Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gainful Employment (with unusual benefits)

So, I was without a job for nearly two years. I've been trying to make the art work into a full-time career, but since I'm also at UNM full-time, well... it's all about time or the lack thereof, isn't it? Or maybe it's about drive and the lack thereof.

At any rate, it was looking like unemployment was coming to an end and student loans would just barely cover my expenses with no room for pesky things like food and gasoline. Wonder of wonders, a few weeks ago I got a phone call from the owner of the appraisal office next door to the one I used to work for, and he offered me a job.

I watched how this man treated his employees for about 3 years. He is consistently kind and respectful - a real gem of a boss. I also know and like all of the other employees, so no surprises there. I was really hesitant because I don't want a full-time position right now on top of my two other full-time positions. But Gareth (the boss) said he'd work with my school schedule until I finish, and even at part-time, I can afford to pay my bills. :)

Don't think I'm giving up on the writing and art dream. It just takes the pressure off of it a little.

Merry Christmas to me, and to all of you.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Break

The summer semester ended yesterday and I feel like I've been run over by a truck. A truck full of knowledgy stuff! I took 9 hours this summer and in retrospect, it was a little ambitious. I did survive, however, and I think I kept my GPA more or less intact.

Analysis of Literature is probably one of the hardest classes I've ever taken. We covered Milton, Wordsworth, Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, some Proust, and on and on, plus we studied the entire text of Blood Meridian, Richard II, and Polynomials and Pollen - a somewhat pretentious poetry book that fortunately included some really good poetry along with the obscure and relatively meaningless stuff. Blood Meridian made me hate my life for a few weeks. It is unrelentingly black and violent. No three-dimensional female characters, and a slew of child murders, told in gory detail.

I loved Dante in Translation. We didn't make it through much of Purgatorio or Paradisio, but we did a thorough examination of Inferno. It made me realize how quickly I forget my Italian when I'm not speaking it. Italian Lit this fall should improve that situation.

The real surprise was Professional and Technical Writing. I love it. The teacher was really fun, and I learned to do a lot of things with Word. I also met with the head of the department and he gave me some good news about the potential for an actual job when I graduate.

I have three weeks to catch up on housework, the yoga book that I'm working on with Andy Baron, and my own writing and illustration projects. I'm also going to take a trip with Charles (my new beau) to Durango. He's never been to Mesa Verde. There is also a horseback trek to see runins that we might do. We're planning a trip to San Jon to do some archaeology too.

Griffin is huge, well over 90 pounds at 10 months. Kitties are fine. Maeve starred in a commercial. I haven't seen her in way too long. Will probably head over there on Monday to watch Orrie give her her lesson.

Tonight, going to the Duke City Shootout Gala with Tree and Rick. I worked art department on one of the films, The Treehouse. It's been a movie summer: Tree and Rick put together a 48 Hours team and I co-wrote our movie, acted as production designer and costumer. It was a blast. I'll post a link here when it's available. The movie is called Past Perfect.

I guess that's all for now. I hope to blog more frequently about school and art in the coming months, but I can't promise anything...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Was I crazy to take physics, medieval archaeology, interdisciplinary approaches to literature:age and gender in the media, and intermediate Italian all in one semester? Maybe, but it's half over and I'm not drowning, just waving...

Griffin is still fighting the parasites he came with, the latest infestation was hook worms and I'm not entirely sure the meds knocked them out. This angelic looking pup can clear a room in seconds...

I'm costuming the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for MTS and think I may break down and audition for Lucky Stiff at the Adobe toward the end of the month. It's been too long since I trod the boards!

Got lots simmering on the back burner in the art area, will let you know when it boils.

All for now- back to studying. I'm happy to say that the 2nd law of thermodynamics explains why my studio looks the way it does.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Griffin story

So, as I posted last, I have a beautiful new addition to my family, Griffin. He may be a purebred Akbash, or he may be an Akbash/Great Pyrenees blend, but I really don't care one way or another- he's gorgeous whatever his lineage.

Here's the thing. I woke up this morning thinking of Griffin's mom, whose photo is at the top of this entry. First a little history. Akbash dogs are sheep guardians from Turkey. The traditional wisdom there is apparently (I'm going to use that word a lot in this blog) that you put the dog with your flock of sheep as a youngster, handle him or her as little as possible, and basically the dog becomes a flock member. A flock member with pointy teeth who will protect the rest of the flock from predators because they are now the dog's family. Maybe this works well in Turkey (maybe dogs there never need vet care or to be touched by human hands). I don't see how it could, but hey, what do I know?

What I know is that Griffin's mom and two male dogs, a Great Pyrenees and an Akbash, were being used to guard a flock of sheep on a hillside in Ferron, Utah. When it came time to move them to the winter pasture, the sheep's owners apparently felt that it was too much trouble to move Mom and ten pups, so they left them there. In October. With no food or shelter, and no one to care for them. I'm not a violent person, but if I got hold of one of these losers, I believe I could do violence to them. A swift kick to the groin area seems appropriate.

Fortunately, one of the neighbors found the pups when they were about 5 weeks old and an Akbash rescue organization and Big Dogs Huge Paws (a large breed rescue organization) managed to find homes for all ten of the pups. Mom didn't fare so well. She is wary of people and neither rescue has been able to catch her. There is a lot of snow in the mountains, so caring people have built a winter shelter for her, and are bringing her food. For a while she was trying to guard a neighboring rancher's flock of sheep, but he kept shooting at her. I am told that Akbash, like wolves, form very strong pair-bonds. Mama's mate is gone,along with the sheep. Her pups are gone. The goons who "owned" her are gone, and they left her unsocialized, which means she's not getting the vet care she so desperately needs. She also needs to be be spayed, so this tragedy doesn't replay next year when the flock and the male dogs return... The situation just breaks my heart.

Fortunately, the rescue organizations continue to try to catch Mama dog so she can get care and maybe have the chance at a brighter future... keep good thoughts for her, k?

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I guess since I completely missed December and January due to the newest member of my family (a Pyrenees/Akbash puppy who I've named Griffin) it's time to play a little catch-up.

My critique group decided in January to make "artistic resolutions". My resolution was to finish revising Bone Songs and Lizzie's Purple Dragon and sell them, and to send out at least 2 packages a week to art editors. I've been somewhat successful at doing both, although I'm behind on the two packages a week- it's been more like one a week, but it's still progress.

I'm also at UNM full-time again this semester, and I'm feeling like I've maybebitten off more than I can chew. I have Interdiscplinary Approaches to Literature: Age and Gender in the Media,which requires reading at least 100 pages a week; Intermediate Italian where the teacher now almost never speaks English and neither does the book; Physics and Physics Lab which my friend Cy is teaching, but that doesn't make the concepts any easier; and Medieval Archaeology, which I love, but which also requires a huge amount of reading. Add to this the fact that I still don't have a source of income beyond unemployment which ends in May, and you can imagine that I'm feeling a little stressed... but I'm hopeful too, and excited to see what the future holds.

That's all for now, more next month, I hope.