July 11, 2006

Morning Creature Comforts

It's another summer dawn and I've made my habitual web rounds with mouse and monitor, wondering why this satisfies me so. The body is at rest but the mind is scrambling around, demanding exercise... I'll try to be more physical later, I promise. I check mail but there is little of interest except my morning dose of NYTimes and other breaking news sources... oh, how disheartening the news is. I go through periods of intense attention, then have to ignore the world situation for awhile, just to clear my head of the whole mess. My favorite 'lists' are now read online rather than having all those messages drop into my inbox folders. Much easier to keep up with prolific email that way, each post comes with the first three or four lines and you can easily tell if it's worth opening to read further or if it's just another confirmation post making conversation ('Me too!' 'I love it!' )

Then the blogs, handily delivered by Bloglines with a click... they will be refreshed throughout the day as I grab breaks here and there and read new entries to my subscriptions as they come online. A hodge-podge of mostly art, but varying widely as to temperament, experience, style and such. I keep adding more with another easy click of a button on my tool-bar... how simple life can be. The intention is to unsub to those less interesting after reading a week or so, but blogs have their rhythms and like life, interesting comments come and go. Not all are kept up on a daily basis so it works out to easy reading. I find it interesting to pick up on the rhythyms of other artist's lives, most so different from my own, some enviously so, others just amazingly so. To read how their careers are progressing... or not, to offer comments... and I try not to be guilty of the above confirmation posts, but I guess that's what conversation is all about. I do find blogs have much more to offer than lists, however. You can pick and choose who you want to listen to, and avoid disagreements, for the most part. That's the beauty of blogs.

My Yahoo.com ... the portal where I keep links to all my favorite comics. There are some I've been following forever, as I love that I don't have to depend on the local newspaper to provide them in a large enough format that I can actually read them. They seem to get smaller every year, and it's not just my eyes telling me so. I've read "For Better Or For Worse" since the kids were little... and mine as well. We've grown into grandparenthood together, they are my friends neighbors. But I find new fun comics as well... Chickweed is nothing but a hoot and I love the way it's drawn, same with Ballard Street. So many more, but those are tops. I put the link to France Photo A Day in with the comics so I don't miss those pics. There are news and weather feeds, my calendar and local TV listings, links to many of my personal bookmarks including blogs. Nice to be able to access all this from any computer with a connection.

And as it gets close to 7am I'll make coffee, heat a bowl of cold cereal in the microwave (33 seconds is perfect to take the chill off the milk and bring out the flavors... I mix several kinds of cereals and dried fruits together for my personal concoction.) We both prepare our own breakfast and lunch, I cook a proper meal most evenings. Our tastes are just very different and this works very well. We even grocery shop separately because we know what we need. Back when he retired, I thought it wise that he be able to find his way around the kitchen and a grocery store for those times when I'm traveling alone, so he learned (with some distress) how to cook his eggs just right and does an envious job, making my cereal seem much less appealing. I like left overs or slab sandwiches eaten on the run, he doesn't... preferring foods like hot dogs and canned corn beef hash (gives a good imitation of dog food!) so our habits have evolved to a most satisfactory arrangement.

Studio time is usually in fits and starts, I can't seem to sustain long hours of standing and working no matter how exciting the current process. I've developed that habit over the years due to nearly always having a studio in my home, and at a time when there were kids or parents coming and going... the major multi-tasking years. Art had to fit in the empty spaces. You'd think that as an 'at home mom' that I would have had all the time in the world to create... but not so! Creating also involves home, family, garden, and a myriad of other entities... all part of the process.

Didn't mean to outline a diary, but this is my comfortable morning rut. Sometimes a bit of a bore, but then it's up to me to add some spice to the mix. Time now for me to take my coffee for a walk... check the pots, see what needs a little creative attention.


Anonymous said...

I like the way you describe artist's rhythms and how they appear in artist's blogs.

Thanks for the French photo link.


Martha Marshall said...

Damn, Karen -- my Blogarithm is definitely not keeping me up with my friends' blogs, as I missed this post. I enjoyed this description of a typical day in your world. You are a touch more organized than I, when it comes to getting your information coveniently assembled for consumption. I must do better.

I love the "Kitchen Survival Skills for Everyone" idea!!