Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

More Media Madness

Every morning while eating breakfast and drinking my first cup of coffee, I read various email accounts, Facebook pages and news sources. I also fight evil doers in various Facebook applications, but that is not the point of this blog. What is the point? Absolute disdain for the choice of cnn.com's staff picking the below article as it's lead for the day.

Why Exercise Won\'t Make You Thin

Where do I even begin? It is proof to the disturbingly unwell world in which we live that the quest for thinness trumps the efforts for health care reform, the crack in the San Francisco Bay Bridge that shut down this national wonder, and resignation of a top presidential advisor. Clearly, worrying about wastelines is more important than the 900 people rescued from a ferry in the Phillipines or the international relations question of Chavez and Iran working together. Silly me, I thought the news was going to report on, well, news!

Adding insult to the injury is the article itself. I did not read it - I don't need to read someone else's opinion about the best ways to lose weight. I'm sick of this world that is obsessed with thinness - an ideal body that most people will never have. My theory? Change the ideal. I would suggest several alternative titles to this article to improve the overall climate in discussing weight:

- Certain Exercise Routines Increase Hunger
- The Key to Happiness: All Things in Moderation
- Learning to Love the Body You're In
- Why Do You Exercise?
- Fitness is Not Being a Number

I could go on, but I won't. Sure, these titles may not be as "catchy" or "hip" as the one generated by the authors of this article, but they are a lot less damaging to the national psyche. The error in their title is the assumption that the world wants to be thin. It tells me that I should be exercising to lose weight - that this will not work, and that I should read their story to figure out what will make me thin. Make me thin. Does anyone else see the problem with that? Fitness and health are NOT about the size of my pants. It's a state of total being achieved through working WITH the body instead of against it. The goal of exercise is to increase health and wellness, NOT simply working towards a smaller number.

How are we to change this world obsessed with unnatural thinness when even CNN covers this topic as its lead story??? There is SO much more to the world than numbers and scales and calories burned vs. calories consumed. Instead of reading about what will and will not make you thin... try getting up and LIVING your life. Even if your size doesn't change, my hunch is that your overall happiness and wellness will increase exponentially.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Harvest Season

It's beginning to be one of my favorite times of the year. Harvest season. Autumn. Mabon. Fall. No matter what you call it, it's simply spectacular. This year, I am fortunate enough to be living in Nashville, Tennessee where the weather is more amenable to outdoor activities during the season. The season itself will extend into November - another welcome change from snowy New York!

What are some of the reasons that you love the Fall? What does the Fall remind you of? What smells or scents do you associate with this time of year?? Post a comment to reply!

  1. Picking apples in the orchards
  2. Shucking corn and freezing it for winter
  3. Hiking along nature trails or rivers as the leaves turn
  4. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove
  5. Farmers markets have an abundance of supplies
  6. Mabon!!!
  7. Back to school energy
  8. Homemade mulled cider
  9. Making pumpkin-products, especially pumpkin bread!
  10. Preparing for Halloween/Samhain
  11. Bright colors everywhere - reds, oranges and yellow!
  12. Hayrides through pumpkin patches
  13. Decorating in Fall colors
  14. That slight chill in the air in the early morning hours
  15. Sense of energy as Nature prepares for winter

Those are just a few that came to mind in this moment. I'm sure we can come up with more!!! Here's a picture of my Harvest mantle/altar. It's a work in progress, but I like it!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

You know you've spent too much time with your cats when...

You know you've spent too much time with your cats when:
  1. You could spend hours sitting by the window.
  2. You enjoy stretching out into crazy positions.
  3. You spend multiple hours a day napping.
  4. You ingest several pounds of cat fur a year
  5. You start getting hungrier before a big storm
  6. You find yourself excited over shiny objects and pieces of string
  7. You wake up from said naps in contorted positions
  8. You stare at the world backwards, just in case it looks better upside down
  9. You take these naps on the floor, in the chair and on top of clean, warm clothes
  10. You communicate volumes with a simple tilt of the head and look in your eye

These are just a few of the habits I notice that I start to pick up after spending many months with my baby girls. I think it might be time for me to get out of the house a little more... before I turn into a feline completely!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

One Stitch At a Time

One of my favorite things about crafting is that, no matter what the art form, there is a lesson just waiting to be learned. There are so many possible avenues for the mind to focus on while crafting... all of which can be translated into rather potent life lessons.

This morning is a perfect example of such phenomenon. After my morning routine of making a large pot of coffee (hazelnut of course) and sipping on the delectable delight while reviewing the evening affairs of various friends and acquaintances on Facebook and email, I decided to try my hand at the latest of my crafting endeavors. I made collaged journals that I hope to sell at the coven's booth during Pagan Pride Day. I also make these wonderful journaling dice that provide structure to the mental meanderings of the writer. A friend suggested (thank you Courtney!) on Thursday night that I make these dice as well and put them together with the journals for a more uniquely-Kayti gifting idea. I LOVE IT!

I was walking around the aisle of WalMart yesterday (hey, I'm broke!) and was looking for small cloth bags to house the ceramic dice - preferably something that would match the color schemes of the journals (hello OCD). I was rounding the corner of the scrapbooking aisle when I stopped dead in my tracks. Why not make them myself? The thought lingered a moment or two before being inundated with all the many reasons that I shouldn't do this. Why not? Chimed in that voice that says "fuck you" to naysayers and doubt. And why not won out.

This morning I decided to experiment with this idea. I had drawn a rough sketch during a particularly boring meeting yesterday and determined it was time to test my theories. I was quite pleased at the success during my first attempt at making a little pouch bag. Around the time I needed to work on the drawstring section... I hit a road block. My original idea was to use toothpicks to hold the space open, finish the bag, then weave the cord in at the end. After stitching up the first side, I realized there were a few issues. The toothpicks really didn't move. Problem One. The cord didn't fit into the eye of my many needles. Problem Two. The tape that was holding the toothpicks together had fallen off into the sewn-together pieces. Problem Three.

I made several attempts to rectify the situation and found myself growing increasingly more frustrated. I managed to remove the toothpicks, but that tape wasn't budging and the cord just wasn't going to fit. I tried many more needles, until I realized that I just had to accept the fact that a thick cord was NOT going to ever fit inside the hole of a tiny needle. Why was I trying to force something into a size that it should not be. (oooo, do we see where I'm going with this?) Alas, I resigned myself that the best way to move FORWARD was, in fact, to start over. Not completely though, as the one set of stitches on the side was already doing just fine. I snipped off the complicated section and carefully removed enough thread to avoid ruining the progress already made. I went straight to the cord and put it into the fabric... sewing around it. Why was I was trying to make it more complicated? What was the danger in using the actual material instead of "testing ground" with a wooden stunt double? What was I afraid of?

The next issue... I don't have straight pins. At first, I considered going to the store and buying some. Then again... I have many needles. I don't need to follow the straight-and-narrow path to accomplish my goals. The needles worked fine in holding the fabric in place.

The end product was outstanding. I'm very pleased and excited to start another bag soon. The lessons of the day???

- Sometimes to move forward, we must accept our limitations and go back to a point in time where we were on track. Pick up the pieces from there and start over.
- Sometimes to move forward, we must think outside of the normal logic and find a sturdy, suitable substitute to help us on our way.
- Sometimes in our efforts to protect ourselves (in this case the cord) we actually complicated the situation and create more work for ourselves along the way.
- The only way to continuously move forward is to take it one stitch at a time.

And now? I've refilled my coffee and grabbed an apple for a snack. I'm off to the post office to mail out a birthday present to my forever friend and to the grocery store for experimenting with new tastes and new foods and new recipes. Next up on my agenda? Starting to figure out my dish for Lammas today... going with what tastes good and works well together instead of what another recipe tells me to do exactly. Creativity is more than just arts and crafts... it filters into every aspect of a life.

I challenge you to embrace your creativity and to allow it to guide you in whatever endeavors you put forward. One stitch at a time.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sometimes Credit is About Taking Charge

Cash or credit? Do you want change with that? Can we charge it?

Funny how these phrases come at us every day and we always assume the speaker is referring to payment. What if we take the financial whim out of the question and focus on the underlying meaning of the words?? Credit. That means so much more to me than a piece of plastic or the status of my borrowing and lending power. It isn't something defined by a number because I am not something defined by a number. It's... it's the idea that my word has significance and meaning to it. It's linked with the phrase "give me some credit" and "I'll take credit for that" - ownership, responsibility, worth. It's the idea that I will follow through on something and that I am a trustworthy individual.

Charge. Yes, it's something you can do when you swipe your cards through those annoying readers at various stores that all have different instructions and leave your signature looking like your primary school teacher's attempt at teaching you cursive... But it's also something about leadership, responsibility and agency. People take charge of given situations and we call them leaders, sometimes even heros. We celebrate their courage, strength and wisdom. Sometimes it's "I charge you with..." and it means giving someone else ownership of an item or situation. Again, it's linked with responsibility. When a nanny says "this is my charge" s/he is referring to the child s/he is watching over at the time.

What is at the root of the meanderings?? I've meditated on a lot of things lately (side effect of being at the beach and stuck in cars for very, VERY long times). I've come to the following conclusion: the only way to have a future is to take charge of the present instead of dwelling in the past.

