Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Part Deux

No more Charlie Brown Christmas: In following my new found perspective on finding the joy in everyday, I must report there were some great things that happened over the holiday.

Once again my sage bestie taught me something: traditions are established in many ways and that one I was ready to forget should not dissolve just because a friendship did. I guess if I'm focusing on the positive, the draw would be to the good memories. As I told another friend (ad lib) a few weeks ago, "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

As bare bones as I felt this year, the things that ended up making it to the table were the few things I relish in a good Christmas. Tradition was a great message this year. It kicked me out of a dull drum of sorts and I found myself recognizing things that have consistently made me happy through the years. Though things may change, there will always be new joys to smile about as family grows and new traditions are forged. Here are a few smiles I found this Christmas:

The nieces and nephews opening gifts followed by a stirring round of White Elephant (kudos to the Rodgers for their "fudge in the diaper" gift - so apropos as new parents).

(the bumpit as modeled by TC)
Discovering my nephew found my camera and took some photos...of himself :)
My yearly "engagement photo" with RH (wish I could find older ones to share). And a visit from Santa Maillet, no wait Hannukah Harry, no wait an oompah loompah, yes, a Christmas KTM Oompah Loompah

When All Else Fails...

...photo montage. (cue techno music)

I love the quietness of Christmas Eve morning - I’ve always been partial to it. It’s kind of like no one notices the holiday has arrived. Thursday I woke up to a lovely Andy and Gingy and the ease of a day off. The radio was on and Christmas songs were strung in and out of the regular music. Light, fluffy, dry snow was everywhere. D shoveled the backyard while Gingy posed for numerous photos (and she did pose).

This was my favorite part of the day.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Time is Here

You know, I was feeling a little more Charlie Brown than Vince Guaraldi Trio this year as Christmas finally rolled around. It was the culmination of a lot of chaos leading up to the holidays and, as always, so many get togethers that are too good to pass up. I wasn't finding the time to do the blog entries I wanted, journaling regularly, or working out - the list goes on. The end of the year always seems like the bottom of a spiral that way: circling tighter and tighter and moving faster each day.

Three weeks ago I made my annual pilgrimage to Ultimate Electronics at 6 am to stand in line for the KBCO Studio C CD. Since Volume 10, I have been there every year. My sisters come if they can, the Bong sisters come if they can, friends come if they can, and we all stand there freezing in the cold and regaling the people around us with politically incorrect comments and bad humor that seems so good before the sun comes up. This year, it was as cold as ever, felt as early as ever, and made me realize Christmas was just around the corner.

Two weeks ago, I was sure the spirit would sink in as I found myself compiling Rooster Plumbing cards and watching Mrs. Miracle on Lifetime one quiet Friday night; sadly James Van Der Beek and the second rate Christmas activities did not flip me in to the spirit (perhaps I need Pacey). My purchase of a poinsettia that Sunday started to ease me in to the waters.

A week and a half ago, I created my holiday bow and hung the holiday cards (sadly collecting on my desk) from the long strands of ribbon. Finally the goodness of the season was one display and it felt more like home. I came in every day to find the mail and sing in my head, "It's the most wonderful time of the year."

Weeks past my normal release, I was falling short with my holiday card (always my favorite yearly activity). I wasn't finding the time to do the card the way I usually do... or compile the CD that accompanies the message. Still I rallied last Sunday with the help of a good istock-base that I adjusted to fit the message I was trying to send to family and friends. I felt like a cheat but I still managed to do something. That night I got all the out-of-towner cards stamped and sealed. It was days before Christmas and I was craving a peaceful, happy home myself.

With the cards finally mailed and Christmas Eve looming, I got lost in the mix of listening to the Christmas Time is Here on repeat at work. Later, I found myself walking home and letting it continue to repeat in my ear. There was something about the twinkling lights of the city and the smooth sound: it felt soft, almost the same way it feels when it’s about to snow. Even the punk couple walking across the street yelling something seemed so appropriate in the flow of it all. I still felt like Charlie Brown, even if my life wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, it still somehow was good.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

30 Days to Make My Heart Happy (part 2)

If you're just tuning in (sometimes I secretly wish this blog was my own little tv show), I have been taking the last 30 days to find something positive in my day rather than focus on the negative BS that generally seems to creep up. It started after some righteous chocolate milk a co-worker brought me.

I figured it was a good start to shifting my paradigm. The things I began noticing weren't always a big deal, it was more about focusing on the positive rather than the negative. As a result: I'm a bit of a believer. Yeah me - always the cynic. I'm on-board with this positive schtuff. It really works wonders on the soul.

In fact: last Friday I came home to a beat down Mr. Maillet. He was having the kind of day where you want to turn off the world and hide under a blanket. I, however, was in an upbeat mood and decided I would bring some good in to his life since he could not muster any on his own.

We went to Home Depot that afternoon, and on the way I asked him, "What is something good that happened to you today?" He responded, "nothing." I explained my little positive project to him but he really wasn't in to it. We bought what we needed and I could tell the sheer change in physical space was improving his mood. At checkout, D whispered in my ear that he was going to order a big, fat, greasy pizza, if I wanted in (hells yeah - when do I pass up a chance for pizza). I suggested we pick one up from Anthony’s since it was in the area (and I knew that would really cheer him up). I called and placed the order and we drove over and waited out front while the pizza finished cooking. As we waited, some woman tried to parallel park in the space in front of us. I use the term "parallel park" loosely because at one point she was literally perpendicular to the sidewalk. D said, “See! this is the type of stuff I was talking about.” He took it as another sign of his bullshit day. I was laughing so hard and said, “are you kidding? This is pure comedy provided for our entertainment!” Thinking it was so absurdly funny it must have been put there to make us laugh. Never has there been a clearer lesson to me about shifting the old paradigm.

Later at home when the mood had settled, and the cheesy-goodness of the pizza was in our bellies, and the crown molding was painted, I came in to the house from a walk with Gingy to hear Mr. Maillet say, “your blog is pretty cool.” It set my heart soaring. Admittedly, I might have done a little dance too. I said "thanks" and went up to see him to talk about it, to show him how to post a comment, and to point out other entries he might like, if he has a second. Sure I’m obsessed with him supporting me this way. It's always awesome to have friends comment that they read the blog (especially since I view it as wholly indulgent and secretly my own tv show), but since D's not online a fair amount, that was the best part of my Friday. D told me that his best part was the pizza, which made me happy.

Saturday when I was in the mix of sleep deprivation and manual labor and getting ready to head up to Boulder to see Pete Yorn, I stopped for a tick to talk to him about Sunday manual labor plans and my schedule. He told me what he wanted to do as I fiddled with my money and ID like some college kid ready to rock the night off. Then he said, "So the good thing that happened today was getting the trim hung". I did one of those, “oh, that's nice honey” comments and almost shrugged it off when suddenly I stopped in my tracks and looked at him and thought, “cool”. That was the good thing that happened to me Saturday.

It's been a month of that: the little things. It's been a good month. So as promised, here is my list of what happened:
  • November 17 – Birthday Dinner with Mom and Andy at Maggiano’s
  • November 18 – No parking ticket for being 45 minutes over the limit outside the Denver Art Museum while I had lunch with Nancy
  • November 19 – Jim H. at the Safeway on 6th bagged my groceries in my bags all on his own... even though I offered to help, he refused. At my usual (UN)Safeway, the clerks act like they don’t understand the concept of bagging some one's home brought bags (D reminds me I am presenting them with my gross, germ-ridden bags from who knows where, but my argument is: it's not friggin' brain surgery) Jim did it all on his own, with a smile
  • November 20 – Unfriggin' believably yummy Gyro at the Gastro Cart on 18th and Curtis
  • November 21 – Free Starbucks coffee at Safeway
  • November 22 – D dropping me off to run from Lake Dillon to Keystone and I got to use my new snow running guards
  • November 23HRR (and free parking at work because I was so desperate to leave)
  • November 24 – Drinks with old coworkers
  • November 25 – Coming home to a lovely clam pasta dish made by Chef Maillet
  • November 26 – Turkey cooking in the Swinger while we drove to Red Feather Lakes and Pecan Pie from D Bar
  • November 27 – Laughing, laughing, laughing on the way to take the trash out
  • November 28 – Gorgeous sunrise across the lake
  • November 29 – Time talking with D about house projects
  • November 30 – An early morning run with the moon setting and the sun rising
  • December 1 – Two blocks away from a free tire fill up when I left work to find my scoot had a flat
  • December 2 – Waking up with a clear mind
  • December 3Art night
  • December 4 – D reading my blog
  • December 5 – In the midst of his bad weekend, D telling me what was the good part of his day
  • December 6 – Clean sheets to fall asleep in
  • December 7 – A long lost file for my portfolio and the first holiday card of the season
  • December 8 – A friend swinging by for a White Russian and some good insight
  • December 9 – Many well wishes
  • December 10 – Synchronicity in transport: meaning easy traffic to my haircut, got to the light rail twice before it was coming not right after it left, and the flow of errands on the way home (and the nice guy at the deli counter at Safeway)
  • December 11 – Randomly running in to a gal I was trying to touch base with on the phone all morning
  • December 12 – A clean, put back together house that got a pretty good face-lift
  • December 13 – The sheer sweetness my besties' kids for a few hours, and then getting to hang out afterward with said friend
  • December 14 – Four holiday cards to come home to and finally hanging up my bow to display them all
  • December 15 – Buying two yummy-looking cookies from Starbucks and giving them to co-workers to cheer up their day and say thanks for the help they gave me
  • December 16 - Dinner at La Loma

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shine

We’re putting the shine on things around here. I guess you could say it started with this old plumbers welder D got polished. It was once his great uncle's tool. It sat, aged and dingy, on the shelf above our stove. You know how sometimes things collect on a high shelf in the kitchen? It was one of them; it was background music. In any case, D sent it off to get shined and it returned home this glowing piece, which now sits across from my tea kettle on the stove in our front room. Funny, it seems a bit representative of our personalities to me....

But I digress: D has been explaining to me that he’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy: a guy that does the first 80% of the work and then has a hard time with the last 20%. He knows someone who is a “finisher" (it's a technical term, it means someone who deals with the last 20%). This person is very detail-oriented and makes things look good. Damn Good.

If there’s one thing about finishing, it’s that it takes a friggin’ long time and patience. It’s like that 80% and 20% take the same amount of time, which is why I’m sure there are definitively meat and potatoes people and finishers. In any case, after Tracey spent an entire weekend fancing up the place, I found the little things made all the difference: crown molding in the front room; a new bathroom door and trim, and the pièce de résistance: the ability to open and close our bedroom door all the way without it getting wedged against the carpet.

No longer will we hear the jam of the bathroom door being shut when someone goes to take a shower. We can't see the insulation seeping out from the corner of the main room. Now I can open the bedroom door all the way instead of awkwardly moving around between it and the bed to retrieve things from my nightstand. Now, things are flowing a little easier and it’s all about flow as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Not a Race

Do you hear bells? I almost hear bells around here. Today is the day I've been waiting for since Thanksgiving. As I came in through the frigid air to check the mail, the first of (hopefully) many holiday cards was waiting for me.
♪♫ ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong ♫♪♫
For the next few weeks, I am GUARANTEED the sweet, sweet nectar of correspondence. Forget sweet baby Jesus or the Festival of Lights, this season is about getting mail - real mail - like they used to send in the old days: something that takes a little time to get to you, is worn for the better, and arrives with happy greetings.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just Swingin'

video

The Swinger represented this past weekend. It was a fine host to our Thanksgiving festivities with M&D and three dogs. Who knew a 35-foot motor home would provide such entertainment and good times? Okay - D knew (and perhaps the dogs). He made the experience as seamless and easy for me as possible. Right down to the extra blankets on our bed and the Tahitian Vanilla 3-wick candle he bought to provide mood lighting. Admittedly, I was weary at the outset but it turned out pretty well.

We cooked the turkey as we drove up to Red Feather Lakes and were surprised to find it was done by the time we parked (something about that seems more novel than anything else the entire weekend). The sides were pulled together in the quaint kitchen and the table was set up front by the drivers seat. We sat and toasted the success of arriving and having a lovely meal to top it off.

The weekend was one of pure relaxation: We ate and drank A LOT. We shuffled on the ice covered lake and lolly-gagged around it, taking photos at every turn. We watched movies. We celebrated Ds birthday. We curiously theorized about the ice fishers and had cocktail hour outside in our camping chairs. There was a gorgeous sunrise I caught from the comfort of our bed Saturday morning. And did I mention the unbelievable Pecan Pie M picked up from d bar Desserts?

Thanks to M and D for some of the photos and a fun weekend! Thanks to D for another great adventure!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is the Key

Did I mention I know a woman who makes a mean key lime pie? That's right, she grew up in Key West and introduced me to it a few years back, when all I knew was cheap Safeway substitutes and synthetic samples. It was Christmas and she had me help her make the key lime pie; her family recipe. I rolled and squeezed the tiny special-delivery limes and watched as the acidity worked it's magic cooking the filling. I never had an interest in it before and it turned out to be one of my favorites. That and the powder-sugared key lime cookies she had in a tin. My taste for key lime would never be the same.

This year, as we celebrated Thanksgiving early, I found myself catching a sliver of the key lime pie she concocted. It was fantastic. I mean look at that the meringue.

Wherever you are this Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy the flavors and the friends.

HRR

To say I'm excited would be an understatement. My sister had a baby yesterday and seeing this person I have grown up with give birth really hit home. She's the one I used to share my bedroom with as a kid. We slept in bunk beds and she never got up when I rolled out of the top bunk on to the wood floor; or she created earthquake-like experiences raising the rafters from down below to upset me. She also showed me how to do so many things. She's hung posters of Don Johnson on the wall of our room and patiently accepted my wind up Alvin (and the Chipmunks) figurine for Christmas one year, eventhough it was a blatant gift for myself (she in turn got me the coolest round yellow sled). She recommended I play volleyball and do yearbook in high school if for no other reason than to meet friends. She's also supported my pursuit of a yoga practice and my "year of being funny". She shared a place with me in Denver when we were both still single and was the first friend I told about the guy who would later become my husband. To this day, she supports my dreams and makes me laugh every time we talk.

In any case, seeing her round with the promise of a baby boy was more emotional than I anticipated. I left her Friday afternoon, after a long walk at Wash Park, telling her I loved her and that I knew she would be really good at this mom business. I found myself crying though I'm not one to cry. The next time I saw her was at 7:15 am Monday morning, sitting like a Buddha in a birthing room at Rose, breathing through a contraction. I just wanted to stop and check in before work. I was her (self-proclaimed) Paula AbDOULA. But when it came down to it, I just faked tennis strokes to the sound of the heart beat monitor and asked if twists would help HRR move in to the right position.

I've had the distinct honor of watching two births in my lifetime. Though I didn't see HRR officially come in to this world, I was happy to share the moments of anticipation and the following joy that came with the sheer presence of him. It really is awesome and lovely. Congrats to N & E. You both do nice work!
WELCOME HRR. I'm so glad you made it! You are now part of the clan and have five great cousins to share this life with - Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

30 Days

It began with a case of the Mondays. I woke up late, the ground was covered with snow and ice, and my car had to be warmed up and scraped (inside and out). I spotted a woman steps from missing the lightrail and thought, “I’m having that kind of day", even though I was on the train.

Work was slow until T presented J and I with two cold, frothy glass bottles of chocolate milk from Rocky Mountain Meats. I forgot about his promise on Friday to bring us in "samples". He assured us it would be unbelievable and made us commit to only drink straight from the bottle, as the action intensified the experience. He was right. The bottle felt so unfamiliar and old school in my hands. It was heavy and substantial. I vaguely felt rebellious drinking straight from the container; but then again I’ve never been a milk carton drinker (ew, swarmy build up on the edges!). There was pure joy in the flavor and taste of natural, non-chemical dairy and of course the chocolateyness. I told T that he changed my entire day. Right then. It was 8:45 am and that was the turning point. It was nothing major, nothing over the top; just something special that made the day seem a little better.

Later that night I was reading an article about giving, for the sheer joy of giving, for 30 days straight. Clearly it aligns with the holiday season but it got me thinking about how I lost site of paying attention to the cool little things that make every day fun. So in writing this I am starting my own 30 day project to recognize the good that's sent my way. I'll be back here on December 18th(ish) with a list.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fabric Balls

Saturday I was on a mission to find new fabric for the dining room chairs. I got in the car, turned down the back windows for Gingy, and tuned to some jazz station. On my way to Denver Fabrics, I past a sign on Broadway reading "Fabric Sale 50% off". It was just the sign I was looking for, aka youaspeakamykindaspeak.

A lady was leaving as I entered the store. I took the stairs in front of me and found my way up into the fabric zone. As always, it was a little overwhelming and exciting. The colors and textures are so fun to peruse. I was wondering around when I heard a downstairs voice ask if someone was upstairs. In the sea of fabric, I didn’t respond; but then again the voice wasn’t asking me. I heard foot steps and a guy appeared.

He was dark-haired, olive-skinned Jersey. I liked that. He was the kind of guy I used to have a major crush on, though in this situation I was willing to put my money on the fact that he was probably gay (not to mention I am married). He asked what I was looking for and I told him I wanted to recover my kitchen table chairs with something funky and cool. He asked if I had a color in mind. I said I liked orange. I followed his lead and he took me directly to a fabric that was orange with some hints of pink. It had silvery white flourishes on top and had that durable coating suitable for table chairs. It really was a perfect hit and I said I would take it. He went downstairs to get some scissors and when he came back up, he asked if I was still with him? I said yes. He said, “Good. I’m glad someone has the balls to use this fabric.” I said, “Well, I guess I have the balls.”

We went over to the cutting table and he measured out three yards, giving it to me for the price of two because of a seam in the measurement. I thought about how I probably should not be spending money to change my chairs but also how funky and cool it would look AND how I was the only woman in this world with the balls to pull it off. He made the cut and folded it up. Always the commitment-phobe, a little buyers remorse snuck in right when the weight of the fabric was placed in my hands. I followed him to the stairs looking at the fabric wondering if I mistook funky for possibly offensive or old lady? I thought about coming home and D hating it, even though we both loved orange. He caught my non-verbal consideration and said to me, “He’ll love it.” At that point I knew he was gay ... and my crush grew three sizes that day.

Back at home my projected hour ordeal really turned into four on a Sunday afternoon. The fabric looks great with the wood of the table, but sometimes I look at it and wonder if it's skirting the edge of old lady-ville. I spent too much time with it - I got too close to the project. Still, you give me some orange and I am happy. The change is good and D loves it to.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weilworks

The other night we made our way over to First Friday in the RiNO District - "industrial turns soon to be hippest place in Denver"...if it isn't already. I have been wanting to visit Weilworks for about a year now to check out the fantastic digs and great art at K and T's house; yes, their house. Visiting was one of those things that makes me feel cooler for the experience. It is truly a gem of a home with great views of the city and creative use of materials and space. For all the fantastic art and furniture in the place, I want to mention the poetry I found in places like the bathroom and on the door to their bedroom. Really a treat to see words used as art and mixed in with the great antiques or colorful paintings. My photos don't do half as much justice as this link to his gallery shots, but I wanted to put a few out there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The World is a Playground

“The world is a playground. We knew that as a kid.
But somewhere along the line we forgot that.”

