Sunday, October 28, 2007

'bout that time again, eh chap?

maybe a blog post will magically appear in this space at some point today...depends on whether or not i am miraculously inspired to write something fantastic. and it depends on me being a good girl and writing some emails, finishing some cover letters and resumes, writing in my filoli journal, and filling out some other various forms that i'd forgotten until now. things aren't lookin' too good on that front.

in the meantime, please check out my small, but hopefully growing, collection of images on picasa. i think everything is public and viewable.
maybe a good blog post will be about how awkward i feel posting scribbly sketches for the whole world to see. actually, that would probably only take a couple of sentences. for example, i feel very awkward posting scribbly sketches for the whole world to see. it's like putting pictures of your journal online; a little too private, somehow, even though there's nothing extremely "revealing" about them. still, i don't think i'll do anymore of that :) if i get anything finished up and presentable, then i'll post it. anyway, i have to go be diligent and proactive now.

enjoy the rest of the sabbath, and goodbye.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

a THIRD post??!

being proactive

i was given some advice recently by a woman i very much respect (lucy tolmach, director of horticulture, filoli center) to be more proactive. this was in regards to my hesitation and slow-to-action-ness towards getting my drivers' permit, and how easily i sort of caved to set-backs and problems. well, i have just this weekend achieved my drivers' permit (for the second time), and i am sure she will be very proud of me (but not completely proud, not before i get my license...oh, and i have to set an appointment for that today), but i've been thinking a lot recently about how proactive i am in situations in my life. there are certain things that i really have a very hard time accomplishing on my own. for example, i hate making phone calls- especially to people i don't know that well, and occasionally to people who are actually my friends (luckily, i do not have that many friends :)). i remember my mom getting so frustrated with me as a teenager because it was like pulling teeth trying to get me to return people's calls (ha- i was probably the only teenage girl who cringed every time she was "forced" to talk on the phone) for another example, i really hated dealing with financial aid/fafsa/other financial forms when at scripps. in some cases, i hate doing something so much that my brain actively refuses to engage and learn from the experience, so i absorb nothing and have to go through the same thing the next year.
ok, maybe i'll just go on and list all the things...
1- phone calls
2- financial forms, taxes, w2s, etc.
3- getting my drivers' permit
4- talking to people, communicating, making an effort with relationships. i actually had a victory with this one this weekend. i am staying with a family while completing my internship at filoli, and instead of paying rent (which i would NEVER be able to afford. not for these accommodations. not in atherton. ever) i give them eight hours of my time per week, generally for work in their gardens. i have actually had a really really hard time with this. and here is the reason: i feel like there's really nothing for me to do. they have gardeners come once a week for about two hours, and they take care of the big stuff like mowing, clearing brush, blowing the paths and patios, etc. this leaves me with pulling three or four weeds and snipping at things, desperately trying to do something good and noticeable and helpful. you know, trying to actually "pay" my rent. but their yard doesn't need an additional eight hours of work...and my conscience will definitely not let me take advantage of the situation. nor will i just waste my time (and their's) by idly doing some random gardening so slowly that it manages to fill eight hours. so, yesterday morning, i took a deeeeeep breath, and....wrote lb an email. i'm less awkward in text form. and i was able to express my concern- that i wasn't being a great guest, that i wanted to do work that really made them pleased to have me, etc. and sent it off into the webosphere. and today i got a great email back from lb. and when they get back from annie's soccer game, i will go and speak with her verbally.

so all that to say that i am really pleased with god giving me the push to send that note and initiate some communication. and i know it was god because i didn't have any plans to write that email until about fifteen minutes before i sent it, when i felt suddenly overwhelmed with worry that i was not holding up my end of the bargain to the best of my ability, and compelled to compose this note.

also, i almost forgot to add, i set up an account with ing direct yesterday afternoon. i have been wanting to do that for six months (jeez- i've been graduated that long??), but since it has to do with money (my money) and the internet (there is a little old fogey-lady trapped in my head and she is still convinced that this is all just a big fad and will blow over in a couple of years...), and scary financial-wall-street words...i have been too much a chicken to go through with it. but no longer...and in just a few days, my savings will be doing me a favor by generating some free moneys. and i will like that. very much.

with all of these things, i am learning, it really is better (as nike, unfortunately, puts it best) to just do it. (that's right, in bold-italic! it's so important that i have decided to break the rules of good typography. sorry, prof maryatt...)

now i'm going to do laundry, and then i am going to draw. and i don't know how i came to stumble upon feanne's daily drawings (see link at left) in the first place, but her work really does inspire me. and today she is the one who inspires me to clean them rapidographs and do something i'll be really happy with.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

blog post number TWO!