Perhaps this is a "duh" expression for most people. I'll admit, it's rather simple to say/type right there. But how many people really LIVE by this standard? Really invest time every day to this commitment and make the necessary changes in their routines for it to become reality? My hunch? Very few. I know I have been batting pretty low at this lately.

Sometimes taking charge of the present means doing things against the advice of others. Everyone had trusted folks in their lives that give them good advice. Many people have opinions on various issues you may deal with - from employment opportunities to clothing/fashion choices. It is our responsibility, however, to navigate through these well-intentioned offerings and figure out what is true for us in this PRESENT moment. Sometimes it is related to our past, sometimes it's breaking away from that past to move towards the future.

The other thing about this new standard... it provides total agency to the individual (in this case me) and responsibility for his or her successes and failures. I really don't like that word - failure - for even a mistake is a learning opportunity. It's never really failure... just more information about how to do things differently next time. I guess failure would be if you gave up and refused yourself the chance to have a "next time" - but, alas, I digress.

Too many times people (at least I know I do) wait for other people to resolve their issues or situation. They wait for that phone call or for the other shoe to drop. Honestly? I'm just not that kind of person. I'm the kid that saw a problem in my high school and confronted it head on, creating a new student organization and speaking before parents, school board members, teachers and peers to make it happen. I'm the college student that dared to be the only dissenting opinion in a sea of homogeny. I'm the professional that stood up for others in dire situations despite overwhelming evidence against it. I believe people because I take their word seriously - I give them credit. It's time to do that for ME. A lot of folks have opinions about my life... about what I should and should not do... about how I should live or look or pray or whatever. I appreciate the opinions, they give me items to meditate on. They help me by challenging my status quo... sometimes encouraging an adaptation to a routine or a refining of a skill (oooo, she's sounding so Locke-ian today!).

Moral of my morning story? I'm taking credit for the things I have done well and not so well. I'm taking ownership of my life. I'm tired of waiting for the right thing to come alone... I'm going to go out and make the right thing happen. I'm taking charge of my present instead of waiting for someone else to tell me "yay" or "nay" to given situations. I will continue to listen to the opinions of every important person in my life that offers such a thing... but I am taking charge and giving myself credit.

Attitude. Confidence. Courage. Never leave home without 'em.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kudos to the Random Nice GuyI was

I was down in Cool Springs this morning for a meeting at a place that I've spent many, many hours in the past year or so. I drive my car there... the silver Chrysler Sebring that I bought while living in Potsdam. It's a great car, comes complete with a faerie wind chime and quite a few socially activist and aware stickers. It stands out due to these statements of my endorsements and, because I still have New York plates.

So, I have parked this car in the same general area for all the many hours I've spent at this particular place in town. Today, as I was pulling out to head towards another meeting, a man in a larger SUV stopped me. He was blocking my way out and got out of his car, signaling at me to roll down my window. After the initial confusion (I mean, this is NOT normal behavior!) the nicely groomed, khaki-clad gent told me that he really appreciates the causes that I support. He has noticed my car parked here off and on this last year and had always wanted to thank the owner for speaking out for others like that. He smiled and said a big thank you, and told me that I'd just made his day. He then got back in his car and let me go in front of him.

That is just... really random, and really nice. It's also a little sad that I've been at this place so long that this poor guy thinks I'm employed there!! I got a kick out of that... and I got a real deep smile that lasted for quite some time. What causes are on the back of my car? I got out before going to my next meeting to check! I have two "Stop the Violence" stickers - one for domestic violence and one for sexual assault. I have the "Have a Faerie Nice Day" and "She Changes Everything She Touches" for pagan stuff... and an OBX sticker I just added from my recent trip. There is "Namaste" and a beautiful tree that represents religious diversity and support for multifaith communities.

Here's what is just... awesome. This random stranger in the parking lot in about two minutes said more supportive words about key issues in my life than many people that I've lived with for a lot longer than that. Here's a man that took notice of something small... and took the time out of the hustle and bustle of life to tell me about it. How often does that happen? What would the world look like if more people engaged in random acts of kindness???

So I took the spirit with me to the doctor. While getting some labs done (everyone breathe, I'm totally fine, just routine stuff after a lifetime of borderline EKGs), this older lady comes out crying. She looked like she'd just received some bad news and was having trouble digesting it. She could barely walked. I quickly moved the magazines out of the chair closest to her and let her sit... and then quietly got up and snagged the tissue box from the counter for her to use. Her eyes smiled at me despite the tears and I knew that I'd passed on the random kindness. I don't know what her story was, I don't even know her name. But hopefully she'll tell someone about the random lady in black and white in the waiting room who took a minute to do the right thing.

I challenge everyone to take a moment out of EVERY day to do the right thing. If it's texting or calling or Facebooking a friend and telling them you care about them... or telling someone when they cross your mind... or helping someone reach something from that tippy-top shelf... do it. We never know how long we have on this planet... why not take some time to do the right thing instead of losing hours upon hours being lost within ourselves.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

An Ignored Storm Still Rains

Wisdom comes in many shapes and sizes, especially while relaxing at the beach. I thought I'd share with you the lesson learned from yesterday:

I sat on the uppermost deck of the cottage named ONE, slowly rocking along with the crashing waves below. The wooden chair was cool to touch after a morning shower and there was a slight chill in the breezy air. I snuggled in with my large cup of coffee (in the white ceramic mug with brown sea shells painted on it) and my OBX sweatshirt I purchased several years back. I thought of how wonderful it would be to have my Naia at that moment, cuddling up with the furry child and sitting, totally at peace, in this paradise.

The clouds behind me were quite ominous - in the dark blue, stormy, rumbles of thunder far away type of way. In front of me though, was a beautiful array of white clouds with spots of sunshine filtering through the various holes in the arrangement. I sat with my back to the storm and focused on the single beams coming down, penetrating through the clouds, and reflecting off the morning ocean. It was magnificent! I savored each swallow of the warm liquid (flavored with sugar free hazelnut creamer) and sat wondering if mind-over-matter could work with Mother Nature. I contemplated the meaning of these sun beams in an otherwise nasty, threatening sky. I took respite in their beauty and the sanctuary of sunshine that they offered. I focused on the positive aspects of the reflecting waters and wondered if a fish out there was pulling out a pair of sunglasses.

I thought about how this could be a metaphor for my own life. Is it better to ignore the giant thunderstorm looming behind you to focus on the positives that are right in front of you (but slightly out of reach) or to turn and face the storm head-on, bunkering down for the impending weather in order to find the brighter skies on the other side. I thought about the meaning of optimism... and questioned the sky aloud as to why it had a chill to it in North Carolina towards the end of July. THAT is just not right.

As my thoughts began to wander even further (hopefully that does not count as exercise), I felt the first drop of rain. The wind had picked up and was slapping water pellets in my direction. The spots of sunshine were filled in with gray and the droplets began to descend furiously from the sky.

The conclusion: An ignored storm still rains.

This being said... it rained for about 2 hours yesterday morning before the system passed, giving way to a beautiful afternoon of sunshine and brilliant blues. The weather lasted just a few hours before the next wave of storms, but carried with it the promise for continued changes in the tide of life. Very applicable, I thought to myself, very very applicable.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Faeries are not a Farse

Okay... break from the breathtaking bucolic beach scenes for a small rant. It's another cloudy, rainy morning... which means a sluggish start to the day. I shared with my family a video that was sent to me this morning from a good friend, IK the Troll. Yes, when you work at the Renaissance Faire, you have friends that are trolls, peasants, nobles, faeries and everything in between. Well... let's just say that my family does NOT share the same fun and excitement about the winged creatures as I do.

I understand that it's hard for a parent to realize their daughter is a college-educated Faerie. But really... why must you poke such fun? There is NOTHING wrong with being a sprite at the Renn Faire... we had great fun! Playing in the mud puddles was entertaining to patrons and amusing to children. We ate stuff off the ground... sure... but it wasn't "gross" and "disgusting" and worth wrinkling your nose at. Apparently they've been telling people how "my daughter is a faerie" and just... not in the proud way. But the wow-look-at-the-freak. Really? Thanks.

Okay... I get that I'm 25 years old and still believe in faeries. Maybe if people would stop and ask about the Fae Traditions within the pagan philosophies it would make sense. Maybe if they realized it isn't an obsession with Tinkerbelle or a refusal to grow up... but a genuine belief in Nature spirits and the natural energies that surround us... maybe if they realized that as an actress I'll do many things and if I can enjoy it, why not??? It's just... frustrating. There were a lot of wonderful things about the Renaissance Faire and a lot of not so wonderful things. It was hard work! It is something I'm proud of and enjoy sharing stories about. Why is it so difficult to take me seriously?

Then there's the people that go off on the term "faerie" - implying that because it is linked with homosexual connotations it's an impure or dirty word. WOW. Homophobic much? And if you are... then how in the WORLD do you expect me to take you seriously? There is nothing wrong with the phrase or the word. People believe in angels and they aren't freaks or gay or anything. And if you ARE gay, why does that make you a freak? Why is it such a bad thing??? Why do people have to extend judgement for something done in good fun???

