Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quote and Heads Down

So, I was cleaning my office today. It is quite a chore - we moved into the "new" office more than a year ago, but I never stopped running long enough to unpack everything. My office is filled with boxes that I haven't even opened and I just got tired of it. Today I opened a few - I didn't make much progress, but I did find a bunch of notebooks and things I was using to try to be a better documentor. Hopefully, they will help.
Among the paperwork, I also found a book I had bought at Starbucks (before they laid off my friend). The book is titled "One: How many people does it take to make a difference?" and I found this little thing inside. It resonated. There was no resource, so I don't know who to credit other than the little Starbucks book. Here is the story:

Two Wolves

A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life.
He said to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me. It is a fight between two wolves. One is the wolf of joy, love, hope, kindness, and compassion. The other is the wolf of fear, anger, cynicism, indifference and greed. The same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.” The children thought about it for a moment and then one child asked, “Which wolf will win?” The elder replied, “Whichever one you feed.”

I just thought this was a really simple and beautiful expression of something that I know.  Don't feed the beast.  It is so easy to go there sometimes. 

I have ben keeping my head down and feeding fear a little in the last few days since I got my "unfriendly" comment.  I have been thinking about it a lot and about what I want to do here on the blog and the voice I have or have not found.  It has been fascinating to realize what an impact something so small can have.  I guess I should really be thankful that the person took the time to tell me. I think there are always opportunities for growth - even when it stings a bit.

Anyway, it's all good.  I am excited for October because I had decided to do some "Four Word" stuff and I think that will be fun. I haven't done a theme in a long time and I find that challenging sometimes.  Should be a good month! Starting tomorrow - can you believe it?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Indian Summer

It has been sunny and beautiful visually, but muggy and heavy in the evenings for the past few days. It is kind of funny because everyone has been wanting "summer weather" since June or whenever it was that we had some sunshine and hot weather (I guess we had some in August...). Now it is all hot and heavy - supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow.

I am struggling this week with motivation and staying upbeat. I think I'm just out of reserves temporarily. Yesterday, I had an image of a hermit crab retreating into its shell - that is the temptation. It will be fine - September/October are always hard - I think it is coming up on Q4 in the business world, school is starting, schedules change, weather changes, etc., so I just need to adapt to the changes that have been happening and it will all settle down. Happily, I'm not teaching this term or I might not feel so positive.

Don't get me wrong - I love teaching, but it is a lot of work and right now, I just don't really need to add that to my plate. I will get back to it at some point.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Bit of Fluff

Last night, while I was checking my email and looking at Facebook, etc., I had "Dancing with the Stars" on. I usually have it on and watch it periodically.  I like this kind of show because I don't have to devote my full attention to it.  I also like this kind of show because you can see people grow and change. I love to see this kind of evolution - for example, Kelly Osbourne's transformation as she realized she could devote herself to something and really become quite successful.

This week's swan story was Margaret Cho.  Last week, she had to do a waltz and she seemed very uncomfortable with the whole "I am an elegant lady" concept and made her routine into a comedy act. It was funny, but the judges didn't like it and encouraged her to just focus on dancing, which she did this week.  As I was watching, I realized that if she lets it, this experience could change her life. I love to see people grow in confidence and I could already see that tiny glimmer in her last night.

The surprise of the evening for me is that I felt badly for Michael Bolton. I'm not a huge fan of his music, so I didn't think it would bother me if he gets sent home or if he wasn't good.  I was wrong.  He tried so hard and said that the first week was traumatizing for him because he hadn't done well.  This week, he had to do a jive (I think).  He seemed very nervous, but he worked really hard.  I found myself pulling for him to just have those couple of weeks to build his confidence and not leave him feeling like he should never have done this in the first place.  I'm definitely pulling for the underdog here.

Anyway, that is my little bit of Monday fluff. It is hot and muggy here, so that's about all I could muster.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shaking Off The Sting

I got my first unfriendly comment today.

It was kind of eye-opening in a way. I often stray away from presenting controversial opinions here (by choice). This weekend, after posting about "Waiting for Superman", I was expecting to maybe have a comment or two disagreeing or bringing up other viewpoints. I was ready. What I wasn't ready for was to apparently bother someone enough that they not only left a very unfriendly comment, calling the blog "whiny and self-serving" but also apparently abandoning the blog (has the person been here before? I don't remember them commenting in the past) when writing about a television show.

