Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I Was Going to Say...

Yesterday, before I was rudely interrupted by biting my tongue so hard I thought I'd pass out, I was going to write about Claire Danes.

I fell in love with Claire Danes when she starred in "My So-Called Life". She was brilliant in the show and the show was brilliant in its own right. Since the show abruptly ended (which I'm still sore about), I have always sought out the projects she participates in. She was glowing and beautiful in Baz Luhrman's "Romeo and Juliet" in 1996 and luminous in "Stardust" (which took me a long time to see - not sure why). She was excellent in "Brokedown Palace" and had some great scenes with Meryl Streep in "The Hours".  Her character was one of the reasons to watch that movie. I found the rest of the movie so depressing - I was glad there was some little relief in it.

On Sunday, she won an Emmy award for Best Lead Actress (not sure what the whole category is called) for her role as Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who overcame the odds. Ms. Danes was gracious in her acceptance and stunningly beautiful in her classy and elegant gown. I hope she continues to make great movies - I can't wait to see her in more. (Al Pacino shares the picture with her as I am not talented enough or motivated enough to edit him out.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodbye, Summer

If I still worked for the school district as an interpreter, I would be heading back to work today. I missed my opportunity to meet a friend for lunch before she went back - we both have good intentions, but hard to get schedules together.

I had big plans for my post today - this morning I had all these thoughts running through my head - but then, at dinner, I was eating a bit of corn on the cob (yum) and I bit my tongue so hard I thought I would pass out. Obviously, I have bit my tongue before, but never so hard or to the point of some pretty excessive bleeding. It literally felt like I bit the end of my tongue off. Icky, scary and painful. I spent most of the evening with my tongue in a glass of ice water.

So there you have it. Summer is pretty much over (weather, back-to-school) and I bit the crap out of my tongue. That's the news. That's pretty much all I can do for today. So, goodnight. More tomorrow. Hopefully more interesting or less weird. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Art Journal pages from the Beach

I didn't get much done, but I did work on one of my art journals while I was on vacation. I didn't write in the one...I spent more time finding collage stuff than anything else...I think I think about it too much.  I'm going to be trying some more "intuitive" collage in the next journal.

To be a total copy-cat, Teesha Moore just posted that she was experimenting with the size of her journals and made one that was 6 X 8.  I thought maybe that would work for me...I made it tonight and started painting. Hopefully, that part will be done this weekend and I can start playing. Maybe a smaller canvas will help?

Here are the starts in my beach pages:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Old movies, Good comfort

I watched an old movie last weekend and one of the previews was for the movie, "Hope Floats".  While I aspire to be a person who has more sophisticated movie tastes, I just don't.  I love a good romantic comedy. I love Sandra Bullock and I LOVE Harry Connick, Jr.  Gena Rowlands is also in the movie- I haven't seen many of her movies, but I love her presence.  Another person who I am impressed with is the actress who plays Sandra Bullock's daughter.  Her name is Mae Whitman - you may know her from the current TV series, "Parenthood" as Amber, the rebellious brunette teenager or from "Independence Day" where she played the President's daughter.  I remember her from "When a Man Loves a Woman" with Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan and Tina Marjorino.  Powerful stuff.

Anyway, I watched "HF" today.  There is a scene in the movie where Sandra Bullock's character goes to visit her father in the nursing home he is in and he doesn't say a word to her but they dance together. Then there is a scene where Harry Connick, Jr. shows her his house and he takes her outside and kisses her on the forehead.  There is also a couple of beautiful, tender moments with Gena Rowlands as the Grandma. Finally, at the end of the movie, there is a silhouette of HCJ and SB and the two kids from the movie and they are all walking down the street holding hands.  All of that together just made me miss my father and think about my mom and how we all need to cherish our time together because you never know what can happen.

I think that's why I don't have more sophisticated tastes in movies - a movie that can make me think of my father or Roby or an old friend, or a hero or a teacher I should thank is a GOOD movie, in my humble opinion.  Some people need to see wild adventures and go to places they've never gone before in their movies - sometimes, I like that, but sometimes, I like "comfort food" - a movie that reminds me of all that I love, all that is good and nurturing and reminds me of old dreams and new ones.

