Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jewelry Is Still On Hold, So Here's More Kvetching

 My 89-year-old Nona has taken to watching Fox News in the last few years. Seriously, she has it on all day. The station numbers are worn off her remote. This in itself is bad enough, but she also is starting to show signs of dementia. Panic-inducing fear-mongering and flat out lies do not mix well with dementia and the creativity she used to apply to things like painting. She becomes fixated on the things she sees and sometimes fills in gaps with her own material, which only adds to her paranoia. She is convinced that Obama is going to take her health care coverage. She is terrified everyone she knows is going to get H1N1. When temperatures here didn't rise above freezing for a week, she was terrified something awful was going to happen to my mother, though she couldn't articulate what that was. 

Watching even the local news is scary enough, but Fox News goes beyond irresponsible in their neglect of the truth and decreasing individual quality of life for vulnerable populations. 

Boo, hiss! (I'm being flippant here because I really don't think there's anything to be done and I need to laugh or I'll get even more pissed off)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Catching Up: I Can't Post Pictures of Christmas Presents I Made, So Here's My Take on A Psychological Study

Wow, I guess I haven't been here in a long time. The creativity tide went out for a little bit, but I've been working on a lot of projects for gifts that have come out better than I expected. Unfortunately, this means I can't post pictures of them on the off chance that the recipients see them. At least one involves a clock hand. It's really cool! More on that later.

So, I'll take a moment to address this article at PsyBlog. The study at the center of the article is about how we respond to others' "unspoken expectations." Analysis of experimental results is subject to the biases and blind spots of the individual performing the analysis and I think this presents a problem here. 

I'll try to sum up the experiment. Half of the men in the study were given pictures of women rated 8/10 in attractiveness. The other half received pictures of women who scored 2/10 (the article said nothing about who rated the pictures). The men were told that they were conversing with the woman in the picture (over headphones and microphones). The women who spoke with the man who thought they were attractive spoke more animatedly and generally engaged in behaviors consistent with stereotypically attractive people.

The article states that the reason for this is that the women were responding to the unspoken expectation about their attractiveness, that the women picked up on the expectation that they were attractive or unattractive and were induced to behave accordingly. I don't see how the researchers made this leap. I didn't read anything in the article ruling out the possibility that the women were responding to the men actually treating them differently based on their attractiveness, which is different than women responding to a projection. Men and women both seem to treat attractive and unattractive people differently at times and perception of these behaviors could cause their response (eg., speaking more animatedly when one perceives interest on the part of the other person - interest that may be generated in part by the other party's response to attractiveness; there's a reason it's called a feedback "loop"). 

It also doesn't seem the researchers attached a value to how each male participant responded differently to attractive vs unattractive women, or even whether a man's perception of his own attractiveness impacts his response to women (I realize this could be another study in its own right, however, mentioning the possibility would be a good start).

This feels a little like splitting hairs, I know, and it could be two different ways of saying the same thing. However, I have difficulty letting assumptions about women slide. Research has a long history of misreading and misrepresenting the handful of women that have been included in psychological research. Women have been harmed physically and psychologically by these "oversights." One way to prevent these abuses is to raise awareness in the researchers and those who consume and/or interpret the research for mass consumption, where the biases and abuses are perpetuated. We have to stop the cycle somewhere, however briefly.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I was working so hard on my new idea, which looked really cool, that my neck and shoulders are tight and sore. This sucks because the first earring has a flaw (thread wrapped around a narrow part, I didn't see it and kept going) that I can't fix, so if I try to start over, I'll aggravate that.

Also, my car has been somewhat out of commission due to brake issues. It's fixed earlier and cheaper than expected due to babydaddy's buddy. Yay, I'm free again! Aaaaaaannnd, now I'm getting the cold that kiddo got and gave to babydaddy.

