Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas So Far

Yesterday, Christmas Eve, I worked from noon to five and then went home to find several packages freshly arrived and ready for wrapping.  While I worked on the gifts, Hannah and my cousin made chocolate chip pancakes from scratch which were delicious.  After dinner we went on a drive around Coeurd'Alene to see the lights near the boardwalk and around Sherman.  On the Dike Road we pulled over and made our way down to the cold lakeside.  It was a nice night, cold and crisp, and the Marina was lit up like the Vegas Strip.  We were rather eager to get back home and get warm after all of our running around.  The movie pick for the evening was 'Event Horizon' and then 'Land of the Dead.'  

My plans to stay up late and wake the family at 4 am for Christmas Morning shenanigans were foiled by a nice deep sleep which didn't let up till about eight or so.  We rose slowly and stiffly (most of us having slept on various pieces of furniture) and dug into the stockings.  I think that everyone was pleased with their Christmas swag.  A few of the fun and things that I received: a Loki collectible Bobble head, an awesome velvet wall scroll map of Germany, a Fluttershy brushable from MLP, a vintage crystal decanter, and an 8 gig bullet shaped flash drive.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

New Year's Resolutions/Goals

For 2013 I want to work on organization and time management which have always been two of my weak spots.  Now that I am enrolled in the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College both of these things are going to play a key part in my being able to not only succeed in Grad School but walk away with a new handle on craft and delivery and a possible future in teaching.  My main resolution, school wise, is to set up a schedule (weekly or daily) to assure that I am not scrambling last minute to read, write, analyze, or otherwise for various assignments.  As part of a personal resolution I am going to make it a goal to write a minimum of 500 words a day (this means EVERY SINGLE DAY) and simple status updates and texts don't count.  It has to be writing toward some kind of purpose, even if that purpose is nonsensical venting.  I've tried something like this in the past and did really well writing every day up until around late March early April.  This year there will be no slacking.  If I am really going to be a writer then I have to write.  Period.  Another resolution (a financial one) is to start saving all my receipts and important pieces of mail.  I need to keep better track of these things not only so I can feel more grown up in some respects but also to get into the habit of knowing where my money went.  Another financial goal is to start setting aside ten to twenty bucks out of every pay check for emergencies and end of the year Christmas expenses.  There are other things I want to keep in mind throughout the year as well and so, without further ado, here is the more visually aesthetic version of my New Year's Resolutions:

  • Create and stick to a detailed schedule concerning all MFA related activities and tasks
  • Write a minimum of 500 words per day, every day 
  • Work on various stories with an emphasis on finishing 'Very Un-Vampire'
  • Keep all receipts and organize them by type of purchases
  • Set aside a minimum of ten dollars from each paycheck into emergency/Christmas fund
  • Exercise for thirty minutes at least three days per week (make it a habit)

These are just a few of the things I need and want to become more aware of during the next year.  I want to continue watching my caffeine intake and I want to work on some art projects - maybe even do some painting.  2013 is the year that I will turn thirty and I think in order for me to embrace the big three-oh with some sense of dignity I would like to have accomplished something with my talents (or be in the process of accomplishing something), and so I would like very much to send something out for publication.  Even if it is rejected (and it probably will be as most first time submissions meet this fate) I will feel good just knowing that I have taken that step.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

General Updates and New Blog

EDIT: The other blog is now null and void.  My only blog that I update regularly is this one.

It's been a little while since I last updated here.  Things have been busy with work and busy with getting my act together for school.  I have a great many things I need to read, lots of pre-arrival paperwork to do, and I still have to finalize everything to do with my financial aide.  I am nervous, nervous, nervous to say the least.  As far as other updates go, you can find tidbits of my life via my journal blog entitled 'Skoora's Box' (a name that may eventually change) via igotcherback, a social networking site that a friend of mine launched.  The posts are called Office Christmas Party and The Yoda is Sick.  Please check them out if you have nothing better to do or are training to be a professional grade stalker and need to know every detail of my day to day life.

I'm sure I will have a plethora of things to report concerning my MFA strides as this month progresses.  In the mean time I hope that everyone is safe, warm, and filled with some of the general good feelings that this time of year tends to bring about.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Blues

The Annual Family Christmas Party is always hard for me.  It's hard for anyone who was a 'somebody' as a youth and becomes a 'nobody' as an adult.  I hear the same things every year: "You gonna sing for us?" "Why don't you sing anymore?" "Where are you working?" "You ever gonna do anything with that degree of yours?"  You get the idea.  Basically when I was younger I was a bold, song bird who excelled at the performing arts.  I would delight the family with songs, with stories, with manic shenanigans, and there was always an air of expectation, always the belief that I would do something with my talents.  And I did.  In college.  But that's as far as it went.  I suppose the development of vocal nodes during my second year at Mesa State coupled with my complete and utter lack of self-confidence didn't help.  But I digress.

Each and every year it's the same.  They ask me if I'm still doing my 'music' and still 'singing' because they enjoyed me so much when I was younger and I'm flattered, yes, but the fact of the matter is I'm very shy.  I sang at an Aunt's wedding once and I had to drink five shots of tequila before I could muster the courage to utter the first note.  When getting ready for karaoke I require whiskey sours.  It is rare that I am ever in a mood to entertain when it is entertainment that's expected of me.  And that's where alcohol comes in.

Tonight was the Annual Family Christmas Party and it began with me in the bathroom sobbing my eyes out because, yet again, I was reminded of how much of a disappointment I am to a family who wanted to see my name in lights.  This time however it came in the form of criticism of my BA degree and blatant distaste for the MFA I am currently working toward.  An older cousin pretty much reminded me that the arts are a useless pursuit and then he went on to laugh at me when I tried, poorly, to explain that I hadn't gone into music theatre thinking I would come out of it making money.  No, art (performing or otherwise) is not a lucrative career choice, but I never wanted it for my career choice, per se.  I'm just... too shy.  And because my defense mechanism is to be loud and outrageous and the center of attention, no one fucking believes me.  Some of my friends know, and Hannah knows, but to the rest of the world I am anything but shy.  

Singing is an organic thing for me.  I prefer bouts of song while I drive along the highway or while I'm cleaning the bedroom, but not under a stage light and certainly not before an audience.  I've been there, done that!  And even though I loved it, craved it, lived for it... the stress was enough to affect me physically.  Tonight I cried and then I drank.  It was pathetic.  My cousin - not the one who made me cry - noticed my plight and fixed me up with a hot buttered rum.  Things started to get better and then I found my nice little niche of teenage and twenty-something cousins and we talked about everything from Host Clubs to the Walking Dead.  It was pleasant for a time and then came the talent show.

I had originally planned to sign up and wow them all with my 'long lost singing talent' but I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't do it.  So, since I hadn't prepared anything I looked over the impromptu cards and thought 'well maybe I'll try something out of here' but all the prompts would require more alcohol than what I'd had to drink and so, for the first time in my life, I opted out of a talent competition.  It was such a relief to just step back and watch.  Strangely though I had this feeling of fading.  So many other talented people in the family, so many guitars, so many voices.  My own voice was/is no longer necessary.  I felt like the old clock maker retiring to make way for the young whippersnappers charging into the twenty-first century with digital time keeping.  I felt obsolete.  Sure, sure, lots of my aunts and cousins looked to me with a frown saying: "I thought you were going to sign up, thought you were going to sing?"  But I just sort of shrugged that away.  It makes me sad, in a way, to step back and seeing the disappointed faces of those who still think of me as 'the one who might make it someday' makes me almost wish I'd never stepped forward.   

The remainder of my time at the party consisted of a red solo cup filled with Chardonnay, lots of raffle ticket winnings, and a few good laughs with a few good cousins.  Happily and weirdly, I left the party feeling much better and lighter than when I had arrived.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A little nervous about things...

I have to send in two manuscripts for workshops.  These are due on Monday.  Needless to say, I have the jitters and even though I do have material to be sent in, I am scared it's not good enough, anxious that it will be too juvenile or predictable, worried that I won't make a good first impression, and terrified that I'll screw it up somehow.  I know that I am going to send in a portion of my novel and I think I also want to send in my  horror shorts.  There are so many things I've written and played with over the years and now that I'm faced with a chance for learning I feel that nothing is good enough!

There's so much reading to get done and so little time to do it.  Tomorrow is the family Christmas Party, then I have a very full week of work, as well as my mom's Birthday which is on the third.  On top of all of this I've had issues with my unemployment stipend.  Despite having a job, I've felt very poor and very restricted by lack of gas.  The Kia's clutch took a huge shit on us and is very much dead, which means we've been using Hannah's jeep.  It's a good jeep and fun to drive, but it is a big of a piggy when it comes to fuel.  And then of course there's Christmas.  It seems that the old saying is very true: when it rains it pours.