Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 119: I Care

I have a few special people in my life... I think about them all the time... I contact them frequently, and make sure to see them frequently...
Some of these people don't even know how special they are to me...
After the long day I had yesterday, I got a lot of rest this morning, then, came to the gallery to clean up after the other night's show. Well, now, I'm done cleaning... my fingertips are wrinkled from the water and bleach... it's really hard to clean a white floor when you have piles of dirt in the corners of the room. (If you weren't at the show, I'll be putting up photos on the blog soon, so you'll see what I'm talking about) Anyway, I'm done cleaning, and it feels nice in here...
With everything going on around me, all I could think about was sending one of the special people in my life a message telling them I'm here, in case they need anything... something's telling me to do it, but I haven't yet... it's one of those feelings you get sometimes, but I'm not sure if I'll act on it... my randomness has caused drama in my life before, so, I hesitate these days... I hope I can figure it out before the end of the day...

Tip of the Day: The special people in your life are special for a reason, so, let them know you're around sometimes... It's okay to let people know you're there on a daily basis... there doesn't have to be anything going on for you to step up and care. It's nice to feel cared for... everybody does everything to be cared for and loved.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 118: Benjamin

Today is the 10th anniversary of Armen's grandfather's death... all the family members showed up at the cemetery, in the morning, to pay their respects... they brought bread, halva(a doughy sweet made usually for the dead), and water. It was nice having the whole family there, eating and enjoying each other's company. I hadn't ate, so all I could think about was the bread in the bag, by my feet... I sat on my knees, on the grass, and helped myself... I don't think I had enjoyed bread that much before, but it wasn't the bread, it was the people around me as I ate...

We also stopped by my grandfather's grave and left him some roses...

I've never met Armen's grandpa, but I've heard so many great things about him that I feel as though I remember him, kind of like I remember my own grandpa. My grandpa died about 20 years ago, so I was about 5 years old when he died. My sister and I were dropped off at my grandparents house every morning, so we grew up there. I remember him taking us out for walks... we'd pass by this small store mart, and he'd always take us in and buy us snacks. I always went for the gummy bears and the candy necklaces... he never, once, said "no" to us... We would take daily naps, right after he read an Armenian fairytale (by Hovhannes Toumanian). But... honestly, that's all I remember of him... I wish I remembered more... then, I remember him being sick in bed... he had one of those breathing devices, with the 5 or 6 balls in a row that you had blow into, through a plastic hose, to see how far up the balls would go. I remember trying that out for fun all the time, but I don't remember much of his sickness, other than that. They say he died from blood cancer... he was a good man... he loved Pepsi and us...
After his death, our families grew apart, in a way. We became separated and distant... until lately, since some of us kids are grown up and getting married, we see more of each other. It wasn't until today, while watching Armen's family members, that I thought about what my grandfather's death had really done to our family... after he died, my grandma moved in with my uncle for a while, then, moved out to live on her own, and, things were never really the same, ever...
I visit him at the cemetery every once in a while, and as the years go by, he feels more distant and further away, but, I try to keep his memory alive in me. I try to think about him every once in a while... His name was Benjamin, and I plan to name my son after him... one day...
Tip of the Day: Visit the cemetery every once in a while... hopefully, if you don't have anyone there, you're very lucky, but if you do, visiting the cemetery brings you down to Earth sometimes, it keeps you grounded and, oddly, puts you at ease.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 117: Addiction

Today is the opening reception of Justine Maccario's photography show at the gallery... it starts in 2 and a half hours... I'm sitting here in the middle of the gallery with a bunch of stuff to do, and all I can think about is having some ice cold coffee from Baskin Robbins. It's an addiction, it must be...
I think everyone has an addiction to something. Some people are addicted to substances like coffee and other unmentionables, some are addicted to people, some are addicted to the games on their phone... (I think of that as I watch Armen lying on the bench outside the gallery, on Foothill Blvd., playing on his phone... which he does about 2 hours of his day, everyday) So, addiction... it's something we feel like we can't live without, whatever it may be for you...
Yes, ice cold coffee is mine, and I would love some right now.
Well, my addiction costs me $4.19 a day, so, I figured out a way of making it for myself at home. I woke up this morning, went to the kitchen, and started the blender... my cousin walked in half asleep, started laughing and said, "Have you written about your coffee?" I turned to her, grinned, and said, "No, I haven't, actually..." She replied, "Well, you probably should..." So, here it is, I have now. There's nothing else left to tell you about myself, I think.
Oh, Armen just got up from his bench... I think this means... no, he's just going to sit up and play now...
I am not going to get myself another one because I've already had one today, I promise.

Tip of the Day: You must be addicted to something... you have to be. Think about it and you'll see that you're addicted to something in your life, something you can't live without. Being addicted is not always a bad thing... if you're aware of it... be aware of it, and you can control it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 116: It's Okay...

These two pieces are not in my possession anymore... they are sitting in a warehouse, packed away, somewhere in Italy. I know, ITALY, right? Well, I sent it over there for a gallery show that is going to be held in a day, I think. I don't know, I get confused with the days and times in the US and Europe, but, I know it's not getting there on time, and, it probably won't make it to the opening. I sent them out last week, FedEx, and they were supposed to be there the day before yesterday... but... they were held at customs because of one extra "0" on the value of the package on the receipt. So, I don't think they'll make it anymore... I've been calling, emailing, and faxing for the past two days, and, today, I spoke to FedEx in the morning and all they could say is, "The customs office is closed for the day ma'am, they'll be open again on Monday... your package will get there in the next business day, which is Monday, but it hasn't been released yet, and I see here, that they have received your faxes and emails." What to say to that... I don't know anymore. All I said was, "Ok, thanks for your help... bye." So, I'm going to leave it to faith and stop trying... everything does happen for a reason. Hey, if they don't make it to the show, it's okay, because they made it to Italy and back, if they make it back...

