Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday's missive

This is a new piece. I call it "no evil". Man cub posed (not too willingly) and I put it together. I like the graininess. I am experimenting with ways to create age and texture on new works. It is fun and relieves stress.

The weather has been wonderful. The wind energizes me. It feels clean.

I had no responses to my music trivia. Maybe another clue: this same songwriter also penned "After Midnight" popularized twice by Eric Clapton. Give up? It's J.J. Cale. Listen to his original versions, his raspy voice gives a different slant to the songs.

Well, I am weary after a week of intensity. Here's to sleeping later in the am.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


You know how you keep trudging along, hoping that eventually all your efforts will come to fruition? Telling yourself, "self, someday, this will mean something. someday the reward will come." Not just a paycheck, but a big "ahhhhhhh" followed by a huge shit-eating grin.
Today is the day!
Man-cub got the scholarship he interviewed for on Monday!!!!
All those nights spent nagging him to study his spelling, memorize his multiplication tables and do his homework, finally mean something!
Am I proud? Heck yeah. To see his handsome face on top of that strong frame, with the knowledge that I gave birth to him, whew, I am very proud. He wrote a great essay, cleaned up real nice (even bathed) and interviewed well. The Dean of Admissions called personally tonight to let him know. Wow! I guess I'll have to let him sleep in the house tonight!
Yep, even though being back in the office was an exercise in futility, to cap a day off with news like this is pretty awesome.

A trivia question: Who wrote Call Me The Breeze, popularized by Lynyrd Skynyrd? It happens to be a favorite for driving with the window down on sunny day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Road Trip

The boy and I left out Sunday to go to a scholarship interview at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, NC. How to you get to Murfreesboro? Drive east to Durham, follow I-85 north and turn right just before you reach Virginia. Then drive 2 more hours. A long way out, but the flat fertile farm land is beautiful.
He looked great in his khakis, navy blazer, white BB shirt (Brooks Brothers), and black tassel loafers. He was poised, relaxed and confident. Heck, they should pay me just to let him attend classes there! He has already received an academic grant, and this scholarship could really help out with the college finances. I want him to go to the school he wants, but I do not want him to graduate with $100K in debt. The nagging his father and I have done over homework the past 12 years could really pay off for him now.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. My son is a great, intelligent, witty person. He is just fun to be around. I will miss him, but I know he will come back to me occasionally! I have always told him that it is not my job to take care of him, but to teach him to take care of himself! And it is very important for him to leave home and become his own person.

I worked from home today. I felt like I was getting away with something! I got a ton of reading done (configuration manuals for ERP software makes for invigorating reading!), and was able to generate weaving requests and track several projects. Altogether a productive day. And to top it off, when my husband got home, we rode our bikes for an hour!! The 2-wheelers sure outnumbered the walkers today. March 11 will bring an early Daylight Savings Time, so I am looking forward to riding when I get home in the evenings. Well, back to the salt-mine tomorrow.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Week from Hades

I am a Southern Lady Under Tremendous Stress. The past 3 weeks have been the worst I have experienced in long while and I do not care to relive them at all. We have been going through "restructuring" in my corporate gig. This time Senior Directors and VP's are falling out. It is unnerving to say the least. We have the most new development going on and need to stay focused and on task. Meanwhile these mass emails are harbingers of fear. No one can stay focused, everyone is worried that they will be let go next. I could work 24/7 for the next 3 months and just barely stay current! I am exhausted, bone-weary, burnt-out. I am supposed be to be innovative and creative, and able to solve problems. This week I have been so overwhelmed that I can not even put a sentence together. I have several major projects in development right now, at the same time there is a "no-overtime" edict in place so my samples can only be woven during the 40 hour week. There is a tremendous volume going through and a lot of this is just not going to meet the deadline. Oh well.
Well, tomorrow the boy and I make a trek across the state so he can interview for a scholarship on Monday. Wish him luck! This university has already given him an academic grant, but more would help.
I am trying to blow off some of this steam and do some art. When I am drawing, painting and gluing, I loose track of time and the Zen takes over and I feel great.
I am thinking of the people and things in my universe that are positive: Mom and Dad, Al, Jacob, Murray and Sophie, my digital camera, Oreos, hamburger steak, crossword puzzles.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy VD

As this Hallmark Holiday is upon us, I am sharing the love. This image is a new piece I created last night. I am very pleased with how it turned out!
My loves:
My husband, son, and 2 hounds. My parents and mother-in-law. My brother and his cute wife. My digital camera. Stamp pads, cutting my own stencils, learning new techniques. Red poppies. Kreik beer.
Pirates, seashells, dolphins, pelicans.
Orange furniture. All genres of art and music.
Words, learning new words and the origins of words.
Giggles, guffaws, belly laughs.

Monday, February 12, 2007

New Pic of my Brother

I augmented this image I shot of my brother. I am very pleased with how it turned out! He is really good to pose for me. He realizes the shot is not just a photo, but subject matter for my photo art. I try to get him copies, he seems to enjoy what i do. It is fun and I loose track of time when I am playing with my digital pics. I would love to have more of my boy, but he is not a good model for me. My dogs are okay, but they usually end up on their backs waiting for a belly-rub! I have done some self-portrait stuff, but I don't like how I look.
Another Monday is almost over. I worked late tonight. This usually happens the weeks my boss is in town. I get my time with him after working hours. It is best as we can focus and not be interrupted by the insane crack berry.
My boy got his 3rd college acceptance today. He has choices! I am very proud of him. 3 more days til Friday!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


It is another bright, sunny winter Sunday. Spent yesterday at the memorial of my uncle. He fought the demons of addiction most of his life. Found out though, he had been sober for 13 years, and had even given up cigarettes for the past 3 months. The life he had endured is now over, I hope he rests in peace.

On to other things:
The local media is crucifying our community leaders over the "Google" incentives. I see this as more sour grapes than anything. Google gave the story to the local media first. The right thing to do. Now the media outlets in the larger cities are practicing yellow journalism and focusing their suppositions on negatives in payment for the scoop-snub. My opinion? There is no such thing as bad publicity. And no other international company has been knocking on any one's doors to get into this back-wood burg. The old guard has left town to the cheaper pastures in China. The only way to build a future is to focus on industries of the future. This company will make other companies look to this location. Their activity will bring in other industry and opportunities. The press has written about the people that sold their homes so the land can be used for the server farm. Yes, some of the homes were nice. But many were little more than tar-paper shacks. And everyone was paid more than market value. If they had tried to sell before, in this very depressed market, they would have sat on the market for months.
If this had been left up to some our our community leaders, it would never had made any news. They would still be searching for another "big brother" furniture manufacturer to come into town, hire illiterate high-school dropouts, pay them just enough to afford a 4-wheel drive truck, satellite dish and double-wide, and keep the status-quo. Well, now, the balance of power will shift. One of the Charlotte Observer's columnists said that Google needs computer guys and all Lenoir has is unemployed furniture workers. Boy is he mistaken! Their are many people in this area that are not only computer-literate, they are tech-savvy. And are very grateful for this opportunity to make a good living doing what they love in their hometown. This also means the unemployed furniture workers' children have a future and a reason to focus on education. The farm has not been given away. Google gets nothing if they do not build.
If they do build and hire educated employees, those better-paid people need houses, and schools, and retail, and cars, and entertainment. I am educated and have to drive over an hour each way to a job where I am paid to do what I love and am good at. I know I am not the only one to see the exponential growth and diversity that will occur. The great little retail shops in the downtown area will thrive (visit Luna Cycles, Sledgehammer Charlie's, Bernhardt-Seagle). More will come in. People will have a reason to stay. We won't have to drive to Hickory or Blowing Rock or Boone for dinner, shopping and fun. Others will come here. We can sell our houses for a profit. And buy new ones in the high-rent developments going up in Collettesville and Globe.
Keep things the way they are? Then in 10 years this will be a ghost town. Our children will leave for opportunities elsewhere never to return. Then some big conglomerate will move in, pay nothing and rape and pillage the area to their heart's content.
Have a nice day!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

dangling on a string

very weird day. odd 2 weeks. i feel like i am in a sort of holding pattern. is it just the doldrums of mid-winter? other design leaders let go today. my boss told me my role would not change (yet?). since he is has more responsibilities he has hired a new director of design to be based in nyc. i will eventually report to her.
is it any wonder that my panic attacks are running rampant? my heart pounds constantly. my new meds help my blood pressure but the pounding is wearing me out. my chest hurts. i feel exhausted. how am i supposed to develop new innovative products while i feel like a puppet?
if i get axed, i am going back to school full-time. what do i want to be when i grow up?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

the big apple was cold

The bitter winter temperatures made this trip to NYC interesting. To compensate for the sub-freezing outside, every inside had the thermostats on extreme!!! Static, nosebleeds, dry pasty skin! How about a more temperate level of balance? I had to wear super, heavy duty winter garb from the room to the office, then I had to strip down to a tank-top in the office. Oh well, the meetings were intense, sales has already promised things that are going to be difficult to deliver, but the customer was excited. I have rallied my team and we are going to put our best effort forth. I just hope the rest of the manufacturing team can as well.

Glad I am home.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Sunny Saturday

Look what I did today! I had taken this pic of the man-cub after the Morganton 'cross race. I had a blast manipulating it. I love this high contrast look. He is my favorite subject, but he rarely lets me photograph him!
He went on the group ride this morning and returned with a bad cough. Hubby and I rode for about 45 min at the Greenway. The wind was wicked, but the sun felt nice. I can't stop grinning when I am on my bike. There is such a sense of freedom pedalling along with the breeze in my hair and the birds over head. I really enjoy it and can't wait for the days to lengthen so I can ride when I get home from work.
I have been packing for my trip tomorrow. I really wish I could stay home, but I am looking forward to the shot of energy NYC gives. And the excellent food!

Friday, February 2, 2007

even in low times, people step on you

It has been a weekus horribilious for me. The very strange gland swelling around my carotid artery started everything off on a very weird note. And as Hunter S. Thompson/Raoul Duke said, "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." All the professional weirdness made its way to my place this week. My weird illness brought my mother up to tend to me. While she was here, (and my Dad out of town) we received the news that her baby brother, my uncle had died suddenly. He was only 53. A poor lost soul, ravaged by the excessive drink and drugs he turned to throughout his life. He was a softheart, who wanted everyone to get along and wanted his family to be like a Norman Rockwell painting. This was not the case. My mother's upbringing was so horrific, she has completely blocked much of it out. She is a survivor, she was beaten and abused, but rose above it and became not only a great mother, but a successful woman. Her baby brother was always looking for familial approval, but my grandfather was always evil and my grandmother was so beaten into submission that he never got the true love he so sought. He died peacefully in his sleep.

Dealing with that has been bad enough, but as today's title suggests, in the depth of my morning and illness, more crapped has been heaped upon me. Customers of mine have complained greatly to our sales and marketing group. These particular customers are very high-maintenence. It was not enough that they vilified the efforts of my team, they also hate our yarns and colors and have complaints about our design abilities. But not enough to quit doing business with us. Oh, no. I got word at 6:30 this morning that I am to be in NYC at a meeting Monday morning with this customer to plan a big new collection. Why can they not try some possitive reinforcement? Why must members of the design community be so bitchy?

Normally I leap at the chance to get to the big apple. But trying to heal and mourn have made me long for my own home and hearth. It is Friday night and I am so glad to be here in my pajamas, with my hound at my feet, in front of my warm fire. Al and Jake are watching an old B&W movie, the fire is crackling. I will enoy these moments. Life is fleeting.

At least there will be no alarm in the morning...