Journal Entries · Photos

Week 3: 1/16/17

This week was a big week for everyone. The inauguration and protests were huge historical events. I loved how the rain revealed and strengthened the determination and passion of everyone involved with the march. I saw a lot of creative messages like “Tweet others how you’d like to be tweeted,” “A woman’s place is with the resistance” and “We’re only going to get browner, queerer, louder, stronger and watch the dinosaurs die away.” It was inspiring to see the vast ocean of people in all directions and how smoothly and peacefully it was all organized. Kids, families, pets were all there. It was invigorating and emotional, a wake up call to be ready to protect what’s important to us.

I was a little bit better with sleeping this week. Instead of going to bed at midnight every night I went to bed at midnight for two nights, at 11pm for two nights, 11:45pm for two nights and late night that was more like 1am for one night. I still need to turn the bed time ritual into a habit but I realized having a large pillow on my chest and stomach under the layers of comforters really relaxed me and made it easier to sleep.

I’m still doing the drawing once a day challenge! Lately they have been more quick and sloppy because of time so my goal has been to at least hit the bare minimum of just getting something out there. So I haven’t used the enveloping technique as much. I drew some of my drawings this week from photos of people from this website called bodiesinmotion.com that my friend showed me. They have photos and movies of dancers, martial artists, and acrobats that you can draw. It’s really good for practicing epic figure drawing! It inspired me to look into classes at Circus Circus like cyr wheel, lyra, hooping, aerial silks, and bungee dance.

Also my friend and I went to a figure drawing class but unfortunately the model didn’t show up. It would be great to get that practice every so often because how you see things in person is different than how you see things photographed. It’s harder and provides more potential for growth through the challenge.

This week was the first week of my art class! I learned how to access the online portion of the class and started reading posts and introducing myself on the forums. Looks like I’m going to have a busy semester. Every couple weeks a big project is due that will give me a hands-on understanding on a specific design concept. On the first day in class we got to paint with found objects (feathers, leaves, cuetips, pipe cleaners, etc.) on large butcher paper while listening to music with a process oriented intent. This coming week we are going to frame a  small portion of what we painted and then critique and talk about why we framed what we framed. 

Only went to the gym once but I walked a lot this week during work and during the marches so at least I was moving somewhat. I had three days in a row where I walked  two hours straight. And I’m starting this week right by going to the gym for two and half hours on Monday (80 minutes cardio, 50 minutes of strengthing, 20 minutes stretching).

Sushiritto, pupusas, Duper Duper veggie burger, and Arizmendi pizza were the four meals I went out for this week, but I cooked this week too to make up for it.

Delicata squash, ramen with egg, roasted hazelnuts and almonds, hummus, crackers and Swiss cheese were snacks I made and had. I love delicata squash! It’s my new found favorite! And snacks are the best. I think I need them little meals throughout the day so I don’t over do it. 

I met with friends for three days this week. I haven’t seen one friend for over six months and another in over a year and was able to catch up and play Bananagrama with them. Also the march brought my work, samba and college friends all in one place, which was tricky to coordinate but cool to see! 

I haven’t mentioned anything about work this year but so far in the past month with my clients I’ve played indoor basketball, had two long walks (including a scavenger hunt) across various neighborhoods of the city, read in the park, helped make orzo pasta and polenta lasagne, and acted as a giraffe lost in space in the first day of drama class. The year is off to a good start.

I’m on my third comic book from that pile of nine. This past week I read the first volume of Wicked and Divine and am now in the middle of the second one. The way the artists use the panels and express the emotions of the characters is very clever and creative and surprising. Like showing a map of a weekend concert with the main character’s comments all over it about what things have happened there or a photo sequence showing the perception of the character as she is slowly experiencing being drugged. The colors in the art is very neon like it’s an adult Lisa Frank book. I’m learning a lot about world mythology and celebrities by taking the time to look up all the connections in the comic online. I enjoy the strength and attitude in all the characters and how diverse they are in their races and sexual orientations. It’s a little hard to follow all the characters so sometimes I’m lost but somehow I’m still pulled in and enjoying it. I’m excited to see who I’ll meet next and what will happen.

As always, goals for next week:

• Draw figures using the envelope technique.

• At least start getting ready for bed at 9pm or as soon as I get home.

• Look at my online class 3-4 times a week.

• Read another comic or two.

• Have 2-3 days where I go to the gym.

• Go out to eat only for 2-3 days.

• Start writing again: a journal entry, a poem, and a snippet of a fiction story

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Journal Entries

Week 1: 1/1/17

I’m happy that in the first week of the year I read two comics. It’s been so rainy and cozy, it was perfect! I read Blankets and This One Summer, which were both coming of age books but with characters that had different ages and genders. I hardly ever allow myself the time to just delve into fiction. It was so refreshing to be away from a screen but witness art and emotion and nostalgia flowing through pages. What’s also great is that I feel like I’m starting to bond with people through a medium I’ve hardly been exposed to and it’s really fun to feel their excitement! For example after sharing what I have been reading, my housemates surprised me by kindly and generously letting me borrow a large pile of 9 comic books! So cool!

