Straightening out my thoughts.

Okay, I’m going to take some time to write, now. Today…well, today…what happened? Shopping, mostly. I did pick up some good things to eat, which is positive. I also tried some French Brie, today. Usually, Brie is a bit strong for me, and textured like compacted dehydrated tofu, but this is creamier and milder. I like it! We also got some pears, and organic grapes, so this is going to be good. πŸ™‚

I was also able to do some reading. I understand now why the reading is given over a week, which makes sense given the density of this chapter.

No work done on the ePortfolio, today. At least — yet. (It’s 9:30 PM right now, though I have work tomorrow, so I shouldn’t stay up until 2 AM, like I can.) I’m hoping I won’t need to drop Collection Management later on, in order to get this done. What I have realized, though, is that it’s possible to draft the majority of a Competency essay in one day. Filling in the gaps is something else, as is tracking down evidence, but the latter isn’t hard. The former is what may require extra work.

I’m aiming to get a first draft of all my essays done, by Halloween. (After that, I have roughly 20 days to edit anything remaining.) Today was the 40th day before Halloween. I have 39 remaining. If I can’t think of anything to do, I should read over some of the ePortfolio examples. I think it would diminish apprehensiveness, and keep me from wasting time.

Just yesterday, I was out taking care of some mental health stuff. I did raise the alert about my last remaining major psychological issue, which I’m working on now. I just hope it doesn’t take up too much of my mental space, when I need my mental space for these next 39 days.

But I can do this, right?

I’ve also gotten the idea to write a biography. I probably, should. In my writings elsewhere, I essentially began this. Maybe I’m feeling pressed for time because I spent two days, basically, drafting this.

That’s probable.

There’s that, and the sleep hygiene thing, where I stayed up late Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and crashed on Thursday. And the Saturday and Sunday prior, I was drafting the narrative. Meaning…what was I doing on the Thursday and Friday prior?

Looks like I was blogging and getting over being sick. That sounds about right! And the week prior to that (Wednesday to Wednesday), I was wiped out with a cold. Less than a week before then, our visitor left.

So it’s not as bad as it looks. What I need to be okay about is not starting new activities to distract myself from working on my ePortfolio and my work in Collection Development. The biographical writing and the blogging on art and gender are the two things that I have done that I haven’t absolutely needed to do, though both have been constructive, even if disruptive.

I suppose I can’t block life out all the way, can I?

And I can deal with it if I have to turn in my interview late (or not at all). I’m already in an Honors Society and I’m in my last semester of classes. A “C” won’t ruin me.

How in the world can I say that? πŸ™‚

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Reviving a distant desire to become an Art Librarian?

Today, I was asked to think about what my plans were for post-graduation life, and into the next few years. I’ve been so busy thinking about how to get through the present that I realized that I had not planned things out, realistically, even to three years into the future.

I know that I plan on getting a job as a Library Assistant after graduation. I know after that lies librarianship, and that I have the goals of learning Japanese language, learning to drive, and learning to cook (more) in front of me. Also there is the possibility of learning to code…though I’m not as excited about that as I used to be.

So…depending on how the coding goes, I’ll know if I want to move further into the technical aspects of Web Development, or just stick with Web Design or Web Production. If I become fluent in Japanese language, I will be able to work with Japanese special collections. Once I can get deeper into my Web Design reading, I’ll have a better idea of whether I want to move forward with that path, as well.

I’ve been advised against Marketing, however (it conflicts with my ethics) — which then might severely limit my Web Design options — and against Web Programming (where making something which is only “mostly” right, is about as good as making nothing). An old acquaintance of mine replied,Β “but I don’t want to!” when I told her she could always get better at drawing. I kind of feel that way about Web Programming, at this point.

What I have done within the last few days…hmm. I started in on playing with some sashiko embroidery (it’s relatively impressive compared to nothing, but still a little embarrassing — I know, don’t judge first trials harshly), got my sashiko threads cut, bundled and tied, got a couple of Japanese thimbles to practice stitching in a Japanese technique (they fit around the middle finger)…got a hera (scorer) for tracing patterns and some circle templates for sashiko pattern-making, plus white transfer paper. This is with an eye to making one or more furoshiki (wrapping cloths), leaning towards more than one.

