Sunday, October 31, 2010

National Blog Posting Month - November

National Blog Posting Month starts tomorrow. I have signed up, as I do most months, and look forward to continuing to write and keep the blog moving ahead. As always, I am hoping that I will be inspired and find some new things to write about, to explore to discuss during the month. I've been in a little rut lately, but I know I will be able to come out of it. I'm thinking that I will try to do some of the "Creative is a Verb" exercises or something. Next weekend is my writing workshop, too, so that's pretty exciting. I have a lot bouncing around in my head, so hopefully, I will be able to get some of it to come out. :)

Out of Step

I'm having one of those days when I just feel like I'm on another planet or something. I have felt a little odd all day, just out of sync. I watched some television today and as I watched phone commercial after phone commercial, I felt even more out of step with things. I love my technology - don't get me wrong...but I just don't understand the need to be on the phone 24/7 or to be "in touch" all the time. I have always called my pager my "electronic leash", so this isn't new but it feels more pronounced. The more we start to depend on our devices - for movies, for reading, for communication, for music, etc., etc., the more I just want to do stuff that is face-to-face, real life. Is that weird? Maybe I'm just on overload or something. I don't know. Just feeling odd and out of step today.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Art Saves Lives

This is an incredible video demonstrating the power of art and hope and showing the indominatable human spirit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Some Hope and Some Sadness

To contextualize this video for posterity (sometimes I read posts and even I have no idea what I'm talking about. haha!), there have been a spate of LGBTQI teenagers/young people who have committed suicide in recent months due to bullying. In response, the "It Gets Better" video project came into being. The momentum just keeps growing - I have seen videos for the Deaf community, videos from a councilman who had never talked about his experiences, from the theatre community, etc.  This video moved me tonight and I wanted to post it here as a message that life does get better. There are good people out there - members of the LGBTQI communities and those who are not. It is so easy to lose hope these days.

Some sadness is related to the illness of my friend and mentor, Alan Champion. TDF posted this article on Facebook today. It is a lovely article and just brings home that Alan is really fighting for his life. He told me that, so it wasn't news to me. It just hit home as I was reading - it made me realize that I need to make a trip to NYC to see him. It has been too long. Even if I am just sitting in a room with him and he just knows for an instant that I am there to bring love and healing and good energy, that is enough for me. He has given me so many gifts that he doesn't even know about. Something about him shot straight to my heart the day I met him. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I felt instantly like I was supposed to be a member of his tribe. I have been lucky in that he has always been so gracious and welcoming to me. **I know I'm not really very articulate about this - it is so visceral for me, I can't really explain what I mean. Suffice to say that Alan has a special place in my heart and memory and he always will. I am sending him love and prayers. Please send him some of your love and prayers too - even if you don't know him. It would be good Karma.

Here is a video from the American Theatre Wing with Alan.

Happy Birthday, Kevin! and Other Friday News

Today, my friend and first reader of the blog, Kevin, is celebrating a birthday.  I don't know if he will stop by today, but if he does, I wanted to have a Happy Birthday wish as the main topic of my post this morning.

Kevin, Happy Birthday!  I hope you have an excellent day and celebrate all weekend! We need to get together so that I can celebrate you! :)

Another little tidbit, not birthday related, but important:  Patti Digh will be in Portland next week. Friday night at Cedar Hills Crossing for a reading and Saturday at Kennedy School for a writing workshop.  Read more about it here.  I will be at both!  Come join us!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Ending

Interesting that the theme for October has been PLAY but I have not really done ANY playing. I interpreted a play, so I guess that counts.  I am definitely feeling the effects of not playing much this month - I miss my art journals even though I know that I am blocked a bit by my own unreasonable standards of perfection.  This month has been filled with commitments and things I agreed to do for other people.  That's not a bad thing, but I'm tired now. This week, I have felt particularly draggy and out-of-energy even though I have been getting good sleep.

Despite feeling draggy, I went to see "Social Network" tonight. It was different than I expected and it kind of made me want to close my Facebook account. I'm sure parts of the movie were fictionalized, but I wonder if I wasn't better off before I knew any of it - fictionalized or true. I think it just reinforced some of my disconnection from the frenzy of social media, phones, constant connection, etc.  More and more, I just feel wonder if everyone didn't feel compelled to share every thought they think every moment that they think it (Thank you, "When Harry Met Sally" line), what problems might just evaporate. Obviously, some of what I am saying is ironic or perhaps hypocritical when written on a blog that can be read by anyone...But, believe it or not, I DO edit myself. Quite a bit.

Watching the movie last night made me think about the things that I have written here and if they could have a negative effect on my life. I'm sure SOMETHING that I have written could be used against me, but primarily, I try to keep that kind of thing out of here, out of Facebook. In fact, the MORE upset or disgruntled I am, the further away from the internet I go. Not looking to get fired, sued or harassed in any way, shape or form, thank you very much.

Here at the end of October, I look to November with some excitement and trepidation. November is traditionally not my best month, but I can change that. It is my intention to enjoy and embrace some of the challenges that November brings. I'm attending a workshop and a reading next weekend, so I'm excited to open the month with something so positive and good.  The "Les Miserables 25th anniversary Concert" is on Nov. 17, the first installment of the last "Harry Potter" book comes out on November 19. Roby's birthday is Nov. 26. Days off around Thanksgiving are good, too. It's going to be a good month for me this year. I sense a trend starting.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Favorite "Roby and Jean" Photo

This picture was taken sometime in 1988 or 1989 at Ecola State Park. It is one of my favorite pictures ever - of Roby and I and of each of us individually. Just something about it.  I love that we are both wearing our rings (which you can't really see) and that Roby has one of his cartoon band aids on. This is kind of how he lives in my memory - this age, the way he looks, his hands. It's weird how things get stop framed sometimes - just a moment that somehow gets frozen in time and then generalized to a whole bunch of time and instances that really should look different, but don't.  I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but there you go.

Fall was one of Roby's favorite times of year - he loved Halloween and scary movies. I was thinking today about how he would have loved Lady GaGa and "Glee" and how he would constantly force me to listen to music. I never wanted to listen and always ended up loving the groups/singers he introduced me to. River City People, Everything but the Girl, Alison Moyet, Yaz, Culture Club, even Madonna.  One group, Breathe, only really had one song that we LOVED but I wouldn't have paid much attention to them if it hadn't been for Roby.

I know I have been waxing sentimental for a few days, but I just go where the spirit moves me here. I've been wanting to get back to myself - some more personal topics - lately and this feels like a good place to start.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nostalgia, NYC and "Les Miz"

This was a picture taken in 1999 in New York City.  I had just completed the week-long "Interpreting for the Theatre" intensive taught at The Juilliard School through a program at TDF's (Theatre Development Fund) TAP (Theatre Access Program).  It was one of the most intense weeks of my life. The last night, a bunch of us went to see "Les Miserables" as a final activity. I had seen the show several times in the past but several of the others had never seen the show.  Tammy is my friend in the picture (on the right).  She and I traveled together and went through the program together.  We were both lucky enough to be selected to interpret pieces of "Miss Saigon" at the Broadway Theatre. The night we interpreted was Lea Salonga's last night with the show.  She had returned for a limited engagement and she was A-M-A-ZING!

The photo on the right is the 1999 group at the Crown Plaza hotel after our performance night. We were all riding high after an intense but wonderful week.

I went back to the program again in 2005 on my own. It was an equally rewarding and challenging program the second time. I loved every minute of it.  Last week, I dreamed that I went again for a third time. Who knows? Maybe I will.

This photo is with the class I was in in 2005.  What an extraordinary group of people. Amazing.  We worked on "La Cage Aux Faux" which was good, clean fun.

I can't wait to get to NYC again. See some shows. Go to some museums. Visit some friends.  Sounds like fun, huh?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Missed the Mark

I wanted to leave work and go to a movie tonight but I didn't get out in time to make it to the showing that I needed to go to so that I could get up on time on Tuesday.  Boo. I'm going to try again on Wednesday, but who knows if it will work.  I'm hoping to see "Social Network" and then "Waiting for Superman" on the weekend. I miss movies - I haven't really been going regularly and I keep wanting to make myself. I always love it - just not always feasible.

