Sunday, September 1, 2013

Three Years: Are we home yet?

Z and I just celebrated our third anniversary. Three years ago August we gathered almost all of our favorite people and made them stand around in 101 degree temperatures while we committed this and committed that. Then two months later, Zach and I packed my 101 pounds of craft materials into boxes and moved them up north to Portland.

And every time we drive down to the mid-valley I feel a twinge of homesickness. And every time we drive back over that Marquam I ask myself, "Does this feel like home yet?"

This is one of the questions I ask people who aren't from the area. How long did it take to feel like home?

During childhood, Albany was home. No questions. It's where everyone I knew lived. And when I was an exchange student, Albany was home because I knew Nitra was a temporary exchange student town. (And in some ways Albany became a heightened sense of home because in Nitra I was so terribly homesick.) And when I was in college, Albany was home because Eugene was the temporary college town. Even when I lived in Portland the first time, Albany still seemed like home because I kept thinking Portland would be a stop before LA or NY. Aaaand then I moved back to Albany.

So my experience for the first 28 years of my life has been consciously making the current location temporary because it isn't and can't be, the completely permanent idea of home.

How do we relocate the idea of home from the mythical place of our upbringing to the place we've planted our new IKEA bookshelves?

I'm not sure. And today we will drive back through those Albany fields and tomorrow we will cross back over that Marquam bridge and I will look at the skyline and wonder yet again.

Side noe:
I've realized recently that when I get homesick now it's the feeling I had for place but really it's for person. My homesick feeling often means I'm away from Zach. Which is sort of lovely I think.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Big News

Those of you who read this blog probably already know this information, but here it goes: I'm quitting my job.

Oh wait, that's a lie. I tried to quit, honestly I did. There was sitting down with managers and there was writing of transition plans and there was even tear shedding...but then they offered me a really great job with fewer hours. I couldn't say no. 

But still. If I let the 10 hours I'll be working for them be an excuse for not creating then I'm not cut out for creating. That said, this week I don't feel very cut out for creating. Every time I paint I find it frustrating instead of refreshing. I wonder if my creativity is running dry. I worry that I don't feel like telling stories anymore. What if my art never says anything very meaningful? What if I stop caring to say anything meaningful? What if I never get any better?

I know that right now isn't the time to be worrying about such things. After a ten hour work day where I sat down twice. After hauling garbage and cleaning up coffee sludge and keeping my shit together.  Now is most definitely not the right time to look over the abyss and see anything but the deep dark of uncertainty.

So I'll go to bed. And then wake up for another 10 hours. And work a crazy schedule this week and then begin to wind down as my final two week approaches. Maybe after 4 weeks of solid painting mornings I'll be a better judge of whether or not I see a flicker down there in that there hole.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What were you saying? No wait, what was I saying.*

I went to the park during the last serious sun break a few days ago to take in some quiet and some light. Armed with a journal and a book, I bought coffee and found a spot at a wooden table amid bark dust and grass.

Within 5 minutes of my being there I could sense out of the corner of my eye an old man approach. I did not look up or make eye contact. His opening line, "I'm the park pervert." It was suppose to be a joke. And I said, not laughing and not looking up from my task, "Grrrreat." I was not hiding my disdain. "I try to be funny," he said. I did not answer.

But my rudeness didn't matter, and he asked me if I was in school or if I had gone to college. He didn't really care what my answer was. It was a set up so that he could tell this joke about being just a few credits away from a math degree. He asked me what I studied, and again, it didn't matter, it was just a segue so that he could sing a fight song he'd made up with clever lyrics. He asked me a few more questions and again, none of them really mattered, they were all just vehicles for him to say the next thing in his stand up routine.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bad Opening Lines

Back in November during the one weekend I had off for at least six weeks on either side of it, I got on a plane and flew 600 miles south of us. My brother kept telling me that my 95 year-old grandfather was fading fast and that if I wanted to see him, I should do it. I kept getting this message from various members of my family until finally Z and I decided to go. So down we went. Since we were already heading south, we decided we should visit my maternal grandmother who also lives nearbye-ish. It'd been awhile since I'd seen her, and she was always saying that we never visited. So we went. And we stayed for one night. We jumped up and did the dishes on queue. We cleaned up the $50 of steak her dog threw up. We stripped the sheets from our bed and started the wash machine before we left. We did or duty, and because we both had to work on Monday, we couldn't stay long. But we did it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

32 Days In

 There are only 52 weeks in a year and so for some reason saying I only have 40-some weeks left is terrifying. Yet if I tell myself I am only 32 days in, it feels like there is more time to catch up

A few giant work things are now over, and life has calmed down enough to still be a frustrating schedule but manageable. I'm sleeping more. Actually I'm rearranging habits so that sleep is a priority. I still eat like a crazy person but the sleeping is making waking up and exercising a reality in a way that it just wasn't before. 

I like it. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

356 Days Left

First off, I love the internet. I could could type, "How many days left until Feb 19, 2014," and I got an answer in a website.


This is why it's good for me to visit this list each and every week. It's easy to get sucked up into life and forget the goals. I'm doing some fun stuff this week that wasn't on the list like finishing my sister's baby invites. I'm adding an "other" section at the bottom to keep track of creative pursuits that aren't part of the goals. 

Goals last week and goals this week:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thirteen for Thirty-Two

This coming year, it's a numbers game.  Many of the goals will be quantity not quality. The truth is, quantity leads to quality especially when one is trying to learn a subject or a discipline.

Some have specific numbers attached to them:

1. Photoshop
Watch a class on Photoshop.

2. Illustrator
Watch a class on Illustrator.

3. After Effects
Watch a class on After Effects. 

4. PaintingPaint 365 portraits (at most basic sense). I want to be good at painting faces. I don't even know what that means yet but what I do know is that I need to put in a lot of time with drawing and painting. This feels like the loftiest of the goals.