Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Upsy-Downsy-Upsy-Splat

May 23, 2010

I was diagnosed as bipolar about 11 years ago, but I think THEY got it all wrong. I’m not bipolar….its  my life that is bipolar. I’m just a cute little cowgirl hanging on for dear life. Literally.

This last month has been perhaps the busiest month  I’ve ever had…in both good  or evil ways. Evil mostly won. But lets review:

  • I had 12 sessions of radiation on the lower half of my face and neck, in hopes of blasting away some major melanoma cancer which made me look  like Jay Leno on steroids with a chin so large it could knock cars off the  freeway. Did I also mention I  had the absolute worst, most severe “sunburn” from the radiation which made people’s head swivel in horror as I walked by them in grocery stores. For someone who is terribly shy (except on the internet), it was humiliating. And we won’t even get into how bad the inside of my mouth was. Raw. Burned. No saliva. Some creeping gray crud growing on my teeth.  Yes, the treatment did shrink down the cancer quite a bit, but that was when I basically stopped eating.
  • The cool cancer diet! Whee! When in my life have I ever felt like not eating.  Since this has all started I have lost just about 30 pounds. Just think, 30 pounds without being humiliated by Bob and Jillian  on “The Biggest Loser” . But yes, I do look like a totally different person now and mostly just drink  protein shakes (ensure, boost) these days but only after I was  sent to a nutritionist for my bad behaviour.
  • School. This was one of the upsies. During a 5 month period of some serious ass cancer treatment, I managed to only miss two days of art classes. I must like totally be like the girl version of “Iron Man” fercrissakes. I kept up with about 90% of my homework. Did final pieces  for both of my classes. And best of all, bonded with my teacher, who I think liked my work better than I thought initially.  On the last day of my class, we had to present our finals in class. She asked me if I would feel comfortable mentioning my illness, since I’m sure the Art Glee Club was probably anxiously wondering about that freakishly weird red chinned woman. But I did  get a round of applause after my  “Art Heals” speech. I haven’t heard what my grade is yet for my 2 classes, but you know what? I don’t care. I just wanted to take the college art classes I always wanted to take when I was younger. Sort of like a bucket list item. The other final project for my second art class? My one woman art show at the library across the street. They don’t promote or hang themselves, ya know!
  • Now this was definitely a mixture of upsies and downsies, but one HUGE UPSIE!! Yay! Who knew I was even capable of one at this point? I got an e-mail from a woman I used to work with at the newspaper where I had been a graphic artist 11 years ago.  She wanted to do a story about me and my upcoming art show.  What? Really? Me? I’ll take any form of attention. Sure! So we sent up an appointment the Wednesday before school ended. This seemed awfully suspect since a certain person I had been in love with did  freelance writing at this place.  And sure enough he called and asked if the writer had called. I verified and thanked him. I also asked him to come to my art show opening. He’s never seen any of  my work. He said he was picking up his son from college down south but would “try” to make it.
  • I’ve  been coughing for over a month now. I had my first chemo treatment the day before the last day of school. But by Wednesday, I was coughing so hard I could barely catch my breath.  “911—-what is your emergency?” Yup, I ended up in the hospital for 2 1/2 days, via ambulance.  No diagnosis. It seems that when you have cancer, that is all you’re capable of having. I was all antsy in the hospital too, since Guardcat was home alone, probably watching cat porn and eating chocolate.  I also had my newspaper interview coming up the next freaking day. I also had to be photographed for the article. PLUS I was originally supposed to have my chemotherapy port put in on Friday, but then they suddenly moved it up two days. Can you say STRESS, witty?
  • So I finally got the port put in. Got sent home and had the absolute worst pain ever from my continuing cough. Some of my time line might be wrong, but I did get through the interview. I had a nice photo shoot out on my porch. Being a totally vain Aquarian I was worried about how haggard and tired and big-chinned I looked. The photo did come out the best it possibly could. Thanks Mike.
  • More coughing followed. First chemo following Monday. First 1/2 day was fine, but oy, the pain from the coughing and something in that pharmaceutical concoction I slurped up through tubes for 6 hours went terribly awry. I was incredibly weak. I could barely get up. So… “911—-what is your emergency?”. Yes, I went back to the hospital. Unlike the first time when I was just wheeled into the ER, this time I had to wait for over 5 hours in an overcrowded outer waiting room with winos, screaming babies,and  a guy who threatened to come back with a glock and kill everyone.
  • Fortunately this time, when they gave me oxygen treatments, and truly listened to my crackling lungs (even I could hear them…without a stethoscope), someone really intelligent said, “This girl has pneumonia!” And yes, it was fucking  true. Yay!  So I stayed in 3 days and got lots of treatments and snorted enough oxygen to float several SUV’s over Lindsey Lohan’s head, just to freak her out.

OMG, I totally forgot the most important thing! I knew these bullets were  out of order since I’m on a lot of drugs at the moment.

During all this pharmaceutical/medical chaos, I managed to have my most successful art show ever. On May 13th I still wasn’t feeling real terrific. I had made a half-hearted attempt to go buy a new outfit for my show (and also because none of my clothes fit anymore). I just couldn’t. Too tired, so I came home for a brief nap before my art show. Just a cat nap really. My show started at 5 p.m. Guess what time I woke up? 5:02 p.m. YIKES!!!!  I was laying on my couch in my underwear and a tee-shirt, no make up. Nothing. The You-Tube video of me running around like an insane person grabbing clothes and throwing them in the air probably would have been pretty hilarious….if it existed. Fortunately, as mentioned somewhere, my show was directly across the street, so I was practically sprinting over when I see my aunt walking towards me in great distress. She’s all like “Honey, we were so worried about you. Are you ok?” I was mainly trying to think up some clever response for being late for my own show.

Once there, the show was wonderful though. People were very nice about my lateness, saying it was fashionable to be late to your own show…..(especially if you’re a drugged up New York artist). I also had the best crowd ever (over  30 people-WOW!!). and the best part, people walking towards me with open checkbooks (I sold 5 paintings and one photograph). I’m really not kidding about being drugged up so my friend “P” served as my “agent” keeping track of my sales and handing me checks. We even had two women who wanted the same painting, but it was first come, first serve, baby.

The show finally started winding down around 7:20 and when me and my  homies gathered in the parking lot, they insisted on taking me out to  the one and only Mexican restaurant in the Village. And then who comes driving up at 7:30? Married Guy and his son. I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t seen my favorite little kidlet since he was 12. He’s 18 now. And still a cutie! So I audaciously made my friends wait and took Married Guy and kidlet on their own private tour of my show.   It felt really good to let him see how much I have progressed in the last 5 years. He seemed to like my work. But the most important thing….I was happy with my work. There is certainly a first for everything.

Me and one of my art idols Frida Kahlo at the restaurant afterwards

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April sours bring May flowers?

May 1, 2010

April 2010 was perhaps the roughest month of my life. Ever…people! Ow! Can I get a winning lottery ticket now? Or a hug from a hunky guy wearing a Speedo. It mostly had to do with  cancer, of course. I went through 12 days of radiation which nearly burnt the lower half of my face  off. Good news….it did shrink the tumor in my chin and neck. Doesn’t mean I’m cured however, since  I will be  starting “Cancer: The Musical Part 2” with some heavy duty chemotherapy in two weeks. And it could well mean Bald witty. Can I make that look hot? Maybe. I’ve already lost almost 20 pounds this month.  I mean I’m already almost on the verge of being hot as it is.

Did I miss any school? Hell no. I’m a tough Irish chick, although  many of my co-students were shooting these semi-frightened side-ways glances at the weird chick with the bright red chin and wondering “What’s up with that?” You know how 18 years old are though.

I did try to punctuate all the doom and gloom with some occasional fun, so besides painting and drawing for school, I also participated in the  uber cool bi-yearly Goth-Dead People-Big Boobed Women’s art show. Had two paintings and a photo of me in my much more photogenic days….

I’m ready for my close up, Mr. De Melbrooks.

It was a fairly fun night, if you count the transsexual (Marny) who ran around the bar yelling and screaming and eventually ending up in the alley, face-down in her own puke. Thank goodness my friend, Sci-Fi Guy  noticed this rather Lindsey Lohanesque incident and made sure he flipped her over so she wasn’t inhaling crusty bits from her incredibly liquored up stomach.

And you think I’ve got it bad!! I actually made that  into my mantra recently.  Like I’ll see a dead possum on the middle of the road and say “See witty, it could be worse. You could be a squished possum!”  

As mentioned, I did attend school the whole month. Fortunately things are going better in that arena. My artwork isn’t necessarily the first one people look at during our class critiques anymore . But it is, indeed difficult to maintain a high level of awesomeness when you’re taking morphine to blunt the worst  pain in your life.

Squished possom. Squished possom. Squished possom.

 But like wow, have I everbeen  able to draw clouds on morphine. I felt like all I really needed was to cue up some Grace Slick music, stand on a hilltop in a halter dress with the wind blowing blowing through my hair as I watched the dancing pink rabbits do the watusi around me.

My mom has been freaking out every time I drive though. There was only one day I was driving home from her house  when suddenly I didn’t know where the hell I was. And I NEVER get lost. I’m like a human GPS instrument. As a kid, my mother would even look down at me at nearly every corner and say, “Which way?” Naturally, since I was only 5 years old, I didn’t know my left from my right, so I’d just poke my arm up and point in the apparently correct direction, since we always got home.

But yeah, that one particular day I looked through my front windshield and pretty much saw an Impressionistic version of reality and couldn’t quite place where the hell I was. It was a little unnerving. I actually think perhaps it was more the pain than the drugs.

Lets see, what else? Oh, there was “The incident” where Tall Skinny Guy totally trashed my writing ability. Can you imagine? Me? My writing ability? What? Really?

My art group is having a conference next month and I was going to write a press release for the event,you know,  since Tall Skinny Guy writes like a squirrel on Metamucil. Naturally there was a slight delay from me,  since I was dealing with a lot of junk and needed a few days to finish up my radiation treatments and do mountains of homework. He knew this. I told him both in e-mails and in person.  So what does he do a mere hour after I specifically told him this? He sends out a frantic e-mail to our board members telling them he needs someone to write a press release ASAP. Help, help!  This really ticked me off, but since I know he’s kind of a dweeb, I let it slide.

So the very next day, as promised, I finally sat down and wrote the damn press release. I used quotes from our artists. I indicated that our two day event was tied together, so yes, sign up for both classes, not just one. I did everything correct. And then I sent it to him. No response.

Then two days later I see him at the Goth art show. For some reason he has this incredibly heavy duty crush on me. I’ve never encouraged it any way, that’s for damn sure. So he plops down on the couch next to me and starts jabbering about something. A rock band was playing so I couldn’t really hear him that well. I then hear, “By the way…the press release you wrote? It would  really only appeal to little old blue haired ladies”.

WTF???  WHAT-T_T-T? I can write circles around you. I’m like Elvis the King to your cook at Denney’s. WTF??? He then added a few more offensive things like wondering aloud if it was okay to submit my homework  as my artwork for the show.   I finally just got up off the couch to go talk to “L” the Hippy chick. I didn’t tell her what he said since she’d probably go kick him in the balls.  He then later found me again  and told me he was leaving and could he walk me to my car.

In your dreams, buddy.

 So I steamed around for a couple of days and then I did the worst possible thing. I suddenly believed him. Yeah, like  maybe he’s right. Maybe it did  totally suck. And it was just about the same time I had to write an artist statement about my upcoming solo art show in May. I had the worst problem writing it. I had written another one for my last show and was trying to find it in my new computer (yes, the sale of two  paintings in April happily afforded me the ability to finally buy my own new computer. Yay! Thanks art buyer, you know who you are. 🙂

He finally wrote me a note two days later saying he was a jerk, but somehow managed to sling off yet another insult (he said my press release read like a stale newspaper article). And he then had the audacity to ask  me to write something up on our website for an event we had just had. No.fucking.way. I ignored his e-mail.

So tonight I attended a friend’s art show here in the Village. My decision to walk down there and back was possibly one of my worst ever. I now have a really bad cough right now and coughed so severely going up the hill, I almost threw up.

Anyways, Tall Skinny Guy comes  in all smiles, like there’s witty, my goddess. Oh how stunning  she looks in that red thrift store sun dress (and I did dammit!). Naturally he cornered me and started talking like crazy, something he’s usually incapable of. I guess he just started seeing a shrink (probably regarding penis envy. Just a guess though.) Unfortunately that is my favorite subject. Shrinks. I’m like the ultimate expert on shrinks, since at one point I was seeing  two of them simultaneously….you know since how in the hell could only one person  handle the 3000 feet deep swirling caldron of wittykitty angst.

So yes, I gave him a few pointers on how to handle shrinks. Like never say “You’re right. I should put an ad in Match.com”.  Stuff like that. It wasn’t until he uttered the word “sex” in some context, that I kinda recoiled in sudden horror  and walked out on the porch of the gallery to knock back a few glasses of Diet Coke with some old dude who told me that the Belgium beer tasted like codeine.

… But like Eeew! Sex. Tall Skinny Guy…. sex? does not compute, does not computer, does not compute. Eep!

Lets just say, it was just slightly more creepy than when Guardcat excitedly hauled ass over to my desk tonight with a live mouse in her mouth….the one she  dropped abruptly at my feet and it ran under the couch that I sleep on.

Bad kitty …Eep!

When finding a head in the recycling bin is the highlight of your month

March 28, 2010

What’s really embarrassing about this whole mannikin head in the recycling bin thing is the fact that after walking by it during daylight hours, I felt the need…the absolute crushing desire to drive back after dark because I really  wanted to steal the head and bring it back to a tiny apartment  where approximately 300,000 drawings and pieces of art are stored. I mean, what made me think, oh goodie, a head. I need that! I really need that…I mean I wanted it  so much so that I was willing to get in my car, drive stealthily over two blocks to the recycling bin of a second rate beauty salon after dark, only to find that some other freakishly weird person had already beat me to the stealing of a mannikin head.

Damn! Life just ain’t fair. Truly. What? You don’t believe me? Oh I’ve got stories. Stories of other freakish events. Freakish events involving hanging babies upside down with masking tape. See! I told you!  Do I have your attention now, you non-believing heathens?  It all has to do with that art teacher. She’s making me be weird. Okay, perhaps I was already 90% there. But in an attempt to please her, I have been digging deep. Digging deep into my apparent well of weirdness. You know like where Elvis and Tim Burton hang out.

Anyways, in an attempt to be liked by my art teacher, who as you might remember held me up as an example of what not to do, I have tried to do the honorable thing,  like ignore my fellow student Latasha, who talks endlessly and makes me want to grab an exacto knife and carve my census information into her forehead.

Her: “Are you Wiccan?”

Me: “No”

Her: “Well you’re showing.”

And I’m like going WTF. I’m showing? What? Where?

“You’re showing your pentacle. Its supposed to be covered.”

Oh dear, flashing your jewels again….honestly witty!

Of course I was somewhat aware of my jewelry related transgression, since I had already had a similar conversation with the Wiccan cashier at the yuppie grocery store. She asked me which coven I belonged to. And I’m like coven? Well its probably the one that allows Democrats. I mean what else could I say?

Anyways, it seems that Latasha not only knows about pentacles, but virtually every subject in the universe. Why? Because she literally never stops talking. I know that she lost her virginity at 13 with her current boyfriend. She has a baby. She has won every art contest that she has ever entered. She works in a bar. She’s met the Pope. I mean everything!

And what did she tell me at the Coke Machine down by the gallery? Oh yes, that she was  bringing a bottle of wine to our art teacher, because the teacher had mentioned being open for bribes in an early class and Latasha hadn’t finished her homework. And so she did. And it worked! The teacher took the bottle of wine.

WTF! And I’m trying to please her, how???? Good work??!!! Why didn’t I think of wine? A little Chianti with her fava beans. Sheesh!

So I have dug even deeper. Down past the evil nuns of Catholic School beating me with rulers. Down past being forced to listen to the Mitch Miller Singers as a kid. This is war!

Example #1:

Yep! We like to strap babies to walls in our art class.  Of course, quite a few kids were rather terrorized by this assignment. A babydoll entangled in ropes and masking tape and perhaps even sporting a little junior baby whip.  Oh my. This is scary. We are in community college after all. Not many expectations. You know how I know? Because the teacher brought in drawings from her “other” class, you know, the ones she teaches at the  nationally known college across town. You know, the one whose students are required to present a portfolio just to get into the class. Not like community college of course. Oh no. No expectations here. Learning bycomparison. That’s how its done it seems.

But guess what? The teacher totally liked my serial killer scarebaby drawing. Squee!  How did I find a style that suited her? I Googled her. The internet is awesome. And I got to see all her kinda creepy drawings of…well I don’t want YOU Googling her fercrissakes. Please don’t, since Googling works both ways…if you get my drift.

My next drawing was even more pleasing to her. Who knew that teddy bears stabbed with a butcher knife could elevate your level of coolness with such swiftness and decisiveness.

Example #2:

Oh witty, we always knew you had a dark side. I already have this one framed for my Goth/Big boob/serial killer art show in April!

But as I sit here this evening, perhaps a little tweaked out on pain pills, maybe its less about her and more about me than I realize. The dark stuff. I guess when you get diagnosed for the third time in 14 months with cancer, you start to feel a little picked on.  Unlike my other cancers, this one has been particularly painful. Its in my chin and neck. Will I be able to finish school? I’m not sure. I’m not a quitter that’s for damn sure.  I definitely want to continue to be able to do art, you know, since I’m finally learning how…

On my own terms. And with no bribes.

fifty two chances to be awesome

February 21, 2010

365.4/21 AlohaThursday

I turned fifty two last week. Its such a dull number. I mean there’s no movies named after it like -“Ten” or musicals  like “Nine” or even TV shows like ’24’.  And its not even like 50, which was one big fucking deal. I had three birthday parties that year and I’m not even popular.

Nope, it was just boring little 52. Yawn. What? You want us to notice you? You better at least lift your shirt or something.  Okay, I was pretty damn popular on Facebook. I think I had close to 40 birthday greetings. They didn’t know about the boring number part though. I just pretended it was something fabulous like 46, which is what my neighbor guessed I was. Of course I do live at the Crazy Hilton and she might have just needed a medication adjustment. I also had some nice gifties from my awesome diaryland buddies (yes, diaryland still exists…I think)…the sexy cast of “Nine” all rolled into one… Ms. HissandTell, my secret penpal AnnaNotBob, the hilarious Poolagirl, who shares my birthday and the lovely Bluey from Canada.

Life has been crazy if not stressful lately though. The birthday thing included my yearly birthday party at my aunt’s house. She makes pretty little cakes and my mom sits and talks about herself endlessly.  Hey! Sorta like the last 52 years. She forgets that I’m the guest of honor. I usually eventually wander into my aunt’s living room and play Broadway musicals on the piano, you know, briefly living out that fantasy I had of being in show business many years ago. My first few jobs were actually  in the theatre field…playing the piano for musical productions. The last one was playing the piano in a whorehouse…for a show of course (heh!)  and getting fired. Can you imagine? Me getting fired from a whorehouse! It was a travesty!

But I got my revenge, dearies! I became a theatre critic for newspapers. Ha ha ha! Off with their heads. Slash, slash, slash! If there was one thing I learned from my mother was how to criticize people!  🙂

After cake and some Broadway musicals, it was off to see “A”. I haven’t seen him as my therapist for a really long time. I’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, you see. Cancer. School. Mothers. Did I mention Cancer? Oh, and 300 days in a row of snow and gray skies which tend to cause depression. We had a good session though. I didn’t make “A” guess my age or anything. He wasn’t overtly medicated like the lady at my apartment complex. And I didn’t want him guessing 57 or something.

Anyways, last Friday was my actual birthday. It was pretty low-key. I had freaked out “A” when I told him I had a massage scheduled the next day. He immediately thought I had hired Married Guy. Would I do that? Well, almost. I’m not perfect, ya know. I’m wittykitty. I had written Married Guy a lengthy emotional e-mail the weekend before and nearly hit “send”. What can I say? When I was sitting here feeling lonely, thinking about how good his hands used to feel on my ass, I guess you can say, I experienced a 45 minute lapse of nearly regrettable behavior.

Fortunately there were no blizzards the next day (sending love and kisses  down to Washington DC for taking all our BIG blizzards this year. Thanks, guys!!!), so I drove over to my cute little Eye-talian masseuse. This was our second session. He talked a little more this time and he’s definitely from Jersey. It was so nice getting a no strings attached massage from an Eye-talian.

 The rest of my birthday was pretty uneventful. Didn’t I just mention how boring 52 is? Are you listening?

School has been limping along. Evidently I have something called Chemotherapy-Brain, which is making it difficult for me to remember much of anything, which is like totally perfect for going back to school. Yay!  I’ve yet to do any of my homework correctly yet. Every week I either forget some sketchpad with my homework in it or I can’t comprehend what I’m reading  in one of my textbooks or I paint something completely wrong.

Our first assignment was to paint a “virus”. I might have mentioned this. Anyways, the day we were supposed to pin them all up on the wall to critique them I almost fainted. Everyone’s work was in black, white and gray. Mine? Mine looked like some freaking multi-colored Mardi Gras cat vomit. After the first week’s comment from the teacher about how my work was not something  anyone wanted to copy,  I really didn’t want to put it up. I mean really. But there it was…looking like Liberace in the middle of a bunch of nuns. Eeep!

Homework #2

The teacher just looked at it and said, “You’ll have to do it over, but don’t destroy it.”  Which I think in Teacher Talk, at least this Teacher, might have possibly been a vague compliment. And like duh! Like I would destroy any of my artwork. I like my Mardi Gras cat vomit virus. Wouldn’t you want that on a birthday card? Maybe by my 53rd birthday, it will be.

Its sorta like “Grease” except there’s no musical numbers and I’m really old

February 6, 2010

Okay, apparently people care about me sometime. Weird huh? Like what’s up with that? Stop it!  You’ll ruin my record of feeling totally ignored like some child reality star from the 70’s and than I won’t be able to whine anymore and then what will I talk about? “Glee”? Jessica Simpson?

Three weeks ago, a mere four days before registration for college would be ending, I hauled my lazy ass up off the couch…..LIKE FINALLY…..its not easy in the winter, since its at the height of my depression and I’d much rather hibernate amid the thick layers of fur dispensed by my very furry room mate Guardcat. Anyways, I drove up to the college. It was like the first time the sun had been out in like 376 days and I was like, OMG, its a sign from Yahweh. I must leave my house, although let’s be honest, I also had to detach my hands from my computer keyboard and stop looking at Facebook updates from the entire universe including people who were mean to me in high school. Why did I say yes to their friend requests? Why??? Because suddenly it was 1976 again and they were  being nice to witty and not making snotty remarks about her blue checkered polyester pantsuit she wore to Disneyland on Graduation Night.  

(Hey, I wasn’t always cool and I may not be now. Delusions still abound in this thing I call my head).

Anyways, I walked up to the registration counter at the community college thinking it would be easy like on my new favorite TV show “Community College” , but instead I hit an instant brick wall.

First they said registration had already ended. I knew that wasn’t true, because I had looked it up on their website. I did a little pouty lip thing. That made them send me to another person down the mile long counter. She was a lot nicer. She looked up my account. As you might remember I was a registered student back in September until that little fucker called Cancer decided to make his unwelcome pitstop. So I was still officially on the books, as was my funding. So Nice Girl sent me back to the Registration Nazis and what do you think? They were unhelpful again. I mean I had already gone to the art department secretary who had sort of blown me off. All I was trying to do was get  the frickin’ class numbers for a certain teacher’s class, since their names are not listed in the catalogue. But since I was so annoying, having interrupted a personal phone call, she gave me the info really fast and all I had was a post-it note to write 300 numbers on.  And then back at the Registration Nazi’s counter, I was told I would not be “allowed” to take any of those classes because they were “ADVANCED” art classes and I’d have to take like “How to draw a circle” class first.

I very rarely Diva myself up in real life, but I sort of huffed out my chin slightly and might have said something kinda snarky like, “I probably don’t really need the “How to draw a circle class” since I’m already an artist.” And then the guy behind the counter, probably thinking, “Oh, one of those…” (rhymes with itch), started typing really furiously into his computer and then announced rather triumphantly  “ALL ART CLASSES ARE FILLED, M’aam. Sorry.  Next….”

Since its winter and I’m depressed, I pretty much backed down immediately. Diva-Girl too deflated immediately and I just sort of backed away, whispering thank you. Truth is I cried all the way home in my car.  Not exactly being in cheerleader mode, I guess, I  figured, that was it.

When I went to my drawing group the following Wednesday I told JS about my adventures at the Community College. He’s the one who drove me to the cancer center and had all the car trouble and was totally even-tempered about the whole thing. Most of my friends are wing-nuts (but it an entertaining way, mostly), so its nice to have at least one go-to guy when you’re needing help. I actually wasn’t asking for help that night. I was just recounting what happened.

Anyways, the next morning the phone rings. Its JS. He says, “You’re registered for your art class on Tuesday. And I just happened to bump into WP (the art teacher I wanted) on campus and she said she will let you in her second class. No problem!”

Me: “Gulp!”

Guess I can’t use cancer to get out of this.

I was a little unnerved by what  he did, since, in a way, I had settled in my head that school was perhaps, not meant to be. That’s my depression speaking however and since depression is an idiot, not to mention pretty lazy, not liking its minions to succeed, we”ll just ignore it or better yet, let it drive off a cliff and crash like Charlie Sheen’s Mercedes.  

So I had to call the organization that is funding me and say “Surprise! I’m back! And yes, I know school starts in only 6 days, but can we get this thing rolling!” My counselor, I don’t think believed me nor wanted to make things easy, so the next week was pretty hellish and slow moving and stressful. Nothing got ok’d. I was without books or school supplies. I finally bought at least one sketch pad so I wouldn’t be doing tons of homework the night before the second week of classes.

So yeah, lets just say I’m almost old enough to be everyone’s grandmother in class. And so far no one  has recognized me as a cool, older person who they might entrust their secrets with and ask 1970’s movie trivia questions of. I’m pretty much ignored. Hey! Kinda like real life!

I’m taking two classes. A basic drawing class and then some other more  exotic class which really defies description. Our first assignment? Draw five viruses. Huh? Like Republicans? The other class just had us doing a basic still life. We also had to paint a color wheel of black fading to white.

I had done that assignment first.  Painted as asked, a kind of avant guardcat style, Watercolory. Slop. Slop. Slop color wheel that would have made Van Gogh want to chop off his other ear. Definitely. That’s just how I roll.  So as the teacher was walking around the class, she stopped and picked up my sketch pad and said, “Class…this is an example of what NOT to do.”

OMG….Mom????

 Sorry, just having a flashback to everything I ever showed my Mom growing up. I felt terrible, as in lets melt under the table. I told her I would re-do it. She said, “Yes, I know” or something equally encouraging.

(Editor’s note: At the age of 81, my mother has finally realized that when I ask her to look at my artwork, I’m not asking for her to look for its faults. Just to, hopefully see its beauty. Its been a real breakthrough).

Anyways, after that wondrous first encounter with the teacher I had pursued so relentlessly because of a previous good encounter at my art group’s conference, I suddenly felt like I wanted to go home.

Dear Brain: That is your depression speaking. It was just a stupid comment. You know you’re a good artist. Hang in there, witty. Love, witty’s angst department.

There was a brief 15 minute break between the two classes, so I ran over to the bookstore and fortunately the funding was finally ok’d for my two textbooks. My second class was the beginning drawing class. The one I supposedly couldn’t get in because I had to take something called like “How to draw a circle” first.

Ha, I say! Ha!

It was pretty obvious within seconds that I was  over qualified for the class when the same teacher had us all put our work up on a wall. This was a still life I had drawn over the weekend.

Drawing homework 1

I mean, its not a Rembrandt or anything, but it certainly wasn’t like most of the other one dimensional drawings of Nutella jars and football jerseys. And also for the first time, the teacher finally saw in me what she didn’t see in the first class…potential.

And I have to remember that too.

a very special fairy princess

January 15, 2010

So how has 2010 been treating you, so far? I’ve been having to practice writing the  2010 part. Why? Because, I still haven’t figured out how the numbers are situated yet. I keep writing 2100, in which case I’d be about 250 years old.  But look on the bright side. I could say that I survived chemotherapy!!

It sure didn’t seem like I would this past weekend. I had my second round, starting last Monday. Everything was all fine and groovy, other than the tired thing, until Friday when I started scratching. By Saturday I had a large splotchy, itchy rash all over my body and for some reason I thought Married Guy would know what to do, you know, since he touches skin all day. So I called him, since the Cancer Center was closed. Sunday the itching was so intensive I almost went to the emergency room. He finally called back on Sunday night and said one word:  Benadryl. Duh! Okay, maybe I just also needed to hear a comforting voice behind the word “Benadryl” having been locked up in my snowbound apartment all week and only talking to my mom about her cat and furniture we had in 1963.

I did go to my cancer center the next day and talked to Dr. Really-Nice Brian and his evil assistant Nurse Makes You Feel Like and Idiot Even Though You Have Cancer. Ever since I “yelled” at her back in September after she sent me to a surgeon for no reason, she’s always ready with all her super efficient answers for all my apparently fake ailments.

Like before I had my radiation and was deathly tired, pale and feverish, I asked about all the fevers I was getting. Her: “Oh, it must be menopause.” Me: “That was four years ago, bitch dear”. And then this week when I went in, she looked at me, obviously still traumatized by the memories of my severe and horrific tongue lashing from September, because everyone who knows me personally knows how totally terrifying and scary I am, right Guardcat? (she’s pointing and laughing at me).

Anyways, I go in and have to pull down my pants for Dr. Really-Nice Brian (gladly, you said you were married, right?) and Nurse Ratched to display the rash between my thighs and she says, “Oh, must have been some dry skin from winter”  and then evil smile.

WTF…Bitch?

Anyways, it WAS an allergic reaction to my chemotherapy and only 5-7% of the people taking my medication get it.

Fortunately by Wednesday, it was about 85% gone, so I was able to go back to my drawing class which I had missed the week before. Missing my class anytime is difficult , but particularly in the winter when my yearly depression descends.  So after eating a little Chinese food at the yuppie grocery store, I drove to my drawing class. I was fairly certain I was co-hosting with Charlemagne, but he hadn’t hosted last month, so I wasn’t sure.

But walking up the stairs I heard that familiar voice and it sounded way better than it usually did, I guess because I hadn’t been out socially for a while and of course, because I knew there was a hug waiting at the end of it.

It was a smaller class than usual with my least favorite model. The one who, a couple of months ago confessed his genitals might be kinda red because he was getting so much sex. Thanks, Mr. TMI.

My main problem with him, I mean besides him, is the fact that our reserve of models has fallen so dangerously low,  he is like the  substitute teacher the female staff is uncomfortable around. He’s there anyways to draw, so if a model doesn’t show up, he’ll just tear off his clothes, including his gaudy Simpsons underwear and whip it out, so to speak and we’ll be forced to sit through basically the same poses he’s done week after week after week and its like being forced to watch endless reruns of “Joanie Loves Chachie”, except naked.

And I feel bad. Because I had gotten sick of other frequent models from the past. Like the Nazi Model, who would do this particularly terrifying bending over pose, where if you were at the receiving end, pretty much looked like page 36 in “Pap Smears for Dummies”. Ick! I mean I got so sick of her I started doing really mean drawings of her, like with horns and holding pitch fork with flames coming out of her mouth. Oh dear. No wonder I was still in therapy at that point.  

Fortunately, I sat next to Charlemagne, who had his usual humorous running commentary throughout the night. Unlike any of the other hosts, he likes to run contests and give away prizes. I’m not eligible since I’m a board member which is totally unfair…do you hear me, Charlemagne?? I mean, its true he was only giving away some used  watercolor pencils, but still. How many places do you go where you can win a prize by imitating a “Celebrity” laugh?

A couple of people did give it a go, just doing boring normal people laughs and pretending to be like Fergie’s pilate instructor or something. I was just sitting there looking at Mr. TMI, feeling totally uninspired. It wasn’t until I was in the shower this morning, that I realized how I could have totally won that contest. You want a celebrity laugh?

Woody Woodpecker!!!!

And how appropriate for a male model. Of course Mr. “TMI” would think it was about him, if you had said pecker.  

Naturally during the break, after showing Charlemagne my carrot unicorn (you had to be there) , I got trapped, ensnared cornered by Zue, who still thinks we’re like BFF’s, even though I get that stricken look  everytime she walks towards me. We always have announcements at the break and when we finish the official ones,  she’ll keep going and going because she so needs to be heard. 

Like for instance, next week(!!!!) she will be demonstrating lighting for cameras to take photos of models to make paintings from. OMG, no way! Yes way, witty! So of course she felt the need to come over to me and explain what an incredibly complex and difficult this task is (holding a piece of white cardboard up to bounce the flash).

Realllllly??????

She really does corner you physically too. It makes me uncomfortable. So she’s going on and on and on about cardboard and flashes and I finally had to stop her.

“Zue, I’m a photographer. I used to work at a newspaper. We had a photo studio. I’ve been photographed in a studio. I’ve had photos published. I’ve had my photos in museums. Thanks for the information, now can I get a cup of juice, please?”

I guess since I’m so knowledgeable, I will instead be her model. But she has assured me I shall remain clothed. Oh goodie. And of course, I probably won’t really need a flash, since I’m whiter than Antarctica and would probably create an instantaneous, if not slightly erotic Aurora Borealis if she tried to use one.

Charlemagne cleared out a little early so I finished cleaning up with JS and Tall Skinny Guy. JS had asked me about school. I still haven’t signed up for classes starting in a mere two weeks. My problem? Mostly depression. Not sure how things will go with my health. So suddenly Tall Skinny Guy looks at me and says, “Well then, we’ll just give you a big party….we’ll give you a big BIG party and….and…we’ll make you a very special fairy princess!!”

I stood there for a moment, not knowing what to say. A 51-year old very special fairy princess? Well dang! That sounds pretty darn good! I mean, I think he was trying to cheer me up. Right? 

Incidently, I won a photo contest this last week in a local alternative newspaper. Some of you already know about this, but I thought I would share the photo with the rest of you. 

 365.4/6 Walking away 2010

I guess the wings in this photo  prove the fairy princess thing.

the day darth vadar did a little heavy breathing

November 23, 2009

Dear Ms. Blogenstein:

Its me Guardcat. witty is resting. She’s been all crazy the last couple of weeks (yeah, I know, when isn’t she) with several art shows, three days of cyber knife radiation, funerals, Eye-talian guys acting up, computers dying, stalker girl suddenly re-appearing, a new sudden speaking “career”  about how art is healing at various locations….Lookie….

365.3/172 Delavan speech- Eek!

She made me put that photo in since she looks skinny and she says she’s channeling Meryl Streep while she’s drunk leaning sideways after winning a Tony award or something, but you know witty, we never know what the hell she’s talking about especially lately since she’s been running from art show to art show, putting up her group’s show last week in a dark, dank cement gallery at the local university,  a kind of pseudo Soho kind of place with glaring florescent lighting that according to Tall Skinny Guy made it impossible for witty to take any good photos because she was too short and the light was glaring on all her artwork. I’m only a cat, but I think he was just jabbing her because he’s so jealous of her and Charlemagne, so she “accidentally” repaid the favor by putting the wrong name tag on his artwork. It really was an accident. A subconscious one.

High five, sistah!

This was one of witty’s many death oriented art things she’s been doing lately.

The Swimmer

Anyways, the next night was her show at the more upper class snooty art gallery. She had invited “A” since it was sort of a big thing to have a painting there. As in there. (said with your pinkie up). Poor witty. She is still controlled by that guy. That night the show was to start at 5 p.m. She was still sitting around playing Facebook at 4:15 in her jammies,  and who calls on her cell phone? “A”. He wants her to meet him there at 4:45….15 minutes before the show even opens and 30 minutes from her house. Gah! So naturally she wigs out and starts throwing things in the air and brushing her hair and getting all girlie. She even wore a short black skirt with black ribbed stocking that made her legs look totally hot. “A” didn’t notice of course. And he was late.

men are so stupid. I’m so glad I’m a cat and don’t have to deal with them.

Anyways, the rest of the night, witty mainly just stood around near her painting, pretending to look at her new cell phone as if she was waiting for text messages from Johnny Depp.  She’s not sure if anyone was looking at her hot legs art work. She did circle the gallery about 50 times and ate some cheese, going, “Woo! This is fun!” Did she mention she was exhausted? Must be the cancer thing. She won’t tell anyone though…or very few people, because she doesn’t want any sympathy. But the exhaustion was pretty obvious when she got home that night.

That weekend she went back to the hoity toity gallery and spoke about how healing art is for the soul and her depression. Her aunt was weeping afterwards. It was a little embarrassing but totally affecting to her psyche, since she’s not really used to people crying about what she says.

Even though I’m a cat I did know when it was Monday two days later and that it was the beginning of radiation for witty…a thing called cyber knife. She seemed really nervous that morning. Like REALLY nervous. Like telling me to shut up nervous.

What? But I’m so fucking cute!

She left around noon. (I know how to tell time too, dammit! I must be smart if I’m writing a blog, right?) I guess she tried to call “A” repeatedly but her phone number was blocked on his private cell phone. Bummer! He had even said he’d talk to her right before the radiation too. Cell phones are stupid.

Anyways, she got zipped into this skin-tight Mary Quant-like (thanks Scott) mini skirt contraption for the radiation treatment and asked if she thought she’d be able to lay still on this long skinny table for two hours or whether she’d needed to be strapped in. witty? strapped in?

Yeah…baby.

But she eventually decided against it, you know in case there was a nuclear event or she needed to pee.  The first day she didn’t realize she had a choice of music, listening to classical music for two hours, but day two it was the Beatles while this large massive machine whooshed and pivoted over the top of her, making weird high-pitched screeches, intermingled with deep Darth Vadar like breathing…sighing…swooning….orgasmic at time. Just witty and him. Darth and Cyberknife Girl.

Who’s Cyber Knife Girl?

I think witty might have gotten a little much radiation, because by the third day she thought she was a Super Hero.  And indeed she did get a lot of it. When she was finally done on Day Three she came out of her little radiation dungeon and her Michael J. Fox doctor came running up to her smiling broadly (of course, she HAD just been asked to disrobe to total frontal nudeness in the radiation room where there were ceiling cameras rolling but I digress) and grabbed her hand and shook it vigorously saying “Congratulations!”. She asked for what, since she was about as lit as a Hanukkah candle by Day  Eight. He then told witty she  had just had 6 weeks worth of radiation in three days and she went ” Whee! WTF??? Am I going to pee neon?” Ok, she only thought  that in her head.

She also knew she didn’t want to miss her drawing class that night, you know, since she would get to see her favorite Frenchman Charlemagne. The doctor said it would be ok, since the tiredness wouldn’t really hit til the weekend.

oh witty, you so silly.

Charlemagne was merely 25 minutes late that night, you know, the night witty had TOLD him she had just been radiated into a hot mess by that dude Darth Vadar, so she was not happy when he was so late. It’s a good thing she thinks Charlemagne is cute and gives good hug, otherwise she might have hit him in the head with something that looked like 12 easals strapped together.

In the meantime, witty is now just waiting for the beginning of chemo, which will start around December 7th. She’s really scared about that, especially in the depth of winter and her time of depression. But she’s gotten pretty good at turning negatives into positives lately. Maybe she’ll just convert herself from Cyberknife Girl into  singer Sinead O’Connor and go sing on some hillside with a herd of goats.

Just as long as she doesn’t forget to come home and feed me a bowl of Friskies every so often.  Priorities, you know.

why do most of my doctors look like michael j fox?

October 3, 2009

In the last three weeks I’ve been to so many doctor appointments in so many places, with so many nurses and so many waiting rooms with so many crappy magazines (except for the last two which had the New Yorker) with so many people asking me for blood and to stand on scales and to lay quietly and  giving me bad news (yes, I do have cancer again) and making me feeling all tired and handing me large folders full of information about cyber knives and them wanting to send me to a cancer center in Buffalo even though my car looked at me and sarcastically said, “Buffalo….you’re kidding, right?”

The fact that my car talks should be scary enough.

And then there was that huge fight with “L” the Hippy Chick two days before my lung cancer biopsy. I was a wreck waiting to go to the hospital, so I had been trying to fill my days with fun, relaxing activities so I wouldn’t think about the upcoming medical “event”.

For instance, I went to my favorite artsy/hippie festival the weekend before.  My art group had a tent set up and I mostly hung out there since  I had been feeling really tired lately. But I did walk around a little to see all the lovely whack-a-doos  in my town. Artists. Belly dancers. Musicians. Hippies. Flower Children…

And even Republicans trying to shake our hands, like they liked us.

For me, the argument had actually  briefly started the day before. I had parked quite a ways from the center of activity mainly because, well shit, there were no parking places any closer. Do you think I would park a half mile away if I could park 20 feet away?  So I offered “L” and her grandson a ride home like I always do. I have no problem giving people rides. None. I do it all the time.  If I’m lucky enough to have a working car, why not help people out….right?

 So “L” was spouting off angrily about something. I had sort of tuned it out for the first time ever. Why? Because I was still  grooving off the good vibes of the happy hippy day. Then she says, “Well, if I had known your car was this far, I would have just walked home!”

I bit my tongue on that one, but decided to take the high road. So I offered to go get the car and pick her up, but no, no, no, she said,  I’ll make it…somehow (groan).

Anyways, the next day I went to an art event up at the university in their lovely  art gallery. It was very relaxing and pleasant and quiet. We didn’t have a huge turn out, but we were sitting amongst a very famous painter’s artwork  drawing a model and I was incredibly relaxed. Which was good. And also the reason I went.

And then “L” shows up with her grandson who’s 7. And suddenly she was chatting loudly. Joking with the model. Her grandson was running amuck around the galleries. “D”, who was running the session, tried to give him some paper to draw on, but after about 5 minutes, he was running around once again. “L” wasn’t doing anything about it, as usual.

At the time, instead of drawing the model, I was actually attempting to draw one of the famous paintings. Silly me. Anyways, suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I see the grandson walking around with what looked like a pencil. He looked at me coyly and then turned around and started making a stabbing motion at the painting. I totally freaked out. This painting is probably worth about $80,000. So I leaned over and whispered, “Please don’t do that!” So he runs back over to “L” and I could hear some loud whispering and then some whimpering. Great. I made the kid cry.

We finally finished up around 3 and went outside. I offer her and her grandson a ride home but warned that it was about 5 blocks to my car since I couldn’t park on campus. “L” suddenly got absolutely  livid and started doing this loud mock talking to “D”, as if I wasn’t there and then stalked off. WTF? Ok, fine. Whatever. 

So “D” and I started walking to our cars and I’m blowing off a little steam about how weird she was acting and and then suddenly at the first red light she jumps in front of us and sarcastically wishes “D” a “Good Day” and just glares at me. I told her I hope she had a good day too. It was just getting too weird. Then she disappeared again. “D” and I walked together another 2 blocks and he went up that street to his car and then suddenly there was “L” again…yelling at me at the top of her lungs in the middle of a busy thoroughfare.  I just kept walking.

I’m really pretty innocuous in real life. Very quiet. Not someone to pick fights. And here is this woman, who I’ve been friends with for 5 years screaming all this crap at me. I finally yelled, “I’m going in for a cancer biopsy tomorrow. I went today so I could relax. Can you please stop yelling at me?” And then there was a brief silence and then she yelled something to the effect that “We all have to go sometime. That’s just how life is.” By then I started crying. How could anyone say that to someone going in for a cancer biopsy?

She then yelled after me 3 times…”What time?” I yelled back 7 a.m.” but evidently she couldn’t hear me because by time I got to the street where my car was,  she screamed at me that I was just like her last friend she just lost. That was I abandoning her. Needless to say, I cried all the way home.

Fortunately, not ALL my art friends are lunatics because on Tuesday, my dear friend Charlemagne did pick me up (I think Guardcat told you that) for my hospital visit.  And he does give good hug. You know you do, you cute little Frenchman!

And then in some weird stroke of fate or synchronicity, I was shopping at Target the next week and who do I run into AGAIN? Married Guy. Yup. Right there in the pet food aisle. Something keeps throwing us together. When he saw me the first words out of his mouth were, “You look really pale.” Oh wait, no, he first said, “How come everytime I see you, you’re shopping?” and I said, “Because I’m a rich housewife in *********” Ha, ha, ha. Irony. Love it. Both the rich part and the wife part. So anyways once we both bought our stuff we went outside and I told him about my lung cancer and he looked pretty stricken.  And then he offered help. And then I stupidly went to his wifie’s art show that Friday night. Do I want to see him again? Yes. Absolutely. I’m going through some really rough times  right now and I really need some people to lean on.  He gave me his cell phone and said to call him anytime. Whether I’ll actually be able to, remains to be seen.

Anyways, back to the doctor part,  evidently doctors don’t necessarily talk to each other. I now have about 4 or 5 of them. And except for the hottie oncologist, they all look like Michael J. Fox, especially the one I saw today who told me I’ll be getting something called Cyberknife, which is some kind of high intensity radiation in 3 or 4  lengthy sessions.  I’ve been worried because October is my busiest art month, but it looks like I’ll be able to get most of my events in, before I collapse into a pile of glowing radioactive wittykitty goo towards the end of the month. That is way better than the original suggestion of a serious, big ass surgery though, and I’m happy about that. Of course, ask me about that when I’m sleeping 23 hours a day around October 23rd.

Oh, by the way, “L” the Hippie Chick didn’t talk to me last week in my art group, but she did this week. Pretty much everyone in my art group now knows I have cancer. And for some reason as Sci-Fi Guy and “L” were walking me out Wednesday, she started asking me if the doctors had given me a length of time I was expected to live. She just kept asking me that over and over.  It was really starting to upset me.  When you’re dealing with this kind of stuff  you really don’t want to think about that, you’re supposed to think about your survival. I finally practically yelled I didn’t know and just asked her to pray for me. And then she mentioned she knew of a prayerline- on the phone with the numbers 666 in it.

WTF? Am I really that bad? I know one thing, I’m never correcting anyone’s kids ever again!

This is me right before my biopsy on September 15th. I’m so 666, dont’cha think?

now I remember why I’m a neurotic recluse

August 16, 2009

Greetings from the hot and steamy writing salon of awittykitty. I’m just momentarily resting on my lazy ass laurels a mere 48 hours after the opening of my one woman art show. Oh yeah, it sounds impressive all right.  Fall at my feet you mere mortals. Feed me grapes, oh naked boys who might possibly give me a lap dance in some wildly inappropriate setting like the set of “Deal or No Deal”. But the truth is, its only a bipolar woman who painted a bunch of stuff and then some lady took it to a beauty spa. The end. Ya got it?

But witty, why were you totally off the ledge with anxiety and angst for the last freaking week or 47? The truth is I had a lot happening. I just deleted about 5 paragraphs. Why? They made me sound even more neurotic and crazed than I usually am. Let’s just say its been a combo of “Fatal Attraction” and  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” all kind of dwooshed up together with  a really bad hormonal Movie of the Week starring Meredith Baxter Birney.

Shall we start at the beginning? I guess I mentioned that some rich wife of an artist I draw with had shown some interest in my work at another art show back in May. I was a wreck when she came and picked 8 pieces at my apartment. She’s the kind of person I generally make fun in my blog. Bubbly yuppie type with a cell phone glued to her ear. And then suddenly there she was standing in my apartment. It was a strange juxtaposition. A sort Pygmalion sort of thing, ya see.

So we hung the show about a month ago at a beauty spa. It was a nice place. Not Beverly Hills glamorous, but nicer than say like Hairs-R-Us. And they even had FAUX Marble walls! I liked it. Me and “P” agreed on where and how to hang everything and got along really well. And then suddenly  I didn’t hear from her for like 10 days. I didn’t know what to think, other than the worst of course.

She finally called and said she was writing press releases for a couple of  local newspapers, as well as “an article” for the small local publication in the town where the spa was.  I sent her over some photos of my artwork. And then she sent me a copy of the article. I cringed. People who are bubbly and chatty may not necessarily be able to write I quickly realized.

I had thought I had finally gotten over that thing called “being a control freak” but evidently there were still small fragments lodged in my calm and rather adorable exterior.  So I wrote her back a note with a few suggestions about the article, you know, since I have an extensive journalism background, which I mentioned numerous times to the point of perhaps (cough) totally humiliating her.  It was my mood, people.  I’m bipolar!!!  So I re-wrote the paragraph about me, even though she said she had already sent it to the editor and sent it back. I don’t know why I cared so much. It was just for a crappy little paper  probably scanned by only about 12 people.

Incidentally, this is a painting I was working on while all this chaos was going on.  Do you think it shows the angst and loss of control I was feeling?

Yeah, I think so too.

Anyways, “P” finally set a date for my opening…Thursday, August 13th.  She was sending out info to everyone she could, including local art guilds, like the one Married Guy’s wife belongs to. Erg! She also wanted me to self-promote too.

Self promote?  Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. What’s that?

She then brought some color flyers up to my art class Wednesday night. I had sent her two images of two different paintings, one of the Virgin Mary and one of Johnny Depp. Naturally I had to make a joke when I saw them next to each other on the flyer. Like, “Yeah, I heard  that Johnny Depp and the Virgin Mary have been dating  since the Teen Choice Awards….” (rim shot). 

I’m much funnier in print obviously.

She  handed the flyers out to all 20 some people in the class. I was still worrying about the reason I talked about in those 5 deleted paragraphs. I’ve had a stalker recently who has been making me even more nervous and paranoid than usual, so I had been trying to shield the time and place of my show from this person. I had just planned to ask a few people in the class because I was beside myself with worry as my info went public.

I had also invited my best friend “L” the Hippie Chick but had made a stupid mistake. Her young grandson was up visiting her and this weekend we had gone to see a free theatre production and he had been, shall we say, a bit free-spirited. As in he didn’t want to see the show, so he walked out of the theatre and left the building and I had no idea if he was out on the road getting hit by a car or what, since “L” had switched seats to sit with him in the back and then he came to sit with me and then he just left.  I was freaking out during the whole show. Do I get up and go look for him? Is he safe? Where’s “L”? She must be looking for him. I kept looking in the back, looking for her.

Anyways, I told her I didn’t want him to come to my art show since at our art class he was also constantly running and sliding on the floor and rolling around and making  noises and knocking stuff over. I just couldn’t see him at this tony beauty spa. “L” walked away from me angry Wednesday night. I started crying immediately. I think it was the combination of everything.

Zue, my second least favorite person, talked to me for about 20 minutes afterwards. She wasn’t too obnoxious. She was one of the people I didn’t want at the show, but what the hell, she earned it, listening to all my drama queen whimpering. Now she’ll probably want to be my BFF too.  

Anyways, fast forward to my art opening, since this entry is getting longer than “War and Peace”.  Had a few calls in the morning including “L” saying that she would be there without her rambunctious grandson. Although she added, he would have gotten a lot out of seeing my art. Okay, I deserve that I guess. 

I got there about 10 minutes before the opening. “P”, my “agent” was getting her hair done. She said I looked “fresh and cool.” Ha! I had just driven 15 miles in a hot-ass car with no air conditioning, but thanks. I had brought a few additional pieces, since she said I could, including the sinful “City on Fire” pictured above (which had been rejected by her for the show as too stressful- heh heh! Try living in the body of a bipolar woman during a hot spell with a stalker).

People finally started filtering in. My mom came and was very well behaved. Folks from my art class. My aunt. Even some people who had said they weren’t coming showed up. Good ones, not the stalker fortunately. “P” was flitting around, mostly promoting the salon now. That’s fine with me. Her husband came. He loaned me this book called “Postm0dern Heretics” . Basically it was about sex, art, sex,  religion…and did I mention sex with explicit photos of such things as a semi-ude guy nailing himself to a Volkswagon a ‘la the crucifixtion.. Ummm, interesting.

