Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

On Money, Stuff, And Frustration

February 21, 2008

I don’t know what’s more alarming about this year so far: The amount of money I’ve spent, or that I’m poised to spend more.

Why have I spent so much? Photo supplies, for one, which was unavoidable. A wacom tablet, secondly, which hopefully will equal more cash in the future (through design work). If that were all, I’d be okay with myself. I’m down a lot of money but doing okay, and the investments make sense. Now my current frustration.

I want to buy a guitar.

This isn’t surprising. My friends and family are no doubt thinking, “Again?” I’ve wanted a guitar many times before, and come very close to actually buying one. However, I never have, for two reasons: I’m not musically inclined at all, and I’m not sure I’ll have the determination to learn. However, I can’t get past the feeling of wanting one, and I have never tried to learn an instrument before, so who knows, maybe I will love it.

I’m starting to feel like it’s something I just need to buy and then only notice when it’s time to move to a new house. There are lots of things like that when you’re trying to be a little frugal: things that you need to buy to teach yourself a lesson. Maybe a guitar is one of those for me (but an expensive one at that). Or maybe not. Maybe it’s a good thing waiting to happen.

Currently, the force most compelling me towards it is the memory of the first (and only) time I held a guitar. Without even knowing what I was doing, I picked it up, strummed it, and it was generous enough to make a beautiful note, perhaps the first one I’ve ever been responsible. That was a good feeling.

So does anyone have thoughts?

-The art student desperately seeking a guitar.


This Too Shall Pass

February 3, 2008


What can I say, it’s been one of those days. And after I was just happily talking about the future of my happiness blog! It turns out, pinhole cameras are miserable to work with, especially if you start to worry you are messing it all up (and actually messing up some of it, forcing yourself to redo it). I sent a text to a friend describing myself as “sweaty, tired, pissy!”

It doesn’t help when half the world is holding hands (I imagine, saying “ha ha, look what we have that you don’t!”) and yet your roommate’s life is telling you that it doesn’t last.

Which brings us to the title. I was walking back from the art building grumbling to myself when I remembered that phrase and the story behind it (it makes the happy people sad, and the sad people happy). I said it aloud, thought of myself happier and everyone else sad, and I laughed out loud.

I can’t control being sweaty or tired, but I can not be pissy. It’s really not worth it.

Also, I knew walking back I had to watch this. Cheered me up. ^^ Later everyone.

On Work Ethic

January 23, 2008

Over break, I didn’t post much here, and the reason is pretty simple. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even think about a whole lot. So I had nothing to write about.

Today I have been in my studio art classes. For some reason, being in the art building, hearing about the projects I have to look forward to, I am getting really excited. Unfortunately, I’m not so much excited about those projects, as I am about projects in general. Maybe it’s being in the art building surrounded by all the tools of the trade, or having an audience of sorts, but my mind is buzzing with ideas for art projects… that I have no time to do.

So what is wrong with me? When I have time, I don’t do anything, and when I don’t have time, I moan and groan over my lack of time. It’s a pain in the butt.

I could offer up a bunch of excuses, but really it’s just a personal fault. It inclines me to believe that I am studying towards a degree I will not use, because I only seem to be motivated by the goals assigned to me. Sorry this post is a little whiny, but it’s difficult when you realize something bad you suspected of yourself holds true.

Personal Victories

January 20, 2008

I wanted to take a minute to congratulate my mom, who I’ve been really impressed by lately. if ever you need proof that it’s possible to get a hold on personal finances, here it is. For about a year she has been making an effort to be more money conscious, tracking her bills more closely and avoiding temptations to splurge on herself. Instead, she’s been saving.

Today, we went to find a new car for her. The old one has been on it’s last legs for a long time. At the dealership, we found a good car and got a good price for the trade in only to find that the projected monthly payment was going to be way too high. Luckily, she’s been saving all year, just in case. She was able to put down a large down payment and drop the car payments into the range she was expecting, and we drove home in a new, reliable car. The best news is, she’s been working so hard on her buffer that even after the down payment she has something like three months’ salary in savings.

I want to wish her the best of luck in her continued work, and to enjoy the new car!

Something Simple Revisit

January 2, 2008

A little while back I posted a list of things I wanted from a college relationship, referring to it as something simple. Since then, I’ve mostly given up on getting it, but I still feel like it warrants a little further explanation.

The list was as follows:

  • No history
  • No families
  • Good chemistry
  • Compatible schedules
  • Comfortable feeling
  • The ability to be honest about it with the people around me

I thought at the time that it made a lot of sense, but since almost no one got what I was talking about (My mom took it as a holiday issue, which I can see) or else understood how to apply it (er, everyone who talked to me about it), I guess i need to flesh it out.

No History: I’m halfway through my second year of college; It has to be possible to find someone to talk to who didn’t go to high school with me. Really, though, this is a request for a stranger. I want to start making a new history with someone, not have our relationship bogged down by statements of the form “You’re great, but you dated x who was friends with y who cheated on z” etc. etc. Of course people will always have their history, but I’d like it to be one in which I am not mentioned. No history means something fresh.

No Families: Another one influenced by high school. I’ve had exactly one girlfriend since I learned to drive. Even ignoring having to ask parents for rides, so long as you live at home families are typically involved. This can be good or bad but it’s always complicated and typically deceitful. As a student at college, my family is far enough away that “meeting the parents” and “first date” shouldn’t be synonymous, and I’d hope for the same from her. No families means focusing on personal chemistry.

Good Chemistry: Isn’t this part of every good relationship? I would have thought so but it baffled a few people. I’m not looking for sex, sans emotion, so I better like the person, and hopefully they’d like me too. Good chemistry means, well, good chemistry.

Compatible Schedules: Honestly, until I posted the original list I figured this was the most difficult requirement. College often means hectic schedules and lots of homework. All I was hoping for was at least a rough compatibility. If I found someone I really liked, I wanted to be able to actually see them occasionally. I could accept some craziness and play things fast and loose timing wise, but never is not okay. Compatible schedules means time to decompress together.

Comfortable feeling: This ranks up with compatible schedules in terms of difficulty. To put it simply, I was until pretty recently in a really long relationship. There’s a comfort that comes from knowing you always have that person, that you can count on them, and just in general from being accustomed to their presence. I didn’t want to have to deal with a whole lot of uncertainty and game playing. Comfortable feeling means being able to let your guard down.

The ability to be honest about it with the people around me: I hesitated to add this to the list originally because I was worried people would take it the wrong way, but mostly they just didn’t get it. I’m going to now state a fact that everyone knows and no one wants to admit: teenagers lie about what they do outside the house and parents lie because often they don’t want to know. It’s not always a bad things; i think it’s possible to treat your children with maturity and have them respond by being responsible, all while keeping certain things secret. My point is, at college, this shouldn’t matter. The parents no longer know (or need to know) everything going on in your life on a day to day basis. Everyone in your life aught to be your same age, too, so no one should have any vested interest in what you do. Being honest means mature conversations with friends and maybe sexiling my room mate (sorry Keith!).

So there you have it. is it still that vague? People will probably still find holes in it, but I guess that doesn’t really matter anymore. I originally posted the list out of my new paper journal in a bout of frustration. Since then, I’ve resigned myself to, perhaps, having to accept life a little more complicated then I would like.

All I Want Is Something Simple

December 13, 2007
  • No history
  • No families
  • Good chemistry
  • Compatible schedules
  • Comfortable feeling
  • The ability to be honest about it with the people around me

Is anyone out there who wants the same?

(P.S.: I can exceptions for a very few people, who may or may not know who they are. ~.^ )

(P.S.:  I am talking about women!)

A Sad Sad Day

December 11, 2007

On the one hand, I’m happy. Why? Textbook buyback, of course! One of the most wonderful times of the year. I’m $35 richer! So why am I so sad?

Because my stupid, pain-in-the-ass, conspiracy theory laden, poorly researched peace of crap Sociology text is worth one hundred times as much as Plato’s Republic. My only consolation is the desperate dream that this is because such a high number of people burn the sociology book, making them scarce.

Alas, I fear this is not so. I fear for humanity.

The Watcher-Walker Problem

December 8, 2007

So, there’s this idea my mom introduced me to, which in a certain way seems to be true of most creative people (hopefully she’ll give us a source) called the Watcher-Walker. While not as serious as, say, multiple personality disorder or something, the idea is that creative people are deeply divided in terms of motives: half the time, they have the same motives as everyone else, wanting to live a happy normal life, and the other half of the time are collecting bits and pieces of life to use in their art. The former is the walker, the latter the watcher. It tends to make you more then a little self critical (and certainly most if not all creative people are very introspective), but it also poses a problem when the two interests are conflicting. While normally you might live your life and the watcher can just enjoy the ride, there are bound to be times when the walker says, “back off, this is dangerous” and the watcher says, “but I wonder what would happen if I pushed just a little harder…”

For me, the first real outlet I had for this introspection was writing. Bit and pieces of my daily life found their way into otherwise fictional stories. I think it’s because of this that I am more likely to push harder out of curiosity in print then I am in person. Through e-mail or instant message, I’ll ask difficult questions or say things that are a little exaggerated to see what response I get.

I have never really trusted these mediums of communication as much because of this, even though I am typically more comfortable in them. The desire to treat them as fictional is too strong. So my response has always been to feel like the things I feel and express in person are the most genuine, and that anything I want to say but can’t in person is possibly more hypothetical then real.

Lately, though, I’ve been wondering about this mindset. In some cases, I can look back and know that following this rule would have saved me a lot of trouble. It’s not just creative or introspective people either; I’m sure everyone has been in a fight and thought later that it seems they weren’t really that mad, only that they felt they aught to be mad. It’s the same idea, crafting a fiction of sorts as we go to make sense of the world.

At other times, though, I have wanted so badly to say something in person that it gnaws at me and yet I can never spit it out.  If I can say it more easily with pen and paper later, does that always make it false? By the same token, I say things I don’t mean in person all the time. Who doesn’t? A slip of the tongue, a hurried statement in the rush of the moment, and suddenly you’ll spend the rest of your days trying to clarify what you meant.

It seems maybe it’s not so cut and dry. I need to sort out how to tell one way or the other (if such a thing is possible), though, because I know for sure what I want and what would be interesting to want, I’m stuck, indecisive.

(If anyone, self-described as creative or not, wants to weigh on on feeling this way [or feeling the opposite] I’d love to hear about it. I think it’s really interesting, if sometimes frustrating. Especially comment if you think you’ve found a solution! You may be responsible for eliminating the “angsty artist” once and for all.)

Love And Indifference

November 1, 2007

I recently picked up a copy of Richard Bach’s The Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul. The book, for those not familiar, was original in another one of his books. Given to messiahs for guidance, it is meant to be used when they face a difficult decision. With the problem in mind, it can be opened to any page and will dispense knowledge relevant to your current predicament. In truth (or, at least, the most I can say with certainty) it is a small compilation of generally good proverbs and phrases. My mom and I have both found it, lets just say, eerie in it’s accuracy. I pick the page (left or right) before opening it, and often the side I pick seems relevant while the other side seems pointless.


Today, I was waiting for a few minutes before going in to work and opened the book, without any particular problem in mind, and it delivered a short message that shed a lot of light on a problem I have been pondering lately. A little background first, though.

A lot of people have noticed (and been confused by) my ability to simultaneously hold a somewhat low opinion of someone and still enjoy spending time with them. This shows up in a lot of ways. I can tell you why a person is annoying even if though I talk to them when we share a class. I don’t hold grudges easily. Worst (from some peoples’ perspective), I can know that someone hurt a close friend of mine, or even hurt me, and still be friends with them. To those people it bothers, it seems like I am oblivious to their faults, self destructive, or disloyal to my friends.

I don’t mean for it to sound like I feel superior to these people. I understand that trust is hard to win and easily lost. I think loyalty among friends is a wonderful thing, and as long as one isn’t petty or mean, severing ties to support a friend is not wrong. I am just explaining why my friends see me as different.

The phrase I pulled from the book today was this:

To love someone unconditionally
is not to care who they are or what they do

Unconditional love, on the surface,
looks the same as indifference.

Indifferent has to be the perfect word for how people perceive me. “How can you not care what so-and-so did? Doesn’t it bother you that they act like that?” Well, the answer is yes and no. I care and it bothers me, but not so much so that I feel like the person is completely intolerable. These people wont be my close friends, nor partners or loved ones, but does that mean I can’t chat with them if we share a class? I don’t think so. To put it in cost-benefit terms, so long as I keep in mind who they are I can use them without harming myself. Universal love might be too strong a word, but I certainly think everyone has some worth.

Now then, my small pitch for this philosophy. I have never had an enemy, rival, etc. I don’t think (I’m sure someone will correct me) that anyone has ever hated my guts. I’ve gotten a lot of happiness out of the relationships I kept when others would have left them. I feel like trusting people inherently has made enriched those relationships as well.

To be fair, I’ve nearly lost close friendships when I didn’t share their feelings. It’s arguable that I maintain a lot of shallow friendships (although, really, who doesn’t?) and, as far as I know, I might have just been lucky so far. Perhaps all my tolerance will catch up with me. Only time will tell.

For now, though, I will keep doing things my way. I don’t “forgive and forget,” but I don’t cut myself off either. For my friends who do, I wish them all the luck, and they know that they’ll always have a friend in me, too.

A Little Angsty (But That’s Okay)

October 24, 2007

Well, I wish I could say I had a bunch of good news, but today was annoying. I forgot my homework for one class and lost my textbook for another.

I feel like I need a break. I want to spend some time outside my own head.  Not sure how to accomplish that, exactly, but getting off campus and into the dirt Friday should help. It’s too bad, too, because tomorrow night is open studios for our Masters of Fine Arts program. I’m going, but not so excited as I was earlier this week.

Heres to brighter days ahead! And sleep, which I’m getting right now.