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Archive for September, 2008

Chopped Liver


My friend, Kat, texted me this evening and asked after our weekend. It rained here for three fucking days. (did I mention that?) THREE DAYS.

I had the girls and the place where Piano Man plays, closed up because the storm was so bad and business was nil.

So, I invited him over for dinner on Friday night.

Um. And Saturday.

Seeing that the girls already know him, they jumped on him the moment he walked in the door. 

Basically, when he’s around, I am chopped liver.

BUT, when he’s around, they apparently try new foods. They get along. They remain transfixed on him.

In answer to Kat’s question, I responded, “I cooked alot, I baked, we played board games…every board game we know, and Piano Man slept on the couch on Friday night.”

WHAAAAAAAA? You say?

Well, I was upset about something later on that evening, I haven’t been sleeping much lately, unless he’s been in my bed, which means, ever other weekend, when the girls are gone. So he said “I’m staying on the couch tonight, I’ll be right here”.

And so he was.

The next morning, it was all about “He slept on the couch! He’s still here! He slept on the couch!”

And well into the next day.

When their dad picked them up for their Sunday overnight, it was “Piano Man slept over!”

Heh heh. 

I didn’t explain on purpose.

At the end of my conversation with Kat, she asked “What do the girls think of the two of you together?”

(because as we well know, they aren’t completely stupid, plus, the previous week, he asked Red’s permission to cuddle with me on the couch…her reply was “only if I can snuggle too”)

My response to Kat was honest and clear and real.

“I think they know and like how peaceful he helps me be.”

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I’ve been feeling a little guilty, having 5 days a week to myself to work and work out and have lunch and clean my house and not making plans to hang with my mom.

I have issues with my mom. Don’t we all, to a point?

Anyway, my issues are probably normal and the way I deal with them is to get together with her in situations that I can handle. For instance…I will never ever ever let her drive. My mother has road rage. And she floors it and then brakes really quick…on the highway. It sucks. All while yelling at other drivers and blasting Celine Dion through her stereo.

I decided that this afternoon after the girls went off with their dad for the night, and Piano Man left to drive north to play in a daytime brunch gig, might be a good time to call my mom and see if we should get together.

I let her pick the movie. 

So we saw “Nights in Rodanthne.”

I knew nothing about it before we went, except that Diane Lane was in it.

I love Diane Lane.

In this, Diane Lane sucked.

As usual, so did Richard Gere.

The whole movie, I felt embarrassed. Talk about cheese-ball. I couldn’t understand the ladies crying as the movie ended. So, all in all, it was horrible. And for once, my mother and I agreed on something.

Embarrassing Movie ended and we went to Trader Joes. There, I saw a guy who is an incredible singer and guitar player…Piano Man and I had gone to see him play recently. I SO badly wanted to do the whole “fan club” thing and go start chatting, but I decided to spare him. And save myself. But it was cool to see him shopping like us regular people. At Trader Joes!

So now, my date with my mother is over. I managed to get out without a discussion about politics and taxes and how I wear my makeup.

It’s been raining for THREE WHOLE DAYS and I am going to scream tomorrow if it doesn’t stop. It’s starting to grate on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. 

And now I am going to finish up a painting for my art show this weekend. 5 days to go. A shitload to do.

But for now, I am doing one last thing to pamper and relax before I get going with the week again.

Indulging a bit.

Nothing like a face mask, malt balls and Australian black licorice.

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Oh Lordy Lordy Lordy…thank GOODNESS I’m not FORTY. (I say that just because it rhymed)

Lordy, please let me get through the next ten days without getting my head unscrewed. Let me finish the last few paintings on time and be happy with them. Let me varnish them without killing myself  or at least passing out and let me hang with delicacy so nothing falls and breaks.

Let me have a decent turnout and sell lots.

I know that what I do is more about DOING it than making a buck. I am a fortunate single mum who gets to be home with the kids when they are home and paint in all her spare time, whenever she wants, and make money at it.

But this year. Please, LORDY, let this stuff sell so I can pay off my new(ish) Mac. It’s a need, not a want.

Give me the courage to plow through the three other arts events between now and Christmas, so that I don’t meltdown or screw something up.

Now, speaking of “wants”…I want to go out of country to see Piano Man for a week in December. And again in February.

So, dammit, Lordy, make people want to buy art and make them want to buy it now.

Lordy, I am not wishing life away, but I dream of January once in a while, so I can get caught up on my Oprahs.

I hope exhusband…I mean, the girls’ father, gets off my back and stays off my back.

And a light winter so I can keep walking and have sun and not shovel snow.

Let me have the patience and strength when Piano Man is away, to go with the flow and feel okay. And sell lots of work so I can pay for the ridiculously expensive flight to go see him. Even though he says he wants to fly me there. On his bill. That’s amazing. But not okay with me.

Please bring him back.

Lordy, please let this excema on my arms go away. I hate it. Steroid cream is not only expensive but doesn’t seem to be working. Excema is JUST-NOT-SEXY.

Lordy, please keep my sis safe. It’s taken her years to get preggers and now she is and she has only told me and her husband and her doctor, it’s very early. May it stick and be healthy and good for her. Give me the strength to know what to say when she calls me in the middle of the night with a screaming nursing baby and cracked nipples.

May I get through the winter without anxiety, depression, gaining weight or acne.

May my girls continue to talk to me every day after school, during breakfast, at bedtime, on the weekends, on the phone when they are with their dad, so I know what they are thinking, wanting and needing. May they continue to get along and be respectful to each other, me and everyone else around them. And be creative and make stuff and explore and express.

Let them know how to be happy, no matter what.

Let us all stay safe, feel safe and continue to live each day through love.

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Artsy Fartsy

All my “spare” time during the day is directed towards my painting and getting ready for my show on October 5th. Interestingly, the more time I have with the kids in school, the more I overbook for myself with what I want to paint and how much I want to paint and how complicated I want to paint.

Here’s a new batch of some smallish watercolors for the holiday sale season.

As always, if you are interested in a piece or seeing my professional website, please email me at movindowntheroad@gmail.com.

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On Thursday, we came home from school and Red went right to the arts and crafts closet, took out Elmer’s Glue and glitter, went to the kitchen cupboard and brought out my favorite mixing bowl. She filled it with water and then before I knew it, she was squeezing an entire bottle of white glue into the water, which filled my favorite mixing bowl. And then sprinkled some glitter in it.

I am still scrubbing it clean.

The next day, as I said in my earlier post, I was more than glad for a breather from the girls as the week was filled with fights, tantrums and mixing concoctions that involve sticky things, like glue and syrup and tape. And much to my chagrin, they found the three hole puncher, which resulted in tiny white dots all over the living room floor, right before a client was to arrive to look through some work.

Friday evening at the piano bar, the night began with just twelve of us around the piano. I don’t usually sit so close to Piano Man, even though he likes it when I do. I save that space for the big tippers on a busier night. But on slow nights, I sit right next to him. Half way through the night, a man I’ll call “Spooky Man”, came in and sat near me. I felt his stare for the first hour and turned my back a bit so that I wasn’t facing him. By the end of the night, he was sitting next to me, leaning into me, drunk, with a wedding band on his finger, talking about what he thought my passions in life might be. It was ridiculous, obnoxious, and I had no where to go where I wouldn’t be obviously escaping his company. I didn’t know anyone else in there that night and short of sitting at a table way in the back, by myself, I was safest on the stool between Piano Man and Spooky Man, believe it or not.

By the end of the night, I was tense and stressed out and frustrated. I sang a ton, Piano Man kept handing me the mic and it helped me escape from Spooky Man. Unfortunately, his creepy stare when I was singing, didn’t help the situation, but at least he wasn’t leaning into me anymore.

When the music ended for the night, I stood right up from the stool and moved next to Piano Man, to show that I was obviously with him, and we went down the road to another place that had a band playing. He turned to me and goes “Oh my god, I am so sorry about that guy!” He’d known all along he guy wasn’t leaving me alone and was keeping an eye on him to be sure he didn’t cross a more evident boundary.

Saturday proved to be a good day for sleeping in, going to breakfast and then getting back in bed for most of the day with movies and sleep and well, bed. Another night at the piano bar with D and his family and friends proved to be a blast and filled with solos and duets and wine and the feeling of Summer being gone and Fall arrived, ready for toasty coziness to come.

The weekend ended with a drive to Boston with Piano Man. We gained a day together where he didn’t need to go back home right away, due to his buying us Randy Newman tickets, who was playing at Symphony Hall. I got some piano-man-ness experience by going with him to a big music store where he shopped for some components for his performing out of country this winter. I loved it. I felt like I was in another world, a world he knew that I didn’t know. At all. He seemed more brilliant to me than ever, going in a place like that, a place that resembles an art supply store for me.

Randy Newman wrote many more songs than I realized. The stage was just the piano and Newman and the lyrics are hysterical in many, sentimental and beautiful in others, mean in some. “Short People” cracked me up, I had never heard it word for word, really. “I Love L.A.”, of course was something I could sing word for word because it hit the music video scene right when I was finally allowed to watch it, while growing up in Los Angeles. And when “You Can Leave Your Hat On” came on, I was quickly reminded of Joe Cocker singing it on the soundtrack to “9 1/2 weeks” , which I watched against my mother’s wishes when I was younger, while  I was babysitting for a family who had cable. (really) My favorite was “Feels Like Home” and is already downloaded onto my itunes.

All around was a great weekend, but the best of all was going to bed together on Sunday night and falling asleep with him next to me. Waking up at 3 in the morning to him lying there awake, we had a heartfelt conversation for an hour, one that I feel was a total gift, for both of us.

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Yes. For once, I feel no guilt in looking forward to the weekend. The girls get a breather from me and school and go to their dad’s and I am shutting down shop at 5pm on Friday and won’t be working until Monday morning. Because I am forcing myself to forget what I need to do and just kick back, enjoy Piano Man, spend some time with D who is coming home from NYC for the weekend…we’re all heading to the piano bar on Saturday night for a big shebang. Remember D’s auntie who loved a piano man once? Well, along with her, we’ve got a gang of about 8 going to belt a few out. Yes. I can’t wait. We’ll be shutting down the season with a bang. 

I took a photo of the mural I painted at the elementary school the other day. I mean, that was yesterday. How I lose track of time WHEN I’M ON THE HELPDESK WITH APPLE AND MY REGISTRAR FOR FIVE HOURS ALL DAY! Yes, that was today.

I nearly cried when my helpdesk guy figured out the problem and actually FIXED it. And now, my new website is up, people can see my art. I can sell now. It looks good. I can stop stressing. 

Seriously though, by the end of the second hour on the help chat thing with Apple, I was offering the guy cake. I told him “if you fix this for me, I will send you a cake.” He didn’t fix it. It was the THIRD guy, a few hours later, who gets the cake. I said to him “YOU GET CAKE! The last guy doesn’t get cake!” 

I was choked up, I was so grateful. And then I went out into the sun and breathed for a bit before going up the street to pick the girls up from school.

And I was rewarded with love from them when they told me I was the nicest mommy in the world and how happy I must be today because I allowed them to watch tv after they did their homework. Banning tv since the weekend was the best thing I ever did.

Piano Man just let me know he found out that the apartment he is staying in while playing out of country in December and January, has wi fi. Which means, we can have ichat sex in desperate times. Just kidding. Okay, no I’m not. It will just be good to not be paying a fortune to talk on the phone while he is gone and to be able to talk to his face on my computer screen as I do now. What a difference it makes the long distance thing.

Last night I couldn’t sleep so I got on to Amazon and ordered the kids’ birthday and Christmas presents. You can buy anything on Amazon. Did you know that? ANYTHING. And I got what I needed, could track the spending, count things and look into details on things. I even got BLENDY PENS. (the girls have seen the informercial and keep asking me to buy them for them…I will never buy something from an 800 number off the television but I will order the same thing from Amazon.)

Lastly, our driveway was finished today, being paved. The guys doing it were great. They did a great job. As I was leaving the house to get the girls from school, the head dude, who owns the paving company, was getting ready to pack it in. They were finished with the job. I had given them the check an hour earlier. I went to thank them and he says to me “SO, HEY ARE YOU MARRIED?”

I was taken aback and said “um, no, not anymore!”

And he goes, “Well, you’re such a pretty lady! I should come up here for a drink sometime!”

This cracked me up because his business and home is about an hour and a half south of my town.

Yeah, right. Man.

And these were not guys who you wanted to be working throughout the day in your driveway without their shirts.

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When I am tired, I start picking the Chex out of the Chex Mix.

And eat icecream sandwiches.

And licorice.

And do absolutely nothing but pray my children go to sleep asap so I can turn on the television and watch drivel .

And in the end, I end up working or paying bills or something. (the digital video recorder is getting filled up) My work is fun and something I love, but sometimes I just don’t want to think about it.

I was asked by the elementary school if I could do something with a big boarded up window in the girls’ bathroom. So today I spent four hours painting a “window”.  I’ll have photos soon, as I forgot my camera. I finish up details in the morning after dropping the girls off.

When I was at a stopping point, I came home and went for a walk. It was warm and sunny, but when I went out further towards the point, I found myself walking into the fog. And I felt kind of sad. I feel guilty for wanting school to be in session, which means summer ends and cold arrives. Less sun. More inside time. 

I’ve been half ignoring the fact that Piano Man’s time for his summer gig here is nearing end in a few weeks and then he goes away for a winter gig. But walking into the fog made me think of it and feel sad about it. Granted, I am one for space and enjoying my time alone and alone with the girls, but I just damn like to have him around. When I turned around and walked home, back into the sunny areas, he called me on my phone and it reminded me that I got something good, no matter how long it lasts. And to have him be away, is a good test. For both of us. 

I have another eight paintings to do before the 3rd, when I hang my art show. I’ve done other things than tackle them. I cleaned my house, made apple pound cake, walked alot, played gamed with the kids and slept. 

My website is currently down as I am changing hosts. But since the host switch over isn’t complete for 72 hours, I have to wait until tomorrow to call the mac people because it is also giving me a password prompt for the site I designed in iweb. A password I didn’t set up and can’t find anywhere in my preferences.

To top it off, I was online with their help people, with APPLE HELP PEOPLE FOR MOBILE ME, and nothing was resolved. The guy was nice and gave me a bunch of troubleshooting things to do, which didn’t work. So now I am back to square one. First, I am going to wait for those 72 hours to be done. Then I am going on a rampage online with the online help people…watch out, to the next online help person who gets me. I am super annoyed. My only complaint about this awesome Mac.

The bummer is that the invitations to my October 5th art show and reception, has my website on it. So people who are getting that invite this week, well, can’t see my site.

That’s called GREAT PLANNING!

So this is me exhausted today.

Nothing more to say.

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