Guess what world. I am Kayti. I like faeries. I was a faerie at the Renn Faire and, if I do the Faire again, I hope to be another faerie. It's brilliant to see a child's face light up when they realize that faeries are real. They have conversations with us. They believe. We take some of the seriousness out of life and out of the festival... which is good. The whole thing is designed for people to get dressed up and play. Adults do not play as much as they should... it's always work work work. Faeries remind us to take life a little less seriously and to converse with our inner children. If someone isn't willing to accept my adoration of faeries... then we've got some major issues. I have some pretty substantial differences from the people around me... and the faerie thing is one of the more minor, innocuous ones. If you judge me for my wings... what do you think of the other things in my life??? Then again... if you judge me for speaking in Fae... then maybe I won't take your thoughts and opinions that seriously on other matters.

It just... pisses me off. And believe me, you do NOT want to upset the Fae. I'm not saying I believe I am a faerie, only in costume. I am human. I'm not psychotic. But I do believe in the faeries and I enjoy playing the role. Most people smile and laugh and tell me it's nice to see someone having fun in life. Why the harsh judgement? Why the critical eye? Sorry world, I'm not here to be a pretty princess all donned in pink, waiting for her prince to ride up on a pony and save the day. I make my own magic and my own history and do my own day saving.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Faerie vs. Ferry

I have decided that faeries are FAR more reliable creatures than ferries. Now, the boats are fun and all when you are up early with your family and able to stand on deck... sun beating down gently on your back... ocean spray bouncing up in your face. There are some great things about the ferries... including being able to drive around the next island with your family. BUT... when you have to wait TWO HOURS to get onto a ferry late at night... when you start to wonder if you're going to get home at all... well, that's when I've had enough. Many people have challenged me to sit still. Somehow... being stuck in a car in line for two hours on the tip of an island waiting for a boat was NOT what they had in mind. I hope.

So other than the whole ordeal of nearly getting stranded on the island... yesterday at Ocracoke was WONDERFUL. We spent the morning at the beach and then changed into "civilian clothes" to wander around the various shops. Dinner was at the Back Porch restaurant. It was okay... my family tends to enjoy fancy seafood places far more than me. I did find this delightful hummus dish that was just the right size. Funny how large appetizers can be the perfect amount for a main course. I was able to find a cup of coffee on the island as well, which made for a happy Kayti.

One really cool-somewhat-freaky-glad-it-went-away thing... we saw the beginnings of a water spout!!! This is the closest I've ever been to a tornado, despite living in Nashville. It was rather freaky. I'm glad I got some pictures of it... and that we got off the beach before the storm came to shore. You'd be surprised how fast a group of people can tear down camp when you start to see funnel clouds forming and you are parked about 15 feet from the ocean. :P We did get some great sunset shots last night though... here's one to share!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yesterday was one of those gray days at the beach that starts out with folks wondering if the sun will ever come out again, then ended in one of the most beautiful afternoon's we've had in a long, long time. The parents and I went for a shorter (3 miles) walk on the beach and then gathered up a few other troopers for a small shopping expedition in the village where we are staying. Lunch was a variety of leftovers... then getting ready for the afternoon of water fun.

There is a Low out over the ocean - a GREAT thing for those that love to play in the surf. My father, uncle, brother and I are true ocean-dwellers. The waves were around 4-7 feet high... plenty to splash around in. Not good boogie-board waves as the tops were too "weak" to carry you to shore... but great fun all the same. We splashed around for quite some time... before laying out in the sun to dry out.

My mother and I took some pictures in the dunes while we had the brilliant afternoon sunlight to work with. It's great... because not only can I use some of these pictures for my photography exhibits, but I can get some good ones with me IN them!! :)

Today we're off to Ocracoke, an island South of this one. My cousin heads home as well, which will be sad. It's been way too long since I've seen her. She lives in GA... so we're hoping to get together more often now that I'm only 4-5 hours away. More to come later... happy reading!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heavenly Landscapes

First day at the beach is going quite well. The morning was RADIANT... bright sunshine after a night of thunderstorms. The feeling of sand freshly rained on is just... amazing. It adds a level of firmness to the sand that makes it easier to walk and more massage-like on the foot. As mentioned, the cottage is right by the ocean. There is a private walkway to the beach in front of our house... so these dunes are the ones that I walk by to get to the ocean.
The ocean in front of the cottage has a very narrow beach... and it is very unpopulated here. We are the last cottage in the little village... so that makes it extra private. We are the only family out so early (9am) and take the 2.1 mile walk to the pier while others start to meander their ways to the shore. We don't always walk to the pier... but it's become a tradition to touch the pier on the first day. My cousin and I were the first ones there today. :)

Michael, Rachael and Beth ran back to the blankets while I walked at my own pace... leaving the "older adults" to catch up. We went swimming and played catch after this... bobbing up and down in the surf. The water is so warm this year! It's crystal clear out there, at least for the Atlantic, without much seaweed getting in the way. After some splashing around, we take time to dry out on the towels... collecting rays of sunshine and transforming them into tans.

Lunch was bbq pork... WOW was that good! It puts Jason's Deli to shame, that's for sure! My father has a cooker thing that just... wow. The pork was put on last night and smoked all night long. He makes homemade bbq sauces as well, one based in vinegar and one based with red sauce. It's like... an orgasm for the taste buds. Apparently it's good mixed with coleslaw, but as I'm not a big fan of cabbage, I let the others experiment with that combination. Me? I stick to my pork sandwich and side salad. Nice cup of coffee for dessert. It's only my second cup of the day!

All right.. we're almost ready to head out for our afternoon adventures. Driving to the end tip of the island and going to the point... where the island is like an elbow and you can be where the two sides of the Atlantic literally come to a POINT. It's quite awesome. More pictures and more blogging to come! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finally Here!

After 9 hours in the car (with an hour to eat at the pier) we finally arrived at the cottage - ONE - in Avon, NC. The trip was uneventful... sponsored by coffee and various mix cds from yours truly. We always stop at this lovely place called Grandy's for fresh fruits and veggies... this year was no exception. I was shocked to discover the cottage has wireless internet readily available... so YAY for that.

It has been TOO LONG since I've been at the beach. So, I did the only logical thing possible. Started taking pictures ASAP! This is a quick picture I snapped (and jumped into) from the top deck of the house. As you can see... we are RIGHT at the ocean. The area is undeveloped (which is a BEAUTIFUL thing)... and we are on a spit of land less than 1/4 mile wide. Please excuse the silly face... I told you... lots of coffee + long, long car ride.

Let's see. What else? Oh yes... this is the main room upstairs. It is a joint living room, dining room and kitchen. The deck that I'm standing on is what the sliding doors opens out onto... The stairs lead up to this amazing little tower with two couch-benches you can sit in - great for journaling or cozing up with a book and cup of coffee. For those that I've talked to about watching storms come in over the Ocean... that's where we go. :)

Okay... time for us to start putting together dinner. We're waiting for one more family member to arrive - my cousin Beth, who I haven't seen in years! There's 8 of us now... she'll make 9. I think dinner tonight is a bunch of salads that my mother made during the week and we brought with us. Sounds good to me... there are few salads I've met that I didn't like. We'll be off for a walk along the beach later on tonight... I'm just itching to get my feet in the sand and to feel the ocean between my toes.

Off to the Beach!

Finally, after 2 years, I'm off to the Outer Banks of NC in about 20 minutes... heading South with my family. We leave quite early... as is tradition... so we can have lunch on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at the Seagull Pier Restaurant. We pass the bike cops in DE. We pass through the Land of Corn where my brother would usually fall sound asleep. We wave hello to Virginia Beach as continue southwards. We meet up with my brother, sister-in-law and her parents around the North Carolina area.... meeting at the Grandy's fresh market on the side of the road... which as the BEST fresh fruit in the county. We stop at Nags Head to put our feet in the sand and to relieve our bladders... "bio break" as a friend would say. Then we journey another hour and a half once on the island to the little tiny town of Avon.

From there... we'll all unload the various cars... very much in donkey-style. All able-bodied people go up and down the steps as many times as needed. Not so bad now that the family has expanded... but my brother and I used to worry about this process. My parents' believe they had worker bees, not just children. :P Then... it's figuring out if we want to go for a walk on the beach BEFORE or AFTER dinner, or the obvious answer, BOTH. :)

I'll take tons of pictures and try to chronicle while I'm away. Not sure if I'll have internet... so will make posts and then upload them later if that's the case. This is heaven on Earth... captured in the bucolic scenes of the National Seashore. It is my favorite place on this planet... and it will be my home for the next 7 days.

I'll talk to you on the flip side... having quelled my appetite for the beach for a little while. Or... at least satiated the urges to keep driving until I hit the shoreline.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A fantastic invention

I've discovered a pet peeve. Blinkers. Or, more explicitly, the seemingly universal MISUSE of them. And by misuse... I mean NON-use of them.

