Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life on earth: a report

If you’re hoping for something profound, something inspiring, you should know right off the top this isn’t going to be it.

This is upkeep. The I’m-still-here entry.

While Herhimnbryn (for instance) dwells in dog and plant-filled bliss, (reading her blog stirs both a sense of relief and envious longing), a constant stream of mail from the Federal Government is arriving at my address. None of the government mail has friendly dogs or plant vibrations enclosed. In comparison, it is a strip mall - and I am, apparently, condemned to visit it daily.

Today, I'm finally compelled to call and talk to the Feds. Ask why I’m getting a second Goods & Services tax report form when I already submitted one in October. After determining my mother’s middle name, matching my DNA , inquiring as to the name of my very first doll and other top-secret information and asking how many fingers the phone lady is holding up so that my identity is not in question (no such luck), the nice lady on the phone says, “It wasn’t filled in right.”
“Pardon?”
“You missed lines 101, 105 and 108.”
“Was anyone planning to advise me of this?” Come on folks, it’s been nearly a month.
“Well, usually they send a letter.” Usually, but not this time? Usually within four months? A year? Ever?

We determine, the lady and me, that I have not put zeros on those lines and this is the problem. Of course it is. And if I need help, I can always go in person to Customs and Revenue, where they will have me take a number, and then, when it’s my turn, direct me to an office with a phone – where I can call the same 1-800 number I could call from home. I’m serious. They "helped" me this way only last week. For one hopeful moment, I suspected that I was the unwitting participant in a Monty Python sketch.

I am making some fundamental mistake, am I? With my life, I mean?

I am home from work with a stuffed up head, a headache and a good case of what might be called "November."

I decide to touch up the roots of my hair. Hell, something has to clear my sinuses and the aroma of hair dye would take the paint of a car. I smear toxic chemicals on my head and set my timer for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, the bell rings and I proceed to the bathroom to take the clips out of my hair and…what? The crap on my scalp has not turned the color of drying blood, the shade that indicates I have successfully matched roots to strands and shortened my life span by willful self-poisoning for the sake of vanity. Bad batch? Cursed by god? No. Apparently, instead of mixing color with the developer, I have mixed conditioner. As Weedy says, rather like trying to dye your hair with yogurt.

Now it’s funny. In a spraining your ankle tripping on a banana sort of way.

I get an email saying that my last teaching cheque is in the mail. I file my copy of a contract for the exhibition in January, which, to my utter shock, states that I will receive an artist’s fee for letting them display my work. Money for nothing and your chicks for free, I think. Let me get this straight, I loan you my work, I get it back, and you pay me? What a concept.

The Scorpio and me are getting along famously at the moment and I am in like. Not that I mention that ever.

Teaching my last beading class was a complete gas – I loved watching the women get hooked on my favorite addiction, heads bent, excited by creating in spite of snarled thread and a few oh-ohs. I found I adore teaching. I actually like picking the knots out of thread. And I love deciphering what it is that someone just learning doesn't understand and figuring out how to clarify it for them. It's fabulous to watch the light go on.

Pleased to say, I am, so far, fulfilling Marko’s personal ambition for the decade of his fifties – “not being dead yet.”

So life is…

Mixed.

The Democrats gain ground /versus the general temperature of the world increases more significantly, alarmingly and suddenly than it has in 1200 years. I find a beautiful, perfect Maple leaf so achingly red it would make you weep for the beauty/ versus the bureaucracy of business and daily life is making me crazy.

To quote Vonnegut, “and so it goes.”

15 comments:

zhoen said...

I'm just going to have a beer on your behalf.

Ok, yes, I already did.

LJ said...

Well, Zhoe...I'll join you with a glass of extremely cheap red wine. Oh, yes, I already did too.
Nice company, you.
or as word verification would have it:
rwaiui!

Jess D'Zerts said...

Oh, sure, you guys, throw a party now, when I'm a soggy 5-minute walk away from the vino and can't get to it for another three hours!

LJ said...

We'll save you some, Jess honey. But I'm warning you - I mean "cheap" wine. I'll throw in a cracker or two and a piece of cheese as well.

beadbabe49 said...

It's all just blowin' in the wind here...bad case of november...yes!

Anonymous said...

*
hi ho...

-marko

Avus said...

It happens worldwide - our relationship (?) with government get more kafka-esque with each passing day.
Some 15 miles from here is a vast shingle peninsula (Dungeness, Kent)at the tip of which are small cabins and converted railway carriages. Sea and vast skyscapes (plus a good pub!) It has a strange fascination and pull - I could live there quite happily (but Mrs Avus would definately have something to say about that!)

I do not worry too much about the global warming hysteria - a lot of it has been manufactured by financially interested groups. In the 14th century temperatures were far higher (but they deliberately cut that out of the "graph"). Some 20 years ago the "chatterati" were going on about a new ice age and global cooling!

Mary said...

I enjoyed the update. I've always had a hunch that you would take to teaching ...

And I did exactly the same thing with hair dye once. Mixed it with the conditioner. I find it consoling that you've done the same thing.

herhimnbryn said...

Lj. Mixed indeed, Hey, you're teaching beading? Did I miss something? How long now? I am imagining a scarlet beaded Maple leaf hanging on a fine silver chain.

I would like to reiterate that life at herhimnbryn's domaine is not all flowers, and bliss! But I am glad you drop by and relax at the 'oasis' sometimes :)

Raising a glass of cheap Aussie red to you cheers Hon!

Anonymous said...

Almost did a spit-take when reading of your hair-dye incident. I do my wife's hair with the dye every three weeks or so and have never considered what would happen if I mixed the conditioner instead of the actual dye-color. Some mistakes are worth their weight in gold!
Peace

Darkmind said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LJ said...

Hi Herhimnbryn - I know that your life is not perfect. It just looks like that when I look up from form R3124C. And welcome to the party.

Goatman. Nothing happens. I'm laughing. Big fat nothing. Except that you have silky roots. And you used to do that??? Wow. Whenever there's been a male person cohabiting with me, I've banished him for the duration on the grounds that some kinds of familiarity might breed contempt - or allergic reaction.

Darkmind. Same way we know there was an ice age and dinosaurs? This is my guess. Although I'll cop to believing
news of "recent scientific studies" and quoting randomly. "Alls in"? Good grief that sounds like something that would put you off drink for eternity.

Mary. We should compile a list of Big Dumb Mistakes and see if there are any other weird coincidences. Have you ever put a quarter cup of baking soda in spagetti sauce because an Italian told you it cut the acid? The Italian forgot to mention the word "pinch." And what happens is a chemical reaction that boils and bubbles and stinks like an outhouse.

Avus, I do worry. Quite honestly. I think there are more financial interests concerned with ignoring it.
On the other hand, thankfully, I may be dead before it's really bad. That's a half-full glass, in case you didn't recognize it. Warm water, of course.

Marko. I'm grinning. Want to have a go with Vonnegut phrases?

BB...We need a name for November. Weedy calls early March, "Farch." It's very descriptive of the feeling. November is too nice a word for the feeling the month occassionally creates.

LJ said...

Herhimnbryn...PS...Might not have mentioned the teaching here. The Bead Blog has that. I did Saturdays for a month and a half. It was a giant bite of time (for someone working fulltime)but I really enjoyed it.

chuck said...

last week I brushed my teeth with shaving cream...it looked like a toothpaste tube!--"big dumb mistake"--and it said 'Tom's Of Maine'.

LJ said...

Well, Chuck...At least it wasn't full of dangerous chemicals if it was Tom's of Maine.
By the way...petition signed and sent.
Thank you.