Thursday, March 29, 2012

A picture a day keeps the doctor away. (I wish!)

Aaaaaaaand now for another update on this year’s Project 365. Because of recent events, I am WAAAAYYYYYYYY behind schedule on posting these. I’m going to try to catch up today, so hold on. Here we go!

Day 74 (2012-03-14) ~ It’s not easy being…. well…. you know….

Day 75 (2012-03-15) ~ It was St Patrick’s Day this week, so I painted a shamrock (well, kinda!) with a flashlight in the dark.

Day 76 (2012-03-16) ~ Hey, I like crude humor too, alright? But not enough to go writing it on a door! Some graffiti just baffles me. ????

Day 77 (2012-03-17) ~ We went downtown to watch the Chicago River dyed green in honor of St Patrick's Day. It's a big, BIG deal around here and thousands upon thousands of green clad people line the river banks watching the dye being poured into the water and then mixed in by a speed boat zooming through it. It was an unusually warm day with bright, blinding sunshine and temperatures at about 80 degrees. Unlike last year when everyone was bundled up in their winter coats, this year everyone was in shorts, tank tops and flip-flops! AWESOME!!!! As the river was in the process of being colored, I was busy snapping pictures of the boat zipping by when I noticed how cool and swirly the water looked in the glare of the summery sun and I quickly shot a picture of it.

Day 78 (2012-03-18) ~ The bangles.

Day 79 (2012-03-19) ~ *sigh* I would love to tell you the story behind this picture, but the censors (as I told you about yesterday) won’t let me. You’ll just have to invent your own description of this one. Sorry.

Day 80 (2012-03-20) ~ My poor, poor kiddo came down with the flu. We spent the morning at the doctor's office and then I spent all the rest of the day hovering over her on the couch, trying to bring her fever down. *sad sigh*

Day 81 (2012-03-21) ~ All of a sudden--*BOOM!*--Spring has sprung. There are blossoms everywhere and the air is fragrant, sweet and delicious. *le sigh*

Day 82 (2012-03-22) ~ A shortcake in the making. We have had temps in the 80's and suddenly my strawberry plants started to come back to life. Yay!

Day 83 (2012-03-23) ~ I forgot to eat before we got to the movie theater.... so my stomach was growling all through The Hunger Games! :-( The kiddo had only just started recovering from the flu and was feeling very shaky, but she tolerated my taking her picture anyway. Because she’s AWESOME!!

Day 84 (2012-03-24) ~ A mini storm was a-brewin’ while I was up on my rooftop trying to get a picture of the sunset.

Day 85 (2012-03-25) ~ One way or another, I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha…. I dunno, it just kind of sums up the week in a way, right?

Day 86 (2012-03-26) ~ Twiggy!

Day 87 (2012-03-27) ~ She’s a brick…. house! Only had time for a quickie picture this day. I shot it while waiting for my kiddo by a wall.

Day 88 (2012-03-28) ~ Tulip Sniper!! The tulips are out in full force now.

And, there! Now we’re caught up. *whew!* I’m about 24% of the way through the project so far. More on the way soon!

© Coracabana

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The explanation

I’ve put a lot of thought into how to compose this particular post. It’s a tricky one. It feels a bit like jumping hurdles while juggling knives, blindfolded in a minefield, actually. But it needs to be done.

Before we go any further though, there is something that must be addressed before all else: I love my child. I will do anything for my child. I would never harm my child. Nor would I ever strive to make things unnecessarily difficult, stressful, unhappy, or complicated for my child. That wonderful, amazing, precious girl is the frosting, sprinkles, ice cream and lit up birthday candles on the cake of my existence and I always, ALWAYS do right by her.

My child does not read this blog. She does not read Scope’s blog either. Yes, she follows our blogs, but only because when she started her own blog a year ago, she wanted to follow someone (because bloggers do that) and she didn’t know any other bloggers she could follow yet. So, she followed us and we followed her. And that is where her bloggy connection with us ends.

She created a grand total of three posts (all about her favorite film maker) and collected four followers (Scope, me, and two friends from school) before she lost interest and abandoned her blog. Blogging just isn’t her thing, just like Facebook isn’t her thing and texting isn’t her thing. She is much more at home with her nose in a book.

Despite the concrete fact that my child will never read what I am about to write, I have no choice but to say the following to her here:

My dear beloved Wednesday, if by some freak reason you ever find yourself reading this sentence, STOP IMMEDIATELY. What follows is not for your eyes. You are not welcome to read beyond this point. I love you dearly. (Now, please go clean your room!)

Okay. Now that that is out of the way, let’s move on.

Some of you might have noticed that both Scope and I shut our blogs down briefly last week. I saw that there was a sweet theory floating around that we were busy concocting snazzy matching blogs. Awwwwww. You have no idea how much I honestly wish that were true! :-) The reality though is that something happened. Or, I should say, someone happened.


I’m not supposed to name names or describe descriptions, but I will tell you that the person who has previously stalked me on my eBay account and hounded me on Facebook, etc, etc, etc, has finally found this blog and has decided to start lurking here. Honestly, I’m not surprised by that. After the eBay and Facebook incidents, I figured it was just a matter of time until he popped up here too. He seems to like lurking wherever I go. However….

This is the internet. People are free to read what they will. So, if the lurker wishes to stay, that’s fine. (Who knows? Maybe he will learn a thing or two and start to understand a certain 15 year old girl, who chronically mystifies him, a bit better.) I am not interested in playing games with the lurker. He can read or not, I really don’t care. I’ve got much bigger fish to fry. And 500 blog posts to censor!


You see, the lurker doesn’t like my blog, so he emailed it to several really, really, really, really, REALLY important and powerful people. (Really). To make a long story short--and because I’m not allowed to talk about it--now there are a few rules I have to follow when blogging. These rules have been set by someone else to make my blog “safe” for my 15 year old child to read.

(Although, as discussed above, she does NOT read it.)

(Confusing, I know.)


To abide by the rules, one by one, all my blog posts are being edited and re-published with the following changes:

1. All previous mentions of the lurker have been deleted. (And after this post, I do not plan on mentioning the lurker here again.)

2. All previous status updates regarding a certain legal situation have been erased.

3. All previous four letter words have been replaced with words such as heck, rear, darn, fiddlesticks, and meanie. (Although, I want to point out that my child is not three and any time she gets online or turns on the TV or walks down the hallways of her high school, she is exposed to language far, far worse than anything I ever said here.)

4. All “flirty”-ness has been hacked away. Or at least I have attempted it. (Admittedly, this is the toughest make-your-blog-Kindergartener-safe law to abide by because the definition of “flirty” is incredibly subjective.)

5. All previous mentions of my one-in-a-trillion spinal cord malfunction which I was expected to not survive but walked away from with permanent nerve damage and a unique diagnosis that actually made my Neurologist famous (yes, really) in the medical community have been obliterated.


One by one, as I go through them, scrubbing and scouring, the 500 blog posts will return with nary a hint of anything that I was told would “scare” or offend…. well…. anybody.

I have strong emotions about this, of course. I mean, censoring a blog that maybe a whopping—ohhh—dozen people read seems a bit hypocritical for someone who is so fanatically fond of talking about protecting his own Constitutional rights. To the lurker, on this point, I would just like to say “how we treat those whose opinions we don't agree with says more about us than about them.”

(Which I think translates to ‘peekaboo, I see you’ in the language of Blogese.)

(If the lurker thinks about it long enough, he’ll get it.)

