Saturday, January 15, 2011
Now on the horizon is my eagerly awaited trip to the Vermont Studio Center for my 4th residency. After just a few months of working a truly CRAPPY job, I am more than ecstatic about going back to the place that seems more and more like my own special haven: a place where I get to do, talk and be art for 30 days, non-stop. I haven't done much art at all in California---the aforementioned crappy job, the unheated shed which I could have made into a kind of studio, the focus on other important projects. It's life interfering, you know? More and more, I begin to understand at a deep level that creating or doing anything truly important in life requires setting aside so many other things that may be short-term important or even just easier to deal with. It's prioritizing on a tectonic level.
Now---a sunny day, a couple of free hours before I begin one of my last few days at the aforementioned crappy job.
It's a new year: Here's to NEWNESS in so many forms! Here's to renewal and beginnings and hope and all that good stuff.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Setting up my Ad Hoc Studio (blog post to come!) and.....working.
How about you? Ever have a job you disliked but did it anyway for whatever reason and whatever span of time? Tell me, comrade!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I had very optimistic, healthy expectations for a new place: new job, new landscape, new adventures, new friends, new things to learn. I've found that not much of those hopes have been particularly easy to attain, however! I've gotten a rude awakening, in many respects.
I've had a difficult time finding a job, and the job I did land isn't spectacular by any means. Turns out that my job skills aren't all that marketable. Turns out that in this job market, I am not that hireable!
I joined a great cycling club, thinking I am a good cyclist. On a weekly basis, I go out on rides with folks in their 50's and 60's sporting heads of pure white hair---and they smoke my ass! Turns out I am not as strong or fast as I thought I was. Also, I found out that my beloved bike doesn't measure up to the roadies, either. (To hell with that though---I LOVE SHEILA.)
Saturday, October 30, 2010
And why thrift stores, do you ask? I'm sure I've described my inherent frugality before....haven't I? I always shop at thrift stores. ALWAYS. Reasoning: Good clothes, good fabrics, interesting styles, low prices. I've done this as long as I've been an adult. About 20 years. (But who's counting...) It's ingrained in my shopping-psyche to never pay more than $10 for any item of clothing. (The glaring exceptions to this rule are cycling gear and the aforementioned hiking boots.)
Enter the dilemna of dress pants. Nope---couldn't find a good pair at a thrift store. While I found a lot of pants in good condition, not one pair looked or felt good on me. Yes----finally went out to a department store. I spent about 15 minutes in Macy's looking at clothes and realized that a) the arrangement of clothes for display rather than shopping ease (as in a thrift store!) frustrated me and b) I wouldn't be able to bring myself to buy anything there.
Enter REI. I realized that I could buy dress pants if they weren't, you know, dress pants. I understood myself enough to realized that I wanted good looking pants that I'd wear that had other uses! Enter, Mistral Women's Pants, size 6. They fit! They moved well! I could sit in them! They didn't make my ass look like a rotting watermelon! Actually, they manage to make my ass look like a ripe peach. Yum!
Here's what the tag says:
"Soft-shell pants for mild to cool conditions: Water resistant nylon/spandex blend is windproof to 23 miles mph and stands up to rugged use."
"Sleek cut and mobile design: Articulated knees, 4-way stretch and center gusset make movement easy."
"Leg zips: Slide easily over footwear."
(And get this!)
"Perfect for touring castles in the morning and summiting foothills that afternoon."
So----if I get this office job, I can expect to put my shoes on first in the morning, then pants. I can splash cups of coffee in my lap and it'll just drain off. I can wrestle my co-workers on the office floor, because these pants are rugged and will take some carpet-burn. Also, if the windows are blown out by big winds, I can sit there placidly, warm and dry and snug in my expensive pants.
I got them for the job interview.
Did it yesterday.
Who knows if they helped my job-seeker mojo or not?
I'll keep you updated.
Monday, October 25, 2010
This chart above is the series---all of which are surprisingly strenuous! This is a body and mind opening practice, but I wouldn't call it meditative, per se. More than anything, it requires great concentration and stamina.
Honestly? It's the one thing that is helping me keep my chin up during my frustrating, demoralizing job search...
Saturday, October 16, 2010
On a positive note, I've joined the Santa Rosa Cycling Club and have been getting my ass whupped in some 40 mile group rides....18 riders in the pack at one time! New experiences abound! I also joined a local, informal knitting group. When in a new place and without the structured socialization of work or school.....join as many groups as you can.
Wish me luck in my job search. I NEED IT.
Monday, September 27, 2010
We've landed! We've now been in California for 6 weeks (as of yesterday). We are still climatizing to a new place, new landscape, new everything. Fromage is really enjoying school---excellent, since that is the reason we're here. His concerns that he'd be the only over-20-something in class was unfounded. Turns out most, if not all, of his fellow students in his department are in similar life/age circumstances as he is.
Moi---I'd hoped to land a job right away, but my eclectic job skills keep me looking a little harder. Photo Archivist, anyone? Plant handler? Flower basket assembler? Orchid rustler? Many good skills, just not a place to put them yet. As my wise friend Shannon told me; "Don't fight it! Understand that there is a flow to it all!" She advised me to relax into the new life and not to push it as much....it was good to hear.
I have made one good friend here. Okay, yeah, it's a PLANT...but you knew I'd say that, right? In the photo above, the GIANT grapefruit tree in our wee lawn. This is the reason I named our place "Grapefruit Cottage," as this behemoth has great presence here. Why is it my friend? Every time I go out and do some yard work, the tree drops some fruit for me. I'd say it was just a coincidence....but it's happened too many times for that. The tree likes me.
Just look at all this fruit! I can't keep up with eating it, of course...not that I've tried. Still, it's really, really good grapefruit. (And a few lemons in this collection---the neighbor's tree drops them over the fence...maybe it likes me, too?)
When I walk by the grapefruit tree, I make sure to knock on it's trunk. Just a little rap. Did you know this is the origin of 'knock on wood?' It was believed that gods/spirits lived in certain trees, and to knock on the tree was to invoke the good luck or protection of the entity that lived there. (Can't hurt, right?) Besides---it's such a big, beautiful tree....
Our home in California---Grapefruit Cottage! Setting up California life: so far, so good.