Sunday, December 31, 2006

unfamiliar roads

Yesterday was a great day. There was rain, there was hot chocolate, there was a shower at about 10 am, there was good feedback on my paintings, there was grocery shopping alone, and there was photography. At about 3 pm I got in my car with a list of things I didn't have and I needed for a baked ham recipe I got online. I decided to go grocery shopping to a small shop called Marvin's IGA because I wanted to get a cheese like the one my professor got for the last painting critique we had. It was really good and she said she got it there, and so I wanted to see if I could find it. I forgot the name of the cheese, I'm not really good at those things, but I am a visual person so I thought I might find it by the looks.

I drove down to where I thought the store was only to realize it was a different store and I had gotten it confused-- I do this sort of thing often. Since I was already in Fayetteville and I had my camera with me I took off to Mt. Sequoyah to get some pictures from up there. The sky was looking beautiful with still some gray clouds but with hints of golden where the sun wanted to reach for me. On my way there I took unfamiliar roads and enjoyed the ride. I knew they would take me where I wanted to go, because that was easy.... just go uphill and you'll get there. Besides, Fayetteville is a very small town. I couldn't possibly get lost, and if I did, all I had to do was turn into a road going downhill and I would eventually find a main street.

The drive was so calming. There's a clarity in the air after storms or long rainy days that seems so real and magical at the same time. It's been a mild winter so far, so I could lower my windows and I let some cold air come in the car. My hair got cold and it felt nice. It felt like it feels when I don't dry it well and put it up then at the end of the day when I put my hair down still smells... fresh. The cold air got to my lungs and reminded me of how good breathing feels, and how often I forget it.

When I finally got to Mt Sequoyah I got out of my car and started shooting pictures. I walked a little down the road and got in the retreat center I've been so many times for leadership things from school. I got a picture of the benches and the leaves on the floor and then I left because it felt like I was somehow interrupting something. Call me crazy, but it felt like all those benches were starring at me. So I turned back and left.

I got on my car and instead of taking my usual route back I went down on another unfamiliar road. I had already been thinking how nice the drive up there was and so I wanted to keep feeling good, leaving all things known on the side and seeing things differently. I ended up on a street that would take me to the main street to go back home. And just when I got close to the stop light I looked left and there was, in that corner, the store I had been looking for earlier that afternoon. At the end, those roads took me where I was going.

It was a good day. Even if right after I got all of the things in my list I left my keys inside the car. Happy new year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Yellow conversation

Yellow conversation, originally uploaded by aquarelita.

On my exciting Friday night at home I wanted to continue on my door-mural project but somehow didn't get it together to work on it. I thought of the colors and what I wanted to do with newspaper... then I thought how that wasn't really a good idea so I thought of something else that I didn't get to do. I'll wake up early and work on it.

I'm missing the studio. I miss the solitude of it some nights and the smell of the paint. I miss the view from the window and the cold wind of Fall nights that refreshed my ideas. I miss the green chair in the studio, and the vibrant colors.

Acrylics feel so dead. So quick to dry.

I want to use my oil paints again. I'll look into getting a studio, probably after I graduate, because with all the tuition expenses and the other stuff I can't afford it, plus I wouldn't have much time to paint. But I want a little studio.

When I this picture I was painting "all roads lead to me"... I guess by the colors. I liked to paint at night better than during the day. And I like to use only liquin as medium besides mineral spirits. Lindsey oil and the other things I have are very nice, but there's something about liquin that makes it feel just right for me.

I'll paint tomorrow. I'll use up the little canvas I primed the other night and will do something nice. I also have to see if I get a new coffee maker tomorrow because I broke the old one. And it left a little scar too.... well, it's not a scar yet because it hasn't healed completely, but it'll sure leave a scar.

Good night.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

about a corner in D.C. and a snow globe with golden flakes

Being used to a lot of running around I find myself feeling like a prisoner in the 3 divisions of my cubicle at work. I find my third eye (as if I knew about it) blinded by the cold light of the lamp over my desk. My body cries for movement, as it stays glued to the chair that never sees the sunlight.

And even when I consider myself blessed for having a job and being able to enjoy little economic freedom that very few can say they have back home in my San Salvador, my heart longs for freedom.

A dream of days full of art comes to me after each problem solved at work. The me who knows the reality of a life in the third-world tells me to be thankful, but the me who dreams of travels, art, and the passion that comes with little things in life tells me to run for my life. To run and just be myself.... wherever I'm standing.

And so I stand here, in front of a little snow globe with golden flakes, and moons, and stars, and musical notes dancing in the water.... and think of times I've been myself somewhere else. And I'm a stranger somewhere else, but that's so familiar to my soul that it almost feels like home.

The little snow globe has the Capitol Hill building inside.
I remember getting the souvenir in a corner of that city in the middle of a Saturday morning when the sun was quiet and the wind played with my hair. And I remember feeling home.

So the little snow globe helps me through the days in which I can't run free. And reminds me there will come times when I'll be home in a place where the wind will want to play with my hair.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

birthday cake from afar

My best friend's 22nd birthday is today and I wish I was with her to have woken her up really early to the sound of my "Las MaƱanitas" version... maybe mixed with some other birthday songs like we used to do in el colegio our last year in 2001.

Pau, happy birthday! Have some cake and a big cup of coffee in my name. Soon there will come the time when we'll be able to share special days like birthdays, christmas, new years and all that stuff.

Feliz Cumple, loca!
En la distancia pero cerca...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

THANK YOU J. STAR!!!!!!!!!

For lighting up my Christmas..... CLICK

Friday, December 22, 2006

Don't get in between Christmas shoppers and the merchandise because you can get killed.

You learn something new everyday.

I get off work at noon on Fridays, and since I'm on winter break from school I got to run some errands today and do stuff like any other normal citizen in the town I live in. Of course, that includes risking my life for a jar of olives.

NO KIDDING! I thought the store would be a little busy, but I never imagined I would be risking my life. Thank goodness my little list only had a jar of olives and about three other things, because that way I got away with not needing a shopping cart, which is the only reason I survived the shopping. I was doing the last minutes detail shopping for the Christmas eve dinner with my family. My mom and I will do all the cooking (actually, more my mom than I), but there were so many people and in such horrible mood that for a moment I considered giving up on my mission and have a simpler-tasting chicken for that dinner. I mean, people were pushing me with their carts! It was ridiculous! I went to the big store because I was getting an oil change for Berthito (my '88 Taurus) and so I just went to the grocery section to (I thought) just get the stuff I needed quickly.

I really don't think people even care about what Christmas is all about... it really has become this big commercial season full of no meaning. Just a reason to consume like there's no tomorrow. It's just so horrible. I don't think kids even learn that the reason people give presents is to imitate the offerings that were brought to Jesus when he was born.

On my way back from the store I got to think how much better would be if we would just stop having this type of commercial celebration for just one year. It seems like it is all just a bunch of things that we have to do, cards we have to send, things to buy, decorations, singing... all so mechanical. It all seems to just not be meaningful anymore. If we, as society, could just have one year as a break from all this and go back to the simple celebration... to the opportunity to just reflect on things and share with the family some free time. Some real time together. It would be refreshing for us, it would heal our hearts and minds. Because as it is now, it's damaging the society that has to go through all this.

Because the holidays are not for gift giving, not for big parties, not for decorating... they're for us to appreciate time. They're for us to take time and have an afternoon with the family and do whatever with them. It is for us to look to the side and give a big hug to that person who makes your life complete. Family and friends are the reason we should just rest and be thankful for. We get off from work to have time with the loved one, NOT to go spend hours in a crowed store looking for things.

I look back to my Christmas times in El Salvador, and realize we didn't get anything, but we spent time with family and enjoyed... and if someone ever gave me something, I can hardly remember now. But I remember so clearly how my sister, my cousin, and my aunt Sandra (All) got those rollers on and tried them at my grandparents house. I don't remember whose the rollers were, but we had so much fun using them (just one pair of them) with others... and specially when Sandra fell and laughed so hard she wet her pants (shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... don't tell her I told you!).

That's what's all about. Love.

I just want some healing of soul for all those, who like me, are longing for some spiritual peace for this holidays. Bless you and your loved ones. And enjoy this Navidad.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In business mode.

Thank goodness I've sold some paintings! I sold "Vision" and "He Drew Me Once" yesterday, and my friend from SandiaFria bought "The Two Berthas".

I updated the artwork gallery on my website last week. I realize I need to start making prints for myself. I'm selling these paintings that are meaningful to me. When I start a painting I never think of how much I'll sell it for, or what people would buy; it's always about something from my heart.

Many times I don't know how to explain a work. I worked a lot on that this past semester in my class... and well, the class is over and I'm still working on it.

I'm pretty happy with what I did on the class. I really need to get me a little studio to be able to keep painting with oils. I enjoy it so much, but it's so hard to work on them at home, especially with the mineral spirits and the media. We had so many safety precautions at the studio, that I just don't think it's good to have the studio at home.