I'm anxiously awaiting the winter non-credit course catalog for the local community college - I want to schedule a couple of classes again this year. Apparently, I need that kind of jump start to get myself going.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, Sunday

I twisted my knee on Thursday somehow - I probably stood on the platform strangely at some point or twisted getting down in the dark. Who knows?  But it HURTS.  I have been putting emu oil on it and taking MSM capsules to get the swelling to go down. You don't really realize how much your knee does for you until you are limping up and down stairs just to go to the bathroom.

I didn't sleep well last night, so I took a long-ish nap this afternoon. I feel all fidgety - I wanted to go to the movies today but I slept through prime movie-going times and decided to just wait.  Now I have "Buffy" on - starting my favorite season- Season 6. This is the one with the musical episode, one of my favorites.

I am hoping to do some art journal work but something is blocking me - I'm pretty sure it is my own expectations. It's annoying. So, I'm just going to take the plunge and DO SOMETHING.  I think getting started will help me get back on track. I have lots of projects and things I want to do, so I hope I can jump start myself.

I have my tickets to the "Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert" on November 17. I CAN'T WAIT!!!  What a thrill!! I hope that more Broadway type events come through in these special events.  It's a great way to expose people to Broadway shows without spending $55-$120 for a single ticket.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Small Life?

I was thinking today about a conversation I had recently and about how I should have asked the other person more questions or tried to lead them to share more about themself and how things were going. For some reason, it occurred to me how small my life has become right now.

The shrinkage of a life is so incremental, you don't even notice it happening until the walls are really close in. I don't think the walls are cement or permanent - maybe they are like walls in theatre - braced, but pretty easy to knock down if you have the drive and the tools. I don't even think that a shrinking life is a BAD thing - it is just somewhat surprising. I can't tell if it is really so small or if it was so big before that anything else seems a little confined.

When I started working as an interpreter, I worked in one school for a year and then the next for two years.  After that, I was a "floater" for the school district - I was basically a full-time sub. I interpreted K-12, interpreted staff meetings, parent meetings, special events, sports, etc. When I started doing that, I was petrified. I had originally thought I was taken out of schools because I wasn't good enough. Later, I learned that it was a huge and important opportunity. I worked as a floater for five years before moving on to "freelancing". I really never worked full time as a freelancer in the traditional sense - I always had about 20 hours a week that I filled with post-secondary ed. I had my shows, I taught.  I had my feet in a lot of different worlds.  I did that for about 8 years or so. Then I got sick and started looking for a "real job" with benefits and steady hours.

I think having that kind of freedom - working when you want, where you want, out in the elements for at least a part of every day, meeting different people almost daily- that makes for a really open and seemingly big life.  Then I worked as an assistant at the local school for the Deaf, then I went back to K-12 for 8 months. After that, I transitioned to the job I thought I had always wanted - an interpreter coordinator for a University. I worked 15-20 hours as an interpreter and then coordinated other stuff. I still did my shows and taught. But the world was getting smaller - one campus, one office, the same colleagues daily (positive and negatives there). Then I moved to the job I am currently in. In April, it will have been six years. It is hard to even remember anything else, in some ways.

Now, I go to the same place around the same time and work with the same people and do the same stuff over and over and over. Sometimes it is good. I have found strengths and skills I would never have known I had. But sometimes, I miss being able to drive off from a place and decide if I'm going to come back.  Sometimes, I miss just having some crazy story to tell about my day or something I did. Nobody really wants to hear a story about doing payroll.

Anyway, that's just what I was thinking about as I was driving home from work today.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All Out Friday

Well, as you can probably imagine (or know from reading here before), I burned up all my energy last night interpreting the show. In the perfect world, I would take the day after a show off, too, but it just isn't realistic in my work world any more.

I decided last night that I need to do some strength training for my legs and back. Standing on a little platform for almost 3 hours while waving your arms around, sometimes violently, requires stamina.  I certainly know that I have lost some stamina as I don't interpret all day, every day anymore.  I know that I have lost muscle in my arms and hands. Ironically, my grip is stronger now than it was when I was a full-time interpreter. I know that interpreters tend to have overdeveloped small muscles in their hands, so they lose strength in exchange for dexterity. Now I have a little more strength, similar dexterity and less stamina.  That needs to change.

