to spend the up-coming Thanksgiving weekend with them and my daughter and all the grandchildren.  However, I don’t think that will be happening because my day surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  There’s a possibility that they may keep me in over night.  I may end up with a temporary Jean Chretien smile if they stretch whatever muscle or nerve in my cheek or jaw controls that .

jean chretienI suppose there are worse fates, and it’s not like it will ruin my modeling career or anything.  I’ve always been able to raise my left eyebrow independently of the right, so last night I tried it out in front of a mirror, while smiling with only the right side of my face.  Cool.  I really am still six in my head.

I’ve talked to the hospital booking people and they’ve gone over all the pre-op rules with me, although I already have them written down on paper.  What to eat and drink, when to stop doing each of those things.  No perfume, no make up, no finger or nail polish.  Surgery is apparently a scent-free beauty-free zone.  No alcohol for 24 hours prior to surgery.  Which means I have approximately 30 minutes left to drink my face off.

However, I think I’ll go for a walk instead and take advantage of our continuing beautiful fall weather.  We’ll be snowed in soon enough.

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Share Your World Week 40

 

 

Of Bogs and Baers

Cat with a backwards "c", a bog and a baer.  Not for sale.  Sorry.

Cat with a backwards “c”, a bog and a baer. Not for sale. Sorry.

Some art work is priceless.  Found these in my filing cabinet under Recipes.  Yes, that’s how I file.  I believe the artist is Kenzie and I’m guessing at about age four. The arrows are a nice touch.  But I’m a little freaked out by the claws on that baer.

Good Morning Sunshine

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

There isn’t a lot of sunshine yet today, but that’s okay.  We’re having gorgeous autumn weather into the last ten days of September.  Six work shifts to go.  I know countdowns are bad, and a form of wishing your life away while you wait for something to end or begin or happen but I’m doing it anyway.  Anticipation is half the fun, right?

On my second last working Wednesday, all alone between six and eight with no appointments and no customers and no real ambition, I decided to write down all the things I will miss about work when I’m finally done with it on the last day of this month.  I took a sheet of paper out of the printer, got one of my three erasable pens out of my pocket (there must always be three) and sat down to write a list.  Things I will miss.  Ten minutes crawled by.  Everything I thought of was something I actually wouldn’t miss at all.  In fact I knew I would be beside myself with relief and happiness to never have to deal with that shit again.  So then I divided the paper in two and on the second half started a list of things I will NOT miss.  I filled up that side and the entire back with such a pile of work related crap it put me in a totally pissy mood.  I should not be left alone on Wednesday nights.  I’ve always said that, but no one listens.

While this process was all very cathartic, I won’t be sharing my list of negativity from hell.  Going over it once was enough.  Indisputable proof that it’s time to walk away.

W is coming home today.  He’s been in Ontario at the island closing things up for the winter.  He’s bringing my water-color paint supplies home with him.  I can’t remember why I thought it was a good idea to leave them there, but now I’ll have fewer excuses for stifling my creative urges as I amass all my tools and gather ideas and look up art classes.  Plan projects, get organized, have another cup of coffee, read some blogs, play some candy crush, make a pot of soup…..

Is it a little sad that procrastination is my favourite thing in the world?   (Except for reading for hours and watching bizarre things on Netflix.  I never put those things off.)   If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’ve been headed in that direction forever.  I do entire blog posts in my head in the middle of the night on my brilliant blog where I discuss brilliant things.  Then dawn breaks and work looms and Netflix sends me a notice that some dumb thing I’ve been watching has new episodes.  So the brilliance is put on hold.  Or forgotten.

Well, it’s an interesting theory/excuse, hey?

No, I’m not really buying it either.  But my point is (YES!  I have a POINT!) work will no longer loom.  Huge chunks of stress will dissolve right before my eyes.  I will have to find something completely different to get all pissy about.  I will answer more prompts and accept more challenges.  Or at the very least, drum up the courage to share my artistic creative genius.  You people are all really nice and will humor me on that one, right?  Thank you, I knew I could count on you.

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Ten days.  Six shifts.  Gorgeous fall weather.  Paint supplies en route to home.  Oh yeah, and W too.

Life is good and about to get better.