Friday, September 5, 2014

Goodbyes Are Like a Sucky Monster

The things this lady has had to do for her job!


Working for a non-profit is, by nature of being a non-profit, sucky.

Sucky?

A flat tire. You can’t get a signal on your phone. You know how to change a flat tire, but you’ve never had to do it all by yourself. Alone. At night. With the crickets chirping. And the frogs croaking. By the swamp. You wonder how something can look both simultaneously serene and deeply unsettling. But there it is. Barely beyond the side of the road. You can just catch the moonlight reflecting on the surface. Near your broken-down car. What was that? Did you hear it? It must be your imagination. Or is it? You lean over to use the tire iron to wrestle off the lug nuts. There’s the sound again. You stand slowly. You walk around the car to the side of the road. The side nearest the swamp. You grip the tire iron more tightly with your now sweaty hands. A twig snaps. Your heart beats faster. Suddenly, the swamp monster comes out of the darkness, its mouth a gaping circle of teeth and lips and hunger. A sucking sound comes from deep within its mouth, from deep within its soul. Hungry, as if needing to fill a void as deep as the pit of hell, it attaches to your head like a flesh vacuum and works its way down your quivering body, ceasing only when it reaches your shoes. It never eats the shoes.

You know… like sucky monster sucky!

You can only work so long for a non-profit before running for dear life, often grasping a tire iron. You certainly can’t do it alone. You need a family. You need support. Sometimes that is not even enough. Allison was my corporate “better half”. She leaves Open Door today to work for the Wexner Center for the Arts. I am sad beyond measure. It’s like having your arm cut off or your heart cut out, just a little bit, not enough to kill you, but enough to make it hurt. And it does hurt. We’ve been through so much together. When I say, “We’ve seen some shit!” I mean that both figuratively and literally. So much shit. It’s impossible to put words together to express what her co-workerness and her friendship has meant to me. She has made me a better person. She has helped me grow. She will continue to be in my life, but I will slowly release her from my work-heart so that it is less painful. So that I can be effective.

I wish you all the best at your new job, my wonderful and talented sister! Please continue to e-mail me every weekend or I will find a sucky monster to pay you a visit! And all of the massive amount of tools in your trunk won’t save you, mwaah haa haa!

At least you’ll have your shoes.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Leaving Again

Where's Yoyo? Yoyo!!!
I guess I should be used to the semi-quarterly heart stomp that is a kid coming from/going to college. Should be no big thang. Still weird though. Honestly I can't figure out if it's heart ache or heart swell. One is a needyclingingco-dependentsadness. The other is a ohmygodmykidisbecomingindependentproudness. Two sides. Same coin.

The currency of letting go.

It's a process. For both parties. We continue to pretend like all of this is no big deal. But it is all a big deal. This is where we get to test the multitude of experiments that encompass the science of parenting. Did they mostly turn out o.k.? Do they routinely make good choices? Do they smell more-or-less presentable?

So my kid got a dog. Would not AT ALL have supported this decision, but this particular child is ATE UP for dogs and did the research and redtapework needed to have a dog on campus. It's a good dog. A sweet, fuzzy type of thing. Curly tail. Orange. Therapeutic.

Winston is already missing his best friend. His brother. He is proud of him for getting to go to college. He is happy that he gets to make new friends. He worries though. Will Yoyo be accepted? He barks. People hate barking. But he will certainly win them over. He has a sense of what it takes to make people like him. Not in a co-dependent way but in a "tell people what you think they want to hear" kind of way. Like that.

Alex and Yoyo will be awesome. They are awesome. Forever and ever. Amen

I (we) just miss them...

"Sharon, it's only been a few hours."

"I know."



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Facetime

Sunday is funday! I finished the final projects for job #2 by lunch, so Dave and I went to North Market for Father's Day noms. YUM! Origins Game Fair was in town at the Convention Center so people-watching at the Market was at a premium. We also played the games "Collect the Mobys" (counting men who look like Moby) and "Are they a bearded hipster or are they a homeless person?" (I know! It's hard!). After our foods, we traveled all over downtownish Columbus collecting faces. The ones in the photo above are from various buildings downtown and the new Columbus Architectural Salvage (even better than the previous location!). I know it's supposed to be Dave's day, but I so needed this.

