Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Goat Whisperer



I would say something snarky here about peace-loving tree huggers or the Mormon faith, but if you don't think this is the cutest thing you've ever seen then obviously you are going to die a sad, lonely death surrounded by cats and newspapers. I'll watch for you on Hoarders.


Willow the baby goat visited us at work today from Silver Prairie Farms in Harvard. Willow's owners make handmade soaps out of her mother's milk and other organic ingredients. Let me just tell you, washing with goat milk soap is like lathering silk on your goodies. It's that amazing. I've been using the one that has a loofa molded inside of it in attempts to banish my cellulite. It hasn't done much for that particular over-share yet but my skin is like butter -- rich, lumpy butter.




When I grow up someday I'll have a fleet of goats in my backyard. I will dress them each as a different Spice Girl. Here, you can have ASPCA's number right now and save some time later.


Goat whisperer I am not



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hey Girl


Simply, this and these. Partly because I want to lick chocolate sauce off his beard. But mostly because of that month I didn't wash my hair.


Sam And Molly Drive Out West!


I did this drawing in the car en route to Los Angeles in July. After a 10-hour journey from Milwaukee airport to Dallas to Phoenix that morning, Sam and I literally threw a giant convertible blow-up bed/couch, an immaculately packed tent and far too many clothes for two girls and a 4-day road trip into her car, and took off. 8 hours, a few torturous snippets of 50 Shades of Grey and a brief detour on the coastline (at which it was too dark to see anything, and we'd driven two hours out of our way), we found ourselves in BuFu California or; Bakersville. Don't judge my artistic skills on this drawing. I was really fucking tired.


Eventually the following day we made it another 4 hours to Yosemite National Park or, THE GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH. But not before perusing the local fineries (Target) and watching the shoes I had lusted after for months be unceremoniously purchased by Sam. Traitorous bitch. Somehow we managed to find what I assume is the area's one and only free campsite via a crotchety old man whom we befriended at the local B&B. I really wanted to stay there. Sam really wanted to get scared by bears (we still don't know if they are more or less attracted to women that are menstruating).


Despite the fact that Sam necessitates at least one shower per day -- absolutely BEFORE doing anything at all that day -- and my hygienic needs are practically nonexistent by that standard, we are the most compatible travelers ever that have ever walked this planet. Except maybe Lewis and Clark. Wait, did one of them piss off the other? Did Pocahontas screw something up? Fuck it, Sam and I are the most Compatible Travelers Ever, Ever.


CASE IN POINT: on our second day at Yosemite we both really wanted to Climb Something. We chose the Upper Falls, being that it was the longest hike that would fit into the remaining light we had. It's an estimated 6-8 hour hike, in which you climb a round trip of 3 miles up this godforsaken-ly steep mountain, at which point you are privileged with the most amazing view of the valley below. And you get to swim in the waterfall. And climb to the very tippy tippy edge where the water begins to cascade downward, if you are so daring. I WAS so daring.


Notice that I don't mention Sam at this point? That's because halfway up the mountain she decided she'd had enough of Mother Nature, thanks, and headed back from whence we came. I, on the other hand, had some sort of death wish and obviously no consideration for my inadequately prepared leg muscles and finished the climb. IT SUCKED. But never have I ever been prouder of myself. Nor more abhorred that I climbed to the tippy tippy fucking edge of a fucking waterfall are you fucking crazy??


But this is what makes Sam and I the Most Compatible Travelers Ever, Ever. Because we know that at any time we can look at each other and say "get away from me, please" and go climb a mountain or sit and journal only to make friends with a guy transcribing his voicemails onto a banana. That's what she got. Even after the epic climb, I was kind of jealous.


A lot happened on that trip that solidified both our friendship and our faith in ourselves. My big moment was making it up and down that mountain -- on a smoker's lungs, no less. On my way down there was this little blue jay following me for a good half mile or so. The next day, I got him tattooed on my arm and it remains my favorite piece thus far.


I've been running around a lot today and though I don't have quite the accomplishment to pin it onto, I feel kind of how I did that day. Tired, but victorious. I think I've conquered something today. Or maybe it's just the coffee.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beets. Bears. Battlestar Gallactica.

The beet salad I made for Linner (it was 4 PM, ok?) was delicious. Not only is it one of my current favorite foods but beets are like, one of the healthiest things on planet Earth. Ok maybe not really the healthiest but they're damn close. Nom nom nom, NUTRIENTS. I feel more energized and healthy already.


I was going to regale you all with my beet salad recipe and some factoids on beets for today's Daily Mosifer, but then I realized that's kind of boring, and the recipe takes like 30 seconds to convey (MIRANDA: buy beets. Peel and chop into small cubes. Steam until soft. Simmer up some pecans in butter and brown sugar. Throw all that shit on a plate with some blue cheese. Devour -- but not before taking a picture, becaue I forgot. See, I haven't ignored your request for NaBloPoMo! -- and run around the block to expunge newfound energy).


