Saturday, April 30, 2011

Postcards for a friend

Just wanting to send some love to a friend who might be having a hard time right now. I was just playing around and ended up with a couple of collages. It is more just an "I'm thinking of you" gesture. I hope they help - these are just the first of several things I am trying to do for my friend.

I had already addressed it, so I edited out the address. And I remembered to leave a place for postage. :)

This is side two of the first postcard.

I didn't leave a place to address this one...I'm thinking I may send a package and stick this one inside instead of slapping a sticker on the front.

I love the saying on here:  "What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?" I thought it might make her laugh.   
As I was making these, I realized that I often pick the same kinds of magazines and they produce the same kind of images. I am trying to branch out but sometimes it is a challenge. It's funny that nothing really "goes together" and yet I always have a sense that this or that image won't look right or doesn't fit. It really is an interesting process.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hello Friday!

My goodness, Friday, it is good to see you!  It seems like a long time since you have come around. Really, I know it has only been a week, but last Friday went by fast and a lot was happening that day.

This week has just been a challenge and there is no earthly reason for it...It has just been long and required more energy than I was expecting.  Nothing bad to report, just glad to have a couple of days off.

I did some collage yesterday but I can't find it...I have no idea what I did with the postcard I did for my friend. Frustrating. I was going to post a couple of pictures but I don't know what I did. I will find it over the weekend or do something new and post pics of those things.

Anyway, yahoo! it's the weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Computer Issues

Had computer issues. But I did make a postcard for a friend. I will post pictures later.

Tomorrow is Friday - Thank goodness.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Calgon, I Need a Vacation!

I am feeling a loss of my sense of humor.  It has been a while since I have taken some time off  that didn't involve some kind of work or some kind of project or something. I am feeling quite grumpy and everything is annoying - drivers, television, politics, the radio, everything...

It isn't snappy grumpiness - it is the kind that makes it hard to get up, hard to go to work, hard to pull a smile out all day long.  It isn't that I don't want to smile at people - I'm just tired. That's all.  It is the kind of grumpiness that just means I need to take some time off.

When I looked at the calendar, I realized - it is almost May. October and May seem to be the times when I need a vacation the most. So, I'm planning one...even if it is only a few days. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Remembering Dean

On April 26, 1995, I lost my dear friend, Dean Cannavino.  He was an amazing actor, teacher, mentor and performer.  He was generous and funny and charismatic.  He died of AIDS.

I met Dean in the Fall of 1989 when he moved to Portland temporarily to star in a show with Northwest Theatre of the Deaf called "The Signal Season of Dummy Hoy" about a Deaf baseball player who was instrumental in creating the signals still used in baseball today.  It was a tremendous opportunity for me as an interpreter, as a signer, as a human being in the world.  Dean and I became fast friends.  Ironically, because I met him in his professional world, I always knew him as Dean. When he met people in the community, he introduced himself as "Dino" but I always called him Dean.

I remember so many things about my time with Dean (I'm looking for the photos to scan). Two memories stand out for me - one was just after a few weeks working on the show. I was at the middle school where I interpreted and one of the Deaf students asked me, "What are you doing now that is different?"  I wasn't really sure what they meant and I asked them about it.  The student said, "Your signing is different...more clear, something is different."  I knew immediately that it was from working with Dean, from working on the play, from meeting Deaf adults in the community instead of languishing - linguistically- in K-12.  I knew immediately that I needed more input so that my output would continue to improve.  I was SO LUCKY to have opportunities given to me where I could grow and be with people who were so generous and willing to mentor me.

The other memory that stands out is the memory of the closing night party after "Dummy Hoy".  It was at Dean's house (where he had been living during his temporary stay in Portland) and everyone was there. I was shy and not a member of the cast - I had served in other capacities for the show.  I so wanted to just follow Dean around and cherish every moment with him, but so did everyone else. He was incredibly charismatic and people just gravitated to him. Slowly, after everyone had eaten, people started leaving one by one...pretty soon, having no purpose, I started collecting dishes and cups and cleaning up.  Eventually, it was just Dean and I in the kitchen trying to avoid the end.  When we realized it was just the two of us, we both sheepishly admitted that we didn't want to say goodbye.  We had a good cry over it and promised to stay in touch.  I didn't think we would.  We did. For many years.  He went home again, but it wasn't long before he realized that he missed the Portland community and came back.

