Thursday, April 22, 2010

i thought we all just liked to eat....

i want to share something with you today that i find a little odd...

last year i found out about urbanspoon from a friend who is in the restaurant business. we frequent his establishment a few times a month - it's how we got to know him well enough for him to invite us over to thanksgiving dinner - and he mentioned to us that they had just joined the site themselves. mr. b and i thought it would be great if we joined too and wrote about what a fantastic restaurant it was and how gracious the owner and his family have been to us.

we noticed that there was a bad review by a woman whose only complaint was that there seemed to be a lot of one time reviewers who gave this restaurant a great review. nothing about the food itself. we thought she was just a sour puss and went online, wrote our reviews, and in the interim, i specifically logged in a bunch of places i like, one i don't, and wrote 3 more short reviews for some more of my favorite places to eat.

honestly, i would rawther be here or on facebook or flickr if i am on the computer and i just have not kept up with urban spoon unless i happen to come across a place i love or a place i want to try. besides, i didn't know there was some unspoken "rule" about one time reviews. i mean, i thought the folks on there were just people like me - who like to eat and when travelling want to know where the locals go.

WRONG - OH!!!

so, imagine my shock yesterday evening when i discovered that not only was there a huge amount of negative feedback for my friend's restaurant, but that most of it was, again, from users who "thought" that he was actually posting fake reviews - AND to top it off, another user actually ACCUSED ME of being a fake poster - AAAAANNNND  my review of his restaurant ( along with mr. b's as well ) had been marked as "SHILL".

WTF???!!!

i mean, come on people? what grade is this?  thought i had gotten out of junior high (relatively) unscathed.

so, i fire off a little email to urbanspoon this morning, asking them what is going on and here is the response i got:

Here at Urbanspoon we have a thriving community of Prime users, and we've recently given them the ability to mark reviews as shills. This improves the quality of content on Urbanspoon by prioritizing reviews from active community members. We have no editorial control over who the crowd judges to be a shill.


well, howdeedoo!!! i guess you have to be some kinda serious foodie to become a Prime user at urbanspoon. damn. i guess little folks like me just don't count. but, i CANNOT find ANYWHERE on that site how in the high holy hell you become a prime member. i mean, i have a goal here people! how do I - little ole me, little ole yellow flower - become PAH-RYME?!

i have to confess, i am totally obsessed with figuring out how this happened and if i can do anything about it. i DO NOT like to be called a liar. i mean, come on folks, is it really that serious of an issue ( i know, i know, i am making it one myself by obsessing over it ) but there is a huge difference between genuinely liking or not liking a restaurant and calling someone a liar without even bothering to gather any evidence.

if you go onto urbanspoon, i have a little profile and a picture of my beadwork. all a person ( with half a brain ) has to do is google yellow flower. and my profile clearly states who i am and what i do. not hard.

but, i guess it's better to assume and accuse than to actually do any research...

ok. off the high horse for the time being.

anyway... just something on my mind today so i thought i would share.

oh, and chowhound, here we come. hopefully you will host a nicer site. we shall see....

cheers!

amber

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

of flowers and gargoyles...

it's tuesday and that meand two things - it's actually monday to me, as monday is my day off, and LOST is on tonight-( pretty much my only reason for getting out of bead on tuesday.) i have no idea what i am going to do when this show ends in a few weeks!!! aiiigghhh!!

had a lovely weekend - the weather in nola has just been superb. could not ask for better.



on saturday night we went to my friend, w's poster show at capdeville. it's funny, you see these posters all over town for live music - and they are usually very cool posters ( and now i know why) but you never really think, wow! i wonder who made that?! well, now you know...




on sunday we ate breakfast at panola street and then took a little drive through uptown, just appreciating the spring beauty. and we took these in two seperate locations....



cool. creepy. awesomeness.

monday i spent in le studio. playing. experimenting. goofing around. working. pick a word. i have been working hard to improve my collage skills...




but, truthfully, i am wondering if i am barking up the wrong tree. maybe it's because i thought that this would be easy? maybe it's because it takes me sooooo long to make one piece? or maybe i am just waaaayyy to particular - and that is why it takes me sooooo long to make one piece? i am fairly happy with the way these turned out.... but...well, maybe i have been learning so much; teaching myself new techniques;reading so many articles and such; that i just need to take a step back. i don't know. the confidence is not at 100% this morning. maybe i just need a day NOT to look at my work. come back tonight and see it with fresh eyes. i don't know. i need to think on this a little while...


