GJ Willis' Art Notes
The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.
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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Friday, December 31, 2004
I finally finished my goal!! A couple of minutes ago I completed wishing all the people on Crablogs who regularly update their blogs and have a comments section a Happy New Year.
I still couldn’t post a message on Supafine’s site. This is a shame because for the past few years I’ve really enjoyed visiting her site but never bothered to post anything. I think there might be something wrong with her server?
Also, it was too mush of a hassle to post to Data Angel’s site. I did eventually register with Data Angel but I still feel grumpy with the set up over there. With the way the comments section is set up over there it makes me wonder if Data Angel is in the CIA or something....Anyway, I’d Like to Wish Everyone an Extra Happy and Safe New Year!
In case your wondering like the majority of sane 30somethings I’ll be spending my New Years at home in front of the tube.
I finally ranked all the cd’s I bought that came out in 2004!!! As you may or may not know I tend to buy a lot of greatest hits compilation cd’s and plain old ancient cd’s that came out many years ago.
Old cd’s I bought this year that didn’t qualify include: Nilsson(3cd’s)-Nilsson Schmilsson, Son of Schmilsson, and Greatest Hits, Fountains of Wayne-Welcome Interstate Managers, Los Lonely Boys-self titled cd, Tears For Fears-Tears Roll Down Greatest Hits (82-92), INXS(2cd’s)-Greatest Hits and Shine Like It Does Anthology, Squeeze-Singles 45’s and Under, Joy Division(2 cd’s)-Unknown Pleasures and Substance (1977-1980), The Smiths-Singles, Jesus and Mary Chain-21 Singles, Glenn Miller(2 cd’s)-Golden Great and The Popular Recordings (1938-1942), Interpol-Turn On the Bright Lights, Violent Femmes(2 cd’d)-Reissue of debut album and Add it Up (1981-1993), Harry Connick Jr.(3 cd’s)-Blue Light/ Red Light, She, and We Are In Love, Big Audio Dynamite(2 cd’s)-This is Big Audio Dynamite and Super Hits, Elvis Costello-The Very Best Of..., The Damnwells-Bastard of the Beat, Peter Cincotti-self titled cd, The Beatles-#1, Ryan Adams-Rock N Roll, The Classic Film Music of Ennio Morricone,Jay-Z-The Grey Album, and the Rushmore Soundtrack.
Compilation cd’s I bought this year include stuff covering the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. For the 60’s I have Nuggets From Nuggets: Choice Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era, the 70’s(Time/Life Sounds of the 70’s Collection), and the 80’s(Time/Life Modern Rock Collection).
As you have probably guessed by now I’m an obsessive compulsive record buyer. What can I say, I love music! My father always jokes with me that I own enough music to open up my own record store. I have music from almost every genre except opera. I look at a movie like High Fidelity and I always think, "Hey, I am that guy!! Only I’m a girl...."
So, as you can imagine I really had to search through my cd’s to see what was actually released this year. The number of cd’s I own that were released in 2004 came up to 12. First off I have too say that I really like all of them for different reasons. It was extremely difficult for me to rank them. All this week I’ve been listening to them all trying to get an idea of how to put the list together. So here goes....
TOP 2004 cd’s
TOP SINGLES OF 2004
Again these are songs that I really liked listening to on the radio. To some I’m sure this is the list of the music that’s currently playing in hell.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
The #2 bus was on time. It was again being driven by the Dionne Warwick clone. It seems the replacement drivers are doing a good job matching the schedule of the drivers they are filling in for. However, the light rail train again arrived ten minutes late. I suppose right now they probably don’t care much. Next week the light rail will be shut down for about a year or so. They will begin construction of a double tracking system. So I will have to take either a #8 bus or a light rail shuttle bus to work.
The shuttle bus is out of the question it is supposed to run once every 15 minutes. The problem I find with this is that they do not list any estimated departure and arrival times. And if I know the MTA they will also not be providing enough buses for people to get on.
My best bet I feel is to take the #8 bus because they run on a more regular schedule besides they stop right in front of my job. The bus is always passing by just as I’m about to cross the street to get to work after I get off the light rail train.
I hate the fact that I will have to put up with this for about a year or so.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a gray v-neck sweater blue jeans and blue suede shoes.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
The bus was on time this morning. It was being driven by the same black potbellied John Waters look alike. The light rail train however, was 10 minutes late. I hope the time difference isn’t enough to make me late this morning. If it does that would be two days that the light rail train has delayed me this week.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
I again got on the #2 bus. The driver again was the Dionne Warwick clone. The train was on time with no mishaps on the way
True, I did not know Mark Harp personally but only knew him through the mail list.
This is all so hard to believe because I was just thinking of him yesterday when I was going through the cd’s I bought this year.
You see this summer I bought a lot of Nilsson reissue cd’s. I mentioned it on Artmobile. He wrote back that he really liked listening to Son of Schmillsson when it first came out. Also, he was the only other person I knew of in this town that knew of and liked The Raveonettes.
His posts were always fun and playful. I greatly respected his opinion on music. This is all so hard to believe.
This makes the second person that I knew of from the Artmobile mail list who has died this year, the other being Dawn Culbertson.
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Monday, December 27, 2004
This morning I got on the #2 bus. The substitute driver for that bus looks like Dionne Warwick. The train was on time. However, it kept breaking down. I was 18 minutes late for work because of the train.
I was very sleepy at work because I had a hard time falling asleep last night. This week I’ll be ranking all the cd’s I bought that came out in 2004 for the continuation of my year end Best of list(s).
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a green, brown, and ecru fair isle knit sweater. Underneath the sweater I have on a blue long sleeve cotton pullover. The shoes I have on are brown leather. You have have to tie them up when you put them on.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Today has been a day of rest for me. I sat on my butt all day and did nothing. I mostly went around and to visited sites on Crablogs to leave Happy Holiday greetings.
Anyway, those were the two sites so far that are blocked from leaving comments. I noticed that Cranky Mommy just has e-mail. So I guess I'll be shooting her an email before the week is out.
Like, I’ve said before I tend to read all the blogs up on Crablogs. However, I’ve never attempted to leave comments on all of them that are active. Then of course the dilema comes up as to what constitutes an active blog. I see a number haven't been recently updated. Perhaps they got caught up in the Christmas rush or are students on break?
BALTIMORE RADIO 2004 Since everyone else will be doing it. I figured I’d might as well jump into the fray and put out my very own year end Best of List(s) this week. These lists are entirely my opinion.
BEST BALTIMORE RADIO 2004
I think Out to Lunch has really held it’s own and it’s nice to hear people on the air who are two unabashed Gen-Xers. However, listening to their show sometimes makes me feel old. Especially, when it turns into a remember when show. You know when they have a show that's basically like, remember: pop rocks, Garbage Pail Kids, break dancing, etc.
KML never fail to please. Also there show has been filled with an urgency to listen to ever since there newsman, Robert, "don’t call me, Bob" Lopez got diagnosed with cancer. I grew up listening to this guy doing the news on the radio. I can’t think back to a time when he wasn’t on the radio. I still feel that Kirk is a talent less yet lovable hack. Hey, I’ve got my opinion. Besides everyone knows that Mark is the talented one. Producer Stephanie, I’m still not quiet sure what her purpose is on the show..... However the stories of her drunken escapades and party excesses have been fun to hear.
Howard Stern the original shock jock. Need I say more! I can't wait to see what he does on Siruis. Also loved the win Stuttering John's job contest.
Don and Mike are always fun to listen to. Although I think there show has been a little lame lately. There on this list mainly out of habit.
Car Talk is fun to listen to even though I don't own a car. The show is always entertaining. I can't think of a single show where I didn't feel like they didn't give it there all. Then again they just come on once a week.
WORSE BALTIMORE RADIO 2004
2.Micky and Amelia...98 Rock
3. Chip Franklin...WBAL
4. Tom Leykis...LIVE 105.7
Saturday, December 25, 2004
It’s December 25th so I just want to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Very Merry New Year!!!
HOLIDAY BLOGGING GOAL: My goal for now until December 31st is to visit and comment on every active blog listed on Crablogs and wish them a Happy Holiday and write one memorable thing that I remembered, liked, or learned from reading their blog. I started yesterday with ExtraHeavy Marcellus’ blog.
I suppose this frenzy to comment on blogs started yesterday when I read DaBrettman Speaks blog. He mentioned a site called Blog Explosion. So out of boredom I joined the site and surfed onto another blog called Michele.
She has a challenge going on where you place a comment on her site and then visit the site of the person who commented before you leaving the message, “Michele sent me”. I decided, “What the hell!” I left comments on every single persons site who commented before and after me. As I write this I’m still playing catch up with the people who commented after me. I think the total number of comments right now is up to 80. I’m off for a couple days so I figure I got plenty of time to play blog tag.
Anyway, while I’m doing this I’m thinking, “Hey, it’s the holidays!” Crablogs, is kind of like a virtual neighborhood. So why not leave personalized holiday comments on every single active blog? You know something just to let them know that, yes, I read their blog, and, “Happy Christmas girlfriend/dude!”
So I guess I’ll continue on with my frenzied blog comment postings a bit later. It’s Christmas and I’m due to appear at my father’s house for the usual Willis family Christmas dinner and gift exchange extravaganza.
WHAT I’M WEARING: This afternoon I have on a red fair isle v-neck sweater that has black, brown and white detailing. Underneath the sweater I have on a black turtleneck pullover. I’m wearing this all with my usual blue jeans and brown leather lace up shoes.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
The fill in driver was again on time this morning. The light rail was also on time. My holly sprig fell off sometime yesterday. So right now I just have a red ribbon attached to my coat.
BIG OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY: I’m dreading this with every fiber of my being. I’d rather just head home instead of going over to that Hotel for the noonday Company Christmas Luncheon.
I hate being forced to share a table with co-workers who probably all feel uncomfortable with my silent presence. I hope no one offers me a ride over to the hotel. That way I can say I couldn’t get a ride if asked why I wasn’t there. If I end up going I pray that the torture will be over swiftly and humanely.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I’m wearing a long sleeved paisley mock turtleneck pullover with blue jeans and blue suede shoes.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Miraculously, the fill in driver was on time. The bus I suppose for the next three weeks will be driven by this very rail thin man mustached man. He kind of reminds me of a black pot bellied John Waters.
When I got on the light rail train the makeup monster lady was aboard. As per usual she was doing her nails. Is it really necessary to apply nail polish daily?
I did this because I own an insane amount of miniature Christmas trees. It seems every year at work someone buys them in our group and hands them out.
In total I have 7 miniature Christmas trees. Two are up in my cubicle. I have 4 up in my bathroom. The above is a picture of two of my bathroom Christmas Star Wars displays. I like to keep the 12 inch Star Wars figures in the bathroom, because everyone eventually has to go there.
Come to think of it, throughout my apartment are Barbie dolls, Star Wars action figures, and comic books. Not surprisingly I’m the only straight black woman in America that’s not a single or married mother. Yep, no kids or husband but plenty of Kenner/Mattel toys. Why? Because I like it that way!
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Today, is the Winter Solstice or Yule thus I took the day off.
I went to church in the evening for the Winter Solstice Ritual service they were giving. I thought I’d be the only black person there. Surprise, Surprise I wasn’t! I even saw black guys there!
As I looked around the congregation that night I wondered if they were all fellow Wiccans/Pagans or just people with nothing better to do that evening.
One thing’s for sure, I had never said Blessed Be in public before. I felt giddy saying it aloud. This is the most Pagan Wiccany thing I’d ever done in public. I think I said it along with the congregation a zillion times that night.
Also, there was this black woman that got up and read a poem. I did a double take when I saw her because she looked like this girl I went to high school with. I quickly glanced down at the program and noticed that it wasn’t her. I felt a little sad.
The kid that played Joseph in the Christmas pageant was one of the dancers in a Japanese sun goddess dance presentation they put on. He looked a little more enthusiastic than he did on Sunday.
The service neared it’s end with what else but cakes and ale. Ok, cookies and non-alcoholic wassail. They ran out of wassail by the time I went down to get some. So I just had a cookie. At the end of the service they passed out sprigs of holly that were fastened to a red ribbon. Even though the holly pricked my fingers I pinned it to my coat.
I didn’t stay around for the reception they gave after the service. Then again I never stay around for receptions after church. If I’m still going there six months from now then maybe I’ll consider the after church meet and greet....
WHAT I’M WEARING:
Monday, December 20, 2004
I left out later than usual for work. I wasn’t in a rush to be on time. I saw on the morning news that my bus would be delayed. I think I heard a 15 to 30 minute delay. So I called work to let them know I would be in late.
I should have asked for the day off. I have 15 hours of vacation time that I failed to use.
I didn’t have the foresight to know when I scheduled my days off that I would get tickets to see Robert Goulet and Shirley Jones perform at the symphony the night before.
Symphony Christmas Show
It was looking like Christmas outside. It was snowing and everything. Also, it was unusually busy outside for a Sunday evening in Baltimore. Traffic was hectic. I think this could be accounted for the fact that Richard Chamberlain was in town appearing in a production of Scrooge and the Trans Siberian Orchestra was doing a show at the First Mariner Arena.
When I got to the Meyerhoff I was surprised to find that the place was half full. I suppose the majority of ticket holders were scared away by the threat of snow. I had really good seats in the front row. I sat next to this lesbian couple. At first I thought they were just two friends then after the intermission they sat together with there arms around each other throughput the entire show.
Overall the show was ok. I really liked the dancers. I hated the fact that Goulet and Jones read from a script on stage. I was surprised that they didn’t bother to memorize there lines. I thought this was lame.
My favorite part in the show was the tap dancing Santas. I left the symphony hall with a heart filled with Christmas cheer.
When I got outside it had finished snowing, However, it was very windy and cold. Snow caked the ground. I was afraid that if I stayed outside too long it would turn to ice. I am borderline pathologically afraid to walk on ice. It’s my worse nightmare. I become paralyzed with fear when I see ice on a walkway. Maybe I should see a therapist about this....
Anyway, light rail train, after light rail train, went by with a Finished Service sign. Eventually, I got fed up and took tiny baby steps down the street. I didn’t know if the streets were icy or not I wasn’t taking any chances. Then finally a train pulled up to me and stopped.
The driver told me that all light rail trains were out of service. Finally!! How come all the other train drivers could not tell the people they saw standing in the station what was going on? They knew that we were waiting for a train that would never come. Those bastards!
It seems to me that nine out of ten times it’s usually female drivers who will let you know what’s going on. Male drivers could give a rat’s ass about the well fare of there passengers.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Church Christmas Pageant Review
Performed at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore on December 19, 2004
I had a couple of tiny problems with the production. First off it was billed in the handouts not as a Christmas pageant, but a Nativity pageant. Secondly it had a stupid name, Would You Like to Hold the Baby? Thirdly it was written by a Canadian named Joyce Poley.
The Nativity Pageant was basically narrarated while children and adult participants mimed the action. All the participants did a great job. The narrator did an exceptional job guiding the action.
Standout performance goes to the pre-teen/teen who played Mary. I could really feel what she was going through. However, the pre-teen/teen that played Joseph had a look on his face that said he’d rather be anywhere but there.
Favorite costume by far in the Nativity pageant would be the guy that I dub the manger wrangler. He didn’t have a part per se. He just kind of looked after the preschoolers who played manger animals. He wore a plaid shirt, jeans, and reading glasses along with an Arab head dress. The fact that he didn’t fit in costume wise was why I adored watching him.
The choir was pretty good. However there was one female singer who had a squeaky high pitched elderly voice. When she sang it kind of threw me off.
As far as the storyline of Would You Like To Hold the Baby? goes, I found it a bit weak. In short Mary is about to give birth to baby Jesus. There’s this stable girl that wants to stick around. The stable manager kicks her out. She comes back towards the end of the play and Mary asks her, “Would you like to hold the baby?”
The standout song in the production was “Room In The Stable”. It had a kind of a reggae feel to it. The song for which the play was named after didn’t have any real kick to it. It was the most boring song I’ve ever heard. The production ended oddly enough, with a version of the Wassail Song called Here We Come A-Caroling.
Overall, the production was ok for what it was. I don’t envision any Broadway productions or Tony nods. It was pretty good for a one shot deal.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
The above photo is a picture of The Killers. I feel that they are the best rock group to have ever come out of Las Vegas.
Today, is the first Saturday in several weeks that I didn’t go into work. I spent most of the day updating my blog, adding pictures and links.
Mostly, I was just lazing around the house listening to two cd’s I bought yesterday. I just can’t bring myself to take them out of my cd player. they’ve become like crack.
NEW CD’s I’M ADDICTED TO: It was Friday afternoon and I just got paid. My paycheck was fat with all the money I made from nearly psychotic amounts of overtime. So I bounced into the Towson Barnes and Nobles with the intention of buying a couple of cd’s. The fact that I could have gotten a better price at Walmart didn’t worry me none. For the first time in weeks I had money baby!
I went in the store to get cd’s by Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, and Death Cab For Cutie. The only cd I could find in the store was Franz Ferdinand. I always thought that a big time mega store like Barnes and Nobles would have everything. So I went down the block and across the street to Borders.
I found everything I was looking for and more. However, I had a major episode of memory loss and couldn’t remember the name of the Death Cab For Cutie cd I wanted. Inside the store they had an insane number of various Death Cab For Cutie cd’s. The trouble was I could’nt remember the title of the one I wanted. So instead of picking it up I bought the Damnwells Bastard of the Beat cd. I have yet to really listen to this cd.
I reached an epiphany some time last night that The Killers are the best damn group to have ever come out of Vegas. I also was not disappointed by Franz Ferdinand. Their cd really rocks!
For the past two evenings I’ve been dancing around my postage stamp sized apartment to these two cd’s. I just can’t bring myself to take them out of my cd changer. So at this moment I’m going to sprout hyperbole about Franz Ferdinand and The Killers whom I both feel are the absolute best new bands I’ve heard this year.
FRANZ FERDINAND REVIEW: First off I have to say that I like the entire Franz Ferdinand cd, to paraphrase a line from Jerry Maguire, “They had me at play.” From the moment I pressed play on my cd player I was hooked.
Favorite tracks on the cd include Jacqueline. I like how it starts off as an acoustic guitar driven folk song that eventually rocks out. I really like the chorus that goes:
I also really like, Take Me Out. I love how it starts out at an up tempo rock beat then slows down to a sexy grinding disco beat. Other songs I enjoyed on the cd include, The Dark of the Matinee, Auf Achse, Darts Of Pleasure, and Michael.
Clearly, this album merits the group being named New Musical Express magazine’s Best New Band in Britain. In short these lads from Scotland really know how to rock.
Franz Ferdinand are: Alex Kapranos-vocals/guitar, Nick McCarthy-guitar/vocals/keys, Bob Hardy-bass, and Paul Thomson-drums/vocals
THE KILLERS-HOT FUSS REVIEW: Yeah, I know I said it before but The Killers are the best thing to have come out of Vegas in a long while. The overall sound of the cd is derivative of the 80’s yet at the same time completly original! The hooks are at the same time comfortably familar yet new.
Their cd starts off strong with Jenny Was a Friend of Mind. From the first few chords of the song you know that you’re in for something different. This isn’t a run of the mill Blink-182 sound alike band that record companies keep pushing. This is a band that has it’s own unique sound.
Favorite tracks on the cd include: Mr. Brightside, (I’m absolutly head over heels in love with that song!), Somebody Told Me, and All These Things I’ve Done.
Of all the songs I named my absolute favorite is, All These Things I’ve Done. It’s very reminiscent of the bagpipe sounding guitars of Big Country meet the pounding drums of U2 with a Bay City Rollers chorus. I love it when the gospel choir in the song sing, ‘I got a soul but I’m not a soldier’.
The Killers are Brandon Flowers-vocals/synthesizer, Dave Keuning-guitar, Mark Stoermer-bass, and Ronnie Vannucci-drums.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on lounge around the house clothes. Black Dr. Who sweatshirt, jeans and red flip flops.
Friday, December 17, 2004
When I saw this I had to add it to my blog. Larry Mullen Jr., shirtless!!! Nearly all my dreams fulfilled!!! Mercy!!! What a bod!!! Ahem, back to the blog.....
The #20 was on time this morning. Hopefully the fill-in driver will also be on time for the next three weeks.
When I got on the bus the stern looking driver was again having a jovial conversation with Eric from BGE. They were both laughing about passengers who are always searching for their fare money even though they see the bus coming several blocks away. Eric, suggested that possibly it was because they hadn't waken up yet. The driver said it depends on when they wake up because she sees it throughout the day.
The light rail train was also on time this morning. The makeup monster was aboard she was doing her nails once again. Is it really necessary to polish your nails every single day? Thankfully, she will be getting off at the very next stop.
NEW CD’s: I bought three new cd’s last Saturday. I have U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, Now That’s What I Call Music #17, and The Beatles 1.
