A tired, aggravated Monday morning, but I am very lucky #gratitude

This is what I was thinking very early this morning, listening to the torrential downpour while cuddling next to Sir Henry. We’re safe and warm and snuggly!, I cooed to him. Sure corporate America hates me; I’m an over 40, non nepotism-beneficiary, vagina owner. I’m still a lot luckier than many. I don’t forget to be grateful for the good stuff, which is quite often the simple stuff, the basic human needs and comforts. Do you have heat? hot water? a comfortable bed and warm blankets? healthy food to eat? If you have all of that, things aren’t so bad.

iPage sucks, and I’ve let as many people know about this today as possible

Then I got up and had to deal with my former website host, unexpectedly. That took quite awhile, and it was after another similar session just months ago. There are only two other reviews on Google and they’re both 1-star, lol. All told Charlie and I sat at the table 3½ hours. We also found out it’d have been better to transfer my line over earlier! My iPhone service ended today but I have to change my sim card and will have to wait to receive it and pray there are no technical difficulties. Like, I’m pretty sure AT&T wants to make you pay to get it changed, and I’m not at all handy with crap like this (though I did figure out how to change both the batteries in my Polar heart rate monitor recently).

I will also have to change my phone number and get a 503 area code, like I was saying on Facebook. This is because my AT&T account is already closed and I’d need a temporary activation to port out, which they’d like to charge a total of $70 in parting fees for. I’d been advised in 2015 by a 10-year PDX veteran that it’d be better to keep my 646, NYC area code as long as possible, saying locals are impressed by a New York association. I certainly have not found that to be the case. And my situation is such that it’s better to take the time to change my phone number on all my online accounts, however many times that comes up, over paying $70 and having to suffer through more phone calls through AT&T. Dealing with one cell phone provider at a time is enough! The last agent I talked to had the grace to sound embarrassed when she was forced to try to push television service on me at the end of the call. #asIF

Also this winter sure sucks weather wise

I wasn’t exaggerating earlier this winter. According to The Oregonian it was the coldest January since 1979. Plus we had snowpocalypse as well as other periods of snow induced house arrest. And now the torrential rains! Generally it hadn’t rained in extended periods before. You’d have breaks where the skies would brighten and you could get out and do stuff. This year it’s been a lot heavier and significantly longer, not Portland mist but more like gloomy, New England rain. I’ve really felt like I brought the weather with me! But of course that’s silly because if I did there wouldn’t have been a 2-year delay.

It’d have been really nice if at least we’d had half way decent weather for Sam’s visit. Walking around and hanging out in nature is really the best this area has to offer (and it’s Extreme Budget friendly), but there’s loads of things we haven’t done because it’s been so consistently rainy: Multnomah Falls, the Chinese Garden, walking along the waterfront, Tanner Springs Park, walking around the Pearl.

We did manage to get outside the portion of the one day it was good weather, Friday. Even the Japanese Garden was distinctly underwhelming though, with all the construction going on. The fish ponds were opaque swamps of pea soup too! I’m not kidding. I pointed to an indistinct, orange blob and said, That’s a really beautiful fish, if you could see it. They should really have a reduced admission for off season if it’s like that. Next time I’d just as soon walk on the trails around the zoo, in Forest Park, for free. I think it’s only worth admission starting mid March or so.

We’ve still had a really nice visit

We got in:

  1. Deschutes
  2. The Japanese Garden
  3. 23rd Ave
  4. Dick’s Kitchen & a good “home party”
  5. Short Cuts” at the art museum, a film festival, curated set of 6 animations. They made a point to not include any American films, so as to provide more of what might not otherwise get seen outside of animation competitions. It was excellent, I thought.
  6. Powell’s
  7. Portland City Grill for happy hour – they are so expensive otherwise! And anyway this time of year it’s dark later. Charlie was looking at the regular menu just for fun and announced that the shrimp cocktail appetizer is $32. We both laughed. We got there just a smidge early for the start of happy hour and were lucky to score a round table. I don’t know how anyone ever manages to get a booth. You probably need the right connections, lol.

The plan had been to meet around midday for Pittock Mansion, but we’re both tired for different reasons. Today will instead be lazy, inward and teetotaling kind. Our last stint of hanging out is probably tomorrow! It went by so fast… I’ve been amazed to have met two long-time blog friends for the first time ever in Portland. I’ve known both Sam and Ursula for about ten years, through the online Ashtanga world. Didn’t think people actually visit Portland unless they work for one of the maybe three, functioning corporations here, LOL. I’ve been especially happy about it because I’m so isolated here, normally.

I’m going to relax, read and then work out in the late afternoon. I’ve gotta work on a creative schedule for the end of the week. I need to get back to the concept work for my logo project and schedule some drawing, painting and illustration.

I’m lucky! I can relax on this gloomy day.

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This day hasn’t started off very well

And it’s the one year anniversary of my move to The Hill. No, I still don’t have a driver’s license, because I also don’t have the title for the junker and thus nothing to learn on. I also never got a bike. It’s dicey around Dosch Road though, even for experienced, competitive (and young!) bikers. I live with two of them.

The joy of dealing with cell phone providers…

Wading through the AT&T website and service line makes you want to scream (I did, several times, scaring the dog) and bash your head into a wall (not yet but the day is young). My contract ends on the 20th and I could not let it renew and get locked into another 1½-2 year contract. I can’t afford it! I’m getting charged an extra $31 in fuck-you fees… I might be on C’s plan, but we don’t know for sure cause he can’t get through to Verizon.

The My AT&T website wouldn’t let me change my address, and of course there is NO button or link to “terminate my account”. I got a “need some help?” message which informed me I should go to chat, which of course was “busy” as in “not functioning at all” with a little banner informing you of such. So helpful!

In contemplating the potential of life without a smartphone I realized I wouldn’t have a camera! There’d be no Instagram in that case. Hrrrm… IG is fun cause even bad at social media, middle-aged types like myself will get noticed. Thinking of the artistic self promotion here. The thing is, I’ve never gotten a solid lead in that way.

I’m just trying to type it out before I sit for meditation. It’s going to be a fun one.

Fucking hell I wish that last job opportunity had been real.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. Oh well.

I worked steadily in NYC. I want everyone to remember that, myself included. Not that I want to dwell on it, but ok I’m rambling.

Meditation & a customized “Middle Pillar” ritual

We happened to see black, beeswax, tapered candles at the food co-op the last time we were there…

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My view before yesterday’s morning sit & hermetics. The PNW is dark in the winter.

I’ve been both cursed and blessed. Sometimes even now I still look around and wonder how I got here. Of course I know! I’ve grown a tremendous amount though… pauses to think about the return to art. When I “put it down” in favor of socializing and endorphins, I always had in mind that I could return later, because fine art isn’t ageist. Of course I didn’t think about it in those terms exactly. I had no idea how things get for women past a certain age in the working world. Men too, but much less and much later.

I’d have never had a serious, intimate relationship again if I’d have stayed in NYC. I know this for 100%, gut certainty. And now? Cooking, shagging, a cat and a dog, a secluded lifestyle, daily meditation, hermetics, witchcraft… But no money. Zero earning power, and absolutely every time I’ve had my hopes raised, it’s turned out to be a false hope.

Video says I need to focus on why I want what I want. This would mainly serve as a vibrational correction for the doubt and despair of noticing its continued absence.

  1. I need to get a solid foothold in regular, well-paid illustration work because I need to earn money & art gives me the most joy.¹
  2. I’d regain some independence and purpose.
  3. I need a reason to be.
  4. It’d inspire and focus me and give me tremendous energy.

I’d gotten one bite on my latest Craig’s List Portland ad. If it’d been a real opportunity it’d have kept me busy for 3-4 months, paid a NYC worthy salary and given me a whole boatload of drive and purpose. After I’d talked to the agent I had a couple reasons to think it wouldn’t happen, but this morning I found out for sure. Some tears rolled down my cheeks during meditation.

OK then! Forget about it. Take a nap. Skip exercise if you want. Fuck it.

I’ve been working on visual notes & studying to create a personalized version of the hermetics Middle Pillar ritual… I’ll fill in some information on the correspondences (chakras, archangels, planets etc), but this is enough to do the intoning and (not pictured) the energy moving exercises. This ritual needs to be practiced standing and takes about a half hour.

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¹Not that I’m being elitist or anything! The corporations around here aren’t interested in hires over 35, no matter HOW qualified, as they’ve made abundantly clear.

 

 

Talking to some of my best friends yesterday must’ve inspired me #freelance #artist & #designer

I’ve been industrious all morning in a true Virgo rising, list making fashion. I didn’t feel like getting right to drawing, after finishing with my meditation & hermetics practices. Instead I planned, and worked on self promotion.

  1. Organized a new set of images for a Craig’s List ad.
  2. Made new image of the spec work I’ve been doing for a local bike group’s “kit”.
  3. Posted on: my design blog, my online portfolio, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter & Pinterest. Also updated the dropbox folder I made for this collaboration.
  4. While updating portfolio I decided it’s time for a new character design sample, and I’d already been planning on drawing Charlie again soon. I’m going to combine that with my drawing a day series (more like every two weeks) AND playing around with tarot card illustrations. We’d already decided he’s going to be the King of Cups. Rocco will be part of the illustration too, because I’ve got pet portraits floating about in the back of my mind. Plus all those mythical kings have dogs, and she’s his companion animal. Set up a drawing session with him for tomorrow. I need to do quick portrait studies: front, three quarters and profile. First you create the character, and then the composition.
  5. Wrote new copy for the CL ad, this time with ranges  of piece prices and hourly rates listed. Posted the ad.
  6. Set up a recurring weekly event in iCal to run an ad every week. I don’t have to re-do every time. I can just hit repost for awhile.
  7. Updated (organized) the categories for the design blog.

And now… trying to decide if I want to work out this afternoon or if I’ll take a “real” rest day, whether I should go downtown, walk the cat, work on the latest landscape / lifestyle piece…

If anything, I see myself withdrawing further & further from the world

I don’t have much in common with normal people anymore. Unless you’ve got money you can’t hang and no one really wants to hear your problems, especially when they don’t change. (The move was already almost two years ago so… I remember people offering up all kinds of comforting advice the first year, like “in the PNW it takes about a month for every 10,000 you want to earn”. OK. So eventually I’ll get hired for like $500,000 a year? I’m so sure.)

And then there is the weirdness of Emperor Baby Fists… I have little to no patience for everyone’s shock and dismay. As I like to say, I’d been having 2016 since the middle of 2015. How could this HAPPEN? Guess what, shit happens and life isn’t fair. Back in NYC I’d started going to demonstrations and marches, anti nukes (Indian Point) and anti Monsanto. I didn’t for once consider going to the women’s march in Portland this Saturday. I’ve got no spirit for it. All I want to do is find somewhere amenable to sit and drink beer. That’s it.


Took another rest day yesterday. No reason other than apathy, but it was an NB and I didn’t totally pig out. Two rest days a week is bad endorphin/mood/motivation wise, though on a sheer exercise level, I work out way more intensely way more often than I used to, since I started HIIT toward the end of 2014.

I slept deeply because no alcohol and the darkness of rain. Charlie had already left for work when I got up at 7:30. He’s got a long day… I’ll get some exercise in and then maybe go downtown on the first afternoon bus. Bus 51 was out of service for a good 11 days, but it was running yesterday, and I’ve been losing my mind with just sitting in the house all the time. I could even bring some sketching supplies… It’ll be too wet to draw outside but I could just doodle in a cafe…

#HIIT warm-up & #ashtanga #yoga

Fuck the fucking snow. Fuck this winter. Fuck corporations in general and especially fuck athletic corporations.


Obviously the max of 223 below is a Polar monitor glitch. I didn’t catch blip while working out, but I do believe the average because I was burning really high.


We’d decided to go to an early evening movie yesterday, not knowing this latest fucking storm would dump New England levels of snow. I was the one who suggested we get our grocery shopping done early – to toot my own horn, because if I don’t no one else will – and it was a damn good thing because it was already getting pretty hairy by the time we headed home. And judging by the stocks the food co-op had right before the last snow, there would’ve been very slim pickings by that fucking point.

The main point of my mentioning that is with the shopping and the movie I didn’t get a workout in yesterday. You can be sure that this morning I: meditated; did my mantra; did the banishing spell and then got my workout in. Hey, with this storm I lose the chance to make any pocket change this week. And I lost another week due to the fucking cold. I’ll have my endorphins, thank you.

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HIIT warm-up

1. Jugglers High Knees
2. Burpee
3. Jump Kick (right)
4. Jump Kick (left)
5. Russian Kicks
6. Squat Jump
7. Mountain Climber
8. Lunge Hop (right)
9. Lunge Hop (left)
10. High Knees Tap
11. Frogger
12. Heel Tap Squat Jump
13. 2 Plank Jack/s, 2 Knee In to Opp Arm
14. Alt Pistol Pop Up Note to self: pistols should go in the first third of a set this long!
15. Low Jack

Yoga

About 72min

  • Suryas & fundamentals
  • Marichy C & D
  • Second to Laghu Vajrasana, EPRK, Kapo B (x2?)
  • Urdhva D, 3 drop backs, 3 ticks Takes about 1hr to get to finishing with this format
  • Finishing

Writing & studying in the morning is relaxing / my latest read

On my creative slacker existence & a little on my personal artistic process

Another late start today! I did a NB¹ yesterday. Despite that I wasn’t out of bed in time to see Ch off for work. I was gathering up my stuff for coffee time (glasses, phone, laptop, snot rag) and saw him drive off in the van. I waved. Toodles! So what will the renunciate hermit occupy herself with today? I’ll sit. I’ll repeat my mantra. I’ll work on The Deck, the latest thing.

I drag my heels when it comes to the “finishing”. I don’t want to commit. It’s not as fraught with danger as it used to be, when I was in art school and would sometimes “kill” a piece. I’d be going along and the composition would be balanced and healthy, and then I’d over work, realize things had gone wrong, keep working (with increasing desperation) until it was truly dead and then continue to flog it for some time.

Now it’s different. For one I’m not doing anything for approval or validation (“winning” the group critique, the solid As I pursued so vigorously). Now that I’m older and somewhat wiser I see all of the marks as valid in a way. I’m not so much making something as I am forming a record of my observances and actions. I’m also mixing media at will. Hardly anything I do is just one media. This is very new. There are no rules! This is because nothing really matters, anyone can see…

I’m finally ok-again with really working on something. After an intense session, it’s best to put it away, and not look at it at ALL, for a week. Even just 24 hours is hugely beneficial though, if your deadline doesn’t permit such a leisurely pace.


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I did make it to Powell’s yesterday, after having stopped for a vegan high school lunch at Veggie Grill and a new hoodie at Gap. I was looking for another historical, non fiction title actually, but this is about another student of Hermes Trismegestus, named and translated (saved) by the Greeks in 2 or 3rd century BC / also known as the ancient Egyptian god Thoth.

The star of our biography: Acarat, Count Cagliostro, otherwise known as Joseph Balsamo to the French, lived 1743 – 1795. Sentenced to life in prison at the end, by the good, old Inquisition. I’m pretty sure Franz Bardon got harassed by the god police at the end as well, but I haven’t found a bio of him yet.

Whatever you call him, our Count Cagliostro lead an amazing life. He seems both highly shady, and spiritually talented, in healing and other occult arts like very accurate psychic predictions. (I’m only on page 30 but I’m taking notes. When I read to study, I require physical books, as well as a pen and highlighter, lol.)


¹ no booze