Monday, December 27, 2010

I totally got patted down yesterday at the airport

But not the whole big patdown. Then new full body scanners (which I went through) do not let you smuggle in a chapstick in your pocket like the metal detectors do. So, when I did that (like I always do), they asked me if anything was in my right pocket and I said, "oh, oh yeah I guess there is a tube of chapstick," and then a very polite lady told me she was going to have to touch my leg from right below my hip and down my thigh. Then she did just that. And really, if I had been paying more attention to the loud TSA woman in front of the scanners, I would've realized she was telling me (and I am paraphrasing here) take everything and seriously dudes everything out of your pockets because nothing can be in it when you go through the scanner.

Ummm, whoops? Well, that is what I get for not listening. Also, public service announcement: Take everything out of your pockets and your belt off when doing the full body scanner. Unless you want a stranger to rub your leg.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Haven't blogged in forever

I know. I just haven't had time or haven't wanted to put things so permanently out into the ether. Unless they were tweets, but my tweets are fairly discreet.

So I am sharing my new years resolution which is to be happy with what I have. Because honestly, if I were to really look at it, my cup of life is way closer to full then it is to empty and I shouldn't be a captain whiny pants about the things that aren't the way I think I want them.

2011, I am going to like my life and everything in it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I need an attitude adjustment

Or so I decided a month or so ago. Like maybe if I change my way of looking at my worklife, I can find a better way of going through the day. Obviously this isn't a magic bullet that will make the truly stupid coworker be awesome, or a truly bad day better. But I think that I have been making things worse for myself.

If I go in to work every morning all having woken up with a cranky attitude that says nothing good will happen, it will be much harder to have a good day. Now I think it might be silly to go on thinking everything awesome will happen, but there has got to be a better way.

Like yesterday morning. I was cranky. I came to work cranky. I found myself getting quite angry early on in my work day when a coworker very politely asked me to complete a very simple task that is part of my job and neither awful nor terribly tedious nor difficult. Why would I do that? I gave myself a little time out and said listen Heather, that is your job. Do not get snippy with that person for having you complete a duty of yours. Let's take a deep breath, force ourselves to smile and think of England. Well whatever you know what I mean, perk it up chica.

So, singing happy songs and chair dancing and silly are being introduced back into my work day. Because if I go into everyday with a decent mood it will be harder to lose.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Quilting has a magic

Or rather, I am still new enough at it that it seems like magic because I am not quite as good at the visualizing things coming together as I feel like I should be. Or rather I don't have the practice to see it in my head just as it would be, although I am good enough with color and pattern and scale that it doesn't matter if I am good at it or not. Because in the end (or in this case in the middle) the blocks look nice and they go well together (and if they don't I can always rip stuff out and try again). But my November quilt top in a month might be very lovely, and if I could find the cable to connect the camera to the computer, I would totally post pictures.

Maybe that is what I need for christmas, a wi fi enabled camera or a much better camera phone. Like a phone that is mostly a camera with some texting and calling skills.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sam's Christmas Present

He is usually super hard to shop for, but I just discovered what I will get him for Christmas. Rock Band 3 bundle for Wii with the keyboard. Because piano playing Sam will so be intrigued, and it includes a Huey Lewis and the News song that he loves.

This will be whole family fun. I am so excited.

He will never read this and ruin his present.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How I know Sam is doing well

He is nearly 7 months sober, and when playing apples to apples with a variety of friends some of whom knew a lot about his struggles with sobriety and some of whom knew very little if anything a green card came up with the following title "Drunk and Disorderly." Someone threw in the red card "My memories" and it was Sam. And he wasn't being sad or mopey, he knew it would be hilarious.

And it was!

Monday, October 04, 2010

New thought

Well I just turned in two quilt tops and backs to be quilted and finished making the bias tape for their binding this weekend. Which is good because I may have to drop everything and sew like a madwoman to get them finished as soon as I get them back.

BUT that means I am sort of at a now what stage in quilting. I do have a kit that needs to be tackled, but I think I should wait until I have a little more technique under my belt so I don't eff it all up especially since it is in out of print collectible fabrics. I need to start the front and back of Kathy's quilt, so I guess that is what I will do, but that will require a trip to the fabric store which may have to wait a week.

Although I did have a genius idea. Last year I was going to NANOWRIMO a novel in a month and barely made it 1/5 of the way to my goal. This year, 2010 is going to be quilt top in a month. I will start work on one side of Kathy's quilt now, but the other will go from pre-purchased pattern to quilt top in November. I will buy all the fabric, cut it all out, and sew it all up by the end of November. Then I can finish the other portion in December/January and be ready to bind it by March.

Boy is quilting a long term project.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Making Some Getting Things Done Changes

I am trying out some strategies that encourage me to actually complete some of my high falutin' ideas. I tend to plan lots of things and execute many less which isn't that big of a deal except often my planning is derailed by reruns of bad tv on cable, and it shouldn't have to be that way.

So the new strategies are leaving the house to get BBT blogging done, and doing it 2-3 times a week at a Lavazza coffee shop or an Argo Tea or anywhere that my laptop and me can get connected. This should help with being good at blogging here. They are involving others in my planned projects, so I cannot back down from them without disappointing others (because I am Catholic and guilt as a motivating factor is in my blood) which led to me inviting 6ish people over for a quilting bee in two weeks. And basically just keeping me away from the Law & Order reruns and kept accountable by others. The 2nd Saturdays of art are for this too, not all my plans are for work, some are for fun!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Second Saturdays at the Art Institute

I am instituting a new policy where I will visit the art institute every 2nd Saturday of every month, and I will bring people with me. I just upgraded our membership to be a 2 membership card kind of household which means 4 adults can go at a time. That means I can bring up to 3 friends, and I will bring them. So please friends, come with me, come to the art institute of Chicago, come for free. Just let me know, call dibs on a 2nd Saturday or take initiative and sign me up to go with you on any random day. And I work around the corner, so if it is a weekday and you want to go, call me, text me, I will come get you and a friend or two in, and then I will go back to work. I am working to bring art to the masses. The masses of my friends.

Also, if you live in Chicago, I would highly recommend getting a membership. It changes the way you look at and experience art because it gives you the comfort to really take in pieces you normally would race by or avoid altogether as you head towards the greatest hits that you are used to seeing. I spent my 29th birthday money on it, and it was the best birthday present I ever got.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Genius Idea(s)

So a few weeks ago I got the idea that the 1950's grey on grey tile pattern in our bathroom would actually make a kind of cool quilt pattern, and it might look kind of modern and sleek instead of old fashioned-y and if I kept it in its current color pattern it would hide our cats shed fur and be palatable to Sam as a bedspread (in like a year when I get around to finishing it after the other QIP's I have).

It is alternating 3" by 3"sets of pattern that would easily be broken down into quilt squares of that size or bigger or smaller. One of the 2 basic patterns is a traditional 9 patch all of the same color like a tic tac toe grid. The other has an offset 2" by 2" square and in the opposite corner a 1" by 1" square and then along the edges left by them two rectangular pieces that are 1" by 2". These two basic designs are then laid out in a checkerboard pattern.

Now there is less color variation in them than I would want in a quilt, and depending on how you squint at them (and yes this idea came to me just where you would expect because you have some time to look at the floor) different squares are made to seem the 'center' of the repeated pattern and could make it look even more modern and interesting particularly if they were played up not just with placement on the quilt but fabric selection (lighter, darker, solids, patterns, even gradations of grey).

That sounds like I will be making a lot of mock ups of squares to see how it goes. Or using graph paper, OR I could figure out a way to make excel do this for me. I suspect this will take some research and some fiddling to work out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sewing Machine Joy

I have a sewing machine that is older than I am and heavy and it has not been sewing well lately, but I really really like it (plus it was my aunt's). In part because it predates the computerized models that are all the rage now, but for quilting I don't want a computerized model. I want an easy does it machine that will take a licking and keep on stitching.

It is like the machine featured in this ebay listing.

However, it has been losing its mojo lately, and I was scared. Scared that it was in its death throes. Scared that I would have to buy a new one, which would mean figuring out what kind of new one I wanted and pricing out one that wasn't obscene (although now I kind of want a 1930s of 1940s featherweight if I ever get a room big enough to just be my sewing room which would mean we had a house big enough to also have a music room).

This past weekend I took it to the Singer factory outlet/repair place. I filled out a big form and they said that they would call me on Monday with an estimate. I was Skkkeeeered! I figured this is going to be minimum a couple of hundred bucks and I wouldn't get it back for the better part of a month.

This morning in came the call. It needed a big time tune up. It needed to be torn apart and all put back together again because a needle had broken and the tip of it was floating around inside it and gumming it all up.

But for $90 I can have it back in two or three days as good as new!! And it won't need another tune up like this for 20 years! They were running a special so I wouldn't have to be billed hourly. STOKED! I am stoked. Oh machiney, I cannot wait to have you back!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What a Beautiful Chicago Day

I started it by riding my bicycle to the Lincoln Park Zoo where I volunteered for a few hours doing interpretive education, and having a wonderful time!! Then I cycled around the southern edge of the new Nature Boardwalk also in Lincoln Park to shop for tomatoes (from city farm) and raspberries (from Michigan) before cycling along the lake back home.