A lot of political stuff in the air. Most importantly, today, the 47th Anniversary of the March On Washington and MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech. I know this post is lightweight for a day of significance. Click on the MLK tag from yesterday if you want to watch some videos of that historic speech and that historic day. I decided to take a break from that today. Not sure why, but my gut is usually right, so I went with it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

On My Mind Today

Eggs...I'm allergic to eggs but I can eat things that have small amounts of eggs in them. Since I haven't really eaten an egg in its plain state in years, I'm not sure why the salmonella egg recall is bothering me so much. I think it is bringing home the whole factory farming situation in the U.S. and cementing my decision to buy more local and organic meats and produce when I can - supporting local and family farms is just good economics, in addition to being better for me and tasting better. Don't get me wrong - I like buying my meat wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. I'm not planning on raising, naming and butchering my own dinner, thank you very much. Nor will I be raising chickens for eggs, although today, I spotted two chickens wandering near the road about three blocks from my house.

I hope they figure out the situation and fix it quickly. I heard that in the 1990s, during the Clinton administration, there was another huge salmonella recall and the FDA talked about vaccinating the hens so that they would not produce eggs with salmonella. This would have added about .01 to the price of each egg, so Congress nixed the idea. I'm not sure that is the best answer, but it is certainly one answer. I know many folks are as concerned about vaccines as they are about food-borne illnesses.

Hurricane Katrina hit five years ago. When I was getting ready for work today, the CBS Early Show was interviewing folks about their own experiences, mostly in New Orleans and about their recovery in the years since. They highlighted a band called, "Roots of Music" that is comprised of children who experienced Katrina.  The band provides the kids with a safe space, an outlet and a circle of support. The report said that the members of the band were improving their grades, were feeling less traumatized and more hopeful. That was pretty powerful. There was a story about a man who lost both his mother and his three-year-old grandchild who stayed in New Orleans. There was a photographer who took some amazing photographs of this man and his family. Very moving and shocking to see how devastated many parts of New Orleans, Mississippi and some other places are. There is still a need for help and support and planning for the folks who live there. Just thinking about those people and hoping that there is more light than darkness in their lives now. Wondering how best to help out with the efforts from so far away.

The 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the March On Washington is tomorrow. I can't listen to the speech without getting chills and teary-eyed. I can't even imagine the courage and faith it took to make the march and to stand up, every day, against such hatred and prejudice. Regardless of the rumors that later surfaced about Dr. King's personal life, I believe he was one of the greatest human beings to live in the twentieth century. I am in awe of his dedication and the dedication of those who surrounded him and supported him. Although the times we are in now are drastically different, there is a similarity of tone. People are afraid, suffering and the divides in the nation are growing ever-wider. Regardless of your political beliefs, there is no way to deny that we are in our own tumultuous time.

There is more stuff on my mind, but nothing I can really articulate right now. Art, books. Time, cleaning, health, stuff...I guess since it is Friday, I'm going to give myself a break and call it good. Weird blogging week, but I think it is all good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Sometimes Thursdays are the hardest day of the week. I'm almost there, but I still have a day to get through. I don't hate what I'm doing, but sometimes the stretch through Friday is a long one. This week, it is feeling like that. No particular reason - nothing outrageous or challenging happening - just tired from the week, I guess.

I found out this week that my dad almost got dismissed from the Air Force after he broke his leg. He was fixing one of our cars in front of our house in Colorado when a car came and hit the car from behind. I think the car fell on my dad's leg and broke it in a couple of places. He was in traction and in and out of the hospital for a long time (more than 6 months - I think it was a year) - it was just after I was born, so I have only heard stories and seen photos. So, after all was said and done, the doctors didn't think he would be able to bend his knee and were going to discharge him. My dad decided he would show them and started his own "physical therapy" regime which included 12-13 hour drives around Colorado to keep his leg bent in the car to help his muscles remember how to do it. Those drives continued throughout my childhood, but I never knew that this was the reason behind them. Interesting.

