Friday, May 30, 2008


As someone who primarily works from home it is sometimes difficult to find a muse because there are fewer opportunities where I am forced to leave the house and locate stimulation of creativity that just does not exist in my beige carpet and white walls. Over the past week I have sold items from my online shop, wrote a new article on another MySpace musician that should be finalized and published within days, and completed a few new pieces to list online in the coming week. Not too shabby right? Sure all of those things are very exciting, even I will admit to that, but there is no spark in my days right now. I feel no rush of a thrill for doing what it is I love to do. I sit at my keyboard and mutter out loud to no one but myself “blah, blah, blah.” Even though there is no doubt of my busy factor, I feel like a drought has arrived just twenty one days after I boasted that it would never come. Awesome. Perhaps I need this for my brain.

Online surveys have been all over the place lately so not only did I respond to one the other day but shamefully posted it as a bulletin on MySpace just to try something new. Although I thought I could not go any lower, I seriously almost asked someone to tag me in order to have something to post on my blog. Luckily I got my head together enough to determine you all, my fine readers, deserve far more than that. You truly deserve to read something more fulfilling, deeper. I wanted to post something with meaning that would open up a little piece of my soul and let my readers into the part of my brain reserved for the most intimate situations where I use words like incumbent and profess my knowledge of complicated sounding wines like Montepulciano; truly convincing people I actually know what I am talking about.

But it’s all just a big pack of lies; I am nothing more than an illusion. And seriously, what kind of writer starts a sentence with the word but. Or And. Or or.

In an effort to get a little crazy I changed my profile picture (hold me back!) which is the cropped version of this AMAZING artwork I commissioned of Matt and me. In life I talk like a truck driver but in my written words rarely will you find a curse; they are only used to emphatically punctuate my feelings on a subject when I feel there is no other alternative than to include it. So when I tell all of you that Vic is the fucking best you should know that an immediate visit to her shop is in order.

Today the Sex and the City movie opened and tonight is going to be a super fun double feature for Matt and me. We haven’t been to the movies since very likely the last Lord of the Rings opened but tonight our goal is to see Indiana Jones and SATC in what will hopefully not force us to take a mortgage out just to pay for it. In an effort to save a few bucks we plan to arrive with our own snacks. Getting away with this bold of a task requires a lack of guilt and a really big bag. Done and done. I made a new tote bag the other day so I will be able to bring in a sweatshirt (since I always freeze in the movies) and buried within that sweatshirt will be our own snacks. Microwave kettle corn popped at home and placed in a Ziploc container, devil dogs and probably some other delicious snacks will all be smuggled in. Gee, I hope they do not frisk at the movie theaters now like at concerts.

Tomorrow evening we will get together with friends, perhaps play a little Rock Band, perhaps not but food and fun conversation will definitely be involved. Maybe after the end of the weekend the dam of my mind will burst and reveal that I am not as much of a parody as I proclaim to be.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Growing Up, You Don't See the Writing on the Wall

The year was 1985; I was almost twelve years old and turned to writing after “winning” my first, and only, fist fight with someone who was not my sister. Michael Jackson tells Paul McCartney “I’m a lover not a fighter” on his Thriller album and although that perfectly described my personality, my former best friend and I planned our pre-teen, angst over nothing fist fight to take place in another friend’s backyard anyway. I knew there was no way I would win the fight because no matter how scrappy I was, she was actually a tough girl but, regardless, I bragged how I would win all the way to the scene of the crime after school that day.

As in any school there were cliques of kids from uber popular all the way to nerdier than nerd and everything in between. Geek, that was us. Some of us had boyfriends but mostly we were just a bunch of girls trying to survive our last few months in grammar school and fit in wherever we could. I was also still trying to adjust to life at home since my parents got divorced a few years prior. It all took a toll on me so the rationalization in my head was that I could unleash all this pent up fury onto her and finally release it. Since we were dorks, girls, and only eleven, I certainly never expected a crowd of popular kids to show up to watch us fight but there they were, cheering and clapping.

