Archive for the ‘Such people’ Category

After having my bedroom painted, a novel thought occurred–why just hang those same old pictures on the wall? Time for a change! I have a large store of artworks created by my own fair hand in my angel infancy–why not frame a few of these and replace the so witty and amusant kitsch that had previously adorned the room? So I took some deathless art in hand and dashed off to the local frame shop in my neighborhood mall.

Of course, what was I thinking–it was after 6. Tough shit for those poor jerks who don’t get home until 5:30.

So, the next evening I carried the same pics with me on the way to my ballet class–because, guess what, there is a Michael’s Craft Store in Silver Spring, and if I bustled with extreme briskness, I could drop off the articles there (AND have the job done for probably HALF the cost) before class. However, I had to be SWIFT, so as not to be late for class.
I nipped into Michael’s and found the frame shop. A lovely young black man with adorable curls framing his lovely face came to help me to choose the perfect frames. GREAT, found–except, now we must find the perfect mat. I was very ready to choose whatever mat they had. Off white? GRAND, make it so! But it appeared that Michael’s had bought some very fine software, to show me just how my artworks would look in my chosen frame and mat, and the charming youth fired up the camera and computer to demonstrate.
Meanwhile, I could feel time slipping by.
It turned out the software was not quite so swift to launch as one might wish. Also the adorable youth had forgotten his password.
WHAT of that! I had FIVE minutes to spare! Trying hard to be patient, I let the lad continue with his artistic notions.
Suddenly that fine scene from Love Actually, in which Alan Rickman (Harry) is trying to swiftly buy a gift for his girl friend before his wife notices, from artistic sales person Rowan Atkinson (Rufus) came to mind.

Rufus: [gift wrapping a gold necklace] Let me just pop it in the box. There.
Harry: Look, can we be quite quick?

Rufus: Certainly sir. Ready in the flashiest of flashes!
[he ties a ribbon around it]
Rufus: There.
Harry: That’s great.
Rufus: Not quite finished…
Harry: [Rufus pulls out a plastic bag] Actually, I don’t need a bag, I’ll just put it in my pocket.
Rufus: Oh this isn’t a bag, sir.
Harry: Really?
Rufus: This is SO much more than a bag…

Finally I told him I HAD TO LEAVE, and he graciously allowed as how I might return later to complete the fabulous project.
So, I left. When I returned an hour and a half later, he had mastered the software, and managed to print out a bill.
What we suffer for art.


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NOT that one wants to complain, but this week seems more than usually HORRID, what with TWO back to back meetings, both fraught with soul killing vexation. The first one–on Wednesday–is cursed with a distant overlord, whose response time is measured and stately, whereby one deadline after another has been missed. But what of that! The underlings (=me) can deal! Today the major excitement was planning the strategy to enable the importation of the Personal Chair upon which–and ONLY upon which–the exalted underparts of the Most Puissant Overlord could be trusted to repose. This chair must be brought to our meeting place in time for the Event, after which, it must be removed. Some 8 or 9 anxious emails–each marked as Super Important, Return Receipt Insisted Upon–were sent to me in an attempt to settle this difficult problem.
Hope: “bring it to the front door, I’ll wheel it to the meeting”.
Minion: “This Chair [while worthy in every other way] HAS NO WHEELS.”
Hope: “Bring it to the loading dock with a minion to carry it to the meeting.”
Minion: “What if there were TWO minions, one in the van, one with the Chair–could it then be brought to the front door?’
Hope: “Bring it to the front door.”
Also, I forgot to mention that I had to schedule 2 sessions in the Breast Feeding Room for one of the panelists. From which we learn that we HAVE breast feeding rooms.
The other meeting is set for Thursday and Friday, and is all about…marijuana. See, all these states that have so blithely legalized it are suddenly thinking, WHOA, what if there are medical consequences–THAT WE WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR? There will be a meeting a month until Christmas.
Conclusion: this week=TOTAL BUST.
In other news, the hydrangea are blossoming, and looking very well indeed.
So there’s that.

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Today was Day 1 of my dreaded twice yearly board meeting–but, now that I have ways of keeping myself from annihilating despair during these stultifying events– getting work done while the blather booms on, webcruising on cunning electronic devices when I can’t work–I am able to stagger on without undue loss of life force, towards that golden moment when the chair announces that… the meeting is adjourned.
The meetings are readily summarized, thus:
“I am a GOOD person, who helps other less fortunate than myself”.
“Why, I am also such a person!”
“As am I!”
[repeat] x [number of persons present]
All: “Let us rejoice in our goodness!”
Chorus: “Blessed be the poor, whose pathetic weaknesses we study and whose sad state provides us and our prosperous non-profit organizations with sustenance!”
An easily ignored background noise.
However, there is one thing that tries even the most saintly of souls (=mine): the Solemn Worthy Video. Because why, because the LIGHTS ARE ALL TURNED OFF and the booming soundtrack cannot be ignored. This time it was the Noble Savage whose plight we were mourning–and it began with a paean to the splendid simple yet worthy life lived by the Native Americans in the good old days of yore–killing the buffalo (but only as many as needed of course), taking from Mother Earth and giving BACK to Mother Earth. Cute children! Simple yet moving ceremonies!
But OH WOE! Now such bad! The people despair!
Which is quite true, the totally catastrophic situation of the Indian nation is a black shame–and why are there not protests and pickets at the doors of Bureau of Indian Affairs? Their methods have been complete failures, and have had fatal outcomes.
But we are not concerned with such things, we are in pie-in-the-sky country as is our wont. Silos! Outside the envelope! And what I find offensive despite my best efforts to remain unmoved is that everyone else is just EATING THIS UP. I look around and see nothing but reverent approval.
Sometimes I think I am an alien in my own dear country.
However, tomorrow is only a half day meeting, and the rain seems to have stopped.
So, there’s that.

