March was a busy month! It started out pumped with finally seeing my favorite artist, Tycho, perform at a well respected night club. Haven’t been to something like that for a long time and seeing Tycho had been something I’ve been trying to do for years! So it was really fulfilling to finally experience this music in person.
In cooking class I learned to make enchiladas, calzones, quiche and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut. These are gourmet meals for $4!
Restaurants I’ve tried this month were Patxi’s Pizza, L&L, Curry Up Now and Golden Era. Golden Era had the best tarot boba smoothie I have ever had. And it was served in a mason jar.
This was a very enriching month in terms of work. I had an all day training on how best to communicate and collaborate with my client. I learned about the power of empathy, providing choices, constructing scenarios so they give her a sense of control, disguising no’s, the importance of getting her thinking and coming up with her own solutions, emphasizing the fun and enthusiasm in everything, avoiding buts and yes-or-no questions, and always having a plan B.
I also trained another staff, who’s actually a friend of mine, on how to work with my client. She is the fourth person I have trained so far in working with my client in the past year. It’s refreshing to train others because it validates me when I’m asked to share what I know and what I do. I often don’t realize what I know and what I’m capable of and when someone is learning it all for the first time I realize how much I have overcome and how challenging it was in the beginning.
My client has been very appreciative of me. There was a very special day that she surprised me with a pizza delivery that she planned a week ahead. She even remembered my favorite pizza and looked up the typical ingredients in it to make sure that this pizza is up to par. Every morning she gives me a hug and often tells me how glad she is that I am a part of her life.
Another special thing that happened this month is my client got a new kitten! She is really sweet and really shy but over the last few weeks she has slowly gotten out of her shell a bit. Before she would only hide under the bed and now she’s running all over the place. My client is always talking about how happy she is to have her.
In the groups there were a couple times my clients got sick. Something was going around. Luckily there’s a nice couch for them to rest on in cooking class. But when they weren’t sick, clients were in drama class, learning about expressing emotions, singing and being a choreographer.
I haven’t made a stop motion but there is one in progress about snails. I’m excited to see how that turns out.
Mostly I’ve been creating this journal where not only do I write in it everyday but I also draw in it everyday.
I’ve been really enjoying doing this. I never know what I’m going to write or draw next and it’s fun watching the journal quickly accumulate with color and animated life. Doing this has reinvigorated my love for drawing. The things I draw are people and places from memory, something in my environment at the moment of drawing, or myself or others experiencing different emotions. I feel more confident about drawing because I’m drawing purely for myself and for the purpose of capturing the idea of something quickly, easily and casually. I’m not expecting my drawings to be anything. I also always use pen right away instead of starting with a pencil. This forces me to not erase, to improvise, to trust the process and constantly move forward to fruition. Drawing this way has made me appreciate the art of comics more and understand how fun the medium could be.
I started a new blog inspired by the idea of starting an online journal store. The blog is a place where I collect art I find on the internet and very briefly talk about why it’s great and why it would make an amazing cover for a journal.
Typically to me making Pinterest boards is not a creative project but it is an important step in the brainstorming and preparation process. I made three boards inspired by my current job as well as my past jobs as a camp counselor and after school leader. One is a cooking class board, another is an arts and crafts board and the last is a team building board. I wanted to make these Pinterest boards as a way to inspire innovation and to impact the activities that my clients participate in each week as well as for me to be better at what I do. Collecting these activities made me realize what I know and what I could grow and become an expert at.
Along the way I started collecting pins for a diorama, terrarium, shadowbox board and an art project for me board. These pins made me start thinking how it would be cool to make a stop motion that takes place inside the world of a little diorama. By making these boards I’m planting the seeds for future art aspirations.
TV SHOWS, MOVIES, BOOKS
I went to a children’s bookstore and bought a bunch of comics. I think looking at people’s art online inspired my doodle journal and my newfound appreciation of comics. One of the comics I got was the first book of the series Amulet.
I enjoyed the art style and felt very empathetic toward the characters. Looking at the nonverbal language of the sequences of images made me appreciate how each scene transitioned to the next.
Amulet wasn’t the only graphic novel I read. March really got me into a comics reading binge. I also read The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need. I felt some solidarity in the questions and concerns Johnny Bunko had. It was a really helpful book. I enjoyed the style, wisdom and attitude of his magical career guide guru.
After that one I started on two other comics. One is called This One Summer and the other is Understanding Comics. Both seem very great so far. I’m looking forward to reading more.
I’ve been watching The Family with my client, which has been quite suspenseful and surprising. Every episode has had all my expectations and assumptions about what’s going on in the show flip upside down. It seems that every character is hiding something.
Movies I saw this month were Spotlight, San Andreas, Tron, Anomalisa and Tomorrowland. Anomalisa was good but a lot psychologically stranger than I thought it was going to be. I think as a person interested in animation it would be good for me to see the making of that movie. It seems unbelievable to scrutinize the claymation to that level!
