Saturday, June 30, 2012

another lost week

Sometimes doing nothing is doing the most.
And nothing is pretty much what I did this week... I mean, not quite nothing in a nihilistic way, but nothing. I slept (poorly), I ate, I showered, I ran the dishwasher, I did laundry, I put on clothes and went to work... but I didn't sketch anything or draw anything or write anything, so I guess I didn't really do anything. And that's fine.

I was taking some medication, and it was affecting my thinking, and well, I stopped taking it... and I feel like myself again, relative to how long it would take for that kind of thing to wear off. To be vague - it made me feel tired and sleepy, so I'd go to bed and then wake up long before the alarm was set to go off and become unable to fall back asleep, so then I was zombie-awake and lethargic... there were times when I was at work and having one of those 'trapped in my body moments' where I would be shuffling down a hallway and thinking, "shit, I should be able to walk faster!" But I couldn't. I didn't have the energy to do it. It was like I was made out of sand.
I would cry for no particularly good reason...
And eventually I finally picked up the paperwork that came with the prescription and read it. There was a moment of ruefully sarcastic laughter when I scanned over my exact "side effects."

So, uh, yeah, that little boondoggle is drawing to a close.

I, like millions of other people, sat in my living room on Thursday night (well, technically Friday morning in my case) and watched "Brand X" and "Anger Management." I' 33, so technically, I'm too young to be a 'brat pack aficionado,' and I'm not. Charlie Sheen and his coke fueled meltdown or whatever that was last year — that was something that while I was aware of it, it just didn't really affect my daily life. I never watched "2 1/2 Men" — so the fate of the show wasn't really something that was bound to affect my entertainment... and it isn't exactly like I've seen more than 3 movies starring Charlie Sheen... but I watched "Anger Management," and it was funny, so, there's to winning.

I liked Brand X too.

I'm looking forward to the return of "Episodes" and to the July return of "Leverage." Sorry, book readers, but I do enjoy the television.
I have, however, in bits and pieces, been reading Keith Richard's autobiography "Life" in my spare time. People my parents age have that age old dilemma of 'Stones or Beatles? Well, I guess I come down on the Stones side. For the record, I also pick Zeppelin over the Who... but anyway, really, my favorite band it Pink Floyd, so it's irrelevant. Except, Keith was always my favorite Stone. "Happy," btw, is my favorite Stones song. So, even though I'm no groupie or superfan (and no, I don't own all their records) — and I know nothing about playing guitar — it's a good and genuine autobiography — and even reading it in bits and pieces out of order (which is how I prefer to read biographies) — it's been very interesting. The last part I read was something about the open G tuning of a guitar, and even though I know nothing about reading music, it's described in such a way that I don't feel like I'm reading Greek.

Anyway, on the accomplishment front — I sent this painting off in the mail yesterday. Shhh, don't tell my other paintings, but it was one of my favorites. Particularly this part:
Technically, it's a gaff, really, that crinkly / crusty / lumpy paint right there. And how when it dried - chemically it was such that it repelled the pristine paint that it was sitting there on the surface with, which is why it looks all crackly like that. And yet, to me, it's perfectly catastrophic - this little gurgle of texture in the middle of the painting. As much as those paintings are about a play on color, and literally the shape that paint takes when it just pools and sits there even after it's been pushed in a direction — it's all the things that come together that make the picture.  That painting is just as much about the juxtaposition of color and the abstraction of shape as it is about that little gurgle of crackling paint... which reminds me of what I read about how notes reverberate as per how a guitar is tuned in Keith Richard's book...

So, I hope the new owner of sunkissed alchemy phantasmagoria likes the painting, for whatever reasons they may like it.
And now I guess I should try to get some work done ; )

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the last day of vacation...

The last few moments of vacation, those final hours before everything has to go back to normal, those are always the best. There's something frantic and calm about them simultaneously. Don't get me wrong, I could sit at home and do nothing infinitely, because well, I have a lot of stuff and enjoy such infinite pursuits as art and writing and watching tv...

Today was a better morning than yesterday. I went for a bike ride, and while I was winded by the time I had completed the second lap — I wasn't winded nor had I significantly slowed down on the first lap. I wasn't thinking that maybe it was the prescription or the weather or messing with my sleep or that the tires needed air... nope, everything was just fine. So, fine that I decided to do the second lap using the route with the hill. The hill always kicks my ass. That's what it's there for.

Aside from cleaning the house, I just took a vacation of nothingness. My largest excursion was to drive to Adrian, mostly to put gas in the car and buy cleaning supplies for my impending house cleaning bender. Yes, we now have bathroom Lysol. Exciting, I know. Oh, and mostly everything is clean. 

We don't have a cat or a dog or any other furry house pet (this is a fish-only household), so, really, it was just dust and however crumbs get behind canisters that haven't moved in years, and the occasional cobweb. Everyone has spiders... and considering that they eat most undesirable bugs, other than destroying their less than ideally placed webs, there's really no point in hating them. Although, spiders, please beware that your life may depend on when you decide to suddenly appear in my vicinity. There are times when I am less apt to go get a cup and a sheet of paper and generously liberate you to the great outdoors (I know you really love that in the snowy winter)... I am not edible, and I am sometimes unapproachable, so be careful...
And really, spiders, if you see me turning the shower on, you have up to 2 minutes to vamoose! I'm waiting for the water to heat up, and when I am wet I do not perform animal relocations. You will find yourself in a rapid flow of water being directed at the drain... I love you for eating other bugs and all, but not when I'm naked.

So, yeah, the place is clean. And my vacation is almost over. And other than finally watching the last 4 episodes of Fringe — BTW, that time travel episode? Meh, — I can't really say that I did anything. Except that sometimes doing nothing is doing the most... in which case I declare myself the victor and champion of "not doing anything." Ironically, the level of nothingness is so high that there is no crown or medal or blue ribbon... victory is really just not doing anything.

Besides, I did stuff last week:

Yeah, it was father's day. So, not only did I have to come up with a gift (yes, I drew that), but I also spent 4 hours sifting through the hundreds of photos on my iphoto to make an album so that we had something to fill the time between sitting down at the table at Big Boy, half of us ordering the breakfast bar and then waiting for the food of the non-breakfast bar members of the party to arrive... Oh, look, pictures of flowers and leaves and the occasional insect or bird!

There's a collective sample of a couple of pages...

Anyway, I'm going to have some more chips and salsa and maybe some ice cream or orange sherbet (I have both: decisions, decisions...) and then call it a day and go to bed and get up and go back to work.

Play time is over.
Have a fun weekend : )

Thursday, June 21, 2012

hoping for rain...

So, it's my birthday. Yes, 33 years ago at something after 6am I was born on 21 June 1979...
Normally, this festive occasion is celebrated with a cherry chip cake with cherry frosting (Betty Crocker, yo)... except last year it was like 89˚F when I baked the cake and it got kind of sad and melty and the frosting continued to drip and droop even when I put it in the fridge. So, this year we are celebrating with some Edward's Key Lime pie. Yeah, it conveniently thawed on the ten minute trip home from the grocery store... but it's refrigerated, so, it's fine, and tasty.
Google apparently also knows it's my birthday. As when I put my cursor over the graphic to see what the occasion was, the little yellow box popped up and said "Happy Birthday, Sarah!"

My etsy accounts are also aware of the holiday nature of this date...

The family pets, however, not so much in the Happy Birthday mode... it was more like what is that flashing light thing, and where is my food. Yes, that's Clive - the blue one, Crowley the purple one, and Juni the female (who is mostly known as Juni Juni Juni). Crowley and Juni arrived last Friday after a visit to Petco.

So, that's today's forecast. And really, I hope it rains. In fact, if the temperature drops to 59˚F and it just rains for like 4 hours, then that would be awesome. I would also accept an entire day of rain. It was 93˚F here yesterday when I bothered to google it, and since I live in a house with no air conditioning - well, that is not my desired temperature. If it was like 68˚F year round - I'd be good with that. Sadly, it isn't.

Anyway, I'm on vacation, or staycation as the kids apparently call it. I have 5 days off from work. No, I haven't been fired or suspended. I filled out that little form on the request thingy... so, yeah, day 3 or 4 — they all start to blur together. Anyhow, I spent the first day mostly sleeping, and then the rest of my time at home, aside from that trip to the store, has been spent cleaning or recuperating from cleaning. I cleaned my bedroom (6 hours, and yes, I washed all my sheets and vacuumed under the bed), I cleaned the bathroom (and why does that always take 2 hours?), and then I started cleaning up my living room but ended up spending 4 hours cleaning the kitchen. Of course, really, it took 6 hours, but only 4 actually involved cleaning. The rest of it was me stopping and swearing at the heat and the wheel that fell off my vacuum cleaner...

Yeah, thanks, Sears. What the hell did Kenmore do to the Magic Blue? I bought the original model back in 2001, and it still works. It has all its part — in tact, and it sucks like a mofo that knows no ending to suction. So, I got a newer model 2 years ago, and the fucking wheel broke off, I can barely manage to get the thing open to change the bag, and the second time I put in a new bag - the clip that holds the bag down broke off. Jesus Christ. It sucks, literally and metaphorically, but what's up with all the easily breakable parts? People buy cannister vacuums to abuse them - do drag them down hallways via the tube / handle and to drag them weightlessly up and down stairs. The new magic blue is now like a lame 1-legged dog... It works, but not the way it should.

