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2004-09-23 @ 1:27 p.m.
when smiling like a stepford wife is the only choice

1:15 p.m. Art with the crazy crazies, except its just me. And thereís a kid at a computer in the room, shouting everytime he shoots an alien with a death ray. Shut the fuck up. How can I do art with you shouting? Iím not really that inspired anyways today. Am feeling somewhat crushed about the Married Guy situation, which I could easily remedy by writing him an apology, but Iím such a hard-ass, that Iím afraid Iíll go off and say something inflammatory about wifie.

I brought a frame from home today. It was hand-made by my stepfather 30 years ago and I brought it, along with my painting, to measure it for some matting. The week before there had been a guy at the Center who knew how to cut mats, and the Center was going to supply me with some free materials. But anyways, cowabunga, there he was...coming in the door. It took me a few minutes for me to get up the courage to ask him, but he took the frame in hand, examined it and then spewed out the history of frame-making and the joys of huffing wood putty. Ok, maybe I only imagined that part, but he was certainly acting the part. Kinda crazy and sweaty and seeing Jesus in the aquarium and shit.

He also was an art critic it seems. He deemed my painting ďreally busyĒ (its a collage, dipshit, its supposed to be busy, and intriguing and thought-provoking and kinda crazy looking like you). He thought I should just junk my frame and go get a shadow box frame. Sure, let me just put that little puppy on my Gold Mastercard, and then we can go down to Starbucks in my Mercedes and have some double lattes.

I really need to start hanging out with people who have at least one foot in reality. Just one.

So I left the Center without my matting. Again. I should just take the damn thing and wait till SSD payday and go to Michaelís and have them cut it for $5. If only I could spare $5. Arghh!

4:21 p.m.Getting the freak on. My weekly pre-art class ritual it seems. Take a shower. Hey, Iím already nekked. Push the cat off the bed. Jump onto the freshly laundered sheets. Push the cat off the bed. Pull out my box of sex toys. Push the cat off the bed. Dammit, Guardcat....when I need feline CPR, Iíll call you.

6:01 p.m. Looking desperately through all the sketchpads for a last minute piece to submit to our art show which opens September 25. Why now, witty? Youíre leaving in 29 minutes. The only frame you have, has a broken edge on it. And you know you canít make an informed decision in under a three hours And if its something of yours, at least 24 hours. Besides, you already have something there and its a perfectly nice adequate piece. Youíll be embarrassed anyways, when they have the reception this Saturday. You wonít own up to the fact that you have a piece of artwork hanging in an art gallery, so why put yourself through this?

The last art show you were involved in in February was cancelled after you got there. Remember? And remember how relieved you were, that you wouldnít have to stand near your picture and kind of nod your head towards the monstrosity. You were damn relieved. Like yay. Nobody will put me and those two pieces of shit together. Now you can just remain hidden with your little sketchpads, coming to class each week, drawing weirdo pictures and forcing people on the internet to look at them and everything will be good. Right?

But look at what youíve been doing recently. Youíve got work at that show. Youíve got work coming up at the cool gallery in town. Youíve got that other show at the office building. You must secretly want adulation, right witty?

Ok, dammit, I do. I wrote for newspapers for 20 years and got one fan letter. It was a thankless job, being a journalist. You just sat by yourself, with your typewriter (this was in the 70ís and 80ís), writing your little humor columns and film reviews and you never knew what anyone thought about them. And the thing about newspapers was that they were disposable. Your work was consumed and then disposed of. That is unless you had some secret stalker who clipped out all your columns and wall papered their secret closet with them. Or you become Dave Barry and wrote 29 best seller books, which I obviously didnít.

But with art, its somehow more permanent. If its nice, somebody might want to look at it for more than five minutes. Or buy it. Or put it in a museum. Or hang it over their toilet. Art is more solid. Its harder to toss. Look at all the ugly framed art you see in thrift stores and at garage sales. That stuff could have been thrown away, but someone thought enough of it, to save it.

So maybe thatís why I started doing art. Since I donít have kids, and nobody ever saved my newspaper columns except my Dad (and Iím sure the Filipino mail order whore probably had a bonfire with them after he died), I wanted something to be remembered by.

And I think thatís why I keep going back to my art class. There is the all important social aspect for me, since I am a virtual hermit. But also I am learning a lot about myself. Itís very therapeutic. And I am also amazing myself at some of the stuff Iím producing. I mean, Iím not Pollock or Frieda Kahlo or Kandinsky, by any stretch of the imagination, but thereís almost always something interesting, or at least colorful popping forth each week.

6:59 p.m. My drawing class is extremely anemic tonight. Why? Well, I think it has to do with the fact, that a mere three blocks away, there is an internationally known film maker appearing, who you probably wonít see voting Republican this November. And you know how artists are...weíre nothing but a bunch of lefty, communist, tree-hugging democrat bastards! I just didnít know he was appearing in time, otherwise I would have gone.

But I guess I was destined to remain in my art class, drawing yet another in a series of skinny girl models. Damn those skinny chicks. They are so boring to draw. No curves. No definition. And thatís what Iím best at. Shading and coloring. Not toothpick thin arms. They really throw me off, since I tend to draw them like toothpicks instead of actual human appendages.

The one thing this model did have going for her, was some really intriguing eyes. She looked a little like Winona Rider and on her last pose of the night, which is the hour one, she flung up her praying mantis arms in front of her face, hiding everything except for her eyes. What a great pose. And all the artists around me, except one, were drawing her face, rather than her skinny ass body, which might tell you something. (as in, weíre tired of skinny chicks. help)

Really, the only benefit of having a smaller class last night was that it forced me to talk to some new and different people. There was ďEĒ, of course, the older guy who has a little thing for witty. He was the guy who missed out on the chance to be a hippy at age 19, due to an impending marriage, thus rendering him ineligible for hippiedom. We both have fibromalygia in common, so he always has to rush over and tell me which muscle is aching or not aching today. And thatís definitely something to build a future relationship on. Aching muscles. Isnít that what old people talk about? Whatís aching today? Sorry ďEĒ, youíre too much like a Dad, and not enough like a Date.

And then there was a brief meeting of the minds with the tall blonde forty something woman at the snack table. She and another older guy were chatting. Weíve made eye contact before. ďJĒ, my first potential art class husband, had excitedly whispered to me one night recently that she owned an art gallery in town. And I was like ďWhee. And?Ē Like it would really make a difference to me. I was merely trying to remain invisible and not fall into the French Onion dip. They were talking about the Famous Film maker down the street, and then about NPR and then she turned to me, and said, ďDId you hear that on NPR this morning?Ē

Ummm, ahhh, ehhh...Frucking hell, I know coolness in yuppie groups is knowing what is on NPR that day, but I donít listen to it except at Married Guyís house. So I went, ďOh, I missed that. I must have been out washing my VolvoĒ heh, heh.

And this seemed to be a perfectly acceptable answer, since they let me continue to be part of the conversation, even though I didnít know who or what they were talking about.

So I guess the point of being being accepted in social situations, where you are in way over your head, is to smile like a Stepford and just hope that they donít know that you shop at the Salvation Army.

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