attempting to preserve my health (…so I say)

Yeah, that.¬† ūüėȬ† Right now I’m dissolving a zinc lozenge in my mouth before going back to bed; I lay down at 8 PM or something, basically slept until midnight, then took medication.¬† In addition, I also took B-complex and Vitamin C supplements.

I feel kind of bad doing this instead of homework…but sometimes you really need to care for yourself, you know?¬† Emotionally, mentally, and physically.

I did spend about $20 at the hardware and craft stores today, though D picked up the tab at the latter.  So now I have two feet of 14g copper wire, and three feet of 16g (as I said before, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire).  My flush cutters can take two mm of copper wire, max., but I also have heavy-duty cutters lent me by D.

Right now I am wondering how I’m going to polish this stuff — we do have a Dremel, and polishing equipment to¬† go with it — but I forgot that hardware store wire (the kind one can torch, pickle, and patina) generally isn’t sold, polished.¬† I’ve got to figure out what to do with that.¬† I can’t do wire wraps around an unfinished clasp…nor should I polish anything that isn’t soldered down.¬† Plus, polishing compound sprays everywhere, and I’ll need to wear work clothes and a face mask + goggles.

It’s not that it’s difficult to use a pick-soldering technique to secure wirework, it’s just that I’ve never used a small butane torch, before (as versus acetylene) — and heat requires chemicals to get the oxidation and flux off.¬† And, well, we have silver solder, so the silver color is going to show up unless I grind it away while polishing.¬† And the polishing compound may get stuck in the wires.¬† Maybe that’s why people patinate with liver of sulfur and then polish again?

(Or maybe that’s why people buy their wire from jewelry suppliers instead of hardware stores…craft store wire brings in a different set of elements where the metal may not be [assume it isn’t] safe to heat.)

It would probably be OK, though, to file the pieces smooth with needle files and then wire-wrap…it will just look like a brushed/faceted finish.

Maybe I do need to invest in some polishing tools…I can make heavy chains, then.¬† (Never ever polish a chain with a rotary power tool!¬† You could lose fingers.)¬† There’s the possibility of a rock tumbler…which honestly sounds like the most economical way to work, but it’s an investment.

I did also make a little thing, yesterday.¬† It didn’t take too long:¬† it is a bracelet made with (what I think is) waxed cotton (I got it from a craft store and threw out the wrapping a long time ago), and ceramic beads.¬† The beads I got, surprisingly, don’t work all that well with this…twine? yarn? cord? (I guess the latter fits) — I had been hoping to put two strands through the holes, but the holes — even though they’re about 2mm wide — are only large enough to accommodate one strand.¬† I had been hoping to find this cord in a color other than black (maybe mauve), but honestly I’m not sure where I found it in the first place…was it with the hemp, or the perle cotton?…

I was just looking through a book and got lost for a second…this is a book that I think I got from Kinokuniya Bookstore, called Macrame Pattern Book, by Marchen Art Studio.¬† It’s actually a really kind thing they put together…it has pictures of finished patterns and then written and visual instructions as to how to knot the patterns.¬† As I’ve said before, starting in on a pattern and working it leads to a number of different possibilities for derivation from the pattern.¬† This book does say that the patterns are for personal use only; on the other hand, they also show some really common (public-domain) patterns, in addition to the more specific ones like the numerous “Buddhist Treasure Mesh” panel patterns toward the back of the book.

One of the patterns I really want to retry is on page 39, Double Spiral Knot.¬† I worked out how to do it a long time ago, after a bunch of errors.¬† It did, honestly, take work to learn, but now I know how to do it.¬† I’m curious as to how it can be combined with small beads, or if that will destroy any structure that was there in the first place.

I do want to break into one of the books by Joan Babcock — she’s published three paper books, the third of which was recently gifted to me (I’ve tried doing a knot pattern that I think I really need help on — I know I can find it, there).¬† Then, there is the wireweaving angle (which is why I picked up a coil of 26g round copper wire today, though if I’d known we had some already, I would have saved the $4).¬† Micromacrame and wirework really seem kind of parallel in aesthetics, to a point.¬† I think they may have the potential to work together…

And, there is one photo of a project I made, floating around the Web; I’m curious to see if I can rework it and make it into a printed and drawn pattern, which I can distribute.¬† For free or for pay?¬† I’m not sure, though I don’t think it would be wrong to ask for compensation…I probably wouldn’t charge a lot.¬† (Well.¬† Of course.¬† Me.¬† The person who has experimented with putting Creative Commons licensing on their uploaded work and works in a library.¬† Right.)

Okay, I’m…really getting tired, about now.¬† It’s about 2 AM here, so I should be getting back to bed — especially since I do really need to clean up before sleeping.

