fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A need-to-know

We all have changing allegiances. Like changing soccer clubs. If your former allegiance is in anyway reflected in heat transfers, these can be erased with something called Sansodor. Instead of tossing away perfectly good warm-ups and jerseys and bags and so on, just get ahold of this low-odor, much-less-hazardous solvent.

Sansodor is much like regular mineral spirits, but smells much less potent. Plus, it doesn't deteriorate in storage like turpentine. So you can keep it around for a while and use as needed.

Just let the Sansodor soak in a bit from the garment wrong side (the stuff won't soak through the plastic-y top of the heat transfer) and let the solvent do its thing on the adhesive. It's best to let it sit for a few minutes.

Then just peeeeeeel the past affiliation away! Toss the allegiance-less garment in the washing machine. Because it doesn't have as strong of vapors ("sans odor," get it?), the odor will be washed out and not transferred to the rest of the laundry.

Sansodor also does cool things with colored pencil drawings. Making them look like watercolor. But this stuff isn't for kids to use. Just sayin'

Just thought you might need to know!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Frohe Ostern! Throw-a egg!

"FRO-ah OS-tairn"/"Throw-a egg" All right, it's a little forced.

Anyway... We made cascarones (confetti-filled eggs) this year. Supposedly, the practice came to Italy--as did pasta--in Marco Polo's luggage from China. And since the Professor returned from China on Easter Sunday, it all comes full circle. In my mind at least.

Very, very fun.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Give me a break

I've had a nesting bug for a while. When I was younger and traveling so much, my apartment? Meh--whatever. But now, I spend hours and hours and days and days in these walls. And I'm not really groovin' on my digs. Part of the problem, is that some of my favorite pieces are antiques I brought back from Europe. At the time, I thought I'd live my whole life in Europe. But here I am, in sunny SoCal. And European antiques three blocks from the beach? It kind of looks like wearing a cocktail dress to a football game. Although, I've heard in Southern states, that is perfectly acceptable. Anyway, I want to sweep out the Old World dust and sprinkle some New World sand and bit-by-bit beach it up in here.

And I wanted to try my hand at oil paints. I like the three-dimentionality of the stuff. It's like painting with frosting (just don't lick your fingers). I traced a photograph I took down at Swami's of these four guys looking for a good break, frosted away and let some colors burst. It's kind of tricky stuff, but you never know 'til you try, right?

I think the painting helps beach it up in here. But look, don't touch. It's still pretty sticky. I'm pretty sure they don't let you touch oil paintings in museums, because they're still drying.

This is my first attempt at capital-A-hang-it-on-a-wall-Art and oil paints, too. So, give me a break. Which is also the title of this piece.

Give Me A Break, 2011

And speaking of capital-A-Art, follow this link and click through the videos of this talented young singer. I guarantee, whatever you are doing right now--checking emails, reading blogs (yes, you are!), dying Easter eggs, spring cleaning--whatever it is, it will be better with this Jaymee Dee and her guitar and her voice accompanying your day. I know, I know: Katy Perry's Firework? For real? Give me a break. Just try it. Never know 'til you try.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flying is not always so easy

Right now, I have two letters open in MS-Word. One is a complaint to AT&T Wireless for suspending our service--even though we are not late in paying and have never been late paying a bill in ten years (I'm afraid of grown-ups and teachers and Santa Claus and God and I try to do everything right and I pay my bills!). The Professor is in China for an extended project and his cell phone is his lifeline. And AT&T suspends service? Without cause? Or notification? And here's another complaint letter to the yahoos, who installed our replacement windows. Looking out the window into our pretty backyard no longer is a small pleasure, because I have to look at these stupid windows and be reminded of the idiot I am. Also this week, I've fallen victim to the good ol' bait 'n switch with an online photo equipment merchant. I am having to jump through all the hoops: calls, emails, faxes, disputes with the credit card company, threats of complaints to the New York City Attorney General and so on and so on. And don't get me started on the wrong billings I am still receiving for Anna's visit to the hospital some two years ago. Just don't. (Just know, dear friends, that the Wall Street Journal reported that about 80% of medical bills are wrong. So double and triple check those suckers.) Anyway, this is the stuff of life that makes me my snarky, cynical, occasionally shrill self, where I question, occasionally aloud and to no one in particular, "Really? Seriously?"

And then on Saturday, a simply textbook bucolic Southern California spring day--sun shining, light breeze rustling the leaves, wildflowers blooming--I attended the memorial service for a ten-year old child. Not a child I knew at all, really. He was the younger brother of one of Jack's buddies. You know, just a kid, one of those a ten-year old kids who are around.

If I try and list my favorite things in the world, I'd probably have to put kids that age right at the top of my list. Is there anything better than a kid? Way above Yosemite and Paris and blue oceans and warm apple pie, my favorite things in this world are sandy, silly, nose-picking, shoe-scattering, fart-noise-making, snuggling, uninhibited, un-self-conscious. unpretentious, running-with-scissors, skinned-kneed, finding-poodles-and-frogs-in-clouds, Halloween-candy-hoarding, soccer-cleat-losing, stray-cat-petting, too-much-maple-syrup-pouring...kids.  Kids you love with all your heart. "And I love you, too, Mommy. With all my heart, Mommy. And all my spleen!" Have you ever had anyone love you will all her spleen? Only a kid can make such a spleen-felt statement.

So, when one of their number, even just one I barely know, but whom I have seen about on the soccer field, leaves this earth, I get a feeling in my throat, like a swallowed cockle bur. I kind of don't feel the chair I am sitting in or my clothes against my skin. It's like I shrink just a little bit within myself and am a fraction of a millimeter apart from the world. I can rub the creases between my eyebrows and that stems the moisture I feel forming at the rims of my eyelids. But then, a feeling comes over me immediately after or perhaps simultaneously with sadness that I can only call joy. Sort of a simultaneous bipolarity. I think colors are brighter, I hear more birds chirping, and every song on the radio is one I want to sing to. I find myself smiling when I see the dude in the car next to me singing to his radio, and the chubby teenagers  making out at the bus stop, and the little ones running amok at Old Navy. This is life and this is joy.

What do spleens do? Whatever medical research has since discovered about spleens, from the time of the ancient Greeks to well into the 18th Century, the learned were of the opinion that the spleen produced "black bile," which caused melancholia. And on that note, I do think I love my children with all my heart and children of the world with all my spleen.


God be with you, young Chase.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring sprung!

Wishing you wildflowers and sunshine!


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