Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - Consumer

The day after Thanksgiving I planned to deliberately observe Buy Nothing Day (thanks to another fine blogger for the reminder). Unfortunately, I was in a strange town when I got my period. I had to get supplies. We drove around and around looking for a small drugstore. I would have burned a tank of gas if necessary to avoid the local mall. But alas, the smallest store I could find was a Fred Meyer. I've never seen this before, but it is not unlike a Wallmart or a Meijer's. The store was decked out in full Christmas gear. Huge signs promising great deals obstructed many isles. Free coffee and donuts was being served and lines built up around the registers. I picked up my few essentials and stood in line for what seemed like an hour.

A very friendly, chatty woman looked at my sparse basket and exclaimed, "Good God girl! How did you get through here with just that tiny, little basket?"

"I'm observing Buy Nothing Day, but I got my period. So, you know, I had to buy something." I replied.

Her bright smile turned into a look of deep concern. "Oh, I see." Concern that I got my period while on vacation? Or concern that I was really crazy and wasn't planning to do any Christmas shopping?

Home Again

Whew. Back home safe. Flying into Chicago tonight, the winds made it a very scary landing. As I was trying to conceal my fear, Chloe was bouncing with enthusiasm - so excited to get home to see Lucy, Edwin and her forgotten stuffed bunny. Now I can't rest because I'm still on Pacific Coast time.

This is my favorite shot from the trip. I'd passed through this intersection several times without notice. And then the clouds parted to lend beauty to what was otherwise mundane.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - Identity

Of the graphic designers I know, it seems that having cool frames is a job requirement. I wanted to be one. Not for the look, but for the work. I was hoping to get into something creative that paid. I took a few courses at the New School but never pursued it seriously. I continued to be consumed by my cubicle job and put off my aspirations.

Today I picked up my new frames. Can I pass?
The painting in the background is by friend and artist, Bill Dawkins.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Harry Potter and the Magic Quilt

(This is the rug I made to go with the magic quilt.)

Against all reason, I took my five-year-old daughter to see the new Harry Potter movie this last weekend. It was George's idea. But I can't blame him entirely. We were in Indiana and didn't have a babysitter. I wanted to see it, too, and the house was cold. It was no surprise to me that the theater was filled with senseless, desperate adults (like us) towing their young’uns along, including infants, to what they knew would be a terrifying movie. We would never get away with that at the Esquire on Oak Street. Nor would the Esquire ever show a Harry Potter movie.

She was terrified and watched the movie with her head buried in my armpit – similar to how I viewed “The Blair Witch Project” several years earlier. Shame, shame, shame on me because I knew it would be scary. But she insisted on staying.

Later that night, in bed, tucked under her quilt, I retold the story of how baby Harry was saved from Voldemort by his mother’s love. It went something like, “Lord Voldemort was a bad wizard who wanted to kill Harry’s mom and dad. But when he zapped Harry’s mom..”

“What happens when they’re zapped?” She asked.

“Ah… Hmm… Well?” I stammered.

“I know. Do they turn into those blue light things?”

“Yes, that’s right (safe!). They turn into blue spirits.

So when Voldemort was about to zap Harry’s mother, she made the most powerful spell… that if anyone tried to zap Harry, he’d get zapped himself. That’s why Harry lived and Voldemort died, sort’of, because his mother protected him with a special love spell.”

Her mind was spinning with magic, spells and mothers. Before she fell asleep, I told her that when I made her quilt, I stitched some of my own momma-love-magic into all of those little hearts. Whenever she had a bad dream, she could touch her quilt and know she was protected by my spell. She examined the quilt, touched the thread.


Really, really.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Rocket Science

It was one of those days when all the elements came together.

Three friends, a field, and a rocketship.

Blast off.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


For the Three...Beeeoooootch.
Originally uploaded by tread.
I've been wondering if it is more pretentious to say something, or to be cool and discreet as though it were nothing.

George played hoops against Michael Jordan last night.

Me? I took Chloe to ballet, cooked dinner, and tried to organize my studio.

Before I indulge in self-pity at my simple existence, there is nothing so cool as when my five-year-old begs and begs and begs for me to play Lego's. I finally relent and bend my creaky knees to get on the floor with her. She flashes her beautiful smile and says, "Mom, I really like playing with you."

Later, my heroic-basketball-playing man came to bed. I wrapped myself in his long limbs for warmth and mused, "do you think Michael Jordan wakes up with creaky joints?" Then drifted off to sleep.

I am so in love. With both of them.

Postscript: The photo is not my own. Click through the image or one of the links to see more of Tread's excellent work.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Corner in Pilsen: Gulliver in Wonderland by Hector Duarte

During the last few weeks, I've been tearing the guts out of my closets as I've moved rooms about in my loft. While I've been considering paint colors and organization containers, this is what my friend's husband did to her home:

This is a far cry from the Victorian "painted ladies" found in Oak Park.

But seriously, I find this to be a fascinating mural. Strange at first sight, it has left me pondering his meanings and motives for days. Like a rare, good movie, I can't get it out of my head.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


My friend, Krista, emailed this recently. This is one of my favorite photos. I'm the Amazon in the middle holding the cute, young pup. Krista's the one with the fabulous retro bathing suit. To get to Long Beach, we caught a subway to the LIRR and took that to the last stop. Had brunch at a diner and crossed the street to the beach. In New York, you can commute to anywhere. That was a beautiful day.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Just Another Happy Kid on a Swing

Just when I thought I would never, ever leave my house and feel sunshine on my face again (because Chloe was still at home today hacking up phlegm), our fabulous babysitter offered to take her home with her. Overnight.


My house is clean and...

Today I had lunch with a friend.

Tonight I'm going on a date with my husband.

Tomorrow I'm going to a Museum with friends, and on our way to lunch will finally see Hector Duarte's mural painted on the side of his house.

I am giddy as a happy kid on a swing.

(The sweetest thing is that Chloe is just as giddy to have a "sleepover" at Ewa's house.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I tried many ways, yesterday, to take a self portrait without a tripod. One of which was to carefully balance my camera on a cupboard shelf. My daughter is now five and a half years old. Think I can get rid of this stuff, yet? I guess I've been hopeful. But the food (and my uterus) has passed its expiration date.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

My coat is what I wear to cover my dowdy stay-at-home-mom appearance.

I once wore it to a Halloween party at a friend's new suburbian house. One of her new neighbors asked me what I dressed as. Hmmm, myself. She was embarrassed at her mistake and swiftly switched to other friendly small-talk topics. Perhaps she saw through me. It is my "City-Self" costume.


I know that I've spent too much time indoors with a sick daughter when I begin to look forward to watching certain cartoons.

I like "Charlie and Lola" and "Connie the Cow." They both have rich artwork and chipper English accents and the characters are sweet in a tolerant sort of way.

How long can this cold last?

Besides cartoons, we have also rearranged and sorted the Dominoes in every logical pattern.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


After playing basketball Saturday morning, George came home with lunch for me and Chloe. Very thoughtful. However, I immediately noticed that he wasn’t eating with us so I asked if he’d already had lunch.

“Yes – at the gym.”

“I thought you were going to come straight home. Right away.”

“I did come home right away.”

“Who did you eat with?” No reply. “You ate alone?” Still no reply.

“George?” I entered the office where he was playing Age of Mythology, “Why don’t you answer me?”

“Because you are asking crazy questions. “

“I am not.” He continued playing his game. “George?” I shouted.

He turned and carefully asked, “Did you eat your lunch, yet?”

“What?!?" I yelled. I couldn't find the words to express my indignation. “This does not have to do with my lunch!!!” I marched into my bedroom and sobbed. After a few moments, I came out, ate my lunch and made out with my husband. So much better.