msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
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Main | June 2003 »

August 22, 2001

Plant fetish

All of a sudden I have three interviews this week! Who knows if they will amount to anything, but that's three more interviews than I've had in the past three months!

1) Tomorrow at 2:00pm: WorldGate, here in Campbell (lots of Flash and ActionScripting for TV set-top boxes, not completely my arena but could be OK)
2) Friday morning at 10:00am: Centrata in Redwood City (mystery start-up in stealth mode, but very well-funded and a traditional UI Design position. Yay!)
3) Friday at 2:00pm: Information Express in Palo Alto. This would be a part-time thing to make some extra cash. Document retrieval and photocopying at night in the Stanford Library. Not a lot of money, maybe $600/month, but only two nights a week. The most sketchy though. I would be working all night to make what I used to make in an hour at Yahoo and seeUthere.com.

capturing the wily aloeWoke up still sore and achy all over from yoga, but it was cloudy outside and I didn't feel like swimming. I had to do something to move around before sitting at the computer, so I decided to finish up my gardening project from yesterday. It turned out to be a good decision, very calming and productive way to spend the morning! I also took some photos of my lovely new additions...you will now be exposed to my plant fetish in full force! At left is a darling little aloe about to flower, and me snapping a photo of it in its new home on top of the TV in the bedroom. See that little green frame? It has been sitting on top of the TV with a fake photo in it for the past two months, driving me crazy. I finally put it to good use with a photo of Dan and I in Cuenca on our trip to Spain. He'll be glad to see it, he likes when I do those things. I'm still a little mad at him though, but I'm getting over it.

kalanchoe blooming in a Chinese pot I repotted my poor trusty faithful Ficus benjamina, the one who suffered through a small pot, no light and practically no water for the past three years in my San Francisco apartment. It is flourishing on the patio and has grown a whole new set of shiny healthy leaves. At right you can see a hot pink kalanchoe in its sassy Chinese pot, my handiwork from yesterday. Isn't it lovely? New home: on top of my black lacquered table in our bedroom. Panda Plant and Black Tree in the guest bedroom

Look at these two succulents, aren't they adorable? The one at left is called Panda Plant, another Kalanchoe species, fat and round with brown fuzz on it. The one on the right was entirely insprired by Martha Stewart, because I read her "Paint it Black" article yesterday afternoon in MS Living and she redid her guest apartment with black accents (mostly on white): black furniture finishes, black fruit, black flowers and black pull-down shades. They were really beautiful and very much my style. She is so fabulous. I dig that woman. People are always threatened by anyone who is smart and accomplished and productive, they have to hate them for some reason. Anyway, my touch of black is an Aeonium, and the common name is "Black Tree". Isn't that cool? It's a Good Thing ;-) Their new home is the guest bedroom. Coleus and violet on the dinner table in the living room

Now showing at left are the new Coleus and African violet in their snazzy pots on the dinner table in the living room. Those pots are so pretty. I'm feeling better about spending money on this now, it makes such a difference. And hey, with three interviews this week, I might even have a job soon to pay for it all! Wouldn't that be something! my unexpected passionfruit crop in the front yard

Last on my photo tour is a shot of the passionflower in my tiny front yard, which is all of 8'x10', or something ridiculously small like that. Well, small though it may be, I now have a crop of passionfruit ripening out there! I tried to make my tiny plot a haven for pollinators of all kinds and it really paid off. When I first noticed the fruit I was surprised, since I only had grown the vines for its flowers and had never seen a vine that fruited. When I went online to get some info on passionfruit so that I would know when to harvest them, I saw tons of posts from people who could not get their vines to fruit at all. Well, give the pollinators something to come for and they will get the job done. I must have seen at least 15 different species of bees and wasps of all types, sizes and colors out there this summer. Big, small, pale lemon yellow, dark yellow, big black HUGE solitary bees, June bugs, and of course, hummingbirds. I have a nectar flower for them too...big orange tubular monkeyflowers. In fact, I saw one today out there nipping at it, but my digital camera was too slow to catch him. The big draw for the pollinators was the Spanish lavender...they were all over that all summer and still are, een though most of the flowers have dried up by this point. Right now the main rave is a Salvia...I don't know what species it is, but it has long stalks of blue puffs (that color is like a beacon for bees and wasps) that they absolutely love.

Our neighbor Pat has a daughter who looks just like her, poor thing. She came over one day to introduce herself when I was in the front yard and she completely freaked out with all the bees and wasps buzzing around. She told me that she is allergic, so I can understand, but I'm out there all the time fussing around, brushing right up against those bee-laden flowers and they never bother me in the slightest. I suppose they are drunk off the abundance of pollen and nectar and are too busy socking it away to be mad at me, but I like to think that they know that I like having them there and provide those flowers just so that they will come visit me. We have a friendly relationship, the bees and me. I love to feed everybody. Somehow it makes me happy to know that all those bees, wasps and hummingbirds are experiencing some fine dining in my yard. If only I had more land! Even Bil noticed my yard and said something like, "Look at the goddamn biodiversity going on out here!" Nothing makes me happier....not bad for 8'x10"!

August 19, 2001

A bunch of nothing

Colleen Bazdarich from eCompany called me up this morning all wigging out. I never did like that chick, she was always the biggest bitch ever to me at eCompany, I have no idea why. Anyways, she she did a search on her own name (glad to see that productive use of time ;-)) at Google and found herself in the Web Team Guide that I did for eCompany, which used to be in my portfolio online.

So she's freaking out because her phone number is still listed in that old web team guide, even though absolutely no one would ever see it buried way way down in my portfolio site. I know, I've checked the logs, no one ever looks at the actual Web Team Guide site, much less goes all the way in to where she's listed. I mean it, no one. Apparently the only way that anyone would ever find it is if they were to do a search on Google for "Colleen Bazdarich". So I told her that I'd clear her phone number from the page and she didn't know what to say to that except "uh, thanks", all huffy and hysterical and then she hung up. Whatever, she wishes someone would stalk her.

Fuck YOU Coleen Bazdarich!Find THIS on Google, you bitch.....Colleen Bazdarich, Colleen Bazdarich, Colleen Bazdarich...fuck YOU! Can you tell I'm totally saying "Fuck YOU!" in that photo? Well, I caught the "fuck" part anyway.

Lisa came by and took me out to an Oriental Garden lunch with her family, that took my mind off things a bit. Her little friend Daniela told some long drawn-out story about the Monkey Man that she and her friends made up at camp to scare themselves. It was hysterical, so detailed in some ways, but then in other ways it didn't make any sense at all. It took her like 25 minutes to tell the whole thing and it went on and on and absolutely everyone got killed at the end of every section of the story. Pretty gory. These kids watch way too many horror films these days. We used to tell stories about the Claw and the Monkey's Paw and I thought those were utterly creepy and they only had one or two deaths.

So I came home and couldn't work. I was so antsy and unnerved I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. So I got out of the house, dropped off my film at Wolf's Camera, did some grocery shopping, came home and wolfed some chocolate. I remembered that chocolate has a pretty strong calming effect, especially on women, so I popped a big handful of chocolate chips in my mouth and then another and I swear I felt a lot better afterwards. I was going to go for a walk but I felt weird and crappy and tired and the sun was still too strong out, so I laid on the bed and read Martha Stewart Living for a half hour.

That made me remember that I had to go get some aloe plants for the hanging planters in the backyard, so I took off for the nursery and ended up coming home with all kinds of houseplants and beautiful planters for them. Small plants and planters, not big, but I ended up with a lot of them and the total was over $135. Ugh, I am wracked with guilt because I've been spending way too much lately. Idiot that I am, somehow I can justify houseplants on health grounds. Because soon it will be winter and the windows will be closed all the time and the air wil be dull and stale and lacking oxygen. We have no houseplants really, just some half-dead violets that got too dried out. I've been meaning to remedy that. Well, now it's done.

I sat in front of the house happily potting the plants for an hour or two. Nice and relaxing outside. Just as I finished Chuck came by to say hi, then I ate some dinner and applied online for an Assistant Web Editor position in Rome, Italy, working for the UN. The forms involved! Craziness! I'm still not done, but almost.

Oh Lord, I can't believe it's 2:00am. What am I doing? Every time Dan goes out of town I don't get any sleep at all. By the way, he called today and told me he loved me and he missed me and we would talk when he got home and did I understand why he was mad? Um...no! I forgive but don't forget. He was way wrong to be so mad at me over that Gillian thing and throw a tantrum like that. But I need to fight with one more person like I need a hole in my head. Especially him.

Bed, must go to bed. The problem is that at night I think of everything I want to say. What's up with that? Words just flow out of me and don't stop!

August 07, 2001

A productive and yet non-productive day

A productive and yet non-productive day.

I scoured Craig's List for jobs, any halfway decent jobs, even jobs in San Francisco that would be a hellish daily commute. The good news is that I found something like 30+ different jobs to apply to, everything from Director of Media at the Exploratorium (cool, but a hellish commute) to some nude art model gig. And of course, some web design jobs thrown in that actually fit my resume/career path. But I'm not picky these days. I like having time off, but I'm kind of interested in a paycheck right now.

The bad news is that now I need to write 30+ cover letters that will probably disappear into the vapors of email and never return, never bear fruit. That's the part that sucks. I spend so much time writing great cover letters, but there are always a few absolutely stellar individuals with Ph.Ds from Harvard or something, and they take all the jobs. I keep joking that Bill Gates is fucking up my life by applying for all the jobs I want. He always gets them of course. He does it just to piss me off.

Lisa came over around 12:30pm, then Ed came over about 15 minutes later. Three unemployed people, we hung out on the patio and rapped about everything from elder care to photography. It was cool. People don't usually take the time to sit around and chat like that when they have jobs. Everyone is either in too big a hurry 24/7 or else they're wiped out, zombie-like from the daily grind. For that I like being unemployed and having friends who are unemployed. People are becoming real again. They have time to come over for lunch and hang out for a few hours...connect to the rest of the human race, air ideas and opinions. It's nice. It's almost like being in a foreign country, living like this. So un-American.

August 06, 2001

Let's get started

I have a problem...I start to shed memories after they lie dormant for a few years. The only way to hold onto my history is by recording it: what moves and excites me, what I love, what I think about, what conversations I am having at any given time. Visual recordings too....how our faces and expressions change over time, what we wear, even how we wear our hair. That's the stuff that's fascinating for me to go back and look at in a month, a year, a decade.

Looking through old photos the other day, I realized how much I have changed with time, and how much those changes had escaped me until I had the photographic evidence of how I used to be right in front of me. Not to say that I've changed so much physically, it's not even about that, though that's interesting too. But when I saw the photos of myself at 6, 12, 18, 23, 27...it flooded back to me what I felt at each of those stages, what a different voice and mind I had then, as compared to now. Like parallel universe Lauras, obviously the same, but so obviously different.

And what will I be like in the future? I can't say, but I know that in five years this voice too will sound like someone else's...familiar, but utterly strange to me. So let's get this show on the road!


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