Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From, Me

image courtesy of The Bluestocking Review


                                                       LOVE & PEACE

To, You.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Year In Review

Pictured here with the daughter is my mother's younger (youngest) sister. A few weeks after my mother's death my aunt had a stroke. It was a mild one as those things go and she's done remarkably well with physical therapy. There are some lingering signs, but still, she is recovering nicely.

Of all her sisters my mother's youngest resembled her (physical features) the most. Since mom's death and my aunt's stroke her physical resemblance to my mother is even sharper. Could be that is due to the slack in her jaw or as much, her adopting some of my mother's mannerisms and attitudes. Then again, it could be all in my mind.  

Twenty-thirteen is the year my mother died--within six months of my father's death. Twenty-thirteen is the year I ceased being a daughter--at least in an active sense. While my father had not been part of my day-to-day for many, many years prior to his sickness and ultimate demise, my mother was very much a part of my day-to-day. The last six months of her life I was with or spoke with her every day.

There were other major changes in my life in twenty-thirteen but none compare to bearing witness to the light extinguishing from my mother's eyes. Being there at that moment, that moment has been in my bones every day since. Thus, impacting every day since.

In recent weeks I've come to the realization that I have about 5 hours of activity in me. I'm easily winded and as easily, wearied. This is not boding very well for getting the new career off the ground. And so, floundering in that regard. A re-booting is becoming apparent.

Building relationships with my brothers (and other family) have floundered as well.  Outside of my aunt pictured and one cousin I haven't been very successful in getting others to maintain connections. I've decided to move on. I think. Hurts like a son-of-a-bitch, and so, not sure I'm ready to just stop. In fact, holiday cards posted this weekend.

Some of my friends have had, are having an extremely challenging twenty-thirteen as well. I can't help them except to extend an encouraging and empathetic word now and again. To each of you, I wish I could do more. I love you more than you probably know.

When I look back at twenty-thirteen I see emptiness. The twinkling lights, glittered balls, and chirpy carols of recent weeks haven't done much to fill the void or erase the sense of desolation, despair--try as they might.

Sadness aside, twenty-thirteen has seen some positive moments, some upbeat themes. I shall embrace those joys and build upon them. I shall look forward to deepening relationships with newer connections. I shall distance myself from the only daughter I used to be and become . . . TBD

For my mother's younger (youngest) sister, for my mother and father, for my son and daughter, for my cousin and my friends, for me I shall look back at twenty-thirteen and use the sights seen, feelings felt, experiences survived to stand up, walk, and eventually run. Well, metaphorically speaking, anyway--you all should know, I don't run unless absolutely necessary.

We are living art, created to help others to hang on, stand up, forbear, continue. ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Baby, It's Cold

cold weather cat

Most days I want to cry all the time. When I do cry I feel guilty and ashamed. When I don't, I feel the same. Most days I want to cry all the time, especially when it is cold.

It is cold now.

Most days I want to cry all the time. When I do cry I pretend it is because of something sad I saw, read, or heard. I deliberately seek the sad for a reason, because I think I need a reason, beyond the reason that is my reason. Most days I want to cry all the time, especially when it is cold.

It is cold now.

Most days I want to cry all the time. Beyond not feeling festive, I want to cry out loud. You know that feeling. Your chest heaves, your throat swells...you've seen a cat getting ready to vomit...it looks, feels like that. All. The. Time. Most days I want to cry all the time, especially when it is cold.

It is cold now.

Most days, I don't feel like working. I don't feel like playing. I don't feel like writing. I don't feel like drawing. I don't even feel like reading. Reading is everything. Reading is life ....I don't feel like...yeah, life.
Most days I want to cry all the time. Especially when it is cold.

I'm not saying I want my life over, I'm saying I don't have the energy for something more than what is at present.  I'm saying, most days I feel like crying all the time and that this feeling (not to mention the actual crying) is preventing much of anything else. It isn't the feeling like crying, but the reason . . . plural.

I'm saying especially when it is cold. And it is cold. Now.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pass the Rum Gravy, Cabbage, and Rolls

Truth be told, I haven't had rum in several years. In fact, the last taste of rum was gifted to me by a very dear friend. I don't there will be any rolls either. It has just occurred to me that I forgot to buy them and unless there is something vital that seems to have been forgotten as well, dinner will go on without them.

No biggie.

Yes, there will be a dinner. Poultry, dressing (not stuffing in my corner of the universe) macaroni and cheese, cabbage (two ways--with meat and without) and . . . I know I'm forgetting something, can't put my finger on it...oh well, point is, food.

And drink. And . . well, and . . . just . .

Truth be told I'm not feeling particularly festive. I'm trying for daughter's sake but my heart really isn't in it. But, there will be food and if the cabbage (both ways) and the macaroni and cheese are any indication it will be good. Maybe not great, maybe not amazing, but good. Okay, very good.

Damn, the gooey, cheesy . . good. Must stop tasting.

Truth be told, while not feeling particularly festive I do recognize there is much for which thanks should be given. And so I do give thanks for my decent health, the good health of the actor and his sister, the comfort of loving pets, shelter, food (damn, the gooey, cheesy . .) drink, other family, friends particularly those who have experienced a recent turn of (woot woot) events allowing for a sense of safety, security, inching toward home,  warming me all over.

Yes, there will be a dinner, the menu changed (slightly) to minimize the onslaught of memories.And while not feeling particularly festive, I am thankful to be here to be able to share a meal with my son and my daughter and to have connections with people who bring me great comfort and joy.

