Friday, September 10, 2010

Today, I am shipping off my first ever commissioned Fascinator. A college acquaintance requested an item from me, and I am super happy to say I'm proud of how it turned out. Hopefully this is the first of many.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I am terrible at blogging.

I'm terrible at blogging. There. It's out. The big secret. I cannot self-promote if my life depends on it.

And I'm coming to a point where I realize that that's kind of important. I work primarily in the arts. I'm looking to promote an Etsy site. (Provided I ever actually begin regularly producing pieces for said Etsy site) I... aspire to be as well-known a burlesque dancer as Dita VonTeese.
(Again, this would be great, provided I was actually *dancing* burlesque)

I am a collection of half-finished projects, stalled at the gate by some unknown apathy. My dreams are immense, and yet I cannot find it in myself to GET OUT THERE AND DO.

I know that, inside me, somewhere, there *has* to be a well, a font of inspiration and beauty and energy and drive. There has to be. How else have I survived these nearly 24 years?

The irony is, if I make a to-do list for the day, I get everything accomplished. But at this point, I'm too lazy even to make those lists.

...On the bright side, I'm awaiting a shipment of very high-quality feathers, so I can kick myself into gear with the fascinators. If I'm not mistaken, I'll be getting them any day now. ^_^

Monday, July 26, 2010

One step forward...

Not quite two steps back.

I'm so horribly unmotivated.

...I suffer from a chronic lack of motivation, really. It's a terrible attitude to have where, if activities require any sort of effort, they aren't worth doing. Because they *are* worth doing. Plain and simple.

And yet something keeps me glued to one spot and unable to get up and do anything else. Some secret unhappiness, some hidden insecurity, concealed self-loathing holds me.

And that's that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Well... So much for accountability, right?

Maybe I just need the right amount of fits and starts before I get puttering along for real.

I've been thinking a lot about Etsy. I started a shop. At this point, I'm not going to even bother linking, as there's really nothing in it. You can either sit in suspense, or stalk me and find it yourself, if you really want to know. ^_^ I'll give you a hint, it's called The Raven's Nest, due to my perpetual obsession with feathers and shiny objects.

I have a "garden" out back of the house. Just two big rubbermaid tubs growing potatoes and green beans. The one bean plant that survived half-drowning and being eaten by neighborhood rabbits has beans already. I'm kind of proud of it for succeeding, after I had basically given up on everything. I need a more focused plan for gardening... and I need a house and an environment that I'm really invested in.

After four months of unemployment, I finally cashed in on a job. I work in a high-end men's salon downtown. I go to work in a penthouse every day. It's... interesting. Not where I thought I'd end up, and not among people I ever thought I'd be around, but it's teaching me a little. A little about good customer service, and a little about business. Which is a good thing, since I know almost nothing about business.

I often think of myself in terms of Thomas Edison. Edison was a brilliant inventor, but when it came to marketing himself and his inventions, he was a total failure. Electricity would never have taken off, if he hadn't let Henry Ford take care of his marketing. Now that's something to think about.

I feel like I have all sorts of ideas swimming around in me, all sorts of creative endeavors waiting to burst through the surface. And I've been holding myself back. I'm afraid to make that leap. Afraid of being rejected. So paralyzed, I can't even look at the bags of feathers I own.

Part of it is an utter lack of inspiration. The materials I currently have to work with are cheap, and so the end product becomes cheap. I've been saving via PayPal for awhile, to come up with an investment in some nice quality feathers, but the real issue is me just jumping in head first, and to hell with everything else.

...In completely unrelated news, if anyone knows a fairly quick way to cut the shank off a button (or multiple buttons), I'd be super grateful. I tried hacking at one with an X-acto, but I was probably more likely to take off a finger than ever get the shank off the button. I use buttons quite frequently in my designs, and the ones with larger shanks really become difficult to place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So... I just haven't been posting lately.
I've been inordinately busy. My newest show opened last Saturday, and so if I wasn't in the theatre, I was shopping for props, or printing paperwork at the kinkos, or eating garbage fast food, or sleeping.

I am still without the coveted day-job, which puts me in a precarious place anymore. I have about a month's worth of money left, and if I don't get a job in the next three weeks or so, then I think I'll have to pack up and leave here for good.

I've had a good feeling about some of the interviews I've been on lately, but I'm not holding my breath. After all, I've had probably fifty first interviews, only one second interview (though I have another scheduled for this week) and obviously nothing further than that. I'm trying not to think about it too much, because I don't think I could deal with it if I did think about it.

There's nothing for me back in Michigan. Nothing. Here I have a social life, I have theatre, I have burlesque. I have people who want to take my picture. I have a feeling of significance. I have a garden that is just waiting for me to be able to take it outside and really let it grow.

And the best part of all of this is that since I've been doing all this theatre, I'm so rejuvinated. The days that I have free, I just want to do EVERYTHING. I want to knit, I want to read, I want to go out, I want to see things and do things. I'm not exhausted all the time anymore. I have a will to do, and I'm so frustrated that I can't go out and attack some job with this ferocity that I have inside me.

Just think. If they loved me at my last job, when I was an exhausted zombie all the time, whoever gets me next is going to be ecstatic. I just CAN'T WAIT to tackle something, to get something accomplished. To do something worthwhile. I just wish that someone, anyone could see that.

...On a separate note, I have some potatoes sprouting merrily in pots, waiting until I can get a big rubbermaid to transplant them into for the summer. One onion (it was the last one in a bag I bought, guilty.) some peas and some green beans are all started too. I'm experimenting. Testing my resolve. I want to see if I really have what it takes to actually tend to a garden by myself. I mean... I typically just ignore my plants and whatever happens, happens. But I'd like to take a more active role in raising them, as well as getting something that I think is tasty out of it. And nothing is quite as tasty as homegrown veggies.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rough patch

I think, mostly, that this is just that time I come to every so often, where I can't help but look at my life and despair. Don't get me wrong, I've come a long way in a very short time. Since January, I've realized a lot of things I never would have dreamed possible for me, are in fact feasible. Once I got out of bed, dusted myself off, and looked around at what I could do with all this time I've been blessed with (due in no small part to my utter UNEMPLOYMENT...) I got straight to work making my life as awesome as possible. I went on two professional photoshoots, a dream of mine since High School, watching ANTM and being terribly jealous that I would never be model height.

I'm smack in the middle of rehearsals for my first-ever Equity production. I'm nabbing 12 weeks worth of work toward joining the union that I so desperately want to be a part of one day. And I'm making loads of friends/contacts/what-have-you in the process.

I've done a couple of burlesque shows... Which is something I would be doing anyways, but I really packed them in over the last two months, any time I had a free weekend. I really love being a part of the community.

And, last but not least, I went and reconnected with some folks who I had assumed wouldn't really want to reconnect with me... and to better results than I might have imagined!

And though reaffirming all this to myself here makes me feel a modicum of peace, the terror of my life still nags at the back of my brain. I have NO MONEY. and I have NO JOB. I've gone on three interviews over the course of the last ten days, and NO ONE HAS CALLED ME BACK.

I cannot express how useless, incompetent, and unwanted that makes me feel. I know, logically, that the economy is just in a terrible place, and that I'm lucky to even be getting interviews in the field I've been applying in, considering my experience is nil. But I feel like the Universe at large is just ignoring my plaintive cry. I'm HUNGRY. I buy groceries once a month, I've been cutting back on *what* I eat. I haven't had anything beyond basic staples for months.
I have *needs*. My printer died this month, which means I now have to go to Kinkos and shell out twenty bucks every few days, to print all the paperwork that I *have* to have for my show. My computer's getting older. I need to put gas in my car to even *get* to rehearsal.

And all of this just sounds like whining to me. I feel like I should buck up, tighten my belt, and soldier on, but the fact of the matter is, I get three hundred dollars a month from the state of Illinois, and my rent is twice that.

And I love this city. I don't want to pack up at the end of my show and move home. I don't want to say goodbye to Chicago at the dawn of June, when life is just filtering back into the world, when I can start going to the park again and sitting in the grass and reading. I don't want to go back home and live in the room in the back of my parents' house, and work in retail until I can scrape together enough cash to go somewhere else. This city is full of possibilities for me, and I'm not ready to have to leave them.

I just need the damn universe to throw me a bone.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still alive

I've been flying rather under the radar lately. Not really intentionally, but I've been quite busy. The usual compliment of job interviews, coupled with some of my first professional photo shoots, a full-time rehearsal schedule, and just a little bit of MacGyver have monopolized my time lately.

Hopefully, the next several days will get me back to some sort of equilibrium, timewise, and I'll be able to fill you in a little more on what's been happening here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

An Update

Hello, hello.
Um. Not much has been going on here. I closed one show on Valentines' Day, and was settling into a life comprised of getting up late, scouring Craigslist for job postings, and elbowing my way into as many Burlesque gigs as I could fit into my indefinite break.

Well. It is my pleasure to tell you that, as of today, though still *technically* unemployed, I have gotten myself another show. An Equity production. Yes, I've managed to secure myself a position working alongside the coveted Actors' Equity Association. A foothold toward becoming a union stage manager. A foothold toward working in places like, oh, BROADWAY.

I won't get there for a long, long time, if ever. But this is a strong and definite step in the right direction.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Every few years I experience a particularly intense urge to have plants. It mostly comes out of the desire to have a small, fuzzy animal to take care of, but not having the space or funds to support and feed said fuzzy animal at that particular time. So I usually acquire vegetable plants instead.

Soon, the Lincoln Square farmers' market will be starting up again, and I'll have my pick of any number of homegrown seedlings. The question is; what will I keep this year?

Assuming I'll have a job in the next few weeks (because that very much affects what I do with the garden, or even what state I'll be gardening in), I would like to get my usual pot or two of cayenne peppers started up. (They were stupidly allowed to wither last year, thanks to me being dumb and leaving the horticulture to my roommate) But I am thinking I might also want to pick up some heirloom tomatoes (or just tomatoes, period.)

I have been grossly malnourished over the past several months, due to the fact that, well, I have no job. And so, right now, my lack of fresh food is appalling to me. I'm not even sure what I would do with tomatoes, as I don't particularly like them, but I'm sure I can pawn them off on my roommate, or integrate them into *something.*

I would also like to try my hand at growing potatoes, something I have not tried since my family planted one or two as an experiment when I was a child.

Lastly, english peas, as I recall my childhood neighbors having a vine of them in their backyard, and the little neighbor girl and I used to shell and eat them right off the vine many years ago.

Of course, if I had my way, all this would be supplemented with yellow onions, garlic, and corn at the very least, because I adore each of these things. (and my roommate uses a literal head of garlic in every single thing she cooks. Every day. Ever.) But I really, seriously doubt I have the space for any of these things, since our backyard is A) about 12 feet square and B) we have to share it with the upstairs neighbors. Such is life in a city.

The backyard is sunny and wonderful, but not in any of the places I want to dig up and use. So I'll likely be container planting the peppers and tomatoes. I have a spot picked out for a trellis of peas, against the garage, and... god help me if I figure out what to do with these potatoes, but I just kind of want to chuck them in a rubbermaid with some dirt and see what happens.

But, yes. In a fabulously perfect world, I would be blessed with all the bounty I could handle, and I would somehow know exactly what to do with it all. As it stands, I'm using this as experiment number one: Will I actually take care of the green things in my yard? The idea of supplementing my diet (and my wallet!) with food that I've grown myself is awfully attractive, but my resources are woefully thin, and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to take the plunge. But it's now or never, I suppose, if I want to live a little more responsibly, and a little healthier as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh crud, I've been tagged!

I got tagged to do this over at A City Chicken Farm. Evidently, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. ^_^ I've been reading and following a lot of new blogs lately, and I spent a good portion of last night reading through hers.

The rules are:

Answer the questions with one word, then pass it along to 5 other bloggers.

Have fun!

Your Cell Phone? red

Your Hair? red!

Your Mother? worries

Your Father? wonderful

Your Favorite Food? POTATOES

Your Dream Last Night? horses

Your Favorite Drink? water

Your Dream/Goal? chickens

What Room Are You In? bedroom

Your Hobby? Burlesque

Your Fear? ladders

Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Theatre

Where Were You Last Night? Here

Something That You Aren't? defeated


Wish List Item? Pullips!

Where Did You Grow Up? Detroit

Last Thing You Did? email

What Are You Wearing? Bracelets?

Your TV? nonexistant

Your Pets? Facebook :/

Friends? Jersey

Your Life? improving

Your Mood? sore

Missing Someone? sometimes

Vehicle? Justin!

Something You Aren't Wearing? Pants

Your Favorite Store? Express

Your Favorite Color? Teal

When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Yesterday

Last Time You Cried? days

Your Best Friend? Dan

One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Moody

Facebook? Yup

Twitter? ravenwcatz

Favorite Place To Eat? Olgas!

The question is, who do I tag?
1. Cottleston Pie and Then Some
2. Style Assault
3. StarSquigglyStar
4. Not Your Typical Journey
5. Oh Snap

Some of you follow me and will know what the hell I'm talking about. Some of you might stumble by wondering "who the hell is this person, following me?" Either way, DO IT. You know you want to.

...Now for some breffast.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thinking out loud

In the glow of having a zOMG NEW BLOG, (and having never had one before) I've been spending a fair bit of time cruising around, checking out other people's blogs, looking at the things other people do, the goals they have, and what they write about. And I've discovered a few things.

1) the idea of having babies is completely foreign to me, and runs contrary to my instincts.
This has nothing to do with my main point, but, it's still valid. I just don't understand the need to have babies. (Ok, I understand the need to have babies. But... there are seven or eight billion people on this planet, humanity will get along just fine without my particular offspring.)

2) My goals are starting to solidify.
I don't really know how I stumbled to the conclusion that I wanted what I want. I was just horribly depressed and suddenly chickens sounded like a good idea. They don't require a fabulous amount of space, they provide you with fresh eggs, and they're fun to watch. But at the same time, I have a career I've worked toward. Stage Management is fulfilling for me. That misplaced mother instinct (as evidenced by numero eins up there) rests on my actors instead. I want nothing more than to care for my company, and serve them well during whatever production I might be working on. Lastly, I have one very rewarding hobby, and I'm working at developing a few more. Burlesque is rewarding to me. There's nothing like spending the evening in the company of women who are beautiful simply because they believe they're beautiful. I'm cultivating a stamina for knitting, I'd like to do the same for sewing. I'd like to be able to make good quality things for myself and for others, someday.

And I don't think that I should have to pick and choose my dreams. I don't understand why I can't get up in the morning, feed my chickens, work during the day at making things for others, then spend my nights alternately keeping the stage or taking my clothes off. I don't understand why living in a city means I have to be content with what the Jewel offers me to eat. Why can't I sustain myself? It's becoming more of a question of sustaining myself, nourishing myself, not only with good, fresh foods, but also with stimulating activity, things that interest me and energize me.

So my goals are becoming clearer. Now I get to start the research. I'm a city girl, living in Chicago, but a Detroit expat. I know nothing about crop rotation, or what I could even put in the space I'll likely have. I will need to learn how to be creative with space. I'll need to learn to use what I have, instead of ignoring it in the name of "whatever I feel like." I need to learn to depend on myself.

Monday, February 8, 2010


...and, in some cases, a little bit of regress.

Progress comes with a variety of faces. And sometimes, a little regress is welcome too.
I have been continuing with my goal of knitting daily, and I have put out three blanket squares in (I believe) less than three weeks. What took me months to do before, I've done in a matter of weeks, and there's a fair bit of pride in me to realize that my actions have tangible results.

