Category: life


Twitter

I like to think twitter is a conversation between friends, even when it’s public.  I had mine set to public rather than protected, otherwise my twitter widget on this blog and my facebook app which updates my status wouldn’t work.

I’m changing that now.  (Er, shortly, after I post this and send  a tweet out about it!)

I’d gotten used to restricting my tweets, I didn’t post anything I’d hate to have my mother or boss read, and felt that was enough.  Sure I felt left out when my friends tweeted while we were at the… um the library on Saturday night. Yeah that’s it, there were a lot of GREAT books there.  😛  But that was my choice in editing what I put out forever into the internet for all to see.

Last night, I mindlessly tweeted about our new flat screen TV, and when a friend tweeted during a bodily function, I replied that I called that “twooping” – I’ve tweeted before about the immense amount of words in the “twictionary” which both amuse and horrify me, and my own creation fits right in there.

A while later I checked twitter again, and found two replies from people I don’t know.

The first was spam to sell me a wall mount for my TV.

The second was a user with the account name “Twooping” who retweeted my post for all their followers to see.

O.o

OK OK.  I get that this is a new tool for marketing, and yeah that would involve targeting people who obviously can use your product, but it’s a little too “Minority Report” for me.  And I think it was the combination of both within a short time, and the fact that well, twooping to me is best left for the bathroom and private jokes among friends, DEFINITELY not something I want someone to find when searching for me.

Yes I realize I post more here about twooping than ever, but it’s to explain my reason.

I’ve been walking the line between using twitter just personally for inside jokes and being a “public” persona on the internet, and it’s time to seperate the two.

So – feel free to send me a request.  If we’ve met in person (and you aren’t my mother or boss) most likely I’ll approve it.

Facebook fans, I won’t be updating my status nearly as much, you may want to follow my blog/twitter more, and I’m much easier to reach via email than by messages on FB.

And now I’m totally expecting one of these for my birthday.  *sigh*

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On an entirely different note, I registered for the Unravelling e-course today! WHEE!!! I’ll post lots of blogs here for it, as we will have writing and photography exercises.  Starts May 4.

Easter Update

Happy Easter (belated), Passover, Ostara, day of chocolate and sugar, or whatever you celebrate! 😀

Just a quick note, been meaning to blog but time is flying by.  I had off Friday, but got up at a reasonable hour and was on the go all day, yet didn’t get nearly enough done.  But – easter baskets were made – really a first time doing this for family – my grandmother on my dad’s side passed since last easter, and I made baskets for my dad and cousins.  I made one for Random as well, and instead of fresh flowers got the eggs with soils/seeds in them for Mom and grandma.  Then I tried to make headway on the black hole of a bedroom, spending two hours cleaning and doing laundry, with not much to show for it. *shrug*

Friday night we went shopping at home depot, and Saturday (after a bridesmaid meetup for my cousin) we went to our friends’ house to work on my art project for Playa del Fuego.  Got decent progress on it, but it’s not done (or even at painting stage. patience patience…) Had dinner with Mom’s side for easter and my step-dad’s birthday, and then went back to our friends for a night out at Pumps.  Hey, drinks were cheap, and it kinda reminded me of PDF!  😛

Sunday was dinner with my dad’s side, cleaning out the attic there since my dad will be putting the house on the market this week.  It is tough on us but at the same time, it’s no longer the same house as when Grandma Betty was here.  I managed to get another of her crocheted afghans – in a fabulous tacky (as opposed to ugly tacky) blue and green pattern.  I had really hoped to get another, since I only had one that she made me and it’s very pink/girly/flowery.  She gave up crocheting a year or so before she passed because the chemo caused nerve damage in her hands, and she never got to make a “wedding” afghan for me like she did for my cousins.  I was a little disappointed, and glad that I was able to grab another – the fact that it’s very funky and offbeat (in a way that works, in my world anyway) makes it better than one in ecru!

Soon I’ll be posting a blog on my new hobby – writing it properlike so it will take more time to assemble and use correct capitalization and all that fun grammar stuff 😛  but I wanted to drop a note while I could.  Tonight, Random and I are looking for a new TV (as it’s getting old slapping this one to stop the image from flickering) so wish us the luck of the retail gods.

He is still looking for a car.  (Small, good gas mileage, has character, $5k and under.  Loves beetles and little hatchbacks.)

I have a friend in Millington NJ who is looking for a roommate.  If you know anyone looking for a place to live, hit me up in email or something.

Me?  Hating Mondays as usual, but work is not stressful today. Other than stressing over making a choice buying a TV tonight, I am doing absolutely awesome!!  So of course when I have nothing to bitch about you see less of me 😛

Stormy Sky, just before hail, Clark Park, Philadelphia

Stormy Sky, just before hail, Clark Park, Philadelphia

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to
experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
-Alan Keightley

Read:

A Brief Guide to World Domination at the Art of Nonconformity. (There’s a PDF document that you can view or download on that page.)

Answer:

#1: What do you really want to get out of life?

#2: What can you offer the world that no one else can?

Feel free to share here.

I am still refining my answers.  I read other people’s answers at the link above not to cheat but to help put it into words.  (I seem to “know” things and have difficulty finding the words to express it, clearly and simply sometimes.)

#1:

Above all else, I want to be happy.  This doesn’t mean I’ll never be mad or sad, but I want the general emotion/feeling of my life to be happiness.

I think that getting/maintaining this happiness (I think this past year has definitely been one of my happiest!) involves a balance of simple times at home (and quality time with friends/family) and adventurous travels.

I think that my ideal life would be similar to this person’s comment –

My dream is to enjoy useful, engaging, and lucrative work with the flexibility to live comfortably, give generously, travel regularly, sleep in, hang out, get fit, and cook (and eat) luxuriously until the end of my days.

Being any more concrete than this is difficult – I have many dreams, some of which are the kind that you always have as dreams, and some I do hope to actually do.  I don’t have any career goals except one that I find fulfilling and supports me/my family and the things that bring us the most joy.

#2:

This is the hard one.  Yeah I can wimp out and just say no one else has the same views/thoughts/whatever that I have, because yeah we are all special flowers.  Whoop-de-do.

I don’t know what I am good at or what makes me unique.  Because I’ve only ever been me, and can’t really judge without bias.

Some people think I’m brave/adventurous, for traveling abroad alone, for going to Burning Man, for spinning fire, things like that.  But I know so many people that are way more adventurous than I am.

I know I have some talents/skills, but I feel like I’m more a jack-of-all-trades rather than excelling in any area.

The things that truly feel the most “me” – the most unique and self identifying traits… I don’t see those as things that I can offer the world, they are just my characteristics – not much different than the color of my hair or eyes.

I don’t know of anything I can offer that no one else can.

I know I care too much, do too little, can be way too selfish, battle with myself, usually am inspired more than inspiring others.  I know I (sometimes) don’t let fear get in the way of new adventures, but the fear and the voices of the “shoulds” (parents/society/whatever) haunt me and sometimes win, and I’m not proud of that.

I know I don’t know all the answers, and can be gullible at times, but tend to stay neutral in arguments between friends because I can see valid points on each side.  I try to be a peacemaker and avoid drama, but often at the cost of my own peace.

Maybe I’m hung up on the “uniqueness” of what I think this answer should be.

It may also be tied into some personal changes in thought that have morphed over the past year, and specifically around the election, on how I feel we can impact the world the most.  And I’m not sure I’m ready to put that out in a public blog yet because it’s just too raw still and different from anything I really envisioned for my life.  But you never know what the future holds, and whether that path will be mine or not….

Anyway.  I invite you to think of your own answers, whether or not you share them here.

And – this is kind of a scary request (but let’s be adventurous)…  What do YOU feel I have to offer the world that no one else can?

Here’s an interesting mash up of things on my mind today…

First- a concept I saw on Zen Habits, inspired by Gretchen at the Happiness Project
Gretchen has 12, and Leo at Zen Habits has a zenly simple 4.  How many do you have?

