Posts Tagged ‘computer’

I am desperately drooling over a 2,5 seater leather sofa at Ikea and I am trying to put all sorts of wily schemes together to get my hands on one. It isn’t very expensive and oh so practical with the animals, because now I am constantly vacuuming cat and dog hair off the sofa and wiping off cat barf. I need 400 Euros and somehow there has to be away that I can manage to get this money together, said the eternal optimist. It is a big wish and I will make it come true, come hell or high water. You’ll see.

Today the Exfactor is coming by at 1 PM to give me the papers that I need on Tuesday. Maybe he will stay for a cup of coffee, which I won’t mind at all. I have been able to handle small amounts of him as long as it is under my conditions. And since I rule here…you get the picture.

Sleeping is still going extremely well. I do get up in the middle of the night thinking I am awake and need to do things, but it is all a delusion and within the shortest amount of time I am asleep again. The Unberhund is sleeping later also, so we are in tune with each other. We go for our morning walk when we are good and ready and that may take some time, as I do need my mugs of coffee to become fully functioning. The Uberhund very patiently waits by me feet where I can scratch his ears. He makes sure he is not getting the short end of the stick anytime. He allows no cat to come near me, not even his favorite one and if one comes close by, he hunkers up against me as close as he can, not leaving any room for a cat to get in.

The Netherlands lost to the Russians 1-3. What a blamage. I only watched some of the game, because I kept falling asleep on the sofa, but I woke up with each over excited noise when another goal was made. The whole neighborhood was roaring with grief. I guess that Dutch coach really taught the Russians how to play football. I don’t know what this means for our overall standings, I will try to find out today. I went to bed directly after the game and didn’t stay up to listen to the analysis. Oh, well…

The weather is very odd. It is overcast, but warm and I am not sure if it is going to rain, because i missed watching the news yesterday. I am so out of date as to what is going on in the world. I only know what is happening right here right now. It keeps me occupied enough.

Will somebody ask Kacey to get in touch with me, because I can’t get onto her blog. Blogger has assigned me a different email address. The same goes for Frances, but I know how to get in touch with her.

I very merrily washed my tiny amount of dishes this morning. I was done in a few minutes. I have to look for laundry to fill up the washing machine, as I don’t want to run it half full, but sometimes I have to out of necessity. That old washing machine is still hanging in there. If it ever gives up, I’ll go to the recycle store and buy a new second hand one. Luckily, the refrigerator is fairly new, so it ought to last a while and so is the TV, which I watch so rarely. The computer is the thing that needs to keep hanging in there. The new Internet banking account comes with a savings account and I will seriously try to make use of it and save some money every month.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to report for today. Don’t you just love these short little posts? They’re so uncomplicated. Since it is Sunday, not a heck of a lot is happening, but that is fine with me. A quiet dull roar is just fine every now end then.

Have a darn good day, even though it’s the last day of the weekend. Oh, remember the stress i used to have? Not anymore, thank you ma’am.



Read Full Post »

Starry Night

Friday afternoon, 5:30 PM. Well, I have managed to piddle away a whole other day doing all sorts of things and nothing important at all really. In the morning at 7 AM, I lost my Internet connection and was like Captain Hook without his hook. The help desk didn’t open until 8 AM, so I actually had to amuse myself for an entire hour. I did this by trying to fix the problem myself by removing and reattaching several wires, but that didn’t help.

At 8 AM, the man at the help desk started telling me a complicated story about which wires to disconnect and I told him to hold on a minute while I gave him my husband to talk to who is much more technically gifted than I am. They had a bit of a conversation and wires were disconnected and reconnected and after a while, I had Internet again and that was the most important thing of all. Thank goodness for technically savvy husbands!

What I did after that is sort of vague to me. I was supposed to have gone back to bed, but I never did make it there. I did all sorts of other things behind the computer, but I don’t rightly know what they all were anymore, so I claim partial amnesia.

I did pick out a new template, which is the stretch denim, it being a wider template than the other, but then I spent a long time trying to get it to look as much as possible like the old one. Only the banner changed, as you can see, as I have misplaced the large size of the tulip photograph, so have added the metamorphic one instead. Blowing my own horn a bit here too, no doubt.

I have changed the images on my slide show and first had them in the middle of the page, but then didn’t like that and moved them back to the sidebar. At first I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the ones in the middle of the page, but it turned out that you just delete them as you would any old post. Now I have to figure out how to add images to the slide show without going through all sorts of hassle.

Charley Toorop

I was busy like this until Eduard came home and he saw the condition I was in and the apartment and he said that maybe I was spending too much time behind the computer, which I weakly protested, since it is only the last few days that I am so preoccupied and obsessed at the cost of everything else. He does have a point though, but I am not ready to change my manners just yet. I need to be a little obsessed a little while longer.

He did have a surprise for me. A new mobile phone, one that closes so you don’t have to deactivate the keyboard every time you stick it in your pocket and it comes with its own built in tunes. I am learning how to use it as the instructions are in German and English, but one of the languages on the phone is Dutch. See how continental we are? Now I want people to call me, so I can hear the tune I picked out. I’ll call myself in a little while.

Finally, after all that excitement, Eduard and I went to bed for our afternoon nap and I slept at least two hours and it was wonderful. I am sure it was very boring for Eduard, but it can’t be helped. It is therapeutic, after all! We did have a huggable time beforehand.

Now Eduard is cooking paella and the whole apartment smells good. He is making it with shrimp and chicken and I am sure that it will be delicious. I won’t be able to eat the chicken, though. I’ll have to eat around it. Jekser is eyeballing the shrimp, because he loves them. He would eat the whole pound of them if we let him, so we gave him some extra kibbles instead, that is much healthier for him.

Monet 1

Oh yes, I have been doing a lot of experimenting with the metamorphics and I am becoming quite contend with them. I am catching on to the possibilities and how to use them. Slowly by slowly, as Irene always goes.

I have to tell you people, there is a lot of difference if I have enough sleep and take my medicines on time. Whenever I become unreasonable and very down, I have done one of these things not right and I quickly need to remedy the situation. The problem is the point to which I am reasonable enough to realize that. Therefor the sign on the coffee table.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ll catch up with you guys later in the night or in the early morning. I am still in my bathrobe. Isn’t that scandalous?

