a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

today i feel expressionless...although i've spent every waking moment in my studio working on my book, i don't feel my soul in it. the pages look amazingly flat and without Something. they could have been done by anyone. i went to a scrap & stamp expo this morning hoping to find some book vendors like last year, but there were very few vendors of any sort, and even fewer customers. last year the line went down the sidewalk to get in. not so this year. and i honestly have no interest in sparkles and glitter and daubers and such. i did find one vendor (Picasso) who had some incredible handmade marbled papers and even sold me some of his private stash of asian paper scraps. a nice walk with diva early early this morning - i promised her First Thing, and for once kept my promise. i am anxious to be done with this "holding pattern" i'm in...but the Word is "Wait," and i am finally learning to trust that gentle voice. but the frustration is building. maybe that's the lesson - learning to wait. learning to be patient. learning that there is a time for everything. and the time is now for trust. and patience. learning that "wait" is in itself movement, and part of the process. not 2 of my stronger virtues. give me something else. but i'm almost afraid to ask, knowing how my life goes! i feel grumpy and out of sorts. so now you've had the weather report. bored yet? and the thing is this...i know from hindsight that some of my best work follows these times...these times when i just want to curl up in a ball and wrap my blankets around me and sleep away my days. it's just the space between those creative surges that can kick you in the head. i have a project ahead of me for a show. it stares, half-started. i'm not the kind of person who "plays" artistically. i don't have days where i just spontaneously grab sheets of paper and slather paint or what-have-you all over them and discover the next new workshop entry. i am more meticulous. and careful, maybe. spending a few days thinking about it, working out a design issue, maybe, or what material to use, and mostly what i want to express. then it all fits together and i go to the worktable and start. the end result rarely, if ever, resembles anything i had planned...except the intent...the message, if you will. and the message may not be anything recognizable to anyone else, but i see my soul in the work. i once did an interpretation of one of Georgia's poems in an assemblage piece. both works are wonderful, but you'd never guess one had anything to do with the other. same with the "Sweet and Bitter Bowl" inspired piece. but it's there. there are skills i need in order to get to the next level of what i want to express...work in materials i've never used. there is a weeklong workshop about an hour from me this summer. do i dare take the time, when 2 weeks after that i leave for NH? i am longing for time...i feel everything in me scream for it...and to not worry that taking the time will affect other lifeparts. i feel i've come to far in my decision to turn back and say i stay here but only to work on art, yet to go means even less time on art...which will eat more of my spirit? which will drudge me down more than the other? it's noble to say that i cannot live in an environment where i am disregarded. it's the more difficult path to leave. to have peace of soul, yet chaos in life...trying to balance a full time Big Girl Job against time for art and time for Diva my love & my Reason. which of these two is the lesser of the tangled journeys? truth in my soul, or truth in my head? ah, yes...the Third Option. i am reminded. so back to the top we go...feeling anxious for the answer...to at least move in any direction. i picture myself standing on a rocky crag with the ocean swirling below, spray from the crashing waves sending beads of water high into the air, but i am higher still...i stand, feet together, back arched, heart presented to the sky, arms outstretched and back...open open open to the Greatness, open to the Love, and the Peace which surpasses all understanding...and i accept. Wait. i wait. L.

