“I used to be funnier”

Posted: March 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

Response: “There used to be more to be funny about”

Working a short evening shift at work today. Don’t need to leave the house until 5, which is usually when I start winding my day down on my days off. It’s weird.

Got up lateish, had brekkies, finished, photoed, and listed another piece. Scrubbed out the catbox, vacuumed the condo, and cleaned the kitchen/ did the dishes. And started on another art piece. I could ramble on about the process of just prepping a piece. Which entails online research, finding images that would make good pictures, finding a plaque with the appropriate shape for the ‘vibe’ I’m going for, sizing the image. Then breaking the image down to shapes that will get cut out in tin, preparing the tin templates, then finally selecting the tin pieces, which is an artform itself. Its a bit exhausting at the end. But I probably won’t get to actually cutting anything out until Monday. These have been coming out pretty fast, don’t want to get burned out.

I have a couple hours still in which to eat something, get caffinated, take a pre work shower, and otherwise get ready for work. It’s strange, as the sun is getting lower in the sky, and here I am preparing to go to work. It always throws me off my work game. While I stand waiting for the train I more than likely will feel unprepared, and like I forgot something.

This weekend I work, as per usual. Not much to say about that.

But now I watch some Judge Judy to relax and get my head ready for wealthy folks who have access to free booze and their interacting with the artwork.

 

Angry again

Posted: July 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

Needless to say, everything is screwed up in my country, and the man in charge of running the country, is just making it worse. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I was set for a dystopian future, but didn’t think it would look like this.

That being said: I had planned to work on art today, but have lost all motivation due to reading what’s happening nationally in my news feed. Just too angry to saw tin. As one does not saw metal while mad. You just end up breaking blades.

I posted on my feed about embroidering slogans that would capture my current feelings about the state of the world in cheery sequins on my plain black work masks, sort of as a joke, only to have a coworker put in an order for a couple masks. So I guess I’ll do that today. The main problem being that I need to find if I have any plain cotton material that would be suitable as the base.

This is all I have to comment on right now.

She was right

Posted: July 3, 2020 in Uncategorized

I once had a therapist who insisted that I just needed to build new neural pathways, especially when it came to dealing with my anxiety. She explained it to me this way: your neural pathways are lazy, so when confronted with a stimulus they will go down the path they are accustomed to. Sort of like a well worn path in the woods. Usually leading to a fight or flight response. What we needed to do was build NEW pathways for my brain to travel down, that led to lesser reactions from my body.

I didn’t really get a handle on my anxiety until our horrible trip to Las Vegas, where nobody showed for our ‘wedding’, we almost missed the limo to the Elvis Chapel, my mate got food poisoning, and we got stuck there for an additional two days because the airport at home was socked in by a historic blizzard.

I managed all of it without a single panic attack.

Now I know they say that children of trauma normally do better with traumatic events because of that trauma. Same goes for children of psychological abuse. Being a child of both it only stands to reason that in a pinch I’m good in emergencies as a result. Normally my brain does not shut down like neurotypical folks. So it stands to reason that I would deal with everything going wrong in a reasonable fashion. The important part here is that: I acknowledged that fact. I learned to trust myself. Relying on the knowledge that I have been through worse, and can handle whatever the world throws at me. I escaped a house fire at 17, rescuing my cat and grandmother from the flames, finding parking at the local train station (a real trigger for my daily anxiety) ain’t nothin in comparison.

It’s been about four years since that trip. And my anxiety, while flaring up occasionally, is not near the levels it once was. In the beginning it was my knowledge that I could deal with most sh*t that was giving me grief, but as time went by, and my old triggers stopped being triggers, that I started to build new neural pathways to healthier reactions. I found a better path through the woods.

This theory has been given a thorough testing in returning to work last week. As I have social anxiety. Or should I say, I HAD social anxiety. I went from three months, staying in the same one bedroom, leaving the house only to buy groceries and walk in the park. With the only interactions being between me, my husband, and my cat, to going back into the scary world. Driving to the station, riding the train, walking to work while masked up, interacting with coworkers and visitors, all while wearing a mask and other work accoutrements such as my Ipad pouch and security radio.

Yes, on day two I got a little bit panicky a couple times. Wondering if I could do that job anymore. But I didn’t have a full blown panic attack about it. I just muddled through. And TBH honest, after talking to some of my coworkers, everyone struggled that first week. Some silently crying in the gallery due to its emotional content, some waiting until they got home for the day to cry. We all were overwhelmed.

So, I guess I should stop saying I have anxiety, because, for the time being, I seem to have it managed. And while yes, I still have moments where I am anxious, I no longer am incapacitated by crippling anxiety. Which, is, wow, something I haven’t experienced since I was a teenager.

Like a juggernaut

Posted: July 3, 2020 in Uncategorized

I have the next two days off, which is just fine. My heels are feeling the brunt of returning, full time, to the museum, with my standing and walking all day. But I’m not complaining as they fired 25 people, with 13 additional people going into retirement, basically to affect financial stability for the museum. One of the people retiring is, not a close friend, but someone I was friendly with in my department who’s been there 35 years. I need to get her a card as I’ll be at work on her last day.

Otherwise, I continue to be surprised by people’s impressions of me. I had one coworker tell me they didn’t think I could be rude to someone even if I tried the other day. Just another example of how we are not how we seem to be to ourselves. True, I try to be kind and empathetic with my coworkers, as that is part of the team’s goals, ditto for visitors, as we are there to enhance their experience. But I feel like I, in my regular life am full of crass, rough edges. Which I’m sure is an over exaggeration on my behalf. I’m sure somewhere there is the truth of my personality, I just will never see it.

Last night had dreams where I was vending my wares at a market again. An uneasy dream I keep returning to. This time I was told by the woman who I shared a spot with how people like me made people like her look bad. And how she has devoted her life to jewelry making, while presumably I hadn’t, and it just made her mad. So basically, I’m feeling like I have no right to call myself a metalsmith at this point in time. That or I feel guilty that I haven’t worked to enhance my skills that I paid so much to learn in school. But, school wasn’t about learning metalsmithing. That was just a bonus. It was ultimately about learning how to function in society. While also getting a piece of paper I can wave in employers faces to get a better job.

Today is shopping day, and cleaning day, and personal grooming day, so I can work on art all day tomorrow.

Despite eating less, and walking far more, I have yet to lose any of the 5 lbs I am affectionately calling my COVID 5, gained while in quarantine. But it’s only been a week, and I’m not as young as I used to be.

 

Don’t tell

Posted: July 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

I always knew my family was eccentric, but it wasn’t until I was older, as in, fairly recently, that I realized exactly how eccentric.

Perhaps eccentric wouldn’t be the proper word. More like: unhealthy.

At a young age I was told/ asked in earnest “You don’t tell people about what goes on in our house do you? You are NOT to tell people what happens here.” I of course at the time thought it was because my mother would enjoy strolling through the house starkers, much to the embarrassment of my grandmother who lived with us. But as I grew up, I realize it had to do with deeper darker things than someone deciding to eschew clothing.

Another rule I was raised on was: do not leave knives lying around the kitchen. As such an easily accessible weapon could spell trouble if tempers flared. This I immediately knew was wrong. In my adult life I have my kitchen knives hanging on the wall from a magnetic strip, and despite getting heated, despite living for so many years with an undiagnosed mental illness, I have never, ever, thought to grab one to use against another human.

“Don’t write (be recorded saying) anything that can be used against you later on” this one I always took to mean, as the old adadge, to wait 24 hours when angry before writing something you may regret later. But turns out, that wasn’t how it was meant. My grandmother had a paranoia about people using ‘things’ against her. And my mother’s emails, I can only be thankful that she learned the same lesson as I, as I could only imagine how horrid they would be if she wasn’t ‘holding back’.

I really do marvel sometimes, how I came out, ok not technically ‘normal’ but far better off than my predicessors. Raised by two mentally ill persons, with such ‘guidelines’. I can only think how my naivete saved me at times.

Just random thoughts I had while handling our large kitchen knife while cooking.

Woof. Whadda week

Posted: July 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

So I’m back to sporadically updating on here, because, well, I’m back at work.

It has been both not as hard, yet as hard, as I thought it would be to return to work.

Day one: not too bad. I got posted on one of the upper floors and we only had 80 people come through all day. But I did do lots of walking which I paid for the next day, but I had that day off, so it wasn’t too bad. Otherwise, hating the whole wearing a mask for 9 hours (including commute time) I also fell up the stone stairs at work. Hard. I ended up sending an email about the ‘incident’ to work after my wrist swelled up that night from my fall. Just in case I needed to get it checked out. Fortunately I didn’t.

Day two: I was posted in one of the more active galleries. Despite social distancing I felt like there were too many people, I couldn’t breath with my mask on, and I had to tell lots of people about letting thier nose peek out from their mask. High anxiety day.

Day three: I gave people their breaks all day which was fine with me. I drove to work as it was Sunday and parking is free, so no sweaty walk in. I wore the wrong shoes though and my body was devastated from this poor choice.

Day four: after a tumultuous previous evening, which left me and my mate thinking that one was angry with the other, I stumbled to work. My feet were in agony from the previous day, despite an epsom salts soak in the tub. But I was again posted on the upper floor with only 140 people coming through, so it was an easy day. At this point wearing a mask all day has gotten easier. Not the best, but easier.

Day five (yesterday): I was in the indemnified show all day, which means I don’t have to actively walk around, but stay in a set spot. Which my heels were thankful for. Visitors however have stopped being quite so happy about just being outside doing something, and have started behaving like visitors. As I had one man leave my gallery in a huff  after I told him he was pointing too close to a painting and one set of women who thought they were in grade school attempting to start an altercation with me. But, was feeling almost human when I got home for the evening, instead of completely wiped out, which means my body is already getting acclimated to work again. Unfortunately I spent the evening alone as my mate went to a work meeting, and didn’t come home until 3 am after getting embroiled in games of GO, and talks of politics at the local bar. Which I was not pleased with.

Today I have off. I have already washed my face masks, washed some binders, done an online training for work, got locked out of, got my password reset, and then finally logged into my online payment system to approve last week’s time sheet. And now I sit here typing. My plans for today are to cook all day long, making broccoli banchan, celery banchan, babaganoush (for my mate as I am allergic to eggplants, but eggplant we have from our produce order), babaganoush 2 (made with beets which I *can* eat), and na’an bread for dinner with the noushes and also for lunch tomorrow.   I will also trim my hair, and do a mani/ pedi as my nails are a fright. I will leave the cleaning of the bathroom until Friday, which is my next day off.

Off to clean the kitchen in prep of cooking

Normal is relative

Posted: June 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

It never ceases to amaze me how humans can acclimate to almost anything, given enough time.

We’re still living in the middle of a pandemic, with numbers alarmingly rising due to states ‘reopening’ without proper precautions, and it’s like *yawn* yeah so what else is new?

I have a long time, quasi friend, who lives a pretty isolated life where he is a big fish in a small pond, who recently posted from his vacation in Florida, where he smugly proclaimed how he was “living”, unlike the rest of us suckers hiding underneath a blanket in the basement. Florida, which just had a jump of 9,000 cases in 24 hours. But, because it’s been like three months, nobody cares.

I wonder how many businesses will survive a second wave? I foresee all that’s left being Amazon, and lender companies.

But I digress into dark waters here.

People tore down a statue in civic center park that commemorated a massacre of Native Americans yesterday, and there is a violin vigil this weekend for a kind young man who was brutally killed by local police. He used to play his violin for the stray cats at the animal shelter he volunteered at. My heart rages, and weeps.

Again, dark waters.

There’s darkness all around, and I’m having a really hard time seeing the sun. Bipolar depression, or just reality? You tell me.

Anyway, in other news, my wrist is doing better, so now I feel silly that I started the process for a workman’s comp case. But, it *is* my right hand, and I *am* an artist. My hands are important to me. So, just in case, it was probably best I reported it. I’m just happy I don’t need to see a doctor.

 

 

First day back

Posted: June 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

It was a relatively mellow day.

After playing chicken with a large pickup truck to get to the train station, as part of the road in was blocked off by construction, I made it to the train station. I will take another route come Saturday.

It was good I left early as the trains are still running on a restricted schedule. And there was enough room on the train  that I got a socially distanced seat both ways.

I did not have to worry about giving a false temperature reading after walking to work and getting all sweaty. My temp remained below fever levels.

I did however manage to fall on the stone steps going upstairs at work because I couldn’t see the steps clearly because of my mask. Which was unfortunate, and painful. I have a huge bruise on my hip from it and my wrist is kinda swollen today. I have already contacted my supervisor about it, and they’re going to let me know what the next steps are. I currently have a brace on it.

Wearing a mask for 8ish hours is no fun. But fortunately, they let us off with having to wear a mask AND a face shield. We could wear a face shield if we wanted to, but it wasn’t necessary.

We had a very small amount of people who came through the floor I was posted on, like, below 100. The rest of the visitors going to the two new shows that opened during quarantine.

This morning I feel like I was run over by a truck. Between the physical demands of walking around in circles for 8 hours, to my fall, I can’t figure out what pains are related to what. Otherwise known as my whole body hurts.

Fortunately I have today and tomorrow off. Tomorrow being shopping day, which may include a visit to the dr. Then I work five days straight, which will be a shock to my system for sure.

But, overall, I fell back into the pace of things at the museum pretty easily. True, I did almost burst into tears when we did the walkthrough of the new big show, which has lots of emotionally charged pieces. Which I will need to get over, as I will be posted in there very soon. Quarantine has got me all emotional like.

Off to attempts to put the dishes away while my wrist is in a brace.

Last day

Posted: June 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

Had a conversation on FB with some of my fellow hosts about our nervousness about reopening. I guess the members only tickets sold out within 24 hours, which has me deeply nervous. As does the idea of having to wear a face mask AND face shield. I wear a face shield when I am dealing with acids and etchants and I hate it. I don’t think people understand what they are in for in regards to this style PPE. I also worry that we’ll scare the children (and some adults), all in black, with face mask and face shield. But these are just a few of the problems I foresee, with many that I’m sure that will come up that I have been unable to prepare for.

I have no idea if the train is running on a regular schedule again, or the COVID schedule, so I’m planning for that. Also, I have no idea how crowded the train will be, as they’re only allowing for 30 people per car, with social distancing of course. But, I am leaving a half hour earlier than normal in hopes to be able to work around this.

I hope that with this extra half hour, I also have time to get changed once I get to work (the walk in makes me sweaty, so I change shirts and add a fresh coat of deodorant when I get there), put my stuff into one of the lockers (the cubbies we normally store our stuff in are off limits due to COVID), put my lunch into the fridge, and just generally get settled. Along with answering the COVID questionnaire and get my temp taken just to get into the building.

Anyway, today I plan to make apple and kohlrabi salad, as kohlrabi was this week’s mystery vegetable in our bag of produce. I am in the front room, while the other half is in the bedroom doing work stuff. I still can’t do really noisy things like saw tin, but I can do things like clean the litterbox and bathroom, which I also shall be doing.

Right now is a time of uncertainty, which I hate. But, I am far more flexible than I used to be, and I can work around these changes. I’m primarily worried about people taking their masks off once they are in the museum, and about how to discretely approach and correct visitor behavior when I have to stay six feet away, and am wearing two face coverings which muffle my speech. I’m thinking lots of hand gestures will be involved.

Off to get started

Countdown to normality?

Posted: June 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

One day left until I return to work. Where does the time go?

Yesterday I spent my time tie dying some tank tops. Which turned out great. I am getting better at my tie dying. I found the secret is to look up shibori techniques. True, way back when I first started tie dying there were limited resources on techniques, so everything I dyed turned out the same. Now there are tutes, videos, whathaveyou all available for free online. Anyway, my favorite from this batch was using a technique where you fold the top into triangles, then sandwich that between two pieces of flat plastic (I used an old dishwashing soap jug, cut up) then tied together. That technique, combined with the navy blue dye I used, turned out something that is very Japanese looking. And I love it.

I also made some banchan with the zucchini and cucumber we had left in the fridge. This way we have something healthy to nosh, and the fridge is ready for this week’s produce order.

And finally, as the day was winding down, I got it in my head to finally use some of the really too thick for my intended purposes copper wire I bought about a year ago. I made myself a simple cuff bracelet out of some of it. It was fun heating and hammering the metal to make something wearable. I was only a bit rusty. And if I decide to do vending events again, it’s something quick that I could pump out multiples of, that I could charge $20.00 or so for, and I foresee them selling quite well. Provided I want to actually do that.

Otherwise, my stomach continues to bother me, so I started taking the same OTC stomach med my mate takes. You only take it for 14 days, and it’s supposed to ‘fix’ the problem. So we’ll see. Today is day one, and it takes several days to take full effect. I checked online for medication interactions with my brain meds, and there were none showing, so my fingers are crossed that nothing funky happens.

And finally, since medic alert has decided to double the fee for an account up to $50.00 for a year’s subscription, I have decided, after 10 years as a loyal customer, to part ways with them. A friend turned me on to Road ID, which is sort of the same. I think it’s meant for international travelers, as it has your name, state/ city you live in, and emergency contacts with phone numbers, along with the option to have detailed medical information stored online with the company, with a 800 number whoever can call. It’s sorta dog tagish, but it does what I need it to do, and a bracelet was only $20. It’s supposed to get here on Thursday.

This is all I have for this Monday morning.

The day before solstice

Posted: June 20, 2020 in Uncategorized

As it should be pretty obvious right now, been having a rough patch with my brains. Today, after an evening of spotty sleep, with bad dreams, and some of my evening spent having a low key panic attack. I woke to feeling quite meh, with mild panicky feelings. The panic, is while not normal, is not abnormal either. Let’s just say I’m used to it. The meh I am not used to.

But despite this I have broken fast, showered, and started some laundry running, as I was out of clean jockies and I need clothing for next week. I will theoretically spend the rest of the day sewing another work mask, finishing a button down shirt I started before quarantine, and hemming some pants. In between panic attacks.

I am nervous about returning to work, for reasons I have gone over yesterday, but also because I guess we lost three people. One accepted early retirement, the other two, we don’t know why they left. They didn’t tell us who left, just that three of them were gone. So, that’s yet another change to my environment. And I do so poorly with change.

The day before we reopen there will be a Q&A town hall. Primarily dealing with how we are working to address systemic racism in our institution. I will attend, but leave the questions for those far more eloquent than I. Plus, it’s not like they need another white person talking about what they feel the problem is.

Three more days until I return to work. I feel it is both too much and not enough time.