Nov 27 2011

A lot is the same without Carl.

November 27, 2011

Find a few old letters and you’ve got rocket fuel for a trip in a time machine. And you may just like getting to know your younger self.

Three times one recent Sunday I loaded up a bellman’s cart with donations for the Salvation Army and headed for the lobby collection point.  I had scooted a good 100 to 150 pounds out the door before finding a crate of letters saved from the basement flood last December.  I dove in.  I was lost in memories before I had settled comfortably on the carpet.

A quickly scribbled draft of a letter later tidied up and mailed read:

Dear Carl:

Did you ever you make it to LA during mud season?  I keep forgetting to ask. Your lazy summer days in Steamboat are inviting. Are you painting at all?

I am writing from Cleveland – enjoying a break from stockings, hairpins and the Oklahoma heat for cooler, relaxed afternoons playing with my young nephew and niec Today we saw a Chardin exhibit downtown.  I liked his subjects and mood, for the most part, but eventually had my fill of images of dead rabbits nailed to the wall. And I have to say, I still really prefer to see art somewhere other than in a museum. Afterwards we stopped at the Westside Market. THERE I could spend HOURS strolling among the stalls.  Many have been in families for years.  Great faces, stories – so lively!

The trip and staying with family has been a nice break after indulging my appetite for solitude during my first two months living alone.  I am somewhat eager to get back to my place – a high rise flat.  I really like where I live.  My flat is small but the whole north side is one big window. I keep the drapes open to a view of hills and city lights.  Safeway, the library, the river, work – everything but school is within walking distance. Couples I knew in the building before moving in have gone on to buy houses but I meet plenty of new neighbors just coming and going  …

The letter was dated 9.2.1979.

Today the windows in my 11th floor Portland flat frame views of the West Hills and downtown.  A Safeway is next door and I am, again, relatively new to living alone. Neighbors still come and go and I regularly visit the Waterfront to spend time strolling through markets, taking in all the stories, sights, music, people. After years of involvement with the arts, I still view vibrant museums as those flinging open the doors for events with living artists and could-be patrons and I seek out galleries in a new town before paying admission to museums.

The girl who wrote to Carl was less than half my age. At first I felt shamed to have spent 3 decades seemingly going nowhere.  Then it struck me.  Many days I feel 21 again – in a good way.


Nov 26 2011

In the black.

November 26th, 2011

This is the year I will (probably, pretty likely, almost positively) buy a pair of cowboy boots.

They will most definitely be new for me but THEY will not be new.  Baby, this is a perfect example of when to hit the consignment shops. And men, give it some thought, too.

My consignment shop finds to date include  a black leather jacket, fitted wool jacket with perfect lapels for  broaches, lace up boots that looked like they stepped out of my DJ Lafon painting Remembrance and a vintage evening dress that I can wear  fearlessly to any cocktail party knowing I won’t see myself coming and going.

A good outfit is priceless and timeless. And when you want to experiment with a new look, trim the investment by shopping consignment or the sales rack  so a misfire doesn’t send you back to “safe” purchases forever. It’s up to you if you reveal your sources.  It is fashionable to be a smart shopper and sometimes deliciously satisfying knowing flattery can’t include copying.

Save your money.  Support the local economy and shop without going into the red.


Nov 25 2011

Bit slow on the pickup.

November 25, 2011

This Thanksgiving I was grateful for an unexpected booty call.

It took me nearly fours hours to recognize it (some very specific dialogue finally tipped me off), a few minutes to consider it and several more hours to find the words for it.

I’m usually faster on the pick up. Also known to misuse and misspell slang, this morning I goggled “booty call.” Per Wikipedia:  A 1997 comedy film with bad boy Jamie Foxx.  I looked further.

Urban Dictionary: A late night summons — often made via telephone — to arrange clandestine sexual liaisons on an ad hoc basis.

Hmm. “Liaisons” rolls off the tongue much the same as does one of my favorite words: “lagniappe,” Southern for “a little something extra.” As for “ad hoc” – first known use in 1659 – it rhymes with Bangkok, bedrock ….  ah, the sonnets and snippets that could come of a tryst!

Sometime around 7 am I drifted off to sleep, satisfied. Though tempted, I’d chosen not to get any but simply enjoy learning that at 53 I’ve still got “IT.”  And my text buddy? He’s probably equally fine and chuckling.  In the wings he had two younger options with more expansive vocabularies, better rested and still eager to hook up.  As is my nature, I believed him.