Monday, May 23, 2016

Updates, planning and life's journey

It's been 3 and a half/ 4 years since I've posted anything. I could blame Facebook for the ability to post instantaneously and from my cell phone. Or it could be how busy I think I am. My last post was November of 2012 and since then... The video store I worked at for 2+ years closed (RiP Video Factory). I've had a costuming internships at Teatro Zinzanni and Taproot Theatre. I worked at a Victorian/Edwardian era themed photography studio in the most historic neighborhood in Seattle and got to test out my desire for social activism (still not really my bag, though I have opinions). I started my professional cider journey with Finnriver, who took a chance on a girl with more enthusiasm than experience. I considered training as a bartender based on my time with a 21+ movie theater/ bar/restaurant. But when I had to miss Thanksgiving, be age discriminated, yelled and sworn at in front of management when I caught an employee stealing, only to have that employee not be fired on the spot (and STILL employed there to the best of my knowledge a year and a half later) I decided that as much as I enjoyed the job itself and my coworkers, I needed to find something else. From my years helping at local cider festivals, befriending (fan-girling) local cider makers, I received a recommendation from a local cider celebrity of great esteem, who got my the interview. Again, I didn't have the experience, but I was knowledgable about cider, the local industry, styles and was a cute girl to boot. Sales could be taught. I had an amazing brand manager who took me under his wing. I had a sales mentor who was the company's sales rep in Northern California. I got to open doors, meet amazing cider (and beer) people and see an aspect of the industry few consumers never see. I had finally broken ABOVE the poverty line and into my first "big girl" (salaried) position. I thought I'd be there until the company sold out to big beer, as was their business plan from the get-go. But they had a verbally abusive national sales manager. Not long after I started, there seemed to be an Exodus of members on the West Coast. Sales reps, managers, production staff and so on. It was into my second quarter as the sales rep for WA/OR that I realized it wasn't this great family based company, but was actually very toxic and I was a cog in the machine. We all were. The company wasted no time replacing employees, some were even replaced BEFORE being let go. I realized all my hard work, the CEs I sold, the KPIs I met or exceeded, the displays I built, the handles I took from other brands, the month of May 2015 when I did so many promos in such a short amount of time, I lost my voice. How I injured my eye and was told I was "lucky my pay wasn't docked for missing work" when I couldn't drive for 2 days do to lack of depth perception. I realized I wasn't worth what I thought and started looking for another job. I knew sales wasn't for me but wasn't skilled in production. I was worried I'd be stuck getting yelled at weekly my boss, or have to go back to retail or something else. But when I heard the manager of my most favorite drinking establishment in all Seattle was moving out of state...a position I had interviewed for about the same time as the sales job, I threw all my coins in that hat, and HERE I AM! I finally feel like a useful member of a team and the leader I was destined to be. I have my own car and my dog and my house and my tree has baby apples and was white with blossoms heralding a bountiful harvest come fall *hopefully*. But happiness never lasts for ever. My 9 year boyfriend and I are having problems. I'm going to get into that here. It's complicated. I don't want sympathy or offers of "whatever you need." I need to figure out what's going on in my own head. But because I like distractions and not thinking about the 'real issues' or problems, I'm throwing myself into work, planning cider events and my upcoming trip! I'M GOING TO ENGLAND!!!
Originally it was a trip for my father and I, as we have very similar travel styles. Then my boyfriend wanted to come, then my grandparents. The latter 3 eventually bowed out deciding that doing cider things wasn't very interesting (you think I'd go to England and ONLY do cider things, c'mon...really) and my father bowed out because he didn't yet have any paid vacation (a luxury I still don't entirely get the concept of). So in the month of me announcing my intent to travel and actually buying plane tickets, flights went from $667 to $792 round trip. I was able to save $250 by flying from Vancouver B.C. (Bolt Bus to BC is $15 <45) London and on the way over I have an 18 hour layover in Iceland. I'm nervous and excited about the prospect of taking my FIRST EVER solo trip. When I went the Paris when I was 15, my uncle and his girlfriend at the time lived there and showed me around. Here I'm at my own whim and beck and call. My mother decided she wanted to come with me, but our travel styles are very different. I use the hotel to sleep and shower, not hang out. I get up early, walk and taste and see and do until I pass out and then do it again the next day. She sleeps in, we go out for a bit, come back in the afternoon to refresh and rest, then go out for a bit more sightseeing, then come back in after dinner. My mother and I went to Normandy and Paris April 2015. It was a great trip, but it was a river cruise on the Seine and I felt trapped on the boat. When we finally got to be on our own in Paris, I felt held back. She doesn't walk at a fast pace and worries about every little thing. She's not good on cobbles or stairs and I'm against wheeled luggage. She says she wants to go to see England, but I know the underlying reason is to protect me. Even my grandparents, who's travel style IS more akin to mine (based on our Australia trip April 2009 and the fact they have traveled and hiked all over the world) decided they DID want to go, but I declined them. Australia was 7 years ago, they are in their younger 80's and this isn't a tour. This is trains and walking and figuring out our own way and I know they also just want to protect me. Plus, if they went, my grandfather would pay for everything, which is nice, but I'm 33 years old and need to do this for my own self discovery. I'm trying to save money, but it's hard with medical bills and car payments and the looming thought of having to pay bills and rent without the other person (not getting into it). So, with those things in mind, I've reached out to different English cider makers and have been developing an itinerary based around when they can see me and other festivals and things I want to do. The map above shows the regions where I'll be focusing my time, with London at the very end (and where most of the touristy and expensive things are). I'll be taking the train in between locations, staying in hostels and try to eat inexpensively. I'm hoping my Doc's while be broken in fully. I'm already thinking of my packing list. I know it will be cold and wet. My trip is October 5-25. I return in time for my 34th birthday, but whether or not I have any sort of celebration is up to my friends. I'll most likely be throwing myself right into work. But ALL THIS ASIDE, I hope to get back to long hand blogging about life, though not just stream of consciousness writing like I used to do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Cat I used to know....

