Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's with all the silence

I have done so much NOT posting these past few months, and have watched many others do the same.  Is it a move to Twitter or Facebook?  Is it boredom or the ever-present "I don't have anything interesting to say" dilemma?  Well for me it's the "I have too much to do" syndrome keeping me away from the computer for any kind of fun. 

Since I got to keep my job, I'm busier than ever at work, which is both good and bad. I have not been able to cut back but am going to discuss it with my boss next week. 

And since I was preparing for a year to have my "dessert" career and am a carry-it-thru person, I'm working on the Children's books project many many hours.  I took a digital art class so that I could learn how to do the project on the computer.  I found that the digital process can be helpful to me to set up color schemes, and play with options but is not yet the absolute medium that I want to use.  It took me a few weeks to realize that, and in that time I was avoiding the computer, avoiding working on the book and worried that I had lost interest.  It wasn't until I sat down with my watercolors and started painting that I realized "gee, that digital illustration had me stressed out".  To be fair, I'm not good enough yet with Photoshot to do a really good job. I also realized that if I want to do the colors on the computer, then I have to plan for that from the very beginning of the work - its important for sanity and making a good job of it. 

Animal Wednesday? What's that??? All my animals are on my iphone camera - waiting for their turn in the sun.   Walking in the morning?  Who's kidding who?  I love it and just started again yesterday but until then it's been jump out of bed, go to work, come home and work on the darn book. 

I think I'm getting close to finished thank goodness.  I have all my 28 pages drawn and mostly colored. I have my text written. I have my cover page and endpapers designed.  Once I finish the coloring I have to marry the two by scanning in the pages, and adding the text.    Then a good printing and color copies to send out into the world.  And from what I hear, be ready for many many rejections and when someone does take you prepared to be paid a tiny tiny amount.   Why would anyone do this?  To tell you the's fun.  I like pulling it all together, I like having a character come to life. I like the feel of the paper and the watercolors, and seeing a nice pile of work getting ready to go out into the world. It doesn't really matter to me if it gets published or not, if no one wants it I'll publish it myself for the kids in my family.  I have more stories in my head and ways to make it easier to draw them all out.   I have made a good friend in my instructor (Ilse Plume) who is lovely, warm, delightful and very talented.  I've met some lovely people in the class, and am going to miss them all when the class ends. 

Once it's all ready to be shown I will set up a private site for friends to view the work - and will ask for specific emails so that I can share with only my trusted online crowd.  I'd love everyone's feedback, and comments.  

So that's where I am at.  I estimate that I have about 2 more weeks of work to do before it's ready for prime time. If I focused and worked on it 12 hours/day, I could get it all done in about 3 - 4 full days, but that's not gonna happen.  

So...that's my excuse for the week.  I'll keep you updated

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mom's 90th party - a great success

Between the party on the boat on a sunset cruise, and the brunch the next day at the house....I think we all had a great time.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Ride needed

I am in the market for a new car.

My current ride is a 2003 Nissan Murano - which is a good car, and "only" has 140K miles on it, but it's getting to that point of having to bring it in every month or so for some little thing, or some big dollar thing.  I'd rather sell it now while it still works and let someone else put money into it.

This Murano was the second new car that I'd ever bought. Up until around 1985, I always had old cars passed down from my dad.  And they were all Buicks - except for one bright red, 8 cylinder, red leather interior Cadillac - which Dad bought in a fit of craziness.  Dad's best friend in Brooklyn was a Buick dealer, and I'll leave the story of that dealership for another time.  After all those old Buicks, I thought I never wanted another one until the day when I went to a dealership in my little MA town, and found "Creampuff"  - a Baby Blue Buick Skylark which (according to the salesguy) had only been driven on Sunday by a litte old lady.  He didn't say if the Little Old Lady was driving Creampuff to Church or to a casino...and I didn't ask.   I drove that car for years, and only got rid of it after I got nearly killed by a flying sheet of ice which came ramming into me from a truck that hadn't cleaned off it's roof that winter.  Totalled the car!

After Creampuff died, I had an affair with a Saab for a few years, and finally gave it to my husband when I got stopped for speeding for the 3rd time. That car just kept getting away from me!  Honest officer, it wasn't was the car!  To tone myself down a bit I bought my first new car - a Jimmy Blazer truck with 4 wheel drive - white with chrome. Wooeee - I loved that car.  My young nephews named it "Frosty" and we had some good trips and good times in that baby.   But it went the way of most American cars - rusty and worn out, and we sold it to a cowboy from the Western part of the state.  We were starting to get a bit older by this time, so we bought the Murano - a large SUV type car, with room for kids and dog...only by this time the kids were moved to NH, and the dog was gone.  But it's turned out to be a good car, with room for two bikes and lots of gear.  But now it's getting old and it's time for a replacement.

But picking a replacement is not so easy!  Do I want another SUV?  What gas mileage do I want to get? Do I want a hybrid or a regular gas vehicle? and how much do I want to spend?  And the key question - what image do I want to project?   Do I want to drive the luxurious Lexus SUV, with all wheel drive, and ton's of perks and give the image of "oh yes, my husband bought this for me while I was vacationing in Aruba - isn't he just the sweetest guy?"  Or an Audi SUV with the image that I know how to drive a serious car and could easily go 200 mph on the highway.  Or the earth friendly Subaru, with plenty of room for kids and dogs and bikes and picnic baskets and balloons.  Or should I go for a little two seater Roadster, and keep the top down, wear sunglasses and look mysterious and aloof.

This is not easy people!  I have to live with this image for the next 10 years or so and I've got to get it right.  What if I buy a Lexus and find out that Comic Artists Don't Drive Lexus'.  They might kick me out of Comic Class!  Or I might be driving down the highway in my Audi and some hotshot decides to challenge me to a drag race and if I don't take part I'll be humiliated forever. The pressure!!  But if I buy the Subaru and then decide to become a Born Again Radical Religious type...I'd have to sell it and buy the Lexus!  (if I become a Radical Born Again Jewish Religious type, I should start out with the Lexus ...hey I can say it...I'm already Jewish)

These decisions are weighing on me.

I might just have to buy a Buick.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Little Old House

In 1981 we decided that it was time to buy a we did.  50K price, with 17.75% interest rate on our first mortgage.  It was an old house, which is what we thought we wanted.  We loved it and worked on it, and struggled with it, and put on a small bathroom and lived with the low ceilings, slanted floors, lousy location.  We had two dogs in that house and one cat.  My parents stayed with us on the fold out sofa. Friends with babies came.  My two darling nephews stayed over many many nights.

Due to many reasons, it all became too much for us and we put it on the market in August 2001.  We all know what that year was like, and it stayed on the market for a long long time while we built a new house.

In March 2002 we moved out of this old house and to our newly built house.  It took me a long time to get used to the new house, all the bells and whistles it more than 1 electrical outlet per room, and an automatic garage door opener.  

I went and visited the old house occasionally, and only went in once when the new owners had moved out and asked us (me) to "check in on the house" if I had time.   Of course I checked in on it - that house was like our baby. DH did NOT check in on it, he's better at letting go and leaving things behind.

Another couple bought the house and lived there for about 6 years or so. No one knew them. No one ever saw them and they didn't return visits to the neighbors.  Then it was on the market again.

Last summer some new people moved in and I stopped by on a whim. They were lovely people, with two young daughters.  They loved the house and were used to old houses.  They asked me to come by at Christmas as they had a card for us - so I stopped by one evening and went in.  The house looked so beautiful. The fireplace was on, the Christmas lights twinkling.   They had it decorated beautifully, and it just looked great.  I came away very happy that the house was loved....and very weepy for some reason.  It literally took me a few days to get over that visit.  I kept reminding myself of leaky windows, and low ceilings.

Today I found out that the house is on the market again...and probably has been sold already (houses are selling very quickly around here suddenly).

I feel so bad for the house!  In some strange way, that house had an "awareness" of itself - there is no other way that I can describe it.  It wasn't "haunted" - it just has layers of consciousness.   I've written before of the fact that the house didn't want us to leave, and threw up all kinds of roadblocks as we tried to wasn't until both of us - independently - went to the house and explained exactly why we had to leave that the strange happenings stopped.  The house sold the night we had that discussion.

I'm getting a bit weepy again over the poor house being sold/abandoned again.  I'm sure the young couple decided to make a few bucks on it - and good for them. But the poor house!  I miss it, I miss our life there, I miss my dog and cat, and being young, in love, foolish, fresh, having babies around, and parents spry enough to sleep on a fold out sofa.   I could never move back, I am too spoiled now with a basement studio, and lots of lights and cable TV, and extra rooms.   But I do miss it all.
Isn't it silly?


Postscript:  I had a wonderful time at mom's 90th party but haven't posted as I came home with an awful cold, which has turned in a "little bit of pneumonia", and am on antibiotics which make me sleepy and silly.   I'll be back soon...when I get over feeling sorry for myself and get some good cough free sleep.