Archive for August, 2012


Pics from my show

I finally got some pictures up from my opening wayyyyy back on the 18th. Check them out here. Photos are courtesy of my neighbor Joshua North-Shea, who is also an artist.  In the event you’re new to my blog, or you just really suck at reading comprehension, my show is called Friends And Allies For The Struggle and it will be on display at The One Stop through October 6. And while you’re clicking links and looking at my artwork anyway, what better time to “like” my Facebook page? The answer is no better time. THERE IS NO BETTER TIME!!! LIKE ME!!!!!

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Boredom

I’m bored.

Like, really bored.

So bored I’m writing a blog about nothing.

I got home from work today and wandered over to my neighbor Crystal’s apartment. She’s been bugging me to introduce her to this police officer who sometimes works at the gas station. I knew he would be working tonight, so I went to see if she wanted to go ride up there. Her oldest daughter was supposed to be watching her youngest daughter, but was nowhere in sight, so she couldn’t go anywhere until further notice.

I made some dinner and lounged around for a little while. I grabbed my guitar and sat on the front porch playing, hoping neighbors would appear out of the woodwork and cure my boredom. But alas, ’twas not to be. I briefly talked to my neighbor Michelle as she was walking to her car. She was going over someone’s house for their birthday, and once again was not accompanied by her cute friend.

My roommate got home and went out on the front porch to smoke and chat with some of her friends. For some reason my body has just completely rejected even a hint of cigarette smoke lately. My nose fills with the smell until I can’t smell anything else, gets really super dry and itchy, and I find it hard to breathe. The only thing that seems to work is to blow my nose, take a few puffs of saline spray, and force myself to inhale something that smells good, like an air freshener. Then all the nicotine makes me feel jittery and sometimes I get a headache. I’m going to have to start shutting all the windows in the house, even though the weather outside is gorgeous and the perfect temperature for leaving windows open. The day she stops talking about quitting and finally does literally cannot get here soon enough.

But yeah, that’s pretty much all that’s going on. Mass amounts of boredom, a guitar, a lack of cute girls, and some cigarette smoke. Fun times. Mental note: find something to do tomorrow night.

 

I never really mind being single until I’ve spent some time around a couple. I mean, sure, I’d rather be with someone. But if I’m not, no big deal. I have friends, I have other outlets, I’ll survive. But for some reason, whenever I spend any amount of time around a couple (not just any couple, but a couple) I get super uncomfortable with my singleness. I feel extra lonely, and every moment of every day is filled with dread – what if I never find someone? What if I’m single forever?

My roommate and my neighbor (I like both of them, individually at least) have become one such couple. They spend a lot of their time together, and they often do couple things, like cook together. They’ve even gotten comfortable enough with their relationship that they’ve started with various levels of P.D.A. They’re too cutesy, and too joined at the hip. I understand that because of their triangular situation they can’t really spend any time at his place. But that doesn’t mean they have to spend all day and all night over here. Thankfully tonight they’ve gone out, so I can finally have some alone time. I’m still just as single when I’m alone as when they’re around, but for some reason it feels much more bearable.

I’m hoping my singleness might end soon. My neighbor Michelle is going to try to play matchmaker for me with her awesome friend Kat. Evidently she tried to get up with her tonight but she couldn’t get ahold of her. Obviously simply bringing her friend over won’t instantly change my status one bit. But over the past year or so I’ve built up this previously unknown level of confidence, and when we hung out last week we really hit it off nicely. So there’s probably a good chance I’ll at least get a date out of it. Whatever happens I’ll definitely be in debt to Michelle, I know I’m probably a huge pain in the ass. But yeah, fingers crossed…

In completely unrelated news…

The other day a course catalog from AB Tech came in the mail. I’ve resisted the concept of “going back to school” for a long time now, but I’m really sick of the world of retail. I was browsing through the online classes and saw a three level course to become a veterinary assistant. I’ve always loved animals, and while it probably wouldn’t pay any more than what I’m making now, it would be great to get out of retail and spend my day surrounded by animals. I sent an email to the address listed in the catalog asking if there were any prerequisites that I didn’t see listed, and if these three classes were all I would need to become a veterinary assistant. If so, I think I’ll go for it. The classes aren’t that expensive, comparatively speaking, and with it being an online class I wouldn’t have to worry about missing work. I’ll keep you posted.

In further unrelated news…

I have a painting that I’m attempting to sell CHEAP. I did it one day at work, I think I might have posted a picture on here. I used nothing but store-use supplies and a damaged canvas, so it didn’t cost me anything. I don’t really like it either. I figure if I sell it dirt cheap someone will want it. I might post a picture to Facebook and see if anyone is interested. If not I might end up giving it to Michelle as a reward for her matchmaking abilities. I guess we’ll see.

