Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Big Black Door

There was a great big black door and I turned the knob, hoping to go outside, but it was locked. I stayed in that room for awhile, wondering what to do, feeling trapped behind this black door. Then it occurred to me that there were other rooms in the house, so I walked around the corner into the next room. I discovered a window, there. The light coming in was so bright and beautiful, I was sure it would be my way out. I pushed and with only a little effort, the window slid open. I crawled through it, and fell to the ground below. The fall hurt a little and I would wake with a bruise, but I didn't care. I could smell the fresh air, the sky was so beautiful, and the world felt more real. I didn't bother getting up for awhile. It was beauty and freedom and I thought it was worth savoring.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Rebekah

This is a story about me being honest about being dishonest, where I didn't know I was being dishonest.

I didn't know Rebekah. I never knew she existed. Obviously someone had lived in apartment number 9, but I never saw her or knew about her. There were always a couple apartments where I didn't see the person living there. For instance, number 1, on my side, we always assumed was a drug dealer. There were always people coming and going, and there was a big, white van outside. But we never saw who lived there.

About Rebekah, apparently my neighbors knew about her. They knew her name. One day, Chef Steve and Jared came to me while I was outside and asked if I wanted to pick through her things. I said, "What? I'm no thief. I'm not going to steal her shit!"

They insisted that she had been evicted, had abandoned the place, the door was unlocked, and all was fair game. It sounded reasonable. This was the type of place where that sort of thing was quite likely.

There was not much furniture, the place was already pretty picked out, as though what they said was indeed true.

I walked in, and at first glance, it kind of looked like a treasure trove. Chef Steve and Jared were all about me finding anything I liked, since I was a girl, and it was a girl's place. I went through everything, carefully and methodically. I was a picky collector of special things at the time, and therefor didn't find much that I liked. I was never big on collecting other people's kitchen things, so I skipped that section. If there was anything of value there, I don't know. I slowly made my way to the bedroom, where the two men opened the closet. She had a huge collection of fur coats. It seemed that she was larger than me, so, while I liked a lot of them, they were huge on me. I found one coat that seemed to fit me reasonably. It still felt absurd, wearing it, but I took it. 

Then we came out to the living room where there was a desk. I had just started painting and in the desk, I found a wicker basket in the shape of a small travel suitcase. The latch was quite precarious and didn't make sense to me, but there was a gold mine of oil paints in it, and those are quite expensive. So, I took the basket/box, and I kept it for years, using the paints to no end, before doing away with oil paints and giving it to my sister-in-law, along with all the oil paints I had accrued over the years.

In another drawer, I found a necklace that intrigued me. I took it, as well, and I still have it. It felt very tribal, and I was very into it.

A month later, I learned that Rebekah hadn't abandoned her place. But she had left her door unlocked and hadn't taken anything. I was no thief, but I also wasn't a snitch, especially on myself.

I never wore the fur coat. It seemed too over the top to me. However, I no longer have it and don't remember what I did with it.

I'm sorry to Rebekah, because, I was naive and didn't know exactly what I was doing. But, I also feel that I took as little as I could, and only what I thought I could use.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Creepy Karl

To be honest, I had no thoughts about him at first. But one day, for some reason, I chose to watch Oporah, an episode where George Clooney was a guest, and for some reason I saw an uncanny resemblance to Karl.

Karl was an exceptionally kind man, who would go out of his way to help anyone in great need. 

Before you go out searching for McDreamy, here, keep in mind that I felt that there was something just not right about this man. Something about him screamed "creepy" to me. He began living with Monique at one time, and he mentioned how much he just loved the extra skin to be had. I had no opinion to give on the subject, but that is beside the point.

Karl really went out of his way to help me, quite often, and he expected so little in return. For some reason, I was ever waiting for that other shoe to drop. He gave so many favors, that I wondered when it would happen that he'd call all of those favors in for a huge request that I wasn't able to offer. Really, it was just too grand, what he'd do for a person.

One day, I made an exceedingly bad decision, which led to me leaving my car in an unknown driveway, out of gas. I had the money, but I simply forgot to refill the tank. It was an hour which I can only refer to as "after closing time." Actually, it was just before such time, and I thought for certain that I would be able to find a gas can at a local gas station, and fix my situation quickly. Lucky as I was to find a station that was open at such an hour, I was informed by the attendant that they didn't provide them. How absurd is that? I thought it was incredibly so, and my only option I could foresee was to leave my car in the driveway where I had left it and come get it in the morning.

I went to a nearby bar, where I figured I could call a cab, and it turned out it was closing time, and cabs were wanted everywhere. Therefor, it was very hard to get a taxi to come by. I waited along with a few other people. We were all willing to share any cab we could get, but none would come. It was odd, indeed, but for some reason, it just didn't happen. One of the people waiting, called a friend who was willing to take us all home. It was exceedingly kind of the person. I know I had my keys on me at the time, but I later realized that I must have left them in this person's car, because in the morning, I couldn't find them. How I found my way into my apartment, I'll never know, since I never found them thereafter.

I had to work at 11:00 am, and I spent the majority of my morning figuring out how to get my car back. I started with a taxi cab. I took it to where I had left my car, and sure enough, it had been towed. So, I took the cab back home, and what a waste of money that had been.

So, at home, I had no idea who to call to figure out where to find my car. My neighbor, Karl, had the answer, and even leant his phone, at which time I went through my phonebook to find the right few numbers, and eventually, I figured out where my car was and how much it would cost to get it back.

What a sweet man Karl was that day. In exchange for a simple pack of cigarettes, he was more than happy to drive me around town to get it all figured out. The first stop was the place of work, at which I was due to be in only a couple of hours. I retrieved my paycheck, and happily, it turned out that I had two waiting for me. I know this seems odd, but at the time, I was very good with my money, and had no immediate need for any checks that might have been waiting for me. So, extra happy as I was, Karl proceeded to take me to a cash store (it being a weekend, no banks were open), and I found a way to quickly cash my checks.

Then he took me all the way to the other side of town, where my car had been towed, where I showed them my proof of insurance and paid the fee. But, here is where I discovered that my keys were not, in fact, in my car, where I figured they must have been, and all the tow company could do for me, was tow it out of the lot into the parking lot across the street.

All these issues were just too much for me to deal with. Karl was ever so kind as to drive me back home, but he stopped at the convenience store, where I asked, "Why are we here?" He said that I owed him that pack of cigarettes. So, I bought a pack for him, and happy, he continued back home.

I was due at work, so all I could do was find a way to get to work. So, I took my very first bus ride to work. It was a crazy feeling to me, riding the bus, but I made it there.

While at work, I called my father. He had a spare key to my house and my car, and I asked him if he would get my car. I informed him that I had a can of gas sitting just outside my apartment, but he was kind enough to ignore it and fill the tank himself. I was so happy! Everything worked out so beautifully!