Saturday some time in the night, way too early to call it morning.


Sometimes you have to break up your own train of thought with an image, but will it work? (This will not make any sense to you, because before this I had a bit of a rant about something and Blogger will not let me put it in no matter what I tried, so we’ll just forget about that and consider it left unthought and unwritten. The god of the Bloggers didn’t want it out there apparently.)
No, it didn’t, so I very leisurely smoked a cigarette and drank my mug of Senseo and that calmed me down a bit. Pretty soon the oxazepam will start to work and I will be doing a lot better. I will no longer rage like a storm in a glass of water. All confined and unable to get out. Now I must eat soemthing. Hhhmmm…yogurt, because there are no cookies.

That tasted good!

Today is Saturday, so Eduard gets to spend the afternoon on his own however he pleases. It’s his time out from all the responsibilities that rest on his shoulders the rest of the week. It’s his mental health afternoon. He doesn’t have to tell me where he is going or where he has been as long as he is home by 6 PM. His psychiatrist thought that this was very important for him, but I had already agreed to such an arrangement and we have the particulars drawn up in a contract that we both agreed on. That way everything is clear to the both of us and there will be no misunderstandings. Eduard needs to feel that he has this small amount of freedom without care for anybody, including me. I need to feel some amount of control by having drawn up the contract.

I can do all of this, as long as I keep on an even keel and my moods don’t start fluctuating wildly, so it is important that I take care of myself well. I m
ust sleep on time and take my medication on time and extra if I need it. I have to be my own best monitor, nobody else will feel as well as I how I am doing, well, with the exception of Frances maybe! She has the uncanny ability to pick up on my moods very quickly.

Here is one last image, a portrait of myself made unrecognizable.

Have yourself a satisfying but silly Saturday with sumptuous weather and now snow flurries!


Read Full Post »

Bowl with Junk:

I am not sitting here in my regal red bathrobe, but in my clothes, as that is what I was wearing when I fell asleep on the sofa last night. I hadn’t planned to fall asleep there, it sort of overtook me by surprise and before I knew it, I was gone from this world completely.

I had very intricate dreams about a very evil child who was not me, nor was she my daughter and I don’t know who she was instead, but she was a sheer devil. She could put on her wily charms at the drop of a hat and she was a very calculating little b*tch. It is almost scary that I am capable of dreaming these kinds of things and I wonder what Jung would make of it.

It is a good thing to wake up to reality when you dream like that and realize that you real world doesn’t look like your dream world. I check all the different parts of it for evilness and find out that, no, there is none such in my life. I did have a very scheming and conniving grandmother, but she died and I don’t think it was her in the dream.

I have had two cups of regular coffee and now I am drinking decaf to see what will happen. Maybe I will get sleepier sometime during the wee hours and feel the need to go back to sleep again. It’s an experiment. Of course, it is possible that when I do start to feel sleepy, I’ll switch to regular coffee again, because I am having too much fun staying up. Decisions, decisions…

One thing is for sure, I tried not to turn on the computer right away, but that was as impossible as not breathing, so that experiment failed. I wanted to sit and just enjoy my cup of coffee and my cigarette, but then I thought, “Who am I fooling, turn that darn thing on already!” So I did and I felt much better. Some habits are best not broken, they just feel good.

Yesterday morning the dog and I went for a longer walk. I forgot my gloves and came home with quite cold hands. I could have frozen ice cubes with them. The dog enjoyed his morning constitution and we ran into one other dog who took one look at Jesker and decided to go the other way. It is funny to me that Jesker can be intimidating, because he is such a kindly looking dog, but I guess not always when you are another dog.

I always look at Jesker from the rear when we go for a walk and I think he is quite comical looking, as his rear legs are kind of bow shaped, as most dog’s are, and it makes him look kind of like a little tough cowboy. He ought to wear a Stetson and have a cigarette dangling from his lips. I am sure he thinks he is really tough looking the way he swaggers down the street, but he doesn’t fool me one bit, although I am sure he is a hit with the ladies.

I am always surprised that he isn’t bothered by the cold, while I am wrapped up in layers of clothing. He never shivers. He must have the ability to stay warm even in the cold and he must have an internal mechanism to keep the heat up. I wish I did, as my extremities are always very cold and you can ask Eduard about that. He has felt my cold hands and feet.

I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store and we didn’t really need that much, so I went to the little Mom and Pop shop around the corner where are the items are packed to the ceiling and where you really can buy just about anything. It is fun shopping there if you know where to look. I couldn’t find the cornflakes until they were pointed out to me some seven feet up on a shelf. They do have a good enough selection of cookies there and those were what I was after. Butter spritz with chocolate and little rolled up cakes with whipped cream and jam. Oh, so fattening!

My daughter and her boyfriend came to dinner last night and that is what the cookies were for. I figured we’d have them afterwards with coffee. but we never did get to the coffee part, because the wine tasted too good.

I made a wild mushroom soup, courtesy of Unox with extra mushrooms added in and a container of creme fraiche. I had also made my famous leek pie and I must say that it turned out very well last night. Sometimes, it is especially good and last night was one of those times.

My daughter keeps regaling her boyfriend with amusing and comical stories about her childhood and tells him about people and events that I have half forgotten, but that jar my memory when she tells them. I am so amazed at what she remembers. Apparently I told her, when she was little, that it was good to have lots of pets, because when war broke out we would always have something to eat. I know this is true, it is something I would have said, remembering the hunger winter of WWII, but hearing her say it, it seems so shocking.

She has lots of stories about her and her brother and the kinds of adventures they got into together and some of these things I know nothing about. I am just hearing about them for the first time. And then she says, “But Mom, we were good kids,” and she is right, they were good kids for the most part and I could trust them not to do anything too stupid.

I am glad that she is remembering her childhood with lots of humor. It seems to be a great source of amusement to her and I am happy for that. I think the fact that she had a brother who was so close to her in age and who was her buddy really helped her. They always had each other in the good times and the bad times. At least they could ridicule their parents together when we were being completely disagreeable.

