Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chaos Incorporated

There seems to be rumors of late that Seraph + Splendor have gone missing again or are perhaps simply derelict of duty regarding their blog posting responsibilities. Have you ever stopped to think that the closets here at Chintz of Darkness have finally exploded into a hostile and violent rebellion and have taken us hostage? Now not everyone’s closets are armed and dangerous but ours apparently are. We kid you not, dear readers, we have spent the last several weeks cleaning and organizing in an attempt to appease our wicked captors. (By the way, the hall closet seems to be the instigator of this uprising and will be harshly dealt with when we regain the upper hand…like that’s ever going to happened…at least it has untied us and is allowing us to use the internet again…)

Live / Work is a concept that must be experienced to be truly understood. And no, simply having a small home office tucked away in a discreet corner of your house does not count. You must imagine combining your entire household with the sum total of your profession. The fun part is making business calls in your underpants; the downside is of course being taken captive by an inanimate object (or perhaps developing an overactive imagination…)

The other disadvantage to Live / Work space is that we have only the vaguest notion of where our personal belongings are. We can of course find our socks, house keys and black nail polish (his & hers) but have only the faintest idea of the whereabouts of things like birth certificates and photo albums. Our address book has faded into obscurity (although it has been amusing making up fictitious addresses for our friends and relatives such as Rivendell, Mythago Wood and the Shire. In actuality some of our family would fit nicely in the Shire, while others would be better suited to Mordor…ouch…)

The first lesson one learns about a Live / Work lifestyle is that rooms are rarely dedicated to one purpose and tend to shift like desert sand. There are times when we cannot see the sofa for days on end because it has become a rack for the product we produce. The dining room has been missing for years and we have been known to store bolts of fabric in the back shower along with a decade or so of tax paperwork and a set of heirloom china (the rational being “who needs formal china, when one cannot find the dining table?”) Our foyer (whose original purpose was apparently to just waste space in the original floor plan) has become our shipping and receiving department. It also contains an average of 23 bolts of fabric, a haunted dollhouse and a collection of antiques knives. The only visitors of late to our guest room have been several hundred pillow forms, which while quiet and well behaved tend to make the room smell like it is inhabited by a flock of flatulent ducks…

The room which if inhabited by normal people would be referred to as the Living Room is dominated by our 4’ x 8’ design table. This table is the heart and soul of our space, as most of the day’s activities revolve around it. It is a shrine to our hard work and an altar to our creativity. . Our sewing machines (there are three now) and ironing board hold a prominent place near the window, but intermingled with the tools of our profession are several Victorian parlor chairs, a hand carved mahogany game table and a half dozen lovely yet mismatched cabinets. Tucked into the opposite corner is our minuscule library which measures a petite and precise 40” x 54” and includes three hundred books, an ornate ottoman, a miniature cocktail table, some disturbing artwork and a dainty black clad slipper chair.

Gathered for your enjoyment are some images of exquisite clutter that we have collected over the years…tell us,how do you deal with the disorder in your lives, dear readers?

And Behold
I saw Tiamtu, the watery deep
Yes, the ancient serpent of chaos
In all its horrid glory, raging relentlessly
At the fire that had become the self
Being slain... and born again
Naught in extension...

(“Khabs Am Pekht” by Ofermod)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dismembers Only...

You know when you spend the better part of an afternoon looking for the hacksaw and a copy of “Taxidermy for Dummies” Volume 1 AND 2 that it must be time for an update on this summer’s family reunion. We apologize in advance to anyone reading this that actually has a happy and well adjusted extended family. We have never actually met anyone who does, but there must to someone out there somewhere…

Now when the blessed (HA!) day finally arrived things immediately got off to a bad start. The temperatures were forecast to reach into the triple digits and thus we were both forecast to be in a crappy mood for having to spend an afternoon outside in brain melding, skin searing weather. We were tempted to bring some parasols, but the only ones we appear to own are made of crackling antique lacquered paper that would have spontaneously combusted and lit our heads on fire. Now that probably would have entertained the kids (who were those kids, anyway?) for awhile, but we would NOT have found that amusing in the least.

Things continued to go downhill when Splendor’s dear father FLAT OUT REFUSED to get in the car and announced he would be spending the day at home alone. Now mind you, dear readers, this reunion was completely comprised of his siblings and their evil spawns and assorted progenies. We did not realize that this was an event one could opt out of at the last minute and instead spend the day (more productively) surfing craigslist and drinking beer, while sending his wife, daughter and son-in-law to do his dirty work. Perhaps this caused a minor tantrum on our part - no one will ever know (well, besides a six block radius of neighbors who undoubtedly heard the screaming…)

As we rolled up to the reunion, fatherless and pissed, in our black gas guzzling doom mobile (that no, we DID NOT cast aside like a dirty sock in that stupid Cash for Yuppies, er Clunkers program) we were greeted by an assortment of relatives, who to be honest looked less than thrilled to see us. After a rigorous interrogation as to the whereabouts of Splendor’s missing father we were allowed out in the yard to eat some salad and observe people barbequing creepy looking meat products.

Now on the surface everything at the reunion seemed to go relatively well. Crying was kept to a minimum, no fist fights or dog maulings occurred and there were no outright acts of incestuous flirtations. We put in our time, behaved ourselves and even dutifully submitted to have our pictures taken. Then we quietly slunk home to Land of Darkness and Misanthropy (otherwise known as our apartment.) Over the ensuing weeks our minor angers and irritations faded like our sunburns until we received an email with a link to the online album of reunion pictures. Cringingly we perused the pictures only to find that NOT ONE IMAGE of us was included. Not only were there pictures of every other family member in attendance, but also images of the mailman, a pack of stray dogs and the garden gate…all of this has put us in a mood to dismember our family’s self appointed photographers, oh excuse us, photojournalists. Here are some our inspirations…

You have no choice of life or death
My face you will not see
I'll rip your flesh 'till there's no breath
Dismembered destiny

(Piece by Piece by Slayer)
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