At least he's well enough to be primary parent this weekend. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weaving Woes & Checking In with the Blogosphere

Bead weaving involves using the little tiny glass beads (seed beads) and thread to create amazing designs. Some are very simple - weaving netting is fairly easy to learn (and gets better over time). Many of these techniques are very old and seen in Native North American and African jewelry

I had an awesome idea for some earrings and it's turning out to be a little more work than I anticipated. First I tried herringbone stitch. This is a really cool looking stitch. It's also a very old stitch seen in African jewelry. As you can see, it looks really cool. Unfortunately, when I tried it with my earring idea, I couldn't keep it from ruffling and I couldn't find anything online that would help. Back to the drawing board. 
 On to re-teaching myself brick stitch. So far, the first couple rows are really hard. With so many of these stitches, they go much easier once you get going, so I'm mustering my patience. 
It will be worth it!

On a totally different note, here are some great notes from the feminist blogosphere.
Kellyanne Conway has some very confusing words regarding Sarah Palin. -Kate Harding
High school gender issues - New York Times
On remaining child-free - AlterNet (thanks, Henry)
What does US troop presence mean for Afghan women? - Washington Times
Democrats, please grow a pair of brass ovaries - New York Times
Because every day should be love your body day - Kate Harding

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming Soon!

Coming soon to my Etsy shop. Very sparkly silverplate earrings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Much Needed Rant

Somewhat off topic. Some whining, too.

Something is bugging me and I'm a little uncomfortable sharing (I know, I'm surprised, too). It's been bugging me more and more over the last couple weeks. I feel stuck. In my work life, I'm literally stuck because I'm not licensed in Oregon and can't get licensed without a job (that's the short version). It's at best frustrating and at worst discouraging. One of the results of my unemployment is that I have a lot of time to do laundry, dishes and other forms of cleaning, not to mention the volumes of relational work. *(Relational work is part of the massive amount of unpaid work in the home that traditionally falls to women to do. This includes caring for the emotional needs of family members, mediating conflict, listening, helping people get out of a bad mood, visits, letters and phone calls that keep the family connected to the rest of the family, etc.)

I have become a stay-at-home mom. 
Stay-at-home moms out there, please hear me out. This isn't criticism of people I see as inferior, because I don't see it that way. I support any woman's choice regarding what she does with her life. Absolutely no judgment there. The problem I have is that it wasn't my choice and I know from previous experience that I feel pretty overwhelmed easily. It doesn't help that it really is a 24-hour job.  I've tried really hard to define myself for myself. That is, I've tried not to let myself be defined in my own head by the roles I inhabit. This is hard because US culture encourages us to define ourselves by our career choice. We introduce ourselves to other people and one of the first questions is often "So, what do you do?" We base a lot of our assessment of others on that one fact. We base our assessment of ourselves on that fact, too, and I realize it affects my personal assessment more than I wanted it to.

And I don't know how to escape this, other than getting a job. I miss getting up every day, having to take a shower early, putting on a little make-up, wearing some of the nice clothes I have and going somewhere my talents or expertise are needed (though I will admit to not missing driving 30 min or more to get there). I miss doing something I really enjoy. I'm terrified I'll have to get a crappy job that limits me that I have to keep indefinitely while I continue looking in every possible nook and cranny for a better situation. Not the end of the world, I know, but I spent a long time getting my fancy-schmancy degree. My personal relationships, including my marriage, suffered greatly and I lost parts of myself I'm just beginning to find. Not to mention the ENORMOUS debt I've incurred. Seriously, I could have bought a pretty nice house for what I've committed to.

I definitely keep myself busy. I started my Etsy shop to have an outlet for all the jewelry I make and don't wear or give away. This has opened a whole new world of social networking to promote this shop. It's really amazing how social networking has encouraged incredible immediacy in commerce and overall debate. It sucks up a lot of my time and I'm not sure if it will pan out, if I'll sell even one piece. I do a lot of laundry. Sometimes I do dishes, though that's the one area where I get defiant and stop doing them for a few days (or, more recently, a few weeks). I love to read, but I feel guilty, like I should be looking for a job or working on Etsy stuff.

