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Archive for January, 2010

Dear Mary-Lee

Monday, January 4th, 2010

We have been taking good care of your cat.

She has achieved new heights.

Communed with ceiling cat.

She has been serenaded.

rearranging my filing system

She has rearranged my filing system.

And attacked Vincent

dear Mary-Lee

But she still pines for you.

Please come home soon. She’s being a cute, snuggly pain in the ass.

Nails

Monday, January 4th, 2010

and then there were chickens.

I keep a set of fingernail clippers beside my computer on my desk. I used to tear off little strips of my fingernails until they were ugly and chipped and often bleeding. I did it when I was bored, or as a pause between thoughts. People used to see them and then admonish me for biting my nails all the time, but like crawling on your hands and knees, biting one’s fingernails was always one of those weird things that other kids did that I never managed to figure out.

One day I decided that I would stop doing it and then I did. All it took was placing a set of fingernail clippers beside my computer on my desk. At random times during the day when I completely zone out I’ll find myself cutting my nails.

Inevitably a chunk of fingernail will go flying into the keyboard of my computer and horrified, I will run off to find a vacuum cleaner to suck it out. This is a small price to pay for the fact that the ends of my fingers no longer look like they’ve been amputated via angle grinder.

I find the act of having long fingernails unpleasant. I like it when my fingers connect directly with the keys. Typing with long fingernails is like walking on stilts, stupid.

They’re growing out like claws and suddenly I’m scratching myself accidentally and getting them caught on things.

In rowing, long fingernails are terrible to have. When you scull, the fingernails on your right hand will scratch the knuckles raw on your left and then by the end of practice your shirt is all bloody and you wear it like a red badge of courage. People give you that knowing glance and your coach will probably make a joke about it.

But they look nice and normal and gender-appropriate right now. The moment I get home they’re coming off.

52

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Kevin announced a while ago that he was planning a project where he would carry out a different creative project each week for a year. He’s been putting together a list of things that he wants to try doing and asking for suggestions via Twitter.

I’ve been having a lot of fun thinking of project ideas. So much fun, in fact, that I decided that maybe I would do it too.

This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve decided on doing some sort of long-term creative project. I think them up all the time. I start them about as often as I think them up but eventually they go nowhere. I’m an INTP. I’m good at this random idea generation and planning. I’m just not any good at the followthrough when I’m not getting paid to do it.

Ah, money. There are so many wonderful things I’ll do that I wouldn’t normally be caught doing if there wasn’t money in the mix. I think my chances of success in this regard would be much amplified if I put a little paypal tip jar on my blog and each of my readers left me five dollars each time I successfully completed something.

I won’t do that, so I may not actually finish this, even though I know it’s still early in the year and I should be laying on the optimism really thick.

You, dear reader, can help by encouraging me. Maybe if I’m feeling particularly ambitious I will make a special page where I can keep track of my progress.

I’ve been thinking of some ideas:

  • Repurpose something; make it work again or make it work in a different way.
  • Try something completely new to you and document it.
  • Explore a specific colour over a period of time. Photograph and document where you find it and why.
  • Make something in the style of someone you admire.
  • Create a mood board/collage/lightbox/scrapbook of things you find interesting and inspiring.
  • Create something inspired by a quote.
  • Create a tutorial. Include photos, text, video and diagrams where appropriate to illustrate how to do something.
  • Map out a place that isn’t normally mapped.
  • Try a completely new technique for a medium you know well. Take it as ridiculously far as you possibly can.
  • Create gig posters for mundane events and periods of your life.
  • Time lapse drawings. Take something and draw a picture of it every day for a period of time.

Got any good ideas? Feel free to post them in the comments for this post.

2010

Friday, January 1st, 2010

I’m at my parents’ house and I have been for about a week now.

I brought one sweater with me to knit, which I’ve finished. I don’t usually finish anything. I always have so many things going that I rarely have this opportunity to focus on just one thing. It’s nice to finish something for once but still I’m itching to do something else now.

But over the past few months they have been rapidly transforming their living environment into something that is of all things liveable. Today it’s a far cry from the unfinished basement suite without walls, bathroom or kitchen that we moved into.

I facilitated that by moving out this year and making a bit of room for renovations. Now there isn’t a lot of me out here anymore, other than what I bring out with me, which is not much.

I feel like I’m in stasis right now. I’m exactly the same place I was this time last year. In 2009 I was waking up from three weeks of lying in bed feeling sorry for myself after what was by far the worst year of my life. On January 1, 2009 I got up, showered and said to myself that this was the end of all of the crap that I had been dealing with.

It followed me though, like a bad hangover. It came up in conversations. It became an excuse for things and I leaned on it like a crutch. It was a long time before I could finally put it all to rest.

This is the biggest problem I have with New Years. Nothing’s really ending and nothing’s really beginning. It’s never a clean break. But people insist on seeing it that way and then it leaves them frustrated when they don’t accomplish whatever they thought they would within that completely arbitrary timeframe.

But this time last year I was exactly where I am now, wondering what’s next? I’m not sure what I have to look forward to this year.