Like everyone else during corona time at home, I’ve been cleaning and de-cluttering. Above our garage is my studio with three closets, a stack of shelves and a couple of vertical files for photos and paintings. All of these storage nooks and crannies are packed with 40 years of art supplies, books, and with a trillion hiding places. If nothing else, all of this adds up to the insulation of the room above the garage.
As it turns out, those trillions of small hiding places are perfect stink bug motels. I’ve concluded these noisy, little beasties are not only dumb, but I think they might not have totally evolved into their full potential. Yes, they’ve picked a warm place (probably because of all the insulation), but there’s nothing to eat up here for a stink bug, and all they have to drink is dirty rinse water from paint brushes. Occasionally a stink bug will be floating in my tea but not often. Those few times are usually from a mistaken nosedive miscalculation, like the kind you see in a cartoon.
So it turns out that my studio doubles as a stinkbug graveyard. I found many dead bugs inside leftover material at the bottom of a bin of fabric. Or they’re in rolled-up reams of paper, in between books and inside drawers. If I move one thing on the floor, like let’s say a box filled with wrapped up paintings, underneath will be no less than 4 or 5 dried bugs. Who knows how many will be inside the box!? Admittedly that one box is pretty big. Is there such a thing as self-vacuuming floors, because that might solve my dead bug problem? I swept the stairs leading to the studio today. Five, overnight, all dead!
When the weather hits about 65°F, I have a jars ready, all over the house to swipe up the little buzzing things. It’s the first thing that has to happen in the bedroom too. It’s a drag getting dive-bombed by a stink bug just before falling asleep. Or worse, what about when your spouse gives a well-meaning smack in the head in his effort to catch a bug? That happened the other night. He thought I wouldn’t want to deep breathe a stinkbug while I slept, so I was rudely awakened by a swat! He caught it with no passive aggressive intentions on his part, just concern. They hide in the folds of the curtains too and in the blinds. We have a window seat in the bedroom. I’m kind of afraid to look under the cushions.
When I catch one alive, I always set it free outside. I’m sure someone will discover that stinkbug stink is the cure to covid 19 and I’ll be dubbed a murderer for my bug-trapping-studio-morgue. It’s got to be a karmic setup, I’m sure of it. An enlightened monk or shaman will come along and tell me that I housed, but did not feed and ultimately killed thousands of stinkbugs that could have saved a million covid patients. Therefore, in my next life, I will probably suffer some horrible, physical malady and the only thing I’ll be allowed to drink is dirty paint brush rinse water and an occasional cup of tea.
I’ve never been much of a group person. In fact one time I almost turned and ran in the other direction when I had to take college classes (on-line) with a bunch of other people. If I didn’t have to share my opinion or my work that would be one thing, but they wanted me to be a people person and participate with enthusiasm. Why does everyone want you to be a people person? I swear the world is run by extroverts. They want you to belong to a group and not only contribute but do it with gusto!
Obviously I’m an introvert and that’s just a small part of my introvert/extrovert rant, but thank you for listening. However, now that I’m semi-retired, I have started wondering if there would be a benefit for me to be in a group. Mostly because “they” (the experts who are probably all extroverts)keep saying you live a better, fuller, longer and healthier life if you have friends to engage with. So, I thought I would at least look into it. It would be my anthropological study (that’s’ how I was told to get through life as an introvert). Sit there, study everyone else, speak only when approached but do it with a big friendly smile. No one will know there’s terrified shy person lurking inside.
Can I tell you a thrilling aspect of corona induced isolation that you might not have considered?
Two pieces of background you need to understand the thrill. First, you have to know that for decades I’ve worked as makeup artist in film and television. Second, to understand my perspective you would either have to be a woman, a tv reporter, tv correspondent, an actor, or a television pundit.
Ladies first: Have you ever gotten your makeup done at a department store and your artist smelled like he or she had eaten a pile of Roquefort cheese from the compost pile? No. The answer is no you have not! They are a scrubbed cleaned and polished lot, always hyper aware of their personal hygiene, their appearance, smile, and whether there is any possibility of emitting offensive odors. It’s a thing. This is for obvious reasons especially so we don’t turn off any current or potential clients because of a slight miscalculation from a night of pungent odor producing debauchery. Before work it’s an intense workout of showering, and the heavy lifting all the various personal cleaning products needed for the kind of clean, freshness required to be in close proximity with others.
So imagine this; for the last 40 some years in tv and film I was one of those conscientious stylists. Out of respect for my guests (sometimes called victims – playfully of course) I wouldn’t eat garlic for dinner the night before or heaven forbid at lunch during a shoot! And if I did happen to eat the pungent herb(bulb, vegetable?) during the week, or a Sunday night, I would apologize profusely the next day as I did someone’s makeup at arm’s length (hard to do). I’d lightheartedly say, “I’m sorry, pardon my garlic hang-over.” They would laugh and say: oh I don’t smell a thing, but that would be because I would be holding my breath in between eyelash applications.
Now for the first time in decades because of isolation, I am using far less products, mostly just soap, shampoo, modest amounts of deodorant and…fanfare please…I can freely eat as much garlic as I want!!! I’m so excited for the first time in years I can really reek and I don’t have to apologize!!!
I never thought about this before but now I can eat garlic anytime I want because of current mask-wearing-etiquette. My clients will think I’m just being politically correct! Genius, thank you covid 19, you just made a huge change in my life, that is if I ever get my job back.
Without testing in Fairfax County Virginia, I’ll never really know for sure but I believe I have (or had and am now on the upswing) covid 19. I had all the symptoms like the flu with a very dry heavy chest. I’d like to share some things with you if you get the virus and what helped me.
I’ve been careful about my diet. A lot of fresh fruit, veggies, carbs and protein of some kind, and of course very dark chocolate is – a necessity in my world. I also tried to include things like spirulina, zinc and elderberry, olive leaf, l-lysine and monolaurin. The point is, that nothing except the zinc felt like it had much of an impact. Toast was my friend too as was Turbo Soup (that’s another story).
The most powerful change came last night when I did some creative visualization. I had just watched the movie The First Wives Club. At the end they sing the song, You Don’t Own Me, which I decided to dance and sing to the virus the way the ladies sang to the men in their lives. It actually felt empowering! I felt like I had a foothold in a raging viral river and wasn’t being dragged along anymore.
Continuing my visualization, I set up a wood stove in my chest and put a wide pan filled with sugar. My thinking was that everyone and everything likes sugar. As the sugar melted the virus came and jumped right in. By the way, the virus in my mind were luminous blue blobs. They were quite beautiful actually as they floated around and down into the pan of bubbling syrup. It was working! Once I had them in the pan, they were pretty much done for – cooked. In case there was any question in my mind, I pour the melted virus onto a bowl filled with ice cubes. Now the sugary mass froze into a solid virus candy which I buried deep into a hole that I had imagined. Done? Not quite.
I still felt like I had a rock on my chest. Through all this meditation only way to breath comfortably was to lie at an incline, even then I had to breathe into my abdomen because my chest felt so heavy. Visualizing continued. I imagined what the weight on my chest looked like. I gave it shape and color and lifted it off my chest. It was really heavy but I felt some relief! I asked it what it wanted from me and it replied, “strength.” I thanked it for the lesson and put it in the hole along with the candied virus.
I think I fell asleep after that and dreamt about caring for baby tigers that the zoo could no longer handle.
Except for not having enough air to speak at full volume I am feeling better.
I think the strength the rock was talking about is to offer my help. If I can help you with some easy ways to meditate and visualize, feel free to get in-touch (leaving 6ft of course). Calling right now you’ll get a whispered response. Stay home and stay well xoxo.
A weird thing has been happening since staying home to avoid the corona virus. In my effort to not angst about the spread, I’ve strangely stopped caring too much about my appearance, maybe just to have one less thing to worry about. This might be partially fueled by the giant pimples I keep getting at the end of my nose. One goes away and another appears. What’s up with that? Who did I wrong in a past life to get end-of-nose-pimples at age 63? Continue reading →
Sometimes the camera on the cell phone turns on by itself. If I were paranoid I’d say someone was watching me through that innocent little lens. An actual picture is rarely taken but sometimes I’m feeling a little exposed (pun unintentionally intended). I’m sure it’s just my clumsy handling of a delicate piece of technology, like a butt dial. Is there a name for that like a cheap shot or something?
In any case, some of the random shots were intriguing enough that I felt the whole shoot-at-will thing needed some more study. What I found out is that being “random” on purpose is really hard! It was almost painful to not compose the picture, not adjust the surroundings and so on. Could it be that I just can’t let go of my “eye” and the need to make the shot right? Maybe that takes a certain type of personality. Someone that can let go of control. And here I thought I was just that loosey-goosey-artist-type that could do that. Nope, apparently not. But I’m going to keep try until I get bored with it.