My daughter talks about her brother a lot. He is most definitely a big part of her life still. I think she misses him a lot. But all her stories of him are happy ones and she talks of him with joy in her voice. She is very happy when she finds a photograph with him in it that she hadn’t seen yet. Especially one in which he looks very handsome. He was such a good looking young man.

I am very happy that my daughter is keeping her brother’s memory alive so well. I don’t get a chance to talk about him that much and when I do, it is always with a certain amount of sadness. It is good to talk about him with a certain amount of joy. To remember the happy times. To remember who he was apart from the person who had cancer and suffered so. I’ll make it a point to ask her to tell me more good stories about him and about them.

Some cats are sleeping on the kitchen counter as if that is the most comfortable place to sleep. I don’t know what they are waiting for. Their dishes are filled with kibbles and there is milk in their other dish. Maybe they’re hoping to get lucky and
get some spare luncheon meat. I have been known to give that to hungry looking cats. I think these cats may have me figured all out.

The dog is eyeballing me from his pillow as if I am wearing something that belongs to him. Sometimes I think that these animals have ulterior motives in so innocently hanging around here. I think they want things. They’re constantly keeping me under surveillance to see if I’ll do something that will be to their advantage. It’s a cat and mouse game.

My life wouldn’t be half as amusing without the animals. They are a constant source of humor to me. Actually, there is a lot to be said for the study of animal behavior, although I am studying them in a domestic setting, which influences the outcomes of the results I get, because we do influence the animals quite a bit.

Eduard says, that the animals have nothing better to do than to study us all day long, so they know us better than we know them and they know exactly how to get us to do the things they want us to do. They are only limited by the language they can use to express their desires.

Toby makes urgent noises by the kitchen door when the kibbles are all gone. Gandhi becomes very affectionate when the milk is all gone. Nouri is kind of dopey and leaves it all up to chance. She just takes advantage of what the other cats do for her. I think when push comes to shove, she’ll let me know that she needs something, but so far it hasn’t been necessary. There is always Toby ahead of her demanding new kibbles in the dish and when he meows, she meows too. She is codependent.

I have taken some pictures with Eduard’s camera, but the deal is, that it is Eduard’s camera and that it is hands off for me and that I can have my own camera if I want to. I haven’t decided if I want to yet, so for now I am dependent on him for interesting shots to make my images with. I suppose I could sit down with the instruction booklet and really get to know Eduard’s camera, but that would imply that I would be planning on using it and I don’t want to seem presumptuous. He really and truly wants his own camera and really and truly thinks I should have my own if I want to seriously take photographs. I don’t know how serious I am yet and if I want to spend the money. I’ll have to think about it for a good long while.

He does take photographs keeping my hobby in mind and there are always lots of shots I can work with. You know how I make a series of four images? I know the first and the third image of the series are the best, yet somehow I am compelled to post all four, just because I make all four. I have thought about only posting images one and three and then doing double images. I don’t know, I have to think about it. Maybe I’ll come up with a solution today.

Tell you what, lets take a vote, should I only post images one and three or should I post all four images of the series? You tell me and please, be brutally honest. I know you can do it. I’ve seen you do it on other blogs. I like to show the whole sequence, because that’s what I make and they are connected, but I can see the charms of only posting one and three, because they are maybe the best.

You tell me!

I have been so busy doing other things, that I have forgotten to polish my nails and now I look like a floozy. I can’t have that and either have to wear nail polish properly or not at all, none of this half off stuff. I have always disliked that about other women’s nail polish when it wasn’t on right anymore and I used to think, “Oh, I would never walk around looking like that!” Well, now I am and in just a few minutes, I am going to wipe it all off.

I realize that I am no fun in the evening. Some time after dinner, I start to yawn and my level of energy declines rapidly. My ability to keep up an acceptable level of conversation fails and I start to give one syllable answers. My daughter suggested a game of Scrabble and I could only decline with some amount of horror, even after she offered me the chance to play in two languages. I am intellectually not up to that after dinner and I could probably only make one syllable words like “What” and “Who” and “Why”. Or words like “Poop” and “Pee”.

I am not a great one for playing games anyway, as it requires a level of concentration that I just don’t have. I get distracted and bored to quickly and I don’t have a killer instinct. I like to play poker if it is a fast game, but Scrabble and Rummy Cup take too long. I also like a fast game of dice, as long as it moves quickly. I’ll have to remember that the next time I am almost falling asleep. If people would just get up early in the morning like I do, we would all have a great social life, but they all sleep late and don’t get going for hours later than I do. I get bored in the morning waiting for the world to wake up.

I’ll be happy when the holidays are over, because I have been eating things other than what I usually eat. I have had a lot of sweets and I haven’t weighed myself for some time and vow I will not until I start eating more normal again. I have an appointment with the Obesitas Nurse Specialist on the 14th of January, after I have my first appointment with the dietitian. Lots of good and sensible advice will be given me, but mostly it will be the moral back up that I need to get rid of the last kilos. And I hope that the gastric band will be filled one more time, because I think there is some room left for improvement. I definitely should be eating smaller portions.

Well, I suppose this epistle has grown long enough for one sitting. It has been most amusing sitting here writing it and I could go on for hours. I won’t, though. A woman does have to know her limits and the limits of her audience.

I wish you all a very good day, with lots of productive and creative hours. Ciao…

Read Full Post »

Well, one of the reasons I get up so early is that I have to pee like crazy in the middle of the night and if I don’t make a fast run for the bathroom, I’ll not make it and pee in the bed. Then I am sitting there on the toilet, all relieved, and I think, “Do I go back to bed now or do I have the audacity to stay up yet?” My mind is not really sufficiently awake yet and my eyes are still sort of half shut, but I decide to stay up and I grope my way to the living room where I turn on the computer and take an Oxazepam.

All the while I’m talking to myself, “It’s okay, Irene, you’ll make it, you’ll be fine, don’t worry, everything is going to be just fine, girl.” I make coffee and warm up the Senseo machine and make myself a cup of Senseo and I very carefully sit down behind the computer and, with bleary eyes, open up Outlook. In a flash, all the messages come pouring in and with my mind still half asleep, I try to comprehend what it says there. Then I open up my web page and stare at what I have written yesterday and try to make some sense of that. I look at the images that I have posted and try to decide if I like them and then I read the comments, but at that point it is beyond my ability to react to those.

