Saturday, September 20, 2014

Treading Lightly on a Roof Made of Leaves

(Electrical dangers guarded by a sign and chain-link face.)

( Enjoying a sunrise in an alleyway, surrounded by glass and squiggles.)

Here is a Spotify playlist I made recently. The playlist is called "Treading Lightly on a Roof Made of Leaves." This playlist is a grand listening companion for cozying up to your own thoughts while working on a creative project. It also goes well with tea or soda pop (depending on the weather and the listeners personal preferences.)

(Blue walls and bushes tinged with red)

(A bouquet of balloons, discarded before their time.)

**Playlist Tracklist:

1. Feeling Good- Feeling Good
2. My Body is a Cage- Arcade Fire
3. Thunderstruck- Christina Antipa
4. My Silver Lining- First Aid Kit
5. Sea of Love- Cat Power
6. Where have all the Flowers Gone- Marlene Dietrich
7. If I Tell You I Love You- Melody Gardot
8. Santa Fe- Beirut
9. Night Still Comes- Neko Case
10. Skinny Love- Bon Iver
11. Living Man- Stoney Joe
12. Accounts- Spencer Kingman
13. Gold Teeth- Little Wings
14. Pink Rabbits- The National
15. Liar- Built to Spill
16. Frontwards- Pavement
17. The Weight- The Band
18. The Best of Jill Hives- Guided by Voices
19. Just One of the Guys- Jenny Lewis
20. Comme Des Enfants- Coeur De Pirates
21. Falling Man- Blonde Redhead
22. Brand New Sun- Jason Lytle
23. Changes with the Wind- Great Lake Swimmers
24. The Underdog- Spoon
25. The First Time I Ran Away- M. Ward
26. One- Johnny Cash
27. Phantom Limb- The Shins
28. Step Out- Jose Gonzalez
29. Cat Black-T. Rex
30. Swimming- Breathe Owl Breathe
31. Fallen Snow- Au Revoir Simone

Monday, September 15, 2014

Excitement in Nine Objects

There is a lot to be excited about in this world. Here are a few things I am excited about.

A. Autumn Leaves. Autumn is on its way. Here's the proof: leaves I've picked up on walks.
B. The new Haruki Murakami book! I'm not half way through yet, but I am already loving it. It is so nice to get sucked in to Murakami's dream like world again. I don't want to read it too fast though, because who knows how long I will have to wait until the next Murakami book.
C. Orphan Black, Season Two! I love this show! I am on the band wagon with everyone else who thinks Tatiana Maslany is an acting genius. But she is not the only force making this show great. The writing is good and the story is engaging. The show has gotten some flak (and praise) for having under developed male characters. This cracks me up a bit, because of course women have had to deal with under developed female characters in works of fiction for ages.
D. My Cactus has grown.

It use to only have that bottom part with the orange speckles. I love the new light green growths it has now. I can't believe how fast it has grown too. I think I've had it about a year. Imagine what this guy will look like in twenty years!
E. First gourd of the season. When Autumn rolls around, some people are excited about the return of pumpkin spice lattes, and other people are equally excited about the return of gourds! I love how each gourd is so different from the next. Some are bumpy, some are spiny, some smooth. Some orange, others yellow or green or white. Instead of describing people as a unique little snowflake, the metaphor should be changed up a bit and people should be described as unique little gourds.
F. Tomato from my garden. I will make a more involved post about my garden in the future, but for now here is one of my home grown tomatoes!
G. Giant Sea urchin shell. Sea urchins are such strange and beautiful creatures. I love finding their shells around the Seattle marinas.
H. Postcard I received in the mail. I love writing and receiving mail! I got this pretty postcard of a painter in the mail just the other day.
I. Dinosaur note book. One can not have to many notebooks. You never know when you will need one close by so you can write down an important thought, a dream, an invention idea, an over heard joke, clues to a mystery, a list, an idea for a story, or a reminder to yourself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This Land Was Made For You And Me

  The redwood forest... what a beautiful place! Redwoods are some of the most amazing trees! They grow so tall....up, up, up toward the sky. I wonder if there is an alien planet out there somewhere with trees that grow even taller than redwoods. Maybe a planet with less gravity would have super tall trees.
   The tallest living tree (or at least the tallest one we know about) on our planet is a redwood that has it's own name. It is known as Hyperion. I wish instead it was named something like Bob the tree or Francine the tree. Hyperion is 379.3 feet tall! (Info about Hyperion found here (wikipedia).)
   I use to live in a little town nestled among the redwoods. The redwood forest around that area is a beautiful and magical place. It is further north than the redwoods from these pictures, but just as beautiful if not more so. But maybe that is just my own bias (for the place I use to consider home!) talking.
   While in this redwood forest, I got to see both a deer and a slimy yellow banana slug. I didn't see any mystical creatures such as a gnome or a centaur....maybe next time. Although I did see a tree with what looked like a huge human nose. Maybe it was really a sleeping tree man. If only I had tried to wake up the tree man! Shucks!

Tree with a human nose.

Maybe a gnome home doorway?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cecily and the Cats Dance to the Sound of Old Songs on the Radio

  Here is a picture I made for the Illustration Friday challenge. This weeks theme is radio.

   Cecily heard the same prattling pop song on the radio for what felt like the millionth time. She decided it was time to find a new radio station to enjoy. While shuffling thorough various radio waves, she came across a ghost radio station! All of the songs were old and beautiful. They crackled with energy and heart.They reverberated with decade old stories. When she looked at her radio, she saw the ghosts of old voices gliding through the speakers and glowing in the air. A long time ago, Cecily was afraid of ghosts. But many things had happened since her days of fearing ghosts. And when she saw the ghosts hovering and singing around her radio, her only instinct was to dance. Her two cats, Fluffy and Marigold, were just as excited to strut, shimmy and tap along to the old songs.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A History of the Old Tannery

   My parents and I were near the seashore when we drove past an old tannery. From the road we witnessed an amazing (and gigantic!) statue of two cows sitting on each others shoulders. We had to further investigate! Here is the photographic evidence of what we discovered. 

  Once, a long time ago, the tannery was full of grizzled, hunched back men. From the dried hides of creatures that once roamed grassy farmland, these men created leather. While working on the leather, the men day dreamed or thought about their wives. They pretended they were making leather specifically so they could create something beautiful to take home to their wives... elegant boots or a sophisticated purse. Instead they made leather for people all around the world. The leather they created was made into jacket for a blackberry farmer so he could pick his berries without worrying over injuries inflicted by sharp thorns. The leather was made into a chair for a woman far away to sit on when she came home from a hard day of work and needed somewhere sturdy to rest. The leather was made into cowboy boots for an old man who can no longer ride horses across open plains, but can wear his boots and remember the feeling of old horseback adventures.
  Well, at least this is what I imagine. I tried to find the history of the tannery, but couldn't find anything definite. Now the tannery is an art center. So the ghosts of all the day dreaming tannery workers can mingle with all the dreams of the artists, hovering just over their heads as the artists paint, or dance, or make up stories.  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stories for the Bus

    ( A cloud traveling over a hill)

   When I ride the bus, I always bring along a book to read. The problem, however, is that the bus is an extremely distracting place to be. There are interesting sights to see outside. Whether it be the pretty view from the bridge or the interesting people roaming around downtown. There are also interesting things to witness inside...more interesting people! And when they are inside, I can sometimes overhear conflicts, stories, extremely personal phone conversations that probably should not be had on a bus and other interesting tidbits. This makes reading difficult. I read a couple of pages, get distracted, and by the time I am back at my book, I've lost my place. This is why I decided to start reading graphic novels and comics on the bus instead of books. If I loose my place, it is easy to find where I was. I just have to remember the last picture. It is not a perfect solution. Reading comics on the bus  has it's own set of challenges. Mainly that certain pictures could give the wrong idea of what sort of content I am reading.
   I've read two graphic novels recently that were very interesting reads. Both of them had similar themes: Family, identity and how we hide ourselves or are forced and pressured to hide ourselves by others.

  'Julio's Day' by Gilbert Hernandez is not just about a day, but about a life, and it is not just about Julio, but about the people who surround him. Julio's story also tells the story of the 1900's and the amazing changes that can happen in such a short amount of time. It is a story about friendship, family, loss, and about the different ways people cope with loss. The story has elements of the surreal, which only serve to make the story seem all the more real. In real life, distant memories feel strange and surreal sometimes.

'Unterzakhn' by Leela Corman is a story about twin sisters. Like Julio's day, the story starts when the two sisters are children and follow them through adulthood. Life treats them differently, pulling them in different directions which in turn pulls the sisters apart. It is also a story about the different ways women found independence in a time when it was a very difficult thing to accomplish.

(A boat traveling over a lake)

Friday, August 29, 2014

That One Dream about Sea and the Wharf

  I love wharves because there is something surreal and dreamlike about them. They are solid structures that jut out into the moving sea. All around, I can hear the sound of jostling waves, but the wharf remains unmoved. It was this wharf in California where I saw the sea lions, and their comical yet mournful bark echoed around in the air. The voices of the sea lions mingled with the squawk of the seagull, the swoosh of the surf and the chatter of the tourists. The sounds of the wharf are not it's only dreamlike quality. The abundance of bright and jolly colors that coat the wharf also make it seem otherworldly. The colors of the wharf are simultaneously saturated and deteriorating. Signs and buildings are painted with bright colors to attract the tourists, but the humid salt air wreaks havoc on the color.

     Now that I've looked over the photos I took at the wharf, it seems as if I was quite fascinated by the seagulls. I would have thought I'd get enough of them living in Seattle, but apparently not! On one of the rooftops their was a young gray seagull meeping at a plastic owl. I was worried that she had lost her mother and was trying to adopt the plastic owl to take care of her instead. Poor thing!
  Next to the wharf is a sandy beach where I went swimming in the sea. I haven't gone swimming in the ocean in a very long time! It was nice to be immersed in the ocean again. I could feel the loose strands of seaweed brush up against my toes or tangle around my ankles. The waves were very gentle and I peacefully bobbed on them.