My father brought the car to my work and gave me the spare key, of which I made yet another copy for him.

But, this towing issue created a big problem. A towed car is exceptionally expensive, and all of this mayhem dipped into my rent money. I had my beautiful Mercedes of a car, but I had no money to pay rent. And, here came a huge cascade of not being able to afford anything. Suddenly, I became a person without proper means. It was the first time, and I wasn't accustomed to such a circumstance.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: The Zippo

I didn't always keep an entirely tidy home. I was never the tidiest of people, I'll admit. But I did have my moments. It is a fact, however, that it's much easier to keep a clean place when you are the only person making messes.

One day in my life, Chef Steve thought to be an exceptionally kind soul and gave me a Zippo lighter he happened to have. Just before that, I had found a very small Zippo which had eventually run out of fluid. I didn't know anything about lighters and how they required fluid, where to find it, or just how cheap it was to purchase, and especially how to go about refilling a Zippo.

I, for some reason, don't recall the terms of receiving this lighter, but it must have been agreed upon that one day Chef Steve would come calling for it, because eventually he did. I really don't remember this being the case, but I imagine I would have put up a bit of a fight, if this were not the case. The etiquette of gift giving would definitely have been a defense, otherwise.

Eventually the fluid ran out, but this was hardly a large issue. I'm sure I could have eventually figured out that it needed to be refilled and how to do so. But, at some point, I lost the golden Zippo, and had no idea where it was.

At some point, my home was a mess, and I decided to clean it up in a "spring cleaning" fashion. At the end of the day my home was impeccably clean, and I was proud of it. It turned out that the Zippo was found under my bed, and I placed it on my kitchen table, even though I was not able to use it at the time. It sat there, shining, being the only thing worth looking at in my entire home.

Jared, after Krystal had left, decided to visit on just this day when I was proud of my exceptionally clean home. I was happy to have some company, and I treated him to one shot of my stash of vodka, of which I also partook. Yes, just one shot.

I then said, "What the hell, let's go have a good time," and decided to take him to a new favorite dive of mine. Knowing he was nearly 10 years older than me (and he looked it), I didn't think it was an issue, but it turned out he had misplaced his ID at the time. When he ordered his drink, it was understandable that he was denied, not having his ID, but when I ordered mine, I was also denied. She thought I was already intoxicated. Sadly, this was a common occurrence of mine. Having only one eye, at that time my bad eye had a way of making me look quite loopy. I could have just taken it out and explained that this wasn't the case, but that thought didn't occur to me very often, and instead, I would become quite confused by the circumstance.

Since I had Jared with me, I figured we'd just leave and go somewhere else, and we did.

Something incredibly sad and somewhat ironic happened a week later. Vickie, the bartender just mentioned, died a week later from an accident involving a suicide victim jumping from a bridge above a freeway. I happened to be traveling on that freeway when it happened and it took two hours for me to make my way out of the situation. I was on my way towards an appointment to have a new and better eye painted and made. I had to call and reschedule the appointment since it took so long to leave that freeway. Since that particular eye was made, I never again had the issue of bartenders thinking I was drunk when I was in fact sober. It was a strange circumstance, and while she was a bit of a cold, hard kind of lady in general, I still liked her, and I attended her wake soon after. I don't believe Jared ever knew what happened.

After Jared and I were refused at the dive bar and had enjoyed one drink elsewhere, I decided that we should just hit the liquor store, since I was due to replenish my stash, anyway. We walked there since it was somewhat close, and I liked to walk to places when I could. At the time, I had a dog named Tibet, which I took along for the walk, and about seven or eight blocks away, we ran into another dog which we recognized as belonging to a house across the street from our apartment complex.

We knew who the dog belonged to, but he just wouldn't return home. He decided to simply follow us wherever we went. So, Jared took his belt off and used it as a leash for the dog, so we could bring it back home. About ten blocks from home was the liquor store, and I bought my glass bottle of vodka to supply me for the next few months. Jared was kind enough to offer to carry it home for me, but I shouldn't have obliged, because he managed to drop it in the parking lot, and it broke. Not having been a very cheap bottle, I was quite distraught over the situation, and I returned to the liquor store explaining the situation. Since they provided the plastic bag that the bottle broke though, they were ever so kind as to replace the bottle at no charge, warning against carrying the bottle carelessly. I decided to carry the bottle back home myself, and we managed to make it back with two dogs. We returned the labrador back to our neighbor and enjoyed a few drinks at my home.

Strangely, almost as though it were a test of honesty, Chef Steve asked if he could have his Zippo back, just the next day. I had this Zippo in my care for at least three or four months. It was odd that he would just then ask for it back. And, like I said, I don't recall if this was part of the arrangement or not. But, it must have been, because I was more than happy to oblige. I knew where the Zippo was. . . right in the open, on my kitchen table.

When I went to retrieve it, however, it was not where I left it. I couldn't have used it and misplaced it, because it was out of fuel. I never touched it, and the only person who had been in my home since I had found it was Jared. So, I assume that Jared had stolen it. I would never in a million years put it past him. Jared was that kind of man. I believed he did steal it, and still do to this day. But, he denied it when I asked, and all I could say to Chef Steve was that I was positive that Jared must have taken it. I offered to buy him a new one, but he declined the offer. He just wanted the one he gave me. But, goodness! What kind of a person asks for such a thing? They're not that expensive!

The Zippo was never found.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Vampire Van

Sometimes the oddest things happen, and it's interesting to be on the other side of a situation. Almost like an observer, even though you are a participant. Here is an example.

If you recall, Nathan had two vans exactly alike outside his apartment. One day, he told me a story about them…or the first one, anyway.

I don't remember the story exceptionally well, now. It was about an accident which occurred on the Burnside Bridge. Somehow, a horrible, headon collision happened, and Nathan was quite traumatized by the situation. He walked away quite fine, but a young passenger in the other vehicle ended up in the hospital with some serious head trauma. It was a story that haunted him. He held back tears as he told it. 

One evening, I was sitting on my doorstep with a boyfriend I had at the time. This was before Daniel. There was no one else outside, and no doors were open. For some reason, the van that had been in the crash would reflect the street light in such a way that it would look like some kind of stone cold vampire-like creature was sitting in the front seat, glaring at me. If I let it, it would creep me out and make me shudder. I mentioned the vampire in the van to the boyfriend sitting next to me, and he asked about that van. I told him I didn't know about the second one or his apparent attachment to that make and model. 

Yes, I know it was a very personal story, but I chose to tell it. I spoke very quietly about the accident, in hushed tones, yet as soon as I finished the story, Nathan's door opened, and out his door he stepped. As he walked across the parking lot towards us, I began to panic within my mind. Somehow he must have heard me. As soon as I thought of a solution, my mind rested and I was at ease.

I smiled cordially, as Nathan stood there in front of us, smoking his clove cigarette. He looked up into the clouds in his mind, as he was wont to do when he spoke.

