Wednesday, December 31, 2008
A year ago was my second-to-last day at the historic inn where I spent three years before leaving for the Job of Doom. Every New Year's they'd have a big party with music and food and I'd usually work the front desk that night so I could be part of the celebration. Guests would give me free food, champagne, and the same crowd came year after year; it felt like one big family. I miss that this year, tonight I don't have any plans and I don't even know if I'll stay up until the clock strikes midnight. Usually I would work the morning shift the next day, too, to either wish people a happy new year and a safe trip home or in last year's case, to say goodbye to everyone I'd worked with over the years.
However, tomorrow morning I wake up to...well, nothing. Just me and my choices. I've resolved to write a gratitude journal for the entire year of 2009. I know this will be a great year. I've been blessed, even with the hardships I've encountered, that my last few years have all been wonderful, even if parts of them were painful at the time. Then again, I think it's all in the attitude we have towards things. If you can see a crappy experience as a chance to learn about yourself and grow, then nothing seems too terrible.
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Day one involved tears, a stomach ache, a hotel in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and lots of surfing of really terrible radio channels. Day two involved ice on the roads and our rental car, rain, and traffic in NYC that instantly reminded me why I don't live up yonder any longer. Day three, Christmas Day, involved way too much food, but luckily I was able to keep my cookie consumption very low. Day four involved seeing family I haven't seen for a long time and doing lots of talking, here's a pic of me with Anthony and my Dad's gal pal, Mel:
Day four involved rain and fog and some delicious thin crust pizza, and I was instantly reminded why I miss the North so much. This day also involved incredibly overpriced spaghetti in the Hamptons. Long story. I had enough pasta on this trip to choke a horse, as they say. Day five involved fog and a tough decision - whether or not to take off early and skip some previously planned engagements. We left and ended up spending the night in Virginia. Day six was six more hours of driving but with a prize at the end: cuddly cats (except Coco was a bit standoffish) and my own bed to sleep in. It's good to be home.
Today I had life coaching and firmed up my dates for my seminar and worked on a timeline for when I have to have certain things done. I did a great job of being present and enjoying myself on the trip, I want to maintain that focus on the "now" while I'm here trying to make this life for myself.
After coaching I called around to find some places that would be appropriate to hold my shindig and then Anthony and I went for a short hike because it's so warm and beautiful here!
This is the view from the parking lot at Water Rock Knob, off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This is my truck enjoying the view, too!
So warm and sunny, we stopped on the way to the hike to sun ourselves.
Only one day left in 2008, a darn fine year.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Phew, sorry about that. Tomorrow morning we leave to go to both New York and Connecticut for the holidays. I will be meeting Anthony's siblings and mom and and friends and such, and he'll be meeting my dad and grandmother and uncle and the parents of one of my friends who have been kind enough to extend their home to us for a night.
Today, however, we had to clean, pack, etc. Oh, and I had to make a lasagna because we were celebrating Christmas with my mom and step dad a few days early, since we'll be away on Christmas day. Actually, making the lasagna and doing the celebrating was really fun, not stressful at all.
And I love presents! This was a little silly something my mom gave me:
I was incredibly excited when I saw this. I know, I know, I'm easily excited. I absolutely love this kind of paper - it's black....
....when you draw on the black...
...the swirly colors underneath show up. Yes, I love swirly colors. I haven't gotten to play with paper like this since about the third grade!
We gave Mom and Joe one of the mirror-windows that Anthony made and a sampler plate of the cookies we'll be bringing up north to distribute:
This is what I did for six hours on Saturday. Baked and rolled and thumb-printed and wrapped and sprinkled and, phew, it was a long day. I made ginger cookies, rugalech (which came out flat!), almond shortbread cookies, magic peanut butter middles (the chocolate ones), and raspberry oatmeal bars. They are all packed safely away in tins. Which is a relief, because I think I've had one too many cookies this holiday season and I do not need anymore!
And this is the kick-butt lasagna I made. Mmmmm. Lasagna is a Christmas tradition in my family and I've taken over the honor of making the main dish. There is enough spinach in this thing to make Popeye do somersaults. It was delicious. We left most at mom and Joe's since we're leaving tomorrow.
Lastly, I finished this tree project by painting the frame and gluing the glass to the wood:
That's all for now...my attic door is being yelled at and I think I might need to go intervene. Happy Holidays, I probably won't get back to blogging until Tuesday, December 30.