Aaaaaaand that’s about it. I’m pretty boring lately. The End.

 

My show and stuff

My show was last night, so I figure a quick little recap is in order…

On Art Show’s Eve spent a big portion of my free time trying to tie up loose ends. It all started a few days earlier when I got my prints from Henco. Evidently mats that say 8″x10″ are really 7.5″x9.5″, so I was left with a bunch of prints that didn’t fit into the mats I had. I wound up having to get them reprinted at the right size, and then I decided to buy som 8″x10″ plastic sleeves and sell the unmatted prints. I also had a ton of tags to make, and for some reason I had decided to go high concept and make three-tiered tags consisting of newspaper and construction paper backings.

I got home from work with the intent of getting straight to work on these things, but got distracted by socializing neighbors. I talked to Michelle a bit about her friend Kat, and she agreed to play a little matchmaker, saying how we would be cute together. Fingers crossed on that one. I finally had to draw myself away from my peeps and get to work. I didn’t realize how long it would take to finish thirty or so of my fancy tags, and I wound up working on them until about 3:00 AM. Fun times.

The day of the show I woke up around 10:00 and got ready. James and Nici had said they would come help me set things up, but neither of them was answering their phones. My neighbor Joshua agreed to help, but since my car was packed full of paintings he couldn’t ride with me and he doesn’t have a car. I got down there right around noon and had to circle the block a few times before the loading zone opened up. I started hanging my stuff, and after about half an hour Joshua showed up. He was a big help with visualizing where things should go and whatnot, and he helped design an ingenious scheme to hang my big heavy painting on a sheet of drywall. Evidently I forgot a tag, so I went home and made it, grabbed a quick snack, put on a nice shirt, and headed back out.

It was a pretty gloomy night, with light rain off and on the whole time. As a result, downtown was like a ghost town until about the time that my show was supposed to end. Not a lot of people came out, but the ones who did bought stuff. I wound up selling three prints and one original piece. It was my cheapest original, at $25, but hey, that puts me one ahead of Van Gogh right? I spent most of the time hanging out with Joshua and my roommate (who are evidently a thing now) and his former coworker (they both quit their job at the same time.) I greeted a lot of people and fielded some questions, got some food, and didn’t really do a whole heck of a lot else. The band started setting up around 9:00 and they put out the podium and started charging a cover. We took to the front porch, and after a while I got bored and decided to go home.

The turnout was disappointing, and I still need to sell around $450 worth of stuff before I break even, but overall I think it was a success. My stuff will be on display until October, so I can keep bugging people. And perhaps I can use this show as leverage to get more. And if nothing else, I’m getting my name out there, which is always a good thing. Once that good thing starts turning a profit I’ll be a lot happier and probably be able to sleep more soundly. And after two days of being extra social it’s definitely time to put back on my introvert panties and spend some quality time sitting on my ass. I’ve earned it 😉

 

So my date last night with Lauren never happened. Sometime around 1:00 in the afternoon she sends me a text saying she won’t be able to make it out, that I’m a nice guy, but she “just isn’t feeling it” and doesn’t want to lead me on. I’m not exactly sure where that came from. She gave me every indication that she enjoying going out with me, even going as far as to say after our last date that if she wasn’t feeling sick she would kiss me. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but that sounds a bit like leading me on – say you would kiss me, arrange for a third date, and then merely hours before cancel.

I seem to have very similar experiences with nearly every girl I date. Things appear to be going well, and they give no outward indication otherwise, then randomly either say they don’t feel anything, or just stop returning my texts and phone calls. The weird thing is that this has only been my experience with girls close to my own age. I’ve dated several girls who were quite a bit younger than I, and they had no problem being upfront about things. It’s only when I date within my immediate age group (for the sake of argument we’ll say 25-40) do I encounter women who want to play stupid games. While there are exceptions to every rule, and I realize this is a potentially offensive stereotype, my experience has been that if a woman is over 25 and not in some kind of relationship, there’s a damn good reason why. At the risk of sounding creepy, I think I’ll stick with the youngins, I seem to have better luck with them.

