Sunday, December 27, 2015

Be Brave

2015 was the year of so many huge life changes for me, but it was also the year of acceptance. I fully embraced the "give zero fucks" mindset early on in the year, and just ran with it. For the most part, it has been refreshing to let go of things. On the other hand, it became almost too easy to stop caring about important things. My finances are in the toilet, along with my self-esteem. I often forget to eat certain meals, which results in over-eating later on. I am up too late, and I over sleep. I go out too much (hence my sad checking account), I party too hard, and in the end I am an exhausted, sad cat. 

Things have been slowly changing in the past few weeks though. I have been staying home a little bit more during the week, I am actually using my gym membership, and I am keeping an eye on my spending. I have started making a lot of plans for the next month or so, and although they are mostly small plans, I am thankful to finally see past the end of the week. I am greatly looking forward to New Years Eve, it is sure to be a blast, but I am also very much looking forward to January. I am planning on taking a 5-6 week break from most social gatherings, and focusing on getting my finances in order, going to the gym, moving the rest of my belongings to one place, and then sorting and donating what I no longer need. I fully intend on seeing friends; gym time & coffee dates with my party cats, movie nights in with Dani & co, and of course catching up with some of my friends who I haven't seen in awhile. 

Most importantly, I am going to try my best to hammer out the rough draft to this short story I have been kicking around in my head for years. I also have some photo shoots that I want to get started on for the blog that I am really excited about! Which brings me to another goal; giving this blog a little make-over. I have been tinkering around with a few layouts, and I am hoping to have something new (nothing too crazy) up and running when I come back (I am shooting for around Valentine's Day). It is a great feeling to become excited again about something you are passionate about. So that being said, I am going to keep this short and sweet and leave off here. 2016 will be the year of becoming brave, and I look forward to it. 

See you in 2016, kittens!

collage

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How Soon Is Now?

"So, what's your plan? What's next?"

Questions asked from friends who live out-of-town, family members I haven't heard from in ages, and acquaintances who are just hearing things through the grapevine. I am going through divorce, I live at home with my parents, I have been at the same job for going on nine years, half of my belongings are in two different houses, and I am pretty fucking broke. Depending on what I am wearing, how I do my hair/makeup, I can pass from anywhere between 23 and 33 years old, but it doesn't change the fact that I am 30. By society's standards, I am supposed to have my poop in a group by now. Instead, I feel like a college grad, home after having a giant taste of freedom with her tail between her legs because she couldn't hack it it in the Big Bad World. 

What is my plan? This morning as I was sitting on the floor in front of my closet mirror, coffee and bagel beside me as I try to decide if I should just smudge the cat eyeliner on my left side to match the right, or wipe it all off and start over. Already late, and needing to brush my teeth yet as my brother was hogging the bathroom, I opted instead to just make the liner thicker on both sides, causing me to look like I should be hanging out in a bar instead of heading to an office, but, if I add a blazer and a NASA T-shirt, it tones it all down, correct? Maybe it adds a bit of mystery. If I don't say where I am going after work, or what I am doing, it could be anything. When I re-apply my brown mood lipstick before heading out the door at the end of the day, I could be living the 'expected' single girl life and spending the evening coyly twirling the tiny straw of my cocktail around in a dark bar, making eyes with the other patrons/updating my Tinder account.  When in actuality, I am sipping a $2 pint with Mariah, Googling pictures of sexy famous actors old enough to be our fathers, while picking at a bowl of seasoned fries. Most nights I just stay at work late, giant pink headphones on whether I am actually listening to music or not, and sipping stale coffee until I can't take it anymore and finally leave. Some nights I head to the gym, sometimes I end up at the grocery store, buying kale to add to my salads (I have to watch my lipid intake now). I am convinced that the more kale I eat, the more it will magically erase all the damage from so much drinking every weekend from the past four months (my coworkers offered to purchase me a helmet for my liver). Sometimes I go to the mall, sometimes I go to the thrift store. Sometimes I go around to a friend's house and watch TV, sometimes I sit in a coffee shop playing with my phone. Sometimes I park my car on the street in front of my house, and I sit in it until the windows fog up and the last song on the album I happen to be playing on my cracked iPod is finished playing, sometimes it's The Smiths. Sometimes if I get home before 11 pm, my dad won't ask "Another long night?".  Sometimes I come home at 3 am, causing the dogs to bark and wake up everyone in the house. It's usually on a Wednesday. 

Until quite recently, my biggest fear was of being forgotten. Aside form being a creative outlet of sorts, this blog became on online diary of the *almost* daily happenings in my life. On Instagram, and Snapchat, I can show the world what I had for breakfast, because it's the most important meal of the day, duh! I can check in on Facebook, so that just in case I get raped and pillaged on the way home from wherever I decided to get brunch that weekend, at least the internet will know where I was, and who I was with. Truthfully? I just wanted to be important, significant, a fucking snowflake. I wanted to be needed, I wanted to be the person my friends called first when something happened, good or bad. I wanted to be included in group trips to the movies, and to late-night diners for pancakes. The very end of the the Doctor Who episode "The Hand of Fear", when Sarah Jane Smith left the TARDIS, not because she wanted to, because the Doctor couldn't take her with him, she looked back at him with pleading eyes, almost begging: "Don't forget me." So many drunken nights were those exact words fallen out of my mouth to whoever would listen: "Don't forget me." Always wanting to hear the correct response: "No Sara-h, don't you forget me.".

