28 December 2010

oh, how Quickly plans Change...

Holy crap, I had all these amazing plans! I was a go-getter! I was going to finish stuff and start new stuff and hang out with people!

You remember, right? It wasn't that long ago when I talked about all these great plans.

And then I got sick.


I got sick on the night before Christmas. (almost poetic, isn't it?) I couldn't eat solid food for over 24 hours. It's a horrible bug that's taken over my system.

I forgot how draining it is to be sick. I just want to be in bed. Today is the first day I've really been out of bed (and out of the apartment, for that matter) since the 25th. I promised my supervisor I would cover the office for her today. Clearly, I made that promise before I got sick.
I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday, certainly, but I'm not convinced that I have any business being away from my bed.

Oh my gosh I just want to lay down please please let me lay down somewhere anywhere I don't care....

Getting up this morning, I thought: "I can do this. Medicate and shower myself, and I'll be ready to tackle this day."

Walking to the bus-stop an hour later: "What the &$%* was I thinking? I shouldn't be here! *oh gosh, my stomach...* I should be in bed. I should walk straight back home and get in bed and- oh crap, here's the bus."

So now I'm in the office.

The first solid food I ate was on the night of the 26th. It was a piece of toast. It took me an hour to eat the whole thing.

These are the adventures of mortality.

I'm really not sure what made me think I could come to work today.

23 December 2010

my New mantra

It's kind of a long mantra...

I just read an interview with Jean-Baptiste Monge (see his amazing blog and works here) and he said something that I really (really) needed to hear.

He was asked to give advice to young/beginning artists, and he said:

I won't embellish and will be honest with you guys. Ours is a very hard job, some can't make a living of it and must have another job to get by. It's hard to begin because of the supplies, schools,... and most can't afford it. I was in this case. My parents couldn't help me. You will pass through fear, doubt, depression, anger many many times because you'll feel like you can't manage, and that you see other people's stuff is better than yours (in your perception). So you have to be tough above all and hang on no matter what happens and you will find that finally there is also fun, good people to meet, pride, and happiness! If you have the imagination it's good because, in my opinion, that's 80% of the job and the 20% left, very important, is … working working working, just keep working and don't give up.
These are my five words : Curiosity, Imagination, Observation, Work and Meetings.

Thank you, Monge. I don't even know how to pronounce your last name, but you're my new favorite artist and person of the week/month/my life.

A picture Just For you!

It only took me over a week, but I finally did it! I fixed the parts of my self-portrait that I didn't like, learned to overlook the rest of it, and got a decent picture on my camera of it...

...all for you. ^_^

The "decent picture" on my camera really isn't that decent, but it's the best I can do with the limited equipment I have.

And here it is, folks:

The height is something close to 40 inches. Who knows what the width is...36 inches? Most important lesson learned from this project:

I (effing) hate working BIG.

It's obnoxious, there's no room for it in my tiny apartment, there's nowhere convenient to work on it, I hate transporting it (which I'll have to do at least two more times), and ultimately it's a pretty terrible experience. And art shouldn't be a terrible experience.
Art can be harrowing, stressful, complicated, and pretty detrimental to one's self-esteem...
But not a terrible experience.

Oh, I jest. I don't really think art is all of those things - it's the deadlines.

*dark, scary Gollum voice*
Yes...the deadlines, Precious. We hates them.
*end of schizophrenic moment*

I'm going to go enjoy my Christmas break now. I'm going to draw at least one new still-life, paint another puppet, and play a lot of Eternal Darkness on Gamecube (cheap game based on Lovecraft's writings. It's pretty awesome.) And my cousins are coming over Tuesday for a huge Firefly marathon.

Yes! I love breaks from school!!

Not only that, but I went to an amazing birthday party last week (was it really that long ago?) for my good friend, Lee, where we wore goofy hats, ate cake, and had a poetry slam. It was epic. There cannot be another party in my lifetime that could top the epic joy gained from that party.

Thanks, Lee!!

And the rest of you: thanks for reading. Now go out and enjoy life.

15 December 2010

but I'm Not bitter!

I finished the (stupid) self-portrait. My teacher loved it. End of class.

(the portrait can be seen here)

At home when I finished the piece, I was taking the HUGE piece of paper off the wall (it was over three feet in height. ridiculous.), removing the sopping newspaper from the wall and off the floor, wiping off the acrylic paint and charcoal dust from the table, wall, chairs, and myself, I had a realization: I really hate working big.

People, I'm only 5'1". Painting a torso on a piece of paper that is six feet tall is just not a good idea (I'm referencing a completely different assignment now, but it still happened this semester - stay with me). It's stressful. It's bothersome. It's annoying. It makes me effing grumpy.

Sorry for the "effing." It's become my new mantra for the semester: "Eff, eff, eff my life!" But the semester is nearly over now, so I'll tone it down.

It's why I draw myself as a hobbit. It's why I refer to myself on the net as Miss Hobbit. I like cozy holes and books and food and drawings that do not exceed 9"x11". Granted, there is something rejuvenating about making brush strokes that exceed the breadth of your shoulders - it's liberating, in a way. It feels good.

But so does marijuana. You shouldn't do that all the time, either.

Don't give in to peer pressure, kids. Just say "no."

I'm going to buy smaller brushes with my Christmas money. Unless I buy a scanner, instead. Or maybe I'll go crazy and buy both!
(woah, settle down there! remember to buy food and pay rent first.)

Oh, to be young and married, in college and broke.

10 December 2010

why Do I write These things?

I finally started my (stupid) self-portrait last night. It's due on Monday.
I moved the table (so now you can't walk from the living room to the hallway without turning sideways) and pinned my HUGE piece of paper to the wall. It's easier to work that way. I splattered paint on there for about half an hour before I realized how ugly I had made it.
I'll just paint over it tonight and start again. Multiple layers makes a piece better, right? Creation requires some destruction, right?
Yeah...not in my experience, but that's what my instructor keeps saying. She'll probably love it.

In other news: there's no class today. I have to be at work for a few hours and then I can go back home to work on the (stupid) self-portrait. And, last night, I had a brilliant thought: what if I go to the gym after work? It'll be great, it'll feel great, I'll actually have time to do it, and the gym on campus is free. All I need is my gym-bag and I'm good to go!

I forgot my gym-bag.


Even after thinking about it all last night and this morning, I still forgot the gym-bag. It's like the universe wants me to be chunky for the holidays.

You know how every group of friends has the chubby friend? After years and years of being surrounded by skinny friends, it has never occurred to me that I'm that chubby friend...until just now.
But it's not my fault! I haven't had time to work out - I've had TWO three-hour long classes this semester! I've wanted to work out, I just don't have any time. It's not my fault! It's not fair! It'll be better next semester - I'll have so much more time next semester!


I refuse to bend to the will of the universe!
Who am I kidding? I'll fold like a house of cards.

In more news: You remember that piece/drawing/painting I made during the summer? I submitted it to the University's Warp&Weave journal (speculative fiction - short stories, poetry, comics, art, anything really...) because I thought that piece would be really perfect for them.

They sent me a rejection letter. Not even a generic one - it had the specific name of the piece and everything. They didn't want it.

I wasn't able to go to the Warp&Weave launch party, but a friend of mine went (who won first prize for her piece "Relapse" - read it here on dA) and told me that my piece was, in fact, published. More than that, they had made prints of all the artworks published this semester to sell. My piece sold out!

Which is awesome!

I just kinda wish they had, you know, told me about it or something. They have my email. They have my phone number. It's not like I'm unreachable.


It's a nice boost to my much-deflated ego, though.

Latest amusing student quote of the semester: "Hello, miss hobbit. It is most agreeable to see you today."

07 December 2010

I miss My Integrity

Yesterday, I gave my (ridiculous) oral presentation on the (ridiculous) book I told you about.

It was so (can you guess??) ridiculous.

Eight other students gave presentations on different chapters of the book as well, and each one of them absolutely loved this book. One girl went so far to say that "this book is scripture. If you, you know, believe in art." (direct quote) It was physically draining to keep myself from rolling my eyes or laughing out loud at the sheer absurdity of my classmates.

Someone said, "Every sentence is so well written." (really? guess what: just because he uses big words that you don't understand, it's not automatically "well written." if you have to re-phrase every single idea in the book to make it comprehensible to the class, then it's not "well written.")

As the discussion in class continued, a confession came out (also, a direct quote): "I'm not very academic. Like, I don't really like reading and stuff. That's why, like, I lean more toward creativity and imagination and stuff." To which the teacher responded, "Yeah, me neither. I don't think of myself as very academic."

What the crap am I doing with this group of people!?!?

Here, we're presented with two possibilities: 1) I just hate the book because McNiff's message went over my head, or 2) If the rest of my class was academically minded, they would hold as much distaste for the book as I do.

I hated myself so much during that presentation. I heard myself saying arbitrary crap like, "It's about that connection with the material, from hand to paper, and the energy that results from the connection, that really drives creativity forward." I lied my way through all three minutes of my presentation. I recognized early on in the presentations that if I were to honestly speak my mind, I would quickly make enemies of everyone in the class.

Here's what I really think (for those of you who want to know): McNiff's ideas of "letting go" and "getting the creative juices flowing" are good ideas. These ideas really do work. In therapies. In children's classes. Not in college classes for art students who want to make a living off of their art. You need to teach technique and encourage practice, practice, practice.
McNiff's book might be a good tool for relaxing the imagination, which can result in better work, but without technique and training it's just mindless scribbles on a page. And maybe you feel good about the mindless scribbles on the page, maybe those scribbles represent something significant to you, the artist. But that significance is not going to be conveyed to anyone else, which defeats the purpose of art as a visual communication. McNiff's principles work on individual and therapeutic levels, but I'm not seeing how that will make me a better, more successful, artist.

