Living Obliquely

Approximately 1400 people are diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (TM) annually.
Similar to Multiple Sclerosis, it attacks your myelin, leading to painful and debilitating side effects.
About 33,000 Americans are currently disabled as a result of this rare neurological disorder.
Not one person with TM will ever know their prognosis.
I happen to be one of them.

I am a neurological soup. Since my TM diagnosis, I have developed encephalitis, MS, RSD/CRPS, Osteoporosis (I am 34, no 35, eek), and Chronic Anemia. sucks, but I still rock.


My POST: Art, Asses, Gulp Guzzle Gorging, Poetics, Permacath Art, and Pictures to Come...

A big thanks to everyone who stopped by this weekend for my open studio, part of Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) . My mother and I had a lot of fun meeting and mingling with all of the interesting people - from dear friends, to ex-co-workers-who-are-pursuing-an-MBA-in-Atlanta (holla David Papa! Enjoy your new drawing), to out-of-town strangers.

Over the weekend we had about 45 visitors, including quite an unexpected number patrons who purchased little paintings, purple-y collages, big drawings, and my very inexpensive, self-published chapbook; a near complete imbibing of a box of Pinot Evil (my favorite, adorably designed,cheap, yet super drinkable table wine...for goofy and informative links to this vino see below) and 2 bottles of Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc - it's an award-winning cheapie (currently on sale for $5.99 a bottle in PA Liquor Stores, and it's damn good, especially in the summer with sparkling water or plain seltzer).

To my open studio visitors, Thanks for sharing your time and a toast with me. You made my first (POST) experience a successful, inspiring, and exciting one.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

To those who planned to come, but didn't make it: The brouhaha continued without you, but a tear was shed for your heart-breaking absence.

Brouhaha Etymology
1885–90; < class="ital-inline">brou, ha, ha!
exclamation used by characters repr. the devil in the 16th-cent. drama; perh. < class="ital-inline">bārūkh habbā (beshēm ădhōnai) “blessed is he who comes (in the name of the Lord)” (Ps. 118:26)

To those who skipped over me because they thought, who's this Melanie Miller chick, and how does she get off calling herself an artist: Satnam.

is the Seed Mantra or Bij Mantra and it is the most widely used in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Sat means the Truth; Nam means to call upon, name or identify with. Sat Nam means Truth is my identity and I call upon the eternal Truth that resides in all of us. Chanting this mantra awakens the Soul, and more simply means "really". It is pronounced to rhyme with "But Mom!"

I don't believe I have or would have ever suspected that I would pair the wors money and climax. But this weekend is worth a crescendo, part of my artful celebration, I treated myself to a new, clearance-priced 8 Piece Bed in a Bag. It was either that or an automatic kitty litter box, but I couldn't find one that was both in my budget and had decent reviews. (Leave a comment if you have litter box recommendations for future retail relish.)

If it weren't for my mother who is gifted with patience, a keen eye for my style, and vision superior to mine, I may have ended up with an over-priced, underwhelming, itchy, crappy, dry clean only ensemble. So add that quadruple biggie-sized thank you from above to my energizer bunny mom.


And Speaking of Mom...

Mom's single, lives in Pittsburgh, is obviously one of the best mothers in the world and probably one of the best grandmas too (to my bro's beautiful kids; I'm single and childless). She's a great cook, conversationalist, cleaner of gimp-daughter's apartment and doer of said daughter's laundry, same-day flight booker for myriad ER visits and last-minute hospital stays (all mine; all her expense); and a great catch (i.e., those aren't implants).

If you're interested, email me with:
  • Your similar-to-a-dating site profile, or a PDF of your profile if you have one
  • RECENT pictures (no more than 3 please - and make them good ones)
  • A copy of your 2008 tax return
  • Criminal Record Clearance
  • A short essay on why you think you would be good for my mother
  • A complete 2-column list of your good qualities and flaws
  • A list of ex-wives, current wives, and/or ex- or current-live-in girlfriends with contact info
I will pass your information on to my mother. If you don't get a response, bummer - but don't contact us. We'll contact you.



(NOTE to the YOUNGINS': The following contains profanity.)
I'm still using a bed set from my married days, YIKES!, and its time to get that karma off of my body and out of my space - even if it is a Nicole Miller (no relation - unfortunately). And the pay for 6 (of many) prescription refills, the two doctors' visits' co-pays I'll have this week, perhaps I'll free the scarf/wrap I put on layaway at Joan Shepp, and then last and unfortunately not least - that ubiquitous four letter word, debt. (If you thought I was going to write fuck or shit, luckily those are two things I'm never charged for - assuming we don't count the TMers bowel-savers: reasonably priced stool softener pills and enemas.)

Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), might you consider making POST a biannual event?


Pinot Evil

I totally disagree with this guy. He definitely is a wineass.

Pinot Evil Vintage? France

I liked this video so much, I subscribed to his channel.

Taste Along w/ Adam The Wine Guy #171-Pinot Evil

His nerdiness and occasional high-pitched syllable makes this one a keeper.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Melanie - It was so great meeting you during the open studio weekend (I was there with Mr. David Papa). I loved your work.



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If you're a Philly-region person with TM, please consider joining the Transverse Myelitis Philadelphia network (, a new social networking group that I started for people with TM so that we can meet and chat casually. It's only on Facebook for now, so, if you haven't already, join. It's easy.


In Pictures

Please Note: Some photos may contain partial nudity or depictions of medical procedures. Though I am in many of these photos, my reason for sharing these personal photos is to promote awareness, understanding, and advocacy for people with TM and other rare diseases.
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