Thursday, January 3, 2013

Steampunking Art

If you've read back through my stuff, you know that I have, for years now, been on the lookout for a vintage mourning locket that was my mother's.  It had been a gift to her from the wife of her father's (my grandfather's) business partner back in Hallstead, Pennsylvania.  It was a large (around two-plus inches long by over an inch wide) gold or pinchbeck (I don't know which) mourning locket with deep scrolling and a large, rectangular black stone--I believe obsidian, but maybe not, maybe onyx.  It was not jet, and it was almost certainly not glass.  I know those things.  The inside was missing the glass, and was an uneven, pale enamel blue.  The chain was incredibly muscular and substantial, a brilliantly heavy box-link chain that was obviously meant to be with the locket.  My mother gave it to me on my wedding day, and, as far as I can tell, the husband of that day stole it when we split up in Provo, Utah a year later.  It's been 28 years since I've seen that locket, and I'm still looking for it.  It means more to me than I can adequately explain.

What does that have to do with Steampunk?


You see, I know folks who are completely taken, captivated even, by the whole steampunk thing.  And hey, that's fine, have fun, it's harmless, it's creative, and if it takes your imagination to new heights, that's wonderful.

What isn't so wonderful is how some steampunk folks have taken to snapping up vintage jewelry and tearing it to bits for their own "reimagined" art.  This destroys me, it tears ME to bits.  I can imagine someone taking that amazing, beautiful locket for which I have searched years and tearing the stone off, replacing it with some dippy beetle made out of soldered coathanger and a Heineken bottle cap or some other such thing.  And it makes me almost crazy with preemptive grief.

I've heard the cry, "It's ART!" but I disagree.  It's "art" like me breaking into the Louvre with a can of spray paint and "reimagining"  Da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks is art.  The locket itself is art.  To deface it would be vandalism.  If you want to pull apart jewelry and watches and recreate other, new, steampunk-y things, then please, please buy cheap, knock-off jewelry from Burlington Coat Factory and Walmart.  But please don't go to antique shops and vintage stores and snap up treasures for the purpose of defacing them!  If it's the "old" look you're after, it's no big deal to distress metals to make them look vintage.


And enough of that.  Been thinking about the whole "fiscal cliff" deal and how it doesn't really fix much on the sequestration front because all they did was kick the can down the road by a couple of months.  So we don't really even get to relax much.  We're just caught in the idiot waiting and worrying game again.  Or still.  Thanks, guys.

My son's Christmas card from his Aunt finally came yesterday.  Open and no money.  Yes, she actually put CASH in the card.  So now we're torn.  Do we tell her the card came opened with no cash, or do we just let it go and give him the cash out of our own pocket?  I don't know, but I can't help but feel just a tad pissed off here.  Who puts cash in a card these days?  Why would anyone do that?  My mom also sent a card, and it showed up the same day, also opened.  But she had included a check, not cash, and the check was still there.


Going shopping tonight.  Going to work very hard to keep it cheap AND to load up on fruits and veggies instead of crappy snacks.  It's time to rein this in before my blood sugar becomes a real issue again.

Speaking of real issues--going into week three without seeing any lice.  We're pretty sure we know who they're coming off of, and there's not really anything we can do.  It's another boy in Hapkido, really unkempt, seems mentally troubled, perhaps autistic?  Bad body odor, really greasy hair.  No, I don't believe any of those things give you lice--case in point, my kid with the clean hair and the fresh-smelling armpits.  But this boy has problems with being touched, and the only time we find lice on MY boy is after he's been paired for sparring with the boy I'm talking about.  And he is FOREVER scratching at his head.  I'm thinking he has a wowser infestation and won't let anyone in close enough to see or do anything about it.  So we'll just keep doing what we're doing--when my boy comes home, he rinses his hair, and then I thoroughly lice comb him and blow his hair out to fry the bastards.  I don't see another option that doesn't damage the studio owner (and he's a nice man) or cause that disturbed boy harm, and I'm not looking to have him thrown out or whatever.  So we lice comb.  Now that we're aware of the problem and the likely source, we should be able to stay on top of it.

And before anyone says anything about me being mean by saying I think the boy is likely autistic?  My boy stopped talking right after his first birthday.  And he stayed non-verbal for over a year.  At the same time, he began developing odd repetitive tics and took to screaming and hitting himself whenever anyone sang or whistled.  We spent years working with him to get him past the spectacular Asperger's gig he had going on.  And there are still issues, though most are so dramatically improved that the average person dealing with him doesn't notice.  So I'm not being mean, I absolutely sympathize with the boy and his parents.  So much so that I'll put up with my boy being exposed to lice up to three times a week.

And, finally?  Bad paneling!  Bad!

I really do think the lighter ones offend me the most.  Nothing like a little "blond" paneling to make my fingernails itch.

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