well, it's time for me to motor this morning. so happy tuesday everyone! and for those of you getting lost - namaste!

amber

Friday, April 16, 2010

some kitteh love for you on friday

so, i woke up around 2:30 this morning with cash tucked up under one arm, purring up a storm, like a living breathing teddy bear and patches curled up around my feet doing the same thing.

i lay in the dark thinking how very lucky i am to have such unconditional love in my life ( ok, i know. i feed the darn things, so maybe it's not wholly unconditional, but you get my point).

i was also awake enough to think back on a conversation i had had earlier that day with an aquaintance of mine who stopped by the store for a little visit. we talked a lot about how, as you get older, you have less time for BS and negativity--a subject that has been on mind a lot lately. she chalked it up to the realization that you only have so much time left, and you want to make it count. hmmmm.... we also talked about embracing every day to the fullest. about not taking anything for granted. and i threw in my little kernel of knowledge on how much having pets has changed my outlook and my mood - because when you come home from where ever you've been, and a little furry bundle of love meets you at the door ( in our case, purring and giving massive doses of buddy bumps), it really does just melt away the outside world.



i've said it once, and i will say it again a thousand times over.... my favorite place in the whole world is HOME- with mr. b and the kittehs.


so, happy friday everyone! here's some kitteh love to start your weekend... can you hear the purring? i know you can!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

inner peace and bigger guns

honestly, i have to tell you, yesterday was one of the worst days i have had in a very very long time...

i wanted to crawl up in a little ball underneath a rock and just let the world go on spinning.

now, normally, i am a very happy person. i am a little on the "easily aggrivated" side, but i chalk that up to 20 years in the retail profession. one friend calls this part of my personality "disagreeable amber".

i spent most of last year getting a grip on some serious anger management issues which directly stemmed from my last job ( and from one of my co - workers in particular). well, i don't work there any more, so by all accounts, i should be very very happy. and for the most part, i am.

but, over the last few weeks, i have found myself struggling again with these same issues - having some trouble controlling my anger - and letting it surround me until i just can't breathe. and yesterday, i aimed that anger at myself until i literally, was hyperventillating.

not good.

so, i left work, after a brief convo with my mr, and treated myself to a wonderful sushi dinner, and then went directly to my studio.

it did wonders on my mental state. but only temporarily.

i mean, i am aware that creating is my happy place. and i get soooooooooo aggrivated when i have to deal with other life obligations and can't work in my little sanctuary, that i sometimes can't find my happy place if i am not already in it.

does that make sense?

well, for me it does.

i am a huge fan of the now defunct NBC show LIFE starring damian lewis. if you haven't rented the too short 2 seasons of this well written, plotted, and acted show, do yourself a favor and so so immediately! in my humble opinion, it was one of the best shows ever to be broadcast.  i recently purchased a copy of both seasons to have at the house - to remind myself to find my happy place.

there is a scene at the end of the show where the lead character, charlie crews and his friend, ted , played by the fantastic adam arkin, are having a conversation. i laughed so hard at this little exchange i thought i would cry. it really hit home for me. it was me....

ted: what do you want, charlie?
charlie: i want inner peace.
ted: what do you need, charlie?
charlie: i need a bigger gun.

on my quest for inner peace (aka my happy place), i have to muddle through, around, and over a lot of negativity. some of it comes from within me and some of it comes from people in my life, or even just random strangers who cross my path during the course of my day. i have found that most people are generally very unhappy and very scared. and they take that emotion - that fear- and they take it out on others - especially those they see as being " beneath" them ( aka people in the service industry).

so, i try to approach my life - and my day to day dealings with others- with the understanding that if someone is rude or mean to me, that they are simply scared and do not know how to look within and deal with that fear. they are not capable ( now will they ever be, more than likely) of really looking at themselves and making changes to their person and their lives. they are too scared.

and when i have a day like i did yesterday - when i am mean to ME - i have to remind MYSELF that there is something not right in my being. that i am afraid of something - that i need to look within and figure out what is making me sit around and constantly berate myself with doubt, hate, and loathing. why am i being rude to ME? and i have to fix it.

or get a bigger gun....

things to ponder on a fairly stressful ( taxing ) day....

cheers!

amber

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

i thought i'd never get back here!

i was beginning to think that i would never make it back here...


and a huge ole hug for all of you who have joined me this last month and to those who have left such wonderful comments! it means the world to me to know that i am not talking to myself (which happens much more than it should)...

this last week has just been CRAZY BUSY for me - but not in a good way. i mean, yes, in a good way. oh, i don't know!

i have had a bookoodle of social obligations (and for those of you who haven't figured it out yet, i am just a tad anti-social - especially when i feel that other people are infringing on my creative time)...


first of all, my friend, penelope and her hubby, sebastian were in town on thursday night. i guess it's been 10 years since i've seen penelope, but we picked up just where we left off. i'd never met sebastian and they had never met mr. b, but it was like we just ran into them at rouses. we had a wonderful, fantastic, gloriously delicious meal at green goddess, and then topped the evening off with a rawther short trip to W.I.N.O and then back to the bar at their hotel for more vino.  needless to say, friday was a bit blurry...



we worked on our taxes on sunday morning. cash helped some too...


it's funny - i've been screaming for years how i want my own business again. well, guess what? according to uncle sam... i do! :)

saturday and sunday i had social stuff, but i managed to control myself which meant i got some studio time in sunday afternoon before sarah's surprise b day party - which had an open bar. but, again, i kept it in check, we left early, and yesterday was one of the best creative days i have had in months!!!

first off... the month long search for crackle medium has ended. whooo hooo! that's right... we have crackle medium...


i was able to gesso some more boxes, frames, and boards which i have plans for. i do find it a tad annoying that i have to wait 24 hours to paint over this stuff, but i guess that keeps me moving.


while these were drying, i worked on some more of my nightmare figures...


i know they are rough around the edges, but trust me, i can see them in my head, and i think they will turn our good and creepy.



so i guess that's all the news that's fit to print this tuesday morning.
i now have to gather myself and get to my day job.
oh, and LOST is on tonight.
yay!
amber

Monday, April 5, 2010

you gotta start somewhere...

here is a little peek at the first in my series of sideshow shadow boxes and sculptures:
i spent most of the afternoon cutting out and altering images to go in these pieces, and i was actually able to complete this one piece.
not too shabby, i don't think.
i really had planned for it to be more, you know, umphfy, with loads more stuff in it,
but when it came right down to it, i just like things simple.
so, all in all, i am pretty happy with it.
now i just have to keep the kitties from destroying it! ha!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

back to my regularly scheduled life...

wheeee!!!

i'm DONE with jury duty! i've got my certificate saying i did my time and they can't call me again for 2 YEARS!!!

whooooo hooooo!

that WAS a harrowing experience.

i actually served on a jury. just one. but it was enough to scare the bejaysus outta me. if you thought i was scared of cops ( especially the NOPD) before, by golly i am TERRIFIED of them now. but that's another story for another time. i will tell you we found the defendant not guilty and we all shook our heads that the DA even took that thing to trial. it felt amazing to give an innocent man his freedom...

but, back to my regularly scheduled life....

i've actually been in a bit of a funk since being cut loose from jury duty. i think all the stress just wore me down. i walked around in a haze of sadness yesterday, and for part of the day before. i hope that i get my you - know - what together today.  i have things to attend to, you know.

i've been working in the studio a little at a time over the last few weeks.

jewelry is just slow going right now. honestly, i'm just not that interested in making any. i am SOOOOOOOO NOT inspired by anything i look at. even the anthropologie catalog did not lend any inspiration this week.

but, i have been working on my shadow boxes and on my paper clay figures. there is PLENTY of inspiration there. too much, actually. it's hard for me to focus sometimes. i'm all over the place.

i gesso canvas and boxes. while they dry i cut paper. when i tire of that i grab the paints and paint faces on my paper clay figures. while that is drying, i make more paper clay figures.

i am working in a pretty tiny space, so i have to move around a lot. i have to put things on the shelves so that the kitties won't get to them. it's a constant re arranging of stuff. but that's the way things go, so that's what i do.

i have to tell you, i think i am on the right path here. i am more inspired than i have been in a very very very long time. i have a vision and i have a goal. and i am working very hard to achieve both. and i am enjoying the process.

i've never sculpted anything a day in my life, but i am finding the paper clay very easy to work with and very forgiving. you can add to it once it is dry - and that means you can layer over something you effed up the day before. acrylics just bond to it so well. i am not the best painter on the planet, and i find that working in 3-d is a little difficult, but i assume that like with everything else, practice will make it easier and my technique better.


and, no, i don't think i will give up jewelry entirely. i  have to assume that my jewelry muse will come back some day. but, i will not force her. i have plenty of other muses to work with until then...