spectating participant

January 29, 2004

a Nikola Tesla opera

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:04 pm

[Violet Fire] “a multimedia opera about Nikola Tesla” will be showing Feb. 13 & 14 at Temple University in [Philadelphia, PA]. I will be going Feb. 14th.

I’m already very excited about this.

January 28, 2004


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:40 pm

I sit in my room, the room I’d placed all my crafting and creative ambitions in. For the past year, this room has occasionally been used for it’s original purpose, however, most of the time it has simply been occupied space. When [Kathleen|Kathleen Ellis] was living with us, Rob and I slept in my room. During that time I felt very disconnected from this space, I had lost my place in the house and was forced to share it. After a few months, I was happy to finally be sleeping in a larger bed downstairs and able to finally feel like I had my own personal space again.

Yet, during these months, I’ve rarely used the room as I wanted to. It still had the lingering clutter of a living space. I didn’t want to spend the time organizing and recreating my own personal environment. Instead, I let that lost feeling get tangled up with other house issues. Now, as I touch every item in this room, I mourn the attention I didn’t give it. As I place each item in a designated box, I wonder about the projects that could have been and whether or not they ever will be.

My creative soul is being sorted away into 15 plastic boxes. The sides are clear, in each I can see a different segment of myself. My sewing box started out bare, but the days have filled it with more and more. My box of stars continues to amaze me, so many things I’ve acquired just because something had stars on it. There are boxes for fasteners (glue, tape, clothespins), cutters (scrap-booking scissors, razor blades, circle cutters), metalworking, and costumes (a large box that is close to overflowing).

I feel my life funneling down into containers. Easily stacked on a shelf, easily accessible but neatly out of the way. Is that where I’m at in life? Have I become something that has been looked over, purpose determined, and filed away? Will I sit, like these boxes, on a shelf and only be drawn upon when the need presents itself or perhaps I’ll never be needed and that I’m just there because someone can’t fully let go?

Going over everything I own is taking its mental toll on me. Deciding if something is to be kept, given away, or tossed has got me thinking about everything in my life. How many of my habits should I be giving up? Is it time to move on, give away my life to someone else, and move on to something new? In a way, I feel that I’m doing that. I’ve given up doing tickets for [playa del fuego] and already feel some tinges of loss, but it needed to be done. I’ve given away all my other obligations to PDF as well and could easily slip away from it for a while. I’m passing on [Baltimore, MD] and happily tossing it in trash. So many things are ending up in the white or black garbage bag, but it’s the setting it out on the curb or handing it over to someone else that still needs to be done.

another snow day

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:08 am

Wow, three days off. I’ve been getting lots done and enjoying sleeping late. I would like to go back to work though, funny how that works out. Surely we will be working tomorrow.

In the mean time, occupying myself with organization and Spaced Penguin.

January 27, 2004

light bright battle

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 2:08 pm

It’s time to minimize, reduce, simplify. Everything that Alex and I own is getting scrutinized and decided on if it should stay or go. I’ve spent today going through basement boxes; boxes that have been stored away since September 2002. For the most part, I’m taking the contents from the boxes and putting it into the donation bags.

From one box I pulled out a letter that had me in tears. I’d forgotten it had ever been sent, but as soon as I read it I could feel the overwhelming joy that I’d felt when it arrived two year ago.

I found a sealed envelope with no name or address. I went ahead and opened it; inside was a card I’d made but never delivered. I remember sitting on the living room floor with Alex, she was making a thank you card. We talked about which colors would be best and about the next trip we would take.

