28 February 2009

just can't do it

I've been thinking about what to feed the blog for a few days now. I had finally gotten to the point that I figured I would just have to live with two Where I Stand Sunday posts in a row. But it made me kind of twitchy. Couldn't do it. So I bring you randomness that may help you to understand why I've not been blogging lately (translation: I'm boring right now):

1) When I drove to work yesterday morning at the unholy hour of 6:15am, it was 50 degrees and raining. When I walked out of the building in the afternoon at 4pm, it was 28 degrees and snowing. What does this have to do with not blogging? Not a thing, but I find it annoying so I wanted to complain about it.

2) I'm knitting. A lot. But they are all presents so I can't blog about them. The recipients know I'm knitting them but given that I knit at the speed of mud, I'm thinking that by the time I'm done with said gifts, they will have forgotten what they look like and they will feel surprised.

3) I want to clean. Everything. Now. Which is a sure sign that spring is approaching. But my back is not cooperating and I'm trapped on the couch again. I'm trying to figure out if its possible to tie a trash bag to Dooley's tail and just kick things into it while luring him around the house with a cookie. It could work.

4) I'm reading books like they are crack. I'm almost done reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer (the jury is still out on how I like it but considering its 600 pages and I'm almost done with it I can't say I hate it) and Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Needless to say my dreams have been a little on the odd side lately. Its the equivalent of eating a bowlful of sushi, macaroni and cheese and spicy indian food and wondering why you have a stomach ache afterward.

5) The number of potholes I drive over everyday are making me violently cranky. Probably because my back is going through a bad spell and this is not helping. I'm thinking that one of these days I'm going to hit one and disappear underneath the road. Seriously, they are getting that mammoth.

6) I have a list of about 1,349 projects I want to make. I have the energy for about 2.25. I bought a lottery ticket.

7) I've become obsessed with the IFC station. Tonight I watched a movie in which Kate Winslet played a woman who got sucked into an Indian cult and Harvey Kitel was trying to deprogram her. It ended with Harvey Keitel wearing a red dress. Most of what I see on that station is followed with the me saying, "Huh...now there's something you don't see everyday."

8) I am so boring that I can't think of more then 7 things to babble about. Blech.

So tomorrow I'm thinking I might hole up inside the house, do laundry and practice spinning. I'm feeling a little hermit like lately, maybe that will change once Mother Nature stops abusing us with her mood swings. I'm considering sending her a case of Midol.

Hopefully more interesting posts are lurking in the near future...

22 February 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

I’m standing in the middle of chance, absorbing the randomness of the events that rush around me each day, wondering at how easily a simple everyday task can soar into something that imprints into your memory. The difference of a few seconds could have altered life into something unrecognizable, broken, torn. The ideas sit inside my head like a brick, stubborn and solid. I close my eyes in defense of them, working to push the soreness away.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

18 February 2009

woe thy name is dooley

Dooley has reached the end of his rope. He has briskly marched past the line in the sand. He has tested his tolerance and pushed it beyond the breaking point.

He is done being ignored.

He is currently pacing around the living room, emitting a low mournful protest about how hard his life is. He has picked every toy out of his basket and proceeded to squeak or nudge them until they become uninteresting. He has pawed the sofas (I am laying on one, mom is sitting on the other) and chirped in complaint that there does not appear to be any room for him. (In the humans' defense, Dooley may be stumpy but he stretches out to an unnatural length when given a soft sofa to lounge on.)

Mom has a head cold from hell, I have...well...an insane job that sucks the life force from me. We are apparently boring in every possible way. (Of which I am totally fine with.)

So Dooley has requested that you give him full court sympathy as being the most woeful westie in the world. (And if you buy that one, I have a bridge in the desert I'd love to sell ya...)

15 February 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

It’s the monotony that skims the surface and holds the cracks in place that I have become addicted to. A sleepy schedule and a set routine have afforded me a contentment I didn’t remember I was missing. For now it is enough, this haze that lets me walk between the splits without disturbing them.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

12 February 2009

in awe

I know that it makes me somewhat of a geek that I list Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride amongst my top favorite movies. So its not all that shocking that I am bouncing in my seat all excited about going to see Coraline this saturday.

I am a huge fan of stop motion animation films because every single thing is constructed.

By hand.

One at a time.

No matter how long it takes.

HBO has been running a behind-the-scenes look at the movie and the people who shot the film talk about how in a good day they manage to shoot two to four seconds.

That's a big switch from the crazy standards we set for ourselves to get thousands of things done in a single eight hour day.

The behind-the-scenes special also talks about the ways in which the set creators take everyday items and use them in unexpected ways. Like popcorn kernels painted pink to make cherry blossoms and dog squeaky toys cut in half so they can be used for the centers of blooming flowers.

You can see part of the special here:

And of course there is the knitting, which I find fascinating in an outstanding way. Watch this video, its nice to know there is still productions being made where every detail is painstakingly made by hand.

09 February 2009

a little weirded out

I’ve always known that no matter how much planning you do in life, you just never know what will happen every time you open your eyes in the morning and start a new day. (That’s not to say I don’t try to bend the world to my will and keep things on schedule but I’ve been smacked down enough times to realize sometimes you just gotta scream uncle and let things go their own way.)

Such was today.

My car has a long history of torturing me in the I’m-going-to-relentlessly-break-in-ways-that-can’t-be-ignored-so-you-have-to-fork-over-lots-of-money-NOW kind of way. So it was really no shock that as soon as I had finished paying off one repair bill, it decided to have some fun with me and kill its battery. (It’s a plot to drive me mad, I can’t be convinced otherwise, don’t try.)

Now a new battery doesn’t sound like all that big of a deal but this comes quick on the heels of a replaced fuel pump and a whole bundle of suspicion that the battery issue is a precursor for something that has far too many numbers in it to fix.

Add to it the fact that mom is about to turn in her car tomorrow (it’s a lease) and the whole complicated game of “I can drop my car off at the mechanic and drive your car to work and then I’ll pick you up and we can go take care of that thing we need to do and go get my car and then go back to the house and then leave again to do that other thing” just isn’t going to pan out this time.

So I had to waste a vacation day in order to take the stupid heap of metal in to get fixed. (It turns out that if you swear profusely at a car that with a stuttering battery, you may be able to scare it into starting. Worked just fine for me.)

I was feeling rather bitter about it all day and kept stewing about it. Then I saw a commercial on TV about leasing vehicles.


My issue with getting a new car (which in all honesty would have happened the last time I was facing a four digit repair bill with my current car) is my back. The seats and the ride have to be comfortable or I will turn myself into a hunched over bundle of pathetic. My mom drives a Chevy HHR and I’ve driven it around many a time with comfortable results so it seems like a rationale line of thought to follow.

So I ended up getting this today:

I’ve actually researched this before so I was sure what I wanted. I always said that if I got one of these babies, I wanted a black one because it looks like something that belongs in the Godfather movies (which I think are the best movies of all time and really, the film industry could have just retired after making those because everything else pales in comparison.)

My brother said it is a Darth Vader helmet.

I’m still kind of in shock that I ended up with a new car today. It just sort of happened…but as Mary so aptly pointed out, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I plan to play the Godfather theme while driving to work tomorrow morning. I think it will like it.

an artful opening

This past Friday was the opening reception of Art in Stitches at the Northville Art House in Northville, MI. The exhibit was well received, many people attended the opening.

Artwork hung on both levels of the gallery, filling the entire space with art quilts. It was really thrilling to see this medium get such a positive reception.

I was one of nine artists in the show, you can see two of my pieces here. (The two smaller ones.) The show is hung very well and the gallery is very nice.

If you are able to make it out and see the show, I highly recommend it. Many thanks to the Northville Art House for this wonderful opportunity.

(Thanks to Jackie for two of the photos above.)

08 February 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

The snow has slipped away just long enough to reveal the struggling ground beneath it. The rusted metal yawns orange and brown and blue into the random sunlight, punctuating the grayness with a sudden shot of awareness. The harshness of the season has pulled this reaction from the grate, forcing it into a riot state. It causes me to linger, pulling my mind toward the dates rapidly slipping from the calendar.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

04 February 2009

sadly its true

Gisela sent me this the other day and I almost spit my coffee all over my keyboard I was laughing so hard. Its true in every way. I suspect that those who are close to Michigan also behave accordingly.

This is in no way a bash on anyone who lives in a warmer state. In fact, I am intensely jealous of you and wish that I reacted to cold temperatures the way this list described rather then having built up such a tolerance that I still wear t-shirts during the winter.

So in honor of the fact that we had 40 degree weather a couple days ago (and I drove with one of my windows down because it was so warm - and no I'm not joking) and is now only 9 degrees today with a wind chill warning below zero, this is an appropriate post.


65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Michigan plant gardens.

60 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Michigan sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Michigan drive with the windows down

40 above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
People in Michigan throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Michigan have the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above zero:
People in Miami all end up with pnemonia.
Michiganites close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Michigan get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Michigan are selling cookies door to door.

20 below zero:
Washing DC runs out of hot air.
People in Michigan let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Michiganites get upset because they can't start the snowmobile.

40 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Michigan start saying..."Cold enough fer ya?"

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Michigan public schools will open 2 hours late.

I look forward to the day when I can stop complaining about how freakin' unholy cold it is this winter. (I'm sure you are too.) I promise to make an effort to suffer in silence from now on.

Oh...by the way...did I mention its cold here?

02 February 2009

monday brain

It is Monday and I am entirely unable to assemble consistent thoughts so you get randomness. Here goes:

1. I took a spinning class yesterday at the prettiest yarn store in the world. I took my camera, I thought about using it, but I did not. I suck. But here is a picture of the yarn I made during the course of the lesson:

It is my best effort so far, I’m feeling very encouraged. I have decided to put myself on a practice schedule. Nothing rigid but I'm aiming for at least twice a week. I know what needs work and knowing what things to target is going to help a lot.

2. The groundhog saw his shadow today. I say we kill the bastard and eat him. Anyone have any good stew recipes? (I know that the calendar says six more weeks, I know its just a superstition but I have to blame someone for this wretched winter.)

3. I don’t care who won the Superbowl. I don’t even know who played. I think the game is silly. Grown men wearing tight spandex clothing hitting each other on the bum while chasing a ball covered in dead skin down a long field. I don’t get it. Move on.

4. I went to the Apple store on Saturday to get a new battery for my laptop (which we are extremely pleased that the ancient battery was the only issue, there would have been severe weeping if it was something more) and ended up walking out with one of these:

Its an Ipod Touch and I know its wrong to covet material items but I plan to marry this thing. I had not paid much attention to it since it came out because I already have an ipod and couldn’t justify getting a new one just because its pretty. But a guy at work showed me just how grossly wrong I am – I can use it as a planner too and an art portfolio and pretty much everything in between. Oh baby – we likes it. (I expect the next generation will cook, clean and go to work for me since that's the only thing that seems to be missing from this one.)

5. While at the mall, mom and I stopped in the pet store. There was a westie puppy. She was only three and a half months old and was the sweetest thing we’ve ever met. Mom fell in love with her (and named her Lucy). I spent half an hour explaining to mom all the reasons we shouldn’t get a puppy (even though I secretly wanted her too). (I’m convinced that while Lucy was extremely docile and soliciting only cuddles and hugs, she would have turned into a psychotic bundle of puppy the instant we brought her home and would have proceeded to kick the crap out of my Dooley love without a second thought. It was a ploy, I’m telling you, nothing but a scheming act. Besides, I could not bear to break Dooley dog's heart like that, Lucy is sure to find a nice home elsewhere.)

6. I hate snow. It is the devil. I think nothing but mean evil dirty thoughts about it (and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it either). Bugger off snow.

7. Dooley just ate a ladybug that was crawling across the carpet…do you suppose that means he is a good luck charm now? Maybe I should rub his belly and go buy a lotto ticket.

8. I’ve abandoned the idea of examining my art issues in public with a series of essays. Mostly because no matter how I wrote it it just sounded…dorky. Know that I continue to angst and torture myself fully. I still have no answers, the whole thing is a mystery, everything is humming along steadily.

9. Coraline comes out this weekend in theaters. Its from Henry Selik the director as Nightmare Before Christmas (one of my all time favorite movies) and its based on a book by Neil Gaiman (one of my all time favorite authors). I am wearing out the website by watching the trailer and listening to the music, I plan to go see it.

10. There is an odd magic to beginning a new year. No deadline seems too daunting, no exhibit seems out of reach. I have the uncontrollable urge to become a show whore again and submit to everything under the sun. Someone slap me please.

I've decided that I need to win the lottery. And when I do I'm going to build a fiber arts compound and we will all sit around all day making art and dyeing fabric and stitching things and knitting and spinning and we will have hot gourmet cooks to make meals for us and cater to our every whim. *sigh* Guess I should go buy a ticket...

01 February 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

It is a monotony that wears heavy in a relentless lazy way. This winter is leaving its mark in my memory, it will be one that I measure future seasons against. At every turn the landscape is piled high with temporary white hills, distorted under the weight of the frozen rain. I am impatient at the calendar to turn over toward the upcoming thaw.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.