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2006-07-16 @ 4:10 p.m.
things that fall out of your pants


Well, this weekend is my thirtieth high school reunion. Am I there listening to Elton John blaring “Benny and the Jets” on some pimped out CD Player at a restaurant in Occidental California with a bunch of slightly wrinkly, slightly overweight hipsters/geeks/losers/yuppies who I shared a high school with 30 years ago? Nope. I’m good. Sure, there’s a teeny tiny pinch of regret, like hey I wish I could have rolled up in a white stretch limo, weighing 110 pounds with Johnny Depp on my arm, but since Johnny dear is busy promoting his new movie (“What’s it called, again?”), and I didn’t quite lose the 50 pounds I was supposed to and damn, I got a pimple on my chin that just won’t go away, I’m just sitting in my living room....alone....dealing with a hot, muggy East Coast afternoon. Yay me!

I did mention the High School Reunion thing to my friend G down in Manhattan last night when we were online, I guess, with a smattering of bitterness. I think I said something to the effect of “No kids, no husband, no money, no career, what would I talk about?” And my dear friend typed back “Well, WE could have a reunion of two and it wouldn’t matter!” Is that guy not a prince? Why is he gay? Our kids would have been so beautiful, talented and thoughtful. When they weren’t performing on Broadway, they’d be home painting pieces for their next show at MOMA.

Anyways, so when he said that it reminded me of that song, “That’s What Friends are For”. “G” and I have a history with that song. Once when we both still lived on the West Coast and malls had small pseudo-recording studios where you could go and record yourself singing some popular song, we decided to slip into one such place at Pier 39 in San Francisco. Now I may think I’m Bonnie Tyler or Aretha Franklin in the car, when I’m by myself, but when “G” suggested we go into a well-lit recording studio with actual recording mics, I almost fainted. Me sing? In front of someone? And even when we walked in and music was playing out front, I made the guy promise our singing wasn’t going to be broadcast out over Pier 39. I didn’t want anyone running to the edge of pier and committing suicide or anything. He said he could shut off the sound to the outside. “G” on the other hand, who had done theatre, had no problem belting out songs. He had a nice voice and knew the lyrics to practically everything in the universe.

Of course the recording studio, like karaoke, had the lyrics available on a screen to read. So “G” picked a song and I picked a song....one for each side of our tape. His choice? “That’s What Friends are For”, which was really hot at the moment. I knew it pretty well from the radio, but certainly not well enough to answer Elton John back when he sings his part. Eek! My choice? I was in a Motown frame of mind at that point, so I picked “Stop, in the Name of Love” since, yeah, I’m totally Motownian, head to toe.

We did my song first. The guy cued us. And the only thing that comes to mind is...the sound bulls makes when maybe you’re twisting their testicles. I was so nervous my voice just came out in strangled yelps and shrieks. “G” was much better and at least sang the song in tune. By then I was sweating profusely. I could see people looking in the glass window from the front and I just knew our voices were being piped out over San Francisco Bay and that all the sea lions that hang out at Pier 39 were now fleeing towards Marin. The song finally ended and the recording has “G” laughing, which is sweet now that I look back on it. And then it was time for his song. I tried to keep up with him, but I truly didn’t know the song well enough, and I believe he had chosen the song, FOR me, so I didn’t want to be a spoilsport and say, gee, why don’t we sing something I actually know. But “G” did great on “That’s...” and I still have the tape and whenever I’m feeling blue, I get it out and listen, because these days its less about a silly tape we made twenty years ago but more about our enduring friendship. Love ya “G”.

I’ve pretty much stayed in most of the weekend watching DVDs because of the heat and humidity. I hate the “H” words and tomorrow is supposed to get even worse. 95 degrees with high humidity, but I do have to go to work.

I did go out briefly on Friday for a short work-related appointment in town. On the way home I saw a garage sale and even though it was hotter than satan’s ass, I decided to stop. I’ve actually stopped going to garage sales for several reasons. I used to be a garage sale-a-holic. I’d spend all day Friday and Saturday cruising over hill and dale for junque. But I realized a couple of things. a) I’d have to go to about 15 garage sales before I found anything good. Fifteen garage sales equals a lot of gas. Where’s the bargain? b) My apartment is about the size of a single car garage. Its tiny. Things are schmooshed into every nook and cranny. I literally have no space for anything. I’m looking down and Guardcat is asleep under one of my paintings I have leaning against an overflowing bookcase. c) I’m no longer doing E-Bay. It was sort of a stop-gap thing when I was especially broke. I never really made that much anyways. Maybe $30-$70/mo. It almost wasn’t even worth the headache, although I do still carry a 100% approval rating on my E-Bay name.

BUT....this garage sale piqued my interest for some reason. It had LOTS of stuff. I looked around briefly. Meh. Blecch stuff. Tools. Binders. Ugly dishware. And then just when I was leaving, I spotted several sketchpads jammed into an unused decorative garbage can. I pulled them out. Voila! Three sketch pads that go for $7-10/ea. One had slight water damage around the edges, but I always have one cheap-o one for the quick sketches that I don’t keep. So I took them to the guy, who had a personality like Barney Rubble. Kinda doofy. Oh witty, don’t take advantage of that. That’s not nice. But its sketch pads!! So I sadly cast my eyes downward and mentioned the water damage and he gave me all three for $2. Yay! I then asked if he had any other art supplies and he’s like “yup, yup, yup, we’re goin’ to the zoo. Okay, he didn’t quite say that but he went over to this filing cabinet that was half open and inside was an Art Bin.

