Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Art Imitates my Cranky Disposition

I am going to elaborate on the injustices perpetrated against me by my ungrateful bones and unfaithful innards. After all I’ve done for them in the last few years, I deserve better.

My diet options are being chiseled away at an alarming rate by organs that arbitrarily decide they will no longer perform the functions for which they are intended.

I’ve given up a lot of delicacies over the years. I waved a fond farewell to liver and onions, chicken gizzards, wieners, potted meat and spam. Then it was mushrooms, carrots, legumes and nuts. No more peanut butter, bratwursts, aged cheese, or un-distilled alcoholic beverages. Goodbye my precious beer. I tried not to be too disappointed when shellfish, crustaceans, beef, turkey, chicken, asparagus, spinach, and cauliflower sailed over the horizon, never to return. And the list goes on.

Just as it seemed that I might learn to live happily alongside dry lettuce sandwiches on stale bread, unflavored water and air, the gods saw fit to crumble my brittle soul with words that I prayed would never come.

Please, oh mighty Zeus, I beseech you, do not render my last delicious condiment verboten, do not take away the only taste sensation that separates me from culinary oblivion, do not cast me into the bottomless pit of grocery doom. Take anything, take my homemade buttermilk cathead biscuits, pluck my pathetic testicles from their shriveled sack, just leave me be with my glorious vinegar you dirty bastard! Please! Not my precious vinegar!

It happened, vinegar is gone, and along with it all of the things that vinegar makes so incomprehensibly gratifying. Cheap yellow mustard, ketchup, even mayonnaise, gone. The giant sour dill pickles and pickled jalapenos, they have vanished from my life. Sauerkraut, olives, German potato salad…poof* Cucumber salad, deviled eggs, vinaigrettes, all gone. Malt vinegar, rice vinegar, cider vinegar, vinegar vinegar, they are no longer for me.

Think of something you really like to eat. Chances are it has vinegar in it. Chocolate ice cream has vinegar in it and so do big, fluffy, buttery sweet cinnamon rolls. Think of a warm glazed doughnut, fresh out of the hot grease canal, that’s right, vinegar! The next time you find yourself in synchronized passion with the one you love, arms and legs entangled in delirious ecstasy, quiet whispers giving way to uncontrollable wails of elation, you can get down on your knees and thank vinegar for making it all possible! Don’t ask me how or why, I don’t know.

This was the last piece of pottery that I made prior to that day when sweet innocent vinegar was torn asunder and unceremoniously ripped from my embrace. I was still happy then, I can see it in the reflection of the copper and iron that dance across the shiny surface.

Then I went to my dark place. A place where apple juice and popcorn are all I have left. It can’t be too long before they come for that too. I don’t care, take it, I’ll eat lawn mower clippings and dirt.

So this is what my clay has come to.


Blogger Agent Kitten said...

You better make sure you pick the bugs out of the dirt, they're sure to contain something you aren't allowed to ingest.
BTW, very friggin creepy piece there.

4:09 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Lexcen said...

I too suffer from intolerant digestive system. You have my sympathy.

6:10 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Jazz said...

That last piece is creepy, but I love it. I have intolerance issues to, though nothing like yours. Ever so sorry it has come to this.

7:38 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

How utterly awful for you.

But the vase is divine.

The head? Well, that's a bit scary, but the craftmanship is fine.


8:22 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Hammer said...

Rotten luck :(

That is a beautiful piece though.

I've had to give up a bunch of foods myself. It really sucks.

10:15 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Kara said...

I'll eat a homemade pickle in your honor.

But seriously...will you give a dramatic shudder and expire if you consume these edibles? Or will you just be "uncomfortable" for a while? I guess what I'm asking is, is the pain of not eating these things equal to or greater than the result of eating them?

1:21 PM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Shimmerrings said...

Yikes! That's scary... but kinda neat. Sorry about the tummy... has to be pure hell.

9:31 PM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

That's some bad luck. Do you have to give up all this stuff forever? Are they just foods that react badly with the medicine you take for your spine problems or something, meaning you can recommence with vinegary goodness at some point in a pain-free future? Holy hell man, I hope things get better soon. You sound in a bad way.

Cool art by the by.

Why can't I leave a comment on Kara's site??

8:18 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger madpotter said...

Slaghammer, I never knew such beauty could come from earth elements! You are a magician! That pot is a feast for the eyes. Now, I hope these doctors aren't playing with you, pretending they know what's best, because they do that. And they don't have a clue most of the time. They've just become experts at convincing us they are all-knowing experts. Crap, I couldn't make it without any one item you listed, much less ALL of them. I don't care if I'm spewing out both ends, I ain't never giving up vinegar products. Is this a short-term loss or is it like, forever?

7:17 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh man... that truly sucks the high hard one. I lost all nuts a couple of years back.. and all seeds.. Including berries. I feel your pain my friend. But you still can have popcorn you lucky bass~turd!

