Spare Change

I don’t do well with change. I like order. I live by my schedule. I prefer structure. I love consistency. I think it has to do with my OCD. Any type of interruptions to my routine is like wreaking havoc to my very core. I have to talk my irrational mind down from the ledge because I know it’ll all work out and things will be okay. I. Will. Be. Okay. After some convincing, I see another day without giving up.

I would like to change my job situation because I am underemployed. While I’m thankful for being paid to do a temporary job that is in high demand during this global pandemic; I assist registered nurses and respiratory therapists with onboarding to hospitals and now vaccination clinics across the country. We’re busy, which is great.. “job security,” whatever that means. I’ve applied/interviewed for four permanent positions at this company I’m temping for and haven’t gotten an offer yet, which is frustrating. Trying to maintain work/life balance, keep my sanity, yet trying to prove I’m worth hiring. It’s taking a toll on my confidence. I’m afraid I’ll keep hearing: “No,” or hearing nothing at all. It’s just discouraging.

I’d like to have a change of scenery: a long overdue, extended, overseas holiday to explore nature, museums, seeing all the sights, and fall in love with life again. It may help put things in perspective. Do I work to live? Or live to work? I live to.. live! Money may make the world go round, but I create the currency and I spend my time the way I so choose!

I refuse.. to conform.

I’ma light a fuse.. under my ass.

Not to amuse you.

Don’t get it confused.

No more excuses.

All the interviews.

Ya know, the who’s who?

Gotta pay my dues.

Year long blues.

Fuck the news!

All I wanna do is cruise and schmooze.

Plot another ruse.

Where’s the booze?

Hit the snooze.

Prepare to lose.

Step in my shoes.

I’ll be your muse.

We’ve all got screws loose.

We need to diffuse society’s warped views.

Just don’t abuse.. your power.

I bruise.. easily.

Care Bear Stare

Share a moment of kindness from a stranger that meant a lot to you.

Summer of ’96, the sun was shining, birds were chirping, and my block was busy with activities. Neighbors washing their cars, mowing their lawns, planting flowers, catching some rays, running in sprinklers, and music blaring from open windows. I chose to ride my bike with no helmet, no pads, and no worries! I was a mismatched nine-year-old sportin’ neon patterns and untamed frizzy hair.

I didn’t care.

Just getting some fresh air.

My destination was: Nowhere.. in particular.

I was caught unaware of the uneven concrete square up ahead.

I was sent airborne.

Every kid’s nightmare.

Aaahhh!!!” I declared.

All I could do was stare.. in despair.

How unfair!

My banged up hardware.

A pair of bloody elbows, knees, palms, and I swear..

a solitaire scrape on my chin.

Quite a few tears on my now tattered clothes.

To be fair, I looked scared!

I heard a sudden stop of a vehicle on my left, which I thought was in err.

My brain was signaling: “BEWARE!

Guess my accident sent up a simultaneous flare for urgent care.

This prepared young couple glared at me, they tended to my wounds, and bandaged me up here and there.

I felt safe seeing they traveled as a family affair; with toddlers in their mobile chairs.

How rare of these parents to share their kindness with me.

I dare to spare a moment for children’s welfare.

Forenoon

Ring..

RIING!!

RIIINGGG!!!

Meow..

MEOWW!!

MEOWWW!!!

Smooches from my man as he turns off his alarm is the best way to start the day.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

He means more to me than I could say.

I know.. how cliché!

Okay, here we go.. Another weekday.

Oh, how I wish I could stay in bed, but nay.

Gotta slay the day!

Gotta pay those bills!

Oy vey!

Hit that snooze display.

Ugh, a ray of sunshine!

Creepin’ in to say: “Hey! Don’t delay!”

I just splay across the semi-empty bed and play with my kitties!

Ouch!

To my dismay, they betray me by biting and scratching.

How rude!

The array of thoughts swimming in my head: “What time is it?”

“How many hours of sleep did I get?”