I have been listening to U2’s new cd, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb practically night and day since I purchased it last Saturday at Walmart. My favorite tracks on the cd include; Vertigo, Miracle Drug, Love and Peace or Else, City of Blinding Light, One Step Closer, and Original Of The Species. If I had to choose one favorite tracks on the cd it would be a toss up between City of Blinding Light and Love and Peace or Else.
Overall, I really enjoyed the cd a lot. I feel it fits in well with the other albums in U2’s legendary musical canon. I can’t think of anything else to say other than U2 rocks!
I bought Now That’s What I Call Music #17 just to get a feel for what the kids are listening to. I admit I’m black and don’t know a single thing about current hip hop/rap music. In fact my supervisor at work who’s white and lives in the county is probably more up to date on hip hop music than I am. So I thought I’d get this cd to school myself.
I found a lot of the songs that I hear blaring from cars and in my niece’s room on the cd. So I wasn’t hearing anything that was entirely new to me. The only thing new is that I can now put an artist and song title to 92Q’s current play list.
Another thing I’ve discovered from purchasing this cd is that I find that I am annoyed by the sound of J-Kwon’s voice. How on earth did he manage to get a record deal? I guess he must be blackmailing a record executive somewhere...
I bought The Beatles 1 cd because I don’t have any and this one was on sale. In the past I owned all The Beatles albums on vinyl. The cd was of course chock full of classics. It’s the legendary Beatles what do you expect?
I first heard The Killers on WHFS last Saturday. I was completely blown away by their Mr. Brightside single. It sounded completely new and original. Hearing The Killers on HFS was completely refreshing. HFS tends to play the same songs over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Hearing that song made me realize for the first time that WTMD plays safe music that everyone can agree on. It’s new music that’s destined to be played on a soccer mom station. Sure, the music is new but it never really rocks.
Yesterday, I noticed that WTMD, during Stephan’s morning show added The Killers, Mr. Brightside single to there play list. I think they only did this because the album was nominated for a Grammy. Who would have ever thought that HFS would scoop WTMD on new music?
I want the Franz Ferdinand cd because I really like there, Take Me Out, single.
Also, I understand that they were named the best band in Britain by UK’s New Musical Express magazine.. I have a feeling that I would really enjoy there cd if Take Me Out is any indication of what the other songs are like.
I also have to say that I’ve tried for many weeks on eBay to score the cd but keep getting outbid. It reminds me of the times I tried to buy Linkin Park’s cd on eBay. In the end I had to go to the store.
I want Death Cab For Cutie because I’m curious about what they sound like. Almost every time I search for a cd on Amazon.com’s site there name comes up as a musical artist I might be interested in. WTMD just this week added one of there songs to there play list. I recall hearing it on Stephan’s morning show. It sounded eerily enough like something I might be interested in. How does Amazon.com do it?
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today I’m wearing a green and white marble knit sweater with a mock blue turtleneck underneath along with blue slacks and brown lace up shoes. Yes, I'm wearing slacks and it's not even business casual day at work.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The #20 bus was five minutes late this morning. Despite it’s lateness the bus got me to the light rail station on time. It appears that the train now leaves at 6:00 instead of 5:55. Either way it looks like I will be on time this morning. I still feel a bit worried about how the buses will be running for the next three weeks.
OFFICE GROUP CHRISTMAS PARTY: the gifts Yesterday, we had our annual Christmas party for our group. It seems to have gone well.
This year Cassandra, gave out little glass jars. Jai Li, gave out these candles which were enclosed in a lamp shade holder. Deborah, gave out small Avon lotions. Arvada, gave out candy cane pens.
Brian, our fear less leader, aka Scrooge, didn’t give anybody, anything. He said he hasn’t finished shopping yet. Yeah, right, Mr. Scrooge...
Despite this announcement we gave him gifts anyway. Cassandra, gave him this kick ass Baltimore Ravens blanket. It looked like it cost a fortune. Jai Li gave him a plaid wool scarf. It looked very distinguished. The group gave him a card filled with cold hard American green backs. The group each contributed $10 towards it. So he should have money now to buy us something. If not then...Oh, well....
It should be said that our group’s generosity did not stop at just our fear less leaders doorstep. We each contributed to get his boss, Dave, a new blue shirt from Hecht’s. Jai Li, also gave him a wool scarf. The scarf perfectly matches his ubiquitous cowboy boots.
Naturally, he seemed surprised that we had gotten him anything. I think this was the first year the group remembered to get him a gift for Christmas. He’s a very laid back, low key person.
I got Christmas cards this year from Lisa, Arvada, Helena, and some one I don’t know. Then again maybe I do know the person. It was signed by their last name. I have to admit I barely know the last names of all my coworkers. I just call them by their first names. Anyway, the card from the name I didn’t recognize was a boring over the top religious card. Jesus Christ! It’s Christmas Time! Lighten Up, Why Don’t Ya!
OFFICE GROUP CHRISTMAS PARTY: the food For the party we had food brought in from the Towson Delly. I had a grill cheese sandwich, french fries, cheese cake, and a fruit punch. Overall, the food was average, nothing to write home about. However, I wish we had gotten food from a ritzier upscale place.
The only person from the group who was nice enough to bring in food for the party was Deborah. She brought a carrot cake and cookies from home. I didn’t find out about it until later in the day. Sorry, to say I didn’t get a chance to sample any of it.
WHAT I’M WEARING: I have on a yellow and blue v-neck fair island knit sweater. Underneath it, I’m wearing a long sleeve denim shirt. The pants I’m wearing are blue jeans. The shoes I have on are blue suede shoes. The shoes seemed to fit with what I have on.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The #20 bus was on time this morning. It was again being driven by the stern looking woman. I was distressed to learn through a conversation she was having with one of the passengers, Eric from BGE, that she will be off for the next three weeks. Friday will be her last day before the start of her vacation.
Egads! What will I do? How can explain the possibility of being late for three weeks to Brian, my supervisor? I hope and pray this January that he doesn't have to hold the semi-annual, ‘you all must be on time for work meeting’. I always feel like those meeting are directed at me, the sole MTA rider of the group.
OFFICE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING COMPLETED: I finished my Christmas shopping for presents for my co-workers last night. I ended up buying small economically priced Whitman chocolate samplers. They came prewrapped so I didn't have to worry about wrapping anything. I think they’re nice and petite.
I’m not sure how they will go over. I think the majority of people in the group are on diets. I know for sure that Brian is a health and physical fitness nut. I think he works out for like 4 hours a day or something extreme like that.
Anyway, I really wanted to get them all silver holiday boxes of Hershey’s sugar free chocolates. However, I couldn't find the price for them anywhere on the shelf or on the box. I tried going up to the cash register to get a price check but the line was too long.
In the end I figured it would be best to get the small box of sugary chocolates as opposed to the big box of Hershey’s sugar free chocolates. This way it wouldn’t seem as though I was making some sort of grandiose gesture. Besides, some people in the group might interpret the big box of sugar free chocolates as saying that I think their fat. Which in a sense would be ironic....
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a blue sweater. It’s multicolored and has a knitting sampler feel to it. Underneath this I’m wearing a mock dark blue turtleneck. I’m also wearing blue jeans and a new pair of blue suede shoes.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
The bus was on time this morning. However, complications occured when the bus stopped at the corner of Baltimore Street and Martin Luther King Blvd. The stern looking #20 bus driver announced that she would have to stop there to wait for the #2 or #1 bus. She said we were welcome to stay on the bus to wait for the other buses to come by. This was kind of her because it was 30 degrees outside. Other bus drivers would have kicked out off in the cold while they stayed inside the warm bus.
The #1 bus eventually came down the street about five minutes later. Surprisingly, the bus got me to the light rail station on time. Even though there was a slight delay this morning with a broken down bus it looks as though I will be on time for work this morning.
WHAT I’M WEARING:This morning I’m wearing an olive green and purple sweater with blue jeans along with the new brown leather lace up shoes.
Monday, December 13, 2004
It was drizzling outside this morning. The #20 bus came as usual. It is being driven by the stern looking woman.
The light rail was also on time. When I got on the train I immediately detected the smell of finger nail polish. This could mean only one thing, the makeup monster was aboard doing her nails once again. Luckily, she gets off at the next stop.
HEART PALPITATIONS PART TWO: Yesterday, after several days of having a normal heart beat it sped up again. This time I know for sure it was caused by caffeine.
I drank a small container of Turkey Hill Green Tea with Ginseng. Thirty minutes later my heart was beating like a drum solo. So I suppose it was all related to caffeine not stress.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a black sweater. I haven’t worn this sweater in about two years. Unlike the other sweaters this one is actually in my new size. I think it was a gift someone. Underneath the sweater I have on a white turtleneck pullover and blue jeans. I’m wearing a new pair of shoes I bought I on Saturday at the Hunt Valley Walmart.
As I look at these shoes I recall that I used to own a pair just like it. Does everyone go back and buy similar items to the ones they used to own or is it just me?
Sunday, December 12, 2004
This morning I got up and went to my second ever church service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. This time I was on time for the service.
I felt a bit uncomfortable at the Greeting our Neighbors section of the service. I’m a quiet, non-sociable, painfully shy, autistic woman. However, I learned the names of two people at the service. I’m not sure if they will be back next week. They were attending the church for the first time today. I believe there names were Eric and Carol? I didn’t get to experience greeting people at my first service because I was late. I wonder if it happens every Sunday 15 minutes into the service? .
OFFICE CHRISTMAS CARDS: Every year I give Brian, my Mr. Clean looking supervisor, a Santa Claus card. I give Helena and Keisha religious themed cards. Everybody else I don’t give much care or thought about what card to give them. However, there’s one person in my group that I’m not quiet sure what type of card to give him.
The reason is because I’m not sure if he’s Jewish or not. I saw him leave out early from work last Tuesday. I’m not sure if this was related to it being the first day of Hanukkah or something else entirely. I think it would be inappropriate to go up and ask him if he was Jewish without it sounding anti-Semetic.
I’m filled with anxiety every year because I give him a nondescript card that says Peace on it or has a dove because I’m not quiet sure if I would be offending him by giving him a card that says, Merry Christmas or has Santa Clause on it.
I hate doing this because it makes me feel as though I’m discriminating against him. I would just like to know once and for all what his views are on the matter.
I just need to know, would he be offended by receiving a Hanukkah card instead or is a regular Christmas card ok? For all I know the generic nondescript cards may be offensive to him? Does any one out there have any views on this matter?
Thank goodness no one really reads this blog on a regular basis to see the irony of a Pagan, non-Christian, Unitarian, filled with anxiety over what card to give another possibly non-Christian person.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Right now I’m wearing a ruby red thermal top with black cotton pants and red flip flops.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
I’m doing overtime again this Saturday. I hope to make it into work around 8AM. Then after I get out hopefully I will start the second phase of my Christmas shopping.
I still have no idea what I will be giving 15 people. I saw these boxes of cookie which were nicely priced. Then I saw these boxes of chocolates which were also nicely priced. Cookies or chocolates? Would buying these offend anyone?
I already bought the the candy canes that I put on the Christmas cards for co-workers. This year they’re Starburst flavored.
My niece and nephew’s presents will be the usual, cold hard cash. I promised my nephew, Little David $300 which is what I gave him last year. I guess I’ll give his sister, Alexis $150, she’s an adult and she works and goes to school.
She’s also a young 20something breast cancer survivor. She told me last week that she noticed that she was gaining a little more weight. I suppose this is a good thing she didn’t sound upset about it. She’s always been skinny. Her mother, my sister used to model. Not to mention her father’s sister also used to model. So her natural body disposition is on the slim side. She had clothes last year that she couldn’t fit into now she can because she gained a little more weight.
I’m not quiet sure if I should give her sister, Arlesea anything for Christmas. In years past when I asked her she would usually say to just buy something for her daughter, Adrianna. This of course irks me a bit. Of course I’m going to get something for her adorable 4 year old daughter but what does SHE want....
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on the paisley print mock turtleneck along with black slacks and black canvas shoes.
I have to get around to buying some winter shoes. The blue suede booties I own are getting raggedy. I’ll have to buy another pair of all purpose winter booties.
Friday, December 10, 2004
OVER WORKING?: I’m not quiet sure if I’ve been overworking. Yesterday was the Christmas party at the old office building our company used to occupy. As according to ritual I stayed late. I debated on whether or not I should go. I decided not to but stayed late.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a blue striped mock turtleneck along with black slacks and beige Muppet shoes. I wanted to wear the black canvas shoes but they were still wet from the rain last night.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
The #20 bus was on time this morning. It was being driven by the stern looking woman. The light rail train was also on time. It looks like I will be on time this morning.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today I have on this striated green sweater with a white turtleneck underneath along with blue jeans and black canvas shoes.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Today my usual bus the #20 came a few minutes earlier than usual. I caught the next bus after that #2. I had to jog down the street to catch the light rail train on time. The train station looked a little more crowded than usual. All in all it looks like I’m going to be on time this morning.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING PHASE I: Yesterday, I officially started my Christmas shopping. I went to The Gallery at Harbor Place. I started off wanting to get change so that I could buy snacks from out of the vending machine at work. I wanted to get something inexpensive like incense. I went into the Necessities variety store. I only saw incense for close to 4 bucks. They were imported from India.
I tried to decide between getting cookies or chocolate which ever was less expensive. I think I may have worried the clerk in the store. He went around the back and fumbled around with sodas I got the feeling he was shadowing me. I ended up getting a pack of Snackwells vanilla cream wafer cookies total Weight Watchers point total 5.
Then as I was leaving I noticed that they had a number of cute figurines on sale 50% off. These would make really great Christmas presents for my coworkers.
Afterwards I went to Bath and Body Works. I bought a candle for Linda. The candle is exchangeable. So if she doesn’t want it she can just exchange it for something else.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today it’s allegedly supposed to be getting up to the 60’s. So I came to work wearing a light fall jacket instead of my heavy winter coat. I feel chilly like I should not have bothered listening to the weather people.
I have on the long sleeve lavender pullover, blue jeans and black canvas tennis shoes. After Christmas I suppose I’ll go on a shoe and clothes buying rampage. I love how all the prices go down after Christmas. This is the main reason I have a lot of green long sleeve blouses and sweaters. Apparently green isn’t a very popular color for clothes in Baltimore. Hence, they can be found in abundance on the January after Christmas sales rack.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Right now it’s cold and rainy outside. Luckily, the bus and light rail were both on time. It looks like I’m going to be on time as well.
HEART PALPITATIONS: Recently, I’ve been suffering from these heart arrhythmias were I can feel my heart beating. I’m not overly exerted when it happens. I could just be sitting down and my heart starts to race out of control. I think this may have been caused by drinking too much caffeine in order to stay up late to do overtime. I will for a week or so limit my intake of caffeine to see what happens.
This last happened in September. I took out caffeine and my heart rate went back to normal.
Then again this whole thing could be stress related. I’m probably stressed out from working six days a week. For all I know it could be a combination of stress and caffeine.
All in all if this dosen’t clear up by the end of the month I guess I’ll have to see a cardiologist.
WHAT I’M WEARING: I have on a dark blue mock turtleneck pullover, blue jeans, and black canvas tennis shoes.
Monday, December 06, 2004
This morning the bus was late. There were five people standing on the bus stop including the female bus driver. This was an unusually large group of people.
Some how I managed to make it to the light rail on time. Luckily the stop light had just turned red. There was only one other person aboard the train.
I suppose a large majority of buses will be late this morning. I guess a majority of drivers must have done overtime this weekend and feel too tired to start up again for another go of bus driving.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on blue jeans beige Muppet shoes and a purple mock turtleneck pullover. This is the one that has lavender and beige colored leaves on it.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
I did something today that I never did in my entire life, I went to church.