I drink my Senseo and go get another cup, ignoring the full pot of regular coffee until later. After the second cup of Senseo, I start to feel like a human being again and suddenly I am functioning and my eyes are open and my mind is working. Then I can’t remember if I did take my Oxazepam and I start to doubt that, and all I can do is wait and see if I feel it working any time soon. “Gosh darn it,” I think, “Why do you take your medicine when you are still comatose, you silly woman! How will you know for sure?” Then I convince myself that I haven’t taken an Oxazepam yet and take one just to be sure, because there is almost nothing worse than sitting here writing my post without having taken one. Well, I got that taken care of.

In the meantime, I have already gone to some other people’s blogs and read those, but I have not left comments yet, because my mind is not fully into gear yet and I do want to be especially intelligent when I comment. I can’t just say, “Gee, I really liked your post today!” That would be so juvenile and fall so short of my well worded image of myself. Isn’t it exhausting? I have to be witty at all times, so I don’t comment until I feel witty and sharp and on my toes. That’s a pot of coffee later than it is now. And about a half dozen cigarettes.

All kidding aside , people. This blogging is serious business, take my word for it. You present yourself to the world at the most vulnerable time of the day and that is in the morning when none of your defenses are up yet and you are like a newborn child just come around to see what is happening in this big world of ours. Well, I doubt that I am quite that innocent, but you get my drift. I’m just an old middle aged woman sitting here sharing my inner most thoughts with y’all in my old bathrobe with my socks on and my hair not combed yet. The socks are especially significant, because it means that it is becoming Autumn and things are cooling down a bit, but we still have the windows open on a crack.

So, now I feel the Oxazepam starting to work and my whole body is starting to relax. You wouldn’t believe how much tension a person carries subconsciously in her shoulders and back and neck. You think you are totally relaxed, but in the meantime…I am always having a hard time trying to figure out what to do with my legs when I sit behind the computer. I really want to put them up and I try all sorts of positions to be comfortable in, but all of them only work for a short time and then I have to move them again. I should be sitting in a recliner with the keyboard in my lap. The problem is the desk, it doesn’t give me enough leg room, because there is the printer right underneath the computer on a shelf and I keep bumping into it. I think it is time for a different computer table.

Yesterday morning I was so lazy. I kept sitting behind the computer in my bathrobe, playing with Paintshop, not paying attention at all to what time it was, being completely absorbed by what I was trying to do. I drank numerous cups of Senseo and smoked numerous cigarettes and then the doorbell rang. “Oh darn,” I thought, being in my bathrobe still and it turned out to be the man who came to give the boiler its yearly service check up. So, that was slightly embarrassing, because I had not cleaned up the kitchen either where he had to be. Then I saw that it was after ten o’clock and that I hadn’t even walked the dog yet. So, I couldn’t get dressed and do that until after the man left, as he kept telling me to turn the thermostat up and down. So, by the time I walked the dog, it was eleven o’clock and you wouldn’t have known it looking at the dog, because he was as calm as ever and not the least bit in a hurry to do his thing.

That leads me to believe that I don’t need to be so neurotic about the exact hour I take the dog out, which I have always been, because I always thought it would be horrible for him to have to wait. Now I know better and I won’t be rushing around in the morning trying to get him out on time. As long as he is very calmly sleeping on his pillow, there is no rush yet and I can take my time.

Anonymous L in California gave me some good feedback on the images of the tropical fish. She said that the blue line in it disturbed her and she thought it distracted from the image. Now, I find this to be very helpful criticism and it is something I will pay attention to in the future, that when I add a colored line, I do it early in the process, so it will have a chance to be incorporated in the image better and not stand out so much. If any of you notice things like this, please feel free to comment on them. Helpful criticism is always welcome and I am not unwilling to hear it.

I understand that the brown barnacle images weren’t much of a success, because of their colors and little skulls, which made them look eerie. The orange/red barnacle images did a lot better. If you see features you like, let me know, if you see features you like less, let me know that too. I am on a learning curve.

I have added an image called seamless fit to the series of images. So now there are four images in a series. I have to decide which combination of these I am going to eventually frame together in one pas par tout in one frame, so any input on that would be helpful too. I have a map with August images and I ha
ve a map with September images, and you can see the improvement over time. I really am getting better. Yesterday afternoon I spent making seamless fit images of everything I have and that was a lot of fun and I organized everything really well by labels, so it all shows up in the right order now when I make a slide show out of it. That is helpful to see what I like and what I don’t like. You will notice that I am a very organized person when it comes to my ‘art’, dare I call it that? Debi asked me what I call my creations and I have not really come up with a proper description of them, so maybe you can help me think of one too.

Well, it certainly is nice when your Oxazepam works. It’s like getting a whole new lease on life. Gone are the spiderwebs and here are the clear and light thoughts. Everyone should take it! I have asked my psychiatrist if I can keep using it throughout the rest of the winter until springtime and he said that in principle he doesn’t have a problem with that, but to wait and see if it is really necessary. Knowing me, it will be, because I know from experience how I am in the wintertime and that is very often doom and gloom and I will do anything to lighten that load. It is so nice to feel light hearted and unconcerned about things that I don’t need to be concerned about anyway. No mindf****ing!

In my first marriage, I identified very strongly with the character Norah out of Ibsen’s The Dollhouse. I read that play several times and used to feel such compassion for that woman. She was so bereft and desperate and had worked her self into a position out of which she could not find a way gracefully. I felt her pain when she left her husband and her children and always wished for her own personal story to have a happy ending. It came to the point that I seriously considered changing my name to Norah if I had gone ahead with my American citizenship papers which would have allowed me to change my name. I always thought of myself as Norah, a woman caught in an unequal situation out of which there was no graceful exit.

Just think, if I had become an American citizen, I might be Norah now and I might still be living in the States in a whole different set of circumstances. It wouldn’t have been easy for me to come back to the Netherlands permanently with an American passport. Once you give up your Dutch citizenship, you lose all your rights. You truly become a foreigner. What life would that Norah have had and would she have found her happiness or would she have steadily hung on to her future less situation that bore her no fruit and would she somehow have suppressed all of her longings to be an individual in her own right? In America I was Irene, which is not the true pronunciation of my name, which is Ee-ray-nuh. Her I am Ee-ray-nuh again, and that makes a difference too. I prefer that name to Irene. Who was this Irene Sweet anyway? A figment of some body’s imagination. A mispronunciation of a name with an adage that was not mine. Here I am Ee-ray-nuh See-ders again. The person I was born as and who deep down in my core I am.

So, what’s in a name? A lot, an identity, a way of life, a way of feeling and existing. I am not Norah anymore now, nor do I have the wish to be. I see her now as a victim of her situation and I don’t see myself as a victim any longer. I am Ee-ray-nuh the survivor and the original, back to my roots.

Well, that was a small divergence on that path of my identity, maybe brought about by my dabbling in the ‘arts’, and who is doing that? Ee-ray-nuh is. And why is she? Because there is room for her to do it! Because nobody is intimidated by this Ee-ray-nuh. So hang out the flag and celebrate!

Well, if I go on any longer with this diatribe I will lose your attention, so I will stop for now, though I have much left to say. Things pile up in my head and want to be said, but everything has its place and time.

I will now go and find some images to go with this long epistle and hope that I can find the best. Have a terrific day, people. I hope you all feel creative and inspired to do great things! Ciao…

Read Full Post »

With the generous help of Rima, I was able to transform my blog into something more personal. I picked the Minima template from Blogger and then added a picture of a mandala to the header. Rima explained to me how to do this. So you see how even a person as inexperienced as I can do such a thing. Once you’ve done it, you think, “Well, that wasn’t so difficult! I should have done that months ago!” Of course, months ago I didn’t know Rima. She is always the first one to come up with good suggestions and the person to help you out with something that you are trying to do. So, three cheers for Rima.

I weighed myself this morning and I weigh 92.4 kilos, in spite of the fact that I had a peanut butter sandwich, which made me feel very full and uncomfortable, but was worth every bite. Sometimes you just have to have something as finger licking good as that, when you are just drooling at the idea of it. And I know that I am not allergic to peanuts, but I do have a very weepy and itchy ear and I then have to assume that this is still the effect of the corn in the little potato salads that I eat every day. I refuse to take out the corn, because it tastes so good and there is so little of it and I don’t have the self discipline. I am very self indulgent. As a matter of fact, I wish I had one of those little potato salads now and I would eat it right away.

I got a new prescription for the Oxazepam from my psychiatrist and he has no problem with me using it for now at all, which I think is very generous of him and which also shows that he trusts me when it comes to my medications. He does know that I ask for something only when I need it, be it something extra like this or an increase in a dosage of something. He never gives me a hard time about it and it always works out well.

This in contrast to my friend Lucien who often gets nil on her requests, but there must be a good reason for that and I don’t know what that is, of course, and I have to be careful what I say about my medications to her lest she starts comparing too much. Every time she gets turned down for something, I only hear her side of the story and although I have a lot of sympathy for her, I don’t know all the reasons behind it, of course, and I do have to be careful how I react to it. I know her husband doesn’t believe in medication to cure what ails her and that is a real shame, because it means that she does not have his support in this area, when medications are so important in fighting a chemical imbalance and can do so much good. He thinks it is all junk and the less she takes, the better. It seems to me that he needs to be educated a little bit better. It’s like saying to a diabetic that he ought not to take insulin. Or to a migraine sufferer that he should not take pain pills.

The Topamax, which is the medication I take as a mood stabilizer, was originally developed as an anti epileptic and for people who suffered from extreme migraines. It works in the temporal lobes on the sides of your head. It was discovered that this medication also worked as a mood stabilizer and I can tell you that for me it has worked beautifully. When I started taking it in February, it got me out of my depression very nicely and since I have been taking it, I have felt better than I had in many years. It is sort of a miracle drug for me. I take it along with two kinds of anti depressives and an anti psychotic medication. All these drugs together make me feel ‘normal’ most of the time. Nobody can tell that I take this much medication, as I function normally just like anybody else and I am not in the least impaired, except for some of my short term memory.

I seem to suffer from S.A.D. in other words, I get depressed in the winter time, about half of the year as a matter of fact. When the light changes toward the fall, I change too, although there were years when my depressions never really lifted and I stayed chronically depressed throughout the year. Not since I am on the Topamax however. It lifted me out of it completely. Now I notice a sort of gloominess settling over me. I am not depressed, but I feel less motivated and excited to do things and I want to hibernate. I also noticed that I was getting a bit short tempered, and I don’t want to be, as it is projecting my own feelings onto other people and that is not fair to them. I have to always keep track of my moods, so things don’t suddenly take me by surprise when they have been brewing for days and weeks already. Sometimes you don’t notice the subtle changes, but they all start to add up to something bigger and before you know it, you have a problem on your hands.

Luckily, I live with a very even tempered man, he is very predictable and basically always in the same mood, which is mostly cheerful. You always know ahead of time what Eduard will be like when he gets up in the morning and what he will be like when he comes home from work. There is no moping and moodiness. He is emotionally very healthy, while at the same time having all of his little quirks that make him so endearing to me. His reactions to my shifts in moods are always very rational and we discuss them in a very rational manner. We don’t let them turn into emotional dramas. We take them as facts of life and deal with them accordingly. We discuss how we will handle them and what the best course of action will be. Firstly we always look at what can be done with the medication, then we look at how we can arrange our lives to accommodate the mood. It means that Eduard lowers his expectations of me temporarily and gives me a little bit of space to be less functioning in. He takes over some of the things that I find harder to do and doesn’t plan any emotionally strenuous activities. Most importantly, he lets me be me, imperfect as that is.

We had to learn all of these things, of course. We did a lot of reading and thinking about it and we talked a lot about how we understood the problem to be. There were a couple of books that really helped us, the most important one being Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer. That was a very helpful and insightful book into how a depression works in your mind and what it does and doesn’t do. I think it helps to be intelligent and to be willing to learn as much as you can about the affliction. Sticking your head in the sand never helps, especially not for the people who are the fellow sufferers. Ignorance is a very dangerous thing. It perpetuates myths.

