Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trees Aren't Pink. Are They?

Hi. Remember how I said I was bursting with creativity this weekend? After all of the baking, cooking, cat-petting, napping, reading, nail-clipping and collage-making of this that went on, I was still ready for more! (If you don't think all of those previously mentioned items are creative, you're not doing them right.)

A couple of years ago I started experimenting with polymer clay, I love how you can mix the colors and use your hands and get really involved with the art. Plus there's no erase holes in the paper from messing up and starting over too many times. I used to make patterned boxes out of the clay, you bake what you make and it hardens into...something hard. I suddenly had the idea on Sunday to make a crazy landscape out of it and this is what I created:

This morning, oddly, I also felt inspired to create and I made this smaller piece:

I'm into trees, in case you haven't noticed.

How did I have time to make this before work today? Normally I get up early to work out, but this morning I decided to do a shortened workout. Yesterday I did both an hour of yoga before work and then, after work, an hour of spinning which Amy also participated in. Neither of us had ever taken a spinning class before, but we loved it. I'm lying. I loved it. Amy hated it. I'm going to wager a guess that because my butt is so much more generously padded than hers my ride was a bit more comfortable. Also she is a wuss. She actually said, more than once, that she'd rather be in our Tuesday marketing meeting than at class. But back to my point, this morning I did a shorter workout because I felt like making more art! So at 6:30 in the morning there I was in my kitchen, molding and mixing polymer clay.

When I was in college and learned to weave in a crafts class I used to say "I'm going to move to the Swiss Alps and weave and braid my mountain goat's hair all day." Now I'm thinking "I'm going to quit my job and make sculpture art and write and braid my cat's fur all day."

Which reminds me...I've made an appointment to talk to a life/career coach on Thursday during my lunch break, hopefully she'll say something along the lines of "I think a good move for you would be to quit your job, make sculpture art and write and braid your cat's fur all day long."

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're All Going to Die!

I had a great weekend. A fantastic weekend, even. I was creative in the kitchen, creative in the whatever room it is you make art in, there was creativity flying all over the place. But what really made my weekend great? Realizing that we're all going to die.

I spent some time both Saturday and Sunday with my mom, and on Saturday she shared with me some info from a book she's reading now...and I wish I could tell you the author and title of that book, but I can't at the moment. It was written by a doctor who says something along the lines of: "We're all going to die. Probably by around 85. You may very well get a disease. You don't need 900 zillion medications and medical tests, you're going to die eventually anyways."

It's not the over-medicating and over-testing stuff that struck me. Instead, it was that we're all going to die!!! It's such a relief to know that no matter what I do in this life, I'm still going to die. Eat an extra chocolate chip cookie? Dying anyways, don't sweat it. Spent longer than I should have reading instead of sleeping last night? I still only have 57 years left. Quit my job while wearing my underwear on my head? Funny and will not change the length of my life.

Why should I spend this time I have on this earth being miserable? Don't get me wrong, I love to exercise and eat a generally healthy diet, I want to feel good until I die, but why am I wasting so much time being miserable and worrying about things that I don't really have to do, just because I want to live up to some standard society has set for me when we're all going to die anyways???

This thought process also seemed to make my mom really happy, and on Sunday she invited me over for an art project. It's another self-portrait collage, similar to what I did a couple of weeks ago, and this time the assignment was to use things you like to make up your face and features and write why you chose the things you did. Here is my mom's, the pic was taken on my cell phone so it's a little blurry:
She hadn't finished hers, but I'd like to point out that on the top of her head there are flames. I think she wrote above it something about her putting flames in her self-portrait because she felt like her brain was on fire...I laughed, perhaps I should be seeking help for her.

Here's mine:

I'd like to point out that both my mom and I, without consulting each other, used windows, actually from the same house (we had doubles of one of the magazines we were using to cut images from), to make our eyes. I thought that was funny. You can't really read the writing, but I described why I picked what I did and then at the bottom wrote about the words I noticed I used over and over again: "Wild, Crazy, Happy". Hmm, I think I need to add more wild and crazy into my current job situation to increase my happiness. Nola thought I needed to add more cat hair:
In case you aren't already horribly impressed, this is what I made in the kitchen this weekend in addition to my artistic explosion:

  • Pumpkin and Honey Muffins (we were supposed to meet a friend but he bailed, Mom and Joe got the brunt of the pumpkin-honey love in this case)
  • Pumpkin Pie (I cooked it longer than the suggested time and it still didn't completely set up. We are eating it anyways, with spoons if we have to)
  • Turkey Meatballs & Tomato Sauce (Anthony loved them and he's Italian. Nuff Said)
  • Veggie Meatballs & Tomato Sauce (why should he have all the fun?)
  • Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed Whole Grain Bread (Haven't gotten into it yet, but the last loaf I made was delicious)

