Monday, November 29, 2010

Conversational snippet #1

The Boy does not drool when he's relaxed.  However, he obsessively thinks he's about to drool, and will twitch and slurp the imaginary saliva back into his mouth.  I think it's cute...I can always tell when he's really enjoying one of my massages because, all of a sudden..."schllllluuuup!"

Last night he did the slurp as he was falling asleep, and the following conversation occurred:

Me: I'm gonna buy you a PVC pillowcase that is impervious to drool.  [Thinks a moment]  But then if you did drool, the pillowcase would basically become a slip-n-slide and your head would skid across the pillow and slam into the wall.

Boy: [Gives me the stinkeye for a full minute and a half]

Me: Hey, man, that was funny.  You are clearly not mentally developed enough to grasp my sophistimacated sense of humour.  I am a comedic genius.

Boy: Yeah, just like Beethoven. [A reference to this awesome thing we'd read right before bed]

Me: [Highly undignified snortlaugh]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sad bastard with a paintbrush pt. 2

Okay, so here's a preview of some more breakuppy paintings I'll be putting on Etsy soon:

It probably goes without saying that monogamy is much easier when you're with the right person: if your partner fulfills most of your needs, you'll be less likely to wonder what else is out there.  If you're with the wrong person, however, monogamy - and especially marriage - can feel really claustrophobic.

This 4"x4" painting is all about that feeling of claustrophobia.  To heighten the sense of being trapped, I made the picture area a mere 2"x2" window in the centre of the canvas, surrounded by lines of text that close in on it tighter and tighter.  The picture is of a woman squinting at the sky through her engagement ring (from the woman's point of view).  The text reads: "The future is wide open," he said with a smile...but I felt my future beginning to shrink down to a circle that got smaller and... (I was going to put "smaller and smaller" but I ran out of room.  Which actually works really well with the subject matter, when you think about it).

This idea appeared in my brain out of nowhere and kept haunting me until I gave in and painted it.  Basically, the deal is that someone was so enamored with the beauty of this butterfly that they nailed it to the wall so they could look at it whenever they wanted...but watching a dead butterfly dry up on your wall isn't nearly as engaging as watching a live one interact with the world, so it looks like our butterfly-catcher got bored and left.  Judging by the grime on the Victorian-patterned wallpaper and the way the inscription under it has faded, the butterfly has been nailed there alone and neglected for quite some time.

(Oh wow...I just totally flashed back to Nailbunny from JTHM.)

On the surface, it would appear that these two paintings are very different from each other, but no: they're both about the dangers of a badly run or badly chosen marriage.  I think most people put themselves on autopilot when they get married - they assume the relationship will be permanent so they don't work at maintaining it.  I know I was like that: I was all, "Well, my love life is all squared away...time to focus on other things!" because I thought my partner had been, well, nailed down.  But you can never stop working at a relationship.  If you stop actively working at it, the relationship will eventually dry up to a dead, empty husk...just like that Victorian butterfly.

Oh, I almost forgot - I made a third and somewhat less CRIPPLINGLY SAD painting recently. 

It might be a cautionary tale about people's tendency to make mountains out of molehills or it might be a portrait of an adorable little monster with delusions of grandeur.  You decide. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Just now, The Boy and I heard the sound of Birchy throwing up in the front hallway.  As we went to inspect the damage, The Boy said "Oh my gawd it's in your shoes!" ...Then he laughed, because he was kidding.  We weren't even in the hallway yet.

But once we got out there...guess where the vomit was? 

Yeah.  In my $200 leather shoes.  Both of them.

I really don't know whether Birch was helpfully trying not to mess up the floor, or if he just hates me.

Confidential to Birchy: dude, your puke looked like a handful of pristine, untouched kibble in stomach-acid gravy.  CHEW YOUR DAMN FOOD.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yay! Stats!

The Boy suggested I try loading up my blog stats in a different browser - and it worked!  (He is a genius!  I think I'll keep him.)

I can see now that "A Very Important Announcement" got more views than any other post, probably because of its eye-catching title.  Which is funny because the "important announcement" was that if I stick my tongue out really really far, I can see it in my peripheral vision.  It's possible that other people wouldn't actually consider this "important" per se.

In future I shall be careful not to abuse grandiose post titles.  I don't want my audience to get all excited for Big News, only to find a post about root beer or my cat's kibble farts.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How to tell if you are in your 30s (in 2010)

-If someone says the phrase "tell all your friends!" you yell out "...tell the whole bunch!  I just had a hippopotamus for lunch!" (or at least you want to).

-If you start dialing a number and your friend asks you who you're gonna call, you yell out, "GHOOOOOST...BUSTERS!" (or at least you want to).

-If you ever owned a pair of shiny black spandex bike shorts with a wide neon stripe down each side.

-If you ever let Sun-In, AquaNet, or a crimper near your hair while sober.

Ummm ummm I dunno.  There are tons of lists like this circulating on the internet but I'm trying to come up with things I don't remember from any of them.  The first thing on my list actually happened to me the other day, which is why I'm thinking about this stuff.

Anyone have anything to add to my list?  Leave it in the comments!

Sad bastard with a paintbrush

Every tube of black paint that I own has the lid so badly stuck on that I can't remove it.  I've been puncturing the tubes with a pin and squeezing paint out the side instead.  It comes out in a thin little drizzle, like Wacky String.

My streak of breakuppish paintings continues.  I'll post pics...I dunno, sometime.  Soonish.

I've come up with a theory recently: I think it's impossible to fully get over someone until you're in a relationship with someone new.  This does not mean that it's a good idea to put up a personal ad twenty minutes after a breakup; a person needs to go through a lot of mourning, soul-searching, and self-esteem-rebuilding before they have any business trying to date.  I'm just saying that a new relationship is kind of the finishing touch - the cherry on the sundae, if you will - to a long and complex healing process.  And I did not know that before.

During the years that followed my divorce, I went through the requisite period of extreme bitterness where I was convinced that all relationships are doomed to unhappiness and failure.  Slowly, I healed to a point where I could allow myself to feel cautiously optimistic about love again - but my optimism was entirely theoretical, and I knew it.  In order to actually know that good and healthy relationships exist, I needed to experience one...and that's where The Boy came in.

Long story short: I thought I was entirely over the whole divorce thing but it turns out there was one last tiny bit to process.  I'm working through it via my paintings.  Once I've dealt with all that residual angst I am gonna feel so good.  Goddamn.


The "stats" area of my blog has been broken for, like, a week now.  This means I can't see how many people are reading this or how they found their way here.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Very Important Announcement

I have discovered that I can see my own tongue without looking in a mirror!

I'm 37 years old I've only just figured this out. 

If I had a super-long tongue, I surely would have tried to glimpse it in my peripheral vision before this.  But I only have an average endowment, tongue-wise, so I assumed it was a lost cause...until today!

Never give up on your dreams, kids.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Closure on that mouse thing

By the way, the mouse problem is solved...for now.

Late last night I was puttering around in the kitchen when The Boy called out that he'd cornered the mouse in the bathroom and needed something to put it in.  "Don't bring Birch in here," he added, completely unnecessarily. 

I ran to the bathroom armed with a plastic container from that day's lunch.  The Boy grabbed it from me and used a wooden backscratcher (shaped like a miniature rake, kind of) to drag the mouse out from behind the toilet.  Then he used the scratcher like a spatula/shovel to toss the mouse into the container, and he put on the lid (but didn't completely seal it because he didn't want the mouse to suffocate).

Just to be clear, a mouse loose in the apartment will freak the crap out of me - mysterious rustling noises, suddenly bursting out from under things and running past four inches from my bare toes, etc.  But when a mouse is safely contained, I think he's cute as all heck.  I took some pictures of this one (as best I could through the plastic).  If you're having a hard time making out the actual form of the mouse, that's his round ear roughly in the middle of the picture and he's facing right.  The white thing he's sniffing/eating is a piece of cheese we put in there to keep him occupied while we took pictures and got our coats and shoes on to take him to the park and release him. 

Here's an underneath view.  The container is smeared with the remnants of a salad...sorry if that's a bit gross.  But LOOK at those widdle pink toesies!

And then I thought it would be funny to put the container next to Birch, who had slept through the whole mouse-catching thing because he sucks and is the worst hunter ever.  I had a feeling he wouldn't understand what was in the container or be particularly interested in it, and I was right.

Oh well.  Good thing he's pretty.

Strange thoughts.

Do maggots inherently know that they will eventually become flies?  Is there a belief programmed into their DNA that although right now they're writhing eyeless on the ground in a pile of filth, one day they'll soar high above the Earth and be able to view it all through amazing compound eyes?

Is a fly basically a maggot-angel?

Are human beings just a larval form of what we're destined to become?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sneak preview

Remember how I said I've had breakuppy painting ideas lately?  Here are those two paintings I wanted to show you.  They're not on Etsy yet because I still have to varnish them and take photos from various angles...but I just can't wait to share 'em. :)

At 4"x4", this is the smallest painting of a person I've ever done.  The picture continues on all four sides of the canvas, which was infuriatingly difficult to do but looks UNBELIEVABLY COOL.

I'm kind of a movie buff.  I never consciously realized it until I painted this picture, but sometimes when I paint something, I'm trying to capture a dramatic moment from a made-up movie in my head.  So picture this: a woman learns her lover has done something unforgiveable.  They end up having a confrontation about it in a bar parking lot, late at night.  Her lover tries to make excuses, tries to apologize for the transgression, tries to use charm to get back on her good side, but she says "DON'T" - and she means it.  She can't forgive what happened this time; a heavy door seems to shut inside her mind, and she knows the relationship is permanently over.  A cold breeze whips her spiky blue hair across her eyes as she gives this person she loved one last long, appraising stare.  Then she walks away without looking back.

That's what I was trying to capture: that one moment where everything you ever knew seems to be collapsing around you and you just...walk away.  


This one kinda came out of nowhere for me.  I tried to interpret it and came up with two possible meanings: 1) "My ex tried to keep me married to him but I realized we'd grown too far apart to make it work anymore" and 2) "A guy tried to woo me using the all the usual romantic cliches, but those tricks don't work on me."  Either sentiment applies to me: I did grow out of a marriage and I am a woman who can't be plied with roses or diamonds or whatever other crap chicks are supposed to want.

I think I may finally have outgrown my obsession with The Boy's lips and am moving on to an obsession with images of diamond rings; I have all this wedding band imagery in my head lately.  We'll see.

So, yeah...these paintings will be on Etsy shortly...but you saw 'em here first. :)

Word of the Day #4

Today's Word of the Day is "catarded".

See, occasionally, a mouse will find its way into our apartment.  Who can blame these mice?  After all, it's cold and barren outside but warm-with-occasional-crumbs inside.  So once every year or two I start hearing small random noises in the kitchen and realize that I'm not alone.

This year, of course, I have a cat.  So that should fix everything, right?  Well, not as such, no.

Last week Birch actually corralled a mouse - but wouldn't kill it.  He was having so much fun playing with his prey that he would intentionally let it escape so he could chase it.  Most times, the mouse would run under something and Birch couldn't figure out where it had gone.  Eventually he had it cornered in the bathroom and was repeatedly doinking its head against the side of the bathtub; at this point The Boy put a plastic container over the mouse, slid a magazine underneath, and freed it outside.

It was actually pretty cool watching Birch on the hunt.  He was so filled with purpose - you could almost hear him thinking, "YES!  This is the moment I was BORN for!" and he looked all lethal and panther-like as he stalked around sniffing for his prey.  And, I mean, he did get it, even if he didn't feel like killing it, so I felt like he was a pretty good hunter.

Today, there was another freaking mouse in the apartment (or possibly the same one again...could it be stupid enough to come back?).  This time, I was hearing its little rustling noises long before Birch gave any sign of noticing anything. Even when I got Birch's attention and pointed him at where the sounds were coming from, he didn't seem to understand what I was getting at.  The Boy decided to take matters into his own hands; he cornered and almost caught the mouse a few times, but it kept running under the bed or into other places where he couldn't reach it.  In the end we were literally tossing Birch directly at the place where it was standing, and Birch just kept wandering away.

So, yeah.  That thing where he captured the mouse last week?  That was a fluke.  Birch is a disgrace to his species.  I think he may be catarded.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Word of the Day #3

This one is directly related to the previous Word of the Day, btw.

So the other day, Birch was doing that thing of rubbing his nose and cheeks all over my fingers.  And I sez to The Boy, I sez, "Hey, Boy!  Check it out: snoutercourse!" 

(You know, like outercourse only with an animal's face instead of someone's genitals.)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Word of the Day #2

My cat, Birch, loves having his nose rubbed.  Often, if I'm not actively paying attention to him - when I'm watching a DVD, say - he'll come up to where my hand is lying idle on the couch and start rubbing his nose all over my fingertips.  Occasionally he'll also nose-rub against inanimate objects.

The Boy dubs this practice nostrilbation.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sifting Through Inspiration

Generally, when it comes to my more emotional/symbolic paintings, I don't consciously decide what to paint; the ideas just pop into my head fully formed.  I'm pretty self-aware so most of the time when I get one of these ideas I know exactly where it came from and what it means.  Occasionally, though, it's a mystery and I have to interpret the image the way one might interpret a disturbing dream.

Lately I've been having all these painting ideas that revolve around breakups - or, more precisely, that revolve around freedom.  Freedom, plus the fear and sadness that often come with it.  This internal cavalcade of breakup images baffled me: normally that sort of thing means I have someone I want to break up with, but The Boy and I are rock-solid.

But I did some soul searching and I think I get it now.  I think these grim artistic concepts are actually about my divorce five years ago and the fact that without the divorce, I would still be (unhappily!) married and there would be no Boy.  So basically my last and most major breakup - which was devastating and at the time I wished to hell it wasn't happening - ended up being my rebirth into a much better, happier life.  That is the concept my subconscious is trying to explore.

I completed two of the breakuppy painting ideas already, by the way.  They both turned out great and I'm really excited.  Once I've varnished them and put them up on Etsy, I'll be sure to leave an image/link here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You KNOW I had to do one in pink...

Painting these pictures of The Boy's gorgeous mouth was really satisfying.  After spending all that time carefully analyzing the shapes, colours, and proportions of his lips and teeth and tongue, I feel like I know them in a way I didn't before.  Probably a med student feels this way about a body he's dissected; probably a mechanic feels this way about a car engine he's assembled from parts.

A lot of the drawings and paintings I did when I was a teenager were portraits of famous people that I had crushes on (guys from '80s synthpop bands...*blush*).  I realize now that it's because the process of putting their image on paper or canvas felt intimate to me...running my pencil or paintbrush over the contours of their faces was the next best thing to touching them in person.

(This 4”x4” painting is for sale on Etsy!  Click the picture to go to the listing.)

More lips.

More of The Boy’s luscious lips.  He’s wearing Cyber lipstick by MAC, by the way.

I wear makeup so rarely that it tends to go bad before I can use it up; I’m glad to have someone to share it with so it doesn’t go to waste.  And The Boy happily returns the favour, so I now have access to all kinds of fantastic cosmetics I didn’t have to buy.  Symbiosis!

(This 4”x4” painting is for sale on Etsy!  Click the picture to go to the listing.)


As an artist, I go through periods where I’m obsessed with a certain subject or image and I paint it over and over again. A few weeks ago, my obsession was The Boy's mouth.

People tend to assume, at first, that these lips belong to a woman. I find this fascinating: if makeup and an overtly sexy expression are all it takes for a male to be read as female, the line between the sexes must be a lot thinner than we’re taught to believe. I’m okay with that. :)

(This 4”x4” painting is for sale on Etsy!  Click the picture to go to the listing.)

Word of the Day #1

This one’s more of a Phrase of the Day, really.

I bought a bunch of shipping supplies in bulk for my Etsy store.  The up side of this is that I can charge less for shipping because each envelope or cardboard box costs me much less than if I’d bought it individually.  The down side is that our already crammed-to-capacity apartment now has to accommodate 250 bubble envelopes and 50 cardboard boxes.

So I sez to The Boy, I sez, “With these massive boxes of shipping stuff all around, our place is starting to look like those bunkers people build to hide in if there’s a nuclear war.  You know, where they stockpile food and supplies and stuff.”

And The Boy instantly replies: “Postal-apocalyptic.”

Yes!  Postal-apocalyptic.

I’m a fan of puns and that one was too epic not to share. :D


My name is Meredith, and this is my blog.  A lot of the posts will be about art, since I do acrylic paintings and have just opened an Etsy store to sell some of them.

But there will be non-art posts, too.  I can’t totally predict where this blogging experience will lead me, but just off the top of my head I’d say you can expect to see random observations, horrible puns, and meditations on gender popping up here, among other things.  We’ll see.