While I keep this blog on the public internet and I make choices about the things I want to write here out of a sense of privacy and common sense, it is my personal blog. I write it for myself. I write it to think about things, to express my thoughts, to save videos I like. Most blogs are self-serving. People wouldn't write them if they weren't. I don't sell anything or make any money off this. I did receive a copy of "Four Word Self Help" from Patti Digh's publishers in exchange for a review, but I would have done a review of that book anyway - I love Patti and her work. I will write a review of her next book, "Creative is a Verb" that is due out in November. If there is a Blog Tour, I might try to join, but if there isn't, I will still try to get the word out about her book because I believe in it.

Today as I was processing this comment, I realized that expressing yourself, trying to be true to yourself, trying to find your path in life IS self-serving. That's not always a bad thing. If I hurt people along the way, that is a problem. To be quite honest, I fail to see how this blog hurts anyone, so I'm going to just keep on keeping on. I hope someone would tell me if I am doing damage out there by writing my opinion here - about life, books, music, videos, commercials or television programs.

Whiny? Well, I'm sure that sometimes I do sound whiny here.  I would rather come here and whine than take it out on the world in person. 3D whining is a lot worse. Even if you don't want to hear it, you can still feel the tone as it penetrates your ears. If you are reading something you perceive as whining, you can skip the post, skip the blog or article and make a note never to return or to return another day and give the writer another chance. I try to pay attention to the times when I fall into a pity party - it has happened - and make a conscious effort to refocus on something more positive or something that will remove me from that kind of thinking/writing.

No matter what people think of my blog, my writing, my life, my opinions, this is my online "house". If you are going to come in and criticize the decor or insult the hostess, at least be civil. Or you can leave. Either is fine. I don't mean to sound rude, but I can't control how other people feel. I can just be as honest as I can, as gracious as I can, and we can agree to disagree.

So, gentle readers, that is how I am shaking off the sting of an unfriendly comment. It's all good. I choose to put myself out here, so I have to expect some slings and arrows. I will survive it. Just have to rub some salve on the bruises.

Abandoning "Parenthood"

On Saturday evenings, NBC has given up actually showing movies or having a Saturday night line up - they usually just show 2-3 hours of "Parenthood".  I tried watching it much of last year as Saturday night is often a night that I am home dinking around the house. I like many of the actors who are on the show and had been planning to watch it since I heard that Maura Tierney was going to be on the show.  When she had to drop out due to a breast cancer diagnosis, I was saddened but I decided to watch anyway.

Over the course of last year, I began to feel the same about "Parenthood" as I felt about "Brothers and Sisters". Both shows have powerhouse casts that should become a good ensemble. There is good chemistry amongst the actors, good premise, good acting, smart writing for the most part but NOT ONE ADULT I could relate to or admire or even LIKE.  "Parenthood" only really has one character on the whole show that I can stand to watch. This is a problem.  I decided I was not going to watch the show this year based on that information.

About two weeks ago, NBC showed three episodes of the show from the end of last season (focused on the character I like). I had the TV on and got sucked into the episodes. That night, I decided to give the show another chance. I watched the first episode of the season - not impressed, but not totally turned off.

THEN, I watched the show this week. Frenetic is the only word that comes close to the feeling that was portrayed on this show. Everyone talks at each other, loudly and in whiny voices, often talking over each other. There is very little to like about any of these people, although they remind you of the most neurotic, passive aggressive and just plain selfish people you have in your life. I spent most of the hour trying to keep my blood pressure under control.  I realized that these folks are too much like some of the people I actually have to deal with in my life and the others are too annoying to invite into my home in the evening when I am trying to relax.

I miss well-written sitcoms, to tell you the truth.  There are so few of them these days. Sitcoms are easier - they are not bloody (CSI) or disturbing (Law and Order:SVU) or soap opera silly (Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice).  A smart, funny comedy allows your mind to relax, think about something else and laugh. That's what I want in a television show. It helps me understand why people like so-called "reality" shows - at least most of those aren't stressful. In fact, last night, as I was watching the new "Hell's Kitchen"  episodes I taped this week, I was a little jealous of Gordon Ramsey - he gets to throw things, swear, yell at people and throw them out.

