East Coast Road Trip 11 907

back to school

East Coast Road Trip 11 907So, one of the things I wanted to do is get back into writing so I created this thinking if I had to pay for it I would be more responsible toward it…that’s how it was when I was going to physical therapy.  You work your butt off because of the co-pays.  Eight solid months of three days a week.  It was excruciating, but I did it because I was doing what the docs told me to do.  The main thing, other than the pulling and snapping and cracking, was the core training.  In the past I’ve had the old school gallbladder surgery (which means being ripped stem to stern and stapled back up) as well as double knee surgeries.  I’ve had a bunch more, but not related to the ones I had where I should have had physical therapy for those three, yet nope, not a stitch.  My PTs were horrified to hear I was never offered therapy…especially to re-establish a core.

Oh, wait, this was about writing…

And paying.


So, about a month ago I watched a how to online and got me a web site…and stopped  just after that.  I didn’t set it up completely and have basically just posting for myself.  This is one of those.  This one is all about schooling myself so I’m watching the tutorial again and will attempt to push past the 20 minute mark.

…which I didn’t.  I didn’t even go any further.  Flash forward two more weeks.


Decemberr 2011 063

One giant leap for chicken

Jan 2013 002So, back in 2012, a number of people had told me they enjoyed my photography and should do something with it.  Like so many other people, I’m just someone that takes a lot of photos and why is mine any better than anyone elses’?  That’s what I’ve thought and have kept right on thinking.  But, being that people have mentioned it a number of times, I decided I would try to believe in myself half as much as they do and maybe do something about it.

Well, back in June I went to a cafe in my town of Oak Park and asked for information as to how I may possibly get a chance to put up some of my photos.  They handed me an artist’s agreement with all the nec. info.  I read it over and put it in a safe place…where it promptly disappeared.  I went back in August and requested it once more…and again, it was a victim of David Copperfield-itis.  I decided obviously this was not for me.

Later in October I decided to email them as if I did get a reply, there’s a good chance I would be able to not loose my whole mailbox (but really, don’t put it past me).  So I did.  I checked back eagerly every day….nothing.  And then I checked back a week or so later….and then about a month later (it’s not my regular email address…this was created for my artistic endeavors).  There was a note from the owner!!  He asked to see some of my work and we would go from there…

flash forward two more months (the last couple of months of the year are the worst, by far, at work for me…think along the lines of accounting people mid April).  I finally, the last week of December, threw a half dozen photos in a letter and popped them off with a sincere thank you for offering this outlet for artists and that he was going to be filling a life goal of mine.

You can only go in and take care of all the details after 4 on Monday and Tuesdays.  I was going to go this Monday, but Unwellness took over and was laid out after work.  I did what I could though to put it all together for the next day:  framing them, printing out title cards, etc.  It was going to be Tuesday.  Unfortunately it was a Tuesday a whole bunch of my friends were seeing my old band mate play and I wanted go as well, but I was determined to not make any more excuses and just GO!

My boyfriend offered to meet me there after he got off work so I went home and pulled everything I just may need (hammer, nails, tape, etc.), freaked out until he told me he was almost there, and left.  He had already arrived when I walked in.  We ordered drinks and I babbled about the photos.  They got the owner and he came down.  He checked out the pics, discussed the details, then picked up one and asked if he could hang it in the bathroom because they just sold what was hanging there.  Um, sure thing!  I think it’s hilarious one of my prints is up in the bathroom.   The rest, he said, can go pretty much anywhere I found space.

Jan 2013 018

The place was scantly populated, but 6 or so people were about 5 more than I would have prefered.  One of the most nerve wracking things once I was in the thick of it was the actual hammering of the nails.  People are enjoying their lattes and doing their homework or just quietly chatting when BAM BAM BAM!!  I may have flushed the colour of cranberries at all the ruckus.  After it was the trying to get the pictures actually hung.  I took the easy way out because I put them low and near the table we were sitting at so I didn’t have to go hunting for a ladder.  Granted, they may be a tad too low where shoulder bumping or coffee splashing may be their undoing, but they are hung.  Four of them.  In public.  Where people I don’t know….and do know…can look at them.  And I’m thrilled, not because they are up, but moreso because I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do, but was afraid to, for a very long time.

As I mentioned to the owner, in the end, it’s not about the money, but the mere fact that it’s out in the world now all alone without me holding its hand…but, if it happens, the cash would be nice too!!

Suddenly Susan

Sometimes something happens that makes you stop, wonder, and possibly pushes you to examine your life.  Granted, hopefully there are a good many things that make you wonder, as that’s one of the best things about the planet, the ever abundance of wondrousness, but there are, at times, the big ones that come on up and slap you in the face, or pull your pants down, or just points and gestures wildly.  The beginning of December I had one of those moments when I was told a girlfriend of mine had passed away.  A friend, living only one year longer on this planet than I have,  who succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

I was dumbstruck.  I have suffered losses in my life: divorce, miscarriage, suicides of friends, the death of both parents to name a few, and each time something like that happens, reflection accompanies sadness.  This was no exception.  I heard and nodded and mentioned on how much it sucked…and then I was left alone to myself and my thoughts through the rest of the day.  As I was walking the half mile from the train, those thoughts decided it was finally time to start the feeling and I wept the whole way home.  This surprised me some as I’m not the weepy type.  I contemplated this as well and realized I was not only crying for myself, her husband, her family and friends, but I was also crying because not only was the planet missing out on one fantastic person, but also because my kind had lost one of their own.

My kind?  Yes, my kind.  The buddy chick.  The cool girl that guys want to hang with.  The girl that’s typically not fond of ‘girls’.  I know that sounds ironic, but there are legion of girls that had, in their past I would guess, had to deal with the mean, cliquish girl that picked on others, made girls feel they weren’t pretty, or skinny, or well dressed, etc. enough.  The bitches.  A good portion of my female friends are these girls and the early reveal is always, “I like you, you’re pretty cool, and I usually don’t like chicks”.  Ms. Susan was one of these gals.

I had met her about five plus years ago.  I was shambling through Grant Park in Chicago’s first official zombie walk (don’t get me started on that, but that’s a gripe for another day) with my zombie baby when a zombie couple and their decapitated head lurched beside me.  I, as I tend to do from time to time, made a remark and suddenly the head and the baby were smooching on each other.  We chittered and twittered and as soon as we found each other, lost ourselves in the pool of rotting flesh that roiled on the field.  I was to never see my new friend again…

until about a year later.  I had the luck to stumble on some new friends at that time and, as such, was able to accomplish one of my life goals – to be in a full length movie.  Now, I guess I wasn’t really that specific in my goalage – the movie was a pretty dang low-budget horror-comedy flick.  Not only was I background filler, I also assisted with make-up and prop design.  Is my name on IMBD for any of this?  Nope, but again, that’s another gripe for another day.  On one of my background filler days, we all had to report to the Gold Star Bar on Division Street.  This was the first time I ventured into that bar and that street ever for that matter.  This neighborhood watering hole was fairly large and dimly lit (as most should be) with an enormous, beautiful, dark wood counter that is shaped almost like a giant question mark.  The back housed a pool table and a couple of Formica tables and vinyl chairs for patrons to hunker down near the juke that may, to this day, carry some of the best music any northside bar could hope to have.  The owner had granted use of the bar for a scene and we were there for most of the day.  During one of the many down times there is during a film shoot I was talking to the owner/bartender.  I mentioned that she looked really familiar and almost at the same time we pointed and said zombie march!  This was my head-toting zombie friend in the living fleshed-coloured flesh!

I’m not really a drinker all that much anymore, but the Gold Star became my bar bar.  Over time I realized it became the bar bar for a great many people: neighborhoodies, hipsters, horror geeks and freaks of all kinds.  I would be fitting in the last two categories…as did she of course!  She and I, and a number of my/our friends, are a part of Chicago’s horror scene (yes, there is a scene, trust me!).  She and I would talk about the places we’ve visited and stayed, and where we would want to check out next.  We would laugh loudly and gleefully at the carnage and blood being spewed from the tv set from whatever wrong and weird movies she would put on.  Halloween was our Christmas.  I still have the Halloween card she sent taped up at work…and being it will be my last, there it will stay. 

