Friday, June 30, 2006

I want to take a moment to say a very happy birthday to my Texas friend. She is one of those people...she's a constant bright spot in my life. We've only physically met once, and our relationship is largely emails, text messages, and phone calls, but I can't imagine my life without her in it. I can barely remember what it was like before I had this friendship. She is caring and generous and thoughtful and nonjudgmental and extraordinarily intelligent and beautiful in every definition of the word. And today is a milestone in her life, so I hope it is a particularly nice day for her. I love you my Texas friend!

And I also want to wish a very happy anniversary to my doctor friend and her husband. They are such a special couple and I miss them terribly. I was so honored to be a part of your day, was it six years ago now? Tonight I raise a glass to you. I love you guys!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So I don't know for how many of you this is a point of interest, but I know it is for me, so I'm gonna write about it for a minute.

I'm going back into the studio tomorrow.


I met an indie music producer at the sammich shop where I used to play on Thursdays and he really liked my stuff and after me hemming and hawing and whatnot, we've decided to do a trial song to see how we work together and how he produces my stuff (seeing as he's not really worked with singer/songwriters before) and whatnot. If all goes well, we may do a full album. Or EP. Or something more than just the one song. Hopefully something slick and shiny and sweet smelling that the record companies and radio stations won't just use as a coaster.

I'm excited. And nervous. And scared out of my mind. But I think it will be fun. And I hope it all works out nicely. It's about time I had a CD out there that didn't have the disqualifier "it's really just a demo" on it. So wish me luck! And I'll keep you posted to let you know where/when/how you might be able to pick up some new tunes.
No matter what anyone else says, I am good enough.

Monday, June 26, 2006

So today marks the four year anniversary of the day I became vegan. Let's take stock, shall we?

I weigh about 20 pounds less than I did before I became vegan.

My blood pressure and cholesterol are still really good (though admittedly, they were before I was vegan). Honestly, my doctor laughs at me I'm so healthy.

Food bills are approximately the same.

Skin is pretty clear, though I still get stress breakouts.

I just plain feel good about what I'm doing. Or not doing, as the case may be. I've found all kinds of products that I like better than their non-vegan counterparts. And it's really nice to know that nobody had to die or suffer so that I could have super soft hair, you know?

I will say this, though. First of all, I'm still happy to answer any questions about veganism to the best of my ability. I'm not an expert on the subject, but I will gladly tell you what I know and find anything else out that I don't know. That aside, I would like to make one little wish. Okay, two. (Since I already got the ponytail thing and the Derrek Lee back in the lineup thing.)

I wish that people thought of vegetarian or vegan food as just another type of cuisine, like Italian or Vietnamese. As in, "What do you feel like for dinner tonight?" "Well, we had Italian last night and I had Chinese for lunch, so how about vegetarian?" I think that if we made a step like that, first of all, it wouldn't be so bizarre and foreign to people to eat vegetarian food, and secondly, if everyone ate one vegetarian meal a week, we could significantly reduce beef/chicken/fish/dairy production in this country. But somehow Americans have it emblazoned in their brains that a meal has to include meat or dairy. Has to. It's not food if it doesn't have one of those things involved.

It's funny. When I go out to restaurants, you'd think I'd be able to look at the salad part of the menu and have lots of choices, right? Wrong. They all have chicken on them, or bleu cheese dressing (which, if you think about it, is really gross -- bleu cheese is the mold that grows on mold. You want to eat that why?), or grilled tuna or something, on a bed of lettuce and they call it a salad. You get it without the chicken and you've got (drum roll please) a bowl of lettuce. Why must all of our salads include animal parts? Whatever happened to a salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms? If you go to the right places for your produce, it's a much more economical salad that doesn't run the risk of giving your customers salmonella or anything. Hell, throw some kidney beans in there and you've even got your protein.

