Rules are my nemesis

nemesis: “the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.”

There are rules about this.  Ones I need to break.  If I could only break them, or ignore them, I could unleash my superpower. I have a superpower.  I am absolutely sure of it.  I’ve known since I was six, lying in bed, staring at the light switch, knowing I could move it with my mind if I could just get my mind to focus on one thing at a time instead of constantly switching channels.

There.  I did it.  I broke the rules. The rules that say that all the words in a sentence have to work together towards the goal of the sentence and that sentences have to make the paragraph work and that paragraphs… yawn. Do I need to finish this or can you figure it out for yourself?

I recently read that the three-adjectives-in-a-row thing was a sure sign of an amateur.  Reading that flicked a switch in my brain and now everything I’ve written in the past three years is silly, immature, repetitive.

What I like to read: wandering thoughts, ideas with out description, intangibilities. I did not make that word up.

intangibilities: “incapable of being perceived by the senses. 2. Incapable of being realized or defined. 3. Incorporeal.”

I am incapable of defining my enjoyment of triplets. I just like things in threes. It feels like covering all the bases.

I got caught up on the word journalist today. My eyes missed the ‘ist’ and just saw ‘journal.’ The entire world shifted. A journalist is a person who journals.

journal: “Verb ‎(third-person singular simple present journals, present participle journaling, simple past and past participle journaled) 1. To archive or record something. 2. To scrapbook.”

Nowhere in that definition is the word ‘report.’ Did you ever notice that?

Am I a journalist because I record and archive my thoughts everyday? No, I don’t scrapbook. yuck.

judge: “form an opinion or conclusion about.”

judgmental: “having or displaying an excessively critical point of view.”

Add the word mental and it changes everything. Here is me at my judgmental best: Scrapbooks reek of female boredom. I sneer at scrap-booking, I judge the woman who partake in such an activity as searching for an excuse to play with glue and scissors the way they did in kindergarten and having nothing better to do with their time than trick themselves into making their past seem relevant to their future. Ooh nasty. Good thing I turned the comments off.

Does it make it any better that I am judging myself too? This silly blog, three years old today, such a waste of energy and talent. The idea was to write things that other people would read. But by having a blog, I’ve become one of the people I judge as not having enough talent to be recognized as worth the attention of readers.  That sentence makes total sense, to me anyway, and I’m the only one whose opinion matters. Contradictory or clever? You can decide, or not, I don’t care.

And anyway, my obsessive journaling is no different than scrap-booking. What is the point of recording today’s thoughts, other than to have something to read later on?

I am happiest when I forget about the past and the future.  When the only thing I am thinking about is the right NOW.  It is all about teaching yourself to focus on one thing at a time.  Slow down. Make it last. Let the moment fill the mind. That switch will move.

But that sentence was written by a me from a minute ago. And now it seems silly.  This is NOW now.

I’ll never learn how to do this properly. Don’t judge yourself, I say to myself. And keep practicing. You’ll get it eventually. Which may or may not be true.  I will never know.  This self that exists in this moment will never know.  And honestly, you don’t exist, past and future selves, you are figments.  I don’t care what you think.

Rules.  What rules?  If you see a gap, fill it yourself.

It’s my blog and I’ll write about my shoes if I want to. #2


These are my walking shoes, and here is the story of how I came to own them….

A long time ago, in a previous life when I had a husband who had a huge extended family and none of them hated me yet, I was friends with one of his cousins. She and I were really close until she started dating the man who became her husband. He and I never really got on too well.

No meanness ever passed between us, just a lot of confused looks. He was one of those people who never made a lick of sense to me. He was just so… nice. Not creepy-nice, or syrupy-sweet nice, more like 1950’s television nice. Aw Shucks nice. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and didn’t eat meat, all things my friend had once done, with relish. Almost over night, she focused in on him and she stopped being fun, started being nice, like him, and we lost all the things we’d had in common.