Friday, December 19, 2008
This box was once filled with a variety of teas, and I've kept it for a couple years now because I thought I'd be able to use it for something. Today that something finally occurred to me. I painted the squares different colors and the cross bars between them white. The plan (though I must warn you, almost all of my plans, especially art-project related, turn out differently than I anticipated) is to make a polymer clay tree or leaf for each box, and up top to make a polymer clay background with a yarn tree. We'll see.
Last night I did not sleep well. I was awake for two hours in the middle of the night. Finally I got out of bed and wrote down some of the things that were on my mind plus ten things I am grateful for. It keeps dawning on me to me to start a gratitude journal, so hopefully soon I'll get my hand to pick up a pen and start doing that on a regular basis.
I woke up this morning still feeling anxious and with many things on my mind, mostly pertaining to the workshop I want to hold. I called a few places to find a space, I think I have one, although it's not a free one. I am noticing my constant struggle to find purpose or meaning or achievement in my day. I'd like to be like an animal - my cats do as they wish, sleep when they feel like it, eat when they're hungry, play when the mood strikes them. We humans are so full of thoughts and choices and ideas and goals. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes I just have to remind myself to SIT STILL and just breathe.
Today the weather is choosing to succumb to peer pressure and be just like the days before it; on and off rain, fog, with warm temperatures for this time of year. We went for a walk and this is how it went: Started out pretty dry, with some drops here and there. Got rainier, had to put our hoods up. Got really rainy, to the point where Anthony asked me if I wanted to turn back. I said no, I preferred to finish the loop. Shortly thereafter the sun popped out for a moment and wouldn't you know it - a faint rainbow. Moments later there was more drizzle and the rainbow disappeared from view. Time passed, the rain cleared again and the rainbow reappeared, much brighter, bolder, and clearer than it had been. It did fade away again, but at the very end of the loop, almost back to the vehicle, both the rain and the rainbow made one last showing.
Prepare yourself for a cheesy metaphor, okay? This walk reminded me of life, particularly of the journey I'm currently embarking on. I decided to start even though I'm not completely sure what's going to happen, or even if I can even make the whole trip without turning back. Things get rougher, sometimes so bad I wonder if I should have started this in the first place. After waiting it out for a while, something beautiful happens that makes me think it was all worth it. Shortly thereafter, the beauty fades and I am once again cast into dark clouds and doubt. That is, until all of a sudden, something even more wonderful happens, convincing me everything will be all right for good this time. Of course, that's not true, either. Both the good and the bad, as we perceive them, are always around us. It's really about which we choose to look for and if we're willing to look for anything in the first place.
Today I got my last pay check from work. This is it, now I'm really on my own. I hope I can see the rainbow-covered part of life as often as possible.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Today I wasn't nearly as productive as yesterday, although I did work on some of the Christmas cookie dough I'll need for my baking extravaganza this weekend, and I picked up some tins to put the cookies into once I'm done.
During my life coaching session last Tuesday I decided I'd hold a little workshop called "Living Joyously on a Budget", because I have so much experience concerning that particular subject. Okay, I'm not so sure that I "decided" to hold one, but my life coach brought up the subject when we were discussing a piece I'd written about it, and it sort of grew from there. This is why I have a life coach! So she can encourage me and give me good ideas. It has really taken this life coaching process to help me see that some of the things I do naturally, such as listening to others and being interested in helping them live a happier life, budgeting, writing, I wish I could think of something else right now, but I can't, could actually be helpful to others.
I take my talents for granted, that's for sure. In fact, I think we all do. We think that if it's easy for us to run a five-minute mile it must be a snap for everyone. We think that if are spectacular proof-readers it's no big deal. And if we can make kick-ass balloon animals, well jeez, a four-year-old could do that, right? Not necessarily. We need to acknowledge and utilize our talents, that's why we were born with them!
I'm doing all the ground work for the workshop now, writing up on outline of what I'll cover, emailing to find out about spaces for rent that I can use to hold this hoe-down, writing up worksheets I'd like to hand out. I'm writing about it here and telling people, so I guess I'm really serious about it. I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit scared of public speaking, mostly because I turn a shade of red normally reserved for mid-life crisis convertibles. The worst part is everyone can tell I'm embarrassed, which makes me feel even more terrible. At any rate, I'd like this to be a group activity with lots of interaction and other people talking. I hope I don't throw up. Or worse, cry.
