Shifty-Eyed Evader or Unblinking Intimidator?

So where are YOU on a scale between shifty-eyed evader and unblinking intimidator?  I’d like to say I’m somewhere in between.  Pretty much right around the “Stink Eye” marker.  In my youth, I was told that my glare could melt stone…but I’ve mellowed out in my old age.  Now my glare only melts ice and I make actual eye contact with people.

Truth be told, the type of “eye” you give or get depends on the situation at hand.  For instance, if you let one rip during Wednesday night communion, then you will get a grab-bag of nasty looks.  If you believe you have magical powers and can re-arrange someone’s face from a distance, then chances are you’re an Unblinking Intimidator.   It’s easy to spot the Shifty-Eyed Evaders.  Just shine a flash-light in their face and ask them where they were on the night of May 12, 1985, at approximately 10:42 pm.

I will now share with you my top ten facial expressions that I use on a frequent basis.

1.  The Blank Stare

2.  The Petulant Pout

3.  The Grisly Grimace

4.  The Sho-Nuff Snobby

5.  The Snarky Snarl

6.  The Aggravated Because You Just Did Something Holy Stupid look

7.  The Nonchalant Side Glance

8.  The Irked & Irate Wide-Eyed Combo

9.  The Disgusted Snortle

10.  The Contempt Crusher…reserved for Mediacom and the Credit Bureau.

Paper Shoes!

Don’t you just love paper?  I do.  I love paper.  I want to make myself a paper dress.  I’d always thought paper shoes were out of the question.  UNTIL!  Lookie here!  I found paper shews!  The Cinderella princess shoe is actually part of a Glamour Princess printable party pack you can find HERE….for free!

The baby shoe template can be found HERE.  I think they’re a great idea for baby shower favors.  Or cats.  Whatever.  Get some scissors and carry on.

Word of the Day: Cathartic

Cathartic [ca·thar·tic] adj. Producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique.

I found it cathartic to publicly confess that I peed in the pool.

Summer Vacation and Low Expectations

First day of summer vacation here.  When I say “vacation”, I mean the kid is out of school and in need of food and festivities.  Cali is one of those kids who has to be engaged from the rooter to the tooter; otherwise, she’s like one of those “Lord of the Flies” kids.

Every summer vacation starts the same.  Planning the calendar, scheduling stuff, making treats.  But after the 5th day in, I’m usually screaming, “Dear god make the pain go away!!”  And Cali is screaming, “I hate you and want new parents and a mansion!”

So this year I’ve set my expectations rather low.  I accept that I’m not one of those Bloggy Moms who appear to lead perfect lives via their websites.  I like to tell myself that they drink heavily behind the scenes and wear girdles.  I also accept that my kid isn’t one of the angels from a GAP commercial who skips and smiles.

So maybe this summer will be better, what with the bar set so low and all.  It’s 8 a.m. and Cali is out there in the pool jabbering loudly to the dog….no doubt making ALL the neighbors clap with delight.  Ordinarily this would bother me.  Today, it does not.  I went outside in boxers and no make-up.  Ordinarily THIS would bother me…but today it does not.  May have something to do with the PMS.  It’s hard to say for sure.

At any rate….here’s what’s on today’s agenda:

*  Construct a fairy house

*  Try to keep Cali from eating all the Jello cups in one sitting

That’s pretty much it.  I’ll post pics later to document my success or failure.  Hopefully by then I’ll have pants and make-up on.

Lazy Treasury Day

I know, I know….it’s been a few days.  But I have a good excuse….pretty much.  Cali’s graduation and my art show were on the very same weekend….then I helped with her end-of-school party.  Now it’s summer vacation and I’m busy planning ways to keep the kid from chewing off her arm from the magnitude of sheer boredom.

So.  It’s a lazy post today.  Here are some of my recent Etsy treasuries you can peruse at your leisure.  Just click the pic!

No Place Like Gnome

Hats of Quirk

Friday’s Child…is Loving and Giving

Be An Opener of Doors

Pinwheels Turning

Soul Mates


Scents that Evoke Memories and Incite Inhumanity

I have a sense of smell that borders on being scientifically freakish. I could tell you, with pin-point accuracy, where you’ve been since you rolled out of bed, just by smelling the lapel on your jacket. No man has or will ever cheat on me because they know I’ll smell their mess 10 miles away.

I spend a small fortune every month on Febreeze plug-ins. A few years ago, my family had to intervene and send me off to addiction camp because I was spending all my money at Ye Olde Candle Shoppe every Friday. (That’s when their votives were on sale for 50 cents.)

So due to this mutation, I have strong reactions to olfactory hiccups. Sometimes I’ll catch a whiff of the cinder-block shower room from summer camp and get the strong urge to put on my $1 flip-flop shower shoes that my mom forced me to take so I wouldn’t catch the Foot Funk. Bowling alleys give me the dry heaves. And don’t even LET me smell a foot… I’ll come undone. Then I’ll commence to berating you for being a nasty person and suggest you go bathe. Immediately.

But the smell that evokes the strongest reaction is……*drum roll please*…..cat poop. They say these olfactory memories can go back as far as infant-hood. Even after an exhaustive search, I can’t determine where the initial cat poop smell originated. Maybe someone threw it on me as a child. Or forced me to eat it. Or something. All I know is that I go Charles Manson crazy when I catch the slightest whiff of feline fecal matter.

I start by finding the perpetrator and dragging her to the scene. Then I start smacking her in the face, while gritting me teeth…”God! You filthy animal! What is WRONG with you?! It smells like cancer up in here!”

Then I stick her face in it and tell her to knock it off before I throw her out the back door. This is highly disturbing for someone to watch. I’ve seen family and friends get up and walk out…no, BACK out of my house with a frightened look in their eye.

Most of my cats have been mentally challenged or hookers in heat, so the cat poop smell is like lighting an already-festering fuse of angry madness.

My current cat (New post for a different day) is all of the above plus a few more…depression being her Achilles paw. I’m not exactly sure WHAT is lurking in her colon, but it’s not fit for man or beast. I don’t know how she can walk around with that toxic mess up in her like that. About a year ago, the proverbial straw knocked the camel down and paralyzed it. I’d had it. The cat’s life was in jeapordy and something had to be done before the Humane Society showed up.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened because I was caught in a haze of hate…but I housebroke the cat. She now goes to the door when she has to make an environmentally hazardous waste deposit. Then when she’s done, she jumps up on the back door and hangs by her claws, bobbing up and down like a muppet until you see her.

When I let her in, I tell her how stupid she looks hanging on the door like that.

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Marwencol: A Wake-Up Call

This morning I watched a documentary by the name of “Marwencol”.  Fifteen minutes in, I started to take notes because I knew I had to write an article about this man.  Mark Hogancamp.

A few years ago, 5 men jumped Mark outside of a bar and beat every memory out of his head.  He slipped into a coma for 9 days and after an extended stay, was asked to leave the hospital because his Medicaid refused to pay for anymore treatment or care.  Same went for his physical therapy.

Mark (who bears a striking resemblance to Dustin Hoffman) had to learn to walk, talk, eat, read….like he’d become an infant all over again at the age of 38.  But the human spirit is a resilient being.  The first thing Mark fought to save was his imagination.  Even Einstein knew that imagination was far more important than knowledge.

So Mark went about constructing a minature  1/6th scale WorldWar II-era town in his backyard and began filling it with dolls who represented those who meant the most to him….and those who didn’t.  He dubbed his fantasy world “Marwencol” and the drama ensued from there.  And when I say drama….this place is like a vintage Peyton Place.  But within this world, Mark began to heal.  He unleashed his anger in the form of military torture.  He found love and redemption…and revenge.  All without hurting another human mentally or physically.

But he didn’t just build a town with some dolls and trees.  He began posing and creating scenes that told intricately woven stories, then pain-stakingly photographed each scene.  He wasn’t using a high-priced camera with a fancy lense and tripod.  He mailed away his film to be developed and if the pictures didn’t turn out right…if they were blurry or the exposure was off….he’d simply go back and shoot everything all over again.  He didn’t keep any negatives…he just put all the photographs in a cardboard box.

Mark in no way thought of himself as an artist.  He had simply found a way of coping.  Jeff Malmberg, director of “Marwencol”,  found Mark after watching him pull a toy jeep filled with dolls holding firearms up and down a road. After seeing Mark’s work, he knew he had to share it with the world.  A New York gallery owner caught wind of Mark’s work and went about setting up a show featuring Marwencol.

All professional success aside…it was the moxy of his spirit and soul that had me at hello.  The stronger part of him that talked the dark side into playing with some dolls.  His determination to be himself and realize he wasn’t accountable for the reactions and feelings of other people’s opinion of him.

As a child, I spent the majority of my time in a fantasy world that I’d created to escape a traumatic childhood and I stayed there until my late teens.  I shut everything down, turned off the lights and walked out….because grown-ups don’t live in imaginary worlds.  They ridicule and chastize those who do.  So for the better part of the past three years, I’ve been struggling to un-earth that vivid imagination and begin writing from that place of unpolluted innocence. I’m slowly getting there.  Slowly.  Maybe if I could go play dolls with Mark, I’d tap into what I buried so long ago.

Perhaps playing is the key.  Remember when you were a kid and just hearing someone say, “You wanna play?” was magical?  I think that as adults, we secretly long to cross over into a magical realm where unicorns are real and sticks have magical powers.  Where villians need conquered and princesses need saving.

Mark was able to recapture his birthright.  His imagination.  He didn’t need a high priced shrink or piles of medication.  It would behoove us all to follow in his footsteps.  It shouldn’t take a broken mind to find this magical place.  It takes an open mind.  Completely open.

So without even knowing or realizing it, Mark and his beloved Marwencol has encouraged me to keep digging my way back to the beginning.  For I believe it is THERE where I will find my true path forward.

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”  ~ Paul Gauguin