I have to work on Saturday (bummer) so one more day to get through and then a glorious day of NO COMMITMENTS!!  I had wanted to go to the movies, but I suspect that staying in my pajamas all day will probably win.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Moment to Breathe

I finished the show tonight, so I am feeling pretty amped about getting some time back in my life. It has been a hectic several weeks and I have really been craving a movie or some art or something that I don't feel guilty about doing/seeing.

I know that my guilt is self-created - I just have such a strong sense of responsibility. Sometimes it is a good thing, sometimes, not.

The show went pretty well, although I am working on a plan to really get back to feeling prepared for shows in a more comprehensive way. It is easy to get complacent and not really commit.  I have all the shows on CD for the remainder of the season, so I'm putting them all on my iPod so that I can start listening and getting them into my body. That's the biggest thing for me - if I don't listen to the music early enough, it is this giant barricade in the process for me.

Next up is "HAIR". I have the movie on video and I have the new Broadway version CD, so I will be starting with that this weekend. I have until the end of December, but why wait?  I'm feeling good about my plan  to up my game for this year. I like having a plan.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shameless Plugs

I just finished rehearsing through the whole show "In The Heights" and I will have some time to rehearse more tomorrow. I really like the show, but I wish I had some more time with it. There is more rap/hip hop than I would like and I have struggled with the pacing, but I think I will be fine.

So, my shameless plugs are for SignPlay, the website I use to advertise interpreted performances in Portland, the state of Oregon and SW Washington.  It is purely a volunteer effort that I try to keep up with in my spare time. (Stop laughing.)  I just did a special page for the show and updated the dates for performances for Broadway in Portland, so go check it out.

Also, I updated the Facebook page. I don't quite get how to manage information in there, so I don't think I sent it out to all the folks who are "friends" of the page, but the information is there.  If you have show information of your own, please post there - it goes out to about 100 people, give or take a few.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Couple of Things (Rant and other)

First thing's first.  In my spare time (of which there is precious little right now), I am reading "Creative is a Verb" by Patti Digh. I just finished reading an essay she wrote about the day she found out her mother was reading her blog and how it affected her. I could really relate to that (not that my mother isn't welcome to read my blog) in the sense that when you know the people reading, you censor yourself in a different way. Maybe censor is too strong a word - edit heavily is maybe more accurate. I know I have written about this topic before.  As I was reading Patti's story, it occurred to me that people come to a blog either because they know you or because you are writing something of interest to them - whether momentarily or on a regular basis. To fundamentally change what you are writing because you know someone is reading seems to me to be a betrayal of self and the reader. Sometimes I write about Roby or about Patti or about my Art Journal and I think, "Oy. I hope this isn't boring for people."  When I started this blog, I was writing real stuff and sometimes now I feel like I'm not hitting the mark in a way that has meaning even for me.  So, I am re-committing to myself - to the blog. I will still edit because my entire life, my every thought, does not need to be published on the internet for all to see. There are some things that remain private, but I also want to be real.  I don't think I haven't been - I just haven't been doing the personal thing and it is has been bugging me in some ways.

The second topic is a rant.

People, please please PLEASE...stop going through doors and stopping in the doorway. Stop exiting the elevator and stopping right in front of the doors.  MOVE OUT OF THE WAY for heaven's sake!!  Tonight, I went to see "In the Heights" at the Keller Auditorium. When I entered the theatre, the ticket-taker (scanner) scanned my ticket and I walked through the door, only to be stopped by people who have stopped in the middle of the entrance for no apparent reason. No movie stars around, no cameras, no bloody people laying on the ground with paramedics rushing to their side.  They are just stopping.  Finally, I managed to wend my way around them to the bathroom.  There is a set of double doors as you enter the women's restroom, but they only ever open one door and the other one doesn't seem to have that magnetic thing that would hold it open.  In my world, you open one door in, so that the long line of women waiting for a stall can stand. The other door should open out so that women who are done in the restroom can leave without being accosted or having to maneuver through the throng of desperately waiting women.  I digress. I approached the double doors where three women stand directly in front of the door handles for BOTH DOORS.  I politely say excuse me and get no reaction, so I reached around and opened the FREAKING DOOR.  When I was done in the restroom, I walked to the door that I think should be the exit door, opened it and was again confronted by a woman standing about 2 feet away but blocking the exit due to the line of women who were going in the other door. MOVE!!  After the show was over, bathroom again, same basic experience AND a woman who stood in front of the paper towel dispenser.  Just standing. Stalls available, so I'm guessing she was waiting for someone. Which is also weird. Go outside. Why do people want to hang out in the public restroom? It's gross.  Is it just me?  I tend to try to get out of harm's way. I try to pay attention to blocking the hall, the door, the aisle. I try to take my little purse/backpack off if it is going to create an issue in the elevator. Please, just move. And help your friends and family move, too. It just makes it easier. Walk through the door and continue to a place that is near a wall or out of the way, please.

