Wednesday, December 17, 2008

some pictures

Not so long ago (Sunday?) we had a night of cookie making and cards and conversation at Jeremiahs grandmas. Here is the documentation:
leaving the house, into the brutal outdoors.

Mike, Netty, Jeremiah, and grandma Bernice frosting cookies.

cards with uncle mike, specifically speed, which we renamed slow in leu of mikes skills.

Of course we had to indulge in a couple silly pictures in the shiny pot we found.

on the way home we pulled over to take pictures in the pretty winter storm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

there was a theme today

I'm at my parents right now for the night, my dad got me to come home and work in the basement, but as it turns out there is a winter storm out tonight. That leaves me here.

I have an avid interest in coincidences. Today i encountered a small kind of coincidence: several different people revealed to me their belief in metaphysical things. It began while i was teaching at Bridges today, a little girl informed me about the nature of faries- where they can be found, how they behave, etc. I was happy to hear her thoughts about it, i was happy to know that in 5th grade little girls still believed in such things. I thought about when i was young, how i believed everything had a spirit- i was sure the dolls came alive when i left the room, that it was not good to slam things around because it hurt them, that cars and trees alike had feelings. I remember hugging a tree and breathing on it after hearing that trees take in what we breathe out. It occurred to me that i have not altogether abandoned this idea: there is a door at MSU that i will not go in or out of because it creaks when it opens, in my mind it "groans". I will not say negative things about my car in it's presence lest it take revenge and not make it up the icy hill this time.

At home i was surprised to hear that my parents put stock into the idea that things happen for a reason, an idea that i had entertained for much of my life, but that has taken a backseat in my mind in light of new information. This all- in addition to recalling a story Jeremiahs mom told about signs that had pointed her away from attending her company christmas party- had me reevaluating my resistance to the idea.

As it turns out, maybe things happen for a reason.

Getting snowed in for instance, and the conversations that result.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Wednesday night i went to Madison and it was so fun! I went to a Dark Dark Dark show (one of my favorite musical groups, made up of a cello, a banjo, an accordian, and both a male and female vocalist.. and the girl graduated from Morris!) with Elena, and i stayed with Jeremiahs sister Dinah. When we arrived, her face was covered with blue make up and glitter, and she apologized for it explaining that she had been playing dress up with herself. I made cupcakes for Dinah that were frosted all different colors (vanilla frosting + food dye). I also left like 12 cupcakes at home for my roommates, less than 24 hours later they were all gone.
I got to talk to the band, and i think my enthusiasm came off as a little nutty.
Also, i wandered around on State St. and visited all kinds of neat little shops filled with handmade items like french barrettes and hand-knit scarves. This experience kind of rekindled my spark for crafts and i made several vows to myself. I resolved to learn to sew and make myself a christmas dress, to build shelves for all of my books in my bedroom (if you refer to an earlier entry you can see that all my books are lined up on the floor next to my bed), to learn to make button and pendant jewelry, and to go vegetarian again and make some nice meals for Jeremiah and i, who is conveniently attempting to live a healthier lifestyle.
Early this week Jeremiah came along to the MSU painting studio with me, and of course documented the events. You can find the pictures here:

I need to get a pair of winter boots, but they are all so expensive. I get ornery though when the bottom of my pants are wet, because i often sit on my knees and then the rest of my pants get wet too.

I hope to take Spencer, Grant, Nation and Hugo out to play lazer tag today. That is my goal.

Hope all is well for those of you that read this, and for everyone else too, i suppose.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

little books

I learned how to make little books. Here are my first two attempts:

Hopefully quality will improve as i continue to work on them.
Here are details of the inside:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

lessons and exerpts

Today i learned:
(with the help of Jeremiah)
either enjoy downtime and use it for your sanity, or else do the things that you need to be doing.
it is useless to sit around and fret about the things you have yet to do.
I was using my downtime in a futile way- i was avoiding and procrastinating, and so i was neither enjoying myself nor being productive. i didnt realize what i was doing until jeremiah helped guide me to this realization.

Look- in mine you can see both of my parents eyes:

(click to enlarge)

There is a blue/gray ring around the outside from my mom, and the inside is green from my dad.

You can only see my dads eyes in mine when there is a lot of light.

Comforting though, that i can find them each there.

My aunt (Laura) suggested this book: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I checked it out from the MSU library today, and i am 3 pages in and i already love it. Sometimes, right from the start you can tell that you are going to enjoy a book. I knew the first paragraph when the author asked me to picture a forest, to be it's conscience, to be it's eyes.
Here is a small exerpt from that paragraph:
"A single-file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen." (imagine an ant devouring a mammoth tree, grain by grain!) "And, in reply, a choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. This forest eats itself and lives forever."
then on the next page
"She is inhumanly alone. and then, all at once, she isn't. a beautiful animal stands on the other side of the water. they look up from their lives, woman and animal, amazed to find themselves in the same place."
to me, this seems to demonstrate how temporary or fragile loneliness or despair can be. (although you would never guess if you were immersed in it!)

So, if you read this, thanks Laura for the suggestion.

Anyway. Homework today.
Should be a productive Saturday.
Nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

good things to come

wooo hooo it's the last week of classes and i have almost made it through the long haul! i could not help but rejoice tonight upon the completion of one of my more challenging classes.

