I dreamed from childhood of being able to work with PMC, although it wouldn’t be invented for another twenty-five years. Why couldn’t one make precious metals into a workable clay, that once dried and fired emerged from the kiln as a sculpted piece of pure silver or gold? Thankfully, my daydreaming about the “what ifs” of jewelry creation was shared by scientists at the 3M companies, who finally developed a recipe for Precious Metal Clay, now available in all sorts of elastic permutations in silver, gold, copper and other elements. I haven’t a kiln, so attempting to use PMC would be senseless right now, but I hope that one of these days, in my dream house (which will consist mostly of workshops and a large library), I’ll have one installed.
I did have PMC for the first time this last month, but it was PreMenstrual Cramping of the hot-irons-applied-to-the-lower-half-of-my-back kind, not of the gilded nature. It was a sort of trial by fire, as it felt like my kidneys and assorted other organs were being slow-roasted. I’d been blissfully pain-free for decades with regards to cyclical girly matters, and all of a sudden I was laid low, wrongly ascribing this severe discomfort to my wearing of a new pair of tennis shoes with air-filled pockets in the soles. But my second X chromosome, not Reebok, was to blame. Sometimes I really hate being female. Other times I love it, because I can swan around in funky embroidered wear and beaded slippers and be considered only mildly wacky, rather than downright nuts, which I would be if I were a guy sporting the same colorful outfits.
Work is good, but exhausting. I am busy morning to night every day. Every day is different, and often in a different location, which means that I average more than an hour in the car daily (a short and blissful period compared to most commutes in the greater DC area, made even happier by the fact that I always have a novel to read on my steering wheel when traffic’s at a standstill). Everything involves some organizing, and then a variation of tagging or cataloging, usually with a mind to assess value, either for retail or auction, or for insurance purposes. And then there is the clutter of my own home to be sorted, something I am loath to do when I return home after a long day up to my armpits in other people’s possessions. I just want to curl up on whatever small piece of territory is left uncovered by stacks of fabric, pieces of lamps, and jewelry components, and nap. Only a month until the annual Georgetown show, and I have nothing ready for it! Exactly a month until my 37th birthday, and I am most certainly not ready for that, either.
My baby brother turned 29 Tuesday a week ago. I called to twit him about being almost thirty, and he responded by pointing out that I, personally, was within spitting distance of 40. Touche. He sounded good for a guy who'd spent the better part of the morning dissecting a human leg and had come home to reemerse himself in a John Le Carre novel. I am looking forward to seeing him at Thanksgiving.
Grandmommy said she'd had a great 89th birthday when I called her that same Tuesday night. She'd gone on her usual multi-mile walk in the morning and had been fielding congratulatory phone calls much of the afternoon. I was after dark calling myself, because I worked late at my new book-cataloging gig and then called her before I reported for another three hours of ticketing estate sale consignments. I didn't get home until after midnight. I had an even later night the previous weekend, also doubling on the work-commitments on Saturday, meaning I was drawing some wage for at least twelve hours. Needless to say, I have darkened the door of the gym only once in the last two weeks--though part of that wussiness was due to the aforementioned worst backache I've endured since injuring myself doing a charity book sale half a decade ago.
We'd bad theft at our estate sale last weekend--Friday an entire mink jacket disappeared, and we still can't figure out how (those things aren't exactly non-bulky)—and numerous smaller items went AWOL, including a wooden bowl I’d consigned. Rampant price-switching was the new norm. Many nasty, messy people trashed the place—CDs scattered all over the floor, linens tossed on the bed, clothing carelessly dumped in the bathroom, just unbelievable. We don’t know exactly how to avoid this in the future, given that the house was a nice area (Potomac, MD—where the rich folks live) and shouldn’t necessarily have attracted lowlifes to begin with—we had next to no problems when we did a house in the ‘hood last year off Georgia Avenue in DC. Or maybe we had problems precisely because the area was so nice, whereas thieves didn’t think to come to the house downtown because they thought there wouldn’t be anything worth taking. Ironically, stealing from a house is a felony in Maryland, so these light-fingered creeps are risking serious legal trouble, not just a misdemeanor shoplifting charge. If we could only catch them! Short of having an off-duty cop in every room, I don’t see how we can, and it’s depressing to think that people would just come in and take what doesn’t belong to them. And after we’ve worked so hard to organize it and present it in the best light!