Now that I have vented my spleen, I feel a little better.

Monday, October 18, 2010

FWWE Day 12: Patience IS a Virtue

So, all my patience was worth it. This was the balm to soothe my weekend woes...

Fathom Events will be showing the footage of the "Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert" on November 17, 2010. The tickets weren't on sale for my location yet, but I am SO GOING. This is like a birthday celebration for Roby and 25 years of fantastic music. It is so much a part of me, I couldn't unwrap "Les Miserables" from Jean, even if I wanted to.

I'm so happy I could burst.

It's the little things, sometimes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I am struggling with a crossroads right now. There is a situation in my life that I know what I need to do, but I'm not ready to go down the path.  To continue in the manner as I have been is to put myself in harm's way on a regular basis. To stop the pattern is to give up or alter something that I love.

I stand at a difficult crossroads and I am not sure which path I am going to take. Something must change and I am the only thing in my control, so the change has to be in me. Do I change how I feel, what I'm doing, what I'm saying? Do I remove myself from the situation? As I said, I know what I should do, but what will I do?  I'm not ready to face that yet, I guess. There is a little time. I hesitate because the ultimate outcome will have ripples.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

FWWE Day 11: Dreams Do Come True

A "Four Word Wisdom Extravaganza" is not complete without something about dreams.  I was working on "In the Heights" - looking for some video to help me visualize the show and I found a video where the Broadway cast included a young fan on stage for the finale of the show. What an incredible gesture!  After having watched some videos, including a clip from "Great Performances" (which I wish I had seen all of...), it is clear that "In The Heights" was the product of a lot of people's dreams coming true. The fact that the cast and production staff of the show were willing to share some of that with a young fan says a lot about the heart of this show and the people involved with it.

"In the Heights" won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Here's the clip with their young fan:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sleep is Calling Me

So last night, my boss and I went out to a very late dinner (thus limiting our restaurant options severely) where a mouse was seen running around the floor of the restaurant. I was embarrassed that I had picked the place, but glad that I had been clear that I picked the place solely on the basis of its hours of operation - they were still open. The food was okay but having rodents running around is kind of a turn-off.  We left the restaurant at 11pm. In the scramble to get out of the workplace, I left my phone, my watch and my credit card on my desk.

The visit was good in many ways - I think there is always an energy that comes to our office when we have an out-of-town visitor. Now there is just the fall out of me being exhausted. Then I had to go home and finalize preparation of my presentations at the local Interpreter training program (ITP) - that kept me up too late, then up early to get there. I was a little discombobulated, so that was disappointing, but it is what it is.

This weekend, I just have rehearsals for "In The Heights". I like the show, but I'm not looking forward to interpreting - I have a character who raps and I suck at interpreting rap-like music. But first, I'm going to SLEEP. No alarm to wake me. Yay!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Busy-ness drawing to an end

The last two weeks have been incredibly busy and challenging in a variety of ways. I'm happy to say that they are coming to and end at the close of the work day tomorrow. I still have a show next week, so I have some rehearsals this weekend, but that will be fine.  I'm looking forward to a little R and R and a little time to not feel guilty for not finishing, helping, researching, presenting or hosting.

Once the show is done, I am going to be diving headfirst into some ART - I think I want to take a couple of classes AND I will be using the neon paint I bought for my journal. I can't wait. I think I have a lot to process, so I am stoked to get started.