One student said in class, building off of what McNiff had written, "As long as you feel good about what you've made, then what else matters? Who cares what other people think? It's your creation and you should feel good about it." Why are you paying thousands of dollars to a University to be taught to make art that makes you feel good? If all you need is to feel good about your art, then stay at home and scrapbook in your kitchen. Save yourself some money. I'm coming to school to learn how to make my art affect other people; I'm here to learn technique, principles, and tools that will make my art more effective; I'm here to learn skills that will enable me to make art a viable career. No doubt, it's good to feel pride in what you make and your abilities, but that is not the sole purpose.

Granted, I haven't read the whole book. Not that I plan to. It's unlikely I'll be able to make myself read more than I already have. Tomorrow, we'll hear the rest of the presentations and I'll know, basically, what the rest of the book is about.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the book becomes brilliant in the second half. Maybe McNiff is like an artist's prophet. *shrug* Maybe.

Our teacher also revealed to us yesterday that McNiff's approach to art will, from now on, outline how art is taught at our University. Thus, we see my conversion from the Fine Arts Department to the Illustration Department completed. Nail in the coffin, if you will.

It's all begun to feel so pointless.

02 December 2010

maybe I should Be A writer...

In Drawing III we're required to do a group presentation on a book: Trust the Process - An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff. I've tried reading the book several times but I either get frustrated with the author or I fall asleep. Luckily, I only have to present on one section of one chapter.

Here are some of my issues with this book:
McNiff boasts of being involved in all forms of art: writing, painting, drawing, music, dance and probably some other obscure ones that he made up. His love of art does not come from technical skill or craftsmanship, though. His art seems to depend more on the "spirit of creativity" or how it feels to create. It's about the spiritual and intellectual connection we make with ourselves and our world through creating.

Okay, fine. There are some artists out there who think this way. To a certain extent, I agree with them. Creation seems to be an innate part of human nature. Music, visual arts, and dance are all used in therapies for healing or meditation.

His book isn't about the nature of creation, though. It's about his own personal philosophies concerning art and creativity. As interesting as his concepts may be, it's hardly a "guide" to making me a better artist.

McNiff's very fond of using arbitrary phrases that mean nothing unless you can read his mind. Like the "spirit of creativity." What is that? He talks about it like it's a living entity that talks to him. We have medications for that. And this sentence: "...or can I step in and out of different ways of being the world?" What does that sentence even mean? There's only one way to "be in the world" - being alive! Is he referring to the different roles or stereotypes we may play in society? Is he talking about a mental state - a change of attitude that changes our perception of the world? Be specific. That's a #1 rule in writing: make sure your audience understands exactly what you mean. That's the purpose of writing a book, isn't it? To get an idea across to other people. If you're vague in your language, your idea will be lost, and then it's just a giant waste of paper.

Speaking of audience, at one point (page 58, if you really want to know) McNiff writes:
If you have no experience in the arts, you are ripe for every possible opportunity. What aspects of your life seem most antithetical to art? These areas may be most amenable to transformation because their creative potential has been obscured.
Reflect upon people in your life that you and others saw as "creative." Did you view them according to stereotypic standards of creativity? Who are the people in your life that no one saw as creative? Can you apply another standard of creation to their lives and change your impression of them? Look at your own life and see if you can detect the creative spirit in your prosaic ways."
First of all, do you see why I keep falling asleep? The language he uses is pretentious and cloudy. Rather than clarifying, which is what expanded vocabularies usually do for the reader, he's consistently vague. (and if it isn't vague to you, then I'm happy for you. But honestly, there's got to be a way of saying "now's the time to change your opinion of what "creative" means" without sounding so stuck on yourself)
Secondly: he needs to decide who his audience is and then address them exclusively. He was talking to artists and then out of nowhere he pops these two paragraphs out to talk to the non-artists. He's written An Artist's Guide, so why would a non-artist be reading this book? If I were someone with "no experience in the arts," then this book is the last one I would venture to read because the title specifically states that it is for artists.
He still could have kept these two paragraphs in the book, they just need to be readdressed. Example: "Even someone who has no experience in the arts could be ripe for every possible opportunity. Think of aspects in your own life that are antithetical to art: these area may be most....blah blah blah." Now, McNiff, you're saying the same thing, while still talking to your audience.

Ta. Da.

Get an effing editor.

Moreover, I disagree with some fundamental theories in his philosophy. I think this is where most of our issues begin, McNiff and I, because he seems to assume that everyone will see his theories as true. Because of this assumption, he keeps making blanket statements without making effort to defend them or to persuade his audience. It comes across as arrogant and pretentious. None of his statements, thus far, have been universal truths (even though he persists in portraying them as such), nor in fact are they even cultural or societal truths. It's individual, but he seems to have convinced himself that after spending 50 years in art, he knows how everyone perceives and interacts with "the spirit of creativity."

See? Arrogant.

I liked his prologue: License to Create. That was great stuff. Since then, I haven't read anything but pseudo-philosophic drivel.

This, of course, is not what I'm going to say during my presentation (as much as I'd love to). I'll underline anything he says that I can agree with (a sentence here, a thought there) and then expand on those for 3-4 minutes.
See? Easy as pie. And then my instructor, who worships this book like a second Bible, will never know that I plan on stuffing it in a trash compactor as soon as the semester ends.

01 December 2010

death By aromatics

I'm not gonna lie, I don't feel great today. It started about 4:00 a.m. last night/this morning. I remember going to roll over and being struck with the overwhelming urge to vomit.

I kept it down, but I moved with a lot more caution the rest of the night.

I didn't have breakfast. I can't finish my lunch. Plus, Blockhead just microwaved something nasty and the smell of it is wafting throughout the office. It's something like epoxy glue combined with dog mess. And he's eating it. Blegh. I'm not going to ask him what it is; I don't want to know.

I'm not sure why, but he'll only microwave it for two minutes at a time. The first three times I thought it was part of the cooking directions, but eight times?? Dude, just put it in there for 16 straight minutes. The microwave can handle it. I promise.

I just want him to hurry up and eat whatever-it-is so I don't have to smell it anymore.

Oh the queasy ache... Blegh. I've got to focus my energy on not losing my lunch.

Gawsh, I hate getting sick.

29 November 2010

Hindsight being What It is

I have a class in a few hours that I've sloughed (sluffed?) so many times the last two weeks that I almost forget it's part of my schedule.

For the last couple of weeks in this class we've been working on a project that I could do just as easily at home. I've known the parameters of the project for a while now; there's no reason to be in the classroom working on it, as long as I'm working on it somewhere. Besides, it's easier to leave all the supplies at home rather than carry them to and from the school 2-3 times a week.

Not to mention, I was coming very close to having an emotional breakdown pre-Thanksgiving Break. Something had to give. This class happened to be it.

In retrospect, it would have been wise to have explained all of this to my instructor. Instead, I just didn't show up for class.


By the way, Blockhead thinks my new haircut is "very well stylish."

English is your first language, right?

21 November 2010

more Pointlessness...Ness...

I've been drawing Alice in Wonderland, lately. I don't know why.
Not really Lewis Carrol's Alice, though. (oh that I were a noble purist) More like Tim Burton's Alice. (not that Alice belongs to Tim Burton, but it's got that Burton-esque macabre feeling to it) Although, if you squint, it looks more like Eleanor and Harvest. (click the super-subtle link to find out who I'm talking about)

Usually my cartoons are round, squishy, and way too adorable to be taken seriously. I'm not sure where these rough, angular images are coming from. I welcome them, though. They're intriguing and offer unexplored territory.


And just think! When (if) I get the scanner I want for Christmas, I could share these newly creepified cartoons with you!

Makes you want to chip in and buy me a scanner, doesn't it?


Yeah. No. I know. But it was worth a shot.

19 November 2010

In reply

How about we stop defining ourselves by what we are not doing. And not even what we are doing because, in my case, I lay in my bed like a veal or a sedentary yam. But just think about all the work you guys are producing, even though you are behind. Would you do it unless you were forced to? Maybe that is why you need to take a writing class, Kenna. It would force you to produce the work that you are capable of producing. Nag, nag, nag. We all need sleep or (and?) to do something so intensely amazing that school won't seem that important.

Let me know what that is.

(I took the liberty of editing this quote. If I've inadvertently changed the intended meaning, Word Diva, please let me know.)

This was a comment on a previous post. It took some time to process. While thinking about it, I realized I wanted to write it out. Writing allows me to better understand the thoughts ricocheting inside my skull.

(writing also allows me to come up with awesome new phrases like "ricocheting inside my skull" as opposed to my original line: "bouncing around off the walls of that place where thoughts bounce around in...off...in." Meh.)

Defining myself outside of what I'm doing/not doing/accomplishing/failing at miserably: it's been a long time.
College has conditioned me to gauge my self-value according to a formula of the quantity and the quality of work produced, divided by deadlines. I vaguely remember a time when this wasn't the case, when self-worth was based on your decency as a human being...it was so long ago...as if in a dream...

I am producing more work this semester than I have in a really long time, and I feel pretty good about that. The quality of the work is not where I'd like it to be, but it definitely shows progress. I'm glad I'm being forced to do this because there's no way I could pump it out of myself without some external pressure.

I need to find the balance between harnessing that external pressure towards self-improvement and self-destruction. And finding time to take care of my physical needs (i.e. sleep).

As for doing something "intensely amazing"... Believe it or not, school used to be my "intensely amazing" undertaking. It was important. The things I was learning were invigorating and cultivated an appreciation within me for the world we live in, for its history and variety, and it made me want to learn more. I miss studying important things: science, math, philosophy. But, inevitably, I burnt out.
Now I'm focused on learning a skill that I'd like to have but realize I will probably never really be very good at.

That was a long sentence. I regret nothing.

I'm so close to burning out. I'm close to graduation. Almost done, either way.

Right now the thing, the "intensely amazing" thing, that makes school seem unimportant is a single thought: surviving. I want to make rent. I want to keep eating. I want to not have another Chronic Fatigue relapse before December.

Ah, and there you have the heart of it. Under the sarcasm and flippant remarks lies the true drive behind the panic, the stress. The fear that I will crumble apart again.

If you meant "we all need sleep OR to do something so intensely amazing..." then I choose sleep. End of argument. Hands down. Period. Sleep will always win. Always.
If you meant "we all need sleep AND to do something so intensely amazing..." then I have some small hope.

I'll keep looking for some colossal, momentous dream that will overshadow the importance of school, and I'll let you know what it is once I get out of Survival-Mode. Truly, I will. Just hang tight.

As for writing... Truth be told, I wouldn't mind improving my writing skills. A class might be a good idea. But I've never seen myself as a writer. I'm not sure I really want to be "a writer." I like reading, but I've never read a book and thought, "Wow! That's kind of stuff I want to write!" No. I just genuinely appreciate the work. Besides that, I don't know that I have anything important to say - no desperately urgent story or message, clawing to get out, to be shared with the world. Things that I want to say are said here, on this blog, and that's sufficient for me. For the time being.

I'm not sure this post came even close to addressing the questions raised in the original comment. I answered some personal questions, but those were undoubtedly different from what was originally intended. I've read and re-read this a hundred times and I still can't determine if it even makes sense. Too much? Too heavy? Too off-topic?
I have no idea.
I feel inexplicably satisfied, though. I guess that means it's time to click "Publish Post."

Here goes.

15 November 2010

can I Nap now? How about Now?

It's been a rough semester. It's not just me; it's been a tough couple of months for a lot of people I know. Mostly classmates in the art department.

Nervous breakdowns, emotional trauma, and depression abound in the illustration program. We all started out so happy, so optimistic, so...shiny. Ten weeks later, the school has beaten all of that out of us.
Some of us are still shiny.
Everyone else is dazed, depressed, or in denial.

(I, myself, personally, have decided that I prefer denial over the other two options, so that's where I'm currently residing)

I just need to make it through this week and then it's Thanksgiving Break. After that, it's a short sprint to Christmas and the end of the semester.

I can do this. I can do this. I'm so tired. I can do this.

14 November 2010

the Weekend slips away

My husband took me Bouldering yesterday. It's like Rock Climbing but you don't need any equipment. Just special shoes and a lot more physical strength than I currently possess.

My back and shoulder muscles are nice and sore and my forearms still feel tight. It's a good feeling. What's not a good feeling is my ankle: I fell off the wall at one point (not an unusual occurrence in that room) and landed "wrong." It didn't swell or anything, and I was able to climb a few more times on it without discomfort, as well as walk around for a few hours afterward. But then the swelling hit. And the pain.

So I've been on crutches since then.

Limping around my apartment this morning. I can tell I'm still not thinking clearly (last week left me pretty fuzzy) and I don't physically feel well. It's more than the ankle - I feel raw, tired, and malnourished. Last week was not kind to me.

My life can be summed up in three words: Cleaning versus Homework. It's usually one or the other, rarely can I have both. I always feel like I make the wrong choice, regardless of which I choose. And I'm never able to do enough. Why even bother?

The regret of poor choices, and the guilt of not choosing at all, threaten to overwhelm me. I think I'll go back to bed. Maybe in an hour or two I'll be more equipped to handle life.

09 November 2010

it's Not Funny unless There's A kernel Of Truth in It

There's a large calendar on the desk in the office where I work. Blockhead draws on it when he's on his shift.

His cartoons are actually not half bad. They follow a storyline you might expect from a ten year old and, in fact, look like they could've been drawn by a ten year old, but that's not to say they're bad. I've known some pretty clever ten year olds in my day. His cartoons possess some small level of genuine wit. (i know. i was surprised, too.)

I was reading his captions and I came across something interesting. He spelled "having" correctly and "Thanksgiving" correctly, but the way he spelled "cutting" gave me reason to pause: "cutin."

I kid you not. "Cutin." Remember how I said that I wouldn't be surprised if he spelled his words without the "g" in "ing" verbs? Yeah. I was kidding. Being facetious. Exaggerating. Being my usual self.

(please make a note of that if you have not already: most of my posts, and especially posts about Blockhead, are based on fact, but have been greatly exaggerated in order to make them funnier. that's the purpose of the Blockhead Chronicles - to be funny. when you stop laughing, you're dead.)

I had no idea I was so close to the truth behind Blockhead's disregard for the letter "g." I think I'm going to start over-emphasizing my "ing"s when he's around. Mostly to be obnoxious, but also out of burning curiosity as to whether or not it would make a difference in his speech patterns.

05 November 2010

the work Is Not hard, so I Guess something has To Make my Workday difficult

Blockhead was at my desk yesterday.


Our supervisor wasn't here so he insisted that I cover her desk and he would keep mine. [big fat heavy sigh] Fine. I'm sure everyone in this office would prefer it if I, instead of Blockhead, sat at the front desk anyway. So, fine. Not only was our supervisor gone, but all of the professors were out of the office as well. Just me and Blockhead. Oh boy.

Now you have the setting. Grant me a moment more to explain the telephone system, and we'll launch into our story. The phones here are pretty interesting.

Oh, how to explain this as succinctly as possible?

Okay: my supervisor's phone, the one at the desk I was sitting at, will heretofore be known as My Phone (you can imagine this phone as being red, if it helps you visualize). The phone at the other desk, which is usually my desk, the desk that Blockhead was occupying yesterday, will be known as Blockhead's Phone (or the yellow phone).

Still with me? Remember to visualize. Are you visualizing?
(the colors don't really matter, I'm just trying to waste your brain space)

When calls are placed to My Phone, they are first routed through Blockhead's Phone. A pointless procedure but that's how they do it. It will ring once on Blockhead's Phone and then forward the call to My Phone, and then I can answer the call. If calls are placed directly to Blockhead's phone, the ringtone is very different.

That's how you know whether to answer it or let it go through to the other phone. You listen for the different ringtones.

Regardless of the ring, Blockhead tries to answer the phone every time.

Ready for the story? Okay.

Yesterday, a call was placed to My Phone. In accordance with the system I've just explained to you, the first ring was on Blockhead's Phone. Blockhead apparently lacks the psychic ability to listen for the ringtone, and so apparently thought the call was for him.

He tried to answer it. He got dead air because it was already on the second ring. In his desperate confusion, he pressed a button to retrieve the call from My Phone so he could answer it. (clearly this was not thought through, because if this tactic had worked he would have answered, then the caller would have asked for our supervisor (because that's who they called in the first place!) and not knowing what to do, he then would have transferred the call back to me anyway. pointless. pointless. pointless.) Unbeknownst to Blockhead, I had already picked up the receiver to answer the call.

Somewhere between me answering the phone and Blockhead pressing buttons that he doesn't understand, the call was lost.

Good job, Blockhead.

The caller tried again. Blockhead got all kinds of flustered. "It's ringin' again! It's ringin' again!"

Dude, I know. Calm down.

"Now it's on your phone! Your phone is ringin'! Your phone is ringin' NOW!"

Oh my gosh, we are not seriously doing this. You are a grown man. Calm down.

I answered the phone. Blockhead was watching me from the other desk, wide-eyed and nervous. He had apparently worked up quite a sweat.

It was one of the professors we work with who happened to be out of the office at that moment. "What did you hang up on me for?"

Thank you, Blockhead. Thank you for, once again, ensuring that I would be the only witness to your abounding incompetence.

04 November 2010

I swear I'm Not writing about You...unless I Am....

I keep trying to read the blog of a(n almost) family member/friend/acquaintance/anonymous person that I know and you don't, and I really should stop.
I end up getting nervous twitches by the end of three posts:

"That apostrophe is in the wrong place...that's the wrong "you're/your"...that's the wrong "there/their/they're"...oh my gosh, why aren't any of these capitalized??"

I cannot focus on any of the content when being bombarded with these and similar thoughts every five seconds.

I know, I know. I'm a snob. I need to get a grip.
And I agree with you.

I don't think I'm completely unjustified in being aggravated by this.

Consider: when you're writing something, a text message or email or blog post, you cannot rely on body language, voice inflection or facial expression the way we instinctively do in person-to-person conversation. The words you put on the page are all we have to decipher your meaning.

With the aid of body language and voice inflection, the person you're talking to does not rely solely on the words being spoken to understand your full meaning. A person could say a redundant and empty statement, "Like, you know?" and depending on the inflection, hand gestures or exaggerated posture it is coupled with, those three words could mean completely different things.

You don't have that advantage when writing. The black and white text (er...or cream and red, in this instance...) is all the reader has with which to judge your intended meaning. You have to write out what would otherwise be implied. What and how you choose to write tells a lot more about you than you may realize.

