Saturday, December 29, 2007

Looking forward.

Next year:

I want to be fit and healthy again.

I want to travel and visit friends who are far from me.

I want to make fabulous artistic creations.

I want to live passionately and completely.

I want to teach and feel purposeful.

I want to be so happy the joy drips from my ears and glows all around me.

I want to save money, move out and feel like an adult again (or maybe even for the first time).

I want to share laughter, stories, and ideas with my remarkable friends.

I want to taste some excellent red wine.

I want to learn and then learn some more.

I want to never look back.

Friday, December 21, 2007

From Rob Brezsny's horoscope:

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I meditated on the perfect holiday gift for you. What might inspire you to be in closest alignment with the cosmic currents in 2008? I decided that if I could, I'd buy you a costume shop. That way you could try on a thousand different masks and disguises. And that would put you in the proper frame of mind for the assignment I hope you will carry out all year long, which is to play with your identity and experiment with new self-images and maybe even treat your life as an epic theatrical extravaganza.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

For the next two weeks or so...

I wish you, as Ren and Stimpy used to sing, "Happy Happy Joy Joy!" (or "It's LOG, LOG, it's better than great, it's good!) Merry Holidays and Happy New Year! See you in 08! (8 is my lucky number.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

It is common knowledge around these parts that I am practically unbearable when I have a cold. Major illnesses or afflictions render me gentler and more slower moving but a cold makes me awful. First, there is the repeating of "I'm going to die." For some reason I have always been convinced that I would be the first person on record to die of a cold. This hasn't proven true yet, but give it time. Second, I become rather whiny. As if the complaining of my impending death wasn't enough, I start to find fault with nearly everything in the world. Television shows that once made me giggle are now "immature or totally dumb." Nothing pleases me. Finally, a cold might give me a slight indication of what pregnancy would be like in terms of appetite. With a cold, I suddenly desire strange concoctions or very specific delicacies. Like "oriental flavored" Top Ramen or cream cheese on dark rye toast. Or the favorite of sick Hillarys everywhere, chicken and stars soup.

Should you find yourself in my company during one of these horrible battles of the immune system, it is best to move carefully. Bring a magazine and tissue, pop in "The Dancing Princesses" from the Faerie Tale Theater collection and exit with your back to the door. Trust me, it's just safer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's really quite crippling...

My panic attacks and anxiety has returned. For some time, I did not have the lovely sensation that my heart was going to burst out of my chest. Just recently has this affliction appeared. I missed a friend's performance on Sunday, spent most of Monday in a fog, and last night did not sleep except for maybe a few hours. I don't understand it. Since I've had these issues for a while, I have amassed a pretty big bag of tricks for fighting the attacks. But somehow that did not matter the other night. I've started walking again and listening to my equally emotional girl Fiona Apple helps. I just want this to go away.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Jay-Z!

I absolutely adore you! Great last album as well. Love, HD-T.

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's all about the benjamins baby!

What is it about money and me that just doesn't click? It's like we have this decent relationship that I work so hard to make better but money doesn't understand me and we end up fighting. Money is like that well-meaning friend that keeps you out until 3 in the morning the night before a big test saying "You deserve to celebrate, you studied hard." Money is unreliable and fickle and no matter what I do to make him stay, he usually is gone in the morning. I am attempting to save and had succeeded in setting aside a small amount. But already, due to impending holidays, gas or even prescriptions, I find myself tapping into the sacred savings. This frustrates me since it feels like I am participating in a vicious cycle with the greenery. I want to change my financial future as well as just the simple request of being able to move out but I'm unsure if this will ever happen. Should I dump money or say "We need to talk"? The saga continues...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Foreign films and photos.

