Friday, July 19, 2013


Jenny Cape
God, bless Jenny Cape. And God bless anyone else who runs a children's ministry. (And God bless my drawing abilities while we're at it, because man am I rusty!) It seems to be a thankless and overwhelming task and this woman does it with a huge smile on her face; wrangling, engaging and entertaining not only a congregation full of kids, but also the volunteers who teach them. And, you know, I think she loves it...clearly she's crazy. 

Jenny has a pretty big fan club, and even though we don't know each other that well, I can see why. She's tough, funny, smart, sweet, calming and under that big smile she's always got on, I detect a note of subtle comical cynicism which seems to be a hidden treasure here in the south.

Jenny Reinsch Hoshaw
Here comes the tears again! Every thursday night, somewhere in St. Charles, Missouri, a group of incredible women are meeting. A group that I can only classify as a miracle. TGIT! This group started November 17th, 2004(?) with 6 new Christian gals who just wanted to know stuff. Almost a decade later, this group has grown to a number I can only guess is around 30. But this isn't about that's about Jenny! 

I felt close to Jenny right away. She makes my heart happy. She's such a genuine, authentic and compassionate person with leadership abilities that I think she's only half aware of. You can tell Jenny anything with no judgement bounced back at you what-so-ever. Only genuine interest and caring. 

AND... if terrorists ever force me to be captain of a softball team and hand pick my players in a game that determines the fate of a building full of people, Jenny would be my first pick!

Jerad Wright
I moved to O'fallon, Missouri the summer before seventh grade (such a perfectly awkward age to start over.) So did Jerad. I suppose we could smell each others fear because we found each other pretty quickly that first day and were immediate allies. Jared was friendly, funny, outgoing, cute and had super cool hair so people were drawn to him and I happily leeched on and covertly gathered his admirers and wrangled my own group of pals...cause that's how I do. We stayed good buddies for our remaining Fort Zumwalt years and since I could never get a date to any dances senior year, he swooped in and rescued me two more times. It frightens me to think what would have happened had I leeched on to someone else that fateful day in 1992.

Jeremy Stull
Uhhh....what the what? Okay, so I admittedly have not been up to date on Jeremy's life the past many years, but I just checked out his page for a quick look see and apparently I have missed out on A LOT.

Jeremy was a college comrade. Back then I would describe him as a sweet, funny, mellow but secretly anxious and classically unkempt dude who you'd expect to find in the creative scene. Not lazy by any means, but not really motivated either. You know, like me. Just waiting to find "their thing".
Well...I guess he freaking found it. He now lives in Manchester, UK, with his wife (love it!) and owns his own BEAUTIFUL beer store and host events that merge beer drinking with great movies like Wet, Hot American Summer! Whhhhaaat!? Look at this place: Beermoth

A lot of my friends from college have really been getting their shit together and doing such amazing and ambitious things. Hopefully I'm next!

Jeremy Townsend - JERT
JERT is a fellow St. Louis to Atlanta transplant artist and one of my favorite kind of contradictions. Sweet and Salty. Like kettle-corn! While I've only been in his presence a few brief times I feel confident to say this: His art is funny, vulgar, cynical and has it's middle finger up at high art a-holes and he is absolutely one of the nicest people I've ever met.

I introduced myself to him via the internet before I moved down here and he was SO kind. He and his gorgeous wife, who live less than a mile from my job, invited me over many times to make friends. But, since I was in a bad mood for most of my first year here and caught a bad case of the anti-socials, I really didn't take advantage of their kindness. Shame on me.

Google JERT or go here:
Trust me. He's a big deal.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Facebook Friends: Jennifers

Jennifer Gronemyer
I really haven't seen Jennifer Gronemyer since high school, but back then she was SO COOL. And I don't mean that in a flippant way. She was one of those beautiful girls that could beat the shit out of someone with her eyes. She seemed so confident and self possessed and tough, so of course I was afraid of her because I was sure that someone like that would see right through me and eat me for breakfast. But, when I did get to know her sometime freshman year, shame on me,...SHE WAS SO FREAKING NICE– not to mention hilarious! Lesson learned: Don't be afraid of cool people folks. They aren't scary. Just misunderstood.

Jennifer Hunn Pagano
According to facebook, Jenny Hunn is either an immortal vampire or a part-time Indiana Joneser who discovered the fountain of youth somewhere in the wildnerness of middle Missouri. She looks exactly the same. EXACTLY. She's beautiful. The kind of beautiful that is so flawless and symetrical that she looks like she was created in Adobe Illustrator by a femme-bot developing, basement-dwelling super genius. While I'm sure that she could have had a brilliant career as a super-model, she chose instead to step behind the camera and is totally thriving with her own photography business. Check her out: JHP Photography Studio

Jennifer McMenamy Fries
JMac is just good people. through and through. She's always smiling that big beautiful effervescent smile and she's a genuine pleasure to be around. Plus, lame or not, I can always count on her to laugh at my jokes. Clearly she hates awkward silences as much as I do. She also has some weird power that I can't quite define. She once tricked me into feeling confident about wearing a bikini in public! Her clever spell only lasted a day though. 

Jennifer Myers Rechtin
Let it be known that one of the major reasons this blog has been at a standstill is because of this woman right here. As I've mentioned before, some people mean so much to me that words fail me and I get phonetically constipated. 
There's so many relationships I deeply miss from St. Louis, but there are a handful that make my chest tighten and my eyeballs drippy the minute I think about them. My friendship with JM is one of them. She started out as one of the best friends of one of my best friends, but somewhere over the years we adopted each other and now she just feels like family to me. I think that's the best word I can use. Family. People like me need people like her. She's very nurturing, dependable, kind, hardworking and devoted and will help your ass out wether you like it or not. You know, all the stuff I can't even try to fake. 

Jenny Cowart
Jenny Cowart makes me smile. She IS a smile. Thinking of her takes me back to one of my favorite seasons in the emmy-ignored series that is my life. Spending hours every week with a mad assortment of the funniest people I know at our base of operations: The Maxi-Pad. Life was pretty awesome, made so in part by Jenny and our awesome gang of misbehavin' misfits. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Facebook Friends: Jen - Jennifer

Jen Faut
Jen Faut is unarguably awesome. She's the kind of girl that chucks it all and moves to Florida by herself to go to special effects makeup school. Just like me!!!! She was definitely the coolest girl in class. Beautiful, smart, funny and didn't take crap from nobody! 'Cause she's from New York. She could beat you up with her accent. She also taught me how to properly pop a zit without wrecking your skin; but it's too hard, so I still just do it the wrong way. Some times when I'm mashing away in the mirror I can hear her voice telling me to stop it cause I'm going to ruin my face. Sigh.

Jen Frieswick
I admired Jen from afar well before I knew her. We went to the same church and I would see her every sunday in the seats to my left and always thought she looked so kind and sophisticated and graceful and lithe. Once I got to know her, I learned that she was also sincere and deeply compassionate. She's the one who introduced me to my love of hospice. There are people who make in their job to send people off with love and comfort, and Jen is one of them.

Jen Manning
Jen does 48 hours in 24. Both her and her brain are constantly going. Thinking, creating, analyzing, pondering, wondering, loving, care-taking, dreaming, worryin', praying, fixing, making, cooking, organizing, reading, studying, learning and battling. She's got big dreams, big drive, and a huge heart that would take in every stray child and cat on the planet if she could.

Jenn Kay
I haven't seen Jen since college, and the image I have is of her as a zombie madonna in a cowboy shirt, which was her costume at the greatest halloween party of all time. I believe she now works as a graphic designer at a bank and I like to picture her there in that very same outfit; which leads me to wondering if zombies were real and had to get jobs, would living-death be considered a pre-existing condition? Which then of course leads to imagining a bank being run entirely by zombies, which leads to "That would be an awesome tv show!" You know, the office, for ZOMBIES!!! Hilarious. Does me writing it here count as a copyright? Don't steal my idea anyone! I'm going to be a millionaire! THANKS, JENN!!

