Archive | April 2011

Growth

Yesterday, I waxed…emo about the end of the semester and the various changes it brings. I guess maybe I should offer proof that I do indeed know that change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and the value of growing and stretching.

Case in point: This semester, I’ve been taking a watercolor class, which ended yesterday, part of what brought out my inner whiner. But this class–well, on the first day, when our instructor told us what we’d be doing as one of our last assignments–namely a portrait–I was skeptical and a little frightened.   I’d tried watercolor before, but I wasn’t that great at it. Of course, I was trying to teach myself, and had low-quality paints.  I also knew that my drawing skills weren’t that great–a potential problem for an arts major–even if my emphasis is graphic design.

ANYWAY: here’s the point. And a bit of showing off.  This is the first thing that I painted in class, back in January:

This was my first graded assignment:

These had the same reference photo. Notice, among other things, that I completely lost a snow bank in the color image.

This was my portrait, and very easily the best thing that I painted for this class:

for the record, this is a girl, not a boy. In fact, it’s me. This was painted from a photograph my dad took when I was 4 or 5. The weird lines at the top are a result of my scanner.

I’m not happy with the left eye, but still.  Four months.  That’s what it took for me to get from the random artichoke and tree-symbols to a fairly decent portrait.

It would have been easy to be half-assed in this class, and not progress beyond artichokes and tree symbols, but I worked hard, and I kind of can’t believe the results.  I know I’m a long way from opening up an Etsy shop, let alone quitting school to paint full-time.  It makes me wonder then, what can I accomplish in the next four months?  Four years? Four decades?  If I sit around and resist change, I’ll never know.

Everybody’s Changing

M.C. Escher, Metamorphosis II  Source: Wikipedia

Change is a constant in life, as hard as it is. Logically, I know that this is a good thing, that without change nothing would get done. Forget sitting around in mud huts, if we never changed, we would have never crawled out of the primordial stew. It is only when we change that we can grow and develop.

I know this, but lately, I’ve been looking at the lives of my friends.  When you live in a college town, and are surrounded by people who stubbornly refuse to grow up and graduate already, this is the time of year for change.  People are graduating, moving, getting married, quitting the crappy jobs they worked to pay for school and getting real jobs in their chosen professions. It’s all a bit overwhelming, and it’s not even me who’s doing the changing. Even the end of the semester–changing classes, having to meet a whole new set of people, and not going to sit with the friends that I’ve made over the past few months seems a little overwhelming.  I don’t want to make new friends, I just want to keep the ones I have.

To make matters worse, I’m also painfully aware of the consequences of not changing, namely being 30 years old, single, unemployed, and doing school the way I should have ten years ago. Refusing change equals stagnating, and I lost most of my twenties to stagnation.

So, onward and upward to better and brighter things. Or something like that. I know that change isn’t always–or even usually–bad. But still…

When Mormons attack.

One of my neighbors is a LOLcat.

Shocking, I know, but how else would you explain the note left on my door today?

We’ve got the cutesy handwriting and the purposeful misspellings (unless the author of this note honestly can’t spell “please”, “night” or “thanks”, in which case, she has bigger problems than a barking Lulu). The random swearing and the passive-aggressive nature has me confused, though. These weren’t qualities that I normally attributed to LOLcats.

If we were to look at option number two, I’d almost think that this was a Mormon schoolgirl who knows she’s not going to get in trouble for swearing at a stranger if she remains anonymous.  I think she failed to take into account the fact that the random swearing and the misspelled words make me much less likely to take this seriously than if she had taken a respectful tone.

So, to my neighbor who doesn’t have the courage to face me herself:

I’m sorry about Lulu. I’ve been working on keeping her quiet for the past three years. It has gotten much better, I promise, although I do acknowledge that we have a long way to go yet.

I would like to keep her inside all day, but there are times when I can’t be home to take her for a walk before she needs to relieve herself.  This is the reason I have the dog door onto my balcony, so she can go outside, in the little yard I had built for her, and not on my carpet.

Again, I apologize for her noisy behavior. We are working on it. I wish you had told me who you are so I can explain this to you in person, and not on my obscure blog that you probably aren’t going to read.

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