I have lots of other memories, obviously, but those two are the ones that came to me today as I was remembering him.

I miss you, Dean. Take care of Alan for us.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


So, first of all, I have been thinking about how we each have impact in large and small ways on those we come into contact with - whether we know it or not, whether it is intentional or not.  I believe that most people want their impact to be a positive one and try to make that happen more often than not.

So many friends have been reaching out to me, to each other, to Alan's family. It is inspiring and it is a good reminder to reward people for their efforts.  I want to reach out to those I love and who have an impact on me in personal ways - maybe small ways, but enough to know that I told them they made a difference.  Everyone should know they are making a difference when they are.

Today, I went to brunch with family. Some difficult times recently, so it was nice to be all together.  Then I saw "The Adjustment Bureau" which was much better than I thought and left me with some things to think about.

Just a good day of reflection.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Memories of "Interpreting for the Theatre"

Since I received news of Alan Champion's death yesterday, I have been immersed in memories of not only Alan, but the other instructors, the friends I made, the deeply personal experiences I had and how much the program really shaped me as an interpreter.  I've posted about some of it in the past, so I won't go into it again here. Mostly, I'm just remembering some really good times and posting it here will keep a lot of good memories all together in an easy-to-find location.

Alan Champion in 2005 with the "Interpreting for the Theatre" students.  We were at the theatre rehearsing for "La Cage Au Folles" - our project.

This was an interpreted production of "Rent" in 2000? I'm not sure of the year - it was one of the times I went to support a friend. I think it was pre-9/11...The first interpreter on the left was a student in the program, then Candace Broecker-Penn, Alan Champion, and Rick Rubin.
This is the 1999 group after the performance of "Miss Saigon" on Broadway.

I have to figure out how to crop this photo so it is more normal and usable. Anyway, this is the  "TDF At Juilliard" Class 1999.  I think it was the second year of the one-week intensive. Our project show was "Miss Saigon". I interpreted the opening song of the second act, "Bui Doi".
From the caption on the photo, you can see this was the "TDF at Juilliard Class of 2005". My current boss was in this class - we didn't know we would eventually have a regular working relationship. That was years later.  And sweet Trixie (Raymont Anderson) in the black and orange shirt on the right.  I have been in and out of touch with several of these folks over the years.
The escalator up to the Juilliard School. Taken in 1996 in anticipation of my eventual attendance in the program.  Even then, I knew it would have a profound impact on me.

1999 TDF/Juillaird "Interpreting for the Theatre" Class.  Digital cameras make a huge difference, don't they?  I am trying to doctor this one up, but I'm having some challenges with my photo program.

1999 - The TDF Program instructors all together in one place.

After the last day of the program, Tammy, Kristen (not pictured) and I went to see "Les Miserables". This was after the show - you can tell by our bawling red faces.
Raymont Anderson, aka "Trixie" (see shirt) sending us love from D.C.

TDF Class of 2005. I am looking for the class list - I think I was smart enough to record the names so that I would remember them in the future. I don't think I have everyone's full name, but I have a close approximation. Candace Broecker-Penn and Alan Champion are reclined in front. 

This was the post-program wrap up where we had an opportunity to provide feedback and discuss the successes of the week. It was an INCREDIBLE WEEK. Some TRULY amazing people were in this program.

Lunch on Saturday - the last day. L-R: Becky, Kathy and Libby.

The Metropolitan Opera House. Steps away from the Juilliard dorms.

Night view from my dorm window.

Raymont Anderson

Melissa, Amanda, Judy, me

View from my dorm window in the daytime.

Becky, Ray, Katy and I were walking back from the show...the store was closing up at 12am.