Then, there was an envelop from my ex-husband, the only envelope I’d received after I moved away. The return address said ‘D. Henderson’ and I remember the small jab at my decision to start going by my middle name. I think he’d said he was going to do the same, but I doubt that actually happened. Inside was a photograph of my father and I (age 10). I remember the morning that picture was taken; I was fixing my hair in front of the mirror in my dad and step-mom’s room. My sister was teasing me for taking so much time to get ready, it seemed that I was always the ‘prissy’ one, always concerned about how I looked. I’d just started brushing my hair from a deep side part, trying to look older, trying to control the curly mess. It had been permed and cut short and I hated that style. That photo was the only professional picture I had with my father. I was so proud of it. When I showed it to my mom, she laughed. Seems my dad was wearing the same suit that he’d married her in.

After a good chunk of time, I got through that little box. Other boxes held tons of Alex’s old toys and most got tossed in the donation pile. Occasionally, one of my childhood toys would popup, looking very old and tattered. I don’t feel that my child hood was that long ago, but my old toys made me feel worn and tattered.

Everything was going fine until I got to the light bright. I don’t know what it is about this thing. I don’t know if it is the leftover childhood wonder of jabbing little plastic pegs into the black paper and watching a glowing image appear, or if its the sheer possibility of what could be done with it is too hard to resist tossing it out. So, I wandered upstairs to take a break and really think about keeping the light bright or not. Will I use it? Has it true purpose in our life? What is making this one item feel so valuable yet questionable?

January 26, 2004

another snow day

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:08 am

A few minutes before 7am, my alarm went off. Instead of hitting snooze, I optimistically turned it off, and reached for my laptop. With my eyes barely open, and the brightness level turned as low I could, I refreshed the page I loaded last night: [Baltimore County Public Schools]. There along the top were the words I wanted to see: “All schools closed due to inclement weather.”

I was still too tired to show real enthusiasm. Instead, I set my laptop back on the floor, snuggled up with my teddy bear and went back to sleep. I was caught in a swirl of dreamy action, where friends and coworkers and movie plots stumbled over each other. Finally, a ding ……. ding …. ding-ding pulled me out of my sleep. I hoped alex would answer it, but it appeared she wasn’t awake. So, I grab my robe and answered the door. ‘No, alex is asleep, bye’ and shut it promptly. I’m not so pleasant to little children who persistently ring my bell on a cold snowy morning. Especially not on the first morning I’ve been able to sleep in.

January 24, 2004

powerful women

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 4:38 pm

Breakfast already feels like it was ages ago. I was dressed and ready to go by 7:30am. I sat with some of the same women from yesterday, with a few new ones scattered in. The food wasn’t spectacular, but it was plentiful and filling. I also had some oatmeal that I enjoyed, something new for me. I’m liking the ladies here more and more. I read a quote from [Margaret Hope Bacon] that said “… one Quaker can usually recognize another in a crowd. There is a penchant for simple, direct style of dress, a habit of understatement, and a directness of approach which most Quakers share…” (1969). How true that seems to be, the women seem to be so diverse and unique but strongly similar in many aspects.

Over dinner last night, I was so pleased to see the way politics were brought into conversation. Here I was at a table with 7 strong women discussing politics in a positive and productive atmosphere and manner. Instead of coming at it with the intent of imparting some wisdom of who is better, it was openly discussed to see where everyone was at in their current presidential favor and why. I’m also pleased to see that so many of the women seem to have very noble career choices. While perhaps not as noble some, positions that don’t seem to go against Quaker philosophies.

The craft room has been another great space to see powerful women in action. True stitch-n-bitch action going on, productively, with serious issues raised and respectful and insightful discussions following.

I’m impressed, very impressed. And I’m working on not letting this sadden my heart for what I am not doing. Another great quote from today said basically that you should start living your life now as it should be. Without criticisms for what you haven’t done or berating for what needs to be done, or even what you will do, just start living it now, for it’s not easy, but thats the best start.

snowy reflections

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 1:01 pm

I stole a few moments to myself self last night. The snow had started falling and we were told it’d only be an inch. When I started by walk, it seemed that an inch had already fallen and it wasn’t about to stop.