Now? My biggest fear is being stagnant. Not being able to afford to move out of my parent's house, still at the same job after so many years, it is purgatory. I am afraid of where to move to when I do move out, because I don't want to be stuck there forever. Despite being broke, I mostly think of traveling. I have friends in Chicago, New York, Oakland, Seattle, Portland, Hawaii, and even Melbourne, Australia. Aside from two camping trips in July, and a mini road trip at 19, I haven't really traveled anywhere without my parents or Kyle. I have come to realize through my fear of being forgotten, I am never alone, not really. My friends are all a text- message away, and each "How was your day, kitten?" and poop emoticon are wrapped in more love than I could ever ask for. 

What is the plan though? I haven't got one. Possibly move in with Mariah in August, probably, if I can pay off my debt and acquire a savings. In all honesty, I can't manage to see past the end of each month as they begin. Do I want a more exciting job? Yes. But the only way I can prove to myself that I can handle that is to get up on the first, maybe second alarm, instead of waiting for my dad or Liam to pound on my bedroom door to jar me from sleep. To plan my work out enough so that I am not always behind. To take regular lunches, instead of skipping them, then disappearing for an hour an a half once per week because of the need to escape the dank warehouse. To get through one week without crying at my desk because the day was that bad, and Dancing in the Dark came on the radio. To date? Everyone has advice on that one: "Date this person, they have always liked you", "No, wait, you are not ready", "Hey, I've got this friend...". To sit next to someone, no matter how much you like them. and try to picture yourself with them going to a movie, or with your friends to karaoke, or going to Eastern Market, or to get pizza when it's too snowy to be bothered with anything else, or to the grocery store, or riding bikes, walking Louie, or literally anything past the end of that evening is impossible. I am still mentally 15  years old when it comes to dating, the world left me behind on that one when I ran off with my high school sweetheart, starry-eyed with the word "forever" tattooed to front lobe of my brain. My heart wants to pour out into the world, my brain has the emergency brakes on. They are in a constant battle over whether love is real, or just a fantasy. Each time I touch someone, it is with the utmost fear that my fingertips will catch on fire. 

The best I can do is say that when I grow up (because I'm only 30), I want to be Maude. Really, I want to be David Sedaris, and write a brilliant, witty, mix of narrative fiction, and non-fiction. But I want to also be Maude, the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I want to be carefree, and make each day an adventure. I want to be that cool old lady who tells extravagant stories to the neighborhood kids, leaving it up to them to decipher which stories are true, and which are embellished a little. I can't see past the end of December, but I can picture Party Cat Sara (because I can't really be Maude) at 80 with silver Princess Lei buns, fandom T-shirts layered under long cardigans, and probably at least three cats. Is there ever a Harold? I am sure there is, I am sure that person will come in all shapes and sizes, tall, short, fat, skinny, black, white, hopefully British and named 'Tom', (because wishful thinking). They might not always be brooding, or obsessed with death, but that part doesn't matter though. Because right now, all I can picture is me, and in the end, all you have is yourself. It isn't sad. It might be lonely at times, but lonely isn't always sad. Like Morrissey: "I am human and need to be loved, just like everyone else does".  However, people often forget how to love themselves. 

What's next? Tomorrow, and the day after. Each day is different. and I am working my way through bouts of anxiety and depression that seemingly spout up out nowhere. The rug keeps getting pulled out from underneath me, and each fall bruises my ass, and scrapes my knees, but I take a minute remember those scares, and get back up. Who is pulling the rug? That bitch called life. The thing to remember is that I may not be in control of everything that happens in my life, but, I can control what I do about it. In the end, I know I'll be fine. I might feel trapped right now, but, at least it is never boring. It slows down at times, but picks back up, and often. I have no fear of being bored, because, if it gets too bad, I'll just liberate a tree, or crash a funeral. 

 "A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. *Reach* out. Take a *chance*. Get *hurt* even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room." -Maude, Harold and Maude 
NOW

Monday, November 30, 2015

Mitten Happenings!


Hey everyone! I have been seriously slacking on keeping the internet in-the-know about all of the awesome things that my talented friends have been up to as of late. Many apologies, but, hopefully I can make up for that a little bit tonight.

Jen 

 First up we have a brand new company, owned and operated by my close friend, and fellow Party Cat Jen! Odd Sculpture by Ginger Etrange is essentially what you see in the title: odd, but equally awesome sculpture! Jen creates everything personally in her own home, and even has some art for sale at the Rustbelt Market in Ferndale. Over this past Halloween season, she made a lot of horns for party-goers, and they sold fast. You can also commission her to make animal busts, as she is a HUGE fan of making those. Check out her FB page, and Instagram (where you can easily drop her a line/ask any questions) for a look at her recent creations!

band

Next up, we have a new Detroit band alert! Bueno No Bueno is an indie rock band formed from Adam and Alan of At Willoughby, If you are a fan of Yo La Tengo, then you should check them out! You can hear some of their stuff here. Make sure to like them on Facebook as well, to keep up with new shows and the like. 

becky

Also! Just in time for the holidays, Becklo Photography and Design is back up and running! I have raved about this shop before, and not only because Becky has been my friend since back in high school (good ol' Ferndale High!), she is also an amazing photographer. If  you are from the Detroit area, please check out her shop, there are some unique gems in there, including the old elephant footprint, back by popular demand!

Be sure to check out these lovely shops, maybe do some holiday shopping eh? Eh? And have a listen to Bueno No Bueno! As always support local artists! Happy Monday, kittens! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November Impression

I can’t get warm.

It has been so cold outside lately, especially in the evenings. I keep walking in it. It pierces the exposed bits of skin on my face where my thick, green scarf and knitted hat won’t meet. Pin pricks on my cheeks, and nose, and I keep my head facing forward, concentrating on the nowhere I am going. My breath clouds me as I try to follow it with my eyes, each exhalation fades into the dark grey that surrounds me. There is a tiny hole in the corner of my left mitten, so I keep my hands jammed in my pockets. The soft pad of my finger traces the bottom of my pocket where a penny resides, tiny cold metal.

My mind has been aching for weeks, months. Too much drinking, dancing, singing, laughing, crying, working, reading, moving, always, always moving. It is as if there just isn’t room up there for me anymore.

The long streets stretch before me, with seemingly endless sighs. The houses are quiet, warm hubs. The tall, black trees make this street a cave. I just recycle songs.  

I take a deep breath, the approaching winter fills me. Winter is something I can both taste and smell, sharp snowflakes, mixed with dirty city air dissolve in my lungs. A painful comfort, because it makes me endure reality.

Salt, snow, and leaves crunch beneath my dead boots as I march through the tail end of this transitional season.  The sky is always either pink, or grey. The sun is long gone now, and the darkness breaks the static in my brain into two halves. Each side is folded into pockets, and the noise quells as the snow drifts in.

My toes are hard, my skin is at constant alert, and my nose will inevitably drip. I can't get warm, but this late November impression keeps self-sufficiency on my side.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Little Bits: October On Instagram

October. my favorite month of the year. has flown by yet again. This year was different from all of the previous years in so many ways, I missed out on a few of my favorite activities, but, had so many wonderful new adventures. I went to Theater Bizarre for the very first time with the Party Cats, went to a pirate party, finally went to Erebus, and celebrated entering my 30's twice! Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, I am starting to crave hibernation. The past few weekends have been a very good balance of partying with friends, and low-key things like thrifting, brunch,trips to Lush, and spontaneous coffee dates. I am looking forward to continuing this balance, with a few more nights in during the week. 2015 was the year of embracing myself, and letting loose. I am looking forward to a year of becoming mentally, and physically healthier. I want to continue spending time with all of my wonderful friends, reading, working on this blog, and going on adventures. 2016 is going to be the year of balance (I am a Libra after all), so why not start now? 

Oh, and my hair is blue now. 

Untitled

1) Wrapped-up the last weekend of the Michigan Renaissance Festival selling merch for Stone Clover, and enjoying loads of cider. 
2) Pumpkins at the Detroit Whole Foods looking very pumpkin-y.
3) New fall boots!
4) The extent of my fall decorating. 
5) Party Cats at Theater Bizarre.
6) Amazing birthday art by H.D. Harris.
7) Trip to Franklin Cider Mill. 
8) Cider + doughnuts = perfection. 
9) Had a low-key Halloween running around in sparkly dragon horns.

Follow me on Instagram @CatEarsAndCoffee https://www.instagram.com/catearsandcoffee/

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eats: Chili Stew

yum

Just a few months ago it was the norm to come home after work and cook dinner on a nightly basis, but since moving home, I am lucky enough to have two parents who are exceptional cooks (where'd you think I got it from anyways?). I received some beef tips from a friend of mine who works in a restaurant, and I decided to make a chili for the 'rents and my brothers. I chopped up all of the veggies, and cooked the beef tips the night before, and just threw everything in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I tossed it all in a giant crock pot, and let it cook all day while I was at work, and it came out perfectly. 

Get

2 lbs beef tips, cooked in olive oil, seasoned with chili, black pepper, and sea salt. 
1 can of sweet corn, drained. 
1 can of red beans, drained. 
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 stalks of celery. chopped
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of water
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 chili peppers, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste.

It cooked on low, for about 8 hours. Then we topped it with sour cream, shredded cheese, and some crusty bread that my mom had picked up. Then feasted on it for about a week because there was SO MUCH.  My brother Mark referred to it as chili-stew, so there you go. Happy eats!