Saturday, September 24, 2011

Goodbye to you!

Maybe I'm part vampire.

I loathe the sun. The summer heat saps my energy and the humidity makes me nauseous.

When June arrived, I kept telling myself if I can just make it through the next several months I'll be okay. Working multiple jobs and being tired all the time becomes even worse when Chicago summers hit.

It's about a twenty-minute walk to the crafts store I work at and then another 20 minutes from there to my city job. People would give me odd looks (like I was a martian) for wearing my hooded jacket on those 90-degree days to help block out the harsh sunlight.

It was NOT fun!

But that's all changed now. For you see yesterday marked the first day of Autumn.

Gone are the packed trains with families going to every museum. No more youngsters taking over the Loop now that school is back in session. Gone are the concerts, festivals, and parades drawing all those crowds. And the drunk Cubs fans--ugh!--good riddance!

Now when I visit Buckingham Fountain the tourists are mostly gone and I have it all to myself.

No more humidity, intense heat, or burning sun to seek shelter from....and I couldn't be happier!

Bring on those foggy mornings and cool, cloudy days. Gray skies that could rain at any moment.

Ahh, how I LOVE fall weather.....

So here's a little song for you, summer. I won't miss you one bit.

Goodbye to you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two becomes three.....

I must be crazy but I wanted to try. To see if I can handle it.

Last week I mentioned being offered a job at a university downtown and needing to decide which of my current part-time jobs to ditch.


I decided to keep all three!!

You see, even though the university job pays more, it's just two nights a week, so by requesting those be my two days off from the crafts store and some slight tweaking with my city job's schedule, I'd only be working two jobs per day.

Three jobs are a lot to take on at once but I think it's doable.

I had to give up Thursdays again and will be working EVERY day from now on once I officially start the college job this week.

There will be very little time for my art but that's just the way it'll be....for now. If it proves to be too much I can easily drop the arts-and-crafts store.

While waiting for my train into the city the other day, I saw a piece of cracked glass on the platform. The splinters reflected the light, almost like a violent spider web.

I felt how that piece of glass looked. It was shattered yet still intact--still functioning.

God willing, I can make it through this new workload....without breaking into multiple pieces!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Don't forget what good can do.

At first glance I thought it had been vandalized. Upon closer inspection I realized it was anything but.....

I had shown this little garden space, an extension of Columbia College, on a Wordless Wednesday post back in May.

It's been transformed into something special.

Loosely tied to tree branches and metal railings, were strips of fabric with messages written on them, blowing in the prayer flags, all to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

A large banner with markers and blank fabric strips encouraged passersby to share their thoughts, fears, and hopes about that day.

Many of the messages talked about wanting peace, safety for our troops, and their overall experiences of the the event.

"I remember not knowing exactly what was happening," one cloth read, "but realizing it was something BAD."

I found this to be a simple yet very profound art installation.

It wasn't some meaningless still life or abstract painting. Here was art in its BEST form--bringing people together to share parts of themselves. To connect with something far bigger than just you or me. That's what I want for my art too.

On this day it's so easy to focus on all the devastation that occurred 10 years ago. The lives lost, the fear, the chaos that ensued. But we must also remember how our nation came together afterwards, the support, and the countless volunteers that emerged.

The positive things people have done since then like this tribute outside the college.

So before heading off to work earlier this morning, I filled out a fabric strip as well and tied it with the others in the trees.

My message read, "Don't forget what GOOD can do."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I've prayed for so long for something better to come my way--for a chance and this might be it.

I went on a job interview a few weeks ago and was notified yesterday that I got the position!

What exciting news!

It's a clerical position at a well-known university in the heart of the Loop. Literally a block from my city job. So convenient!

It's part-time, just two nights a week but it pays a bit more than my other jobs. Plus I've known two people who've worked there that have advanced up within a year's time, so there's definitely opportunity and room for growth.

Even though it's only 10 hours a week at least my foot is in the door now should something full-time open up.

I'm grateful yet stressed. It's been an overwhelming past couple of days. So much to think about.

Now I have to decide which one of my current jobs to get rid of (if not both). God knows I hate the crafts store yet I'm so tired of the city job too. Both have their pros and cons. I just don't want to make the wrong choice.

My, my, my. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

If flowers could talk.

They indeed have lives of their own--albeit short ones. From their unique perspective they must've seen it all.

Lately I've been taking pics of flowers in the city for my next batch of photo-postcards and wondered what stories these blooms could tell.

These flowers, like people, are at different stages in their lives. Here are the ones that caught my eye:

This resonated with me the most.

A fallen sunflower, lost and isolated.

Coneflowers, withered and spent now that summer is losing its grip.

Two lone daisies nestled together by a recent rainstorm. One protecting the other.

This flower was gone the next day.

A commanding hibiscus, alone yet independent and growing upward.

A rosebud symbolizing new growth.

Different trials and tribulations to go through. Circumstances to accept and change.

Funny how mother nature can mirror our own lives, wouldn't you say?

Ah, the things we'd learn if flowers could talk.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursdays are mine!

I got to sleep in today. I never thought I'd say that again.

Three weeks ago I mentioned the store manager at the crafts store I work at insisted I give up my only day off from both jobs.

Well last week the district manager (who oversees several stores) gathered all the associates together and informed us the store manager had been "let go".

Oh, how the tables have turned!

So I simply asked the assistant store manager if I could have my Thursdays back.

"I don't see why that's a problem," she said.

And *poof* Thursdays became my day off once more!

Oh yeah!

It's a bittersweet victory. All of the original managers who were mean to me have either transferred, left, or were fired.

Their replacements have all been much nicer and more helpful.

And yet this week marks a year since I've been working there. My God, a year. I still dislike that job very much. Though it's gotten better it's still very stressful and wears me down A LOT.

I keep hoping that something better comes along but instead time just keeps passing me by.

*exhausted sigh*