Saturday, March 31, 2007

Because I Haven't Had Enough of Them

Today in my silk screen class I learned a lot about what not to do.

I should have printed my images out darker on my transparency. I should have held the squeegee at a different angle. I should have coated my screen thinner. I should have done X, Y, and Z differently. I have to re-shoot my screen, which only means a lot of tedious washing out and reprinting images and putting them on the screen again.

None of it is dire. These were good lessons to learn. And it's not like I took the most perfect piece of paper made out of gold leaf by my great-grandmother and ruined it forever and ever. This can all be redone. And I will re-do it all next week. But still.

And then I was talking to a friend who asked how art class was today, and I said it was just like my dating life - full of good lessons. Clearly, for years now, I've been all about learning what not to do. What I don't want. Who I don't want. How I don't want things to be. How I don't want to behave. How I don't want things to turn out.

Today, I said, today I am tired. Today, I am wrapping myself up in the cumbersome but familiar quilt of an existential crisis. I have the absolute certainty that I will die alone. And I won't even be surrounded by my own artwork, because none of it turned out right.

And I'm allergic to cats. I won't even be the spinster cat lady for years leading up to it. I'm going to be alone alone alone. Today, I cannot imagine my life turning out in any other way and am feeling very sorry for myself. I hate days like today.

Lately, things have been mostly good. Not all highs and lows, mostly just even-keeled good. But today, despite the delicious sunshine, today is a bad art and I'm going to die alone day.

I got an email from a blogger named Shannon a week or so ago. A very, very nice one, telling me she likes my blog, likes how I write, and likes my attitude. She mentioned the fact that I don't wallow. And I was so flattered by her kind note. And thrilled to be seen as a positive-attituder rather than a wallower. (And yes, I know attituder is not a real word. But I have no compunctions about using it anyway.)

Today, however, today is a wallow day. The kind of day that gin and M&Ms and peanut butter and, oh, I don't know, maybe even a little crack sprinkled on ice cream were made for. Or whatever you might suggest as wallowing food or activities.

I'm realizing as I write this that as often happens, writing it is making me feel better. This might be partly because I'm feeling so sorry for myself that I'm crying big, fat, salty tears. Which are falling onto the keyboard. Which will probably then short out and since I live alone without cats to dial the 911, that will be that. Drama queen much today? Wallow wallow wallow.

The thing is, what I am actually going to do is go for a run. I'm not really going to inject gin and M&Ms, even though I do have the kind of pale skin and prominent veins that blood takers rhapsodize over. Because if I do, then I'll have that I'm a big fat cow worry on top of everything else.

Some days with art nothing technically goes right and you just start over and it never makes me cry. It is also more than just PMS, although holy crap is that not helping one bit. But all of these things together, they just suck ass. I know from experience I can't cry while running, but I don't know if I can wallow and run at the same time. I'll find out shortly, I guess.


  1. I'm of the opinion that wallowing every now and then is fine... as long as you don't make a career out of it.

    Gin and M&M's though... hmmm... not so sure about that.

  2. Hope you had a great run and your day goes better, Lisa.

    I agree with the kind note from Sharon - you're a positive attituder and a great writer.

  3. Lisa,

    You sound so much like me.

    I have to confess: I've been lurking reading your blog ever since I clicked on the "read next blog" link and I read about your skirt erection and I smiled at your unexpected sense of humor a couple of times that day.

    I started running two winters ago, because in the winter when the sun doesn't come up before I go to work and it goes down before I leave work, I feel like sleeping whenever I'm not crying. It began with me forcing myself to run, and it became something I actually wanted to do whenever I felt like an existential crying jag. It helps me survive Minnesota. I'm glad you, too, have discovered the healing power of a good run. I also hope, for your sake, that DC is not as gray and rainy as my fair city is today.

    Good luck out there, Lisa. If we both die alone, me with my cats, and you without, maybe we can at least read about it on each other's blogs. Yours will be well-written and funny.


  4. The first sign that a good wallow is about to end is when you recognize it for the wallow it is.

    I'm betting the run helped and now you don't have the M&M and gin guilt to be even more unhappy about.

    Have a good rest of the weekend!

  5. I just got home from a party for my nephew, who is one. And I had such lovely messages in my in-box! Thank you all!

    VVK - I think you are right and sometimes is OK. I couldn't NOT wallow today. But hopefully it means I won't tommorrow. Admittedly gin and M&Ms are probably not such a good idea together, but still two of my favorite things.

    HKW - Thank you so much! It was a good run, and I ran and ran and then barely had time to get ready for my nephew's first b-day party, which was a great upper as well.

    Alex - I'm so delighted to hear that! And thank you for commenting! My dad is from Duluth and my mom from Minot and I've spent some Christmases there - that winter is long and brutal. You're a lot stronger than me in that regard at very least. I've psyched to check out your blog!

    G&D - You made me giggle - thank you! The blog vent helped a lot. And you are totally right about the run. And all the lovely virtual hugs!

  6. DCup - You are right, totally right. Recognizing the wallow triggered the oh, I hate how I feel, how can I get over this? I bet you give your kids, particularly your oldest daughter, great advice.

  7. "wallow day" is an oxymoron. Wallowing doesn't have a time limit attached. What you are doing is having a bad day or a really bad day. These days just let you reset, ascertain the situation, and when you feel better, think of a way to move forward (like a positive attituder).

    Also, put the crack in the gin and the m&ms on the ice cream, that makes much more sense.

  8. Shannon - Yes, that's true. Today has done that. And re: the gin & M&Ms - that's the best suggestion. It's the chemist in you, isn't it?

  9. Sorry for the belated comment - was catching up on my reading, and realized that we have the same cat allergy.

    I'm adopting fish or iguanas. I kind of like the notion of being the crazy iguana lady.

  10. Thank you, Dagny! I like that idea. If you don't mind, maybe I'll be a crazy iguana lady, too.


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