If you want to watch "Parenthood", I highly recommend you watch the movie. Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Rick Moranis, Diane Weist, Jason Robards,  Keanu Reeves, Joaquin Phoenix (then Leaf),  Harley Jane Kozak, and a few other notables. The movie was funny, sweet, moving, gentle. The characters had foibles, but they were a family that loved and supported each other through all their trials and tribulations. There is an element of frenetic-ness, but Mary Steenburgen has a calming influence as the matriarch who stands in her gentle power and the love she has for her family.  This is what I was looking for in the television show, since it was "inspired by" the movie.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Make a Pledge

I'm pretty sure I have written about this movie at least once before, but I decided to mention it again.
"Waiting for Superman" opened in New York and Los Angeles yesterday and will go into wider release in October. Aside from the fact that this is a compelling documentary that examines the current trajectory of American public schools, it is also an important film about social justice and the responsibility we all have as adults, as Americans, to educate our children and prepare them for a future that is becoming more complex all the time.

I cannot think of a more important film to see - regardless of your political leanings, regardless of your parental status. Whatever this film does, it will at least initiate a conversation about a topic that people don't really want to discuss, much less look at with any depth. I know that Oprah did a couple of shows in it this week and the Facebook CEO donated $100 Million dollars in a Challenge Grant to help schools in Newark, NJ.  The winds of change are blowing, but maybe if we help them along, they will get up to the force we need and really start transforming education for our children and for the fate of the country.

Here is a trailer to tempt you:

Here is a clip of an interview with a man named Geoffrey Canada who appears in the film and is helping to publicize this important issue. All four of his children have been or are attending public schools.

Pledge to see the film when it comes to your town. Portland, OR is #20 on the Pledge list.

Get Adobe Flash player

**Please Note:  While this may be considered by some as a political issue (left vs. right, Progressives vs. Conservatives), I think it is an issue of what is best for children. I DON'T believe that privatization of all schools is the answer, I don't believe that Unions are to blame, I don't think that this is hopeless.

I worked in public schools for 9+ years in addition to my own public school experience. I know what a difference good teachers can make and I know how much damage bad teachers can do. I interpreted in a school where EVERYONE in the school, from the principal to the custodial staff, KNEW that the teacher in my classroom should have been put out to pasture YEARS earlier.  Not only was this person a poor leader, s/he was mean, ineffective and the students were afraid of him/her. When this teacher would start yelling at the students, the kids would start to eat each other alive when they realized they weren't the target. They were so relieved it wasn't them and so desperate to stay out of the line of fire, they would have thrown their best friend under the bus.

I know that special education is something that hasn't really been looked at carefully by charter schools and people who are interested in charter schools, but ultimately, this is something we have to start thinking about. We have to think about how many kids are in special education and we have to think about whether or not we are really serving this population of students effectively. One size doesn't fit all in these situations.

We have a real crisis. This movie opens a conversation. What are we willing to do? What are we willing to expect?  What are we hoping for our children? Our nation? That's why I'm interested in the movie, in the conversation. I am not here to bash teachers. I love teachers. Good teachers. Teachers who care. And most do. But we have a much bigger problem than that...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Fragments

One of the blogs I enjoy visiting is Kristin's The Goat. She participates in a meme called "Friday Fragments" by Mrs. 4444.  Every once in a while, I really feel like I have a bunch of little things to post but nothing long enough to stand alone.  Today is one of those days, so I decided to join in the fun.

Mrs. 4444's Friday Fragments appear on her blog, Half-past Kissin' Time. Pop over and see her FF post today!

Here is a link to a great blog post I read. I found it when I was linking Skirt! to my "Four Word Self Help" Blog Tour post yesterday. I think it is a common thread running through the minds of a lot of people out there. I don't even use Twitter and it tires me out...Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship. (I can't wait for the movie "Social Network" to come out - story of the Facebook creator(s).

