Monday, March 31, 2008

In Loving Memory of Julie West.

Ten years ago today, my best friend from high school was killed by a driver, six times the legal limit drunk, in Clearwater, Florida.

She would have been an amazing woman today.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Today was definitely an OCD day. After four separate trips to the store, and the purchase (FINALLY) of a new vacuum cleaner, at least half of my place is clean.

The clothing issue... overwhelms my bed. I truly didn't realize how much clothing I possess until today. And honestly, how did I accumulate so much clothing? Five years ago, I got rid of 99% of my possessions and moved abroad with a suitcase and duffel bag. That was ALL I owned. I know I didn't acquire much while living in Wooster because, well, there just is NOT a decent clothing store (other than the thrift store) within a 20 mile radius of Wooster. The first year after moving back to Cincinnati I was dirt poor, so it didn't happen then. So, in conclusion, this must have started when I began working at my current job, which is located only 1 mile away from the world's greatest thrift store to which I have ever been. And I've been to a LOT of thrift stores.

Now, I must go through it all and figure out what I will keep; because unless I somehow decide to purchase the fancy closet organizing thing I just saw at Ikea, there's no chance in hell I'm going to fit everything in my dresser and closet.

The shoes, on the other hand... will NOT go. No matter what my therapist says about my "impulsive" behavior, the shoe shopping will be the one thing I hold on to in my process of deconstructing and then reconstructing myself.

The love of shoes will survive.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Perhaps it has always been noticable to other people, especially given how often I mention the weather on this blog, but my self-realization this week has led to (at least) one solid conclusion: I am rather seriously affected by the weather. In fact, this week, I have noticed that my mood changes exactly when the weather changes, and in a very similar manner (aka, bright and sunny, great mood, bleak and overcast, "sad" or "down" mood).

Unfortunately, most of the week has been bleak and overcast.

And very little writing has been done.

Though, a lot of drawing. Which has led to the overall feeling of being content.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Very enjoyable evening in the art studio. Even had time to do some portrait work.

The weather is attempting to get better. Not quite as warm as the weather man predicts, but that's typical. (Wish I could have a job where I'm paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be inaccurate most of the time.)

Still don't think it's fair that Sweden has warmer winters than southern Ohio.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Sunday

Sister Stephanie

Step-mom Chris and newphew Taylor

Nephew Peyton

Jon and Marlene

And can't forget the puppy, Sammy, and cat, Buddy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

An American treat tonight. Pizza and the Wizard of Oz.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The long interruption from writing this novel has ceased!

I received some inspiration from a dear friend far, far away, on Tuesday.

"Just fucking write the damn book," he says to me.

(These words have been our form of motivating each other for many years. We try to avoid the bullshit. What else is there to say, other than lots of gooey crap, right?)

So, it was raining that afternoon and thus the long commute home is much longer, as the Cincinnati area has some of the WORST drivers I have ever seen in this country and when any form of inclement weather arrives, it is a complete nightmare to drive the highways. Needless to say, I had plenty of time to think. I think about the conversation my friend and I had just a few hours previous and all the thoughts that naturally come as a result. I think about Wooster and the bizarre way in which I arrived in that small Northeastern Ohio town that I had only been in twice prior to my arrival, even though my father lived there for years. I think about how I kinda feel like running away to some small island in the south of somewhere, but then remember how running away to another country was how I ended up in Wooster in the first place. (I did run away to Germany, not the best idea I realize in hindsight. Had I gone to the Greek isles, you would probably not be reading this blog. I would have met some beautiful dark Greek man and sat on a beach all day... damn it...)

Anyway, I'm thinking all of these things and I still have not made it to the bridge yet. Which means I still had a good 30-40 minutes more before I reach home.

Well, somehow I start feeling "poetic" which only comes about three times a year, and luckily I manage to write enough poetry during those times to last a year's worth of editing. And in my thoughts of this poem, BAM!, I suddenly realize how I really want this book to proceed. I can pretty much scrap everything that has been written up to this point and start all over.

And thus, the writing has begun again. Though I will have to pause briefly for tonight's episode of Lost...

(Thank you Andrew!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Make that 37 hours.

Starting to wonder if I should be building an arc...
Going on 32 straight hours of rain...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Swedish Candy Madness

So I've learned today at Swedes get their "high" off of sweets and candy. If you think I'm a sugar-fiend, you should hear about their markets that have near 200 (this number could be slightly exaggerated, but you get the point) bins, lining the isle, filled with the strangest candies.

Like green gummy witches fingers. When wouldn't that be enticing?
The downpour of rain that started at 5 am this morning has yet to cease, making our first warm day of Spring pretty much unenjoyable.

This is where I would rather be... and someday soon hopefully.

For now, I will just have to settle with looking at the print hanging on the wall.

Monday, March 17, 2008

IKEA Madness

How INSANE is this: For two days prior to the first IKEA store opening in the Cincinnati area, people literally slept outside the store waiting for the grand opening. For TWO DAYS.

IKEA's cool and all, don't get me wrong, but I would be interested to find out what the Swedes think of this...

(hint to Andrew and Lena for responses)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The brackets have been decided and now the true March Madness begins! Whoo-hoo!

I know... I'm a nerd for college sports. Football and basketball. I think the last time my Miami University made it to the Sweet Sixteen was my sophmore year and they played UK, which broke my heart because I have a love of UK basketball. I was wearing a UK tanktop under my Miami tee-shirt and when UK won that game, I felt the need to take the tee shirt off. Though, it was bitterly cold outside, so that didn't last very long. Not to mention, I was getting some rather nasty glances from other people at the bar.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I do have a fondness of formal poetry, especially when so well done.

