Go to www.vivian-oblivion.com and add your suggestions on making a better world to my guestbook.
Frank, my jin shin jyutsu man, has me drinking ¾ of a gallon of special water every day. I am happy to comply because I know I haven't been drinking enough -- so even though I had zero belief in the water, I have 100% belief in my need for hydration and also Frank. Strangely, however, it does seem to do something. I was therefore disconcerted to develop a wee (ha) U.T. infection yesterday. How can that happen when I am a-guzzlin' the H²O??
29 November 2002
I want to stop writing about nothing and bring this blog back to my main issue: finding out what people need to live happy lives. My thoughts so far are few -- that's why I'm asking for input from everyone. I think we need to live in a world where money and its accumulation aren't the basis for everything. Where small areas are different from each other so you can move if you don't like the way things are run. Where schools are small, local schools. Maybe the overall governance would be by a council, the changing members of which would be assigned the task somewhat as jury-duty is done. Housing might be rotated on the basis of need/age. I'm just thinking -- I'd like to hear your thoughts so tell 'em. The things that make life worthwhile might not generate much money. Those people taking the time to learn and practice their craft (whatever it is) should be able to live, too.
I had no water when I left yesterday, but had a slight stream when I got home. Enough to have a shower this morning, anyway.
28 November 2002
Anji and Caitlin = dear to my heart.
Having problems with the water, now. Aaaargh! Would be nice to be able to take a shower.
Again -- the power was out yesterday for a short time. This is weird. Maybe I'll just keep a blog of power outages. Today is Thanksgiving, which doesn't mean much to me, but Con invited me, my mum, and my sister E to have dinner at her house. Very kindly. My mum is ill, however, although she seems a bit better today than yesterday. Her blood was knocked out by the chemo, and now, even though it's been months, she still has no oomph. I'm frightened by what I hear about the Procrit -- although that must be a tiny percentage of people who develop permanent anaemia.
21 November 2002
This was a hard week. I'm not sure I could make many more like his one -- or even want to. Tomorrow is Elders' Dinner, but I can't imagine, at this point, feeling well enough to go. What a bitter thing. My students have web-pages, paintings, mail art, artist stamps for their mail art, pastel drawings, Christmas cards (Josie made them from her bear pastel), movies, and painted cushions. This week. I have a field trip in two weeks -- the students are going to have a printmaking workshop, then go to a gallery opening for Shelley Niro, and meet her. That will be very groovy! I'm trying to get them prepared -- next week I'll focus on it. It's just Grade 6 up who are going. Thanh's wife Trang just made it over from Viet Nam. She's very lonesome. I'm going to try to have a welcoming party for her, with the help of Becky, between Christmas and New Year's Eve. I'd like to do something to make her feel that people care.
18 November 2002
I haven't added to this for a week -- but guess what? My power JUST came on AGAIN. It was out for several hours, but at least it was during the day. Windy and rainy. Just as well to be rainy -- the Olympics have been snowless for months, which is creepy, and the salmon were stranded again. I went to see The Business of Fancydancing at the Capital Theatre on Saturday. Sherman Alexie was going to be there but had injured his back playing bball, so he did a phone q&a afterwards, which was even better. I think he's mellowed since I first ran into him at Pascal Sherman Indian School for the Young Indian Writers Conference in some year that must've had a "9" in it (I can't remember when). I remember I was living on Ward Lake and got home at about 2pm. I didn't want to go, but got dragged kicking and screaming by Judy, the Legends Writer. It was an eventful trip, but I look back fondly on the good parts, and can laugh at the awful parts (now). I remember Sherman A. playing bball with our kids. Jim Boyd was there, too -- both were doing workshops. One of my former student's father was an instructor. It was cold, I remember that. The little chapel was pretty. Uh. Back to Saturday: I vaguely remembered seeing the fellow who plays Aristotle in the movie before, somewhere or other. I associate him with a legend-enacting group but I may be mistaken. I thought the movie was very good -- in the q&a S.A. mentions "32 Short Films About Glenn Gould" as an influence -- one of my all-time favorite films. The place was sold-out, jam-packed. Lucia and I preboarded as we are cripples -- it would've been impossible otherwise. If there is ever a fight around me between the Crips and the Bloods I'll be on the side of the Crips. I'm a Crip, man, I'd better learn the gang signs. Maybe I'd better do some research. If you have information please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 November 2002
Power to the People
My power just came on -- it went off when it was just dark and everyone (Dave, Con, S., J., K.) was here -- cut us off from further cleaning, unfortunately, but the Monster's soup was ready, Connie's salad was in process, and Susan's popovers were already wrecked by someone using her recipe's milk, and me suggesting rice milk as a substitute which didn't work. My coverlet had just been put in the dryer -- so Con took things home to dry them there. I was totally annoying as usual, and kept playing "Police Interrogation" by shining flashlights at people and barking questions as to their whereabouts on certain dates. On the plus side, K. had his Anakin Skywalker costume on and kept saying he was going to the Dark Side. We played cards (Animal Rummy) and he won! He kept asking me for hard questions, so I asked him a million -- what's 1 + 1 (he got it right), the name of Connie's dog (paid off big even though he didn't remember as 5 minutes later Connie asked him if he remembered the dog's name!). Apparently on the Dark Side you have no friends, you don't go to school, and there are toy airplanes but they are old and someone left them outside where they were run over by a truck. He told me I could come to the Dark Side and yes, he would hold my hand if I got scared. Pretty good for 3½.
