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.

Superbad

I think the varnish is okay. I’m studying my Dutch pour, the purple and pink and blue one. The purples almost always dominate. My most recent pour was a scream of purple and red and orange and yellow. The design was lovely, but I disliked the colors.

We made a run to the Japanese dollar store before the hail came raining down. I made lasagna, broccoli, and burnt garlic bread for dinner. We watched Superbad, a centerstage for some of the most successful comedians I know of, and I almost screamed when I saw Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, because if there are two comedians I couldn’t love more, it’s them.

Still admittedly disgruntled about the idea of ever returning to the office. Nothing has been set in stone-they don’t plan to revisit until July- but I had a sinking feeling that a fully remote option won’t be one. Which I think is stupid. Organizations sometimes forget, it seems, that their people make the money, and when their people are disgruntled, angry, bitter, annoyed, inconvenienced, or unhappy, they’ll show up with the fakest smiles and act out in their own ways. Cutting into, as organizations purport to care so much about, the bottom line.

So the estimated 30-60% of the workforce surveyed who’d rather quit than be forced into the office may or may not quit. But they most certainly will feel some type of way about going into the office. And in feeling that type of way ensues an interesting dynamic. And, as the organizational psychologist would call it, counterproductive work behaviors. Absenteeism. Sabotage. Item theft. Time theft. Passive aggressiveness.

Organizations think they can cheery smile fake optimism their way into employees minds. They do it for the culture, the collaboration, the cooler talks. But in being so woefully tone deaf, organizations lose. They lose money. They lose morale. If remote work was an experiment, I’d like to see the impact of returning to work. The amount and type of talent lost. The overt costs incurred due to increased turnover, the unaccounted costs of employee bitterness and lost productivity. The rise in reputation (and coveted ness) of highly flexible companies. The dip in reputation of old-school-narrow-minded companies hurling people back in.

I will most likely begin my passive job hunt tomorrow. I have already messaged a recruiter. For the time being, I’ll spend time scouring listings for fully remote companies and fully remote positions. I will apply as a I see fit. I’ll be a bit choosy, because I technically have some time. I have until July, when they officially decide, and then I have until the actual decision, and even if I do scrape by in the office for a few days a week, I’ll spend the other few days eyeing other jobs. I adamantly refuse to go into the office in any capacity for the long term. And while I’m quiet smiles and isolated irritation, I’ll be doing this whole silly dance all over again. The job hunt. I thought I was done for at least one year. I have, at the moment, a decent, easy job. I know it won’t be so easy when I have to commute. I bitterly despise commutes.

It’s raining outside again. A lighter pour this time. Now a flash of lightning. I’m on the couch. My vegetables fall short. My room feels empty: it’s still missing something. Some things. Missing sturdy furniture. Missing maybe another shelf or maybe an ottoman or a basket. I don’t know. But I wish I could fill it up with warmth so I didn’t feel so anxious as the weekend inched nearer.

I think my dream job would be a writer. But it’s no easy profession. And I dislike monetizing hobbies. But if I could just write all day, I would be so happy. I really would. I’d read and write and draw all day.

I’d live by the mountains in a small cabin, the nearest neighbor miles away. There’d be a lake, and trees, and it’d be so quiet. Devoid of people. Devoid of dogs. Devoid of din and loud music and construction. It would be nothing but nature and peace and quiet. It would be the absolute dream, either that or the countryside.

My parents said they had lived in the mountains, but those were real mountains. Mountains with lions. I’d want to live in relative proximity to civilization, a Wal Mart, I said, and I’d be happy. But that is really the dream, and I’m young and naive enough to achieve it. I hope. Maybe. One day,

For all the iPad owners out there

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…who like to read, there’s an excellent app called Libby. Reddit recommended it – I looked up “best iPad apps reddit” – and it did not disappoint. With Libby, you can find your local library, sign in with your card, and digitally loan books. It sounds like a regular book download. But here are the parts I love: you can sample tons and tons of different books and you can see book reviews – all in one place. No more toggling between Google Preview, my library suggestions, and Goodreads anymore. Some brilliant person out there decided to merge my silly qualms into one app.

Granted. It doesn’t replace physical books. I miss going to the library on scorching hot days: I don’t know how they managed to keep the place in subzero weather, bu they did. I miss when the coffeeshop still had its sunken soft brown plush couch, and my best friend and I would go there and eat chocolate cake. I miss getting overly sweet iced coffees that’d keep me awake at night, and I’d regret it but get coffee again. In the summers, I would find a comfortable corner, grab a few books, and curl up for hours. Like a cat. I’d read until my eyes were sore. 