Peace to you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Too Long

It was my intent to be back long before now. But the last couple of weeks have been, in a word, crappy. Without going into an inordinate amount of detail, which is torturous for me, just so you know, I'll just say fifty-three year old women should not be having periods. Okay, maybe I shouldn't speak (or type) for ALL fifty-three year old women. But, for sure and for certain THIS fifty three-year old woman should most definitely, absolutely, positively NOT be having a period. Ever again. Please. Thank You. 

Yes, yes, I should be careful of what I ask for. I could be trading one painfully, inconvenient, uncomfortable, mind-numbing, aggravating event for another. Still, I ask. 

The hereafter never-mentioned-again period is not (in and of itself) the only cause for crappy feelings over the past couple of weeks. There were the usual subjects; frustrations at work, weather, commuting debacles, minor household upheavals, my hair, the impending holidays, grief, wardrobe malfunctions (fucking socks) . . . quite possibly all exacerbated by . . . yeah, that. 

Overall crappy feeling aside, there were some inspirational touches, some, "I'm grateful to be here in this time, in the place" moments, some, "let's forge ahead" attitudinal brio, if you will. This video was such a touch. It is long but if you have or find the time, it is worth it.  

Aging in general and my aging specifically has been front and center these past couple of weeks and not in such a kind way, thanks to the screaming muscles and achy joints, among other things. The Fabulous Fashionistas came into my time and space and just the right time an space. 

The physical aches and pains are still in residence and seem destined to visit for quite a while longer. On the flip-side, the emotional crappy is lifting. Some. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

No Skirts, No Glory

6. Black pencil skirt

Versatile, stylish and surprisingly flattering, no matter what your size. Wear it to the knee (or slightly shorter if worn with black tights), and make sure it has a little stretch and some draping but is not tight. Pair with black tights and booties, or patent-leather pumps for night. Don't wear a flat shoe, but a mid-heel or high-heel pump, wedge shoe or boots.
See Figure 1: 

figure 1

Line item number six of ten, women aged 50 plus should have in their closet according to some AARP column writer. Noted.

 . . . and that is where it ends. I had a reaction to the AARP column and this item (in my closet) in particular immediately upon reading it. I began this post but couldn't get past the above noted point in fashioning a proper post. So, it sat in the drafts folder for day. For weeks.

Because I don't like trashing (except for spam or spam-like emails) here it is, in all its unfinished, lack luster glory. I may figure out how to say what I think I want to say.

Or not.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

P. B. and C.

The Boys - couple years ago*
The boys have decided that I am their new best friend. They have made it their mission to break into my bedroom at 30 minutes prior to the crack of dawn each day for the past week.

During the week, the workdays it isn't a humongous deal since I'm up pretty early anyway but I'd still like the option of not having two sacks of fur scratching and cat-body knocking on the door--causing the larger bundle of fur (Cinnamon) pretending to be asleep on the other side of said door--to whimper and pounce around, making it near impossible to ignore the scratching and cat-body knocking.

Again, during the work week, not a humongous deal, but on the weekends? Large. Deal. Larger? the weekend where I was to have gained an hour of . . . if not, sleep then certainly rest.

My Saturday and Sunday mornings are designed (in my head) to be lazy, hazy risings. No alarms. No alerts. Letting the day unfold somewhat organically. After a trip outdoors to allow the puppy dog to do her puppy dog business, all bundles of fur are fed while coffee is brewing or water (for tea) is boiling. After all are settled, a cup is poured, and . . .  

This weekend, in addition to the hour (earlier) scratching and cat-body knocking the boys has made it their mission to sack out on top of my bed most of the day. Now, again, not a humongous deal because of course, I love the boys and as they are relatively small cats (compared to the good sized dog) and were not in the way. They also didn't make a nuisance of themselves. Much.

The problem with the boys deciding to be my new best friend and wanting (needing) to spend so much time with me, next to me, is . . . Cinnamon. She is extremely excited to play with her personal radio control pets. She is mostly frustrated because they (normally) spend so much time on their higher perches and when they are not on higher ground, they are shielded against her ministrations by myself or daughter--mostly.

Now, as the boys have spent so much time on the floor, or bed, just nearer to Cinnamon, that it has been . . . let's us just say,  the opposite of lazy, hazy.

All that said, I'm happy that Cinnamon likes to play with the boys, that the boys recognize what she's doing as play and that their interactions are of a mostly friendly nature. My concern is that she is so much larger and heavier that she might injure them without meaning to do so. Or that they (especially Pete) might become less than pleased with her attention and strike out.

I feel, however,  they are all coming to a meeting of the fur minds and working out an arrangement that suits them all.

My interests don't seem to be part of the overall negotiations.

Though, I must say,the loss of lazy, hazy aside, it is pleasant having so much company.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

LOVE And The Opposite

LOVE: Icy Hot®

the opposite: A particular retailer's generic Icy Hot®

LOVE: Trains and buses being on schedule

the opposite: padding 20 minutes into commute and being 9...no, 10 minutes late

LOVE: Friends!

the opposite: not being there (wherever THERE is) when they need . .

LOVE: Coming home to an empty (sans the animals) and quiet apartment

the opposite: Coming home to an empty (sans the animals) and quiet apartment

LOVE:  Cinnamon, who loves swimming (on her back) in grass whilst chewing on her tennis ball

the opposite: Cinnamon swimming in the grass (on our walks) when it is C-O-L-D

LOVE: Warm socks

the opposite: Socks that slide down inside my shoes

LOVE:  Re-connecting with an old, dear friends

the opposite: Missing connections with old, dear friends

 LOVE  falling . . .

the opposite:

emotional.    shade.

LOVE the future. hope

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It IS still October! Yes?

Nothing new, Macy's announced a day or so ago that the Black Friday events will begin on Thanksgiving Day. This has become the trend in recent years for retailers. Thus, I'm wondering how much longer Black Friday</> will be so named. 

And if the Black Friday events begin to take over Thanksgiving Day in a wholesale manner, what then will become of Thanksgiving Day?  Will it too become black? Or gray? Or . . . ?

I'm not a shopper and have never ventured out on the Friday after Thanksgiving except as a hostage. Thus, Macy's, Casey's, Dancer's, or Prancer's being open ON Thanksgiving Day matters not to me except for what it says about the universal US that cares more about being out scrambling around some emporium trying to score 40% off some thiga-ma-what or hulla-bla-lube instead of the usual, lying in a drunken stupor of too much turkey and mashed taters.

The holiday shopping season is make it or break it for some retailers, I get it. And with the competition from the internet retailers growing by leaps and bounds, the brick and mortar stores feel forced to do whatever they can to get folks in the doors spending, the sooner the better.

Again, this is nothing new. For years now the December holidays have bled all over Halloween; long before the last costume or bag of candy s gone from store shelves are those same shelves being laden with all manner of glittered baubles. Happy Holidays!

Some of us, however, are reveling in all that is fall, the leaves, the air, the pumpkin infused . . . everything and sweaters.

Once day at a time. Savor the day that is . . today. Happy October 17, 2013.

Friday, October 11, 2013


only daughters

When my only daughter was in her late teens she went to live with her dad; my discipline too harsh, my boundaries for her, too restricting. The official reason, "I miss you, I want to get to know you better" struck just the right chord with him  (and me). 

Yet, I was angry. I was sad. I was afraid for her as she was spinning out of control. 

It wasn't long before several piles of shit hit the fan. 

Clean-up was a bitch.

But, clean-up we all did. She matured. I understood. He....well, he didn't do much of anything, which probably was the best thing he could do to help my only daughter and me repair, rebuild, and grow together. 

Whenever talking about my son and daughter I can often be heard saying that they are as different as night and day. And they are with regard to they personalities and their separate approaches to the here-and-now, the day-to-day. But, they are both performers, thinkers, talkers . . . and more. 

And while we are all, not only housemates, but friends, my only daughter and me are . . .   well,, just different than my son and me. 

Which is fine as as I speak both son and daughter

On this, my only daughter's twenty-eighth birthday, I want to thank her for challenging me. I want to thank her for being the loud, active, funny, animal loving, pop-culture embracing, passionate seeker of all life has to offer girl, young woman she has been, continues to be.  

I want to assure her than I am proud of her and proud to have played any role in her development.

Go for your dreams dear daughter. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid. Don't settle. 

May you have the happiest of happy days and may there be more and more and even more ahead. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Plan Be(e)

This should have posted very (very) early Sunday morning, but for some reason it didn't. So, here it is now .--I'm dating it for Sunday, 10/6  even though I discovered the weirdness today. 

On this, the beginning of the week of my daughter's twenty-eighth birthday, I'm writing about my son. She will get her time to shine as the date draws nearer, the "birthday princess" shall not be denied her due. Still, for all her presence, he has been very much on my mind. 

The actor has gone through some changes, most good and some, even better. His passion for his craft is stronger than ever and his hard work and tenaciousness is inspiring. He is closer to his Equity (stage actor's union) card and thanks to some screen work he's eligible to join the Screen Actor's Guild. If things progress as planned he'll be able to buy in by year's end. 

He also anticipates moving out (again) by year's end or early in 2014. That is to say (again) if things progress as planned. He's researched some interesting housing arrangements, his budget being what it is.  If a gig he's in line for pans out the budget will adjust UP. In either case, he'll be fine. He's given all of this a tremendous amount of thought and effort. 

It need not be said that I'm rooting for him in every way possible. He has an extremely level head on his shoulders and I anxiously await the show as his immediate and not so immediate future begins to play out in real life as it has in his expertly coiffed head. 

While I will miss our near daily exchanges, I know as well (if not better) than he, that he must move on. He is beyond excited about the prospect and that . . . exuberance is positively intoxicating. 

 . . . and away we go.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gluten Free

 The pup got her spa day on Sunday. She was treated to an oatmeal bath, nail trim, and a puffy fur. The "after" photo doesn't really do the fluffiness justice. But, take my word for it, she is  puffed out, fluffed up, rounded edges, energetic pup. Her "Pawgress" report said, "Cinnamon did great! Just a little wiggly."
I bet. 
In other news . . . well, that'll have to wait. So tired. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

All Ears

Pete as "Yoda" 
Buttah as "Yoda" 
While marketed as "Yoda" ears, I think they look more like a "flying nun" accessory. On the plus, the daughter (who loves dressing up the fur babies) only purchased one set. The cats get to share, which I'm sure (if they could speak) would be all, "oh, goody, goody, gumdrops" about that fact. 

Buttah seemed the more agreeable of the two over donning and posing in the ears. Though, Buttah is nearly always the more agreeable of the two. Ms. Cinnamon got saved from any new costuming. The daughter's budget will not allow, for now. 