I have a lot, I’ll try to narrow it down to a few and get back to you on it.

I have to say, as much as I like Zen Habits, I find it frustrating that every post is “7 steps to a greener life”, “12 steps to organization”, “4 steps to less stress” (paraphrasing).  Seriously, almost every post is a countdown in bullets of how you can improve your life.  They are great ideas, and sure people can absorb a numbered/bullet list easier than skimming a blog entry – but because EACH entry is like this, skim is all I do… hmm…

Through the Happiness Project (which I love the concept behind and will be following this blog), I found the Art of Nonconformity.  I’m linking to the recent blog post about the “Real world” – and not the MTV version – I think a lot of people who are like me will appreciate it.

Lastly, I am soooo excited to (hopefully) sign up as part of the Unravelling e-course.  (British spelling :P)  I got my tax refund and while I’ve spent more than I should (on iphone, jeans that won’t fall off my hips, and a few other fun things)  I promised myself I would do this, not knowing it was going to be offered again so soon.  It’s ok, there’s just enough money for it, and I just have a little less in my Burning Man fund – but it’s enough for airfare and expenses and I already have my ticket.  I think this is just what I need to explore my photography and myself on a new level, and really explore what I want my photography to be in my life.

What matters most

Photo by flickr user nitelynx, used under Creative Commons license

Photo by flickr user nitelynx, used under Creative Commons license. Click photo for link.

Lessons for and from my dear friends

Hold on to what matters most, what gives you strength to keep going.

Forget the petty differences and arguments.

The ones that weren’t so petty?  Well, you don’t need to forget, but remember that they are human too and none of us are perfect.  Listen to what matters in what they say and do next, not just their past actions.

Don’t judge others if you haven’t been in their situation.  Even if you have, and they chose a different path, there’s no one right answer for everyone.

Don’t regret your past or your mistakes, it’s made you who you are today.

Right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  It won’t do any good to compare yourself to others, or schedules you had for your life.

Try to keep a sense of humor and adventure.  It beats the alternative.

True friends/family will be there with you when times are roughest.  If someone has let you down, either they are struggling as well, or maybe you are better off not relying on them.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or a hug.

Money is just that.  None of us will starve or be homeless, as long as we have each other.

No matter who you are or what you do, you have changed someone’s life for the better just by being here.

Together we can make it through anything.

I’ve still been feeling a little bit of that blue funk that hit me before I got sick.  I can’t put my finger on it.  I’m fairly sure that if I didn’t have Random around, I would be in bed for a whole week with no sign of moving.  (The realization yesterday, as I had a sick day, that my iphone really does everything and I didn’t even need to get to my computer does not help in this situation.)

I don’t have any huge stresses, but lots of little ones.  Worries about the economy and friends who have lost jobs.  Thinking I’m relatively secure from worrying about that for myself, and trying to stay positive, but knowing the unexpected could happen.  Friends who have health problems/family health problems.  While I am so concerned for them and how they are doing, the thought of someone losing their loved one does something to me deep down, which makes part of me want to push anyone that close to me away.  (Doing my best to resist that.)  And, enter guilt about not spending enough time with my family.  Le sigh.

I think another thing bothering me is just the great unknown of the future.  I have no idea in 1-2 years where we will be living, working, etc.  (Yeah, at least the “we” is not an unknown, which is an awesome thing.)  While the freedom and options of that excite me, I feel like I’ve been constantly waiting waiting waiting for change, out of indecision or based on external variables.   And now, it’s not necessarily the time to be adventurous is it?  I think regret that I didn’t do more to work towards where I want to be when I had more freedom (in terms of financial/job security) is bugging me.  It’s one thing to blame myself, but now I feel trapped by the economy.  Am I really, or would I be just as indecisive just without a scapegoat if the situation were different?  I think the only difference is that I can point fingers at something other than myself.

