The Second Half


My old pal Damon refers to middle-age as “The Second Half”. It certainly feels like it’s later in the game than I’m used to. At least mid way through. Some days more than others. When my knees crack and I can no longer sit for long periods of time (which is really bad for you, anyway!) without my hip hurting, I am reminded of how long I’ve been around. I’m not really old or anything, but I am definitely not young. AARP is tirelessly whittling away at a plastic log as I write, carving out my discount card for the next three or so years. A visit to Chicago last fall had another old pal, Wayne, reminding me that I no longer walk around saying… “but Wayne, we’re still really young! We have so much time!”, referring to us, like I used to, back when we were young.

I accidentally just found out that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are together… expecting a child no less! How did I not know about this already? I think it’s been going on for a while now, at least publicly. But I am really out of touch, apparently, with popular culture. I am not certain it is such a bad thing. Speaking of which, I had to shut down that nasty Facebook again the other night. I really hate it. I hate the time I allow it to take away from me actually doing something. Not that I spend that much time on it, but recently it seems like any time in that place is too much.




Pickle Sandwich™

Beenie invented a delicious new appetizer: the Pickle Sandwich™. Dill on the outside, bread-n-butter on the inside. Truly original, like Beenie. She has a penchant for creating appetizers. The previous celebrated snack was tortilla chip with a dab of hummus and a fancy olive on top. Gluten free! For you and me!

Tomorrow is no work and no school. Me and the ladies will relax in the a.m., possibly eat our weight in blueberry bread and coffee (coffee for me, not them), then troll around looking for a playdate. I have a feeling our fave bagel place is closed. MLK is taken very seriously in these parts, as his teachings should be. Me and Mimi and Beenie have been chatting about him and the good he did for many people. How he was shot. Who shot him?, they ask. That is a hard question to answer. Why was he shot? is also a tough question.

Got extra silence this Sunday a.m. while ladies and gent were at church. Had time to read the Ricky Gervais article in the Times Magazine and also had time to work on one of my dying Black-eyed Susan paintings. It was glorious. Recently unearthed a box of old mixed tapes — the ones that didn’t get trashed from the last house’s basement flood. Listened to a tape from Damon twice, and one side of a tape from Chris. Amazing. I really loved mixed tapes. Why was everyone so happy to replace them with mixed CD’s and jump drives? I’m glad my shitty tape player still works. Analog foreves, yo!

I am fairly sure I beat back the migraine that was threatening my long weekend. Got up early while my head was pounding and spent a half hour twisting out my spine. Not sure what sparked it off this time. Usually it is tied with hormones and that annoying time of the month. I hate headaches. This one better not come back tomorrow. Or the head is going. I’m bagging it up and putting it out for the Monday garbage collection.

There is a book on my bedroom floor, covered in fur, with a set of eyes peeking out from underneath. It is the furriest book I’ve ever had. It is staring at me. It arrived in a mysterious package with another book, and a note from a mysterious person I’ve never met in Berkeley, CA. Isn’t that cool?

Old skool

Section of a map project I'm working on. Crappy photo.

Today’s post is total old skool stylee. Home at 3:48 in the afternoon, fixin’ to leave in ten minutes to collect the ladies from school. Stayed home today because I’m sick, and now that I am employed, I get paid to be sick. I should get sick more often. Really tho, nobody likes a germ carrier polluting the already questionable air in the fluorescent cube-land where I work. I’m hacking in my own space today.

We moved into our house at the end of April 2011, and today, October 20, 2011 is the first day I’ve had all to myself in this house. It has taken six months for me to have total peace. And peaceful it has been, friends. Almost napped with two cats pinning me down, drank tea and coffee, coughed and sucked on cough drops. Contemplated the cause and cure for canker sores (OUCH), wrote a bit. Read a bit. Walked to the grocery store to get some healthy food to help me feel better, and make for my family. And here I am. Still have to unload the dishwasher, maybe throw in a load of laundry. But those are things I typically do once I’ve picked up the girls and come home after work. Those things can wait.

I could use a couple thousand more days like today. Not necessarily sick, tho. Just quiet and curious. And gettin’ paid for it.

Somehow July is almost thru

The summer of 2011 is hot. The air quality is for crap, and there is at least a fifty degree Farenheit differential betwixt my workplace and the outside lunch world. Maybe that is why I almost passed out today walking around outside midday. Every other 103 degree day has been fine. I welcomed those raunchy summer days with open palms in hopes my fingertips would regain feeling and color. But today, today something strange happened. And I’m still not quite back from it. Is it because I’m old that I can’t handle this hot? I have loved the hot weather of late — it helps bring me back close to 98.6 before I re-submerge into the wintry levels of the local government. I didn’t pass out, tho. I sat down for five or seven minutes and focused on breath and the fact that it would royally SUCK to fall over on these icky sidewalks. And that all I had to do was make it down the street and I could go sit in my little ice cube and look at a screen for a few hours to regain my strength.

Middle age meltdown to the max.


Geez! It’s been a while, no? Lots has been happening. Busy busy fall for 20/20. Three jobs I’ve applied for recently (if you consider within the last two months recent), two of which I’ve had some sort of interview for, refuse to tell me if I can have more interviews ahead or am no longer in the running. Nothing. Why, I ask? Why wait? Doesn’t it cost money to wait to hire someone? Don’t you know that if you hire me, I can move into a slightly bigger house in a neighborhood that has K-12 TAKEN CARE OF for my kiddles? For free?! C’mon, three random job possibilities! Especially you, you know who I’m talkin’ about. Yeah, you. County government. 35 hours/week?! I can do that! HELP A SISTER OUT!

School is interesting this year. Mimi is making the teachers work extra hard, in a good way. She isn’t taking well to the fairly useless morning assignments where she and the other four year olds have to do exercises, like drawing lines from words to images. Of course, most four year olds can’t read, so someone is reading the assignments aloud, therefore doing half the work for them. Whatever. I don’t want my brilliant child fretting over useless classwork when she’s FOUR. Who cares? Shouldn’t she be spending her time climbing trees or something? Scaling skyscrapers? Learning to fly? To make matters worse, her sister, junior executive Beenie, is an expert busywork doer. Whips through these useless assignments, is all about words and letters and spelling and reading and representational drawing. This doesn’t make Mimi’s life easier in any way. In fact, it really pisses her off. Not that Beenie should squelch her natural academic proclivities, Godforbid. I am blessed with two diverse, exceedingly different daughters. I want them separated in kindergarten. Its the only way they will both be able to excel.

What else? Working on a writing project with my sister. I’ll let you know when something large comes of it. She is remarkably easy to write with. We seem to balance one another’s visionary strengths. Both of us are driven by the need for money and the need not to do what we’ve been doing to make money. YEAH!

No painting. Mostly sound recording. Mostly job searching/applying. Mostly schlepping ladies around, supporting their engagement in physicality and brain development. It is truly amazing to watch them learn and apply what they are learning to their rich lives. I’m so glad they are here!

End of year approaches. You know. Christmas ornament assembly and creation will be exciting this year. How has another year almost completed itself? I’ll be 43 at the end of December. Probably got another forty years left in me, if my ancestors are any indication. 83 seems to be the cut-off, which makes good sense to me. Forty years. Lots of time in a way, and unbearably finite.

Woah. Let’s have the most important task for today be baking up some cinnamon rolls. The dough has been rising since yesterday afternoon. Will let you know how it comes out.

Way better in person

I love this painting. I wish I had done it. But my four year old daughter, Mimi, painted it. She has suddenly become quite prolific in the world of paintings in her new preschool class. I think it is hard for her to focus and have the physical and mental space to paint at home (I can TOTALLY relate). We don’t have a lot of room here, and her sister is quite the artist herself, so a place where she is singularly special, like school, is very important. Yet another millionth reason it is great these girls have a chance to go to school as young people. I have my generous parents to thank for this gift of school.

I could continue complaining about a lack of gainful employment, but today I’d like to address something else. I started recording a podcast yesterday. Is that weird? Think of it as an extra dimension to 20/20. Maybe unwelcome, but it’s been over two years of this written drivel–it’s time to branch out. Will let you know when I’ve edited it down to something listenable.


failed moon drawing


Started a new drawing last night. Sort of like the first one, perhaps… same idea of circles and lines. Oh the simplicity. The moon’s movement will continue into this newer drawing. I’ll post an image when I gots one… I have a half-failed piece I should photograph.. where is the danged thing (it’s here, on the right–>)?  The problem with this piece is the paper. I got this really cool gray chunky paper, thinking it would be a hearty, can take what I give it paper, but it is kind of soft and weak. No Arches cover, to be sure. I went back to the spendy, superpaper for the next piece and it’s already way better. Like butter, drawing on that paper. Woah. Worth every cent. Good thing I bought some back when I had income!