Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Do I Do with my Face?

Dear Diary,

Last night I had a dream but unlike Martin Luther King, I dreamed that I was late for a school play, hadn't memorized my lines, a flood was preventing me from getting to the theater, darling, and I was not wearing a bra.

On the upside, my breasts were firm and perky.

This was a change from my usual anxiety dream.  In "IT" I come to after having amnesia or being in a drunken blackout for two days.  I have no idea where I have been or what I have done.  I do know that I had a great time but have thoroughly shamed my family.

I haven't written in my diary for so long that I am rusty at sharing my inner most thoughts and desires.  Must be the reason for the dream.

Right now, I smell like a wet dog.  My Buddy just jumped on me after a swim in the pool and wants to make out.  He is such a loving dog but I don't have time for that now.

My daughter came to me for some advice the other day.  She wanted to know what she should do with her face when her boyfriend played the guitar for her.  She was particularly anxious because he had promised to write her a song and she knew he would be playing it and singing to her in the near future.

I was happy that this was her problem because I was serenaded frequently in my day so had experience in this.  First I showed her the sweetly entertained look and instructed her how to rock her shoulders, neck and head from side to side with the beat of the music.  Her eyes should be as wide as her smile.  Or she could go with a surprised look, eyes wide again but her mouth in the shape of an O.  She would need to place her hands on her cheeks simultaneously.    Of course if she didn't want to encourage his behavior she could throw her hands over her ears, moan and scowl. 

I met some friends for drinks Saturday night and was surprised that none of them had ever experienced this form of courtship.  They did have ideas on what Elizabeth should do with her face and some interesting hand gestures to emphasize her look. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Impulse Buying

Dear Diary,

I went to San Diego this weekend to see baby sistah. We went shopping and did some impulse buying. She got some cute clothes and shoes. I bought some shoes - not impulsively. I needed them. One of my students told me my shoes were ugly and he was so right. They weren't comfortable either. These new shoes are comfortable. I find out at circle time,Tuesday if they are cute or not.

I regret impulsively putting some of my impulse items back on the shelf at TJ Maxx. I had picked up some paint splatter duct tape and a large rubber stamp. I did make it home with a night gown and a whistle that blows bubbles.

The night gown was great - so comfortable - but the whistle did not blow bubbles like the picture showed. They kind of dripped down the side of the whistle and got the cord all slimy. The sound of the whistle was not shrill enough either. I was disappointed.

On the drive back to Sistah's we saw a homeless person on the side of the road with her sign. I guess she was taking a break from begging because she was on her cell phone. We remarked that something wasn't right about a homeless person on a cell phone. Was the money she was given going toward her cell phone bill? What kind of coverage does she have? Is texting free because that can get expensive and who was she talking to? Sistah was curious, if she was indeed homeless where was her cell phone bill sent?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Her Hair Story, a recollection

Dear Diary,

My baby sistah came to visit over the week end. It was a quick trip for her, Thursday through Saturday . We didn't have much time to visit but I will take what I can get. Sistah Sarah Ann took her son to ASU orientation. She was impressed with all she saw and did that day and was recounting it for us Friday night at the kitchen table. It seems that one of the speakers spoke to them about a project he had going concerning "hair" He claims that everyone has a hair story. I begged to differ. I told Sarah Ann that I did not have a hair story, but then I recalled the 1970's.

I got my hair "done" at the Nu Look Beauty Parlor on Hwy 69. Usually just a trim. I had quite an active imagination and adventurous spirit but lost all when it came to my hair. I have often said that instead of my business degree from the University, I would be better off if I had gone to beauty school and interned with a carpenter but I digress... My best friend and I both had long straight hair and we both really wanted our hair to look like Farah Fawcett's. We got the cut but never could get it to "do" right. It just lay there limp. Worst hair cut I ever got if you don't count that horror of a cut I got in the eighth grade that was supposed to look darling on me.

I mentioned the Farah Fawcett cut to Sarah Ann. Then now all the wiser mentioned as a side note that it would probably have looked better if I had used the right "product". That is when sistah unloaded the ultimate family hair story. It was one that I had totally forgotten about.

"The right product! Remember when Momma brought the case of Afro Sheen Shampoo home bragging about what a great deal she got on it. That Afro Sheen lasted a whole year!"

In her defense, I said maybe she didn't know what it was. Sarah Ann said of course she knew what it was. Soul Train was one of her favorite shows. That is true, She did watch a lot of Soul Train.

Today I looked through some 70's era pictures and I noticed in some, my hair had a lot of body and bounce. In others it lay pretty flat. I think I'll see if Afro Sheen is still on the market and see what it does for this gray mess of hair I have now.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I pity the fool that rings my doorbell after 8 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Besides making monkeys, I have been working all spring on one art piece. It is a "No Soliciting" sign to hang by my front door. It's not that I don't want solicitors. I love it when the Girl Scouts come by and sell their cookies and we do support the neighborhood schools but sometimes "strangers" come by and ring our bell. It is usually around 8:00 o'clock at night and we are right in the middle of a movie or Law and Order reruns. When that doorbell rings it disrupts our evening routine. First, we look at each other with the "Are you expecting company?" gaze. Second, whom ever has the remote pauses the show. We pause too, and kind of wait out each other to see who will get up and answer the door. Sometimes I do but more often Frank does because he is the quickest at getting rid of solicitors. We always have the same discussion after the interruption. "Who was it?, What were they selling?, What in the hell are those mother fuckers doing out at this time of night in our neighborhood?" It takes us a while to settle down and get back to our previous zen.

I have an uncontrollable curiosity when it comes to the doorbell. I can't ignore it. I'm not sure who I am expecting, but am usually disappointed.

Since the weather has been so nice, I have already had two surprise afternoon visitors. One, a young man helping the past, present, and future drug addicts of America and the other a beggar for the homeless shelter. I only had $2.00 in my purse for the drug addicts but scrounged up $10.00 for the homeless after my dog jumped on him and nearly knocked him down. I was God blessed by both but not thanked.

During the summer we often get those solicitors that have the memorized canned speech and the "notebook". I would rather have a visit from the Jehovah's Witnesses than be visited by one of "them" because if I answer the door, they are guaranteed to get a donation and their water bottle refilled or a soft drink.

A few visits from these notebook holders come to mind:

A black man that looked to be older than me stopped by one hot summer day with his notebook. He gave me his little speech then we looked through his notebook together. I listened and nodded in all the right places. He had the special permits and articles about I don't remember what, a few pictures of himself with his sponsors, and other things in his notebook. When I offered him a seat on the porch and an icy cold 7 up he was delighted. While he sipped his drink he told me about his life. He went on about his past and how he had just messed up his life with drugs and alcohol. He had a promising future playing baseball but he foiled that future with sin. His relationship with his wife and four children went sour. I forget the details but somehow he pulled himself out of that hole he dug for himself and turned his life around. He would be attending Grand Canyon University this fall and trying out for the baseball team! I was so inspired by his story that I rushed in the house to get my wallet. I handed over $20.00 and watched him carefully write out a receipt. All the while I told him about my dream of becoming an elementary teacher. I poured my heart out to him, telling him that I had always wanted to be a teacher but that my Mother said no, she was paying for my education and I needed to major in business because teachers didn't make any money so I did but now I was following my dream! I was going to online college! I had a captive audience too, he hung on to my every word until he finished filling out that receipt. He thanked me again then he was gone.

We had a visit from a weathered white guy a few weeks ago. He too had a notebook. It was about 115 degrees out side so I thought he deserved the courtesy of an interested listener. He immediately started in on his prepared speech. He speed through it gracefully as he flipped the pages of the notebook. His tone was a little sing song as he showed me the legalities of his personal charity, a homeless shelter for veterans. I couldn't send him away empty handed so I invited him in for a cold glass of water while I wrote the check. The water and the air conditioning caused him to get right chatty. He had been homeless himself and used the services of this shelter. In his previous life he was a van driver for Mayflower Moving. A back injury landed him in the hospital for surgery and a lengthy stay. When he was finally released, his home had been foreclosed and his assets which included a houseful of antiques was auctioned to pay his debts! This shelter helped him get his life together. He even served on the board of directors. Recently he bought a travel trailer with cash money. He would never be homeless again. His plan is to buy some land in Arkansas and live on it in his travel trailer. After hearing his personal testimony I regretted just writing the check for $10.00.

I know these were legitimate charities because I got a receipt and saw the proper paper work in their notebooks, but one guy came by the house last summer with the most original gimmick! It was so clever that I didn't hesitate to give him some of my hard earned money. This guy had a notebook too. He started out his speech by telling me that he was one talented fellow. He could rap and was a comedian too. He opened his notebook and showed me testimonials written by friends who were in agreement about his talent and charisma. He also had pictures of his little bastard daughter and of his mother too. I was surely interested in his pitch because I had no idea what he was selling. Finally he got to the meat of the matter. He was selling tickets to a show in which he would be the star! He wasn't sure when this show would occur but he guaranteed it would happen. For $20.00, my husband and I could attend. Also included in that price was an autographed 81/2 x 11 xerox copy of his picture. After receiving the $20.00 Our names would be added to a list. We would be mailed personal invitations to the event when it occurred.

My neighbor put up some kind of opaque film on her door windows so that no one could see her when she is pretending not to be home. But at our house, solicitors can see me when I can see them. I don't think I'll hang that sign. I'll keep my options open.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

She Spoke to Me in a Dream

Dear Diary,

I have always been skeptical of supernatural phenomena, ESP, and so forth but I loved hearing about it. That said, when my Aunt told my sista Janice and me about a bizarre dream that our cousin (I'll call her Kim) had dreamed my interest was peaked. This all happened a long, long time ago. Back when I wore size 9 jeans and drove a powder blue pinto.

We were sitting in my Aunt's kitchen in Tarrant City, Alabama (probably sipping sugary sweet tea with lemon and eating a ho-made desert so delicious that it would make Paula Deen tear up and cry). Aunt Mary mentioned that she had talked to her brother, our Uncle, and he had told her that Kim had been visited in a dream by our dead Grandmother. I imagine sista Janice and my ears perked and we quit chewing at that point. According to Kim, Grandmother told her that she needed to go to Micheal's and buy all these art supplies and start painting. Kim was astounded by this idea, never having picked up a paint brush, canvas or had any interest what so ever in art. Anyway, she jumped in her Jaguar and headed down to the closest art supply warehouse to buy every item on her list. After she got home she set up her easel and began to paint. According to our Aunt, Kim's creative juices started flowing and what with her newly found talent, brush strokes and paint blending, she created a masterpiece so fine that our Uncle had hung it in his Insurance office before it even dried.

All kinds of emotions were running through my mind. I found my voice and asked Aunt Mary what Kim had painted. My Aunt started describing a Caribbean type theme or maybe it was Gulf Shores - Palm trees, sand, piers, sail boats, and a clear blue ocean with waves. I spoke out defensively, it just didn't add up, that couldn't have been Grandmother that came to Kim. Why would Grandmother choose to visit Kim? I thought I was her favorite! And the style of painting was all wrong. Grandmother painted landscapes! Kim had to have made this all up! Sista Janice, unemployed at the time stated matter of factually that she was just glad that she didn't receive the visit because she couldn't afford all those art supplies.

While hanging out in the lounge the other day, I picked up an Oprah magazine. On the cover was an article entitled "Finding your Inner Calling". By the time I flipped to it, (I had become distracted by the pretty pictures in the magazine) my break was over. I was alright with not getting to the article though, I figured it was probably one of those quizzes like those I have taken before where you picked out your likes and dislikes, interests, hopes and dreams. My results would be a ballerina, author, artist, or movie star. They always are. I have no exceptional talent for any of these things but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to be one of them.

Years ago one of my friends called me long distance from Atlanta, Georgia, and told me about this wonderful perk her new employer was giving to a few select employees. She had been chosen and was being groomed for management. Besides advising her on professional dress and not using adjectives like "big ole" she would be given a test to identify her strengths. Her mentor would then define her strengths and put her on the fast track to success. I didn't hear from her for a while so I called to find out about her new career. She told me it didn't work out like she planned. Her test results showed she would make a wonderful mime or puppeteer. AT&T didn't have any of those positions available.

About 8 years ago, I was visited in a dream by my Grandmother. I didn't tell anyone about my dream for a few years. I wanted to but always hesitated because of the scorn I felt toward Kim after Aunt Mary told us her story. In my dream, I was sitting in my Grandmother's lap with my face buried in the bosom of her dress. She had her arms around me while she rocked, and comforted me while I cried. I was frustrated and distressed because I wanted to be an artist. She soothed me by saying Art doesn't have to look real. Your art is art.

I think of that dream often and about what my grandmother said about art. I like to think that she was actually reassuring me from beyond, validating my art. Who knows. It could also have been my subconscious. This is all too heavy for me right now. I think I'll go eat some sugar.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm no Queen of Sheba but my Resume Looks Good!

White socks tie dyed and made into monkeys!

Dear Diary,

My momma told me one time that when people ask you how you are doing they really don't want to know how you are doing. I tend to agree with her. I usually say "FABULOUS!" when anyone asks.

Not that anyone is asking but......
Summer is here and my motivation and life is being sucked out of me. Dare I be dramatic? I'm listless and bored. I have no drive or ambition. But, enough about me.

"I'm a displaced southern "Timba Heiress"presently creating in the dry, arid, moistureless, outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. I find inspiration in family, friends, quilts, antiques, fabric, children, my dog, and nature. I am a fiber, doll, and collage artist but must also have a paying job. 50% of all money earned from sell of art is squandered by my children, 25% goes to art supplies and the remaining 25% is deposited in a jar marked plastic surgery. This money will pay for a much needed face lift, boob lift, and tummy tuck."

I was sorting through some piles of stuff and found the above bio I had written - A while back I taught a sock monkey class and was asked for an artist resume. That was not what I turned in. I wrote one more polished and professional. Recently I have had to update my resume since I received my Arizona Teaching Certification for kindergarten through eighth grade. I am 53 years old so it could have been quite lengthy but I was told to only highlight the last ten years. I wrote a cover letter too. I used many colorful, energetic, high powered adjectives to describe myself. I found it exhausting later to read how phenomenal I am. Reading it made it hard for me to believe that there ever was a time when I had low self esteem.

The Scar Book

Speaking of self esteem, I drove to Birmingham with Daddy and Momma back in March. Momma had an appointment to visit the heart surgeon at St. Vincents hospital. Sista Lucy drove from Nashville and met us there. Before our appointment we had time for a leisurely lunch. We found an Arby's right away but that is not my idea of leisurely. Luckily a few minutes later we came across a Fish House. It was decorated so cute and had great atmosphere. Even the restrooms were quaint.

Momma ordered grilled fish, Daddy had gumbo, I ordered fried scallops and oysters and Lucy had fried oysters. I am telling you this because I bit into one of the scallops and out spurted fishy juice all down the front of my cute outfit. When I got in the elevator at the doctor's office next to the hospital a nurse joined me and made the comment that they must be having fish in the cafeteria today. She startled me when she said that. I immediately asked her , "Do I smell like fish?" She was taken a back by my question and replied, "No, I smell fish from the cafeteria." I meant to go online after I got home and find out if they were serving fish that day or if she smelled me. But I am getting off track.

Momma signed in for her appointment and right by the sign in sheet was a photo album. I picked it up and took a seat next to Daddy. I started flipping through it and much to my surprise it was a picture album of scars. I was startled and got the giggles because I thought I was going to be viewing company picnic or holiday party photos. The pictures were mesmerizing! I stopped randomly flipping and viewed the first photo in the book. I couldn't believe what I was seeing but I had to see them all! The more I saw the more I giggled. Hysterical, uncontrollable giggles. Tears were flowing from my eyes. People were starting to stare. Sista Lucy said, "Sista whatcha lookin at?" I said, "I'd tell you but you wouldn't believe me." She came over to sit by me and got her eyes full too. Then she started to giggle. We called over to Momma to come have a look. She said no. She did not want to see any scars. I said - It's not just scars! Each of the pictures were taken of men or women naked from the neck to the waist and these people were old. In fact I swear a few of those pictures resembled me but I don't have a scar. Some of the people in the photos were more modest than others and had used an arm to try to cover their bosoms. Others just let it all hang out. Talk about high self esteem!

Daddy took the book from us and flipped through it. Isn't this sweet! He had paused on a picture of a man and a woman with matching scars. They were sitting on a bench and holding hands in the photo. The woman had 82 written on her with marker and the man had 84. We suspected by the looks of things that this was their age. We were all giggling now and getting a little loud and rowdy. All but Momma. She refused to participate in our fun.

I don't often give my Momma advice but that day I thought it would be wise. I said Momma don't sign anything until you read it. You may be giving them permission to take your photo! Then I got to thinking. What would possess someone to pose for a picture like that. There had to have been something in it for them. I said - Momma, they may offer a discount on your surgery if you pose for a scar photo later. Are you tempted? Momma said she didn't need a discount, she'd pay full price for her surgery. I asked her if she would do it for 20% off? How about 30%? I doubted that the surgeon would go much higher than that.

There were three other ladies obviously together in the waiting room while all this was going on. One of them asked to see the book. I walked it over to her and she and her friends started pouring over it like grade schoolers with a National Geographic Jungle Native edition. We watched them closely to catch their reaction to the photos. They gasped, then giggled. The lady who was the patient called out for all to hear, "I'm paying full price too!"

Momma, Daddy, and Lucy went back to that doctors office in Birmingham after Momma's surgery. They said the book had been removed from the waiting room.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Dear Diary,

My older sista and I were talking the other night and and she brought up the delicate subject of flashers. Not the ones on your car but the ones that used to display their naked bodies in public to unsuspecting females. Not as an expression of youth as the streakers did but to make a statement as in showing you my pecker really gets me off.

We shared a similar experience of this sort in the spring of 1974. She was in college at Mississippi State and I was a junior at S.D. Lee High. Below is my recollection:

A friend of mine and I were in the Lee High parking lot at the beginning of 5th period. She was off that hour and I should have been in French but was stalling because we had a test that day and I had forgotten to study (or some similar excuse). We were talking when we noticed a vehicle come cruising slowly into the parking lot. I looked to see who it was as the car drove by. The guy looked to be about 23 or so and I don't know how he was able to reach the gas pedal with his foot or maneuver the turns because he was in an awkward driving position. One hand was on the steering wheel and the other he was using to grease his piston.

My eyes were as big a saucers because I had never been exposed to the like. I asked my friend if she saw what I saw. She said no so I said look now - here he comes around again. He was driving pretty slow so we virgins got an eyeful. A spontaneous thought popped into my head. Laugh Marion, I said. He won't be expecting that. Marion and I tossed our heads back and laughed like mad men. We slapped our knees as we chuckled and all but rolled on the concrete. I have often thought back to that occasion and wondered how I knew about this particular psychology. Was it instinct?

He didn't come back around for a third time but luckily I now had a witness to back up my story if it should come to that - and it did. Minutes later a teacher came out and asked us why we were hanging out in the parking lot. We didn't say why but launched into the exciting event we had just witnessed. Mrs. quickly ushered us to the office and the police were called. Unfortunately, my friend and I had been checking the exhibitor out so intently that we had failed to get the license plate and make of the car so the perpetrator was never found. The principal and sweet Mrs. Quinn were so sure we were traumatized by the event that we got to hang out in the office until our Mamas picked us up!

Sista Lucy's experience was entirely different but she is so sure that it was the same guy. Put her on a witness stand and she could convince a jury it was the same guy. I'm not convinced though. I told her I needed to do a little background research to ascertain just what the average number of flashers there was per capita for that area in 1974. Plus the mode of exhibition was entirely different. She was thirty miles away on a college campus in her dorm room when she was approached - indoors and no car. But thirty six years later she is still so sure they were the same guy even though she only heard my account of the story.

I will tell this as best I can second hand: Sista Lucy was packing in her dorm room when she heard screams in the hall. She looked up and there was a naked man! He paused in her doorway to give her the full effect, then ran away. Not thinking of her own safety, she ran out of the room. In the hallway, she met up with the other traumatized co-eds. Let's get him! she yelled. I think she had grabbed a weapon of some sort from her room but don't remember for sure. Some of the girls were probably carrying torches, sticks and stones. They were rallying behind her, their fearless leader. He was nowhere to be seen in the hall so they bravely checked the bathroom and just like in the movies Lucy forcefully kicked each stall open but alas they were all empty. She has often wondered what they would have done if they had found him.

A few years later I was in front of the Army Recruiters office on Hwy 45. A young man pulled in and asked for directions. As I approached the car, I noticed he was sans pants. This time I did get the license plate number and complete car description. Lucky for him but unfortunate for me, he was from Alabama and the Columbus City Police were not interested in following up on my lead. I insisted that they find him and arrest him immediately but they assured me that he was probably out of their jurisdiction by the time I made the call. "Ms. Moore, it's not like you see on TV." This made me pause and wonder, Why not?