nice and long, to make up for the lack of posts during the past week. as far as content goes, maybe not enough to make up for the past week...oh well. goes the second post on my blogboard. might not be that good...i don't know what i'm going to write about, so i'll probably just keep jabbering until i figure something out (and who knows how long that is going to take?). let's see.....well, what kinds of things do i think about while at work? it's fun to think about what it must have been like to live at filoli- to be allowed to run around on the lawns (definitely a no-no nowadays) or call the mansion "home". i wonder about what it must be like to have an actual job here, what it would be like to have some stability and not have to keep planning my life in three-month chunks. i think about how cool it would be to know pretty much all of the plants in the gardens on sight, both the latin and common names. that? oh, why, that's acer palmatum 'crimson queen', weeping cutleaf japanese maple 'crimson queen'. one of my personal favorites, right after prunus x subhirtella 'pendula rosea', the pink weeping cherry and... you know? but i think about having a job in horticulture, and think about how not qualified i am (well, feel) and...maybe if i actually started applying for jobs, then i'd find out about how qualified other people think i am, which would be better than just feeling like i'm not good enough. because maybe i am, but am just too unwilling to hope for that.

anyway, in my dream job, i am supporting myself through my art. but this probably wouldn't really work out because i draw better under stress (stress unrelated, usually, to the art that i am trying to produce, because, usually, when the stress is artwork related, then i only make satisfying progress on artwork that is not the artwork on which i need to be making satisfactory progress. yeeees). so maybe i don't have a dream job all perfectly imagined in my head.

it appears that i am in a complainy me-mood.

i'll go back to that stability thing. in some ways, getting a job and a house and being fairly firmly secured in one place is really attractive. i currently have property in four locations on both coasts. that is incredibly annoying because no matter where i end up, it will cost a lot of money to get the rest of myself there. i also feel divided, and that all of those places are viable options for future living arrangements, and i need to narrow down my options so that i can focus and start doing really in-depth searches in only one area- i don't want more options demanding my attention and annoying me with the possibility of better opportunities in other places.

on the other hand, the older i get, the closer i get to stability (it's pretty much inevitable). aaaaand....that kind of scares me. job stability doesn't scare me. having my own house and being settled for a while, away from home, doesn't scare me (in some ways that, too, would be a relief- look ma and pa! i did it- i'm a real adult! i can start paying off my loans now!). but suburbia scares me. collecting knick-knacks scares me. having kids definitely scares me....of course, having kids is pretty much dependent on several very serious factors, but...i don't know, it's just crazy to me how life keeps happening and that (lord willing) i'll someday be thirty......forty......fifty-five.......eighty......dead. not that any of those things are really that frightening, but the fact that that will happen to everyone, no matter what just kind of fascinates me and leaves me speechless and thought-less. ageing and mortality are definitely two things i have thought and mused a lot about pretty much since i hit my teens. i'm not sure exactly why, and i'm not really sure why i'm talking about it right now, especially since i'm not really saying anything.

so, to change the subject, here's what i did at work on friday.
1- checked temperatures (outdoor high and low, current, the highs and lows in four greenhouses, with several sections within those greenhouses to check as well) and the rain gauge (no moisture accumulation). then i misted the cuttings in the propagations house and watered the plants in the north greenhouse, mainly just the ferns.
2- because lisa was sick, i checked the houseplants down in the mansion and cleaned up after a few that had dropped petals or leaves on the antique wood floors. one of my favorite plants down in the house is the pinguicula, which i've never seen before and find pretty adorable.
3- my next task for the day was to start repotting some of the ivies in the nursery area. they haven't been repotted for about four years, so it was time to scrape off old roots and give them new soil. filoli has an extensive collection of ivies (one of my favorites is the cockle shell) that have been donated over the years by individuals and institutions, which are now planted along the south-west fences and in a small section of the garden near the high place. some are also in pots under the care of the greenhouse staff. so i removed the ivy from its plastic pot, scraped off about an inch of soil all the way around, and then repotted it in the same pot with new soil. filoli makes its own soil on-site from compost, perlite, coconut husks and....something else? i forget now. but it's lovely stuff. i worked on those until 2, when we have our afternoon break. after break the other intern and i had our plant quiz (featuring plants from the walled and woodland gardens*) and tour of the plants we'll have to know for next week's quiz, where the theme is weeds**.
4- that stuff went really quick, and we had about forty-five minutes left. i got to clean more seeds. forget-me-not seeds. i've been working my way through a paper bag-full. it's not really that fun. they're tiny. and it's hard to get rid of all the other debris. whiiiine.

and then the day was over and i went and picked some apples and a couple pears (free! organic!) and went home. yay.