Phew, I'm tired just thinking about it! But my weekend was full of stuff I love and I need to do more of it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seminars, Help!, Lists

Yesterday I was a "Keys to Excellence" seminar. And here I thought I was already excellent. I learned that for work/business I should be striving for Leadership Excellence, Employee Excellence, Customer Satisfaction, and Financial Results. Hmmm, guess what, I'm not feelin' it. In fact, in our workbook one question was: "How do you translate the corporate vision, within your circle of influence, to create meaning and purpose for your team?" Wow. I stared at the page for looonnnng time on that one. Finally I wrote "I don't think I do that :(" Yes, I really drew non-smiley face. My "circle of influence"? I have three employees under me and I doubt I influence them to do much. I would say my cats were under my circle of influence, but only when they are hungry. I drove home from the seminar depressed because my enthusiasm for the job I'm in now is not going to grow, it's just not a good fit for me. Which leads me to today's office supply art: You know the paper doll chains you used to make when you were a kid? It's a "HELP!" chain, highlighted to accentuate the words.

Amy asked me why I don't just quit. She asked what my reasons were for continuing to stay. As I was spouting them off she wrote them down. I had 18 of them. She's currently looking at the list and writing why each reason is stupid. Since I don't have the list to read from, I'll try my best to remember what some of the reasons were:
  1. My boss will be mad at me
  2. It's a "good" job with good pay and benefits
  3. It's a Friday
  4. I had chili for lunch
  5. I'm afraid
  6. My cats will be disappointed in me
  7. I don't know what else I'd do
  8. People will think I'm crazy
  9. My resume will be spotty
  10. I should wait until I've been here longer
  11. Things could get better
  12. My underwear aren't a good fit
  13. Pizza tastes good
  14. I'll never get another job ever again
  15. I'll be poor
  16. My boss will try to get me to stay
  17. I could learn to like this job
  18. My hair is brown
Okay, some of those aren't the exact reasons I wrote down, but really all of my reasons to stay are equally foolish as saying I'm not going to quit because I had chili for lunch. They just don't make sense. But I am still afraid.

So I don't end this on a totally uninspiring and miserable note, here is a picture of a rose I took last night while I was walking around the lake by my house. The roses will be gone for the winter soon (they have a house in Cancun) but for now they're still beautiful.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


You know how the US economy is falling to pieces and the president of Iran is re-starting their nuclear weapons program and in the area where I live, Western North Carolina, there is a huge gas shortage causing price hikes, long lines, and sometimes police intervention at area gas stations?

Well, those are not my top worries at this exact moment.

First of all, I made this new logo thing for my blog:

Professional as always, right? I actually dragged Amy into this and made her take a photo of it with a decent camera because I couldn't scan it and my cell phone wouldn't take a good enough picture. I wanted to put it on the header of my blog but I'm having ISSUES!!! Maybe over the weekend I can get things sorted out.

Other topic on my mind: Why the heck haven't I heard from Ten Speed Publishing??? I am not supposed to hear for another two months from Chronicle books, so no biggy, but we're pushing ten weeks with Ten Speed and it's supposed to take only about six to eight weeks to hear from them. Of course my very overly-imaginative mind is coming up with all sorts of scenarios:
  • They never received my submission and some feral cats are now nesting (do cats nest?) in both the manilla envelope and the scattered, torn pages of my chapters
  • I wrote the address wrong on the envelope and forgot to write my return address on it so it's now sitting in some US Postal warehouse
  • The postal worker opened it, realized what a hilarious and priceless idea it was and submitted it under their name instead
  • The rejection letter made it to my mailbox but a neighborhood kid took it because he thought maybe it was Miley Cyrus answering his fan mail
  • The letter made it to my mailbox but my 83 year old neighbor who is mad at me for not keeping my lower lot mowed to her specifications has stolen it to punish me
  • A happy letter, asking for the complete manuscript arrived but my employer stole it from my mailbox because they do not want me to be happy
  • The president and his crack team intercepted it somewhere on the way to or from California because I'm on the terrorist watch list
  • Nobody loves me

Tomorrow I'm going to a seminar for work and will be unable to blog during my lunch hour, but I'll see if I find something to post ahead of time. Probably a picture of my butt. Oh, which reminds me, yesterday Leslie from the Weighting Game commented on my blog yesterday that her perfect day would include (among other things) peanut butter. I can't believe I forgot to put peanut butter on my perfect day drawing! Thanks for reminding me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Perfect Days

What would your perfect day look like? Would there be money? Fame? Chocolate? Jazzercizing Elephants in pink leotards?

In sort-of-sometimes-weekly tradition yesterday I left Amy a quiz while she covered my post for lunch. My post is that boring that I feel the need to leave the gracious person who allows me to eat, blog, occasionally go to Target or get gas, or start driving my car towards Mexico with thoughts of never coming back during my lunch hour something wonderful to occupy their time. Yesterday's "survey" included things like:

What is your favorite type of restaurant?

  1. Mexican
  2. Italian
  3. One with Good Looking Waiters
  4. Pizza
  5. Sandwiches
  6. Greasy
  7. Sushi
  8. One Where I Don't Get Food Poisoning

and What kind of music do you like?

  • Music that sucks
  • Awesome music
  • Rock
  • Roll
  • Rhythm
  • Blues
  • Rhythm is Hard to Spell

I added a bonus as well, it was to draw a picture of your perfect day on the back of the survey. This is what Amy drew:

First of all she said she really, really enjoyed this project and said, "See, I created something and it made me happy, just like you always say." I am not sure what her exact words, but that was somewhere in the ballpark. So you should all create your own perfect day and email it to me at officesupplyart@gmail.com, too.

Okay, a summary of her drawing of her Perfect Day:

  • There will be a GIANT cup of coffee in it, so large that it looks as though it may crush the cafe that it is next to. Or maybe she didn't mean that literally, I'm not sure.
  • See how the cafe has a table and it's empty? She said that's to signify that she is alone, as apparently her perfect day would be spent by herself. Not me, my perfect day would be spent with John McCain and Sarah Palin. Oh, and Sarah's husband, too.
  • Amy's perfect day also has very dark clouds in it. Yes, this freak of nature that I call a friend absolutely loves dark and cloudy and rainy days.
  • From the dark clouds a plate of Mexican food shall appear, containing a beef burrito, Mexican rice, guacamole and sour cream.
  • In the competition to destroy the cafe the giant coffee cup has some competition...the giant guitar. Really, this represents her spending part of her day playing her music.
  • To the right of the guitar is a bowl of ice cream in a bowl that says "ice cream". She didn't say what flavor it is, but if I know her it's super peanut butter chunk with concord grapes.
  • Bottom left is a trail or road with some mountains, I can't remember exactly what it is, but it's something to do with two large mounds.
  • There is a book or journal, I think that's her writing more music.
  • Below the journal is a diorama of how the West Was Won. I stand corrected, it's a drawing of any empty theater, again indicating that she's ALONE. Since she ate all that Mexican food and ice cream earlier, it's probably best that she stays that way.
  • Lastly there is some wine, a bunch of grapes and some cheese. She wanted me to point out that first of all there isn't a glass for the wine because she's drinking straight from the bottle and that there is an entire crate of wine available to her.

I can say with 100% certainty that today isn't Amy's perfect day. I do not see a drawing of our place of employment, her behind my desk or her writing a news release about a subject that is about as interesting as watching this year's Emmys, and those are all things she has had to do today.

Her drawing inspired me (so did I really inspire myself?) to draw my own perfect day:

My perfect day contains:

  • A sunset or sunrise or something. We all know how much I love those, maybe in my perfect day I see both.
  • To the right of that are a stack of pancakes and a frying pan. I love making breakfast, so making and eating the pancakes would be equally pleasurable. Cleaning the dishes is not in my perfect day, as you can see.
  • On the right of that sketch is a circle surrounded by dark. It could be a full moon, but it also represents a quite space in my mind, my perfect day would definitely involve some silent, contemplative time. And not pictured, chocolate.
  • What perfect day would be complete without some one-legged-up-hill hiking? I was just too lazy to try to draw a second hiking boot, but yes, my day would involve some physical activity, like a hike to the top of a mountain with a beautiful view.
  • I put a sleeping kitty in my picture because my wonderful girls always make me feel happy (except when I get too close to Coconut and have to smell her breath) and my day wouldn't be perfect without spending some time with them.
  • When Amy saw what I drew next to the cat she said "Your perfect day involves you sleeping alone?" Not exactly, it's me taking a nap. Mmmm, I love naps.
  • In the center is a road going through some fall colors, I used to live in Vermont and other areas in New England and I love watching the leaves change. Of course, if I was there watching the leaves change the cats would either have to stay home or I'd have to give them kitty Valium, they aren't much for car rides.
  • The book could be me reading, me writing, or me looking my own published book (hey, it's my perfect day!) Office Supply Art: How to Not Die of Boredom and Lack of Creativity at Your Lame 9 to 5.
  • Bottom left is me holding hands with someone special (Amy thinks it's her, but she's wrong: John McCain again) and drinking a glass of wine.
  • The explosion thing? That's my microwave exploding after I put tinfoil in it again. Okay, really it's the only way I could think to illustrate that feeling of spontaneous creativity that I sometimes get, I wish I could feel that every day!
  • A cloudless blue sky.

