Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Uphill Battle - Both Ways!

I'm mixing my colloquialisms here, but trying to be creative and productive is an uphill battle. Both ways. In the snow. With no shoes.

I'm lucky. Spoiled, even. So many things have come so easily to me in life. I never had to try that hard in school, never had to work that hard at anything. I think it gave me this false sense that all things should come easily, without much effort. I think it is especially hard for me to grasp the fact that I may have to work hard at a natural talent.

I didn't update my comics site in months. Half a year, about. It's because, for a half a year, I didn't feel like the art I was producing was good enough. OK, so my 24 Hour Comic was pretty good. And maybe I liked my paintings that were in the show. But I was in a rut, things weren't coming as smoothly as I had expected (that's what she said).

I was talking with my friend Mr. DL and I discovered that he spends hours every day drawing. Practicing. Working his ass off at what he loves. Mr. PR spends hours upon hours working on a single comic! Mr. MW can whip out a great sketch in moments, but even he puts a lot of effort into his really great works of art. Here I was, expecting to spend a minimal amount of time and effort to produce something great. I'm such a lazy artist!

I've decided that I need to develop better habits; I need to practice daily. Today, the peak of my productivity involved drawing a picture of the elusive Mer-mer via a very tangent filled conversation with Miss ER and drawing a comic of my day. My very boring day. It turned into sort of a meta comic, which I illustrated in the final panel. I think I could end up in a Synecdoche, NY sort of situation at worst. Anyway, I've decided to draw daily, a daily comic. One page minimum. I will draw from life. It will help me keep track of what I'm doing with my days and it will get me practice drawing, so I can improve, hopefully.

But I am only human and I am prone to distraction and lack of self restraint. Also, whims. Friday was Miss L's birthday, which involved a fancy dinner and a (mostly) surprise party, which didn't suit me in the end. I ended up leaving to hang out with Misters K and D and co.;we had a mellow night. Saturday was meant to be fully mellow but after watching 500 Days of Summer and being sort of melancholy about the idea of love lost and broken hearts, I needed some whiskey. It's not necessary to comment on what happens when I drink whiskey. I needn't imply that it involves poor decision making skills. Also, dancing.

Today was the fully mellow day that Saturday had promised (fail) but without the productivity I had required of myself. I could argue that I was fairly productive since I made a comic, at least. Low standards. I know.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Juneau's Most Wanted?

My paranoid grandma who watched America's Most Wanted religiously would be proud:

There's this man in town, known to many as "creepy mustache guy," who is or is merely steps away from being a sex offender, I'm sure. It's not the mustache that tipped me off, either. It's that he's a creepy, lonely, instantly clingy, way too touchy-feely drunk. He's everywhere, too. He came into the bar while I was working one night and the next day while I was volunteering at Wearable Arts he came up to me acting like we were old friends and gave me an uncomfortably prolonged shoulder pat while I undoubtedly looked horrifically disgusted (I can't hide my emotions well). He can be found lurking at the State Office Building on the 8th floor, sitting in on hearings at the legislature (wtf?!?), or drunkenly creeping people out anywhere around town.

My roommate said he came into her workplace drunk one time and was really creeping out her and a co-worker, staring at their t-shirts and asking what they said (too drunk to read, apparently) and the owner of the shop kicked the guy out. One of my friends said that he used to work for one of the seasonal jewelry stores in town, but that they fired him because he creepily insisted on walking one of their 17 year old employees home/followed her home on multiple occasions. Yeah, it's hearsay, but if you have encountered creepy mustache guy, you'd believe it. He was also fired from his job at a supermarket, recently. He is unemployed and apparently living at the Glory Hole, may go by multiple names, and he is definitely a creepy old drunk who makes inappropriately sexual comments and gives off that sex offender vibe.

So, right, I didn't actually come on here to warn you about creepy mustache guy, I guess, but to tell you about how I'd make my paranoid grandma proud. I decided there is a really good chance this guy is a sex offender so I decided to check out the registry. If you didn't already know, you can look up sex offenders by name or location, etc. I didn't find him under either of his supposed names, so I decided to just browse the registry by zip code. I haven't finish ParanoiaFest 2010 yet, but I did discover a familiar name in the registry, someone who happens to follow me on twitter, actually. His twitter handle references a sports team and he happened to be wearing one of their jerseys in his mug shot! How convenient that he would make it so easy to make the connection. I am probably just being paranoid, but I blocked the guy on twitter. He didn't say anything interesting and his picture for a while was pretty degrading to women, so he's not worth following and I certainly don't want him following me. I don't know the circumstances, I guess, but I feel like "better safe than sorry" is the rule to follow.

I need some interweb advice - I don't know if I should "out" this guy as a potential skeeze-bag because I don't know the circumstances. It could be really unfair for me to say "@skeeze-bag is a skeeze-bag" if, for some reason, there were extenuating circumstances surrounding his conviction. On the same note, based on my superficial judgment of him, he seems like he could be pretty shady. Do I have a responsibility to my twitter friends to warn them that a registered sex offender is following them on twitter and that sharing too much information could be a really bad idea or suggest that they, too, block him? I'm leaning toward feeling an obligation to warn my twitter friends. What the heck should I do?

By the way, I'll update later if ParanoiaFest2010 leads to finding creepy mustache guy in the registry.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Working

I'm working. Things are working out.

I finally got paid a little of the money from one job and I am anticipating getting paid at the end of each month from my new job.

Both of these things are great because apparently receiving unemployment benefits was never going to happen.

I'm pretty excited about the new job, I think it is a great opportunity for me to do a lot of the things necessary to a successful arts organization, helping me to know what to do in the future and hopefully making me a better candidate for a graduate program in Arts Administration.