Seriously people. Is it THAT difficult to extend your left arm out, move the hand away from the wheel, wrap the fingers around that piece of plastic jutting from behind the steering column and push it ever so slightly up or down? Left or Right. Not too many choices. If you can't make up your mind, then GET OFF THE ROAD. It's common courtesy to other drivers to let them know where you are going when you are responsible for a heap of metal whipping down the road at extreme speeds. Not going too fast? You STILL need to use those little blinking lights.

Some tell me they hate the noise. Really? Click click click fucking click! It's not that bad. Turn up the radio. Or... go talk to a therapist. Because that's ridiculous!

Not only does it bother me when people change lanes on the highway without using these little indicator lights... but it also REALLY frustrates me in parking lots. People that don't put on blinkers before turning into a spot. See, blinkers are like the seagulls in Finding Nemo... they declare "Mine! Mine! Mine!" for a potential parking spot. Even more... they alert the people behind them that you are STOPPING, especially when people have a nasty habit of pulling into parking spaces without turning on the brakes. It's awful when you are doing the good-driver thing, leaving enough space between you and the car in front of you, going along at a snail's pace... and BAM! The person veers off into the spot you thought you would occupy without even TELLING you. It's disappointment magnified, just like that!

Then there are the people that OVER use the blinker. You know you've done it once or twice... and you PISS ME OFF. The people who leave the blinker blinking away AFTER switching lanes. The other day... someone had their RIGHT blinker on and kept merging LEFT. Okay... what the hell? Look at your hands. If the index finger and thumb make a "L" - that means Left. If it looks more like a J... that's Right. So sorry that No Child Left Behind failed you out of Kindergarden... but maybe you ought to consider taking the bus. Then... for those that just drive and drive and drive with the blinking lights going... it drives me NUTS! Are you turning? Are you lost? Is it a flasher that says "I'm in trouble" and a burnt out second flash light??

If you listen to the radio that loud you cannot HEAR the clicking... turn it down. Save an eardrum, save a tree, whatever gets you off... I don't really care. Just... stop the incessant blink blink blink blink blink that I have to stare at driving behind you (again, at that respectful distance).

Now... some of you might be wondering. Does Kayti have road rage? No, not really. I prefer the term road conversation. It really doesn't hurt anyone for me to talk angrily at the cars that share the road with me (as long as the windows are down, even that top sunroof... oops). I'm not going to go crazy-Mary on you or anything... but I will consider smiting you for the 10 seconds our worlds overlap. Or sending you to Blinker Use 101. By the time I'm done with this world, I'll have a whole University of "re-education" classes that I want to send people to.

So... moral of the story? Think twice before you abuse your blinker. There might me a recently relocated New Yorker nearby.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spick Spack Spaghetti

Tonight was one of those "radical revelation" nights. I was standing in my kitchen, not wanting to eat anything for dinner. I stood by the fridge with the door open... staring inside at the bare contents (about to leave town for a week = minimal groceries in the house). I opened the freezer and was staring down frozen dinners and mysterious items (some of which have been in there since my move from NY!). Nothing sounded good. Nothing sounded appealing. I moved to the pantry... same dilemma. With a sigh, I said (out loud) "I don't want anything... processed" - and it just clicked into place.

I eat out a fair amount... I got lazy living by myself and relied too heavily on frozen dinners and quick fixes. I forgot that I come from a family of people that know how to cook and bake and do the food thing really REALLY well. It got too easy to eat the same things again and again - the easy things - the not-messing-up-too-many-dishes things. Yeah, BORING!

So I made an absolutely fantastic spaghetti tonight. Not according to the family recipe. Not according to things I've eaten before. Not according to Renfrew suggestions for the meal. But according to ME. And you know what? It was pretty frickin' fantastic. The secret? I listened to what I wanted... tomato base... mushrooms... turnip greens (was lacking fresh or frozen spinach)... that was the sauce. Spiced to taste... on top of a bowl of whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles. Heavy dose of parmesan-romano cheese... with said cheese also mixed into the sauce. Now THAT is how you make spaghetti! Correction... that is how I make it.

You may be wondering... is this really blog-worthy? HELL YES! I haven't cooked pasta like that in a year. I've ordered it... I've eaten it because I had to... I've made processed pasta (ramen noodles, mac n cheese, etc.) but not the REAL DEAL. Oh wow... hello taste buds, how you doin? I have a dish washer in the apartment... AND a garbage disposal. It's time to start using them. I mean... it's pretty pathetic when you couldn't recall if the certain eye on the stove even worked... or when you have to dust your pots and pans before cooking with them. I'm not really lazy... and you know what? The whole bit where "it's not worth cooking for one" - bullshit! It sure is! Not only does it give me more variety and better tasting meals, but it also prepares me for entertaining others.

This is just one of my "radical revelations" tonight. I'm not just turning over a new leaf, I think I just planted a whole new tree. It includes letting go of certain things... realizing that not everything is as useful as it seems... and that sometimes? Listening to gut instincts about what is right is the most important thing you can do. Things haven't felt "right" for a while... and I'm finally starting to realize why. Changes are afoot... all for the better. Even if my process goes against the advice of others... I know it will work... because it's the process that feels right for me.

Also... had two job interviews in two days... applications in for more positions and a real shot at a fantastic job opportunity. These are all things that encourage this "change is afoot" mentality... and remind me of the importance of focusing on the FUTURE instead of mucking up the PRESENT being stuck in the PAST.

Watch out world... Kayti's back, armed with marinara and tiny strands of whole wheat yumminess.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Request to the Antioch Arachnids

I have come a long, long way in my arachnophobia. I no longer freak out when I see the spiders outside... nor do I mind too terribly much when I walk into one in another person's space. I've gotten to the point where I can calmly ask someone to get the spider off of me or to remove it from the room - not the automatic EEEEEEEEEEEKKKK KILLLLLL IIIITTTTTT! that used to come out at the same moment I would be flying out of the room in barely-human leaps and bounds.

The Renaissance Faire did a lot for me that way. When you are playing the part of a tree faerie, you do a LOT of lying around in leaves, rocks, trees and stone walls. Guess who else adores these habitats? Yup, spiders. They liked to chill out in our tent back stage as well... and I even got to the point of still going to the water cooler despite several just chillin' right there by the spicket. They were in the port-o-potties and I still used them... serious progress.

But seriously? This morning? I'm going to have to draw the line. I woke up with the kitties wanting food... so I fed them around 6:30 in the morning. This is okay for normal rise-and-shine during the week, but not on weekends. So... I figured I'd just go to the bathroom (because once you are awake and realize you need to pee, there is NO going back to sleep without using the lavatory) and head back to bed. I'm in my bathroom, minding my own business... about to reach for the toilet paper to finish my needs... and there's a spider just sitting right there. What the hell?? Sneaky little bastard was just ASKING for me to smack him silly. After the initial shock to my dreary system and the comprehension that my toilet paper wasn't moving, but the spider on it was... I realized I needed to have some words with the local arachnid population.


You'd think having two cats would be deterrent enough. Apparently not. Now, it's not a declaration of war, because I do NOT fancy the idea of a spider invasion... I think my heart would stop beating entirely at the sight. But I am saying this. To the local spiders... STAY OUT. You can have the outdoor world... you can even have the fireplace itself... WHY do you need to be in my few rooms and, especially, on MY toilet paper! That's just... not necessary.

What happened to that TP Spider? Well... it got smushed by a dirty kleenex. Usually I just use the TP... but he was in the way. So... I had to make do with what I had. I did flush him just for shits and giggles... and as a warning to others to STAY AWAY FROM THE TOILET PAPER.

I mean... seriously. Seriously!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rest In Peace Aunt Ginnie

Wow... things sure can change quickly. Just talked to my mother. Apparently one of my aunts on the Greek side of the family developed lung cancer just two weeks ago. Okay, she was diagnosed... it was probably a long time in coming as she was a lifetime smoker. Anyway... I just got off the phone with my mother. Aunt Ginnie died today. She was only 73 years old.

I'm not really sure what to think. We weren't particularly close, but she was one of my favorites of the Greek get-togethers. I'm very thankful I was home for Christmas and seeing everyone this December. Very grateful that I have a happy memory of her... with her green salad that she always brings and her wrinkly smile. I feel for her two grandchildren... they just lost their "yia-yia" the Greek word for Grandma. Ginne was always fun. She treated my brother and me like equals... she would sit on the floor with us when there weren't enough chairs to go around. She was the nonGreek that married into the family - something we appreciated, being only 50% Greek ourselves. She had a brilliant laugh and a golden heart.

It's Greek tradition to wait 40 days to have a memorial service. I don't know why... but that's what the family does. I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford the ticket up to go... but hopefully I can at least leave something for the service when I'm in the area next week before the beach trip. That side of the family has had a rough time... 4 sons, 2 of them have already passed, 2 are remaining. Her husband is the second child of three... they were the nephews and nieces of my "Papou" or Grandpa. Our families have gotten together for as long as I can remember... the cousins... or, as I call them, "the Greeks."

Life is so fragile... that's for sure. It gives me a lot to think about. I sit here, still in the coffee shop, still unemployed. Just... thinking. She had a bad cough, but that was it. Two weeks later, she was dead. How much of my life have I wasted stuck in my head or trying to change the very core of who I am? How many days have I let slip by in my own selfish stickiness... when really? Every damn day is a gift. We don't know when we are destined to leave this world. We don't know when the hour might be our last.