I went to The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Baltimore. Like I’ve written before they are a very liberal church. So I can go there and not have to renounce my primary earth based religion of Wicca.
They were having a Winterfest service. From the description of it on their website it sounded like it might be fun. I figured it would have the feel of an elementary school play. I was right.
For a long time the Baltimore Unitarian site looked screwy on my computer. I finally gained access to their website yesterday when I noticed a sign on their homepage that said that the page worked for Mac computers that used Mozilla. Luckily, I downloaded Mozilla sometime last spring. So I switched over from Internet Explorer to Mozilla to view the site, found there list of services and the rest is history...
As I looked around the church I wondered how many had decided go there like me because they read up on Unitarianism on the internet and in books. After the service I noticed that they had free packets of peanut butter cookies out in a basket. I wonder if they’ll still be some there next week?
WHAT I’M WEARING: Right now I have on blue pajamas and blue fuzzy slippers.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Yesterday, I’m proud to say that I scored tickets for the BSO Home for the Holidays show. The holiday show features Robert Goulet and Shirley Jones. It should be lots of fun. Hopefully, there will be loads of singing and dancing.
I want to go because I really miss seeing holiday variety shows on tv. They seemed to be on all the time when I was kid. I long to see the Sonny and Cher Christmas Show once again, as well as the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope Christmas Specials. Yes, ladies and gentlemen I love corny ass shit like that around holiday time.
WHAT I’M WEARING: I’m wearing a sweater I haven't had on for two years. It’s two sizes too big but I really like the color scheme in it. It’s olive green and purple. Also I have on stone washed jeans and my Saturday shoes eg old Payless tennis shoes.
I NEED TO BET THIS OFF MY CHEST: My least favorite Christmas songs of all time. In other words songs that make me angry and consider violence when I hear them are, Dear Mr. Jesus and the Christmas Shoes. I loathe these two songs with every fiber of my being.
Friday, December 03, 2004
This morning I had to run to catch the #20 bus. It came on time but I left out the door a little later than usual. The stern looking woman was driving the bus as usual. The light train was also on time. No sign of the light rail baby or it’s mother.
OFFICE CHRISTMAS GIFTS PART II I’m still not entirely sure if I will attempt to buy everyone in my group at work a present. If I do it will be the same gift for everyone. This is what Jai Li and Cassandra did last year. Cassandra gave out these crystal Christmas stocking holders. Jai Li gave out wool scarves.
I would like to buy everyone something like decorative snow globes, small camera’s, or gloves. Overall, it has to be something non controversial.
One thing for sure is that I know that I will have to buy a present for Helena this year. Yesterday, she gave me two small resin teddy bears. They’re very cute. One has a purple bow on it’s head and is eating honey. My favorite color is purple. The other is reading a book. I like to read a lot.
Did she give these to me out of kind benevolence on her part or to ensure that I give her a present this year?
Who knows maybe she and her husband Calvin, where out shopping one day and she said, “Hey, look, Gail would really like these!”
WHAT I’M WEARING: I have on blue jeans and an oatmeal colored mock turtleneck that has a design of red patches and flowers on it, as well as beige Muppet shoes.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
PROBLEMS WITH A GIFT FOR LINDA: Linda, the woman in my group I have to be a Secret Santa for this year listed candles as the number one thing she wanted. The problem is I don’t know if she wants them scented or unscented.
WHAT I’M WEARING: I have on a purple Henley, black slacks, and black leather and suede shoes. No jeans = business casual day at work.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Today, it’s raining outside but I don’t feel sad. The bus came on time, #20 as did the light rail. I feel a little more secure than I did last week when my morning commute was thrown off course by my regular drivers being on Thanksgiving vacation for a week.
The light rail was also on time. The lady that brings the baby is not accompanied by it this morning.
KWEISI MFUME STEPS DOWN FROM THE NAACP: At first I felt deeply distressed with news that my cousin, Kweisi Mfume, was stepping down from his post as head of the NAACP but now I’m not. After analyzing everything this would put my cousin in position for a possible run as Mayor of Baltimore or maybe a US senate seat.
I’m not sure if I said this before but I’m related to Kweisi Mfume. He’s my cousin. His mother Mary was my father’s sister. His mother named him after my father Frizzell. If you don’t believe me buy his autobiography, No Free Ride. It appears on page 14.
I got a free personally autographed copy of the book when it first came out in 1997. He was giving them away at a kind of family get together we had at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. The get together celebrated both his birthday and the debut of the Kweisi Mfume wax figure.
Anyway, I found the book interesting because I actually knew some of the people he was writing about. However, I have to admit that I have never sat down and read the book from page to page. Whenever I try to do this I feel as though I’m trespassing on his life because I know him. I feel that there should be a certain level of closeness yet distance amongst family members. I feel uncomfortable listening to or reading about the intimate lives of relatives. It makes me feel icky. The book isn’t entirely about that. However, there were sections where there was just way too much information, if you get my drift.
An interesting thing about the book is that my father took the majority of the early family photos that are in the book but is uncredited. I never understood why he never went to Kweisi and told him he wanted to be credited in the book for family photo’s. It’s been a quiet bane of contention for him over the years. He’s told everyone in the family but Kweisi.
All in all I wish my cousin the best. If he doesn’t run again for elected office, I’m in shock. He’s never been the quiet stay at home type.
WHAT I’M WEARING: Today, I have on a blue and black long sleeve flannel shirt with blue jeans and black