The moment her gold rings connected with my face I knew I was grounded. I never experienced what Boxers call “seeing red” or “going in the zone”. Other than witnessing the sky twice as my head flung backwards from the force of her fist and the royal blue shirt she was wearing I did not absorb anything from the fight itself. Instead I took in everything that was going on around me as if I had stepped outside myself and looked in on the scene. In the middle of the circle of popular kids were these two dolts; one was throwing fists at the face of the other, likely seeing her own mother’s face, and the other was too afraid to hit the other in the face, for fear her own mother would get sued. Guess which one was me. I pounded with all my rage on her stomach and then as fast as it all seemed to happen, that royal blue shirt became a flash down my friend’s driveway. She ran.

For mere moments, I was the most popular bloody kid in school. I finally had tunnel vision, straight down the driveway to the sidewalk where her blue shirt had disappeared. I was surrounded by people who hated me daily and while they cheered, clapped and patted me on the back, they laughed at my former friend as she scurried home. I was revered for thirty seconds because in the eyes of the world around me, I had won the fight. I could have capitalized on my new found fame and built a whole new me out of the reputation. I could have turned to popularity in stature but I looked around and realized that although they were smiling, they would be bogus friends. Instead of schmoozing with the rich and famous sixth graders, I ran into my friend’s house and put some frozen meat on my eye. In the end, I ran too, and everyone went home.

Things in school went back to usual after the fight, my group of friends were once again picked on incessantly, but something in me shifted that day and I no longer cared what they thought or how they saw me. I started writing very shortly after that and really credit my former friend for helping me keep my sanity all these years by releasing emotions through a pen onto paper instead of something more destructive. I truly thank her for essentially being my initial catalyst of inspiration.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Call of the Wild

“Tonight. Tonight. Tonight. Tonight. La, la, la, la, la, la, tonight.”

Age fifteen came rushing back again like the proverbial freight train just a few minutes ago, although I’m quite sure my friends experienced just a bit more hearing loss over it than I did. I received my concert call the very moment New Kids on the Block hit the stage at Kiss Concert 2008. Every year a few local stations have their version of an all day concert. There are generally a few stages with varied acts from local “who?” bands to “holy freaking crap, its them!” type bands. WXKS, Kiss 108 FM, has been featuring the hottest pop bands since 1979 at their Kiss Concert; an annual show that is a staple for Bostonians. I have been to a few over the years but none as exciting as tonight must be for all us thirty something bubble gum chewing, pegged jean wearing, side ponytail sporting fans who wear the shirt of the band they are going to see on the night of the show; la, la, la, la, la, la. Sorry, it just slipped out.

For the first time in over fifteen years the New Kids are taking the stage, and busting out a few moves that hopefully will not land them in ICU after a hip replacement from on-stage injuries. All joking aside, I will go right ahead and own this one. I loved these cute little dudes from Boston. That’s right. I have their music in my iPod and every time one of their songs comes on I smile thinking back on all the fun we had obsessing over their music and posters, even though most of the words escape me after all this time. I could not bring myself to actually attend the event so instead unabashedly requested my concert call in a text this morning while on my way to work.

When the song started playing and all I could hear were hundreds of screaming fans then singing (likely my friends and the people around them, not the actual band) that same smile crept out again. I decided to sit down and write this because in all truth the smile was in direct relation to remembering a simpler time in my youth when there were not so many complications; bills to pay or dishes to wash. Well maybe there were but the mind sure can soften over time huh? I was a high school student, part time worker at a dentist’s office (not even touching that irony), varsity gymnast, girlfriend, friend and writer. I got to work in a preschool for one of my classes even though I did not go to a vocational high school and belonged to the Home Economics Club. It is safe to say I was just as random then, as I am now.

One of the most exciting things to ever happen in relation to NKOTB was to be featured on television, screaming for our Boston band. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we all skipped school. Our sense of adventure sent us into the city via subway; when cutting we could frequently be found eating lunch at TGI Fridays then buying music at Tower Records on Newbury St. On this day we were just about to leave Tower when we saw some familiar faces going up the escalator; it was the two hosts from the now defunct, local celebrity news show Evening Magazine and Billy Costa a host from Kiss 108. We went right back up, went over to talk to them and heard the magical question “you girls don’t happen to be New Kids fans?” Off came winter coats to reveal the gift shop of merchandise we were all wearing. I figure we put at least one of their kids through college so your welcome Jordan Jr. (please note I have no idea if any of the guys in the band have kids, this is for humor solely). We spent the next two hours cheering and clapping on cue under the hottest lights ever, listening to the same lines over and over. To a sixteen year old fan it was awesome. We got autographs and the air date then headed home discussing a good timeline seeing as though we were just taped for television and we were supposed to be in school.

The randomness of me means that I will never stop feeling some kind of high school elation every time I hear one of their songs because days like that will always come flooding in. My jaw hurts from smiling so big when listening to my call through screams and nostalgia. To complete my journey to 1988 I need a vanilla coke, ice cream sundae and a Marlboro Red. On second thought, there are some things I would rather remember as perfect the first time than ever live again.

“Well, I guess, it’s a brand new day after all, every time we hear the curtain call”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Following Through

In a prior blog tag I stated that the three areas of my body I would work on were my teeth, brain & lungs and that I was taking steps to do so. Yesterday was a wonderful day -- I had my first dental visit in over six years (to work on the teeth) and also received my digital download of Jason’s new studio release We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (to feed my brain). It may seem as if nothing that happened yesterday would be beneficial to my lungs but since everything in this world is truly connected, read on to discover the significance.

The dentist office -- the most feared place on Earth in my twisted brain -- is where I spent well over an hour yesterday morning both confirming and dispelling why I have felt trepidation for that vinyl reclining chair for so long. In general I am a positive person and go for that silver lining most of the time but when the squeal of a drill blends with the gurgling sound of a tube sucking up all kinds of things I do not want to imagine coming out of my mouth, it is difficult for me to find the happy affirmation in the now. My Hygienist kept asking if I was alright while she poked, prodded and scraped me until I wanted to cry but I just kept my eyes closed, concentrated on my breath and mumbled “mmm hmm”. When she finished pulling the scaler over my chompers, and I miraculously still had all of them intact, the doctor handed me a huge pack of white strips for my teeth while congratulating me on quitting smoking. I sighed through a thankful smile realizing the worst part of my day was now behind me and I could go home to swish with salt water while I improved my mood over some new music.

The good news is I am a huge fan of Jason’s music so even though this is a studio album I did rather enjoy it. The bad news is I am a huge fan of Jason’s so knowing his live stuff intimately possibly skews my perception of how awesome this album actually is. I listened to it a few times yesterday and this morning wrote a quick soapbox review to Trayce via email. It seemed an appropriate, although raw, impression to share so here is the email word for word:

I am mixed on the album so far but more loving it than not of course. For example I love Coyotes but really do not care for the chorus of the song. I don't feel like it fits for some reason. It is like he wrote a chorus to a song, then wrote a song with no chorus & said oh I know let's put these together & record it for the album. Make it Mine & Dynamo so far are my favorite upbeat tunes & I already fell in love with If It Kills Me & A Beautiful Mess before so those are still way up there (amazing lyrics in all 4 and great tunes to match). I am really bummed about Lucky it just doesn't do it for me but it is the new single (just heard it on Sirius 9 The Pulse a couple days ago). I really don't feel it between them, it is catchy but will likely become one of those songs (along with I'm Yours sadly just like The Remedy) that I will forward just about every time I put on the album for the next 3 years because it is going to be severely overplayed. Regardless most of the lyrics are clever on the album but I feel that there are definitely songs he wrote specifically to get radio play just to appease the record company while others he did fight for to have on the album insisting they would not be a single but he really wanted them (I get that out of Live High, Only Human & Love For A Child) then there are fun tracks that he loved to write and record but are just filler songs (Details, Butterfly)

Now that my jaw is feeling super, I will be singing along with these new grooves at the top of my lungs today, all day. This is the part where the neighbors wish I had not quit smoking for shear lung capacity restrictions.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Writers Flood

Recently a friend, one I wrote about a while ago in relation to pretzels and metaphors, came over for tea and we got to discussing her insane dating adventures as if they should maybe be written into a book or something. Since I am a writer that tiny “maybe” turned into a pen, notebook, outline and introduction of a -- life story, fiction, non fiction, autobiography, complete fabrication. So the story will go something like this: My friend is a completely fictional character, all the men are completely fictional characters, the situations they find themselves in and conversations they have are completely fictional; but it is all based on things that have actually happened in her life. I guess the movie credits will read “Based on a true story” or something to that effect. She wants that Gilmore Girls chic to play her in the movie and although I have no idea who that is, maybe the wheels can get rolling now on making that happen.

