Pre-spring scourge? Check.


I thought for a few days I was in the midst of a strange allergy attack. Part of me still thinks this. Another part, the part that just woke me up at 5:50 a.m., hacking on my own sinus goo, thinks I just have a nasty little cold. Change of season, right? Who knows. It is seeming like the third sinus infection of the winter. Or not. On the couch, drinking hot tea to melt the goo away, writing on 20/20. Not such a bad thing. If I could get up at 5:30 every morning, there’d be no end to what I could accomplish. Maybe I could even start making art again. Get to the studio by 5:45, paint for an hour and some change, home by 7:30, when everyone starts stirring.

Work is still happening, which rules. I now have enough office costumes to wear so that nobody has to see me in the same thing twice in a two or three day period. The girls are now always staying in preschool from 9:30 till 3, three days/week. Beenie even naps there — she NEVER naps at home! The thing is, though, she doesn’t really need to nap. It’s just the culture of class that everyone passes out, so she figures she isn’t missing anything, and joins in. Makes bedtime challenging if I can’t get her outside running around somewhere, but I’m glad she can shut down for an hour or so during the day without too much hassle. Speaking of bedtime… 10 p.m. is an unacceptable bedtime for the little peeps, which is what it has become since daylight savings time kicked in. Need to trick their bodies into thinking it’s an hour later than it really is. Hopefully things will flow into a normal schedule by next week. Will try to wake them up early this morning to see if that helps.

What’s been happening? My mom is feeling better after about 6 weeks of shingles misery, so the girls and I traveled down to suburban D.C. to visit for a day the past two weeks. They love their grandparents. My mom’s illness came at a time that the entire Mid-Atlantic was shut down for 5 weeks anyway, though, so the timing was at least not entirely inconvenient. It is hard for me to believe how much snow was on the ground three weeks ago. Mountains of the stuff. I thought it would be May before it all melted, but I think most of it is gone now. Just the rain remains. And memories of being sick and cooped up with three other people in the exact same boat. Our little row house boat. There was only one day of real *lose your shit and kill everyone* mania, where I wasn’t sure all four of us would make it through The Shining, but here we are, somehow still speaking and interacting with each other. Amazing. We survived the BLIZZARDS OF ‘OUGHT TEN.

I have two paintings that sit in my friend’s studio, untouched for months. The Puddle painting and the Octopus painting. The Octopus is a commission for my sister-in-law’s cousin’s wedding present. I believe if the piece gets to the newlyweds by May, it will be within the good taste range of not later than a year after the blessed event. I’d say the painting is 95% done. Needs some color tweaking, but I think that could be accomplished quickly. If I could ever break away from my familial and job duties long enough to do anything. The puddle painting has less of a deadline. This piece started out as one thing and has become something very different. I like the transformation, but really, it needs some attention. I’d like to finish it in the next few months and ship it west. Hell, I’d like to ship myself west.

Chim chim cherrie.

Baltimore, MD: The New South Pole


I bet hundreds, thousands of people all over the Mid-Atlantic of the U.S. are blogging-out over the mondo snow-blast that continues to drop piles of powder in the region. I suppose I will join the ranks. UNBELIEVABLE. Really. It started here around 1 p.m. yesterday and hasn’t stopped yet–it’s 1:55 p.m. now. 24 hours. Luckily, I purchased enough food Thursday to get us through a solid two weeks before the cats start looking like chicken. Hopefully we won’t get Donner Party levels of starvation here in the row house. There IS a grocery store about a seven minute walk from our house, so we may survive, if the shelves have anything left on them. Might take an hour to walk there in three feet of snow. Whatevz. We got food, the heat appears to be working (thanks, fifty year old, asbestos coated, barely working oil burner! kudos!), the girls are relatively healthy (however, Beenie appears to be sporting what I believe to be pink-eye as of last night…ugh), we still have electricity and really nice neighbors. I’m thinking of making some muffins this afternoon to share with the ladies on each side of us. Thanks for being great, Florence and Sue!

So, my painting studio wall seems to have been rented. Damned lack of money! I just can’t do it right now. Good pal, art mentress Jiyun says that my finding myself again studio-less means that there’s something else I want/need more than a wall in a studio. Which, of course, would rule. I’d love to have a permanent place to put all my art crap — drawings, paintings, supplies, a desk, some quiet and focus. I want that. Though, I also have loved sharing Julia’s studio for the past few months. I actually completed the big flower painting — at least, I can’t think of anything else to do to it. So it must be done. Not bad timing, really. Though it is never a good time not to have a painting studio. Something else will come along at the right moment, it always does.

Have I mentioned I’m in an ice castle? WHEN WILL THE SNOW STOP?! Have been thinking about baking, maybe muffins of some sort. Pie. Cookies. Really, is there anything else to do during a blizzard? It’s that or bitch at everyone around me. More soon from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow… oh, how I wish there were hot springs here! Brrrrrrrrr…….

One Year

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I have been writing this blog for one year today. This time last year, everyone was sick in my house, as it happens to also be this year, though I’m not so sick that I get to have my fave cough medicine. Oh well, be careful what you wish for, right? The girls’ have minute colds which are barely colds in my opinion. They both slept through the night last night, so in my book, they’re just fine. My cold is also hardly present, and swabbing my nostrils with zinc goo seems to have actually made a difference in my feeling okay. Hubbo is rightly sick, tho. And he’s the one who has to go out into the world and pretend to be human. I just play a human on TV.

This time last year I was very depressed. I have bouts of the stuff off and on all winter long, but last year was a doozey. I was isolated, alone (yet never ever quite alone), and felt as if the winter darkness was imploding all around me. I was considering therapy as a way to cope with my situation. Then one day/night I looked at my friend Jerry Lim’s blog, which is just lovely, and thought to myself, “Dammit, I’m gonna get me one of those!”. A day or two later, here I was, choosing a template and typing words to get them and me out of my crazy head. And it worked. It really did. I love writing on 20/20. I love the occasional, well-written comments and feedback I’ve received from a number of old and new humans. I love the platform, if you will. And I will! Here’s to more years of me babbling about my frustrations and joys. Here’s to reading about yours, too. Which I also love learning about.

Any news about my Government job yet? I’m ready.

What was so great about yesterday?

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71 people looked at this blog yesterday… why? What happened yesterday to make 71 clicks appear? Was it the word “medicine” in the title? I’d say the average viewing of 20/20 is betwixt 10-30 peeps on any given day, with plenty of days where there’s just three, or five. I want some answers. I wanna know why.

I also want to know why Beenie wanted to sleep in Mimi’s bed for naptime today. Mimi seemed not to mind the idea, so I put them down with the important and required blankets and figured they would make it work. BOY WAS I WRONG. It is funny to watch myself type those words right now. It is the exact same subject matter that got me writing to begin with, back in the summer of 2006, when they were 8 or 10 months old. Why won’t they sleep? It isn’t bothering me as much as it used to, this non-sleeping. Because I hear them chattering, and I know their personalities so much better at this point. Of course they can’t sleep! THEY ARE NOT IN THEIR BEDS! Why did I let them talk me into switching things up? They are now laughing, which is charming, as long as they haven’t removed their diapers and shat all over one another’s cribs. I had half-assedly planned to mop the kitchen floor today while they napped. I guess that could still happen if I stopped writing this, now. And I will stop, but not before I find an appropriate image to accompany this post.

Good Ol’ Blog


Good afternoon, blog. Sorry I’ve been neglecting you. When we first started seeing each other, I felt like we had a deep connection, you know? If I recall correctly, it was back in February of this year. The girls and I were hacking up our proverbial lungs — we all had a nasty little scourge that was hard to shake. I think I had it the worst. I started sucking down some really good cough medicine, which was the only thing that allowed me to sleep instead of cough all night. And something happened. Something special. Late at night/early in the morning, on the couch. You and me. The winter was dragging, all of us were cooped up in the house a little too much, and you were there for me. You listened to my self-absorbed obsessions… “Will I ever be able to seriously make art again?” and “Jesus, this is driving me crazy staying at home with toddlers every day”. You made a little extra room for my failing/possessed digital camera, CameraMorte. You remained devoted despite my playing over and over again Bjork’s ‘Debut’ CD. And here you are, still, today. Despite the fact that its warm and the girls and I can play outside, easily take strolls. You’re still here waiting for me when they go down for a nap. Just in case there’s anything remotely interesting or uninteresting in my pudding-like brain left to write about. Here you are. Thanks, blog. xoxoxokisses, J

Car Wash II

Took the girls for a lovely stroll this morning. The rain dried up and the sky is clear blue with smatterings of marshmallow clouds. I am feeling quite unsatisfied of late. I don’t think this is a bad thing, necessarily. Usually when I am like this I try to do things to be more productive. Time management is at the bottom of this I’m afraid. Whereas in the past, I had plenty of time in addition to the time I had to spend doing the crap I had to do. Bad sentence. I had lots of free time. That is what I’m trying to say. Now, what would be free time in the past is spent decompressing before running around doing chores and fretting about what kind of job I’ll be qualified to do when I go back to work in a year, when the girls are three, and wondering where the hell my artistic career (albeit small, unlucrative and unrecognized for the most part) went and will it ever come back. There are also many levels of panic surrounding my own guilt about having this dissatisfaction when I should really be spending my time focusing on making my daughters smarter, well-adjusted and perfect.

Mothers. So silly. You can’t make your children perfect! They are who they are, which is already perfect, even in its imperfection. Should I really be in the role of their schoolteacher at this early age? I tell them about color, sound, we dance around, there is much discussion (one way) about sharing and being kind to one another. I count when doing everyday things, I tell them how many toes and fingers they have, which foot is getting a sock. I provide food for them to eat which they really seem to enjoy. And then I clean up after all of this, which is quite time consuming. I guess I could just forget about my interests and really, myself altogether, and devote every waking moment to their betterment, but that doesn’t seem realistic or like a very good idea.

Can you tell someone recently mentioned to me I should be organizing their days more? Structured activity? Today the blog is like me whining to a therapist, except I don’t have to shell out any money or think too much about my own childhood.

I read about that…

Sometimes you think you know what’s going on if you read this blog. But I only talk about a few things, every few days here. Not everything. Recently, I’ve been having conversations with a variety of people, some I’m closer to than others, and I bring up a subject and they say, “Oh, yeah. I already read about that.” It is a strange sensation, like the person has actually been reading my mind. Or my blog. I guess it is like a little, not-so-secret section of my mind that is open to the public.