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I first heard of Prince back when I was a wild wild 30-something-mother-of-4. I loved his music–not as you might say very intellectual, but irresistible. So that when I heard he had made a MOVIE I got a baby sitter and dragged the hubby to see the show. Purple Rain! WHOA! Such baroquely overwrought prancing and dancing—and my dear, the costumes! Ruffles at the neck and cuffs, high heeled boots, and adorable tight pants—not to mention voluminous mascara! Lordie! I was quite ravished.
And was so grieved to hear of his death last week.
In honor to the man and the time, I rented the movie I had watched with such joy so many years ago—and found it retains its joy, its complete ferocious self centered jubilation.

It has a sort of spurious story—his parents are fighting, his gorgeous girl with the massive 1980’s hair is dating a rival—but mostly, it’s just him singing in the club, and everyone loving it. Watching it now, 30 years later, I note that while randy sexiness is the theme, there is no vice portrayed in this move. No drugs, no drinking, no smoking. Comparable club scenes today would include as a matter of course ample portions of sleaze and sin—cocaine, drunken vomiting, sex in the bathrooms. Prince talked dirty but lived clean.
His costumes set the tone, Teddy boy dandy mated with transvestite sex queen. Those boots! I have looked online in vain for an image of the gathered lace boots he wore on one of his motorcycle jaunts. And then the lavender satin ones, accessorized with lace gloves. Or wait, I think the lace gloves went with the lace half-mask that he wore with the tight white satin pants and no shirt. Nice, very.

Here is a brief clip from the movie. Hard to find, Prince was VERRA controlling and didn’t allow this sort of thing.

Random Notes:

  • All the men in the movie except Prince’s dad are wearing heavy eye makeup. Rather becoming, actually.
  • Morris Day, Prince’s fellow performer, is a stitch. Silly, funny, and wonderful stylized dancing. ALSO snappy dressing!
  • Quote: Morris, trying to seduce girl friend tells her– with a significant leer—“I got a BRASS WATERBED, baby.”

Sigh. Such silly stuff. It made me smile.
Prince was a great entertainer. I don’t care that he was slightly crazy—that was part of the show. And the show was a grand show. Over now.

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Trendy Hotel Part 2

I continue to interact with my new pal at the hotel I mentioned, and he finally sent me the contract for our room block. Possibly due to his childish excitement at our arrival, possibly because he is a seething moron, he filled it out with the various cut-off dates set to the month after we had engaged to participate in the Fun Fun Independent Lifestyle Vibe the hotel provides. Giving us a full month to cancel even after we have already left! I refrained from heartily thanking him for his generosity–normally, these hotels are quite stingy about cut-off dates, and if we have late cancellations, tough luck, we’re liable–and merely made a gentle request that he update the contract.

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Just check out this hotel website (“At Hotel Irvine, the vibe is independent lifestyle!“)–such astonishing fabulosity! Such hipness! However, once you have recovered from all that FUN FUN FUN, try to use it to, you know, find out some details about their services. For instance, imagine you need to set up dinner for 17 in their restaurant–how to arrange this, and, how much would it cost? HA HA HA, silly person! That is not what this website is for! This website is for feeling yourself part of the swinging life! Happy groups drinking and laughing–that could be YOU! So what if the details on those sideways scrolling menus are a little hard to grasp–sideways scrolling! Whoa! How about those brimming jars of retro candy! Such wow!
After 10 minutes of paging fruitlessly through the colorful and WILD WILD scenery, I found an Events Request Form, and filled it out–and was aggrieved to find that it only let me write in all caps. I know, how petty of me. At least I instantly got an email back: “You rock!” with a promise to send a proposal shortly.
However, I do NOT rock.
I gave up and wrote to our sales rep at the hotel.

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Today AND tomorrow many people are “working from home” as we call it in the trade, due to the Pope being in town. Render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s and render unto the Pope the WHOLE OF DOWNTOWN DC, as the Good Book says. I am pleased to render my share of downtown DC to Pope Francis–and did in fact do some actual work from home, though not so much as to expose myself to any dangerous overload of the brain of course.One needs to protect this precious resource against strain, for the company as much as for oneself.
With this virtuous aim in view, I shut down my connection to the office files around 3, and made my way to Friendship Heights to do my bit for the local economy. First to Talbots, the Old-Ladies-R-Us store where I often find garments suitable for my advanced age and general dowdiness requirements. The scent of desperation was keen in that store, and no less than 3 salespeople drew close with ghastly grimaces of frantic good will. I tried on a few items but was unconvinced, and had to leave quickly before the tears began. Then, a quick turn through Anthropologie, reeking with incense but piled high with amusing if useless items, and, surprisingly, playing music less offensive than what had assaulted mine ears in Talbots (for an old lady store, they certainly chose an odd playlist). Banana Republic had nothing for me, and the music brayed on charmlesssly while I listlessly pawed through uninteresting merchandise. Eventually I bought some curtains at World Market (playlist: innocuous World music ), so at least I didn’t go home empty handed.
And in any case, the day was so fine–sunny and breezy, sky bright blue, flower boxes brimming with chrysanthemums. The Fedex man trotted by, his trolley heaped high with boxes, and people rallied round, window shopping, pushing baby carriages, walking dogs. Not THAT many people–perhaps everyone else was downtown with the Pope. But enough people to give one other the pleasant feel of being out in the world on the beautiful first day of autumn.

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