Sunday, November 29, 2009
strolling the boardwalk in Halifax, i heard this awful singer. it was obvious that he had some skill on that guitar, but he sounded a little bit like a lost and lonely beagle.
who am i to judge? have you ever heard me sing? yeah. there is a reason for that...
so, i walked up and down the boardwalk taking photos and pushing this dudes voice out to the distance--his playing was kinda nice. i took this shot from the end of the boardwalk.
eventually, words started to pierce my ears and i recognized the song. his voice was cracking and the clarity of the words wafted in and out like a breeze in a vacant house.
all he sang were sad love songs and every one sounded the same. no one tossed a cent into that case, and as i approached him, he never looked at me.
he just kept watching the end of the boardwalk.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
i get excited and my momentum is overwhelming. few can understand it, fewer can handle it, and it's usually a let down for me.
i'm a freaking tsunami heading for the beach every time i start a project or meet a guy. moderation isn't in my vocabulary. if i'm in, i'm in up to my neck. this is why i'm always busy and simultaneously single.
i recently described myself to someone. i said, "it's hard to get my attention, but once you do, it's like being caught in the lighthouse beacon. darlin, if that light can cut through dense fog, it could slice you to pieces."
as with any entertainment with a group of characters, people usually identify with one character more strongly than the others. for me, it's an amalgam of all four. depending on the day... i could be blasting the optimism like charlotte or laying down the cynicism like miranda or getting comfy in my independence and finding my way like carrie.
last night, i was telling a story over cocktails and i realized that i might just be crossing lines--not in a bad way necessarily. hmmm, this was a prime samantha moment. i enjoy those. she's my favourite character. ha!
i like that about myself. it's something i'm actually proud of--that i'm not entirely consistent every day. i'm not super trendy, or uber practical, or over the top racy--every day. it's sort of a grab bag and i realize the inconsistency can drive some mad, but i really enjoy the variety it creates in my life.
i'm just saying... it takes all kinds to make my personal world go round. the more diversity, the clearer i think. i don't understand it either, but it works for me!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
i've a love-hate relationship with the holidays. i'm a festive girl who loves the hubbub. that's just how i roll. i dig decorating the place with trinkets of the harvest, breathing in the smell of a turkey, and the inevitable pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. but, there has always been so much stress--buckets full of ulcer-creating expectation, both real and imagined. i hate the holidays.
this year, my family thanksgiving was canceled at the last minute as my mom got a touch of food poisoning. i felt terrible that she was sick... much as i'd have liked to lounge around and not have to move, i'd never, ever wish sickness on anyone, especially my mom!! (she is better, btw. i talked to her an hour ago and she was quite chatty.)
so when she called at noonish, i was a little stunned to find myself free. the possibilities rose like a swarm of happy honey bees. what to do? what to do?
well, i thought, i've got sweet potato souffle and a pumpkin pie that i've already made for the family dinner... and, i've a little turkey that i bought a while ago. (just last weekend i decided to give the bird away because i didn't see myself ever cooking it--so glad i didn't.) i also had a bag of fresh cranberries and an orange for cran-relish. what the hell! i've got thanksgiving dinner!
now that i'd committed to making a turkey and doing my own private shindig, it occurred to me that i had a friend that just might not have plans. luckily, he was free and agreed to come for dinner. so, i deemed this my little thanksgiving train wreck and made no promises on how it would turn out!
well, dinner wasn't until after eight, but we sipped champagne and caught up... periodically prodding little Tom to see how he was cooking. it was truly wonderful to enjoy the evening and laugh without fretting. there was no pressure that everything had to be perfect and that everything possible be represented at the table. this was so easy!
i'm thankful--very thankful. i'm thankful that my mom is feeling better and her illness seems to be passing. i'm thankful for all the wonderful peeps in my life--several of which i chatted with and texted with today--and i'm thankful for my health and the opportunities in my life.
but tonight, i'm thankful for my friend who shared dinner with me and helped make this one of the most lovely thanksgivings evah!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
this was a most interesting day.
i was going to post a video of a song, but today was about tomorrow and that song is about yesterday.
i am looking forward and that is a refreshing change. tomorrow holds a lot of possibility built on a very positive today.
we will see, my friend. we will see.
