Friday, April 30, 2010

A Friday Night Update

1) I finished a painting that I have been working on for several weeks. I am pleased with how it turned out; it is so different than anything I ever imagined myself doing. I am going to start a similar painting in a few weeks (my teacher is going to be out of town for a few weeks) and I think I want to try something that has more continuity. This was pretty random, and I was just enjoying experimenting with the technique. This meant I was doing a lot of what I wanted to do and not thinking about how it would look as much. Fun, but maybe art does require a little thought.

2) I love how messy my hands are after art. I don’t really make an effort to be clean and neat, because that takes half the fun out of it, but it always amazes me how much of my painting ends up on me. Case in point:

3) I bought a new orchid today. I am slowly but surely becoming obsessed. But can you really blame me?

4) I am writing this post in Word because Blogger is being dumb and stupid and I am not in the mood to wrestle with the computer. I don’t know why this issue with formatting has suddenly come up, but here it seems like it is here to stay. It only happens when I add a picture, and then the alignment gets messed up. I just think it looks weird, even though it doesn’t really matter. Also, there isn’t a spellcheck in the regular “compose” section, just the html. It is sad how dependent on spellcheck I am.

5) A few weeks ago I was accepted into my high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. It basically means I have a high GPA and am active in the community (see 6). The “Induction Ceremony” was on Tuesday night. I probably should have guessed or known or something (seeing as everyone else did. Maybe they were told. Or maybe everyone but me is psychic.) based on how fancy the name sounds (it’s a ceremony), that it was a dressy event. Seeing as I’m not psychic nor did I receive a memo, I showed up in jeans and paint splattered shoes. Everyone else was wearing ties and dresses. There was one other person in jeans. (At least I was wearing a semi-dressy top, because I thought for sure it wasn’t a dressy event, but just in case, I wouldn’t stick out quite as badly with a dressy top.) I think it would be even more awkward to be in a dress and heels at a casual event than what I did, but I haven’t been in that situation, at least, so I can’t say for sure. I lived through it, because I told myself I didn’t care. I have to say, I cared a little bit, but there really wasn’t anything I could do, short of leaving, so I dealt with it.

6) I applied to be a tutor for younger kids who have trouble with reading and writing. I hope I get in because it sounds like fun interacting with the kids, and I would feel like I was doing some good for the community. I need the hours of volunteer work for NHS, but my summer is also looking very open and empty. I’m all for hanging out and doing nothing, but there’s only so much of that I can take. I am also looking into other volunteering opportunities with Water for People and if those don’t work out, maybe the Humane Society.

7) I have been taking pictures like crazy. Here are some of my favorites:

8) I refuse to feel guilty about not posting for so long. (But in the interest of full disclosure, I totally do.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Habit of Reading

A continuing habit of mine is reading multiple books at the same time. On the one hand, I love reading and this allows me to read what I am in the mood for. On the other hand, some books get lost in the shuffle and I never make it past the first few pages. I also tend to lose track of the plotlines if I pick one up after ignoring it for a while.

The Devil's Teeth-A non-fiction tale of one reporter who became obsessed with great white sharks.

Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq-Pretty much what the title says. A lot of the author's focus is on the disparities between news reports and the facts.

Bless Me, Ultima-I am reading this in English. It is about a young Spanish-American boy who is struggling with his identity and the role of different religions.

The Truth About Forever-One of my all-time favorite books, and so I am pretty much always reading it.

Eat Pray Love-Ditto.

The One Left Behind-A library book that has sat unread for several weeks. This is one of the bad things about reading so many books.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom-This is the second book I have picked up by this author. (Although I actually managed to read all of the first one. I quite enjoyed it.) This book is another one that has gotten lost in the shuffle.

Three Cups of Tea-I really want to read this book, and have had it since Christmas, but I haven't put enough time and effort to be able to get really into it.

Where the Heart Is-Another favorite.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fingers to Keyboard with Some Editing

I haven't felt the inspiration to write recently. It's not writer's block, per se, just the lack of an overwhelming urge to write. And I usually only write when I am really feeling something. It feels more true and more accurate and it comes out sounding like me instead of some stuffy version of me that has no idea about the first rule of writing. (Sort of like that sentence.)

I want to try that exercise where you write for a certain amount of time without stopping. You have to say whatever you are thinking or feeling and most of all you cannot stop. Even if it means writing the same sentence over and over and over.

I've been trying to take more pictures. Even when I'm not taking pictures, I am just looking at the world from a different perspective; it is very different to imagine looking at objects and people and landscapes through a lense. Different elements become more prominent and others seem to fade into the background. All context is taken away and it leaves a raw image of the one item.

