Thursday, January 31, 2002

I feel like I should have something new and exciting to post on here, but I really don't. I feel like I am going a bit nuts trying to please everyone in my life. Sometimes having five jobs is a scheduling nightmare. I always feel like I am running late, trying to find the governor speaking about the budget or rushing off to a job that's five minutes away because the dog takes an extra looooooooong time to do her business. Things move so fast around me, that sometimes I feel like I am whirling around, trying to be a good daughter, sister, granddaughter, girlfriend, friend, employee, etc. You know that saying that's all over the place on t-shirts these days?

The one that says, "I can please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow does not look good either." Um, yeah. Sometimes I feel like that's the epitome of my life these days.

In other news, I made up with Adam. We are now speaking to each other again. I am happy about that. No more nightmares about us fighting and him getting hit over the head with a red leather couch that falls from the sky. I feel bad because I jumped to some conclusions about the situation that led to my getting so angry with him. He really listened to me, and that enabled me to really listen to him. He really worked hard at seeing things from my perspective, and that really helped me lower my defenses. Good. It was good.

I heard over the weekend that Cosmo's- the little pizza shop that was like the nexus of my college experience may have burned down. Adam, (who was like, the very first friend I made in college- followed shortly by Best College Friend Jo :) - and I ate there a lot. If our friendship was officially over (although I do have a different, more realistic perspective on it and its place in my life) AND Cosmo's burned down- well, I might as well take the diploma off the wall, frankly. No, I am kidding. But Cosmo's and Adam WERE a big part of my college experience, and I would hate to lose them both.

Good night, all. Peace and stillness to each of you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

By the way, some of us talked about Project Linus this past weekend. The link is posted in the right hand column. My Lovey gave me so much comfort over the years. I can't wait to become a "Blanketeer" and make a Lovey for someone else. :)

Monday, January 28, 2002

Wow. Amazing, amazing weekend. For me, anyway. Thanks to all of you Succulent Wild Women with whom I shared it, including the Lovely Jo and Her Fabulous Boyfriend, who is decidedly uneligible to be a Succulent Wild Woman, but rather a Marvelous Man.

There was one overwhelming theme this weekend that arose in many, many, many different forms- radical self-acceptance! Thank you, Eve Ensler, et al. :) It was inspirational.

That said- You know, once my ex-boyfriend Stupid Mark (y'all remember- bad acne, aggressive driver, penchant for the overdramatic) sent me an email that invoked the image of someone running around a gasoline factory ( I know, I know- I *said* he was stupid) with a lit cigarette trying to stomp it out before something else exploded. I think I get it now.


Friday, January 25, 2002

OH! And Happy Birthday to Heather and Alissa! LA LA LA! I can't wait to give you your presents! I made them. I am working on conquering my fear that homemade presents aren't "real." I honor and celebrate your lives and all that you stand for!
Tonight I got a very funny email from my friend Becky who read my last entry about my fear of being the mother of a teenybopper who likes Britney Spears. She told me about her cousin's 6-year-old daughter "who is beautiful and intelligent and creative and outgoing (and 6), and who wants to wear lipgloss to school and sometimes says, "Watch me
dance!" and swivels her hips." :) That's just a funny image, but anyway, the reason why I mention it is that it has me thinking about when I first started bugging my mom to let me wear lip gloss to school. I think I was 10.

I used to go to Phar-Mor and buy Bonne Belle lip gloss and Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth perfume. The perfume itself was purple, and there was a pink spiral in the clear bottle. Or maybe the perfume was pink and the spiral was purple. Anyway, Pharmor used to have this little computer thing that you would answer a bunch of questions about your hair and eye color and how easily you sunburn, and then it would tell you what Clairol Zone you were. I was always, always, always a Zone 2, but I did it every single time we went to Phar-Mor. That meant (in 1989) that I should wear pink and peach colors. I loved that thing. My two best E. Pete Elementary girlfriends were both a Zone 3. They used to share makeup, which made me feel left out because I was only "allowed" (by the Clairol people) to wear Zone 2 makeup.

Incidentally, I found out that my best friend in 6th grade (one of the Zone 3 girls) dated my older sister's ex-boyfriend's younger sister's boyfriend's roommate when they were in junior high. True story.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Okay, so this period of not having a steady job (which, by the way, has become MUCH more relaxing now that there is a definite end point at which a Real Job begins) has led me to have a weird sleep schedule and much television watching which is starting to make me a little wonky, I think. I have gotten into the habit of watching two back-to-back episodes of Family Ties at 1:30 and 2 a.m. respectively, which is highly enjoyable. Generally I sleep from 2:30 to 10:30 or at which point I get up and have a productive day.

This plan is all well and good; however, I find myself starting to flip around a bit now after Family Ties (as Three's Company comes on after the Keatons, which is just plain old bad news). Last night, I found an AWESOME profile of J.K. Rowling on A&E. It was soooooo good. I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT HARRY POTTER BOOK. I am as addicted to those books as your average nine-year-old. Apparently, Jo (We are on first name basis after our chat with A&E, apparently) Rowling got married. WHAT?!? WHY? Who has time to plan a wedding?!?! Write, woman, write! Mach Schnell! She was talking about how some of the characters die, however. I have come to grips with the fact that Dumbledore will probably die in one of the upcoming books, and I am okay with that. I really am. But I really, really, really don't want Harry, Hermione or Ron to die. I am getting very emotional about this. Sigh...

See? This is evidence of being up too late and having all this time to think. I got very upset about the androcentricism and hypermasculinity that is gripping this country since Sept. 11th. That rant is best saved for the Soapbox, I think. Maybe later, but anyway...

The really big sign of my Late Night Wonky Factor has to do with the fact that I just watched a profile about Britney Spears on E or something and I was strangely interested. I felt friendly toward her. Listening to her third grade teacher talk about how proud she is of her was almost endearing. They showed a clip of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake standing together at the end of an episode of the Mickey Mouse Club saying "See you real soon!" as in "M-I-C... See ya real soon!... K-E-Y," etc., and I got chills. I don't know what scares me more, the fact that anything that had to do with Britney Spears appealed to me, or the way that our entertainment industry pre-packages "stars" based on things that have little or nothing to do with actual talent and the value that Americans place on them.

And it occurred to me... What happens when I become a mom someday, and my kids want to partake of the type of Britney Spears-n'Sync-Olson Twins-Claire's Boutique-type pop culture? How am I going to stand that? I mean, I went through it. I never read Bop magazine or hung up posters of Kirk Cameron or Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid) or anything, but hey- I admit it- Amanda and I talked our parents into taking us to see the New Kids on the Block at the York Fair. I remember getting mad at my Dad when he laughed so hard he nearly choked (in this fabulous, pure, deep, hearty Dad Laugh that he sometimes gets into- if you've heard it, you know what I mean) when someone on TV compared the New Kids to the Beatles. I would want my kids, especially my daughter(s), to have her own opinions and feel free to voice them, and certainly everyone wants to fit in and I would want my daughter to feel comfortable among her peers- but I really, really can't see myself buying anything pink that has a airbrushed picture of (Insert Name of Future, Scary, No-Talent, Sex Kitten Pop Icon here) on it, you know?

Okay. It is 3:39 a.m. I need to STOP.

Sunday, January 20, 2002

Hi all. Last Tuesday, I got this completely terrifying phone call that Nanny, my lovely, succulent wonderful 84-year-old grandmother, had collapsed at a restaurant. We thought she was having a heart attack. It was so unbelievably scary. She had her last confession and last rites, the sacrament Catholics get right before people think they are going to die. It was really touch and go there for a while.

But! We now have good news! She needs to have her aortic valve replaced- which is a complex and scary surgery, but there is a 95-97% chance that all will turn out well. The doctor is very optimistic. Nanny was upset for a while because she felt like even if she survived surgery that her life as she was living it- she was driving, holding a part-time job, going out to eat all the time, hanging around with her Funny, Eccentric (but Loving) Friends every day- was over. However, the doctor tells us that if all goes well with surgery that there is no reason to expect that she won't be "feeling better than she's felt in ten years" and driving again in 6 months or so. Which is amazing, but I think she's up for the challenge. She is one tough cookie, that's all I have to say. Thanks to all who have been sending good thoughts her way. It is very appreciated. :)

I went with Jason to pick up his puppy, and the dog is so unbelievably cute. He is like a little fuzzball (the dog, not Jason). Loki is completely and totally adorable. He licked my nose. It's so strange to be around a dog with no training, you know? I mean, Jason is certainly working on it, but he just got him so Loki doesn't even recognize his name. He's very well loved, and I can NOT WAIT for him to put on a few pounds so I can introduce him to Bella. PUPPY!

I hung out with Alissa and Gwen tonight. We walked to Ye Olde Sledding Hill. The really good hill was covered with obstacles, like very young but sturdy trees that have popped up in the 8 to 10 years since I was last there. The other hill was the same, and we had fun. There is something very satisfying, however, about going back to a Big Hill and finding that it is still Quite Good for Sledding. So many times, as we grow up, we find that our Big Hills were barely hills at all. It's lovely to find one that measures up to its memory.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Okay, the link function isn't working. Boo. Here's the URL-
Hello, all. Tracey Chapman Weblog Solidarity Day is over, and we are back to being Barbaric Yawp.

For those of you who need a little hilarity in your lives, (and we all do), I highly suggest you check out this website. It's the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. It's Romeo and Juliet as acted out by Marhsmellow Peeps. My favorite scene is where the Friar Marshmellow Peep tells Romeo Peep to "get the hell out of Dodge," as they are surrounded by a Tybalt Peep stabbed with a toothpick and a decapitated Mercutio Peep (for dramatic effect, the creators tell us). Funny! They also have the Blair Witch Project, as performed by Marshmellow peeps, which is less funny, but also highly enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

By the way, in honor of gwen's suggestion to name Alissa's web site Tracey Chapman, this page has been temporarily named Tracey Chapman. Hello, I am Angie. This is my weblog, Tracey Chapman.
Okay. Okay. Okay Okay Okay. I have lots and lots of really exciting things to tell you all about.

First, the simple but also very important things. Stephen's older brother Mark is officially in remission and cancer-free. This is wonderful, amazing, joyous news! :) Also, in Libby family news, his sister Diane is at long last engaged to a wonderful man she has dated for years with whom she owns a house and two cats.

Second, in very simple news-- I got a haircut that I love. I gave my hair to Locks of Love, a wonderful organization. Some person who has lost their hair to chemo will now have about ten inches of my hair. It's kind of fitting that I did this on the day Mark went into remission. :) Special thanks to Becky and Heather Liskey for recommending Vanessa, the Amazing Hair Genius.

Now- for complex and exciting news. While I was in the chair getting my hair cut, my cell phone rang. It was someone from the AP in DC offering me a summer internship (they pull almost all of their new staffers out of their intern pool) and a spot in Diverse Visions, a prestigious diversity workshop that I have been excited about since I first heard about it last July when I was at the NPPA conference in Memphis. This is also very exicting because the person who was calling, (he oversees the selection committee) was unaware of Recent Events-- which are complicated, but I am getting to them-- which means I got in on my merit BEFORE Recent Events, which is kind of cool.

So here is my account of Recent Events. On Saturday, a man by the name of Matt Hale (he calls himself a Reverend) of an organization called the World Church of the Creator came to speak in York. TWCOTC is not a religious church; it is a church devoted to the worship of the white race. York has been targetted as a recruiting area for the KKK, the "World Church," the Hammerskins (super-scary skinheads), regular skinheads, and the National Alliance (the largest neo-Nazi organization in the U.S.). Approximately 250 people from these groups showed up to support Hale, and approximately 350 anti-racism activists and citizens of York showed up to protest their demonstration.

It was like a war zone. There were police helicopters circling constantly, snipers on roofs of buildings, and about 175 state troopers in riot gear. There were at least two dozen police officers oon horseback. The National Guard and SWAT teams were called in when things got out of hand. The anti-racism activists included two well-known anarchist groups who frequently protest KKK, etc. appearances. These people are average age 17, and they are not a peace-making group. They instigated the violence. It was not hard for me to be an impartial observer in this situation, because while I vehemently disagree with the racists' message, I also disagree with the anarchists' tactics.

I have never been so scared or so exhiliarated in my entire life. Basically, the groups stood across the street from each other and shouting insults and threats at one another for about four hours. I worked the scene, photographing both sides. I had never seen a real Nazi flag before, except in the Sound of Music and in Mr. Deaner's history class. I went into the group of white supremacists to photograph them in the foreground with their flags and the riot police in the background. I felt something soft brush against my shoulder, and when i turned to look at it, it was a Nazi flag, blowing in the wind. It was unbelieavably creepy. As I moved away from the crowd, I talked to my colleague from the Record, Chris, who said the same thing happened to him, and he- who is not creeped out easily- felt the same way.

I approached each young woman who was demonstrating with the Neo-Nazis about being in a picture story and none of them were interested. The men all surrounded me, partly out of curiousity and partly to protect- in their words- "their proud Aryan women." they invited me to go out drinking with them, and they asked me what I drink. I told them I drink milk. (Would you have said "Sex on the Beach" to a group of Nazis? I don't think so.) I was proud of myself for asking them to do a long-term story, though.

Things were gettin gout of hand. PEople started throwing ice and snow balls. People began to get arrested. i began running to photograph the arrests. Then the Neo-Nazis tried to leave. Large mobs began to form and chase their cars. They all drove white pickup trucks with confederate flags or bumper stickers that said, "Tattoed White Trash." I got pushed around by the police a lot, but my colleague Chris- who is a very burly white guy- really took it on the chin. He also got maced. It was bad.

THe mobs began to chase the cars of Nazis as they drove away. I ran about two and half miles with my tweny pound bag. Chunky Photojournalist Barbie wasn't counting on all that running. Eventually, I wanted to be like, "HEy guys, can we walk to the next beating, please?"

A Neo-Nazi got cornered. Some anarchists were about to pull him out of his car and beat him. He drove into a crowd of media and activists. He hit four people. I photograhped him driving at me at about 55 mph just about 6 inches before he slammed into an activist. The activist lived. The picture was sharp. You can see the Nazi's face- glaring, teeth gritted. It's a scary picture.

My friend Chris was right behind me, and when i heard the sound of a body hitting the car, I thought he was a goner. I was screaming his name. It was like an ABC AfterSchool Special. He shouted, "I am okay!" and we ran together to shoot the driver's arrest. He also hit an old man, another activist and a little girl. The thing is, I can't picture out what kind of Shitty Parent would bring their kid to this. I can understand taking them to the protest, but to get to this scene, you had to run with an angry riotous mob. I climbed over a wall to get there. Craziness.

Then, the mob jumped on another truck, pulled the flags out of the bed and broke out the windows. They threw a trash can at the truck. Then the driver pulled out a gun. I almost peed my pants. It was intense. I did not take a pciture of the gun. I screamed at a police officer, "He;s got a gun! He;s got a gun!" The poice officer casually walked toward teh truck. The truck drove into oncoming traffic- the wrong lane of a two-way street- to get a way. They did not get stoppped, a ttraffic violation, asked to see a gun permit. Nothing. Nothing.

Then, the mob ran five blocks (pant, pant, pant) and jumped another car. The people inside were from Michigan. They had no idea. An activist hit the passenger threw the window with a stick. Another activist tried to stop him. I got a picture of it- the stick in the window, the victim recoiling, the victim's dog flinching, and another activist screaming No! and trying to stop the guy with the stick. The dog jumped out of the car and was missing. Another photographer got hit the head with a piece of concrete. Then, my mom's best friend saw the picture on the news tonight with a report that someone recognized the dog from the picture in the paper and he was reuinted with his owners. I am proud of that.

I am proud of myself. My hands used to shake so badly in tense situations that I would get motion blur shooting people hugging a spot news situations. That didn't happen on Saturday. This is a big step for me. I did my best, and I am amazed to find that it was good enough.

Jatinder (Remember Jatinder, Luke and Jill?) a grad student who taught my lab in my first photo class and taught me how to put film in a camera- is now a Naitonal Editor for AP in NYC. He decides what pictures go on the global wire. He called me at home and told me how proud he was of me. I was so touched. Jatinder does not praise easily. He told me my pictures were on their way to London, Paris, Hong Kong, South America, and Tokyo. I almost cried. He said he couldn't believe the picture where the truck was bearing down on me. I can't believe it either. One of the pictures was on, and they have been in all the local papers. I am so blown away, I can't even tell you.

I hope you don't mind my sharing all of this with you. I am recording it in my online journal as much for me as anyone.... I can't believe it. I have an internship lined up with AP. I have short hair. All of a sudden, the Imaginary Life is becoming more and more tangible.

The local news is reporting that Matt Hale, the racist speaker, decided that Saturday was a huge success, and he wants to return to York soon. In the meantime, Chunky Photojournalist Barbie has taken up running. :)

Friday, January 11, 2002

Wow. I haven't written here in almost a whole week. I only thoguht it had been, like 2 days. Yikes! Sorry, Alissa (who noted the lack of blogging)! And others, of course, who miss my amusing accounts of my crazy life, I am sure.

So yesterday I was the Queen of Domesticity ("We have missed our opportunity..." I always think of the Pirates of Sweatpants when I hear the word "domesticity." Annie, you should apprecitate that sentiment even if no one else gets it.) ANYWAY, I cleaned the house, changed the sheets on all the beds in the house, did five loads of laundry, worked on creating innovative and colorful birhtday presents for four friends with birthdays in January (This month rivials October for the Month With Most Birthdays For Which I Wish to Buy Presents for Friends and Family) made a casserole, cooked soup from scratch, mopped the floor THREE times (Thanks to Miss Muddy Paws aka Bella), went on a long powerwalk with the dog, refolded all the sweaters in my closet, put clean dishes and laundry away. Whew! I t was very satisfying, but then I guess that explains why I somehow never got around to checking email or blogging yesterday. I might add that I did all of this while watching five hours (TVs on in different rooms) of Sappy Women's Programming on the Learning Channel, (which, really, should be called the Learning Compulsory Heterosexuality Channel). I justify doing this by telling myself I am watching these shows with the eye iof a social scientist, analyzing what it is that is so appealing about this lineup of shows all about conformist, idealized notions of femininity.

Of course, the day before, I didn't wake up until 1:30 p.m. Now that the "lance" side of "freelance" is becoming more lucrative, I am learning to really embrace the "free" side of it. :)

I am very proud of myself for doing what i think it a very good job on a story today about York's preparation/response to Very Scary Racist People coming to speak in the public library tomorrow, which, by the way, I am totally pysched for. Five racist groups and three anarchist protest groups are coming. Riot, anyone? I am a little nervous, as usual, that I will get tear-gassed or worse- One of the protest groups that's coming is infamous for throwing bags of urine at the media. Noboday pees on my new digital camera, except for me, damnit! Uh...NO. Anyway, the National Alliance (Neo-Nazis), the World Church of the Creator (Not a Christian Church- they are a "racial church" devoted to the worship of racial purity), the York County Chapter of the KKK, the Hammerskins (skinheads) and another group of skinheads are coming to speak in the public library. Charming, aren't they?

I talked with some kids today who were very angry and scared. They felt very possessive about "their" library and they couldn't understand why bad people were coming there. It was really touching.

I will, of course, be careful. Please don't mistake my excitement for recklessness. I feel very lucky that this is happening in York, where I know all the other media people. This will be my third time covering this sort of thing with these same photojournalists, and I know that we will all look out for each other . Plus, there is a police protected media area, which I fully intend to avail myself of. OK? No worrying about me!

Saturday, January 05, 2002

So.... I was just chatting with Jason online, and we started talking about job hunting. I have the opportunity to apply for a job in Florida at a very good newspaper where I have connections. And I am scared. I don't know what my problem is. It's just another job application, another portfolio sent out into the Anticipation Abyss of Doom, where a whole lot of portfolios go and never seem to get a response... (Which is good actually, because in the new business, if you send a portolfio out and it doesn't get sent back it might mean that it got someone's attention and they are keeping it for future reference, or else it means that they threw it away, but anyway- Many portfolios have gone out and only three have been returned, so I prefer to think that many of them are being kept for one reason or another.)

Anyway, I don't know why I just don't apply for it. On one hand, I am making a living being self-employed and the thing I really want- a staff job on the East Coast in the vicinity of Boston, NYC or DC or anywhere else I have friends/relations/acquaintances- seems like it could be just around the corner. Like, I just have to pay my dues freelancing for AP and it's only a matter of time until my contacts there (who genuinely seem to believe in my vision) help me get a job with them.

On the other hand, I just want to get started, to work in a community and practice my craft and live my passion. So... is waiting for the right opportunity an impractical idea? And why am I scared to apply for things like the job in FLA? I am only applying, and I can always turn them down if I should get it (although that wouldn't be wise because one of my profs is going to bat for me and it's a small business, the world of photojournalism, so turning them down would be very unwise) but I am getting WAAAAAY ahead of myself here. Sigh....

And then I have to ask myself, what is it that I am really afraid of? I think I am afraid of moving far away from my loving network and community of friends, boyfriend and family, etc. I think I might be miserable and lonely in a place like Florida or Texas. Some jobs I don;t apply for because they are in really ridiculous places that I would never want to live, like Fargo, ND or Iowa. But some jobs, like the one in Florida, I don't want to apply for because, well, like I said, I guess I am just afraid.

I am never known myself to be a weenie. Or at least I try not to be a weenie.

Friday, January 04, 2002

so tired.. Why am I awake? Why? Why? Why am I blogging? Why am I online? I drove four hundred miles from Boston. I have to work in the morning, and I desperately need to shower before I do so. Why am I online? Someone, please, stop me from ordering a $159 necklance from Femail Creations. I don't have that kind of money right now. Help... This is why malls close. Okay. I have not yet purchased anything. I am going to bed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Ta Da! It's Becky! Class of 97 friends are jumping on the bandwagon!

I saw Lord of the Rings last night! It was amazing and rich and visually stunning and gush gush gush gush gush! I also saw it with Best Sister and Wunderboyfriend, which added to the overall fun. Must go now to go out to dinner and see Harry Potter with Stephen, who has not yet seen it. It's kinda fun doing the long distance thing (except when it sucks) because we get to cram a month's worth of dating, going out to dinner-and-a-movies into a couple of days visit. :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2002 be the year of inspiration, fulfillment and healing for us all! And remember, too- that in those times when we are feeling uninspired, sad, hurting, lost, confused, feeling like we made a wrong turn on our journies- we have each other.

By the grace of Goddess and the goodness of loved ones go I.... 2001 was such a difficult year. Last year, one year ago, I sat on Gwen's bed and sobbed, panicking about my future. And yet, I am still here, facing a new year with much anticipation. Last night, Manda and I burned our dayplanner calendars from 2001. (We also "sacrificed" a frozen chicken by stabbing it and making faces while wearing ceremonial "Happy New Year" hats- don't worry, being the resident photojournalist that I am, I took pictures! :) I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I wish for each of you a deep, refreshing breath to begin the New Year. I know some things are laying heavily on the hearts of a few people who read this page. I send you my strength, my love, and most of all, my deeply profound belief and faith in your inner strength to face your challenges.

Love and un abrazo fuerte to you all....