It was also invigoratingly relaxing to listen to Invisibilia while coloring in  a coloring book. I felt like I was getting back in touch with my love of learning about how people are impacted so much by such seemingly subtle or banal things like clothes, categories and the orientation toward solution finding.

Going to a poetry reading was also a great experience! It was interesting to see what other poets wrote about and where they get inspiration and how simple things can trigger some strong emotions. There were many different styles of poems each read in a unique way, some conversational, some angry, some desperate, some sarcastic, some flowy. This poetry reading happens every second Sunday of the month. Maybe next time I’ll prepare my courage and some poems to share too!

I emailed 3-4 people this week to get the ball rolling in gaining some work experience working with children with disabilities this year. One of which is an OT and another is a Recreation Therapist. Crossing. Crossing my fingers!

I spent time with family and friends 4 times this week and talked on the phone 3 times as well with different friends and family. I also talked to my housemates a bit as you can tell from the comic book windfall I described earlier. It’s important for me to connect and keep the friendships I have going strong but also to find a balance with that and the time I need for myself and the things I want to do. Last week worked out really well!

I got to explore Davis a bit and see the arboretum with its hidden cactus, donkeys and River She-Oaks. I also wandered with my mom into a pretty Waldorf school that had all these hand painted tiles made by the students. We spent a long time looking at each one. Next to it there was a really rich neighborhood of Southwestern and Middle Eastern looking mansions. They were fortresses and castles and each had nicknames posted in front that gave them even more personality. They even had their own private park to have barbecues and play volleyball in! It was pretty surprising to see how there is always something more to discover.

I went out to eat three times, which was really yummy but kind of pricey. I want to try to make that go down to one time a week.

On the other hand, I only went to the gym once this week. I’d like to at least triple that. 😛

I only posted one photo and didn’t write any poems or other pieces this week. I didn’t make a habit of writing in my journal each day this week either. But I did draw a quick 5-minute comic of a situation I witnessed, which I felt really good about. It felt like a step in a positive and rewarding direction and it gave me hope. I also played around briefly with making stop motion videos with wooden blocks with my mom. Another little reminder of possibilities and things that are rewarding to me.

I did some boring maintenance stuff like cleaning out my email and unsubscribing to things. I renewed my NBCOT certification. I did laundry a couple times. This coming week I hope to get some more boring things done like making dentist appointments and possibly making an appointment to get my professional rescuers CPR certification renewed. But mostly I hope to go to bed earlier! I noticed that I was going to bed at past midnight most nights last week. There is a lot of room for change here. I know this would help me feel more motivated, energized and focused on my goals and feel better about life in general.

On that note, I think I’ll put my money where my mouth is and actually make an effort to go to bed earlier by making these weekly blogs cover just the basics and stopping here. I hope to write more about what I learn, experience, and improve upon each week throughout the year and continue to experiment with writing little blogs like this.

Journal Entries · Photos

Learning How to Find Adventure and Shake the World


Seeing the words joy, adventure, “shaking the world” the other day on a fortune cookie fortune made me feel a rush of excitement. The fortune said, “Joy comes from adventure today. Time to shake the world.” I wanted to find the adventure. Maybe I’d find it if I go home, write and rediscover it. But then I realized I didn’t know how. At first I was going to map out all my dreams and goals I’ve had for the last couple years to remind myself of them and see if they still inspire me. Thinking about my drawing and writing ones still seemed to have that spark until something happened. I suddenly felt tired and apathetic. I didn’t believe in my dreams because they seemed unrealistic, far fetched, and requiring  me to not lose track of them by getting distracted with other things that keep me busy. I didn’t know why I wanted to draw or write or why I wanted any of my dreams. Did I want a career, recognition, mastery, confidence? I know that I try to deny that I want those things and maybe when I looked at my dreams I felt I saw straight through them, seeing them as superficial, fickle and transitory. 

Though I’ve felt the thrill of adventure when I had a dream. The chase and anticipation of a dream gives me so much energy and a sense of accomplishment when moving through the evolving goals leading up to it. It feels as if I’m shaking the world with my pursuits.

But there’s also another type of adventure that maybe I sensed I was missing. A kind that most artists need before they get to that kind of goal oriented adventure.

It’s the adventure of an observed life.

I realized I was feeling a full, rich and subtle sensation that my life is an adventure when I had the intention to illustrate something that I saw or experienced each day. It sanctified the small things and made them extra colorful and special, whether it was because they were beautiful, funny, disgusting, sad or honest. The emotions of these little experiences would animate the drawings and make the memories of my life more crisply meaningful and rememberable. Without these drawings, I might not remember the two teenagers talking about their driving test at the bus stop or how I saw an audience of pigeons listening to the street performers. Even if I did remember, the memories may be more muted or dull in my mind because the drawings forced me to recall and save more sensory and emotional information for the long term. This is where stories come from and that is where the expressive and artistic adventure can begin. It is also where life can be appreciated and shared by others who will find a familiar and relatable sweetness about what has been captured in the story.

So now when I feel that rush of excitement and am eager to find the adventure all I need to do is to notice something and let myself feel its worth and significance in my days story. Appreciating these little vignettes and reflecting on them all as a whole could be the start to a very rich, real and beautiful adventure as well as a meaningful journey as an artist.