I wandered about, enjoying the crunch of the snowy ice under my feet. It felt like South Dakota, the quiet nights that I’d watch the snow fall from the window near my computer, until I couldn’t take it anymore and bundled up and ventured outside.

I stopped at the edge of some trees. Admist a circle of trees, was a lone tree. It looked as though it’d just been planted a couple months ago. However, its location and size made that seem impossible. I slowly made my way around the small circle, pausing at each surrounding tree, not feeling invited to touch the center tree. I stopped and let the night breathe me in. Each snowflake was a flash of light before me. They seemed to be battling for who could be the brightest and shiniest flake around. I was mesmerized. The hill beyond the trees sparked and shined like a lake of diamonds. Crystal-flashes landed on my eyelashes, my nose, my lips. The cold seemed to disappear. I leaned against a tree for support and felt my arms and hands growing warm from the contact. I wanted to change my attention to the tree, but the snow was so hard to ignore. Finally, I broke away for my imagination’s dance of starlight faeries, and I connected with the tree.

It had been so long since I’d taken time to stop for a tree; I wasn’t surprised by the strong disconnection I felt. I kept searching for the familiar connection or recognition, but it never came. Yet, despite the snow collecting on my face and body, I stayed warm. My hands were pressed against the tree, wearing thin gloves that provided little warmth protection, and they were toasty. For this, I didn’t leave the tree disappointed.

Later that night, when I finally headed back to my lodge, the snowflakes had grown fat and heavy with night. They seems to be pulling the night down from the sky and trying to smother everything below. The sparkles had faded and now shown with a glittery subtly.


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:20 am

I arrived at BYM Women’s Retreat about 5pm yesterday and headed right to registration area. The room was way too crowded with ladies trying to get their rooms, trying to pick a workshop, and making nametags. Registration was in a small hall, too small for all this commotion.

As soon as I could, I escaped to the outside. I wanted to get in my car and go home. I was panicking and felt that the entire weekend was going to be torture. I got in my car, and drawing on some unknown pool of bravery, I headed to my lodge to unpack and hopefully set about hiding under the covers for the entire weekend. I knew I needed rest and a mental brake from my life and figured that a bed would get me away from the tons of people I didn’t know.

Once in my room I met, April. Or prolly more specficly, April met me. She was warm, outgoing, talkative, instant friend material. My fears started to fade away. We talked as I put my stuff away and then headed over to dinner together. She introduced me to all the ladies she knew. Instantly, all of my fears fell away and I was grateful to be here.

January 22, 2004

honest dishonesty

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:40 pm

I am at the point that referrer spam in my logs gets ignored just like email spam, however this one made me laugh:

ac8283c7.ipt.aol.com - - [16/Jan/2004:22:02:19 -0500] “HEAD / HTTP/1.1″ 200 0 “http://www.pita.org” “StarProse Referrer Advertising System 2004″

-Posted per [Rob Banz]’s suggestion.

January 21, 2004

somewhere out there

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:14 pm

I have this crazy dream of selling off everything I own, filling a knapsack for me and one for alex and hopping a flight on the next plane out of the country.

I wonder if that is actually possible…..


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 6:11 pm

I’m sitting across from a very unhappy child. She is frustrated that her homework is going to take time to complete and that she has to do some things over. We’re at the familiar evening battle, the clash between what needs to be done and what she wants to do. Grumbling under her breath, she rewrites her spelling sentences and starts on her family reading and writing homework.

It amazes me how this can continue to be a issue. I would think that day in and day out repetition would make this an easier task. I’m frustrated that at age 8, in second grade, Alex is already upset about homework. It didn’t take long to reach this point and I worry about the negative implications it’ll have on her learning. How can one hate learning at such a young age? What happened to the attitude Alex had her first week at Villa Cresta Elementary where she was happy to have homework.

I shall have to find something to help her make this task easier to complete. There are too many years of school work and assignments ahead to let this continue.

In addition to her frustrations, I’m starting to feel like I’m at my wits end. This month has been filled with all sorts of turmoil and hopes and disappointments. I’ve worked on letting each one simply roll off my back, but the straws are adding up and it feels like something is going to give.

Thankfully, this weekend is the [Baltimore Yearly Meeting]’s Women’s Retreat. I need the break, however I’m sad that Steph, who originally told me about the retreat, prolly won’t be going and that I’m feeling a little too unsettled to be gone for a whole weekend. Of course, I think it’s worth it to keep from seriously crumbling.

January 18, 2004

should have’s

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:29 pm

I feel like there are so many things I should have written down. So many times,I wanted to mark down how wonderful things were, how things were working out beyond my wildest dreams, how things felt so right. However, I didn’t take the time to write it down because I didn’t have a place to write it.

I’ve spent the last couple years filling out my journal online, publicly, for the world to see. I’ve been comforted by the fact that only a few people read this page, and used that security to be as open as I am. Recently, however, I’ve let myself censor my feelings, my thoughts, my frustrations, and most disappointingly, my joys and accomplishments.

I’ve felt that my small victories were too personal and too close to home, quite literally, to make public. Even now, when I’m remembering the emotional the-light-comes-on-moments and take joy in them again, I don’t feel comfortable putting them out to the world, or more specifically, out to my friends.

I have finally started an offline journal. Something I haven’t done since I started xixstar.com. I’ve found that I can’t put all of my emotions and insecurities and dreams on this site. I know a lot of people keep traditional journals, and there are good reasons to have one. Yet, it is hard enough just keeping up with this one.

I feel that either my online journals or personal journal will eventually suffer from this decision. I have only so much energy to write. I have only so many words to put down next to a date. xixstar.com I’ve devoted so much time and attention on because I wanted it to be something I could go back on and see where I was and what I was doing six months ago or a year ago. I also wanted to keep up with things I found interesting or share something neat that happened with others. For a year now, I’ve also been working on an online mental health journal, which I haven’t clearly defined the purpose for. Both of these projects I’ve been very passionate about.

I feel a little disappointed about pulling back, retreating into my shell. I feel like I’m shortchanging myself and indirectly the world. By putting so much of myself out in the open, I’ve forced myself to be more honest about my thoughts and actions. It has been a way to maintain checks and balances on my own life. And by deciding that some things have gotten too personal or that my life is now too visible, feels like a contradiction.

sleepover at our house

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:19 pm

Alex has spent the night across the street with her best friend tons of times. Tonight, it’s is finally switching sides for the first time. Sara is excited about getting to spend the night, since she never has before and because she’ll be sleeping in the house her dad grew up in. Yep, our neighbor across the street grew up in this house, in fact, he wanted to buy it but it wasn’t for sale when he was looking to buy. I think Rob or I jokingly offered to trade houses (but not mortgages) at one point and he declined.

Anyways, in about 20 minutes I’ll have two giggling girls downstairs. Eeek. Older children intimidate me. I’m not sure why, but the older Alex gets and the older her friends are, the less comfortable I am with playing (or hanging out) with them. But, that will not be the case tonight. I shall go down and hopefully find something fun to do with them.

We were going to make a cake tomorrow, but I think baking a cake is a good place to start an evening. Ooh, they’re back. Time to get over this fear of kids.

January 17, 2004

soggy popcorn

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:53 pm

Syrup on popcorn… [Amy|Amy LaPerla] thinks it might be soggy. I think I’ll pass.

Tomorrow, after waffles, Alex and I are going back to [Adelphi Friends Meeting]. I’m going to work on being a little more outwardly social and at least meet 3 new people (which includes remembering their names).

Being hopeful paid off, everything worked out the way I wished. Tomorrow, Alex and I will celebrate by making a cake.

Monday is a holiday, what to do, what to do.

January 16, 2004

there is hope for hope

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:52 pm

Hope comes in different packages. While often positive and encouraging, some hope is detrimental. That kind of hope makes it impossible to move on or find closure in a situation. It slowly breaks away your confidence, your self esteem, your sanity.

I’ve finally given up that hope, despite encouragement that I shouldn’t. I understand the reasons to keep grasping at tiny wisps of maybes, but holding out for those things tears me apart. In order to not be stranded in a rut, I have to abandon that hope in order to get things done that need done.

On the other hand, I’ve given myself permission to be hopeful about tomorrow. My emotions have gathered up the positives and my mind has run wild with these ideas. I want things to work out tomorrow; I feel like they have a strong potential to. I just hope (a self protective kind of hope) that I’ll be able to handle the disappointment if it doesn’t work out.

It must be good to be able to put the emotional energy on wanting something and having some sort of faith that I might get it. Even if this hope donkey-kicks me in the end, it must be better than hopelessness.

January 12, 2004

fertile soil

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:44 pm

I attended [Adelphi Friends Meeting] on Sunday. The building seemed to be half the size of [Homewood|Homewood Friends Meeting] but filled with twice as many people. Everyone was very welcoming, even in silence.

It didn’t take me long to center and find my place there. A gentleman shared a message which referenced a seed, and I felt like that seed, like a seed snug in the ground. I thought of Steph on one side and Dave on the other, and the many friends who have recently made their affection (and support) known, and I was surrounded by fertile soil of love. Another woman shared a message of not being knowledgeable in horticulture, but knowing that a seed needs good soil and rain and sun in the right quantities. How true it is, that we need our support and happiness and sorrows to grow. I think that I’m going to do okay.
I also think Adelphi will be my new meeting.

January 10, 2004

bluetooth stero headphones

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:43 am

Yeah, my new desire, right next to the bluetooth mouse.



Anyone else have information on this. Perhaps I should consider usb wireless headphones, do people make those? *off to [google] it*


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:34 am

I suck at conversations. Mostly with my friends, with whom I should easily be able to strike up a dialogue. I throw out the first line, hopefully expecting something interesting to take flight, but instead the line dives right into the pavement. I get a short and quick answer back and then there is nothing but silence.

Sometimes it’s easier to start a pseudo-conversation with strangers when going with the old standby of work or weather. But thats shallow talk, there to simply pass the time and maintain civilities. I don’t want to ramble on about the weather just to have something to say, I want to feel like I’m connecting with someone.

To start that connection, I have to learn how to get a conversation started. What do people talk about? Politics? Music? Music? Pop Culture? For each of those topics, I’m out of the loop. I’d love to get involved with more intellectual topics or book discussions, but don’t know how to start into those conversations. Also, would other people actually be interested in conversations like that?

I guess my life has gotten a little dull and boring since I can’t think of anything to discuss. Or maybe, thats just how I am. Soon, I’ll get back into my old pattern of reading too much and working on new art projects or volunteer projects. Maybe then I can get started on costumes for this year and maybe start on the carousel that I’ve been talking about building for a couple years now. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, maybe a conversation or two will emerge.

January 5, 2004

lacking creativity

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:14 pm

Craft-on tonight in Baltimore. Sara’s bellydance class starts today. I’m doing neither. I’m lame.

Watched the clips on bushin30seconds.org. Some really good ad’s in there. I’d actually want to watch television if I was seeing stuff like that aired. Also makes me want to make short films and such.

January 3, 2004

simple saturday…

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:56 pm

well that was the plan at least. instead, I felt like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

[Faux Foxy]’s site finally added a picture of my hair. I like it. I want my hair done again too. I’ll have to wait and see when it’ll fit into the budget again. Hopefully I’ll have better luck the second time.

Tomorrow is another day of running here and there. Hopefully it proves to be more successful than today.

January 2, 2004

cash or barter

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:20 pm

Your Bank Account, Your Liberties - George Paine freaks me out every time.

tonights plan:

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 5:11 pm

sit at home and wait for the phone to ring.

exciting, I know.