Monday, February 27, 2006

Feb 27 - A Remarkable Week

This has been a rather remarkable week. Actually two weeks. To keep everyone out there updated, I am still living in my childhood home in MN, alone with just my cat, while my Mom is in Florida and I am waiting to move to California.

I was getting a bit of cabin fever, spending a lot of time at home working on stuff for my upcoming glass studio and getting a little crazy bored with evenings alone in my house. But the last two weeks took a much welcome turn for the social, thanks to Lauren and Emily. There was a party last saturday, another this saturday, knitting club last wednesday, a movie friday night, and a variety of breakfasts, lunches and dinners in between. I was reunited with two old and much admired friends, Alicia Jacks and Nick Raleigh. I met (or re-met) and befriended a bunch of other cool folks (ummm, how many names can I remember? Jen, Molly, Andy, another Andy another Nick, Mike, Allie, Lauren the girl). Wow. It's been, well, memorable. Quite memorable.

Especially the party this past saturday night. It was a going away party for a guy named Andy. It was amazing. The party was held at a friend's art gallery in Minneapolis. We ate a yummy potluck dinner in the midst of hip paintings (or actually upon closer inspection, digital prints on canvas) of Hank Williams, Patsy Kline and skeleton cowboys. Then there was a talent show. A TALENT show, can you believe that? How cool. People got up and did amazing things like sing a stunning Billy Holiday-style jazz lullaby about a long road trip to wish Andy on his way. They sang other songs and told jokes and stories about him. I didn't even know the guy but it was touching. Lauren was the finale, making a bread alligator and impromptu comedy routine at the same time. A baking star in the making. There was a dj and the music was bad but folks danced anyway. I talked with all sorts of intriguing people, lots of teachers and artists. There was a guy and girl learning to smith metal in a forge, another girl about to leave to teach junior high science in Colombia (yes, the one in South America), a Guthrie theater actress, a guy who's been working on wind turbines. Then, as the night closed about 100 people it seemed like invited me to a pancake breakfast the following morning. So nice! It was such a cool group of people and a great night. Got home good n' late.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Feb 16 - My Identity as an American

I didn't think I'd write anything today, but I just have to say I am so ashamed by what it means to be American these days.

I have the radio on in the background, and a news piece just came on about the UN's request for a shutdown of secret American prisons in Cuba and elsewhere because we are believed to be torturing prisoners. Representatives of the US, my OWN country, say this is a perfectly acceptable practice and there's no reason to shut down.

I'm am truly so ashamed by that. I don't know what actually goes on in these prisons. None of us really do. But it looks like we are torturing people. That's what people all over the world believe. That makes us look like a country of hypocrites, because we talk big about human rights and democracy then create places that look like hell on earth with no law to govern them. Is that an image my government is comfortable with, true or not?

I am not comfortable with that. I don't accept secret prisons outside the rule of law. I don't accept torture. But being an American, it looks like I do. I can't stand that my government promotes this, putting the burden of something so horrible on my shoulders.

Ironically, this is part of why I wanted to come home from Europe to the US. Living abroad as an American made me carry acts and beliefs upon my shoulders that I don't believe in.

Here at home I am a normal person, people categorize me according to personal criteria like job, music tastes, clothing, religion, neighborhood and such. These are things I can present according to my tastes. I can show who I am on my own terms.

But out in the world I automatically carry the label of American, which depending on the person I meet, automatically suggests I am an imperialist, a torturer, a greedy capitalist, a religious gun nut, fat, an ignorant name it. I never, EVER want to be any of these things!

I hated having such a divide between my perception of my own identity and the way other people see me, just because I am an American. After knowing people for awhile, they often would tell me "You're not like other Americans". Ok, this meant that they saw me as an individual, beyond the "American" label. That seemed like a compliment at first. But upon further reflection that hurt worse than anything. They thought I was ok, but the REST of my country was still a bunch of deplorable people. I so much wanted them to believe that other Americans are not always these awful things either. So many people I knew from home were kind and clever, stylish and compassionate, intelligent and warm. I knew good people. Many of them. Yet these people are largely invisible overseas. Not in the movies, not in the news. Not visible. How could I convince them? I tried to be the best person I could. But finally it was a mountain I finally felt I could not move. So I came home.

Whew, this has been bottled up awhile. Just had to get it off my chest.

Feb 16 - Lighten up a little!

It's getting too serious on my blog lately. Here's a funny tidbit that I'll pass along:


Some internet domain names consisting of run-together words can be misunderstood in unintended ways. First there is "Who Represents?", a database of agencies for the rich and famous, the domain name of which is Another is the Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views, It once went by the name ""Need a therapist? Try And if you want to stock up on bedding plants, try the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales, Australia:

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Feb 9 - I Swear My Eyes are Going to Fall Out

I've been staring at this computer screen way too long.

For quite awhile I've had the uneasy notion that the logo I've chosen for my new glass studio is going to cause me problems down the road. It's got a lot of colors in it and that's not great when things need to be printed on a budget.

I started working on a new logo yesterday morning and have worked for two days solid. I've been going gung-ho searching and searching and searching for fonts and things called dingbats (they are sets of little icon images) on the web. Nothing short of perfect will suit me.

My eyes are going to fall out of my head. I hate spending this much time on the computer.

But I'm also a bit of a perfectionist (though admittedly quite a novice too) when it comes to graphic design and visual communication. So I can't peel myself away until I find something I like.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Sign of the Day


Is this to tell us not to go near the rotating drive line, or just a reminder to do a broadway-worthy arm gesture and keep our feet parallel once we wind ourselves up?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Feb 5 - A Moment of American Unity

I just found this out:

During the Super Bowl's 30-minute halftime break, as many as 90 million people will head to the bathroom and use an estimated 350 million gallons of water to flush the toilet -- as much water as flows over Niagara Falls in seven minutes.

For one glorious moment America will be unified in purpose and in action...

Feb 5 - Sabrina's Weekend Update

High points of this week were:

  • Realizing that my Mom owns a fantastic juicer that she never uses! I dusted it off and have begun throwing all the fruit in the house into it each morning. Oh man, I've wanted a juicer ever since living in Indonesia and Singapore. They have fresh juice carts all over the place there. My favorite, believe it or not, was avocado-mocha. My second favorite was carrot. Sounds wierd but they're damn goooood.

  • Getting a call from Britt in Hawaii. It was her birthday, so I thought I'd call her up. But she beat me to it. Imagine my surprise when I'm just about to pick up the phone to call her, and the phone rings and SHE's calling me! Way to read my mind Bumbum.

  • Knitting at a coffeeshop with Emily thursday night. We ended up shooting the breeze about old high school classmates. Gotta love that. My scarf is coming along too. I just need to get better at knitting and talking at the same time. I lose track of my hands, and my scarf starts to look like it was knitted by someone on their sixth whiskey.

  • Going to a concert of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra with Dad friday night. Though he's a dedicated jazz enthusiast, sometimes he has a soft spot for classical too. Thanks Dad!

  • As usual, I made a lot of progress on my future studio. I worked on the business plan and started seeking grant money and funding to start it up.

Low points of the week were:

  • I pulled some muscle in my back and hobbled around for a day or two like a geezer.

  • Mom left to Florida for the next month and a half, leaving me as the sole resident of my childhood home. I'm not used to living alone and I haven't yet figured out what to do with myself in the evenings. I spend time cooking nice dinners and that kills some time. But then I just watch TV, and WAY too much of it. It's not even usually good stuff like nature documentaries. It's reality shows and sitcoms. I vow, however, NOT to sink to watching police dramas or "Skating With the Stars".