Saturday, March 31, 2007
I used to pride myself on being up on the latest technology. I had the latest, most up to date computer, once upon a time, an AT, large footprint, 40MB hard-drive that was partitioned 32/8 (Big Bad Mama and Lil Squirt). I menued that sucker myself, in Basic. In color! Just 30 little years later, and I have totally lost the ability to interact with my operating system. I have been trying for an age to get all these file out of my startup file so that I don't have to wait for them to load before taking off into the Internet ether. And now, even my VCR has revolted. I have this neat DVD/VCR dual deck in my bedroom, which suits me just fine, because I like doing movies in bed, with Boo and my big mug of hot chocolate. Recently, the DVD deck has refused to play. I tried all my tricks, like new batteries in the remote, open the little drawer and shut it a few times, turn it off and on a few dozen times, etc. Nothing worked. Then I asked a whole bunch of people, and the concensus was that to get it repaired would cost more than a new one, and so, I bit the bullet and bought one ( I also do not like to sacrifice or suffer without my creature comforts). And I couldn't get it to play, either. As a last resort, I got out the manual. And, voila, I figured it out! I also figured out how to get the OLD one to play, too. Sigh. Now it looks like the new one will go into the back room. Whatever, I feel very smart, and rich, both at the same time. And it was all an accident of hitting the wrong button on the remote. What a world!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
For a big-boned German-Scots-Irish fraulein, I have an amazingly touchy little body. Other women sail through menopause without a single twinge, while I stew and turn red and my glasses fog over, every twenty minutes, 24/7/365. I am easily chilled, too, and almost froze off my extremities Wednesday, when I looked out and saw sunshine, and went off in too little clothes. The wind was up and it was icy cold. Then I got my barometer headache. My sinuses do not adapt well to changes in the barometric pressure. I slogged to school, of course, but am really off my feed, and now hunkered down, fortified with aspirin and praying for sleep. Last night was better, but still, not a whole night of rest. Oh, and gee, there's another hot flash! Actually, when I think about it, I am my own microclimate, self-contained as it were. Lucky me! Homework is on the back burner, as well as midterm on Tuesday in art history. If nothing changes in the next few days, the pressure should equalize for a while. Oh, and maybe I will be able to finish mowing the back lawn. That would be nice.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
After wowwing them in drawing class, I crashed and burned in algebra, with a 73 on the last test. Okay, that's a C, nothing to be ashamed of,and, anyway, if I do better on the next two (and, honestly, it doesn't seem that hard to better than that), teacher will drop this one. Meanwhile, I will just keep swimming, as Dory says in Finding Nemo, my favorite spiritual movie. Today, I drew two perspectives of objects in a shoebox, viewing them from holes cut in one end. It was challenging, mostly because I don't see that well at that distance. My eyes work well for objects far away, so driving is not a problem, and I use readers to, well, read and do close work. But intermediate stuff, like on the television, and at the end of a shoebox, well, that's problematical. So I cheated and made the holes larger. That worked just fine, actually, and I got the darned things done. While the algebra left me wounded, I did make some fine drawings of walnut shells on Monday that I am very proud of. Okay, it's not the Mona Lisa, but, hey, even Leonardo had to start somewhere!
Monday, March 26, 2007
After learning that I am earning a B in painting class, today I got the good news that I am getting an A in drawing. Well, I like it, a lot, and I put a lot into my sketchbook. My elephant was a pip. I finished the drawing of the little building, and beefed up my Fokker (that's an airplane, in case you were wondering). Today, I did two dynamite walnut shells in charcoal. This is a different and wondrous medium for me. I just love smearing value all over the place. And that's what we did in painting class, too, charcoal sketches. Of ourselves. Yep, next assignment is a self-portrait. We looked at a lot of them today, Cezanne, Matisse, Julian Freud. My head is spinning. It would seem that almost anything goes here. I had fun drawing myself, and got the gyst of me on the paper, I think. Hard to say. Whatever, next is a torn paper collage of the portrait, with lots of different colors of paper. How creative can one get, anyway?
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I had a terrible algebra hangover yesterday morning, so I busied myself with prosaic tasks that required no thinking. My house got a scupulous cleaning, which began with emptying the vacuum receptacle of a winter's worth of dirt and silt, which immediately coated the whole surface of the vacuum itself. Fortunately, I am a sensible person, so I got out my blow-dryer and blew it all off into the sunset (I was on the back patio at the time, I've done this before and know better than to do it in the house). Boo was pretty spooked by the time I was done with this process, and had to have a Milkbone to calm down. After lunch and my soap, I headed out on my Friday errands. My path deviated pretty greatly, as I went to the hardware store. This is one of two places which are guaranteed to bring me to my knees (the second is the auto supply store), but I needed some stuff badly enough to brave it. My first and foremost need was a new tub stopper-upper. Since I am female and not adverse to asking directions, I did find one, and a little strainer thingy to catch the hair in, too. Then I needed wingnuts. See, I do know some hardware jargon. Wingnuts come in 99 different sizes, but, again, owing to my common sense, I brought one from the easel that is missing one. I didn't bring one from the other easel, though, only knew it was smaller than the one I brought. I mean, how many of these things can there be? Since there are many more than I could have imagined, I solved that problem by also buying the screw that fit the nut. How smart is that! I also picked up some snail bait, and I ran into two of my college chums, both of whom remembered me, so I felt really honored. Then, on to Target, to get a little pouch to keep in my new bookbag to hold my ID, makeup and $$$. And, I wanted to replace the sunglasses I lost last week (sunglasses and umbrellas are collateral damage to college, I find). Because I was such a good girl, I bought myself a little newsboy cap to put on when my hair is impossible, like about half the time. Did I mention my scholarship money arrived the day before? How sweet it is.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I love it when I get to the point of believing that stepping out my door is another great adventure, and I am there, again. Yesterday, I was on my way to my usual parking lot across the street from school, and I noticed this little sign on the big, new parking garage (which has been under construction forever), and it said OPEN! I was in the wrong lane to turn into it, so I continued on, and, just to be sure, I peeked in as I passed, and, lo and behold, there were cars parked in there! So, today, I parked there, too. Imagine, no more playing chicken with the traffic on Mendocino Ave.! No more lugging heavy bags and portfolios, and trusting that the crosswalk flasher really HAS been activated! Of course, it is three months behind schedule, but hey! I'm happy anyway. The rest of my day was lighter because of this. Yeah, I'm a cheap date, but that is the real key to happiness, in my book. The fewer expectations I have, the happier I am. Which is good, because I had an algebra test today. No expectations there, for sure.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
It is the time of year that Californians snicker up their (short) sleeves. While much of the country still languishes under a carpet of dirty snow, the mustard is blooming in the vineyards and the thermometer is edging up through the 70's. Balmy little breezes waft through the acacia trees and the plum trees are in blossom. So, whenever we aren't up hugging trees in the redwoods or lolling in the back of stretch-out limos on our weekly wine-tasting jaunts, we are out in the yard mowing and trimming, running around the lake, playing tennis at the corner park, and chasing our dogs up and down our lovely beaches. And, to be fair, some of us are lined up at the allergy clinic for our shots, too. With all this in mind, I made the big wardrobe exchange this weekend, unpacking my spring-summer wardrobe from its storage containers in the back room, and refilling them with sweaters and flannel pjs. It is like opening a great big surprise package. My, I have some cute tee shirts! And the best news of all; my capris and shorts still fit! That made my week right there. Hell, it made my season.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I want my hour back! Change is not my strong suit. I have gotten used to the seasons changing. It is easier than moping around a lot, muttering under my breath. And spring is nice, actually. But couldn't we do it without monkeying around with the time? As I grow older, it takes longer and longer to get used to it. My internal clock relies as much on the angle of the sunlight as my (pseudo) lawn does. It knew to start growing long again, all by itself. Me, I tried to ignore that fact. And for one little person, I seem to have an awful lot of clocks to change, besides the aforementioned internal one. It started with my watch, and, most importantly, my alarm clock. There is the one on the wall over my computer. And, oh look! The computer itself needs changing, which means the laptop probably needs attention, too. In the kitchen, the stove, the microwave and the coffeemaker. Then there are the VCR's, two of them. That's, let's see, TEN clocks. Amend that, eleven. There's the one in the car, also. Well, I lied. The stove didn't have to be changed because it never go set back last fall ( I couldn't figure out how to do it). I am consoling myself the I will, eventually, get this hour back, in six frigging months. At the moment, it isn't helping, though.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Midterm grades are out, and I am earning a B in painting. Not surprised. So far, efforts have been less than stellar. Must figure out what is out of whack here. Drawing is better, easier in many ways. I have started an at-home sketchbook, preparatory to doing real drawings, which require more than a No. 2 pencil. Bought a drawing board today, as we begin the 18"x 24" size next week. What a glorious day today is! Spring has arrived, and with it, need to mow lawns. Backyard will need to be whacked down first. I am just about to go wheel the lawnmower out and see if it is in the mood to go to work, again. Lots of things have come up in front that weren't there last year, at least, I don't remember them being there. And my bulbs are coming up, again. It's like magic!
Friday, March 09, 2007
I have decided that I am either magnificently well-adjusted or totally bugnuts insane. I really like being alone. Thursday, I got home from school, caught the last 10 minutes of my soap, which is all you really need to see, because anything that is going to happen does in the last 10 minutes, or it doesn't happen at all. I had a little snack, some trail mix, and sat down at the computer to decompress with some mahjohng, my favorite computer passtime. To accompany this, I selected an album of French art music, you know, some Debussy, Offenbach, Ravel, a little Bizet, stuff like that. Now, I usually don't think of the French when I think MUSIC. I tend toward the Germans and the Russians. But this selection was delectable. I particularly love that French sense of humor, and it was there in abundance, in Dukas' Sorceror's Apprentice, in Saint-Saens Dance Macabre. I found myself smiling. It reminds me that I need to take myself lightly. Put down the algebra, and all the picky stuff about my painting, that is composed all wrong and over-worked and generally a mess. Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I have painting class every Monday and Wednesday. Currently, we are doing two still lifes, from the same setup, one in brush and the other in palette knife. This means that I lug a bag of fruit to and from school on those days, two apples and one lemon. There is only one apple in the composition, but, you know how unreliable apples are. I take an extra one in case a big bruise springs up somewhere. So far, I have been able to remember and not leave those poor little fruits in my art locker to wither away. Actually, the lemon is the same one I used to draw in drawing class earlier in the semester. Hardy little things, lemons. A little refrigeration goes a long way. And Monday, I am supposed to bring a (white) onion and a (yellow) pepper to drawing class. I guess they can share the bag with the lemon and the apples. I guess that is better than the baseball mitt I was supposed to bring this week, like I have access to sporting equipment. What with trips to the grocery store and trips to the art supply store for yet more stuff, weekends are pretty busy here. And I am doing the brush still life over, because I didn't think enough about the composition and hate the mess I made at school. Well, that will keep me out of trouble for a few hours. Algebra and oil painting. My brain is well-toned, right and left.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
I have lost my broom. Cannot find that sucker anywhere. Says something about my process here, doesn't it. And I was all ready to sweep up the camelia blooms that have dropped, too. So I am back here, at the computer, listening to choral music, which seems oddly appropos because most of it is religious in nature, Verdi's Requium, Bruckener's Ave Maria. My life is steeped in Christian iconography these days what with art history and the Renaissance. I get that there was a fervency about Christianity in the music and the art of the period. I also get that artists, if they wanted to create at all, were pretty much restricted to this subject. And then came the rebirth of humanism, and we got to see things like Primavera, and the Mona Lisa. And the middle class rose from the dust, and wonderful portraits and still lifes were created. Very little is now created for the sake of religion, unless you count the recent upsurge of angels, everywhere. Ah, but the angels on my Classic Angel Screensavers are all 500 years old. I saw most of them hanging on the walls of the Vatican Museum, or in the Uffizi. Where was I going with that? I guess I will mosey over to Costco, get a new broom with the savings on ZipLoc Bags and other sundry, absolutely necessary supplies. There's a thought.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This last week, that is. I got irritated and decided to stay in my misery most of yesterday. It was cold. I had a huge load of stuff that I was trundling to painting class, mostly props for the new still life in painting class. I also had some (really big) library books that needed returning, and then did not get my morning brew because I had to beg for some help in the math lab on this really obtuse word problem on our algebra homework. Our drawing class met upstairs, in the room I don't like, and we did perspective drawing, which I detest. And then Kevin waxed eloquent and was, as usual, late letting us go which meant I had about 15 minutes to eat before trundling over to algebra class. We saw slides in painting class, Cezanne and Matisse mostly, still lifes, and then she reviewed our objects. I realized I brought all the wrong stuff. Sigh. Nevertheless, I arranged some of it, and did some quick sketches. Then I slogged back across the streetto my car, totally whipped. Boo and I retired early. This morning I got to have my coffee, and spent a happy hour sipping and calculating my algebra homework. Art history was about Michelangelo, one of my favorites. I had a book about him when I was 20, and 37 years later actually got to see his work up close and personal. Today in class, I was inspired by the amazing vision the man had. I had forgotten the expression on David's face, pained at the necessity of his next act. The artist captured the moment of greatest tension in this magnificent work. I left class feeling great to be alive. I ran into several friends today who were happy to see me. Algebra was fun, and I understood what we are doing currently, always a delightful moment. It didn't rain till I was home and cozy. I saw a sponsee who told me, now that she is sponsoring a woman, how amazed she was at my capacity to listen and not try to fix her. I made my favorite dinner, Mexican pizza, and played a few games with the computer to decompress after paying my bills, while listening to some symphonic music. Life is good today. Funny how that happens.