Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Magic of Magic.

Neal was seven when everything changed.

We were sitting in the kitchen when he and his step brother AJ came in, their faces flush with cold. "Mom?" he tugged on my sleeve and looked up at me. "Timothy says the tooth fairy is his mom." I raised my eyebrows. Stole a glance at my husband. His face was blank. "He says she waits until he's asleep, takes his tooth & puts money under his pillow."

"He does, does he?" I stalled. "I wonder what makes him think that?" I was working on poker face, but from the look on his, saw I was unsuccessful. He and his brother exchanged looks. "Is it true? Is his Mom the tooth fairy?"

Again, I looked at my husband. He stared out of the window. Coward. I weighed the situation. Balanced their ages against the myth. Gave in. Yes, I admitted, Timothy was right. His mom, me, we are the Tooth Fairy. He crossed his arms in front of him. Took a step back. Narrowed his round blue eyes. "What...what about the Easter Bunny?" I shot a look at my husband that said you'd better get your ass into this conversation or you are so shut off. He shrugged and looked helpless. Perfect. He had I Am The Easter Bunny written all over his face.

Within seconds, it was all over. "SANTA Claus?" He spat out the name, his chin thrust forward, daring me to deny what he had just come to know. They stared at the two of us, sitting there with our mouths opening and closing. The two people in the world they trusted.

"YOU LIED!" Neal dissolved into tears, his face contorted and red. I was falling over myself trying to bring back the fantasy, saying things I can no longer remember - things about magic and tradition and about how much fun it is to watch their wonder & excitement. Telling him how our parents and their parents...He was having none of it. "YOU LIED! "

AJ watched all of this with skepticism. Waaait a minute. What about the grass in the kitchen last Easter!? The chewed carrot? The muddy bunny footprints on the counter tops? I SAW them! Neal saw them too! Their eyes widened at the memory, still vivid after months. They stared hopefully at us. Maybe, just maybe, this new truth was just another LIE.

Finally, The Easter Bunny chimed in. That was me, he said, apologetically. He told them the whole story - the two of us sneaking around a darkened house, giggling like kids as he plucked brown grass from the front lawn and scattered it throughout the kitchen. How we laughed and whispered as he rubbed his thumb in the mud to create foot prints. Our complete joy when we heard their early morning discovery and AJ's exclamation "He's real! He's REAL!"

Our faces lit up as we told them story after story of how we created their magical childhood memories. Soon, they were smiling with us, asking questions, getting used to this new understanding. In one short moment, our little boys crossed a threshold. They stepped out of the world of fantasy and into the real world. It's a rite of passage we all experience. One day, they will hand the same gift to their own children. Because whenever you create magic with love, it is real.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

B is for Bitch

I have not been on my best behavior lately. My world is full of people to whom I owe apologies. I also have a list of valid excuses. The thing is that I have had excuses to be bitchy for decades and yet somehow managed to avoid pissing off everyone who crossed my path. Years of being surrounded by idiots has worn me out & I'm just not that good at pretending any more. These are the people I have yelled at this week:

1) The idiot at Wendy's drive up. Here's my take on drive up - it's not fricken rocket science. One plain HAMburger, a SMALL fry and a small DIET. Take it off the warming rack. Put it in a bag. India graduates engineers by the thousands and we can't fill a drive-up order right. Notice my son sitting in the passenger seat. He's hiding his face in his hands and trying to look small.

2) The property manager at my building, for having 6 weeks to fit up my studio and not having a dead bolt installed on the door before we moved in. Our building is burglar friendly. The man is a friend of mine, but that does not stop me from reaming him a new one. After I'm done, I burst into tears. Fricken hysteric.

3) The idiots at Comcast. Three weeks after my cable install was scheduled & I still don't have cable. Ten (TEN!) phone calls later, I still don't have cable. Now that I've blasted everyone who could possibly make cable happen, how do you rate my chances of getting online in 2008?

4) My bisque suppliers. This is how it works. I place an order. You deliver it. I only order stuff I need. If I didn't need it, I wouldn't order it. So when I order three pints of black paint, it is not because I actually need LIME GREEN paint. And when you tell me you're sorry but you're really busy, I Don't Want To Hear It. I want black paint. Now. When I screw up, I jump through hoops to fix it, even if it costs me money. Send someone to the UPS store with 3 pints of black paint. Now.

Next week is Christmas and I'm feeling more charitable. I'll be more gentle with the next the Wendy's gal - the offender has most likely moved on to Taco Bell. I'll call Eric and tell him not to rush on the lock - I don't really have any thing of value in here anyway. I'll call my supplier and thank them for the Lizard Lime - black is just so over rated. Then finally, I'll tell Comcast to take their time -wandering around the halls searching for an unsecured wireless signal is almost as good as hitting the web button on my keyboard.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Off With My Head

For those of you who are new to this blog, I am the practically famous Sheree Burlington, self employed artist, single mom, subjugated girlfriend and now, award winning blog author. Sheila, another opinionated broad from Ma Vie Folle has nominated my blog for the Marie Antoinette award.

For centuries, Marie has been reviled as a partying slut who lived a lavish life of excess. Of course I'd be given such an award. While my life and reputation are less historic, Marie and I have a couple of things in common. At her rustic retreat called the hemeau, "porcelain bowls were cast using Marie Antoinette's own ample breasts as their mould." Pottery. Breasts. Marie even rhymes with Sheree.

