Wednesday, May 19, 2010

… I have Immortal longings in me. - Antony and Cleopatra, 5. 2

[ or “What about B.O.B?’]

Let me know if this is too much sharing….

I have been, shall we say, celibate for a long time. A long time….

But I have B.O.B. [Battery Operated Boyfriend].

Now that’s fine when you need to, um … uh… how shall I put this….take the edge off, as it were. But sitting B.O.B. across a candlelit table for a romantic meal just doesn’t cut it. B.O.B. can’t cuddle up with me on the couch to watch a movie. He can’t make Sunday breakfast for or with me….. And I can’t spoon with B.O.B. in bed at night.

B.O.B. is a lousy conversationalist—and he doesn’t laugh at Jon Stewart with me [he really has no sense of humor—and that is so important to me].

I’d probably get arrested if I took B.O.B. to watch the sunset at the beach. At the very least hauled off to the loony bin…..

And every once in awhile he just conks out on me.

This is a real dilemma ladies.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The object of art is to give life a shape. -A Midsummer Night's Dream

I've started packing things in anticipation of my move in a month. One of the things I've done is to start taking down the pictures and paintings on the walls.

And it struck me what the things we hang on our walls say about us....

As you enter my apartment, there is a short hallway; there is a closet to the immediate left, then a recessed door to the bathroom and a linen closet. Opposite these is an 8 foot wall. I decided to hang my theatrical history there--my art, as it were. The only way to commemorate my live/in the moment performances: the first show I did after high school in a local community theatre, me as Laura in The Glass Menagerie, my "comeback" after marriage and babies, as the title character in Educating Rita; photos from the shows I've directed, sketches I've done of the sets... I mostly breeze past them on my way in and out, but it's a reminder of how I've shared the talents God blessed me with.

The main wall in the living room is devoted to my family. My parents, my brothers, my nieces and nephews.... The dominant piece is a beautiful 12x18 color photo of my grandson as an infant--he had such happy eyes. Gathered around that are pictures of my kids throughout the years--it's seems like many lifetimes ago that they were blond-haired, freckled-faced tykes. One of the pieces is a long narrow frame with five matted openings--I placed a couple of photos of my husband's grandparents when they were first married in this--along with some vintage German postcards we found when we cleaned out their house. My husband's family were of German decent and I have some German blood on my dad's side [hence the blond-haired kids]. Also among these is an 8x10 my husband took of me when I was a fresh-faced 19 year old hippie girl. I had hair down to my waist and the requisite bell-bottoms. It reminds me what my natural hair color is....

The wall behind my kitchen table is a mish-mosh of things: a bunch of dried flowers from an arrangement I got many years ago, a small watercolor of a pastoral scene that a friend of my parents painted onto my wedding invitation, a print of a ripe red tomato that the kids gave me the first Christmas I was living here and a small hand-painted wooden screen door that reminds me of many vacations at the Jersey shore [and, no, I'm not Snooky--we had classier times than that!]

At the other end of the living room--on top of a credenza is a very large, ornately framed photo of my maternal grandparents on their honeymoon--I believe it was 1912. They are posed on a large fake rock, in front of a painted backdrop of Niagara Falls [let's face it, you couldn't get too close the the real thing without getting soaked]. After the photo was developed, someone painstakingly hand painted in colors on their clothes and the foliage, etc. It's very faded now [as are some of my memories of them] but I cherish it. I found it in the attic of their house when I was a little girl and became fascinated with it. When we had to put them in a nursing home and sell their house, I asked if I could have the photo. It has had an honored place in my homes all of my adult life.

Yes, art has given my life shape. In more ways than I can count. It will be interesting to see how my mom and I blend her mementos and mine......

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee Calls back the lovely April of her prime.

It seems like yesterday when I was first given the title. "MOM."

A small human being was placed in my arms and I was a mom. Of course, I had felt them inside me for months before that moment. But even that didn’t seem real.

Yes, the pregnancy and giving birth are amazing miracles. But it’s the years after that that really have an impact. It’s the kissing of the boo-boos and reading The Pokey Pony 20 times in a row. It’s walking the floor at night and changing the 15th diaper of the day.

It’s the sitting through a 4 hour dance recital to see your kid onstage for 4 minutes; standing in a 50 degree drizzle to watch them get at bat once. It’s laughing at a joke told all wrong or a story that no one could follow.

It’s going to 40 stores to find a prom dress—and sitting up all night to make sure they get home safely. It’s trying to calmly talk about such things as drinking and sex when what you really want to do is lock them in a closet somewhere.

It’s teaching them good values and then letting them learn from their mistakes. That’s what being a mom/parent means to me.

I tried to be a good mother, I hope I was. The fact that my daughter and son are the compassionate, caring people they are makes me feel I did something to be worthy of the title. And that my daughter has done such an awesome job with her son is Thanks guys for making me look so good.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Friday, May 7, 2010

He that is well paid is well satisfied.

… not necessarily. Now, I don’t think I’m a greedy person. I do appreciate that I am making way more now than I was when I worked in the arts. My day is longer in some ways, but my commute is fairly stress-free (a ride through the park actually). I am digging myself out of a mountain of debt and I have been able to upgrade my computer system.


Job satisfaction does count for something.

We are now 8 days into the completely re-vamped workflow set-up and there is still a great deal of confusion and frustration. Plus even more delays than before. So someone tell me again how this is better?

I am trying to find the balance in life. Be grateful for the little things, but I’m a little overwhelmed right now…. Or maybe it’s underwhelmed…..

On the plus side—we have found a new apartment and take possession on 6/15. We got almost everything on our wish list: 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a balcony. No washer and dryer in the unit, but laundry facilities are only a few steps from the front door. We are going to have to do double rent for about a month each, but nothing decent was opening up in our time frame—and we were getting nervous. [only adding to my level of non-Zen-ness] It is on the second/third floor of the building right across the parking lot from my mom’s studio. And only 5 blocks from my current digs. That should cut down on moving expenses—“should” being the operative word. I am a believer in Murphy’s Law:

Anything that can go wrong will.

Then there’s Ellen’s law:

Murphy was an optimist….

I have started to pack and purge. My apartment is slowly devolving into the “early-warehouse” look. I’ve been trying to stick to a schedule of pack a box/ toss a bag a day. I’ve put all of my CDs and DVDs in copy paper boxes—they’ll be easy to carry. And the spare towels are boxed up as well—I can live with the set I have out by washing it each week.

As for the tossing, that is a challenge—I’m sentimental as hell and am having a hard time parting with some treasures. But I know I need to. When I was injured last year, I was barely able to get around. So, staying on top of cleaning and the like was almost impossible. I did the bare essentials to keep things healthy…. That has added to what I need to tackle now. But I’m trying to take things one day/one box at a time so Fibro Me won’t panic.

Wish me luck with that whole not panicking thing, okay?

So, there you have it, the latest issues keeping me from the bloggy world. I promise to use some of my time this weekend to catch up on what you folks have been up to.

XOXO, Ellen