Thursday, May 29, 2008

commence mint rant speech

Surviving high school is not an accomplishment to be proud of.

If it were, it would be up there with getting a gold star for not getting into a car wreck on your way to work every day. Or not pulling a gun and going crazy because the local walmart can't keep cashiers and so they have three lanes open for 75 people wanting to checkout. Or for the ability to remember to put pants on before you leave the house. These all deserve a ceremony with a goofy robe and silly hat.

No. Not really.

Things to really be proud of include landing on your own two feet after a jump - literally and metaphorically.

Seeing blood and pain and twisted bodies and moving into action to do something instead of passing out.

Making an investment that succeeds. Or making an investment that succeeds after one that failed.

Taking responsibility for your actions and accepting or dealing with the results - good or bad.

Making one person smile. Giving one person a hand, or a ride. Being there for one person - friend or foe.

Thinking for yourself. Making a statement or decision that was not prepped for you.

Seriously. What is such a pride inducing thing about surviving three years with people who torment each other? Spent having your spirit crushed? Spent being 'taught' the cookie cutter curriculum and the lemming platform? Spent making increasingly dumb mistakes because you stupidly believe you are well on your way into adulthood? (Let me tell you something, I've been outta high school for 12 years now, and I feel no closer to 'adulthood' than I did then. Make the choices because you believe in them, not because someone else told you to.)

I'm still trying out the real world, seeing which parts of it fit. But I can guarantee you that the best and hardest times I remember were not spent in a classroom. They weren't spent hiding my true self in shame, being teased, or surviving the so-called education.

Fine. Feel proud of yourself for a millisecond or two. Then get over it and go on with the living. Do not relive your glory days of high school. Do not boast gleefully that you were in the top 50% as if you just performed brain surgery with a spoon. Don't get caught up in how easy it was once you leave, the best is yet to come.

Because the best is what's really gonna push you, stretch you, make you learn instantly, overwhelm your senses, fill you with desire and passion, make you scream and dance and cry, and ultimately let you figure out who you really are.

Now, go put on your pants and go do something with yourself. Then you can be proud. And wear a silly hat if you wish.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day - catching up

Rob was in town for the weekend, doing some job hunting and hanging out with me, which I enjoyed very much! He took the MPD tests and did well, now it's paperwork and wait & see. He helped out with the Memorial Day services at the American Airpower Heritage Museum, participating in the 21 Gun Salute. There was a great shot by Cindeka Nealy in the Odessa American newspaper of the Salute, with Rob in the front. I love the way he looks in uniform anyway, but I was so proud of him!

The Flag Folding Ceremony was beautiful, the cadets were so crisp and did a great job.

The Veterans in the crowd stood during the Sun Country Gentlemen singing of the songs from each military branch. Watching their faces, seeing the pride for what they've served for, seeing the dignity and respect they demand and deserve for serving this country.

My grandparents sat there, on the front row. It was a great chance for me to take their picture, too!

Weekend over, everyone back to routines and work. I'm not much in the mood to write much, so I figured the pics would help. It's tough now that Rob is back in Florida again, I miss him, I don't feel like writing much, except to him! The texts are flying again!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wanted: Dead or Alive

Notoriety is a bit more pleasurable, even when you see your own picture on the 'Wanted: Dead or Alive' posters. Kinda like your 15 minutes, until you realize that everyone standing around you sees the same thing and is now turning to look at you as if you might just be dangerous. Which of course, you are.

They say the best laid plans of mice and men are the ones that go awry. Or at least I think they say that. They say so many things that I'm never sure which are real and which are made up. My guess is that most are made up. Personally, the mice tend to just run around all skittery, while a man will run only if he thinks he's being chased. Notice I said 'thinks'? Yes. Be it a rarin' bull, a bucking horse, or a woman whose bed he just left.

I've detoured. I believe you paused today when you heard about the 'Wanted' poster. Or I want to believe you stopped to see what happens next because of that. Hell, at this point I can believe anything I want to. So can you.

It's not a great likeness. But then, I always could find fault within my own lines and features. Is it still a feature if you don't like it? If I don't like it? The pencil sketching shows me with perfectly round eyes, when my left one leans a little to the side. The etching has a dusty trail ride feel, with my bandanna tied to my neck and my hat pulled low over my forehead, as if I was a hardened killer like Billy The Kid or something. Jesus, I like to think I'm prettier than him. Why can't I have a better etching than that fool boy? Besides I wear dresses and rouge and powder in an attempt hide the bruises and scars. Throws the boys off when they hear the rustle of petticoats instead of the whisper of chaps. I look just as good in both, or at least I've been told. Just once I'd like to see a poster with my hair in curls and the ruffles of my best dress. Then, I suppose, if I wish hard enough, the day they finally do catch and hang me, I'll get my wish.

He wasn't supposed to die. The bastard knew the whole plan. It was his plan. He was just dumb enough to think that I would follow it. For Finnegan's sake, I told him I loved him, not that I would follow him into the street for a fire fight after we rode back into town. Damn fool. Most men are, in my opinion. Which is why it's easier to stay wanted and not caught. What a man will do for a little thigh grabbing and ankle spreading... or vice versa... Ahh, I don't need to tell you that, you just use your imagination a little and you know exactly what I'm sayin'.