On a completely NOT related topic, I heard a bumper song on the radio several months ago and I didn't know the name or the performer, but it kind of pops into my head every so often. Every time I hear it, I remember the chorus, "Take me away, Take me away" (I suspect that is why it attracts me - sounds like a Calgon commercial). Well, I heard it while I was in my car about two days ago, I googled the words "Take me away" and came up with lots of things that WERE NOT the song I was looking for. I knew I would recognize it when I saw the performer...I mistakenly thought maybe it was sung by Nicole Scherzinger (sp) or a girl group or something. Finally, last night, I pulled up YouTube and it was the first song that showed up after I entered "Take Me Away" in the search. The song is called "Pocket Full of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield. So I don't forget it again, I am posting the video here:

As I listened to it last night, I realized that there is something I really like about her voice and I also listened to "Unwritten". I know the song was horribly overplayed, but I still like it.

I found some NEON paint colors at Michael's last weekend, so I'm hoping to do some painting this week in one of my art journals. I have been too tired to do it this week, but I'm looking forward to the weekend and some time to make a mess!

Friday Fragments is what is called a Blog Hop. I can't get the link to work right now, but I will keep trying and make the appropriate changes. Seems Mr. Computer is having some issues today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Four Word Wisdom - Blog Tour Day 2

Four Word Self Help - Blog Tour 2010If we all knew the secret to writing a book that resonates, that engages the reader, that elicits loyalty in the reader and passion about sharing the words, there would be a lot more books in the world. If there were a lot more books like "Four Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives" by Patti Digh, the world would be a happier, more beautiful place.

"Four Word Self Help" is the kind of book you savor. This purse-size book is sturdy, small and beautifully crafted. Visually, there is color and movement in the illustrations, collages, photos and paintings paired with each four word missive. The four word phrases call to mind the intergenerational word-of-mouth kind of wisdom so missing in the world today. When I read this book, I hear Patti's voice talking to me, I imagine us talking about "create a safe space" or "eat less, move more".

Books like this move quietly though us because they seem like they have always been with us. They are not teaching us something we didn't know but reinforcing something we carry deep inside us but don't necessarily investigate or practice. Bringing these thoughts out in a beautiful, small, mobile package means we can move these practices to the surface of our lives and start discussing them, exploring them, incorporating them.

"Four Word Self Help" is divided into twelve sections or "hot-button issues": community, love, stress, travel, soul, wellness, success, green, activism, children, generosity and endings. There is something for everyone from the author of the blog, I have already started giving copies away as gifts, if the truth be told.

Published by Skirt!, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press of Guilford, Connecticut, you can purchase it in a variety of places (,, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Powell's Books, etc.), along with Patti's other books, "Life is a Verb" and the forthcoming, "Creative is a Verb".

Also, a special note for the locals: Patti will be in Portland for a reading at Powell's Books in Beaverton on November 5, 2010 at 7:00pm. On Saturday, November 6, she will be teaching a writing workshop called "Walking Into Fire: Sidestepping Fear, Writing your Heart out and Letting Your Story Tell Itself" with Jen Louden and Susan Piver. I've already signed up, so maybe I will see you at the reading and/or the workshop!

**Disclosure: In exchange for my participation in the "Four Word Self Help" Blog Tour, I received a complimentary copy of the book from Globe Pequot Press.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Four Word Self Help" Blog Tour Stop Here! Day 1

I'm not sure when I found Patti Digh's blog, 37Days. Maybe it has been 2 years now. Before she commented here, I think the only folks who had ever commented were friends of mine. She left me a lovely comment at just the right time and on just the right topic. Since then, I have been an even bigger fan of her blog, her books, and her courses. You might even say I'm kind of a cyber-groupie of hers (in a good way).
Four Word Self Help - Blog Tour 2010When the opportunity to join the blog book tour came up on Facebook and on Patti's blog, I threw my hat in the ring. I wasn't really even sure what I was doing. I had some stressed moments after I signed up, realizing that I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. After some waiting and wondering, I received a copy of Patti's new book, Four Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives from her publisher. I actually got the book from the publisher the day before I knew I was going to be participating in the blog tour - when it arrived, I was a little bit puzzled because the two other copies I had ordered had already arrived.  I thought maybe I had lost my mind and wondered how many copies I had actually ordered.

It has taken me a while to read it because of my crazy life, but also because this book possesses a simple beauty that is really deep and requires thought. As I read the book, I realized that I was trying to take it all in at the same time, but really, I needed to digest each phrase and all the artwork a little more slowly.  There is time for that later - this isn't a one-read book. For now, this is step one on the Wild Rumpusing leg of the blog tour.