But anyways… in a lot of ways it was a blessing in disguise. My day was already busy enough without having to fit in a date. My wallet is already empty enough without a fancy dinner at an expensive French restaurant that I might not even have liked. And as unlikely as it seemed when I got that text, I actually wound up having a much better evening than I likely would have had…

I went to 51 Grill and tried their new NY style pizza, which was actually quite good, and very cheap. When I got home my neighbors were hanging out and I struck up a conversation with them. Michelle had a kitten, but decided to give it back because he evidently missed his sister kitty and was too needy for her to give him the time he needs. But last night she had that kitten, and his sister. Her friend kept them both and since they were already hanging out, decided to bring them by. I’m not crazy about cats, and they kill my allergies, but kittens are adorable. But the real treat of the night was meeting Michelle’s friend, oddly enough named Kat. We started chatting and as the night went on it was basically us talking to each other and not so much all of the other people who were there. We really hit it off, she’s very much my type, and I think there could be some chemistry there. The next time I see Michelle I’m going to ask if her friend is single, and if so, perhaps I’ll try my luck. The worst that could happen is I’m back to where I am right now – single and frustrated. I think I’ll take my chances and see what happens.

In other news, I got my prints back from Henco today. They look decent, but that’s more my fault than theirs. Most of them were originally scanned at a relatively low DPI, so blowing them up made things fuzzy and grainy. I was tempted to re-scan them before I brought them there, but most had already been framed and I just didn’t want to go through all the trouble of taking them apart and framing them again. But I’m sure no one else will really care, I’m just a perfectionist. I’m about to start putting together my little bags-o-prints and pricing them, then I need to make some tags for my originals. I found a guy on Reddit who is going to photograph some of my canvas pieces for only $5 a shot (compared to the $30 I spent last time).

Basically I’m just tying up loose ends now, Saturday is the big day. And if you feel like doing a little reading, I was recently interviewed for the local blog Ashvegas. But that’s about it for now, tomorrow is another busy day…

 

There’s now less than a week until my art show, and I’ve been trying to make final preparations. Today I bought a few mats and finished up a new piece (which I’ll post at the end of this) and tomorrow I’m going to bring a disc full of images to Henco to get printed up. I’m going to start with probably three of every piece, see what (if anything) sells, and print more as needed. I’m thinking about doing a “Buy two get one free” sale or something like that to generate more interest.

The other day I put the finishing touches on a piece… watercolor and acrylic (which was applied via a linoleum block print) which was then mounted to a piece of stained wood, with a decorative brass nail in each corner. It turned out wonderful (I’ll post it at the end also) and will likely end up being one of the central pieces in my show. The piece was an odd size, and you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find wood to fit something larger than two feet without having to buy a gigantic piece of wood that will set you back $45 or so. Luckily at the second hardware store I went to I found a piece big enough that was substantially cheaper and got them to cut it down. Now I have a bunch of wood left over, which I’ll probably just paint on.

After I get all my prints done and bagged, all that’s really left is to put some wire on the back of a few more pieces, add some sawtooth hangers to the aforementioned wood-mounted piece (picture wire doesn’t seem to work too well), and print up some tags with titles and prices. Then of course bring all of this stuff there and set everything up, which will be tons of fun. Fingers crossed, I really hope I sell some pieces. Or at least some prints.

And as far as relations with the female species go… Last night, after trying unsuccessfully to see some meteors, Michelle came over. We had some drinks and talked about a bunch of random stuff, and eventually she got tired and went back to her apartment. We’re very different in a few important areas, so I seriously doubt anything will ever happen between us. But she’s absolutely gorgeous, and having some one-on-one time with her was pretty cool. If nothing else, I have a hot friend. And who doesn’t want one of those?

Tomorrow will be date number three with Lauren. We’re going to this fancy French restaurant downtown, which I’m not exactly thrilled about. I didn’t see much on the menu that interested me, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I find something there I like while she’s busy with the all-you-can-eat mussels. I keep telling her she needs to watch He Died With A Felafel In His Hand, it seems like the humor in the movie would be right up her alley. And she would be one of the few people I know who would catch the obscure literature and philosophy references. The last time we went out she was coming down with a cold so she declined my invitation to come over and watch it. I’m hoping this time I can convince her. I guess we’ll see soon enough.

So yeah that’s about it for updates, now for some pictures…..

First, here’s the picture I just finished today. I call it “Drill Baby Drill.”

 

 

And now, the piece I finished a few days ago (the mounted version), “Wither.”

 

 

And that’s pretty much it for now. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me, so sleep is probably a good idea.

 

I was awoken last night by what I can only hope was a prank. Here’s a transcript of my text message conversation with an unknown number:

 

Mystery person: I’m not sure how to say this, but… I’m pregnant.

Me: Who is this?

MP: Who do you think it is? How many girls are you fucking?

Me: At the moment, none. I think you have the wrong number.

