Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ya know, being alone isn't all that bad. It's kind of nice! I can cook or not cook as I like, go to bed late, read at bedtime, make messes and clean them up when I want to, and eat pretty much whatever I want to (like cereal and milk for dinner, or a grapefruit for lunch) and not feel guilty for any of this. Whether or not I should have had to feel guilty for any of those things in the first place is another story for another time. There's a lot of freedom and lack of conflict when you live alone (or in my case, alone with kids).

And then I balance this against the sheer coziness and warmth of waking up next to someone you want to wake up next to, or coming home and seeing a welcoming face and arms to fall into. To me, that's priceless. The question is, how likely is it that I will get someone that I really and truly want to wake up to or come home to for an extended period of time? Hmmmm. I'm thinking that unless I can hook up with someone that I really adore, it just isn't worth the time and pain.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I finally got in to school and got a good look at my glazed (finished) pieces, the bisqued (half finished) and some of the greenware (not even bisqued yet) pottery. My work sucks. It's not good. I hate most of it.

And the one piece I was excited about, my goat teapot, someone broke one of the horns (which functioned as the handle) off! It is bone dry and I cannot attach a new one. Color me sad. :-(

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Can it be? Internet at home? It's the equivalent of a water dropper compared to a garden hose anywhere else, but still, it's internet. Don't count on it lasting or being a reliable thing though.

Snowed in here. Have no idea whether there will be school for any of us on Monday or not. Unfortunately, by the time I can call, the bus will have left already! Can't they give people some kind of an idea regarding school closures the night before school rather than the morning of? How are folks supposed to plan??? Other than school, I have no good reason for wanting to go in to town (it was email but now I have checked that and found the usual array of things not worth having looked forward to).

And, despite the hassles and closures and rescheduling and whatnot, it is *beautiful* outside! The trees are just dripping with snow and everything looks so pristine out there. The nice thing is, it isn't even that cold.

My sister and her family came up for Thanksgiving, which was a nice surprise. At one point, my brother in law asked me why I think about the past so much. I've been thinking about that ever since. The thing is, she was able to leave here and go to college right away and get on with building a new life. I still live here. I still know the same people my parents knew, even if I hardly see them, I do hear about them. The roads I drive are pretty much the same. The businesses we delivered newspapers to are the same ones I drive right by. And the fathers of my children were inextricably tied to my past in various ways, so it's inevitable that looking at them will occasionally lead my mind along a thread to the past.

On the other hand, I work out the problems in today by working through my past. I know that it isn't possible to escape this stuff, however nice that would be. It follows you- in dreams, in flinching when someone moves to quickly, in small ways that scream loudly to your psyche. Some people can get up and walk away from an accident scene and cry a time or two and not think about it again. I'm not like that. Things affect me deeply, and ruminating on them is what I do to try to make sense of it all.

I still don't know how to respond to that comment, but I guess it wasn't really a question. I think it was more of a shut-up-and get-over-it-and-move-on sort of thing. And don't-talk-about-it-anymore-because-we-don't, too. And I will get over it, but I'm also not the sort to walk off from a half wounded monster. If I'm going to kill something (speaking figuratively) it's going to be dead, period, because I don't want to wake up some night and find myself confronted with it right when I thought I was happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I think that I have become obsessed with pottery. It's such a good feeling.

Sometimes I feel as though I'll wither up and die if I can't at least get a hug once in a while; but then I think back and reflect on how bad a bad love life can be, how stressful, how degrading it can all get. And then I actually feel relieved, and remind myself that I am never, ever, going through the stress of having a man again unless it's someone who will treat me well, someone I can love from the very marrow of my bones. I am never going to settle for someone that I don't really want again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Man, I am so tired of trying to survive from one day to the next......

The good news is that I have located a retail outlet for my ceramics. Now I just have to start producing more of them, which frankly is going to be a challenge unless I can get to school reliably.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I am absolutely exhausted. Too tired to go into the details, but let's just say that getting minutes on my cell phone has become a priority.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What would it look like if the wire did melt on the piece? Would the wire melt after or before the clay and glaze set up? (probably depends on what kind of wire). Can I stabilize it with soft clay, or would that adhere to the piece? Maybe if I make fewer sections, it wouldn't be such a pain to deal with. Or --> I can make them interlock and fit together like puzzle pieces.