Now, I’ve been slobbering over an Art Bin at the art store for several years. It looks like a big fancy fishing tackle box with several drawers that pop out for your art supplies. Right now I’m carrying my pastels in a cheap Dollar Store plastic bin that frequently unlatches and spills my pastels all over the ground and breaks them. And then I cry. So as soon as the guy got called away by another dude, I pulled it out of the drawer, opened it up and it was the abso-frookin-lute Mother-Lode of art supplies. Holy shit! I always get nervous when I find something really good at a garage sale. Like the proprietor will suddenly realize that that vase is a real Ming vase from ancient China and not a fake Ming vase from the Dollar Store.

But I guess I didn’t really have anything to worry since I was dealing with Barney Rubble. He looked at the Art Bin and all the art spoils and didn’t know what they were. Oh, some pencils. How about...ahhh....$12? Of course inside me there were nuclear bombs exploding and happy Snoopy dogs dancing. So I nonchalantly went, “Yeah, I guess that’s allright. I’m an artist. I need some supplies.” And then as he was taking my money he said, “Maybe you can draw a picture of me and my family!” Me: “Yeah, maybe!!!” (inside: “Yeah, right. Bye now.”).

So I took my goodies home and looked at everything. I had over 45 art-related pencils (charcoal and such), about 20 prismcolor felt tip pens (individually they’re about $4-8/ea.), a box of unused white pastels (which I realllllly need), a box of unused black charcoals, several mechanical pencils with about 7-8 packages of leads for them, 6 brand new sable hair paint brushes of varying sizes, pencil sharpener, several gum erasers, and a glue stick. There had been a pair of scissors in there, but I took them out in order to close it. And of course the Art Bin itself, which I think retails for about $18-$22. I figure everything all together probably retail for close to about $175. for $12, money which came from my apartment cleaning job. My client was happy, by the way, but....

Squeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, since my drawing class for the week had already passed, I’ve been taking my new art supplies down to Hamburger Island Pond the last few nights. Night before last I sat at my favorite location with my sketchpad, but there were like 7-10 really loud and obnoxious teenagers screaming and yelling and cursing at each other. And one kid nearly ran over my toes with his bike. I guess I was invading “their” territory, even though I go there nearly every night.

And then last night I went again. I had thrown 5 pastels into a baggie, rather then just draw with a pencil. I’m more adept with pastels. So I started walking over and once again I was met with lots of cars and the sound of music. This time it was our local symphony performing in the park and there were about 4 times more people there than for Jazz in the Park, probably at least 400 people. Of course, I guess free Symphony music is a big draw. Amazing how I never know this stuff is going on in the park until I get there. Fortunately there was an unoccupied bench near the pond, so I sat and sketched the whole scene like I was some high-falooting artsy type.


Parts of it were cut off by the scanner, as usual. Like the curved sidewalk and the pretty tent on the right. But you get a general idea what the scene looked like. I’m trying to branch out on my drawing. You can’t just draw nekkid people seven days a week, so I might be working on some scenery in the near future. Its a new thang.

Anyways at the intermission, I was totally covered in pastel dust and was filthy. I went over to the water fountain and cleaned off with the water and no I didn’t wash myself IN the fountain, but off to the side. Fortunately when I got back to my seat it was still empty. I was looking around and suddenly I saw Married Guy’s best friend standing about 20 feet away. I gulped nervously. I wondered if the O Married One was nearby, since he’s such a big music lover and always brought his kids to all the FREE music events around the area. I wasn’t exactly ravishing at that point. My legs were dirty from the pastel dust. I had no makeup on. I hadn’t exactly expected to bump into a crowd of 475. So I decided to move closer to the stage for the second half. I sat against a tree in the grass right in front of the stage and drew some more. By then it was dark and you could hear those damn cicadas. I hate those things! But I concentrated on my drawing while the symphony played music from Broadway musicals and Aaron Copeland. Sitting on the grass, it finally dawned on me how I probably got those mysterious purple bites on my thigh. I had sat on the grass for the jazz thing several days earlier in a dress with my legs outstretched....as in a total highway for the evil Village Bities of Death Spider to travel up to my creamy thighs for hor-doerves. Damn them. Good thing I was wearing underwear that day! Otherwise he might have continued to my spleen and there's nothing worse than a spleen bite. Ow. Splee--e--eeeen.

Naturally the symphony ended with the theme from “Star Wars”. Doesn’t every symphony these days? You know they do, because when it starts out, you just want to jump up and report to duty to Hans Solo or something. I know I did. It is good music. Thanks John Williams. It ended soon after that. I was surprised that the cars were parked all the way back up to my apartment three blocks (1238 steps...”J”) away. The phone rang immediately when I stepped in the door. It was my mom. I was walking into my bedroom with the phone, when I let out a loud girlie scream. A bug fell out of my shorts!!!!!! Yikes! Thankfully it wasn’t the deadly Village Bities of Death Spider, but rather this somewhat doltish looking round thing. A tick? Whatever it was, I quickly did a Mexican Hat Dance right on its damn head and squished him out until he was about a 3 foot wide blob of bug goo.

Nobody is going to bite my inner-thighs again....without prior consent. Signed, the management.



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