Thursday, September 29, 2011
(Miss Boogie apologizes that it has been so long since her last post. The Mom misplaced the notebook. "Miss Boogie, have you seen the notebook?")
Miss Boogie went to her very first auction, today, in Shipshewana, Indiana. For those of you unfamiliar with Hoosier geography, Shipshewana (Miss Boogie just loves to say it, “Ship-she-wana. Ship-she-wana.”) is in northern Indiana near the Michigan border, in the heart of Amish country.
Miss Boogie had never seen so many horses. The mares had foaled. Frisky foals were tearing around the fields in tandem with the mares, kicking up their heels and rearing stallion-like on their hind legs. Each one seemed to be saying, “I am faster than the wind. I am faster than you. I am having the most fun.” Miss Boogie dubbed them honorary Boogies because they exuded such Boogitude.
|Photo Mom took from the car window.|
The mares were sleek brown with dark manes and tails. They trotted so fast pulling the buggies along the side of the highway, Miss Boogie nearly missed them. Miss Boogie loved the Amish girls in their white caps and long skirts riding their bicycles barefoot with their shoes stacked in baskets on the back. She could not figure out why they were riding barefoot, but thought they, like the foals, might just be so happy that it’s finally spring.
After seeing the horses and buggies and the white-capped, barefoot girls, Miss Boogie could have retired for the day, but the best was yet to come—fresh rhubarb pie.
As for the auction itself, Miss Boogie thought it was a lot of squawking and gawking, crowing and crowding—not unlike a cattle stampede—noisy and dangerous. There were six auctioneers singing, “libididdy, libi diddy, libidediddy,” or some such foreign language all at once. Miss Boogie couldn’t sort out any of the words and never saw anyone bid. There were merely random nose scratches, head shakes, and an occasional cough. There were only two other canines present, the first being a small black poodle inside a baby cage underneath a dealer’s table. At least she was safe from trampling if humiliated by the cage. Second was a chihuahua crushed in one arm of its overzealous person, clinging upside-down for dear life, while the human tore through a stack of linens with the other.
Miss Boogie’s people seemed happy. They bought old berry baskets, wicker furniture, and a bunch of old flowerpots on sticks. The Mom bid on a small terrier statue and got it. Miss Boogie thought she had excellent taste.
Miss Boogie could not understand why some old junk was so cheap and some old junk was so expensive. You just couldn’t predict. A tin, only moderately rusted, Easter Bunny from about 1950 sold for $65, while an entire chest of silver plate flatware sold for $25. A pair of pink flamingo yard birds on stilts, just like the ones the Moms have in the garage, sold for $95 each.
And some guy from Chicago bought 19 raggedy old punk dolls—knock-em-over-three-throws-for-a-quarter—from a long ago forgotten carnival for $45 each. Miss Boogie was stupefied until the Mom’s friend showed her a listing from the internet of similarly forgotten and battered punk dolls selling for $235 each. That guy had just made $190 times 19! Miss Boogie desperately needed a calculator.
That was when Miss Boogie stopped looking for pie crumbs on the floor and started to pay attention.
By the way, Miss Boogie wants to mention how attractive she thought all the Amish gentlemen were in their black hats and beards.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Miss Boogie has had the vapors. She claims the wretched summer heat is the reason she has not written. Indeed, she has swooned and fainted as any good Virginia lady might.
That is, until she recently was inspired by the oldies but goodies station and the neighbor's "pool."
Miss Boogie says she will get back to you as soon as the weather cools down.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
|Miss Boogie, Minimalist|
As Miss Boogie reported last week, an artist’s retreat is anything but peaceful. The Mom seems to be in some sort of creative frenzy. Not only is she storming ahead on her screenplay, but also she is painting furiously. Which is altogether new for the Mom, at least in Miss Boogie’s lifetime. It seems the Mom painted in college in the remote past, but hasn’t really painted since.
The Mom has been using Miss Boogie as a model to refresh her technique. The Mom has decided to paint Miss Boogie in the style of some of her favorite painters. Since last week, the Mom has painted Miss Boogie in the style of Picasso,
|Miss Boogie in the style of Picasso|
|Miss Boogie in the style of Miro|
|Miss Boogie in the style of Modigliani|
|sketch for Miss Boogie Sleeping in the Sun in the style of Mondrian|
So far Miss Boogie's favorite style is early nieceling.
|Miss Boogie, Early Nieceling|
Friday, July 1, 2011
Miss Boogie loves being an artist-in-residence, though technically the Mom is the artist. Miss Boogie must sit in all those tiring poses while the Mom sketches her. Miss Boogie says, "It is more difficult being a Muse than one might imagine."
After she worked all day, the Mom took Miss Boogie into Coloma to Easy Street. It’s a very nice bar and grill on the main street near the movie theater. (Boogie noticed that the movie theater will give you popcorn for 50 cents, if you bring your own bucket. She hopes to go back there before the residency is up. She is looking for a bucket.) They, Easy Street not the movie theater, have Bell’s on tap. It is Berrien County.
The Mom and Miss Boogie sat at the bar. The Mom had an “Easy Street,” wheat and struck up a conversation with the bartender, Amanda. Turns out Amanda, who looks about 24, is 34 and has five kids. The oldest is 17. The Mom was flabbergasted. “Yup, that’s what the winters here will do to you.” Amanda said.
Amanda had just planted a lilac bush in her yard. She said lilacs were her favorite, so there was an instant bond with the Mom. The smell of lilacs reminds Amanda of her grandmother. Amanda’s eleven-year-old daughter wants to know how soon the bush will be beautiful. “When God lets it have time to grow.” Amanda said. “Everything happens for a reason in its own time.” The Mom thought she heard Amanda’s grandmother, or maybe her own.
Amanda had lots of great tips for spending time in Southwest Michigan, especially food tips. Her mother-in-law runs a restaurant in Keeler called Keeler’s Keg and Kitchen. They’re famous for their pizza, but Amanda says the Keeler Prime Sandwich, au jus, with green pepper (mango as they call them in Indiana) on a homemade roll is the best. The Mom took the challenge and wrote down the directions because the best Italian roast beef and mango ever is still at Art’s Pizza in Anderson, Indiana.
Miss Boogie was licking her dainty lips over the Italian roast beef when she heard the best news of all.
If you follow Friday Road south, out of Coloma, go under the freeway, about half a mile, next to the Contessa Winery, there’s a chocolate shop (Vineyards Gourmet) with truffles and hand-dipped chocolates made from all the native fruits of Michigan and their newest creation, chocolate covered bacon! Miss Boogie’s tiny pink tongue was curled all the way over her tiny black nose, and she was in a tap dancing rapture that would make a Sufi swoon.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Miss Boogie is fond of pie.
She has been on retreat with the 2nd Mom at Blueberry View for not quite two days. Already they have found two bakeries. Miss Boogie has observed that there are certain necessities for the writer on retreat—baked goods, homemade soup and a bottle (perhaps two) of white wine. Miss Boogie volunteered to taste the baked goods to determine if they were fit for the Mom. The Mom trusts Miss Boogie’s palate.
Miss Boogie found Alinda’s pies at Bob’s Barn Farm Market and Bakery to be especially good. Alinda, though she goes by Lyn here because people are confused when she says, “Alinda.” They think she is saying, “a Linda,” which makes no sense if you think about it. It’s like “the Donald,” but nobody else would go by such a name. Oh, well, maybe “the” Moms. Anyway, Alinda specializes in pies from fruits native to Michigan. The Bob’s is located in a blueberry field, after all.
Miss Boogie has already reviewed the cherry and blueberry. Tomorrow she will try the peach, and on Thursday she hopes to sample the pineapple upside-down pie. Though she doesn’t believe that pineapple is a native Michigan fruit, Miss Boogie trusts Alinda’s fine arts of pastry.
Miss Boogie has also observed that as with other sports requiring stamina, carbo-loading and energy snacking are important in long-distance writing—novels, screenplays and anything with a deadline. The Mom bought a bag of apricot kipfels, at the Golden Brown Bakery in South Haven, that Miss Boogie keeps hiding, (“No, no!” Miss Boogie insists. “Write ‘moving.’”) in order to provide the Mom appropriate breaks in her long stretches of sitting at the computer. “Miss Boogie, where are the cookies?”
Proper hydration is also essential for the writer. Miss Boogie makes certain the Mom has plenty of fluids.
Which is easy since they are in the heart of Michigan wine country.
A mason jar of lilacs awaited Miss Boogie and the 2nd Mom when they arrived at Blueberry View Retreat. It was an omen. Lilacs are the Mom’s favorite flower. She misses them in Virginia. They have difficulty, as does nearly everyone, surviving the hot summers. Lilacs fill the spring countryside of Michigan, however, and the Mom had imagined gathering huge bouquets at the "midnight" florist.
In truth nearly everyone has several overloaded bushes in their yard and gladly let her have as many arms full as she liked.
Miss Boogie is happy to report that the Mom is actually working. In the first two days she has written 18 scenes for her screenplay, made 5 new drawings, and carefully taken down dictation for 2 new Adventures of Miss Boogie.
Whew. The Mom deserves a nap.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Miss Boogie has just returned from a fabulous week at Rehoboth Beach. She loves the boardwalk and sincerely hopes the “dog months” will be extended at least through May 1st. April through October is far too long to be denied boardwalk and beach privileges. Miss Boogie finds the city commissioners to be rather speciest in their regulations.
Miss Boogie is a sun-worshiper. She gets it honestly enough from her first Mom, a sun-worshiper of the highest order, who oiled and foiled and broiled her way from precisely 10 a.m. to precisely 2 p.m., at Herring Cove or Race Point Beach every day of an entire Provincetown season. The first Mom once unfolded a webbed, aluminum beach chair in the middle of the backyard on Arden Road in the middle of January. It was a particularly bright day—there being half a foot of snow on the ground reflecting, blindingly, the sun in the cloudless sky.
The Mom, suffering she claimed from SAD, sat in the chair in her down jacket, khakis and boots with a two-foot mirror balanced on her knees to reflect even more rays to her upturned face and hands. Miss Boogie sat rapturously on the foot of the lawn chair.
Miss Boogie takes the sun quite regularly on the Clintonville Beach, as the back yard at Arden Road has often been called. She has her own sunglasses. They are actually the tanning bed glasses of the first Mom, but with their elastic band, and tiny dark lenses, they fit Miss Boogie’s small face perfectly.
Lest you think I could make these things up, I’ve added photos this time from Miss Boogie’s album. Miss Boogie has quite an album. Both Moms once taught at the notorious Hasket Hall, home of The OSU department of photography and cinema.
|Miss Boogie with the 1st Mom and pal, Pepper, at the Clintonville Beach in January|
|Miss Boogie with Aunt Donna at the Clintonville Beach|
The first Mom, a photographer, taught photography, and the second Mom, a filmmaker, taught, well, filmmaking. And so Miss Boogie roamed the studios, darkrooms and edit suites of Hasket Hall quite freely, attending classes and critiques, editing into the wee hours, meeting guest artists. (Miss Boogie confesses that picking up William Wegman, the great photographer of the noble Weimaraner, Man Ray, at the airport was a highlight. Though she wished Mr. Wegman had at least brought Fay Ray with him.) That is, when there was a Hasket Hall and a department of photography. The department of photography and cinema having been disbanded in a dramatic downsizing of the arts, after some gibberish about the arts not funding themselves like football and the “left-wing faculty.” But that is definitely another story.
When Miss Boogie wasn’t sitting for a photograph, or hanging by the snack machines in the basement, conning some starving student out of a cheese cracker or peanut M & M, she was helping hang a show or, her favorite, attending an opening in the Silver Image Gallery. Miss Boogie loved openings. She loved to wear her red bandana and prance in stylishly, fashionably late. If everyone was already there, talking and drinking, she could make her way directly to the hors d’ oeuvres’ table without anyone making a fuss.
There were always tasty bits on the floor around the table. She quite preferred the faculty receptions to the student ones. Though she is fond of chips and pizza and corn curls and she adores students and finds them so smart, when they laugh and applaud and toss crisps for her to catch mid-air, her schooled palate appreciates the shrimp, pate, and cheeses that fall from the plates of the wine-sipping faculty even more.
Miss Boogie’s eye is as discerning as her tongue—one might call her an art hound. She had her portrait made with and has been photographed by the best. She has kept an album of her favorites. The first Mom, Uncle Chick, Uncle Lloyd, Aunt Susan Mabel, Ardine, Fred, James all became rather famous in their own ways. Miss Boogie likes to remember their promising beginnings, and to remember that she knew them when—rather like Gertrude Stein—when she was the doyenne of Hasket Hall.
Friday, April 1, 2011
One of Miss Boogie’s favorite tricks is "get the mail." If you say, “Get the mail, Miss Boogie,” she leaps from her chair by the window, races to the dining room, jumps onto a chair, and then the table. She roots through the stack of mail, to find a proper envelope—a greeting card, letter or postcard. Miss Boogie will not carry slick circulars or newsprint. Then with the envelope held carefully between her teeth, she trots back to the person who made the request, and delivers the mail. "Good, Boogie!"
This is a good trick for the Moms, because they once ran a greeting card business out of the family room. The first Mom made all the photographs—women on the beach, women in the sunset, women washing the car, women by the fireplace. (Miss Boogie was featured in the fireplace card. But to the point.) The second Mom glued all the photos to the pre-cut cards. Miss Boogie transported the cards from production to shipping without creasing, puncturing, or slobbering on a single one. Which is more than can be said for her Uncle Chuck, who somehow managed to get bar-be-que sauce on everything. Miss Boogie was a crucial member of the team. She did not like the hours, however, and managed to nap away six or seven during a single shift.
Recently, Miss Boogie has been receiving her own mail from readers. She asked if we could answer some. From time to time, we will under the heading “Miss Boogie Gets the Mail.”
Miss Boogie’s first letter comes from Joyce. Joyce asks, “Does Miss Boogie ever travel? If so does she have a preference of cars, planes, etc.?”
Miss Boogie loves to travel, but she only travels by car, boat, bicycle and sometimes Harley. (Her Aunt Gail had a Harley, but she moved to California.) Miss Boogie prefers vehicles that allow her fur to fly freely in the breeze. She does not like to be confined inside a closed vehicle. She never travels in a carrier or a crate. Come to think of it, she didn’t much like the helmet on the Harley.
Miss Boogie’s 2nd Mom
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Miss Boogie rarely sleeps on the floor. She prefers the waterbed, the chair in the window or the sofa, except in the morning when the sun streams through the picture window. Then Miss Boogie sleeps in the exact center of the sunbeam curled like a ball of wool, moustache like tufts spiked in all directions. “Which end is her head?” “What do you mean end?”
Miss Boogie’s name was not always Miss Boogie. Apart from the name the first owners gave her, the ones who left her in the dumpster, and called her “Muffy” or “Fluffy” or “Buffy” or something she can’t quite remember; she has had several names. The first person who took her in, the famous political activist, sailor, and wearer of black before it was fashionable because it didn’t show dirt and made doing her laundry easier, Aunt Direen, named her Miller after an ex-girlfriend. Calling a fluff ball “Miller,” however, seemed too formal, and “Millie” was too sissy for such an independent spirit and too confusing for the grandmothers.
You see, the second Mom called the first Mom “Millie” because her name was Molnar which is Hungarian for miller, and “Millie” was short for that miller—the Hungarian miller, not the ex-girlfriend Miller. But Millie wasn’t the first Mom’s real name and nobody else called her that, except the second Mom’s mother because she thought it was a real name, or at least a real nickname.
One Thanksgiving when the first Mom’s mother was visiting, the second Mom’s mother telephoned to check some sizes before doing her Christmas shopping. After pleasant hello’s, the second Mom’s mother asked the first Mom’s mother, “What size feet does Millie have?”
Well, she meant what size feet does the person called Millie have, but the first Mom’s mother thought she meant what size feet did the fluff ball called Millie have so she said, “Why, I don’t know exactly. Very small, though.”
Small was not the second Mom’s mother’s recollection of the first Mom’s foot size, so she tried a different approach. “What size shoe does she wear?” The first Mom’s mother now thought that the second Mom’s mother was batty, but she tried to answer politely. “I don’t think she wears shoes.” “Doesn’t wear shoes! Don’t her feet get cold?” “I don’t know. I never thought about it.” At which point the second Mom’s mother thought the first Mom’s mother must be absolutely batty not to have thought about her own daughter’s shoeless feet, but she responded politely, “Well, I guess I won’t get her slippers for Christmas.” And she hung up.
Ever after, the two Mom’s called their mothers the Bats. “Who’s on the phone?” “It’s the Bat for you.” “Hi, Mom.” And Miss Boogie went through a name change.
(In fact one of Miss Boogie’s Aunts, Chris or Donna or Bell or maybe Aunt Susan, brought her a beautiful pair of red cowboy boots as a memento of a trip West. Alas, like most high-heeled shoes, they were difficult to walk in, so she could only wear them around the house—mostly she wore them on Fridays to watch “Dallas.”)
Miss Boogie’s Aunt Donna tried calling her “Brillo.” She could resemble a used Brillo pad, during the shape shifting stage just before rust sets in, but it wasn’t the perfect name—too scratchy. No. She needed something that captured her spirit, her capacity for pure joy. Then one day it happened.
The Moms were listening to a Lily Tomlin album. Lily was doing a character named, “Sister Boogie Woman.” Sister Boogie Woman was describing the life affirming qualities of “boogie.” She advised two seniors in a nursing home, who were forbidden to close the door for some moments of private intimacy, to “boogie with the door open!”
The Moms looked at each other, jumped up shrieking with joy. That was it! Muffy, Buffy, Fluffy, Miller, Millie, Brillo was Boogie personified... er, incarnate—a cotton wool on stilts who sang for chocolate, tap-danced with wild abandon on a vinyl chair, threw herself with kisses into the arms of friends and strangers, and always boogied with the door open.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
As we learned in the last installment, Miss Boogie is fond of Christmas, and has discovered ways of snatching rich treats like entire sticks of butter or whole boxes of truffles while no one is watching. Next to Christmas, and truffles, Miss Boogie likes Easter.
While the people are eating ham and potatoes and Heavenly Hash, Miss Boogie can hide an entire basket of chocolate eggs.
With any luck at all the people won’t find most of them. When they do find one randomly, they often foolishly blame some strange rabbit. “Oh look, babe, there’s a chocolate egg in the couch cushion.” “That bad Easter Bunny. I thought we had found them all.”
Months later Miss Boogie can retrieve a chocolate malto-milk egg from behind the refrigerator or under the lazy-boy or pushed between the frame and mattress at the foot of the waterbed. You’d be surprised how well they keep there if you push them down in the corner fold of the plastic out of reach of the covers. It’s important to keep them out of the sheets. Otherwise, when the Moms change the sheets they find lots of hidden Boogie bounty, like whole Oreos, milk-bones and French fries. “Oh my god! How did this French fry get here?” “This is disgusting. Miss Boogie!” Miss Boogie usually hides under the dresser whenever the Moms change the sheets. Just in case.
On Halloween Miss Boogie likes to dress punk to try to scare the children. If she is successful, they will drop their treat bags; and she can grab a Snickers or Tootsie-Roll or two.
Sometimes she just tags along behind with her own treat bag. The children can barely see to walk, so they never realize she’s behind them. Since Halloween is a big block party on Arden Road [it’s known throughout the city as the best haul; kids come from across town to parade up and down the two blocks of goblin gold coast and drag home pillowcases heavy with of the mother lode of Halloween candy], no one notices a strange, very short kid with furry legs.
“That’s a great costume, kid. Must be hard on your knees.” Miss Boogie just nods.
Miss Boogie’s people order pizza and wait with their bowl of candy outside in the drive, laughing and drinking red wine with the neighbors. They don’t even realize she’s gone. For Miss Boogie, Halloween is a triple treat.
I have had several people e-mail me about chocolate and dogs. I do know that chocolate is very bad for dogs. PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR DOG EAT CHOCOLATE. I love dogs and would not want any dog to be harmed by eating chocolate. I do not know why Miss Boogie is "chocolate tolerant." For some unknown reason, she is able to eat chocolate and other very rich people food without harm. Perhaps her early life in the dumpster prepared her. This is not the usual case for dogs, but Miss Boogie is not a usual dog.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Miss Boogie was bred to the good life, despite her humble beginnings. You remember, she had been abandoned by her former people in a dumpster in German Village in the dead of winter. Not at all the place for a tiny, tufted, dog often mistaken for a rat. No. Lustron, Clintonville, two moms—much better. Though life in the dumpster made her street wise. She knows how to fend for herself—skills that come in handy. But I am ahead of myself. In Clintonville, with her two moms in a Lustron house she has her own window and her own chair.
Miss Boogie prefers to sit in a chair, to sleep on the waterbed and to dine on chicken breast sautéed in butter, garlic, olive oil, basil and capers. She didn’t need to acquire a taste for capers or garlic or truffles. She came by it naturally. Paprikash, kielbasa, cabbage noodles are part of her heritage. Think of the half-eaten pastries, bits of sausage and noodles in that dumpster. It’s enough to make any little dog lick her lips. Just thinking of the delights in that dumpster was enough to drive Miss Boogie to do to do all sorts of things even though she knew they made her Moms unhappy. But what is a Boogie to do?
One Christmas Eve she ate an entire stick of butter while no one was looking. “Did you put the butter away?” “No, I thought you did.” “I didn’t but the dish is clean.” Momentary pause. Then in unison, “Boogie!” The Moms worried Miss Boogie would die. It was an entire stick of butter. They called the emergency vet clinic. “Watch her carefully,” said the concerned vet. Miss Boogie didn’t even get sick. It seems she is from hearty Ohio-European stock with a high cholesterol tolerance.
Miss Boogie’s favorite food is chocolate, though she comes quickly when the word “pizza” is spoken. Her favorite holidays are Christmas, Easter and Halloween—followed by Valentine’s Day. She loves to open presents, especially the truffles sent by various Aunts from Seattle or San Francisco. In a good year, she can eat or hide an entire box of truffles before her people come home, without damaging the outer wrapping. There is always just a small hole in the bottom corner of the box that looks like a post office accident. “Oh no! Look! The post office damaged the box and all of the truffles fell out.” “That’s horrible.” “We’ll have to thank Chris anyway. She would be so disappointed.”
In a bad year, her people come in just as she is opening the box.
The problem with people is all their silly questions. “Miss Boogie! What are you doing on the table?” “Miss Boogie, did you do this?” “Miss Boogie, where are all the chocolates?” Sometimes she has to wait for hours under the dresser for them to forget about the truffles.
They usually do forget. That’s how people are.