Tag Archive: friends


Forgive my overuse of apostrophes at the end of words. I don’t know what I was thinkin’.

But in all seriousness… I must be the least productive unemployed blogger on the planet. I just don’t feel like I have much of anything to write about, and I pretty much never feel inspired to write. Yet I have a ton of newfound free time and I’m running out of things to do with it. First world problems?

Basically I’ve spent every business day dropping off resumes and doing related things. I’ve done more online applications than you can shake a stick at. About the only one I haven’t done is the application for Lead Stick Shaker, and that’s mostly because the hours are terrible. But I digress.

Last Thursday I went to a job fair at AB Tech. It was mostly medical and manufacturing, so not a lot of good leads. There was one animal hospital there, and I gave them my resume and talked for a while. They’re way out in Hendersonville almost to Flat Rock, so if I had to travel that far, salary would definitely be a deciding factor in whether or not I accepted any job offer. There were a lot of staffing services and companies advertising their job bank websites at the fair, but I’ve yet to find anything I’m both qualified for and interested in on any of them.

I’m also not sure if the people working these booths are poorly informed, or if they have quotas to fill and feel compelled to lie, but quite a few of them did just that. For a data entry position at AB Tech, the woman at the booth told me I just needed to have a degree, it didn’t matter what it was. I went to the website to apply and it tells me I need to have a degree in a business-related field. A hotel that was represented there told me I didn’t need any previous hotel experience, but their website said it was required. I can probably think of another half-dozen examples, but you get my point. It’s a little frustrating when people tell you to your face that you’re qualified and hand you a sheet with a website, but then you go to the page and see just the opposite.

But yeah so, not a of luck with the job search as of yet. Besides that, not a lot of anything going on. I’ve been spending entirely too much time watching DVD’s from the library and other assorted mind-numbing television. I’ve hung out with my neighbors so much that I’m almost sick of them. On Saturday I went to the Montford Music & Arts Festival for a while and stopped by a house that was having a yard sale and had their unsold leftovers on the curb. I managed to snag a few CD’s, a bunch of fountain pens and accessories, and a really sweet little shelf. That’s pretty much been the highlight of the past week, if that tells you anything.

So yeah… thus is my boring life. I need a job or some other influx of money, and then I need to meet a cute girl to spend that money on. Or something like that.

*yawn*

 

The past few days have been rather productive…

Thursday was my day off. I started by paying my rent and dropping a bill in the mail. Then I went downtown to talk to the ESC about my claim. They told me everything was processed, but evidently there’s still some issue with my claim, so I’m gonna have to call there before work on Monday and see what’s up. I got my letter in the mail and it said there was something wrong, and when I filed my weekly certification it said I wouldn’t be getting paid this week. I’m wondering if the fact that I’m still employed complicates things, or if maybe my boss is trying to fight it or something. Hopefully I can get it figured out soon, because still no bites as far as other jobs go.

When I got home I went on a cleaning spree – vacuuming the living room and my bedroom and cleaning the microwave. I watched a little television and then cooked a nice dinner. Then I went to work on some art. A while back my friend Cassidy asked me to paint her a puppy, so that’s what I did. I did a light wash on some Japanese paper, then when it was dry I drew a cartoon-ish puppy, his doghouse, and some trees in the background. It’s pretty cheesy looking, but I’m fairly certain she’ll like it. Then I started on another piece in my Musings Of A Predator Drone series, which I eventually finished Friday before work. Other than that, Friday was pretty uneventful.

