photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Archive for November, 2013

Turkey Drama and Toilet Paper

Well I’m glad to say that we’ve all made it through “Thanksgiving”. What does that even mean? Thanksgiving. To me, it means knowing that your kids are alive and well, you’re still breathing. We all have our meanings for it.

In my situation, it’s a bit peculiar. My sister (name withheld), and I haven’t talked since last September. Not this past September, but the September a year ago. (13 months.) Now, that said, if you and a certain family member have an unpleasant kerfuffle, you shouldn’t host Thanksgiving at your house. Why is that? Well, because you would alienate said member. Completely. Everybody and their grandmas would be welcome but you. That would be…well, rude. But that’s the case and that’s what’s happened.

My sister is devoutly “right” all the time. (Note the sarcasm.) She is the president of the hate committee of her “private sanctuary”, and services start at 9:00 a.m. every Sunday, weekly- sharp. She has wrapped every family member up in her glorious existence for more than 5 years now. If you’re less than “chaotic and dramatic”, you don’t stand a chance. Sorry…I’m thinking that there are other survivors out there like me that feel this way.

So, this year, Josh and I have chosen to eat with homeless people than to be with her and the rest of the “family”. Yes, it’s true. We’ve chosen to spend our time with street people- drug addicts and alcoholics- degenerates and the mentally ill, than to be with them. We didn’t get “an invite”, but that’s alright- we were already gone.

On the bright side of things, Josh and I are getting along splendidly. We don’t focus on the “might be’s” of the future. We’re taking each day and applying it to our lives. We’ve pulled through some amazingly difficult times. We don’t know how much time we have together, but we’re grateful for every single day and we show it. I think that’s what’s most important- that our lives are vital and static.

And today, we have toilet paper.
Can you really ask for more than that?

(Not really.)

Image.

Josh’s pic- guy walking in the park/SOOTC (straight out of the camera)
G3. Taken yesterday- Thanksgiving, on our mile walk at the park.

 

Advertisements

Congratulations Almonds!!!

Not that you’re going to see this anytime soon, because the internet is going down like a bad ship in a few hours. But on that note, a very big congratz to you for getting your driver’s license today! We’re going to party like it’s…ok, we’re not, because I have two tests tonight, but congratz to you just the same. You’re a rock star. :0) 

 

ImageMy two beautiful daughters, Brianna/Almonds & Heidi.

 


Flatline

I woke up this morning to a sink full of pee. Also, there are two rolls of toilet paper missing. I scroll through my mental rolodex of people, friends, animals, and other beings who have been in this place for the past 24 hours. What could this mean?

It’s kind of like the game Clue, except the wrench or gun has been replaced with a sink of pee. Josh thinks our dog did it. He does sometimes climb up on the counter (over the sink) and tear into the trash. Yes, yes, perhaps. Could he have peed in the sink? It’s possible. But the two rolls of toilet paper. How could they have simply vanished? No traces of their whereabouts. 

These are things that I can ponder over the next twelve days without the internet. I’ve been stashing game and entertainment folders like a hoarder preparing for the apocalypse. Twelve days without the internet! That’s a lifetime. I’ve been chained to this bed and laptop for days- knocking out assignment after assignment. Criminology final- check. Cultural essay (with MLA citations) in Spanish II- check. Five remaining assignments in Lifetime Fitness and Wellness- check. I’ve knocked back 4 classes (and my finals) a month early in preparation for the internet crash. I remember taking pictures outside…and shadows! I like shadows! Two more days of school madness and it’s over. I’m hobbling through the finish line but dang it, I made it.

Image

 

 

I’ll be back with stories of my graduation. Until then, farewell all!
♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻


Non-tipping Homophobes

Wow, I’m pretty disturbed by a news story I just read. A family (husband/wife-two kids) went out to eat and racked up a bill of $93.55. Their waitress, who was a lesbian and an x-marine, received a “non-tip” with the following note scribbled on her receipt: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life.” They had based their assessments on her short hair.

Thud.

I can’t believe the sheer stupidity of some people out there! And to do that in front of their children. I feel really bad for the waitress. I think people use the whole gay thing sometimes as a springboard for their every day good old fashioned hatred. It’s just so wrong on every level. As a Christian, I’m highly offended at the family’s behaviour. My favourite waiter ever (at the Olive Garden) was gay- he’s no longer there- and to be honest, at first I was taken aback. I just didn’t expect it when he first spoke, but we had a good chat and I warmed to him quickly. He was a great waiter! Apart from that, he was a very likable guy- funny, and a college graduate. I tipped him well and requested him personally the next time my family and I were there. He was really on top of his game and I love people who are on the ball. It’s a shame that there are people out there who make it a sport to condemn gay people. On the other side of that coin, it’s not right to go on Facebook attacking the offender and rallying the troops. Hate is hate- and it’s all bad. 

