in this wonderful conversation with laura earlier this week, we got to talking about trade-offs and wish lists in terms of dating.  i’ve been reflecting on that a lot lately.  there’s a blog in just that piece later.  but what i’m thankful for today is that in looking at myself i’ve realized that part of my issue with getting close to people in general, men in particular, is a really exaggerated need to protect myself and remain safe.  and for most of my life, real safety was found only in solitude.  i’m grateful for a spirit that is patient enough with myself to get down into the realness of that idea, why it’s there, and why it’s not serving me anymore.  i’m grateful that i’ve got this willingness to look at myself – wherever it came from it is one of my greatest assets.  i’ve always known that a deep part of me was terrified to be completely open and transparent with others, but with this patience i’m getting to the real root of why, not just the stories i tell myself and others.  so in working on this part of myself, one of my newer goals is to practice feeling safe and open out in the world, putting myself out there.  and make no mistake, it’s a practice.  it has to be.  i used to use booze to get me to the place where i felt safe and relaxed (but it wasn’t real security for me, it was just numbed anxiety and disdain for self-control), so the practice of being authentic without chemicals, in public, rejecting self-critique, is a fresh experience for me that deserves to be seen with a gentle eye.  aware of my subtle defense mechanisms, i got this image of a masquerade party.  colorful, flamboyant masks on a stick!  designed to protect the real me.  i have many different masks that represent charm, aloofness, invisibility, funny girl, shyness, quiet, hard worker, biting humor, smartypants, anger… and each can keep me safely out of reach.  in holding so tightly to my safety, i let autopilot find a mask for every occasion.  but what i find comfort in now is that i hold the masks.  i choose.  and i can decide (more and more) when it’s safe to take them down.

grampa’s glasses

i found them when we cleaned out grama’s apt, but i just found them again… delightful!

i’m convinced that the nosepieces are just shellacked guitar picks.  he always wore his glasses, how did he stand it?

it’s not like i couldn’t try them on!  (please note: there’s no wind, that’s just how awesome my hair is.)

what i would buy with someone else’s $5

I got a $5 promotional credit at amazon for buying my spendy ass textbooks.  free?  i’ll take it.  i love gift cards.  especially for music.  i love the opportunity to buy guilty pleasures and not pay.  here’s what i bought: 

The following items were ordered:

Stereo Love (Radio Edit) [MP3 Download] $0.99 From the album Stereo Love
By: Edward Maya Feat. Vika Jigulina Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Only Girl (In The World) [MP3 Download] $0.99 From the album Loud [Explicit] By: Rihanna
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
What’s My Name? [MP3 Download] $0.99 From the album Loud By: Rihanna Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Sultans Of Swing [MP3 Download] $0.99 From the album Sultans Of Swing – The Very Best Of Dire Straits By: Dire Straits
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free [MP3 Download] $0.99 From the album The Very Best Of Nina Simone 1967-1972 – Sugar In My Bowl By: Nina Simone
Sold by: SONY BMG Music Entertainment Downloads LLC.


i didn’t post any music videos or any special tribute over the death of whitney houston.  it makes me very sad.  my sister wanted to check in with me and see how i felt because she knew how devastated i was when michael jackson passed.  my mom was telling her that whitney was like the female michael of the time when i was growing up.

absolutely not.  at least not for me.

i liked whitney a lot.  but what i remember from that time in my childhood was a grammys where she was up against janet jackson for many categories and she kept beating janet and i was very, very angry.  it was just not fair.  ahhhh… a child’s sensibilities.

but my fondest memories are something that popped up when i was making breakfast the other morning.  i was remembering the weekend afternoons i would spend at trina’s house as a kid, making up games, filling the time.  we would do a lot of name that tune based on our off-tune humming.  but i remember one afternoon where we were taking turns singing “the greatest love of all” and holding that long note at the end.  we would start off with, “and if by chance that special place…” (and then emotional kid stage whisper *special*) “that you’ve been dreaming ooooooooooof…. leads you to a lonely place… find your strength in loooooooove.”  we would literally time how long each of us could hold the last note, and they would be the winner.  🙂

making breakfast in my kitchen thinking back to being a kid with a game, i lingered on that song.  what a beautiful song to have as a kid growing up, it made me tear up a little bit.  i’m again thankful to have the music that was popular when i was young.  i feel fortunate.

i think that’s all i want to say about whitney.  i’ll leave the tearful stuff to wendy williams, who did such a nice job and showed amazing dignity.  rest in peace, golden-voiced lady.

