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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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Its the day after Dad’s funeral. Right now I am afraid of regaining all the weight I lost. I decided to walk more than 10k on the weekends. I walked all the way from my house to Shoppers Food Warehouse near Mondawmin Mall. The best route to travel is straight up Pennsylvania Avenue. Ironically enough, this places me right in my old childhood neighborhood. I lived there from birth to 25 years old. The old neighborhood had not changed much. It still seems as rough as ever. There were a couple of times I felt afraid for my life.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Off today for bereavement leave.
My father’s viewing is today. I did not go.

link | posted by gail at 6:45 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Today I am late again for work. I had my annual review. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. My supervisor suggested changing my start time. I agreed and now the time I have been habitually coming in is my new start time. So now I work from 7:30 to 4:00. It works for me. I feel a bit relieved.

After work we had a family meeting at the funeral home. I got there early. To make up time I went into a supermarket called Aldi’s. I have never been there before. The only thing I know about them is that they have low prices and very colourful plastic shopping bags. There bags seem more suitable for a clothing store than a supermarket. I bought Pringles and a beef and cheese stick. I think I may try the store again. They have really low prices.

When I got to the meeting Darlene, Karen, and Uncle Leon were already there. The meeting was to finalise the obituary and how the funeral service would go as to who would speak first etc.

Also we finally selected a picture to go on the obituary. There are only three pictures of my father in existence. The reason being is that he was the main person who was taking pictures of the family. The pictures in existence of him were taking by my brother who was just a little kid when he took them. So they are a little bleary. So right now his picture is finally up on the indoor video screen of dead people having funerals this week at March Funeral Home. He has hit the big time.

I have to say I am not that happy with the picture chosen. I really liked the one of him with one of his cars. I think its the red one from the sixties and he’s wearing this tam. Come to think of it two of three three pictures of him are with his cars. The one they selected is of him talking on the phone. I do not like it because it looks very monochromatic. The colours on it is mostly white on top of white. He's wearing a white shirt, holding a white phone, with the white dining room wall in the background, Egads! The other two were kind of bleary but they had a more exciting visual composition to them. They were taken in the park with him posed with his cars from the 60. They had an almost GQ look to them. Albeit a bleary slightly out of focus GQ look.

link | posted by gail at 7:02 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I went back to work. I was late as per usual. A lot of people came up to me and offered their condolences. I had no idea that any even cared. Most of the time I feel invisible like a non entity. I was truly touched. I felt like crying.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Despite my father’s recent death I had previously scheduled today off months ago. So this was all just a weird alignment of fate.

I decided to go to my AM doctors appointment. I cancelled my PM dentists appointment on Friday because I was unsure of when the funeral would be scheduled. After my doctor’s appointment I went over to Eastpoint Mall where I bought an outfit for the funeral as well as shoes, and this guy at a kiosk convinced me to buy a nail care kit. Originally it was 39.99 but he bought the price down to 19.99. I bough it. He did a demonstration of it on my nails. It was pretty good. My nail that has the treatment on it looks nice and shiny as though it was recently polished. He was Israeli and very funny and friendly. I bet he has moved a lot of product for the company. He is a very good salesman.


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

I did not do anything today but tried to relax and take things easy. I went to buy more things for the funeral like underwear in my new dress size, stockings as well as a flapper for my toilet. The flapper is all degraded looking and needs to be replaced.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

I took the day off because of my father’s death. I had to go to March’s Funeral Home to help arraign the funeral service. My niece Lisa drove me there. Uncle Leon met us there. He showed up in the middle of the meeting with the funeral director. He scared her as well as us. Because all of a sudden the door just became ajar and there he was. Since we did not have much money we got the package we could afford with the money we had. I payed for the service with a cutsey cartoon check but had to rip it up as I had signed it POA (Power of Attorney). I no longer have POA over my father’s business affairs. POA’s cease upon the death of the individual. So now I had to find a way to pay for the funeral that we had already drawn up plans for with the funeral director.

I spent the rest of the day in turmoil on how to get to the money to pay for his funeral. On the way over to the funeral home we visited Aunt Eunice. She is giving a cookout tomorrow.

Later that day we had a meeting over Lisa’s apartment. I felt angry at my sister for seemingly asking my Uncle Leon to pay to have her hair done. It was as though she now wanted Uncle Leon to take care of her like Daddy did. I went to Walmart to buy a printer cartridge for my niece’s printer.

I did not find my way back to Lisa’s apartment until 2:45 in the morning. I left out for Walmart at around 9pm. It was a simple task only I could not for the life of me remember how to get back to her apartment complex. All I knew was where to get off the bus at. The reason for the mix up is that her street is split in half between a North and South the north and south side of the street are not in a straight line. If you look at the south side it is a dead end that picks up on the other side of the street a block away.

I was very confused until I realized that I had to cross the street and then walk up a couple of blocks to get to her apartment building. I slept on her carpeted doorway until about 5pm. That’s when one of her neighbors came in from work. I did not want to appear to be a vagrant so I knocked on the door until she came to answer it. I did nock on the door earlier but she did not answer. She had called my cell several times last night but I could not answer it as I had run out of minutes. It was a sad situation. I could hear her calling but could not answer because I was out of minutes.

link | posted by gail at 8:32 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

After work I visited my father at Bon Secour Hospital. Lisa and her daughter Shay had visited him earlier. She said he had asked about Blessing. Blessing is my other niece Alexis’ daughter. Ironically, Blessing was born on my fathers birthday. After asking about Blessing, Lisa said my father started rambling on incoherently. Lisa left because she did not want to upset Shay with her great grandfather all of a sudden talking strangely.