"Do you mind if I ask you a question?" He asked.

"Of course!" Was my response.

He asked me, "What were you guys talking about?"

I did think it was quite forward and rude, not to mention, socially unacceptable, but he was right to ask, considering what was said. However, I had already thought of my solution, so I used it, and it worked perfectly.

It so happened that we had only just come from the theater, having watched the movie Butterfly Effect. I mentioned that we were discussing the movie we just watched. I roughly explained the plot to him, in such a way that it sounded just like the story I had told about him. 

I felt very clever, of course. At the end, I threw this in, "Oh, and your van has a creepy vampire in it. Look!"

Nathan showed a sigh of relief, and also a sort of puzzled curiosity. 

What he said had me mystified for years. "I just had the oddest experience. Have you ever overheard a conversation and thought one thing was said, and then discovered it was something completely different?" 

I think I said something like, "I don't think so. Maybe. I don't recall."

Inwardly, my response was, "Yes, Nathan, I know exactly what you mean. You, in fact, did hear correctly, and I just convinced you that you heard differently." 

Yes, I am aware that I behaved poorly on all counts, here. But, this is about what happened, and I make no apologies for my behavior. 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Taffy

Once, I was sitting on my front step, and Monique was grilling a few links and drinking rum and cokes. She offered me some, and at length another neighbor came by. She seemed to know Monique, and not just as a neighbor, but maybe from some other pastime I wasn't aware of. I think her name was Tammy. Our first conversation is both memorable and vague, at the same time. I remember this instance, but I become quite confused when I try to work out the facts. For some reason I remember her name being unique and yet a familiar word. Yet, when I really think about it, I am certain her name was Tammy—Eureka! In writing this story, I have just this instant remembered her name. And I've been spending days trying to recall it, as I was sure I didn't quite have it right. Her name was Taffy. What a relief. 

Continuing onward, she seemed somewhat older. She would mention how she was getting old so fast, with so many regrets. There seemed to be one that consumed her, but she never spoke of it. Often, you could see her eyes drift off into that regret with her thoughts. But she was rather paradoxical. She looked older than she was, but then she seemed much younger than she looked. You really couldn't put your finger on which was right. 

She was 50, I believe. She did tell me once. Her hair was a beautiful dark brown color, but it was always wild, loose, and unkept. She spoke with a small, timid voice, and she seemed like a sad, tortured, childlike character, trapped inside this aged and used up shell. Miserable and wishing to scare away her memories and her past, she was always on some pill or drink, resulting in a loopy little lady, desperate for something beautiful or happy. She loved friendship, laughter, anything special.

One day, in the very early evening, I invited a crew of friends we had, to come over for a little party I was hosting. I remember the evening well. The sky had become green and unusual for this region. We were certain that a storm of cosmic proportions was on its way, but it never did come.

I had one rule. Everyone brought their own alcohol, and no one touched my private stash of vodka. It was a highly regulated stash. It lasted me a long time, and I didn't want the whole thing gone before my eyes. I couldn't afford to replace it that often.

Though not really invited, Taffy stopped by. I didn't turn her away, I had no reason to. I actually really liked her. But she did ask if she could have a drink or two. I made an exception. At the time, I didn't know that she was a pill popper. If I did, I wouldn't have acquiesced. I only gave her two drinks, and very quickly, she became not just intoxicated, but very loopy, faint, and not even aware of her faculties, let alone in control of them. 

Daniel remembers this next part as if he was there, but he wasn't. It is only because I told the story as soon as I returned, and we've recalled the situation many times since. 

When it seemed that Taffy was on the verge of passing out, my friend Chloe and I decided to take her home.

There was a much younger man, by comparison, who looked like a wild Native American sort, who had apparently moved in where Jared and Krystal had formerly lived. He was maybe 30-35 years old. It took some time before I realized that Taffy lived with him there. I never did know what their relationship was. Were they related, together, just roommates? I had no idea, though I was quite curious. 

For some reason, they would use their back door as a front door, so Chloe and I walked Taffy around to the back of the building and knocked on the door. The tall man answered and was exceptionally rude to us. As we helped her to a kitchen chair, I explained that she was a little intoxicated and we were bringing her home. He was quite angry and yelled at Taffy. "It's 5:00, and you're already stupid! What the hell is wrong with you, Woman?!"

Chloe and I exchanged a glance. We were torn between amusement at what was said, and pity for the lady. As we headed back towards the door, he yelled at us. "What are you two still doing here? Get the hell out of here!"

I had a habit of saying things that I shouldn't from time to time. This was one of those times. I turned and yelled back, "I'm sorry I brought her home, sir. Next time I'll just leave her on the floor!" I slammed the door behind me, and he instantly became an amusing anecdote at the party.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Monique

Monique was morbidly obese. Every day she wore a different moo-moo because, well. . . that was all that could be worn.

She lived just next door to me, on the left as I walked out of my own door. She seemed to live just outside her door, like the "neighborhood gossip," just watching everything that went on.

It was amazing, really. Anyone could just pull up a chair (and many did) just outside their door and watch. There was rarely a chance to be bored. Remembering back, it feels like it must never have rained or snowed. It did indeed, and I remember each one of those days. It was like the whole day was closed for business. 

Many times I would open my door and stand on the threshold, watching the broken gutter dump buckets of rain right on my door step. I would just stand there for the longest time, disheartened, but mesmerized at the same time.

Monique must have felt the same, because every time I stepped outside on a dry day, she would be sitting there on her chair, watching the small world go by, and exercising her voice loudly, quite often.

Many days, there was an unspoken competition of sound, the clash of music competing for the right to be heard. It would be warm and beautiful outside, and everybody's doors would be open, letting any wayward cool breeze find its way in.

Monique, around 45, with her light blonde, straight, long hair, would play her music at a reasonable volume. Then Gary would turn his louder, then Chef Steve, then Jared.

And the end result: no one could hear their own music, but they all wanted theirs to be heard. It was a huge clash of multi-genred noise.

Monique and Cats.

Monique loved her garden plot, but I never saw her in it. She would always mention how much she hated cats, because they would get into her garden. But only one of the neighbors had a cat, and her garden only had a few flowers. Nothing entirely worth writing home about.

When Daniel moved in, he had a cat. I didn't really want a cat, but I realized that this pet came with the man, and accepted the black cat: Dimitri.

Dimitri was old, and Monique didn't seem to even notice he existed. But one day it was my birthday, and our friend Mikey and his girlfriend both came over–my birthday was just a coincidence.

She'd had a job that day, which took her to a farm in the city's outskirts. There, she had found the tiniest little tabby kitten I had ever seen. She asked the farmer if it was his, and he seemed appalled by the fact that it was even brought to his attention. Knowing that the little runt would probably die in the wild, she brought it home.

She asked if I would take her, and I was happy to. I named her Lotus. But, Daniel had just bought me a black and white kitten for my birthday, which I named Guido.

