So bookmark : http://www.CurtisDraws.com
So bookmark : http://www.CurtisDraws.com
I don't usually push stuff like this, but this is a really good site, and it just shines with honesty and realism. Of course the author is hawking a book and soaking up the AdSense, but it's not invasive, and the content of the site is wide open. I like it a lot.
Mind you this is not an endorsement of the design. Sometimes even someone like me can dig a site for content alone.
The first few days, the content was pretty benign and helpful. It went something like : Today is a great day to achieve things you've been putting off! Go ahead and tell people what you really think today, because honesty will only bring your friends closer now.
But by week two, things were getting a bit darker and the content had devolved to something more like : Though you have the best intentions, your actions just don't seem to get you anywhere today. Be alert to the dangers that surround you.
By the end of that week, it was this horrible downer to the effect of : As your dreams come crashing down around you, your only hope is to try to minimize the damage. Loved ones no longer trust you.
Today's I can quote verbatim. It reads : You may not be ready to do what is being asked of you today, but your feelings are less important now than your obligations. Instead of thinking about your needs, you must now attend to those around you. Consider the usefulness of anything you say or do prior to taking action. Remember, efficiency is temporarily more essential than comfort.
Isn't that so heavy?! Makes you want to stay in bed.
But try as I might, I can't seem to stop reading them, and thinking thoughts like, "well, you should read today's; it might turn out to be a good day and you won't know unless you read it." The impulse is a combination of what I imagine a gambling addiction would be like, and the same responsibility that forces me to open the bills and pay them. So that's like, "you have to confront this or things will get even worse".
Which is ridiculous. The actual truth is that on these supposedly horrible days, I always forget that they were supposed to have been horrible, and the day flows, and then at night, when I remember what the horoscope said, I can usually apply it to some not-so-traumatic thing, like, "oh yeah, I guess I did have to wash a lot of socks today" or "Stephanie did seem kind of grumpy."
So definitely not the life-altering trauma that is so dramatically implied by whichever florid and dissatisfied Tarot.com employee gets to wrap words around these planetary events.
Some person interprets the formations of the stars and planets, and tells some writer, "such and such planet and star are near each other today so Cancer is going to have to make a decision" and then the writers says to herself, "fine, but how can I make that DRAMATIC?"
"Despite your best efforts, difficult choices are inevitable today. Brace for the impact."
This is the same thing that happened to television journalism when ratings became involved. Suddenly the anchors have to look like washed-up soap stars and the first 75% of the show details the different violent ways in which people recently died.
But as much as I'd like to end the post with a commitment to stop reading these things, or to stop taking them seriously, I don't think I could deliver. Something in me needs to 'confront' them.
Didn't work very hard at all at the gym today. About 15 minutes on the elliptical machine and a few weights was all I had patience for and then I found myself here.
Matthew dropped by the cafe on his way to some party and seemed a bit distracted and down but I'm taking the focus off that because the issue isn't mine to claim and he'll do what he needs to do to deal with whatever he's dealing with. In the 80's and 90's we were told by feel-good cartoons that you should reach out and care and give. Those are good concepts but are dangerous when taught in the absence of the lesson that sometimes respect means letting someone deal with their own issue. Distress just as often warrants backing away as it does a valiant rescue. So I'm working on remembering that. Or not so much remembering it, but learning to act it instinctually when the situation arises instead of my usual ritual of flattening someone with 'what's wrong's' or offering them an enormous assortment of unwanted solutions. Or coercive attitude modifications strategies that, half the time, backfire and cause nothing short of pure rage on the part of the recipient.
No, tonight it's a small coffee and some airplane noise for me. One thing I hope is that there will be easy access to airplane noise over the Puget Sound.
My roster of events is borring so I'll spare you, but let it be known that I'm busy as fuck and a little on edge as well.
This and my developing gym habbit make it hard to draw, paint or code anything that does not directly relate to a paid project or in some way move me closer to Seattle.
So the illustration may or may not happen. Maybe this weekend, but I don't want to avoid posting just because of this self-promise that seems to be hurting my updates rather than helping them.
And that alone paints the picture I think.
In fact, laughing isn't the result of a joke where I work. No, laughing has become a way of reaffirming complete similarity of beliefs. Person A states an opinion and follows it with a 'you know?' and then Person A and Person B laugh simultaneously to acknowledge that they both completely agree. If Person B secretly did not agree with Person A (unheard of!) then they might sulk away afterwards and find their own Person B to laugh with about not agreeing.
Person A: I just can't get enough fried chicken, you know?
Person B: I know! I am the WORST. I just love fried chicken!
Person A and Person B: HA! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! We are the WORST!
Hypothetical Me: I don't really like fried chicken.
Person A and Person B: You don't? Well the South just hasn't gotten to you yet is all, you'll see.
(later that day person A and B are squatting in Person B's cubicle talking about how weird Hypothetical Me is, and about how they don't think he's patriotic at all.)
Part of the problem is that I'm a WEB DESIGNER and CODER, and CARTOONIST. Around here, that makes people's heads explode because as a gay man from the South, I should have chosen Hair Stylist, Florist, or Interior Designer. So from the very start its like I've infiltrated the Trinity Broadcasting Network as an Information Technology professional every single day I come to work.
