A dark week in Strange Child’s world

Its been a ridiculously tough year. And it just got more emotionally painful.

Friday, November 18, 2016 at 2:30am a family member died. His name was John Johnson. He was the husband to Mikio, and adopted father to my daughter Lily. He was a goofy man who’s heart was full of love and light. He was tender, silly, and an absolutely wonderful father.
jon-lily
My husband and I just aren’t the kind of people that should be parents. Knowing this is a deeply painful thing to admit, but as we were in that situation at the time, we recognized that there are people that are meant to be loving parents. So it was going to be our honor to give them the gift they so desperately wanted. We set out specifically to find a gay couple too as we know that those couples fight even harder to make a family in this messed up country of hate and selfishness. Our standards were simple: they had to have been together longer than 5 years, and were financially stable to provide for her. The agency sent us flyers of potential couples and we shifted through them. I narrowed it down to two flyers; one of them was the one Mikio had done up to look like the magazine that he works for.  In January of 2009, we made arrangements to meet them. They were the only couple we would meet. That meeting was amusing and we left with zero doubts that they were the right people to raise our daughter. They agreed to an open adoption, which means that we have access to our daughter’s life and she has access to us. She knows who we are and what we are to her. She calls me mommy too. When she was born, John embodied the befuddled new dad stereotype. He was afraid to hold her for fear of dropping her. He was already telling bad dad jokes too. I recently started joking that he was would be the real life version of Ty Burell’s character on “Modern Family” by trying to be The Cool Dad. He was supposed to be the dad she rolls her eyes at and groans at how dorky he is.

But that isn’t going to happen. His heart broke and now he’s gone. My little girl is going to grow up without one her daddies.

Every now and again, my mind wanders over to memories of his smile or mannerisms. It begins to hurt when I think of her. I won’t be able to fly out there as school and finances are barriers. I may be on vacation this week, but I’ve got school work to do and stuff around the house that has been piling up that needs to be done. I’d probably make a trip out there in January before my classes start up again.

I want to hug my little girl and her papa. Apparently, she’s being the strong one. She’s the one comforting the adults. When hubby spoke with her, she said, “Don’t cry. Daddy’s in a better place now.” That’s my girl.

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Mapping project: Final layout

As I try to avoid having a panic attack as the election results roll in (seriously, I’ll be sickened if that orange goblin wins), I decided to share my final layout for the mapping project.

Concept process:
I didn’t have much time to get out to do the photo scavenger hunt map that I wanted to do, so I just decided to do a map of the two cities I’ve spent most of my life in with noted spots on the map that relate to me. I originally wanted to do the grid lines on top of each other, but a student in the class made a suggestion of incorporating my love of Doctor Who into it. That got me spinning into creative land and I found some images to use. Some time playing around in Photoshop, since I couldn’t really figure out Illustrator and my trial ran out, and I managed to put together something awesome in my opinion.

The shapes are of my two favorite doctors: 10 and 11. 11 is on the left with the map of the Bay Area in his silhouette, while 10 is on the right with LA in his silhouette.  The icons for the map are the Adipose for food (since its a creature made of fat), Bow tie for schools I’ve gone to (because bow ties are cool), a Weeping Angel for the church I was married in (don’t blink), K-9 for the shelter that we got Daisy, a Dalek for the Alameda flea market (its at a navy base), and of course the Tardis for the all of the places I’ve lived at.

Artist statement:
“Home, the Long Way Round”
“I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going: home. The long way around.”- The Doctor (11)

Home means something different for everyone. Having lived in only two cities in my life, I’ve always fantasized about traveling continuously; never landing in one spot for too long as I’d only get itchy to see more things. I have a love of geek and pop culture that has no bounds, and is as endless as the universe itself. Which is probably why I adore the British TV series Doctor Who so very much. From the very first episode of “Rose”, I realized that I had found my personal savior. His is this enigmatic alien character known as a Time Lord that travels all of time and space in his infinitely bigger on the inside blue police box called the Tardis. The show focuses on his adventures with his human companions and his determination to never stop seeing what needs to be seen. He has a motto of “Never cruel nor cowardly” and no matter what situation he finds himself in, he always finds a way out of it, no matter the odds. The Doctor never goes where he wants to go, only to where he needs to go. Each time the Doctor dies he regenerates into a new face, making him just as infinite as the universe itself. I chose this because the show is very much a part of who I am. I turn to it during emotionally dark times as it helps me get through many of my depressive moments. Also, the show is kind of a family thing as all of my family members watch the show and it is one of the few things that we bond over. Hence, the show itself is home.

The map and icons are imagery from the series representing specific spots for the two cities I’ve come to call home. The two shapes are the silhouettes of each of my two favorite doctors. On the left is 11, played by Matt Smith, with the map of the Bay Area in his shape. On the right is 10, played by David Tennant, with the map of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles in his shape. I placed them within a nebula of space as the image is strikingly beautiful in how it demonstrates the fairy-tale quality that is the universe he travels in. The icons represent locations of favorite places to eat, schools I’ve attended, homes I’ve in, the animal shelter I got my dog from, the church I was married in, and the flea market held at a former navy base that I find most of art projects at.

The Doctor once said that, “the least important things lead to the greatest discoveries.” (1st Doctor)

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Mapping project: progress

I’m still working on this but I’m about a third of the way done. I took an image from Google Earth of the Bay Area and of the San Fernando Valley where my parents live. I altered the images to be black and white, inverted the colors, tweaked the brightness of the black so that the lines of the streets and highways would stand out more. Then I did the painstaking work of erasing the details, leaving behind only the grid lines of the satellite photos. So far this is what it looks like for the two images:

The Bay Area on the left with the San Fernando Valley on the right

The plan is to take the images to absolute grids and put them on top of each other with some varying colors to differentiate the locations. Hopefully I should have this done this weekend.