My truck tires are more bald and unprepared for winter than I ever would have guessed. I thought that the truck was weaving all over the road this morning because of the snow...but no, it appears that the alignment is off and the front tire on my side is so bald that there is a strip where it it down to the metal threads! Eeeek! So I am going to get right down to work on resolving that ASAP. Gosh, if it isn't one thing with that truck, it's another.....

I'm not going to worry anymore about hope and whether it's there for me. Hope isn't something that is elusive and lands on you; it's like everything else, you have to make it or bring it into being through what you do, think, etc. At least, that's what I think today..... Not going to sit around waiting for it, either. I'm just going to go live my life and do the things I need to do, because if I sit around longing for life to work out the way I'd like it to, the only thing that could possibly occur is that I'll sit around waiting and occasionally random lucky things will happen, along with plenty of less random, less happy things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Ceramics teacher gave me my last display piece back and took three more for the display case. One of them is kind of crummy in my opinion, but he said it was nice....

Maybe I already mentioned this, but I made a goat shaped teapot last week; she's coming along nicely and is all cleaned up and ready to bisque fire. Made several other pieces today, including another fish (this one is anatomically correct this time) and....hmmm, I don't know what else. I just didn't really have the touch today, felt enthusiastic but not creative enough, and I could hardly throw a good pot to save my life. Oh yeah, I made a small colander, because I don't always need the great big ones.

Our next assignment is to make a sculptural, non-representational piece that incorporates another material after it is fired. I had this idea to make a nice vase type thing and then break it or slice it up while it was in the leather hard stage, and make holes in each piece, and wire it back together, and glaze it, and then......and here is the problem. Then what? Because see, any glaze will make a piece stick to the bottom of the kiln in the glaze touches the kiln floor. Wire will melt, so it would have to be taken apart again before it could be fired, but then the glaze is an issue because of the glaze melting the pieces to one another and to.......oh......wait...... They could melt back together? hmmmm.

I have been working through a lot of the trauma, abuse, etc issues and wanted to make pots that expressed that kind of thing, that's why I was going to break it. If it would melt back together enough to stay in one piece, even barely......oh my, that sounds risky. Thinking......

And I was going to make a lot of small, cute, defenseless looking little round extruded pots and violate and ruin and distort them in various ways, but the extruder and I didn't get along today.

And.....maybe I just wasn't mentally gathered enough to do a good job today. Who knows.

I read Innocence Destroyed a study of childhood sexual abuse, as well as The Unsayable, The Hidden Language of Trauma, which apparently is about Lacanian psychotherapy, and then I looked at The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and honestly, aside from making me aware of how much worse it could have been, these things didn't help much. The Last book does have an interesting section on nutrition and how the foods we eat can affect anxiety, and that actually was worthwhile. Sigh......I need to give up the coffee..... :-( and eat more B vitamins.

I guess that the reason these books are unsatisfying is that they are not giving me the answers to the questions I have, which is primarily whether or not there is any hope for me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No phone. No internet at home. And now, because I was able to sell my old snow tires, i am at least able to drive (but limited still). Hmmm. I can't even blog.

But, I can blog on my computer and then publish it when I get home. And I can journal the stuff I really shouldn't publish anyway. And I can clean the house so that at least *something* feels like it is under control.

I still don't know what to do about the stuff I mentioned in the last post though.

Friday, November 12, 2010

An aside: every time I start researching issues like PTSD of anxiety or Asperger's or abuse survivors, I start to feel really....no polite way to put it: all fucked up and beyond fixing. Like damaged goods. And then I feel sad. Like, who would want to deal with all this shit? sigh......

And this is why I push it away and don't deal with it, and then things don't get better. And I have had a lot of counselors and counseling and stuff, but they tend to say crap like:

"Look into the mirror and say 'I'm good enough!' 'I am special and lovable!'"
(well, this just doesn't cut it for me)

"So, what are you going to do with that?"
(WTF???? This does NOT help me! If I knew, why would i have come to you for advice in the first place?)

