Dec 27, 2009

The Magical Fridge Magnets.

For Christmas this year I set an interesting challenge for myself. The challenge was to paint individual canvases for all of my friends. I bought approximately 500 tiny canvases some were 2" by 2" some were 3"X 3" and some were 2"x 3". Now, I didn't set out to paint individual canvases for everyone I know, that would be insane... just to paint individual canvases for all of my friends, or people I care about to some degree or another.

I went around asking a bunch of people the random question of "what color is your kitchen?" I didn't specify as to what color they accessorize their kitchen with, just what color it was. Those who were smart enough to give me the color of their kitchen accessories - got a matching diptych, triptych, or even a quintych mini-art for their fridge. Those who told me the color of their walls got paintings that matched my impression of them - color-wise.

These magnets are magical in one sense. They gave me a chance to really think about all of the people they were painted for. My family, my friends, my neighbors, some of my co-workers. The thing is, I don't even really care if they liked them - what was important... what was magical to me was the act of painting them while thinking about these people individually. I started months ago a little simple project I thought - which actually turned out to be a huge undertaking.

I managed to do a lot of bad things during the project too. Don't get me wrong, not anything criminal - just ruined a table and might have to sand and refinish the floor.

I have my favorites too. The ones I made for my mother remind me of peacock feathers. The ones I made for my BFF match the backsplash in her kitchen perfectly. The ones I made for my friend Kim C. were made to some very interesting specifications, but I rose to that challenge. The ones I ended up giving to my friend Kelly were by far my absolute favorite as they are the only ones that I changed the M.O. of the artwork for. The funny thing is - I only took pictures of a very small set of them, and now I regret not having pictures of all of them. They are all of course in the homes of friends and family where I can either go visit them and photograph them or ask for pictures of them - but I should have been better at documenting the process.

I think I loved making them so much that I might start a store on ETSY and sell them. Someone might want a little triptych for their fridge... And hey - we can all use a little extra cash. :)

Dec 22, 2009

This Poem Came to Me in a Dream


While waiting for you
I've paced in circles
I've lost my feet
Balancing on the bloody stumps
Feeling the blood drain from me.

Along with my feet, I wore through the hope
Stamping bloody circles in a bloody circle.

I shall continue to pace
Until I can walk no more.
While my legs waste away.

And legless I'll pace in my mind
Until my exsanguination is complete.

Dec 6, 2009

That's alls I can stands

Sometimes you have to step outside of yourself for one minute. Sometimes you should listen when others speak to you, even when you don't think what they are saying has any bearing on your life. Often, this is the opposite of the truth. By "this" I mean that what they are saying has no bearing on your life.

Someone recently was telling me about how they are choosing to deal with people in a different way. About how hot-headed they have gotten in the past and how it never worked out. However, they also were saying that being passive-aggressive in nature hadn't worked out all that well either, because they were just bottling things up. Bottle something up long enough and you have a cataclysmic eruption.

I am a bottler. I am a venter. Instead of telling the people who should hear something, I tell my friends. This is the wrong move. This was the message I was getting from someone and I ignored it. It didn't relate to me at all. But oh, it did.

I'd been bottling up something for awhile and "Boom goes the dynamite" eruption. So I'm going to pause and take a break from things for a minute. I'm going to stretch and ponder. I'm going to face the world head-on and listen to the messages from the many mouths of the beast we call humanity. I shall take heed.

Nov 30, 2009

Clairaudient Empath

The title of this note, are words that someone else used to describe me. The fact that there is a terminology for it is interesting. The funny thing is, someone else with the same abilities might be taken to the psychiatric ward of some hospital and called schizophrenic. Others who might not be so open minded might ask... "You hear voices?"

Yes, yes I do.

I wrote all about "The Great Thanksgiving Hamburger Caper", the day that I got off the train - bought 4 happy meals because I had a feeling... and then someone came in asking for money to feed their four children... That was not a product of this ability - I didn't hear a voice tell me to do it... I just suddenly knew I had to do it. I have a lot of those experiences... but that's not what I'm writing about here.

Often, I walk down Michigan Avenue. As I'm walking, I hear what some might think of as a symphony of voices. ((If you've ever seen the show Heroes - think of Matt Parkman - but less focused.)) Happy thoughts come at me like flutes and triangles... little finger cymbals. High tones - light, fluffy, and cute. Angry thoughts come at me like piano... soft but quick tempo. Misery though, misery comes at me like deep booming bass and loud percussion. Now those are metaphors for what I actually hear. Happy thoughts actually do sound like music - those thoughts I don't even hear, really. Angry thoughts are usually drowned out by the sheer amount of misery. Truth is - there are a lot of unhappy people out there.

It's how I know which homeless people want money for drugs or alcohol - and which ones need it for food. Why I sometimes cross a street from the less busy side to the busiest side... because a piano is coming toward me.

I need to say this though. I can't nor would ever want to hear everyone's thoughts. Most of the time I get impressions from people. But when I'm outdoors for some reason, everything gets super amplified. When I walk by a hospital - I have to listen to music or be with people talking about everything and nothing. I also don't hear ALL thoughts. Most people have an ability to shut off something inside of themselves that is broadcasting to me. Sometimes they open their minds and I can hear thoughts. "Hey I was just thinking that!" is a phrase I hear often.

This started when I was in my 20s, the ability to hear misery. Before that I could just feel it. Constantly feeling pain. I still feel it, but I hear it too. Yeah, you're right, it does suck. I have a high tolerance for pain - I have no choice in that matter.

I started a project about a year ago. It's an internal project. I shut off my receptors. That sounds so Sci-Fi doesn't it? I started figuring out how to lessen the feelings - and silence the voices. Now I listen to a much higher and quieter tone... what I call the Universal Tone. Hanging up there, high above the misery and symphony of happiness, sadness, and anger there is another voice. It's a calm voice. Musically - it's a Cello. It's a voice that tells me when I should pay attention, if I should turn left or right, or whether a mom on the bus with me is 2 seconds away from smacking her child... so I should maybe go over there and see if I can defuse things before they get ugly. If the collective consciousness had a voice - the one I hear would be it. It's so much better to focus on the ONE than the ALL - better still when the ALL joins to form a ONE.

