Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Truth about Cats and Dogs

"Are you a cat person, or a dog person?"

I'm sure that you've been asked this question more than once. If you're anything like me, then there is no answer to this question. I'm a cat person and a dog person. Even this quiz proves it: "You are a true animal lover who enjoys the companionship and distinct personality traits of both dogs and cats."

Granted, some days, I wish my cats would be more like dogs, breaking their sleepy trances and suddenly getting up to bark and jump and pant and run down the hallway. They'd be so much more entertaining that way. A sleeping cat is only interesting for so long. On other days, I wish my rambunctious dog Mazie would embrace the Way of the Cat, and just chill. She's a nut. She plays chase in the yard by herself, alternately running full force toward and then away from some invisible playmate. Give her a bone, and she'll fling it around the room, barking at it as if it was animated. While the cats pick delicately at their food, Mazie gobbles hers up in seconds.

As different as they are, I love having both cats and dogs around. I know that they're often described as opposites, but I think they complement each other quite well, when raised to be housemates. It's always hilarious to watch a cat put the dog in her place -- one look, one swipe, and Mazie is cowering. Dogs don't have the superiority vibe that cats emanate.

I always have a blast scrapping pages of my pets. They have such distinctive personalities, and these personalities come through in photos. Maybe one of these days I'll make a page that combines photos of my entire furry family. There's no way I'll ever get them to pose together, though -- well, not without a trip to the vet for them and the E.R. for me. It's even harder to get a photo of us together. Self-portraiture is seriously limited with a big furry ball of energy or a small furry ball of claws in your arms.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I CAN'T STOP SCREAMING!

This is why.

I checked my email today, hoping to see the message I'd been hoping for...and when I didn't see it, I thought, Oh, well, at least I put myself out there. Curious about who made the team, I went to check out the Collage Press blog, and...kapow! Thus, the title of this post.

Off to go scream some more...and man, am I loving the butterflies in my stomach.

What a rush!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lazy Sunday


I am committed in my belief that at least one day out of every week should be set aside for butt-sitting. Today, I am embracing that belief wholeheartedly. Yesterday, I spent my day correcting my students' papers. Today, I'm spending my day playing with paper. It's all about balance...and avoiding the kind of burn-out that almost took my creative life last year.

Sure, I'm only halfway through my "weekend" grading, but I had to set aside some time today to add a few pages to my Paper 08 mini-album. Now I'm only two weeks behind!

The page above is for Operation 34: "To Do." We've been talking a lot about our future lately, considering the possibility of moving eventually, taking us from Hawaii to...umm...any suggestions? Yep, it's a complete life overhaul for us, apparently. We're hitting CTRL+ALT+DELETE, rejecting the horrible cost of living here, and setting our sights on something different...a new start. When? Well, I guess the page says it all -- "Soon." We used to say, "Someday," but now, it's "soon."

It's scary, but it's also exciting. I've lived in the same place my whole life, so this is unsettling in the most direct sense of the word, but it's also something I think I need. I don't want to look ahead at my life and see everything laid out so predictably. That kind of certainty is not something I'm wanting these days. I'm really loving the idea of change.

The books I've been reading may be partly to blame for this "shift" in my perspective. In The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner writes, "Paradise is a moving target." So true. I mean, look at me: I'm living in Hawaii, a so-called "paradise," but it isn't, really. The price of paradise is way too high. In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert's break from her "normal" life helps her to truly embrace living. I'm not searching for an internal conversion, though. I'm not in need of a revolution. I'm simply hungry for something different, a chance to experience the world outside of the comfort zone that has buffered me all my life. Of course, there's the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are," so maybe I need to keep my eagerness in check.

If we stay here, though, I can see my daughter's life unfolding predictably as well. She would graduate from a public high school here. She'd go on to UH -- since that's all that we would be able to afford (and just barely, due to the massive mortgage we'd be paying). She would end up making her life here, experiencing the same struggles, wondering if things would be different if she could just...leave. Generation after generation lives life on repeat here. Maybe it's time to expand our perspectives, to embrace new opportunities, and to leave this place, where all of the roads run in circles.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Worth It.

With each "I Inspire Me" challenge, I experience a creative spark. This page came together in minutes -- it had to be a quick one anyway, given my crazy schedule this week. It's simple, but it felt necessary to me. The journaling has been pushing its way into my thoughts all week, following a disagreement we had (and resolved, thankfully).

Look at you.
Why would I want to fight with you?
But...
sometimes we have to
because we care
because we're building this
together
and we don't want to see it topple.

I hate arguments, but I also know that sometimes they're necessary.
After the storm, the sunshine.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Proud Flesh

"For What Binds Us"

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down --
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest --

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

Jane Hirschfield


It's a poem I turn to time and time again when I'm feeling vulnerable to self-pity, coping with loss, or needing to be reminded of why we fight, of why we need to keep going even when we feel like folding in on ourselves. It's a strengthening poem...an anchor...a reminder that "easy" and "strong" are not synonymous.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bang!

I know that Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, or Johnny Depp do it for some women, but I am all about Sheldon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Inspired....for the Seventh Time

This week's I Inspire Me challenge is up and ready. Check it out here. I can't believe we've been at this for fourteen weeks already -- seven themes so far. I've created some of my favorite pages ever as a result of these challenges.

This week's theme is doors and windows, so I drew my inspiration from some old curtains. Well, they were "some old curtains" until I starting noticing their details, and then felt that little "click" as I thought, "Hey, I can work with this!"

I loved the lacy scalloped edging, and tried to "translate" the vintage-y feel of the curtains to the page that I created:

The journaling is basically a bunch of memory "fragments" from our trip to North Carolina:

afternoons on the porch
chatting with the family
bees buzzing
tiered spider webs on the greenery
watching squirrels doing acrobatics in the trees
cold drinks in hand
waving at the neighbors
"hi y'all"
"bye y'all"


Gosh, I miss that place. I know, I know....listen to the chick from Hawaii, whining about wanting to be elsewhere. Boo hoo. But still...what I wouldn't give for another BBQ sandwich from R.O.'s.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Can't Hardly Wait

...for the September kit from Jenni Bowlin. Wowza. My favorite colors, papers I've been drooling over, lovely vintage-y accents...it's the perfect kit. Check it out here.

So while my initial impression was that this kit would fulfill my every scrappy need, I happened to wander over to Red Velvet Kit Club's Etsy shop, and...

I had a Wayne's World moment. You know, "It will be mine...oh, yes."

So now I'm eagerly awaiting two kits.

In other news, this totally cracked me up today: