Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 59: The ominous Getty Center

The forecast called for rain so I zipped over to The Getty Center, which is located high on a hill overlooking LA, the Pacific and the I-405. I was after clouds and wasn't disappointed. This is a view of downtown LA:

 

A sculpture of a monk was also enjoying the view:



So were these folks:


It was a great day to be at The Getty Center. I went to see the Rembrandt sketches but was more blown away by the photographic collage work of an artist named Soo Kim in the exhibit titled Urban Panoramas: Opie, Liao, Kim. If you check the link, the art is better in person.

Then it rained. It poured. People ran into the buildings. I stood under an awning with one of the security guards. We discussed how much we like the rain and are "tired of those dreadful sunny days," as he said. I wouldn't go that far. I'm from Canada. Then I skipped into the gift shop, which was a treasure trove for my inner child. I bought a woodless graphite pencil, a mini flower press and stationery oozing with pink cherry blossoms.

Artist Date at The Getty Center: A+

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 58: Lost is the best show on television

... and I'll take fisticuffs to anyone who disagrees.

Today, I have died and gone to heaven.

Why? Because I saw the cast of Lost with my naked eyes that's why!

Tonight I went to PaleyFest where you "see your favorite shows and stars LIVE!" just like it says in the brochure.

And it's true?

Yes. It. Is.

Picture John Locke, Benjamin Linus and that guy with the eyeliner telling us all the secrets about how the final season of Lost is going to go down!

Why are they on the island? 

They wouldn't say. Truth be told, we couldn't get much out of them. We were all sitting there like little babies. Please feed us a little bit about how it ends. We came all the way out here. We had to find parking mid-Wilshire for heavensakes. You owe us. You need to tell us who is Jack married to. Tell us if Locke is really dead. Why is Benjamin a school teacher? Who are the candidates? When did they choose the candidates? What are they candidates for?!?!?!

In the end, I'm just as confused and the wait until the next episode on Tuesday night is eternal.






Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57: Office Birthday Parties

Always awkward. Always necessary.

Who honestly wants a surprise birthday party at the office? Yesterday, I attended one such party and the recipient of the party looked visibly pained to attend.

I think most people came for the brownies.

I do want to honor people who have the tremendous misfortune to be working on their birthday. I have had the pleasure of never having to go to work or school on my birthday as I was born during Christmas holidays. But, to honor them by embarrassing them at a surprise office party? "Hey we really got you this time," coworkers say. "You had no idea! You thought you were coming to a status meeting. Ha ha ha! We tricked you gooood."

I don't know. I just think there is another way.

I don't mean to be unappreciative. Really. And I REALLY don't want the baker of the brownies to read this because I love her brownies and I don't want to ruin a good thing.

They really are good brownies.

Yes. They. Are.

These office birthday parties remind me of all the Office Space things we do in corporations. We say the same dumb things like "hump day" when it's Wednesday and "One more day" when it's Thursday. We ask the same dumb questions, "How was your weekend?" on Mondays, and "Got big plans for the weekend?" on Fridays. We share tips for how to make the best oatmeal in the office microwave (Tip: use cold water). We send a card around the agency with an envelope for you to throw in your extra bucks for the birthday/wedding shower/baby shower/going away gift.

When does it end?

Every time I slip a couple bucks in an envelope, write a pithy comment in a card or sing happy birthday, I can't help but sigh inwardly and say:

This is not my life.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 56: February Winners of The Great Fishbowl Giveaway

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post the winners of The Great Fishbowl Giveaway but gosh darnit I got too excited.

This month there were nine winners. Why? Because I made ten prizes and kept one for myself. This is the journal I made for the winners:

The last photo is me surrounded by the bits of "confetti" from creating the rounded corners for the journal. I am a firm believer that every journal is better with rounded corners.

Here are the lucky winners:
  • Lisa K
  • Nicole E
  • Marni K
  • Melissa H
  • Scott C
  • Anita S
  • Kim G
  • Honey C
  • Allison P
If you want to get your name in the bowl for next month's drawing, email me your MAILING address. If I don't have your mailing address, I can't send you random awesomeness in the mail until I ask you for your mailing address and then the whole surprise is ruined. RUINED!

Congratulations to all you lucky winners. The USA winners should have received this by now. The Canadian winners may have not simply because Canada Post can be slow at the best of times. I'm hoping you don't read this entry until after you get your gift otherwise... ruined I tell you. RUINED!

Plus, enter once and you're in for every drawing even if you've already won. Why? Because I make the rules around here. That's why. 


Day 55: Isn't this world such a beautiful place

Every once in awhile, I ask God to impress me.

I say to God, Hey God, today is a pretty average day. It's a good day for you to show some skills. Impress me.

Then God gets to work. He gathers all the angels who are sitting around smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo and tells them about my request. The angels brainstorm a bit. Then they come back and present their ideas to God who picks one and divvies out marching orders. This is what they did to impress me last night on my way home from work...

I was listening to a super great group called Stampead. The song was Alabama and the lyrics that were repeating were "Isn't this world such a beautiful place."

I was following an ambulance. It didn't have it's lights flashing but it did have an old lady in the back on the stretcher. She was with her caregiver and the ambulance attendant. The caregiver had opened his wallet to get out photos to share with the attendant. I imagine the photos were relatives of himself and the lady on the stretcher. The three of them were all laughing and smiling as they passed around the photos.

This lady was really old. She could have been taking her last trip to the hospital, if you catch my meaning, but she didn't look upset or scared. She was acting as if she were at high tea with her friends. I was also struck by the ambulance attendant who probably has to deal with tense situations most of the time, but he had a smile on his face. He looked caring, happy and calm.

All the while, the words that kept repeating through the stereo were, "Isn't this world such a beautiful place." Yes. Yes it is. This world really is such a beautiful place. Even in traffic on Wilshire Boulevard behind an ambulance.

God, I was impressed. Nice job.

Ditto.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 54: I didn't do my morning pages

It happened. I didn't do my morning pages yesterday.

I had planned on doing them after dinner but fell asleep on the couch.

I woke this morning feeling bad for two reasons:
1) the missed morning pages
2) I apparently have a cold

Which would explain why I fell asleep on the couch last night. I'm not the type of person who falls asleep on the couch after dinner unless something is seriously up with my system.

Despite the opportunity to use my cold as an excuse, I peeled myself out of bed and wrote three pages between blowing my nose and sipping tea. My pen started to peter out by the end of the third page. Fitting since my energy petered out, too.

But I am a determined young thing. I will persevere! Today I will do two sets of morning pages!

Can she do that? 

She's the rule maker so yes, she can do that. One set in the morning and one set later on, preferable before dinner so I don't flub up again.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53: A moving addiction

I just fell in love.

Let me explain.

I have this addiction. It's called Random Web Addiction.

Back in the old days, before the advent of the social media superstar, Facebook, I was addicted to emails. I'd send them and receive them, anticipate them and basically occupy myself with them gleefully throughout my day. That "ping" sound of a new email would release serotonin in my body and I would sigh with satisfaction. Electronic mashed potatoes.

This addiction to email was replaced with Facebook, which was eventually replaced with Etrade. I would follow the ups and downs of the market, trying to educate myself as best I could on what to do with my money in the event that I actually had money to invest.

This addiction was briefly replaced by the creation of this very blog. I sheepishly admit that at the beginning I obsessively returned to this site to read comments, to correct grammatical and spelling errors and to gaze at the beautiful long and uninterrupted archive list on the right hand side of this very page.

Go ahead. Look. I'll wait.

Impressive.

Don't I know it.

Now, I have shifted the focus of my addiction to Etsy, a site dedicated to homemade and vintage goodies. They have a daily enewsletter that brings me much joy. I'm often finding myself gazing and drooling all over the site. I'm amazed by the talented people in this world. I'm also amazed by how cheap everything is on this site. I think many of these artists don't give themselves enough credit.

I was even inspired to open my own shop.

Shameless self-promotion.

Again, don't I know it.

I'm running out of wall space in my apartment and need to sell my paintings. Plus, I'm giving 10% of the profits to charity. Why? Because I'm a giver. The rest of the profits will likely go to buying groceries at Trader Joe's and art supplies from Blick.

Buy my stuff. If you're my friend on Facebook, I'll give you FREE SHIPPING.

Why? Because I'm a giver.


Day 52: I double dog dare you to answer this question

My friend Allan asked me this question the other day while we were at brunch:
"If you had all the money and time you needed, and you had traveled around the world for a few years to see whatever you wanted to see, what would you do with your life?"
My eyes widened and I told him I needed to think about it. This question required serious pondering.

I came home and whipped out my morning pages journal. Immediately a book series came to mind. This is not exactly a leap since I already have two books in a series out there in the world.

Shameless self-promotion.

Ya, I'm okay with that. This series expanded by leaps and bounds as I fantasized about it in my morning pages. I came up with not one or two titles but twenty-freaking-two titles.

I also saw myself writing this series in my swanky ocean side home, sipping coffee and wearing yoga pants.

She loves the yoga pants.

She sure does.

Dear reader, I strongly encourage you to ask yourself this same question. What would you do if you had all the money and time you needed, and you'd already spent a few years to see whatever you wanted to see in the world?

It's a great and powerful exercise. I dare you. I double dog dare you.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 51: Artist Date Idea: Kirtan

I went to a kirtan for my artist date. For those not in the know (and I wasn't until recently) a kirtan is call-and-response chanting. The kirtankar is the person leading the chant. He sings, you repeat. There is music and a good vibe. The kirtans I've been to have been at yoga studios. You walk in, sit on the floor and chant along with these super talented musicians. At some point, the call-and-response gets all mixed in together and you find yourself singing as part of the flow of the sweet sound. Don't worry. It's loud enough that no one can hear you singing. Basically, the whole event is a singing meditation.

Sounds beautiful, right?

The moment I sat down, I was bugged. I was uncomfortable. My nose started running. I was too close to the speaker. People were sitting too close to me. My hips were tight. My ankles hurt by sitting cross legged. My back ached from sitting. I was tired.

But that was just my ego.

After observing myself bitch and complain, my ego quieted down and got down to getting down with the sweet chants. Perhaps all that angst had to release so I could have drop down to a deeper level of meditation. At some point I was singing and swaying in time to the music. Good times.

This artist date was totally worth it, despite my egoic kicking and screaming. Here's some info on the dude who ran the show: 

http://yogisanonymous.com/Events-Kirtan022010.htm
http://www.danielstewart.com
http://web.me.com/yogapath/Kirtan/Welcome.html



Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 50: Top 10 morning pages quotes

I'm reviewing my morning pages from January. Some of them are drab. That's not true. Most of them are drab. But I did find 10 choice quotes worth sharing:

Top 10 morning pages quotes:
"The path to veganism is paved with oatmeal."
"We showed up here in this life for each other out of great love and exuberance." 
"Thank you for whispering this project in my ear. Is this what happens after healing? All that is left is gratitude?"
"If I don't know what to do, Spirit will step in to help me out with either a nudge or a shove."
"If it had worked out with that ad guy, I would have had to play the role of the ad girl at home, too. Ya, that would have never worked out. I would have busted out of there."
"I saw four big zits on people today. They were all ready to pop. Maybe that's the message: Get ready to pop."
"My plan is to pretty much rock the house. To be amazing." 
"I can't keep up when they are playing dirty."
"Crows. All these men are crows. Pecking at me and hollering in my ear." 
 "I'm going to lead you there gently."
 After reviewing my list, I see a spirituality meets boy-crazy meets confidence meets frustration.

Yep, that's me alright. 


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 49: What are you doing for Lent?

I hadn't thought much about what to do for Lent this year. My mind was focused on how to create a vegan pancake with mochi instead of pancake batter. It actually turned out quite tasty even though it was a bit sticky.

Now that the mochi is sticking to my ribs, I turn my thoughts to what to do for Lent. I've already decided to write morning pages everyday for a year, blog about it and become vegan. That pretty much takes care of the diligence and suffering aspect of Lent.

My qualifications for Lent include something that I groan about doing but I know that it's good for me to do.

Practicing guitar daily qualifies.

I thought you liked playing guitar. 

I like playing when I'm good at a song, but I loathe playing when I suck at a song and I suck at most of them. After my recent stint of guitar classes, I put down the guitar and let my fingertips grown their nerves back. I can feel my fingertips again, which means it's gonna hurt to go back to playing guitar.

As long as pain is included, practicing guitar counts for Lent.

Yeah. It's gonna hurt. 

Hey reader, what are you doing for Lent? Share with the class if you're so inclined. I think I fixed the glitch with the comments area of the page so you are free to lay down a comment or two.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 48: My new Etsy shop

How much do I rock?

I rock very much.

I figured out how to open a shop on Etsy!

It took all my marbles to get one painting up there. More to follow.

I'm done for the day.

You rock very much.

Yes, yes I do.  


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 47: These goddamn morning pages

After a few posts about the wonderment of life, I'm back to bitching about doing morning pages.

I wish these pages weren't just a check in, a list of grievances or a list of things to do. I wish I was writing a brilliant piece of work. If only I could write pages of an epic and important something-or-other that could somehow influence the world in a positive way. Of course, it would be turned into a bestselling book and naturally, a blockbuster movie starring an A-list actor or two. People from around the world would talk about my writing. I'd walk into a used bookstore in Bangladesh and see my 47th printing available for sale.

The reality is that not only will no one read the morning pages I write, even I'll probably never read them unless I'm scrounging around for a pithy line or two to tweet. 

Do you ever feel like this, dear reader? That your morning pages suck ass and you're wasting time writing about all the crap that you don't ever seem to get to the good stuff?

Sure, who doesn't?

If you do, let me know, because I feel like it's something we all think about but no one ever talks about. It's a secret club that is so secret that no one knows about each other. 


Day 46: Avatar's spirtitual elements

Since I'm hopelessly romantic, I went to see Avatar for Valentine's Day.

It's eye candy like crazy. And it has spiritual elements that make me ponder. More about this in a new article at Oprah. The three spiritual elements weaved throughout the movie and mentioned in the article are:
  1. Honoring the sacred
  2. Connecting with spirit
  3. Remembering our interconnectedness
All this made me really see my brazil nuts this morning, to chew them with gratitude, to feel truly at one with my brazil nuts.

Why does connecting with brazil nuts sound like a joke?

Not sure, but I must admit, my brazil nuts were extra tasty.

Anyway, Avatar has all the elements of an artist date: Beauty, inspiration, ideas that make you ponder.

See it. So worth it.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 45: The unexpected Valentine's Day artist date

The best artist dates are the ones that turn into something unexpected.

Today I had expected to go to the garden center for my artist date. I wanted to pick up some herbs. I'd been there before to buy herbs but somehow, through over-watering and over-sun exposure, I managed to seal their fate.

Too much love can do that sometimes. (Keep this in mind this Valentine's Day, young lovers.)

So I went to find other tasty victims at the garden center. I filled up my bike basket with pretty herbs. Then I meandered my way back toward my house when something in a cemetery caught my eye. A man was sitting in a lawn chair beside a plot in the cemetery. And he was doing a crossword puzzle. At his feet, in front of the plot, was a dozen roses and a balloon that said, "I love you." This guy must have been celebrating Valentine's Day with his wife who had probably passed away. How sweet is that? 

Trying to avoid weirding him out, I biked along the paved paths of the cemetery for awhile. Cemeteries fascinate me. Seeing all those names and wondering about those lives (and deaths) gets me feeling grateful about being alive.

I wonder what my new herbs were thinking. This chick buys us, throws us in her bike basket, then takes us to a cemetery! 

Don't worry little herbs. I'll take care of you when I get home. Bwah-ha-ha-haaa.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 44: Walking the walk

Julia Cameron recommends a daily walk as you do the Artist's Way course. Lucky for me, I pretty much rock at walking.

Today, I walked by the first apartment I had when I moved to Santa Monica nearly a decade ago. I was so very young. Very very young. I knew I had made the right choice in moving here, but that first year I had my doubts. It was more than tough.

Now, years later, I look back at that girl living in that apartment and I send her love and other good vibes. I tell her it will be okay. I tell her that ten years from now she'll have a beautiful life. I let her know that the ideas she has now will become published books and sold paintings. I tell her that she will have the same car ten years from now but will have a very different life. A better life. A calmer life. A fun life where she has decent furniture that isn't from IKEA. She will have a pretty view out her living room window. She'll have so many good friends that she'll have to juggle how she fits them all in. I tell her she'll have a good laugh most days. I tell her to keep calm and carry on.

As I was telling her this, I imagined the me ten years from now sending me love and good vibes. What does the life of my future self look like? Will the me of the future be walking by the apartment I live in now and say, Girl, you ain't seen nothing yet.

I hope so.




Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 43: Donating art and making soup

I'm donating one of my paintings to a fundraiser for a USM student. I don't know this guy but I read his story and was compelled to help. I love that I can give in a way that is pleasing to me. First, I get pleasure out of painting the art. Second, the fundraiser gets the pleasure of raising the funds. Third, the buyer gets pleasure out of having the art. That's three happy campers! Had I just given cash then the only happy camper would be the fundraiser.

I don't write this to say, Hey look at me and my altruistic self. In fact, I was about to donate to another charity recently until I saw the Vita-Mix blender in my Sur La Table catalog. Now I'm reconsidering my allocation of funds. Then again, I could become a vegan soup making master, selling soups made with my super amazing Vita-Mix blender. That way I'd be happy, the soup eaters would be happy, the animals would be happy (because it's vegan) and the charities that gets the proceeds would be happy. That's four happy campers!

Yep, I'm a giver.

So reader, when you're feeling compelled to give, consider what way would make giving feel best to you. Donating art brings me to my happy place and I think somehow that it counts more when it comes from a happy place.

Anyway, I offer this up as (vegan) food for thought. 

Is she becoming one of these annoying granola pushers that make you feel bad about putting milk in your coffee? 

Gawd I hope not. 


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 42: Comments on the comments

Wowee there was an outpouring of comments and emails after yesterday's post. Hey reader, thanks for responding.

Word.
 
Some of your comments made me smile, others made me weepy and in a few I wondered just what you were really saying. In all cases though, I fully appreciated your participation in my little blog here. And I did like picturing you getting emotional at your office desk with co-workers walking by, or at Starbucks or at your kitchen table.

It was allergies.

Ya, ya, I know that trick. I used it, too, you emotion-filled love muffin, you.

Speaking of love muffins, Valentine's Day is coming up. Last year I made a slew of valentines for my friends. This year I can hardly eek out a cup of coffee for myself. Just as well because I got RANDOM AWESOMENESS IN THE MAIL AGAIN! This time I got a valentine that came complete with a Peet's coffee card.  

Cha-ching!

It got me fired up to work on your little gifty-poo that I'm sending to you, dear reader, in the mail. That is if you emailed me your MAILING address and I pick it out of my fishbowl at random. Details can be found here. It's called the Great Fishbowl Giveaway, but the name is confusing. I'm not giving away a fishbowl. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share with the class. Perhaps I should have a naming contest for my giveaway contest. Ugh. Too confusing.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 41: The truth about dad

Yesterday I wrote about how my dad sent me a birthday card in the mail. I glazed over the magnitude of this gesture. The truth is that my dad and I haven't talked for two years, and for the five years before that, we talked at one Christmas meal each year. The rest of the time: silence.

It's not that we haven't been talking in some big dramatic fight kind of way. We just haven't talked. Childhood fights took their toll and the resulting distance became Just How It Is. During this silent time, I worked my process. And there was rich material. By now, I have learned to meet my dad on higher level. In my meditations, I imagine us on Clear Creek beach in Ontario, Canada, where I grew up. I'm looking for shells, sea glass and lures. Dad squats at the shore staring out at the water. Reading the waves. Intuiting where to find the fish. We are chatting. I ask questions. He answers. Sometimes he answers like an old medicine man, wise and calm, but always he answers with humor, which is so him.

The air between us is calm, which is not how it has been since my single digit years. In this space on the beach, he is just my dad. He's not a guy who made life choices that confuse me. He's just my dad who has always been there and who will always be there, answering any question I happen to have.

So when I got this birthday card from him, the first word from him in a few years, it isn't that he remembered my birthday. It's that he remembered me. I've felt so forgotten for so very long. It's nice to be remembered.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 40: I am no longer a vegetarian

Worse. I'm vegan.

Here's what happens when you read Eating Animals and The Kind Diet: You can't stomach the idea of ever eating meat, dairy or eggs again. You just can't do it. You can't do it to the earth, to the animals or to your body. You just can't look at any of that so called food and consider putting it into your body.

Here's what happens when you tell your readers that you're going to send random readers random awesomeness in the mail: You get random awesomeness in the mail from readers! My sister (who I found out does in fact read this blog) sent me a letter with photos from my birthday (printed photos) and a birthday card from dad. Getting a card from my dad was truly a surprise. He lives off the grid. Hardly easy to give him a call. Not even easy to mail him a note. My sister mailed the card for him. And this package was truly random as my birthday was December 27 aka The Best Day Ever. Except for today which is 9/02/10. Happy 90210 day!

Just picked up Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame. She speaks of writing and her TED talk makes me sigh with great satisfaction.

Alright. Off to create the next giveaway in The Great Fishbowl Giveaway. If you want to participate, email me your MAILING address. I'll put your name in the bowl and if it gets drawn, you get random awesomeness in the mail.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 39: Morning schmorning

In my blog post from yesterday I wrote how magically wonderful it was to write my morning pages first thing in the morning as prescribed by the great and powerful Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. I says to self, "Self, do your pages in the morning more often. It makes you feel great. There is no need to fit it in during the day. It's already done."

Self can suck it.

THAT was yesterday. SUNDAY. I laid in bed for awhile, I stretched, made a cup of tea and casually sauntered over to the chair by my window to write my pages. If yesterday's pages were music, they'd be something classical, reminiscent of a meadow and larks and Bambi. Today is MONDAY. I slammed the alarm clock as it went off, fell off the bed all haphazard like and collapsed in my chair to write my friggin' pages. If today's pages were music, they'd be angry metal music, reminiscent of the color black, Rob Zombie and Bambi's hunter.

I'm better off writing my pages when I'm better at being awake. End of story.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38: Doing morning pages in the morning

Today is Sunday. I did my morning pages first thing this morning. Then I made a cup of tea and watched the crows swirl around the palm trees outside my bay window. For the rest of the day I had a feeling of accomplishment that I had done my pages. No nattering internal monologue about how I have to do them or I don't want to do them or when am I going to make time to do them.

Replaced by "what am I going to write in my blog." 

Yes, there is always the blog. But for today the pages were done first thing. And the rest of the day felt more open for other opportunities. In my pages, I wrote a long list of what I could do today. I didn't actually do any of the items on the list. Instead I puttered around the house, did a free yoga podcast from Yoga Journal, met a friend for a chat, met a few others for dinner, and a few others still for a night cap. Basically, I had a pretty good day of putzing around the 'hood. I wonder if I had a good day because I did my morning pages first thing, before I did anything else.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll try to do my morning pages before everything else... before making tea (or at least start while the water is boiling), before I pack my bag or make my smoothie. If I suck it up and do it first thing, will my mind space feel as open as it did today? There is only one way to find out.

Five bucks she sleeps in.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 37: Artist Date #1 Super wonderful happy times @ Mitsuwa

I have a confession: I'm an artist date avoider.

If you don't know what an artist date is, it's an outing you take yourself on to replenish your creative pool. It's one of the activities in the course, the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron...

How long will she keep writing that it's by Julia Cameron? Doesn't everyone know by now?

Hey reader, have some respect.

Where was I? Yes, the artist date. When taking the course, one is required to go on one artist date per week. I've always groaned at this, even more so than with the morning pages. But, after 37 days of doing morning pages, I thought I should just friggin' do it already.

Off I went to Mitsuwa Marketplace. A super wonderful happy time Japanese grocery store.

 

I bought a daikon, miso soup and a crazy array of mushrooms, including chocolate mushrooms that I ate in the car on the way home. The daikon sits on my counter top as I write this. I have no idea what to do with a daikon, though I'm considering putting googly eyes on it so we can have an old fashioned staring contest. 

My super wonderful happy time Japanese friend Sharon met up with me afterward and we went to Soaptopia to buy lots of smelly soaps that they make right there in the store. 

 (Photo from the Soaptopia site)

The owner used to work in advertising just like me. One day she said, "Eff this crap. I'm going to make soap" so that's what she did. And now she has the cutest shop ever and because of her pursuing her dreams, I'm gonna smell great! 

I don't know why I hesitated on taking myself on artist dates. I had many excuses but mostly it was all about time. I don't have time to go out. Or, I spend so much time away from home that I just want to stay home. I just have to keep reminding myself that artist dates are super wonderful happy times.




Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 36: I want this to be over with

Today is Friday. I want it to be over with so I can start my weekend. I also wanted my morning pages to be over with. I also want this blog to be over with.

I want ending sentences with "with" to be over with. 

I bet if I were at home right now, cuddled up with one of my two new books, I would wanting the page I'm reading to be over with or the chapter to be over with. If I were in a yoga class, I'd probably be thinking about how I'd like it to be over with, too.

What is up with all this "over with" energy? And what I'm I going to do about it?

I'm gonna have to get all Eckhart Tolle on my ass. Gonna have to get down with the Now. Sit in the present and bond with it.

(Elapsed time of sitting in the present)

Didn't take. Great. Now what am I going to do? If you have any suggestions, dear reader, I'd love LOVE LOVE to hear them, because right now I want this feeling of wanting everything to be over with to be, well, over with.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35: The Kind Diet

Apparently, one doesn't need to be schwacked out of one's gourd to keep buying books. Yesterday I was whipping out the plastic at the bookstore after a martini or two. I bought Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron. Rather than read the book, I went out and bought another book today: The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. I love the dedication page of Silverstone's book.
"for those who do their best to tread lightly on the earth." 
Kind indeed, even in the dedication. 

The premise of the book is to eat according to what is healthy for both you and the planet.

Now I've got two great new books and I don't know where to start. I'm like a kid in a candy shop, unless you were like me as a kid and had a dental assistant for a mother who would torture you with horrifying thoughts of fillings and dentist chairs and needles if you had even one piece of candy at all.

Anywho. Prior to creating this project of writing my morning pages everyday for a year, I didn't read much. I mean, I perused periodicals, I scanned pages of books, I meandered my way through the paper. But now, I've become a reading machine. Where do I find the time? I have no idea. It just appears. Magically.

And these two books don't seem thematically linked but somehow I think they are for me. Some inventive spirit or guardian angel is hanging out in another realm concocting a plan. He knows that these two books are the perfect books for my life's experience right here and right now. One book on creativity. The other book on veganism and environmentalism. I wonder what he's cooking up.

Stay tuned.

Sit Ubu sit. Good dog.


Day 34: Perseverance

Generally speaking, people can't drink and drive.

I can't drink and buy books.

Last night I got liquored up with my coworkers then sauntered into Barnes & Noble. I could have bought out the place. Books are so pretty and pristine and full of words and ideas and pictures.

I gasped aloud when I discovered Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron. I didn't know this book existed. I have all the other books in the Artist's Way series. I snapped it up, gave the man my money and stumbled out of the store. Later, I took a gander at the book and realized it was a three month course just like the Artist's Way.

I groaned. Ack! Artist dates and assignments. That sobered me up right quick.

This book is about perseverance. I figure that to write morning pages and blog about it for a year is going to need some perseverance. Honestly, it's been a pretty easy journey so far. It's been fun, creative and I've already experienced some good results. Adding perseverance can only be a good thing, right?

I have a quote on my wall at work:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
 By discovering this book now, and by having this lone quote staring at me all day long, I must be in training for perseverance (which is not easy to type, btw, so many e's in there). I'm going to give it a go and keep you abreast of the situation.

She said "a breast." Tee hee.
 


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 33: Starting and finishing

Today's morning pages took me forever to complete. My mind was darting here there and everywhere.

Where?

What?

See. I'm not able to follow. I'm all over the place. I envy people who can focus on one task at a time. I opened my journal, began to write, checked an email, got a bite to eat, made tea, came back to my desk, checked my bank account, did some instant messaging with friends, looked at my journal, read another email, downloaded a podcast for heavensakes, ate a few almonds, reapplied my lip balm, got up to do a few dishes, shuffled through a few papers, opened a few bills, prepped my Netflix videos for return, revisited my journal, made a call, THEN FINALLY got back to my pages only when I knew I would run out of time to get them done before I had to zip off to work.

What is my DEAL? Why can't I just focus on one thing and get it done? I could have peacefully wrote in my pages and then head off to work in a timely manner instead of rushing the process and darting out the door without a moment to spare.

Even inside the pages, my mind was all over the place. How does one focus? How can I simply start something and finish something without doing 7 thousand things in between? Maddening, I tell you. Maddening!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 32: Winners of the Great Fishbowl Giveaway

First, allow me to congratulate myself on one full month of doing my morning pages and my blog.

Three cheers for Janice! Rah rah rah!

Thanks, reader. You're always there to cheer me on.

I've read every blog. I should get some kudos, too, non?

Definitely. Reader, you are wonderful to show up here and read my blog. You are wonderful to leave comments, to let me know that you've been inspired to do your morning pages, and to send good vibes even if you don't make yourself known. I can feel your good vibes... especially you, Harsha.

So, today my morning pages were all about ideas for Volume 2 of The Great Fishbowl Giveaway.

To recap without having to click back (unless you want to), I'm creating fun flat things to mail out to random readers so they get something wonderfully awesome in the mail. To participate, all you need to do is email me your mailing address. Don't worry, I won't sell it to a direct marketing advertising agency and I won't show up unexpected to your house for dinner... unless you are related to me. I will put your mailing address in my fishbowl and draw out the lucky winners. The fishbowl:



Last month's, I had three lucky winners:

1) Aine M.
2) Scott C.

They won this chapbook, bound by After the Artist's Way Press (aka me):


3) Carla M. won this handmade journal:



I've got so many great and wonderful ideas for the next set of prizes. I will mail out the prizes at the end of February. I'm not going to tell you what they are. The surprise is half the fun!  To participate, email me your mailing address pronto.

And another added bonus... when you win, you still keep your name in the bowl. YOU COULD WIN EVERY MONTH!

The beauty of creating this contest is that I get to do it my way. I also get to make up the rules as I go along.

Congratulations, winners.


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