Love the vase... is it a vinegar cruet?? heheh sorry couldn't resist...

10:46 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi Agent Kitten, as far as I know, I can eat any bug that inhabits my immediate ecosystem. I know this only because I have not been issued a list, yet, that strictly prohibits eating multi-legged creatures. Or for that matter, even the legless varieties. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Hi Lexcen, it is a lonely life we lead. My restrictions have little to do with digestive intolerance and more to do with my kidneys, liver, and brain. At the end of the day though, the result is the same, nothing to eat that ‘s worth eating.

Hi Jazz, the last piece is creepy even to me.

Hey Glamourpuss, thanks for your kind assessment of the vase. Technically speaking, it is one of my best efforts. Aesthetically speaking, I like it a lot.

Hey Hammer, sorry to hear you too lead a bland life where food is concerned. It will take a while, but I’ll find something to take the place of vinegar.

Hi Kara, I love pickles. Jilly has caught me on many occasions drinking pickle juice directly from the jar. In answer to your question, the penalty for eating various forbidden foods is horrible in some cases, terrible in others. There is outlandish pain in cases where the food is on the gout diet or the migraine diet list. There are stern admonitions from my gastroenterologist and nephrologist for evidence showing up in biopsies and blood tests of cheating behavior. It is all an interconnected system of action and reaction that can, at the least amount of prodding, create a cascading series of system malfunctions manifesting in overblown cataclysmic physical destruction. Then I can’t do things like work, play, sleep, or eat, for a few days.

Hey Shimmerings, I think I’ll be doing more scary stuff in the near future. I may as well take advantage of my structurally unstable biological system and make it productive.

Hi Sam, Problem-child-bride, I hope to regain my rights to vinegar and vinegar food products, but it is unclear at this time whether or not that will happen. The vinegar in particular is forbidden by my neurologist, who thinks she can cure my headaches. I’m not sure what I’ll do if she is successful. If it turns out the vinegar is a headache trigger for me, then I’ll have to find another reason for living.

Hi Madpotter, I am completely overtaken by your kind assessment of my efforts, especially coming from a potter who creates such beautiful and relevant pieces as I’ve seen at your blog. Don’t even get me started on your wood-fired groundhog kiln and the effort you expend at harvesting local clay. I am a grunt in comparison. Regarding the expertise and believability of the doctors who have so callously altered my dinning experience, I am typically very suspicious of them and watch closely for instances of self-contradiction, unsupportable logic, and plain old gobbledygook. Unfortunately, this time around I don’t have that luxury as the migraines I’m having are intense, unrelenting, and they are occurring daily. I’ll let go of my precious vinegar for a while, but if I don’t see some serious results, it’s back to the pickle jar I go.
By the way, I just found a comment you left at my old “Needle Point” post. Sorry to take so long to answer it.

Hi Cheesy, nuts were a hard one to lose, so to speak. I miss peanut butter so much and I find myself angry at people who eat it without truly appreciating what a glorious food option it really is. Damn ungrateful people. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to hang on to popcorn though. I eat so much of it now, something is bound to happen and it will be gone too.

12:44 PM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Whippersnapper said...

Living off popcorn is not so bad, I did it for most of my early twenties. I didn't have an eating disorder, I'm just incredibly lazy when it comes to food preparation, and it was the easiest thing to "cook." Sorry about your food intolerances though. In retrospect, living off popcorn was probably only tolerable because the option to stray was always there.

Beautiful vase. Do you do shipments? I would actually really love to buy one of your pieces.

9:55 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Evil Spock said...

When the nutritionist came for the gizzards, I was silent.

When they came for SPAM, I was silent.

When they came for the Vinegar, there was no one left to speak out . . .

My apologies to Martin Niemöller . . .

1:21 PM, October 02, 2007  
Blogger photo blog girl said...

Hey, nice piece of pottery! The photographer I blog about, Jason, his parents are also potters, that's how they make their living. Their website is here:

Anyway, I'm vegan so I can definitely relate to missing food. Deviled eggs...mmmmm....

6:33 PM, October 04, 2007  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Fuckin' cool art!!!
Maybe one day their will be a Willy Wanka gum that taste like all those things, just like in the movie... then you can at least settle the taste cravings... then you can eat the grass clippings to fill the gut :)

6:49 PM, October 04, 2007  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi Whippersnapper, lucky for me, I do love popcorn and it is so easy to fix. I recently spurned microwave popcorn and went back to doing in a pan. Much better and much cheaper too. Regarding pottery shipments, I still have my real job to contend with, so my sales are in small numbers to local buyers. If things keep going like they have been for the last few months, pottery may be my only source of income which would necessitate mail shipments. If/when that time comes, this blog will likely be the primary point of contact.

Spaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwk! I think Martin would appreciate the comedy of your good-hearted bastardization, but then again, maybe not. I read somewhere that the dude wan not a party animal.

Hi Photo Blog Girl, Jason’s parents are doing some stunningly beautiful work. I also throw “upside down” on my larger pieces. The pedestal and vase piece seen here

had to be thrown upside down in three sections because my main kiln is only 16 inched deep. I’m saving up for a larger one.

Hi Rachel, thank you very fucking much. I’m not sure I could stomach Sauer Kraut Gum, then again, it’s not sounding so bad at the moment.

1:17 PM, October 06, 2007  
Blogger nic said...

I think you might give new meaning to the idea of being a tortured artist. I hate the cliche things that people say, so I'll just not use it and instead make some other kind of lame comment that focuses on the positive.

If your body weren't such a burden, you life just might be perfect. When you talk about Jilly, your pottery, and ...well, when you just talk, I sense that, overall, you truly love life. If that is a gift, then you really have it.

And when you consider all the crap they put in food along with the vinegar, etc, come on, do you really feel that bad about having to give up on trans-fatty-ness, cat sperm and refined sugars? You have to admit, high fructose corn syrup is the devil. (Although I have the short convinced that caffeine is the devil; he'll even tell you so.)

Thus ends the preaching by little miss sunshine. Feel free to throw ketchup and mustard filled plastic bags at her. (You have to do something with the surplus)

I hope you feel better soon, slag. If you accept hugs, I'd gladly give you one. Otherwise, I'll send along a kindly (and gentle) chuck on the shoulder.

8:35 PM, October 07, 2007  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi Nic, I detected not a hint of lameness or preaching in your comments. Regarding the crap they put in food these days, I’m not a fan of aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated trans fats, caffeine, or MSG. But….oh sweet mother of Zeus….vinegar is the plug that fits my socket. Vinegar reunites the scattered shards of my fractured spirit. When I think of vinegar, I imagine floating on a raft in an ocean of endorphins. I’m not a chocolate fan and I get cravings for sugar maybe two or three times a year. Sour, tart, salty and bitter are what I crave and vinegar is the force that binds it all together like no other food product on planet earth. Regarding hugs, the world in which I was raised was a “No-Touch” zone, unless of course the “touch” was delivered in a vengeful act of violence. I’m happy to report I’ve left that fucked up world far behind. Thanks for he hugs.

10:39 PM, October 08, 2007  
Blogger David said...

Bodies are treacherous bastards - I should know that - and you have my deep empathy that there is not more you can do to take revenge upon it for its mighty treachery.

5:08 AM, October 14, 2007  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

I'm so sorry to read about your losses.

.. take my homemade buttermilk cathead biscuits..

Wait, what?!

8:21 PM, October 26, 2007  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi David, I'm always embarrassed at my own sniveling weekness when I consider the plight of others. Things are techically no better than they were, but little by little, it is becoming the new "normal." It takes a while sometimes but in that respect, it is getting better.

Hi Orhan, that was an offer made in the heat of the moment. Catheads are no longer on the bargaining table. If they want them, they will have to pry my cathead biscuits from my cold dead fingers.

8:59 AM, October 28, 2007  
Blogger Edukator said...

Ah man. No vinegar. Sorry to hear this Slaghammer. I feel for ya. I love food. If I had it taken away I'd be a shrivelled up raisiny sack of despair.

When the nutritionist came for the gizzards, I was silent.

When they came for SPAM, I was silent.

When they came for the Vinegar, there was no one left to speak out . . .

My apologies to Martin Niemöller . . .

1:21 PM, October 02, 2007

Now that's funny!

2:11 AM, November 24, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

Wow! It's as if I wrote this post! I have given up (not out of choice) almost all of my favorite foods. I am sick of salads and am trying to find something else to eat.

Glad I tracked you down.

7:34 PM, December 06, 2007  
Blogger Shimmerrings said...

Happy Holidays, Slag... hope you are feeling better.

11:05 PM, December 24, 2007  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi Edukator, sorry about the long absence and delayed response, especially considering your funny comment. I’ll post with an update on the future of my blogging abilities soon.

Hi Dave, once again, I apologize for not answering sooner. It’s been a long time since the days when I could sit on my ass at the keyboard for more than a few minutes at a time. Sorry to hear that you too have been screwed out of life’s second greatest pleasure.

Hey Shimmerings, it’s about the same, but thanks for the encouraging words.

12:27 AM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Tales of an Artist & his Travelers said...

Hi Slag, I have one of those disintegrating bodies also. I think it`s the raku smoke. Maybe the wheel! Nope, it was the booze and the jelly donut diet I pursued for years. Anyway, you turn out some great stuff buddy. May the spirits (duendes) leave me along with this message and find you in good humor. Good luck

5:24 PM, January 27, 2008  

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