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|Saturday, April 27th, 2013|
Haven't been here in ages, and I can only read the most recent 23 entries. Sorry guys.
Clearly, I've been withdrawing--I hardly post to the EIDB either. Not sure why. There does seem to be more going on in my daily life, and my myriad ponderings about what to do work-wise seem to suck up a lot of energy.
All is basically fine.
|Wednesday, September 28th, 2011|
|Friday, December 24th, 2010|
|Merry Christmas, people
My friend Tom, one of the 1979 housemates, is visiting me. Yeah!
Tomorrow I'll make chocolate chip cookies.
|Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010|
|guy from work died on Mt Ranier
The email was in the pile awaiting me at my return from the IEA. It's not someone I was close to, or even knew well. But last week I'd asked him if he was interested in leading one of the discussion group sessions. He said he was a temp, even though he'd been here a year, and so didn't know how much longer he'd be here.
Those words linger in my mind. We're all temps and don't know how much longer we'll be here. It's a sobering concept.
|Saturday, February 13th, 2010|
|art experiments (thanks, Heratyck)
I just tried the transfer technique she posted--worked best on laser printed sample, worst on one of my "white clothing" magazine images. Other two magazine images in between. I need to see what happens if I varnish over the tape--once it's dry.
Also tried gluing one of those light clothing images with text on the back page to a piece of black paper and a different one, I painted black on the back side. My concern here, especially for the former, is having the paper buckle when I glue it again onto the collage. But I think both will work. So....next time I need to avoid background text I have a plan--yeah!
Seems like with each collage, I learn something. I've gone through a whole bunch of glue experiments, finally deciding that a slight dilution of Golden soft gel matte works best (somewhat messy to use, though). YES paste also works. One problem with both is that if I don't fully coat the paper, it will buckle when I varnish the finished collage.
Finishing--matte varnish makes colors more subdued. Satin varnish is pretty good. If I don't varnish, the concern is 2-fold--a) the paper might unstick and b) the paper is sensitive to UV radiation. But if I varnish, or use some sort of matte gel, the paper can buckle. On the other hand, the brush strokes made are kind of cool.
Have also learned---if I varnish some of the flimsy paper before cutting, I have less trouble with disintegration around the edges, which was a real problem in the first landscape collage where I used bead images from a jewelry making catalog. Worked much better when I tried this for my latest collage, where I used the same material.
Another "now I know" screw-up. If I'm going to use 3D paint, don't frame with the glass right next to the collage--the paint sticks to the glass.
Still to learn--how to prevent paper from buckling (I probably still need to work on the glue issue).
How to mat my work--I'm too cheap to buy mats so I need to learn how to cut them myself....but haven't been motivated yet.
How to get good images of my collages. To date, I've been bringing them to work and scanning them in--but this is suboptimal, in that collages bigger than 11x17 don't fit the scanner. (Actually, that might not be true if I use a reduction during the scan--I'll have to check that. For printing 11" is definitely the limit.
It's all kind of fun, though. I'm hoping that eventually I'll have confidence in the technique and that I'll get more imaginative in the results.
|Sunday, February 7th, 2010|
Enneathought for the day---"How is your superego message: "You are good or okay if you have mastered something" affecting you today?"
Gee, um, it's about 5:30 and the collage I was hoping to finish today is a bit over half done. Maybe if I had mastery I would have the whole thing mapped out with the materials I have to work with....but no, I'm kind of making it up as I go along. And now need to scrounge more material.
Maybe if I had mastery I could do these faster and they'd turn out better.
I actually have no idea if this will even work at all! I guess I could take what I've got done so far to work tomorrow and scan it in and find out. The plan, here, is to print my artist statement and bio on top of it...but the "white" of the collage may be too gray. In which case, I can finish the thing at my leisure.
Meanwhile...I haven't done the stuff I typically do on the weekend for life maintenance---like laundry, cooking for the week, apartment clean-up. Guess I can skip this stuff in the interest of finding more collage source material.
And then......there's work pile-up. This guy in another research group asked me for help thursday on a genome analysis problem. All of the tools I used to use are gone, so I spent thursday and friday scrounging around the net looking for replacements. Turned what should have been a 2 hour job into a 2 day job...and it's still not entirely done. But...I'm actually glad the guy asked me. I have a fear that the new people in the organization have no clue that I ever actually did any real science, since my visible role now is administrative. I must have 2 in my trifix--I genuinely like helping people solve problems.
|Tuesday, January 26th, 2010|
|resurgence of things past
Recently, it seems like there's a plethora of stuff from the 80s reappearing in my life. Lots of this being brought on by my own initiative. Right now, I'm rereading my philosophy dissertation (finished 1986), in prep for a talk I'm giving at work on thursday. The talk itself, being prompted by two independent conversations in which the topic of my case study came up. Plus--EP's request for the intro to my work.
