Sunday, December 25, 2005

Home is Where the Heart is

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Fatal System Error

Only three little words... yet when strung together, they illicit a high pitched wailing that can be heard from here to Columbus, Ohio. What is it about electronics instinctively knowing to break down around the holidays just when you need them the most?

I feel terrible. I can't get photos out to the people that need them for Christmas cards and presents. I can't take copies home to show my family. This sucks.

I have paid down my credit card to the point of being able to afford a new computer- I'd really like an ibook but putting myself back into deeper debt is something I'm not sure I should do. I know that I can't live without my photos for very long, however.

What to do? What to do?

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is fun. I promise.

I borrowed this game from Megaloni and I had a ton of fun playing. Megaloni might think I'm nuts though because my level of fake memories is really, really deep!

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment here on my blog with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished leaving your comment, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you. I think this will be fun for all; like a bowl of Skittles and M&M's mixed; a color and a flavor for everyone!


I've taken the pledge, and I encourage you all to do the same.

"Wal-Mart's low costs have extraordinarily high costs for people and the planet. This holiday season let the Walton Family -- the founders of Wal-Mart -- know that you and your family will buy nothing from Wal-Mart. Instead, pledge to make your gift purchases from businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible."

Sign Co-op America's No Wal-Mart Holiday Pledge Today.

No one on my list is getting anything from Wal-Mart for Christmas and Hanukkah this year. Instead, I hope that knitted scarves will keep necks and hearts warm this season.

Below is a sample of approved Green businesses in Oregon as screened by the National Green Pages. You can find more here.

Beeswax Candle Works

Cafe Mam

Garuda International


Greater Goods

Nancy's Yogurt

Thursday, December 15, 2005

a list of not so relevant things

1. My new medication is supposed to increase my level of concentration and alertness. So far I’ve suffered from two of the side effects: drowsiness and nausea. I simply can’t concentrate when I feel like puking up all over the place.

2. The Eugene Public Library has hired a bounty hunter to find me and make me pay past due fines. It boggles my mind to think that I racked up that much in overdue fines. I'm going to continue to avoid them and soon go underground so they can't get me or the future first born child that I signed away when I got my library card.

3. There are days when Eugene, Oregon smells like rotting broccoli. I don't know what it is or where the smell comes from but it can be down right disgusting and it's usually overpowering. No one else seems to notice this and I wonder if I'm crazy.

4. But I think I'll take the rotting broccoli over what the algae on the lakes in Madison, Wisconsin smells like all through August. Yuck!

5. I don't like Christmas very much. It always seems like too much work for one little holiday. I'd rather jump into bed and sleep until mid January. That being said, I've been almost exclusively listening to the two radio stations that play non-stop Christmas music. At least once a day I find myself singing along off-key. What is it about 'Away in a Manger' and 'Jingle Bell Rock' that warms my heart so?

6. I seem to be losing the most amount of weight right in the middle of my stomach. I'm not complaining about that. Rather, I find it discouraging that neither my upper chest nor lower stomach and fat ass seem to be shrinking at all. It looks really weird. I'd settle for a few extra pounds (say 170) if that means I can have an hourglass shape.

7. I don't think I'm going to go to hell when I die. I was already there when I survived my teenage years. If there is someone up there, they will certainly have mercy on me.

8. I'm becoming obsessed with unwanted hair and the removal of it. One of my favorite tools I splurged on this year was some fantastic tweezers. If I could only take one object with me to a desert island, I'd take my tweezers. I love them that much.

9. I count on my fingers way more than I should as a senior attending a major public university.

10. I tend to forget certain letters in certain words like the second 'i' in visit or the fact that there are two o's, only one 'p' and the 'r' doesn't come until after the 'p' in cooperation. I guess I didn't watch enough Sesame Street or something.

11. Sometimes I feel guilty for taking a really fluffy ball of yarn and knitting with it. Every once in awhile I come across a skein of soft yarn out there that should just be left alone. It's practically a shame to knit something when it's already reached a perfect state of existence. How could it possibly be improved by being made into a sweater?

