Far Away Across Those Moonlit Dunes

There aren’t really dunes that can been seen from the 8, but nonetheless it’ll be a nice drive. Daytime this time around – yes, I’m headed back to Phoenix. My friend Maria invited me to go with her after she heard of my last trip, so after some groveling in regards to getting the 12 hours of PTO approved, I find myself closing in on another desert weekend. It’s really quite nice to have a break from reality, not to mention exciting. Road trip!

This time I hope to take more photos. Any photos, really, because it’s difficult – not to mention probably illegal – to do that while driving. It will be interesting to see things during the day. We’re leaving Friday at 1, returning some time on Sunday. I’m amped to see people, to feel like I’m on vacation.

There’s another Pigment Monster show this weekend. My work is still over at the venue, hopefully it will be displayed, if not… no biggie. Somehow it’s December in a moment, and if my luck holds out then the guys over at Alchemy will hold me to “displaying my work after the first of the year”. This means that not only do I need to pick up my old work, I need to create another set of work. Six larger pieces should do it, the problem is making sure the pieces don’t feel forced.

My friend Steve has been discussing writing a children’s book (or three). He’d have me illustrate it. I’m concerned that his ideas might not be uh… marketable… but at least they’d be entertaining to some of us. And isn’t that what really counts?

Okay, break’s over. Time to make some tea and consider what could be wrong with the site map. XML indeed.

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Saturday Catch Up And Hey Look At That Tree It’s Leaning

The hardest posts to title are ones like this: a big soupy mix of my random babble. So there you have it… catching you up on some things (on a Saturday), and hey – look at that tree, it’s leaning.

It leans with the wind. Or maybe it just looked that way when I put my head down on my desk.

It never comes out the same way in the photo as it looks in real life. From my vantage point, the eucalyptus on our property fills up the office window with towering green, winds making it a living portrait. It’s awesome. To my left, bougainvillea lies dormant yet still amazing.

Next up: ramble time.

+ I’ve noticed you. That’s right – YOU. I have seven followers reading my words and I …don’t know who most of them are. Except for you, Miss J, because even though we haven’t met in real life, I still know you. 🙂

Holy crap! This makes me happy. It makes me happy because I didn’t ask you guys to follow me, you just did it, so I want to make you happy. If you promise to stay, I promise to keep writing. And since I’m not really into celebrating the whole Christmas-omg-here’s-a-physical-present thing, why not make a present to me by getting me a follower? Thanks, you’re the best. I’ll try to reciprocate. :))

+ Just saw The Yellow Reading Chair post and it made me think of my Blue Reading Chair. Woot!

+ Mariachi players just walked by the office. They’ve got violins and the music sounds all sorts of festive. It’s appropriate for the Festive Event over there, and sounds nice to boot.

+ My health is not getting any better; matter of fact, it’s getting worse. This makes me a less-than-happy camper. Monday at 2pm is my specialist’s appointment, so cross your fingers this is just something that can be treated with antibiotics. I’m crossing my fingers it’s not A) much worse or B) something they need to give me an MRI for.

+ We spent Thanksgiving up at our friends’ house – Casa de Mikey & Page. An hour north of us, it’s a nice little haven in the hills. Very quiet, very homey. It was a delicious and relaxing time.

+ My art is bubbling up to the surface, fueled by a lot more medication than I’m used to, but the physical effort is too much right now. At least some basic sketches are happening but mostly I want to sleep.

Something that dawned on me today was perhaps working on an art gathering. It could be here at my work. Yes, 2012… it could be my year. And why not? Which brings me to the fact that I will never admit:

+ I was following Kim & Khloe Kardashian on Twitter. That’s right. My original reason for following them (or watching them, or acknowledging they exist) was mostly for the same reason I pick up tabloids in checkout lines: the styles, the fashion, the makeup…it’s a magpie reaction. Anyway, I was following them up until a few hours ago when Khloe posted about their new novel. That’s right, *their* new novel. Because it took all three of them to write what they probably think is the equivalent of “Valley of the Dolls” (NO) or even “Invisible Monsters” (HELL NO) and like, OMG, it’s about …well, them. I loathe having to bring this up because it will garner them even more traffic (and more potential sales), but I need to make a point.

Says Khloe (on her blog, previewing the “novel”), “this chapter is an introduction into the world of three sisters — Kamille, Kass and Kyle, and really sets the tone for the rest of the book.” Oh my gosh, really?!!!?!?? Huh, what sordid tales of intrigue could be there?? Well, the first sentence uses the phrase “açaí berry”, and the first few paragraphs are about a girl who argues with her mom/manager about if going to the spa on a weekly basis can really be considered a luxury or not.

I’ll leave the rest of the mystery up to you, dear Reader.

Now listen, I won’t lie. I want to read it in the way I want to see the Twilight movies (on video) – for the sheer awfulness of it. The ludicrous entertainment of this terrible thing that just Should Not Be. But I certainly WILL NOT pay to see the Twilight movies, in the same way that I WILL NOT pay to read Dollhouse. There is no way that my money will go towards that, absolutely not… but that doesn’t mean my curiosity is any less.

+ I no longer follow them. I’ll miss the makeup and fashions, from an artistic point of view, but if somebody’s cyber personality irritates you enough to get past your screen, it’s time to unfollow.

+ Oooh, speaking of, I’ve been on a Facebook unfriending spree. My guidelines for unfriending are fairly lax but it feels like cleaning out the closet. Did we grow up together? Did we add each other simply because of that? Have we talked in the past five years via some method other than Facebook? Has any of that consisted of saying more than something like “what’s up” or “oh that’s a cute photo”? Have we communicated in any fashion for any length of time since becoming Facebook friends? If the answers are Yes / Yes / No / No / No, then you’re off the list.

I haven’t made a fuss about it; no announcements, no trumpets and grandeur. It’s been a slow process – the decision is made typically if I see a status update that makes me realize that A) we have nothing left in common except a zip code, B) you have nothing interesting (to me) to say and C) things you DO say are all done via mutilated English. Essentially if I’d rather hide your status updates than read them, you’re a Questionable FB Friend. I don’t care that you made chicken for the fam on Sunday night. I don’t care about your kids, the daycare you’re running, or how you’re “hustlin & grindin”. I probably don’t care about your drama. Scroll back a handful of entries and you’ll see my more in-depth thoughts on the situation.

My decision to de-friend someone is generally validated after about a week goes by. If they haven’t sent me a friend request or a quick message after they’ve been removed, I know it was the right choice. This isn’t me asking for attention or errant emails, this is me saying “Ah, this was quick and painless for both of us, no hard feelings, have a good one”. It saves us the trouble of keeping up the front …which for all intents and purposes probably doesn’t matter, because they most likely haven’t even paid any mind to my profile in the first place.

The method is working out well.

+ More reading occurred over the weekend. Halfway done with Book 4 in the Dark Tower series re-read, and Mikey also lent me books 2/3/4 in the Game of Thrones series. I’m concerned that my condition is actually worsened by the act of reading or looking at computers, so you may not hear much from me for awhile. If you’re feeling inclined, drop me a random email. I’ll appreciate it. 🙂

+ Just under an hour to go here at work. Time to finish up some things and then head out for my second weekend of the week. Cheers to all of you.

The Lobstrosities Are Back

Lobstrosities.

I wonder if that word just popped right into the mind of Mr. King – pardon me, STEPHEN, do you mind if I call you Stephen? – when he was typing it up. It’s a wholly appropriate word to describe these horrible things he’s conjured up.

Most of this afternoon and evening have been spent getting lost in the deserts and beaches of Roland’s world. You know the one if you’ve read any of the Dark Tower books. Some weeks back, a box arrived at my office. My mother had shipped a care package to me containing things from my childhood: mostly books. Huge surprise.

One of those books was “Five Children And It”, something that delighted me to re-read in those days. I devoured it, remembering all the feelings from days gone by.

The thing (It) on the front cover is sort of what the lobstrosities of the Gunslinger’s world always remind me of.

Eyes on stalks. Dad-a-chum?

Someone once said that if you’ve ever read a Stephen King novel and said it didn’t scare you, at least a little, you were lying. I agree with that sentiment. He gets right to the inside of your head, opens the door and pulls out stuff you don’t ever want to consider. There are always weird little phrases that you’ll recall years down the road.

The scariest part of his books (or any well-written books) is that you get lost. In the box of books my mother shipped out were a handful of Stephen King novels that were also from my adolescence. You could find me with my nose buried in a book even then.

I digress.

Mid-afternoon I picked up the first Dark Tower novel… and at 845 this evening I looked up from the halfway point of the second Dark Tower novel and didn’t know where I was for the briefest of moments. My phone’s Kindle app has the entire series and if it wasn’t for that pesky Work thing, I would re-read the full story in one sitting.

Not the book.

The story. The series.

I might randomly fall asleep or wander away to get a snack, but then I’d be right back. It would be clearly than the movies, it’s like the fourth wall breaks. I’ve read the series before (actually I’ve read all of Stephen King’s books before, many times), but get lost in them every time.

It’s that way for me with most books. You can talk to me to no avail; my body will be sitting there but that’s about all. This post is written in a haze because my back started to hurt and my body needed to stretch, but my mind is still next to Detta Walker, up on the hill with potentially live ammo, and wondering if Eddie is going to finally get a chicken dinner.

I’m switching between this and two first-time forays: the Game of Thrones series (thumbs up) and the Wheel of Time series (having a tough time with that one).

It’s cold, rainy, and still my weekend. Time to curl back up under the nearest Snuggie and see what the travelers are up to.

NanoWhatMo?

Call it the 2:30 Feeling, call it caffeine slump, call it what you will, but I’ve hit the wall for the day. The wall where you know you’re just not getting anything further done – attempts at such will result in a lot of paper shuffling and list making. You guilt yourself into all the things you’ll need to do, all the things you haven’t done, and you’ll leave the office with the sense of not getting a thing accomplished.

It’s not true, of course. You’ve gotten things done. You’ve moved forward… unless you are a Master Procrastinator and are skilled at the art of looking incredibly busy while accomplishing nothing more than illusion. Usually most of our illusory skills go into overdrive around this time of year. Holidays are forthcoming, perhaps you’re lucky enough to have some vacation time saved up. Perhaps you’re thinking of how next week you’ll be stuffing yourself silly on food other people spent all day preparing. Most of you have a plan to get drunk at some point in the near future, possibly as early as this Thursday. Possibly you’re drunk *now*.

Every year, immediately following Halloween, I go into a slump that doesn’t really end until right around my birthday. I’m not a fan of the holiday season, except for the free food portion of the show. Maybe my kitchen will smell like cookies, maybe it will smell like cat litter and dishes that need to be washed. In all instances, I am not a fan of my kitchen either – it’s too small and (as of late) empty.

Right turn, Clyde.

Quite a few of my friends are participating in NaNoWriMo. Some are posting daily updates on what they’ve written each day, some have the auto-feed of their word count. Yes it’s the thought that counts, as the whole point of NaNoWriMo is quantity not quality, but I’ve barely managed a handful of posts this month. Forget writing a novel of any sort. I’ve got random bits of fiction out there in a safe place but for the most part the words are all jumbled up in the back of my head. They’re hiding behind the brick wall, behind the locked door in the drawing room, and if it wasn’t for me seeing shadows every so often I wouldn’t even know the door was there.

A few weeks ago someone asked me how my art was made. I started to describe the process of acrylics, making sure my brush and canvas were saturated with water and color – he stopped me to clarify: “No, how do you MAKE your art, where does it come from?”

My friend, I have no real answer for you. One minute there’s nothing more than a feeling… the next, an image. Rarely (actually, never in memory) will something destined to be a painting come from a random scribble. The toughest part of the whole process is putting the image out exactly as it appears in my head; if the finished piece appears too flat or unmanageable, it goes directly into the trash and becomes a disappointment.

I have the ghost of images rolling around in my mind right now, maybe this evening I’ll be able to coax them out. We’ll see.

Caught Beneath The Landslide

Full moon recently got into my head. It’s made a bit of a home up there.

How many special people change?
How many lives are living strange?
Where were you while we were getting high?
Slowly walking down the hall
Faster than a cannonball
Where were you while we were getting high?
Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova in the sky

Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova
A champagne supernova in the sky
Wake up the dawn and ask her why
A dreamer dreams, she never dies
Wipe that tear away now from your eye
Slowly walking down the hall
Faster than a cannonball
Where were you while we were getting high?
Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova in the sky
Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova
A champagne supernova
‘Cuz we don’t believe
That they’re gonna get away from the summer
But you and I will never die
The world’s still spinning around we don’t know why

Flights of Fancy

First of all, hello new blog followers! You make me very happy just by existing. Please continue.

The aforementioned Pigment Monster show was a nice time. Hopefully you can click that link and see all the photos that somebody else took. Here’s me with my setup and tasty wheat beer.

Completely out of left field I sold a painting. Rather, someone bought it after I left, and the host/promoter contacted me the next day regarding it. Here’s the one that got sold:

It was a very unexpected sale and I was pleased someone wanted to give me money. If you like what I do, you can become a fan of Drunkbunny on Facebook. Or even if you don’t like it, show some love and pass the word to someone who might.