So, we now had three cats, two of them kittens. Guido was spunky and a little skittish, and Lotus was sweet, quiet, and loved to cuddle. 

I loved little Lotus. Every evening, while Daniel finished up work, she would cuddle up at the back of my neck, while I read a book, or watched TV. I loved it.

Once I saw her up on the kitchen counter, but as she was so tiny, it blew my mind that she could jump that high. Then I remembered Zeela's little kittens that were always escaping. 

One evening, Lotus never came to cuddle up on my neck. I thought it was weird, so I looked around a little and never saw her. I returned to watching a show, before it was time to go pick Daniel up from work. 

I didn't have to. It was an easy walk. But, it was late at night, and I thought he'd appreciate the ride.

When we got home, he asked where the kitties were, and I explained how I hadn't seen Lotus.

We looked around, opened the door, called to her, and that is when Monique, sitting next door, informed me that I ran over her when I left. Apparently, she had escaped through the kitchen window. I behaved calmly and stoically. I grabbed a towel and picked her up, bringing her inside. Then, I broke down.

"How could I do such a thing?" I asked. I cried rather hysterically, for awhile, then I dried my eyes, we put her in a tin box, and we buried her out back, with a few words.

A few days passed and I began to eye Monique, suspiciously. I started to wonder if I had really run over my kitten, or had Monique hit her with a shovel. 

Come to think of it, she had threatened to do just that to any cat she found in her garden, just days prior. 

I began to loathe Monique.

And this is where my name began.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Ralph

His name was Ralph, and I can't for the life of me recall how I met the old man. I don't believe it was in the parking lot. Perhaps it was Zeela. It really is the only thing that makes sense, now.

Somehow, we discovered that we both were kindred spirits, old romantics who loved to read, drink vodka, and even watch Jeopardy in the evenings.

I was sad to see him go. He was somewhere around 60 years old, most likely on the younger side of it. He had a daughter, as I recall, all grown up, with children of her own. We would discuss the books we had read, as we'd sit in front of the television, waiting for the show. I would bring over some vodka, and dole out a couple of shots, or mix a cocktail or two.

One day, we started exchanging books to read. I would read them as quickly as possible, devouring any new information or concept I could get my hands on. Oddly, I don't remember any of the books shared, in either direction, except for the last one he left me.

One day, he told me that he was finally able to retire, and he was moving to the coast. I was quite upset. I had only just made this wonderful new friend.

I woke up one morning to find a package on my doorstep. Ralph had left me one last book to read, Timeline, by Michael Crichton. With it was a note saying that he enjoyed my company, to read the book, and there was no need to return it.

I hurried down to his place, two doors down. Ralph was gone.

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Buddha and Zeela

I met Buddha through my other neighbor, Nathan. I never knew a great deal about her. For the longest time, I wanted to know her real name. I thought she looked like a Ruth, Rachel, or maybe a Rebekah. I just wanted to be right. One day I was finally told, and since I wasn't right, I quickly forgot it. She had a young daughter, around 12 or 13, who not surprisingly, was named Zeela. Buddha was sweet natured and motherly. She was self-reliant and independent. The "pioneer woman" who could make anything happen.

Zeela was a free spirit, which I always assumed her mother could be thanked for. The world was her oyster, and she was going to eat it.

One evening, while I was watching Jeopardy with Ralph, a tiny little kitten ran through his open door and scurried across the floor. Ralph picked it up and said, "Isn't he just adorable?"

I agreed. I hadn't seen a kitten that small since I was 8, and the size ratio between the little kitten and me was a lot smaller then. Very soon, Zeela showed up at the door, asking if we had seen the little kitten.

Zeela told me that they had a whole litter of cute little Tabbies. I was curious, so I headed over to apartment #1 with Zeela. They had a gate on their door, and still the little things were escaping left and right. They offered to let me have one, but I declined. As cute as they were, I had no interest in owning a cat, and knew nothing about them. I had never had one.

Buddha's apartment was at the end, by the street, so there was much more garden space all around it.  All of the other apartments did have their own little garden plot on either side of the door, however. Nathan liked to take his food remnants and bury them in the ground. You might think, "Oh, like a compost." But, it wasn't like that, it was only remnants of fruits and vegetables, so that he would end up with a whole garden full of whatever he buried.

One day, Buddha decided to move out, and Nathan jumped at the chance to move into her place. I was asked if I would help out, and I happily agreed. It was the first time I'd ever been inside her home. And I soon discovered that she had a rather large python, which she kept in a basket. It was the kind of basket you might find at a flea market, complete with a matching lid, and maybe some red and blue zigzag pattern to show they matched. I thought this was an alarmingly odd place to keep a large snake, or a pet of any kind, so I wondered if perhaps it was only for the move. But, the place was not boxed up at all, and it was a disaster everywhere, so I wondered if they were accustomed to living in the jungle, maybe. They had some small food of some kind cooking on their stove. They offered me some, but, I have a hard time eating from other people's kitchens when I see the disaster that surrounds it. I politely declined.

Buddha informed me that she was a sideshow performer, as an acrobat, and something to do with that python.

Like I said, I knew very little about Buddha. These are just little snippets and windows into moments I recall. And this is even all that I remember about her. Yet, Buddha is Buddha, and she must have her spot, here.

Shortly after she moved out, she invited us to a house party, where she promised to show us her acrobatics. We attended, and it was a wild, interesting, hippie party, complete with a room containing many hand drums with many people combining their skills (or lack their of) to create a rhythm.

Outside, they served beer in those obnoxious red Solo cups, which I've always felt made drinking anything, not all that much fun. It even makes tasty things taste less tasty!

This was Buddha and Zeela. The breeze came along, picked them up, and carried them away.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Jared and Krystal

Jared once told me that he and Krystal were perfect together, on paper. I wasn't very familiar with the term, then. But, even in retrospect, I have no idea what he meant.

Jared can be summed up in one simple word: slob. It was quite amazing, actually.  You would never think that the 32 year old man ever put on a clean shirt. But, in fact, he did. One great highlight of many a day, was to wake up as early as possible, so that I could be there to witness the first thing he might spill on his shirt. It rarely happened. One particular morning, he managed to get more cherry pie on his shirt than in his mouth. 

Then there was Krystal, Jared's girlfriend. She was a girl that always had some reason she needed me to drive her somewhere as a favor. Not entirely wealthy myself, I rarely did so without requiring a little gas money first. She was average looking, with medium brown hair, and a long, skinny nose, that seemed to beak out like a bird, slightly. 

Krystal was pregnant. She always was, all the time that I knew her. She wouldn't touch a glass of alcohol, for her baby's sake, but she did smoke quite often. This amused me. She also had a son, named Gary. I just found this to be the oddest name for a little two year old, but I did realize that even men named Gary were babies once. I pitied Gary greatly. He was a very sweat natured little boy, yet with no chance at a decent childhood. 