So, my dearest Aunt Ginnie, you have my heart and my soul wishing you the best right now. Wishing you peace and tranquility. Wishing you healing from the pains you have suffered. Wishing you safe journey as you reunite with your sons. Wishing you the happiness that life ceased to provide for you. Wishing you love from those already gone and those still in this world.

And for me? I think it's time to stop wallowing in myself and to face the remaining demons that need facing. Life really is a fragile, precious gift. I'm not going to waste it any more. This world is such an incredible, beautiful place. There just isn't time to waste any more. I'm 25 years old. How do I know I'll live to be old? I can only hope to be so lucky! Now is the time to be thriving... enjoying my "youth" and my energy and all that. Not wasting away in various issues... obsessively worrying about the meaning of life and my purpose here... so enough. I'm done whining about being unemployed. I'm done poopooing my dreams. I'm done saying "another day" - what about THIS day?

Hmm. I think I just found motivation. Because honestly? There is so much in life that I want to do. So much that Ginnie would have wanted to do. So very much. With people that may not be around forever. With opportunities that may not knock again. With so much. I want to love and be loved. I want to be free. So if I have to face my dying day, I go with peace of spirit, heart, body and mind.

Nero Nostalgia

I'm doing one of my favorite things right now... sipping on something strongly caffeinated while cruising around the internet at a locally owned coffeehouse. I've kicked off my brown flip flops and am sitting cross-legged in my super-soft brown kapri sweats and fun top. Soft music playing in the background... and random people online. There is something that makes me smile through and through when I get "real emails" from people, not just spam. It's just like when you open the mailbox and there's a handwritten note (typed works too) from someone mixed in there with all the bills and obnoxious catalogs.

As I sit here surfing the net for job opportunities and writing back to various people in my life... I was struck with a random moment of nostalgia for Cafe Nero. For those that have never been to Europe, it's one of the BEST coffeehouses in the world. It also had an internet cafe attached to it and was right next to the hotel where I stayed as a sophomore Vanderbilt student during my Maymester abroad. It had the BEST coffee (italian, I believe) that you could alternate with original Orangina... a truly divine substance that redefines orange juice for the massive win.

Seriously... if I had the money to do so (or a financial backer willing to front the cost) - I would love to create a Coffeehouses of the World travel guide/book. I'd love to spend a month in various countries and give a written description of the coffeehouses there. I'd spend several days in the coffeehouses... sampling the various blends... taking notes on the people that go... the ambiance created... whether or not wine/beer is served... whether or not food is served... and how the local population reacts to the coffeehouse. I'd want to capture as many different places as possible... finding the unique places to each little area of the world. Not the S'Bucks or Dunkin' Donuts of the world... but the universal equivalents to Cafe Coco and Fido. I want to see what makes a good coffeehouse separate from the bad... I want to find out the world's opinion on the best way to take your coffee. And what the average amount of time in a coffeehouse really is.

I think it'd be awesome! Not to mention... I could LIVE off coffee for a very, very long time. And coffeehouse food... which is perfect in my world. I mean... have you TRIED the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins at Fido and Bongo Java? Or sampled the hummus platter at Cafe Coco? Think of all the syrups... all the combinations... the various teas that get mixed in. It's heaven in a mouthful.

Seriously... someone should win the lottery and front this cost. And traveling around the world? That would be AWESOME. Just me and my laptop. And my camera, of course. It could be a photo-journalism project as well. I could create a world coffeehouse book for, what else, coffee tables! I could get pictures of baristas from everywhere... signatures from random people and patrons... would keep the napkins from everywhere and do a collage-page just of that. Then you add in the chocolate that you can find... WOW. I think it'd be awesome. I'd love to do it...

... oh wait, brings me back to what I SHOULD be doing right now. Applying for jobs and finding a source of meaningful income/employment... not daydreaming about things that cost way more than I can afford. Ah well. Maybe another day. Maybe another day.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Back, my popular demand

(And by popular, I mean that at least one person in the last 48 hours has said to me "Kayti! Update your blog!!!" Here I was thinking that I was chattering away to myself!!

What shall we rant about today? OH! I know. See... body image issues have long been a passion of mine. So much so that I wanted to go off and get a PhD to be paid to research and rant about them all the rest of my days. Well, the whole economic crisis that left universities with no money and the me not getting in anywhere stunted that ambition... for now... but that doesn't stop the ranting and raving. Oh no... it just makes it come out in forms of blogging and random conversations, sometimes with others, sometimes with the cat, sometimes at random cars driving by.

I just spent an hour by the pool... let's not even GO there on how that can complicate body image... and finished reading the latest edition of Marie Claire. Okay, I know that these magazines are going to piss me off in one form or fashion... but I did not anticipate this particular manifestation of cultural crappiness. I can take apart the skinny jeans and the models and the liquor bottles shaped like the female body. I can dissect the images that portray violence against women as a tool for selling handbags and high heels. I can shake my head at the eccentric fashion guidelines that have taken misery to the next level (I mean seriously, have you SEEN the shoes they want us to buy for the Fall? FOR REAL!)

Then, on the LAST page... there's an ad for the new emerald-green 4x9 inch Sony VAIO notebook... a COMPUTER... that says "Make your MacBook Air feel old and fat." WHAT THE HELL?????

My first impulse? Rip out this page and send it to a friend and therapist, Elyse, who happens to be the resident guru for body image at Renfrew. Second impulse? Scream and shout. Third impulse? Write a ranting raving bitching post on my blog. Guess which ones I did?

I mean... seriously?!?!? It's a fucking computer! It doesn't have to worry about body image or size or anything. And why should it? Why not have a comparison about megabytes or pixels... or just bash the PC vs. Mac thing again and again. You could talk about internet safety and high-speed access. WHY does the ad have to "go there" with size and age and weight? First of all... the whole Macbook Air thing as being the "thin" computer - really? What's up with that? And then to go even SMALLER? What the hell? What is this culture trying to do... institutionalize anorexia so that even our electronics have complexes and avoid mirrors?

It seriously pisses me off. Secondly... why would ANYONE want to make something that is already perfectly fine feel "old and fat" - that's just mean. Thirdly... and this is going into my rhetorical theories... WHY do we insist on making "old" and "fat" dirty, bad words?? Seriously... there is NOTHING wrong with either of those words. Old is a state of aging... if we cease aging, we cease living. I'd rather be old than dead. So what is so wrong with being old?? And fat? Okay... I struggle with this still... but really, at the end of the day, it's a food group. It's NOT about body size or cells or anything else. That... and to insinuate that a MacBook Air is FAT... it has AIR in its name... what is fat about air? NOTHING. Ads like these just perpetuate the ideas that fat = bad and aging = bad. When really? Having fat is part of LIVING. It's part of being a normal human being capable of living and breathing and jumping and remembering and all those fun things that come with being alive.


Maybe I'm just ranting. Maybe I'm over-sensitive. But really? Really? They had to go and make something about ELECTRONICS into an issue of fat vs. thin and old vs. young? What the hell is wrong with us? What's next... pillar candles are going to be sold as "fat" or "thin" - you can't have any curves in your house... not even in your candles. Or electronics. Watch out for the wine glasses... they're going to get straighter and straighter until they resemble shot glasses... but wait... being short isn't good either... so they'll be the tall shooters. Maybe we should get rid of bowls as well... can't have those rogue curves lying around the kitchen. Plates are flat. But stick with the breakfast plates because they are smaller and clearly, the dinner plates could go on a diet, shave off an inch or two around the edges.

I'll stop. For now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

AnAkEwLiEz pIsS mE oFf

For those that don't know the jargon... "anakewliez" is the name a favored internet community and I gave to the people who are all oh-my-god-Ana-and-Mia-are-my-best-friends. People who glamorize eating disorders as lifestyles, who buy into the myriad of LIES out there about them. People who literally treat these LIFE THREATENING CONDITIONS as if they were best friends or Facebook buddies who actually gave a damn about their well being.

I am beyond pissed off right about now. I really do like to think of myself as a person with a good heart who, sometimes against better judgement, will offer a word or ten of support if someone is struggling. I'm not shy about it... I share my story to help others struggling with similar issues. There's enough shame in the illness itself, no need to add to it now. I am in recovery from anorexia. There, I said it... world didn't end. Now... people that KNOW this about me and STILL make idiotic comments? Now that, that right there? That pisses me off.

Case in point. A person I knew from Renfrew last summer is struggling hard core. I get that. I offer support... and trying to say that I can't handle reading updates that glamorize something that has ruined much of my life... in the nicest, most Kayti-like of ways. I get back?? A post on MY facebook wall about how the disorder is a lifestyle, not an illness. How she hopes she dies thin and happy, or not at all. How she's sorry I don't see it that way. Okay, STOP THE FUCKING PARADE.