If the words "you're" and "your" are misused once or twice, it's not a big deal. No one's perfect and it's easy to get them backwards when you're typing quickly. But when I see them consistently and constantly misused by an author, I infer that I'm either reading something written by a child who hasn't learned the difference yet, or an extremely ignorant adult.

If you are an ignorant adult, you probably can't help but portray yourself as such. If you had the skills to come across as intellectual, you wouldn't be ignorant.
But if you are not ignorant and your writing implies that you are, start paying attention to what you're writing! This isn't about knowing all the grammar rules of English; it's about presenting yourself.

That's my real argument. That's what I'm trying to get to. Writing is not just ranting, it's a way of presenting yourself. You will be judged, not necessarily by your writing skills, but by your thoughtfulness in crafting a written message.

I don't think you can write something and post it/publish it/send it without at least reading over it once or twice. At least. If you don't give a thought to what you're writing then you end up with an over-abundance of smiley emoticons [ :) ] and the word "like" and not nearly enough periods. People read that and think you're an idiot. And you're probably not an idiot, but you write like one, so how are we to know otherwise?

...I'm reading over this and thinking to myself, "This sounds like the rantings of an obsessive perfectionist. Maybe no one else cares about this. Maybe no one else reads crap like
"it was so great :) oh my gosh I can't even tell you :) and it just made my day :) :) :) :) !!!!!1"
and thinks that it's stupid."

You think it's stupid, too, right?
If you've never thought about this, then now is your time to start.
If you're as frustrated with idiot-writers as I am, then would you be interested in starting an anti-idiot-writers facebook group with me? C'mon, :) it'll be super-fun!!!1! :D :D :D !!!!!!!!!

02 November 2010

We've all Got Something we're good At

I stayed home from work and school today. I was hoping that if I stayed home, rested, took care of myself, I'd be able to beat this weird getting-sick-thing before it got too ugly.

I think it helped. Until about an hour ago when my throat started hurting again.

I'm not very good at the whole "not getting sick" routine. I'm much better at succumbing to illness.

Maybe I'll just stick to what I'm good at.

01 November 2010

shoulda Sluffed To take A nap

I get sick about once a semester, usually around midterms and sometimes again right after finals. It's one of those circle-of-life kinds of things.

Except for this semester. Oh sure, I've had a couple of days where I didn't feel 100%, but I haven't been sick enough to need pharmacy drugs or anything like that. I'm pretty stoked about it. I keep bragging about it to people. This semester could set a new record for me.

...until today.

(cue the horrified scream of anguish)

About halfway through the day, I felt it. Fleeting headache, slight soreness in the throat, and a discernible drain of energy.

Have you ever felt that? It's like Superman getting too close to a fleck of kryptonite. Strength levels drop and it takes a few moments to build them up again. There's a sudden hollow feeling in the stomach. The lungs deflate and struggle to let air in again for a split second.

And that's when you know.

It's coming.

Alright, so maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive to every little change my body goes through as a result of my extreme paranoia of getting sick. Maybe not everyone feels this way when they've caught a bug. But I think we're all familiar enough with our bodies to know when something is not right. Everyone knows (or should know) their own body's signals when a cold or a flu is coming on.

And today, my body gave me the signal.

I'm not actually sick (yet). There's still time to ward this thing off (probably).

I wonder if I can just put it off until the Thanksgiving Break? That's only...3 1/2 weeks away...*gulp*

30 October 2010

His name Is robert

He is The-man-I-almost-married.

Let me tell you a story:

Well over a year ago, I went to a service project with my friend Jenny. It was a Saturday morning and there was the promise of free breakfast if we cleaned a day care center with about 20 other young adults.

Jenny was a little bit obsessed with marriage. It's Utah Valley. You get people like that here.

During this service project, she told me that we were going to find my future husband that day. She immediately began scoping out prospects. She narrowed in on a fairly attractive young man - dark hair, strong jaw, kind eyes with a hidden laugh - and started scheming. She even managed to get us to speak to each other during the cleaning spree.

I asked him for the vacuum cleaner when he was done with it. He misheard me and showed up without the vacuum. I asked him to go back and get it.

Oh, I was such a flirt, I know.

Afterwards we all signed a huge poster with a description of how we contributed to the cleaning project next to our names. After he signed, Jenny inconspicuously sauntered over to see what his name was. That's how I know his name is Robert.

He misspelled "vacuum" and "cupboards."

I wasn't sure if I was comfortable with letting good looks outweigh a somewhat troubling spelling defect. ("cupboard" is a compound word - how do you not know that? that's third grade, man. how did that not make a lasting impression on your young and malleable brain?)

The plan was to find a way to get Robert and I together, even though we had barely spoken to one another and we had no way of contacting him. We didn't even have enough information about him to tentatively facebook-stalk him.

I decided to leave it to Jenny. I had other things to think about that night.

That night was my first date with My-now-husband.

So in a way, Jenny was right. I met my Mr. Right that day...just not at the service project.

I rarely see Robert now and we've never spoken since that day. I happened to see him today. He was singing in a choir (really amazing, beautiful choir. I got goosebumps. they sounded gorgeous) and I realized how bizarre it would be if he knew that I still think of him as The-man-I-almost-married.

That title is not even close to being accurate. We were nowhere close to being married. He has no idea what my name is or that my friend had developed an elaborate romantic scheme around him.
But the title makes me chuckle. The memory is more about Jenny, really, than it ever was about Robert.

It made me wonder, though, how many of us attach memories and stories to people who don't know us?
It's nearly unsettling when you think about all the unreciprocated thoughts bouncing between anonymous people in a crowd.
We don't really know each other at all. We know quite a bit more than we let on.

23 October 2010

Pleasantly surprising Bliss

Tell me you are just as in love with this song as I am:

Jason Feddy : Connected

I can't get enough of this song. His voice, his accent, his lyrics...I'm so love. How have I never heard of Jason Feddy before today?

The link will take you to youtube, but don't bother watching the video. It's just one of those slideshows that play over and over (except there are only two photos...), but it was the best version of the song I could find.


22 October 2010

have I Already used This title?

I'm going to watch corny black-and-white Halloween movies with my husband and his brother tonight. It's going to be great. We're going to mock them and laugh and eat candy and laugh followed by more mocking and more laughter...well, I think you get the point. It promises to be a night full of sarcasm, sugar, and laughter.

(at least, that's what I'm hoping for. reality so rarely conforms to my expectations - even if reality only closely mimics my expectations for tonight, I'll be satisfied.)

Due to some work schedule conflicts and a backwards sleep cycle, we will be starting our corny marathon at about 12:00.



What? This doesn't strike you as a good idea?

Yeah, me neither. But it's a weekend - worst case scenario: I sleep all day tomorrow. Big deal. I didn't have much else scheduled for tomorrow anyway.

Except for a monkey-boatload of homework that I was supposed to do tonight but it's taking longer than expected and I might not be able to finish by the due date next week but I'M TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT'S THE WEEKEND AND I NEED TO RELAX!!

Breathe. Breathe.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to paint like a crazy woman for the next two hours until the party arrives.

You have a great night.

And Happy Halloween.


21 October 2010

mystery Solved

My blog had 29 views yesterday. I was pretty excited when I saw this (cuz my average floats somewhere around one view per day to about zero views per day...yeah) until I realized that all 29 of them were me.


I went through the blog last night, reading all of my random posts from the last year. It was a lot like reading through a journal, except it was quicker and infinitely more amusing.

I don't know if you know this, but I'm kinda funny. I made myself laugh right out loud with this post. True story.

"Inner-debate"...heh heh...

Too bad I'm not that funny all the time. I wonder if I'm still that funny at all.

My sense of humor feels malnourished. Perhaps apathy is to blame. Perhaps my semi-perfectionist nature is to blame. Perhaps school is to blame.

Or maybe it's skinny people.

Yes, I'm sure I'm not funny anymore because of skinny people.

In other news, I wish I spoke with more eloquence.

Words I Think I Should Use More:
  • "immaculate"
  • "tomfoolery"
  • "prolific"
  • "innocuous"
  • "rue"

I will try to use all five, out loud and in conversation, before the day is out.

Oh I'm a dork.

New favorite student quote of the semester: "Eek! I lost my ear!"

20 October 2010

feel Free To skip this Post

I haven't felt well for the past couple of days. I'm not sure what the problem is. It's mostly my stomach, some nausea, but it's not a bug or virus...I won't go into too many details because it's
personal. Very personal. Moving on...
(at least it's not "morning sickness")

I've also felt depressed. Am I depressed because I don't physically feel well, or do I not physically feel well because I'm depressed?

Does it matter?

I'm bitter towards skinny people.
How dare you make me feel guilty for snarfing an entire bag of chocolate covered peanuts in one sitting. Don't you judge me!
I'll just stare at them until they feel guilty for not eating more than one stale cracker within the last three days.

Stupid skinny people.

Today is the one-year mark of this blog. I really didn't think anyone would be interested in reading my pointless ramble, yet here we are, a year later, with 7 followers. (that sounded so occult-ish, didn't it? "followers") That means there are 3 people who actually read the blog. How exciting!

Blogger's HTML is being temperamental again. Baffling. There's no logical reason for it to behave this way.

What am I writing about? It's so aimless and spasmodic. Kind of like my entire Wednesday has been. (penguins!) A lot like my whole week has been.

What were we saying?

My thoughts no longer make sense. (did they ever?) I'm going to get myself some soup, curl up in bed with a good book (The Book Thief, if you haven't read it, then you need to. there's no other book quite like it) and actively give no thought to school, homework, or today's caloric intake.

14 October 2010

second Thoughts...we All Have 'em

I'm good at math. I really am. Not a lot of people are, so I do take some pride in the fact.

I think I could be good at science. I got the highest marks of my classes on most, if not all, of my tests in Biology, Astronomy, and Chemistry. Intro classes, sure, but a lot of it made sense and I enjoyed studying those subjects.

I could've qualified for grants and scholarships as a woman in a predominantly male field of either math or science, or both.

Instead I'm in my kitchen at 11:00 at night trying to stick leaves to a giant piece of paper with rubber cement.

Did you catch that? Leaves - as in, from various trees around town. On a giant piece of paper - the thing takes up my whole kitchen table. Rubber cement - 'nuff said.

Am I crazy??

I think I must be. A little.

People say I'm a good artist. A classmate once said he was actually jealous of me. Apparently "everything" I "create comes out amazing." That's nice.


But there are times when I honestly wonder if I'm wasting myself (and the government's money) by studying this stuff. Oh sure, I love what I do, but it's not going to cure cancer. I'm not even making any bold political statements.

I'm just sticking leaves to a giant piece of paper with rubber cement.

It's a little late in the game to change my major but...

...holy crap, what am I doing??

I Really am wearing A goofy Hat

I've got all my supplies out on the table. The paper is ready to go. I've got music and a goofy hat on. I'm ready to create.

Except the neighbors downstairs left their radio on. Normally I don't mind, but it's super loud. My floor is vibrating. This is much louder than they usually play their music. And I know they're not home because I saw them walking out and we exchanged "good mornings."

It sounds like some kind of rock 'n' roll. Harder stuff than I usually like. (I prefer bands like, you know, Nickel Creek, so you can imagine why I'm maybe not handling it as well as others might) I'll just have to turn my music up and hope I can drown it out, though I will probably only succeed in driving myself into the frenzied confusion of syncopated rhythms and contradicting instrumentals, which can only result in frustrated dissatisfaction and a headache.

I'm a little bit particular about my music. A music-prude of sorts. Especially the lyrics. If your lyrics are shallow or overly repetitive or just plain stupid, your song has no place on my radio. How can you listen to music and not listen to the words, what the artist is saying, the whole purpose of the song?? I can't do it.

That paragraph had nothing to do with anything. Sorry.

I'm hungry. I've still got some blueberries. I'm gonna make myself some pancakes!


13 October 2010

please learn The Difference between "Breath" and "Breathe" please

Fall Break starts tomorrow but that just wasn't soon enough, apparently.

I went to bed last night feeling pretty [blegh] and didn't feel too much better when I woke up. I think I'm getting the flu. [blegh]

So I've just stayed home all day, not feeling great but not feeling terrible, waiting to magically feel better. Okay, I haven't been home all day: husband and I ran some errands in the morning. I bought some bad ice cream ("caramel cheesecake" sounds amazing, right?  well it's not. save yourself $2.99 and avoid ice cream altogether). I put some gesso on paper so I can draw all over it tomorrow. And...and...then I ate some soup.

Oh yeah, this Fall Break is getting off to a great start.

I've got a list of things I could be doing, things I'd like to be getting done, but I'm choosing to ignore the To-Do list right now. I'm going to go play my Gamecube for no significant reason other than it's been feeling a bit neglected lately.

I wish I wrote about things that are important on this blog. Mostly I'm just vague. (which makes the blog relatable? meh?) I could write about my elephant (see previous post. and no, I'm not going to bother putting a link to the post here, just scroll to the bottom of the page and do it yourself) (I'm sorry, that was rude. In my defense, I'm probably getting sick) The only problem with the elephant is that it's somewhat controversial. And I've tried pretty hard to keep this blog neutral.

Wish I could say I have a good reason for keeping it neutral, but there is none. I'm a coward that wants to get along with everyone, so I refrain from saying anything that would cause others to disagree with me.

Plus I'm lazy. If you offend people, you need to stay on your toes to fend them off. You have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for long, futile debates.

I'd rather nap.

Or draw.

Or play stupid games on my Gamecube.

Mostly I'm a coward, though. In the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald in This Side of Paradise, "I'm so spineless, sometimes I wonder how I get away with it."
I wish I could remember which character said it...I think it was Tom to Amory.

Take care of yourselves.

11 October 2010

avoiding The elephant

There's an elephant in my room.

Not really just in my room. It follows me around wherever I go. It serves as a constant reminder of a giant issue that needs to be faced.

I'm not ready to face it.

I don't have enough information. I don't have enough first-hand experience. I don't have enough time. I don't have enough courage.

It keeps staring at me; I can see it in my peripheral view. I'm trying to ignore it so I can get things done. (I have so very much to do) I should talk about this elephant with someone.

People are very kind to me for also pretending that the elephant isn't there. I am most grateful to them for not bringing it up.

Or maybe they don't see it. Maybe they've ignored it for so long that it's become part of the furniture.

I don't want that to happen. This elephant needs to be considered and confronted.

And besides...

...I can't keep sidling around it. It's getting too cluttered in here for that.

But I'm not ready to face it.

05 October 2010

this Is, Apparently, how I Spend my time

This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.

Especially Pete's sirloin steak side-kick named Larry.

"You...are invincible." (jedi hand-wave)

Very strange. But pretty brilliant (and humorous and entertaining) in a way that I think some of my readers (A. Twirl, I'm thinking of you specifically. Tell me if I'm wrong) will appreciate.

So if you have 6 minutes to kill, have a look:

Salesman Pete and the Amazing Stone from Outer Space!

Enjoy and have a sunshine day!

04 October 2010

I'm just So Proud of Myself For Knowing what "paroxysm" Means

I'm still laughing at that last post, by the way. ("stockholm syndrome"...brilliant!!)

This afternoon, I was walking out of Pilates and thinking about how I've got to go buy matte board at the bookstore, tote it back to the library to get it cut, and what were the dimensions of the windows again?...And then I noticed something strange.

The general murmur of the crowded halls had changed, almost imperceptibly, from the highs and lows of many conversations to the collective hum of a single topic. People were stopping and staring, some were smirking, others were annoyed...what was going on?

As I neared the exit doors, I saw them: Several students, hurrying inside, completely drenched. I mean, really  really soaked. The kind of soaked that happens when you are sprayed down with a garden hose, or thrown into a swimming pool. Hair was dripping and curling, clothes were sopping puddles all over the floor.
Victims of the rain reacted differently - some with humor, some with disdain - but it was clear from the lack of jackets and looks of surprise that it had come out of nowhere.

A surprise downpour. A paroxysm of Nature.

A crowd was gathering around the exit doors, staring in dismal disbelief at the buckets of water dumping out of the sky, reluctance to go out into the soggy mess was written on every face. And thus my plans to buy matte board were quickly dashed, for there was no way to transport them from one place to the other without taking them into the rain, which they would surely not survive.

Alright, so no matte boards. I still had to venture out into the rain if I wanted to get to work on time, though.

So I went out in the rain. I wasn't as drenched as certain others because it was already petering out, but I still got pretty wet. My hair got fairly curly. The cuff of my pants picked up water from small rivers rushing through dips and crevices of the pavement. I adopted the same grim expression of my fellow students as we braved the paroxysm together.

Looking back on it now, though, I'm sad it's over. I should have relished the rain while it was there. I should have taken time to appreciate it. I should have opened my arms to the sky to revel in the rebellion of the heavens.

I live in a desert. I'm not overly excited about that fact. I miss the rain when it's gone. I miss moisture. I miss the sounds of thunder and the thrill of lightening. Thunder feels good to hear. Not to my ears; to my ears it's just another noise. I'm talking about the sensation thunder creates in my soul. The visual stimulus of lightening does the same thing. It's comforting and thrilling and beautiful in a way I could never hope to describe - either visually or in words - but can only relish for myself.

Now that I'm in the office, warm and dry and bored, I find myself yearning to be back outside to stand in the midst of one of earth's marvels:


30 September 2010

in completely Unrelated news...

I learned to whistle this morning.

I was in my car when it happened. I can't really describe how or why it started, but I ended up whistling the whole way to school. I've never been able to whistle in my life. Even after practicing this morning, I'm not very good at it. I was able to consistently hit three notes and that was about it. I couldn't even make the tune to "Jingle Bells." But it made for a fun commute, even if I did look like an idiot to the other drivers.

The hermit Within Me emerges Again

I've got a busy day ahead of me. At 11:30 I've got two 3-hour classes back-to-back, then I have to sprint across campus to get to a lecture and right after that I've got to sprint back to the original side of campus to get my car (second sprint is all up-hill. not really looking forward to that) and then drive to another campus to hear another lecture (which lecture I'm actually looking forward to - I'm not complaining about the lecture as much as the sprinting). I'll probably get out of that between 8 - 8:30, at which point I'll go home and break out my homework assignments.

Busy, busy day.

But right now I'm sitting at work, in a nearly-empty office, with nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs (and blog). I would work on certain assignments, like the 200 page sketchbook I need to fill up by December, but every time I bring that sketchbook out at work I get swarmed. Random people come out of the woodworks to gawk at the pages and make weird elementary-school suggestions ("you should draw him doing this..." "have you tried drawing a ____?" "can you draw a ______?") which makes me tense and irritable and kills the creative juices.

Please leave me alone so I can draw. You leave me alone when I blog. Drawing should not be any different.

The craziest part is that, even though no one is in the office right now, I just know that as soon as I open up my sketchbook everyone will swarm in at once, gather around my desk, and hover over my shoulders and point fingers at my drawings. There is literally no one in the office right now. Completely empty. Just me in here. Doing nothing. But the moment I try to do anything productive, people are going to show up out of nowhere and pester me.

I know this because it has happened. More than once. It keeps happening.

I would love to draw here. I have hours and hours on my hands, sitting at a desk with nothing to do but occasional grading or data-input, that I could use to do some much-needed catching up in my classes. But I've come to hate drawing here because it attracts too much attention.

Yesterday afternoon, for example: I was brainstorming ideas when a teacher sees what I'm doing and starts giving his input. I was patient and everything, but in my head I'm thinking, Look, no offense, but your ideas are not helping me at all because I've already brainstormed through them. These ideas are cliche and predictable and we all have them until we brainstorm through and past them. And I've already done that part. As much as you think you're helping, you're really just slowing me down. The worst part was when Blockhead overheard the conversation and decided to jump in. So of course he shoves his way right into my personal space, leans over my desk, puts his nose in my sketchbook and starts asking stupid questions, "Whatchya doin? Whatchya assignment? Have you tried this? This? I think you should do this!"

I couldn't get a word in edgewise. I just sat and stared at them while they both pummeled me with ideas that I had already had, drawn, and scrapped. It was a little overwhelming and quite frustrating.

After a while I realized that it was no longer about me at all. They were enjoying the creative challenge and throwing out ideas, building off each other's suggestions, and really working the right-brain.
And that's great.
I encourage that. I embrace that. As an artist, I believe in the importance of that.

Just do it somewhere else.

27 September 2010

ah, The guilt

I've been comparing Blockhead to my brother-in-law.

Important note: I like my brother-in-law. He's odd, quirky, and hard to understand sometimes. But I understand the reason for this, so I can let abnormalities slide. He's a good guy.

Now, back to the comparisons:
  • Never tells a lie. It doesn't even cross their minds to ever tell a lie. It doesn't enter into their scheme of logic to ever tell any kind of falsehood. Honest to a fault.
  • No understanding of personal boundaries. My brother-in-law has worked on this over the years and rarely, if ever, butts into your personal space. No one seems to have pointed this out to Blockhead, though, and he bursts into my bubble all the time.
  • Very little comprehension of humor. Blockhead asked me to explain a joke, a particularly wry joke, and he never did get it. He told me a joke once, a lame and corny joke, and when I didn't laugh he proceeded to explain it to me. Really sad, really painful situation for both of us. Well, mostly just for me.
  • Clear desire to take part in conversations with equally clear misunderstanding of what appropriate conversation topics might be. As much as I would love to expound on this particular point, it'd probably be best if we just left it alone...
  • Unable to quite grasp the finer points of smooth communication with other people. They invariably end up saying something related to the topic, but too off-topic to make any sense in the context of your discussion. Or they'll miss their cue to stop talking, and will chatter on and on with no way of stopping them.
For the longest time I've labored under the belief that Blockhead was nothing more than that: a blockhead. Pure and simple idiot, sent to make my workdays difficult. But after talking about him with my Mother-in-law, I began to see that these similarities are more than just coincidence.

I think Blockhead has Asperger's Syndrome. He clearly hasn't had the chance to learn the skills that my brother-in-law has, so I didn't catch on right away. Looking at it now, I'm sure it's Asperger's.

Not gonna lie: I feel the slightest bit guilty. I've complained about this guy on the internet, to my friends, to my husband, and it turns out it's not even (really) his fault. I can only imagine what his days are like. They probably suck. All of them.

But, if he really does have Asperger's, then that probably doesn't bother him. They're able to shrug these kinds of things off, for the same reason that they can't grasp interpersonal interactions. A gift and a curse in a lot of ways.

Still! This means that he's the "weird guy" all the time! Not just at the office, but in all his classes, even at home! No wonder he has so many problems with his roommates... I don't know why, but I really thought he was just awkward in this one sphere of life. It hadn't occurred to me that he's like this all the time.

Maybe I'll be able to respond to him in a more patient manner from now on. Now that I know the reason behind his strangeness, I'll be able to work with him.

If it goes well, I'll have to change his nickname from Blockhead to something else. My posts about him will have to change from "I'm complaining about this person!" to "So, this is what he did today, and it was weird, but life goes on."

(well, of course I'm going to keep posting about him! just because he has asperger's doesn't mean you don't want to hear all about the awkwardness I go through at work. you live to hear my tales of awkwardness, I just know it!)

24 September 2010

A tick For Every tock

I'm extremely bored right now, which is highly unusual for me.

There's always something to do. Something to work on. Some project waiting to be picked up and finished.

I have a sketch book I need to fill up by December - that always needs to be worked on.
not in the mood to sketch right now. brain is dead. inspiration levels are bottomed-out.

Oliver Twist is in my backpack, just waiting to be finished. I'm coming upon the exciting conclusion!!
a certain attention span is required for Charles Dickens, and I just don't have it right now.

There's a computer right in front of me, the World Wide Web is at my fingertips!
after checking my email, bank accounts, and a brief stint on facebook, there's really nothing else to see.


Well, good grief, woman! What am I going to do with myself when I leave this office?

easy. go downstairs to the computer lab where I can finish coloring an illustration. then I'm going to work out in the school's gym because I desperately need to do something about all the doughnuts I ate yesterday. and then I'm going to a social function with my husband in the evening. there are plenty of things to do, I just can't do any of them here!

Oh look! Time to clock out. Hooray!!

23 September 2010

a story Of adventure, But Without purpose

Took a little road-trip to SLC yesterday. First, we went to the Utrecht store so I could stock up on supplies. I enjoy shopping for school/art supplies, because the Pell Grant pays for it. It's completely guilt-free and a surprisingly enjoyable experience. (for anyone who has shopped for art supplies, you know that these things can get expensive fast, even if you're just shopping for brushes, and you rarely leave a store feeling completely confident after spending that sort of money - unless the money isn't yours! ha!)

I love the Utrecht store. Discounts up the wazoo, neatly organized, amazing selection...why does it have to be so far away??
*impossibly sad face*

On the way back to the car, we (husband and I) noticed that we had parked right outside a used bookstore (is it "used bookstore"? saying "used bookstore" makes the store sound used, not the books themselves..."used book store"?..."used books store"?...who knows?). The store's called The Central Book Exchange. Neither of us can resist bookstores. Especially used book(s) stores. There's something about the absence of a Dewey Decimal system and the often hap-hazard stacking of books in, on and around bookshelves, that makes the journey into a used book store turn into an expedition of surprise discoveries.
Central Book Exchange is one of the best used book stores I've ever been in.  They have a remarkable selection!
If we'd had money, I would have left that store with at least 6 new/used books. But as we cannot currently afford to be $42 poorer, we left the store without any books, only a lingering sense of awe and a longing to hear the voices trapped on pages we have yet to open.
*somewhat impossibly sad face*

I love books. I wish I had more time to read. I wish I could read faster, then time wouldn't matter. I'd just zip through my to-read list instead of watching it grow steadily, insurmountably, larger and larger.

There are houses, little starter-homes, down the street from the Central Book Exchange. They're cute, out of the way, with decent sized yards.

I want one.

Cozy neighborhood, walking distance from used books and Utrecht...it's like a match made in heaven!

It will probably never happen, just one of those nonsensical fantasies you find and cling to for awhile. Still, I hope the people who actually live there know how good they have it. I hope they're all avid readers and visual artists. I'd like to think they are.
I'd like to think the universe works that way on rare (rare) occasion.

22 September 2010

it's Not so Bad On the Whole

Things I'm working on:
  • I'm trying to learn how to draw in pen
  • I'm trying to stay away from sugars
  • I'm trying to eat more vegetables
  • I'm trying to get better sleep

Things I've already failed at:
  • staying on track in my classes
  • wow-ing my professors
  • finishing Oliver Twist
  • getting my gym clothes washed

15 September 2010

/*===== comment Here =====*/

There are some days where I feel like I have the potential to be the greatest illustrator ever.

And then there are days like today...when my brain feels like mush and I can't activate my imagination. I'm finite and limited and I'm not sure where I got the idea that I had any potential in the first place.

I just...love it so much. It makes me happy. Surely that counts for something.

At the same time there's an incredulous voice in the back of my mind, the observer, who looks at me and says, "An illustrator? Really? Where did that crackpot idea come from? This can't possibly work. It's too unorthodox, too risky, too...unconventional. It'll never get off the ground."

I almost believe the voice.

But it doesn't matter. Whether it gets off the ground, whether or not other people like my work enough to pay me for it, none of that matters. There are other ways to make a living. This is mostly for me. Learning this skill is for my own satisfaction.

However, if someone feels like paying me for it now and then, I certainly wouldn't complain.

After school today I will meet my husband at Barnes and Noble and take part in their Buy 2 Classics, Get 1 Free sale (I'm terribly excited about the whole thing). I recommend you all do the same.

13 September 2010

just Thinking

I'm just thinking....

But I should be focusing instead. I've got quite a to-do list growing. I haven't had a to-do list all summer and it's good to feel it growing back. My constant companion: the to-do list.

There are some skips and stutters in my to-do list (it happens after months of disuse) but soon it'll be back to it's normal setting of Play All and Repeat.

I need to focus. Three daily sketches, one Illustration, five gessoed (gesso= noun and verb; gesso-ed=to gesso something in past tense) illustration boards, 25 thumbnails and one Adobe Illustrator template.

I can do this. I just need to coerce a couple more hours out of my days. I'll find where those extra hours are hiding, bring them out and put them to proper use. I'm sure they're there. Somewhere. Oh yes, I can do this.

09 September 2010

tearing down My cages

I've got to stop caring about what people think. I've got to let go.

I can't.
I can't not care about what people think - I even care about what you think, and I'm not even sure who you are!

My sketchbook: a safehaven, a journal, an unbiased playground where ideas can (and should) run free.
But what will people think? No one will get it. It's not good enough. It's not clever enough. I need to think more (but then I draw less) and worry more (because I'm drawing less). What are the expectations??

There are no expectations. You've got to stop thinking in terms of expectations, because it holds you back.

Don (illustration) is trying to teach us (me) to be more creative. To trust myself, and my imagination, to solve problems and to create interesting situations. Catherine (fine arts) is trying to teach us (me) to trust the creative process. To let go of control and let things happen.

A lot of the students I work with complain about the severe differences between the Illustration Dept and the Fine Arts Dept, but I'm finding a lot of parallels. I think taking these two classes in the same semester will prove to be fortuitous.

Favorite instructor quote this semester: "You need to be willing to destroy some things. Destruction is what furthers the creative process."
Favorite student quote this semester: "Oh no! I didn't draw a building - I drew a bug!"

07 September 2010

welcome Back

How is it that I'm more tired after the long weekend than I was before I left on Friday? I had a whole extra day to sleep and I wasted it.
Well...I didn't really "waste" it. It just wasn't used to provide optimum sleep quality the way I had planned.

I'm not going to resort to caffeine. I'm going to tough it out.

("caffeine" doesn't follow the i-before-e-except-after-c rule, which rule I tend to take issue with anyway, but can we all agree that it's not so much a rule as a general guideline? From here on out it will be the i-before-e-except-after-c guideline. There. Doesn't everybody feel better now?)

I don't want sugar, either. My metabolism can't handle it, no matter what my sweet tooth says.

I'm getting too old to act this way. I've got to take care of myself.

Not only that, but the HTML page on blogger is acting totally goofy (which I can say with utmost confidence now, as I am taking an Interactive Design class, where I'm being taught about things such as HTML and CSS, so you can believe me when I say that the HTML page is being completely irrational.)

I have nothing else to say here. Only that I feel old. Everyone around me acts old. Aching hips and backs, complaints of headache and joint pain, and the sincere desire to take afternoon naps. What happened to carefree youth? We're too young to feel this old!

30 August 2010

end Of The saga

I'm going to write a quick post about my response to my idiot ex-boyfriend and that idiot message he sent me over idiot Facebook. Not that you really need to know anything in this post, but it feels wrong to start the story with you (see previous post) and then leave you hanging. So here's the (probably) ending:

He wrote me, I wrote him, he wrote me again, and I sent my last response...I tried to be patient and objective, but I got irritated and I think I was a little short with him. I may or may not have said something along the lines of
"...suffice it to say, our relationship was not a good one for me. What you did with my sister was stupid and thoughtless, but it was just one more horrendous event topping off a long and horrendous experience."
Too harsh? Maybe. And I do feel bad about that. I think he wrote to me out of complete sincerity, so it probably wasn't fair of me to respond in harsh terms. But his message was immature and revealed the full extent of his oblivious attitude towards anyone outside of himself, which was aggravating, and so I was short with him. In my defense, it wasn't as harsh as my original response to him (which I did not send, thankfully). Plus, this was not a hasty or rash message - I spent days and days composing this reply. This was the version that was as gentle as it was ever going to be.

Writing to him had some healing side-effects: I saw that most of what I was still bitter about had nothing to do with him; what I'm bitter about is me. My own insecurities, weaknesses, and the mistakes I made that I always believed I was too smart to make.
Those are things that I'll have to work out on my own, possibly for the rest of my life. There's nothing else to talk about with him, nothing left to solve or fix, and he'll never change from the self-centered lost boy I remember. So I wash my hands of it. I'm leaving it, and him, permanently behind.

(and if I ever happen to see him on campus, I promise to try really, really hard to not punch him in the face)

Interesting. I imagined it would feel more liberating than this.

19 August 2010

epic Post : Brace yourself

I just got an apology message from an old boyfriend over Facebook. We probably dated about two years ago (or, rather, we broke up about two years ago). We had dated for about 6 months. Things didn't end well. I'm not sure how to reply.

I know how I'd like to reply...but I'm not sure that would be best. Even after letting it sit for most of the week, mulling it over in my head, emotions are still confused.

I'd copy and paste the message here to get your input and unbiased opinions, if not for my pride. You see, out of about 30-40 words, I think he spelled two of them correctly. No pronouns are capitalized (including "I" - how the heck do you go through life NOT capitalizing "I"??) and it's pretty clear that he is clueless as to the purpose of a comma.
I dated an idiot. 
There. I said it. It's easier to confess it than to show you the evidence thereof and have you think less of me.

The gist of the message was that he is sorry for hurting me. It seems a little late for an apology but, he didn't really get to/take the opportunity to apologize all those years ago, especially considering the way things ended. So he's apologizing now. The "better late than never" theory.
Here's my problem with that:

What, exactly, is he sorry for? Is it for being completely self-absorbed - for constantly interrupting my stories to repeat things he'd already told me earlier that week (or day) or more stories about himself? Is he apologizing for not once, in six months, offering me a sincere compliment yet ogling at himself EVERY TIME we passed a mirror or window or some other relatively reflective surface? Is he apologizing for warping his bizarre insecurities in order to make me feel guilty? Is it for the times he criticized me for not being kind/affectionate/good enough in the relationship, while disregarding the fact that I have a chronic freaking illness to deal with (and believe me, when you have a chronic illness, self-deprecation for not being "good enough" comes standard; I definitely do not need someone else to remind me of all I lack) in moments when what I needed most was support? Not to mention that when I did give more kindness/affection/consideration to him, he never (never) reciprocated anything back to me. I gave and gave while he simply took and took, and then took some more. I can't adequately describe to you how drained I became, emotionally and physically, from pouring my time, energy, and self out to him. All I got in return was disappointment, discouragement, and frustration.

Please understand: he was not mean. These were all covert flaws inherent in his character that took me months to recognize. When put together in a paragraph, it's somewhat bewildering to think that it took me so long to see what a terrible relationship I was in.

You may be wondering, how can someone not be "mean" and yet still do all these things? The answer: he was clueless, inconsiderate, insensitive, and completely out of his depth. He had no idea how to relate to another person, how to connect with them, or how to support them. He didn't know how to be in a relationship. He was still living as a child, where everyone around him catered to his every need. It made him selfish. Not in a cruel way, but rather like a child who honestly doesn't know any better. He consistently disappointed me when I depended on him. He took our relationship for granted. He took me for granted.

It's been over two years since we broke up. I'm happily married now to a man who sees and understands my needs and strives to meet them. He loves me despite my illness, despite my short-comings, despite my inability to be all that I want to be...he loves me unconditionally. I couldn't ask for more.
Despite the wholesome and healthy place I find myself in now, and how far I've come since then, I still look back on that past relationship with bitterness. I can't get over it. I'm angry at myself for letting the relationship go on for so long and for being blind to what a moron he was/is. I feel like an idiot.

I hate feeling like an idiot.

In his message he said that I "was one of his greatest friends" and yet I feel that he was one of my worst. He also said that he's "hopefully learning from [his] mistakes" which sounds great, but I really don't think he knows what those mistakes were. You can't learn from what you can't recognize. Judging from his message (which is not the greatest of indicators as he is a really terrible writer, let's be honest) it doesn't seem like he's changed at all. Maybe I should tell him what he's apologizing for, what he should be apologizing for, so that he can actually learn something from the past. That way we could both get some closure.

Then again, maybe it would be more noble to just brush it off. Perhaps it would be better for both of us if I told him, "Oh it's alright, don't even worry about it. It was so long ago...apology accepted!" and go on trying to forget it ever happened. It could be more hurtful to dig up the past than helpful. As much as I dislike him, I think his apology message was meant in sincerity. It would be wrong to willfully hurt him in reply. And, as long as we're being honest, my primary reason for bringing up the past would be to hurt him.

Gawsh, I'm so petty.

However, that would not be my only reason for bringing up the past. It's pretty clear that I have not had closure in this; I honestly feel that in order for me to get closure, I need him to acknowledge that what he did was wrong. I don't mean a general apology. I need him to acknowledge and apologize for specifics. I'm sure he needs the same apology from me - why else would he write to me? It took us a long time but, I think we're both at a point where we could discuss the past and both get the closure we need. It'll be a hard conversation to have, no doubt, and I don't see it ending in warm fuzzies and hugs, but at least it will finally be done.

Well, I'd say the objective of this post has been reached: I got that out of my system and I feel I've come to an objective viewpoint. Emotions are straightened out, and I no longer feel the tug of petty revenge - this is about closure. It's about healing old scars of two people in order to move on to a healthier future. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to compose my reply.

If any of you have any advice on how I might go about starting that, I'm certainly open to suggestions...

11 August 2010

*grumble grumble*

I feel lethargic today and a little bit sick. Not sure what's going on.
Somehow I hurt my calf - pulled a tendon or something - and it hurts whenever I move. The pain is making me cranky and irritable.
It's hard to not be cranky and irritable when I'm in pain. I can't focus, and I'm thoroughly and honestly shocked that other people can be so calm about it. Of course I'm getting impatient with you: you're not offering to do everything for me while I sit on the couch and nurse my leg! And why aren't you bringing me the pain medication that I never verbally requested but am obviously in need of?? Honestly! People, work with me here!!
I'll just clench my jaw and keep reminding myself to be patient. I don't have the right to snap at people, even when I feel like they deserve it; I've just got to have more patience. I'll get my own Tylenol. No, no, don't get up. I can limp over to the cupboard all by myself. Don't even worry about it.

I need sunshine. I should go for a walk tomorrow morning. That would be good. It'll help my leg to move around a little, keep from getting stiff, and the sunshine/vitamin D/melatonin will significanly boost my mood.

Why can't it be tomorrow morning now?

Cry, cry, weep, wail and sob.

30 July 2010

our Little secret

I'm trying not to judge. I'm trying to be open-minded. I'm trying to find common ground.

But gosh-dang-it, some people are so stupid!

I don't know why it aggravates me so much. It really shouldn't. What do I care if someone is shallow, simple-minded, and content to find life fulfillment in the superficial and transitory? What difference does it make to me?
It just bothers me. It eats away at my brain. I'm boggled by frustration.
This is the reason I choose to stay at home, away from people, sitting on my floor in lamplight, drawing a still life in charcoal while listening to the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring - Design Team commentary.

I'm sure, to certain eyes, my life looks just as simple, shallow, and even transitory as some lives do to me. We're all at different stages of life, different stages of development, some are little further ahead while some are a little behind. And no matter how much progress you make, there is always further to go, more to do. I understand that I am not yet where I could be, not yet who I could be. But I'm working to get there, I'm working to become. I can't possibly be the only who wants to become more than I am now, who sees the potential to grow, learn, and evolve. I can't be the only one who sees the potential to increase the depth of our lives, the scope of our vision, to expand our understanding of our world, of each other, of ourselves.

Perhaps I'll start another blog in which I can more freely rant about this problem. Here I only feel comfortable giving generalities; I yearn to pour out the specifics. It would have to be an anonymous blog because, as much as I hate to confess it, stupid people, unbeknownst to me, may very well be reading my blog. (even if there were stupid people who stumbled upon my posts, i don't think i could keep their attention for long. i don't talk nearly enough about my nails or my hair or Twilight or how expensive my television screen/car/wardrobe is to hold the interest of an IQ below 65.) So to be on the safe side, to avoid hurting the feelings of people I might know out there in the real world, the blog would have to be anonymous.

I think I will call it "People Are Stupid." Or "This is Why I Hate People (in general)" or "Feverish Rantings of a Hermit" or "Hermit is My Lifestyle Preference and This is Why." It'll probably show up on Typepad or Wordpress. Keep an eye out for it.

But if you should happen find it, remember it's anonymous. So, shhhhh!!

28 July 2010

Don't even Act Like you've Never wondered

Word Origin & History

 1839, only survivor of a slang fad in Boston and New York c.1838-9 for abbreviations of common phrases with deliberate, jocular misspellings (cf. K.G. for "no go," as if spelled "know go"); in this case, "oll korrect." 
Further popularized by use as an election slogan by the O.K. Club, New York boosters of Democratic president Martin Van Buren's 1840 re-election bid, in allusion to his nickname Old Kinderhook, from his birth in the N.Y. village of Kinderhook. Van Buren lost, the word stuck, in part because it filled a need for a quick way to write an approval on a document, bill, etc. 
The noun is first attested 1841; the verb 1888. Spelled out as "okeh," 1919, by Woodrow Wilson, on assumption that it represented Choctaw okeh "it is so" (a theory which lacks historical documentation); this was ousted quickly by "okay" after the appearance of that form in 1929. Okey-doke is student slang first attested 1932. 
(from dictionary.com)

Is that not the coolest thing ever? Thank you, dictionary.com, I love you forever.

26 July 2010

not To Be morbid and Creepifying Or anything

I went to sleep last night at 8:30 p.m. I was reading and my eyes refused to stay open, to focus, and so I condescended to their demands and let them close.
I forced myself awake at 10:45 p.m. to stop myself from dreaming. It was an uncomfortable dream. Extremely so. And we're going to leave it at that.

I couldn't get back to sleep after that. It gets harder and harder to sleep alone as time goes on. I closed my eyes and let scenarios play themselves out in my mind. I replayed them, changed them, wondered at them.

Two men in uniforms coming to my apartment door and telling me that he is MIA, a POW, being tortured, that he died in the line of action. First, my jaw drops and I stare past them in disbelief. Replay: I sob; I fall to the floor and wail; I pound the ground until my fists are bruised and swollen. Again: I am at my parent's house, they are with me, and I crumple to the floor, curl into the fetal position and moan in anguish. No one can comfort me. No one tries.

I opened my eyes to find real tears on my pillow. I recognized that my subconscious was telling me that I miss him.
Feel free to tell me something I don't know. Tell me something I have power to change.
Hours went by in this manner. It was 4:30 a.m. when sleep overtook my mind and dragged me down to its depths.

My husband is in the National Air Guard. He hasn't received orders to go to Basic Training, yet. But it's only a matter of time. I know it's coming.
Part of me looks forward to it: this holds the promise of a career and opportunities that could not be open to us in any other way.
Another part of me recognizes that, however improbable, the on-going war that our country insists on waging could claim his life. That's years down the road...but still...it's there. Highly unlikely. Vastly improbable. Not even worth the worry, really.

Sunday afternoons I see her sitting a few pews ahead of us. She has to wrestle two rambunctious young children into their seats and implore them to speak in low reverent voices. Every Sunday she does it alone. Her husband died a few months ago. She's maybe five years older than I am.
I admire her. Pity her. Fear her, a little bit. I see the future possibility of myself where she sits. In truth, I'm only a thread's breadth from being that same young widow.

Truly, death hovers a thread's breadth away from all of us at any given moment.

I'm not sure how I would move forward from something like that.

I see the futility in worrying. I can't change anything. For all I know, I'm destined to go first by getting hit in traffic, making him the young widower. It matters not. I'm not going to lose sleep over the infinite sad possibilities of my life. It was just late at night, and I'm alone, and that's where my mind wandered to.

Still. It's always a little scary when the facade drops and Death reveals just how near it's always lingering.

brownie points to anyone who recognizes the phrase "morbid and creepifying" from the post title. I'll give you some context:
"See, morbid and creepifying I got no problem with. 'Long as she does it quiet like."

16 July 2010

even The lovely stillness Can Grow dreary

I would write more if things changed more.

The summer is reaching a point of stagnation. Not an entirely unpleasant sensation, but it grows wearisome after a time.
Maybe this is why I push myself so hard during the school year: to fight off stagnation. (that would explain a lot) I think I just learned something about myself. Not that it solves anything, but it feels good to have understanding.

I colored my hair on Monday, with my cousin, for the first time in our lives. I'm enjoying the change. A trifling matter to some, but it makes all the difference to me. I needed some kind of change. After all the simple monotony of every day life - doing dishes, cleaning up after myself, reading, working, sleeping - the monotony of everyone's lives, it's good to have a small change.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go enjoy my few hours of solitude.
It's quite possible that I'm falling into unhealthy patterns of isolation again, and that could be the reason for the stagnate nature of the past few days (or weeks, who knows?), but I can't help myself. I crave the seclusion. Maybe I love it, maybe that's who I am, or maybe it has to do with comfort... I'll socialize when I'm at work. Until then, I will bask in the slow, even pace of my solitary meandering.

06 July 2010

rambling Rambling ramble On And on

I did my dishes yesterday after being sick for over a week. In the course of said week I allowed leftover bits of food to rot and congeal in the bottom of my sink. Not a pleasant smell.

Afterward I went into my living room and laid down on my back, on my floor, and listened to Regina Spektor ask me over and over,
"If I kissed you where it's sore,
would you feel better? Better? Better?
Would you feel anything at all?"

My husband comes home Saturday afternoons and leaves again for work Sunday evenings. It's only for the summer. No big deal.
I miss him more every week.

Loneliness is part of mortality. I don't like hearing other people complain about it. I don't like suffering from it. I've just gotta get myself busy with something. Distracted. Preoccupied. Busy.

I'm stuck between feeling sore and not feeling anything at all.

01 July 2010

I'm in No Condition to drive...but I'm Going to anyway

After the initial shock of my sister announcing her elopement, and some internal freaking out (as well as some external repercussions), I think I'm ready to say...that...I'm okay.


I'm okay with it.

I find it hard to trust the judgments of an 18 year old, hormonal and irrational as we all know they are, but she really is a good kid. I don't think I would call her and her soon-to-be husband "wise" but to their credit, they're at least being thoughtful about their decisions. They're presentation of those choices is flippant, at best, but I've been assured that they're actions are not.

She and I have grown apart in the last year. I hadn't been paying attention. I don't really know her now. If she were still the girl that I knew, that I thought she was, then the situation would be different. Much to my surprise, though, she's not that person anymore.

She'll get married, she and her husband will move to another town, go to college together. It'll be a long time before I see her again. In that time she'll change even more.
How strange.

I got married, moved to another town, am going to school with my husband...I guess I've changed, too. I don't feel like I've changed, but you can't really gauge things like that. Not in yourself.

I have to go buy Nyquil now. I feel dizzy and the letters keep moving around on the screen. Makes it hard to read. Especially when they go in and out of focus like that.

Probably shouldn't be driving....but it's less than a block away, what's the worst that could happen? This is what happens when you leave sick people home alone to take care of themselves. Just steer clear of any silver cougars you see on the roads in the next hour or so, and we should be fine.