The feelings - I've just learned to live with. I shake them off. How? I boogie. iBoogie! Movement can move negative energy around - so I listen to music and bop my head - tap my feet and wiggle my ass. Not only is it fun, but it shakes off the pain.

So, next time you see me on Michigan Avenue... be happy! And when you see me boogie in the street, you'll now know why.

Conversations with REAL people.

You ever have a conversation with someone and you share intimate details of your life with, and you know this is a friend for life. This is someone that, while you won't necessarily break bread with or whatever, they are yours, not in the possessive sense, but in some weird spiritual sense. They have admitted that they think more of you than you'd assume they would.

Sure, you are interesting, and people who don't know anything about you gravitate toward you like some sort of magnet. But, as one of these "Magnets" there are few people whom you feel you have a connection to. You, whoever you are, know yourself. You know that the people you are attracted to are usually real people who make your mind awaken. You know you, and you know the people who you are drawn towards.

Sometimes, conversations are just conversations. But sometimes, for whatever reason, conversations are some sort of intercourse with someone else's soul. Sometimes, a conversation is a spiritual journey that you and whomever you are speaking to take together. Sometimes, magic happens. Be aware of it, it's awesome.

Tonight, for some reason, I had one. I had a conversation that started as benign and ended up being amazing. You are now a thought this person might have - not necessarily tomorrow or even tonight... but at some point this person will remember something said and either smile, or be pensive. You have awakened something inside them, and them inside you and you won't forget it as long as you live. Cherish this moment. Please. Remember that ever conversation you have with someone, when you reveal your inner you, is a moment that they will cherish. It might not be outwardly at all, but in their mind they will have learned about themselves from something you said.

I had one of those tonight. I hope you have one too.

Nov 29, 2009

more Stalkers.

What in the world is it about people like me? Look, I get it. I'm interesting. I have tattoos, and piercings (though not many of those). I have Emmy awards, and can make a model of an atom out of 62 folded sheets of paper, I can knit and sew, I can sing, and dance, and paint, and I'm effing awesome. Sure, I'm funny, and smart, and people like me. If you haven't noticed I'm also full of myself. Now take all the amazing that is me and realize this.

I don't like you.

Well, let me rephrase. I love people but at the same time I don't really like people... note though, when I say people I don't mean humanity - humanity I love. I don't mean my friends, if I put you in that circle of people I actually call friends, then I probably love you. But, here's the trick to knowing whether I call you a friend or not... and whether I call you one or whether you assume you are one are completely different animals. If I call you a friend, you'll hear me call your name more than once. I probably have a nickname or multiple nicknames for you. If I love you, I'll act like a complete ass in front of you and probably apologize for it at some point. If you have ever heard the following phrases come out of my mouth, you fall into that category:

"I love you."
"I'm so sorry."
"What do I do to make people want to stalk me?"

Also, if I have done any of the following things, you also fall into that category:

Given you a gift on NO occasion.
Spoken to you frankly about something going on in your life or mine - something you probably wouldn't talk about with someone on the street.
Said something to you and then later clarified, not because it was in my best interest to do so, but because I didn't want you to worry.
Made something for you.

Now, these aren't hard and fast rules. And who am I to say that you, if you fall into one of the aforementioned categories of things I've said or done, consider me YOUR friend. But here's the question:


Why does some woman I've met once follow me to multiple places on any given Tuesday?
Why does some random co-worker (and this has happened more than once) think I'm ever going to date them, or do ANYTHING with them - ever?
Why do random people follow me around like I'm their alpha?
And why, why for all that's holy, do people think that I'm into them?

Here's a secret. For me to be into you, you have to be special. For me to be into you you have to have a personality that isn't needy, socially awkward, or grating. You can be okay with hunting, but not necessarily a gun owner. You can't just show up at my house for a party, stay late, and take off all your clothes. You can't just assume that I'm single and think you're going to go home with me at the end of any given night - because truth be told, even if I DID like you, that's not my M.O.. No amount of liquor is going to change that. You HAVE to have tattoos, more than one. You have to like a book or movie I like, and without knowing that I like that book or movie in advance. We have to have a shared sense of humor. And most importantly - you can't assume that I like you because as I said at the beginning of this post, I probably don't.

I'm done with it. I'm done with being stalked, groped, and petted. I'm done with people assuming that because I'm single, I'm theirs to have and to hold. I'm done with socially awkward freaks attaching themselves to me. I'm done with people thinking that I'm their shade tree when the sun is too bright. I'm done with people thinking that I'm their umbrella when it is raining. If you fall into the category of people who I deem important enough for me to be either of those things to, you don't have to seek it out or make it happen, I'll be there for you with no question or hesitation. But if you're stalking me, step back. Please.

Nov 26, 2009


I give thanks. I give thanks for my family, my friends - both new and old, my talents, my co-workers, my job. I give thanks for all of the amazing things that have yet to happen in my life but I know will. I give thanks for all the amazing things that have happened in my life - with or without intending for them to happen. I give thanks for my health. I give thanks for the gifts I am given every day by amazing people... I give thanks for the love I receive - and the love I am able to give out. I give thanks for the air I breathe. I give thanks to you... the grand universe.

Nov 24, 2009

Falling into Like.

Have you ever fallen into like? Some of the kids I work with make me laugh when they say they are in love with some random actor - funnier still is that they mention the character and not the actual actor's name. "I'm in love with Edward." Oh boy.

Well, I've fallen into like. I don't know the person enough to use that other 4-letter "L" word - and being a 4-letter "L" word myself, I know the importance of steering clear of that other one until I know it is truly that. But "like" like is something I don't fear falling into because you can't be disappointed with "like".

There's also a difference between the "Like" and the "Crush." Let me explain this thought process. When you have a crush, it's usually someone you don't know all that well, necessarily. Someone who you find physically or mentally attractive, sometimes both - you start crushing. Often the crush gets crushed when you get to actually know that person... sometimes the crush becomes 'like'.

I have a friend who has crossed over. I realize how often this person's name escapes my lips. How there is a smile in this person's eyes and for some reason that smile can make me at peace and incredibly uncomfortable at the same time. More importantly, that if I'm at my wit's end just hearing this person's voice can completely calm me. This person is a rock star. I'm sitting in the front row.

I'm in like. It's not pretty - at all. It's not pretty because, first of all, who knows what this person's feelings for me are. I know they have ceased being pedestrian, but there are many variations of like. Although, I know for a fact that there is reciprocal "Like" going on... just which variation on that 4 letter word it is can be hard to tell. If it's the benign like of friendships, that's great. I like friends and will get over this giddy girl BS probably within the week. If it's more than that - that's great too. For now though, fantasy and flirting is more than enough, after all - that's the fun part. The magic that happens in one's head is always better than the reality that ensues, don't ya think?

So here's to Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy.

Nov 23, 2009


When a mouth smiles, it doesn't always include the eyes.
When the eyes smile, the soul rejoices.

Nov 22, 2009

Happiness is not a warm gun...

Sometimes, especially when I'm in the middle of a series of anxiety attacks, I find it's hard to put a smile on my face. This is usually the time that I find myself trying to put a smile on the faces of others. Making someone else turn the corners of their lips upward can actually change my entire outlook on the day.

Saturday / Sunday nights are my most difficult days at work. Saturday nights my blood pressure can go from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds. There is no reason for me to state why this happens on this blog, just know that it does. Sunday nights are actually fun at work. Sunday nights are stress free up until the last show of the day. Sports Sunday is not a walk in the park to direct, I rarely get angry during that show, although occasionally the anchors will completely ignore me and that's wildly irritating. But, the truth is that the days of the week that most people are off and dealing with their every day lives, those are the days I work and am most stressed.

This Saturday was truly no exception. So, I started a gift giving process that started at 3pm and lasted until about Midnight. I gifted things to co-workers, my friends at the Spoke, and all of these gifts gave back to me. Making someone else smile, even for a short second, made me burst with happiness. Saturday included a ball of stress, during the day - so I started it out by giving people little gifts. Nothing outrageous, just something they'd like or something they needed. I had ordered some stuff for my friends at the bar that I was considering saving until Christmas, but I prefer to give gifts for no reason than to give a gift because I feel obligated to. I think the little presents I gave Natalie, Kelly, and Alex made me smile the most. Natalie seemed utterly confused as to why I'd give her a gift. Little does Natalie know that I'd rather work with her than a lot of the producers I know. Like me, she maintains a calm demeanor in the control room, even when things are at their worst. Kelly spent the night texting me thanks, and much like the commercial every time my phone received one confetti poured out of it. Alex looked like a 7 year old that just got the latest action figure, seriously.

The truth is, brightening someone else's day can make the sun shine in the middle of the darkest night. It doesn't take much, just something thoughtful. So go - gift something to someone. Then watch them smile - and notice you are smiling too.

Nov 19, 2009

I guess...

There was nothing to fear. I went in expecting to get 1 tooth pulled, and he yanked as many as he could get his grubby little hands on. But the positive thing here is, I still have all the feeling in my mouth - yay.

Actually the upper wisdoms were not bad at all - he literally grabbed and yanked and done. The bottoms though... fuck. Here's the thing, I'm not into drugs. I went in and had it all in my head to tell them to gas me and put me under and knock me in the head with a club if they had to. I thought, "you don't want to be awake for this." But I was.

The bottom right was pretty ridiculous. It was partially erupted and coming in sideways so, unlike the tops - it wasn't a straight pull. He had to drill it, break it, and pull it out one shard at a time. Did I mention that I was awake and had nothing but some novocaine to numb the area? Yeah. I had my wisdoms done under a local anesthetic only. I am an idiot.

The last 2 days have been pretty painful, swollen, and gross. I've slept a lot because of the painkillers I'm on. I'm about to go back to sleep now. The worst is over though. I think. It's day 3 - the worst better be over.

Nov 14, 2009

The difference between pictures and photos...

I used to think that it was way more important to try and take photos. On vacation, I thought the most important thing to capture was the place - that place you might never visit again - that place that captured your breath for a moment. I always thought, well, the people that I meet I'll always remember but the nuances of the place - the feelings I had while I was there, those can be remembered while glancing at a photo of that place.

This morning I went through my vast collection of photos, snapshots, and pictures of my life. I found myself shuffling through the images of places and pausing when I got to the images of people. "Wow look how young we look!" or "Oh my God, I haven't seen him (or her) in a long time!" or "I miss them so much!" Not one of the images of a place made me feel that way. The pictures of places made me think something more along the lines of "Meh, hey I remember being on our way to that State Fair in Alabama and stopping at a Kroger's and being shocked that they sold Malta!" Granted, no where do I have a picture of the guys on the tour bus drinking the malta, or the horrified faces they made when they smelled it. Those pictures would be priceless.

Prince fans on the other hand, I have tons of pictures of. I realize why though, and it's said. Cameras weren't allowed inside Paisley Park, and all the images I have from inside the park were taken for the website, and even in those pictures there are humans in the shots.

I have tons of pictures of Puerto Rico, a place I go to constantly and truly have no need for images of it. I can close my eyes and be there instantly. I have 3 pictures of my grandmother who is now gone, bless her soul. I have 2 pictures of my stepmother - who is no longer with us either. I have 47 pictures of the front of my Dad's house. Explain this to me!

I have countless pictures of the Chicago Skyline, but only 3 pictures of me with my childhood best friend Dahlia. I can't even find any pictures of my friends from grade school, nor any from high school either. The images I have of people are plentiful, don't get me wrong. But they are far out numbered by pictures of places.

I think I have something like 700 photos taken out of a car window in Boston, a place that I never ever want to see again. I have no pictures of Rhode Island, a place that I believe might be one of the most beautiful in the continental U.S. I've been an idiot with pictures. I'm going to start carrying a camera and documenting all of my friends. It's time I stopped taking pictures of random places, and started taking pictures of beautiful people.

Nov 8, 2009



Someone read the post above and thanked me for giving them a voice. I have to thank them for reminding me that it's out there for anyone to read. It was brave to post it the first time, but there's a certain courage in knowing that it's there as long as this website is up.

I started this website back in 1995. Back then, it was a silly page with animated Prince symbols that floated around and linked you to garbage. Then this site became a repository for my poetry - which I truly need to update as all of those "poems" are either horrible or old as dirt. Before "blogging" was cool, I changed it up again, this time to a little diary page where I'd post pictures and stories. Then I started posting photos and digital artwork. In 2003, I got tired of it all and opted to add an actual "blog" to the page.

At the time, I didn't know what that actually meant... this "blog". I didn't know where it would go. If you go back and read some of the old entries, a lot of them don't even make sense. They are non-sequiturs - little blurbs of crap. You can tell what was going on in my life at the time, and how I've grown up a lot in the last 6 years. There are all the photos of my friends - having fun. Some of these photos have been photoshopped to protect the guilty, and I'm clearly not stupid enough to post any of myself doing anything I'd regret posting.

There are raging posts about things that angered me. Posts of love when I was married. Posts that took brass clangers to write, and some that took a lot more to actually post. The Bravery post, that one took a lot out of me. Sure, it was posted as a note on Facebook first, it took more bravery to post it there as the audience is immediate. Reposting it here gave it permanence, and that took courage. Courage that comes in knowing that once I post something I rarely delete it. Courage that comes in knowing who I am and not making apologies for it.

Leo Buscaglia, The Spoke, and Laughter

There are people that enter your life for the shortest little moments to remind you of things like - who you really are, the truth of your character, and to continue to breathe. Last night, I was angry. That's an understatement, I was beyond angry. I had some good news delivered to me, chased by someone passing their negativity on to me like a fucking olympic torch. Blah. It stuck to me like toilet paper on a shoe, and I couldn't shake it off.

I got to the Spoke and I sit down and start to offload my misery. But it's still there, I'm still pissed - even when I am told, "oh fuck 'em, you should be happy!" So, I sit and get cursed once again with the Maggie moniker... Maggie, meaning magnet for crazy folk. Every time that moniker gets thrown at me - it's literally like a curse. I went outside before the curse hit, thinking that outside I'd be safe. Boy was I wrong.

Then I had the Buscaglia moment. A man with maybe 3 or 4 teeth in his mouth, who is clearly advanced in age, walks up to me and says, "Hi, you look happy." Now, without realizing it, I was. Not because I was throwing back cocktails, but because after 15-20 minutes of laughing inside the Spoke, the negative crap - the toilet paper - finally shook off. I hadn't even noticed.

"I guess I am happy," I replied, almost shocked at the notion that my anger had disappeared.

"That's great, better to be happy - because life is too short!" He was spewing out cliché happiness and love quotes like a drunk who can't handle his liquor. But the truth is, that little man reminded me of two all important things:

1. Happiness is something you can be without needing anyone to give you anything to change that. Happiness isn't spontaneous, it's a choice you can make.

2. There is no reason to be angry when someone else lays their negative shit on you.

Granted, the silly toothless man didn't say either of those things. And I laughed rather hard when my friend said, "I feel like I'm suddenly in a Leo Buscaglia book." I mean seriously, that's hilarious - who the fuck pulls that literary reference out of their ass? Truth is ultimate and funny - and I might revisit some Buscaglia - as I haven't read him since I was a kid - and only then because my Mom had his books on her shelf. But answer me, how could one not read a book called simply, "Love"? One thing I'll always remember - because it stuck with me for a long time...

Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself. -LB

Nov 6, 2009

Stalkers and weirdos.

A friend of mine, if I dare use that term, is being stalked by what I can only describe as a sad yet creepy man. That doesn't really do the situation justice so I'll be a little more descriptive. Picture in your mind's eye - the grown up version of the kid in your grammar school class that you swore would grow up to be a serial killer some day. Add to that the look of Stephen King in the late 80s, and sprinkle in the aura of American Psycho - the literary version not the movie version. Now this creature you've created in your head - let's add some more to him - give him a gun and a job that makes that gun perfectly legal. Now, we're not done quite yet and I bet you're already creeped out. The final piece, add a hint of neediness - and make him as socially awkward as possible. Note the visual aid.

Last night, I was standing outside of my local watering hole with my friend Kelly. As we're outside I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something Wicked This Way Comes. I look to my left and in the distance see the creep-mobile. One simple U-Turn and he's parked in front of us. All of the blood drains from my head and hands, and it's not even me he's stalking. My friend, however, had departed a little early for the evening so he was in the clear, but there I stood, armed with only nouns and verbs - staring in the face of - well that dude you just created in your mind's eye.

I informed him that the person he was looking for was not there. And then...

"Well, I'm sorry he's not here because I actually came to apologize to the both of you for Sunday night."

As the words poured out of his mouth like molasses out of a barrel, I couldn't help but step in the mess being created by them. My thoughts sticking to the sidewalk. Shoes of verbs stuck in the viscous glue. Seriously, what do you say to that? What can you possibly say that won't invite the evil to continue the conversation or worse.

I opened my mouth to reply and bees poured out. Bees brandishing their stingers like warriors preparing for battle. But something held them back. They got caught in the molasses, their little wings stuck.

"Don't worry about it. But thanks."

More was said, but the important thing is that I didn't spew word vomit at him, nor did I shoot cocktail daggers into his eyes.

Oct 21, 2009

Word Vomit

Projectile word vomit.

That's the only way I can describe my stupidity the other night. You ever have one of those moments when you open your mouth and words start flowing out that you have no business uttering? They start flowing out of your food hole and you want to munch on them like Pac-Man on Power Pellets. Words don't hang in the air waiting for you to crunch them. The ghosts of whatever is bad about those words will never turn blue - they'll just hunt and haunt you around the maze of your life eventually biting you in the rear. Game Over.

I do not ever like being out of control of my mouth. I usually don't ever get to that point. About 3 years ago I had a similar incident where I wasn't in control of my faculties, and did something idiotic. I wrote about it here too. Luckily, that incident occurred with a life-long friend who loves me.

I'm sure this isn't as bad as I feel about it. I hope the Universe can find a way to turn those ghosts of the words I said into little blue negatives of themselves - and through some miracle I can munch them like the cherries that bounced by. 100 points - sweet.

Sep 14, 2009


Sometimes I take all the shit I don't want in my life and write it down. Everything negative I've ever thought of myself - too fat - too tattooed - too loud - too smart - not good enough - not pretty enough - either too much or not enough of whatever it is. I write this all down. Yes, all of it. I take that paper and burn it. I burn all the bad shit in my head and wait for the ashes to form at the bottom of whatever receptacle I've chosen. I mix this ash with paint - and make beauty out of it.

Sometimes I go the opposite way - sometimes I take all the shit I love about myself and write it down too. I'm a genius. I'm beautiful. I'm an art gallery. I'm talented. I'm happy. I have hundreds of friends. I am awesome. I am an angel. I can leave my body. I can see people's auras. I can fucking fly. I can turn into a plant by mimicking its breathing. I can hear the thoughts of trees. I can hear the pain of humans and act upon it. I can create miracles. These things I write down, these and more - and I also burn that paper. And I mix those ashes with the paint and make beauty out of the mixture.

Before I left Chicago for my trip to Puerto Rico, I had one prayer. I had a canvas that had been sitting on the easel for MONTHS waiting for the right moment. Waiting for me to have something to put on paper and burn. A prayer? A thought? An idea? I had a dream full of vivid reds, and yellows, and leafless trees. I asked for one thing and wrote that one thing down two days before my trip. My thought - my dream - my hope... was for some sort of inspiration. I wanted to be inspired to come home after my trip and fill every blank canvas in my studio with amazing.

I painted. Not my best work - not by a long shot - but good enough to hang, and definitely beautiful. But the true magic - the true artistry has nothing to do with the brush strokes - and everything to do with inspiration. I've found it. I can't wait to get home and paint.

Sep 2, 2009

You ever have one of those evenings that you expect nothing from but obtain the opposite? It's like some crazy mathematical theorem that shouldn't have an answer to it, but lo and behold there is one?

Tonight.. I had one of those. Sure, if I focus for more than 12 seconds I can actually read the minds of anyone in a 5 block radius... but I choose not to. I choose not to because the unknown is so much more interesting than the known. Sure reading someone's thoughts will give you amazing information - who they are, what they believe in, how you will interact with them.

But the truth of the matter is, when you go out expecting NOTHING and you get SOMETHING in return - it's amazing.

So thanks. You know who the fuck you are... I don't need to spell it out. Thanks to you nd whoever brought u to me spiritually.

Jun 14, 2009

Going to school online.

I recently became a college student - and my classroom is a message board. Anyone who knows me, especially online folk, will know that this is a natural progression for me. For several years I crawled through a ton of online message boards. I've used them for everything from musical fandom to group support for the immune disorder I have. It would follow that I would find myself taking class within digital walls.

I had no idea what to expect at the start. My first day of class made me remember why I dropped out of college the first time. Online or not, nothing had really changed.

My first day of normal 'in-person' college made me giggle. The professors introduced themselves, the other students introduced themselves as well. The professor would stand in the front of the room and ask a question and no one would participate. I felt like I was swimming in a school of fish alright, but they were all swimming in one direction, following a fishing lure - I was attentive to the professor and ignoring the reflective bauble. For weeks this didn't change. The only one to raise a hand, the only one to turn in an assignment - and occasionally correct my professor. I was taking a broadcasting class - being taught by a print media writer who'd never worked a day in broadcasting - all the while I was working at a television station. I hated school. I only enjoyed one class - which was math - but I didn't enjoy that enough to stick around.

I often forget that not everyone in the world has had the same experiences or opportunities I have, especially educationally. I went to a school for the gifted, followed by getting to high school 2 years early. While in high school, I was in an accelerated math program. By the time I reached senior year I was taking calculus. But again, not everyone has these same opportunities.

My first day of class online, I had to laugh at how similar the format was to a virtual place I'd spent so much of my time in. The flashbacks to Prince's NPG Music Club website were coming fast and furiously. Some of the same emoticons we'd used were available to post with too. Some of the writing by my fellow students left much to be desired. Believe it or not, I was being nice with that last statement. There was some pretty bad writing - but it was the first day and I probably shouldn't have judged the class based on my first impression. But, I work in TV and pretty much my whole day is spent jumping to conclusions - making jokes - and insulting the writing of others. There are people who write professionally - who have degrees from major universities - who write worse than the students I judged my first day of school online.

A week later, I love my classes. The class I judged the most is now my favorite class to be in. Regardless of grammar or spelling, the students participate! They answer one another and write to one another and speak to one another. It isn't like swimming opposite the school of fish anymore. I'm happy to get lost in the discussion with everyone else. I can go to class at 4AM if I want! I can discuss a topic while watching TV even. I really couldn't be happier about it.

I just wish I hadn't judged things before experiencing them.

Mar 26, 2009

Death and Letting Go.

When someone is suffering, and for a long period of time... there comes a time where as a family you discuss the possibility of death. You don't do this because you want to. There is the possibility of loss, even if no loss happens. There is a question though.

When people argue about fighting to keep someone here, it's always rather interesting. I always wonder - is it even right to deny an angel among the earth the ability to go back to heaven? If, let's say, your favorite uncle was going to go to Vegas. There was nothing in the way of this but whether you agreed or not. You'd be mortified to deny him the privilege to enjoy Vegas. Why, on Earth would you deny your Uncle the right to return to God?

No one sees it this way. It's always about the suffering or the one event you want them to hang on long enough to see. Or anything that only involves YOU.

Would you stand in front of the gates of Heaven and deny entry to the angels?

Let go.

Feb 17, 2009

Things I'd rather be.

I'd rather be too fat than too skinny. Usually when you see someone you haven't seen in a long time and they've gotten fat, the thought is usually, "Oh they let themselves go..." or something similar. When you see someone who is way too thin the thought is "Oh poor thing. I wonder if it's drugs or if they are anorexic". I'd rather absorb someone's disdain than pity.

I'd rather be smart than beautiful. A pretty face and killer body aren't necessarily something you can't be if you're smart, however , beauty can fade, intelligence is not dependent on time, elasticity, or finance.

I'd rather be employed doing something I love even if it isn't lucrative than be rolling in dough and miserable.

Feb 16, 2009

The Bible.

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" John 13:35

Someone posted this as a comment on one of my entries. I don't know who, but thanks.

To whomever you are, I say this. There are a lot of truths in the Bible. If everyone who read the Bible and held it as their highest truth actually lived that highest truth, things would be extremely different in our society. That goes for every religious text in the world. They all preach the same things. Most of them are based on the same pagan stories. People don't follow them.

I've read a lot of religious texts and not once have been able to finish one. Why? Because my beliefs are tied to a higher place in the Universe than the pages of any book can connect me to. However, all religious texts are beautifully written. There are gems to be found within them, much like that line - John 13:35.

I, however, am not a disciple. I live 'love for one another' every day, however I am not a follower of Jesus. I do not go to church, I do not accept him as my saviour, I do not have a fish on my car, nor a cross in my house. I do not follow Jesus. I live Jesus. Call it blasphemy if you'd like, but I am Jesus. I am a daughter of God, as you are a Son or Daughter of God too. I know I've died and been reborn countless times.

It should be understood that there is nothing separating you from Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Horus, Mohammad, Mother Theresa...and all of the other Avatars that have come preaching truth or spreading a message. John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Ghandi - they knew this. They too tried to pass that information on - yet it still falls on deaf ears!

Go BE Jesus or any of the aforementioned avatars. And when you do something less than Jesuslike, remember all of these avatars made mistakes too, they all did things that they were less than proud of. Those are the things that haven't been written about. But those mistakes, they are the stuff that betters us.

Jan 21, 2009

33 years.

I realize in the eyes of many I'm still quite young. I have wisdom beyond my years, yet have much to learn. I know this. But there are nuggets of wisdom that I have gained and share with others constantly. Many of my other FB notes are proof of this.

My 32nd year was full of things that I learned and decisions I made that, while difficult, were the right ones. I'm rebooting my life. I'm starting fresh and new. I also gave someone the greatest gift in giving them the same opportunity. I gave a box of fresh and new to someone I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I'm glad he now understands as well how right that choice was and how great that gift was. I hope that within the six sides of that box he finds nothing but happiness.

There are many things I'd like to do with my newfound life now. I'd like to get healthy, and lose weight, and take care of myself. I'd like to find my Milk and Honey - but mostly I'd like to continue to get to know myself. Relationships with others are nothing without a relationship with the self.

I know who I am and what I have to offer the world, and regardless if the world wants it - I give it - freely. Someone recently told me that I'm super nice and they were about to say something and stopped themselves, and while I don't know what they were going to say for sure, I felt the thought. There was an "I don't understand" attached. Just in the way the word nice dripped out of their mouth and all over the floor. I took it to mean they didn't understand why I wasn't with someone.

I'm fairly certain I know why. I'm not ready for that. People are too quick to judge you, for your looks, or your body type, or your job, or how you live, the company you keep... the list goes on and on. But I wonder, am I judging myself this way? Am I the one who thinks I'm too fat, or too tattooed, or too loud, or silly, or independent, or unpretty, or uninteresting. Am I the one constantly judging myself and assuming that others are judging me with the same set of standards as my own. Am I setting myself up for the ultimate of life's failures?

Truth is, I love myself. I love my body, and my tattoos, and my face, and hair, and scars, and even my maladies. They make me - me. They are my 33 years of life and I wear them. Would I like to lose weight, GOD yes. Should I for my health? Absolutely. But I'm happy exactly how I am.

I wake up every morning smiling. I laugh every day and make other people laugh. I have more friends than I know what to do with. I make sure I do something for someone else without regard for anything in return multiple times a day. So right along with my inordinately large ass, and my scars, and flaws - I wear the 33 years of being Lisa. And I am not only loved by others but by myself.

Jan 20, 2009

The ocean and sky reflecting the blue of one another
and burning on the horizon an orange crown circling the sun
flecks of gold within

Tsunami-like waves of emotion
Hurricanes of love

A spray of salt on sand
Eradicating the footprints of us as we pass
Holding hands without touching.

Jan 19, 2009

Milk and Honey by Toby Lightman

Totally rocking out to this right now...

He had big brown eyes - beautiful lies and a smile to keep me warm for days,
But he always made me chase him around in his maze
I had to get up, get out, get off this ride - I had to get away
I always knew deep down he wasn't right for me... for me

I want to find a beautiful mind
So perfectly packaged for me
Tailor made, like a little girl's dream

Ooh oh yeah, I want Milk and Honey
Ooh oh yeah, I want love and money
I only want cake if I can eat it too
Then wash it all down with a man that's true
Ooh oh yeah, Milk and Honey...

Flashback to another man stuck in the palm of my hand
I tried to spice him but he always came out bland, so bland
if he had stood up, stood out, took a chance on life
Enough to make me care, then maybe we'd still be makin' out somewhere, somewhere...

I want to find a beautiful mind
So perfectly packaged for me
Tailor made, like a little girl's dream

Ooh oh yeah, I want Milk and Honey
Ooh oh yeah, I want love and money
I only want cake if I can eat it too
Then wash it all down with a man that's true
Ooh oh yeah, Milk and Honey...

I'm not gonna sit here and wait
No time to waste
Cuz I'm gonna get my milk and honey
Oh no time to waste... oooh

Ooh oh yeah, I want Milk and Honey
Ooh oh yeah, I want love and money
I only want cake if I can eat it too
Then wash it all down with a man that's true
Ooh oh yeah, Milk and Honey...

Jan 18, 2009

Emmett McBain III

So, it has been quite some time since I wrote a note with meaning. Basically, instead of writing notes, I've been working, throwing parties (dinner or otherwise), painting, decorating, unpacking, knitting, and injuring myself. I realize now that the reason I haven't written anything is because I had nothing to say. You can't force words to come out of you when they aren't there. Can you?

Well, apparently you can. I'm not forcing them now - but I watched someone force them recently. They weren't expelled out of their brains to paper or a computer screen - but right out of their mouths. They were on the train and trying to sell their art.

The words came out in a monotone, as though they'd been said a billion times, regardless of how forced they were. They were meant as tears perhaps, little drips of sadness rained onto the commuters. The words became grenades midair and missed all of their targets except me. For weeks I've carried the shrapnel.

The man looked like a soldier, a veteran of a war on his life that no boot camp could have prepared him for. He looked as though he had seen unimaginable horrors. Mostly though, he looked beat down.

He stood in one of the entrances to the train car and braced himself with his stance. He almost looked like a gunslinger ready to draw his weapon. He bent over and out of a backpack pulled a folder. Then with his monotone he wept his words. The commuters shielded themselves with the kevlar of indifference. I stood listening, without armor.

He spoke and held out a card that he'd made. The card was filled with poetry that he'd written and he was selling each card for five dollars. When it was clear that no one was going to purchase the card, he sighed and offered a book - home published - for seven dollars. Then he simply offered a single poem for one dollar. No one even blinked.

I would have bought the cards, and the book. It took great courage for this man to stand up on this train and launch his heart at people. I could sense from him that this is not exactly how he'd planned his life. No one grows up thinking that their greatest self is selling their words on a train. He didn't want to just beg for money - so he wrote - and he had something to say. I watched him, and the funny thing was, he wasn't selling his words to me. I was not his target audience apparently because he walked right by me even though I was clutching a dollar in my hand and had tapped him on the shoulder.

This man was trying to break through the kevlar. He was trying to make the indifference disappear. It didn't. He realized that he'd been defeated by what he'd clearly decided was the enemy and returned to get the money that a fellow soldier - another poet - was offering. He thanked me and handed me a sheet of paper. A poem which, with permission I will now share.

* * * * * * * * *

I feel no pain

I feel no pain
I feel no pain
It's not really raining
It's pouring

My love life is boring
Me to tears
And I don't know
What to do about it

It sounds like a song
It's from a song
I don't know how the rest
Of it goes

But then again
I don't really care

I feel no pain
I feel no pain
It's not really raining
It's pouring

I am standing in the rain
I can not feel it
It is too light

A turret of rain water
Passes under and around
My feet
My feet are not wet
Good shoes

I feel no pain
I feel no pain
My pain mechanism
Is burnt out

I feel no pain
I feel no rain
It's not really raining
It's pouring

-Emmett R. McBain III


Jan 12, 2009

Invisible People...

On Sept 3rd 2008, I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't go back to sleep. There were so many things floating in and out of my psyche that I just couldn't manage to go back to bed.

I had set my alarm for 6a so that I could go to the Oprah Show in Millennium Park - and get there by 7:30a. I was meeting my friends on the steps of the Cultural Center on Randolph. I got up way before the alarm though, and sat in bed trying to empty my mind. Trying to just FEEL. By 5:45a I figured there was no way I was going to go back to bed so I thought I'd take a bath.

I filled up the tub and went through the whole bathing ordeal, including the requisite soak. I washed my hair, and conditioned / detangled. I got dressed - you know - a morning ritual. At 6:20 I left for the train and it arrived almost as soon as I got to the stop. I knew I was running ahead of schedule but with these types of situations the earlier you get somewhere, the better.

As I waited for the train I noticed people basically walking though this one man. He was carrying a humongous backpack. It was the kind that mountain climbers use. He was cute too. He looked a little tipsy and smelled of beer. He noticed my tattoos and came up to me and said - what he must have been asking the people walking through him - how to get to the Fullerton stop.

"Do you know which train I take to get the the Fullerton stop? No one seems to want to help me and...."

"YES" I said, "just hop on the same train with me."

That's when the train came and he jumped on with me. We spoke while riding and I found out that his name is Jason. He is a War veteran from the Iraq war. He wanted to get to Diversey and not Fullerton because he was actually on his way to The Iraq War Veteran's Office.

The man served our country and people walked through him. The man witnessed horrors I can't even conceive of, and was clearly self-medicating with alcohol, but is that any reason to ignore his small request for DIRECTION? He didn't want money or pity or even thanks, just directions.

On my way to meet my friends on the steps of the Cultural Center, I met a man named Tim Harrison. This was immediately after I left Jason with clear instructions as to how to get where he was going. As I crossed Wabash on Randolph, I noticed him standing at the bottom of the stairs leading out of the train platform. People were walking through him.

I watched fifteen people as I crossed the street completely ignore this man. Again they walked around him, bumped into him, completely avoided listening. It broke my heart. I walked up to him and said, "Everything alright?"

He looked at me and said, "You're the first person to listen to me," Fighting back tears he said, "I just want to know how to get to a church to get some food."

Now, I don't know which churches give out food or really which direction to walk in to get to a church. I knew where there were a couple of churches and told him how to get to those - but I knew I could probably help him without sending him to a church. He was so elated that I was actually LISTENING to him that he kept weeping and hugging me. I had done something so small and in that one gesture - LISTENING - had made him VISIBLE again.

"I can't ask you for money, but if you can help me get to somewhere..."

I told him that I'd take him to 7-11 or something to get him something to eat. He wasn't a con-artist nor was he panhandling. He was hungry. He was tired. He was completely brokenhearted. I am not the person who thinks that it's 'not my problem'. I am the person who truly believes that we are all but cells in the bigger organism of humanity.

We walked to the 7-11 and it looked like all they had there were slurpees, and cigarettes. There was a Walgreen's up the street. 67 dollars gave this man and his 3 kids what they needed to feel human again. Cereal, milk, Canned Pasta, Diapers, Baby Wipes, Soap, Toilet Paper, and Clothing Detergent. He only asked for the cereal - milk and soap, but I told him to get everything he needed and fear not asking for it.

Before I had finished paying, he'd popped open a can of Chef Boyardee. He ate it in the line of the Walgreen's straight out of the can. He was too hungry to wait to even get outside. I didn't want to break down in front of him. I smiled the whole time. It was killing me to do so but I did. He needed the happiness. I gave him a farecard I had that had enough for one ride on it. I put him on a bus home. Home: a temporary shelter...

As soon as I reached the steps of the Cultural Center I sat down. I was completely drained emotionally. I was kinda feeling good about myself but feeling icky about the situation. It hurt me to think of the invisible people. And then it got worse.

The same people who had walked through both of these men and were still walking through others, continued to amaze me. As I sat thinking about things, there was a car accident. There weren't any injuries to people, only to the vehicles. The people all stopped to look. Cab drivers got out of their cabs and huddled around the scene. Business people who were clearly running off to the office stopped running and joined the cabbies. Some people actually came out of their offices to witness the spectacle. Not because they could help in case of injury, but just to see the wreckage.

