Thursday, January 14, 2010

Theme Thursday - Surface

On the surface this is a photo of a woman (in a skirted bathing suit) floating alone in a pool at twilight. And that's not incorrect. But what it really is, what is below the surface is a revelry of freedom and courage and an assertion of independence previously thought impossible by that same floater.

What seems simple is not always so. To arrive at a place of seeming simplicity can take tremendous effort, the assistance of others, a soul shaking amount of dammit-all courage.

This photograph was taken the day I learned to swim.

I was 45 years old.

When I was a child I was preoccupied by mermaids. My fantasies were about being one, I collected them, I wanted quite badly to be one. The hold up on that particular wish fulfillment was the fact that I was terrified of the water - because I could not swim and in fact on two occasions nearly drowned (or thought I nearly drowned - same thing to a panic stricken kid).

Perhaps my desire to be a mermaid stemmed from the fact that they could breathe underwater, and they could, of course, swim. Ya think?

There was a lot of water in my life as a child, it was unavoidable. Did I mention I grew up on an island? The irony is not lost on me. Not only were trips to the beach fairly frequent but everyone in my neighborhood had a swimming pool. The damned H2O was EVERYWHERE! And while I loved being in it, splashing around, just moving through it - feet firmly on the ground, head well above it - I never felt completely at ease because one slip, one push could send me under it and kill me. I knew instinctively that nobody would rush to my aid if I fell beneath the surface, not only because of my trust issues but because EVERYONE knew how to swim and assumed that I could as well. Because a kid who grows up on an island, surrounded by swimming pools, must certainly know how to swim and if that kid flails and/or stays under for a little too long why they are simply fooling around. But Joy don't play that.

So I stayed dry far more than I liked.

Until I was taught to swim and to float - like a mermaid. So what you see on the surface may look like nothing special, look again, it might be the biggest event in someone's life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today's my birthday!

Okay, cut the applause. Thanks.

For my own amusement I pulled this short clip from old home movies. This is the one and only time you'll get to see me nekkid.... well... most of you any way. Not exactly what Neely O'Hara was referring to, but it made me laugh. I hope it does the same for you.

Friday, January 08, 2010

My Dog has always had... issues

Basil has always been a special kind of dog - I say this not just because he is mine and I love him beyond words - but because it's true. He is gifted with a mighty personality and a sense of humor that is, I admit it, a little frightening sometimes. Because I am often the butt of that humor. I have witnesses.

In searching for a picture for a friend I came across this little video clip. I don't know how he managed this, but I'm so glad I have a record of it because you don't often see a dog in this sort of attire.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Theme Thursday - Polka Dots

I have been swamped with work (walkin' the doggies) and obsessing on Doctor Who. I haven't had the energy, nor felt the inclination, to drone on about either here. Well, I haven't felt the urge to write much of anything really, and so I haven't.

Last night the ol' ball and chain (a/k/a BFF Gary) sent me an email to check his latest blog post which is part of a Theme Thursday posting. So I popped over and read it. You can read it here.

It spured me on to finding and scanning in some old photos of myself dressed in the subject of the Theme Thursday: Polka Dots.

This is a scan of a polaroid from the early 80s so it's not in the best shape, but I think the dots are obvious. Not only the skirt and blouse but my bag, shoes, earrings and bracelet were all black & white polka dots. I love me some dots and moderation was never my strong suit. Certainly not back then, not in wardrobe.

Since Gary had mentioned Minnie Mouse in his post I was delighted to find the following photos, which I promptly scanned and posted on Facebook where they raised some questions, so now I feel compelled to post here and answer those questions.

Here then are the photos.

The reason I am dressed as Mini-Mouse is because it was my job at the time. In the 1980s I worked for a party company and dressed up (not just Miss Mouse, but a whole slew of cartoon characters as well as clowns and gorillas and such) and attended children's parties, store openings, weddings, bar mitzvahs, the usual. (oh tell me you haven't done it!)

The reason I'm in these somewhat fetishized poses is because my mother was living in Bayside, Queens in the basement apartment of a woman who just LOVED Mickey and Minnie Mouse. One day when I was going to work a party nearby I stopped in to show her the costume. Because yes, I'm an attention whore. She hauled out the camera and asked me to pose all over her house - and why would I say no?

When she asked me to pose in the kitchen it brought back so many familial memories of happy times (a-hem) that I insisted on having a bottle of liquor at hand.

Ahhhh, now that's homey!