this here giraffe

when i was little, i was at the zoo (probably in chicago) with my grandfather. on the walk from the parking lot to the entrance, he asked what my favorite animal is. i somehow hadn’t thought about it before. on the fly i said the giraffe is my favorite. it has remained so (perhaps because i am so fiercely loyal), although there are many animals that capture my affection. dolphins, cats of all kinds, seals, sea lions, walruses, horses…i could go on. and on. i love all the animals, maybe that’s why i hadn’ t chosen a favorite before that moment. i didn’t know i needed to.

i bought a set of medicine cards a year or so ago. in it are a few blanks where you can name an animal of your  choice. of course i chose giraffe for one of them.

as it turns out, giraffes symbolize grace. one source says it is divine in origin and represents the indispensable  gift for development, improvement, and expansion of one’s character. the ability to rise above the negative events of time.

did my little 4-year old self intuit this? the giraffe just suits me. perfectly.


at the lakehouse

one of the most remarkable changes i saw this summer was during my visit to the lake. my best friend from childhood had a bunch of us out to her parents’ lakehouse near gun barrel city, texas.

it had been exactly 4 years since i’d been there. at that time it had been less than 6 months since her mother passed away from cancer. the house hadn’t been updated since her parents built it in 1971. the dock was in disrepair. the boat was not functioning. there were heavy drapes, vertical blinds, and banana yellow carpeting.

her father remarried. his new wife took charge of the updating. inside the house felt fresh and vibrant. hardwood flooring replaced the carpeting everywhere but the living room floor, still undecided and bare concrete. i recommended sealing the concrete. the heavy drapes and vertical blinds are gone. the dark wood painted white. a new dock was built. waverunners and a new boat were added. a fire pit. a huge storage shed that is completely organized. it was reminiscent of a brady bunch reunion. where everything is sort of the same but entirely different.

not sure why i didn’t take any pictures of any of these changes.


my friend’s dad built these awesome bench swings. this one used to be in the yard, now it’s on the upper level of the dock. it says waistin’ time.


it was so lovely spending time floating around off the dock. because of the drought, the lake was 6 feet lower than normal.


this is the hootin holler. a must stop when visiting gun barrel city.


fireworks from the fire pit.


this area was completely overgrown with ivy last time i visited.


remnants of fireworks the next morning.


lakes are so peaceful in the morning.


i had never seen the pool table before because it was always covered and always had things on top of it. apparently it’s in need of repair, but since it’s an antique the repairmen didn’t want to take the chance of  damaging it. my friend’s father said he’d be dead when it’s taken out of the house. i’m glad he put his foot down.

the worst part is the person next door who owned 3 lots died. the lots got split. 2 mcmansions were built and a tiny slice with trees is left between their house and the mcmansions. if someone builds on the lot it will ruin everything.

change is the most fascinating of all phenomena

did a late summer cleaning.

always start with the surface. sweeping all the dust out from under my bed reminds me how dirty the air is living so close to the BQE. although, all 7 apartments where i’ve lived in NYC have gotten really dirty really quickly. the air here is dirty.

i came across an “autobiography” that i wrote in my Life Stories class senior year at Elon. my immediate reaction was, not much has changed. how could that be? so much has changed. my voice has definitely changed drastically for starters. my friends have changed, my circle has changed. in some ways nothing has changed at all. how can that be?

the most gradual change rests in the deepest depths. the karmic lessons. maybe that’s why the only lasting change must come from within. in some ways i feel like i’m still inside of the cocoon. no matter how deep i go, there’s always another layer to peel. i feel love, joy, and gratitude for the friends who have been/are present on the journey.

from a writing prompt, what i want:

what i want…i want to be happy.

i want a job i love.

i want enthusiasm and energy.

i want to never lose my mind.

i want a perfect boy.

i want to give,

to contribute,

somehow make a difference.

i want my dreams to never end.

i want to be tan

and i want to be healthy.

i want to conquer.

i want to read more books.

i want my parents to be happy.

i want to think about others.

i want to live in Spain.

i want to travel.

i want to go to South America.

i want the earth to be clean.

the craziness to end,

the suburbs to explode.

i want to make art,

and i want to make money.

i want to learn how to blow glass.

i want to use public transportation.

i want the days to be warm and sunny.

i want to see frogs fall from the sky.

i want to eat good food.

i want to not lose touch with my friends.


maybe someday kids,

a dog,

and a cat.

i want to play.

i want to feel,

want to be,

want to want.

i want to be successful,

good things for other people.

i want to see the leaves change in the fall.

i want to swim in the Mediterranean.

i want a Picasso original.

i want to meet someone i love.

i want to run through a field

of wildflowers

and tumble down

a grassy knoll.

i want others to have good thoughts of me.

i want to look at the stars

through a telescope.

may 2001.

old journals new perspective

i’ve been working on incorporating my writing into my art for some time.  recently received some inspiration from a new friend.  so these are the beginnings of a new project that i’m super excited about.

it was lovely in the beginning.  we danced.  we camped.  we laughed.  we cooked.  we did all kinds of fun things together, and we enjoyed each other’s company.  but slowly, it all fell apart.  it wasn’t just the relationship that fell apart.  by the time i walked away from it, my soul had slowly been eroded.  i had put up with behavior that i never thought in a million years i could ever tolerate or accept.  it was like a part of me had died.


it’s exciting to see the rangers as contenders for the world series.  for as long as i can remember they flake out in august.  of course i haven’t followed them at all since the late 90s, and i am totally unfamiliar with the players.  in fact, i know more names of yankees than i do rangers.  but whatevs.  it’s exciting and has been really good baseball watching this week.

the first game i ever attended was in 1984.  we had just moved to texas.  i remember stepping out of the car and being awestruck by the sight of the stadium.  probably one of the least attractive stadiums of all time, but it was the first i’d seen.  it was magnificent.  i stood there and stared while i waited for my brother and my dad.

after the game, my dad couldn’t remember where he’d parked the car.   my brother couldn’t remember either.  they thought it had been stolen.

“i know where it is,”  i assured them.

my 13-year old brother complained the whole time.  “i can’t believe we’re following a 5-year old around the parking lot to find the car….we’re never going to find it….we should call security…”

and there it was, right where we’d left it.

my dad loves telling that story.  he thinks i have a good memory, which i do.  i suppose it was a photographic memory moment.  i had taken a snapshot of the stadium from where i was standing next to the car.   it wasn’t so much that i had remembered the lot number or the row or the parking space number, i used the stadium as a guide.

anyway, i’ve loved baseball ever since that first game.  i’ve been to probably 100 of them over the last 26 years.  of course it’s not the same as it was, it’s been way over americanized. and $11 for a bud light?  really?  gross.  i wouldn’t pay $11 for a 12-pack of bud light.  the peanuts are still good though.  and the smells haven’t really changed.  and that sound of the bat cracking when it hits the ball.  totally amazing.