Monday, November 23, 2009
and we play... the fraternity of shimmies. that's us.
we danced at the fair trade market yesterday. this was my first "festival" of sorts. i've always danced in workshop or recital shows. i've done a couple restaurants and haflas, but never anything like this.
it was fun and it was different. the audience has a different feel--most people don't know the difference in the styles of dance or music and that is just fine by me. i like that Nissa puts on a diverse show... i think it's fun for everyone.
the market was really cool, too. i plan to go back next weekend to see Los Flamencos, my favourite flamenco dancers and musicians. i'll also be snagging some of those lovely scarves one of the vendors was selling!
a friend and i went to see a bollywood film after the fair trade, and i thought it was pretty good. i still say that a bollywood movie would be a great place for a flash mob. also, some of the really tasty music was done by a canadian band.
yes, i also know that i missed yesterdays post. my bad, i totally dropped the ball. i was working on the wedding pics, finishing them up till 3 am, and i just forgot... gah! i'm apologizing to the interwebs.
but i'm actually looking forward to this holiday week... hoping to catch up on some back logged photos and get through some general house keeping... like the mail. i tried to volunteer, but no one that i called needed anymore help. i was really bummed and am deciding now where to volunteer for xmas. no procrastinating!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
it's been sort of a long day. it ended really well with a pretty good run of animated shorts at the SLIFF. i've a good friend who is fun to see shorts with as he always sees things that i don't. i like that. ;-)
the day started out well, too. i shot the eighth grade class at St. Marks while they made pizzas that they sold for a fundraiser. nearly six hundred! good for them! it was a lot of fun and they needed shots for the memory book that they are publishing. i'm just really glad that i could help. what awesome kids and parents and teachers!
i only regret that i didn't start a food fight.
Friday, November 20, 2009
that's just a ruse. actually, i did drag myself out of bed to get this post done, but i'm not feeling at all snarky. i had a perfectly lovely evening.
i saw the dramatic shorts with a friend and they were fantastic. i think there was only one bum in the batch, so to speak. they've all left me thinking and that's what i was hoping for. last year, there were a couple that were disturbing, one especially. this year, there was only one that got under my skin in an uncomfortably close to home way. but, i digress.
i was surprised to see debrah harry show up as a shrink in a pretty spiffy thriller of sorts. the only other time i saw her on film was in videodrome--the only movie that i've ever walked out on. she was much better this time.
if you haven't gone to SLIFF, there is still time this weekend! and, if you can drag a friend who is fun to chat with, well that's just whip cream and a cherry on top!
and now... off to bed before i turn into slap happy glenda, the good witch.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
i remembered that last year i'd exclaimed that i was crazy for not volunteering over thanksgiving and the holidays. now that i'm not married or attached in any way... my plans are pretty open. i'll see mom, but since we don't really do a big meal anymore... i sort of miss the bustle of having the holidays, but not the headaches!!!!
i began my search sunday night... and just an hour ago, four days later, i found a source. you have no idea how hard it has been to find a place to lend a hand on thanksgiving. geez. the event through work is full... online was a vast wasteland of non-information. i really thought that i'd find a ton online... but i was so wrong.
finally in desperation i went to the newspaper website. bambambam. looky there! a link to a plethora of opportunities!! when in doubt do it the old fashioned way.
tomorrow, i'm calling a center for women in transition... a halfway house for women who were incarcerated. i hope that they need me. :)
instead, i'll just do it bigger and badder and louder right here... AND there's no glitter.
today is my friend, Mike's birthday. he's forty! unbelievable. welcome to the party, dude.
i wish you many, many years of joy and success, and i hope that you are enjoying your day.
now save your energy cuz if it ever stops raining and we get a nice night, i'm buying you a beer and taking you to boschertown. i OWE you.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
so, i've managed to get a blog up here every day during the month--even if the dates don't necessarily state it. as far as i'm concerned, it isn't the end of the day till i go to bed, and well, despite my best efforts, that is rarely before midnight.
i have to say that doing this little exercise has felt far more attainable than nanowrimo and the 50,000 words in a month. that was daunting and i managed to forget to write for days. i like the habit that this has created. i might just keep it up.
and since it feels naked to put up a post without a picture these days... this is my mom and me at my cousin's wedding in september. she was very happy that night, and i'm glad she had fun.
apparently, the photographers that my cousin hired took a lot of photos of me dancing. i think if my mom could track down the guy who took them, she'd try to fix me up--she's convinced he had his eye on me. i think it was the fact that my dress was bright green tie-dye. i sort of popped out of the sea of black cocktail dresses.
i've never been very good at blending in.