I've spent all of today sorting out the contents of a big box of source material--remnants of that life chapter--and I feel kind of bad about having abandoned it all. Googling around, it's clear that other people have independently done various pieces of what I did....and the amazing thought just occurred to me that if I could get my act together to create a web site for myself, then I could scan in and post my own dissertation. That way, maybe my work could be useful to someone even though I didn't publish it. I would really like that.
I'm also kind of embarrassed--lots of people gave me input and feedback and encouragement for my philosophy research...and I feel like I let them down. For sure, I was so attracted to the HIV community I was involved with that philosophy lost its appeal to me. That's why I abandoned it. I supposed an analogy is like giving up on a pretty decent relationship in favor of a different relationship...and then mourning the loss of the parts that were good, and wondering "what if...." after the new relationship has failed.
I dunno---it feels like there are a lot of "what ifs" bubbling to the surface of my consciousness.
|Monday, January 18th, 2010|
|The utter spaciousness of a blank wall
I'm awaiting delivery of the IKEA shelves my friend bought for me today. I took down the screen that formerly covered this wall...and am enjoying it's very offwhiteness. Emptiness. Clean. Uncluttered. But not for long.
Russ H characterized the 5's domicile as "decorated with shelves." As of now, I have 25 shelves of books, art stuff, wine, mugs, etc in my living-dining-study space. Soon to add another 11. (Have a bunch more in my bedroom.)
|Sunday, November 29th, 2009|
|women who want to want
Interesting article in the NYT regarding current sexology research on women with low sexual desire. Actually, one of the most interesting things, imo, is the discussion about rewriting this section of the DSMV. Another interesting part is the discussion about when/how desire arises.
I appreciate that this article is written from a gender-neutral perspective on the sexual partner.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/29/magazine/29sex-t.html?hpw
Maybe when I'm 70 or something I'll discover true sexual desire. Life's not over till it's over, eh?
|Monday, November 23rd, 2009|
One of my facebook friends, a romance writer (86 books to her credit), posted to the effect that writing is hard work, and that she disciplines herself to write every day. I heard the same thing from my next door neighbor, a wellknown mystery writer. This is sobering. I'd like to believe that skill is really developed with practice and that execution of said skill would then get easier. It's on my mind with respect to collaging, as I watch myself go through contortions with respect to producing something. If I thought that it would never get easier I think I'd despair. It kind of makes sense that it won't, though. Because the more I do it, the more I'll discover what's possible, and so I'll probably hold myself to higher standards.
So maybe, if I had evidence that I can trust the process, this trust would have to be what undergirds the discipline. Or maybe it's the other way around, I'm not sure.
While walking home tonight I figured out what I think I need to do to finish the enneagram collage I started this weekend. It was like an "oh yeah, that's it!" moment. If I believed that the ideas would come to me, I'd have more hope.
|Tuesday, October 20th, 2009|
|He's baaaack! Makes me glad.
About 7 years ago (can't believe it was that long but I just checked the newspaper archives), this exceedingly humorous bus driver on my route disappeared. This guy was so funny, telling stories, trying to engage passengers, being his cheerful self. But one day, his bus got kidnapped. Some psycho got on and was theatening passengers so he stopped the bus and had everyone get off, including himself. And the psycho drove off with the bus, injuring multiple people in cars as he careened along. (Luckily for me, this happened on a part of the route I don't traverse.) Anyways, the driver went out on admin leave and I heard a rumor that he had PTSD or something like that. But tonight, whaddya know, the bus driver reminded me a lot of that guy in style. (I suck at recognizing people, remember?). So I asked him, Say, are you the driver whose 42 bus got kidnapped? He was MOST impressed I remembered. A bit of the ruptured universe has been made whole.
|Sunday, October 11th, 2009|
My current rate of progress might have this collage finished by Xmas--this is crazy! It's only 9 by 12 inches! I want it done TODAY! And it won't be.
I realized last night that part of my process is that I have a hard time choosing among options for what to put where. This is a surrealistic landscape--I started with the sky and have been working my way down--but.....at the beginning I laid out paper for the whole background and I've become entranced with the patterns of that. So...I'm torn between covering up the background, as was my original plan, or leaving it, and finding a way to make the piece work that way. Result being something in between. I've got a kazillion "candidate" pieces of paper cut out, from which to choose placement. And I get torn. Well...this would work but constrain the next step.....or that would work but it might unbalance the composition (which is already unbalanced).
Should I make it brighter? Leave it subdued?
This is turning out to be an exercise in trust in some sort of inner sense that I'll create a piece that somehow works. Or, if not this one, then the next one. Or the one after that.
My inner critic seems to be shifting ground from:
"You have no talent, why try, you're only going to waste your time" to:
"You're too slow, you've got to find a way to speed up or else you'll never produce enough work to get anywhere"
True...I'd like to get faster, BUT....I want to make good aesthetic choices in what I put where.
|Sunday, September 27th, 2009|
It's a blissful morning...I'm home working on the collage that I set aside a few weeks ago. Listening to Neil Diamond (yes, I'm one of the "two kinds of people" who love ND), enjoying this gorgeous day, knowing that the rainy season will soon arrive. The demons that call into question my ability to create seem to be sleeping today--may they rest in peace and not wake up anytime soon.
Days like today, I wish I didn't have to work.
It's scary to think that by the time I can retire I might not be able to do what I can do now. This art form requires a steady hand and good color vision. And the ability to sit still for significant stretches.
Due to social and self-pres issues I can't quit. And, if I were honest, part of me really doesn't want to. But could I work part time? Or what if I got disciplined and worked 4-10 instead of 5-8? (That's hard because so much of my job description now entails dealing with people---gobs of onsite meetings which exhaust me.) But....if I really want to do art, well......
|Tuesday, September 1st, 2009|
|AHA--it was SENT at 9:01 but not received till later
Enneathought for 9/2
Each type unconsciously tends to "train others" to see them in a certain way. How do you want others to see you? Average Fives can be superior about their knowledge, cynical, and eccentric. What can you do today to change this for the better?
Hmmm...I'll grant "eccentric" but I don't think people see me as superior or cynical. I think I've trained people to see me as preoccupied, like: don't bother me, I'm working on something. I've been seen as abrupt. I don't like to have my concentration broken.
How do I want people to see me? I dunno. I guess I want them to see me as well-intentioned.
|Sunday, July 26th, 2009|
|Friday, July 24th, 2009|
|flotsam and jetsam of thoughts
Crap! I wanted to write about something I saw on my way home that I thought was cool and now I can't remember what it was!!!! And I told myself to remember it.
It got displaced by the sight of blueberries strewn across the street.
And then...by the black guy on the bus carrying a big sign asking "Do you remember the 70?" with a bunch of 01101010001 next to each year. I told him that yeah, I remembered the 70s, and off we were, until another big black lady got on, and the two of them knew each other but hadn't seen each in ages! From there the conversation somehow morphed into a description of the Seattle underground--the parts where nobody goes--that apparently are 5 stories down.
There's so much in my life that I find terribly amusing.
Oh, check this out!!!! The Human Genre Project--collecting stories about your favorite gene--maybe I'll write one. But golly, what gene to pick????http://www.humangenreproject.com/index.php
|Monday, June 22nd, 2009|
|Why is it that...
I look at myself in the bathroom mirror sometimes and think that I'm beautiful, and yet when I see myself in most other mirrors or see pictures of myself, I'm horrified at how dorky and plain I look. Perhaps I shine more in faded light.
|the last of the IEA collages
I ended up just painting the background paper. I'll mount this on 12x12 canvas, painted black. The colors look a bit better on the real thing.http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/5954/ieacollage3.png
Now I can go back to the dread of wanting to create collages but not having good ideas. There's always my default idea of a flower vase still life--to try out different techniques. Maybe I need to do one of these to prime the pump.
Got a headache today--dunno why. In an hour I'm supposed to go to Costco with someone to get a bunch of the montana supplies--haven't been there since we did this a year ago. Stores like Costco make me dizzy.
|Sunday, June 21st, 2009|
|a new hypothesis
Okay, so I figure I'll rescue my collage by cutting out the enneagram part and gluing it to a new piece of background paper. This time, I decided to spray the paper first--and, lo and behold, it came out splotchy, which leads me to think that maybe the solvent is interacting with the paper--I haven't seen this happen with the images I've been cutting from magazines. So, I found another piece (I bought a bunch of 12 x 12 colored paper at a yard sale a few weeks ago--and have coated it with matte polymer--which is still too shiny. But, if I spray that, I think it will take off the shine without screwing up the paper---maybe.
My other option is to paint the paper that the enneagram is currently on.
I think I'll go back, in the future, to not trying to use plain background paper. Seems like more trouble than it's worth.
In my city walkabout I encountered a Goth yardsale, where I bought a copy of the Dalai Lama's four noble truths book. Cost me $.25/truth. Also found Ouspensky's "In search of the miraculous" at Half Price--I've been looking for that sucker for at least a year now, figuring it would turn up eventually.
|Tuesday, June 16th, 2009|
|thinking, thinking, always thinking
I figure that walking to work (~ 1hr, depending on the traffic lights) provides a good opportunity to practice presence.
That is, to what extent can I observe what's happening in my body and the surrounding environment? And sustain that state of observation. At this point, the answer appears to be on the order of seconds. I doubt that I can go for even a minute without my thoughts veering off someplace other. What's really scary is that I can go about a mile, and realize that I've basically noticed nothing about my body or the environment. Yesterday, I walked right into a beam of wood that I didn't see.
This should be interesting if I can stick with the intention.