Honestly, I think I will be good at this. I think I have good ideas and all of this is happening for a reason. I might even be able to find some people to help one on one with this subject, and maybe I'll bring in a little bit of money and can pretend like I have a job!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A few weeks ago an email appeared in my inbox from my mom and step dad's email address, titled "Fw:Recipe". Joe was kind and thoughtful enough to email his sister to ask her for a recipe he enjoyed as a...boy or man or something and wanted to taste once again. As soon as the recipe was received, it was immediately sent to me, since I'm the only one in the family who can prepare a food item if it doesn't involve the microwave. Okay, okay, I'm not trying to be cruel here, both my mom and step dad are highly capable of using the toaster, too.
I'm not kidding when I say I'm very happy that Joe assumed I would be willing to make these cookies for him, and also assumed I'd be capable of taking on the task. He loves food and I love making it for him, so it's a good partnership. Not to mention the $20 he kicked in so I could buy the laundry list of ingredients needed, which included Maraschino cherries and raisins.
It was an arduous process, mostly because I didn't have a picture to look at. I prefer looking up recipes online to getting them written down or mailed to me because if I can see what it's supposed to turn out like I know where to start.
At any rate, here's step 132, after the dough is made, chilled, rolled, flattened, sweared at, thrown on the floor, picked up, has the cat hair picked out of it...um, wait, you didn't hear that from me. After you've got your square of dough you press all of the ingredients into it, like so:
Then is the really hard part - rolling it into thirds without losing all of the stuffing and while there are two cats threading themselves between your legs. It should (I hope!) look like this:
Then I baked them and after they were cooled, sliced them into bars:
They're supposed to have powdered sugar on them, but I was out, hopefully they're still good without it!
After that project I got back to my art project. My concept was a polymer clay background with a yarn tree with polymer clay leaves on it in the foreground. Here is a closeup of the leaves I made:
And this is the background:
Both of those items were baked in my very busy oven to harden them. After that I assembled the project:
And put it in the shadow box I bought the other day:
I'm not so sure I'm finished with it yet. When I am I'll glue the glass on, but I'm not ready to make it permanent yet.
Phew! Time to go get ready to bring the cookies over to the 'rents house...and get a free dinner. I love free dinners. (In case anyone feels like sending me one.)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I am not a very good shopper. I like food shopping and art-supply shopping, but that's about it. By the end of this particular outing I was woozy and tired and hungry and grumpy. Now I'm home eating dinner and feeling too lazy to take a picture of the art project I'm working on in order to post it here.
Who would have thought that once I was out of a job I'd be even busier and less likely to get to my blog first thing? Oh well, tomorrow I will have pictures of my project and maybe pictures of some Christmas cookies if I get working on them...
Monday, December 15, 2008
I had a nice weekend and a nice Monday (Ha! When is the last time you heard me say I had a nice Monday?) On both Saturday and Monday I hung out with my mom and we visited some various communities with nice arts and crafts shops - it really inspired me. Today we went to a big craft store to which I had a gift certificate (thanks, Dad!) and I stocked up on some yarn and polymer clay, and I bought a shadow box frame for a new project idea...
I'm feeling good about this week, I'm going to be doing some Christmas cookie baking and lots of art, plus on our hunt today we discovered two more publishers that appear to produce the kind of book format that would work for my little beauty, so I'll look up the details on submitting to them.
I'm exhausted now from my long day and have to do some more computer work in preparation for our trip up north next week. NEXT WEEK!!! I haven't been to Connecticut in four years, I cannot wait to see it! And of course my family. Not to mention the fact that I'm going to eat pizza. Yes, we have pizza in North Carolina, but come on, it's not real pizza (no offense intended). I will probably consume pizza for as many meals as I possibly can, including breakfast and midnight snacks, I promise I'll take pictures. Maybe I'll make art out of it.
Friday, December 12, 2008
You know how it's been, oh, 20 weeks since I submitted my stuff to Ten Speed Press? Well, it turns out they're up for sale and no one has been in charge for months. So my beautiful idea is sitting on somebody's desk somewhere, wasting away. Better than being eaten by those rabid badgers as I'd feared, I suppose.
I worked on this tree AGAIN today. Version 17 zillion. Now it has polymer clay mountains and sky.
It's still not finished, though. More work later.
Also, I started another blog today. It's through my local paper and I haven't figured out a way to link directly to it from here yet, but when I do I'll post it.