Tonight we're going to see the amazingly funny Michael Ian Black. I might have to wear a Depends because I predict I will have some extreme laughter and I am seriously behind on my Kegels.

#bestfathersdayever #andiamnotevenafather #butiworkreallyhardandideserveabreak

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Getting Stuff Done!

Winston's dreaming about making art!
I'm listening to Genesis right now. Abacab. I've (no shit!) been thinking about this album for the last few weeks. Then one of my friend's kids who's in a band, while traipsing about town as musicians do, bumped into and got his photo taken with Phil Collins. Whaaaaat? So of course I took it as a sign and downloaded the first Genesis album I ever owned. My brother had the older Genesis albums. One of them even had Peter Gabriel on it. The older ones are GREAT, but there's something magical about Abacab. Maybe it's because it's so "my time". When a kid starts to pick out what SHE likes. The 80's. Well, not "THE 80's", but the EARLY 80's. When it was still cool to listen to Michael Jackson, to Journey, to Billy Squier. Before shit got weird. Before you hated your parents and before your wardrobe became black. Before you wanted to move to England and before you bought a guitar.

You know what I mean.

But what I meant to talk about is art.

Most of you know that I make stuff, but that it's not like "a thing". Like I don't try to "sell it on the internet" because I don't "have enough time to make enough stuff" to "have a real art career".

Garrrrrhhhhhhh!!!!

But lately, I've been looooonging to do nothing but make stuff. My own stuff. Not stuff with a deadline, but stuff that I want to make. With my own time frame. Stuff that might never get purchased, but created because I merely want to birth it unto the world. If no one wants it, I'll leave it on a park bench. I just want to make it. The stuff in my head. The stuff that never gets to be made.

The stuff that never gets to be made?

What a shitty notion! This is the saddest thing ever. Dead dreams. Ghost dreams. Taunting. Haunting. Why do we do this to ourselves? We say it's because we don't have time. We don't have the space. We are too busy. We are too tired. We can't afford the supplies.

These are all lies. But these lies kill us a tiny bit. And they steal tiny pieces of our soul.

NO MORE LIES! Make art! Here! Now! Today! Because you deserve to and because I say so!

I do not have enough time! 
Bullshit! There are so many hours in the day. You probably poop every day? Bring a sketch book! Do you watch t.v.? Save that time to do the hands-on portion of your project. The stuff that you don't need a brain for. You'd be surprised how much downtime you really DO have in a day. Do you think the 1/2 hour of Facebooking you do on a regular basis could be downsized? I'll bet your friends will forgive you. Honestly, finding time is my biggest obstacle, but DAMMIT, I'm going to figure this shit out because I don't want my dreams to die. My dreams don't deserve it! Neither do yours!

I don't have the space!
Find smaller shit to make! Get a rolling cart to do your projects on top of and store your stuff underneath. Table top easels instead of floor easels. Trays of stuff that can be moved from the top of the refrigerator to your dining room table. If you are a creative person, you already should be on top of finding creative spaces to work. If your family and/or dog can't seem to stay out of your shit, maybe you can work in your bathtub? I'm pretty sure you'll think of something.

I'm too busy!
Bitch, please... We're all busy. Don't be that asshole that always says, "When I retire, I'm going to do _______!" because you could die tomorrow with a hole in the universe where your art was supposed to be. If the world explodes because of your universe hole, I'm going to be really pissed. See the section about about finding time and get this shit under control.

I'm too tired!
Unless you are sick and need the rest, this one is pretty much bullshit as well. You literally just need to make some coffee or do some jumping jacks or hula hooping for a few minutes. Listen to Justin Timberlake or something. I know you work hard and you often come home and just want to relax, but this art ain't going to make itself! And really, you are going to feel SO AWESOME when you start creating! If you forget what this feeling is like then it's been far too long and you need to start immediately!

I can't afford the supplies!
This one is tricky because shit is truly expensive. But if you're a painter try experimenting with using wood planks from Lowe's to paint on and use crappy paint from JoAnn's (I do!). Shit, use cardboard and call yourself a folk artist! If you can't afford clay and kiln time, use paper mache (practically free!). I almost love the challenge of seeing what sturdy thing I can create from shittier materials. At some point it almost turns into science. When you DO get on Facebook, you can always put out a call for other artist's leftovers. Artists are generally a very supportive bunch. You'll get what you need!

There! Were you just waiting for the encouragement? I was too! Let's make a pact right now to get on each others asses about making art!

RIGHT NOW! WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS?

If you ARE still reading this, you should read my friend Cat's latest post about the creative process too. She's super funny and amazing! Is it weird that we both posted art-making encouragement posts within 24 hours of each other? See! It's in the air!!!

So read that, but then seriously GO MAKE ART!




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So, remember that time...

I'm waiting for my picture I took on my new phone to make its way to my e-mail so that I can download it to my computer so that I can upload it to here. Joke's on the blogiverse... It's like not even a good picture. But it's a photo of what I'm working on. Well, it's a photo of my hand actually. I'm doing a painting for my friend's wedding. They're doing an exhibit in conjunction with their wedding. I'm pretty stoked. Shit, if anyone can make it all work out it's these two. My friend's been through a shitstorm, and he's been held up by this wonderful woman who I don't know well, but who I love because of what I intuit about her. Oh, I think I sent my picture to somewhere else. O.k. I fixed where it got sent to. Here it is.
I know, it's just a hand. Burn! A dirty hand! That's what you waited for!

Phhhewwwwhhh...

So my kid left me (again) yesterday/today. He went to Albuquerque for an internship. This was his first time flying as a real human (he was a tiny baby the first time, so it doesn't count). I was so nervous. I pretended I wasn't, but I was so nervous. I gave him so many tips.
  • Don't tell anyone you're only 18.
  • Read the NSA guidelines.
  • OMG, don't say you were born in Canada.
  • Pack your pepper spray in your checked bag. (He did not do this - this infuriates me! You are allowed to do this!)
  • Tell everyone that this is your first time flying so that they feel sorry for you and provide you with extra love.
So many things not packed. So many things unsaid. How do you do this? How do you just chuck your kid out at the curb and say "Good fucking luck! Don't take drugs! Stand up for yourself! Don't let people use you!" Holy shit! It's too much for a mother to absorb. It takes several days. And so many beers. He sent me a photo of his "furnished" room with his "bed"... God...

But he says he loves it there. He is ready for this. This stuff of adulthood. I am absolutely not ready. But I am trying to be ready. And I am preparing for it to happen again with the next one. The next child. God...

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day... It's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good."

My kids are really good kids. Like REALLY good kids. How did this happen?
  • Maybe because they saw struggle.
  • And they saw joy. 
  • And pain. 
  • And laughter through the pain. 
  • And more laughter because that's all there was. 
  • And coping. 
  • And more struggle, but not not defeat.
  • Never defeat because they are capable of reaching the stars despite everything.
  • We believed in them. We believe in them. They can do anything. They can do all things.
If you can do anything for your children, it's to simply drink beers while they go take over the world. Stay out of their way. Send some money if you can. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you are so proud of them. Drink beers so that you don't tell them that it's all too hard. That people are mostly shitty. Let them think otherwise.

Let them touch stars.

While your hands shake.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Red Skies At Night

The boys.




Just me and the dog tonight. It’s weird. So when’s the last time we hung out here? I guess it’s been a little bit, right? Let’s do some updates.

  • The dog is less than 48 hours from a good ol’ fashioned ball snippin’. As I type this he is VIOLENTLY humping my leg. AND farting. I am not even kidding. Talk about the worse date EVER! At least in the top ten. That’s sad
  • I picked up the remnants of a failed dream last week. As much as I loved the idea, I do not have time to effectively stock an antiques case. I suppose we’ll put this one on the back burner for now. Is it self-destructive that I was secretly hoping one of the dolls in the case (on the left) would magically come back to me? So I lost a tiny bit of money. Totally worth it!
  • I GOT A FUCKING iPHONE!!! Part of me feels like a sell-out, but I am truly a better person because of my phone purchase. The phone makes me more confident. The phone makes me feel like part of a wolf pack. I have Instagram. I can play a fishing game. I can look things up anywhere. I can watch a video. I can ask it if there’s a Noodles in Grandview. And there’s at least one hundred things I don’t even know it can do yet. Game changer. I should do a blog post JUST on my iPhone. 
  • Job is going o.k. Wallace had a show opening last night. To say that it was successful would pretty much be an understatement. Oh, you might not know this… Wallace has a BUILDING-SIZED mural of one of his paintings (on a building- duh) in the Short North. Do I sound a little jealous? Maybe it’s because I am a little jealous. Just kidding. Maybe?
So in the morning when I’m in the shower I have tons of ideas for blog items, but at nighttime, right before I go watch the Hulu I have beer ideas for blog items. I promise I’ll be more attentive to your needs (like you care). I’ve been really S.A.D. lately. Gloomy winter = depressing blog posts that I quickly delete. It’s getting better. Red skies at night! O.k., well not TONIGHT, but soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ripping the Throat Out of 2014!