When I visited later in the day he seemed a little more lucid than usual. It was about 30-40 minutes into the visit that he started to talk incoherently. We spoke for a bit. He asked what was being done. I told him that we had given his insurance paperwork to Darlene. He said he did not think that she would be able to help much. Then we talked a little bit more. Then he said he did not feel much like talking. He closed his eyes and slept a while. He woke up about 40 minutes later then started talking incoherently about who knows what.

He was in a quiet room without any machinery. Towards the end of the visit I was told that they had given orders for him to be moved back to Future Care Nursing Home. I felt devistated. I told the woman that notarized my power of attorney papers who is also a social worker that I did not care much for him going back to Future Care. She gave me the name of a facility that did hospice care that was closer to where I live. I told him before I left that they were going to move him back to the nursing home. I got the feeling that he did not care one way or the other. Me, I would have preferred that he stayed at Bon Secour.

link | posted by gail at 7:30 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I took the day off of work. I mostly cried all day. I went back to the hospital to finalize the decision that my father had made ironically enough on Father’s Day. My father would be taken off all the machinery and moved to room where he would receive pain management treatment.

I cried a lot in the hospital today. Im sure I cried so much that I probably worried my Uncle Leon who was there with me.

My father’s heart is only functioning at 10 percent capacity. If he had the operation to remove his legs there would be a distinct possibilty that he would not live through the surgery. Besided my father told me time and again that he did not want them cutting on him. Hence, his refusal for them to not do anything more with his prostate/rectal cancer diagnosis. He did not want it investigated further. Also he has pneumonia. Pneumonia in someone in his age group is a very dangerous thing. Its the type of virus that takes lives. He has heart failure hence the increased risk of certain death in surgery. He has renal failure. Recently, whenever he has dialysis he has to be rushed to the emergency room because his body can not tolerate the one procedure that seems to be keeping him alive.

link | posted by gail at 7:20 PM | 0 comments

Monday, June 16, 2008

I cried a lot this morning at work. I cried trying to talk to the insurance people as to why they decided not to renew my father’s life insurance policy. I had told them many times that the reason he missed payments was because he was sick in the hospital. They decided to cancel him for those very reasons! I thought life insurance was not contingent on your health like health insurance was. Besides he had been paying them for over twenty years then one day he gets sick and they decide to terminate his policy.

Also today I had a meeting with my fathers doctor at Bon Secour later this afternoon. At this meeting I will have to tell him what my father wants done. My father wants to be taken off the medicine and the machines. I do not know if I can do this for him. However, it is his life and his decision to make not mine. I do not know if I can be strong enough....

link | posted by gail at 7:16 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Late again this morning. Very hot outside difficult to sleep. Yesterday I went to Target and bought a fan. I wanted to get an iPod but they only had either iPod shuffles or the $199 iPod Nano’s. They did not have any of the $149 silver Ipod nanos in stock.

Today I have on a cheap ass pink Sara Jessica Parker t-shirt that seems to be too small, a beige skirt 3 sizes too big and beige flip flops that are falling apart.

link | posted by gail at 7:41 PM | 0 comments

Monday, June 09, 2008

Late this morning. Due to hold ups with the light rail trains. I saw Homeland Security officer going through and around light rail trail with a dog. I wonder if they got a threat that someone was going to blow up a light rail train this morning so they had to inspect some trains with what I suspect was a bomb sniffing dog.

Did not visit my father today because they were moving him back to Future Care. Unsure what time they would move him.

I called the IRS during my lunchbreak and they told me that the large amount of money they deposited into my checking account was not a clerical error on their part it was my economic stimulus package. So its my money to keep! WoW!! I have $600 to buy stuff with! WHAT IM WEARING:
Today, I have on bermuda shorts which due to my petite height fit me like capri pants. I also have on black wedge heel slide.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Today Im late for work and still feel like throwing up.

Today I have on a new bright blue crocheted baby doll top and new jeans from Old Navy and Reebok Walk Steady shoes.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Today, I feel very sad. I just got a letter saying my fathers life insurance company has decided to cancel his policy. The reason they cited were his illnesses. I also had to go to a plan of care meeting for my father. They essentially told me he was not doing to good. He is at end stage. They wanted to know if I wanted to continue on with his treatment or send him into hospice care. With hospice care they would take care of his pain and keep him comfortable. He would be off of dialysis. Without dialysis he could live anywhere from one week to a month. So far I have made not made any decisions. I feel shell shocked.

link | posted by gail at 8:02 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This morning I took a bus down to Dundalk to pick up my brother to see Dad. I had to do this because he had no money to see Dad. On the way over I thought it would be a great idea if we went over Carleens house to pick her up and all three of us could see him one last time. Before we left from my sisters house I was not sure if she would be able to get through it. She was visably upset and shaken that this might be the last time all three of us would see our father alive.

The cab was late in arriving to take all of us over to the nursing home. Then I got the idea to ask her daughter, Alexis, if she could drive us over to see our father. She said, No. Her reason being that she had to start school tomorrow and had to clean her apartment. I felt very shaken and disturbed by her blatent brush off of helping us. I had even offered to pay her $20 which was more than it would have cost for cab fare. I suppose the only person she cares about is herself. I have never asked her once if she could take me anywhere in her car until now. This was the lamest excuse I have ever heard. I hope that she will be able to live with all the bad karma that she is creating around herself.

link | posted by gail at 6:18 PM | 0 comments

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