She and I have been friends for a very long time and all joking aside I am honored she would trust me enough to take all the painful, albeit hilarious, situations that come from dating as a single, divorced mom in one’s mid thirties and spin them into a fun story for the world to read. She is not putting any pressure on me to finish anytime soon because in her own words “there will be plenty of material for years to come I’m sure.” This got me thinking about where material for stories comes from and how I have been so inspired to write for the past year after such a long drought before that.

It occurred to me that I was trying to quiet the inner artist for a very long time, attempting to work at jobs where I was unsatisfied doing nothing more than bringing home a paycheck every month because I thought all I really needed was the money to pay my bills. That was so very wrong because I was miserable everyday even though my bank account was overflowing. It was truly the cliché double edge sword. Now that I have decided it is time to do what it is I was meant to do, there will be no stopping me.

Since age twelve I have wanted to be a writer, and have been journaling since, but now, twenty years later, I am finally pursuing that career path. I chalk it up to the need for life experience to draw from to express my true voice to the world. Even though furious typing is what I see myself doing on a daily basis to fulfill my life, it is not just writing these days that finds me flashing the creative bling.

I have become obsessed with creating many forms of art for fun from digital photography to mixed media collage to website creation to crafting and of course faux finishing.

I bought myself a cute little point and shoot digital that resides in my purse now everywhere I go because you never know where inspiration might appear. A couple weeks ago I came across this sign at a crosswalk, I thought it was cute.

Matt cringed when he saw a photo of himself that I took at a concert the other night but I turned it into something else and he loves it now. Is he cute as a cartoon or what?

My Designer contact in the world of faux asked me to create a sample board that would look exactly like the tile her client was insisting she have on her walls in a powder room. After arriving at the proper base color it was just a matter of applying the plaster like product in layers of various colors, stippling it, veining and spotting the board with glaze. Not too shabby (although the scanned copy looks more pink and does not show the luminous quality of the plaster layers as well as the sample board).

Even though these pursuits are fun I have come to the conclusion that they are really just vehicles to help me stay inspired to write more. Be it this blog, articles published online or the brand spanking new, self published Random Lunacy zine I am selling*, there is no way I will be experiencing a block as long as I keep my eye open for the creative nuances of inspiration the world has to offer.

* Shameless self promotional plug: You can buy my zine by clicking this link or the photo of it above & right. Currently it is only for sale through my online Etsy shop but that could change with Volume 2 due out first week of June 2008!

Friday, May 2, 2008


For Christmas last year we mostly gave gifts to charity, but that is difficult to pull off with twin five year olds so we figured a day at the Museum of Science would certainly seal our fate as the cool aunt and uncle. We picked our nephews, and their enormous backpack full of lunch and a change of clothes, up about eleven and hit the road. We talked and joked on the way in because the boys are at the age where everything is silly, and if it is not then it is their mission to make it so. Due to this fact, one of my nephews decided to give me a new nickname because Auntie was far too boring and I would definitely keep it going if Beyonce was not more fitting to hold it someday – Auntielicious. He laughed hysterically in the backseat after dubbing me this honorable title and I realized that a five year old who has no idea what he was actually calling me just gave me the most super fly compliment I have received in a long time. I laughed with him, hoping this nickname would not stick but feeling the love anyway.

Pop culture has ruled the way many of us speak for centuries; heck I even still say groovy, rad, dope, dude (and apparently super fly) on any given day depending on the situation. There are some phrases that just stick; like the ink blot for the spoken word. Fill in the blank: ice, ice ________. The day at the Museum was months ago and I had really forgotten all about my new moniker until yesterday when we were driving home from a friend’s house and came to a stop sign we had stopped at a million times before. For some reason I actually really looked at it this time even though I was not driving and immediately burst out laughing, thankful I had my camera in my purse.

This phrase was such an over used yet still catchy one that I was surprised this was the first time I saw it on a stop sign. This got me thinking about other things I have seen or snapped photos of just because they hit me in an oddly humorous way. The red sticker on the nose of the deer crossing sign is one I have never been able to snap a photo of but I chuckle at every time I see it. Here are a few things I have snapped that made me glad my eyes were open to the randomness that the world has to offer.

Not just a little heavy; super heavy.

Read it out loud.

This is my kind of Senior Center; sign me up for the 3:30 seminar!

Probably will not study very much at this school.

Perhaps something could be done about this instead of just putting up the sign?

Only in California.

Peace out G.
Over & out.
I’m Audi.