Jared and Krystal were crazy and wild, and often kept questionable friends for company. As often as I would hang around them, there were times when I knew I should stay inside. 

There was a time when one friend they had over was climbing blackberry bushes, without flinching, and climbing the roof for whatever reason he had. I soon found myself hiding behind the safety of my front door, and occasionally peaking out my window, to keep an eye on things. I was worried to death about little Gary being around the effects of such a horrible drug, but it wasn't me who eventually called the cops. Jared, Krystal, and their friend were arrested, and poor little Gary was taken into protective custody. 

I don't believe I ever saw Krystal or Gary again after that, but Jared did hang around for awhile before eventually leaving as well. 

There is an interesting story about who moved into their apartment next, but I can't for the life of me remember her name. When I do, I'll tell you all about it.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Chef Steve

Chef Steve is not very complicated, but his story is. Thinking of how to describe him is rather odd, because my description is based on someone only I know. I have a great uncle whom I saw a lot of when I was very young. My grandmother's brother was the sort who would always have cheap beer on his breath and ask me to sit on his lap. It sounds creepy, I know, but he wasn't actually that sort. Just one who liked to drink a lot and speak his mind while he was under the influence. This was Chef Steve, complete with the golden tooth, the kind they made for people of that age. He wasn't VERY old, however. Maybe 40-45 years. But he was scary in a way I wasn't to discover for sometime.

There is a common phrase which goes: you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

But, he wasn't ever an enemy, just someone whose enemy I knew I didn't want to be.

Yet here I don't know where to start. I suppose I should start with the fact that he had a concealed carry permit, and he kept a 9mm on him, unholstered (just tucked in his pants) at all times. He reminded me and everyone around him on a regular basis. But, what was frightening was that every now and then, he'd pull it out (loaded) to prove it.

Now, I never wanted to be that person he decided to put on the other end of his barrel, so I decided it was a great idea to be on his good side. 

But, the fact that he had this gun was information I didn't have for quite some time. But somehow, I still knew I needed to be on this good side of his.

Now, why I call him Chef Steve will be because he was a chef "of the culinary arts" as he loved to make it known, where he worked in the kitchen at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in my city. At one point he informed me how proud he was that he had become a Notary Public, and could earn $5 for performing such a service. 

But there is so much to say that is beside this point. So much!

This man was the first to introduce me to marijuana. I wasn't generally inclined towards drugs of any sort, and I had declined the offer many times in the past. But, at this time I felt rather safe with this man and felt okay with giving it a try. At the time, I was of an opinion that drugs that came directly from the earth and unmodified were worth considering. So, I gave it a try, and my mind could not compute. My head was instantly blown back onto the couch I was sitting on. I couldn't make head or tail of where my mind was. I was a girl who valued highly what was in my head, so losing the ability to think was difficult for me to deal with, and I didn't like anything about it. At one point, I realized that if I focused on one word related to a thought I had, I could retain the thought. So, I focused on the word "bird." Ironicly, I now remember the word, but no longer remember the thoughts it represented.

Bird was what I took from that experience, and while I didn't altogether enjoy the experience, I didn't hate it enough not to try it again, sometime later.

But, more about Chef Steve. We, in the Schiller Apartments, lived a block away from a local convenience store. He must have made decent money, because once I had turned 21, he would pay me $5 to go buy him a very cheap beer. Steel Reserve was his brand. Black label. I did this often, and soon learned that he enjoyed drinking just this beer along with a few hits of weed, every night (usually outside), after work.
Eventually, I had a boyfriend (now my husband) who was with me, visiting Chef Steve. I had just returned from a beer run for him, and we all engaged in conversation. 

What happened next may seem as though I was, perhaps, a horrible person. But, hearing the whole story, you may realize that I simply took the most reasonable option.

Chef Steve seemed to be more intoxicated than usual, and whatever was said he, at one point, took out his gun in front of both of us, brandishing it frighteningly. We both (my boyfriend and I), we're not sure of the certainty of the situation at the time, and glanced at each other. The look we gave meant, "leave when possible."

There is no way I could ever remember what was said. What is important was that at one moment the conversation eventually shifted towards only my boyfriend, at which time I politely came up with an excuse to return home.

I did so at the most casual pace I could think of. I hid just behind my door, slightly looking out the window, with my phone in my hand, ready to call the police. 

Luckily, there was no need to do so. Eventually, my man made his way back to my place. But there was no end to the caution I used toward Chef Steve, ever again.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Chastity Cash

I know that a reader could never believe that this is the name of any girl other than a stripper. And they'd be right, but they'd also be wrong.

While I dug around my brain, trying to think of who I should introduce next, this one excited me the most. She's a simple and rather quick, but sad story.

Her name was Chastity Cash. I couldn't believe it myself, but such was her name. I loved her at first. She was much like me: spunky, full of life, and a great smile, but at least 10 years older. Sometimes we would just hang out in the parking lot, as many dwellers did, maybe imbibing one of Monique's whiskey and coke cocktails. And sometimes we would walk down the street to the little shop together.

I never would have guessed that she was a train wreck still waiting to happen. But apparently she was. What I found the most odd about her, was that I used to look at her and think to myself, "she could be pretty and very attractive, but someone needs to teach that girl how to dress." But, there is no kind way I could think of, how one could inform a person that they needed a makeover. But, I was certain that if she had one, she would be surprised at the attention she could get.

She used to dress in what seemed like oversized, hand-me-down, men's clothes. The baggy sweaters and you couldn't see that she had a waist. The faded black jeans, and you couldn't even see her legs properly. It was constantly on my mind, how I was going to break it to her. 

At the time she worked for a used car sales company and she even gave me her card one day, when she was proud of having been promoted.

Then, one day it happened. She was suddenly wearing proper girl clothes. But I thought she had gone to a bit of an extreme in that respect. She couldn't wait to tell me that she could now afford to pay her rent properly. She was now a stripper at a bar. In retrospect, I wonder if it was Devil's Point. My neighbors used to actually attempt to persuade me to work there in the most insulting way ever: they'll hire anyone.

Chastity was happier, and like many of my neighbors, would ask for a ride somewhere from time to time. I didn't mind, most of the time. 

Eventually, she was making enough money to afford to rent a house, so she moved. She visited once or twice and that was it. I never saw her again. She was simply an anecdote in my little book of funny stories. 

Then one day I received a very firm knock on my door. When I opened it, I discovered police officers there. 

"Miss Cash?" one of them asked. 

I said, "Excuse me? What can I do for you?" I told them my name. 

They said they were looking for a miss Chastity Cash. 

I said, "Oh! I remember her. You see, she used to live in apartment #4 on the other side. It's a different address." I told them that she had moved into a house, but I had no idea where.

Poor Chastity. She was dealt a sad hand in life, which began with her name.

