The Modern Emily Post

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with distinct pleasure that I announce I am 1 final exam away from finally being qualified to tell you what to do;organization wise. Now, now, I know you’re not as excited as I am. But I want you to know, you’re on the ground floor of what could be a very good thing. In all the text books I’ve been consuming, one thing stuck out: There is no organizational expert for the modern maiden, or man. With chapters dedicated to video cassette organization and paper catalogues, I think I’ve struck upon my niche. Or perhaps, it’s struck upon me. I will be able to create streamlined systems for the tech we have and the clouds we depend on. I will also be capable of parring down your clutter and building new habits and routines. Which will save you time, energy and lead you toward living the life you want. So, as I sit down to take the test that will seal my organizational fate, I’m revved up and ready to become the Modern Emily Post. And I will Post, right here;)

The Modern Emily Post

Where Have All The Words Gone?

Creativity is something that needs to be nurtured. It needs coaxing. It has to be cajoled and convinced it to come out and play. This is the best and worst thing about being creative- it’s work.

My family is creative. At least we’re creative thinkers. We can turn a phrase and make up words, terminology and conceptualize like you wouldn’t believe. Though, if you read this blog you might already be hip to that info. What you don’t know is that words we’ve made up become real; at least to us. So ingrained that the whole family -even those who marry into it- know what they mean. When I spend time with my family, I am firing on all cylinders. With each joke I am aiming to one up the last. It’s a mental workout. Sadly though, this intellectual intensity isn’t readily available in my daily life.

Now, now, that’s not to say I am not mentally stimulated by my day to day routine, I am; it’s just not brain boot camp. Plus if I was always ‘on’ I might find myself spending even more time alone. I guess what I’m trying to say is being creative doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision that needs to be made. Maybe it’s writing in a journal when you wake. Or it could be baking a cookie mansion. How about designing and building a performance art piece every month? Then again it could be writing a blog, where you get to create anything you want. So, even though I haven’t been writing as much as I would like, I know that I am being creative elsewhere. And it seems to be paying off. But I do miss these words we share.

Where Have All The Words Gone?

The Starving Artist: Chapter 42: There Is No Try

There is a certain way I do things. I am a planner, schemer, dreamer, muddler, melder, a knit-picker. I spend an awful lot of time in my own head. In my mind I am a general in charge of a fleet of elite agents. I am the conductor, baton in hand. I am the captain of my own destiny. I am in command of my strategic plan. I pour over details. I am methodical. TA DAH! Important side note: I am not great at actually doing; taking action requires a whole new plan. And I have trouble planning that far ahead. That’s why I took off last week, I had to plan on letting myself work. Sometimes your brain needs a break so that your body can do what it needs to do.

I fear idle hands. I worry that being lazy will get me into trouble. Not deep-tossed in the clink trouble but -swallowing a mouthful of water and it scares you into thinking you’re drowning-kinda trouble…ya know? I don’t like being bored. I have always been a busy body. I like to putter. I like bustling. I like many projects on the go. Sadly, fish brain gets in the way. All those teeny life details seep in around the edges of my focus. Suddenly, I am full-blown distracted. Like, when I clean, the whole house is a mess. Everything gets piled up, pulled off shelves and out of closets, then waits to be separated and reallocated. The fallen soldiers of my projects strewn in corners and across tabletops for as far as the eye can see. I am not a stagnate person. But being busy and being productive are two different things.

I was stuck trying to do things. And we all know there is only do or do not. But I couldn’t stop my cycle of unfocused interruptions. There were so many things on my to do list, that I couldn’t figure out how to DO them. I would spend precious time arranging a plan of attack only to find myself in a completely different battle. I forgot how to plan for the time things would take. I hadn’t allotted any downtime. My brain was running full steam from alarm clock to begrudged bedtime. I was suffering from unfinished business, and I could not handle being a ghost. Don’t even get me started on that. Taking the week off from what Momma calls: Public therapy; well, it was weird at first. This blog unclogs my mind from the details that can hide the forest from the trees. I know, I know, that’s not right, but I like the way it sounds. And now that I am back on track with a few finished items checked off my list; I can get back to being a mental general. And I am happy to report that I will conducting a mental symphony aboard my destiny ship. Sit anywhere you’d like.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 42: There Is No Try

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!

Chapter Forty! That’s the top of the hill that people always talk about it being all down hill from. Things are supposed to get easy now right? If it’s all downhill than I should be able to coast. Well, as with most hills, they aren’t measured in chapters. It remains the same height regardless of how you count. It’s just that those numbers seem to have lost their meaning. The journey I started with such a focus on my numbers has shifted. Measurements becoming about fitness and function. The work becoming worth more than the number of days hired. The Starving Artist has become hungry for something more than the numbers.

Upon realizing what a special anniversary this was I thought I should do something special to celebrate. So, I glitter painted a brazier and helped finalize the pink gemstones. While sitting surrounded by newspaper I altered my costume…again. I love that I can change my act by changing my clothes. Hubby, BFF and I sat inside this rainy Sunday and we laid the ground work for some serious crafternoons in the near future, and I found myself smiling. Giddy with the thought that I was finally feeling the support I’ve been looking for. That’s not to say there was unsupported before, but this feels like the act of supporting. An action, speaking volumes. We are quickly pouring the foundation that a good artist structure relies upon. It’s not a rush construction job either, this crew is all union. Quality control has become the focus of each task. Together we work until well after sunset, stopping for appropriate meals and unionized breaks, of course. Foreman Jilly makes sure of that. Her demands to play, snuggle and poo sprinkled evenly throughout the work. Plus you can’t argue with the littlest boss-lady. That’s just un-union-ly…right?

Alright, so I’ve reached a milestone. (I’ve been told to relish my wins) But it simply marks how far I have come, not how much further I have to go. (I’m still a sad sack. Except now I relish my wins) It can feel defeating, like you’ve already done some much to only get THIS! far. In these times of emotional turmoil I turn to the meme of an eagle and the black framed motivational plaques for help. Each journey begins with a single step. It’s not the destination it’s the journey. There’s always going to be another mountain. Take a deep breath and feel better. (Whatever that means) So, treasured readers (all 7 of you) here’s to Forty amazing…or at least completed chapters of The Starving Artist. And here’s to a Gazillion more *hopefully* entertaining blogs*cheers.**

**Melicious Manners does not support morning drinking

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!

The Starving Artist: Chapter 39: Weight Watching

Summer is revving up and kicking itself into high gear. You know what that means? Teeny, weeny bikinis and sweating way too much. And all those shorts and tees from last summer season are now being rotated back into my wardrobe…the only problem is with the physical progress I’m making they’re sagging and sad and I can’t afford to replace them. I was taught growing up that appropriately sized clothing is an important part of looking your best. Clothes that are too small make even the sveltiest person look like an uncomfortable sausage. Though the flip side has baggy shapeless sacks adding lumps and bumps and blah to an otherwise ideal silhouette. I fall into the second category. Last year’s shorts are rumpled in the bum. The tanks droop in the neckline and arm holes. I look like a schmoe, in need of a serious $5000 makeover- tell me something new. Okay, enough with all that What Not to Wear stuff. Today, I realized that I have been writing about being an artist for the last 39 Mondays. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I am sad, but I am always creative…hopefully.

Over 40 weeks ago, I issued myself a challenge. I wanted to put up or shut up. It was time I started taking this little-performing thing seriously. It’s time I take what I want, instead of waiting for someone to give it to me. Now, those are all just adages that don’t make a whole lot of difference by themselves. I mean, Take one day at a time and write it beautifully in front of the setting sun, and all you have is a motivational sunset. It was time to take action. So, I started going to the gym. I started writing, creating and proving to myself (my toughest critic) that I was as talented as others told me I was, and more talented than I thought possible. Mentally, I’ve realized I’m wicked smaht *said of course with a Boston accent. Smarter than the average dummy and I can use that to my advantage; and should. Emotionally, I am still growing my thick skin but I have exposed more weakness this past year than in all my years before. Professionally, I have been looking over the occasional four leaf clover, but there hasn’t been much job security (that’s a beast). So, I am bumping and hustling to make ends meet; ensuring I still have time to pursue my bliss.

As for my physical progress, I have taken my own challenge quite seriously. Though to the casual observer, it may not seem like much… I mean, while home for Father’s Day I tried on a dress from Grade 8 and it still fit. So, when I say I have been this size my whole life, I’m not exaggerating. Though even I couldn’t believe it. I mean Hubby says I look better now than I did leading up to the wedding, which was so stressful I would forget to plan meal time. Now, I have doubled my athletic efforts, spending hours stretching, sweating and squatting. If I have dessert, it must be split with someone else- but I have forbidden myself to suggest it. I have cut down on my liquid calories, including my beloved patio season beers. I am trying my best not to eat after 9pm…I know it’s supposed to be 8pm but some days I don’t get home until then, and dinner doesn’t make itself. So with all those things in mind I have an update to my records…And though it may not seem like much, the winds of change are a’blowin’, and I love a good updraft.

