Considering the fact that I am long overdue for publicly embarrassing my husband and posting about my own SITM socks, it is fairly ridiculous for me to feel as though I've had little to write about, but there it is – I feel like I've had little to write about. Actually, it's more like I've been so busy that when I have time to write about what little I have to write about, I have too little energy to write about what little I have to write about. Furthermore, I was so busy doing blogging-related things (like managing SITM behind the scenes) that I seriously did not realize that it had been more than a month since my last post of any real readable substance. Oops. Then I got sick and got busier and then el Cinco got sick and I got sick again and we all recovered but then I got busyiester (it's my blog and I can create superlatives if I want to) and I had to scramble to get caught up and…you get the idea.
So, I didn't write because I was busy and felt like I didn't have much to write about except being busy. But then this weekend, I figured out that what I really lacked was not time or ideas, but rather inspiration. Ideas and time to write are nothing without the inspiration to craft them into entertaining tales.
This past weekend, Dani kicked Frank and me out of the house for a weekend away as a show of gratitude for inviting her move in with us (and the free room and board, new bed, total room makeover to include paint and new bedding, etc).
"And leave our children?" we said, gasping and grabbing our fragile hearts. "How could we ever leave them for so long?"
With a motherflippin' quickness, that's how.
We left on Friday evening, driving off three hours south to Florida to visit my mom and her friend Richard. She relocated there in November a few weeks after she was laid off (she finally landed employment as a child abuse and neglect investigator just yesterday!). While she's been back up to visit us several times since then and the kids have been down to visit her, this was the first time that Frank and I have made the trek down to visit her new digs.
Between the incense-heavy air, the trippy red glow emanating from the "Valentine's tree" (next for the tree is Easter), and the muted easy listening music, it was like stepping back into the 60's when we entered Mom and Richard's apartment. Richard offered us brownies hot out of the oven, and Frank asked if they were "special" brownies. The only additive in the brownies was extra fudge, but Richard did have, for our viewing pleasure, an original copy of The Art and Science of Cooking with Cannabis.
Though there was no sparking of any doobages, I still found myself high. On art. Richard's art. Quirky, emotional, and with a signature style, Richard, who by profession is a mental health counselor like my mom, is also by sheer talent an artist. The walls were lined with many of Richard's pieces:
What I enjoy most about art in general is the interpretation of it, wondering if my interpretation and evoked emotions in any way mirror artists' and if they don't, would the creators scoff at my thoughts or be impressed with them. Having both art and artist in one room was fascinating as Frank and I mused over Richard's paintings.
When I asked if he'd ever done any self-portraits, Richard trotted off to his bedroom (tune into next week's Show and Tell for that acid trip) and returned to the living room bearing several slim boxes and sketchbooks. As we sat on the floor and listened with rapt attention, Richard showed us other paintings and sketches from as far back as the early 70's that he's kept through the years. He spread out page after page, sharing with us the whens, wheres, and whos of each one.
Particularly interesting was the artwork that was completed as school assignments and the scribbled grades and critique on the back. Many pieces were from college (I believe he minored in Art), but others were
from his high school art classes. Of all the artwork (graded or not), my absolutely favorite piece was an assignment from high school in which Richard and his classmates were to design an album cover. Richard immediately drew inspiration from a student teacher that was working in one of his other classes. He told us how she came in "changed everything" about the class. He and the other students hated her. Thus:
Poor evil teacher. If the cover alone wasn't clue enough for how Richard felt about her, check out the Side 1 song titles on the back:
But even that's not the best part; it gets much better. The ultimate – the pièce de résistance – is the Side 2 song, which was meant to be a mega-murder-mix length of a song which took up all of the vinyl's opposite space:
First, I laughed. Hard.
Then my fingers twitched, and in that one moment I felt the inspiration to write begin to blossom again.
Happy (almost) Spring, everyone. It's been a long, cold winter.
May the bird of paradise…umm…not poop on you.
See who else is standing at the front of the classroom this week: Show and Tell with Mel.
*Not that I take good photos in the first place, but forgive the quality of the pictures here tonight. Some idiot forgot pack her digital camera and had to resort to using her cell phone.