It's almost six on a Friday night and I don't exactly have much planned for the weekend...maybe some cookie baking in preparation for the holiday season? Maybe some more napping? Oh, which reminds me, I'm not napping nearly as much as I thought I would. Perhaps I only dreamed of napping because I couldn't, but now that I can I don't need to?
One of life's great mysteries...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I think I have a good excuse for blaming the rain. Wanna hear it? Okay, this area has been in a drought for the last few years; in fact it started shortly after I moved to the area. Therefore, I've become accustomed to experiencing and enjoying mostly sunny and dry Western North Carolina days. That means I can go outside and be active and enjoy the sun almost every day. For the last few days this hasn't been an option. Okay, I did go walk yesterday, but where was my friend the sun??? I know, I know, we're very short on water and I am selfish. But I am also cranky, so now is not a good time to bring that up!!
I think I may also be cranky because last night I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. I LOVED this book. I am convinced I should be very good friends with the author, Elizabeth Gilbert (bet she hears that 12 times a day! "Oh, Elizabeth, I feel like I know you! We should be best friends! Please love me!) Reading this book has greatly increased my desire to meditate regularly, so last night before bed I did so, but it made me feel all wacky and disoriented. Isn't meditating supposed to have the opposite effect? I fell asleep while meditating and then woke up and then went back to sleep but in a funny position, so when I woke up my legs were asleep and I was immediately convinced they'd be that way forever, so I freaked out and got up and walked around and then finally went back to bed, though I woke up quite a few more times.
Wait, where am I going with this? Oh, right, I'm cranky and it's not my fault. In my crankiness I did continue to work on this project, though.
And then I got super creative, or something, and now it looks like this:
And I had some leftover paint, so I also started this project:
And then I blogged while I ate lunch. Hey, maybe I'm not as cranky and unproductive as I was claiming.
The thing is, what the heck am I producing?? What am I going to do with this weird art? Who is ever going to be interested in reading anything I write?
I know, I know, it's normal to worry about this stuff. Us creative types have to freak out every once in a while (at least three to four times an hour) to feel like we're leading a meaningful life.
I do have something to look forward to, because the rain seems to have stopped for long enough for me to take a walk, even if the sun isn't out.
And by the way, being at home being unproductive and grumpy is, oh, ten trillion times better than being at work and being unproductive in grumpy, in case you were wondering.
Um, wait, it's pouring out now...
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
After spending the day with them I did not feel like attending the guided meditation class in the evening, even though I promised myself I would go. After calling myself lazy, silly, un-dedicated to improving myself spiritually, and a few other choice phrases, I told myself to shut up and went home to eat ravioli and play Scrabble with Anthony (I lost one and I won one).
Today I woke up excited to write more and research other ways to get my work out there. I submitted yet another article; this one to an online thingamajig, and I also spent lots of time petting Nola. A very good morning indeed.
I spent the afternoon walking and then came home to find a rejection e-mail from Skirt! magazine pertaining to the essay I just sent them on Monday. Meanwhile, the one I sent seven weeks ago is still floating out in the middle of nowhere without a response from them. I felt a little stung, but then I remembered what Martha Beck says about the "Hero's Saga" stage of our journey to find ourselves. Well, I can't quote it, but it's something along the lines of, "Get out there and start failing." Once I remembered that I felt pretty good. I must be doing something in an effort to work towards my dreams if I'm already getting rejection letters during my first week of being home.
After I recovered from that trauma I started to paint. This is what I have so far:
This isn't going to be just a painting though; I'm going to add texture and polymer clay and other bits to it, but for now it's drying. This is so much fun! I do have one complaint about being home, though. I have to work under really awful conditions:
This is the seat from which I type and paint. I'm not even allowed to have it to myself; instead I must share it with Coconut, who is extremely depressed that it's raining today and she can't sun herself outside. Instead she must make my life more difficult.
Thank goodness she's cute.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
At work I often wore black dress pants. Unfortunately, I didn't own any black socks, so I would regularly be wearing dark socks that just didn't quite match. Such as navy, or brown, or grey. Amy used to kid me that she would buy me black socks, but I would always say, "I'm never wearing black socks once I get out of this job, or any other ugly socks, either, so don't bother." So when I opened the gift from her I was very happy to see four pairs of bright, lively, happy, striped socks.
This picture is pretty much a representation of how I'm going to do things now that I am working from home:
Notice the old, ratty slippers. I don't have to wear shoes if I don't feel like it. Then notice the knee-high orange and red striped socks. Amy was worried I wouldn't want socks that went up so high, but I'm all for them. And of course, as always, my blue reindeer pajamas will be worn when I am at home. Not everyone working from home can hope to be so classy. By the way, I don't usually wear the pajamas rolled up to my knees, that was just so you could see my socks.
In other news, last night Mom and I went to see the Downtown Waynesville Christmas Parade. There is just something fun about the kind of hometown-parade you see here that you just don't see in the big cities.
For instance, this parade was mostly a series of advertisements for county officials, churches, local companies that sell golf carts or motorcycles, dance studios, etc. Most displays either involved a giant truck with some lights strung on it with a sign about who was riding inside or in some cases, kids from a dance troupe doing a little performance, or the high school marching band coming through playing a Christmas song. My favorite though, was the float that was made up of a Port-O-Potty covered in lights being pushed by a little motorized cart that had some sort of lit up animated figure waving from it...I couldn't tell what the figure was supposed to be...but it was brown. Who puts a portable toilet in a Christmas parade??? Who cares??? It was great.
Today I am going to visit a former co-worker and her young son. Now she can just be my friend, I'm not her boss anymore! I'm also going to a guided meditation tonight with another former co-worker, I am hoping a guided meditation will stimulate my desire to meditate at home. I'm currently reading Eat, Pray, Love, and the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, talks about the way she struggled with meditation but over time how she was able to sink into it. Of course, she spent four months at an Ashram in India, studying under a Guru, and I'm spending who knows how long at my house in North Carolina, studying under two cats, but hey, it could work for me.
Time to take a shower and prepare for another day of Just Living Life.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sometimes I answer while jumping up and down with my arms above my head, sometimes while doing an Irish Jib, and sometimes I answer with a simple, giant smile on my face, but I always say, "I LOVE IT!!!!!"
I don't say all the exclamation points, but I think the people asking me understand my enthusiasm.
Last night I poked Anthony until he looked at me and then I said, "Look, it's a Sunday night and I'm smiling!"
This morning I got up and immediately went to the computer and started writing an essay to submit to Skirt! magazine and now, less than 7 hours later, I've already completed it, had my mom edit it, and sent it off. I love the Internet. I love writing! I am seriously cheating on my first creative love, visual art, but I just don't care.
I also had a life coaching session this morning and we ironed out a few goals for me to work on. My coach talked to me about self-publishing, which she has experience with, and about some reading I can do about creating multiple streams of income when I become a coach. I was hoping my multiple streams of income would be writing, life coaching, baking cookies, petting my cats, and napping, but hey, I'm open to other ideas.
I cannot express how strongly I know this was the right thing for me. I simply do not care that the economy is in the toilet - all I can do is live this life in a way that feels satisfying to my soul, and right now, this is the way.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Although I'm starting to have to try harder to ignore how scary this really is, I have never once regretted putting in my notice and deciding to start this new life. I am going to try to make a living doing what I really want to do, which includes the things that make me feel alive and excited when I even think about doing them!
One thing I will truly miss about my job is getting to see Amy so much. Tonight she's taking me out for wine and appetizers and we're going to exchange presents. Amy refers to them as "Go Away" presents, which is fine with me. The reason I'm posting this so late in the day is that I don't want her to see what I made for her before she actually opens her presents:
This present is the most awesome, I think. It's a folder full of activities - I made her one activity for each week for the next six months! This is a word search for her to complete around her birthday:
This is a crossword puzzle about...nothing in particular. I'm not good at having a theme like the NY Crossword people. Maybe in my next life!
Here is a snowflake word search:
I also made quizzes, drawing assignments, and lots of other stuff that wouldn't photograph well.
This is her next present:
Remember when I made this and she asked me to give it to her, framed? For once her wish came true and I did something she wanted me to.
This was her last request:
Peanut butter cookies! These were fun to make and I always enjoy cooking for loved ones. She falls into that category for sure.
I'm going to sign off now, and when I'm back on Monday I'll be starting my first official "work" day in my new life. I have a life coach appointment set up to touch on my career goals and I hope to read, write, make art, pet my cats, nap, and stay calm about the fact that I have no income!
I'm so happy!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
He was actually working on compiling a big monthly report that I used to have to do, so I mostly was just sitting a few feet away from him, laughing silently to myself about his misfortune, while also being available to answer questions from him if necessary. It was only necessary a couple of times, so instead I poured myself into this project.
Well, that is until I took a break for the hour and 45 minute lunch I took with Amy! She asked our boss if we could take a long lunch since I'm leaving and our boss agreed. It was wonderful, we discussed my fears about my future, the ways she can help me with PR and my website in the future, how I won't have to wear any pants once I'm in my future job.
I was also fantasizing about the fact that my ultimate goal is to be permanently self-employed. Along with all the scary stuff about that idea, like having to pay for my own health insurance, being responsible for paying all of my own social security, having to come up with a way to make enough money to live, and no longer having access to free donuts, there are some absolutely wonderful things to look forward to. Like hour and 45 minute lunches any time I feel like it!
Today is my second-to-last-day and believe me, I am ready for the end. I've been trying to ignore all of my fears so far, since I know they won't do me any good. We'll see how long I can continue to ignore them once I'm on my own...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
We currently have a number of decorated Christmas trees (and a Menorah) on display at work. Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn many of the trees were not sponsored and decorated this year, leaving a few empty ones.
Amy, who was in charge of coordinating the sponsors and getting the trees decorated, called me this morning and said "come down to the front entrance and bring your phone". She wanted me to take a picture of this:
The very bored employees of that work across from this tree decided to decorate it with what they had available: luggage tags, overweight luggage tags, baggage tape, and some really randomly-placed paper accessories that may have been made by heavily medicated preschool-aged children, by the looks of them. Here is a closeup of one of the "ornaments":
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Okay, things were a teensy bit different, I guess. After all, I'm still alive. And as far as I know, I didn't try to get my replacement to do anything illegal today.
It was actually a really good day at work for me, because I was busy! Believe it or not, I really like having something to do; the only reason I turn to office supply art for entertainment is because I am usually bored out of my skull. My replacement is a guy, a couple years older than me, who is funny and likeable. He even agreed to go along with me telling my boss that the only thing I trained him to do so far was paint my toenails when she asked me what I was working on during our weekly marketing meeting. He also does a cool robot voice.
My day is also going well because I thought of a new book idea. I love it when creativity strikes, and although I have had many other ideas crop up since my last completed book, Office Supply Art: How to Not Die of Boredom and Lack of Creativity at Your Lame 9 to 5, this one feels like it might actually be written and completed by me. You know, as opposed to me bribing one of my cats to write it.
Because I haven't made any art or showed anything to you lately, check this out:
Remember how Anthony made all those mirror window things? This is ours to keep. He even put the anniversary card I made him and the sparkle/paint chip art I made in the mirror for display! And here's an entertaining picture of him with a sculpture when we went to Chattanooga:
We don't know who put the hoodie on the sculpture, it was there when we got there. Uh oh, my potatoes are beeping...you know what the means.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Today there were a few bits and pieces of things I did that qualify as "work". I jotted down a few lines for a column, read quite a bit of a book related to finding my right life, did some homework assigned to me by my life coach, Barbara. I also took a nap and ran errands and am about to go for a walk at the lake (a cold walk, it's snowing here!) with my sweetheart.
I don't want to pressure myself to be any certain way once I have my days to myself, but I do want to stay focused and not spend my time off lounging around eating bonbons and watching daytime TV, because that is certainly not going to foster any grand career for me. Well, maybe if I did it wearing an elf outfit and posted it to Youtube? Something to think about.
I'm not sure how much office supply art I'll get to create once I'm back at work tomorrow, I'll be training the new person who is replacing me and somehow I don't think I should be training him to do things the way I did...namely staring off into space and drawing trees and making collages and reading. I'll post when I can, and maybe I can slip in some office supply art without my replacement noticing I'm doing it!
Time to get bundled up for my outdoor adventure...
Friday, November 28, 2008
She's a blond, Lord knows blonds have more fun. (Though I have information from a reliable source that she Highlighters her hair.) Heidi is wearing a funny had and has no arms, but that doesn't seem to be stopping her from having a great time.
Jen spent the day after Thanksgiving at work. Working very hard with her dry erase markers and some Styrofoam cups. She read some books and did some emailing. She has an appointment with her life coach in a couple of hours. She is looking forward to her three-day weekend.
It's been 18? 19? More? weeks since she sent her submission materials to Ten Speed Publishing. She has still not heard anything. It's been 3 months and 11 days since she sent her stuff to Chronicle Books and she still has no asnwer. That's okay though, because she has arms and doesn't have to color her hair.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- Mashed Potatoes
- My friends and family and cats
- Indoor plumbing
- The Internet
- Hot chocolate
- Room temperature chocolate
- Carbohydrates in general
- My home
- That I survived that vicious turkey attack yesterday
- Art supplies, office or otherwise
- That I only have 5 more days of work left after today!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It is thought that the creation came to life when an office supply artist extraordinaire, known only as "Jenny Silly Pants" was so bored at work she created this turkey and then conjured up an ancient spell to bring her creation to life. We have information that the spell backfired and the turkey not only came to life, but grew to 1000 times its original size and gained the ability to fly or, as some reports say, levitate.
It apparently also grew vindictive. This monster appears to be looking to harm any and all individuals involved in the corporate world. If you are wearing high heels or a business suit, remove the items immediately! It will not attack people walking around in their underwear. If you are a member of middle to upper management, for goodness sake, tell your children you love them. The turkey was last spotted 3 miles southwest of the interstate. We will keep you updated as this matter unfolds. Please head for cover or at least take off your pants.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This is a dog with a drinking problem; his paw is raised in anger at his misbehaving children.
I wish I had some office supply art to share with you, but I've spent today working. Sigh, I know, you expect less from me. Actually, I'm helping Amy with a project so mighty and terrible that I can't stand that she has to do it alone. She's de-lighting fake Christmas trees. No, not "delighting" the trees with her war stories and card tricks, but taking off all of the non-working strands of lights in order to put new ones on. The problem is that these trees came pre-lit, which means the lights were strung on by evil Nazi robots with seven arms each and one, giant, all-knowing mechanical brain. It takes the two of us about an hour per tree to get all of the lights off, and we have wire cutters, to boot. And we have about four more to go....
It is my lunch hour, but in the spirit of togetherness and because of the peanut M&Ms she gave me a few minutes ago, I'm going to help her tackle another one...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday night Anthony took me to Chattanooga, TN, as per my request. And I took some pictures of buildings to put on the blog. Isn't that exciting??? I bet you didn't get to see buildings on your last birthday!
This is a pic of the hotel where we stayed:
See that guy on the very right of the shot? He's wearing a white suit. We saw an inexplicable number of men dressed in unusually colored suits, wandering the streets. One man had on a mint green suit, which was a good color on him.
Anyways, the hotel isn't anything special from the outside, but the inside was really neat. The best part, though, were the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the jar right outside our door. Oh, and the gourmet breakfast where I got to have stuffed French toast (Ingredients: Thick white bread, cream cheese, orange marmalade, butter, and enough fat to kill a triathalete in one fell swoop), yummy vegetarian quiche, fruit, cereal, and yogurt. I took some of everything so I could try it all. There was some meaty stuff, too, but I let Anthony take care of taste-testing it.
On our first day we went to the aquarium, this is a picture of one of the buildings (there are a few separate ones making up the whole aquarium):
The feet are not part of the aquarium, no. There are sculptures all over the place on the riverfront in Chattanooga, maybe if you're nice I'll put up some pics of them tomorrow. The aquarium was very cool and of course I forgot my camera! My favorite things were the penguins and otters, plus they had lots of GIANT tanks filled with fish and sharks. Oh, and they had a whole display of sea horses and sea dragons! If you've never seen a sea dragon, click this link, they are so cool!
On Sunday we went to the Hunter Museum of American Art, isn't the building awesome?
When I was in Chattanooga a few years ago I remember there was a sculpture of a horse out front that I loved, and I wondered if it would still be there. Lucky me, it was!
This sculpture is called Boreal and I put the close up picture because it looks like wood, even up close, even though it's made entirely of painted bronze. The artist, Deborah Butterfield, always sculpts horses and always uses found objects, which she has cast in bronze and then assembles into her sculptures. One of the workers at the museum said that horses are her life, she gets up, rides horses, takes care of them (I guess she lives on a horse farm) and then in the afternoon works on her art. Sounds like a great life, I get the feeling she is really following her heart.
Only 8 days of work left after today and thank goodness for that!
Friday, November 21, 2008
This morning I woke up to snow and the news that there was black ice all over the roads! By 8 am there were about 100 accidents total reported between the county I live in and the county next to mine; by later in the morning there were 168 calls to the State Police to report incidents.
Needless to say, I stayed home today.
After I wiped away the tears I shed over not being able to go to my favorite place on earth, I read, watched TV, and just a few minutes ago, talked to my life coach. I always, always feel better after I talk to her, and I truly hope that I can help someone else feel that way in the future.
Tonight we are supposed to go to my mom and step dad's house for my birthday dinner, but I don't know if the roads are going to be safe enough. My actual birthday is on Sunday, and tomorrow morning Anthony and I leave for Ch-Ch-Chattanooga, which was my birthday request, to spend the night in a nice hotel and go to the aquarium and art museum there. I am so excited! The hotel we're staying in has all of my favorite things: a wine and cheese reception on Saturday night, and a gourmet breakfast on Sunday morning! Plus a very comfy bed and fireplace. I hope tomorrow the roads are safe enough for us to go on.
I'm turning the big 2-9. If I ever tell you that again, I'm lying, but this year I'm telling the truth. I have nothing but excitement about this, I am not upset about getting older and think my life is only going to improve with age, like a good cheese.
Next time I write I'll be a year older!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
After visiting this site and enjoying it thoroughly, I noticed some paint chips that I gathered from the store over the weekend and, what else, forced them to become part of my never-ending-art-project-theme, trees:
The reason I was wandering around so aimlessly last night, when normally I am parked on the couch, is because Anthony was busy working on his own Awesome and Creative Project (ACP).
Don't be distracted by the spectacularly-dressed example of perfect feminine beauty reflected in his creation - what I really want you to notice is the window and the mirrors. He buys old, used windows and grinds them, sands them, takes the glass out, stains them, buys mirrors cut to fit in the panes, puts the mirror in, glazes them and ends up with these beautiful, functional mirrors. He has lots of patience (if you knew me, you'd know he'd have to) and involved projects like this do not bore him to tears as they do me. Here's another:
He made 5 altogether, and I really love it that he's had a fun project to work on, too. It does make me want to do some longer, more detailed art projects (nothing that involves power tools, mind you), but I really can't see myself getting started in something like that until after my last day.
Only 10 days left after today....
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
That would describe my "state of being" today. I did make a list of things to accomplish at work on this fine Wednesday, (yes, um, they all had to do with my job....) but I'm still just BORED. I think it is not from lack of entertainment, but from the fact that I just want to get out of this situation. I gave my notice four weeks ago, which seems like a really long time to stay somewhere. I only have 11 days left after today, and I'm going to make the best of it, but it is going to take lots and lots of caffeine, web-surfing, office-supply-art-making, day dreaming, and...I don't even know what else, to get me through.
I know what you're thinking, "Come on, Jen, you've made it through 1460 hours of this job and only have 91.5 left. Plus your hair looks really good today, and even though your socks don't match your purse, (or your pants or shoes) they do match each other, nice work. And after December 5th you are totally free to do whatever you want every day. You won't have any income to speak of and you do have two cats to feed and a mortgage to pay, but hey, you won't be bored anymore. So suck it up!"
Okay, okay, you're right (thanks for noticing my hair. And socks, I think.)
In honor of this topic, here is my list of stuff to do when you are so bored you are seriously contemplating getting the name of your deceased gerbil, Mr. Mickbitsy, tattooed on your forehead:
- Look up that word you used yesterday when you were describing to your parasitologist the hairy thing you noticed, but weren't exactly sure you knew what it meant. The word, not the hairy thing, that's why you were seeing the parasitologist. When I did this I learned that "bucolic" is not a disease you get when you visit Mexico.
- Name your toes. Since you asked, from left to right, mine are: Brisket, Topper, Flipsy, Dixie, Pooper, Popper, Dominic, Gertrude, Slinky, and Maverick.
- Plan your dream vacation
- List all of the people you've _______. Pick a verb. You know, list all the people you've kayaked with, crossed the border illegally with, shared recipes with, swing danced with, made fun of, drawn while naked (them, not you), worked with, bred purebred racing horses with, etc.
- Try to list all 50 states. Once you've done that, list the ones you've been (arrested) in.
- Compile a list of your favorite vanity plates and pick one out for yourself. I was thinking "FREE2B" would be a good one for me. Sure beats "PRNCESS".
- Think of a way to impress your eye doctor with your X-ray vision and laser-beam-shooting eyeballs next time you visit.
- Invent a new board game involving deep sea creatures, the music library of Leonard Cohen, and lots of diamonds.
- Send money to someone who really needs it. (I'm pointing to myself, in case you didn't get that part.)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Perhaps I will come up with some kick-butt alternative that involves, whaddyacallit, interpretive dance. And Youtube. We'll see.