Having a ball in quarantine!

Yeah, that title’s misleading, I’m going nuts. BUT! I have done some things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I’ve been reading a lot more, which has helped with my anxiety. Here are the most recent books I’ve read:

Geek Love by Katherine Dunne
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (my favorite one so far)

I’ve also been going back and re-editing old concert photos. My editing style has changed a lot in the last few years, so it’s been exciting to see old photos in a new light.

fka twigs(FKA Twigs at Pitchfork 2016)

The one thing I can’t shake is being tired. I feel like I’ve been exhausted for so long, but I’m letting myself feel this way without worry or upset. Normally, my anxiety is at a base level of 2 or 3-it’s there, but it’s not disrupting my life or creating any real problems. In the past few weeks,  my anxiety has been at a 5 or 6. Everyday, I wake up worried and completely uncertain of what’s to come. This week, I’ve accepted that I will likely feel this way for a while, and that it’s completely okay to feel this way. I’m definitely not the only one.

I haven’t had contact with anyone besides my husband for exactly a week. I haven’t gone into any stores, walked down the busy streets in my neighborhood, or been to the park. Because I have a car, Jimmy and I have been going for drives and listening to music. I also got to see one of my best friends outside of our favorite neighborhood bar, but from a distance. That’s been my only contact with the outside world. It’s an odd feeling of isolation that I loathe and crave. I want to so badly to hug my friends and family (UGH I WANNA HUG MY MOM!!!), but I also feel much safer knowing that I haven’t seen anyone in a long time. 

I dunno if I’ve ever been more thankful for my health than I have been this past week. My breathing is 80% better, and when I do have asthma, it’s more manageable. I will stay in self-imposed quarantine for as long as I’m supposed to; I will not take my health for granted. I might be bored and anxious, but I am safe. That is all that matters.

In the meantime, I’ve got Animal Crossing.


I think I’m finally waking up.

I haven’t written a blog in nearly 2 years, but this definitely feels like the right time. To start this blog, I do not have COVID-19. I am immensely grateful for this. But, earlier this week, I thought I might have it, and I was terrified.

About 3 weeks ago, I suddenly became very sick. I was supposed to shoot Glass Animals at Lincoln Hall (this was before everything shut down), and I didn’t have the energy to get to the venue. I had a terrible cough, a fever, and body aches I couldn’t get rid of. I had never had aches and chills like this. I took a scalding hot bath, and the minute my skin touched the air, it was dotted in goosebumps. My tailbone and seat bones hurt so much it was painful to sit down. I ended up laying down that evening and sleeping for 4 hours. When I woke up, I was drenched in sweat and beet red. I assumed I broke my fever.

After that night, I started to feel better. The aches went away, my fever didn’t come back, and I was able to resume my normal life. I still had a cough that lingered, but it was manageable. I shot some events, hung out with friends, and planned for what was going to be the busiest month of my freelance career.  The following week, everything came crashing down. Before the emergency shutdowns and shelter-in-place, I lost all of my work. Every wedding, event, portrait session, and concert was canceled; my mailbox filled with emails over the course of 4 hours. This was Thursday, March 12.

At this point, a lot of people started panicking. I saw my friends losing work, and while I began to realize how serious this all was, it still felt like overkill. Deep down, I was angry. I was laid off from my job in November of 2019 (for the SECOND time, big ups to that crap company), but I used that as a reason to start shooting for myself full-time. I had just been a vendor at my first wedding expo, and people wanted to book me. ME! I felt amazing, like 2020 was going to be MY year. When I got all of those emails on March 12, I felt betrayed. This stupid virus couldn’t really be THAT bad.

Over the next 48 hours, thousands of giant corporations, companies, and school systems began closing. My husband was told to work from home “indefinitely”, something which he had never done as an educator. Flights were canceled, people were told to stay home from big events (although thousands of IDIOTS flooded the streets of Wrigleyville for bar crawls). I went to a small gathering at a friend’s house (there were no more than 10 of us), not realizing this was the last time I would be socializing with anyone for the foreseeable future. We had breakfast, played darts, and talked about how none of this quite felt real yet. It was nice. I came home that day thinking that everything would still go back to normal soon. It all felt a bit like a dream.

Over the next few days, I still tried to maintain normalcy. I went to the grocery store to stock up, feeling a little worried the aisles would be crowded and the shelves would be barren. To my surprise, nearly everything was stocked. I got the essentials plus extra dry goods and non-perishables, but I didn’t wear gloves or even consider covering my face. I went to my family’s for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day, making sure to take my shoes off at the door, wash my hands thoroughly, and avoid hugging or kissing my grandfather. I took some self portraits in the sun room and drove downtown to snap some shots of the empty streets. I was still bitter about losing my gigs, but less so. I picked up Starbucks with Jimmy and ate chocolate covered Madeleines. This was Thursday, March 19.

Over the weekend, I started having chest pains. My asthma was flaring back up, and my inhaler wasn’t helping. This is really unusual for me; my inhaler nearly always stops my wheezing, but this time, it wasn’t making a dent. I felt like I was walking around with a stack of books on my chest, and nothing I did made it any better. For the first time since all of this started, my anxiety started to get the best of me. No longer did I think this was overkill. No longer did I feel like people were worried over nothing. I slept about 4 hours a night and constantly woke up from nightmares.

By Monday (2 days ago), I felt like I could barely breathe. I kept telling myself that it was mostly anxiety; when I have panic attacks or experience really bad moments of anxiety, I do cough a lot. But the chest pain…that was foreign. I tried working out at home and had to stop after 10 minutes. I took a shower Monday night and had to get on my hands and knees in the hot water to breathe properly. I knew something was very wrong. That night, I sat in bed, playing Animal Crossing, trying not to cry. Jimmy coaxed it out of me, and I sobbed harder than I had in a very long time. Y’know, one of those long, ugly cries where you make noises that could rival a squad of screaming cats.

I looked at Jimmy and said “What if I have COVID?”
He said, “You probably don’t, but maybe go to the doctor tomorrow to be sure.”
I said, “What…what if I die?”
He laughed and said, “That would really fucking suck.” I laughed through my cat noises.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor, donned with a surgical mask and gloves from home (my family had leftover masks from when Grammy was in hospice and my mom gave us the few she wasn’t saving for my grandfather). Immediately upon entering my doctor’s office, I felt safe. I’ve been seeing my GP for years (I would recommend Dr. Gilleon to EVERYONE: she specializes in women/queer folx’ health), and she’s always treated me with care and kindness. The office was quiet. All the patients were already in rooms, and only Dr. Gilleon, her husband (who was doing all of the administrative work), a fellow med student, and her medical partner, whose name I can’t remember (which bothers me, because he’s the one who treated me). Dr. Gilleon had her two small dogs in her lap, both of whom were mildly happy to see me and got up on the counter for pets. I laughed and said it felt weird petting dogs with gloves on, but it still calmed me down.

I was taken back to an exam room after I said hi to the pups, and the doctor came in right away. He asked me how I was feeling and what my symptoms were. As I described my chest pain, painful (but productive) cough, and asthma (but lack of fever, aches, and dry cough), he seemed collected and not too worried. When he grabbed his stethoscope and asked me to take deep breaths, he stopped after one breath and said “Oh yeah. That’s bad.” But the way he said it didn’t scare me. I’m very used to having asthma, so if that’s all this was, I was going to be fine.

He insisted on giving me a breathing treatment, swabbing for Flu A and B, and a big old steroid shot (basically 5 days’ worth of oral steroids in one injection). While prepping all of this, he asked me what neighborhood I lived in, if I was still working, and what I was doing to stay sane. After giving me the shot, he told me that a lot of patients are experiencing massive spikes in anxiety, and that if I needed any of my meds refilled or anyone to talk to, he was there for me. I almost cried. I of course knew that this wasn’t just affecting me, but to be able to talk to someone in person and hear it, everything felt so much more concrete and manageable.

The breathing treatment was a fucking LIVE SAVER. I cannot stress this enough: if you are experiencing asthma or shortness of breath, call your damn doctor. Even if you’re quarantined and are sure you don’t have COVID, you can talk to your GP or an urgent care clinic and get a breathing treatment easily. As I listened to my podcast and took massive deep breaths in and out through the mask, I felt happier than I had in weeks. I was safe. I was able to breathe. The medication is essentially adrenaline, so I started shaking within minutes, but again, I’m used to it. It was comforting to feel this rush of energy that was opening my lungs.

The doctor came back in, said I sounded infinitely better, took my temp (no fever), and wrote me a preventative RX for pneumonia. While he didn’t think I had it, I was to get it filled and use it if I felt worse in the coming days. I went home, took a Xanax, and slept for 3 hours. When I woke up, the books were off my chest. I could truly breathe.

I slept like shit last night, maybe 2 hours tops. But that’s what happens when you pump your body full of adrenaline and steroids. I didn’t mind the insomnia at all. Whatever, I could breathe. Sleep would come when it needed to. I took 2 naps today and did an online yoga class with my friends Emily and Jackie.

I’m writing all of this out so I remember it. In many ways, is the most uncertain, scary time period we’ve ever lived through, and I want to be able to remember how this affected me.

I’m no longer going to the store at all. Jimmy is running in for us if we need anything.
I’m wearing a mask everywhere I go, unless it’s to sit outside and read a book.
I’m taking this shit SERIOUSLY.

It’s completely okay to be terrified right now, but it’s not okay to bottle it up. Talk to someone, whoever it may be. Call your doctor at anytime. And for fuck’s sake, stay inside if you can.


A love letter to my 20’s

In less than 12 hours, I will start a new decade of my life. When I turned 20, I didn’t really think about what this meant. Going from 19 to 20 wasn’t really a change; certainly I wasn’t thinking about entering a new chapter in my life, as the transition from teens to early adulthood was essentially the same. There has been no greater challenge in my life than my 20’s, and, when I think about it, that’s pretty remarkable. I’ve gone through more than I ever thought possible, and while I had the love and support of those around me, I did a lot on my own.

It sounds like a cliche, but if I could go back 10 years ago and give my 20-year old self some advice, it would go like this.


First of all, you absolutely must accept that you have anxiety. In fact, you have Chronic Panic Disorder. You will always have Chronic Panic Disorder, and will continue to shape who you are. It doesn’t get easier; fears of flying, eating, driving, throwing up, open spaces, intimacy, and running into your father will cycle throughout the years. But, how amazing you are to be able to handle this. And you can handle this. Let it become a part of you. Think of your anxiety like a big fluffy cloud that you can hug and comfort, because when you can embrace it, you will feel so much better.

Second, your body is incredibly strong and capable of anything. Exercise is pretty dope; maybe do it more than you have in your teens. You’ll start to notice little things as you age, like the ever-present tiny wrinkle above your eyebrows or the way your ankles crick when you stand up. Your body is built to withstand a war; give it the tools it needs to be your shield.

Also, you’re gonna get some super sweet tattoos and a nose piercing. Get excited.

You are going to go through SO many jobs. Oh, the jobs you will have. Some will be great, some will be boring, and some will make you want to pull your hair out. But, they’re just jobs. Shitty jobs don’t define you. By the time you reach 30, I promise you: you will be on the right path to an incredible career and have some of the greatest coworkers/friends you could ever want.

Treat your friends with immense kindness and love. There are those who will return the favor and those who will hurt you, but you will never regret being kind and good.

Anger is excess baggage. It ages you. And believe me, when you reach 30, you’ll start worrying a little more about age. So drop the hatred and upset (as much as you can. It’s totally okay to yell at shitty drivers and bad politicians and stuff.)

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more painful and alien than loving someone who doesn’t love you in return. But, you must always love yourself through this time. It’s not your fault.

Your family won’t be there forever. As you age, so do they. Take all the time you possibly can to be with your mom, your grandparents, your extended family. You will remember the moments of side-splitting laughter more than any bad day you have, I promise.

You will gain a ton of weight around the age of 23, and, considering you weigh like 120 pounds right now, you’ll gain a killer ass and rock star thighs.

No one will be able to fix things for you when you’re depressed, and you will experience some serious depression. You can’t expect anybody to tell you that you’re depressed, and you can’t rely on anyone to make it go away. You have to be the one to take the first step, and you will have a shitload of hard work ahead of you.

Therapy is invaluable, but you already know that. Just be prepared.

Your appendix is totally going to need to be removed. You’ll know it when the day comes, trust me. Don’t be scared though, the hospital is not so bad. You get pancakes and can watch Zoolander in your underwear.

Yoga and meditation will become a huge part of your life and give you nothing but strength. Learn to love breathing.

You’ll get a cat. I know, you’re allergic as fuck, but oh man, you’re gonna get the best cat in the world.


I would not tell myself about getting married or becoming a music photographer. I was with my partner when I was 20, but at the time, we were practically kids. I don’t think either of us could have predicted that we’d be together when we reached 30, and I wouldn’t trade any of that uncertainty or nervous excitement for anything.

Becoming a music photographer has been the single greatest accomplishment of my 20’s. Going to grad school is a close second, but I’ve always been good at academics. I didn’t doubt my ability to get a Masters degree, and I didn’t doubt my ability to be a good teacher. But, when I doubted the education system itself and left the profession, I took a corporate job and learned that I am not cut out living out my days in a cubicle at a Fortune 500 company. Flash forward to 2018, and I am a (fairly) successful music photographer (and I’m a professional product photographer during the day! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?) I have never felt better about myself than when I’m with my photography friends in a cramped pit, taking shots of some of the greatest artists in the world.

I would also not tell myself about Grammy’s death. Her illness brought undoubtedly some of the worst moments of my life (and my mother’s and grandfather’s), and I think that each of us handled it the best we knew how. I have no regrets about the time I spent with Grammy, because I saw her every single chance I could. She is still the strongest person I have ever met, and I could write a book on the impact she had on my life. Besides, she’s still floating around the universe somewhere, and I like to think she checks up on me once in a while.

My 20s are over. The nostalgia is rushing over me, but I am also glad to leave it behind. Starting a new decade feels like Spring cleaning: I have purged myself of all the clutter and bullshit I don’t need anymore, and I’m left with a calm, soft space that I’m really proud of.

Let’s do this, 30. I’m more than ready.

Me on my 20th birthday:

Me a week before 30:


The 36 Questions that Lead to Love

(Taken from this article in The New York Times. I thought it would be fun to do even though I’ve been with my partner for 10+ years.)

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
My Grammy.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
I’d like to be more well-known for my photography and writing.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Sometimes, yeah, if it’s an important call. I actually hate talking on the phone to most people.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Sleeping in a little (maybe til 9:30 or 10am), having a delicious breakfast with my husband, doing stuff outside like swimming or biking, shooting an amazing show that evening with my photo buddies, then ending the night with a drive down LSD with the windows down.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I was singing to myself earlier today, although now I can’t remember what the song was. I sing to Jimmy all the time; I make up songs constantly.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
The mind, no question. One of my biggest fears in life is losing mental clarity.

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
I do, but I’d rather not say in case it happens and someone reads this and says “Aha, she knew!” Too much.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
We are both very motivated individuals, we love video games, and we’re both terrible at sports.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Strength fostered through my friends, family, and myself.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Nothing, it’s what shaped me.

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
(Takes 4 minutes to tell my partner about my life, over a third of which he’s been around for)

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Self-healing or the ability to fly. If we’re talking about something realistic, maybe a calmer demeanor in times of stress or anxiety.

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
What’s the deal with death?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
I want to take a several-month vacation to the UK, maybe even live there for a while. Right now, I can’t due to a (new) fear of flying, but fuck that, I’m working on it so I can get back on a plane very soon.

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Accepting my crippling anxiety disorder as a part of me, turning that fear and chaos into creativity and tangible art.

16. What do you value most in a friendship?
Humor, a lack of pretentiousness and arrogance, a love of animals

17. What is your most treasured memory?
One is the collection of memories I have of spending my childhood at my grandparents’ lakehouse.

18. What is your most terrible memory?
Being raped at 11 years old.

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Helllll yes, I’d get over that fear of flying right now.

20. What does friendship mean to you?
Looking like shit in the daytime and grabbing lunch just to talk and be with the person you care about.

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
They’re critical. They’re my oxygen.

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
1. His quick wit
2. His unbelievable intelligence
3. The nicknames he comes up with for our cat
4. The way he ties his shoes
5. His face when he laughs to the point of tears

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
My family is small but mighty. My childhood was probably far less happy than many people, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
The only parent I’ve ever needed. She’s my best friend and the reason I am who I am.

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
We don’t like to make assumptions about what the other is feeling.
We have the best cat in the world.
We can’t go to bed without talking through our day and making sure we’re both feeling calm and safe.

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”
A big plate of eggs and toast. God that sounds good right now.

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
I mean, we are already closer than I ever thought I could be to another human being. But I guess I’d like him to know that I’m still insecure sometimes about the way I look, and I’m still uncertain what I want to do with my life. Because, y’know, I’m a person.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
(whispers this to partner so no one else can hear, appreciates the smile that comes from saying this)

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
Last night, I was talking with a friend and we were discussing how cute this guy across from us was. I pointed to said guy so my friend would see who I was talking about, and said guy turned around as I was doing this. To that guy: sorry I was a creeper. You’re cute, well done.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
I probably cried in front of him a few days ago, and I cried by myself a week or two ago.

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
Their ability to keep my calm in a situation that makes me anxious, but their ability to admit their own fear or nervousness as well.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Nothing is too serious to be joked about. However, the more detailed or specific you make a joke, the harder it can be to separate the joke from someone’s intentions.

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
I think I’m very forthcoming with my emotions, and I don’t know if I’d regret anything like that. Plus, I’d be dead, and unless I get “what’s the deal with death?” answered, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t mind.

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
My stuffed animals I sleep with.

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
The fuck question is this. It’s not Sophie’s Choice.

36.  Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
If I didn’t share my problems with him, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.

On a touchscreen 

My husband can fall asleep within 3 minutes of his head hitting the pillow. I’ve timed him. As I write this, he’s gently snoring next to me. 

On a good night, it takes me 30-45 minutes to fall asleep. On average, I’d say it’s closer to an hour. This week, it’s been 90+ minutes. 

I’m getting over another round of bronchitis/pneumonia (looking over past blogs, I should just always expect to get sick between October-November and again around April). I had a pretty severe allergic reaction to a medication the doctor gave me that I’ve been on dozens of times before, so my recovery has been slow-going. 

I haven’t slept more than 5 hours straight in 2 weeks. 

I kind of feel like I’m going insane. But I’m also fine. I’m on a leave from work, so there’s no stress there. I just have to get up before 10 tomorrow so I can go to therapy.


That word and I have always been fast friends. We probably will be for life. 

I want to write more about this, but I find myself actually feeling tired. 

I hope it sticks. 

7 months

I wrote my last blog post two days before my 28th birthday. It is now less than a month until Christmas. I’m sitting in my bed at 3am alone, recovering from a mild chest cold and unable to sleep.
A few things haven’t changed. I still can’t listen to Blackstar from start to finish without crying or feeling completely despondent. I still stay up later than I ever should. I’m still a music photographer.

Some things are new.
We elected a fascist president.
Prince died.
My husband and I moved to a new neighborhood. (Just three months after we moved here, a young man was murdered outside our apartment building. I’ll write more about this later.)
Our bunny died. He was only six years old. I miss him everyday.
The Cubs won the freaking World Series and Chicago had a moment of pure happiness. I will never forget that feeling.
Fidel Castro died tonight. He was 90.
Leonard Cohen died. We lost so many good fucking people this year. I covered Amanda Palmer when she was here a few weeks ago, and she invited people to bring up offerings to remember Cohen while she played “One of us Cannot be Wrong”.

We got a cat. Her name is Margo, she’s 11, and she rules our lives now. I can’t really put into words how much I love her.

My best friend  had a baby. A healthy boy. I don’t like kids, and I especially don’t like babies, but I am already bonded to this child. He is my honorary nephew, and I’ve never felt more protective of my best friend and her future. I will always be there for both of them.

I’ve had some utterly wonderful and happy moments over the last 7 months, but I went through a period of what I can only describe as exhaustion. I was shooting shows constantly, writing reviews, working my 40-hour job, and battling intense anxiety (which I know I’ll always have). I cried almost everyday. I slept as much as I could but never felt rested. I had stomachaches and headaches regularly.

I decided to take a leave of absence from work to focus on my mental health. This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve purposefully not been working. It feels foreign and a combination of welcoming and uncomfortable. I’m getting there. It’s been 4 weeks.

I have to much to write about, so many things to get down. And I will. I haven’t gone this long without blogging in years, and I need to write. I need to write all the time. It keeps me grounded and calm.

Remember that, Kate.

Your writing keeps your grounded.

click click click

First of all, I want to thank everyone who follows me on WordPress. I’ve posted some deeply personal things on here, and I’ve received comfort and kindness from strangers. It’s a wonderful feeling.

I want to use this platform to extend an invitation to view my other social networks, dedicated to my new passion: music photography. I’m working incredibly hard to make a name for myself here in Chicago, and I’ve made many wonderful acquaintances. So, without further ado, here are the links to my sites and a few photos from the last few months. Thank you!!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kate_scott_photography/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateinGlasses

Professional site: http://www.katescottphotography.net/

Recent shows:

Ra Ra Riot, Lincoln Hall, 4.9.16

Caspian, 4.7.16, The Riv:

Being as an Ocean, 4.4.16, Beat Kitchen:

Murder by Death, 4.2.16, Metro Chicago:


Gary Clark Jr., 4.1.16, The Riv:

Lucius, 3.24.16, Metro Chicago:

everything i can see

It’s been a very long winter, but not necessarily a bad one.

When I came back from New York in December, I was at home for no more than 20 minutes before I went to the doctor. I’d been feeling sick on the plane, and I wanted to make sure it didn’t get any worse. The doctor said I had a sinus infection and prescribed me Augmentin. I felt pretty good for a week or so, then started feeling really rotten the day after Christmas. I went back to the doctor before New Year’s, and they said my sinusitis had become bronchitis.


More meds, and two weeks later (the last week of January), and I was barely able to breathe. My chest hurt constantly, and my cough was so bad I kept retching. I went back to the doctor, and they did a chest X-ray.

SPOILERS I HAD PNEUMONIA. I probably had it for a long time beforehand too. So, onto a massive regime of antibiotics, steroids, and long-term asthma meds. Wheeee. It was also at the worst possible time, work-wise. We have several software releases a year, and I managed to get sick the week of the January release. I worked from home for most of the end of the month, and I’m still recovering. I am feeling much better now, though.

A few weeks ago, I got my David Bowie tattoo. I went to Revolution Tattoo in Logan Square, and it took three hours. I was a bit surprised it took so long, simply because my Queen tattoo only took an hour, but this one was much more intricate and detailed. I’m enamored with the outcome and am so proud to have Bowie’s influence on my body.12644662_4497862681755_8132310309727491384_n.jpg


It’s healed up wonderfully, and I’m ready to rock some summer dresses to show it off.

Next week, I’ll be going on vacation to LA with Jimmy and our good friend, Kevin. We’re going to visit our friends Alex and Ariane, and I CANNOT WAIT. I need sunlight and humidity and palm trees. I feel like I have tuberculosis and need to be shipped off to the coast for healing. Time to heal.

Other than that, not much else exciting going on. I’m feeling a little burnt out with work and my health, but I’m on the mend. I went to a great yoga class tonight and did some grocery shopping at Target afterwards. Soon, I will be on a beach, and all will be well. Goodnight. ❤

Ain’t that just like me?

Sleep that doesn’t come in a bed that can’t feel comfortable on a night my heart won’t beat.

I never met David Bowie. I didn’t know him personally. But I lost one of my dearest friends today.

My most recent blog was about flying to New York and being terrified of doing it alone. I was flying to see Lazarus, the play which Bowie helped write and create.

 The play was based off a character he played in the film The Man Who Fell to Earth back in 1976. Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) played the title character and brilliantly captured Bowie’s emotional portrayal of Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who crashed to Earth and desperately wants to get back home. In the play, Newton has moved forward 40 years (not aged, however, he doesn’t age) but has lost hope of going home. He just wants to feel love. Love and acceptance and comfort. At the end of the play, Hall lays face up on the floor, surrounded by an outline of a rocket ship (made with duct tape), singing ‘Heroes’ and believing he has finally left this world to go home.

Last night, Bowie left in a rocket ship. Not quietly. Not gently. Apparently, he had been battling cancer for 18 months, and it was not a battle he was going to win. His friend and producer, Tony Visconti, said “I knew for a year this was the way it would be…”, citing that Bowie’s album Blackstar, which was released just three days ago, was his ‘parting gift’.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I went on Twitter to scroll through the lines of fluff and dark comedy that comes from those I follow. An artist I follow posted “aw man, I hope this is a hoax”, but as I kept scrolling, I saw no news, no story that would warrant that post. I went onto Instagram to continue my browsing, and I saw something that made my heart sink so deeply I had to catch my breath.

I just cried. I wept openly for someone I’d never met, for someone who didn’t know me in the slightest. I held my husband and thought of my grandmother, who died exactly 50 weeks prior from her own cancer battle. I thought of myself, of my own health, my loved ones, and I thought of his music.

I went through unbearable pits of depression and anxiety as a teenager, and Queen and David Bowie got me through them. I would play each of their albums on repeat until 5 in the morning, looking outside and wishing I was comfortable enough to join everyone else living their lives. I had a similar bout of pain during the winter of 2012. Imagine my utter glee when Bowie announced on his birthday in 2013 that he had a new album coming out that March. The Next Day helped me climb through another deep, dark tunnel and into a slightly less scary world that I’d been imagining.

I cannot yet process everything that this artist meant to me, but I can say that today is one month exactly since I saw Lazarus. The play takes the name from one of the tracks on Blackstar and takes on a whole new meaning when I listened to it today:

Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now…

Oh I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Oh I’ll be free
Ain’t that just like me?”

When I was in New York, I walked Central Park for hours. I was thinking of my grandmother, how much I deeply missed her. We have a joke in our family that Grammy died and came back as a bird. My mother saw her as a peacock at their lakehouse, my grandfather saw her as an albino pigeon on the deck at home. I hadn’t seen her. I was waiting patiently, foolishly looking for any sign of her I could find. That day in Central Park, I sat on a bench overlooking the water, and she appeared.
As a blue jay. A blue bird.
She hopped over to me and sat within inches of my camera lens, chirping and nestling into the wood chips. Tears ran down my face as I took as many pictures as I could. When I finally stopped, I looked up and looked into that bird’s eyes. Then it flew away. I saw Lazarus that night.

Of course it’s coincidence.
Of course it’s just a bird.
Of course it’s not technically a bluebird.
Of course.

and tonight, I will make a toast to a friend whom I loved and supported for decades of my still young life. I will send love to his family, as countless people did to mine when Grammy died, and as countless people have sent love to me today. I will hang my Lazarus poster alongside the lithograph I got from the Blackstar vinyl. I will put Scary Monsters and The Next Day and Aladdin Sane and Blackstar on my record player. I will cry. I will watch The Man Who Fell to Earth. And I will go to bed.

And I will wake up tomorrow.