Next Stop: Batty

Hangin' by a thread, here. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Artist Trading Cards!!

My friend, Kate, has gorgeous red hair. That has nothing to do with this post, actually, but I intend to say nice things about Kate periodically because she's one of the six people who READ MY BLOG -- religiously. And here's another nice thing about her: she makes "crack potatoes." That's what one friend calls Kate's cheesy potato casserole because once you take a bite, your life becomes all about GETTING MORE. Damn that Kate, damn her! If only I had never tasted the crack potatoes!

And while we're on crack (well...not ON crack, but you know...), here's a little narcotic that my other pusher, Shelley, laid on me last week: ARTIST TRADING CARDS (ATCs). Oh, sweet Mary and Joseph, save me from the artist trading cards!

They work like this: people create little pocket-sized works of art, and then trade them all over the country (or the world?). Each piece must be the size of a baseball card, pokemon card, or other trading card (3.5"x2.5"), and anything goes. Photos, collages, paintings, drawings, doodles, etc... Here's the best part: the only way to get one of these little gems is to TRADE another little card for it for it. One can surf the web and fascinate oneself with as many cards as one likes, but one must break out one's CRAYONS (or whatever) to actually acquire an ATC.

It took me approximately five seconds to decide to make one. My girls and I used to play a game where one person makes a simple scribble on a page, and the other person has to find a picture in it and develop that picture. We've made some pretty whacky stuff. So, I decided to make my first cards using the scribble technique. Each card started as a scribble. It's a great way to let go and stop thinking so much. I love it when I don't have to think!

I had completed about a half dozen goofy cards when my girls (5 and 8) announced they wanted them (my biggest fans, those two!). "Well," I explained, "You can only get these by trading them. You have to make some cards."

GREAT! They loved the idea, and the three of us lost hours and days working on these little scribble masterpieces. Creating and trading original art with my girls -- what in the world could be better? I think my 8-year-old may even recycle some of her infernal Pokemon cards and cover 'em with tradable art. This makes Mommy happy. Makes Mommy want more. Damn crack cards.

(This is Carly's "Magic Window.")

Steve, who provided me with some of my scribbles, says he is going to have to make some cards because the girls keep getting his favorite ones of mine. If that guy sticks with me long enough, he'll be an artist yet! And if I keep working on his politics, why...he could be perfect before long.

You can find out a bunch about ATCs here. Or, google it. These cards provide a nice impetus to spend just 10 or 15 minutes doing something creative.

Taylor's "Dude."

I haven't traded any cards outside of my home yet. Want one you see here? MAKE ME A CARD! Fun, fun, fun.

I know! Why don't you come over? We can invite Kate, and she can bring her potato casserole. We can make art and get fat on cheese and potatoes together. Like smokin' crack, only WAAAY better.

Friday, April 07, 2006

10 Times I Refrained From Cursing

Man, am I good. You don't even know how good. I have only said f---ing in front of my children once. One time. In a restaurant. In the midst of telling the adults at the table a story. I just forgot the kids were there! did not look good. But that was once. ONCE. My friend Bonnie was there. She was thoroughly aghast. But she, of all people, ought to know what a challenge it has been for me, this parenthood-induced clean language thing. I like the F word (sorry, Mom). It's a good word. I like almost all of the other words, too. But now that I'm a parent, I don't use them anymore. Even at night, when they're in bed, I'm so used to being clean that I forget to cuss. I just carry right on with the "darns" and the "dangs," and for no good reason. I call that reformed.

And if that doesn't impress you, here are some recent occasions on which I did not curse:

1. When dinner was really, really late because the dog ran away and we had to chase his ummm... doggie buttocks... all over the neighborhood, and then I dropped the entire pepper mill into the pot of boiling pasta water, thereby splashing scalding water onto myself -- and then, like an idiot, REACHED INTO said boiling water to retrieve the fudgety-fudge-fudge-fudging thing.

2. When the same dadgum dog ate three pounds of home-made BLUE play-dough and vomited NINE TIMES throughout the house. Yes.

3. The most recent of approximately 678,499 times that my 5-year-old has grabbed my breast as if it were a doorknob. And yes, it was during my period. It's as if she 'd like to check first: "Mommy, are your breasts tender today? Great! Let me at 'em!"

4. When I mistakenly shampooed with hand lotion at the Savannah, GA Marriott. And then had to spend the day -- sporting my fetching aloe vera and lanolin hair -- with Steve's family.

5. When they bumped Desperate Housewives for the olympics, and then it turned out to be pairs ice dancing, of all things. Pairs ice dancing all by itself is enough to bring a person to cuss. And if you don't watch Desperate Housewives and do watch pairs ice dancing, get off my blog. I've had it with you, Missy.

6. That time George Bush opened his mouth -- pick one.

7. When I saw that huge pile of horse poo-poo at Historic Williamsburg MILISECONDS too late, and Carly stepped squarely in it. Then, she grabbed my breast to steady herself while she lifted her foot in order -- not to scrape the sh-t off, but to gleefully smell it. It was, after all, the best flirking thing that happened to that child all day.

8. When our premium got raised because of those people who I rear-ended on Reisterstown Road back in October. At about -2 miles an hour. We were STOPPED at a red light, and then the light changed and they started to go and then they stopped. So really, they front-ended me! In their piece of ka-ka car. And puh-lease. There was no damage to their car. Their was no damage to their persons. (If you're reading this, you mean Reisterstown Road people, shame on you! It's not nice to lie. God was watching, and I pretty much hope you burn in H-E-double toothpicks!) And our insurance company PAID OUT seven THOUSAND dollars to these people. (See how FLAT that is?? You really need the F-word in there, just between "these" and "people.") (And come to think of it, you really need one between "thousand" and "dollars," too.) Okay, this whole jerks-who-I-rear-ended-and-why-I-should-have-left-the-scene-
of-the-accident is a blog post for another day.

9. 2:30 PM, one kid sick, other kid waiting at school, and the car won't start. And nary a cuss from me. I know. I have already ordered my halo from Amazon.

10. I have to strike the following dirty words from my vocabulary as well: don't spill it. Why? because when I utter the words, "Don't spill it," THEY SPILL IT. Most recently, blue gatorade, strategically spilled on the couch in such a way so as to hit not one, not two or three, but FOUR cushions. Four. Flippin'. Cushions.

Now, enough with the words about dirty words. Here are some nice words. You know the four cushions with the blue gatorade? Guess who took care of that mess. Steve. What a giving, thoughtful, selfless, rockin' thing to do. Makes me think of another F word I like -- one that really looks good on my dog chasin', shoe-poo scrapin', gatorade scrubbin' guy: Father.