So, in honor of The Girls, I would like to recognize the following Blogs for their mammary contributions: Miss Thystle for her Remarkable Rack & bawdy sense of humor. Our Name is Blog for her Beautiful Berthas, her mojo & for inspiring me in everything she does. And though I know nothing of their boobage, I'd like to express my appreciation for Debbie from Suburb Sanity for her endless optimism & Kristin of kwr221 for listing religion as her industry while simultaneously drinking coffee out of a Bite Me mug.

If you would like to accept this award, the original giver has asked me to post the following rules. I don't like the word "rules," it brings out the non conformist in me. I prefer to call them suggestions:

1) Please add the Marie Antoinette award photo on your blog.
2) Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3) Nominate 7 exceptional blogs to receive the award.
4) Put the links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message on their blogs to tell them they are the chosen ones!

Thystle, Lorrie, Debbie & Kristin...Off with your heads.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Droppin' Like Flies

I was a wicked unpopular kid. I was a tall, skinny red head with freckles, big ears and buck teeth. I was loud, obnoxious, insecure and would do just about anything for attention.

Decades later, I've evolved into a tall, matronly dye job with freckles & wrinkles. Four years in braces have tamed the overbite. While I have mellowed a little, I'm still basically a big mouth. I've brought my attention seeking down a couple of notches. I dance, but not on tables. I have sex, but not with your boyfriend. My attempts at securing your attention are more subtle.

As a kid, I collected friends, real or imagined. In adulthood, I have a new fascination. Followers. I covet each and every one of you. You're what I think about when I should be sleeping/eating/working/painting/cleaning or bookkeeping. You're my validation. You give my life meaning. I need you.

Sometime this week, I lost one of you. Gone. Poof. Oh God. I'm boring! My writing style sucks. Wait! Was it the F word? The fact that I mentioned my boyfriend's dick? My jugs? Not enough contests? My header? What? WHAT?

Whew. OK. I'm alright now. Look. All I'm asking is that if you're going to leave, if you're not happy, if there's someone else, tell me. Don't let me be the last to know.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Made You A Beard

Facial hair. It's a sign of strength. Of masculinity. Testosterone. My second husband had all three, but the man could not grow a beard. Even his attempts at a mustache were at best, um, pubic - little wiry hairs twisting out in every direction. Not a good look.

His last effort was this past summer. I dropped my son off at his place for the weekend. He came out of the house sporting a sparse little caterpillar of a mustache. It looked like he'd applied it with tape. Neal laughed and pointed. "Look Ma! Dad's Hispanic!"

"Donde esta el bano?" I ask. It's the only thing I know how to say in Spanish other than some really disgusting references to oral sex. "Si," He responds. It's the only word he knows. He may look Hispanic, but he doesn't hablos either.

While neither of us are exchanging Christmas gifts any longer, it's really all I can do to keep myself from ordering him one of these. They come in a fabulous array of colors and textures - one for pretty much any occasion.

I Made You A Beard. This is the artist, Erin sporting her Lumberjack beard. If someone in your life is in need of a new look, you just may find it at her Etsy Shop.

Look for a complete interview with Erin on my new and yet to be released design blog "Wicked Good Eye," coming to the blogosphere soon. Because she likes you. And you like beards.

I Am Totally Psychic

I left the diner Monday morning at the usual time. I was feeling impatient and didn't feel like waiting to cross the oncoming traffic so I took a right instead of a left. See, I was in a big rush to get to work to start another 12 hour day.

So I'm driving my dad's truck. The back of it is full of pottery that we didn't sell at the lame retail show, where we spent the entire weekend standing around & yawning. Two days of listening to people tell me how "cute" my pottery is. Oh, please. My pottery is Fresh. Edgy. Sophisticated. Cute?! Take your sorry ass to Wal-Mart and buy something covered with bunnies.

Anyhow, the truck is a 2000 Chevy Avalanche and everything about it is huge. I look down at all the little people when I drive the thing. They look up at me and see a wasteful consumer of our natural resources. They're right. The gas gauge moves when I accelerate. Sorry. I just needed to haul some stuff.

Ok, so I'm driving along and in my mind, I see a car run the stop sign - the one that's like five seconds away - and slam into the side of my car. I see it as clearly as if it were actually happening. Feel the force of the impact. And I think, wow, good thing I'm driving dad's truck because at the speed it was traveling, I'd have been killed. The feeling is so weird and so real that all the hair on my arms stands on end. I slow down.

Seconds later, I am ready to enter the intersection and what do you think happens? YES! A fricken car runs the stop sign! She's in a little red car and she is flying! When she sees me miss her by feet she covers her mouth with her hand and brakes. I can see all this - I'm that close. I'm that psychic.

I have no idea what to do with this new found information or what it means for my previously unknown future. What I do know is that it creeped me out. In a good way. Look for my new 800 number in a future post. I can help you. I know things.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Please Marry My Brother - 2nd Request

I tried this a couple of months ago with no success, but that was before I had such a huge following. Now that I have six followers, I'm confident that we'll marry my brother off before he stops producing sperm. It doesn't matter that the two followers I know are way too young and the four I don't are married to other men. Time and trouble will cure that. Besides, you've got people.

This is my brother, Russell. He's 51 and a Leo. Russ is a six foot four, 190 pound hunk of burnin' love. He's for sale. Before I tell you why you or someone you know should marry him, you should know that I used to hate his guts.