“What time did I pass out last night?”

More questions than answers.

Broadway zen reggae fleeting from that magical pocket box.

I hit the snooze display.. again.

My mind has gone astray, probably off playing croquet, instead of having morning foreplay.

Oooh, how risqué!

I’m in need of a three-way soirée with a gourmet brunch buffet:

a hot tea tray, fluffy soufflé, granola parfait, sweet sorbet, alcoholic puree, and all the sautéed entrées!

I may even need an after sex cigarette. Where’s the ashtray?

Ugh, I smell padre’s coffee café from the hallway.

Balancing ballet breathing from the parquet.

I hit the snooze display.. again.

Instant replay.

Gotta get up to portray myself, simply obey, and not stray from the gray.

I’m gonna hit that Life Runway.. and sashay away!

Dude, Where’s My Valet?

Vintage Trolling

My boyfriend, Jaimie, and I creatively collaborated for the first time! I introduced him to one of my childhood favorites; the movie called Troll. It’s such a bad movie.. it’s good! We utilized this flick for his new magazine called: Rob’s Video (you can purchase it here):

The first issue of Rob’s Video has arrived! Lovingly named after the local neighborhood video store from my childhood. This zine is a love letter to crazy genre films and video store culture. With a wide array of contributors giving interviews, reviews, and stunning artwork. All made with a passion for those bygone eras of insanity in film. Conversations about horror, westerns, gore, etc. leap from the page. Plus artistic tributes to films like Puppet Master, Hammer Films, and even Troll. Take a deep dive into B-movie culture by opening the pages of Rob’s Video.

The Potters just moved into an apartment complex, filled with interesting neighbors: a beefcake veteran, a playboy, a professor, an actress, and a princess. An enchanted ring finds Wendy Potter, the young daughter, who doesn’t seem like herself upon wearing it. Her older brother, Harry Potter Junior, is the only one who notices the changes in Wendy. Their folks presume she’s homesick and/or upset about the move. Harry Potter Junior seeks refuge at his neighbor’s upstairs apartment, Eunice St. Clair. At first, Eunice seems to be just a grouchy old lady who isn’t fond of visitors, especially uninvited kids, but Harry grows on her. Her apartment is decorated in medieval style, which intrigues Harry’s interest in learning more about her and thus divulging about his familial woes. Eunice begrudgingly decides to take Harry’s worries seriously and help him save his family. She not only believes Harry, but trusts him enough to let him see her magical mushroom that she’s been hiding under a lamp shade. He’s adorable by the way! He reminds me of Beaker from the Muppets; squeaky comedic relief with expressive facial features.

Eunice gives Harry a history lesson: she tells him the story of what or better yet.. who has possessed his sister.. a faerie of sorts, mean, and very strong.. a troll! The troll’s name is Torok, who was human (Eunice’s estranged lover), he’s vowed his revenge to wipe out humanity and rule the world.. once again! Torok chose one token specimen to be spared, Wendy, who will serve as the Princess of the Faeries. Eunice supplies Harry with a magical spear to defeat the biggest, most powerful creature he can find for which it represents the heart of Torok’s universe. “It’ll be mean, it’ll be ugly, and it will not be glad to see you!” Harry embarks on an epic journey, going from apartment to apartment that Torok transformed into different faerie worlds. Will Harry find his sister in time and save all of humanity?! You’ll just have to watch Troll to find out!

Troll is the ultimate 80’s bad movie with a horror fantasy charm! It’s sprinkled with a couple people you may recognize: Sonny Bono, the mom from Lassie, Atreyu from The NeverEnding Story, and Elaine from Seinfeld. There are some brief, gross transformation scenes that I can’t help but look away from.. Hey, I have a squeamish stomach. Sue me. Hahaha, I haven’t used that phrase in forever!

