2013 ~ JoUrNaL

11.19.2013 -  When I was a girl, I dreamt that I could fly.  I had these flying dreams all of the time.  I would coast the clouds and soar above the trees, watching the ground below me blur into a palette of colors.  My imagination extended without effort and without boundaries.  I had an open, child's mind and thought that I would always have the gift of inventing stories and characters.  I took the creative ease of my adolescent brain for granted... and then, I grew up.

When I sit down now to write, I realize that I'm recycling something I had heard before instead of something I had invented.  And then I'd think, just how many versions of "Romeo and Juliet" had I heard?  The idea of two beings with opposite backgrounds was embedded in dramas, comedies, horror and tween romances.  It went to show that Romeo and Juliet was still a worthwhile subject matter that could be re-described in multiple genres.

And just how many tales about aliens or body snatchers had I heard?  Or stories about ghosts?  Or time travel, and of far away lands from long, long ago?  Yes, I have - yep, yep, yep, and yep.  And yet, these stories could be recycled and told in new, refreshing ways - and so a bit of my apprehension to create something brand new subsides.  Instead, I search my own personal experiences to pick out points of interest to melt with ideas I'm already familiar with.

One of my all-time fav-films is "The Neverending Story".  That film embellishes the way that I feel about the world now; that a "vast nothing" is coming, and the more that we rely on what is familiar, the more that is at risk to be taken away.

Today, we rely heavily on the swift technology of software and computer generated images.  I am not dismissing the beauty of this technology, but I cannot belittle the step-by-step process of making something believable.  I miss the classic art of robotics and puppeteering.  I grew up watching Jim Henson films and still find the creative engineering in the mechanical movements of fictitious characters amazing.  Take Falcor, The Luck Dragon, from "The Neverending Story" for instance... the way that his nose and ears twitch, and how his teeth, lips, and tongue move as he speaks.  It took great timing in puppeteering design and skills.  I feel like there is more physical, human challenge to conquer in filming than that of computer, generated imagery.

But I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that I still enjoy telling a good story, even when it might be rooted within a well-known tree.  And the tone in all of the examples that I've given is that hope always exists; the hope for survival, love, or for something better than what have been given.  I guess that pretty much sums up the way that I think.  Even when I feel like everything has been taken away from me - I still have hope.  I have no intention of letting "The Nothing" wipe out my world.  I plan to live, experience, create, and share with you as much as I can for as long as it is possible.

I look forward to the new experiences that will inspire new ideas and thought processes, but I also do not want to ignore the classic processes that brought me to where I am today.

And to those of you that savor a curiosity, yes, I continue to hand-write my story ideas with a simple pen & paper, rather than with a computer.  Data can be erased with a simple glitch, whereas I enjoy holding something tangible.  Work with the process that works best for you my friends. ;)  

09.14.2013 - This was one of those mornings when the sun began nudging me through the open slots of my blinds and I looked around at the white walls of my new place and thought, "Today is the day I'm going to change my life."

Ever have one of those mornings?

There is so much I want to organize in order not to miss out on anything.  I might put up a story board on these white walls of mine - but the story projection will be for me.

*sigh*  I guess I should get started ;)

09.10.2013 -
It is one of the hottest days of the year... and it's supposed to drop almost 30-degrees in just 2 days.  Crazy.  It is also a terrible day for allergies - so I'm spending the day in.  I have busied myself with researching blogs and listening to what's hot in the news (besides the weather).  Let's just say, I am happy that Miley has established herself as a woman instead of a child of Disney, but I hope that she moves past her highly *exposed* phase of her career.  Madonna has survived... Brittney has survived... and I believe that at some point, Miley will survive as well.

- If any of you are regulars to my site, then you have noticed that it has been going through some changes.  I have been meeting a lot of fellow creatives lately and their kin-ships have been very motivational, as I am hoping to reflect in my work.  One issue that I have run into lately is with the programming of this site.  A couple years ago, I had my site on an outside server.  I used Dreamweaver for all of my programming and loved that I full-reign on decisions.  But my server guy was moving on, so we redirected my site to the one Google provides with the purchase of your domain.

Ever since then, I have encountered many frustrating issues.  The site does not look exactly how I would like it, but as I've said before - the price is right.  But now, I'm having issues with photos that I upload, or script that I type - that show up in the "editing" screen, but then hide when I save the new draft :-/ ...it is defeating to say the least.

For example, I have 5 photos inserted with the journal below.  When I view the page on my computer at home, that section of the journal appears blank.  But if I access my site on my cell phone and view my 2013 journal, all of the photos are there.  It is very confusing to me.  So until I figure out what the issue is, I hope that whatever browser you are using allows you to view the photos that I posted :)

04.13.2013 -I attended a farewell performance for a friend/coworker at The Beat Kitchen in Chicago.  It was his big out-of-state moving send-off. And I want to thank you for the invite Junior!  It was a great show!  Hopefully they'll let you play guest appearances when you come back to town for a visit :)  And as a side-note since none of the guys are wearing their own logo - the band's name is A PHOTO FINISH.


Play it Junior!


- I try to be funny.  Not in a comedian type of way, but I try to be funny.  Whether it is with snappy one-liners or just by acting spontaneously silly; I enjoy the lightness of humor.  And since I enjoy the sensation that laughter causes, I try to make others laugh as often as I can.

Life gets too serious sometimes.  Just ask me.  But then I tell myself to let go of it all, and try to lighten the heaviness with a joke.  I feel that it helps to erase the imprint that stress tends to leave behind.

There are times when I can tell from someone's body language that they are having a bad day.  I then feel compelled to help them - by breaking into a 5 second silly dance or facial expressions to try and put a smile on their face.  As our brains tend to loop current events back for review throughout the day, I know that those people will think of their encounter with me, and hopefully it will bring yet another smile to their face.

It seems like most Americans work nowadays.  The idea of the stay-at-home parent is not as common as two-working-parents, or the single parents who work two jobs.  We use terms now like "multi-tasking", that infuses the idea that we are always supposed to be working on something - keeping busy.  We have a hard time finding the time to slow down.

But how much time does it take to laugh?  And how good do we feel after experiencing a good laugh? 

- I woke up too blooming early this morning.  You know how you look forward to the the weekend all week long, so you don't have to set your alarm clock?  Me too!  But here it is Saturday and I was wide awake at 4am.  No alarm going off.  No need to hit the "snooze" button.  So what did I do?  I enjoyed it :-)

The time felt like a bonus to me.  I made myself a cup of coffee and listened to the quiet darkness.  Then as the sun began to rise, so did the noise level outside.  I could here the doors of my neighbors coming and going, and the increase of traffic on the streets below.

I did as I said I would - and uploaded a variety of travel photos to their proper pages on my website.  I love the visual associations with photographs.  They brought memories of my travels back to the surface.  They also reminded me of all the "tourist" stops that I would still like to make.  Especially in Europe, as the friend that I ventured there with was more interested in eating and drinking than sightseeing.  Though I have to admit, I never realized how good food could actually taste until my trips overseas.

I became a bit of a foodie after the French and Italian
cuisine I was introduced to.  Now, I try to buy more organic foods at the store, as I've realized how much of the flavor has become muddied with over-processing and growth hormones.  I also realized how much less I eat when my palette is satisfied.

And with that, my tummy has reminded me that I should go make breakfast.  Enjoy YOUR Saturday morning!

- I have been distracted with a long-term revision of one of my writing projects.  I plan to get back to uploading my photos to the site as soon as possible.  I see a lot of possibilities with 2013... and am glad that all of you will be along the journey with me :)  Wishing you an enjoyable weekend!  Do something that you never thought you'd do!

- Greetings everyone!  I do hope th
at all of you are having a dandy weekend.  I plan to work on my photo issue with the site again tomorrow.  It is mildly frustrating to find out that the plan I had for the user-ability has been ka-boshed by the short options I was given by using a google site.  I have discovered that they do not like outside flash being used - which forbids me to incorporate the slide shows that I had hoped to use.  And when I attempted their slideshow option, it takes the viewer from my site to a google photo site (where my images are being kept).  So yes, I am having a few learning curves with my options, but I must say, the annual price for the site is right.

And my allergies have run amuck lately.  I know, I know, that's no excuse to vacation from the world wide web, but I'm doing my best to deal with it.  My voice went on a mission of silence as of last week - which is a very strange thing to deal with when you've taken the gift of speech for granted.  No more making phone calls... as text, snail mail, and email are your only sources of communication.

01.23.2013 - You know, I finally get the idea of needing "down-time" after a day of work.  I can remember a gent I dated back in the mid-nineties, who explained to me how he needed an hour of "down-time" when he got home from work.  At that time, I was so young and full of energy that I just couldn't understand why he didn't want to share my ball of enthusiasm after a long, draining day.  I would greet him with niceties when he came home, and ask him to tell me about his day.  He would then emphasize how thankful he was to see me, but he would be even more thankful if I could just give him an hour of quiet time... then he would love to exchange stories of the day's adventures. 

I listened, and did as I was told.  But at that time, I felt as if he was giving me the brush off.  But now... many years later... i get it.  I have come to realize a pattern in my own "after work" behavior.  I function better if I have an hour to decompress.  Amazing what wonders time can do for the mind and the body, as well as for an old memory :)

- Everyone knows how much I enjoy a good story.  And I have spent the past month viewing, listening, and aware of the world around me - to learn new stories.  As I mentioned before, I felt as if I was searching for something.  And I found that it was something both internal as well as environmental.  I know that this is nothing new and will fail to come as a shock to anyone - but the world has changed! 

I cannot explain what I mean exactly - only that I understand that the world as we know it will never go back to the days of "Leave it to Beaver" or "Happy Days".  We are as we are, until we evolve to whatever is next.  Life is constantly transitioning.

I caught a gem of a film, "Flipped" (2010), with Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Aidan Quinn, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, and Rebecca De Mornay.  In a few words, it helped me identify what I had been searching for.  In the film, a young girl decided to step back and evaluate the people around her, and the "sum" of their parts.  She was able to decode the value in people.

I wanted to hug her - this character in this sweet film of youth and innocence.  I miss those days of looking at the world with over-expectations. 

I value life as a gift.  I am thankful for everyone around me, regardless of how many different categories my relationships fit into.  I no longer beat myself up about trying to remember everyone's birthday - especially when it has been years since they'd remembered mine.  People give what they can, and it should not become a competition to see who can outdo whom.  Just accept what is given.

Today, I was blessed with a delivery from my long-time friend, Melissa.  It was a care package filled with trinkets from "home".  Photos, candles, cookies, and an update of how she and her boys were doing.  It brought a smile to my face and created a bright place in my day.  I valued my friendship with her, which began in 1987.  The only thing better would have been if she could have shipped the boys and herself in the box as well!  LOL  So I thank you Melissa, for being in my life.