Speaking of Cinnamon, the wonder dog, she's in dire need of another haircut. Schedules and budgets have not allowed.  But come heck or high water, IT. MUST. HAPPEN! While I like her micro curls, her face and feet are much too fuzzy. Decision must be made about how best to showcase her innate beauty.  

In other news yours truly is struggling to keep emotions in check. Tears are flowing easy like Sunday morning.  

Speaking of yours truly, of great interest to daughter who finds herself  Fantasy Footballing,  Bears are 2-0 which matters not to yours truly except as in a purely conversational sense.And on that note: Must get to bed now, well, not to bed to sleep so much as to read before sleep. 

Ta Ta  

Monday, September 02, 2013

Let's See, Where Were We?

In the midst of studying, prospecting, marketing, and growing  a ton of other things have happened and / or passed over my field of vision. The picnic actually happened before the new career opportunity and I've planted my behind in the chair to write about it . . . but haven't been able quite articulate my still quite ambivalent feelings.

I will say this: at least one cousin wore a "a family that prays together stays together" tee shirt. It was quite the pleasant surprise to see my Aunt Ann and my cousin Carolyn. And it was quite disappointing that the in memoriam segment didn't occur. And even though I was ambivalent about that as well, I did bring the photo as requested. The photo I brought (and others beyond) were given to younger brother.

The above aside, I'm struck in a variety of ways by a variety of events and thoughts in the past several days since our last gathering. And they are, in no particular order:

A. Daughter, who weeks ago re-connected with her father (he had a stroke several years ago and after bumping around from one family member to another, from one state to another, landed in a rehabilitation / nursing facility in Greenwood, MS) went to visit him (and the arm of his / her family in Mississippi) this weekend past. The visit was good in one regard, not so much in another. Still processing.

B. Pepsi flavored Cheetos are apparently all the rage in Japan.  To which I say, EWWW

C. I'm battling a cold. I no longer feverish, but still not tip-top. A friend is also battling and wrote quite an eloquent post relative to the subject. I don't have her brand of being held in mom's bosom (so to speak) during childhood sickness, ours was quite the different household and dynamics---but there were some instances of receiving mom's full, un-divided attention. The memories of those instances are sweet.

D. Due to being sick, and the busyness of work related activities I'm a bit behind on the news and so only recently caught wind of the MONTANA COURT  ruling. I'm quite incensed over the entire episode and culture.

E. And speaking of being incensed....Syria...really? REALLY??? I get the sense that nations are channeling Tina.  Further, I get a sense of dread. ::sigh::

F. And speaking of dread---really Auntie Flo?? REALLY!!!!!!??? I am fifty fracking three!!!  I know, I know, many have gone well beyond that number. But, "shit, fuck, piss!!" as another friend often retorts ENOUGH already.  

G. I know I'm not one to speak, but I miss bloggers. I miss the community. I miss my friends. Oh sure, some (most, in fact) hang out on FB but it is simply not the same. No promises or declarations but I'm striving to be more active with this platform. I still have those sketches  to finish, I even bought a new sketch book, so as I say, no promises. But, well, yeah. . .

H. My former boss has continued to call and email. I must continue to ignore him. I cannot afford to be pulled back into his sort of . . . miasma.

I. Did you know later this month marks a year since Cinnamon came into our world?   On the flip side, the 6th will mark the first anniversary of my dad's death  and the twelfth, D-dog's passing.  All quite  heavily on my mind, heart.

J. And while there is much, much more that has gone on and IS going on I'll end here, except to add that the other night I had a dream. I'm struck (again) by remembering even the part I remember for, if you recall, I don't usually remember my dreams and if I do, only snippets filter to the surface. This snippet: I was walking down a street, dressed in my professional business black slacks and black jacket. An older man, he reminded me of an actor whose name and pedigree has alluded me, but think: a cross between Burt Young and Richard Farnsworth started following me eventually asking if I had a couple bucks so he could get something to eat. I then, against ALL my city wits and conventional wisdom, stopped to pull my wallet from my bag, opened it with the plan to peel off a couple of buck . . .    The older man took my wallet. I screamed. He turned and half ran, half limped away. I continued to scream but got myself together enough to chase (I mean he WAS half running and MOSTLY limping ) him intending to . . . not quite tackle him, but certainly, get my shit back.  Except, I couldn't catch him. WTF??  It was like some weird super slo-mo, non action . . . something. I was thrashing about in bead, screaming in my head, running the litany of what was in the wallet, the hassle of replacing stuff and the like. I woke with a monstrous headache and a sense of extreme dread . . . crying because it felt so real then I snapped to. . it was just. a. dream. 

And now, having said that, I can't end it there. I am going to end this episode with: WAY TO GO DIANA!!!

She said:
One: We should never give up.
Two: You're never too old to chase your dream
Three: It looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.   (Swimming & life--I'm deciding).

See you in a few.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

No Turning Back

So much information; names, faces, places, terms, facts, figures. . .
d-e-t-a-i-l-s! There is so much (more) reading to do, so much (more) ground to cover. So much (more) work.

Yes, I feel like my head it about to explode.

The first week of training has been exhausting yet exhilarating.

All the new associates were assigned to veteran district coordinators. The team I was assigned to has three others beside myself. One of the three, a young woman, younger than my daughter, is struggling with her decision. She's discouraged, very much, after week one. I hope she returns. I'm trying to encourage her, but she's working with some particularly negative family (and friends) mojo.