Which brings me to my other problem with vegetarianism/veganism. The vast majority of the restaurants and cookbooks out there are centered on fake meat products. I know why they are. If you tell people they can still eat burgers and be a vegetarian, they are more likely to try it. In our meat obsessed culture, if you tell people "this tastes like meat," they're more likely to try it than if you say, "this pasta, called quinoa, contains all of your essential amino acids, so serve it up with some black soy beans, onion, garlic, and veggies of your choice and you have a really filling, well balanced meal." And the best part, is that with the focus on fake meat products, it opens up every vegetarian to the question, "If you want something that tastes like chicken, why not eat chicken?" So the chicken doesn't have to die, that's why.

I guess I just wish there were more vegetarian/vegan chefs out there making really tasty vegetarian/vegan food that bore no resemblance to traditional American staples -- tuna salad, chicken salad, burgers, hot dogs. I think those products are fine once in a while, but I'd really like to go out to more places like Amitabul in Chicago and get a filling, well balanced vegan meal without spongy fake shrimp involved. Call me crazy.

But yeah. I wish vegetarian food was considered just another cuisine. And I wish people would eat one vegetarian meal a week. Just one. I think they would be surprised at how tasty it can be, how filling, and how good they will feel after eating it. And I also don't think that most people know how many things they eat already are vegetarian. Hell, when you go to the movies, instead of Ju-Ju-Bees, get Twizzlers. Twizzlers are vegan. Your pasta primavera is vegetarian. And what's more American than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? They're vegetarian (can be vegan depending on the bread/jelly)!

It's really not as hard as everyone thinks it is to be vegetarian. Being vegan is a bit of a challenge, yes, but once you learn your products, it's no worse than not being vegan. Personally, I really enjoy being vegan. I think the food is great and the products are wonderful, and I love the fact that I'm not intruding into the lives of others. Nobody has to suffer so that I can live. That feels really good.

So here's to another four years. And another. And another. And another...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Well, I am officially the new guitar player in the band I sing backup vocals. They've (We've) been looking for one for a little while and they all kind of had a pow wow and decided to ask me and I said, "Sure, I'll do it." Granted, I don't know how to play any of the songs yet and I'm not even sure I have the right equipment necessary to play out, but we'll get there. I'm probably going to be playing my electric guitar. I don't know how it sounds with either of my amps and I don't have any pedals or anything for it. So there's a little more money I get to spend on my career, but I think it will be worth it. And to be completely honest, I'll feel much better up on stage with them if I have a guitar in my hands, as opposed to just standing there singing. I do dance a little bit, but it's kind of sad dancing. I'll admit that. Having a guitar to play will give me something to do. Which will be very nice.

So yeah, we played this one gig yesterday that was kinda trippy. It was a town festival kind of thing and the stage was huge, with lights all around it and a big lawn area. It was so a rockstar stage. But we played early so there weren't many people there yet. It was weird. And to be honest, it kind of freaked me out a little bit. But now I have at least one performance on that kind of stage under my belt, so hopefully it won't weird me out next time. The audience that was there was great, though.

We played for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life yesterday, too. I know, two gigs in one night, how hardcore can you get? That was fun, too, even though it was a little sad in the way that the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is sad. Seeing all of the candles that had been lit for someone who lost their battle with cancer. Seeing all of the lives that cancer touched, directly or indirectly. It was kind of an honor to get to play for those people, to lift their spirits and help them walk. And they loved us, which made it that much better.

So yeah, the journey towards rockstardom is chugging along. Learning bass and loving it. Playing guitar in this band. Getting my own album together. I'll get there one day.

Friday, June 23, 2006

These things I know to be true:

The problem with losing weight is that the clothes you love that fit you no longer fit you.

Even if nobody is ever going to see it, it's really nice to wear cute underwear.

Music heals just about any pain.

Just when you least expect it, the person you least expect to do so will restore you faith in humanity. Or in yourself.

Nothing lasts forever.

Chocolate is good for the soul.

Animals are people, too.

It's never too late to pursue your dreams.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


So you know I don't really talk about other things here unless they are things I really enjoyed or believe in or whatnot. I hope you keep that in mind when I tell you about this show that my friend is doing. It is a one man show, but it has a lot of things that I think a lot of one man shows are missing, like a plot (kind of), or at the very least, a story line and actual conversations. He pulls off the six different characters brilliantly, going from superbly funny moments to honest, true, heartfelt moments without hardly batting an eye. For me, I think that would be the hardest part of the show -- being so emotionally vulnerable one second and being the tough guy making fun of the emotionally vulnerable one the next. But he pulls it off fantastically.

And it made me miss my high school friend who I wish I could find. And it made me miss my honorary brother who blew me off last weekend. And it made me wonder if men actually think like that. Because I know women do. We get all of these books like "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus" that tell us how different we are from one another and that it's going to be near impossible to connect with someone of the opposite sex unless we make all these outrageous concessions, but then I see a play like this, where the tough guy has insecurities. The wing man is depressed. The lead is confused. Women have the same insecurities. Women suffer the same depressions. Women spend the majority of their lives being confused. But we all mask these things somehow so that nobody else will see that we're all really the same, and we feel isolated because of that.

I dunno. It was nice to see that side of these male characters. I fell in love with one of them, yet at the same time, I am him. And as much as I consider myself one of the guys, I know in the back of my mind that the guys don't think so. They're still aware of the fact that I'm female, so I'll never get to see that side of them unless it's onstage. And I guess it was just nice that my 24 year old guy friend is at least aware of the fact that men can feel that way, regardless of how autobiographical the characters are or not.

So go see the show. It's really lovely. It's only scheduled for three more dates in Chicago -- next week Monday through Wednesday night -- and who knows what is going to happen to it after that. Click on the link at the beginning of this entry if you want more info. It really is worthwhile. I laugh, I cried, I was moved, I was entertained. You will be too.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I know I'm a day late in saying this, but happy birthday, Grandma!

Monday, June 19, 2006

I start my bass class today. I'm really excited about it. New people. New challenges. New instrument. I hope I don't look dumb.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I just wanted to say a real quick Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there. Mine in particular. Dads have a hard job and they don't always get credit for everything that they do, so thanks, Dad. Dads. Thanks for being, you know, you. For taking care of us. For loving us. And for eating the cookies we bake for you even if they aren't part of your diet.

I love you, Dad.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I know this probably won't mean anything to anyone but me, but I currently have a REAL ponytail holder holding my hair in a ponytail. Not one of those little bitty ones that you put in a small child's hair because she really only has about four hairs to hold in place. I'm talking a REAL ponytail holder. Wrapped around three times. Big enough to wear around my wrist if I was so inclined.

Granted, it's still a pretty sad ponytail. But it's progress. We like progress around here.

Speaking of which, can I revise my birthday wish? I know I asked for the ability to put my hair in a ponytail and I kind of have that now, so can I, instead, wish for Derrek Lee to come back and/or the Cubs to win more than one game at a time? Pretty please?

Friday, June 16, 2006


I feel like I've been neglecting my blog as of late. I'm sorry about that. I have been (admittedly) in a funk for a while. I've been cranky and moody and just...not a whole lot of fun to be around. I know that. Even I'm getting tired of me.

But I'm taking steps to get out of the funk. And not just little, temporary steps. I got new headshots taken, so as soon as I figure out which ones are the best, I can get them reproduced and set about getting myself an agent. I'm working with an indie producer on some songs. Well, one to start with to see how we work together, and more after that if all goes well. I have a film project in the works. I have a theater project in the works. I have a project in the works that I'm not going to post too much about here because it is a surprise for someone who reads this. I start my bass guitar class on Monday. So yeah, things are starting to pick up again. I'm even picking up an extra shift or two at the sammich place, so I'll be getting a bit more money, which is always a good thing. Especially with it being city sticker time. It's expensive to own a car in the city. Significantly less so since I don't drive as much anymore, but still.

So I apologize for not posting so much anymore. I like to post happy things so that when I come back and read my entries a year later, I can feel better about myself. The sad times aren't worth reliving. The coming-out-of-sad-times are good things to recollect.