As I was thinking about the wonders of beets, I remembered their significant role in one of my favorite books. My uncle introduced me to Tom Robbins via Villa Incognito two years ago and I've been hooked on him ever since. Jitterbug Perfume, in which beets are the mojo to this book's Austin Powers remains one of my favorites. Robbins has this uncanny way of expressing all that I believe in spirituality and the power of the universe with a wonderfully rare "who cares?" attitude.



It's the undercurrent of spirituality conveyed with nonchalance that I love about his books. Robbins knows what's up, but he also knows that there's no good worrying about it too much. He understands what I struggle daily to grasp: that there is truth in what you believe no matter its origin, but to relax and just let it happen is the real key to happiness.


My friend says his over-the-top use of allegory makes her sick. I say give me a good story with something behind it, and I'm hooked. Though I'm still not talking to David Foster Wallace.


Yes, SVU IS On Right Now

I can feel a cold coming on. It's no surprise, considering what my schedule looks like lately, that my diet largely consists of the aforementioned Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and chicken salad and that my sleep patterns look more like a map of the moon (lots of HOLES. Get it??) than any real REM. I generally have a stellar immune system thanks to my pure, unvaccinated body -- yes, I'm bragging -- but in the last few years whenever I get too busy I tend to get sick.


When I was younger I LOVED getting sick. Read: I loved the staying home part of getting sick, in which I would forgo school and sneak in episodes of Jerry Springer and Maury, eat ice cream and have the house and TV to myself. One year I plastered our front window with handmade snowflakes and littered the floor with their clippings because hey, I CAN BECAUSE I AM SICK AND WEAK AND INCAPABLE OF HOLDING A BROOM. Let's just say I was rarely sick as a kid, but was fairly often "sick." I also knew the penguin puzzle in the nurse's office by heart due to all the times I spent on her couch "waiting to get rid of a stomach ache."


Now in adulthood I hate getting sick. There are the responsibilities that need attending to, as well as the things I actually enjoy doing that I miss out on. Jerry Springer isn't as entertaining since I saw it live and know that the audience only boos because we're told to, and I can't get myself to believe that there are that many women who don't know the paternity of their children anymore (or maybe it's because I DO believe there are). I also get all compulsive; I MUST not miss a day of exercise, I MUST write four blog posts today, I MUST see my friends lest they ditch me forever and ever. You see the crazy, yet?


Whenever I get sick now I am reminded of the Yogic concept of the Kriya. Basically it's a physical manifestation of energy. It says that the body expresses all that the mind thinks, whether we are aware of it or not. The way I understand a kriya illness is that after the body has endured something it really does not like, it reacts in something like a "YOU GET IT NOW??" fashion.


Ain't that the truth. Every time I've been sick in recent years, I always notice it follows a period of unorthodox stress or when I really haven't been very nice to myself. My body is like, KNOCK IT OFF and I spend a week dripping snot and lying in the bathtub. Occasionally I call The Mother crying and persuade her to bring me more ice cream and tissues, because obviously I cannot be trusted to operate a vehicle in such a condition. Or so I'll say.


Currently I'm lying around in my pajamas, desperately trying to figure out how to knit in the round so I can attempt not screwing up a hat for the godawful midwestern winter. I've got beets on the stove and am dying to consume their sweet, sweet nutrients. My pee will be red for the rest of the week. Tea follows shortly and hopefully like 10 hours of sleep tonight.


I wonder if SVU is on right now?


Monday, November 26, 2012

I Had A Really Great Title But I Forgot It

Thanksgiving day this year, it rained. Thanksgiving day this year, I ran out in the rain to shut the car window I'd left open earlier. Thanksgiving day I got in, turned the key in the ignition, rolled up the window, and spent some time in the middle distance before hauling ass out the door to protect any semblance of a hairdo I might have to rejoin to the festivities. Without the key.


And that's how Thanksgiving day ruined my following morning, when my car wouldn't start and my stepfather had to let me take his to work while he spent the day jumping a severely dead battery. And apparently Karen O. is still pissed at me for it, and is passive aggressively refusing to make her radio work. I am currently a Silent Driver. First World Problems.


All the silent driving to and from work has given me a little more brain space to think (though many would argue that I don't need it seeing as it drives me farther and farther into the maze of my cranium). When I'm not (somewhat manically) singing One Direction (because that's what would normally be playing) in my head or out loud on these rides, I'm usually (somewhat compulsively) stringing together sentences for blog posts.


(BY THE WAY...every time I get to that part where they sing "tonight let's get some" I inadvertently picture my 12-year old cousin singing these lyrics to her posters of the effeminate singers in her bedroom and cringe. WHAT HAVE WE DONE??)