I watched Yes Man again the other night and this statement stuck in my head this time around. Perhaps it was because it was delivered by the uber-cute Zooey Deschanel (another Hollywood crush) or perhaps it's just that these days, I feel like life should/could be lived this way. Sure it's easy sentiment coming from a character with no need to address the realities of paying bills or getting car insurance but then again, maybe it IS that simple because lately I've found that things have a way of working out.

The playground wasn’t necessarily always a happy place: little girls cliqued, boys stole kisses, sometimes that red, rubber, four-square ball smacked you in the face. The dreaded jungle gym demanded courage to approach it. With sweaty palms, you would find yourself slipping off the monkey bars halfway through and then there were days when you made it across. The thing is no one killed themselves in the mix of it all, except that one kid who always forget his jacket, tore his pants, and kept wiping his runny nose on his shirt. Sure there were knee scraps, social drama, and cold days when clearly some Human Rights law was being violated; but for the most part, it was a lesson in letting go and having fun.

I forget that the most important thing that can be done is to find my bliss. Could it be that life will follow my lead? Twice this week I've found myself in situations where all I needed to do was ask for what I wanted. Where all I needed to do was just go for it. It might sound silly but that's a hard challenge for me. For some reason I get anxious about outcomes and choose to avoid conflict. Once I grabbed the bull by the horns and addressed the situations head on, I found it wasn't half as scary as I anticipated. Putting myself out there and letting the chips fall where they fall was quite interesting...and a bit fun. I mean really, what is there to loose? Something else always comes along - whether it's a lover or a job or another lunch date. This is all some strange silly game with structures to keep us occupied and challanged.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Electric Feel

mgmt

In following up to where my head was the NEXT Gallery night, I just learned Tammy Brislin's head was someplace else entirely. I find it so inspiring to watch this video and see the art she was creating that night while we were all water coloring and waxing poetic about the pieces hanging on the walls. The angles are really unique, I especially like the outside looking in shots and the reflection of the Bug Theater sign at the the end. The music rocks too!

P.S. That phatty watercolor brush making a cameo at the very beginning of the video is JH's "Nimbus 2000" I dreamed about in my earlier post.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Women

The other night I finally finished the 1939 version of The Women - an all-female-casted movie about infidelity, divorce, and social relationships. The smart, sophisticated charaters in this movie are aggressive, egotistical, and obnoxious. These Manhattan socialites are fast talkers, quick witted, and out for the blood of their contemporaries - never stopping to consider how emotionally damaging it is to gossip about one of their "good" friends. Each woman most definitely protects herself from the surrounding women while projecting an air of confidence. I found Norma Shearer’s Mary so lovable: she holds her integrity in the face of this social badgery and, by the end of the movie, she finds a way to assert herself and band together with a few women who have proven themselves to truly be good friends. I relate to her facial reactions and her physical appearance (P.S. I definitely have a Hollywood crush kickin' -she's the one on the left below. P.P.S. the fashions and real feminine shapes are at times more mesmerizing than the movie itself).

Interestingly enough, when the movie was recreated in 2008, Diane English (Director) said she wanted to have something new to add to the story rather than just doing a remake. The contemporary women are presented more as supportive girlfriends, still dealing with infidelity, but also dealing with the breakdown of a true BFF friendship. I wonder, in this version, if the women are friends because it’s more politically correct nowadays, or if in the past 80 years we have come to discover the sheer importance of supporting girlfriends rather than competing with them?

In the face of all the dynamics that have changed in my life this past year, my close girlfriend’s are as important as ever. There are some things only certain women can relate to or provide insight about. Being the youngest of six girls, I have always had the ability to draw from an arsenal of feminine input and wisdom. Yet still I have been lucky enough to have great friends to confide in as well. I prefer to think we are in this together, supporting each other. We can stand beside each other rather than tear each other down. We are stronger as a sex that way; we are stronger to evolve that way.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Indian Summer

Heeeeay!
I was hoping you would come back to the party. I knew you were going to check in one last time before calling it a night. I hated to see you go and now that you're back, I think you should stay a while. There's no rush. I mean really, where are you headed next? Don't worry about Winter and Spring - they're just playing "mind games" on you. You should stay; look how happy everyone is that you came back! I know I'd love to have you stick around!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paradigm Shift

par·a·digm
1. One that serves as a pattern or model.
2.
A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

I realized the other day that I have been living in fear. I’ve been worried about what "will happen"; worried my soul will be crushed by living anything other than my dreams; worried I might gain back the weight I worked so hard to loose; worried people don't like me; worried I'm not unique or intelligent... really this list could go on.

Look at our society right now: it is a scary time. Sure it’s upsetting that people are loosing their jobs and houses, that some are slaves to the capitalistic machine and their over-consumption. Secretly though, I kind of like it. It feels so bottom of the barrel, like there's not much left to loose (please no jinxy whammies). People are reconfiguring their life to suit their dreams more than their social status. I do believe we're all getting a little more connected to the things that are important. Perhaps the pursuit of happiness has shifted to experience rather than tangible, physical items. Perhaps it's just me getting older, thinking why waste my time if there's no flow or it doesn't feel good? Not every choice is that easy but for now I prefer to dwell in the positive possibilities.

The thing about fear is if you let it take control of your life, it takes control of your life. It paralyzes you; your soul DOES gets killed...because you let it. Fear internalizes, confidence radiates. And when it really comes down to it, life's about being comfortable in your skin, accountable for your actions, and surrounded by people who support you. Have I found God? Possibly; but more likely, just a better outlook. I don't necessarily believe everything will turn up roses, but rather that everything will turn out as it should be and that will be okay.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Try Something New Today

Tom King

It’s been an artsy inspired week of sorts. JM introduced me to the Denver First Monday Art Talk, a monthly event where Eric Matelski interviews an artist or group about their inspirations, accomplishments, vices, etc. He does a great job keeping things moving along nicely; keeping things funny and light yet somewhat informative. Since he knows so many people in the crowd, he is able to talk with the audience and constantly acknowledge the sponsors, supporters, music, etc. It’s arranged somewhat like Inside the Actor’s Studio (my real reason for attending). I’d never been to Dazzle before either – it was hip and cool and I would go back there for drinks and Jazz and possibly brunch (per a hot tip from TC).

The interview/spotlight was on Mario Acevado, an author who writes sexy vampire detective novels and is a representational artist creating some awesome Denver retro signage artwork. It was interesting to hear about his process as a writer and laugh at the silly questions thrown his way. Two highlights of the night came in the form of a trailer Mario's son created about his book. He uses LEGO figures to set the seen and did a really good job pulling it all together and putting it to music, which brings me to my second inspiration. The music comes from a one man band called, The L1MBS. John Mazzucco was there for the festivities and sat in front of us playing the drums and his guitar (sometimes using it to crash the cymbals) all while he was singing. It was chaotic and cool to watch him play.

photos taken by Julie Howard


My second night of art came Tuesday in the form of decoupage. I was so excited for the activity but then had a hard time finding things to pull together for the collage. I thought about it for a few weeks and then at the last minute, I just shoved some paper samples in a bag, grabbed some Merlot, and headed to JH's house. We sat at the table covered in newspaper and ate delicious food while creating masterpieces. J made suggestions and explained the process and we were all set loose to do our thing. Everyone created interesting work using things like old wallpaper, pages from a 50s bowling book, clips from other paper samples and magazines, and even some of the flourishy orange paper from our wedding invites. I spent my time using an old canvass board J brought. I thought it would turn out to be another “year in review” exercise, but it was more about asserting myself as an artist, about doing what I love and just doing it, not thinking about it. I feel like "my piece" (term used loosely) is about having and edge and being a strong feminine artist and creating without thinking. It’s about doing what my heart tells me to do.