"Why do you want to feel as if something's wrong with you?"
(Um, because I don't think denial is a good thing?????)

"I'm sorry those things happened to you."
(Well, gee, so am I. We both are. Now what?)

These things aren't helpful. They just leave me feeling like a fool for opening up enough to talk to someone about it, incredibly self concious, like I wish I could just rewind the tape and start over. Oh, and angry...if you couldn't tell that already.

It isn't that I don't want to do the work it takes to heal, it's that A: I have to live and function in the meantime and B: still not sure what that work is and C: people get sick of hearing this shit, especially since others have apparently had it worse and are purportedly healthy and functioning people (????), and D: Geez, where to find the time??

And now I am in the library feeling unproductively shitty and wanting to not cry in public because that is weak and lame and wishing that I could believe that there is hope, that there's a path out and....um....I need to go think of something else now........
Pottery: the Mamo glaze has actually been turning out more oatmealy transparent than opaque with brown spots, so I might try glazing with it for a change, particularly combined with other glazes.

Going to make more fish and animals. Also, slip sgraffito. More ash glazing too, need a good source of ashes. I need to find a way to elevate the fish above the floor of the kiln so as to be able to glaze both sides of them. I have no idea how ashes will interact with the glazes I've used, or with combinations of those glazes, so that will be an entirely new direction I can go with.

More than anything though, I need to work on the *quality* and finish of the pieces: making better feet on thrown pots, a smoother, cleaner junction of base and sides on slab built things, smoother seams, etc. Part of the problem is that the pots dry to leather hard while I am gone over the weekend. For example, I should have gone in today even though I had no class, just to trim and finish my leather hard pots before they cannot be worked on. I have a bad feeling that by Monday they will be too hard to trim well. :-( Mostly though, I just need to throw, throw, throw, until I can reliably get what I want from the wheel. I've been circumventing and avoiding this by focusing on hand-building, and turning out some pretty nice hand built things, too, but...... need to focus on throwing skills, too. Guess that I have such a loathing of failure that I simply don't try as much as I should, not only there but in a lot of areas of life. You can't fail if you don't take the risk to begin with.

Anyway....so I am waiting around for the managers of the coffee shop I frequent to show up so I can ask them about possibly exhibiting some stuff there. It is not up to the standard that I want, but that will be all the more incentive to produce better things.
Feeling terribly creative and upbeat. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy. Made a lot of cool stuff in the pottery studio: a goat shaped teapot, a small paddled lidded box with feet, three bowls (one of which will be a small colander), a small pitcher sort of thing, a UFO shaped....umm....is it a vase or???? heck, I don't know. It just is... The teapot took the most time, about two hours, and that is only for the plastic stage; all of these pieces will need cleaning up as they harden into the leather-hard stage.

I made a big, freaky, morel mushroom shaped piece that is supposed to be a lamp or candle holder. The netted cap is cut through with the same diamond shaped netted pattern as on the real thing (well, sort of...) so that a source of light can shine out of it, and it just went into the bisque firing, along with my first two wood ash glaze experiments. :-)

I am ashamed to say that I am getting bored with the current range of available glazes....ashamed because really, it is such a wide array of choices compared to those available to most of humanity's potters over the centuries. The Greeks did most of their work in red, black, and white, and it was slip, not even real glaze!

