Archive for the 'random musings' Category

I am at home with the me. I am rooted in the me who is on this adventure.

by @ Monday, September 9th, 2013. Filed under Men in Suits, observations on life, random musings

I’ve been on hiatus. I give you video footage of a man in a suit.

Since I last checked in, the world has kept turning, more babies have been made and I have been in the middle of a million projects.  So, if you weren’t directly involved in one of those projects, you may or may not know what the hell I have been doing with my life (I enjoy living a life of mystery).

  1. I made the Mockingjay dress for a client to wear to comicon.
  2. I’ve been teaching sewing classes. I love being back in the classroom.
  3. I revamped my job description. I am a project manager that happens to be good a bookkeeping.  I offer small business solutions in addition to general bookkeeping.
  4. I took a few jobs sample-making, prototyping, and doing piece work.  It’s nice when you can help your clients with both their bookkeeping and their merchandising.
  5. I moved on up to the East side like George and Weezy.  I don’t live in a deluxe apartment.  I live in a house. I have a roommate. There may or may not be a housewarming party.
  6. I skipped town.  It’s a pattern, I move, then I skip town. I headed east to get my fix of cooler weather, tall green trees, the woods, and old buildings.   Every time I go back to that, it’s harder to return.  Especially now that I have gotten really good at making my own jobs.
  7. I took my teaching gig on the road.  I heard some people were going to drive in to town for my class and I offered to come to them.

So yes,  I have been taking advantage of this self-employment thing.  I intend to do more of it. Is it scary?  Fuck yes.  Do I recommend it to everyone? No. The hustle is not for the faint of heart.  I have freak out moments on how to pay the bills in lean months, how to charge fair prices and still pay myself a fair wage. I am still working on that whole life/work balance since I work from home (I did have a pleasant distraction these last few weeks.)

 

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Into the woods

by @ Wednesday, September 12th, 2012. Filed under books, observations on life, random musings, vacation

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler." Henry David Thoreau

Lot’s of things going on but I took time out to unplug and recharge in the woods of Massachusetts. Rather than roam Boston, I spent time in Southborough (a friend of mine teaches at a Hogwart’s style boarding school there).  Don’t get me wrong, the city is great, but the woods are home.  I spent 17 years of my life in the Hudson Valley, most of outdoors, the rest of it inside, immersed in a book.

I arrived on Wednesday and headed to the Science Museum.  Apparently my friend grew up inside that museum. This is definitely a more kid oriented space.  Luckily school was in session. Then we ate an early dinner at Life Alive.

Thursday I toured Southborough and Framingham by foot.  I went on an EPIC walk.  Round-trip, about 17 miles.  I stopped at the Whole Foods after figuring out how far I strayed from Hogwarts, then headed back.  I was wearing good shoes, but my legs/knees were NOT happy with me when I got back to the house.  I came home, showered and got ready to head out dancing.  Not so much for the dancing, more for the socializing with peeps in Boston.

Friday, I slept in, and headed out to the Museum of Fine Art via commuter rail.    The museum wasn’t that big so I was able to see the whole thing in about 2 hrs.  I spent extra time in the Ori Gersht Exhibit.  The installation is genius.  My knees didn’t like me very much but I was bound and determined to see this.  I had dinner plans at Eastern Standard.  I had hoped to roam the Fenway before heading over, but the sky opened up and it started pouring.  Lucky for me, there was an event at the museum and there were cabs dropping people off.  I hopped a cab to the restaurant and was greeted by the masses of Sox fans waiting out the storm  Dinner was a blast.  Not so much the food (the menu is pretty meaty), but the company.  It had been a year or so since the group had assembled last.

Saturday, I slept in while my friend was teaching (yes, they have Saturday classes).  Then we headed out to Waltham to hang out with friends before they headed back out of town.  I ended up making curry when we got home (from the ingredients I procured on my epic hike).  Project Runway then bed.

Sunday was super low key.  We stayed in town and hit the thrift store and collected a few more things for my friend’s new space.  After dinner I roamed the school grounds and had flashbacks of summer camp.   I came home and spent the evening chilling out and watching DNC highlights.

Monday I headed to Concord after breakfast since I had the car.  I was looking for an art museum that wasn’t in Boston and stumbled upon the Concord Museum. Apparently the new Annie Leibovitz exhibit was there.  It was a departure from her other work, but I enjoyed taking a trek through some of her favorite places.  After I left the museum I roamed around Sleepy Hollow and Walden Pond. I snapped a few photos which I hope to edit and frame sometime in the near future.  I came home and started reading “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”.  Then we skipped dinner in the dining hall and foraged in the pantry.

Tuesday was my last day.  I spent the morning reading and packing.  I decided to save my knee for dashing through the airport. When you connect in Houston, there is always a dash through the airport.

Overall, the trip was a success.  I got to chill out, roam the woods, devour books and art.  I helped my friend move into her new space and get settled.  I spent just under $200 while I was there.

 

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upwardly mobile hipster socialite

by @ Thursday, July 19th, 2012. Filed under observations on life, random musings

No, that is not the title of an Alanis Morisette album. My friend Claire coined that term last year when I told her about my “I like you just as a friend” situation.   I inquired what could a guy my age be looking for.  She said it rather matter of factly.  Well, that is not me.  I have no desire for fame.  I won’t be creating a fashion line or turning this blog into a book.

I write because it’s cheaper than therapy (and sometimes it gets me free stuff).  I chose the path of an apparel surgeon rather than fashion designer because I am all for sustainable fashion and I would prefer to see less waste created by fleeting fashion trends.  I want to give the people what they want, not tell them what they want.

My goal for the rest of the year is to hang out on the plateau of emotional and financial stability.  If we make it past December 2012 (only the Mayans have the answer to that), my plan is to reward myself with some much needed travel/adventure at the end of bridal season.

 

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Fueled by Anger

by @ Sunday, June 3rd, 2012. Filed under observations on life, random musings

pressuredemotivator

Even though I have been bitter and full of range and angst.  I’ve been getting a ton of stuff done.  May was chock full of wedding dresses and clothing rescues.  I’ve managed to stay afloat.  I wasn’t a complete hermit. I made it out to support some of my friends and clients.

A few months ago someone posted the following on FB…

“Rage is best buried, then compressed like coal into a shiny ANGER DIAMOND!” -TEM

The key is doing what you can to end up with the diamond and not an ulcer.     I have managed to mix enough creative work in with the mundane stuff to avoid the ulcer.

If you are looking for a creative outlet.  Join me in celebrating 30 Days of Creativity.   You don’t need to be a “creative”.  Whether it’s a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, a bookshelf, or a pair of jorts.  MAKE STUFF.

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Think on these things – Anger

by @ Tuesday, December 6th, 2011. Filed under random musings

I’ve been meaning to read “Think on these things” by Krishnamurti for several years now. It’s been so long that I can’t remember the book I read that referred me to this book.

One of my ongoing life goals is to be less angry. I’ve been marinating over this passage from the book on anger for the last few days. Yes, it is ok to be angry but the key is to understand why you ended up that way.

Questioner: What is anger and why does one get angry?

Krishnamurti: If I tread on your toes, or pinch you, or take something away from you, won’t you be angry? Why should you not be angry? Why do you think anger is wrong? Because somebody has told you? So, it is very important to find out why one is angry, to see the truth of anger, and not merely say it is wrong to be angry.

Now why do you get angry? Because you don’t want to be hurt- which is the normal human demand for survival. You feel that you should not be used, crushed, destroyed or exploited by an individual, a government or society. when somebody slaps you, you feel hurt, humiliated, and you don’t like that feeling. If the person who hurts you is big and powerful so that you can’t hit back, you in turn hurt somebody else, you take it out on your brother, your sister, or your servant if you have one. So the play of anger is kept going.

First of all, it is a natural response to avoid being hurt. Why should anybody exploit you? So, in order not to be hurt, you protect yourself, you begin to develop a defense, a barrier. Inwardly you build a wall around yourself by not being open, receptive, therefore you are incapable of exploration, of expansive feeling. You say anger is very bad and you condemn it, as you condemn various other feelings; so gradually you become arid, empty, you have no strong feelings at all.