Today I woke up entirely too early to go to Geekout, a convention modeled after the big comic-cons that happen all over the world. I met up with James and Nici there and we roamed around for a while. We were all surprised by just how small it was – they didn’t even fill up the bottom level of UNCA’s basketball stadium. Most of the booths were just people selling prints of their geek culture-themed artwork, and a ridiculous amount of nerdy jewelry. There was live music, but it wasn’t particularly good. There was sword fighting with giant foam swords, a few panel discussions on things none of us were interested in, and gaming rooms where you could pay to play in tournaments. After about an hour and a half we were bored, having walked by every booth three or four times. They left to go see a movie and I picked up a quick lunch and then took a nap. I went back a little before 5:00 for a “shadow cast” of Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Basically it was a handful of people lip synching along while the actual production played on the screen behind them. The only one who was really in costume was Doctor Horrible, and while he definitely looked the part, he wasn’t particularly good at miming the motions. The guy playing Captain Hammer was tall and scrawny – he’s lucky if he weighs 100 pounds. He basically just wore a black t-shirt with a paper print of the Captain Hammer logo taped to it. The girl who played Penny was actually incredibly hot, and seemed to have a bit more personality than the others, even though her timing and lip synching skills weren’t exactly great either. They recruited people from the audience to do some of the non-essential characters, and in all honesty they did just as good a job as the supposed professionals putting on the production. Overall I’d say Geekout was basically a bust – a good way to kill a few hours, but ultimately disappointing and definitely not worth the cost of admission.

As of this writing I’m basically killing time before dinner, and then after dinner I’ll be going to a concert. The band Murder By Death is playing the Asheville Music Hall. While they’re not necessarily popular, they’re still a pretty big name for a venue that typically gets only local and regional bands. I told my neighbor Angela about the concert, and she looked them up online and decided she wants to go too. She’ll be bringing along her new boyfriend, and based on what she was saying, they’ll most likely leave early or right when it ends. While I’m not a huge fan of MBD, I really like the sound they have going on. Hopefully it will translate well and they’ll put on a pretty good show. I’m under the impression that any band with a cellist will make for an entertaining evening. James and Nici invited me to some burlesque thing at The Boiler Room, but it starts at the same time as the concert. Depending on when the concert ends I might swing by there and check it out, but probably not. I’ll more than likely just come home and veg out, in preparation for a nice boring day tomorrow…..

 

A Week Of Insanity

It all began last Saturday. Walking home from work, I found an unopened roll of Sweet Tarts on the ground. Believe it or not, that was among the more expected and “normal” things to happen…

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It’s been a busy week in the Asheville art scene. On Wednesday I attended a reception of works by the late painter Vadim Bora at Mars Hill College. I get the impression that he’s mostly unknown outside of his native Russia and his adopted hometown of Asheville, but that doesn’t say anything about the quality of his work. He worked in a ton of different styles, yet everything is instantly recognizable as his. Last year there was a retrospective exhibit, and this show was the highlights from that show. There was a curator’s talk, which I missed, before the reception. I spoke to his widow, and while she seemed pleasant enough, I was a little put off by the way she appears to be handling his estate. She said none of the paintings are for sale, and there are no prints available of anything. She literally told me that if I liked a particular piece, the only thing to do would be to keep coming to all the future exhibits so I could see it again. Her attitude came off a little snooty, like selling prints was beneath her or something. I’m sure that’s not how she really feels, but based on her wording that’s how she came off. But that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise wonderful exhibit.

Friday night I went out to the ARTery to check out a show by my former coworker Joshua Spiceland. They let him paint on the walls, continuing the designs and patterns from his pieces and connecting everything. He had 3D glasses available for viewing, even though they didn’t seem to really add much. The turnout seemed pretty good, and it seemed like he sold a few pieces. He’s clearly a local artist on the rise, but I guess I’m a little burnt out on his work after seeing so much of it over the past year or two. I haven’t been to any other openings at the ARTery, so I’m not sure the calibre of artists they usually have or what the turnout is usually like. I know that their hours are a little weird, which is something I’ve discovered to be pretty common with galleries and studios in the River Arts District. I always feel like I should venture outside of downtown and see more shows and try to get my stuff into more venues, but so far I haven’t been very impressed with the RAD. Who knows.

Tonight I managed to squeeze in two openings. First we had an opening for our artist of the month, Kristalyn Bunyan. She does a lot of monoprints on handmade paper, some of it with alpaca yarn and fibers. I really love her work, probably more so than any past artist of the month. In the year or so that I’ve been helping coordinate things, she’s been one of the easiest artists to work with as well. She submitted a listing to the Mountain Xpress, and not only did they run it, but it was about a quarter of a page with a picture. We had a busker providing live music out front and wine and refreshments inside. The turnout was amazing, and she sold quite a lot. I actually bought one of her cheapo unframed prints, and probably would have bought a few more if I had the money.