Seriously? WHO wishes someone they met in TREATMENT to think in the illness itself? Even if YOU are so far lost into its depths that you buy the bullshit out there about it... to suggest to someone else that they should starve themselves to death? That is just sick. What pisses me off most about this whole scenario is that it perpetuates the myth that anorexia is all about a desire to be thin. This is infuriating to me because it couldn't be further from the truth, in my case. Sure, there is a fear of fat and gaining weight... but the desire to disappear from the world was the driving force, not a desire to be skin and bone. I was ashamed of my body and how it looked, ashamed that my struggle was that obvious. It was not something I was proud of... but something I hid. It came from a place of desperation and an obsession with the illusion of control... from an I-give-up place that wasn't willing to back out of life any other way.

Maybe this is too personal to put in a blog.. but not many people read this anyways. And I'm fuming mad.

I thought about leaving her words on my Facebook profile... see what others owuld say. But honestly? It was so repulsive and offensive that I deleted it, lest someone who reads my page who also struggles read her words and get triggered by them. Or harmed in any other way. I won't have that. Because I, unlike this person, give a crap about my friends and really DO want them to live free and happily. You can't do that in a fucking eating disorder.

I may continue to struggle with this a LOT more than I let on... but there is NEVER a desire to become an anazombie or drama queen of any nature. I would NEVER wish this hell on anyone else, no matter how much I disliked them... let alone someone I met in treatment! The thought of that never even crossed my mind!

So... RAWWWR fucking RAWR! That's me using my voice and channeling my inner lioness. Screw being "mama duck" like I was in college... I'm in the big leagues now. And no one, I mean NO ONE, messes with my cubs.
Nightmares take the weirdest forms possible sometimes. I've been struggling some with comments made by a director in my life right now. Specifically, comments regarding how big my butt is and how it's always sticking out. He has no clue about my history... and I am sure it's not intentionally hurtful. Thing is? I'm incredibly self conscious about it!

Add in the fact that I'm doing some rather intense stuff one hour a week... and you get the dreams I had last night. I'm going to be with another person while my person is out of town... and the dream? That person had me going to this weird group program that was less than IOP by more than OP... and the director was the one in charge. One of the other girls I knew from before was in there with me and she was FURIOUS. Well, the director dude was talking about safety and how you should lock your doors. Dream changed to me living on site and feeling so uncomfortable that I went to my room and locked the door. Dude got pissed and came after me... yelling, screaming, banging on the door. He was about to break it down, cursing at me and telling me exactly what he'd do to me if he caught me. The friend I had in the group ran to the other staff person... and they got him out of there and arrested. Then the staff was sitting with me, trying to figure out how to get me to deal with this new experience instead of staying a sobbing, shivering heap on the floor.

She was patient enough... but couldn't quite grasp why it was so upsetting. There were rainbows involved in the dream... a color-coded guide to locking your door... and random other things. Including someone trying to strangle me with a muff (I realized that my kitten was sleeping on my head/throat and that made it's way into my dream).

But seriously... what is UP with those types of fucked up dreams?? There was enough absurd that it was clear to me it was a dream... but seriously? Can a girl not sleep in peace? Hrumph!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jobless in Nashville

I really, really need a job. Although it's fun to sit on the edge of my chair, foot prancing wildly, while spending hours in coffee shops searching through employment ads for something I am qualified for... I've had enough of it. I want a job. I want the security of having a known income. I want to remember what it is like to have funds going IN the bank, not just coming OUT. 

Is this really too much to ask? I don't think so. Know what would help? Responses of some kind from places that post job ads. At least an automatic reply that the message was received and you will be notified by X date if you make it to the next level, otherwise thank you for your time, have a good life. It's the sending of resume after resume into the voids of cyberspace and hearing NOTHING back that is draining my dry. Or... maybe that's the nervous twitch from too much caffeine.

Seriously though... anyone know anyone looking to hire someone with experience in office/program management, public speaking, creative and performing arts, nonprofit business, crisis advocacy, event planning or professional organizing??? I'm getting a wee bit nervous as I watch those numbers in the bank that represent my livelihood dwindle. Anyone?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Really? Hrumph!

Seriously? The ONE thing I wanted to do today was spend some nice, quiet time at the pool. Lay out, get some sun, cool off in the water. I'm having a shit day after a shit yesterday and it was what I told myself I could do for self care. I don't like laying out in the summer heat without access to a pool - I overheat. I also feel awkward laying out on my balcony with folks coming and going below. 

I got all greased up AT the pool. It was quiet... private pool in the mornings as most folks are at work and kids are in camps. Until this one person comes out... then next thing I know... management is out there. Apparently the pool got trashed on Tuesday night and they are shock cleaning it, whatever that means. I wasn't even allowed to just lay out there... pool closed, fine, but why can't I sit out on the deck?? It's a private place. It's closed a week. Bullshit. It was open Tuesday (she had originally said Sunday) and it's opening tomorrow. 

I'm... pissed off and frustrated. Okay, so something happened. 1) Get your story straight. 2) Put up a fucking sign. 3) Why the hell can't the DECK stay open despite closed pool? I'm 25 fucking years old, I think I can stay out of the water. 4) Put up a fucking sign. 5) Don't apologize when you don't mean it. 

So much for my goal of making this a better day. I don't ask for much (do I?) and that was all I wanted. Fuck it. Just... fuck it. Now I'm all greasy too and need another shower. Fuck this. JUst.... fuck it. Know what else is annoying??? I'm so angry I'm in tears. I HATE that. I never look mad with tears streaming down my face... what is UP with that?

Monday, June 08, 2009


I mean... seriously?!?!? I have spent the greater part of the last few weeks CLEANING my apartment to rid it of glitter. I found glitter in places it should never be... like the crease of the toilet and in the cat's litter box. But tonight takes the cake. Somehow... the offensive substance that coated my body during Faire... made its way INTO the gel part of my brush. Not just on the outside. Not just in the bristles. Not just on the handle. But INSIDE the brush. This unnerves me. How did it get there? What else gets in there? Where else is the glitter lurking?

I thought it was bad when I caught a fleck in my ice cube tray (and therefore ice). I thought finding it in the cat's fur was sad. How it got in my glovebox of the car, I don't know. How it managed to stay in the pocket of those jeans despite being washed TWICE since then... but INSIDE the gel handle of the brush? That just... takes the cake. 

I'm a crafter and an artist type. Despite that and my love of all things creative, NO MORE GLITTER!

Artsy Fartsy - June Art Shows

We all talk about chasing our dreams, hoping that we get further than our beloved pets when they run in circles chasing their tails. Now, Raven comes close and Naia frequently DOES catch her tail... but I've gotten one step closer than that. After months and months of submitting to everything I can find on Craigslist, reading MetroMix and the Nashville Scene, and hanging out at all the local coffee shops, picking up all those little flier thingies... I've landed myself a few art shows!

On Saturday, June 13th, I will have space at the Billups! Art Event in East Nashville. Specifically, it's at 1008c Woodmont Street. I strongly encourage you to attend! The show is from 11-8pm... East Nashville is a fantastic part of town... great community, lots of artsy fartsy types. Like me. I hope to have some of my acrylics and photography up.

On Monday, June 15th I load in at Elena's Cafe in Brentwood, located near the Franklin Rd Borders and Kroger. I'll have about 20 pieces of photography available for sale, as well as the debut of my "Masquerade" collection of masks. These will be for sale as well... but the neatest part will be attending to see the different masks together. The cafe is fantastic, home of the best Bubble Tea in Nashville, and a great ethnic assortment. The owner is fabulous - he is allowing artists to hang their work for 30 days in his space FREE of charge, not even commission! So please help me help him... go have lunch or dinner there one day... look at my art... and thank him for letting local artists show their work in his space. 

Maybe art itself isn't your thing? What about theatre? 

The Post Depression Theatre opens its second round of "A Sketchy Evening" on June 26th and 27th - 7:30pm shows with a suggested donation of $5. Located in 5-Points... right by the BP on the intersection of Woodmont and N 11th Street. It's the purple building with the funky people painted on the side, with the painted sign "Post Depression Theatre" being a dead give-away. I'm in 3 of the 8 sketches... and wrote one of them. So come on by and check it out! Bring your own lawn chair if you like... seating inside is limited... so having a comfy one of your own guarantees you a space.

All this to say... I've been very, very busy. Spending lots of time in my home studio these days... getting work ready for the two art shows. Let's keep our fingers and toes crossed that I sell something... I need to start paying off the overhead cost and, maybe, my bills? 

Friday, June 05, 2009

Holes in the Wall, not the Head

On Monday, June 15th I will be loading in about 20-25 pieces of photography and about 10 masks to Elena's Cafe in Brentwood, just off Franklin Rd, near the Borders and Kroger. It's a great little cafe in the heart of Brentwood area... making the best bubble tea I've ever had in my life. Even better than the little asian market that I lived above in Potsdam. The owner is amazing and has a friend who is an artist - she volunteers her time to help him have new art on his walls - at (get this!!!) no charge to the artist!!! 

I spent a large chunk of these last few days going through my digital photography and selecting pieces to display. I got them developed yesterday and picked up frames today... spent the evening playing with various arrangements of matting... and think I've got them just as I like them (for now). I need to find mats for 11 x 14 prints... will try the art store tomorrow to see if they have more custom-sized matting. 

So... aside from the sheer incredibleness of having my very own art gig... just my art... no one else in there... in a nice part of town... I'm also riding high on the whole picture. See, art is one of those things that I was always told I couldn't do. I wasn't as good as the other kids in middle school, and I wasn't encouraged to break outside that black-and-white box. I started apologizing for my attempts at art... I would beat people to the punch by telling them that even my stick figures needed help. I doubted myself, I doubted my abilities and I was embarrassed to be less than perfect. Until my senior year at Vanderbilt when I started drawing faeries. Until I looked at my pictures one day and realized I had some natural talent here. Until I picked up a paintbrush this past January and discovered I could paint.

Art is my liberation flag. It is the one thing that tapped into my true self despite relapsing into anorexia and struggling to get by in day to day life. It is the one common thread that ties together so much of my life. It is an expression of the soul in various mediums, textured by emotion. It is my catalyst into recovery and a life that I only half-lived for almost eleven years. 

I came to Tennessee expecting a short-term stay... expecting to leave in the summer to pursue my doctorate. Life had other plans. Honestly? I couldn't be happier! I finished my project this evening and hung up the many pieces of photography that laid sprawled on the floor. When you have two cats, it is not safe to leave precious materials (or anything you don't want stepped on, sat upon or chewed on) on the floor. My home is now like the canvases I use to paint... it is a work in progress. Some of the holes hold finished products. Some contain half a thought. Some contain the sheer outline on an idea. But everything is hanging. Why wait until it is done to showcase the effort? Life doesn't wait for the final stroked are completed... why should I? 

This peace that has come over me lately... it is grounded in all of this. I am slowly applying my artistic impulses to daily life. There is so much more to life than the slight bit I'd allowed myself to taste while trapped in my own mental muck. For the first time I can remember, I feel truly free. 

Half-Tipsy Thoughts

As the title says... there may or may not be a bit of alcohol in my veins. It comes in the form of Mike's Hard Raspberry-Lemonade. That stuff is AMAZING. It comes in peace. It comes from the back corner of my fridge that I didn't know was there until scavenging for something tonight... found the cookie dough I was looking for AND the lemonade. That's ALMOST a fruit, right? :P

So... random movie advice. The Producers? Really not that good of a musical or movie. I wasn't impressed. I'd heard good things, I know it recently came to TPAC... but honestly? I was bored. I almost fell asleep and when the thunderstorm came through last night, I found myself MUCH more entertained by the lights and sound of Nature than of the idiots dancing around on screen. So that was a major let down. Wanted though... THAT is a good movie. Angelina Jolie did well... as did Morgan Freeman and the lead dude playing Wesley. 

What is it with naming characters Wesley? The best all time Wesley has to be from The Princess Bride, you know, Mr. As You Wish, aka Dred Pirate Roberts. He doesn't believe in ROUS's though... despite the rather large toothy scar on his body after making that comment in the swamp pips. Pits too. Mr. Mostly Dead that got revived by the best witch doctor in Hollywood.

Then you've got Wesley from Buffy... you know... the prison-bait going after Cordy in Season 3? I mean sure, he was cute and all... but why settle for the young Brit when you've got the gloriously glamorous undead to date? Sure, they can take you out in the daylight and you don't have to worry about those nasty forehead wrinkles... but seriously? NOT a comparison! 

Kung Fu Panda was a fantastic movie though... too bad it got rained out of the Park last night. That would be neat to see on full screen. Though I wouldn't want to be in the Park when all the kids start trying those moves. Some things just aren't meant to be. That, and I don't really like fighting for parking at those park movie things... 

So those are my random half-tipsy thoughts of the night. Sponsored by Mike's and a really, really good day. Yup, I've had several good days in a row, almost 2 weeks of them in fact. That's fantastic! It's punctuated by a rather disgusting experience with Mr Asshat Producer Dude who tried to get me to prostitute myself for a role... but you know what? I appreciate his slimeball efforts. He gave me anger and voice and an uncontrollable urge to walk around with my third finger protruded in an erect fashion. That's the only erect ANYTHING this shitster warrants. Oh, he also wanted me to lose weight... fuck you Mr A.P.D. You picked the wrong chica to mess with... maybe read the resume next time, or have someone explain to you what "advocate" means - because pulling that crap on someone who has worked for FIVE YEARS with women and teaching them about the power they have over their own bodies? Yeah, that's a no win situation for you. 

Hmmm. I might still be mad. I'm okay with that. It fuels a lot of things... including my celebrating tonight of a kick-ass day after a kick-ass week, with a kick-ass movie (that would be Wanted). So thank you Mr A.P.D for helping me kick ass... not quite the piece of ass you had in mind... but something MUCH more agreeable with my moralities and conscience. Maybe avoid the feminists next time you try that crud... or the only thing kick ass about YOU would be the foot up your ass kicking you out the door.

Hmmm. I'm feisty. Time for bed. Alcohol makes me sleepy. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Woes of a Pineapple

Lesson of the week... it is never "that simple" to get a pineapple. At least, not when you're me. First, you've got to go to Trader Joe's to pick it up. It is cheaper there, and a healthier impulse buy. You then leave the parking lot and find yourself unable to get BEHIND the building to where your car is parked... so the nice guy on his smoke break that works at the Smoke Shop next door takes you through the store and out the back door. 

Now, you have to sit in rush hour traffic all the way home, eating the pack of raspberries that you bought (they were sitting next to the pineapple) on sale. You finally arrive at home, way too tired to do ANYTHING with the pineapple other than stick it in the fridge. You then work your ass off Thursday-Tuesday... until you remember it is there Wednesday morning.

At this point, you stand at the fridge wanting the pineapple but way too tired and lazy to bother slicing it up. Close fridge. Open fridge. Think about pineapple slices. Grilled pineapple. You check to see if your Foreman works and ponder the meaning of low-fat bbq sauce... then decide you'll wait on the pineapple another day.

You finally chop up pineapple - YUMMY! You read all the directions on it (which are rather extensive for a piece of fruit) and have at it. Miracle #1 - you did not injure yourself on the pineapple cutting process! You recall your list of things that do NOT go down the garbage disposal and slice up the rinds enough to cause no issues. MMMmmm smells like sweet pineapple now.

You leave to sit by the pool on this overcast day... sunshine is a necessity, especially in working up a pineapple-based appetite. You return home, wash your hands before having some of your favorite fruit... only to find the water doesn't drain in the sink. You turn on the disposal and it just backs up further... now having blended with those used coffee grounds from earlier in the day. Yuck. Turn off disposal and slowly let water drain. Stair at it inquisitively for a few minutes, waiting for the Disposal Deities to fill you in on their joke. No such luck.

You take fork and stir it around... nothing seems clogged. REMOVE FORK and try again. JUMP! This time the water splashes back OUT of the drain and right onto your shirt... narrowly missing your phone and laptop and other electronics placed inappropriately near the kitchen sink. You shut off the disposal real quick... move electronics... and try again. Maybe it was a fluke? Nope, Drenching #2. So you back away and try again... enter Drenching #3-5. At least the sink isn't clogged...

After several more moments of staring at the drain... you give up and call maintenance. Of course, it's 1:30pm and no one was at your apartment office... so you left a message. They are notoriously AWFUL at getting messages... so you are stuck with a pissed off garbage disposal, temperamental kitchen sink and a soggy t-shirt. You resign yourself to call again at 2:00... hoping someone answers the phone this time. 

And after all that? You're not sure you even still WANT the pineapple. Oh wait, who am I kidding, of COURSE you want the pineapple. It's just that good.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

You Know You're Tired When...

You know you haven't gotten enough sleep and are way WAY too tired when...

- you make coffee, only to realize you put the grounds where the water goes and the water where the grounds go.
- you mistake your black cat for a pair of shoes and jump 10 feet when the shoes move.
- you can't seem to figure out how to make your screen door open... something about a locking mechanism gets lost in exhaustion.
- you hear a car "beep" and wonder how much insurance you'll get if your car is stolen.
- you hear a second "beep" and thank the person for locking your car again.
- you attempt to throw out your clothes and put the trash in the washing machine. 
- you cannot run your errands yet because nothing will be open for several more hours.
- you stare into the mirror, confused... then pout because the dark circles are NOT going away with face wash. 
- your ability to spell has remained in bed while your body attempts to respond to emails and Facebook messages.
- you actually take those Facebook quizzes.

I'm sure there are more... but it's a good start to summarize my day.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Blessed Be Bast

So... I've been sobbing all morning with frustration. I finally started cleaning up some around here... and lit my altar candle for the Goddess, saying a prayer to Bast to please please please watch over my Naia. To keep her safe and let her know that she is loved, no matter where she is. That her mother is searching for her and misses her and is SO so so sorry for ever letting her out of her site. 

Literally, as I was putting the lighter down, my phone starts to ring. It's the Lady in my previous ramble... at the store. She thought we'd made arrangements for me to pick up Naia late this afternoon. No... that was tentative, we were to check in and see when I could get her, having a friend pick her up if possible earlier so my child wouldn't be all alone in a cage somewhere. Apparently that last bit got lost in translation. I'm frustrated that somehow this is painted to be my fault... but I'm RELIEVED to know my  child is okay. Her contact is picking her up from the vet and driving her up to Nashville. I'll get her where Lady is in Nashville around 5ish this afternoon. I'll have my baby back. FINALLY. 