Tomorrow, I will be posting more specifically about the book and providing some tempting tidbits so that you will run out and buy these books for all your friends and family for Christmas, birthdays, Hanukkah, or any other gift-giving holiday. I know sometimes people don't really understand the gift of a book like this until they look at it, but once people crack the cover, they fall in love with the colors, the art, the words.

Over the last couple of days, as I have been considering how to best highlight this book, I decided I like the idea of the deeper exploration of this deceptively simple little book that is filled with art and thick, yummy pages. As I have been struggling a little to refocus my thoughts here on the blog, I thought I could take an opportunity for a deeper look and also to focus in on this concept of simple phrases with powerful meaning.  To that end, I hereby declare October "Four Word Wisdom" month here at Wild Rumpusing.  At least once a week, I will choose a four word phrase to prompt a post. I thought it might be a fun homage to choose both some phrases from the book and some phrases that maybe didn't make the cut. :)

**Full Disclosure: Globe Pequot Press publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of "Four Word Self Help" in return for my participation in the Blog Tour.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weekend Finds

I finally made it over to Uwajimaya but I picked up all this stuff and when I went back to the bookstore area, it said not to bring stuff in, so I didn't want to put the stuff down. I was going to go into the bookstore and find some magazines or images to use in my collage.

Even though I didn't go into the bookstore, I did buy some lovely handmade orange paper that reminded me of India, some airmail paper, some beautiful wrapping bags that I used for a gift for a friend of mine and a couple of notebooks. Something about the shapes and sizes of the notebooks really appealed to me, so I am trying to put them to use at work. I have tried a bunch of different stuff but as I realize that more things need to be documented, I wanted to see what I could do to find just the right thing. I may have found it.

No art since the weekend - worked too late tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Who knows?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Living on an Island

Today, I was having a conversation with someone where I expressed my aversion to interactions with humans who I don't know and the person said to me, "You need to go live on an island somewhere."  It seemed to me, even in that moment that they were thinking that I didn't like/want ANY human interaction. That's not entirely the case - I just don't want to interact with people I don't know in an artificial and uncontrolled manner - such as cashiers who want to talk to me all day or people in line who want to tell me their life story.  I have a magnet that draws people to me who are not necessarily the folks I want to have in my inner circle, if you know what I mean.

I thought about it for a while, though, and I do think that a month off in some deserted location with very little to do and very few people to come into contact with could definitely do me some good. I am in introvert with extroverted tendencies. What this means is that I can be around people and I can manage and maintain, but it really takes all the energy I have to keep it up for long periods of time. To quote my six-year-old self, "It's hard to be good all day." Smiling and nodding and trying to see everyone's point of view all the time is exhausting - it always has been for me. I don't feel that I'm being disingenuous, I am actually pretty good in people-oriented situations, but again, it takes a lot of energy.

When I was a freelance interpreter, lots of crazy things happened that I could make into some funny story, so often, the way that I coped was to tell a funny story. It breaks the tension, it allows me to breathe for a minute - stories come as naturally as breathing to me. Now, I work in an office with all the same people. They are busy doing what they do and I am busy doing what I do. The work is confidential on all sides and it seems to have removed that mechanism for me.

Another thing about stories - often, stories mock the storyteller. When I was younger, I was okay with the kind of self-depreciation that comes with really funny, edgy storytelling. After awhile, I started to shy away from giving that power to people. If you tell them a story about yourself and expose a weakness or a sensitivity, it often comes back to haunt you. Also, I realized that I wasn't always being painted in a good light - whether I deserved that or not. Sometimes because I did a not-so-smart thing or made a decision at 25 years old that I certainly wouldn't make now. The stories are still funny and they are a part of who I am, but I am more cautious about who I share them with.

The other thing that stops me from telling stories is that I don't necessarily have shared history with some of the people I am around regularly. Shared history provides so much context. Telling a story without shared history or at least shared experiences or parallel experiences is like having to explain why a joke is funny to a different culture. It doesn't work. Sometimes it might, but it would take so long to give the back story that it hardly seems worth it.

