Every year, we attend a Christmas party at the gorgeous Victorian home of our silky-smooth ex-drummer and his fabulous, hilarious wife. Mike and Rosanne Buell put on a feast and gathering every year. I don't for the life of me understand how they pull it off on December 23, but they do. This year, they remodeled their attic (where do you put all your useless krap when you remodel your attic??). In contrast to the respectful Mission Oak treatment given the downstairs, the upstairs is sleek and modern, complete with pool table and plasma TV. On the house tour, I was riveted by a lamp, clearly a vintage piece, on display in the corner. A dancing lady turned slowly, wobbling slightly as she described a circle beneath the glow of the bulb. I sat and stared, transfixed, at this objet de art for the better part of a half-hour. Even though all the Christmas cookies were downstairs, I had to know the story. Any lamp with a revolving flamenco dancer has to have a story.
Rosanne's parents bought this lamp the year they were married: 1952. Their color scheme: Pink and black. "Everything had to be modern," Rosanne's mom told me. They went furniture shopping and saw this lamp. "I had to have that lamp!" Mr. Blazosky told me. It cost the newlyweds $25.00. Wonder what that translates to 54 years later?
Sorry about the blur. I wasn't exactly drunk, but it was dark, and I didn't want to blast these lovely folks with a flash.
In my initial examination of the lamp, I was puzzled by the white shade. Something about it didn't look right. I could tell it was early Fiberglas, the off-white, translucent kind with great big fibers visible in it. (You can make out a piece of it behind the dancer). Rosanne said that she'd tried to clean it, failed, and decided to paint it white. Oh. I get it. There had apparently been black rick-rack around the rim of the lamp, and she took that off, since it was kind of beat.
There are heirlooms and there are heirlooms. Waterford crystal, homemade checkerboards, or flamenco lamps. Our generation has a wider array of heirlooms to choose from. My dad used to say, "A weed is but a plant out of place." And an heirloom is in the eye of the beholder.
Speaking of heirlooms, here's the original drumhead from our band, circa mid-90's. Sorry about the blur. It was really dark, and there was just a tiny light inside the drum. I'm proud to say it was on display near the dancing lady lamp. I just finished painting a sleek new one for Steve McCarthy's drum, with our zippy new green logo (see Bill of the Birds' newsy post for that). Steve insisted on a shiny black drumhead, a decision which condemned me to lay down three coats of acrylic on the lettering, repeatedly curse our band for having such a bloody long name with so many @#$@#$ letters in it, and give over six straight hours of my life to making it look at all professional. I was too done in to photograph it when the paint dried--minutes before our last marathon rehearsal began-- but I will try to get a picture of it at the New Year's gig.
We are really looking forward to this gig. We spent almost all day relocating, Googling, and organizing the lyrics. Over the past couple of months, we've worked up probably 5 straight hours' worth of music. There's no way we're going to play it all, but knowing us our breaks will be short and we'll chew through quite a few tunes. We start at 9 pm and end around 1 (we think). We've been told that we can play as long as we want; anybody who checks into a hotel expecting to get to sleep by 10 pm on New Year's Eve is in for a shock. I think I'm most thankful that we're all healthy. Nobody has a fever, a cold, or a sore throat (I know, I'm tempting Fate here). The kids are coming with us; we've got a room. I checked it out and the Blennerhassett Hotel is pet-friendly. Sort of. They allow dogs. For $50.00. Come again??
"Fif-tee, or fif-teen?" I asked.
"Is that a deposit?" I croaked. "No, it's a non-refundable fee," the receptionist replied.
Oh. That's kind of a sneaky way to be pet-friendly, don't you think?
So I guess Baker's staying home. He hasn't peed on a carpet for a year and a half, but I suppose they have to charge for the dogs who do. He'll have doggie friends over on New Year's Day, though, so don't cry for him. I think we'll have enough going on that evening without Baker jumping up on every Tom, Dick and Harry and kissing them on the lips. No self-respecting Boston terrier would wait until the ball drops, that's for sure.
So put on your party hats and get down tonight!
Unrelated topic: The sun finally came out today and I had a ball shooting suet dough customers from Phoebe's bedroom window. Borrowed Bill's howitzer 300 mm. lens with doubler for this shot.
Redbelly: Nice hat.
Cardinal: Right back at ya.