Plus, half of the folks who started with us Friday, the ninth of August, have already quit.

But, as our trainer (and Jerry Butler said, "Only The Strong Survive".  Knowing what I've learned of her life (to date) I think she is strong.

This past week has reminded me of  a sort of mantra I read (and noted in a journal) months ago: Work hard. Do Good. Be incredible.

Beyond that, one day, one step at a time, full steam ahead.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Officially Fifty-Three

A few things have happened since we were last together; my final (physical) day at work, the family picnic, having no place to go that next Monday morning, my fifty-third birthday, fear, and moving past that . . .

Much like my last (physical) day with my former employer, my fifty-third birthday passed without much in the way of fanfare. There was the FB acknowledgements which were received with gratitude, a couple of greeting cards, phone calls, and hugs from those near and dear. And again, received with gratitude. But otherwise the day (and several preceding) was spent in my room studying manuals toward clearing two hurdles (tests), a gateway to an opportunity, the next chapter(s) of my life. 

Said opportunity was presented to me (and others) at the company's Open House--to which I was invited via email--in response to one of my posted r&#233sum&#233s. At the end of the presentation I opted not to move forward, deciding that said opportunity, "wasn't a good fit."  

That, "not a good fit" haunted me over the next several days. And I got mad.  

Nearly a week later there is an identical invitation to an identical Open House. After advising the recruiter that I'd been the the Open House just the week before and relaying what I relayed at that time, I asked to be considered for the next step--a face-to-face--to further discuss the job, the expectations, the compensation algorithm, and . . . well, me. 

The recruiter agreed to see me and the first two questions she asked were, "why did you feel you weren't and good fit and what has changed your mind"? 

Long story short, I explained about the fear that overtook me and then the anger that welled up until IT beat the fear down. We had a nice conversation after which she asked me to take the weekend, think it over, be sure . . . 

Well, the week before my fifty-third birthday I decided to take a leap, accept the opportunity which meant signing up for two classes, which would lead to my taking the two tests. The materials were received and studying ensued.  

And on the day after my fifty-third birthday I took and passed the tests.  

A week from now, I'll be moving forward to the next chapter, inspired by my mother who, against many odds, beating down her own fears, reached a measure of success in a number of endeavors, given a variety of limitations and hurdles. She worked very hard to provide for my brothers and me.  She was very proud of her accomplishments. And I was very proud of her. 

I'm taking all of that, her pride, her strength, her, "wanting the very best for me" attitude with me next week and beyond. 

But first, cake. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


We've been making the trip to the train station every work day, except on "interview" days. I really miss seeing her sparkly carriage when I disembark from the "EL" on those days, having to face the long (okay, not too long, but long enough) walk home, especially in my hard soled shoes.

I go to bed Friday nights feeling like we'll rise early Saturday morning to go cruising along the Illinois Prairie Path for a mile or two (or better?) But so far, we haven't risen early (enough) and we haven't ventured further than the library or the 1/2 mile to our local market for yogurt and juice or . . . something (probably toilet paper).

This Saturday is the family picnic. The picnic site is twenty some miles away. So, of course no bicycling this Saturday--at least not early. Perhaps post-return, post-nap. Perhaps.

Melody, I know is chomping at the bit to test her mettle, stretch some muscles, get some air in her hair.

But I'm not there yet. I'm trying to be, in fact, thought I was . . . but, no. Not yet.

Soon, though.

I think. I hope. I must.

She's waiting, patiently.

☮ and ♥  

Friday, July 05, 2013


Some days I feel like I can be the star of "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl" while on others, I feel like a totally in control "Wonder Woman." Mostly, middle-aged, mother of two (adults) with two cats and a dog, working for a living.

I wrote the above passage some months ago as part of an introduction for entry into another meet-up group. I got in the group but have not participated in any meet-ups. There haven't been many and the few, so far, have been during the workweek, lunch-time, networking meetings. Which I would do if not for the pesky "day" job. 

Which may not be an issue in a couple of weeks. Before I could tender my resignation, I was let go. Officially, laid off, downsized. Wednesday was to have been my last day. Except NOW the owner / boss terminated the person who was going to assume many of my duties. I've been asked to and am expected to "hang around" to "help out" until . . .  

However, all of exploits of the last couple of weeks aren't even the point of this post. The point of THIS post: my feelings of inadequacy, my lack of confidence, my overall sense that I have absolutely no idea how best to fashion my résumé prepare myself for interviews, position myself to compete against the twenty and thirty-somethings out there looking for work. 

I'm trying to affect a positive attitude, a high-energy approach to the research, writing, and building toward the next life. But, it is taking everything I have and then some. The "Awkward Black Girl" is hanging about my shoulders much more than "Wonder Woman" these days. 

In totally unrelated news, I've decided to go to the family picnic in spite of the tent revival meeting atmosphere alluded to in the invitation / fee request. 

**I think I missed the opportunity to officially join the challenge (yet another example of being "off" my game) but I will produce 75 sketches within 75 days. I'm behind a few so some will be double, triple up days.  

Sunday, June 30, 2013



This week has been . . . telling, eye-opening, has had an air of finality. I'm still processing the biggest news of the week and am not ready to speak on it with any sense of , clarity, I guess. But, speak of it, I will. Trust.