And on that note, Johhny Weir, if you’re reading this, you’re still my hero. xo

Image


What does god say?

I noticed today that somebody stumbled upon my blog by searching for these keywords:

what does god say when u fallaid a test

Oh dearie me- let’s just leave that one alone. 

In other news, I’ve managed to knock out three of my five classes a month early. I still have 5 strong A’s at this point, but I’m approaching my finals- let’s hope that sticks. Things have been a big messy blur lately; it’s pretty standard stuff for rounding up another semester. High stress, deadlines, cramming 200+ pages and living as a virtual hermit for days on end, lost in my studies.To top things off, I’ve just discovered my internet may be shut off on the 20th. And wait- there’s more! Although I paid the rent this month on the 1st, as I always do, there was a notice on my door this morning. Something about having 5 days to pay the rent or having to vacate. (WTF?!) I’m going to chalk that one up to the fact that my landlord is pushing 90 or so. (I have an excellent rental history and have had for years.) [grumble]

On the bright side of things, I’ll be graduating on December 7th of this year. I really wish I didn’t have a chronic case of PMS PMDD so I could report that I’ll be graduating with lots of exclamation marks and enthusiasm, alas, that’s not the case. I’m wanting chocolate and tea and I think I need to cry or break something. I guess I’ve been semi-depressed since finding out yesterday that Micah died. He was Josh’s former roommate and a closet junkie. Josh had come home on numerous occasions to find Micah lying on the floor with his dope needle in his hand- blood and dope lying messily about. I had told Josh that he needed to get away from him before Micah took them both down. Josh was always being taken advantage of by his friends, giving them a place to stay and letting them slide on the rent, etc. One day, when Josh was hanging out at my old apartment, Micah called on the phone ten times or so and then he finally showed up at my door. I was highly annoyed. He continued exhibiting bizarre behavior over the months and finally, I told Josh that he needed to kick him to the curb. I could tell that he was going to drag Josh down into an ugly black hole eventually. Josh didn’t want to, but I kept pressuring him to throw him out. One evening, I walked down to Josh’s apartment with him and refused to leave until he literally threw him out. Josh had already had numerous items stolen- valuable jewelry that had been given to him, small sums of money- Micah was constantly stealing from Josh to support his habit. I was livid that Josh had been taking my son around Micah- sure he was a “nice guy” but a junkie is a junkie. So, Josh threw Micah out the night I was there. Josh had dropped out of school when Micah was living with him and I could see him losing direction. The changes were small at first, but more and more, I could see how Micah was influencing him negatively. We don’t know how Micah died and the obituary didn’t reveal it. I can’t help thinking it was a drug overdose. 

Josh has just finished up his semester; he did well. 
I can hardly believe I’m one week away from completing my degree in Behavioral Sciences and CPC in Substance Abuse. Finals are always so stressful! You can have a strong A in a class, consistently throughout, then fail a final, bringing your overall grade down to a C. All of that hard work for a C! That’s happened to me before so I have to avoid that like the plague. Study study study! My grades are very important to me and a C just isn’t going to cut it. 

I think it’s time for my Sleepytime Tea + Ambien. 

Happy trails.

Image
 Homeless man sleeps. Downtown Louisville, KY.


Sabbatical

I’m feeling strong tonight. I’ve been reflecting on my life and the directions I want to go in. Sometimes my vision gets a little blurry just like the next guy (or gal) and I find myself at a crossroad, not knowing which way to go. I guess we all do.

I have already enrolled in a prestigious New Hampshire/New England college- it’s a great school. Poor girl like me, I should be doing a tap dance, and, well I did for a little while. But as always, I put my head on the chopping block and engaged in some necessary introspective Q&A. Why am I doing this? What is my purpose? Am I changing lives for the better?  Will I be happy? 

If I can’t answer every question with a resolute, unwavering answer- then it’s probably not the right decision. I don’t do things halfway- I throw every ounce of my heart into it or I don’t do it. And well, I’ve been waiting for four long years to dive back into my fine art/writing/music and songwriting, and my children’s book that I published almost a decade ago. I’ve done one school book reading in years- one! That’s how busy I’ve been, and that hurts, because there’s nothing like school readings, especially when you’re sharing your own book (and your own life, which my book is- in poems) with a whole new generation. To know that you’re able to influence a child- for the better- and give him or her something that they can carry with them into the future (such as being kind to people, remembering to love, and especially- not bullying their classmates), and hopefully become better people- there’s just nothing that can compare to that.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to immediately work on my BA in Creative Writing: I’ll be taking a year off. I’ve already accomplished something that many people don’t, and that’s self-publishing your own book. [pat on the back] But, I want to actually do something with it. I’m going to shop it around to publishers soon. If nobody bites, I’m going to have to do some grant-writing and such, and that’s ok too. I simply don’t have the necessary funds to do a U.S. book promo and two consecutive books (and promote those too) without executive backing. Without the funding- it’ll sit on the shelf and the best I’ll do is contribute time and energy to Boys & Girls clubs, children’s cancer hospitals, and homeless shelters, personally. That’s alright too, but everything will be out of pocket, and right now, it just wouldn’t be possible.

I’m going to give it a year. If I’m still sitting here a year from now- without one grant, fellowship, or publishing deal (for my fine art and “photo therapy”, the therapeutic photo-program I’m hoping to develop, or a book deal)- I’ll go back to school and work on another degree. I have to follow my heart though, and my heart is telling me to fly…

Image
C
anron Rebel digital camera/Helios film lens/back deck.


Rejected: Get Used to it, Kid!

So I just received my second rejection. The first was from the Beliot Poetry Journal  (which was really sweet of the editor to tell me that although they were going to pass on my “self-confessional PSYCH ward poetic experience” he’s glad I’ve survived all of the things I’ve been through- haha…love that) and the second was from The New Yorker- a different poem entirely.

I won’t lie. The first one stung. Like a bee. Right in the head. (Obviously, it hit the ego more than the heart, but at least I’m aware of this.) What, I have an ego? YES. I frikking have an ego! Guh…it gets old. I’m fairly certain any artist, musician, or writer knows damn well what I’m talking about. There’s a fine line between wanting to share your art and wanting to feed your ego: this is the truth and it’s how it is. As artists, we like to dress things up like that old beast just doesn’t exist and we simply “are driven to create!” but what drives us? If we’re honest, we’ll acknowledge that at least sometimes, it’s the ego. If we’re in denial, we’ll say, “it’s just something I feel I have to do!” (Etc.)

So, there’s always that battle: self vs. art vs. self and striving to be more than simply wanting to get that little stroke that pushes you to your next piece. This is what I’m always thinking of when I submit new art somewhere: what am I searching for? Simply sharing this piece? What is my message? Am I imparting enough of myself in this piece so that people can feel it? I need to be saying something. Yes, the “praise” and the feedback come with the territory- that does feel like a warm, squishy blanket of “acceptance”- sure it does, but I want to know that I’m making an impression on somebody and adding something- no matter how small- to their lives, or the way they think, see, and feel.

Which brings me back to rejection. As in, “rejected by editors”. Maybe I’m a bit of a sadist, but I’m celebrating being rejected. Yes, I’m serious! I was rejected from the New Yorker,-come on…it’s The New Yorker for crying out loud. Being rejected from The New Yorker is a rite of passage. While the first rejection stung (get over yourself, kid!) I was completely elated by the 2nd one. Tickled. Serious tickled, because although I’ve been writing since I was a teenager (poems, songs, short stories, etc.) and have never had any education there at all- even having dropped out of high school in the 10th grade- I’m still acutely aware of my own ignorance as a writer, and, a poet. By claiming total ignorance, I can open my eyes and mind and have the necessary depth to fill in with an education in Creative Writing. Because I’m going into this saying “I know nothing”, I can learn so much more. Ego deflated!

I’ve created a Poem folder on my laptop, and also, a “Rejection” folder. It’s the rejection folder that will drive me in my art and work far more than any other. It’s proof that I have tried and do try and will not stop trying. I’m copying and pasting every rejection into that folder (dated, filed away).

Failure is nothing more than proof that you have tried. 

I also entered my first short story competition last night- the top prize is $3,000. That one is going to hurt. Ha. But, it’s being slapped down in life that I have turned into an art form, so, the more rejections I receive (and there will be plenty); the more food for more art. It’s a self-sustaining cycle but one that holds valuable lessons for me, and I cherish them dearly.

Image