Green thumb after all, maybe.

May 28, 2007 at 10:26 am | Posted in garden | Leave a comment

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Music appreciation

May 27, 2007 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Friends, life | 2 Comments

I was walking down the street today with a giant (cloth) bag of groceries, listening to my iPod and thinking about my favorite subject, me, when I was struck by the realization that the vast, vast majority of the music I listen to was recommended to me by other people. You know how there are some people who are always on top of new trends in some area of pop culture, whether it’s music or art or movies or fashion? Well, I am so not one of those people. I observe, sit back, watch others, and gather information that way. Hell if I’m going to sift through a dozen shitty CDs before hitting gold, and I’m certainly not going to see a single movie, indie or otherwise, before reading some reviews. I just don’t want to waste my time. (Oh. But. I guess I do sort of read a shitload of books, mostly without reading reviews or going on friends’ recommendations. Good thing books aren’t really that cool, or this would be me, once again, sitting in a glass house throwing stones.)

Anyway, I was listening to this one song and thinking about how much I like it and then realized that I’d never have even heard of it or the artist if someone hadn’t turned me onto it in the first place. I feel like my relationships — familial, platonic, and romantic — can be traced in my music collection. You can see my parents in the Beach Boys and the Beatles and Queen and Billy Joel (shut up) and the miniscule appreciation I have for classical music (sorry dad, opera didn’t make the cut). Eric gave me Rilo Kiley; Austin gave me Elliott Smith and Wilco (who’s now haunting me on my iPod so I’m not entirely sure how grateful I am for that gift); Domingo gave me the Postal Service and the Shins and Iron & Wine; Nalini gave me Cat Power. From my tenure at Books & Books I learned that I love Nick Drake and Bill Cruz and Eva Cassidy; I learned that I hate hate hate Nestor Torres and Buena Vista Social Club. Chris recommends so many bands that I can’t keep track of them all; the couple that I can remember are Rogue Wave (“Falcon Settles Me” is just so pretty) and Band of Horses. With Heather’s help I’m trying to shed my “musical misogyny” through Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse and a couple of golden oldies. In performing this little exercise, in trying to trace the origins of my current music collection, I’m left with very few bands or singer-songwriters I can claim as my own.

It’s funny that there’s this thing that’s so personal and so revealing — musical taste — and yet it’s formed by basically everyone else in my life but me. I wonder how common this experience is: are most of us a composition of other people’s tastes and influences?

I hate change.

May 20, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Friends, life | 2 Comments

This has been such a bittersweet weekend: on the one hand, Alli’s finally back from Asia; on the other, Lorien left for Yellowknife today for three months. That in and of itself wouldn’t be so bad, if I knew where I was going to be when she gets back. I could still be here, in Toronto, or I could be God knows where. Also, Alli and I said goodbye to Stephanie on Friday, who’s moving back to Minnesota. I know that things will work out for her, but I’m going to miss her a lot.

I organized a barbecue for Lorien’s last night, so yesterday evening a bunch of us gathered at the place where Dave was housesitting. It was amazing. The garden there is gorgeous, so we bought a bunch of food to barbecue, and we set up a table outside. The weather was lovely — during the day it was warm and sunny, and in the evening, cool and breezy. A bunch of people from Lorien’s program came, plus some of my friends. Dave set out a cheese spread, which was delicious, and the wine was flowing freely. We gorged ourselves on cheeses and crackers and dips…but somehow managed to have room for grilled chicken and burgers and steaks and hot dogs.

At one point, I was sitting on a bench at the far end of the garden, watching everyone talking and laughing and I was struck by how much I love my friends. I always have been a big friends person; when I become close with someone they know me better than my family knows me. Moving away is difficult because of those bonds — the night before I left Portland for Miami, the night after my going-away part/berry cordial bash, I cried on Paula’s futon while Eric laughed at me/comforted me. Saying goodbye to Aundra and Vito and Gavin, after graduating from college, was so hard. I remember standing in my empty apartment, the one that Vito, Gavin, and I shared, and my family had just left to return home from visiting for graduation, and being so overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness that I’m surprised I was able to leave that day.

Of course, all of those times, things have worked out — I’ve made new friends. Unfortunately, I’m not really still friends with everyone from Portland and that sometimes bothers me, but for the most part, I’m happy for who I have in my life. Not all friendships are built to last. Sometimes it takes distancing yourself from people to realize that you didn’t have that much in common in the first place. Some friendships are so important, however, that living across the country from someone isn’t enough to break the bond.

Anyway, I guess the point of this post is just to point out that things are changing and that I’m not entirely comfortable with those changes. While I know intellectually that things will work out and everything will be alright, it’s hard to see that from where I’m standing now.

Silver ring

May 20, 2007 at 7:24 pm | Posted in shiny things | Leave a comment

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I made this guy last week at jewelry class. Sorry for the artsy, out of focus picture! I thought it would look cool on that rose but my camera couldn’t tell what I was trying to focus on, and it was early in the morning and I had to go to work, so that’s what you get. Anyway, I had a freakin blast making this ring — I placed sandpaper face down on top of the silver and rolled it through rollers, creating some texture on the surface. I stamped my initials, TLC, and the year, 07, on the back. After I’d hammered it into the ring shape, I drilled a few holes in it. I might place a stone over the seam, or I might not; I haven’t decided yet. Either way, I loooove the ring. I never wear rings but I’ve been trying to wear this one.

Musings upon a weekend

May 12, 2007 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Friends, life | 1 Comment

Things that are great about the weekend:
1. Banana chocolate chip pancakes made from scratch (3 consumed)
2. Adorable linen jackets (1 purchased, 1 on hold at another location)
3. New sunglasses (1 pair purchased)
4. Documentaries (2 watched: From Heroin to Methadonia, Manufactured Landscapes)

Things that are not great about the weekend:
1. Most of my friends being MIA (Confidential to China, Germany, and California: I hate you.)

I definitely need another hobby

May 7, 2007 at 10:40 pm | Posted in shiny things | 2 Comments

I had my first “goldsmithing” class tonight. There was no gold to be smithed, only copper. Which is good, cause I like gold as much as I like diamonds, which is to say, not at all. We did all kinds of cool shit, including sawing, drilling, and soldering. I am super excited about this class — for those interested, it’s the beginning jewelry class at Nanopod.

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So, we were given a small square of copper and from that, we had to create two pieces, at least one with negative space. In order to cut out the circle, I had to drill a hole into the piece and then use a jewelry saw (teeniest blade on earth, I’m pretty sure). The rest of it was cut out around the edges using the saw. Then I filed it so that the edges were smooth. I know that it’s really simple, but I think it’s representative of the things that I doodle: these massive organic shapes that start out as one thing, maybe a circle or a spiral, and then get added to as the class (inevitably) drags on.

After cutting out and filing the pieces, we soldered them together using a little torch. It was pretty cool. I remember when my mom used to do stained glass and she’d have the soldering wire and the torch and it looked like such a finicky process. For this, cause the solder doesn’t show, it’s way simpler, and we didn’t use wire; we used copper coupons. When I soldered the two pieces together, I had to let it get very hot before the solder “flowed,” and I intentionally left it a bit…dirty?…I don’t know what the proper jewelry term is. Anyway, I didn’t clean it until it was gleaming because I liked the way it looked.

I’m not sure if we’ll be able to add to this piece in later classes. If so, I was thinking of sticking a stone or two on it and then using it as a pendant in a necklace. Anyway, next week we’re making silver rings which should be fun.

Family, stupid drugs

May 3, 2007 at 11:00 pm | Posted in family, random | Leave a comment

So, some of my relatives are very devout Pentecostal Christians. Which means that not only was I not able to use alcohol as a social lubricant over the weekend while visiting, I also had to watch my mouth. I am pretty sure that I say ‘Oh my God’ once a minute, and ‘fuck’ is definitely my favorite word. While I can certainly be petty about stuff like that, and instead of respecting people’s boundaries I wouldn’t put it past me to flaunt my heathenness (is that a word?) by drinking and cursing like a sailor, I just cannot do that to my aunt and uncle. They are the nicest people in the world, and they have never once, in their entire lives, suggested to me that my lifestyle is inappropriate or wrong. They know full well that I do not adhere to the Christian faith and that my politics are super liberal — they think Canada is a perfect fit for me — but they never, ever judge me for it. So, I figure that the least I can do is attend their daughter’s bridal shower, put the old language filter on, and bow my head with the best of them for one measly weekend.

I didn’t take my anti-depressant yesterday and there was hell to pay for that. I just forgot to take it in the morning cause I didn’t eat breakfast at home, and then I wasn’t able to take it later in the day. I’ve missed it before and I pretty much knew what I was in for, but I’ve never not taken it for that long. I started feeling dizzy yesterday afternoon, and that continued all day. I couldn’t even turn my head or move my eyes without feeling it. That was expected. What I didn’t expect were the extremely vivid, extremely weird and annoying dreams. I vaguely remember that from when I started taking Effexor, that I would have really vivid dreams that would just haunt me throughout the day. Last night was certainly no exception. Even though I took the stupid pill when I got home this morning, at 11:30, I didn’t feel better until this evening, after a major nap. What scares me about this is that if I ever had to stop taking it, I would be basically incapacitated for however long it takes the drug to leave my system. I wouldn’t be able to work; I was barely able to cross the street properly this afternoon. But taking it just makes such a huge difference in my ability to stabilize. Before I started it, I was a complete wreck, prone to bouts of depression pretty regularly, and also super nervous in social situations. I don’t know if I’ll ever be perfectly at ease in large groups of people — I sort of doubt it — but at least I can attend parties and meet people at bars without having a nervous breakdown beforehand.

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