Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Immigration news: New Immigration bill introduced

On Wednesday, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S.B. 3932, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010

Everyone should take some time and contact your legislators and them to support Immigration Reform for Family Unity  including with waiver reform . 

There are several ways to find your elected officials here is one http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/

If you are in Mexico you use the address that you lived last.

Computer tip of the week: House/apartment hunting made simple - with google maps

I've recently figured out the coolest thing!!! I've been dying to find a new apartment/house/duplex that has a yard or large patio with grass.  But most of the time when you drive by the location there is something about the neighborhood that you don't like and you've just wasted your time. Now days even if an ad doesn't have any pictures of the location, with google maps you can see it -  as long as you have the address.

What you do is on Google maps you put in the address and then click on satellite view -  now keep zooming in and zooming in and once you are as close as it goes -  it will often switch to street view where I guess someone actually took photos ? Check out my apartments i just got this off google maps.  I mean how DO THEY get those shots you can walk up and down the road and go in complete circle... is that really all satellite? You can go up and down the street at street view as if you were there. How on earth do they do that?   well anyway, its very handy.  I've saved myself a lot of time because I can tell if there is a back yard or not, or whether it is located in a nice neighborhood or not. 

pretty snazzy huh!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

excuse me

The other day when my friend came for dinner my children were eating rude and being yucky, I was sort of scolding June to be more polite and then Jimi burps really loud and I said "Say Excuse me".

So Jimi proceeds to burp speak "Excuse me"

gosh kids!!!! He's only 4 and he is such a riot.

How was your vacation? Its almost over.....

I just got home I had to come home to pick up my little guy from the Headstart bus. Today was such a blast I was hanging out with my old friend, the mother of an old friend, the grooviest, coolest, most interesting bubbly crazy fun, eccentric person to hang out with.

It is sad I only got to be with her for 3 hours. This break I've been trying to be in touch with all my old friends and some new that I haven't had time to spend time with lately. After I recuperated from surgery I had coffee with one friend, then I had a different friend for dinner, but it didn't turn out exactly like I wanted. Then the next day I had another friend over to hang out and drink a little. I've also been spending every day helping my mom go shopping she had to spend some money by a certain date or it will count against her income...and my mom is doing better.

But so far today was the best My friend darcy is really charming and compassionate and it makes me have that feeling that I wish I had a parent or someone to talk to. You know... cause I've always cared for my mom, and my dad died in 99 so I'm sort of an orphan in a weird way.

I'm glad I got to see Darcy. She is so fun, she is the type of person that always has a story and is really fun to hang out with. I got the kids off to school and went and had breakfast with her and then we went up to Edgefield and strolled the gardens. (its not a high-quality photo - don't have a great camera right now )

SIDENOTE: Mcmenamins edgefield is a really cool place to go.  If your not from portland/seattle you may not know about the McMenamin brothers.  They buy old buildings remodel them and make them in to resturant/movietheaters/cigar bars/soaking tubs/hotels.  Edgefield was actually a mental hospital in the early 1900's and then I think it was an old folks home now it is a great place for retreats, vacationing, or day trips and concerts.  If you've ever seen "What the bleep do we know"  that is filmed in Portland and shows one of the Mcmenamin theaters, the bagdad where they took one of those fancy old movie theaters and restored it and then modified it by taking out every other row of seats for tables and you have your beer and pizza while you watch an inexpensive movie......(here is a link to their website with a photo gallery of just the edgefield site)  If you ever come to Portland you should go visit one of the McMenamins places check it out. http://www.mcmenamins.com/54-edgefield-home

Soooo we sat on a bench in the gardens while I drank my ruby microbeer brew. (early I know) but the time went so fast and I had to go and take her back so I could pick up jimi...

Since I've been back from Mexico....I haven't spent that much time with old friends and its weird because when I lived in Mexico that was practically all I could think about. But I have seen most everyone and you know how it is with special people sometimes you see them and it is always as if you just saw them yesterday.

The other thing is somehow just being in my city makes me feel so much better. I do love my city Portland and I do love the US.

I just want to say thank you god for letting me live in such a great place with such wonderful people.

Next week back to classes. Introduction to Video production, poetry, college math, Story and Ideation.......

I love my classes I think that this term is going to be a lot better. Last term I had 4 medical procedures and a surgery 1 day after my last final. My bankruptcy hearing. Now I have no assets and no debts, its final. My little guy had broken his collarbone, my nephew pushed him out a first floor window. I participated in the 48 hour film festival and had numerous doctors appointments. My poor kids didnt' get to do hardly anything fun. In addition to that I had the hardest class combination to date that required a collective 50 hours a week of homework.

It was a tough summer. But now all that is behind me, the kids are back in school, this term it will be much smoother.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a Few new Motion Graphics things I've done lately

This is my updated company logo - final draft... (or I should say more final who knows I might change it a little later)






Here is the title sequence for a short film I plan to do soon.


Ted.com Do you wish you had time and money to go to industry conventions?

I was just reading Fast company... which I have a subscription to but rarely have time to read it.

Guess what???? The internet is so very awesome, but you already knew that ....thats why your on it right now duh... sorry for always pointing out the obvious.. its a curse..  Here is this cool thing I just found....this site called Ted.com Which has talks or conferences translated in 16 languages.... its amazing and its free. I did a quick search for filmakers (but there are all subjects) and here is a talk by the Producer of "An Inconvenient Truth" now not just VIPS get privy to this info its all here on Ted.com or another way to look at it... we can all have a mentor now... yippee. I always wanted a mentor or tons of mentors.

Watch..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Learn Computer Programs - I am sort of a computer wiz in terms of the average people

I was just thinking of something helpful for people that run across my blog..... DID YOU KNOW...???? that there are fabulous free classes you can take online on just about every subject and especially to learn computer programs... (free for a trial).

I'm sure most of you know that you can learn just about anything on youtube. Thats a great thing to find out if you didn't know it already. Example This guy does a great series on singing lessons. Isn't it awesome a personal coach right in your home. I did a few of these and already felt like I was singing with better tune to my voice.






Or when I wanted to use the green screen in my school for the PVC Fake Public service announcement I figured out how to do it in a short video.






So there are a couple examples there. But another super great site where you can get a free trial member ship or even a paid membership which is worth its price is Lynda.com

They have First rate Tutorials, if you have some time, and you  have some programs on your computer that you'd like to learn how to do, search for Lynda.com free trial and then follow a good link you find with a code and get a 1 month free membership or a 2 week free membership. If you like it I say it is highly worth the $25 per month you pay full access to Lynda.com. Its like you pay a fee and get open access to everything. If you will have some free time I would take advantage of that. Get a 2 week or 1 month free and take every single class you need to. It is so worth it.

Well, that is just some tips on how to learn stuff for free.

TTYS,
Luvs,
Puerto Vallarta Girl.

Oh here is my updated fake (adult comedy) Public service announcement.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Evaluating teachers 101

Well, last week was a huge climax of finals, a bad cold, the starting of school for my kids and surgery.  My other health issues are  managed but I still had those pesky cysts on my thyroid.  So I worked my ass off in my classes and had surgery on Thursday.  I've been high on pain meds since.


My grades are in .... they are all B's I was sort of disappointed that I worked endless nights, constantly sacrificing spending time with my children and doing fun stuff for the entire summer and still got B's. But to reassure myself... what I am experiencing is what I believe many artists encounter and is that people do not understand their art until later on when they find some success.  Especially if you are like me and do everything out of the norm. I am purposefully trying to be different.   Additionally, teachers adore the idea that you look to them with blind allegiance and I am not that student. I take what they have to teach and evaluate how it works for me. Teachers are just other people on their journey.  And the sad truth is that gets me "B's"


I've always sort of freaked people out, I'm outspoken, accidently rude because I always say what is on my mind. That was one huge difference between me and my first husband people always liked him right away but with time saw through him and saw he was full of bullshit.  A sort of socio path type.  On the other hand, some people get put off by me at first, and then later on once they get to know me see I am a genuine and kind person and like me better.

So I am finding that is the case with my teachers. I always try to do something different and my teachers are always trying to put me in a box with all the other students. Now they grade me on how well I fit back into the box. What they don't understand is that I could do what would fit in the box. But that is the easy way. I puposefully try to do something different, often putting double or triple time into the project than other people and I still end up with a B.  This is the first term I didn't get an A in any of my classes. But I know that it really doesn't matter what grade I get, what is important is what I learn.  And I have learned alot. Obviously it does upset me to a point because otherwise I wouldn't be going on and on about it. But ya know.. whattya do.

Grades really are irrelevant. They help when you apply for scholarships though.

My main bitch this term is one particular teacher... for my Motion Graphics class.
 (see http://motionographer.com/) if you are interested what this is all about - thats  just an example of the type of stuff she teaches, browse around.

also here is a random reel of someones showing their motion graphics skills I found on youtube. This is not mine and I don't even know them but I think it is a good representation of what the class was teaching


  This teachers fancies herself  a design teacher (versus a teacher of how to use a computer program) and she is very talented in the biz....she knows and works on/with people in the tv/web/film/game/advertising industry. She just isn't a good teacher. If I had a job for motion graphics I'd hire her. But if I had a job for a teacher I wouldn't hire her. She fancies herself  a leader in design and attempts to inspire the students to be great and by seeing herself this way she wants to show us the very very best work she can so that she can send us out into the world each week with an assignment to create the best motion graphics we can.

We have a 3 hour 45 minute class each week. What she would do is spend  1 hour and 1/2 critiquing our work from the week before (often extra critical and falsely polite),  1 hour and 1/2 of the class showing us really awesome stuff, and  then a break for about 20 minutes and then about 20 minutes of instruction on how to use the program. After effects is an extremely powerful program and this whole system she has is a perfect formula for hitting your head on a brick wall in sheer frustration.