What’s a bad movie without a couple random musical/dance numbers that have no relevance to the storyline whatsoever? The faerie creatures chant a mystical song called “Cantos Profanae,” that I thought was just gibberish or Latin, but according to the internet.. there are lyrics, which make no sense:

Time of Tempest tu… He hath heard of this 

Pierce of weary ache and pain. Time on! 

Herba Way, herba herba, herba herba way. Tempest!

Harken hen, harken, harken, harken, hen! Ahhhhh!

Oh sirrah save us save us. Oh sirrah oh la fey la [repeat a dozen times]
” 

Harry Potter Senior takes a Kit-Kat break (not really) by poppin’ on a Blue Cheer record and jammin’ out to Summertime Blues. His freestyle dance moves (I’m sure he choreographed himself) are chilling: from his lip syncing, wide legged stomping, puckered lips, air guitar, and his squirrely eyes bare into your very soul. Mrs. Anne Potter is startled by the sudden bass that shakes her dish rack into the sink. She attempts, and fails, to tell her husband to turn it down, because she sees him enjoying his tunes in his own unique way. Everybody has their own way of settling in. Hey, moving is one of the most stressful life events!

This bad movie holds a special place in my heart because I first watched it as a child and I related to Wendy Potter because I was also a curious little girl who could see herself venturing off by herself, exploring a new place, interacting with every person, losing her toy down a dark, scary basement, and daring to retrieve it.

The setting sparked my interest in “communal living” because of the apartment building the Potters move into. So much in fact that every time I’d play the fortune-telling game M.A.S.H. (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House), I hoped for “Apartment” and made it come true because the first home I bought was a.. condo; shocking, I know! 

SPOILER ALERT: four years later, a sequel was created, Troll 2, which is infamously described as the worst movie ever.. with only a five percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.. if that gives you any clue as to how gnarly it is. You have been warned.. proceed at your own risk! By the way, no one from the original cast returned for the second installment of the Troll saga.



It was such an honor that Jaimie asked me to collaborate with him on a creative project, let alone on his new magazine! We were first inspired to do this project whilst watching the documentary: 24×36: A Movie About Movie Posters (highly recommend). Immediately after viewing the movie, Troll, we brainstormed the overall design of the movie poster: the ringed Troll holding Wendy’s stray ball, his mismatched shadow on the apartment door (foreshadowing when he embodies Wendy.. gotta love the wordplay, haha), and the overgrown railing leading up the staircase. Jaimie drew our ideas to life and I formatted the movie title, advertising slogan, and billing block. I did not initially envision our movie poster to be in black and white, but it makes sense in regards to a simple, cost effective, moderately produced magazine. I am interested in seeing our movie poster in color and I hope we can display it in our home some day!

I’m looking forward to collaborating with Jaimie again soon for his next issue of Rob’s Video! Please stay tuned. You don’t wanna miss it!

Do-Si-Do

Grab your partner, do-si-do!

Life is a dance; whether you have two left feet or..

Not.

“Happiness is only real when shared.”
-Christopher McCandless

I highly recommend this movie (or book, if you rather) because it resonated with me on many levels. As good as your intentions are, no matter how knowledgeable you may be; life is unpredictable.

What's something you had to learn the "hard way" - but that you're happy you know now?

Not to stew in my own misery.

I had to learn that the hard way.

I had to learn to not to feed the monster.

Conflict with myself.

Internal battles.

Fight against my rational mind vs my OCD.

Every little thing bothered me.

They built up rather quick and I had to address every single one.

I took it out on everyone around me too.

Watch out.

I was always on a warpath.

Better brace yourself if you were in my way.

“Hell hath no fury like a woman [scorned].”

You’ve been warned.

Avoid being thorned.

I have not mourned..

who I was.

I have only adorned..

my progress.

It was easier to just lash out and drink myself into the bottom of a bottle.

I’m happy I recognized I needed help.

Sought it.

Fought it.

Bought it.

And thought it..

all started inside..

Me.

Feelings become thoughts.

Thoughts become words.

Words become actions.

Actions become habits.

Habits have consequences.

I learned to follow the trail.

