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Sep. 4th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

I have new grooves in my brain. School has begun and I think it will be exceedingly challenging but in a great way.  Orientation took a long time- four days of speeches and organized tours and lines and forms, and lots of nice catered social events.  My leader was a hipper-than-all 22 year old senior who just about got herself punched by eye-rolling and sighing about all the required sessions (several of which were extremely useful) and how "this job, like sucks".  She was more interested in talking about where one could buy smokes and booze, what clubs/bars are cool, and the joys of Wicker Park.  Amusingly, she told me a couple of times that she wants to go work in the business world "'cause it'd be cool to wear, like, a suit and stuff (?)".  The (?) is to indicate that EVERY sentence ended with upward inflection like she was asking a question. I was good and did not snicker at her...to her face. SO 4 days of that and the rest of my roughly 19 year-old average age orientation group was LONG. (YES, I AM OLD. Old enough to F*ck your mother-she loved it. No, I am not faculty.)  I did meet cool grad students, a few awesome undergrads, staff and faculty during that time, got myself organized and filled out paperwork and generally got my SH*T together, so it did have its uses.  The last thing for orientation was a prior degree student reception, turns out there are 75 of us!  That group includes some multiple degree folks and a medical doctor.  A lot of that group is getting portfolio brushed up for grad school.
Class started yesterday with fiber.  We have a crazy, intimidating  and awesome assignment to create 2 surfaces or fiber objects on the themes of Beauty and Repulsion out of the same 3 materials (max cost $20 total) using only the "tools" we were given. The tools consist of: an emery board, 3 bobby pins, 1 pipe cleaner, 2 straws, styrofoam coffee cup, 1 coffee stirrer, 15 red hots, 2 coffee filters, 2 teabags and the bag itself.  We went on a class field trip to Salvation Army and Vogue to buy materials and then started our projects.  They are due next Thursday and need to include an artist statement.
Today was more familiar feeling Art History-- traditional academics.  Tomorrow is oil painting.  I got supplies for those 3 courses today. :)  Fun to buy the art stuff and only about $230 in books, very different from NU that way.  Syllabi seem very challenging.  I feel like all the professors are sensitive to how the credit/no credit grading system might seem to the outside world (or to lazy students) and are eager to make sure that everyone gets a rigorous education.  Since I'm paying for it, I am totally for it.  I do foresee needing to figure out more project work time though.
I am pretty sure I will come out seeing the world differently.  I definitely feel like one does at the top of the first big hill on a roller coaster-- terrified, exhilarated, eager and reluctant but unable to resist.
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Aug. 29th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

OOF-- ok so I apologize for falling off the social network planet.  It has been busy. 
I start school tomorrow!!!!!!!!!YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYYAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!  Yes, tomorrow, orientation is starting at 8am Sunday. I am nervous, excitied and already tired. 
It has been busy and deep at work.  I have been trying to tie up as many projects as I can before handing them off to the folks who are more full time.  Of course all the clients who had gone dormant showed up on Friday in my email. In the traffic meeting on Thursday it seemed to occur to the powers that be that "oh yeah, she is on a lot of stuff for 2 days a week".  I have been saying, "Uh, 2 days a week, just 2!!" for a month and a half and they have known what my school schedule would be since MAY.  I still don't know what I'm gonna do about 2 clients who will definitely need more attention than I will be able to give them.  *crosses fingers and hopes for a hiring binge*
But school, I am eager to get my supply lists. I got a haircut. I bought new school clothes.  I think this is the first time in my life I have owned more than 2 pairs of jeans that fit (yay Kmart).  I have many kind offers of places to crash in the city. I am trying to devise the perfect overnight kit to carry-- meds and enough gear to get presentable with out hauling a metric sh*t ton of stuff.  I have to figure out what to wear for the first day-- it will be enshrined in ID pictures after all.
I have been sketch journaling lately, fun stuff.  I will try and get myself tech savvy enough to scan and post them for you.  I have a new printer/scanner/fax at home which a friend was kind enough to help set up.  Lots of wireless goodness and golly it was cheap.  It does not seem that long ago that that stuff cost the earth.  I am thinking about a new phone.  Ev, Aly and Gooch's phone is the one I am looking at.  Has a lot of oomph in a small space which is great for a girl on the go.  We just reconfigured the landline/dsl/ longdistance at home which should free up some money for expanded cell plan-- we need to update that anyhow.  I don't think the carrier actually offers the plan we are on anymore and hasn't for a few years. It is not a deal anymore, our usage has changed.
Today I am off to play games to celebrate Aly's Birthday!  It will be good to be social and play.  She has offered to help with hair dye action sometime soon-- I am thinking I want to do a bolt of blue. :)
Have a happy weekend, I will let you all know how it goes...

Aug. 12th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

Working from home today!!
Yippeee! I missed this, it has been 2 months since I was last virtual.
Eric has left me a Gencon widow.  I have lots of girly craft projects and food that he hates but I love planned.
:)

Aug. 9th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

Sunday again and I am catching up...I tried to participate in the Milwaukee Parade and Pageant yesterday (big parade puppets and stuff)  but we were horribly rained out. The builders were very disenheartened, many had stayed up until 4 am getting finishing touches on things only to have the storm hit the staging area at 7am and melt a ton of hard papermache work.  I stayed around to help load the stuff back to the workshop.  A good portion is salvagable.  This is good because the pieces are set to go in the Labor Day parade as well.  I did get to meet a bunch of cool puppet/artsy folks and see some old friends and I got a t-shirt out of the deal.  It is still a hard start for the "1st Annual All-City Parade." 
Work is still super busy.  I am desperately trying to close out a few projects before I go to school.  I will not have time to manage them and no one else has time to take them on, so I figure if I can finish them then we are all better off.
E and I continue on the basement clean and reassemble.  The rain yesterday was a nice test of the new system, we stayed TOTALLY dry. YAY!!!

Aug. 2nd, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

So it is Sunday and I am checking in...It was a slamming busy week.  I got my normal weekly hours in at work in four days, that is a little rough on the Jill.  Oh well, I can use that vacation day I thought I used Monday some other time. I finished the tombstones for Marc M's film project.  I am very pleased with how they look.  The theme of dead art continues, first it was a head on a stick this time last year, then a dead dog, then a dead cat, finally tombstones.  Maybe this year I will have a LIVE theme instead. The basement guys came.  They did the whole job in two days-- fast, efficient, tidy, polite, warrenteed.  They were great.  Go EverDry!  So now E and I need to clean up and move stuff back down there.  We are contemplating what all we would like to change and accomplish for that space.  We need to figure out what we are doing about the "bathroom" down there first, I think.  Currently, it is a rather exposed feeling toilet and sink.  I'd like to have another bathing option there.  Good for parties, house guests and also it would make us more comparable to other housing stock here in K-town that would price in a similar range. Oops, my  real estate brain is showing.  I am getting excited for SAIC.  They sent me a totally cool tshirt with a robot riding a t-rex.  I am SO gonna fit in there.  They also sent the bill, I am eager to get it paid and make it all that much more "for real".  I am coveting netbooks as I am going to have about 3 hours of train commute per day.  I think I could get a lot of this kind of computer-stuff (social media, personal email) done, as well as a fair chunk of Brella work done (a lot of my stuff is email based) while I am riding the rails.  You will be able to tell if I do it-- I will get on the cyber boards more than once a week!  I am off to make curtain pull backs for the cottage for Mom.  Have a great day everyone!

Jul. 27th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

Just home from Michigan.  It was lovely to visit with Mom and the bonus of a family reunion so I got to catch up with 75 of the relatives.  Not a bad turnout given the rain and location in Deckerville's park.  Deckerville is fast becoming a ghost town.  The cottage was wonderful.  I just wanted more time to sit and just watch the water.  Lots of visitors made that a bit challenging.  Stormy the neighborhood cat was loving and demanded belly rubs.  Made me miss our fur faces.  I saw Kendra on the way out in Lansing.  She is doing well.  I need to see her and Mom and the cottage more often.  Saw the Detroit to Mackinaw racing sailboats on Saturday.  The wind had them tacking in close and carrying a lot of bright racing spinnakers.  209 boats total.  Fewer than past years.  They had a tough race-- lots of storms and changable weather.  I got rained on some but I didn't mind much.  We'd just tramp back to the cottage and throw the sweatshirt in the dryer.  Mary's Ho'made Pies of Lexington was as fabulous as ever.  Blueberry and cherry pies.  Mary says she will retire after next year.  I am sad 24 years of her pies at the cottage has made it a pretty firm tradition.  She is making a DVD on how she does her crust-- I will definitely buy that one! 

Jul. 3rd, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

Thanks for all the kind words this week folks.  I feel like I got on the bad side of a street gang named grief...I'm fine, I'm fine and then WHAM! knee capped and crying.  I forgot how much this sucks. Faire Memorial service is tonight, 7:30 go time.  I think we have it all together.  I hope so.  I am looking forward to lying down tonight and not having any lists (of the extraordinary plan your dear friend's funeral sort) hanging over me. I am so tired.
 His family's service Tuesday was lovely.  The rabbi did a nice job uniting a lot of different perspectives of Marc together for a very good complete picture.  He used a quote from Hillel "If I am not for myself who will be for me?  If I am only for myself who am I?"  It did well to cover a lot about a man who was great at being his own man and keeping his own judgement as well as supporting others.  He had a quality that I think is a bit rare at faire-- he would talk about stuff, but then he would DO it.  I aspire to be like him.
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Jun. 28th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

Marc died this afternoon about 3:30pm.  He was with people he cared for and who cared for him.  He was not afraid or in pain.It was rather quick at the end.  His niece arrived about 40 minutes later.  Services details later.
I will miss him so.
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Jun. 17th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)

10 pounds of work in a 5 pound sack.  That sums up the month so far. This is the first day I have worked from home in a while. I am trying to get ready to be out of work next week for the Campath infusion.  I am a little nervous, it is still chemo, even if I have done it before. I am eager to see this year's MRI and see if the MonSter is active or not in a more concrete sort of way.  MS lesions that are active show up bright white on the MRI, older stuff is greyer or if it ate right through, then black holes.  MRI and baseline tests (maze and cheese where I am the rat) are Friday.
 I helped Missy do a closet purge this week.  I love helping do that for other people-- kind of fun to see what artifacts of old life are still lurking in the closet. We found some treasures that had been hiding in the depths.  It went well with two bags for goodwill, one for trash and room to move on the closet rod, a small repair pile and a midsized list of things to go and replace with new items.  That is stuff that is really useful, but not in good shape/not fitting/ not fixable from the current wardrobe. 
Saw Get Smart movie on DVD.  It was funnier than I had expected (low expectations) and I was pleased to see that they had updated and changed the dynamic between Max and 99.  Looking forward to E's yummy cooking tonight (meatloaf!!!).

Jun. 8th, 2009

Dxself

(no subject)


So I fell off the planet again, damn thing keeps spinning so fast...  I went to my 20th high school reunion this past weekend.  I think I needed to go and remember the wierd fairy land that is Cranbrook Kingswood.  Just to set the scene, my highschool was built between 1910 and 1935 on a 315 acre rolling wooded campus in Michigan.  The campus has formal gardens, woodlands, sports fields, buildings for K-5, middle school and two highschools, a science museum with planetarium and an art museum with a world renown graduate art program.  There were boarding as well as day students and my graduating class was 70 girls and 110 boys.  I walked Eric around on a tour and about 2 hours into our trek, he commented, "Ok, I get now, you went to Hogwarts."  It is more Arts and Crafts than Gothic--but basically, yeah, Hogwarts. See pics etc here: http://schools.cranbrook.edu/Default.asp?bhcp=1 Seeing my classmates again was odd.  Cranbrook, being a private institution, has an open invitation to alumni to visit on alumni weekend.  So there was my class(89) as well as the classes of 94,99,79, 69,59,49,39 and a few other random folks--nice big party. They very gently seek the millions of dollars that are required to maintain the National Historic Register buildings.  I had an absolutely insane time with peoples names...I felt like the guy who had a brain injury that separated his corpus collosum-- he could see a spoon on one side and know it's name but not it's function or on the other side and know what it did but not what it was called.  I knew who people were but I could not get names right all weekend.  It made me feel certifiable.  There was lots of small talk, but people were fairly careful in asking the "what do you do?" question-- a sign of the economy, especially in suburban Detroit.  Just 20 minutes from the mansion strewn hills of Bloomfield surrounding Cranbrook are some of the most desperate, scary, burned out, boarded up slums of Detroit.  That  contrast makes the history of the French Revolution really feel relevant.  I was aware of limitied energy levels and did not make it to the after party events that were held, I feel a little bad about it because I think I might have been able to have more real full conversations there.  But the truth is I was so tired that I probably would have been useless.  Big Kudos to E for sticking through it all, smiling sweetly and keeping an eye on me.  His humor helped me to keep some perspective too.  He asked if I thought one classmate knew that he was the villian in all the John Hughes movies.
Most folks had grown up into reasonable nice people, some had not.  Most of us are aging reasonably well.  My last highschool boyfriend is disturbingly unchanged in looks.  I was mistaken for my elder sister only a couple of times, once by someone who physically flinched (still not sure what she did to him). An alarming number of faculty are still there teaching, it was wonderful to see them.  I think I was taught by more Phd's at CK than at NU.  My 60's and 70's history Professor Scrib Jellife was there much to my surprise.  he is retired but he must be nearly 90 years old now if not past it...still sharp as a tack making comparisons of Out of the Wild film to Easy Rider.
The other definite bonus of the weekend was getting to see the senior Freds and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and kids, and the super surprise bonus was getting to see my mom too.  The weather cooperated nicely.  All in all, I am glad I went.

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