click click

just started the kiln off on a coaster mission. When I fused my first pendants the kiln finished with an error saying it had been on too long. This time the firing schedule is very close to the same, it goes no hotter, just holds at a soak a little less long. It will be interesting to see what it says. Larger single piece of glass this time. I wrote it all down in my firing log like a good little glass artist. I need a piece of rug for that floor! It needs some warmth and atmosphere!

Time to go week through some clothes to see what I can donate, if anything. Books, too.

snarky grumpy morning comment

ok, chick in the duran community we GET that you were in the VH1 special. We understand, as you have mentioned it many, many, many times. We are happy for you. Now can we move on? You are so last week.

This comment brought by not having enough coffee and being too comfortable with media/interviews/music from being a newspaper entertainment editor for four years.

How bitchy of me.

I returned our lamps. That, plus a small windfall from a birthday present for DLJ that came late will make the cat bill managable. The vet was nice and also broke it up over the next two months.

Sorry I'm such a cranky pants. Lots of folks have larger problems. It's a lack of control thing, and lack of control always makes me upset. Like flying next week. Like watching money go places I didn't put it. I will be really happy when the last of this debt is paid. Maybe then I can feel like DLJ and I are a team again, working together. He's been really terrific these past months to fix things, but until it stops looming as a reminder of forces working against me…I'm not at peace.

I need a girl night out for a hot toddy and gossip. Anyone?

And in the simplify dept.

I have reread a book I picked up in 1991 called <A href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0920256368/qid%3D1103092679/sr%3D2-1/ref%3Dpd%5Fka%5Fb%5F2%5F1/002-4589175-7951205">A Reasonable Life</a>.
It's very idealistic and doesn't offer much in practicality of steps to take if one is already living in a city (the ultimate suggestion of this book is to leave the city, buy 2 acres in the country and grow food for you and to sell, and live in a community again instead of in a crowded mecca of small boxes where everyone sits and watches tv alone.) But it also just discusses, even back in the 90's, our obsession with size and more, more, more. The paper this weekend, in the home section, had as it's feature article a story on how the monster garage was a necessity now so that "people could commune with their cars." The lead quote was from a guy who said "I love my stuff, and now I have a six car garage and it's still not enough."
That's just the pinnacle of the problem. A six car garage isn't big enough for him to stash all his extra stuff that he "loves." Realtors are selling 1200 sq. ft. houses with 950 sq. ft. garages. Space for stuff, not for family, friends, community. The very existsence of "self-storage" in America is a testament to this obsession and spiral of debt surrounding owning THINGS. Storage is great if one is between homes, life changes, etc. But renting space for months and years just to hold the crap you can't fit in your house that you then "visit" now and then in storage? Just chuck it!
Bleah. I'm thinking about writing a letter to the editor on that one.
So what am I doing? Stressing over money a little, as we all know, but reading about more simple living and breathing easier. When I worry about this stuff I'm falling into the societal norm of having enough to BUY a lot. What I need right now is just enough to get by…getting by is OK when you aren't overspending and circling in envy and desire over what the guys next door have. That I don't do. What I want money for is saving it, so it could be worse, these frustrated feelings while the bills all fell at once on our heads. But I haven't dipped in savings yet, might have to when property taxes come by, but that is what that batch of savings is FOR.
I've also decreased my television time, which was already minimal.
One of my cousins has overprogrammed kids who have activities always scheduled, always, no time to just rest or read or do their own thing. So when they do have time…they watch tv. For HOURS. Hours of mindless staring. It bugs me that magazines sell drugs for our kids who have ADD, so fashionable…the symptoms of which are often misdiagnosed, but also, can be a result of watching so much television at a young age. All the fast editing, quick motions, quickly resolved plots and answering of desires…no wonder kids are suffering this nouveau mental disorder du jour. I watch ER, a home and garden show on Saturday Morning, and the Simpsons Sunday night. I've stopped watching the morning news, I read my news or hear it on the radio. I still play my video games, but less than 5 hours a week right now. These are positive moves for myself. If anything, reading has been my "passive drug" of choice, but I refuse to see reading books as such a thing. Yes, it's solitary, but it works the brain and the imagination. And as a writer, reading other's words is imperative to improving one's own faculties.
So that's how I am doing. And I'm planning my vegetable garden now, I know where it will go in the yard, next year I will be consuming my own foods that I grew myself, instead of buying packaged, trucked tomatoes, beans and potatoes. Gardening will be healthy food, healthy exercise and a way to connect back into life, instead of buying life in the glo-lights and fake rain of the produce aisle.

So that's how that is going, so far.
And I picked up some free ebooks on basic buddhism concepts, just to explore the principles. I won't let my glasses of wine stop me this time from at least learning more!

org changes

Have been announced at work. I know where I am going and it looks good. More projects, definite place for me. Still with the same folks, same structure, wider scope.

*sigh of relief*

and yet more bills

Our third cat is sick now, with a bad flu, and has been at the vet since Friday. Should be around $350-$400 by the time she comes home. Great. What ELSE? REALLY, WHAT. ELSE? Dental work now shoved off to next year. I still have my appt. a week from tomorrow. We should return the lamps we bought back in the summer that didn't come in until now. We would like them, but…they aren't neccesary and would pay off the cat bills. :/

I am tired from 21 hours of glass work in three days, but delighted. I have learned SO much about how to use the torch with fused projects. I have lots of goodies I made to use in the future, and the knowledge and notes to make them all again and again. Up this week: coasters for my sis in law, stringing two necklaces, one for my aunt and one for her partner. My commissioned piece is completed and now I just need to show my client the finished work in a photo tomorrow, so that he can offer up a price for it. Yep, casual, but it's a good friend. I will give him a minimum. <lj user="soulfulspirit"> will be happy to know I went shopping at Bullseye with the "make Luny better at glass" money she donated even through my protests for whatever freebie beads she desired. I now have a 20% discount on glass through the beginning of March. I should be able to save up here and there to make use of it at least once before it goes away. I bought new rods today and some silver foil, something to play with down after I procure a small tool from a craft store to enhance it with.

Tomorrow I get to go pick up my stuff mid-day. I also talked to my teacher about websites, she needs one. I told her we should talk, and she agreed. Must make a list of urls for her to see of my work.

This week:
Complete coasters. Complete necklaces. 4 hours work on Thomas's site. Get zipper fixed on pants. Clean office. Try to give some stuff away on Freecycle so I can start looking for an old rug on there for my studio floor.

Oh man. I totally SUCK. Ticketmaster sent me the password for Duran advance sale at San Jose and I didn't check my yahoo mail until now. There are folks I REALLY wanted to help out! (it was WOLF) DAMMIT.

Positive thing to say about today, to keep spirits up: I could see both St. Helens and Mt. Hood on the way to class, snow covered and silent. Beautiful.

absenteeism

Sorry, sorry, I've been away. 4 day glass class, dontchaknow.

One more full day then 2 hours on Monday. My brain is explody with new techniques and ideas. I'm glad I bought and paid for this class in July when we were both still working!

fiscally not conservative today.

Today the Portland Duran Duran tix go on sale. I told myself months ago when they did I'd go for the big tix. You can buy yourself into the first five rows, you see. The day is here, after more than half a year of knowing it was coming. DLJ isn't working, there's all that dental stuff, other things, property taxes are coming up…
The urge to NOT buy them is strong. But I really want to! I rarely buy big stuff, and I'm buying a memory, a fun time. I have been a fan since the early 80's, I've seen them at least 14 times, but never the original five members. Many times I've had great seats, I've been in the front row in a teeny club with only 300 people in it, I've met Simon 3 times, one of them just him and me at the Embarcadero Center when I waited for him to leave the radio station he was at…no one else was around. I got scooped up in his arm for a hug, holding my helmet and wearing my leathers, so we discussed motorcycles for a few minutes. I hung out in a hotel with John, then later backstage at Slim's with him and a few others…Nick is a delight in person. But I've never ever seen Andy or Roger, suffered years through Warren's fake hair, and when I met him, all he talked about was his ass muscles.
I want my first time to see the original fab five to be right up there. There's money for this, but I feel I should save it, put it towards more practical things and lessen financial stress through the New Year until things calm down in the Spring. It's the way I have always felt. Bucking this is really, really hard. It's not a thing I can easily dismiss. It's not an item I don't need, no tangible object is here, just a 30-something Duranie who wants to regress for an evening back to that 16 year old, finally old enough to see them, crushed in a front row and not believing where she was. I'm buying a life memory of something, silly as it is, is important to me and of a thing that has been a part of my life for 2/3 of it so far. At 16 I couldn't handle it. The night is a strong memory but the feeling of disbelief makes the glass of remembrance shady. There is no feeling of "I was THERE."

I'm jaded now. Interviewing clumps of rockstars and being friends with one in the interim since that night in NYC in the club has changed me. This sounds totally stupid, but I will "be there now" for this one. And I want to be right up front when I hear Andy's guitar live for the very first time.
So I'm still intent on this, two VIP tickets. I don't care about the chance to meet them. I will work extra side gigs on the web to get the money back faster.
But I still feel very irresponsible doing this. I need to learn to let go now and then.
Am I totally off base here? I could pay this off immediately if I chose, but that would make other things harder, better to dole the money out equally to all costs over a little more time…but this isn't completely irrational, is it? Just one time, the first time in 20 years of waiting and hoping, and feeling certain I'd missed my chance that I'd someday see the orginal five who covered my bedroom walls and ceiling? I have the means, I planned for the means…but my conservative self tells me this is frivolous and I should stash the cash.

ups and downs

Life is middlin' these days. Glass is wonderful, books are wonderful, work is good, provided the changes next week don't cause me any problems, rain is lovely.
On the other hand, tensions are fizzing with DLJ, I'm tired of the way I feel about some things, and the cats, one of them at least, are still peeing in the house. That last one, I've had it. I really have. When we are gone for the holidays, they all will be in the garage the entire time, not in the house. When we get back, someone starts staying out side, with a door into my glass studio so they can go inside and I'll put a bed in there. Don't know which one first, but we will just try one and see if the problem stops, if not, switch cats. But no more. I don't want to be in my home like this, it ruins my mood and makes me unhappy in my space. I was itching to get out and to work this morning. When I get home I have glass work to do on my commission, so I will be in there, holed up for a while.
So it's been good times, but not the best of times. I'm not sure how it will all shake out, I guess I just live and see where things go, how they improve, or change. I"m happy, and I'm not. Content and unfulfilled. Certain of somethings and completely unsure of others. Time will hold the answers.
Last night was very pleasant. DLJ and I met up with <lj user=circumambulate> and his lovely wife to see Portland Taiko perform at the Tigard library. I have never seen taiko before and this was a specially geared performance for a library and kids, which made it interesting, informative and different than seeing a full-on performance on a formal stage. Neat! We went to a bar afterwards, smoky and dim, where we got to know each other a little better. I had met them before, but DLJ hadn't and we are thrilled in that particular suburbanite way to find a couple near us that we enjoy being with. Houses are different; you know you are likely to stay for years to come, with less turnover of folks around you. A small hive of friends is important to me to have now that I have truly put down deep roots. Upon returning from the bar I requested a tour of their home, since they bought theirs right around the time we bought ours. It was neat to see how much they've done to make the space theirs.
Then it was home again, and I found the cat pee, so the rest of the night was immediately a wash as I took a shower, read a little and went to bed with no desire to communicate or be a part of anything having to do with home. This will be the state of it, until things change. I am truly done with this.