Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frozen Cheeks

Seasonal depression always seems to sneak up on me the week of Thanksgiving. It is the start of the cold days and dark nights. The initial hit of what the next four to five months will be like always seems unbearable until a proactive system is developed to avoid the depression.

Silly as it may be, this year I plan on investing my energies into knitting the most beautiful afghan to use as a picnic and beach blanket for next summer. Most women my age would never dare let something like a hand knit blanket touch the dirt or sand. It is the act of creating it for the sole purpose of soaking in the sunshine and getting stained with grass that will save me from the sad, lonely winter months.

As I knit my mind will wander to all the places this blanket will travel when the world outside defrosts. Carefully chosen shades of greens and blues will counteract the overcasts skies and gray ice covered lake.

I went on a walk with my male companion in the cold sunshine today. The park trail was strangely quiet compared to when we would walk the path in the warmer months. The muffled silence was broken by large crackling noises. We looked down the hill towards the river to discover that the water changing to ice created the disruption of our quiet walk.

His personality seemed to be freezing over much like the river over the past couple weeks.  Seasonal depression affects a lot of people and it’s no wonder why there is a bar on every corner and one in the middle of the block here in Milwaukee. With frozen cheeks and a hint sadness he would look and me and smile. My heart was warmed because a smile like his can’t be forced under these icy conditions and I noticed he didn’t have a scarf as I watched a chill take over his body and shake out through his face.   

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rock Collecting

[I spend so much time in front of the computer working on things that I need to take breaks outside, going for walks, breathing fresh air, clearing my head. Usually on my walks my mind is working through problems, trying to develop solutions, and planning the best use of my time. I am learning/trying to take days off and finding time to relax. Today I went for a walk for the Sunday Joy of going for a walk.]

It was cloudy, foggy and overcast with winter on it's way, but I didn't care. I wanted to walk down by the lake. The temperature was pleasantly warm despite the deceptive view from my inside my home. I like this time of year, that in between time, when the weather keeps the crowds locked away inside bars or at home watching football, but a handful of people still find the time to enjoy the last bit of tolerable weather. The smiles of passerby's seem much more sincere this time of year.

I started noticing the landscape more and began making pictures inside my head. Regretfully, I don't go on photo walks like I did in my youth, but my mind still frames and makes pictures. I never noticed these reed-like plants. They were still so green and full of life and everywhere. I wonder what kind of properties they have when they dry and what purpose they could have after the winter winds bring them to their seasonal death.

A path in between the reeds leads me down to the water. Walking along the shore staring at the ground, I spot the most perfect rock. It is the smoothest rock I have ever picked up and completely flat. An overwhelming sense of calm surrounds me and I rub my thumb over this circular rock and stare out at the muted blue lake meeting the out-of-focus overcast sky. I decide I will hold onto this rock until it is time to let it go.

I may make a step or two before I see another rock that calls to me. I pick it up and brush the sand clear revealing its true personality and history. 'Is this an arrowhead?'  My thumb presses against it's point. 'It's got to be, this sharp edge was purposefully created.' Even though there is slight pain, my thumb keeps pressing up against the point of this arrowhead and my mind contemplates disagreements, war, survival, and history.

I continue walking along the beach, staring at the debris in the sand with the calm, flat, smooth rock in one hand and sharp arrowhead in the other hand thinking about the extremes of duality. About to turn around from my introspective exploration along the shore, I spot a white piece of sea glass, one of my favorite rock collecting finds. I take another step back towards the concrete path when I see another piece of green sea glass. I begin walking around in a circle and find a handful of sea glass pieces in a heavy concentration.     

Sea glass has always been a sense of wonder for me. Walking back home with my pocket full of these broken pieces of glass worn smooth by the passage of time, wind, sand and water I think of my own memory. Memories once so sharp and clear become worn around the edges over time.

Day Dream Reality

2010 has been a year full of fulfilling day dreams I've had over the years.  If I ever seem unfocused, it's because I want to do everything and I am not letting anything or anyone get in the way of me accomplishing these dreams.  My 2011 goal is to fine tune all my living daydreams for the best chance of success.

One of my dreams I had when I was in college was to have my own greeting card business.  I made a few false starts while juggling school, interpersonal relationships, and my deli job at Koppa's.  I'm older, smarter and more confident now so I'm starting again.  My goal is to produce a line of cards every quarter.
These guys were originally designed for the 2010 Performance Arts Showcase at MIAD.  I altered them a little to make them more accessible to the general public.  My cards for the Performance Art Showcase had a specific song and artist on the outside and had a personal story written inside.  They were a total hit at the Showcase and I sold or traded them all away fast.

I will be working on distributing these cards this upcoming week.  Contact me if you are interested or know anyone who is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"Make Books!" in the voice of Max Yela, Head, Special Collections, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries

As always, I've been juggling a number of different projects, jobs, and events. While loving every minute of it, my winter goal is to focus my energies down just a few avenues to maintain quality results. Mainly: Photographer at Caesar's Pet in the Historic Greendale Village, The Living Photo Booth Project with fellow photographer April Heding, various freelance gigs and favors, and enjoying the help I can offer my boyfriend, the freelance writer, Tea Krulos on any of his various projects.

Today I focused on books :
A. Caesar's Pet Photo Album for their Fall/Winter Fashion Show November 6, 2010

B. Portrait of Trashy Romance Novelist, Leroy Ronalds

C. Re-edition of my photo book, "On Our Way to Fall in Love," circa 2009

Milwaukee Zine Fest is this weekend and Tea Krulos will have a table where you can find his early prototype of a collection of his nightmares titled "Me Head Is A Haunted House, Mate," along with Leroy Ronalds' latest work, "Say You Love Table" and the re-edition my photobook "On Our Way to Fall in Love."