So, that's it. Our perfect days. I realized when I drew this that many of the things I want in a perfect day happen to me with some regularity, so I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Do you know what occurred to me this morning? Besides I really need to learn to spell "occurred" without needing to use the spell check? That Monday and Friday are equally close to the weekend. It's just that Monday is on the wrong damn side of it.

This should be a good week though, my boss is gone for three days at a conference which means I can get the frozen daiquiri machine up and running in my office. Thursday I am at a conference off site which means free lunch - always a mixed bag since I'm a vegetarian. Could be great, like some vegetarian bean and veggie soup with stone ground corn bread muffins and a green salad. Or it could be boiled-to-the-point-of-death vegetables over some soggy, covered in butter pasta. But still, I'm not at work-work, so it should be good.

Today started out quite well for a Monday, because when I went to Amy's office this morning to...talk about an upcoming work-related project I'm working on...she gave me this:

I'd love to say that I made this in a burst of creative fervor, but I'd be lying. Her Office Supply Art did inspire me though, I weaved this at my desk:

Okay, Okay, lies are not becoming, I know. This is my new purse. I finally broke down and bought a new one this weekend because my old one malfunctioned. The zipper came off and then it spontaneously burst into flames. Or that's what I remember, anyways.

Isn't it nice? It's so fall-like and it really does make me want to create something. The only thing is that it still has that odd odor that the hippie clothing store where I bought it had. You know, some sort of combination of unwashed dreadlocks, patchouli and mold? I am sure the smell will fade and be replaced by the scents from my home: Chili in the slow cooker, peppermint shampoo, and used kitty litter box.

I promise tomorrow I will actually make something to post here, instead of stealing the hard work of others.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mixed Blog

Welcome to the Mixed Blog, where I put a bunch of random paragraphs about different topics together for my own amusement.

1. Beach Finds.
Remember how last week I was on a glorious, sun and sand filled five-day vacation? When I was there I found two pieces of Nature's Office Supply Art:

This type of shell was all over the place on the beach, but this one was broken in an interesting way and posed for this nude photograph for me on the carpet of the rental apartment where I stayed.

I'm not sure what this is. When I brought it back from the beach to show Anthony he said he thought it looked like lava. I reminded him that we're not in Hawaii this time and hopefully it wasn't lava rock, because I wanted to take the rock home and we all know what happens when you remove lava rock from the place where you found it. (If you don't know what happens then you need to watch more Brady Bunch reruns.)

2. Classy Joint

The apartment where we stayed in Wrightsville Beach was an older place, there since way before any of the crazy development that's popped up all over down there.

Multiple choice question:

Which things did I like the most about the rental?

A.How close we were to the beach

B.The two large roaches I saw in the bathroom one morning

C.The proximity to the little downtown of Wrightsville Beach

D.The very, very classy flatware with the faux-wood handles

3. Jobby Job Job

There is no more exciting time of the month for me at work than when I receive my issue of the trade magazine I'm subscribed to. Thank goodness I got my issue this week after I got back from the beach, I needed a pick me up. Actual paragraph from said magazine:

Avidyne Corp reports that an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for "Compatibility Mode" on its TWX670 Tactical Lightning Detection system is imminent. STC will allow the TWX670 to interface with a large number of displays produced by other manufacturers including many popular MFDs, GPSs, and EHSIs.

I don't know about you, but I think I just wet myself.

4. Ten Speed, Nine Weeks

Nothing. I sent my stuff nine weeks ago. I hope this is a good sign...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Native American Dry Erase Boards

Today I am thinking of the West. Last night Amy (coworker and cookie dealer) and I had our usual Wednesday "workout", where we mostly just complain about our jobs and point out how everyone else has gone around loop three times while we're still on our first one. During the excursion, Amy said she'd like to be playing her guitar on the streets of Wyoming and living out of her car.

Apparently this morning her desires had not subsided because when I sent her a message on her work email account she replied:
I am currently out of the office. I've packed everything I need into the back of my car and am actually on the road right now, heading West -- likely for Wyoming. I don't know when I'll be back, maybe never. But you can look me up if you're ever out here. Just ask for the girl that sleeps in her car and plays guitar on the sidewalks of small Western towns.Thanks. Have a great rest of the week.

I actually stopped to wonder for a moment if that truly was her away message, but I hoped not, because then I would be truly alone, miserable and have nothing to look forward to at this job. Also, I gave her a glass container filled with homemade chicken soup yesterday, and I wouldn't have gotten the container back if she'd gone to Wyoming. It's one of my favorites.

After she sent that email to me I Googled some images of Wyoming to send to her, which in turn made me want to go there, thus inspiring today's Office Supply Art:

The West and the images of it that I found this morning remind me of Native Americans and their artwork. They had dry erase boards, right? Didn't they work out the patterns for their blankets on a board first? Well, if they didn't than they should have, they erase so easily if you make a mistake!

This project was fun and it's easy to destroy the evidence if you need to, but since I did this on my own time I was safe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Self Portraits

Assignment: Create a self-portrait of yourself out of magazine cuttings. No fair just cutting a picture of Dolly Parton out and sticking it to a piece of newsprint. This is mine:

Wait, that's not actually mine, it's a really freaky picture I took of my cat, Nola. She never stays still long enough for a good pic - I like how her body is still but her head looks like a moving blur. That is sort of like a self portrait of me, though, because lots of times it looks like I'm standing around doing nothing but really my head is full of activity. Usually daydreaming about either some sort of dessert product or a nap. Still, fully of activity.

This is the real one that I spent many, many seconds making:

I wanted to give the impression that I am surrounded by and made up of beautiful things, but I feel that right now I only see half of the picture, one eye is closed to the full beauty of everything around me. However, I'm not sure if I properly conveyed that. I think it looks like I'm maybe winking? Or have something stuck in my eye? See how my mouth is the sunrise? Good, you're very observant. My nose is some sort of leaf, indicating that my sense of smell is very veiny. Here is another one:

Tricked you again! If I show a pic of Nola I should show one of Coconut, too. She's in the closet. Not because she's gay, not that there's anything wrong with that, but because it's warm and snuggly and hard for us to reach her. I'm trying to figure out how I can relate this to my self portrait assignment. Sometimes I feel like crawling into the closet and closing my eyes? That sounds good.

Not sure how to wrap this blog up, I'm out of plastic wrap, so I'm just going to say:


Hell is the Day After Vacation

Yesterday I woke up to this:
It's the view from the back porch of the rental apartment at the beach where I stayed for four nights.

Today I woke up to this:
Yes, you are correct. The burning fires of hell. Call me dramatic if you must, but having to come back to work after five days off, to a job that I am not super-crazy about, feels awful.
The whole reason I started writing Office Supply Art: How to Not Die of Boredom and Lack of Creativity at Your Lame 9 to 5 was because making art and being creative made my job so much better, and I thought it could help other people, too.
However, so far I have not been successful in getting the book published (or unsuccessful, either: I'm still waiting to hear from a couple places and I have a back up plan if that doesn't work: Sarah Palin impersonator) and my feelings of hope and joy and freedom are starting to fade.
As such, I have made a list of other ways to make my job better:
1. Take over the management of the kitten-petting program at my place of employment. We don't have a kitten-petting program? Dammit.
2. Start an employee club. I was thinking "Future Unemployed Authors of America".
3. Start a variety of employee contests:
  • Push up contests. I would most certainly lose, even doing girl push ups, but my deep level of concentration could possibly make me forget how much my job is sucking the life out of me.
  • Dress-up contests. I'll bring the feather boas.
  • Thumb wrestling contests. I might have a shot at that title, which should improve my ego after losing in the push up and dress-up contests.
  • Creepiest employee contests. Winner gets a free restraining order.
  • Debate Club Competitions. My topic: Why wearing pants at work is wrong and its implications on our society as a whole.
4. Bring my EZ Bake Oven to work and start making chocolate chip cookies.
5. Quitting.
Anybody else have any ideas about how to make a job less tear-and-snot-inducing?

Monday, September 15, 2008

All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

That was the first chapter of my book, what do you think? Maybe that's why I haven't gotten any bites yet :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm Pale

This blog title has two meanings:

1. Literally, I'm pale. I mean, right now I'm typing this ahead of time and I'm wearing my reindeer pajamas, so I can't see how pale I am, but in real life, when you read this, I'm sitting on the beach looking down at my thighs and saying "Ahhhh! I'm blinded by the reflection from my white legs! Someone get me some self-tanner and an ice cream cone!" The ice cream cone has nothing to do with me not being tan, I just like them. Hopefully when I come back I'll be less pale. And will not have a rash, like last time.

