Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I am desperately aware of the loss of my check card. My spending habits are seriously curtailed here! It's not as if I couldn't write a check. However, the lack of my driver's license makes that problematical, too. And I really need to shop! I get paid tomorrow, and that means it is time to color my hair, and I don't have a surplus of hair coloring to do that available. Buying my hair color usually also means I buy a supply of bubblebath, a DVD, and possibly a T-shirt, too. Not this month. I will pay cash for the hair color, that is not a problem. No gray roots for me, oh, nonono. I will just have to be T-shirt deprived for a little while. Really, two weeks is a little while. And this is such a quality problem. More better I spend my time pulling weeds and raking leaves than plying the aisles at Target, anyway. Saves $$$ and gasoline. A walk to the drugstore is in the plan today. Exercise and frugality. How righteous is that!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Strange things happen around the little yellow house. The TV in the bedroom changes the channel, all by itself. I thought it must be Boo stepping on the remote, which is usually on the bed, where Boo usually is, too. But no. It happens even if the remote is tucked into the cute little white eyelet pocket by the side of the bed, the side away from the TV. Yesterday, the TV turned itself off! At least I think it did, I don't remember doing it. And this computer, well, it fights the good fight to keep my settings, the desktop I selected, ditto the screensaver. But every so often, the Classic Angels program just bullies it into accepting its priority, and bingo, it's baaaaack! Not that I don't like the Classic Angels program. I actually got to see most of these paintings in person when I went to Italy. I like angels. It's just that I like my own photos better. Currently my desktop is flaunting a picture of one of the Wild Rose Drive roses from last spring, an amazing golden yellow one. I also change the appearance to match the desktop, so I am currently writing on a soft, buttery yellow framed by the same golden yellow as the rose. How clever am I! That at least will remain, after the angels highjack my system again.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Grades are all in, three As and my humility B, in algebra. Great lesson here. Just do your best, and leave the result up to the Universe. The Universe thinks I need some humility. That's that problem with prayers. Sometimes the answer is no. Ihave the great pride in soing the best I can, anyway. The gifts I have been given are prodigious. I guess that is what makes it so irksome that I cannot always be perfect. There is a gift, there, too. What would be so wonderful about perfection if one wasn't imperfect sometimes, too?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Finals are over! I told my algebra teacher about my need for at least a 91 on this test, and he said he would do his best. I certainly did. I learned a lot about myself in the painting critique, and what I need to work on with the en plein air pieces, like more contrast in value, less attention to tiny details, more impressionistic expression. The art history final began at 7:30 AM this morning, and the young woman behind me yawned her way through the test. I may have missed a question or two, but no more than that. The teacher got a little futzy this time with her questions, like was Lorrain a poussiniste? Your call. I am feeling really good about this semester. It was a total triumph, loss of little purse notwithstanding. I figured out a bunch more stuff, wowwed my painting teacher with my self-portrait, started a portfolio to be considered for an art scholarship. Now I am ready for il bel far niente, the beauty of doing nothing. Well, nothing except for yardwork, house cleaning, car washing, laundry, dog-walking, and an occasional class at the recreation center. Oh, and plein air painting, drawing, and a whole lot of reading.
In the midst of this week's finals, I lost my little pouch with my driver's license, check card, student ID, Costco card and Safeway card in it, along with abou $17 and a whole mess of makeup. There was a moment of momentary panic, but I had to rush off to my painting class final critique, so I was spared a lot of hand-wringing and frenzied searching, till three hours later. Alas, no sign of that puppy. So begins the rounds of irritating form-filling-out humility. The check card was on the top of the list, of course. They now charge $5 to replace it. And it takes 7 - 10 days to get a new one. That's banking days of course, business-speak for you're-out-of-luck-for-two-freaking-weeks, ladie. It was too late to do anything else yesterday, so, after driving illegally to my art history final, I drove, equally illegally, to the DMV, to get legal again. Those bozos charged me $21 for a duplicate license! Whatever, I am legal, again. What a relief. The rest of the stuff will be handled later, probably after I get my #$&(*$ check card, and will not cost me any more $$$. Yes, it could be worse. Whoever found it could have run up a big bunch of charges (they didn't). But it could have been better, too. Someone could have turned it in to the lost and found, and it would have found its way back to me. I hope whoever found it enjoys my lousy picture on my student ID, and finds a good use for my money.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It is 8:15 AM, I am up, washed, brushed,dressed, coifed (if a slapdash ponytail counts), and fed. My algebra final is scheduled for 10 AM. I have decided that, if I don't know it now, I don't know it at all. I reviewed all day yesterday, and have my notes in my bookbag should I feel the need to look them over again. Probably not, though. I am trusting that my brain and HP will work just fine today. So I am relaxing here, checking my e-mail, sipping my coffee, looking out the window on this glorious day. We are having a spell of perfection here. This is not as rare as one may think, and is one of the reasons that I cannot imagine ever living anywhere else. Boo and I took a walk at 7:30 PM last night, in sweet warm air with just a hint of breeze ruffling the tops of the trees around us. Despite the fact that I came home with a bag full of Boo poo, it was just heavenly after a day of plying the vicissitudes of i, factorials, sequences, and the quadratic formula. Go ahead, ask me the equation for a circle! I think everything I need to remember is on that one sheet of paper my dear teacher lets us bring with us. I heard one young woman ask him if she could write on both sides. Well, duh! I figured that one out for myself. After all, I'm in college!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I once bought a book by that title. I really was interested in the mechanics of coin operated vending machines, and airplanes. It is still around here, somewhere. Later, I became interested in the operation of the Universe. Some pretty uncanny things happened to me, and I felt that there was a greater Hand in motion than mine. And though I now have a bookcase full of books that profess knowledge in that regard, it is still as big a Mystery to me today. That is interesting, isn't it. I find real Joy in living in the Mystery. I had to plunge into a great Well of Sorrow to learn that. It was worth it. Anyway, my life still operates that way. For instance, a few Christmases ago, my son gave me a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret. After a lot of fantasizing, mostly about my underwear size, I decided on a sweet tuxedo shirt of a nighty, soft cotton, tiny pintucks, tres cute. Also tres comfy, I loved it. Then, on Mother's Day, my daughter gave me the same nighty, though she didn't know about the first one. Twilight Zone moment? Not really. It happens a lot. And again this Mother's Day. A friend told me about a book she was reading, and wrote the title down on a page of her daybook. I put it up on my refrigerator and promptly forgot about it in the flurry of the new semester. Then I unwrapped my daughter's gift, Eat, Pray, Love. Even then it did not register. But when I got home, I was cleaning off the counter beside the fridge, and peaking out from under my magnetized memo pad that says Wise Loving Compassionate Graceful Strong (I didn't buy it for myself, it too was a gift) was that little scrap of Robin's calendar, that said Eat, Pray, Love. Thank you, daughter! Thank you, Universe! I love this book. Not surprisingly, it is about a woman's inner journey to Joy, that begins with a great wave of grief. Wow.
Monday, May 21, 2007
When I was newly sober, and totally confused, I read a book by Gary Zukav called The Seat of the Soul (Oprah later picked up on it, much later, years later, but it was mine first). He talks about emotions determining our level of spiritual growth, that the lower level emotions of hate and fear and pain and anger resonate at a much lower frequency than love and compassion and forgiveness. That made sense to me, since I seemed to be humming all the time. And he talked about light. It seemed to me that my dis-ease was about mucking around in the darkness, one of my own making, but darkness, nonethless. Being in the light was immensely frightening at first, because I knew I could be seen there, warts and all. Seventeen years later, I can still feel the seductive pull of the darkness on occasion, usually when I am in one of my desperately human phases, where mistakes tend to occur with alarming frequency. But most of the time, I try to shine my meager little light out into this scary old world. I got some feedback about that today from my drawing teacher when I presented my portfolio (big fat A, yay!). He said I was the pivotal person in the class this semester, one that he could count on to bring up the level of persistence among the younger people. Wow. That's such grace. And how happy I am he didn't tell me that earlier. It would have spiraled me down into fear of letting him down. What a gift this life is. How seldom I remember that.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I just finished reading the 6th Harry Potter tome, for the second (or is it third?) time. This works for me as I have a very poor memory, and it felt like the first time, again. I also reread the 5th book, definitely for the third time. All this is in preparation for the 7th book, which is coming out July 21. My timing was a little off, though. I should have saved this for later, like just before the release. Now I must go through Harry Potter withdrawal, yet again. Gee, I just love that little guy. He is perfectly imperfect, prone to rash moments that, in the wizarding world, can be beyond disastrous. Yet he embodies all the pathos of knowing his parents were murdered by pure evil. And he has some of that spirit living in him, as well. Sounds like most of us, actually. So, I am now in Harry Potter limbo, again. There is a bright spot; the 5th movie will be released, just a week before the book. And while I own all the movies to date, and just think that Daniel Radcliffe is perfection as Harry, it is the books that really do it for me. That has really always been true. Gone with the Wind, for instance. While Clark Gable was the perfect Rhett, and Vivian Leigh an admirable Scarlett, I always invisioned Ashley a lot more masculine than what's-his-name, that wimpy guy who played him. And they left out big bunches of the story, like two of Scarlett's children! How rotten is that! Anyway, must find a way to survive till July. And after that, oh dear! This is the final book! Well, that's okay. It will be time afterwards to revisit the first four books, and by the time I am done, I will have forgotten what was in the 5th - 7th again! (Leslie Howard! That was the guy.)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Finals week looms. Gulp. Let's see, I had my conference with my painting teacher, and I will get my treasured A in painting. Yay! I already have an A in drawing, but must dig up a stick (interesting one, all twisty and gnarly) for class tomorrow, and put together a portfolio of drawings for his review on Monday, and I hope to do some studies of Mary Cassat to show him. Nothing on Tuesday, except studying for algebra test on Wednesday morning, followed by critique of 4 en plein air paintings in afternoon (3 are done, must get one more by then). Then home to study for art history test Thursday morning at (oh, God) 7:30 AM. Hard to discern Fragonard from Watteau from De La Tour, though Constable and Turner are easily sorted out, as are Manet and Monet. Definitely have a head full of stuff to remember. It all seems doable, though. Plenty of time, and I have given the work my time and attention. If it isn't there now, it never will be. Even the math is making some sense to me, and I am excited to be completing another semester of higher education. Big WOW.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Last week of the semester. That means fewer classes, some are actually cancelled. Others are optional. I have to complete one more painting, and put together a portfolio of drawings for the teacher. Two finals, first in algebra (multiple choice, fill-in questions, yay!) and art history (always a walk in the park, easy to remember). And it is another triumph, grade-wise, especially since I raised my grade to an A in painting with my self portrait. Lots of stuff to lug around, though. I dragged three paintings back to school today for review, and have one more really big one to bring home Wednesday. Oh, no, two, because the self portrait is still in the student art show, and how wonderful was that! Lovely to be validated, and to know that I am on the right path, at last. I almost bought a huge straw hat yesterday while my kids and I prowled around Union Street in San Francisco, but felt it was a little pricey. Next month. For my birthday, maybe.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
End of semester time. Time to stress over finals and reviews. Time to wonder what this whole shebang was about in the first place. Higher education, it's just dreadful! They not only expect you to learn things, you're supposed the remember them, too! At least long enough to prove to them you were sitting there the whole semester. Well, actually, all my professors know I was there, I made myself pretty evident. And the final is only one aspect of my final grade. I have earned most of it already. And I love Art History and have aced the tests in the past. And algebra is a bust before the semester even begins. I love it, and can't do it to save my soul. There are no tests in drawing or painting, just review of work accomplished. And yesterday in drawing, we examined our sports pictures. I knew what he wanted; two figures in close proximity, in action, an exploration of the spaces between them. That is what I rendered, two baseball players, one leaping into the air, one sliding in beneath him. And I was unhappy with it, till I saw what the other students did. Then I knew I am really okay here. Really.
Monday, May 07, 2007
...if life would just perk along, never a hiccup or burp? I was sitting in the waiting room at the tire place this morning, realizing that I hated having to sit there. In other words, I was making myself miserable, over a little thing like a flat tire. Perspective! I needed some perspective. Like the tire could have blown out while I was barrelling down River Road Saturday afternoon and I could have been roadkill, a flat furry spot on the pavement, instead of sipping my coffee, listening to the "Stabat Mater" on my iPod, doing logarithmic equations in preparation for my algebra test this afternoon. So what if it was all rubbery smelling there? So what if I missed my drawing class? I had perfect attendance up until today. Emergencies happen. Car emergencies are the easiest to deal with, anyway. They just take a little time, and a whole lot of money. I could afford both, though I would rather spend them differently. I actually got out of there in time to squeak into class, and decided not to. I decided to have a leisurely morning here at home with the Boo, do some more noodling with equations for circles, have some more coffee, with my feet up, happily knowing my buggy is all better.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Busy day yesterday. Meeting in morning, trip to Guerneville for fleamarket and writers' group. Back home to lawn mowing and then bath and dressing up for an evening at the theatre. And just as I was about to leave, I realized one of my tires was mostly flat. Ach! Well, I was going with a friend, so I grabbed my parking permit (play was on campus) and we drove in her car. Short term solution. Tire was still mostly flat this morning. I had formulated two scenarios last night. If tire was all the way flat, I would call AAA and have them put on that ditsy little training wheel Ford calls a spare tire, and deal with the tire repair Monday morning. I can afford to miss one episode of drawing class. And second option, if tire was still only mostly flat, I could hoof it over to the nearest hardware store for one of those cans of tire repair quick-fix-it gunk, and once again, deal with the repair later. Neither option was particularly appealing. I hate driving around with that stupid spare tire. And the nearest hardware store is about two miles away. Well, it hadn't deflated any more in the night, so I put on my walking shoes and headed out. I made a quick survey of the supermarket across the street, but they didn't even have a quart of oil. So I trudged on. It occurred to me that Safeway might just have the stuff I need, so I headed over there. It was on the way to the distant hardware store anyway. And as I walked, I remembered that I used to do this all the time. I put my hands in my pockets for a moment so I could feel my thighs getting all steely as I plodded on. It was a beauteous day, soft warm breeze, air all fragrant with blooming things. Surely this happened so I could learn something, right? Like how grateful I am to be so able-bodied at this time of life? As I rounded the corner to the Safeway complex, I realized there was a gas station across the street from it, right in my path. Surely a gas station would have some of that stuff. Those stores had to sell more that potato chips, Drumsticks and Bud. And sure enough, there it was! That meant my walk was shortened by half. Yay. On the way home, I walked along the creek in the blessed shade. Tire is all pumped up again, and let us pray it remains that way till tomorrow morning when all the tire joints are open. And I still have a reserve of energy to mow the back lawn when it cools a little this evening. And a little gunk left for the morning, if I need it.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
My iPod had issues. From the very beginning, it was difficult to undock from iTunes. It would sit there and blink this big red circle at me and prohibit me from disconnecting it. When I hit the eject button, I had a window of just seconds when the menu appeared on its tiny screen to get it unhooked before the dreaded red circle began doing its thing, again. Then, yesterday, I noticed that some of the selections were not what was playing. It had slipped a cog. So, when I plugged it in to recharge, iTunes recommended that I run a "restore", which sounded good to me, so I said "OK". iTunes told me that when completed, the icon for my iPod would reappear, and I could then load it up again with all the music I have stored in my library. Two hours later, and still no icon. Help! iTunes is not recognizing my iPod! And it was, of course, flashing that horrid red circle, promising dire consequences if I unplugged it. What to do? A trip to Apple.com was far from illuminating. So I went to bed. And I figured that what I would do is let it have the benefit of the doubt and wait till morning to see if my icon reappeared. If it didn't, I would turn off the computer and undock my baby, and plug it in again after restarting (reboot has always been a favorite remedy of mine). That is what I wound up doing, and I was prepared to put it back in its ingenius little box and return it to Costco, full of righteous indiganation. Instead, iTunes greeted us back with open arms. Now, it is all fully loaded again, and actually playing the selection on the screen. This is a good thing. I am of the opinion that I do not deserve to own any gadgets that are smarter than I am. Which means that I will be riding that learning curve for the rest of my natural days. Because I just adore these little gizmos.