I don't talk about this subject much. I'm not really embarrassed about it, but more that I grew out of it? That I got tired of "the scene" or maybe it's that the kinship I had in Southern California was absent here. Whatever it was, I used to be a furry. In a way I still am. Every so often I'll draw Rummyhunny, my fursona and I'll flip through old sketchbooks and art I've bought in years passed, but sometimes you're reminded of your past and it almost hurts that you allowed it to be forgotten. Last March I got a phone call from my friend Waar Horse's brother. Waar had passed away from a heart attack. I had seen him the year before when he was up for a con and we wandered around Pike Place Market on a very rainy day and talked over chai and crumpets. He was one of my best art customers and always worked security at cons. We'd dance together and when me feet gave out, he always offered to soothe them. Over the next few days after that phone call, I heard from other friends in SoCl about his funeral and so on. I felt ashamed I had ever left and I cried. My last message to him was wishing him a happy birthday in December. Yesterday I got a message from Kat. She's the only one left from that life that I still semi-regularly talk to. We're both artists and very theatrical ones at that, so there's a bit more connection there. It could also be that for 4? Years we'd tell our stage fright to behave and put on a crazy show at Califur. But this time it wasn't idle prattle. This time another figure head of my time was dead. I don't remember the first time I met Stalking Cat. I'm sure it was at Rick and Tess's house in SoCal. I was a freshman in college and recently out of a bad relationship with the guy I'd left my highschool sweetheart for. Furry was an escape for me. A way to be more outgoing than I was in 'real life'. But my first memory of Cat was him picking me up from school and a bunch of the students freaking out because I knew him. I remember buying us coffee from Starbucks and then getting a ride up to the house party. I remember after a con going to the Outback Steakhouse and watching him and my wolf gal pal Rage share a piece of "blue rare" steak. He'd paint Kat and I up for the cabarets so we could shake our money makers. In 2003 that world started to fade. My highschool boyfriend and I got back together and I stopped going to the house parties every month. In 2005 I graduated from college and moved back home to Seattle. Rick had gotten a job up in Everett and he and Tess invited Stalking Cat to live with them. I know he loved it up here. There was a stronger sense of pride in the Native Ameicn tribes up here it seemed. In 2006 I got married. My ( now ex) husband was Blackfoot and I Jewish, so Rick ( a rabbi) and Cat ( a shaman) officiated at our wedding. I remember telling Cat about my divorce a year later and remembering him say he wasn't surprised and that the guy wasn't cool enough for me. My new boyfriend wasn't into furry but WA supportive, but I was so happy that I didn't need to escape anymore. But maybe Cat did. Away from Hollywood and the media, I know Cat had a hard time financially. Down in San Diego he did computer stuff from home, but up here none of the I.T. companies would look passed his appearance. He couldn't hold own a job or help around the house to pay his rent, so he eventually had to move. I remember him calling me every so often out of the blue to tell me how much he hated Nevada but I used to find an excuse to get off the phone because I listened to people complain about things all day at work. So I'm sorry to say that when I was told he had committed suicide, I actually wasn't surprised. It's a terrible thing but I know he was troubled. It wasn't the trouble the media rags spread about there must have been something wrong with him for him to want all those tattoos and modifications and whatnot. But he didn't get the love and understanding he deserved. The kind you get when the people around you are blind to race and color. I remember giving him a tour of Real Networks with my dad who kept quizzing him about networking and commenting on how much he knew. Or Cat growling about driving up the hills FROM Real Networks in his beat up truck with the epic stickers all over it. Or the time he got on a fan boy's case when the guy asked Cat why he'd gotten breast implants. Cat very honestly an humorless ly would explain that he had testicular cancer and they had been removed. But he kept the breasts because otherwise his tattoos would get messed up. He was always very candid like that. I'm reading news articles about him and wishing that I could correct them. He was so caring and loving and sharing. I consoled him when his cat Morris passed away. I remember how he'd smile with pride showing off his tiger art collection. Most of the art of mine that he had I gave in exchange for rides or body paint. That was the Stalking Cat that we saw. That's the Cat the news people don't talk about. He was spiritual and was a unique being, not man or cat but parts of both. Despite the sharp claws and teeth, he was kind and has hopefully found peace. In the spirit world. -Rummy

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2012 is the year of the dragon!

I was born in the year of the dog. We are loyal, dedicated and *mostly* obedient. 2011 was the year of the rabbit and was a terrible year for me. I lost my nearly 4 year job at Daly's. I was unemployed for 4 months before getting a summer temp job at Home Depot. I really liked it, but 4 customer service awards weren't enough to make me permanent in this economy. I now work at an independent video store, with very part time hours and minimum wage pay, but I like the job a lot. But it's not enough anymore. My boyfriend, bless his heart, is taking care of me and trying to keep me positive. My parents have been helping us with food and medical bills, especially with my back problems since November. Christmas came and went and I still have holiday presents I intend to MAKE for people. My New Year's Eve ended and began with a headache.

Myself and a few other ladies jumped into the cool, refreshing waters of Lake Washington
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/gallery/Polar-Bear-Plunge-at-Matthews-Beach-34146/photo-1987028.php http://www.seattlepi.com/local/gallery/Polar-Bear-Plunge-at-Matthews-Beach-34146/photo-1987029.php with hundreds of others and I want to feel as if it washed the bitterness of the last year away. I'm starting this year strong, with two new philosophies, one when my *almost* sister in-law asked why I and other people did the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day. To which I responded "I did it because I could. I will never summit a mountain or visit most of the world, but they are there and that is enough of a reason for people to go there and do that." That inspired me. It reminded me of doing the BIG Climb. Another philosophy started because of that letter to Teatro Zinzanni. "You don't know until you ask. The worst they can do is say 'no'.'

In light of that, I have copied that same 'cover letter' and I'm sending it with letters of recommendation, my resume and samples of my costumes to theaters all over the city... seven packets in all. hopefully someone will bite.

Other goals for this year? (I'm not going to say resolution. It's a bad buzz word)
-------------------------------
Finish the Loch Ness oil painting
more sewn stuff for Etsy
belated holiday gifts
Robert's Starkiller painting and any others in the queue
mural for Bobakhan
work on the furry comic for years past
get healthier (toned up, more energy, that sorta thing)
get Aurra approved by ECCC

I need the rehindle the fiery spirit of the dragon that I used to have. I need to be awesome and optimistic. the best I can. The only one who can do it is me!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oh...my...gawd..! It...WORKED?!

I am overjoyed and confused and elated and hoping it isn't a joke, but man, I hope this is for real! this was in my inbox tonight

"Hi Sarah,

My name is Mercedi and I am the Design Assistant in the Costume Shop at Teatro ZinZanni. HR forwarded your cover letter and resume to me, and I would like to meet you for an interview. When would be a good time to do that? The shop hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6. I am often away from my desk, so responding to this email is the best way to get ahold of me.

I look forward to meeting you!