Monday, November 16, 2009
what i like:
the use of textures
that it's in black and white
the way it uses slow motion to contrast the techno
the use of reflection
the way each scene's focal point is created... the woman's wrinkled hands against black background, the woman in a black coat with a grayed background, the shift in focus from the building to the man's face...
the consistent patience of the pace to tell the story-that it never breaks the pace
isolating the individual from life's continuing pace
and the diversity of people used.
and i really love the lyrics.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
this feels like a day that never really started, but i've been deeply submerged in the editing JDed and Deanna's wedding. I've only gotten as far as getting ready, which is about 2pm. i still have 7 hours worth to edit.
i had told them that i'd hoped to have everything finished this weekend. not a chance. but, i have something for them and that's a start.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
the auto timer and a thick tree branch to hold Big Daddy... we started goofing off. this is one of my closest and dearest friends, Missy. she's truly an awesome mom, wife, designer and friend... she sets the gold standard as a role model--even for me. :) in these photos, we were horsing around at the morten arboretum just before my cousin got married. i've a series of portraits of her... maybe i'll embarrass her with those tomorrow. hehehe!
when missy told me that i had to see the miniatures, that they were amazing, i was curious. then i saw them and i was indeed amazed. click the photo to go to my flickr and see the rest of the shots. i think i could have easily stayed there the whole day shooting just these incredible displays. and how lame am i? i was so busy shooting the dang things, i never read the plates. i've no idea what i shot. i did do a lot of ohhhing and ahhhing and bouncing off the walls like a pinball. that missy, she's got incredible amounts of patience. :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
i call him Herschel and he served me the best homemade tamales i've ever had.... with the exception of my own.
he and his wife, who looked over her glasses and nodded a lot, ran this tasty little mexican restaurant in chicago.
Missy and i stopped there for lunch on our way to the art institute. it was lunch hour and the place wasn't slammed, but the pace was "chop-chop". behind Herschel and his wife were a trio of gentleman who were whipping up platters.
we weren't sure what we wanted. i was insanely distracted by this man flitting around and barking out "what'll you have? you want the combo? you like tamales?"
i couldn't read the menu if you forced me. as long as this guy was doing his thing with that intensely thick accent, i was glued to him and would've bought anything he was selling-- i did, indeed, want the tamales.
i honestly don't know how i got this shot of him... he never stopped. i tried not to let him see me lift my camera. i didn't want his attention, only to watch him. if i'd had video, you'd be rolling. what a hoot!
i call him Herschel because he was kind. in five minutes, i knew that he would treat me like a daughter. that sort of kindness reminded me of another Herschel that i once knew.
i was working as director of catering at a hotel in clayton, and we signed a giant wedding--an orthodox wedding. working at that hotel, i learned nearly everything i know about keeping kosher and the traditions, rituals and perspective on life from orthodox judaism--thanks to Mr. Herschel Raskas.
i could never properly express my gratitude to him, no matter how many times i thanked him. he made an impression on me that is as fresh today as when i knew him in 1993. he was patient and explained the background on everything that his wife requested. he saw the blank look on my face and recognized my eagerness to learn and understand as he began to explain.
when Herschel of the Tamales, looked at me and asked me "you want the tamale combo, don't you" for the second time, he had that same sparkle in his eye.
if it hadn't been the lunch hour and we weren't in hurry to get to all the wonderful art, i'd have spent the afternoon learning how Mr. Herschel here had become the proprietor of a mexican restaurant.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
i thank you, all.
i remain optimistic that one day, war will be a faded memory.
but today, in the shadow of your bravery, i am humbled.
i have struggled with posting this photo. the quality is lousy, but it speaks to me in a way that the series that followed do not, even though they are crisp and vivid.
this woman sat there in an island of cement. people kept an extra foot from her. though the people at the corner were boisterously garnering change, she sat quietly with her mcdonald's cup and hand written sign that she'd obviously spent a lot of time to make clear and readable. she barely raised her head when i approached her.
seeing this shot, even now so many weeks later, causes me a rush of emotion. being near her... i felt so broken. just broken, not sad or depressed. just a whiff of hopelessness. but mostly broken.
she was so young and beautiful. she was stunning.
Monday, November 09, 2009
i've been so ticked off about this for so very long that i decided to purge this anger for once and for all by simply posting my reply to one of his emails.
yeahhhhh, no. not for me. i had a 33 year old ask me out and even that made me nervous.
i'll tell you exactly what set me off. there was an article a couple years ago in the RFT... they used the same art for a cougar column that they ran. well. the women that they interviewed were so NOT like me and were REPRESENTING me... i've never read the rft again.
this sort of thing really is rare with me. usually, i could care less about all that stuff. i came about as close to calling a writer as i ever did after reading that article. they did not represent a true cross section of women over forty who date younger guys. the image that was created couldn't be further from me than my genetic code to an actual cougar.
to be utterly blunt, it pissed me off, and now my (online dating site) email is full of guys who think i'm some tart.
further and in full disclosure for debate...
i've always been a rabid supporter of the RFT. i am not blaming them or the writer. they merely contributed to this lovely new cultural mindset.
at the time that article came out, i had just ended a serious relationship with a guy who was seven years younger than me.
i did go out with the 33 year old. he is very interesting, happy in his own skin and insanely attractive. i would love to go out with him again.
my issue is with the new crop of guys who have developed the mindset that because i'm over forty, look younger than i am and am "adventurous" that i'm a two martini piece of tail. this is a big part of why i shy away from the bar scene.
the amusing thing is that i'm not all hung up on the white picket fence, find a mate forever mentality. i do like a guy unafraid to take risks with curiosity and adventure in his soul. being appreciated for my experience... well, that is truly an aphrodisiac in it's own right. it's not always easy to find this in my age group and that makes this all the more difficult. living in the gray area isn't all that easy.
though merely hearing the word "cougar" makes the hair on the back of my neck go up like a shot. it isn't that i'm opposed to what it represenst. not at all. i could date a seriously younger guy for a spell. i could... if that damn RFT cover doesn't haunt my dreams like Freddy Krueger.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
this is Jackson Pollock's One.
i've friends who really like his work. i do not. i have tried, i assure you.
have you ever heard that people do not like in others what they do not like about themselves?
i think Pollock's work is chaotic and it hurts to stare at it. i've stood in front of his paintings to behold their wise wonder and gotten a headache.
i can sort of handle number 14. it's less frenetic and instead of searing pain it's more like a low mournful groan.
the odd thing is that the farther away that i am from his paintings, the more my shoulders tense up. i have to be mere feet away before i can comfortably attempt to find something about it i like and even begin to attempt to appreciate it. (that really miffs the museum people.)
why is that? i would think that distance from the chaos would be better.
i don't care for chaos.
i don't know anything about art, so i will not argue the merits of any artists work here. i simply find it odd that i have such a visceral reaction to Pollock's work.
one solitary word comes to mind when i view his work.
don't tell me there is no, why... i get that. it doesn't stop me from asking the question. and, the answers that i've gotten make less sense than the work... furthering the chaos and the vicious circle.
this reminds me of infinity. i'll never know the exact ending point of infinity. by it's very nature that is a ridiculous question, yet i think about it. there must be a beginning and an end. ridiculous.
i can accept the chaos of Pollock's work and the fact that infinity doesn't end. but, there are things about myself that i cannot explain. accepting them is not nearly so easy.
i've always been about order. even in my brash and crazy moments, order, focus and routine are the baseline. i've always been the logical, rational one. but, i feel like i've moved into a Pollock painting.
words sometimes come out onto the page or out of my mouth and i get the same searing pain that i get when i look at One. i turn to the mirror and ask, why?
but, there is no answer and i go looking for an aspirin.
again... racing down the street to the chicago art institute, i stopped to shoot when he wasn't looking. then, i proceeded to catch up with missy.
i wonder who he was texting or calling. maybe his wife? his boyfriend? his lover? his poker buddies? his daughter who wants to know if he'll be at her soccer game or swim meet? maybe he's making his picks for the weekend? do you think that's his car?
i loved walking the streets of chicago... i could have done it all day.
Friday, November 06, 2009
missy and i were rushing down jefferson towards the chicago art institute. it was a lovely friday afternoon in september. it was also the lunch hour and people were pushing past with somewhere to get to in a hurry. we were caught in the stream of clicking heels and ringing cell phones. i stopped dead in my tracks and looked to my left. this delightful man was utterly engrossed in his paper and oblivious to the chaos mere feet from his stand. i shot this one photo and leaped across the street dodging a car or two to catch up with missy.
i'd completely forgotten this man. i'm so glad i took his picture. :)
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
i lovingly refer to a previous break-up as having my heart drop kicked. i write that with love because i can laugh about it now. but point is, if that's what it felt like, why for the love of pete would i be fool enough to even want to return to the scene? why not move in a straight line in the opposite direction?
i've a multitude of answers to this. it's so complicated, it's impossible lace. (if you've ever knit lace, you know exactly what i mean.) periodically, giant chunks of understanding fall onto my head and i see more clearly why this little episode was so important to me. it's like the ceiling falling on you, but in a good way because more blue sky is revealed.