Stop it in its tracks.

I had to be taught how to function properly..

for my own sanity.

If I didn’t enjoy my own company..

why would anybody else?

It took years of therapy, deep digging, and internal reflection to learn how to be alone.

It was scary being by myself and not hate myself every second.

Every second seemed like an hour.

I’m happy to know now that I was worth the trouble.

I deserved a second chance.

A second glance.

A second enhance.

A second romance.

Happy dance!


What are the non-negotiable traits that your [future] partner cannot have? What are the things they must have?

Narcissistic
Perfect manners
Un-stocked TP
Refuses to engage in any sort of PDA
Toxic masculinity
Poor hygiene habits
Strong hatred toward any group of people
Too political
Too religious
Two-faced
Greedy
Gym Rat
Cocky
Over-critical
Heckler
Wants a trophy wife
Gamer
Wants me to be their Mama
Has no room for compromise
Submissive
Judgmental
Alcoholic
Shopaholic

Silly sense of humor
Intelligent
Has common sense
Financially responsible
Good tipper
Gives constructive criticism
Gentle
Courteous
How they treat the wait staff
Animal lover
Likes to play board, card games
Avid reader
Confident
Has their own friends/hobbies/interests
Listen = Silent
Patient
Kind
Humble
Cryer
Does dishes
Decisive
Dominant
Not afraid to frolic
Bollocks

The traits I listed above are not for a future partner as the prompt asked because I already have a partner. We’ve been together for four years this upcoming May. Yet, it feels like a lot longer.. in a good way. In the best way, of course! I was also asked: “So, how does your partner compare to the list you wrote?”

I responded without hesitation: “If I had to dream up the ideal partner, Jaimie wouldn’t even compare. He’s more than I ever dreamed of. He set the bar high in teaching me how to be loved; thus helping me love myself.”

“Do you like hanging out with me?”
“Yeah.”

If you look closely, there’s a bird’s nest in the dinosaur’s mouth!

Sipping on wine, enjoying the view, & singing along to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.”

Pigeonholes

See more alleys here
What are some labels other people have given you? How well do they fit?

Organized
Stubborn
Open-minded
Attentive
Unique
Teacher’s pet
Honest
Sensitive
Bookworm
Submissive

Personable
Creative
Nerd
Dependable
Worry wart
Considerate
Different
Respectable
Outgoing
Helpful

Friendly
Expressive
Loyal
Determined
Fashionable
Easy going
Constructive
Private
Black sheep
Attention-seeker

Nurturing
Affectionate
Dyke
“Confused”
Anorexic
Funny
Assertive
Bitch
Free spirit
Insubordinate

Down to earth
Smart aleck
Approachable
Intimidating
“Life of the party”
Flirt
Anxious
Snowflake
Particular
Charitable

Ginger
Rebel
Weirdo
Contradictive
Trustworthy
Independent
Defiant
Inclusive
Good listener
Passive-aggressive

How well do these labels other people have given me.. fit?

Well, not so well.. Appearance alone, people presume I’m attention-seeking because of my mohawk and bright fashion style.

I believe I’m just expressing myself. Letting my freak flag fly so other “black sheep, weirdos, and different” people feel comfortable around me. An unspoken icebreaker. We all belong.. somewhere.

“Come sit over here next to me.”

I think if we took the time to get to know each other, we’d label each other less.

I’m not a fan of labels.

At.

All.

“Labels are for cans, not people.”

– Anthony Rapp

Soft Embrace

Someone gives you a big hug and whispers just what you needed to hear.

“You’re enough.”

“You’re worthy.”

“Because you’re worth it.” -L’Oreal.

Thank you for clipping me coupons.

“There’s that bright smile!”

“Both hands,” I always say when you try to give me a half hug..

It’s just..

Unacceptable!

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a two handed hug..

I know.

Soon.

You’re not a touchy-feely-kinda-guy and..

I get it.

You don’t want to break me.

Lose me.

