Tuesday, May 27, 2008

American Indian Market at Chinook Winds

Wow! What a great weekend. We spent two days in Lincoln City, Oregon at the Chinook Winds Casino. The casino hosted the first annual Native American Market and was it wonderful! We were one of the vendors and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Great people, great artwork, and great atmosphere.

Mirabele, the incredible musician, artist, and political commentator gave a free ninety minute concert and it was a rockin time in Indian Country! Ed Edmo was there and told stories so funny that we laughed until we cried. There were drums and singers and lots of wonderful artwork made by Native American artisans. It was good to be indigenous!

I donated one of my paintings to the casino for a drawing. The picture of the man who won the painting is to the right of this posting. He seemed to like the piece and I was even asked to sign an autograph. So I guess I sort of know what a rock star feels like? NOT! But I am glad he liked the picture, as I would hate to think he regifted it or donated it to the GoodWill. Yes, I am insecure.

Am very grateful to Chinook Winds Casino and in particular to Ravelle Lewis. She is a wonderful person and has a strong desire to make more options available to Indian folks through creating a venue where we can sell authentic Native American arts and crafts. Good woman.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What Happens When Daughters Become Their Mother's Mothers

A Fairy Tale Of Momentous Import

Once upon a time there was a country bumpkin who went to the city. When she arrived she gawked at the tall buildings that seemed to touch the sky and the high bridges that spanned the wide rivers. She was amazed at the Bart and marveled at the tram. She was so excited that she couldn’t contain herself. She burbled and squeaked her way through the day and generally annoyed the daughter who agreed to take her shopping. But most wondrous of all was the moment she hit the first floor of IKEA! Cue the harp music and turn up the lights, we are about to ascend to Nirvana.

Yes, dear ones I have learned that there is a place where all good housewives go when they seek their final reward and it is linens, dishware, and all things bright and shiny. It is back in the corner and around the large wall where only the most informed shoppers know to look for the best of all that the code of shopping has to offer the hunters and gatherers of today’s society. The second floor of the palace of all things do-it-yourself, is a wealth of ideas tapped by the home and garden shows but the first floor, ahhhhh, now that is heaven.

For example, have you ever wanted to find those short little curtain rods that turn on a hinge and look so cool with a narrow panel of curtain falling to the floor in puddles. Well IKEA has them! Yes, and they are not expensive. I was hyperventilating as my eyes took in all of the ways in which I could drape my newly painted living room in fabric supported by polished nickel hardware. Such dreams…such hopes…such good prices!

I was so excited I flitted like a butterfly down aisle after aisle with my giggling daughter trying to keep me contained. Our mother and daughter roles had suddenly reversed and my daughter/mother was trying to keep me from smearing glass ware with my sticky fingers and slobbering all over the flooring material that was only 69 cents a square foot. At one point she insisted I sit down because I was embarrassing her. I was embarrassing her?! But she was right, I needed to pace myself. I needed to regroup and make plans.

As I sat waiting for my mother/daughter to look in another direction, I pretended to act as if I had calmed down and was ready to be rewarded by being released from my time out. Just when she thought it was safe to remove her hand from my head and her eyes shifted away from mine, I was up and running for the thermal blankets, pillow, and shams. She couldn’t catch me. I was full of the joy of middle aged acquisition. My children are all out of the house and on their own and I no longer need to shop for countless pairs of socks and underwear for one of my little darlings. “I am free to shop for meeeeeeee”, was my heart felt song of glee. I wax poetic.

Finally, when I became too weak and dehydrated to run any longer, my daughter caught up with me and led me to the check out stand. I groused about how mean she was to take me away from the toy store of the big girls and under her breath she cursed me for those hours I spent on the mini-trampoline building up my physical stamina with which to face middle age. She slammed her credit card into the machine, paid for her purchases and as she made her way to the store exit, I trudged down heartedly behind her as she pushed the cart.

It was then I made my final IKEA discovery: YELLOW BAGS are not to be taken out of the store. Although IKEA gives you plastic tape measures and tiny pencils with little scraps of paper to take you through your shopping experience and back to your car, the best thing about the entire shopping experience was the YELLLOW BAG. It was made from Tyvec, the stuff builders use to wrap around buildings before siding is nailed up. Tyvec is tougher than anything and has the tensile strength of a space suit. The bags are bound with blue handles and I wanted the one I used for my first IKEA shopping experience. It was precious and I wanted to hang it on my wall right next to the puddling draperies.

I swear, the snippy chick who guards the exit to make sure that no one takes a bag out of the building must have read my mind! She swooped in on me, pointed at our cart with her long boney finger, and like some demon from Hades shouted, “These are only for use in the store”. I was crushed, mortified, broken, and annoyed.

But I will return. And I will shop without my daughter. I will take my grandchildren with me and I will feed them sugar and give them lots of the cinnamon roles that are sold at IKEA. They will create a distraction and I will get a YELLOW BAG. OOOOOHHHHAAAA! Turn down the lights Clyde the party is over... for now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My "Authentic Self"

Lately I have been trying to improve my life through applying concepts from a book written by a television talk-show hypnotherapist. I should tell you that I bought the book on the 25 cent table at the Good Will, and although I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the experience I did think a change in my world view might be a pleasant departure from the norm.

The book starts out asking you to lie down, get comfortable and visualize your “authentic self”. It explains that the authenticity I would need to conjure up would be most important to me as I read along from chapter to chapter. I tried so hard to visualize me authentically. I squeezed the lids of my eyes really tight, for a really long time, and all I could see were little black and red dots. For a while I feared my "auth-self" had the measles and in the darkness behind my shuttered lids I began worrying about my eyes bursting from squeezing my face up so tightly and for such an extended period of time. So much for lesson one.

Undaunted, I again attempted to visualize “auth-me”. After several more sweat producing and agonizing moments of concentration, I finally saw a blurry image of me sort of floating out there on the horizon. Wonder of wonders, I appeared tall and thin and blonde-my first husband’s dream girl! I was feeling pretty good about the me on the back of my eyelids when… Drat, I realized one of my eyes was cracked open a tiny fraction of an inch and I was focused on the TV image of a model with wings on her back and a pink sparkly bra across her chest. For just a moment, due to muscle tensing induced face freeze, I had “seen” myself as an angel in heaven modeling for Victoria and sharing her secrets. Sadly, the real reason for the vision was that my left eyelid had numbed from so much pursing that it had opened up without any neurological engagement on the part of my brain stem. And I still have a cramp in my forehead!

Fast forward, after extended hours of reading and visualizing, I can now see auth-self. She is thinner and has an air of composure and poise that I have worked to imbue her with as she floats out there in the ether. She is me and I am her and as I go throughout the days following this incredible breakthrough, I am happy. However, I slowly began to notice not only a difference in my world view but a different world altogether. The old me is now trapped somewhere in a corner of my mind and has become a disembodied voyeur watching “auth-self”wreck devastation wherever she goes with her truth spewing ways.

As proof of the change that has taken place consider this, at a recent luncheon, my poor friend who asked if her dress was too low in the front was rewarded with, “Not if you are a hooker”. Where did that come from? Oh no, my authentic self is a snarky wench! I try to improve my life and what happens? Here is a desperate thought, maybe the new me is like a pendulum that swings wide and bold at the very beginning and then winds down to a smoother rhythm as time goes by. Please slow down.

I am not sure if I can fully embrace the new me. She is so sure of herself and often frighteningly direct when responding to questions regarding truths. I guess I will have to be patient and see where Authentic Self takes me. But in the meantime, I remember when I was at the Good Will there was a book that outlined seven steps to achieveing a nicer you. That might work, I have another quarter.