Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I puttered around home during the day, eating Grandma's cranberry salad and popcorn and basically being a lazy ass.
I left home around 4:00 to meet Dad at the farm. We drove to Logansport to hang out with cousin Chuck and his family. It was great fun (and lots of food - ham, yum). There was some Euchre playing, looking at old photographs and story-telling. I got to see the Little Mommy Gotta Go in action - ick!
We spent the night - I slept like a rock star in the spare bedroom. I slept very well, I didn't realize how on edge I was.
The next morning we went to Bullshippers Cafe, connected to the stockyard. It the kind of place that I can imagine meeting a nice farmer and watiressing for the rest of my working years. It was a lovely morning.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Anna and J.R. very wisely let the kids exchange gifts before dinner. June Bug gave me beautiful crucifix earrings and her brother gave me a necklace to match. I don't know whether the kids think I'm very holy or that I need a good dash of religion. Either way, I love my gifts. Ron and I had each other's names in the gift exchange. He gave me cool PEZ ornaments and I gave him a six-pack of Bell's Porter - that just answered my question of what the kids were thinking when they loaded me down with crosses. Both Mom and Dad gave me something green that magically turned in to an iPhone.
Dinner was wonderful. I was feeling a little snappy and tired by the end of the evening. I decided that I'd rather sleep at home with my new locks than spend the night somewhere else. When I woke up to the neighbor's dog barking wildly at 2:00 am, I convinced myself that it was just Santa passing through.
Here is last year's Christmas Eve with the family post.
Everyone has been incredibly kind and generous. I worked until 2:00 and spent the afternoon replacing my locks (I did it myself!), phone and lip balm.
Walking in to the Red Key was like walking in to a group hug. Everyone was full of concern and good wishes. My stocking had some extra goodies - a little purse and coin bag. And I got the best present ever - a leg lamp! It is so cool! I'd just been watching the Christmas Story as I changed my locks. It's proudly displayed in my window at home, with the soft electric glow of sex for all the neighborhood to see.
As much as I wanted to stay for the carolling, it was time for the next party.
Emi took some great photos - see them here.
Here is last year's post.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The more-than-good news: I'm fine.
The news-news: I went to the Northside Newsstands Festivus party tonight. I considered walking the four blocks from my house to the party, but decided that the sidewalks were too treacherous. I almost parked on a side street, but decided that it would be safer to park on College Avenue, a well traveled street. As I was walking toward the Jazz Kitchen two men walked toward me. Being ever so polite, I moved over and walked on the grass so they could pass. No dice. One man batted at my purse and the other showed me his gun. I very nicely handed over my bag. The part that really frosted me was that they both called me a bitch....really? You're taking all of my favorite things and calling me names. Whatever, asshats.
The I-know-I-am-loved-news: It took me a few minutes to walk/slide/freak-out my way to the Jazz Kitchen but I knew once I got there I'd be taken care of. I whispered the situation in to the ear of Frank, the doorman. You know how I hate to cause a scene...I'd debated whether to call 911 or the non-emergency number as I was walking, but Frank very rightly called 911. I stood in the lobby as I was waiting for the patrol car and made small talk with people passing by. The weather was awful and the police were super busy. The policewoman finally arrived and we realized that it was too loud to talk in the entryway. So I got to sit in the back of a squad car, in front of the Jazz Kitchen. By the time I got done giving my statement a crowd of friends had gathered on the deck waiting in the rain for me. It was like walking in to a big group hug. I just wish someone had gotten a photo of me getting out of the police car.
Now that I've had time to sort it out, I realized that I'm just good old-fashioned pissed off. I'm mad for the neighborhood -- it was on College Avenue, between two of my favorite places - the Red Key and the Newsstand. I'm mad because I love to walk at night. I'm mad that they were black and that people ask and that I've had to say it a hundred times. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to be a young urban black man. I'm mad that people are giving me a hard time for walking alone at night (it was around 9:00). I'm mad that I've totally overeaten the last two days and feel like crap.
I'm mad that my camera is gone --I feel really naked without it. I'm mad that the notebook that I've kept notes for every show I've seen in for 2008 is gone. I'm mad that my press pass is gone. I'm mad that my Jesus key chain that was also a flashlight is gone (you never know when you'll need Jesus to light your way) and my Hatch Show Prints key chain is gone. I'm mad that all of my make-up is gone (not that I wear a lot, but it was all in there). Not to mention cash and credit and gift cards and other crap. I'm mad that I have to get another driver's license. I'm mad that my cash is gone. I'm mad that I'm achy and sore (between adrenaline and the one block walk of running/sliding to get help I really goofed up my neck and back). I'm mad that Christmas notes I'd written to friends are gone. I'm mad that I had to change my locks. I'm mad that I don't feel comfortable in my own house. And most of all, I'm mad that I'm mad.
But all in all, it's okay - I'm thankful that my dad could hand me cash and a credit card so I could replace the phone and have some walking around money. I'm thankful that I have such caring friends and family. I'm thankful that I have a warm and cozy and mostly safe neighborhood to live in. I'm thankful for living in a neighborhood that people know my name. I'm thankful to have a good job that I love.
Monday, December 22, 2008
We played the draw a picture on your head game again. It is a giggly good fun game. This year we drew a snowman with falling snow. Here is my version. I think it is better than I could draw if I was looking at the paper.
We also did a gift exchange. We played a game where you could steal someone else's gift. Mine was wrapped really pretty and in a great box and kept getting stolen and traded. The gifts tucked inside were geared towards a woman. Holiday socks, cocktail napkins, a headband, coffee mug, tissues and a candy cane headband.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Dinner was delicious. Wonderful soup followed by leg of lamb and roasted vegetables. We all toasted Linda. I've known Linda for half of my life now. When we first met, I knew what I'd know her forever. I never dreamed that I'd be working in her wildly successful clothing store twenty-five years later. She's a great friend!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here is last year's post about lunch at Horizon House. It sums up the whole experience pretty well. Except for the emotion and anger and helplessness that I feel about hunger and homelessness. I don't pretend to know any answers or solutions. I just keep plowing on and fighting the good fight.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I shopped for two families this year in lieu of buying gifts for friends and family. The shopping needed to be done in the height of my sickness. I was getting so confused looking at the slips of paper for six children and three adults that I made myself a cheat sheet with sizes and wish lists.
The adults all asked for cleaning supplies and one of the moms asked for plates. I found a cute set of dishes and loaded up on cleaning supplies and diapers for both families. I also gave both families a package of florescent light bulbs -- no time like the present to start with energy conservation.
I seriously had a fever when I was shopping for the clothes and toys. And I was in my least favorite store in the world - not so much because I think they are an evil empire, but because the people who shop there are rude horrible asshats.
The whole time I was shopping I had a prayer/mediation running through my head. I was praying for the young parents that they had the patience and strength to raise these children. I was picturing the kids and how they will have so much fun with their siblings. One family the mom is 22 and the dad 24 and the two daughters are 22 months and 7 months old. I actually giggled as I picked out cute outfits for the girls and thought about how much fun they'd have together.
When I got home I started laying everything out and putting names on piles of goodies. As I was checking names with the notes on my cheat sheet I realized that the 7 month old girl was named Keith....and she was a boy! F dash dash dash. I had to put my coat on and go back out in to the night. Grrrr.
As it turned out, I was not really needed for the day of passing the things out, there were plenty of high school kids there. Since I was already out of the office I decided to play hooky and go to noon Mass. Saint John the Evangelist is the oldest Catholic church in Indianapolis.
The parish was founded in the 1830s by Irish immigrants. Grandma Leona attended Saint John's Academy which was on the church property. It was very peaceful and emotional to think of young Leona Donohue sitting at the same spot 100 years before. I'm going to have to sneak out for Mass more often.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As you can tell by the photograph, I'm still not feeling good. I remembered to take the camera, I just didn't take any pictures that were worth a damn. This one is of Linda showing Elizabeth and Sofia the new store site. The only picture I took at the dinner at the Brew Pub was of my beer, and I think that was by accident. Since we all work at the coolest clothing store in town, you know we were all very stylish -- you'll just have to imagine how pretty and sparkly we were.
Anyway, the Marigold party was fun. Since I only work there once a month it was fun to catch up with everyone and solve the worlds problems.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I clearly over-estimated my wellness. As good as I felt in the whiskey-soaked glow of one of my favorite musicians and being out of the house last night, I felt equally as crappy today. I worked a long day and drove home through the cold rain, happy to see my driveway. As I was turning in my phone rang - brother J.R. He'd just moved one of his businesses close to Second Helpings and I'd been encouraging him to get to know the neighborhood.
J.R.: Hey, where do you get a drink in Fountain Square?
Nora: The Brass Ring, I'll meet you there in 25 minutes.
And that is why I turned around and drove to the exact same way I'd just come from. In the cruddy weather. And not because I wanted a drink, but because my brother called. I've made it a practice to not turn down a chance to hang out with any of my siblings or parents or cousins or niece or nephew. I've never been disappointed.
I met J.R. and his plant manager, Vince at the bar. As it turned out I knew a few people (no surprise, really) and introduced them to J.R and Vince. Then I talked them in to going to the Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) party. Second Helpings is in the SEND area and several of my friends work there (hi Paul! hi Kipp!). I got to introduce the guys to even more neighborhood folks. And eat some cookies. Just 'Cause Catering made all of the food and I'd been looking longingly at the iced cookies with the SEND logo all day.
I forget what a diverse group of friends and acquaintances I have. The Fountain Square area attracts out-of-the-box folks. The neighborhood is chock-full of artists, musicians, writers and other creative types. By the time I'd introduced J.R. to several performance artists; burlesque and belly dancers his head was spinning (again, where was my camera?).
I have a feeling the guys are now fans of their new neighborhood.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I only worked two half days last week and only worked a little bit of my Red Key shift Saturday night.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
When I got the invitation to the NUVO party I was excited. Not only was it fun last year, but I knew that it would be a good chance to catch up with Kim. And it was at the Jazz Kitchen, within walking distance of my house.