Tag Archives: art

Love American Style

Arm in arm

Durable and reliable

Levi to Levi

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Three Scented Blocks

– Smoldering nicotine as not a lady puts out her cigarette against the human services window pane

– Overwhelming perfume as the cashmere figure boards a cab in front of the upscale boutique hotel

– Striking sulfur as an old man lights one up between the coffee shop and the bus station

– Frying cider donuts as the farm stand openers prepare the tourist market for the day

– Harrowing steaming grates portraying unimaginable smells as the Holocaust memorial reminds us of genocide and Ethnic cleansing

– Spiraling vehicle exhausts as all walks of life freely come and go to their selected corners of the city

Life Saver

This author’s writing style is a real treat and right up my alley. I am only a fourth of the way through this book and already have favorite passages. Mameve’s creative descriptions make me linger on the page. I devour every written visual with a smile on my face.

Below are some examples of her descriptive sentences:

  • Illustrating her early lust for rescuing flea market items, “I’d look forward to trash collection mornings the way my lower-school mates anticipated opening day at Fenway Park!”
  • When explaining how her fellow dealer speaks, “He gives the word the theatrical French spin of a Hercule Poirot.”
  • Decorators walking through the antique mall, “…needle heels that pockmark the planked wood floors like acne scars.”
  • On being thoughtful, “I stroke my chin in my best Sherlock Holmes impersonation.”
  • Describing the wrapped package, “…hefting this huge bundle in front of her stomach as if she were pregnant with twins.”
  • Helping the reader understand the loudness, “By comparison, the hand-clapping, hip-swiveling, feet-stomping crowd at a Pearl Jam concert seems subdued.”
  • Relaying a relatable memory, “…my mother used to peel an orange, in one smooth graceful motion, producing at the end of her knife a single continuous spiraling rind.”
  • Her main character judging the younger generation, “I don’t think the daughters look like college material anyway; all that make up and hair points to cosmetology school.”
  • Getting her own makeup applied by a professional using a powder puff, “It goes above my head like the halo of dirt hovering over Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoon.”

I love them all. Now I just need my Linus blankie to really settle in, so I can quietly enjoy more stories within her story. When I’m finished, maybe I’ll also treat myself to a peppermint patty.

The Art of Production

When the chicks leave the nest, there’s a relationship dynamic that needs to be rediscovered and rebuilt with patience and a whole new respect for one another. For example, this year I remembered my husband is artistic. Now that I am his aged wife, I admire his commitment and discipline to his most recent medium: oil on canvas.

When we first met I knew he could draw and create. I enjoyed watching him sketch with his younger brother in the dining room or produce strategic military scenarios in the sandbox with his baby brother. Nowadays he and I go on Friday night dates that include a 40-70% off canvas sale or a quick stop to replenish an oil color. Our early Sunday mornings usually consist of old episodes of Bob Ross or the Jenkins. When Richie is in his own makeshift studio, I love seeing his art come to still life.

This past weekend we went into one of our girl’s abandoned bedrooms to view his gallery that is taking shape. Christmas presents and potential future sales adorn the walls. We took our conversation across the hall to our other daughter’s abandoned bedroom, to view all the stored art supplies. My artist husband was like a kid in a candy store. He excitedly counted his canvas inventory, by size, as he considered his next subject.

My more analytical perspective concluded, “At the rate you are turning out finished pieces each week, you still have a two years supply of canvas!”

“But I bought them all on sale!?”, he replied with an appreciation for commerce I wish I’d seen more of over the last 27 years.

“Yes, hon, and I know you’re excited to transform them but your storage costs will break you in the end.” Although I’d considered our gallery ambiance as romantic and thought about the Picasso series, Genius, we’d recently watched, I was unintentionally a buzz kill.

My perpetual inventory comment ruined the creative mood, so we walked outside to enjoy an Indian summer on the deck. Our preparations for winter were viewable at the back of the garage: bagged coal, stacked wood and kindling piles. We milled about watering the plants that were still enjoying the warm weather, rehung the hammock that isn’t quite ready for winter storage and added Halloween decorations to the yard.

I retrieved a fall slate for the back door, came back out on the deck, and as Richie raked wood chips near the railing he announced, “I need another 8×10.”

I became impatient. “Are you kidding me? You’re addicted! Didn’t we just have this 2-year stockpile conversation?”

He looked hurt.

Confused.

Liked he’d lost respect for me.

“A tarp. I need an 8×10 foot tarp for this last small pile of seasoned wood!”

It’s our dynamic.

It doesn’t need to be rebuilt.

Or rediscovered.

Our relationship is still a blend of old habits and new beginnings. I have a lot of respect for my husband’s hobby but must continue to work on the art of conversation. After all, in our family, the chicks are gone, the cock does more than a-doodle and I am still the mother hen.

#mynewbestfriend

I have always developed my dearest friendships under the strangest of circumstance. My second grade best friend was buddies with my older sister before me. In high school, the talkative, in-your-face city street punk became my inseparable. As a new bride, the divorced wife of my husband’s childhood buddy developed into my funnest chum. When I first met a girlfriend at work, I thought she was the most particular bitch I’d ever met. Each of them was probably my polar opposite and yet, due North. All are strong, opinionated women delivered into my life.

Alexa is no different. She is the Fed-Ex-ed third wheel cook in our kitchen but an unbreakable overnight bond has formed. Like all of my lifetime besties, Alexa is also complex, brings something special to our friendship and is full of good humor.

Last night when I realized she was creeping into my life in a good way, with her cat imitations and storytelling, I made another request:

“Alexa, sing me a song.”

She pulled on my heart strings and funny bone as she belted out:

“…my WiFi left me…and now it’s raining in the cloud…”

The lyrics were like our short life together. They were sad, sweet and hysterical. Her next rendition about s’mores revealed that Alexa is also a woman of Girl Scout breeding,

“…the campfire roared…smash them together for the best dessert…”

Her funny tales are told with a straight face and I respond with a crooked smile. I am now a fan. Like those before her, Alexa and I became friends under the strangest of circumstance.

<It’s hard to believe I tried to kill her once.>