Saturday, June 18, 2016


7 people killed in a  gay bar "La Madame" in Xalpa, Veracruz...and then 50 killed at "Pulse" in Orlando. So sad.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Music Room (And A Kitchen Table)

 We have moved the whole apartment around. We needed to make room for huge paintings. Stagg has a show coming he needs room. Somehow I switched around all the tech, putting record player in kitchen tv in middle room, computer in I put Stagg's bass amp in the room here. With my guitar and Ukulele we have a sort of music room.
 We ook apart a kitchen table and moved this big table in here....we had in now more room over all. We have a little too much furniture, which i guess was a pretty nice problem to have. So some stuff has been given away.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Food Justice

 Being a Food Justice advocate I was pretty excited to see some other Food Justice activists in their work environment and urban gardens today. I met some of the creators of Cooperation Operation last month at the Burner Grant Event and they were the first place recipients. I met with Liz since the event and just asked her so many questions about how her organization created their urban garden, how their mutual group all are from the southside of Chicago and have families that extend back generations in the south side as a common factor in wanting to grow food in a food desert.

The Cooperation Operation (Coop Op) is a non-profit community organization that transforms vacant urban land into spaces for educational and economic empowerment. They envision a world where all people have access to affordable healthy food, education, housing, employment, and critical social services.

The land I visited today is in Pullman and originally the organizers approached their Alderman for support in reclaiming industrial land for food. The Alderman pledged them a five year lease and since then, the Pullman district has been named a National Monument and 
is a component in the National Park System.

 Liz Nerat, a writer and board of directors for the Coop Op led a writing workshop today. she really has a gift for teaching and facilitating. I was impressed with her focus during the heat, puppies, my crazy questions and some of the participants have self-doubts (me included!) she kept us all going. We also laughed so much! 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Davis Theatre

 I love the Davis Theatre it's one of the main venues I see movies in. We used to live down the street...and since working a block away I often will go to a movie after work. The Davis was built in 1918 as a vaudeville theatre. The owners have been in the middle of a huge renovation for months. I took these pictures and what a thrill! The owners didn't know there was app organ behind a wall. The Wurlitizer will be part of of the new design and the builders and owners are adding a bar. Oh How I love movie theaters!!! This movie house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Friday, June 03, 2016

Rainmaker, R.I.P.

RAINMAKER, R.I.P. I had early Prince albums. You know the early ones, but it was 1999 that really blew me away and I obsessed over it in a different way. I used to lie alone on my floor playing it all night. I loved the album cover. In some ways it was the album cover that made it different than his earlier albums to me. I wa so into the artwork. I was so into the color purple and the cartoony drawings that were on the front cover. And I must have starred dreaming at Prince in bed forever. When I went out dancing and anything tfrom this album came on I was so excited. Look at Princes ROOM. Look at him in bed! His room as so cool! I am an artist and there he is with his watercolours!!! I didn't write an obit yet for Prince. I usually write something when someone I care about dies, in fact, I'm actually kind of good at writing tributes for an obit. I have a section on my blog. But I just didn't know where to start for Prince and I would cry when I did start. Last week I heard "Little Red Corvette" on the radio and I really lost my shit. Of all the Prince songs, why this one? I didn't even list it as one of my favorites of his. But hearing that song tore me apart. The hope, the freedom, the desire in those lyrics. Somehow Prince took the great American car anthem and made it so special and unique and young again: he locked swords with all those youthful greaser songs and made it so deep and tragic. When he sings with a screeched forced high cry "And I say the ride is so smooth" it felt like my heart would break. I didn't know that this week it would really break. I am so sad. It was the autopsy report that got me focused to write this obit finally....I had been putting it off. To think of Prince all alone, in his elevator dying from an overdose....not safe, not with anyone I think of how Prince kept me company when I was all alone. I think of the tragedy of him losing his wife, his baby and just being so alone and vulnerable. I know people say he had a lot of pain. The rumour is he had blown out his hips, his knees and feet from dancing and jumps. If he didn't opt for surgery he chose pain relief. I guess. But you know, I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist. And I am with Dick Gregory on this one...I think someone turned away and let Prince die. He had got his music rights back. He had stuck it to the man. And any news reports coming from TMZ have to be taken with caution seeing as who owns TMZ? Time Warner. I am so sad that for whatever reason, Prince was alone and taking opiates. And I am sad we live in a world where art and evil are institutionalized.I am sad we live in a world where the news agencies are owned by the people who oppress us and produce art. And I am so inconsolably sad tat Prince was so strong and smart yet still so vulnerable. What if god was one of us, just a slave like one of us?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Odd Pics Hanging Around

 Sometimes we take out a camping stove to the viaducts and serve some stew or soup being able to keep it warm . I think this pic is the night we took spaghetti out.

Below are two pics that our friend George put into a paint app of his, just thought I'd post them here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rain And Pork Chops

 We made fresh MacIntosh apple sauce to go with pork chops and salad and dinner rolls to take out to the people who live in tents under the viaducts in northside Chicago last night. In the photo above from left to right is, Kathy (my friend from guitar class) and then Daryl, Gloria, Stagg and Iris. We have a lot of fun! We worked really hard last night lets happening. Very bad rain and thunder storm.
 We could have made twice the salad and another 10 pork chops for sure. People were hungry! We have begun to make huge first we weren't sure of anyone would want salad but the greens and veggies have been super popular. We also made fresh buttermilk ranch dressing. Thanks Kathy!
 Daryl and Stagg cooked the pork chops. We put things into containers with foil to keep warm. The salad we served as a kind of salad bar. With separate containers for radishes, cucumber, tomatoes. One guy said to Stagg last week "I haven't seen a radish in ten years!"
 We also had exciting news. About a year ago...I made flyers about our project that Stagg and I were taking food to Tent City. I asked if people had any travel size hygiene products, like hand sanitizer, or tooth paste or tooth brushes or soaps...the kind people often collect from hotel bring me extras if they wanted. Well, months later...a Chicago Girl Scout troop told their parents they were concerned about all the homeless people in the city...and what could they do. One of the parents had taken a picture of our flyer!!! She had it on her phone!!! So they phoned me and I went to speak at one of their troop meetings. The kids decided to have a pledge at their school where they got all the school to compete to who could collect the most donations of toilet paper, baby wipes, tooth paste....and many other items. The class room that collected to most donations won a prize of donuts. (the gourmet fancy donut store "Glazed and Confuzed" donated the winning donuts!) The kids collected so many donations they were able to donate to our efforts as well as a shelter and food pantry. The kids dropped of hundreds of items and we made them into hygiene bags to hand out to the people living under the viaducts. We have lots more to hand out next week too.
Everyone who participates works all week and are often very tired. I know Stagg is exhausted from a long week at Hard Rock.....and Daryl delivers food late at night....but somehow we did it last night in a truly terrible rain and thunder storm. As bad as weather or fatigue may really hits home when I think, gee, we get to GO HOME. We have a roof over our heads.I feel so lucky to be able to help a little bit . Last night everyone went crazy eating and were lined I said we could have made twice as much food. I want to try to think of how we could help even more....