Libby doesn’t take the place of that – it only helps me find and read books – but it’s more than I’ve been able to do during the pandemic. Recently, I’d been hoarding books until they were long due. I would only get through one or two books because, psychologically, I felt as though they were scarce, and I shouldn’t finish them too soon. With countless books at my fingertips, I’ll be grazing book titles like a book cow. 

Eclectic

Feeling enormously pleased with how the art framing went.

At first, I was only going to use my black framed ones, then realized how beautifully eclectic it looks with the matted pieces and canvases. So this will fill my dauntingly blank wall.

I will wake up each morning to my art. Hopefully it inspires me to continue creating, because I hit art block walls very, very often.

Also happy with how my last art pour went. I don’t have good photos, but I will take them later, once I have varnished the piece. I’d love for it to look glossy and complete.

Collection

man, haruki murakami is my favorite damn writer

i’m reading his collection of short stories on libby

i didn’t like nickel boys that much because i could not follow it well

my brain would just wander and i’d lose track and skim over critical pieces of information, so the story was ultimately incomplete


i think i’ll get cheap photo frames from goodwill and simply adjust my art to fit in the frames

i suppose you only ever really frame your art once, and frames have this magical effect of elevating anything inside, even if it’s a sloppily drawn crayons picture or just plain wallpaper

and that’s a magic i want to surround my old art

and new, since i plan on creating new works to fill the frames

i want to make a gallery wall of art inside my room….


we went on our fourth alcohol run today

and bought a raspberry sparkletini and a tiramisu cream liqueur

i am so excited to mix the tiramisu with my new ground coffee: mocha and cinnamon

these small simple pleasures make large reverberating impacts


we started a new show on hulu today while eating a dinner of oven baked honey bbq chicken and veggies and rice

the plume of rice aroma filled the entire apartment

my bedroom and bathroom smelled like fresh rice for hours afterwards

Numbers Game

there’s

blue paint on my knees

as i go through old art

i’m dismayed by all the art i made

and how dissatisfied i am with it

i made so much

and produced so little

but maybe all this time i had put this unnecessary pressure on myself to make good art

when not much of it was very good anyways

the good stuff is few and far in between

maybe it’s just a numbers game

the more you draw

the more likely that one of them is good

so maybe i’ll do that

draw more

i’ve been on one of my highs

it comes and goes in waves

sometimes i cling to books

other times it’s film

other times it’s music

and this time it’s art

traditional art

modern art

acrylic pour art

it’s all i’ve been able to think about

in my frenzy i bought six canvasses and maybe twenty tubs of paint

and a set of acrylics i didn’t need

and a set of acrylics i probably did

i bought new oil pastels

and brought my watercolor sketchbook

all i want to do is make make make

make art make art make art

i wish my frenetic creative frenzies lasted

i wish they didn’t disappear as quickly as they appeared

but when it happens, i know i need to harness the energy

and do as much as i humanly can

channel the energy into blue knees, five hours bouts

so that one day i’ll dig thru the piles

find a thing or two i like

play it like a numbers game

big time feels

we stayed up tonight to watch big time adolescence on hulu.

big time adolescence was beautiful and –well–sad. i didn’t expect it to be. it echoed like a hodgepodge: of books, friends, movies. like perks of being a wallflower. like catcher in the rye. like us. and yet, it was, all at once, uniquely itself.

there is something so striking and moving and poetic about the bildungsroman. pete davidson made me think of old friends. dancing friends whom we swarmed. who glittered. who did things like drink alcohol and do drugs and have sex at horrifyingly precocious ages. as we all grew up, friends gnarled into rock band prison baby family drop outs by 18, aged by adolescence, grown into life.

i remember the kids who craved that sort of acceptance. they bought snacks and gave money just to fit in, if only momentarily. they were taken advantage of. kindness stepped on, matted down like rugs.

Trouble

If I don’t write I might explode

So I’m here to say that I’m writing and I haven’t exploded and I made my first happy acrylic pour this afternoon. I’ve been feeling a bit manic about art, this time, canvas paintings, acrylic pours. I’ve tried for years to do abstract art well but failed. I think I know what to do.

Also, I may turn to you, WordPress, as a place to microblog. There are more small nuggets than big bloated posts nowadays. It’s also that my muse and obsession this time around is art. I started a new art project where I illustrate and animate album covers to songs I have loved and love and am beginning to love.

Quirky

Wanting to do many creative things all at once. Share film. Shoot film. Develop film. Sort photography. Share photography. Make photography. Produce art. Sketch in book. Draw on iPad. Countless things I want to do, and then not doing any. Or maybe one of the ten things, but haphazardly. Slowly eeking out photos from over a year ago, just because. Just because I want to.

This post is part of my From The Artchives series, where I share digitized sketchbook art from several years ago.