Height 5’8 1/2″ I gained a half-inch and Hubby thinks it’s all neck
Weight 166.4 (+2.2 lbs)
Bust 38.5 (-.5″) whoo hoo!
Natural waist 31.25 (-.25″)
Hips 42.5 (-.5″)
Arm flex r:13.5 (+.5″) l:13.5 (+.5″) *Which way to the beach?
Arm rest r: 13 (+.5″) l:13 (+.5″)
Thigh standing r: 24.75 (-.25″) l:24.5 (-.5″)

The Starving Artist: Chapter 39: Weight Watching

Internet Gratification

While on vacation in the lovely world of Disney, I had my cell turned off to avoid all those crazy roaming charges. There is nothing worse than arriving home recharged and relaxed only to be served with a maxed out account charge. Being disconnected except by Wi-Fi in the hotel suite was a welcome relief. It was nice not to be alerted every time someone changed their online mind or ordered brunch. It was calming to relate to those corporeal beings in my midst. Life was immediate and without the influence of the outside world. No internet gratification; I was still alive…and loving it.

Here’s the thing…I am slightly obsessed with checking up on the interweb. I constantly scroll through FB, monitor my blog stats and try to compose witty tweets.. or twits *insert wink followed by an oh brother eye roll. My mobile devices are stocked with reading material, study notes, topical blog ideas and Pintrest. Not to mention the online mall trolling I can daydream my way through on Etsy and Amazon. And let me just say, most of my carts are full. I mean, with all this happening how am I supposed to get anything done? I don’t know what to focus on. I am torn in 50 different apps and accomplishing nothing. And leaving those who are present, feeling not so gifted.

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be attached at the thumbs to my smartphone, I would’ve called you a conspiracy theorist with a futuristic sense of humour. Those were the days before my daily blog. Before I would prefer the ease of a text. Before I started missing those familiar voices. Before I had 6 different accounts for each social outlet. Now, I have trouble remembering which Catfish identity I am at any given time. I crave the simpler times…sort of.

I was reminded how nice it is to be disconnected. But I would miss writing my daily whimsical thoughts or under-marketing myself. I am torn between getting things done and surfing between them. The web spins a trap as tightly as any spider, sucking my attention away from the fast flying NOW. The things I need to focus on being interrupted by something shiny, pretty and surreal. It’s as dangerous as any Nigerian Prince and as phony as Bill Gates sending us all $50,000 just for sharing this post. So folks, it boils down to this: If it’s so important George Takei will re-post it. Like a character in my screenplay says: I don’t read the local paper. If it was something really important, someone would tell me. I couldn’t have said it better myself;)

Internet Gratification

My Pet Project- Hint: It’s A Unicorn

After straining to look at burlesque dancers last night, my neck was sore. So, I thought I would invest in some of my more sedentary activities. Good thing I had my crafting tools handy and access to Netflix. What did I do with my time before Netflix? Now, I can watch 30 episodes of 30 Rock, and if you time it right you get 2 Christmas and 2 Valentines episodes. Plus a Leap Day! A challenge I willingly accepted. But I digress, the reason I was able to undertake such a worthy task was that I was fighting procrastination, and winning. Even though I was suffering from severe Batman neck; I had plans to continue the project I have been keeping to myself. So, I pulled out the hot pad and pencil crayons and got down to no neck turning business.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce you to my Pet Project: This is Carl & Stacey.

Carl & Stacey love to play together

First discovered playing inside my head these two are always looking for adventure.

A few things you should know about them:

  • They are brother and sister
  • Carl is a T-Rex who doesn’t talk and Stacey is a Unicorn that doesn’t stop
  • They were adopted by Mr Tortoise and Mrs Ostrich- Family Portrait being processed
  • Stacey likes to sing and she’s a little bossy
  • They love hijinx

Yesterday started the implementation puppet creation initiative. A program I created to start building puppets. So that I could start making my own cartoon. Shorts at first. Then songs. Now, I know it may sound silly, but I have always fancied myself a person who makes more that just snide remarks. I love handi-crafts. Therefore why wouldn’t I start building my own dream? And I did. Well, I didn’t build the whole dream, just the first 2 template puppets. Throughout the day I sketched, outlined, cut out and started stitching joints. Having the tools each crafter needs to bring these colourful personalities to life. These characters are on the move…almost. Now, all I have to do is finish the fridge box theatre with pencil crayon curtains, 4 back drops and the paper puppet props their stories demand. It promises to be an animated list of tasks…At least when the motion stops.

Step 3: Stacey templates for tracing
Step 8: Stacey waiting for button joints
My Pet Project- Hint: It’s A Unicorn