Saturday, January 26, 2008

24. Nite In

Last night I holed up in my house, all alone.
It was wonderful. And much needed for my sanity.
I drank some wine, played Mario Galaxy, started reading Jack Kerouac's "On the Road", did a full set of yoga for the first time in about a month, and gave myself not one, but 2 face masks. The first was pumpkin, which I don't believe really does anything except soften your skin, and the second was a blue muddy one that actually cleans your skin.
And after I was finally, officially, completely unwound, I watched some Project Runway and had a cup of green tea.

My back is a little sore from yoga, but I feel so much better today. It's like I've detoxed mentally.

I also got a completely ridiculous new pair of shoes yesterday, with the Payless gift card Soren got me for Christmas:


















The gift card was actually intended for tap shoes, but it turns out the girl who sold Soren the gift card was an idiot and didn't realize he wanted adult tap shoes. Which Payless does not sell. So instead I was trying to find something fun that I could wear nowish, or with this new rad dress I found at Goodwill.
But no.
Nothing fit the bill (or me). So frivolous summer shoes it is. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

23. Coming Apart

I am filled with rage this week. I don't know why. I feel as though I'm about to have a serious breakdown. I had a pretty decent one last night, actually. Matt puts up with far too much from me. Maybe I've done too much overtime at a job which has been frustrating me. Perhaps the jewelry order from Etsy.com was the last straw...though I did find hours of entertainment in toying with the seller today...
But I could just be suffering from winter depression, who knows.

I'm going to burst soon. It's not going to be pretty, and my icky sticky insides are going to be strewn all over the fucking pavement to be eaten by wandering animals and ground into the cracks by the tires of SUVs and bakery trucks. If it was possible to shed your skin and start fresh I would. I'm literally crawling out of this one. I actually talk to myself now. Like, angry, schizophrenic rants in my car. Sometimes I stop and tell myself I'm going over the edge; that I should probably watch that. But then I just say fuck it and keep ranting because it feels nice.

Matt has determined I must go back to school because my mind is eating itself in stagnation. I'm going to have to settle for community college, but I'm poor, so that's really no surprise. I'm always dreaming far above my price range. I'm excited to go, and I'm hoping to start something in the fall. Preferably before I eat all of my opposable digits and have no choice but to create art with my mind. Like those guys with the giant heads that talk through their pulsating veins. I imagine that would be difficult.

When I'm alone I want to sing in a band. I want to tap dance. I want to play the ukelele, the piano, the euphonium and the clarinet. I want to be an amazing art photographer and I want to paint. I want to get tattoos. I want to speak Japanese fluently. I want to be a yoga master. I want to know who I am and wear that person on the outside as much as I feel it on the inside.

The thing is that I'm terrified to fail. I'm kind of a perfectionist, and I have this really sensitive ego that constantly needs to be told that it's talented and smart and creative. I'm afraid that I'll go and fail. I'm afraid I'll go and see that I am in fact dull, average, and not cut out for the creative life. That I was really intended to be something atrocious like an accountant or something. But the time has come to make a run for it and try before I go completely mad and kill myself. I'm not getting any younger, and I'm wasting precious time sitting around drooling and second guessing myself. I'm tired of being afraid, but it's hard to actually make yourself do something about it. Confidence has never been my strong point. Frankly, I'm awkward and strange and sort of confused.

Fuck.

That's all, really. Just...fuck.
(I love that word.)

Another drunken blog-rant brought to you by your friends at Booze-O-Rama.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

22. Camera Envy

At some point over the past few years, my mind has begun to function in images rather than words. Or rather, I used to use words to communicate the images in my head, but somewhere along the way I lost my ability to translate one to the other. Photography has sort of taken the place of poetry for me, as far as a creative outlet goes. I still try to write, but this blog is the perfect example of my losing struggle to collect random nonsensical images and make them into something that someone else can look at and understand. I tend to be scatter-brained and disconnected inside, and finding the right medium to focus those thoughts into something linear has been quite difficult for me.

I have decided my next technological purchase should be a new camera. I am considering going digital, but I don't know. I've been very happy with my manual, but I find more and more that I am limited in when and where I can photo because I don't have adequate lighting. Built in flashes are always awful, but with my AE-1, the after-market flash I can purchase is even worse. It requires you to calculate the exposure for your shot, then recalculate for the flash, then shoot. This makes candid photography particularly difficult. Portraits are hard enough to accomplish as it is, and I certainly can't imagine trying to shoot already flighty animals.

"Yes, please hold still, would you? Just a few minutes more."

I may as well be shooting portraits of saloon girls and cowboys in 1862.

This week my friend Chris came to visit with his cute little digi which is far more advanced than mine. We were both shooting on automatic at the aquarium, yet every one of his photos came out clear and beautiful and displaying vivid color. Mine were blurry, dark or over-exposed depending on whether I used the flash or not, and overall, generally disappointing.

During her visit over Thanksgiving, Janelle let me play around with her high end Canon digital, which cost something like $1800 I think. I liked it, but at the same time it felt like a little much for me to handle. It seemed overwhelmingly large and complicated. Which has me leaning back toward sticking to manual for my art photos and just getting an upgraded digital for the fun stuff. But I'd really like to start being able to just shoot people and places whenever the urge to strikes me. I need something I can easily carry with me, and preferably something I can use indoors as well as out. I'm not sure that exists yet.

I don't have the money for anything at the moment anyway. The best thing to do I suppose, is get out and shoot what I can with what I've got. If it would just stop fucking raining...today could have been the perfect day to wander and shoot, and it's pouring. Growlies.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

21. Wasting Time

Finger bones scratching, drawn
across the flat stones,
fall upon the black stones (black stones)

Nite is close, whispers to the fog
Sweep, sweep, sweep,
I cannot sleep, sleep, sleep.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

20. New Year

Happy 2008!

This had to have been my least eventful New Year's Eve since we were living in St. Charles, and I came down with the flu the night of. We had awesome plans that night too...

Matt and I went out to dinner in Edmonds around 5:30. Girardi's wasn't too busy yet, and the food was delicious, though a little too rich for me. I wish I could remember the name of the appetizer we had. It was a pile of greens, thinly sliced raw beef medallions, and paper thin slices of asiago topped off with capers and red onions, and a little dijon mustard on the side for dipping. For my main course I ordered the Cranberry-Apple-Gorgonzola Ravioli, which was very good, but just too much. The cream sauce was so heavy and buttery-cheesy thick, I couldn't eat more than half of what was on my plate. Which, honestly is fine. I'm trying to eat the same amount that I would at home when I go out to dinner so I don't feel so sick afterward. Just because something tastes delicious doesn't mean I have to make a pig of myself.

Matt's dinner was a braised pork shank over savory mushroom risotto. Really delicious, but even that was too much for me. I did pick at his quite a bit because it was so good, but even then we ended up bringing half of each dinner home for Matt to eat later.

We were back at Toad Hollow and opening champagne by 7. We had planned to watch 2 movies, one I rented, and one we were going to get off pay per view, but Superbad had mysteriously disappeared. Which left the movie I rented, "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus".

My entire interest in seeing this movie was the director. Steven Shainberg's last film was "Secretary", which was completely amazing. It's one of my favorite films ever. I am also an appreciator of Diane Arbus' work, however, and my concern that "Fur" would be a bastardization of that is what has taken me a year and a half to get around to actually watching it. The title makes it quite clear that this is not intended to be a factual depiction of Diane Arbus' life, so I went into it with an open mind and took Nicole Kidman's fictional portrayal of her with a grain of salt.

In the end, I believe that it was a tasteful homage to Arbus' artistic style and perspective by someone who obviously finds a lot of inspiration for his own work in her. Beyond that, it was just a really beautiful and intriguing film about creativity and finding the courage to listen your inner voice. The real Arbus has little more to do with the story than being a perfect embodiment for that message.

I frequently struggle with my own creativity, as well as the idea of happiness, and this film definitely spoke to that. More and more I see that happiness has to come from within. You cannot force it or try to find it in someone else. And a lot of times finding your own way means that you can't be what others want you to be. Like any other emotion, it is completely unique to the individual. What will make me happy may seem like hell to the next person. That seems like really basic common sense, yet I often forget it. I spend so much of my time fighting depression because I am trying to fit myself into a box or a choice that I feel I'm stuck with. Really, I shortchange myself because I am afraid to hurt someone, or of being judged, or to take any risks. It's fear alone that holds me back from finding my own happiness.

Anyway, I liked the movie. You might too.

As for New Year's resolutions, I don't have many. I try to apply resolutions as they come up. But since it is a new year, and I am sitting here thinking about it, I think I will make more of an effort to be less afraid. I hope that by not listening to my fears quite so much, I'll achieve a little more of what I'm looking for. Also, more yoga. It's quite nice.