Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Tucker curse. At least that's what Dad calls it.

Well, today is Thursday September 30, 2010 & it was supposed to be a day of madness & last minute scrambling as I made certain everything was ready to go for tomorrow's big day.

My first art show! Man, was I excited. I finally did it! T & I made posters & postcards & got all 200 of them sent out & put into mailboxes way ahead of the show date. This was quite an accomplishment in itself for me.

I figured today I would be tweaking frames & touching up a little here & there. Last night I expected to throw paintings in the yard to get a feel for what they would look like on the walls in the place I was to hang. I had checked & rechecked that everything was ready. I didn't quite get every painting done, but by god I was close. I had more than enough to fill the space.

My friends were proud of me & excited. I had so many people telling me good things about my art & genuinely excited about showing up in support of what I do.

So, needless to say that when I opened my e-mail yesterday to find that apparently three confirmations of my show date, a confirmation of my reception date, & a poster announcing all of this hanging in the very place I plan to show was not enough for the place to believe that I was still planning on showing there, so they canceled & replaced me, I was in shock.

I begged & pleaded with them in a e-mail, but got no reply. Nothing. No, "we're sorry" or anything. No rescheduling. Nothing.

Then I felt like a low life for begging. I shouldn't be begging. I followed their stupid little guideline they sent me via their Blackberry with all of it's bad spelling & bad grammar.

I went in 2 weeks prior, just like that little guide said to. I did everything I was told. I communicated. They however had been rather rude to me already on more than one occasion. Short & snippy & a little unwilling to give me straight answers. The quality of the art they were hanging was pretty bad as well. I knew I would shine there. Boy, was I wrong.

I've been booted, canceled, shut down, kicked to the curb, struck from the list. I'm confused, frustrated, out a whole bunch of money for absolutely nothing, disappointed, angry, pissed off, & a little sad. I worked hard for this. For once in my life I felt like I was really being grown-up & taking charge. I still had bumps & hills, but overall, I was going way outside my comfort zones to get things done. All of this while battling throat issues & this last 5 days a severe sinus infection.

Tomorrow is October 1st. For 6 months that date has been on my calendar circled in red with "My First Art Show!" written beside it. October 2nd has "MY RECEPTION!"

All of life is like that trip to Disney World for me. I get to go, but I never get to ride the rides. I get the build up & excitement but end up walking away crying. Before I always thought it was my follow through, but I don't know how I could have made myself any more clear to these people. Of course hindsight is 20/20. When I got that carefree attitude from their people I should have been more stern. I should have documented who I talked to when. I should have called them & harassed them every other day to make certain they had me pencilled in. I didn't know.

I've talked to many of my art friends & most have mentioned that coffee houses & restaurants suck. Apparently they bump people for varieties of reasons. Their pal Bubba Joe really wants to show this month or Laney Jane has a wedding reception on Wednesday & she doesn't like the art. Whatever.

I've learned some valuable lessons. Lesson one: The artwork is about 10% of the whole process.

Lesson two: Man I have some awesome friends.

Lesson Three: Sometimes stereotypes are real.

Lesson four: It costs a whole lot of money to get a first show

Lesson five: Advertising works

Lesson six: When you start, try to stay close to home to start. Get to know the place & people that are going to hang your work.
That way you don't end up with nasty surprises.

So, on Saturday, I'll be at home. Probably painting. Sometimes I wonder what for. Why do I paint? Well, why do I breathe? Who knows, I just do, because I'd die if I didn't.

I would have been nervous & anxious & excited. I would have been having my first art show. Instead I'll be happy if I can breathe out of at least one nostril, get rid of the pressure in my head & go one night without hacking every hour for 15 minutes. I may not have an art show, but I have one hell of a sinus infection.

Que Sera Sera

Monday, September 27, 2010

9 months later...

So, if you read my blog, you know for the last 9 months I have been suffering from this weird throat condition that my doctor, my orthopedic doctor, & my Physical Therapist just seemed to blow off. The "condition" consists of feeling like someone has their hands gripped around my throat choking the life out of me along with my neck muscles feeling like they are so tight they are going to pop as well as feeling like I can't get enough oxygen, tight vocal chords making it nearly impossible to talk, dizziness, chest pains, coughing & itching in my throat, a whole lot of really thick mucus in the lower part of my throat & pretty much feeling like I'm going to pass out at any minute, which causes me to be extremely tired.

Now, this all started after unknowingly ingesting more aspartame than I probably have my entire life within 1 month(I consciously steer clear of this deadly toxin, but found it was a spray on coating on something I was putting in my mouth) & seemed to be set off by the ingestion of a home-made (by myself & T) gingerbread cookie. I'd eaten them before with no problems. We always make them for Halloween. It's tradition.

I at first thought perhaps it was set off by the injury to my shoulder, rotator cuff, since they are in close proximity to each other & I had let it go without seeing a doctor. Why I thought this, I'm not sure, but I mean, c'mon, I'm NOT a Doctor. I don't even play one on TV.