Tip of the Day: When something is out of your control, just let it go. Sometimes, it's better to leave things to faith because, usually, things have a way of working themselves out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 115: Come Home

I just got home from the gallery... no one in the family likes it when I'm over there after 7pm...
At 7:01 p.m., my phone starts to ring and messages start beeping asking me where I am... it's annoying when I'm busy doing something. I pick up the phone, and say, "I'm still at work, I'm not done, I'll be home soon!" then, I hang up. Anyone who knows me well enough, gets it, and doesn't take it to the heart. Yes, I have issues, I get mad when they bug me while I'm doing something. I can be very mean when that happens, but they keep calling... I keep hanging up... until, they come by the gallery... stand in front of the door, until I decide to clean up and leave.
I have work to do, but, there's always something to do... so, I'm thankful for the people that care for me enough to waste their time and come get me, or call me, or text me and annoy me. I'm glad I have them to remind me when my time is up.
So, I'm finally home and it feels nice to be home...
Tip of the Day: Don't overwork yourself... if you have to, take breaks, and, when you finally get home, leave your work at work.
"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you." Christian Morganstern

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 114: Productivity

Photography by Justine Maccario

Today was a productive day... last night was a productive night... this week was a productive week... hopefully, it's a productive month....
With the photography show coming up, a million invites to make, a couple of personal projects, blah blah blah, I am pretty calm... I've been up for so long, I can't remember sleeping, but I'm calm.
So, with everything going on... the highlight of my day was coming home to dinner with my family. My parents were having dinner when I got home, so I joined them at the kitchen table. We were having potatoes, beef patties (katlet in Armenian), and spinach... but, of course, being Armenian, we have to have the bread and cheese along with anything and everything. Oh, and I also had a yogurt drink (taan)... which is so necessary to point out.
So, we sat there eating, and my dad, being the technology freak that he is, announced that he finally got his Ipad today. Then, he said, "You wanna see? It's over there..." pointing to the dining room table with a scary grin on his face. I looked over at the table and smiled at him, happy for him because those gadgets make him so happy. He's probably happier when he buys a new t.v., which is twice a year, than he was on his wedding day...
So, my mom brought the Ipad to the table as we started searching Youtube videos to watch...
My mom was staring at it with a weird look on her face as she wondered how people made these things... my dad looked at it as if he was in love, and I just sat there watching the both of them, thinking about how weird it must be for them to experience this, as they've gone from no t.v., in their childhood, to a handheld t.v., like the Ipad. I thought about how many productive days the people in the world have gone through to have gotten as far with technology as we are today.

Tip of the Day: Spend time with your parents as many chances as you get in life... they're a priceless experience to observe. Watching them, as you get older, makes you realize the things you've missed before... good or bad, it's an experience. They've gone through so many productive days in their life, that the only way to feel their experiences is to watch them carefully.
This is a very long quote, but please read it to the end...

"I am me. In all the world, there is no one exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it - I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By doing so, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects of myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know - but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later, some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and, therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay."
Virginia Satir

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 113

Today was one of those days... really hard to smile... hard to concentrate... hard to be myself... I found myself wandering around Michaels, Pier 1 Imports, Swains, the Party Store, JoAnns... (I know... I'm a creative... what can I do? It annoys me too!) I needed a couple of things, but I was having a hard time putting my thoughts together to get things done. So, I walked into stores, wandered, observed, bought some things I didn't need, and left...

Maybe, if I had posted earlier on in the day, I would've gotten my shit together soon, because, now, I seem to be putting things together just fine. I was so confused I couldn't even figure out what kind of music to listen to in the car... I kept switching from radio to CD, going from one genre to another...
So... I was driving by a park, and, I decided to stop and go on the swings. I was dressed up today, with heels, and a skirt, so as I got out of the car and started walking towards the swings, my heels sunk down into the playground sand... I looked down at my feet and thought "what the hell are you doing? you're so weird..." but I took them off and sat on the swing. I hadn't been on a swing since... before it started squeaking... so, when I was smaller and lighter... but, when I got off, I felt so much better...
Tip of the Day: Go to the park and try the swings out in case you don't feel like yourself one day... it takes you back to when things used to be so simple.
"It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents." Eric Hoffer

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 112: Peonies

Why is it that we always want what we can't have?

No matter how perfect life seems, there always seems to be something we can't have... Learning to appreciate what you have is one of the most difficult lessons in life. It's easy to say, but... it always seems like there's something missing. Maybe, we can never really be satisfied with what we have? Are we ever really satisfied? Even for those of us that say we are, it seems like there's always that one thing we'd want, but can't have. When I think more about it, if we didn't want other things, we wouldn't be able to dream... and dreaming is a crucial part of life.

Peonies are my favorite, (more than tulips)... but, they're not around all year. They come around in May and June, but would I like them as much if they were around like roses?

I'm getting confused just thinking about it... it's hard to put into words, but this thing that we do with ourselves, it's human. Everybody does it... and everybody thinks about it. The best thing to do is to look at the picture right in front of us, sometimes, and try to figure out if we really do want what we think we want, or is it just the idea of it in our heads... most of the time, our brain is really good at making things up, but, reality, which is what you already have, is not made up. It's here and now, so enjoy it and love it.

Tip of the Day: As they say, "don't take what you have for granted because once it's gone, you might understand how good it was, but what good is it going to do then?"

I'm glad Peonies aren't around the whole year... I get to enjoy them when they are around and appreciate them more.

Edward de Bono

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 111: Balance

I have to say...I am feeling rejuvenated and fresh. Even though, I spent most of my time trying to pull Armen away from the tables, it was a good weekend. He likes to gamble and I like to drink and go out dancing, so, we always have to compromise and find mutual ground.
Sometimes, I feel like I'm about to pull my hair out when he gambles... then, I promise myself that I won't go back to a Casino with him, then, I think, "ok...stop nagging, you nagging woman!" So, I leave him alone... but, if I had a gun today, I would've shot his ass.
It was time to leave the Casino, so I told him I'd turn the valet ticket in, while he cashed his chips in... I had lost my claim ticket for the valet, so I went back into the Casino to find him. I walked in wondering where the cashier was... I started walking towards the back of the casino... then, I thought, "I bet he's playing at the tables... Oh, if I find him playing, I swear I'm going to shoot him..." So, I turned around and walked towards the tables... ya, guess what? Yes, I recognized his forehead from 200 as my blood pressure was rising, I stared at him and started walking towards him. He looked up at me and smiled, like a little boy caught playing in the dirt. I was not smiling... I walked towards him, and tried not to flip out... I just spoke very calmly and said, "I lost the ticket to the valet... you know where it could be?" With a huge smile on his face, he replied, "you dummy... what we gonna do now?" So, as he noticed the tension I had in my face, he picked his chips up from the table and started walking with me...
After, I cooled down a bit, it was a pretty funny situation. The look on his face was priceless...
We're very different when it comes to certain preferences, but, at the end of the day, we balance each other out.

Tip of the Day: Try to live a balanced life... too much of anything is not good.

"Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some." Robert Fulghum

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 110: Room with a View

This is the view from my room... I had to make a decision yesterday... either it was a small room with a view or a much bigger room without a view... and, it was a choice well made.
I've taken a lot trips... At 25, I can say I've probably traveled enough for the next couple of years. Europe, Australia, or Las Vegas, one thing I've realized in taking trips and traveling is that where you stay matters... it matters a lot. Maybe, it matters more as you get older and realize certain things, but sometimes, it makes or breaks your trip.
Sometimes, you can get away with pulling things off, like not wearing designer names and traveling First Class, but when it comes to where you stay, especially in Vegas, cough up the money because everything is so much better from up here. You get what you pay for...

Tip of the Day: Save up for any trip you plan to take and go all out on accommodations. At the end of the day, it's well worth it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 109: Drive...

Im on my way to vegas... this is the first time I'm trying this on my phone, so, I apologize if you find any spelling or grammar mistakes. Right now I'm just enjoying the drive there...

It's really nice to be here right now... and thanks to technology, I'm able to do this. So, because it's going to take me an hour to type on this small screen, I'm going to say, tonight, I'm going to give myself a break and not think. Tonight, I'm going to enjoy my ride, enjoy Vegas, and, of course, have a few drinks.

Tip of the Day: Take a road trip somewhere, even if it's a couple of hours away...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 108: Chitter... Chatter...

I am apart of an art group called the La Canada Artists Guild... today, and every third Thursday of every month, we have a meeting. We're a bunch of women who meet up, eat, talk, share ideas about art, and show our work to each other for criticism. Most of the women (all of them) are middle-aged, art loving, art talking, art wearing, artists... they are all very interesting in their own way, and, when all these interesting characters get together... well... you have to be there...

So, I'm the youngest one in the group, besides the friend of mine who took me in. I can seriously say that the whole experience of being there and listening to them chat with each other is well worth my time. They chat about the most unusual ideas and share such unusual views that I just sit there, watch, and listen to them for a couple of hours. Then, at the end, each person shows an art piece they brought in and everybody "wows" and "ohhs" about how wonderful and beautiful it is. Overall, the whole group experience is definitely a motivator, even though, sometimes, I feel a bit out of place.

The meeting ended about 2 hours ago... I can still hear their voices in my head talking about art, and art, and some more art... We met at the same restaurant, same Thursday, same time... as I sat there listening, while smiling, all I could hear was a room full of women's chit chat... it was loud. As the minutes went by, one of them asked the waiter to turn the A/C off (to the restaurant) because she was too cold, then, a few minutes later, right before the food was brought out, another one of the women asked the waiter to turn the music down (to the restaurant)... I was still observing... As the waiter turned the A/C off and turned the music volume down... I observed... Then, the food came out as they were still chatting... As soon as everybody got their food, it went dead silent in the private room we were sitting in... it felt nice at that point. Then, one of the women said, "Wow, that music was loud... now we can hear each other..." as she nodded her head. I thought, "No, I think everybody just has something in their mouth now, and they can't talk anymore..." They all nodded their head agreeing that the music was too loud and that now, it was nice that they could hear each other talk. Well, there were only two people talking now. (out of 14 women)
I ate my sandwich and tried to enjoy the small, now, quiet talk. It didn't get much louder after that... I think the food brought the energy down a bit... so, I sat through the rest of the meeting, listened some more, observed a lot more, and left... I learned a lot today.
Tip of the Day: Join a group that shares your interest. It might feel weird at first, but you can get so much out spending a bit of time with strangers that share the same interests. If you don't get anything out of it, you'll make friends.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 107: Highlighted

I wore red today... I can't remember the last time I wore red.
I woke up and thought about what would make me feel different today... then, I wore red, and, honestly, it made me feel, kind of, highlighted today (important on the page.)
It's weird how wearing a certain thing can change your mood and day. When I wear something uncomfortable, the whole day, I think about when I'm going to get home to take it off. All I can think about is changing, especially uncomfortable jeans and shoes. When I wear something new, I feel good the whole day, just like new. When I wear a color I don't normally wear, like red, I feel out of the norm. Today, I didn't feel like myself... it was different, but not good or bad, just different.
We don't pay attention to how much our clothes can affect our everday lives. Most, of the time, I like to buy clothes that are not too expensive because I notice that I don't like to wear something more than once or twice. I buy new things all the time so that I feel good about what I put on... but... that doesn't work all the time because I'm not "Prince Habibi's" wife, (as Armen points out all the time!) so, sometimes, I switch things around, cut and trim things, sew and glue things together, then, it's different and new to me. I have been called "weird" for it... but, I can take comments like that if I feel good about myself.
Tip of the Day: Pay attention to your clothing... make sure what you wear makes you feel good about yourself. Go out and buy something new if you have to, but be aware of how much of a difference your clothing makes on you and your everday life.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Justine Maccario Photography

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Justine Maccario

Justine's posters are up!!! It's final: the opening of the show will be held May 29th, 2010 from 6pm-11pm and the show will be up until June 26th, 2010. I hope you guys can join us at the opening for some wine, snacks, music, and, most importantly, art.

