Sunday, June 14, 2009

pack rat?

It's 5:39 a.m.... I'm STILL awake. I'm not sure why I can never seem to get any sleep.

I'm sitting in Atlanta, in my mom's living room, surrounded by dolls. 
Yup.. dolls.
Now before you all roll your eyes at my poor, patient mom, know that I don't have a crazy mother who collects dolls and has, like, 50 cats. Actually, it's really my sister who is the crazy one.

When we were younger, at a certain point, my parents made a lot of money. They later lost it all (don't come knockin' on my door..). But while they had some, they spoiled my sis and I. I got art supplies and clothing (nothing has changed...hmmm), my sis, well, hmm... she loved American Girl dolls. Now for any of you that are not familiar with these (that's a good thing) these dolls were made  to PERFECTION. She has three dolls. Each one comes with all sorts of nifty little hoo-has, including matching little handmade clothing, doll-sized paper bags for lunches, a radio that plays the news from the 1940s, and even a handmade tennis racquet. I'm talking TO THE MAX. These dolls are no joke. My mom is moving, and she has asked, as a birthday present, for my sister and I to go through all of our hoards of sh*t and, well, DEAL WITH IT. 

But at 5:39 in the morning, those dolls are freaking me out. Seriously. Mini-crap EVERYWHERE.

So her living room has, for the weekend, transformed into Veronique's doll neurosis. There really is crap everywhere. We had a ball going through boxes yesterday.... 
And I realized something. I have never had any real extra-curricular interests. I have always drawn. And that's it. My old crap is just boxes and boxes of sketch books and napkins with doodles. 

Veronique, on the other hand, was much more creative than me, we are finding out. Not only did she write 75 little books in one year (4th grade), but we are also having to sort through her "ceramic collection". Beastly things, really. She would take these massive lumps of clay, add fins or wings or legs or whatever, put it in the kiln at our school, give it to my poor mom as a whale, bird, dog-thing. Aww. So now we have boxes and boxes of these bizarre, twisted animals. Again, VERY weird at 5:40 in the morning. 

She also used to steal the emergency safety cards from airplanes. Folks, we're talking like 30 or so of these, just sitting in a box. Why??Why??? She has poems, and an old flute, batons from band camp, tennis racquet (to match her dolls), scraps of weird religious items from her 2nd communion, oh.... and....
my sister has a severe problem with throwing away stuffed animals. She still has about 150 of them. I'm not kidding. Everything from the hand puppets my grandma made to shut us up, to a Coca Cola bear from the 1996 Olympics. My mom is trying to get her to donate some, which, to her credit, she parted ways with over half yesterday.
It makes me think. Here I am, a supposed artist. And yet, my brown boxes of sketchbooks feel a little limited. They are, in some ways, a tad too standard for my taste. 
And then I start opening them.
Oh, dear.
Too many very,very weird self-portraits. I have a sketchbook from when I was 12 years old with alien skateboarders. And so, so many faces. Sometimes I would fill them in with neon paints (again, my poor mom was the victim of one of these horrendous portraits..... only I decided to get really creative and paint her face 4 feet tall.  We call it the NEON BEAST in my family).
There must be a thousand little linear drawings of still lifes, people sleeping on trains, watching tv, copies of other paintings, african bug patterns, lizard heads, chinese calligraphy.... you name it. 38 sketch books I think I counted. 

Still. Veronique's pile, in all of it's glory, seems more interesting. Freakish dolls, stuffed animals, scraps of fabric, McDonalds' happy meal toys.... it's all so full of life. 
 I guess I've moved around a lot too. I have no problems throwing stuff away, except art.
And neon beasts, apparently. 

ok.... I'm going to try to sleep. 
The dolls are still creeping me out.


shopsmart said...


That has got the be the best post on this blog. lol Maybe I like it because it reminds me too much of my family. Actually, I'm pretty sure you described the typical American family. Although I do not remember THAT many items being made in my family, I do remember there being a few. Of course, every one I made was a masterpiece. *hahaha*

At any rate, that was a great post. Now if only I can get my mother to part with a few items....

Jim said...

Sounds like quite the weekend. I went to my mom's house many years ago when she planned on finally selling the house we grew up in that was way too big for her. I was looking forward to throwing out GI Joes and Tonka Trucks, but more importantly I couldn't wait to pull out all the old maps I had inherited from my great uncle who was a cartographer for TVA back in the damn dam-building days. Alas, GI joe, Tonka and ALL THE MAPS were GONE! She told me that she sold the toys and had no idea what she did with the maps. Of course, she kept all my "art." One day, when I'm a famous has-been, those old drawings will be worth something, I'm sure...