Wednesday, January 27, 2010

in the mail lately, some ramblings and a photo

yesterday my last order from the Book Depository arrived :)
i'd been trying hard not to spend money on "extras" (as i've mentioned in many previous posts), whether it's books or zines, and i only succumb to my obsession for such items on times of great need... Ok, this explanation doesn't make that much sense, but... what i mean is, i try to buy books/zines only when i feel i really really need to read a particular book/zine, or when i feel i need to have a particular book because it's important, for professional reasons, and, of course, personal reasons too.

so, moving on to the books i got...
the first one is «the Photojojo Book», which i found out about trough the Photojojo website, after following some links from the very cool CRAFT magazine blog.

i browsed Photojojo's online store, read details and saw some really interesting photos from pages of the book, so i got excited about the photography projects and the DIY potential of it.
since i've been dwelling with the idea of trying to find a job or "make" my own job, starting by trying to get some freelance work, the photo projects i saw on the book seemed like an interesting place to look for ideas...
now that i got the book in my hands, i've already browsed trough all the projects and it might really have some good projects for me to try out. what worries me is that all projects require tools or materials that not "everybody" has at home, so i'd probably have to spend some money buying stuff if i want to try one of their projects.
all projects have somewhat of Do-It-Yourself in them, and are much like a custom-made product (if you see them from a business potential point-of-view), so that would probably require me an amount of market/target research and also pricing studies... It's a bit overwhelming, i guess, considering i'm all alone in my "quest" for freelance work and/or building my own business... there isn't that much support from my parents, as it has always happened throughout the these last 8-10 years when the topic «starting my own business» comes up.

let's talk about something else, moving to the other book i got... «The Artist's Way», by Julia Cameron.
i had read about this book a while ago, on an Etsy forum and in some references related to Keri Smith's books. so i browsed for it on Amazon to read some sample pages and decided that maybe this is just the right book i need for this particular moment in my life.

i started reading it last night (or should i say... this early morning, around 5 am?). at first i got a bit suspicious because of its subtitle «A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity». i should have researched some more on that Spiritual part of the title... to be honest, it started giving me "itches" because of my atheist "beliefs".
The author started talking about God and the "Great Creator" stuff like that, and that's when i started thinking that maybe i really shouldn't have bought this book. really. because, if i don't believe in the existence of god or gods or whatever, would could i follow through the book's lessons and exercises if it was based in believing that? still, i "forced" myself to read some more, in hopes that somewhere ahead Julia Cameron would offer some other alternatives to religion... and fortunately (for me), she did!
so, i'm now going to keep reading it and whenever i read the word God i'll think of something else. my inner self power, my inner Goddess, Mother Earth, the Universe, etc etc...
hopefully, i'll learn something from this book. i've just created an account at the book's official online forum, just in case... maybe i can find some portuguese readers or even a local study-reading group, who knows...

and today, i got another lovely thing on the mail, my etsy order from Erin P., the latest issue of her Anon zine, along with some copies of a past issue. as usual, full of inspiring collages, and this time Erin writes a little and shares some of her experiences as an art therapist. her story made me admire her even more now, besides as an artist, also as a human being.

and to end this long and boring post, here's a crappy photo! think of it as my gift to you, my "thank-you", for reading all the way to the end of this post...
i didn't get to catch the sunset today; by the time i noticed, the sun was gone but the sky was still burning...
Beautiful colors, i just knew i had to take a photograph of such awesomeness, so i went to grab my camera as fast as i could and took a couple of photos from my living-room window. (the outside of the window is kinda dirty from the last rains, so don't be surprised by the weird spots on the image...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just shut up and obey

a couple of days ago i started making a "To-Do" list again, after about 3 years of quitting. i just quit because in the end i hardly ever accomplished half of the items i used to write down. i made daily list, weekly lists, even monthly lists, and i still have that journal around somewhere in my chaotic bedroom.
but, once again, just like the last time(s), i haven't finished half of the tasks i wrote down on this new list. i guess i shouldn't be so surprised, procrastination does rule around here...

it hasn't been easy to accomplish things, besides the usual "excuse" of procrastination, things haven't really been easy around the house lately.
on the positive side, i got two packages in the mail this week, my order from Cindy Crabb zines distro and my order from Corinne Mucha's comic books. stupid old lazy me, and i still haven't emailed them back about getting the packages ok.
but, on the negative side, the packages i got in the mail annoyed my parents. as usual. with a couple more books i'm expecting to arrive during next week, i can imagine what's it gonna be like then...

to continue on with the negative stuff, my job search isn't going very well. it's going nowhere, actually, since i haven't found any proper ads that i can reply to! plus, all the human resources companies i've been browsing online, besides the ones i had joined a couple of years ago (and never got a message back from them), with their over extensive online application forms, that's just all too overwhelming for me to handle right now.