Anyway, I would love to go to an island for a month and read and listen to music and do art and maybe just sit and stare out at the water and listen to the waves. I could definitely handle that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Collage Bits Found

I was popping around to some of the blogs I like to look at and found Kristin had posted this. It was just as I was trying to figure out how to proceed with some of my art journaling, so I decided to go to the Saturday Morning Vintage etsy store and see what they had. Turns out there was a "travel" item sale, so I got some of that and a bunch more. I ordered on Monday and the items arrived, neatly wrapped in a package, yesterday. I'm so excited! Thanks to Kristin for making the packages look so attractive on her blog - that's what made me want to go there in the first place!

Here are a few photos of my treasures:

I am trying to make sure I don't get attached to them in form - their packaging, their shape, their current form is only temporary.  I know it sounds stupid, but sometimes I have this thing in my head that doesn't want to change things - like cut something or alter it. I don't know why. So, I am working with these new pieces of ephemera so that I can work on my little bit of OCD.  These were MADE to be used in collage. That's what they are for. If I didn't do it, someone else would have.  

 I think this is ultimately one of the reasons that collage is so fascinating to me - partially because my brain is like a giant collage, but the other part is the reuse of familiar items to recycle and retain them but in a beautiful and new way.

 It would not necessarily occur to me to use these bits of paper and bits of books and magazines and maps for collage.  I love that it occurred to someone.

 The other thing I'm excited about is to have other images - not just from magazines. I love some of the colors and photos I'm finding in some magazines, but sometimes, I think if I have to cut out another Cover Girl makeup ad, I will scream. I'm trying to break out, but it isn't easy for me to do and especially with limited resources. This will help.

 Next up is scanning photos. I have to figure that out. It has been bothering me. I want to scan in family slides and old photos and I have to figure out the equipment for it. I think I need a more updated computer to be compatible with the slide scanner that I have. Baby steps.

 I love the maps below. I got excited to know they were including a map of Germany. I wish I had photos and things from our time there, but they were mostly stolen. We have a few things, but not many.

Quite a find, huh?  Now I am looking for some items that are more East Indian and Asian. I think a trip to Uwajamya (I may be spelling it wrong).  I am intrigued by other cultures and their use of color. The oranges and reds and yellows are so rich. I want to incorporate that kind of color into my collages.

 So, wish me luck. This is going to be a whole turning point for me in my collage, I suspect. I'm trying new stuff. Very exciting. And fun. Something for me to look forward to when things are tough elsewhere.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ants in My Pants

I felt like a little kid squirming to get to recess all day. I don't know why - some days are like that. I woke up early (no freaky dreams off...coincidence? I think not) and just as I was drifting back to sleep again, my AIM went off from work. Had to deal with that for a time and by the time I was done, I was awake. Watched a little "Create TV" on PBS - honoring Oktoberfest. Worked on the computer, did some Art Journaling. Did some cleaning. Watched "Back to the Future" and tried to watch "Back to the Future II" but it was too much for me. I played solitaire and listened to music. It made me happy. I listened to Tanya Tucker's Greatest Hits from the 1970s and sang at the top of my lungs. Now, it is almost time for bed. Hopefully, I won't have ants in my pants tomorrow. I prefer to settle into something. I have some stuff on my mind, so I know that really impacted me today. I know it will clear up soon enough and I will feel more normal.

Tomorrow is gear up day - getting ready to go back to work. I hate feeling like I have to "gear up" for work. Usually, I'm ready to go back. Days off are good, but I like having some purpose to my days, for sure. Just some rough times. It's like that in the fall sometimes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not Spewing

I was playing spider solitaire today and heard a Delta commercial and the quote, "The thing you push against is the thing that lifts you up."  It sort of rang in my ears and I have to think about it some more. There is meaning there for me.

Today, I couldn't think of a good Facebook status and I mentioned that. One of my friends told me I should just spew forth. Sadly, as much as I would like to, I can't. But I can say that today, it was certainly tempting. I was on PTO but spend much of the day putting out fires. I don't think I should have to work when I'm on PTO, but it happens every time. Frustrating.

I'm not going to say any more about any of this because it took me a lot of time and energy and effort and a lot of Solitaire games to intervene in the mind-spinning that was going on today. Now, I'm feeling a little more serene and I have the weekend to regroup. That's comforting.

And can we stop talking about the acid-throwing in Vancouver now? I'm tired of hearing about it.