Today on my way home in the crushing silence I was thinking about how drastically the look and feel of my life has changed in the last few years. Back when I was emerging from my depressio-coma, I (also somewhat compulsively) adhered to a fairly strict schedule of my own implementation. It looked kind of like this:


At that point I really needed it to give myself something to hold onto when there was so much I was working through. As I became more comfortable with myself and started expanding my wants and desires, it started shifting in and out of organization. The more I let myself become interested in different things, people and experiences the wavier it got. Fast forward to now, where it tends to look like this:

I think I need to chill out a little bit. The extreme shift reminds me a hell of a lot of this picture my therapist draws for me over and over again when I'm getting all WHAT'S GOING ON WITH ME:

The gist of it is this: whenever we enter into a period of change or consciousness of ourselves, there is a tendency to swing all the way in the opposite direction of where we had thus far been operating. And then there's the backswing, when you return to the other side. This continues back and forth and back and forth until some sort of equilibrium has been reached. It's like a life-and-behavior teeter-totter.


I've been on this ride a few times, with many different catalysts. And there are a few that I'm still waiting on reaching center with. I guess this is just one more to add to the list.


Honestly, Man
I'm pretty sure this has been circulating the interwebs for a fair amount of time already, but in typical Mosifer fashion I bring it to you now: as totally outdated and probably "so 5 minutes ago." If you came here expecting the latest in breaking pop culture, please join The Mother over on TMZ and leave me alone, K?


I actually read Dan of Single Dad Laughing's 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage a few weeks ago and have referred back to it several times in the interim, just because I think it's so spiffy. The reason being? I LOVE THE HONESTY. I'm a sucker for bare-bones, closeted-skeleton, painful-makes-you-wanna-look-away-and-make-a-guy-walks-into-a-bar-joke honesty because face it: we've all got this shit, but we're not all ballsy enough to say it (and if you make it through the two sequels, read up on how he changed after marriage. GAAAAAH).


Plus, I'd never miss an opportunity to see what's going on in the other half's heads (men: what are you, and where did you come from?). Always worth a visit, even if just to check that nothing's on fire.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

I call the one on left.

I'm not a big documentary-watcher. Less so for those in subtitles. Mostly because when I watch movies it's because I want to get out of reality. And forget subtitles, movies are all about being lazy and crying over unrealistic love stories. I'm still waiting for Ryan Gosling to carry me up a flight of stairs.

BUT THIS MOVIE. If ever I've complained about working too hard with too little in return, either refer back to this movie or send me to Japan. I'd probably be deported within hours for my love of bubble baths and ice cream out of the tub, though.

There's something about this culture that dedicates its life to their passions that blows me away. The dedication behind this movie makes me ashamed of how little it shows me I work for what I want. Though I'm not an extremist in any shape or form (or so I tell myself), somehow Jiro makes me want to buy a gas mask and spend the rest of my life in the studio.

Just watch it, and wait for the inspiration to hit.      

Crossing Paths

I've felt for a long time like I'm living two lives at once, and they're in a dead sprint to see who wins the title of the Real Me. There's the "work" me, running around from 9-5 spewing factoids about fantastical nutrients and the nature of one's bowels; talking politics and conspiracy theories during the off moments; giving advice (both wanted and invasively otherwise) because "look, I've been there and I know what you're going through;" and in general conveying a sense of Responsible Human Being With Maybe A Hint Of Crazy.


And then there's the life that I live outside the clock, in which I spend hours staring into space as though it has the answers; beating my head against a wall over problems I can't for the life of me figure out how to solve; painting because for all the know-it-all I claim to be I'm still just as lost as everyone else sometimes; and writing because when my head gets too clogged it feels like the only place to lay all those words to rest.


I'm getting pretty tired of the two butting heads. I've known I wanted to be an artist for a long time. I knew I wanted it to be my career path when I just happened to be in Milan for an Egon Schiele exhibit and found myself getting lightheaded and tingly as I read his story; when Lucien Freud just happened to have his retrospective on display in Paris the week I was there; when I just happened to be given a Jenny Saville book the in first weeks I started painting for myself again.


I've also known, for as long as I could find my conscience, that I would never be able to pursue a career that did not make my heart sing. The second I dropped out of college I knew it was because I wanted something different than a piece of paper could give me, and it was likely that I would have to make it up as I went along. I knew that my life was up to me create, and it would be full of mistakes and backtracking and new and incredible discoveries around each turn. I knew what I was getting myself into.


But like I said, I'm getting pretty tired. I love my job, and I love my work. But as the agonizingly impatient being that I am, I am anxiously awaiting the day when those two cross paths. For when all that I work the day job in order to do finally become the day job -- with elements of both stirred up in some crazy life stew of pure joy.


I know that the journey is the destination. Blah blah, cliche cliche. But don't you ever get caught up in waiting for that moment that feels like arrival? Who else is stewing a pot on the back burner, waiting to serve it up as the main course of your life? What is it that you would be doing for both pleasure and pay, if you had the choice?


I'm slowly inching my way there. I'm taking my time, biding my progress. I'm trying to enjoy the lesson that each moment teaches me. And occasionally to not think about it so much, too. But sometimes I just want to scream at the mirror and ask, "ARE WE THERE YET??"


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business PWN.

In the wake of the conglomofuck that is Black Friday, a lesser known but -- in my opinion -- far more important day emerges. Today is that day, better known as Small Business Saturday.