After our opening I went down the street to Zapow for a “steam punk carnival.” All of their shows are group shows with the majority of their member artists contributing. With Mardi Gras right around the corner, they decided to do a carnival theme, but steam punk style. There was a lot of great artwork, and some really cool music by a band called The Extraordinary Contraptions. I got there about halfway through the show, so I missed all the refreshments and about half of the music, but it was still pretty cool. I didn’t stay very long, because by then I was pretty tired and hungry, but it was definitely worth checking out.

In my own personal art world, I’ve been keeping pretty busy as well. I’ve been working off-and-on on several projects, including (but not limited to) a late birthday present for my neighbor Michelle, Katie’s Valentine’s Day present, a few really neat watercolor/mixed media pieces, and putting the finishing touches on my tree ring series. Between seeing art, reading about art, and creating art, I haven’t had a whole lot of time for anything else. Not that this is a bad thing. Well, except for sleep. I wish I had a little more time for sleep. Speaking of which, I should probably go do just that…..

 

So last night was the big night. Jeff Mangum, live at The Grey Eagle. A few months ago I waited outside of Harvest Records for hours to get tickets to what would become the fastest sellout in Grey Eagle history. And it was totally worth it.

I ended up taking my friend Morgan, a big Neutral Milk Hotel fan. I had asked Katie, but she had already planned a birthday party for the same day and didn’t want to shuffle things around. Her actual birthday was Wednesday, but she was in Atlanta until Friday night. We decided that I would go to the concert and then when it was over I would join up with the birthday party, already in progress. But more on that later…

Morgan finally got a car, and drove over to my place a little before the show. It was snowing and she freaked out, so I drove to the concert. Parking was ridiculous. I wound up parking in front of a warehouse about a quarter of a mile from the Grey Eagle. The place was pretty packed, with people lined up into the parking lot waiting to get in. They had two lines going, based on last name, and it was nearly fifteen minutes before we were inside.

The opening band was a duo called Tall Firs. They both played electric guitars in various tunings through lots of effects. It was pretty mellow and atmospheric, with a sort of dream-pop/slowcore vibe going on. I bought one of their albums, but it’s very different. They have a drummer (or did at the time of this album, which came out in 2008) and the sound is more straight ahead rock. Evidently one of the guys is a guitar tech for Sonic Youth and they’re on Thurston Moore’s label. A lot of the CD reminds me of Sebadoh. I hear a little Pavement in there, and possibly some of Sonic Youth’s less experimental and noisy moments. I’m going to have to check out their other stuff and see how it compares, but I like the CD I bought a lot.

After a brief intermission Jeff Mangum took the stage. He looks a bit different from when we last saw him, with a huge greying beard that makes him look very Asheville. He opened with “Holland, 1945” and it quickly became obvious that the entire night would be one giant sing along. He played a few more songs from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea and threw in a few from On Avery Island as well. He didn’t really talk a lot in between songs, except to thank the crowd for being so supportive. On several occasions the usually dark and depressed Morgan suddenly turned into a twelve-year-old cheerleader, screaming her head off and countering every Jeff Mangum thank you with a “no, thank you!”

On several songs during the first half of his performance, Mangum hummed the melodies that were played by a horn section on the album. I like to think of myself as being somewhat observant, so it didn’t escape me that for some reason there were four microphones on stage. Even though I knew it was coming, when the horn section came out for “Oh Comely,” I just about lost it. Everything sounded perfect, perhaps even better than on the album. After thunderous applause from the crowd, he launched into an extended version of “Naomi,” and again the horns came out. He closed with “Two Headed Boy,” but this time the horn section was joined by a guy with a floor tom and another guy with a tambourine. They played the instrumental “The Fool” and then everyone left the stage as the crowd went insane. Jeff returned for an encore of “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.” Pretty much everyone there was singing along, and when the horns came out one last time it was the perfect end to an amazing performance.

I wound up buying In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on 180 gram vinyl, and while I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t a gatefold, the artwork looks amazing. The record itself has the phonograph/plane/whatever picture on the label and the lyrics and credits are on a sheet inside the sleeve. I stuck my ticket stub and bracelet inside the sleeve as well. I was hoping to get him to sign it, but the guy at the merchandise table said he doesn’t usually come out to sign and meet with people. Oh well, still totally worth it.

After the show we came back to my place. Morgan didn’t stick around, and I attempted to get in touch with Katie. She wasn’t answering her phone, so I assumed either she couldn’t hear it or was already too drunk to perform such a high level action. I remembered that she said their pub crawl was starting at The Yacht Club, so I decided to go down there and see if they were still there. The guy said they had already left and he didn’t know where they were. I decided to try another of her usual haunts, Broadway’s, but they weren’t there either. Finally she returned my text message and said they were at a gay bar. I asked where it was, but she said they were leaving. I told her I’d take a rain check and she should come over tonight so I could give her her birthday present(s). This afternoon I talked to her and she said she was really hung over and hanging out with her family. As of yet she hasn’t gotten home, so I’m thinking we’re not going to hang out tonight. Hopefully I’ll get to see her tomorrow.

I think I’m going to work on some paintings and then attempt to get to sleep at a decent hour. The End.

 

So I log on to make a new post and WordPress looks absolutely nothing like it did a few days ago. What the???

Well anyway… back to what I was going to post about…

Yesterday I closed my account with BB&T. They didn’t even ask why I was closing my account. You could tell they just didn’t give a shit. I guess after the whole “occupy” thing and everyone switching to credit unions they’re just so used to it. But switching to a credit union is definitely the way to go, in the event someone reading this was contemplating.

After my bank fun and a little shopping I picked Katie up from work. Her ex sent her a “moneygram” and we ended up going to several places hoping in vain someone would cash it. We didn’t have any success, but she was able to cash a refund check from the electric company and she insisted on paying for dinner. I wouldn’t have any of that, but I did cave and let her pay for the movie tickets…

We went to see Frankenweenie at the Brew-n-view. It was pretty good overall, if not earth-shattering. While it was clearly aimed at children, it never came off as cheesy or pandering, and there were plenty of jokes adults would love. There were a lot of neat homages to classic black-and-white horror movies, but it mostly avoided the popular trend of inserting a million pop culture references to make you laugh. The bottom line is that if you’re a Tim Burton fan you’ll like it. It wasn’t my favorite of his movies, and after a while the 3-D glasses were giving me a headache, but it was definitely an enjoyable movie experience.

That’s about all for now. I’ll probably play around with this weird new setup and hopefully get around to posting my long-delayed best-of-2012 list. I have a few more albums to listen to before I set anything in stone, but it’s almost finished. Until then…..

 

It’s nearly 2:00 am. I’ve just returned from Katie’s apartment. She has four cats, and her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend both smoke in the house. I haven’t been able to breathe for quite some time and I itch all over. I just took a Benadryl. What better time to finally write my review of the past year?

Yeah. I’ll make this quick.

This year was pretty eventful. In January I got out of a long-term relationship. I’ve spent the past year chronicling my dating life, which has been mostly humorous. I seem to have found someone who isn’t interested in stupid games, but this post is about 2012, not this year.

It was a year of loss. In February I lost my grandfather on my dad’s side, three months to the day that my grandmother on my mom’s side passed away. In September I lost my other grandmother. I drove to Fayetteville for my grandfather’s funeral and saw how completely and utterly insane my family is. I decided to stay far away when my grandmother passed. In the interim, my aunt has severed all ties with everyone else in my family. She even un-friended us all on Facebook. Is it possible to “un-family” someone? Holidays haven’t quite been the same since then. I’m pretty glad I live on the other side of the state from her and the other nutcases I’m somehow related to.

On a professional level, 2012 was a year of triumph. In late 2011 I set a personal goal that by my birthday I would have my art career off the ground. I bested that goal by several months, putting together a website, a Facebook page, a shop, getting business cards printed up, and being booked for my first solo show in Asheville by the end of April. My show started in August and ended up running for over two months. I sold a lot of prints and an original. In November I was booked for a group show, and while that ended up being a disaster thanks to the complete unprofessionalism of the “gallery,” it was still something. Not only this, but I was given a raise and promotion at the art supply store, enabling me to quit the gas station, gain an extra day off, and not lose any pay. On this end of things, I really have nothing to complain about.

A lot else happened. I got sick a few times. I most certainly did damage to my liver. We survived another election campaign. Justin Bieber still exists.

In the end, it was like any other year. It had its share of ups and downs. I met new people and watched old friendships dissolve. I laughed and had good times. I got my heart broken. You win some, you lose some. But returning to the world of blogging has helped me to keep things in perspective a little better, and be the introspective sonofabitch I was designed to be. So far 2013 is off to a smashing start – a potential new girlfriend, a new roommate, a new bank account. But like any other year, there will inevitably be low points ahead. That’s really about all you can say about life. I made it through another year, and this new year will be one hell of a ride. Life is a journey, not a destination. I’m not sure if that was Coleridge or Aerosmith, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Benadryl is kicking in. The End.

 

Merry New Year!

We’re now about four hours into 2013 here on the east coast. If these first few hours are any indication, this will be quite the year. But a super quick recap of the past week is needed…

Christmas was okay. Nothing out of the ordinary, good nor bad. We went to my sister’s house to watch my niece and nephew open presents, then came back to my parents’ house to open our own. The rest of the day was spent sleeping, hanging out with the family, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and eating food I shouldn’t have eaten. The day after Christmas we headed to Best Buy so I could buy a new external hard drive, Target to return a shirt, the auto shop so I could buy¬† new wiper blades, and a few other random places. After dinner I headed home, stopping a few times for gas, food, and bathroom usage. By the time I got to Black Mountain it had started snowing, and when I arrived home there was a light dusting of snow, to go along with 70 mph winds. A tree fell on a power line minutes after I started unpacking and I was in the dark. The power came back on at some point during the night, but I have no idea when. The next day I went to work, still half asleep. The entire rest of the week was pretty uneventful.

So that brings us to the current holiday. I made a dinner date with a girl named Katie (yet another one!) who lives in my apartment complex. We had met quite some time ago when we were both waiting for the bus. She has bluish-greenish streaks in her hair and I complimented her on them. We chatted a little but that was pretty much it. A few weeks ago she came into the art supply store and we realized we knew each other and started chatting. We exchanged numbers and decided to get together sometime. I saw her at the bus stop again a few days ago and we talked about how neither of us had plans for New Year’s Eve.

She suggested Nine Mile for dinner, but when we got there it was standing room only, so we gave up and went somewhere far from downtown. We settled on Elena’s, which is probably the best Mexican restaurant in town. After dinner we came back to my place because hers was messy. We had some drinks, watched an episode of Fawlty Towers, and did a little snuggling. The rest of the evening I won’t go into detail about, but it’s safe to say this was the most successful first date I’ve had in a while. Not sure when or what the second date will be, but there most definitely will be one.

So I didn’t watch the ball drop. I didn’t go to any parties or festivities. I spent the evening with someone I barely know while my friends were off doing god knows what. All in all it was a pretty low-key New Year’s, but it was quite possibly the best one I’ve ever had. Now I’m exhausted and sleep calls. In the coming days I’ll attempt to write some sort of grand philosophical review of 2012, along with my annual best-of music list. But for now, sleep.

 

I’m writing this from my family’s house. It’s the wee hours, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. In about five hours my family will want to wake up to open presents. I should be exhausted, yet I’m not. It’s pretty much impossible to sleep around here, for one reason or another. So out of boredom and the need for an update on life, let’s back up…

Last Wednesday my probable roommate came over to do some measurements. It looks as though his stuff is going to fit, so at this point all that’s left is for him to go to the office and apply. Later that night I met a girl named Amber who I’ve been talking to on OKCupid and Facebook. She’s a redhead, she works with autistic people, and she’s in recovery, five years sober. She seems really sweet and intelligent, but I’m not sure what I think about her yet. I’ll probably try to get up with her after the holidays and then see how things go.

Thursday night after work I went to Walmart for a few quick things and ended up waiting in line for almost an hour. I wrapped Christmas presents and finished a new painting. On Friday my friend Rhiannon came into town, along with her boyfriend and some friends of theirs, another couple. I stayed up pretty late talking and goofing off and was extremely sleepy at work on Saturday.