Thoroughly cleaning a house with no AC w/ a fragile vacuum cleaner in ninety degree heat is probably not going to be the most awesome vacation I have ever endeavored... but, well, it's almost done... except I have a network of spiderwebs to take out in the basement as well as a living room to clean and make orderly.

Anyway, I can't say that I've been sad to not wake up to an alarm clock for the last several days. And I did purchase the obligatory chips and Mrs. Renfro's peach salsa (aka the greatest salsa ever, and once you've had it everything else pales in comparison). Plus, I had birthday dinner w/ Mom at Sal's last night — lasagna, the best in town, and they were playing seventies music (which would be preferable to hearing anything by Taylor Swift)... Yeah, they even played the radio edit of "Inna Gadda Da Vida" — heh. I was -11 years old when that song came out, I think my Mom was 10.
Yep, everything ages.

So, anyway, have some cake today, and hopefully it rains.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

midnight mist

I've found myself in a funk lately. I'm tired, but I can't sleep. When I wake up I don't want to do anything but watch tv. There's nothing on tv (oh, shush, PBS devotees, I want zazzy scripted drama, not pandas mating or opera or period pieces)...
Anyway, in an effort to make the most of the garbage bill (since I'm the one who mails out the cheque) I have been going through the house and throwing away a lot of things that no one wants or needs. Yes, recyclers and thrifters everywhere just groaned. Seriously, I can guarantee you that dusty cardboard that has been sitting in the garage for 8 years and has been crawled over by all manner of insects is, in fact, not a glorious vintage find. Neither is that broken plastic hummingbird feeder...

I have lived a life of what a professional organizer would probably categorize as chronic disorganization. And I have a lot of stuff, and some of it is cool and some of it is useless, and a lot of the time it ends up in a pile on the floor or on my desk or on a shelf. I always think "I'll organize that eventually, but right now I really have to vacuum, because company or the cable guy is going to be here soon." There's never enough time to clean, but the future to organize the piles and boxes and bags of stuff squirreled away from the curious eyes of family and strangers is endless, right? Of course.

So, every once in a while I flip through one of my old sketchbooks and bask in the glory of all the things I have drawn or half drawn and not finished over the years... and the funny thing about my sketchbooks is that they were always kind of there.  They were there in junior high and high school, and they were there in college.  And they don't just have drawings in them, I often took notes in my sketchbook, which was my way of sitting there during a lecture and entertaining myself while pretending to pay attention.

So, when I got to my "Art History" notes, I was pretty amused. All those 'famous' paintings and their periods and dates. Except for the ones that don't have dates, those circa some year paintings. Well, I have plenty of undated work.  In fact, this little gem has no date on it:

All I could really tell you is that: yes, I painted it, it's salt on watercolor, and it was done in or after 2008 and probably before 2011. But really, I painted it and the date of the painting is irrelevant. It doesn't indicate anything. It'd just be a factoid.
I like this painting, although it's not exactly my personal color palette. I wear a lot of black (t-shirts) I don't so much decorate with it. And color scheme-wise it is a little goth/noir/dark in the vibe department. That's something I like as a character, not necessarily something that is my character. Technically I might be dark and moody sometimes (or a lot of the time) but I never had a penchant for dying my hair black, reading poetry, enjoying the Cure, or wearing eyeliner. Come to think of it, I've never seen any of those Twilight movies that the kids were all raging about, in spite of the fact that I watch Grimm & Once Upon a Time (and watched The Gates and The 9 Lives of Chloe King) and enjoy that Caress Scarlet Blossom body wash (which you know was meant for girls on Team Edward) (I just like the way it smells, and Patchouli is supposed to be the official fragrance of hippies, right?).

Anyway, I made that painting. And I probably wasn't thinking about goth things or romance novels when I did it. The truth is always more droll. I probably had a big puddle of black paint on my palette, along with the puddle of blue and that old tube of crimson red I bought way back when I was still in college (graduated 2002) and yet it is still pliable in the tube... and since it happened to be there, well, the painting happened. I know, that so lacks zazz. Lack of a cool story or inspiration aside — I think the painting looks cool. And well, paintings are things to look at.

So the lack of date or inspirational story is irrelevant to me. The painting is the painting. The paint is right there on the paper.

And so, via the magic of drawing and process and photoshop and my epson scanner — midnight mist is now immortalized in the wings of a fantasy butterfly. You can check out the rest of it's gypsy cousins at sarahkdesigns.

Have a lovely weekend!