Almost exactly four years ago, my life was drastically changed (I could even argue "saved") by the small business that I currently call work, home and family. We are a tiny knot of wackos in the great twine that is local and national economy. Our large and yet strangely cramped Victorian house in its downtown location supports 40+ years worth of the business's history, as well as more nutrition-y crap that you could swing a grass-fed burger at. The people I seldom refer to as "coworkers" and more often "those weirdos that I hang out with all the time and no Laura is not my sister" comprise some of the most intelligent, passionate and caring people I could ever have hoped to call my own.


Until my indoctrination at the health food store, I had little concept of the importance of small business. But in case you didn't know, it really is that important. Small business drives local economy, creates jobs and overall is the backbone of our country. We are the singular stores, the ones run by its founders and those that you visit for the people as much as the product. And no, WAL-MART DOES NOT COUNT.


As much as I love me some Starbucks, I have found more genuine connection and identity in the small businesses that make up my everyday life. Here are a few that get me hot and heavy:


Le Petit Marche (Dawn's Bread) -- Crystal Lake


Ehrmegerd, BREAD. And CAKE. And PIE, WINE, SOUP, WINE, COOKIES, and WINE. Need I say more? Not to mention that I can never just "stop in real quick," because guaranteed Imma get at least three or four hugs on my way out. Ladies, this is your wine night come true.


Moxie -- Dekalb


When I journey to Dekalb, I will never EVER leave without popping in to drool over the vintage goodies oozing out this place's walls. For real, these wonderful people spend a hell of a lot of time looting through estate sales and vintage markets just to make me pee my pants in excitement. Walk through front door. Run to stairs. Don't plan on leaving for several hours.


Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen -- Crystal Lake


Ah, the drunken debauchery that has occurred here. I'm already steeling myself for the 12 beers of Christmas, in which I spend a month working my way through overly large, ridiculously high-proof beers in order to claim my hard-earned Duke's t-shirt. But trust me, this will never occur until AFTER I have eaten my grass-fed giant beefburger made with all local ingredients and vegetables grown ON THEIR OWN FARM. Other Towns of America, don't even try.


The Backdrop -- Woodstock


Despite the fact that Greg likes to gnash on The Mother and my egos, The Backdrop has been a loyal member of our family since day 1 (he just loves us that much). Go. Just walk in. Prepare to spend a lot of money on things you instantly cannot live another second without.


Enjoy your Small Business Saturday, everyone!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Massacre

Oh shit, was yesterday Thanksgiving? Did anybody eat any turkey and stuff? And if so, did you take a picture of it so that I don't feel like I missed anything? Can you post it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, too? Can you also talk about how delicious it was? What? You already did? Oh yeah. I HAVEN'T MISSED ANY OF YOUR TURKEY-GRAVY-STUFFING-BOOZE-VEGAN THANKS/FRIENDSGIVINGS. I HAVEN'T BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK.


Just kidding, guys. You know I love seeing how much more awesome your holiday was than mine. Even though mine did comprise of 13 amazing people, 5 dogs, 3 pies that you wish you could have had singing in your mouth and 2 badass games of charades. One of which included phrases such as "the artist formerly known as prince" and "genocide" (you can blame my brother for those). I acted the SHIT out of genocide. Thanks for having my back, Grandma.


Ever since I stopped going out of town for Thanksgiving -- or maybe since I dropped out of school and have a job that doesn't call for four-day turkey weekends -- the holiday seems to be shrinking. It's become confined to the one day, in the middle of the week, that flies by as quickly as it came barreling down at us. It's like a brief, violent firework that signals the first of 40 days of bloating, booze and being broke (TAKE THAT, alliteration).


That's not to say that I don't love the holidays. I LOVE the holidays. But sometimes, in the middle of the days that actually constitute them, I find myself slipping back to other time zones. On occasion I hear myself speak, or see from above how I sneak into the background to chop potatoes, or find myself asking over and over again what I can do to help, that I remember my little-kid self. I find myself occupying a mold I created a long time ago within my family unit: one of peace keeper, one of Perfect Eldest, one of Thou Whom Has Thine Shit Together. And sometimes when I see myself in this light again I want to whack that saucepan full of cranberry sauce over my head and shout WAKE UP, MOTHERFUCKER!


Because look, Here's The Thing:


The holidays are that perfect time of the year -- regardless of your current or past relationship with your family -- that bring up all the years that have come between Birth and Now. There's something about being with all the people that have seen you through that life -- not to mention helped shape it -- that pulls out all the best and worst in ourselves. It's hard to take a step back from everything and remember what you are at the current moment when there are so many reminders of what you've been before it swimming around you.


I absolutely adore my family. I couldn't ask for a group of more loving, supportive, endearingly obnoxious or thrillingly loony people than what I've got. They have worked infinitely hard at being healthy, strong and mutually supportive. But there's no denying that with every family comes baggage, and the holidays are the perfect time for all of it to come tumbling out and trip you down the stairs.


The Mother and I used to get into explosive arguments nearly every single holiday when I was growing up. After I started taking a look at myself and the person I had grown into, it was easier to see where that dynamic came from. We were both fulfilling rolls that we had created and we were both working our ways out of them. It's easy to see after you've done some digging where your patterns are. And after you've learned to see those paths more clearly, it's a hell of a lot easier to change their direction.


