Dec 30, 2009

The Blind Old Man

This is one of my favorite photos of Popcorn, and it was taken by Tim Viencowski in the Spare Room Gallery after our opening reception for the show, Sweet/Unsweet. We had all eaten too much good food and Tim, Michele, Popcorn and I plopped on the futon couch that used to be Sam's bed in what used to be Sam's room and we watched 4 episodes of Mad Men in a row. Popcorn is most happy when you are sitting, and then he will sit next to you -or even better- on your lap. He is 60 lbs., but he feels more like 40, so it's okay. He can't see and he can't hear, but he always knows where you are. He always makes me think of nice things to say.

Wyoming "Ween" Fidler, 2002-2009

Dear Wyoming,

The change from "You are magnificent", to "You were magnificent" will not be an easy transition for anyone who knew you. You magnificent lounging lion, ambassador of all cats to dog people everywhere, you made a lasting impression on me.
There a few raw things happening to me as I think about you. The first is that you are not here as you have always been and that is hard to know. However, I know that I don't feel this the way Kath does. It's a grossly self-involved yet empathetic reason that I am so crushed over you and for Kath- in that I am reliving what it has been to lose my own pet. It's loss and change and brutal. It's very different to lose a pet as a grownup as opposed to when you're a kid. Not that it's not horrible to lose your dog when you're 11 (I did); but when I lost Howard, as an adult this last year- (it's actually what made me admit that I am an adult, pain enough) it was so difficult to no longer have his care as my responsibility. It made me own up to how much pride I took and reward I got from including him in my life and taking care of him- and that this must be how I actively love. Following through on love is new for me. There is so much love that comes from looking after someone, and when you do the ultimate thing and see them through to the end of their days, part of you leaves too. And you cry. And so I cry for Kath and I miss you for myself.

I like to think that I am perfectly aware of how self-important I sound, as all pet-owners are prone to do.  But I will say the whole experience is very personal and worthwhile for me at this stage in my otherwise me-absorbed life. Owning a pet is a step toward not being so all about myself. If I sound like a douchebag, it's because I probably am- but I'm working on it.

Enough of that. Did I ever mention how I love your name? Or that I love all the sounds that you made, and your giantness, and how you sat. And I will always love talking about you, because I love you. This is what I concentrate on now.

Dec 29, 2009

Butter Knife Surplus

I'm low on blades. I don't really believe that I'm at the point in which I should ask for more (they don't give them to just anyone)- but I do know that this is the last time I will notice before it gets down to dire numbers and then I'll just a have a mountain of butter knives. I think I need to rename the box that.

Dec 28, 2009

Too safe?

I have this 2010 goal that I'm pretty set on- to make a surface/pattern design portfolio. One of my preliminary ideas is about safety pins- I think they'd make for nice greeting cards with some perfect word I haven't discovered- or a first aid kit that's designed to the point beyond recollection- or maybe even just plain old packaging for safety pins or a sewing kit. I always work backwards like this. I suppose I should start creating assignments, and then designing patterns for projects rather than creating projects based around outer-space patterns that come to me in my sleep.

But what's more- I'm wondering if the boat has sailed on this look. You know, the craft-papery background with raw, fatty shapes of color paired with delicate accents (printed with real-life white ink). This looks good to me, but perhaps I've seen it too much. I see this taking on a boomerang formica diner tabletop feel- but I need the right scenario for it sit well with me. I'll find it's purpose- I just have to.

Dec 24, 2009

There must be an escape

Before, when I was at peace with working on Christmas Eve, I was aimlessly drawing in that luxurious way that I never do anymore. The kind of fantastic sprawl that can only be born in a study hall. I had Dan Savage streaming and I was just lost in bliss- penning out a crazy maze for no good reason. But then a perky Bret came up to me from behind and gave me a startle- informing me that he's leaving this horrible place, at 3 pm. The office is still and empty behind him.

Now I am buzzing with "I must leave!" and I can't think anything else- the sprawling nostalgic mind has given way to the bitter immediacy of what a last period study hall truly felt like. If only we got paid to be in study hall; back in the day- when we didn't pay for much.

Sigh, take the long view.

Nov 4, 2009

the namesake

 Popcorn doesn't hear me when I come home anymore... I often find him sleeping on his peach blanket which lives on the black couch that Sam left here. I take off my coat and turn on the stove for tea. After a few minutes of nosing through the mail, I kill the whistle and I stand over the sleeping dog. It is alarming how long it takes for him to realize that I am there. His surprise is genuine, but forgiving. I sit down on a small corner of the couch to drink my tea. Popcorn stretches.