Logging off…

attempting to preserve my health (…so I say)

This is definitely a depressive episode.

I’m trying to decide whether to write, or read, right now.¬† It’s pretty clear to me that I am in a depression, at this point:¬† sleeping for 14 hours and then having to decide to get up (or bribe myself into getting up by telling myself I’ll play with my beads) isn’t normal.

I’m thinking that maybe I need to change my vocabulary around when I say I feel “tired.”¬† There is actually being tired, when I really need sleep; and then there is being low-energy and lethargic and not seeing anything more interesting to do than stay in bed — but not necessarily needing sleep.¬† (Which reminds me that exercise, though painful, should help me get through this state.)¬† Though…I do wonder if I actually need the sleep, or not.

I know I need about 8-10 hours of sleep to be OK, but 14 is a bit much (it’s like I’m making up for that 4-6 hours of sleep I got a night in high school).¬† Right now, I’ve only been out of bed for about eight hours.¬† It seems that it would be OK to stay up because of that, but throwing off my sleep schedule will only make the depression worse.¬† It’s really better to go to bed early and wake up at 5:30 in the morning, like I did today…just not to go back to sleep for another eight hours.

Also, where it comes to judgment — sometimes I think I don’t need B vitamins and then I slip into a place like this and use up a megadose.¬† (I can tell if I use them all up because excess B-complex…well, it’s obvious…I won’t say what I’m thinking because I don’t want this post indexed with those words, but if you take B-complex megadoses both when you do and don’t need them, it’s obvious when the excess passes through.)

Which makes me think:¬† hmm.¬† B vitamins.¬† Maybe I need some of those…

I just found a bottle of B-12 sublingual (megadose), which should help for tonight.¬† Maybe I can get up around 10 AM tomorrow and get some B-complex and check out the art store.¬† I’ve been studying in my office, and as such, have been looking at the drawings I made in marker on the giant pad of sketch paper on my altar table.¬† Well, actually, I threw them aside to get a fresh (non-dusty) surface, and then started looking at them (when they were on the floor).

(Yeah, I kind of have papers thrown all over the place, right now…)

I can actually see some things going on there that I hadn’t noticed, before.¬† For one thing, there is the inference of a dragon or gryphon in the focal point of one of my images, which was entirely unconscious.¬† For another thing, I’m appreciating the bold colors and large strokes on the other image.¬† These were the two images I was talking about a while ago, which I decided not to put online because they were just for me, and I didn’t want to deal with the psychic interference of potential (positive or negative) judgment, in my process.

I recall…in the book, The artist’s way, which I started using some years ago and then left off of (it’s kind of like a creativity-nurturing program), there was an exercise called “The Morning Pages,” where someone writes for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes every day right after they wake up, and then move on with their day.¬† You’re not supposed to look back over these writings for a while, just do them and move on.¬† I’m wondering if that would work with visual art.¬† My folks say it should.

I mean, that could be something to get up for, right?¬† It also sounds like a good way to generate a lot of ideas for artworks — or even just “flex those creative muscles.”¬† (Yeah, I don’t like that phraseology…my brain is not a muscle…)

Right now, I’ve just finished listening to a fairly long lecture.¬† I’ll listen to the next one tomorrow, then try and crank out the graded homework I missed…I don’t think my brain can take another hour of needing to pay rapt attention.¬† But I’m getting to the point where I’ve realized just how much work I’ve got ahead of me.

I’ll need to submit a Discussion Board post by Thursday in Research Methodologies, meaning that I’ll want to have gotten the assigned readings and lectures out of the way before then.¬† In addition, I’ll need to have done enough initial research to have dug into a bit of a Literature Review.¬† I have a lot of sources already (I was searching “minority librarians” under a large database — after I found that this was the preferred term under the controlled vocabulary), but I’ll need to sort through them and read the most promising ones.

And the Cataloging homework is relatively steady.¬† I haven’t read Lecture 4 yet, so I don’t know if this will have me working online again — but the Cataloging Professor gives out written lectures, not audio ones, and I can easily map out what needs to be done soonest.¬† (I think there may be practice sheets for Week 4, too…gah.)

So I basically got two weeks behind on everything while I was trying to figure out Dewey and freaking out and getting anxious and depressed and trying to put together a fall-back position.¬† Was it worth it?¬† I’m not sure — I haven’t checked my grades, yet, but I don’t think this Professor is one to give a student an F because they were off (even slightly off) on two out of six questions.¬† Although a 60% is an F, in my system.

And yes, the B12 tablet is still under my tongue…how long is this thing supposed to take to dissolve???

