Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Waves self with lace hanky...

Hey people.  This is the last you'll hear from me for a while as next week I'll be convalescing.

I'm trying to be positive about this.  This weekend I'm preparing a bunch of food.  I keep telling myself I'm going to clean the whole house but so far that hasn't exactly happened.  I'll actually have an excuse to do nothing but lay around, but I know this will drive me insane and I'll want to be up and walking around as soon as humanly possible.  For now I'll be laying around recovering from my field dressing a deer surgery, probably, and semi-functional anyway with one T-rex arm that can't reach up or out very far until my shoulder heals up.  I can already feel myself getting fatter. 

Our phone broke last week.  The base station shorted out, (some of you know this story, let's just say having pets is a def lifestyle choice).  Here's Dan on an old phone he pulled from ~the archives~ (his hoarding stash under the crawlspace of our house).  For anyone under 30, this is what phones looked like back in the olden days.  You had no idea who was calling, and if you didn't answer it would just ring and ring until the person finally gave up, and hung up, sometimes as many as 100 rings later.

I am not a phone person (for sure), but do like to know who has called, and to have the "leave a message" option.  We've now stepped back into the 90's and gotten another answering machine style phone.  If you can't reach us via our beepers, leave a message.

I was madly trying to finish up a few projects before the convalescing begins.  The last one didn't quite make it under the wire, thanks to the switch on my cutter going out.  But as I look it over now I'm glad, because there are some things I need to fix, and if all would have gone smoothly yesterday, I'd have finished it and rushed it out, and not been 100% satisfied with the result.  Here's the sketch I was working off:

The neck's a bit short, but I was mainly concerned with leg and head positioning.  Horses are so expressive if you know what you're looking at.  Their entire being is about being on all fours, ready to flee at any instant.  They aren't always on high alert, but this is what they're built for, and as a prey/herd animal, their core instinct.

For this sculpture I wanted to capture a young dressage horse.  Dressage takes natural movements of the horse and super refines them.  It's kind of like the difference between someone walking, and a model walking the catwalk.  A successful performance has the horse responding to nearly invisible cues from the rider.  It's all about subtlety.  The movement I wanted to get was this sort of jogging in one place exaggerated trot I saw in a vid.  Thinking about how the horse would have to decide at which point to begin unweighting various legs.  Done perfectly, it would be all sync'd-- two by two, opposing diagonal legs.

In a horse just learning the movement, I suspect it would feel funky, too slow.  It's unnatural for them to move their legs with little or no forward movement.  My horse would be sort of trying to cheat it by unweighting his whole back end, dancing those legs back and forth, and kind of bobbing his head to keep most of his weight always on one of his two front legs.

So i began framing him in.  I got it mostly right-- his hips are low and I got a neck arch I'm happy with.


Proportionally he's good (this pic is from above, looking down)-- hips, shoulders, belly all line-up, also his foot pattern is sound.  This horse stands perfectly balanced on just two hooves.  I also like how his head is nodding to his planted front foot-- the cheat.

But scroll up again to see what I don't like--- his planted front leg is too far forward, and the hock angle is all wrong.  He needs a new hoof too.  It's not off a ton, but enough to rob it of *life*.

I had begun to cover him in dapples from this steel.  He'll be awesome when I'm done, but he needs a legectomy.


Here's some kung pao chicken I made for convalescent food.  This is all happening at a time I really want to get in better shape, but I'll just be that much more eager when I am able to hit it I guess.

I'll be delving into *new idea* while I'm down, so the next update may be about that.  We'll see.  I'm looking forward to learning how to use my creativity in another way.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wild Weekend

Hey people.  Dan went out of town last weekend.  He hardly ever does, maybe two or three times a year, and when he does, it's kind of fun to have the place to myself.  There is just something about knowing you'll be unobserved, your time unaccounted for, that feels really liberating and fun.  It's fun because it's temporary.  I'd miss Dan too much if he was gone for a long time, or often, but a weekend...  I can do that, and enjoy it.  Let the mad-cap mayhem ensue!

Look!  I got new oven mitts!  I was a bit sad to toss the 15+ year old, disgusting, burned "mitts of danger" in the trash, but i really like the new colorful ones-- and they were only a buck!  Clearance!  ~Wild~ baby!

And look-- I found Dan's not very well hidden secret stash of girl scout cookies.   Thin mints.  Meh.  He ordered his favorite kind, but not mine.  Not quite sure how to take that.  I'm torn between disappointed and relieved.  Because when it comes to Samoas, I have no self control.

And, because I usually try to keep a lid on this when he's around because it drives him so nuts--- I crunched ice with impunity. 
Okay, seriously my weekend was nowhere near this boring.  I hung out with tons of my friends; chowing down, hiking, hanging out talking, LOTS of talking.  We discussed relationships, and mortality, and morality and finances and insecurities.  Laughed a bunch too.  I met up with two different pals who are creatives, like me, and we talked about our businesses and all our aspirations and plans.  Many of my friends are looking for adventure right now, and the desire to create a tribe around them of supportive campadres was a common theme too.  My time was jam-packed with pals, and I didn't even get to see all my good friends.  I'm feeling pretty rich in the friend department I have to say.

One night I stayed up until 2 a.m. working on a bracelet, just because I could.  It didn't come out.  I'll have to redo it, but experimenting takes time. 

I even got out on Penny.  This is my winter riding get-up-- snowboard helmet because it has built-in ear warmers, goggles because they are like a warming house for your face, and my ever present (in winter) pac boots.

