Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There is Always Hope

I just discovered this British graffiti artist, Banksy. I don't know much about the artist except that I love what I see. I've always admired graffiti art: loud colorful letters. It draws me in. This is entirely different from my expectations of the medium. I think some of pieces have a biting silence about them that scream for attention. It's such a juxtaposition to what I know as graffiti art (but then again, what do I know). While some of his pieces are less ethereal, I prefer this image: the message and the lightness.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just In Time

I have begun to feel so desperate lately. With no strong job prospects and being too scared to pull the self employment trigger, I feel as if I have no anchor. I feel stupid and uneducated and uninspired.

In mid-January, I rented The Secret from the library to inject a sense of hope into my soul. I'd seen it before but I consider watching it like taking mental medicine. I like believing things will happen at just the right time and that the universe is conspiring on my behalf. It’s just hard when I have been through a few interviews and any sign of a job prospect means no full time work, no health insurance, and pay that’s well below what I have tried to build up to in my career. The positive thinking goes out the window and I feel stuck not knowing where my life path will take me next. I trust I will get there but I wish I knew how.

When I got laid off, I had grand plans to use the seemingly bad news and turn it in to an opportunity to finally begin working for myself. The plan was to beef up the writing/editing side of my career and partner it with my design experience. Since DW was my dream job, it was the next obvious step in my career. It was perfect timing: I was getting married, I had health insurance, and the employment market was crap. I also knew it was now or never since once we brought kids in to the picture, I was likely to never take such a chance.

I embarrassingly admit unemployment has sidetracked this via a shot to the ego and bi-weekly payments that sedate me in to not feeling so desperate about the situation at hand. I am a little chicky bird in the nest and momma bird is going to cut me off soon from regular worm feedings. I have two options: I could jump out of the nest and fall to the ground, possibly risking paralysis at one more boring attempt to live life to it's fullest OR I could jump out of the nest, squirm, flap and fly. I need to learn how to fly. Everyone who works for themselves seems to believe it's the best thing they decided to do and they took way to long to actually do it. So I am looking for abundance here and the next step to come seamlessly, intrinsically into my existence (with some flapping of course -move over Richard Bach, it's Amy Livingston Seagull time).

Yesterday I read an article by Martha Beck on CNN that reminded me of my exploits into working with a life coach and learning to empower myself. The article compares "just in case" thinking to "just in time" thinking. Just in case thinking is more about hoarding and believing, “Everything good is scarce.” Just in time thinking is about believing, “Everything good is readily available and abundant.” It’s that same message as The Secret and, as always it’s been with me, it's about reframing. Another quote comes to mind: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” - Henry Ford

In any case, the article presents a short exercise which can be built upon over the years. I began this morning and I have to admit, it felt pretty good to stretch my sense of hope.

1. List times you thought that there wouldn't be enough of something and you survived.

2. List areas where you have too much, not too little.

3. List wonderful things that entered your life just at the right time, with no effort on your part. Start with the little things (oxygen, sunlight, a song on the radio). You'll soon think of bigger ones and continue building and rethinking my existence into something positive and abundant.

Trust that You'll Find Exactly What You Need By Martha Beck from O, The Oprah Magazine, April 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oh Sweet Jesus!

Clearly there is something wrong here. My new obsession about writing a blog exploring my endeavors in to anorexia have been dashed via a detor to the Rheinlander Bakery in old town Arvada.

Who was I fooling? I can’t be anorexic. I am way to drawn to food; especially no-holds-barred, unabashedly good looking treats like authentic European baked goods displayed as layers of bright colors and drippy gooeyness. I fell for everything in sight: cakes, strudels, and pastries oh my! They even have sugar free and gluten free options to fool me into believing what I was doing was a good thing. Not a good thing like saving baby seals but more like taking a step towards world peace (albeit a small step, well more like a shuffle, perhaps a stammer...).

With D’s fine consulting work, we settled for one Dobash, one Bienenstich, and, just at checkout, we both caved to an almighty cherry turnover. Once at home, I had to take a closer look. The photos don't do it justice but I’ve recorded my research below to inform the public.*

* This information will not be found on

I call this one "Cherry Turnover with Fruit Bowl".

Cool Dog, Old Door

I have a slight obsession with texture in general and pealing paint on old doors in particular.

We were finishing a walk the other day and I had Gingy pose with this one: a unique find in our Denver neighborhood. I think the photo is deceptive: it creates the sense that we are in England or some cool Maine town. Really it is dry Denver being drenched by summer snain (a mix of snow and rain).

Gingy was not fond of taking the shot either so I had to toss the promise of a "treat" in the air to make her perk up a tiny bit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saturday Morning

I woke up at 6:30 to birds chirping lightly in the trees outside. It’s a sound of spring and one that is most noticeable to me when the air is heavy with humidity and it feels like the sky will let loose with a rain shower at any minute. I love Spring that way; things feel more alive.

The Wifey Flavor

My eyes are opening to so many new perspectives these days. I think it's because I’m newly married. While I hate the sentiment that "marriage changes everything" it has changed me a bit and I am trying to embrace it. The stability comforts and scares me all in one breath.

It is over: the chase and the possibilities. There are so many futures that can be lived with past lovers or potential lovers: fantastic futures involving me and some rich man who adores me; or me and some foreign man I find in a nice café off a piazza in Europe; or me alone with many lovers throughout my life who never quite fulfill me the way the relationship I have with myself fulfills me.

None of this is true anymore because I have chosen me and D. A lifetime of possibilities that include family and travel and commitment wait for us. We are getting used to a more committed love that weathers the good to come and the bad that will touch our lives. Well maybe not we but me. I think D has always been comfortable with the idea of us. I have as well but I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of commitment. It is hard: there is no where to run. Considering we've been together for seven years, I think I was just fooling myself with the concept of an easy out because since I met him, I always choose D.

I have never been definitive with choice but ultimately life is about enjoying what you have on your plate, right?! It as if you are sitting around a table with good friends and you all order entrees. It bothers me when people don’t order an entree they really want because someone else at the table has ordered it. I used to be that person. My catholic, 50s, large family upbringing taught me to spread the love and try something different so everyone at the table could get a taste. I’m all for sharing but when it comes to enjoying the meal in front of your face, you have to go with what you really want. That is the only way to truly enjoy the experience and life is too short. As I sink more into my role as wifey, it is a new flavor I am training my palette to really taste and appreciate.

Here I am with my meal: marriage served on a bed of world travel seasoned with adventure. For dessert: the possibility of kids, if I'm not too full.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Inside the Amy Studio

Inside the Actors Studio is the Emmy-nominated, longest-running original series on the Bravo cable television channel, hosted by James Lipton. The program, which premiered in 1994, is currently taped at Pace University's New York City campus. Most of the show is a one-on-one interview conducted by Lipton followed by the host submitting a questionnaire to the guest. The questionnaire concept was originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot, after the Proust Questionnaire. The ten questions Lipton asks are:

What is your favorite word? creative
What is your least favorite word? hate
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? loud art, texture, serendipitous experiences
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? thoughtlessness
What sound or noise do you love? laughter
What sound or noise do you hate? crashing metal pans
What is your favorite curse word? fuck
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? writer
What profession would you not like to do? sales
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? well done; way to reach your potential

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Skinny Cow Away...

I'm in a bit of a tizzy over the fact that if I want to loose 1 lb a week to get down to a remotely un-aboriginal size, I have to cut my daily caloric intake by 500 calories. WHO eats 1379 calories a day (and is this before or after working out)? I realized this yesterday and was pretty much in shock. You would have thought I was an anorexic martyr with the way I acted about the lack of food in my system. I noticed this upon closer review of My Calorie Counter. I spent about an hour adjusting measurements and figuring out intake, etc. I saw a nice little note that reminded: if you wanted to loose 1 pound per week, you MIGHT drop 500 calories from your diet (as one lb is equal to approx 3500 calories).*
* The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 1200 calories per day for females and 1800 calories per day for males.

Seriously? Fuck that! Who eats 1200 calories a day or needs to be reminded that’s the LOWEST you should go! How DO these skinny Bs do it? I can barely make it by on the male anorexic measurement of 1800. I came in at a cool 1985 yesterday minus 443 calories for working out. That’s a grand total of 1542, which is not a lot of calories but still about a Skinny Cow more than my daily allotted intake.

What’s a girl to do? Stop eating?! It turns out all this time, the skinny B’s who said they weren’t eating or just looked like they weren’t eating really WEREN'T eating. I thought they were just pretending. Guess I was wrong. This pissed me off until a friend reminded me that it’s worse when a skinny B can eat anything she wants and still be a rail, which annoyed me more!

So hear I am: 33, unemployed, always a fat girl at heart, realizing if I want to look hot in jeans I have to put down the chicken leg and the yogurt and the 1% milk. My war is fought in numbers right now and every 10 count. A serving of 1% is 102 calories while a serving of Skim is 86. What a way to go: consuming water with milk flavor!

What’s worse is this was in my head all day. So when my hubby came home, this is what I had to talk to him about. It’s like reaching the anti-amy pinnacle: the housewifey stuck at home, running “mall” errands and counting calories. No Kidding: yesterday at one point I thought, “Oh! I’ll have a piece of gum” (as if that was a treat). How pathetic! Embarrassingly I did come to terms with the fact that my normal treats were B&J’s Cherry Garcia or a cookie from the grocery store, and really that was getting me nowhere.

So gum it is! Thank God for Orbitz these days with the aspartame ridden flavors like Fabulous Frutini and Bubble Mint. They make skinny fun, as chewing slowly kills me.