I’m also not sure, now, whether to make pants with my ikat and/or batik, or to make one or more skirts (that fit) with it. I’ve been appreciating clothes that fit, better, since I got up to size 16. There is beauty to being heavier; most of the aesthetic issues I’ve run across deal with being without clothes of the right size, or only having clothes which don’t fit well.

Today I also went and got a larger stake for my tomato plant (it decided to list heavily to one side, recently), and repotted a bunch of succulents (which, amazingly, didn’t seem to need it; their root systems were still very compact. Either that, or I accidentally broke them off). I haven’t shown any pictures of what the succulents look like, now. Generally, the stems have gotten longer and the lower leaves have begun to die.

Also, I’m not sure if it has to do with limited sunlight from being indoors, but the special colors that some of them used to have (yellow, maroon, violet), have faded into more greenish shades.

The stalk that was on one of them (the one which used to be silvery blue) flowered, and is now dying. I think the plant itself is an Echeveria because the stalk came from the side of the main stem (not the center), and the rest of the plant seems as healthy as ever. There’s another type which flowers and then dies (Sempervivum, I think, which is ironic given the name), but my plant doesn’t look like the photos of those.

I’m not sure if I’m transitioning into a person who has a “real job” and “hobbies.” I really don’t know. Especially since I’m not sure I’ll want to continue on in the Library field. I’m completing the degree so that I’ll have the option to have a gainful career: the window in which I will have the luxury of the possibility of extended schooling…won’t last forever. At least, unless I’m gainfully employed. Even then, I can’t imagine being able to save up enough money to take two or three years off for study, again. (Unless, that is, I became a Professor.)

The plants are good as pet surrogates…it gives me something to care for and watch grow, which in turn helps me feel better about the passage of time. Though yes, they were cuter as babies. πŸ™‚ I also now have five empty small pots in which I can put new plants. πŸ™‚ I should wash them out on the porch, tomorrow.

I’m pretty sure M is looking forward to my being able to go back to my art, but at this point…I’m not sure of the value of it, unfortunately. Though I have envisioned making some posters — or paintings — for my room, now that I’ve begun to hang some of my work. I see the value of covering blank walls now, that is.

I just get frustrated with working only in 2-D. There’s also the subject matter issue. If I do get the chance to take art classes again…Painting (and not just the skill of painting, but philosophies behind why to paint, and why we paint what we do) would be something I’d be interested in. My community-college Art program was relatively light on Art History and Art Criticism. I might have the chance to go for an MFA, but that’s a best-case scenario…one which I was engaged with at the beginning of my Library Science program.

It is possible for me to go back for an MFA and then become an Academic Librarian at an Art College, a specialist in the Arts for a Public Library, or an Archivist or Special Librarian for a Museum. I mean…if I had an MFA, I would actually be in the running for one or more of those jobs. With an AA (as I have now), I just don’t have the subject-area expertise (although I’m told I don’t need subject-area specialties, necessarily; but why would someone hire me over someone who has a BA or MA level degree in the Arts?).

Maybe I should be giving that more thought. I would likely need Library experience (greater than I have now), and I need more breadth of skill if I’m going to run all aspects of a Special Library. But classes to expand the latter are attainable, and so is the possibility of the former. If I keep up with my studies…I also may be able to get grants to finance my way through school (especially as I’m already in an Honors Society).

Then, I would just have to choose between an MA in Art History or an MFA in Studio Art. By the time I’m done with this and become established in a Special Library job…I might be towards the potential end of my career.

But maybe I should set my sights high?

I’m reminded again that I am an Arts and Humanities person, not a primarily technically-oriented one. Maybe the passing on of culture is something I’d like to get involved in…and I wonder if I can bring my interest in, “publishing better on the Web,” into this, somehow?

Back online.

To all the people who are still waiting on a response from me, apologies! Due to some health issues (I’m okay now, but needed to rest), the last couple of days have gone by fast.

Besides work (which is its own issue), and family (same), and college ending (which I have to put effort towards), there have been some other things coming up. Namely, I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I’ve needed to.

After I get home from work, I’ve found that I apparently immediately need to put my clothes in the washer, and take a shower. Meaning…this long hair is something I can’t maintain. Today I accidentally pulled out a clump while trying to unwork a knot: this could be a sign of fungus (from not blow-drying my hair — which I don’t like to do as it can crisp it up). This means that I may need to cut my hair short again just for my health, in addition to cutting off the damage. (I already know this is the best way to maintain a healthy head of hair.)

On top of that, there has been a new invasion of bugs in one area of my work, plus something bit me on the ankle (I didn’t know it was a bite until it turned maroon 24 hours later) and I found a mystery rash…all of this points to a short cut being much easier to maintain. (Especially as I have to twist my hair down, now, to get it to fit under a shower cap, and it can take upwards of 12 hours to dry on its own.) Plus — I have to get back to exercise, and exercise requires cleanliness.

If I hadn’t taken the time to change my sheets and shower before bed the other night, though (which caused me to be tired the next day and beginning to get sick, meaning that I spent the day avoiding the Children’s area [like that helps — though it does, a little]), I likely would have introduced a parasite into my bed.

I’m still not sure if the reason for the rash was not having showered before bed, after having cleaned the office (which happened about a week ago).

In any case, I’m considering getting rid of this hair. Ironically, that step may be a bit feminizing for me…I used to get a lot of garbage thrown my way for not having it long. But, it isn’t other peoples’ decision (let alone a sexual harasser’s decision) as to what I get to do with it.

The easiest thing I can do is cut it to about 1″ all over (or so that it scrunches down to about 1″ all over), and wear it with pomade or gel. There are other possibilities, but…you know, that takes some thought. πŸ˜‰

If I did that, I might move to wearing more decorative earrings. I’m not sure what will happen if I do that, and continue to wear the 14g earrings as placeholders outside of the time I’m wearing the regular ones. But I can try. I have been wanting to go back to making jewelry…and bought some leather and tools today, for an idea that came up in my mind.

And…I have just realized, it’s almost midnight. (I was wondering why I was so tired.) I’ve got to be at work tomorrow…so, even though today was full of sleeping, maybe I should get some rest while my body is going along with it. I’ve been told tomorrow will likely be rough. Hopefully, that means I get to shelve, all day. But I can’t bet on it…

Too many thoughts…

I’ve been going through backposts…and pondering what I have to do.Β  Classes restart in a few days, and I need to (re)start assembling my portfolio for graduation. I need to clean my office and pick up a notebook for Summer (tomorrow). I’m not sure yet if I’ll need another jump drive, or if I can recycle one — or how many of them are corrupted, for that matter.

A new shift at work has cropped up, but I’m not certain I should take it on at this point. I think right now I’m staffing 15 hours; 19 is the most I can legally cover. The class I’m taking for Summer is one unit over one month…I’m honestly not sure how much work that’s going to entail. Normally, it would be three hours a week if it were a full-length class, but somehow I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.

I’ve also been looking around, and have realized that a higher-paying Aide position or a Library Assistant position is the next logical step up, for me — if I want to ease (as versus leap) into Librarianship. Looking for a new job in earnest doesn’t have to start until next year, after graduation.

I need to keep building the portfolio to graduate, foremost in my mind. (I can figure out employment after I actually have the degree.) That means cataloging some classes, likely producing some local HTML to map out what I might want to include, and starting to categorize and weigh evidence.

And my Learning Management System is being a butt. I’m glad I’m about to graduate.

As for things I want but don’t have to do…I’m thinking about picking up some flowers to draw and/or paint from life, possibly with gouache — just to see what it looks like. I also have the toile for the field pants going; easy to work on. Both of these may be a bit scary (but rewarding), though.