We have:
  • Emerald Green: fairly reliable, transparent green, like a clear forest green color, which crackles under the right conditions. Nice.
  • Celadon: which is a baby-diarrhea yellow green with brownish black spots- yuck! But when over glazed with Seacrest Purple, it turns to a deep clear coffee brown.
  • Seacrest Purple: Really more of a brown which can go to a deep denim blue-purple when reduced, and various shades of attractive browns. If you use this one glaze, the piece can look as if you applied several colors. This is a good default because it hardly ever looks bad, and it is always a surprise!
  • Rose's Red: Has a split personality. It can be a pale, delicate celadon type green, or when reduced, a vibrant, streaking red, sometimes with hints of pink. The last batch hardly reduced at all, so a lot of piece which were supposed to be voluptuously red turned out pale green.
  • Iron Red: more reliable than Rose's Red if you want Red, but also a lot more opaque, and can run the risk of looking dead. When it looks good, which is often enough, it is great, and frequently has exciting metallic effects.
  • Kansas Black: doesn't always turn black. Sometimes it is red, or a brownish red. It also has the capability for metallic effects, and I haven't had an ugly piece with this color yet that I can think of.
  • Lapis Blue: Ranges from a pale, washed out matte opaque blue to a beautiful but thin transparent blue that approaches cobalt in color. The thing is, you can't be certain which you will get, and I am a sucker for true blue.
  • Mamo White: A milky opaque white with big brown dots and brown speckling. In my opinion, sort of ugly, but very nice when combined with certain other colors.
  • White Night- very white, no brown dots; I haven't tried it.
  • Shino: From oatmealy textured off whites to pleasant apricot, occasionally a little darker. Another fairly reliable glaze that usually turns out nicely.
  • Transparent: what it sounds like, a clear transparent glaze which can be used over slips and uderglazes.
  • Green with Envy: I haven't tried this one either, because it is this very intense, very opaque, flat turquoise-teal green color that I am not too fond of. However, after seeing how well it went under Mamo, I might give it a try. The white toned it down quite a bit.

And I think that's all of them.....so I really shouldn't complain. It is just that I really want the deep cobalt blue that comes from cobalt carbonate....

Also am trying to remember if I have done any test glazes combining Shino and black, or Shino and red.....hmmmm.

But yeah, now that I'm over the stomach flu, it's been a great week. :-)
A low mood appears to be the first sign of an oncoming cold....bleah!

Anyway, I thought of something good for the goblets last night, and now I have forgotten it already.....:-P

Monday, November 08, 2010

Really depressed. Don't have a good reason, just am. Even the clay isn't helping, because the studio is full of people.

We are supposed to make two goblets to celebrate some event that is coming up. This in itself depresses me all by itself, but also, we have to choose a particular event to celebrate, and be able to tell the teacher what it is, and the design of the cup has to be about that event. I cannot think of one single upcoming event to celebrate. I'm sorry, I know I am an ingrate and should be able to think of *something*......but frankly, just attempting to come up with an event to celebrate makes me feel all grey and black...... Bleah.......

No wonder my sister is prettier and wildly popular while I languish in the shadows: she is all sunshine and flowers while I'm like some place that rains all the time.......

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thought carefully about it and realized that there is not one single positive thing that could come out of my smacking the snotty teen. Any immediate release of frustration would be offset by the ensuing fight, both of us would get more upset, and communication would go farther down the tubes, and eventually I would feel terribly, horribly guilty. Also he would get more snotty and difficult rather than less so.

He is inconsiderate, rude, uncouth, disrespectful and worst of all, has an uncanny talent for finding the sorest spot in your psyche and rubbing a lot of salt into it. Even more infuriating: he sometimes laughs in my face while he does it.....snarl.....

And another startling realization: I am not able to admit it when a person is scaring and intimidating me...well, not to them anyway. One would think that since I am classed as a "victim of domestic violence" and have a long and traumatic history in this area, I would be a cowering, groveling thing at the first threat. I do have a heightened flinch and startle response, and if there is a safe male (or a strong, dominant female) nearby when a threat presents itself, my first inclination will be to rely on that person for a sense of safety.

But....if my back is against the wall and the male is in my face, I do not stand down, even though this would seem to be the appropriate response. Strangely enough, I am afraid to admit to that person that they are frightening me. Maybe it is because people like this are on a power trip and get off on scaring people, feed on fear, and the last thing I want in a scenario like that is to be obviously vulnerable..... It's weird, and given my size (not very big), it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. In fact, truth be told, it sort of reminds me of my very small dog who chases moose and bears.

And then, after it's all over, I fall apart. That is the sucky part. Give me a crisis, and I will handle it: blood, guts, burns, seizing child, etc.....but after everything is ok.......I will be an absolute mess. Delayed response.

Yeah I don't know. I'm just sort of thinking out loud here......
Realizing that I should be more careful what I write on my blog!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Please, pleeeeease, can I smack my snotty teenager? Please?????? Just once?

Or, how about this: I will not talk to him at all until he moves out.

Sigh. Does anyone have a mother in law they need to piss off and annoy? I can lend you some house help for a day or two....

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wow, that was some batch of coffee! Note to self: gradually discontinue caffeine consumption.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Finally got some sleep for my poor, tired brain...and I am still sleepy......

Decided that it wasn't smart to hitchhike in the morning, in the dark. I'll find some other way to get to class. If I have to hitchhike, it makes more sense to do so in the daytime, in a fairly public place, not out in the middle of nowhere in the dark....

And, am thinking about pottery. Maybe instead of focusing so hard on my fine arts degree, I should take classes that will fulfill the general degree requirements and will be useful to me. Like, marketing for example. Sculpture. Things I can use if I want to go into business as a studio potter, because I can no longer move to Moscow and get a BFA without abandoning 4 of my kids....and after being abandoned by my own mother, I am not going to do that to my own. At some point, the BFA will be available in CDA, but between now and then, I should take classes that will A: fuflfill general requirements for the A.S. degree and hopefully go towards the BFA and B: help me to learn the skills I need to make a living somehow in the meantime. One thing I realized very quickly when I was in the dairy goat business (and landscaping, and selling my art, and selling vegetables) is that I am not savvy when it comes to doing business without getting ripped off. A business class might be a really, really good idea.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I am so frustrated...with my truck, with college, with life, with the way things go, and most especially with myself.

I finally got my truck (which broke down again) off of the highway just in time to get it towed. Two really cute, helpful, *nice* guys (brothers) helped me. I should be happy. I should be thinking about baking them a nice batch of homemade cookies to thank them, because one of them also helped me get home last night. I should be thankful I didn't lose my truck to the police towing it. And mentally, I am thankful, but emotionally, I am not. I am just frustrated by the continual obstacles and hassles of daily living. Why, WHY, WHY can't life be a little more routine and predictable? You know, so I could make it to class or to be where I planned to be *when* I planned to be there.

And, I am irritated with my son, who is a mess after breaking up with his girlfriend. I liked the girl, but I think he will be better off without her. But it isn't that, it's that the several days long process of breaking up with her entailed him filching my cell phone and texting her all night long for several nights and using up almost all of my cell phone minutes.So now, I have no running vehicle and no cell phone, and many of the numbers I call are not local. I am trying to remind myself that I need to think about his well being, not the huge added layer of complication that being phoneless is causing me.

I stayed up all night long doing my homework, and of the 2 (of 4 that were due) paintings, I hate the first one (it's overworked) and like the second, but apparently nobody else in class does. And it looks like I will be missing class on Thursday, or at least curtailing it and missing the drawing class, because otherwise I'd be stranded in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday night.

Did I mention that I also have no way to get to the bus in the morning, and it's about 20 minutes from where I lives, and leaves really early in the morning????? I do not want to hitchhike in the early morning dark. But, I will have to. This scares me, and I always swallow down the fear and force my hand to stick that thumb out, and I act like it isn't a big deal.....but truthfully, it scares the living crap out of me.....and that much more in the dark. I can't skip class. I will be kicked out of the Ceramics class if I miss another day.

And it irritates the hell out of me that I have to make the choice between failing a class and paying back buku student loan money right away and staying safe, because I am too proud to ask everyone I know if they will take me, and the person whose job it is doesn't care to get up early enough to take me. Let's see here, inconvenience vs the danger of being raped.....hmmm......

Aw, maybe that isn't fair of me. Maybe I'm just feeling bitchy. Goddammit, I need *something* in my life to look forward to once in a while, something to make the struggle fade into the background. Sigh.....I could argue back and forth all night about this......and I need to do the other two paintings so I can get some sleep tonight, because they are due on Thursday, but there is a high likelihood that I will not be there on Thrusday due to transportation issues.

A bright spot: I have lost a lot of weight in the past month due to a combination of stress ( I don't eat much when stressed) and cutting out the few junk foods I still ate, and the last time I was weighed, I was down to the 117 range. Have no idea what I weigh now, but there was a stack of jeans that I loved and couldn't fit into, in my closet. I decided to see if any of them will fit me now, and each and every pair fits me!!!! Even the size 3 Calvin Kleins! Yeah!