You said a mouthful, Winston!
So here we are again, my friends. Another year down the ol' crapper. Were you successful in achieving all of your 2013 hopes and dreams? I hopes and dreams that you at least came close. It's important to make goals, you know. But REALISTIC goals. I believe that you should make ten goals every year and then hope to accomplish HALF of them. I think that would be nice. And half is way better than none! That's MATH!

Let's see how I did...
  1. I did not continue the "Don't Have Children, Get a Dog!" campaign. Not in a formal way. I DO continue to preach to those within my reach however. And it's something that I remain passionate about. Some day...
  2. I did not come close to writing a book. I DID however become obsessed with the most inspirational writer ever. I will continue to read and read and read. We'll call that research.
  3. Work out for at least 30 minutes a week? That's a cheat because my job is pretty physical and I'm hyperactive. So we'll say that's a YES.
  4. I don't think I went to the doctor, but I DID go to the dentist. 
  5. I didn't make a funeral slide show, but I DO think the person I've put in charge of my funeral will come through for me if this is still left hanging.
  6. I didn't create an urn, but I HAVE been saving supplies. I have a whole bag of my own hair! That's progress!
  7. OMG, I DID find another pair of work pants! SCORE!
  8. Score again! I DID start working a second job! 
  9. Etsy still down. Probably for forever. Probably whatever.
  10. Fix one thing around my house? Dave is working on the roof and he got some scary trees cut back. That counts BIG TIME!
So all-in-all, not bad! My motto last year was "AIM LOW!" I think that helped me retain a bit of the ol' self-esteem.

On to 2014! Let's make ten more and see what sticks! My motto this year is "Aim For Stuff That You Should Be Doing Anyway!"
  1. This first one is easy: SEE EVERY FILM MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY HAS EVER BEEN IN! I've seen a few of them about a dozen times, but I'm going to make it my personal goal to see every last one of them. I'm going to start with Tiptoes. HOW have I NOT seen this yet?
  2. I'd like to do something media-significant with my new dog (see above). That little fucker is cute as allgetout. He should probably be a model. Or at least the star of a comic. People lose their shit over internet stuff with animals. Perhaps it should be MY animal?
  3. Break even with my antique biz. Honestly, this is the funnest hobby ever. If I just DON'T LOSE LOTS O' MONEY I will be so happy. So far, so good. Good-ish.
  4. Keep up with all of the weird smells in my house. Be vigilant with finding aromatic resources. When the "big thaw" approaches, figure out the basement mold situation.
  5. Get life insurance. Someone who talks about dying EVERY DAY should have more than the work-appointed life insurance that would barely pay off the credit card debt. What a dead asshole I would be.
  6. On that note, finally finish and pay for my will on LegalZoom. I'm so sorry if you're reading this Mom. I still haven't done it. I bet my sister hasn't yet either. If I hurry, I can beat her. Then you'll love me more?
  7. Eat three servings of vegetables a week. That aren't pickled somethingorother. Or that aren't lettuceoniontomato. Three is the magic number.
  8. Buy all new socks. Like ALL new. Like I can keep a pair or two, but OMG, ALL NEW! ALL NEW SOCKS! 
  9. See something mind-blowing. I got to see the Quay Brothers introduce their new films two years in a row. That was pretty awesome. This year I want to see something that makes my head explode.
  10. Be more grateful. I have so much to be thankful for. I'd like to figure out how to turn my gratitude into something more tangible. What would that look like? Let's think about that.
Things that I've accomplished that WEREN'T on last year's resolution list were to experiment with making a tiny video and THIS. I didn't even know these were going to exist when I wrote my list last year. Both things I'm happy about (even though the video was difficult and turned out awful).

What are some things YOU would like to accomplish this year? It's good to make goals. It's even better to share them. You can do it!

Or at least HALF do it! Go you!