Sunday, September 08, 2019

Pretty Good Year

When you're happy and you show it, shake your fist! Like, you're rolling a pair of dice. Because happiness is such a controversial topic (at least to myselves and to others like me), I'm going to say that happiness - as all emotions and states of somatic being - is trans and, well, it can be dicey too...depending on the flavor of happy. Which in my book is a sustainable sort of setting. Void of course is like active resting; muscles need time to rest in order to perform again; peak experiences wouldn't be peak without the valley below, the lowlands, riiiight amiright?

I often wonder if, on the other side of or on the banks of menopause when the estrogen tide has receded, I'll feel the peaks and valleys. I hear from others that not so much. Will I miss it? Yes. No.

See the thing is, the oscillations between ominous dread; fits of joy; calm assessment; deep absorption in (seemingly, or perfunctory) mundanity; awe; riveting realization of mortality (it is a real thing awrighty and not just for other people 'over there somewhere') tessellate in tandem at a pace I find adroit, incredible, and altogether surreal some days. The thing is, it's ramping up as I approach what I'm pret-ty sure is The Real Deal (menopause).

At the same time, at least this month season, I also feel way-hay-hay more capable of enjoying appreciating the inscrutable ride. Oh god yes! Still freaking out. Maudlin. Freefalling. All that. But (the thing is) I do not feel so utterly alone in it, or as alien (even to myself) as I have before. And that has made a megalithic difference.

Here are my latest reading recommendations:

The Body is not An Apology - The Power of Radical Self-Love / Sony Renee Taylor
Movement Matters / Katy Bowman
Flash County Diary - Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life / Darcy Steinke
Women, Food and God / Geneen Roth

Last year I made a vow to myself. It'll seem like not much to anyone without disordered / emotional / addictive eating patterns. But if you're an addict of any sort and degree (and everyone is, in our first world capitalist patriarchal matrix) you will appreciate it anyhow. I vowed to never go on a diet again. I gave up calorie counting yeaaaaars ago. It's not about that. It's about a bunch of stuff I don't want to take the time to write about but in a nutshell, never using food (the restriction of) as a means to punish, reward, make up for, any overeating or emotional eating or a means to lose weight. So of course I gained weight and along with it the terrifying notion that I would never stop gaining weight and never get my shit together buuuuut 'getting my shit together' mindset is what got me in this mess (addictive patterns) to begin with.

So I've kept my vow. And things even out, and they go haywire, and  for months it's mostly evened out in the realm of extreme eating and bingeing but more importantly the fear around all of that (I am out of control and I  will never be in control / safe / ok) has calmed and doesn't feel (at least this season!) like a Pandora's box inside of a Jack-in-the-Box just waiting to uncoil and vomit all over my carefully (re)constructed life.

So the thing is...I guess I'm feeling more ok with feeling effed up (human); terrified; inscrutable; slippery; or at least I recognize that all that's real but so is effulgence; cool shit in life; cool people who I really dig hanging out with (a biggie...such a biggie); other people feeling the same way and we are all on this planet together. And I can't ever 'figure it out'. But by god! I can sure appreciate my good fortune to sit in front of a computer and write all of this after a day of moving my body through space and planes to feel good, to feel, to create tension and torsion, to make myself useful, to gather and crack wild filberts, to meet other bodies with skin muscles fur feathers hair teeth scales and to make decisions all day long about how I want to be in this body alongside all the other ones.

My advice is to move your body. That's the next vow I made for myself last winter although I didn't know how it would unfold, exactly. I just knew that I needed to ease off the cerebral and chart some territory in my own skin. This means slowing down. Paying attention. Living inside my one awesome body, dealing with chronic and acute pain, and listening; responding; learning how to tune in for goodness sake. I mean for reals. No shortcuts. Moving my body because it feels good and not driving it around full throttle in order to burn calories so that I can lose weight (in addition to just liking to be active) is a huge difference in the way I'm feeling and doing things these days.

It's still kinda scary. But then it's not. And then it is. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I'm going for a walk in this wild woolly watershed going on out there today.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Oh hi, menopause!

I've cried more over Chris Cornell's absence than I ever did about my own mother, dead over twenty years now. I knew my mother; we were very close (for some of her life anyway). I knew Cornell's music and how it affects me, still. I'm almost 50 years old. Such mixed feelings about all that.

I'm crying tonight listening to Burden in My Hand. Now I'm tripping out on Cat Stevens 1976 concert on YouTube (I was 7 living in San Diego at the time and there was a Tea for the Tillerman tape floating around the house which I played and played...thanks mom, for not always being a fucked-up active Mormon and giving us a break from that once in awhile even though it's still shit on my shoe).

Last entry here was exactly four years ago.

What good does writing do? Not much, is what my conclusion was, and so no writing. Maybe I can write something for myself that will do some good, now. I've been reading a lot of good writing (novels) this summer that I feel has done me good.

What is good? I keep feeling the same things over and over. Is that good? Can I just taste a bite of the non-binary for once in my life?

I stopped going through old photos from childhood. The last time I showed them to anyone was to my then-friend Robin, about four years ago, and I felt despairing afterwards. The photos were mostly of just me. I threw most photos out and scanned some, out of some bone-deep need to archive, some biological need for ersatz preservation of what, self, I don't know what. For who though? Nobody is ever going to see those.

I wish I could re-orient myself, how could I do that? So that I didn't feel so shitty for being alone and lonely, and unable / unwilling to try making new friends (that hasn't worked for so long, I always end it, the smothered and judgmental feelings take hold of me); that I could just commit to one goddamned thing for once: be alone, so be it, accept it and my fucked up coping mechanisms, stop. To stop seeing all this mess as a personal failure.

I was just now reading Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake and the 11-year-old protagonist runs to the bank of the Chattanooga river where her mother went sleepswimming and drowned; she wanted for the thousandth time to be able to talk with her mother about things. I haven't felt like that about my mother since I was a kid. Even if my mother was alive today I wouldn't go to her to talk things over or ask her for advice. I am still so relieved that she is dead (even though she fucking haunts me daily). I'd like to see her more as the fucked-up/whole composite person she was and feel sad and even glad for her instead of the persistent creeped-out feeling I have when I think about her.

I loved Melissa Broder's The Pisces; it's a book I think I could have written in substance and style. I loved Melissa Broder's Twitter for about two minutes after I read The Pisces (having never read Broder's Twits before) and then I got bored of the repeat (clever and raw as she is) and it reminded me so much of myself that I wanted to upchuck. Just shut the fuck up already (everyone).

I once saw a painting, maybe it's Britt Wilson's? She's a great cartoonist. The painting was a nest of baby birds, mouths open wide as the widest, thrusting front and center and huge, hungry, unrelenting, strident, demanding. Maybe there was a worm with guts all over. The painting is terrifying, it gives me the creeps and the crawls and I'm riveted even on the memory of it and feel compelled to go and find it but I might not and enjoy the propulsive memory of it even more.

As I was typing that last sentence, Chris Cornell on YouTube said that he was terrified during his first acoustic performance because it's terrifying so he grabbed something from home on his way out the door (pointing to a red countertop old-style phone) and that started a thing so now he carries it with him to each subsequent acoustic performance. He said terrifying only two beats after I typed terrifying.

To be continued (somewhere), because I can die now in peace, having been witness to a pretty innocuous but utterly cool synchronicity with Chris Cornell, even though I'm grasping for straws, ha ha.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

So big so small

Talked with a couple of buddies at the Saturday Market today. We agreed that the Market is a happy place, and yet there are those who would spoil it for themselves and others by not checking their ego or their tempers at the door. We further agreed that it is a place meant for fun, not for sourpusses. Young Clayton relayed an incident of a tie-dye tshirt shack owner who insisted on being Un-Grateful, we bemoaned the poor man's fate (he'll never reach the Farther Shore with that attitude and the wheel will keep on turnin'), and Don said, "Look at that dinosaur!" We whipped our heads around in unison:

And then we all hard! What perfect timing. That TRex wasn't there a second ago...was it? And no one was paying it any mind at all. Impotent! ha ha......ahaha! awwwwwww.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

So far this summer vacation/break/layoff from LCC has consisted of a lot of sitting and gazing out the window. With and without music. A lot of sitting and gazing and thinking. Writing. Breathing. Walking. Sleeping. How often does anyone sit and listen to music? How often do people actually have or make the time to do so? I haven't done that for a long time. Music is a daily thing but to just sit and, it's usually on while I'm doing dishes, art, yoga, what-have-you.

Warpaint - Beetles

I'm not prepared, I just gotta gotta get there
Where am I, why can't I just get it together?
Fuck it, where's my shit?

Oh my God I'm mad at it
Oh my God I'm mad at it

Oh my God I'm mad at it
I wanna throw it out the window
I wanna throw it out the window
I wanna throw it out the window
I wanna throw it out the window

And here I go, hanging on
Nothing new, nothing new,
nothing and nothing
oh no

Let's get naked and rip down the wall that makes me crazy,
tell me how
Someone hold my hand and give me lessons 'cos I wanna
Melt the knot inside of it
I wanna melt the knot inside of it
I wanna melt the knot inside of it
I wanna melt the knot.............

Thursday, June 26, 2014

throwback thursday

This is who I really am.

When I was about 8, my mom took me to the Unicorn Theater in San Diego. This now-closed theater housed a bookstore in front and through a beautifully wrought teakwood door with trees carved into latticework, a theater where they showed cult classics and animation festivals. This time we watched the french film Wild Child (with subtitles! I learned that 'lait' means 'milk'). The film is based on a true story about a boy raised by wolves until the psychologist finds him in the forest. He domesticates Victor by cutting off his beautiful hair (cried) and putting him in shoes (cried again).

I was completely riveted. I celebrated Victor's freedom and feral family and mourned the loss of it. After the film I promptly whipped off my shirt, got down on all fours (arms and feet, not knees), developed a nice loping gait, and proclaimed myself Wild.

Here I am up a tree. Mom insisted that I wear the sandals and socks. It was the only way I was able to continue being Wild in the trees. I didn't like it, but there you have it.

I spent many weeks running around like this.

Actually my whole life......


What was I thinking?

Most of my social scene has been on Facebook the last couple-plus years. Obviously I haven't been blah blah blahgging. What've you all been up to? I guess I could find out if I was linked to your lives and blogs.

So this morning I crawled in to my little corner cabinet to pull out some artifacts: CDs to import to my iTunes library, since all the bootleg and other stuff is still on disc.....and I pulled out my old art and writing journals. What was I thinking, paging through summer of 2009? On a cloudy day? With Radiohead waiting in the wings, just begging me stop so they could lift me out of my melancholy?

My takeaway from this morning's session, folded up on the floor like a frog to relieve the soreness in my back and hips, was that I wished I believed in some sort of God. (Or Afters. Like the British Elevensies.)

I don't disbelieve in Other/More. I am aware of Other; it's all around, hello?

Maybe what I really want is to tap more into my animal. The deeper brain I guess. The brain that doesn't endlessly, recursively self-question. Damned emergent properties, opening up avenues and limiting others, allowing me to talk out my ass-end! So preoccupied with all that lint in the navel. To whit: all those iterations in the quantum load of journals I've penned over the years like karma laid out in patterns on college-ruled.

Talking with a friend about how adopting an animal's no-fuss attitude about life and the inevitable end (which they don't even know or think about of course) would lighten the load considerably...she chimed in, "Yeah, we (humans) aren't really necessary." I liked that. Skimmed a lot of that self-importance right off the top that I have a habit of encouraging to ferment and froth over, you know?

I don't know, I guess I just felt like writing something into the ether and posting this badass thing I made yesterday. I really like it. You'll see Vash the Stampede, perhaps - and Grant Morrison's influence as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Day to Remember

SooOOoooo......I finally felt like making something and writing something. 

This was my day today.

Saying farewell to summer. Or to state it in the positive, although it requires a lot of effort (because as you may know I am not a fan of not-summer which means RAIN RAIN RAIN here): saying hello to Autumn. With Winter close on its heels.

But for now, it's still summery.

Here's a day in pictures.

With captions!

Autzen Stadium. They're lurching along....sorry if any of you are football fans. 

People buying mass quantities of beer today. Post-game fervor. 
I don't follow sports, so I don't know if U of O won or lost.
But there will be much beer-quaffing tonight, I reckon, regardless.