*here are the plants we had to be able to identify:
polygonum aubertii, silver lace vine
rhododendron 'fragrantissimum', fragrant rhododendron
exochorda x macrantha 'the bride', pearl bush 'the bride'
metasequoia glyptostroboides, dawn redwood
magnolia 'elizabeth', magnolia 'elizabeth'
hydrangea quercifolium 'flemygea', 'snow queen' oakleaf hydrangea
camellia saluenensis, camellia
camellia japonica 'usu otome' ('pink perfection'), camellia 'pink perfection'
magnolia denudata (heptapeta), yulan magnolia
corylopsis paucifolia, buttercup winterhazel
citrus unshiu 'owari', satsuma mandarin orange 'owari'
nothofagus solandri, black beech
francoa ramosa, maiden's wreath
cyclamen hederifolium, dwarf cyclamen
clematis armandii, armand's clematis
prunus serrulata 'shirofugen', japanese cherry 'shirofugen'
prunus x subhirtella 'pendula rosea', pink weeping cherry
cornus florida f. rubra, pink flowering dogwood
rosa banksiae, lady banks' rose
and that is all of them. listed from memory :)

**i am getting tired. maybe i will list the weeds later. writing was better than watching dumb ol' tv. hopefully this isn't too whiny.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

back in blogoland....


it's been a while, but at last i return to the land of blog. gone is all the black and white and grey; now that we are in the future, we have color (brown is a color, right?). and the option to comment. but an end to the nattering? there will be none! ever!

well, we all know how i am with introductory paragraphs, and for those who don't know (*gasp!*), ...i'll spare you. so here's some actual content: this is going to be about my internship at filoli, as well as my daily thoughts (at least, i make a good effort to have thoughts on a daily basis. sometimes it doesn't work so well) and pictures to accompany both. actually, there probably won't be pictures to accompany my thoughts, but hopefully there will be pictures of my artistic endeavors, which could, i suppose, be described as general reflections of my thoughts...anyway, things and stuff will be posted here, in no particular order, with some other stuff to spice things up.


the first thing i will write about is a conversation i had with...megan (do i use people's actual names or not? how anonymous should this be? does it matter? after all, we all know that the internet is only populated by evil perverts who steal credit card information and stalk twelve year old girls...) while working in the rain on friday. we were cutting back approximately 800 herbaceous peonies in the cutting garden, and even though we are both quiet people, sometimes Conversation shows up, taking both of us a little by surprise. let's see...for some reason, she asked me if i drink, i said no and that i don't like the taste at all, but have no problem with it. she asked if my parents drink (kind of an odd question, but ok), and i told her that my dad and stepmom enjoy having wine in the evening and with meals, but my mom and stepdad don't drink a whole lot. then she made a very interesting connection, one that had never occured to me and that is pretty much irrelevent to what i'm actually going to talk about, but anyway, i'd told her previously about my family, and that my stepmom and her kids had been/are (to varying degrees) mormon, with my stepmom being less-so. she commented that, huh, my stepmom must not be terribly concerned about mormonism if she allowed herself wine on a regular (responsible) basis.

this led to a conversation on religion, which i have not had....ever? with a non-christian. so we talked a bit about our spiritual convictions (or lack thereof, in her case), and then she told me about this program on npr she'd heard about where a guy they were interviewing had decided to go an entire year obeying the bible literally. i was like, whaaaat?? because the bible is obviously not to be taken entirely literall, but then how, she asked, are you to know what is literal and what is not? and we talked a bit about that for a bit, with stoning adulturers (literal?)and cutting off sin-causing limbs (not literal!) as examples. thinking over this some more, to myself, i decided that the individual attempting this endeavor failed even before he began, because we are commanded (i think...) to not follow the letter of the law, but the spirit. the pharisees obeyed every single command, down to the last semi-colon and dot on the 'i' (well, the hebrew equivalents), but they were completely off the mark. so unless this person is truly a christian and also desires to follow the spirit of the law, he's already lost his clever little game. not to mention the fact that humans are imperfect, and it's downright preposterous to think that anyone could follow the bible perfectly (sinlessly) for a day, much less an entire year.

well, i cannot find this interview on npr's website, so...maybe it exists and maybe it doesn't. at any rate, that is my rant.

and now i will post this and start another rant. no...not a rant, that is too angry sounding. more like...fervent internal intellectual inquiry. fiii. hehehe.

ps- is this font and/or size ok? i'm trying to decide if i like it, but legibility is more important than aesthetics (but only slightly. very slightly). i don't know if the font matches the background and color maybe i'll think about changing the template. we'll see.