Russell is the middle child. You know - the lost child? Not the oldest - the experimental child. Not the youngest - the we're worn out, just do what you want child. According to him, he was the Angel Child, his position safely insulating him from my sneaky lies & the biting tongue of our baby sister, Dina. He was the only one of three who never broke a rule or defied my parents. Lying dog.

From the beginning, he had them fooled. He'd stand there, all blond & blue eyed, looking up at them, blink, blink, blinking. They'd tousle his curly mop, laugh and shake their heads with wonder & delight. Then they'd leave me alone with him. The moment they turned their backs, he'd narrow those wide blue eyes and turn them on me.

The worst of it took place when I was too young to know about murder as a problem solver. Had I known, his last day on earth would have been the day he chased me from room to room for over an hour, screeching Mama! Dadda! with an Italian accent. I had to lock myself in a closet to get away from him. Fricken dillhole.

Even the most evil genius can't ride under the radar forever. They trip up. Get sloppy. Make mistakes. Like the time he left a "this car climbed Mount Washington" bumper sticker on the back seat of my parents brand new car. The one he was totally forbidden to drive. Blond, blinkie Angel Boy gets a slap on the wrist. Piss me off.

Oh! And when he comes home with a HICKEY on his neck the size of a fricken palmetto bug and my father nudges him *wink* wink* with his elbow? You know what I got for a hickey half that size? Grounded! For TWO WEEKS. Asshole.

OK. So. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Russell. My single brother...Screw him. Let him find his own date. I'm all pissed off all over again and have nothing nice to say about him. Jerk.

Pimp My Blog.

Pssst. You. Over there. C'mere. You look like you could use some. Well, I got some. And it is fi-ine stuff. All you need to do in order to get some is go to one of these three places. Maybe you'll get lucky.

Suburb Sanity is pimpin' my stuff. Handmade Showcase, too. Give me a minute, I'll come up with something is pimping Swearware. She totally bribed me, got a free mug and is now working in my stables. You could be next. Have your people contact my people.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I See London. I See France.

I'm a professional mover. I've moved, hold on, I'm doing some math here...ok, I've moved my personal household nine times in the last decade. On December 15th, and for the second time in 6 months, we will move my studio. We won't go far. Two blocks east, back into the same mill building we left in July. You know. Before the banks failed and turned the world upside down? This lovely piece of real estate is the next new home of Museware Pottery.

I met the electrician there this morning. The giant fan and broken furniture are gone. There are actually two windows now. We can't open, reach or see out of either of them, but if we could, we'd have a lovely view of the roof. They've spray painted the whole place white. Even the dirt & exposed insulation have been painted white. White dirt looks just like brown & black dirt. Just whiter.

The window frames are now a festive green. Same with the door. There is a window in the door, which won't be a real problem until the weather turns warm. Next summer, the average interior temperature will be 110*. Three kilns firing up to 1835*, summer sun baking the exposed brick walls, heat waves dancing off of the streets. In an effort to ward off heat stroke, we will lock ourselves in and take it all off. We will work in our underpants. This is me. At work.

Fricken fine. It's not me. But as far as the 40 guys who work in our mill are concerned, this is what I look like under my clothes. Twenty pounds ago, they called me "the hot pottery lady on the third floor." Since most guys only see with one eye, I'm betting that when we return, they won't notice the weight. What they will notice are my two lovely assistants, Nicole and Lara. Nicole is out-there friendly and has this jug thing going on. The come out of the wood work when Nicole shows up. Lara is less conspicuously endowed, but so damned cute, they'll imagine jugs just the same. Me? I got jugs. I got a little bit of friendly. And I am the hot pottery lady.

We'll figure out the window thing when the time comes. Little will they know that behind that glass, Sheree, Nicole and now, Lara will be painting pottery. In our underpants. Sort of like casual Friday, only different.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Cutest Blog On The Block"

Bad title. Very cool site. Over 300 free backgrounds for your blog. I just did it and it took seconds. The basic, center layout remained the same, so I didn't need to reconstruct the page. Each background comes with a bit of code, which you copy and paste into the HTML/Java Script screen. It's wicked easy. The following has been copied directly from their site.

1. Sign in to Blogger. This will take you to your Dashboard.
2 Under the blog you wish to change the background for, click on Layout.
3. You are now in the 'Add and Arrange Page Elements' screen. Click 'Add a Gadget'.
4. You are now in the 'Add a Gadget' screen. Scroll down to where it says 'HTML/JavaScript'.
5. Next to that, click on the (+) sign.
6. You are now in the 'Configure HTML/JavaScript' Screen. Under Content you'll see a large box, paste the entire following HTML code in that space.
7. Click 'Save'. You guys are gonna love this. They'll even design a custom banner to match your background for $30. Wicked talented chicks.

Want To Catch Some Lunch?

Last month, I saw one of these, in person. Tail feathers all fanned out. Wicked ugly red thing hanging over its beak like, like some wicked ugly red thing. It was fricken huge. It looked so much like this that at first I thought it was a card board cutout - an advertisement. I didn't see it in a petting zoo or up at The Polar Caves. This thing was posing on the side of route 3 south, right next to a bunch of wild turkey women. Traffic whizzing by at 80 MPH. While not as flamboyant as this guy, these gals were much better looking. Lean. Subtle. Disinterested. Tom, over there all gobbling and flexing and shit. Them, looking at each other and rolling their eyes.