Of course we all grow into different people after we've moved out of our parents' houses, formed our own identities, claimed our unique lives. But if you find yourself becoming lost in it around this time of year, just remember that it's a collective thing. It's the ground zero of all the poignant moments in our lives that gets sticky when somebody spills the cranberry sauce. And it's the strength needed to say "yes," "no," or "maybe."



As has been noted by a handful of loyal followers, I recognize that I spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about my, my friends', and the world's problems. Seeing as though there are a plethora in each aforementioned category, I would offer you my standard SUCK IT and further note that Poe never got anywhere talking about flowers and daisies. HOWEVER. Something about yesterday being Thanksgiving and the disgustingly sappy, heart-swelling love I have for each and every one of you that take precious time out of your day to tune into the nuthouse that is this blog, I'm pleased to introduce to you:




Or, a daily post of that which makes me tingle, sing off-key in the shower, and otherwise excited about a life that occasionally gets lost in the mess it makes of itself. Not that I'm bitching, of course. And so it goes:

Disgustingly cute.

My friend Sam recently posted this photo of her embarking on her first flying lesson. Someday I'll get over the fact that she didn't tell me she was doing it ahead of time and I had to find out via Faceplant after the fact -- YES SAM I'M TALKING TO YOU -- but for right now I'd just like to share with you how incredibly amazing it reminds me that she is.


I don't know how to describe to you the love I have for this woman. If I were a mother, she would be my pride and joy. If I were a blanket, she would be the sheets. If we were lesbians, we would make the shit out of that bed together. She has seen me through so much, and I hazard to guess I have done the same on occasion. Whenever we are together, it's like somebody threw a mirror in the room and I'm hanging out with myself (not that I'd really choose to hang out with myself, but you get the idea), we interact so seamlessly. When we have the great fortune of spending time in each other's homes, the magical doubling of both our wardrobes is enough to make me swoon. Not to mention that neither of us have a problem wearing things off the floor. In a nutshell, she is my heterosexual soul mate.


When I saw this, I thought "fuck you, Sam!" simply because she never fails to amaze me with her balls and infinite desire to claim the world. In fact, when I endeavored to make a ten-foot painting of her, from day one its tentative title was "The World." This is both because when I met her I had no idea what her ethnicity was -- girl could be part ANYTHING -- and her uncanny ability to be anything and everything all the time. She constantly amazes me with her passion for life and ability to make me jealous squeezing the shit out of it. Only she shares my knack for traveling alone to unseen cities for a weekend and spending far too much money at Target in California. Plus she's the only one apart from The Mother that would call me out on that jealousy (Sam I reiterate: fuck you!). Also I can say "fuck you" to her and she won't get mad. Or throw a reduced fat caramel iced coffee in my face (a drink I find appalling, but I'm still working on her pallet).


Sam, I am SO SO SO SO proud of you. You inspire me to grab life by the balls, time and time again. Only you could put up with me for 30+ hours in a car together as I make her tortuously listen to 50 Shades of Grey. Only you would let me use your entire sketchbook for kindling as we attempt to make an illegal fire on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park. Only you would necessitate "going in to town" to find a bathroom so that you may wash your face in the wilderness. And only you would let me make fun of you for it, over and over and over again. You are so special to me, and I can't wait for you to get your pilot's license so that you can fly me all over the place when someday we elope to a far-off land. Let's never stop spending too much money together, ok?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Afternoon At The Lake House

Too often I find myself getting caught up in what I should do versus what I want to do. Mostly because I think if I did what I wanted all the time, I'd never leave the couch, watch every single episode of SVU on repeat and knit dozens of repetitive scarves. Or leave rings around the bathtub from overuse and maybe permanently prune my skin.


I've had this notion creep up on me a few times in the past years. I get this sudden thought that what if, what if I just resigned to checking in with myself at all times, and do only what I was really drawn to do, at any given moment? Like, if I get home from work and had planned on writing this post, but all I really wanted was to go to bed? I would forgo brushing my teeth, chug a glass of wine and catch up on Fifty Shades of Grey (YES, ok? I'm reading it. And you thought I had class) until I pass out.


But usually my head gets so clogged by things I have deemed important, or imperative to my self-worth, or obligatory, or any other excuse I use to tell myself I'm enjoying it when really I want to flush my paintbrush down the toilet (I would try the tub drain as I'm taking a bath, but it's already clogged. I guess that's one success, though, because I really do not feel like fishing out the wad of hair to free it. Let's not talk about it, it's grossing me out already.) that I don't even enjoy it.


(By the way, how does one manage to use the word "clogged" twice in one paragraph in two different contexts? Guess I need to take a nod from Fifty and find a thesaurus. Seriously, have you ever read that thing? Chick needs to stop talking about how "beguiling" things are and MOVE ON.)


So...right now I'm simultaneously writing this and watching The Lake House. I'm about 10 minutes from finding out how the hell these two people are going to be together, or if someone's just going to die. I'm banking on Keanu. I've never seen it, ok? And for how much everyone talks about how bad it is, I had to do my own research. I hadn't planned on sitting here soaking in the rays from the screen, but when I "checked in with myself" two hours ago, it was the only thing I felt like doing.


It's times like these that I have the hardest with. It's the breaks in my life when all I want to do is lie around all day wearing my pajamas, but instead force myself to make giant paintings -- only to find them lacking -- that I can't stand. It's like the inhale between two out-breaths. But I can't handle that nothing is coming out of me. It's times like this that are needed to restore my energy, to breathe in information in order to exhale it into something new. Like sleeping in order to wake up the next day. I need to take time away from all projects just so that I can make it to the next one. And hopefully, in a way I hadn't seen possible yet.


Oh man, that ending just sets this up way too well for me. Did I or did I not say that Keanu was going to bite it? But then he comes back? How does that work out with the brother, who JUST SAID that he died? I get so confused in time travel movies. Though Marty McFly was my first true love.


But those two crazy lovebirds would never have found each other if he didn't follow her advice and just wait. Right now, all I can do is wait -- wait for my interest in the fuzz box to wane, wait to get bored with knitting, wait until I feel the desire to get out my own head and house. Because if I try and force it before I really want it, nobody will enjoy it. Least of all myself.


Right now I'm resigning to do exactly what I want, when I want. Minus that nagging responsibility called work, of course...and you know, when I can remember to stop being so anal. Oh yeah and within legal limits. Who's with me!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Patience Is A FuckYou


This phrase litters my notebooks and journals. I'd hazard to guess it begins about half of those pages and can be found scattered in margins, in blocks in the middle, and as concluding sentences. I began writing it to myself when I was in Europe a few years ago. I think it was on the first day, when I missed the second of four modes of transportation I needed to reach my final destination -- in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, so getting to and fro is a hazardous experience -- and spent four hours at a coffee shop where no one spoke English and the toilet was a hole in the ground. The reason I even missed that train in the first place was because a) the ancient Italian guy who sold me my ticket didn't understand a word I was saying and b) because I had no idea how to navigate the platforms both marked and spoken on the loudspeakers in Italian (I got an Italian phrasebook and cd months before I left but didn't touch either until the plane departed New York for Milan. I didn't retain much over the screaming baby). Not to mention the fact that while they are marked and I eventually learned how to read which arrived where, the trains tended to change tracks at the last minute with the only indication being the previously mention loudspeaker announcement, unfortunately in rapid Italian. I missed a lot of trains that spring. I also peed on my legs a lot.


The thing about being in a foreign country, alone, with little to no understanding of how it operates or its proffered language is that when you get yourself in a bind, there's literally nothing you can do about it. You have to wait in a coffee shop, ignore your bowels because you can't figure out how to navigate the toilet situation and are simultaneously afraid of leaving your luggage unattended for more than 30 seconds and sit until you've developed a new plan. You have to risk making an ass of yourself running for a bus in a dress with a giant backpack and suitcase rolling after you, sometimes while frantically taking puffs on a cigarette or shoving a brioche down your gullet. But then again, I've never been good at simplifying a process.


Those two months were a strange cocktail of the slowest, most boring days I've ever experienced and the greatest, dizzying adrenaline rushes of my life. I tended to sleep an average of ten hours a night in the foothills, but then spent a week on less than 5 in Paris. The common denominator was that I never knew what would happen next. I got lost every single time I went to Milan, and once spectacularly in Turin -- YOU try going to a city that doesn't operate on a grid and tell me how you fair. Google maps, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Several times I would stop people on the train, point to or mime their cell phone, pull out the one contact phone number I had and somehow ask them to dial for me while I concocted a plan for if there was no answer, and pray to God she would -- because I really never created a new plan anyways.


In all of the confusion and uncertainty that I experienced in my time there, I learned two things that I will never forget:


1) That I am capable of a hell of a lot more than I ever thought possible, given situations that I could never have anticipated and the sheer need to just make it work, SOMEHOW, and;

2) Sometimes there is literally nothing you can do. Sometimes your only recourse is to just sit, feed the barista espresso money, doodle aimlessly, and be fucking patient.

Now, the first one I'm ok with. The first one I love -- that I found strength in myself when everything looked like it was hellbent against me. That one is bitchin. The second one? FUCK YOU, PATIENCE! You don't even have to ask The Mother and she'll tell you that my greatest fault is my lack of patience. She'll also probably tack on the story about how when I was three years old I hounded her for a month to take me to the Ice House Mall to get my ears pierced. And then how when she did, I screamed bloody murder and let them close up days later. I was a fun kid.


This phrase has been creeping back up on me lately, though. I've been wound so tight over everything I can't control and feel like I'm drowning in, that I've forgotten what I learned while I was getting fat on pizza and gelato. That was a brief and poignant moment in my life that I truly learned and understood the value of patience -- not because it's a virtue or other such phraseology -- but because literally, sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do but sit down, watch things unfold and wait for the right moment to jump back in. To push anything just pushes it past where it's supposed to go at that point, and you're probably going to break it (just ask my stomach circa The Pizza Era). There is a fine line between laziness and patience, and I know that I am indefinitely skewed towards the latter. It's my tendency.


And right now there is a lot I'm uncertain of. I'm having a hard time getting grounded in much and I'm beginning to push both myself and others around because of it. I've lost sight of what at one time I had gotten really good at. Which is why I'm trying to let that nugget of past learning work its way back into my life.

Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.



Sunday, November 18, 2012


I paid off my car loan yesterday. I didn't even plan to -- I was assuming I'd continue my let's-just-squeak-by-unnoticed plan until the middle of next year, at which point I'd probably just keep the payments rolling with way over due car repairs and ten missed oil changes. But as I was driving to work yesterday morning and I began my daily ritual panic attack about all the things I'm unsure of currently, I started thinking about the money I have sitting in my account after the bank made me unceremoniously chuck my own ass out. And then I started thinking about all the money I owe, outside of those student loans that will haunt me of my failed scholarly attempts until the day I trip over a toe and die in a puddle of ice cream or something. Assuming my diet is purely mechanical soft, at that point.


Mid-Taylor Swift radio repeat I realized: money + debt = NOTHING. Or broke, whichever one is still Not Bill Gates (does Bill Gates have debt? If so, is that like the United States having debt? Like, we have debt, but we really have a shit ton of money in all the wrong places? Do I even know what I'm talking about here? Should I just stop making myself look like an easy target for telemarketers and door-to-door campaigners?).


Money is a big hot button for me. Growing up we were dirt poor, living around a bunch of people who were absolutely not dirt poor. Although I did learn that garbage picking furniture in a town whose welcome sign should read Welcome To White Upper-Middle Class really shows you the value of the curb. And dry couch cushions.


Growing up broke around people who vomit Jeep Grand Cherokees on their children's sixteenth birthdays makes for a pretty twisted material complex in a child. I always lusted after the best of everything but grew up believing I would never have it. Though I never wanted for anything, none of it was ever enough. And I never thought anything would ever be enough.


When I began making my own money, I started developing this love/terror relationship with it. The more I had, the harder to it I clung. The emptier my account, the more consumed I became with something I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED but could not afford. And the more elaborate the schemes I would come up with to just make enough money to afford ONE MORE Tamagotchi (to clarify...this was allowance money. I was not working at Dairy Queen at 15 just to buy Tamagotchi. Enter: Fall Out Boy).


Even today this come-closer-go-away relationship I have with the dolla dolla bills, y'all, persists. I had all this money just sitting there, for two months, knowing it was an opportunity to clear a large obstacle from my way. But I chose to just let it sit there, so I could obsess over whether or not to blow it on new tattoos or completely clear my debt slate as a Responsible Adult should.


Truth is that money came completely out of the blue. But as soon as I knew it was mine, I all of a sudden couldn't have survived without it. So I guess the cycle comes full circle, in a way: the money that I didn't know existed became imperative to pay for things I didn't know were possible until that point. Which leads me to wonder, what am I clinging to now that may not be necessary in my life, but seems so just because it's here? What about you? When was the last time you took stock of what you have -- things, experiences, people, etc. -- that you may not need anymore? Does anyone else have such a dysfunctional relationship with their wallet as me?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For Your Health!

This is what my coworkers and I do at work when we get bored. We bust open a few capsules of charcoal, mix it with water, paint it on our teeth with randomly found makeup brushes and hide from customers as we painfully hold our lips away from the black goo mess. And then Laura takes incriminating pictures of me looking like I need a beer, a shotgun and a trailer. SEE, LAURA! I BEAT YOU TO THE EMBRASSING PART -- HA!

You can tell we're really dedicated to giving our customers the most tried-and-tested information. The hardest part is trying to swallow the spit pooling at the back of your throat as you attempt to keep your mouth open and away from wiping it all off your teeth. I guess this is what my ample gums were designed for.

Shit, did I almost forget to explain why I signed up for this horrifying ordeal? For the promise of whiter teeth, of course. Alas, I think the buckets of coffee I consume on a daily basis may just be enough to cancel out each treatment. Maybe it really is time for that IV.

I then thought I should document how my teeth looked post-black hole mouth syndrome. Though as I was taking the photo, I realized it doesn't do much good to see what they look like after when there is no before. I will be a life coach yet. So just admire my amazing red lips.

This is the best shot I could muster, because after the first attempt at a normal smile I went all "you don't know me" at the camera and ended up with a roll of these.

I'll be expecting a call from Victoria's Secret soon. I'm ready for my close-up!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Late Night Confusion

I just ate a "fun size" Milky Way that's been sitting on my desk since Halloween. Why it took me so long to inhale, I have no idea. I'd like to say it's because I've developed a sense of willpower in my formative years, but I know it's probably because my desk is so disgusting that it's eluded me in the clutter until this moment. Moral? Milky Way's are delicious.


