OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS!
by Nicole Freire
I've wanted to start a column with that title ever since the guys on my favorite podcast (youlooknicetoday.com) insisted that only silly 20-something girls began sentences like that. But I'm 40, with a 10-year-old's sense of humor.
OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS. I MOVED TO SUNDAY!
Do you like it here? Is it nice? I'm not sure. I liked Wednesdays. But I'm adjusting. My meds, that is. Hah! That's a crazy person joke. Maybe only my therapist would get it.
Man, moving is stressful. I don't like change. Some people love to say they embrace change. They're totally lying. Nobody likes change. Look how long it took us to switch to digital television. They had public service ads running for months and still people freaked out.
The worst part of moving is the packing. The last time we moved, I vowed to rent a dumpster while we packed so that I could just immediately throw out the stuff I didn't want without putting it all into bags and sticking them in the back of my car for a month before I remember to drop them off at Alpha Thrift.
So I've got a whole bunch of little things that I found while packing to move to Sunday, and since Alpha Thrift won't find them interesting I'd thought I'd do a little Sunday sharing. It's like show and tell, except only I get to do it.
Look at that picture! That is a 20-year-old picture of me at my desk in my dorm. My daughters saw it and asked me "what kind of machine" I was using. Also, they wanted to know why I had blonde hair. And huge bangs.
Yeah, I took a typewriter to college. Also a bunch of tapes, a tie-dyed t-shirt, and a picture of D.H.Lawrence (he's in the frame on the desk). Also, please note that I am typing from actual handwritten notes. It blows my mind that at one time I would hand write out my entire paper and then type it up. It took me a long time to learn how to ‘write' without actually ‘writing' it out. That's way too many uses of ‘writing'. That's also how I ended up with carpal tunnel, and one of those surgeries where they move the ulnar nerve in your elbow and you have to sleep with your arm propped up for a week.
If you look closely, you can see that I'm wearing the MIA bracelet I wrote about a few columns back. Remember? Well, I have a little confession to make. I could not read, One Day Too Long. Not because it wasn't well written. I just couldn't make heads or tails out of it. It was like trying to read an algebra textbook in Sanskrit. If you are into reading military history, I'm sure it's compelling.
The military jargon was insane. So many acronyms. So many combinations of letters and numbers and dashes. Map coordinates, airplane names, gun titles, military this, military that. I tried and I tried but I just couldn't do it. So - my apologies. I also can't tell military time. And don't tell me to just add or subtract, that's MATH, and I believe I've already established that I don't do math.
Guess who I talked to on the phone? For 25 minutes? Howard Connor! Howard of the butterfly mobile fame. A lovely man - very sweet. He was in the hospital, having his knee replaced. Very bionic of him. He told me all about Florida, his wife, his children, and how he has to call his mobiles ‘kinetic sculpture' because art gallery owners hear ‘mobile' and think ‘baby crib'. Which is too bad.
And like all artists, he had very specific ideas about his artwork. How it should be hung, for instance. He told me about a woman who had hung her mobile from her chandelier and realized her mistake and then called him frantically and wanted him to come over and hang it properly. Which he did, and then apparently the woman was so entranced and moved by how wonderful the mobile was when properly hung and lighted that, and I quote, "She just about had an orgasm!" I just about dropped the phone because I was laughing so hard. Nothing like talking about art orgasms with an 86-year-old man to make you snort with laughter.
I asked him how he built his mobiles. He said he builds them from the bottom UP. Does that not blow your mind? From the bottom UP! Instead of from the top DOWN. I cannot wrap my mind around that. It's pretty close to geometry, so again, no math.
He does have an assistant to help him in his studio and his wife helps out too. His wife has Alzheimer's and he said that while she can't remember what she had for breakfast, she still remembers how to fold the butterflies.
Naturally, that part made me cry. I think it should be in wedding vows. I vow to let you fold my butterflies, even when you don't recognize me.
Also, he uses piano wire that he gets all the way from Chicago.
Oh, I found a bunch of old purses too, and I was going to do an entire column about purses and handbags that I thought was hysterical, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll do it anyway and title it, "Goodbye Men, Go Read Something Else." Come up to my room and I'll show you my etchings. I mean my old pocketbooks. Would you read it? Because, I will write it if you want.
Some lovely person posted a comment about a new kind of green tea that they thought was fabulous, but they neglected to tell me where I could buy it. So, tea person, please post a comment again and tell me where to find it.
And don't think I haven't forgotten about the contest winner and their granola prize. There's an email going to them as I write, asking which nuts they want in their batch.
Someone commented on my columnist contest using the words "monkey" and "poo". That is not cool. No granola for you! You are not invited to see my etchings.
Oh, guess what else I discovered? Remember when I took the picture of the drunken parrot on a bicycle? And the duck-killing RV? Well, the yard where they lived? They are all gone. Every single spinner thingy that had been in that front yard is gone gone gone. I feel terrible. Maybe someone read my article, saw the photograph, and went and stole them all? Maybe the person who lived in that house freaked out and pulled them all out? What happened?
I was talking about this with my husband and he said, "Well, maybe they have to sell the house and the realtor told them they needed better curb appeal?" And I was all, "This can't be a coincidence! I take a picture of an innocent parrot on a bike and the next day he's gone?" And then he said, "Maybe they took them out to get new ones?" and I was all, "It's been two weeks! The yard is bare! It's all my fault!" And then he said, "You can't possibly think you had anything to do with what those people put in their front yard!' And I was all "Maybe! The power of the pen! Or the power of the keyboard, whatever."
So, if you live in the house where the spinner things used to be, please put them back, I miss them. If someone stole them, demand their return!
OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS. IT'S THE END!
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Nicole Freire is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara.