GJ Willis' Art Notes

The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

This weekend was pretty laid back. The only upsetting thing was that CBS did'nt show the special episode of Century City that was supposed to have come on on Saturday. Hopefully, they will reschedule it for later in the year.

I had Monday off so that I could better celebrate Ostara, or the first day of spring. Today, at work I'm supposed to have my yearly evaluation. I hope it goes well. I never quiet know where I stand at work. I never know if I'm skating on thin ice or am doing an acceptable job. For all I know I could be asked to clean out my desk and pack up my Elvis posters.

link | posted by gail at 1:10 AM | 0 comments

Friday, March 19, 2004

Today, in honor of the NCAA playoffs it was deemed sweatshirt day at work. Since I don’t own any college sweatshirts. I wore my Doctor Who sweatshirt to work. This was the very first time I ever wore it in public. Heck, this was the first time I ever wore it, period. I got it as a birthday present. Luckily, no one said anything. I wasn’t heckled or hassled.

As luck would have it when I got home from work I turned on my computer and learned that Christopher Eccleston had been cast as the new Doctor Who. Is my sweatshirt magick or what? Best wishes to Chris Eccleston may his reign as the good doctor be long and prosperous.

link | posted by gail at 1:10 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Century City was pretty good. It wasn’t as aweful as I thought it would be. A really good thing the about the show is that it could practically be re-titled the Ioan Gruffudd show. He was in nearly every scene. One thing I hated about the show was that his character was American. It was so odd hearing an American accent coming from someone whom I associate with being British.

link | posted by gail at 12:58 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 15, 2004

Tonight, I’m counting the hours minutes and seconds before Century City debuts starring the one and only Ioan Gruffudd. Will it be good or a load of crap? Tomorrow I will know for sure. Even if it fails miserably I’ll still watch it just to see Ioan grace my television screen.

link | posted by gail at 12:50 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, March 14, 2004

This morning I saw the funniest comedy ever. It was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen this year.

As you all know I don’t have cable and also don’t watch television that often except for soap opera’s that I tape (Young and the Restless, As the World Turns, General Hospital, and 15 minutes of the Bold and the Beautiful)

Since The Office recently won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series and Lead Actor in a Comedy (Ricky Gervais) I thought I’d give it a look see. So I rented it from netflix. It was simply brilliant. I was laughing non-stop. The Office is done in the style of a documentary. Series creator, Ricky Gervais is a comedic genius. I loved his arrogant characterization of David Brent, the boss from hell, a legend in his own mind. I’m happy to say that I have never worked for a David Brent type person and hope I never will. He’s fun to watch but would never won’t to work for him.

My other favorite character on the show is Gareth Keenan played by Mackenzie Crook. Gareth is a nerdy brown noser with an unnatural obsession with the military and war. Mackenzie kind of looks like Puck from the Real World only with slightly longer hair. He was recently seen in Pirates of the Caribbean.

I also liked Tim Canterbury, the every man character on the show. Tim is the most normal person in the office. He’s played by Martin Freeman. Freeman will be playing Arthur Dent in the upcoming film, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.Dawn Tinsley played by Lucy Davis is also simply adorable.

Since Netflix doesn’t have series 2 of The Office, available yet. It seems I may have to order it from DVD seller in the UK. I can do this because I’m one of those geeks that owns a region free dvd player. Which means I can play DVD’s from anywhere on the globe.

Sadly, I hear that Ricky Gervais is making an American version of The Office. I hope that the show fairs better than the US version of Coupling did. Also Gervais was on Alias tonight! I also hear that he might be appearing in an upcoming episode of the Simpsons cartoon sometime in the near future.

Also tonight I ate tempeh for the first time. It tasted a lot like tater tots. In case you might now know tempeh is like tofu only it’s billed as having a more chewier texture.

link | posted by gail at 12:43 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Today was a fairly busy day. I went grocery shopping at Shoppers Food Warehouse. I stopped by Forman Mills. I went by the Creative Alliance for a meeting with Artscape figurehead, Gary Kachodurian.

I now have four pairs of pants I can fit! I’m surprised no one has noticed that only just wear 2 pairs of pants either my black pair or the jeans. I don’t know why since my weight loss I’ve been reluctant to buy new clothes. I suppose fear that the weight would all come back. It’s been 2 years since I’ve lost 60lbs. So now as of today I own 4 pairs of pants in my new size! Maybe one day I’ll work up to buying shirts and jackets in my new size. Anyway, I kind of like wearing oversized shirts and sweaters. I kind of like having an amorphous shape up top. I guess this is because I have never felt comfortable with my bra size. I feel more like an A cup than a D cup. When I think D cup I think tight sexy low cut sweaters and I’m not a tight clingy sweater type of person.

Also today, I went to the new location of the Creative Alliance at the Patterson on Eastern Avenue to meet Gary Kachodurian the guy that runs Artscape.

The meeting was held upstairs. Only about 7 people showed up. I thought that there would be more people there. I was the only black person there.

One of the people who showed up was part of the the art exhibit that was held on the main floor of the building. Gary seemed to know her very well as another woman who was there. I don’t recall if he knew the woman I sat next to, but most likely he did.

In total there were four women who were anorexic looking. One fellow chubette and a youngish tall skinny bald guy who walked with a limp aided by a black cane. He looked like maybe he had cancer or maybe he was just a trendy anorexic looking bald guy.

The last person to show up was the dark haired chubette. She seemed to be in a rush. She also seemed miffed when she learned that this year submissions would be made digitally instead of by slides. She asked the majority of questions at the meeting. Then she left in a huff handing Gary back the form he had given her. This was odd I wonder if she realized that the form was the application for this years Artscape that had to be filled in. I don’t know, maybe hearing about the new admission process made her feel like she wouldn't be able to do it this year. Maybe she doesn’t own a computer or have access to a digital camera or scanner. I don’t know. It just seemed weird to hand something back without looking at it fully.

I on the other hand am pleased as punch about the new admission process. I have a computer, I have a digital camera and I have a scanner. All I have to do is come up with 5 portraits to submit then Gary hopefully will select one of the 5 I have sent. If all works out well then I would have been in Artscape two years in a row.

One thing I got to say is Gary didn't look at all like I pictured him. In my mind I pictured a dark swarthy gray haired middle aged foreigner who spoke in a heavily accented English. I imagined he would wear black and speak with his hands. And every now and then he would pause to say, “It’s do you say?...” I felt kind of let down when I saw him in person. He wasn’t as exotic as his last name sounded. He was just a run of the mill WASP, not that there’s anything wrong with that......

So now it seems my plate will be full for the next few weeks.

April 10 Creative Alliance Big Show artwork due
April 12 Artscape Application due
April 22 Maryland Art Place 5X5 artwork due
April 24 MAP Out of Order Show, goal stay for at least 30 minutes.
April 24th Sowebo poster due, goal have it in before the 24th
April 26th SCBWI NY Meeting

link | posted by gail at 12:40 AM | 0 comments

Friday, March 5, 2004

Right now I’m debating the merits of getting an alphasmart vs a laptop computer. I still like the idea of an alphasmart because it weights only 2 lbs and its batteries seem to last forever. However, a laptop computer would be kind of cool to have. The drawbacks are that they are heavy and there batteries don’t last that long. Also laptops they cost a lot.

Yes, I’m still working on my play for the Baltimore Playwright’s Festival. I’ve been working on that play on and off for an entire year. One day it will be finished.

link | posted by gail at 12:39 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Looks like I will not be able to see The Producers or Proof this week or next. I have to save up money for my NY trip and I have a lot of medical bills to pay.

I have to pay the half of my mammogram exam that my insurance didn't pick up. I had it done because I had a breast cancer scare. Which I now see as ridiculous. I don’t smoke. You see it all started last year when my 21 year old niece was diagnosed with it. In retrospect my niece smokes like a chimney. I suppose I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. Heck, I am a hypochondriac!

I take nearly 20 pills a day. 17 are vitamins the other three are via prescription. I’m surprised no one at work has took me aside and said “Gail, why the hell are you taking all those pills?! Are you really that screwed up?”

The vitamins I take daily are: 1 multi-vitamin, 8 St. Johns Worts, 4 Seleniums, 4 Echinacea’s. I usually take Echinacea if someone around me is coughing and sneezing. Since the majority of people I work with have children this happens a lot. I’m not in any way insinuating that I view children as being little germ filled receptacles.

Another odd thing is that I have a problem touching door handles. I have never touched the door handles at work. I usually pull down my sleeve instead of touch it.

The prescribed medication I take is Metformin. I have to take it three times a day because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The purpose of the medication is so that I can have regular periods. In the past I rarely had a period. I thought nothing of until I began to worry that maybe I had cancer or something. So I researched amenorrhea on the web. I came up across PCOS as a possible diagnosis. I then went to a doctor. She confirmed my suspicions through testing. So I now have to take one pill three times a day just so I can have a period every month. Why bother with all this you ask? Well through my research I learned that women with PCOS are at an increased risk for developing endometrial cancer later in life. As I’m sure I wrote in earlier posts all my aunts on my father’s side of the family died from cancer. Both my grandmothers also died of cancer. My sister may or may not have cancer (she never went back to the doctor’s office for further testing when he told her she might have it) and my niece has survived cancer. So I’m very understandably paranoid about getting cancer. I don’t know if endometrial cancer will eventually take me out. But I like to have an idea of what might.

Another thing I think I should add, PCOS, is the number one cause of infertility in women. It’s usually diagnosed when a woman is trying to have a baby but is having trouble. No one knows what causes it, how to prevent it, or if it can even be cured. It’s pretty much Hmmm, let’s see if this work? I first started off by taking Yasmin. I had to stop taking it because I have these tumors and they really liked the stuff and grew in size. So last year I was switched to Metformin. Metformin is like the drug to be on if you have PCOS. It has this curious side effect of instant weight loss. I don’t know if diabetics who have to take it have the same response. Metformin is the generic name for an insulin sensitizing medication that is noramally prescribed for people with adult onset diabetes. Since PCOS is believed to be related to diabetes, studies have shown that this type of medication aids in minimizing or eliminating many of the symptoms relatd to PCOS, most significantly weight gain and anovulation. Evidence has shown this to be true for both women with PCOS who are actually insulin resistant as well as those who are not.

I should add here that I don’t have diabetes. My insulin levels are normal. Also I’m a chubby person with low blood pressure. How the heck did that happen? I don’t know? I’m sure that people who see me assume I’m a heart attack waiting to happen with have high blood pressure and diabetes. In fact I’m a chubby vegetarian who likes to do yoga and has low blood pressure. I see myself as a lovable medical oddity.

link | posted by gail at 12:37 AM | 0 comments

Monday, March 01, 2004

This morning I was shocked out of my mind at around 6:05 AM. It was revealed live on the air that veteran 98 Rock newsman, Bob Lopez has lung cancer and has a 40% chance of survival. He is already in the early days of stage four cancer. The fourth stage is when the cancer begins to spread to other organs.

He first went into the hospital about a week ago because his leg was swollen due to blood clots. Since Lopez is a big guy his doctor originally thought that this was due to his heart. After further testing it was discovered that the clots were due to cancer, not just any cancer but lung cancer. As you can imagine this was surprising to him, because he quit smoking well over 25 years ago.

I can not imagine what it would be like to suddenly discover you have cancer through what was at first a very innocuous and treatable ailment. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Lopez family. I hope that he will be on the radio for many years to come fighting the good fight for the liberal cause.

link | posted by gail at 11:47 PM | 0 comments

I watched the Academy Awards last night with overwhelming glee. It was a clean sweep for one of my all time favorite movie trilogies, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The movie picked up awards in all 11 categories they were nominated in. Way to go Peter Jackson! I have to say that even though I absolutely love PJ’s movie, I have the feeling that if he wasn’t a movie director he’d own a comic book shop. He just has this overwhelming geeky look to him.

I have to admit that I was a little saddened that Johnny Depp was beat out of the best actor award by that noted psycho, Sean Penn. I know it’s been years since Penn has snapped and pummeled a photographer. I’m sure that one of these days he’ll snap especially with his new found Oscar popularity.

On the Oscar fashion front it seemed like all of the actresses were wearing white or pale colors last night.

My favorite dress of the evening was Renee Zellweger’s. I loved the simple elegance of her dress. It was almost as if Renee asked herself, what would Barbie wear?

The worst dress was Uma Thurman’s. It’s kind of hard for me to describe it. It looked lacy, had what appeared to be a gold vest attached or were those suspenders? Whatever she had on it didn't look right. This woman used to be a model. She ought to know better.

Overall, I enjoyed watching the glamour and pageantry of the awards show. Also, I'm on a cloud nine because my movie won Best Picture and Director. Hobbits Rule!!!!

link | posted by gail at 11:46 PM | 0 comments

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