2. My talent is also pale. Check out this link. A friend of a friend of the cousin of the roommate of his best friend's mom who is in jail's stepdad's half-caf-non-fat-latte makes these awesome paperclip sculptures that looking nothing at all like mine:

Too be fair, mine also involves tinfoil, was made in six minutes or less, and smells like lunch. Which I think is a bonus, don't you? This is one of the pieces I made for my book. Does anyone out there even remember that I wrote a book? It's called Office Supply Art: How To Not Die of Boredom and Lack of Creativity at Your Lame Nine to Five. I am waiting for someone to decide to publish it. Maybe the publishers know I have definitely not been a living example of the title lately, but I will be again, I promise.

For now though I'm going to continue enjoying the sun. And hopefully someone brought me some ice cream by now, too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inspiration Tree

This here's some art I done made last week fer ya.

Sorry, don't know where that came from, I've just been living in the south too long, I guess.

I have to say, I'm not actually here. I'm in the car, right now, heading for the beach. I did draw this last week when I was feeling particularly low, just to do something, anything. Usually I make up completely nonsense names for my pieces, but I think I'll just call this one "Inspiration Tree (Tree in A Minor)". Sorry, couldn't resist.

If I was some big famous blogger and people actually read this, I would have someone guest blogging this week, but since I don't, I'm writing some of these ahead of time for your enjoyment.
Um, did I say enjoyment? Maybe that's too strong of a word. I wrote some of these ahead of time so you would have something to do for a few minutes at work.

The End. (Aren't you glad I'm at the beach, covering myself in Superglue and attracting inspiration, and possibly hermit crabs and sand, to me?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Birds 2, Stones 1

Last night I was aimlessly drifting from blog to blog, trying to kill time until I was ready for bed. (Hoping I could see Jamie Lynn Spears again.) I was reading about my second favorite thing, food. If you don't know what my favorite thing is, well, it's always good to keep you guessing.

I stumbled across this post about a Barney Butter giveaway over at carrotsncake.com. What is Barney Butter? Apparently it's almond butter, they don't sell it around here, but it sounds delish. The contest involved writing a poem. We all know how my poem-writing has been unstoppable lately, so I composed a piece and illustrated it this afternoon, click on the picture to make it larger if you can't read the text.

This makes me happy in so many ways. First, I could win a jar of almond butter. I don't know what could possibly be more satisfying than this scenario:

I arrive back from the beach on Monday afternoon, depressed and teary-eyed that vacation is over and I have to go back to work. After turning on my computer, removing a cat from my lap so I can turn the screen on, turning the screen on, removing a cat from the desk so I can use the mouse to click into my email, clicking into my email, throwing a cat forcefully from the room so I can look at the screen, getting up to apologize to said cat, getting distracted with the petting of said cat, getting up and going back to the computer, yelling to Anthony to come get the damn cat off me so I can get something done, wiping the fur balls from my keyboard, and getting teary eyed again because I have to go back to work, I see that I have a new email. It's from Tina at carrotsncake.com. I have won a jar of almond butter. Not only will I feel renewed and refreshed from vacation, but I'm ready to take on anything! Including my job. Almond Butter will make me strong!

The second reason this contest makes me happy is that I have successfully used the contest entry as my office supply art of the day, therefore freeing up my lunch hour to do more important things. Like...write this blog.

I'll be gone until Monday afternoon but I've written a few posts for the days I'll be away...Only 3.5 more hours til vacation!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beaches. Numb Limbs. Dirty Thighs.

Here is my representation of what I will be doing in three days:

That's right, I'll be wearing a bathing suit (or is it an off the shoulder minidress?) made of a post-it note, lying on a piece of yellow-lined legal paper, listening to the paper waves roll in, all while the sun (made from the same material as my bathing suit, of course) sinks slowly from the sky. I mean, from the purple folder that was lying around in my office, filled with some papers I probably should be looking at and learning from, or at the very least I should see if they contain something important. Like the deed to a house on the coast of Mexico somewhere. Nope, they have ground transportation policies in them. Also, see the color of my skin in this representation? I'm actually much paler than that.

Okay, so hopefully in three days I'll be lying on a sandy beach, not a piece of paper, but the reason this representation is so shoddy is because I had a rough night.

First of all, Nola was out when I went to bed. I heard thunder as I drifted off to sleep. Now Nola was a stray cat, which meant prior to moving in with me she led a hard life: dumpster diving, hooking, maybe even hard drugs. But there is one thing she is very, very afraid of, despite her past. Mr. Thunder. When I heard it I knew I wouldn't see her again until at least an hour or so after it stopped. At 12:49 I heard her banging on the door, asking to come in. And of course she wanted me to pet her. She didn't tell me this until I was sitting on the toilet, which I think is her favorite place to get love from me - she knows I can't move for at least a little while. It was dark, and under the glow of the nightlight I dried her off with toilet paper. I kicked her off me after she was dry and reached down - she must have had very dirty paws because now my thighs were covered in what felt like grit and dirt (hard to tell in the almost-dark.) So I cleaned up and went to bed.

Then something even scarier happened...I dreamed about Jamie Lynn Spears. What's up with that? I think this clip from the Daily Show is why. Okay, so she's on the roof of a restaurant, singing. About her boyfriend or something. She's not with her baby, maybe Britney is taking care of it? I'm following her around on the roof. When she's done singing she throws something down for her fans - who are all in the restaurant and can't see her, but some little girl runs out to grab whatever it is that JL threw, I can't remember what it was. Okay, so then my alarm goes off. So those were the last images of my blissful slumber. That's how I started my day. Not to mention that when I woke up my arm was asleep because it was back behind my head again (I have been sleeping like this lately and I don't know why, whenever my arm is asleep I'm afraid it will never work again. I should try tying arms down or something.) Also, I was no longer wearing my pajama bottoms and I was missing a sock.

And that my friends, is why you should all be thankful that I am going on vacation, where I won't bring the cats, where I probably won't bother wearing pants of socks (at all! Even in fancy romantic restaurants!) and where I can get a good night's sleep. Unless Jamie Lynn follows me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Addtional Coolness

I just want to add that this additional cool thing happened to me - Leslie Goldman, author and blogger that I LOVE (okay, I don't know her personally, but I love reading her Weighting Game blog and have even spent hours at work...I mean, at home, in my own time....reading the archives) commented on my blog (again!) and sent me the link to a great article she wrote about how we are always ourselves, see below:

WeightingGame said...
i LOVE going thru old things - so revealing! If I may humbly submit this story I wrote on the subject for Women's Health - I bet you'll related to it :-)http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/self-discovery

It's a great article, go check it out!

Yay! I wonder if any drawings and/or haikus from my youth mention that I'm easily excited...

I Haven't Changed A Bit...

On Friday night I went to my mom's house for stimulating conversation (my stepfather suggested that "My Girlfriend is a Virgin" would be a good name for/theme of a country song...I'll leave that one to someone else to write!), good food (actually, I brought my own dinner over, but my mom did have some dark chocolate M&Ms, and those were good) and a trip down Embarrassment Lane. Did I say that? I meant Oh-My-Gosh-There-Is-Alot-of-Stuff-Here Lane. In other words, Memory Lane.

Mom brought down a big-ass box (must take after me) of art and projects and reports cards from my youth. I have to say, I haven't changed a bit. Here is a story that I wrote about a week after I turned seven:

Snow Red and the Nine Monkeys
Once there was a little girl that had nine monkeys. She liked her monkeys. But there was a problem. They ripped things, and she didn't like it at all. She wanted to buy new furniture but she did not have enough money.

That's it, that's the whole story. For ease of reading I added some punctuation and fixed the spelling on the word "furniture" but otherwise that was all me. Monkeys??? What's with me and monkeys? I mention them with some frequency, I'm starting to wonder if that was me in a former life or something.

There was also a "book" of poetry I'd made, it was called "Pumped up on Poetry!" and I even drew some barbells on the cover. I have chosen this selection for you, since I was discussing Haiku a couple of weeks ago:

Okay, maybe I have changed. My haiku skills were way better in the sixth grade, when I crafted those four beautiful poems.

Going through all that stuff (we actually didn't finish because I got tired and decided to go home, but I'll look through the rest of it sometime soon) reminded me that the things about me that I consider my real self were always there. In a description of myself, also written in the sixth grade when I was 10 or 11, I wrote "Weird, Imaginative, Artistic, Funny". Still me, to a T. The only thing I'd do different now is make other odd phrases out of the first letters of those words like "Wicked Ingrained Afros Flew".

I am funny and artistic and even when I feel as uninspired as I did last week, I know it's still there somewhere. Hey, maybe it's at the beach, waiting for me to catch it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sunrise O'Clock Somewhere

You know the expression/song "It's 5 o'clock somewhere"? Today I was running in the morning, as I have been doing quite regularly for the last month or so, and there was a beautiful sunrise:

How did I get a picture of sunrise as I was running? Luckily the sunrise was still beautiful by the time I finished my run, so I took a picture on my oh-so-advanced cell phone. Which did not, in any way, capture the essense of the sunrise: there were pinks and other colors that I can't remember clearly now, plus the clouds were much more spectacular looking than in this representation.