I have to say, the sammich shop gig is a little weird. It is hard to play for two or three hours for largely disinterested people. Yes, little kids are fascinated, but mostly they want to know how I got up there. They do dance from time to time and that melts me. But it occurred to me yesterday that what this sammich shop chain is doing is really a cool thing. They are giving people the opportunity to see live music on their lunch break. How cool is that? And how cool that I get to be that live music? So when I hit it big, people will say, "I used to go see her play at lunchtime on Fridays. She was very nice." Or something to that effect.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I have just one thing to say and that is


Friday, June 09, 2006

So I think I did it. I just might have found the skirt that will turn me back into a skirt girl.

When I was little, I was SUCH a skirt girl. Skirts and dresses all the time. Preferably pink. Preferably with ruffles. Then I started going to school. And we had gym class. And recess. Both prime opportunities for skirt-related embarrassments, aka inadvertantly flashing your undies at the cute boys on the playground. So I kind of got away from skirts and dresses, except on special occasions, for the next...umpteen years?

And then a few years ago (summer of 1997, maybe?) I stopped wearing shorts. For several reasons, one of the big ones being that not wearing shorts significantly reduces the likelihood that one will get sunburnt on the backs of one's knees (which was proven in 1987 to be THE most painful place to get a sunburn). And ever since then, I've not really been a shorts person nor a skirt person.

What about the god awful two weeks of Chicago summers when it's too hot to sleep, you may ask? Well, I do, on occasion, wear long dresses. But most of the time, I'd just stick with my cords. Really baggy corduroy pants are actually a lot cooler than one might think. Baggy means they create a pseudo breeze when you walk, but since they are long trousers, the absorb any leg sweat, too. So yeah, my baggy cords were doing just fine.

Until they died. About two years ago.

Last summer was...well, it wasn't easy at times. Jeans are not as cool as baggy cords and let's be honest, it's hard to find good baggy cords. They can't have pleats in the front because that makes you look even bigger than the baggyness of the trousers already do. And they should be olive green. Army green. I found a sort of replacement gray pair, but it's just not the same. Baggy army green corduroy trousers are wonderful and scarce.

So I started thinking about skirts again recently. And I thought to myself that if I could just find the right kind of skirt, maybe I could be a skirt person again. It couldn't be a fancy skirt; we're talking everyday wear. And not too short, but not to long, either. I've seen a lot of people wearing denim skirts lately, and I've given this a lot of thought (obviously), so I set out to the thrift store to find myself a denim skirt.

I dug through I don't even know how many pairs of jean shorts, looking for the elusive perfect denim skirt that had hidden itself amongst it's two-leg-holed companions. Alas, none could be found. So I went over to the skirt section to see if any denim skirts had been placed in the right spot. A few had, and one even turned out to be acceptable. I found a khaki skirt with laces in the front, too, that's pretty cute but may hinder my walking abilities.

And then I found it. There are those who will tell you that there are certain people you are destined to meet in your lifetime. I believe that there are also certain articles of clothing that you are destined to own. This skirt is one of those articles of clothing.

Olive green.
Cargo pockets.
Semi-useless snap decorations.
Just above the knee.

It's perfect. Goes with everything I own, including my sneakers! Comfortable. Fits perfectly. And I believe it cost a whopping two dollars. I wore it to the theater last night and amongst the comments I got were, "Despite the sneakers, you look quite feminine," and "I don't know why you're not a skirt person. You have really pretty legs."

So if you start to see a proliferation of photos of me wearing a skirt, that's why. I found my skirt soul mate. And now it's just about time for me to put it on and get to my gig tonight.

May all your shopping wishes come true.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I know this is a couple of hours late, but a very happy birthday to my friend who lives in the Netherlands these days. Little does he know that if I come to visit him again (which he has been pestering me to do), I'll never leave.

Happy birthday.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Happy June sixth.

Happy birthday to my stepsister, who was, incidentally, born on 6/6/66 and has red hair.

And now onto other things.

Everyone is talking about the gay marriage amendment these days, so I think that I should chime in and say that this is one of the dumbest diversion tactics I've ever seen in my life. GW actually thinks that by forbidding people to get married, we will protect the sanctity of families? Wait a second. Haven't we been spending the last fifty years or so redefining families to include single parents or grandparents, aunt or uncles who are raising children? And what about couples who choose not to have children? Aren't they families, too? Throw in stepparents or adopted children and you've got a whole other kind of family. It looks to me like families are sprouting up all over the place, and like we're telling children on Sesame Street and other big children's shows, even if your family is a little different from the traditional mom-dad-two-and-a-half-kids type family, as long as there is love involved, it is a family.

So how is preventing two people who love each other from getting married going to protect the sanctity of families? Please explain this one to me.

I have to go back to my cousin. My cousin who gave her kidney to her wife who needed it. My cousin and her wife who are committed to spending the rest of their lives together making the world around them a happier place. My cousin and her wife who always have a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on if one of their friends needs it. My cousin and her wife who always make everyone feel welcome at family gatherings. My cousin and her wife who are so crazy in love with each other that it makes the people around them feel happy and welcome. If only we could each be so lucky as to find someone to share in a relationship with like the relationship my cousin and her wife have. So what if they are both women? Theirs is what a marriage should be -- an equal partnership of two consenting adults who are committed to loving one another until death they do part. I'm sorry to put her up on display like this, but if anyone were to tell her that she was not allowed to spend the rest of her life with the woman she loves, who also loves her...I'm sorry, that person would quickly receive a swift kick in the head.

And they aren't the only couple like this that I know. I know dozens of committed homosexual couples who have relationships far more fulfilling and stable than half of the heterosexual couples I know. These are people who want to get married. If we're so concerned with the growing divorce rate, why are we preventing people who actually want to be married from getting married?

I'm just saying.

Actually, I'm just ranting. The whole debate is stupid. Largely because whether or not same sex couples are allowed to be legally married, they will still be together. They will still hold their own commitment ceremonies. They will still start families. You can't stop people in love from being in love. It just doesn't work. And to try to put something in the Constitution to that effect, well, it's unconstitutional. 'Nuff said.

Monday, June 05, 2006

So here I am thinking there were eleven or twleve episodes of the live action The Tick series, when really, there were only nine. How sad for me. But such a funny show. I know a lot of people hated the live action version because of the character changes and severe lack of "SPOON!!!!" shouting, but it's still darn funny. Too bad there are only nine episodes. I feel gypped.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Okay, here goes. Time for a new list. A lot of the things on the old list are still going to show up here, because a lot of those things haven’t changed. But it’s time to put this all out there again and see what happens.

I want to be with a man. Not a boy, but a man.
I want to be with a man who is passionate about something in his life.
I want to be with a man who is also passionate about me.
I want to be with a man who isn’t afraid of or turned off by the fact that I am passionate about him.
I want to be with a man who is artistic, or at the very least has an appreciation for people who are artistic.
I want to be with a man who talks to me.
About everything.
I want to be with a man I can talk to.
About anything.
I want to be with a man who has the confidence to shave his head. If he actually does shave his head, bonus!
I want to be with a man who does one thing better than anyone else.
I want to be with a man who thinks I do one thing better than anyone else.
I want to be with a man who believes in me and supports me. Even if he doesn’t like my music or the show I’m in, he’ll be there as much as humanly possible.
I want to be with a man who is happy to see me when I surprise him.
I want to be with a man who makes me feel safe.
I want to be with a man who excites me.
If I could be uber picky, I’d say I’d like to be with a man who doesn’t snore. Or at least not with any sort of regularity. Or at least not when he sleeps on his side or his stomach. I don’t even understand how some people do that, but it’s not as rare as one might think.
I want to be with a man who eats.
I want to be with a man who is generally healthy (exercises, eats well, etc.) but still has an undying love for ice cream.
I want to be with a man who would rather go for a walk through the city than go to the gym.
I want to be with a man who is financially responsible, but will splurge on something seemingly silly like video games or books.
I want to be with a man who is geographically accessible.
I want to be with a man who loves Owen as much as I do, and who Owen loves and feels comfortable with.
I want to be with a man who eats vegan food because he likes it, not just to humor me.
I want to be with a man who has his own life.
I want to be with a man who is open to the idea of sharing his life with me.
I want to be with a man who wants to share in my life.
I want to be with a man who is a generous tipper.
I want to be with a man who is generous.
I want to be with a man who is not afraid of the generosity of others.
I want to be with a man who is a good conversationalist, or who at least understands the importance of asking questions.
I want to be with a man who is not afraid to ask questions.
I want to be with a man who wants to always be learning.
I want to be with a man who is kind.
I want to be with a man who knows I'm a catch.
I want to be with a man who doesn’t think that commitment is a death sentence.
I want to be with a man who isn’t tied to the traditional idea of marriage as being the only option for what a relationship should be.
I want to be with a man who can really dance.
I want to be with a man who will go see a band he's never heard of just because.
I want to be with a man who knows that women have lots of erogenous zones and knows how to use them.
I want to be with a man who has a lot of erogenous zones.
I want to be with a man who pays attention to the world around him, but who can also take care of his own shit.
Another picky one: I’d like to be with a man who would rather be too hot than too cold. Or who will at least some of the time be too hot just so that I don’t have to be too cold all of the time.
I want to be with a man who understands introversion, or who will at least try.
I want to be with a man who calls for no reason, though not necessarily every day.
I want to be with a man who thinks about me when I’m not there.
I want to be with a man who likes it that I think about him when he’s not there.
I want to be with a man who isn’t afraid to let me love him.
I want to be with a man who likes to travel, both to new places and familiar favorite ones.
I want to be with a man who gets along with his family.
I want to be with a man who gets along with my family and friends.
I want to be with a man who has his own friends, male and female, and who can’t wait to introduce me to them. But who also knows when it’s time for just he and I to hang out without his friends.
I want to be with a man who knows when to hold my hand and when to let me do my own thing, without me having to tell him.
I want to be with a man who makes me feel better about being me, not worse.
I want to be with a man who inspires me.
I want to be with a man who I inspire.

And when I look at this new version of the list (I’m sure I’ve forgotten several things), I see that that “new friend” of mine really didn’t measure up. I don’t know if anyone will, but at least in the really important areas (communication, for instance), he just didn’t cut it.

If you know of anyone who fits this description, please let me know. Otherwise, I’m just putting my faith in the universe that we’ll find each other some day. And my apologies for automatically discounting half of the population by continually using the word “man,” but historically, I am more attracted to men than I am to women. I dunno. If there is a woman out there who meets this description, lemme know and I’ll at least get coffee with her.
So the Cubs win a total of seven games in the entire month of May, yet when we play two of the best teams in the division, we win the series. Go figure.

Does it get boring when I talk about the Cubs all the time? I apologize if it does. It's easy stuff to post about and get excited about, though. Aramis Ramirez hit a grand slam yesterday. That's exciting. Derek Lee got his cast off and was taking some ground balls the other day. That's exciting. Mark Prior could be back in the starting rotation before the month is out. That's exciting. Or is it exciting only to me? I can't quite tell. Either way, we all need a little excitement in our lives and this is currently what it doing it for me.

I'm going to go shower now. Which may be an exciting thought for some of you, or a useless tidbit. Whatever. I'll have more useless tidbits soon. Like, I keep thinking I should write a country song called "If It Weren't For the Beer Shits, I'd Have No Bowel Movements At All." What do you think? Too much information, or number one hit? You decide.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

And just like that, it's June.

Hi, June.

June always makes me feel like it's time to go back and reflect on what I've accomplished in the last year, or maybe the last six months, since a lot of people feel the need to make me reflect in December. So let's see, what have I accomplished?

I left my day job to be a musician. I make some money at that now, but I hope things pick up in the future.

I'm happier without the day job.

I let myself get swept away and then crushed by a guy.

I wrote some new songs.

I bailed out my theater company two more times.

I developed some wicked hardcore callouses on my fingertips.

Not a very impressive list. I should get to work on that.