Friday, May 29, 2009

character & reward

today i built character. i went to work. though a thousand swirling projects grabbed at my heels and held me to the pillow, then made a warm shower an inviting womb to crawl into, then made it rain hard (HARD)...i grudgingly got dressed and went in. i did refuse to shave, though. i sat in my car with Guru Ma rolling sweetly out of the speakers...through my hair...lulling with the rain...and. i. went. in. i was greeted by an ebullent Gummyfriend who hugged me tight and said "i am SO glad you're here!," as if she knew just knew what a struggle it was to drag my aching hands and ankles and itchy back and head across town and into the office. as if she knew Diva was up for hours yarking in the wee hours. as if she knew just. how. badly. i needed. a hug. just then. none of these things she knew. not one. but instinct drove her to smother me in one of her huge hugs. and then i knew it was 2 swashbuckling wenches with Dangerously Bad attitudes and the will to Fight anyone in our way...it was us 2 against the farces of evil. Them. the Report Readers. and there, hunched over a stack of papers literally Literally i tell you 8-inches tall...2 piles i saw then. each 8-inches tall. there hunched was our new person. fresh from a dry socket root canal experience and still walking in the door. we'll get to her soon enough. i inquired as to why why new person are you hunched over these stacks? well! a new report needed to be done, but, alas, the reader of the report (who makes 6-figures no doubt) can't read reports the way the others do, so had tasked her with re-labeling each and every piece of paper in a new database Just For Him! cue the choir! angels sing! such brilliance. i mean, what a waste to have him LEARN HOW TO READ the report the way everyone does. a tear slid down her face. i felt my first moment of compassion of the day. Drastic Measures were needed. ahoy. i told her New Person, i am all caught up on my taskwork...i will personally take responsibilty for relabeling the already labeled. you, go now, and learn the job you were hired to do. she looked at me with slit eyes, knowing i had sticky notes upon sticky notes of work to do... knowing perhaps what was to happen...yet not. wanting to ask...yet not wanting to know. gummyfriend began shaking her head in a Nancy Kerrigan Nooooo. but i knew by the smile, that she meant yes. i took the piles and took responsibilty. knowing i would never be thrown under a bus. knowing that the last friday of the month is shredderman day. ahoy RMilhouse. now, twinkle that reportreader. L.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

pinball brain

if you are new to this blog, i invite you to take a minute and start at the very beginning post...it puts it all in perspective. as if i've ever had perspective! now. Conversation with the cat: Pearl: what is that? Me: a book. Pearl: what's a book? Me: you read it and learn stuff Pearl: oh. (pause) Pearl: what's "read?" Me: it's like when you use your nose to sniff, but instead i use my eyes. Pearl: that is so weird. it went on forever. till even the dog got sick of it and told her to shut up. now. yes. we are all calling in sick one day next week. i had nothing to do with orchestrating that. except maybe planted the seed in an obscure sort of wishful way. who knew that 78 calls and 2 hours later, Other People would suddenly see the beauty of it? who knew they would latch onto my words like a titanic liferaft and daydream the very same possibilities that i had? daily. for a year. who knew? my job, in case you're catching up, is to get yelled at all day. on the phone. and then repay the favor by giving people their money back (and sometimes more) for any real or perceived infraction or loss. today, i surpassed all wonder: i engaged in an email conversation with a man who declared himself dead 3 years ago, thinking it would just make the bills we were sending him die also. au contraire. he steadfastly told any/all who called and wrote him that he had been deceased for 2 years prior. i expressed that i was glad to see he was doing better, healthwise, and would need him to provide me with a declaration of some sort (raised seal intact) of his resurrection in order for me to speak with him. if he was, indeed, him. due to federal HIPPA laws, and all. federal jail time just isn't the same now that Martha's home. the reply, as expected, was a hearty "F*&^ OFF." i suspect it was him after all, given that the tone of the email pretty much matched the previous few years worth of notes from Beyond. so in the midst of this Stuff i deal with for pay, i had to wonder, Who Else would put up with this for a day? beside me and my co-worker Gummyfriend. (we have nicknames). no one. no one else could take this abuse for 8 hours and then return again and again, like kicked dogs to the shoe. and i can't say i mind it, but the red tape that is involved in answering a simple complaint (as if any of them are simple) is just boggling. the boss rolls her eyes when she sees me cueing up for comment in our meetings. after i make it clear (again) that i have opted out of the bonus plan (that no one ever attains) and could care less about their reports and numbers and goals, and after i remind them that i am a person and not a "skillset," after all that preamble, i once again repeat that i was hired to do a job that i am damn good at, and will not take time to justify my 8 hours ad nauseam in 15 different databases. that if the report-readers were not smart enough to all look in 1 spot, i did not have the time or patience to pander to overpaid idiots. she began scheduling meetings on my days off. they went quicker, but were lacking. at least that was the report. now they've made me retuen fulltime, so be careful what you wish for. i just can't get fired....it's like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. lord knows i try. of course now that i NEED the actual income to support myself, it'll probably crash. (don't listen God, no negative thoughts - safe place safe place). well, as usual, a fitting tribute and ending to a perfectly usual day ....time to go clean up dog yark. good night y'all..see you at the kirtan! xoxlinda

Monday, May 25, 2009

a quiet, yet amazing day. as usual, the gypsy woman woke me at 5am and rather than hit the studio, i spent time in meditation. as i mentally began to pull out my shopping list of what i want and questions i needed answering, i said Ah Ha, nope, and took a few steps to the side. this morning would be about gratitude. period. not about working through anything. not even a sculpture design issue. just. gratitude. the quietness of that time followed me as i walked through the silent house...even the usual creaky spots in the floor seemed quieter. i walked in a cloud of gratitude...pure gratefulness. to try to explain or verbalize would be impossible. but every iota of my being was vibrating with the joy for all i have...for all i don't have...for the quiet...for the silencing of the inner noises in order to feel the sameness, the connection with the creation around me. i know that sounds all mescaline, but i told you it was difficult to verbalize. it was a peacefulness and a knowledge that all is well, and will be well, no matter what outside appearances seem to say. i headed back up to the studio, ready to work. and just couldn't. i didn't want my mind distracted from the moment. so, what else to do? hit the shower. i do my best thinking in the shower, and thankfully, we have a hot water on demand system! and i thought soapy thoughts: what is my bliss? where is the golden thread that ties together the things that make me ecstatic? blissful? what are the things that feel authentic for me? who am i really? and you know, it always comes back to a parenthesis of things: service to others, making connections between those that need and those that have to give. simple. i am absolutely rocked to my core when i know my favorite wildlife rehabber needs, say, a sterilizer for her feeding tools, and i realize i am sitting on a motherload of them. and just know that it would be a mere question away to liberate one (legally). and maybe someone else needs xyz, and another has xyz. you get the point. i am pantingly ecstatic to be used in that way. and that, my friends, has become the next baby step. realizing where the path begins. where the third option sits in a gilded box, spilling open light and promise and authenticity for me. and hopefully a little rust. i also know that i miss my yoga practice. it is a lifeforce for me. it puts everything in perspective. what am i willing to bring to the table to trade for 2 hours off early, once a week? quite a lot. and i will propose this tomorrow. without my practice, the vines creep in and choke back the goodness. i look back on posts i've made since not being able to go, and i feel them slowly draining of spirit. i do feel pulled toward a more spiritual walk through this world - not a holier-than-thou thing...not a walk with blinders that can only see/speak of beliefs and prayer and meditation. just being me, only deeper, better...like the old, "BASF" commercials. "we don't make the _____, we make it better." there are 2 people in particular that i feel such an incredible pull towards...a knowing somewhere in my spirit that they will be important to my next baby steps. one person, i met once, but they stayed in my heart in ways that are so pure and demanding of notice...when we met, something in my hear told me that this person would become important at sometime in my life. the other, i rarely see, but have had a deep heart connection with for a very long time. i'm not sure what role they will play in my next steps, but will wait for it to play out to me, rather than chasing after something i know nothing about. so unusual for me! that hamster wheel can be addicting - you really think you're going somewhere, then you stop and realize - you're in the same place! sometimes it takes a 360 trip around the darn thing to make you get off (as if i've ever BEEN a hamster. but i've HAD them and have watched them, so i know from where i talk, nu). now, in the Strangest Thing I've Seen Today column: little decorative tissues with Shiva on them. at Tuesday Morning. i mean, would you honk on Jesus? (like the old bumper sticker). seems wrong and i'm not Hindu. (i don't think.) sending you big honkin' hugs y'all! xoxLinda

