Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sunday Scribblings #44 and #45

Good bye and Hello. This is my last post on this blog. What a beautiful and life changing journey!!!

The chronicles of a 44 year old woman. One post a day for a year. 44 words each day. 365 posts complete.

Want to play too? Click here for more information on becoming a fellow 365'er.

Click here to read more Sunday Scribblings.

To see/read this 365 blog in its entirety click here.

Lisa of the Now (365/365)

Lisa Otter:

Who am I?
But a collection of all the people that have followed before me.

Both good and bad.
But mostly,
Caring, creative, playful, loving, kind, thoughtful.

This chronicle adds another layer to my story.
Which is not finished being told.

Goodbye and Hello.

This is a picture of me in my art studio.
A round peg that has found her round hole!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lisa of the 90's (364/365)

Lisa in 1993: Juggling pregnancy, baby and job, we decided I should take one for the team and become a stay-at-home-mom. This became my new career; reading every book while developing my own creative approach. Learned babies grow fast for a reason; a mother's sanity is at stake.

Me and the family in 1997.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lisa of the 80's (363/365)

Lisa: One disastrous relationship after another; I finally came to my senses and gave up on the suburban three-children-with-a-Volvo-station-wagon dream. Putting all my energy into my career as a Pension Consultant. I'd make Partner! A round peg desperately trying to fit into a square hole.

Jumping for joy in 1986.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lisa of the 70's (362/365)

Lisa @ 12 1/2 (Live from my Journal - April 26,1975): “Hello, I must be the worst writer on earth. I didn't even bring you on my trip. I think somebody in this house even took and read you. Well I don’t care. The last night of the field trip we had a bonfire and everyone (well, almost everyone) got a girl or a boy and started kissing (I didn't).”

(This post is an excerpt from my 7th grade journal and is slightly over the 44 word count.)

Lisa (circa 1972)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lisa of the 60's (361/365)

Arrival Day: The day I was born my mother's water broke, ruining her shoes. Not wanting to go barefoot, she opted to wear the only others that fit; dressy pumps with a formal maternity gown. This required make-up, jewelry and curling her hair. I arrived naked.

This is me at one year old, happy to be fully clothed.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sheila (360/365)

Sheila M.: Freshman year we rode the same bus, where she taught me how to spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S both literally and figuratively. Turned me on to my first after-school job at Corn-A-Plenty*, a short-lived candy store in uptown Edgebrook, where we uncontrollably consumed much of the profits.

*Corn-A-Plenty and the adjacent beloved Lockwood Castle are now a Starbucks...ain't that America?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Steve (359/365)

Steve (4/6): Ever read The Humble Stumble? This is how Steve describes himself. He's much more; constantly impressing me with his grace, love and parenting skills. Life hasn't always been gentle with him; yet he's more gentle with each passing year. My true hero and best-friend.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cynthia (358/365)

Cynthia S.: Is a walking encyclopedia of IRS laws, rules, regulations and facts. Don't call between January and April 15th unless it's about business. As her father slowly slips into an Alvina-state, she dutifully picks up his financial reigns with a loving spirit and professional accuracy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Doug (357/365)

Doug R. (B.I.L.): Described as a bearish man, his business acumen in advertising and Internet marketing makes him an industry leader. I never see this side of him. Going out to dinner will always be his treat, unless we can figure a way to out smart him.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Renee (356/365)

Renee Hogg: One of my best friends during grammar school, Renee had the ability to make me laugh at just about anything and she was an excellent storyteller. We wandered the playground; talking, joking and catching snowflakes on our tongues. Made our First Holy Communions together.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Alberto (355/365)

Alberto: His name alone causes wild fits of laughter among my children. But our favorite Alberto story happened the week after we were aboard the Lady Evangeline. He knocked on the Captain's door panicked. "Captain Terry! Captain Terry! One of the jet skis is missing!!!"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ms. Micucci (354/365)

Ms. Pat Micucci: Beloved Kindergarten teacher patiently taught us how to hang our coats in the cloak room, sit still during story time and stack the cardboard bricks neatly after playtime. Personally, I learned not to use a jump rope as weapon on anyone, especially Brenda Root.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Henley (353/365)

Henley S.: Probably doesn't even remember me, yet he's taught me life's most valuable lessons.
  • Know your passion.
  • Follow your dreams.
  • Fish.
In college, I sat weekends for seven y.o. Henley, who entertained himself endlessly for hours perfecting his cast. Googling him I unearthed these sweet finds.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Diane (352/365)

Diane F.: New to town last summer, took her children to a coin club meeting. Typically the ONLY non-numismatist/non-male/non-AARP'er present, I was thrilled to have someone to talk with. Slowly we are becoming friends, finding out we have more and more in common. Admire her sensibility.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mike (351/365)

Mike D.: Cathy's boyfriend, Schuhie's best friend. Sincere and humble. Played H.S. basketball until his parents decided he was getting too wild. Entered seminary prep school, where he confessed over a beer he'd be happier serving the Lord as a firefighter. Signed letters to Cathy: P.F.S.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Ileen (350/365)

Ileen H.: Across the pulchritudinous prairies, woods and farms of the heartland we pedaled for a time in two parallel lines. Scientific environmentalist with a deep love for conversation, music and the great outdoors. We've lost touch, but she remains a happy memory in my heart.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

John (349/365)

John H.: Actually never met Hiatt, but I've been to some shows and listened to his music long enough to know his heart. His wisely crafted lyrics have guided my soul through some pretty rough terrain. Glad he's earned his G.E.D. and no longer steals Thunderbirds.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cheryl (348/365)

Cheryl B.: = (Down-to-earth) + (best-of-heart) + (fellow stamper/crafter) + (mathematically gifted) + (fun)
She's the kind of person I could call at 3:30 am and she'd be there for me in a heartbeat. When I was new to town she graciously opened up her creative door and invited me in.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Billy (347/365)

Billy G.: Member of the elite L.A. Torch Club in H.S., but before that he was just a goofy middle-school'er like the rest of us. His Afro has become an unforgettable legend in my mind. Heard the all-night SLAP of his hockey stick from my house.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mary (346/365)

Mary O.: In her dorm room she turned me on to David Letterman. Magically knew how to make salt shakers stand on end in the tea room. A social worker in the public schools, her ability to nurture guided her to adopt a colorful little boy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fernando (345/365)

Fernando R.: At age five, he told his mom , "When I grow-up I want to live and work in downtown Chicago just like aunt CeCe". At age twenty, he's living and working in rural Kentucky. He has plenty of time to discover what best suits him.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Patty (344/365)

Patty D.: "Gross!!! There's no way my parents ever did that!" Patty exclaims after learning about o-sex. Elizabeth and I giggled... until we realized the serious work we had ahead of us. Arriving at college sheltered can be very dangerous.
She's a lobbyist now. In D.C.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fernie (343/365)

Fernie R.:Ultra-father; authoritative, yet loving and kind. He is quiet and disciplined and works harder than most men I know. He has a lot to juggle, but he's able to keep it balanced. He's like a one-man band. Love that he still calls me “Ce-Ce”.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mrs. Rogers (342/365)

Mrs. Rogers (circa 1975): Coolest music teacher on the planet! Memories include; her fake fireplace, learning to play the glockenspiel, in-depth study of The Who's Tommy, Beatlemania, playing albums backwards. My appreciation for music started in her classroom and continues to this day. Rock on Mrs. Rogers!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Alan (341/365)

Alan Pavia: Otter always sat in front of Pavia. At first Otter hated Pavia. Pavia was very annoying. Eventually after passing enough notes to Otter with interesting cartoons, Pavia got Otter's attention. Otter started liking Pavia. During recorder lessons Pavia's amusing faces would make Otter laugh.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Maria (340/365)

Maria K.: Junior high friends that became separated by schools; you to the public, me to the private. See your big beautiful brown eyes in my memory. I think about the type of woman (and mother?) you've become. Someone I would still care to call friend.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mr. Priban (339/365)

Mr. Ken Priban: Terrified of him on day-one. Everything in his class had to be written in black ink. The bar was high, which most seventh graders hated. Leaf identification project, that intoxicating aroma of pond scum and frog dissections still prism to mind thirty-two years later.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Carrie (338/365)

Carrie Thackham: My cousin lived to be 103. She was always learning something new, like computers in her early 90's. Mostly her long life can be attributed to her Bohemian genes and her tenacity for life. Her newsy and rich handwritten letters will be greatly missed.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Rob (337/365)

Rob S. (B.I.L.): Mid 1960's, his dad ministered at a beautiful rock church. He lived and went to school there until his father was transferred to another church in another state. The little rock church became a blur until years later when we moved to the area...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bea (336/365)

Bea: Sharp minded at 102 years old and still going strong. Mary asked her recently, "Girl, what you made of?" She doesn't need glasses or use a cane. Her attitude and opinions are from a generation all but passed and one ours should never forget.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bob (335/365)

Bob Gussin: O.K., so you're sitting at lunch thinking back to Junior High..."Wonder what the Lieb twins are doing now?" Google them and suddenly you're reading about characters from your youth. Thinking: "Whoa I know these people." The Internet is an amazing (and scary) thing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Maria (334/365)

Maria A.: What a joy! Laughed ourselves through cáñamo-induced sessions. Walking, talking, tossing the Frisbee, clubbing, dancing all night, biking to Gilson Park to play a little folf. Helped me pull off the impossible, sneaking Dan into Coffey Hall overnight. Her mom's tamale's were the best!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Chris (333/365)

Chris from Columbus: We could have helped each other grow-up, but miles kept us apart. Twenty-four years later and still I recall those breathless phone calls, the intensity of emotion and "one night of magic rush". All that from listening to Jose Gonzalez cover The Knife's Heartbeats.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Alvina (332/365)

Alvina O.: The photo-slides from her years of travels sat neglected by her side. Stories repeated themselves until even those ceased. Disease slowly stole her mind. Cruelly and deliberately erasing everything, until there was nothing left, but the shell of the vibrant woman who was Alvina.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mark (331/365)

Mark: Gracefully lands the bird out of the Jacksonville, Florida sky just as we arrive. Perfect timing. He and Danny promise a smooth and quick ride home. Little do they know at that same moment a single-engine plane crashes near CLT killing all on board.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Angela (330/365)

Angela: Solo sister to three brothers. When she was eight and came to visit us in Raleigh, I glimpsed the pearl of the woman she will become behind the wheel of a go-kart. Quietly observing through big brown eyes, there's an entire world awaiting her.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Donnie (329/365)

Donnie Foster: Incredible burst of enthusiasm. Every time he entered a room or exited the woods. Pow! Bam! There he was in all his glory. Came bounding out of the Canadian bush to visit Chicago because he had a hot-crush on Jamie. Never needed a coat.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Linda (328/365)

Linda H.: On the outside, she seems like the good witch, especially stacked next to her bitter and angry mother, but like an onion, peel back the first few paper thin layers and all you're left with are tears and the pretentious dank stench of inherited-married-into-money.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mark (327/365)

Mark A.: Every summer when it was really his winter he would arrive on holiday with his mum to visit his Chicago relatives. Exotic accent and expressions along with his sexy smile made him simply adorable. Got abso-bloody-lutely wobbly when Americans confused him for an Aussie.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Angel (326/365)

Angel: The day a closet door was accidentally slammed on Brennan's finger, amputating his fingertip, was the day our relationship shifted to a whole new level. Doing for her what soon she would do for me. Each learning to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Joe (325/365)

Joe E.: A potter with his own pottery barn. In a Hawaiian shirt he teaches clay, the barn his classroom. Clay slipping and slapping and taking shape right before your eyes. Brings intensity, charged by his excitement to make all of life a lesson in clay.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Donna (324/365)

Donna B. (My Godmother): Whenever someone is in need Donna is the go-to-woman, organizing the Essentials. This is her calling. Every Christmas, with her present tucked under our tree, I would sit for hours watching the twinkling lights, feeling deep internal peace. Her gift still nourishing my soul.

Merry Christmas Aunt Donna!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Charleston (323/365)

Charleston: Our next door neighbor is as tall as he is wide, which makes him perfect for his job; guarding the body of a beloved rock and roll icon. Emulates his boss by incorporating the "island escapism" lifestyle full heartily. He seldom leaves his island.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Leslie (322/365)

Leslie Carter: Dances sacred and enchanting dances with juicy brushes. Experiences life in fuller color than the majority of us. On her daily walks her faithful camera captures whatever catches her eye for later exploration and experimentation. Her enthusiasm for the smallest of wonders is contagious.

Tulip Sunset
Leslie Carter

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kurt (321/365)

Kurt V.H.: Every Thursday my prince arrives carrying his arsenal: mops, brooms, dust clothes and vacuum cleaner. He dusts, cleans, scrubs, vacuums and even does windows. Four hours of his complete dust-free attention! Friends always ask: "HOW do you get a man to clean?" Easy: $$$.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mrs. Bartholomew (320/365)

Dear Mrs. Bartholomew,

On behave of all the hooligans involved with accidentally pouring green McGook through your mailbox slot, please accept this most sincere apology. We had no idea your mink coat was hanging that close to the mail slot. We are truly sorry.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Knife Sharpener (319/365)

Neighborhood Knife Sharpener
(Lincolnwood, IL ~ Circa 1966):

He's pushing his hand-cart,
with bells loudly clanging,
announcing his arrival to the housewives.

His skin the color of dark honey,
the grinding whir of his tools,
the scratching sounds of metal on metal,
the iron-metallic smell hanging in the air.

Wide-eyed children watching.

This is not my neighborhood knife sharpener, but looks very similar especially the cart.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Karen (318/365)

Karen G.: Never struck me as the type to marry a man, especially someone as manly as Charles. Ironically, she's the mother to two girly-girls. She's as stiff and predictable as an Army General until she speaks of her growing-up years then all seems to soften.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Charles (317/365)

Charles G.: The memory of our neighbor Charles sliding across his hardwood floors a la "Risky Business" will forever be etched in my mind. Instantly changing my perception of what grown men do after the kids go to bed when they think no one is looking.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Kay (316/365)

Kay O.: "Caw, Caw," sang Kay from the seat of her bike as she continuously circled our neighborhood, stopping only to unashamedly flirt with the lawn care men. Every year her playmates grew younger and younger, until finally she was old enough to be their mother.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bob (315/365)

Bob T.: My family has many Bobs. This one happens to be my "golden boy" cousin. Drop-dead handsome, third in his class at Annapolis, Top Gun flight instructor and an extra in the movie, youngest co-pilot in history of American Airlines. We all pale in comparison.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Abby (314/365)

Abby: Here are some useful tips for attending a formal Christmas Ball:
  1. Don't get so drunk that you fall down on the bathroom floor in front of Boss's wife.

  2. F.Y.I. strapless gowns don't conceal full-back tattoos.

  3. Have your boyfriend/child's father shave the day of the Ball.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Oliver (313/365)

Oliver R.: Just turned sixteen yesterday, my nephew/godson is more than handsome and charming. He has brains, musical talent and "eye twinkle". At his high school, he holds a chair in the band (guitar) and is a member of the High-Q Club. His future excites me!

Happy 16th Birthday Oliver!!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Donna (312/365)

Donna Godfrey: During a Raleigh city council meeting she passed a note. It read, "After this want to take the kids to McDonald's?" I was new to town and her kindness was so appreciated. Makes the best cup of tea, steeps it with love and compassion.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dr. C. (311/365)

Dr. CooKoo (or something like that): Was my first O.B. Gyn. I lasted only one appointment. See I was a teenager and he was an old man. Which wasn't too bad. Except for the fact that he was missing two fingers on his right hand. That really creeped me out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Missy (310/365)

Missy M.: Kicked-out of public school, $tart$ Catholic education. Trouble packed into petite sexy blonde body, complete with smirk and sticky fingers. Once when she thought no one was looking she stooped down and stole a lot more than some smokes from her newly found friends.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ken (309/365)

Ken: Gary's job vanished two days after we bought our new van. Very next day Ken shows-up looking for Gary's skills. Since then, my life's been whirled into a world I could only have fantasized. His generosity: unbelievable. Breakfast at Tiffany's, sweetest cherry on top.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ellen (308/365)

Ellen: Appears like a fairy godmother to put Cinderella together for the ball. She waves her magic wand. Then spies a gorgeous plum gown from the rack. Teams it with the perfect earrings and necklace, adds in a silver purse. Stands back and smiles, pleased.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bradley (307/365)

Bradley: Earned his nickname Hurricane Bradley because he knew no bounds, urinating on busy street corners in broad daylight in front of cops, yelling at me to "clean-up the f#@%ing Cheerios" that he spilled. Still have his art in my sketchbook. What joy to baby-sit!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holly (306/365)

Holly: The one I'll call if I ever get thrown in jail because our phone numbers are one digit apart. Turned me onto blogging. High energy, creative, crafty. Artist and writer. Asks great questions. Organized. Enthusiastic. Takes artistic risks. Has the most kick-ass art studio.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tom (305/365)

Tom Collins: When I was kid, I thought it was completely hysterical that I had a relative who shared his name with a mixed drink. It still makes me smile when I think of the humor of it all. As usual though, pictures wordlessly say 1,000.

Click here to discover what this is an actual micro-photo of...SURPRISE!!!!
Cool, huh?
Check out their website, especially the cocktails and beers photos. It is so awesome.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Jamie (304/365)

Jamie: One of the most attractive people I've ever known. Life has never been easy for her, but you would never know by looking. She has it all together, raised her four children solo, works her butt off and daily puts up with "Hated Hugh".

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gerry (303/365)

Gerry Conlan: Diabetic great-uncle was my most favorite relative. He often joined me in my room for tea parties at my little white round table. Kneeling, he daintily sipped "tea" from my china tea set and ate little Salerno butter cookies that he wore like rings.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Beth (302/365)

Beth G.: Who really wants to hear all that ugly gossip? What business is it of yours who in town has had a boob job? Why do you always talk so loud? When will you finally move to that gated community that keeps your type in?

This is a forty-four word excerpt from In Question, a piece I recently wrote.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Joe (301/365)

Joe: Ex-landlord, Cheapest-Joe ever encountered. Moving out he finds a reason to withhold our deposit from his mice infested dump. Years later, Madelon at a Park West concert tries for closer seats, Joe-the-scam-artist "saved" a swath of seats and readily sells "his" for $25 a pop.

Happy B-Day Madelon!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sharon (300/365)

Sharon: Dan was insanely jealous of you. Didn't understand. I arrived greenly naive to the Mundelein sub-culture. And even though I wasn't, you still persisted. Later it became crystal clear, RE: the crazy immature games you were playing, but back then I was dumbly oblivious.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pat (299/365)

Pat A.: Played Risk in all night dorm room marathons at Campion Hall where absolutely no beer or alcohol was consumed. Definitely not on Jesuit property. Honest Father. That smell ? Why that's coming from next door. The BVM's must be burning leaves and/or their bras again.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dawn (298/365)

Dawn G.: Filled some pretty significant voids in each other's lives. But too soon a new job to a new city, a new baby on the way and our roots not deep enough to withstand the impact has shriveled to an annual card with family photo.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Jimmy (297/365)

Jimmy S.: Spent hours under elm trees talking or not. Showed me that in all bad things can come some good. At four his was the greatest of losses. His shining eyes and beautiful freckles masked the horrible pain and guilt that framed his early years.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lady MacGyver (296/365)

Lady MacGyver: Spent five minutes together in an alley. I'll never forget her R.A.O.K.. Discovered me and my two young sons stranded; one of the wheels popped off our stroller. Slipped out a comb, popped it into place and vanished before I could shout thank-you twice.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Harland (295/365)

Harland S.: I was seven when I met the Colonel. We rehearsed and rehearsed until we got the bucket passing just right. As soon as it was perfected, he showed up, exclaimed "Finger Lickin' Good", the commercial was shot and then he and his goatee vanished.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Imogene (294/365)

Imogene: Spinster-in-law great-aunt who I believed was so old, it was as if she could drop dead at any moment. For a spell, I constantly braced myself for her death, practicing little made-up rituals using candles and meditation with Sandy to ward off her death.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bob (293/365)

Bob Otter: My dad and I were at Marshall Fields shopping when I became separated from him. Some kind soul brought me to Management, where we joyfully reunited. I was four, but remember it like it was yesterday; that deep complete feeling of love and belonging.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your holiday be filled with the comfort of love and belonging.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mary Jane (292/365)

Mary Jane: Vic and Betty's oldest, natural born leader, loves to take charge. Great conversationalist. Her husband's career has moved her to many different lands, which has served to perfect her consummate organizational skills. Music and laughter fill her home as does her creative designer's touch.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Vic (291/365)

Vic L.: One part tough guy, one part teddy bear. Every squirrel was named Wally. A talented passionate boxer and Marine, he instilled precious and extraordinary values into his children (and every neighborhood kid too). He and Betty were like bookends made from oil and vinegar.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Betty (290/365)

Betty Jane L.: Librarian. Mother. In 1988, before The Polar Express became all that, she brought home the book on film strip and after Christmas dinner we all gathered in the basement to watch it. Her death feels surreal, still expecting her to walk through Kay's door.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pat (289/365)

Pat: Cash-N-Crash royalty, just a regular guy though, watching a football game, high-fiving everyone after a touchdown, chatting about his latest diving trip to the Caribbean, introducing us to his sister Kay. Appreciate he's still down-to-earth enough to semi-publicly reenact the Who's Next album cover.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cathy (288/365)

Cathy: Good people skills are critical to the success of any business. Unfortunately being flat and unwilling was the death knoll for you. Buyers approached interested; you gave them the cold shoulder. Did you do better on eBay where nobody cared if you were impersonal?

Friday, November 17, 2006

John (287/365)

John: The White Sox get John excited. His X is fragile but that doesn't stop him. He's learned to do things that others could only dream of accomplishing. Like his dad, he's a thinker and music lover. Someday he'll join his brother Paul at Misericordia.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Melissa (286/365)

Melissa: Loves to bake. How is she a freshman so soon? Her feet now dancing over the same floors as mine 26 years before. Her role as a sister should automatically qualify her for a Masters in Special Education. Beautiful, caring, gentle Soul. Sweet Melissa.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sonny (285/365)

Sonny L.: Is usually my children's DDS, but on this day he sits me down to tell me how he shopped for his children's Easter clothes one year when they were still small. There is such tenderness in his face as he recalls this sweet memory.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Susan (284/365)

Susan B.: It's November 14, 1975, Susan and I are walking down the steps of Lincoln Hall when we notice the snowflakes dancing. It's her birthday and she is excited about the early snowfall. Years later we see each on the beach at an Ouray concert.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cullen (283/365)

Cullen: Poetry in motion behind home plate, both as catcher and batter. Photogenic. Funny. Fisherman. He loves to cook, makes awesome scrambled eggs. Natural born Engineer. His talents like his body are on the verge of a huge growth spurt. Melt-in-your-mouth brown eyes. My son.

Happy 13th Birthday Cullen!
Happy Golden Birthday!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mrs. Dickmann (282/365)

Mrs. Marianne Dickmann: Earthy science teacher chaperoned all of our H.S. Quetico trips. Lipstick and make-up were not her bag. Educated us about the importance of daily applications of a good moisturizer, reminding us to never neglect our necks. (Please forgive me, I lied about the hemo-stat).

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Jack (281/365)

Jack S.: Old enough to be my grandfather. People warned me, said he was a cranky stingy dirty old man. But that's not what I experienced. He was funny, kind and thoughtful. I appreciated his guidance and mentorship through our daily chats on the CBOT floor.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sari (280/365)

Sari S.: Mrs. Flannery's second grade class, I met Sari and was instantly drawn to her. She had a kind-heart and sweet personality. We hung out at recess and had several play dates. But by seventh grade she became the cheerleader that I definitely was not.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kent (279/365)

Kent L.: A fellow Catholic, he was my sixth grade crush. He was a gorgeous Italian/Irish mix with beautiful eyes and a gentle personality. For our clock assignment in Science he made his time keeper out of an ice blue mint that dissolved slowly in water.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Chris (278/365)

Chris: Understands my hair as only few do. Worship the way she artistically snips and snaps it into something utterly obedient and amazing. Constantly burns my ears with details details details of her life while curling some interest into mine. Going for a walk someday soon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Robert (277/365)

Robert R.: Like his great-grandfather his brain favors engineering. College freshman on a full scholarship, he's headed into his future with a toolbox full of talent and possibilities. Sweet memory of his toddler-self enthralled with watching the cars from the 22nd floor of my city apartment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Helen (276/365)

Helen: After meeting me she advised her son to give me the sapphire earrings he had bought in Thailand for his sister. It was the first of many loving gestures she has bestowed upon me through the years. Careful never to step on any toes.

Happy Birthday Helen!!!! (11/7)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Warren (275/365)

Warren: The first time I met this Walter Matthau look-alike was in the back alley of Leona's on Sheffield catching a smoke with a bunch of twenty-something skin heads. Grew-up on the mean streets of Racine. In town to visit his son and meet me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Debbie (274/365)

Debbie B.: In the fourth grade bathroom Debbie told a group of us she knew how to read palms. We all lined-up. Looking at my outstretched hand she proclaimed, "Your going to have three children; two boys and a girl. One boy crosses your heart line."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hugh (273/365)

Hugh: Bears the patriarchal name, which happens to be the same as his much disliked uncle. Outwardly the wildest cousin, he has landed in adulthood quite maturely. Tried his hand at the CBOT before he settled into the family business. Wow factor: sexy green eyes!

P.S. This has nothing to do with my 365 blog but click here if your curious.

Happy 80th Birthday Mom!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Madelon (272/365)

Madelon: Should've been an actress. My cousin uses millions of different characters/voices; elegantly amusing all. Taught me how to be cool. Stole some of her dad's and brought us to a field. Yep, ain't nothing cooler than two ten year olds smoking their first cigarettes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mark (271/365)

Mark: Racing down the hallway, I stopped short to admire him. It was in that very moment I developed "cousin crush". As an adult he's still as charming; a twinkle in his eyes, a smile on his face and a lively story on his lips.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Julie (270/365)

Julie W.: Has similarities in voice and looks with Melanie Griffith. To be sure though, Julie is softer, never rumored to have had plastic surgery and is raising her son and twin girls without a staff. Makes time for what matters most: her relationship with God.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Danny (269/365)

Danny L.: Looks more like a leprechaun than a pilot. First time I met him, he was drunk and dancing like a crazy fool. "Holy shit!!! Your the man Gary trusted with my children's lives at 25,000 feet!" Turns out he's the only one I'd trust.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Foggy (268/365)

Foggy: Just writing about Foggy here is risky, but what the hey this is my blog. Besides, I love her, she helped me craft one of my favorite pieces of writing. Laughs like The Penguin, smiles like The Joker and looks like Cat Woman. Vixen.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mike (267/365)

Mike (6/6): Best outdoors man I know. Unafraid of bear or wolf. Took Cullen (an atheist) on a fishing trip to BWCA and brought him back God fearing. Acts like it was no big deal. Yea right. Dude you've got Gift. Now go use it Bro'.

Happy Birthday Mike! (10/27)
Tonic Water Special

Friday, October 27, 2006

Kay (266/365)

Kay: If Bob and Kay were ever to divorce, he'd be losing me too. She has knocked more sense into me than Jim Thome has knocked balls out of the park. Helped me Become. A school nurse with heart and soul. I treasure our conversations.

Happy Birthday Kay!!!! (10/26)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sean (265/365)

Sean: Songs have the ability to teleport me to another time/place. This morning hearing The Commodores, Brick House brought me back to the 1978 Lane Tech Junior Prom dancing with Sean in his brown tuxedo, me in my three-tiered powder blue dress. We were hot!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lynn (264/365)

Lynn Johnson.: Childhood friend. A faint memory now safe for the scent of coloring books and Crayolas. Then her smiling face floods back into view as I fondly remember the trick she taught me with Flair Pens and glue. I only wish she knew the impact!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ron (263/365)

Ron Mondel : His ice cream shop was as much a part of my childhood as my living room. Summer nights we would wait in lines that snaked out the door into the hot sticky Chicago streets. On Greg's tandem with a double dipped sugar cone: Utopia!.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Phyllis (262/365)

Phyllis: Allison's mom was divorced from her husband and doing quite $well. She treated us to Great America where she delivered her famous speech: "Girls take it from me, I've been rich and I've been poor. I much prefer rich." It quickly became Virg's mantra.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hayden (261/365)

Hayden: My oldest. Articulate. Politics and numastics are his passions. Published author and coin guru. NPR junkie. One of his blogs is about the national debt. At fifteen he has a burning desire to educate others about his generation's greatest burden! Loves numbers and history.

Happy 15th Birthday Hayden!!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Allison (260/365)

Allison: I know I'm not directly responsible for the lab crimes Allison committed, but when I learned what she had done, I felt awful knowing I had introduced her to Forensic Dave. Inspired by Dave's passion she changed Grad school plans from Alzheimer's to Forensics.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dan (259/365)

Dan P.: Pompous for no reason. Neither handsome nor cool nor rich enough for such snobbery. Always making comments that leave him with a giant glob of toe jam in his mouth. Ironically, his dad was a clown in the circus before hitting the middle class.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Liz (258/365)

Liz in 1978 (aka Lizard): Her father owned a well-loved Greek restaurant in Evanston. When she got into trouble she found herself doing three years at the all girls Catholic H.S. in Wilmette. Met her in P.E., where we discovered Mark Knopfler's guitar playing. Our angst matching his licks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mike (257/365)

Mike M.: Thankfully, Paul warned me to keep my distance, cautioning not to touch this scum-bucket with a ten foot pole. I concurred, so when Mike forced his hot stale breath and wormy tongue on me, I was ready to shove that pole down his throat.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jenny The Painting Dog (256/365)

by: Jenny Furr

Jenny Furr: Artistic, smart, cuddly, clicker trained. Needs to join Chocolates Anonymous before it kills her. Learned to paint after rolling in denim blue ink. Loves looking at horses, llamas, goats from the car window. Hunts moles/voles, eats cat shit then smothers us with her kisses.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bob (255/365)

Bob P.: N.Y. Jew transplanted to Cash-and-Crash. A seriously hilarious man, he's a former IRS agent WITSEC'ed as the CEO of a two person janitorial firm. His love for telling side-splitting tales, numismatics and hockey are the three sides of his coin. Got quite a collection.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Laurie (254/365)

Laurie A.:
At her house to sit,
I played the big; she the little,
that we both longed for.
In games,
the ones she chose,
I learned the sweetest kindness
comes from the smallest of gestures.
She grew up to be a pediatrician. I'm proud.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Larry (253/365)

Larry A.: Oldest, yet unable to handle Ricky, his mom hired me to baby-sit Laurie and broker peace between the boys. Larry and I were classmates and so begged me not to tell anyone at school. I respected Larry way too much to say a word.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yvonne (252/365)

Yvonne A.: Her mother lived on our street. Sometimes she'd call and ask my mom if I could ride uptown to Edgebrook to buy her some cigarettes. With a note for the clerk including her telephone number, off I'd speed on my yellow Schwinn to replenish...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ricky (251/365)

Ricky A.: Two years younger, constantly held the title of our Most-Annoying-Neighbor. Attracted to Greg and me like a moth to candlelight. It drove us crazy! How were we supposed to build FortZany or write the LeMai Bugle with Ricky always so vexatiously in our faces?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mrs. Norton (250/365)

Mrs. Norton: Her tattooed arm served as a constant reminder. She sought shelter at a Convent. The sisters gave her a habit so she could pass as a nun and Yvonne, her daughter, as a Sister's niece. It worked. A tattoo of hatred instead shouts: Survivor!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Stephen (249/365)

Stephen S.: Twenty-six years ago I met this beautiful whistler. He gently guided me through some of the hardest days of my life. A Lutheran minister, he taught religion at my all woman's Catholic college. Favorite professor, down to earth, full of laughter. Years later married me...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Marilyn (248/365)

Marilyn: Delicately cuts gourmet cheese for a living at the flagship Teeter. Crafts for fun and pleasure. Bought a blender yesterday so she can whip-up some handmade paper. Her finished projects are full of her talent, charm and creative spirit. Brings zip to being sixty.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Liam (247/365)

Liam: He makes Pig Pen's dust look tame next to his complete disorganization. He can't walk ten feet without losing at least half his things. The other day complete humiliation rocked his nine year old world when his teacher gave him the dreaded Desk Dump.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Molly (246/365)

Molly: H.M. Queen and germ freak. Has her daughters addicted to Germ-X. Doesn't see the connection between the over use of anti-bacterial products in her home and her youngest daughter's daily need to receive Albuterol through a nebulizer. Her maid helps keep her house sterile.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mike (245/365)

Coach Mike: Hands down the coolest guy in town. Custom builds motorcycles for a living. Coaches little league baseball with heart and soul. Isn't concerned with winning games just teaching the Fundamentals. When not riding his custom Hogs, he's cruising in his tricked-out silver '06 Mustang.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Miss Kittell (244/365)

Miss Kittell: Taught seventh grade math. Apparently she didn't drink enough milk as a child because her bones creaked and cracked; moaned and groaned whenever she walked. At least that's what she told us. Ended every class by creaking-up to the chalkboard to write our assignment.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mr. Maurie SuperDawg (243/365)

Mr. SuperDawg: Do you realize how HOT you look in that sexy outfit, all steamy inside your bun, nestled in a bed of fries; poppy seeds falling all around your container? Makes me want to come home. And sink my teeth into. You. My yummy Superdawg.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kathie (242/365)

Kathie K.: Neighbors for 2 1/2 years, we instantly became like family. When I moved to N.C. it felt like we were getting a divorce. "State Farm" neighbor; always swooping in to help at the exact moment I needed her most. Good Midwestern stock; miss her.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Adam (241/365)

Adam C.: One of the Populars in junior high. Ran into him at a summer party seven years later. We chuckled over our awkward selves at thirteen. Later hooked up for lunch. Scored him V.I.P. pass onto the floor of the CBOT. He was appreciatively wide-eyed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Katie (240/365)

Katie: Her hair alone could start something. It's the most amazing shade of red. Her heart and mind are into her sports; baseball, soccer, football, basketball. Brings competition to her game. Natural born leader at school. Wish her Mom was here to see her soar.

Happy 10th Birthday Katie!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Paul (239/365)

Paul P.: 4th grade, recovering from a cold, I was "sentenced" to indoor recess. Bored I decided that the first boy I laid eyes on I would have a crush-on. My eyes landed on Paul, definitely not my first choice, but a promise is a promise.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Lisa (238/365)

Lisa F.: Dippity-do reeks. It can also ruin a person's image! Poor Lisa was the victim to a mother dangerously obsessed with her daughter's hair. Circa 1971, every morning Lisa boarded Bus #6 with her hair in pigtails greased-up with Dippity-do. Fellow riders hated that smell...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Adam (237/365)

Adam M.: In 1974 when Adam turned 12 he had a party at his house. His older sister hippily played the guitar. We sang Kodachrome, American Pie, Time in a Bottle and Old Man. Sitting in a circle on the living room floor, we defined groovy-cool.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sharon (236/365)

Sharon C.: Cheerleader, Marcia Brady of Lincoln Hall. Oldest in our grade, first to be Bat-Mitzvahed. I was in the middle of reading, Are You There God? It's me Margaret, when she announced in the girl's locker room with hushed whispers she was also first to.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Andrew (235/365)

Andrew: A few years younger plus a few dollars richer than me, I could always count on picking up some extra cash by selling him something cast-off; doubles from Wacky Packs, undesirable candy, old scratchy 45's (remember 45's?) and occasionally tiny bars of rose-shaped soaps.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Deirdre (234/365)

Deirdre: My mom says she's wonderful now, so it proves people change(?), but here's what I remember: mean stuck-up richey-rich girl snob that held her nose so high in the air it made her hair look very long. Married older $man$. To maintain her lifestyle?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Father Bill McNulty (233/365)

Father Bill McNulty: Favorite priest at our parish (QAS). Just past post Vatican II he held open confessions forgiving the entire class of second grade CCD students of our sins. He held "children's church" during mass that was always fun, entertaining and held everyone's attention. Hip cloth-man.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sister Francis Gerald (232/365)

Sister Francis Gerald, O.P.: The bell rang, she closed the door and we prayed. Anyone arriving post-bell had to sign their name on her chalkboard. Detention. Next, she exuberantly stalked the classroom searching for anyone wearing even a drop of color other than brown, beige or white. Detention.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bakkarii (231/365)

Bakkarii: Legally named Adam West; he was no Batman. His long dreads and dark skin made sure of that, besides try to visualize Bakkarii in a Batsuit?????? NEVER!!!!!! Every morning he'd wake, stand on his head for 3 minutes and then take a deep toke.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Maureen (230/365)

Maureen Ryan Griffin:

Rainbow of delight.
Full of wonder and magic.
I'm her tender kindergartener,
and she's the most fantastic teacher in all the world.
When she reads out loud in class
I want to curl at her feet and
Most beautiful soul.

Click Here for Maureen's Home Page

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

George (229/365)

George C.: Our town didn't yet have a library so we made our own, lending each other P.D. Eastman and Dr. Seuss. Then his parents moved him from the public school to the Catholic one. Our relationship fell apart and sadly so did our lending library.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Beth and Maura (228/365)

Beth and Maura Grant: Traveled through thirteen years of schooling together. We were the minority in elementary and junior high; Catholics among Jews. They were identical twins with only a small birthmark above Beth's lip to tell them apart. My memory favors us swinging on the second-grade playground.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Joel and Alan (227/365)

Joel and Alan Lieb: Identical twins with unidentical personalities. Joel was artistic; Alan loved a good argument. Haven't seen them since graduating 8th grade over thirty years ago, yet their faces come to mind when I think of kindness. Still have the otter cartoon Joel drew for me.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Eliz (226/365)

Eliz (My Goddaughter): One of my favorite sayings came from Eliz when she was four years old... "You can't be kissing if you're not thinking." For every challenge life has thrown, Eliz has met it head on with determination and strong will. Emotional intelligence, grace, perfect hair.

Happy 20th Birthday Eliz!! (9-17)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Paul (225/365)

Paul (3/6): Loves a good pun, a roaring fire and the Grateful Dead. He's the Descartes of our family. He loves puzzles, chess, saving money and his vegetable garden. Always analyzing something! Loyal and sincere. Works hard at EVERYTHING he does. Family matters deeply to him.

Happy 50th Birthday Paul! (9-17)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Toni (224/365)

Toni Kelley.: Her love and enthusiasm for teaching young minds the magical concept of sounding out letters that form words that become sentences then thoughts and ideas is her divine gift. Watch her face as one of her students has an "ah-ha" moment. God is present.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hugh (223/365)

Hugh the Horrible:

H: hedonist, hacker, hoser, hitchhiker, hogwash, hollow-headed, homophobic, horrendous, hostile, horrific, horse-trader;

U: unlikable, unprincipled, uncaring, unwelcome, unwanted, ungrateful, unloving, unwise, unkind, unfair, useless;

G: grandiose, grappler, gorilla, green-eyed monster, Gresham's Law, gerrymanderer, grudging, grievous, gross, greedy, The Grinch;

H: huffy, heel, huckster, haggler, hoggish, half-asser, horrent, heartless, horny, hooker, hated.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Louise (222/365)

Louise S.: Give this septuagenarian some paper, scissors, glue, ink and rubber stamps and she'll create little pieces of art made with love. Art that she puts in an envelope, S.W.A.K. and sends to family and friends. Meticulous, creative and always game to learn something new.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kyle (221/365)

Kyle: Speeds past my house at over 40 mph in his daddy's F-150. He only has a few days with her. He doesn't have time for Rachel's ranting and raving neighbor. He flips me the bird, pulls her closer and presses the pedal to metal.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rachel (220/365)

Rachel: The price of abandonment: her father's physical; her mother's emotional? She willingly goes to places that no fifteen year old ever should. Yet, what are her choices? She's so lonely, she just wants to feel some love. Anxiously, the boys line-up waiting their turn.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Joey (219/365)

Joey: He's not her real father so why should he care what she does with who, when, where or why? She's the reason he never answers the door anymore. His shame is heavy but the resistance too great. He just keeps his mind on work.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mayno (218/365)

Mayno: We decorated her Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Tree with the contents of her jewelry box, watched movies non-stop and helped each other nurse our terribly battered and broken hearts. Here's to us, Mayno! CHEERS! Therapy through laughter, chocolate, wine, movies and friendship works! We're living proof of it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Charlie (217/365)

Charlie Hayden: Was a carpenter that was first hired by my parents to rebuild the attic stairs then to remodel our kitchen. It was 1967, I think. His aroma was an exotic combination of sandalwood soap, pipe tobacco and cedar. He whistled joyfully while he worked.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Peggy (216/365)

Peggy M.: Dropped all kinds of subtle hints about her sexual preference back in the olden days. She was a pioneer, a warrior and a damn funny girl. Her girlhood home resting on the shore of Lake Michigan made her house the natural place for parties.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

John (215/365)

John S.: Invited me to Grinnell to be his guest at the mock wedding of two people he barely knew. What happened after the "reception"? Well all I'll say is I still have recurring dreams about that night and the picture perfect hike the next day.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stacey (214/365)

Stacey O.: She was like a big bowl of ice cream sitting on the counter; so cold to start but with each passing minute she began to soften and melt, eventually turning into something creamy, satisfying and delicious. Initially swore to Forever Enemies, was I wrong...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dave the Painter (213/365)

Dave the Painter: Painting our newly finished office, he discretely peed into an empty paint bucket that he stashed in the closet under his drop clothes. Never told him I knew ;).
Has an enormous Hot Wheel collection in his workshed. Kid at heart complete with cool toys.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Terri (212/365)

Terri: In her forties decided to go back to school to earn her teaching certificate. She's getting ready to move her gifted seventh and eighth grade students to a new school which will hopefully open in January to relieve the over-crowding in our growing county.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Terry (211/365)

Terry: A guitar in hand, his voice is soft and gentle which is striking because he looks more like an ex-rugby player. After he plays he looks down laughing, pointing at Cullen's untied shoes. It's a game he invented to amuse himself. Adopted twins internationally.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sue (210/365)

Sue C.: She experiences one intense moment after another. Her daughter is a challenging handful that leaves Sue in total flux after every encounter. Blowing her blond bangs off her forehead; she sighs then laughs. "My husband is a therapist. Is that why she's so difficult?"

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Eric (209/365)

Eric: Earned nickname, "The Earache" because he loves to talk about himself, how fabulous he is and how he's figured away around the system. After five minutes of listening to his spiel, people begin yawning and shifting uncomfortably, scanning the room for any way out.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Melody (208/365)

Melody: A rather ironic name from someone born deaf. At first she was mainstreamed in public school until her parents enrolled her into the NC School for the Deaf. She learned how to "hear". She looks a lot like Fergie. Parties - an audio challenge.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bill (207/365)

Bill: Willing and playful spirit with a deep love for his wife. He's the only man I know that loves to do crafts. At family get togethers he's the one to sit next to; a good time and laughter are guaranteed. He's easy to adore.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Viv (206/364)

Viv: Naturalist and volunteer at the botanical garden, she knows everything I wish I knew plus she sings. In the local choir! On mornings I saw her out walking I hurried to catch-up, knowing she had many important things to teach. Childless Earth Mother.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pat (205/365)

Neanderthal Pat: Shouted a demand at his wife to come in and make him his dinner. Now! Twice! Thinking those types died out ages ago or at least lived in the middle east, imagine my surprise to find one living across the street. Made me question...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pam (204/365)

Pam B.: Invited to lunch at her house I noticed the refrigerator was covered with magazine ads for BMW. Raising my eyebrows to her in silent question she simply replied, "God really wants me to drive a BMW." Shortly there after she began her Amway pitch.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mr. Buddy (203/365)

Mr. Buddy: Drove his big yellow dog down our street, 49 out of 52 weeks. He handed out candy on Friday afternoons and two dollar bills at Christmas time. His kindness has left giant imprints on all the precious cargo he safely delivered twice daily.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wendy (202/365)

Wendy: Creative, crafty, thrifty and always punctual. Favorite saying: That's just it! Has one of the highest energy levels I've ever experienced. Can spin circles around most. Always leaves people wondering how does she do it? ... Her secret? Cancer scare in her early 20's.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Smiley Al (201/365)

Smiley Al: Earned his nickname by grinning ear-to-ear each time we came into his shop with a flat tire, in need of a tune-up or a new bike. He liked what he did, but loved riding even more. Closed on Sundays - Out Riding read the sign.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sarah (200/365)

Sarah: A wild horse; graceful, beautiful, elegant, enchanting. Like everyone else that tried to capture her, I was left breathless and frustrated as she bolted away. I wanted to be her or at least ride with her. Some horses are best left untamed, running free.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Peter (199/365)

Peter: Worked for Pillsbury first. When he switched to E.F. Hutton we'd all hush when he spoke just to watch him roll his eyes and smile. Smoked like a chimney yet always had the sweetest breath. Wonder if any of those market tips made him...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Michelle (198/365)

Dr. Michelle M.: Met her in N.I.C.U. the night Libby was born. First time on-call the new Pediatrician was paged in the middle of the night. Calmly reassuring, her tender words comforted me. When we moved five years later she shares how nervous she was that night.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bob (197/365)

Bob P.: Standing 6'-3" he had this horrible mumbling habit. Everyone would say to him, "Your too tall to mumble Bob." His reply? Smile and mumble something incoherent yet smart-alecky. Figures. Years before it was his dad that shot nightly B.B.'s hitting teenagers on the beach.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Virginia (196/365)

Virg T.: Number 12 out of 17. Her family became Virg's kudzu, overtaking any chance for other relationships to sprout. Someone was always having a crisis! Having no time for anyone but her 16 siblings and their off-shoots, it became too weedy to be with her.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dr. Crane (195/365)

Dr. Crane:

Rotting in Hell somewhere now I suppose,
the ugliest words could not begin to describe.
Why I hate juniper.
And white iron benches.
And saddle shoes...

...sadly, so much more.

Severing innocence,
Stealing sweet dreams.
Shattering mirrors that should've reflected;

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Peggy (194/365)

Peggy: One blue, one green eye. Irish sista'. Working on a project she suddenly starts acting all goofy; giggling, overly-happy, overly-chatty?!?! She could hardly wait to say she was. It must've been something in our office water cooler because five weeks later I was too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Randy (193/365)

Randy Manus: Cullen's fifth grade teacher. Everyday he plays with his class during recess. Through all those games of football, baseball and kickball he solidifies every lesson he just taught in the classroom. What child doesn't dream of a Mr. Manus in their lives?! Valuable lessons.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Donna (192/365)

Donna: My parents knew her parents. Blond, funny and attractive with a great love for flowers. Her flourish as a florist led to her own shop, Donna's Garden. She did the flowers for my wedding. Tragically a young mother's worst news: Tumor. Terminal. Brain. Cancer.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Brother Small (191/365)

Brother James Small, S.J.: Paints and serves the Lord! As a teenager, it was his painting of a tiger stalking in tall grass that stood watch over me. Those tiger's eyes monitoring my actions came from the hands and heart of Brother Small and carried a holy presence.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Julie (190/365)

Julie: My neighborhood's other-side-of-the-tracks: Ionia Avenue. Our side of Ionia: 'Burbs; the other side: City. City kids who dared cross into our turf usually left quickly, but not Julie, she belonged on our side. Her white straw bike basket with dog inside said it all.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Donkey (189/365)

Jimmy (Donkey): He met a woman through the internet. Late 40's, never married, socially phobic. Love blooms! He decides to tie the knot. She's in her early twenties, weighing considerably more than Jimmy. Bravely relocates from Chicago into the Tennessee country-side trailer of his new bride.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pat (188/365)

Pat: So power hungry, it reeked from her pores. The best thing she did; ordered me a small fan when she found out I was pregnant. Her bossy nosy uber-mother attitude added to her magnet pull or in most cases push. Not to be trusted.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dale (187/365)

Dale: He's the type of man that had his jeans dry-cleaned and kept his office and car immaculate. His last name is Sparks yet he forbid us from calling him "Sparky". He acted more like a college professor than a pension consultant, always happily teaching.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bike Accident Victim (186/365)

Special Exemption Today
***Application of the Deloney Rule in Effect***

Bike Accident Victim:
Thirty-five years ago, Cyndi and I hit, no actually we smashed dead center into an older Yiddish lady. We were on our way home from the beach riding west on Devon Avenue. The lady was burdened down with age, arthritis and groceries; Cyndi and I with youth, silliness and sandy suits. Cyndi, is and always has been a magnet for mishap and Pratt falls. She was driving the blue Schwinn tandem when we plowed into the little old Yiddish woman, knocking her off her elderly feet. Her gnarled fists raised in anger, while she remained sprawled on the sidewalk for what seemed like forever. We stood frozen on the sidewalk, stunned and speechless. Her image still pops into my head whenever I realize I've done something totally inappropriate. Her angry face is with me after all these years. She's one of those songs I just can't get out of my head. And maybe that is a good thing! She keeps me grounded.

*** Deloney Rule= Word Limit? What Word Limit?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Frank (185/365)

Frank C.: He held his secret identity close, so closely it almost choked him. Until one day, he decided to fling open the door, announcing himself to the world by participating in Chicago's first gay parade. Several of his office mates saw the news that night.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Rhonda (184/365)

Rhonda K.: Magnificent Magician! Elegant, funny, engaging, stylish, charming. College professor taught; coached; encouraged young woman in her accounting classes. Hanging on her every word, except when we were half asleep in her 8:30 classes and she made us perform an aerobic version of this rhyme*.

*The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tony (183/365)

Tony: His ability to plan his life fully really wrangles his friends. He bought the final destination house first; calculated the exact amount of cash he needs to save monthly in order to retire early. His portfolio is diversified, owns land. Only works 9-5/M-F.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mandy (182/365)

Mandy: Fellow writer. Self confident and why shouldn't she be? She was born that way. Her mother, Ann carried Mandy in a snuggle she observed African woman doing. This gave Ann an idea. Mandy is living proof of the benefits of holding a baby close.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kurt (181/365)

Kurt: Gorgeous hunk; dark hair; piercing soulful blue eyes. What made him unique was how nonchalant he was about his breathlessly good looks plus he was kind and honest. Annually he won our office's unofficial sexiest-man-in-a-cubicle contest. Over coffee he'd tell me his dreams. Meoooow!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mary (180/365)

Mary: Here's my fantasy...Mary and Steve realize after all these years that they do still madly LOVE one another, get married, live HAPPILY ever after, raising Katie while Mary's adult children pop in for an occasional barbecue. Sweet! How to convince Mary and Steve?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Robert (179/365)

Robert (1/6): My oldest brother. Eight Years. If he was a 365'er he'd get 52 words. Wise. Kind. Sincere. Playful. Spacey. Generous. Self-Made. Successful. Community-oriented, volunteering his sensibilities, time and talents. Collects baseball hats. Loves a good cigar. Father, son, brother, partner. Bob, Bobert, The BobFather.

Happy Birthday Robert !!! (7-31)
Go White Sox!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Connie (178/365)

Connie M.: Was Gary's secretary, as well as the finest example of Murphy's Law I've ever encountered. Hearing the hum of her infamous phrases;
"Darn it! Where did that file go?"
from her cubicle sent typically mild mannered people into panicked frenzies.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dash (177/365)

Dash: Technically not human, but well on his way. He "speaks" with a deep Fonzie-like voice with a southern flair. He's my playful shadow. He growls, but doesn't really mean it. It's just his South Side attitude shining through. He's tough on the outside, Jell-O inside.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Laura (176/365)

Laura A.: Wore her blond hair in a ponytail, which gave her a fresh just-exercised look. She was one of those people that always knew what to do and how to do it. Even from afar she was THE go-to girl because she was naturally capable.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Robbie (175/365)

Robbie: * Wore his crush for me on his sleeve in 1977 . Googling Robbie *, I learn that 18 months ago he's robbed a bank on North Central using a fake bomb. Being a Royko was never easy; being Robbie even harder*! Still inappropriate after all these years*!

* Bless His Heart!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sister Jean Dolores (174/365)

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, B.V.M.: Called my house January 6th to check on me. I had missed the first two days of Winter Quarter because of a vacation and the nuns missed me. What customer service! Sister Jean never let anyone fall through the cracks! What caring and devotion.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Keith (173/365)

Keith: Don't be fooled by his slick way with words because that's all they are: slick words. Don't believe it unless you have actually seen it in writing. Then you can believe it and you better comply if you know what is good for you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Susan (172/365)

Susan A.: To be called into her office was both thrilling and nerve racking. There was her genuine desire to love, mother and mentor each of us, but beware, because she also struck fear into those that GOD forbid presented her with anything less than Susan-perfect.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Jim (171/365)

*Jim K.: Creative, funny and kind. He was The Supervisor every peon dreamed to do a project with; except for his office, which smart peons knew never to leave anything valuable in. When we moved to the new building Administration parked a dumpster outside his door.

* Jim is a birthday buddies!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Jackie (170/365)

Jackie D.: Shortly before she got fired we were riding the bus, laughing and chatting away, life was good. A week later they cut her loose as if she were a cobweb, uncovered during their spring cleaning. Swept away. Disregarded. Gone. It completely ripped her apart.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rick (169/365)

Rick H.: My boss was exceptional except for the one time he leaned back in his chair and propped his feet up, accidentally turning off my computer and losing our newly completed calculations. That day I learned the importance of saving my work every three seconds.

Friday, July 21, 2006

6609 (168/365)

6609: I live in her still, in my half-awake dreams, replaying my life within her shelter. She's my cradle I fall into when I'm sad, lonely or empty. She fills me with her comfortable elegance. Wonder if the new people are aware of my presence?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

John (167/365)

John A.: In a parallel universe somewhere Jim Carrey is completing work on an actuarial calculation while John is completing his latest movie. There is a cosmic similarity between them right down to their crazy facial expressions, wacky senses of humor and timber of their voices.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Meg (166/365)

Meg (2/6):
Seven years my senior.
Chestnut brown hair.
My sister.
Shared a room
over the kitchen for seven years.
Love her.
Love to hear her laugh.
Love how she cares for "her seniors" in
the nursing home that takes her gentle touch
for granted.
Happy Birthday Meg!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mike (165/365)

Mike H: Comical timing coupled with his Jewish sense of humor makes Mike FUNNY. With no sexual chemistry between us our friendship soared in a way none other could. Summer nights spent sailing LakeMichigan he revealed deep confusing emotions enhanced by having an "eggselent" gay father.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Libby (164/365)

Libby: Daughter; amazingly creative little girl with such a caring and compassionate heart. These strengths are her selfless gifts. From the moment I saw her perfect newborn face I have loved and claimed her. She is my most treasured jewel. Thanking GOD for her everyday.

Happy 9th Birthday Libby!!! (7-18)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Gary (163/365)

His smile is my tonic. He's my soul-mate, play-mate and birthday mate. He's my world. Without him I'd be rough around my edges. Synchronicities are a common theme in his life. He's cat like, always lands on his feet headed in the right direction.

Happy Birthday Gary!

If I had it more together I would have made this post 11 days ago, but travel and duties as a mom-of-summer have wooed me away from the computer. July 16th is the day I get to add another word to my 365 blog. Officially I'm now allowed 44 words!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nancy (162/365)

Nancy: Her laughter and spirit light up the room and her emotional strength is phenomenal. Her soul feels like my favorite flannel pajamas on a cold winter's night. Embracing her life challenges with a head-on attitude, flaming the fire with more knowledge and education.

Happy Birthday Nancy!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Andy (161/365)

Andy L.: One of the most annoying people I ever worked with; like fingernails on a chalkboard. Had a "told you so" spirit to everything he touched. The day he left for a "better opportunity" was one of the happiest days of my working life.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Denise (160/365)

Denise: If you needed copies, staples or a file Denise was the one to see. Ran her department witha passion. Knew all of the office news before anyone else. She was like a steel drum though, people felt comfortable confiding in her.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mike (159/365)

Mike Schuh: Loved U.F.O. and Michael Schenker's guitar playing to an extreme. "Schuey" was my sophomore year love. He parted his hair smack down the middle, lived in Chicago (Mayfair neighborhood) and had soulful beautiful brown eyes. We held puppy-love all night marathon phone calls.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Libby (158/365)

Libby H.: Bubbly, fun and cute. She was just popular enough. A thespian, she always had a substantial role in our H.S. productions. When she tossed back her long bobbed hair and laughed, she lit up the room. I bet she doesn't even remember me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Preston (157/365)

Preston: The fun cool party guy from the all boys Catholic H.S. that got the Valedictorian of the all girls Catholic H.S. pregnant. If it weren't for his trust fund their story would have turned out a lot more tragic, which hardly seems possible.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Lisa (156/365)

Lisa: One of the first people I met after moving to Charlotte. A petty, self-centered woman that had a nasty gossip habit. She made me miserable, stuck on a project together that lasted an eternity. Tarnishing the name Lisa with her ugly rumor hisses.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Paulie (155/365)

Paulie: He starts doing his stick as soon as he's audience arrives. He delivers his jokes with precession and grace. He watches as everyone laughs at his comedy. He is sweet and when he smiles his face looks like a sunny blue sky day.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Paisley (154/365)

Paisley: I don't remember much about her, only that she was Rosie Tobin's friend and had such an exotic name. I mean come on, who in their right mind would name their newborn daughter Paisley. Imagine what boys must have thought meeting her.