Sometimes I think that there is a wheel in my brain with all of my interests or obsessions written on it. And I give this wheel the occasional turn and the arrow lands on that word and that is what I am focused on. I think this because I seem to return to the same obsessions over and over again. Like films. I have been fascinated by foreign films for years now. I'll go threw these crazy spells where I rent like 5 of them at once with 8 on order from the library and then I just watch them for days. Then the fever will die down and I'll continue onto something else. But foreign films always returns. Same with photography. I absolutely am enthralled by photography but it seriously comes in waves. Take for instance this recent wave. I borrowed a magazine from a friend. Inside the editor's letter spot, they had included a list of female photographers. So I start thinking about photography again. And then I'm driving looking at the sights like possible photographs which makes me think about black and white film, which makes me think about foreign films and then I realize the wheel has begun turning again. It really is quite remarkable.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank you

For crisp clean autumn air.

For falling leaves.

For terrific pals and a loving family.

For clam chowder, jersey sheets, and tea.

For second chances and growing.

For laughing, crying, and feeling everything.

For my hands, health, and hair.

For this day and every day after.

For my amazing life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday morning.

Do you ever have those mornings when you want to write or paint or collage something profound but really you can't? Like your brain is mush and no matter how much coffee you drink, you can't seem to really wake up. You feel like you should be doing something artsy but you just can't. And it isn't for lack of trying, it just is because you are tired and more interested in looking at Target ads than something more intellectual. So, my contribution this morning for my art is a picture I took of a star. That hangs in my car. Ha! Now I've got a picture and a rhyme. I'm going back to bed!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Making it all worthwhile.

From a student that I substitute taught this week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Further adventures of (sub) teaching is hard.

I made a kid cry.

I cried. (not in front of them but on the phone to my mom.)

Not all the lesson plans were there today.

I couldn't find materials.

Then there was a fire drill.

I'm going to lie down now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

(Sub)Teaching is hard.

If you are reading this and have any inclination to become a (substitute) teacher, I have few words of warning. First, you will find that you say things to 8 year olds that you never thought you'd ever say. Like "You are this close to going to the office!" or "What should you do first, raise your hand." Secondly, things like raising hands, staying in your seats, or even bathroom breaks become these monumental issues. Since when was I given the power to allow someone to urinate? Sorry if that was too graphic but it really is something I wonder. Third, you suddenly understand what it feels like to be a tourist. You have no idea what the social codes are or even what things are called. "It's not a math folder, it's our Saxon math folder." Finally, you barely have enough energy to write your blog, let alone make a decent dinner. (Frozen food, friend.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Before this gets too self-indulgent...

I'm thinking this blog is turning too much into a 13 year old's diary...without the "Does Bobby like me?" questions. I sort of lost my focus there for a while due to illness and just changes in general. I have to remember that my art is the real reason behind this online business. So, with the aid of a newly received Joseph Cornell box/biography/gift set, I am buckling down and getting back on track. Insert whatever metaphor or cliche about returning to your original purpose here. Back in the saddle? On the road again? hmmm...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Right now.

Forgive yourself. Let go of the past. Keep moving forward. Let it be. Forgive, forgive.

Changing my thinking.

I might change this blog a bit so that there is more of a theme than my ramblings. I was thinking more about what a magpie really does and that is find things, collect things,etc. So I might give myself the project of finding something unique, absurd, magical, or whathaveyou everyday. The first entry probably will come from the book I'm reading "Eat, Pray, Love." I had been thinking about some certain questions when last night, while reading, there on the page before me was everything I had been wanting to hear. A complete and total sign that the universe sometimes shows me. Freaky.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm tired, getting sick and depressed.

Okay, I want to know why just as soon as I feel like I'm getting my life together, I either get sick or start to doubt myself again. I did see an old dear friend today and am going to a wedding planning party in a little while. But I can feel the old nagging inner critics starting to rev their engines. Why is it so hard to give yourself the love or forgiveness you give to others? Why can stupid meaningless things or even individuals knock us on our backs just as we finally master walking in heels? Why? Perhaps these are questions I have to work through as Rilke mentions in one of my favorite books. But I have a feeling Rilke never was a twenty-something girl with emotional baggage and a tendency to over-analyze.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I'm so far behind.

Thanks to keri smith's blog and therefore hula seventy's blog, I just now found out that November is National Blog Posting Month. The idea is to post everyday for the month of November. I'm behind but I think I might give it a try. I've been needing a project as of late. I'm waiting for my workout dvds to arrive and in the meantime, I sold out and got a stupid myspace page. It is super private just because I have heard horror stories about weirdos or creeps emailing people. I also just did it mostly to stay in touch with a few friends. But really, I'm so dumb that I had to have someone help me figure out how to do it/set it up/etc. I'm really tired tonight. I'm getting up early to meet a friend for coffee and I'm thinking that a bubble bath (lavender and chamomile) might be in order. I haven't been sleeping well. Too many worries, bad memories. Why are we so freaking hard on ourselves? Why do things bug me at like 2am when I can spend the whole day not even thinking about them? I'm ready for some changes. And some new projects.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

An Agent Provocateur.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I believe that doing the challenging assignments I'm about to describe will put you in alignment with cosmic rhythms, and make it more likely that you will attract grace and synchronicity into your life. You are, of course, under no obligation to carry them out. That's because you have free will, and are always at liberty to choose a path that leads you away from grace and synchronicity. With that as a caveat, here are the roles I believe you should play in the coming week if you'd like to thrive: a catalytic X-factor; a tender wild card; a friendly shocker; a nonviolent bombshell; an agent provocateur who loves all you survey.--Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology for week starting Nov.8.

He is always so dead on that it scares me. Just when I need some sort of advice, this column smacks me on the head and sums up everything that I'd been feeling. Now that the days are getting shorter and it gets dark so blooming early, I need some comforts. Let a good book, insightful horoscopes, tea, and jersey sheets to curl up in while I watch Law and Order:Criminal Intent or My So-Called Life. I love fall!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mistakes and dead on horoscopes.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A drunk dominatrix sidled up to me at a party and said, "Reverend, please absolve me of my sins." I'm not officially a priest, but in the spirit of fun and games I replied, "Why, my dear? Have you seen the error of your ways?" She spread her arms wide as she bowed, hissing like a serpent through a toothy smile. "Not at all, Reverend," she said. "I just want to clear the docket so I can go out and commit a slew of fresh, new sins with crazy abandon." I sprinkled a few drops of her Heineken on her head and channeled William Blake: "You'll never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. If the fool would persist in her folly she would become wise." And now, Scorpio, I'm channeling the same blessing for you.
Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I trying to figure it out.

How can I really listen to my students?
How can I learn to understand them?

I struggle since as a substitute I must come in everyday completely new and without knowing the students well. I have to make split second decisions, take first impressions as all I know, and sometimes, well probably more often than not, mess up. I think it is crazy. I mean here I am a total stranger with sometimes only some notes from a teacher deciding how a child's day will go. They have to adjust to me and I have to adjust to them. I find my patience is tested a lot and I never realized that I can be so critical. I'm trying to understand how to be a better substitute teacher. One that is respected and listened to but also one that does not judge. I supposed it is difficult to do. Since as a sub, I am forever trying to gain control. I never get a chance to develop a real relationship with the students. And I am forever feeling empty. Always beginning and always ending. Constantly in flux...Maybe I understand Buddhism better than I thought!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seven more days

And this face turns 29! So much has happened. So much will happen. I feel ready for some changes, new good habits to acquire since so many old bad habits have died. I don't know how I feel about being almost 30 and I don't know how I feel about this picture. She looks like a happy girl. There are some new lines that I notice on the face. She isn't exactly like the person I imagine in my head but she's nice. I wonder how the rest of the world sees her. I hope she loves her life. I know I've finally started loving her!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sometimes I wish I was a French Buddhist.

Some days are truly awful.

And I wish I didn't feel so much, reveal so much, understood impermanence, and was not so ruled by my emotions.
I don't usually complain but these are things making me feel awful today:

overdue student loans

health insurance ending soon

no money--maybe 13 dollars, right now.

missing friends or not hearing from people

feeling fat and receiving my driver's license in the mail with a picture that makes me look like a puffy chipmunk

getting lost for an hour while trying to drop off my brother

feeling like I'm a professional babysitter not a teacher

feeling like I'll never move out again

stupid stuff from the past

letting all these things bother me and not quite knowing how to fix them or feel better

ten days to my birthday and feeling very low

complaining about trivial things while "real issues" are all around us in the world


As I was driving,

I realized a metaphor for my life. Construction is always going on somewhere.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's like riding a bicycle.

After a break from subbing, I went back today to a first grade class. It also was a half day so I was only there for 3 and 1/2 hours. It went pretty well. Once again there were questions about where their regular teacher is, the issue of pronouncing the names correctly, and the millions of helpful comments like "We do it this way, not that way." Overall, my confidence in my teaching returned. But I realized several things today. 1) Children move A LOT! They can't seem to sit still or stay quiet for too long. My brother would probably say the same thing about me. I don't know why but I am always amazed by this discovery. 2) I still cannot believe that I do something that requires me to start over, be brand new, have a first day everyday! I've always thought of myself as shy. This comes and goes. In college and a few years after, I was my most confident. But events that happened nearly two years ago still shake me from time to time and I begin to revert to the quiet timid Hillary. I am in awe of myself that I am able to be a sub and not be afraid. Even with the awful Middle schoolers, I was not afraid, just mad. This makes me so proud of myself and also completely blogged! It is fascinating when you discover things about yourself that you never knew. I'm beginning to understand that I will have a lifelong puzzle to work on...myself.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tangled up in blue.

Like light shined through blue glass, I am calm and peaceful today. All frustration, angry, and hate has melted away in the morning sun. I am breathing and ready for a new day.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I can't even think of a title, I'm so angry.

I was in middle school during 1990 to about 1993. I hated it. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere, I was trapped in a place I couldn't get out of, that the only thing that mattered was if boys liked you or not (which they didn't, I wouldn't be "liked" until 9th grade) or that this was hell on earth. And in the first time in over ten years, I had the pleasure of visiting this hell once again. I subbed for a dear friend, Jacob, who teaches art at a middle school and I seriously thought I would die. I screamed, I shouted, I did the whole "i'm a cool lady" routine and all I discovered was that I pretty much hate, yes HATE, the 11-21 demographic of our world, too much attitude. Ladies and gentlemen, I was beaten to a bloody pulp! Yes, I never have been that girl. The girl that the tough kids, cool kids, whatever kids like. I have a baby face and am totally a white girl. Therefore, everyone, regardless of age, thinks I'm "not down with it." This pisses me off to no end. But, what bugs me more is that this stupid segway into evilville aka Middle School has gotten me this upset. That I feel the need to even respond this horrible day or to just acknowledge that I was in Middle School. I'm done. I'll be angry the rest of the night and then tomorrow I will wake up, hopefully after 9 not 5:30am like this morning, and have forgotten all this mess. Cause after all I've got attitude!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I hate teaching...well not really.

Today was insane. I subbed in a fourth grade classroom. This is the oldest group of kids I've dealt with ever...til tomorrow and I sub for a friend at a MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! But back to today. These children had spunk and a lot of it. I don't think I was that feisty in fourth grade, I'm not even sure I'm that feisty now! I feel exhausted but also slightly satisfied. Satisfied since I found out my "teacher stare" transcends age groups. Not only can I tell a kindergartener I mean serious business with my eyes but I can make fourth graders stop cold. So much power. I'm sure those who have never seen me teach can hardly believe that meek and mild Hillary can turn into bold and controlling Miss Thoren! I feel like Clark Kent and Superman!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Creepy or flattering?

When I get bored sometimes I look up weird stuff on the Internet. Like robots or other various obsessions I have. And then when I get down, I try to look up myself. I know everyone does this occasionally so I don't feel like a complete self-indulgent hack. Today I was looking up magpies and the number 27 and this, my blog, came up first. I don't know if I should feel flattered or a little disturbed. I guess I was dumb to think that anything on the web could be slightly hidden. Oh well, I'll learn to live with this sort of fame (ha!), my girl Angie does it all the time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm a work in progress.