I know that I haven't been Wildly Rumpusing recently - please forgive. I will be able to focus in a few days and I think I have some meaty stuff to be writing about. Either that or something fun. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Continuous Reinvention of Wheels

I"m pondering the phenomenon which leads people to clutch ideas closely to their chest rather than sharing so that everyone can contribute their strengths, promote levels of consistency and utilize the collective brain for the best possible outcome.

I guess I have always been a curious person and I want to know what other people are doing - how do they handle people, situations. I think people have so many great ideas and such innovative projects and plans and I always want to maximize the good that can be gotten from something like that.  Much to my dismay, many people are not interested in that kind of sharing.  I haven't decided if my desire to do this is based in some experience I had or if it is some kind of cultural thing. Is it because I am a woman?  I'm not sure, but what I do know is the we waste a lot of time reinventing the wheel.  It is exhausting and irritating sometimes, especially when you know there is possibility out there - you know that there are great minds who are trapped in small thinking.

That's what I was thinking about today.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brief Intermission

I'm not feeling so hot tonight. I think it is adrenaline fall out, but I'm not sure. I'm going to bed and I have to get to work EARLY tomorrow. Hopefully, my stomach will cooperate with me. Sigh.

Monday, October 11, 2010

FWWE Day 10: My Boss Is Coming!

Please allow me to interrupt my "Four Word Wisdom Extravaganza" with the 4 word announcement that My Boss Is Coming!  The exclamation point is for emphasis that I am excited/happy that my boss is coming to town but also it is to emphasize the fact that he is supposed to arrive tomorrow.

I had an opportunity to clean up the office some, which I don't often feel is the first priority when there is so much other work to do. Even though it isn't done, I am happy I got some of the old boxes moved or unpacked. It is a slow process...

I cleaned and detailed my car, but I got an email tonight saying that they (my boss and another VIP) will rent a car, so that is done for now.

Wish me luck this week. It will be good, but I know there will be some challenges and I just have to keep my stress level at a reasonable place and do only what I can do - there is no reason to freak out or get crazy with worry.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

FWWE Day 9: Open Yourself to Fun

Whew! I'm ready for the weekend..Oh, wait...the whole weekend is over. Literally. Yikes. I was really busy and ran around the whole, entire weekend. Presented on Friday, attended on Saturday, bowling with work folks on Sunday. Cleaning car on it is time to settle in for the week.

Even though I didn't have any "self" time this weekend, it was really a pleasure to see so many old friends, new friends and folks I respect and admire. I'm usually resistant to most activities that require me to give up my alone time until I get there and then I always enjoy myself. It was such a crack up to hear everyone saying over and over again, "We should do this more often." People get so set in their ways and it takes something meaningful to just shove them in a different direction. I think lots of people are like me in that aspect - once I start walking in a new direction, I'm okay.  It's the time before I get moved that is the problem.  I just have to open myself to fun.

Anyway, all in all, it was a good weekend. I'm a little tired, but in a good, sated way.  Now, this week...VIPs coming to town for work, lots of stuff going on. Should be interesting.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

FWWE Day 8: Commit Time to Yourself

At the workshop I attended today, one of the most valuable things I took away was the affirmation that a life outside of work is KEY to getting through it all and keeping your cool.  It isn't that I don't know that, I DO, but I need constant reminders. As a perfectionist, worrier, people-pleaser I am constantly warring with the competing factions in my mind.

This week doesn't really look great on that front, but I'm looking into it. I need to do some self-care stuff or my heads gonna blow off. I have the show, I have other commitments, but 30 minutes a day - I can manage it. I need to manage it.

So this post is more of a reminder/commitment to myself. Sometimes, when I put things here on the blog, I keep them in my mind longer than when I just think about it on my own. Accountability, I guess.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tired, but Good

I presented a workshop today at our state conference. More attendees than I have ever had at a workshop. They all seemed engaged and to enjoy it. I got some great feedback both directly and indirectly - this was good because I had a crisis of confidence all day long. New workshop, already wondering what I missed, what I didn't count on, then just feeling the press of everything.

Tomorrow, I am attending a workshop about combating burnout and recommitting to the profession. I'm pretty excited.

Gotta get up early, so I'm off to bed!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FWWE Day 7: Creative is a Verb!

My copy of "Creative is a Verb" came in the mail on Monday.

I love, love, love the subtitle, "If You're Alive You're Creative". I believe this.
See, it is autographed!  I tried to take a picture of my quote, but the light wasn't good. I need more than two hands to get a good photo. Coming soon. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FWWE Day 6: It Does Get Better

You must read this.  If I thought I could do it better, I would try, but I can't.

Growing up in this world is hard enough, when you add any kind of difference, it just makes it that much harder. Roby was suicidal at times when he was a teenager. I never really understood that inclination - I just never considered suicide an option, but I alway had supports around me and that makes all the difference.

If you know someone who might need some support, reach out.  If you want to know more, check out Dan Savage's YouTube channel for "It Gets Better" - videos to reassure young people who are struggling with their sexuality or struggling with other people who are not accepting their sexuality.  I have seen some of the videos and they are really inspiring. Hopefully, lots of kids are getting the hope they need to get through the tough years.  Here is a story on Savage's idea.

This story was all over Facebook a couple of days ago. I started writing a post, but I think I wasn't quite ready to go there. Sorry for the delay.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FWWE Day 5: I am an Artist

Yesterday, I arrived home from work to find my autographed copy of "Creative is a Verb" by Patti Digh.  I have been WAITING for this book to come out since I heard about it.  When I ordered "Four Word Self Help" directly from Patti, she sent me a note saying that she had quoted me in her new book, "Creative is a Verb".  I was so excited.  Today, when I opened the book, to my surprise, the quote was, "Today, I am an artist."  If you read here often, you know that I struggle with claiming myself as an artist. But there it is, attributed to me, in ink. Printed in a book. I must have said it. Which means it is my responsibility to accept it, now. I think I am there. My true, heartfelt belief is that artists/writers/painters/creative people ARE.  They don't have to sell anything or be famous. They just have to do whatever it is that they are drawn to do.

That's one reason I'm so excited for this book. I know that it will help me walk that path because I know in my heart that being all those things is about doing it because you have to, because you love to, because you need to. It is harder to convince my head. My head that thinks too much and judges too harshly. I just need to keep what I know present and close.

I added the picture from Jamie Ridler Studios that I posted about early in September. She created badges that stated things like, "I am an Artist" and "I am a writer" and "I am creative".  I thought it was a beautiful connection - two women I found in the blogosphere who have been instrumental in me rediscovering my own creative voice.  I think that when you get the same message from the Universe over and over in divergent places, you should pay attention. I'm glad I did and I will continue to do so.

Monday, October 4, 2010

FWWE Day 4: Take a Deep Breath

As part of my desire to honor Patti Digh's newest book, "Four Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives", I decided to take the month of October and intersperse her four word wisdom with some wisdom of my own.  I am calling this month the "Four Word Wisdom Extravaganza" and, to be honest, the four word phrases come pretty easily. Almost too easily, sometimes.

For today, I needed a reminder that I should have more patience. "Take a deep breath" reminds me to stop, breathe in and out and don't automatically jump to conclusions about anything - whether it is something someone else is doing/thinking/feeling or even my own perspectives. Sometimes, my first thought isn't the right one. Sometimes, I have to let things simmer for a little while before I get clear on it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

FWWE Day 3: Honor Your Past Loves

For today's "Four Word Wisdom Extravaganza" I am honoring a past love - "Les Miserables".  I started listening to this musical in Roby's apartment in March 1986. Our friend, Jamie, brought her copy over and loaned it to us. Roby took the second act and I got the first act cassette. When we got together, we would listen to the whole thing. We ate, slept and drank "Les Miserables" for years.  The producers are celebrating the show's 25th year. Amazing. 

In London, the O2 25th Anniversary Concert of "Les Miserables" is today. I am not there, obviously. They had a new production of the show that played through last night at the Barbican and they are mounting the Original "Les Miserables" at the Queen's Theatre and tickets are available into 2011.

Several months ago, I thought maybe I could make it to London this weekend to see the three versions, but it VERY expensive just to get there and for the seats to all three shows. This weekend is the only time you could ever see all the shows in a weekend.  Then I was trying to figure out the whole lodging thing and then our company asked us to use our PTO by the end of September and I realized I couldn't spend that kind of money if I wasn't able to use PTO for the time. I didn't even even check if there were seats available. If I had planned it all, maybe they would have already been sold out by the time I tried to buy the tickets...