Anyways, I was so happy to be out there watching the sunrise and I realized "The sun is always rising somewhere!" That means there is always a quiet moment and a sky filled with colors going on sometime, whether I'm there to see it or not. Don't get me wrong, I love 5 o'clock, too, but in that case I'm escaping from something (wearing pants. I mean, work) instead of embracing something. I love my mornings. They are pretty much my favorite time of day.

In case you don't believe me, here is another sunrise photo, this time involving one of my other favorite things, farm animals:

I took this in New Zealand when my friend Christy and I got up early to walk out to the ocean to see some penguins leaving the beach to head to the ocean, but there was some beautiful scenery along the way.
Somehow that made me feel a little better and more inspired than I've been feeling the rest of the week. Also, in case you haven't been keeping track, although I'm sure you have, it's been seven weeks since I sent my stuff to Ten Speed and I still haven't gotten a rejection letter.
Lastly, I know I haven't been very funny this week, so just in case you're about to jump off a bridge from the lack of laughter in your life, here is a link to an article by Dave Barry that made me laugh so hard I had to keep my legs crossed to keep from wetting myself. Hey, a graphic description is best to get the point across, don't you think?

Have a great weekend and smile.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NexJen's Newest Offerings

It is no secret that I have been crabby and uninspired this week. So what did I do this time? I made another PowerPoint presentation. This time it's about stuff that sucks. Please enjoy:

Do you feel more awesome? Awesome.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spreadsheet of Doom!

This is my Spreadsheet of Doom. It looks really little, I hope you can click on it to make it bigger because it's worth it. An expression of my boredom. A love letter to boredom, if you will:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This is the definition of the word uninspired: not inspired; not creative or spirited: an uninspired performance.

This is a visual representation of the word uninspired:

Yup, I cut up some lined paper and made some snowflakes and then arranged them with some other stuff from around my office in a loose star or flower or windmill or jeez, I'm too uninspired to even think of something else that fits into that shape category, shape and slapped it all down on a bright green folder. Go Jen!

Why am I so uninspired lately? (I don't know, but I'll put it in bullet form even though it's not really list material.)

  • Too much cat hair clogging the pleasure receptors of my brain?
  • No, I would say I have the same amount floating around up there as usual.
  • Not enough chocolate?
  • Maybe, I haven't had any in a few days. I've had apple cake to fill the sugar void, though...mmmm, apple cake.
  • Worries that my vacation at the beach will be destroyed by one (or more) of the 13 gazillion hurricanes currently in the Atlantic?
  • That could be part of it.
  • I haven't gotten any rejection letters recently to blog about?
  • That's true. Although it's good, I also feel like I'm floating in a void of nothingness concerning publishing my book. I think I need to reread my own book on vacation (in the basement with the windows boarded shut, eating canned beans) to inspire myself.
  • Yes, I think I can inspire myself with my own work, it is that awesome. I felt so alive when I was writing it.
  • Today I feel like...the outfit I'm wearing right now?
  • The pants are the ones with the loose hem that has staples in it, a black shirt and heels that I think are starting to make my lower back hurt. In case you didn't catch it: I feel loose at one end, dark and uncomfortable. Also very sexy, since Amy said I look good in black :)
  • Oh good, my boss just came into my office during my lunch break. Always inspiring!

Hopefully by tomorrow (or more realistically, not tomorrow) I'll feel more creative!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Memorial Day Q&A

Q: Why do you keep calling this Memorial Day when it is, in fact, Labor Day?
A: I am in charge here, I can call it what I want.
Q: What did you do this weekend?
A: I don't really remember. Oh, I did go hiking with my sweetheart and went for some walks and went to brunch/lunch with the parental units. I can tell you what I didn't do with more accuracy: work on anything remotely related to office supply art, book publishing, following my dreams, finding my spirit, or anything else related to those subjects.
Q: How many days until you leave for vacation?
A: Ten!
Q: Will you be making office supply art on vacation?
A: I don't think I'll have access to many office supplies, but I will make some beach supply art. Sand sculptures, shell mosaics, designs and patterns on my own personal skin made by forgetting to put on suncreen and forgetting to take off my flips flops, that sort of thing.
Q: What kind of art do you have for us today?
A: Doodle Poodle, baby!
Q: Huh?
A: My genius has left you speechless?
Q: Weren't you going to make some large-scale art since no one was there to stop you?
A: For your information, I am wearing a paperclip thong right now, but it's not appropriate for show and tell on this blog.
Q: Okay, well, have a good Lab--um, Memorial Day
A: Thanks, you too!