Thursday, March 31, 2011

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.  -D. H. Lawrence

This quote expresses very well some of what I've been dealing with lately. I'm alternately excited about prospective waitressing work (part time hours with tips that make for full time pay, full time hours with tips make for even BETTER pay, always being busy at work, moving around and interacting with people -all of this a welcome change from a lot of desk work and computer time and worrying over the state affairs) and befuddled wondering what is really next for me. Much as waitressing sounds great today I'm pretty sure I don't want to be relying on it for the rest of my life, not that I plan to. But I'm still a little uncertain as to what exactly I would like to do for the rest of my life. Is it hairdressing? Baking? Either of those trades could lead me to owning a business and being very independent one day and the option of such self reliance is very welcome to me after suffering some wicked bureaucrats in my lifetime. But some days I'm still not sure where I'm going or how I'll get there and I've found that learning to deal with those feelings and stay optimistic is just as important as everything else. And sometimes the best way to deal with all that is to do something else. Although the weather has suddenly become hot, I'm looking forward to some baking next week as a thank you to a neighbor who's thrown some paid work my way. In the meantime I'll be sticking to floor scrubbing.

This week I have been alternating between days of super productivity and high spirits and days when I can barely drag myself from bed and feel like my brain is warped, melting or made of cotton candy. It's been bizarre to say the least but happily today is one of the former. It also is day two of a little spring heat wave, come in these parts, and I get to wear a dress I have only worn a few times before. I also happily realized how cute it would look with this belt I have with birds flying around and resting on telephone wires. Seeing as it's already 84 degrees at ten til noon, this is likely the only thing about the weather I'll be enjoying very much. Let's hope it gets back down to something easier to deal with (say, daily high of 84) soon and doesn't fry my plants who are still believing it's winter.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

As I don't yet have a memory card and I need to practice and learn about my camera before I go out shooting, ofcourse I am taking a million photos of the animal family this evening. Here is the Moose sleepy and adorable.
And one taken with one of the few effect settings that I like so far, the pinhole camera effect. The vignetting and quality is actually very similar to what a Holga produces with the right customizations and   lighting. Ok, the image quality is a little better...

The other effect setting I like is sunset but I don't have a good example of that one yet. It makes everything kind of orangey golden. Beautiful with filtered sunlight. I'll have to play with that one more tomorrow. So far I am in love with this camera even though learning to use is has semi melted my brain. It does seem to be bouncing back, though, and now with something new it's learned which is really the best thing you can do for your brain, teach it new things.
Wheeeeee!!! I got a new camera today, my first real digital camera and a pretty good one, too. After reading an interview with a travel writer/photographer who suggested a particular model of Panasonic as a good, compact point and shoot with manual capability I found myself a used Panasonic DMC-FZ35. One of the most exciting things about this camera, for me, is that it has a Leica lens!!! Ohmygosh! (Ok, it's no Hasselblad but I'm not there yet, financially, not even used.) So I have been counting the days until it arrived and thought I had a couple more to go. And as I was on my way out to the store for some fresh fruit and Comet there was the little box sitting quietly at the top of the steps just outside my door. Aw!
Obviously I did not go to the store, but came right back inside, unpacked my camera and began to play. It's been a bit of a challenge, I must say, all new machines seem to be for me at first. Gone are the settings I'm familiar with -shutter speed and aperture right out in the open on the body of the camera. Now I have to learn how to find these things in the computer of the camera and not only by navigation but also because they don't call them shutter speed and aperture. And actually, I haven't yet been able to locate where to adjust the aperture or anything I recognize as being equivalent to it. And there's something about the extra little doodads "sports setting", "party setting" that kind of turn me off. For whatever reason it makes me feel like I got the Barbie camera or something. Anyway, I'm working on it. I've been actually reading the manual (this is huge, I do not read manuals) and making a few notes about functions so that I can carry them around with me for a little while until it all becomes more familiar.

One thing I absolutely did have to take a photo of were these beautiful saucers I found at St. Vincent's yesterday. The design and color of the glaze on each one is ever so slightly different and I love them so much I am actually now thinking of starting a plate wall even though I've never thought of that as a "me" thing to do. More likely is that I will just use them as, well, saucers. I already did last night and since I have no coasters, saucers are kind of necessary. Furthermore, I kind of like the idea of incredibly mismatched cup and saucer combos and my favorite so far is this pairing with my favorite cup. 
So here they are, my very first photos with the new camera machine.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Countdown to Neptune into Pisces. I'm not as obsessed as you think I am but I'm anticipating the kind of shift that you never forget. I just re-watched Amelie for the first time in years. That's the way I like to live, too. Golden light, strong colors, silly and mysterious romances. I have a feeling the movement of Neptune is going to open my eyes in some way. That everything will look completely different. Neptune is many things. It is the 'higher octave' of Venus, which means it is the makings for love on the soul level. It is a fog of confusion and sometimes deception. And it's a transformer, it tears things down leaving only the gems. You have no idea how often I have been in situations in which I truly could not tell if it was the most amazing experience of my life or the biggest con ever. These days I feel I've honed my intuition to a razor's edge.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet Sensation - The Melodians

Heard this song on KXLU yesterday evening. It's been so long since I heard it that it was almost new to me and I'm playing it over and over ever since.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This post is entirely about two colors. I've been obsessing for quite a while over shades of aqua and teal, resulting in the long awaited repainting of my living room. And then there's purple. One of my favorite colors ever and currently haunting me in shades of fuschia. Continuing with the theme of outfits I couldn't wear to work.

This dress (made by Motel) is kind of bittersweet to me as the photo I saw of it online made it look to be entirely shades of magenta-purple only but it turns out to to be magenta/purple and this brown/green that is somewhere between a very dark ochre and a very gold olivey green. So I was a little bit disappointed when it actually arrived because I'd been imagining it with an aqua cardigan but now feel that it would make for too many colors in the outfit. Also, as I found it near the end of it's apparent shelf life, it was happily marked to clearance price but I had to order a size up because they were out of stock in my usual size. It's one of those dresses, though, that I felt was made for me and I simply had to have it. Perhaps one day I will have it altered to fit me a little better? 
All in all I still love it and will wear it until the seams give, as I do everything I love. And I suppose the contrasting colors make it a bit more interesting without my having to mess with adding contrasting colors of my own.
And below is a photo with the Junebug and the lovely chairs I found while couch hunting. Very sophisticated, no? Between the chairs, the houseplants, the rug you can't really see -brindled faux cowhide, a lovely photo of with Santos camouflaged into it is posted somewhere below- and the addition of today's outfit (sort of), I feel like there's a slight "safari" theme happening in my living room including wild animals prowling and lazing about. 

I'm currently in the midst of choosing colors for the bedroom and am thinking, strangely of going for pink. As the bedroom has only one north facing window shaded by a tree, I've been thinking it's time to lighten up the color in there too, but as always I'm torn between this lovely super pale pink...

See the beautiful contrast with the dark wood bed? But am still pretty obsessed with aqua's too, though it's already been used in the living room in a lighter shade, and I am liking this...

Or perhaps, the opposite pink of baby pink, which might be this...

Leaving little room for other colors in the room and which would likely mean getting rid of everything I already own that lives in the bedroom. So as a compromise I think I might have to do this to a small chest of drawers which is currently red.

I was surprised by how striking this piece of furniture was in pink and am hoping that mine will be, as well, and will not instead make me gag as I would have thought a shade like this might.
(And please note the green wall in the next room because I'm thinking it might be nice in the kitchen where I do have a watermelon pink formica table.) 
And finally, the inspiration for tracking down and deciding on these colors....

How beautiful would it be to get that quality of light in your wall paint? Stay tuned, I'm going to be making some pillows for the living room soon and I think I'll be looking for this fuschia or a nectarine-ish red. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Quotes

I have a million bits of paper with quotes scribbled on them which I occasionally come across, read, and stuff away again into drawers, jewelry boxes, and all the random tea, cigar and other boxes that are too pretty to throw away. Rather than writing these down only to lose them in the chaos of paper bits that will someday overtake me, here are a few about love that I just saw and like.

"For one human being to love another is the most difficult task of all. It’s the work for which all other work is mere preparation." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Someday after we have mastered the winds, the waves, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; and then for a second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered fire." 
-Teilhard de Chardin

"Until you have loved, you cannot become yourself." -Emily Dickinson
Last night I was up 'til the wee hours looking at the fashion blogs of teenage girls. You all know already how much I adore Tavi of style rookie (something on her blog about a new website but I can't find it?!) and last night I came across a short interview with her from Teen Vogue in which she tells some of the other fashion blogs she likes which, of course, I had to immediately search, skim and bookmark. As a tribute, or something, I felt inclined to post a photo of what I'm wearing today. You all may also remember that I am currently unemployed and looking for a new job. While I have recently decided that looking for a new job is THE most tedious job one can have, the upside to this is that you can wear whatever you want to work. I'm not one to sit around in my jama's all day -perhaps mainly because I don't have any jama's at the moment that I find particularly cute enough to spend extra time in. But I do love clothes and one of the things that can happen when you have a real, grown up job is that you don't get to dress quite the way you want very often. Must be presentable! Professional! And unless you want to get a lot of comments and funky looks from your (ok, probably just 'my') boss, you might want to tone down quite how much of your personality you wear to work. Isn't that sad? Yes, it was for me and over time dressing for work became quite dull and sometimes anxiety producing even. 
So, one of the few and small celebratory things that I can do for myself these days is to wear whatever I freakin' want. It doesn't have to be much of a big deal but certainly today's outfit has no place in my old office. And here it is.....

 Two views because I couldn't decide. Both are theatrical reenactments of me taking a break from sending out resumes and reading ads, posed in my bitty little 'office' spot under the stairs (until I move to my dream house with a 'writer's shack' named for a city). Outfit consists of (this is a very important part of the teen fashion blog protocol) ballet tights, over the knee socks, slouchy suede ankle boots, a lattice knit sweater skirt, a thermal top with small owls on it which you cannot see at all, a grey t-shirt with an octopus on it which you can barely see, and a darker grey hoodie which must be held together by safety pin as my puppy kindly removed the zipper pull for me.
This is also a sort of nod to Uranus and Jupiter in Aries. I read today that Jupiter is currently altering, somehow (not entirely clear on this), wherever you have Aries -for me: communication, expression and some other stuff that's currently slipped my mind. The instructions were to go ahead and play with it while it lasts as soon it will ALL CHANGE due to Uranus. As I can't see the future and know what this means for me..... major changes in the way I speak and write? The way I dress? A bunch of other unforseeable stuff? (For sure!) I'll just go with the flow today and afford myself a little entertainment this way to break the monotonous, time swallowing intensity of writing a thousand unique cover letters to people who (please!) I am asking for work. Wish me luck everyone and stay tuned to witness my dramatic transformation.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

For the Virgo Full Moon and Vernal Equinox

The last couple nights I've had a lot of dreams but when I woke up only the faintest memory of them. All I remember from last night is a lawn mower. Can't figure out what that might mean. Something to do with the spring equinox? Who knows. It's not in my book of symbols.
The full moon was officially exact about 11:10 this morning. With it being both in Virgo and super close to the earth (closest in eighteen years!) I got a lot done and then went full bats this afternoon prompting me to go for a run for the first time ever in my LIFE. Ok, it's something I've been talking about doing for quite some time now but I really never have. At the last minute I always feel like it's a "waste" for me to go for a run and not take the dogs, which then means I don't get to run very much because I have to keep them "in order". Anyway, today I finally went for a run. It was a bit disappointing. I knew I wouldn't be able to run the whole hiking trail non-stop but was surprised at how far I could run each stretch before needing to slow down again. But what I was really hoping for is the kind of exhaustion you feel at the end of a very long day with constant physical labor. At the end of my run I felt a bit lightheaded and wobbly for about ten minutes but I'm back to normal now and don't feel exhausted at all. I wonder how long I'd have to run/walk to get that good worn out feeling? Looks like I might have try yard work instead.

Friday, March 18, 2011

An interesting week with crazy information coming to the surface. I believe Mercury is in shadow phase and is about to turn retrograde. This weeks revelations make me wonder what kind of wild ride I'm in for...

Before Neptune leaves Aquarius and this.....

becomes this......

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dark Side

I've just come to a realization. I'm a dark person. It's true. I am also ridiculously optimistic and have some crazy style sense but I love dark and slightly "tragic" images and very moody, heavy music along with some light and bubbly of both, as well. I knew this about myself all along but during some dark period of my life I tried to get all of that out of my world and my head because I thought it would keep me from becoming as happy as I could possibly be. Ofcourse now I realize that's a silly idea because I need all the things that make me happy to become the happiest I could ever be. My favorite ballet is called Cruel World but I also like b-boy dance crew style. I love CSS but also the Black Keys and CocoRosie (they're kind of both, aren't they?). And as much as I like pretty images full of color and light that look almost too good to have come from reality, I looooooove these.

These are Australian mug shots from the Justice and Police Museum. Which I first found here (larger, better resolution and many more images), and recently saw again a little article about on npr's website.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Someone told me once that there are book distributors that sell books by the foot. As in twelve inches worth of books. He said people purchase books that way to decorate if they don't have a personal collection but like the look. Instead of ugly ceramic animals or something. Makes me wonder if there's someone out there who would hire me to select a reading list of books that I think are good, or that sound really good to me, and to find the ones with the most beautiful and interesting bindings. So that they had a library not only of substance but of beauty. Something that if they ever felt the desire to read, they could choose something and be more or less guaranteed it would be worthwhile, and that if they never chose to read, would look beautiful in their house. I have a few books like this, books I've always wanted to read but haven't and of which I chose the absolute most beautiful editions of. I never regret them.

Uranus into Pisces TODAY!

We're in the very final countdown to Uranus moving into Aries (4:49pm PST). This is the first I've seen of the exact time and so all day I have been attributing particular feelings to the shift.
I woke up early this morning to clear golden sunlight and dewy grass and felt sort of "changed" and also a little revved up and thought to myself, "Ah, this is it!" But I guess it wasn't. Sometime between noon and one I felt kind of jittery and a little odd and thought that must have been the transition but it turned out that was the Moon entering Gemini. Ok. So I just saw a post that does give the time of the shift as 7:49pm EST, which is just a few more minutes away, and now I am all wiggly with anticipation! Just wait until Neptune leaves Aquarius on April 4th, I am gonna celebrate for a week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interesting. I was just reading an article on Flavorpill (based on another article I haven't gotten to yet) about 10 sitcoms that will be funny for generations to come. One that is sited is Curb Your Enthusiasm described as "the recurring theme - that if we just did whatever we wanted instead of conforming to accepted etiquette, life would be chaos - is timeless." For whatever reason this sentiment somehow struck me as very rigid. Like........ I'm not sure how to describe it, sort of like makes me want to scream "Conspiracy theory!!!!" or something. I mean, on the one hand, certainly we're all conscious of being part of a huge community or society made up of smaller ones, etc. And then I get torn. Because really, life is incredibly chaotic. Many people just do whatever they want. In fact, we've been told that we should do everything we want if we want to be happy and successful.  In whose world are things so orderly that people don't do or say things that surprise us? The government, the highest people working and living by these rules. What is their way of resolving issues? I declare chaos on you. In many ways war is intended, I suppose, to be a very complex order (think of it as the two angry neighbors stalking across their respective front lawns, fists clenched but in this case it's really a gang, gathering up all the men in the one country to go next door and kick this other countries ass) but in reality it is utter chaos of the most horrifying kind. Which brings me to the horrible thought: when President's and Prime Minister's and King's and Dictator's and whoever else has a stake in it, are hearing reporting on the news about the number of soldiers that have been lost, are they seeing it as a scoreboard or are they seeing it as a human tragedy like the rest of us? Do they become like hardened criminals only seeing that the more men they lose the less powerful they'll be?

Uranus will move out of Pisces and into Aries tomorrow, I believe I may have posted something about this when I first began this blog because, coincidentally, it's supposed to have a significant effect on how I express myself. Uranus moved into Aries last spring for a few months, back into Pisces for a few more months and now is about to cross into Aries for good, for a few years, at least. In addition to obvious expression, I realized that this movement has also been very close to the time I first discovered tango through a hybrid class combining tango technique and ballet and now, as I've just begun to take formal (partnered) tango lessons just as this shift is preparing to happen again. As a on and off (these days) life long dancer of many styles I have to say that tango is the first thing that's made me feel really, really life myself in many years and I do hope (considering the significance of the timing) that it becomes an important part of my life. In honor of the shift and as a "toast" to fresh self expression:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I'm finding that my overall goal for the future is more balance. When I was working the days were so long, the commute so long and the work so involved that I always seemed to be thinking about it even when I thought I wasn't. Vacations seemed to fly by and I always felt I'd wasted half of it indulgently lazing around.
These days I still have work to do and I actually try to manage it much the same way I'd manage a real job. I makes schedules and lists and prioritize. There are deadlines, and I even am still using the rule of work before play. But there's more time than you might imagine. No matter how many jobs I apply for in one day, add a few follow up calls from previous applications, take care of some housework, bills, exercise and play with the dogs -that might sound like fun but it's necessary so it qualifies as a "chore", but ultimately I feel kind of out of balance still.
I suppose this means I've caught up on my rest, which is already evident by how easily I can stay up 'til the wee hours and still roll out of bed just after the crack of dawn. Seems I've exchanged the imbalance to: too much rest and not enough work. I seriously may take up running just because at least I might manage to feel exhausted one day. There's something about being seriously worn out that is sometimes really pleasant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Funny how things work. When I left my job I made a few deadlines for myself and put them on my calendar. The first was when I wanted to be finished with things that needed immediate attention like the dentist and the mechanic, I was going to get it all out of the way in the first week so that I could then move on to relaxing. What I referred to as my "unemployment honeymoon" during which the only rule was to not worry about or try to decide what I would do next. It sort of worked out a little as I did get a lot done that first week.
But the second week I got really sick -which isn't very good for a honeymoon, and the things that need immediate attention (Hello, City of Pasadena Parking contacting me for the first time three years after the ticket was issued!) keep coming up. So here I am crossing the honeymoon deadline into the "let's get down to business" period (aka: the rest of my life) and I'm already in the next sub-phase, which is "feeling concerned about why I haven't already lined up three jobs and turned down two while still trying to keep a calm, rational position about the whole thing". That's a big one and I don't want to get there too soon and definitely not yet.
I'm already cracking into my "last resort" options and reminding myself not to get trapped in the comfort of something that doesn't make me happy. Notice I didn't say "something that makes me unhappy", I'm specifying that I have decided to be that particular. It has to make me happy, doesn't have to be my whole life but it does have to make me happy. It's the only way to live. (Typo was: "only way to love", which is also true.)
Fortunately I saw that there was some Mercury/Neptune thing happening today which often does mean I feel deluded in a bad way: things that are good for me seem to fail or disappear, things that are bad really stand out suddenly. Fortunately, Neptune leaves Aquarius really soon now and here's the promise that's been made to me: all the fog is gone and it's stripped away everything that is dead and leaves only the gold. Isn't that a beautiful promise? I can't f*cking wait.
Ultimately, I am simply reengineering my plan as I go along because unless you can see the future, plans must be flexible. And I'm learning that even living pretty low key can take a lot of effort the more self reliant you are. It's just another adjustment.
Fortunately I also got a free sample reading by the amazing Denise Dee today which sounded so crazily dead on but bizarre, and totally my life and, somewhat unfortunately, produces a vision in my head that is so washed out by bright light that I can't see the details -much like a few dreams I've had recently. Leaving me now on the fence between feeling sooo much better and feeling a little overwhelmed by the uncertainty. It's been one of those days.   

Food Swap?!

Likely because it makes me feel I've accomplished something that day and as I'm currently between jobs I have to find a way, I've been baking a lot lately. It's sort of a catch 22, though, as I don't like to eat a lot of sugar but I love to bake pastries. Furthermore, it costs money. It even inspired me to apply for a bakery job which, sadly, seems to have been filled in the blink of an eye.
So today I received an email from a nearby shop announcing a food swap event. For this event you can bring  baked goods, produce from your garden, etc. I'm not even sure -it almost sounds like you could clean out your canned goods and bring them down to swap. The idea then is that you can trade your 'goods' for other peoples and come away with some.... food. Honestly, I'm not totally interested in this as I don't imagine there'd be much to get excited about. As I said before, I try not to eat a lot of sugar so if other people show up with baked offerings, as well, I'm just trading mine for theirs. Or perhaps I'll have the option of a can of beans or something. Ultimately, it's not sounding that exciting.
At the same time I believe that the universe is mysterious and intelligent and provides us strange opportunities for a reason. Is this a chance for me to let people sample my baking and, perhaps, lead me to someone who can give me a job? Would a more direct approach simply be for me to have my own little bake sale? It's a conundrum. What to do?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I took a three and a half hour tango class today. It was amazing. We did a lot of switching roles: men and women interchangeably leading and following. It was interesting to have the perspective of the leader. You have to watch where you're going and not run your partner into other dancers or walls. You have to make your movements with very clear and assertive intention so that your partner knows what you want them to do but gently enough so as not to overwhelm and, I would add, agreeably -which is a fine area and I think comes mostly from a persons nature. This would be why we like to dance with certain partners more or less than others.
I much prefer following. It's an amazing feeling allowing someone to blindly guide you around and just focus on sensing their intentions, synching your movements with theirs and making pretty shapes with the way you move. I seem to be quite good at surrendering, but again, it takes the right leader.
At the end of the class another woman said that what she felt was most a challenge was finding the momentum to lead well. I had to agree, she expressed it spot on. And I think it's interesting considering this is something I've noticed about myself previously (and posted here): momentum can be challenging. I worked really hard on it today and besides having an amazing time dancing, interesting having a chance to practice feeling my momentum. Good practice.