Sunday, June 17, 2007

Open letter to those it may concern...

Dear Whoever you are,

I am not interested in hearing any more stories about your, your sister's, your mother's or some anonymous woman who you might have read about in the news's labor stories. Kay? I know that labor is hard, hence the word. If it was happy fun time they would have come up with a different way to describe it, right?

I don't care if anyone of your acquaintance was planning a nice gentle homebirth and had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with lights ablazing because of one horrendous problem or another. I think it is safe to say that most women will at some point have a baby, and the fact is that most of them get through it just fine whether they are in the hospital, in a birth center, or in the back of a taxi stuck in rush hour traffic. So leave off the umbilical cord around the neck, fetal distress, c-section horror stories. Kay?

And while we are on the subject of things I'm pretty fuckin' sick or hearing about, I don't need to hear about anymore 12, 13, or 14 pound babies. I was over 9 pounds when I was born, my brother was over 10 and our mother made it through just fine. I don't know if you noticed but I'm practically 6 feet tall, with hips to match. So bugger you and your big baby trauma stories. These are birthin' hips, I've been living with them my whole life and it's time that they did something to earn their keep.

Oh, and when you find out that I am due in August, the appropriate response is "you can come over and use my swimming pool while I make you a nice glass of decaf Ice Tea." It is not "that will be hell," "have fun with that," or "you know it's miserably hot in August."

It has also been brought to my attention that 7 and a half months is a little late to be letting everyone know that I am breeding. I am in danger of a mass generalization, but the reason that I didn't tattoo "mother to be" on my forehead and take out a 3/4 page add in the alternative weekly, is because I didn't want to hear labor horror stories, tales of natural childbirth gone horribly wrong, and commentary about what a genius I am to schedule my third trimester for the three hottest months of the year. Do you think that was an unreasonable fear, 'cause so far my only regret is that it got too hot to wear sweatshirts and I could't keep it private for another two and a half months.

Ragnar...pregnant but still a pirate.

P.S. lest the blogosphere get the wrong idea this isn't directed at my immediate friends or fellow bloggers, you all have been great. It's the people who know me the least who feel the need to make sure I'm up to date on the perils of pregnancy...and I know it only gets worse and that I'm going to be dealing with helpful suggestions about the raising of my wee little pirate for the rest of my life, I just needed to get that off my chest before I had a pregnant/hormone fueled/incredible hulk style reaction the next time someone said something ignorant.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Putting the "F" into Art

And the "ass" in aesthetic....ah the life of the street artist.

Last weekend was my second "real" art festival. Several years ago I commented to a friend that I was going part time at my job in order to be a "real" artist. This friend was one of those hippy types that feels that deep down everyone is a creative free spirit, and she gave me a big hug and said "Oh, don't say that! You are a real artist! Everyone is an artist." I tried to explain that being a "real" artist meant that I would be making an income off of it....but apparently money is too crass and commercial to be connected with real art (note to self: future blog entry, "selling out"). But I persist in my belief that in order to live my dream of artisticness, I also need to pay my mortgage, my utility bills, my grocery bill and still have enough left over to pay my studio rent. Thus I am exploring the world of "real" art fairs...those being the ones that are attended by people who actually buy art.

And the great thing about Detroit is that they know how to throw a party.
If you're having an art festival, why not invite people on stilts dressed up like dragons?

It was great, typical art festival, lots of little white booths filled with art, some good, some...uh...not so good, and then suddenly a little kid runs past outside yelling "dragons!!!" and you hear a prehistoric sounding roaring/cawing noise. People scramble to get away, and suddenly there are four twenty foot high dragons stalking past your booth. Poor Manimal came down to help out and was cornered by one of the beasts when he went out to seek lemonade. Thankfully their trainer came by with his big stick or he could have been trapped behind that lamp post for hours.

And if you aren't satisfied with the dragons, you can go check out the "hair" people. I couldn't get close enough to get a good picture but basically two people dressed up like geisha's pull people out of the audience and then turn their hair into crazy sculptures.

Seriously check out their website, it defies description.

And there was lots of other street art as well, like this huge sand sculpture:

And directly across from my booth there was a couple from the west coast who played amazing home made instruments, like a violcano...a cross between a viola and a volcano, which can be worn like a skirt, and plucked or bowed. Or a huge stringed instrument that stretched across the whole back of the stage and was played by rubbing rosin impregnated gloves across the strings. I tried to take a picture of it, but it looked like two people in funny outfits in strange poses. I saw their show 8 times throughout the weekend. I think I'll audition and move to the coast and learn to play the orbicals.

So needless to say I had a blast. Even if I hadn't sold anything I would still try to do the show next year, just to see what sort of crazy performance art they can dig up, but I did sell things! I don't know how the really real artists judge a successful weekend, but at this point if I cover my booth fee, the gas money, three days of "festival" lunches (expensive and greasy!) and have some left over as profit then I consider it to be a success.

Ragnar...proud to be a sell out.

Delayed Blogging...

Argh! I thought I would do better at this whole blogging thing once I moved into a house with reliable Internet...but so far not so good. I've decided to make up for my lack of bloggerliness by double posting. First off, so that you all know how good my intentions are, I will post an entry with a selection of photos that I took with the full intention of blogging. Secondly I will post an entry about the art fair I did this weekend, which will serve the purpose of "catching me up." It is (as always) my intention to post on a more or less regular basis, but since that hasn't been happening so much of late I suggest that you ration these entries. Read one tomorrow, read one next week and hopefully by then I'll have posted another one.