Day 106: Great Expectations

Expectations... we all have them... some of us, more than others.
When we have expectations of people, we are disappointed most of the time... then, due to that disappointment, we lose respect, interest, and love for those people. Our expectations of others are unnecessary. The only person we should expect things from is ourself.
If you've ever thought to yourself "why didn't she/he do this? How come he didn't call to thank me or how come she/he didn't offer..." well, I'd say those are all unecessary expectations. The second you begin to wonder things like that, try to stop yourself because if you don't, you're going to be disappointed. When that happens, think about what kind of a person you're dealing with and try to understand their stand point in their life and their perspective of the situation.
If you're the kind of person that likes to do things for others, you do it because it makes you happy helping others. At the end, you do it for yourself and your contentment with yourself. You might think about how some people don't appreciate the things you do for them, but, they do, in their own way. Everybody just has a different way of showing their feelings and thanks... you have to be smart enough to read them the right way.
If you try to be understanding about everything and try not to judge people for what they didn't do, you'll be much happier with the person you are the people around you... and, in the end... no disappointments.
Personally, and, so honestly, the only other person I think we have the right to expect things from is our spouse, and, hopefully, the communication in the relationship is good enough to understand each other's expectations, actions, thoughts, and all the other big words that go into maintaining a good relationship.
Tip of the Day: Try to keep your expectations of everybody else very low(at a minimum), so that, the unexpected can make you happy from time to time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 105: Help Yourself...

I haven't been able to think straight for a couple of days now... my posts might have been a hint... please... just give me some time to get over this patch of shit I'm going through...

I think it's because I've been really busy doing so many different things, I've lost my sense of place and common ground... whatever it is, I hope I get over this soon or I'll end this thing at Day 10?, for your sake and mine. I even forgot about my Yoga classes for the past two weeks... just forgot... that's weird. It just feels like my life has been on fast forward lately.
So, what I think I'm going to do is... I have no idea... I'll let you know what I did when I figure it out and do it. I need something that'll bring me back down to Earth, where everything matters. I need to go back and read some of my own posts to figure out what to do with myself... maybe I'll start with... drinking wine, then, or no, alcohol might be a bad start... I'll change the music I'm listening to, go to a museum, stay home alone, watch an old movie, go out with friends, try to be present, and most importantly, try to be me... then, I'll have a drink...

Tip of the Day: Notice yourself when you feel like you're derailing off the tracks... if you're aware of yourself, you can take care of any patchy shit.

"To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on." - Dave Pelzer

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 104: Ouch it Hurts... but, ummm so Good

As I sit here at the kitchen table waiting for the marshmallows for the Rice Krispies to melt, I can feel my back burning...
I got sunburned today while we went boat riding at a lake... and, now, I regret not putting sunscreen on... but, it was so nice to be outdoors. I hadn't been out since last year in the Summertime, and it's always nice to see lakes and beaches.
There is so much of the outdoors to enjoy... it's there 24/7... it doesn't cost anything to use, most of the time, and we still don't take as much advantage of it as we should.
If you do go somewhere, and you're there long enough to see the sunset, listen to the crickets... that's the sound that almost everybody recognizes and can trigger a certain memory with. The sound of crickets reminds me of being outdoors in my hometown at nights, even though I was only three, I can go back to that feeling when I hear it... it also reminds me of the crackling of the Rice Krispies I have to mix into the marshmallow now...
Tip of the Day: Try to be outdoors and enjoy it, even if you're in your backyard... just remember to wear sunscreen when needed.
"I need to go outside. I wouldn't say I'm an outdoors person, but I like to go outside."
Edie Brickell

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 103: Make the best of it...

Today, I was at a backyard party... it was so hot, I thought my makeup was dripping off my face for a second... but, all's well now, and my makeup still hasn't come off.

I'm not sure how hot it was today, but all the women at the bridal shower were trying to find that one tree branch to stand under for shade. There were umbrellas, fans, and more umbrellas, but there was more complaining than the umbrellas. Each couple of chatting women I passed by were talking about how hot the weather was... Everyone at the party was experiencing the same heat, and everyone was sweaty and annoyed, but the only way to get through this situation was to make the best of it. Complaining was not going to make the sun go away and waving the fans in our faces was only going to provide a breeze for a few seconds... so, we put some music on and started dancing, which made it hotter, but it was all good because it was my favorite song...

Now, I'm tired and out of energy, so, I need to recharge, but it was the funnest hot day.

Tip of the Day: No matter what situation you get caught in, try to make the best of it because situations can always get worse and being a party pooper about things is the wrong way to go.

Day 102: Walk Tall

I was at Bloomingdale's today... still uncomfortable...
So... a few years ago, everytime I'd visit the west side of town, around Beverly Hills and Rodeo... I felt uncomfortable. I felt out of place because of all the "better" people around. Even nowadays, when I go around there, I notice the difference, but, now, I can get myself to fit in a bit.
I've figured out that it's all a matter of how you carry yourself, not what you wear, not what you drive, but how tall you walk... the level of confidence you have as an individual. Confidence is so crucial that I think a guy with self confidence can get any girl he wants... girls are suckers for confident guys.
Confidence looks good on anyone, but modesty has to come with it. Before, I'd walk into a store on Rodeo looking at others as though they were better... richer, but, now, even if I feel uncomfortable being there, I make sure I don't show it. I've trained myself to walk upright, with my head up... and if I do that, they don't seem to be that much better than me...
We can try to avoid all the stereotypes that go along with life these days... with cars, clothes, brand names, and image, but, it exists. We just have to look at it in a way that helps us understand that everybody is somebody, but we're all the same, we're all, at the end of the day, thinking the same thing.
I was walking through the shoe department at Bloomingdale's, when a guy a and girl walked past me, and I heard the guy saying, "So, you wanna hang out tonight... have some drinks at the Ritz?" I thought, "Well... he looks rich, he probably is, or maybe not, maybe that was an act... or maybe not..well, it doesn't matter... where's the bathroom?" So, really it doesn't matter...
Tip of the Day: We live in a world of stereotypes, and they're there for a reason... but, no matter the stereotypes, be yourself, wear what you feel, and do what you feel, just do it confidently.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day (+ 52 Days) 101: Days Go By