We also had a mutual love of animals…cats especially, and even more so, our love of black cats.  She would hold fund raisers to assist in raising awareness to the issue that black cats were the least desired of all the adoptable felines.  She was a lover of the underdog…er, cat, and it was her love of those loved less that perhaps brought in as many people to her bar as the booze did.  She made the freaks, geeks, and weirdoes feel accepted and even loved.  She made Gold Star their home away from home and she was their wise-cracking, bawdy, shootin’ straight from the hip momma. 

The planet has surely lost a little of its light and glimmer with her passing.  It’s not laughing as loudly and its smile is a tad dingier…and this is where some of that introspection and life questioning has stemmed from.  Firstly, whoa!  Someone so bright and full of life and love was struck down suddenly with crap cancer.  Being I’m still a kid at heart you never think, hey, I don’t feel so great, perhaps I need to get it checked out right away because it may be dire…until now.  I do have a lot of health issues (again, another time), but I usually put ‘go see doctor’ nowhere near the top of my to do list…if it gets put there at all.  This has made me realize I need to find a doctor I like and even visit a time or two.  That’s the obvious thought that stemmed from such a shocking blow.  The other one was:  Who am I?  Would I be someone that people would remember?  Would the world dim a tad if my flame died out?  Have I made, at this point in my life, the kind of contributions she’s made to this planet?  I would like to think I would be remembered, but the other questions were harder to think about and answer.  And honestly, I’m pretty sure in the grand scheme of things I’ve not participated nearly enough toward said planetary grandness.  And to this I can only say I will try harder; try harder to make up for those that did so easily but no longer physically can.  This is my conclusion and my goal:  To try to live more than I have.  To love a little harder, to care a little more…and to love and hug as many black cats as I can, starting with my very own.

Flu schmoo

Nine different hospitals are turning people away because they are filled to the brim with sickos…mainly, the flu.  They said this is a really bad run and most of these could have all been prevented with a shot because it’s part of the strain, so basically, money is so tight with so many people, that instead of paying $30 or so for prevention around the holiday season, they decided to take the gamble…and for seemingly tons of Chicagoans, they threw snake eyes.  Now, I used to get shots when I worked at a doctor’s office because, well, that’s just common sense.  Although, the one time I got super flu sick from the shot was the one year they had my goon arse on the channel 9 noon news getting it in one of those, ‘hey populace, this is for your own good’ segments.  Who knows, maybe it was the lights affecting with the shot, but that was one of the worst flus I ever had.  My sick was obviously looking for more screen time.

Years back when I worked for one of those giant law firms, they used to supply us with free shots as well.  I decided I would get them because, um, free!  And if I got super sick, I would just stay home, and, as it was their fault, my guilt meter would barely pass a five (I spent a few years in Catholic school, they were very good at teaching the guilt even to the non-Catholics such as myself).  Now-a-days I just hope for the best and just tell myself, ‘I don’t get the flu’.  That usually works most years I think…and I’m trying to make myself believe it this season as well.  I’ve been holding on to the end of that rope for some time and have been out of it hard core the past week sleeping on and off trying to find any kind of energy.  The worst part about it all, well, except for the being sick part, is how much I’m not getting done at home, so, on top of barely having a moment to do anything all December, the two days I took off to get my home back in order were spent half-assing things and dozing so I feel guilty on top of feeling bad.

Oh, how I long for the days of my youth when energy was so abundant I only needed to sleep for 3-4 hours a night.  You know how much you can get done with only having to doze for a few hours?  You know how much doesn’t get done when you do that 8 hours a night thing?  How do people do it?  How do they cram in a whole work day, chores, a social life and down time?  Is it wrong that I scoot down time into my nightly schedule even over and above chores?  I don’t think so…it’s just when that down time rolls into the next day and the next day…

So, right now my home is slightly cleaner than when it was during the Christmas rush, slightly, but that happens when you shove the holidays in boxes.  Now, just to get them up and out of sight and I can start working on cleaning for next Christmas.

happy horizons

Hello 2013!

“…My power today lies in initiation. I am a winner by virtue of my desire, belief, vision, and intention. I bring fresh inspiration into the world and am “Master of my domain.”  My solution is found in creative transformation and I am empowered by my spark of life.”