Sadly, I haven’t found any advice on how not to build a defense barrier like Fort Knox. There must be some balance between being empty and locking yourself away.

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Good Fortune

by @ Thursday, October 27th, 2011. Filed under internet, random musings

I recently received an email request to post about Sweet Leaf Tea.  Specifically about  the winner of their Grannyism Cap-Off Contest being local Austin resident Angela Buraglia.

I know you remember the last time someone asked me to check out/promote their product.  Lucky for Sweet Leaf, I have been a fan of their teas and lemonade for a long time (not too sweet and HFCS-free0.  The web-sites were pretty cool (and I needed something to distract me from Ms. Crankypants’ morning rage).  The contest was to come up with new sayings to go under the cap.  I had forgotten that they had those.  I’ve been purchasing Sweet Leaf in the plastic bottle for ease of beverage toting (BTW. Did you know that they have an area on their site  devoted to the use of Sweet Leaf as a mixer?) .

Back to Angela.  She has a whole site devoted to the Granny-isms.  I like the fact that she dug the product before the fortune.  I have the same relationship with Magic Hat beerThe fortune is an added bonus.  My internet search showed the opposite is true for some Dove chocolate fans.  They dig the fortunes more than the chocolate (Great marketing trick.).  One blogger wished for higher end chocolate with fortunes.

Another Austin blogger  has taken the fortune thing one step further by blogging not just the fortune but about the fortunes.  . Allison Wright of Not-a-Fortune shares and muses on fortunes of all types.

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Batting Zero

by @ Thursday, April 7th, 2011. Filed under random musings, to do list

It’s that time of year when M prepares to route for her Cubbies and I re-evaluate my intentions for the year.

I recently updated WordPress so I spent some time reading my posts while I backed everything up.  I realized there were a few things that didn’t end up on my to-do list.

For starters, on my birthday, I decided that I was going to focus on my art and do something dangerous.  Like take up welding or heroin.  Maybe do some experimental art… take up a strange instrument like the auto harp. Why?  I was going to make up for the fact that my friends were all getting married and having babies.

I also have to add “sell the house” to the list.  My friend is moving out and that means that I need to move back or try and get rid of it.

There is also the matter of my Clark Kent theory.  It has been eight months since I have been on a date (and M is still with 2.0).  I am seriously batting zero in the world of online dating (but the internet informed me ages ago that online dating was a lost cause in my case).

More later.

-j

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Why can’t we just look the other way?

by @ Monday, November 1st, 2010. Filed under bad habits, concerts, random musings

We’ve mentioned previously that we loves us some trainwrecks.  Well we went to Stubb’s on Thursday and not even the amazing performance from Interpol could prevent us from catching a few.  All it takes is one thing (a sequined dress, no-pants pants, a dude rocking out on the balcony, Sasquatch parking himself in front of a short girl), then M will look at me, make the face, and I know exactly what is going on.

The show was sold out (told ya so), we got to the show just after the opening act.  There was enough time for the crew to grab beer and make a bee line for our favorite spot (I shouldn’t have to tell you were that is, you should be able to tell from the shots that M takes.).  We weren’t sure what to expect. Then the lights went up and the band came on, and all of a sudden it got really quiet.  Then it hit me, the sound guy knew what he was doing.  I didn’t need earplugs and the sound was amazing (except when the dudes behind me decided that this was karaoke).

You’d think with the greatness of these angsty sounding metro dudes M and I would behave (Mmmm, dudes in dandy clothes…). Nope.  M spotted a dude rocking out in the VIP area.  His head was bobbing double time.    Then there were a few people that decided to push through the crowd for better spots.  Then the bathroom break crowd. Then the Stubb’s security guy dancing with some chicks in VIP.  This could have gone on for a long time had M not moved up closer to shoot the show.

After the show I waited  with the Jew for M and 2.0.  A girl walks past us in some sort of short sequined tank top thing and something resembling a skirt.  I don’t know if it qualified as a skirt since it was barely there.  Maybe it was a black lace ruffle on the bottom of said tank top thingy.  I gave the Jew the look.  Sadly, I didn’t get the same response M would have given.  Oh well…

Are we evil?

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Houses, homes, and such

by @ Tuesday, October 19th, 2010. Filed under confessional, identity, Music, observations on life, random musings, this old house

Key to M's House

As some of you know, I spent about six months living in a store display.  My house was on the market and it had to look “lived in” but not cluttered or have any personal items.  In other words I was living in a house, not a home.

Living in a house void of personal items was stressful.  I keep a clean house but I am a bit like Monk.  I am OCD about my things.  I don’t like sharing and I don’t like knowing that random strangers have been in the house possibly touching my things.

After six months and two realtors (I will spare you the details of that experience),   I was homeless, both literally and figuratively.  Did I sell my house? Nope.  It has however become a home once again.  It has a family now (more details I will spare you of since I am not ready to write about that experience).

So where was I living?  For the last two months I have been living in “my” room at M’s house. Drunk housing became my home and the majority of my belongings were in storage.  I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out.  But I was truly grateful that I had a place to call home.

It has been years since I had a roommate.  Sure, M and I live together for a week or so during SXSW, but that is different.  That is vacation (…and we are a lot like the Odd Couple.  She’s Oscar and I am Felix).  This was full-time job/commuting Jen. Jen who deals with stupid people all day and spends much of her weeknights hermitting in her workspace.  Now it was Jen, sans workspace, living with 3 roommates.  I did get a few sanity breaks here and there.  There was house-sitting for Yenta and some cat-sitting with streaming Netflix.

After a long search and a pause to round up enough money to pay rent and a deposit, I found a new place.  It’s not quite home yet.  I am still rounding up my belongings around town and there is some decorating to be done.

After a two month stint in cohabitation, I realize that it’s not the life for me.  I like knowing that the crumbs on the counter were left by me and I am the one who left one square of toilet paper on the roll.  I think adjoining houses is as close as we will get.

M this one is for you.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros “Home” from Edward Sharpe on Vimeo.

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Big love to the Pixies

by @ Saturday, September 25th, 2010. Filed under concerts, confessional, movies, Music, random musings, sxsw
IMG_2065

Pixies- Austin Music Hall 9/22/10 photo by Emily Lim

M and I saw the Pixies this Wednesday.  Once again the universe proves that social media and online credit card payments make things happen.

Sometime in May, I got an email from the Pixies mailing list saying that pre-presale tickets would be available in limited amounts for mailing list subscribers.  I checked in with M and decided to go for it.  I had never seen them live, and the last time that M saw them was at ACL several years ago.  Would it be worth $50 to see them play Doolittle in its entirety?  Hell YES!  You know M and I love the Pixies and would pay to see them inches from the house (unless it involved selling a kidney).

Three days later I can still say the show was amazing (I’ve watched loudQuietloud more times than I would like to admit and I had high levels of expectations.).  Granted, there are a few things I am a little miffed about.  But, having a decent spot just left of the stage, the Pixies’ stage presence and talent outweighed the negatives.

Now for the show… They started with B-sides from Doolittle, then they played the full album.  [Little Readers, I have a confession.  There are several songs that I skip over when I play Doolittle, but hearing them live made me feel a little guilty for doing that.]  They finished out the show with the best of Surfer Rosa.   They gave it 100+% . The crowd was mesmerized and after all these years, we still know all the words to the songs.

For those of you who missed the show (or for those of you who want to relive the end of the show, I have a little clip I found on YouTube.

Now for the complaints:

1) Dear Music Hall, why can’t we bring in descent camera’s to photograph once-ish in a lifetime experiences?  M had to leave the BAC at home and shoot on my tiny camera.  Click here to see them on Flickr.

2) Dear Hipsters, why can’t you bath once and awhile.

3) Dear dudes in front of us.  M is only 3 apples high, yet you feel the need to stand in front of her, and prevent her from seeing the show.

4) Dear Chicks with giant shoulder bags, please pack a smaller bag when you are going to shows.  You are not Mary Poppins, you will not need all of that crap.

5) Dear People responsible for the redesign of the Music Hall, the sound still sucks and the overhangs prevent air circulation.

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