Friday, May 26, 2006

The Blogging Gauntlet.

The blogging gauntlet has been thrown down.
Hank has challenged me to do nothing but "visual" blogs for the next week.
I accepted the challenge because I FUCKING LOVE A GOOD COMPETITION!!!!!
So...these may be the last words, I peep.
Not only this, but I am going white water rafting on Sunday...please say a special prayer for me.
Not only do I NOT like to be able to control water faring entities when I am aboard them, but I also have a fairly ridiculous fear of drowning that, supposedly, dates back to a past-life experience...another blog for another day.
So, we'll see what happens.
I loved you all.


"The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries; weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that is within a person's nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy who, in their agitated concern mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell."
Truman Capote Other Voices Other Rooms

One of my favorite quotes.

I love that line "...and those of righteous envy who, in their agitated concern mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell." Love is not always a simple, linear concept. Love can be complicated, messy, misunderstood, and tragic, even. Love, like gravity, is a force not to be reckoned with. We try to bridle it, we try to contain it, we try to create it and destroy it and it plays by its own rules. My experience of love has been as beautiful as it has been painful, but it has been real.

What I know about love is that it shapes the essence of who we are. Even in our greatest failures in love, we go a little bit deeper into who we are. Ultimately, every time we risk connection with another person, we put a part of our essential self out there, raw and exposed to the elements of life. We are making an agreement of sorts with ourself and another person that we are willing to lose, that we are willing to hurt, that we are willing to feel something profound and beautiful that can only be achieved through risking with another human being.

That is why love is so scary...because, ultimately, we are not in control. We can choose to fight the current, exhaust ourselves and, ultimately, drown, or we go where the currents take us. I guess that is life, though...are we ever really in control of anything? Not really. All we can do is choose our attitude, choose how we express ourselves, choose love or fear. After that, we have to let go of the outcome. That used to really scare me, but there is great relief in knowing that we don't have to hold it all...that we can do our part and then let it go.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Thought for Saturday.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Simple. To the Point. True. Funny how NOT believing in oneself is sometimes the biggest challenge to overcome...and there are others who build an identity on ego without substance. I guess I'd rather struggle than be an empty vessel.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


So this concept of competition has come up lately in my design history class.

I, jokingly, referenced a "competition" between the Friday and the Wednesday class the other day...silly me.

The truth is that there is no real competition other than that which we wage against school, we are there to help, support, encourage and challenge each other to be the best that we can be. The stakes are not an increase in salary or keeping or losing a is, simply reaching our most excellent level of creativity and thinking. Call it what you will, we are all in it together.

I guess some people think I am a bit of a jerk....maybe I am...I speak what is on my mind, I push it. I like to push things...I like to see what people are made of because I am interested in seeing what I am made of. Ultimately, I don't ask others to do anything that I would not do myself. I guess most people don't like to be challenged...pushed outside of their comfort zone.

It hurts. It is difficult. It requires risk. I requires NOT knowing everything. It is struggle. Ultimately, it is GROWTH. It is CHANGE. It is getting bigger instead of smaller...and that is worth every bit of the struggle and pain. I would rather stay in a place of discomfort and frustration than go back to complacency...that is the only way I know I am growing.

I'm there. Writhing around in this place that is not comfortable...not certain...I don't know what to do I am just trying to be as still in it as possible...even though everything in me is wanting to go back to the familiar...the comfortable.

Bottom line...Change is hard.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


So, I have been relieved from my crash for a few days...long enough to post this blog and back up all of my files....these are from Audrey's new, fancy computer that has a cool camera that can make you look like the above pictures. That is me on top, and Audrey below.

I have put these on my refrigerator to help me control my late-night twinkie binges.

Signed versions of these limited release prints will be available at Portfolio Center. Come and git em, they're goin' fast.

Monday, May 15, 2006


As I write this, I am using Audrey's computer...she isn't here and doesn't know I've hijacked her machine to post this very important blog.

Last night my sweet little computer CRASHED.

It's currently making a sound like a tornado warning and has told me, essentially, to fuck off in several different languages.

I feel so alone.

So disconnected.

I don't know how long it will be before I can connect with cyber-space again...but know that even though I am not physically here...I am with you all, my loving fans, in spirit. Say a little prayer for my Power-Less Book.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Design History with the group formerly known as "Mary and the Wonderettes"

Today, Friday, I had my Design History Class (AKA, "The Chair Class").
10 (T-E-N H-O-U-R-S L-A-T-E-R), we emerge from the big table downstairs.
I have found that, to explain this phenomenon to an "outsider," is close to impossible.
Most people walk away thinking Hank is an ego-maniacal, control freak who thrives on setting us all off-balance.

Sometimes I don't disagree.

What I do know is that, for whatever reason...for reasons I don't have to understand RIGHT NOW, something special happens down in, what I like to call, the basement of Portfolio Center during these times. I don't know if it is the product of sleep deprivation...or how we are forced to simply be in the presence of one another....or if it is hearing the same key phrases from Hank over and over again. Whatever it is, it is as painful as it is beautiful, as annoying as it is is an adventure, a journey into a new reality for all of us as human beings and designers.

The reality is that it is not the "magic" of Hank that makes it happen; it is truly what happens when we connect to each other and form relationships...when we begin to appreciate the uniqueness and beauty that is in each of us. Hank does PUSH us, relentlessly, to be dig deep within, literally and figuratively "put it out on the table..." Most of us resist on some level because I think, on some core level, we do not trust. We do not trust ourselves and therefore others to accept and embrace our most intimate truths. What we learn in this process, however, is that, ultimately, the challenge is not outside of ourselves, but within. It is not the others we fear, but the self-rejecting tendencies we all have. As the saying goes, "the answer to the question lies within the question itself."

In any case, I give up on explaining the experience...who really cares? What matters is that it is changing my life and the lives of those around me...that, in and of itself, is a compelling enough reason to continue...and continue to analyze and question every last bit of it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Good F'in Morning.

It's never a good sign when the first thing you encounter at 5:30am is cat shit on your mouse. Good Fucking Morning!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Thought for Tuesday.

Today, as I was silently lamenting over all of the tasks I had to complete today, how friggin' tired I was, and how I was longing for a vacation from my life, I looked to the door of my refrigerator for insight and inspiration. That is where this lovely photograph is posted in my home. It really put things in perspective for me and I thought, "why not share this with the world?" I do not want to deprive my blogging community of the sources of hope and inspiration that I plug into as they may serve to inspire you lovely people as well.

Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Consumer Hell.

Women should never go shopping when they are:
1. Tired
2. Suffering from a bad haircut
3. Having an "ugly day"
4. Having a "fat day"

Today, I decided to play with fire and go shopping while suffering all of the aforementioned conditions. Bad idea. I left the mall bitter, disgusted and ready to drink heavily and do recreational drugs... My first gripe is about shorts. I hate shorts. It is one part of summer that I dread. In fact, I hate all clothes that are summer clothes, but especially shorts. First of all, there are no shorts for women that are an appropriate length. You either have shorts that barely cover the crotch or you have knickers. Neither of these work for me. Both of these options look absolutely stupid on my body and I cannot seem to figure out why this trend has begun. Maybe most women have far more "leg confidence" than I do...I don't know....but it is damn near impossible to find normal length shorts that are cute. Even the GAP has sold me out. Bastards.

My next gripe is about fitting rooms. So there is a store in Atlanta called's a pretty cool can find some nice things at discounted prices...everybody's happy. Except when you go to try something on (imagine the sound of a car crashing). For some odd reason, the good folks at Loehman's think that us girls like to gather round family style and try on clothes in front of one another. Um, no...we don't. They have communal fitting rooms...what the fuck? I just don't get it. Why would anyone think this is a good idea? It is just plain fucking dumb. Not only do you rush in and rush out as fast as humanly possible, you are surrounded by mirrors reflecting not only your image back at you but every other woman's image that is in this clothes corral. The whole experience was just plain traumatizing.

So as I contemplate how to roll a heroin cigarette and pour my 10th martini, let me suggest staying away from retail stores when you can check off even just one of those conditions mentioned at the beginning...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My Chair.

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you. -Maya Angelou

So I am in Hank's design history class this quarter...the class where we design a chair using a personal story as well a period in design history. As I stated earlier, my period is Vorticism...and, yes, it is as exciting as it sounds. I have deliberated and deliberated over what my "story" would be...hemming and hawing, as we like to say in the South, around the different issues I could select...and, my goodness, there are plenty to choose from. I protested several times that I had NO story...that I was completely devoid of anything substantive. I'm not sure how I allowed myself to be so ignorant. Basically, I was scared to reveal any real, true, vulnerable part of me in fear that I would be judged defective, less talented, less creative, less intelligent, less (fill-in-the-blank). It is only recently that I have really come to grips with the reality that ANYONE and EVERYONE can judge you at any given time...and they do...and they will continue to do so...what counts is that you know your own TRUTH. That you know that, at your core and in your heart, you are good...that your self worth comes from within. No one can make us value ourselves. No one can love us enough so that we love ourselves. No one can or should ever be that powerful. I digress, however...

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way” -Victor Frankl

So, my story...I realized after a series of chats with Tania that I really did have a story and that my resistance to sharing was because I still held shame and judgement of myself around this event that took place 18 years ago. When I was 12, our family experienced a series of deaths (5 significant in a one year period of time). My response to these events would be, what most would consider, fairly normal...I freaked out. Already a slightly anxious child, this degree of loss and grief sent that anxiety into high gear. My family: no nothing. Consequently, I became the chief representative for the pain, loss and grief. I absorbed every inch of not only what I was feeling, but, surely, what my parents were going through as well. I was terrified. Terrified of death, terrified of loss, terrified that I would be left alone without my a constant state of panic and fear. I weighed 70 pounds because I was too anxious to eat, I ran away from school because I wanted to be home and safe, I cried most of the summer and fall of 1988. I was inconsolable and no one knew what to do with me. The school "authorities" perceived my behavior as acting out...I was punished constantly because I would run away from school. I was humiliated in front of my classmates because certain teachers thought it was appropriate to reference my odd behavior in the middle of class. I was made fun of by fellow students because, hey, it was 7th grade and being different in 7th grade is a fate worse than death. All of this culminated into me being psychiatrically hospitalized 2 weeks after my 12th birthday.

My worst fears realized.
I was separted from my one place of parents.
I was put into a prison with carpeted walls and a collection of really strange people.
I was alone, scared and completely removed from anything familiar.
I could not call my parents and only saw them once a week for a few hours.

I saw the writing on the walls...conform, get with the program, silence all of the fears and emotions I was experiencing and start acting "normal"....then I could get the hell out of there. So I did. I learned how to turn off my feelings. I learned how to bury my deepest feelings and fears. I learned how to deny a beautiful part of me that just didn't figure into the parameters of what was "acceptable." I decided from that moment on that I would never allow myself to be vulnerable again...that showing fear was, probably, the worst thing a person could do...that strength and resiliance were honorable and good.

And I learned that I had to look within for strength, comfort and solace. That lesson came when I went back to school. I knew what people were saying behind my back. I knew how odd I was to them. I knew I had to keep all of that pain, confusion and sadness to myself because otherwise, it was back to the hospital. I knew I had to find strength within my tiny self to be able to get through that period in my life...and I knew that life would never be simple or innocent again. During this time, I learned how to be strong, how to find my center, how to rise above the embarassment and shame to gain perspective. I learned how to be able to step outside of myself to see a situation for what it was. I learned about compassion. I learned that having a sense of humor could save my life. I learned a lot of beautiful life lessons.

I do believe that life is beautiful, even in moments of great pain, life is beautiful. What I hope to express in my chair is a combination of what I learned 18 years ago and what I know today. 18 years ago, I learned how to be strong, to take care of myself, to have a strong inner-core that I could look to for my sense of self. What I know now is that I must find that willingness to be vulnerable again. What I know now is that true strength comes from a willingness to risk pain, loss, and exposure. I believe my chair will be comfortable, strong and beautiful because that is what I strive to achieve in my life. A sense of comfort, even when vulnerable, inner-strength and beauty of character.

What I love about this project is that it is an opportunity to really let go of the pain and shame that I have held about this experience...and create something beautiful and meaningful...something tangible...from it. I think that is when art is its most powerful, when it comes from a deep, meaningful, concentrated place.