November 10, 2009

It's Pottery Wednesday


This is a full-service blog.

We try to be very responsive to customer complaints around here.

Joe was whinging unmercifully yesterday about not seeing enough posts about pottery on O Dock. Well Joe, I've got your pottery, right here.

Now this isn't a classy antique Greek wine mug with a painting of Dionysos like you posted. I don't have a vast collection of antique wine mugs like you do.

And this isn't a pedigreed metallic-overlayed lustre painted 15th century bowl from the freakin' Victoria and Albert Museum, like Tillerman posted, either.

Joe, mark my words. Tillerman is up to no good with that bowl. He posted and then sat back, practically mute, just waiting for us to make fools of ourselves in the comments page. I'll bet there's some very clever story behind that bowl, with a real 'gotcha' ending that he's just waiting to spring on us.

I'll bet someone like Anna Tunnicliffe got dragged to the Albert and Victoria Museum when she was eight years old, and the sight of that bowl with a sailboat on it was a religious experience for her, and she started sailing Lasers the next day and grew up to become an Olympic champion because of that bowl.

But, at any rate, my pottery isn't as fancy as yours or Tillerman's. I swiped it from my mom's kitchen the last time I visited her. It may not look like much, but it happens to have very special significance for me.

When I was a young brat, around five or six years old, back in 18th century Philadelphia, these were the plates they served me dinner on. They didn't trust me with the good stuff, figuring I might toss them on the floor.

And they always told me, "You can't leave the table until you clean your plate, children are starving in Europe." I never understood how cleaning my plate would help the starving children in Europe at all. But then, they added the kicker line: "You can't get up until you can see the sailboat.

I swear, I'm not making this up.

So fast forward several centuries. I'm all grown up, or as grown up as I'm ever going to be and I'm wondering why I have this obsession with sailboats.

Last summer, I visited my mom, and, in the back of her cupboard, there it was - this old plate from when I was five years old. Joe, I found my ROSEBUD!!!!

This plate! That's it! That's why I'm obsessed with sailing the way I am!

I can't get up. I can't leave the table. I can't do anything. I am thoroughly, completely paralyzed.

Until I can see my sailboat.



  1. It's true, we were all staving, living in shoe boxes on the M1, eating coal that we found on the tip, dreaming of the day that we too had a plate to eat off, such luxury, and maybe even food!

  2. JP is so right. Except I am older than JP so we didn't even have the M1 when I were a lad. And coal was much too valuable to eat; if we were ever lucky enough to find a piece of coal on the slag heap we saved it to carve into a clog. The only thing that kept us going was knowing that little American kids were being told to eat everything on their plates to help us starving children in Europe. But we did our bit too. Even though we only had a few baked beans and a bit of stewed cabbage for dinner (on a good day) we had to clean our plates to help the starving children in Africa.

    OMG. Best verification word ever: zinger.

  3. Can I use that excuse for my boss?

    "Sorry sir, I'm paralyzed. I can't work until I see my sailboat."

  4. Ok, it says, Pottery Weds , here but the Blogfather says it was pottery Tues... which is it?

    Oh, wait this is the Left Coast, I forgot about the time variable

  5. Tillerman and JP, I think if those of us who grew up in the America of the 1950's knew nothing else about Europe, it was that 'children were starving' there. That line was spoon-fed to us at dinner along with the meatloaf and Birdseye frozen peas (it wasn't until much later in life that I discovered all peas are not frozen).

    Our parents had been through the war and believed what our government told them about what was happening 'over there'. Few of them had ever been to Europe or even considered going there to be something they might ever do. Maybe this notion was a holdover from what conditions were like immediately after the war, and maybe part of our government's propaganda to sell the Marshall Plan and similar programs.

    Along with this picture of widespread starvation, I was taught all sorts of curious things. All Russians were grim-faced, humorless people who blindly believed what their government told them (except, of course, that their government lied, while ours always told the truth). All Russians went to bed at night with only one thought in their minds - destroy all Americans. Wow, with an enemy like that (they were 'the enemy', weren't they?), we'd better shape up and support our defense industry, no questions asked.

    Thank god those times were so short-lived, and that our government never again tried to paint for us a picture of the world that was inaccurate. And I'm glad that all of you Brits who weren't starving drove around in Rolls Royces, stopping by the side of the road, wherever you might be each day, promptly at four, to be served tea and scones by your butlers, serving staff, attendants, and footmen.

  6. Zen, haven't you learned that if it hasn't happened in California yet, it just hasn't happened?

  7. I thought everything happened first in California and then everybody else copies it.

  8. No, no. It's only the important, trend-setting stuff that happens first in California.

    If something happens somewhere else first, the rest of the world waits, breathlessly, to see if we will verify their verycoolness, or not.

  9. Yeah, that sounds right to me.

    "verify their verycoolness...or not!"

  10. So if I do pottery on Tuesday and O Docker does it on Wednesday, he is "verifying my verycoolness"?

    Verification word: "urnal" - of or pertaining to a pottery urn!

  11. Yes, but it's nothing to worry about, really.

    I usually verify your verycoolness.

  12. Unless it is on Tues...

    and having to do with Glen Beck

  13. Did the Tillerman make that plate? You know, he is really old.

    I know who Anna Tunnicliffe, but who is Glen Beck?

  14. All I know, Joe, is he's not the Beck who makes the beer. You'll have to ask Tillerman - he's the one who likes to quote him.

    If I ever start quoting Glenn Beck, call 911 and tell them there's a dangerous guy on O Dock who's off his meds.

  15. Word verification: "ductor"

    Must be a quack!

    (groan, sorry, but thats really what it was so had to post)

  16. Meanwhile, in my NaNo novel, my characters are watching a hockey game in which the Sharks are devouring the Ducks.

    And over at Muddled Ramblings, there's a duck that flies through now and then.