I still make mistakes, I'm still learning. But what I do know is that I can change my life. I'm very lucky I have amazing friends and family and a beautiful heart. I need to be patient with myself, pick myself up when I fall and allow for mistakes. But I more importantly need to never give up hope and give into those things that pull me down into the mire. I have to believe in myself.

More art therapy

My art therapy

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My great depression.

I have struggled with depression nearly all my life. And recently it has tried to creep its way back into my life. It starts off small like trouble sleeping, frustration at things beyond my control and just the desire to lie in bed watching foreign films all day. Usually when my life is transitioning this strange beastie appears. I'm working hard to counter its effects like with writing, my various art projects, visiting friends, and general self-care. I am however fascinated by how this thing is always out of reach, like something in the corner of my eye that when I turn my head to face it, it has disappeared. Who knows. These are the thoughts in my head this morning as I sip coffee, watch the rain drizzle and figure out what I'm doing today since I didn't get a call for a sub job.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Miss Nelson or Miss Swamp?

TEACHING!!! This is of course after one day but still I think that is a pretty good attitude to have. The class wasn't perfect but they weren't the monsters I had imagined at two in the morning when I couldn't sleep. One student asked me if I had always taught this grade level and another said he hoped I would be there tomorrow! It's funny since I tried to model myself after Viola Swamp from the "Miss Nelson" books. (Totally worth checking out whether you are a teacher or not). Viola is like a witch lady substitute teacher and not to be messed with. I'm sure I appear more Miss Nelson-esque to the outside world but don' let this face fool you!

My brother's eyes

My brother has the most brilliant, beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen. He of course thinks I'm nuts for thinking this and getting him to take this picture was an ordeal. They are a dark blue with a ring of orange, reddish yellow around the iris. Sort of a solar eclipse in his eye. I just think they're neat.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First day and synchronicity

Tomorrow is the first day I substitute teach. I don't know if I'm nervous or what but I find that there are certain coincidences that crop up. Jung's theory of sychronicity, which I am trying to better understand, speaks of events occurring at the same time, relationships between these events, etc. I'm still not entirely certain about how it works. But, such things have recently happened in my life. I'm hoping that tomorrow is a good day. I'm viewing it like travelling. I get to visit lots of different countries, the classrooms, and learn something about others and myself. Atleast that is what I'm trying to focus on. Be brave.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I like to make things with my hands.

So, since I haven't worked yet and the money is slowly disappearing, I have given myself a new project as well as some new obsessions. First, the Beatles. I know, I know that isn't really new but I've always loved them and now the interest has be re-ignited due to seeing the movie "I AM SAM" today. Sean Penn's character seems to be obsessed with the Beatles and this also is the movie where all these musicians got together and did covers of Beatles' songs like Pearl Jam and "You've got to hide your love away." I also got a new sketchbook and have decided to make little postcard sized collages/drawings/etc. I am very excited. Of course now that I've decided on these little projects, I probably will get work. However, I am confident that I will remain an unemployed artist for atleast two more days!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The tide of change approaches.

This was what my fortune said when I went out to dinner for my mom's birthday the other night. And since then changes have started coming. I will be entering the jungle world of substitute teaching in three different districts. While I am excited to be teaching in some form and for the increase in my income, I must admit I have my hesitations. Students can be quite evil at times and although I've built my armour up over the last year, I'm sure that holes could be found. We'll see what happens...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Some beautiful images of Tacoma

This is why I love Tacoma. You can find beauty, art, nature and just plain uniqueness anywhere. I took these pictures with my new digital camera outside my friend Emily's apartment building. There is a busy street right in front of it that I drive down all the time and I have never noticed these things before. I find myself looking at the world very differently now that my camera has become my third hand. I know it sounds cliche but when you stop for a second and look around, you see amazing things. I have flown down that road (well okay, five over the speed limit but who's counting?) and now I hope that I don't get into an accident by moving my head around to find curious things on this street. I'm going to continue looking and maybe even move my blog more in that direction. Finding strange things and photographing it and posting it. Who knows...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The beginning

I'm trying this out for the first time and still need to work out some of the kinks. I really want to find an avenue for exploring my art and writing...We'll see where the journey takes me.