Tuesday, September 30, 2008

and this here is a pretty lil' piece o' land, just right for the pickin'

For this one night I have no pressing deadline. I do have bills, but I can't pay those till I get paid later this week so they don't matter tonight. I could do laundry or cleaning or any of the other tens of things on my mental list of "things I think I oughtta be doing", but you know what? I'm not.

Tonight I've attempted to watch Grey's, but that's not happening for various reasons. So instead I had it on Ace of Cakes, I cut out words & pictures in old magazines, I put away some clothes that have been sitting here since sometime a week ago when I laid them out to air dry. I am choosing to continue to ignore the hundreds of emails in my inbox because I still can't bring myself to care what might be in there. I'm using a can of Pringles and a jar of sand as my foot rests. (shrugs) It works.

I'm actually proud of myself for having enough money in my bank account to buy a new battery for my car (proud too that it lasted from October of 2001 till now) but the only reason I had enough in there was I was saving it to pay for my car registration renewal this week anyway. C'est la vie.

I'm back from Jacksonville and missing being in Rob's arms. A long weekend of holding hands and kissing and snuggling and now back in separate worlds. And it sucks worse than screaming children scratching their nails on chalkboard during a fire drill. Or something equivalent to being numb & depressed & angry & annoyed & tired all at the same time.

We drove to Tallahassee for his aunt Susan's service. I met more family there. She was a passionate & spirited lady who was a delight to get to visit with when we went through several times. Cancer took her body, but it didn't take her spirit. I love how supportive and caring and creative and supportive his family is. My own family has it's own way of being supportive, but theirs is a lot calmer and loving through all the generations. Mine, well, sometimes I feel as if I don't live up to what everyone expects of me, and that can be tiring in itself.

We took complete advantage of sleeping late, curling into each other and reading "Peter and the Starcatchers" to each other all weekend. Dinner with friends one night, dinner with his parents another, dinner watching the sunset on the Intercoastal another. Being able to say exactly what was on my mind, usually to hear him say the exact same thing. We connected and it felt so good. The hard part was getting on the plane to fly back, alone. Damnit.

Yes, the papers on my desk at work have been multiplying like over-caffeinated rabbits and has me a bit stressed in the hours I have to be at work and doing job-related things like answering calls and writing newsletters. Then there is the explosion that is the remnants of me moving furniture and art supplies around my room, as well as the leftovers of Airsho which I pretty much just dropped wherever there was an empty square inch. Soo, umm, yeah. There is plenty for me to do to keep busy for the next two months when I can see him again.

This whole financial 'crisis' that seems to be a scary big-deal for the rest of the country does not seem to affect us here in the oil fields of West Texas. We are a remote bubble in so many ways. I work for a non-profit with no benefits, so whatever was left of my 401k I cashed out in January, well, I have no idea if there is anything left at all now, and I wonder if I shouldn't have just cashed in the whole thing and done a few things my way at the time. That's what I get for not listening to myself.

Things will change here eventually, they always do. I keep up best I can at work, I try to keep up the article writing, too. And yet, I still have the itch to be working on something I want to be working on, to be making something, to be doing something for myself.

It's not easy. At all. But some nights the hardest part is when I actually prefer to cry myself to sleep rather than open a tube of paint or glue. And that's not right. Because I do actually remember a part of myself that would rather paint or carve or sand things till the wee hours of the morning rather than sleep. Something got switched and I don't know when.

There are things in this world that still give me hope. I look forward to finding them again. In the meantime I'll stumble along and ask for whatever guidance the universe is willing to send my way.

I have these thoughts, you see... I know they can be something, but I'm not sure what just yet.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

*Decsion making is harder than it looks. Sometimes.

*Note: this was written & stored in draft for a couple of weeks, while I turned the blog off for whatever reasons I had at the time. I forget now. Doesn't matter. Thus, downtime, combined with some crazy time and exhausted time, has given me lots to think about. As if that is at all any different from anything else that gives me plenty to think about.

I tell ya what, I'm gonna pause this note nonsense and just go write another post. ok? good. see you in a few.

How confusing can they possibly make all the trademark & copyright info? Very. So in the realm of confusion, I think I'm still figuring things out. I'd like to trademark the name but I'd like to copyright the work. Trademark costs a couple hundred bucks, copyright costs a couple twenties. And there is lots of the paperwork filing. Why can't I just find a happy little paperwork gnome to do this paperwork for me?

What I seem to be struggling with the most is making that decision and going with it.

I knew what kind of car I wanted (nearly 10 years ago, of course) and while I test drove and looked at other jeeps & such, when I found my car on the edge of the lot one Saturday afternoon, I knew. Sure, I still had the "Am I crazy to commit to a five year car payment?" and the other flutterings of buyers remorse, but yes, I still drive this pretty little car, even if she is more dented & road worn now.

I know the color palate I want to use, even if the finished painting varies between the first brush stroke and the last. I knew what kind of tattoo I wanted to get, each time I got one, and for future ones. I knew when certain things were going the right way and when they weren't. Call it gut feeling, call it intuition, call it stars aligning, call it whatever - it works for me.

What doesn't work for me is going against that. I know this, even when I do it, more often than I'd like to.

So what I do in the situations when I'm not completely sure is do lots of research and reading. Lots. Days & weeks worth. Late nights and lunch breaks (when I get them) worth of reading. I like to make sure that if my gut doesn't have a say in what direction I'm going in, then at least I know both sides of every option so I can feel comfortable making a decision.

Sure, voting can be like that. It's what I did four years ago, & it's what I'm doing now. But not so much now - my gut has already spoken and I know who I'll be voting for in November and for what reasons.

Don't worry, I'm not gonna get into politics here, I have no need to, I already know what the right choice is for me.

Now, I can reiterate here as many thoughts and ruminations regarding past decisions, but I'm not sure if it'll do any good. Unfortunately right now there are several things going on that I can't say anything about. This sucks. This sucks because I believe in saying what I feel, and think, and right now there are people I could offend or piss off, so I have to shut up.

I'm trying so damn hard to focus on something good. I'm trying to figure out this particular project

Meanwhile, Rob has continued the creative streak for these guys & I've continued to keep myself busy with writing & work & some travels.

What gets to me right now is the design stuff. I've already nixed the Creative Commons stuff for this stuff. I know it's Trademark & Copyright. Now it's just the paperwork stuff.

I'm a visual person. Even when there's nothing to see. Yet.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Zombies. And line breaking. And Asparagus.

In the weirder than normal department of my dreamscape, I woke up, heart pounding & pulse racing in the middle of the night the other night from a dream/nightmare about, well, zombies. And vampires. And a few other crazy horror movie leftovers just for kicks. It was odd. To say the least. (Odder still that I turned on the tv today to find "Shaun of the Dead", and then moving on from that put in a dvd to watch and one of the pre-view trailers was for some cowboy western 'undead' movie. Three references. Means: pay attention!)

It involved running, lots of it. It involved looking for my cellphone, finding a mini-flashlight, because you know, those do come in handy in the dark and all that, but they do not come in so handy with the fending off the undead the same way those huge hefty maglights do.

It also involved me fairly actively searching for solutions, answers, ways out, as I was aware enough it was a dream & I was trying to figure things out while in the middle of it. Doesn't mean it didn't freak me out though - I woke up and called Rob just trying to calm down. While walking back through it, going over all the parts I could remember - what I was doing, why, where, what I was wearing, etc... it posed that I've got some issues I need to get fixed pretty damn quick. For my own sanity. And apparently for my own health, with wanting to not have the life sucked out of me and all. I totally know what it represents. I totally understand that I think finding my cellphone is important, because it's like a life line. I am totally thankful that zombies don't move all that swift so that I can run off. And I'm totally wearing running shoes a helluva lot more often.


If you haven't clicked away by now, well, then you really need to go find better reading material. Seriously. There are way better bloggers and writers out here. Some even get paid for it, so you know they're good. I just yammer a bit here and there, and even this is falling to the wayside sometimes. The writing I do for work is taking all my good words and decent thinking away, I haven't even written any good short stories in months. Oh, wait. I haven't written any short stories in months.

I'm striving for something better. I really am. I've rearranged furniture and cleared working space (sort of. it's amazing how fast it fills up again) in an effort to stir up the creative energy. I'm waiting to see how much of it works.


This is a shout out of love for blogspot / blogger, because I've been using them for years and it works so smoothly every time. Editing is a breeze and html is fairly easy to code. AND WHEN I HIT 'ENTER' FOR A LINE BREAK, IT EFFING WORKS! That last part, the yelling there, is because I write for another blog twice a week, that is unfortunately hosted on word press, and well, word press sucks when it comes to things like line breaks and simple coding (which, admittedly, is all I can do without accidentally making the web page go in reverse or something...).

See that! Right there!^ That is a line break! One that works!

And this - is a quick screen shot of the page I just spent the last THREE EFFING HOURS trying to get to work. There really are supposed to be separate lines there. Really. It makes me want to cry. What makes me want to cry even more? The IT people who actually do the hosting talk to me like I'm an idiot, like I've never used a computer before, like "Have you tried hitting shift + enter?" Sigh. I wonder why I bother sometimes.

No wonder I'm tired. I keep trying to do things that really don't matter to make things work for someone else. I need to be doing things that matter. And I need to be doing things that work for me.


Which gets me onto what matters. There is some story that has been passed around, somewhere, I don't know where, but I swear I heard it before - the PR or marketing sites, I dunno. Anyway, Rob & I were chatting about the things we sign up for or get signed up for, and what we believe in. Here's what I remember of the story:

There's a guy, a very busy, dedicated guy, head of a big, fancy, money making company. Who cares what company, it doesn't matter. But he was a huge, I mean a mega-huge, supporter of "Save the Whales!" He donated time and money, did volunteer work, did what he could. Soon other organizations approached him to help them "Save the Chickens!" and "Save the Asparagus!", asking for donations and volunteer hours.

Next door is a gal, a very busy, dedicated gal, head of a different big, fancy, money making company. She volunteered and donated her time and money and resources to "Save the Whales!" as well. And soon "Save the Chickens!" and "Save the Asparagus!" came asking her for donations and volunteer hours as well.

Here's what happened. The guy said "No, thanks." The gal said "Sure." He volunteered his time to paint signs and push whales back into the ocean, he donated huge checks for nice whale watching things, and he enjoyed it. She volunteered her time to paint signs for whales and chickens and asparagus watch groups, she went to the rallies and made out checks for special feed for the chickens and rehabilitation for the asparagus and never had any time to do anything else. Her work suffered, but that's not the point. We'll pretend that her company could continue without her. But if it couldn't, it would have already failed.

She was burned out. She was tired. She was very cranky. (huh. no comment needed on this, 'kthanx.) She went next door to ask the guy how he did it.

"How do you do it?"

"Do what?"

"Volunteer and give without losing yourself?"

"I only volunteer and give to those things I believe in. I believe in saving whales."

"But what about the chickens and asparagus?"

"There is someone else out there to believe in those other things. It doesn't make you a bad person to only believe in one project/thing/idea, you know."

Ok. That was a really long and drawn out way of saying there are some things I do believe in ("Save the Fairies!", "Save the ice cream!", & "Save the graffiti!" have my vote) and some things I don't. There is someone else out there to believe in those things I don't. (i.e. jury duty. ugh.)

I have things I'd rather be doing and working on, but right now, I need a paycheck to live off of, so I am kinda stuck doing a few things I don't believe in. And it's in danger of sucking the life out of me. Thus the zombie reference. Duh. (Oh, as if you already hadn't figured out I was talking about work.)

So. I'm trying to bring in good creative energy. I'm trying to work on things I like. I'm trying not to throw my computer against the hearth because it's not her fault the program won't work, as is evidenced by the fact that this program DOES work. And I'm trying not to go crazy while saving the asparagus from the chickens that the whales are eating. Or some such nonsense. And I'm buying a heavy-duty, head-bashing worthy maglight to keep by my bed.

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