Friday, December 29, 2006

a day in the life.

Many of you may be wondering, what IS it like to live a day in the shoes of Mary Campbell, (worst. blogger. ever.)? Well, my friends, in celebration of the fact that I just purchased a digital camera with my GF that is both portable and takes video footage, I am going to invite you into what was an exciting, adventurous day for me, yesterday, the 28th of December.

It started with coffee....well, sort started with my graceful GF spilling my perfect Caribou latte on the Creative Loafing...a piece of local literary genius. Luckily, I have a pretty good sense of humor plus I wear burn resistant drawers so no harm was done. After that, we headed off to PepBoys auto shop were a gas cap was purchased and I bought some tear gas...for my safety. Watch out midtown, I am now armed with rapist-repellent. After this exciting journey, we went to the mall. GF needed some makeup so we visited the local Clinique counter where some face beautifier was purchased...after this, we visited the restroom where we rested, I dried my hands with the paper toliet-seat protectors and GF forgot her recently purchased makeup in the restroom stall...only to be realized and hour later. We then headed to Banana Republic to check out the sales and I tried on a really sweet hat that was a mere $130.00. When I start making the green, watch out people...I am going to be on the edge of fashion. After that, we made our way to the food court where we feasted on Atlanta's finest culinary delights: make-shift lebanese food. At about 2 hours, my mall-tolerance begins to wane and we decided that departing from this cultural treat would be in our best, it was getting late and we still had plans on playing tennis. I haven't played tennis in a while, but still managed to hang on to my tennis skirt from high school...I used to play a lot...and, as you can see, my game face is still pretty serious. I was definitely a force to be reckoned with, though my GF and her more zen-inspired moves did give me a run for my money. Today, however, I am suffering from some minor sports injuries including a hurt right butt cheek, a sore forearm, and blisters on my hands and feet. I will probably not require any medical care, but flowers, candy or singing telegrams are always welcome. I feel pretty certain I will be recovered and ready for another match pretty soon. Please stay tuned. After this, we went to Taqueria del Sol for dinner with Audrey. She left for New York today and we had to have some chips and salsa and a celebratory margarita to send her off appropriately. Dinner was fun, we advised Audrey on New York fashion, being careful of people who might slip a *mickey* in her drink in the big city and the fun of eating knish (an Eastern European snack food popular in Jewish communities. A knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is either baked or fried. Knishes can be purchased from street vendors in urban areas with a large Jewish population, sometimes on a hot dog stand). Afterwards, we took some fun pics in the parking lot. I wanted to do the *prom pose* with Audrey which is why I have the silly expression on my face. I also enjoy making bunny ears behind people when I take photos with them. That is something that, in my book, never gets old. The day ended with watching the movie Dumb and Dumber and a video interview with the new camera. Film footage to be debuted soon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

5 things.

Tagged From Debbie Millman
5 things you may not know about me (or want to).
1. When I was in high school, I dated a boy named Butch. You can imagine the irony of this for me as grown woman who now dates women.
2. I love junk. I have a borderline obesession. Thrift stores, discount *outlets*, salvation army stores, garage sales...any place that I could potentially unearth a priceless treasure.
3. As a kid I dreamed of being a veterinarian. I also wanted to live on a farm. As an adult, I have dreamed of being an actor, artist and teacher.
4. When I was a kid and my parents and I would drive across country on a road trip, I would search the night sky for UFOs...sometimes, I still do.
5. I LOVE trashy magazines like US Weekly, INtouch, and other periodicals that consist mostly of celebrity pictures.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hard Candy Christmas.

Well, it's nearly Christmas...I am in Baton Rouge, with my family and they are all sick.

Great. Maybe I'll get a virus for Christmas.

So far, it's been a pretty uneventful trip. I've seen my friends, eaten too much food and had riveting conversations with my parents about what I am going to do when I finish school. My mother has, all of a sudden, developed this anxiety about the *demographics* of Atlanta. She is worried that I will not get a job because an equally qualified minority candidate might get it instead.


I've never worried about this at all. I would like to get a job based on my merits, skills and talent...I pretty much feel like the right opportunity will present itself to me. But hey, she's a's her job as a conservative, republican white woman to worry about the aggressive minority population stealing opportunities away from the poor, disadvantaged white, upper-middle class, educated females of the world.

Alas, it is Christmas...the season for love, laughter, giving, and, most of all, tolerating family.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

White and Nerdy.

Sometimes I feel like this. White. And. Nerdy.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Click on the above to read.
I found this in the AJC this Sunday.
Here is the Left Behind website if you are curious for more info. Even I don't know what to say about this....

Friday, December 15, 2006


Well, I just completed 6th quarter....


