Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The First 36

After surviving the first 36 or so hours away from the socials, I find myself more energetic, and more positive. It could also be the hormonal roller coaster. Might as well go with it.

Anyway. Had a productive day of sales calls in the hour away suburbs. The first stop was a company that makes flavors for my presentation of my “Holiday” design. Look. Guys, I’m not gonna parse words. I don’t have positive feelings when I think of Christmas. I’ve had some pretty bleak Christmases in my life. Some distant and some recent. Some frozen nights alone, even if I wasn’t. I’ve had some pretty rad Christmases too. Don’t worry. Roller coaster.

I designed one though. Kind of my worst, visually. I’ve gotten better at the rendering program at work, where I impose designs onto pictures I took on site. It’s so basic. It’s Excel. “Rendering program.” But seriously, Excel is impressive.

And she, an exotic woman wearing color contacts that made her look kind of fiercely terrifying, loved it? Now that I’m remembering, she was surly at the beginning of our last meeting, and within a minute, she was sweet as honey. She softened and smiled at the pictures that I really didn’t have much to say about….other than, “remember...we talked about how you wanted that, well…” Probably my worst work, in my opinion, but keep in mind, my opinion is the harshest. She waxed sappy about Christmas, and wanted to do the whole thing, or most of it because, of course, it’s a lot of money.

No decision was made, but plans were discussed. And you shake hands and leave. It’s so gross...except, Christmas. And Plants. It's hard to go wrong with those. Well, definitely plants, at least.

Our next stop was a wedding venue, that almost went out of business, or there were rumors, that we obviously should have heard but didn’t. It was a redesign proposal for a three year contract signed by a lovely...suburban girl, who hated the design for which she signed and wanted a new one, for free. And she is getting it….at cost. I think.

We call her “glitz and glam,” which she probably said about a million times while she was explaining what she envisioned as she jazz-handed in front of her face.

I like to say mean things about her to my colleague, who designed a gorgeous installation for them the previous year. She tells me to stop, that the customer is right...but with just enough of a twinge of distaste. And by “say mean things about her,” I mean I just say, “glitz and glam” over and over again while I jazz-hand in front of my face. I’m vicious, but I still don’t want her to walk up behind me while I’m doing it. Because that would be uncomfortable.

Anyway, she was magically satisfied with this, my colleague’s third attempt to meet her requests. So we all had a pleasant ride back to the city.

When I get home from work, I'm now greeted by the happy excitement of two dogs, Linus and Fela. It's a frenzy of snouts and tails, tongues and toes, and I trip over them all the way to the back door where I can let them out while I check on my garden.

It's surprisingly easy to let go of social media. I still occasionally feel that pull, but I know it's just an addiction, that I'm looking for someone to notice me, or to feel like someone notices me. With a tap of my finger. And I know that's what the world of computer geniuses wants from me. To be addicted. To need it. Halt and Catch Fire is a good show. Really good soundtrack.

Having said all that. I shall talk to you all tomorrow. If I can find the time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Can't Let Go or The First Fourteen Hours

I'm taking a break from social media this week. This is a blog. It's not really social. No one gives a random monologue at a pizza place with their (gender neutral, y'all) friends. Blogs are pure narcissism, and curiosity that feeds that dirty, filthy narcissism.

Having said that, allow me to get back to blogging. Not tryina post a bunch of serious projects that I begin and leave nearly finished for longer than most people can keep paying attention. I just want to get back to the fantastic details of my wild and crazy existence.

Well, I'm super hormonal right now, and I'm having some allergy issues that are sucking me dry and having to take these decongestants makes my brain meds all weird, but I gotta keep myself clear so I don't get an infection. Y'all. It's hard being a person.

I currently live in a house in Humbolt Park Chicago with a vegan pedi-cabber, a divorced and angry chef, a super chill and flaky chef, Linus, and Fela (fay-luh), the vegan pedi-cabber's dog...who is also...a vegan.

In a few days, the chefs will both move out to be replaced by a Mexican lady chef (for. real.) and a dude named Charlie who totally lives up to how cool his name is and who used to work at Target. I have a garden in the back yard, and I worry myself with the path of the sun and how my tomatoes are NEVER going to get enough direct light. I will at least have about three, which is FINE. I started late. I'm still going to get lettuce, and radishes, and Zinnias.