I, like so many unemployed, get discouraged at times. I'm uncomfortable not working at what I wanted to. I'm somewhat uncomfortable about accepting money from the government and frustrated that it works out to about $7.16/hr (and that's on the high end). I'm grateful that unemployment compensation is available and I'm grateful that I have a roof over my head and I'm in very little danger of getting kicked out. I'm grateful that my ex-husband is a good guy who still puts up with my crap, loves our daughter to bits and is someone I know I will always be able to count on.

I suppose this means I'm comfortably stuck. Negotiating cognitive dissonance is exhausting. I'm going to go play with beads.

What the Hell?

Huh?  (kinda gross)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Show Some Love Sunday: Awesome Finds!

Show some love to these artists. Their stuff is amazing!

infinitecharms : dichroic glass (and other stuff)
loveclay: polymer clay jewelry (the robots are COOL!)
SeaFindDesigns: sea glass jewelry
Gnomies : gnomes are rad
LovelandShadeTree : octopus necklace
Se7enArtJewelry : beautiful wire and bead pieces

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Good Question

Normally I don't give two shits about country music, but this post raises a really good question: Why are young women in country music taking heat in the "new" vs "old" country debate?

Surprise Inspiration

I suppose that's kind of redundant. Inspiration can't be conjured, so it's often a surprise. It's definitely a rush!

This isn't the pic that will make it to Esty, but it will do for now. I made these in about 10 minutes, a possible wire wrapping record (say that 3 times fast) for me. I knew when I bought the 30mm rings on the bottom (on sale) that I'd have some difficulty figuring out what to do with them. I was at another bead store last week and I found the 4mm rondelles, though I still wasn't exactly sure what to do with them. Sitting on the couch, staring at some silver wire and voila! Here they are. 

I'll have some decent pics up on Etsy soon (probably tomorrow).

Oh, and my soundtrack to these was my daughter singing a song she was making up as she went with a chorus that included "release the hounds."

Wire Wrapping Experiments

OK, I think I have some of this internet stuff straightened out. I feel like there's a lot more I don't know, but I'll figure it out as I go. I'm used to that! 
Since I've taught myself most of the bead techniques I know, I miss stuff sometimes. Wire wrapping is an important skill to have and because of my perfectionism, I didn't miss anything as far as construction. When working with wire, I tend to go for a slightly higher gauge (20) because it doesn't bend as easily and I have more confidence in the finished product. Lately I've started wondering if bending easily might be better for construction - a higher gauge might make wrapping easier and I might be more satisfied with the resulting aesthetic.  As for strength, I make tight loops (wire goes through bead and there's a loop on either end - I tend to make my loops as close to the bead as I can so the bead doesn't wiggle on the wire), so that provides a lot of strength (finished piece is less likely to bend).

Maybe I can get some more practice in today. Kiddo's getting a cold (it's coming on too slowly to be porcine), so we'll see.

Friday, November 6, 2009


No, I'm not listening to the Dead. I'm getting more serious about making a go of my Etsy shop and I've been working on understanding how all this social networking stuff works. I'm not really sure exactly what I've done, but it appears like I'm approaching the apex of redundancy, which I think might be the goal. Twitter, Facebook and the blog are now intertwined in ways I don't quite understand. I'm figuring it out bit by bit, but I feel a bit like an old lady being drawn into the blog age kicking and screaming. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back to Work

The last week (since we put the kitty down) has been really hard. Feeling dumb, unmotivated  and unfocused and it's been hard to get any jewelry work done (despite teeming with ideas). We finally got kitty back from the vet (she was cremated) and did the memorial we planned. As a family we went downtown and found a beautiful box that fits kitty's remains and a few sentimental items. She was a "volleyball" player - you could ball up a piece of paper (which would draw her from any room), lob it over head and she would swat it out of the air, no matter how high you tossed it. So we included a little paper wad. When kittydaddy and I first brought her home, we lived in an apartment over a Subway. I was in college and kittydaddy worked full time, so we ate a lot of Subway. Kitty loved sliced turkey and the crinkle of a Subway wrapper would also bring her in, so we included a piece of a Subway wrapper. She had beautiful fluffy black fur, but she had two white spots - one on her neck, below her chin and one in one of her "armpits." I was with her when she finally passed and I saved her white spot and included that. She recently developed an affinity for batting around kiddo's small toy doll heads, so kiddo included one of those. While we put all this stuff together, kiddo was drawing a picture of the cat that she wanted to put up on the wall. I had a small frame that the picture fit in, so we put out the box and framed drawing up in the living room. It felt really good to get her home and put the pieces together. I'm still really sad, but I feel much more settled.

Feeling better about this and not being able to drive my car much (needs an expensive repair) will keep me at home and hopefully I can increase production and put more items on etsy. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 30, 2009

(Early) Happy Halloween!!!

I threw these together last night in about 20 minutes. White fire polished rondelles and beautiful lampwork flowers on silver wire. Here they are again (more detail):


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still Sad

We put Ginger (see last post) down on Monday morning. Today is Thursday and the rollercoaster of grief continues. Tears, numbness and that weird place where I feel ok, but drained of all motivation. I get dumb and forgetful. It sucks, but I guess it has to happen. I have received an outpouring of sympathy in the last few days, which is wonderful and supportive. I really appreciate the checking in. 

As Placebo says in "Bright Lights" (from Battle for the Sun), "The heart that hurts is the heart that works." It almost sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Pieces and a Case of the Sads

Number one daughter is out with her dad after me being home with her almost completely 24/7 for 8 days while she had chicken pox. I had a small window when I could take her out, but then she turned up with lice. I think everything is ok now (crossing fingers).

 I finally finished this piece I've been working on for a month. It came together fairly quickly, but I needed to end it and I had a hard time finding gunmetal cones, particularly when I was laid up with a broken ankle.  But it's done!!! I like the feeling of finishing a piece. Sometimes it comes out exactly as I expected, sometimes it shows me something else. This time I wasn't sure what was going to happen, though I loved the color and texture combinations, and I'm happy with what did.

There's a lot going on here, so allow me to be your guide. It's a 3-strand necklace. For one strand, I took a length of chain and wove iridescent rose/purple size 11(ish - they were pretty irregular, which is fine) seed beads through it. I really like the effect and I may make a piece with only that some time. The other strands are made up of a relatively random combination of plastic purple/pink bicones of varying sizes, size 11 charlottes (one side is cut for added sparkle), #2 purple bugle beads (those are the short tubes), 20mm black bugles, the iridescent rose/purple size 11, and 10mm black bugles. I finished with gunmetal cones.

I don't remember using cones to finish a piece. I decided that instead of doing it "my way," which historically involved a lot of hidden glue, I looked up other beaders' ways of doing it. I modified it a little, but not at any cost of form or sturdiness. Most beaders use 20-22 gauge wire, but since I was using gunmetal colored findings (clasp & cones) and all I had was gunmetal headpins that were probably 18 gauge, didn't bend well and dented easily, I thought I was going to have to put off finishing until I went back to the bead store. Ever the resourceful lass, I pawed through my supplies and found black nylon coated stainless steel. Eureka! It worked beautifully and I'm really happy with the result. 
The other piece I'm excited about is also purple(ish). This one came out pretty cool, too. I didn't have enough of the faceted beads to make even a decent length choker, so I ransacked my collection to see what I could do to extend the piece. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but size 6 yellow lined black diamond opaque beads. I bought them for a small project and only needed fewer than 5, but I figured I'd use them eventually. Voila:

The top pic shows the green, but the white background washes out the purple, so I took a pic on my gigantic woodstove. It was another piece that took longer to make than conceive - one of those moments when I rushed a little because I was excited to see the finished product.
Now that I've finished these two, I feel a little empty. I have to fool around with a bunch of stuff before the next piece suggests itself to me. I realize I sound a little hippy-dippy when I refer to pieces materializing, but that's really how it happens for me. Trial and error and then something pops out of the background. 