09 November 2002
I'm not usually unhappy, strange though that might seem, but I've been rather depressed today as I have felt unwell. Well, even more than usually unwell. I've spent the whole day working on something -- a silkscreen -- that was a kind of courtesy for a parent. I asked for the artwork, and what I was given was so horrible I had the child of the parent redraw it. It still wasn't good, so I got up this morning and redid the thing, then scrubbed the screen, went out to make transparencies, buy emulsion. Came home, mixed and applied the emulsion, set the screen to dry, set up the light, waited -- the screen took forever to dry. Finally burned it and washed it out. What a drag -- all day concerned with that when I felt rotten and probably should've just stayed in bed. Not that ever DO, but I might've. Or at least bumbled about with no timetable. We'll be printing the whatevers (whatever they send me) on Tuesday -- may it go well and be finished. Because I was shifted from my artroom into a room that -- although very nice -- has none of the things I specified when they built the school (large sinks, sprayers, etc.), it will be a neat trick to wash out the screen. I think I probably will base the possibility of any future silkscreen activities on whether the washout is possible. Ugh! Don't I sound depressed -- going on and on about cleaning ink from screens. I have nothing that will cheer me up -- nothing is possible, I mean. I'm writing THIS to cheer me up. I'd better stop or I'll be looking for a noose, next.
08 November 2002
At the car place they were talking on the phone with the junkyard -- the headlight motor was still on the car. So nothing -- have to go in Monday to have it bolted on. Curses, I wanted it NOW! I can't imagine why I didn't do it before this. Gee, it's caused me no end of suffering. I have so little right with my own body that it makes me want to fix things on my car -- as I left the bodywork place today I was fantasizing about going to a body shop and having my own body fixed. Talking about getting fixed -- my two fourth graders were quizzing me on my lack of grandchildren, children, husbands, boyfriends. "Are you a nun?," George asked, "It seems like it." Seems like it to me, too, George. When I got sick with the M.S. my marriage abruptly ended. That was a weird year -- no marriage, no place to live, no money, unknown ability to do the job I had. Tried to get back with my husband, but that didn't work. I will always be grateful to my brother-in-law for telling me not to put off getting a divorce. He was absolutely right. A while after that I wound up living with someone for maybe four years. Since then I've been on my own, but that's all right. If I just had a slight bit better physical ability I'd be quite happy. I'm more or less reconciled to not being able to paint. I used to think how wonderful it was to be an artist -- you can go on all your life, as opposed to being, say, a ballerina, and having to give it up at some point. Well, I was right... but not about the details. I'm still an artist, though.
I just bought a scanner, which I've been avoiding for years as it is just "work" spelled differently -- but I had to have one if Marilee and Susan want their stuff scanned for websites. I can't carry it in to work, and besides, I have work to do when I'm at work, and this stuff takes hours and hours. I don't like it -- that's why I'm more into digital cameras. The scanner was 50 bucks from Overstock.com. An HP 4470C -- similar to what I now have at school, and I knew it was deeply discounted because the software is so awful. Still, I manage at school (although I miss my Umax) so I figured I'd buy it -- save a hundred bucks. Shipping was 3 dollars. It works better than the one at school because my computer works much better. Why they would make a good product then render it undesirable by the clunky awful software that goes with it I have no idea. I plugged it in then spent two hours scanning carved bent wood box pictures and Salish weaving slides. I also scanned a few slides of my drawings --
07 November 2002
I'm reviewing applicants for the position of My Garage. My little car is rather important to me, and Dave has too much to do to keep my oil changed and whatnot, so I'm actively seeking a good place. My bodywork people recommended the place across from them. And I went today and had my oil changed at a different place -- it's on the way home from work. They are quite nice. I explained what I was looking for, and why. I asked them if they are honest. "No," they said. "We are crooks." The owner's wife works there in the office part, and they have a malamute that wanders. And children, or perhaps child. Tomorrow I'm going to my bodywork place so they can put in a headlight motor. My car will be happy. The stupid thing's been out for a year. Now that I'm back to just doing things myself instead of feebly relying on poor Dave, I will have to have to cultivate these relationships. I have always had a garage I liked a lot -- for one period of time I took my car to the car-mending end of an Avanti dealership. They fixed my car long after they stopped being open to the public (just did their own work) -- which I found out by accident I think when they failed to recognise me on the phone and refused to fix my car. Then when they found out they were talking to me they explained. How faithful they were!
Samantha, who lived with me out of desperation for three months at the beginning of the year, has been paying me back what I loaned her in the most superb fashion. I usually don't loan anything anyway, but if I have to loan a small amount I say, "Keep it," as I don't want repayment or nonrepayment to occupy my brainspace. This was more than I could afford to lose, however, so I'm glad she's being such a good repayer.
05 November 2002
Mum got a weird lawyer-y paper in the mail to do with her Daewoo -- Daewoo's been bought by GM and the future of her vehicle and its parts and service is up in the air, it seems. The paper was something to do with that. She'd asked Dave (Connie's husband, a lawyer) what to do with it. He didn't call and didn't call. Finally she enlisted my help. We both stared at that paper and it didn't make the slightest bit of sense. While we were looking at it Dave rang up, which was good timing, and said, "Don't bother," which of course was like music to our ears at that point. My toxic mold family has found a big house on 13 acres at Spencer Lake -- they will continue at our school only if they can be driven to a pick-up point within our boundaries. Now I know why they kept asking me where I live -- they thought it might be the same lake. I have 5 of the 6 school-age children. Phenomenally talented. I just want them to have a good place to live -- wherever they go to school. Skyla was watching a video I'm editing of a (masked) raven dancer, and I explained I have been taking one of my kids up to Skok so he can learn to carve. "I'm one of your kids," she said. Awww. If only I could hold it together long enough to get her apprenticed to someone. She told me she used to be scared of me. Hah! I said, "Yeah, it wears off just when I need it most." We started talking about that because she says Josie (the animated GIF butterfly artist) her sister (in 2nd grade) is scared of me. That's me -- the Hammer of the Tots.
01 November 2002
Now I'm making a website for a Salish weaver. She's very nice, and her weaving is beautiful. I made a basic site with what I had -- but I have no info or titles for pieces, so it's just my reference names for the photographs until she specifies what they really are. I'll be surprised if she's satisfied with my first effort, but one never knows. I'm still working on Ann's, but we are stalled. Lucia's is finished, from the moment I reduced the filesize on the animated typewriter (well, I knew I wouldn't get away with a large filesize image, but I WANTED to). I must go and check domain names.
I spoke with the father of my students who live in the toxic mold apartments -- but not any more! They were moving as we spoke. I'm happy that they will have a better place to live. I said it had been my number one wish for them that they''d find a house in the country and be able to have a dog. Their dad said the children are afraid of dogs -- because they'd never had one! Now they will get one. He said he'd grown up in the country with animals -- I said, "Me, too." This place is remote, I reckon, and has a big house on 13 acres. Callooh! Callay! One tiny piece of the world is better! I am despondent as no one has guestbooked their thoughts on the improvement of the world. No one has even read this blog, most likely. Still, the mere act of writing it, I'm positive, puts something good into the ether. At least it keeps me off the streets.
Yesterday was Hallowe'en -- always a fave kid holiday. I didn't expect, nor did I get, any trick-or-treaters -- there was a cougar attack recently on my street, and that tends to keep the numbers down. At school there was a classroom-to-classroom parade of witches, spidermen, screams, and batmen. Adults dressed up, but not me -- I said I was going to come as a normal person, but forgot. Actually, I'd intended to wear my Dollar Store witch nose, complete with wart and flashing red light ("Caution: Do not wear near airports"). On the 30th a kid fell in love with it (apparently) and I acquiesed to his request to take it as I thought having it back was unsanitary. He wore it upside down, and it looked hilarious -- but he claimed he couldn't breathe. Yuh, right. This week we made 3 movies, 2 animated GIFs, 2 webpages, 2 cushions, 4 pastels (in progress). Next week we'll edit the clay animation car race movie, and the dancing bones movie, and the beginning portion of House of Cats, where the Lazy One appears on the top of a race car, to the surprise of his mother (who, unaccountably, has been painted gold). These movies and others will be on our Virtual Moviehouse in about 3 weeks -- so maybe in December 2002 you can go to www.wahelut.bia.edu and check them out. I'm not sure how I'll link them -- I reckon just from the site map. One animated GIF was the work of a 2nd grader, who did a splendid job. After I walk kids through the process I'm hoping they'll understand it enough to do it on their own. My toxic mold kids are moving, they told me, which is what I'd hoped for. They may or may not still come to our school. Anji and Caitlin called me last night while I was editing video from Skok. I answered and it was Caitlin -- but I thought it was Keats -- so I asked about costumes, candy, Hallowe'en -- all of which was the day before for Caitlin, who thought I was quite strange, with my odd accent and time aberrations. I'd just sent them an evil pencam, as my desire for images is never-ending. I thought it would be fun. We'll see. The 1.3 mega takes, actually, really rather good photographs. I'm hoping for people pictures, of course, but also some fish pix, too. "Fish pix" makes me think of "Fish Stix," that racehorse who was burned on his back in a stable fire. What happened to him? I'll have to look around on the web. This GIF was made by Josie, who is in Grade Two.<---apparently Josie's animated gif is borked.