Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The answer is...

The answer is, I value a sense of humor. "Humor is the sunshine of the soul." When times are good a genuine smile, a chuckle, simple laughter for me is a matter of releasing all that feels good. And why wouldn't I want to share that? To engage others with me in that is a communion. When times are not so good a genuine smile, a pun, even a poor joke, all of it can lighten the load. I cannot imagine not valuing a sense of humor.

"Nothing is as bad as you want it to be." is a bit of advise that was handed to me as I fretted and worried myself into a disconnected state many, many years ago. I've held to this saying. My brain may want to tell me otherwise. But, this bit reminds me that my brain is not what is actually happening. This bit reminds me there is always a bigger picture to look at. This bit reminds me that stories are just that, stories. Very few are non-fiction. Fiction is the "What if" stories, the "What did he/she mean?" stories, the "Why me?" stories. If my life is going to be filled with fiction then I'm going to write it as a comedy (in the comedy/tragedy diametric). If the story is looking bleak and dreary a quick re-write of the next act is pretty easy - it's all in pencil ,at best, anyway. Deus ex machina is always available - coincidence works great for starters. I repeatedly see coincidences and de ja vu is a regular happening in my life anymore.

I enjoy a good comedy, both the long playing ones and the comedies for the moment. A running joke in a show gets richer with the repeating. A running joke in a schtick is the connecting device in a lot of stand-up comedy. Not that my life is a running joke, merely that the running jokes in my life have woven in so richly that to smile as they recur is natural anymore.

Nothing is perfect. I'm not looking for perfection. Perfection is boring. There's no ribbing in perfection, there's nothing to rib or joke about there. As this big picture (my life, this time around) unfolds for me I treasure the fun, the smiles, the laughter. After every major upheaval there's relief and lightness to take the place of the stress and worry. I suppose I am open to releasing this stress and worry and simply allow the laughter and smiles that space to hang out. It seems a decent trade-off.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crazy Synchronicity

Cake Wrecks - one of my favorite blogs to follow, recently changed their format, got a little more "official" and published a book of some of the better cake wrecks. You must, absolutely must, check these guys out. I know from reading their posts the author is out on a book tour at this time. Things are very busy, keeping up with posts, book signings, yadda, yadda, etc.

Coming home from the museum today I stopped in at the drugstore to pick up non-essentials. I climbed the stairs to the commons area of Third Place Books - the shortcut to my car - and who should be taking the stage?(I didn't know they had a stage...) Why yes, none other than my favorite blog authors, Jen and John of Cake Wrecks! Hey, they are real! And again (as this happens repeatedly for my way of thinking) I am amazed at the things people stumble into that make them happy AND pay the bills. Jen and John mention they are a little surprised too. What Jen actually said was, she had no idea, she posted the cake screw-up just for her. It was funny, she posted it.

I was dumbfounded to have almost literally stumbled into this presentation. Earlier in the day I had goofed off in the downtown Nordstroms to kill time. I waited 37 minutes for the bus as I was getting out of downtown (great people watching, btw). I had walked up and down aisles in the neighborhood drugstore because I was in no particular hurry to be anywhere. And here now I am leaned up against a post with my shopping bag of hairspray, box of knuckle bandages, pink nail polish, moleskin, epson salts and peanut M&M's watching these two tell a packed house all about the worst cakes to ever try to be sold - and many of these cake appear to have actually sold. I dunno.

As the question section began to wind down I headed over to the bookstore proper. The book, Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong is lovely - and fatter than I thought it would be for only two years of ceaseless, all consuming toil (and fun, it sounds like). The line was forming and quickly, as Jen and John were saying goodnight from the stage. I got out of the way. Of all the book signings to stumble onto - and I have wanted to go to quite a few at this bookstore - I picked the right one. I've been reading this stuff already. Next time I might even stand in line for the signed copy.

Nightmares in the Museum

Thought provoking, stunning, and monsterous creations of the tricks ones mind can play.

Mann und Maus
Katharina Fritsch

Do-Ho Suh
This "coat of arms" is made up entirely of dog tags. Each tag individually stamped. I thank the universe this in not made of "expired" dog tags. It's was startling enough as it was.

All in all, (and of course in my humble opinion) Milwaukee Art Museum has more and more variety. Even Milwaukee knows to have amazing Chihuly; and not just a couple of pieces. SAM displays One Monet and one Degas, no Gauguin (Okay, so I like my Impressionists). I had expected a larger or more comprehensive oriental arts installation. Nope - pretty sparse. Imogen Cunningham was much too small an exhibit, merely a hallway (albeit a long one...I may change my mind once I return - some excellent pieces are on display from her). Amazing things she did with silver process and photography - hell, she did amazing things.

I will go back. There is a Calder Exhibit and a Michelangelo Exhibit coming in October through April. Somehow I had expected so much more. I'll change my thought process and return, pleased to return. I am pleased this trip was a freebie. I'll be ready to put my money down and know what I'm getting into next time. I think I was just surprised.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Longest Way 1.0

I enjoy travel. I enjoy travel blogs and stories. I enjoy travel photos. I love time lapse photography...

Here's an exceptional piece.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Holding Hands

I've witnessed this phenomena several times this week, in several venues. It's heart-warming. It's caring. I work in a health care facility. Everyday I'm noticing there are couples walking through the hallways holding hands; father and daughter, husband and wife.
This isn't the hand holding of young children with it's implied protectionist guiding. This is the hand holding between adults. This is the hand holding that says there is strength and caring from someone that is there right here, right now. This hand holding appears to be an affirmation of someone to walk along side of. This is the stuff that says, we are in this together. Mostly, I'm not sure they even recognize they are holding hands. It's just what they do.

Free Museum Day - Amazing stuff

I was actually looking for events, festivals and cool things to do in October when I came across a great Yelp that says this Saturday is Free Museum Day in Washington (edit: This even is country wide - sponsored(?) by the Smithsonian). How cool is this?! I do have to go online and sign up and print a ticket so they can keep track of who takes advantage of the event. Not a problem.

I've already been to Tacoma for the Museum of Glass. I'm thinking I should go ahead and see the Seattle Art Museum to get that checked off my list this year, for sure.

This Saturday, Sept26 these Museums are offering a free peek...

Bainbridge Island Historical Museum Bainbridge Island
Bellevue Arts Museum Bellevue
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture Seattle
Clark County Historical Museum Vancouver
Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Ilwaco
Dungeness River Audubon Center Sequim
Enumclaw Plateau History Museum Enumclaw
Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Tacoma
Fort Walla Walla Museum Walla Walla
Frye Art Museum Seattle
Hands On Children's Museum Olympia
Henry Art Gallery Seattle
Jefferson County Museum Port Townsend
KidsQuest Children's Museum Bellevue
Log House Museum Seattle
Lynden Pioneer Museum Lynden
Maryhill Museum of Art Goldendale
Museum of Glass Tacoma
Museum of History & Industry Seattle
Naval Undersea Museum Keyport
Nordic Heritage Museum Seattle
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) Spokane
Pearson Air Museum Vancouver
Renton History Museum Renton
Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art Bellevue
Seattle Art Museum Seattle
Skagit County Historical Museum La Conner
Tacoma Art Museum Tacoma
The Museum of Flight Seattle
Washington State History Museum Tacoma
Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center Wenatchee
Wing Luke Asian Museum Seattle
World Kite Museum & Hall of Fame Long Beach

I'm thinking the Kite Museum for next time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breaking into my house

Breaking into my house is really easy. Even having to climb over the balcony in high heels wasn't bad. I'm sure I didn't fit any normal profiles with the high heels. I'd like to suggest this tactic for anyone out there thinking of how to successfully manage a home invasion in broad daylight.

Worked for me.

Every Season is My Favorite

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Fabric Arts

I've heard it said that quilting is an art. Hmmm, let's discuss this for a moment.

If we really think about it, quilting is taking perfectly fine, generally good looking pieces of fabric, cutting this into little bits and then, for god's sake, sewing them back together.

I'll let you think on it.

The Reunion I Didn't Go To

Now that youth is past on - at least the youth I once was - I find myself looking back wondering at the perceptions of myself. Youth is gone. Since I can't look to my youth to define me favorably, I had hoped maybe edgy would be a good description. It seems, in all reality, I am not edgy. I'm about as soft and rounded as one comes. A push-over even.

I don't enjoy hard/edgy films that maybe once held me captivated. I find myself wondering if the harsher films ever did catch my attention. Though I liked Nirvana for awhile (moving into the music realm) my full appreciation didn't blossom until Apocalyptica did their tunes in four cellos. The MTV Unplugged series still moves me to crank up the tunes.

My best afternoons are spent quilting, writing drivel (much like today), playing non-competitive tennis and reading. Where's the edge here?

Alas, no edge, no youth. There's no confirmed selling point here for interest or intrigue. I'm all about comfort; good food, warm surrounding, good friends to share drivel with and clean sheets. Pandora radio pumps out genome equivalents of Paul Simon tunes, or Coldplay and flamenco/classical guitar. In the car talk radio gets as much air time as music stations. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. It's just, finally for me anyway, a re-definition.

I read somewhere many years ago if one thinks the same way as one did twenty years ago, h/she has wasted twenty years of life. Like so many other people, what I meant to do with my life and what I've done are two different things. I suppose if I had considered doing something for someone else - rather than for personal satisfaction - I would, at this point, have a stick to measure by and could say each point that was accomplished. Mostly I don't mind not having a measure that fits my life. It helps that there is no saying where I missed the mark. I veered so hard so early and lived in confusion for so long after, that getting recently on track...well, to what avail at this point?

"Meaningful" and "accomplishments" are not synonyms. I suppose for some this is never a question. In my upbringing accomplishments were held high. With the discovery of "meaningful" it's lead to a rather confused life. I've spent many hours (years) considering how to write these two terms into one definition. It's very messy and not satisfactory yet.

Confusion and frustration tend to hold hands. They seem to be domestic partners - I am just too polite to ask what the arrangement actually is (or which one is carrying the health insurance). Regardless of their relationship, there is one. I feel I've been sucked in. When Confusion blows into my house Frustration always seems to show up and hang out until Confusion blows back out again. It's fair to say Frustration likes to sit around for a while longer and keep me company. I have learned to tell Frustration to go home too. It shortens the duration of wasted energy. My life is best described as "Natalie's Law of Algebra" - to wit: You never catch on until after the test.

I've lived my life boldly at times. At the very least I can say I'm bold. Those times when my boldness has been stifled, quite frequently from outside sources, were for me the most frustrating. I've not regretted being bold. I've regretted those times I allowed myself to be guided by those who requested I hold myself in check. I regret those things I didn't do. I have no regrets for what I have done. Even the worst were worth it for the lessons anyway.

Early on I learned to play, among other tunes, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. I've played this tune so often my children thought it was a lullaby before they heard it on the "oldies" station on the radio. This tune is how I ended nights of playing guitar around the campfire - the campground folks began to think of it as a lullaby as well. The landslide has occurred and I wonder at the mountain that is left. I'm a mountain? huh. Now there's bold.

It's just a well I didn't go to the reunion. There's a lot of people I don't know - never did. I'm still trying to figure out me. Hmm, I wonder what I'll be when I grow up?

Back to my "regularly" scheduled blog next time....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fickle finger of the internet

I don't know what I did this evening that was ANY different that I've done every night since Sunday...but tonight my wireless service decides to connect. Why does this stuff drive me nuts the way it does?!!! Arrrggh.

Just popping in to say hi.


Okay, off to play tennis....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kate's Quilt

The other thing I picked up yesterday was a table...okay a card table, but a table nonetheless. When I find a dining table I like this one will be relegated to the study. So, on this lovely, sunshining, lightly breezy, perfect day I have been indoors. This has been a perfectly lovely day; Kate's quilt is out of moving boxes and back in working mode. I cranked up the tunes and the machine. I know...I live such an exciting life. Whoohoo!
I must be feeling guilty for not getting outdoors. Yesterday I enjoyed my book at the beach (so, what was the deal with all the screaming kids? I hadn't heard that all summer. The children were there all summer, every time I went to the beach, just not all the screaming...definate shift yesterday). My book and the sunset were the best parts of the beach - okay, the smell, the sound of light surf, the reflecting light off the water....I'm a sucker for water. Do I get another weekend like this one?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Week in week out

Last weekend I got to play the part of a true sports fan, in the stadium, screaming at the officials to get new glasses. This weekend I got to play house. I do wonder at the constistancy here. There is none.

As far as apartments go...well two weekends ago I traded up from a deflatable bed into a real and true mattress. Amazingly it is the same firmness every night. Still boggles my mind. Considering that it actually keeps my bum off the floor every night I finally broke down today and bought a memory foam topper and real sheets. I may not get up tomorrow.

I splurged, while I was at it, and picked up a 30 pair shoe rack. Now there's an item I'd always thought of as a little extravagant. A shoe rack is so unnecessary when there is a perfectly good floor available. It's kind of like my legs may be short, but they reach the floor just fine. Shoes end up on the floor when worn correctly, so why a rack? I don't know. But it sure tickles me to walk into my closet this afternoon and see everything so neatly arranged up to five feet tall on a rack. And no, I found out, I do not own 30 pairs of shoes. I do own 4 pairs of flip-flops, one pair of slippers (four years old), and 6 pairs of black shoes (not one of them is a pair of flats, darnit).

All in all I'm thinking I should lay around in bed all morning tomorrow with the closet door open so I can gaze in luxury from my new sheets at the new shoe rack as I sip coffee and peruse sections of the Sunday New York Times. I'll just have to get up to make some coffee and go get the paper (while I check on occassion that my mattress isn't deflating again - it seems like it should).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ready to Rummmmbbbbllle!

Football Season - oh yeah!! And here's football season from inside Qwest Stadium in Seattle.
Seahawks won all their pre-season games this year....and why yes, I was there for the last one. Ain't no better way to spend a Thursday night!