Sunday, November 30, 2008

You Might Be Wondering What I Have Been Up To (or not!)

Honestly, these women do look better in person than they do on this scan! I made a few mistakes while trying to do this, but I had fun anyway. When I got everything painted, I covered the canvas in beeswax. It gives the whole thing a nice sheen. If you want to see all the printing you can click on the picture--it is honking huge, I did not reduce it for uploading as I often do. I want to do some more of these as inspiration strikes. It was a learning process. I learned you ought to kind of plan ahead, that you shouldn't get excited and draw and paint the figures before thinking about and doing the background. In my defense, I am accustomed to working in Photoshop where you can add and remove layers as you go, or you can delete down to the original and start all over again. Anyway, I like them, even though they look a bit spooky!

I've been off my beloved Diet Coke now for 10 days now. I do know it is better for me but I still miss my old friend and snacking buddy. Sniff, sniff. I think the doctor is all right, just maybe a little weird. Lord knows I can't fault a person for being weird! But the evidence from the blood tests was not so good. I'll give you three little hints, no four--sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure--and the accompanying medication, none of it was unexpected. Now I just have to deal with it and decide whether or not I want to take care of myself. Everything can be improved with weight loss, changes in my diet and exercise. In dispensing the prescription for the diabetes, he said "I can give you medicine to help you along. I can't heal you. But you can possibly heal yourself." So, there is hope (there is always some sort of hope). I asked the doctor if it was similar to an addict dealing with a drug addiction, where they often have to reach bottom and decide to do the things necessary to live a healthier life and he agreed that was pretty much the idea. The really sad thing is, I do not feel like I have "hit bottom". I am still sort of in denial. Hopefully that will change.

My nephew came in on Thanksgiving day carrying a brand new Nikon D80 camera, causing me to have a serious lusting spell. I have been wanting a new camera similar to that one.

I think I've decided what I want to take when I can start taking classes at the university. I am thinking about taking one class in the spring semester, but I don't know if I will be able to or not. Anyway, I am going take all my classes with the goal of majoring in Spanish with a minor in Art. Working full time and taking one or two classes a semester, it will probably take several years for me to actually earn a degree, but that is the path I am going to follow. I had three years of Spanish in high school and have always wished I could have continued to learn the language. As for the art, maybe I can learn more about how to draw pictures of women that are not so spooky looking! And I want to learn more about photography. I am pleased to have a goal in my head.

I am still loving my job. It is in some ways, quite the cushy position to have. The people students and faculty) are certainly fun and interesting. Sometimes dealing with the paperwork is a pain in the rear--we have had several people go on conferences and that means paperwork has to be filled out in proper order before and after the trip. It is absolutely amazing how helpless these PhD types can be when confronted with government paperwork! I don't understand half of it myself either. But I can always count on the friendly lady in "travel" to call and correct me when I am wrong. She does not speak, she barks. I don't think she means to be so gruff, it is just that travel is what she does all day long and she can't understand why the rest of us can't get the forms filled out correctly (and she has worked there for a bajillion years and is in an office in a round building with no window and a curved wall covered in brick--that alone ought to be enough to drive anyone crazy, IMO)!

Well, this seems enough info for the day. Possibly there will be more to follow. . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Adventures in the Twilight Zone

NaBloPoMoWho??? I've definitely failed that task!

There are a couple of things I know that have distracted me from posting lately. One is that I feel downright bored and boring. Consequently, I am going to be tapering off my anti-depressant (with my doctor's approval). It seems to be my pattern that I get to where I need the medicine very badly, it works very well, and then becomes apparent that it is working too well because everything gets "dulled down" and "muted". It's like I can't feel anything anymore and I want my feeling back, even if "feeling" does not feel so good.

I worked Saturday on a painting/collage. I will post it when I am finished with it and can get a good picture of it. That's the other thing about being on an anti-depressant. My muse just disappears after a while. I've just decided, I think his name is Albert. If you see him wandering around anywhere, tell him to come back to me. I promise I will be nice and appreciative of him!

Christmas is barreling down on us like a freight train. I tend to get caught up in the expectations of the season, though probably like everyone else, things will be simpler this year. Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it will bring more reflection on the real meaning of the season.

I went to a new doctor this week. I pulled his name out of the list of people who were on my insurance plan. My old "new" doctor went and moved himself into the sleep clinic field. I am still mad at him about that. But this new "new" guy, well that was a trip. There was no one else in the waiting room when I got there. The receptionist was oozing enthusiasm about the doctor. "I think you'll like him," she said. Turns out, the man is her husband. They have six children, all home schooled, and they help out in the office too. I heard them talking to another patient, but I never SAW anyone else there but me. It felt a bit like walking onto a Twilight Zone set.

The doctor himself wants me to get off Diet Coke. I get the feeling he would want me to get off regular Coke if I was drinking that. He says the stuff is addicting and "you drink it to feel normal". He also says that even though it does not have that illegal stuff that was in it originally, the ingredients come from the same leaf, and that is not good (cue in the Twilight Zone music). It's no longer illegal, but it is not good, the stuff they put in there. I asked him if I could at least finish off what I have at home. He did not think that was too funny.

Of course I have to go do all the requisite blood work and then report back to him. I suspect the news will not be good on the blood work. I am getting to that age where all your bad eating habits seem to catch up with you. I suppose the good news is, I am still young enough to make changes that will benefit my health. I'm beginning to have scary little visions of returning for that followup visit. What if he is a nut job, and his wife is in on it with him? (Cue the Twilight Zone music again)

I'm kidding. Sort of.

Stay tuned for next week's episode. . .

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I seem to have lost a couple of days in my posting schedule! Ah well, it just proves that I can be flexible when necessary.

We've got a preacher guy who shows up every semester to share his version of the gospel. He stands out in the quad and just preaches his heart out to whoever is passing by. I am amazed at his stamina and his ability to project his voice. You can hear him from quite a distance. He just goes on and on, like the Energizer bunny. I have mixed feelings about him being out there. The students seem to see him as an odd distraction. I would guess that a lot of them have never heard this kind of hell fire and brimstone preaching. The people who work on campus seem to see him as an annoyance. It seems they recently had to call campus police to come and stand by. The preacher had specifically pointed out a couple of girls and announced they were dressed like wh*res. Some in the crowd were ready to defend the honor of the girls by jumping on the preacher. They were going to "shoot the messenger", so to speak.

Yesterday, on our way to the library book sale, we passed by him. He was sitting on a bench. I know he was praying. I appreciate his sincerity and admire his fortitude, though I am not so sure about his method. I'd like to sit with him and hear more about his story.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Still Undecided??

A yard sign in our neighborhood...

I hear he promises to flush out all cracks in the system.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mindless Blather

The month of NaBloPoMo has just begun and already I am mindlessly blathering on! Hopefully things will get better, and not worse as the month wears on!

Ok, so it is a phone photo, and I should not have tried to take a picture of something so far away with my phone but if you will click on the photo, you can see the curve of the bridge. I was too lazy this afternoon to open Photoshop and work on improving it. It is a very picturesque bridge. I've always been drawn to shapely bridges for some unknown reason.

We have been out of the loop for a while with church and three weeks ago, we started visiting a different one. I kind of like this one.

I have blog categories in my Bloglines list. Last night I read through blogs in my "photo" category and my "miscellaneous" category so if I commented on your blog and your blog is not really a "photo" blog, then you will know that I consider your blog to be difficult to peg into any normal category!! I've still got my "artsy-fartsy" and "faith" category to work through. The "faith" people are particularly prolific and often, their blogs require a little time to thoughtfully wade through. I may have to save them for next weekend to look through!

I'm wanting to do some artsy-fartsy work myself, but I need to pick up some supplies. My "crappy" brushes seem to have all been chewed up by the big dogs when they were here. I thought I had them put up far enough so they would not be in danger, but no, these dogs are talented. Grrr!!

I have to administer a serious test tomorrow. It is the first time I have had to do this and I am a bit nervous about doing it. Things have to be done just so and I am so afraid I am going to do something wrong. They are allotted four hours to complete the test but from what I have been told, it usually does not last that long. I have to bring a book to entertain myself (while also watching to make sure no one is cheating or anything). And I have to read instructions to them, like they are first graders. It is an important test for these students and I am sure they are all a bit nervous about it. I am too. It is some kind of counselor exam test.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A New Month

The beginning of November finds me with the task of attending yet another funeral for one of my son's friends. She leaves behind two small children, a boy who is three, and a girl who is only six months old. The father of the children is my son's best friend. Thankfully, the friend is a strong young man who pretty much has his act together. Both grandmothers are also actively involved in their lives too. They will provide some much needed support as well.

November is also National Blog Posting Month, so even though I have not officially signed up, I am making a commitment to myself to post something every day this month. I'm in a reflective mood these days so I don't know how this will turn out. I have several lists of journal prompts that I may draw from for subject matter and maybe on some days, I will just post a favorite quote or something.

I want to also slowly start catching up on some of my favorite blogs again. I have been "saving" the posts as unread in Bloglines and there are many to read through. I know I have missed some fun, thoughtful, goofy and intelligent stuff (I think that covers most of the personality types of the blogs I read!).

Many thanks to those of you who commented on the previous post. I appreciate the kind words and the spirit of support that was offered. I may not quite be "back", but I am stirring around a bit, and that is usually a fairly reliable indication of life (unless, of course, I am, like, just twitching involuntarily, in which case, you might want to ignore anything I say!).