12. I don't see a point to praying. It never gets me anywhere. I find more solace in seeking out a real answer, getting off my ass, and doing something with my hands (other than slapping them together and curling my fingers).

13. 9 years ago this week I was in the hospital having an eight pound cyst removed from my abdomen. I lost twenty pounds in three days. I was miserable at Christmas.

14. 8 years ago this week I was having a hernia repaired that resulted from the cyst surgery. Christmas sucked again that year. Talk about déjà vu.

15. Every year I hear the

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Objects In Mirror Revisited

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Last year, I had the intention of blogging my New Year’s resolutions. I drafted a list and by the time I was done, it was a mile long. I was too hard on myself, as usual, and the thought of having to attempt all of the million things I wanted to accomplish got me rather down. There were simply too many tasks to perform and behaviors to modify in my life. I was completely overwhelmed and I ended up shelving the post.

A week later, I looked through my archives and it dawned on me how easy it was to observe all of the things that I’d already accomplished that year. I’d really done a whole hell of a lot more than I realized. I discovered photography, I made it through my first year of college at a major public university, I lost more than half the weight I wanted to, I discovered the true amount of love and admiration that I held for my parents. I made up a list and instantly, I felt better. That inventory, along with a metaphorical picture and title, became the post that I listed a year ago.

I’ve decided to continue the tradition of reflecting on this year’s accomplishments. And let me tell you that it’s still a far more rewarding exercise to carry out than having to list all of the things I have yet to do in the coming year. It does wonders for the soul to list all of the good things that have already happened, to catalog each nugget of wisdom gained and special memory that occured, and to store them in a place that I can always visit. Seeing that post last year helped me to reflect on all of the changes I made and that were made to me in the last twelve months. I am reminded that I ended my post last year by declaring that it had been the best year I had in 7 years. Just between you and me, here’s where I admit that 2005 blew 2004 out of the ball park.

It feels like a thousand lifetimes that I’ve past through in just 365 days. So much has happened. So much has changed. I’ve been altered and morphed into an entirely different person. The contrast of last year’s Angela to the Angela of this year is simply staggering. I couldn’t be happier or more self-aware and reflective on where I am in my life at this moment. And all I have is an enormous amount of hope for the future that I face. What follows is a list of some of the most significant things that transpired this year but I have to admit that I found it hard to quantify, to express in words all that has happened in just twelve months.

In five hundred,
twenty five thousand,
six hundred minutes,
How do you measure
a year in the life?


Today, there are three kinds of people: the have's, the have-not's, and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have's. ~Earl Wilson
I’m not out of debt. In fact with three more school quarters under my belt, my school loans have doubled. However, this year I’ve faithfully worked to pay my bills each month. It’s not easy and I don’t always succeed (sometimes not without help from my loving and very understanding parents). But I’m proud to say that at least my car loan is almost paid off. And I am the only one of my friends to have bought my very first car and to have paid for it by myself. This is something to be proud of.


My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. ~Orson Welles

I didn’t lose any more weight this year. From October last year to May this year, I gained more than 20 pounds back of what I lost. I spent all summer working it off again. But the amazing thing that happened to me this year was that I began gaining strength and energy from exercise. In June and July, I began walking along the riverfront each day. Most days I walked five miles. A few days I walked ten. When I participated in Relay For Life in July, I jogged around the track a couple of times without stopping. Late this fall, I found out that I could jog just as well as I could walk. Before I had lost the 63 pounds, I couldn’t jog more than a quarter mile. Two weeks ago I jogged two miles around the neighborhood. I’m considering participating in the Butte to Butte as a walker next July. It’s a measly 4.5 miles between Spencer and Skinner Buttes. Huh. Me joining a marathon. That’s something I never thought would happen.


I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. ~Joe Mullally
I didn’t find God or Jesus or even Buddha this year. However, what I did find was a more acceptable level of tolerance for certain people who are spiritual. And that’s surprising to me. I’ve spent the last several years being very angry with religion and the people who claim they are spiritual and happy in the world with their God and they supposedly love everyone but really have no tolerance for any other view than the one that matches their own. I generalized them, talked down to them, questioned their intelligence, and made it a point to avoid them whenever possible. At some point this year, I began to soften up. I made friends people that are teaching me about their religion by using tolerance, love and compassion when they discuss their views with me. Through them, I can see how religion has the potential to enhance a life rather than hinder it. This makes me hopeful for the future. I may never move beyond being an agnostic/borderline atheist but I have much respect for those people in my life for which religion is a positive guiding force.

Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman
In January, I taught myself how to knit. I haven’t progressed beyond squares and rectangles, but I have made some very nice gifts for people. This Christmas, I decided to make presents for almost everyone on my list since I’ve been hoarding yarn and old sweaters to be ripped up for their yarn. I must say that I enjoy the craft quite a bit. It has some surprising meditative qualities to it. It kept me sane during the first half of the year when nothing else was doing it for me.


Procrastination is like masturbation. At first it feels good, but in the end you're only screwing yourself. ~Author Unknown
This is the stickiest issue for me at the moment. I haven’t made a whole lot of headway in solving my habit of putting things off until the very last minute (and sometimes even beyond that point). In fact most days it feels as if I’m sliding backwards. I'm totally distracted and concentration impaired almost every minute of the day. I can't read a book or watch a movie for more than 20 minutes before one of my eyeballs starts to wander to either side of the room. I can be watching the most engrossing drama on TV and suddenly an intriguing piece of cat hair on the sofa, or the fact that the cushions need mending, or a sudden impulse to go buy a new toothbrush will pull my attention away. As you can imagine, it's having a severely damaging impact on my academics. Simply put, this quarters grades are in the toilet.

I've begun the process of obtaining professional help for my constant mental interruptions. Recently, I had a session with a psychologist and I got a sort of diagnosis:

Adjustment Disorder of an Unspecified Subtype

So what does that mean, exactly? Basically it means that my symptoms of procrastination, distraction, a few physical complaints such as headaches and general uneasiness, with minimal depression and anxiety are all related to the fact that I don't adjust well to changes in my life.

You don’t say?

Considering the plethora of changes that have occurred this year, I’d say that diagnosis is pretty damn accurate. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s going to have to be enough at the moment to just understand my problem before I attempt to change it.


What is art but a way of seeing? ~Thomas Berger
I’ve struggled with calling myself a photographer this year. However, everyone else around me seems to have no trouble attaching that label to my name. In one year, to many people, I have become the artist, the photographer, the talented person. There is power behind such labels. It allows someone to grow in new directions and become the person they’ve always wanted to be.

Sometimes we can only define ourselves through the definitions that others have of us.


The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. ~ Pascal
This summer, it seemed as if every sunset contained a thousand colors that caught my heart in my throat and made my soul resonate with unheard hymns. I saw the world through a different lens and everything was seemingly brand new and sparkling. Of course, falling in love tends to cloud the brain
just a bit.

For those of you who have been keeping track of my blog, you know that this development has kept me relatively busy the last half of the year. It all started
here and what blossomed through a ton of emails during the summer caught me completely off guard. At some point in late July I woke up one morning and it dawned on me that I couldn’t imagine not knowing this person whom, up to that point, I hadn’t even met. My life has been divided essentially into life before him and life after him. It’s funny how much everything changes when a total stranger at the beginning of the year becomes such an integral part of my world by the end of the year. He told me last night he was excited to have discovered me in this world. And I want to tell him that I feel exactly the same way.

But the best part is that it’s not just him. In just a few short months, an entire family has come to mean the absolute world to me. Oh, I am so incredibly blessed.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

(I didn't photograph the tattoo picture... but I would sure love to focus on art captured on the human body in my pictures! Anyone want to be my model?)

