Monday, June 4, 2007

the giant ampersand

When I dropped Steve at work Saturday morning, it was already quite warm, and in my mind, there is nothing like a hot and sunny weekend to erase, if temporarily, Swine induced stress. Over the bridge I went with Green Lake in my sights. I love Green Lake – it is probably my most blogged about Seattle locale. Sure there are a million trails on the eastside, but nothing beats its circularity and peopleful path for a fun-filled excursion of leaping over dogleashes and cooing at the adorable offspring donning the latest Tutti Bella in the newest McClaren. Babies are everywhere and if there is a patch missing a baby, there is a woman one breath away from screaming for an Epidural, so help me God! Some days all this baby, baby everywhere and not a one for me atmospherics is more than I can handle, but this day I can only smile happily for the blessed and enjoy my flat belly and the exercise and sunshine.

After I’m done, I head to my mother’s house, so she can douse my head in hair dye, which she succeeds in painting all over my face. I leave looking a wee bit violet, Violet. Damn mahogany tint!

I’ve decided to play tourist, so my sister and I drive to downtown Seattle and park just north of my soon-to-be-former office and walk to the water front and north toward the Olympic Sculpture Park. Upon our arrival at the fountain near the entrance, I marveled at how beautiful the day was – the sunny sparkled so fantastically off the naked man holding his arms out to the naked boy. I call this one “Public Pedophilia.” As Kiki and I giggled for the first of many times that day, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see two young guys standing there grinning goofily holding up a cell phone in askance.

“My friend here was wondering if he could take a picture of you with his cell phone,” the taller, less goofy one asked. Hmm, strike one for my ego. So they took their picture, and I took one as well, because we had to, duh. Then the tall guy said he needed a picture with me because I’m taller. Well, at least that’s something. He gave me a big smooch on my cheek, which I wasn’t expecting at all and why all of my teeth, tonsils and esophagus are showing. Then he asked if I wanted some of his Pepsi. No, thanks! He confided that it was actually whiskey, the liquid courage necessary for him to be talking to us right now. That explained the breath. They were from Portland, they explained and didn’t know anyone, had never been to Seattle, and were looking for fun. So after they harassed us to hang out with them that evening, despite my protests that having a boyfriend makes such a thing impossible, we escaped from their company. Who knows I’m probably on some MySpace page somewhere now along with the rest of the day’s gallery, so heh, heh, heh, they’re now a part of mine.

Now, I’m all for sculpture. Yes, sculpture’s nice. Have you ever seen the David? Well, I haven’t, not in person anyway, but I’m told it’s magnificent. You can stand in it’s wonder in awe of the artistry and the craftsmanship. Same with the Venus, and well, what do you know, I’ve exhausted my sculpture knowledge. Moving along. I know sculpture is not just a piece of marble chipped away until it looks more like fabric than fabric does, but take a look at the images below. High-brow art or Fisher Price on a grand scale? Behold the typewriter eraser, the giant neon ampersand, the Lincoln logs, the big silver tree, which looks like a wooden tree that’s been spray painted.
I can’t stare in awe of the mastery of some over-sized building block no matter how hard I try.

So we had fun taking pictures of each other and laughing at the “art.” These pictures remind me of how little alike we look. Strange.

And I wonder, if you were commissioned for a piece of the work for this Sculpture Park, what would you make? I think I’d make a giant date stamp, complete with that satisfying cachunk sound.

Tomorrow - our trip to the Pike Place Market Festival.

Friday, June 1, 2007

I'll just call the police

Steve was going to take the day off, but his clients were coming in, and his news that he would not be home until late dampened my mood more than it should. It would be dinner à sole once again. I tried not to let it show when I returned from Rite-Aid where I’d gone to stock up on treats to continue my week of spoiling my coworkers, but Mary, the one who’s been diagnosed with a serious type of cancer and has been undergoing so much besides, asked me if I was okay, and when I said I was, asked if I was lying. I had to shake myself. I’ve been so stressed out over the Swine that little things bring me down farther than they should, so I decided it was time to try to talk to the Swine about the daycare situation, so we could settle that issue at the very least.

After work, as I soaked up the luscious, warm, rare rays of the sun while I slowly made my way toward the bus stop, I pulled my phone out of my LeSportSac (are those even cool?) and dialed him hoping he’d ignore my call, so I could leave him a voicemail asking him if we could talk later about everything. But to my chagrin, he picked up just as I was crossing the street in front of Cost Plus World Market. I sighed and asked him if he would have time to talk later, and then a bus hit me, and I floated up to heaven never to hear his voice again, because the Lord and I both know he won’t be meeting me up there, and you’ll know it too after I share the rest of his diabolical ways.

“What’s up?” he asked.

“Well, I just wanted to see if you could talk. Later.” I stressed the last word, but he pressed. “Okay, I, uh, I just got a job offer in Redmond that I couldn’t refuse and as a result, it won’t really work for me to continue to take Audrey to the daycare here in downtown Seattle. I just got her a space at the daycare she used to go to before, which incidentally she has been asking repeatedly to return to, as you know it is only a couple of blocks from my apartment, so she won’t have to be at daycare as long. And as an added bonus, if she ends up at school in Bellevue, they will pick her up from school everyday, so we wouldn’t have to worry about it, isn’t that great?” I had gushed in all in one breath when I realized that my speech was met with silence. “Hello? … Are you still there? … Hello?”

“Uh, yeah,” he said slowly. “I don’t want Audrey to go to school in Bellevue. And it’s not my fault that you moved to Bellevue or that you took a job in Redmond. Those were choices you made, which you have to be responsible for, so that’s really not my problem.”

“You would really want Audrey to have to travel all that way unnecessarily?”

“You agreed that she would go to school there, so that’s where she’ll go.”

I was trying desperately to keep my cool, but, “Yes, and you agreed that I could move to London – sometimes things change.” Yeah, I totally went there. Ugh.

“Uh huh. And it’s written in the court documents that she has to go there, and that’s the way it going to be.”

“Can you please give me one good reason why she couldn’t go to the daycare near me just when she with me?”

“I don’t have to. It’s in the paperwork.”

I stood stuck on the phone on the verge of tears in the middle of Pike Place Market in front of the vegetable vendor from whom I wanted to purchase a few carrots for the Thai chicken red curry that I intended to make for dinner. No matter how I put it, he was unwilling to budge, no amount of appealing to his sense of reason and logic (yeah, I know, what reason and logic, and for that matter, what sense?) broke through, and I could stand it no more, so just before clicking the off key, I snapped, “Sue me then, I’m taking her to that daycare.”

I bought 35¢ worth of carrots, and the vendor said, “That’s it? That’s an awfully long phone call for a couple carrots.”

“Never have an ex-husband,” I shot back.

“You’re too young to have a husband.”

“Don’t I wish,” I said stuffing the bag of carrots into my sac and considering telling this guy just how terrible ex-husbands can be, but alas, he moved on to the next customer, so his chance to be regaled with the miseries of a broken woman was sadly lost. I carried on slowly toward First Avenue. Soon I got my phone out of my bag and noticed a voicemail from Sam. I nearly burst into tears right there after listening to this, “If you take her to that daycare and I find out about it, there will be no suing. I won’t go through the courts, I’ll just call the cops. It doesn’t get simpler than that.”

Oh. How was I to react to that? I carried on down First Avenue past one, two, three bus stops, until I’d gone a mile through crowds and crazies, tourists and yuppies. I sniffed, wiped a tear, and forwarded the voicemail to Steve with the message, “This is what I am dealing with.” Not that he doesn’t already know, but he doesn’t often get to hear it for himself.

I got on the bus a few minutes later and tried to figure out what to do. I tried to understand what would motivate him to make life so pointlessly difficult for me and even for Audrey. I tried to contrive a game plan. What was there to do? What to do? What should I do? What would you do? What would you do?