Funny thing is, my "doctor" didn't seem to care or have an opinion on it either way. My "doctor" sent me home, told me I probably had an allergic reaction to the cookie & told me to take 1 teaspoon of Maalox every hour for 12 hours, drink lots of water, & that I was probably stressed & anxious & that the anxiety was making me feel like I couldn't breathe. He said my weird heart feeling were also probably due to the anxiety. He never even touched me. He didn't feel around on my throat & only shined a light down it for about 3 seconds. He did however send me for an x-ray. An x-ray? For a swollen constricted feeling throat? I was, of course, totally cool with x-rays, because I've always wanted to see my own skeleton. He held the x-ray to the light for maybe 10 seconds, told me here was nothing lodged (duh!) & sent me home with his deadly Maalox cure.

Have any of you ever taken a teaspoon of Maalox? How about 12 in one day? Needless to say I only got to about 5 before I realized the explosive results of what the "doctor" had done to me. WTF!? Seriously? Now I had this to deal with this. I ended up dealing with it for about three days. I was confused. Why on earth had he told me to do this to myself?

The throat was not better. I scoured the Internet. I talked to other people. I talked to my Orthopedic doctor I was seeing for my shoulder. I asked my Physical Therapist if he'd ever heard of these symptoms. Everyone told me something different.

My mood went from high (on good throat days) to utterly depressed (on really bad days). Most days it was the latter. Finally, I thought about the whole thing over again. My shoulder seemed all healed up, so it couldn't have had anything to do with that. Maybe some tightness, but not the overwhelming strangled feeling. I started paying attention to everything I could. It always seemed so much better in the morning & terrible by 5pm. Saturdays seemed to usually be really good until late at night. Sundays started rough but got better. I came up with a hypothesis. It was the thing I originally went into the "doctor" for. A food allergy. I came up with four possible suspects.

1. Whipped Cream (organic, home-made, or out of a can)

2. Coffee

3. Chocolate

4. Something found in all three (like an additive or processing ingredient)

All three food items come from beans. That was something, right there. Perhaps I was allergic to the beans. So I started my experiment. The first thing I noticed was that an iced mocha (which I have at least 3 times a week) really set it off. Instantly. Aha!

So I tried it without the whipped cream.

OMG, I thought T was going to have to take me to the hospital.

So, is it coffee...or, GASP!, chocolate?

So on Sunday, I brewed some coffee. A took a few drinks. Nothing. Uh oh. So after finishing off the coffee & having no reaction T gave me a tiny sliver of 72% Ghiradelli chocolate. OMG! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Yep, I had that all too familiar strangled feeling. From a tiny bite. It all started to make sense. I can't remember a day going by without me ingesting some sort of chocolate. I eat way too much chocolate during the work week & if a day does go by, it's usually a Saturday.

So, to make sure, I am going chocolate free. For at least a month. If there is improvement & this goes away, then it's good-bye chocolate. Forever.

Ugh. all this suffering for nine months because of chocolate? I mean, I Love chocolate, but seriously? Then I come across this: Anaphylaxis- Anaphylaxis can cause symptoms throughout the body:

Skin: Itching, flushing, hives (urticaria), or swelling (angioedema)

Eyes: Itching, tearing, redness, or swelling of the skin around the eyes

Nose and mouth: Sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, swelling of the tongue, or a metallic taste
Lungs and throat: Difficulty getting air in or out, repeated coughing, chest tightness, wheezing or other sounds of labored breathing, increased mucus production, throat swelling or itching, hoarseness, change in voice, or a sensation of choking
Heart and circulation: Dizziness, weakness, fainting, rapid, slow, or irregular heart rate, or low blood pressure

Digestive system: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea

Nervous system: Anxiety, confusion, or a sense of impending doom

Everything in bold are things I told my doctor when I went to see him.

Thanks Doc. For NOTHING. Glad I wasn't deathly allergic to it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Something to drink to...or from.

Star Wars 4-pack of ten ounce glasses. Time to clear out the cupboard & make room for the only four glasses I need (besides my vintage Burger King Empire & Jedi glasses).

Dishwasher safe & $14.99. Find them here: SW Glass

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Action Figures & Collectibles

Here's a cool new Star Wars collectible. A 12" replica of the original Kenner Star Wars figure Han Solo. Sculpted to look just like the original small 3 & 3/4 figure released in 1977 by the now defunct Kenner toy maker. There is also a Chewbacca. They are a little pricey at $75.00. Too pricey in my opinion. I might pay $25.00 for one, but $75.00? Lol. That's a car insurance payment for a month. Still, it's a cool idea. Find it here: Kenner

There's also this cool Darth Vader cookie jar. Very nicely sculpted, but at only 11" high, one has to wonder how many cookies it can really hold. It doesn't appear to be large enough to hold a large stash, but pictures can be deceiving. Although after paying $100.00 for this beauty, you may find it hard to come up with cookie money. These folks do realize we're in a recession, right? Find it here: Darkside Cookies