Thanks"

WHAT!!!!!!!!????!!!!!!
How do I not mess this up? How do I prove that I am super awesome?
Please oh please ok please! Let this happen!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Going About it the Wrong Way

Too much has happened since my last post to go into any sort of detail, but
*Oct 2 was my last day at Home Depot, though it was my first day at Video Factory.
*Oct 26 was my first day at Jo Ann's and Oct 30 was my last because i hated it and the pay was terrible.
*Oct 28 was my birthday. I went to spa, sang karaoke and had awesome food with a bunch of friends.
*Oct 29 I trooped as Aurra Sing. The make-up worked the best so far. 3rd time's a charm!
*Oct 31 was Halloween. I gave Kevin and Merce the costumes I've been working tirelessly on for them. They offered me money, but I refused because they treat me to food and drinks and rides and staying at their house and Kevin makes breakfast and I could never afford to repay them for all their kindness (though I wouldn't mind a back rub)
*Nov 2 was my 30th day away from Home Depot, where I actually miss working at a great deal. I reapplied and called the manager to let them know.

But money has been hard. Robert has been exceptional patient and supportive of me and was the one who put the idea that Jo Ann's wasn't worth it into my head. Since then, the stress level has been pretty low and now I'm getting ready for a holiday arts and craft fair on Sunday.

Then, last night I went trolling around on Craig's List since I haven't done that in awhile. I saw a listing for a costuming intern at Teatro Zinzanni. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I went about it the wrong way...I was completely candid and honest.

Here's how I normally respond:

"Hello Bill, my name is Sarah Silverman and I feel I am a good match for your Graphic Artist position. I have talent traditional artist, though I'm familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite and Mac OSX platform. I also have an extensive knowledge of human and animal anatomy, and feel that illustrating for works of fantasy would be the perfect fit. I'm very detail oriented, dedicated and a swift learner. I am a highly motivated individual and am a good motivator of others.

Attached are my resume and a few samples of my fantasy work. I can provide others if requested. There is also a good assortment online at my Deviant Art gallery.
http://rummyhunny.deviantart.com/gallery/

Looking forward to hearing back.

Sarah"

Keep in mind, that was from 11/15/2009 and that was how I got the Area 51 gig, which was a big dream crusher. No pay. No job. Lies and heartache and hope of getting out of retail being dashed on the rocks.

I've heard of people only opening my emails and reading them because 'Sarah Silverman' sent them. I bet most people/employers don't even read them, don't even look at my pathetic resume or art samples. they most likely hit 'delete' after reading my opening line, so I figured I needed a hook.

This what I sent them:

"To whom it may concern,

Hello, my name is Sarah Silverman and I have a BFA in Illustration...

...but when you look at my resume, you'll see that it hasn't mattered much at all. I'm going about this completely the wrong way, since most employers look at my resume when I apply for art jobs and probably laugh to themselves, so I'm going to be honest with you. Aside from getting a few freelance jobs here and there, I haven't worked much as an artist since graduating from college. I've worked retail and customer service jobs to put food on the table.

Here's where I prove to you that I'm not wasting your time: I belong to a Star Wars costuming club called "The 501st Legion". It is George Lucas' preferred club and we do charity work in costume all over the world. We have very exacting standards for movie quality costumes. Prior to 2 years ago, I barely knew how to sew. Thanks to this organization, I know how to sew, fiberglass, dye and sew leather by hand and many other skills. I recently used my learned skills to complete a set of non Star Wars costumes for two friends for Halloween.



What I'm asking is that you take a chance on me. I would love to be a costumer for a theater or production company. I'm too long out of college to be considered for an internship, but I would be elated to be and unpaid intern under a master costume maker just so I could gain some experience. I have reliable transportation and I'm an expert at sourcing materials from second hand stores for when a production is under a tight budget. I'm a hard worker, fast learner and very dedicated. I just need the opportunity to prove it.

I have attached a copy of my resume and also a letter of recommendation from the C.O. (commanding officer) of Garrison Titan, the local chapter of the 501st here in Washington State.

I hope that you at least read through this message all the way. I look forward to hearing back from you, regardless of what the answer is.

Thank you for your time.
Sarah"

They might actually look at my stuff, right? Like I said, I've got nothing to lose. If no one contacts me back, no harm- no foul. It's not like they are going to take time out of their busy schedule to respond back and tell me how inappropriate that was, right? Besides, I just want an internship. Unpaid. They get my labor FOR FREE. All I want is for them to give me some much need job experience, but that seems to be too much to ask of someone. To just take a chance on you.

In this economy, why would you? You can pick through the most qualified of people, the cream of the crop, and not have to worry about those down here, at my level who want it more. I heard that job seekers are more likely to be hired away from another job than to get a job in the first place...like if you're unemployed. It's kinda lame, but that seems to be how if works. This is what they don't teach you in college. the cold hard facts of life. I have many unemployed friends and sadly, we're all creative types. Art jobs are harder to come by, harder to get since there are art schools out the wazzoo and everyone is going digital nowadays, so traditionally trained artists like myself have an even harder time getting off the ground.

We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to Formula

I found out today that HD isn't going to make me permanent. I've got mixed emotions.
I'm sad since I thought I was doing great since I have 3 Homer Awards, which is a lot for a new employee, temp or perm. I had made friends there and had developed a good rapport with customers, some have even asked if I was hired yet. I'm concerned about my income being in jeopardy again, especially considering the birthday I started to plan for myself. Bt at the same time, I can put my time to good use with creative projects that were all put back on hold by the very inconsistant schedule I had. I can also look for a job with better hours or pay or distance from home. I can keep track of my HD friends through the power of Facebook and keep trying to convert them into the 501st! Plus, if I get a good with good pay, I can buy stuff for my yard and home from HD!

So, with all that going on, I was trying to get back to doing what I used to do at Daly's during my lunches: projects/ In July I brought my Aurra Sing belts and holsters to work on and the last two days I brought in a long over due portrait painting for Paul. I finished it today and was really happy with it. I also started on one of Robert as Starkiller, though I'm reminded that I SUCK at portraiture.



I have the next 2 days off, so I intend to use them to clean the house, especially in the hobby room, start on the cider making (need to buy apples....not enough were on the tree :( ) and work on all these crazy creative projects I've got stacking up (plus I'm also coming up with more!). Should be busy and eventful....hopefully.

Friday, September 09, 2011

More work with oil

I can in no way deny that I've been depressed lately, or at least melancholy. I'm happy to be employed. The people at HD are awesome and there is far less drama or 'politics' than at Daly's. But the inconsistency of shifts is hard to adapt to and EVERY department is under staffed and people get pulled around. It makes my ability to give good customer service harder when I have to deal with untrained people, or rather people who seem unwilling to be helpful. Sigh....

Because of the weird schedule (today I'm 12-9, the last two days I was 2-11, tomorrow I'm 10:30-7 I think) it's hard to find/make time for anything else. I haven't updated this blog in forever, or my thread on my Aurra Sing costume on the boards or done ANY sewing! Two friends broke up in June and one came to stay with us for awhile until he could get his own place. Then our current roommate announced she was going to move out. for 1.5 months there were 4 people and 4 people's worth of stuff living in a 1 bathroom house. I think I went into crazy bitch mode a dozen times. The roomie situation is now settled and we've been working on the recovery of our homestead, cleaning the kitchen and living room and painting in there. My next areas of aggravation are always my art room and the hobby room. The first is back to where I feel I can work on stuff and have so many things in the queue and new ideas being pushed back. The hobby room I blame mostly on robert since his airsoft crap is just dropped everywhere and my sewing stuff is nicely stuffed onto shelves. I need to force myself to get up at a consistent time and use my mornings well. Today I intended on updating my Photobucket, but I'm having issues with it, so I'm here.






August 3rd a day off, so I went Plein Aire painting with my mom (hence the title) on Queen Anne. The view was nothing too fancy, just a lovely afternoon looking west over Elliott Bay. I worked with oil paints, making a raw umber wash/ under painting and just started laying it color. It's very freeing to just mash paint onto a canvas board. I did the piece in maybe 3 hours. I'm not trying to be anal about it. It's for therapy. I got some good comments on my sky from my mom's instructor. Now it's one more thing to sit and collect dust in my art room. I'm happy I did it. Maybe I'll go again. Maybe I'll get back to feeling like an artist again and give a shit.

While cleaning out stuff in my art room I found my boxes of furry prints from cons and such. If ANYONE of here wants ANY of that stuff for FREE, you're welcome to come by and look through it. I've got prints and originals and shirts and stuff like that. I'm also getting rid of a bunch of art supplies but those are spoken for.

I'm sorry I'm being so moody everyone. I just don't like uncertainty. I'm assuming HD isn't hiring me on permanently and that I'll be unemployed again in a month, so I've already started looking and it hurts to feel like you have no skills...and that the skills you have aren't good ENOUGH to get you anywhere.

Maybe I should join the Navy.