Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hello, Spatulans.

It has been a long time since I have had the pleasure of posting on the Fantastic Spatula. A lot has been happening/has happened. The last I wrote I was packing for a giant move to Montana (~2,600 miles north-west from my home-grown town) and preparing for an art show, which was to be held the night before Miss Lucy and I were to embark on a cross-country road trip.

Well, it is done. And it is done good. The art show had an amazing response for all artists involved and was the most fabulous, artsy send-off I could have ever asked for.

Lucy and I had a fantastic road trip. We slept at awesome retro hotels, ate mounds of delicious food (A breakfast in Custer, SD of french-fried potato chunks with onions, peppers, ham, cheese, and green chili sauce on top and Bumbleberry Pie from Bobkat’s Purple Pie Place also in Custer with a strawberry, rhubarb, blackberry, huckleberry middle and flakey, buttery crust), prowled through several trinket and knickknack stores (tiny rubber chickens, notebooks with Sabrina Ward Harrison artwork plastered on the front cover, used bookstores that housed once-read first editions and an owner who had a story for each book), listened to many road trip mixed music tapes, saw more sights than you can shake a stick at, read to each other, thought to each other, talked about whatever to each other, held each others hands when the panic of moving miles away from home attacked (OK. OK. So, Lucy was doing most of the hand holding when my panic attacked).

The move was a success. I have an apartment in a building smack dab in the middle of downtown. The apartment building itself was once an old hotel used during the time a passenger train passed through town. I have two jobs, the first at a vintage clothing and costume store, which I adore, and the second as a housekeeper for a hotel, which I am fortunate to have in order to pay bills. I am loving wandering the streets, getting comfortable in the town, enjoying the night and day life, meeting new and unique people (my apartment complex is full of writers, artists, musicians, grad students), and I am also doing a lot of getting to know myself.

Which leads me to the subject of today’s post. Alone.

I have been doing a lot of alone in my new home. As an introvert, for me, being alone can be both uplifting and depressing. Being alone gives me time to unwind, to think about stories and characters, to project and craft, to better know myself. Being alone also gives me time to dwell on the “what if’s,” to contemplate why I’m not where I think I should be, to ponder other people’s expectations about me.

Why the dichotomy? “Is Miss Kemp bipolar or something,” you (hopefully don’t) ask. Well, I don’t know why the dichotomy. I don’t know why one pleasant afternoon of aloneing can suddenly turn into an I’m-so-lonely sob fest. I don’t know why a lonely morning sighing over tea and toast can turn into a glorious trek through alone time that afternoon. I do know, however, that I’m not alone (ah ha!) in noticing this.

A friend recently broke it down for me like this…

“Solitude is used to define the glory of alone. Loneliness, to define its darkness.”

I enjoy the solitude of alone. The loneliness, not so much. But, sometimes, doing alone can be difficult or even scary. How do you do alone all by yourself when you are out of practice and don’t know what the hell to do? How do you do alone when you are too scared to try?

My project for Wednesday’s (Starting Next Week!) is going to be a guide on doing alone. Each Wednesday I’ll post a different thing to do alone and take you step by step on how to do it. The previous week I will have done that very thing and documented it with a video or pictures as proof that alone can be done.

My hope is I’ll do more things by my self and that solitude won’t wilt into loneliness who then curls up on my oh-so-small love sofa sobbing into a pint of mocha chip ice cream. I’m not saying that won’t happen some days, but I’m not going to call my Wednesday’s posts “How to Be Miserable and Lonely and Sob Into A Pint Of Mocha Chip Ice Cream.” Besides, I’m pretty sure most people know how to do that already. If you don’t know how to do that... I don't want anything to do with you (just kidding... kinda... maybe I could take lessons from you how not to sob in my ice cream when I'm lonely bummed out. Cause I don't like the salty in my mocha chip).

I also hope that Wednesday’s “How To Do Alone” posts will serve as a starting point for those of you who, like me, may sometimes get a little anxious about doing alone.

Now, here is where you fantastic spatulans come into play. I already have a list of things to do alone, but I want you to send me more ideas and things to do alone. I know all of you are creative people. Some of you have great things to do alone and do them frequently. Others of you may have great things to do alone but have been afraid to do them.

Post your alone ideas in Wednesday’s Blabbity-Blab (that’s Blogger for “doobly-doo,” which is YouTube for “Comment Box”) and I’ll start a list. I’ll take one week to do each of your alone ideas (if they are within my budget and I don’t deem them too-explicit-for-kemp). I’ll document it and feature it on a Wednesday’s post. Cool, huh? Yeah, I thought so too.

Anyway, I’m going to go now, and sob into some mocha chip ice cream. Just kidding. Really. I'm going to walk back home, have dinner, read some Full Metal Alchemist, and then go to sleep because I have to get up uber early tomorrow and go housekeep… So, goodnight lovely, fantastic spatulans. I hope you are having a great week. And don't forget to gimme your ideas for a "How To Do Alone."



  1. What a fantastic post, Kemp!
    I loved that trip with you. I have no words for how great it was. (In fact, I'm secretly hoping that we can do something like it again some time!)

    I think the thing that people, including myself, hate to do alone is to go out to eat in a restaurant. Or go to movies by themselves.

    I've done both on multiple occasions, so I'm sort of used to it. But they are biggies, and fairly cheap, too!

    Looking forward to this! <3

  2. eating alone at a restaurant, and going to movies or a play,is difficult. Moving across country was a piece of cake. Was it not?
    Moskeeto Jack

  3. oh yes, lucy. both are great ideas to show how to do alone with potential comical side effects. and yes, MJ, moving across country was a piece of cake. totally. a piece of cake. ^_^

    any more suggestions? anyone?

  4. Congratulations on your move and . . . what can I say? I loved this post! We need each other and yet we need to be alone and with ourselves to experience who we are. I love this idea of blogging "How to do alone". It reminds me of the artist date in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. xo Léna