Progress, too, has been made in the realm of my personal existence. I discovered earlier in the week that a boy with whom I have a long and arduous past has recently gotten himself a Facebook, after years of adamantly denying he would ever have one. Upon a quick overview of the place (something that it pains me even to admit having done) I have discovered that, in fact, he is still the same boy I demanded leave my life a year ago this month. And it is becoming clear to me now, in ways that somehow eluded me for the previous FIVE YEARS, that this separation is exactly what I need. And that I need to concentrate on what I've done and accomplished.
Yes, this past year has been insanely rough for me without his presence, but I've done so damn much. I moved to a new city. I lived on my own. I've stumbled through a series of more or less successful jobs. I've Stage Managed two professional shows. And I've discovered the Burlesque community, a group of amazing, empowering, ridiculously sexy women who inspire me to find the beauty in myself and flaunt it mercilessly.
And what has he done? Stayed, to my knowledge, in the same apartment. Worked a circuit of Ren. Fairs. Fucked a lot of stupid young girls who didn't know better. In short, the same damn thing he's been doing, pretty much since I met him.

One day our paths will cross again, I am fair certain of it. (or maybe I just still hope, foolishly) But if they don't... then it is my stalwart goal to become the heir to the Burlesque throne, be beautiful, poised, graceful, and self-assured. And leave him to wonder just why it was that he thought I was no better than a doormat to be used up and flung out into the rain.

...And as for the regression I spoke of at the beginning of this post, it comes in the form of an old friend, or maybe just an old fandom. A marathon of Stargate: SG-1 reruns yesterday made me think about my early college days, when such events were a weekly occurrance. How different I was then. I used to take time out of each day to recognize the beauty of the world around me. I lived slowly and thoughtfully. I watched the stars, walked in the rain, and meditated frequently.

I feel as though that might be a touchstone for me. Something to get back to. And if it takes a marathon of Stargate now and again to remind me... then so be it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Monies. Something I don't have right now. But. Things are looking up.

I never want to go into too much detail regarding who I might be talking with, or anything like that. They say everyone can read everything on the internet. And even though the chances of anyone pertinent stumbling upon my humble little blog are relatively slim...

Suffice to say that opportunity has been cropping back up here in Chicago. Which is good. I think I'd like to stay in Chicago a little while longer yet. I seem to have quite a bit of unfinished business here, and I'd like to wrap things up nicely before I bid the midwest farewell.

On the other hand, with increased opportunities comes a decrease in sleeping when I'd like to. I've been spoiled with these last few months, sleeping whenever I will. My natural sleep schedule seems to dictate I go to bed at two and get up somewhere around noon. Unfortunately, this is unsuitable to my current, and very much necessary, 9 to 5 lifestyle. One day I'll be able to sleep in blissfully late. But that day is not today. LeSigh.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The 30 day plan

Like him or hate him, Josef Stalin had at least one good idea. The five-year plan. He laid out, in five year blocks, goals designed to push Russia through the Industrial Revolution and into the 2oth century. And he did it.

And I'm going to do the same thing. On a smaller scale.

It only takes, as I'm sure you've heard, 21 days to make a habit. So... I'm going to round that up to an even month, and have a go at it. I'm going to spend the next few months doing *something* every day, until I just do it every day out of habit.

This month is knitting. Even if I only knit one row, I will knit every single day in February. I'll finish a whole lot of my unfinished projects that way.

Hopefully, after a few months, I'll have a whole slate of things that I love to do, that aren't just clicking away mindlessly at my computer.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Welcome to my... life, I guess.
I've been someone who has wanted a blog for many years, but could never think of what to blog about. My life was never the kind I thought would be interesting to other people. And, indeed, it wasn't. It isn't. As it stands right now, I am 23, broke, and living in the big city. I don't go out with friends, I have no serious hobbies, and I am a shameless internet addict.


I have a goal. By the time I am 35 years old, I want to live the life I've so far only dreamed of. I want to own a home, an urban farmstead. I want to escape the daily grind of 9to5, and live solely off the profits of my real passion (professional theatre) and whatever hobbies might crop up along the way.

And I'm treating the next twelve years as an experiment in getting there. Because I not only need to work hard, if I plan to live outside the world of financial security, but I also need to cultivate the sense of self that I somehow lost along the way to this point.

You will probably find all sorts of nonsense here in the future. Musings on my progress, admonishments for not moving along as I planned. Insights as to how exactly I'm accomplishing what I have. It will probably be two parts artistic ramblings and one part financial woes. And you might even get to hear about my not-wedding, if that happens as I suspect it might.
So... join me. Maybe my journey won't be quite as straight as the crow flies. But... We'll get there.