I don't feel like I am at a place where that is what I am able to capture and convey when I take a picture. But I also think that one of the best ways to achieve that ability is to continue trying. So here are my trys:

I recieved this postcard from Locks of Love as a thank you for donating my hair. It was nice to be recognized and know that my hair which I no longer have a use for is going to help a child in need.

(It doesn't help that when I finally sit down to write I want to scream at the computer for its stupidness. Aka, I'm having formatting issues.)

Hands. To be more specific, one hand. My hand. Reminding me of painting. The joys along with the frustrations. The problem with having a painting with no plan is that there is no set idea of when it is finished. I am struggling becaues I can't decide if it needs more or if it is done. I am inclined to think that it needs more because I am not feeling that it is done. It doesn't feel completed. This is great, though. The idea that I can feel a painting.

My creative juices have not abandoned me completely. It's good to go back to the basics, sometimes.

I sit here, not knowing what to type. The problem is I don't know what I want to say. I could say any number of things: the windy, beautiful weather that is beginning to border on too hot, the three tiny firs that my dad and I transplanted over the weekend that are thankfully still alive, the sounds coming from the kitchen as my dad prepares dinner, the feel of Smokey's fur on my legs are she tries to draw me away from my fruitless attempts at writing.

Editing calms me. I know I said that I was going to put fingers to keyboard and just write, which usually doesn't include editing. However, I am allowed to break the rules. I am giving myself that freedom.

With freedom comes homework; I am giving myself the assignment of writing, not necessarily blogging, but just writing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It Makes Me Feel Alive

It is so amazingly beautiful outside. The wind is blowing hard from every direction and a few lone clouds scuttle across the brilliant blue sky. The wind almost feels like an ocean wind. It whips my hair around and blows open my eyes. It makes the walk uphill hard, but it is all worth it when I see yellow daffodils that have survived the cold winter to face this glorious day.

I don't require swimsuit weather when days like this come along.

Everything looked a little brighter walking home after art. I love that I just spent an hour and a half painting with no plan and throwing sponges dripping with watery paint at a canvas. It makes me feel more alive. And my hands stay dirty as a reminder to me of this happiness I felt. That I get to feel every Tuesday morning.


We celebrated a very non-religious Easter on Sunday. I like it that way; it is more about the celebration of spring and new beginnings and chocolate eggs than it is about getting up early to get dressed up and go to church. (Let me make myself clear; I have nothing against the people who do go to church, or whatever their place of worship. I don't know enough about this holiday to say it more eloquently than that, but I am not trying to disrespect anyone's beliefs. This was not something I was brought up with, and so I have come to love our routine.)

My mom and I bought some chocolates and then spent our lunch outside in the sun filling brightly colored plastic eggs with treats. Everyone got a chance to hide, and we are all getting more devious. The most fun is when an egg is discovered weeks or months later. That is the mark of a true hiding spot. (Although it's not so good when the chocolate is not in an egg and has been stuffed down between couch cushions and slowly melted and oozed. That's not Easter-that's work.)

(The leg looking things on some of the eggs are actually suction cups. Cool idea-too bad they don't work.)

My dad and I did get into a....scuffle over a particular egg hiden in a lightbulb covering. I somehow ended up on the floor twice, and did not end up with the egg. (In my defense, he does have a good four inches on me and over 60 pounds.) A Starburst was small consolation for this terrible loss of an egg.

Happy Spring and I hope you are enjoying the weather.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nothingness and Curly Hair

My hair is curly today. It actually had to be curled because it is normally really super straight. Although not completely straight and so I still feel the need to use my flat iron on it. A lot. I am paranoid that I am killing my hair and that by using a flat iron all my hair will fall out at a sad and unseemly age. Like 40.

So. I was talking about something. Yes, curly hair.

No, that isn't me. Because I am too lazy to get out the camera and take a picture of my own hair. Even though it would take about two minutes, tops.

It's really too bad the camera is working again and in the country because I can't even use those excuses anymore. Ah, well, you get to see my true colors. At last.

So, if you hadn't noticed already, this is a post about nothing. Or more specifically, the things that are floating through my head at the moment. Which is pretty much nothing. They are pretty short thoughts (if they can even be called thoughts) because that is about where I am today.

I filled out an application form for the National Honor Scoiety at my high school. I think they're going to let me in even though I am not involved in the community even a little bit. I'll have to figure something out that I can do at home that helps people. Or the environment. Just helping, in general. Ideas?

The clouds are really super pretty today; big fluffy things on a light teal blue sky. The kind you lay (lie?) on your back in the summer staring at. The ones that can look like anything if you squint the right way. Right now though, they just look like really fluffy pretty clouds.

Now my head is empty of all things, thoughts or otherwise. So now I am truly talking about nothing.

Enjoy your day. Oh, look, it's a turtle cloud!