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Had my last two weeks of the Alexander Technique sessions. I’ll use what I learned and come back if I ever need to. In the meantime I’m going to save some money for a vacation for me to take one of these days.
This month a friend from ASL class invited me to join her and a group of twenty other women to practice a Carmen Miranda-inspired samba choreography that will be a part of the San Francisco Carnival parade in May! That has been a lot of fun! The dance is so playful and lighthearted. This has been helping me to make sure I exercise at least for an hour and a half each week a long with the 7-minute workout.
I had gum surgery. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I didn’t need the painkillers the periodontist recommended and I didn’t need to go on a liquid diet. My face was stressed out and had to eat soft foods and avoid anything crunchy. For the most part I ended up having a liquid diet just because I didn’t want the distraction of the surgery to ruin my experience of my meals. I had to wear putty-like band-aids on the roof of my mouth and on the bottom front gums for a week and avoid brushing and flossing in those areas as well which is like a third of my teeth. That was a little awkward but it was only a week.
SAN FRANCISCO ADVENTURES
Most of my San Francisco adventures were inspired and led by my client. We went to a film festival focused on human rights, walked two hours in the rain through the Sunset District to get a jacket, and explored Clement Street and got a lot of free books from Green Apple Books.
With my friends I went to the Little Mermaid singalong and learned that there is a lot more enthusiasm and singing when the singalongs are the old classics during the evening. I also went to my first roller derby! I really enjoyed seeing their warmup games and how they all flowed and worked with each other, like they were pack animals or a flock of birds working together to get their prey or to survive the harsh winter.
I also finally got to see the Hunky Jesus festival in Golden Gate Park on Easter weekend right after being too cold to persist through a beach bonfire at Ocean Beach that morning with a friend and her mom. There were many different creative Jesuses. There was cheerleader Jesus, drop dead Jesus, refuJesus, Burning Man Jesus, sexy lumberjack Jesus, zombie Jesus, Jizzus, a Jesus who was on a DIY cross that actually had wine come out from below his wrists when he moved them, and many more creative interpretations.
One of the things I most enjoy about San Francisco is a culture where little kids run amok with the Easter bunny and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. San Francisco is a place where family events are anything but conservative.
Oh! Another thing I did this month was find a teenage girl’s lost phone on the BART and return it to her! That gave me a real taste of joy. You can read a blog about it here.
PEOPLE IN MY LIFE
I’ve been bonding with people from my classes. Not only did I meet up with people in the park to practice improv, I went to someone’s birthday celebration and talked until the wee hours of the morning. I’ve also been getting closer to the friend who invited me to the samba dance practice. She’s been telling me that she’s my life coach because of how she’s been encouraging me to get my masters in OT and work in pediatrics. She’s a special ed teacher and knows a lot of OTs and actually helped get a conversation rolling with one of her OT friends. She made me realize that a lot of doors could open with a masters in OT and it can allow me to do all the variety of fun and creative stuff I like to do with my clients but with more growth, challenge and income.
I called my friend who I haven’t talked to in months. We talked about the complications of dating and feeling the fear of being alone and not having anyone to share your life with, as well as the trouble of having unintended roommates who don’t pay rent but just crash with their significant other.We also talked about synchronicity and listening to your intuition. It was a really good conversation!
Lucid dreaming was talked about a handful of times with my housemates and friends. Don’t think I’ve ever experienced it but I am very curious about the phenomenon. I’m hoping drawing things from memory could enhance my dreams.
When I take the bus in the morning to go to my client’s house I wait in front of a children’s bookstore. Reading the bulletin board made me think of the idea of reading children’s books to kids during story time to exercise my improv and to see if I like entertaining kids if I want to ever go into children’s theater. I also would be exposed to children’s books which is great if I want to learn about writing and illustrating children’s books for fun. So this month I contacted the owner and started a conversation to get started doing story readings there and had my first one the last week of March. There were lots of babies. Most of the kids were maybe only a year old but many were preschoolers. They really enjoyed the enthusiasm, puppets and chanting “no more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
It was a fun experience but I will see where this goes. I have so many things on my plate including ASL and Musical Improv!
In ASL class we learned the vocab and phrase to use if you were looking for something in the lost and found, how to express really specific clothing descriptions, how to describe transporting yourself or others in various ways and how to express years.
In Musical Improv II, we were actually learning to create full songs and raps by ourselves on the spot. We sung songs with verses, choruses and bridges of different genres including blues, rap, hip hop, latin, musical theater, and more. We learned to incorporate scene work a bit and to embody a character who is collaborating and musically responding to other characters. We did a lot of rhyming exercises. It got to the point that when I was walking around outside of class I would look at things and try to think of a list of words that rhyme with the name of that object.
March was busy, almost too busy. I think next month will be about simplifying, organizing and prioritizing. I love being active and busy but I want to keep everything in balance. It’s important to try many things to know where my dreams lie and figure out who I am but I have to not clutter my dreams with miscellaneous glittering opportunities. But until then these experiences have been fun and benefiting my growth.
And that’s a wrap for another Monthly Memories!