March 2009 Archives

If I Had Twitter

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Biloxi hotel rooms are booked! Now the fun of deciding where we want to stay in Baltimore. Will it be a bed and breakfast? A houseboat? A walk-up? Or will we just sleep outside Charm City Cakes? The possibilities are endless!

Random Notes


Things are good. Life is good. I am very very blessed.

Last weekend was great--very chill but so much was accomplished. I cleaned and purged a whole lot of things and it is amazing what that can do for your mental state. Fuzzy and I ordered a lot of frames last week, so I spent Sunday framing and hanging up photos, show posters and art that needed framing. We still have a lot to go, but our walls look beautiful and the house is more and more homey feeling. I am so in love with all the art that Fuzzy and I collect. And with the show posters, I am very proud of all that we have achieved over the years.

The gross snow didn't even bother me that badly.

We watched 3 movies this weekend:
Role Models-- Funny, and McLovin's character was so charming, he reminded me of my brother and friends growing up.
Kenny-- An Australian "comedy" mockumentary, but it wasn't really funny to me, just charming. It played like a straight documentary, which was weird, cause it wasn't real.
Happy Go Lucky-- I have wanted to see this movie since it came out, and I was not disappointed. I loved it. Excellent character study. Enjoyable from start to finish.

Did I post here before that I bought Ice Skates!? For only $30! I can't wait to take them out! Of course, I am so ready for warm weather, ice skating isn't the most appealing idea...

Blewt has a new show coming in June called Judge Doody, and it is a live wacky courtroom show. If you are in the Chicago area and have a dispute with someone that you would like to work out in a comedic fashion, leave a comment below! It can be about anything--your roommate and the dishes, who looks better in this dress, etc.

And speaking of Blewt--The dates are set for Impress These Apes 4! Announcement to come soon.

The Noah Ginex Puppet Company has been asked to do a head to head improv show with Felt, another improvised puppet show, for this year's Chicago Improv Festival. I have been giving some guidance to the group, which is comprised of Noah Ginex, Fuzzy Gerdes, Regan Davis, Amanda Rountree, and Scott Whitehair. These guys are incredible, and the rehearsals so far are adorable and hilarious. You know you have a cool life when puppets come into your house a few times a week and hang out with you.

The Bane Photo Project is moving along beautifully. There are so many photos. Fuzzy and I are working on formatting the book and picking good pics to go along with it. Here is my favorite photo from all the ones we've scanned--this is a young George Bane and Juanita Burns (my grandparents), so young and so happy:

Happy Young Bane Couple

Sadly, Memaw is not doing so well health-wise. I am praying that she holds on just at least a few more weeks, so we can get through our birthday. If you are the praying type, please send a few up for her. Thank you.

Looking at 100 years of family history while still dealing with the last few years of my immediate family history is proving to be very emotional and challenging. It is beautiful, but sometimes I just want to stop everything and hide for a little while. But once this is all done, we will be so grateful to have it. I am just ready for a little calm, or a break in all the sickness. But I know that isn't realistic, and I just have to keep going.

In happier news--I have scheduled my tattoo! I am so excited, and I think about it all the time. I will hopefully write more soon about my previous 2 tattoos and the one to come and what it all means.

I got a raincoat at Old Navy the other day for $20 that makes me 95% more fashionable than I really am. Here is proof:

Not Fashionable:
Not Fashionable


I am trying to work on a new philosophy in life. Life is short, so if there is something that Fuzzy or I says that we want to or should do, we will try to ACT ON IT! It is a small start, but on Saturday, we are going to MEDIEVAL TIMES! Yes! I haven't been in years, and I am so dorky excited about it.

I've been working on Chad and Elizabeth's wedding ceremony and I am so excited. I am really looking forward to this roadtrip in May, being there for the wedding, seeing my family in SC, then just taking a few days off in Baltimore to rest, explore and EAT!

So yes. Life is good. I am so thankful.

Holy Crap!

Pandora has lyrics!

If I Had Twitter

New Feature!

Sometimes I wish I had Twitter just because I have small wry observations I would like to share, then I remember that I have a blog, which serves the same purpose, only it came first, and I don't have to keep it under 140 characters.

So here we go:

This mailing is so huge, and I have folded so much that it peeled the skin off my thumb. But it is the only thing to do in the office today, so back to the fold, risk of blood and all...

I have an awesome T-shirt

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My brother and I have always been best friends.