I cried. I cried for the invisible people. I cried for the situation. I cried for the hearts of anyone who has ever made another person feel invisible. I cried for the war veteran who deserved so much more than the treatment he got. I cried for the rubbernecks. I cried for humanity - for the cells that forgot their place in the whole and have been forming cancer in the body of the all.

When I stopped crying - I sent love out. To every corner of the Universe. I sent the love that I had shared with two men that morning. I sent the love that had been given to me by a man named Tim Harrison, his tears and his embrace. I sent it out in hopes of healing the cancer of the current human condition. I sent it out because it was too big for me to hold. My heart was heavy as it had been filled a million times over that morning. It was needed by many, clearly.

I sent it to YOU too. So pause and breathe - feel the vibration of the earth and dance in her music. Perhaps this pause will help you see someone who has been made invisible - and you can help make them whole again. All you'll have to do is acknowledge them.

Jan 7, 2009

Bravery - reposted from Facebook

My mother told me that I was brave for posting the stuff I've posted here on Facebook. I wholly disagree with that. Personally, I think the bravest thing is that I post without thinking about grammar or punctuation. I feel my words and write them. Sharing your feelings isn't the stuff of bravery - it is the stuff of necessity. The world needs us to all share our emotions - bottling them up has caused cataclysmic eruptions.

Until now. This note will take all of my courage. Reading this note might take some of yours. Together let us hold hands and move forward. Here goes, no turning back now.

When I was in my junior year of high school, I fell in love with a boy. The emotion at the time was so strong and pure that I didn't know what to do with it. I broke his heart, and my own within a very short span of time. I then proceeded to adopt a lot of self-destructive behavior. I went the opposite of love.

I started hanging with the wrong crowd. I started cutting classes - not to live happily in the theater - but to go self-destruct all over the city with my new found "friends".

One night my friend called me and said she'd had it with her mom and just wanted to sneak out. So, I went with her. I got in this big blue Blazer with 4 guys and my friend and we did what we did every weekend. We cruised up and down Fullerton. Someone lit a joint, and said that they were stopping at the liquor store on Central Park and Fullerton. "WE NEED BEER." I went along for the ride.

I stayed in the car and my friend went inside the liquor store with one of the guys. They came out with the liquor and they drank beer but my friend and I drank some hideously evil crap called "Mad Dog 20/20". Red Banana Mad Dog 20/20. If hell sprung a leak, this shit would flow.

Time passed, and I passed out. When I came to, one of the guys was over me - high fiving one of the other guys. I didn't understand. I didn't understand until I saw one guy get off of me and zip up and another one climb on. And that's when I left my body, for the first time.

I floated high above myself, and watched a massive amount of horror take place. I didn't feel it, I just watched. I didn't feel angry or like a victim, though I clearly was. I was floating there and understanding that this was happening to me for a reason. This was the TIME of TIMES. This was the great crossroads in my life where I am to understand who I really am. And I went higher. I saw pain everywhere, and love everywhere. I saw the world like a speck covered in light and dark.

I didn't blame anyone. I didn't blame myself for being drunk and a fool. I didn't blame them for being violent and evil. I didn't blame my friend for leaving me alone with them. I didn't blame God for it. There was no blame. There was only the world, and the Universe.

I saw myself as an angel. I was an angel - armorless with a quiver full of arrows of love. There was evil around my physical body and here I was floating high above it with my quiver and bow. I felt for the men that were having a jolly fun time beating and abusing me and conceiving a child inside me. I felt an immense sadness for how could one love themselves so little as to inflict any kind of torture on another human being?

I went back into my body and to a Port-a-John that was nearby. I was covered in urine and blood and fluids. I walked to Fullerton, finding my friend who'd left me and she and I walked together. A car pulled over that saw us. Two men were in that car and they let us in and took us to the closest place where we could find a phone. I smelled of urine and vomit and they didn't care. I was their chance to live the greatest good that night. They were my miracle and I was their ability to be one.

I still don't know who they were, and I hope they are some where continuing to spread love and light. I hope they know the greatest truth about themselves. They too were armorless angels, and they lanced me with their arrow of love.

I thank them.
And thank you, for sharing this with me and letting me be brave - now the emails I've received mirroring the words my mother spoke will ring true.

This note is dedicated to 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men.
And to every angel who stands armorless with a quiver full of love.

Jan 6, 2009

Bored Beyond Belief

I'm sitting here and can actually count the dust particles in the air. They look like huge snowflakes falling from the lighting grid in the studio. I almost feel like I'm under the influence of some nefarious substance - but I'm not. I'm sober as can be waiting to walk into the control room to direct my show.

It's gotten to be so horrifyingly boring here. Day after day doing the exact same thing. I sit at my desk and watch television for several hours while answering emails, and typing in the computer codes that will make cameras move and video clips roll. Don't get me wrong, I completely ADORE my job, it's just that well... My day is like a tuba concierto. It's fairly monotone and only occasionally is there a high note anymore. Weekdays here at work are like - sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, and I'm all out of magazines.

I can barely focus anymore. It took me 12 minutes to code the newscast and the rest of the time I've been distracted by anything that moves. I am currently contemplating making a panda out of origami for one of the producers here. 45 minutes til my show goes on the air. Ugh.

Jan 5, 2009

For Kate


Sports Sunday Sadness.

There is nothing sadder than walking into the studio and realizing that the people you've grown to adore are gone. Going in to work and noting that your favorite stage manager's sunshine won't be making your night brighter, sucks. The guys who have become like brothers, your dysfunctional family, aren't there to mess with. This would not be a week of fruitcake fights.

It was quiet. Too quiet. It was eerily silent, as though a storm were brewing. My favorite Technical Director and Audio Engineer were there to keep me "sane" (whatever that is) but the life had been sucked out of the room.

I missed the crew.

I missed Florida for two reasons, 1) she truly is sunshine and whoever named her after the Sunshine State was a genius. 2) There was no one to abuse. :)

I missed the guys, Ron, Donte, and Jeff for multiple reasons... there was no one to ignore me during a camera meeting. There was no mention of guites on the PL or juice boxes. I didn't get to hear their laughter from the other side of the room while I was locked into my desk to code the show.

Mostly though, I just missed them.

Here's to them and to the Little Guy, whereever he may be.