So, my case of the sads. Today is a beautiful fall day in OR and I'm almost motivated to put on big girl clothes and go take some pictures. But my sweet kitty, Ginger, has had a tumor on her jaw and it's starting to cause problems. Her "dad" and I knew we were going to have to put her down because of it, that she isn't going to die relatively comfortably of old age. I thought she might make it until the end of the month, but it looks like we might have to do it this week. My heart is breaking. I've had this cat for 14 of her 15 years. I've had a LOT of other cats, many of whom I've raised from kittens. Ginger is one of the best and losing her is going to tear a hole in our little family.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pick a Direction and Go (the "too much coffee" post)

Reverend Horton Heat, jewelry, Tyra Banks and swine flu vaccine. (Wonder what Carnack would have to say?)

    1. Tyra Banks can bite me. She made a big deal of telling the press to kiss her "fat ass" and used her show to promote acceptance of all shapes. "Good stuff," I thought. She's down to a size 8 now. That fact isn't bothersome to me. The problem is that she's making a huge deal about it. Was this necessary? It's like using the word "but" in the middle of a sentence when it automatically negates half the sentence. (Of course, I can't think of a good example at the moment.)
   2. The Reverend Horton Heat. "Where in the Hell Did You Go With My Toothbrush" came on earlier today and it's been stuck in my head. Funny song about the little things people do during a breakup.
   3. Jewelry. When is that NOT humming in the background for me? Particularly since I took on creating an Etsy shop. Now, I don't want anyone to get the idea that it's impossible. Hardly. They've made it SO easy and there is so much help available. I'm just a perfectionist about this kind of thing, so I need to make sure every picture looks good from the initial photo to my manipulation of it. I want to have great descriptions (that are generally grammatically correct, and - above all - spelled correctly) that give potential customers an idea of what I can offer. I did struggle with figuring out the shipping info, but I think I got the basics down. I listed four pieces today and they are available for purchase. 
I was hoping to put some pictures on Etsy of pieces that won't be for sale, but I can't figure out if there's a way to do it. One artist I saw linked to a photo stream, so I think I'll put them here.

OK, the one on the left is a random photo Jon took with the props we had with us. The piece at the top of this post features a cobalt glass pendant with this beautiful foil sun that my friend Kathy gave me a couple years ago. I put it with cobalt and copper seed beads and assorted sized goldstone beads. I wove a cool sun-themed ring and bar clasp. The earrings to the right happened while I was shopping for some other stuff at a store in Salem. I love window beads and liked the aqua color tucked away inside some of them. Then I spotted the aqua fire-polished beads and started hunting for square/cube shaped spacers. I recently bought more of the window beads and happened upon some different aqua beads. We'll see what happens.

   4. Last, but not least, swine flu vaccine. I am not a fan of vaccines. I have read research suggesting they work, that they don't and that some work. This article takes a serious look at the actual numbers associated with "the flu" and points out some major leaps in logic. I recommend anyone who leaves her/his house read this. If enough people start to understand, maybe we can calm the panic.

OK. I'm out. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Of Course We Should Care

The New York Times searched Michelle Obama's lineage and discovered that her great-great-great grandmother was a slave named Melvinia Shields who was raped by a white man (as well as at least two men identified as slaves). I find this interesting. I also find it interesting that there are people out there who don't understand why this is important. I mean, she's black, so she's probably related to a slave somewhere, right?

Racism isn't limited to white people denigrating black people in the US. It's a blight on the entire human race and it isn't limited to skin color. Mel Brooks gave many examples of this, particularly in 1975's "Blazing Saddles." When negotiating with the railroad workers for help making the fake Rock Ridge, one of the townspeople offers, "All right... we'll give some land to the niggers and the chinks. But we don't want the Irish!"

One theory holds that this is evolution - fearing Them protects Us. Even if it is somehow connected to evolution, does that make it ok? Obviously, if I'm bleating about it here, I think not.

The fact that our current First Lady, our first black First Lady has slave lineage is a reminder of unpleasant truths about the US. These are things we shouldn't forget about. As unpleasant as they are, they shouldn't be pushed out of individual or public consciousness. It also establishes a direct link between the Obama White House and a part of American history that involves people other than the wealthy white men who "founded" the US.  

Wonder what's next. . .


Friday, October 9, 2009

'Cause It's Funny

Catching Up (But not With Depeche Mode)

I haven't written in a few days because I've been busy! The pain meds were sucking my motivation during the day, even though my ankle was getting better. I ran out and have been a cleaning machine. I totally wore myself out several days in a row, but the laundry pile is so much smaller and there are lots of beautifully tidy piles I will eventually put away. 

I've been working hard on my Etsy shop. I really want to make a go of it, so I'm working really hard to make sure it looks beautiful before I "go live" and start publicizing. I finished my bio, which is probably too long and my policies section, which is probably too short. I spent nearly an entire day measuring each piece and writing out detailed descriptions of the materials used in each. I found a pile of pieces I made years ago that look great, but need sturdier construction, so I've been re-stringing them here and there. I also managed a couple new pieces, too, both using purple. A multi-strand number using gunmetal chain, purple/pink iridescent seed beads and bicones, black bugle beads of varying sizes strung on nylon thread. I have to figure out the best way to end it. The other is large, round faceted opaque purple glass beads with antique brass caps on each end and pearly green size 6 beads in between. No pictures, yet. Jon and I are going to make another picture date soon. If you haven't looked at his site, you should. He has some amazing photos and a really funny story about how we met.

There was some drama this week. Kiddo is having some of the same problems she was having last year. She learned some very effective ways to get out of doing what she didn't want to and we're still trying to un-learn a lot of it. Basically, she knew how to become so disruptive, she'd get sent to the office and not have to do it. There wasn't any completely effective way to counteract this because there were too many other kids who needed attention. Hopefully, she's in a smaller class in a charter school.

The other drama was Ginger, aka, Old Cat. She's had some teeth problems and we'd planned to have her teeth cleaned. Once she was under anesthetic, he discovered the growing lump under her jaw is either a severe infection or a tumor. So, we get to play the wait and see game - giving her antibiotics and waiting a week or so to see if the lump goes down. If it does, it's an infection, which could turn into a chronic infection, but very treatable. If not, it's a tumor and we need to find out how much longer she might have and what we can do so she doesn't suffer. She's eating like a horse right now, so I'm not super worried right now. She's just a little pathetic with her swollen, lumpy jaw.  

Nothing major to be opionated about at this moment. I'm sure that will change soon enough. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Go Spain!!

I didn't think much of a picture of President Obama (I love saying that) and the family of the PM of Spain, but it has caused quite a stir. Apparently, Spain has legislation prohibiting published photos of the PM's children. This is amazing considering how First Children, specifically young First Daughters, are scrutinized here in the US. Chelsea Clinton and Jenna and Barbara Bush were all evaluated based on their looks. 

Come on, US, catch up!

Two Strikes and Crappy Movies (warning: griping)

I'm feeling my two strikes today: unemployment and broken ankle. Either is enough to bum one out and I'm feeling both today. I have plenty to do and I've even managed to check some items off the list, but plodding has happened. I had to register the kiddo for stuff to do when school is out, which entailed fighting with one of the more annoying online shopping cart systems and  remembering that her school is not on the exact same schedule as the school district where we live. So, now I have to figure out what to do with her for those days. Yes, I'm unemployed, but full consecutive days with my sweet babygirl is exhausting for both of us.

Crappy movies. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do, so I went through the online queue and found "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." Now, I like Adam Sandler movies. I think I lose some girl cred for it, but "Big Daddy" was funny. I even liked "Little Nicky." "Zohan" sucked for two reasons: 1) it was several jokes over and over and over (Israeli counterterrorist superman who does something "gay," his pants are crammed full of something continually thrust into other characters' faces, he likes having sex with old women) and 2) it was over two hours of these stupid jokes. Two hours!!!! Oy.

The other one was 1980's "Foxes." Originally titled "Twentieth Century Foxes," the title was changed to "Foxes" out of fear of a lawsuit from the movie studio. It's a somewhat well-known film because it stars Jodie Foster and Cherie Currie. We all know who Jodie Foster is and we knew who she was in 1980 because of her controversial role as a 14-year-old prostitute in "Taxi Driver." When Currie was 16, she became a member of The Runaways with Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Sandy West and Jackie Fox. The Runaways are credited as the first all-girl band to prove they were more than a marketing stunt. Quite simply, they rocked. 

But this isn't about The Runaways. That was a tangent off of "Foxes." Possibly an important film in 1980 for its subject matter (adolescent girls doing grown-up things), it hasn't held up very well. The characters were annoying and the story wasn't enough to sustain my attention. I say all of this with the awareness that my comments are filtered through 30 years of film history, but I really didn't like it. 

I gotta go. Cash Cab is on.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two Movies in a Week

For some reason, I don't get to the movies as much as I'd like. That might change once I move out. Anyway, the ex and I took kiddo to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." Really cute and funny on multiple levels - gags for the kids and wittier jokes for the old farts in the audience. 

I wasn't sure I wanted to bother seeing it in the theater, but I got to "The Informant," too. Very well done and much funnier than I expected. Matt Damon turned in a great performance, too. 

Not the most expository reviews, but Vicodin doesn't make me verbose.


I've been making jewelry for over 20 years, mostly for myself and gifts for friends. I spent a LONG time in graduate school and I stopped making jewelry for a LONG time (I also stopped reading, camping, hiking, photography, life, etc.). Since I successfully defended my dissertation a couple years ago, I've returned to many of the passions I put on hold. With the jewelry, I've made pieces I really like, but haven't really worn them. I started wondering if maybe it's time to get more serious about selling some of these pieces. Then I started freaking out about the prospect of trying to sell a non-essential item in the Craphole Economy. "I know - the internet!" Then I freaked out a little more at the thought of being one tiny little drop of a shop in an ocean of online retail. 

So, I'm trying to do all this with as little financial risk as possible. Isn't that cute!? I took some pictures with my semi-pro camera (7 year old Sony Cybershot x10 zoom that still takes great pics), but the pics were pretty average. Friends have given me a lot of positive feedback on the pieces themselves, but I want some stellar pictures that will make my work really stand out.

I have a good friend who takes great pictures and has a swanky new camera. We spent two days getting some pretty amazing shots. Mind you, it's only been three weeks since I broke my ankle, and I'm hobbling around parks with my big boot. We even ended up at the home of another friend who has a beautiful garden. I totally overdid it with my ankle, but it was awesome! We had a great time and I have some beautiful pictures of my creations taken by one of my best friends.

But First, Introductions

So, here I am, a 30-something native Northwesterner, unemployed and living with my six-year-old daughter and my ex-husband of 18 months. I have some interesting friends and family who I adore and who provide tons of entertainment and support (and occasional frustration). I live in one side of a duplex and my ex-mother-in-law and her mother and brother live in the other side (they are very nice people and I still consider them family). I am a jewelry artist (ninnoli.etsy.com) with an advanced degree in psychology and some minor health issues. I have been borderline diabetic for years as a result of polycystic ovarian syndrome and I have occasional migraines. I also have some mood issues. None of these are really serious and I take care of myself to ensure it stays that way. I don't obsess about it all but it's on the list of things I'll probably talk about on this blog. I also LOVE music, I hike, camp, take pictures, read and watch movies and some TV.

Oh, and I broke my right ankle three weeks ago and I can't drive, so I have some time on my hands. Why not start a blog?

My ex and I decided to end our 12-year relationship over a year ago for many of the reasons relationships end; the short story is we grew apart. We actually get along pretty well and are on the same page about our daughter. It isn't perfect, it's frustrating at times, but it isn't too bad. It's definitely an unusual situation. No greeting cards or self-help books on this one.