I apologize for not having all the last names AND that I may spell some names incorrectly.  Back row: Jennifer Wilkinson; Molly; Raymont Anderson; Jean Miller; Judy Robbins; Christine I - S; Mia, Nancy, Pam Parham   Middle row:  Katy; Bri; Melissa; Wing Butler; Jessie Romer; Kathy Fehrjohn  Front row:  Rachel; Becky; Amanda Rose; Libby; Maria 

Looking down at the Metropolitan Opera House from the dorm room. They were having a fair outside that Saturday.
I am still looking to get correct spellings for all the names here. I have such cherished memories of my time with the TDF program, the students, the shows, New York and the instructors.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Alan Champion - Teacher, Mentor, Friend

One of my favorite pictures of Candy and Alan together. From 1999 "TDF/TAP Interpreting for the Theatre" program at The Juilliard School.  
Candace Broeker-Penn and Alan Champion interpreting for a theatrical production
Alan teaching/interpreting

Alan in a tuxedo. Lovely. 
The instant I saw Alan Champion in New York City, in the Juilliard School in 1999 for the "Interpreting for the Theatre" Intensive program, I leaned over to my friend and said, "I LOVE him!"  I felt an instant connection/fascination/adoration for him. As the week went on, that feeling intensified.  It never went away. I left at the end of the week feeling bereft.  I was determined that I needed more contact and more opportunity to meet him, know him, work with him, let him teach me and mentor me and hopefully get to know him better. 
 I went back to visit the program a few years later when one of my friends went. And then another time and another. I think I went 3 times to support my friends and then I went back and I took the program again in 2005. Something about the way Alan saw the world and expressed himself resonated deeply for me. He had high expectations of everyone around him, including himself. He was funny, brilliant, kind, wicked. He was a great teacher, a brilliant interpreter, a kind person. He was well-rounded for an interpreter - he sang classical music and raised show cats.

There is so much more I want to say and yet, when it all comes down to it, I was in his physical presence only a few times. We were Facebook friends and one night, I had a dream about him. I sent him an email and I told him how much he had touched me and that I didn't want to presume, but I just felt a strong connection to him and I wanted to thank him for his presence in my life. He wrote back and told me about his illness - he had a rare form of cancer.  He said our friendship was the kind that if we didn't see each other for 85 years, we would just pick up where we left off. What a gift!

Tragically, the world lost an incredibly talented, kind, funny, joyous human being today. Alan passed away surrounded by his family after a mighty struggle with cancer. My heart is broken right now. I regret that I didn't go to New York in the fall to see him one last time. I hate that I let "life" get in the way.

Alan, I miss you already.  

***All the links lead to articles or videos of Alan from various sources. This was my personal little tribute, but there are many more that remember Alan's work as a sign language interpreter on Broadway and in other capacities. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Letter to Myself

Dear Jean-
Please start paying more attention to your intuition. If you REALLY, REALLY don't want to do something - DON'T DO IT.  Helping your friends is a good thing, but not at your own expense. While it maybe be a self-fulfilling prophecy, it seems to happen EVERY TIME. Pay attention. I mean it. Next time, I'm going to have to pull out the big guns.

One who really does know better

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bad Moodiness

Wednesdays seem to be an uphill battle for me right now. For some reason, I am more tired on Wednesdays than any other day of the week. I don't stay up late on Tuesdays or anything. I don't have to get up early on doesn't make sense to me, but for about the last two months, I have struggled with getting up on time, getting out of the house.

Today, I had a call that I had to be on for work, but I was running late. Then, I didn't have the number and passcode I needed, so I had to pull it up on the home computer which made me even later.

After the call, I was listening to the radio on the way to work and they were talking about how the state police in Michigan have a device where they can pull all your information from your cell/smart phone in the blink of an eye - even if you haven't committed a crime.  Many folks will say, "What do you have to hide on your phone?" but that is really beside the point.  It isn't that I have things to hide or private things or even anything that would get me into minor trouble - I don't. Why are we so willing to give up our privacy/rights for the sake of convenience?

Before you cry out "HYPOCRITE!", I am aware of the fact that my presence on Facebook and here on the blog means that I have already given up a certain amount of personal privacy. This is true. But I choose where and when and how I share. Those who know me know that there is much that is NOT SAID here, not said on Facebook.  I struggle mightily with the whole thing. Where is the line?  Is it my choice?  If I had my laptop sitting in my car and got pulled over, would we say it was okay for that information to be transmitted - for no reason- to the police? Would it be okay for them to say, take my address book and my personal correspondence?  I was reminded of this quote today:

AAARGGGHH!!  Sometimes, I wish my brain would just SHUT UP.