Blessed Be to Bast... thank you kind Goddess for watching over my child, and for helping me find her today. Please stay with Naia a little bit longer, hold her in your warm, loving heart until I can wrap her safely in my arms tonight. Please give her safe passage from the vet to Nashville, and then from Nashville to my apartment, her home. Please give Raven patience and tolerance to welcome back the baby despite smelling like vet... and may we all sleep soundly tonight, our little family reunited at last. Thank you, and Blessed Be.

Furiously Frustrated

Seriously?!?!? What the fucking hell? I am so angry and frustrated that I've been reduced to random fits of tears flowing heatedly from my eyes, smearing their salty way down my cheeks before splashing off my face, landing on my clothing, computer or cat (Raven). I hate this. I hate it so much. I hate not having ANY ability to change the current situation... and I am FURIOUSLY FRUSTRATED that I'm even IN this situation!!!


See... I took Naia in to the lady who sold her to me. Lady transports her to the vet to get the surgery for fixing (which went well, thank the Goddess), and then brings her back to me. Lady gave me her home number, cell, work and her boyfriend's number. Well... I've been calling Lady since FRIDAY to find out where my cat is and how to get her back... and NO ANSWER. I've left messages. I finally got ahold of the boyfriend last night and he told me she was at the store. So I called - no answer, another message.

WHAT THE HELL?!?!? Where is my Naia??? I haven't seen her adorable face since Wednesday afternoon. She's probably in her cage somewhere... is she still at the vet? Is she with Lady??? WHERE IS MY CHILD??? I hate this. I fucking hate this. My baby had surgery... and I can't be there to love on her. She probably hates me... what if this distance and horrid treatment turns her from the sweetest, most loving, adorable creature into a stoic, antisocial recluse?? She's been through Hell and her mother (me) hasn't been there. But that's NOT my fault! 

I want my child back and I want her back NOW. I don't have any functioning numbers that get me to Lady though. I've left message after message. All I can do now is wait... and this frustration is festering inside, wrecking all kinds of habit. One of my worst fears if for something bad to happen to her. I lost Kaida almost 5 months ago now... and I am NOT okay with the idea of losing another child. I can't handle it. I really, really can't handle it. Every time I close my eyes, nightmares about my cat. Something happened... why aren't they returning my calls? In one nightmare, they brought me the wrong cat. In another? They told me she bit the vet and had to be put down. NO WAY. NO. 

I'm scared for my kid. I hate this. I hate being powerless to help. I don't even know WHERE this cat is... or WHERE this Lady lives. I only know her from work. I WANT MY CAT BACK NOW! At the very least... I want a phone call telling me where she is, that she's okay, and when I can come get her. This not knowing is KILLING me. Seriously. I have NEVER done well with the power-down position in life. It triggers, well, everything. 

I will call every fucking hour on the hour if I don't hear something back by ... say... 2pm. I am NOT going to bed tongiht without my Naia. I don't care if I have to call the fucking cops (okay, maybe that's going a bit far) - but seriously?!?!? WHERE IS MY CAT? Why won't Lady return my phone calls? This is NOT okay. NOT okay at all. I want my child back and I want her back like 2 days ago. I don't care WHERE she is at this point, just tell me and I"ll drive to get her. And love on her the entire way home. 

I thought nothing could be worse than getting Raven back the same day as her surgery, seeing her in so much pain, dealing with her and stitches and all that. But honestly? This IS worse. Because I can't see my child. I can't hold her. I don't even know where she is to be able to PICTURE her doing well. I'm scared for her and it's killing me inside. I want my child back NOW. Every ounce of maternal instinct is screaming... yelling... building into an absolute fury. GIVE ME MY CAT BACK!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Anxiety Ho!

I really do look forward to the day when there is no anxiety in my life. I have a hunch I'll find SOMETHING to worry about... like whether my green fingernails really go with my tye-dye stockings... or if anyone else notices the tiny run in my green-and-black striped socks. Is it too cliche that I have striped socks in far too many colors??

Alas, I'll still covet that day... when the anxieties swirling in my head involve the mundane, regular things that the so-called "normal people" sweat out each day. I'm ready to stop living in my cage of food fears and regulations... my heart-stopping panic whenever I see a certain type of car in beige from a certain state... my seeming inability to sleep without being visited by someone from my past, reminding me of all the work that has yet to be done before I can commence the pleasant banalities of normalcy. 

I'll admit it, that last sentence was concocted to use the word "banalities" - SAT/GRE vocab moments make my inner geek smile in a big, metallic, chipmunky grin.

The real reason for anxiety today? Naia. My baby goes in for the whole operate-so-you-never-have-babies-or-go-into-heat-and-act-like-a-slut-cat-thing on Thursday. This means I take her to my friend on Wednesday afternoon who will take her to another friend who runs animals down (3 hours) to the shelter that does free spay/neutering. Naia will be fixed first thing Thursday morning (an expression that I hate as there is NOTHING broken with my baby!!!). She'll spend the night doped up on nice, kitty-friendly drugs and then return with the 2nd friend on Friday, who will bring her back to the 1st friend. I won't be able to pick up my child until Saturday evening...

... in the midst of all of this is opening weekend for the Renaissance Faire... with performances on Friday and Saturday before I get my kitty back, as well as opening-first-coming-out show for the East Nashville theater group. 

Most people worry about learning lines or forgetting a cue. Or that your wings fall out in the middle of the lanes, or some creepy person decides to take a liking to the moving pine tree (that's me). And don't get me wrong, I'm anxious about those things too... but the huge-oh-my-god-is-that-a-mountain-or-a-billy-goat-on-steroids thing on my chest? Naia. I'm scared to death that something will go wrong, or that they'll find some hidden danger that will take her away from me. The nightmares have already begun... and I wake up in tears. I lost Kaida before she reached Naia's age... and so help me... I cannot handle the THOUGHT of losing another kitten. 

So please keep my baby girl in your thoughts and prayers... she has never spent a night away from me and her big sister... at least Raven and I will have each other to cuddle with while she's gone. But she's going to spend FAR too long with strangers in a cage... frightened, not knowing what's going on, then in pain. That cage... the same one that Kaida died in... you might start to understand why I'm so freaked out. If ANYTHING happens to her... well... I can't even finish that sentence. She has to be fine. She just... has to be. She's named for two powerful Goddesses, may they please watch over her this week while she is away from her mother... and may they smile gently on those of us who will be missing her during every living moment.

There are tears in my eyes. I think I am way too attached to my cat-children. Surely this level of love and connection cannot be normal. Or is it??

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Prrrrty Please

On a whim, I checked my internet this morning and was almost knocked backwards in surprise when I discovered it to actually open up my favorite homepage, MSN.com. Okay, I'm not really partial to the page, but when you haven't had internet at home for a week, you get pretty darn excited when you recognize the familiar start-up screen! I'm afraid to say this "out loud" - lest the Gilbert Gods hear me and re-privatize the connection. I do nothing illegal... I'm not about that shit... but I have no qualms using unprotected, unpassworded, unsecured internet. Hey, those waves are wafting through the air, penetrating my windows and latest deal-centric purchases... so I figure I have a right to them!

I decided to upload some pictures of Dave's birthday party. Who is Dave? Well.. if you have to ask, then you clearly do not know him. He's the husband of a very dear friend of mine, and he celebrated his birthday in grand style at Rose Pepper this past Wednesday night. I was the DD for the evening, and partial-photographer. One thing I adore about Dave? His ability to let go and have a grand ole time, no matter who is around or what etiquette says is polite. I admire his childlike simplicity-outlook to the world. Oh, do not get me wrong, he is a very wise, been-through-serious-shit guy... but he's still in touch with his inner-faerie, and that just makes me smile. 

I am laying on my carpeted floor (you know, where the kitchen table would be if I ever got around to getting one) and typing this out. I've got the baby (Naia) to my right. Wait, she moved... now she's on top of me... now she's chasing a mouse-toy under the dresser... back to the point. She's got her "Prrrrrrt" on this morning. It's akin to the sound she makes when she glimpses her sister (Raven) sitting on the coffee table, staring off blissfully into the world (perhaps pondering the meaning of life, or at least tuna)... tail twitching gently, as it always does. The baby will crouch down as low as she can get herself and then... with a loud "Prrrrrt!" she pounces. The humor? Raven actually lets her do this a few times, building up her confidence that the tail IS in fact a toy, before bobbing her good on the ears. 

Life must be good for a cat... at least these two spoiled little angel children. They are enjoying the warmer weather and corresponding open screen doors. AND, my good little girls? They did the one thing yesterday that I tell them IS their responsibility in this house... they killed a spider. Okay, so I stopped them from eating it... those cute little pink sandpapery tongues wake me up ever morning, and I don't want to be licked by someone with arachnid-breath. That's just gross. So bugs beware, I've got two little lionesses laying in wait. 

I'm off. It's in the 80s today and bright sunshine. This means I'm in heaven right now... and will spend as much of my day as humanly possible in the sun. :)