Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On a New Life With Infinite Time

Montana has afforded us both with a huge change of pace and lifestyle—in short, an entirely new life. Jared works at a local microbrewery, just a 20-mile lakeside drive away. He was hired as a part-time bartender four months ago, which quickly turned into full-time, and has now morphed into a position as assistant brewer. He’s learning the tricks of the trade from the master brewer, which, to his slight dismay, mostly involves an intimate knowledge of chemistry and math. But this is his dream job, and, to our great delight, it has the distinct possibility of turning into a lifetime career.

And I, by chance, now work as a freelance writer. I’ve always wanted to work from home and have lots of extra time, so this also seems like a dream come true. I end up working maybe a week or two per month, which means that I have copious periods of time to devote to absolutely anything I want. What I’ve actually discovered from all this freedom is that sloth is one of my biggest vices. Instead of making art, I sleep in every day. I spend my time cleaning and reading more than I have since childhood. Not to say that’s a bad thing. I remember writing a friend about a year and a half ago, still overwhelmed by my intensely demanding job of the time, and telling her of my greatest wish: to sit on a couch all day, and read and watch movies. So I got what I wished for. But it seems empty.

I justify my lack of activity by maintaining that our 300 square foot apartment doesn’t afford any extra space for art making. Which is true. But it’s also just a good excuse for me to distance myself from my fears. To live in quiet denial. Because to start making art again would mean embracing a way of life that I abandoned two years ago. It would mean allowing myself to enter in vulnerability. It would mean giving myself permission to make absolute crap. Or, even more terrifying, it would mean allowing myself to possibly create something beautiful and inspired. Ultimately, it would mean giving up control, submitting myself to the Greater. Which, I think, is what I fear the most.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have, characteristically and once again, been absent for almost a year. In which many changes have happened. Of which the main one is, I now live in Montana. Here is a good summary, by way of my website:

A recent college graduate with a BFA in studio art, C.Hanlon decided to quit her job, pack up everything she owns, including her husband and cat, and move from Los Angeles to small-town Montana. Biding her time before Graduate school, she is looking for a day job and making art as a defense mechanism, specializing in fiber based sculptures and general enigmatic reclusion.

Except that I haven't been making much art lately, and am not really looking for a day job anymore as I have fairly recently taken up freelance writing as my new profession. Small town life suits us well, and we are certainly enjoying our beautiful surroundings. Winter has been long but bearable, and we survived without any adverse side affects -- contrary to popular opinion and forecast. Spring is filtering in now, and our days alternate between beautiful and cloudless, and rainy and overcast. Today, unfortunately, is the latter, and the rest of the week promises to be so as well.

We have added a new cat to our little family. She goes by Mrs. B (inspired by Beatrice Potter), as she tends toward a stocky, British demeanor. Fhloston Paradise is still with us, and resents her new housemate less and less these days. I rejoice in their daily accomplishments.

Here they dare to touch paws.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I am considering getting the Cherubic hymn tattooed on my forearm:

We who mystically represent the cherubim and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the live giving trinity, let us now lay aside all earthy cares, that we may receive the King of All who comes invisibly upbourne by the angelic hosts.


St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

And when trials beset you, comfort and fortify your soul by saying to it: Shall I not drink the cup which the father has given me? The Chalice is bitter. One has merely to glance at it, and all human calculations vanish.

Substitute faith for calculation, and courageously drink the bitter cup. It is the all-good and all-wise Father Who gives it to you.

It was not Pharisees, of Caiaphas, or Judas who prepared it. It is not Pilate and his soldiers who give it. Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?

The Pharisees plot, Judas betrays, Pilate orders the iniquitous murder, the governor’s soldiers perform it. By their evildoings they all prepared for themselves certain perdition.

Do not prepare for yourself perdition equally certain by animosity and resentment, by desiring and planning revenge, by being indignant and angry with your enemies.

---St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meet the solicitor

Anyone that has probably ever talked to me knows that my job is a less than ideal situation. It's not a fact that I conceal. I rarely, however, go into detail about why it's so abhorred, mainly out of mercy for the listener. If I find my work painfully boring, no doubt hearing about it second hand would put anyone to sleep almost instantly. Today, though, prepare yourself. I'm about to divulge.

Being the only employee besides the two Mexican guys that work in the warehouse, I get to wear a lot of hats here at the office. My official title is "administrative assistant," but the bulk of my job is customer service via the phone line, and everything that goes along with that: order processing, return processing, placating the angry, serving the every need of the salesman, etc. However, I am also required to do anything and everything my 3 bosses might require of me. This includes a lot of email drafting and interpreting (foreign vendors are almost impossible to communicate with), a lot of filing, and a smattering of inventory updating, invoicing, shipping, writing collections letters, and sometimes even working in the warehouse. I also design and email fliers on a regular basis.

Then on top of these every day tasks, my bosses, because they care naught for me, look for more things that I could do. Like upgrading their customer/inventory software to a version that was incompatible with the old one. Which meant that each customer file, each garment, every piece of inventory -- forty years worth of records -- had to be entered individually into the new system by yours truly within a matter of days. That was last month.

This month they decided to update the website. They switched providers and domain names and started off with a clean slate. So guess who's populating the new website with the hundreds of garments they've been importing for the past few decades. That's right. No training in website maintenance did they offer me. They just said, do this asap, and I said, bloody hell, but not to them.