Growing up, we used to play and fight and explore and wrestle and generally have a good time. I had a fairly large room and bed growing up, and my brother had a tiny room off of my room that used to be a storage closet. Basically, we shared a bedroom with a little folding door in between. His room was great for recording comedy tapes and doing homework, whereas mine was good for throwdowns.

One such throwdown day, somehow, Christopher managed to roll me up in all of my sheets and blankets, and tump me off the side of the bed, while he laid on the slack of the covers, therefore keeping me from hitting the ground. I couldn't move--I was wrapped so tight I couldn't get out and couldn't breathe, but I was laughing so hard that it was painful. Christopher casually kept me hostage in that position for what seemed like forever, though I am sure it was only for a few minutes. Eventually, he freed me, and that moment became forever known in our house as "The Burrito Incident."

As an adult, my brother worked as a graphic designer before moving on to arts administration and later social work. He is quite talented--you can read his comic book here.

A few years ago for Christmas, I received one of the best presents I have ever gotten. A T-shirt with this graphic:


It is one of my favorite possessions.

Erica vs. Woot


I hate
I hate it so much I am not even going to create a link to the above said address.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, is a site that takes other company's shitty leftover electronics and sells them at a cheaper price until they are gone. Tech nerds love gimmicks, so the gimmick is that there is only one item a day, and there is an undisclosed number of these items and it is only "while supplies last!" That shit is like crack to a tech nerd, especially to a tech nerd who already has TOO MUCH SHIT.

Especially in this day in age where everyone is losing their jobs left and right and our awesome President is telling us we must change our past ways of consume and discard, sites like this are evil. They convince people that they are getting a great bargain, when really they are selling shit to people that these people don't need. Hey Jackass, pay your credit card bill first why dontcha?

Today is sort of a holiday for the nerds who love! It is a Woot Off!
What's a "Woot Off" you ask?
A Woot Off is when they take all their extra crappy products that they have a smaller amount of and the product changes as soon as the product is sold out!!!! What's the only way to find out what is next?! BUY THE CRAPPY PRODUCT THAT IS ON YOUR SCREEN NOW!! These products can range in price from $1 to thousands of dollars, so it is like gambling--"I gotta hold out for the GOOD items that will inevitably be coming up next."

Note to Nerds--there are no GOOD items, because no matter how you slice it, they win and you lose.

Since this Woot Off started last night at midnight, here are some of the items that have been for sale (Full disclosure--my wonderful husband is a Tech Nerd and therefore loves Woot and often falls prey to its siren song. He knows my issues with the site and the subsequent falling prey. Yes, I give him a hard time, cause it is my money, too.)

Shocking Shock shock alarm clock! It's an alarm clock, that shocks your hand when you go to hit it! It SHOCKS YOUR HAND! Get it?! Cause then you are shocked and um. WTF?! The only thing this alarm clock will do for you is make you crabby and start your day on the wrong foot. It was ugly, too.

Vexplorer Roboto Construction System! Robots! Robots! Robots! Yeah, so robots are cool, but not $80 worth of cool. You are an adult. Grow up.

Solar Charger with Controller! It has a CONTROLLER! And it is only $100 dollarssssss. WTF is a Solar Charger and why does anyone need anything like this?

Drum in the Air Drummy Drum sticks--Drum sticks that drum IN THE AIR! Do you know who needs these drumsticks? IDIOTS. Now take those drumsticks and shove them in your ass.

And then a bunch of cables and cords and harddrive and thumbdrives and dumbass drives and.... also has a T-shirt page which they can go to Hell for, and a wine/cheese page to which I say, Eff you, I live next to a grocery store, where I don't have to pay shipping.

Woot Must Be Stopped.

Thank you

Thank you so much, everyone, for all your sweet comments, emails and texts yesterday. It certainly helped me get through the day.

I'm worn out for a number of reasons today, so I don't have much to say.

Here is an awesome exchange I had with Fuzzy yesterday:

F: When is Parker's birthday?
E: April 8th.
F: Oh, good, cause I might have bought her a birthday present today.
E: Is it a costume?
F: It miiight be.


Keep On Growing


Today is Daddy's birthday.
He would have been 55.

I decided to stay home today, which is good. Last year his birthday was on Easter Sunday and I was barely functional. I was hoping today was going to be sunny and warm and I would be inspired to clean and work and get stuff done. Instead it is cold and rainy and all I am inspired to do is sleep.

I bought him birthday presents this year. I know I only bought them for me, but it made me feel better. I always bought frog and turtle chotchkies for Dad, and last year, when I saw a beaded frog in a store, I thought "oh! Dad would love this!" and then only got sad. Fuzzy suggested that I go ahead and buy those type of things for him, only now we can put them out at the cemetery. So that is what I did. The store didn't have the beaded frogs anymore, but I got a set of turtle windchimes for the shepherds hook we have out there (which already has frog windchimes) and then I got a giant stone turtle to put on the grassy part. His grave already has a rabbit and a gnome and some cats on it, so these turtles will be in good company.

Baby Erica and Dad
(one of the first pics of me and Dad)

I don't remember his last birthday on earth. I know I went home to share it with him, but I don't remember anything that we did. I was going home a lot then, so all the trips blur together, but I am really frustrated that I can't remember if he was sick or well or if he had a good day or if he had to work...maybe he did have to work and that was the trip he showed me the Star Wars slot machines...I don't know. I did a search in my email to see if I could get any clues, and all that I emailed about that weekend was shows and films I was helping with in Chicago. I can't help but feel stupid for that.

Years ago, at a Christmas party for my beloved improv group KOKO, Megan gave me a Circle Journey book, a book where you scrapbook and mail it back and forth with a friend or relative so you can have an account of your memories. She gave it to me to use with Dad, which is just about the sweetest idea ever, only I was too scared to use it or send it, because I knew it would be acknowledging that he was really sick. It is sitting right now on my shelf in the office, unused. What I wouldn't give to have it filled.

When I think of my father, I only smile. He was such a wonderful loving and hilarious man. He had cute freckled arms and that big old beard. He made dirty jokes and fart jokes and we used to play a game growing up called Hug My Babies. He and I could talk on the phone forever playing songs for each other--him telling me songs to download and then us listening to them together. He always wanted you to know the artist of every song on the radio, and he would recite the lyrics to songs while the song played to make sure you knew what the song was about. He always started watching the first scene in a movie before everyone was ready, just to see what it looked like. He rarely drank, but when he did and got tipsy, he would turn red and start giggling, covering his face. It was so adorable. The year Rebecca and I did Arabesque, Mom, Dad, Christopher and Jeremy all came into town on his birthday weekend to see it. We went to our regular post-show outing at the Heaven on Seven that used to be on Clark to hear Professor John play, drink hurricanes and eat peanut butter pie. The night of his birthday, we called a bunch of friends to come join us, including Jeff and Piero, and we did shots and moved the tables and danced and had the best time.

(one of the last photos of me and Dad)

In scanning in all these family photos, one thing is clear--Mom and Dad were just little guys trying to raise us-making it up as they went. By the time they were my age, they had a 5 and a 7 year old, and we kids had the best childhood. Mom and Dad didn't have much more than their love for each other, and that remained true until the day he died. I am so grateful for my wonderful parents, and I can't imagine how Mom must be feeling on a day like today. He was her everything.

We have so much to celebrate on a day like today. David Reid was an incredible man who never met a stranger and never had an enemy. I know that he would want me to laugh and smile and have fun today, but I also know that he would say "Come here, Girl," wrap me in his arms and tell me it is ok to cry.


The Missing Pages!

Tonight, while sorting through Memaw Bane's newspaper clippings, photos, and documents, I found the missing pages in Papaw Bane's Autobiography! Yahooooo!

They go in Chapter 5, which is now updated with the new text. Here is what we were missing:

When I found one of our people, I gave him a copy and told him to get busy.

By nightfall, we had them all rounded up. We started rounding up our gear to sail for ports unknown, the rumor was that it would be somewhere in the South Pacific.

Before daylight on January 12, 1942, we all fell out and took our shots. We all with the exception of the CO (he didn't pass the physical) boarded a tug boat that took us across the bay. We came within a short distance from Alcatraz Prison on our way over.

As soon as we landed, a truck picked us up and took us to the docks. It was a cold and damp morning, and I thought I would freeze. It took us until noon to board ship. We stood in line, moving up a little at a time until four thousand men was aboard the SS President Coolidge.

On January the 12th, 1042, we sailed in convoy with the President Taft, Mariposa Catoomba and the US Navy Destroyer PH. We went under the Golden Gate Bridge and out to sea. It was almost dark before we could no longer rest our eyes on the good ole USA.

The President Coolidge was known as the Queen of the Pacific before she was converted into a troop ship. In fact, the war paint was hardly dry when we left San Francisco. Her life as a troopship was very limited. Soon after delivering us safely to Australia (her maiden voyage as a troop carrier), she hit a mine off one of the Pacific Islands, and the Capt. intently grounded her with approximately 4000 men aboard. One man was lost, and he died of a heart attack.

I know know what route we took, but it was not a direct sea lane to Melbourne, Aust. The first land we sighted was the coral reefs off the coast of New Zealand. About six am on January 12th, all hell broke loose. Every body grabbed their life preservers and hit the deck. About a mile ahead of us was a flotilla of destroyers and battleships. We had a powerful 3 inch gun mounted in the bow, and no doubt a brave gun crew. After they figured out which end of the shield went first, they loaded up, and with nerves of iron, they focused their steely eyes on the approaching enemy fleet and prepared to give battle. The ships turned out to be the Australian Navy sent out to welcome us and escort us into the harbor.

We touched bottom on our way in. We had several tugs that has us in tow, and without any farther incidents, we tied up at our berth about dark. The Salvation Army and Lord knows how many people turned out to give us a rousing welcome with plenty of coffee and doughnuts for us underfed GIs.

The next morning we went a little way outside of downtown Melbourne, to an area that was used by the Australian Army at various times. We were issued passes into town, and I fell in love with the Australian people, as well as the country. If we went in a pub, in just a few minutes there would be enough drinks in front of us to make WC Fields drunk.

Melbourne is a beautiful city. I enjoyed sight seeing and the shops. The restaurants served good food, and boy, the waitresses were something else. It didn't take us long to learn not to ask one for a napkin, though. Instead, you ask for a sanitary cloth, otherwise you might get your face slapped. A napkin over there is a personal female item.

I was sent back to the ship, along with others, to check our equipment as it was being unloaded from the holds of the ship, to be reloaded on another boat.

My Greatgrandmother--1931

Laura Burns 1931

The beautiful Laura Burns

Recipe for a Good Night

A night off.
A sunny warm day.
NCAA Basketball.
Leafy green salad, brie, and pepper marinated tillapia (courtesy of Safeway Waterfront Bistro)
Absolut New Orleans(mango black pepper vodka) with Grapefruit Juice.
RCN On Demand.


Life is good.

I am all settled in for a night of photo scanning. I thought I was going to be finished tonight, but I just uncovered a huge pile of photos, including some ooooooold ones that are fascinating. Good thing I cracked open a fresh bottle of that vodka...

The Gloomy Side of the Bed

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I knew today was going to be gloomy. I knew it months ago, when I turned down a babysitting job for today. "That's a rough weekend for me" I said, but it was mainly just a precaution. The hardest day isn't even until Monday, so why is it seeping in today? Today has all sorts of good potential...sleeping in, kitty snuggling, and later window shopping, letter mailing, therapy, a night off... but yet, I can't shake the gloom, the almost tears, the sad songs that are playing on iTunes. How do I push through it? Do I even want to?

If it was warmer than 30 degrees out, I would go for a walk, but even that is an ordeal. I need to package up some things to mail, but even that is daunting.

Breakfast was 2 girl scout cookies, some glad corn, string cheese and a cup of tea.

I want to go back to bed, but instead I will try to check some things off the list. Procrastination is just another form of worry.

Something I am actively working on? Letting go...

But feelings are feelings and they are a blessing to have. At least I know I'm not a robot.

Update: I got the packages ready. Took a long bath, and went back to sleep for a half hour. I just woke up and have decided to treat myself to some quiche and coffee at Metropolis before heading downtown. But I also chipped my pretty nail polish. Darn.

Dear Writers of Southern Wit,
Good for you for writing a book! Thank you for sharing your personal stories with us and sharing with the world how fun and funny it is to be from the South! Before you get your book, published, though, here are a few tips to consider:

* Not every book of Southern Wit needs recipes.

* Personal quotes from other Southerners often disrupt the flow of the book.

* Stop trying so hard.

* We aren't BFFs. In fact, more often than not, we've never met.

* Stop being so precious.

* You are not Jill Conner Browne. No seriously, you aren't.

After evaluating this advice, then you may proceed.
Best of luck in your writing endeavors!

Erica Reid, lover of (some) Southern Wit books

A nice day for a lean

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Ahhhh...would you like to join me for a stroll? It is such a lovely day. The sky is blue...the trees are green and wispy....ah, what a glorious view of the mountain! What a nice collection of foliage...I love palm trees! Good thing I wore my embroidered frock makes me blend in so nicely to the background here.

What's that? You are tired? Oh, me, too. I am just going to casually lean against this conveniently placed log here...

