January 26, 2009


For the past 10 years Starbucks has a played a part in my life. A majority of those years it was a place for me to study and then in the past few years a place to grab my coffee before work. My drink of choice: Grande Vanilla Soy Latte

Everything changed last week. I'm not really sure what i'm going to do about it.

Wednesday i got my usual drink. It tasted different. I thought maybe someone had used the sugar free vanilla by mistake or maybe the syrup changed and it's now French Vanilla. The latte was had an odd buttery undertone. It was drinkable but only ok.

Thursday i ordered it again, same location. I asked, "Has the vanilla syrup changed?". The Barista awkwardly says "no". I go on and explain that my drink tasted different but that i'll go ahead and try it again today, Grande vanilla soy latte. The Barista perks up, "oh we've changed the soy we use!". Ooooh, of course!

Here is the irony, i'm not sure if it taste only ok because it's different or it only taste ok because it really just taste bad. They use to serve Silk brand soy, most people who don't normally have soy, thought it was nasty stuff. I'll agree that once it got cold, don't touch it with a 10 foot poll. The fact that the new soy has a buttery taste may allow for a larger audience. BUT my dilemma is, do i want to keep drinking it, do i want to get use to the new taste or here's a radical thought, let the latte go at Starbucks and enjoy drip from home with the occasional special drink from an independent cafe near work.

This seriously, disrupts my daily morning routine but not necessarily for the worse. I use to spend on average $6 every morning between a drink and breakfast item at starbucks. That's $120 a month, not including the occasional weekend. Now, i bet i could take that same $120 and have the same thing of coffee and breakfast with money left over. I can usually finish off 1/2 pound in a month, that's like $8 or so a month just for coffee. Then i've been loving oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit - i'm sure i could buy a months worth of this supply for i don't know $30? Leaving about $82 dollars for whatever.

Yeah, yeah, i might just have to say fair well to my old stomping ground for my morning routine.

January 24, 2009

It's Negative

The pregnancy test turned out to be negative - big sigh of relief. It does turn out that i have extra fluid in my inner ear. Since Monday i was struggling with dizziness when i'd lay down and then turn my head or get back up. It progressively got worse all week, by Friday i was slightly dizzy any time my head would move. Looking down really sends me for a loop. Called the nurse line and she recommended I seek treatment with in the next 6 hours. Off to the urgent care we went, turns out to be a very nice place and faster service with a lower bill then the ER. A pregnancy test had to be given before the Dr. could subscribe the meds she wanted to give to dry up the extra fluid. It seems that the inner ear is very important to balance and that any time the head moves the fluid moves and if there is too much it just keeps going once the head stops which causes a person to be dizzy.

Today is my first day on the meds. One side affect is slight drowsiness but thankfully it seems it's not going to be a big deal. Other then feeling lazy, which i think is a combo of meds and not wanting to move my head, I'm fine. Hopefully all will be normal after the week of meds.

January 19, 2009

Therapy After Therapy

Saturday afternoon i had my first appointment with a counselor. I'm at a point now where I don't think i can pull my self up by my own boot straps and a little outside help would be good. This is not my first experience with a therapist. I had 2 between the ages of 18 & 20. I had 2 session with a woman in July, did not work out because of insurance and i could not afford her out of pocket or out-of-network or really, i don't think we were a good match.

Unfortunately I don't think i'm a good match with the woman i met on Saturday either. When i have to call both of my sisters to rant about how she got on her soap box about a particular issue which was a side subject and not the main reason i was there. That i'm actually angry, feel belittled, and not just a touch manipulated by the counselor instead of feeling encouraged that this is a woman who can help me through a struggle. I don't think this a good sign. Still, I dread canceling our second appointment scheduled for this coming Saturday. Both my sisters immediately said not to go back and that i don't have to have any since of commitment to her. And i keep reminding my self that giving people a second chance after they've pissed me off once is how i'm in the situation i'm now in.

At the same time, i'm discouraged, it's a lot of freakin' paper work to meet with someone and then in the first hour boil down the problem to 10 min. of an explanation and be able to articulate exactly why i'm there when the only really good answer is that i can't sit on the couch numbing my feelings with ice cream forever.

Another thing on my mind is that I HAVE TO figure out something to do after a counseling session. Usually, i'm tired, sad and a little weepy after that hour. My default is to of course go get a good girly movie and some chocolate and then waste the rest of my evening. I just don't see how the wallowing can be constructive anymore. I'll need to find something nice for my self to do to transition between the session and life.

January 12, 2009


I'm lusting after a vacant suite in the building I work in. One day couple of weeks ago I walked to another part of the building, to get to a balcony that has a wonderful view of hills that at the time were dusted with snow, perfect for a photo. The suites have an odd feature here of big windows cut into the walls that face the hallway, maybe psychologically it helps the rooms feel bigger. Anyway this particular suite is along the outside wall so it also has real windows that give it light and a view of trees and sky and if you look down a building.

That particular day it caught my attention with all it's light. "Oh, how nice!" i said to my self and then immediately started day dreaming about it becoming my space. A studio of my very own. The space is not very big 8x16 or 24 feet - it's long but narrow. I could image an over stuffed chair with an ottoman. Table for carving blocks on. Walls to hang inspiration on.

I haven't moved a muscle in finding out if it's even really available. There is a sign that says they rent studio space for artist, there are other artist and a variety of business in the building. The sign says they start at $200 a month and considering the size i can't image it being much more. Today I'll at least take the step to write down the contact's number but really i wish there was an email address, email seems easier.

There are some questions:
- Would i mind having my studio in the same building i work in?
- How do i balance time in the studio with time with my husband? Not that this isn't already a question just for every day living.
- There is the cost of running the net to the room {maybe i don't need it? i shudder at the thought...}
- It's currently annoyingly far enough away from home to make it inconvenient to come on the weekend. I hope this can be remedied by moving closer. Supposedly we have a goal of moving in March but frankly we haven't made a lot of strides in that direction.

But oh my, to just have a space where i can control the noise, how wonderful is that thought!


On Thursday I was walking through Borders. Passing through the non-fiction section on my way to the cafe, a book setting on the end of the shelf display caught my eye. "Oh, great Eric Larson's come out with another book!". I got as far as reading the whole title American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood & the Crime of the Century and thinking it sounds like a good read before i read the authors name, Howard Blum. Ah, so not Eric's work after all.

This is a great example of how branding can work for artist recognition. Simply based on imagery I assumed the book was of Eric Larson's work. Also, an example of how others can capitalize on someone else's branding, lending to themselves the original creator's reputation. Even after realizing my mistake I still thought it sounded like a good book.

It could also be a case of a snap reaction from me and the designer/publisher had no intention of any kind of tie in but non-the-less the design got me to pick up the book.

Eric Larson's popular historical, true crime books have similar covers which build a visual recognition for readers.
Thunderstruck DevilinWhiteCity

Howard Blum's cover has similar qualities; book title on arch and angle, long subtitle, large monotone location shots as the imagery. AmericanLightening

January 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me

It has been five years to the day since I arrived in Oregon. Don't regret the choice to move at all.

January 5, 2009

2008 Recap - 2009 Goals/Dreams/Ambitions

I'm not interested in recapping the year in detail. Frankly, it was a hard year and i'm glad to see it go. I am optimistic about '09 as i am in every January about the coming year.

A list of random 2008 statistics:

77 - the approximate number of movies i rented in the year {felt like i watched more}
-- that's about 154 hours or a little over 6 days worth of movies

19 - the number of movies i watched in the theater

28 - the approximate number of books i read {i'm sure i missed documenting some but have now completely forgotten i read them}

8 - the most posts i had in a month that were not prompted by NaBloPoMo

4 - block prints carved {disappointing, should have been more}

5 - projects i completed or were apart of that were not my own personal projects

70 - approximately how many photos i uploaded to Flickr

My words for 2009 is conscious. I feel like most of '08 was in autopilot and reactive. A lot of the goals i set for
last year i still want to work on {some are life long} and accomplish {some are completable} this year. I posted last year about wanting to say "No" to more things and this year i'm doing it. Over and over and over again last year i'd say Yes and i didn't really enjoy any project i took on. I'm putting ME first this year.

For an exercise in conscious i thought it was be interesting to try taking 1 photos everyday for a year. Plus, what a great collection at the end of it all. Of course, there is already difficulties such as, i get up in the dark, i leave work in the dark and my house has bad lighting. I've still taken photos though, even if they are yellowish or have that ugly flash glare.

I signed up for the Creative Every Day project at Leah's site. At first i wasn't because i was boycotting signing up for anything but realize that it offers something i want, a way to create an online community. Leah is doing a great job of giving the participants a place to point others to what they've been doing and when i did participate last year i noticed people actually said 'hi' to me and considering this blog and creativity can be a lonely road i chose not to close that door. She posted about keeping a creative log - i started mine in an old '07 weekly calendar that i didn't use and it's going well!

As far as my creativity goes, i want to actually complete some projects. I want to be conscious about completing my ideas. I have a back log of things i was going to post to this blog from October. For example, i was going to show before and after pictures of my haircut {i cut a lot off}. I was going to post videos of my plane taking off as inspired by another artist. I was going to post sideshows of a beach trip in Nov. I was going to post snow pictures that happened before, during and after Christmas {i'll still do that one}. Point is, the photos are doing no good just sitting on my hard drive and i want this to change.

Among other projects of 2009:
- blog regularly and with substance {not just a paragraph griping about the weather, not that this is completely prohibited}
- Block prints {get some of those images from head to paper}
- Editing photos from my move from TX to OR {i realized i could no longer beat my self up about not doing this sooner or that it was too late. The realization that most people wait decades to write memoirs and it's fine if i start this one 5 years later}.
- Scan childhood photos {i have a box full that need proper respect to be archived}

There's a lot going on this year!