My street, despite the mid-summer barrage of fireworks, is rather quiet and comprised of mostly homes, mostly Puerto Ricans, mostly older couples. Everyone speaks spanish, has multiple small dogs, gardens in one way or another, and everyone over 50 sits on the porch for the better part of the day. Sometimes they play cards; sometimes they just watch, and the ice cream man comes around bringing joy and treats (including nachos!) playing the same stupid song over and over again for the entire time I was doing yoga on the back porch yesterday! (I'm so sorry. I know. I know how this looks.)

I sell indoor "plantscaping" designs, for a company that does that sort of thing, as well as build and install botanic art, and this other rad southern girl, ten years younger than I am is teaching me floral design and planter box design....yeah. Planter box design. Thriller. Spiller. Filler. I'll slow down.

I'm mostly well. Despite the usual ups and downs. And the moon. Sometimes it still gets dark, lonely, but way less often than it used to do.

I am working up the courage to take an improv class after quite the hiatus, provided I can keep from getting angry (per my therapist). I have this frustration thing I'm working on.

I'm not writing enough. So. That's why I'm here. I'm writing here, and I'm writing other places. All this week. I need it. I need to get it out of my stuffy head.

There. I feel better. I'll probably see you guys tomorrow. I'm needy.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Finger Wag

I'm currently overloaded with political nonsense. I can't escape the constant buzz of tension that comes from waiting to see what's going to happen next, nor can I escape the deafening silence of knowing that none of it matters. Because none of it really matters. I suppose.

Except, it does. It matters to me.

In 1988, I was in third grade (and it took me way too long to remember that). I turned 9 that year. I played way more pretend then, hand-copied the parts of the encyclopedia about space in preparation for graduate school, and was totally voting for Dukakis.

I don't even remember this. 
I also didn't have boobs, so the rest of the girls had no reason to be jealous of me. We told each other everything, how we felt, what we thought about things, no questions, judgements, just camaraderie.

Thus, it was perfectly natural for one of the girls in my class that came from one of them well-to-do families with a mansion and a heated pool in the back yard, to share her thoughts on the evils of the democratic party as such: "My brother and I saw some homeless people with Dukakis signs, and we asked our parents if we could spit on them, and they said yes, so we spit on them and yelled 'Bush Quayle!'"

As I reminisce, I feel a little bit of anger at the simple fact that I had to hear someone say that about other human beings at such a young age, which means they had to hear it from other human beings even before I heard it.

I don't remember a damn thing about Michael Dukakis, except that he was a democrat, and we were democrats, and we were always going to be on the losing side, especially in the south....and that some people think it's okay to spit on other human beings for showing support for a candidate that was promising to provide them with relief. They knew nothing but the black and white of it and that mom and dad said it was okay.

That girl, those girls went on to bully me through 4th and 5th grade, send me home crying to my powerless parents, "I don't know why they don't like me! I don't know why they do this to me!" I can't figure out why my mom and dad never told me the truth: Boobs. Instead, they told me my forehead was so big (it's a five-head) because my brain was so big....which is gross.

I've been going back there lately, exploring the upside down place of my childhood past, especially since the campaigns kicked off.

I keep getting frustrated and angry at the constant sprawl of negative media options. My politics haven't changed, although I find them to be a bit more middle of the road in a place like Chicago. There's a reason this city owns the state of Illinois when it comes to national elections. It's an opportunity to see the other side of the political spectrum.

I see random posts on Facebook from old friends that I've forgotten to hide about how voting for Trump is probably harmless and voting for Hillary would be like unlocking the gates of hell, and I see posts from new friends in Chi, talking about how voting for Hillary would be just as bad, if not worse than voting for Trump.

I hear and see the nightmarishly garish things Trump says about Hillary and the nasty things people say about Melania.

I hear the rage when an adult says in front of a child "I'll never vote for that bitch," or, "Hideous woman," or "no wonder her husband cheated on her," and the classic, "I just hate her."

Every time it happens, I think of that nine year old who won the giant bucket of candy hearts on valentine's day for guessing how many were in it, and I think of the things she heard from the mouths of other babes (with smaller bubes), and how those people treated her, and I'm sad all over again. For me, for other people that can probably relate, and for all the little girls and boys right now that get to hear and see the disgusting way women are being treated in this election.

Think how you want to think, and vote how you'll vote, but pay attention to the messages you're sending to each other. We need each other.

We can treat people better. We can do it better than anyone else can. Who else is going to do it, anyway? Politicians? Let's let them do their jobs and focus on what's right in front of us. This awesome blog. Read it again.

Bush Quayle!