2012 ~JoUrNaL

12.31.2012 - The days just aren't long enough.  That tends to happen at this time of year with the holidays.  I am doing my best to catch up with friends, the greeting card line, and the progress of publications... ugh! LOL.  So here's to the juggling act of socializing and work - all at the same time :-D  Happy New Year everyone!!!!

12.12.2012 - I really wanted to do something inspirational today - as today's date is one that I will never see again.  But after eight-and-a-half hours at the shop, an after work excursion to Trader Joe's to stock up on much needed groceries, preparing dinner, washing dishes, as well as throwing in a load of laundry - I'm spent! LOL!

The funny thing is, I have spent much of my recent social time searching for something - but I have no idea what it is.  I just know that when I find it, it will mean enlightenment.

I have looked through old files and photos.  I have looked through emails and texts.  I have looked through my cupboards and drawers.  I have paid attention to the words in conversations.  I have thought about my goals and what I am working towards.  And yet, I do not know the answer.

I have held movie marathons - viewing classics from the 1980's and 90's - including: Thelma & Louise, Bladerunner, Bodyguard, Dirty Dancing, The Outsiders, The Breakfast Club, Point Break, Gleaming The Cube, Youngblood, and several others... and the common thread that I found in all of them was a sense of self.  They all incorporated characters that were either discovering who they were, or they were reaffirming their personality traits that they refused to compromise on.

I also finished listening to Patrick Swayze & Lisa Niemi's book, "The Time of My Life," on CD.  I enjoyed hearing Patrick's voice narrating his biography. And again, he was someone who was not without flaws, but never lost his spirit of self.  Beautiful story.  Terrible to lose him.

So when I find what I'm looking for, I will share it with all of you.
I have a feeling that it has something to do with a sense of accomplishment.
Enjoy your day / evening / night - and good luck on your own journeys!

10.21.2012 - Somedays I am the tortoise being left behind in the race.  I log in as many possible hours that I can on my weekends, and still feel that I cannot keep up with my fellow artists' accomplishments.  I am very hard on myself, as we are always our own worst critics.  At such times, the little voice inside my head says, "Don't forget about all that you have done, and never expected to!"  And I have to agree with it :)

I began my "Bucket List" when I was fourteen years old.  Even at that age, I was aware of how short life is, and wanted to make sure that I savored the experience of living as much as I could.  I wrote things down that I never expected to do - just as a way to not put restrictions on myself.  And then I found that I was actually putting check-marks next to them!

The more that I marked off of my list, the more I would add to it.  I don't think that I could accept the finality of seeing a completed agenda.

I have traveled to more places than I ever thought I would have, such as Venice and Paris; and have so many more that I wish to see.


Growing up in the Detroit area, there was not much opportunity to get into the talent industry.  But the open doors that I was able to find, satisfied my craving to be in front of a camera.

As a child, I appeared in several local Detroit television shows, events and advertisements.

At age 19, I shot a hair commercial for a cosmetology school and a half-hour infomercial for the photography chain I worked for (I was the guest make-up artist).

By my twenties, I chose to learn more about the 'behind the scenes' production. I majored in Telecommunications when I first started at the University, before opting to concentrate on photography.

In my thirties, I twice worked as a production assistant for MTV during their Detroit auditions for a musical reality series.  


I had always wanted to go skydiving, and to celebrate my 30th birthday...
I did just that!

Can't wait to go again :-)


I have also been lucky enough to race around the Belle Isle Race Track in a Corvette, as part of a pre-race event!  Talk about trying to hold a camera steady enough to shoot a photo when you're going around a turn at lightening speed!  *Sigh*  It was a good day.

So now that I have reminded myself of things that I have done, I'm going to get back to my current projects.
Wishing you all the best Sunday that you have experienced thus far! :)

- I woke up very early this morning, and now
am waiting for the sun to follow.  I am not exactly sure that I will see it today.  The sky looks to be a grey cloud barrier, that the strongest of birds fails to penetrate.  The weather station is calling for a day of storms.  Maybe the sky will provide me with some entertainment...

I could write a tale about sky pirates scourging the torrent skies... OR not.  I think that's already been done.
I could write an epic poem about the magnificent force of nature... NO, wait.  That's been done countless times.

I suppose I shall have to be patient, and see what inspiration the day brings me.
Happy writing! 

- I
am being schooled today in the ways of "Pinterest", by pals Lisa, Matt, and David.  The site is a whole new concept to me.  It makes me think that Albert Einstein should have created it, in the respect that the things he felt unnecessary to hold onto in his brain - he didn't.  Such as his address or simple information that he had written down.  That is what Pinterest.com seems like to me - a brain that contains millions of branches of memories.

As a world, we can visually share any of our interests on the site, and not have to retain them within our noggins anymore.  What a clever idea.
But as I said, I am still learning about it.  If anyone has any helpful tips, feel free to email me :)

09.22.2012 - This is the weekend of the birthday that almost wasn't.  Trying to camp in Michigan through severe winds, storms, and sleet is no easy task.  But we are durable folk and survived with plenty of laughs and memorable moments.

I helped my niece make her birthday cake, as well as stopped by my long-time friend's salon for a quick haircut.

By the last night of the trip, we had a gorgeous sunset that the kids got to play under.   I wouldn't change a thing. 


08.07.2012 - I was invited to a White Sox game today.  The view was amazing (photo below) and the fans were energetic.

After having attended a Cubs game last summer, I can now compare the 2 ball parks.


And although I enjoyed going to both games, I have to admit that I enjoyed the neighborhood and atmosphere of Wrigley to that of U.S. Cellular Field.

08.05.2012 - Today, I went to a 2-hour event at the Woodlawn Cemetery, in Forest Park, IL.

It was the 13th Annual International Clown Week.

I had never attended a circus performance at a cemetery before, and thought it sounded like something I had to see.

                            Above - clown playing a Spam can guitar

There were clowns that spanned many generations.

And they all expressed how much they loved the opportunity to perform, and help promote awareness for a dying industry.

The story goes... that on June 22, 1918, a 26-car circus train, carrying 400 performers for the Hagenback-Wallace Circus met with tragedy.  The train made an emergency stop on the tracks to cool an overheated wheel bearing box.

Red lights were turned on to alert any oncoming trains.  Unfortunately, the lights were not enough of a warning for the empty troop train, piloted by engineer Alonzo Sargent.  He ignored the red lights and plowed right into the disengaged circus train.

The Showmen's League of America provided Woodlawn Cemetery as the last resting place for the crash victims.
5 elephant statues mark the area of the Showmen's Rest.

Procession to pay respect to those who went before them

- I am always torn at how much I should share with all of you on here.
The bottom line is - I appreciate the people in this universe who express their human qualities; how they think, and what their stance is on the issues in their lives (without being vocally harmful toward others).

I find that I am constantly analyzing people.  This trait makes me wonder if I should have went to college for psychology instead of art.

I want to know / understand what makes people happy.
I want to know /understand what makes people tick.

We are such complex beings.  I do my best not to discriminate.  I know that people all have their own passions.  And I am thankful for their diverse variety.

Wishing all of you acceptance of the world!  I feel like painting now - and watching old Coca-Cola commercials from Superbowls of the past... "I'd like to teach the world sing..." LOL! ...And those of you who understand my humour, I thank you for your kinship.

07.03.2012 - Today, I was asked by a thoughtful 14-yr old girl, "Why had I decided to become a photographer?"  I responded: "Because I realized I could tell a story in the matter of one photograph."

05.26.2012 - I visited the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL today.  The grounds were beautiful.  I never knew that there were so many endangered species of trees in the world.

Sharing a handful of shots that I took as I wandered the paths.

05.06.2012 - Escape Into Life is so good to me :)  They have published another of my shorts!  Check out Writer's Block - which is now available to the world!  http://www.escapeintolife.com/blog/writers-block/  Thank you EIL!

04.06.2012 - A day off in Chicago. The sun was shining, Spring was sprung, and of course the wind was a blowin.  The streets were cluttered with activity for as far as your eyes could see.  There were families pushing strollers, joggers who were oblivious to any sort of obstacles, tourists talking in varieties of languages, and people - like me - who were trying to memorize it all.

800 N. Michigan Avenue


The first stop was a location I was unfamiliar with, but quickly discovered why it was a crowd pleaser. 

We visited The Signature Room on the Ninety-Fifth Floor in the John Hancock Center.

The restaurant was located on the Ninety-Fifth floor, and their lounge on the Ninety-Sixth.

What a view!

It was breathtaking to look upon the geometric landscape that stretched toward the blue sky.  We pointed out buildings and express-ways that we knew.

I thought I would share a couple of shots with you.

I had been in a low-key mood for several weeks.  The energy of the city that day was therapeutic.  And between the sunshine and intelligent company, I began feeling a bit more like myself.

We stopped in at a little place called The Farmhouse.

The restaurant was on the main level, with a lounge located upstairs.  It was a combination of rustic - modern - elegance.

Their intention is to use organic products; traveling no further than 100 miles for the dishes they serve.

*Although that day, it was explained that their tomatoes were from California, since they were currently out of season in Illinois*

It was a lovely place to eat and I plan to venture back.

02.28.2012 - Sometimes things occur, that shake our conscious back to knowing what simple vessels we are.  When we loose someone who is so full of life and so young, the reality of it feels unjustified.  Routinely, we spend time thinking that the decisions we make throughout our days are our choices; that we are in control.

But we cannot control everything.
No matter how much we choose to refuse that.

What we do is learn-adapt-appreciate the gifts (no matter how small) that we are given.

01.29.2012 - Woot!! Woot!! (squared) ...the online art magazine Escape Into Life published one of my short stories as well. Thank you again EIL!  http://www.escapeintolife.com/blog/music-be-the-food-of-imprints/

- Woot!! Woot!!  Someone else besides myself published my work! :D
Check me out on the following link! http://www.escapeintolife.com/artist-watch/lisa-beth/
Thank you ESCAPE INTO LIFE !!  ...now if this isn't a major motivational factor to spend the evening posting photos to my site for additional viewing! xoxo!!

- The plan for today: to get at least 4 photos (each) back onto my travel pages.  I wiped them away the other day, due to all the inconsistency in the signature fonts, as well as the trouble that they were experiencing while trying to load in the slide shows.  So I'm taking them back to the basics, and arranging them in tables for you to scroll through.  I needed some music with motivational drumming... listening to Steve McDonald's "Sons of Somerled" - it's still one of my all time fav CD's.

Happy Sunday to all!

- The site is going through major amounts of re-construction - hang in there with me! :)

- Amazing how a "New Year" can be both inspiring and motivational.  I have spent the past weekend cleaning, organizing, motivationally speaking, etc... and it all leads me to one conclusion - that 2012 will be the best year I've ever experienced.  I am making that promise to myself.

There has been so much emotional luggage that has followed me over the decades.  And as I get older, I find how much easier it is to discard the baggage that holds me back.  Sure - there are people in my life who do not approve of me being creative, free-willed, and accepting of the wide varieties of differences that we share as human beings.  But isn't that the point?  Shouldn't we learn how to "share" our differences?  Think of how blightly boring our environment would be if we were all cookie-cutter personalities?

This winter, I have found myself watching and listening to media from the 80's &90's.  *Currently listening to a Patty Smyth CD - fav song "Out There"* I think that it is my subconscious way of "getting back to the basics"... of bringing me back to the things that were inspirational to me to begin with.  So I have been watching a lot of John Hughes films, re-reading Stephen King novels, and listening to a plethora of music genres.

I reminisce about going to see the film PUMP UP THE VOLUME when it was out (a double date).  I remember the film as having a midnight premier, and the two guys who attended with my pal Mary and I fell asleep during the film.  So we two girls watched as Christian Slater's character broke laws and school rules to speak freely.  It was ground-breaking at that time to think that you could have a say - albeit a radio station was more realistic in the late 80's/early 90's - but to have a place where you could state whatever you were thinking; whatever you had an opinion on, it struck us as a beautiful idea.  I already had a crush on Christian Slater due to his GLEAMING THE CUBE film, and his character in PUTV made me fall that much harder.  I wanted to have a voice.  I wanted a way to be heard.  And at that time of watching the film at Southland Center's Mall, in Taylor MI, I had no idea that years later - that dream would come true.

The internet boomed.  We no longer needed open radio air to have our voices heard... because we had the World Wide Web.  And now, everyone seems to have a FaceBook (except me), a Twitter (my fav), a Google+, MySpace, LiveJournal, or our very own website.  It happened.  The world screamed that the "common" people of the world needed a venue to have their say - and it happened.

Maybe that is why I have been stuck in watching/listening to memories from the 80's/90's... because that is where the huge changes in socialization happened.  There lies the transition of what my goals were in high school, to where they lie twenty years later. (Yep, I know I'm telling my age)  In high school, I never thought that I would need a computer in my career field - hence why I'd never taken typing classes.  And now I cannot imagine being without my laptops!  LOL!  Funny how time changes us?

So if you have never seen PUMP UP THE VOLUME, rent it.  It may lack some of the sophistication that we have now grown accustom in our Hollywood blockbusters nowadays, but sometimes it's good to "get back to the basics".  Remember the days when we did not have cell phones and were all conveniently connected.  Remember how fierce it was to be a rebel.  Remember how it was before everyone had a voice.

Wishing everyone a little nostalgia as they plunge into their plans for the New Year :)