Monday, November 28, 2011

The Kiss

This weekend, I went with a small group of friends to Social Art Studio.

There are lots of these types of art studios popping up lately.  They all have a calendar online that lets you know what painting will be done on which date.  That way, you and your friends can pick something you all like and book your date to paint!

It's also BYOB, which is always a selling point for my wino friends!  ;)

The good people at Social Art Studio provided the canvas, paints, brushes, and instruction as we painted our own versions of "The Kiss" by Gustov Klimt.  

It's funny how even tho we were all painting the same thing, with the same paints, and with the same instruction, our paintings each had a unique take on "The Kiss".  
5 all the same, but different

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jingle Bashing

I was so looking forward to going to the Etsy Jingle Bash today.  It's a craft fair of lots of vendors who sell handmade goods on Etsy.  I figured I could pick up a few unique Christmas gifts for others, and/or myself!

Apparently a lot of other ladies had the same idea.  Way too many ladies!

It was held downtown at the Palladium, which sounded like it would be plenty big even if there were a bunch of people there.  BUT, there also happened to be a studio tour in the same area, so people were just every-effing-where.

Even parking was hellacious.  I had to parallel park, which is never pretty.  But no cars or people were injured, and for that, I am proud.

Maybe there were cute handmade goods there, or maybe there weren't.  I'm not even sure.  It was impossible to even make it up to the counters in the sea of people I would've had to wade thru to get there.

They had a few bars set up where you could order drinks, and they had a DJ spinning.  All that sounds kind of nice and festive, but it was just completely irritating to me.

If you notice on the Jingle Bash flyer above, you'll see that where it says, "shop-party-art-craft", the word "craft" sort of looks like "crazy".  That's what it looked like to me anyway.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Writer's Group

Since I began participating in a few challenges that require lots of songwriting in short bursts of time, I've accumulated lots of songs over the last few years.  I'm talking hundreds. But I haven't had much time to go back and edit barely any of them.  Many of them probably aren't even worth a second look, but I know some of them are.

But with that many songs to weed through, it's been a little hard to get motivated.  I don't even know where to start.  And so, I don't.

I know that as much as I hate deadlines, sometimes, I need them. 

So just the other day, a fellow songwriting friend and I decided to start a writing group.  Just a group of other songwriters to meet with to share songs we're currently working on, to get a little feedback, to give a little feedback and to get inspired. And of course, to give ourselves that much needed deadline. 

We were going to meet up one weeknight a couple times a month.  As it turns out, the night that we selected didn't work scheduling wise for anyone we invited.  Not even the two of us who came up with this grand idea. 

Once we found out no one could make it to our first meeting, she called me that morning and said, "Hey, since it's just us, and we don't have day jobs, you wanna just meet this afternoon?"  Hells yeah, I'd rather meet in the afternoon when my husband isn't home, when I'm not having to cook a quick dinner first, and when I tend to be in a more creative mode!

So she came over, we played our songs for each other, offered and received a little feedback, and got inspired!  We also decided our next meeting would be during the day again.  We figure, if we build it how we intend it, "they" will come!

Our songwriting group, as small as it was that day, served it's purpose for me.  I picked out a song from that big ol' pile and worked on it enough beforehand so that it wasn't too embarrassing to share. After playing it, and talking about it, I had some direction on what I needed to work on.  That night and the next morning, I spent more time with my song, trying out all sorts of different ideas I came up with, spurred by our discussion during our songwriting group.

We meet up again in a few weeks, so thankfully, I've got another deadline.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I'm reading Spent by Frank Lipman, M.D.  It's a non-fiction book written for people who feel, well.... spent
sorry, you can't click to look inside unless you go to!
I had been feeling pretty exhausted during the summer.  I even went in to my endocrinologist to make sure my thyroid wasn't whacked out-- I was just so drained every morning when I'd return from my run and puppy walks.  I'd come home to shower, but take a bath instead because I just felt so tired.  My brain seemed fuzzy most of the time.  I had the memory of a 70 year old, and I was getting headaches often.  And if I had to use a word to describe how I felt both physically and emotionally, I would say, "Spent". 

One day, I was reading a magazine article about how to regain some energy, and it mentioned this book.  I loved the title, and tend to make quick judgements based on that alone.  So I checked it out at the library.

Spent is set up as a 6 week program.  Each day, it offers one suggestion of something to either add or remove from your diet, exersize or sleeping regimen.  It's not some crazy strict diet or anything like that at all.  It's very sensible stuff- some of it that you already know and just need to be reminded about, and some of it, at least for me, is things you've never even thought about!

I think the very first day, Dr. Lipman suggests cutting out sugars and artificial sweeteners from your diet.  This is nothing ground breaking.  But he threw in some factoids about artificial sweeteners that I needed to hear again. Facts like:
*"Although it is marketed as "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar," it is more chemically similar to DDT."
*"Aspartame has more than 92 possible side effects."
*"If you are using Splenda, you are essentially dumping chlorine into your coffee."
He said that cutting that junk out might feel really challenging the first few days, but after that you'll notice your head will start to clear.  As in, not fuzzy. Yay!

Another thing suggested very early on in this 6 week program has to do with your sleep habits. 

Let me tell you, I wake up most mornings feeling like I need to go right back to sleep.  So although I've never even thought much about my sleep habits, I'm realizing I probably need to.

So the big advice here was-- don't watch tv in bed.  And not only that, don't watch tv or use a computer screen after 10pm.  Those bright lights emitted from the screen mess up our body clocks.  This was a tough one for me.  I love watching tv in bed.  And I love using my iPad in the tub during my evening bath.  But no more!  I quit doing it for about 10 days in a row.  But then, one night, I just had to watch a little tv!  And I slept like crap that night.  But I still made the same mistake again the next night watching tv in bed until about midnight.  And you know what?  I woke up around 3am and didn't get back to real sleep until about 5:30.  Not refreshing!

I'm on about week 5 of the program.  Some of the things suggested in the book I have stuck with, and some, I just try for a couple of days.  (Which Dr. Lipman seems to long as we're listening to our body and figuring out what makes a positive difference to us.) 

I'm feeling a lot better.  This could be at least partly due to the fact that the brutal summer is over and I'm no longer running in nearly 90 degree heat for and hour each morning.  But I think for sure, taking a lot of these suggestions to heart has done me some good.

Anyway, this book is so worth checking out if you, too, are feeling spent.