Outside our downtown Green Grocer Market, The Kiva.
Man, I think this is so funny. I rarely park by bicycle out here. 
Wouldn't be so funny if some sports-and-beer-addled driver plowed into
my only-car-is-a-bicycle!
I plant my two-wheeler at the upside-down U-shaped
bike racks up against the store. Off-road.

Stopped at Market of Choice on my way home.
It is a swanky grocery, deli, and more store. 
My plastic still works here though.

 I am so serious.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Illustration Friday - Shades

Whoo! Just under the wire yet again for this week's IF challenge.

Couple of rare birds, maybe? yuk  yuk yuk (how often do owls wear gigolo sunglasses, hey??!)

Ack! I submitted this on thursday night but somehow...SOMEHOW!...the link I entered was directing folks to a famous author's site - Dan Santat. Oops! So here's last week's which could almost qualify for this week's challenge word ('swamp'). But I'm not going for a double-header here. I'll be concocting something new for this week!

Trying out some different things with Photoshop this time around - namely, working with a chalk brush for much of the image. And playing around with some furry effects. Had fun doing this one!

Next comes more learning about how to render water - there are so many ways! I need to just spend some time with different methods. Copy the masters :)

Like Kazu Kibuishi, Jason Brubaker, Dani Jones,Rad Sechrist, and more. Can you tell I've been reading the Flight series? I found Flight Explorer in the children's comic section at our library and I practically sleep with it!

Also need to learn how to create more of a sense of light. Also.....!...I wanna learn how to use Illustrator. Next level for me. And! Learning how to create shapes that meet without linework. I'll always love cartoons and comics. And I've done a little bit of painting, traditional and digital. So much to explore!!

I started watching the Comics are Great podcast this morning where Jerzy Drozd and Dan Santat are talking about Fear and Courage. I left off to work on the above illustration - just after Dan said he taught himself to draw by copying comic books.

YEAH! That's what I'm talking about!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why can't I see my brush tip shape?

If you're noodling around in Photoshop and your brush tip shape inexplicably (?!) changes to a leetle tiny point, the caps lock is probably on. Toggle it off and regain shapes for brushes and all the other shapes associated with the various tools. My keyboard is an old one for Mac (pretty turquoise! with a full ten-key keyboard, which is what I want) that I bought used through NextStep Recycling and the caps lock key sticks or spontaneously decides I need to work in UPPER CASE.

I had wondered if that was the case with my brush tip suddenly 'disappearing' when I typed my question into the browser bar's built-in search engine and my query was ALL IN CAPS.

Here's a web page I found right off the bat to confirm what happened.

The Annoying Phantom Brush.

Happy painting and stuff!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Greeting Cards are now for sale!

Yoo! I did a print run last week and five greeting card designs are ready for you browse and purchase!

I created a Page for them (right up there) where you can click on a Buy Now button.  I've included descriptions and stuff - and you don't need a PayPal account to pay - y'all know you can click through and choose to pay by credit card. Alternatively, you can email me with a list of the items you would like to purchase and I'll send you an invoice direct via my PayPal account. This works well if you want to order a variety of cards. The way it works now (learning all this tonight so bear with me) -- you click on Buy Now and are directed off-site to pay. Every time you want to order a different card. Easy enough but with an invoice, you will receive ONE itemized list and you can pay from that.

Alternatively......and even better really....I just re-opened my Etsy shop. Click on that banner over there! It would really help me build business if you order through Etsy.

Here's a few shots of a couple of the cards in 'real space' so you can have a sense of their scale and cute factors :) I also had fun creating a logo, printed in living color on the backsides.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Illustration Friday - Yield

Here's this week's installment for Illustration Friday!

Yield to your little monster. The monster just wants to help. And to be friends. Really. No matter what monstrous monstrosities the little darling devil-may-be.

Yeah I'm learning stuff in Photoshop! Trying out several different techniques. I realize this one is pretty busy but hey. Monsters like busy-ness. Uh...this one does!

**I will be designing cards for this one....I really need to re-launch Etsy, or sell through this site....or build that website I keep saying I will! If anyone is interested in purchasing cards or prints just email or message me - thanks!**