Sunday, September 23, 2007

six hours in another country

Sophie and me, Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada.

One of the best things about living in metro Detroit is that at any given moment, you can throw up your hands, and say "That's it! I've had it! I'm fleeing the country!" And 30 minutes later you're in Canada.

That's what I did today. Donna whisked me away across the border this morning to Point Pelee. Our plan was to watch thousands of migrating monarch butterflies, but we were told at the visitor center that the weather was too warm and we wouldn't see them that day. We had a great time anyway, walking down to the Point, taking photos, and hanging out with Sophie, who was not thrilled with the beach environment.

After the Point, we walked back down the trail and ran into two women who had two pomeranians. Now, Sophie's fur is a matted, horrible mess. In my hectic last two months, her grooming has been put on the back burner. She gets a bath, but the meticulous brushing and trimming she needs has been nonexistent. But I wanted to meet the two poms, so I walked over to them. Up close, they were immaculately groomed, shiny, silky, and tangle free. Every movement sent their flowing fur in ripples down their glistening bodies. I've never seen such perfect poms. And here comes Sophie, tangled, messy, and clumpy, covered in sand from the beach, with a twig stuck to her butt. She looked like Pig Pen.

Turns out, the owner is a professional dog GROOMER. I was mortified. What are the chances?? Sophie had never looked worse in her entire life, and here we meet a pom groomer. She recommended that I shave Sophie down to 1/4" or so and just basically start over. And believe me, she's right. That's how bad the situation is. So the two poms, after sniffing Sophie's appropriate body parts, went on their way. I picked up my gritty, knotted, slightly stinky dog and we watched them leave, the sun reflecting off their silky backs and their perfect tails waving like plumes down the trail.

Donna, walking out to the Point.
After that, we hopped back in the car, ate some crackers with hummus, trail mix, cheese, and my yummy carrot/apple/celery/orange juice concoction I had juiced this morning. Are we healthy, or what? We drove to the marsh, where there is a lookout tower and boardwalk trail.

The boardwalk trail through the marsh. And canoes!

And that was my 6-hour getaway to Canada. Now I'm off to shave my dog.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

trying not to drown

Scott, Kristie, & Cerenna, at the end of the party.

I've been fighting the "black dog", as Winston Churchill called it; a bit of depression has come my way. I've been battling it since I was 12, so I should be an old pro at it. When I was younger I thought I could magically cure it and it would never return. Now I've accepted that it's just part of my personality, and instead I try and focus on ways to get through it. Taking care of myself, curling up on the couch and brooding for awhile, learning something new like trying a new recipe, or listening to music. Or, when I truly can't stand myself anymore, taking a sleeping pill and sending my ass to bed. Which is what I did last night.

When I woke up this morning, I felt the dark waves rolling up to me. It would have been so much easier just to pull the covers up and lay there. But I hauled my wallowing self out of bed and started my day. Spent time on a project I took home from work, drank coffee, made some healthy, yummy snacks for Donna and my trip to Canada tomorrow.

And then I went to my neighbor Scott's 40th birthday party next door. Kristie had asked me to be the photographer for the evening, and it was hard to be down while taking pictures of kids playing and Cerenna learning how to walk. I met so many great people - holding a camera and being able to walk right up, ask people to pose, and then staying to chat is a great icebreaker.

So tonight the goal is to hold it together, battle the black dog, and go to sleep early. What would Winston do? He battled depression his whole life, too. Maybe I'll read one of his books in bed tonight.

Must think positive thoughts. Must believe. Must have hope. Must keep going.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the wedding!

Some of my favorite photos of the bride and groom. The entire set is here. The wedding was held at the Crossed Keys Inn in New Jersey. It was such a classy outdoor country setting. Donna and I had a blast driving there (9 hours from Michigan), cracking ourselves up with insane stories few others would understand and stopping frequently for bathroom breaks. And we got to hang out with our new friends, Beth, Jen, and Julie, who I feel like we've known forever, and who all fit into our lives so easily.

Beth & Julie

Chris & Jen

At the pub, after the wedding reception

The thing I came away with the most, aside from witnessing two of my favorite people get married in a beautiful setting, was how much I deserve to have these same things. I've gone to weddings in the past and come home depressed about being single. This time, seeing other couples so happy, meeting my friends' awesome husbands - it just showed me how utterly WRONG the people I've been dating are for me. Men who can't commit, men who put me second (or third or fourth), men who leave me for the stupidest reasons ever . . . it doesn't have to be that way, and I won't allow it anymore.

So I left the wedding hopeful. I felt special and appreciated by all the people I met there. I feel myself opening up and changing and knowing exactly what I want (and don't want). I feel powerful, desirable, and in control. It's a new beginning.

I'm ready. Come to me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

road trip and a wedding

Sarah & Amer, applying for their marriage license last month.

I'm off to New Jersey to see this awesome couple get married. I'll be back early next week with stories and photos. Until then . . .

Monday, September 3, 2007

holing up, day two

Clean Lymie, looking sleepy after a long soak in the jacuzzi tub.

I love being stinky and dirty. Sweaty, grimy, covered in dust and grass clippings, hair sticking to my head, fingernails black, miscellaneous twigs, leaves, and mulch stuck to my clothes and shoes. It means that I have worked hard and accomplished something. I didn't exert myself for three years. Think about that. Three years of not being able to do much of anything. So I welcome the grime and overall disgusting aroma that comes from a day of getting things done. Especially when my reward is a jacuzzi bath with homemade grapefruit-scented soap.

Soaking the grime away.
Today I:
  • slept in
  • drank coffee
  • turned on the "Dirty Jobs" marathon to admire my future husband, Mike Rowe
  • colored my hair
  • gave sophie a bath
  • mowed the lawn
  • weedwacked
  • watered the garden
  • ate coconut shrimp
  • hauled the weekly trash and bags of yard waste to the curb
  • swept the garage
  • vacuumed my car
  • did more laundry
  • soaked in the jacuzzi tub
  • packed for the upcoming wedding in NJ
Today I injured myself by:
  • falling down the stairs. I had been tossing laundry and sheets from my upstairs bedroom down the stairs. With an armload of magazines, DVDs, and books, I headed downstairs, slipped on the laundry 2 stairs from the bottom, and came crashing down onto the hardwood floor. I re-bruised my knees from my fall in NJ, wrenched my back, and scraped my forearm.
  • burning my fingers. I cleaned the ashes out my fire pit to dump on my garden. I began using my hands to scoop ashes when YOW! An ember from last night's fire was still hot, and burned and blistered two of my fingers on my right hand.
  • slicing my left hand with a pair of scissors while opening the package of coconut shrimp. It took me awhile to figure out where all the blood was coming from.
I am a klutz!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

holing up

Sophie, hanging out in the yard.

I am secluding myself in my house for some much-needed Lisa time. My head has been swimming with projects and information and some not-so-good issues in my family (which I may share at a later time). This weekend I am staying home alone and re-centering myself, regaining control and strength.

Today I:
  • slept in
  • drank coffee while reading blogs
  • cleaned my living room, bathroom, and kitchen (I even moved furniture and cleaned cupboards)
  • did laundry
  • watched the Tiger game
  • gave Sophie a haircut
  • grilled a steak and ate it with a baked sweet potato
  • took a shower
  • read the play "Epic Proportions" on my back patio with Sophie snoozing beside me
  • had a campfire after dark
I am feeling more like me.


On a break from cleaning my house, I found this little guy on my mailbox.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

goodbye, upstage

My last view of the Upstage, before turning off the lights.

The entire set of Flickr photos is here.

After a flurry of packing and sorting and hauling and loading the contents of our theater to two different warehouses and various members' houses, it's over. I really can't believe that I'll never set foot in the Upstage again.

The theater group I belong to, Rosedale Community Players, is moving temporarily to Bushnell Church's fellowship hall until we find a permanent place to call home. They've been in our current building for the past 30 years. We rented it from a landlord who basically took no pride in the building. Over the past ten years or so, the ceiling has been slowly leaking and caving in. What ceiling is now left is waterlogged and moldy (as you'll see from the Flickr photos). Not good conditions for the patrons, by any means. Yesterday was the last day of our lease, so Donna and I organized a "Farewell, Upstage" party to celebrate the good times, reflect on the not-so-good times, and tell stories about the craziness that's gone on in that space.

I've been a member for over 7 years. When I moved back to Michigan from Manhattan, I didn't know a soul. My social life was basically hanging out with my cats all weekend. My co-worker suggested I come to the Upstage and help paint sets as a creative outlet, and to meet new people. The first show I worked on was "Shadow Box" and it changed everything - I met the people who would become my second family. So I had many memories that ran quite deep

The most heartwarming part of the evening was that each member got to take one final bow on the stage. Everyone who had been part of the Upstage in any capacity - as an actor, producer, set dresser, usher, anything - was introduced by name, walked across the stage, and bowed to a round of applause and hoots. I think it gave everyone closure, and one last moment in the limelight.

People began trickling out of the party around 11 p.m., until finally it was me, Donna, and seven others left. We gathered up our belongings and stood around, taking it all in. This water-damaged place meant so much to us. I looked around at the others' faces, and everyone was lost in their own thoughts for a moment. Thirty years holds a lot of memories. Then we took a deep breath, turned off the lights, went down the tall flight of stairs one last time, and said goodbye.