Anyway, the day continued that way ALL DAY LONG and then finally I got to watch "American Idol" but my bad day continued and I wasn't really too impressed with any of them tonight. I guess I will have to watch it again when I'm in a better mood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I am just a big procrastinator. I didn't pick a theme. I thought about it a lot...I have a million excuses I could trot out, but the bottom line is that I just didn't do it.

What I have realized in this process is that I don't do enough of some of the things I love enough to make those themes feel relevant - which is why I want to do them. Perhaps if I get through the Book theme or the Movie theme, I will be inspired to explore more.

I am excited for a movie that is coming out soon (based on a book) called "The Help". I saw a commercial for it and right away, the cover of the book came to me and I wondered why I haven't bought it before now - sounds right up my alley - southern literature, main characters are spunky women...I wonder if the back synopsis was just not engaging enough or if the title just didn't appeal or...? Anyway, I love seeing a movie based on a book - if the premise of the movie is good, it means the book will automatically be better (at least 95% of the time). Sometimes I just want to make sure that I will care if I'm investing the time in the book. Since I don't read as much as I used to, I don't want to waste the time on something I'm not going to enjoy.  (This thought process has no logic or validity. I'm annoyed that the thought even occurs to me, but it is where I'm at right now. I NEED to carve out more reading time or at least figure out why I'm NOT...)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Blog in Search of a Theme

A friend of mine had a status update on FB that I really enjoyed. The person had said that they wanted to participate in the "30 Days of Songs" Challenge but the day 1 theme stumped them - "Favorite Song".  I think most of us feel that way when asked to say what our "FAVORITE" anything is.  We don't really like to commit in the U.S. (maybe that is just me projecting, but I think I see a trend).  My response was, "Just pick your Favorite Song TODAY." And she did!

After I saw my friend start participating in the "30 Days of Songs" Challenge (or whatever it is officially called), I realized that I had my themes. I have a hard time wandering aimlessly in BlogWorld without a theme. I get into the whole, "I had a bad/good/crappy/great day. I ate soup for lunch" thing.  That's okay occasionally, but sometimes I just want to write about something else.  I like the idea of remembering stuff...the most fun I had on my blog was a post I did that was all lists of goofy stuff. I will have to find it and repost or something.

Anyway, I decided that there could be "30 Days of Songs", "30 Days of Movies", "30 Days of Books" and probably a million more..."30 Days of Shows".  I know that I have covered some of these things in random postings over the last couple of years, but I thought that they could, at the very least, spur some remembering.  If you have been here more than once, you know that I am all over a good memory.

So, the first order of business is to choose which one to do first.  I thought about doing the Song one first, but then I didn't want to seem too much like a copycat. Then I realized that no one would care and that I was just procrastinating. Since my Poetry Month was a dismal failure, I feel like I have to make it up in some way...

Anyway, tune in tomorrow to find out what I actually decided.  And weigh in if you have a preference. I mean, I write it, but you read it. If there is a topic that spurs your interest or another "30 Days of..." that seems fun, let me know. :)

And, as always, thanks to those of you who stop by. I love knowing that we are all connecting with the world in so many diverse ways.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Still in a Rut and the Food Revolution

I'm in a rut. I've been in a rut for a long time. It's not a horrible thing - I have just been noticing more and more which means I have to get out of it. I didn't get anything done this weekend that I wanted to do - errands and things that involved leaving the house. I have been a hermit every weekend for a long time and I have been thinking that I have to start going to the movies or something. I'm okay with the hermit thing in the rainy months, but when it starts to warm up and the sun starts shining, it is good to get out a bit.

I also didn't do any art journaling this weekend, which was disappointing, but not surprising.  I hope to do some this week or next weekend.

I watched a tape of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution from last Tuesday. I'm pretty sure I wrote about him last year. I love his passion and his honest approach with people.  As I watch the shows, I hearken back to the lunches we had when I was a kid.  We lived in German during my early elementary years and went to school in the maid's quarters and in old military barracks, so we didn't have school lunches. We were able to buy milk (white milk - no flavors) and we either brought a lunch or went home for lunch.  This was best for me, anyway, because I probably wouldn't have eaten much they offered anyway.  In Panama City, Florida, I remember eating occasional school lunches, but I still didn't like much of what they had. In middle school and high school, I rarely ate lunch - I usually saved the money to buy books. But they still actually cooked food in the schools back then. In high school, in the afternoon, they baked fresh bread rolls. For a treat, my friend Jeffa and I would buy a roll and a cup of pop. You could only get soda after they had stopped serving lunches and it was only available for a period or two. We considered it a rare treat.  We complained about lunch food back then, but at least it was actual food...what a crazy world we are living in right now that we don't even know how to feed our kids healthy food and MILK.   If you haven't seen the show, the second episode is on Tuesday this week.  It is definitely thought-provoking.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Booty from Collage

Here's some photos of my new stuff from my trip to Collage on Thursday:

I didn't get a good photo of the washi tape, really, or the circus-y paper.  They will be showing up soon, though, in some pages, so you will be able to see them.  I'm excited to play around a little bit. Next, some colored washi tape. I think I will have to order the colors I want online.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Traffic Terrorism

I drove home tonight and had the worst commute I have had in a long, long time. The irony was that the traffic itself wasn't any worse, volume-wise, than any normal day.  I left work at around 6:00pm and things were pretty good for a while.

I tend to get into the lane I need to be in and stay there unless there is some huge problem. Tonight there was an accident near a merge.  I waited pretty patiently in my lane, but as I got closer to the accident, there were police, tow trucks, an ODOT truck, the car involved, people milling.  It was raining and I couldn't tell from where I was if the cars were in the lane.  I decided to move to the left lane and take my chances, knowing that there is an alternative route if I can't get back over to the right in time for my exit. I prefer to give the police as much room to work as possible.

After I moved over and traffic eased up, I waited until there was a big, open space (several car lengths between cars) and signaled right and moved over.  The driver in the car behind me was OUTRAGED and immediately started trying to get around me - not to pass me, apparently, but to be sure they got back into the lane directly in front of me. I'm fine with that - if you are a freaky, control-freak driver, I would rather you get in front of me.  I won't go into the whole detailed story of this car, but let's just say that it took them awhile to forget how I had wronged them so that they could proceed to cross 4 lanes of freeway traffic to get off at their exit because they had been so busy lane hopping and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The even scarier driving trend I have seen manifested itself for the third time this week during my nightmare commute.  It is my interpretation that folks do not actually know what the turn signal knob does or is for. I think they get bored in the car and they think that the turn signal stick on the wheel is some built-in kinesthetic toy for them to entertain themselves with until traffic starts moving again.  For the third time this week, a car in front of me turned on their turn signal to go right. Then they changed it to move to the left. Then the right. Then the left. Then nothing before finally turning the turn signal on one way and moving the opposite way.  Do people really not know that turn signals are not for communicating with the mother ship - they are supposed to share your plans of movement with other drivers.

Honestly, I could have kissed the ground when I got home.  I just started to feel really vulnerable and nervous. I'm guessing I'm just tired from the week and that it will be fine again next week.  Mass transit is starting to look more attractive...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mission Acomplished

I made myself go to Collage tonight after work. I was in the office until 7pm, so I knew I had limited time since the store was only open until 8pm. I think that was a plus for me so that I didn't feel compelled to look at e.v.e.r.y. s.i.n.g.l.e. t.h.i.n.g.

I went for the bright pink washi tape I saw in a photo on their blog, but I suspect that they had enhanced the color OR that it was all sold out by the time I got there.  For some reason, I'm not really attracted by the tapes that are just solid colors - I like the bright colors and I like the stuff that has designs.  I keep challenging myself to buy things that are "typical Jean" so that I can change up the look of some of the pages I do and whatnot, but I'm not very good at it - even when I try. I suppose I could buy something I don't particularly like, but I'm not sure I see the value in that either.

