Figs, two ways

I had an afternoon snack of figs, dates, and a leftover pancake not long ago. There was probably some green tea involved too. It was very tasty, and beautiful. I decided that it was so beautiful that I had to capture the image.


Then I realized after taking the picture that I should draw this with my watercolor pencils. They are kind of like regular colored pencils, but when you add water to the image after you’ve drawn it, it becomes a watercolor. Pretty magic.

I’m not that good with them yet, and I figured I’d get overwhelmed with all that “stuff” so I decided to draw just the figs. I took a few pictures of the fig first just in case I wanted to refer to it later. I was getting hungry.



I drew the fig twice, partly because I wanted to understand it, and partly because I had a hard time getting the shape right.

Here is what the result is, in two different lights. I’ve adjusted the image a little so it looks more like here what it looks like there.

Inside –

And outside.


One day I’ll remember to take pictures of the art before I add the water so you can see the difference.

Birthday week

I’ve heard that there is a time when you should stop making a fuss about your birthday. That time is when you are five. I think that idea comes from someone who just doesn’t get it.

I celebrate my birthday for a week. If you think about it, every day is a good reason to celebrate. Just being alive is pretty amazing. A birthday just adds more flavor to it.

The grumps would think so what that you have managed to stay alive long enough for the planet to make another trip around the sun? Who cares? I say ignore them. They are just trying to bring you down. The world is full of these people. Ignore them. They aren’t right.

Now, nobody is going to make a special fuss about your birthday, sure. They get busy. They forget. So it is up to you to make it special.

I take my birthday off every year. This guarantees that nobody will yell at me that I can’t yell back at. In general we’ve weeded out most of the cranky patrons at work. In general. Working a customer service job means the customer is always right, even when she is wrong. It means suppressing your natural reaction and desire to defend yourself.

I’m not taking any chances.

So to guarantee that the day will go well, I take it off and I stretch it out over a week. This year it has turned out pretty good.

There was almost a full stop in the middle because of some rather adolescent unpleasantness, but I managed to pull the car back onto the road. And I learned that all the yoga and study and writing I’ve been doing actually works to keep me well when I need it most. That alone was a useful lesson. I’d rather have learned this another week, but you don’t get to choose when you get your lessons.

Emails vs. phone calls

I dislike the telephone. I’d much rather get an email. Or a letter.

Getting a phone call is like a home invasion to me. It happens unexpectedly. I have to deal with it right then. There is no time to compose myself and make sure I say the right thing.

Emails are slower. I can deal with emails when I feel like it. Emails are like the slow cooker where phone calls are the microwave. But even with the microwave I get the choice to turn it on. The microwave doesn’t suddenly spew out food and say “It is time to eat now!”

Phone calls are like someone showing up at my home while I’m relaxing in my jammies and them saying ok, now it is time to go out to eat supper with your family and your coworkers, no time to get dressed, and we hope you get embarrassed. A lot.

How did I ever survive before email? I guess I didn’t know any better. That creeping, sinking feeling in my gut was just normal. I didn’t have a choice.

It is like life before antibiotics and immunizations. You just had a few (hundred) people die every year. Nothing you can do about it, so sorry. We didn’t have a choice, so we didn’t think about it.

I get tongue tied when I talk on the phone. I get my wires crossed. My point doesn’t go across, it goes sideways.

It is part of why I made a rule that my brother no longer call me. If he wanted to communicate, it had to be by letter. Well, part of that was because he would say I said something I didn’t, so with a letter I had proof I wasn’t going insane, but that is another story. Some of it was to make sure I said what I meant to say.

I had a coworker once who got really frustrated with me that I got tongue-tied. She said “But you have a degree in English!” Right. I do. I don’t have a degree in talking. I write. With writing I can think about what I want to say. Then I can go over it and make sure the words say what I think they say. But with speech I don’t have that luxury. It is right then, no waiting.

I don’t text. Not really. They are too much like phone calls. They are a lot like emails, but more immediate. I don’t get the point of texts when there is something already like them around that works. I turned off the texting on my phone because I don’t want it and it costs extra. People still try to text me anyway and sometimes it goes through. When it doesn’t, they get upset that I didn’t answer. Texts aren’t like emails in that way. At least when an email doesn’t go through you get a message saying so.

Let’s being back letters. They can be personalized. They can have pictures and doodads inside. They can have glitter too. And for the paranoid among us, letters aren’t that interesting to the bogeymen.