Archive for June, 2008

Today was a hot one, especially by Seattle standards, with temps topping 90 degrees.  So when the kids a few doors down from us invited Shane to participate in their watergun fight, he couldn’t resist.  He was clearly living out his James Bond fantasies, ducking behind trees, nailing people with his super-soaker left and right.  He showed no mercy, which is why I chose to watch from the safety of our second floor window.  Boys will be boys, I guess…

Shane and I headed over to Georgetown this afternoon for the annual Artopia festival.  It was an interesting mix of music, art, food, and just plain randomness. The art was so-so, the kiwi gelato was amazing, and the powertool races were amusing (contestants are asked to convert bits and parts of powertools into moving, race-worthy machines.  saw blade wheels seem a bit dangerous to me, but what the heck…).  I am so happy to see Georgetown developing into such a fun, vibrant, creative community.  But I hope that this neighborhood’s “revitalization” doesn’t translate into it losing all of its original character.  The old brick warehouses and junk-filled lots are beautiful (and photo-worthy).

Stuff I’m into these days…

*Art and design blogs.  I have come across some amazing talent via the internet and am inspired by people like Amanda Blake, Cynthia Ona Innis, and Anne Wilson.  Beauteous.

*The taco bus located less than a mile away from our house.  Spicy, meaty goodness wrapped in a homemade corn tortilla and topped with fresh cilantro, to the tune of $1.20 (granted, I can usually scarf down at least 4 of these tacos, but still a good deal).

*Glorious sunshine and its resultant plant growth.

*Looking out the window while riding the bus home, rather than burying my nose in a book.

*Our neighborhood.  We live next to some genuinely wonderful people and I’m enjoying getting to know them better.

*Green tea ice cream.

*Nantaka Joy’s stationery.  Simply elegant.  I’m a sucker for pretty paper.

*Looking at ideas for decorating our bedroom.  Shane will cringe when he hears that I want to repaint, but I’m ready for something new.  I’m really liking the combination of steel gray with orange or bright yellow.

*Weekends!  Hooray for Friday nights.

Trying to stay on track with my sketchbook resolution…

from the window of my favorite cafe on n. mississippi ave in portland (06.20.08):

Shane and I have enjoyed spending the last couple of evenings working out in the yard, doing some weeding, planting, watering, and general clean-up.  We are completely new to the yard maintenance game, so we’re asking our neighbors for advice and making the rest up as we go.  My little back porch herb garden isn’t quite thriving, but it is at least surviving, which is enough to keep me happy.  I did break down and buy a full-grown basil plant from Trader Joe’s, since the basil I grew from seed still hasn’t really taken off.  But my dill, on the other hand, is going crazy and has produced these beautiful firework-like flowers.  The trick now is to figure out what to do with all these herbs, since my cooking skills are as rough as my gardening skills…

Just got back from a fantastic couple of days in Portland, visiting with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.  Elise continues to be precious and beautiful and wonderfully good-natured. She patiently endured my incessant photo-snapping and even cooperated with a smile or two.  These are some of my favorites:

I have become quite the mommy-in-training, under the tutelage of my brother and sister-in-law.  I think I have bath-giving, bottle-feeding, and burping down.  But I’m saving diaper-changing for later…

Brave New World was another stab at reading something from the Modern Library’s List of the 100 Greatest English-Language Novels of the 20th Century, and though it was more enjoyable than James Joyce, I was still a little relieved to wrap this one up and be able to move on to something else. Huxley’s take on the future is certainly intriguing (babies conceived in jars rather than wombs, the dissolution of the family structure as we know it, emotional engineering through the use of drugs and subliminal messaging), but I’m the kind of reader than needs even the tiniest glimmer of optimism in a novel, and he just wasn’t giving it. I’m sure I could appreciate his perspective if I better understood the political climate he lived in when he wrote Brave New World, but as I feared, much of his underlying social/political commentary was lost on me. This is one of those books that I’m happy to have read, but probably won’t ever feel compelled to read again.

And now, here comes the fun part: choosing what I will read next. I love to stand in front of my shelves full of read and unread books (the product of numerous gifts and my brother’s employee discount from the days when he used to work at Powell’s), feeling a sense of accomplishment over the books I’ve read and a sense of anticipation for the ones I have yet to read. I’ve narrowed the selection for my next undertaking down to Into the Wild, Summerland, or The Glass Castle (I’m now in the mood for a quick, fun read).

I have expressed my disappointment in my lack of creative productivity lately, and so I have set a small but significant personal goal. I’ve been inspired by the ‘ blog (a new fave) to make more use of the Moleskine that I carry around with me and have committed to doodling/sketching/collaging/creating in my sketchbook at least once a week. Here are my last couple of endeavors:

lamp/couch/light-washed wall (06.01.08):

abstract still-life collage (06.07.08):

It’s a start…

With work being as busy as it is, and my next licensing test coming up in a couple of days, and my list of “free time” projects growing all the time, my mind feels like it’s stretched very thin. I feel like I have lost my ability to focus. When I’m at work, I’m thinking about all the studying I have to do. When I’m studying, I’m thinking about the unfinished painting or sewing project that I have sitting upstairs. I try to set aside time in the evening to work on these projects, but I never get around to it, because I am worn out and exhausted by 8 pm. And then as I’m trying to drift off to sleep, I find myself composing my task list for the following work day. I am one big, neurotic stress-ball. I find it impossible to relax. It’s frustrating. And tiring.

Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as my test will be over on Tuesday and my big project at work should be wrapped up by the end of the month. But then again, come next month, there will be another test to take and another project to work on. And will I allow myself to become consumed by these things once again? I desperately hope not. I just haven’t figured out yet how to avoid it. I have not been dealing well with deadlines and pressure and stress. Ideally, my feelings of stress would drive me to productivity, and my productivity would allow me to feel that I’ve earned the right to take a break and relax, but it seems instead that my stress is just frazzling me to the point that I’m not getting much of anything done. And so my frustration compounds and compounds and compounds. Goodness, I’m a Debbie-downer tonight… I think I’ve got a case of the “Sunday night don’t want to go to work tomorrow didn’t get much done at home this weekend” blues. Sigh.