I realize that I've spent a lot of time in this experiment expounding upon how I think things work; things being "people," "relationships," and random notions of "psychology." My view on any art form is that it is the shared experience that brings us together -- and by sharing my experience, my hope is that it might bring out that which you've been waiting for a like mind to share. But by wrapping mine in a fuzzy blanket of understanding at the end, I kind of tie a pretty bow on the understanding end. I'm getting reallly wrapped up in the resulting moral, instead of letting you make your own moral of it. I try so hard to fully "get" myself that I force the end result, leaving little room for the questions that spur the conversation and thus the "getting" at the end. I'm supposed to be realizing new things here too, aren't I?


So as I was mulling this over I glimpsed this drawing I did a few months ago. I did it at a point where I was having a difficult time with my relationship and was trying to understand where that came from. It is parts anger at self and the other -- an investigation of the bindings that keep me from just letting go and experiencing sometimes. As well as an exercise in clarity.


Ah, maybe it's too late and I'm going over my own head here. But I guess my question is: what is it that helps you process things? What do you do that helps you see more clearly; that gets you through the tough times and brings you the answers to the tough questions? And have you decided to stop asking me for advice yet?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Hey guys, I'M BACK. And yes, I know I should note my total failure as a NaBloPoMo contributor. I have not kept the streak alive. Though if it were not for my last three days of absence, I probably would have had to wring the following post out like a brain-squeegee, instead of chasing it in earnest as I am now. And honestly, I prefer it this way. So like, SUCK IT, or something.


Today I found my perfect red lip color. Please do not underestimate the power in this statement, as I have spent countless hours and non-tax deductible dollars on this very pursuit. This is what it looks like to find your perfect lip color:

Taking pictures of your hand with an ipad at Starbucks: forever awkward.

And this is a break down of your day when you find your perfect lip color:


Miles driven: 50

Hours consumed: 3

Towns visited: 4

Dollars Spent: Don't ask

Brain Cells Lost: Shut up


Ah, the perils of consumerism. I will say in my defense that a portion of those miles driven were to and from my bi-weekly visit to Crazytown (a.k.a: therapy) and just happened to pass by Sephora en route, prompting the sudden and ALL-CONSUMING NEED to find my perfect shade. Which I did find, but was soul-shatteringly disappointed to find was OUT OF STOCK at this particular store. So onward to Ulta did I travel which, let's face it ladies (and a few of my favorite men), does not cut it all the time, and around and about a good hike further, until VOILA! It was mine. Never you mind that they'd have it back in stock on Thursday at the first location. I simply CAN NOT WAIT for what I didn't know I needed until I discovered its existence. Simply. Voila.


Have you sensed the connection yet? The downward spiral I tripped into after stirring up a bunch of shit I didn't want to look at in Crazytown, followed by what can only be seen as far greater madness in my manic search for Nars Red Square? Can you say "com-pul-sive?"


This is what I meant by "distractions." This is what I do when I'm trying to avoid feeling that which kind of resembles something I'd pull out of my shower drain. I fixate on something totally outside the realm of necessity, something that for a single moment in time I can pretend is the most important part of that moment in time. In that way, I don't have to worry about all the the stuff I was worrying about before: my discomfort with living at home again, the uncertainty of going to Phoenix in January, the status of my relationship and codependency therein. All the things that I know are getting in my way but seem too big to handle right now. For all you compulsive shoppers, drinkers, workers, TV-ers, and a million other -ers that are nothing but a way of turning yourself off from yourself: you know what I'm talking about. Even if you don't.


But look, here's the thing: the difference between today and countless other similar moments I've experienced before I woke up to them is awareness. Awareness is the difference between being asleep and being awake. Awareness is the moment when you stop being a victim of your life and start being your life. Awareness is the choice between unconscious actions and understanding what you're doing and why -- and then maybe doing it anyways or not. With awareness, there is power to do or not to do.


Today I chose to "do." I chose to play with my insecurities and compulsions. I have before and I will again -- probably more times than I'd like to bet my sweet red lips on. But you know what, I KNOW I've got shit. I know I do things that are fucked up. I know I am happier being nicer to myself and my checkbook than filling it with things. And I know I'm working on pulling myself in another direction. What about you?



...erm, I'm aware that that last sentence seems pretty snarky. But like, I'm being serious. What do you do that you know is a total distraction? What is your crux? What is your poison? TALK TO ME, DAMMIT!


So glad to be back. LOVE YA!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Taco Salad Revenge

My dearest friend and coworker made the most incredible taco salad for lunch today. All spicy bison, spicy cheese, spicy guacamole and...sweet peppers. Oh and some sour cream and a dollop of lettuce. Aren't you jealous of our job?


But you know what's not so incredible? All that spicy taco salad two hours later, THAT'S WHAT. Let's just say stress has caught up with my gut in a most unfavorable way. So as my revenge on Laura and her delicious-stomach-tearing-spice-monster, here are the previously promised photographic documents of last week's Wine Night. Don't ask what happened when I found the vodka.





Apparently we're bashful winos. And I still don't understand why people think we're sisters, let alone twins. Clearly I am the classier drunk. Thanks for colonoscopy, Laura!