Tag Archive | weird

A whiter shade of pale


In what surely was the strangest doctor visit ever, my dermatologist sat me down, looked at me very seriously, and said,

“You should move.”


“Your skin is too fair this part of the country. If you stay, you’ll have to wear long sleeved clothing, hats, etc. Sunscreen isn’t enough. That or you’ll have to live indoors and only venture out between dusk and dawn.”

Really, I thought he was joking. I know I’m pale, but . . . .

“I’m serious.  With your genetic background and your family’s history (thanks mum) of melanoma, it’s too big a risk. Life in Southern California, even the Southwest, isn’t healthy for you. “

At some level, I knew this was coming. I’ve had all sorts of skin problems since I arrived here, up to and including a bout of pityriasis rosea and a staph infection that caused my hair to fall out (the cure was apple cider vinegar, African black soap, and monistat, but the hair grew back).

I love California, the people, the landscape, it’s a great place. But I’m just not genetically equipped to adapt to this climate successfully. I accept that.

I came here originally to help out with my grandfather, who has since passed. There was really no reason to stay on, other than I’d developed friends and grew close to my gran and some cousins. Maybe it’s time to move on? Maybe the Universe is saying, “Pack it in, my dear. Better days and greener grass ahead, but elsewhere.”

Perhaps I’ll migrate to the Pacific Northwest in the Spring?

In Loo; Of Art


Most people believe other people think they’re weird (or would think that if they truly knew them). It’s not true. Most people aren’t weird. But they think it. As for me? I’ve never thought I was weird. But other people will stop and tell me I’m weird. Although, generally they use the word unique, but weird is what they mean.

A very good friend, pondering her own rather complicated life, once said to me, “I think I need to climb out of the box.” To which I replied, “There’s a box?” She laughed.  “Well, you . . . ,” she trailed off with a smile. But I knew what she meant. And I smiled too. We both understood it was a compliment.

However, my complete reversal of most people’s reality can be a bit confusing for strangers. My art collection is a perfect example of this. Most people hide their bad art in their bathroom. I keep my finest piece in my bathroom, where I (and my guests) can see it. And my very best piece is right across from the toilet, so one can s[-]it and admire.

The art of the 2nd degree, I keep in my bedroom. It’s more personal art. Something only close friends and lovers can have a peek at.

Art of the 3rd degree resides in the formal dining room. It’s there to give people something to look at and remark upon when conversation goes flat, stalls, or explodes. It’s still good art, it has meaning for me. It’s pleasing to me, but I think of it as 3rd degree art from the perspective of a viewer.

Art of the 4th degree, which I believe almost anyone would consider lesser art, is actually to me the finest art I own. It’s all the work done my family members over the generations. It’s filled with rich warm happy memories. And so, of course, all of that goes in the front room where everyone can see it all the time. Because that’s what I want people to know when they walk in, they are home. They are not guests I am trying to impress. They are welcome to be themselves from the moment they cross my threshold.

Art of the 5th degree is kept in the studio. It’s my personal art. I rarely show it. I’m the opposite of many professional artists I know. They hang their art everywhere, in every room of their house (often to the dismay of spouses, partners, and children). I’m more like an actor. I typically look at an old work with a frown and think, hmm, I’ve definitely grown since then; I could do it better now.

Although, once I walked into a friend’s house after some years between visits and commented on the quality and beauty of a work of art on hanging on his wall. To which, embarrassingly, he informed me it was a gift from many Christmastimes ago, and . . . I was the artist! We both laughed.

There’s probably a box I’m in somewhere, but it’s probably the size of the universe so I’m not going to worry about trying to get out. Today.