Jennifer Anslem
Okay, Jen. See..this is what happens when you have nothing but pictures of your kids on Facebook save one. You get a crappy drawing. This was made a year ago, so maybe you've actually got some up now, if so, I'll certainly think about maybe one day rectifying the situation. REC-TI-FY.

Anywho. Jen is pretty dang terrific and I like her very very much. She is one of my best friend's favorite people. You know, one of those friends of a friend that you take an instant liking to and know you'd be really close to if she didn't live in the burbs and then she just up and moves to tornado alley so there's REALLY no chance. That's her. Jen has a highly developed sense of humor, which is a non-negotiable to be one of my favorite's favorites. By all accounts she is a great, caring, good-listening friend and I'm glad that my Katie has her.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Facebook Friends: Jeffs

You know saying a word over and over again can make it sound completely made-up and nonsensical? That's how I'm feeling about the word Jeff right now.

Jeff Bertel
I suppose I have Jeff to thank for Amy's protective older-brothering of me, and bruise pushing, and witty putdowns that are so clever you can't be mad at. He's the kind of guy that poops in the woods for fun. He also has a massive collection of fake ducks.

Jeff Cotter
My weird, wonderful, world traveling' friend.

Central Missouri State. Freshmen year. Design I. Jeff Cotter. Thank God.

My memory may be all lies, but I'm pretty sure that Jeff Cotter was my very first "art friend". Ever. Not to say I didn't have friends who were good at art in high school, but this was different. When I met Jeff, I knew I had come to the right place and that side of me that always felt different than everyone else found a kindred spirit. Both searchers, both creative, both talented, but not really sure what to do with it.

Jeff somehow knew everyone at the art center and as he introduced me around or as I name dropped him in a group of strangers, I made friends and my inner unusual blossomed.

Jeff is also the only person I know capable of the double-jointed jumprope.

Jeff Freeman

Freedog. Many of my favorite high school nights were spent hanging out at the liquor store Jeff (managed?). No, not drinking (really!), but bogarting teriyaki beef jerky in the store room with my most creative high school pals and talking with great authority about things we really didn't know anything about.

Jeff Scherr
My beloved Jong E Fong Fong. Tall, hairy, and if I were to assign senior superlatives to my friends list, this open book would most certainly get my vote for best personality. If I had to be a conjoined twin with someone, it'd be this guy, and we'd sit around watching Ren & Stimpy all day. We're not technically related, but we do share a birthday which has always given us a brother/sister bond of sorts. Maybe that's what gives us the ability to relate to each other so naturally. Great laughs and great heart to hearts.

Jeff Terbrock
Turbo is awesome, nice and funny, but no longer on Facebook. What gives?


I'd like to take this post to apologize for my lapse in posting. I realize it's almost been a year. Normally I'd just say that I don't have a good excuse and chalk it up to my ill-formed attention-span gland and wicked case of Lazyitis, BUT NOT THIS TIME!!! This time I have a real solid excuse. Ready for it?

It has been an awful horrible craptastic shitstorm of a year and I just didn't have it in me.

Yeah. That's it. Boo Hoo.

It's been the hardest year of my life and the hardest year for most of my family and a few close friends. A whole lot of stuff happened. One after the other. I crawled into a hole and set up camp. Keeping up the blog would have probably helped to keep me out of the hole. I love doing it. It makes me happy. But, I didn't really want to be happy, I wanted to be sad. So that's what I did. But, I'm done being sad now, though, I'm still not quite myself, so forgive me if it takes a minute to get back in the groove.

What follows may be way too personal to be putting out there for all, but sad songs are playing on the iPod and I'm full of caffeine.

Apology time!
To those of my friends who I have felt ignored or shut out by me, I'm really sorry, and I'm working on it. For those who have been waiting for an email or phone call from me, I am also sorry, and you may have to wait a little longer. I have been an awful and nonexistent friend. I'll do my best to make up for it.

To my family - I'm sorry for not being there when I should, I'm sorry I checked out and shut down. I'm sorry that in my attempts to make peace I make a bigger mess.

To my jerk cat - I'm sorry for leaving you alone a lot and not cleaning your litter box enough. I'm sorry I have made you fat and sloven and don't let you go outside because you're a hassle to chase down. None of that is going to change, but I just wanted you to know I care.

Thank You Time!!!
To the loves of my life, Katie Ragsdale & Amy Bertel - too much to say. I'd be lost without you. You know, I don't have to tell you. Jessica Purdy, that goes for you too, even though we only email.

Katie O'Malley & Sarah Mason - I love you both and you always remind me that no matter how deep it gets buried, the real me is whimsical, colorful, creative and totally ridiculous.

Blaze Pearson, thank you for giving me what you could, for loving me as deeply as you have, for letting me be a part of your life and the lives of your children. Thank you for teaching me all that you have about commitment, fighting for what you want, confidence and metal. Thank you for holding up this bag of sad clown bones Weekend-at-Bernie's-style, and hanging on as long as you did. I love you like no other, and even though our road of romance has come to an end, you'll always be #3 to me.

To my family - thanks for always being able to make me laugh. At least that hasn't changed!! Thank you for trying to be there for me, even though I wouldn't let you.

TGIT girls - I love you. I'm reading the emails even if I'm not responding. Thank you to everyone who has given me prayers and support. Dee, Michelle, and Aimee, you're always on the journey with me and always there to let me let my ugly hang out. I miss you.

To everyone else that I have befriended here in Atlanta, you were the happy part. I hate that meeting you is included in the worst year of my life, but thank God for sending you in when He did.

There are several other friends who have provided support and prayers and love and I am deeply grateful. So thank you from the heart of my bottom. I'm sorry I didn't stay connected and didn't offer anything back.

Alright....that's it. Sad time is over. Happy time is a comin'!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Epic Accomplishment or Epic Failure? We shall see.

I realize it's been quiet on this blog for the last month, but believe me, in real life it has been anything but. I moved to Atlanta and I started a new job, but that's only the tip of the busy-ness iceburg. You see, soon after I started this project, I knew I would want to display it; not only to share it with everyone, but to hold my short-attention-spanned-self accountable to finish it. Last November at the annual Famous Fictional show, I talked with Mad Art gallery owner, the lovely Ron Buchele, about putting together a group show with a general theme about friendship.

He totally went for it.

Now, eleven months and 20 incredible artists later, it's almost here! Hence, the silence. I've been feverishly cranking away at getting ALL four-hundred-some-odd portraits finished. SO, what does that mean for you? It means that you STL locals should come out and see them all LIVE at the Sidekicks & Soulmates opening reception! I mean really, how many times will your sweet mug ever hang in a gallery?

Q&A Section

Q: Can we buy our portraits?
A: You sure can! Portraits are $10 a piece. BUT WAIT! Come out to the reception on October 7th and you can get your portrait for only $5! If you can't make it to the opening, fear not. I will post instructions on how you can get yours after the show.

Q: Will we be able to take them with us that night?
A: The show will hang until October 31st and then each portrait will be scanned if hasn't been already and then it will be on it's way to you! (About 2 weeks after it comes down.) 

Q: My portrait hasn't been posted on the blog. Did you get it done?
A: If you've been my friend for the last six months, then YES, you're picture will be up. I must confess that a few people did get skipped due to only having pictures of their kids posted or having pictures so small that I couldn't make them out. 

Q: We'd love to come, but no one will watch our horribly misbehaved children.
A: No problem. While an art opening isn't really a kid-friendly event, they are certainly welcome to tag along. Mad Art is an old jail that's been converted into a gallery. If they act up, we can throw them in a cell. Just make sure they don't touch the art. 

A: To me, the write-ups are the best part of this project and they will resume after the show! 

Any other questions? Post a comment below. 


Monday, August 22, 2011

Facebook Friends: Jason - Jean

Jason Roton
A very sharp, outgoing, and hilarious q-ball-headed father of 2 unfortunately beautiful children. Unfortunate for everyone else's kids, that is.

Jason Scollin
I hope every girl who goes away to college has a guy like Jason on the floor above her. A guy whose stout brawniness makes her feel safe from the bumbling drunks stumbling around campus at any given hour. A guy who would rip any guys head off who was even slightly disrespectful (or at least give him a firm verbal threat.) A guy who hangs out in her dorm room watching MTV with her all day while she lube his new super stupid flaming eagle tattoo. A guy who she can call at any hour to escort her to the dining hall so she doesn't have to eat alone. A guy who she can make fun of relentlessly who will dish it right back. A guy who is a genuine friend who never makes moves on her or makes her feel like he's hanging out with her expecting some sort of payoff. A guy who will say, "Psssh. No you're not." when she tells him that she's every bit as pretty as Jennifer Love Hewitt. Yep. Ever girl needs a guy like Jason.

Jason Scott
Jason Scott is a big deal to me. I don't see him anymore. We live worlds apart. He's on one side of the river, I live on the other. You know how that is, right, St. Louis?

Before I crossed over to the big city, Jason had a pretty big influence on me. I was a new Christian hanging out in the shallow end of the spiritual pool and Jason was doing cannon balls and back flips over in the deep end. What? Cannon balls? Can you do that over there? I thought it was more like lap swimming. A straight line between the rope at an appropriate speed to go the distance. You know, dignified.  That's not what Jason was doing. He was having fun and I wanted to have fun, too. It's not just about fun for him by ANY means. Jason is a pusher. He's not afraid to challenge you. That big heart of his is full of wiseness, passion, stubbornness and tell-it-like-it-isness. He's good stuff.

Jason Zellmer
Jason is a great man. That is such a simple sentence, but in my mind, it says so much. To me it's someone who leads. Not mafia-style fear-inducing type of leading, but inspiring people to follow with compassion, creativity, insight, accessibility, honesty, wisdom, bravery and a great sense of humor. I haven't seen him in years, but I know that he is doing incredible things the pastor of Peine Ridge Church in Wentzville. If you're out that way and looking for a church to call home, I suggest you check them out.

Jean Cimino
This is my Momma. The woman who bestowed unto me her good looks, her sparkling personality, her short attention span and, yes, her turkey neck. We have a really unique relationship that I cherish above any other. It is by no means perfect. She crabs at me about the way I stand, dress, do my hair, the way I (don't) clean and the way I don't live up to my potential. I crab at her about the way she can never find her keys, the way she obsessively plays Bejewelled, and her myriad of unintentional quirks like opening her eyes too wide and chicken-winging her arms while she's driving.  My mom and I don't make much of an effort to be polite to one another. And why should we? That's the best part about being a family. You can let all your ugly hang out and they love you anyways.

And love each other we do! Saying that we're "close" doesn't really seem to encompass how tight we really are. We talk about EVERYTHING. Life changing decisions? I call mom first. Heartbroken? I call mom first. Exciting news? Mom again. Just need to vent? Mom. Absolutely nothing to say at all? You guessed it. I call mom. In fact, I would say that talking to my Mom is my favorite hobby. Do I take her advice all the time? Heck, no. But I always want to know her opinion.

Mom has been through a lot the past few years. She's the caretaker of my entire family and there's been plenty of care-taking to do. From one side of the country to the other, she puts her life aside and does the what needs to be done. When she's not doing that, she's working 12-hour night shifts in the ER. She's been completely selfless and tireless. She needs a break! Hopefully, with my sister and I both moving down to atlanta be near her, she'll get one. Maybe not. But, at least she won't have to drive so far to rescue us.