I've so many plans for winter break.. all good things- paintings and letters and friends and violin and drums and holiday celebrations. I'd like to take my cousins (spencer and grant) to the new lazer tag facility, also, i'd like to start attending poetry readings at frentz art guild and going to the unitarian church more frequently, as i seem to always leave intrigued with a new perspective to consider. which reminds me, would my parents be interested in attending the UU church for christmas eve this year? I think it would be a very positive experience, and a lot of my students will be in attendance there!

Which also reminds me,
a comment-leaving tutorial:
1. find the comment option at the bottom of the entry you would like to comment on, and click on it
2.type in the comment box
3. you will be asked to decode a word so that this site knows that you are not a computer leaving spam. the letters will look messed up, but type them in
4. select the name/url option, fill in your name,
5. hit publish comment.

now come on people and demonstrate your newly acquired skills

there has been a lot of hype about my new watercolor paintings, 3 people have asked me for them already! But alas, i painted them with my mother in mind, and they were hers before they were even in existence.

as long as we are on the topic of art, here are a few of jeremiahs pictures that i very much like:
(once you open the picture, click it to enlarge)
the epitome of perfect timing..
This is Nation
Here is one that has received a lot of attention
nation and river
of my friends melissa and dave
of myself a while back
a skiier
i love the caption on this one "Nation learns to slide"
Nation and Hugo washing hands
Pat (my roommate) with umbrella
this one also has received a lot of attention

and so on and so forth.. i could go on with this all day, he is very talented. :)
one of my own, that begins to capture his infectious spirit:

We are each made up
of galaxies and things
that cease to spin
if we forget to sing

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a healthy balance

Today i've been frustrated because my school and work responsibilities suddenly overlap, and it results in negatively impacting both environments because i have to choose between them. All semester long, i have had class tuesday nights and morning class on wednesdays, which happens to be the only available times for my monthly work meetings. Thus, i have missed the majority of work meetings for the past couple months, and i have finally been issued a warning. I am often late for work on Wednesdays because my class ends as my shift begins, and I often have to leave early after overnights, due to having class right away in the mornings. Not only that, but tomorrow i have to attend a mandatory CPR training for REM, which directly interferes with my morning class which has strict attendance policies, not to mention that it is the week before finals, when i am receiving valuable information in my classes. Work and school have always remained at the top of my list of priorities, but which do i choose when i have to weigh them against one another? Most say "school is more important!" but that has further reaching implications, those being a negative work environment, employers who feel that i am unreliable, and further down the road the possibility of poor references. Sometimes i decide that missing one day of class has lesser impact than one day of work, but that is the kind of attitude that builds upon itself until school is put on the back burner.
In an ideal world, i could immerse myself completely in my schoolwork, without dealing with the daily frustrations that are offered financially, mentally, physically and otherwise. I can only imagine that the quality of my work would improve tantamount.
But i carry on, and keep calm when i am able. It's a balancing act, juggling not only a full schedule at school, but a full time job, a weekly cleaning position, teaching at Bridges, my sanity, my health, and my responsibilities as a roommate, a granddaughter, a friend, and whatever other role surfaces for me to fulfill. When i think back though, i've successfully maintained a fast pased lifestyle for most of my life. This realization gives me confidence in my capabilities, and even makes me feel a little proud of myself.
There is another kind of balance- a kind that grants a person flexibility to take time for themselves when they need to, to be less productive at times, to feel down and unmotivated occasionally. This balance occurs when said person has worked hard to earn themselves a reputation for their commitment and integrity. At times, a person can rest in the shade of their reputations while they recooperate before beginning another long haul.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Today i had a lot of school. I had a mock interview as well, during which i was videotaped and now i have to watch it and evaluate myself. It's funny to watch, because when i am focusing on the interviewer's questions i squint my eyes, and when i talk i use a lot of hand gestures, which i had not previously realized. I will upload a little clip later, when i figure out how to do so.

Nobody is home right now in my house so i have been walking around, pretending like i know how to beatbox, interacting with the dogs and procrastinating. Have you seen our dogs? Here is a picture of them, courtesy of Jeremiah:

Odin and Ruepert

They are not entertained by my beatbox. They are both sleeping now. I found yesterday a poet that i like- his name is Thomas Hardy. I dont think i had previously been familiar with him.
i like this quote by him:

"To find themselves utterly alone at night where company is desirable and expected makes some people fearful; but a case more trying by far to the nerves is to discover some mysterious companionship when intuition, sensation, memory, analogy, testimony, probability, induction -- every kind of evidence in the logician's list -- have united to persuade consciousness that it is quite in isolation."

^Something i have found intriguing myself. Jeremiah and i are soon going to be watching Baraka, i havent seen it but i've heard a lot about it- Wikipedia says:

"In addition to making comparisons between natural and technological phenomena, such as in Koyaanisqatsi, Baraka searches for a universal cultural perspective: for instance, following a shot of an elaborate tattoo on a bathing Japanese yakuza mobster with one of Native Australian tribal paint. The movie was filmed at 152 locations of 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Nepal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States. It contains no dialogue. Instead of a story or plot, the film uses themes to present new perspectives and evoke emotion purely through cinema."

I'm excited.

Tomorrow at Bridges we are making tie-quilts. I have no experience so it should be an interesting day for both my students and myself.

The semester is nearing an end and i have to start gathering together my painting portfolio. Here are two of the paintings i did this semester in watercolor:

So here they are both,
abstract landscapes.