Better yet, no one knew this was a sublingual tablet but me?  Did they just swallow the things without reading the bottle???

Okay, it’s gone.¬† I feel better now.¬† ūüôā

This is definitely a depressive episode.

I’m really so tired that I can’t think, right now.

But writing is better than staring vacuously at the screen.¬† And I won’t remember anything tomorrow that I read for content, now.¬† I really should just go to bed…

Okay, compromise.¬† I just took my medication, which will ensure that I’ll only be functional until about 11:10, giving me an hour and a half to …probably either get ready for bed, or do something besides study, eat, or sleep.¬† I’m pretty sure that the difficulty in Cataloging has me somewhat depressed, because I slept over 12 hours last night and then lay down for an additional two, today, and I’m still tired.

It’s probably not fighting off whatever virus is going around at my work:¬† I’ve been staying hydrated (to prevent my membranes [e.g. throat, sinuses] from cracking) and washing up before eating…though the virus could be part of it, actually.¬† Depression increases vulnerability to infection.¬† Then there’s the regular biology stuff, which…could be playing a part, too.¬† And, well, I have a tendency to this.

I did do the graded exercise on Dewey Decimal Categorization.¬† I either missed two questions or got partial credit on two questions, but there were only six questions to speak of.¬† I’m just glad (and surprised) I got the correct answer on four of them.¬† I’ve had the idea of putting Dewey numbers on all of my personal library books (that is, the books I own which make up my “library”) as practice, but who would tell me if I was right?¬† I guess I could go to WorldCAT and try and find answers that way…that is, my DDC education doesn’t have to stop here, and I don’t have to resign myself to “just not getting it.”

Hmm.¬† Going to WorldCAT and then bridging into SFPL did give me the Dewey number of The mentalist’s handbook:¬† An explorer’s guide to astral, spirit, and psychic worlds.¬† Amazingly.¬† This could be doable…so long as the cataloging isn’t messed up on the other end(s).¬† Though I suppose I could always cross-reference the individual Dewey entries.¬† (Hey!¬† Now that I look on the inside of the front of the book, there is a number which matched SFPL’s Dewey number!¬† It just isn’t as elaborate…and it has a note, “–dc22” at the end, which may indicate the version of DDC used…)

I had planned on completing the work for Metadata today, but I just wasn’t up to it.¬† I did make it through three chapters, but I still have (most of) one more reading, and two lectures to listen to.¬† Good part?¬† I have two days off of work to help me catch up (although I didn’t realize that tomorrow was a holiday until sometime last week — that is, no one’s going in to work, as versus just me).¬† And then after Wednesday, I have another two days to work.

I severely need to do research for my Research Methodologies class, which I’ve done no work for, for too long (about a week and a half).¬† Then I can work on catching up with my lectures and readings for Cataloging (I’m two weeks behind).

Gah.

At least I won’t have to worry about going to work on Mondays, now.

As regards my state:¬† I’m a bit better now after listening to a bunch of music and browsing bead catalogs.¬† I should get ready for bed before I become entirely nonfunctional…

I’m really so tired that I can’t think, right now.

Of course, I shouldn’t plan to fail…

But in practicality…?¬† I don’t know if I’ll be able to pass this first graded exercise on Dewey Decimal Cataloging.¬† Probably the majority of the reason I was able to navigate it early on is that I use it so much — but using it and remembering the collocation sections is not comparable to building it.¬† I don’t know if I’ve been this lost in a class since attempting Calculus (though, granted, I never did get to see how well or poorly I was doing in Calculus, before I dropped it.¬† Right now, I’m really not doing well in this class, and it’s really apparent to me that I’m not doing well).

I know now why I read that if I was interested in Cataloging, to take Beginning Cataloging as soon as possible.¬† This class really will show a person whether they actually are interested in Cataloging (as versus the idea of Cataloging).¬† Luckily, I have some work done from the last time I was concerned about doing well in this class.¬† I can still easily switch paths to Digital Services, with the aim of working online for a digital library or e-commerce platform (in which case, my Digital Imaging experience should come in handy — not that I consider myself very accomplished at that, yet).¬† I have a backup plan, that is.

At this point, I am kind of wishing, though, that I had decided on this prior to starting the program at all.¬† As things are, I had three slots free last semester which I could have used toward the goal of specializing in Digital Services — but I was still considering working in a Public Library setting.¬† What those two classes showed me is that I probably don’t want to do that — at least, not as an Adult/Teen Services or Children’s Librarian.

The two classes I took then are, however, fulfilling other requirements that I would need for an ALA-accredited degree — and that “ALA-accredited” part is what will qualify me to work as a librarian — even if as a Metadata or Digital Services Librarian.¬† And I suppose it’s that which may give me some power when it comes to employment negotiations outside the Library field.

