Sunday, August 26, 2012

Introversion/Extroversion and Fiction

I am exhausted and hiding. I know full well that I am an introverted person. I enjoy the company of others, I am capable of being funny, engaging, and partaking in all sorts of conversations. I also know that a stretch of sociability leaves me so tired. So in need of quiet space and time alone. I am here, in this very quiet space, and utterly grateful to have it.

I started writing this awhile back, and am thinking of re visiting it...

'Helena found the world to be a nearly impossible place in which to function, and this was alright, as she had the time and proclivity to create one where all things were possible. A world where there was no end of monotonous tasks to be accomplished. Where there were always coins to be sorted and drawers to be tidied. She especially looked forward to cleaning the lint trap in the dryer.
She found certain comfort in repetition, and so she created lots of it in her life. She scoffed at the psychiatric shoebox labeled 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder', though she appreciated it's much tidier and space saving acronym of OCD. She hadn't a dis-order, but rather a particular affinity for order. A fondness for order. A desire to create it, and to shape it.
When Helena did leave the house, it was for the requisite food and sundries for herself and the cats' comfort. Gustav and Uma ate nothing but sardines packed in oil, and consumed them in alarming numbers in spite of Gustav's lack of teeth. The kittens ate kibble, and were indiscriminate in their tastes.
This venturing forth always took place very early on Saturday mornings. It pleased Helena to find the store as unpeopled as it would be at 3am, yet at a perfectly safe and respectable hour of the day.
It was on one such Saturday that Helena found her calling. She thought of it as such rather than as, say, a gift. She saw what she did as something akin to illusion, or slight of hand. It never really occurred to her that what she was, in fact, stealing. The merchandise simply felt like the reward for a job well done. When she performed well, she had earned it all, and besides she always paid for the milk and eggs.'

More tomorrow, perhaps...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Moonrise kingdom and stuff

Healing is slow, but I feel better every day. Anniversary plans have been spread out into an anniversary-palooza. three days of mini celebrations and couch time for me.

Moonrise Kingdom was lovely. Wes Anderson makes me feel nostalgic and dreamy. His visual realization of sets is brilliant. I can't imagine I'll ever get tired of it. Even The Life Aquatic, my least favorite of his films has that amazing scene which brings you through the boat as a cross section...moving through the rooms and levels fluidly and giving you a voyeuristic glimpse of what each person is doing in any given space. A lot of Moonrise is outdoors, but the colors stay true, soft with pops of red tones. It's so darn pretty. And then there's the great, looming loss of innocence, the verging on adulthood, the examples of adults in Sam and Suzy's lives that seem so limited and sad to them. There is Sam's familial loss and Suzy's familial discontent and a longing to create a family that will accept them as they are. I love that the Island is this place full of possibility, but it's also isolated and finite. Also, there is a kitten.

I am happy to say I've started working on something new..ish. I'm still using matchboxes, but using antique photos, and writing small vignettes for each image, which will be on the outside of the box. I'm still playing with what to wrap the outer boxes in, having grown tired of my current paper selection. I have some handmade paper, but it is too...current? I feel like I want to stick with the aesthetic and use paper that feels and looks old. But maybe the juxtaposition of modern, bright paper would work? Signing off to go work that out. Pictures to follow...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

flo-flu-fog & one beautiful day in a lifetime

I am writing this from deep inside the flu fog. Upright and mobile, if gingerly, and slow moving.

On my wedding day, I woke early in the loft and looked at Nik, and felt completely at ease. We had breakfast and while she started in the kitchen, I headed for the tent. My brother Patrick and his wife Ja'Nene arrived from California the day before. We had strung lights and decorated and ate a big, delicious feast of Mammy's pasta and meatballs. So the morning of the wedding my focus was on setting the tables with all of the odd china I'd been collecting piecemeal over the previous year. And the ball jars for candles, and the flowers we had grown..
Danielle and Mike arrived and pitched right in. Carra arrived, Pat and Ja'Nene, Bryn. We frosted cupcakes, cut fruit, had a quick ceremony run-through..
And before we knew it people were arriving! The weather was ideal, there was so so much love imbued in the entire day. My brother Joe and our family friend Mark sang one of Joe's songs. It was perfect..
The ceremony, written by Carra was incredible, it felt so personal and relevant and both Nik and I cried at points, feeling so known and loved, and we felt full of such appreciation for everyone assembled. We exchanged our written vows and rings before Debra and Jayme wrapped us in the quilt that our friend Amber made us. Everyone that we invited mailed us material that was incorporated into it..
And we were Married! Carra pronounced us and I was beyond giddy and overcome with joy..
I freaking love my family..
The food was incredible, and there was so much of it! Between Nik's beautiful endeavor to serve our guests by cooking that day, and peoples contributions of lovely side dishes and pies, it was a feast. There were games and walks and ease and love and so much hugging. It was a full moon, and we shared our first dance later in the evening..
Before sitting around a camp fire in the back field. We were exhausted and happy when we finally called it a night.

I would marry that Nik'l again and again. And we different ways we re commit and re declare and re affirm our love. Pretty much every day. I feel so grateful, and happy and...woozy..I think it's time to crawl back to the couch.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thank you, Penelope Handmade!

I wanted to send a Thank You into the Blogosphere for Liliana at Penelope Handmade for featuring me in her friday Interview!
Liliana's blog is really really beautiful, and she features lots of creative etsy sellers. She also has her own etsy shop!

ennui, paper, scissors

I've had a stellar day. I have clearly identified my ennui as the result of the inevitable fallow period between creative bursts. So I dug around all of my supplies today and have some new items in the works. Happily happily!
Soo, I'm in love. I'm a happy monkey who gets to spend my days with my beloved friend and sweetest love. And it pretty much rocks.We'll be celebrating our first wedding anniversary on Monday, and it feels impossible that a year has passed. I'm pretty excited about our day, as we've planned some real treats for ourselves. We're actually going on a with dressing up and everything! A movie (squeek! I love going to the movies and it's been ages) and appetizers at the bar at Left Bank. Ohhhh, man. We haven't eaten there for more than a year, and appetizers at the bar are the way to go. Best Calamari in the city, tuna tartar, prawn on artichoke hearts etc etc. The absolute best part is that Nik'l and I get to spend it together! She was so busy with the food at our wedding, and we barely hung out that day, it was such a happy blur. Our anniversary plans are our gifts, but we'll also be making a paper chain out of the ceremony. Year one is Paper:)

Today I paid for a haircut for the first time in a year. And it was awesome. I went to the Fawn and Fox on Delaware Ave. Firstly, the space is really beautiful. I started to get all anxious as I waited because of course I was early. I walked there and thought it would take longer. So I started looking through one of those hair cut magazines and got the giggles because whoever did the airbrushing was super obsessed with making the whites of peoples eyes really white. I mean, every picture..and as soon as I noticed it, it was all I could see. Just really poorly airbrushed eyes. Anyway, Kristin was amazing and she was interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Best part? Cute hair! Helmet hair? Banished! Huzzah! She also took it in stride that I don't use shampoo. I only told her this because I recently did my 10 day baking soda wash and then I did the vinegar conditioner last night and I smelled like salad. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This cat I know, he's sort of my friend...

He was a little rough around the edges. He'd had more fights than he cared to remember, and all the scars to remind him. But he was sweet. He moved through the world with a big tenderness that came from the core of him. There was no pretense. He was most genuine in all of his interactions.
I see him nearly every time I take a walk. In part because I seek him out. There he'll be, most often sleeping. When he hears his name he makes a show of casual stretches and yawns. His excitement betrayed only by the eventual trot to me. His broken and useless front paw making him limp, but not slowing him down. Then we settle in for the loving. He's a drooler, unfortunately, and also a licker. He makes a production of climbing into my lap if I sit on the sidewalk in front of his house. I wonder if his people think I'm crazy. Or if I'm just one more person who they hear calling his name from time to time in the course of a day.
Some day, when he's failed to appear too often in the course of a week or two, I will print and deliver the pictures of him I've taken. Many pictures over the last two years. And I'll think of him every time I pass his house. And I'll miss him. But today...I think I'll take a walk.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

embracable vous.

Once and for all, I am embracing the moment. It's been really clear in recent months that I am deeply content in the present moment. Lucky for me, I'm always in the present moment. Unless my mind drifts back in time where I get into arguments or attempt to re-write events. This is, of course, pointless. It causes anxiety and the one sided arguments in which I get so engrossed that I am actually (silently) arguing, gesticulations included, are embarrassing. My mind also wanders out ahead of me where it creates glossy fantasies about bug free sunsets on the back porch, me in my apron and Nik smoking a pipe as we hold hands on the porch swing and laugh at the chickens pre-coop antics. These are nice, until I begin to think about mortgages and wearing deet and foxes in the hen house and being far from friends and family and I start to feel like it's impossible and I am flooded with uncertainty and anxiety.

So. I work at staying in the present. At least staying centered within the actual day that I'm living. Because in any given moment, all is well. We are healthy and able bodied. The bills are paid. There is lots of beautiful food in the house. We have shared a sweet, easy morning together. I've also decided to embrace where I am. I am here. In this apartment. Right now. And it is cute, and there is a cross breeze and when it rains through the roof it isn't into my actual apartment. I'll re paint the kitchen and bathroom this week (see  how quickly I get ahead of myself? It's easy to do!).

So. Right now I'll press Publish, and take the rest as it comes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

laughing till you snort. In public.

Tonight I spent time at Spot coffee, reading and enjoying a sugary and overpriced beverage while nik'l caught up with an old friend at our house. I finished Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess. I guess that what follows is basically my review of her book. It made me laugh, which was expected. It made me laugh until I nearly cried of out-of-control like. Not so expected. But Eddie Izzard makes that happen too, so...hey..awesome. I kind of like that 'teetering on the edge hysteria' from laughter.  
LPTNH (I'll just call it that to simplify things, and so I don't have to press the shift key so much) also made me really sad..which was so Not expected. There was loss and struggle and really painful stuff. And I felt sort of ticked off at first, because it's supposed to make me laugh. Not feel all empathy induced anxiety-ey and distraught. But I got through those parts, and opened up to Jenny as more than a vehicle to laughter, but as a whole, beautiful, complex person. And I feel better for it. And then she made me laugh until I snorted in my effort not to be laughing alone and on the edge of hysteria. In Public. Again..Awesome.
Buy this book. Or borrow it, but not from me because book lending makes me all nervous and then your name will be on a list and I'll have to keep checking in to see if you're done yet and eventually it gets awkward.
Jenny Lawson is amazing. And makes me want to stroke her hair sometimes and say, 'there,'s oookay..'. and then I also think I want to get drunk with her, then hide under a table together and ask leading questions about ex-lax, and zombies, and I want to bond with her over Hamlet mice.
heart heart heart.

Monday, August 6, 2012

pretty don't equal stable.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again..what a difference a day makes. Today I am able to take a step back and feel grateful for the living situation we're in. To know that it is not permanent and that all things change in the direction of our intent. I will move. I will be able to unpack all of my favorite things. I will have space that feels grounding.

I have wondered at my impulse last year to begin packing for a move which I wanted, though it was only an idea. Since I can remember, my space has been important to me. I want to be surrounded by beautiful, inspiring things. I want cleanliness and order in my space. These things help me to feel grounded, secure, and at ease. Living with most of my favorite items (including my books!) in boxes stacked behind the couch in our living room makes me crazy. And yet...I am the one who packed them.

I've forced myself out of my comfort zones this year. There has been so much uncertainty for us in so many areas of our lives. But it has been good for me, in lots of ways. So I gently remind myself that I am well and safe and that some boxes behind the couch will not undo me.That I am inspired by beauty everywhere. That I am safe within myself. I still can't wait to unpack, and to live with all of my favorite things in view. But until I do, I'm okay.

I'm tweaking my etsy shop (flomade) this week. Trying to make listings clearer and adding some new things. I keep wanting to make more abc boxes, but feel compelled to sell what I have first. Looked into Art-O-Mat, which is a company that sells art through old cigarette machines. Here is me at the Art-O-Mat in Key West 3 years ago...or is it 4?

Also looking at the possibility of more shows and art festivals in the area. Good stuff..forward momentum..huzzah!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

grr. arg. sigh. smile. breathe.

My desire to move has crashed into me today. I feel shaken and frustrated and desperate. The pouring rain pouring in has my adrenaline flooding me. Fight or flight, and I want to do both. I am no longer holding out for the 'big move' to our little homestead. It seems unattainable and terribly far away right now. And yet, some interim place seems unattainable at the moment, too. ohhh, puddle of me, all despairing and wanting to scream until the walls shatter and I bring this entire place down around me like the House Of Clennam.

On the bright side, Nik'l and I finished painting and cleaning the entire carriage house in 19.5 hours over the course of three days. Two of which broke heat records here in Buffalo. We burned an insane amount of calories between us, and were too hot to eat, so I may be able to fit into my wedding dress for our anniversary after all.

I'm amazed that we'll be celebrating a year in just one week! It's flown by and has been full of so much creativity and love and some adventuring. We pulled the rug out a year ago, and have managed to not just live, but live well without 'formal' employment. We're both doing what feels most enriching to us. This year I've watched Nik become more patient, present, healthy and happy than I've ever seen her. Every morning we choose work, or creative endeavors, or to help the people we love, and we live each day as we please. It's been challenging and exciting and I've loved living it with Nik. The one drawback to it all is not being able to move yet...which brings me full circle, back to paragraph one.
Thankfully it doesn't always feel this way. And, as always, my frustration will pass..thankfully.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

dog. cat. buffy. sleep.

I'm tired. Dog tired. Why dog tired? My cats sleep an awful lot. Sometimes they can barely raise their heads to acknowledge me. Cat tired. Maybe it's because dog's are tired due to physical exertion and cats are tired due to...genetics.

Today I...scrubbed the grease off of a refrigerator, a stove, a wall, and a hot water heater (which is sitting right in the kitchen,next to the stove). I scrubbed cupboards, counters, and a kitchen sink. It took four hours, and it's a fraction of what has to be done by...Friday?! I thought I had till Saturday...but I was wrong. Next there will be cleaning the bathroom. Then...painting. Usually when we have to paint a recently vacated apartment, that means a room or two. No. This little two bedroom carriage house gets paint in every room. Every Room, Every wall. Oh, mercy. I'm not the spring chicken I once was, and here I am. Complaining to all two of you. I can't help it. I'm tired. Photos on Instagram tomorrow. Not of my exhaustion. Of the carriage house.

I can only briefly touch on the fact that Carra and I finished watching Buffy. And it was terrible and wonderful and there was hope and loss and all of the potentials become powerful girls and women and it made me cry.

And sleep. Perchance to dream..of paint colors and Magic Erasers...