Well, sometimes I have to discuss these things for the obvious reason that I need to reach out and touch as many people as I can, because I know there are many people out there who one way or the other come in touch with depression, either because they have it themselves, or because a loved one has it or a friend of the family. I recommend reading the right books as a source of information and going to support groups, although they can be a bit off putting with everyo
ne sitting around looking very gloomy if there is not the proper person running the group. Educating yourself is the best thing you can do and being very proactive and assertive about getting the best care and the best medications. Don’t be a passive patient.

Yesterday was such a lazy day. All morning I sat behind the computer. When Eduard left in the morning, I was sitting behind the computer and when he came home at noon time, I was still sitting there. He just grinned at me for being so addicted. I got up quickly and cleaned up the kitchen and then made cigarettes, but the little machine wouldn’t work right and Eduard had to go out and get a new one at the tobacco store. Then my friend Lucien called and we had a conversation about moods and frustrating husbands and uncooperative psychiatrists and I tried to be very understanding and I feel her frustration. I would hate to be in her position and feel that my back was against the wall in what I was trying to attain.

The afternoon went by very pleasantly with Eduard and me taking turns behind the computer and me saying that maybe we need to get wireless and an extra lap top. We would never be able to get a divorce, because we would fight about the computer. It belongs to us equally, although I act very proprietary towards it. I always act like it belongs more to me than to him. Eduard has his own computer at work, but of course he doesn’t get to do all sorts of fun things on it.

After dinner, when Eduard had gone to work again, I fell asleep on the sofa and slept for two hours and when I woke up, I turned the computer on again, even though I was so sleepy and I could hardly keep my eyes open. I checked for emails and comments and there were some, but I was actually not in any shape to react to them coherently. So, I did the smart thing and took my medications and went to bed. I took Melba toast and a tall glass of cold milk with me and had a little party while I was almost falling asleep. I am reading Mythology for Dummies and it really is for dummies, which includes me when I go to bed at night and my brain has just about stopped functioning. For someone who is a voracious reader, I am certainly not reading a lot right now. The computer takes up so much of my time and when I do read during the day, I fall asleep over my book. I have to start the Unicorn by Iris Murdoch and see if it will really grab my attention like her books usually do. I can’t become an illiterate at this stage of my life.

When I am in the GP’s office, I read the women’s magazines that he has there and I think they are so bad, because they make it out as if everything in life is just all wonderful and cozy and compartmentalized into happy little blocks of life in which everybody lives happily ever after if they just decorate their table right and wear the right kind of summery clothing. They are full of feel good stories and uplifting articles and good looking families. Mostly blond and blue eyed. They very rarely discuss anything gritty or disagreeable and if they do, it is in a very saccharine way, with always a happy ending for all.

Okay, That’s enough of my rambling now. I must make some more coffee and have another cup of Senseo. There are no animals around yet, everybody is still asleep. Sometimes I hear Eduard snore and make funny noises in his sleep. He must be dreaming.

Have a wonderful day, even when you are B.A.D. or S.A.D. Ciao…

Read Full Post »

I am sitting here having my third cup of coffee after having visited my fellow blogger’s websites. As is usual, I read some interesting posts and saw some interesting images. It is always good to see what is keeping other people occupied, because it is all so diverse and so different from what I myself get excited about. Reading their blogs reminds me to pay attention to all sorts of other things besides that which plays in my own head and that is pleasant. It is good to be exposed to other people’s sentiments and preoccupations. It makes my little world bigger and gives me food for thought. It makes me feel excited about some things and curious about others. It reminds me to not only live in my own head, with my own thoughts, but to reach out and occupy myself with other issues and other items of interest.

Being the introverted thinker that I am, I realize that a lot of living takes place in my own head. All that I see and read and experience gets processed silently inside my own quiet self. I analyze and ponder and judge and deduct and deduce and come to conclusions. My mind is like a quietly humming computer that independently of other people comes to its compilations. I always feel that I have to do this on my own, without the hindrance of other people. I very rarely accept the opinions of the people around me anyway, unless I value them very highly, like I do Eduard.

When I discover something of value, I am loathe to share it, lest it be made less valuable by the dilution of sharing. I keep things in their world where they belong. I don’t take them out of their context into another world where they don’t belong. Things and people stay powerful in their world and in their framework. Taking them out would make them less valuable and compelling. They would lose their enchantment by coming in touch with a less than appreciative audience. If I think they will not be given the proper appreciation and reverence, I will not share them. I will not share ideas and concepts and people with an audience which is incapable of grasping the basic fundamentals. I will not try to convert them to my new point of view or share with them my discovery. I feel that they should be able to make that journey on their own, otherwise my fortune will be wasted on them. I keep my worlds separated and detached.

Now you are all saying, but Irene, you are always sharing your ideas with us! Yes, I know, but you all belong to this world. The world of my blog in which I share my thoughts and sentiments. In this world, I trust all of you with my inner world. My inner world exists out in the open only in this world. Very few people in the other world get to be part of it. In the other world, I am a quiet observer. I watch and think. I observe and process. I am a woman of quiet deeds there. I don’t think out loud like I do here.

Anyway, a little bit about the workings of my mind and about the two worlds that I live in. The quiet world of here where I sit and the verbal world of there where I write. Aren’t I glad that I have these two! Happier than a cat in a barn full of mice.

I have decided that for a few days at least, I am partly on a sabbatical. I am on a sabbatical from the computer. That means that after I have read other people’s blogs and have written my own, the computer is off and I don’t turn it on again all day long. It is strictly forbidden. Instead I read and watch films. I was sitting behind the computer too much, not switching it off anymore at all, but going back to it compulsively, neglecting other parts of my life and I don’t want to do that. So, I have to bring some semblance of self discipline back into my days and make room for other things as well. For a few days at least, the computer gets switched off and is staying off. I read books and watch films , which are things I had been neglecting to do.

Yesterday I watched a film called The King, which was strange but compelling. The odd thing was that it starred William Hurt as a Southern preacher and I thought it was such a strange role for him with his bald head and large sideburns. I remember him much younger and more radical and now he looked like an elderly middle aged man in polyester shirt and pants with cowboy boots. It was very odd. He was very believable, don’t get me wrong, I really saw him as that preacher. I disliked him as that preacher and I think I was meant to dislike him as that preacher. He did a good job.

I tried to read The Hero With A Thousand Faces some more, then realized I couldn’t, but luckily the mailman brought the new book on Carl Jung and I could start to read that. Unluckily, it is turning out to be not such a good book, so I am not even going to give you the title. It is basically a synopsis of his life followed by a large selection of quotes from his work and letters. It is only mildly interesting and not worth the money I spent on it. That’s the chance you take when you order a book on line. The next books I read about Jung will have to come from the library where I can reject what I want without the financial loss. It really is a shame to buy a book that doesn’t live up to your expectations. It is okay if I want to extensively quote Jung, I guess.

I got my art history book out and decided to start reading about art in the mid 19th century going into the 20th century. I am having a bit of a hard time remembering every body’s name. I do see the movement, though, from romantic realism into realism and post realism. That’s where I am at now, but I do fall asleep with it, which is not conducive to learning a lot. I would love a lecture with slides, or would that be a power point presentation now? I suppose I am very pedestrian in my taste in art. I seem to like what everybody likes, that is all the most popular paintings. Or is that only because that is what I am exposed to? Or do we all share the common vision of beauty and symmetry? I would like to think that I can pick out beauty especially well, but I suppose that I don’t own the rights to that.

I do think I know what ugliness is. Or banality or mediocrity. I think I am evolved enough to discern quality from inability. Do any of you remember the painter Grandma Moses? I think her work was beautiful and had quality, but so thought many other people. You very rarely discover an artist who has not already been discovered by very many other people. Well, a person like me doesn’t. It seems that when I like something very much, a thousand other people like it that much already. I am purposely not mentioning any artists now that I can think of.

I don’t know how exciting it is to be alive in the art movement now, as I don’t know anything about today’s art movement. As I said before, I tried to appreciate some of today’s modern art and I didn’t, even when it came highly praised. I wonder what sort of criteria you have to apply now to be considered a revolutionary artist. Art should still be about emotions, right? It should still move you, shouldn’t it? I want to feel some very basic emotions moved when I look at a piece of art, I don’t know, excitement, tenderness, exuberance, love. I want to feel that I could have made that coming out of my emotions if I had the skill and talent. If it has a story to tell, then that is fine, but the story shouldn’t be four pages long before I understand it.

I am rehashing myself. I have said these things before. I think we should treasure our artists and reward them with laurel wreaths. Put them on a pedestal and wine them and dine them. Build colonies for them to thrive in. Although it may be that suffering brings about great art, I don’t know, and maybe artists
need to have a life that is also tormented and earthly and achingly human. Does beauty escape from chaos? Is it tormented beauty?

I suppose you want people to experience all of life and to express that in their art without the experiences of life debilitating them too much. Crippling them to the point of non creativeness. I suppose we wanted Vincent van Gogh to be somewhat tormented but not to the point of suicide. I suppose one can also suffer from agonizing bouts of euphoria and create great works then. It must be necessary to feel an extreme of some emotion, some extra movement of something. It can’t come out of a plain, ordinary, every day, ‘I think I won’t vacuum today’ mood. Do you create great art in a rational mood? It is a legitimate question that I don’t have the answer to, as I only seem to be really creative when in turmoil. Do you say rationally, “Today I will be very creative and I will create something very moving and appealing.”?

Well, it is starting to be that time of the morning again. The animals are gathering around me. The dog is asleep by my feet and the cats are waiting patiently. I think I need to get going and feed them and walk Jesker. I always very much enjoy sitting here writing this, but an end has to be made some time.

Have a really terrific day, be the best that you can be in all that you do, even the least of it, ciao…

P.S. When I talk about creating art, I mean art as opposed to craft, which you can produce by being skillful. You can be a good craftsman or woman without being a great artist. I suppose you can be skillful without being inspired, you would just have to be patient and good at your craft. I think my father, who handmade copies of antique clocks, inside and out, was a craftsman and not an artist. I wonder if someone who is a strictly realistic painter now, is an artist or a craftsman? I mean someone who almost photographically records what is in front of him. There is some discussion about that here about an artist like that. If he should be included in a regional museum or not as an artist of note. For a sample of his work go here. His name is Henk Helmantel.

Read Full Post »

Today I weigh 92.6 kilos and yesterday I had three pieces of Maasdammer cheese and 6 raisin crackers and they made me feel very full, so it isn’t as though I starved myself. I took a tall glass of milk to bed with me, but I fell asleep before I could drink it and it is still sitting on my night stand now. I’ll give it to the cats this morning, as it is the kind of milk that doesn’t spoil.

I woke up at 3 am this morning and I was wide awake immediately. I went to bed at 9 pm last night and fell asleep quickly, so apparently I have had enough sleep, because I am bright eyed and bushy tailed. I always imagine me being a raccoon when I say that, as I have no idea where the saying comes from.

I have visited my favorite blogs, but I have not left any comments yet. I will do that later when I have had some more coffee and after I have thought about everything that I have read and seen. Sue made a beautiful mandala which you can see here, and Neda showed some of her older artwork which you can see here. Rima posted some of my images of the Old Pisa Door here, which I am very grateful for. I do feel very privileged to get so many of them on the this website, not really being an artist yet, but trying very hard to be a bit artistic.

I have started to read The Hero With A Thousand Faces, but of course I fell asleep after about three pages, so I am going to have to read it during the daytime if I am going to finish it anytime this coming month. Joseph Campbell uses the psychology of Freud and Jung to compare primitive mythology with the dream conditions of modern man. He also joins together a lot of the old myths and shows how they all give the same answer to the riddle of life and how all the lead players from folklore and legend act out the same story. It is a book about the mythology of heroes of the eternal struggle of man in search of his identity.

It was written in 1949 and some of the psychological interpretations are going to be a bit outdated, but still it should make for an interesting read and I will keep the more modern psychology in mind while I read it. I think Freud especially is a bit dated with his various complexes , but Jung is still very applicable as I have found out recently. Freud has all the boys in love with their mothers and hating their fathers. They all have potential Oedipus complexes.