Now the Ralph McQuarrie Darth Vader Concept Helmet is more of a wearable work of art than just a cool collectible or wearable piece of fun. Sculpted to be an exact duplicate of the concept art produced by Ralph McQuarrie for the original Star Wars film, this baby will set you back a cool $1000. Good luck getting your hands on one. The pre-orders have been selling out left & right. There were only 250 produced & they are signed by Ralph himself. Very neat. Find it here: Vader

Now here's something more in my price range. At $7.99 I can afford to tell the world I'm doing my part to help reduce the amount of plastic in landfills & show off the fangirl love I have at the same time. Pretty sweet. Find it here: WW Bag

If you love Wonder Woman as much as I love Wonder Woman, then you're going to really want to pick the item above up. It's the JLA Trophy Room collectible set of Wonder Woman's Tiara, bracelets & Lasso of Truth. 6 1/2-inches wide metal tiara, two 5 1/4-inch tall metal gauntlet bracelets, and the 60-inch Lasso of Truth. with a "Wonder"ful base, sculpted in cold-cast porcelain. The entire piece stands 11-inches tall x 9 3/4-inches wide x 9 1/2-inches long. The bracelets are plated in silver-tone metal, and each measures 5 1/4-inches tall x 2 3/4-inches wide (top) and 3 1/4-inches wide (bottom) x 2 1/4-inches long. Wonder Woman's lasso is comprised of braided gold-tone material with gold metal-plated end-caps. It measures 60-inches in length.
The only bad part is the price tag of $264.99, which when you compare that to the grand for the Ralph McQuarrie mask, it's a steal! Find it here: Tiara

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Well, I have done it. I finally have another car. I've had this 1989 Buick Lesabre since 1995 that I absolutely love to death. Unfortunately, I couldn't trust her to get across the street anymore, much less out of town. The windows wouldn't go up or down anymore, the air didn't work & trying to keep up with the parts that were falling off was getting impossible. It wasn't easy to let her go. Talk about material attachment. I felt like this car was part of me. I mean, I've only had T one year less than I've had that car. 15 years that car took me anywhere I wanted to go. I've been from Ohio to the Gulf Coast & back again. I could get 8 landscape timbers in that car. 8 people would fit in her. Alas, it was time to let go. I cried. A bunch. I am so sad about letting her go that I haven't started getting excited about the Subaru yet. Silly, I know. I can't believe the dealer gave me $500 for it. LOL. Still, that covered the tax.

The Subaru is smaller. It's a green color with black & tan interior. It has a 6 disc changer & a cool rack on top. It also has working windows and working AC. I don't remember the last time I had working AC on a car. I had a cassette player in the Buick. LOL.

My Mom & Dad came down & helped me out with the whole car buying process & let me tell you what, I was so glad to have the moral support. It's nice to know I didn't sign my house away. I will be posting pics soon. After I'm done mourning my other car.

Hooray! New Subaru!

Monday, September 13, 2010

sick & tired of being sick & tired

I don't know if I just have so much stress & anxiety in my life that I am causing my body to do weird things or if there is something really wrong with me. The doctor I went to seems to think it's stress & anxiety. Really? It's been a full ten months now that I have been dealing with the "can't swallow, swallowing weird, fatigue in my throat/neck/jaw muscles thing" and nothing seems to make it better. I have days where everything seems fine, but most days I'm not that lucky. Now I have pain in my lungs that comes & goes. My voice gets tired, for lack of a better description, & it makes me so tired. Talking just totally fatigues me. My voice gets lighter & lighter until I feel like it's just going to go away. I used to be a singer. I know the difference between head voice & using your center/core to project & I just can't seem to get enough strength to do it. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe or get deep enough breaths. I'm exhausted ALL the time. I wake up exhausted, go to bed exhausted, and when I come home from work I fall asleep for two or three hours. I've suddenly been getting what most people have told me is shin splints on & off. My shoulder flares up about twice a week & hurts so bad I get that pain haze going on in my brain. The kind that makes you just sort of float through the day. I've never in my life felt this way. I've always had more energy then I knew what to do with. I eat better than most. I walk 30 minutes to an hour a day. Lately I've been getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day/night where I used to be good on 6. What is going on? I wish I knew a great doctor or at least one I feel like would listen to me. I've found things on the internet suggesting it could be anything from black mold to MS to Lyme disease to Lou Gehrig's disease to ALS to simply just stress & anxiety. sigh. I just want it to all go away & to have a "normal" day/week/month. 2010 was going to be the year for me. My New Year's resolution was to dig in & make things happen. I wanted my wash board abs back & my Linda Hamilton/Sarah Connor T2 physique back. Instead, I'm struggling to make the dog walk without feeling like I might pass out or die. I don't want to feel this way anymore. It really wears on me. Mentally & physically. I just have no idea where to turn.