Through several conversations with loved ones this year, the concept of the rising phoenix was mentioned time and time again in regards to my life and it has become a highly appropriate metaphor. I feel as though I’ve hatched out from the restrictive body and mind that has held me prisoner for so long. I most certainly do feel like a phoenix, with newly discovered wings, feathers ruffling in the light breeze, getting ready to effortless soar out over the world. I am coming into my own here and it feels so damn good.

Everything I have touched on in this post is an aspect of my life that has been in a state of change for some time. Some of these changes began more than a year ago; some are only a recent development. But all of these alterations to my life have turned me into a vastly different person from whom I used to be. Five years ago, I was a deeply unhappy person who was just going through the motions of a life unwanted. Three years ago, I made some radical changes to my environment in a desperate attempt to alter the course of my life. Today, I am reaping the benefits from those changes- with added interest.

It's a wonderful time for me and I'm happy to be here to share this life with you all.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sevits Family Sitting

I took pictures a week ago for the Sevits family and hopefully they can use one for their Christmas cards. I was supposed to get a good family portrait but Miss Rhylie kept stealing the show and getting right up in front of the camera. She even helped take a photo or two.

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Defiance (one of the many looks of Miss Rhylie)

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." -Walt Streightiff

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This photograph is a little unusual seeing as how I washed most of it out. I wanted to capture Rhylie's deeply soulful eyes and command the viewer’s attention with them. Her eyes sung, danced, whispered, screamed and burst with joy. A precocious little toddler with an unyielding determination to do what she wants; Rhylie is absolutely adorable and I get a kick out of taking her picture every time. She’s also stunningly gorgeous to boot. I think she gets those looks from her parents. And maybe the family would agree that Rhylie gets her determination from her mother!?!? ;)

Monday, December 05, 2005

My Book List for 2006

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I’ve been feeling lonely the last couple of days. I think it has something to do with the emptiness that surrounds me in this apartment. I feel closed in by it and I’m always trying to escape it. Usually I put the TV on or the radio. It doesn’t always fill what’s missing though. When everything is absolutely quiet, that’s when I feel the worst. Sometimes the silence is suffocating. When Tudeskii was here, there was always noise of some kind. I would hear him taking his shower in the morning as I awoke. Or I’d here him laughing along to the Daily Show as he made dinner. And as much as I hated his snoring, at least it was a constant sound in the middle of the night and I always knew he was close by.

It’s especially hard to have this empty feeling so close to Christmas. Maybe I have it because of the holidays. I’m not entirely sure.

I’m hoping to shake it off come Thursday when all of my finals are done. But I fear with less to do, I may get even lonelier. I thought it might help to get out and spend some time Christmas shopping (or rather, window shopping) but somehow it just makes me feel worse. And everywhere I go, insipid Christmas music is piped into the sound system. And everyone else seems so happy and content. Meanwhile, I nearly broke down and cried while at St. Vinnie’s yesterday. There was some old song on-‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’-I think and it just echoed right through me filling me with such sadness. It just made me weak all over.

January can’t get here soon enough.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

In Between the Studying...

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I like to pick up the needles to calm my anxious and overworked brain just a little bit. I've decided to make as many gifts as possible for Christmas. Seeing as how it's already December, I've had to make a few adjustments for the gifts to be ready in three short weeks:

Almost everyone is getting a scarf. I don't have time to make blankets, wraps or anything complicated.

I'm using chunky yarn in everything. The chunkier, the faster it knits up.

Big needles are my friends. Anything under a size 10 is out.

I bought a knitting hoop that’s supposed to help one knit faster. But I probably won't figure out how the damn thing works till after the New Year.

I resolve to start on next year's gifts by December 26th.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Old Girl

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Sign of Contentment (it is HNT, after all)

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Let the eyebrows rise high, hushed whispers pass judgment, and cutsey comments commence right.... now.

And before someone asks, I'll just answer:

Yes that is HIM. NO- He is not naked! And you can read about the tattoo symbol here.

Hey look at that! In one little post I've managed to "out" him, embarrass myself totally, and piss off my parents for showing more partially nude pictures. Congrats to me!

*I do know the rules of HNT but I thought it was more fun to post someone else's picture today.