Things that fill me with joy right now


1. A quiet moment alone, away from the noise.

2. People who really help me.

3. People who help me, but ask for nothing in return. (But I will not take without giving back)

4. My tiny Toyota and where it can take me (see item #1)

5. My husband and imminent travel.

6. My cats.

7. My house

wishes, fishes

There were many days this month when I woke up, the sun streaming in through my bedroom window, and outside, unseasonably cool- I wanted to do this:

Get up, pull my hair into a ponytail, put a bandana on my head, make a thermos of coffee, fill up several bottles of water, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, put some trail mix in a bag, wash some fruit, pack it up, pack it all into a backpack. Put on some shorts, a tank top, coat myself in sunscreen, bug spray and get into my car and instead of driving west, to downtown to work, drive east or south to the woods, to the trails, to nature, from which I often feel too removed.

Every morning, I wake up, I turn the alarm off. I get five, eight, ten more minutes of sleep than I should. I run late. I shower, I don’t bother with make up, I don’t style my hair. I don’t care what I wear, grab some “business casual” out of the closet, put it on, only because I have to. I don’t like dressing up. And I rush, I make the coffee while I’m getting dressed. My cats mill around and I wish desperately to spend more time with them, with my home. I think with jealousy of the work at homes. 

But I don’t work at home, at least not during the day, during the week. I liked it, but it didn’t pay. I still do it at night, on the weekends, sometimes. I work in a gray office, which is better than a gray cubicle, I know. I have two computers on my desk, a Mac, a PC. I have my iPhone, I have work’s iPhone. I have a camera and fancy lenses I use. I am plugged in. I network with computer, with people. I push my introvert soul to the max, and I perform in my role. I’m very good at it. I’m trying to climb the ladder, but some days I wonder if I should be climbing a tree.

I think of the woods, their sensual, sensory beauty. The sun filtering through the trees. The sound of the birds, the summer bugs- even the annoying ones that buzz in my ear. The feeling of dirt under my feet, sweat pouring down my back, into my eyes as I climb a hill. There are no phones, no computers. No one you need to impress. Just me, nature, the whole big, wide world.

wishes, fishes

There were many days this month when I woke up, the sun streaming in through my bedroom window, and outside, unseasonably cool- I wanted to do this:

Get up, pull my hair into a ponytail, put a bandana on my head, make a thermos of coffee, fill up several bottles of water, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, put some trail mix in a bag, wash some fruit, pack it up, pack it all into a backpack. Put on some shorts, a tank top, coat myself in sunscreen, bug spray and get into my car and instead of driving west, to downtown to work, drive east or south to the woods, to the trails, to nature, from which I often feel too removed.

Every morning, I wake up, I turn the alarm off. I get five, eight, ten more minutes of sleep than I should. I run late. I shower, I don’t bother with make up, I don’t style my hair. I don’t care what I wear, grab some “business casual” out of the closet, put it on, only because I have to. I don’t like dressing up. And I rush, I make the coffee while I’m getting dressed. My cats mill around and I wish desperately to spend more time with them, with my home. I think with jealousy of the work at homes.

But I don’t work at home, at least not during the day, during the week. I liked it, but it didn’t pay. I still do it at night, on the weekends, sometimes. I work in a gray office, which is better than a gray cubicle, I know. I have two computers on my desk, a Mac, a PC. I have my iPhone, I have work’s iPhone. I have a camera and fancy lenses I use. I am plugged in. I network with computer, with people. I push my introvert soul to the max, and I perform in my role. I’m very good at it. I’m trying to climb the ladder, but some days I wonder if I should be climbing a tree.

I think of the woods, their sensual, sensory beauty. The sun filtering through the trees. The sound of the birds, the summer bugs- even the annoying ones that buzz in my ear. The feeling of dirt under my feet, sweat pouring down my back, into my eyes as I climb a hill. There are no phones, no computers. No one you need to impress. Just me, nature, the whole big, wide world.

Mayo on my sandwich


See, that’s what I get for mentioning it yesterday. I’m at lunch & took a bite of my delicious veggie burger & what do I taste? Bleahhh. I sent it back & they remedied the situation AND provided me with my missing pickle too.

Truesday


I saw #truesday trending on here- not sure if I know how to add the hashtag from the app on my phone, which is where I write most of these things.

I’ll start with a big one & add a few frivolous ones.

1. I’ve never wanted kids. I didn’t like baby sitting as a teenager, I’ve never had that maternal urge, and I don’t regret my decision, not one bit.

2. I was briefly a graphic design major at the first college I attended. I transferred schools because I hated living in the small town where that school was located & the school in my hometown where I transferred didn’t have a graphic design program at the time. They do now. I don’t regret my degree & career choice of photography, but I do regret that I didn’t get to experience design school.

3. I hate condiments on my sandwiches. I really hate mayo, and can’t eat a sandwich if they put it on there by mistake. Mustard is okay, but not on my sandwiches.

4. If I actually said what I thought in so many cases, I would get into so much trouble. But…

5. I hate conflict so much that I will do just about anything to avoid it. I’ll fall on my sword, swallow my pride, bite my tongue, let others walk over me, just to keep the peace.

Well. So I sort of started & ended with heavy ones. The truth isn’t always the popular opinion. Which is why generally, I keep my mouth shut. Unless you try to put mayo on my sandwich. Then- watch out!

wandering

So I had this great tumblr post almost wholly written yesterday, and just before I hit “post” the app crashed and I lost everything I wrote. That was a bummer.

I was perusing Kindle books last night, and I found some book loosely based on reality- some guy’s stories- can’t remember if they were truth or fiction, but they were all covertly tapped into Tumblr on a Blackberry. Fascinating, yes? Because that’s how I’ve been doing it, my writing. My posts are all typed into my iPhone with one finger (I don’t know how to do that smartphone typing with my thumbs). My writing is scraps of time, snatched from my day. And typing my thoughts into Tumblr has worked for me. I’m thinking of saving up some dough to get a Chromebook, though. I need a tiny writing machine. I have bits of a novel I’ve written, and if I took the time, I could maybe make it more than bits. Or I could write more blog posts. It’s something to think about.

So my Tumblr post that got snatched into the ether was a list of some of the very intense happenings in my life over that past week or so. And though I surely didn’t tell all (you know me well enough- I’m never going to do that), I did write about some things, mainly the ones that touched me directly. The ones that happened around me are not my stories to tell.

So, not to vagueblog… what are these things? What am I talking about? I’ll give you two of them.

1. I had a piece in a show last weekend and it sold before the show even opened. To a collector. Holy shit. I’m still trying to process that.

2. I’ve had several deeply meaningful conversations with fellow artists in the past week about finding the balance between making a living, and practicing your art. One with a writer colleague who is quite successful, one with an artist friend who I always assumed was more confident than me, but maybe not. We all have our struggles, after all. In a turn of the tables, instead of them helping me, it is they who need me. A strange place for me to be. And then a conversation with my beloved mentor. She who has helped me soar- now we are soaring together. It’s a good feeling, an intense feeling.

So I wandered downtown at lunch today, thinking about all these things. Thinking about where I am going, where I’ve been. Life is full of surprises.

wandering

So I had this great tumblr post almost wholly written yesterday, and just before I hit “post” the app crashed and I lost everything I wrote. That was a bummer.

I was perusing Kindle books last night, and I found some book loosely based on reality- some guy’s stories- can’t remember if they were truth or fiction, but they were all covertly tapped into Tumblr on a Blackberry. Fascinating, yes? Because that’s how I’ve been doing it, my writing. My posts are all typed into my iPhone with one finger (I don’t know how to do that smartphone typing with my thumbs). My writing is scraps of time, snatched from my day. And typing my thoughts into Tumblr has worked for me. I’m thinking of saving up some dough to get a Chromebook, though. I need a tiny writing machine. I have bits of a novel I’ve written, and if I took the time, I could maybe make it more than bits. Or I could write more blog posts. It’s something to think about.