I finished my day with a quick trip to the oral surgeon (to prepare for extraction of my wisdom teeth at the end of July) where I got a super cool 3-D x-ray taken of my whole head and some M Burger (a Rick Tramonto burger joint which has a window into the kitchen of Tru). Then a nap. Now some quilting!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Today is my birthday.

I am 31-which as I type that seems unrecognizably older than how I feel. And also younger than I feel, and also exactly right.

I feel hardly more than a teenager really, just old enough to drink. I feel fresh and inspired. But I also feel the fear that comes from living and being jaded paralyzing that inspiration, as I fret that I have waited too long to start what I want to do. Even as my new motto for my own art is two lines of a much longer manifesto, "Begin anywhere; don't be cool." And I feel as if I am what I am, the product of exactly the life I have lived at this point.

I am lucky to be healthy and safe and secure in a time when I know that isn't exactly true of many people across the world and many people of my own acquaintance and in my very own city.

I am also lucky to be at a turning point in my life that is actually swinging the good way on the pendulum. This will be a very good birthday, and I think 31 should shape up to be a wonderful year.

(Plus tonight I get dinner at Graham Elliot who charms me on top chef masters every season).

Friday, June 25, 2010


So I said I would update around my birthday (which is Monday), and here I am.

Sam is doing wonderfully. I am also doing very well. Getting used to everyone being functional and healthy at our house is oddly harder than it seems like it would be. It is amazing what you get used to when your 'normal' gets turned upside down by an addiction. Anyway, we all seem on the right path and even the world's angriest kitty seems to be dealing better with everyone (although I still think he would trade us for our housekeeper any day).

That will be the end of my speaking about that.

I said I would decide what to do about blogging. And I haven't totally decided. I miss having this blog as a forum to talk about things, but I also think it was really good for me to reboot on healthy privacy because quite frankly there are some things that should be kept to myself and if once upon a time I knew that, it has been a very very very long time since I put it into practice.

Right now, I think I am going to continue to blog, BUT it won't be about my personal life. It will be about my life but more thoughts about art and media and about restaurants and concerts and activities I participate in. Definitely more about my quilting. Quilt #3 has been started (it is the same pattern as the other two) and Quilt #4 has had the fabric selected. It should start to get cut out tomorrow.

In order to sort of reboot my blogging life, I am also going to make a major effort to post more pictures to the blog. I like blogs that look like that and the only reason mine does not is that I am a lazy person. I can fix that.

I will also likely blog an upcoming project that I am doing with a few friends. There is a book called "The Artist's Way" and it is like a 12 week life realignment to get you to say more yes to art in your everyday life. I had never heard of it or done it, and my friends all have. I think it will be super interesting and very helpful. I am however terrified of the 'Media free' week. No TV, no internet, no movies, no books!!!!!! I might actually physically die.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I am not as bad as last night's post sounded!!

Today there was laughter and love and I might have adopted myself a little sister. I am hopeful for the future, but as an assist to myself and my recovery and by extension Sam's I have made another decision.

I am taking a hiatus from the blog. I will check back in two months from now around my birthday. I just need to focus on me and keep my writing a little closer to the hip and to my heart and on paper that I haven't published into the universe yet.

There is a possibility that this hiatus will mean the end of this blog as it stands now. I don't think it will be the end of my blogging. It is possible that the hiatus from this blog will result in a less personal blog that gets worked on going forward or just in the meantime. If that is the case, I will link to it here. But in order to recover myself, I think it is in my best interests to keep off of here because I am not capable of keeping the recovery thoughts out of my confessional thoughts here or keeping this non-confessional enough to do that.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I got here and it is kicking my ass

12 hour days, three of them in a row, sitting a lot in weird chairs and I haven't cried this much since I was in a workshop with Kelly Q. In fact even then I don't think the whole workshop cried as much as I have all by my lonesome at the two day point!

That is all I am going to say about recovery as the first rule of recovery is you don't talk about recovery (not really, that was a bad fight club joke, the real thing is that it is anonymous so you shouldn't advertise you inclusion in it or anyone else's).

I am still both scared and hopeful, but I have seen Sam and he looks well and seems committed.

We also decided that in the service of repairing our life and pursuing our mutual and individual recovery, we are not going to be setting a wedding date until this time next year and we will do NO wedding planning until then either. It will be stressful enough to get through year one of his sobriety, and choosing to add wedding planning stress voluntarily on top of that seems STUPID. We are still 100% planning to get married, so don't get worked up or start rumors.

Now I am exhausted and will watch a little tv and fall fast and hard asleep.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Very nervous

Tomorrow I drive to Minnesota to start four days of 'the family program' at Sam's rehab facility. I get back sometime on Monday, and then Sam comes home on Wednesday.

And all of that has me scared. I am scared of the program at rehab. Scared that it might be unbearable or preachy or that I have no idea what I will uncover or that I will be asked to do something as support to Sam that I would be unwilling or unable to do (Ok so I have no idea what I mean by that but that no idea is the problem). I am scared that the hard part is about to start because let's face it, this next part will be harder than the part I am in now.

Next week Sam comes home, and I don't know what that means. Obviously I don't think he will be magically ok and we will all be happy and light and perfection. It would be naive to think it would be that easy. Not only is it likely to be difficult for Sam to get back into his life while also staying sober, but it our relationship had suffered due to the alcoholism, and I imagine it will go through a bit of a reinvention as a result of sobriety. Now I am super hopeful that it will be an all positive reinvention that fixes some of the most troubling bits (as they were troubled directly by the alcohol abuse), but I don't think that will be easy or very much fun even if Sam and I are committed and flexible people.

These last few weeks have been like a vacation within my own life and Thursday when the class starts, my vacation comes to an end. And I am worried.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yesterday started out crappy in an amusing way

And I intend to write it all down here, but I haven't yet. Because I am a lazypants. Maybe tonight after work (which has been crazy busy with what I have called archive-a-palooza) and after the play reading I am staging for the theatre company I am in. I also need to upload the quilt pictures from two months ago. Ugh. Better yet I need to figure out how to post those from my phone. That would be awesome.

Although I finished my sister's quilt yesterday, well not finished-finished. Finished the first portion. I got the quilt top and quilt back pieced and ready to go. I did not take a picture because I dropped it off within a very short time of finishing it. In a month and a half or so I should get it back. Then I have to bind it, and THEN it will be finished.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Passion and Motivation

I have totally scuked at motivating myself lately. To do anything. I haven't sewn my sister's quilt top together. I haven't worked on the pieces that Tim Miller's workshop inspired me to follow through on. I haven't attempted to create anything for a storytelling program that would help nurture my writing for performance (and you have to have work for the application). I haven't really exercised. I haven't been eating better. I haven't been writing in my 'artist pages.' I haven't done anything to look into auditioning.

I just haven't felt like it, or if I have felt like it, I let myself talk myself out of it or I procrastinated my way away from it. Instead I have watched 2 and a half seasons of Bones on Netflix on demand since Sam left. Well, and I went to an al-anon meeting and am going to one tonight again.

I am going to respect the structure and anonymity of al-anon and not talk about it here any further than the two things I just said. I just feel this isn't the right forum for it, especially knowing my penchant for anecdotes.

I am also going to take that same tack on Sam's recovery and keep it off here. It just doesn't seem like it will be helpful to him to know that I might be writing about it here. I won't be quite so circumspect about it as I will be about al-anon simply because this blog keeps me in contact with the Bitch Barn crew, so I will continue to reach out to them using this forum.

But as to motivation again, I just don't feel as passionate about things as I used to. Or I do, but I don't know how to parlay that into motivation for the things I feel passionate about. Now that I write that, I am not sure that is true. Maybe I just mean that I have higher personal standards for what should come from my passions, like I expect instant wow factor from them. Or something. Or that my passions are kind of varied and then dillute themselves and make all of my motivations less successful. Or something?

I don't really know what I mean.

Anyone have advice or tips or tricks on how they motivate themselves? About anything? Or tips about following your passions? Why do I feel like an Oprah show or a self-help discussion group?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Good news!

I just spoke with Sam on the phone, and he knows what his ongoing treatment reccomendation will be and it is an outpatient treatment a few blocks from our house that he needs to attend three to four times a week for a few hours in the evening.

So, as of sometime on April 27th, Sam will be home. Come over and help me drink all the liquor up before then. Or wait until closer to then and come and collect what is left.

I am a crazy fool--for haircuts

So a gabillion years ago it seems, my old college roomie Laura (who is a curly headed girl just like me) sent me some links on going shampoo free and how to take care of curly locks. These links led to a deal of trial and error with products and styling ways but led me to where I am today mostly. I have a good way to get easy, wearable, nice, even curls that are relatively tamed (in the good not frizzy way not in the bad ironed into submission way).

But in all these links and research there was one name hanging above them all. Ouidad. Ouidad is the guru of curly hair. She invented a supposedly brilliant way to cut curly hair that eliminated the triangle head while still letting the curls show. Of course this haircut was expensive. Of course you could only get it in like New York, LA, San Francisco and like a handful of places that I never lived. She also had expensive product that you could get shipped to you and a fancy method of applying product called 'rake & shake' but I was too poor to risk ordering a bottle of something expensive that I had never touched and was not sure that I would even know how to use.