My Links:
Lotus Asylum

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Nathan

On a beautiful Christmas Day, about a week after I had moved in, I had the usual garbage and cardboard to throw away in the dumpster. So, out my door I stepped. I noticed an old man in the parking lot and I curtsied slightly with a polite hello. I don't remember his name, but he introduced himself. He wore the silliest, most obvious wig of an excuse for a toupee that I would later see on him, turned sideways at times. A great bit of giggling came from that thing. Wishing me a Merry Christmas among other small talk, he mentioned that he lived with his son, Nathan, in apartment number 3, on the other side of the parking lot. Should I need anything at all, I need only knock on the door and ask.

A few weeks later, I stepped outside my door again. But there is something you need to know about the lock on my door. There were two: the deadbolt, and the simple one on the knob. I kept the simple one locked all the time, but there was a strange, unexpected malfunction where you could sometimes open the door without turning the knob, if it hadn't been properly shut firmly with a click. Here, I was about to figure this out for the first time. I managed to close the door properly after I stepped out, and alas, I locked myself out. I had to leave for work soon and had no idea what to do. 

Showing up at the door of apartment number 3 in my pajamas and no sweater or coat, with snow on the ground, I was later reminded of what a silly sight I made. I knocked on the door, and the alleged son, Nathan, answered.

Nathan was a man in his 30's, best described as a living Hunter Thompson. He looked like him and dressed like him, but I'm not sure if he even knew who Mr. (excuse me, Dr.) Thompson was. He invited me in from the cold, as I explained my situation of having been locked out. I mentioned that I had met his father who had told me to come to him if I needed anything, and now I did. He informed me that the building maintenance man could be called to unlock my door, which was free the first time. He let me use his phone, at which point, I also called my work to let them know why I would be late. 

Nathan was a unique, interesting character, who I'll never fully understand. He was from Texas, and would wear shorts and a heavy plaid sweater or jacket on a regular basis. I liked to think he was dipping his feet in both worlds: the shorts to remind himself he was from Texas, and the jacket because there was no choice if it was cold.

Nathan spoke softly and even oddly, with his mind constantly grabbing at the clouds for what he was going to say, even as he spoke it. I was not accustomed to waiting so long to hear someone think and speak at the same time. I learned a new kind of patience, here. He was a wealth of information, somehow seeming to know everything. And the funniest thing I had noticed was that he had two vans parked outside. Both were the same make and model and year and color. One ran, the other didn't. I figured he must have loved the first one so much that he had to have another.

As I waited for the maintenance man, Nathan smoked a clove cigarette. At the time I had never seen or heard of them, and found it to be a rather pleasant, Christmas-like smell. Later, it became an obnoxious, overpowering smell. 

He spoke gingerly, and it made me wonder if this was simply the way he was, or if he had a preference for his own gender. 

I don't remember what he said, but I had made a new friend. He seemed to view me as the little sister who could use a friend. And I saw him as a quirky big brother who could show me around this building, which I would soon discover, contained a wealth of oddities, myself included.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Gary

It was a small, one-level apartment building. I had just moved in, not even a week earlier. I loved the place, but really didn't know much about it, its occupants, or even the neighborhood, as I had never spent any time in that area in the past. It was the dead of winter, days before Christmas. I had seen none of my new neighbors.

I heard a knock on the door. A man was there and describing him will be one of the most amusing experiences of my life.

I think the best way to start would be to say that he seemed like the sort of man who was still stuck in some kind of surfer era from his past. But one would wonder whether he ever actually surfed in his youth, or was it some sort of homage to those past days? Maybe he just happened to look the part. But, I think that perhaps it was as simple as he was a man from California, now living in the Pacific Northwest. He was getting older, maybe about 45 years. He had sandy blonde hair, rather receding in the front and about shoulder length in the back, but he wore it well considering his age. He had a white convertible Mustang from around the early 1990's or so, and he washed it every day. Later, I was able to use his car washing equipment (reluctantly, on his part) to occasionally wash my much prettier green 1976 Mercedes.

All of this is simply my description. Whether or not you can picture the image in your mind properly is not as important as the fact that he was standing on the other side of my door when I opened it.

"Do you have a cup of sugar?" he asked.

I was a little confused, because I was pretty sure it was obvious to my neighbors that I had just moved in. At the time, I was very naive and definitely not street smart. I compensated by being excessively cautious and 'not street stupid.' I definitely told people like it was, when I didn't see any danger in it, and even sometimes when I did.

This was my answer. "No. Why would I have any sugar? I just moved in."

He apologized and admitted that he didn't actually need any, but was looking for an excuse to say hi and welcome me. His name was Gary.

Now I was even more confused. I was raised quite respectably. I was taught that if you wanted to welcome someone to the neighborhood, you came to their door bearing gifts, not the other way around. I was reminded of a silly book I had read as a child, about the three little pigs. The story started with the self-proclaimed 'innocent' wolf asking for a cup of sugar.

He then invited me to a little party he was having at his house with a few of the neighbors. I declined, at first. I was not ready to throw myself into an unknown atmosphere full of strangers. Plus, I didn't know anything about him except for how he looked. What was I to expect? After a bit of convincing, I finally agreed to stop by for a moment. 

I showed up a little late. I wanted to be sure that people were at his place and things were happening over there, across the parking lot, before I arrived. I suppose that Gary should have mentioned that the party was specifically created for me. Apparently, the apartment neighbors weren't accustomed to coming to his place for parties. They were all just anxious to meet their new neighbor: a young 20 year old girl, out in the world for the first time, treading cautiously with every step she took. Me.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lotus Asylum: The Green Steps

The hall seemed to go on and on. I kept walking because I was curious, but more than once I thought about turning around and going back. There was no end to cell doors on the right. I didn't look into all of them. At first I did, and none were empty, but eventually I just wanted to find something new, a new place. There seemed to be no shortage of new places, lately. Why the mundane, now? 

I stopped walking. I looked down at my red shoes, then I looked up toward the long hall of doors. 

I suddenly wondered if maybe there was now nothing behind me, and I had to keep walking. Hesitantly, I slowly glanced behind me. I took a deep breath and sighed. To my relief, the long hall was still behind me. But, I now saw something else that wasn't there before. A wooden staircase, painted green, on the other side of the hall, from the cell doors.

I was intrigued. Things of color were delighting me in this place. This green set of steps were not there before, but I didn't care. I wanted to know what they were and where they would lead. I seemed to be in some kind of game, and I was ready to play. 

I carefully placed my red shoe on the first step, and my shoe turned green to match the stairs. I held it there while I considered whether I should remove it or not. Would it stay green or would it turn back to red? I made my choice by taking another red-shoe-turning step. I pretended not to care, but I did. 

Step after step, I kept walking upwards as the stone hall slowly disappeared.

My shops: Lotus Asylum

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lotus Asylum: The Cell

$150 USD

I found myself in an unfamiliar place, a long, dark hall. The walls and floors were stone and cold to the touch.