So I’m pretty sure I’m going to bomb this exercise, but that doesn’t mean I should give up on my other two classes.¬† I’ll try and work on one or the other of those, now…

Of course, I shouldn’t plan to fail…

Record for today (I forget these things if I don’t write them down)

I think I’ve remembered that I’m in grad school, and thus, no one is watching me to make sure I do all my practice exercises.¬† ūüėõ¬† In any case, I did attend the meeting tonight, and feel relatively much better — especially after having gotten through the chapter on Dewey (except for Dewey Abridged, which I just skipped — as we’re going as specific as possible, and the Dewey Abridged section repeats a lot of material).

I’m getting to the point where I can look at my wrong answers and see where I made a mistake, so this much is good.¬† (I’m also really glad that I bought this book, because there are highlights all over this chapter, not to mention I’m doing a number on the spine.¬† The book is about 2″ thick, so…)¬† The section I read today did clarify a lot that I didn’t know — particularly, through examples.

I’m now on the second half of the lecture that was given about a week and a half ago (I’m still behind), but I don’t have to do any more new textbook reading, for now.¬† Well, I can; I probably just shouldn’t — I should concentrate on the upcoming graded exercise.¬† What I did do tonight — other than the meeting — was complete Exercise #4, start in on #5 (there are seven for this unit), go over some mistakes, and start rereading and working through the Week 3 Lecture Notes.

It seems like a lot of getting the answers correct depends on picking the right trail to take through the site, and one doesn’t know the correct trail, necessarily, unless one reads the notes at each juncture.

Right now I can’t bring myself to work further on the (interactive) lecture, largely because of being faced with a textwall where it comes to entering into working on Table 3B.¬† I guess intimidation isn’t a good excuse, though, because that textwall is still going to be there, tomorrow.

Did I do anything fun today?¬† Not really — the help session was kind of the high point of it.¬† I also haven’t exercised in a couple of days, which I’m not really happy about, though I am still losing weight.¬† Yeah, I guess last night was my fun time.¬† I did find the photo I was thinking about in my last post, though:

2808w

This is the image which I’ve been scared to start painting, because I know it isn’t going to turn out the way it looks in the photo.¬† Plus, I love the photo.¬† I could do a watercolor version of this, but I’d have to use masking fluid for large areas of sunlight, and I’m a bit paranoid about becoming sensitized to latex via fumes or skin contact.¬† Or maybe I can use tape?¬† I didn’t think about that until just now…

I can see how I could work into this image with Permanent Rose and Phthalo Green/Viridian Hue (in watercolor), or Quinacridone Magenta and Phthalo Green and Blue (in acrylic) and maybe a warm color like Indian Yellow…then there is the question of the background.¬† Is it possible to mix a shade akin to Hooker’s Green, without actually using Hooker’s Green?¬† It’s probably possible…I just have hated Hooker’s Green since I first got exposed to it in colored pencils, but maybe the pencils were just dull.

I suppose, what do I have to lose, right?  Besides time.

I do have a lot of reading coming due for Metadata, but I’d rather miss the 1.5 points for the Discussion Post than the 100 points for the Dewey exercise.

And I still don’t know how to underpaint, though maybe if I made things in Phthalo Blue/Green and white with gesso, it would provide a good foundation for the rest of the project.¬† One of the big strengths of this image is the limited color palette, though…something I’ve found with botanical images in general.¬† Plus, the high value contrast between the shadows and highlights.

I guess if I mess up, I just gesso over it…

And no, I’m not sure whether to use a limited palette or the more complex color mixing I’m known for…the latter would likely be easier, so long as I stick with the same palette through the whole thing…(like adding violets and such — things not emphasized in the photo — would be interesting).¬† My teacher used to tell us “not to become a slave to the photograph” and that only laying out certain colors was like “trying to conduct a symphony with only a few notes”.

Yeah, the worst that can happen is that I just paint over it…as long as I don’t use textural media…

Hey — maybe I can do a small version of it before the 30″x30″?¬† I have a 12″x12″ board gessoed and ready to go…it’s much less of a loss to lose a square foot of Hardbord!¬† And I can practice my color combinations on it…and my drawing in charcoal.¬† And I have another side if I totally mess up.

I made a note to myself last night as regards sharing my images…that there’s no way for me to keep a creative work entirely to myself, unless I don’t make it.¬† Once it’s shown or heard or read, it can be copied; but the alternative is self-silencing, which seems to defeat the purpose of creativity.¬† It’s like being a singer who sings beautiful songs, but only when no one else is around to hear.