All I could think about on my drive home was coming home and falling asleep... then, I turned the corner onto my street, looked at the time, and remembered I hadn't posted today...
Well, now that I'm here, I'd like to say that days go by so quickly... everything I did today made me realize how quickly they do go by...
I asked the employee at the post office what today's date was, and she answered, "da tirteen... yu no, day go by tso fas..." (an Asian employee)
It's already mid-May, the 5th month of the year, which is almost half way into the year... it's almost Christmas people! How does this happen so quickly? We always think we have so much time for everything, but, in reality, we don't. There's never enough time to do everything we'd like to do. We really never know how much time we really have...
Yesterday, I got home and I was getting some food to eat... my mom came home and we started cleaning up the kitchen together, when she started telling me about a friend of mine, who also works with her, and how she almost got into a huge car accident on the freeway. I stood there listening to how it all happened, but my mom had mentioned that she was okay from the beginning, so I knew it had a happy ending... so, she continued telling the story, and I felt myself getting emotional over the story. (and, I'm not that sensitive, usually... it takes much more to make me cry...) So, after she finished telling the story, I walked out of the kitchen, and went to get myself together because there really wasn't a reason for me to get that way... I had seen my friend early that morning and, now, she had experienced something that could've or might have changed her whole life. Finally, I got myself together and I just felt so happy that she was alright..
So, we never really know what might happen... with the hours and days going by so fast, we hardly stop to think about what kind of a gift life really is... it's so special.

Tip of the Day: Be "present" every single day so that you can "live" every single day... be it with your family, friends, or pets. Just take it all in, because there's no way of going back.

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day (-51 days) 49: Oops...

Today is Day 49... we are back tracking because going back and printing the first 100 days, I realized I had skipped Day 49... I have no idea what happened? If you can find Day 49, please let me know, but I can't find it... this makes me feel like I have to repeat a test I failed in 2nd grade...

Ok, so here it is 2 hours after writing the first paragraph... I didn't know what to write about for Day 49, so I left my browser open and decided to do it later. I've been working on a drawing for the past couple of days, so I continued drawing and thought I should just post when I have something to say...
While drawing, I was thinking about how crucial every line I make is... if one line is a millimeter off, the person ends up not looking like themselves. In that mindset, I was concentrating on each and every mark I was making, when, a guy, about 5', dark skinned, (Hispanic looking), wearing dirty shorts with his t-shirt in his hand, walked in a started speaking Spanish. He came over and shook my hand, and I didn't even listen for his name because I was busy wondering what else he had touched with that hand. So, I told him I know "poquito" Spanish, and, as always, when you say "poquito" they think you're fluent, so he started blabbing away as he started putting his shirt on...
I understood him trying to ask me how much I would charge for a drawing of him and his girlfriend/wife... Then, he said "sin ropa..." which, from what I remember from High School Spanish, means "without clothes." So, right then, I thought "where the hell is my pepper
spray?" He said, "tarjeta" so I gave him a business card, while I tried to smile and be nice... Then, he started dancing around trying to explain to me that he liked to dance with his wife... saying "encantar baila!" I just sat here watching him dance around and thought, "I wonder if it's Marijuana or if he's on hardcore stuff?" So, he kept on talking and walked over, grabbed my hand and kissed the top of my hand, then, bowed to me... Right then, I said, "No, no gracias..." So he started talking in broken English trying to explain to me that he'll bring his girlfriend/wife with him next time, then, pointed at me and said, "ok, bye, gracias!"
So, after he left, I sat here, kind of dazed, watched him leave, and got up to go wash my hand... then... I closed the door.

Tip of the Day: Make contact with someone. Human contact is very important in our lives. My experience is not a good example... You don't have to let a stranger kiss your hand, but make physical contact (tap, handshake, pat, hug, etc.) with another person. Touch is something we tend to not think about, but it makes us feel in life.

"Sometimes the beauty is easy. Sometimes you don't have to try at all. Sometimes you can hear the wind blow in a handshake. Sometimes there's poetry written right on the bathroom wall."
Ani DiFranco

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 100: 100 Days of Exposure

The first 100 days are over...
Honestly, it feels like it's been 10 days... I just finished printing out the first 100 days... it's so exciting seeing it on paper... now, it feels official and makes me feel, kind of, like an author.
Besides having a huge smile on my face, today feels like I accomplished something... it's like I graduated from 2nd grade... when you know you have years to go, but 2nd grade is over... and, now you're a 3rd grader, which is so much older than a 2nd grader...
I've been thinking about Facebook, the internet, and having a blog... and, it's all a type of exposure that exists today, that, I take advantage of...
Some people, some I know personally, don't like their pictures up anywhere on the internet, and, some, just love the attention, and post up their pictures anywhere and everywhere.
Before Facebook, there was My Space... at that time, I, personally, wasn't a fan of all these networking sites and thought they were unnecessary and corrupted young people. In the last 100 days, I have exposed myself to the public in a way that can't be done easily. Everyone and anyone can access my blog and read all about me... that's the extreme opposite of what I thought I'd be doing, but, it seems to be working for me right now, except, I don't have much to talk about when I see friends and acquaintances because they've already read about it. The other day, someone wrote to me: "I do wanna ask you how you're doing, but your blogs keep me updated loll.." And, yesterday, a friend came by the gallery, we were chatting, and almost everything I brought up, she had read about, so I just skipped over all the parts I had written about... Ya, this blog is either going to make me a lot of friends, or is going to drive me crazy by the end, which is in 265 days... Wow, I wonder what I'll be writing about on the last day...?
Exposure is good, but keeping some things mysterious is also good, so, as honest as I am, there are some things I keep to myself, I think.

Tip of the Day: If you like exposure, try to keep it at a certain balance, so that you're happy with yourself and you keep everybody else from knowing what you had to eat all day. If you don't like much exposure, you should stay comfortable with yourself and keep away from sources that'll get you exposed, but remember that if you don't say something, no one will hear what you have to say. If you have something so say, drink a glass of wine/shot of tequila or vodka, (whatever floats your boat) and speak up... get used to the technology, because it's only going to get worse.
Imagine if we never knew who Marilyn Monroe was... that would result in a lot less beauty in the world...
Sometimes, I wonder if I'm going to regret doing this, but I have something to say, and, luckily, there are people who want to listen...
The picture at the top is of me after visiting the 4th winery on a wine tasting trip... Feeling comfortable about posting this drunken picture of myself makes me feel like I've been published on the cover of People magazine and I'm okay with it... but, I wouldn't have posted it on Day 1.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 99: Quiet Time

Today, I actually followed business hours, so, I am officially a business... (I mean it's not that hard working from 11am-5pm, as you may be thinking, so it's not that big of an accomplishment, but it's still something...)
I came home to an empty house... it's actually really nice to be alone for while. All I can hear is the sound of the refrigerator (a 15 year old one, obviously) and the sound of the keys on the keyboard... I know where every single person is at this moment and they won't be home for another half hour...
When I was 15, I could think of so much to do in the next half hour, and I have experienced so much in many half hours at that age, alone at home, (inviting friends over and taking trips to the liquor store at the end of the block) but, these days, it's just nice to listen to the quiet and enjoy being alone...
Now, I realize what it means to be young and stupid. I have made many mistakes and bad decisions in my life, but I don't regret any of them. They were the experiences I lived through that have brought me where and who I am today.
I remember one time I had a half hour alone at home... I had invited my "boyfriend" over to my house... We were hanging out upstairs in our townhouse and talking (yes, just talking!) when my dad came home. Hearing the door open, I, quickly, told the him to hide, not thinking about what else I could do... As my dad came upstairs wondering why I had locked the top lock on the door, he began to search the rooms as if I was bound to be hiding a guy somewhere. Obviously, at that point, I had turned red in the face and was walking around nervously. My boyfriend had hid in our walk-in closet and had decided that sitting down in the middle of it was the best possible way to hide... My dad walked into my room, looked suspiciously at me, walked over to the bathroom and checked in there, as I thought, "Ya, Iren, pack your shit, you're about to be thrown out of the house... don't forget your doll... what else should I take?" Since the closet was the only place left, he walked over to it and pushed the door open...
Now, before I continue, I want you to know that my dad is a very calm man... he is annoyingly calm and earthquakes can't even make him jump...

So, as he slowly pushed the door open, he looked down at the guy sitting down on my flowery roller chair in the middle of the closet... took a deep breath and said, (in Armenian)"Who are you?" My boyfriend looked up at him, scared shitless, (my dad is a big guy) and said, "My name is *****...I'm Iren's friend..." My dad replied, "Why are you sitting in the closet Iren's friend?" as ***** shrugged his shoulders... Being scarey calm, my dad turned to me, while I was all red in the face and without a heartbeat, he said, "pack your bags, you're leaving!" So, by now, tears rolling down my cheeks, I started to pack my bags and grabbed my doll ready to leave... As you can imagine, we were forbidden to see each other after that... and... he wasn't Armen...
Now, everyone's home and my half hour is up... I would've done so much with it at 15, but, these days, I'd rather write about what I did at 15. I would never take those half hours back for anything... They're priceless now.

Tip of the Day: Enjoy your time alone at home, no matter what it is you enjoy doing, don't take those hours of quiet for granted.

"In quiet moments when you think about it, you think about what is critically important in life and what isn't. Be wise and don't let good things crowd out those that are essential."
Elder Richard G. Scott

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 98: Happy Mother's Day!

Today is Mother's Day...
First of all... Happy Mother's Day to the mothers of all my readers and to the ones who are mothers themselves!
I can't imagine what it feels like to be a mom, but I would like you to know that since you have dedicated your life to another person, well, I think that's the kindest and most precious gift you can give anyone. You are selfless and you deserve a Mother's Week or a month...
This weekend with the girls, we were talking about children and I mentioned that I would have a baby right now, if I was married. I said that I was getting married to have kids, and... I was totally honest. I, honestly, can't wait to become a mom. It's the only reason I'd speed up the wedding process, but it's not the right way to go, so, I'm going to have to put my child obsession aside and wait for the right time. Everything happens when it's supposed to, so, right now, it's time for me to thank my grandmas, my momma, and, of course, my second momma (Armen's mom/my mother-in-law) for being as wonderful as they all are.
My grandmothers are both very unique and different in their own ways, but they are wonderful to have around. I have been lucky enough to feel a grandmother's love in my life, so they come first, always.
My mom, well, I notice her becoming more and more like her mom everyday... the bad and the good. Sometimes, I tell her she's acting like her and she says, "Good, who else am I supposed to be like, she's my mom!" So, I know I'm going to be my mom when I grow older... I'm a bit like her now, so, good or bad, my mom is me and I am my mom.
My mother-in-law's name is Anahid... she's a very special woman... Special and unique also, in every way. In Armenian tradition, a daughter-in-law is supposed to call her mother-in-law "mom" or else, it's looked at as disrespectful. Well, I call her by her first name, and not because I want to disrespect her, but I'm close enough to her to let her know that I'm uncomfortable calling her "mom," at least for now... I told her that I'd rather act real with her than call her "mom" and not mean it, so... I promised her that if I ever felt like I was comfortable enough to address her by "mom" then, I would. I don't expect her to call me her daughter, so it's fair both ways, but, I couldn't have asked for a better mother-in-law. She's closer to my real mom than anyone in the world and I believe that being honest with each other is the only way to keep our relationship special and the understanding there.
I was thinking of a special gift I could give my mom and Anahid... I thought the best thing to do is to print out the first 100 posts of my blog and give it to them. That way, they can get to know me better, better than they already do. My mom has read a couple of posts, but she hasn't kept up, and Anahid, well, she has trouble using the internet, so a hard copy would be great for the both of them. I was actually thinking I'd print it all out at the end, in case, anyone wanted a hard copy... I know I do...
So, overall, I have four moms this year... and I am extremely lucky to be loved by these women.

Tip of the Day: Write your mom a letter and tell her things you've never told her before. If you're a girl, it should be easy because, we daughters, find it easy to be annoyed by our moms almost always, so be nice. If you're a guy, just give her some attention, that's all she'll need and want from you... a bit more attention than usual.

The picture at the top is of my mom carrying my sister while she's pregnant with me... it's my favorite picture of her... and the video attached is of my mom and grandma (her mom) cooking together today...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 97: Drink Up All That's Free

I have, obviously, found internet here... actually, it's awesome internet. This place has a separate business center in a private room with the fastest free internet connection. (It's so private, I walked in here to find one of the computer screens logged onto an adult webpage...) I guess that's why this guy is singing "I like you Marriott..."
It's a "very, very good holiday" here at the Marriott.
So, it's a girl's weekend out and we came wine tasting... which is so much fun. We started early this morning, and, by now, I think I've tasted all the wine I can handle for a day, considering the fact that my eyes are all red and I already have signs and symptoms of a hangover. (and... it's not even 9pm...) As we went from the first vineyard/winery to the next, we got louder as our driver got more serious... I think that was because he was going for a Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, more dignified wine tasting experience, and we were going for a drink/eat up all that's free and have fun experience.
Now, even though I'm enjoying this so much right now, I have to go get ready for tonight. (I hope there's no more wine involved...I've had enough for the rest of the month at least...)

Tip of the Day: Don't feel bad about enjoying what's free... You paid for it sometime or another, so devour it and enjoy yourself!
"Drinking wine makes people more interesting." Wine Cup Inscription

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 96: Bon Voyage

There are so many things to be done, and so little time to do it in... but, I don't care.
Tomorrow morning I am going on a mini trip... I am going to put all things aside and go enjoy myself for a couple of days. It's been a while since I've packed for anything, so I am excited about going away for a bit...

I've been trying to get the internet on my phone, but T-Mobile is a bit slow on activating it, so I hope I find internet connection from where I am tomorrow. I will do anything and everything to find internet connection and post my blog tomorrow, so check back and you'll find me. I'm not going to mention my destination, but let's just say theres a lot of alcohol involved. At this point, well needed alcohol...

Tip of the Day: Take a short break and just pack up and go somewhere. The process of preparing and packing even for a day is just as good as a week away. You'll be happy to be away from home and happy to be home when you get back. If you're unable to go away this weekend, take some time off for yourself and relax.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 95: Stop, you asshole!!!

I had mentioned that my cousin was living with us now... Well, she brought her own car because we had told her that "she can't do California without a car."
Well, this morning my mom was leaving for work and she had noticed that my cousin's Sebring passenger door was wide open. She came back in the house and asked her if she had left her door open the previous night, and, obviously, my cousin jumped out of bed and ran outside with her PJs.

Just for your information, Tujunga doesn't have burglars... we have screwed up teenagers that have nothing better to do and don't have much money, so, they go around jacking unnecessary items from people's cars.

So... we went outside and her door was open with the items in her dashboard and side compartment thrown all over the place. She looked around and, luckily, she hadn't left anything valuable in the car. Then, she noticed they had taken her Navigation system that was attached to the window. (which they probably broke into the car to get.) Then, she noticed her resumes were missing, then, most importantly, her First Aid Kit. Who the heck breaks into the car and takes a First Aid Kit?

So, we were relieved she didn't have anything more valuable in the car that could have been taken, (at that point, trying to look on the brighter side of the situation) but, what we couldn't figure out is how they got into the car without pulling the window down or breaking it... until.. she realized that the convertible top on the car had been cut into about 10 inches wide. That's when she stopped looking on the brighter side of the situation and started using four letter words...

I kept telling her that it's okay, but, I know that when you're in a situation like that it's hard to keep your cool and tell yourself that it's not the end of the world.

A few months ago, my mom had come home to get something she had forgotten. She had left her door open thinking that she'd be right out... While she was inside the house, a guy walking by had grabbed her laptop case and had started running with it. She had seen this happen, and, instead of calling the Police or being afraid, she had decided to run after the guy... I know... it's the last thing you should do when faced with any kind of danger, (especially, when you're 5'2" and petite enough for anyone to knock you out!) but, she did run after the guy yelling, "Stop, you asshole... that's my laptop!!!" So, instead of turning around and knocking her out, luckily, the guy had dropped the case on the floor and had ran off.
So, you see, Tujunga burglars are not actually harmful... they just need some stuff to sell at their next garage sale...

Tip of the Day: If you experience anything similar, (hopefully not) after yelling out the four letter words, try to think about the fact that the person who took your stuff probably needs it more than you do. There must be a good enough reason for them to go through all that trouble to get it. Even though there's never a good reason to steal anything, they've had a different life which results in a whole set of different morals.

I told you I'd make up for yesterday's boring post...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 94: Just Do It!

So, I finally printed it out... Modest Fly Art Gallery has business hours!!! I have been putting it off for a while now, and, it was getting embarrassing already... so, here it is. Print one out and keep it! I haven't displayed it yet, but I will as soon as I get a frame. It has to be perfect now that it's been printed out. (Let's just ignore the fact that I'm leaving at 2pm today... hours start next Monday, officially!)

Tip of the Day: Do what you've been putting off... getting it done will make you feel so good about yourself. It's funny, when something takes longer to do, it seems like a bigger deal when it's done, so just take that weight off your shoulders, and JUST DO IT!
(Sorry today's post is so boring and black and white. I'll make up for it, promise! I'm even bored looking at it...)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 93

This weekend my family was here from Colorado... they brought along their son's (my cousin's) girlfriend. It was her first time meeting the whole family so she was going through a bit of a life changing experience. She is a daily reader and as soon as she saw me, she started talking about how obsessed she is with my blog and that she has to read it everyday. She said to me, "We're tight, you just don't know it!" laughing. So that felt nice...
Today I received this email: "I miss you Iren jan. I'm still a big fan of your blogs (she put a heart here) I love the tips of the day. They remind me of all the good things I should be doing in my life. I sent you this email cuz I know you're the kind of person who cares about what other people go through." (then, she had a personal story attached that she wanted me to read)
It's been a while since I've said "Thank You" to you for being here with me. A lot of you guys have told me you read this thing, but it's always nice to hear. It's what motivates me to this everyday... and enjoy it... These days, I feel the need to do it. It's become a necessity in my life, but ask me in another 90 days, and I might answer differently....
So, the family left yesterday, but they forgot their daughter here. (I'm kidding, she moved in with us... we'll talk about that when I come around to it...)
Tip of the Day: If you enjoy someone's work, talent, or energy, let them know because that's what gives them the push to keep doing what it is they do.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 92: You have something in your teeth...

Besides invading people's bathrooms yesterday, I did three good deeds...
I told a girl in the restroom she had toilet paper stuck to her shoe, and two other people that they had something stuck on their teeth...
Yes, I call them good deeds because so many people walk around with stuff in their teeth, hair, clothes, on their face, and back... and, that's embarrassing.
Both of the women I told about their teeth were extremely embarrassed that I had pointed it out, but, at least, no one else got to see it.
The other day, I was working on a piece of mine, and a guy walked in and started a conversation with me about the gallery. We talked for about 20 minutes, and, 10 minutes after he left, I went into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror, and found that I had a black charcoal mark on my cheek the whole time. He hadn't said anything and I had looked like one of those crazy artists that get their face and clothes all dirty when working, which I'm not, most of the time...

Tip of the Day: If you see something on someone's face, head, back, butt, etc. let them know... it's a good deed, trust me.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 91: Ladies Room

You know that feeling of sadness you get in your gut sometimes, and, you have no idea where it comes from... I get that often, and I kind of like that feeling because it puts me in another place. It's the feeling that makes me light a candle or drink a glass of wine before bed. Well, tonight, the candle is lit, but no wine glass...
I had a good day, overall... long day. I attended three different events and ate three times as much as I do in one day.
Considering the long day I had, the most interesting part of my day was using the bathrooms at these three different events.
The first was a restaurant bathroom, and the thing that caught my eye in there was the artwork on the walls. The bathroom was designed with a modern look to it, the sinks were the flat, slanted kind, (the kind where you have no idea where the water is going...) but the artwork was amazing, also modern, but amazing.
The second restroom was at my aunt's house... I used the guest bathroom... regular bathroom with a toilet, sink, and mirrors, but, the interesting part was what was inside the cabinet. There was men's cologne (considering 3 men live there), deoderant, and some towels. I admit, I looked in their cabinet and I can't say I was looking for anything, but, admit it, we've all done it once or twice. I know my aunt does it in mine because, once, she walked out of our bathroom with one of my lipglosses in her hand, asking where I had bought it from... (I had a ??? look on my face but laughed and offered her the lipgloss for being so honest...)
The third bathroom was the most interesting of all... I visited my parent's cousin's house, and their two boys moved here, to America from Russia, about 4 months ago. They're attending ESL classes to try to learn English fluently. I walked into their bathroom, and looked in the mirror as I noticed two pieces of paper taped to the wall across from the toilet seat at its height. So, at first, I thought, "Ok, it's not my business... it's probably a story of some kind to keep busy while in the bathroom, or it might be a weight monitor... or..." So, I tried my best not to be nosey, but... I couldn't help it... I kneeled down to read it and, to my surprise, it was a list of words. There were 4 colums of words: one for present tense English, past tense English, another for future tense, and the last column was the word in Russian. I looked over the list for a couple of seconds, felt extremely impressed with their dedication to learning English (even in the bathroom...) and decided to, after knowing already, mind my own business.
I apologize for talking about bathrooms and my experiences in them today, but, I hope you catch my drift...
Now, I'm going to blow out my candle...because somehow... that feeling is gone...
Tip of the Day: You can learn a lot about people from observing the way they live, if it's their bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen. Don't go poking your nose into eveyone's bathroom cabinets, but pay attention to the details and you might find that you're intrigued with their ways.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential." Ashley Smith

Day 90

Day 90... wow, I've actually come up with 90 tips to give you guys, or, 90 posts that were good enough to keep you here, if you're reading this...

Today, I could talk about attending another artwalk in Orange County... meeting the people there... or about the guy who yelled out to this girl walking by "Hey, just want you to know your ass looks hot in those shorts!" (seriously??) but... instead I'm going to talk about how a stranger approached me today and asked for my advice.

Her name was Jennifer, she walked up to me, after seeing my artwork, and asked me what kind of advice I'd give her, as an art student. I was very pleased to learn about her and how she was attending art school, but she wanted to know more about what I thought... it's funny, I've never thought a stranger might care for my advice. She told me a bit about herself, then, asked me about myself, and, lastly, said, "So, what kind of advice would you give me?" I looked at her surprised at her question and thought to myself, "Shit, why is she asking me for advice, who does she think I am?" but, I got it together and said to her, "Just make sure you're surrounded by people who are at your level, people that will push you to become better... Don't be competitive, appreciate other people's work, but when you're surrounded by people who are as good as you, you become better." She looked at me, with a grin on her face, and said, "That's really good advice, thank you!" I just smiled and thought, "Pheww, I'm glad that's over, and, I actually did okay!" So, she wrote me a nice note in my book thanking me and left...

Also, I received a note I had written to myself last year about what I should've accomplished by now. I attended a business conference and they made us do this to help us see how much we would've accomplished by now... and, I was surprised to see that all but 2 of my goals on the list were done. In the note, I had mentioned the opening of the gallery, getting freelance clients, having shows at the gallery, etc.. One of the unaccompishments was having a lump sum in my bank account at one time, and having gallery hours. (which we all know I'm working on) So... I can say that today, I feel good about what I have accomplished and it's not because of the list, but because Jennifer cared for my advice.
Tip of the Day: Take a look at your accomplishments and have faith in the things you do. You never know, a stranger might ask for your advice one day, so, be ready for it.

"The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give others."