As printed in the January 2008 edition of "Poetry":

by Stephen Edgar

It's midnight now and sounds like midnight then,
The words like distant starts that fainly grace
The all-pervading dark of space,
But not meant for the world of men.
It's not what we forget
But what was never known we most regret
Discovery of. Checking one last cassette
Among my old unlabelled discards, few
Of which reward the playing, I find you.

Some years after her death, but years ago,
Hearing Gwen's voice recite "Suburban Sonnet,"
At first we could not focus on it,
So jolted that the radio
Should casually exhume
From our shared memory the woman whom
We knew and make her present in the room,
As though in flesh, surprised to find that she
Had earned this further immortality.

Who ever thought they would not hear the dead?
Who ever thought that they could quarantine
Those who are not, who once had been?
At that old station on North Head
Inmates still tread the boards,
Or something does; equipment there records
The voices in the dormitories and wards,
Although it's years abandoned. Undeleted,
What happened is embedded and repeated,

Or so they say. And that would not faze you
Who always claimed events could not escape
Their scenes, recorded as on tape
In matter and played back anew
To anyone attuned
To that stored energy, that psychic wound.
You said you heard the presence which oppugned
Your trespass on its lasting sole occasion
In your lost house. I scarely need persuasion,

So simple is this case. Here in the dark
I listen, tensing in distress, to each
Uncertain fragment of your speech,
Each desolate, half-drunk remark
You uttered unaware
That this cassette was running and would share
Far in the useless future your despair
With one who can do nothing but avow
You spoke from midnight, and it's midnight now.
Yesterday was 70, warm and breezy, sunny all day.

Today, rainy and grey ALL day. Only now is the sunny starting to shine. Right before it sets.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Baily, one of my favorite puppies in the world (though he's not really a puppy anymore).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The temperatures have risen and nearly all of the 18-20 inches of snow have melted. Which means I can wear sandles again, and that makes everything all better.

No offense to the men of the world, but drawing the male figure is just simply not as enjoyable as drawing the female, for obvious reasons. So, while I enjoyed being in the open studio, I don't have nearly as much to show for it this evening.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

And now a lot of the snow has melted thanks to the temperture rising. Spring is now in the near horizon, temperatures in the 50s this week.

So, the weekend was mainly spent in doors, due to the fact that I didn't feel much like digging my car out of the parking lot, nor did the driveway actually get plowed until this morning. So I made yummy food and drank some wine and finished reading some books, worked on my stationary business, which should be launching within the next month. I was definitely able to keep myself busy. It will be a busy week, but I am committed to writing at least a page or two on the novel. A much warmer weekend ahead, I will head up to Wooster again since I didn't go this weekend (I hear they got even more snow than we did down in Cinci). The weekend up in Wooster will absolutely be dedicated to writing, assuming no major family issues arise (which is actually a difficult assumption to make these days, but still...).

With the warmer weather ahead, I do anticipate better days and better moods. And perhaps some poetry as well. Now if only football was played year round...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A mild winter storm turned into a blizzard and dumped a total of 18 inches of snow, much higher in some areas thanks to the drift. It's nice to see the many families and children in my back yard sledding down the large hill that leads into the forest-area behind me. The nice part of snow and winter.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In like a lion, out like a lamb.

A lovely snow storm hits the midwest indeed. One last punch before Spring arrives.

Just so you know, my blog is feeling a bit lonely. No one ever leaves me any comments. Please, feel free to do so. The comments aspect is there for a reason. ;)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Over the last month or so, this blog has become far less and less about writing my novel. Of course, it is quite difficult to discuss the writing of a novel when you're not actually working on writing the novel.

I share with you that life has been a bit of a black hole over the last month or so, for many reasons. Mostly due to love and family affairs. First love, and just as I was starting to move forward with my life, the family issues arose, which were more painful than the loss of one love and the non-existance of another combined. To the dismay of many, I have basically refused to speak of any of these "things," and I will continue to hold that ground for a while longer. Or until I have figured out where to go from here. Needless to say, it's been a very trying time. But I have the love of many friends and thanks to many of them, both near and very far away, I'm starting to regain some perspective on life again. I think so, anyway.

So, while writing has been difficult for me as of late, drawing has not. The feeling of peace that I have felt during my drawing sessions has been awesome. My mind is so completely clear, nothing and no one could possible creep into my mind. This has been major therapry for me. But I have began to journal again and often and perhaps someday very soon I'll open up the hardback notebook that contains already so many pages of a story that must be told, in what ever version I decide at that moment, I will pick up my pen and begin again.

Many thanks to Andrew, Eva, Allison, and Matt for picking me up when it's been so difficult to find my own feet.
In case it's never been said, a new Gucci purse can brighten up any sad day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yesterday's weather was soooooo beautiful, warm and 65. And then today, BLEAK, DRAP, BLAH, and raining all day long. And back to cold. Snow tonight. :(

But, it was a wonderful night in the studio. Four new drawings completed. NOTHING better than a whole evening doing the art which I love. New work in the art studio.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Please check out Andrew's slide show "The Children of the Mangroves." Absolutely beautiful. This is some of the best photography I've seen from Andrew. I'm so fortunate to have two of the prints from this particular trip to Central America hanging on my wall.
It was a lovely weekend in Wooster, though much colder than Cincinnati. I awoke this morning to 20 degrees and the wind raging and arrived home to 65 degrees, breezy and blissful. For the first time in a long time, I was glad to be back in Cincinnati.

Another wonderful person in Wooster is moving far away. :( Chris is off to New Mexico in a few weeks.

Yes, by this point I may have had one drink too many...

Oh, and finally got around to putting a few new pieces in the art studio. I need to finish up a couple others, some final revisions, which I hope to accomplish this week.