In that case, does the problem really lie with selfishness, as I’ve assumed, or does it lie in fear of judgment (or even esteem)?¬† What’s the value of being creative if no one sees what I create?¬† Of course, I’d still create, because that’s a key part of who I feel myself to be, at this point; but it’s like hoarding…which would seem to be the opposite of what I came into this world to do.¬† Creativity is for sharing…right?¬† It can’t do its work if no one knows about it…

Record for today (I forget these things if I don’t write them down)

photo dump…(implicitly spiritual)

Yes, I am perfectly aware that I will likely have to spend all of tomorrow, studying.¬† Especially as I came home, ate, lay down in bed, and slept until 9 PM — nearly through dinner.

I’m kind of getting a bit tired, though, of not working visually.¬† With that in mind, I’ve been browsing my image archives and pulling out things that interest me.¬† It’s after midnight here now, though, meaning I’ve been working at this for about two hours.¬† And…I’m having a hard time putting things into words.¬† Sorry about the lack of context, here:

I’m a bit…a tiny bit shaken by the idea that I may be an artist pursuing a path in Library Science because Art doesn’t pay well.¬† ūüôā¬† And it’s hard.¬† Maybe I should stop saying it isn’t easy, though.¬† Do you think that if I told myself, “yeah, Art is easy!¬† Let’s do it,” I would have an easier time at it?

Sounds like that webpage I read sometime last decade where the author was saying that his friend told him (in Japanese) that “Japanese is easy stuff,” and his comment was, “yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my ***.”

Anyhow, I’m making this page in large part to remind myself of what I find interesting, artistically.

I can see a trend with organic forms…and a gradual movement from monochrome to full color.

I also see pretty much nothing here painted in acrylic, which…maybe tells me that I find the medium a bit intimidating, although the intensity of color I get out of acrylic is higher than what I get out of watercolors.¬† I think the heavy body paint in Liquitex is also stronger in chroma (intensity) than my FW acrylic inks, as well.¬† Drawback:¬† I paint with acrylics in a way that others say looks like watercolor…

I could keep going, but I think that’s enough for now.¬† (Some of these images have been published before on this blog; some have not.¬† I fully realize that by releasing them to the wild, they may be copied and reused by others.¬† Can’t help that…)¬† This is basically a blog entry for me (reminding me of what’s important in life), but I bet you’ll enjoy it, too.

I should also remember that acrylic paint has a shelf life and needs to be used before it cures in the tube, or the tube itself biodegrades…

009w

There’s a photo here that I’m missing, precisely because I want to make a painting out of it.¬† I can’t find the copy of the image I printed, and it is now 12:40 AM:¬† a bit early to restart PhotoShopping things again.¬† I have a copy of the image by me.¬† Maybe I can find the file after I get my work done.

photo dump…(implicitly spiritual)

So I find myself with a free half-hour.

Although it is very apparent to me that my Cataloging class is discouraging me from the career path I laid out for myself (though this is largely not my fault), it still looks like more of a match than Digital Services. ¬†It may be as well that Information Organization is a better name for it, than calling it “Cataloging;” the latter puts too much emphasis on whether I do well in this class. ¬†And hey: ¬†if I get a “D” on the first test, I have four others to get “A”s on.

At this point I do realize that maybe Library work (as versus Information Science)…isn’t so bad. ¬†My interests and values do run along this line, and now that I am getting a deeper taste of what Information Services actually entails, it doesn’t put me off as much. ¬†I consider myself very much a Humanities person, which would seem to be something without much value, outside of this enclave.

What I can see is that there is a fairly large problem historically in the American Library field around validation and inclusion of different races and cultures (very apparent when looking at the development of the field)…but I’m a person who can help tackle that. ¬†In addition, in my area the librarians and library staff are, as I’ve said before, pretty chill. ¬†And everybody dislikes dealing with difficult people (even Librarians have to turn to each other for support), not just me.

I did find a quotation a while back…which I’ve forgotten, but the gist of it was that the vast majority of jobs in the U.S. are presently service jobs. ¬†Given that, what percentage of the population actually wants to work a service job? ¬†And what is the alternative? ¬†Manufacturing? ¬†Agriculture? ¬†(Okay, well, agriculture could be interesting, too…) ¬†I think those were the two categories¬†other than service. ¬†Important, yes, but Information Services are also important…in a country run by the people wherein the people are kept ignorant, it becomes far too easy for the people to make decisions that impact themselves and others negatively.

Alright, I have to get back to work, but I wanted to note this. ¬†Maybe when I get home I can work on my Dewey reading and homework…

So I find myself with a free half-hour.