Along one side was a long row of doors, with little rectangular windows at eye level, looking into the rooms behind them.

I rested the tips of my fingers on the window ledge of the first door and peered inside. There, I saw her sitting on the floor.

She was tall and slender. With dark brown hair and a demure, poised face, she wore a long purple gown. The purple dress flowed and seemed to twirl and have a life of its own when she moved and walked. 

Her room was dark grey. She sat there against the painted stone walls, a little cold, but trying not to show it. One knee was pulled up and her arm rested on the knee, as though that was simply where it belonged. The other knee was only raised slightly, the other hand, bracing herself against the ground below her waist. Her name was Isabel.

My Links: Lotus Asylum

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lotus Asylum: The Attic

Edited 10-21-13

I walked into my mother's attic. I had known it was there all along, but I never bothered to enter it until now. Was I afraid of what it might contain? I didn't know.

It was a dark mansard space, and nothing was there save a large wooden chest, already opened.

Out of what seemed like thin air came people into the room. None of these were ordinary people. There was something odd about each one. Each was dressed in an elaborate costume, colorful and unique. A short little lady was dressed like a peacock, all blues and greens. Even a peacock plume topped her strange pillbox-like hat. There was a very wide man, who looked as though he should be the ringmaster in a traveling circus. Maybe he was, I didn't know. There were many characters, all of them seeming to be playing a part of some sort. Were they on their way to a stage somewhere to act in a show?

It didn't matter, they all beckoned me to come towards them and look into the chest.

I stepped towards the chest, slowly and cautiously, not sure what I would find. 

Finally, I saw them: old rags and ribbons. Dresses, hats, shoes, and jewels were stuffed in the box. It was like a dream. The Ringmaster said to me, "Who do you wish to be?"

I knew what he meant. It was my moment, it was time. I knew, somehow, that I must choose what part I would play in the great world. The world of the Asylum. The Lotus Asylum.

My links: Lotus Asylum

Other Links: Myriads of Thought

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Providential Accident

175.00 USD
She can be purchased here.

This is me. This is me showing you all of my colors, showing you exactly who and what I am, and the result of who I've become based on one experience that would forever change my life. 

When I was 14 years old, I had just come home from summer camp. I have two brothers, but they were away, doing whatever it is that slightly older brothers did at that time. It was my two parents and me, driving along a winding road, a road that we drove along quite often. It was very close to our house and was a familiar route that we took to get almost anywhere we wanted to go. I was excited, because I had won a free coffee drink certificate at my week of summer camp (what I had done to win it, I'll never remember. Perhaps old friends who were there could remember for me. . . probably not). My parents were happy to have me home, and decided to take me to a pizza place for lunch called Pizzicato, a place I'm not sure if I had ever been to yet at the time, but a yummy place for pizza. I wasn't a big eater at the time, and I was quite picky, but I liked Hawaiian style pizza, with Canadian bacon and pineapple. I was excited. In retrospect, my father says he was going 5 miles over the speed limit, and he regrets this to this day. I could never blame him for this. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to do, which a very rare policeman would ever pull you over for in this city. I still find no fault in this detail. But, we lived in the suburbs, at the time, where many woody areas surrounded our home and the streets we frequented.

I was never a girl who was very aware of her surroundings, I lived in my own head most of the time, carrying those inward conversations with myself, which many (if not all) people do from time to time. I did this often. I was a romantic at heart, and loved to dream during the day. So, my account may not be accurate, but this is how I remember it.

My parents treated me very well, but I longed for something exciting and adventurous to happen. Little did I know that what would happen next would be the answer to that little dream.

Driving along, my parents mentioned that they saw a female deer in middle of the road. I don't recall if my father slowed down or not, but I remember it as though he had. I, with slightly failing vision at the time, couldn't make it out, but saw a rustic old truck barreling toward us. That was what I noticed. He seemed to have something cardboard colored in the bed of his truck, and this is what I was certain was the deer they proclaimed to see. I was even going to prove it. I turned my whole body around and glanced behind so I could see that there were, indeed, cardboard boxes flying out of his truck. But, I had not time to prove it, because, apparently this truck had spooked the deer (which, alas, was there after all), and said deer, came flying in the direction of our car. My father expertly maneuvered the car the best he could, but there was no stopping the inevitable, the deer flew into our car. Darkness shadowed the inside of the car (which I was sure was simply us passing under a thick tree), and eventually a deer had landed on my lap.

That was it. It had landed, there was a mass of deer hair in my mouth, which was quite uncomfortable, but this was not important at the time. Amazingly, the car still worked, and my father drove it into a nearby apartment's parking lot. My eyes were closed, and everything from here and onward was only sounds. I only know what happened based on what I could hear.

It was a beautiful, sunny day on the 3rd of August, in 1997, and there seemed to be at least a few people out and about. My father called to someone to please call 9-1-1. We were all a bit traumatized, but my father seemed to have the most level of heads, having been harmed only with a couple of scratches on his arm, which didn't even require stitches. My amazing father acted as any incredibly level headed person would act, and did what he could, to bring help to his wife and daughter. My mother was in shock (I'm quite sure) and quite injured, as well. As I was apparently also in shock, I felt my head was still working straight, and listened as my mother tried to call 9-1-1. She thought my father was talking to her. He wasn't, and I realized this. But, in 1997, we were quite technologically saavy, and actually had one of those alleged old "brick phones" which was in my mother's purse. She had pulled it out, and mentioned something like, "I'm trying, but I can't get through." Later, it was discovered that she had indeed dialed 9-1-1, but had not hit "send." I (at least thought) I had told my mother something like, "He's not talking to you, mother." Yes, I used to call my mom, "mother." I still do. I find it a rather endearing term.

Soon, someone had opened my door, in the back right seat, who had claimed to be a nurse! What luck. But, as all nurses and even regular folks are trained, pressure should be applied to a wound until emergency help can arrive. Little did she know that, pressure should not have been applied in this particular case, as pressure had been lost in my eye. What had happened, was that some sort of pressure from the windshield glass, and deer, or who knows what, had slammed itself into my right eye, tearing the retina in the back of it. I knew from the moment it had all happened that something was wrong with my eye. But, I didn't know what. I did know, somehow, that I would never again see out of that eye. It just felt wrong. Something was incredibly wrong with that eye.

Still keeping both of my eyes closed, I patiently waited for the ambulance, whose sirens I eventually heard coming. They were such a relief, as I felt so uncomfortable. 

I was expertly transported (it felt magically done, actually) onto a stretcher, and rolled into an ambulance. My clothes were cut off, and I was asked if I felt any other wounds. I was cold, very cold. It felt strange to feel so cold on a warm, summer day. But, there was extra coldness on my hand. So, mentioning such, they noticed that I had deep gashes there, as well.

This is me. This is the accident that changed my life. So many exciting things happened after this day. I had many doctor's visits, surgeries, questions asked, things that were just the way they were. 