So my Tumblr post that got snatched into the ether was a list of some of the very intense happenings in my life over that past week or so. And though I surely didn’t tell all (you know me well enough- I’m never going to do that), I did write about some things, mainly the ones that touched me directly. The ones that happened around me are not my stories to tell.

So, not to vagueblog… what are these things? What am I talking about? I’ll give you two of them.

1. I had a piece in a show last weekend and it sold before the show even opened. To a collector. Holy shit. I’m still trying to process that.

2. I’ve had several deeply meaningful conversations with fellow artists in the past week about finding the balance between making a living, and practicing your art. One with a writer colleague who is quite successful, one with an artist friend who I always assumed was more confident than me, but maybe not. We all have our struggles, after all. In a turn of the tables, instead of them helping me, it is they who need me. A strange place for me to be. And then a conversation with my beloved mentor. She who has helped me soar- now we are soaring together. It’s a good feeling, an intense feeling.

So I wandered downtown at lunch today, thinking about all these things. Thinking about where I am going, where I’ve been. Life is full of surprises.

sdzsafaripark:

With less than 4,000 left in the wild, tigers are in real danger of extinction. You can make a difference in saving tigers.

  • Share your love of tigers and spread the word about the threats they face.
  • Do not purchase products that put tigers at risk and encourage others not to, either.
  • Support programs like the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy that fund conservation work to help save tigers.
Tigers

(via sdzoo)

Near misses

It rained last night- one of those hard, summer rains, front coming in a riot of red and yellow on the weather radar. We were inside, and heard the rain pelting the windows, the crashing of thunder. Lightening charged the air and we all looked in askance at the lights, hoping the power wouldn’t go out. 

Storms make us worry about our physical things. The weather radio says damaging winds and rain, injury to roofs, siding, cars likely. We had a new roof put on our house not too long ago, and this spring we finally had the siding replaced on the right side of our house, saving to redo the rest at a later date. Outside, my new-to-me car is parked, the first car I’ve driven that isn’t a hand me down or was purchased cheaply, in slight desperation. Guard these things from the weather. Ah, but they are only things, and they can be replaced.

It’s funny (funny-odd, not funny ha-ha) how the weather mirrors the mood, sometimes; how it sways as we humans swell and sway. Years ago, at the funeral of someone gone too soon, the skies were gray, the rain drooled down the car windows as the tragedy played itself out. Last night, a storm between humans mirrored the storm outside. Perhaps our human nature is more closely linked with physical nature than we thought.

Driving home, the storm just passed. The roads were wet, reflecting the street lamps, night hugging in, all around. I grip the wheel, being careful, and stop in a sea of red tail lights. Traffic is stopped, and it could be because of construction, but we know it’s because of a wreck. We inch on, and first we see the red and blue police lights, and then we see the red pickup, front pointed toward the embankment, having slid off the road. A close call- the truck was not in the embankment, or tangled in the road side trees, after all. 

But then we go further, several feet, and there is a black car, smashed, upside down, splayed in an unnatural diagonal across the road. We gasp. I try not to slow down and gawp. “Those people are probably dead,” my husband says, and I whisper back, “I know, I know.”

How much of life is a series of near misses? How fortunate I feel that I have not yet drawn the black card, how I have never really experienced true tragedy, and how any heartbreak I’ve ever experienced is nothing in the comparison of some. How much of it is luck, how much of it is fate, and how much of it is my diligent effort to stay out of the way, to fly right? Sometimes even if you have the wings you need, and you’re steering right, a sudden storm appears, and maybe you’ll be able to soar over it, but eventually the storm will suck you down into its clutches. The question is, are we strong enough to power through it?

Near misses

It rained last night- one of those hard, summer rains, front coming in a riot of red and yellow on the weather radar. We were inside, and heard the rain pelting the windows, the crashing of thunder. Lightening charged the air and we all looked in askance at the lights, hoping the power wouldn’t go out. 

Storms make us worry about our physical things. The weather radio says damaging winds and rain, injury to roofs, siding, cars likely. We had a new roof put on our house not too long ago, and this spring we finally had the siding replaced on the right side of our house, saving to redo the rest at a later date. Outside, my new-to-me car is parked, the first car I’ve driven that isn’t a hand me down or was purchased cheaply, in slight desperation. Guard these things from the weather. Ah, but they are only things, and they can be replaced.

It’s funny (funny-odd, not funny ha-ha) how the weather mirrors the mood, sometimes; how it sways as we humans swell and sway. Years ago, at the funeral of someone gone too soon, the skies were gray, the rain drooled down the car windows as the tragedy played itself out. Last night, a storm between humans mirrored the storm outside. Perhaps our human nature is more closely linked with physical nature than we thought.

Driving home, the storm just passed. The roads were wet, reflecting the street lamps, night hugging in, all around. I grip the wheel, being careful, and stop in a sea of red tail lights. Traffic is stopped, and it could be because of construction, but we know it’s because of a wreck. We inch on, and first we see the red and blue police lights, and then we see the red pickup, front pointed toward the embankment, having slid off the road. A close call- the truck was not in the embankment, or tangled in the road side trees, after all. 

But then we go further, several feet, and there is a black car, smashed, upside down, splayed in an unnatural diagonal across the road. We gasp. I try not to slow down and gawp. “Those people are probably dead,” my husband says, and I whisper back, “I know, I know.”

How much of life is a series of near misses? How fortunate I feel that I have not yet drawn the black card, how I have never really experienced true tragedy, and how any heartbreak I’ve ever experienced is nothing in the comparison of some. How much of it is luck, how much of it is fate, and how much of it is my diligent effort to stay out of the way, to fly right? Sometimes even if you have the wings you need, and you’re steering right, a sudden storm appears, and maybe you’ll be able to soar over it, but eventually the storm will suck you down into its clutches. The question is, are we strong enough to power through it?

My camera museum


My mom gave me her old curio cabinet yesterday. I thought about putting wine glasses or random knickknacks in it, but today as I was looking around my house, I thought, of *course*- put my collection of antique and antiqueish cameras in there! They’re looking quite festive!

Here’s closer shots of each shelf & descriptions:

http://instagram.com/p/q9wtohtZP-/
http://instagram.com/p/q9wx-fNZAP/
http://instagram.com/p/q9xJqdNZBE/

Some of the cameras are thrift shop finds given to me over the years, and some are refugees of the 80s. The neatest old one is my grandmother’s Brownie. I have some photos of her holding it as a young woman on a trip to Myrtle Beach- will have to share.

The only camera in the collection that I have used and that works is my Dad’s old Yashica. He bought it in Japan when he was in the Army over 40 years ago. He took all the photos when my sister and I were kids with it. I remember him using the camera. When I started studying photography at U of L in 1996, this was the first camera I used. Since it’s a rangefinder and not a SLR (single lens reflex), I switched from it to an old SLR my uncle gave me. I gave that kit to a friend’s son a few years ago, as I haven’t shot film for 10 years or more.

My husband, who is a museum curator, said these cameras can be my “founding” collection, since I don’t remember what years I got most of them. Don’t know that I’ll add any cameras from the digital era into the collection, as I tend to trade them for newer models. Something so timeless about film cameras, yes?

#mycameramuseum

Saturday things 

1. A few months ago, I updated my circa 2010 iMac’s OS to Mavericks & all of my Adobe software to the Creative Cloud. My little Mac ran all that stuff, but it wasn’t necessary happy about it. I took it this morning to have more RAM put in it at the Mac Authority on Breckenridge Lane. What a great, no hassle experience. They did it while I waited, it was not a teeming madhouse in there like it is at the Apple store & the price was reasonable. 

2. I’m working my way toward half marathon training again. I’m doing the Urban Bourbon in November. I signed up because 1) it sounded fun and 2) training always keeps me from slacking about exercise. I’m doing a totally different training plan that involves yoga and cross training. I’m also working on stretching my comfort zone and planning to incorporate morning workouts into the plan. That’s not going to be easy, oh not at all, but if I do that, I know I’ll get it done, whereas if I plan too many workouts during lunch or after work, the chances of them not happening are high.

3. Exercise provides balance and helps with stress. It also helps me organize my thoughts. I took on a “stretch assignment” at work, and I’ve been really trying not to be hardcore stressed about it. It’s a creative direction project, which is the direction I want my career to go. It’s also a creative project in a very high profile place. It’s a project that requires rounding up talented people with different skills, and then convincing them to help. I’ve worked under the radar at my job for five years, and in that time gotten to know who does what and who the doers are and who the talkers are. Now is the time for me to apply that knowledge. I’m making good headway, but it’s a big learning process. I’m excited about that- I like to learn new things and the planets are aligning at work to give me a big chance to do something good. It’s a lot to process, and when I take a walk, go walkjogging, ride my bike, or do yoga- it helps me burn off stress in a healthy way. I must remember this.

Saturday things

1. A few months ago, I updated my circa 2010 iMac’s OS to Mavericks & all of my Adobe software to the Creative Cloud. My little Mac ran all that stuff, but it wasn’t necessary happy about it. I took it this morning to have more RAM put in it at the Mac Authority on Breckenridge Lane. What a great, no hassle experience. They did it while I waited, it was not a teeming madhouse in there like it is at the Apple store & the price was reasonable.

2. I’m working my way toward half marathon training again. I’m doing the Urban Bourbon in November. I signed up because 1) it sounded fun and 2) training always keeps me from slacking about exercise. I’m doing a totally different training plan that involves yoga and cross training. I’m also working on stretching my comfort zone and planning to incorporate morning workouts into the plan. That’s not going to be easy, oh not at all, but if I do that, I know I’ll get it done, whereas if I plan too many workouts during lunch or after work, the chances of them not happening are high.

3. Exercise provides balance and helps with stress. It also helps me organize my thoughts. I took on a “stretch assignment” at work, and I’ve been really trying not to be hardcore stressed about it. It’s a creative direction project, which is the direction I want my career to go. It’s also a creative project in a very high profile place. It’s a project that requires rounding up talented people with different skills, and then convincing them to help. I’ve worked under the radar at my job for five years, and in that time gotten to know who does what and who the doers are and who the talkers are. Now is the time for me to apply that knowledge. I’m making good headway, but it’s a big learning process. I’m excited about that- I like to learn new things and the planets are aligning at work to give me a big chance to do something good. It’s a lot to process, and when I take a walk, go walkjogging, ride my bike, or do yoga- it helps me burn off stress in a healthy way. I must remember this.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

A work friend has this quote in her profile and it struck me. Much as I don’t like to be in a state of worry and fear, you do not get ahead in this world without pushing yourself, and if you want to soar, you have to give yourself a big push.

In the past weeks, I’ve pushed myself in several ways- with work especially, but also with yoga, with everyday things. It’s not easy. I have many days where I feel like a jangling bundle of nerves, where I question what I’m doing, my talent, my validity, and where I belong. It’d be a lot easier to stick to the tried and true, the chartered territory. But in many ways, I’ve become used to kicking myself out the door. So used to it, that I actually didn’t even realize what I was doing to myself recently until I thought about it this way.

As an introvert and someone who is very interested in how people tick- my natural tendency might be to stay in instead of going out, stick to the places I know, stick to the job I know, the tasks I’m used to, the path I’m on. Carefully parcel out my energy so it’s just enough. Not too much, not too little- whatever it takes to stay in the comfort zone. That’s so much a part of my character, my personality.

But. Somewhere along the line I developed this fire within. I don’t want to just do the same old boring thing. I don’t want to be the same old boring person. I don’t want to always be careful. I don’t want to always play it safe. I don’t have it in me to be a true daredevil, but I do have it in me to test the waters, to test myself, to push myself and kick myself out the door and see just what is possible. For that I am grateful. At the end of the line, I do not want regrets, and in order to prevent that, sometimes you must take a chance.