ONE (count em', o-n-e) quarter of *real classes* left. How time flies. Aud leaves for NYC for her 7th quarter and I will be without my design sidekick for the next 3 months. That sucks. I will be recruiting for a temporary sidekick for the next 3 internship, if you will...please let me know if you are interested. Duties include inhaling compressed air, listening to my philosophical rants about the meaning of life, love and design, making sure my type is kerned properly and leaving pics of my celebrity crushes on my door. It's really quite the opportunity, if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Here are some pics and a blurb (see below) of my big project this quarter....LOCUS.

In a post 9/11 world, we crave community, connection and intimacy with our friends and families. We are more fully aware of the transient nature of life and value our time and the quality of our experiences more than ever.
Locus strives to create an environment where people can spend time alone or enjoy time with friends and, additionally, take advantage of local and regional art, poetry readings and other cultural events.
Locus provides this third environment for individuals who want, not only a sense of community and a place to socialize, but also an opportunity to participate in the arts while still in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wanna Wrestle?

Hell yeah I wanna wrestle!!!
So, I found this on MY front door the other day while on my way to school...I wonder who could have put that on my door? Could it be my sneaky neighbor, Audrina? I may never know. Anywho...this is Mariska Hartigay...she is the female detective on Law and Order's SVU...and she is my number 1 celebrity crush.
Happy Tuesday Everyone.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Red Dog, Yard Explorer.

So, my GF (girlfriend) has a kick ass backyard that my beagle enjoys inspecting in detail. I thought, the other day, he might benefit from having a spelunker's headlamp to help him navigate the dense, he tends to get lost frequently and has really poor listening skills...this may help us keep tabs on him.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I have never been particularly good at letting go. Historically, I have been relatively rotten at has a tendency to soften our edges and we find that we grow in ways we never thought possible when we are open to the lessons and open to the changes. For me, that has meant a struggle to be open to the absences, open to the losses that we incur along the way. To feel a void is always the most difficult because there is often an impulse to want to fill make it whole again...and, sometimes, we simply have to be in the presence of absence. We have to sit in it, absorb it, allow ourselves to heal. I have learned the hard way that avoidance of this process only creates a stockpile of unresolved pain and emotion. There is no particular reason that I write this blog today...other than the fact that the holidays always remind me of who is in my life that is important. Perhaps, this year, I realize that sometimes the most important people to us are no longer a part of our day to day life. Feeling that void and also, understanding that we get to keep the gift of their love, their beauty, the mark they make on our heart...well, it makes things seem a little sweeter.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

studio week.

Studio week is here. I really cannot believe that I am at the end of my second to last quarter at PC. This has been a most bizarre quarter...I'm ready for it to be over...I have hit a saturation point with my work, my attitude, my motivation and I am tapped out. I just want a be away from all of it. I know I'll get past this funk and it is all part of the process (blah blah blah) but for now, this is where I am. I think it is time for an adventure completely unrelated to the world of design...a change of much as I love and crave routine, I am yearning for a break from it. I want to see something new. I want to see something other than Peachtree Road and the walls of my apartment. I don't know what that is, but I know I want a change. I have a tendency to hyper-focus and push push push myself...then I hit a wall. I am face to face with that wall right now. I have no choice but to get through it and do my work regardless, but I fully intend to get into some sort of trouble over my break that will, hopefully, breathe new life into my soul.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why illness is bad for design.

The number one thing that sucks about being sick is the following: I have been reading a lot of blogs...blogs I don't normally read...and, as a result, I know what Brittany Spear's vagina looks like. Ouch. People...this is not for the faint of heart.

On the other hand, I have spent a lot of time doing some real, fine soul searching. I have compiled a list of my top 10 germ-induced ponderings.

1. Am I a good designer.
2. Should I be a designer.
3. Do I really think that design can impact the world?
4. Am I ever going to pay off these massive student loans?
5. Am I a good designer.
6. Am I a good designer.
7. Am I a good designer.
8. Am I a good designer.
9. Am I a good designer.
10. Am I a good designer.

In light of some current events in my life, I am probably questioning these things more than usual. The lesson for me: realizing that my confidence and the belief in what I do must come from one else can be responsible for this but me. It is so seductive when someone else believes in you, pushes you, inspires you to do good work. It is truly a beautiful thing when we realize that this comes from a pure place...a place untainted by want, need, or some an ulterior motivation. That is the most amazing gift one can is the only reason to give in the first place because you are giving without the expectation of receiving. We live in such a *what can you do for me* society...everything comes with a price, a condition. It really is unfortunate. I try to see the lesson in everything in life...I believe that all adversity is opportunity to grow, to change, to push beyond oneself. I'm not always happy about it...often, I am pissed off about it because I don't want to change or I think I am not ready to learn, but we are rarely handed circumstances that we are incapable of managing. I guess life is analogous to learning to ride a bike. We are given training wheels for only so long...then, they must come off. Inevitably, we are unsure of our ability when this happens...we are scared, unsteady and wanting of the security and balance we once knew, but, at this point, it is about trust. We have to learn to trust our ability, what we have learned and what we know. Plus, we must believe in who we are. We must have confidence to go forward, knowing we will be *okay.*

So, perhaps, my training wheels have, reluctantly, been removed and now it is time for me to really prove to myself that I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time for the absolute right reasons.


