Blue Hair

me with blue hair in 1994Found the blue hair film photo, circa 1993 or 94. I was living in an apartment with two other people in Chicago, IL, in a neighborhood called Wicker Park. I believe my monthly rent was $200.

I moved to Chicago after college. Had been living with my parents for about eight months in suburban Maryland, outside of DC and was slowly going mad, quite mad. Four years in art school had seemingly left me with no obvious job options and I needed to get out of New York, so moved back in with my folks. This decision was good and bad. Good, because I had no idea what the hell I was going to do now that my four year art party was over, and bad because I was terribly depressed and hopeless. Rock bottom, if you will. When you’ve hit that special dark place, any decision you make as long as it’s a drastic one will work.

A good friend was driving back to Chicago from MD at the end of her summer break from college and asked if I wanted to ride with her. I figured Chicago couldn’t possibly be worse than the purgatory I’d poured myself into at my parents place, so I packed a suitcase or two and got in the van.

End of Part 1.

Why I hate homework

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Why I hate homework, or, yet another reason I’m a bad parent. Let me rephrase… why I hate homework for FIRST GRADERS.

Maybe I wouldn’t hate it if there were more than two hours betwixt when we arrive home from school/work and when we begin the march upstairs for baths, teeth, reading and bed. But two hours is what we’ve got, and I’ve got two children.

All young children are left behind when, at the end of an eight hour day, they are expected to continue working. I didn’t say learning, by the way, because you never stop learning. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING is learned during this death march, end of day work. I’d rather they help an old lady, aka me, out with some endless chores at the end of the day than do busy work.

Which is why, moving forward, I’ve decided to let our two cats oversee my daughters and their homework.

Goodbye October…

Looks like I missed last month. Busy, man. Just fucking busy. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. Blogs are the types of things that require daily, or at least weekly care. 20/20 deserves better than the once a month or less posting it has been getting this year. Here is a list of the things that happen instead of my posting here:

  • get to work at 7:30 a.m. M-F
  • leave work around 4-4:30 p.m.
  • homework once the ladies and I have arrived home around 5:30 in the evenings
  • dinner
  • other homework we forgot to do
  • teeth
  • bathing every other night, the ladies and myself
  • lots of reading
  • make tomorrow’s lunches
  • put away yesterday’s dishes
  • laundry
  • possible grown up tv show with husband

Enough with the unordered list. Sometimes I feel like all I do is make bulleted lists.

Eyes growing weary. The hour is late. I am boring.

hello November!

Lucky Seven

Dear Mimi and Beenie.

How in tarnation did you go from small, loud, fleshy blobs to well-mannered, feral, groomed and wild, brilliant and totally goofy, artistic and musical readers, math-doers, socialites, bikes with no training wheels riders, swimmers, friends, completely different complicated and inspired daughters? How did it happen? And more importantly, when?

Is it that gigantic action that’s been happening for seven years, like two glaciers ironing out parts of the earth beneath it? It is, isn’t it!? I am proud and shocked to have been flattened (in a kind and recoverable way) by formidable acts of nature such as yourselves. I am humbled. And grateful and much much better for it.

Thank you and happy seventh birthday, darlings.

Augustus Gloop

Last day of August. All the things that happen this time of year have started happening. They actually started happening at the end of July. The weather turned cool — COOL! Felt like late September for much of this summer. Fantastique, or lame if you got a summer membership to the pool down the street and skipped the entire month of August. That was NOT COOL. Next year we may forgo the pool altogether since Mimi and Beenie go to a summer camp where they swim twice a day. By the time I picked them up in the afternoons, they could’ve care less about a big container of chlorinated water.

Sun diagram painting

Our summer was amazing in the following ways:

  • Mimi learned how to swim, then learned how to swim really well
  • Beenie got to be an even better swimmer
  • Both girls learned how to ride bikes!
  • Went to the beach for a week and collected tons of great rocks
  • Started re-watching Trailer Park Boys which really helps keep things in perspective
  • Worked on some art

The summer didn’t change the fact that husband and I still go to work every day. Strangely, I like my job, so for me it’s a bonus. I could work a few days less per week, but for the most part, I truly enjoy most of what I’m doing. Summer is not a special time. It’s just different. We have to pay extra money for summer camp, which sucks. But there is still a different amount of time and daylight to play with. Fall is workin’ time. Get the fuck back to work.

I swear, the girls’ school sent them home with homework THE FIRST DAY THEY GOT BACK FROM FIRST GRADE! Why isn’t it enough to learn stuff during the day? I don’t understand, I truly do not. And no amount of convincing will make me think it’s right for a 7 year old to be doing homework in the two and a half hours after school before bed. Nothing is being learned at this time of the evening.

In terms of art, some of the larger flower paintings got worked on this summer. And many new maps are in process. Once the girls have started up the Sunday school/church combo again Sunday mornings, I’ll have my quiet time back, and should be able to focus on finishing up some pieces. The next large project will be trying to figure out what to do with all the art once completed. That’s the part I struggle with, since it can take years before a real body of work is ready to be exposed to people other than me, it’ hard to keep up the art momentum. I’m not a great salesperson. I do need a new computer, though, which gives me some impetus to sell some stuff. Also to make room in my studio to make more art.

Oh my Glob, I totally dissed June!

What did June ever do to me, huh? I couldn’t even come up with one little tidbit for an entire month? July almost got lost, too. Something made me think of 2020 today.

Art

So much has been happening in our house in regards to art. Mimi and Beenie have been honing in on their vision and styles. They turn seven in September! Good gravy.

Mimi, who has always been graphically inclined, has become even more so. She is adding interesting details to the people she draws, three distinctive toes have appeared on feet. Eyes have a certain angle to them that was not always present. She can look at an object and do a great line drawing, but agonizes over making it perfect, so much so that she gets upset. She remains extremely competitive when it comes to making drawings and states frequently she wants to be an artist. She is very careful with her handwriting and appreciates the talent in others.

Beenie is still very quick when she makes things — such great movement to her drawings. She definitely approaches a piece of paper in a more painterly fashion than her sister. Large areas of color and consistent composition. She has an incredible ability to capture the gesture of things, fast and accurate.

They approach the act of making things so differently. I love what they make, and cannot be objective about it. But if they ask me how to fix something I will always give them tips that have made drawing easier for me. It’s not easy but so, so fun. And it is something they will always have with them, no matter what sorts of things they decide to pursue in their lives.

I’ve been rather productive making my own art, I must say. Shocking, considering how very very little time there is to focus on such things. I guess I’ve been making it more of a priority of late. I’m not so freaked out by my job, which at the moment I am really enjoying — also shocking.

Summer/Fall

Baltimore is having a fall weather event. The 100 degree days have given way to sunny, clear days in the 70s and low 80s and tonight in the 60s! What am I, a weather lady? These are the things I think about, though. I can’t make myself more interesting than I am, I’m afraid. And I think fall-like weather in late July is pretty freaking great!

What else? Have not been playing music, but have been reading about fasting and Transcendental Meditation. Note READING about it, not actually doing it. Well, in terms of TM, that is. I have actually been trying out intermittent fasting and am finding it curious and not entirely unpleasant. New, I guess.

I miss you and our talks. Let’s do it again soon.