The thing is that one day, many moons ago, someone looked at this thing and said, "Hm. I think I'll eat that." Now, in order to make this happen, they had to catch this ugly, ill tempered creature. Since I've never had to chase anything in order to eat it, I find this amazing. The thing is, once you catch it, you have to ... do something with it. I'd starve.

While I've never seen one of these on the side of the road, I have seen them in the grocery store and they don't look happy to be there. They've got ugly down to a science. Almost without exception their claws are bound with elastic bands. That's because they will pinch the shit out of you if you give them the chance. Long ago, someone took a look at this thing and for reasons we will never know, saw lunch. Now, not only did they have to find it and catch it, they had to go under water to do it. This means they had to get their hair wet.

If lunch was up to me, my gene pool would have died off a long time ago. I'm only here because someone in my distant past was hungry enough to run or swim, and resourceful enough to know what to do next. Those who follow me will be the result of more contemporary foraging skills. Drive up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do I Have To Touch It?

Thanksgiving, 2000. I'm married and living with my new husband, his son and mine. The whole gang is coming over at 2 pm. A week earlier, Dad stopped by with a huge frozen turkey and stuck it in my refrigerator. We have an arrangement. He cooks. I clean.

It's 7:15 am. I've just finished washing the floors, cleaning the bathroom, ironing the table cloth. The phone rings. It's dad. He's still making pies and won't be over until later. Will I put the turkey in the oven?

Crap. I've never done this. I don't want to do it now. "Do I have to touch it?" I ask. Jesus Christ, he mutters. Of course you have to touch it. Just take the god-dammed thing out of the wrapper, pull out the gizzards, rinse it out, put it in the pan...He drones on. I'm not listening. I'm on my knees in front of the sink base, searching for my rubber gloves. No fricken way am I touching that thing with my hands.

I slip them on. Open the refrigerator door. It's sitting in a pink puddle on the lower shelf. Plink. Plink. Bacteria laden droplets slide across my kitchen floor. I dial the phone. What do you mean inside? Inside the turkey? Je-sus H. I unclamp the legs, no easy task. Reach inside its neck. Waaait a minute. This is not the neck. Stick my yellow rubber hands up its butt. Fricken great. Whatever is stuffed in there - it's still frozen. I fricken hate this. I am so going Veg.

My turkey is actually is a success. The whole family is ga ga over the fact that I actually cooked a turkey. If I don't think about its rubbery, pink pimpled skin and its head up its ass, I find that it tastes pretty good. They all get huge mileage out of the rubber glove thing. "Do I have to touch it?" has become the quote of the day. Consensus is that next year, I should have more fashionable cooking accessories - mayhaps something with leopard cuffs?

They laugh because not one of them has ever spent four hours sitting on a toilet, vomiting into a trash can after eating bad chicken. Four hours of laying on the bathroom floor, alternating between sweating and freezing. Four hours of wishing I would hurry up and die already.

Eight years have passed. My penance for refusing to ever touch one of those foul creatures again: Hours at the sink, wearing rubber gloves, while the rest of them are passed out in the living room. I'm full. I'm happy. I'm cleaning.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I Learned Today . . .

1. People are idiots.
2. I'm a snob.
3. Our juvenile system is screwed.

This morning, he tucked in his shirt without my having to ask. Combed his hair to the side. Took out the trash without rolling his eyes.

We are the second to arrive. The first is a mom and her twin sons. I take a seat as far away as them as I can get. I can't stop staring at them, which horrifies my son. The boys are dressed in torn jeans, sweats and t-shirts. One has a green stud in his tongue and keeps rolling it in and out of his mouth. Mom is huge and in back leather. She has drawn dark black circles around her eyes.

I cross my legs and wipe dust off of my suede heels. I stare at her knee heigh boots, wrapped with straps and buckles. My son elbows me and mouths "stop staring." I can't help it. I'm wondering if she looked in the mirror before walking out the door and said "This will look good in court ." And before coming to that conclusion, did she stop one of her boys and say "Sure, wear the ones with the big hole in the crotch. They'll make a good impression." 1. People are idiots.

A half an hour passes. They're arriving in droves. Moms and their punk, gangster looking kids - kids in backward hats, ass dragging jeans, hooded sweat shirts, with the fricken hoods up. A dad with a daughter showing six inches of cleavage. I want to smack the shit out of all of them. My son surveys the room. Leans in and starts telling me their names. That one can't read or tell time. This one calls his mother a slut. The big one beat up Wilfredo. Just wonderful. I'm in a room full of losers and my son knows them by name. 2. I'm a snob.

A probation officer comes by. Hands me forms to fill out. Explains how it goes. This is the arraignment, she says. The judge will read the charges. When he is finished, he will ask if they are true or false. Just say "not true." I cast her a skeptical look. "But, they are true," I say. "He did what they're accusing him of." My son nods his head and looks solemn. I did, he says. The rest is blah blah. A formality, due process, blah blah. Just say not true. We will appoint a lawyer to represent him. She takes the clip board and walks away. 3. Our juvenile legal system is screwed.

The judge is in black. The prosecutor has a shiny silver badge hanging from a chain around his neck. We stand together, mother and son, on one side of the room. Them on the other. He reads the charges. When prompted & as instructed, my son says "not true." I'm handed a piece of paper with our court date and told our court-appointed lawyer will contact us. We exit the room & down the stairs.

I start the car then turn to look at him. His eyes are still round. "That was stupid," he says. "I should have just said 'true,' taken my consequences and gotten this over with. " We talk about what is wrong with a system that counsels the guilty to deny it. The lesson that kids learn - argue your lie well enough and you won't have to be held accountable for your actions. He turns and asks me if I'll call someone and tell them he wants to change his answer to "true." I squeeze his arm. He settles back in his seat and looks out of the window. "I'm not gonna be a punk," he says.

I let out a deep breath. I know.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Camera, She Doesn't Love Me.

You probably don't know this, but I am standing on the very brink of fame. I have an agent. And as if having one isn't cool enough, yesterday, I actually got to say to someone "you'll need to talk to my agent about that."

Last week, I got the contract in the mail along with a list of things my agent needs in order to "launch" me in January. Completed W9. Biography. Signature. Media. Photo/Head Shot.

Head Shot. Crap. I am chronically un-photogenic. How ever gorgeous I may want to think I am in real life, there is absolutely no photographic evidence to support this. See the expression on my face up there? That is the disgusted result of my having taken well over a hundred photos of myself today, each more frightening than the next. They were scary even when I was trying to look pretty, which is fricken depressing.

This is Lolita. She has an agent, too. You'll see her stuff in every gift shop in the free world. She's Practically Famous. Rich. Elegant. Sophisticated. Photogenic. Pretty. I wish I'd never seen this picture. I hate her.

As soon as I saw it, I started planning my own glamour shot. I'll be wearing black - it's a very artsy color. Probably a turtleneck - that's both artsy and will cover my chicken neck. A straight skirt, just above the knee. Those awesome black heels I bought last year that are completely impossible to walk in. I'll be holding an artistically arranged fist full of paint brushes. Wearing new, funky, cool glasses. Sitting on a white cube in front of a mottled grey screen. Striking a Diane Keaton-esque pose. The pottery version of Lolita. Can you see it? Don't I look fabulous?

Wait. I'm an artist (pronounced aah-tist, in the Bostonian accent I can't seem to shake.) The only time you'd ever see me in a black skirt, nylons and heels in my studio is, well...never. OK then. I'm in jeans. The same black turtle neck I was wearing in the last paragraph. A chunky necklace - probably one of my own creations. My favorite cowboy boots. And ooh, I know - one of my huge signature scarves (that I was wearing long before Oprah made them cool.)

This is Karim. He and I have the same agent. While he is not beautiful, he does look cool. If I can't have pretty, I'll settle for cool. I'll have to pay someone. Because if today's session was any indication, pretty and cool can't be forced out of a camera handled by an amateur. I'm payin' you. Make me pretty, damn it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion.

It's almost that time again. Peace. Good will. Wandering around the mall for hours, buying useless stuff you can't afford for people who don't need it. Stuff they won't even remember once the wrapping paper is cleared away. My new attitude goes like this: Give gifts they can't help but remember. "Oh." Silence. "A Fuck You mug. How nice. Thank you dear."

This year, join me in spreading my particular brand of Christmas cheer. Go to my very cool site Whether you decide to be naughty or nice, use the code broad when you check out & receive an incredibly generous 50% discount. Since I'm pretty sure that I only have about three readers, what may look like generosity is actually a bribe. Convince me that you should have one for free and I'll have my people contact your people. (I love that expression.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dickheads Yesterday. Delinquents Today.

It's Tuesday morning. I'm sitting in the Day Surgery waiting room with my middle aged siblings. The room is full. I can feel the air conditioner blowing cold air, but I'm having one hot flash after another. I want to be naked. My niece's cell phone keeps going off, "girls just wanna have fun." She moves in slow motion to answer it. Studies the phone number. Everyone is looking at us. I want to dope slap her. They do, too.

Mom is in chemically induced dream land. She's getting a new hip. She's 73 and has spent the last 6 months hobbling around with a cane. She looks like she's 93. Every time I open my mouth, I hear her voice come out of it, so I've been watching her decline with a strange sense of premonition. My hands on the key board look exactly like hers. It's almost creepy. I'm sitting in a too-soft chair on an ass that's almost as wide as hers. I wonder which hip will go first.

Someone is calling my name. I look up. A police officer is standing in the door. Her badge is not shiny like those on Law and Order, but she looks like a cop to me, and to everyone else in the room. Detective Barbee - the one who arrested my delightful 15 year old son three weeks ago. She's come to deliver his invitation to court. They all watch as I step out into the hall with her.

The papers say Order and Notice of Hearing. Juvenile Petition. The block next to Delinquency is checked. Next Monday at 12:45. Be there. Because my son thinks the rules that keep us from kicking the shit out of each other whenever the spirit moves us - those rules don't apply to him.

Three weeks ago I was beating my chest and lamenting Oh! What a world! My blue eyed boy in trouble with the law because the mean old Principal got into a chest thumping match with him. Put his hands on him to keep him from storming out of the office. Called the police when he jumped out of his office window (relax - first floor.) This week, I want them to lock up his ornery ass so that he can get a glimpse of his future. This week, I'm hoping the judge will decide teach a lesson to a kid who spews venom & threats when things don't go exactly his way.

He's been pretty docile for the last three weeks. Gets shitty with me when I say no, but is getting used to hearing it & is quick to apologize. He can see the change in me. I'm done. Done protecting him, making excuses for him, giving in to him. These days, the only thing I say yes to is food and shelter. I'm preparing him for his stay at the Big House. Saw it on TV the day he got arrested. Eight CDs and a work book. Actual guidance for parents with kids at risk. I listen to it all day at work. In my car. Make him listen to it. He hates it but admits that some of it would make sense if it weren't so stupid. The information is no-nonsense. Concrete. Say this. Do that. Parental salvation for just over $300. Every parent should know about this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Suck At This.

Seriously. Suck. At. This.

Veasey and Thystle manage to impart wisdom on a daily basis. Me? I got no wisdom, cause I got no life.

I work 80+ hours a week, live with Mommy, have an delinquent son and a clueless boy friend with a big dick. I work impossible hours because I'm convinced that one day, I will be rewarded for my diligence and actually be able to afford an apartment or at least one more pair of fat jeans. I drag my son through life every day because I know that one morning he'll wake up and say "Oh! I get it! If I don't figure this out, I'll be talking to visitors through a plate glass window." And as for Ireland? I admit that the man-toy was a most effective distraction for several months (and that's not why I dropped the L-Bomb.) But after days, weeks, months and now years of "who did your hair?" followed by comments about how much fatter my ass is now than when we first met - his dick is looking more like a long rope I'd like to wrap around his fricken neck.

Sure. My ass is fatter. I'm down to one pair of jeans and am about 5 pounds away from a daily wardrobe of sweat pants. And, in spite of the fact that he believes that short hair on any woman is a sign of latent Lesbianism, I cut it all off. Jesus H. I think I'm already starting to like girls better than boys. I'll never again iron another one of his shirts only to have him tell me I missed a spot. And if you think I will EVER clean his bathroom again so that he can tell me I forgot to wipe down the top of the light fixture - screw that.

It's Monday. I think I'll spend the entire week sitting on my fat ass in front of the computer experiencing the endless joys of web site optimization. I'll wait to hear from the police department about my son's court arraignment (another post.) Drink a delicious case of Slim Fast for breakfast. And another for lunch. Start packing for another move.

As for dick for brains - he's away on business. Maybe the gods will smile on him in Detroit. Maybe after he's done playing with his robots, he'll find an attractive, intelligent 53 year old woman with great tits, a fine ass, some Windex and a sponge. Maybe She'll clean and iron for him. And all without back talk.

Crap. Do I sound angry?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sharing my politics even though you didn't ask...

I am a creature of habit. I'm up every morning at 5:30 and out of the door by 6:30. I drive across town to my favorite diner, Chiggy's Place and walk through the door at 6:45. If I'm late by even five minutes, they all look up from from their morning paper. Gaze at the clock. Look back at me. Like I've broken some unwritten rule and upset the order of things.

I love the blue collar population, the conversation that switches back and forth from French Canadian to English, the fact that Alicia brings me coffee without my having to ask. There's a real constancy about our collective morning ritual that I find comforting.

Recently, my table neighbors were joined by an out of state couple. They winter in AZ and summer in NH. Knowing that politics and strangers don't mix but apparently unable to stop myself, I mention Palin. One thing is certain - whether you think she's a fresh breeze or a fricken idiot, most people have an opinion about Sarah Palin.

This handsome, silver haired man with the smooth, tan face man looks right at me and says "Well I don't care what they say about her, I ain't votin' for no coon." My mouth drops open. I stare at him like a cock roach just crawled out of his nose. "Whoooah," his little wifie says, "she didn't like that too much." Didn't like it? I can't believe my ears. "I don't care," he continues, "I hate niggers."

WTF? Did he just use the N word? What, am I in fricken Mississippi? This may seem naive, especially coming from someone living in NH, the whitest state in the country but who talks like that? I was so stunned that I launched into an immediate hot flash, left my barely touched breakfast and walked out of the diner.

This morning, I broke tradition. Instead of crossing the bridge to the West side, I took a left & parked in front of the Beech Street School. I proudly walked past a gauntlet of sign bearing enthusiasts and into the school cafeteria. I stepped behind the striped curtain and canceled out that dipshit bigot ass hole's vote.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shopping For A Man

About 18 months ago, I got the notion that I might like to spend some time with a man. Three years of flying solo had me romanticizing the whole relationship thing, again. Husband number one drank, hit & both entered & left my life when I was barely out of my teens. Husband number two showed up one day to build some shelves & spent the day playing on the floor with my three year old. He never left. He was one of the nicest guys in the world but was rendered helpless by his penis - the fricken thing dragged him around the landscape like a divining rod. While I was not in the market for husband number three, it occurred to me that the right combination of intelligence, language skills & testosterone could be a nice distraction.

Enter There is nothing more discouraging than sorting through hundreds of over-exposed images of men sitting on the couch with a camera in one hand and a beer in the other. WTF guys. Put on a clean shirt and go to the Sears portrait studio. Have one of your buddies catch you on their camera phone. Cut your old girlfriend/ex-wife/current wife out of a vacation photo and post that. A picture of you holding a fluffy white dog with a red bow on top of its head (seriously) is just poor marketing. A man who'd post a photo like that probably doesn’t even own a penis.

Within a month, I’d either spoken to or met a number of prospects. I learned quickly to detect the ones on an earnest search for a wife - Like, Right This Minute; Let down gently the ones for whom I had no curiosity; Roll my eyes at the idiots who were clearly suffering from blood loss to the brain. Powerless to stop themselves, they'd actually use the word "thong" in the first conversation. I tell you, it was a crap shoot.

Weeks pass (insert loud cricket chirping here.) Wait. This one is tall, seems intelligent, has varied interests and has the prerequisite handle on the English language. While I do find spelling errors in his profile (the kiss of death for me - I am a snob) I dismiss it to the fact that he's Irish. From Ireland, Irish. He's got a dog, but it's a huge black and grey husky (who probably sheds all over everything which means, crap, I'll have to vacuum every stinking day - this is where my mind goes.) We email. We talk. We decide to meet.

I like him the second I see him pull up in his truck, take the LAST fricken parking spot for blocks and lope across the street on impossibly long legs. I like him the whole time I'm giving him hell for taking the last spot. I like the way he looks at me like I've lost my mind as he takes my elbow and steers me into the restaurant.

Portsmouth, NH. Our third date. Apparently the second didn't go well, because when I called him, he said he never thought he'd hear from me again. Our last encounter, he said, “was like having lunch with a dead person." Apparently I was not on my best behavior. The second I think they like me more than I like them, I switch off. I become devoid of personality. I start planning my escape. The thing was that I actually liked this one.

Since I believe that the entire world population can be sorted into two categories, those you’d sleep with and those you wouldn’t, this presented a problem. I wanted to hang out with him. He was an unusual combination of handsome, funny and intelligent. His accent was completely charming, even if I didn’t always understand what he was saying. The problem was that I was feeling a northern rather than southern hemisphere attraction. So, in the middle of downtown Portsmouth, this comes out of my mouth: “I like you. I have fun with you. It’s just that I am not romantically attracted to you.” He stared down at me. “Oh. You mean you don’t want to have sex with me.” The tone of his voice made it clear that no other interpretation could exist. I rebutted, working the romance angle in a skilled and convoluted way. He was having none of it.

A few weeks ago, I dropped the L-Bomb. It wasn’t a brave, look him in the eye, bare my soul kind of I love you. It was a timid, muffled admission, whispered from the shadowy folds of his arms. You may have to kiss a few frogs, but if you’re lucky, you might a tall, handsome man who makes you laugh, every day. It’s altogether grand.

No Hogging The Couch

This couch represents my life. That's me, in the middle. I am surrounded by people and things that I need and care deeply about. There are a lot of things missing from this couch - A social life. Relaxation. Spirituality, A creative outlet that doesn't involve work. Inspiration to get my ass off the couch & into some regular exercise.

This is not whining. Without exception, everyone has been invited. For the most part, we've worked out who sits where and when. Peace requires the complete cooperation of everyone involved. It's not always peaceful. We all need to stretch our legs.

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So, in lieu of reading or yoga or walking, I grab my moments on the computer. I fricken LOVE the Internet. I cannot imagine life without it. I find the coolest people doing the coolest things and I don't even have to get up. Most of them live lives just like mine - on a couch that's aging, sags in the middle and is the home and host of their top-shelf people.

Every once in a while I realize that I am one of those people doing cool things. I am a woman on a mission. I keep warning the gang that things may get a bit more crowded. We're going to need a bigger couch.

June. July. August. September...


Four months of silence. If anyone is actually reading this, you must be new to my work and this blog. Anyone else would have given up months ago. So, welcome to my blog. I knew when I started this that I was adding another thing to an already unsteady pile. I must have some subtle, self destruct mechanism running silently in the background. Sorry guys. This was also the first one to drop off the pile.

I've no wisdom to impart in this post. And, if I spend too much time editing the hell out of it, I'll never hit save and send it. Here's an off the cuff update:

We moved to a new location in early July. The move pretty much sucked. Our window of opportunity was narrow and construction was off schedule. It was tough on us and the landlord. But, we're in, the space is incredible and we're back in forward motion. We have three 7w x 10h windows overlooking the Merrimack River. South Western exposure. Huge trees dancing outside. Sun dappled river flowing by. Space to pull a pallet without moving everything out into the hall. Actual heat and AC.

High school started for my son. He's at a new high school and has left his middle school friends in another district. So far, so good. He actually says he kind of likes it. Says the teachers have relaxed and are not as strict. He did homework the other night without my having to force it. Very weird. Makes me think he's up to something. He got up at 5:45 the other morning and ran. And he keeps getting taller. Just over 6'right now.

I'm playing around in my head with a whole bunch of new holiday themed personalized designs. Of course, I'm a year behind schedule for upcoming holidays, so you won't see Halloween, thanksgiving or even Christmas stuff from me until next year. This is how it works: It rolls around in my head for a time, say a couple of months. Then, something starts keeping me awake or waking me up. Then I make bad sketches. Then I try it on a piece of tile. Then on a piece. Three days ago, I pulled out a piece of tile. Yesterday, I picked it up. Who knows what today will bring.

Hey, do ya think I need a new picture? Seriously, that one up there is 5 years old, and when I say I'm not as sweet as that picture suggests, I'm completely serious. Sweet just isn't one of my words. I'm more of a broad, but these days, in a more subdued way.

So right now, my hair is just above my shoulders and looks like a bush. Everyone keeps telling me it looks good, but when I look in the mirror, I see a 53 year old woman (who looks 51) with wicked fluffy hair and slightly crooked glasses. They're lying. And besides, it's time. I am a practically famous woman who really needs a new look. I used to wear it short and spike-ish and loved it, but people kept thinking I was a lesbian. I like boys, idiots that they are. Right now, I just look like someone's mom.

It's 11:15 on Sunday. I've met a friend for breakfast, answered a bunch of emails, broken up with my boyfriend, made some sketches and written this post. Now, I'm going to play with some new designs. I keep thinking about Halloween. I've never had a moment's interest in Halloween until I saw a skull on a glass somewhere.

See ya.

Waiting For My Grasshopper

“Wow. That is cool. I would so buy that if I saw it in a store.” It was a turkey platter – I’d spent hours on it, covering the entire surface with words of thanks and gratitude. It was cool. Once finished, I placed it on the drying rack and poured myself a cup of coffee. After two sips I was back at the rack, admiring my work.

It was 2005. I had spent the last three years in pursuit of my dream – owning a Paint Your Own Pottery Studio. The dream had taken flight and we ended up with three, opening a new studio every year. I was working my ass off.

Some weeks later, I was on my hands and knees, scraping chocolate cake off of the floor - remnants of a party of screeching 9 year old girls. Jillions of tiny black ants had materialized & were crawling around the mess with crazy purpose. As I sat on the cold floor with a butter knife in my hand, I thought about the turkey platter. I squashed a few ants. I made a decision.

A couple of years earlier, my business partner and I took a trip to New York to visit the studio of Lorrie Veasey; owner of Our Name is Mud. Lorrie was actively involved with CCSA – a professional organization that supports and educates owners & planners of PYOP studios. She also owned a large and growing finishware company and was selling her hand painted pottery to thousands of accounts all over the country. I told her of my dream to someday create my own line of finishware. “When you’re ready,” she said, “call me. I’ll walk you through it.”

Museware Pottery is in its third year. During its infancy, Lorrie & I exchanged many dozens of emails. I'm sure I was a complete pain. She reviewed my business plan & pricing structure; guided me through months of packing and shipping issues; warned me away from some costly big ideas; praised and encouraged my best efforts. She called it building good pottery Karma.

With her guidance, I've gone from painting at my kitchen table to a 1500 square foot studio. We need to double our space. Last year, business increased almost 300%. I'm working my ass off. I’m also waiting for my Grasshopper so that I can pass it on. If it weren’t for Lorrie’s generosity, I’d still be scraping chocolate cake off of the floors. Fricken ants.

Thanks, Mud Chick.

On Quiet And Empty Things


These are things that remind me of my dad: His chair, its back cushion curved like his, its seat shaped by the length of his legs; every morning at 5:30 when I came downstairs, I’d find him in it – TV on, cat in his lap, coffee mug in hand. His truck, quiet and dusty in the dark garage; I drove it a couple of weeks ago. When I turned the key, Willie Nelson played on the CD. The yard, winter leaves still gathered in its corners like the snowdrifts that covered them not long ago.

I’ve grown accustomed to the empty chair, dark and alone in the half light of the morning – the locked garage door – the wild tangles of the yard. So this morning, as I stood in front of his closet and drew my hand across the sleeves of his shirts, I was not prepared. I was not prepared to stare into his empty shoes and feel the huge space he left behind. I miss him.

Please Marry My Brother

This is my brother, Russell. He's 6' 4" and around 210 lbs. He turned 50 on August 13, which makes him a Leo - fire sign - strong willed, opinionated, bossy, charming. He's handsome, wicked funny, a gifted musician and chronically single. While there is nothing actually wrong with him, he does work weird hours & often has to travel to make a living. The last time I counted, he had something like four (five?) cars and seven motorcycles. This alone may explain why he has never married. Who wants to park a block away?

This is a man who can fix just about anything - ok, your car or motorcycle but maybe not your broken furniture. He will make you laugh every day. He might cook you hot dogs or spaghetti but you'll have get the dishes out of the sink first. You'll need to seriously clean his bathroom. He'll write you a song and sing it to you and it will be poetic and romantic. You won't want to mess with his garage. I call it Man Land. And even though he tortured me as a child and I hated his guts, I'm very fond of him now so you'll have to share him. Our family is crazy. You'll need to be, too.

Another Way To Avoid Relaxing


In an effort to fill up every second of my life with high maintenance people and things, I've decided that the few minutes each night that I spend relaxing and reading Scottish historical novels (The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon - incredible sex scenes) could be better spent. I also thought this could take the place of my long lost practice of daily journaling. Most of my life - every unedited detail - is recorded in dozens of cloth bound books hidden away in an old suitcase. I've instructed my mother not to read them until I've been dead for five years. Seriously dead for five years.

Next month, Nicole (my awesome painter/production manager/kiln room manager/shipper/receiver and occasional therapist) and I will take my line to The National Stationery Show in NYC. We'll pack up the truck and take the trip from Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire (pop. 110,000) to the Really Big City. Verra exciting (using my Scottish accent.) I plan on being the hit of the show and becoming Wicked Famous.

In an effort to look incredibly talented and earn the questionable title "artist" I've been on a three month long design binge. I've added a bunch of new stuff to my Baby Collection and am very pleased with the results. The above image is a preview of what we'll be showing. Using a combination of stamps designed by Christine Adolph & my own hand-carved stamps, the colors and shapes in this new collection just make me smile. I'm in love with the scroll stamp that's part of her Garden Melange Collection. Her work is featured prominently in my own. Watch for more of her great designs in my growing Valentine's Day collection.