In the meantime, know that the new Brin has a name, her own name.  Before, getting into that, allow me to reveal that I'm betwixt and between whether I'm more turned on by piano players or guitarists. This weekend it has been an equal measure of  . . .  heat.

Back to my the new Brin's back and forth re: her name. Considered and tossed were:  >Stella as in the one who got her groove back, Millie as in the thoroughly modern,  Alicia as in Keys, Bonnie as in Raitt, Sharon as in Isbin . . .    and many others, the common thread? Music or something musical, on that are in sync.

Finally, we got down to one caveat, she didn't want a name made famous by someone else, she wanted to forge her own path, so to speak. Given the givens, we then narrowed possible names down to two:

Harmony and
A coin toss later and the winner (insert arpeggio) is:  M*E*L*O*D*Y

 . . . tune, air, or theme composed of tones arranged in a pleasing succession

*the sketch is the result of spending a good chunk of the weekend trying to tame the jungle we call a yard. The rains created a condition that was bordering . . . well, let's just say, thankfully, the temps were pleasant enough and the rain held off long enough to get some growth trimmed way the heck back.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Extra! Extra!

Kim, Kanye and their baby naming drama magnetized much media this week. I stumbled upon many of the stories strictly by accident. I am as invested in their
not following the K  trend as they are in me, my own name drama, or that which brings me here today: the new Brin.
In these past few days the new Brin's personality has begun to roll forward. She is revealing herself a smooth operator. Some tweaking to her brakes and a new saddle will serve to further enhance the overall riding experience. But so far, so pleased.

Getting to know the new Brin this past week has been enlightening. And while her new identity is not yet solidified a few factors have come to light. 1. she will not Brin, the sequel. 2. She will not be hyphenated. 3. She will not be North West (or East or South).

She is already a treasured and valued member of the team. She is family.

And her name is . . .

Saturday, June 22, 2013

. . . emerge!?

The first, the last, the everything.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

O Say Can You See

Brin had to be retired. We missed the naked event again this year, but she was beyond the point of caring.

It's just as well, as we weren't the best fit.

There is a new Brin, though I don't think she'll be called or known as Brin. Her personality has yet to be revealed and so her name awaits.

I can tell you that the entire year while contemplating a new Brin there was much back and forth (in my mind) about the kind of person powered vehicle to acquire.

Mountain, cruiser, hybrid, or . . .  trike. Yes, trike. I will be 53 years old in a few weeks and while in OK physical shape, there are days where those fifty-three years . . . well, let's just say, gliding through the streets with care and ease (never reckless, daredevil like abandon)  is quite the trial. That said, truth be known, I never really seriously considered an adult tricycle. Partly because of storage issues but mainly because, frankly, I'm just not there. Yet.

A couple of weeks ago while out on Brin in what will be known now as our last hurrah, we came across a fellow rider on a contraption  . . . that can best be described as torture on wheels. 

W. T. F. Seriously? Then, I learned that an outfit in town has units available for rent. I repeat, W.T.F.

That expressed, the rider Brin and I saw did seem to be having a wonderful experience. She exhibited a fluidity that was worthy of marvel. However, that mechanical device, not. for. me. any more than a unicycle would be on my list of possibilities.

I chose a mountain bike. Not because I anticipate going off road anytime soon but because the wheels  and frame wide and sturdy and I need wide and sturdy. Plus, some city streets are well, rough.

The new (yet to be named, we'll call her Brin for now) is tricked out with the former <Brin's accessories; basket, lights, and the like and is ready to roll. Hopefully over the next five or so days we'll both get quite the workout and her personality will become clear(er).

In the meantime, marking the calendar for next year's naked ride. Let the training begin.

Sunday, June 09, 2013


Since puppy dawg is scheduled to go under the knife, her thick, curly coat was beyond our expertise, and summer is coming--though, heat doesn't seem to be part of the mix--at least so far, daughter decided a grooming appointment was in order. 

Cinnamon was dropped off Saturday morning at eight and picked up at three in the afternoon. She was reportedly well behaved but quite fidgety. The change is striking. Even her bark is different.

She is confused by the strange dog in the mirror.

Cinnamon's name was inspired by her coat color. But, as she was becoming more blonde than brown (even before the haircut) it is clear, now that her eyes are clearly visible, that she's named for the cinnamon-y color of her soft, "drink me in" eyes.


Sunday, June 02, 2013

No Title On Purpose

Pete: Why are you such a suck-up? 
Buttah: Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!  

1.  In other news: my aunt is recovering, albeit slowly, from her stroke. 

2.  My brothers and I are still endeavoring to stay in touch. Granted, we don't have much to say to one another, but we do make the effort even if it is just to say, "hey". 

3.  Vet visit fail: the dog, it turns out, isn't spayed. She's in heat. She will be spayed as soon as possible after her cycle.   

4. I'm not surprised by the hatred spewed over this ad but it angers me none-the-less. Post racial, my ass. That said, the response from the company: Right. On. 

5. The week ahead is going to be a bear, quite possibly unbearable. 

Donning armor. Welcome, June. 


Saturday, May 25, 2013


My mother worked in a fish market when I was a teenager. Actually, she worked many a "odd" jobs, trying to make ends meet. We lived in a housing project, were recipients of government assistance, and got second (or more) hand clothes long before is was cool to be retro or the even cooler, vintage.

Ends never met.

Still, she loved working in the fish market because she got to meet and talk to people. Most of the neighborhood poured through that market at one point or another and she was in her element. Smiling, talking, doing her thing. She even became quite adept at catching, conking, skinning, and gutting, the live catfish that were the market's big draw.

The job didn't last long because none of them did for a plethora of reasons. But, what I have taken away from those fish market days (besides the vivid memory of the first time seeing her kill her first catfish) is the smile she wore. While not an easy time by any stretch of the imagination, my mother took pride in doing what she could to provide for my brothers and me and she loved people. She could (and would) talk to anybody.

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday, she would have been seventy-three. I found this song among her possessions but didn't listen to it until today. I know she is smiling.

Happy Birthday Mom.

♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dream A Little Dream

She was in white; turban, tunic, and long-ish skirt. The sofa upon which I was laying was also white. Not leather, for which part of me was grateful . . . I think.

I don't know why the white or the turban, for that matter. I don't know why I was there laying upon the white (not leather) sofa with her hovering over me blinding me with her incredibly white teeth or why I only remember this part of the dream . . .

. . . (she) is my best friend from high school. She was also my first crush, my twice married, multiple child having, grandmother thrice over . . she was saying (over and over) that she thinks she'd like to "try" being with a woman and would I be "down" for that.

Blinding. White. Teeth (and turban, tunic, long-ish skirt--not to mention, sofa). Well, shit.

She went on to babble about taking time to work up the nerve to ask me here (after we hadn't spoken in years) to say these things to me . . . that I was attractive (enough) and "safe" since I had already come out as a lesbian. She didn't want to approach any other friend or worse, a stranger. . . she couldn't risk her husband (or kids or grandkids) finding out about . . . anything.

She was sure. She wasn't leaving her life. She didn't want to date. She just wanted . . .

a taste.

Before she was done with her spiel and before I could respond I found myself being hustled out the back door as her husband was charging into the front, through the rooms, into the kitchen. Rooted to my place on the porch I heard pieces of an argument, not related to our conversation . . . well, her monologue. The crack which sounded like a fist connecting with a jaw . . .

woke. me. up.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Alive. Awake.

Jolted. Awake. After fitfully sleeping the entire night. Six AM on a Saturday. That, in and of itself, isn't unusual. The jolting . . . not the norm.

She was there. In my dream. The part I remember, anyway. There, with me . . . alive.

We were at a gathering with family. Her sisters and brother, my cousins, and all. It was present-day, but not . . . somehow.

She was there, with me . . . alive. But, my son and daughter were not. Other family was there beating me up (verbally) for faking her death.

She was there, with me,  alive and telling them it wasn't my fault, that I was only doing what she asked.

They didn't care. The loved on her and beat up on me. How. Dare. I. . . .

The gathering turned out to be a funeral. Soon, all were shushed as the services were about to begin. Why my not dead mother, me, and most of the rest of my family seemed to be the only mourners at Malcom X's funeral  . . well, shit if I know.  

But, she was there, with me . . . alive. Jolting. Me. Awake.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

That's Alright

Just some randomness because I pulling it all together to write, like for real? Not all there, yet. But, "That's Alright". 

1. The story out of Cleveland  makes me ill. And sad. And mad. And then, ill again. 

2. A cousin sends me text messages from time to time. Not, "hey, how are you? or thinking about you." But, "God" notes, blessings prayers and the like. I'm not a believer and while her sister knows, I haven't made my non-believing status common knowledge among the rest of the clan. It's okay though, I appreciate her taking the time to, in her own way, say, "hey". 

3. There was a fire in my building a few weeks ago. I wasn't home but the actor was. He called me at work to say he had to evacuate due to the FIRE What? The What?  My mind spun with questions with no immediate answers.  

4. The fire was contained to a single room in a unit two floors away. It turned out okay for us, but some pretty frantic moments for a time. The family from the burned unit (contained to a single room) moved out and hasn't returned except the check mail and the like. New questions, no answers. 

5. That event was the second time there was a fire in a building I lived in. Neither in my apartment. Both due to an upstairs neighbor's carelessness.  

6. Being burned out is second of my worst fears / nightmares. 

7. The first: Drowning.   

8. A couple weeks after my mother died, her younger sister had a stroke. She was released from the hospital after a few days, two in intensive care to continue therapy toward finding her way back to her . . . self. 

9.  The actor is a play. Two, in fact. A rep. The first opens for previews tomorrow. As usual, the stories he relates during the rehearsal process are an entertaining prelude to the productions. I'm excited. 

10. Tar Baby is today's word.  By the time I became acquainted with the word it had taken on the racial overtones noted in the article.  Tar baby was one of the many derisive nicknames I wore as a kid, contributing to me loathing my dark skinned self, feeling ugly and like sister outsider. I've long sense come to terms with my hue, but colorism remains an issue within our communities and the nation at large. For that reason and more I am loving this song. 

Until next time, Peace.

Friday, April 26, 2013


A friend's status update: Some weeks just kick my ass . . .
  And I agree. Some weeks kick asses...all over this land. These have been two such weeks for me. This ass-kicking week has resulted in  a two martini, skip the Condo board meeting, relax in my socks and undies (the actor is out) kind of Friday night. And while my ass is thoroughly kicked on this day, well into this night, I am bolstered by this new find:

She. Don't. Stop.  

A special shout out to friends who check in, check on me. Your words lift me up so very much. ♥ 

Friday, April 05, 2013

I Can Feel You Breathe

. . . grief pushes all emotions to the surface and leaves you helpless to their whims.*

The only good thing (if there IS such a thing) about being in the throes of grieving is that my head is too waddle bummed to be front and center with current events. While I can appreciate the import of this time in OUR (marriage equality / courting supremely) lives, I just can't participate, can't even get excited, not really.  Though trying, really. 


Beyond the grief, there is the realization that I have to find another job. I cannot continue to work they have I have been working for the past several years. Enough is enough. Resolved, but still . . . 


*Wendy Hornsby 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Train Tripping

Being trapped in a confined environment can turn an ordinary experience into a powder keg. Write about a thing that happened to you while you were using transportation: from your first school bus ride, to a train or plane, to being in the backseat of a car on a family road trip

Not a commute day goes by when there isn't something to talk, write about on the trains and / or buses. Not. One. As a lifelong user of public transportation I pretty much take it in stride that I will encounter a seat hogger, gambler, solicitor (that is to say, I'm homeless and hungry or an ex-con looking for help to get a let up) a thief (smartphones favorite target these days) a nose and / or zit picker   , a sneezer and / or wheezer, a snorer, a very loud talker, and let us not forget the folks who blast their listening pleasures beyond their inadequate ear buds, plus a few working stills like myself who just want to get to work and back home again relatively unscathed by the public transportation experience. 

Given that I work in and live very near a sprawling metropolis with a sometimes celebrated public transportation system I haven't ever worried about getting from here to there, just about what I would encounter on the journey. 

That is, until that day.  

Well, actually two days.

The first: I was a teenager, a high school senior. One of my after school activities met downtown once or twice a week. On one of these days, I was wrapping up my story (I worked for a city-wide, student newspaper) putting it to bed, trying to hurry as I wanted (needed) to get by to my neighborhood before it was too late, too dark.  

I had everything done, was saying my good-byes while putting on my coat, grabbing my bag when Hattie yelled, "hey, wait a minute!" Oh shit, Hattie talks a mile a minute for 45,000 hours. But, she's my home-girl, so I had to wait. And listen. For days. 

Not long after Hattie started talking I took note of the train I would have caught, rolled past the window. (The windows of the office the newspaper used were at eye-level to the elevated tracks). And shortly after that there was a large screech, a flash of light, and noises associated with crashing. Oh. shit. 

The train derailed at the turn that is just beyond the building we were in. Just out of our line of sight. But we heard it. I heard it. And when I went outside, I saw it. One of the cars was hanging over the side. Oh. shit. 
there were injuries but no one was killed. And while the rail services weren't out of commission for very long, it took a very long time for me to get back on the elevated trains. And longer still to be somewhat comfortable. I still don't like the turns. 

I don't think I ever thanked Hattie. So, Thank YOU Hattie. 

The second: Chicago is known as, "The Windy City" which, if you believe the lore, doesn't have anything at all to do with wind velocity in our fair city. Oh sure, Chicago is nestled on the bank of Lake Michigan and that prime real estate may explain some of the windiness, but Chicago is not significantly windier than any other city. 

Still, Chicago is privy to the weather patterns just like any other place in the world. And on one particularly windy day, I found myself trapped on an elevated train, short of the station by too many feet to even consider the posted evacuation plan. At least in my view. I could have been inches from the station platform, but there was no way I was going to (willingly) exit that train care, walk along the electrified (3rd rail only, but still) tracks, and climb a ladder to safety. 

Elevated. I don't know how many feet the tracks are elevated over the street, but enough to have buses and semis ride underneath them. Oh, hell NO! It is a marvel that I can even get ON the train, but as I say, life long user. I was using the elevated train system before I knew enough to be afraid of heights. And, I'm no so much afraid of heights as I am afraid of falling down from a great height. Or even, not so great. 

Well, I was trapped on a train because the train had been stalled by debris blown by the great and powerful windy city wind onto the tracks. The conductor ran over a plastic trash can that, once blown onto the tracks, run over by the conductor, had become lodged in such a way that the train couldn't move, which meant we couldn't move. 

The train (7 cars long) was full of 5 P.M. commuters. All anxious to get home. Mom's who needed to get kids from daycare, dad's who were trying not to miss another (insert kid event of your choice) students who were eager to get home to get started on . . . whatever. Everybody who just wanted to be DONE with the day!! 

It didn't take long (2 minutes, tops) of being stalled before folks started huffing, puffing, and WHAT THE F*CKING!! Goddamn C T to the F*CKING A!!! Folks lost their shit. I had a book to read (I almost always do) so I wasn't so. . so. . quick to flip. What concerned me more than the non-movement was the possibility that we might have to evacuate. THAT, had me sweating through my cotton briefs. 

Well, we didn't have to evacuate. We were stalled and stranded on that train for about twenty minutes. It was an odd experience, seeing the meltdown of so many people. Even after it was known WHY the train wasn't moving (for that had been the biggest gripe--the why) folks still were . . losing their shit. Stupid wind. Stupid plastic trash can. Stupid conductor. . . ding. ding. ding. All manner of abuse and vitriol was heaped upon the conductor who probably couldn't avoid running over the plastic trash can. 

Probably. He was shaken enough by the events of the evening that he had to be taken away by paramedics. The last five minutes of stalled time was waiting for his replacement to take us all to our respective stops.  

I bring several things away from that day, but the one thing that sticks with me the most: the train stalled and was stranded a mere 3 stations from my destination. 

Like being delayed, by Hattie, so close, so close.