Well, more hugs the better.

Maybe if we squeeze each other tight enough all of our broken pieces will stick back together.

Bring it on.

Let’s give it a go.

I welcome your hugs, half hug, two handed hugs, or any hug you wanna give me.

Time is against us.

Let’s not waste it.

I’m here.

I’m still here.

I’m your baby girl.

No matter what.

Bring it in, Big Guy.

Let’s..

Hug. It. Out.

Warning, Warning

See more alleys here
What are some "warning signs" that let you know you pushed your body &/or mind too far?

Locked knees

Strained eyes

Full bladder

Sore ankles

Greasy hair

Heavy heart

Dry, cracked skin

My patience is wearing thin

What have I gotten myself in.. to?

Same lounge wear

Dammit, a tear!

It isn’t fair

Shaky hands

Elastic waistbands

I’m in such high demand

Yet, any day, I’ll be canned

Getting lost.. in Wonderland.

Brain fart

Stumbling to speak.. my mind.

Word vomit

Tired.

Just.

Tired.

Beyond needing a rest

I’m doing my best

It’s weighing on my chest

All. Of. It.

I can’t seem to keep up.


If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Don’t press the red..head[ed] button!

Boohoo

I used to cry to get out of trouble as a kid.

When I was scared.

When I didn’t get my way.

I would cry myself to sleep..

Because I’d be worrying..

About what happened that day..

The day before..

The next day..

Or my days in the future.

I used to say: “Well, I didn’t cry today, so it’s a good day!”

Hell, I still say that..

On my bad days.

I don’t cry at funerals.

That’s when I laugh the most..

To be honest.

I feel I have to lighten the mood.

Even though..

“It’s super inappropriate [to do so],” some say.

I cry when I get mad because I’m a lover..

Not a fighter.

And I’m terrified of jail.

Ugly crying.

Snotty crying.

Can’t breathe, can’t speak crying.

Non-stop wet tears.

Dry tears..

Because I have no more tears left to cry.

Secluded crying.

Look at yourself in the mirror crying.

Group crying.

Public crying.

It all feels the same.

It’s an emotional release.

Screaming crying.

Weeping.

Sniffling.

Not wiping your tears crying.

Short burst crying.

Too long crying.

Hiding your tears.

Hiding your fears.

Beet red ears.

Soaked in embarrassment.

Doing the walk of shame.

Shrugging it off.

Dusting it off.

Faking it.

Denying it.

The evidence is there.

Own up to it.

Audience or not.

Just let it flow.

Get it out.

Don’t bottle up your emotions.

Cry.

It.

Out.

Bottle up your tears..

And drink it.

Cheers!

Two Cents

“Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

“Don’t over-think it.”

“It’s not you, it’s them.”

But the common denominator is..

Me..

Right?

They, them..

Me, me, me, me, me..

Duh.

There I go..

Over-thinking..

Again.

“No one thinks more about you.. than you. They’re too busy thinking about.. themselves.”

I’m sure I don’t even cross their mind.

You’re right.

That’s true.

“Don’t be blue.”

“Be you.”

Be unapologetically you!

“Only say sorry with purpose and sincerity. The more the word “sorry” is thrown around, it loses its value.”

“Less is more.”

In more ways than one.

Possessions.

Circles.

Design.

Dialogue.

Partners.

Jobs.

My anxiety and depression make it difficult to follow the pieces of advice I believe in because it’s a constant internal battle.

I care too much..

About everything.

I don’t care..

About anything.

It’s like living in my own personal hell.

I am the bully and the victim.

Sprinkle in my OCD to keep things interesting.

I kick my own ass.

Knock some sense into myself.

Hey, it’s okay..

I deserve it.

“Instead of giving yourself a pep talk in a mirror. Look at a photo of yourself.. as a child.. and give her a pep talk [your best advice]. It forces you to change your tone, huh?”

Be kind to her.

She’s you.

“Be kind to yourself.”

She’s doing her best.

And so are you!