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Showing posts from 2019

The Darkeness.

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I have been depressed pretty much my entire life. When I was a teenager, I remember sleeping entire days away. I'd skip school sometimes so I could stay home and sleep. I would medicate with food. As I got older, the depression got worse, but also had access to alcohol. I come from a long line of alcoholics, so it was a natural progression. I've never been an alcoholic, but i've definitely gone through periods of hard drinking and blackouts.

I didn't go on antidepressants until my mid-twenties, after a friend of mine called my mom because they were worried about me. I didn't have insurance, so I had to go to a local sliding scale clinic, for therapy and for meds. There were more than a few misdiIagnoses. I was put on a mood stabilizer that made me have a seizure at a temp job I was working at the time. I've gone on meds, off meds, and on again.

Two years ago, I had a breakdown that tore my entire world apart. I lost my job, and eventually lost my unemployment…

Mental Health: You Gotta Be Tough

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I wrote an entire blog post about how I forget things constantly, and then Blogger forgot the entire entry, a love story in three acts:

Act 1: The one where she tells you how she forgets things, and why she forgets so easily

Act 2: The one where she reads her writing, and for the first time in a long time, was happy with the end result

Act 3: The one where the world weary Gen-Xer is disappointed, but overall, still into it. But not into the idea of a rewrite, so she relies heavily on a clever writing style to make up for it. She remains an enigma. Everyone wins.



Insomnia and TV Families

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Life over the past year has been hectic, and the past few months have been no exception. My mom has been in and out of the hospital, again. She was able to stay in a local hospital, because it wasn't transplant related, but it was still a hospital visit. I also take her to get her blood work done every Monday, so that the transplant team can monitor her levels and watch for rejection.

I've also hit some milestones with therapy, and find myself again potentially at the end of my therapy visits for now. In addition to feeling like a different person mentally, I'm also adjusting to my smaller body. All of these things cause anxiety, and some nights, I end up wide awake. I tend to watch TV instead of writing or doing anything creative, because that only feeds into my insomnia. The last time I wrote at night, I was still up at 7am, and had to be at work a few hours after that. That was fine when I was young, but I'm over 40 and don't bounce back like I used to.

I'v…

A Eulogy For My Hometown

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I just got back from a long weekend in Chicago. I was there to spend some time with my friend, and to see a few Hold Steady shows. It was nice. I loved the neighborhood my friend lives in now; it was quiet, and the buildings were old, and reminded me of the neighborhood I currently live in.

Coming home after each trip has become increasingly harder. I spend the next few days completely depressed that I'm back in my hometown, where I've lived my entire life so far. Only this time, I actually sat and thought about why I feel so awful when I come back to northeast Ohio.

I've been in Akron my entire life. I was born at Akron General Hospital 25 minutes before Thanksgiving in 1976. I grew up in a blue collar, heavily Appalachian expat neighborhood near a few lakes and not much else. My family never worked in the rubber industry. My mom's family came to Akron for a job in insurance. My dad's dad worked for the electric company, I think. I'm not sure what brought his…

Waiting.

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My mom went back into the hospital yesterday. She hadn't been feeling great, so she made an appointment with her family doctor, to get some meds adjusted. I dropped her off at her appointment, and headed across town to my therapy appointment. When I walked out of therapy, there were five missed calls from my mom's doctor's office. Her doctor wanted her to go to the ER to get the swelling checked in her legs, so I went directly from therapy to the ER.

The room was located close to the other area of the hospital that I had been in with my brother earlier this year. The white walls made me almost instantly nauseous. But I went into my bag of tricks, put on my strong face, and kept my mom company while she waited for results from various blood tests.

When you have a new organ in your body, nothing is easy anymore. The ER doctor didn't feel comfortable not involving the transplant team, since my mom's recovery was so long and so rocky. So they admitted her and transfer…

Ladies Night

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I'm feeling very spiritual this evening, having spent my last evening on the lawn at Blossom, seeing Heart live for the first time in my life.  This is my second Bad Bitch Summer. I started the tradition last summer, when I spent a lot of time with my homegirl, smoking weed and listening to Cardi B. I'd write for hours, and it helped me become productively creative again. So I decided that it was going to become an annual event. Bad Bitch summer so far has involved me wearing a two piece swimsuit in public (and not feeling weird about it), having a tan, smoking weed, and listening to various bad bitch playlists while I edit photos and push myself to write more. I've always heard that you should fake it 'til you make it, and I firmly believe in Bad Bitch Summer helping me shine through the long winter.
I hadn't planned on going to see Heart. I always see a ton of shows that I want to go to, and promptly forget and miss the show. My friend had tickets that she wasn'…

The Chairman is Dead, Long Live The Chairman.

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Chairman, my grumpy ass calico cat died yesterday, on my mom's birthday. She was 13 years old. She had a bad night last Thursday, and I wasn't able to get her into the vet until Monday. After taking my mom for her Monday morning bloodwork, I took Chairman to see the vet. He said that he didn't want to stress her out with bloodwork or any sort of procedure, but he said if he had to guess, she more than likely had lymphoma, and we were working together to make her remaining time comfortable. She was given a shot of steroids and some fluids, and I brought her home. She seemed fine, so I went out to get lunch with my mom. When I came home, Chairman and Penny met me in the kitchen, begging for food. I fed them, and they both ate. About an hour later, Chairman stood up and immediately fell over, and she was gone.

My ex got the cat in 2006, shortly after he and I had met. Her name was originally Jinx, but I said drunkenly one night how hilarious it would be to name her Chairm…

On Rental Cars:

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We like to rent cars for our road trips. My husband drives stick, and his car is the nicer of the two, so it's easier to rent something that we can both drive. Admittedly, he drives more than I do, but it's nice to at least have the option to share the drive, especially on long hauls like Virginia. It's nice to not have to worry about anything going wrong. We can blast the AC and listen to Sirius/XM. We can run the hell out of a car and return it at the end of the weekend. It's a win/win.

I have a Budget and an Enterprise within spitting distance of my house, but we always drive 20 minutes to rent from the Akron/Canton Airport. Renting a car from the airport is always at least $10/day cheaper, especially when booking through a discount site.

When you book through Priceline or Hotwire, you can't reserve the car, just the car class. Sometimes, we luck out and get a fun car. Unfortunately, we also get some stinkers. Just two weeks prior, we had rented a car for ou…

Road Trip: Virginia

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I first became aware of the president heads through this video from Wussy for "She's Killed Hundreds". I was absolutely fascinated by these decaying heads of our founding fathers as soon as I saw the video, so I immediately went to Google to look for more info. I knew that the director of the video was from Virginia, so I believe I looked up "abandoned president heads Virginia", and a bunch of news articles came up. From what I could tell, the presidents were sitting on private land. People would break into the property to take their coolest photos for the 'gram. I'm comfortable with light tresspassing, but full on breaking into someone's property? Nah. I'm too old for that shit. So, I resigned myself to not seeing these massive structures in person; I'd just look through Instagram tags and admire other people's shots.

Fairly recently, a woman I follow on Instagram posted photos from the heads, and mentioned that she had paid to do a ph…

The Great American Road Trip

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When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Pee Wee Herman. On Saturday mornings, I would wake up specifically to watch Pee Wee's Playhouse. Pee Wee was everything I wanted to be: loud, energetic, and unapologetically himself. His friends were all weird and cool, and his house was colorful and wacky. When I was in sixth grade, I was Pee Wee Herman for Halloween. It was going to be my last Halloween parade, so I decided why not have fun with it? I bought a grey suit from the thrift store, slicked down my hair, and went to school in what was the most nontraditional Halloween costume a 12 year old girl could come up with.


My family always had cable, and we always had HBO and Showtime. Back then, the movie stations would get a few movies each month, and play the everloving shit out of them. As soon as Pee Wee's Big Adventure hit HBO, I must have watched it over 100 times. I loved the whimsy and the unpredictable nature of taking this great road trip with nothing in mind other than ge…

Digital Eyeballs

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We got cash and gift cards for Christmas. I told my husband then that I wanted to buy myself a camera, because I had outgrown the Canon that I had been using, and was using my phone more than I wanted to.  I then proceeded to research the crap out of the two that I wanted the most (Sony vs Fuji), and then go too far down the internet review wormhole and psych myself out. I used some of the money to pay off some bills, because I'm still digging myself back out financially from The Great Mental Breakdown of 2017.

Months went by, and I finally decided that one day while visiting my mom up at Cleveland Clinic main campus, I would stop by the Dodd Camera that I passed every time I drove up to the hospital. Another month passed, and I actually made the stop. I was able to hold the cameras in my hands and see how the felt to me, not just listen to how they felt to the guys in the various reviews I watched on YouTube. Two of the guys who were working that day shot with Fuji, so they were…

Rituals and Reminders of the Past.

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My husband and I have a Saturday ritual: coffee at Angel Falls, followed by a stop at Square Records. I usually check the new releases, and look at what weird books have come in. I start at the opposite end of the newly added used stuff, and work my way back to the beginning (because- you guessed it- my husband starts at the new releases and works his way over). We've done this for years, and it's one of those little things that I look forward to all week.

A few weeks ago as I was flipping through, I noticed a lot of familiar records in the just in used section. The grouping of bands was way too specific to just be a coincidence. These were records that someone had held onto forever, until shit just got that bad and they had to start selling the things that meant a lot to them. I knew whose records these were. It felt like seeing a ghost. I didn't tell my husband, because this happened way before I met him, and I don't like talking about this guy or my brief time tang…

Hello!

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Hi!

Chances are, you're here because you saw me spill my guts at PechaKucha Akron, or you saw my work in 419 Square Miles of Summit County, on view March 1-30 at Summit Artspace

If you're interested in following my work, please follow me on Instagram.

If you're interested in hiring me for anything, you have a lead on a cool mall or other falling apart place in the Rust Belt, or in just chatting with me, I love email! I can be reached at flannelkimono at gmail dot com.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my endeavors, both photographically and mentally.