MP: Don’t be a jerk. You don’t have to be a part of his life but I want child support.

Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s been months since I was with anyone and I don’t know who you are. You have the wrong number and I’m trying to sleep, so please stop texting me.

 

So yeah. That happened. Like I said, I hope it’s a prank… because really, who the fuck tells their boyfriend they’re pregnant via text message? Shouldn’t that at the very least warrant an “I think we need to talk…” text? Has technology so ruined this generation that we announce major life-changing things with a few strokes of our iPhones? Please let this be a prank – the modern equivalent to “is your refrigerator running?” If not, I just don’t know what hope remains for our society. And I’m pretty sure either way, Siri is somehow behind this.

 

 

I still exist!

I haven’t posted here in forever, so I figure it’s time for a slight update. It’s also almost 1:00 AM and I have to work in the morning, so it will hopefully be a short update.

Friday, after a rather stressful day at work, I came home to find my roommate and a few neighbors hanging out on my front porch. Joshua’s kickstarter project got funded and they were celebrating, asking me if I wanted a mimosa. Why not. After half an hour or so of drinking our fancy drinks we saw Michelle going to get something from her car and asked her if she wanted to join us. Turns out she had just bought some fruity vodka and elected to share. Eventually Angela came over with some cider. We drank and goofed off and discussed philosophy, science, and religion. Ty came over and we broke out the guitars. I grabbed my box of random percussion stuff and other instruments to help entertain Phoenix, Crystal’s seven-year-old daughter. Things continued in this vein until around 11:00 when some of Michelle’s friends came by and one by one the group started to splinter off. Rather than go to sleep, I sat up talking to my roommate for a while, and then started dicking around on the internet. The next day at work was very sleepy.

I really don’t remember much of anything that happened Saturday. I was too sleepy to really know where I even was. We had a massive paper order to put away at work, so that took up the majority of the day. Sunday and Monday were mostly uneventful. I attempted some poster designs to publicize my show, but I haven’t really hit on anything yet that I like.

Monday night I experimented with block printing, something I haven’t done since my intro to printmaking class in college. I made a hand grenade, which I plan on using in an upcoming piece. To test it out I did a few prints on a scrap piece of paper, which I ended up turning into a cover photo for my Facebook page. While I was carving a friend was texting me about some of her problems, and we wound up getting in a fight. I ended up not going to sleep until after 4:00, and with a mostly free day today I didn’t set an alarm and slept until around 2:00. I lounged around the house until getting motivated enough to do anything. I went to Target, did my laundry, and then went to Bojangles.

One thing of interest did happen at the laundromat. I kept almost bumping into this girl with my laundry basket, so I decided to introduce myself. Her name is Anya, she was born in Russia but moved here when she was 10. She’s 21 now, a waitress/bartender, interested in philosophy, loves Calvin and Hobbes, and is also extremely beautiful. We talked for a long time and really hit it off. I told her about my show and gave her my card. I asked her if she would like to get drinks sometime and she said yes and exchanged numbers. I think there could be some potential here.

After I got back from laundry and getting food James and Nici came over for a little while, but ended up having to leave so she could give her brother his car back. I spent the rest of the night hanging out with the neighbors, although it didn’t turn into quite the block party that Friday was. Now I’m on the verge of passing out, but my brain is still somewhat awake, hence this blog. So yeah, that’s about it.

 

*** EDIT: I’m obviously a complete retard since I somehow forgot one of the most interesting things to happen today. When we were all sitting outside talking we saw tree limbs fall onto someone’s car. Evidently they had been trimming the trees the other day, and for no reason that we could see a few gigantic limbs fell. A car parked almost directly under the tree was pretty damaged – one of their tail lights was broken and the front end had a lot of damage. A motorcycle in the next parking spot was knocked over completely. The whole neighborhood gathered around and we managed to find the owner of the car, who took some pictures of what happened and called the landlord and his insurance. Now that’s something you don’t see every day. Or at least I hope we won’t be seeing this every day. But yeah, now I really must sleep.

On Tuesday I got a phone call from The Frugal Framer saying my stuff was ready. Of course they wait to call until about 5:15 and they close at 5:30, so yeah. I worked yesterday, so today was the day. They look pretty good, I can’t complain much. I didn’t realize the mats that I chose weren’t beveled, but that actually works with the pieces, gives them a bit more depth. I’ve spent a big chunk of my free time the past few days framing the smaller pieces I have that take fairly standard size frames and mats. I still have a few more to do, and then get prints made of some of my drawings. I guess I didn’t realize just how much work goes into getting a show together. Fun times.