I’ve decided to hold steady at 14 gauge (14g) for my earrings, although I did lose — and find — one for the first time, yesterday. (I’m still under 12g.) I’m not sure if this means I should get new 14g earrings plus some clear O-rings, or what. But I’m back to captive-ball rings, for now, because they can’t fall out. I’m not entirely sure how my piercings loosened up, but I’m about to blame sleeping with my earrings in, plus maturity of the piercings.

Also…because I’m working more, that’s helping with some of the cost of this. I did almost forget to mention that I recently found three books on Japanese aesthetics, none of which I’ve delved deeply into, yet. But if I get too intimidated to paint or sew, I can read. Reading’s easy.

I also recently looked back into my PHP book. You know. The one I forgot I had.

There’s got to be some way to organize this that makes sense, but I’m not sure what it is, yet.

 

Wool-Eater Blanket project

Apparently, I should have taken a shower before 12:15 AM last night, especially if I didn’t want to dry my hair. I have found, however, that it’s getting long enough so that I can put it in a bun on the top of my head! πŸ˜€

Okay, and I just took it down to finish drying…and it is huge and gorgeous!

I will try to stop complimenting myself now and get on to the rest of this…

Yesterday was…a long day. Because I had been assigned to dust at work (ask me why again I’m getting my Master’s)…this is part of the reason I needed to take a shower no matter what, last night. Also, I was staffing Circulation with both of the outside doors open when a gust of wind came in, blowing the dust off the scaffolding above the desk. It was fairly disgusting, and possibly dangerous to an asthmatic.

I wouldn’t have necessarily taken a shower, but I was concerned about dust mites in my hair, and taking steps not to transfer them to the bed.

Aside from that…there are other reasons I would have been tired, but they’re nothing I would relate. I got up for breakfast today, went back to bed, and didn’t get back up until after 5 PM. I’m somewhat irritated about this, but at the same time, I knew in the afternoon — every time that I started to get up — that I needed to rest. I just wish I had opened the blinds for the umbrella plant.

What I was doing last night (or early this morning, more exactly) was renewing an account to a knit and crochet website. I’ve connected it to a blog I rarely use except as an adjunct to it; and was able to go and find my notes on a project I began somewhere between 2009 and 2010.

Because the yarn is acrylic (ugh)…it’s in pretty much the same position as it was when I left it. The reason to finish it is just to get it done and out of the way, though as a functional object, it’s looking like it will be a failure. The project is the Wool Eater Blanket by Sarah London.

IMG_4036w

The reasoning behind using acrylic was 1) I was a complete novice then and didn’t know that acrylic is a terrible insulator, and 2) the price point of insulating (wool, alpaca, or other natural-fiber) yarn makes this project a rather expensive one.

However, if it’s done over a long period of time (to spread out the labor and cost), it could work.

Right now, I’m just making it to throw over the back of the couch and make things look nicer. I’m not sure at all what will happen when this thing is washed.

I was actually thinking of re-doing this pattern in laceweight alpaca yarn…because I have two cakes of the latter (both pale pink), and the right hook (likely 3.25 mm). The major issue is that I don’t know how long those two cakes are going to last, or how big the shawl will end up being. (Or how diaphanous it will end up being, for that matter!)

Ideally, I’d also be changing the colors to show off the pattern, but…I don’t even know if it will work, yet.

Now that it’s night again, and I’ve retrieved a copy of the instructions, I’m thinking that I might want to get back to work on this. Just to finish the project.

I’m always afraid with this one that I’ll have too little yarn to complete the row I’m on and will never be able to match it again…but maybe it’s worth a shot?

One week since the beginning of Break…

It’s only today that I realize it’s been about a week since my last posting. I’ve been busy moving things around, and cleaning. (By “moving things around,” I mean sorting through all the papers in my office, and sorting through everything in the bathroom. Also, going through the books on my main bookcase to organize them by approach and theme.)

This started with my cleaning and organization of the craft table, because I needed space to cut a sheet (or roll) of tinted acetate and didn’t have room for the cutting mat or the roll. Right now things are OK down there — space is usable — but it isn’t optimal.

I also went through everything in the drawers in my bathroom, and beneath the drawers in my bathroom. Anything which could spoil, which I couldn’t remember buying in the last 6 months, I was told was fine to throw away. Particularly, used makeup, which can cause infection if there have been bacteria growing in it and then one applies it to one’s face. (I also shaved down my old eyeliners [which I hadn’t been using], and threw out what had dried out.)

The only reason I started thinking about makeup is that I did have a job interview, a couple of days ago (which was the last big thing to get out of the way before I could have true relief). I did mostly go to the interview in order to gain practice and not be kicked off of the qualifying list, but I am not certain what I would do if I were offered the job. Nothing to do but wait now, I guess.

And I have realized by now…that having expanded piercings is kind of like having tattoos. I didn’t really “get it” until a couple of days ago, though.

I was able to get that Quinacridone Magenta paint I wanted! (I haven’t tried it out yet, though.) I’m hoping that it will give me clearer violets than either Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson. There was a complicating factor in that I went in to buy a tube of Winsor & Newton Quinacridone Magenta gouache (opaque watercolor), and they were totally out of that color!

I did recall that W&N’s Quinacridone Magenta’s pigment code is PR122, though, and that I did have a backup choice in Holbein gouache. What I didn’t know is that Holbein’s “Primary Magenta” color is PR122 (I found this out at the store) and at least from what I’ve seen online, is extremely close to Winsor & Newton’s “Quinacridone Magenta.” The major difference is that the W&N Quin. Magenta is bluer than the Holbein Primary Magenta, so there may still be a use in waiting for the W&N at another time.

Anyway, this is just a continuation of the Color Dynamics website that I wanted to put up on the Web (but which was much too voluminous in scope and content to use simply as a final project in my Web Design class).

It’s fairly apparent by now, though, that if I want to publish a full site to the Web…I’ll have to rent some server space, which is not something I’ve arranged yet. It would also help to know what I was doing when setting up that server space, though I have been doing some study to prepare me for that.

I had wanted to continue working on this project to help me build skills in Web Design! Now that the pressure’s off, though…hmm. I haven’t touched it in at least a week. But during that week, well…I’ve been going to work, organizing stuff, cleaning, and shopping.

We did go to Nihon Machi (Japantown) recently, where I found a retrospective book on Emigre (the “type foundry”) which goes back to 1986. It cost a bit, but I was like, “when am I going to find this again,” and I didn’t want to buy it from Amazon. (It does seem that having an in-person storeΒ is a service.) I’ve read that experience with typography is one of the only things I need to know that I don’t know, if I want to be a Web Designer. I don’t think that knowledge of typography is one of those things that goes out of date, though.

I also found a book called Everyday Watercolor (from a different bookstore), which looks really interesting! I haven’t been able to look deeply into it yet, though, because I’ve been cleaning. What’s annoying is that in my cleaning the bathroom, I apparently disturbed something that was hungry (likely a spider) that bit up my legs and caused an emergency cleaning of both my bedroom and my office. So I haven’t been able to get as deeply into things as I would have liked.

I also replaced the Borden & Riley marker paper that I’ve almost used up. On the trip, I should have taken something printed, if not the old pad itself — translucency is key to this stuff being of use to me. If I had something to view through the paper, it would have made my choices easier.

The marker paper I had was like a very high-quality tracing paper. What I found at the store under the same name, however, was not the same product. The type of paper which is under the same brand name now seems to be different (more opaque, thicker, whiter) than it was when I bought my last pad.

Because of this, I did a slight shift and got two pads of paper which I hope will replace the Marker paper qualitatively (as I don’t really care if the markers bleed — but the fact that they had “No Bleed-Thru” paper that bled, is likely why they decided to sacrifice transparency). Borden & Riley is relatively inexpensive, which actually helps me be creative (because I don’t especially have a fear of wasting materials).

One of the pads is Borden & Riley #110M Technical Vellum (which is sized to be easily Xeroxed, at 8.5″x11″); the other is #37 Boris Marker Layout, 9″x11″. The new #37 appears more translucent than the old #37 Layout paper.

I’ve also been going through my photo archives, and have a couple of images that would be nice to work through in painting, both variants of the same basic photo. One of them can be a 4″x6″ panel in acrylic…unfortunately, these dimensions (2:3) are not common in larger sizes, at least here. However, I can do a larger version in 11″x14″, easily — and I’m thinking of doing that one in watercolors. The major issue with the latter is paper buckling, so I’m going to have to figure out how to map a 10.5″x13.5″ space out on the photo (0.25″ will be masked out on all sides to hold the paper down)…ehhh…

Yeah, that’s not going to be the most fun thing ever. But it will give me some Photoshop practice.

And yes, using inches as measurements is a pain. I haven’t yet done the research to answer the question of why letter-sized paper is 8.5″x11″ (I have a feeling it’s some historical quirk), but it’s been bothering me recently.

Also…I have a very good library to go through if I ever get bored. I’ve just got to remember that it’s there. I’ve also got to filter out things I will likely never read or reference. In particular, I have a couple of books on HTML and Web Design which have got to be fairly dated by now (they were bought by a family member, a while ago: copyrights 1998 and 1999, to be exact).

Yes, I think that if someone could have been born and graduated from high school in between the time those books were written and the time I’m looking at them, it may signal that an update is needed. The HTML book is on Version 3.2. We’re on HTML5 now.

Yeah, I…am not sure how much help those will be, except as historical artifacts…

Recording this so I see it, later:

Well, my fever temporarily broke today…unfortunately, it then went back up to 99ΒΊ F. Consistent with what I’ve been doing for the last several days, I’ve decided to stay in, today. I did break out the aquarelle pencils (I have one set of “Watercolor” pencils and one set of “Ink” pencils), and tried to get a start on swatching them (again — I didn’t feel like trying to find my old papers), until I realized I was again sweating, and should give it a break. I know that yesterday, I was so loopy that I was misreading clearly written text…

There’s something to be said, though, for the “wow” factor for me in even being able to draw two lines of different width on a big piece of Mixed Media paper. I think that, now, other than times when I am just trying out a paper (like the hot-press Fluid brand paper which I found, pills), it would actually be best to go for a larger pad, rather than a small one. I usually don’t use blocks — I prefer to tape the paper down to a piece of Masonite. That way, I can work on more than one project at once, and switch them out when I feel like it.

And rulers! I have been using a large aluminum ruler for a good amount of time, to cut and draw straight lines. What a timesaver! I kind of want to kick myself for even thinking about trying to hand-draw straight lines for my swatches (mostly because I didn’t want to go get the ruler)!

Right now I’m (again) in bed, and typing like this is probably not good for my spine — but I have realized a potential twist in the story I’ve been planning out. Parallel timelines: different universes. What one character believes to be a “past life” or spirit action may turn out to be the mental overlapping of two timelines.

This will enable me to have the “spirit” character not be perfect, to tell her story at the same time I’m divulging the co-main character’s, and to tell both the stories that have been bothering me for some time, within the same text. As a bonus, the female main character won’t have to die for the male main character’s story to begin, and they won’t have to take place on the same world or iteration of that world’s timeline. But the time flow issue — and the issue of psychic “alien” life — will be all screwy, which, gratefully, I’ve somewhat prepared for.

My major dilemma at this point is knowing that I want to work this out visually, and wondering how to work such an internal story out in image + text (as versus text only).

I know the “smart” thing would appear to be not to divulge these notes, but I’ve had too many projects die without seeing the light of day because of my secrecy. And it’s not even like the execution was all that great, if I’m thinking back to when I was 12 and doing this stuff. The thing is that ideas are plentiful; but it’s the execution of the idea that makes it yours. It will likely be quite some time before I’m ready to show a concrete (non-changing/logically coherent) image of this story to the world, but what I can do with it and what someone else would do with it are two different things…