Archive for February, 2008

Published by PaintingChef on 29 Feb 2008

Waking the sleeping artist.

The artistic part of my heart has been in hibernation for too long. For almost 2 years it was replaced by my job of “governing” artists. Maybe replaced isn’t the right word, rather it was DISplaced. So much of my creative energy was zapped by planning and filling out forms and applications for non-profit status and it finally hit me in the head like the proverbial ton of bricks that MY GOD… I need to PAINT. I have been more involved with photography than painting recently because it almost seems… easier. Photography is such an art and one at which I am truly a novice. But it seems like a more portable art. And it is one that, while it has tided me over like it were a bread basket I think it is time for steak. I need to paint. I have once again started to see canvases and the swirls of color every time I close my eyes. I even ordered a huge batch of fresh supplies from Jerry’s. It is time.

The only problem?

Those damn boxes. My paints and supplies are packed and hidden so far away that the thought of finding everything makes me kind of want to cry. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of taking my half of the “purple room” and setting up my own little art space full of wonderful smells and all the things that inspire me sounds like heaven. I can’t imagine a more perfect way to prepare myself to paint again. I think I just need a magic genie to come in and get all the boxes together first.

But I’m starting to hunger for creativity. The time I spending working is so much more draining than in my last work-situation. I think I need the outlet more than ever. I think it is time. I’ve gone too long. I don’t have to be in charge anymore.

Published by PaintingChef on 24 Feb 2008

Therapy… thy name is dog. And cat. And husband.

Sometimes the warm and fuzzies can strike in the oddest of situations. Take this evening. Here I am, where I have been since about 2:00 Saturday afternoon when I finally admitted that I was sick and gave in to the wretched intestinal plague that was ravaging my… innards, curled up in my bed flanked by two cats who, for the moment, aren’t trying to kill each other and one puppy, minus two patches of fur but in possession of one clean bill of health and all seems quite right with the world.

Despite my claims to the contrary I do enjoy a small amount of fussing over when I’m under the weather. I like my ginger ale with crushed ice and a straw and my saltines three at a time on a napkin. I expect you to know that. And it warms my heart that you do. Except for the crushed ice. Which I will forgive because other than an apple juice slush from Sonic, I never like crushed ice. And our crushed ice sucks anyway.

But I think because of the aforementioned clean bill of canine health I was quite alright with a bit of sickness. Everyone could use with a few days of rest every now and then. Especially when they are able to spend it surrounded by so much furry love. And yes Patrick, I’m including you in that fur…

Published by PaintingChef on 18 Feb 2008

Because I don’t think she understands that I will do whatever I can to make it be Just Fine.

In the absence of two-legged, mostly hairless children, many of us make due with those of the four-legged, furry variety; myself included. And so aside from the two very moody, yet polar opposite, cats with whom Patrick and I share our home there is Belle. Who we adore and fawn over and take anywhere we are able to bring her. This includes work and Home Depot. (Did you know that you can take dogs to Home Depot. It’s a fantastic thing and suddenly I find myself enjoying the wood and nail-buying trips a wee bit more…)

So in the spirit of full disclosure I should probably go ahead and ‘fess up to being one of those people who hears a very distinct voice for her dog in her head and have, on more than oh… a thousand occasions, vocalized those thoughts which I am certain she is having. I’m pretty sure this makes me just one Christmas sweater away from being a Crazy Dog Lady.

But all of this is just to demonstrate that Belle is very precious to me and very loved by her family. She sleeps in our bed and has a stocking at Christmas. We are crazy. Noted. Moving on.

Sometime between Christmas and New Years (also know as Crazy Time 2007 Full of the Moving Crazies) I was giving Belle a few minutes of her Necessary for Survival Fourteen Hours of Human Contact Daily and noticed a little hard lump on her size. I had a lowercase freak out and then was distracted by yet another box and filed it away in the back of my mind for immediate follow-up just as soon as I could find my damn laundry detergent. And then it kind of slipped my mind until last week when I was sitting at my desk and suddenly I remembered the LUMP! ON THE PUPPY!

I stopped what I was doing right then and found her a vet and made an appointment which was this past Saturday. At 8 am. Which I consider a testament to just how guilty I felt about forgetting the LUMP because I missed The O.C. And 90210.

I have told you about my parents’ golden retriever, Maddie, who was just an amazing animal. She had this beautiful spirit and heart (unless you are one of those people who believe that animals don’t possess such things and then you should probably just go back to pulling the wings off butterflies and kicking puppies, you heartless bastard. You’re a serial killer in training anyway) and made everyone around her happier. But I have a very clear memory of a day when my mother, going through the same daily routine of love and affection, felt a very similar lump and just to be safe had it checked out. And it was not good news. In fact it was very, very bad news and without a very gifted doctor, she probably wouldn’t have lived to be 17 years old.

But while Steve Sanders was meeting Laura Kingman, the crazy blonde pseudo-Kelly Taylor who will eventually try to kill herself over losing a role to Brenda Walsh (which was probably Brenda Walsh’s fault any damn way) I was scheduling surgery for Belle. Most likely No Big Deal surgery during which they will take a little lump of nothingness off her side and While They Are At It clean her teeth and pop a zit or two, And suddenly my lowercase freak out of a couple of months ago has become a Very Big Deal Freak Out during which I am having trouble keeping my mind from wandering to very dark places and thinking the worst. And even though I look at this face and kiss her and tell her that it is all going to be Just Fine… I’m really scared that it isn’t going to be Just Fine at all.

Dammit.  Play with me.

Published by PaintingChef on 15 Feb 2008

Kind of like a public service announcement… in a backwards sort of way.

It’s no secret around this place that I have, in my previous life, partaken in more than a few illegal substances. I’ve smoked, sniffed and otherwise ingested my fair share and yours. So let’s pause for a moment and reflect fondly and the 90’s, shall we?

But now I’m a grown up. And while it has crossed my mind that perhaps it might be fun to spend a Saturday this summer by my pool in a cannabis and margarita filled haze while soaking up the sun and the supermarket tabloid magazines that I have given up for Lent even though I’m not a practicing religious person (peer pressure… it’s a bitch and everyone else was giving up candy and cookies… like THAT will happen!), the chances of me doing that particular thing are slim to none for more than one reason. Lack of drug dealers comes to mind instantly and it is quickly followed by the look on my father/boss’s face when my drug screen comes back positive after I randomly bust my ass in the office doing something innocent like making coffee and have to be rushed to the emergency for a broken knee-second degree burn combo where I am automatically drug tested because of an “on-the-job” injury and our worker’s comp policy requires mandatory drug testing.

So. Like I said. That pool party is unlikely.

But here’s a thought. When you apply for a job and I send you to be drug tested because we drug test EVERYONE; don’t get all pissy with me when you fail your test because you have enough cocaine in your blood to firmly place Robert Downey Jr. (also in his 90’s glory) in the “weekend dabbler” category. Don’t think I didn’t notice you all twitchy-like when you filled out your application. I’m not a fool. I’ve been twitchy myself a time or thirty-seven.

Don’t waste my time. My company paid forty-two bucks for your pee. At least have the decency to TRY and cleanse your system. And don’t snarl at me and slam the phone down when I play the role of Captain Obvious and try my best to be nice and polite while telling you something that YOU ALREADY KNOW. I refuse to let you ruin my Friday, it isn’t even noon yet.

Published by PaintingChef on 13 Feb 2008

On the afternoon of February 11th.

Subtitled “Why I should never talk on the phone when I’m trying to get something”

“Good afternoon, thank you for calling the Melting Pot, how may I help you?”

“Hi. Are you booked for Valentine’s Day?”

“Yes ma’am. We were fully booked for Valentine’s Day about two weeks ago.”

“So do you have like a waiting list? You know, unless anyone calls and cancels?”

“No. We don’t have a waiting list. But I guess you could call us on Thursday afternoon and see if we’ve had any cancellations.”

“How about a divorce list? Or just a break-up list?”

“Um. No. We don’t have one of those either.”

“But men are such tools. Breaking up with a girl on Valentine’s Day is just what they would do. The ones I always dated did anyway.”

“If you’re anticipating being dumped on Valentine’s Day are you sure you need a reservation for dinner?”

“Oh, no. I’m married now. Breaking up requires paperwork. I’m sure I’d have a little more warning than not showing up to roses for first period while all those bitchy girls around me basked in the flowers and Whitman’s Samplers their boyfriends fought over at the grocery store that morning. I’m actually trying to make dinner reservations. Or at least waiting list reservations.”

“Um. No. Sorry. No waiting list. But we do have reservations available for Friday the 15th if you’re interested.”

“No thanks. That would kind of be like stale chocolates and wilted flowers the day after Valentine’s Day because you dated the stoner who forgot the whole damn thing. The bastard would probably even throw in a Garfield card for good measure.”

“Okay. Well, thanks then. Good bye. Get therapy.”


“Sorry Patrick. No chocolate fondue for us on Thursday.”

“So I gathered. Hey. Here’s a thought… maybe you should just not talk to strangers anymore.”
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