28 December, 2007

Last Friday of 2007

I am listening to Radio Current (on Minnesota Public Radio) tonight and reading the internet.

Being it is the end of the year, it is time for me to think about getting my ducks in a row as it may be. Here is a list of things I hope to accomplish in the coming year:
  1. Finally get down to my goal weight (125 – 130lbs), I am a lot closer than I was last year (presently sitting at 150 from 195 a year ago), but I've plateaued. It is time to step it up
  2. Apply myself to a greater degree at my internship and (hopefully) land a real position if not an awesome reference
  3. Get all my transcripts from UMD, Ai, Century within the next 2 months so I have them for T4A applications next year
  4. Finish my T4A application in the first round of applicants
  5. Save $8,000 – 10,000 by July
  6. Land at least one freelance illustrating gig
  7. Finish a painting a month
  8. Finish a comic a week

I am leaving this at 8 things. I don't believe in lists of 10 or something.

Anyway, I was reading Derrick's Blog, and it occurs to me I haven't seen or spoken to my father for almost 10 years. Not that he was really an integral part of my life before then. He's always been the definition of an absentee parent when it comes to me (he is plenty involved with Jody though, probably because he had 12 years of face time with Jody before he left my mom and me when I was 3).

I don't know who really reads my blog since no one ever leaves me comments, but I'd like to know from those of you who have them. What is it like to have a father? What is it like to have a dad who is actually there and cares about you? I'm not asking for pity or anything. I got over my dad years ago. I am just curious now because it isn't something I'd really experienced.

Thanks and happy new year. Good luck in all things to come.

24 December, 2007

bonus update

As many people may have come to realise, or are now being notified as such. I have been drawing a lot more recently than I had in the last year or so at least in terms of cartooning. I spent a long period of time where when I was drawing, it wasn't cartoonish in intent nor was it really subject matter that lends itself toward anything but my view of stark realism.

Another thing people may not have noticed or realised is that my old portfolio site at Twisted Matrix went down. Like a ship in the night hitting an unknown reef whilst its crew slept it sank. I had no idea it had gone down or the permanence of such until I was notified that it "didn't work" by a person I had sent a resume and a link to said portfolio. All queries as to the reason for this have turned up no response. I assume this was an informal, if not somewhat rude, severing of ties between myself and the lads at Twisted.

As a result, I did lose a small amount of work that had been on there from my ibook days of which I had not copies elsewhere due to hard drive problems with the ibook in its later days combined with my move to the West and subsequent sale of most of my worldly possessions (including said ibook).

This combined with my hiatus from cartooning has lead me down the path where I've lost any sort of my original distinctive qualities in cartooning. Many of the cartoons I have tried to draw recently are just pale imitations of my favourite artists of which I read daily. My original style had been cultivated with great greediness in high school and early college days largely through the very hermitted stance on art that I took which lead to me having very few, if any, connections to the art community (largely: if I don't look at it, I can't copy it, so anything that comes about from the font of my mind is mine and mine alone). I had dropped these barriers naught but a few years ago when I had finally settled upon a style that was both my own and pleasing to myself.

Being those floodgates are open, there is no closing them, and being I have forgotten through disuse the very style that made my art mine, these last few brief forays into reentering cartooning have left me feeling sad and lost. Nevertheless, I bought some new brush pens this weekend, and I'm hoping that in lieu of my foregoing list of end-of-year demands upon myself, I can bring myself to painfully trudge through my old sketchbooks (yes, I still have them hearkening back to junior high when I largely spent my time drawing mutants and odd dinosaurs) and see if I can glean any sort of feeling for what was once my own hand. This is likely what I will do today when I get home instead of sleeping because this is one of those things that aches in the pit of me much like the feeling I used to get during looming deadlines of large school projects I had nary started. The sort of ache that keeps one from sleeping and makes both mind and body restless.

Hopefully more to come.

Holiday Push

Good day blog. Being it is the holiday time, and I have found myself with tomorrow off (and the next day, also new year's eve, but not new year's day herself), I decided I should do some things prior to year end.

These are the things I intend to accomplish or at least get a good go on:
  1. "Finishing" and posting pictures of the painting I'd stopped working on a few months ago
  2. Getting my website operational and with real content
  3. Scanning and finishing a number of comics I've got built up
  4. Making a cheesecake for holiday celebrations (this I am likely doing tomorrow evening)
  5. Acquiring some new, interesting music as it occurs to me I have not really done this at all this year
  6. Expanding, if not finishing, my D&D module so that maybe we can play it when Az is here in January
  7. Attempting the construction of a pair of pants or perhaps a short coat for wearing on the bike
  8. Finally getting Tim's bike in operational status

Granted these are high hopes for someone as easily distracted as I am, especially since the call of finishing at least the original module of Neverwinter Nights 2 is like a siren song to me (I am oh so close to the end of chapter 2, and chapter 3, from what small amounts I've seen on gamefaqs is to be a shorter one), but I figure maybe I can keep myself from this for a week, and see how happy Tim is when he finishes it out (which I'm sure he'll be able to do without me using his computer).

I think since I finished my scrabble game with Beth, a lot of the call of the internet is to a minimum since she is often occupied at Andy's so I have little reason to be online when I'm not at work. Much to Tim's dismay it may be a week of me wearing headphones so he doesn't have to listen to the droning type of music I enjoy working to. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep the time I need to be using my big computer (that occupies a connection to the monitor that he and I share) to times when he is not home so as to inconvenience him as little as possible (and also so he can keep himself occupied and as such from distracting me).

I almost feel I should send out letters of mock thanks to my prior institutes of learning for not getting really any of the transcripts I needed for T4A to me in the TWO MONTHS since I'd asked for them. Though this is partially my fault for being really bad at follow-up on these matters.

13 December, 2007

No teaching job

So I had an interview for a teaching job at Miami Ad School on Monday. It went reasonably well; however, apparently (though this may just be a line, I don't know), the lady emailed me yesterday afternoon to let me know that her boss (who coordinates the classes) decided to not have the class I'd be teaching (Adobe Illustrator CS for freshmen) offered this coming quarter. Likely due to low sign-up for it or something. Who knows.

Other than that, the internship I'm doing is going fairly well. I worked with another intern today on some holiday envelope things Seidel is sending out to clients---today instead of tomorrow (Friday, my normal intern day) because the office is taking the day off then. I also had an impromptu phone interview with Williams Sonoma yesterday as I was getting ready for work which went as well as an interview I had absolutely no time to prep for could. The guy said he would have someone in touch with me by some time next week. This would be a good job to get as it would open a lot of doors for me career-wise. I've pretty much given up on doing T4A this year because though I finished my essays, my respective colleges have not gotten any of my transcripts back to me (save UDC, go figure), and the deadline is fast approaching, and there is an entire second part of the application I'd have to go through. I'm really upset about this, but considering how Tim should probably put in a solid year at his place of work just so he's employable elsewhere, I don't really see a huge problem with it. When I'm filling it out for next year, I do have solid reasons as to why I didn't finish my application this year.

I also took some pictures today because I have realized that I am very close to having the flat stomach I've wanted for years, and though I haven't really dropped any major poundage in the last couple weeks, my body composition seems to be shifting quite a bit. I am into size 8 pants now, and Beth is telling me I am likely smaller than she. My biggest annoyance is that seemingly no matter how thin I am looking when I am standing up, when I sit down, it is as though my body finds all these hidden fat reserves and pools them around my midsection so it looks like I am sitting with an innertube in my shirt. This is likely due to poor sitting posture though, which is something I need to work on, but I am lazy. I'm down to about 150lbs now; so, I weigh half a Derrick :) This is what biking 5 miles 4 days a week in SF (with only one real hill to go up) gets you after about 6 months. That and not having a whole lot of money which means eating at home a lot or just not at all unless one is real hungry.

Tim and I were actually telling Robyn what we'd eaten today, and she's all "omg you guys eat like nothing, what are you a bunch of anorexics or something!" and we're like "no! we're hungry right now! geez!" We did eat out tonight with Robyn and Fei, and Travis was there for some time, but he left before Fei got there because he was feeling sick (mouth problems, not feeling good after yesterday, etc.). We went to this French cafe that we found off of Bush / Kearny Streets in an alleyway (it is next to Sam's Grille) . Their menu had 3 things that weren't appetizers that were vegetarian, but one of them had pears (an endive / spring mix salad with bleu cheese and walnuts, please please please do these with apples, I love all these things so much :( but I'm allergic to pears), and so it was the pasta which was tasty (it was a vegetable and cheese ravioli in a garlic oil sauce with big cloves of soft, sweet garlic...mmm). I also had two of this drink that is made with Gin and Basil which was weird but also delicious. We split this appetizer that had warm goat cheese and a sweet pepper sauce and golden raisins as well. The breadboy there was on top of matters and brought us like 3 baskets of bread right as we'd finish them! WTG breadboy! Fei got a strawberry tartlette after an emphatic recommendation from the waitress, Robyn got probably the biggest creme brulee I'd ever seen, and I got this thing about an island in a lake of caramel sauce (it was a meringe that tasted a little eggy for my liking because I thought it was supposed to be almond or something, but whatever, it was still really good), and Tim got a tripleshot of a liquer I thought sounded interesting, though he did not say whether it was tasty or not. It was good times.

I am at work now and very tired and a little cold. There is not much to do at the moment, and after surveying the bankers, it doesn't sound like there will be much to do later on either. Since I got here at 9:30, that means I can't go home until 1:30 at the earliest lest I tempt the wrath of Paolo for leaving before 4 hours is up (since in the state of CA, employers have to pay full-time, hourly employees for the first 4 hours of work whether they work them all or not if they get sent home due to lack of work or whatever).

This has been an incredibly long post.

03 December, 2007


So I got an internship. I learnt from past failures of my portfolio that one basic one won't do the job at all. I have to do like what I do with coverletters (and occasionally resumes) which is customize customize customize. I stayed up all night after work Thursday and until my interview Friday (mostly) to do it. Not to say I didn't at least try to sleep, but I had almost fallen asleep when Ciro woke up to find himself locked in the bathroom and started clawing at the door to be let out. I got up and let him out, and lay back down with him next to me to try to sleep again, but at that time I got a brilliant idea in my head on how to do my portfolio.

Many creative types may know this sort of feeling as persistent inspiration; the whole "oh man I really need to sleep, but this is such a good idea, maybe if I just start it, that will be good enough. No I should really sleep. I'm going to try to sleep." 10 minutes later: "ok, I need to start this, I am going to forget if I don't start it". So I got up and started it and picked out all the pieces that were going in and made up the covers (I made it like a little book, or a 'zine; a single short-signature [12 pagse] long). When I finished that, I tried to go to sleep again, but I pretty much just lied in bed for about 2 or 3 hours with my eyes closed trying to get comfortable and trying to sleep to little avail.

I got up at 10:30am or so and finished it up around 11:30. By this time it was too late to try to submit it via the internet to Kinko's, so I had to go there in person and try to get things figured out. They claimed they were printing things (though none of the printers were going), so I had to go to the self-serve. I had put the disk into my laptop (and brought my laptop) so it wouldn't get scratched up in my portfolio, and I'd brought the laptop in the case I couldn't get it to print right or in a timely fashion so I could at least just present it on screen. Well. At Kinko's self-serve, the colour printer does not do two-sided automatically. I spent probably about $12 on prints I couldn't use because of this. $6 of which was on printing from Preview which makes for a really shitty printing as for whatever reason, it downscales all graphics before sending to print; even vectored ones.

12:30 rolled around (my interview was at 1pm), so I called and asked to push back to 2pm since they were about 90% of the way to my present work, and I was on-foot rather than on-bike. The first bit of trouble I really ran into was trying to eject the disk from my laptop because somehow along the way a very tiny screw had lodged itself in my cdrom drive's slot. This made ejection impossible. I almost wrecked the disk trying to get it out. Lucky bottle opener to the rescue: I got the tiny screw out, and though my laptop (which is apparently a slut for reading any optical media) would read it, the kinko's mac (after MUCH thinking) would not, and well, it is .40$/min. When it is like the slowest possible build of powerpc, that is a lonnnnnng time. I probably spent a good half of the money-time just WAITING for the computer to do something.

Anyway, I got it printed, and I left there at about 1pm. I got down to the place at 1:30 and had my interview. They were blown away. The guys really liked what I did, and when I mentioned I could draw really well (I also had some samples tucked in my portfolio), well, that went even better. Basically said I could have the internship if I wanted it; particularly because they were also looking for someone who could work on Fridays (which is my best day to do this anyway). So I start there at 1pm this Friday. I'm excited!

Just for the sake of it, I might send it to print at Kinko's (because I will have time to get it with a decent turnaround and it will actually be cheaper than if I try to do it myself again) and make a few more copies so I can leave them behind since it went over so well, and I might still be able to interview at Miami Ad School (the lady emailed me) on Friday while I was out and about and just not checking my emails anymore (or sleeping) pretty much when I'd specifically told her she should call me in my message. I emailed her back today saying I'd still be interested in interviewing this week and to let me know what a good time would be (as she said she'd had a very hectic week and that was why she hadn't gotten back to me at all). If I get that job, it would be awesome because then I'd be teaching design. Which is something I really want to do because it is such a varied field.

Woo woo!