Monday, December 31, 2012

Reviewing the year!

My blood, sweat, and tears just for you.

Every entry painstakingly categorized.

Yes, it's that time. Time for the annual blog archive!

Below you'll find ALL of the posts for this year.

A divine way for those new to my blog to get caught up or for the regulars to catch a post you might have missed.

Let's go!


(1-2-12) Three becomes two.
(1-7-12) Fun with cats!
(1-11-12) Wordless Wednesday - Monroe Harbor in the morning.
(1-15-12) We failed at love.
(1-18-12) Buying myself always.
(1-22-12) Happy Anniversary...
(1-28-12) It only takes a moment.....


(2-1-12) Wordless Wednesday - The corner of Arlington and Clark Street
(2-4-12) Cutting hours.
(2-8-12) Wordless Wednesday - The corner of St. James and Clark Street
(2-14-12) From me.....
(2-19-12) Wearing color!
(2-22-12) I'm not happy.
(2-29-12) Erasing love.....


(3-4-12) Happy Birthday, Chicago!!
(3-9-12) Recognition!
(3-16-12) Like a phoenix.
(3-22-12) Something all her own.....
(3-27-12) Mornings and nights.
(3-31-12) Worm.


(4-4-12) Wordless Wednesday - Juliet of Verona (in the rain) at Navy Pier
(4-7-12) Magic paper!
(4-13-12) Endure.
(4-18-12) Wordless Wednesday - "Please stand by ME" (Van Buren Street Train Station)
(4-26-12) Coming out of hibernation.
(4-29-12) Losing Maria.....


(5-1-12) The day after.
(5-8-12) I could care less.
(5-9-12) Wordless Wednesday - Dead pigeon on 11th Street
(5-17-12) Losing Johanna.....
(5-18-12) Seattle, here I come!
(5-25-12) Taken by Seattle.....
(5-30-12) Wordless Wednesday - Last week's trip to Seattle!


(6-3-12) Justin Bieber and coffee!
(6-11-12) Not creating art...again.
(6-12-12) Time to fly.
(6-17-12) In the meantime.....
(6-20-12) Burn out already!
(6-22-12) Monster.
(6-25-12) A good day to die.
(6-30-12) Does anything ever stay the same?


(7-7-12) Color therapy!
(7-15-12) Almost mine.
(7-21-12) A chance.
(7-27-12) Reconnecting with Seattle.....
(7-29-12) Putting a smile on someone's face.


(8-6-12) It's a girl!
(8-8-12) Wordless Wednesday - "Hello" (cardboard along Roosevelt Rd)
(8-11-12) Losing Sujin.....
(8-15-12) Wordless Wednesday - Buckingham Fountain in the rain
(8-19-12) Not meant to be.....
(8-25-12) Dean Facts!
(8-29-12) Two years.


(9-2-12) Carnations!
(9-10-12) Glitter Cross!
(9-15-12) For rent.
(9-20-12) A year already!
(9-23-12) Butterfly in half.


(10-1-12) Golden Chocolate Orgasm
(10-7-12) Appreciation in bloom!
(10-10-12) Wordless Wednesday - LOVE(D) (The alley behind Altgeld St. and Wayne Ave.)
(10-16-12) Lost and found...and mine!
(10-21-12) Anxiety into color.
(10-24-12) Wordless Wednesday - The Rock-a-By Lady (at Lincoln Park Zoo)


(11-3-12) Small thanks.
(11-7-12) Wordless Wednesday - Two red cones (Van Buren Street Train Station)
(11-11-12) Forgotten nude!
(11-14-12) Wordless Wednesday - "Antigonish" (on the corner of Clark St. and Roosevelt Rd.)
(11-19-12) Bow Boy!
(11-21-12) Wordless Wednesday - Seagram's Vodka (along Roosevelt Rd.)
(11-25-12) Disappointed.
(11-28-12) Climb.


(12-4-12) It's almost like going home.
(12-8-12) I'm not giving up on love.....
(12-10-12) That much closer.
(12-12-12) Wordless Wednesday - Last month's trip to Seattle (cameo by Hugo)
(12-19-12) Cheating on Chicago.
(12-26-12) Wordless Wednesday - The corner of Wabash and Roosevelt Rd.
(12-31-12) Reviewing the year!

I couldn't help but look at all I went through while organizing this blogpost.

Losing love at the beginning of the year, growing closer with my coworkers at the crafts store, and of course, starting my love affair with Seattle.

Who knows what the new year will bring but I do hope it'll be AMAZING for everyone!

See you all next year!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cheating on Chicago.

I'm blessed to live in this city. Chicago will always be my home. My first love. But...I'm starting to stray.

Now when I'm walking down the streets in the Loop, I'm thinking of elsewhere. Wanting something much more than what I've always known.

I keep comparing one city against the other. Seattle versus Chicago.

The cloud cover isn't the same and the light is different here. Here the sun's harsh and intense and stings. In Seattle it's often soft and diffused.

In Chicago the rain comes down fast and heavy but is short-lived. There the rain descends light and a passionate kiss.


Seattle aglow at night!

There's not a lot of opportunity in Illinois. It seems so hard to find decent work. If I should be offered a position in Washington, why not take it? Otherwise I might be working here at the crafts store for several more years.

Seattle isn't perfect though. There are things I don't like about that city--but the same could easily be said of Chicago. Both have their pros and cons.

Beautiful Chicago!

My life sort of went back to the way it was upon my return home two weeks ago. But I mustn't forget my time in Seattle. I mustn't.

It's on my mind constantly. The obsessive part of me won't rest until I have it. IT calls to a lover.

Forgive me, my dear Chicago--I think my heart belongs someplace else now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

That much closer.

It had been such a long, overwhelming week. Returning from my trip to Seattle only to go back to the stresses of work at the crafts store.

This feeling of falling behind and never having enough time--or sleep.

It's enough to make me cry...and I did.

But this weekend changed all that. HR contacted me on Saturday in regards to the qualifying interview I had late last month in Seattle.

I passed!

When I heard the news I clenched my fists and shut my eyes. This rush of fear and excitement and vindication warmed me.

It's like all of my determination and desire and hard work towards getting to Seattle is finally starting to pay off.

Now I have a full year to apply to upcoming, staff-only positions within this city department as they're made available to me.

I'll still be competing against other candidates and there's no guarantee I'll get hired but this makes me that much closer to getting in. To going back to stay.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm not giving up on love.....

For Steven,

Thanks for everything.

(((HUGS))) and *kisses*

"I know you're feeling restless
Like life's not on your side
It's weighing heavy on your mind

But when we stand united
Our hearts, they beat in time
I know we'll make it all alright

Let's bring it back to you and me
There's no one else around
Don't get lost in gravity

'Cause I want you to hold me now
Nothing else matters
It's just the two of us

And if it all falls down
Nothing else matters
You know we're strong enough

I'm not giving up
I'm not giving up on us
I said, I'm not giving up
I'm not giving up on love."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's almost like going home.

Most of the week was chilly, with no sun in sight, and it rained off and on every day I was there.


I returned late last night from my trip to Seattle and my time there was wonderful.

The interview went well too and afterwards I was determined to make the most of my remaining time.

While taking pictures along the waterfront, I spotted a glove dangling from a tree. A children's glove resembling a beaver! 

I plucked it from the barren branches and took it to my hotel room, carefully washing it in the bathroom sink.

A perfect souvenir from the Emerald City!

Even though I didn't see as much as I did during my first visit, this time the focus was on meeting new people and building existing friendships. Oh, and I got kissed too!

Hee hee hee.

The thought of leaving made me cry a few times during my stay but I'm CERTAIN I'll be back.

Every time I go to Seattle it becomes more and more familiar. The bond becomes stronger. And's almost like going home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Climb To move oneself upward; ascend.

I'm so scared to go back there again and I don't know why.

Gray, rainy skies, the waterfront, and Mount Rainier will all be waiting for me. (Just typing that last sentence has made me smile).

Later this morning I fly out to Seattle. This'll be my third time visiting there.

I have another interview with the same city department I interviewed for during the summer.

This time though it's not for a job. If I pass the interview, I'll be allowed to apply for future positions only available to staff and not open to the public. The exclusive access would bolster my chances of getting in there one day.

I'll be staying in Seattle for almost a week, so after the interview I'll have several days to explore and relax and recharge.

It'll be a much-needed getaway as I've been working non-stop it seems all this year.

But I feel rushed or like I'm not ready. Maybe it's my nerves getting the better of me.

What if I don't like it there this time? What if I do?

My insides are trembling but there's no turning back now. Now there's only Seattle.

Climb, Dean. Climb.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Disappointed adj. Saddened by the failure of an expectation; frustrated. n. The prevention of fulfillment.

I'm tired of looking and tired of not looking.

Always getting my hopes up, only to be let down every time.

I've gone on several dates these past couple months but there just wasn't anything there worthwhile. And I rejoined a dating site back in the springtime but haven't had much luck with that either.

Might as well be invisible.

I've been told not to pick just anyone but then I never meet a man of that caliber. If I always hold out and wait, how will I gain any relationship experience? I feel like I'll make all my mistakes when the right one comes along...which will make it not so right.

Markers in Moleskine journal - (NFS)

When will I find someone to kiss me again, to hold me, to love me, to fuck me?

Will I ever find love that lasts?

I want someone faith-driven with values and strong morals. An attractive, wonderful man looking for love and commitment. NOT something "casual" or an open relationship or someone who thinks there's nothing wrong with hooking up.

Maybe the type of man I seek only exists in the straight community.

*defeated sigh*

When the days are long and work wears me down, it sucks not having anyone to comfort me. Always having to keep it to myself and handle it on my own.

In the end, I'm left feeling empty, terribly alone...and disappointed.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bow Boy!

"Make a loop, twist. Make another loop and twist again."

Seemed simple enough so I gave it a go!

Over the weekend, our store manager at the crafts store I work at wanted a whole bunch of custom bows made for customers to purchase during the coming holiday rush.

Now I've never made a bow in my life but one of the part-time managers has (she's quite crafty!) and she showed me step-by-step how to do it.

Yep, I made all these...

Over the next three hours, a few large bows turned into well over a dozen. Colorful ribbon was everywhere and I was a bow-making machine!

What fun!

At one point I told my coworkers that Dean had left for the day and would only respond to the name "Bow Boy". LOL

The mighty glitter bow!

In the two years I've worked for this company, this was the first time I've gotten to do something creative and get paid for it. A nice change from my mundane work tasks performed every day.

And it was very interesting creating something 3-dimensional. Perhaps this will carry over into my art in some way. We shall see.

Now these bows just need to sell!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forgotten nude!

While looking through last year's blogposts, I saw this particular nude I'd started.

My initial thought was, Funny, I don't remember finishing that.

That's because you didn't, Dean!

As I went though my art-related things, I found the pencil drawing carefully tucked away...still waiting to be painted.

I totally forgot about it!


So I decided to make a dent in it this weekend. Here it is:

In this step I laid down the skin tones and blocked in the shadow areas.

Now all that's left is to strengthen the darks, color the butterflies, and add any last details.

I'm no longer sure if the original intention for this painting will remain but I do know I want it finished...SOON!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Small thanks.

Work has sapped much of my energy and free time lately so all I could make her was something small.

Here's a thank you card I painted for one of my former coworkers.....

Watercolors on watercolor paper - 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" (NFS)

It's a very simple abstract painting but hopefully she likes.

If anything, it'll be a good excuse to visit our sister store and see how she's been doing since Corporate sent her there.

And in the end, it's not the size of the thank you but the fact that you're showing your gratitude that counts.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Anxiety into color.

Nervous, excited, frustrated, hopeful.

Those feelings as colors mix frantically, wildly, forming into a quiet yet powerful force.....

Pen and ink in Moleskine journal - (NFS)

Could be the start of something new. Could be nothing at all.

Are you confused by all of this? I know I am.


It's too soon to tell but right now I'm anticipating the possibilities.

We shall see.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lost and found...and mine!

Sunglasses, books, keys, flash drives, and earphones. Those are the things we get on a weekly basis.

At my university job we have a little lost and found section behind the front desk where we store all the things students leave behind.

Among the forgotten items, some things really stand out.

Look what was turned in several weeks ago.....

What the what?!

It appears to be a toy for a baby...or cat. Not sure but I do know it's colorful, unique-looking, and rattles when you shake it. Cool!

No one's claimed it yet and rather than toss it, I decided to take the toy home and add it to my menagerie of colorful objects.


Now. It's. MINE!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Appreciation in bloom!

I was feeling a bit under-the-weather and not looking forward to working this weekend.

But look what was waiting for me in my workspace at the arts-and-crafts store.....

Over two-dozen pink carnations!

They're from the store-manager-in-training who finished up her last day with our store this past Friday (my day off).

She's being sent to other locations in our district to continue training and help out wherever needed.

During the past few months she's adjusted to all of my coworkers' personalities rather quickly, managed to laugh even on stressful days, and was always appreciative of my help.

She may not be a single gay man but it's nice to actually receive flowers for once instead of buying them myself all the time. One of these days, Dean.

I'm sure I'll see her around from time-to-time when she helps out our store again.

But in the meantime...thank you, Teri!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Golden Chocolate Orgasm

The eyes roll back into my head as it enters my eager mouth.

I can't help but moan at first taste.

Moist, rich, and sweet. My God, it's like going to heaven with every bite.


One of our department heads at my university job has been out sick for two weeks. A really great guy that's helped all of us at some point and his absence is noticeable.

So the rest of my coworkers and I rallied together and are throwing him a little welcome back celebration in the back office today.

Several of us agreed to make something from home.

My contribution is chocolate cake!

It's a basic pudding cake recipe that I've tweaked.

Chocolate chips were added for texture and crunch. White chocolate chips were finely chopped so they'd melt into the batter as it bakes. And a few shakes of cinnamon add a tiny zing.

But to make this even more special, the homemade chocolate frosting was heavily sprinkled with gold pearl dust!


A shimmering, gilded beauty with deep browns peeking through its delicate cracks.

Best of all, this cake becomes fudgier as it sits so we'll continue to enjoy it as the days go on.

I'm licking my lips right now.

This. Is. Going. To. Be. GOOD!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Butterfly in half.

The backside was covered with footprints but its shape was still recognizable for being ripped in two.

While walking from work this afternoon, I found this paper butterfly in the middle of the sidewalk. Specifically, just one of its wings (I looked but didn't see the other half).

Love the black glitter lining the edge!

From the wrinkles, it appears to have been paper heavily glued to cardstock.

Though it was torn, trampled on, and discarded, it still managed to sparkle. A good philosophy for life.

I took the wing home as a tangible reminder that you can still shine even when incomplete.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A year already!

When I'm feeling shitty, worn out, and want to cry at the end of the night, I can look back and say at least I had a good day at work and that always helps.

Today marks one year of working at my university job!

Close-up of our shared workspace!

Everyone in my department has been great to me and my student workers continue to be a big help. They make the night shift fun!

I'm so grateful for all of it. If only the position could be full-time.

Even though it's not art-related, it's a good, dependable, and relatively relaxed job. And being around so many students, I can't help but feed off their hyper, almost limitless energy.

I'm the first person students see when they enter and the last when they exit so I make it a point to greet them and say goodbye as they come and go. That alone has helped me when trying to be more social. I interact with so many people there!

I feel like I've grown into the role, learned a thing or two about being a supervisor, and that I'm in an environment that suits me well.

So as I head off to work today, I'll remind myself that I'm blessed to have this job.

Happy (part-time university job) Anniversary to me!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

For rent.

I couldn't figure out why I was getting so upset.

Maybe it's because I was out in the BRIGHT afternoon sun for two hours or hadn't eaten lunch and was tired.

Surely it shouldn't be that frustrating.

I went apartment hunting yesterday. Not at the actual insides but just the addresses of several buildings. To see if I even wanted to live there, what the locations where like, and what I could afford.

At times I felt very awkward and anxious--like I didn't fit in, even though the neighborhood seemed like a nice place to live. It was all so new to me.

And even though I want to be on my own, away from my family, that day I just wanted to go home and cry--where it was familiar.

Certainly if I contemplated leaving for another state, I should be able to handle moving to a different part of a city I lived in my whole life, right?

Searching out locations and gathering information is a solid start. At least I'm making the attempt.

If I'm not allowed to be free in Seattle then I will be free in Chicago...or die trying.

To be continued (hopefully sooner than later).....