Wednesday, March 14, 2012

me kissing Adia

Adia Major is a former co-worker. She recently took another position and I miss her quite a lot.

When I started my current job, Adia was the one that I had that immediate vibe about, that "this will be my work buddy" vibe. And so she was. Until she abandoned me at the end of last year.

But it's okay. It's a good move for her. "Don't worry about me," I say, "I'll be fine."

Playful passive aggression aside, she really is a very cool person. She's served in the Peace Corps. It doesn't get much cooler than that. She's looking great (obviously) and seems really happy in her new job.

She's considering pursuing a new profession and I know someone already in that profession, so I arranged for all of us to get together for dinner. Obviously, that was all just a ploy so I could see her again and give her a little sugar.

me kissing Liz

Liz Gilbert is yet another creative type from my Fieldwork circle. She has a bit of a story, to be sure.

I first heard of Liz at my first Houston Fieldwork session. I didn't know anyone there, but someone asked if they'd been to see Liz or heard any news. Someone said something about having been in touch and said something more about it being 'really bad." Several people shook their heads in that way we do when we don't know what to say to bad news.

Long story short, she'd been in a terrible auto accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury. It looked like she would be paralyzed from the neck down.

I guess it was a couple of years later when she made her first return to Fieldwork and I first met her. She had an attendant with her, she was in a wheelchair (as she still is) and had uncertain control of her limbs.

In the, oh, five or so years since, she'd participate in Fieldwork or I'd run into her at performances. Each time, she showed marked improvement. She now attends Fieldwork without an attendant and if even she doesn't have full control of her hands, she takes her own notes for the feedback sessions. 

It's so easy to write really trite and cliched words about Liz. Phrases like "inspirational" and "indomitable spirit" come to mind too readily. I've learned long ago that such phrases don't quite grasp the hard work of not giving up.

And that's what I love most about Liz. Her "not giving up-ness." Because, honestly, she could have resigned herself to a life of "giving up." Instead, she researched, sought out, availed of herself of any cutting edge therapies and medical advances she could access. Through it all, she's continued to perform and write. To reduce that frustrating, tiresome, difficult work to a cliche is to not fully honor what she's accomplished.

So I'll simply say: I wish I had known Liz before her accident, but I'm very glad to know her now.

me kissing Aaron

I've only just met Aaron C Coleman in the last couple of months. He's participating in this spring's Fieldwork session.

What I know so far is that he's retired from the medical field and now pursues songwriting and other such creative endeavors. I've only heard two songs so far, each I would describe as fitting in a pop/folk vibe. One he sang with a recorded music track (which I believe he produced, but I don't know everything) and one he sang accompanying himself on a guitar. The guitar performance was the one that really captured me, as I've been known to hang out in coffee shops and listen to singer/songwriters do their thing. Aaron would would fit quite comfortably in some of the better venues.

Beyond that, I can't say I know what the story is on Aaron. But I'm pretty sure he has one. I look forward to learning more.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

me kissing Norola

I met Norola Morgan last summer when she and I were in the cast of Framing Bodies: LOVE ME, the dance film by Frame Dance Productions. She says it was her first experience performing in that way, but nobody could prove it from looking at her.

He main creative outlet is making art dolls. I actually haven't seen any in person, but I intend to soon. She has some on display at Zen Art Space in the Galleria. I'm usually in the Galleria once a week or so, so I have no excuse to not go see them.

I met with her and Donna (the first one I kissed, back in January) today to talk about a project for the fall. It was an energizing meeting, with many ideas bounced about. It's a bit too early to announce anything, but it's going to be fun. Great even.

I also have to post this:
This is a photo of part of the form I ask my kissees to sign. Norola not only signed it, she sealed it, so to speak. (I obscured most of her signature to prevent those of you who would go around writing bad checks, forging her name. You know who you are and I'm not facilitating your crime spree!) It made me laugh. And it tells you something about Norola---and why I'm excited to work with her in the fall.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

me kissing Andrea

This is Andrea Tabor. She's the reason I got to kiss Lady Evette and Alex. I ran into her, as I said in earlier posts, at Avant Garden, where I was experiencing the Lone Star Performance Explosion.

Andrea and I used to work together in my bookseller days. In fact, she was one of my managers. I liked her anyway. I hadn't seen her in over a year and we talked books and other gossip. Rattle rattle rattle. So much fun.

You can tell she likes me. She has something like an actual expression on her face. Her usual pose for pictures is a deadpan stare at the camera.

My only disappointment with this picture is that you can't see her red hair very well. It was dark in Avant Garden. But it was awesome to see her again. It would have been awesome to see her again even if she hadn't let me kiss her for the camera.

me kissing Alex

This is Alex Wukman. He is a writer/journalist for Free Press Houston and sometimes other places. He's written plays and has sometimes performed, although I'm not clear on if he's still performing or not. I usually hear about that in the past tense. He's married to Andrea. Otherwise, I admit I don't know him very well. But obviously he's a good sport and up for getting kissed. Andrea took the picture for us. This was also at the Avant Garden, during the Lone Star Performance Explosion.

Friday, March 9, 2012

me kissing Lady Evette

This is Lady Evette. I know nothing about her. She's a friend of Andrea's, who I ran into at Avant Garden tonight while attending the Lone Star Performance Explosion. I guess I know, from her email address, that she is, shall we say, lacking confidence in the subject of math. Otherwise, I'd already kissed Andrea tonight and Lady Evette decided she, too, was game to supply me with blog content.

Thank you, Lady Evette, and I hope you get better at math. Or else never need it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

me kissing Donna

Donna Garret is another Fieldwork colleague.  In the time I've known her, she's had me in tears and in stitches.

Donna is a poet and performer and she's done that stuff all over the world. She's got a sweet deep voice, rich with experience and love and she doesn't mind using it to tell you what you need to know about life (hers and yours). She'll make you laugh while doing it, too. Ask her about Metamucil. She's got some wisdom.

If you're the tweeting sort, you can follow her as haikumamma.

me kissing Diana

I managed to get a couple of kisses tonight at Fieldwork, the artists workshop I participate in now and then.

Here we have playwright Diana Weeks. I think she's been doing Fieldwork for at least as long as I have been. Her spicy imagination is usually good for discussion, to say the least.

She's been inducted into the Texas Playwriting Hall of Fame.

Diana will soon have a public reading of her latest play A Stubborn Woman, at Stages Repertory Theatre, in conjunction with their full production of The Vibrator Play or in the next room. (Yes, she's that kind of playwright. I've not read or seen any part of A Stubborn Woman, but I feel safe saying you might want to hire a sitter and leave the kids at home for this one.) The reading takes place on Monday, April 2, 7pm, Stages Repertory, 3201 Allen Parkway, Suite 101
Houston, TX 77019. I bet you'll have a good time.