February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day, Naked Mole Rats, and Creative Inspiration

It's Valentine's Day. It's time to stop whining about the obvious inconveniences of the harsh Chicago winter, get schmoopy, and count my blessings.

Bella Rossa is two years old! I had forgotten that yes, indeed, I began blogging the week of Valentine's Day 2005. Here's the first week of posts, crappy graphics and all. I was living in a tiny town in Indiana, vaguely dreaming and hoping of a move to Chicago. I had no idea all the great new friends and amazing experiences that were in store for me, and all the opportunities that blogging would invite into my life.

Cuddly cats. My girls, their little feline souls already softly shaped by my affectionate and indulgent hand, are even sweeter and more eager for physical reassurance when it's this cold. The windows by my bed leak a terrible little chill across the blankets all night long, and my little fuzzbunnies sneak under the blankets with me and curl up under each of my arms, giving me a little purring bundle of warmth to soothe me through the night.

Indoor time can mean productive creative time. Yes, I miss sunshine. Have I lost my tan (like I ever really had one)? Yes. I'm beyond the pale. I'm translucent. In the mornings when I wander outside, blinking into the daylight, reddened by the windchill, I feel like a naked mole rat, startled and pitiful and ill-suited for life above ground. My hibernation appetite is monstrous - I've eaten more pizza, nachos and sweets in the last week than six average Bears fans (thank god for the no-excuses gym, about a hundred steps from my front door).

But cabin fever can sometimes give way to beautiful crazy creative spurts. My little group at Second City has been hard at work on our sketch show. I've annoyed our director with eight drafts of my sketch and even snuck in a wonderfully weird musical number for our actors to play with.

After a half-frozen but fun trip to the art supply store, Sloan has been painting a lot this week, and including me in some fun crafty art projects. We've also done some really cool photography for her new website (I'll post the link when she's put the finishing touches on it).

And last night, in the middle of a blizzard, Sloan and I (cooped up in my studio apartment, and then hers) came up with a whole new strategy for some of our creative exploits. I can't go into details yet, but suffice it to say that in the next two weeks or so I'm going to pull something ridiculous and totally cool out of my hat and slap it all over the internet. And it's honestly the kind of idea you can't have when it's sunny and beautiful and 72 degrees outside, because then you're too busy bike riding, swimming and flopping on a blanket in the park with a good book and a cute boy.

So Happy Valentine's Day, my beloved readers. Count your blessings. Go kiss someone you love.

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