I am actually waiting for the other book about Carl Jung to arrive in the mail. I ordered it last week and I should get here any day now. I am looking forward to reading it and will do so with a notebook and pen by my side. I have really taken to Jung, especially since Debi also had us all take the Jungian personality type test, which was a bit of a coincidence and perfect timing.

I have added another blog to my list of favorites. It is called Petite Anglaise and you can find her here too. It’s about the life of a young single English mom living in France and apparently it is a very popular blog. I came in just as she is going on a two week vacation, but I have read some of her older posts and her ‘about me’ information and she seems like a really interesting person. Through Rima, I have also found the blog of Alfonso Brezmes who makes collages and does photography. He writes in Spanish with the English translation underneath. His prose is poetic and so is his work. I actually think he uses Babelfish for his English translations, which makes for interesting reading. He is also on a break, but you may want to visit him to get a taste of his work. You can go there here. I am still trying out some other blogs and if I find them interesting enough, I will add them to my list of favorite blogs.

Yesterday, I downloaded Adobe Photoshop CS3 for a free 30 day trial. It took a while to download, but once it did, it seemed like a interesting program to use. It is similar to Paint Shop Pro, so it wasn’t completely unfamiliar and I didn’t feel completely out in left field. I am planning on fooling around with it today, but I think that I am not going to familiarize myself too much with it, because I looked up on line how much it actually costs and it is more than a 1,000 Euros. Ouch, that hurts. That is quite a difference compared to the 80 Euros that Paint Shop Pro costs. I checked the library, but they don’t have a copy of Photoshop, nor does any other library around here. That means I’ll stick to Paint Shop Pro 8 and Eduard took the time yesterday to pick up a manual from the library with a CD on how to use it. So, guess what I’ll be doing today, after I have vacuumed the apartment?

Eduard says that I should have gone to art school and I have to agree with that. When I was a child, I was always drawing and I was always creating something. Everybody was aware of the fact that I was a creative child and it really is a shame that I was not allowed to develop this further. I don’t know why I wasn’t. It wasn’t even considered as a possibility. I don’t think I or my parents even imagined it. I think my parents had small imaginations when it came to thinking up futures for their daughters. We were basically raised to grow up and get married and buy a washing machine and have babies. In that order.

When my younger sister rebelled and went on to get her degree in education, that was considered a very big deal and something quite out of the ordinary. I still don’t quite know how she managed that. I know she put up a long hard fight. I believed in my mother’s dream for me and thought I was going to live happily ever after then. Well, guess what? I didn’t and by the time I fought myself free, it was too late and too impossible to go to art school or become anything else that I might have dreamed of. I sure as hell hope I get a next life after this one!

I am not complaining about my life now. I’ve come a long way, as they say. I have fought myself free of almost chronic depressions and I have married someone who is the right husband for me. I know that I have a chance now to live happily ever after. The only obstacles in my way are my age and my inexperience. I have to do a bit of a catch up race. Learn a lot of things very quickly. But I am not pessimistically inclined and if I get a job that is only mildly interesting, I know that I’ll do enough interesting things in my spare time to compensate for that. I have found a lot of my happiness within and I don’t need to look for it elsewhere so very much. I amuse myself and keep myself busy well enough. A job will not be the ultimate fulfillment for me, it will just be a means to an end, a financial end.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the on the job training possibility. I would like to do something in accounting, as I am a very accurate worker and that might just be something for me to do. I also like producing text and translating into English. I am not a very fast typist, but I do keep up some speed and I know that I am not among the worst. I took typing lessons in high school and absolutely hated them. I got my diploma, but don’t ask me how. It was all a bit of stunt work. I didn’t have to type much in my job then, because we had a typing pool with women who did nothing but type all day long. I worked before there were computers, back in the old days. I remember the computer was just introduced and one computer had to have a whole little building for itself. We had to hand write information on special forms, that was then added into the computer by special typists. How archaic that seems now.

I was glad that I was able to overcome my initial fear of computers. I used to be afraid to push one single button for fear that all would be lost forever. I used to get total panic attacks when I was confronted with a keyboard and an empty screen. Once I knew what I was doing, I became hooked very quickly, but I am still learning things now and there is so much that I don’t know yet, because I haven’t tried it yet. At least I am not helpless and I usually do figure things out. Like that time when the old computer was dying and I kept it running for a few more days. I do get very impatient when I see Eduard struggle with something and I want to reach and grab the keyboard and the mouse from him and do it myself instead. That’s a very bad habit I have and I mustn’t give into it.

Eduard and I are both very stubborn people, which is good in that we don’t give up quickly and usually try to fix a problem until it is done. But it can also be a hindrance when we both think we are right and one of us has to give. In that case I am the meanest one and I win, which is silly, of course, because Eduard is such a gentle person and there is no need for me to be so assertive and pushy. Diplomacy and tact are better tools to use. Sometimes I forget that and I sound just like my mother and I hate that. I know that I can have the upper hand verbally, but if Eduard really wants to, he can cut me back down to size in a hurry, he just doesn’t do it enough.

But being stubborn isn’t always a bad thing to be. It does help you solve problems and you don’t call it quits easily. Of course, there are things in life that you should call quits before you spend too much energy and time on them. Those things have already gotten past their due dates and I am mostly talking about relationships with other people. You can be stubborn and hang in there with a really dysfunctional relationship with someone else, forgetting all the while that you should say, “Enough is enough,” and walk away from it. Stubborn people can be overly loyal. They don’t know when to get out. They always think they can fix the problem. You can spend years trying to fix a problem until you are plain worn out and crazy from it and afterwards you blame yourself for not having fixed the relationship.

Well, anyway, I am running out of words again and feel that the well is almost running dry and that whatever is there needs to be saved for another day. Hopefully it will be replenished today by my interesting experiences with Paint Shop. It is a good thing that I am up so early. That gives me lots of time to fill the day with fiddling around with the program and getting the apartment cleaned up as well.

Have a great day, people. Hope the sun shines, because here it is raining again as usual. Ciao…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »