Wednesday, May 19, 2010


For the longest time I wanted a DSLR like "everyone else" had, so I finally bought a brand spankin' new Nikon D60 last June. Funny thing is, while I've used it a bit, I don't use it as much as I thought I would. I am a bag lady who never goes anywhere without a notebook and pen, something to read and something to knit. I am apt to forget my purse, which I've managed to trim down to the smallest medium-est Baggalini, but I rarely leave without a notebook. Or my mug of tea, for that matter. Unlike my camera.

The journey to my camera started with a tiny seed of desire back when Superhero first got hers. It waxed and waned for years until I just finally went for it. And quite frankly, like much of what we think we really want, it was rather -- anticlimactic.

I mean, yes, I felt cool, walking around with my professional looking camera (it's really not, well yes it is, professional looking, but it's easy to use, trust me). It takes great pictures -- yes, IT takes great pictures. Me, I just snap away. Because as has been said, the only good camera is the one you use. It's not really about the camera.

And I'm not really interested in learning to use the DSLR. I've never been very good with too many choices -- they overwhelm me. And everything moves so fast these days, especially our lives. I can't keep up. I try to cram everything in fast, just in case I miss something. Crazy thing is, I'm always gonna miss something. That's life. And do I care about ev-er-y - lit-tle - thing - I'm - go-ing - to - miss? Truthfully? In the grand scheme of my life, yes and no. But, that's life and it's another post (that maybe someone else can write?). Personally, I want to get over the things I feel I've missed and move on. Beyond stuck. So, for me it means letting go of anything extra that doesn't serve who I am and who I want to be. I've been hauling vintage sewing notions, craft supplies, clothing, housewares and more off to the swap shop, but some things I have to just plain sell, my camera being one of them.

 If you're in the market for a barely used, like new Nikon D60 totally set to go (including a case, the Tamrac Express Bag 6 in Black)), have I got a deal for you (without giving an exact quote it's well under $500 and a bit over $400). So email me at michelleshopped at gmail dot com if you're interested. Because I'm trying to follow rule number one of Gretchen's Happiness Project and that rule is be yourself -- Be Patricia (makes sense that it would be the first step to being happy). So, first up in eliminating what isn't Patricia is the camera (plus I could use the money). Because my way of connecting and seeing people is through language rather than a lens. Because I'm Patricia. At my new job the other day, I said to my boss, "for me, it's really not about the job, it's about the people." (Translated to mean, it's really not about the camera or the clothes or the house or's about the people. Something else I've learned about myself).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Different Path

It's not a path that's new to me, it is the one I eventually return to when I've had enough. Enough of my dark night of the soul.

May -- a new month, the month of Mary, of mothers, of flowers, Beltaine, soft blooms, and new beginnings all staggered according to genus and species. Mine will be staggered according to mood, inspiration and whimsy. Just finished the book The Happiness Project, and I gotta say, I liked it. It got me thinking. About changing my attitude. Which can be slow going when past demons start licking like tiny flames at past hurts that still aren't resolved. There's a saying, sh!t or get off the pot. I've been in this spot before (the stuck spot), and I've turned it around. It really does work. Changing my attitude I mean. And it does seem to change my life -- open up more doors, more possibilities. I'm all for my woo woo therapies, and what have you, but sometimes I just need a good (and swift) kick in the arse.Sometimes tenderness and tolerance, time and so on are in order. But enough is enough. It's time to start my own happiness project. And honor divine inspiration when it hits me. And it does hit.

**photo of bicycle in Thatcher Lane, Yarmouthport courtesy of my writer gal pal Diane...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Writing Practice for Rhoda Jane

Grief is a howling hollow echoing in my belly.
Unlike depression which is just an empty hole.
It's my mother telling me her stories of sorrows, loss and longing,
by the glow of her cigarette and the dim light of late night TV,
as she lies on the couch, me on the floor next to her,
because she's too scared to sleep in her room alone.
While my dad's in Vietnam,
I keep her company.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Millbillies and the Mainstream

 I keep putting off this post but every week that goes by I want to write something for Siobhan. I have never watched American Idol except in occasional blips when my daughter's had it on telly.
When I have caught it, I find it to be a rather cruel show like many of these competition shows seem to be.

That being said, last week was glorious and sunny, and I decided to finally get out and take photos of all the banners around town supporting Siobhan. At the vet a few weeks ago, my son, John and Susan (our vet and his wife) were reminiscing about the high school days when Anthony would be jamming in the basement with Colin, Rory and Mike, while Siobhan ran around upstairs chasing Colin's younger brother Miles. Molly came home from school one day in high school and said to me, "remember Anthony's friend, Rory? you should hear his sister sing -- she should be on American Idol." And so here she is today, a big girl on American Idol. Marching to the beat of her own drum. Which is very hard to do in our culture with more "I don't get you Simons" out there than "this is who I am Siobhans."

Perhaps Simon would "get her" if he knew the context of this place called Cape Cod, where Siobhan is from. I left for almost twenty years, and when I came back I felt like Rip Van Winkle. Many of the players were older but they were the same players running the show. And when they weren't the same, it didn't matter -- it was still the same act, just a different face and name. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider here among the SUV and hydrangea painting fans. But there is an underground offbeat culture that permeates the backside of this peninsula and that is where I feel most at home. I've found it through music, dance, nature, offbeat cafes and other venues of creativity. I seek the subculture out as best I can.

There's a dusky mauve Cape in Marstons Mills with a big banner for Siobhan in the yard -- possibly her house, as it looks like a house that has lots of kids and energy (she has about 5 siblings). It's a burst of magic in the midst of the mediocre. Many years ago, when I first saw her dad at one of the boys' concerts on the town green, I was thrilled to see a long-haired, tattooed sleeves guy (also a musician). The whole family is a quirky, talented and creative blend of renegade Cape Cod natives, something I've sorely missed. It's good to still find it here.

** You  might have to click on the collage to see the whole thing...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shifting Gears

Uphill, downhill, do you shift up or down? I never really knew so asked Marty today (it probably wasn't the first time and won't be the last). Tried it like he told me and it worked (meaning the chain didn't fall off as in times past). Kind of like life, aye? Sometimes you gotta ask when you don't know and sometimes you gotta just try. Oh yeah, and ride.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Humor and Strength

"I used to be Snow White but I drifted."
~Mae West

(just to let you know I'm still here)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Evelyn Speranza

 I love the last name -- it's Italian -- Old North End Boston Italian  -- and it reminds me of the Spanish word for hope. I like to think this photo is from her days in Bohemian Provincetown where she waitressed after graduating high school and before she went to Art School.  I miss her. I want her to know she is not forgotten. I think sometimes we want to be remembered beyond our family and friends. Remembered by the big wide world. But maybe family and friends are enough.