today, specially, seems like a hit-and-miss day...
the day started as all the other past days. i woke up before noon to my alarm-clock/cellphone and only got out of "bed" at around 2pm for lunch with my parents. i say "bed" because the last couple of weeks i've been sleeping in the couch. out of free will, really! this Winter is being harder (colder) than the last one; my own bedroom is like a freezer and the only place in the apartment where we have heating is the living-room because of the fireplace. so my parents felt pity on me and started letting me sleep in the couch.
but tonight i'll be back to my bedroom... so much for pity now.

and this is happening as a "punishment". it's like i'm 13 again and i have to abide to my father's rules/orders. specially those kind of rules that don't make much sense and you can tell they're actually a form of punishment. and sometimes it's a punishment that also doesn't make sense, or doesn't require such harsh measures.
aaahh, the joys of parenthood! to have the right to discipline your children whatever way you feel like to, and without having to justify your decisions and demands, even when they are completely opposite to the examples you give in your own actions. that has always been so typical in my parents... why am i even surprised, after almost 30 years of this bullsh*t?

this is what happens when you are unemployed, a full grown adult yet still living with your dysfunctional family.
the good old golden rule that every parent follows: «As long as you live under my roof, you'll live by my rules»
well, guess what, i'm not a teenager anymore. i might not be able to get into drugs or alcohol, as a way of escapism, but i can still escape the effects of your oppressive behavior, i know i can, somehow...

with all these stupid things happening around me, i can't seem to pick up where i left working on my zine. this makes it all even more frustrating than it already is, of course.
not working on the zine, not writing back to people i promised letters to, not connecting with new people i admire.
not having the (mental) strength to accomplish these simple and easier things is disrupting the part of me that was determined and persistent, my whole self-confidence. how will i accomplish the harder things?
how will i find the confidence and leave out my natural shyness if i ever get a job interview? it's just one of those things that make me feel really anxious and terrified most of the times, interviews. if you don't count the interview i went to in last november, i haven't had to go to a job interview for almost 3 years now.

i suppose i'll have to make friends (again) with benzodiazepines - my magic sleeping/anxiolytic pills... Starting out tonight, has i already took my double dosage and i'm keeping track of time in case i need to take the third pill. and with three little magic pills i know i'll sleep like a rock tonight.
it will probably slow my brain when i get in bed, which can be good sometimes, because for some strange reason my brain seems to get more active when i'm lying down trying to fall asleep. it's usually that time when i get all sorts of ideas and a big urge to write everything down, every topic and idea, and to develop writing essays.
while i'm at it, i must confess: i haven't written in my journal for about two weeks. and, of course, i've been having the "side effects" of bottling up everything inside. no wonder i find it hard to fall asleep, even when it's very late at night, or to concentrate during the day...

i'm a mess, maybe on my way to wreckage, who knows. and who can save me? is there anyone or anything out there? any hope left?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Helping Haiti: even if we have little...

anyone who's watched the news on tv or on the internet lately, has heard of the Haiti disaster for sure.

map of Haiti

we've been so flooded (sorry for the expression) with images and reports with all the "latest" unfortunate details on the situation, body counts, the anger of surviving locals, lack of aids from their government, problems with foreign aid reaching the country, etc etc.
for some strange reason i've been watching the tv news about it, over and over again in the last 2 days, like a strange (morbid?) fixation. i surely agree this isn't the best "subject" to become obsessed with, just since the past month i've been trying hard not to let myself be taken into the dark depths of depression.
i think many specialist would claim that watching these terrible events is too overwhelming and might make people feel depressed. well, if i was already kinda depressed, i guess this isn't gonna make me feel that much worse...

but i couldn't stay indifferent to the aid appeals all over the media for too long, so yesterday i donated to the Portuguese Red Cross, a Portuguese NGO* [*Non-governmental organization] called AMI-Assistência Médica Internacional* [*International Medical Assistance], and to UNICEF* [*United Nations Children's Fund].
still, i was remembered about the situation of the animals in the area... i remembered when hurricane Katrina happened and i got emails from animal welfare organizations. so i decided to visit the IFAW* [*International Fund for Animal Welfare] website, since i was on their mailinglist for quite some time, and i ended up not "resisting" making a donation to them.

i'm unemployed right now, have been so for over a month, and i'm currently trying to put my life together, as i need to do this in order to get my mind "straight" and start looking for a job more seriously/actively. luckily for me that i have some savings from the time when i had a steady job, but i try not to spend so much on "extras" since i'm out of work of course. i've wrote about my spendings on "extras" in previous posts: zines, that's what makes for most of my so-called extras.
and luckily for me, i have a home, i have food and water, i have clothes. i have family and friends. and those people in Haiti don't have much, if any, of these things. and animals don't have anyone to help them either, not to mention that this crisis increases the outbreak and spreading of diseases between animals and people.
i don't have much [money], but they have so little. my donations are perhaps a small grain of sand to the Support Disaster Relief.

in the next months much more money and human resources will be needed to help Haiti recover. it might even take them years to recover. but my small grains of sand made me feel a bit better about myself. to know that even miles away i can still help, even if it's a very small help...

if everyone did the same, just donate 1 euro, 1 dollar, whatever! 

even if we have little, it's easier for "us" to help out those who have nothing.

here are some useful links:

Portuguese Red Cross:

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement  --or--

AMI (International Medical Assistance):

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare):

Google crisis response:

Friday, January 15, 2010

IFAW, WSPA, and other groups band together to help animals in Haiti

«15 January 2010
(Yarmouth Port, Mass) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have formally agreed to head up a coalition of groups to address the needs of animals in Haiti following the earthquake that devastated the country. (...)»

read full article here:
IFAW, WSPA, and other groups band together to help animals in Haiti | IFAW Web Site

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A life without books...

full article here:
Motivate Me - The daily dose ezine - A life without books is no food for thought

an excerpt:
« (...) can you imagine a life without books?


Then ask a person who can't be bothered to read

When you consider that the worlds greatest thinkers have put their thoughts, opinions and ideas into a format that we can access - isn't it a shame that most people don't bother to read, to explore the contents and to see how those thoughts, opinions and ideas can change their lives. Well I think it is.

We have a chance to have a few hours of intimate discourse with people we would never have met otherwise. How lucky are we?

You could argue that you don't have the time to read all there is to read - and you know what you are absolutely right - There are e-books, free books, printed books, articles and websites - which is why you have to be discriminating about what you read - because there is a lot of "rubbish" out there. Which is why you should also try to safeguard every precious moment you have that you could consider "spare" and put it to better / other uses.

1. Of all the books you have read - which would you consider to have made the biggest impact on your life?

2. What was the last book you read - why did you choose it?

3. What is the next book on your list of MUST read books? Why that book and not one of the others?

4. What book would you recommend to someone who is struggling - financially, emotionally, spiritually?

5. Do you give books as gifts?

You don't have to answer these questions of course, but perhaps you should take the time to do so, if you want to be a serious student of life and living. (...) »
Copyright © 2005/8, Elle B - Motivate Me! All rights reserved.

something for you (and me!) to think about ;-)

first post for 2010

in the last day of 2009...

... it rained a lot, all day long.

the rain drops became so thick, along with the
freezing temperature outside,
that it kinda snowed...

the sky was full of big gray clouds...

... always threatening to rain and thunderstorms.

this weeks nights have been windy, almost tornado-like. up here on a fifth-floor apartment it can get a bit scary.

i have so much to say, to write. but i just can't seem to get anything done.
some problems are almost solved, while other new problems arise... let's call them "challenges" instead, to make it sound less heavy...

the rains is also back again this week. last week was the freezing cold, now it's the wet annoyance. oh bummer...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!!!

happy new year, all visitors!

there's just so much to say about this New Year's eve, entering 2010, my "celebration" and all that...

new year's resolutions, what's that? hahaha
i stopped doing such thing about 4 or 5 years ago.

i also stopped "celebrating" the New Year about a couple of years ago, as the plans i made for such nights always turned out a bit different (usually for worst) and i'd end up feeling sad and empty and frustrated. and it made me feel like it was a sign of bad luck for the coming year.

so this year i spent the turn of the decade at home, in my pajamas plus a couple of sweaters and wool jacket and about 3 pairs of socks, because it's been a hard Winter around here. very very cold and very windy, with a some thunderstorms and all that fuss. not even the heat of our "fireplace" can keep me from getting cold feet, and that sucks.
drank about two glasses of champagne, dad bought a different brand this time, but i gotta be honest and say it was a pretty good brand. i didn't drink enough to get me dunk (LoL), just a bit dizzy and brain-lagged.
still, it kinda ruined my "plans" for watching a movie on my laptop later this night. i just got "distracted" reading blogs, chatting on msn with an old friend, playing quizzes on Facebook (damm you FB!), and i even went as far as doing some online shopping...

yeah, i went against my own advices to not spend money on extras before finding a new (paying) job. i just couldn't resist, when i found Corinne Mucha's comics blog & store. she's a really cool artist, i got some of her comics/zines from Microcosm and i just love her drawing style and her witty writings. so i bought two more of her comics, to complete my collection of her works.
after that, somehow, i ended up on Cindy Crab's Riot Grrrrrr Distro and bought some more unknown zines that looked interesting...
I guess these two purchases can made it as my late Christmas gifts to myself, maybe? hehehhe
But i know a couple of people who are not going to be very happy when they see the packages in the mailbox... shit, i should get a P.O. box.. if i wasn't unemployed! darn...

........................ and that get us here, at almost 6am, on new year's day. i should have gone to bed for like 3 hours ago! but i'm still chatting with a friend... why? what for? very little "productive" things will come out of it anyway, as i'm already feeling that familiar sense of emptiness mixed with angst. or maybe i'm just tired and in real need of sleep.