Anyway… many years after they married, her husband and I briefly shared running as a hobby. Though, hobby is probably to mild a word to describe anything he did. He was the type to get obsessed with things. He knew everything there was to know about running and all the equipment necessary to fully experience all the pleasure one could squeeze out of it. (yes, of course he ran marathons, did you have to ask?) It was truly just a hobby for me, and a short lived one at that. Really, I was more of a jogger at heart.

He offered to take me to his favorite shoe store and help me pick out a pair of shoes, and for reasons I can’t even fathom, I agreed. So the two of us went to the store. Alone. Take any awkward situation you’ve ever been in with another person and times it by 11. We both really tried to find things to talk about, but it’s like talking to someone in a language you’ve just learned. Once you get beyond your health and the weather, you just run out of words that you both know. That car ride lasted at least a week.

When we finally got to the store, he introduced his running buddies, then left me to their salesperson devices while he shopped for himself. (It was a relief, actually.) The sales person figured out that I wasn’t as much a runner as a fast walker and sold me these instead of one of the really fancy and expensive pairs my friend’s husband had been talking about before we got there.

Eventually he drove me home and neither of us ever acted on our promises to go run together someday. Then I lost all of those people in the divorce and that was that.

Regardless, these are really good shoes.


I picked a face and I drew it three times.  It is the same person, despite the fact that the three drawings looks so different from each other.  Sigh.  Just when I think, this art stuff is as easy as rolling down a hill, I smash into a wall.

Real vs. Fake

This is not my greatest work, but it is today’s work, and that is good.

I want to say, also, that it is not really my work. I mean it is, I painted it. It is of a place I saw, a landscape like any other, but it is also a painting of a painting, sort of…

Somewhere out there (probably in Austin, Texas) there is a 3d modeler who might (if they took off their glasses and squinted a bit) recognize this scene as their own.

“Lemme ‘splain. No, there is too much, lemme sum up…”

In an online world called Star Wars The Old Republic, on a planet called Rishi, I stopped on my way towards a battle with traitorous Revanites to admire the lush jungle scenery. I thought, this is awfully pretty, I should try to capture it in watercolor. So I did. Try I mean. Not quite sure I succeeded.

The funny thing is, the few times thus far I have attempted to capture what I’ve seen in the (so called) real world, it has come out so much better.

You would think that painting an image that is already rendered in 2d, flat on my computer screen, would be so much easier to paint than something outside where I have to do the conversion of 3d to 2d myself. But it is not.

Yet another lesson learned.  There is a reason artists prefer drawing from life.  It’s just easier.

Why Shoes?

Why shoes?
Because they are there and I need something to paint.
Still lifes of dishes and such are odd. They lack something. A story perhaps. All of my shoes have stories. It’s true. Shoes are one of those things that I have to buy on purpose. Not like the half gallon of milk I buy over and over again. Or batteries. Or even jeans. Shoes are deliberate. I have to go to a shoe store and try on many pairs and deliberate size and color and style. So much thought goes into every purchase.

There are shoes I love and shoes I hate. Shoes I didn’t even buy for myself. Shoes I’ve only worn once or twice. There’s one pair I’ve put on a million times, but never ended up actually wearing for more than a minute or two. They never seem to fit with what I’m wearing.

These are my red slip-on sneakers. Super comfortable, and very worn out. The label inside is on the verge of falling off, but it still clearly says ‘Steve Madden.’

I have a love/hate relationship with this particular pair. I’ve had them going on ten years I’m sure, and they were not well received by those who voiced an opinion on my clothing at the time. I don’t actually remember buying them, but it was probably one of the few times I shopped on my own. I bought them for comfort and because they are red. I don’t like white sneakers. Never have. There just so.. white… bright… glowing… There’s nothing more noticeable than a brand new pair of bright white sneakers.

These are awesome because they are no fuss with thick padded soles. They protect my toes and I can wear them without socks when my feet are hot, which they often are. The hate comes from the fear that they are terribly ‘uncool.’

I could go on and on about these shoes, all of my shoes actually.

So many shoes, and every pair a story.