Monday, November 27, 2006


Today I spent my entire day on my couch...sick...perhaps, a lethal combination of not enough sleep, a runny nosed toddler, and being confined to a small space packed full of germs with no place to go (an airplane). There is nothing worse than feeling bad...but it seems that every year around this time, I get a cold. The upshot to this is that I have caught up on trash television. I watched a good bit of E!, VH1 and CNN. I also watched the movie "A Lesson Before Dying." I like a little balance.

I have basically spent my entire day in a sinus-medicine induced haze...and it sucks. I needed to work, I wanted to hang with my girl tonight and cook dinner, and feeling bad really irritates me. Soooo, send a few good thoughts my way so I feel better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


In the spirit of Tania's *oh, pity me...I don't get enough comments on my blog* entry, I would like to alert my fellow blogging pals to a friend of mine who is a new blogger on the scene who has, sadly enough, not gotten ANY posts to her blog yet. Check it out. She rocks. Seriously, would I steer you all in the wrong direction on this lovely Saturday eve?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Yes. I am the worst blogger ever. I willingly admit this. I promise to be more attentive to my fellow bloggers. I have just not had much to report on. I leave to go to Connecticut tomorrow to hang with my family...we do a family reunion every year with my mom's side of the family which we have done for the last 20 years. It's pretty amazing that we have kept it up, but it means a lot to my mom and dad. Like church on Christmas, sometimes we just have to do things that make our parents happy...and, quite honestly, it's usually a lot of fun. My extended family actually ask me about my *love life*...usually, there is not too much to report, but it is nice to be acknowledged. My parents, my sister...they never ask and I've spent a lot of time thinking that it didn't really matter...that my *love life* is just a small part of my life, but then I imagine what my sister would be like if she could not talk about her husband or her family...and it puts it all into context for me. Who we love, how we love, what we is a huge part of who we are...and it just sucks when sharing that is awkward, unwelcomed, uncomfortable or just offensive to someone...especially one's family. I never really think about it and it rarely bothers me until I have to go home...then, once again, I am reminded of how a HUGE part of my life is invisible to my family.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Weekend Festivities of 4th Street.

In the spirit of Tania's "neighborhood appreciation" blog, I thought I'd share with my kind readers what was going on in my neighborhood this weekend. It was BET's annual HIP HOP awards...and there was definitely some good people watching. Fortunately for me, I live on a street that is very popular for cruising, picking up transsexual hookers and purchasing illegal drugs on any random day of the week so one can imagine how things picked up with the weekend festivities. I was talking to a friend of mine and was thinking that, perhaps, I was being prejudiced by feeling uncomfortable with all of the random people walking around...many of them looking rather thuggish. He reminded me that these were not the Colin Powell awards nor was Oprah Winfrey's studio audience in was the HIP HOP awards...these are people who rap about shooting people, banging "bitches," doing drugs and many other *not so on the up and up* activities. I know my feelings about this may be a disappointment to some of my readers, but I stand by what I say. I do not think that the HIP HOP community is propelling society (african american and otherwise) into a higher level of consciousness. I understand that the lyrics reflect that lifestyle and trials and tribulations of *the street* and I also think that, perhaps, degrading women and endorsing a life of crime and irresponsibility is not the way to inspire people to live better. I strongly believe that the things that we think, say, and feel create the environment in which we our essence we are all energy...just energy...molecules, it is up to us to create the world in which we wish to live through our thoughts and actions.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Here we are now. Entertain us.

This is what happens when people presenting work are BORING. I doodle. I doodle a lot. I write notes. I threaten suicide. It's simply NOT pretty. Perhaps this is why the concept of having *theatre* in one's presentations is SO important. I mean, I don't need a team of midget clowns to hold my attention, but ego-inflating talk about this brillliant custom typeface or that extrodinary signage application is just NOT interesting. I guess I am totally not interested in people who are super impressed with is SUCH a turnoff. Confidence and humility indicate a healthy sense of self...and, for GOD'S sake, please learn to laugh at yourself. I mean, we're friggin' designers....not brain surgeons. Ultimately, the appropriate typeface selection is NOT going to save someone's life or create worldwide peace. That concludes today's rant. I could go on. There is much I could go on about, but I'll stop there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cinema with Mary.

Today, I offer you some kind advice.
Do NOT rent this is, perhaps, the slowest, most pointless movie. I love Anthony Hopkins, Gywneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal but, dear god, this was a bad movie.

I don't know why, but I have a knack for sniffing out the WORST movies...I don't know what it is...but if there is a lame movie to be rented, I'm going to rent it. If I were a truffle hunting pig, I would, most certainly be bacon by now. I did rent Crash recently and THAT was a good movie...very thought provoking and layered...I like that kind of thing. I also watched Sketches of Frank Gehry...super inspirational and interesting.

So, if you have any suggestions for movies...send them on and please don't send sucky recommendations.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shitty Tuesday.

Today I am over my projects. I have somehow managed to put myself in a very shitty place and I am wishing I could be 8 years old with chocolate all over my face and not a care in the world. I hate when I get to this place in the quarter where nothing feels like it is working...I know it is all part of the process and I'll get through it but, right now, I want to toss my computer out of the window.

Happy Mother Fucking Tuesday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

*that thing*

It is amazing what happens to a person in his or her time at Portfolio Center. When I started school last July, I had no idea how much my life would change, how much I would change. So much of it has very little to do with design and is truly about fully becoming the person you are meant to be. I have always put a priority on becoming a highly self-actualized know oneself, to understand one's feeling and motivations, makes for a rich and fulfilling life. Relationships are more healthy, deep, real and based on respect and appreciation for the individuality of another.

Which brings me to the topic du jour.


Since my move to Atlanta, I have gone through SO much transition. Leaving a 4 year relationship with someone I thought I'd never be without. Starting on a journey to discover the real center of myself. Attempting to "date" after not having really been on a date since I was 20. It's been quite a ride. I have met some wonderful people, had some amazing experiences and been consistently challenged to hold steady on my own path. I can honestly say, I have met each challenge.

I seriously was starting to think that I would never meet anyone who would really turn MY head. It seems I am often in a situation where I am the "fallen in love with." It is rare that the feelings between myself and another are mutual. In fact, I can only recall one time when that has been the case and that was with CJ, my ex of 4 years. I chose her based completely on the fact that I was in love with her (plus we were highly compatible). I never questioned it for a minute.

Enter my big fat cortex. Whenever my head gets involved in the big decision making with regard to relationships, there is ALWAYS a problem. I have been SO much in my head in the past much. I haven't really felt too much until recently...maybe in the past 5-6 months. But, slowly, I am letting go bit by bit. Maybe it was then that I decided to specifically ask for what I be able to say to myself, I will not accept anything less than what I KNOW a relationship can be. I want to feel that *thing*. I have spent the past year, convincing myself that the *thing*, the spark was silly, unnecessary, irrelevant and possibly just a bad thing. And, I rarely get the *thing.* Most people just don't turn my head, don't really capture my attention. It takes a very special person...and I don't know if I have been open to it.

Flash forward to the present.

I have met someone. It's VERY early, and I hesitate to say too much, but she is fabulous and I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know someone, laugh with someone, and not feeling like I have to "manage" a situation where our feelings are unequal. It's funny how when you really focus on yourself, get happy with who YOU are, and start to really seek out joy in life, the right people come into your life. I guess it's all about the unexpected joy and surprises that life offers when we are open to the possibilities.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Today's Horoscope.

Well that is just peachy. I guess the *stars* don't know about critique week, deadlines, and other practical matters.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cortex vs. Heart

Generally speaking, I am someone who tends to default to logic over emotion when faced with crucial decisions that need to be made. So much so that, a scientist friend of mine said to me this weekend "For Chrissake, Mary, you are more logical than I am...and I am a scientist and YOU are an artist/creative...that is just not right." I am constantly managing a balance between logic and emotion...or, more accurately, struggling to listen to my emotions, intuitions, feelings and trusting those things. In many situations, this works to my benefit...but, in certain situations, this puts me in a very wrong place. In relationships, this gets me into a LOT of trouble. I have a tendency to override my gut often because I *think* things through...I look at the person as a checklist of attributes, attitudes and qualities that do or don't gel with me. I think about what makes sense for me...what would increase the probability of having a successful relationship. If I don't "feel" that certain something that suggests there may be chemistry or attraction, I convince myself that, perhaps, that is a good thing because it will keep the relationship from moving too fast and I will REALLY get to know someone and, in time, will develop those feelings of attraction.

Yeah right. Ask me how that's worked for me.

The irony is that the best, most successful relationships I have had have been when I *felt* my way through them. It has been when my gut, my intuition has been my guide. I have spent a lot of time (and money) on developing my self and, yet, I am keenly aware of the fact that I second guess my gut more often than not. But I realized something recently...that all of this second-guessing is simply NOT going to work for me long term....or short term, for that matter. I never stopped to think about it like this, but we make poor choices when we are operating from a place of need, compensation, unconscious motivation...but most people don't really stop to look at and examine who they are. They blame others, lash out at people who do not meet their needs, believe the world is just *against* them, but that is really just a way to avoid the real issue at hand. The truth of the matter is that we have to learn to heal from our lives; this responsibility belongs to us as individuals, not our potential significant others. It is part of the building (and sometimes rebuilding) of the foundation that is the core of who we are emotionally.

