Artichokes

When I was 14 or 15, a frequent habit in my family was to go to church on Sunday and then have our big meal, usually in the dining room instead or the breakfast nook off the kitchen. It wasn’t always a huge feast that my mother had spent hours over, just the biggest meal that was getting fixed that day. It could very well be chicken salad and pimento cheese with choices of bread or crackers and some chips.

But, one Sunday when we came home, she got stirring around in the kitchen and shooed me out when I came to help. I didn’t argue. I didn’t get let off that hook very often.

After a while she called us into the dining room, where there was nothing on the table except napkins, some silverware and glasses of tea. She was clearly pleased without herself as she told us to sit down and whisked into the kitchen.

She came back with salad plates holding steamed artichokes. And she brought little dishes of melted lemon butter.

We were baffled. She sat down and showed us how to gently pull the leaves off and scrape the tasty bits off with our teeth. My sisters and I had a blast dipping in the butter. My parents seemed to think it was fun to enjoy their artichokes and to watch us having a big time. Eventually, we got down to the choke. She showed us how to scrape off the fuzzy part and cut the heart into bite sized pieces to eat the best of the artichoke.

When we had all finished, she whisked the plates and artichoke debris off the table and banged around in the kitchen for a couple of minutes. Then she brought in bowls of Campbell’s soup and a plate of peanut butter and honey or jelly sandwiches (which was a fairly usual lunch for us).

I looked at my soup and said,”I’m not complaining about the meal. Soup and sandwiches is great. But, it’s kind of anticlimactic after the artichokes.”

She almost looked sheepish and said, “I rarely see fresh artichokes at the grocery and when I do they usually only have 2 or 3. The other day they had 5! One for each of us. So, I got ’em. And if you ever find yourselves faced with one, you’ll know what to do with it.”

So, that’s my mother.

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Talking about Porn

I think artistic nudes are about form and light.

I think erotica aims to titillate. Where you draw the pornography line has to do with your own head. For me, it is determined by consent. And erotica that doesn’t have the consent of all participants crosses that line into unacceptable. That includes putting up your own photo of yourself being erotic where I will see it without warning me that you are going to show me your sexuality.

If you say “There is erotica here” I can choose to participate or not. If you put up a photo of you slipping your hand into your panties or your dick slipping into your willing partner without a warning, you have become a pornographer because my participation was without my own volition.

And work no longer has anything to do with “NSFW.” That has become code for “there may be nakedness here.”

Nevermore 2017

My friend, Meg, came up from South Carolina to go to Nevermore with me.  I think she had a good time.  I was disappointed.

The computer system crashed Friday so we were unable to buy the ticket package (buy 8, get 2 free).  I asked to for punch cards (their usual deal is buy 4, get 1 free) and was told those aren’t offered for film festivals.  There was a line behind me and I didn’t feel like having a public fit.

We saw 3 shorts collections and 2 feature length films (Gehenna – Where Death Lives and  2307: Winter’s Dream).   They were entertaining by not particularly memorable.

I think the general manager who had been a moving force behind the festival has moved on.  There were no skulls, plastic rats or other creepy decorations.  There were no “what to do in case of zombie attack” signs in the rest rooms. The juried awards were posted before the festival even started. The volunteers were still handing out ballots, though.

I hope they have regrouped next year.

Cake!

This photo was taken to mark my second birthday. My father had turned 24 the previous April and there was chocolate cake.

little kitty

I have always loved chocolate cake. And I decided that I wanted a piece of that birthday cake. So, I pushed a chair over to the kitchen counter and cut myself a slice.

I don’t remember where I got the knife. What I remember is standing on that chair eating the slice of cake that I was holding in my left hand and holding the knife with my right hand. My mother walked passed the kitchen door and didn’t register me standing there for a second. I suspect that the horrified expression on her face when she backed up to look in the kitchen is what welded it to my mind. As I recall, she swooped in to pick me up and relieve me of the knife while I diligently chomped away.

About 50 years later, she asserted that children have no memories of any time before they are 3. I asked her how old I was when that happened. She said, “You couldn’t possibly remember that. You were only about a year and a half old!” I said, “You never told me that story in my life. I even remember the dress I was wearing. It was a baby blue dress you had smocked.”

Her jaw dropped. She said,”I guess you do remember.”

Looking for ice

When my Nanny died, we all had to travel to the funeral. NONE of her children or grandchildren lived nearby. So, we were all piled up in a hotel and taking care of the business of getting her buried and as much of the household stuff taken care of as we could.

People brought food to the house, omigod the food! We did NOT have to worry about what to eat. Or drink. Bottles of soda and jugs of tea came in, too. But, her freezer couldn’t handle the load. There were 12 immediate family members, plus friends and extended family coming by to offer condolences.

So, my husband, brother-in-law and cousin’s husband made an ice run. When they came back, they were all hurting themselves laughing.

The first Kwik Stop place they went to didn’t have an ice chest out front, so they went in to ask if they even carried ice. The girl behind the counter drawled, “Naw, we don’t have ice, but we got come nice night crawlers.”

Because those 2 things are interchangeable. :joy_cat:

Non-objective

I have been a fan of Wassily Kandinsky ever since I first saw a picture of his work.

And it puzzled me because I don’t (didn’t) really get abstract art. And I presumed Kandinsky was doing abstracts.

I was wrong.

Recently, I was at a gallery show with artists hanging around to meet the public. (Last Friday in Hillsborough) Lolette Guthrie was one of the artists at the Hillsborough Gallery of Art and we had a very brief conversation. She explained her Summer at the Coast to me.

There is a line that is the beach. There is a line that is highway that parallels the beach. There is blue that is the ocean and there is blue that is the sound. I don’t entirely get abstraction. But, I have a better understanding.

So, a couple of months after that, I was in Charleston and there was an exhibition at the #Gibbes Museum of Art that included work by #Kandinsky. I learned that there is #non-objective art. Art that doesn’t represent, in whatever form, objects. Rather, it creates a mood, a feeling, using space and color and shapes. And it resonates so much for me.

It just grabs me by the heart.