Posts in New Cards
Let’s talk about the kitchen in my first apartment: A room the size of an airplane galley* with the bonus feature of a countertop hinged to the wall. If that countertop was not in the lift and stow position (just like an airplane tray-table) it wasn’t possible to open the refrigerator or the oven.
This was great incentive (for my roommate) to do the dishes. I preferred moving the dirty dishes to the living room. *I’ve peeked in an airplane galley – it’s usually hidden behind a curtain (that matches the drapes) – the flight attendant works mechanically, loading up that cumbersome cart to roll down the aisle.
The delicacies that came out of that first apartment kitchen included (and were limited to) chicken pot-pies and tater tots. The crisper drawer in my refrigerator contained a large amount of an herb – but that was none of my business.
Oh, but the tater tots!
Straight from the freezer and onto my cast-iron skillet: washed down with an Old Milwaukee and a Camel Lights cigarette.Whew! Did I mention I had 18 by the balls? ALSO, if I had a hankering for ribs OR pizza, I only had to walk down the stairs. That’s right, the one and only Ribizza fulfilled that strange combination requirement for Uptown, Minneapolis.
Exactly five minutes West of my house is Kings Wine Bar – a newish (rhymes with Jewish) little neighborhood restaurant. They serve tater tots but with sauces far fancier than ketchup. I was there last night and there didn’t seem to be any Old Milwaukee or Camel cigarettes on the menu but somehow, after we ate our tater tots, our table was magically covered with candy.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the card I wrote/designed last night. Or does it?
It is February 1.
If anyone is left please contact me. I have locked myself in the furnace room and my rations are dwindling. I am eating Panko Japanese Style Breading with a dirty popsicle stick and telling myself it’s Lik-A-Stix. Mmmmm, Lik-A-Stix…
Somehow, I was able to make this card:
The Long Winter is the true tale of a Minnesota family surviving one of the most brutal Winters in our recorded history. Trapped in the house – day after day after day – the blizzard makes it impossible to see out the window or even walk out to the barn without getting lost. Good ol’ Pa rigs up a rope to follow, he is always coming up with some creative solution! Ma follows that rope because Pa finds himself trapped in a ditch by the creek. The wood pile dwindles to nothing and the family is forced to twist hay into little bundles – they would burn these in the cast-iron stove to heat their little house. … Tough, brown bread is the only food left to eat.
Or is it?
What if that was on the jacket flap? I’d totally read that book.
Doesn’t that sound futuristic?
Anyway, you can come see them in person at the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama. It’s not until December but I know how my readers like to plan ahead.
Maybe. Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t broker peace between nations. I’m no Dalai Lama. I’m no Barack Obama. I’m just kidding about that second one – I just wanted something to rhyme with Dalai Lama. Wait, what? Barack Obama really did win the Nobel Peace Prize? Oops. My bad. It’s hard, toiling away, day after day – trying to make this crazy planet just a little bit cheerier. Ghandi knows how I feel.
Alfred “Alfie” Nobel
What would Fran do?
ANYWAY. I wrote some new cards. Perhaps, one day, they will bring peace to war-torn countries…
PSST, is this my birthday party or my funeral
The Christmas concert would be her chance for revenge.
I’ll celebrate Christmas however I damn well please.
I hope she likes thoughts that count.
Great. My parents just got home.
Back on the Cape (Cod) again. I spent a restless night out in the barn. Maybe it was the vinyl covered futon OR my teenager’s shenanigans OR the twin mosquitos that took turns attacking me. I just don’t know – I just don’t know why my uncomfortable evening produced this:
(Inside: God bless you.)
There seems to be something gnawing on the chicken-bone of my subconscious. Not just gnawing, but dipping it in creamy, blu-cheese dressing and sucking on it.
Thank goodness for the wet-nap, or whatever is doing the gnawing would contaminate the rest of my psyche. I like my non-physical parts to be separate. Like a melamine hot-lunch tray. Everything stays within it’s little-walled-area and nobody gets fussy.
Unfortunately, or maybe not, there does seem to be some breach in the Dreaming ~ Day Dreaming compartments. Sandbagging might help. Or a thick, mashed-potato partition – the mashed potatoes finally living up to their destiny.
Great writers are great ruminators but great ruminators are not necessarily great writers. I think that’s what I’m talking about. Or was I talking about my days in the cafeteria? Ah, the cafeteria…“Lunch Lady? Would you mind being careful to keep the gravy in its… No? Yes, you’re right. It all ends up in the same place…” In the toilet. Which is, of course, a metaphor. That’s what happens when you give children mixed-messages.
So, anyway. I have a growing collection of printer’s cuts and for some reason I feel compelled to give each of them something to say. I realize that the New Yorker’s Caption Contest is eerily similar to what I do. Except I always win. That’s the nice thing about owning the company. Thatand the hugs I get from complete strangers. Why do strangers hug me? They might be trying to squeeze the life out of me. I’m not sure. They tell me not to resist – I’m always like, “Resist? Resist what? Who am I to stifle this bizarre act of love?”
Where was I? … Right. A line I wrote for a lonely cut:
are you coming to my funeral?
Hot Plate‘s Mexican Omelette was again sending me messages. Who am I to ignore them? I just do what I’m told.
Exhausted from an earlier outing, I had my husband drive our team of horses. I was cozy warm because I stuffed hot potatoes in my pants.
While I devoured my second Mexican Omelette of the week I chatted with owner, Carrie Lewis. She told me a tale. A tale that reminded me of how dark the soul can be… a tale of the flawed nature of humanity. I openly wept as she about her passive aggressive neighbors. And, as I sipped my 9th delicious latte, I formulated a plan: I would counter the negativity directed at The Best Restaurant on the South Side by channeling the Prince of Peace, Mr. Rogers.
Who better to handle bad neighborhood karma than him? I can think of no one. I have created this card and will be making a plate asap. Reserve one (or five) today because they will be selling faster than Hot Plate’s pumpkin pancakes.
Only my fellow Minnesotans and residents of Chicken, Alaska can truly understand what it means to be cold. I am intrigued by deadly weather. Cold that can freeze a limb solid. Cold that flattens your car tires. Cold that makes your eyeballs feel funny. I braved the extreme cold today.
-21° is COLD. But a Mexican Omelette was whispering my name with such longing… I put on every bit of clothing I own and headed outside. The car actually told me to F – Off. I reminded it that we were both in this together and that if it cooperated I would fill it up with Premium Gasoline. Foolish car, choosing gasoline over Mexican Omelette!
When I was safely inside of Hot Plate I laughed… Oh, how I laughed – and saluted the outdoors for being a worthy adversary. Later that day (that SAME day) I went outside again. I actually ran to the studio. It took 1.5 seconds. Luckily my exposed body part (my bottom) was unharmed.
Where was I? Oh, yes. I risked my limbs (and bottom) to run to the studio and lay out previously written cards. Three birthday cards. The metal type was awfully cold. I wanted to lick it but I exercised restraint.
The low magenta toner has put a hold on the catalog production. I am really, really upset about it. I’d like to spend more time with the new laser printer. Understanding its quirks, its likes and dislikes. What makes it get out of bed every morning? Does it enjoy being my slave? Don’t worry, Brother HL-4070CDW – this is only temporary. Jen paid the extra $3.99 for shipping and your toner will be here Wednesday. Thank you, Jen. I mean it.
So I spent the day in the shop. Despite my tears I was able to lay out some previously written cards. I think the anguish really comes through. I am, after all, an artist. My soul is appropriately tortured. Whoa is me.