Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Tick Tick Boom" and the Past

I think it is such an interesting thing to know that we only really know our own reality. We sometimes have glimpses into other people's lives, worlds, beliefs, but mostly, we have our own experiences and we think they are pretty normal. At least that has been true for me. I never stopped to think about the fact that I spent my younger life in some pretty unconventional ways with some pretty unconventional people. Sometimes, there was danger and luckily, I was too naive to know the reality of those dangers.

As I have been rehearsing for the touring production of "Kinky Boots" and as I went to see Triangle Production's "Tick Tick Boom" (written by Jonathan Larson of "Rent" fame), I have been looking back at some of my youthful life experiences and sort of realizing, not only is my life really, really different now, but I have finally come to understand that my early twenties were fairly a-typical. I'm fine with that as it made me the person I am today. I miss some of the spontaneity of those times as well as some of the wildness. I wasn't really wild, but I was in wild circumstances, at times, and I was able to go with it.  These days, I feel very married to my rules and conventions, my routines, my predictable paths.

"Tick Tick Boom" was a really good reminder of those days. I could especially relate to this song, "Louder than Words":

Why do we play with fire?
Why do we run our finger through the flame?
Why do we leave our hand on the stove
Although we know we're in for some pain?

Oh, why do we refuse to hang a light
When the streets are dangerous?
Why does it take an accident
Before the truth gets through to us?

Cages or wings
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds
Fear or love, baby?
Don't say the answer
Actions speak louder than words

Why should we try to be our best
When we can just get by and still gain?
Why do we nod our heads
Although we know
The boss is wrong as rain?

Why should we blaze a trail
When the well worn path
Seems safe and so inviting?
How as we travel, can we
See the dismay
And keep from fighting?

Cages or wings?
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds
Fear or love, baby?
Don't say the answer
Actions speak louder than words

What does it take
To wake up a generation?
How can you make someone
Take off and fly?

If we don't wake up
And shake up the nation
We'll eat the dust of the world
Wondering why, why

Why do we stay with lovers
Who we know, down deep
Just aren't right?
Why would we rather
Put ourselves through Hell
Than sleep alone at night?

Why do we follow leaders who never lead?
Why does it take catastrophe to start a revolution?
If we're so free, tell me why?
Someone tell me why
So many people bleed?

Cages or wings?
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds
Fear or love, baby?
Don't say the answer
Actions speak louder than
Louder than, louder than
Louder than, louder than

Cages or wings?
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds
Fear or love baby?
Don't say the answer
Actions speak louder
Louder than, louder than, ooh

They speak louder
Louder than, louder than, ooh
Actions speak louder than

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Where Do I Begin?

When I was in high school, I used to write a ton when I was unhappy or thinking about stuff or feeling lonely or just experiencing the usual teenage angst.  When I was happy, when I was feeling like life was going my way, there was so much less to write about. Not because it wasn't important, but because I was busy living instead of writing about living.

These days, I find that the same is true. I am finding ways to inhabit my days. Not in any special way, not in super memorable ways. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.  But importantly, I am inhabiting my life.  For a long time, I didn't feel like I was.

I have been noticing this in large and small ways.  One funny thing was that I noticed that for a long time, I didn't really have any pictures of myself - either with people or alone. That seems weird, but in this age of selfies and digital photos, it seemed notable in some way.  Then suddenly, a couple of months ago, in some moments of extreme joy, photos started appearing. Smiling, happy photos. Photos where I am me and not afraid to show my true self. I know it sounds a little narcissistic. That's not my intention. I just felt like I disappeared for a while. And now, I'm back.

Friends, life is good. It isn't always easy. It isn't always fun. But life is good.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Good Times - Ashland 2014

 Christopher Robinson, Todd Agan and I at the Bowmer after interpreting "The Sign in Sydney Brustein's Window". Intense show, intense experience. Fantastic. Makes me miss being "just" an interpreter.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Wonder

Is it really such a bad thing to see the world through rose-colored glasses?

I should read up on the origin of the saying...

Vulnerability in Sharing

I realized at some point that I did not feel comfortable sharing all the little things that make me happy. Or all the thoughts that travel briefly through my mind and then leave again. Half the time, I think "who cares about what you have to say?" and the other half of the time, I don't want other people to be privvy to my inner most thoughts.

Fickle, right?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

100 HappyDays Day 2: iPhone for work

When I started working at my place of business almost 10 years ago, I was given a TMobile Sidekick  II for work purposes. It was an early precursor to the smart phones of today. I loved that stupid thing. Easy to use - lots of features. My hands didn't feel too big for it, I could hit all the keys...there WERE keys.  After 5 years, I still had my sidekick - in nearly mint condition, until TMobile turned off the Danger network. They got bought out by Microsoft or something and they no longer supported the sidekick network. I literally had the thing on until the moment they turned off the service one evening at midnight.

Luckily, I was in California, working at my corporate headquarters. Everyone in IT was snickering at me for being one of the last holdouts, but they seemed to understand my reluctance to change.  I was given a Blackberry Curve in exchange for my beloved Sidekick II.  It was not a love match.

Blackberry is small and has keys, yes. But it took me a long time to figure out how to TURN IT ON and OFF. Embarrassing, yes, but honestly, I tried everything and apparently, I just didn't hold down the buttons long enough. My fingers are too big for the buttons, so I never could really use it for sending emails or texts. Everything about it seemed like more work. And Blackberry didn't support AIM or if it did, it was too difficult to figure out. My love affair with smart phones was over.

Now, almost exactly four years later, I have been forced to give up Blackberry. For some reason, about two weeks ago, the phone decided to stop delivering any email messages. It still reminds me of all my appointments, but no emails. And texts are intermittant and randomly disappear for no reason. I have a weird text from a former student from 3 years ago, but an employee message from last week disappeared. No rhyme or reason to any of it.

When I contacted my IT guy and told him that Blackberry was acting up, his response was, "GAH! You STILL have a Blackberry? Let's get rid of that. I will send you an iPhone. What color do you want?"

I didn't expect a color option but I asked for yellow. Or pink. I thought those would be happy colors. After the iPhone was sent to the building we were in 5 years ago, it finally arrived today.  I was all prepared for my yellow iPhone - almost excited, but daunted by learning a new and foreign technology.  When I opened the box, I found this:

Although it isn't yellow or pink, I think it suits me perfectly. It is a toned down version of the color of my current handbag, just a little less...bright.

So, today, this is Day 2 of my #100happydays.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lemmings and 100HappyDays

I generally avoid joining in the line of people leaping into memes or activities for whatever random reason, however, as I get older, I am coming to see that there is a beauty in participating in something that other people find useful, fun, beneficial, etc.  I also like having a bit of a challenge to keep me on track.

So, call me a lemming, I don't care.  A friend posted a link to 100HappyDays on Facebook today and it intrigued me - I think it was the Happy and the YELLOW!!  Either way, I'm going to try it. It asks people to use a hashtag, which I still don't really understand. What if no one else has the same hashtag as you? It seems like people are creating them all the time...  Well, I'm not letting that hold me back. I'm all over stuff that helps me focus on being grateful and happy in the life I have.

#100HappyDays Day 1 for Jean:

My February Snow Day List for 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snowpocolypse 2014

Seems like every couple of years we have a snow "event" and somehow, I never learn my lesson.

They thought the snow was going to come in at around 3:00pm, but it started WAY EARLY.  I finally left work at 1:30pm and made it home by 6:30pm.  I had music, radio news, a good heater, a full tank of gas and lots of patience.  I just decided I would make it home safe and try not to stress out.

I drove from Vancouver, WA to my home via I-5 South to 405. I couldn't get onto Sunset Highway because the onramp was filled with spin outs after 2 hours sitting at a standstill on the top deck of the Fremont Bridge. Ugh.  When I realized that the Frement lane I was in was not moving (for like an hour), I moved over and then heard on the radio that there was an accident just on the west side of the tunnel, so no wonder!  So I took the 6th Street exit as it was getting dark out and drove Barbur Boulevard around to the Burlingham Fred Meyer and took that road up behind the Fred Meyer to go down to Beaverton Hillsdale Highway and then all the way home.

I have photos on my Blackberry, but the email function isn't working, so I'm trying to figure out how to get them transferred off the phone.  It was 16 degrees out when I got home. There were about 4-5 inches of snow and it was still coming down.  Tomorrow looks to be another mess, so we'll see what it looks like in the morning.

Be safe out there. I will be packing an overnight bag to keep in the car for next time. You'd think I would have already done that. Denial is a powerful thing.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Art Projects

So, right now, I'm working on the Brene Brown/Oprah LifeCourse - "The Gifts of Imperfection", which includes some art journaling. I don't think I will always post what I do as it is supposed to be very personal work, but for now, I'm willing to share some of what I'm doing.  I'm also doing "The Documented Life" Project but I'm behind and I already didn't know how to do something and did it wrong already. I'm trying to get over myself about that (this is related to the class that I don't want to pay a monthly fee for).  I'm also working with another art journal which is helping me to get over the problems I have been having with "The Decorated Life" planner (from here on out, TDL planner).

Anyway, here are some works in progress photos:

This is the original composition book style

This is a side by side comparison of the front of one decorated comp book

Back side of comp books

Yellow book - glued pages. Compared with regular comp book

The Gifts of Imperfection

Permission slips

The Decorated Life planner (TDL)

More TDL Planner

Mighty moleskine with washi tape on the edges

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beginning 2014 on an Artful Note

Yesterday, I committed to myself that I would have a low-screen day (less time on computer) and do some art, read and maybe watch a movie or something.  I did manage to have less time on the computer, I did some art - started working on my planner and a new journal. I put in the movie version of "Les Miserables" and worked away.  I took some photos but I have to find the usb cord that goes with my camera - the one I have here is too big.

First, "Les Miserables" is good every. single. time. It just is. The only reason I didn't bawl was because I was working on my art journal and planner.  I finished putting washi tape on the edge of the planner - it looks cool, although I looked at the photos of some of the other participants and I have no idea how  they got them all so even and perfect. I have a couple of pages that frustrated me to no end, but I decided that a little imperfection was good for me.

Then, I decided I wanted to access a class that was showing some techniques for decorating the planner, but I found that the hosting place where I need an account to access the class (supposed to be free) just changed to $25/month. I'm just not into paying monthly fees for things like that, so I struggled mightily with myself before deciding it wasn't worth it.

I'm kind of excited about this art stuff that I'm doing now - it just feels good again. I'm really focused on letting the activity itself be the part that is meaningful - not just the end result. Imperfections are allowed.  It's such a stretch for me, but I'm getting there.

Today, the Brene Brown ecourse started. "The Gifts of Imperfection". I'm doing it again and taking the second part, as well. I'm very excited to do this again - more time and more commitment to it this time.

Photos later this week, I hope.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Behind Already but Giving Myself a Break

I'm starting some art projects and some other stuff and I'm already a bit behind. I sometimes can't keep up when I'm trying to get ready for a show, so I just decided to give myself the extra time. I want to be sure to photograph my progress on some of it and I have already missed a couple of steps, but it's all good.

I'm disappointed that I can't do one of the classes I was hoping to do.  It was not very expensive, but you have to sign up for a NING account - they used to be free accounts but now it is $25/month to have an account. I just can't see spending that money, even though I really had wanted to take the class. The instructor originally thought that NING provided FREE accounts, but turns out that NING just changed and revoked all free services. Kind of a bummer.

Anyway, I hope to be posting some photos over the weekend. I'm feeling the itch to get my hands a little dirty.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today was my dad's birthday. I miss him.

Here's a photo from way back Mom, me and my Dad.  My sister must have been nearby, but she didn't make it into this photo. I'm not sure why my mother looks so pissed off... My dad didn't like to be in photos much, so there aren't a ton of them.

I had a show today, as well. It went okay. It was "Evita", which is not one of my favorites. I decided I probably won't interpret it the next time it comes around. Just too many cons - even though the cast was very good.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good Memories after 18 Years

Jean and Roby at Ecola State Park in Oregon. Circa 1989.  
It is incomprehensible to me that Roby died 18 years ago.  I didn't know how I would make it through those first minutes, hours, days, months.  The years pass and I never forget, but I do have access to all the good things about him, all the good times we had.  I've never had a day when I woke up and thought about calling him before I remembered that he was gone. I've never accidentally dialed the phone to call him before realizing. It is always there, in my blood, in the skin and bones of who I am as a human being.  But again, so is all the goodness, all the humor, all the laughter, the great stories, the dumb things we did because we were young.  All of that is woven into me. I'm so glad to have known him. I'm so glad to feel confident that he knew how much I loved him and how much love he brought to me in his short life. I know that he knew that before he died. I know he felt me with him until and after his last breath. I know that he knows I remember him every day. What else could I really ask for?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Going Places - Che in the touring company of "Evita"

I'm interpreting a show on Thursday night and we got to see it tonight. I'm not a big fan of "Evita" or Andrew Lloyd Weber, per se, but the leading man in the show - I think his name is Josh Young (I will check my program) has a stunning voice. I read that he was nominated for a Tony in 2012 for playing Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar". From the moment I heard his voice, I thought, "This guy is going places!"  He was just fantastic and made the show that much better.

The whole cast was very talented and did a good job - I enjoyed the show. There was more dancing than I remember from before, so I'm wondering if that is part of the revival - maybe a new twist to be adding bits of the Argentine Tango and some other dances.

I'm going to keep my eye out for this actor. I'm sure there is more to come from him.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Out Like a Light

Wow - I totally crashed last night before I could write a post.  I was watching the last disc of Season 7 of "24" and I fell asleep. Who does that?  Sometimes, if the black between scenes goes too long, I fall asleep.  I think it is kind of funny, but also weird how you are totally involved in something and then ZZZZZ.  Hopefully, I'm not coming down with anything.

Anyway, it was a pretty busy weekend - professional forum on Saturday, some other stuff I had to do, lots of driving. Yesterday I had rehearsal for a show and then took some time to work on it at home.  I'm not loving "Evita" this time - it is a revival, so they did make some minor changes in the CD, but who knows what the staging will look like. I will see it tomorrow and find out.

Anyway, this weekend I will be starting back with my eCourses and doing some art. I'm excited and a little bit nervous about it.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It was a good day

Attended a professional forum today - lots of friendly faces, some new, some familiar.  It was good to feel like an interpreter again.  Great conversations and insights all around.  Even though it is a chaotic time in the sign language interpreting profession, there are good discussions yet to be had.

That's all, really. I had a great drive to Salem and back, listened to "Evita" in preparation for interpreting this coming week.  I've kind of decided I'm done with this show after this - it just isn't melodic or enjoyable for me at this point.  I'm sure someone else will enjoy doing it in the future.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Blast from the Past

It has taken me a while to use this gift I got last year - I think I was afraid it wouldn't work...  It was a slide converter so that I could digitize some of the photos from my childhood.  Most of the pictures from my early childhood are slides that my family would pull out once a year or so, but that I haven't seen in more than 10 years - maybe 15 years.

Here is my favorite picture so far. It has lived in my memory for a long time, so I'm happy that it was close to the way I remembered it.  This was from a day at Cataract Lake (sp) in Colorado from when I was about 4 or 5 years old.  The story goes that we went to the lake and started fishing. The fish were practically jumping out of the water onto bare hooks and before my parents knew it, I was catching my limit and theirs. They didn't have the heart to make me throw back my fish, so most of the fish on the line were caught by me (hence the gigantic grin on my face).  Good memories of a good day. 

My styling mom is on the left, me in the middle and my sister on the right.  One of my all-time favorite photos of us. The only bummer is how few photos my dad was in. He was always the photographer (by design, I suspect).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Art 2014 Style

I have a couple of things I'm working on this January- I'm giving myself time and space - not pressure.  The first thing I'm doing is a journal/calendar called "A Documented Life". Basically, it is a Moleskine journal/planner that you can decorate, add stuff to, etc.  There is a group of bloggers leading and I thought it was a fun idea.  I love calendars, so I love the idea of trying to make my calendar my own.

The other thing I'm doing, I think I mentioned already, is Brene Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection" ecourse - part I and II.  I did part I the first time, but I was behind from the get-go and struggled to get my head in the right place.  I decided it was worth re-doing it with some friends and exploring some of the issues that are in my life right now.

It's funny but people have been talking about 2014 a little differently than last year. It's almost like we all can just feel the goodness this year. It's time.  Maybe I'm just noticing more. Who knows?  Whatever it is, I like it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year - Welcome 2014!

First day of a new year. No resolutions, just intentions. 


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