Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scenes From the Maker Faire

The Maker Faire is a hyper-cool, mega-awesome event that should last for five days rather than two. I spent waaay too much time trying to learn how to solder and thought I had succeeded after much time and frustration. Ultimately the mini-Simon game that I created was non-functional. My very nice AND patient instructors gave me one that worked. I should learn that my faulty eye-hand coordination sets me up for failure. Having failed once again, I WILL try again (only not right now). Here are pictures from the event:

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I have been desperately trying to get up to date with paperwork. After two nights of staying up waaay past midnight and NOT working out on my elliptical cross trainer, I AM STILL NOT DONE.

The vast majority of the paperwork with which I am currently dealing is a result of my hubby's death. Much involves keeping track of various accounts, this because the heirs to some of these accounts are Matt's children. Even if Matt's highly (un)delightful daughter wasn't paranoid about my "intentions," I would be scrupulously keeping these accounts. Her paranoia adds to my frustration.

Other hassles:

Because some idiot in a certain company doesn't understand what information is and is not required, I have to sign an already completed form in the presence of an "authorized guarantor" and photocopy documents that are not required for what I want to do.

Because some government idiot has tried to correct one mistake and, in the process, has created another mistake, I have to write a letter to the governmental agency for which this idiot works explaining what has happened.

Files need to be updated. Papers need to be organized. Stuff that Matt used to do needs doings. Stuff that I used to do still needs doing.

Add shredding obsolete papers to this list. Some of this stuff goes back more than twenty years. I can not die now because it would be immoral to leave this shredding to others. Too much friggin work for them.

I haven't even mentioned the home fix-it stuff and the home maintenance stuff. My house is falling apart.

I haven't done much in the way of getting rid of Matt's stuff. This is not an emotional issue for me. I haven't done much about this stuff because I'm too busy doing other stuff.

I am so friggin tired of all this.

Tomorrow I will finish up with the form to the company and the letter to the governmental agency. On June 7th, I'll spend some time dealing with home repair and maintenance. On June 14th, I'll get back to the paperwork. After a few days at it, I will again put it aside unfinished.

It is Spring and soon will be summer. Music festivals, cool themed fairs, and far away places are loudly calling me. Neither numbers and forms nor fix-its and get-rid-of-its will keep me a prisoner when the sun is shining.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tedius To-Do's and Fun Fun Fun

It has been over a month since I've written a new post. My week in Oakland put me behind with getting done the various tasks of everyday life. I finally caught up at around 2 a.m. on Saturday. I'm now current with all the tedious to-do's, but expect this to be a temporary state. Spring has sprung and I am dazzled by all its offerings. I've been taking the time to walk on local park trails where wildflowers are in abundant bloom. I have also been pretty busy planning the upcoming months. Soon I will be in full on festival mode. I've got multi-day tickets for a number of music festivals. Also some special interest festivals like the Maker Faire in San Mateo. Unless I find a way to get by on three hours of sleep, I don't expect to be spending much time on-line.

So, . . . about that week in Oakland: My experience there was frustrating and rewarding. Glass flameworking, which is what the workshop that I attended was about, is different both in process and materials from the glass fusing that I've been doing. The type of glass used is also incompatible with the kind used in fusing. I was the slow learner in a class of three. I don't have the hand-eye coordination that is needed for that first crucial step of bonding one glass rod to another in a 4500 degree flame. (I learned that it is far less painful to burn yourself with a piece of glass that has just been in a 4500 degree open flame than with a pan that has been in a 450 degree oven.) At the halfway point, I decided to concentrate on the processes that we'd learned the previous two days rather than move ahead with more advanced projects. Despite my difficulty learning these new techniques and dealing with an instructor who was clearly frustrated working with me, I'm glad that I got to experiment with the process.

More recently, I spent Mother's Day week-end in San Jose. On Saturday, Rachael and I went for a 4.1 mile walk in Almaden Quicksilver Park. About an hour after we returned to her house, we were joined by Ben, Wendy and Maddie. Ben and Rachael took charge of dinner, while I got to enjoy Maddie. I am amazed by how much her language ability advances from one visit to the next.

On Sunday, Rachael and I played with her Mother's Day gift to me. A bit of history: When my kidlets were young, the three of us made group drawings. The project would start with one of us drawing something on a piece of paper then passing it to the next person who would add their touches. After a number of go-rounds, we'd have a completed picture. Rachael and I continued with these drawings long after Ben stopped doing them with us. Often we would get into "wars" where she would draw something to attack my drawing (or vice versa) and I would respond with my own attack or lethal defense. I can remember Rachael and I doing these kind of drawings when she was in Colorado teaching snow boarding and kayaking (in different seasons). We may have done them even more recently.

Rachael's Mother's Day gift to me was a set of acrylic paints, a blank 14" x 18" canvas and the experience of once again combining our creative impulses. This time we stipulated that there would be no wars.