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.