His plan was to walk right into the Bank and walk back out. My plan was to let him. See who's standing now? I loved him, but I didn't say I was as stupid as him. I went out the back door, down the alley, and up the stairs to our room at the hotel, where I walked out onto the balcony with the rest of the town to see the sheriff pull his foolish, bulleted body out of the road.

All I can do is sigh. He was easy enough on the eyes and rough enough on my body. The girls standing next to me know, they turn away to whisper about me. I turn around and let them. By nightfall I'll be on saddle and gone. This time flush with cash, and a three day ride to anywhere else. Give a few of those bruises time to heal before I don the lace and silks again. Stay low to the sights, find the towns that see the most of the land rushers and sojourners that there are no questions asked about a woman traveling alone.

Three. I don't count the last one, the sheriff did that for me. I only count the three I pulled the trigger on myself, you see. Of all the things I do in this life, I will remember them. Responsibility weighs just as heavy as guilt, that it feels about the same. Riding alone, camping under the stars, asking for the forgiveness that only the preacher can give when I finally do hang, and then making myself believe one more time that I'm not wrong. Justice is funny that way, ain't it? You can believe that I'm as innocent as the day I was born if I wanted you to. Till I tell you I knew right what I was doing each time. Didn'n make it any easier.

I've been back to those towns twice. Once to pick up what I'd squirreled away in waiting, and once just to see if'n I'd be caught. Not a bat of an eye at another lady on the street. Not a second thought at another whore in the saloon. Just another drunk to follow me up the stairs and mysteriously be found shot the next mornin'. Not just any drunks, mind you. I hold my reasons as close as I hold my aces when playing cards. When the time comes to lay them on the table, then you'll see what I've been hidin'.

Plain as day, I stand here in the general store, purchasing a few more tinned goods to pack for the next ride. I'm standing right next to the poster, when the recognition crosses the gentle man's face. I just smile sweetly, nod once and thank him for my purchases, then I spout up "Well, my stars! Have they not caught up to that girl yet? I wonder if any of us are safe in our beds with her on the loose!" He gets my hint with fear in his eyes. Poor man, I mean him no harm, but he will surely be afraid for a long time to come, knowing that I stood across the counter from him holding a can of dried meats and had a gun strapped to my thigh.

That bold heft of metal against my leg, either strapped to the outside of my pants or tucked underneath the layers of my skirts, gives me the cocky attitude of invincibility. It's when I take it off at night that the world feels just a bit more intimidatin'. Sometimes I think I can go just far enough away, ride for days till I or my horse drops, before I can start all over. Then sometimes ends and I know that I'm the only one who knows it was me in the first place. Those are the days I pull that hat a little lower and let them whisper what they will. Because most of the time I think the stories they tell are made up ones anyhow.

(Written March 2007)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

quick stitching between the tactile and the visual

The pillows now reside in their new habitat, my dad's office at the museum, for those rare occasions anyone will actually sit still during their meetings in his office.

I've made one for Rob and sent it to him, as a hug across the miles. He seems to enjoy having it tucked behind his head while reading! The tye-dye green/red one I'm keeping here and have used it to tuck under my knees when working (as I tend to work on the floor while at home, you know, all spread out, things everywhere).

Amongst my twitter wanderings and stalkings I found this diy on figure making via this guy from his comment to someone else and I decided to follow him. Can I say I'm not alone in this networking and commentary that is the twitter-verse? I've found some great and inspiring blogs and writers, artists and industrialists.

And so that diy link up there ^, well, that rattled my creative juices a bit in the direction I think I may be going.

Oddly vague, I know. But until I get the feel the way I want it, I feel that sharing will be ...


oops.... things going on again! (good distraction there, huh?!) Gotta run, don't wanna just save as draft because who knows when I'll finish. so - art ideas with pillows and vinyl figures, and I'm writing again - for reals - and it feels soooo good. I'll get to that later when I do have time.

..... the phone again, gotta run!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the need for green

Today is a very cloudy, weather turmoil-y day, and with all the stuff that is going on with family and friends right now, well I turn to the green for some comfort in color.

This started out as a pre-prepped, store bought canvas. I use the Van Gogh Acrylic in one of the deeper, more emerald green.

I used a one inch brush as I applied the paint, going with one layer, but a very thick layer. While applying I used the thickness of the brush to measure out a one-inch-ish basket weave pattern across the whole canvas.

One solid color is rare for me, but the thickness and thinness in the lines gives the whole piece enough variation to appease my sense of light and dark compliments.

Falling into the "I like texture" category, because I like things that I can touch and feel, I broke out the glue and fabric leaves!

All those pretty green leaves that didn't get used on the Queen's Rose Garden in "Alice in Wonderland" last summer were just hanging out waiting for a project! So I glued them along the edge, making a pretty alternating level border.

But then my color contrast needs kicked in and I found some orange faux maple leaves, the fall leaves with all the orange/green/yellow veins that make it stand out on the green canvas background.

Much in the same style as the roses, I tossed a handful of the leaves in the air and glued them down where they landed. Only, not totally glued - just a small attachment dot of glue at the base of the leaf, so that the rest of the leaf moves with a breeze. Gives the entire pieces some movement, makes you want to touch it, makes it 'dance' a bit to the eye.

This pretty ditty was a gift to Bobbi, and I'm hoping it compliments her decor in her new home!

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