There are at least three men in this giant building who are paid a full time salary to walk around and check on flowers. There are innumerable food photographers, and a fashion photographer. There's a makeup guy. There are so many interior designers I don't venture a guess, but you can tell them from the other gay guys because they still use hair gel.
Of course there are the guys who do the expansive grounds work as well, but that's outdoors work and evidently only Mexicans are suitable for exposure to the sun in this state.
In fact, that brings me to a whole new topic, which is the reason anyone cares about a gay white guy at all around here in the first place. Here's why: tragedy. There's a sense that you 'had it all, and yet chose to give it up'. So we're a mysterious breed, often equated to vampires due to our romantic ruination. The gay Black guy. The gay Hispanic guy. They get none of this treatment because they had nothing to begin with. The lesbian is already a woman, and therefore already second class. Yes it is the gay white male alone who can be valued, and he can be valued only if he chooses to become a hair stylist, florist, or interior designer. This is because he can be subservient to upper class white women in those roles. Like a eunuch. So safe and yet still a white man! How convenient!
My magical gym god transformation is more lengthy, expensive and involved than I had anticipated. This has nothing to do with unrealistic expectations. It only has to do with the fact that one doesn't have to notice that one is doing anything at all when one is depressed, sedintary and overeating, but as soon as one starts trying to lose weight one notices every damn moment. After a month I'm down about 15 pounds and my body is in a very strange in-between phase. Thicker but lighter -- not attractive at all yet.
So I've got three more months to get down to 150 pounds, and I can do it if I continue to lose 15 pounds per month. There is intense pressure within me to avoid arriving in Seattle as the fat Alabamian. If at all possible, I'd like to arrive as the skinny, muscular, accent-free, oh-my-god-you're-Alabamian?! I'm not talking about playing a role. I'm just talking about wanting to make up for years of sitting on my ass and letting these morons to my left and right erode my expectations of life. Time to put up a fight is all.
I've got to reformat and install Windows over Ubuntu on my laptop since it will be my only machine to collaborate with my clients on. I'll partition it and install Ubuntu as a secondary OS. Makes me sad but I have to be able to create Flash, open Quark and InDesign documents, and deal with complex Photoshop files that Gimp doesn't handle properly. Proprietary formats will bite you every time. At least I can keep Ubuntu on a partition for my own private use.
The way I feel is impossible to pin down. I am alternately very very sad, worried, and excited. Watching Matthew's sadness is the worst part of the change. I can't stand to see him sad; I'm looking forward to finding a place for him to stay so that there won't be so many questions and concerns on his mind. The sooner his questions of survival are addressed, the better.
So at work, I bound around the halls with the hugest grin on my face because all I can think about is how thrilled I am to be leaving this awful place, but on the drive home I start thinking about questions and problems, and at home all I think about is making things work for Matthew, and the turmoil of packing and getting rid of things. If ever I wanted things to move faster, it would be now. I want to skip past the hard 'figuring out' part and move straight to the 'doing' part.
Then add emotion and some sadness and disbelief.
Naturally the very first thing I calculated when I considered the situation was the maximum amount of weight I could lose before moving. Mind you, no date is set, so I was figuring out things like -- 12 pounds in one month and 24 in two. 36 in three.
But the day wore on.
Its now 1:41 and I've dealt with the all the stresses and the deadlines from hell all while sucking my stomach in for a solid seven hours, with another two and an half to go before I can leave work, waddle to my car and exhale. This self-imposed invisible inhalation corset has caused such an stabbing pain in my lower back that twice so far I've skulked into an empty conference room to lay down under a table.
Those people you see in pictures with flat, perfect stomachs? Are they sucking in? Is this all a big lie? I can see my abs now, but if I don't constantly compress my abdomen, I'm still the same old waddling white middle class web dork.
As much as I didn't like being fat, I might also not like being fit if it turns out to be this uncomfortable!
Any other night might have been different. I should have just acknowledged to myself last night that I didn't want to be there, and excused myself.
I think most people figure out these things before they hit 27.
Tangentially, I also tend to tell people what I want before I do it, and then use the fact that I told people I wanted something as a motivation to do it whether or not I still want it at the time of the doing. It's like signing a contract with the general social sphere I live in. Often I can't make good on the contract and have to hope it will fade with time, or that I can turn the fact that I didn't do the thing I said I wanted into some kind of lesson or some other type of want.
My advice to myself is to stop wanting into the future, and to stop telling people what I want. I need to feel what I want at the moment of the wanting and decide whether or not to do it. If I never do it, there's no reason anyone should know I ever wanted it. And if I do follow through, people should be informed of what I have already done, and not what I wish I could do.
But I've finished and tweaked a lot of the work since the end of the show -- just to prove to myself that this stuff could have been great, but also motivated by a kind of secret new opportunity. Opportunity of the week. It's a Beneficialicious Cornucopportunitopia but I can't talk about it yet.
My days at the gym are starting to pay off; I've lost weight and gained some muscle. It's expensive to maintain a trainer, but I subsidize the cost with the money I no longer spend on large meals, so that's win/win.
I think trying to force the Seattle trip to happen in October might be pushing too hard. Home life with Matthew and the cats is alright right now; ironically it's the best it's ever been. The power of letting go of expectations; remind me to do that before the end next time.
I've got plenty of projects to keep me busy and generate money for my savings account such that a trip further down the road would be not only possible but comfortable.
|November 2013January 2014|