1st Grade Me

Ahhh...that's more like it.

No Really, It's Ok


I've been encountering an interesting phenomenon lately. I've been asked by a number of people what shows I'm working on, which is really very nice. It is a little awkward, but I politely tell them that I am currently not performing nor working on anything. I am often greeted with sad, confused, or sympathetic looks (or awkward pauses, if I am on the phone.) Then the next questions and comments come, like "Oh!" and "well, when are you?" or "Yeah, give her six months" or, on specific shows "why not? It's an easy night." Then I find myself defending my decision and justifying my choice to the questioning party.

It is flattering, I suppose, that people care, but really, when it comes down to it, why do people care? I hate taking the whiney road and saying that I am trying to deal with the events of the last few years, but that is my "I'm defensive" answer. Last night I think I put it the best when I said that I was "taking that time and energy to work on getting myself back, since over the last few years, I've lost so much of it." That answer was positively received.

It is hard enough dealing with myself in this decision. I previously had defined myself as being a comedian or a performer, and now that I am not active, what am I? Who will I be? Will people forget me? Will people leave me behind? But the truth is, I am the only person putting this pressure on myself. I know who I am--I am a person. A person with my own life and choices and burdens and joys. I'm a person who is following her heart and her guts. I'm not saying that I am leaving performing altogether--I sincerely hope that I am not--but you know what? If I am, that is ok. I am not putting any pressure or timeline on myself to do anything. And if that makes me a boring person to talk to at dinner parties, then so be it. It is better to be boring and happy than stressed out, busy and unhappy.

It shouldn't be so shocking after all...people switch careers all the time. And in this day and age, all bets are off anyways, right? Everything in society is different. For example, being unemployed doesn't carry the same stigma that it used to. Priorities have changed, and it is the choice of the individual as to how they choose to deal with it. And instead of questioning and challenging each others' choices, shouldn't we be supporting and encouraging them?

So instead of feeling ashamed or guilty that I am in this new phase of my life, instead I am proud of it. I have mourned the loss of that part of myself, and am embracing the new side of me. I am rebuilding myself so that I can be a better person for my family and friends and beloved husband, and most importantly, for me. It is pretty exciting.

Cause as RuPaul says, "If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anybody else?"


Reid Kids


The pic of Christopher on the second row is one of my all time favorite pics of him. He just looks so dopey and sweet.



Time to report in to keep everyone up to date on some current goings on. Here we go:

1) We went to church yesterday! It was really lovely to get up and out on a Sunday morning and be in a loving church environment. It totally set the tone for the whole day. The sunshine and warmer temperatures totally helped, too. It was a lovely service-- one that I needed to hear-- and I spoke briefly with the sweet Pastor on the way out. I was happy that she remembered me, and she was sad to hear about Dad's passing. It was really nice. Next week, I think we are going to try out Berry, so that will be fun.

2) We went to brunch at Morseland yesterday. Holy Yummers. It was great, too, cause all the other brunch places had huge masses waiting outside to get a table, and we just waltzed in at Morseland and got a seat. Two Words: Caramelized Bacon.

3) I finished Topher's book, Necessary Luxuries, a compilation of the column he has written over the last several years for David Magazine in Atlanta. It was so funny and charming and easy to read, and it was an added bonus for me, because now I am caught up on what's happened in his life over the last several years.

And now 4 books are checked off the list!

4) I have painted my nails red for the first time in my life, and I kind of love it. It is a deep maroon, so not REALLY red, but it is a huge step for me considering that the only lipstick or nail polish I have ever worn (not for a show) has been in the Nude or Pinkish shade. I have only worn red lipstick recreationally once in my life, but it was in Florida on a vacation with Erica, Andrew and Topher when I was 19 or 20 and I wore a short red sexy dress and red lipstick to a club (I have photos.) Incidently, that night I got hit on by a weird Vanilla Ice wannabe who was wearing patriotic American flag Hammer pants... I suppose it was the 4th of July weekend, but still, that is no excuse. Anyways, back to the nails--it is kinda pretty! I feel a little bit like a gypsy, but I also feel pretty girly, too.

5) I have a phone phobia--you know, I am one of those people who never answers their phone or returns a phone call (I know of others who are the same way, so therefore, I don't think this is weird.) However, I am trying to be better about this, so I am happy to report that I returned THREE phonecalls this week. (pat pat pat on my own back.) They were lovely.

6) ANTM is on now, and I have to just throw it out there--I don't really care. WHAT?! Who are you and what have you done with Erica?! Yeah...they are on our DVR, so I'll get to them sooner or later, but for some reason, I am just more enthralled with RuPaul Drag Race and The Amazing Race...hmmm...maybe if it was called Americas Next Top Model Race? Hmm...

7) Fuzzy signed up for the Chicago Triathalon later this year! WOWEE! Go Baby Go!

That's all for now...more soon!

Best. Photo. Ever.


And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, for your viewing pleasure, the Best Family Photo In The History Of The World...

Drumroll please....

Reid Family Photo

The plaid! The stripes! The floral! That beard! That afro! Those kids! Those ears! The humble hand! That family!

What could we possibly be looking at?!

Good times.
I love it soooo much.

My Beautiful Mother

Tricia School Pics

My mom is so pretty! Here are her school photos, from grades 1-12. Check out her awesome style in high school, too, and what a smile!

Click the pic to view it bigger (click on "all sizes" on the Flickr page)

Glass Bottom Boat

Papaw, Mom and Memaw

My whole life, mom has always told us about when she and her parents took a ride in the Glass Bottom Boat, and the other day, I found this photo from that trip! Papaw, Mom and Memaw are in the center of the photo. Little mom is so cute!!

Glass Bottom Boat Zoom

UPDATE! Mom explains why she has the bandaid on her chin.

Prom Mom

Check out my Super Foxy Mom at her senior prom. What a babe!

As for that guy, watch where your hand is, mister.
My Super Foxy Mom at Prom

The print of the dress she's wearing is little silhouettes of Laurel and Hardy in the white area and little bowler hats in the bust region. She gave this dress to me many years ago, and I've worn it many times. I love it. I most recently wore it for a taping of "Welcome to Blewtville" in which I sang "Brand New Key" the day after my wisdom tooth extraction while hopped up on vicadin. I am sure that is some good footage.

New Hair!


Per Carrie's request, here are some pics of my newly shorn hair (taken moments ago with my phone in my bathroom.)

Look out for that nose!

Please note that I did not wash or comb my hair today. You rarely need to with this cut!

I love it soooo much! It is easy and sexy and it is the best haircut I've had in a while. Thanks to the superfabulous Monique Madrid!

So Carrie, you know I love short hair, and you know I will support you in your short hair adventures. Also, I am scanning all the photos from Memaw's house, and now I have all my old dance and Nutcracker photos! Lots of lavender, lots of red...she always put me in red and you in maroon or pink, right? That Mrs. Atwater, she was something. I'll post some soon!




It's Nineteen--ninety-one! It's 1991!!


Lookout world, we're comin' to getcha! Cause it's nineteen ninety-one, mofos.
Check out my supafly boom box. Can you tell I like milk shakes and record albums and cars? CAUSE I STICK THEM ON MY SPLATTERPAINT WALL!
Oh yeah, 1991, bitches.



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Let's see....what is going on?

Things are going pretty well here. I have been having lots of epiphanies lately about all sorts of things, so I am still walking my journey of personal discovery and figuring out what I am doing and how things are now. It is still a difficult walk, but I like to think that I am handling it a little better lately than I did before. (maybe just a little?)

Today I am a month away from 30! Waaahooo! I got some exciting news this week that my oldest friend in the whole wide world Melissa will be coming to town that weekend--I am so excited! I was talking to Mom yesterday about how her coming up might break the bad birthday curse that I have, and she wisely retorted "don't count your chickens..." HAH. So yeah, I need to still be realistic and not allow myself to get too excited about things, because whenever I do, there is only disappointment...

This also means that I am only a month away from my self-imposed deadline of photo scanning! When Fuzzy and I cleaned out Memaw's house in September, we brought home all of her photos--about 5 boxes worth. For the last several months, I have been casually scanning them in, with eventual hopes to make cds of photos for everyone in the family and then divvying up the physical prints. I was also planning on taking all the photos of Papaw from India and around that time to layout and publish along with his memoirs to give to Memaw for her birthday. The clock is ticking! But when you take a lifetime of photos, along with photos from another lifetime (my great grandmother's,) this project takes forever! So I need to just knuckle down and DO it. Even if it means limiting social interaction. It will be worth it in the end.

I think that is a good goal for 2009--this will be the Year To Finish Projects. Team Gerdes is full of unfinished projects, but as Steve brilliantly stated: That means we have a lot of started projects, which is a creative blessing. But when you don't finish them--they weigh on your mind and shoulders. So--I am determined we will finish a lot this year! Projects include: editing countless hours of video footage for Blewt and for personal, transferring VHS tapes to DVD or computer hard drive, framing the unframed art, sorting cds, sorting dvds, purging, among others.

Yesterday was so pretty, and it was a great day. For all my Southern readers, today it is a high of the 20s. COME ON SPRING!

Fuzzy asked me to post my comments on the movie Sita Sings the Blues. I enjoyed the movie, but found the multiple styles and segments to be a little disjointed. My favorite part was the narrated telling of the story with the papercut style gods and goddesses--it was a perfect mix of humor and education. It was very enthralling. I didn't know that the modern story line was her personal story line, but I didn't think it was neccessary. The intermission and "dance numbers" felt like filler. The Betty Boob style animation with the Annette Hanshaw songs was cute, but it didn't flow for me, and in my opinion, it wasn't worth the heartache that it is putting filmmaker Nina Paley through. (I realize that last statement is harsh--why do any of us create art? I understand why it is there and her love of this, but as a viewer, it didn't do much for me and the songs were so out of the element of the Indian style that story line contained.) In short, I think that the movie could be chopped down to just be the narration segments and you would have a 45 minute really interesting really educational film, one that could even be shown in schools. But that is just my opinion.

In other news, I chopped all my hair off and I love it.

I will end this post with a shout-out to my brother: You have less than 2 months to go! You can do it! You are the most brilliant person I know and I have no doubt you can make it and will come out on top. Go Christopher! Show that grad school who's boss!


Lord Almighty


I am currently in a huge personal internal search on trying to reclaim myself, adjust to the recent changes in my life and figure out who I am and what I am doing. You know, lighthearted stuff. Needless to say, it has been grueling, but the work I am doing is good. I've been feeling a complete loss of purpose and a large emptiness that hasn't been there before--I don't like it. Also, this is the first time in my life that I haven't been completely 100% stretched and taxed to the limit, so it is quite a change for me, and one that I know I can get used to. All that being said, the other day, I was sort of hit like a brick as to what is missing in my life right now.

I need to start going to church.

Growing up, we always went to church--the one my mom grew up in. Memaw Bane was the church organist and Papaw Bane was a Deacon. The fact that Sunday School was at 9am and Church service was at 10am on Sunday mornings was always a problem for little Erica, because Saturday nights were when SNL came on, and because of stupid Mississippi TV stations, it didn't come on until midnight. SNL would end at 1:30am and then it was time for VH1 video watching until I fell asleep, so those Sunday mornings always came so quickly and I never wanted to go.

The casinos came into town when I was a young teenager, and my Dad lost his job at the bank where he had worked the overnight shift for years. (sidenote--spending the night in the bank on a shift with Dad was always the coolest thing in the world. Not only was it one on one Dad time, but there were all these cool machines and check sorters and you got to eat from the vending machines and look out the windows from way on top of the giant FNB building downtown. Once I stayed overnight during Riverfest, and it was so cool to watch the people at the concert below.) Since Dad had previously worked for Papaw Bane fixing 2 way radios and later taking over the business (Banecom), he knew a thing or two about electronics, and thus began his career in the casino industry, the career path he was in until he passed away. The folks in the church hated the casinos and loved to talk ill of the people that went there. This became a frequent topic of discussion during Sunday School, which always made me feel uncomfortable since I knew that was the only way that my family was able to pay for food and bills. Add to that some racist comments that were made in my brother's class, and that was all it took for my family to stop going to church. We still made appearances for Christmas, Easter and the High School Senior Recognition days, but church was not for us. Especially in a religion that is all about love and forgiveness, we found the comments that came out of hate to be too much.

When I moved to Chicago, I attended a small neighborhood church for a while, but it was always do hard to get to after late night Saturday shows. Eventually, I stopped going. Plus, they wanted me to be a little bit more involved, and I couldn't do it. When I go to church, I sort of want to be anonymous, so I never want to get to where people start depending on me to do things. However, I do want to be greeted if I am at a new church, I just don't want to have to then carry on a conversation. When I lived in Andersonville, I found a nice Baptist church that I feel very comfortable in--being raised Baptist, I find that I like that structure the most-- that I used to go to every now and then. They have a woman pastor that I really like and they are open to all races and sexual orientations--a HUGE plus to me. When Dad was diagnosed, I was compelled to go there to be in the safety of God's doors, and I talked to this pastor for a long time. It was lovely.

Over the years, I have kept my Faith. I have an awesome NIV women's Bible that I read when I need comfort, and I pray and practice on my own terms. But there is something comforting about going to worship with others. So I was determined I was going to go this morning. I told Fuzzy we were going and I set the alarm, and although I was determined to make it up and out the door, I wasn't putting too much pressure on myself in case I were to fail.

Which I did.

It was a triple whammy. Fuzzy had a midnight show last night and wasn't home till 2am. Which, due to daylight savings time, was actually 3am. And when the alarm went off, it was pouring down rain. I hit snooze a few times before turning the alarm off and going back to sleep for 2 hours.

I know that there is a lot of discipline involved in making it up and out on a Sunday morning, but it is one that has never been in my nature. The good news is that I know God forgives me, and He will give me another chance next week.



The guy at the liquor store just told me that I look good for my age.


Lord Lord Lord.

(And yes, I was just at the liquor store at 1pm on a Friday. I'm not ashamed.)

Sunbathing in a Body Cast


Well, the good news is that I am still able to read. Maybe it isn't me, maybe instead it is the caliber of book I have been trying to read in the last year. Happily, I found a book that I could not put down.


Sunbathing in a Body Cast: True Stories by Rebecca Rine-Stone. I read the whole book in one day. Seriously, this book is soo good. My favorite thing to read is short personal essays, and Rebecca is a master crafter of language and is really able to take us on a journey through her mind and experiences. One minute, I would be laughing out loud and giggling uncontrollably, and the next, I would be weeping and sharing in her pain. Granted, Rebecca is one of my best friends in the whole world, but as I told Fuzzy last night, It is good, and not just cause it is Rebecca--which then made me think--It is good, BECAUSE it is Rebecca. The way she thinks, the way she shares her life so openly and joyfully. I highly recommend this book.

To celebrate, we will be having a book release party on Sunday March 22nd at the Book Cellar! Rebecca will be reading selections from the book and copies will be available for sale. We would love it if you would join us! Details below:

Please join us at a Book Release Party
for Rebecca Rine-Stone's new book
Sunbathing in a Body Cast: True Stories!

Sunday, March 22nd
4:00-5:30 pm
at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square
4736-38 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

Rebecca will be reading selections from Sunbathing in a Body Cast, and copies will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served.

Book Cellar Event Info Here
Please RSVP to ericareid (at)

Sunbathing in a Body Cast is an autobiographical journey through the quirky, frenetic mind of Rebecca Rine-Stone. While weaving memories with present life, Rine-Stone creates essays that are self-deprecatingly humorous yet always deeply personal and honest. She delves into and magnifies reflections on everyday life as well as more serious topics such as sickness and mortality and she tackles such obstacles without self-pity, but rather with outward optimism, hope and sassy sarcasm.
Subjects range from going through the Dairy Queen drive-thru in a body cast in the back of a station wagon to her ongoing aversion to growing up.
Having come to no solid conclusions about life except that we're all in this mess together, Rine-Stone proves it's easier and better to be nothing more than yourself and nothing less than yourself.
Available at

If you would like an invitation via email or to RSVP, please leave a comment below.
I hope to see you there!



come on


This is how I have been feeling lately:

This is how I hope to be feeling soon:
good day.JPG

I am working on it...

2 more days to go...

| 1 Comment

Work benefit is Wednesday. Blogging to resume next week. Today we worked an 11 hour work day and didn't take a break. It is exhausting but satisfying.

In book news, I finished reading the first book on my list- More Information Than You Require. Hooray!

Miss y'all. I'll be back soon.

Updated to answer Ray's question (Hi Ray!)
More Information Than You Require is good, but it pales in comparison to Hodgman's first book The Areas of My Expertise. AOME is the kind of book that I can pick up, read a paragraph, and be crying with laughter. MITYR is funny at times, and self serving at times and just dull at times, too. I think Hodgman is a genius, but I feel like he was too itchy to write a sequel, so he just dumped it out. If he had taken more time and really crafted it a bit, it would be awesome. But molemen aren't as funny and cool as hobos, and he has a LOT about the molemen in it. Hm. If I were to give it a grade, I would give it a B- or a C.

Now it might just be me--my brain is all jacked up and not in a reading mood, but when it feels like work to read it, that isn't good no matter what state of mind you are in.

Another Update--
Last night I finished the last 15 pages of This is Not the Life I Ordered. This book really helped me last year, and I'm glad to be able to say I read the whole thing.

Now onto Rine-Stone's book...