If it were harder…would it be easier?

Hey. It’s a bit early for me yet, but…I’ve realized why I’m hesitant to paint: it is truly creative work, and I don’t understand it. That is, I don’t understand how I paint.

On top of this, there is a major, “woo,” factor in the way I’ve explained my own talent to myself, which isn’t helping me, but I have no other way to conceptualize it. I think maybe I’m avoiding the, “woo,” by not practicing.

I’m not sure if, “woo,” translates well internationally… 🙂 I mean that painting brings up for me, thoughts on spirituality and metaphysics, which are things that I used to be heavily involved in, but with which I scared myself.

The way I paint and draw is to visualize my next mark…and then mark, “over it,” with my hand. My hand, at this point, is relatively steady and accurate. I don’t know why. I also don’t know why or how I visualize the correct place for the next mark, and I don’t know how I seem to be led step-by-step through a process to create something I didn’t know I could or would make in the first place.

So I guess a lot of fear of my own creativity is fear of the unknown.

Also, I think my level of, “talent,” puts me in the, “gifted,” range, but I’m afraid to use that gift because I don’t know why I have it or where it comes from. The only way I’ve found to explain this is spiritual…and I can get crazy spiritual, both literally and not.

I thought I should record this before it goes away…I can expand on it later.


Recap of the past three days

I’ve been told to go to bed, but I know I won’t remember what happened over the past three days, if I don’t record it. I’m pretty sure I made the last post in the early morning (i.e. after midnight) on Tuesday.

I think I was able to go to the Japanese market for foodstuffs that day (soba noodles, senbei)…I know Wednesday, I worked and went out later. I also started designing quilt layouts.

Thursday, I saw a professional in the morning and then…either Tuesday or Thursday, I went to the fabric store, and either Tuesday or Thursday, I went to the produce market. (It’s all kind of blurring together.)

Today I was mostly asleep until evening, but I have started working on assignments, again.

I also did check that lightfastness chart on Tuesday, but I haven’t made photos yet. There are about 6 or so paints that I now know fade after about 4 weeks of direct sunlight, and a few others which are also starting to do so, but it’s only barely noticeable. (On the other hand, the difference between Winsor & Newton Yellow Ochre and Yellow Ochre Light has been magnified: Yellow Ochre Light is yellower and less red than regular Yellow Ochre!).

I need to re-swatch Scarlet Pyrrol (from M. Graham & Co.), because it looks like it has been altered, but I don’t know from what; if memory serves, it is different underneath the covering paper, as well as on top. This could indicate heat or atmospheric influence, or some kind or corrosion, as versus just light…it looks grittier than I remember.

Of course, no one hangs their paintings in the window in direct sunlight, but it’s meant to replicate advanced wear.

Aureolin is still holding up fine (surprisingly, given its reputation), as have a range of pink-magenta-red paints. I may want to go and get W&N’s variant of Scarlet Pyrrol (it’s called something else, like Winsor Orange Deep, but I’d have to look at my archive or look it up online to be sure what it is). [EDIT: It’s called “Winsor Orange (Red Shade)”.]

Okay, I need to brush my teeth before I totally conk out. But yes, apparently I’m doing very well right now…

I get a little free time, and I stay up ’til 3 AM…

I now have free time…and I’m not entirely certain of what to do with it! The last few days have just been crammed with the Instructional Design work plus the Database work, plus the Honors initiation. And before that was the Reference Sources writeup, and my trip to Southern California. And before that was trying to get things out of the way so I wouldn’t have to study the whole time I was in Southern California.

So I suppose it has been a long run of stress.

I have books I can read — lots of them, and reading might help me prepare for my upcoming Research Guide assignment (which is due in 3 weeks!). I also can check on my lightfastness samples — it will be about four months since I’ve set those paint swatches in the sun, and I do want to see what they look like!

Speaking of time elapsed, I should also note that in about two weeks, I’ll be able to go up in gauge to 12g earrings…which has got me thinking about what I want to do with my ears. I know I don’t want to expand my piercings to the size where I’ll be wearing plugs, and I’m fairly certain I don’t want to go over 9g-10g. The thing is what to do with them if I won’t be wearing anything over 10g.

The thing I can think of, besides getting some tunnels so that I can put fine (easily torn) thread through them and from that, hang drops, is to get a second piercing on the left side. Probably a lobe piercing — I do not have enough trust in my environment and hygiene to discount the possibility of infection over (or within) cartilage, which can seriously (and permanently) deform the tissue.

Not to mention that I can’t bet on antibiotics working, which is the major concern. Even if I could, I don’t want to wipe out my beneficial gut bacteria (I’m the only person in my immediate family without stomach troubles).

So I do think that I’ll be looking at the color chart. I wonder if I should try something with watercolors again, or drawing, or playing with beads (the last sounds easiest, for someone who hasn’t been doing art regularly, but the first sounds most potentially rewarding, for a color fiend).

I could also play in my Art/Design journal with markers, which was really enjoyable the last time I was doing it. (There’s something just comfortable for me about experimenting with graphic text.) This might be fun and relaxing, just because it’s informal.

I should note as well that I have a couple of books here on watercolor that I could read if I were too scared to pick up a brush (which is silly, right? It’s just a brush…and they’re just colors! Stop thinking about how much they cost!).

Then there are the 5 Persian cucumbers which I need to pickle, a bunch of spinach which still needs to be eaten, and I have to pick up some more soba. Not to mention the two separate bags of radishes, one of which can go in with the cucumbers (though pickled radishes smell awful, just as a warning! I submerge them sliced and raw in a 1:1 mixture of cool unseasoned rice vinegar and sugar. They take a few hours to macerate. Cover them so they don’t stink up the refrigerator too much).

And then I can get back to trying to read in Japanese again, or maybe review the xeroxes I have on composition in Chinese brush painting. I actually do have ink (and brushes) for Sumi-e…not sure how related those two are. But if I wanted to work monochrome and nontoxic, there is a very good option.

Not sure if I should try and buy the book I got from the library on Chinese brush painting techniques. Looks like it’s out of print.

And oh! I totally forgot about the sewing projects! And the embroidery stuff!

Hmm…I did get a book just to learn new embroidery stitches. And I have the two new books on Shinto and one on the Atthakavagga…the latter of which may inspire at least one new story.

Which I can write in (or make notes on, in) my Art/Design journal as it arises. That sounds good!

So, tomorrow:

  1. Go get some more soba (and some kamaboko) so that your remaining two days of the soba tsuyu isn’t wasted. (It only stays good for three days.)
  2. Pickle the cucumbers and radishes.
  3. Eat soba with the rest of the spinach, kamaboko, and pickles.
  4. Look at the lightfastness chart and photograph for reference, if the sun is out.

And maybe:

  1. Play in your Art/Design journal, or
  2. Read in The Buddha Before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings (by Gil Fronsdal, 2016, Shambhala).
  3. Write in your Art/Design journal.

I think that’s enough!


heyyyy. I got my paper turned in on time!

Despite my recent surprise at having mysteriously gained a couple of pounds (it was likely from two donuts, two ice cream bars, and juice over the past week — my metabolism is wrecked on Prozac)…I went and got some ice cream after work today.

It was THAT BAD, YO. I got a double scoop. it was THAT EFFING BAD. I’m like is this actually half a pint of ice cream? How the **** much ice cream is this–

I knew I was comfort-eating (in addition to dealing with crashed blood sugar), but I also knew that the ice cream would give me a break from my anxiety and allow me some time to collect myself. What I didn’t bet on was that it would keep digesting for a really long time (it’s still in there, not kidding). Because it takes so long to get into my system, the fat in the ice cream leveled off my blood sugar (unexpectedly). Now I may weigh three extra pounds tomorrow, or have stupid high blood lipid levels tonight, but I just need to exercise. Trying to manage my weight just by diet is going to make me angry.

(What’s weird is that it actually calmed me down, which I expected; but the calm continued way after I ate it. But I was working out a strategy to attack this paper, on the way home.)

Amazingly, yesterday I went 1.75 miles on the exercise bike (15 minutes), and my legs ARE NOT SORE. (I don’t know how.) Which means I can probably do a lot more than I think I can. (I should probably start stretching before going on the bike, too, as well as after; torn ACLs are not something to envy. Speaking of which, now that I look it up, an ACL isn’t in the same place as I thought…)

I don’t talk about it a lot here, but I’m vulnerable to blood sugar crashes, where I start feeling awful and thinking unclearly, if I don’t eat enough of the right things at the right times. Apparently, I didn’t eat enough in the morning, or at break, or at lunch…I did eat, I guess it just wasn’t enough.

So today I was super stressed out about having to write the paper I just turned in, anyway, because I didn’t think I’d make it in on time (and was planning to tough it out until 3 AM)…then there is my group project (which I’m behind on), and then a study guide I have to make. On top of that, I’m going to need to record an oral presentation within the next week. But the PAPER THAT WAS WORTH 25% OF MY GRADE IS NOW TURNED IN. Gah.

And I think I got a B, but anyway…it’s not a C. It would fit in with the rest of my grades, in that class.

So now I can concentrate on my group project, which isn’t terrible, especially as I volunteered to do data entry (I am not confident in my ability to implement databases, anymore). Can I take a back seat with this project? Can I actually give myself permission not to lead the intellectual work of this project?

It’s not something I’m used to.

But, let’s see…tomorrow I can get back on listening to the lectures, and work on what I’m going to present in my oral presentation (the scenario for which, I have to look up, still). If I get bored, I can start working on my Research Guide, but I think what I’ve mentioned will be enough.

And — and — I have remembered why I took the Digital Services pathway: because I wanted to get foundational skills in Web Publishing. Cataloging wouldn’t have focused on this. And it would have trapped me with skills only relevant in Library Science.

Seems like a lot of my life revolves around production and publishing, though…(informal as that may be, right now)…Art, English, blogging, Japanese, Web Design…

That is what I wanted to get out of it, even though Cataloging might be more practical (even if old).

Yeah, I’m starting to sound like a Young Adult, now…I wonder if it’s ever permissible to have an aspiration to be like the next generation…

Tired again.

Right now I’m having a bit of a time with wanting to post and not wanting to sit at my computer. Apparently, my old tablet was able to be fixed, but I’m also not working on that, either.

I have a lot to do over the next week, and I’m not really happy about it. I only have four weeks to go in the semester, however. It just feels like I’m wasting my life by planning for the rest of it…but that’s about how I felt through all of high school. It’s also apparent that what I am doing is likely the most valuable thing I can be doing right now.

I just really hate group projects. Not to mention that I’m not comfortable in Database Management and feel like I’m slacking because I’m a week behind (largely due to a month full of family visitations — which can be nice, but they take up resources of time and energy).

And…politics are a bit scary. But the only way I’m involved is by existing and living a normal life, so…

(said every commoner under a tyrant ever)

I also did get curious/fatigued enough to look at my watercolor lightfastness chart. I REALLY REALLY should not use Alizarin Crimson! It’s been about four months since I put that thing in the sun. (Aureolin is still going strong.) The Crimson has just…noticeably faded. I checked that one (as a known fugitive pigment) to see if anything had faded at all. It’s kind of shocking.

After the next week is over, I can try and post some images. I was looking over my backposts and I realized I really, really miss working with color.

Maybe I’ll start looking at tutorials online like I’ve seen others doing, to help me with subject matter and looseness.

Otherwise…I’ve got to go to work tomorrow, and am not sure if it is an additional stressor, or a relief from stress. (Is it procrastination to go to work when you have unfinished assignments?)

I’m also questioning whether I should have stayed in Cataloging despite almost bombing my Beginning Cataloging class (which is the only grade I’ve got at this point which is not some version of A). The thing is, I can’t use Cataloging outside of a library system, whereas I can use Digital Services skills in Web Development and Web Design (which is where I think I want to be…it just may be much more lucrative to be a Librarian).

I am just really hoping that not all Web Development is as math-based as my Database Management class…I work well with languages, but logic problems are a different thing. I should be able to find out whether I picked the wrong path in Intro to Programming, though…and I only have one month left of this semester.

And come Fall, if all goes well, it should be my last semester.

I have a feeling I would be good in Collection Development, too…

Not wanting to get back to studying.

As I look over my bookcase…it is evident where my thoughts lie (and it’s not with what I need to do). I have major sections on learning Japanese language, Graphic Design, Web Design, Art, Writing. There is a Religion section mostly covering Buddhism, Daoism, Hindu beliefs. There is a section on Native American history (stuff I bought in American Indian Studies classes before I had to drop them out of psychological pain), Metaphysics, Psychology, and a small bit of fiction.

Then there are the textbooks for my Library & Information Science program, which are just crammed onto the shelves after the bookends (though these overlap with the Graphic Design books). In another bookcase I have a lot of Gender Studies books, and craft books (Jewelry, macrame, knotting, beading, wirework), along with old textbooks from my time in community college.

On a different shelf are sewing, knitting, and crochet books, along with one on bookbinding (! where did that come from?), career guidance, more Writing; and then there is the overflow shelf behind me where I’ve moved everything that I’ve taken off of my main bookcase (or which wouldn’t fit).

Right now, it’s obvious that I want to work with Writing, Art, Graphic Design, Web Design, and Japanese. But…that’s not what I have to do, right now. Right now I need to be working on my Instructional Design class, my Reference & Information Services class, and my Database Management class.

None of these are things I would have taken unless I thought I might need them. In particular, Database Management is difficult, and probably not something I would like to do for a living (or at all), but I’m dealing with trying to do the best I can, for my Vocational program (I didn’t realize it would be so difficult when I signed up for it — though at least now I know that I kind of don’t want to work with abstract mathematical thought, or to be a Full-Stack Web Developer).

Instructional Design prepares me to be an Academic Librarian instead of a Public Librarian, but this is hard as well, especially as I didn’t take Information Literacy, beforehand. Reference & Information Services is not hard, but it takes a lot of time and work, and the projects are intimidating for someone like me who is shy in dealing with people.

On top of this, I still have to complete Phase 2 of my Title IX training, in addition to dealing with graduation paperwork. Not to mention, my ePortfolio…and dealing with the Honors Society. Yes, it is a good thing that I’m only working 11 hours a week, right now. Especially as I haven’t been able to get much done on the studying front, for about a week, and am now actually behind (even though I was learning a lot by being with family).

I just don’t think I was up for getting heavily back into classwork, today. I have been awake for fewer hours than I would have liked, but then I kind of knew that would happen when I took medication around 2 AM this morning (after having written what I did last night, after the gender group: which was important).

The issue, I believe, is motivation…and intimidation. Whenever I get behind, I get intimidated away from dealing with it, and that in turn gets me farther behind — until about a week passes, and then somehow I get a second wind and blow through everything in one kind of frenetic, obsessive, somewhat-manic, pass.

Coming up, we’re going to need to go food shopping: and I am not sure if I should be helping, just to keep myself active and engaged; or working on my homework (the latter of which, seems to be the more responsible plan). However…we’re almost out of fruit, and I can’t trust people to buy anything more than apples, unless I tell them to. I actually may be more productive if I go out and move around, then come back to study; than if I stay unclean and in my pajamas all day and just try and plow through the reading.

I should remember though, that if I do go food shopping, I won’t have as much time as I’d like to do anything like painting or writing or sewing…but it may help get me out of bed, in a way that the lure of reading about Reference Management will not (and in fact, the latter may help drive me back to bed).

Which brings to mind, the awesome little (freakin’ expensive) Japanese stationery store that I went to while on Break. But…I think I can wait to expound upon that, another time.

Right now I’m writing because I’m trying to remember who I am, as versus what I have to do. They don’t totally line up. And I need to remember that although I am a bit unhappy at this point, wanting to do something for myself rather than someone else; I think I only have three or four weeks of this semester left to go, and then I’ll be released.

In about a week, I should be able to sign up for Summer classes. I’ve decided to keep Cybersecurity and Intro to Programming, mostly because I can’t think of anything better, I keep coming back to these, and together, they’re only two units. This should give me plenty of time to deal with my ePortfolio.

My major hesitation here is that I haven’t yet taken an internship, although I have plenty of experience working in Public Libraries, albeit at low levels. In particular, it could be really awesome to do an internship with the GLBT Historical Society — but I don’t know if I’ll have the time (or the transportation). Although I should remember that I can also apply to be a Librarian Trainee in my own system, which would be like an internship. The only drawback is not being able to broaden my horizons by meeting new people.

I think I feel a bit better. It’s a little before 11 PM my time (and I’m not supposed to be blogging late at night; much as I am supposed to be exercising — which I’m not, and I’m sure you can see why: too many demands on my time), so I should probably sign off and take my medication and get to bed; or get to studying, and then bed.

Surprise! Accidentally falling asleep.

I’m not entirely sure what happened — I lay down a little after 6 PM last night and slept all the way through to 4 AM this morning, despite being woken twice. I did have an assignment due that I was at least going to attempt to accomplish, but it obviously didn’t get done.

Right now I need to finish normalizing a database, as I had realized the night before that I had inadvertently missed a step for at least one of our tables. As this is the component I’m working on…I should try and attempt it.

I’m sure you can tell that I’m still tired, which is mostly due to having taken medication about 10 hours ago (at 4 AM), and likely because I didn’t get up to be active at 4 AM, but instead went back to bed until 11-something AM.

I also have a cramp starting in part of my lower back (I spent too long in bed)…and a lot of stuff to do, today. Which I don’t want to do. But.

It’s kind of hard for me to put everything into words, right now, so I’ll try and stop staring at the screen, and try to do something useful.