This past weekend I went to Phoenix. For many people that is an unremarkable statement, but it was a bit of a cherry pop in that the following things happened:

I…
-drove
-by myself
-at night
-to Arizona
-and back.

I’ve never been to Arizona. I’ve never driven that far on my own. Ever. I drove 6 hours to hang out with my friends that haven’t been seen in forever and it was GREAT. (Except for the speeding ticket on the last 150 miles home at which the cop clocked me at 85 in a 70 but gave me a ‘break’ by just putting it down as 79. He was nice and I’m grateful for that break, but at that hour and that length of drive with no cruise control? Yeah, SUPER difficult to maintain a constant speed. A 75 limit would’ve been easier, and apologies for the long parenthetical section.)

My next trip out there may be the weekend of December 3rd. My friend and her husband go frequently – and invite me frequently – so I’ve submitted my PTO request and am crossing my fingers. It would be nice to have the 3.5 day weekend and to also get to see more of it in daylight. Also it would be nice to have someone else drive.

Speaking of, it wasn’t a bad drive at all. There was a lot of music to entertain me aurally, as well as the audio version of Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me. (Hilarious, FYI.)

The desert at night is stunning. The return-trip moon was nearly full and you could see silhouettes of mountains. You could see cacti and shrubs and lines blurring on the road and people-ish things in the middle of it. Okay, maybe only *I* could see that last bit, which was super creepy and surreal, but still. There was a long stretch where I had some fear, and still feel a little off key. It’s been an interesting week.

Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation (should be caught up by this weekend), but here’s the part where a crazy statement comes out: I feel like I drove into an alternate reality, and this really does feel like the first week of the rest of my life. Say what you want, but that’s how I feel. It’s not entirely bad, just unsettling. It’s like I’m on the other side of the mirror.

Phoenix was a strange place for me. Desert trips are nothing new – my past ones have included Vegas and Camping – but this was different. It felt like a ghost town. Like cardboard cutouts and people huddled indoors. It felt dead. The strange thing was that there were a LOT of people living all their busy little lives, but maybe after the neon screaming brightness of California, it just doesn’t compare. I don’t know. There was something missing… some color, some soul. The dust got into my head and is rattling around up there.

I’m excited to go back.

Bonus round – caught up with and hung out with some really awesome people. Met some new folks, equally awesome. There were a lot of nice experiences, because you know it can go either way (as hard as possible) when you go somewhere you’ve never been. We should have taken more photos together but it just didn’t happen. Ate some good food, saw some good scenery. Here’s a shot of some of the sushi from Moira, SO good.

The new Juxtapoz issue arrived in my mailbox recently, and this morning it was in my hot little hands. Time to peruse, finish my tea, get some sleep. Yoga and creation would be nice but I’m an old lady and need to be asleep sooner rather than later, snuggled under large fur blankets and sleeping bags.

Wait, maybe that just means I’m going into Hibernation.

Rawr!

All I Wanted Was Some Pho

I once said (out loud) that I wanted to learn to make pho. A friend of the Asian Persuasion – in between laughing – begged me to stop even CONSIDERING that nonsense and hustle on down to the local Pho King or Pho Hoa or Pho Cali ….anywhere but my own kitchen. The hassle wouldn’t be worth it.

Today was all about recuperating from some weird bug. Skipping the details of how my stomach decided to randomly empty out everything in it, my food/beverage choices were limited for the day to things of bland and simple variety. Some toast with apple butter, some tea, some udon noodles with sauteed mushrooms.

It’s such an easy dish. You boil water, you drop the noodles in for four minutes. Mushrooms are sauteed in a little veggie oil and soy sauce. When your noodles are done you drain them and toss in the mushrooms and ta-da: a small bowl of easy-on-the-tummy food. Nothing major, probably far better than canned chicken noodle soup, but not terrible. Still not feeling great but we’ll see how the evening goes.

I’m trying to feel better for this art show on Friday. It’s a low-key evening but I still want to be able to feel social. Also I really need to complete this robot painting, which means I have one evening, maybe two.

I just found ballet classes at a nearby place ($96 for 8 classes per month), and really would like to attend. Of course they’re Tuesday & Wednesday nights, so … if my stomach gives me the thumbs up then I’ll be doing that tomorrow night until 8:15. I really do miss dance classes. But I may skip it until next week and spend the extra day trying to work on finishing up this less-than-halfway-done robot. Robanesh, I’m calling it.

All I feel like doing right now is finishing this glass of water and going to sleep. Awesome! I leave you with a recent Freshly Pressed Link of Win:

Still Life

http://allrainydaysarentgray.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/still-life/