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!

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!

Lights in the rain

It’s another rainy Sunday here in Oregon. But we will probably put up the holiday lights anyway. Last night we went out to dinner at New Seasons, a local schmancy grocery store, and Derek saw his first holiday lights of the year. He was VERY excited, and kept saying “Who else in this neighborhood has their Christmas lights up?” and “Oh that is so PRETTY!” He is so sweet. I hope we can record him saying these things. Last year what he said was “Can we find more lights?” And the year before that….not much at all since he had very few words…

I am very busy. I am doing a lot of work on Thomas Dolby’s site right now, it is deep in crunch time on that one. And I just started working on a new site, another band called the Shanghai Woolies, a local band that plays hot jazz. And I have lots to do on the website for Derek’s preschool, as that is my volunteer parent job. And of course, the beads, the glass, the straws. Plus being a Mom and a wife. Busy! Very busy. I need things to settle down, but I am not sure when that will happen. The immediate crush should slow in a few days and not be so hectic.

I’m still in my pajamas. It’s been a nice, long week of DLJ being home. We were going to go to LA for Thanksgiving but it was canceled at the 11th hour, my MIL was very sick and didn’t want us to come. So we went to the coast instead. It was nice, we had two days that were cloudy, but also partly clear, with no rain, so Derek got some beach time in, we went to the Oregon Aquarium on Thanksgiving Day, which was a GREAT day to go. There were less than 200 people wandering the whole place, it was like it was rented out for a private party or something in terms of our freedom to roam around and see very few other people.

While life is very busy right now, I am grateful for the busy. It means I have work to do, art to do, ways to help friends with their work, and a great family to be a part of.

Tick….tick

I feel like I should be doing something.
I just had a 1.5+ hour interview on my glass work for a paper, and I suppose I should go do the shopping, I have a few grocery items to get. I updated some web stuff, did some Dolby work….there has to be something…something…..

Ooo. Pack up straws. I will do that, THEN go get the few groceries before getting Derek from preschool.

I just feel like something is hiding out of reach that I need to do and have forgotten.

Burnt

Not enough time around for all I want to do. It is no one’s fault, no one to blame, but with various illnesses, and other distractions and time sucks, I’m behind. I am behind on my glass straws. I haven’t updated that blog in weeks. Months. I just goofed on a big order and unless the buyer is nice about it, I will maybe break even. It was my own fault for not looking over an alchemy bid on etsy well enough, and as a result she’s getting a FABULOUS deal unless she is understanding about my mistake.

I love making my glass straws, I just wish I had more time. There is a due date for items to be in a local museum in a few days, and I have nothing new for it. I WANT to give them something NEW…very recent…but I may not have time. I have some good stuff in stock…but…

And then I want time alone. Time to just be. But if I take time to just be, I am not taking time to create. And I miss creating. It’s cold now down in the studio, so creating takes a little forethought to turn the heater on. I think I need to make a “Cave night.” Something a friend of mine has. Something another friend calls “bro-ing in.” I need a night to bro-in.” Or I will go mad. And I must create on that night, not sit and do nothing. The sitting and doing nothing should be daytime, during a Derek nap. Fridays were supposed to be that day…but it never happens. Hm.

So, while I would like a pony, I would also like:

A whole day to myself.

A disk cutter (saving up for that.)

Coffee that hasn’t gotten cold by the time I get to it.

An extra day every week to just be with DLJ.

One more REALLY warm day.

Drinking chocolate.

A chasing hammer.

TIME. MORE, MORE, MORE time.

I have some neat news, but it’s not completely sorted out yet. Soon.

But hey! I have a bead in a magazine! The Winter 2010 edition of <i>Bead Unique</i> has one of my focals in it. I am doing a holiday show Dec. 6 downtown in Portland, and it will be nice to have a newer magazine to display with my work. Oy. I need to finish my brochures! Another thing on the list that never ends….

Sorry, sorry, haven’t posted in this journal for a bit.
We are all fine here, everything’s fine…how are you?

Last week we went to Breitenbush and soaked in hot springs and slept in tents and hiked and drank fabulous filtered water from the nearby river. It was excellent.

This morning DLJ put the final waterproof seal on our back deck…a couple weekends ago he and my Dad sanded and re-stained it. It looks great and this was one of our 3 projects for the summer to complete, and the biggest one. The other two, one is almost done, that was repainting the bathroom. That is complete, I just need to repaint the cabinet and put on the new glass knobs I made myself for it. And the last one is repainting the front door, which is not done at all, but luckily is a one day job.

Derek turned two last week, and had a fine party and fun with friends and family. It moves so fast. I am glad he still nurses with me, loves to nurse and snuggle in the mornings and late afternoons, and still sleeps in his crib. He has his whole life to grow up, and I’m very content with him taking his own time with things. I can’t believe how fast it goes and it will only go faster, so each stage is precious and well-loved.

I’m at a cafe, and need to be writing instead of blathering here, so I will end for now. All is well. I hope all is well with you, too.

Sorry, sorry, haven’t posted in this journal for a bit.
We are all fine here, everything’s fine…how are you?

Last week we went to Breitenbush and soaked in hot springs and slept in tents and hiked and drank fabulous filtered water from the nearby river. It was excellent.

This morning DLJ put the final waterproof seal on our back deck…a couple weekends ago he and my Dad sanded and re-stained it. It looks great and this was one of our 3 projects for the summer to complete, and the biggest one. The other two, one is almost done, that was repainting the bathroom. That is complete, I just need to repaint the cabinet and put on the new glass knobs I made myself for it. And the last one is repainting the front door, which is not done at all, but luckily is a one day job.

Derek turned two last week, and had a fine party and fun with friends and family. It moves so fast. I am glad he still nurses with me, loves to nurse and snuggle in the mornings and late afternoons, and still sleeps in his crib. He has his whole life to grow up, and I’m very content with him taking his own time with things. I can’t believe how fast it goes and it will only go faster, so each stage is precious and well-loved.

I’m at a cafe, and need to be writing instead of blathering here, so I will end for now. All is well. I hope all is well with you, too.

Waving, not Drowning

Sorry, sorry, haven’t posted in this journal for a bit.
We are all fine here, everything’s fine…how are you?

Last week we went to Breitenbush and soaked in hot springs and slept in tents and hiked and drank fabulous filtered water from the nearby river. It was excellent.

This morning DLJ put the final waterproof seal on our back deck…a couple weekends ago he and my Dad sanded and re-stained it. It looks great and this was one of our 3 projects for the summer to complete, and the biggest one. The other two, one is almost done, that was repainting the bathroom. That is complete, I just need to repaint the cabinet and put on the new glass knobs I made myself for it. And the last one is repainting the front door, which is not done at all, but luckily is a one day job.

Derek turned two last week, and had a fine party and fun with friends and family. It moves so fast. I am glad he still nurses with me, loves to nurse and snuggle in the mornings and late afternoons, and still sleeps in his crib. He has his whole life to grow up, and I’m very content with him taking his own time with things. I can’t believe how fast it goes and it will only go faster, so each stage is precious and well-loved.

I’m at a cafe, and need to be writing instead of blathering here, so I will end for now. All is well. I hope all is well with you, too.

Sun/Rain

The sky doesn’t know what it wants today!

Quick glass porn post before Derek wakes!

I hope to be putting a lot of things on Etsy this week  while I wait for a part to arrive for my poor kiln!

gentleoblivblog