Oh darn it. I was really pleased that I was sticking to it and creating these posts every week, but then Whoops. Life happened, so it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to capture my internet travels here. As a result, this one is going to be quite a compilation. Nevertheless, I’m back at it, trying to record my internet ramblings and create a space for myself to think about what I’ve seen, so that things have a better chance of staying in my brain.
The travel bug
I’m really craving travel right now. I’ve got a trip to South Carolina/Georgia lined up for the end of September, and another trip just a week after that to San Francisco, but other than that there’s nothing on the books and I’m jonesing for new, far-flung adventures.
Closest to home, we just recently learned that we’ll be headed to Sonoma County for a wedding next year, and right after that I ran across this article about a David Best installation at a winery down there. I’m hoping we’ll have time to stop in and check it out.
I’m really intrigued with Detroit right now. Here’s a parking garage being housed inside a beautiful old theater, which is a great example of the creative thinking that’s coming out of the city. I get the feeling that the whole place is just absolutely vibrating with energy and ideas, and I think it would be a blast to be a part of it. I doubt it will happen considering our current ties here in Portland (house, job), but who knows that the future will bring?
Early in the year we got an offer of a free place to stay and a motorbike to use in exchange for watching a kitty. For a month. In Koh Samui, Thailand. We were in the Caribbean at the time, enjoying the all-inclusive hospitality at our friend’s destination wedding, and boy did we ever feel like jet-setters as we considered whether or not we’d be able to go. A few of the days overlapped with our departure for a massive road trip up to Edmonton, AB by way of Vancouver, BC (and Banff upon our return), and in the end we decided that it would have been way too nuts to come straight off a 36 hour flight only to get into our car and start driving to Canada. But ever since then, Thailand has been on my mind, and whoa, I sure would love the chance to go there and see this crazy temple in person. I love the marriage of traditional imagery with modern day pop culture.
Or, perhaps we could go to Spain next so I can see this church with a waterfall! Coincidentally, one of our current AirBnb guests is from Spain, and talking to her is getting me excited about an eventual trip back there, whenever that may be.
Ok, when I read initially that this was a museum and a cemetery together as one, I thought, ”Sounds right up my alley.” Then I read about it, and I went from thinking that I had been totally wrong back to thinking that it sounded completely awesome, all within the span of a couple of paragraphs. The poo machine I could do without, but I like the energy behind the project and I do love the Violent Femmes. If only it were a bit closer; if I ever get over the New Zealand/Australia/Tasmania way, I’ll probably have to devote at least 6 months to exploration simply because of the cost of travel to get there.
Lucas and I have been lightly entertaining the idea of moving to Hawaii for a time, and I must say that I am definitely feeling inspired by a friend of mine who made the move. The cabin he built is not his full-time home, but it is being used year-round as he rents it out through AirBnB. The whole thing is off-grid and solar, and even though it’s daunting to think of everything we would have to learn in order to do something similar, it’s probably the way we’d go if we did make the move.
On the home front
This year we finally managed to put plants into the ground at our house. Thankfully many of them survived the massive hailstorm that hit just a couple of days after they’d been planted (shaking fist at universe), but in the case of those that did not, I’m now faced with the question of what to plant to replace them. I’m interested in color, and only in perennials (I don’t want to have to replant every dang year if I can help it), so I liked this article about fall-blooming perennials.
We just finished a massive redo of one corner of our living/dining area, and I’m so very pleased with the outcome. In what I feel is typical fashion, probably the last thing we’ll end up focusing on is our own private space. Nevertheless, I might as well start collecting articles about decorating the master bedroom now, so I can begin to percolate ideas.
I’ve only had yuba skin once, at a a vegan Chinese restaurant here in Portland (that just recently closed, BAH). It was such an amazingly fun texture. I guess I felt that it was a treat and probably not within my ability to make simply because I’d never had it before, but darn if I didn’t find this recipe for yuba skin, and darn if it isn’t super easy! I can’t wait to make it.
Someday I am going to transfer an image. I keep thinking I’ll be doing it soon, on a collage project, and then I get distracted. Nevertheless, I may as well put these image transfer techniques here, for whenever I get around to using them.
I finally finished a project to make little handmade notepads for our AirBnB guests. Here’s the tutorial I used. It had been since high school since I did this, so I totally needed the tutorial as a reminder. The music in the video sucks and it’s a little slow, but you get the idea. Oh, and I used Mod Podge for the adhesive, not whatever fancy shmancy stuff they used. Also, here’s another way to do basically the same thing.
I really admire this woman who decided to kill herself rather than subject her family to her wasting body. I could write a whole giant article regarding my thoughts on this, but I won’t. Yet.
Saint Death. Awesome. It was hard to decide whether to put this under art or death.
This week it’s the annual thing in the desert, and a lot of our friends are out there. Consequently, as is my habit during this week if I’m at home, I’m listening to BMIR, watching the live UStream of the event, and thinking about creative projects that would work best on the playa.
I’m feeling really inspired by this post on Atlas Obscura about outdoor, wind-played installations/instruments. It would be really cool to combine this concept with an awesome kinetic sculpture. And then there are these crazy structures built by outsider artists. I love seeing what people who’ve had no formal arts training can come up with, especially when they use found objects and refuse.
Stress and Relaxation
One of the contributing factors to my Whoops Weeks (when I posted nothing) was work. Or, hilariously and/or ironically, not work at all, but volunteerism. I founded this non-profit organization, you see, and even though we hired an Executive Director in January to replace me, I am still very much involved with the organization and will be for the next year and a half, serving out a three year term (sentence?) as chairperson of the Board of Directors so that none of my institutional knowledge is lost. It’s sometimes an unfortunate position to be in, because I am still recovering from burnout and it’s easy for me to fall back into that mindset. A little over a week ago I had to step in and fix a bunch of stuff ASAP, and it took a big toll on me. It was three solid days of volunteerism that I really didn’t want to do, but I had to do it anyway. I guess on one hand it’s nice to be the awesomely smart person who everyone relies on to make stuff happen, but on the other hand when you’ve been That Person for so long, it’s hard to make a clean break.
This week I had to put my foot down, and take a Wellness Week. The weekend was hard because I was used to being gogogo and was having trouble knowing what to do with my down time. Then Monday was super productive and I got some outstanding creative tasks done that I’d been looking forward to completing for weeks. Yesterday I started working on this blog post, and today I’m finishing it. It may not seem like a lot, but when I’ve fallen back into the habit of not taking time for myself, these are huge successes. Go me! I just need to be really protective of my personal time from here on out so that doesn’t happen again, because it was frightening how fast things spiraled down.
Epic study on men’s happiness. I love it. I love the idea of taking 75 years to complete a study, and I love what they found.
And one last thought
Maybe someday these posts will no longer need to have links, or will maybe have just one link, and the rest of the post will be me musing on said link. For now that’s not possible because I’m still learning how to focus myself. But one can hope that my efforts will someday pay off.