rubber babies, the supermoon, farm fresh eggs, gone with the wind, & chernobyl

i’ve decided that i can’t disappear forever, even if that’s exactly what i want to do at the moment.

the past week has been filled with a series of unfortunate events. i don’t have the energy to get into it, but believe you me – it’s been a nasty week filled with roller coaster emotions and pain. i’m not even wallowing in it anymore, merely reflecting upon it. and considering the last week (not to mention the last 18 months), i’ve decided that i’m stronger than wallowing.

we sell a random assortment of tiny rubber animals (pandas, hippos, dolphins, etc.) next to the cash register. i mean tiny. maybe half an inch long, at most. included in this rubber animal display are teeny tiny rubber babies. boys and girls. just little rubber babies that look like they are crawling around in their diapers (pink for the girls and blue for the boys). there’s this customer that comes in about once a week to purchase a small handful of these rubber babies. anywhere from 8-12 at a time. i finally asked him what exactly does he do with these rubber babies that he buys in bulk ?

he said he leaves them as tips at bars. he said that he also places them next to a stranger’s drink if said stranger has gotten up to use the bathroom, so that they may return to find a tiny rubber baby next to their drink – just to, you know, surprise them. how amazing is that ? he came into the shop yesterday and bought his ten babies. while i was ringing him up, i apologized because my eyes were slightly wet because they had been recently filled with tears (something that i try to avoid – at all costs – at work). after ringing him up, he looked into my eyes, and said, “it looks like you could use a baby.” he then handed me a baby. i looked at it, smiled, looked back at him, and exclaimed, “how appropriate – it’s a boy !” we have amazing customers, full stop. i did accuse him of giving me a ‘pity baby,’ to which he replied, “no, no, no.. it’s just a baby.”

so last night was the ‘supermoon,’ apparently. i’m not entirely sure what that means. people kept claiming that it marks the day when the moon will appear at its largest size – which, also, apparently only happens once every eighteen years. it was too cloudy last night to even see the moon so i cannot vouch for it’s size. regardless, the idea of a ‘supermoon’ did excite me. so, Happy SuperMoon everyone !

as for farm fresh eggs. i just want to say a big ole thank you to my friends out there. all of you. you know who you are. i’ve had a tough week and many of you know it. not only have i received several phone calls, but i also received these little ‘don’t forget we all love you’ packages. one containing cookies (thanks, R !) and another containing farm fresh eggs. you guys are awesome. i’m not sure i’d even be here anymore if it weren’t for you. i love you all.

so, a part of this week’s stress was a result of having to find a new roommate. one of us is leaving (serious sad face) and we need to fill the space ! so, we interviewed what felt like one hundred people – all from craigslist. i’ve never posted a ‘room for rent’ ad on craigslist before. it was terribly easy to get people here, almost too easy. we shook many a hand, but finally came to our final decision today. his name is Rhett and he’s from Atlanta, GA. (Gone With the Wind, anyone ?) i sensed an (awesome) slight drawl, but after living in the bay area for as long he has, it’s not incredibly noticeable. he seems like a perfect fit here and i think our new family will be great – even though we will dearly miss the girl who is moving out.

so, there was this event that happened when i was only two years old. this event is known as ‘Chernobyl.’ i’m sure you are familiar with it and if you are not, you’d best wikipedia it immediately. i was living in Germany at the time this disaster took place. my mother just reminded me of this fact and she was reminded by this because of what has just happened in Japan.

after Chernobyl happened, my family and i were not allowed to drink milk for six months and my sister and i were not allowed to play outside for six months, all due to the radiation. my mom has told me this story before, but i never really thought about it too hard until this evening. i will mostly blame my frenetic emotional state for suddenly focusing in on this detail from my childhood, but honestly ? i find it fascinating. i have been reading about it all day and reading all about the effects that radiation had on people – young and old alike.

(chernobyl sketch)

i’m still reading up on it and gathering information, but i have a feeling that this might spark a series of paintings or drawings related to the event. i find it hard to believe that this major event would not have had an impact on me – you know, internally. i have to wonder if i was exposed to radiation, and if so, how much ?  i’m not a hypochondriac by any means, but i guess there is a part of me that feels so out of place in this world that when i find something that could possibly explain why i am the way that i am, well, i’ll do my homework. i’ll read up on it. i haven’t found an explanation yet, so i’m not holding my breath about this major disaster having much to do with me and all of my wicked thoughts.




Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

2 responses to “rubber babies, the supermoon, farm fresh eggs, gone with the wind, & chernobyl

  1. Jessi – First of all, I will suffer no complaints from anyone that:
    a. was only 2 at the time of the Chernobyl incident
    b: lives within 1 hour drive time from Wilbur
    and c: has seen the Golden Gate bridge, moon or no moon.

    However, I am thinking of you and hoping more rubber babies come your way in whatever form that sort of random kindness takes.

    I did want to tell you too that I listened to a really interesting story on NPT yesterday (I wonder how many times a day that statement gets repeated). It was all about Japanese pop culture and the prevalence if disaster themes (earthquakes, radiation scares, Godzilla and yes, tsunamis). One thing they mentioned was that there has been several incidences lately of artwork circulating featuring many of Japans anime and film superheros pictured assisting rescue effort, helping people displaced by the current tragedy and working in the aid shelters alongside the citizenry. Sounded very cool…wish I could direct you to where to find it, but I bet you will enjoy searching for it and it may inspire your current efforts. I do remember that one of the characters they mentioned being featured in the artwork was a superhero that looks like an insect and rides a bike?
    Chin Up!

  2. Hi! I know exactly what tiny rubber animals you’re talking about, and in fact I’ve been looking for them all over! Could you tell me what company makes them and where I could get them online? Thanks!

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