Then I moved to Chicago and was certain that I could find the products or the haircuts (even if I might still be too poor to get either). But nope. There was one salon out in a burb that could give a Ouidad cut. The products were available still on line. The magical Ouidad was still elusive!

Last week I went to Sephora and oh look you can buy Ouidad stuff there, nice, maybe I will try that. Then yesterday while in a fit of lull at work, I googled Ouidad, went to the main site and used the salon locator 'just in case' and lo and behold, what popped up alongside the suburb salon? A salon on the North side of Chicago, off the brown line and a stylist named Jenny who was Ouidad certified.

I was intrigued. I clicked to see how much it would cost and OH MY GOD that is a lot of monies. But not techinically more monies than I could afford, and this kind of cut was supposed to change my life and rock my world and my curls would never be the same again say the Gods of gorgeous curls. So, should I?

Hmmmmm, it is a lots of money. If I go for this, this haircut better be freaking fantastoriffic amazing, and seriously I mean A-mazing!.

So I called.

I was looking for an appointment in a few weeks, but there was an opening that very night, and I wasn't busy, and I need something to fill my time other than watching episode after episode after episode of Bones on Netflix on demand. Okay, yes sure I will be there tonight.

And I spent the afternoon wondering if all this money for 'beauty' would be worth it.

It took two hours of salon time (because I added a deep conditioning treatment) for a wash, a deep treatment time under dryer, a rinse, the cut, applying all the product, pinning things away from my head to sit me under the dryer some more AND then (finally) diffusing and adding a tiny bit of pomade to finish off.

And the verdict, the final moment: Possibly the best my hair has ever looked my entire life. I looked like a freaking salon commercial with bouncy, well-defined, smooth, shiny locks that sat up and away from my head and seemed full of life!

Then I walked out into the night which was one of those Chicago nights we get in the spring and the fall where we have a light fog that is almost more of a pervasive mist than anything else. So of course it frizzed up a bit and fell down a bit, but it still looked pretty good at home in the bathroom when I took
this picture (the face look is because I was having a real time getting things to focus and get my whole head in the picture).

So far, success I think. I mean the real test will be later this week when I do my hair myself with my own product and an air dry instead of salon grade everything. I mean it was by far the best head of hair I have ever had, now whether is was a really spendy 20 minutes of great hair or a whole new way of my head living, is still to be seen.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

This has been my day

Usually I have Wednesday off, but this week it is Tuesday because of a big fancy meeting at work. So today I was home and left to my own devices.

First thing in the AM I called maintenance to check out an odd sweet smell that I thought might be coolant leaking in the fridge and freezer and poisoning Steve and I. Two guys come up with equipment to tell me that the fridge is fine and I should look for something rotting. So, yup, I felt quite stupid. And when I got around to looking the smell seemed to be originating from a liquid oozing from a very old and open container of heavy cream.

So I clean out the refrigerator and go to take out the trash, and as the door slams shut behind me, I realize that I had not unlocked it and I did not have the keys. I was locked out. And I was barefoot, and I was wearing grubby covered in cat hair workout pants/jammy pants. And a grubby tshirt with no bra. And horrific hair that hadn't planned on ever leaving the apartment. And BO that hadn't planned on leaving either. But there I was in the hallway, locked out.

Which meant I had to go downstairs (again I was barefoot) and ask the doorman to let me in, but because it was during office hours, he sent me to the main office. Where I arrived a few minutes later to announce that I had locked myself out. The office woman found it pretty hilarious, especially that I was wearing no shoes. I got the key and the reassurance that I was not the only one to have done this.

My day was clearly awesome.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What do I do with my time?

Since I am solo. Although I have been solo for just a few fleeting moments (basically yesterday) as I was lucky enough to have my dear sweet Chrissy with me until yesterday morning.

I had sort of decided that Netflix and quilting and I would get real up close and personal. Basically I would use the lack of Sam and his complete and utter boredom with most movies and many of the TV shows I enjoy (basically Sam oddly dislikes procedurals--which you would think the lack of a thru-line would make him like them--although the violence and gore related to them are probably why). He doesn't like anything British (goodbye Coupling and BBC America). He doesn't like SciFi (Doctor Who--which I tried to compare to Back to the Future to get him to watch because it is gore free, Caprica, BSG--which I would like to start, Firefly). He doesn't like gore or cops (CSI, Bones, House, Cold Case, Criminal Minds--suck it Sallyacious I like it and I don't care, Laws & Order, Castle, Human Target).

I had recently become a fan of Bones thanks to Hulu and my old roomie Renee. However Hulu only has season one and the most recent episodes (Season 5). I thought they might show season 2 after they finished season 1 and like cycle through the older shows that way, but no! Hulu has season 1 on a permanent repeat loop. Which is total crap. So I put Season 2 in my netflix queue. But it had stayed down near the bottom for a month or so as I tried to figure out when I could fit it in. Then this weekend, actually I think Sunday as I watched some other shows on Hulu, all of a sudden all the earlier seasons of Bones were available on demand!!! At my house that means on TV. And in fact in the living room that means in a higher quality than they would be available to me on DVD as we just have a regular schmegular DVD player and it was streaming in HD!

I have watched 6 episodes since midafternoon yesterday. I will watch more. I might try to power through seasons 2-4 whilst Sam is away.

I also found out from him that most of the people there are not reccommended to cycle from treatment straight back into their old life. Which I guess is actually reassuring since it is a much better idea than just plopping them back in to where the problem was. It is possible that he will be reccomended a stay in some sort of sober residence in Chicago for actually I have no idea how long. I am hoping just a few weeks or not at all (for my own selfish missing him reasons and how much worse will it be to have him away but so close come May), but I do also want the best for him, so I will try to sort of adjust myself to the idea of that in advance.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Rehab (but he said yes yes yes)

So, pre-rehab I had to have an intake interview with a case manager to make sure that Sam was an actual candidate for their program. And that took like an hour.

Then today, a counselor (or member of the team of staff that are tending to him but not a med staff or a psych staff) called me to speak some more about his situation and progression and get more info about his problem. And I would gladly give that all, so I did. In detail (because obviously the more detail the more helpful). And because I am an actor and study motivation and look for hints about those things, I suggested what I thought may be coming in to play and detailed my evidence for it. I spoke of the times he had tried to cure himself and how that succeeded and failed. I spoke of the fact that I ended up calling his parents and going this route once it became apparent that he was not doing fine even when it seemed like it, but that he was kind of hanging on to mildly, nightly drunkeness by a thread and that that was not ok. I tried also to limit it to helpful info and not ramble and stay on track and cut out the convo when I got repetitive and to time date things where possible.

The counselor was floored. Not because Sam's problem was so awful or so unique (it really isn't either of those things), but because I was so thorough and grounded and insightful about it. I mean I didn't cry, I reported what happened, and I tried to hit the important points. I guess the other people he speaks to must be weeping masses of jello or deep in denial of reality or worse. Or incapable of setting up background facts and info. He said I was the best one he had ever talked too. Well, either that is true or I was his first.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Living Alone

It occurred to me this morning that for the first time in like five years I will be living alone, even if it is temporary. It is kind of strange, and it is oddly nice (not that I wouldn't obviously pick Sam being back over this but still and who knows what tune I will be singing in two or three weeks).

However, the cat seems to be much nicer when no one else is around. Apparently he only likes humans in individual doses.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And here is why. . .

Part of the reason that I haven't had much to blog about in the last week or so is because I was bursting with a bunch of information I needed to keep quiet and patrol temporarily, and I don't blog like that.

I told Sam's parents about the severity and degree of his drinking almost a week and a half ago now. As I type this, Sam is checking into the airport with his parents for a flight to Minneapolis where he will be met by the staff of a rehab clinic.

We had an honest to goodness intervention. It was very weird and felt oddly not like my life. But it wasn't terribly long and Sam seemed to be quite okay about going. Especially when he discovered that we had covered all of his bases with organizing it with his work, making sure all the bills are going to be covered, and just doing the hard part for an individual to do. In fact, he said via IM that he was kind of relieved that we had done this.

So, everyone send good thoughts and prayers his way!

I have a month home alone, well with the angry cat too.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Okay, later in the week

I should get back into the writing groove, I just have not quite felt it of late.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not 'Just' an Actor

For a long time I have been very dissatisfied with the state of my art. As an actor I felt not just limited but purposefully constrained to not being able to do anything unless some big and wonderful director were to pluck me up and insert me into her piece. And if I were so fortunate to ever be chosen I should feel damned lucky because I am just a tiny an dinsignificant cog in their large, complicated, and beautiful machine. Not only a cog but the least skilled and the least valuable piece.

This is a sucky way to feel. Now I don't assume all directors feel like that, but the way most theater and most casting works seems to support and encourage that kind of thinking. And a tiny, unskilled, insignificant cog could never possibly have anything of value to offer to the creation process of work.

But I always felt that I had more. I didn't always know that this was what I felt, and even after I identified the fact that I wanted to create some of my own work, I really had very little clue how to go about it from knowing what or how I wanted to do to figuring out how to start.

The Tim Miller workshop was great for me because not only did it inspire me, it also really showed me how much is inside me and waiting to get out, and it showed me the way that I could do this. I, me, myself could do this with just me.

So, as of now, I am not 'just' and actor. I am a writer/performer. Step back.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Juices of Creativity

They have been released like a flood by this wonderful and amazing workshop that I have been participating in. However, I was inspired to channel them in a certain direction, and I would like to keep that momentum strong and not diffuse it with blog stuff for the next little bit.

I likely will post a lot less then for a few weeks (or not I never know what will happen when I say that) especially because Chrissy is about to be in town to visit me and other stuff and for a few other reasons that I can't get to right here yet.

Of course now that I say that I will blog more because that is how it goes. I will for sure post a final version of the text from the performance that I am giving tonight. Probably on Wednesday around my hot stone massage.

But that is the business.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creativity and Exhaustion

I am taking a truly wonderful master class in solo performance (body based physical solo performance) from Tim Miller, one of the NEA 4, and it is the best class I have ever taken. The space is so safe that it makes everything possible and makes it possible to try everything and find what works without it being all judgy class favorite whatever.

Every class we have created some sort of physical performance piece and it is really rejuvenating my creativity all over the place, and I want to work really hard to keep it going after the class ends and into a few creative endeavors I want to start this summer--including applying for an artist in residence workshop thingy and a writing workshop that is most of a year long (well a writing for storytelling performance). Anyway, it is awesome, and I am super tired from it both physically (and sore also sore) and emotionally and I just want to curl up and pull the covers over my head at the end of class. Even though that sounds beaten down and bad, it isn't it is satisfied and sleepy like after a really good hike or day at the pool or waterslides.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

City Living (and eating)

I love living in the city. I love it for lots of reasons like museums and never having to drive and that not being a big deal and accessible, convenient public spaces and public art and great architecture and awesome shopping and diversity and variety and FOOD.

My family was kind of poor-ish when I was growing up or well we spent a lot of money on Catholic school tuition and neither of my parents had big $ jobs, so we lived a little poorer than we might have and did once my parents nixed the parochial education. We also had a big family and my mom was a good cook, so we very rarely ate out. Like going to Dairy Queen or McDonald's or Taco Time was a big splurge and a big deal. Even more rarely did we eat at a sit down restaurant like a breakfast diner or the Sizzler.

At a restaurant, it was not an option to not eat your whole plate of food. Because restaurants were expensive and restaurants were a treat and how dare we look a gift horse in the mouth and not clean our plate. I mean while we were still little enough that ordering off the adult menu was a stretch, obviously my parents wouldn't force us to eat the whole adult portion because they weren't crazy idiot people, but once we hit our mid teens we sure better finish it all. And we better finish the whole kid's meal item if we were still eating off that.

I loved restaurants. They seemed so magical and exciting. There was all this hustle and bustle and often the people who work there were kind of costumed (even if it was just chef hats and server aprons), and I loved it. PLUS in a big family where you ate what mom served, the idea that I got to pick out just what I want was AMAZING! Miraculous even. When I grew up I wanted to eat at them all the time, and I would get a job that would let me.

When I got old enough that I helped with cooking or cook prep and more and more of the dirty business of dishes (IE not unloading the dishwasher but loading it and doing the stuff by hand), I really began to appreciate restaurants on an entirely different level. I loved that I do not have to do dishes. I loved that I didn't have to do any prep work or wait for very long. Then I went to college and met life without a dishwasher and a mom, and I loved it even more. Then I lived in NYC and became super good friends with the concept of takeout even if I couldn't afford it that much.

Now I can afford it. I can afford to eat out and to order in basically whenever I want (and now sometimes I really want to cook but not super often). So I do both of those things a bunch. Probably more than I should. I look down at my waistline, and yes it is confirmed, more than I should. It is especially problematic when I feel compelled to practically lick my plate clean every time we eat out. I cannot leave one lick leftover. I mean it is OK if it is at a place where I can leave more than enough for lunch tomorrow or something, but if we are on our way someplace hard to bring a doggie bag or it is small enough not to leave a worthy leftover, I really try to eat every last bite. Because I don't want to be wasteful. Because it is expensive. Because my parents scared this mindset into me as a child and it is still there frequently lurking in my psyche in a large scary way.

So this week I gave myself some important permission. I gave myself permission not to finish. To throw away. I mean if something is crazy delicious I probably will try harder to finish than I ought, but let's face it most of the time it isn't insane delicious, it is just food or even just good food and trying to stuff every mouthful in until it hurts is a terrible plan! So now, sometimes I waste food and don't finish, and it is OK. Because it just is, and I can accept that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

this day wants me to dislike it

I think it actively is trying to piss me off. First it was hard to fall asleep and hard to wake up because springing forward is much less fun than falling back. Second I am wearing my awesome kick ass boots, but I discovered that I have somehow worn a bit of a hole in the innersole of the right heel which, since I am wearing them with tights instead of thick socks, is totally killing me smalls! Then I realize that I should've checked more thoroughly to make sure I really had everything I need for our new employee on Friday because some of the things I thought I had I do not have.

I am going to Target after work to get some new Liberty of London joyousness (like that peacock wallet), so that should be better. And I am going out with my good friend YoYo who is in town for a few days but on business so she can't actually hang out too much. Tomorrow I start a master class in solo performance with Tim Miller (an internationally renowned performance artist and one of the NEA 4) that will be super fun and totally exhausting for the next week. Also the weather is heading towards spring but still not spring enough to be enjoyable. I need more.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh my

It seems that half of everyone I know is embroiled in some form of relationship crappiness--I won't go into it but we can all assume it isn't fun as we remember the times it was in our life. The other half are in relationship bliss with engagements and wedding plans and babies. I know like five single people who are unattached and therefore you know just chilling.

What the hell is in the air? And I would like to warn the unattached single people (if they read this) to be very cautious. Shit is clearly going down and the great to awesome ratio is precarious. Maybe just ride it on out until summer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It is a GEEEORRGEEEOUS freaking Day!

I mean seriously, just walking out the door everything felt better and more alive and more wonderful!

I also made a new house rule where if I am playing video games (on my computer or on the Wii) after 9:30pm on a work night, Sam should make me stop or at teh very least tell me to stop because it is after 9:30.

On my mind lately is the idea that I should sign up for a 5k sometime this spring summer. I think that it wouldn't take terribly much to get me in shape for that (even if it would take quite a bit to get me in enough shape where I think it is fun or easy and not a gritty challenge), but I need to get up off my patootie and get moving.

This spring and summer I am going to try to turn myself into a jogger like I did a few years ago. It had a great effect on my weight/physique that summer, and I didn't even pound it too hard. I just ran about a half mile to a mile a day (well jogged) and for sure covered at least a mile, even if parts of it were walked. In my mind, I don't feel like it took too long or was too hard to get used to doing that much. I just need to make sure this is the first thing I do when I get home from work, and I am way better at doing it outside than I am at doing it on a treadmill or an elliptical. I mean I even live a few blocks from a freaking beach!! If you can't enjoy running on the beach for a half mile, what is wrong with you (and in this case me). Plus at my new place I can alternate between running on the beach, running along the lake path, running on an honest to goodness running track, running through the hospital/hotel complex area, and running through crazy rich people shopping and rich people homes. What variety all blocks from my house!?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Random Randomness

Here in Chicago, it no longer smells like winter--my friend Jamie pointed out yesterday as we wandered about in near 60 degree weather. This is awesome, and I don't think it has ever happened so early since I have lived here.

My very first quiltop and my very first kind of pieced quilt back were taken to the quilt store yesteday and in 4-6 weeks I will have a whole quilt. Well a whole quilt that needs to be bound. And binding is a step I need to learn still. Shrugs. And yes I forgot to take pictures (because I was finishing the back as like a race against time). Also the quilting stitch will be in fuschia thread on the predominately blue quilt and be stitched in a bubbly pattern.

Thursdays are almost harder days for me than Mondays. Because on Mondays I have usually two days of semi-laziness to build up to going back to work. On Thursdays I just have one day off. And I probably stayed up too late on Tuesday and often do too much on Wednesday (although yesterday involved a lot of wii playing including doing a lot of Sims2Castaway for Wii--which I should've figured when I was able to get my whole crew back together). So I am often over tired and want more rest or free time than I got.

OOOh, I also bought some lovely fabric to make a skirt that is from a tutorial by my friend Susan at the Freshly Picked Blog (just google freshly picked). Pics will come later after I get after it.

I also was interviewed on my favorite podcast. So if you listen to the last 25 minutes of the March 10, 2010 episode of TBTL (google TBTL and you can listen from the page or type TBTL in the itunes search bar), you will hear me, sounding kind of stupid. I say totally way too much.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Oscar Mania

So, I stayed awake for almost all of the Oscar marathon. And I did so after not sleeping so well the night before and having only a tiny power nap right before.

We got to the theatre two hours early in order to get primo seats--the last two on the back row that have only aisle in front of them. The theatres (because we had to switch early in the AM from a digital theatre to a film theatre) were fairly small, so it wasn't that far back.

I only slept through a portion of District 9--right after I predicted how it would go and no longer had the strength to keep myself awake (it was like 8am-ish then). I also slept through a dinner break right before Up in the Air.

Here are my reviews:

Avatar--something everyone needs to see in 3-D. Totally hackneyed storytelling BUT somehow super enjoyable anyway.

Up--simply wonderful and sweet and great and everyone should see this movie because it is awesome. Squirrel!

A Serious Man--I think that you need to know more about Judaism and Jewish Mythology and the Torah and Torah teachings to understand what this movie is about. I suspect it is digging deep into the world of that symbolism, but since I know very little about that, I kind of sat there going, "Huh?"

District 9--Exactly what science fiction should be. Smart, well turned out, believable and causing you to think. I felt bad sleeping through it and will likely watch it again someday.

Inglourious Basterds--My favorite of the ten. A beautiful homage to 60's and 70's war movies and spaghetti westerns and Hitchcockian tension. Just loved it to death. Probably my favorite Tarantino move ever by quite a bit.

The Blind Side--Super charming and well done sports movie that has a good soft side. If you don't like movies like Rudy and Hoosiers, you won't like this one. If you do, go see this and get off your hype horse.

An Education--A wonderfully sweet little movie about a girl coming of age in early 60's London. Has Adele from Dollhouse and Emma Thompson in supporting roles and is wonderful if you like this kind of movie (I do).

Precious Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire--Actually much more of an independent art movie than I expected. If it weren't for Oprah, this would've only played in small art houses and faded away, but Mo'nique is SOOOOOO AMAZING in this that if you like good acting see this movie even if it seems like nothing you would ever like. She gives possibly the best performance I have ever seen.

Up in the Air--I had seen before and liked very much. I liked seeing it again. It is a good movie but a little slight next to the real heavy hitters I saw this day.

The Hurt Locker--This was the other best movie of the day. It is incredible and wonderfully written and acted and made. I really loved it. My preference for Inglourious Basterds is merely a matter of taste--because of course I like the lush period piece over the gritty modern drama but someone else might not.

I am still sort of reeling from seeing that many movies in one day and my body seems confused when I want to just let it sleep. Someday soon I will catch up.

Also, I ordered the book The Blind Side for my Kindle which is much more about the history of a football position than I expected, but really well written and interesting in spite of that. I just really wanted a more complicated look at the story of Micheal Oher than I felt the movie gave. The movie clearly sanded out the rough edges to make a better movie, and I was curious about more of the complications of life.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I got a feelin' (to quoth the Black Eyed Peas) that tonight's gonna be a good night

That tonight's gonna be a good good night! Wooo hoooo!

Because tonight at 12:01am I will begin the first moments of Avatar in 3-D and start the first of ten best picture nominees being watched back to back in my local AMC theatre. It will last until Saturday night at roughly 11:45 give or take.

My friend Chris and I am going. And smuggling in vegetables and water bottles, and some cheese and granola bars and some roll ups that are savory. Add a refilleable FREE popcorn and a refillable soda (which we will purchase) and you have a very long and potentially awesome day.

Here is the schedule:
12:01am Avatar (3-D)
3:00am A Serious Man
5:00am Up (3-D)
7:00am District 9
9:10am Inglourious Basterds
12:00pm The Blind Side
2:30pm An Education
4:30pm Precious
7:00pm Up in the Air
9:30pm The Hurt Locker

I will be twittering from there in between films, so watch my facebook and twitter and even the sidebar here to stay abreast of the fun or misery as sleep deprivation makes me INSANE!!

A prediction, full out sobbing insanity during Precious due to subject + exhaustion.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Good News and BAD day.

So for the good news: I have been applying to be a volunteer at the Lincoln Park Zoo since last fall. It seems to be a high volume applicant place, so it took a while before I got anything back other than a computer response saying yes you sure did turn your application in now chill out. In like mid-January I got an email inviting me to go to a volunteer info meeting to see if I was still interested and to learn a little bit more about the different volunteer opportunities. I immediately RSVP'd to the one I wanted to go to, and last Saturday I went. It was a bit tedious as those things are wont to be, but I want to do this so bring em on hoops, I will jump through them all. At the end of that I signed up for an interview with the volunteer coordinator.

Yesterday I had my interview with the volunteer coordinator and with a Guest Engagement Leader, and then end result is that I will be an inaugural Guest Engagement Ambassador on Wednesdays all summer at the zoo. I am SUPER excited and super pleased, and I might sort of be their dream candidate, and the interview went awesome because they seemed to really like me and they talked to me about such things as the super cool nailpolish that I had bought earlier this week from Sephora.This color (mostly but just make it metallic).

Now for the bad day:
Something is totally effed with a thing at work and it may or may not be even a human error--it has to do with some sort of incidental benefits (not health care or any big deal thing, incidental I swear). Another person realized that it was affecting them, and their response was to come up to my desk and yell at me and yell at me and scream at me and berate me and to not just dwell on this one item but bring into it any and everything in the history of time. Basically insinuating that I treat this person and their team as lesser and well everyone actually does that, and that I refuse to help them, and that when I do help them it is bad help and that we don't even have a human resources department (which kind of made me go, umm yeah that is true, we have 12 people working here, me and a part time person kind of do the best we can to solve human resources problems but unfortunately everyone kind of has to do a little bit themselves or more but yeah way to notice). This person refused to let me interject to try to better understand the problem, to direct them to someone who could better help them, etc. Eventually I just asked this person to please stop yelling at me, to which they responded by YELLING at me that they were not yelling. I felt like a little kid in trouble or like I was in a major fight with my boyfriend or my mom or I was being attacked on the street corner by a schizophrenic crazy person. It kind of made me want to go home and cry, so we are doing Mexican food out today. And I think a margarita may be IMPERATIVE.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I am wearing one. This like barely lasted a week, but I was soooooo good the rest of the time, and actually if I just braided it up a bit it wouldn't strictly be a ponytail anymore, but I just had a cranky morning and I don't care. I managed to get makeup on my face what more do you people want?!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Volunteers of America

So today I went to a Volunteer information session at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and I have an interview with the volunteer coordinator on Wednesday by which point I hope to know if I will need to take some training in order to start this spring and summer as a volunteer at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

I am actually hoping to be an education volunteer at the Farm in the Zoo, but we shall see as I go through my interview. I am super excited about giving this a whirl.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leaving it behind

Breaking up with it.

Ditching it.

I am so not into it.

The ponytail.

I have decided that I am breaking up with the ponytail. It isn't flattering on my curly hair, and it just looks lazy and sloppy. A nice braid is a way better alternative, so is a well constructed bun, some Harold and Maude braids, or a nice little faux thirties knot at the back of my neck. All of those look generally thought through and worked on even if they come with a degree of quick fix hair or bad hair day solutions.

Now obviously, I will still use the ponytail when I go work out (stop laughing, bear with me, I am sure I sometimes work out). I will still use it to do chores around the house. It is still an option for laying about in my jammies. I can still do it to temporarily pull hair out of my face while filing at work or working on sewing and quilting at home. But I am just not going to make it my default anymore. I am being put together-ish.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Gigantor Mending Project (Redux)

Yesterday I started what looks to be a rather big project. I began mending my grandma quilt. Every member of my entire extended family on my dad's side has a grandma quilt (well one at least). Every kid got one upon their birth--usually fairly brightly colored and always twin bed sized. Then everyone got one when they graduated high school (traditionally a blue jeans quilt--I have one of these too). And then when people get married, they get a full or queen bed sized quilt. I actually have one of those too because in the last two years of her life grandma finished a crap ton of them and gave everyone one.

All of my grandmothers quilts are hand tied rather than hand or machine quilted. Hand tying means there are little knots of thread--sometimes of decorative yarn in fun colors--that are sewn/tied through all the layers of the quilt). Hand quilting is when a stitch is sewn through all layers of the quilt using a long, strong needle by hand; this can be in straight lines or in curved and/or patterned lines. Machine quilting is sewing through every layer of a quilt and can be done in straight lines (often chosen if sewing at home on a smaller sewing machine) or free hand, but nowadays is most often done on large machines that use a computer program to quilt elaborate patterns into the quilt. Nowadays it is most often farmed out to people who almost exclusively do this.

As some of you know from here, I have taken up quilting. Although I am (for now) choosing to farm out the actual quilting unlike my grandmother who hand tied her quilt often with assistance from her neighbors, daughters, daughters-in-law, and occasional granddaughters. This is in part because our quilts are pieced together using very different manners of construction (again so far because I have done like 3/4 of one and 1/2 of another quilt using one pattern).

I have been using strip construction. This means kind of what it sounds. I cut strips of fabric out, sew them together alongside other patterns and colors of fabric. Then I cut smaller squares (about 10 inches each side) out of longer sections (up to two feet the long way) that trim up the squares to even lengths. Then all those evenly sized squares get sewn into a final quilt top. The final top then has many, many, many seams where different fabrics get sewn together. The machine quilting is a great way to bring out the beauty in the patterns, and it generally makes flatter all cotton quilts like those popular in the pages of Pottery Barn catalogs (although I have been picking much brighter colors and much bolder modern patterns).

My grandmother used block construction. This meant she cut squares out of fabric and sewed them together into bigger squares. She also did something that seems to have gone out of favor with modern quilters (yeah quilting has fashions that wax and wane who knew?). Her main squares were usually fairly big (10 inches square or 12 inches square) and were always white, and she would border them with a piece of solid and often brightly colored fabric. On these squares she would applique and paint designs. My big quilt she made later in life has butterflies with appliqued wings and painted antennae. The jean quilt is just plain squares of denim. The grandma quilt I got at birth has very 1970's Holly Hobby esque girls in bonnets with umbrellas with appliques for the skirts, bonnets, umbrellas, and faces and a bit of paint for the umbrella handle.

Actually I think my quilt is kind of ugly and I always have, and my sister has an identical one. Mostly I hate it because the quilt's colored border is a very bright mustard (think French's) yellow, and I don't really like yellow and I really don't like bad 70's mustard yellow. I appreciate it much more as an adult than I did as a kid. Mostly because I appreciate the skill and time that went into it.

However this quilt is now 30 years old, and it is kind of fragile. In part because of its age, and in part because it lived on my bed from age 2-13 and got washed a bunch as a result. In 2001 when I lived in NYC and was unemployed and depressed and spent most of my time watching my roommates movie collections and reading, I spiced my life up a bit by deciding to repair the tears in the applique and the opening seams. It took several days (but boy did I need shit to do!), and I am glad I did it. In the interweening eight and a half years it has only been washed a few times, mostly because it has lived most of those years in a box or up on a shelf and not out in life.

Lately Sam and I have been using it as one of our couch cuddling blankets. We have a nice cuddly sweater throw that is mine and he had a very beautiful but scratchy Pendelton wool blanket. So this blanket got pulled out due to its size and warmth, and since my grandmother passed away in 2004, it has been nice to have her things around me. But now it needs to get regular washing and some of my earlier repairs have failed or been compromised by the age of the thin cotton fabrics, so it is mending time again.

To mend it I go back in and do a simple invisible stitch on the seams that have failed. They are the easiest part to repair, but also the most tedious as you sew tiny little stitches over and over and sometimes for only an inch at a time. Mending the applique is harder as the fabric as worn out and pulled away from itself, so I go in and tack them down with the fabric. It is totally visible, but there is no other good option that wouldn't compromise my grandmother's original design.

Yesterday I worked on it for 7 hours (give or take, actually it might have been longer). I watched 4 episodes of Cold Case, an episode of Bones, two episodes of modern family (all on Tivo), the first act of Passing Strange on DVD, and Blade Runner (on Netflix on demand). I did eat some food in there, but mostly I sewed and sewed and sewed. I got done with 4 decorated blocks and all the surrounding border fabric. There are 20 blocks in all.

Yeah, this project is going to take a while.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Snowpocalypse Trip Update

I am hearing rumors that Southwest at Midway will be letting flights go after 10am tomorrow. My flight is at 10:15am. However, tomorrow Southwest at LaGuardia has cancelled all flights until Thursday morning. So it doesn't really matter.

Also I feel like this is a leisure trip and I should just take it as a great way to get out of having to sightsee in the snow.

Snowpocalypse Now

Ummm, so if you have watched a weather report in the last day or so, you will be aware that Chicago is in the midst of a snowstorm (well Chicago and a lot of other places) that will move East to the coast and beyond--it's kind of Buzz Lightyear that way.

I have a plane flight book for 6pm tonight from Chicago to NYC.

Or rather I had.

Southwest cancelled all of its flights out of Midway today. Last night I rebooked for midday tomorrow, thinking hey yeah cool I will get there in time for the dinner with friends I have planned and I will stay until Sunday instead of Saturday.

Then they cancelled that one too.

Because it turns out that by that time I could totally get out of Midway, but I sure couldn't land at LaGuardia. I could rebook sometime in the next two weeks BUT I can't really get my schedule clear then, so my trip is cancelled. But Southwest is cool and lets me use this as a credit on further flights, and it was just a fun trip, so it isn't like I am missing some very important date specific event or anything.

Next I need to get a refund for the show tickets I bought for Friday's performance of A Lie of the Mind at The New Group. And resign myself to being here for the rest of the week. I have some ideas though. . .

Monday, February 08, 2010

So, I kind of came RIDICULOUSLY close with my non-trad Superbowl pool

I am kind of tied for first.

Because here is what I predicted:

1) Winner and score: Sants 31-24 (it was 31-17 and seriously holy crap how did I do that?!)

2) MVP: Brees (yes)

3) Winner of the USA Today AdMeter of movie spots ONLY: Toy Story 3 was my pick and it didn't even have a commercial.

4) Number of shots of Pete Townsend doing the windmill: 3 (it was way more than three)

5) Over or under on Carrie Underwood's National Anthem being 1min42sec: I said over (it was).

Now, there is one other person who got as close as I did because we had identical choices except he had a higher score that was further off (31-28) and he said 6 on the windmills (which was still off but closer without going over).

On the blog that does this they are entertaining arguments for why my calling the score more closely might take the win over calling a higher number of windmills when the total of that was very high (higher even than the number called). The blog owner/pool host is inclined to call the windmills more important.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dear Taylor Swift

Just say no to John Mayer!

I recently heard via totally obviously true internet gossip that you are 'more than just friends' with said crooner, and although I get the appeal, I am older and wiser than you, and I warn you to walk the eff away.

I get that he probably told you that your body is a wonderland, and I get that it probably felt awesome to hear that (and sure I bet your body is but still there are way way way way better and less skeezy men who think the same thing and plus dude that was a song about a whole nother girl with way bigger boobs, is that really ok with you?).

I mean, I of all people get that for little bit country white girls John Mayer is somehow our Barry White (and I get way more than you do just how totally humiliating and just plain lame that is).

I too would love for him to croon some tune about how wonderful my body/person/love is in my ear, and write a song about he can't be around me because it destroys him because I put myself in for those girls in his songs BUT it is reasonably ok for me to do this because John Mayer and I will never date, and if I met him in real life I would run screaming into the night (or day) if he started to hit on me. Because the man is a sleeze ball. I bet Jen Anniston would take your call and explain, and you should trust her because that girl knows about being fucked over by a dude.

Taylor honey, I am not meaning to be judgy, if you want to get secretly get down with John Mayer no strings attached. If you can do that, you go girl! But your songs suggest you come with strings, and I don't think I can like songs about John Mayer breaking your young girl heart that you will inevitably write when this inevitably goes south. Please don't date him so you don't have to write them.

Also, as a sidebar, when are your songwriting themes going to mature? I keep selling people on the fact that in five years when you grow up you will be not just super fun but totally awesome, and I am willing to give teenage you a pass on writing teenagey songs, but since you have turned twenty, you have a very short lease on that pass. Please think about writing songs that aren't about teenage boys doing you wrong, for me, as a trade for this awesome advice on not getting entangled with that charming fuck up John Mayer.

Thank you Tay, and good luck. If you want to date someone in their 30s and frat boy boyish, go for Seth Meyers. He is the same kind of type, but I think he would treat you right.



Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Midnight Vomiting

Not mine thank goodness or the cat's, but it was Sam's. He is going to hate that I wrote this here, but after a late bedtime Sunday night and an early morning due to work by Sam at home starting before I usually wake up, last night I was woken up at near two am by vomit. LOTS of vomit. SMELLY vomit. It made opening up the window and letting the FREEZING air in preferable to MASSIVE vomit SMELL EVERYWHERE.

Still there this morning. Hopefully Sam is feeling better and can clean it up. Hopefully he is feeling better and will go to Azar's production of Sara Kane's "Crave" today or he will have to explain to her why he is missing it.

Also not totally sure why the vomit happened. So that is exciting and fun too. Also it is all over the carpet because apparently Sam never learned the skill where you hold it back and in until you get to a garbage can or a sink or a toilet or a bathtub. Le Sigh.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Rock Musical

I saw one today. It was a student project and had some truly awesomeness and some truly studentness, but it was overall very good. It was also totally autobiographical (because did I mention it was a student work). It got me thinking about the partly formed, half-baked one woman show idea that floats around my head. It involves me and my misadventures. I got a cool title that might not even fit, but it is super cool, so I am putting it here. No one steal it!

How to break up with God before he dumps you first. (And yes duh, Jesus boy would feature into this one and also the ads for "Dear John" which I admit I totally want to see because it is so exactly my crack kind of weird me out because Channing Tatum with long hair seems like a 6'2" version of the 5'9" Jesus boy and it is WEIRD)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My ipod ate all my music

Well really it didn't. I transferred purchases (this american life episodes I wished to keep and like a song) onto my ipod. But then I somehow didn't update the music, so it just transferred everything off. This was not what I was looking for this morning.

Le Sigh!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not the place for everything

I have been thinking about it lately. I feel like I get blocked about blogging when the things I want to write about and tumble around in my mind are too personal and too private for an inherently public forum like a blog. Because some things just are, much as I love all of you. Hell some of the things I have published ought to have been kept much more private probably (and might have saved me some cyberstalking grief but whatever it happened).

My friend Sallyacious reccomended that I do something that I think she called artists pages where you wake up and first thing in the morning immediately, you write like 3 little journal pages or one and a half full size pages of anything and everything that is in your mind. I used to write in a journal pretty frequently pre-blogging, but it has definitely been neglected and ignored for this more public and interactive forum.

I think artist pages will help solve several dilemmas. It will let me get the private stuff into a private forum on a regular basis, making way for more public stuff to go up here. Hopefully unblocking the way for that more public stuff to be more interesting than my errands list. Also helping to train me to get right up because I will want to to do my early morning artist thing. This could lead way to early morning wii yoga or pilates on the on demand netflix. It could solve all the world's problems in just a few yammering scribbles!!

Or not. I should probably shut up and try it.

Oooh, and I almost forgot a ordered a box of my favorite pens to facilitate this creative endeavor.

Another Story in the Saga that Stars My Crazy Ass Cat Who Thinks He is Human AND President of the Universe (or More Likely Emperor)

Last night Sam had to be part of some sort of Maintenance Network/Internet something at 2am, so he fell asleep on the couch at like 8pm next to his iphone which was set to wake him up in time for the call/fix. I went to bed myself sometime between eleven and midnight.

Steve McQueen went to bed with me because all three of us had been in the living room, and then I moved into the bedroom, and he had of course to go with me to make sure he knew EVERYTHING that was happening. Then of course there was his nightly, post-human-bedtime ritual of running around very fast and occasionally popping up from the ground to the bed and swatting any stray people limbs and running away very fast. At some point after this I fell asleep.

At one am Sam woke up and started to do his maintenace, and sometime after that and closer to two I didn't quite totally wake up but became more awake than I had been and kind of aware that someone else was awake. Steve McQueen was of course in the living room with Sam inspecting the work Sam was doing and making sure everything was under control.

And then Sam did something that got him in BIG trouble with Steve McQueen. Sam went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. (I know right, what a jerk?!) Steve McQueen went along--as he always does if anyone goes to the kitchen because his food dish is there and he needs to make sure some things are true a) that he has food b) that he has enough food c) that whoever is in the kitchen is giving him more food and d) that whoever is in the kitchen is not stealing/touching/otherwise defiling his food or his dish--and to Steve McQueen's utter horror, Sam didn't fill his food dish! P.S. Steve is always certain that his food dish is less full than necessary for his survival through the next hour of life, so he should be used to this disappointment.

Well, Steve McQueen had to take things into his own hands on this matter. So he chased Sam back into the living room and batted at the back of Sam's legs with his paws (kind of ineffective as he is front paw declawed). That did not seem successful enough, so Steve McQueen darted into the bedroom where I was not so soundly mostly asleep and used his paws to hit the metal corners of the bed frame in a way that makes this odd tapping noise. Then he crossed around to the side of the bed where my head was closest to the edge and began to meow in my ear. But it was not a mew, it was a big howly, yowly talking meow, and it was LOUD and very insistent!

Of course in my half sleepy state, I wake right up (I probably would have from a suond sleep) and I think something must be wrong, or why else would the cat be yelling at me? So I leap out of bed and cross into the living room and ask Sam what is going on. He of course is at his computer and not sure that anything happened. Why, I ask, did Steve McQueen come in and wake me up with yelling?

"Oh that?" he answers, "Well he seemed pretty mad at me when I went into the kitchen."

And so I went back to sleep, and had dreams about a radiation disaster. Yeah, so not so much with a good night's sleep tonight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Movie: Up In The Air

I saw this movie last night, and it was really charming. George Clooney was spot on, Vera Farmiga as ever was rocking my world with her wonderful strong yet vulnerable acting style (I think that is why I have always loved her, she is totally a tough chick while looking like a mega babe and able to have a vulnerable side that isn't necessarily soft but is vulnerable), that new chick Anna Kendrick is pretty good (Twilight films we are going to ignore as you know we should), the supporting cast is spot on too (Amy Morton from right here in Chicago and the nicer stepsister from Ever After, etc), but what I find myself thinking about today was the framing of the scenes and the opening credits which show views from the air.

The lovely big patterned O's of irrigation circles and the green, brown, yellow, red, gray, and white of the world. The shapes carved into the land by the rivers that run through us. The largeness of our world made tiny by the distance. I keep seeing them now in my head, playing over and over.

Happiness at the Misfortune of Others

Our office is old and electronically jury rigged to work.

The heating system seems to have two heats in winter, one being "ON FIRE" which we combat by running the air conditioning and the other being "Not so much on at all" which we try not to combat by turning our own heat unit on too strong because then it makes part of the office "ON FIRE" while still leaving the other part of the office "Not so much on at all." This means that one room gets a little heating unit BUT it also means that they cannot make their special coffee with their special coffeemaker AND have their little space heater on at the same time. They assure me that they are not dumb enough to do this and blow fuses (or really blow daisy chained extension cords/surge protectors).

They did just that this morning. Haha!!

This message brought to you by the letter J for Heather is kind of a jerk. And also it would be less fun for me and I would take much less and even no glee from this IF the people it had happened to had not been team of people who make my life miserable, treat me rudely or just badly, and actually a few months ago were so mean to me I almost quit. If it had been the nice people, I would've felt bad and offered to help them. I am not a total jerk, I just believe in Karma or at the very least in what goes around comes around.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Good Day

I kind of thought I was going to blow it and spend it in bed and watching crap that I have stored on my Tivo, but no. I got up. I got out. My lovely friend Sara Jo came with me, and we ran errands and parked in many different styles of garages and street parking!!

First stop Quiltology on Halsted where I bought backing fabric for both my quilt and the one I am making for my sister. Tomorrow and tonight I want to get a lot farther along with the sister's quilt and piece the backing on my quilt. The goal will be to turn the quilts back in for pick up before I go to NYC, so that I can get them back during the Olympics and start the binding. Then sometime before the end of March I will have made two whole quilts. But that is awfully ambitious (and expensive).

Then Restoration Hardware where I bought lovely fluffy delicious new towels for our bathroom in a lovely color that they call 'Juniper' in their 'Silver Sage' collection.

Then we dropped everything off and walked to the Trader Joe's near us to get a few groceries.

Now I think I will see if I can get some sewing done before I sleep.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mad Men Nights Rule

Two friends come over to my house to watch Mad Men in order on Thursdays from the start. So far, we have watched 5 eps over two weeks, and it is super fun, and we have dinner too.

It is especially fun for me as I see them react to things the first time, and I know what is happening. But it is also great to see these shows in a more measured way than when I watched them all in a rush when I first started them last fall.

Also I am a TV aholic, and I think I need to go on a TV diet where I wean back what I consume on it. But I also do not want too. Well rather I don't want to stop watching my shows. Sam's sure but not mine (which I grant you seems hardly fair).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So, to fight the rundown I took an extra day off work this week

And then I slept through it. I slept and slept, like I hadn't slept for the last few months or I was in a freaking fairy tale where I was cursed to sleep for that long or something by an evil stepmother/witch.

I do however feel much better if I little like a caged beast. However today I intend to do a bit of housekeeping, make a taco salad for dinner, and go out to a movie with my fiancee. Just to feel like a human. Of course, I am also going to take another nap before then.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Post Happy, Throat Sad

Apparently I either post multiple times a day or not at all, but whatever I do what I want.

Anyway, an update on the Upper Respiratory Infection. I still have it. The drugs I got to dull the symptoms mostly don't. The cough suppressant does help knock it down enough to get to sleep and stay there mostly kind of. Apparently I should be resting more to get over this. And that isn't so much happening. I am being very aggressive with my water intake, but that again not so much helping. And I am getting very impatient with the wait it out phase. Which I am probably elongating by not getting enough rest.

However, apparently sometimes people drop a lot of weight with URI's. Because it does sort of supress the appetite or mostly you just don't feel hungry ever, and it kind of hurts to eat (see throat pain), so you do not eat. I have noticed no weight loss at all, and I feel kind of ripped off. I mean if I am going to be coughing my guts out this much and feel so bad, at least I should lose 5-10 pounds. Like I could be okay with feeling like crap if there was any sort of bonus for myself. This is bullshit.

More Quilting

I FINALLY got the right size of bobbins for my sewing machine, so I got to do some sewing this weekend and that meant some quilt-top makking. I FINISHED my very first ever quilt top, so later this week I can take it in to get it machine quilted.

I have decided that due to the particular size and pattern of my first project(s), I will get them machine quilted and do the binding myself. I will learn to hand quilt and machine quilt (using my machine) on smaller projects, so if they aren't really activities I enjoy I will not want to murder myself and give up all of quilting by the time that they are done.

I also started on scrapping my sister's quilt together. Well I had it all cut out and laid out carefully before today, I just needed to start sewing the strips together. So far half of the big initial sewing pieces are done on her quilt which will be a great deal crazier than our quilt. The next project is a quilt for my mom, and I will gift her on mother's day and my sister's by her birthday in June (so I have a deadline but I should be finished much earlier).

I am using the same pattern for all three or a slight variation on it, just to sort of get the basics down. I will need a new project after that, and I am not sure what I want to do. I got this awesome quilt book, and I think I might try my hand at some of the things in it and try to make a quilted bedspread for our house for the summer months, thinking if I back it in pieced cotton, it should still stay light weight.