I did get some paper that was not my usual thing in terms of design - I will post photos tomorrow.  I bought one set that has circus-y stuff on it. I'm not really interested in the circus or going to the circus, movies about the circus, books about the circus (i.e. "Water for Elephants" does not interest me in the least - movie OR book even though everyone I know who has read the book LOVED IT).  I'm just trying to challenge my perspectives and broaden my range.  We'll see if it worked.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Customer Appreciation Day at Collage on Alberta

I read that tomorrow is Customer Appreciation Day at Collage!  20% off your purchases including class tuition.  I'm not sure I'm ready for a class, but I think I will try to get there today. It will be my pre-treat for completing my taxes tomorrow. Ick.

Anyway, if you are in Portland, there are two stores - one on Alberta and one is over in Woodstock, I believe.  If you want to know more, I have them in the Beautiful Blogs section on the right side of my blog - you can look for "Collage" and click on the link.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thai Tuesday

I finally had some Thai food today and it was *delicious*, as usual.  I ate too much and regretted that part, but it tasted really, really good.

When I first started working at my current job, I think I may have been to a Thai restaurant once in my life...maybe.  We used to pick up food for the staff on the weekends and the weekend crew was really big on Thai food. I finally randomly tried some curry because I got sick of trying to figure out what restaurant was close by that I could stop at for my own lunch/dinner.  We frequented this one place but after   a time when all the vegetables in the curry were still froze and the third time they gave us a "vegetarian" dish with chicken in it, n and THEN gave us attitude about it (they told us that we needed to bring the dish back to prove that we hadn't just eaten it and then wanted a refund or more food - a reasonable request if you aren't nasty about it).

After dealing with the woman, I was like, "Um, why do we keep giving our business to a restaurant that clearly doesn't care about their customers? They are nasty, they get the orders wrong every time and the food isn't even cooked sometimes."  That week, I decided to stop at a Thai restaurant I had seen as I came off the freeway every day. I had lunch there and it was love.  The staff and I got to a point where we literally were eating Thai food there 3 nights a week.

It was heart-breaking to leave my little Thai place and move to our new building. There are two Thai restaurants nearby but they just aren't the same as the little place I frequented for about 4 years.  I still go there every couple of months (like I did today) and I bring all my guests there who come for work.  We used to have Thai every Tuesday (hence the post name) and today was just a nice revisiting of an old haunt.

If you are ever in Vancouver, Washington or in Portland, Oregon, go to Thai Terrace.  They are fantastic.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Random Thoughts from Monday

With all the hit-and-run accidents that have been happening lately, including drivers hitting pedestrians and bicyclists, doesn't it seem like maybe people are missing some kind of skill or knowledge base?  Is it that they don't understand the rules of the road and then hit these people or that they don't know that if they hit someone they should stop?  Is it that so many more drivers don't have insurance or they are just idiots?  It is kind of scary to see this total lack of skill on a daily basis. Everyone can't be on their phones can they?  Is it really wise to have all those flashing yellow left turn arrows when people can barely figure out how to drive anyway?  How do people learn the new rules once they have their driver's license?  I have noticed new stuff that happens and then I go online to figure out the new rules - like for the bicycle boxes in Portland. I'm not confident that everyone looks up the new rules of the road to be sure they understand them.

Anyone else notice the proliferation of Canada Geese around this year?  They are lovely but I can't ever remember seeing so many of them and in such varied locations.  There were two just in a parking lot as I drove home the other day and I thought maybe they had lost their way. I wished I had my camera with me, but alas, I did not.  Did the Canada Geese always come here but they had more places to hide so we just didn't really see them?

I'm sure I have many more random thoughts I could share, but that's all I can remember from my day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Art Journal and Nemo

I watched "Finding Nemo" today - no reason, just popped it in and really enjoyed it. It just made me laugh and is such a sweet story with Dory and the Dad and Nemo learning to be independent.  I haven't seen it in awhile, but it hit the spot today.

Then I worked a little on my art journal. I have a piece from yesterday, too, that I worked in my other "type" of journal - the Teesha Moore 16 page journal. I haven't worked in those recently and I feel like I am doing different stuff - it comes from a different place and is a really different process.  I love doing both, but I think I have needed to figure out what it is that I am wanting to do, how I want to do it, what I expect.  I have been having fun and still want to explore all the possibilities.

