On Funerals and Seating Arrangements

roses-from-ceiling-uprighted

Everything has its season.  You start out all fresh & shiny and new – then that little thing we like to call time happens.

The shine dries out.

The leaves start to droop.

The aroma begins to fade…

Smooth goes to gritty.

Soft becomes hard.

The stitching starts to fray…

My computer chair has finally breathed its last.

spook-on-chair

 

The poor old dear has been showing her age.  The seat cushion has lost it’s cush.  The casters feel gritty when they roll across the floor.  The pleatherette has faded to a dusty blackish-grey, crossed all over with fine pressure lines.  The back is pebbled with tiny claw holes.

 

Flowing across the entire surface, the criss-crossed scrapes, scars, and tears combine into a roadmap of the journey I and my chair have traversed together.

 

 

We’ve been through a lot.   She originally resided in the office of a dance studio in downtown Waukesha, where she was loved furiously by the owner’s (then) 3 year old daughter.  She’s sit and spin, giggle, spin, giggle, spin and giggle, often rubbing the chair’s corners against the wall in her youthful zeal.  I received this affection-abraded chair from the owner when he closed his shop- my only cost being to love the chair as much as his daughter had.

The chair and I have been through photo editing for several bands.  We embarked on learning to manipulate images, first with the free online editors, later investing in Photoshop. We’ve conducted hundreds of Photoshop experiments, both successful and not, worked together to develop my photographer’s eye, learned origami, glass etching, wire wrapping and chainmaille.  We’ve created announcement banners for my vaping group, a couple of graphic ideas for business cards, and watched the increasingly downward spiral of politics in this country.

We’ve laughed and cried over various social media outlets – Facebook, ECF, VF, SpaceCiggies and Google+, and researched the hell out of Keto before tentatively dipping the first hesitant toe into the diet waters.  One day, we vowed to figure out what good Pintrest does for the world.

I was on this chair when I heard of my sister-in-law’s death as a result of a heart infection, and my Grandmother leaving us at the age of 92.  It officiated over the purchase of 3 different cameras, and supported me when I finally upgraded to that damnable smart phone.

It has been THE place to sit whilst I compose flash fiction, and my perch when starting this blog & my Etsy shop.

This chair has additionally survived my 3 moves, 1, 2 and then 4 cats, and the great flea & bedbug invasion of 2015.

No wonder she started to act like a cranky old Auntie…I’ve put her through more drama than a piece of furniture ‘aught to have to survive.

The hydraulics started gasping their final tortured breaths about a month ago.  I’d lean back, and the chair would sink rapidly.  I’d be working at the computer, and realize I wasn’t as high as I used to be.

Last week, the old girl could no longer support me.  I’d sit, and immediately sink.  She’d spring back up once I vacated her seat.

Yesterday – she dropped for good, the hydraulics no longer giving even a hint of pressure.

She lived a full life.  A good life.  Time now for her to rest.

dumpster-roses

 

 

 

 

The funeral will be Friday, at dusk, in the Rusting Dumpster Cemetery, located behind my building.  Flowers, a candle in vigil, or good vibes appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mariko-on-chair-box

 

 

In a (not-so) surprising twist  –  I would also like to announce the birth of a clean, cushy, bouncing baby new chair and play-palace (that thing we humans call a box)  for the cats.

Once Mariko allows me to get INTO the box, that is…

 

 

 

 

Cycle of life, huh?

20161010_180317

 *R*I*P*

 

 

Adventures in Geometry

I consider geometry the unholy spawn of some sadistic individual’s desire to force an horrific mating of math and art.

Why else would the number of the Devil from the Christian bible be 666?

I remember Geometry class in high school.  Back then, it was required in Sophomore year – everyone took it.  Not everyone enjoyed it.  Not everyone survived it, and not everyone passed the class.  (OLD school – you actually had to demonstrate understanding of a subject to receive a passing grade…).  All the different formula and equations were required memorization – you learned the formula, plugged in the numbers, and let the final result tell you this 3×3 box has 9 cubic feet of air trapped inside it.  The shapes were raped (boxes and triangles and circles), the line drawings abused (angles, parallels, curves).  Everyone was forced away from viewing pleasing visuals, and into considering their base numerical equivalents.

Even at this adolescent and prone-to-fanciful-thinking age, I could see that Geometry was the antithesis of great art, and I fought this tooth & nail.

hqdefaultGeometry demanded equal columns of numbers marching in lockstep without deviation – I wanted to put a pyramid on top of a box, add some cubes, balls and curved brick walkways to create a visually-pleasing home in the woods.   I didn’t CARE that my home had 1357.27685 cubic feet of air trapped inside, with additional insulating air of 339.3192125 cubic feet trapped under the roof, and a capacity to lose 33.78% of the warmth generated in the field stone fireplace through the insanely large windows – IT looked like a inviting and secluded cabin where I could get some SERIOUS artwork done.

Apple Pi

Finally, I’ll never forgive them for forever ruining Pie by dropping the ‘E’ and giving me, not only an endless chain of numbers to really mess with my mind, but another goofy line drawing.

Mmmmm – pie… 

Although I did enjoy the single day our educator stepped away from the rote formula-learning, and gave us a math/word game.  Given each letter in the English alphabet a consecutive number (a=1, b=2 and so on up to z=26) – what’s the highest number you can make from a 5 letter English word?   (Fuzzy, for the record, was our best at a value of 104)

I DO understand Geometry has a place in this world (after all, my cabin in the woods would need to be built using geometric formula if I wanted it to stand) – but I’d prefer to move in after the paint has dried on the walls and the plumbing is working.

Now here’s the weird part.  I do pretty good with simple mathematics, and actually enjoy the lockstep logicality in finance. (I work in accounting, after all…)  I especially enjoy finding and backtracking errors that Corporate AR puts into the books, and request they fix them with a long adding machine tape of evidence to back up my claims.

Floating Fucks

Just another day on the job

Because I’m good at these simple monetary maths, I traditionally earn more than I spend in a month – although my recent purchases of jump rings & jewelry displays made this month a bit more spend-y than save-y.

But geometry?  Nope – nope – nope.  Not going there…not even as a tourist.

Now, the SQO will tell me that I’m good at higher, more complex maths.  He’ll mention some of my drawings (bring on infinite perspective!) my origami, glass-etching, and chainmaille.  The way I automatically frame photographs into the rule of thirds, and all the computer work I’ve done in Photoshop creating abstract arts.

 

He is right, in that all these artistic creations have a healthy dose of complex mathematics behind them.  I don’t see the numbers, though, and I have no interest in calculating them out.  I just see the forms and feel the perfection in the patterns.

 

 

This weekend, I finished a chainmaille project I’ve been hungering to complete for a long time.  I made a ball.

on desk

12 completely identical sides, each side sharing it’s mirrored construction with another side.  12 pentagrams of 5 sides each curled around into a mathematically-correct ball.

I knew going into this one that it wouldn’t be a quicky project – I didn’t realize that it would take an estimated 6 hours, repeated slips of the pliers resulting in skinned knuckles, poked legs, a near-blister on my ring finger and near-miss to my cheek.  I didn’t realize it would take building and tearing out a portion of it over and over and over again until I got it right.  I didn’t realize it would eat up most of my stock of stainless steel 6.9 AR rings (I’m estimating around 400 rings).

I didn’t realize how FUN it was to put this thing together.  The real question is:  do I want to keep this Geometrical Construction on my desk as a tribute to higher maths, or do I want to sell it on Etsy?

 

first third

This is 4 ‘faces’ into the project

 

 

Maths feature in Keto, too.  I decided to give Keto an honest shot once I had a spreadsheet constructed (what did I do before Excel???) to track exactly what I was putting in my mouth in terms of fat, carbs, and proteins.  Started keeping track of what the nutritional content was for my brand of bacon, butter, beef and veggies.  Added additional tabs for the recipes I’ve tried, and a 3rd tab for those recipes deemed ‘a catastrophic failure.’  All my eating, broken down into lockstep columns of marching numbers.

My Geometry teacher would be so proud!

I also started actually reading those nutritional guidelines listed on the backs or sides of some of my favorite snack foods.  That was an experience in pure horror, I’m telling you.  My favorite cheese chips have 19 grams of ultra-processed carbohydrates in just 18 crackers.

As if I could stop at 18 chips?  I used to eat these by the bowlful, if not straight outta the box!

Being low-carb, although it presents some interesting challenges, and was a right royal pain the ass to get used to, is totally worth it in how my body now feels.

This week- I whipped up a chicken-cabbage salad to take to work.  Here’s how I made it.

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad
The Stuff
1 small head green cabbage
6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
5 TBS rice vinegar
1.5 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TBS ground ginger
t tsp Cinnamon
2 medium clove garlic, pressed
4 oz cooked chicken breast, finely chopped
The Execution
Chop cabbage into long strips, removing the core.  Place in a large bowl with the
chopped chicken.
Add oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon and garlic in a deep bowl or
2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.  Whisk extremely well until all ingredients are
incorporated and the oil no longer separates from the rest of he wet ingredients.
Pour dressing over salad, toss to coat.