Also we got the camera's battery charger this weekend, so I now have a good camera, so I will try to post some pictures soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Strategic Posturing and the Regular Kind (which for me means slouching)

A friend and I were discussing a few weeks ago the oddness of a third friend of ours. This third friend seems to be using their mid-twenties to strategically position and present themselves as a specific type. I mean we all change in our midtwenties (and before and beyond but that moment in time seems particularly fertile with the first foray into adulthood all alone), and sometimes that involves trying out new things that might lead you to new fashion or interests or whatever or for health or something. So why does this third friend's change needle us?

As far as I can figure, I think it needles me (cannot speak for second friend) because it has a very artificial and put on sort of feeling. It is like a weird strategy and it seems to be even being presented as a strategy rather than a more organic growth. Like I could get the following, Jane wants to get in better shape so she tries various exercise class and yoga rocks her world and so she goes to more yoga classes and ends up at a very sort of religious yogic studio with yogis who shave their head and wear robes and a year or so later Jane is one too. I mean I would definitely think that weird, but I can see the way the dots connect even if they would not have connected like that for me. But for third friend I don't see the dots connecting. And this irks me because I tend not to be friends with the kind of person who gets to strategic in positioning themselves in life because that strategy feels fake and put on to me.

I have no trouble with the particular personality/life niche third friend is putting themselves in. I mean it isn't the most common within my friend group, but it isn't unrepresented. But my friend group covers many because it has grown organically to include all sorts of people, and actually the unifying factor seems to be that they are all unique organic people and even if they mostly fit into a specific niche (Logan Square Hipster Artist, Vegan Marathoner, Park Slope Stroller Mommy, etc.) the thing about all of them is that they aren't that cleanly definable. The housewife I still am friends with from home is sarcastic and liberal and talks about how she should've never taught her kids to speak and can't wait for the teenagers to get out of the house. The Logan Square Hipster Artist loves sex and the city and girly movies. I am very clearly a Childless NPR Artist/Intellectual (which talk about a lame niche to accidentally end up) but I go to rock shows and I don't even listen to NPR, I listen to some of their podcasts (yes I know that makes it worse). Third Friend is driving me the crazies because in pursuit of this ideal new life niche, third friend is sanding off all the edges of third friend's life and losing all the really interesting bits about third friend and replacing them with faux interesting trump l'oiel life (I know I spelled that wrong and I do not care). I like the real interesting bits even when they aren't glamorous and reveal way less cool roots (see all my country kid stories).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Updates and Life musings

Well, I still haven't heard back on the job application that I put in last week (although the job is no longer listed on the site), but I finally heard back about the volunteer application I put in to the Lincoln Park Zoo, and I will be attending an open house late next month. I also met with the second wedding planner who is not someone who would be a good fit for me or for our wedding at all, so she is a no. I meet the third planner tonight.

I also was thinking today about how when I was a teenager or even younger, I used to think just wait until I get to be older. When I am a grown up I will do whatever I want. And the truth of that statement is weird. When I was littler I thought it meant I would eat out all the time and that I would only watch awesome movies and go cool places. I do eat out all the time (but it is over rated, lots of the places I eat are just mediocre), and that part I feel I have really satisfied. But the other part seems not to have worked out the way I imagined. I do get a lot of cool opportunities in Chicago and I take advantage of a lot of them, and they would be pretty impressive to my teenage self, but I also waste a lot of time watching TV on the Tivo. And I don't see as many movies as I had dreamed, although I guess I saw more before I started seeing Sam since he isn't much of a movie person.

But I also do lots of less glamorous things. There is the time I spend doing dishes and the time I spend doing things my fiancée loves that I wouldn't likely do as much of on my own (or any of--although he does return the favor). There is the time I spend cleaning and tidying up the apartment and caring for the cat and running tedious errands to the doctor or the pharmacy or the grocery store or the drug store. Basically I spend parts of my life living a life, and it has less glamorous parts that I never took into consideration in my youth. It is depressing to grow up and to see that life isn't as easy (even in dumb little ways) as you thought it would be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oh sheesh!

Now I have an upper respiratory infection! And it is way down in my chest, but I saw my doctor and should be feeling betters soon. It was just a tiny tickle in my throat last week and now I am super sicks. Well not really, I actually feel totally fine except for the big deep annoying cough and soreness in my chest. But like no headaches or fever or fatigue or runny nose or sinus pressure or anything expected.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Addendum to Today Post

Eddie Izzard was awesome! The material was all new to me and other than Jazz Chicken there isn't a whole lot that I can like remember quote wise from it because it was all so fast and furious, and it was in a gigantor stadium with the expected echo issues. So it was awesome, and he was a really compelling performer, but I cannot possibly hope to ressurect his performance with quotes here.

Also I might be getting a iphone. A hand me down iphone. From Sam who may be getting the new fancy google phone that is unlocked so it works on a couple of networks including AT&T because he might be getting that bought for him from work, so I can replace my awful phone with his iphone, and I guess give him his itouch back as an ipod so we each still have ipods. I wonder what happened to our other ipod that he used to use pre iphone? Anyway, I am excited to get the iphone if only to have a phone that doesn't completely and totally suck at being a phone, texting, and most other features that I expect to use on my phone. Although I may not get it, so I guess I should get less excited.

The Winter Blahs are here

And I don't like them or want them. Seriously no good. It is cold here and sometime gray here and deceptively sunny and killer cold when it isn't and I don't want to leave the house, but I don't really like being stuck in the house. And then it sucks that I only leave the house for work because that isn't what I want to escape my self-imposed prison for, but it is cold!

Also I get a little cranky and whiny when it is like this. Obviously I need some Vitamin D. Obviously I need more interesting things to do with my time. However being massively hungover all Saturday did not get me braving the weather this weekend.

Unfortunately this winter promises to be a little worse than usual as I am not in a show that forces me to go to rehearsals. Although, I am trying to be really good about supporting friends in their endeavors and making myself take advantage of good opportunities. Like tomorrow night, the MCA is free. It is also hopefully maybe the place we are going to have our wedding and around the freaking corner from my house. Tomorrow I am going, just to get out and about.

I am also trying to introduce more activity into my life hoping the endorphins combat the winter sluggishness.

Well and I am going to NYC in a month, that should be something to look forward to! It should. I promise to look up. I want to be less whiny and mopey, I think it just makes me feel worse about everything and then I get all hopeless and doom and gloomy and that is no good, and rather pointless. My life is not that bad. It just isn't. Is it perfect? No. But, what would a perfect life even mean? Is that even possible? Isn't it far more likely that sometimes shit goes wrong. For everyone sometimes. It just does. And then you move past it or through it or around it or over it and things get better until someday they don't again and you do it again.

I am very lucky to have wonderful friends and family who care about me and who help me out when I need it, and because of that I shouldn't be so focused on the things that aren't perfect. Nothing is perfect. If I don't like it, there is something I can always do to change it, and at the beginning of every new year I usually call myself to a put up or shut up moment about the things I whine about.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Tonight-Do you have a flaaaag?

I see some Eddie Izzard tonight. With Sallyacious. At the United Center which seems an uneccessarily huge venue to see a stand up comic, and we opted for the cheaper tickets which mean upper deck rather than spending twice as much to maybe get super close. I mean our tickets are probably some of the best in our price range because we bought presale, but still.

I am very excited because he is my favorite Executive Transvestite.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Lying at Work

I keep a weird distance from many of my coworkers. It isn't that they are nice people, they are very nice people (mostly), but they aren't people I would really hang out with outside of work functions. Either we have disparate tastes or disparate tempraments, and I often feel like I am an alien from the far off planet artist. Even with the other artist because I am maybe from the planet theatre and he is from the planet rocker and we are from different points in time.

So I just don't tell them stuff, a lie by omission that I think is fairly common. I am sure everyone censors parts of their private life from their worklife just for sanity. But sometimes I tell them made up lies. Usually harmless ones about why I missed a day or something, but I do it pretty much anytime I take a day off not for a big vacation that I tell everyone about. I think I do it because I seem so brimful of stories and information that silence on something (that isn't even any of their business in the first place we have Personal Days not Sick Days here so you can just take them when you want them and you don't need a reason) that I feel compelled to make up a story that is totally innocuous and has nothing to do with my actual reality.

I think this is weird, but as I write this and think it through, I don't think it is that unusual. Lots of people call in sick when they are not and fake cough or say food poisoning or migraine or whatever and really mean hangover or just not interested in going to work. I feel less bad now.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Not Looking Forward To It

Going back to work tomorrow. I mean, next week will be a light week for me work wise, but I just no wanna go!!! Three day weekend plus a half a day is really just enough to make me think of chucking this whole work thing and running off to join the circus.

I did spend this weekend seeing some jazz at the Jazz Showcase, seeing some art at the Art Institute, and seeing a double feature (homemade not authorized/organized by the theatre) of Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces and Tom Ford's A Single Man which is very moody and emotional and I was in just the right spot to love it (also Colin Firth and Julianne Moore totally rule). Saw both of those with a friend who I was meeting for the first time. We are thing throwers at the ALOTT5MA blog together, and we met for the very first time today. She saw five movies. I was wimpy. She is awesome!