Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beware The Ides Of Wellbourne

It is one whole week of post-hairpocalypse. An itinerant stylist, Joy, came to the house two days after the 'episode' and set things to rights. I wish I'd had a camera to capture the look on her face when she took in the scope of what I'd done to my mother. Oh, the colours her face turned and the contortions it went through trying to suppress her inner jocular upheaval. Joy, it turns out, is related to us by a couple of removes. She is very personable and does good work. She caters exclusively to 'ladies of a certain age' and whose situations prevent them from going to salons. My mother was more than agreeable to becoming a regular client. Especially after she found out that many of her acquaintances are also clients and Joy has no difficulty with sharing 'items of interest'. I was so relieved they hit it off I sprung for a manicure and pedicure to expiate my stylistic faux-pas.

However, I'm beginning to feel that the 5th Commandment has long-term ramifications that reveal themselves in the oddest ways and in the strangest places. I do not have a copy of the Torah so I can't look up any disclaimers, S.O.P.'s, addenda or amendments to "Thou shalt honour thy mother and father". You know, like, "If a son causes his mother's head to resemble an unshorn sheep (or Angela Davis), it is an abomination and he will be made to suffer".

It's gotta be in there because I have had the strangest week revolving around me being me. Those of you who know me up-close and personally will recall that I cannot wear a wristwatch--either quartz or the wind-up kind. There is something about my person that turns their innards into mush. That is why I carry a pocket watch. I have been told by people given to New Age leaning that I have an amazing aura. I have been told by still other weird-science folk that I am a walking electro-magnetic field. That makes me a transient Bermuda Triangle. Oh, joy, Oh rapture. Well, whatever the hell it is, I'm just about over it.

I set off metal detectors from three feet away. If someone in a crowd comes within 6 inches of me during dry weather you can literally see the static electricity arc from my body to theirs. No one will shake hands or attempt to hug me these days. The cats are avoiding me like I was a Veterinarian. It reached a climax yesterday.

There is a terrific new store in the strip center where I do the grocery shopping. It's a cross between a flea market and an antiques shop. Tons of treasures and loads of junque. I've been there many times and the staff and I are on a first-name basis. As I walked about the very extensive floorspace the manager noticed that wherever I walked the fluorescent lighting dimmed and in several instances the ballasts completely failed and areas went dark. He came up to me and asked if I'd noticed this happening. Was I doing it on purpose. Does this happen often. I gave him a briefer explanation than the one above and he said he was very sorry but he was going to have to ask me to leave. I went to the checkout and paid for my selections--under the speculative eyes of staff and customers who'd also apparently witnessed the phenomena. On my way out of the store I popped my head into the manager's office to apologize for something I couldn't help but felt bad about. No sooner had I stuck my head in the door his computer crashed! He couldn't reboot. He just looked at me and very evenly said "Please....go.....away. I did. All the way home the 'check engine' light kept going on and off. I hadn't been on line for several days because I kept getting error screens saying newly added hardware wasn't installed properly. There's been nothing added to this computer in two years.

Enough already! I unwittingly turned my mothers coiffure into lambswool. I'm sorry, okay? I haven't experienced any woo-hoo stuff today. The computer's behaving itself better than it has for a while now. Perhaps I've finally escaped the cloak of anathema that has enveloped me since I removed the last roller a week ago. I think perhaps this has more to do with the pleasure I got out of the mishap. A distinct sense of satisfaction at obtaining retribution for the difficulties I endure at the hands of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. My mom is a very dear woman who, on many occasions, turns into Momzilla for various and sundry reasons. Most of which are known only to her and cannot therefore be intimated to the uninitiated. Suffice it to say that happy cohabitation is often a challenge.

In any event, I will have to wait a while before returning to that particular 'fleatique' store. In the meantime I am going to enjoy the pristine matching pair of Meissen porcelain candleholders I purchased for $10.00. I collect porcelain and finding these flawless beauties was like the balm of Gilead on my fried nerves. The week wasn't a total loss--unless I somehow manage to cause spontaneous combustion.

Now there's an electrifying thought............

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Road To Hell........ paved with good intentions, indeed. A person should never allow himself to be coerced, cajoled, or convinced to do something against his better judgment. There comes a point when each person should take his or her stand as an immovable object against an irresistible force just for the sake of self preservation and dignity. In this instance I am a miserable failure.

The day began well enough. Up before daybreak putting a succulent, savory pot roast with accompanying veggies in the crock pot to enjoy an all day spa treatment for the evening meal. At 7 am out in the garage to gather all the necessary accoutrements for working in and about the yard. Hour after hour, wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of twigs, branches, and piles of raked up debris that had been fermenting beneath the snow. The brush pile is taking on Alpine proportions. Sloshing and slogging about the glacier-enriched lawn turning soil for imminent plantings. Restacking the stone wall after months of sub-arctic upheaval. By 2 pm I had accomplished all I'd set out to achieve (and all my body could absorb) and sat down triumphant to allow the first day of Spring's efforts to wash over me. It was a beautiful day--warm, sunny, clear. I took in the results of all I'd done and said to myself, 'it is good'.

Being a warm day and having expended more physical energy than I had been accustomed to I determined that I was in need of a rejuvenating ablution. That accomplished and freshly attired, I ventured into my mother's realm of influence and litanized what I'd accomplished out of doors. She was very praising and encouraging--which I should have recognized as the opening salvo across my bow. However I was too full of my own heightened self-satisfaction to do so. I ended my history with the fatal question: "What shall I do next?"

That's when it happened. The abyss yawned before me and I walked right into it.

"Well, I have an idea." said my sweet, encouraging mother. "How about giving me a perm?"

My mother had, in Paris between 1939 and 1944, been employed by Chanel as one of those ladies who come out wearing couture for prospective buyers. That's where she met my father, a strapping young lieutenant, after the liberation, chauffeuring officers' wives around to the fashion houses. Anyway, she has always been very particular about her appearance and most especially about her hair. She is unable to go to a salon comfortably and everyone who's come here to work with her hair has declined to do a perm. Mother wants a perm. I don't 'do' hair. Therein lies the dilemma.

"Oh, don't worry", she says. "It's easy and I'll be right here guiding you all the way."

I protested. I voiced my doubts, inadequacies, and concerns. To no avail. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed wanted a perm and there was no appeal or commuting of sentence.

So, I set about doing my very best Vidal Sassoon/Paul Mitchell impersonation. All the right tools, warmed towels etc... My mother did, indeed, walk me through the entire process. I felt empowered.

When all was said and done and the rollers were off and the final rinsing was in progress I began to have a very bad, no, serious foreboding, of what was about to happen. All my mother had said was to take a combful of hair, envelop it in the paper, roll it snugly, and secure it in place. She didn't say what direction it was to be rolled. The phrase is 'roll up' isn't it? No one ever says 'roll down' do they? Needless to say the results were less than satisfactory in her considered opinion. She now resembles the Bride of Frankenstein or perhaps Madame Pompadour on acid. It's the curliest bee-hive you've ever seen. She says it can be fixed. She says it isn't my fault. Her face is set in granite as she repeats the words. Over and over and over. All it needs to be 'complete' are a few Christmas ornaments or a stuffed bird or two.

I am mortified. At the same time I am experiencing inner hysterics. Outwardly I am apologizing profusely, reiterating my earlier disclaimers. "Mia culpa, mia culpa, mia maxima culpa". Inwardly the men in white coats are ineffectively trying to subdue me.

This first day of Spring is one for the history books. This is the day I successfully tamed nature AND defied gravity. Sorry, Mom. Poodle On!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Erin Go Bragh!

Rather than insult or offend my Gentle Readers with my opinion of Paddig aka Patricolus aka St. Patrick who, in the 5th century, was captured by pagan Irish pirates on the southwestern coast of Roman Britain (now Cornwall) and conscripted to servitude in Ireland and who, in due course, escaped to Gaul, got religion, and returned to exact revenge on the pagan Irish by inflicting Roman Catholic Christianity on them thus ruining a perfectly good civilization, I've decided to share a wonderful poem that describes the lyrical, open-hearted Irish race.

We are the music-makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams,
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems.

--A.W.E. O'Shaughnessy from "Ode"

I hope you all have a wonderful 'Celtic Appreciation Day'. May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good fortune pursue you by day and night.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tan Gents Of No Great Import

Well, it's been a week since I first encountered the cyber voodoo that has plagued my computer. The cavalry never showed up and no embassy from the realm of Techno-Geekdom has come charging up on white steeds. So, until this contraption breathes its last, I am going to forge ahead and blog my heart out.

Oh, hell, now I can't think of anything to blog about. While I've waited for reinforcements I filled my time with needle and thread. The Renaissance gown and underskirt were completed and will soon be on their way to Texas. *sniff* I'm back in the domestic housewares saddle again. Of course, while I'm sitting there, hour after hour working the needle, I do think about the strangest things. My mind is a rabbits' warren of ideas and conjectures.

By now I assume that my regular Gentle Readers are aware of my healthy respect for language and words. I love words. I hate to see them abused. My particular battered choice this week is the word 'awesome'. It's supposed to mean something that inspires awe. Something that causes one to feel a sense of wonder and amazement. The Northern Lights, for example. Or perhaps an erupting volcano. A prime example would be birth. In any species of the animal kingdom. Watching new life emerge into the world inspires awe, amazement, and a sense of wonder. The particular tasty flavour of a cookie or cleaning properties of a laundry detergent do not, at least for me, create that sensation.

I've also given some thought to religion. Christian scripture to be more precise. Matthew 18:20 "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst." OK, so, does that mean that the solitary person endeavoring to communicate with the Divine is just spinning his wheels? Does he have to go find an accomplice to get heavenly attention? It's always been my contention (and experience) that whenever two or three are gathered in His name you have met the basic requirements for inevitable conflict. By the way, the answer to the above questions is 'no'. Matthew 6:7. Read it for yourselves, kids, it's an awesome piece of advice. As many of you have come to know, I am not given to organized religion. Neither am I an atheist. Nor am I agnostic--I read and get a lot out of sacred texts from the worlds religions. I just don't confine myself to any one particular 'ism'. I am an avid (and sometimes rabid) vigilante where the cult of 'hypocrisism' is concerned. If your 'talk' don't 'walk' then shut up. Walk the talk and I'll follow you anywhere. Confucius, The Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi all had plenty of miles on their footwear and thus I respect them immeasurably. These were awesome individuals.

Since the computer hasn't gone up in a ball of flame and taken me with it--yet--I am going to leave y'all here and get back to the needle and thread. I have missed you. Hope it's been mutual. Anyone need fancy-shmancy pot holders?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Send In The Cavalry--Quick!

My Dear Gentle Readers,

Please do not misconstrue my silence as apathy. It is, in fact, anarchy. The plebeians living within my computer are wreaking havoc and I am powerless--not to mention--clueless as to how to bring them under martial law.

I have asked for reinforcements from the Realm of Techno-Geekdom and hopefully they will come to my aid before cyber termites eat my brain. In the meantime--keep writing and I will catch up once the uprising is quashed.