song du jour:No, it's just too freakin' early

mood:like I said...

Hot Flames and Hot Rods

Forward note: If you've only got time for one read on your busy Monday morning, check out my post on the experience of creativity. If on the other hand, you need a moderate laugh, stick to this one.

Well, good lord, and good morning. It is 7:24am, and I am awake. Though I didn't quit working until 2am, I can't sleep and figured I'd venture back in the studio. I'm a little frightened and fear the worst for my sanity. I normally only get up before the sun for coerced medical appointments or to catch a plane. In fact, the last time I think watched the sunrise not against my will was when I worked all night in the studio back in August, and the time before that was almost 3 years ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Lying awake, I went out on deck to watch the sun come up over the water. Everyone else woke up too, and I think I missed the actual event when we were handing around coffee, and I was shushing everyone not to wake Skyler.

My studio faces east-ish, and if I lean around the monitor 6 inches, I can see that pink glow in the sky. I've ceased apologizing for my nocturnal and therefore non morning person lifestyle. Past the age of 25, being up late all the time rarely deserves the reckless connotations of being irresponsible. After years of covering it up, I now firmly tell anyone, who gives me attitude, "I work at night." Most people understand the concept of 3rd shift. Most people aren't crazy or desperate enough to also work 2nd and 1/2 of 1st too. If the sound of my voice on the phone is gravelly at 11:00am, you'd better be prepared for wrath if you tease me about it. For almost 4 years I worked until at least 1am, and Skyler would wake up at 6:45am after waking me each hour to nurse. The kid can drink his chocolate milk and watch The Doodlebops and The Backyardigans without me for an hour. It's for the best. Those shows make me psychotic, and actually, I hear them in my sleep along with his enthusiastic little singing voice anyway.

So the news of late is that my past is still catching up with me, but still in a good way. After the lightening strike of July, I went state of the art digital (Bellsouth-free! The bastards), and my cell phone now rings like an extension of my home phone. Much to my surprise as I was snaking my way thru back roads to do the impossible last week, get across Atlanta at 3pm on a Friday, I heard the ring, and grabbed the phone with no more than a 1/4 of a second glance at the caller ID. Good think I wasn't sailing down the 7 lanes of I-75/85. This blast from the past was an old flame.

I suppose the weirdest thing in retrospect is that I wasn't the least bit phased, and only relatively surprised. Talking again seemed normal enough. (As if my life were ever that. 'Normal' is a setting on a washing machine.) I suppose it's been long enough I no longer harbor any maniac homicidal thoughts. I'm kidding. I never harbored those...unless he thought he was entering the state of Georgia...I'm kidding, really. Mostly... He assures me he bares no grudge for the shelves and shelves of books I threw at him when he didn't validate my feelings as I had the courtesy to consciously only grab the paperbacks. Actually, that's true. What he doesn't know is that my choice wasn't strictly out of consideration but also the fact that flinging hardbacks with that much force might have damaged my wrists. I know the confession of my behavior will shock you all. You're saying to your self, "Wow, I can't believe V would behave like that! I thought she really really liked books." It's ok, they were his, and while all of this is true, I can't help but tease about it since a subsequent phone call yesterday began with "Victoria, I love your blog!" One thing I'll tell you about his man: He is the only guy I've ever known to whom I would not recommend reading David Deida. Now, L., I know you're going WTF(?), but everyone else who reads this blog, will know that higher praise to a man I cannot give. Yes, even with the book episode, although you might reconsider the wisdom of trying to get me to visit and telling me the blood wiped off the spines ok in the same conversation. ;-)

Ah, but another subject got me reminiscing much farther back. Jean's trip down memory lane via her past vehicles got me thinking about some of the amazingly frighteningly old cars I've driven. I can't top the cool factor of her old Cutlasses, but age before beauty, I drove more than one car manifested into existence before I was born. My first was a '63 Dodge Dart that was the first car my mother purchased on her own. It became a second car to a family of one driver to get that cheaper auto insurance rate, which defies logic, and was parked for many years. This car came complete with a hole in the back seat floor, so you could pull up the mats and watch the road go by (Don't drop anything!) and the why-it-didn't-catch-on-gee-I'll-never-know push button transmission. Yeah, push button. They were over on the left where, come to think of it, there are no controls whatever on my present car. There were buttons going down in a row, R N D 2 L, and lever next to them for park.

I didn't drive until I was 18 (don't ask), and when the VW of my date for the senior prom died that very day, my mother graciously offered the keys to the Dart after her screaming that I wouldn't be riding with any of my drunk friends and my screaming that I wasn't going to the prom if my mother had to drop me off. My date couldn't stop laughing at the car. Mostly, he was amused that it went. The biggest drawback to this car was that, while some cars chug gas and even oil, this one chugged brake fluid, a little fact which my mother neglected to mention, and so one afternoon, I was driving down a 5 lane main drag when the brakes just suddenly stopped working. I managed to get it into a parking lot and, though it was still rolling, threw it into park in a panic for which I was given a great yelling at later despite my constantly reminding my mother and my grandfather of the light pole that had been approaching me. The car lived on for a few years after I upgraded to a new model, a '63 Dodge I-can't-remember-what. Both cars were beige (of all things).

After that was the '72 Buick Riviera, known to my friends as The Spaceship That Drove Itself. This was a coup with gargantuan doors I could barely close and boasted the largest engine ever put into a passenger vehicle. The reason it was magically thought to drive itself was that, unless someone pulled up along side me and looked in the driver's side window, no one could see I was behind the wheel. It was a bit overkill for tiny little me, but my Depression era grandfather, who bought it for me, thought he was really getting me a luxury model. Forget that the car was over 25 though I was not.

The car had one claim to fame and greatness. I once gave a ride to American dance master Edward Villella. (For the culturally challenged, Baryshnikov is[was] to Russia as Villella is to the U.S.) I was at a reception following a tour performance of Miami City Ballet, and Edward, an utterly gorgeous Frenchman from his company, and I closed the bar down. My artistic directors (along with all the women who'd been hanging on him and said Frenchman all evening) gave up and left after requesting that I give them a ride back. After a few more rounds, we all headed out to the parking lot at which point I completely panicked at the idea that an artist of this magnitude was about to get in the ever semi-trashed Spaceship from Hell. Both men were gracious and grateful for the chauffeur service. I dare say the alcohol helped. ;-)

Well, it's a bright sunny day now here in the south. Wish me luck. If I creep back to bed, I might get in a couple of hours before the dreaded Doodlebops. oh, and if you clicked that last link, I know, I know, but off me. I never caved to Barney!

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