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Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Curious Thing

At the hair salon this morning, a woman who looked to be in her 80s was having highlights administered by pro-colorist Rosie. The client's struggle to hear did not restrict her enthusiasm for conversation, and she seemed to be wondering a lot. What did Rosie do on her trip? How old were so-and-so's children now? (They are 12 and 10, in case you're wondering.) And what specifically would you call the hair-coloring process Rosie was using?

As Rosie painted bleach on the woman's hair and folded locks up in foil, making her look (as we all do in this position) like something trucked in from another planet, the woman posed all these questions good-naturedly. It wasn't interrogation; it was curiosity.

My friend Julie and I have talked over the decades about how rare a trait curiosity seems to be. I was struck by that thought when I was looking at the photo reference I used for this drawing, which is (sort of) a drawing of my grandfathers on a day that, as I understand it, was one of the rare times they spent together. What I know about these men -- upon whose existence my existence depended -- you could write on your dog's dewclaw. In all the years my parents were around, it never occurred to me to ask much about my grandparents. Heck, I didn't ask enough of my parents, either.

Don't mistaken this for self-flagellation. I'm slightly more curious than the average bear, though I can become a bit overly captivated by my own voice. But if my grandfathers were around today I'd have plenty to ask. For instance, were they drunk on that day when they were smoking cigars?

Most of the people around us have stories to tell, recipes to share, ideas to impart. Never forget to bring your bag of questions, that's what I say.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


In a meeting at work this week, we were talking about an acquaintance who is, in a word, darling. So I sketched a picture of her on my notepad, and we all giggled.

I spent a little more time with her as a drawn character, and ended up with this page. I don't know too much about the real person, but when my brain went to inventing things about her, this is what came up.

Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A little Lingg

The suburbs are filled with forgettable buildings, so whenever I come across architecture with a little character, my drawing hand trembles a little in anticipation.

I loved Lingg as a building even before I knew it was filled with delectable, artist-made jewelry and gifts. Even before I knew Heidi and Beth, the great ladies of Lingg, I knew the little building set back on Chagrin Boulevard should be filled with something interesting. So nice to find out that it was.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Of a quiet weekend

So much happens on weekend days when nothing is happening.

A squirrel shoves his face deep in the snow, looking for a nut. Does he remember where he buried it?

The dog spies deer in the backyard and gives chase without uttering a single syllable of his irritating little bark. They flee like thieves.

The furnace fan kicks on. Shuts off. Kicks on again.

The hole in the sweater calls out to be sewn.

A friend drops by with a plow and cleans the drive.

The cat curls onto lap, onto keyboard. Purrs and sleeps.

The pen makes a line on a coated paper.

The page gets turned and turned again. And again.