I'm going to dig up some music this weekend - I've been stagnating in my music selection and it has been bugging me. I'm not sure how I will find new stuff I like, but I can at least dig up some of the old stuff I haven't listened to in a long time.

I think that's all for now. Gonna head off to bed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Walking the Fence

Some of my Facebook rules have sort of bled over here and I'm not sure how I feel about it or what I'm going to do about it.

My Facebook account is an odd mix of work folks (peers, bosses and clients), former students, potential employers, personal friends, interpreter friends, etc. Once the students and work folks started friending me, I realized that my Facebook was about something other than my own pithy status updates. I choose not to participate in political conversation, controversial conversation, religious conversation, I don't "repost" updates from folks supporting cancer or AIDS or battered women or marathons or anything else. I stay fairly neutral because it seems prudent.

Sometimes, I am tempted to write about issues that I am thinking about - political, social, etc. but I haven't really done that here, either. I can't decide if I want to bring most of that to the blog and I can't really say why. Maybe I'm just afraid to expose myself so publicly. Maybe I just don't want to. Maybe it is just safer that way. No one is offended. No harm, no foul.

I was just thinking about that today as I listened to a discussion about eggs with salmonella today. It made me wonder if the folks who drop by ever wonder why the hell I only talk about goofy stuff or personal stuff without context. I don't write the blog for other people - I write it for myself and other people stop by. But still. I'm not sure I'm ready for prime-time blogging. I'm gonna think on it some more.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Movies Remind Me

I have been reconnecting with my social justice self in the last few days. It sounds silly, but I have been watching old movies since I'm sick of all the reruns and worthless stuff on the tube right now.

I have been bouncing around watching a variety of things, but a couple of weeks ago, I touched off on a tangent.  I watched a movie called "Wild Flower" starring Patricia Arquette and Reese Witherspoon. It was the first time I had ever seen  Arquette and I don't remember if Witherspoon was known then or not...It was a sort of "Lifetime" movie from a YA novel I had read by Sara Flanigan. She wrote another favorite of mine called "Sudie and Simpson" and hasn't written anything else since (that I can find).This particular movie took place in the south and was about a young girl (Witherspoon) who finds a girl locked up in a shed in the neighboring farm (probably in the 1930s?).  The girl had epilepsy and was hard of hearing and the movie shows the progress as she receives help. Sounds hokey - probably is, but I liked it, anyway.

I watched "A Time To Kill" and "The Rainmaker" both based on John Grisham novels.  "Lean On Me" and "Defiance" are next on the list, then a whole host of other movies (suggestions welcome). I was looking for movies that I haven't seen in a long time as I tend to watch the same old standbys over and over, but I worry that I will get sick of them and then what will I do?

I think maybe the term social justice isn't quite right - but I have just been thinking about "MORE" - there is more to do, there are important jobs, tasks, fights. I don't know where I fit into that, but I find a sense of comfort knowing that there are important causes in the world. Some of them, I can take on and be involved and sometimes all I can do is watch a movie and feel the reminder that we all have the power to be kinder, to stand up and do the right thing, to help someone in need, to care. My sphere of influence (thank you, Stephen Covey) might be small, but it is all I've got. I'll take it and do what I can...

Ah, I'm rambling. Sorry. Off to bed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Emotionally Exhausting

I just find the repetition of all instructions/directions over and over and over to be exhausting.  Then to smile each time I say it is even more exhausting. It is just the nature of the beast - no one is doing anything. It is just hard to keep a good sense of humor.

I find that I feel much the same as I did when I was a little girl - it's hard to be good all day. 

That's all. So, I'm going to be watching a movie tonight. It will help me calm down and just breathe. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Interpreting Dream

Last night, I dreamed that I was standing in a courtyard with 3 people I had interpreted for in the past. Not sure why these people were in my dream, but still, they were. One of my former mentors walked by and then suddenly, the courtyard turned into a large classroom for presentations.