After work Saturday we met back up downtown. I waited while Rhiannon and her boyfriend got new tattoos, then we went in search of food. My neighbor Angela sent me a text saying that she was at the LAB with my other neighbor Michelle. They hit it off nicely with Rhiannon and my new friends and everyone had a pretty good time. Rhiannon and Michelle did more than a little flirting with each other, which was pretty interesting to say the least. After dinner we split up, with Angela, Michelle, and I staying at the LAB and the others going to the Boiler Room for some techno fetish Christmas party. Playing that night at LAB was an old friend from Fayetteville who I haven’t seen in years, a guy named Ryan who performs under the name Rookie Of The Year. We hung out afterward and he bought me a drink and gave me a deal on his newest CD. It’s not exactly my prefered style of music, but definitely a step up from his last album. I rode home with Angela and Michelle and then we hung out at Angela’s apartment for a while. Rhiannon and her friends got back around 3:00, very drunk and giggly. We chatted for a while and then everyone went to sleep.

I somehow managed to wake up extremely early Sunday to pack my stuff and load my car. I spent the whole day at work alternating between nodding off and consuming more caffeine. After work I met up with a guy named Christian. He posted on Reddit that he needed a ride to Statesville and would pay gas money. I figured I was going that way anyway, I might as well. In Hickory, after much confusion, we met up with my friend Lucie. Christian’s sister came to Hickory and picked him up, and Lucie and I had dinner, drinks, and chatted. After dinner I set back on the road, alone, but with the help of much more caffeine. I arrived at my family’s house around 1:00. Earlier today a few of my mom’s friends came over, followed by my sister, her new husband, and the kids. We had dinner, opened a few presents, drank, and watched TV. Everyone is either gone or asleep now, and I’m thinking at some point in time I should follow suit.

A lot of my family’s Christmas traditions haven’t happened this year. We didn’t go to Midnight Mass, we’ve yet to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, etc. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas, which I suspect is part of being an adult. It’s still my favorite holiday, but it’s becoming more and more just another day. And now I’m finally starting to get sleepy, so perhaps the time for rambling is over. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, The End.

 

The pre-Christmas rush

You know how you feel like you’re really busy, but then you can’t think of anything you’ve done? That’s kinda how I feel right now.

I dropped my car off at the shop Friday before work. I need new shocks and a new belt tensioner, I knew that beforehand. I just want to make sure my car is highway-ready before I leave for Fayetteville. Evidently it took them a few days to get the parts because it’s not ready, and they said probably tomorrow around lunch time. I need to do a little last-minute shopping at the *gasp* mall before I have to work four days and then leave town. Today I had to bum a ride to the laundromat from my roommate and walk pretty much everywhere else.

I’ve been looking for a new roommate, with very limited success. I can’t remember if I blogged about this already or not, but at the beginning of the year, Sofia is moving in with Joshua, who know has an open room because his roommate moved to Africa. I put an ad on Craigslist, but I’ve gotten a pretty random assortment of weirdos, people my mom’s age, people on disability, people who want to raise chickens, you name it. This guy Matt seems pretty cool. He’s coming over tomorrow to measure the room and make sure his furniture will fit, and if so I’ll offer it to him. If not, I’m not really sure what to do. There isn’t even a close second this time around. It’s him and a bunch of freaks. So hopefully his stuff will fit and it will be a fairly easy transition. Fingers crossed…..

Not much going on in the girl department. A friend of a friend added me on Facebook and was supposed to come over last night. I haven’t met her in person, and I only knew of her existence for an hour before she said she wasn’t doing anything and wanted to have a good time. Evidently her friend needed her for emotional support or something equally dramatic, so it didn’t happen. Maybe we’ll get together sometime soon, who knows. I met a girl on OKCupid last week and we’ve been chatting. She seems really cool, but we’ve yet to meet in person. But that’s really about all I have going on at the moment. My friend Rhiannon is coming to Asheville on Friday and Saturday, which should be a fun time. I’m not sure how much I’ll get to see her since I’m working both days, but any time spent with her is pretty fun.

So yeah, that’s pretty much my life at the moment. The End.