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.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
That said, I will miss VSC, my studio, new friends, fun and freedom there hugely. I am always in love with that place...
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Above, the bed I made in my studio to nap in the afternoons. A quick fix, then back to work.
This is James, from just down the road. My local contact, as it were. He's also a sculptor---paper mache, primarily.
Our usual haunt. This is the Gihon River which flows right by VSC and is shallow and cool and perfect! We get a good scare once and awhile if a crawdad creeps over our bare feet. Usually, a duck and ducklings are hanging out nearby and we get to listen to the local frog inhabitants groan and chirp from the weeds at the shoreline.
Sunsets have been beautiful here. Each day ends with a lovely cool summer evening. It's a quiet crowd this month, for the most part---serious artists and writers intent on making work, not mahem! Some of the poets get a little rowdy with their favorite drinking game of "Stump" which involves a beer in one hand and a hammer in the other. (I played a round, it's not too dangerous...)
Two more weeks to go!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
An excerpt of a recent 40"x30" painting tentatively titled, "Winter Protectes the Hibernators." Pictured above is one of the Hibernators---in coldsleep, reduced to only it's spiritual mask. I made this painting to channel winter and all it's lovely coolness! I amuse myself greatly, sometimes.
I'm working solely in oilbars on heavy Stonehenge watercolor paper prepped with acrylic gel medium to seal it. Who knows if this has any archival qualities at all.... What I do know is that these materials make me happy right now, and I have no lack of ideas and inspiration when I'm working with them. Gotta go with what you know---you know?
Another critter from a painting that I'll call, "The Truce." It's a rather romantic painting at it's heart which, strangely enough, no one else seems to see. If all artworks are autobiographical, that means that I've just painted myself as a nubile, red-fleshed bunny headed woman with horns. I think it means I like me quite a lot, because this character kicks ass! So entertaining...
So far, reactions to the four paintings I've completed have been rather desultory. I don't need accolades and acclaim to keep working, but a few choice compliments are always enjoyed. I haven't gotten around to many of the other studios to see my fellow resident's work. The slide show this week promises to be very revealing!
Now---to cool off and get back to the studio.