Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm Going to Just Say "No" to 2012

I'm not signing up for BJP 2012. All this year I did exactly ONE PIECE. When and if my life ever gets straightened out (unlikely, the way I'm living it) I'll maybe drop back in at some point. I wish everyone well who is (or is not) continuing on with this, and thanks for the support and continued inspiration.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Much To My Surprise...

Meditation On the Key to Time

This is the one and only beading I've worked on and finished this year so far. Too much life, not enough time. But somehow, here it is, all done. Will I do more? Sure! But no guarantees.

I worked with wire and found object on this one, and, although it waited for weeks and months for me to get back to it, it seems to have turned out okay.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

After a little over two months, we were able to get the money to cover the sewer pipe repair. Then, two weeks later, yesterday happened. I believe I may be cursed.

Yesterday was Hell Day, and no Rapture afterwards, at least not so far.

I spent the day in the Providence Hospital E.R. (that place we can't pay for), after the ambulance ride (the one we can't pay for), answering questions, getting a CAT scan to make sure it wasn't appendicitis (that we can't pay for), and waiting around generally. They are much better at covering patient's concerns at Providence, and they take "NO!" for an answer, unlike the money-grabbing Legacy Emanuel. But they will want their money, and we do not have it.

What happened was this: I went to bed at about 6am, then at 10 woke up with intense abdominal pain. There was throwing up. I lost a lot of fluids. Things didn't get any better, and by about 2, Tom convinced me that I had to go in. I was too weak to drive, and Tom doesn't drive, so it had to be 911.

Turned out that it was another goddamn kidney stone, but at least at Providence they let you know it can be an outpatient procedure. They gave me a whole bunch of Rxs which I'm not going to fill, and a strainer to pee through when the stone passes, if it does. At about 8pmish we got home (cab - I didn't see going on the busses in the cold, in my jammies, plus I was still all weak and stuff) and I tried to watch the Supernatural season finale, but mostly watched the inside of my eyelids. I slept all night through, and more, and feel much stronger today. The pain is pretty much gone.

I should have stayed home. I don't have any idea how many thousands of dollars this will amount to, I only know that we don't have it, and have no chance to get it. The bills will be arriving soon, and then the phone calls, and the hits to our credit. My life sucks now. The only way to pay this is not to pay the house payments and other bills. We are always told, "You make too much to qualify for aid. Too bad, you just fell through the cracks. Somebody should really do something about that."

The thing that scares me the most isn't losing the house and everything, it's what happens to the cats?

We'll get the bills sooner than later (they NEVER will just coordinate the billings and send them to you in one package), and then... Well, I'm not sure there IS an "and then..." that's in any way livable. We'll see. I'm supposed to consult a specialist on Monday, but those guys won't see you if you don't have the $, so whatever happens, I may have to just tough it out.

I'm so tired of all these hits. It seems like every time things start looking up, something else smacks me upside the head, like a depressing soap opera. I keep looking for something better, but it isn't there.

Anyway, no more beading for me for the duration. Have to concentrate on getting some money together.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mr. Darcy

This is a black & white photo I "tinted" with Photoshop. This is the kind of thing I do when I don't want to clean my studio.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Fun Just Never Stops, or, If It Weren't For Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck At All

On Sunday evening, our basement drain backed up. Luckily our boxes had been elevated on plywood just enough to avoid damage. But it was a mess. Yesterday we rented a big plumbers' snake from Home Depot to try and clear the drain. It didn't work. We finally counted up our money and called a plumber in to see if a professional could solve our problems.

Bob the plumber came over at 5am, and for $80 he used his extra big plumber snake machine with the big blades on the end, and got nowhere, though he tried for about 2 hours. In fact it's worse now, the water won't drain at all, so we now have NO water use unless we want to flood the basement. NO dishes can be washed, NO flushing the toilet, NO washing hands -- NOTHING. I have no idea what we're going to do.

It turns out we have a break in our sewer line, or possibly a collapsed section. Fixing the line... requires excavation and replacement of some or all of the waste pipe. This is a 5 to 6 THOUSAND dollar job. Might as well be $5 or $6 million. What the fuck are we going to do? Maybe the city won't find out if we put in an outhouse, but it would be nice to wash up now and then.

We checked with homeowner's insurance and, no, there is no coverage for a broken waste pipe. Interestingly, there is some limited coverage for damage to the house from a broken waste pipe, but we had no damage. The break is right up near the house, too, so we can't get the city to cover it. Things look very grim.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Family Whining

The topic of art and artists came up, and the amazing things that they do. My husband, Tom, spoke of how incredible it was when he was a younger man, starting out at Marvel and being able to actually watch his favorite artists working with pencils and ink on paper, drawing the line, laying out the panels... It was a wonderful thing to see, a fan's dream! There is nothing more fascinating and inspiring than watching an artist make something out of essentially nothing, pull things together, and have a piece of art where before there was just a blank spot or jumble of components.

My dad was an accomplished artist. He was a painter and teacher, and very good at what he did. His paintings, even the relatively early, tobacco-covered ones that I recovered from my mom's filthy dark hole of a house, are full of rich colors and images. Tom asked me what it was like to see him working, and I realized that I had NEVER seen him work, ever, ever. I never watched him set up a palette, mix colors, lay out a composition, put a brush to board or canvas. NEVER. I was not welcome to do so. For whatever reason, I'd never even given that a thought before. It was just my life, I guess. Realizing this was like a broken cinder block smacking me in the face. I think I once watched him doodle out a sketch in No. 2 pencil on the back of an envelope somewhere. That's it. I never got the chance to see my dad actually being an artist. I only saw things in progress not being worked on, or finished paintings occasionally. Maybe he didn't like being watched, maybe it was just me, maybe it was something I'm not considering. But wow, I dearly wish I could have watched him make those paintings...

Ehh... The fact that my family sucked is really no surprise. It just hit me weird today, I guess.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

December 2010 BJP

Here's my December page, finished at last. I am happy to see 2010 fly away. Now I only have September 2010 to go for last year, though I am already working on January 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

October BJP

This is kind of a grim piece, really, in keeping with Halloween. The coppery squiggle is like a lock of hair floating on water, and the red beads could be splashing drops of blood. The stars are reflections. So it could be a scene about violence/horror. You may see something else there, and, as always, the interpretation is up to the viewer.

With October done, this leaves Sept. and Dec. for 2010, and I really do intend to finish them, and start in on 2011, as well. I'm about half-way through with one of them, and thinking up ideas for the other.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010... And Welcome To It

Not a good year, I’d say. I learned a lot of lessons about people (they will turn on you in a split second if it suits their personal interests), trust (NEVER AGAIN), money (the only thing that has any real meaning in the world), and dreams (better off without ‘em). It has been enlightening.

2010 was one of my worst health years ever, and spent too much time not doing much because of that.

This was our very tightest financial year ever, due to a major client not delivering on promised work and my not finding a job.

Work came and went for Tom. Not a lot came or went for me.

A friend of Tom’s, who he’d known for 35 years, killed herself by stepping off the nearby St. Johns Bridge.

We had to say “goodbye” to our wonderful friend, Bruno in late autumn. I look for him every day still.

I got rid of my lying piece-of-shit step-brother (he was living in his broken-down VW van in our driveway) the day after Tom’s friend died, and none too soon. It was very dramatic in a hillbilly-class kind of way, and there was a lot of yelling and implements and objects flying. I figured it was the least I could do for Tom, and it was much appreciated by our neighbors, as well.

I found out once and for all that it doesn’t matter how good your art portfolio is, if you are not rich you are NOT going to art school. Would have been nice of Oregon College of Art and Craft to have been upfront with me about that.

Tom and I had to sell all our small original art collection to pay 2009's taxes. I have no idea how we will pay for 2010's and beyond.

I lost a friend due to ethics and dishonor -- his, not mine. Guess it wasn’t much of a friendship after all.

We had to go into debt to replace our dead (mine) and failing (Tom's) computers.

There were bright spots, though.

Because of being under the weather a lot, I was able to read just a whole slew of books, more than I’d gotten to read in many years. I also discovered the obvious, that reading and cooking are mutually compatible, once everything is either sizzling quietly or is on the simmer.

I went to WonderCon in San Francisco and visited good friends and their lovely cats, which is always a treat. I also saw my M.D. there and got enough free samples of Rx drugs to keep me alive during this very lean year.

I was privileged to work on an amazing still Top Secret project with a noted photographer and a wonderful writer, which will be made public sooner than later. I learned a lot doing it, and it was great fun in general.

We said “hello” to two new cats, Ernesto and Mr. Darcy, in October and November, former ferals and now cats in the house. I thought I’d never get the chance to win over and tame any more wild cats, and I’m grateful I had one more chance to to that. They sleep with and on top of us and are much better mannered than some of the other cats who live here.

In November I completely surprised myself by not only signing up for National Novel Writing Month, but actually going the distance and completing my 50,000 words.

Because there are a couple of convenient discount cinemas nearby, Tom and I got to see quite a few movies, and that was lovely.

I did more artwork than I did last year, and am only 1 1/2 pieces from finishing my 2010 Bead Journal Project, which I will complete sometime in early January. Because of having to put together a portfolio for the art school, I rediscovered my love of drawing, and I’ll be spending time with that in the coming year, I’m sure.

We learned how to really stretch out our money, and generally got by until the computers had to be replaced. BUT we now have shiny almost-new computers that work swell and that we like a lot.

Just last week Tom found a couple of long-lost boxes of CDs, and I was able to rediscover some of my favorite recordings that I had thought were gone, gone, gone.

New Year’s Resolutions? Nope. The resolution I make every year is to make no resolutions. Life has so many tricks and surprises that resolution making seems a pointless thing to do. I’ll just keep going on and see what happens next.

I hope 2010 was a decent year for y’all and that 2011 will be Ass-kicking FANTASTIC for all!