What to do?  I love the quote about how the cure for anything is saltwater: Tears, sweat, or the ocean.  Well I’ve been teary enough in what feels like PMS overload some days.  Hate exercise but trying to get back into hooping more.  Weekends have been packed with car shopping and roadtrips for other commitments, so I don’t see any ocean time happening.

Usually I throw myself into a project.  Already have one, Playa del Fuego and my art project for it.  Easter weekend I need to make major progress on that.

Sunday we made it to our first conclave rehearsal.  Random has a part in it, and so far I’m doing safety.  I don’t feel like I’ve picked up my poi enough in the past 6 months to perform in it, and I’m not that skilled with a fire hoop yet.  Safety meant having to attend less practices, but Random being chosen to do parts of the piece means more practices, so now I’m feeling a little jealous 😛  But it’s all good, I feel like I’m back in my stage crew roots – I like being behind the scenes.

The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed being in the park, but the rehearsal was cut short.  I had been taking some photos of the first run at a formation so that those in it could see what it looks like, and we started watching the orange-ish sky and thunder rolling in.  I took some pics just before it started hailing and everyone ran for their cars.  I love moments like that, when the weather changes dramatically and it’s very exciting without being too life threatening.

Lest anyone thinks I’m miserable… I am happy.  I know how blessed I am, and I am grateful for everything that I have.  I feel bad for wanting something more/else on top of that.  It’s just a bit of a funk and I do know it will pass (usually writing blogs like this is cathartic and helps it along).  I think there are opposites within me battling it out – one wants a concrete plan on where life goes next, the other wants to just hang on the reins and ride.  One wants to do more (do everything!), and one wants to do less and live more simply.  Whenever I’m in this state I just crave balance of some sort….

So a little more rambly and self introspective than I usually get (on this public blog at least).  And wordy – some days I wish I could be as succinct yet powerful as some people are in their blogs (like Jen Gray).  Well it’s cheaper than therapy and you can click away at any time. 😛

And we’ll all float on okay.

Inspiration

Sun is shining, not sure how much it’s helping but it’s definitely not hurting.  I want to share some recent inspirational finds…

Ink on my fingers – a blog about combination of decorating, art, life, creativity…  heartfelt and peaceful are the words that come to mind first.  (I can’t wait to try to join her e-course in May!)

She pointed readers to this blog just now, and with once glance I’m hooked and ready to book a flight.  Little Brown Pen moved her family to Paris.

Photo by Little Brown Pen

Photo by Little Brown Pen

There’s so much in her photography that you just CAN’T find in the states.  I want to sit at one of those tables and have french bread/pastries.  I miss England, Paris, Belgium.  I miss traveling and seeing things so much older than our oldest cities.  There’s so much more of Europe to see.  Le sigh.

And someone I’m honored to have as a friend, the inimitable Victoria Skydancer has released her CD!!! 😀  I may have been the first to place an order…

Late Winter Malaise

It’s hard to pinpoint.  A complex mix of emotions.  Winter is coming to an end, and where did all that hibernation time go?  I’m supposed to be well rested, instead on a rainy morning after the spring ahead time change, I can’t drag myself out of bed on time.   We were teased with spring – temps up into the 60’s last weekend.  It’s coming, but not soon enough.  And of course, once spring arrives, there’s barely any time left to breathe.  Yeah, I can’t wait for Playa Del Fuego, but the thought of it reminds me of the to-do list of projects to be done before then.

I don’t know.  I can’t place it.  I don’t know how to remedy it.  I am pretty sure that if N wasn’t here, I would be holed up in my apartment depressed.  Usually when I feel this way, turns out to be PMS.  *checks calendar*  Nope.

I hope it passes quickly.  Maybe I just need sun – even the warm weekend was overcast, and we didn’t take advantage of it except for some car maintenance/cleaning.

Saturday, I’m going to be in the St Patrick’s Day parade.  I’m doing it for Kendra.  And to make sure I don’t spend all weekend in bed.  Unless it ends up raining, because then that’s exactly what I’ll do.  So if you see a green fairy riding a bicycle with the Morristown Green bloggers, say hi, I’ll be passing out candy as well.

Catnip Snow

(Gilmore Girls episode “Love and War and Snow”, Season 1)

Lorelai: It was the snow. You know how I get, it’s like catnip.

Snow Angel

Snow Angel, photo by Jen Gray (www.jengray.com)

Lorelai: Wait, close your eyes and breathe. I smell snow.
Rory: Ah, it’s that time of year.
Lorelai: Can’t you smell it?
Rory: You know, it’s like dogs and high-pitched noises. I think it’s something only you can smell.
(Rory sits down next to Lorelai and pulls a blanket over the both of them)
Lorelai: I love snow.
Rory: Really, I had no idea.
Lorelai: Everything’s magical when it snows, everything looks pretty. The clothes are great. Coats, scarves, gloves, hats.
Rory: Thermal underwear, wool socks, ear flaps.

It’s a perfect snow today.  Fable snow.  Perfectly pretty, easy to clear off the car, the roads were fine.  I saw Jen’s photo that I posted above over the weekend – after a week of bitter cold and ice that was impossible to get rid of, this photo reminded me of the joy of snow.  And today, I’m lucky enough to experience it first hand.  Makes me wish I could go take photos rather than sit in the office!

The snow had me in a wonderful mood today.

I’m trying to stay in that happy moment, but cold harsh reality is pissing me off.  I want to rant about it, but it’s at the point where I can’t even form words to describe how I feel sick in the stomach.  If you are in a good mood and don’t want to read this entry further, I don’t blame you one bit.  So the rest is behind the cut.

Continue reading

Inauguration

I’ve been trying to figure out how to put this past week in words, and I’ve been at a loss.  Definitely a week for change, for inspiration, for optimism, for doing more than our share.

The trip to DC started Monday afternoon.  On the drive down, an amazing interview on NPR with Congressman John Lewis. I had never heard of him before, but was inspired by his story.  Amazed that within his lifetime things would change so much, and that yet there would still be work left to do.  He earned even more of my respect when he supported same sex marriage, because opponents are showing the same fear and discrimation as racism.

So, on Martin Luther King day, the day before we watched the first black president take his oath of office (kinda), this piece moved me to realize just how little I have done for any cause.   Random and I both felt we need to do more.  However, wherever, for whatever cause or injustice we believe in.  It changed me in little and large ways that I can’t explain because I haven’t even said some of them out loud.  I only hope I can keep the momentum and follow through with those desires, not getting bogged down in the daily grind.

The next day, the message would be reinforced even further.

Monday evening lead us to the Rock and Roll Hotel for a Burner meet and greet.  A few familiar faces, and met a few new ones (forgot half their names), we enjoyed some beers and some of our favorite DJ’s before heading back, staying with a college friend of Random’s on the outskirts of DC.

We had wavered on the decision to head out to the mall, and while we decided to go, events kept us up much later than anticipated and that 5:30 am alarm was quite unwelcome.  By the time we were all vertical, the news reported that the areas in front of the jumbo-trons were completely full to capacity.  So, we bought champagne and watched the inauguration on an HDTV, with our host and one of his friends in Maryland.  While we do miss that we weren’t out in the crowd for it, really we didn’t miss standing in the cold for hours.

I probably don’t need to share the details of what was shown – we laughed over the flub of the oath.  We were moved by the musical performance – I love Yo-Yo Ma, and it doesn’t matter to me that they didn’t risk a poor performance and played a recording.  You could see the joy in his face when the tempo of the piece picked up, and nothing was more thrilling than hearing an amazing piece and seeing their joy at doing what they love at such a momentous event.

We didn’t watch the parade.  Eh, it was just a parade… Besides, we had bigger things to do.  Or littler.  Um, ok.  So we played Little Big Planet.  That game is awesome!

Back in DC at night, we attended the Art for Change Ball.  This ball was thrown by artists and Burners in the DC area, including some that we knew from our regional burn event, Playa Del Fuego.  Several DJs and dance floors, art, fire performances and a variety stage filled two buildings and one tent.  Getting past the security checkpoint made us go the entire way around the block, but as soon as we came around a corner and heard the music from the tent, a smile came across our faces.

Speaking of security, as I was showing my ticket and passing through the checkpoint, in my red wig and monstrous green fake fur coat, carrying my travel hoop, the guard called me an artist.  I was not there to perform.  My costume was among the plainer ones, the fur coat chosen for it’s warmth, and the wig just because it wouldn’t have been special enough for a “ball” without it.  His simple statement made me smile, and realize that the things I do CAN make me an artist.  Just maybe – despite my feelings of inadequate action that began the day before – I do change things around me in little ways.  I don’t mean this to be an egotistical thing, but just an awareness of how we can affect those around us, even if it just means looking (to some) a little silly.

We caught pieces of some performances: one singer on the variety stage in a red boa, two dance pieces in the main room (one was a powerful piece about how some in our country respect the flag much more than their fellow human beings, as they danced on and poured dirt/water on an American flag), fire performers, and again, some excellent DJ’s.

Towards the end of the night, I sat resting and watched other ball attendees walking past in their tuxedos and gowns.  Every once in a while, people would hear the beats of DJ Everyday, look up and see our group dancing in the windows, and cheer and dance as they walked.  I liked to imagine that they were bored at the stuffy ball they were coming from, and wished fervently that they had known about OUR ball.  Maybe that’s just my imagination.  In any case, we gave and received some smiles and waves, perhaps reminding us of what we have in common rather than our differences.

An interactive art project involved temporary tattoos and asked us to share photos - see http://www.flickr.com/photos/hope2009

DJ Everyday never fails to move us, even if it’s only emotionally once our dancing shoes came off, and we stayed past the close of the metro… a move we soon learned we’d regret.  We hit the frigid streets and kept walking, as everywhere we were behind other people trying to hail cabs as well.  Eventually, we got away from the crowds and began seeing available cabs once again.  Saved! Or not.  We needed to go to the very edge of DC, and every cab we hailed either said “no” or just took off without saying a word.  This went on, and on, and on.  I really don’t know how long we were out there.  At least an hour, probably more like one and a half… It felt like a year.  By the time a cabbie agreed to take us, I had been long past my breaking point.  Even when we were home, I sat curled up under a blanket for an hour shivering.

With time, hot tea, and advil, I was eventually able to feel warm and fall asleep.  We slept in the next morning, and went for an expensive but always worth it meal at Eggspectations, and goofed off before heading home just in time for traffic.

While I didn’t witness the inauguration in person, the trip was more than worth it.  And it was a kick ass party as well.

So, after this inaugural week, I feel blessed for the community which inspires me and surrounds me with creative people.  I feel lucky to be able to bring a part of that into the “mundane” world and inspire, shock, or keep people on their toes.  I am so thankful to be alive and in love at a time where – in most of the country, at least – I don’t have to worry about physical harm or danger because of who I love.  I feel responsible and inspired for doing more, for doing everything that I can do – because it still won’t measure up to the sacrifices of so many, but we can’t let that stop us from trying.

Change is the word of the week.  But the quote of the week for me is not something that John Lewis or President Obama said.  It was a little line in a little blog.  A little blog about knitting, which has inspired it’s readers to donate a total of $590,768 (to date) to Doctors without Borders, and just raised the goal amount to an even $1 million.

Andy said “As we head off into a year of uncertainty, there is one thing I know is true. Things will be better if we all take care of each other than they will be if we don’t take care of each other.”

There’s change around us that is beyond our control, but we always can control who we are and what we do – and when times are rough, that’s when what we do matters most.

So, I raise my glass to President Obama.  I don’t look upon him blindly as someone to save us and solve all our problems, but he has better answers than anyone I’ve heard in a long time.  I admire him, congratulate him on having the courage to take such a historical step, and I look forward to witnessing him create a legacy of lasting, beneficial change.

Let us all be the change we seek, for we are not one person called President, not even just one country, but residents of a planet which cries out for freedom, justice, peace, and love for each and every one of us.