And if you don't like it you can blame it on this little guy:

Yes yes, as you may have guessed from my last post, Ragnar has gone and joined the breeders. Say hello to Ragnarson everyone, he's waving at you. What does being pregnant have to do with not being able to update the blog? Absolutely nothing, but it's one of the perks of allowing your body to be a duplex for 9 months, you get to blame every lapse on being pregnant. Really pregnancy just gets better and better. Aside from the back pain, the swollen fingers, the strange churning in my belly (actually that's pretty cool), the extra 15 pounds, and the need to urinate every 15 fuckin' minutes (I know all the good bathrooms, if you need to pee within 100 mile radius of the Lansing area, you just let me know and I'll hook you up,) this pregnancy thing just gets better by the minute.

Anyway, here are some things I haven't blogged about since getting knocked up.

Manimal and I had a teenager for awhile. He rented our front bedroom for 3 or 4 months, and it was pretty entertaining. He isn't an official teenager, since he's 25 or so, but in all other respects it was exactly like living with a 15 year old. I'd give him 16 or 17, but he didn't have a car, so we were always giving him rides "up to the cafe to study." Yeah, I used to go up to the "cafe" to "study" too, so I know that it's code for hanging out with yer buddies and mackin' on chicks. Highlights of living with a teenager:

The night we found one of his friends passed out in the recliner and women's clothing strewn at random around the living room.

The many times I found him staring into the refrigerator with something vaguely edible in one hand, like an unwashed carrot while he stared into the chilly depths waiting for food to jump into his mouth.

And of course, dressing him up to go to his first toga party:

"Do either of you know how to tie a toga?" emerging from his bedroom holding a sheet patterned with blue and brown flowers.

"You can't go to a toga party dressed in that."

"It's my only sheet."

So Manimal loaned him a black kilt and he togaed (to toga, I togaed, they will toga...yeah) it up with the pirate flag. Smashing, really, it gave me a little shiver and a premonition of what it'll be like to watch Rat Girl get ready for her first school dance. (Manimal and I saying, "You can't wear doesn't have skulls on it. Here borrow the pirate flag, you can just sort of drape it around your shoulders like a shawl or something.")

And I do knit, really. Actually I've been knitting quite a lot....mostly sweaters in size 0 if you know what I mean. I can't really get the energy I need to rescue any of my "for me" sweater projects, since they won't fit me for awhile, but I am trying to get one made for the rat girl. The "little red riding hoodie" stalled after the first sleeve, since it has A LOT of shaping and the instructions for the second sleeve read: "mirror shaping from the first sleeve." I can barely tell my left from my right on a good day, so remembering to ssk when I had previously k2tog, not to mention knitting the short rows from the opposite side, felt like a monumental task. The LRRH languished for several weeks until I had the fabulous idea of getting a mindless DVD. Enter "From Russia with Love." Exit, the left sleeve of the LRRH. Unfortunately since then I have actually tried the sweater on Rat Girl and it looks really awful. This is a sweater that is meant to fit very tightly over boobs. It doesn't fit tightly and Rat Girl won't have boobs for at least 3 or 4 years. The unhappy ending to this story is what LRRH will be frogged and turned into something more flattering. I'm going to measure her up today. In the meantime, I can knit a sweater in size 0 in about 3 days, and since Ragnarson is due in August, he's going to need LOTS of sweaters. No really, babies get cold very easily.
We have moved out of our house. See, the cupboards are bare. Also our remodeling project has a mascot. When my parents were visiting for the East Lansing Art Festival they brought tons of loot with them....many pirate related objects since it was right around my birthday (my 30th! again) and also this "Bob the Builder" doll, which proclaims "can we fix it? yes we can!" with confidence whenever he's squeezed in the balls....I think his voice box might have slipped a little bit. Manimal is quite taken with him...either that or he needs a boost of ol' Bob's unflagging optimism, because I hear "can we fix it? yes we can!" about 45 times a day.And we've moved in with Kevbot, who has a burn barrel in his back yard with a smiley face drilled into the side. When it's really going it looks like a happy guy with crazy red hair. Kevbot has a bank of computers in his basement that makes the deck of the Enterprise look like a laptop...but can I get a blog entry up on a regular basis, no I can't.

And lastly, I have been in line behind some crazy people lately. Firstly I had to go and pay our gas bill, and this man in bike rig with full body tattoos was in front of me. This man was at least 50, but I think he was more like a fit 60. You can't see too much of it in this photo because of his backpack, but his entire back was covered with thick tribal tattoos. He also had many large gauge piercings in his ears and both nipples. He was clearly in a hurry and was quite irritated that the people ahead of him didn't have their money in order. He even turned to me with an eyerolling sigh that clearly communicated the fact that "some" people really needed to get their shit together, (the guy in front of him was trying to get out of paying his bill by saying "I don't know why my gas bill is so high, I haven't even lived there for the last 6 months.") Anyway, it does my heart good to know that rather than mellowing with age, I can become a crazy biker with nipple piercings and that the clerk at the gas company won't even blink as she takes my money (counted in advance and exchanged with out delay or comment.)

And then a week or so after that we had to pick up something at the Walgreens and this guy was ahead of us. Yes. He is wearing a skunk on his head, a real skunk. You can't tell from this photo (because, I don't know about you, but when a guy is wearing a skunk on his head I'm a little nervous about approaching him and asking him to pose for a picture) but this was basically a whole skunk, little skunk face ahead, big fuzzy skunky tail behind. It was also about 85 degrees outside, so it's not like he was wearing it to keep his head warm. It became pretty obvious that this was a source of family pride when he picked up his prescription. I don't like to put people's name's up with out asking them, but it was only one letter off from "skunk." I wonder what sort of hat he would have worn if his name had been "Moose."

See? It's not like I don't think about blogging...I just don't manage to find the time to actually do it.'s because I'm pregnant.