Signing off grumpily.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Am a Writer

Read about owning your dreams here.

I write, therefore I am a writer.

 I was glad that the pink one was one I could claim. I AM creative.

I like being a life artist. My life as art. Kind of cool. Art is all around and takes many forms. I can own that I am a life artist, too.

I'm not so ready to say I'm an artist. I'm  working on it. I know it sounds weird, but this one I'm not ready to claim.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dreaming is Getting WEIRD

I'm throwing this down because it was weird and I don't want to forget the dream and I often do when I don't write it down.

I dreamed that one of the students I had interpreted for was in a video and I sent it down to her. She decided to come visit and discuss but brought some of her friends who turned out to be pretty scary. I shook hands with them (weird - I hate shaking hands) and we were in this restaurant where we were downstairs (like restaurants in New York) and there was an upstairs entry and obviously stairs. I was wearing a blue button-down shirt over another shirt. We sat down at this table to eat and then something happened. I started talking to this woman and she asked me if she could have my shirt. I said yes and as I started to unbutton the blue shirt, I pulled one of the buttons off by accident.

I said something odd like, "I just popped off my button. You can have it. I mean, you can have the shirt still but we'll have to find a way to get the button back on." We left the restaurant and entered another shop which had dressing rooms lining the walls of the store. There was fabric and jewelry and other "fabric store" stuff EVERYWHERE, plus clothes everywhere - hanging from the walls, the doors, the ceiling, on racks. The changing rooms reminded me of what you see in videos of India - practically on top of each other - every inch of wall was covered and people everywhere popping in and out of them. I started to feel claustrophobic in the store and went to the counter to see if they just had a needle so I could sew the button on. My friend, Kevin (yes, you) was behind the counter and led me into another part of the store and gave me a needle to sew the button back on.

The new area of the store turned into a Thai restaurant and Kevin (yes, you) was one of the chefs. I was standing in the restaurant (there were no chairs) and Kevin was cooking something when the lady from the sewing store came over and was looking through the slats in the windows to see if someone was there. She looked a little bit like one of the women who works in a restaurant that I eat at occasionally. Kevin brought over my food and assured me that there would be no trouble and went to talk to the lady who was pointing and gesturing in my general direction. I was surrounded by bodyguard looking people. I went to pick up the Thai food (it was curry) on a square metal plate (almost like prison or camping plates) and there were three ants on the plate crawling around. I had to get them off (if you don't know about my multicolored ant dreams, I will save it for another day). I was trying not to offend anyone but I don't like ants so I was trying to get them off without spilling the Thai food. I was chattering to my friend, Kevin, and surreptitiously trying to get the ants off.  When I got them off, we were suddenly transferred to a construction site wearing hard hats and my blue shirt was gone and I was just wearing regular clothes. My friend Kevin walked up to me and I said to him, "Wow, you sure have a lot of jobs..." and then I woke up.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tiny Celebration

I think I will be taking a class on altered books at "Art on a Lark" in Hillsboro on Thursday in celebration of the fact that I have Friday off and that I made it through the week. Another challenging one, but I feel that I am confronting it head-on which feels much better than last week when I felt like I was getting my ass kicked.

One thing that I'm excited about (and probably already talked about in a previous post) is that they have an open studio. I want to go see what it is like and see if I want to pay for a regular membership - then I get discounts on their merchandise and can use the Open Studio any old time.  Might be fun.

Now, fingers crossed that I can make Thursday work. I know that even though I am reluctant to commit, once I get there, I will be glad I did.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Images from Simpler Times

I was cleaning today and I found a booklet I drew when I was in kindergarten. The teacher make the books for everyone and we drew in them. I have saved it all these years. I know most people my age are posting the books of their children, but since I don't have any, I thought I would post for my inner child. :)  I was actually pretty good for a little 5 year old.

I am particularly impressed with the sidewalk in front of the house, the jungle gym and see saw in the playground. I was visually detail-oriented when I was a child.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Art Journal Pages

I still haven't really finished an Art Journal. I have one that is close to being ready. They just don't seem ready. I'm still struggling with my ideas of what they should look like and all that, so I'm trying to throw one together with less expectation so that i can start writing in them. I think that will actually be the thing that will allow me to feel like they are "done" - just getting them written in.

Anyway, here are some pages in process:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin