Thursday, May 31, 2007
now sit back with a cup of coffee or some cold beverage and be prepared to love your life sooo much better than my so-called life. expecting the usual philosophical meaderings? not a chance after the day i've had. i'll try to be faithful in the painful recounting. preface: yesterday was the Day From Hell with 2 people out sick....just me, another newer girl, and a "veteran" who was never trained at all. busiest call volume yet. so i was a puddle by noon. fast forward thru my trance-like remnants of a day/night. today was not so bad - everyone all present and accounted for at work. so it's my job to pick up The Birthday Cake for my co-worker, Amy (who got me this job). mixed feelings about her these days. so, being the over-kill type person that i am, i order a whole sheet cake - strawberry filled, the whole 9 lbs. it weighs more than a Volvo. almost splits in 2 before i get it safely in the house. i'll spare you the details of getting it from the bakery counter, over the sneeze guard , through the checkout and into the car, because in retrospect those hurdles are NOTHING compared to what is about to occur. well, i have a WHOLE sheet cake, but a QUARTER sheet cake fridge. starting to get a smile, aren't you. no amount of wishin and cramming are going to get that monster into my fridge. so i empty out a shelf in the freezer. nope. too big. the bakery has closed, so there's no bringing it back and picking it up tomorrow. i get the tape measure out of my tool box and measure the shelf in the fridge. 19". i measure 19" of cake, and do the unthinkable - i cut a 6" slice off the end. we'll have 2 cakes. actually a cake (happ birthd am) and a cake-lette (y ay y). together..."happy birthday amy." so NOW - how do i get the cake-lette onto another platter??? the spatula is, well, caking up with cake. and frosting. so i cut smaller and smaller pieces till i can splat them onto the turkey platter. good. not pretty, but at this point i could care. anyway, it's CAKE! i grab my box cutter and cut the heavy duty cardboard that the cake sits on. pull on it. frosting flies in my hair, coats my glasses and arms. and shirt. and dog. crud. okay...keep going. starving for dinner (7:45pm). now i have to reconfigure the damn box to fit the smaller cake. packing tape coated with frosting works somewhat. close enough. wrap wrap wrap. now to the fridge....cram cram...no fit. still 2" too big. Crappity crap crap. i hate amy. i hate her cake. i can't even eat cake for crying out loud...blood sugar issues. clear out a shelf in the freezer. it fits. ahhh. oops - still have a cake-lette on the platter. stick candles in the smaller smaller pieces to hold the tinfoil away from it (no saran) and cover. open fridge...wait - this is the turkey SERVING platter - so designated because IT DOESN'T FIT IN THE FRIDGE. damn! starving. shaky. dog wants chicken. i want chicken. groggy. oogie. tilt cram slam. it fits. eat chickenwith frosting. so. how was your day????
at 8:49 PM
Sunday, May 27, 2007
remember Charlie Brown & Lucy? how every time she'd hold the football for him, she promised not to move it? and every time, just as he was about to kick it, she'd yank it away, and BAM! down he'd go on his back with a *sigh*. well, i think i have Charlie Brown syndrome. not a fear of failure, but as the wonderful thing gets closer, i wait for it to get yanked away. after a while, do you dare hope? or am i so programmed to expect disappointment, that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy? that i have become comfortable in disappointment...like, "whew! there it is finally - now i can relax...it's happened." am i stunting my own growth? or have paths become closed to me because there was another path to take? i can see a thread woven through my life ...how this wouldn't have happened if that hadn't come 1st. the heartbreaks, the disapointments, the wrong this or that, actually turned out to be the breeze that pushed me toward the point that i'm at now. and while not great externally, it ain't so bad internally. this point i'm at. i saw a sign in front of a church yesterday as i zipped past at too many miles per hour. "It's never too late to be who you were meant to be." Yow. good thing traffic was light! as i am discovering who i was meant to be, i've also become keenly aware of the "too late" portion....too old, too comfortable, too scared, too fill-in-the-blank with any/all excuses. which brings me back to charlie brown and the football. why do i continue to run towards that damn ball? yes, it's a great point for "if at first you don't succeed...." but there comes a point where you have to scratch your head and say, "maybe a different way." maybe that different way is to say "why not?? WHY wouldn't this work?" or hit the showers and join a new game. and stop blaming Lucy for the fact that you keep running for that same damn ball. in the past 2 years, i've had some amazing insight foisted upon me. it all started when my great-good-friend Georgia (yes, the famous poet is MY friend!) began demanding of me that i call myself an artist because i WAS one. it was ridiculously uncomfortable at first. i remember telling my creative writing teacher at OCC that i hoped to be a writer someday. he replied that i was one, then. you are what you feel you are, he said. at what point would it become "legitimate?" good point. so i guess the second time i was hit with the same undeniable logic, it was easier to swallow, right? nope. artists are different than me. they are cool. self-assured. they have their own art-language. they drink latte and hang out with other cool people - all wearing very slim black pants and berets. they talk about looking at "spaces" and interpretive this-n-that. they listened to more jazz than i could bear, even having dated 3 jazz musicians in my life. (2 more than was essentially necessary). i was none of these things. and still am not and never will be- i am a nervous wreck most times. a definate square peg. at times, needy to the point of egotistical. i do own black pants, however, not in a size considered "slim." and more inclined to listen to Stevie Nicks or Indigo Girls than Coltrane. so i spent last year feeling equal parts enlivened by my new persona, and feeling like a fraud. so i did what i usually do: retreated to the comfort of my fabric, fiber, wood and metal, beads and paints. and - you guessed it- made art. hmmmm, you may say - but didn't you just say...fraud. oh yes, my friend. at some point during some early morning junking at the flea market, it occured to me ....HEY! if i make art...i AM an artist! hunh. this may have been a much easier concept for most of you to grasp early on, had it been you instead of me, but again...the football - good things just don't happen. so while i was busy expecting the worst, some slow & subtle lessons were being learned - unbeknownst to me. a certain shifting, a slow dawning, a growth. i was becoming the person i was meant to be. i began to realize that it was possible to speak common-man english and still be an artist. i also realized that the art-speak was 1 of 2 things, depending on the speaking person and also the place spoken in. it was either an attempt at elitism. or an attempt to define the un-definable. (sorry GP). when someone asks what your art piece represents, it's kind of like "if i could speak it, i wouldn't have to create it." it isn't so much a representation of a concept....it's more like the representation of what that concept evokes in me. how does it make you feel when you look at it or touch it? then THAT'S what it represents. so in attempt to define what cannot be spoken, a whole vocabulary was invented. words and phrases like "textural representation" or what have you. yes, i agree...most of the time it's just being hoity-toidy. and i avoid that at all costs. who needs more of that? i also discovered that most of these cool people were not so self-assured....that many had the same issues i had - "am i good enough?" "oh God what if they find out I don't have a fine arts degree?" the important stuff. so anyway, as i ramble toward some point or another (because if you know me, you know i am unable to tell a short story), i realized that i was developing opinions...i wasn't just taking in the whole "art world" as it were (and the artists i knew) and saying, WOW - i must not be an artist because i don't paint. or my work is so much different, mine must be lesser. nope. i started realizing that my expressions of my muse was as legitimate as anyone else's. my technique or medium may be different, but that doesn't make it lesser, or less valid. so as i slowly came to this reckoning, i began to see that i didn't have to kick the football. and that not everyone who holds a brush, or welding torch is a better person than me. yes, there are things within my personality that i am not proud to feel or think. but, they have a place. but those things should not overshadow the sum of the whole. (yes, i'm still reading Einstein). i really feel like this year will bring a culmination of good and bad things from my life together to blossom into a new and wonderful thing. a big thing. i'm not sure what, but i have a tilt-a-whirl kind of buzzing excitement on the outskirts of my brain that hasn't made itself clear yet. my personal big bang theory. so until that time comes, i'll keep plugging away making art. real art. from the stirrings in my soul. i have to. because i'm an artist.
at 9:31 PM
Sunday, May 20, 2007
i'm reading a really fat book called "Einstein," which is obviously about Albert Einstein...my all-time top-of-the-list most interesting person. i would've loved to have met him. anyway, it occured to me - does anyone "wonder" anymore? with cable, satellite dishes, 24-hour news, cell phones, blackberries, etc, we are so bombarded with information. does that make us feel full? does it seem as though there are no more "great thoughts" to think - unless they are commercially connected. not just that next great cell phone feature, or the newest 10-D graphics for Nintendo. but true discovery. have we discovered all that will ever be discovered? it seems science is working diligently on cures for the newest diseases - depending on funding of course. but what about the person who looks up at the sky, or down at the ground, and says "i wonder...." and that wonder, that one niggling question or theory, becomes their life's passion - even if there is no funding from Smith-Kline or Bristol Meyers or the government or fill-in-the-blank. wonder for the sake of wonder. and absolutely needing to answer the questions. watching a small child discovering the world around them is a lot like that. not that i have a huge fondness for kids for extended amounts of time, but seeing life through their eyes is amazing. a blade of grass...a bird...pots & pans...name it! they are awestruck! and it isn't just the educated or important - it's often the person with a little imagination and a lot of time that come up with the Big Thoughts, but no resources or tools to check the theory. Einstein was a locksmith, then a patent clerk. He, at one point, married his 1st cousin. now imagine that scenario today. yeah, okay, quantum what?? your break time's over. here's my theory - the Big Thinkers have a symbiotic & special relationship between the left & right brain. they can "see" the theory they're trying to prove. they also are so consumed by the passion of their idea, that they don't care (or notice) the reaction of the people who don't believe. or can't see with their eyes. not that i mean to proclaim myself anywhere in the genius league, but when i get an idea for a piece, it starts like a few bees buzzing around something sweet. as the idea begins to gel, it becomes more insistant - demanding more focus, more refining, till i can see what i want to do. it's not really a mental picture, and i could never sketch it out. it's more of a feeling or experience i want to create. sometimes in fiber, sometimes in rusty metal and wood. but as i move from shelf to shelf, drawer to drawer in my workspace, the pieces for that project sing. they feel right. i often end up with my worktable littered with odd and ends that didn't work well with the piece no matter how much i wanted to use them. it's done when it tells me it's done. when trying to fit one more object in feels forced or too much. being in that zone is exhilirating and exhausting. i have to remind myself to eat and sleep. left to my own devices (and a lottery win) the first thing to end up at my curb would be my clocks. (unless i took them apart to use in a project!) my days and my nights are often opposite of "regular" days and nights. short naps can carry me over through long work sessions. funny though how i get exhausted by noon at my "real" job. the art - it's life itself to me. so i guess i got off on this tangent while i was trying to imagine what it must feel like to "discover" something that has never been discovered before. not just finding an arrowhead on a 6th grade archaeology dig...but a whole new explanation for the world around us. i mean, what made some guy wake up one day and wonder, " hunh - i wonder why we aren't flung off the planet into space?" and then follow up with experiments with apples and figs, i think. why is it that wonder and art and beautiful poetry are thought of as "free time" luxuries, and not valued as par with the guy who thinks up the new color for the Razr phone? an "alternate" lifestyle. what the heck is it an alternative from? and why is it considered alternate? why isn't it just "another?" why do writers and thinkers have to go on Oprah to be able to get credibility? (so to speak). so anyway, these are the things i wonder about today. A list of people I'd like to meet - not necessarily in order: 1) Albert Einstein 2) Joseph Cornell 3) the Dalai Lama 4) Ty Pennington (sorry, call me shallow) 5) Galileo 6) the scientists mapping the human gene structure 7) Steven Tyler (see note on #4) 8) Fred Hillegas ( who inspired me to become a journalist when I was 9 or 10) 9) Walt Disney 10) Ellen DeGeneres (for being brave and funny and just not giving a shit) i'm sure the list will continue, and i'm sure i missed a whole bunch, but i'm hungry so that's all for now.
at 9:02 AM