Besides, I want to be somewhere near a community of artists. Maybe share the studio space or be in a complex where other people have studios.

I also have to do some research on mural painting. I'm doing a mini mural on my room door but I'm just using acrylics and nothing really fancy... I think I even used a sharpie, but I can't do that in case someone wants me to paint a mural. I have to get on the ball.

So far I've enjoyed the break very much.
Getting ready for a Feliz Navidad and already ready for all the holiday music to STOP. I don't like holiday music by default, but by the end of December it becomes unbearable.

Hmmmm, I'm hungry now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A matter of respect.

If you watch HGTV during your lunch hour you might be familiar with a tv show of house or room makeovers that runs about that time. I've never seen such show (or the channel) but I heard today they did the makeover at the house of a homosexual couple. I happen to know this because a lady I know called the HGTV main station to complain about the content of their shows, apparently they showed a picture of the couple where one was kissing the other one on the chick... and apparently this was offensive to her.

When she was telling me about it she said "And I'm not being judgmental, but that's WRONG." And so, I would like an update in case the meaning of the word judgmental has changed recently, because if so, I have to know what it means now.

Her actions were sad and reflected not only intolerance but disrespect. But her attitude was what most saddened me. The way she denigrated the couple was ignorant. It was over my head how she could get upset for a picture that only showed an act of appreciation and care. She talked about the fact that the couple was together as if it was some sort of crime. She couldn't even say "homosexuality" or anything like it. She would just say "IT is all over, and they (the media) have it all up in our faces."

It wasn't about the image of the kiss, but the fact that it was a same sex couple what was so disgusting to her.

But it's about respect. We don't have to understand or participate in others' lifestyle or culture, we just need to respect it. I tried to talk to her about that, but she ended up saying that she had the right to have and express her opinion.

So I guess I'll have to pray for her.

Monday, December 18, 2006

When everything else isn't worth a penny....

Christmas Wish List Revised.... after a close look at the heartIf I could have anything I wanted this Christmas I would ask for a Christmas with my family: my dad, my mom, my two sisters, my two brothers, the baby brother I haven't met, my cousin Jaime Roberto whom I love like a brother, my aunt Miriam and Sandra, Sandra's parents, and my grandfather. I would ask to see those I haven't seen in years... and for a hug from each of them.... If I could have anything I want.

That's all far from possible at this point, except for one thing, I could see my brother. He's living in Dallas, TX and if everything goes right with his work and my car and all he could come here and spend Christmas with me. But if only one thing goes wrong he could spend Christmas alone down in Dallas.

I haven't seen him in 5 years, so I'm really hoping for this one... :')

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Postcards from Europe!

I received a bunch of postcards yesterday and the day before. I thought Rachel would send me one, I never expected as many as I got.

Two of these (the Italy ones) I'm putting up on my wall... the rest are going on my "travel box" where I have postcards, tickets, metro passes, etc...

I saved all the notes I wrote. I'll try to send them soon.

Sounds like your friends are pretty cool... even though they like tea. You know I'm more of a coffee girl.

SO... where are the pictures from that evening?

Say hi to Fiona too!

And I put some black and white shots of the same theme in my photo blog... THANK YOU RACHEL!!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sunrise and a little bit of sickness

I'm still kinda sick but getting better.
I saw a really amazing sunrise the other day... you should see it in my pictures.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A graphic glass ceiling

Click on the image to see the article and discussions at Design Observer

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I stopped counting my sneezes early this morning. Vitamin C runs along my blood in my veins now, I don't think I can drink anymore.
The mysterious disappearance of some quesadillas for lunch raised questions and conversation in the office. And the excitement of the hour ended with an apology in an email I heard being typed.
There's 100% orange juice, Lysol disinfectant spray, and anti-bacterial deep cleansing hand gel on my desk along with the sandwich I made for my lunch.
I think I'm going home.
My head is starting to hurt and today is 12-12.... do you know what that means?! me neither. I think that number follows me. Just like questions... questions follow me. People ask me all sorts of things, as if I should know what I'll be doing after graduation. I don't even know what I'll be doing tomorrow. What if I die and God decides I'm not one of those special people who deserve to come back to life after being dead for a couple of hours like that guy, Salvador Molina, who fought as "Ernesto" for la guerrilla SalvadoreƱa and got shot like five times and then came back to life after eight hours of being dead? I mean, chances are I will stay dead after dying.
People dream with dark tunnels and the light at the end, but he didn't see that. He just saw life as it was in my broken El Salvador. And I, I dream with number 12s and with once again seeing the sunset in the Pacific, my toes playing with the sand on a beach of that country that saw me grow too fast.
My brother said he wishes he was 10 again. He says that was a good age for him. Sometimes life is about nostalgia. Just like this blog.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm sick (beyond the cold I'm getting)

I think I'm getting sick, but for once, it is okay because I have time to rest. I don't have as much time as I think, because there's still some things I need to get done before the semester starts... BUT at this very moment, I don't even remember what those things are.

