Writing

handsSometimes I don’t really know what to write, and then I think oh, you shouldn’t write for the sake of writing, you should write because–because you’re trying to write something. Because you’re trying to convey something. Because there’s a story you have to tell, a thought to flesh out, a destination to get to. You’re driving your point home.

But I don’t always have a point or a story or destination. And then I remember how I used to squirrel away hours just stabbing down words, stringing together sentences, writing whatever I wanted just because. Because it was fun and it made me happy and I didn’t really care if people read it or loved it or hated it. It was like rubbing on unscented lotion. It’s therapeutic, no one really knows you’re wearing it, and it’s something you do for yourself. You’re not trying to leave behind little scent fragments of yourself. You’re just doin’ you.

And I like how writing’s an avenue to sort things out. It’s like talking through a problem, but writing through ideas instead. I’ll start off with a nebulous idea of what I’m going for, or something I’m trying to get out and by the end of, oh, five or ten pages, I’ll have come to some conclusion. That, or at least have reached greater clarity on something than I would’ve if I hadn’t written it at all. Thinking is thinking: chaotic and constant. Feeling is feeling: sometimes uncontrollable and inexplicable and discomforting. Writing’s sorting through that. If my head were a tree raining varied thought-leaves, then writing’s my little rake.

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August 2018 | Daily Art

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Mountainscape

8.5.18 – 8.13.18

 

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Somewhere in Greece, a piece I worked on last week. 😎 Not sure if this defies the rules of #dailyart, but in lieu of drawing something small every 7 days, I worked on this larger piece….every day.

The purpose of this art project was to push me to make art consistently, even if I didn’t want to. on the upside, I’ve been churning pieces out! On the downside, sometimes they’re of subpar quality. Stumbling upon older, more elaborate paintings hammered in this realization.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to try & devote more time to fewer, but more detailed, pieces, and to work on them every day.

7.30.18 – 8.4.18

Series of Fun Dates | Photo Diary

Everything’s been a blur of work, dates, work and rest lately.

I perused through some photos to see, exactly, what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. They’ve been dotted with a series of fun dates with the boyfriend–visits to the art museum, walks around hipster district, strolls around the lake, movies and dinner, etc.

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Our first trip into the city. We stopped by for grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta, then strolled around the shops and homes. I got my art fix at the hipster-y district, which housed some small galleries.

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Later in the afternoon, we ventured to a larger art museum nearby, where I saw works by the Guerilla Girls– in the flesh! I’d spent a few classes in university learning about them, so it was incredibly cool to visit a gallery featuring their work.

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I’ve always loved furniture stores–vast, spacious, and littered with soft beds and pillows and imaginative decor. I tagged along on boyfriend’s furniture shopping for a desk to one of the largest furniture shops in the area, where we hung out for hours.

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The other day, we visited one of his favorite restaurants, only to catch the annual accordion-tuba concert, which ended up being a mix of light comedy and yodeling. Yodeling! I’d never heard anyone yodel before.

The food, also, was terrific. We ordered wiener schnitzels, with fried potatoes and a light chocolate cake.

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Silhouettes by the lake. We took a rowdy walk around the lake after stuffing ourselves full with food, and ended up racing back to the apartment.

B&W Film

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Film is so beautiful and nostalgic.

I picked up a small love for film about four year ago. I’d been sitting in Econ lecture, scrolling through artists and photographers when I stumbled upon a photographer.

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A year after gathering a small appreciation (obsession) for film, I took a black and white film class.We took pictures in black and white and processed them in the darkroom, shot with borrowed Canon cameras.

I photographed strangers, artwork, puppies, toys, store fronts….so on and so forth. It was then that I realized: there is so much whimsicalness in the world. So much strangeness and beauty! The panda head human: a stranger. The toy train: more strangers. I began to shift my perception, seeing my surroundings in blacks and whites, hues and gradients, shadows and bright spots.

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In the dark room, we removed the film from the tube in a room devoid of light. With washes and chemicals and timers, we processed the small rolls of copper-colored film until they were ready to hang and dry.

Then we brought the dried film into the darkroom, where we each had our own space to magnify the film images, invert them, and light-print onto a piece of light-sensitive paper. Afterwards, we doused the paper film in another long process of chemicals and washes before the sheet was finally ready to dry.

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Processing film by hand was tedious, but fun.

I found an old film camera (a Canon snappy LX) about a year ago while cleaning out the house, and ordered some Superia film in. I’ve been slowly, slowly photographing with it. I have….six rolls of film to shoot.

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When I look at other’s images taken on Canon Snappy’s online, they look like the photographs my parents used to take decades ago, when film was all they had.

Detour into Dreams

The light in our eyes, the stars in our skies. The light in our skies, the stars in our eyes.

It works both ways.

It’s been a long day. In the literal sense, but not in the metaphorical sense. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, being on full-teacher mode for six hours straight.

Since I write about my life on the Internet…I’ve been doing a teaching gig for forty bucks an hour to kids whose homes are glazed in granite. Their soaps smell so fragrant they’ll linger on your skin for hours afterwards. The children are kind, down-to-earth, and well-behaved. The walls are decked in family photos, with quotes like, ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is.’ The family cat sniffs my toes.

In the meantime, I’ve also been eyeing graduate school, working my way into a field–Psychology–I’ve always loved.

This feels like the type of thing I would’ve done in this life, another life, any life.

I’ve always enjoyed non-lucrative passions, like art, photography and writing. Not to bash on the creatives out there, but I never loved any particular field enough to eke out a paltry annual income. But! I’ve found a subfield within Psychology that makes those elusive six figures and allows me to pursue a field I love. It’ll all take a bit of time, but it’s where I’d like to one day be. At least I do right now.

It’s taken a bit of mental gymnastics to stomach the process.

There’s a cognitive psychology heuristic called the hill-climbing heuristic, where people pick what appears to be the most direct route to their final destination. So, post college, one’s immediate goal may be to work and make money. But, for certain fields, it sometimes requires taking a step back–such as pursuing graduate school–to reach the final destination.

But I’ve been enjoying myself thus far. I really love teaching in the interim. I’ve always liked it; I used to tutor friends in science, kids in math and english, babies in math. In high school, I ran a tutoring program while working a tutoring job while tutoring friends for fun. Then I went to college, where all teaching came to an abrupt stop, since everyone was brilliant, anyways. There were programs where students were shuttled into neighboring areas to teach, but I never got around to it.

In the meantime, I did a lot of internships. Mostly in business. I was at the newspaper, where I wrote and took pictures. I learned a lot from these positions–particularly that I didn’t enjoy writing when I had to, that I felt sleazy doing PR, and that Google Drive was -insert angel chorus- The positions didn’t pay very well. They were okay, but nowhere near what the consultants and engineers made.

Upon graduation, I was dismayed by the income reports that, apparently, the university had been publishing every year. Aside from Engineering and Finance, most people started at 30-40K, despite the hoity toity Ivy League tag. Granted, I’m sure that people started off humbly, and then worked their way up, but still. Industry matters.

It dawned on me why everybody funneled into consulting, finance and tech. Because that was where the figures started at 70K and then ambled into six figures. At the same time, I was never drawn to those fields. So it wasn’t as though I was about to drop everything and apply to big banking companies because of the salary. That would’ve just been selling out, which was kind of funny joke on campus, but also not.

Then I stumbled upon this particular Psychology field and wondered where it’d been my entire life. Even though I’m not there now, it’s nice to have a goal (future) and well-paid work (present), both of which include personal passions and are lucrative.

Teaching is tiring, but it’s rewarding. I like working with my students, watching them learn, have moments of insight, struggle a bit. I remember when I was their age, learning these mind-boggling concepts, trying to recall formulas and whatnot. Over half the time, straight reasoning will do.

The best way to teach, I think–and I’m still figuring this out–is to let them learn on their own. As a teacher, I’m like a large, chattier version of a book with all the answers and explanations. I can see why some students excel in certain classrooms while others fall back. Classes are too big to account for individual differences, preferences and knowledge gaps. Teaching is closely understanding when, where and why students don’t understand.

I’d love to be a professor one day, maybe in Psychology, teaching and writing all day, but maybe later–after I’ve spent some time in the industry. As much as I love learning and teaching, I’m not yet ready to wed myself to academia.

I’d meant to write this blog entry about yesterday’s events, about the massive arcade-bar-bowling alley my boyfriend and I went to, the coconut pineapple rum, the giant furniture store, the frozen chocolate-vanilla-strawberry custard we had, the Cane’s sauce and fried chicken, the intense episode of OITNB, but I detoured into a long ramble of my goals and dreams instead.

Cold Rooms and Indie Tunes

Phoenix is playing and the air is cold and dry. Song shift. Liztomania. The kid in front of me is bouncing in his seat. Cotton cobwebs are strung from wall to wall, plastic blood stains stuck on the television. This room is one of the few that sunlight finds its way into. This room is bright. It’s happy.

It’s strange how perspective can change about seemingly meaningless things, like rooms. Shifting perspectives about rooms. A person moves in, moves out, moves in. Adjusts. Readjusts. Homes relived in, over and over and over. A history. A capsule. This room once looked different, felt different, was different. It’s only a container.

I’m trying to remember what my initial impression of the room was, but I can’t remember. Clutching for memories at the tip of my recall. They’re not. Just a bluish fog of associations instead, angry political posters, Big Brother on the wall.

July 2018 | Daily Art

To see my Daily Art works from July, you can scroll through the box below!

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Style and grace.

7.1.18 | Daily Art


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My latest video game obsession: Detroit: Become Human. My boyfriend and friend both recommended it to me a while ago. At the same, the plot seemed a little hokey, a little cliché, just another story of robots gaining emotions and taking over the world. I’ve applied makeup thinking of the same storylines.

Detroit: Become Human‘s surpassed all my expectations. Three storylines–all incredibly fascinating on their own–converge into one. Actions and decisions made in one episode carry over into the entire storyline. Relationships built in one character’s plot seep into another character’s. I’ve been milking out episodes via Youtube gamers for the past week, unable to finish it, because I want to savor it more.

7.2.18 | Daily Art


July 4th

The days are melting together.

My mind’s been muggy as of late. I used to journal every day, but I haven’t been writing regularly. I tried to write last night but it felt like yanking…teeth. I don’t know. I should probably get back into a habit of automatic writing/mindless blogging because, at the very least, it keeps me on my writing toes.

Maybe I’ll micro-blog here. I used to feel more comfortable with micro-blogs, back when I had a Tumblr. Apparently micro-blogs are called tumbles–something like that. Tumbleweed. Tumblr was filled with snippet reblogs and poetic sentiments, small snacks of art and social justice and quotes you wanted to plaster all over your room.

7.3.18 | Daily Art


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A baby bunny lives in my backyard. I visit her frequently and chat with her. I like animals. I like Lil’ Buns.

7.4.18 | Daily Art


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7.5.18 | Daily Art


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…is a dainty, fancy candy shop with assorted high-brow candies. I’ve only ever gone for the free samples, but EM and I skipped in and split a 6 pack for $15 deal. I walked out with marshmallow egg chocolates, caramel egg chocolates, and champagne gummies.

7.6.18 | Daily Art


7.7.18 & 7.8.18 | Daily Art


 

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It’s the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling! Anyone else love this show?

7.9.18| Daily Art


July 8 and 9

Slow-moving.

7.10.18 & 7.11.18 | Daily Art


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Date night!

7.12.18 | Daily Art


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11 PM. We stopped by the gas station for strawberry blonde beer.

7.13.18 | Daily Art


July 14th.jpg

7.14.18 & 7.15.18 | Daily Art


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Light and shadow.

7.16.18 | Daily Art


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Doodling on iPads while patiently waiting at Apple

7.17.18 & 7.18.18 | Daily Art


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Kelpy dancing

7.17.18 | Daily Art


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I’m scrambling to find things to draw. My mind is devoid of inspiration. These 365 projects always drag on and on after the halfway mark. So, in a desperate scrawl, I drew the hand sanitizer in front of me.

7.19.18 | Daily Art


July 20th

7.20.18 | Daily Art


July 21st

7.21.18 | Daily Art


July 22nd

7.22.18 | Daily Art


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Basket

7.23.18 | Daily Art


July 25thHipster homes. This is us, roaming the arts district in a hundred degree weather. Our bellies are stuffed with grilled cheese and bruschetta and there’s barbecue sauce splattered all over my white lace dress.

Tops. Galleries. Prints. Pie. We dip in and out of shops too hipster to survive. One is an open-door-and-ceiling store with antique mirrors and coins on velvety boxes. Another houses perfume thick and white. Across the street is the pie shop, where it’s Christmas in July and all the workers wear Santa Claus hats.

7.25.18 | Daily Art


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Currently reading a book called Mao’s Last Dancer. I can’t get through 10 pages without lightly dissolving into tears.

7.26.18 | Daily Art


July 28th.jpg

7.27.18 & 7.28.18 | Daily Art


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Nail polish

7.29.18 | Daily Art

Rosy

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Pink Matter by Frank Ocean is stuck in my head.

It’s midnight. Even though I tire around 11, putt-putt on home around then, I still wage a tiny war against sleep, oft dragging it out past midnight.

I wrote in a notebook today for the first time in a long time. A brief, messy, scrawled journal entry. I am happy. I haven’t properly written in months. My old journal is somewhere, but I haven’t written in it. When I recall it, it holds a different type of energy. Tired, overwhelmed. Nearing the end. I wish I’d taken more photos with my friends, but I remember how exhausted I’d been at the time; there were just so many events…

This’ll probably all sound choppy. It’s late. Not writing makes me write choppy. The less I write, the harder it is to write.

Time flies. For a few weeks I lamented the number of hours in a day, not because there weren’t enough, but because there were too many. Now, it’s the other way around. I’m so happy, I wish for more hours in a day. I wish to stretch this happiness out, taut like putty. To max out on a happiness so simple that I marvel at its simplicity.

I feel as though I’m still getting where I’m going, so it’s not a sense of destination arrived when I write that life feels kind of perfect right now. I mean, it sounds facetious, or superficial, because there’s always something bothersome, right? But I’m at a place where everything feels as though it fell perfectly into place. There’s the happiness of being by the people I care about; there’s the happiness of doing something I enjoy and being well-compensated for it; there’s the happiness of pursuing something I’ve always loved.

Everything’s just woven together so seamlessly I can’t tell if…it’s just a rosy-hued haze? It’s just a satisfying combination of purpose, love, rest, and work.

It feels good to write. Sometimes I smile at people and my face will feel frozen. Or words will get caught in my throat. Or they won’t be there at all. In a lot of ways, writing’s just easier. Right now, it is more difficult than usual, but that’s only because I haven’t done it in a while.