What I have come to really *GET* here is that, my foundation is really quite good. I take care of myself, I repair the cracks and examine the weaknesses, and it is highly unlikely that my gut will lead me to the wrong thing. I am pretty selective in who I choose to date...I do make sure most of my checklist items are in place...because those things are important...but they are only the starting point. I realize that I have to let go of the analyzation and really listen to my heart if I am going to have the kind of relationship that goes the distance. Admittedly, that is scary to me. I have BIG may not see them a lot, but they are there. I love BIG and I feel give that, any part of that, to another person is such a leap of faith and trust...and it is a very valuable gift that I don't give away to just anyone because it means I am really vulnerable. The truth is that, it is only through the willingness to be vulnerable, that we really able to achieve true intimacy.

Scary, but true, to this big fat Virgo.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

chilled purses.

So, this weekend, I went to part with some new friends...actually, they were mostly strangers but I have been up for social adventures know, doing things outside of my normal, mundane *stay at home and blog* routine. It was late, time to go home and I went to retrieve my friend and I looked up to the top of the fridge, where I had put it when I came in, and it was gone.


That's right, I was about to be the victim of theft for the 5th time, I briefly thought.

Then, and epiphany....

I said, "well, the most logical place for us to look is inside the fridge."

Yes, dear readers, that made the most sense to me at this moment time...and, mind you, I had only consumed two adult beverages...and it was close to 4am. So, for all of you getting ready to correlate my crazy notions with alchohol consumption...try again.

Low and behold, where was my purse?

In the case of Red Bull in the fridge.

Strange things happen to me when I venture outside of my comfort zone.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Request for Feedback.

Ok, most of you may have already received an e-mail from me, but for those of you who have not...I'd LOVE some feedback for a concept I'm working on!

Hello dear friends.
Once again, I am summoning you all in the pursuit of information for a project I am working on.
I have just a few questions that I would LOVE some feedback on.
I am concepting a new "third" environment...think Starbucks...or your favorite local bar/club...or a local bookstore...familiar environments that you go to often.
Remember...the sky is the limit...your answers need not be practical.

1. What is your ideal social environment outside of the home (bar, restaurant, etc.)?
(what would it look like, feel like, who would the people be around you, what kind of music would be playing, where would it be located, what kind of entertainment would be offered)

2. What do you look for when you "go out" for drinks or coffee or gather with friends in a social environment?
(entertainment, the opportunity to meet new people, just having time with friends, etc.)

3. What is missing from today's social environments in your opinion?

4. What do you HATE or LOVE the most about the social environments that exist in today's culture?

5. Who is your favorite graphic design student who happens to be outrageously gorgeous and super talented?

Thanks a bunch for the feedback!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

tabula rasa.

I have nothing compelling to blog about but this:
I have been so busy lately that I have not run in a week...this compounded with the fact that I feel like I am getting sick. Neither of these things would've stopped me in the past from making time for exercise. I have exercised with a fever, a complete lack of sleep, and every other adverse physical condition under the sun...but, somehow, staying healthy has trumped a need to be obsessive in the past week. Oh my, it is seriously uncomfortable...but I'm hanging in there...
yeah, I'm a bit of a freak.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Frank Gehry

Today I heard Frank Gehry speak at the Society for Neuroscience meeting here in Atlanta. It was a huge event...and, quite frankly, I don't know that I was supposed to be attending the discussion because I didn't have a fancy hang tag to wear that said who I was, where I studied and what level of education I had completed (PhD or MD). Alas, I relied on my Southern charm and natural good looks and managed to sneak in. It was awesome. So inspirational. He was so funny, down to earth, and natural. You would've thought the man was talking about baking cookies....meanwhile, back at the ranch, he freaking designed the Guggenheim in Spain...among MANY other AMAZING structures. Once again, I was struck by how the creative mind works...Hank loves to quote Louis Kahn's "form comes from wonder" piece...and it is true...all great pieces of art come from a sense of wonder and curiosity...behind that is someone who believes enough in their vision and craft to execute it. Gehry had no use for the conventions of his time, or the limits of what was, he imagined what COULD be and created it. His work is amazing, innovative, organic...and the scale of his work amplifies all of these inherent properties. He talked about "informed intuition" as being a part of his creative process...I will devote an entire blog entry to this term...but seeing how a work of art is born from these loose sketches, to scaled models to the real I was moved, inspired, intrigued...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Toast and kittens.