tonight's lump of plaster love was about balance. all of my relationships have been all or nothing. either i gave it all and got nothing or vice versa. that's a big deal, and i think many of us find ourselves living on one side of the fence or the other. AND i think we spend a lot of time daydreaming about what it might be like to have that elusive balance.
it is AWESOME. it's like adrenaline in a good way 24/7. it is simple joy. unbelievable satisfaction. for once in my life, i got as much as i gave.
now, i ask you, who in their right mind would want to let that go? not me. but, then i have to remember that there were two people dancing this tango. ahhhhh, the snag. i thought we were both happy. therein lies the fatal flaw.
it may be shattered and never be what it was, and that is okay. it could be a whole new kaleidoscope of colors. i'd be cool with that. but, that fundamental balance... that being appreciated and being able to honestly appreciate... that was invaluable and rare.
that is hard to forget.
lisa was tall, blue-eyed and blonde. i was flirty, curvy and willing to go along. we were hell on... "not old enough to drive" wheels. that meant we snuck out, borrowed cars, and went head long into trouble without a helmet.
lisa's mom was in a committed relationship with a married man. not exactly the best role model on any account, but she did her best. i liked her, but she really left us alone too much. we often had weekends to ourselves at her house at the ripe old age of 14-17. from a parental perspective, that is not the age to leave your daughter the house and a car in the driveway. from a teenager's eyes, oh, that rocked.
to live a cliche those were the years i discovered drugs, sex and rock and roll. it's amazing i survived. though i had a blast, i do have a few scares and one horrible story that i rarely share.
but, we were young and the world was full of possibilities. i was invincible and i had big plans to get out of this town. i was going to move to la. i was going into radio and eventually buy a station in la.
i had huge crushes, but no plans. i was learning by swimming with sharks, but my resiliency was as unbelievable as my luck.
one day, lisa's mom was having one of her famous backyard bbqs. lisa and i were plotting a way to get out. i was standing at the bottom of the yard looking out to the alley thinking that maybe we could walk to the store. jack and diane came on the radio.
i loved john cougar mellencamp and we sang this song all the time. i remember at that moment hearing him sing "hold on to 16 as long as you can. changes come around real soon make us women and men."
i looked out to the alley and the hills beyond. i thought, you're sixteen and you can do anything in the world that you want. go out and see where life takes you and when you're thirty, if you hear this song again, remember this day and what it was like to be sixteen.
thirty came, i remembered my promise to myself. i didn't like where life had taken me. when i heard this song; it hurt.
tonight, on the way home from belly dancing, i heard it again and remembered the day of the bbq. i'm not out of this town... yet. i don't have the radio station or any of the things i wanted at the age of 16, but i want different things and i'm finally on track to get what i want at 42.
i see myself looking out that backyard to the hills, to the possibilities, and they are still there waiting for me. i remember what it was like to be sixteen and that's what the promise was about, not just what i've done with my life.
"life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone... they walk on..."
ps: this counts for november three. get over it.
Monday, November 02, 2009
i always believed that if a man cared about me and was honest, that was good enough. i could take care of myself. i didn't need extravagant things or all of his time. i do require cuddling, but i learned to be utterly delighted with almost nothing.
nothing is easy to give.
i am thrilled to get a note or an email. hold my hand and i'm over the moon. a little attention goes a very, very long way with me.
but, it also gets me taken for granted.
the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. time for me to make some changes.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
i just learned about this nablopomo thing. that means that, of course, i signed up. i'm your willy nilly girl. say yes and figure it out later.
so, let's see if i can actually blog every day.
i didn't succeed (i won't say i failed) at nanowrimo or project 365. let's see if i can feed my ego for a month.
this should be easy, shouldn't it?
that's what i say about everything. in theory, this should be easy, and then, i wander off twirling my hair around my finger.
i've been recovering from the surgery i had on friday, and i'm about bored out of my mind. i've pictures to edit, so there should be no lack of busy, but i'm utterly uninspired.
my friends tell me that i should be recovering and not doing anything anyway. given the sporadic pain pill usage, i probably shouldn't be doing a lot of photo editing anyway. some of the stuff i have done, i had to go back and redo. pain pills and photoshop do not mix.
that leaves lots of football watching and social media zombieism and cinnamon graham crackers.
i'm much smarter than i seem in this blog. yeah. i think we're done with the pain pills.