Happy Holidays

I hope everyone is having a great winter holiday season. And I wish the best for all of you in 2012. 2011 was not a great year for me. I had a good time with my family, but personal health crapola, no other word for it, and a few other big stressors really just made it a crap year.

It all started right on Jan 3rd, or so, so I am hoping that if I get past the first week in 2012 without a literal or figurative piano landing on my head, it’s a good omen.

May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be well
May you feel peace, and be at ease
May you be happy.

Fumbling towards Ecstacy – and standing still.

Life is…. life, these days.

Fun, fulfilling. But I feel the need for deeper connections with humans, these days. More of them.
And, I suppose, within my own family. Yet at the same time, lethargy has set in. Day in, day out.

For me, maybe this is a “con” of the internet. I have dear friends in my life, and most of them do not live where I do. A small handful do, and I am thankful for that. But my tribe is so far flung, and I think it hampers my overall satisfaction with my connections with others. I have always had room in my heart for more than one person. I love many people, deeply. DLJ is the only one that this love translates into a physical relationship, and the commitments of a partnership, but I love others, too. Connections run deep across the planet for me, but I know it isn’t the same as being there. Lately I have been wanting more deep, meaningful relationships with others. I feel this is mostly a desire to have more feedback, more interaction. Meaningful interaction, not just daily conversations with adults, the way I would if I had a full time job.
I seek experience. I always have. As a Mom with a little dude, right now my outside experiences are very few, so I know I am wanting others to bring me their lives and stories, while mine is relatively in one place, stable. Domesticated, frankly.
I wonder what the future will be. Meanwhile, I should be more content with my present. It’s what I have now, it is what we all have, right now. But I am being coached to also dream of the future, and use that for present happiness now. Planning for later, now, so that I am ready for later, when it comes.
I really want a clone. There’s just too much I want to do, and not enough time, leniency, personal freedom to do it all. And that includes being a Mom, at home, as I am. I don’t want that to go away. Just…can’t do it all.
Grass is always greener.

No room to move

Such a busy weekend. We just had bamboo floors installed in the living room and dining room, after ripping out all the carpet ourselves. White carpet in a dining room. Who does that?
Along with this is the obligatory moving around of furniture, and getting rid of things we don’t use, or giving them a better use.

Slowly but surely. The floor guys need to come back to finish the stair that goes into the sunken living room, but that is about it.

We had a birthday party to go to yesterday, and another one today. I am feverishly putting together inventory to put in a gallery tomorrow. And then I need to make MORE. MORE MORE MORE to fill out my offerings, and to put some others back out at the coast, and then try to get some up on Etsy, too. STUDIO TIME: NEEDED!

We said goodbye to a dear friend 2 days ago, our cat Lolita, who was 20. She moved in with DLJ years ago in Oakland, California. Her physical descent was quick into kidney failure and we brought her to the vet to stop her pain on Friday. It was a sad day, but I feel better knowing she is no longer declining. She wasn’t eating at all and every day looked worse and worse. She wasn’t Lolita as we knew her, so I know we were doing the right thing.

Life goes on. Halloween, we are finishing up Derek’s costume today, and need to carve one more pumpkin.
With that, we are quite busy today. I sort of envy the snow storm in the east, I know the power outages and such are not fun, but there is something cozy about a house with all that snow…. if you have power and heat somehow, of course.

Happy Halloween/Samhain!

Yeah.

It was Fucking GOOD. And they DIDN’T play “Save a Prayer,” which made my night. Love them, but I am very tired of that one at every.single.show.

My seat, as one can see, was…well, you can’t get better than front row center as a Duranie like me. I got two Simon smiles directed at me, one for being so freaking HAPPY and smiling, and one with a finger pointing at me for flashing little devil horns during “Notorious” on the “flaky bandit” line, which is a lyric poking at Andy Taylor.

A little short, but fabulous. I am so glad Simon is singing again and I hope he takes care of his voice to last all tour, and for many more tours in the future. The opener, Neon Trees, were fun, too! May the tour be wonderful, boys!

Simon Lebon, Sept. 24th, 2011 @ Theatre of the Clouds

The City Rises….and Takes Europa and Verre Darkly with it….

When Thomas first starting making noises about creating an online game to go with his upcoming album, A Map of the Floating City, I certainly had my doubts.

Thomas has always been a catalyst as long as I have known him, and it’s clear this has been the case for longer than that. He comes up with an idea, and just runs with it, no idea how to do it or exactly who does, but he’s off and sprinting down the street far ahead of you. He’s running with scissors over and over again.

The world needs the dreamers. And Thomas has this amazing ability to catch you up in what he is doing, and before you know it, you’re hooked in and believing, too.
I don’t know how he does it.

You start out flying down to San Francisco to discuss going on a tour as the booth bunny selling concert shirts, and you end up doing that AND being the tour manager AND the one managing/herding the aftershow meet n’ greets at the same time.

I still don’t know how that one happened. Which is perfect Thomas. It just happens.

But I have learned to trust him, which is a testament to his vision and lack of fear in chasing after it, even if he has no idea how to get from the vision to reality. He finds people who can help him, and take his ideas and work with him and make them come true.

As folks came together for The Floating City (FC), we starting meeting each other on Google Wave to talk about ways to promote the album. This got too prolific, bulky, and easy to get lost in, and when we heard Google Wave was going south, we moved to Skype.

Somewhere in there, when the plot started to form and people were thinking about characters, Thomas mentioned having objects and people from his songs, and I jokingly yelled “Shotgun!” on Europa.

She had no plot, nothing, but when the time came in our discussions in Skype chat, he remembered. “Lunesse has dibs on Europa!”

The rest is just weeks of planning, coding, and a lot of hard work by the developers. We all went nuts making WAY too crazy plots for the FC that were completely over detailed and complex. (We had faith in Dolby fans, they could handle it.) But we hoped to have a gaming crowd, too, who maybe never had heard of his music. Dolby fans are quite a unique, cerebral bunch, and we knew gamers were too…but they’d have to be indoctrinated before going off chasing equations, mad scientist theories and math that makes MY head hurt.

As a G.O.D., we didn’t all have the whole picture. At all. I had been sent a basic plot line, since Europa was to be a part of it, to embellish and add to. For a while, all of us were adding character personalities and other ideas on a wiki. The storyline grew in a very organic fashion.

I decided that since Europa was going to disappear for a large hunk of the game, I didn’t want to sit around doing nothing watching everyone else have fun, so I made a secondary character.

Verre (“glass” in French, I am a glass artist)was created from the start to be a sort of Greek Chorus. I thought at first she’d be for anyone to use who needed a deus ex machina. So it was fitting she also became a G.O.D. Her visions allowed her to gently push plot if things were totally going…. AWRY (inside joke for you FCers). That aspect of Verre was not used as much as I had thought, mostly to keep Europa in the minds of players after her kidnap. And I pretty much was the only one who used her, which was great.

That was a hard day. Europa didn’t say much, being under such strict watch by Po. We needed more players to be aware of her, so a live chat was decided upon, where Europa would meet in a bar with her old friend Soot, and the players could have real face to face time for the first time, while that plot unfolded. I worked with Soot to create lines that week, we got on Skype voice chat with some other G.O.D.s and devs while we unloaded our lines in chat, half scripted, half spontaneous. This was terrific fun, but when Europa left I felt sad, knowing she would be gone for weeks, and she was so loved, the players really took to her, trying to help her have some joy the life set before her.

And, now you know why Verre wasn’t there. ;)

The courtroom trial, the first one, was just epic. It was a LOAD of fun, with Andrea, Sara, Nikki, Paul, Grant, Thomas, Melissa and me all crowded in one live Skype chat, all talking behind the scenes while we went through the scene. Hearing the voices of some of these people was fantastic. I hadn’t seen Grant in years, nor Melissa, and have never met Paul, Nikki, Andrea or Sara in person. I wish everyone who played the game could experience what that hour was like. So much spontaneous extra dialogue, and the players! They players were amazing! We needed them quiet to get through the scene, unlike the crazy, busy bar where Europa and Soot had drinks, and they behaved perfectly! I had never seen an online chat so raptly paying attention.

The best part there was when one player came back from a Sortie, which are adventures the players could do to gain points, items and often a free download of Thomas’ music. The sortie held evidence that was needed for the trial, it turned out, for while the players behaved, they had an idea of their own how the story should go, which was exciting and live and oh NOW what do we do…..until that player arrived with information and sort of broke through the wall from player to actor. That for me was part of the magic of the game, when it was so real and fun the players became part of it as true characters.

By the way Verre WAS at that trial, but she had to duck out right before Europa showed up….so that Thomas could take her over temporarily, she had one very important line! ;)

I could go on, and on, but I will wrap it up.

It was VERY fun for me to NOT be Lunesse in the Floating City. I LOVE working for Thomas. Even when the work is crazy and there’s way too much and how the HELL can this all get done…even when I swore on tour I would never do his laundry, and like the sucker I am, I found myself watching his underwear spinning around and around in a dryer. I love his fans. I love helping them learn more about his music and answering questions as best I can, and watching their joy when they hear his music, or get to meet him backstage. Best job in the world.

But fun to leave behind while still staying in the Dolby universe. I got to role play both a character near and dear to many, and create a new one to float around without knowing the answers to esoteric Dolby questions. I got to interact and have fun without being the admin or the code monkey.

But I hope to see many of the players join up at Thomas’ official forum, The Flat Earth Society to hang out and make plans to meet as tour dates come up over the rest of this year and next year. I am honored to have been Europa, officially. I asked to have her back after the game ended, so that I can still use her on the FC forum. She’s fun.

Verre is still around too, but her character was slowly turning solid.

From her profile:
“She is accidentally affected by the powerful electrolysis cathodes fixed to the hull of her vessel. They are designed to attract coral and plankton, but they seem to be gradually turning Verre into a statue—someday, without help she will be just that, a solid maritime organism, frozen in time, gazing out over the bow of her vessel like a tragic Greek goddess.” The Greek Goddess who was the Greek chorus. Perhaps it is best she is left to gaze out across the sea from her old boat, so in love with her tribe and her alliance, with visions of a brighter future where everything knits together as it should.

It was an honor. I have met such talent in the rest of the team, in their creativity, their art, their humor and the dedication to supporting the Dreamer all the way to the end. We did it, ALL OF US who raised the city, player and G.O.D. and developers alike. See you in cyberspace, FCers. Don’t be shy!

Summer…..almost gone!

And I didn’t write in my wordpress! Shame on Luny.

Acutally, I will have a meaty entry in the next day or two. Promise, girl scout promise!

Enter Summer

It’s raining tonight. It’s a nice, cozy rain. We went to a birthday party earlier for one of Derek’s friends and it was a good time, good food and friends. There was a point were most of the kids were running in crazy circles around the house, faster and faster and louder, and eventually, two bonked and cried, but soon they were all running again, it was so loud we adults could barely talk…..
…except for Derek and one of his friends, who were over in the family room playing together, putting cars in a giant recycling truck, completely oblivious to all the craziness going on, which seemed impossible, it was so rambunctious.

I love my little dude!

I sold a lot of excess glass today, and my first flameworking torch. Sniff. But it had been sitting on a shelf. I repainted my studio Saturday, finishing up painting over most of the pale yellow areas a light blue. And now, suddenly, even though the paint job was quick and imperfect, I am on this minimalist kick in there. I took down posters, postcards, etc., in order to paint, and now I don’t want to put any of them back up. So for now they are stored away until I decide if I want anything in there again. Funny.

I just signed Derek up for his summer swimming lessons, so I think our summer schedule is now complete. A gym sports kind of class on Tuesday mornings, swimming on Thursday evenings, speech therapy on Fridays (he is doing very well with his stutter these weeks. Except when excited, it is almost nonexistent, which is very good progress and bodes well for the future with this and eliminating it completely) and then hopefully Friday playgroup. Oh, and a playgroup at his preschool in the forest on most Wednesdays. That leaves Monday for shopping, one day for a babysitter, and the rest of the time for playing with friends, hanging out at home, zoo, etc.

In other news, we bleached the hell out of our bathroom today. The shower pan is so old that the sealant is gone, and we can’t get it back on there (its a pebbled shower pan, huge and heavy.) So we can bleach it and leave it for two weeks. That means we shower downstairs for two weeks. Excitement around here, I tell you. Oh well, it will feel exotic, showering in a “new” location.

Thrilling, huh?

Emptying out.

I sold the glider chair today. The one I sat in with Derek the first days of his life in the world,all the way up until the day before we put his big boy bed that we built by hand into his room. That was Memorial Day weekend.
It went to a guy for his fiance, they are expecting a little girl. I sent him the links for the Miracle Blanket and Happiest Baby on the Block and wished him well.

*Sniff*

I got the glider used myself, so I ended up breaking even on it.

How they grow. But Derek’s room looks nice, with lots more room with that big chair gone. Still. So many evenings, mornings, late nights…..listening to the guy deliver newspapers at 3:30 AM, when I was up night after night when he was….watching the seasons change from that chair….


Derek in the chair with Gram, just a few days old. Can’t see the chair but… whatever. =)

time. it passes. pay attention.

Rainy Holiday weekend.

Well, I guess it is not the weekend yet. Derek is upstairs and I am trying to get him dressed to go swimming, but he is being very dawdly today. I fear this will end in a freakout when it is too late to go swimming, but he has to learn to get dressed at least semi-efficiently if he wants to go out.

The rain is pouring down, I can hear it through the layers of wood and insulation that is the roof.

Our big project this weekend is Derek’s bed. He will be 4 in August, but still sleeps in his coverted crib, it just has a low bar along one side so he doesn’t fall out. He has been so happy in it over time we saw no reason to hurry to move to a twin size bed. I am sure he is the last of his friends to make the switch, but little childhood is so fleeting, we are in no hurry….but he is getting TALL. It’s time, soon he will be squished out of the bed anyway.

So I have been very mindful this past week at bedtime, at what it feels like to sit right next to him, holding his hand before we leave the room, what he looks like when we walk in to check on him, the size of him in this bed, his very first one, save for the sidecar crib we had next to me in our room when he was an infant. I am eager to make his new bed, but I am indeed taking the time to stop and reflect and enjoy these last nights and naps where I can sit right next to him, even lay down, my hand still holding his. I remember putting the crib together before he was born. It goes so fast…but not as fast as it would if I was hurrying to the next stage, and not stopping to reflect. The days are long, the years are short. I remember this every day.

His new bed is in the garage, ready to be built. We are making it ourselves, and it will have a jungle theme to it. I picked up the paint yesterday, the wood is all cut and just needs to be sanded. By the end of this holiday weekend, he should have his new bed, mostly. I have a few things I need to get for it still, but it will be read for sleeping.

I will be sure to post a picture when it is all completed.

Lime Swirl

One of those pieces I will have real trouble putting up for sale next weekend. One of a kind, not sure I can do it again so nicely in terms of the glass texture. Needs a touch more finishing on the bail.


Lime Swirl Pendant

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