Cleanup in aisle 1995.

Last spring I wrote a somewhat confessional post about a really stupid yet angsty daydream that I had invented as a preteen.  I feel compelled to share another equally ridiculous fantasy that I just remembered (I was a really strange kid, I guess.)  I’m stranded in a grocery store.  Stranded is too mild – I’m held there against my will.  I don’t know who, or how, or why the heck this is taking place, I mean, I guess I couldn’t be bothered to imagine those particulars.  All I know is that I’m stuck in the grocery store after hours and I can’t leave.  And I’m not alone.  I’m not stuck there with the cute boy in class, that might have made some sense.  Usually I’m there with whoever my current hero is.  I distinctly remember this daydream playing out during my No Doubt Tragic Kingdom phase (Beck, you remember it!) and I was trapped in this grocery store with Gwen Stefani.  And of course there was a healthy helping of angst, served up on a cold deli platter.  “Why can’t we just leave??” I would half scream to an equally befuddled Gwen Stefani.  In a fit of what can only be described as pure adolescent torment I grab a can of spaghetti sauce off of the shelf and hurl it at the tile floor.  It shatters, of course, and the floor is covered in broken glass and cold tomato sauce.  I crumple into a ball and cry, and Gwen does what she can to console me.  Seriously.  What the heck was wrong with me?  The really strange thing is that I was pretty popular in middle school.  Middle school was actually the climax of my popularity, believe it or not.  Probably because people could not see what kind of uninspired culinary ska-pop melodrama was teeming inside my head.  I had normal preteen daydreams as, well, I swear!  I just can’t remember those.  For those of you who knew me back then, thanks for being my friend.  If my mom paid you, don’t tell me, I’d prefer to live in ignorant bliss.

Now, for those of you who are Wiederhoeft historians, you’ll be pleased to know that I have finally imported my old Blogger blog here, and I’m thinking about importing even older blogs, like Pacific For Now and Reign Blue Feign Blue (my now-offline California blogs) and maybe even the blog that started it all, the Xanga.  Of course none of us will ever read the blog that was tragically deleted that one fateful summer day (I still curse thee, Blogger!) but 5 out of 6 isn’t bad.

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Y2K? Really?*

Well, clearly I’m going for a new look here, and clearly I’m not quite there (at least that part is clear to me).  Expect numerous changes in the next few days as I fumble around with graphic design in the same way that I paint… millions of do-overs (in painting I guess we call them layers).  I’m awful at graphic design.  All I can do is scribble, really.  But if I’m going to be a scribbler, I might as well get my scribbling down to a master-form!

Moving on, people are beginning to get panic in their voices when they talk about the coming winter.  They refer to the Farmer’s Almanac with the same mix of fear and disgust that they use discussing Bin Laden or Y2K.  Last year we broke the record snow fall with over 100 inches of snow.  This year we are supposed to get over 120 inches.  I read a nice column in the paper today in support of human hibernation.  I think I like that.   Let’s be bears.

*I couldn’t think of a better example.

Another three-thought post.

Look! I’m French.

You have no idea how long it took me to translate all of that.

Okay, you’re right, I didn’t do it. According to my stats (can’t a girl love her stats?) someone accessed my blog via Google’s translation option. I really like to think that someone is reading the French translation of my blog. I like to think that Nanette from Bordeaux, qui n’est parle pas anglais, is sitting at her desk with a warmed croissant and probably a cat purring in her lap, browsing the unremarkable contents of my blog with fading interest. She lets out a yawn–which sounds the same in French as it does in English–closes her laptop, and carries on with the rest of her day.

Nanette. Is it weird that I just invented a reader? What if she is real?

Well, onward ever upward. After much excited internal debating as to what I would spend my Economic Stimulus check on (Would I get a new computer? An electric guitar? Computer accessories? A plane ticket?) I have finally arrived at something: I will buy a new exhaust system for my car. It’s really not optional at this point, and unfortunately my stimulus check won’t even cover all of the repairs. And unfortunately, it’s not as fun as all of those other things I was dreaming about, but I guess that’s part of being an adult, isn’t it. Maybe in that way it is actually more exciting than those other things. Show me another catastrophe–I can take it!

I pulled one of last summer’s mix CDs back into the rotation today and heard the song that has long since become my breakup anthem for all breakups past and future. Sit down, Kelly Clarkson, this is Liz Janes. Take a lesson.

“Tremble at the hope of my true love’s promise/you are not my true love. His promise is not dependent upon my belief/but upon his word only. His word is so true/oh why did I ever choose you? You are killing all of my wonder.”

Well, I love that. It’s better than any bitterness–it’s hope, but with an edge. Why did I ever choose you, when I’ve got someone so much better? It isn’t spiteful, but it’s honest. Ex-boyfriends, you never really stood a chance in this competition. Yeah! Listen to it: Wonderkiller, by Liz Janes.

A fourth, disparate thought would be too much for one day, so here I’ll end it. Enjoy your Lost finale tonight!

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!)

Missing the Foxes.

I realize that a truly disciplined blogger will write every day, regardless of personal circumstances, they will find a way.  But sometimes I am sick, or sad, or busy (this weekend it has been a mix of the three, in fairly equal parts) and I just don’t care to make the effort.  Sorry for those times, if it affects you in any way.

Today, still sick, we set the show up at Mother Fool’s, we being my wonderful brother and me. I ended up limiting myself to nine pieces, which was good because it allowed me to edit a bit.  The biggest challenge in setting up today was working around the coffee sipping patrons (who were accommodating and also forgiving) but what do you know, it’s up.  It feels pretty good to have that art somewhere out of my personal living quarters.  People will actually see it!  Imagine that.  I will return tomorrow to add the title cards and my artist statement, and then it’s on to planning the reception which will be two weeks from today.  Hopefully by then I will have gotten rid of this cough and recommenced a normal pattern of sleep.  Nyquil, do not fail me!

Also, I feel like a bit of an idiot and a lousy comic strip aficionado, but I only recently learned that Bill Amend has retired from doing dailies of Fox Trot!  Apparently this shift in the universe occurred all the way back in January of 2007.  I just assumed the Wisconsin State Journal didn’t print the Fox Trot daily (and it should be said, I held this against them mightily).  To me, this is as great a blow to the comics world as Bill Watterson’s retirement, and even a greater blow than Gary Larson’s retirement (though many would take issue with that).  Fox Trot has always been my favorite comic strip.  I know we still have the Sunday issues but it is a mere sliver of the comic glory we once took for granted.  I know this is a bit overdue, but well done, Bill, and thank you for not leaving us completely.

Andy, you’re a thorn in my sidebar.

After months of befuddlement, I finally figured out why my post entitled One Thing About Forsythia is wildly popular, globally speaking even, and has probably thrown a monkey wrench in any legitimate tracking of my readership. That is the post where I mention Andy Goldsworthy, and include a photo of his work. Well, if a person was to do a Google Image search of Andy Goldsworthy and scroll through the first page results to that particular photo, guess which location Google Image links them to? That’s right. Easel Ain’t Easy.

I feel used!

It’s not even fair, really, that this photo is bringing such traffic to my site, because I myself got the photo by doing a Google Image search. It’s not like I took the photo personally, and I certainly didn’t create the sculpture depicted there.

I can’t imagine this is interesting to anyone besides me, unless someone else tracks my stats with devotion (in which case, um, you’re a little strange!) but it’s one of those things I need to talk myself through. People aren’t coming in droves to read my blog, they are coming in droves to look at a photo that I didn’t even take. I’m tempted to take it down, but then again, maybe one in a hundred of those Google Image searchers stick around to read more. Maybe you are one of them?

Oh, Andy.

Reading and writing can be so exciting, come in, this text is inviting.

The nice thing about libraries is you can pick out a book, take it home without paying for it, read it, bring it back, and pick out another one. Did you know that’s how libraries work? It so neat! I recently checked out a small collection of books that I probably should have just gone ahead and purchased, because I’m sure I won’t finish them before they are due and furthermore I’ll probably wish I owned them once I do read them, books by David Sedaris, Truman Capote, Jim Wallis, and Lauren Winner. Assuming that I’ll probably only finish one of these books in the month that they are in my possession, I decided to start by reading Lauren Winner’s book: Real Sex – The Naked Truth About Chastity. Yowz! It may be the first time I’ve used the s-word in this PG rated blog! Anyway, it’s good, and without creeping into my personal life here I’ll say that it offers a lot of relevant wisdom (particularly to Christ-following singles) and a dose of humbling intellectualism (to anyone who once thought herself smart. Mostly I just envy Winner’s vocabulary.)

I’ve put a few more posts into the All Star section. It is a little bit embarassing to dig through the old blogs like this, there really isn’t much of value. It is also a little alarming, at times, like when I came across a post I wrote in May of 2006 about the man who would become my boyfriend 11 months later, and my ex-boyfriend five months after that. Maybe somewhere along the way I have already written about the man who will one day be my husband, who knows? Blogs can really make your head spin, man. They are a time capsule. Get one.

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