Custom Search
Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journal. Show all posts

Friday, February 03, 2017

Never too old to go back to college

A few years ago, I posted that I was going to get my real estate license... I took the online class, but at the end decided not to go through with it... it seemed like an easy way to get into the workforce.

After a few years of volunteering, and learning while doing, and talking and thinking, I have decided to get a second bachelors followed by a Masters degree... right now, I reviewing math online because I will probably need college algebra.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What I learned at Broadwaycon

As I lay in my hotel bed with sore legs and aching feet, I feel very happy and satisfied. I have just spent 3 whole days at BroadwayCon 2017, also known as BroadwayCon #2, the year we didn't get snowed in due to a huge blizzard. It was great, and after the last couple of months, I was due a break from the issues of the world that troubled my mind.

It's not like I wasn't aware of the STUFF that has had me so upset, but I was allowed to celebrate, art, and fun, and the artists who create the fun and entertainment that is so worth celebrating. The STUFF was actually a pretty major theme throughout the weekend, but to get to look at it through the lens of artists, deep thinkers, who create and reinterpret the world around us, was a beautiful thing. It was also good to know I was surrounded by people who were pretty much of the same mind. Sure some people didn't agree and a few people left, but in this crowd, it probably less than 1% of the crowd who had a problem with the narrative. 

The opening and closing performances, for example referenced leadership that split our country and banned all that is good and threatened liberty. But in Broadway fashion, the first performance found a happy solution, and the latter gave us hope that we could in fact, survive this.... this.. that thing that would not be mentioned, but we all understood. 

So, here are the things I learned at BroadwayCon:

1. If you want to be an artist (Theatre art, visual art, writer), you need to create art... daily. 
2. You should spend half the work day in research and the other half of the day creating. 
3. You need to promote yourself using social media... it is the best way to be discovered.  Learn to use it. 
4. Never say no to an opportunity unless it makes you feel unsafe. 
5. Use your emotions to fuel art.
6. Let societal issues fuel you. 
7. Don't worry about doing derivative work. That can be paralyzing.. Create whatever comes up and then work through it to something original. 
8. Bad ideas can and will lead to wonderful ideas. 
9. What is meant for you is for you. Keep seeking opportunities, but don't get discouraged if you don't get it. 
10. Someone else's success is not your failure. 

And the bonus item: Artists are incredibly socially aware and often err on the side of compassion. 

Thank goodness I am not alone. I so feel like a fish out of water lately....  I thought the tide had turned... but it turns out I may have ended up in the wrong stream. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gates, Fences, and Walls

As is typical in Metro Atlanta, I live in what some would call a McMansion, in a gated community. It didn't take me long to discover that I was locked in with the crazies. The people within this gated community act just as squirrely as the people on the outside.

Within our upper-middle income community, we have had thefts, drug deals, speeding on streets kids play on, and vandalism... the people that did the crimes lived within the community.  Take for instance the fact that my car was ransacked last night. The thief took my backpack. But before they took it they removed the contents.. My binder for the community theatre board, my folders and receipts for each costuming project. They just took the backpack and the cell phone charging brick that was in the pocket.... well, that and then they tossed the car looking for change. They didn't even take the Gas card that had $17.00 on it. Chances are, this was a neighborhood kid.  Who lives in my community. If I see my backpack again, I will be pressing charges.

So besides the fact that my neighborhood is gated... there are actually 2 gates because it is a 2 part neighborhood and the pool and tennis are in the other part, the pool is fenced.  Tall fences... tacky fences with a bit of wire at the top to keep outsiders from climbing over and using the facilities. When they put in that horrible looking prison fence and the security cameras I stopped using it altogether.  First, I felt jailed. Second, I felt watched. No one wants to feel watched in their swimsuit... so fencing the pool took the enjoyment out of it.

And then there are walls. Who are they really for? And do you really want to be trapped in with the people building them?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Artistic Interpretations and alternative facts

When I was in college working on my BA in Fine Art, I would grate when it was time to critique one another's work... especially when it was time to critique mine. These people were always so far off the mark.

That time when I did a still life of things in my dorm room, which happened to include handcuffs that my brother won at the county fair and somehow I kept them as a momento. That still life was deemed deeply sexual when for me, they were a symbol of strength and connection.

That time when the teacher berated me for doing a Madonna and Child print when in reality the woman holding the child was my oldest sister who had died from Cancer at 30 and the child was my 2nd youngest brother who could not break out of mourning... He was broken and my heart was not only broken for me, but for him and the loss of her.  (I brought in the source photo the next day and threw it at him.)

How could these people look at my work in insinuate their own experiences into them. How dare those student (who I realized sometimes later were ALWAYS high for this class) turn strength into something dirty.  How dare that teacher get angry because he thought I had the audacity to draw something iconic without "permission" when what I had drawn was a broken heart.

How dare they.

These misinterpretations have stunted me artistically. It's been many years, but I am still afraid to put myself out there creatively due to what people might think... say. But I am getting there.

I had a thought today... Perhaps there were some truths in those critiques from decades ago. Perhaps I saw my older sister and younger brother as a religious experience. Perhaps there was some naughtiness to the fact that I included the handcuffs. Perhaps my subconscious knew something that my conscious mind was blocking.  Maybe they were right. Maybe they used alternative facts.

Speaking of alternative facts?  What the hell? But if that is the way our country wants to run itself right now... the actual facts will come out in the wash.  Eventually.

A video for your enjoyment.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

There was no meteor... It's 2017

My daughter kept saying that she was sure we were going to be hit with a meteor that would end all life before 2016 was over.  The year had been so messed up, and losing Carrie and Debbie Reynolds together to her was a sign of impending doom.  But were still here!

So here we are, alive and pretty much still in a bad mood. The politics are grating. The racial climate is uncomfortable (understatement), and the world seems suddenly unwelcoming. But that's OK.  I'm still here are I have stuff to do.

What to expect from me this year?

1. Rebranding, as evidenced by the change in my blog name.
2. No nonsense- straight talk.  I feel an urgency in my heart that won't let me mince words
3. Completion of projects to clear space to start the new ones waiting for me.

I feel a sense of urgency in my heart that is propelling me forward.

I got stuff to do.

Monday, December 26, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close

As 2016 draws to a close,  I sit here in a proverbial pillar of salt.  While it was an interesting and reasonably good year on a personal level, I am sad and despondent over the state of our nation. As much as I would like to be positive and say that 2017 is going to be a banner year, it is far more likely to become a shit-storm.

That me for me it is a time for introversion and building.

My book will be finished.

I will be working more with homeschoolers and maybe less in the arts... unless those two things combine.

I will make a decision about my Masters degree.. will I get one or not?

I hope I can find some joy this year.. as I have a wonderful family and am well cared for, but what good is my comfort if others are being persecuted?

Goodbye 2016.  I will spend the next few days putting on my armor for the coming years.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rules of disagreement

A week ago I had the opportunity to sit with a young man and have a meaningful conversation.  I will start by saying that I am glad to not be young in this day and age. The loss of privacy between this generation and mine is astounding. The social media causes one to either be completely antisocial or more visible than they are comfortable with. If I had to deal with that in my early 20's and try to maintain a relationship, I never would have made it.

We talked about how I had a long-distance relationship (with my now husband) throughout college.  He was astounded that we had a phone date once a week where we spoke for an hour. That it all. The bill cost too much for anything more, although we did have an occasional 5 minute quickie conversation, we really only spoke once a week... for 4 years... and saw each other on major holidays.

When we compared this to how the young people's conversations work, with daily and sometimes hourly texting, he asked me to draw a comparison... I could not.  My husband and I don't even communicate like the young people do these days. Keeping track of each others every move and their every mood.  I don't know if our relationship would have survived such a thing.

Finally, he asked me a question that I feel like I could answer... how did we handle arguments and

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tis the season to Give

I'm not going to go into it.

Matthew 6:4-6 says "Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you."

So only a handful people will know the details... the person I had to get permission from to spend above the pre-set amt, the 2 women I tell my secrets to, and my children who notice everything I do... but the short and short of it is I was moody.  I knew someone had a need, and I took care of it.

HELLO CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

For today anyway.  So that's the answer... think less about me and my moods and my ... depression... and think more about others and the mood will lift.  Good news. Good news.

So if you are one of those people for whom this holiday season brings you more down than up, find someone who is in need and help them... they are not too hard to find.  Just ask a couple of friends, or call a church or something. I know I didn't have to look far.


ps... I hope no one thinks I am bragging... I just really, really want to give advice to help those who get extra moody this time of year.

Til next time.

I seem to have lost my Christmas Spirit

Well.. actually, I've never been real big on Christmas.  I decided it was anticlimactic around the age of 11. My older brother used to wake everyone up at 3am to open gifts when we'd rather be sleeping and then we would go back to bed.  I never felt the warm fuzzies about that exercise...  I preferred the Christmas Mass at the church instead.  That's just me.

So I have been the producer of the Christmas show at the community theatre this year, and while it was fun and Christmassy, it occupied my thoughts in a way that was not very 'holiday'.. more business instead.  So that it over now, and I like 1 week before Christmas... OK... wow!

We have gifts that I need to wrap (put in store bought pre-decorated boxes) and I guess maybe we should start making cookies or something.

I wonder if anyone is having a party.  That might put me in the mood... or at least A mood.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trying to appreciate here and now

I edited an essay for a college bound student the other day.  I found the essay intriguing because it was quite and artistic way of saying, I tend to procrastinate, but I am working on it. If I were the admissions officer, I would accept them.

The essay started out describing time as the enemy. It pondered through the relativism of time and some philosophy regarding time and how we move through it. Interestingly enough, I have been feeling similar feelings... except more like that time has become a tractor trailer with failing brakes.
My dad was a truck driver, so I am well aware of the struggle the truck has climbing the hill. It seems, slow, arduous, and painful, but it keeps chugging with that "I think I can attitude". As it climbs that hill (of life) it picks up experiences, and skills, and learns little tricks and tips to make the journey successful....

And then it reaches the top.  It puts its proverbial hands on its hips and surveys the surroundings.  It would love to stay at the top of that hill forever, but that's not how it works...  what goes up must come down. The trip down is nothing like the trip up... the weight of the load and just simple gravity causes it to barrell down the hill at breakneck speed that seems nothing like the journey up. It's all one can do to enjoy the ride.

I am pretty certain that it won't be as long as it has been.... and I am no longer uttering the phrase... "I can't wait til (I'm grown, or I'm through this stage, or till I achieve that)"... no, that's not a luxury I have any more. I need to savor each moment... and fortunately, the analogy of the truck is not necessarily true... thank goodness.  The hill down has many plateaus and rest stops and I plan to enjoy all of them.

I wish I had listened to my mother when I was young. She once said, "sure, you want to be grown, but once you reach 21 years old, the rest becomes a blur".  She was right.

So here I am trying to hold on to each moment and finding positive enjoyment in each moment that seems to fly by too quickly... trying to appreciate the here and now.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Looking forward to Christmas break

I'm more excited about the boy's college graduation and the girls 3 weeks at home more than the actual holiday.  If I ever was a scrooge before, I am certainly feeling it now.

I just paid college tuition for the last time... for my daughter... for the school she is in. We are waiting to hear from my son's college re his grad school application, so there's money.... and girl wants grad school eventually, and I'm sure that's gonna cost us something... sooo...

Anyway, I can't wait for my daughter to get home so we can hang out and sew stuff and have inappropriate conversations... cuz that's what we do.  She's just growing up so fast that I find it both depressing and exciting.  She even had her first doctors appointment without me this week... she felt like garbage and did not ask me to drive 2 hours each way to accompany her to the doctor.  If course I had to reimburse her for the copay (yikes) and the prescription (double yikes) but she was well enough for her voice jury today, with her voice being as clear as a bell... just a few days ago she sounded like a sick frog.

I probably shouldn't talk about her so much... one of these days she's gonna come for me... and it aint gonna be pretty.

So signing off for now until I have something proper to complain about.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Nearing 50 and having moments...

So, I changed my blog title.  It was coming for some time.  My youngest homeschooler graduates from college in May and my oldest just applied for Grad school... and while I am still somewhat involved and give advice to homeschoolers (and am almost done with my book), my most passionate posts as of late have been about me and dealing with this world.  Check out my Anger and loathing series and you will see what I mean.

I am constantly having moments. I am short tempered.  It gets real hot at the most inopportune times and my under-boob skin is dry and sensitive.  I've spent my whole life being a "natural beauty" with the exception of some awkward teen years, and now My bathroom is bursting with potions and bottles.  Lord, Help Me!!

So this is where I am at. Enjoy the ride.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

I'm trying

Welp.  I am still not happy and don't know when I will be again.

Is that depression?

Is that anger?

Is that denial?

Am I having a hissy fit?

Maybe one, maybe some, maybe all.

I don't know about you all, but I can clearly see how things will go wrong. We are not dealing in reality and it seems most people don't have the the willingness or ability to see it.  I don't mean to insult, as I have friends who actually want the reality we live in, but my sensing leaves me in a foreboding mood.

A friend told me that he doesn't understand how warm and engaging I am in person because it contradicts with my frank, stern nature online.  I think I am a teddy bear all the time, or at least I want to be, but now really isn't a good time to be a teddy bear is it... and he had only known me for a year, so he missed out on a lot.

Anyway I am rambling!

Two college graduations are getting sooner and sooner... so for us, at least homeschooling works. I think a lot more of us will have to consider it, just for the safety of our children.  I believe that sincerely.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Love and caring in the midst (It's GA Gives Day)

Y'all know I'm salty, and sad, and just plain petty these days.  That's ok though, my mood has its justifications, and it's purpose. The fire lit in my soul will go to good use.

In the midst of what I feel like is madness have been beautiful moments though. People being extra kind so as to say, "I see you hurting, but I will stand in the gap".

Last night as I was going to a theatre event at the local Taco Mac, I made it to the door before a man, and hesitated as I always do as I tend to stop and judge the next person's distance to decide if I should hold the door open or if it would be weird (cuz I'm awkward like that).  As I determined he was at 'holdable distance' he spoke up.  "allow me", he said.  As I thanked him and reached for the inner door he said, "and again".  (Sniff... sniff.... so sweet) So I allowed him to grab the second door and thanked him again... and my mood was lifted for the rest of the evening.

Did I mention, or did It even matter that he was a white male?  Nope.
Does it matter that we live in the South, and the chances of him voting for the other guy is probably 70%? Nope.

What mattered is that he showed love and kindness and made my day better.  Yay for that.

Meanwhile, can I ask my readers to show love and kindness today.

It is GA Gives day and I need a little help.  Here's what I wrote on my facebook page.


Please consider donating or sharing.  Thank you!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Deep thoughts

Is Facebook killing the blog?  

Perhaps. I find that I have begun to journal there, but here are two tidbits I have written that I'd like to share:  

Oct 22
I keep waking up with one word on my mind: lenses. 
Our lenses influence how we interpret the world. They are first constructed by our parents and as children our lenses mirror theirs as we think they can do no wrong. Think of these as the eyes you are born with. Then our friends and teachers start to add adjustments to help us see things differently or more clearly. Think of these as your first pair of corrective glasses. At some point many of us decide our parents are completely crazy or that we trust others more than them, and we over correct our lenses , likely to spite them. Have you ever tried on someone else's glasses? Leaves things out of focus, doesn't it? By the time we mature we've shed a lot of the eyeglasses that we have put on over the years.. sometimes we have a lot of glasses to shed. We might have piled on numerous pairs too. Right on top of each other. Including sunglasses to help shade us and rose-colored glasses to protect our hearts. We eventually replace these multiple pairs of glasses with contact lenses crafted from the multitude of all of the adjustments we have made over the years and install them over the eyes of our parents viewpoint. Some of these contact lenses are thick and heavy, sometimes they are thin and light. But at this point the transformation is pretty much complete. 
Life events and circumstances may still make us put in some eyeglasses temporarily as we learn and experience things, but we either take those back off, or get our contact prescription corrected to integrate our new glasses. 
Then we go through life facing situation and events based on our own journeys through our custom made lenses. This is why we butt heads. So the next time you're in an argument or disagreement remember it took a lot to shape their point of view. They're not nuts or bad people... mostly. They've had different experiences. 
That's what I think.

Nov 3

I find that I navigate a world that isn't necessarily for me. I'm rarely conscious of it most of the time. Many would argue with that assertion, but I walk through the world, a world that is largely devoid of people who look like me, and I forget that I am the "one of these things that don't belong here". 
But then people remind me. A black person might say, "why do you belong to that organization, when there is one specifically for us". A non black person might make a joke about my food choices, or my hair, or me "taking off my earrings to fight someone" that makes me ask myself the same question. It's akin to someone tapping me on the shoulder and saying "you know you're black right?... just saying". 
That's kind of how I walk through this world, just being me, pretty happy to be surrounded by all the hues, and cultures and nuances, and then someone says... Hey, you're different, or, even worse, you look different, but you're special because you act like one of us. 
These micro aggressions (so glad there's a word for it now) do get under my skin and make me sad. Sad to the point of anger and depression. 
I would love to live in a world where race is nothing but a social construct and does not exist, but others don't let me. So I have embraced it as of late and folded it into my previously oblivious being and learned to deal with it. How can I pretend race is not real when people are always calling it out. Do I look at them and say "race is a social construct, so I have decided to reject it?" (actually that might be fun)... But pretending it does not exist, does not help me when my kid comes home and tells me they "played slave today" ...in a school program on purpose.. Or some kid in my daughters class asks her "do your parents beat you because you are black" and then refuse to believe her when she says no... Oh, and how about when you hear her friends (non black friends) joking that your daughter is "A STRONG BLACK WOMAN WHO DON'T NEED NO MAN".. hand snaps included. 
I know these things aren't meant to cause harm and are said out of jest or curiosity, and I don't want people to clam up and not talk at all, because people are awkward and say stupid things.... I know I do. But you can't tell me I have to ignore the fact that I am black, and all that entails when YOU won't. 
That is all. 
This is not personal... just one of those days when my existence weighs heavily on my heart.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Anger and Loathing... at the thrift store.

Update: Sept 2016.  Better. The main person that seemed to be sending employees over to specifically police me is gone. The still do things like act like the customer being there is keeping them from getting their jobs done... but the harassment has waned.

I left a yelp review today.  Not something I do very often.  It is for:
134 S Clayton St
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Here it is.  They really made me lose my cool this weekend.  They suck. 
I shop here regularly because I make costumes for a not-for-profit. I usually donate the costumes I create. This store gives me the best bang for my buck, and I tend to find interesting pieces. However, the staff makes me not want to come back. 

I feel like they see customers as a hinderance to doing their job. They are busy forcing as many items onto the rack as possible and if you are flipping through a rack, they will just push by you and close the little opening you have made to look... sometimes catching your fingers.   They might say excuse me, but it is after they have pushed your cart into your stomach. They are rude and downright mean. 

The final straw was this past Sunday. I had been shopping for an hour and had grown tired. I'd heard them announce many times to not put hangers on the floor, and to take the items off of hangers before coming to the cashier... I know the drill, I have been there many times.  I found a quiet corner where I could do this job of separating the clothes from the hanger and I was berated in a hostile way.  They

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Living life in Limbo

I tend to be very quiet when I don't have control of my life... and I don't have control.

It looks like our NYC experiment is almost over.  The timing is wrong to continue... but it all hinges on someone else deciding to hire hubby and him accepting.  We've been in this limbo for a couple of weeks.

After apartment hunting and getting rejected for some sketchy reasons (a conversation for later), I found a nice place to move to, but it is on hold until the decision is cemented.

As I emotionally separate from NYC, I also begin to realize that there are a lot of things I don't like... that are quite troubling indeed... also another conversation.

In the meanwhile, my kids are pretty much all grown up, and repopulating the nest.  It dawns on my that big son won't be leaving for college in the fall... and as he re-arranges and cleans the basement, the realization that he will be around for a couple of years sets in.

The little woman is also planning to take over a second bedroom when she's done so as not to completely trash the one she has.

Hubby is cool with all of this.  He adores his kids and loves having them near.  Don't get me wrong.  I adore them too... probably too much, but...  I don't want to clean after people who are taller than me... and I don't want to cook for them more than 2x a month either.  That's just how I feel.

I've got my own things now.  A business, volunteer work, costuming.  I'm busy and I like it.

So that's where I am.

Homeschooling seems so long in the past right  now.  Maybe I really should look into changing my blog name again.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Life takes over... an update

I haven't blogged.  I haven't written my favorite penpal.  I haven't even had a good tub soak!

In NYC were about to move to a new apartment... It's been nearly a year.

In ATL the business is going well and I'm preparing to design costumes for Children of Eden.

And that's what is going on in my life.

Things that have made me sad:  

Prince Died.

Trump is still running for President. 

Things that made my happy:

The kids will be home soon... my son until he decides he's ready to move out, and  my daughter for the summer. 

I'm costuming Children of Eden.  

And that's my update.  XOXO


Thursday, March 03, 2016

More about the business

life after homeschooling
I have a blog for the items I am selling on Etsy and in my store... here:

http://rs-costumes.blogspot.com

I am using my blogging skills to advertise.

My partner in the business is my daughter. The goal is to make sure she has survival work as a young actress who is trying to get started in the industry. Sure, she could get a full time job at a library or bar out of college and ease into her desired work, but that did not work for me... I shut myself out of the art world in desperation to just survive.

I want better for my kid, and it doesn't hurt that this transitions well into the artistry I always wanted to do... up-cycling old item.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I did a thing, and other happenings

The thing I did:  I rented a space at a store that sells contemporary furniture and has booths for antiques.  I wasn't thinking too clearly, because my opening date is the first of March, and I am supposed to be on a plane that same day. Once I realized that, they let are letting me set up early... but ... duh.

So I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, gathering my loot, getting it tagged, and pre-planning my booth.  If I can set an election up in 2 hours, and supervise the set up of 6 precincts, then  I can set up a 10X10 sq ft (actually, it is more like a 12X12 divided by two triangle)   done pretty quickly, right??

Oh, I am also having a fundraiser at my house this weekend, but no stress, right? Oh and painters come in the morning, and I am still awake.

The photo above is a preview shot of the theme of my shop... this kind of thing, that I craft up, and vintage 1950 and 1960 furniture and stuff... it's my aesthetic and its also popular, so...

I have also scored a good number of chairs that are actually from the 50's, and I am editing my house and getting rid of some clutter... fold that all in to start with.  I have a lot of Mediterranean stuff from 2003 when I first bought my house, and I will start with that so as not to dig myself into a whole I can't get out if.

Other happenings....

Looks like the girl will graduate from college a semester early (or at least finish early and go back to graduate)... I'm trying to get her to take her time and enjoy the process... but it's her personality to go for broke.

The boy will finish after Summer School and go back for graduation in January.

I'm realizing that my empty nest is about to repopulate... not sure how I feel about that.  I know hubby has no problem with them hanging around a couple more years... but I don't intend to be cooking and doing laundry.  Just saying'.

oh.. and I listed some items on etsy ... more to come. link here