Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our family supports your family--Down with Prop. 8

Maggie & The Mister stand up for what's right

Me: Guess what guys?  We're going to a protest this morning.
Oliver: There will be lots of toys there!
Me: Um, no.  But there will be lots of people and music and dancing.
Oliver (losing interest): Mommy, I want banana bread.

Oliver: I'm so 'cited about the toy chest, Mommy.
Me:  Oh, Oliver.  It's a protest, not a toy chest. 

Poor kid thought we were going to some giant new toy chest big enough to hold dancing people and drums.  Instead he gets a whole lot of cheerfully pissed off gay people and a little distorted disco music.  Still, in the end, I believe it's better for them. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Encaustic painting, Doris Day and Carmel-by-the-Sea

Doris Day owns my hotel.  I'm in  Carmel-by-the-Sea, a town so Thomas Kincaid-esque, it make me feel as if I might come-face-to-face with Bilbo Baggins all snug in his Christmas elf suit.  Everything is so dimiutive and quaint and incredibly chi-chi.

See for yourself
They have a shop here that just sells handcrafted lampshades.  Another devoted entirely to an aviation theme—you know, flight jackets for babies and massive framed photos of fighter jets against the blue, blue sky.  
Clint Eastwood used to be the mayor and I have trouble understanding how he could have taken it all seriously.  His first act in office?  Legalizing ice cream cones.  Apparently the city had an ordinance against take-out.  Not anymore.  I just now polished off a bag of Chinese.  Alone.  In my hotel owned by Doris Day.

I am here on a women's art retreat, an assignment.  I'm learning encaustic painting (painting with hot wax) in the company of six other would-be artists.  I've learned three things so far:
1.) I LOVE encaustic painting.  It's luminous and lovely and just so fun to play with.
2.) Being a visual artist is much more fun than being a writer, especially with a staff waiting on you hand and foot (Chris, more wine.  Clap!  Clap!) 
3.) A lot of women own and wear fur coats without a trace of guilt or self-consciousness. (What would Doris Day think?)

Oh, and if you took all the diamonds off all the fingers in Carmel, you might just be able to bail out the economy once and for all.

Here's my first encaustic painting (they have a tendency to look a little tie-dye Dead Heady)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dream Analysis

Last night Oliver woke up yelling his head off at about 1:30.  I stumbled down the stairs to his room, sending Woody skittering across the floor with those terribly noisy claws of his.  What I found was a mostly-still-asleep two-year-old babbling like a lunatic, hair all sticky-upy.
Me:  Shhh (rubbing his cheek) Shh.
Oliver: Guy!  Man!
Me: Shhh.  Go back to sleep.
Oliver: Choo-choo train man come!  
Me: It's just a dream.  Shh.
Oliver: zzzzzzz.

My son's first bad dream.  This may be mean, but being able to soothe my kid during a nightmare gives me immense pleasure. I donned my capable-mom suit and kicked that Choo-choo Train Man back to the hell from which he rose.  

None of my new found skills seemed to help in my own personal dreamland.  As I drifted off I joined the Mister on the beach just as he was fishing my liver out of the surf at Ocean Beach.  We knew it was mine because of the serial number, you see.  
Me: Can we put it back in?
Mister: No.  Look at it (he holds up a large, gray jellyfish-looking thing).  It's been out too long.
Me: (realizing I'm going to die).  Darn.

I've never really gotten the hang of dream analysis, but this much is clear: Oliver is cute and I am whacked thirty ways from Sunday.

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