Monday, May 10, 2010

Application to Michael's

Michael's application: "Describe why you love arts & crafts."
My answer:
Arts and crafts are my joie de vivre. As a kid, I used to sit with my grandmother while she knit or needlepointed in front of her soaps. When I was a teenager, and my grandmother's health was deteriorating, I sought out knitting lessons at the historical Myers house in Florissant. Needlecrafts and yarn projects thus became my way of being close to her after she was gone. Meanwhile, I thrived as an art student from junior high all the way to Loyola University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts for drawing and painting in 2005. In college I also took up jewelry making, studying metalwork and learning beadwork techniques independently with a friend. What they say about beads is true, they age well and even on the worst day, you can look at your beads and feel good. Bookmaking is more of an interest for me, while scrapbooking is my mother's passion; well, scrapbooking and Michael's 40% off coupons. Papercrafts have become an activity we can bond over. Even if we are at odds otherwise, we can always collaborate on a scrapbooking endeavor. Arts & crafts are something I enjoy, have a talent for, and serve a deep-seeded social function in my life as a way of coming together with family members & friends. Because they are my happy place, it's easy for me to spread my enthusiasm to other people.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Death & Things

Today I found out that one of my best friend's best friends died a few days ago in a car accident. This person was someone I knew, liked well, and considered a friend also.

1. It's weird how terrible news like this instantaneously shook my thoughts around like beans in a jar and rearranged my perspective.

2. I usually am aware of feeling adrenaline and anger in my arms, like a physical pain from emotions running through my veins. Today for the first time I noticed grief in them. After my initial reaction had a little time to settle - concern for my bestie and the gravity of this loss for him - I felt loss of my own. This was someone I loved and respected, also. Grant Folland was kind-hearted and enjoyably intellectual. His voice has been in and out of my head all day, and I caught myself automatically smiling when I tried to visualize him standing in front of me.

3. "When a parent dies, you are left having to go through all of their belongs, all of their crap, because that's what it becomes... You may love some of this crap because its remind you of them. It never becomes more clear, though, that it really is crap than at that moment because none of these things will bring them back." Helping me, and being overwhelmed by all of my belongings that she doesn't care about, my mom summed it up pretty well today. I have to get to NYC asap. In order to do that, I have to finish packing, complete a garage sale, and set up the craft room at the new house. I've been pussyfooting around facing my belongings and getting rid of things I'm attached to, but don't need need, for almost 2 months. Today I was more productive than I have been in weeks. I'm open to getting rid of a lot more things now, if I think it can help me buy a plane ticket. As much as this death is a loss, the motivation is a gift.

4. Oh man, it sucks though. It really, really sucks. ... This was a great mind, a good person, a life unlived, and a family that must bear the loss. My mind says, "No!", when I'm reminded of the realization. Not to mention that one of my support stems just lost one of his.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I woke up with kaleidoscope eyes

p.s. this entry is s'allabout me
I dreamt that I was continuing a fictional facebook conversation with a friend. In ICanHasCheezburger talk, I was informing her that if we were going to be planets, it was I to be Earth, not Mars. Woke up with a flood of one-line thoughts and now they're all gone, to remember that the planet dream.

The one good thing about Katrina is that when I go to google today, there is a link right there, saying, "Information, resources, and ways you can help survivors of the Haiti earthquake."

It's been two months since I quit smoking and I am absolutely insane. It's great. ...well no, it's absolutely difficult. It is as if a whole lot of repressed crazy is now publicly visible that cigarettes had previously kept at bay. I cry easily, feel road rage now, and have to find other ways to cope with anxiety. I think I got one speeding ticket 10 years ago. In the past year, I've gotten FOUR, each of them within the first 14 days of not smoking (it's taken a few tries- I think the average is six-I'm talking about six balls-to-the-wall, Wholehearted never-agains) Hi. So, I don't speed anymore and I appreciate the boring power of cruise control, and driving at night I become jerkingly paranoid that every vehicle approaching from the rear is about to pull me over, then I realize I'm driving 64mph, not to mention how boring it can be when you can't smoke.

A lot of people say quitting smoking is the hardest thing they've ever done, and I was looking forward to accomplishing the hardest thing they've ever done. But I don't think so. It's just the beginning. The worst part of not smoking is giving up control. I know I'm going to get upset or cry, in front of someone, and I don't know when it will happen or what will trigger it. (Um, getting a ticket is a trigger). So to speak in riddles...

It's like I've let the crazy aerate and I don't want anybody to see it, for fear of being judged and discovering a false friendship. Instead I'm discovering that I have the best friends and acquaintances in the world, every time I'm forced to share a negative experience with someone, and they reveal themselves as compassionate and, even nonjudmentally seeing through my bullshit, calling an ace an ace. Having a witness in the room naturally forces me to acknowledge that I'm the one driving myself crazy, and it's okay to just stop. And kind of, I go to great lengths to try and not seem paranoid ("I'm sure everyone thinks I'm paranoid.") or too emotional, or whatever. But it's really only in being exposed that things go away. I don't think I have just one guardian angel, I think I have several. Sometimes I feel like Selena Kyle or Dr. Jekyll waking up after an episode as Catwoman/Hyde. Except it isn't Batman that saves me. I do. And when I can't, someone else ALWAYS does. So basically, it's been two months now and I just moved back to St. Louis and my life is full of big changes and I'm scared shitless, even though I'm not, I am, I was, subconsciously, and it freaked out of me and there was a witness and friend-in-need-friend-indeed stuff and totally humbling=Balancing. poof. and the crazy is gone.

In conclusion, I think I need to jump out of a plane. But just thinking about it terrifies me. Just thinking about it. Maybe I'll watch Vertigo today. OH! I finally finished watching Stephen King's It, the reason I'm afraid of clowns. It took me three days to finish, but I did and it was a good thing. *spoiler alert*...?...I'm not a fan that the predator revealed itself as a giant, sinister-looking spider. This paragraph can be summarized by Suze Orman, something about her being a firm believer that action is the ONLY way to dispel fear, fog, or confusion. Obama says something in Audacity of Hope about how folks are folks and rich people do want the poor to get rich, and poorer people he finds more often have higher levels of self-criticism and higher expectations. (I'm talking myself up because am dealing with all of my belongings from my entire hoarding packrat life that have now collected into one overwhelmingly crammed basement and surrounding areas. *faint*)

The only way out is through, and it always seems to be a messy, exposing, humbling shitshow that I'm glad happened. So will the next month be. It's nice to be back in STL, traveling was fun, kind of can't wait to get settled though-moving in a month, and I love not working but I'm kind of ready for a source of income. Once again, solutions all point to stripping.:) The end.