I've sneezed twice in the last 30 minutes... and a lot throughout the day.

I'm really tired and just want to get some rest. There's a couple of books I'm reading, short stories mostly... Ana Menendez and ZZ Packer. Though I really want to read Los Miserables by Victor Hugo during this break. Might not be enough time, for I am a slow reader in my second language, but I'll try.

I wanted to write something meaningful about my life, but I'm not that happy with some things... specially a B in painting 2. I really wished I knew how to make paintings that "feel like me," that's such subjective grading criteria.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Matt is this crazy guy who dances horribly. He's inspiring.
And he reminded me that I'm a foreigner... in the wrong country.

Friday, December 08, 2006

after a long list of lists...

I've learned not to write about people I know and horrible so-called educators here because it can come back and bite me in the butt. I've also learned that cursing here is not good either, so I say it all at loud just to myself. That's the reason why this post won't contain any cursing about any pseudo-doctors who can't teach.

Besides my feelings about teaching styles or lack thereof, I've been good. I can say I did very well the past couple of weeks despite being some of the most difficult days in this academic semester. It's been intense. I've had some very emotional times on top of the academic responsibilities. I missed the damn ceremony for the class ring and it got me very angry. It was very important for me and I forgot all about it because my mind was full of lists of stuff I needed to do, of concepts I needed to memorize for exams, of names of graphic designers I like, and the ones I don't like too, of projects, family stuff, of to-dos for organizations, of not having a car because it had broken down, money stuff, the eye thing that was hurting me, and some more crap. I almost cried when I remember I had missed the ceremony because it was the last thing I needed to go wrong. Lame alumni association staff need to learn why reminders are a good thing. It's insignificant for many, but it was very important for me and it just shouldn't have gone wrong.

So with all, I decided to look at my Bible last night and I went to the book of Job because it's the book I like most. And after a few penciled-in notes I found an arrow pointing to "vuelve ahora en amistad con el y tendras paz; y por ello te vendra bien" (22:21 if you want to look it up in English). There are so many promises that are just written, so I told Him what I was feeling.

I'm better today. There's no point on saying anything more about things I can't change. And sorry, it looks like I broke my own no-cursing policy. I guess if after reading this you decide to not give me a position in your company or in a grad program it will be your lose and you'll probably end up with some sick person that has no bad days, or at least is telling you so. And it was your fault anyway, it was your choice to read this on the first place. (That was some P.D. hating on some ridiculous career development BS I've been bombarded with).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I am so sad.

I missed the class ring ceremony last night. Damn.

Monday, December 04, 2006

New list

So, for this week I have to:
  • finish the drag and drop flash project
  • write my artist statement
  • turn in my PR project
  • study for my history of graphic design final
  • consumer behavior final
  • study for my PR final
  • finish my paintings:
    • 2 figure paintings
    • 1 big figure paintings
    • 2 memory series small paintings
    • 1 memory series big painting
    • 1 final painting

I'm tired and my car is not working. It's very cold outside, but I'm wearing my cute pink jacket. I am ready for the break. It seems that this week will be a harsh one again, so at the end I'll have to treat me to a nice 6 hour nap.
Good bless the world. After I'm done with all these I'll post a wish list for this holiday season... it will surely include world peace ;)
Enough for the blog break. A hug from me, wherever you are.

last list edit: 12/07/06 at 10:43 pm

Friday, December 01, 2006

bendita la nieve!

I didn't go to work today because we got some sleet and snow yesterday here. The bad thing was that I didn't get to go to school either, which is a very bad thing because I had a lot to do for the flash drag-and-drop project that's due monday in typography.
I've been studying and I took a bunch of pictures, so I hope this doesn't hurt me much when I got in this weekend to work on that project. Bless me, I have so much to study for and so many work hours to put on that flash project!

Here's a picture of my tropical feet freezing this morning when I went out to take pictures:

and then, there's me after I went and got a jacket and put shoes on:

and then, some words for my best friend whom I haven't seen in years: