Thursday, October 26, 2006

Eeks -- I've been tagged -- here's my response

Since I have been tagged by none other than my dear husband, W-P:


1. I am an introvert, just like my husband. Even worse, I suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder, which I have been having great success in subduing, as of late. If you are a fellow sufferer, I can offer a huge tip, which somehow eluded me for some 45 years: sign up for Toastmasters, and suffer through it. This is is an exposure therapy-related suggestion, and will help anyone enormously who lives in dread fear of either being observed OR giving any kind of a speech.

2. Although I am Caucasian, I do not really identify with any particular race. In fact, when I look in the mirror I am often shocked. I cannot explain this ...

3. I sometimes leave money (mostly dollar bills and quarters) in places where people can find them, so it will perk up their day. If you think you're a dollar ahead of the game, Life sometimes looks a little more manageable.

4. I am almost a theosophist, although not quite, since I have never completely warmed up to the Catholic religion, despite the fact that I was raised in it. Go figure.

5. Although I think Denzel Washington is very handsome, he does not really ring my bell as much as my dear husband thinks he does. I am much more attracted to George Clooney. (But neither of them are quite as cute as my husband, or as mercurial, so they don't have a chance with me. Although I hate to admit it, I love my husband's "mercuriality." If that's not a real word, it should be!)

That's about it. Peace out.



Sunday, September 10, 2006

San Mateo Jewelry Expo

Hey there. I had fun yesterday, so I thought I’d write all about it.

Yesterday I attended the International Gem & Jewelry Show at the San Mateo County Events Center, which was, in a word, overwhelming. Picture an indoor exhibition space the size of two football fields, crammed with rows and rows of beads and beading supplies, precious gems (mounted and unmounted), necklaces, bracelets, and beaded handbags and scarves. There were also a few vendors selling crystals – some as long as five or six feet, and as small as a few inches, along with the requisite enormous geodes – I was admiring an amethyst geode that had to be about two and a half feet across, and three feet tall. Some of the crystals were placed on stands with lights in their base, and wow – completely mesmerizing. I could have stood there for hours, but they would have called security. I touched a few of the longer crystals, and they were satisfyingly smooth and perfect.

As I always do, I checked out the people swarming around the multitude of booths. I couldn’t help but notice a multitude of women bedecked in long, flowing, beautiful saris, with their reluctant husbands and children in tow. I always knew that beads were a hot item in East Indian culture, but I had no idea how hot. Of course, I had to go to the booths favored by these women, and peer over their shoulders. The carnelian and onyx strands seemed to be big favorites. I was at one booth featuring those bracelets strung on stretchy elastic cord – the beads were pretty, though – lampwork glass, etc., semiprecious stones – and I saw one of those sari-ed ladies casually slip one of the bracelets onto her ankle, examine it, decide against it, and move onto the next bracelet to try on. It was a magical moment for me. I don’t think I’ve ever worn an anklet in my life, but why the hell not? It’s as valid a limb to display jewelry as the arm, for Pete’s sake. I’ve seen people do it before, it just had never occurred to ME to wear one.

The drive down to San Mateo was daunting, though. That’s the furthest I’ve ever been down on the Peninsula. I “Yahoo mapped” it before I went, and tried to keep a basic sequence of all of the highway exits in my head. Although I got to the Expo Center without incident, getting back was difficult – I missed one of the exits, got lost, and my dear husband, Write Procrastinator, received one of those awful phone calls from his wife – “Okay, here’s where I am, on the corner of _______ and _________. Where SHOULD I be?” He was very patient with me, I must say, and got me on the freeway rather quickly. I have to state here that my husband, in addition to being ridiculously easy on the eyes, is a bedrock of strength for me. I can’t thank him enough for shoring me up through some very tough moments!

I have to issue thanks here – huge thanks, first of all, to my friend B. for the free jewelry pass to the Expo Center. B. is a PROFESSIONAL jewelry designer – yes, that’s right, she actually gets PAID to design bling. How cool … Second thanks to Write Procrastinator for taking such good care of Procrastinator Jr. and for the superior driving instructions!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Here's my Meme

"10 years ago..."

Ten years ago my son was born, which was a life-changing experience. There are no words... a few months after that, I began my own business, which changed my life as well and taught me so much. I think that was a huge propelling moment for my husband's writing, as he was able to use a computer to store his projects and do research.

"5 years ago..."

My son was just entering kindergarten, which was his first real step away from me -- exhilarating and yet it broke my heart. The Twin Towers came down a few days later, and it was a time of change and stress and all that good stuff. (I used to work in the Twin Towers about twenty years ago, so that really messed with my head.)

"one year ago..."

We were here in New York, visiting my family. My son was about to enter fourth grade, which was a very odd year for all of us.

"5 songs I know all the words to..."

Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)

Rockafella Skank (Fatboy Slim) (it would be hard not to know the words to this one; aren't many of them)

Heart Like a Wheel (Linda Ronstadt; Katie and Anna McGarrigle)

Jingle Bells

"Love Me Like a Song" (Kimmie Rhodes & Willie Nelson)

"5 snacks I love and wish I could eat"

Cheddar popcorn
Godiva ice cream bars
Cheddar & Beer potato chips
Mel's Diner "Awesome Blossom" (whole onion sliced to look like a flower, dipped in beer batter & fried, w/ tomato & mayo dressing - YUM)
Mint chocolate chip ice cream bars

"5 places I'd run away to..."

Anywhere in Thailand
Yosemite (i'll get there one of these days)

"5 things I'd never wear..."

A baby doll dress with a flounce on the bottom -- I tried one on once, and I looked like an elephant)

Anything with a cow's markings on it -- EVER

A necklace with a martini glass, small high-heeled shoe or purse pendant on it

"5 favorite tv shows..."

SpongeBob SquarePants

Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals --I love bagging on her with my dear hubbie, WriteProcrastinator (Rachel! You CANNOT serve fresh, uncooked peaches with red wine poured over them!)

The Kids Next Door -- this animated feature has some of the funniest dialogue in the world ... highly quotable ...

Dr. Phil (he's taught me a few things, and most likely saved a lot of people's lives)

Oprah, but due to my schedule i almost never get to check out her show

"5 greatest joys..."

Coming home to my oh-so-sweet family

Hearing children laugh, particularly my own

Surfing eBay for jewelry

Making jewelry

Going to Raging Waters with my family, and down those long water slides

"5 favorite toys...."

My iPod
Our computer
My jewelry pliers
Paint Shop Pro
My digital camera

"Tag Five People..."


Princess Ladybug



I don't know anyone else to tag ... :)

So consider yourself tagged! I can't wait to read your meme !!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

An Amazing Birthday

On May 15th I turned 48. This amazes no one more than me, as I lived the life of an art gypsy until I turned 30. I really didn't trip on such things as health insurance, saving money, or even MAKING money, for that matter. (I love getting those Social Security reports of my earnings dating back to when I was 21, or something like that. I don't know how I survived on so little money for such a long time...)

I had a great birthday, top to bottom. When I awoke, my husband and son presented me with a pair of diamond stud earrings, princess cut -- my favorite! My husband has terrific "diamond karma," I should mention. Each and every diamond he's purchased for me has terrific fire and brilliance.

When I arrived at work, my boss had arranged for me to receive flowers, despite the fact that he is presently in Europe. That was very cool. For lunch my coworker E. took me to Gaylord's in Embarcadero One. If you haven't been to Gaylord's, and you are visiting or work in the Embarcadero in San Francisco, I recommend it. They have a wonderful Indian lunch buffet -- very spicy and fragrant. THEN ... after lunch, my coworker C. made a towering strawberry shortcake with whipped cream topping and a mascarpone filling. She did an amazing job!

THEN ... yes, there's more ... in the evening we went to Mel's Diner for my birthday dinner, which was really fun. I was serenaded by the waiters and waitresses, and I received a T-shirt, pink balloon and a luscious piece of chocolate cake.

I also have to mention all of my sweet friends and family who sent cards, called and let me know I was in their thoughts, in one way or another. I felt very loved and cosseted. This includes AlbGlinka and my friend G. Thank you to all of you, and I feel so honored to have you in my life!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I finally had my jewelry class!

This past Saturday I attended my first jewelry class. Although I'm glad I went, it was a mix of stuff for me. The teacher was quite good -- very patient, to say the least. I was unprepared when I arrived, unbeknownst to me -- since I'm in my late forties, my eyes are just beginning their decline, but I had no idea how much until I held jewelers' pliers in my hand and tried to focus on a tiny little strand of metal. It was humiliating for me, and very trying for my teacher and fellow students. Although I had my glasses in my purse, and they would have solved the problem quickly, I was wearing my very last pair of contacts and didn't have any solution with me, so removing them was out of the question. At one point, my teacher even offered me her reading glasses! (I declined.)

Despite my "disability," with my teacher's help I managed to complete two necklaces and a pair of earrings, which are all quite pretty. For one necklace, I used a chrysocolla bead that I bought on eBay, which has staggeringly beautiful colors, including turquoise, dark green and a deeper blue. The earrings match the chrysocolla bead -- they're actually turquoise, but they have very similar colors and gradations. (I bought those at my teacher's shop.)

So I have very mixed feelings about where I am right now, in terms of creating jewelry. I learned a lot of cool techniques -- regardless of whether or not I decide to launch into this full-force, I am now able to turn a bead into a pendant without too much trouble, which is pretty cool. To do anything further with my knowledge, however, I will have to purchase two jewelers' pliers and a wire cutter, and I'm debating whether or not I want to make that kind of an investment.

I'm also trying to get used to the esthetic of wire jewelry. It has a certain funkiness to it that is simultaneously very elegant and very basic. I am probably expressing this badly, and I hope I can elaborate in future posts.

Typically when I take a class like this, which is so near and dear to my heart, I can't handle the revelations it yields. I was telling my husband, "one of the things that I learned from this class is that I suck at wire work," or something like that, and he said, "you just learned how to do it. You're not going to be great at it right away. You have to practice." (Very wise man, my husband.) And it would help if I got some reading glasses !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All you moms out there -- I think taking this class really helped me on a "mom" level. I read this quote once -- "Those who take good care of themselves are much better at taking care of other people." It's very true! After I got back from class, I managed to vacuum most of our apartment, something I had avoided doing for quite some time. (I still have to vacuum my son's room, but that's going to be complicated. We have to solve a storage issue first.)

I guess that's it for now!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An Idyllic Weekend

I am still recovering from a wild weekend. Friday my son emceed an amazing talent show at our local YMCA with his friend Grayson. We had comedians, dancers, a little slam poetry, and double Dutch jump-roping (that was actually single-Dutch).

Saturday we attended a slam poetry performance coordinated by Vanessa of Lyric House (see sidebar for link). This was my husband's and my first time meeting Vanessa and we were amazed by her dedication, talent, and enthusiasm. She alternately accompanied the kids on guitar and filled in for missing perfomers. A good time was had by all.

We spent Sunday in Fairfax, California which is north of San Francisco, in Marin County. We picnicked in a remote wooded park with a creek running through it (Deer Park), which the kids enjoyed tremendously. I took lots of digital photos, one of which I have included here.
I didn't get lots of great kid shots because they were so excited that they couldn't sit still for very long.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Another step into the future

This is a first for me. I actually maintain TWO journals -- the one I keep offline, that has all of the down-&-dirty stuff I can't put in here (at least, not without being sued for libel). Today I am actually beginning my online journal FIRST -- I'm not sure whether I will segue into my offline journal afterwards.

I am trying to catapult myself out of my lethargy. This is "Le Weekend," after all, and I have been dealing with so much supercharged stuff during the week (that I can't write about), that I am exhausted and need some kind of a respite. Our apartment is a dirty mess, I have huge mountains of laundry to do, and my dry cleaning has neither been dropped off nor picked up. And I feel very little inclination to do anything about it.

I am really looking forward to my beading class, as it has finally sunk in that I need to be pursuing my interests and not waiting for them to come to me. I saw a great art show at the Modernism Gallery in San Francisco (see sidebar), which has quickly become one of my favorite galleries, with my friend K., with whom I work and who is a fellow art lover. K. is great at dragging me out to look at art, and she always finds some fascinating stuff.

My husband is (justifiably) furious at me right now because he asked me to do some very basic domestic upkeep tasks, and I didn't. Instead, I spent all of Saturday getting my son's hair cut and chasing my son around the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Maybe today I'll be more productive. We'll see.

I will try to keep this blog more regularly. I am having trouble finding stuff to write about that won't either get me kicked out of my apartment or fired. Any suggestions? :)