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2005-06-25 @ 11:35 p.m.
an unlikely convert, even in the humidity


It’s kinda weird when the little cousin who, at age 4, when she got a kid’s doctor’s kit stethoscope, insisted on taking everyone’s heartbeat (around 23 people) during a Christmas Party and then proclaimed that everyone was going to live, is now graduating from high school. She is still rather fond of caretaking. She is planning on becoming a zoologist and works at the local zoo with birds after school. Even her graduation party invitation had a picture of her and a parrot. She’s a sweet girl and obviously has a gentle touch with the birdie population, since her co-workers from the zoo, brought over one of the birds from the zoo and it was a big hit, especially with the little kids at the party. And well, heh, heh, with me too. I kinda like birds, especially after my recent fling with Mango, the Sun Conure.

About the only unfortunate part of her party today was the fact that it hit 100 degrees...the party was outside and the dewpoint was about 70, which roughly translated means that even your fingernails sweat. Ugh!! I. hate. humidity. The party didn’t start until 3 p.m. (i.e. the hottest part of the day), so the first half of the day I got an oil change for my car (and dammit all, its still leaking after the oil change) and then for 2.5 hours I luxuriated in an ice cold movie theatre and slobbered over saw Christian Bale in “Batman Begins”, which was about the best Batman movie since the original. Of course, I did miss the theatrical Tim Burton design touches, but it was a very well executed movie. I did get a brief Tim Burton fix during a movie trailer for “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and I am waiting with baited breathe for that one. Squirrels on assembly lines? Johnny Depp with his faintly gay, lispy voice, creamy white skin and page boy hairdo? Oh wait, that sounds like Michael Jackson, doesn’t it? Ha! Well, regardless, I can’t wait, because I know Johnny will do some incredibly audacious thing with the role and Tim Burton, who is my design god, will make the film sing like no other. Yippee!

After that though, I headed to my cousin’s house. My graduating cousin is actually the daughter of my cousin, thus making her my second cousin. And its funny, her and her two sisters look nothing like the rest of the family, they’re all cute, skinny, busty and blonde. Yikes! How did that happen?

When I got there, I could see a big tent set up out in the drive way and I knew this would make my mom unhappy. She lives in air conditioning 24 hours a day from March to November and practically goes into homicidal health crisis/call 911 thingie if she even has to walk 40 feet to her car in the heat and humidity. Yet there she was...sitting in the garage like a large red sweaty buddha. I could tell she was on the verge of hysteria a'la mode, so I promptly walked by her and said hello to the relatives. Even though we all live in the same town, I usually only see them on Christmas and sometimes Thanksgiving. I gave my cousin a card with $5 and also a book I had about the San Diego Zoo. I apologized that the book was from my bookshelf at home, but I told her I thought she would like it since its has over 100 pages of color pictures of animals and birds and the history and innerworkings of the illustrious San Diego Zoo. She seemed happy with it. Maybe when she graduates from college, I’ll be richer and be able to give her a better gift.

As in most parties I knew very few people...only my relatives really. And the people were divided into two groups. E’s high school friends and people in their 70’s. And I will never cease to be amazed at what what high school kids are wearing these days (geeze, now I sound like an old geezer. Ya got your dentures in witty?). E’s oldest sister, came out in a tiny bikini bra and shorts slung down to the pubic hair area. E had a nice bra on. I could see almost her entire bra because her tiny shirt only covered a small portion of it. She too had a tiny, low slung teeny, tiny mini skirt on. The middle sister, who used to work at Hooters, had the most clothes on, but was still showing cleavage. Meh...maybe I’m just jealous, I’m not size 0, cute blonde.

The big hit of the party though, was the parrot from the zoo. E works with the birds 4 times a week and handles them like a pro and everybody, if you’ll excuse the pun, just flocked to her, when she took Lucky out of his cage. I was right there too. I love seeing animals and birds up close. I even got to gently pet his back. I asked what kind of bird he was several times, but there was so much chaos going on, I couldn’t quite hear the name, so if the name Eclectic Parrot from Australia doesn’t sound quite right, it probably isn’t. I did get some really cute pictures of my cousin with the bird however, which I will send over to her via my aunt and uncle.

I finally ate. I was a little worried about the food because it was sitting in a steaming hot garage under a window in direct sunlight. I could just see getting food poisoning from some e-coli infected macaroni salad, so I really didn’t eat very much considering the elaborate spread.

My mom, in the meantime, had moved out of the garage into the tent outside. It was just as hot out there, but at least there, there was an occasional gust of steamy air. She pretty much bitched about the heat non-stop and of course I had to rub it in when I heard somebody say they had driven by a bank thermometer and it had read 100 degrees. Yay!! So she was like, “Waaah! My hands are sweating...” Like this would really be a news flash amongst 36 other sweaty people meandering around. Really? Sweating hands? Maybe we should call Lourdes!!

Oh, and speaking of Lourdes, and being saved or cured or whatever, my cousin “D” and her husband came and sat at our table. “D” used to be my favorite cousin growing up. She was always really pretty and she laughed alot and even though she was several years older than me, she was always nice to me when we visited in the summer. I always felt “cool” because “D” liked me. We used to play “Barbies” endlessly out on the front porch of my aunt’s house in the summer and she used to let me borrow her bike. I just thought she was the greatest!

But somewhere along the way, “D” after a somewhat harsh life, found religion. And now her task or rather mission, is to help EVERYONE find religion...whether you want to or not. Needless to say, I am not a good candidate. Because, once I escaped the Gulag Hell that was Catholic School, I never looked back. But that doesn’t keep “D” from trying...every...single...time...she...sees...me. It’s like, “D”, I really love you, you were one of my favorite cousins, but no way am I stepping into of your churches. MMm-kay?”

Obviously not. And I think, she thinks, my soul needs saving. Why? I guess because of the little conversation we were having. She was being very attentive to me, which of course, I really need. I don’t get much attention. First she noticed my necklace...



“Isn’t that the same necklace you had on last time I saw you?” Me: “Yes”. Her: “What does that little star mean?” Me: “Its a pentacle” Her: “What’s that mean?” Me: (knowing that she knew that it had to do with wiccan, i.e. “heathen” stuff) “Oh, I’m not really sure.” Her: “I prefer not to adorn myself with anything. I even forget to put my earrings in. Why are you still wearing that necklace?” Me: “I like it?”

And then she asked me about my artwork, or rather I brought it up when she asked what I did for fun. She said she had bought her son in law some oil paints. I told her I took an art class every Wednesday. Her: “What kind?” Me: “Figure drawing” (didn’t just want to blurt out “I draw NAKED PEOPLE” and have some benevolent lightening bolt strike me). Her: “Why do you do that?” Me: “Because its enjoyable?”. Her: “My nephew showed me a nude drawing of a man. I didn’t like it. Do you draw men?” Me: “Yes. All the time.” Her: “He made the (she looks downward)...way too big!!” Me: “Well, sometimes men who pose nude are well endowed, so that’s why they pose because they’re exhibitionist.” I think if she had been drinking a drink, she probably would have done one of those comical spits all over the table at that point. She also didn’t understand why I kept going back to the same drawing class every week for a year and a half (“its my only social life”) and wondered how many people came every week (“10-25”). And then when I told her I had taken a painting class and had painted some fruit she seemed relieved and said, “Maybe you can get away from the figure drawing and do something more useful with your talents.”

More useful? MORE USEFUL??? Hear that Michelangelo? Something more useful than the human figure? Sorry “D”, I think I’m just gonna remain a peace-lovin’ hippie heathen who wears a pentacle, votes Democrat, hates war and likes to draw naked men with ginormous penises who I hope I can coax over to my house for some hot pre-marital sex one day.

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