Sunday, May 24, 2009

drops of jupiter & random thoughts

sorry -still no pics. next time. maybe. i hope. so the west coast gypsy woman had diva wake me up at 5am this morning. i've come to expect it. last night was a difficult surrender to sleep as i wrestled and teased out ANY detail of a new sculpture i have buzzing in my brain. i hate when they play hard-to-get...get all the anticipation up, then hide behind a list of mindless chores, much like a prom date with a chaperone...look but don't touch. after deciding NOT to do the face casting on myself (Amy pointing out that it would be a challenge after my eyes were covered. duh - who knew??) i was back at square one. the CrowWoman i had planned didn't have the right vibe for what i wanted. back to square -1. but i knew the emotion and the story i wanted to express. 1 step forward. now at zero. so at 5am, when only the crows were singing kirtan out my window - call and response - i spied the very item i needed in my heap of rusty stuff. the very item that fairly screamed PICK ME and became the inspiration for the rest of the piece. and then another. and another. and they all fit perfectly together...barely needing any joining work...like they were born to fit together in just this way, despite being formerly used in very different applications in their former lives. can i just say that i hate copycats in the worst way? that's why i rarely take workshops, unless it's to learn a specific skill that i know i can apply to my own work in my own way. that's why i rarely, if ever, invite people to my studio if i have a project in progress. i just hate seeing something so very familiar come from someone else's hand before i've had a chance to even finish mine. that's why you'll see semi-finished projects in my studio - they sit unfinished at the point where the good vibe went out of them and negativity came into the room. i'm not sure where that rant came from, but i'm leaving it because it seems important to. so...oh. the 3rd option. not forgiveness...not business-as-usual, as i feared it may be. i am willing to forgive with the depth of what i am able. but this time, forgiveness does not include forgetting and carrying on as if nothing happened. it means forgiveness to release the badness, and then moving on. and the third option is not about any of that. i need to let it solidify a bit more before i can verbalize it, but i am grateful from the smallest atomic part of me all the way to the largest (my ass, no doubt). (ok, so i'm not ready to shave my head, don a saffron robe, and be humble. unless i can swear every so often). i have to admit that sometimes nothing feels better than a great blue wave of profanity. it feels so...naughty. have you checked out Brian Andreas yet? www.storypeople.com. i re-read his book this morning as i searched for inspiration. very subtle. thank you again, girl posse, for again gifting me with your hearts and intentions. i'm growin' like a weed, dudeloves! so nice. and now...back to jupiter. xoxlinda

Saturday, May 23, 2009

i really should post some pictures...you'll start thinking i have no life. oh wait... aaaaanyway...so my fortune cookie fortune continues to come true. i am being slammed with opportunities artwise. no complaints. i'm in my Fred Flintstone mode - too many ideas...running in place like the flintstone mobile. soon a quiet moment will render them organized. sunday morning - church in the closet...just quietudeness, gratitude, opening, listening. my life? right now the word in my ear is telling me: Wait. and i am (for once) listening. it's not a "hot flash backstep" wait. just a "hold on for some things to fall in place" wait. i am peaceful. despite the J5 in my earphones. i miss my yoga class. that hour-and-a-few just set things right. every so often at work i'll just strike a pose. mostly for myself. somewhat to keep them thinking. the mood of the workplace has changed. where there was once a family atmosphere, there now blows a red veil of greed. and that greed is demanding more than is humanly possible from all. where once happy people gave more than humanly possible, there now sits tired, disgruntled people. tears are a more common sight. with one out already on stress disability. i wait for the Third Option. heart open and expectant. i am grateful to you, girl posse, for holding my hands and making me skip to your tune. i am thankful for your gifts of music and art and words and glances and disturbingly funny emails and voice messages. i may take a drive to my Lake soon...i've written out my negativity and plan to rip it up and cast it into the lake to be taken away and cleansed. sometimes symbolic gestures are the most powerful. as simple as a cup of tea...as complex as a sculpture being brought to life. tonight, God help me, (and i mean it) i plan to try to lifecast my own face. which explains why i sit here typing in procrastination. although the exfoliating spa benefits intrigue me, i'm not sure our medical insurance can handle one more ER claim. between me and the stepdrinker, we seem to make beter use of that card than the Saks 5th that i have tucked away for when i want really good underpants. oh well, nothing ventured, nothing ripped from the bone by stuck plaster. okay - time to plunge in. wish me luck. xoxL.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

pulling weeds and setting down roots

this has been an amazing month. after making the decision to break free from my life-as-we-know it, i expected to feel the chaos and torment that i usually do, and end up turning back and resuming the same old. but not so much this time. not at all, in fact. i feel centered, grounded, and at peace. i don't feel the need to stay on the phone for hours "trying out" ideas with friends. i just have a quiet certainty that this is the right direction. now the hard part: wait. rather than impulsively dive head first into the direction i know is right, i feel a hand on my shoulder gently nudging me one baby step, then wait, baby step, then wait. wait for what? clear direction on the next step. much like someone climbing a mountainside with a buddy rope, i feel i must wait until i see where to place my foot. this is new to me. this feels good. and while i wait, i see weeds being pulled around me...relationships that are weedy seem to dissolve. rather than the angry, nasty tossing aside of friendships or clothes that don't fit or outgrown supplies, instead there is a gentle wave goodbye. my neighbor had sent me an email earlier in the year stating that she didn't have time for our friendship any longer. now that it's spring, the neighbors are all out chatting and walking kids and dogs. i called her to see if she wanted to take a quick walk with me and Diva...just to establish a friendly, neighborly comfort. not to re-engage in our full out friendship (which was destructive to us both). she declined then re-emailed me and got nasty in telling me that we could wave from a distance but that was it. normally i would just let it slide and feel torn inside. instead, i replied with what my intention had been, and closed the chapter on that relationship. other things, too have been pushed aside, so that it is truly clear that my journey will take me from this house. and in accepting these things, other opportunities have arisen that astound me. i have been invited to participate in an art show in LA. now y'all know that something like that would include months of inspirationless hand-wringing and angst and feelings of unworthiness. this time - nope. i have a few ideas and need to sort out which one to do. not TOO MANY as usual, not TOO FEW as other-usual. and i know i have come to a place where, hell yeah, i'm worthy, and able. and what's worthy?? 'splain? so my prayer is for a nice little house for me and Diva, with studio space, and ridiculously affordable. i have my eye on a place, and am hoping the current people just move. stunning to me - i qualify for a great mortgage, and have some phenomonal women in my life helping me - realtor, mortgage person etc. i'm not sure i want the burden of a motgage, but will weigh it out when the need arises. my job...well...not so good. stable and secure. but it is my challenge right now. and after watching a particularly well crafted TV ad last night, i realized that i would love to make my career that of an advocate. i'm good at it. it's what i do. ever since beating up Steven on the kickball court when i was 8 years old. i'm in it for the underdog. or the underserved. or those who feel they have no voice. that's the part of my job i love now. it's all the pushback and documentation i sure could live without. so that's my update. in short: Life is good. got the t-shirt to prove it! xox Linda

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

as i was saying...pt 2

on the way back from Boston, we took a detour to this little town that was made up of little shops...all local artisans. the guy in the grocerette said he is one of only 5 residents that are there all year 'round. Luckily, one of the others is the snowplow guy. in one of the gallery/shops, i came across some prints and books by Brian Andreas.. www.storypeople.com. bought some stuff, oh did i. at first i thought...what is this? with the accent on "is." then i read the narratives, and stood there teary-eyed as i read my life story as written by a child. a child - small person who's mind is not yet cluttered with "stuff." amazing. you'll love him. order every single one of his books. he has a picture of his family on the back cover, and you can see the kids grow up. here's one of his prints: well, the words: Is willing to accept that she creates her own reality except for some of the parts where she can't help but wonder what the hell she was thinking and In my dream, the angel shrugged & said, If we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination & then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand. and (to my Diva) She laid on my chest & her breathing filled me almost to beyond what I could hold i have his book, Strange Dreams, and a few prints. really cool stuff. Thank you Brian. the rest of the trip was vanilla following this. I am a collector of fortune cookie fortunes, because you never know. i've had one stuck on my bathroom mirror (next to where i stamped ants marching up the glass, much to my husband's horror) that says "Doors will be opening for you soon." trust it. it is. and i am walking through them in wonder, with a humble and grateful heart, and (finally) not feeling like an imposter. i am owning myself, and my life. and it really feels very cool. and the other fortune cookie fortune there is "now is the time to circle your mints." hunh. go figure. i wondered when. and with all this climactic drama going on, i feel drama-less. just settled, centered, ready. remembering Lot's wife, and looking forward. remembering Enchanted Forest, and being so excited to just BE there that as i ran toward Paul Bunyan, i turned to see where everyone else was, tripped, fell, ruined my favorite shorts set with the polka dots and applique tulip. not to mention little bleeding knees. so, i will walk forward LOOKING forward, and at my own pace. but one foot continuing in front of the other. and june 1st begins (again) my personal anti-smoking campaign. cross your fingers for me that this will be for keeps this time. who has the money, hunh? light sparks and blessings on y'all....time to glue some stuff! xoxLinda

the mind is a terrible disease

first...congrats to my dear broseph! he is now BMGMA! i am so proud...so many times he wanted to quit, when it seemed hard & pointless. but he followed through. now some random thoughts while i wait for glue to dry....am i the only one who's ever been asked to be a facebook friend by a Tibetan Monk? think of the whole thing here. when in our history would you think of the terms "Tibetan Monk" and "facebook" in the same sentence? do you now see the challenges i face just getting through my days?? (of course i said "yes" to the friend thing. you never know). someone (the hazards of age - it was either jen or swirly)(i think)had a little video posted on her site, and it hit me between the eyes. and now, i would like you all to know here and now that i have a crush on myself. you will be sick of hearing me say that, but it's very affirming. and when i'm having "a moment," i will say it out loud. and as often as needed. i have a few more thoughts, but Diva is wolf-howling to go out. so we shall. and i will return.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

remember me??

yes - i'm still Amish. my computer has Pierre swearing in tongues. i am using the computer at the library, so still have no email. this is just a weird, weird feeling. i'm not sure when i'll be up and running again with any kind of certainty, so if you need to contact me, please use my cell voice mail. (home VM is dicey at best). today marks a big day for me, and i hope to share more soon, but pls keep those good, warrior woman thoughts headed my way please. i will need them for the next part of my journey. we'll talk soon. xox linda

Sunday, May 03, 2009

1000 acts of kindness

last january, i made a secret resolution to myself to perform 1000 acts of kindness this year. then i changed it to 1,730...the extras were set aside for me...to be kind to myself twice a day for the year. sounds simple and almost pathetic - just twice a day? but when you think about how busy a day gets, it really is just right. the "me" kindnesses can be anything from a new, fragrant soap that fills the shower with sandalwood and cinnamon, or a new tea to sip slowly and savor(though God knows I own them all!), or a moment of meditation in the middle of the day. the other thousand? well, i may have to pull back or i'll overreach. those are far easier to do than taking those moments for myself. hmmm. it's just too damn fun to mentally tick something from the list..."okay 850 to go..." i suppose the usual 'holding the door' counts, but i am a person given to large acts...not content to just get by. i LOVE when a little wishing and planning and a lot of synchronicity fall together to form a bright ball of grandness and blessing all over someone. it's a huge crack high for me. i should work at make-a-wish...except for the sad part. so this wednesday, my life will be scattered to at least 3 of the 4 winds...i'm going to Boston...diva goes to grandma's...computer goes to Pierre's for a sleepover...car goes into the shop. i hope to gather all back in 1 piece...a better-than-before piece. including the piece going to Boston. i am fighting this S.A.D. with everything in me right now (Stepchild Affective Disorder) and aside from a permanently clenched stomach, blinding headaches, visible blood pressure, teeth ground down to nubs, nosebleeds and poison ivy, except for those things, i think i'm winning. hopefully there's a light left on for me elsewhere, 'cause this "here" is doing me no good. hunh...only took 7 years to screw up the courage to say that out loud. L.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

this will be good! this has certainly been a year of art shows...today i picked up the remaining pieces from the Delavan....some going to their forever homes, some coming home with me. i felt so manly driving the uhaul! and i am exhausted so, goodnight! tomorrow i go visit a Very Special little Creature...my other love. shhhh! xoxLinda

Friday, May 01, 2009

hello and welcome to my friday

i've always tried, here in my little scrap of the world wide web, to be delightful. by that i mean not too depressing, although you must admit, my Path of Life has a lot of shade trees. and i try not to kvetch too too much, although genetically, it's an uphill battle. and lord knows how hard i try to keep a jupiter perspective ("if this were viewed from jupiter, just how important would it be?"). but i just need to say this: i have come to hate my job. there. i know a few of you are smirking knowingly...you've been waiting. it's just that i am so tired of people thinking they have to scream or besmirch the company in order to get free stuff or money back. stop it just stop it. my job title, for god's sake, is nothing less than fairy godmother. tooth fairy godmother. a person could call me up, give me their account number, and break into the final verse of Night Fever by the BeeGees, and i am supposed to give them all their money back. that is the nature and description of my job duties. you don't have to threaten to call your attorney (like any self-respecting lawyer would take on a case over a bill for $75), and just how much do you think "the principal of the thing" will cost you in billable hours?? unless you have been physically maimed beyond repair, then you have officially lost your right to yell in my ear. and for the record...i am not stupid, and i have never slept with your mother. a tasty tidbit of information has fallen into the wrong hands (mine) however. apparently, snicker snicker, when i push the "mute" button on my phone, it will continue to record my voice even though the party on the other end of the telephonic miracle cannot (hopefully) hear me. know where this is headed? now, when the recording (which is actually my voice work) says "this call may be recorded..." rest assured it is. and not for training purposes. it is so when they randomly select 3 of my calls to "score" every month, they have something to refer back to. there is a long list of 33 "smile points" i must include in my conversation with you if i am to win the prize: a bonus. however, just as anyone is about to grab that brass ring, they change the matrix points (their term) so it has not yet been possible to attain bonus. by anyone. so having more self-respect than need for the game, i opted out. in reality, you cannot officially opt out. i just don't care. truly and deeply. don't care. i don't look at my scores. i don't put on the headset and listen back, scoresheet in hand, trying for that extra nano-slice of a point that would get me on the path to financial righteousness and $300 closer to that beach condo and mazzerati. i just don't care. but what i do care about is tweaking The Listeners and Scorers whenever possible. and this, my friends, is where the beauty of the mute button became important. paired with an innate talent to talk out of both sides of my mouth, thanks to years working in radio with people i despised, i can carry on a seamless conversation with a dissatisfied customer, while hitting the mute button from time to time and pop off with something totally inappropriate. and the scorers and listeners have no idea, none, whether i said this TO the person or if i did in fact hit my mute button. except that the customer is still ranting unabated. today, i tried hypnosis. "i know you're listening...and it's sooo boring...it's late...you are getting sleeeepy...you are under my power...score this high or forever cluck like a chicken." i sang a few hymns, "this is my story, this is my song...praising my Savior all the day long." the people sitting near me are used to my Rain Man-esque outbursts and pay me no mind. and don'tcha know, today, the New new boss was listening with a listener so he could learn the ropes. what fun is this! yes, i've seen the commercial where the guy comes in to fix the mute button right after the boss gets dissed in a conference call. but sooner or later, it'll be time to leave this paradise anyway, and why not leave a legacy? not just The Girl Who Got Fired, but, didja hear the one about The Girl Who's Mute Button Didn't Work? so that part of my job is okay. so can you tell i've been feeling weary and weepy and not at all my Zen-like self? i think i know why. remember the gypsy woman from a post or two back? the one that whispers to diva to wake me up uber-early on saturday mornings to make art and have beautiful thoughts? well it works, however...diva cannot tell time. and dogs live by no man's calendar. so EVERY morning, she will begin waking me at 3am-ish, just in case. so by 5am, i just give in semi-curse, and get up and make art. i refuse to have beautiful thoughts that early though. and then it's too soon 7am, and so starts my hamster wheel. and when i leave the house at 9-ish, i feel homesick. and much longing. not only for my diva, who now has the benefit of some quality mom-time. but for my art. a lump forms in my throat. i want just one more hour in my studio, with it's morning light so perfect, and the quietness, and the smell of the paint and varnishes and found objects of every imaginatory kind. by 10-ish, i am in full passionate longing for some soft matte gel medium. and i am working harder at squashing resentment than i am at my job. add to this the fact that although it is at least a full month before poison ivy season, yours truly is covered from wrist to elbow in itching, oozing hivatiousnesss, and it's my right arm...the one that scrapes along the desktop while i manage the mouse. i could swear i reminded God that there already WAS a Job in the bible. so once again, i've prattled waay too long. so goodnight. and try to catch the double header at the Everson this sunday...Jim Ridlon collages & assemblages, plus 2 short films by Cornell (yes THAT Cornell...he made films. assemblage films). xoxLinda