Tonight I got my first *mountain biking* (in quotey fingers) injury of the year.  The trails are too soft to ride right now, but I really wanted to get out, so I decided to ride the closed dirt roads in the wildlife refuge.  It wasn't really mountain biking because there was no terrain to navigate or obstacles, but it was still kind of tough.  I'm pretty out of shape right now-- which was not my plan going into what I've been fancily referring to as my ~convalescence~.  I wanted to be all lean and mean so I wouldn't get all fat and gross when I'm supposed to be recovering.  So much for that plan.

Next week I'm getting those baseball-sized metal death balls removed, along with a bunch of lady parts in a procedure I'm thinking will be basically like field dressing a deer.  I'm not nervous about it and I don't have any emotions about it.  I'm just looking forward to feeling better and getting past the recovery period.  I'm actually looking forward to concentrating on *new idea* while I'll have to take a break from welding.  The only thing I'm kind of bummed about is that my stomach, which I have to say is pretty smooth and flat, will probably never look the same.  I'm glad I took an underwater picture of it a couple years ago.  I keep telling Dan to check it out-- don't miss how good it is now.  This is pretty good coming from someone who at one time considered their "okay, forearms, I guess" their only non-disgusting physical feature.  (Self-esteem has been a long, uphill climb and is still a struggle.)  Oh well.  It will all be fine.

So anyway---- the refuge road was pretty gravelly.  Surprisingly loose for how wet and cold it was.  My back wheel kept tossing stuff up onto my back and there were a bunch of little pebbles constantly raining down on my helmet.  I was hammering.  In one of my mortality talks with one of my friends I said I didn't want to get to the end of my life and feel like I never even pressed the gas pedal all the way to the floor.  I was trying to explain why I like pushing it, how it makes me love my life more.  So I was going as fast as I could, and was just thinking, "huh, I think I'm almost out of drool" when--- 

Wham!  I went into a shady spot at a curve and that crunchy snow I didn't bother to slow down for was actually solid ice and my front wheel just slid right out from underneath me.  I hadn't anticipated at all, and went down pretty hard.

As I sat there for a minute or two grabbing my knee and saying "ow" a bunch of times, it occurred to me while my riding itinerary was planned to be safe from weirdo's (no weirdo treks way out into the middle of nowhere on the off chance some hapless victim will wander by), I was about 4 miles from my car, in the middle of nowhere, on gated-off, closed for the season roads, had ditched my coat and hung it from a sign to pick up on my way back, and parked at the end of a dead-end country road with nothing on it but the little town hall (used once a month) and a graveyard.  No one would see my car.  Oh and my hubs is out of town, and no one knows where I am or will miss me for at least a day.  And the sun is going down.

So yeah, "Get your ass up and get moving and feel lucky you're just bonged-up a bit and not actually hurt, Sue."  It was a sore and slower ride the rest of the way, and I absolutely knew exactly where I was and would have been able to hike out a couple different ways if I'd had to, but it could have really sucked.

But on the way home, between internally whining about how much my knee, hand, and elbow hurt, I was simultaneously kind of stoked from being all adventurey.  I'm alive!!!  (Mom, if you're reading this, don't lecture me.  I get it.)  :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Is it too early for spring fever?

Hey people.  Don't get me wrong; I am not one of those people who hates winter.  In fact it's been a very mild winter here, the biggest problem being a LACK of snow to do wintry things on, but even that hasn't bothered me.  I think it actually feels so spring-like, it's making me *go there* earlier than usual. 

Last week I saw these shoes, and had a momentary lapse of reason.  Don't they look fun?  Like whatever you do wearing these babies would just automatically be way more fun?  Seeing them led to a web search for other colorful kicks.  Oh the fun I would have in my new super colorful shoes!

Fortunately I came to my senses before spending $110 on shoes I don't need, but the colorful vibe is IN me people!  It's been showing up big time in my art image searches.  Here's a bit about how that goes:  (This is what I do for hours every night pretty much-- process images.  It's an artist thing.)

"Ooo.  I like!"  ~click~  Hmm.  "Why do I like?"  ~Examines~  "The layered colors.  The combinations I'd never have chosen on my own-- oranges, reds, deep pinks, purples-- shocking on the light blue."  ~Likes more!~

Then I see something like this and go, "Okay- cool.  Gold/yellows look cool with those too, and maybe even browns."

Then I see this, and devour it whole.  Look how amazing.  I'm going some day.  Eyeballs drool all over internet.

Then--- look!  Does your brain connect anything here like mine does?  This is hard to explain a bit, but connections like this, between colors and shapes, vague links, it's like fitting a puzzle piece or something.  More exciting though-- it's like plugging in some big machine that's already on and leaps to life instantly.

Then I see this and there's a tie-in.  Do you see it?  The palette has been expanded, and the shapes defined.  It's like a city-scape, or the idea of one.  Maybe even an overhead shot?  But I see a link between these three.  (The image doesn't have to *be* anything.  My brain leaps all over like a box full of puppies anyway.  It's inarticulate.  I'm getting it, but can't explain it.)

Then I see this one and it's the lava lamp effect--- things reform, morph, and I go from image to image to image making links and sorting ideas, and getting excited to begin new projects.  It's a discovery process.

I'm getting very anxious for the coming spring and summer-- which will be amazing!  New projects, tons of activities, I feel like a lot will happen.  It's exciting!