An animal story.

Today the weather was gorgeous; when I got home I laid out on our deck and started to read a book but quickly dozed off with my left ring finger positioned in such a way that it hurt like the Charles Dickens when I woke up an hour later. Is that a run-on sentence? I watched a squirrel scitter across the fence which circles our back yard. When I was in middle school we had a pet squirrel. His name was Buster. One spring morning my dad was working in the back yard and these two baby squirrels ran up to his leg and wanted to play. He put them back in the woods and returned to work, but minutes later they were back. Their mother had been killed by a car (we think) and they were orphans, happy, scampery orphans without any fear of man. All of this happened while I was away at softball practice (or some similar middle school happening) and when my dad picked me up he had an ice cream pail with these two baby squirrels in it. We named them Chip and Dale, but eventually one of them died so we had to rename the surviving squirrel Buster. He became our pet. And when I say pet, I mean it. He loved us and we loved him, and we cuddled him and played with him and taught him little squirrel tricks. He was not dirty, he was not vicious, he was a friend. One day we had to let him go back into the wild. It was sad, but the right thing to do. The first night after we let him go he stayed right there in his squirrel bed. Maybe the second night too. But eventually he remembered that he was a wild creature, and he climbed up into a tree, and then he was gone. We would see him from time to time, but he wasn’t a pet anymore, and we weren’t friends of his. It was man and nature, back in the original order of things. But we would always remember him and years later some of us would write about him in our blogs.

So there, even though I am tired and would rather take a very early bed time, I went ahead and told you a cozy little story about friendly forest animals. Now off to bed, all of you.

Marissa, have you missed me?

I’m getting to know some of my audience here at Easel Ain’t Easy. There are still surprises, from time to time, someone I know will reference something I blogged about and I will remember that this is out there, in the public realm, and just about anyone could read it. Which is good, don’t get me wrong, and it’s fun to have those surprises. But there are a few people whom I can always count on to read, and read with regularity, and recently one of these loyal readers called me out on the fact that I haven’t been writing lately. Well, I could counter with excuses about how busy things have been with work and art and social events, but no one wants to hear excuses, let alone read about them, so instead I’ll just jump back in, as if nothing has changed.

To this friend who reminded me that I was neglecting my duties as a blogger, I promised that my next post would be about her, so as to soothe the soul so troubled by my absence (thought I would get liberal with my syntax there, you know, stretch the atrophied writing muscle a bit). So here, M____, here it is!

M____ and I hung out one day, back when I was living in San Diego, back when she was visiting our mutual friend Sarah, back before she and I were technically friends yet. Sarah had to work one day and so M____ and I made plans to get touristy a bit while we waited for her shift to end. I happen to have a brief document of this moment in history, thanks to my now-offline blog entitled “Pacific For Now.” You will notice that I changed M____’s name at the time of writing, which was a precaution I was taking at the time due to an unrelated incident (details unimportant here.) Anyway, I later told M____ that I had blogged about her and changed her name, and she naturally wanted to know the name I changed her to. I couldn’t remember, at the time, and so here for the first time, M____ and all the rest of the world, is the post that started it all:

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Today [Marissa] and I went to the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, and later to the Jenny Holzer lecture at the MCASD in La Jolla. Jenny provided some great insight into her work, and on top of that she was very humble, which is not something I tend to expect of any world-renowned artist. It was a very artful day, and the end result is that I’m jumping out of my skin to be an artist. I would love to. One of the docents at the Museum of Art talked with Marissa and I for a while and I mentioned to him that one day they might have one of my paintings at their museum, and he just kind of laughed and said that they might have a whole exhibit of my work.

I actually spent a fair part of the day painting yesterday, but there is still much work to be done. It’s been really aimless so far, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s definitely at an awkward stage. I’m taking pictures in progress, so I’ll post those here when I’m all done. And then someone can make me an offer, and be the proud owner of the first thing I’ve painted in California! What a deal! Everybody wins!

And here is what I love about blogging. A) I had completely forgotten that M____ and I went to see Jenny Holzer after the art museum. That’s something I shouldn’t forget! And now, thanks to an old blog, I won’t have to. It also triggers other memories that I hadn’t blogged about, such as when we went to dinner at the little strip mall cafe in La Jolla and flirted with the waiter and then left him Sarah’s phone number. Remembering things is fun! And B) that painting of which I so cockily predicted its sale (though I’m sure I was more ironically poking fun at myself) actually did sell last year. And someone is now the (hopefully) proud owner of not the first thing I painted in California, but so far the only thing I painted in California. If you don’t blog already, you might want to consider it. Who doesn’t get endless amusement from checking the past against the present?

Anyway, today was Ascension Sunday, and the message in church was pretty great, and later today I had a conversation with a dear friend that was similarly great, I mean, really encouraging. If I had written M____’s post yesterday I would write about these other things today, but as it is I think I’ll save them for Monday material. Knowing this, you can plan your day accordingly.

(Edit:  After publishing, it occurred to me that maybe M____ wouldn’t care to have her name included here, so I went back and took it out.  M____, if you’d prefer to have your 10 minutes of blog-fame, let me know!)

The Queasy Surgeon.

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    Breena Wiederhoeft
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