On the personal side, I still seem to be going with the two-dates-in-two-days thing, seeing as how it worked fairly well last time. Last night I went out with a girl named Tara. She messaged me on a dating site and we chatted a little via text messages before deciding to get together. She’s about a year younger than me and has a daughter that is almost two. She works at an art gallery and we have similar tastes in just about everything. She’s a lot more attractive in person than her profile led me to believe, and she seems really sweet with a good sense of humor. We went out for Thai food and chatted until she had to pick up her daughter. We had a pretty good time, and although her schedule is kinda weird, between two jobs and a kid, we decided we should get together again soon.

Tonight I went on date #2 with Lauren. We were originally going to get some drinks and then watch a movie, but she thinks she might be coming down with a cold, so we just decided on dinner and drinks and she went home and went to bed. We had some more good conversation about all sorts of random things, and this time we went more into detail on relationship-y stuff – what we’re looking for, what we like and don’t like in a member of the opposite sex, that sort of thing. The more we talked the more I realized we’re probably a lot more compatible than I had initially thought. The date went really well, and I was disappointed when she said she had to cut things off early. We agreed to get together again as soon as she’s feeling better. I walked her to her car (which was conveniently parked right next to mine) and we hugged. She said she would kiss me but she didn’t want to get me sick. So I guess that’s something.

On the job front, I had an interview today. I don’t want to say too much and jinx myself, but I have a nice opportunity to make good money and not have to deal with all of the crap that goes on at a gas station or at an art supply store that is in too bad shape financially to give more hours. If I get the job I’ll quit the gas station and probably rearrange my days at the art supply store so as to make things work. Fingers crossed!

But now it’s about that time. I’m pretty much exhausted, and work cometh early tomorrow. The End.

The Book Of Moron

Somehow tonight I ended up just hanging out with a bunch of our neighbors. My roommate Sofia has become pretty good friends with one of our neighbors, Krystal. They were sitting on the front porch chatting and another neighbor, Angela, came up. I’ve been friends with her for a while, and her crazy little dog tagged along, so I decided to join them. Two people moved into the next building over not long ago, and one of them, Dustin, came by. Eventually his roommate, the extremely adorable Michelle joined us. We were having basic get-to-know-you chats when we saw two guys approaching…

Sure enough, they were Mormon missionaries. They were nice and friendly, but it quickly became apparent that this was five-against-two. My roommate, Krystal, and Michelle (who has a gay best friend) started giving them a lot of crap about their stance on homosexuality. Then I jumped on board and started dissecting their philosophy (ie, the stuff they don’t usually mention when they come to your door). I asked all about becoming a god and getting your own planet and whatnot, and they insisted these beliefs (which they correctly did not deny were part of LDS doctrine) came not from The Book Of Mormon or The Pearl Of Great Price, but from the Bible itself.

I’m pretty sure this was just an attempt to make these ideas seem less crazy, now that they had been brought out into the open and they couldn’t just gloss over things and make the LDS church sound more like mainstream Christian denominations. Instead, they had to show us how mainstream Christianity was just as crazy, but that non-Mormons had been misinterpreting it. They showed me plenty of Bible verses and talked a lot about what mainstream churches believe, but I was able to counter everything they said, based on the fact that I spent around twelve years studying the Bible, theology, and the beliefs of various denominations.

When they could see that I knew more about their beliefs than most people they talk to, they had no choice but to back down and try to sell me on a pamphlet that would explain everything. I told the guy who offered me the pamphlet that I wasn’t going to read it, that I have probably already read the material that it cited, and that I would rather it go to someone who might be interested and sitting on the fence. I didn’t want that one person to miss out on this pamphlet because he ran out of them, meanwhile mine sat on a shelf and collected dust. He assured me that he has never run out, so I told him I would take it and put it in the free bin at Downtown Books and News, and perhaps someone else will find it more helpful. This seemed to him to be a good compromise.

We had a few more debates about human nature, the concept of sin, the existence of God, and the validity of the Bible, and then they decided their work was done. I started playing Michelle’s guitar and then one of our other neighbors, Ty, came out with his guitar. I grabbed my derbuka and we had a short little jam session until it started raining and we all dispersed. Overall it was a pretty fun evening. It’s not every day a group of people living in an apartment complex in the city hang out around a front porch and shoot the shit. And it’s definitely not every day five people gang up on some Mormons and have a good laugh at their expense.

In a completely unrelated note, my stuff is ready at the frame shop. My bank account isn’t exactly happy about that, but oh well. Two-and-a-half weeks until my show! w00t!!! And yeah, I guess that’s about it for now.