Across the front of the room hung a large swath of fabric that the students were projecting on for their presentations. The instructor started to speak and I was on the opposite side of the screen - one of the Deaf students was standing in my spot and looking angrier and angrier that they couldn't see me interpret. I fought my way through the fabric, but there were other students gathered at the front (more like elementary school than University, but ok...). Finally, I got to the place where I needed to be and I had an argument with the Deaf student about why I couldn't go sit in the audience and interpret solely for them.

Once the argument was over, the instructor was reading their metaphor heavy, completely pop-culture referenced papers about musical groups in an auctioneer's pace.  I was interpreting as best I could about the music group Chicago when suddenly, I had to start walking down this hallway/path (there were doors and planted crops, so I'm not sure which it was).  I kept interpreting but pretty soon, I couldn't see the people I was interpreting for...so I turned around and started back. When I did start back, the entire path/hall was uphill STEEP, like need a rope to get up it. I was working my way back when the student who was mad at me for not sitting in the audience showed up and asked me where I had been - they were waiting.  I tried to explain, but I couldn't make progress and interpret and explain all at the same time.

Suddenly, I was at the top of the hill, but the entrance into the room was on the floor and was about the size of my head.  I squatted down, realizing that there was no way I could get through that opening without dying of a panic attack. The student was in there, urging me to come through. I put my head in to explain why I couldn't come through and I felt the panic start to rise.

I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep for a long time. Scary, huh?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gift In the Mail

This week has been long and since I was sick in the beginning of the week, all my energy was sapped.

Happily, yesterday, when I got home, there was a package waiting for me.  It was this book accompanied by a little note from the author:

The artwork was submitted to Patti from artists around the world and is lovely. A sweet and wonderful little text for "those days". Nice way to come home on a late Thursday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dinner with Friends

I went to a great restaurant in Salem tonight called Marco Polo and had DELICIOUS FOOD and great conversation with some friends.  It has been a long time since we have been able to get together, but we finally managed it. :)

Sometimes, I don't even realize how much I am craving a nice night out with friends. After work, I tend to just go home and I don't really think about going anywhere once I hit the door. I used to always go do something after work and now I RARELY do. There must be a happy medium in there somewhere.

Anyway, here's to good friends, good food and good conversation. I'm exhausted now, but happy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Feet on Vacation

Reading material and a beverage - ready for the deck!

These rocks are featured in most of my photos because they are mesmerizing. The water pours in and out, crashing and churning and spewing up into the air. 

Looking to the left of our condo - foggy and dark, but still beautiful. The white on the rock is a mix of seabirds and *ick* bird poo. 

Cold feet on vacation.

See what I mean about churning?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's the Journey, not the Destination

I have been thinking a lot about choices and happiness. I know there is a Happiness Flow Chart somewhere in my archives. I will look for it...

I just know allowing joy and happiness in, even when things are terrible, is a choice that can get you through the day. I'm incredibly lucky to have seen that in my time with Roby and after he died. To know laughter when your heart is broken is about HOPE. I could have shut that door, but I knew that wasn't right. So, I try to leave it open. Sometimes, it is just a crack, sometimes it is wide open. I'm lucky that I got to learn that lesson a long time ago.

I don't know why, but I've been trying to remember a quote from Marianne Williamson about "minor existential pain"...

Ahh, it wasn't quite what I was thinking, but I still think it is a great and appropriate quote for this post: “The experience of love is a choice we make, a mental decision to see love as the only real purpose and value in any situation. Until we make that choice, we keep striving for results that we think would make us happy. But we’ve all gotten things that we thought would make us happy, only to find that they didn’t. This external searching—looking to anything other than love to complete us and to be the source of our happiness—is the meaning of idolatry. Money, sex, power, or any other worldly satisfaction offers just temporary relief for minor existential pain” (Return to Love, page 57).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Report on Day 1 Back to Work

I didn't really put any energy into dreading my return to work yesterday. I don't hate my job - I find it challenging and frustrating and sometimes I wish it were less routine, but all in all, I'm pretty satisfied for the most part. I like the people I work with directly and I like the people I work with via AIM and the phone, so that's good.  Being sick yesterday really took most of my energy and focused it onto the thing I needed most - sleep.

