Sunday, August 29, 2010

Procrastination, Sarah-Style

There is a video I need to edit. I have several bad memories associated with the shoot.  I even noticed that the annoyance is visible on my face when I open CS4.  Sooooo.... I procrastinate.

I was better today.  I spent about an hour cleaning the area around the computer.  I even turned it on.  I decided the computer desktop image was not good feng shui so I had to spend a half an hour researching the best color scheme for that.  Blue, facing north, cause I'm a Fire Monkey.

Then I had to find the script.  That was...mmm...about 15 minutes.

So..I was ready to edit, right?  But you see, I wasn't physically comfortable in those pants so I changed my clothes.  And rearranged my closet.  And ironed 3 shirts that I meant to iron a while back.  (Never know when I'm gonna wear that sea foam green one, you know?)  Two hours gone.

Well, computer is up and closet is clean so I needed to eat something.  That's when I remembered I haven't cleaned the fridge since before the last TDY.  And it has to be done.  No self-respecting woman should leave her fridge like this.  20 minutes...including the dishes.

I sat down finally at the computer.  Then my cat sat down at the computer.  He's so sweeeeeeet!  Had to hold him for a while. (He's old, you know.)  He's happier in the sun so I fixed a little place on the balcony for him.  Next to the gardenias....that needed watering.  Ugh!  1.5 hours!!

OK.  Hey,  I had to text a friend.   Then I realized I text him so much that I needed to upgrade my text plan.  Can't be paying those overages.  He's worth it, so it's all cool.  I had to download all those photos anyway, too.   2 hours.

Back at the computer.  And it's..(what time is it?)  Ugh.  Forget it, man.  I'll catch it tomorrow, right?  I can re-read the script and have it in my head, buddy.!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A obscure post

I feel like I'm floating in a calm sea at night.   Feel like I have no bearing and no desire for one.  Like I have no shape or mass and unlimited potential.  There is one force and it has few demands on me.  I'm untethered and happy. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Little Hill

Oh Little Hill!

When I was a student at Virginia Tech I would drive home to NOVA, (or Northern Virginia, for you non-Dominions.)  The drive took anywhere from 3.5 hours to 5 depending on your speed.  Somewhere close to Buchanan on the northbound side of Interstate 81, there is a little hill.

Now, in the late 1980's/early 90's that hill was a cow pasture.  It was a trim little mound of green that told me I was about an hour away from my dorm room, or apartment.  It stood out from all the hundreds of green Virginia hills.  I think it was because it reminded me of the hills near the California coast.  It felt comfortable to view.  Maybe there is a large deposit of iron within it and I am a little iron-hill magnet.  Whatever the reason, it became part of my journey to Virginia Tech.  (It was never very visible when I was NOVA-bound.)  I would slow my little green Honda down a little to see how he was.  "Hey! Little Hill!"

On my last trip as a student to Virginia Tech I was sad to see it fly past my window.  I wondered if I'd ever see it again.

In 2003 my son and I moved to Blacksburg.  I had a little apartment at Windsor Hills.  My mom was living in Mt Vernon and the old travel dynamic started up again.  Holidays and long weekends in the DC area.  Wally and I drove the I-81 and I-66 stretch back and forth, and our trips home always included a big shout to our Little Hill.  By this time, a good 10+ years later, he had a little fuzzy stubble of trees.  I took this to mean that the cows hadn't been around to trim the seedlings in a while.  He was still the comfortable little green beacon I remembered.

We stayed in B-Burg until 2004 or 2005, and then we moved to California.  On the last NOVA trip I made a special stop to photograph Little Hill.  It was overcast and drizzling.  I said, "Bye, Little Hill."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day Off

I have two jobs. I am a fulltime government employee and on some weekends I put on a uniform. I admit my uniform job is interesting and challenging, but it takes some of my weekends away. And weekends are when I catch up on sleep. You see I am also a single mother. And working mothers are tired. We are all TIRED.

I have several friends that are young and single. Some are female. Most of them are male. The married ones have their wives to watch the kids. There is some division of labor. The single ones? Ugh! forget it. They have NO idea. And then there's me.

Now I almost wrote a paragraph describing my daily schedule, but every working single mother knows those hours. I think this post is to impress upon my married and single friends how much mental and physical energy is expended balancing a career and children. It feels like everything you do is abridged and shallow. I am seldom allowed enough time to think deeply as I did before my divorce. I consistently forget... well, too many things. I converse with my son in notes I leave on the kitchen counter. Many times I lose my train of thought. And I am profoundly tired.

Enter THE DAY OFF. One of those will occur in...1.5 hours. I will sleep late, first of all. I hope to regain all of the REM sleep I lost this week. I will do laundry, probably. I will try to draw and get distracted by something I am supposed to do, like prepare the 50 pages of forms for my son's high school registration. Then I'll vacuum the floor, because, well, it needs it. I'll email a few people. Towards the end of the day I will walk to the park and look at bugs and plants and wonder why I'm not a park ranger, since that was my original career path. It'll hurt to think about that void in my life, but the memories of the time I spent in the woods will be fond. I will walk back through the park, looking at the regular families, wives and husbands who have each other. That will hurt a little....a lot, really. Then I'll walk back in the door and see 2 little black cats and teenager with a joke to tell me. I will sit down, smile, and fall asleep in the chair...because I'm tired.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good Karma

My friend at work was telling me how she has been putting good vibes for her part-time business into the Universe. She talked about how sometimes you "have to just let go and trust that it will all work out." Later today she received an email telling her that her business was going to be featured in a book that will be in stores August 24 and that a contest featuring her products as the prize will be part of the publicity. Now that's a pretty nice return on your investment into the Universe.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blacksburg, VA and Blue Grass

Wow. Where the heck did this come from. I have this overwhelming nostalgia for Blacksburg, VA. I spent some 5 years there and always wanted to go back. There are days when I do want to just leave California and run back to BBurg, get a job on campus and spend the rest of my life in a little cottage near the Blue Ridge mountains. Today is one of those days. To make it worse I've been listening to WVTF streaming audio. Great blue grass music and a familiar accent from the DJ.

Blue Grass. Anyone who has seen a blue grass group play in person would agree it's a sight to see. I remember Andy Hunt, my boyfriend at the time, took me to the Floyd, Virginia general store on a Thursday night to see local musicians play. Unforgettable. The Floyd general store looked like something from the 1850's. Wood floors, wooden barrels of sundry goods, tinted bottles of ointments. Families lined the walls, moms and grandmas in folding chairs near the corners. Kids with no shoes and men in overalls. The band took the far side of the store, exhibiting every kind of physical malady the Appalachian Mountains are famous for. The fiddle player gave the ragged group a chord while the audience got eerily quiet and then... some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. The banjo player alone seemed to defy physics with his pickin'. Better yet, the crowd started dancing and clapping. Little old men and women on the floor shuffling. It was a sight to see. Thanks, Andy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Korea and Night Watch

Some time ago, in the 90's, I lived in Korea for a year. I have several wonderful memories of that year, but one memory that sticks out is one that should have been bad, but wasn't.

I was in the military at the time. We had been "out in the field" (as we called it) for over a week. It was the dead of winter and we were pitched on a mountain near the DMZ. I had night shift.

Normally that's not a big deal. Night shift is nice in the field. Not too hot, no VIPs to mess with your schedule, quiet and full of space to think about how much you appreciate a hot bath. But this particular week, the weather was horrid. We were in the middle of a winter storm. My squad-mate Tony and I had night watch.

Tony and I did 2 hour shifts each rotating outside on patrol or inside in the warm track. I put on every single piece of clothing I had, even MOPP gear. I looked like a green Pillsbury dough girl with an M-16A2.

I lumbered outside the diesel-filled track, through the tent flaps and into freezing, wet, cold, rainy air. The sleet pounded me for a while as I wobbled around the perimeter looking for Slicky-Boy. Eventually the rain subsided and I was able to pull off my hood. I stood there and had to take it all in. Beyond the inky grey clouds below the mountain lay the feeble North Korean lights. I watched the Communists sleep. It was more quiet now. Below me on the other side of the mountain was South Korea. Much brighter and friendly.

It was unreal. In the cold air, standing in a puddle on the mountaintop, I saw humanity's fear and distrust; the result of a war that spread blood on the very ground upon which I was walking. I decided that I would be the singularity, the point in that timeline, where the fear would turn to optimism. I closed my eyes and imagined that 20 years from that moment, there would be grass on the hill. And no border.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Neil Young and the road to Coos Bay

When I was living in Roseburg, Oregon, I would drive to places here and there just to feel the air in another town. One particular weekend I jumped in my little green honda and drove through the green mountains to Coos Bay. The destination wasn't what made the trip so memorable, it was passing through misty green hills on single lane highways, around big old logging trucks and beat up pickups, listening to Neil Young sing "Old Man look at my life. I'm a lot like you were." I'm listening to it now, some (almost) 20 years later and I can still see the road through the windshield. God, what a beautiful memory.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Last year I was TDY in Tacoma, WA. A few hundred feet from the hotel was the BEST used bookstore in which I have ever set foot. It was a labyrinth of shelves covered in literature. Many of the books ran $1-$3, and I would drop $20 in one visit. I had to limit myself severely since I was flying home and space in my suitcase was limited.

I used to live in Tacoma a few years ago. Actually, let's say...13 years ago. The city of Tacoma 13 years ago was dirty, industrial and dangerous. You didn't drive down there. It was a place you had to go to, not wanted to.

I can't tell you how shocked I was when I saw how transformed it was. Public art displays, walking paths along the water, restaurants, museums, and a definite change in mood. It was beautiful. Even the train depot was a lovely thing.

I plan to go back again next year.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grooveshark Widgets - Music Playlists for Your MySpace & Blog

Grooveshark Widgets - Music Playlists for Your MySpace & Blog

Latest songs on the Shark. Lots of folksy stuff. My childhood brain was molded listening to many of these songs.


The last few weeks have been the exit off of the freeway. Nothing is anchored.
I didn't foresee an outside frequency that has disrupted my normal thought processes. It's changed my physiology and psychology. I have no problems with it. I'll ride that wave gladly. Still don't know where it'll go, but I'm happy to be caught up in the momentum.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Ahhhh! That feels muuuuuuch, much better. I am back in business, baby. I bought an iMac today. Being without a real computer for the past 4-5 months has been horrid. I had to endure slow netbook speed and no access to my favorite programs. (Poor baby! haha!)
I am still giddy with emotion and can't keep still enough to write about what has really been on my mind lately. I will try to do that tomorrow. Promise!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I may have made it through the day, but figuratively tripped and fell flat on my face several times. Ugh.

Yet, I have to say this: I am here. I went through the day. I had food to eat, a job to go to, a place to come home to, and a son to hug when I got there. I have my health. It's all in perspective. I may have to endure a lecture, yelling, anger, whatever, but I can still feel pain and fear, so I know I'm here and that makes me happy.

It really isn't that bad if you put it in perspective. Best of all I realize that I am still happy enough to appreciate and hold on to these things. I have ascended Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs enough to discuss my bad days logically with others.

That feels pretty good.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dream Journal

I have a dream journal. Well, actually 2 or 3. I was re-reading one of them the other day and one of the dreams actually came true. I had forgotten about it. It was strange to see the words on the paper. It was as if I had traveled in time to put the dream in my subconscious. So today when I watched the latest Dr Who episode I was quite sure that nothing is a coincidence.

Tonight I think I'll write a future journal. Everything I write in it... :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Just got back a few hours ago from painting on a hillside. I was covered in wild grass seeds and have a bit of a sunburn. I haven't painted, really painted, in a while.

I started yesterday. (It was very emotional day for me but no one would ever know it.) I had to throw the emotion somewhere. I was so wound up that I threw a canvas on the table, slapped some acrylic on a plate and painted a dragon to go in my living room. I also painted a couple in my bedroom, on the wall. They are heavy brush-stroked and strong on color but feel good on the walls.

Today's painting was in watercolour. I rarely paint on location. I get so distracted by other things; bugs, lizards, trees, that it is hard for me to focus. I was able to sketch better than I thought, however. I just copied the feeling of the things I saw. I even wrote some poetry.

It was fitting that I saw a new Doctor Who episode this morning before I went out. The Doctor and Amy go to visit Vincent Van Gogh a month before he kills himself. A good episode, of course, filled with monsters and quick dialogue, but I found myself crying when I thought about his pain and his art.

Even when I was painting murals a few years back, I didn't feel as passionate about what I painted as I did yesterday. And the dragons aren't beautiful or technically good at all, but they have a tremendous amount of my emotion in them. I feel like I got a little of the passion to draw and paint that I haven't had in a while. A few, maybe 5 people on the planet right now, might know why that is. It is a good solution to a problem I have. I know I'm lucky to have a salve for this emotion and can share it with planet Earth.

Grooveshark Widgets - Music Playlists for Your MySpace & Blog

Grooveshark Widgets - Music Playlists for Your MySpace & Blog

Some songs that I like or are like me at one time or another.