Okay, so I've had a really busy week...and have been the WORST BLOGGER EVER. Alas, I dug deep within the Mary Campbell archives and thought of this funny story to tell...a little insight into why, perhaps, I have struggled with food issues in my life.
It all started back in high school when we adopted our cat, Nicholas. Nicholas was one of those cats that had absolutely no use for humans. He did his own thing, was very independent and had a very odd personality. Well, my mom had this fabulous toaster. It was probably a hand-me-down from her mother, but was one of those great old stainless steel 50's toasters.

I was home from college one weekend and went to make myself some toast for breakfast...I put the toast in the toaster and about 2 minutes later, smelled a most horrific odor coming from the toaster...the following conversation ensued:

Mary: mom, WHAT is that awful smell coming from the toaster?

Mom: oh, Nicholas likes to watch himself pee and has taken to peeing on the toaster.

Mary: WHAT? GROSS? Mom, why don't you just get RID of that toaster and get a new one...that is disgusting!!

Mom: well, we just turn the toaster on REALLY HIGH and burn out the won't hurt just smells gross.

And they wondered why I needed so much therapy...I rest my case.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Fair.

So I went to the Georiga National Fair yesterday.
What an adventure it was...the people watching was pretty amazing...but I'll let you all see for yourselves...
To see all of my fabulous fair pics, GO HERE.
Here is a series of more "artsy" shots.

Here are my Southern redneck pride shots.

Here are some compelling reasons NOT to eat too many funnel cakes.

I encourage EVERYONE to get to a local fair as quickly as possible...if nothing else, you'll walk away feeling beautiful, smart and thin.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Conversation with my sister (take 2).

One more excerpt from a sister - mary conversation this weekend.

Mary: so, Elizabeth, if you could do ANYTHING, what would it be? I mean...if it didn't matter about money, kids, all of that...everything would be taken care of...

Elizabeth: Mary, I have a child and a husband now...that is who I am...I can't just do whatever I want to do...

Mary: I realize this. I am not proposing that you kill your child, divorce your husband, have a sex change and flee the country...I was asking you to IMAGINE...just use your IMAGINATION...if you could do anything, what would your dream job be?

Elizabeth: Look, Mary, I'm sorry, I don't have some kind of ROMANTIC answer about what I'm PASSIONATE about... (note the condescending tone)

Mary: never mind then.

This, my dear readers, is indicative of the great divide between myself and my family. Passion, love, and an absolute devotion to what I do is what motivates me to get up in the morning and stay up all night to finish a project. There is nothing else I could do or would want to do. I have never been one to be able to sit with a sense of mediocrity...If there is something out there for me...that is exactly who I am and what I want to do, I am going to find a way to get it. Passing time, wasting time on things that don't really not for me...even if it means I sacrifice "security," approval, understanding and assurance, nothing is worth the cost of self-sacrifice.

In some ways it is sad that my family and I will never see things eye-to-eye, but that we have managed to figure out a way to navigate the troubled waters of our relationships and (most of the time) respect one another is a fairly amazing thing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesday's Reading Assignment.

World's Shortest Fairytale

(sent to me by a fabulous friend.)

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl "Will you marry me?" The girl said, "NO!" . . .and, the girl lived happily ever! And afterwards, she went shopping, dancing, took cruises, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, had sex when and with whomever she pleased... did whatever the heck she wanted, never argued, didn't get fat, traveled at will, had many friends, both men and women, didn't save money and, had all the hot water to herself. Further, she went to the theatre, never had to watch football, never wore absurd lacy lingerie that crept up her butt, possessed good self esteem, never cried or swore and, felt and looked fabulous in sweat pants.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday's Video.

Here's a video we did for the new kids this quarter.
It's the best that could be done between midnight and 6am.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend Retrospective.

So mom and sis left today...all in all, it was a quick, uneventful trip. We went out to eat on Friday ONE midtown kitchen. The food was heavy, the atmosphere was entirely too loud and I think there was a Jessica Simpson look-a-like conference happening at the table behind us, but it was fun, nonetheless. Saturday was spent driving all over Atlanta, doing some shopping, going to the HIGH and then having a most FABULOUS dinner at Floataway Cafe. Here's a little bit of our conversation home in the car.

Mom: Mary, what are all of these PEOPLE doing out on the street this late?

Mary: Well, mom, it is a city and you guys are staying across from the Fox theatre where Keith Urban was in concert.

Mom: I mean, there are a lot of black people in Atlanta!

Mary: yes, there are.

Mom: and they all drive such fancy that bass coming from your car?

Mary: Um, no.

Mom: My goodness, that is LOUD!

Mary: yes, it is very loud.

Elizabeth (sister): (rolling her window down) what is that smell?

Mary: (looking at Elizabeth with a "duh" expression)

Elizabeth: I think it might be a skunk.

Mary: I don't think it's a skunk. I believe midtown Atlanta solved the out-of-control skunk popluation problem in the late 80's.

Elizabeth: no, it really smells like a skunk.

Mary: you know what else smells like a skunk?

Elizabeth: I've SMELLED marijuana before...but THAT is a skunk.

Mary: You're probably right. I'm sure the car PACKED with people that is filled with smoke are probably just a bunch of skunk collectors going to the monthly saturday night skunk meeting in downtown Atlanta.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekend Madness!!!

This is going to be a throw-down weekend for me.
My sister and mom are coming to is their semi-annual "Mary Check-up."

Things that will be a disppointment to them:
1. I am still gay.
2. I am still not painting still lifes and landscapes
3. I still curse. A lot.
4. I am still a registered Democrat/Independent and dislike GW.
5. I am still gay.

Things that they will be excited about:
1. I am single
2. I have very cute apartment.
3. I am happy.
4. I am doing well in school.
5. I may actually be employed by something other than a restaurant in several months.
6. I am single.

You see, my family and I get along "great." We enjoy each other's company, like to go out to eat together, appreciate the's a beautiful life. What is beneath that, though, is like Pandora's box. Emotional topics are OFF LIMITS. Talking about things that are REAL or express something of substance...I think we'd all rather drink bleach than reveal ourselves to one another.

It is strange for me because I really try not to have those kind of relationships with people I am close to now. In fact, I don't have those kind of relationships anymore. It is too hard to keep everything neatly tucked away in it's little box, only to be taken out on certain when Hell freezes over.

Then there are those things...those little emotional landmines that we are careful to step the fact that my sister is "friends" with my ex who was mean, manipulative and abusive during the course of our relationship (and, especially, afterwards)....or my ex of 4 years who they did not acknowledge, wouldn't speak to or look at if they saw us together in public...we avoid that topic as much as possible...they never even asked if we had broken up or what had happened when I moved here...without her. We just smile, talk about the weather, pretend that those things are JUST NOT THERE. I hold that space of invisibility just as much as they do. It's really quite fucked up.

But, alas, there are fresh flowers in my apartment, the temperature is perfect outside and we have reservations at a lovely restaurant for my special birthday dinner. Maybe ignorance is bliss...but I doubt it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Poetry Reading at Tech.

For those of you unfortunate enough to miss Tania's poetry reading yesterday afternoon at Georgia Tech, well, you really F*&e@#'d up. To be honest with my gentle readers, I was not particularly fired up about hearing the other poets...despite the fact that I would consider myself to be above average in intelligence, a good deal of poetry goes straight over my head. I had read Tania's work before, was familiar with the content and was excited to hear her speak, felt that possibly subjecting myself to an hour's worth of literary confusion would be well worth it.

I was right.

Once, a friend told me, after we had visited a gallery opening together and she had seen me looking at the work and talking to the artist that she felt she had witnessed me "in my element." I wasn't totally sure what she had meant but interpreted it as meaning...I'm an artist...artists like art....we were in an art gallery...I was an artist in an art gallery looking at art. It all fits.

It was exciting to see another artist in HER element yesterday.

In the past year at PC, I have struggled with the issue of disclosing personal things in my design work...putting my joy and pain into my work...I really couldn't tell you why because my art is full of it, but there is something about having to defend one's work to a panel and disclose things that are sensitive, difficult or personal that just about sends me over the edge.

I have a new level of respect for Tania because she, with confidence, grace and humor creates amazing work from all of these things of her life...without apology, without softening the blow of her truth to her audiences, she puts it out there and people get it...her words resonate with people because they are real and beautiful...they convey a truth that, although reflects Tania's individual experience, reflects a truth many of us understand and have experienced. Perhaps, now, I understand why you can never be "too personal" (as Hank likes to say)...because it is the most authentic and powerful way one can communicate...Tania's reading is proof of this.

So...for those of you who have not heard Tania speak or were DUMB enough to miss yesterday...SHAME on was fantastic. Plus, she had a kick ass dress that I fully intend to steal when I kidnap her child, Lola.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

20 questions.

What do you eat when you raid the fridge late at night?

If you could have plastic surgery, what would you have done?
my stomach would be made perfect.

What's one thing you like to do alone?
paint, write, read.

Do you have a fear?
many...too many sometimes.

What is the little physical habit that gives away your insecure moments?
I talk too much.

Do you know anyone famous?
Not yet.

Describe your bed.
I built it.

What do you carry with you at all times?
my sense of humor.

How much money would it take to get you to give up the Internet for one year?
a LOT.

What color is your bedroom?
off white

What was the last song you were listening to?
Lovely Rita (The Beatles)

Have you ever been in love?

Do you talk a lot?

Do you like yourself and believe in yourself?
Yes, most of the time...I'd say 90% of the time.

What is your ideal marriage location?
Someplace where it's legal

Which musical instrument do you wish you could play?
I wish I could sing

What smell do you find sexy.
clean, just showered...or sleepy morning smell.

How do you eat an apple
with my mouth...probably like a horse would.

What do you order at a bar?
dirty ketel one martini or stoli and cranberry with a splash of soda

What's one trait you hate in a person?

What kind of watch do you wear?
one that is currently broken.

Do you consider yourself materialistic?
sometimes...I am brand loyal...and I love things...but things do not define do the math

What do you cook the best?

Do you prefer to stand out or blend in?
Stand out....of course.

Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
probably not.

What's one car you will never buy?

If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Travel, have a fabulous studio somewhere quiet and beautiful, give money to animal rescue organizations.

What's one thing you're a loser at?
dancing. singing.

Do you cry in front of your friends?
not if I can help it

What kind of first impression do you think you give to people?
social, outgoing, gregarious...

Are you a lover or a fighter?

When's the last time someone made you cry?
recently enough.

Favorite communication method?

How many drinks before you're tipsy?
depends on what I'm drinking.

Who do you wish you talked to more?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Weekend Fun!

This should be a very exciting weekend for me!
There are two very cool things going on in the city of Hotlanta.
1. I am going to personally meet Debbie Millman's new best friend, Minus 5.
2. Southern Comfort.
I know what you all are thinking, Southern Comfort? Isn't that Bourbon? A rather odd thing to celebrate, even for a girl from south Louisana. Alas, it is not what you think. Southern comfort is the WOLRD'S LARGEST TRANSGENDERED PERSON'S CONFERENCE and it is held here in the mighty city of Atlanta. Yes, folks, that's right...women that look like Bea Arthur are going to be running rampant the streets of Midtown...I may have a date by the weekend, yet.

It seems that M5 thinks we don't know why she is REALLY coming down here...she thinks WE think she's coming to hear Tania read poetry...but I found this pic on the internet...and I think it's time she just tell the world...she's the queen of Southern Comfort 2006.

a beautiful quote.

(typographic interpretation courtesy of Hank)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Recommended Fall Reading.

I'm reading this book, "The Year of Magical Thinking."
It's amazing.
I cried in public (at the park) while reading it today.
That, my friends, is unprecedented behavior for this Virgo...granted, I had sunglasses on and was far away from other human beings...but there were small bugs in the grass all around me...making me very conscious of myself the entire time.
It is basically (so far...I'm half-way through it) about this woman's grief process in the year following her husband's death...I know...not totally uplifting, but seriously good.

Here's a little taste to pique your interest:
"Life changes fast.
Life changes in an instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

Isn't that the truth? We all believe-on some level-that there is no fragility to this existence of ours. That life is not a gift but a given, but the truth is that everything is terribly, frighteningly in delicate balance. We take love for granted when we have it. We take friends for granted when they are with us. We take time for granted when we have it. We don't take enough time because we are always reaching for the next thing. All of this makes me want to slow down even more...really absorb each minute of this amazing life we are given. Be more patient with myself, with life, with all of it. Be more present with everything and everyone in my life. Imagine what life could be like if more people dared to live in the present...fully concsious and aware in the present? Amazing, I would imagine...pretting friggin' amazing.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Take me out....

So I went to a Braves game last night...let me just start by saying that I am not a sports person. Though I enjoy the social aspects of going to a game, hanging out with friends and the hotdog and beers that they sell for outrageous amounts of money, I haven't a CLUE how these games work. I like to watch tennis and women's basketball. I understand these two sports...somewhat. This is my friend, Emily, trying to school me on the finer nuances of Major League Baseball. Now that I've given all of my sports disclaimers, there is something really exciting about living in a city that actually has a professional sports team where you can go and see the game for $5 on a Friday night, watch fireworks and do some seriously good people watching. This guy was my favorite. .He had on this lovely straw hat, these very preppy white glasses and sat with his hands folded the entire time. I don't know if he was "all there" if you know what I mean, but I enjoyed that he could sit alongside the mulleted redneck pounding Budweisers screaming obscenities at the players and not seem out of place. The only bad thing that happened was that, when we went to purchase our beers, I was NOT asked for my ID. Audrey says that is because they only need to see 2 ids when one purchases beer, but I think she was just trying to make me feel better. I've only been 30 a week and already, the aging has begun...I saw wrinkles the other day..

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards

"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

Former Texas governor, Ann Richards, died amazing woman...strong, confident, funny, intelligent and real. "Her persona was always unconventional. When she was nearly 60, a grandmother and governor of Texas, Richards took to riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle because, she said, "I thought I needed to do something kind of jazzy."" (quote courtesy of

Read more about Ann Richards

Monday, September 11, 2006

september 11.

These are a few of the pieces I did after September 11, 2001.