This was all okay with me. Eventually, everything was made right. I had my eye removed, and an implant "installed." And while things are generally uncomfortable with this particular circumstance, it was just the way it was.

Well, over time, issues started arising and while it was that time, when a new prosthetic eye should be made, it was discovered that deterioration in the implant was constantly causing infections, for which I was frequently seeing my plastic surgeon about. 

A surgery, a doll. 

Another surgery was necessary. Fifteen years later, it is necessary to have yet another surgery. It is just the way it is. And I'm okay with it. It comes with the lot I've been given in life. I've never been one to begrudge this particular aspect of who I am. It is something I've lived with, and I came to terms with that from the very beginning. 

So. . . my art, being an expression of who I am, and what emotions I often have or see, it seemed only right, that I create a doll while I was healing from this most recent of "medically necessary cosmetic reconstructive surgeries." It went well. I still have a long way to go, what with healing, and more possible surgery, and more eye related "what have yous." 

Here, for your consideration is the process of creating a doll representing me in my current state of who I am, who I've become, and how I feel going through the experiences I am having. Please enjoy.

The doctor put a few stitches in my eyelid, to keep everything in, while it heals, and tissues were happily taken from my tummy to fill in all the empty space around the implant. Thus, the stitches at the tummy area.

Here, I hope I've created the way I looked and felt just out of surgery, not an hour later. See it compared to the real me, below it.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Tiqua and Memories Remembered

Purchase here: Tiqua

Tiqua walked towards him in anticipation. "You look like every boy's fantasy, right now," he told her. She said, "I know."
Tiqua was curious about the laws of nature, and how those boys' brains worked. So, she tried out a stereotype to see what would happen. She was quite amused at the results.

This, in all honesty, is a true story. Do you ever suddenly remember something that you haven't thought about in a very long time, and stop and wonder about that moment for a bit? I do this from time to time. There are little secrets and stories that are things you just don't tell. So, today, I am baring all and being honest and transparent. This is a story that was never told.  

Perhaps there are little small moments in life that you have found yourself lingering at. Might they fit well in a book? Maybe one day, I can put one together that fits all of these little tidbits in a page that might last forever.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Be Proud Of Your Intelligence!

If you have an education and know a bit more than the average man on the street, be proud of your knowledge. Take up some courage. Take pride in the fact that you know how to speak or write properly.

Granted, there is that person that knows what they are saying, but chooses to speak or write in the vernacular. But, should you feel bad for the insult that others may imply that you’re giving because you used a word that they don’t know? No! You should not! I think there is a boldness lacking in this society, where the street smart person has the upper hand because they are more intimidating. Yet, you should not allow this type of person to dictate what you do or how you think. You should stand firm on your ground and know that you have the intellectual property to speak your mind. 

There are also many people that have a political tendency, where they can speak well, but their presence of mind is greatly lacking. Sadly, this has become rampant, because of a bandwagon mentality. Someone says something that sounds deep, and suddenly a multitude is on board. Why is this? Can the general people not think for themselves? So many people tend to take up an idea, without thinking about it, and suddenly believe it, and fall for every aspect of the concept. 

Should you take what you read for granted, and not search for the other side of the story? No! You should not! I wish that more people would take in what they read and think about every side of the concept. Because, it may sound nice, but does it make sense? Ask this question with everything you read! Please do this!

“It’s bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the way of the samurai.  It’s the same for anything else that is called a way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways, and be more in accord with his own.”

Forrest Whitaker – Ghost Dog ( Rashomon – Konjaku Monogatarishu) –

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lotus: Bare and Vulnerable

Lotus has high spirits most of the time. But every now and then she gets a little down about her face. She wonders which is the bigger eyesore: her missing eye, or the eyepatch. Both bring up many questions. She often wonders if her life would have been any different if she hadn't been in that accident when she was a child. Here she is.

This little dolly is a representation of myself. When I was 14 years old, I was in a horrible accident which robbed me of my eye. I found that I was fine with this particular lot of mine, and was no less happy and cheerful because of it. It is a continuing irritation, and even more so as I get older. It's not easy dealing with a fake body part. Artificial never works quite like the real thing, and this brings a general weariness to the art of living. 

Making this little Lotus doll brings to the world the very reason I make these dolls in the first place. They are a means of bringing my own emotions, feelings, and shortcomings to the table. A way of getting everything that is tucked away in my soul, out in the open, for anyone to see. Lotus doesn't wish for any pity, although she will not hate you for having it. All she wants is a little understanding, and possibly an awareness of what can be out there, in this big scary world. 

Take care, my dear friends, and make something for yourself, if you possibly can. It does wonders for the soul.

Lotus Asylum

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Maude, and Judging People

This little dolly, Maude, came to me last night. She told me all about her continuing struggles. She tells me that she has a hard time seeing herself in the mirror. She has no problem understanding other people. Why can't she understand herself? I suggested that quite possibly, she is blinded by her need to judge everyone else's behavior. Just a thought. . . here she is.

She brought something to my mind, though. I cringed at the sound of my voice using the word "judge" in such a way. You see, I have this odd way of thinking. I hold certain points of view (just like anyone), but am so irritated by people who use such points of views, as a sort of thoughtless pedestal to stand on. It's like a bandwagon way of thinking and. . . phrasing thoughts? Maybe it's that I have this feeling that many people are saying "the right thing," but are just spouting what they've heard. Maybe it's possible they wouldn't hold this point of view, had no one ever told them about it. . . and they sure have a way of saying it the same way everyone else says it. 

This is how I feel about the word "judge." See, it has every bit of a place in the court of law, where actual judges preside, and judging must take place. But, not every opinion or point of view is a judgment. I find that many people are often so quick to say, "don't judge." When really, perhaps that person held no judgements of the other. They simply had an opinion (which last I heard we are all more than welcome to have) about life. . . which happened to coincide with someone else's life, thoughts, words, choices, etc. 

I suppose I'm saying: why must a moral opinion be considered a judgement of others? And in fact, even if it is one. . . why is "judging" always held so negatively? The very same people who would say "don't judge" would also express their horror at a person only suspected of rape and murder. What is it with this trend of insisting that everyone's morals be alike?

Don't get me started on the phrase, "Safety First!!" You see, I believe in being safe, and even in keeping it pretty high on one's mind. But, the fact that so many people remind and caution you to be safe (as if we could forget about the dangers our lives might face) in this same little hashed out phrase, "Safety First," irritates me. And probably making your voice go up at the end, and wagging your little finger condescendingly. . . is that it? Do I find it condescending? Who knows. I just think, "Be careful," is more than fine. 

One thing we do know is I have some major problems when it comes to watching people behave in these ways, alongside so many others behaving the same way. This is the first time I've ever publicly voiced these thoughts, that I can recall. I'll stop here. 

Thank you for letting me rant on this topic under the guise of showing you my newest doll.  ; )

Lotus Asylum