Maybe that is an excuse. I think I was kind of nervous about traveling overseas alone.  I couldn't think of anyone who would want to OD on "Les Miserables" for a whole weekend. And flying there would take almost the same amount of time as the say there...I just didn't know how to convince myself. I'm a little bummed about it, to be honest.  But it's all good. A new production is coming this summer - I can't wait! I should start planning for the 30th Anniversary now.

So, here's to "Les Miserables" - Happy 25th Anniversary!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

FWWE Day 2: Technology is My Friend

I know, I know. That four word phrase is pushing it a little for my "Four Word Wisdom Extravaganza". I did it for a reason.  I have spent the day with technology that is NOT my friend. Unfortunately, what I know is that it is not that the technology is unfriendly. It is not that there are no instructions. It is that I have a limited capacity for learning new technologies without assistance. I will get there, but it takes a long time.

Project #1: Figure out how to scan slides into my computer on the HP All-In-One Printer/Scanner/Copier. There is a negative/slide holder and a special way of doing it. There is a "Film" button that is supposed to have a menu that will help me, but it wasn't much help. I ended up scanning a lovely photo of the slide holder and the inside lid of the printer, but I never did get the dang slide scanned. I will prevail! It just isn't going to happen before I interpret "In The Heights".

Project #2: Speaking of "In the Heights", I decided I should have the CDs on my iPod because that is infinitely easier to carry around than the CDs. This way, I put the CDs in my car player and then they can stay there. I can bring my iPod anywhere with me and whip out my show.

I plugged in the iPod and it charged and synced. I was downloading the CD to iTunes in the meantime. When I loaded it, it went in backwards - the second CD before the first. Then I clicked on something that made all the songs flip so that the first song was the last and the last was the first, but it still kept the CDs separated. Brilliantly, I decided I could create a playlist of the songs in the correct order. Easy enough.

Yeah. Right. So, I failed at making a playlist a few times. I kept reading the Help instructions, but I have noticed that there is always a step missing that means I get stuck somewhere between steps 3 and 4...Finally, I created an empty playlist and dragged each song, in the right order into a new playlist. Success! Then I tried to Sync the iPod again. It said it couldn't find the device. I tried it three times. Finally, I ejected the iPod and plugged it back in. For some reason, that did the trick.

I'm not an idiot and I'm not a total luddite, but sometimes, technology gets away from me. Oh well. It's all good. I will remember, Technology is my friend.

Friday, October 1, 2010

FWWE Day 1: Play more, Stress less

In honor of Patti Digh's newest offering, "Four Word Self Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives", I am going to be doing a "Four Word Wisdom Extravaganza" (FWWE for short) during October. If I like it, I might do it longer. :)

In keeping with the theme for October for Nablopomo, I decided that the first "FWWE" Phrase should be:

Play More, Stress Less

I'm a firm believer in the power of PLAY. I think that there is so much in our lives that is serious, so much that requires attention and thought, that it is imperative that we do things that we consider FUN. I don't know that I am as skilled or as practiced at play as I was 10 years ago. I have different responsibilities, I have different priorities, but I know that if I played more and didn't feel guilty about it, I would be happier and that would translate into success in other ways.

One of my favorite things is to color.  I have the most beautiful "Velveteen Rabbit" coloring book. I got it almost 20 years ago.  It took me a long time to actually color in it because it is so beautiful.  Finally, one weekend, a friend and I went to the beach.  We were waiting for someone to arrive and had both been working too much. We got settled in the place we were staying, pulled out the vodka and the coloring book and a bunch of crayons and spent about 4 hours coloring side-by-side, quietly, peacefully.  When we finished the pictures we were on, they were incredibly detailed and we were so relaxed. I'm sure some of the vodka helped, but really, for me, the magic was in the crayons and the paper and the colors and the focus on something that was fun.

All play doesn't have to be peaceful and quiet, obviously. I'm up for some raucous fun and laughter, too.  Playing games, getting together to chat, to paint, to do some kind of arty or crafty thing, all of those can be playing to me. Or bowling. Basketball. Whatever you think is fun. 

My goal is to follow my own advice this month - Play more, stress less.  I like it. I think these themes are going to do me some good. 


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