I have concerns with what has happened, of course. I do not think that making my blog Sesame Street approved has any impact on my child who never reads it. The only person it impacts is me. However, I am choosing to make the changes…. with the exception of one: My nearly-lethal spinal cord trauma.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about this during a lot of sleepless nights lately and I have decided to eventually re-post my writings about my blood clot because it is nobody’s business but mine if I want to discuss it here or anywhere. A blood clot the size of a toddler’s fist ruptured in my spinal cord. I survived. I lost all feeling in half my body. I incurred painful nerve damage that will likely never disappear. I fought for a long, long time to re-learn how to walk and become independent again. And, one day a year, on the anniversary, I mention how nice it is to be alive on my blog.

Why shouldn’t I?

If I had died, don’t you think that on the anniversary, my child would want to express her sadness in some way? And who on earth could ever possibly deny her that? So, then why is expressing happiness at being alive any different? The suggestion that celebrating my survival by writing a blog post one day a year might “scare” my child and make her remember what happened is infuriating. The suggestion that I ought to try to hide all hints of it from my child, even though we still live with it every single day, is offensive. Should we tell breast cancer survivors not to wear pink ribbons because it might “scare” their children? I think we would get the stuffing kicked out of us if we did!

No amount of pretending things are normal will ever erase what happened from my child’s memory. It is a very real part of her, just like it is a very real part of me. Nothing will ever change that. It is our history. It is what we have lived.

My child experienced nearly every step of my recovery with me. While I was in the hospital, she made me get well posters with her friends in school. She came by with my mom and dad to visit me every afternoon. She ran up and down the hospital hallway cheering out loud for me as I took my first steps with my big, metal walker. If that was really such an inappropriate thing for a child to witness, I would think that someone in the hospital would have asked for her to be removed. But they didn’t.

They pointed out my progress to her on the MRI pictures and she would squeal, “Mommy! You’re doing so good!” They high-fived her as she tagged along to physical therapy with me. Once, they even let her hold my safety harness and walk me “like a puppy” as I was learning to walk without the use of the walker. She was delighted! How many kids get to say they walked their mom like a dog?! ;-)

Maybe I am being a little oversensitive about what was said. But I think I have a right to be! I did the very best I could do to raise my baby and recover from the life-changing health trauma, simultaneously. That was NOT easy for either of us. And, frankly, I think I did extremely well. But no matter what I say or don’t say, no matter what I blog or don’t blog, our history will never evaporate. It’s a part of me. It’s a part of my child. It’s part of what makes us who we are.

Defeating death and paralysis, no matter how you do it, via blood clot, cancer, or something else, IS something worth celebrating. No-one can EVER take that right from me. I earned it.

*stepping down off the soap box*

Alrighty, lurker. That's it. I’m done acknowledging you here. Please stop putting all your free time into searching for posts containing the words “lawyer” and “bag” on this blog (I have a tracking code. I can see exactly what you are doing here and when.) Surely, you have better things to do. Like maybe fixing your relationship with a certain teenager?…. Just a thought.

To all my regular readers: Fun posts are in the works despite the new rules. Don't worry. I even have some hilarious old family pictures from the 70's to show you soon!


© Coracabana 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012


Aaaaaaaand now for another update on this year’s Project 365….

Day 70 (2012-03-10) ~ A hint of Spring! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Day 71 (2012-03-11) ~ Over the past week or so, Wednesday has been reading The Hunger Games books out loud to my hubby and me, a couple of chapters each night. In the beginning, I wasn't sure I would like the stories because I had heard how bleak, dismal and dark they were. But I was sooooooooooo wrong. The books are fantastic and I am glued--GLUED--to her every word. We are about a third of the way through the second book and I can hardly stand waiting to find out what happens next. In fact, most nights now Scope and I fall asleep discussing our Hunger Games theories and predictions in the dark!

Day 72 (2012-03-12) ~ Warp speed! Eh. I wasn't feeling very well, so the only picture I felt like taking this night was this long exposure of traffic driving by below our balcony. I didn't exactly like the coloring of the image with all the orange street lights making everything look kind of sickly and gross, so I was playing around with colors in Photoshop when I discovered I like the picture much, much more in shades of blue. I dunno, somehow it reminds me of space or a sci-fi movie now. :-)

Day 73 (2012-03-13) ~ While waiting for Wednesday this afternoon, I sat under a tree admiring the gorgeous blue sky and the cozy 70 degree temp which, I'm told, is most unusual for March in Chicago. Just beautiful.

And there we go for now. I’m about 19% of the way through the project. Woo-hoo!

© Coracabana

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday’s Treadmill Tracks…. pop! goes my heart

Okay, so this week’s Treadmill Tracks is a much smaller list of songs than usual because I didn’t walk my normal 6 or 7 miles yesterday. I dunno, maybe it was the time change or my rage at AT&T that both our phone AND internet service was out half the morning—*whimper*—or the fact that I didn’t sleep well the night before, but for some reason I just wasn’t feeling very well or in a walky kind of mood yesterday.

I’d like to say I only went on a wimpy mini-walk because I was trying not to overdo it…. but the truth is that eating donuts and watching The Peoples’ Court was just sooooooooo much more appealing than anything else, so it is what it is.

Here are the songs my shuffled iPod served up for me yesterday. (Just click the song titles to catch each song on Youtube if that’s your thing.)

1. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince and The Revolution

2. F**k You – Cee Lo Green

3. Somnambulist – BT

4. Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

5. Jack The Lad – Pet Shop Boys

6. Pop! Goes My Heart – Hugh Grant (from the Music and Lyrics Soundtrack. Sooooooooo funny!!)

7. Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO

8. More Than A Woman – Tavares

9. Cry Wolf – A-ha

10. If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman

11. The Fly - U2

12. Red Alert – Basement Jaxx

13. Haunted Mansion Holiday Ride-Through Mix – Disneyland Theme Park Soundtrack

© Coracabana

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mustache mojo!

Aaaaaaaand now for another update on this year’s Project 365….

Day 66 (2012-03-06) ~ A shot of the moon from our deck one evening. I don't have a lens that will get me a great close-up of the moon yet, so I thought I would fill the empty expanse of sky with a few scribbled stars to balance it all. I really, REALLY love how it turned out!

Day 67 (2012-03-07) ~ This is the 4th picture in my 80's Strawberry Shortcake Dolls series. Her name is Apple Dumplin'. Apple Dumplin' was the first of the baby SSC Dolls. She stood pigeon-toed in little green and white striped booties and smelled deliciously like apple pie. (Mmmmmmmmm!)

Day 68 (2012-03-09) ~ The other site where I post the Project 365 photos had a mustache theme this week. I don’t always participate in the themes, but this week I couldn’t resist throwing a self portrait into the mix. *snicker*

Day 69 (2012-03-09) ~ I pass by a car dealership on a daily basis where they have this inflatable dancing man boogying in the parking lot. I can't help it, he makes me giggle every time I see him.

Okidoki, we are about 18% of the way through the project now. There will be more on the way soon!

© Coracabana

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mad as a hatter

Aaaaaaaand now for another update on this year’s Project 365….

Day 62 (2012-03-02) ~ Wednesday was planning an Alice In Wonderland tea party with some friends over at our house. I couldn't resist making a little decoration for the party out of some modeling clay, a pack of playing cards and some silk flowers to look like the guys who get in trouble for painting the Queen's roses red. (I'm a dork. I know. I know.)

Day 63 (2012-03-03) ~ Wednesday (yes, that's her!) had her Alice In Wonderland tea party this day and this was the costume she wore: the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of The Mad Hatter. We pieced the costume together bit by bit in thrift stores and on eBay and it turned out FABULOUS!! And the party wasn’t too shabby either. :-)

Day 64 (2012-03-04) ~ My grandmother used to have a collection of thimbles. I remember being really small and staring up at all the precious little white porcelain domes on display on her wall. I could never imagine what on earth would make someone want to collect thimbles, of all things. I never asked her how her collection started.... and maybe I should have. When she passed away, I was allowed to pick some thimbles from the collection. Most of the thimbles were white and no-nonsense, but there amid the sea of snowy white figures was this quirky fella! A chipped, painted metal owl who has, clearly, seen a beating or two in his day. And it was love at first sight. This was the only thimble I wanted out of all the dozens and dozens of them. I don't know anything about him or why he looks so battered and woebegone or how he ended up in my grandma's collection in the first place, but these days he spends his time sitting on a shelf in my den guarding my Harry Potter books. (Harry Potter. Owl. It fits somehow.)

Day 65 (2012-03-05) ~ I met up with my hubby, Scope, for lunch in the city and then I walked over to Millennium Park to get a picture of this. It's a mammoth mirrored bean-shaped sculpture which everyone calls—what else?—“The Bean." Its real name, though, is Cloud Gate. I love The Bean. It reflects the city, the sky and all the people in a silly distorted fun-house-mirror kind of way. The sky was so perfectly blue this day that The Bean was just simply gorgeous!

And there we go for now. I’m about 17% of the way through the project. There will be more on the way soon!

© Coracabana

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday’s Treadmill Tracks…. from Jane’s Addiction to The Hollies

Welcome once again to Tuesday’s Treadmill Tracks. As usual, I put my iPod on shuffle yesterday, and here is what it served up for me while I was on my 6 mile walk. (Just clicky the song titles to catch each song on Youtube if that’s your thing.) Enjoy!

1. Seasons In The Sun – Too Much Joy (*sigh* Youtube fail on this one, but trust me, this version of the song is BRILLIANT. Maybe I should start making my own videos for these songs…. Anyway….)

2. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses

3. Walking In L.A. – Missing Persons

4. Locked Out – Crowded House

5. Call Me – Blondie

6. F**k You – Cee Lo Green

7. Bus Stop – The Hollies

8. Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction

9. Cinderella Undercover – Oingo Boingo (Boo! I could only find the live version.)

10. Zero – Smashing Pumpkins

11. One Headlight – The Wallflowers

12. Now Or Never – Orianthi

13. Seether – Varuca Salt

14. Life On The Moon – David Cook

15. Don’t Stand So Close To Me (‘86) – The Police

16. Last Friday Night (TGIF) – Katy Perry

17. Ring Of Fire – Adam Lambert

18. I Can’t Stop (Ibiza Mix) – De-Javu

19. Black Horse & The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall (Could only find live versions of this one too. What the hell Youtube?!)

20. King Of The Mountain – Midnight Oil

21. Cannonball – The Breeders

22. Robot Love – Allison Iraheta

23. Detective – No Doubt

24. Happiest Girl – Depeche Mode

25. Only A Memory – The Smithereens

26. Young Americans – David Bowie (I could only find a live version of this one as well, but might I say those are some KICKASS SHOES, David!!)

27. Excuse Me Mr. – No Doubt

28. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani

29. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

30. Mocking Bird – Low Millions (Couldn’t find this one on Youtube either. *sniffle*)

© Coracabana

Monday, March 5, 2012

I see a red door and I want it painted black

Aaaaaaaand now for another update on this year’s Project 365….

Day 59 (2012-02-28) ~ I see a red door and I want it painted black…. Yeah, I have had The Rolling Stones stuck in my head ever since I snapped this picture. LOL.

Day 60 (2012-02-29) ~ It was a windy, windy day in the Windy City.

Day 61 (2012-03-01) ~ I grabbed a quick picture of the "L" train that night, zooming past me as it left the station. Okay, technically, it's the Brown Line train, but I loved how the train crossing lights made the silvery train glow red in the near-darkness, so—just for fun—I amped the reds up in the processing (obviously!) and I'm going to call it ‘The Red Line’.... because I can. ;-)

And there we go for now. I’m about 16% of the way through the project. There will be more on the way soon!

© Coracabana