Sunday, April 30, 2006

Need an inspiring story?

Just head on over to Starling Travel and check out the couple who are bicyling around the world. Just seeing their smiling faces is worth the click.

Lately, I have been thinking about getting out into the world and living life more richly. My mom, who started sailing and running marathons in her late 40's, is one of my role-models, as is Natalie over at Blaugustine who has just taken up juggling.

I began my latest foray into new adventures by taking an improv class. I started this Thursday and after getting a root canal in the morning, and working late, I was wayyyy too tired to go to a 2 and a half hour improv class. Sometimes, however, it's never too soon to do more of what you want to do, even if you're tired while you're doing it. Speaking of doing more of what I want to do, I also went dancing on Friday night. I am a great dancer. (You heard it here first. ;)

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Tribute to my Tooth Pulp

This is for all the little tooth pulp,
trying to keep the teeth alive...
Don't give up until someone,
Scrapes you out with a,
Giant silver thing from on high...

Yes, I got my perfectly healthy tooth pulp scraped out yesterday, a sacrificial killing known as a root canal. They were fast, efficient, and as pleasant as they could be under the circumstances, but still, now my perfectly healthy tooth pulp is dead. I feel a lot of pride or shame about my body depending on it's health. It's like owning a house plant and watching it flourish, "Yes," you can think to yourself, "I am a good caretaker of the living thing. uga uga." (If cave dwellers owned plants.)

So, I cried at the dentist's office when she told me I needed a root canal and that they would have to drill off part of the bone when they gave me a crown. She thought it was because I was nervous, but the crying was more like angry crying; the anger of helplessness and frustration. They said the only option was a root canal. I felt somewhat vindicated when they got inside the tooth and found that all the pulp was healthy and alive. (The aliveness of the nerves is why I was in pain.) So I want to thank my tooth pulp for not getting inflamed under the worst of circumstances, and for keeping my nerves healthy and alive. This is a sad farewell to the tooth pulp I could not save.

I think in the future, instead of killing a tooth to save it, (ie a root canal) they will figure out ways to save the tooth by regenerating it, especially if all the tooth pulp is healthy. I have had three root canals, and was feeling like a failure as I drove home from the endodontist. (That's a lot of dead house plants.) But then I thought, "I could think of it as three dead teeth, or 29 live teeth!" So, I have made a committment to having the best dental health possible from now on. I'm doing it for the tooth pulp.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bohemian Business Girl

I've worn the same pants for 3 days in a row now. I keep meaning to buy more pants or get my pants back from the dry cleaners, but I fall asleep so soon after I come home! I've mangaged to do this without shame by telling myself that since they are black pants, no one will notice. They'll just think I have several pairs of black pants and that I am wearing them all in a row, and that I really like to wear black pants. Four days seems like it is pushing it though.

I came home early today, (after going to work early,) so I would have time to do errands, but I fell asleep until 8:30. (People tell me the tiredness gets less after six months, or did they just say that I would get used to it?) Now, I am facing another day of wearing the same pants to work! Does this constitute a personal emergency? Should I call and ask to work from home because... I have a clothing emergency? My pants got stuck in traffic? I guess I could wear a black skirt.

Is this bad? You people who shower every day and never forget to brush your teeth think this is bad, don't you.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My weirdest day of search terms yet

nipples through shirts
18th birthday present
weird diets
sexier women
colonic downfall
My favorite is "colonic downfall." ;)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Too much fun: Desert landscape in swirls

I have a hard time making detailed art with art rage, but swirling the colors all together is too much fun. This was going to be a portrait, but turned into: Desert Landscape in Swirls.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Illustration Friday: Speed

Hey, now that I figured out that fabulous (I jest) work around, I can finally post pictures to Illustration Friday again! Yay! I created this using art rage which is fun because it gives a very realistic action of real paint. Now I really want to paint again! This illo fits with the theme of speed because... Well, it sort of looks like wind blowing, or rushing water, and I did it fast, I mean, speedily. :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Bella!

Laura is a writer, artist, entrepreneur, internet sex goddess, and friend, among many other things. :)

Happy Birthday to you ,
You are a ram too,
I wish you love and happiness!!
And moons that are blue!

I created this drawing in dreezle, then took a screenshot, then downloaded Painter 25 and copied the screenshot into it, then saved it to my desktop, then downloaded Art Rage and imported the saved screenshot into it, painted over the screen part of the screen shot, and finally uploaded it to blogger. MY COMPUTER SUCKS.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I have a hanger on my face

You know how when you are alone you can get into an activity and start acting unselfconciously, doing things that might surprise and embarrass you if someone else walked in and you suddenly became conscious of yourself again? Well, I am sitting on the floor of my room, my legs spread to either side of the box that I am using as my desk (my computer monitor is sitting on a milk crate,) when suddenly I become conscious of the hanger around my face. It is a plastic hanger. My face is sticking through the triangle in the middle. I'm not exactly sure how it got in this position. The last thing I knew I was reading blogs and typing comments to my e-friends. Now I have a hanger on my face. I just thought I would share that with you. I'm taking it off now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bye bye Catherine

What do people in Ad Dawhah, Doha Qatar; Singapor, Japan; Ankara, Turkey; Tel Aviv, Israel; and North Babylon, United States have in common? They are all coming to my blog to look at pictures of Catherine Zeta Jones. Well, that's enough. I've had it. I'm pulling the picture. (And just when my stats were approaching my goal. I wanted to get an average of 50 visitors a day, and I'm up to 41, but they are all looking at one post! That's enough!)

Sometimes you just need your mother

Forget finding a mother duck, sometimes you just need your mother. I have several friends whose moms have died. I'm so glad I have my mom. I still have enough baggage with her to gauge which things I want to share with her when I'm feeling vulnerable, but more and more I'm rewarded for taking a chance and sharing.

Tonight she was just the person I needed to help me feel more spacious, seeing the bigger picture, feeling less alone. At first our conversation was just about the details of her next visit. I suggested she stay longer, subtext: "I'm lonely. I need you. Please come stay with me." Of course, she responded to what I said with the practicalities of the visit, and as she said the reasons she had to leave when she did, and continued talking about the details, I felt myself going into the self-imposed state of aloneness I can sometimes go into. I decided not to do that to myself. "I'm lonely." I told her.

Sometimes all you need is to reach out. Then we had one of those conversations that probably promted the phrase, "friendship is the sweetest balm," when someone says just what you need to hear and brings you to another place. She told me with warmth in her voice how much bounteousness I'd added to her life, and then sympathized with the longing I feel for a special person, saying she remembered being my age and feeling that. Thanks, mom.

My mom has found love, and now whenever I picture her, it is like she is in a little cottage in a village in the woods, with animals freinds hanging out in the house, and soup cooking in the background, and a loving husband just getting home, or reading the paper, or playing with the dog and petting the cat. "Our house is a very very very fine house..."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Is your biggest project yourself?

When I was looking for Fat is a Feminist Issue in a bookstore the other day, I saw a book called The Body Project. It was all about the history of teenage girls and their relationship with their bodies. I don't know if you know any teenage girls well. I know girls at my church who seem to have escaped this detour from living, but I also know many girls including my cousin, including me as a teenager, who make the biggest project in their lives the reshaping and improvement of their bodies.

Grown women often do this, but some of them move on to improving other aspects of themselves, like their emotions or their social skills. This seems less shallow. But it is still approaching yourself as if you need to be fixed. So, instead of putting your energy into doing things that you enjoy, you put energy into making yourself better. It is a difference in orientation to yourself and to life. Are you in yourself, a subject that is living life, or are you viewing yourself, an object that needs to be better.

I think one of the basic questions is: Can I trust my own desires? If I do what I like, am I going to be ok? Don't I need to monitor myself closely and then fix myself? Thinking anecdotally, I can group this difference somewhat by gender. Most self-help books seem to be directed at women. I can picture men playing sports and climbing mountains and women counting calories and measuring their thighs. This is a sad state of affairs. I don't know how accurate that stereotype is. Picturing some men who don't work at self-improvement, I realize that the urge to fix yourself is not all bad. ;) Maybe the best way to live is with balance, introspecting and focusing on the outer world.

I thought of this post because my vision is wavering, as if I'm looking at one of those ambivalent pictures where you can see two different things depending on where you focus; like a square popping in or out. I feel an urge to get into life more! Blame it on Spring, if you want. As many women know, dieting can actually be energizing, especially in the planning stages. Anything that makes you feel in control of your destiny can feel good. In the end though, that feeling of getting into life fades when you make your body your project, because it ends up feeling more like getting ready for life than living it. I'm taking my urge to do something and shifting it to where I need more balance: doing something fun. I'm going to take up a couple activities I've been wanting to do for awhile, including improv! I hope this post helps someone who needs it to see the other picture. I welcome your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Birth Days

Not your first day on earth, but your first day out of your mother's body on earth. That is your birthday.

Because memories are state dependent, I have been remembering some of my most depressing birthdays today. The one I remember the most today is my 18th birthday. My mom and I had moved into another family's basement, who were friends of ours. Our carpet was plaid. There was sparkly sprayed-on stuff on the ceiling. We had dark wood paneling on all the walls, except for the wall that had the giant picture of a beach on it. No, this wasn't in the 70's, but it might have looked a little like a ghetto version of an Austin Powers movie.

I felt embarrassed by my lack of money often while I was growing up. But on that birthday I felt most embarrassed that my mom was throwing my birthday party. It was sort of like a little kid's party, but it might have been fine if not for her serious miscalculation resting on the faulty premise that surprise = fun. I knew about the party. That wasn't a surprise. I was helping to prepare for it. (Surprise might have something to do with fun if it gets you out of the preparation.) The big surprise was: I had invited all these people and none of them were coming! Surprise!

After about the 5th phone call that night saying someone couldn't come, (I lie I can't remember how many phone calls there were,) I talked to my friend K. She had been my friend since we were in 4th grade. Apparently we were in nursery school together. It was my 18th birthday. She said she couldn't come to my 18th birthday party because her mom wanted her to stay home and get some things done. I was incredulous, I knew her nice mom, "Are you serious? But it's my birthday! Ask her if you can just come for a little while!" I pleaded. Later she told me that she felt really bad doing that. Of course she did! That is not a fun birthday surprise! What was my mother thinking!

After everyone actually showed up, (much to my mixed emotions,) we played stupid games. At least that's what the people-who-weren't-really-my-friends-but-we-were-in-the -same-circle-of-friends-so-I-sort-of-considered-them-friends-and-invited-them-like -you-do-with-distant-relatives-when-you-invite-them-to-a -wedding-even-though-you- have-no-emotional-ties-whatsoever said. Then the cou de ta of humiliation: My big 18th birthday present from my family (ie: my mother.) If the party in it's entirety wasn't embarrassing enough, if it didn't just emphasize that no matter how much I tried to pretend, I did not have a happy, well-to-do, or socially ept family, I then had to open my present in front of my friends. I wasn't surprised, (and I don't think at that point that they were either,) to find that my present was 18 pairs of socks, each one a different color. For years after that I wore those mustard yellow, purple, bright pink, or lime green socks when it was laundry day, or when I was walking around inside. I always put them on grudgingly. I'm very happy to say that none of those socks are with us now.

The whole party was worthy of being a scene in that one movie where the kid had a big fro, and lives in a small town. (Ever since I turned 25 I often can't remember the precise words for things. That fits in with this post because that's depressing too, and has to do with age.) I now find my mom's presents charming, and she usually adds a check to the mix (that was weird) which helps. On this current birthday, my mom's present was the only thing that was not depressing. Quirky seems cooler to me now that I am older. On my cat in the hat birthday card, she gave me a message in binary, hex and decimals. I told her I was tickled by her card. "Well, she said, "I just kept trying to think: what is special about 32?" It's 2 to the power of 5, that's what!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Emma's Revolution- a few little ways to save the world

Hi all,

Remember my dark night of the soul I had (well, sorta) from a few nights ago? I felt the lack of meaning in my job, great job as it is, and full of gratitude for it as I am. My solution was to give myself a break, give myself permission to rest for awhile, and just enjoy having a job, living where I want to live, and having dental insurance.

Listening to music by Emma's Revolution last night has sparked an addendum to that solution. I realized that I can add conciousness raising to many parts of my life. I can imbue my life with meaning! When I got a job my mom suggested that I tithe part of my income. I grew up paying tithing and there is part of me that wants every little penny of my money, on the other hand one of the reasons I am most excited to have a regular income is so that I can contribute to my church and other organizations that are doing good work.

Some other ways I want to add meaning to the everyday parts of my life:
  1. Gifts! I love giving a gift that I know someone will love, but so often I am just dashing to get someone something. I hate that. Instead, I can give conciousness raising gifts that people will like. (So, not a certificate saying that I gave a donation in someone's name, except for the rare altruistic person who might like that.)
  2. Purchasing everyday items that are made with fair practices.
  3. Choosing uplifting media to surround myself with.
Look for more posts with specific ideas in the future!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Happy April Fool's Day!

I've redesigned my blog for Spring. I think it has the colors of spring and jeans in it. Happy Spring! Eventually I'd like to have a tree woman standing on the left side of the screen holding a lantern over the page. I want to rename my blog. Any ideas?