Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Night Secret

Well Hi boys and girls. Welcome back.
Shut th'door, you're gonna let in the flies.

It's been an eventful and adventurous week.
Wow. How I've missed you.

Man. Lets bake some brownies.
Most relevant discovery of this week is that when I get sick I turn into at least 4 of the 7 Contemporary Dwarves:
Pissy, Crabby, Cranky and Weepy.
Yea. My four least favorite dwarves.
I guess that's a good thing to know.
And, now I have that.
OH yea! and, I have absolute proof that, indeed, the best laid plans of mice and men (blah blah blah). Insert unreasonably long diatribe here for yourself. I'm exercising discipline and practicing the "Just Shut Up" approach. But, c'mon. Seriously?
And, the last thought for the night is this: how could it possibly be that expectations are just premeditated resentments? I've heard that often, and am just curious about how this works?
I mean, I think living with no expectations somehow devalues your personal investment in your own well-being.
Just a thought. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Other than that, lots of action, adventure, no police activity no injuries.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I have a vision.
One day soon I see me on a train headed south then east then really far north then maybe back south again. And, possibly west and then south.
As luck would have it, I've (yet freakin again) acquired more
stuff than I can or would want to carry with me.
And, I could use a bone or two so I'm posting everything on Craigslist and selling what I can (Freecycling the rest).
My capacity for finding cool stuff is legendary and this would be a great time to reap the benefits of my amazing cool-osity radar.
The pictures here don't represent everything (by a long shot) so email
me if you want to see anything/everything else. My favorite thing in the world would go like this: You know some young person that's getting their first apartment. You know you're gonna go spread some benjamins around Target. You want a random collection of eclectic crap to make it feel more homey.
u offer me one BILLION dollars for the lot.
So maybe the one billion part was too aggressive.
But, you get where I'm going with this.
Get your cool on now while the economy has driven down the prices! And, as usual: Thanks!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What in The World's Been Going On.

Notes from the road. Saturday night April 18th, 2009 7pm-ish Amtrak Train from Galesburg to Union Staion: $15 One really cold Heineken: $6.00 Lost seeing eye glasses but found money: Priceless
I took a gamble with a slightly
risky traveling adventure this weekend. I don’t have clearance to fully divulge the many layers of risk involved, but I am happy to report that this micro-adventure went really well. The important things I learned on this journey are (in no particular order) that, first and foremost, the Quad-City area in Illinois right up against the Mississippi separating it from Iowa is one sweet little town-opolis. It’s got hills and ravines, great deciduous and evergreen trees and some pretty stunning turn-of-the-century architecture. Lot’s of Arts & Crafts… Frank Lloyd Wright inspirations….
I left Chicago with about $1.20 in my pocket and a pretty solid belief that I would truly be met at the train station as planned. But, just to keep it fresh for the kids, I’d already been gone from the home of my phone charger for a couple days and my phone died. I’ve got plenty of minutes, just no way to power it up. And, sure, I could go buy additional CHARGER NUMBER freaking 9 (or something) for this year, but I refuse to continue being a victim to my own carelessness. I’m not going to ever buy another charger. I’m going to find something, somewhere online where the charger impaired of my species help each other out.
Ah, but I digress…
Traveling with no money and no phone is probably about as risky today as running with scissors while blind-folded was when I was a kid. It’s just not a prudent move.
I remember The Olden Days (before we all had cell phones and wifi and whatnot) a
nd we seemed to do just fine.
I am my grandmother.

And my mother. Damn.

This train ride is, like, the 40th awesome train ride I’ve had in a couple years. When all the stars are aligned I appear to have a super power that involves talking to somebody and really enjoying it for hours. It makes the journeys go fast, and I’ve met some seriously amazing and curious and interesting humans.
Yesterday it was Glenn. Not a tiny guy who’s taken care of a fleet of school bu
ses and driven kids around for 7 years. He a dyed-in-the-wool Chicago boy. He has a deal for trains and trips and adventures. He’s spent way too much time in a dark room developing real film, shooting SLRs and helping nurse a resurgence in film photography.
But, even more interestingly to me, he’s doing this project with his cell phone camera. He’s got a number of shots that I saw and they were so distinct. I really want to see what can be done with those with Photoshop on a Mac. I want to see what they look like very large with no treatments whatsoever. I’m just very curious about the whole deal no

I’m insatiably curious. I know a guy who got hit by lightening TWICE! (Not just once, but TWICE!) I’ve met a guy who was Bernie Mac’s cousin and another guy who was a tour manager for Poison but he somehow got swindled out of all his money by some crooked schmuck in the entertainment industry. He was in absolute need of a straight-up kiss from the Tooth Replacement Fairy. Looking for a little dental love, but a nice enough guy.

I met this older couple who were just traveling all over the country (and the UK) by train because he had just retired and had a massive heart attack and almost died, so now they’re just kickin it … all moon-eyed and spoony and together on adventures across everywhere.

Then there’s this one really great kid I met from Brooklyn. He is an artist and poet. He published his own book of his poems. They didn’t suck at all. He was only, like, 22 years old. He lived in one of those high-rise tenements with his parents, siblings and a couple grandparents - in a two bedroom apartment. He had a great smile. I suspect some delicious things are headed his way.

I’ve learned all about mechanical and electrical and diesel and survivalist and technical and virtual and mythological and historical and political and religious and psycho and geographical things I never would know about if I hadn’t embarked on this adventure.

I've heard of elderly blind golfers, short order cooks and little people traveling via luggage.
A risk that I can actually share with you about now is this: For the first time in about 4 years I have opened myself up to the possibility of living longer than another hour or so. Yea. I know. Sounds dramatic. I’m dramatic. But, I’ve got great legs and seriously blue eyes. So, cope. Everything is a compromise. At least I’m not Goat-Faced or the infamous Angry-Stupid combination.
I’ve gone out on a limb and made friends.
Now I’m on the Metra that takes me to Elmhurst. It’s like a quarter till one. a.m. Long freaking day. But, this train is completely choked full to the brim with moderately drunk and exceptionally rowdy sports fans. There’s lots of whooping and hollering. Everybody has on some kind of sports related shirt. Not me so much. But, I do have on a shirt and I’m pretty sure there were points awarded for that.
Y’know, at this point, even I thought that I’d probably busted a move on all the adventure one human could sweep into one night.
But…noooooooo. Not so much.

The train ride from Union to Elmhurst was free for me. I have no idea why, but the conducter wouldn’t take my money. I saw him accept other people’s money, but not mine. I didn’t take it personally.
I get off the train in Elmhurst around 1:15am and immediately took the first of many really wrong turns that I could possibly take. Shortly followed up by the next, and definitely the most tragic of bad turns. By this time I’ve gotten a little crabby and tired - therefore making it almost impossible for me to doubt my journey OR ask for directions.
At about the point where I realize I’ve walked in the same circle roughly 4 times I decide to start crying because it goes so well with the rain. I was feeling a little trapped, learning and navigationally disabled and freakin exhausted. And, in spite of the relative light weight of my purse and laptop - I’m pretty sure the combined load has ruptured most of the discs in my back.
I’m standing in the rain, worrying about my electronics and considering downtown store fronts to sleep in when I look over and see a taxi car guy with his son. They were listening to what I believed to be Iraqi American Idol music. He opens his window and I pull out my best Most Pathetic Emmy Nomination just to get him to use his GPS and point me in the right direction. He suggests giving me a ride, what with him being a taxi driver and all, and I explain that I’ve only got $5. Not one cent more, just five little American dollars. But, I saw on the GPS that I would only need to go a little over a half mile. And, at that point in the night I was fairly certain even one more half mile would have killed me dead. So, he agrees to take me home for $5 and we ROCK the Kasbah with whatever ethnic music his car provides. I get back to Liz’s around 3am.
The door is locked. The other door is locked.
And, yes, you guessed it: The final and only other door is locked.
It really made me wish that I had taken my brother up on his most generous offer to tutor me in picking locks. I so clearly remember thinking then, “Why, in Godsgood name, would I ever need to know how to pick a lock?!?!”

By 3:20ish I decide that it’s just going to be an outdoor night for me. It wasn’t freezing, I had some wind protection and more than life itself: I did NOT want to wake anybody in the house. I also had my wifi and Hulu so I could watch any number of mind-numbing TV shows I’ve grown addicted to.
About 10 minutes after my complete acceptance and okey-dokeyness with my current state of affairs I hear a man saying, “Don’t be afraid. I’m so sorry. I’m lost. Look, I’ll keep my hands up in the air. I mean you no harm.” He was lost. In the rain. At almost 4 in the morning. And, he was about 15 feet away at the edge of the yard in Elmhurst where NOBODY talks to ANYBODY.
And, he just really needed me to Google Map his university so he could go there and sleep in a bed till sometime after noon. Google Maps almost never fails me and within minutes we discover that he’s only about 15 minutes away from where he needed to be. But, he’s so grateful to have found me (awake, on a porch, surfing the net with high-speed and just as chatty as I have always been) he offers to buy me some kind of after midnight fast food. I’m not really hungry and my feet are killing me from my walk of Lost Obstinacy but he’s a really good kid and we immediately strike up sparky conversation about chemistry, nutrition and the current (and hopeful) state of American politics.
By this time, it’s no longer raining whole drops, just little smatterings of drizzle and it’s not cold for the first time in about 6 months.
We never did find any kind of fast food open at 4 in the morning, which was something of a surprise, but we did sit on the porch and talk till almost 6:30 and sunrise. Then we both got the cold that comes from it being a little chilly and a lot tired, and he took off in the right direction and moments later Liz opens the door and lets me in to the place where it’s warm and has coffee.
Jeff is the name of the after 4am guy and I didn’t get his contact information, (he’s going to Elmhurst College and his dad teaches at Wisconsin State I think) so if you see him - tell him to drop into my face book or something. He’s good people.
And, brings my total for really good people (met for the first time) in a 24 hour period to 6. Six people, 24 hours, all goodness and great ideas. There. Now I told you all about it. I know I should sleep soon and long.
And, it's your turn to tell me a story now. XOXO

Thursday, April 16, 2009


The Fridge Project is way more than I would have expected.
Everybody has one.
You ought to send me yours.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Fridge by Any Other Name, is Still A Fridge

This is my equivalent of a fridge door. it's not so much a fridge, but it is all the stuff that would be on it if I had one.
This is just to confirm a theory. Or, many theories - as luck would have it.
1) It's entirely impossible that I am the only person in the world interested in fridge door art. While it would suck out loud to be such a dreamer, I think I'd still sleep nights.
2) It could just be too personal. I have received correspondence that was just striaght-up crabby. I let myself feel a ittle guilty for my open refrigerator voyeurism. Dude. My bad. I have always just thought it cool to look at people's fridge doors. I'm inlcined to tell the haters that if they don't like it so much, just say nothing at all. Don't look. Stay out of the kitchen.
3) I admit to having alterior motives. I think that a great many people are voyeurs at heart and really enjoy renting space in other's peoples' heads. I certainly can't be the only one. Seriously? C'mon. For real.
I'm making connections with creatives in other countries. I have a dream.... One day.... Obama will appoint some kind of cultural Secretary General....
If we all take pictures of our fridges, one person at a time - we CAN make a dfferece.
Just do this, I think it's going to work. Think outside the triangle.
And, I mean Please. And Than you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It's been just a minute or two since I was all up in my Fridge Door Project. If you're one of the 5 people who drop in here with some regularity, mea culpa mea culpa. I'm off the road and ready to resume. Here's what I know: If I could track the progression of tweets and facebook/myspace updates that contained some reference to my project I would no doubt be pleased and amused. Short of that I can only pass on my gratitude to everybody who has chosen to partake in this social research project (and completely self-serving slice of voyeurism).
What follows are the most recent batch of fridge doors with what ever narrative I either received or have chosen to share.
I really like this one. It makes me think of re-incanration and Picasso. I would encourage these owners to nurture that artist in kids clothes.
This one is from Canada. David Stephens from Nova Scotia. He does some amazing art and offers the most thoughtful and funny and entertaining fb links. ever.
This one belongs to Katie. She's in Beijing teaching English to little Chinese children. Very minimalist - in and out. I think that is Sake on top, I think I need to research this one in person.
Please send a picture of your fridge door to

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Million LIttle Kisses

Not A Million Little Pieces.
Not A Million Little Fridges.
I'm just going to blog about what's happening ...
... about right now.
My sister has 4 boys and a husband. Fortunately her husband doesn't offer kisses (That would be WAY too weird) but he did get me two Krispy Kreme donuts recently - and that demonstrates his love for me.
I am Aunt Moses. I can whistle like a first-baseman and order everyone to help with chores. When I do, nobody argues with me. I can put 'em in Time Out and they cry quietly instead of screaming. I can explain all the finer details of chores and not even get so much as an eye ball rolling.
I'm gearing up for a Family Meeting wherein I tell ALL the boys in this house that they have to help their mama more. The big boys are old enough to do just about anything, and the babies need good role models. Meagan is about to take job number three and is going to need some serious cooperation with NO flack.
Ferrreal. NO flack.
I love this chaos. I love kids and dogs and the smell of home-made stuff in the oven. I love folding laundry and doing dishes.
Meagan just now told me and Julie (our most recently adopted family member) that this environment will make you appreciate your "Me Time."
For the last two years, I've said that this is where I'd film the indie called "Birth Control".
I'm pretty sure my sister does about 200 pounds of laundry every week. She touches and cooks up roughly 20 pounds of meat and more veggies than I've even considered. She is up at the crack of dawn and doesn't even get to drink her coffee in peace. She has to go to the bathroom with the door open because she knows that some shit IS absolutely going to hit the fan during the three minutes it takes to go.
The million little kisses that I get here in Colorado can't be beat by anything anywhere. And, in spite of this being Chaos Central - I would gladly take this any day.