Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DAY 29

Today was the complete opposite of yesterday, it rained. Thankfully! It was much nicer to work in that degree of temperature. All day I worked for Jillian, prepping and painting the 2 sets of French doors and the window.

I am glad I can focus on one task for hours at a time (like spend all day working on just doors). There's a stat that says people can only focus on a lecturer for 20 minutes. That seems so low!!! I adore lectures. I can easily sit for 2 hours, taking notes and following what the lecturer is talking about. Why can't or don't other people focus on a lecture? Or is the stat completely wrong?

It's been great working with a woman; talking about men. Jillian's studio assistant. Maureen, dropped by for a couple hours, which was great! She is lots of fun. She was aging leather belts with a sledge hammer and a huge chain. I love self empowered women. We're great!

It was so liberating to bike to work! It was super pretty ride: it was all green and there were cute houses. It also took just 10 minutes instead of 30 by bus.

Jillian has this theory that people who are prone to mysteriously breaking electronic devises have a stronger magnetic current in them. She tested me with a tool that is used to see if an outlet has any electricity running to it. It looks like a stick with a red light on the end. The light goes off if a current is detected. Now I am confused as I write this. Is the tool checking for an electric or a magnetic field? Does any one know this or the name of this tool? Anyways, Jillian has tested everyone who has entered the rental. It shouldn't light up red on people, but it did for me. And it went off on her too! She said she can't even wear watches. I though that was pretty extreme, then that night, I thought about the last time I wore a watch. It was back in high school. I kept buying new watches because none of the batteries would last. I have gone through countless printers and scanners, that have for no reason, died. Same with my last 2 digital cameras. Now I have a reason for this madness.

Jillian wondered if I was good at slot machines. I told her I don't know. I've only spent less then a buck on them. She said that people with this ability to break technology are great at breaking slot machines, and winning big. I need to go test this for myself!! I am sure the stick with the light would go off on my mom.

That night for dinner was raid-the-fridge night, and watch crime shows. I think it was called 48 hours. Deb is addicted to forensic files and other detective shows. She knows all about that kind of stuff. Mary Anne wasn't digging the blood, but Deb and I did. I think it should of bothered us. It was so fascinating how they conducted the investigation and gathered facts, that I wasn't grossed out by the gore.

DAY 28

(This is just a tiny view of the triplex that I helped renovate. You can see the designer fence that is going to be the most elaborate and beautiful fence that I've ever seen! I love Jillian's idea to use drift wood for fence posts.)

Today was the first day I worked for a fellow artist, Jillian. She didn't need help in her studio, but instead needed an extra hand getting an apartment ready to rent. One of the sculptor's I work for back home, introduced us, which I am very grateful!

It felt like the initiation day, because I worked out side from about 9:30-2, in high 80 degree weather staining posts for a fence. For the first time, I used a spray on sun screen and failed. At the end of the day, I realized that I just sprayed it on my right tricep, leaving a perfect, white circle, surrounded by a red arm. Luckly my burns quickly turn into a tan. The rest of the day was prep work for painting french doors and a window.

Mary Anne made another amazing dinner. I have lots to learn from her. I was looking forward to dinner all day. It was shrimp and rice and salad. It was very delicious.

I was so tired I crashed at 9pm and slept great.

DAY 27

I started the day off eating salmon at a French restaurant. It was great! A huge group of us went to brunch over by Pikes Place.

We split up and went our separate ways; Deb, Tracey, Mary Anne and I walked around for a bit then drove back home to Portland. By the afternoon we were home and for some reason tired from doing nothing all day. I don't remember, but I think we all took naps. Mary Anne worked on her color and design homework, which is looking very impressive! She is so dedicated and consistent with her art. It is very impressive and inspiring to me.

I made dinner that night: dolled up spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. When it got dark, I watched the 6th Sense. I hadn't seen it since it first came out on video. I forgot so much of it. I was peeking out from under a blanket, glued on the tv. It is such a great movie!!!

DAYs 25 and 26

DAY 25

Still on Vashon Island, I took one last hike before checking out. I juggled at the near by lake, called Fisher. It is covered with lily pads. Lots of birds sang over head. I am going to miss this place. I had breakfast in the cabin with Hannah, Sandy and Sam. I just had to juggle some more in the meadow with the tepees, before packing up.

(Ferry that transports the commuters and their cars.)

The ferry ride was much shorter than my trip out here, because I went to West Seattle this time. I am going to stay with friends of Mary Anne's. Their names are Beth and Jon. Beth is a travel book writer and Jon has his own business.

That afternoon I was at the library looking for random books to read. I found a couple: one about carving gourds and another called "Extra extraordinary Chickens."
The steps to carving a gourd:
1. scrap the outside of gourd and let dry
2. scrub off mold
3. scoop out innards, just like a pumpkin.
4. carve

I found a really nice deli that found a semi hard goat cheese that I liked. The man working there was super helpful. He kept giving me samples. ;-)

Beth and Jon had a dinner date with another couple, so I headed home with my food for an evening to myself. I was locked out for a bit due to an incident involving one of the biggest black widows I have ever seen, along with 2 huge brown spiders and a lack of sharp, pointy objects. Deciding that the humiliation of still being on the porch when they got back, made me get the hide-a-key.

I watched a movie called, "Smooth Curve" that is part of the filmmovement. It's a film club that once a month, sends out an amazing Indy film. The one I watched is from the public library. It is such a great idea. I get so sick of Hollywood movies, that I rarely go to the movies.

When my hosts got home, we visited for a while. ;-)

DAY 26

(View of the Space Needle from the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.)

The host family I stayed with were very generous in showing me around Seattle. Jon drove me to Pikes Place where fishermen toss fish around the market. Every thing else is for sale here: organic produce, nuts, flowers, sun dresses, Seattle mugs, amazing cheese, gluten free and vegan breads. Obviously it's very touristy and super crowded, which adds to the excitement to the market. Jon walked me around the market and we went into the magic shop because there where torches for juggling in the window. Jon's a fellow juggler, I knew it! He has the vibe.

For the sake of time, let me fast forward. Jon dropped me off at the Olympic Sculpture Park for the free tour!! It was so exciting seeing these sculptures in person! Needless to say I took lots of pics. It was super cold and almost rained. I would of been super sad if the tour was cancelled.

(Guess who designed this steel sculpture?)

(This was my first Richard Serra sculpture to see in person. It didnt have any welds, which was dissapointing. They are ledgendary for being a couple inches wide! The sign in the pic reads, "Please do not touch." I thought that was very entertaining since Serra's sculptures are rusted steel.

(Mary Anne asked me if these are my hand prints. You decide.)

(Me next to one of the great sculptor's art work.)

(The inventor of the "mobile" also created the "stabile". His name is Alexander Calder. This is one of his non-moving sculptures, aka stabile, called the Eagle.)

Off to lunch at a sushi place and then to the Seattle Center. I tried to meet up with the Seattle jugglers, but no one showed up. Instead I walked around the Space Needle and people watched. There's a ton of public art, the music museum, a science fiction museum (I think that's what it's called), a small carnival and an IMAX. The best part was the International Fountain. It would shut off so everyone would run up to it and hit it, daring it to turn on. At random intervals it would turn on, and shoot HUGE jets of water on everyone. Music played. Then it would turn off again...

(The fountain that everyone needs to go play in. It's the international fountain in Seattle.)

I went back to Pikes Place and found a perfect thank you card for the folks I've been staying with. They just got back from a trip to Bouton. I found a hand painted card with the Bhutanese alphabet and a lama, made in Bouton. I'd never even heard of that Asian country before. Now I'm spotting it on cards.

I met up with Deb, Mary Anne and Tracey. We all got dolled up and went to Jazz Alley to see Eartha Kitt.

(The one and only Eartha Kitt. You'll never guess how old she is. She looks amazing!)

She's a cab-er-ray singer who's 81! She was catwoman on the batman tv series and is the voice of Esma on the Emperor's new groove for tv. It was my first time seeing her. It was Mary Anne's 4th! She even painted her a picture. It turned out very impressive. The show was incredible! Everyone in the audience was captivated by her. I couldn't even finish my dinner. I had to watch her tease the men. She's pick guys sitting at the tables by the stage, and embarrass them. She's sing the song to them, and they get all red and awkward. Then after the song she's shake their hand and their dates hand. I can't wait to see her again.

(Us fine ladies at Jazz Alley for Eartha Kitt!)

Afterwords, we hit up dessert at the Palace, hung out for a while, then went to bed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

DAY 24

(You just can't beat camping in a teepee on an island. You just cant.)

Up at 7, in the cool, crisp air!! I love this! I spent a couple of hours hanging out in the cabin where the kitchen is at. I was talking with adult sisters, Rudi and Pauli and another staffer, Hannah. Rudi invited me down to Texas whenever I want to go! Her sister is a Montessori teacher in Portland (of course! I love Portland!). I know a little about Montessori, but she explained some more. It's an alternative schooling where kids are taught to take care of themselves and teach themselves. A lot of the instructions from the teacher is by example or demo with out words. Like for yoga, the 3-4 year-olds would each have a mat and copy the teacher. Then in the classroom, there would be mats set aside and flashcards of the poses. Pauli said that the kids would choose to do yoga on their own! This type of schooling sounds great! I want to research it some more, because I could see putting my future kids in this system.

(Hannah, Rudi and her sister, Pauli. We are inside of the cabin at the Vashon hostel.)

Hannah cleans at the hostel and is self proclaimed the "welcoming committee". She did a great job of that. She's a fellow young'n that's done a lot of traveling, like a pilgrimage in Spain with her mom when she was 14. She also spent a year in France during high school. She's a go-getter and a life learner. It was a delight talking with her and listening to her great stories.

While hanging out in the cabin, I copied down a bunch of recipes from "Vegan with a vengeance" cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Although I am not vegan, it's much easier to adapt the recipes to gluten free and add meat to the dish. I have a bunch of great meals I want to try. I'm thinking I'll test them out on Deb and Mary Anne. I actually miss cooking. I've been eating out and raw for most of my trip. I look forward to cooking again.

I rented a bike from the hostel for $1 and traversed the island. It's about 11 miles north - south and 3 miles east-west. I had a map, food and water, and went exploring. I found the biggest hills! They rivaled ones I've been up in San Francisco. The island is like a mini Santa Cruz, with lots of trees and hills. I saw a sandwich board in front of an Episcopal church that said labyrinth is open. I had to check it out!! My first labyrinth was in San Francisco on top of Nob Hill at Grace Cathedral. There is an outside labyrinth made of marble and inside there's a carpet one. This one on Vashon was out side and couldn't be improved. It was surrounded by overgrown, flowering plants and tall pines. The path was a shallow ditch with grass. There were purple clovers and buttercups all over the grass. In the middle was grey flag stone. It felt more like a time for refection, where as the one in SF is like a place for tourists to gawk and whisper to each other, "what is she doing?" It this labyrinth, there was a list of sights that mark all the labyrinths in the US.

(A labyrinth like the one in Charters Cathedral in France.)

(The outdoor labyrinth in Vashon Island.)

(The labyrinth was made up of dirt paths and grass filled with purple clovers.)

I biked along the water front and found the funniest installation. It was of 8 exercise bikes lined up, facing the bay. I had to take pictures and ride the bikes. It is so pretty here! It's been nice and warm all day. Surprisingly, most of the locals drive. They are missing out.

(The humorous are installation that I found while biking.)

(Nothing like making fun of the Vashon locals for working out inside even though they live on an island in the Northwest.)

(I had to try it myself! I would actually use one of these if it was outside.)

(The view while I exercised.)

(sunset that I saw while biking around.)

After 5 hours of biking, and almost not making back because I was so tired, I had a huge meal of fruit, nuts and hummus. I met another fellow hosteler, who use to live here on Vashon. I wanted to talk with him more later, but he wasn't around.

I moved to a covered wagon (that has a mattress) because the mildew in the tee pee hurt my lungs. All day my throat hurt and lungs felt heavy. I regret sleeping in the tee pee. Now I know to look at them before checking in. It was then shower then nap time. I pulled the mattress outside and slept there.

(My wagon that I refused to sleep in because of the mildew. I pulled out the mattress and slept under the stars. It was perfect.)

After an hour of deep sleep I woke up and snacked some more (I was hungry from all that biking). I ran into Jenny, who's a professional clown. She lent me her clubs, so I could give them a try. I had about 20 minutes left of light, so I played until dark in the field. It was interesting dodging the clubs when I threw them funny. For a while I practiced throwing just one club at at time, trying to get the toss, flip and catch some what consistent. Then I introduced club #2. It was dark before moving onto the 3rd. Now I want clubs!!! Jenny said the best place to get them is from

I slept again outside. It was nice and cool. The sky was perfectly clear! There where so many stars I was having a hard time finding constellations. I found the north star, the big dipper and Cassiopeia. I was out by 10, and slept great all night!!!

DAY 23

Today I checked out of the noisy Green Tortoise in Seattle. There are a ton of interesting travelers from all over, but there are just as many kids looking to party. I am relieved to be staying on an island in the Puget Sound, away from the noise.

During the school year I get up between 7 and 8:30. I've conditioned myself to get up with out an alarm, which is wonderful because alarms and I don't get along. Most days on this trip, I've been waking up between 5:30-8:30. I love it! The morning is my favorite time of day, when the air is cool, and the sun is coming up. I love the colors in the sky and the birds singing. The day is perfect and anything can be accomplished. Today was another morn of waking up at 5:30.

The ferry ride was beautiful going to Vashon Island. The island is so small that the hostel told me to call them when I got to the grocery store and they'd pick me up! The one thing they forgot to mention when I booked over the phone was that they wouldn't pick me up before noon. I took a commuter ferry to Vashon at7:30 because I was so excited to get here. In stead of going straight to the hostel, I went grocery shopping, ate at a cafe, juggled in the park, an visited the little library. It was very small and homey like the Rancho Cordova library. While at the library I picked up a book called, "You still can't eat mount Rainer" by William Speidel back in 1961. FYI an elevator ride to the top of the space needle was $1.50 back then. Now it's about $16. Speidel is a local who raves about "Seattle Spirit" and the fighting nature of the locals. Reading his stories made me reconsider liking Seattle. I just was in a loud part of town.

Around 1pm I checked into hostel. It has covered wagons, tee pees, private rooms and dorms. I lucked out and spent my first night in a tee pee! Each tee pee is painted with an animal. Fittingly mine was a butterfly (that use to be my favorite animal).

(My tee pee on Vashon Island. As you can tell, it was super dirty. I slept outside the second night. But I was still excited to be in a tee pee. Most of my childhood I was dressed up as an Indian. Now I finally got to sleep in a teepee!!!)

The hostel is backed up to a 100 acre wood, so I had to go check it out. I didn't find Christopher Robin, but I did find huge banana slugs!!! I took a picture of the two of us! I'll be posting it here, once I get the film developed. The Forest was very over grown and green with lots of birds chirping at me. The biggest wildlife I saw was a duck, but it was still very enjoyable. It's irritating that I often don't know what I need until I experience it. As soon as I started my hike, I realized that this is what I've been needing. I've been going from big city to city (loving it mind you) but still searching for something. I forgot how refreshing it is to be outside where it's green, quiet, surrounded by animals.

(I found a giant, yellow slug! I thought about eating it.)

(But he begged me not to, so we made peace.)

I was so excited about sleeping in a tee pee, I had to take a nap. I slept great. I wonder if my landlord would let me build one in the backyard? I think he would.

After my nap it was snack time in the log cabin then play time in the field. I was messing around with juggling, seeing how high I would throw the balls. I'm guessing they went about 20 feet. It hurt to catch them, they where coming down so fast!

Silly me packed only white pants, so I've been wearing green shorts with my purple fencing socks pulled way up!! Good thing I am not trying to impress anyone.

I hung out in the barn and played pool with one of the kids that works here. There where lots of missing balls and duct tape on the felt, so we played for fun. I still kicked his butt! I get so competitive over little things. hehe I won.

By then, it was dark, so I joined Dennet and her 9 year old son. They shared their smore's with me. They are such wonderful folks. It was great talking with them and sharing stories.

I spent a pretty warm night in my tee pee!!! I had a foam mattress and a sleeping bag. It's something I want to do again for sure.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DAY 22

Because I had such a funny sleep schedule yesterday I woke up at 5:30 am. It was light out, so I got ready and went for a walk along the water. It was surprisingly chilly today. It's a good thing I have a rain coat, long socks, gloves and pants. There were tons of commuters getting off the ferries, which I think would be so much better than riding BART!

It is really surprising how unpleasantly noisy it is in this city. There's a freeway and the train tracks right on the water front. So standing by the water, trying to enjoy the sound of the waves is impossible. One thing that has me super impressed is the Seattle public library.

(The central library in Seattle. The most beautiful library I have ever seen!)

(It opens up several stories!! There is so much light. It is amazing!)

(There's sculptures and installations on the ride up the escalator. I never seen elaborate art or escalators in a library! This video projection of a face is by a famous artist, that I am blanking on his name. He was featured in art:21.)

I have never been in a library this beautiful, resourceful or artsy!! In the kids' section, the floor was designed by Ann Hamilton, a BIG name sculptor. It's made of recycled wood with the first line of each kids' book in the library engraved into the boards, in different languages.

(Floor in the kids' section designed by Anne Hamilton. I was so giddy seeing art by her. It was simple and powerful.)

This building is beautiful!! The building from the outside is mostly glass diamonds. The 2nd floor is called the chamber, because it opens up 3 stories! You have to absolutely go to their web site and look up the main branch. WOW! I am super impressed and that almost never happens.

(The meeting floor in the library is totally red, including the light. I had to remind myself to stay calm and not panic. The environment is very intense and claustrophobic.)

Back to this morning, after the walk I took a long shower, ate breakfast, then a nap (rough I know). The best part about this trip has been keeping to my goals of figuring out what I want to do when I graduate. I am 1.5 petals shy of finishing my flower, which is an extensive exercise in the book called "What color is your parachute?" It's about figuring out what your dream job looks like then how to plan steps to get it. I've also been drawing like crazy. I forgot how much I enjoy sketching with a pencil (I am easily amused). I have pages of sketches from art I've seen on this trip and ideas for future projects. My sketchbook is almost full!

I hit up SAM, Seattle Art Museum. Inside I discovered a sculpture that I've wanted to see in person. It is by Do Ho-Suh. He made kimono out of dog tags. I love the simplicity of the material and the strong dialog that it creates. I spent lots of time walking around it.

Back at Pikes Place market, I bought a mini loaf of banana bread that's vegan and gluten free! I am loving the Northwest for these kinds of food options. Sitting along the water, I chowed down most of the bread, along with an apple and nuts for lunch.

I found a great store!!! It is a map store. It's full of travel books, globes, old maps, new maps, globes of the stars and of the moon. It was so much fun looking through everything. The best part is that it's a pretty big store. I didn't find any imagery that I want to use for my map tattoo. I'll keep looking.

In the afternoon I checked out a couple galleries and alternative art spaces that Philip and Dana told me about (thank you two for telling me about these places!) I saw a couple things that spiked my interest at the Greg Kucera Gallery, James Harris gallery and Catherine Persons Gallery.

By far the most amazing installation was at the Sayuma Space. It's the highlight of the day tied with the public library and seeing a Do Ho-Suh sculpture in person. At the Sayuma Space there was a collaborative installation. The artists names are Carolyn Healy and John Phillips. The installation is called MetamorphoM. It was made from found objects: weights, block and tackles, and sound and video projection. The floor was old hardwood with great looking nails and the ceiling had old, exposed beams. I spent a bunch of time there, looking through the brochures of past shows. I found some more artists in there that where just as amazing.

Talk about ironic. One of the artists that I found in the brochures, I saw one of their sculptures later on that afternoon! I was looking for the galleries, when I recognized the sculpture in a window. I had to go in. It's of a paper sculpture made into cones. I need to consult my notes, but I am pretty sure it is by Cris Bruch.

I'll be posting later more about the artists that I as drawn to today along with images of their art.

I made it to the Klondike museum about 15 minutes before closing. I thought it was about the ice cream bar. It's actually about the Klondike gold rush in Alaska. Seattle was the main hub for supplies before heading out. It was all hands on, fun, informative and the best part, FREE!

DAY 21

(Not bad for a disposable camera.)

I had such a huge dilemma over such a small decision. I do this sometimes, which drives me nuts that I can't be at peace over my decision. The dilemma was if I should stay in Portland, to get to know my new found love OR go to Seattle, to see if I'll love that city even more. In the end I decided to go North. I am still undecided if I made the best decision. Isn't this silly? I keep telling myself that I'll be back in Portland before the end of the year, so I can show her off to Ian.

I took the train to Seattle, which I slept most of the way. Once in Seattle, I checked out Pikes Place, which started off as a fish market where they toss the fish and a farmers' market. Now they sell everything, 7 days a week!!! I didn't see the fish tossing, but I'll check it out soon.

(Pike's Place. The famous fish market where they hurdle the fish around and then package it up!)

I've been craving the tamales from home, so I found a small taquaria and ate very yummy soft tacos. I find that if I order a tamale from any other place than the store at home, I compare it to that. The Nicaraguan grocery store always wins!!!

Then I made a bee line to the Olympic Sculpture Park. I was first introduced to it by an art:21 episode. I was jumping around, all giddy going from one sculpture to the next. It is so much fun and rewarding recognizing and sometimes identifying the sculpture before reading the tag. I had my picture taken next to my first Richard Serra sculpture!!!

(Close up of the installation at the Olympic sculpture park.)

(Quaking aspens there at the park. I took them for reference photos for a sculpture that is hatching in my brain.)

(More quaking aspen for reference.)

After a long day of walking around in early 90 degree weather, I took a well earned nap. It turned into a 4 hour nap, throwing off my schedule. Oh well. Not like I need to be anywhere, anytime soon.

(More tall buildings in Seattle.)

I was really stiff so I walked to the Space Needle, and all around the neighborhood. I found a sit down Mexican restaurant and had a tamale (I know i broke my own rule). I was so hungry that I also ordered bean soup, chips and salsa and 2 margaritas. The meal was great. I have gotten use to eating out at cheap places or assembling inexpensive meals at grocery stores, it will be hard to go home and cook.

Through out the day I spent a bunch of time working on my "Flower" chart. Here's the progress:

My favorite people environments:
1. reliable
2. non materialistic
3. physically and emotionally healthy
4. life learners
5. ambitious
6. sense of humor
7. organized

Using the "Holland Code" I prefer in order people who are R, A, and I. I'll elaborate more later.

Salary and level of responsibility:
1. make my own decisions, whether I'm the owner of my own business, a team leader or working for someone off on my own
2. 10 hr/days, 6 day/week
3. I chose the clients or projects
4. either $16-31hr or $32-62K year
5. Have an assistant come in 1 day a week

Surprisingly I was tired after my long nap. I think it was a food coma. That's it. I went to bed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

DAY 20

Today I didn't ride public transportation or go further than a few blocks from the house. It was wonderful!!! I had a relaxing morning sipping coffee with chocolate covered espresso beans melted into it! I blogged for way too long, adding in photos that were developed yesterday. I took care of the rigmarole of packing, and s & s (shave and shower).

Around lunch Mary Anne and I went to Fleur De Lie and had an amazing lunch. Their food is so yummy. I waddled out of there from my fresh, chicken salad with fruit! We dropped by the library and Trader Joes. It is so insanely nice today. It's 88! So I had to sport my new dress from the "Naked Lady Party", donated by Deb. It is a halter that's purple, black and white with flowers. I love it!

The afternoon I tanned in the back yard, sketched lots of ideas out for the artist-in-residency program for the San Francisco transfer station. Mary Anne was instrumental in helping me narrow down my list of 23 ideal working conditions into 8! I seriously couldn't of done it without her. I like the way Mary Anne summed up my list. It's a check list of environmental preferences. Once these are met, I want to be left alone so I can do my job. It is so true! (The author of the "Parachute" book, says to make the list of the top 5, but I changed it to accommodate me. These 8 preferences are all vital and important to me.)

My preferred working conditions:
(There's a tie for 1st. All the rest are listed in no particular order.)
1. mutual respect from management
1. work that doesn't hurt my body
3. merit system (wildly thanked and praised, publicly and privately, along with good pay and frequent and big raises for working above and beyond.)
4. flexible schedule
5. no dress code
6. paid on time
7. me caring about the job
8. environment (Outside or incandescent light. Lots of natural light. Clean and organized space. Quiet or moderate noise. Comfortable air temp. My own work space.)

I've been missing sculpting like crazy, which is a relief. I've been sketching a bunch of ideas, going to galleries, working for a sculptor and hangout out with a fellow artist (Mary Anne). Dana's suggestion for sculpting while traveling, is to make something small and spontaneous every day. It could be made from a feather, a paper clip and a receipt. Then after just 7 days, I'll have 7 sculptures! I'm going to start tomorrow!

what to do? question on day 20

For my "flower" exercise with the "Parachute" book, I have to make my list of top 23 working conditions into a top 5. This is so hard to do! Everything on there is very important to me. I thought if I let it sit for a week, I'd be less attached to my list of 23, but no. I want to finish my "flower" but I am stuck. Any ideas?

The way the book recommended making the list is by writing down all the jobs I've had. Then going through each job and listing what I didn't like about them. Then switching the negative into a positive, such as complaining that I was stuck at a register, not aloud to move, write that I want a job with mobility.

Here's my top 23 working conditions in no particular order:
1. wildly thanked and praised (both publicly and privately), along with fair pay and frequent, big, raises for working above and beyond the call of duty
2. environment: a) being outside or under incandescent light, b) comfortable air temperature, c) lots of natural light, d) organized and clean work space, e) quiet or moderate noise level, f) my own work space
3. patient boss who doesn't yell
4. flexibility in my schedule for travel and other last minute sculpture related events. Also having flexibility to move from pt to ft.
5. plenty of training before working with customers
6. boss held accountable for promises relating raises and other things relating to me
7. fair work place
8. no uniform or dress code
9. having someone or a resource for me to go to when I have questions
10. paid either twice a month, weekly r daily
11. paid on time
12. I need to care about the products being sold
13. no public math
14. paid for commuting, or work from home
15. A boss that's approachable, good memory, not awkward, confrontational, proactive, organized, honest and detail oriented
16. constant, well known standards and expectations for everyone that are announced when changed
17. paid by the hour, not by the job
18. work that doesn't hurt my body
19. work that is challenging for my mind
20. boss that thinks of the people first and the business second
21. working the a fore agreed upon hours, so that I don't arrive to work after an hour commute then told that it's going to be a short day
22. I can move around at work
23. working with people who are just as competent as me, communicate well, go-getter's, don't smoke and are healthy

Saturday, July 19, 2008

DAY 19

(This was downtown just begging to be photographed. I love metal and wood. It is a great contrast!! This was outside of a tall building in Portland.)

I am starting to lose track of the date. Everyday I still make a list (who am I kidding? I make more than one a day.) By habit I still wake up at 8:30 without an alarm. I am content traveling. It is a relief to be almost done with college, so I can be free!

I hit up the farmer's market with the sisters. The samples were amazing. I wish I hadn't had such a big breakfast, before going to the market. There were baskets of raspberries for $3 and fresh made, jumbo sausages for $4!! There was a band singing in an African language. It was a fun and crowded atmosphere.

I headed downtown by myself to hit up the galleries. While there I went to the sand castle building competition. Now I want to get into making sand sculptures!! Most of the sculptures were done, but one section where I watched the sculptors work their magic. Talk about random tools: straw, level, trowl for grout, palette knife for a painter, clay loop tools, 5 gallon buckets, sponges, pump spray can for the garden and a shovel.

(Photos from the sand castle competition. Now I want to try building with sand. When will I ever focus? There are so many interesting things to learn!!)

For lunch I hit up the roach coach and had decent Thai. I ate it down on the river front. From there I went to galleries that Dana and Philip recommended. Of course I made notes of what kinds of art was at each gallery and which artists I liked. I could see living here and showing my art. I'd love to live here.

(HUGE bronze sculpture!! It's in the Pearl district. In the back ground is the Beer festival going on, which I didn't attend since I am allergic to wheat. Arg.)

On a whim, I went into a music store to look at mandolins. I've been seriously thinking about which instrument I want to learn ever since going to the Oregon Country Fair. I planned on just asking some questions, but instead the guy wanted me to buy one. He gave me one to strum along with a chord chart. He didn't listen to me at all, because I said that I've never played a string instrument before. What was he expecting me to do with a chord chart? I admired it, strummed a bit, then gave it back. I like the size and feel, but I want to buy it someplace where they are more helpful.

At 5pm, I had my 15 minutes of fame on the History Channel. It was the showing of the documentary on tattooing called "Ancient Ink". I made props for the cave man tattooing tools. Deb and Mary Anne watched the 2 hour show with me. It was very interesting seeing how tattoos are done in other countries. At the 1 hour and 54 minute mark, it sank in that my caveman scene had been cut! Oh well. I was paid for it and it's staying on the resume. Check out the photos on my sculpture site.

Dinner was amazing! Mary Anne made really yummy Indian food. Dessert was even more amazing. She sauted butter and walnuts and added chunks of bananas. Put that on coconut sorbet and poured on coconut milk. I picked up the latest role of photos, posted them and did a bunch of blogging.

(All over downtown there are tiny ponies tied up to carabeaners in the concrete. I found out later that the carabeaners are there from when people would tie up their real horses.)

DAY 18

I spend another wonderful day working for Dana. I seriously considered changing my plans so that I could stay in Portland longer, so I could work for her longer. It is very encouraging meeting and talking with a female artist who lives off of her art. She sells her hand painted tiles in Anne Sacks magazine and shows her personal art at shows. The time management for balancing business and making art, is very impressive. I have so many business ideas for myself I am having a difficult time picking one.

I helped Dana organize her studio and demolish the couch. The couch was once a beautiful pink and orange couch from maybe the '30's. Now it is in lots of little pieces. We spent most of the day deconstructing, hammering, cutting, sawing, and hitting the couch apart. The studio neighbor, Dave, finished the couch off!! He went at it with a hammer, when the brand new sawzah had a short, so it wouldn't work.

(Pic of Dana's studio before the removal of the couch. It felt so much nicer once it was removed.)

(The couch in question. It was rescued from a really old house and lived here for 15 plus years. It got to the point of needing a proper burial. That's where I came in.)

(The couch was filled with plastic thread. It was all hand crafted and very beautiful. The hole time Dana and I where like, there's a great sculpture to be made with this, but I don't know what!! The fabric was pink tweed. All the textures worked so great together.)

(Rope was hand tied to each spring. Dana gave the springs to Philip for his birthday. It will be interesting to see what he makes with those.)

(Dave the studio neighbor, ripped apart the couch with a hammer, when the sawzah died. He was our hero.)

I met up at the Portland City Grill for happy hour with Mary Anne, Deb, Tracey, Cici and Tongue. The martinis were great and the appetizers cheap and delicious. The restaurant is on the 30th floor, giving a great view of Portland! It was very fun hanging out and chatting.

Back at the house, Mary Anne, Tracey and I had an inpromptu "Naked Lady Party" (sorry no photos). It was my first party, so let me explain, in case you are new too. A bunch of friends get together and bring clothes that they are getting ride of. All the clothes are put into a pile and everyone starts trying on each others clothes. Hence the nakedness. Thanks to Cici, who's my size, I ended up with lots of super cute clothes! Mary Anne is going to drive them down to me, when she moves back to San Francisco in the fall. We drank marzipan champagne, ate chocolate covered espresso beans and tried on clothes. What a blast!