It's exciting to think about applying for grad school, while being completely unexciting to actually apply. I don't know how I don't have miserable memories of applying to 5 or 6 colleges or universities for undergrad. The applications online are obnoxious and the prospect of writing essays and letters, soliciting recommendation letters, ordering transcripts, shelling out money, contemplating costs, filling out FAFSA, applying for grants and loans and scholarships - it's all quite daunting.

I need to take one full day to just write out a reasonable template for personal statements, essays, letters, etc., another to fill out all the stupid applications, another to request transcripts and recommendation letters, another to fill out FAFSA and search scholarships, then who knows how many days writing essays for scholarships and crap like that. I am pretty sure trying to get this in order could be a full time job. I should probably give up my social life.

The good news, the executive director went to one of the schools I am considering (she's my inspiration, actually - a woman my own age who was motivated and has a great job running an organization) and a friend from college did the program at another school to which I contemplate applying. I've got a phone date with Miss S on Saturday to talk about that particular program. I think she's been very successful with it.

I also talked to the program director at the community art studio and will be doing two classes in May, which seems slightly daunting with the music festival being in May, but I think it might be a necessary reprieve and the dates don't clash at all. Then in June I'll probably avoid teaching at the community studio because I'll be teaching three sections a day of "Creating Comics" at the fine arts camp and will probably not want to teach any more than that.

I'm already thinking about how I have nothing planned after fine arts camp in June. IF I end up going somewhere else for grad school in the fall, that could leave me with an awkward period of time to find temporary employment, or if I stay, it means that I'll again be on the hunt for the next big thing.

Someday I'll have it all figured out. I will.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Commitment Friendly

In the past I've probably referred to myself as commitment phobic, but that only refers to my fear of being in relationships (which isn't so strong a fear anymore) but I've never been a real commitment phobe, I think I might be commitment philic, just not necessarily concerning relationships.

We all know I was president of one organization, am now president of another organization, regularly work two to three jobs, that I am politically involved, plus I put together that art show, am helping plan Roller Derby, I now teach some art classes, and I am doing costume design for a play with a lot of costumes.

This is a busy, busy weekend and it involves many of my different commitments. Today I woke up earlier than usual to get to the workshop for the play by 10am - we had readings and discussed characters and I sketched out some preliminary drawings for costumes for some of the many characters.

After that I went to teach my first comics workshop, a valuable learning experience and pretty fun. I had a group that was mostly 8-11 year olds and it was interesting to work with all the kids and see the differences in their behavior, comprehension, and abilities. Everyone was really creative and there was a lot of talent, I had a lot of fun and I hope that the kids did, too. I hope, in the future, that I can do more than just a two hour workshop, maybe having 3 or four classes so that I can focuse on drawing and format and building stories in one, work with kids on their stories and art for a second class, and for a third one, try to put finishing touches on the comics and get them ready to share with people.

Directly after the comic workshop I went to work and hosted the Roller Derby meeting about a half hour after I arrived. The group was fantastic, people were really excited, committed, and motivated. A friend of mine shared that when she was young she broke both her arms skating, but she's back for more! Some of the women at the event had skated in the late 80's, I think, and were excited to get into Derby. We made a lot of progress and will be electing a board of at least three women at the next meeting. We should have our first skate practice in about 6 weeks!

Tomorrow I am happy to get to sleep in after such a busy day. I do have commitments later in the day in preparation for International Women's Day. I am not sure how many women will make it, but I hope we can make some signs and then get women to commit to brave the weather for a bit to hold up our signs on the Bridge. It is apparently a world wide event, though I don't know how many will be standing on a bridge in sleet and wind over a channel connected to the North Pacific. That will tale place on Monday. In theory.

Also on Monday I'll be starting a new job. It's only part time, but I think it is a great step forward toward what I think is my best career path. I really loved organizing the Alt Art show, so I think that arts administration ought to be the right path for me. I am also looking into obtaining my master's in arts management, so that I can hopefully have the basis to run an arts organization, one in existence or possibly turning Alt Art AK into a viable organization.

So, that is life, falling together as it ought to.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Getaway

As some know, I went returned on Monday from a weekend getaway. Usually I try to take long vacations, visiting everywhere possible in a period of time so I don't end up spending quite as much on plane tickets in the end. Sometimes, though, I apparently make weekend trips. Like that time when my sister got married. Or this last weekend.

I went to the San Francisco Bay Area. I was requested to update, but I have to say, I didn't do much that warrants talking about. We were basically hanging out, doing things we'd normally do, just in a different location.

Oh, you caught me, I said WE. I didn't go to visit family or friends from the area, I actually went for a very specific reason to see a very specific person. After six months, it was great to see Mr. CP again. And congratulations to him for being done with law school and the bar exam.

And because I can't NOT offer something interesting or amusing, I will think of something exciting right now and type it here:

  • We were only offered pot about 3-5 times walking down Haight street. Less funny, it's kind of depressing that we apparently look like such squares that only 3-5 people thought to offer to sell us drugs.
  • While in Golden Gate Park we found the outdoor roller disco. Instead of disco, though, it was old school hip hop and included beginners to people who could do jumps and rock some sweet moves, I got somewhat inspired and really want to buy outdoor wheels for my derby skates so I can do something like that at Marine Park.
  • We went to a Moroccan restaurant in San Francisco and there was a belly dancer. I guess that's normal. I'm not sure if it is normal for the belly dancer to recruit women in the restaurant to dance around with her. I guess I'll have to eat at more Moroccan restaurants in the future as a study.
I think all we really did on the trip was drink coffee and eat at restaurants. Exciting, right? Well, sometimes vacations are just meant to be relaxing, I think.