Monday, November 19, 2012

Cleopatra, the Ho-Bag of Canopus

A month ago, May and I visited the Cleopatra exhibit.  I was going to do a bang-up job describing the dredged-up treasures on display and the things we learned, but then, in the snap of a wig, my life changed.
I was going to mention how the Romans looked down their long, well, Roman noses at Cleo.  She was a slut to them and she and her Egyptian subjects were all going to hell.  The Romans further hated Cleo for bewitching both Julius Cesar and Mark Anthony.  
     Never mind that she was brilliant, had studied at the famous library of Alexandria, and spoke at least five languages.  After the Romans destroyed her reign, they also destroyed all images of her, so that the world is left with only descriptions of what was said to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived.  
     Imagine the Romans being scandalized by the Egyptians! We think of the Romans as decadent and debauched.  Seems they were trollish little prudes compared to the party-hearty Egyptians.                 
I recommend this exhibit, but I want to tell you about my life.  I’ve been trying to lease out my home in Claremont since May.  While I was visiting Northern California with my college roommate, Joyce, I got the word -- a lovely family wanted to lease my home.  I had to be out in 12 days.

Hello, stress, good-bye Claremont.  I packed boxes, my friends and family packed boxes.  I found the Real Rock & Roll Movers on Yelp.  They put my things in Door to Door storage units and, as their name suggests, they ROCKED!  

      The day of my move was a comedy of reversals and surprises, starting with the flat tire on my van, a steady drenching rain, and continuing with the scary fact that my five storage units were filled within an hour of Robo and his Band of Merry Men’s arrival.  I needed more units.
That night, I was invited to Charlotte’s birthday and the Cleopatra in me was ready to party.  I sat at the bar of Tokyo Something, enjoying a frosty libation and congratulating myself on a day well executed despite the bumps.  Odd... no one I knew was walking through the door.  
       I texted John, who told me they were assembled at a different Tokyo Something.  I arrived stylishly late. Since there was sushi, mochi and sake, and it was John’s treat, things worked out great.
       Now I sit in Playa Del Rey.  I’m on day six here and the shell shock may be subsiding.  It’s hard to tell.  I’m living out of boxes and plan to rely on the kindness of strangers till I find a new home.  I have always wanted a vagrant, gypsy life and here it is.  Whoo-hooo!


  1. Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do, but you have the right attitude! It can be fun and to land in Playa del Rey sounds great. My master's thesis in history (which I never turned in) included a large section of the sense of identity in Egypt. Love that period.

  2. Thanx for the comment, John. Hope you make it to the California Science Center before December 31. The exhibit is small but exquisite and so thoughtfully presented. Sponsored by National Geographic, so you can well imagine the attention to detail.

    Yes, I have moved so many times in my adulthood, I feel like somewhat of an expert. Like anything else unpleasant that one has done repeatedly, it has become less of a challenge. I just love in vivo desensitization, don't you?

  3. Marta!

    I so enjoyed all you included with this posting. You are just THE BEST!!! Thanks for the grins at nearly-two in the a.m.

    Are you really moving from Claremont? Or did I get that wrong?

    Hope to see you soon.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Best, Lois H

    1. Hi Lois,

      Thank you for your encouraging comments. They mean so much, and were my wake-up email this glorious and moody-weathered morning in Pacific Grove.

      Yes, you got that right-- I have (temporarily, at least and at most, I hope) left the building. I mean, Claremont. Since it's only a lease deal, I expect to be back some time in the not so distant future. I miss my little Claremont already and shall visit often.

      For one thing, I am participating in John Brantingham's poetry workshops on Sunday mornings at the Buddhamouse Emporium on Yale, from 10AM to 1PM. For another, I sometimes come back to write on Friday mornings at the Buddhamouse with my friends and fellow scribes, Judy Kohnen and Sue Buckwell. And for another thing-- I just miss Claremont and my Claremont friends too much to stay away!

      Hope to see you soon, too, Lois. Perhaps at the Buddamouse? Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, as well.

      Hugs, Marta

  4. Yikes! Sounds pretty insane! It was good to see you this weekend!

  5. T'was a bit insane, as it was the fastest move I've ever had to make. You'd have to see my home, my stuff (some might call it sh_t) and the two garages of shame to understand the enormity of the undertaking. The Golden Eagle packers, who took over after I pooped out, and the Real Rock and Roll Movers were THE BEST!

    It was GREAT hanging with you at the NOWD. I expect to read about your adventures on your blog. You can expect the same from me, my friend.

  6. Very funny. I read ALL of them. You homeless vagrant! Are you around?

    My friend invited me to the Academy again Monday for a movie and I couldn't go, big bummer.

    So where will you live on a more permanent basis? Want to come to Chicago? Mi casa, tu casa.

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    2. I think we both deserve a second shot at the Academy. Maybe next year?

      Looks like I'll live in foggy/sunny Playa del Rey for the foreseeable future. Of course, I want to come to Chicago. Maybe in the first quarter of 2013, especially if I can tie it into book launch parties, signings, etc.

  7. I saw your posting about your move. How is it being a wayfarer? I have many fond memories of Cheviot Hills/Rancho Park/Playa del Rey from many phases of my life.


    1. It's a lot of fun, on the one hand, and very confusing on the other. I can't find my checkbooks, for example. Not the biggest loss in the world...