Or so I should be.  This was my horoscope today.  Typically, I never read my horoscope at all, or, if I do, it’s at the end of the day because I guess I’m just like that.  I read the above in the middle of my work day and almost laughed; not because it’s funny (although it is in a um, what?? was the astrologer smoking crack before writing this? way), but more so because the me inside me couldn’t even pretend to believe it.  Master of my domain.  Heh.  At this point I would have to say my cats have become master of my domain…well, the one I pay for monthly.  December is typically the hardest month of the year for me and this one was no exception.  Life, though, took it one step further and extinguished the flames of two bright and lovely ladies on either end of the month sandwiching the ick with a hearty dose of sadness and grief.  During this period of time, my domain has been operating on a skeleton crew, and I’m talking about all my domains: home, auto, mental,…except my work one…that’s where most all my mind’s time was spent…and spent it did become.  My brain has near shorted out, and has been suffering brown outs near daily at work with all the mental juggling I was performing, and to some extent, still dims the lights from time to time.

My work domain looks like a paper hoarder holds residence with the flurry of activity I suffered through…and my home looks like…well, just a plain ol’ hoarder lives there.  Bags, all kinds of bags, are filled with presents received and shopped for, but not yet given.  There are more bags filled with a trifecta of sugars: confectioner’s, brown and regular, a myriad of chocolate flavours, bricks of flour and marshmallows (two bags and I can’t eat a single one even!).  These were all must haves to complete the Martha Stuart visions I had while mired in end of year accounting shrek.  They were going to be chocolates and cookies and candies of yumminess that were to be doled out to all my lovely friends and family…because having all I had to do was not enough apparently.  I do this to myself, and always have.  So much to do?  But what about this, this, and this?  Come on, all these other ladies are super heroes, aren’t you too?  Well, the answer is a resounding NO, but will I listen to myself?  Most likely not.

But maybe this year, this odd year that perhaps the Mayans and a bunch of folk weirder (or a different kind of weird) than I didn’t think would exist, will be the bestest, most awesome year ever!  Or not, but it IS an odd year and I am much more fond of odd than even years.  For the longest time I have uttered something to the effect of even years suck, odd years rock.  After being bitched at by a number of my friends who noted perhaps it’s a self fulfilling prophesy, I guess I made it a point of not saying or oddly even thinking about it, because it wasn’t until December when one of my girlfriends finally passed on that this thought wafted back into my head.  I was all set to ignore this karmic notice and on the last day of the year I literally said to myself, ‘this is going to be a great and positive day and it’s going to rock!!!’  An hour later I was told my work neighbor, a gal I adore, passed away in her sleep that morning.  Yeah, so I’m thinking it’s not my saying at as much as it is a fact because that just sucked! 

I do have to say, that over and above everything, my life’s pretty good.  I have a job I’m good at, I have a boyfriend who is a sugar pie, friends by the hug-fulls, I have two little, furry, kissable, four-legged kids and a place to keep them safe.  Yes, I can bitch that my mortgage is under water by tons and I will never be able to move sans a fire and I need a new car, but on the plus side, I have a car and my place has not been consumed by fire.

So, I am thankful for what I have, and I would like to think that I can use what is noted above as motivation: that I can, in fact, be empowered, creative, and inspired, and that my intentions can become something other than just that.  So cheers to a new year and here’s to my, and your, own spark of life; may it burn brightly and light the way for amazing and awesome days ahead.

*Note (and perhaps proof of point of intent over action) – this was written yesterday, but not looked at again until this morning on the train…after, of course, playing 12 games of scramble.

Soooo close…

Hi, I’m the virgin post…

I am potential.

Unfortunately, my maker’s computer is her nemesis and my home is stuck in the twilight of creation…and not the happy, sparkly, vampy kind.  The blog I reside in is in purgatory of the electronic kind.  My creator will muddle through and will, like with most of her life’s work, hope to obtain at least a slightly better than half-assed version of what could pass as passable.

Unless she drops the whole thing like a moldy peach.

If that happens I will no longer be potential, I will be intent…and that doesn’t have the same ring to it.