So yesterday as I was getting ready to leave my main boss asks me if I've called the list of 5 regular customers she'd given me to solicit for re-orders. Yes, I have, but none of them need new merchandise right now. Ok, she says, sales are way down lately and that means you have to start calling ALL of our customers to see if they will place orders.

Ok. ...

Which means that today I am a fully fledged solicitor. Or saleswoman, I guess. Earlier I made a list of every customer that 1) bought from us last year, and 2) is worthy of soliciting, and have proceeded to call and/or email 47 of the 234 on said list.

Suffice it to say, I am not looking forward to the next few weeks at work.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursdays seem to be hard for me

These days have been endless ones. How does the passing week manage to be quick when each day still seems such a chore?

While in school I felt the immanent and dangerous possibility of becoming a creature ruled by habit. Back then the days were marked with the flux of changes and uncertainty, and I clung to my routines as a means of staying sane and grounded. Since graduating to adulthood, even in this short year since then, I've become calcified in my routine. Every day I wake at the same time, make the same coffee and sandwich, drive the same 12 minutes on the same two streets to work, and work the same eight hours that I've been working for the past year. Now instead of leaving me feeling secure, I get itchy at the thought of another week, and another week after, and another week after that, stretching on into the infinity of my adulthood.

I realize that structure is necessary, especially for me, and it's not hard for me to find beauty in driving those same five miles every day. But balance has never been an easy concept, and my wholehearted enthusiasm is often outweighed by pragmatism. And when pragmatism becomes paired with and colored by habit, it's then that I find myself prickly and prone to escapism.

It's Thursday again and I'm tired.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I love getting spam emails. The bottom paragraph sometimes has a string of unrelated words that might once have been part of a story... who knows. But I think it's great:

Subject line: very proud and disdainful, an I really b
children to their lessons, which were happily always supposed to begin
later on a Monday than on any other day of the week. The study door

Subject line: ugmy pham vfahv fsfw ieha
hab gmy positphamion
vfahvthe fsfpart
you xieh by kkofo
youubpme xegfrom tvjbtart.
Illbeqvoa beqdqfore ynrov.
belhqha pounceugmpony.
muv filahvlsmy fsf.
a punxiehch toy vokkofolunteer kubpnee.
is xegalu wavjbnt tohqvoaear
aqdqnd aynrovyou wlhqhasee.

Subject line: birthday girl... -23-

ftexploring 0k ic singly Tec superconductivitystacksiopSUST
The change t the structure f the syllabus has allwed the structure f the examinatin t be simplified. There are fur sectins t the examinatin, crrespnding t the fur parts f the HSC curse. All students will cmplete the cre questins in Sectin I, and students will answer questins relating t the ptins they studied in Sectins II, III, and IV. Each sectin f the examinatin is wrth 25 marks.
The lectures follow chronological and thematic considerations so that it will be easier for the students. The chronology will serve as Adriane s clew as we go deeper in the analysis. We will start at the end of the 19th century as it is the crucial time of changes. This is an arbitrary choice and others could legitimately make some other choices. Within 13 weeks we will put the emphasis on studying the 20th century. It is already part of history and rich enough for our class. Another advantage of concentrating on this period of time is that there are some people still alive, so we will rely on oral history, meaning accounts of people who went through the events we study in class.
Russian environmental legislation consists of numerous federal and regional regulations which often contradict one another and cannot be

Subject line: Become VVIP

reformist officer Genmyname is a Ytion of Pakistan into a stable nonthreatening
in i u ion andideal mu includeallof he ubjec ma erelemen iden ifiedin he
leftha islaborioustaskA just owwhe Iamsuppose to o

(These last 3 are my favorites)

Subject line: Attentionn!

Of what had taken place on the acropolis at sunset, which
they were all humorously cognizant. Myriad an accident.
gertrud is slightly more affected. Rung. Leyden. And you,
too, would be a soldier, when i became yours. If these conditions
are too.

Subject line: worlld crisis

Along with the bhojas and andhakas and kukuras became manifest
that, in the long run, the colonel any emergency. She no
longer felt any fears for bhishma, the son of santanu, then,
o king, proceeded ourselves on the offchance of selling.

Subject line: Do you love?

Luxury of not asking why, hugh dear, what do you customs.
during my recent christmas sojourn at was so good in the
restoration of his sight, to she has not yet recovered her
equanimity on the from the facts in a parallel case. I know

Thursday, May 27, 2010


New favorite tights from J.Crew, got a run today, second time wearing them. Maybe that's why they were marked down to $2.99. What a bummer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today, Thursday seems incredibly depressing. The thought of slugging through the rest of the day, plus another one seems too daunting. This week has been a slow one, laden with skipped lunches and snipey bickering, tired nights and even sleepier mornings. I'm jealous of certain people that get to take days off when they get tired, and I'm tired of the endless progression of days. I deeply resent those brilliant people who seem to do everything effortlessly, whose blogs or studios or lives, even, are pristine spreads of proliferation and beauty or wit. My work, when I make it, speaks of struggle; it's hardly a testament of proliferative creation. And though I want to make beautiful things, I usually end up making dinner instead.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Workplace inspirations

Sometimes even work can spark my attention, like this mysterious fax we recieved today, or the unexpected inside of an envelope.

(it reads: May 18 10 06:08p p. 2 ,
and at the bottom is that strange rear-view mirror shape. I am really curious about how this happened.)

Because sometimes the small things are the most delightful.