26 April 2013

Life of Art SitRep #168 Screw Fear

This week's art accomplishments mostly comprised of preparations for the group art show I'm going to be in next month.

Framed my prints, bought picture hanging wire and attached it, bought a frame for my artist statement/bio and worked on writing it.

What do you think? 1st person or 3rd for my bio? Generally I lean towards 1st since I write conversationally, but since I'll be amidst a group, it seems like it might be better to use 3rd person to help people remember my name.

In 3rd person bios, do you have a preference for use of first or last name? Would you intermingle them or just stick to one or the other?

Oh, I also made some mental headway this week also related to the show. There's some paperwork I needed to fill out, part of which asked if I'd be interested in an artists' reception on one of 2 dates. My immediate gut reaction had been no.

It's a high school alumni show after all, and based on last year's participants, it's likely to include and attract people I knew back then. Heck, the woman organizing the show was just a year behind me; her brother, a bit of an arrogant jerk, was in my class. What if they ask me what I've been doing since then, what I'm doing now? What would I say? Will I feel like a loser? To a lesser degree, what would I wear? On that count, I figure I can always play the artist card and wear whatever the hell I want.

Anyway, it occurred to me that nearly all my concerns are fear based. Working on my bio improved my outlook by focusing on the relevant while excising swaths of the irrelevant. When all you need is something short, it's suddenly possible to sound more impressive. There's quite a bit I took for granted.

So I'm plunging ahead in spite of my fears. The true test will come if she picks the date when I have something I'd really like to do already. If it's on the date I said yes to, I figure I can always ask other people questions to avoid the hot seat. Or talk about my pieces in the show or what film sets are like. It's just a couple hours, right?

I can do this. Screw fear.

Two years ago on TTaT: I'm Over All That

23 April 2013

Fleeting Diner Love

For dinner, we went to a proper diner. As we walked in, a waitress behind the counter said, "You can sit anywhere you like... Well, not on the counter and not in the kitchen, but pretty much anywhere else."

I liked her immediately.

Dad was heading for a booth directly next to the only other people eating in the diner. Why would you do that? I wondered. I gestured to the next booth over which was next to the dessert case. I sat down and the refrigerator's compressor kicked on. Ah well.

Dad slid into the other side of the booth, an uncharacteristic move, and Mom joined him on that side.

The waitress from before came over with menus. She was tall and had dark red hair pulled back in a pony tail, a deep red that wasn't quite natural but looked cool. She passed out three menus and then put a fourth on the table saying, "This is the breakfast menu. We serve breakfast all day like any good diner should." She smiled and continued, "As you know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day... even if you eat it at seven o'clock."

Mom said, "That's usually when I like to eat this stuff."

"Me too!" The waitress agreed. "It's too much for the morning." She took our drink orders and then left us to read the menus.

Our table had one of those individual jukeboxes on it. "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge caught my eye but there was already good music playing lowly in the diner.

The booths were small and the aisle between them and the counter was fairly narrow. When the waitress came back, she just leaned against a bar stool across from us to take our order, completely at ease.

Once we were eating, during breaks in my table's conversation, I picked up fragments of our waitress talking to others as though turning the dial to tune in to different radio stations.

Someone at the table a booth away from us had a food issue which involved weighing everything with a scale she'd brought. The waitress described a friend who, similarly, weighed everything she ate but had no impulse control and ate constantly. She tried to remember the name of the disorder. One of the customers suggested, "Bulimia?" but that wasn't it.

I was glad for our booth of buffer as I tuned out their conversation and watched the waitress bring two lighter empty dishes to accommodate the woman who was going to weigh her food.

The diner's phone rang and our waitress answered in the same friendly tone she'd greeted us. Sounded like sorting out work shifts at the diner.

"It took me about 8 years to realize what they said wasn't about me," she said. There was a man seated at the counter across from her. It was an answer to a question, but I hadn't heard him ask it or even seen him come in.

Our waitress continued, "Few people are really bad. Mostly it's someone's having a bad day. Once in a while, it's OK, that was really mean."

Love the Zen attitude.

"Did you see that?" she asked the man at the counter excitedly. I glanced over sorry that I'd missed whatever it was. "I've never done that and it'll never happen again. Figures." Apparently he'd missed it too. "The spoon flipped right up and landed in the milk!"

Little bit in love.

Great voice, presence, age appropriate, attractive.

But a solid 45 minutes away at least and no indication of any possible interest. Ah well.

There's definitely something to be said for friendliness though. I realize it's not how I come off generally. I have moments but they don't endure long due to introversion, shyness, and anxiety. Much better than I used to be at least.

3 years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #11

19 April 2013

Life of Art SitRep #167 Xmas in April

Isn't it too early for red and green designs? Maybe, but probably not by as much as you might think. It takes a while for product pages to get indexed and develop ranking with search engines. This long? Well, no, but I'd rather be early than my usual habit of thinking about it in November which is late.

This week, I

Shot 140 photographs.

Created a red, white, and green Christmas Diamond Pattern and added it to my shop.

Rocklawn Arts blogged Green, White, Red Diamond Pattern and Christmas Diamond Pattern.

Read Zazzle town hall threads in forum regarding products, tag sweep, royalty rates, and Zazzle's marketing.

Changed out links on a TTaT post with images that were displaying upside down for some bizarre reason.

Did some store maintenance.

How did things progress for you this week?

3 years ago on TTaT: Treasure script

17 April 2013

The Shaggy Threshold

Typically, I let my hair grow out over fall and winter because I hate having a cold neck and it saves me some cash. When it starts to warm up in the spring, I'll get a few inches hacked off and then keep it shorter through summer.

I hadn't gotten my hair cut since September 26 of last year. I'm not sure why, but my hair grew longer than it usually does. Perhaps the lauryl sulfate-free shampoo and botanical conditioner I started using last year? In any case, it'd grown about six inches and was just touching my shoulders even with some loose curls.

Sometimes it would look OK, but more often it was looking limp, stringy, and frizzy. It would get into my mouth occasionally which I hate. Never could understand why anyone would chew their hair.

Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, the temperatures plunged, so I held out. Another week went by and it warmed up into the 50s and briefly low 60s.

I was beyond the shagginess threshold, even for me.

When I got my haircut, it was clear I was probably 3 or 4 months past her shaggy threshold.

When she was done, she said, "That's so much better," with a sigh of relief. "That's a much better length."

Happy to oblige. I usually feel about 10 years more mature, in a good way, after a decent haircut that transforms me from shaggy to 90% less shaggy. (With the shorter length, my curls rebound which never comes across as sleek, elegant, or coiffed. I'm mostly at peace with that.)

Two years ago on TTaT: Tired of waiting

16 April 2013

With or Without

"You had a Vanilla Bean Coolatta, right?"


"Did you want whipped cream on that?"

I considered it for a moment and then said, "Sure."

With gusto, the woman at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through window said, "All right," stretching it out as though she were saying, "Right on."

If you've never had a Coolatta, they serve them in a plastic cup with a dome-shaped lid that has a sizable hole at the top for your straw. When you get whipped cream, they squirt it on top of the drink so it fills the dome.

When she handed me my beverage, there was a plume of whipped cream extending over an inch out of the straw hole of the dome lid.

"Whoa," I said, "Thanks!"

I think I must've been her first person to indulge in whipped cream that day. Right on.

Two years ago on TTaT: Bossypants

14 April 2013

The Science of Getting Rich

The Science of Getting Rich 191215. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This isn't quite the version I read as I just downloaded a free PDF of "The Science of Getting Rich." What I read was published in 1910, and it felt like it.

First, there is NO science in this book. That's most obvious in the sections where he exhorts you not to read other books (except a handful upon which he developed his... strategy) and the religious mentions. You are encouraged to assume what he says is true and have faith in it.

The book is, I believe, what "The Secret" is based on.

The last chapter (1 page long) is a summary of the book, so I recommend starting there. If you want to know more, you can always go back to the beginning. (Wish I'd paid more attention to the contents because that's what I would've done.)

There are a few useful takeaways:
Make a goal and have a very clear vision of all its details. Your chance of accomplishing it will be greatly increased. (Wallace would say it's inevitable.) Wallace does at least say that you can't just picture it and expect it to show up, you have to take action too.

You don't need to deprive anyone else of things to become rich. Pursue creation rather than competition.

Focus on the good by having gratitude for everything.

"When you get out of the competitive mind you will understand that you never need to act hastily. No one else is going to beat you to the thing you want to do; there is enough for all. If one space is taken, another and a better one will be opened for you a little farther on; there is plenty of time. When you are in doubt, wait. Fall back on the contemplation of your vision, and increase your faith and purpose; and by all means, in times of doubt and indecision, cultivate gratitude."

As for the rest, even at only 56 pages, the writing feels long-winded and repetitive.

3 years ago on TTaT: Slippery slope

12 April 2013

Life of Art SitRep #166 Veronica Mars!

First, have you not donated to The Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter yet? There's less than a day left, so get on that! They need less than 5000 more backers to have broken every record Kickstarter has, and you can get in on the fun for just a buck!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

A couple of months ago one of the wires holding up my kinetic sculpture broke. It's been hanging from bungee cords in the garage awaiting repair since. With every subsequent super windy day, of which there were many, I felt assured that my inclination to devise a sturdier hanging mechanism was justified and wise.

I finally got out to Home Depot and was pretty stoked I knew which two aisles to check without asking. I fortified the frame and hangers and rehung it.

(run time 2:26)

Also bought frames for the two prints I selected for an alumni art show I'm going to participate in. The show's during May. It's both stressful and kind of exciting. I'm plunging forth while second-guessing my choices.

Also created a Green, White, Red Diamond Pattern which I added to my shop:

Watched the final wrap up day of 28 Days with Sue Bryce.

Revised the store description for Rocklawn Arts.

I don't feel like I did much this week but what I did feels significant. We'll see.

How was your week?

3 years ago on TTaT: G BIV flora

05 April 2013

Life of Art SitRep #165 Thinking just the right amount

If nothing else this week, I didn't over-think sending an email about an opportunity. OK, fine, I did a little bit but just for a day. I could've dragged it out for another week. For now I've said, "Yes, I am interested. Tell me more."

Besides, there will be plenty of opportunities to over-think things soon enough.

Otherwise, I felt pretty exhausted by a cold dragging me down.

Wrote some product reviews, made some managerial adjustments to my store, installed some software I've yet to try, and, natch, watched some creative LIVE: day 3 of Building Your Brand with Porter Gale, a short Q&A with Sue Bryce, and the Nikon D600 - DSLR Fast Start with John Greengo.

I also watched a short tutorial, "How and When to Rename Files in Lightroom 4" on The Complete Picture with Julieanne Kost. I don't have Lightroom, but I'm always interested in people's file nomenclature.

How was your week?

4 years ago on TTaT: Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence

04 April 2013


Happy Birthday, TTaT!

You're 8!

I've known you since before you were born, back when the only blog I read was Wil Wheaton's. A friend suggested I start a blog, but I got the impression he was only saying that so I'd stop emailing him (and other friends and family) my very sporadic tall tales. (Honestly, I was kind of offended.)

When I finally came around to the idea with aspirations for where you would lead, it still took me months to begin. I was paralyzed with perfectionism.

But eight years ago today, I hit publish and you were born. I gave up my story-driven emails, and only one person missed them.

With time a community of strangers developed with regular readers from Norway to Los Angeles, readers whose blogs I read and found inspiration in.

Much of that early group has dispersed or moved on to FaceBook and/or Twitter as their preferred platforms. I miss the camaraderie of those early days, although not the creepy, quasi-aggressive dudes that would pop up from time to time. You made it possible (the creepy dudes were not your fault).

Thank you, TTaT, and to the commenters and lurkers out there.

No matter what occurs, TTaT, it'll be you and me to the end.

A year ago on TTaT: Lucky 7

02 April 2013

Fleeting Phenomenon

A dusting of snow occurred overnight. Already melting with intermittently cloudy and sunny skies.

Long shadows of snow stretch out behind trees getting shorter by the minute.

The deck is clear but for some striped snow drift by the railing and dots of snow on the nail heads. Tiny snow polka dots.

Two years ago on TTaT: Countdown to infinite crisis. The OMAC project