a happy valentines

tuesday was a really nice day.  i didn’t know how i would feel.  i didn’t know what i would do.  i think i decided that i feel pressure to feel bad or anxious when i don’t have a valentine, but really i don’t care that much, but something still makes me feel like i need to fill up the day with consolations.  i woke up in the morning with the only thing set in stone being that i had to see a client, then get to work at 11:30 and would be done a few short hours later.  i’ve been kind of overwhelmingly busy lately so it was just another day except with a bunch of free time to be filled with catching up on responsibilities.  or maybe something else?  yes.  something else.

after work i decided to go visit grama.  i brought my scissors, some mousse and rollers thinking i would give her a nice cut and set (sometimes i like to pretend i can do hair – it turns out i’m really not bad!).  it’s been more bitter than sweet seeing grama these past few months.  my attitude got really bad.  she can’t hear me at all anymore and not being able to really talk to her is very depressing to me.  and then theres the guilt seeing her day-to-day life in the nursing home, it’s just hard.  i had pretty much given up on communication and become sad, agitated, and frustrated being around her the past couple of times.  on valentines day i went in with a better attitude and she was in good spirits.  instead of giving up, i did what i could – got close to her and nodded or shook my head for communications and just spent time.  she wanted that haircut so bad, and it was fun to do it for her!  i don’t really know anything about mousse, i don’t use it, but i did my best with styling and she was happy.  we went for a little walk and she was willing to let me go when it was time to move on.

then i went to my mom’s.  i was super behind on the family visits.  i run myself in circles with work and school and internship and tell myself i have no time for my family.  but it felt so good!  i got to hang out with my sister and her new boyfriend for a while.  i like him!  he’s nice and complimentary, admires his parents, has had his share of pain and injury.  my overriding feeling was, he fits here.  and that’s nice for my sister.  frankly i’m happy she’s dating a real live flesh and blood boy in her zip code, and not some dude she met in a computer game and is dating long distance.  good stuff.

after that i decided to stop at my new favorite coffee shop, the nicollet.  i read that they had some kind of swing dance that i couldn’t imagine.  i went down and it was 2 guys (guitar and upright bass) playing old jazz standards, while middle aged couples danced in rotating partnerships looking like they didn’t know each other very well.  but i liked it!  i like the atmosphere and the volume there, and i had a nice cup of spiced hibiscus tea.  i alternately read and watched the dancing and eavesdropped.  i tried to do this without judgement.  it’s hard for me not to judge sometimes, especially with awkward dancing.  but i did my best.

earlier in the day when i was trying to figure out what i wanted from the day, i thought to myself, “if i don’t have someone right now, i at least want to watch people enjoying their day of celebrating love and squishy feelings.”  like, i didn’t want to be the bitter waitress working dinner cursing happy couples, i didn’t want to stay home and watch a movie, i didn’t want spend the whole day with my face in a book.  consumerism, exploitation of love =bad, yeah i got that.  i’m just saying, there’s something a little lovely and sweet about it, and i wanted to catch that feeling.  i think i got what i was looking for.

sketches from the mia

i did something new today.  went over the mia and did a few sketches!

i recently brought my old sketchbook to work for something i did with a group, so i had to be resourceful.  i looooove to be resourceful (that’s the backing of a square picture frame, paper cut-to-fit, and fasteners):


i did a couple warm ups that i didn’t like so much but then i found this beautiful photograph taken in 1904 by Edward S. Curtis, called “Navajo Woman.”  Here’s my sketch:


this was an awesome painting that i’d never seen before, it must be in a new exhibit.  Reginald Marsh’s “Star Burlesque” – I just did a small detail.

This last sketch is of a statue i’ve been looking at since i was a kid going to the mia on field trips!  “The Algerian,” by Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier.  I really enjoyed smudging the pencil lines for shading in the skin.

super fun!  i like drawing and i always forget that.  i like looking for the shapes and not being intimidated by taking all of it in at once.  i had one drawing class in high school and then this sculpture class in college that changed my life.  they used lots assignments about doing a fast and crude sculpture of a model for like one minute and then they would change to a new position and you do it again.  just to get over yourself and your own perfectionism.  i was really good at that fast and crude business.   what i liked about sketching today was not worrying that it was a duplication of the work.  my lines are always a little exaggerated and curvier than the originals but i like that.  this is fun!  i would like to try live model drawing, too.

good God i can’t wait until i have more time on my hands after i graduate!  however, i will continue to take small opportunities like today in the meantime.


tonight i had to try really hard not to judge myself in an environment that made me uncomfortable.

it’s like my consciousness was split in half:  part of me was comfortable in who i am, present, enjoying things they way i wanted to enjoy them.  but another part of me took questions about why i wasn’t dancing all night too seriously, watching the kegstands and sexiest whore contest… part of me wanted to look at those things and forget who i am and ask, yeah, why can’t you just go with the flow like everyone else here?  why are you overcomplicating, overanalyzing this?   

because i’m not drinking, that’s why.

fuck.  i’m too old for this.  out at a weird bar with weird drinking contests and some of the most freakish dancing i’ve ever seen, dumb ass women playing themselves in skintight skirts that barely cover their asses being jerked around, bounced like some giant corpse baby on some guys knee on the dance floor, people wasted.  not my scene but i was making the best of it and trying to enjoy myself as best i could.

still.  it makes me sick that i would consider the fact, even for a moment, that i should be the one to change my perceptions and deal with it.

i’m glad i went, i did enjoy myself, the people watching was great!  but i’m going through a very defensive and self-protective time on accepting who i am and how i want to operate socially.  i don’t want to be judged, told how i should act, or have anyone outside of me suggest that the way i function, my moods, who i am, is outside of acceptable because i either don’t behave like everyone else, or just don’t behave how you want me to.

at one point jen leaned over and said, “this is a little intense for you, isn’t it?”  and i answered honestly, “not any one thing in particular but all of it together, yes.”  once i realized that i was overstimulated, and had had enough being surrounded by booze and the pressure of social graces, i was able to acknowledge that and send myself home.  and that felt good.  it was time.

i think another piece of this puzzle is that i’m writing an analysis of lars and the real girl.  looking at which nature and nurture factors contribute to social phobia.  it’s bringing some things up for me.  the way the whole community decided to play along with lars was so very sweet it made me cry several times.  i think that’s what the anger is about here.  i don’t want to judge myself or suggest that the way i am is abnormal when i’m trying to work out my social life without quick fixes.  questions, challenges to how i operate when i’m working it out comfortably for myself, judging my trial and error… that makes me so mad these days.

yes.  that’s what i want to say.  i’m defensive and self-protective right now and i’m not sorry.

(i’m not apologizing)

(would it sound better if i were a man?)

(you’re the one with the problem)

(why don’t you just deal with it)

you’re so bad ass, ’95 cornrows madonna.


uptown.  i love you i hate you i love you.  now whittier, it’s all love, hands down, no question!  but uptown has its ups and downs.  today i love you for 2 reasons:

1.  my gym.  i go to la fitness in calhoun square.  no you don’t have a pool, yes your sales agents are aggressive and annoying, sure sometimes the front desk staff acts like it’s an inconvenience to have to have to scan my key card.  but it’s mine.  as an added bonus there’s a cleaning crew working what seems to be during all business hours, and during the times i go, i can always get a machine.  ps – the machines are new and shiny and functonal.  and all of the cardio equipment contains personal tvs.  laura called the uptown location a meat market.   i don’t see it, but so be it.  i let my insecurities strut my ass around in there and maybe that’s what everyone else is doing, too.  after all the horror stories i hear from other people gym shopping, and with some of the other freak-heavy locations with broke ass machines i’ve visited, i’m happy with my home gym.

2.  cheapo.  i looked up the other day as if noticing for the first time that it hadn’t moved in the last 20 years.  i thought discs were dead?  how has this place survived digitization?  tif suggested the large vinyl supply.  whatever keeps it open!  becoming more frugal (read: maniacally cheap) in the past few months, i was trying to figure out a way to spice up my music collection and have been planning to see what’s crackalackin in there ever since.  today was the day!  just as i remembered, maybe a little less busy but it was a weekday.  i love that sound of plastic casing clapping as i browsed.  i only went in for a little bit because i had things to do.  but i made some good purchases for under $25:  watch the throne (used – who needs gold leaf?),  prince the hits: vol 1 (vol 2 was marked skuf, so sadly i had to put that back.  not dealing with that, even for $5.99), and a dinah washington album.  so good!

oh and guess what’s on that prince album?  uptown.  this day is right.


it’s been hard lately to feel like i have anything to write.  i’ve kind of been stuck in my own crabby pants for the past few days.  it has been a very busy time with school, work, and internship.  internship is actually picking up a lot, lots of new clients, more regular group leading, i may have a side project coming up that will take even more time.  thinking about wrapping everything up at school.  i’m just overwhelmed.  being overwhelmed makes me crabby.  trying to keep track of everything on my plate, loose ends, it makes me resentful and angry for the things i usually love.  i’m tired.  last night i slept 11 hours.  instead of being productive this afternoon i slept for another 2 hours.  just strange.  and it shows.  people ask me if i’m ok, why i’m not smiling, if i’m going to be better now… i have mixed feelings about that.  on the one hand i’m thankful that i’m a person who is generally happy and cheerful so that when i’m blah it’s markedly different.  at the same time i resent being expected to be one dimensional happy girl.  everyone goes through their stuff, i wish people were more accepting of all sides of me. 

so.  by being crabby and exhausted, i want to think of the things that i’m thankful for anyway.  my home, having enough money to keep my home, my family, my job, my internship, my friends.  i’ll try to focus on these things, my constants that are there no matter how i feel.