Inspire us set us free with no skills. I've spent as much as 45 hours on one project for a one week project. I worked endless hours working on this stuff, I was there every week and still because she was not that into my style I got a b. That part sucks ass, I'm not gonna lie, she made me hate the class.  One guy actually argued with her in class about the fact that she treats us like we are a team of trained professionals. When this is the first time 95% of us had ever used After Effects.  She tells us what she thinks we should do, and then criticizes us for not doing it perfectly.  Overall, I just think it is completely the wrong way to teach a class.

What should be done is before we ever have her class we learn the program. Then take her class.

On the other hand  it reinforces even more how wonderful my photography teacher form last term was. She had a compassion about her that mixed with concise communication skills, information, and being available for questions ....  put together made the perfect image of a Teacher. Someone who devotes their life to helping others learn.

As a college student for a year I have definitely learned alot, and that is how to recognize a good teacher and how to recognize a crappy one too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Where's God" my 5 year old asked me

So, in the spirit of telling cute stories I will go on to tell one of my favorites.

Back in 1997  on a random Sunday, I decided to go to the church accros from my apartment. I had a friend with me and we decided to go on over there on a whim. I brought my son, who as 5 at the time, we went in there and I had told him that he must be very quiet.   The service had just started and Teal says, " Mommy", and I turned to him and held my first finger over my mouth to say, shhhh.

He said, "mommy"  a little louder.

I said, "What honey?"

He said "Where's God?"

I smiled and looked at my friend and my friend pointed to the sky.

Then Teal said, "Mommy"

I said, "Shhh.

He said, "Mommy, why is god in the attic?"

We laughed so hard. it was so cute.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The blessing on the wedding shoe

I just got reminded of a funny story.

I married my husband in  2001. I wore that white dress and  some white slip on high heels.

After the wedding and the wedding party I occasionally wore my heels and one day I turned over one of my shoes and noticed that a gold cross was on the bottom of my shoe. I took it as a blessing from god on my marriage and rather superstitiously left it exactly where I found it and still continued to wear my shoes occasionally.  I felt like it was just a happy coincidence.

So time went on and several years went by, it must have been 2006 and I was having a family get together at my home.  That day I decided to wear my wedding shoes.  And for some reason something inspired me to tell the story of the cross to my sister in law and show her my shoe.

Guess what...?  It turned out that cross was actually my brother in laws earring he had lost some time before, most likely at a family party when I was wearing my shoes.

I had never even realized it was an earring. So sheepishly, I pulled it out and gave it back to them.

Regardless of the circumstances, it was amazing that the universe orchestrated my brother in law to lose his earring and I stepped on it without feeling anything.....

Thank you god.
It was my blessing.

God bless,
Puerto Vallarta Girl in Portland

Saturday, September 11, 2010

words of encouragement from mary manin morressey

If you don't know I get these emails from Mary Manin Morressey everyday that are inspirational or encouragement. I have been so busy I haven't taken the time to digest them lately. Why do we do that? Why do we think we are too busy to stop for a moment and contemplate. Well, today I did take a moment and this is what todays message is... enjoy.

Hi PuertoVallartagirl,

Howard Thurmond, the mystic who taught at Morehouse College , wrote about winds and how winds move through a person’s life. They shake some things loose and maybe even turn some things upside down. It shakes off what’s really loose that needs to be shaken around, and brings with it also a fresh breath, a fresh air.

If there has been some wind in your life or it feels like some things are a little upside down, pause for a moment and remember what the mystic says about wind.

If some things have been knocked down or turned over, it’s okay. Within and around that, you will find some sprouting. You will find some fresh green edges of what is trying to emerge.

It’s just some wind. If you have to pick some things back up, go ahead -- Then notice how fresh, clean and clear everything is.

Enjoy The Wind,


Mary


http://marymorrissey.com/

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rolling into finals and surgery - law of attaction, positivity and your health

10 PERCENT CHANCE of cancer is alot more than none.   I have to get my 1/2 of my thyroid removed. I'll have 3 weeks off from classes and I'm starting out my break with a anesthesia. Which is going to be a hell of alot better than the test that got me there. so don't read on if you don't like needles....

So Yes needles come into play here. about 1 month ago I had to go in for the initial biopsy. You see when you have a tumor on your thyroid (which is very common I guess) the way to check to see if it might be cancerous is to actually numb up your neck like how the dentist does and then stick a long needle into the middle of your neck and then in to the middle of the tumor and actually pull cells from the tumor through the needle. 

Sound awful?  when I was done getting 3 biopsies form 3 tumors I felt like I had been raped and I really wondered.."how could I came actually do this voluntarily?" The experiences was disgusting.  I have a friend that had the surgery and she said the surgery part is much easier because they give you good drugs. That I am ok with. 

And you may know that I had a stroke in May and that they found out I've had 5 (I think I've had a few more since then - but minor) ............

Here is the thing.... I really feel like I am very sucessful with finding the good in everything  ( minus my pessimistic post before this) but the one thing I have yet to master is applying all my theories and belief systems to my health. I've talked to several people and not many people are successful at it so please if you know how to over come this, lets talk about it here? 

Please comment or even email me if you have some research or opinion or even a hypothesis on this, you've read an article what ever you know.    How can I overcome my health issues with positivity and creative visualization, and/or prayer.