Here's what I have been doing:

This is the Teesha Moore-style journal. I love the brightness of the background and the framing around the pages.  This process is usually more artful - I try to match things and change things up a bit on these pages, so this page isn't complete. I don't know what I will do with it, but it definitely needs more on it.

This is before I put any text on it. I am thinking text with white ink, but I haven't decided what I'm going to write about or if I will just put a poem or song lyrics or a quote on here. Best to wait until I know.

I got a magazine with a whole spread using this model, so you will probably see her a lot. I think she is gorgeous and quite exotic looking and they put her in a bunch of stunning colors, as well. Kind of fun, but also hard to get the background right. I struggled a bit with the background and I'm not sure I got it right, but every page can't be a masterpiece, right? It's all good.

For some reason, I like having the photos of the spread - things look one way when they are isolated, but when you put the spread together, it can take on a whole new look. Sometimes they get married together and sometimes there is nothing to unite the two pages.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Six Years In One Place

I realized this week that I have been at my current job for 6 years as of 4/4/11.  It is hard for me to relate to that - in many ways, it seems like so much longer and in other ways, I can't believe it has been six years.

I still remember the first meeting the company had when they came to Portland - it was the day after I had accepted a job coordinating interpreters at a local University. I went to the big meeting where all the interpreters were, but I had just accepted what I thought would be the last job I would ever need...who knew that in the space of a year, I would be working for a new company in a field I hadn't even dreamed of in my life.

I remember the first day so vividly - it was unlike anything I'd ever experienced and it seemed like utter chaos.  Within a few hours, I wondered if I could go back and get my old job back. It took me some time and I realized that I was supposed to be there - it was going to be the challenge that would never stop being a challenge for me - how to maintain calm and composure in a state of constant change. As I meet other people who work for other companies in our industry, I realize that the industry has a lot of chaos and each company (as any workplace) has its own challenges.  That knowledge really helps when it gets hard or crazy because I know that at least I know our world and our special brand of challenge and I know, for the most part, how to navigate through it.

I must say that I have learned and done things I would never have thought I could, would do and I have found skills and abilities in myself that I never imagined. I miss interpreting every day, but I haven't given it up completely and I never will.  I like being challenged regularly although I could live without SOME of the challenges. It is never boring there and that keeps me on my toes. Some days I wish for a little boredom, but looking back, I know I made the right decision.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Realization

I went to see "Billy Elliot" last night - the show I had expected to interpret and then had to cancel and then my offsite canceled, but I had already asked someone to take over for me.  For a couple of days, there was a part of me that was a bit irritated that the offsite was canceled and I had given up the show.  I think I just didn't want to miss out on the fun and this was a new show, so I was a bit disappointed to lose the opportunity although I knew everything was in extremely capable hands (literally).

I was so HAPPY as I was watching the show and the interpreters because it was EXACTLY the right thing.  The interpreters were a perfect match to the show and each other and it was just right.  It was one of those funny moments when I was like, "Doh! This all worked out exactly as it was supposed to!"  It was such a pleasure to watch them work, to enjoy the show and to just trust that sometimes I don't know why things happen the way that they do, but it is all heading to the good place.  I wasn't supposed to do this show. The right people were there, doing it, enjoying it and doing a great job.

I'm not really explaining myself well, I don't think, but I know what I mean...I guess that's the point. I just figured something out about myself and it is all good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Art Journal Catch Up

I finally took photos of my art journal pages from a couple of weekends ago (I think that's when it was).  I kept moving my camera around and then when I was ready and wanting to take some photos, I couldn't find the dang thing.

I still feel like there is a lot I need to do with all of these pages to "finish" them, but I'm not there yet, so I'm just making the pages and enjoying the process.  That's important, too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Passing Up an Opportunity

Sweet Honey in the Rock was here tonight doing a concert.  When I first heard about it, I was scheduled to interpret "Billy Elliot" tomorrow night, so I didn't think I could go.  I sort of resigned myself to it and then I was scheduled to go out of town for an offsite meeting for work and had to ask someone else to do "Billy Elliot", so I really knew that I couldn't go to Sweet Honey.

