December 20, 2011

A Moving List

Okay, so my block is once again changing for numerous and complicated reasons. Thus far I have moved three times in the past year, and I may possibly be moving again in the next 5 months. So, while I do not claim to be the authority on moving tips and techniques, I have learned A TON of stuff. And I know how people nowadays love lists so I submit my

5 Things I Learned about Moving

#5 Label everything!!
This is probably the first thing most normal people do when they are packing. I however, am a totally disorganized mess. I start out with one box filled with books neatly packed, then taped shut and labeled. But eventually I realize oops I forgot this book... well, I'll just stick it in here with the cds and this painting really couldn't fit with the art stuff, but these paint brushes should really go in a box by themselves.. I wonder if I can  just pour this entire drawer into a back pack. Then if I don't immediately unpack everything I end up looking for health insurance forms everywhere but to no avail. Save yourself the trouble.

#4 Don't pack your clothes... a box, I mean. Clothes are perfect for wrapping dishes and breakables. It's also a million times more eco-friendly to wrap with clothing vs bubble wrap, newspapers, ect. I recently packed my trunk full of boxes, but there was so much space left over between the boxes; little nooks and crevices pleading to be filled. That's where my clothes came into play again and I saved myself so much more room because now I don't have a huge bag full of clothes in the back seat. Just make sure not to use formal wear or delicate clothing. Obviously. 

#3 It's really not hard making friends.
It's always hard to leave them. I always think that I am awkward when I meet new people. I never know what to say, and I am often too serious. But each time I move, after only having stayed a few months, I know I will miss people. And they will miss me. At work, school, the gym, church, the grocery store, just be kind and respectful. Be helpful. People notice. And go out when people invite you even if you only stay an hour (that is something I have a hard time doing). When you are new you have to work on building and maintaining relationships.

#2 It really is just stuff.
This is coming from a true sentimentalist. I saved a Burger King receipt from 1998 because it had sentimental value. I also do not have a plethora of expendable cash to repurchase items I trash/donate. But did I really need that coffee table art book? I don't even own a coffee table. Must I hold on to this rice cooker that insists on leaving a semi-burnt gelatinous mess at the bottom of the pot? No. I'm not saying get rid of stuff you really love. Just look around and you will find so many things you really don't need when you are moving. And wouldn't it be better to donate it to a thrift store which can then profit from your donation? Think of it as giving someone else a chance to get something they couldn't afford new.

#1 Have something to look forward to.
It is sad when you leave a place. I have only been in VA for three months and there are a lot of things I will miss. Find one thing to look forward to and when you find yourself feeling sad, focus on that. I find myself dwelling on the past far too often. Envision all the new exciting things you will discover, people you will meet, drinks you will have, meals you will cook, meetings you will attend. Anything. Everything.

Do you have any moving tips? Lemme know.

December 18, 2011

Apathetic GoTB

I have recently been bad about posting. It seems I have been taken over by two (not unfamiliar) monsters; apathy and depression. Depression is something I have struggled with for a long time. And typically I do just that; I struggle. I kick and scream and cry and rage against this force. I battle it with meditation, phone calls, friends, family, art, music, love, coffee, sunshine, exercise, tea, Buddhism, and a plethora of other things too numerous to count. I struggle to find some ray of hope and sunshine to cling to. Most times I find success just in the struggle itself. I may be depressed, but at least I am fighting.

Other times, Depression's blank friend Apathy decides to join, and that is when things become... less hopeful. Typically it goes like this. Depression ----> notice depression ----> meditate (paint, read ect) ----> feel a little better ----> repeat. However, once Apathy joins the party a whole other cycle starts. Depression ----> notice depression ----> don't care ----> more depression ----> don't care ----> ∞. That's the dangerous thing about it; not caring about not caring. And nothing gets done. My experience is in no way unique. Of all the research I have read about depression, apathy is common in many cases. So how do we pull ourselves out of that? Do we rely on other's to make us feel better? Soldier on and try to push through it? What do you do to motivate yourself?

December 8, 2011

Where We Are

For someone that has moved four times, pretty soon five times in the past year, this poem really hit home for me.  Were I more eloquent, I would have written this exact poem myself. But I am not, so I have to settle for empathizing so completely with it, I will call it my anthem.

Where We Are
(For Edward Field)

i envy those
who live in two places:
new york, say, and london;
wales and spain;
l.a. and paris;
hawaii and switzerland.

There is always the anticipation
of the change, the chance that what is wrong
is the result of where you are. i have
always loved both the freshness of
arriving and the relief of leaving. with
two homes every move would be a homecoming.
i am not even considering the weather, hot
or cold, dry or wet: i am talking about hope.

--Gerland Locklin

I know I always feel a sense of relief when I leave a place and foolishly think all my problems are going to be solved once I arrive at my new place. Overly optimistic I suppose.

December 6, 2011

HTT: Inspiration Calendar

My new calendar in my journal with spots for notes.

I use Stumble Upon pretty much everyday and recently found this article on ivillage. Now, more confidence is something I could use and I loved that there were 30 exercises, so I made myself a little December homework project and came out with my Inspiration Calendar. Here's how I made it:

You will also need something to glue the pieces onto. I used my journal.

1. Select your magazine pages that you like. You could also use scrapbook paper for a more uniform look or newspaper. Choose at least two pages for a variety. I used some pages out of fashion catalog, but for the tutorial I used pages from a cooking mag.

2. Next fold the magazine in halves until you get a size that you like. And tear or cut them into their pieces. Don't worry about measuring them. We will need to trim later.
3. Next glue all of your squares onto a sheet of white paper, or you could use a nice piece of lightly patterned cardstock for a more decorative look. If there is a square that you don't like (for instance has too much text or an obvious logo) try flipping it over to see what the other side looks like. This will also give you a bit more variety. Cut out all of those pieces.
4. Now we get to trim. How much you trim depends on how big your journal/support is. If you are making a 30 day month, you will want either 5 pieces across and 3 down per page or vice versa. I set each piece out onto my journal and saw I only had 4 rows of three, so I trimmed them until I had 5 rows. I also don't care if my measurements aren't exact. I like that each rectangle is a little different. If you want uniformity, break out the ruler and paper cutter.
5. Now that we are all trimmed, time to get gluing! First fold up a little tab, then apply glue and stick to page. Pretty easy, right? 

6. And finally....
Write all those little steps you will be doing on the front of each square and don't forget to add the day. Doodle to your heart's content. Slop some paint over things. Glue some tinsel. Whatever, just make it you.I really like how mine came out. My only regret is that my ribbon tape is packed up. I would have liked to put some of it vertically on the tabs. it would have added some extra support and also tied things together nicely. Oh well, maybe next time right? Send me a pic if you make one, and let me know how you like the tutorial.

December 5, 2011

Listing GotB

I found inspiration in one of my favorite blogs the other day. Elise over at A Beautiful Mess posted about a list she makes every year of things she wants to accomplish. Sounds pretty ordinary. I mean, I think everyone has to do lists and bigger life goals lists ect. But I liked this one because it starts on your birthday and you make a new one every year. It's a great way to inspire yourself and I love that you can look back through the years and see how much your needs and wants have changed. I'm making my own 24 Before 25 list and it's going to be awesome. Of course, I am usually a little too optimistic when I make lists like these and add too many big projects. However, no one ever said you had to accomplish everything on the list! And roll over is totally allowed. Let me know if you make a list and feel like sharing.

December 1, 2011

Bad Poetry

I unpacked one of my favorite books of poetry today, Bad Poetry by Pamela August Russell. Her poems are witty and wonderful. After re-reading the book I had to put tons of them into my poetry journal because they all made me laugh. I couldn't pick just one to share so I'll share two. Hope you like them as much as I do.

The Forgotten Art of Mincing Words

Oh good, you're back.
Did you get the sausage
like I asked?
The spicy, Polish kielbasa?
You forgot it?
How could you?
All I wanted was
some damn sausage
and I don't think i'm
asking much here!
I even gave you a note
it said, "don't forget the sausage,"
and you forgot the sausage!
This is so typical of you.
This is unforgivable.
This is...
What i'm trying to say is,
I'm in love with you.

Unfortunate Cookie

You will soon meet someone 
who will bring you much joy and love.

Eventually they will devour your soul
like it's a hot dog eating championship.

Lucky Numbers: 543, 8, 192, 78