So, today, I returned to work (after picking up some antibiotics) and it was fine. A little overwhelming to try to catch up with what happened and be on the right page for today, but fine.  When I got home, I logged into Facebook and I was struck by how down people seem to be about Mondays, about work, about the whole day. It made me happy that I am doing something that I feel I am good at, that I feel I can do good for others. Then I saw a post from a friend I know from my telecourse and her blog, A Dare A Day, and I knew what I wanted to write about. I hadn't even read the posting - just the quote that accompanied it:  "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it!  Because what the world needs is people who come alive!!!" -- Howard Thurman

The quote is from this site: Work Happier. Live Happier. 

I'm not even necessarily endorsing the site or anything - I'm off to read the whole posting, but I wanted to share my thoughts on this. I do believe that this is a case of putting out into the world what you want to get back. I don't want Mondays to be miserable. I don't want any day to be miserable, so I'm trying to just focus on all the good things and all the things I want for my days. I think it helps.  Today it did, anyway. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I must have done something in another life - I don't think it is from this one - that I get sick at the end of my vacations.  The last night I was at the beach, same temperature, same weather, but in the night I was so cold I had to close the windows and get another blanket (the windows were open the WHOLE TIME up until that point). Then a few hours later, I woke up roasting. I was exhausted yesterday and when I got home, I slept for hours. Then I went to bed around midnight (early for me, especially if I have had a nap). I got so cold I had the chills but the thermometer in the house said it was 79 degrees. I was bundled head to toe in blankets, socks, sweater.  Woke up today with a headache and a temperature.

I think I have cellulitis again. :(  I am so careful and I have been so conscientious.  It is maddening. Usually, when I get it, I get it twice within 6 months and then I won't have it again for 2-3 years, so here's hoping this is the second bout and I won't need to have it EVER again.

Whatever I did, I'm SORRY!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Taste of Vacation

Responsible adult that I am, I decided to come back home after my vacation instead of running away to join the circus, which seemed redundant. Just kidding...

Anyway, I have been unable to shake the sleep off today, so here is a little preview of the joys of my vacation (which will seem, to most of you, a little boring).

The big lump in the front portion of the photo is a whale that I watched for about 30 minutes or so as it moved across the water in front of my deck.

Yes, this looks remarkably like the last vacation I took at the beach...

The wave action is mesmerizing. The place I stay is a hop, skip and a jump from Boiler Bay. Beautiful.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Feeding the "RENT" Beast

Apparently, I was needing a "Rent" fix because this is just renewing my love for the show. I still love the OBC the best as a whole, but I have heard some pretty amazing people sing these songs.  Manley Pope, Simone, Michael McElroy...there are more...

Aaron Tveit as Roger singing "One Song Glory"

And Wayne Brady doing a nice job with the "I'll Cover You" Reprise
“I’ll Cover You” Reprise with Wayne Brady as Collins

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"RENT" at the Hollywood Bowl

Neil Patrick Harris directed an "all-star" cast (not sure who all is in it, though) for a short revival of "Rent" at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend.

Here is a video of "Take Me or Leave Me" with Nicole Sherzinger as Maureen(formerly of the Pussycat Dolls) and Tracie Thoms as Joanne (Joanne in the movie version):

I actually think they did a fine job with the song - at least they both have the singing chops to do the music justice.
Other celebs in the show included:
Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi
Wayne Brady as Collins

Here is an ET interview with the cast:

Another interview with Neil Patrick Harris:

Here is a video of Aaron Tveit (Roger) and Vanessa Hudgens (Mimi) singing "Another Day".

More as I find out more. There have been calls for a cast album, so we'll see what comes of it. Would be interesting to see/hear the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Multi-Purpose Signage

A friend/co-worker directed me to this web page. You'd be surprised at how applicable this sign can be in a variety of situations. *AND* it is really good for a therapeutic laugh when things are getting a little intense at work.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Blogs to Explore

While I'm away on vacation, I wanted to find some fun things to post - short but I also am not breaking my streak of making sure to post for every day. I'm also writing some of my posts this week by hand just because I'm on vacation and I want to avoid too much stuff that seems like work.

As a participant of Nablopomo each month, I have access to a Blogroll of other participants. I haven't done a tour in a while now, but I thought I would check some of the blogs out and see if I could find some new favorites. I did find a couple of cool blogs that I am adding to my list.

One post that made me laugh out loud is at Post it Notes from Hades - funny!  This particular post talks about our culture of body art and how that is going to translate as we age. Check it out!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Counting the Hours...then BLASTOFF!!

I have completed payroll and all the tying up of loose ends at work. I was there a LONG time today, but I am off for six glorious days during which time I will be going to the beach to read, sleep, watch movies, do art, veg and listen to the waves.

I'm totally stoked to sit out on the balcony and listen to the waves while I read a good, juicy book. I haven't packed yet, but I will be bringing some good stuff.

Can't wait! And I have a net book that I am bringing in case I want to post something. I may not, in which case, I will catch you up to the trip news when I come back. I always do handwritten posts if I'm not near the computer. But I do have some stuff that will be popping up here while I'm gone, whether or not I sign into the net book or not.

In less than 24 hours, I will be at the BEACH!!! Yahoo!

Yet another STUNNING Hermes ad campaign. I LOVE the colors in this photo. I was looking for one of my beach photos from the last time I was there, but when I saw this, I thought it was much more exciting than pictures of my feet at the beach. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tech glitches

I have been trying to download a picture to my computer from a disc I have so that I can then upload it onto the blog. I have not been very successful because I am only click-and-drag smart on the computer and beyond that, kind of like a turtle on its back.

Ironically, I was able to get two pictures (from these vintage photo CDs I bought a while ago) saved onto the hard drive and uploaded here (see below) and the other ones won't upload without the disc. Frankly, I'm just feeling too lazy to go back and find the stupid package, put the disc back in, find the picture, figure out how to upload/download it and start all over. So these two will do for now.

This picture is from the "China Pictures" folder. I chose it because I thought it was so beautiful and so delicate. I usually am not super-attracted to Chinese art, but I thought this was really unique.

I just really liked this photo of the moon and I think I will eventually print a copy and put it in one of my Art Journal collages.  I love the colors and I'm excited for fall to be coming around the corner.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Story without Details

I clicked on an archived post and read it just now. I understood the intention and the information that was posted by I had NO IDEA what I was referring to...

It just made me realize that if I want to remember my life (the actual events) and what I did, said, who was involved, etc., I better start writing stories (with the details) down somewhere because I certainly don't remember most of it when I read the vague stuff on the blog.

Obviously, I can't be telling specifics and naming names from work and from my life for a variety of reasons, but it just struck me today that reading some of the things I said makes ME wonder what happened...funny. I'm not upset about it - just fascinated by how open and yet how covered up things can be at the same time. I just feel a sense of caution about ALL my information online. Keeping a blog is opening up to public scrutiny in many ways ANYWAY, but keeping the details on the DL seems prudent to me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bamboozled Even Though I Saw it Coming

Message: ! Jean Call me RIGHT AWAY! I need to talk to you tonight before I leave the office!

1. Jean - NEVER CALL PEOPLE when you get a message like this. You KNOW it leads to no good.
2. If you cave and call, *do not agree to anything* during the call.
3. Remember, you are not responsible for saving the world.

Story: I got the above message last night. I called it. Even though I KNEW what was happening WHILE it was happening, I agreed to help this person out. Thus, I have made their emergency my emergency. WHY? I don't even mind that I am helping but I am not thrilled about the time line for preparation because it infringes on my time this weekend. But, it is my own fault. I agreed. So, I'm not annoyed with anyone but myself.
Bottom line: I didn't follow ANY of the instructions above. But now I know. I have written them down. I can refer back to them in a pinch.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This is My Brain Before Vacation

Patti Digh posted on her Facebook status that she is hosting a Blog Tour for her new book. She gave directions how to sign up and I DID IT!! I was really nervous and I came up with all these reasons why it wouldn't be a good idea for me to do it - I've never done anything like that before. I don't know what I need to do. Not very many people read my little blog. There are so many better blogs out there...ad nauseum. At this point, I'm so happy that I did it that I'm okay whether I get selected for the tour or not.

I'm wishing for some new music, but I'm not very good at finding new stuff on my own. I've been listening to the radio, but talking heads, not music. When I listen to music, it is usually Broadway shows, but I don't even have any new shows that I want to explore. I guess I should start listening to this year's season...Maybe I will do that after vacation.

There are some gorgeous photos of the solar flares and the affect on the Northern Lights on Flickr via Yahoo.com. Check them out.

I seriously could not bear one of the meetings I was in today. I typed the following in an AIM to a co-worker who promptly told me he shot coffee out his nose, "Is it bad to wish I had a gun in my desk drawer? For myself...no one else." A few minutes later, "BANG. AAARGGHH. Thump." It was pretty funny, even though I felt guilty for even saying I wished I had a gun. I don't. I wouldn't know what to do with a gun if I had one and I kind of like it that way. It was just one of those moments when I could feel the hysteria rising and I had to get it out.

Be sure to check out the new issue of Harper's Bazaar - Jennifer Aniston is paying homage to Barbra Streisand. She looks stunning and I love Barbra, of course.

Ah. That is a much better picture to have pop up in the LinkWithin photos over and over.

I need to start taking photos again. I haven't done any of my creative stuff in a long time. I want to. I think about it a lot (all the creative stuff AND taking photos). I really need to get my act together.

Last year I did the "The Next Chapter: Wreck This Journal" with Jamie Ridler Studios. I had a great time and I have been hoping for a new "TNC" book, but it hasn't happened. I think her work has really taken off this year, so it may be put off for a while. I am thinking that I might go ahead and buy the book they did for the last "TNC" group - it was a mail around. I wanted to do it, but I know myself well enough to know that I would have all the good intentions in the world and then I would never mail it and be the lame one in the group. I just couldn't put myself through that. The book they read was called "The Happy Book".  I'm thinking that I might buy it, take a look at it and then I will use my own journals for the same purpose. I want to bring "The Happy Book" to work and have it be something that people can do while they are there.

It is hard to boost the happiness level in other people when they are not vested in boosting their own happiness level. I know that times are tough right now - for everyone. Our industry, our state, our country, the world. But we can still choose to find joy. To be joyful. To try to find the happy moments and share them with each other. It may sound silly, but I really do believe that. If I focus on all the bad things in my life, I would be so incapacitated by grief and depression and hopelessness, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed. But my bad things are no worse or better than someone else's. All the good things and bad things will still be there whether I choose to acknowledge them or focus on them or ignore them or deal with them. I guess I am choosing to grab HAPPY and then all the other stuff, I just deal with as I can.

Ooh. A little too philosophical for the Thursday before my vacation...see what happens when I just let go and type?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mental Packing

I am mentally packing for my trip. Last time I went on vacation, I brought the fifth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I think I will probably bring a couple of books, "HP and the Deathly Hallows" will be one of them. I haven't decided on the others.

The main things I am thinking about are my art journal supplies. I have been itching to get back to playing and creating - balancing my brain. I have these moments, but there is always the set up/take down time and I just get frustrated. Sometimes I just want to leave it all out, but realistically, I need to clean up. I'm working on a space for creating in my home, but I'm not there yet.

SO, I will be bringing a couple of different journals. I will probably be actually journaling in my first Art Journal - I have been waiting to do that...I don't know what I was waiting for - the perfect moment? I will also be bringing the journals that I am still working on and I will bring paint and pens and crayons and glue. I CAN'T WAIT!! My fingers are itching already. I'm excited because I have decided that it is okay for my stuff to look like MINE. I think I get it in my head to make mine look like someone else's - look more professional, more artistic. Then I realized I have only made 6 of these journals in my life and only one of them is really ready to be used as a written journal. Of course they aren't perfect in the "art perfect" sense (whatever that means). They are perfect in the sense that I made them and I am loving making them and they are MINE.

Happy thoughts. I can't wait to play.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Silly Admission

In the LINK WITHIN links that lead to other posts, the picture of the lady in the Bicentennial hat CREEPS ME OUT. I know that I used it to illustrate a hat I was talking about in my post that day. But she keeps showing up at the bottom of posts. For some reason, she stands out in a big, bad way.

Psst...I'll Put Back the Max Photo

I felt like I needed a preview of my vacation, so I have put up a picture from the balcony where I will be staying. This is a photo from the last time I was there, back in May 2009. I need a little motivation to get me there. I leave on Tuesday of next week! Yahoo!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Purple Snowflakes??

I realized after I wrote my post yesterday that there would probably be some people thinking to themselves, "Ummm, purple snowflakes?" I thought maybe I should say something about that here.

I don't have any samples at this point, but if I ever find any, I will be sure to scan and post them.

I graduated from high school in 1985. I would say that in 1983 or so, the words "Christmas" and "Holiday" were removed from the educational vocabulary. For me and my peers, it was the beginning of a weird time. We couldn't have Christmas or Holiday trees (mysteriously, decorated trees did show up, they were just called other things). My BFF at the time, Jeffa, and I decided that it was about talking in code. The first year, we took a big piece of butcher paper and drew a "Christmas" tree shape on it. We called it a WishTree. For decoration, we decided to make snowflakes, but because snow seemed to be indicative of a certain holiday time, we decided that they couldn't be called snowflakes, they were, instead, wishflakes. Eventually, we had codes for different colors. Purple wishflakes were the most popular (it was my favorite color at the time, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.)

Growing up, I had never really known how to make "fancy" snowflakes - we folded papers up in squares, cut pieces out and got clumpy, clunky, squat-looking pieces of paper that were really not very attractive to look at. In high school, around the same time that we were speaking in holiday-codes, one of my teachers taught me how to cut beautiful and intricate snowflakes (it's all in the folding, people). From that point on, I was a snowflake cutting maniac - for years!

One year, Roby and I were babysitting his niece around Christmas-time and the only pair of scissors his sister had was a Swiss army knife pair of scissors. Regardless, I used those scissors (I have a great noise to go with the motion, but it doesn't translate to the blog) to create some of the most beautiful and intricately patterned snowflakes I have ever made. We spent many nights making decorations for his apartment when we were poor, so those snowflakes (often purple) turned into something really beautiful and symbolic for us - a time when we were still young and pretty carefree.

So, that's why he wanted purple snowflakes to be put on his quilt. I haven't made any in a long time...Maybe next year.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tribute Undone

I was straightening up the living room, folding up an old blanket on the couch today. The blanket is chenille and warm and lovely but it is fraying badly. I should get rid of it...

Later, as I was doing something else, I was thinking about that stupid blanket and I thought maybe there was a way to save part of it for memory's sake and get rid of the rest which led me to think of the idea I had originally had for Roby's Quilt with the Names Project.

I haven't made his quilt. Some people start making the quilt for their loved one with the person, some make them immediately after their death, some people wait years. I have thought about it many times. I feel guilty that I haven't done it yet and at the same time, I think there is a part of me that isn't ready to close that door. Sometimes, there are just symbolic things that make other things seem real or complete. Making a quilt for Roby seems like the end of something that I'm not ready to let go.

And realistically speaking, there is the perfection factor rearing its ugly head again. I am afraid of making a quilt that Roby wouldn't be proud to have as a representation of him. I want it to say everything about him and show how special he was and what a light we lost when he died. And there is NO WAY TO DO THAT. No matter how perfect it is.

One day, about a year before he died, after 9 years of NOT TALKING ABOUT IT, we were sitting at his mother's kitchen table. It was winter and cold. He said, "I want purple snowflakes** on my quilt." I stopped him, "We don't need to talk about this." I had been waiting for so long, but when the moment came to find out what he wanted, I couldn't talk about it. Nine years of silence just meant the lock was rusted shut. We talked a little about his wishes and anxieties about dying and made agreements about things. But after that, we never talked about his quilt again. I wish I hadn't stopped him. I wish I knew exactly what he wanted and I wish I could make the perfect quilt for him.

I'm still not ready to make a quilt for him, but I think I am going to start the planning. That's a good thing, right?

**Purple snowflake story to come


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