The offsite got postponed and I realized I could go to the show, but for some reason I hesitated.  I LOVE them - they are one of the groups that I still would pay money to see live.  I'm not a concert person really - nowadays it is too loud and I just don't really enjoy most concerts.  Sweet Honey is different, but I still decided not to go. The last time I went, I really enjoyed it, but I also know that the group has been reconfigured a bit - a couple of members left and were replaced - maybe that's part of it. I'm afraid that I will put all these expectations on it and disappoint myself...

Anyway, I'm sure they were brilliant. I don't regret not going, but I think the next time they are here, I'm going to just do it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Impulse Control

So, I left work today determined to go to Collage on Alberta and buy some of the Washi tape that I have been coveting. Just a couple of rolls. So, I'm in my car, cruising along I-5. The traffic is super-light for this time of day.  I'm approaching my exit. I can feel the impulse - "just go home".  I want the tape. I can do some art tonight. I want to. I have been thinking about it for three days. "Just go home. The traffic is light. It was like you were supposed to head home." I'm staring at the sign for my exit - 1/4 mile now.  I'm not slowing down. No turn signal. "Just go home." I'm getting irritated with myself - for heaven's sake - stopping will take 30 minutes max.

"Okay... You don't have to go straight home, but you should get to the other side of town. Why else would the traffic be so light. Go to Uwajimaya. They probably have Washi tape. It's right on the way." I drive on, headed for Uwajimaya. I get to my side of town and start thinking about where I need to cut over to get to the store. "I bet the store is crowded this time of day. Remember the last time you stopped at Trader Joe's at this time of day? Packed."

So, I'm sure it will not come as a surprise to anyone that I did not stop anywhere on the way home. I just went home. I'm not upset about it, I just think it is funny how easily I can quell my own impulses sometimes. I'm sure I will get there when I'm supposed to.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Standing on Principle

So, I don't watch "CSI" or "SVU" or "Criminal Minds" or "Bones" or any of those other shows. The reason for this is that I can't bear to watch even the first five minutes of gruesomeness. I have a couple of shows I like - "Blue Bloods" tends to be a little different and I really like Nathan Fillion on "Castle".  I have enjoyed "Castle" for the most part, but tonight - just a few minutes ago, in fact, they went there. The first five minutes grossness that turned me off all those other programs.  I just turned it off. I refuse to be exposed to that kind of ick - even on a show that I have watched and sometimes enjoyed. I stopped watching most television because of the ick factor.

I'm just going to stick with my happy "American Idol" and "Amazing Race" - happy people doing some cool stuff. No bloody bodies, no grossness, no shock-value ick.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Drawing a Blank

I was tempted to do some art today but I watched a movie instead. Not very inspiring. Still feeling kind of icky - I have a virus or something and today I just felt all jittery and couldn't really settle on anything. Disappointing, but there you go.

I am going to try to stop by Collage on Alberta this week - I have developed a new obsession with Japanese decorative masking tape. I saw on their Facebook page that they just got a new shipment in. I bought some from the Idea-ology collection at another art place and I fell in love with it. I want to get some in PINK and Yellow. :) And maybe some designs.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Passing It On

Since two of the blogs I follow pretty regularly linked to this site, I went there, read the post and now I am recommending that you, too, read it.  You don't have to be an artist to incorporate the principles - and it is fun, too. The blog I first saw it on was D'Blogala and the second one was Kelly Kilmer's.

There were so many parts that I loved that I decided not to list them here and just let you go and enjoy the presentation for yourself.  The one thing I did "steal" was a quote from the presentation:

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love." - Goethe

Isn't that a great quote?

The biggest bummer of today is that I left my camera at work so I can't post any art journal photos this weekend. :(

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Beginnings

I am always leery of April Fool's Day. I don't like practical jokes, so I don't play them.  The way I see it, if I can't take it well, I can't go up against other people.  I can enjoy other people's jokes when they aren't ON ME...

Now as I enter into April, I'm trying to decide if I want to do the whole "April is National Poetry Month" thing or if I can figure out my own theme. The Nablopomo theme is SPROUT this month which I don't think I can really relate to...I guess we will see.

Happy April.


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