Friday, April 20, 2007

Public Pain

This past Wednesday I experienced the next closest thing to childbirth, kidney stones.
It was the strength of the pain, the can't- find- a -good- position- to- alleviate- said pain, the oh- crap- my- kids- are- in the- bathtub- pain and I- can't- get- off- the- floor pain.
So, I locked my naked kids in the bedroom and laid on the floor until help arrived. Husband was on the way home, he was half believing my story as I am known for being a drama queen. But I have to be pretty damn sick in order to drag my butt to the ridiculously slow ER here in Northern VA. Where, by the way, I think one should have to pass, the do you have an arm falling off test....or let's say, small stones passing through your kidneys test. So many people were sitting there looking perfectly fine. My pain was 9 out of 10. They all looked like zeros. They looked at me like what's wrong with her? As if I was doing this at a coffee shop or at the grocery store. Another fear, what if one of my former students notices me and wants to chat. But no one wanted to come near me, I was sobbing and curled up. I really did not want to share my pain with this random cross section of people chattering wildly about things like buying new knitting yarn and whether Melinda should be the next American Idol. Which was on the ER TV and I was ready to kill that country singer lady who doesn't really sound country.

Finally, some pain relief of course when the pain is seemingly about to subside. I take it as comfort and as a prize after 4 hours of excrutiating pain. Warm fuzzy feeling where have you been all my life?

And what can I take from all this? A small grain of calcium/sand......thanks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Life in Pictures


My life IS a cartoon, really.
I have been drawing cartoons for the fantastically fantastic (if I do say so myself) magazine, Brain,Child for over 7 years now.
When Jennifer (one of the editors and dearest friend) asked me in 1999 if I'd like to be involved I jumped right in. But all the while I was thinking...what if someone finds out I am NOT (gasp) a mother. At this time in my life I was single and re-educating myself at a University and oh, so busy writing papers, waxing and waning over obsessive love, drawing up some art. All the while, Jenny had a newborn son, house to manage, oh and she's going to start a magazine. Just a small bit on her plate, eh?
Artists draw things all the time that they are not. But this seemed personal, like I was just pretending to know what mothers went through. And I didn't. Oh, I so embarrassingly, apologetically (to all of my friends who had kids before me) did not have a clue.
There's not a day that goes by that a cartoon that I already drew years ago, pops up in my head. It's kind of like payback time. I drew these for years, unencumbered by kids. My pens and paper safely arranged in my studio. My lamp was not a launching pad for Buzz Lightyear, my light table naked without greasy fingerprints....
The toliet cartoon which you can see in this post is with me everyday. The caption being "Wait just a moment. I have to go whine at the bathroom door."

There is a stick of butter on the edge of my tub right now (brought up to me by youngest son this morning), yes, still there this very moment. Write a caption for that cartoon.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sucker For Simple

My Real Simple magazine comes to me once a month. I love the texture of its cover, its pages. I love the possiblities inside. I often use its color schemes in my own artwork. And I love the idea that the magazine could really make my life simple.
I am a sucker for simple these days. And I have used some of their ideas with great results (i.e plastic hanging shoe holder on the back of my pantry door for loose little things like jellos and taco seasoning packets.)
I realized in the last year that I probably spend hundreds of hours looking for things each year. It kind of rivals the sleep statictics that you spend 1/12 of your life sleeping. I spend another 1/12 looking for crap. The car keys for instance, everyone looses them, but I had the battle everyday. "Why don't you just put them in the same place everytime?" many said. But I couldn't do that kind of commitment. And the looming possiblity of what if they weren't there that one time? Where else would I look? The shock, the horror...my old method provided me with at least 20 places to look before extreme panic set in.

So I have actually managed to organize my junk drawer, I've become infatuated with containers. I have containers for containers, And all of this from a gal who didn't like pigeonholing.
I do think that I am spending much less time looking for scotch tape, that thingy with the rubberband....
My kids toys.... another story....

I once heard from a little girl that I was babysitting....she was putting her tangled mess of barbies away in what seemed an insurmountable task for a 5 year old. But she was making a dent. "How do you do it?" I asked (and I meant it)
"Everything has a home," she said.
Yep, maybe it's that simple.