It soon got even weirder. I was walking around with my camera, of course. One of the male hair dressers asked if I would take his photo. I said sure, no problem. So he grabbed a manikin head used for wigs off the counter. It has a vague female face. He asked me to come into a little side room with a lounger.  So I followed him in there and he jumps onto the lounger and buries the mannikin’s head down in his crotch and says, “Take my picture….just don’t get my face in it.”

Ummmmm?!?!?!

 But I’m an idiot. I took his picture. Nothing like bonding over a little porn with a total stranger during your art show. I should have made him buy one of my damn paintings for that.

Anyways, the rest of the evening went much better. I mostly talked about art with my friends. Afterwards, me and some of the girls went next door and got some ice cream cones. Naturally after about 4 licks mine fell on the ground. I bent over and wiped off the top layer. Everyone was screaming. “No witty. Ewww!”, but I just continued to eat it. It fell on asphalt for god sakes. Its not like there were ants or dog poop or anything. Anyways, “L” the Hippie Chick disappeared for a couple of minutes and then came back with this humongous waffle cone with a huge pile of ice cream on top of it and said, “Here.” 

See, that’s what friends are really about.

By the way…Virgins are cute.  Buy them and take them home. OK? Thanks.  

 

the british guy in the park

August 2, 2009

It all started with this tree to be honest….

British Men Like Trees by you.

I had just spent the last couple of hours with my mother.  I had dreaded the day. She was bringing back a cat, aka the Scourge from Hell, she had adopted from the humane society back in June. I had had to listen to the daily horror stories of broken dishes and lamps and bites to the head and how she was jumping on top of the refrigerator knocking things over as well as constantly running between her feet as she walked. Now my mom is 81 and not very stable as it is and I was literally waiting for the “witty (sob, sob), I just fell and broke my hip” call. As it was, she had already wrenched her back trying to avoid stepping on the cat in her bedroom a couple of weeks ago. So this last week, she finally wisely decided to take the cat back. Oh the guilt! But I told her, perhaps a little too snappishly, that this one was just too active for someone of her age.

So I brought Guardcat’s cat cage over to her house since the cardboard one they had given her back in June had only contained “Psycho”  for only about 1 minute and then she had escaped, as in she had jumped up on the dash board and was running around the vehicle at about 250 mph  in traffic. Its truly amazing my mom didn’t crash her car.

So the day was rough. My mom was crying…that is until we went to the humane society and she was able to play with about 45 cats in two large rooms for about an hour and a half. She kept saying she wanted “pretty cats” instead of  the “compatible” cats. Isn’t that what dudes say, Mom? Anyways, she eventually went home empty handed, but hopefully she’ll come to her senses and get one of the older cats who will sit and watch “American Idol” with her.

Anyways, after all the emotional turmoil in the afternoon with my mom and jumping over cats of every size and shape at the humane society (and yes, of course I totally love cats and played with lots of them), I really needed to take some time to regroup.

I’ve been very very very stressed out about losing my disability recently. “A”, after one appointment after a year on Tuesday, said I’m all better mentally evidently and said if asked by the government, he will tell them accordingly. If I lose my disability, I will also lose my health insurance and when you have cancer, or  at least the possibility of it and have to go get $3300 x-rays every 3 months (along with a myriad of other appointments), the thought of losing your insurance is pretty fucking  scary. So I’ve been crying ever since he sent me an e-mail to that effect Wednesday afternoon. Thanks “A”.  

So I went to our nearby lake for a walk. It was really busy because it was a beautiful summer day. Naturally I had my camera with me. Its like permanently attached to my hand, kinda like you yuppies and your cell phones.

Anyways, I saw this tree (see above). Recently when I was in my nekkid drawing class I had been bored drawing this certain model who was standing there with her arms raised above her head. Sometimes witty is naughty. She’ll do things like draw horns or spikes on models or write something like “I wonder if I have a spine” down the back of a male model. Anyways, with this particular model I had drawn her arms raised upwards and then started adding branches growing out of her body, kinda like a naked model tree!

And I wasn’t even stoned!

I actually liked the idea so much I’ve been thinking of doing a painting. Anyways this tree looked a lot like that particular drawing. The shape was almost identical. So I was standing there shooting the photo when suddenly I hear this male voice with an English accent say, “Why are you photographing a tree?” It startled me 1) because, as you know if you’ve read me for a while, I think that I’m invisible, so when somebody acknowledges that I’m there, I’m usually pretty startled 2) He was way closer than I realized, as in standing right next to me.  3) What a strange question to ask. I’m just photographing a tree.

And before I knew it, this tall British guy, who I had actually seen sitting on a bench when I sat down just five minutes earlier,  was standing RIGHT THERE and he was incredibly verbose, telling me he was a writer, and then breaking out into this  lengthy hilarious “Roses are read, violets are green…” poem about a shopkeeper breaking dishes and cats jumping over taxis. Who knows. He even managed to interject the word “genitalia” in there, although I can’t remember in what context. I was just standing there with my camera nervously clutched in my hand, looking at him, wondering what part I was playing in  all this. He then  wanted to guess what astrology sign I was and actually nailed it. Aquarius. WTF! I said I thought he was probably a Gemini because he talked so much. He said I was close He was on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer. He asked what I did. My stock answer now is “artist”. I don’t actually make my living at it, but its my vocation. And he asked about that. How can you make a living at art?

Pretty cheeky there, Brit Boy! How do you know I’m not like some famous woman tree photographer or Picasso’s great step-grand niece.

He was talking so fast and fluidly and leaping from subject to subject, I was having a bit of a problem keeping up. There was a brief jaunt into psychotherapy. My quote: “Therapists are paid friends”. He didn’t agree. He wondered how hard it would be to find an illustrator for his children’s book.  Are you trying to pick me up, dude? I mean, professionally? And then we were talking about biorhythms. I wondered aloud why mine were always below the line instead of  above the line. He didn’t know.  And then he asked me what I was doing with my life.

Yikes? Do I even know? True I just got a letter which has given me a full grant for 2 classes a semester through Spring of 2010 towards my long awaited Bachelor’s degree in art. But instead I chose to remain mysterious. I told him I was walking. Just walking. I think he was perplexed. Or maybe that I was really deep or something. Or was possibly that I was just avoiding the real question since I didn’t know who the hell this British Guy was or why  he was asking me all these probing questions.

He then asked me to sit down. The blissful, we-just-met-and-this-is-going-well did slow down noticeably when we sat. In fact, there was like a full moment of silence. I could feel the breeze blowing off the lake through my hair. Fortunately he finally started chatting again about the boats out in the lake. I told him I liked kayaking. He said his kids “liked to fucking jet ski since it was better than talking to each other. ”

I then noticed he started patting the pocket in his shirt intermittently. I knew what that meant. Pat, pat, pat. We chatted a little more. Pat, pat, pat. And then he said, “Do you smoke?” and I said, “No.” and he said, “I better go.”

Just.like.that. A whole relationship played out in a matter of 15 minutes. The blush of first love. Intense interest in what each other has to say. Sitting down, as familiarity takes hold, talking like an old married couple. And then the one thing we always knew we never had in common, suddenly hits our “relationship” like a meteor and it was over!

He never even asked me my name.

In other news, I had some guy with a blue painted face come up to me at an art’s festival last weekend. He asked if I wanted to come paint a man in this certain art gallery. I know the gallery. The woman who runs it had actually expressed some interest in my work last November and was going to come to my house to look at my work but then I got the cancer and we never connected. Naturally I said yes. I always want to paint men. 🙂

So I went up to the gallery. Little did I know that I was going to…well you’ll see…

365.3/125 Man-paint Bokah 

actually paint a man.  See, if the damn British Guy had played his cards right….