Monday, October 02, 2006

Wanton Idolatry

Updated! See #8!

Greetings, weblings. In the tradition of many a blogger before me, and because I know you all want to get to know me just that much better, I will begin to present glimpses of Chez Nator in all it's squalid glory. Today's feature is:

That weird altar-like set-up in our bedroom (on the monstrous bookcase, next to the cable box, above the make-up case and below the expired prescription narcotics)!

click to see larger version

Click to see a larger version

Without further ado, the Key:

1. A pretty purple piece of fabric that came with the note from the seller in Japan when he sent me the kimono I bought for Mrs. Nator a few years ago. The kimono is quite striking, and hangs on our bedroom wall. I might feature it in a later entry, if anyone's interested.

2. Various rocks, crystals, shells and graven images given to me (mostly by my mother) or that we've picked up in places like Costa Rica, Hawaii and Cape Cod. They probably have all kinds of new-age energetic mineral properties I don't remember or understand, but mostly we thought they were pretty and now don't know what the heck to do with them. One only hopes that the lifeforce waves, or whatever it is that they're sending out, aren't all converging in some discordant, anti-feng shui brew that will lead to early onset feminine baldness, or some such, in our future.

3. A pottery sea otter. Since I was a kid, my mom had this pretty little pottery piping plover (say that five times fast) that I was fascinated with. Somehow, thirty-odd years later, remembered that, figured that I like otters and got me this - I think from the same potter in Maine. It's cute, but I'd rather have the real thing. (Hey, all I need is a big pool and a lifetime supply of fish, right?)

4. An origami cat I made. I got really into origami for a while, but generally once I made something once or twice, I'd get bored, not make it again and forget how to do it completely. After I met Mrs. Nator, it turned out that she'd liked to do origami, too (I know, we're a match made in heaven) and she got me a new book and paper set that included this kind of kitty. Being a cat freak, I made a lot more of these than any other foldings, but I still abandoned them and now don't know how I did it. This cat, therefore, is both decoration and evidence.

5. A lucky cat (Maneki Neko) bank someone gave me. I don't remember who, so I'm a terrible person. As you will see, the Asian and feline themes continue with...

6. Cat Bud-dha! Cat Bud-dha! Cat, Cat, Cat Bud-dha! W00T!

(Incidentally, this is not my original Cat Buddha, which I bought in a store in Woodstock, NY, and treasured for about 20 minutes before losing it. It was four or five years later that I found the artist who made it and special ordered this replacement in the same cheery yellow. It was then that I achieved Tchotchkele Nirvana.)

7. A Chinese statue of Quan Yin (Kuan Yin, Guan Yin, Kwannon, etc.), allegedly "antique," that I bought. This was not long after we named our youngest cat Quan Yin, which is another story, and I was enamoured with the thought of having a goddess of compassion looking after our little family. Not to mention, I thought the statue was beautiful, and fit with the Asian theme we were cobbling together in the bedroom. Befitting her compassion, this Quan Yin was quite reasonably priced, too, and has been blessing our household with implied, if unlikely, authenticity ever since.

8. I can't believe I left out the key to #8 when I first posted this. Nevermind, this is me - I believe it.

These are salt and pepper shakers hand-painted by my great-aunt (or great-great aunt, I'm not exactly sure), one Molly Dunker. Besides being lovely to look at, they connect me to the shadowy legend of my heritage, involving the Hapsburg court, three sisters, a carriage accident and a nunnery. I am not making this up! Although I've seen a few other pieces by Molly (who I think passed on before I was born), these are the only ones that have been passed down to me, allowing me to ponder the dramatic tale associated with them, what Ms. Dunker's life must have been like, and wonder whether I am actually a decendent of a powerful royal family or my forebears just liked making things up.

And finally, we come to...

?. Here is where we normally find a certain wallet-sized photo, removed for this picture. Is it of a respected ancestor or venerated spiritual leader? No, it is a chubby, pre-pubescent Mrs. Nator in her cheesy softball uniform, complete with red 'fro sticking out of an ill-advised visor. I find it ridiculously endearing, but, as she is appalled that even I've seen it, I have removed it to protect her... aw, hell, it's to protect me from gettin' a beat-down.

And there you have it. Who knows what other meaningful and artistic flourishes embellish the House of Nator? Tune in next time, little ones...

11 comments:

Heather said...

Exxxxxxcellent. I now know that I have the perfect holiday present for you! *wiggling eyebrows* (Can't decide if it should be belated birthday or early Christmas or perhaps Halloween...)

Why don't you do the medicine cabinet next? Since something like 70% of house guests snoop in the medicine cabinet anyhow...

First Nations said...

more more! more more!
oo!armistad maupin! we have all the 'tales of the city'books. the biker loves them! id never hearda the guy.

i wanna see your druuuuuuuugs.

Da Nator said...

Heather - are they tiny kimonos for all my kitties? Because they'd probaby kill me, but that'd be soooo adoooorable. (snerk.)

FN - We have the whole series, including the "return to" set. I enjoyed them a lot, although I think they got slightly tiresome after the first four or five.

I think all those drugs are actually painkillers from before and after I had my spinal fusion surgery. Alas, I don't think I have any of the good stuff, like the Xanax, left, or I'd be feelin' pretty happy right... about... now. ;o)

Ken said...

May we humbly beg you, or actually harshly demand, that you show us (1) the photo of Mrs. Nator in her cheesy softball uniform and (2) Mrs. Nator modelling the purple kimono? We're waiting.

And related to your earlier post, the candy corn from Zachary Family Confections may be the best there is. And did you know that the candy corn that's chocolate on the wide end, instead of yellow, is called 'Indian Corn?' Read all about it on their site.

Da Nator said...

Ken, I tried to convince Mrs. Nator to pose for nude photos last night (tasteful and arty, of course). She said she'd think about it(it helped that I'd been crying a few minutes before about something unrelated). However, I will wager that she will agree to that far sooner than she would me displaying her pre-teen softball uniform photo anywhere.

I am highly skeptical about those other candy corns, as Brach's are the only ones I know have honey in them, but since none of the stores I see listed as selling Zachary's are near me*, I will have to hold off on passing judgement. Perhaps I will ask my mother-in-not-law to pick some up from Wal-Mart for me to sample when I go south for Mrs. Nator's brother's wedding.

*Seriously, there are almost no huge-size chain stores in NYC, and the ones we have are crap. The Home Depot and Target in Brooklyn are like the malformed, retarded versions of suburban Targets and HDs. Consequently, having rarely been in the suburbs since 1988, the interiors of many of those places are cavernous mysteries to me. We ended up stopping at a Christmas Tree store in Cape Cod to use the bathroom this summmer, and I wandered in and thought, "hey, this isn't a Christmas store! What's all this junk, and where are all the trees?"

Heather said...

Hmmmm....... It occurs to me, while reading about Mrs. Nator's cheesy preteen softball uniform, that I may have equally cheesy pics of a certain someone (*cough* GK *cough*) from the same era myself... I'm thinking of occasions like Madrigals concerts or various high school theater productions......

Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Da Nator said...

DUDE. I cannot be responsible for items I was forced to wear, like Madrigals-appropriate skirts & blouses or costumes for plays.

Shoot, I can't even be too embarassed by having appeared on television in a velour shirt with a big rat's nest sticking out the side of my head, since I was young enough that my mother should have done something about it.

Like you were such a fashion plate. Hmph.

Heather said...

HEE!

Your high school sartorial splendor, as evidenced by many a grainy photograph in many a dusty album on the lower reaches of my living room bookshelves, shall remain unshared by me. (And not just 'cause I was in 'em too. I mean, damn, I looked GOOD in that Mikado kimono... ;) )

claire said...

ha! love this: One only hopes that the lifeforce waves, or whatever it is that they're sending out, aren't all converging in some discordant, anti-feng shui brew that will lead to early onset feminine baldness, or some such, in our future.

i've had these same thoughts - only maybe not the feminine baldness thing, that wouldn't have even occured to me. although...
i've got piles and collections of rocks and gems scattered around haphazardly, too. i used to know what they all did - they even used to be 'charged'. i've gotten lazy an forgetful, and am a lousy witch.

btw - i would have commented earlier, but it seems like my work computer system is conspiring against us. i could hardly read the text and the picture was just a big white square. Stupid work. Fine now, though! :)

Anonymous said...

A certain man named De·me´tri·us was a silversmith by trade. He made it his business to make silver shrines of Ar´te·mis to furnish this and his coop of craftsmen no little gain. One day he took his employees aside, plus his local business people to say: “we are in business to make these shrines, and this is our prosperity. This man, Paul is preaching about another opinion; he is saying these things that we are manufacturing for people to purchase to place in their homes are not gods. His reasoning is. . .”we are remiss to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by our arts and contrivances.””

Since he has persuaded a considerable crowd, this is bad for business. Why they are not gods, he reasons, is because they are made by hands. Further, he claims the true God does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he is in need of anything. Enough being said, it’s obvious that we’ll lose our jobs if we let these men alone. Not only that, it will bring our great god Artemis to be esteemed as nothing. The danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Ar´te·mis will be esteemed as nothing. It took courage for Paul to preach with “big business” fighting him. Notice the case in point toward Paul, there was “no little disturbance concerning the way”.

It was not Paul’s purpose to put people out of business, rather he said: “woe is me if I did not declare the news that they should know as the first of the ten commandments, namely: You must not have any other gods against my face. “You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth.”

Anonymous said...

A certain man named De·me´tri·us was a silversmith by trade. He made it his business to make silver shrines of Ar´te·mis to furnish this and his coop of craftsmen no little gain. One day he took his employees aside, plus his local business people to say: “we are in business to make these shrines, and this is our prosperity. This man, Paul is preaching about another opinion; he is saying these things that we are manufacturing for people to purchase to place in their homes are not gods. His reasoning is. . .”we are remiss to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by our arts and contrivances.””

Since he has persuaded a considerable crowd, this is bad for business. Why they are not gods, he reasons, is because they are made by hands. Further, he claims the true God does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he is in need of anything. Enough being said, it’s obvious that we’ll lose our jobs if we let these men alone. Not only that, it will bring our great god Artemis to be esteemed as nothing. The danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Ar´te·mis will be esteemed as nothing. It took courage for Paul to preach with “big business” fighting him. Notice the case in point toward Paul, there was “no little disturbance concerning the way”.

It was not Paul’s purpose to put people out of business, rather he said: “woe is me if I did not declare the news that they should know as the first of the ten commandments, namely: You must not have any other gods against my face. “You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth.”