Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A laughing matter

"The path of least resistance is catching up with me again today."

Happiness is a laughing matter.

I was thinking about how happy I am, how this is the happiest I've ever been, and I remembered that at the tail end of the '90s my friend Robin and I set up a forum on Delphi with that name. We were the only two members, because we never did anything with it, except to use it to chat if for some reason we couldn't use ICQ or AIM, in the days before MSN and Yahoo and every other instant relay chat platform.

Delphi Forums still is going strong but Happiness is long lost in cyberspace. I was able to recover my username and password for Delphi. My last login was in 2001, but only one of "My Forums" has had any new messages since then, Music Fandom, one I have no memory of ever joining. The other five are defunct or have been moved.

Happiness was meaningful to us, at least the name of the forum, because we both were a bit bipolar and determined to convince ourselves that happiness was a choice, one that we could make as easily as choosing to be sad or down. Of course it's a lot more complicated than that, as depression and sadness are not synonymous and you can't think your way out of a biochemical imbalance. But there is some truth to the fact that a persistent sense of humor will get you through some dark nights of the soul. And that laughing is medicine.

I'm feeling a bit at loose ends right now. Both of my classes are over as of last week. In addition, the shelter where I volunteer has cancelled volunteer shifts the past two weeks because, allegedly, the cats all are sick. I want to throw the bullshit flag on that one, but I'm taking a wait-and-see position. Maybe next week will be volunteer business as usual. Maybe not.

The additional free time has been nice in the aspect that I've had more time to make beads. I'm still selling quite a bit on Facebook, maybe not as many as I was, but still, enough that I need to keep replenishing my inventory. Anything that doesn't sell, I set aside for my next online trunk show, which just happens to overlap with a brick and mortar bead show I'm doing. I'm just crazy enough to think I can juggle both. I'll probably have to pillage my Etsy store inventory to have enough bead sets for the bead show.

You'd think with all that freed-up time, I'd have found more time for writing, especially here, but it hasn't quite worked that way. Beads in the morning, three miles on the treadmill in the afternoon, and a post office run, and woof, my day is gone. I haven't even done any bead soup blog hopping. None. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Other than Lori, the host, and Deborah, my bead soup partner, I haven't looked at anyone's bead soup creation. I keep intending to at least visit the blogs of those who commented on my post, but I've lost enthusiasm for the whole thing, and even if there was to be a ninth annual hop next year, I wouldn't sign up.

The final four assignments for my Digital Photo class were the five senses (plus one), scale, monochrome and self portrait. I'll share a few of my personal best.

Touch and sound were easiest for me.

Sight and smell were just a little harder

Taste was hard. I had a beautiful shot of a fully dressed hot dog that I missed because I couldn't figure out the lighting or the focus, and my dinner was getting cold. So, yeah, taste was a fail.

We also were assigned to capture a sixth sense. Examples given were balance, equilibrium, sense of heat or cold, and physiological pain. This photo really better represents touch, but I called it balance. I love my teacher. No one could have been more encouraging, less critical.

For sense of scale, I offer these efforts.

I loved the monochromatic assignment.

And finally, in our last assignment, I got to play Vivian Maier (as if I hadn't been playing her all semester). Self-portraiture may just be my thing. The instructions were to submit both photos of ourselves as subject and object.



And by the way, that last photo is my feet in front of some of the packages of beads I sent out after my first online trunk show. Here's a better shot, taken from our second floor landing.

And now it's over, but I plan to keep taking photos. I'm locked in to 2D Design as my next course at Glassell in the fall, but my plan is to apply for a scholarship to take Intermediate Digital Photography in Spring '15.

Especially if Nathan, my teacher, is teaching it.

Still to come. A wrap-up of my Atom Bomb class and the story of the X-rated pig beads.

I know you can hardly wait.

"Broken sticks and broken stones
Will turn to dust just like our bones
It's words that hurt the most now isn't it
Are you sad inside, are you home alone
If I could just pick up the phone
Maybe you could see a better day
And you won't waste away
Under my watchful eye
Because I'm your hero and you're my weakness

I'm broken down, not good enough
The broken promises add up
To twice their weight in tears which I have caused
I'm afraid to sink, I'm afraid to swim
I'm sad to say I miss my friends
I know that I'm supposed to step away
But they need me to stay
And keep a watchful eye
On all my heroes and all their demons

But who's gonna break my fall
When the spinning starts
The colors bleed together and fade
Was it ever there at all
And have I lost my way
The path of least resistance
Is catching up with me again today
Again today."

(Brandi Carlile)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz