Category Archives: Daylog

Catching Up

So…

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around posting on a regular basis again, but I’m having a real problem making it stick. After some consideration, I’ve decided it’s because so much has happened since my lapse into bloglessness that it feels dishonest to return and continue on as if nothing has changed.

Therefore, a quick update before I get back to the fun stuff. Here we go: what’s happened since January?

1) The Packers blow their Super Bowl chances in week 1 of the playoffs. 

I…don’t even want to talk about it. It was a circus. But I will say that this event is partially to blame for my lapse. I had been planning on having at least another week or two of football posts before the end of the season. When it all slipped away, I was completely thrown off track.

I don't know...funny? Or too soon?

Still excited for fall though.

2) I quit my job, kind of by accident. After the holidays I was feeling really down. I had worked a ton of extra hours in December so I could afford presents, so by the time New Years rolled around I was burned out. Combined with the Packers tragic loss and the end of my temporary teaching assistant job on Jan 26th, and I realized that all I had to show for myself at the moment was an ill-fitting job that appeared to have no real room for advancement and that left me no time to do any of the stuff I cared about, like writing or filming or spending time with friends and family.

So I quit. February 15th was my last day. I didn’t have a new job in place, and I still don’t. However, I’m fortunate that I have skills that work well in a freelance, temp kind of field. So…I’m making my way. It’s a scary time, and it was a scary decision to make, particularly in this economy. But at the same time, I think it might be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Ironically, that ill-fitting job I quit also led me to a long-term temporary video production job. Instead of captioning phone calls, I’m helping to make the training videos for the phone. You see it’s true what they say: always leave on a good note, because you never can tell who will give you that next break.

3) I wrote a superhero story. Kind of. I wrote the origin story, which is the first half of the first installment of what will hopefully be a series. The main character has the power to control people’s emotions, and the supporting heroes all have other telekinetic or telepathic powers. That’s another reason why I haven’t been writing on the blog–I’ve been writing somewhere else.

I hope to have it illustrated and posted online by summer. In the meantime, here are some rough sketches I did of the hero. I’m probably not going to be one to do the final illustrations–I’ll leave that to someone who’s better trained than I am–but these helped me put a face on my character.

BTW: When she goes into her emotion-controlling mindset, her eyes become blue with falling snowflakes in the pupils. That’s why in some of the pictures her eyes are different colors. Dramatic effect and whatnot.

Image #: Mettle Profile (face and upper body)

Image #2: Mettle Profile (face)

Image #3: Mettle Front (face)

4) I suspended my gym membership. I had no choice–I’m “unemployed,” remember? Maybe it seems like a silly thing to note, but keep in mind that by the time I had to cancel it I was working out 4 days a week, so giving it up was an extreme shift in my routine. Bad for me, but potentially good for you, if you are interested in the mostly free online gym alternatives I’ve discovered. More on that later…it’s one of the many things I’ve wanted to write about but that kept getting waylaid due to my major lifestyle shift.

Is that all? I think it might be, at least for now. Thanks for indulging me.

And…on we go.

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Jobified!

As some of you know (aka those of you who know me in the real world, outside webland), I recently quit my 9-to-5 soul suck of a job to focus on the stuff I love: writing and filmmaking. Recently, I got a gig as a guest blogger on FilmAnnex.com, a company that allows filmmakers to post their videos with ads and reap some monetary rewards. If this strikes you as a nice meshing of my interests, you would be correct sir!

So, look for me on Film Annex (here is my profile link). I will also be cross posting on LOTW whenever I’ve got a new article up. So far there looks to be a lot of fun, interesting, thought-provoking and weird videos on Film Annex, so there should be plenty for me to write about. It’s something I’m doing on a trial basis, but with hard work and some luck I hope to make it a permanent thing. Either way, it beats the heck out of working for the man.

Week 11: Consider This…

“The kings are the merchants. And their weapon is money. This is why, naturally, rebellion against power takes the form called poverty. The rebels against power are those denied any connection with money.”

This week I am reading The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco, which is where the above quote originates. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s a story about an abbey in Italy where bizarre deaths of several of the monks occur during a time of intense political contention within the church, and two visiting monks are trying to solve the mystery while soothing the tensions. It reads the The Da Vinci Code mixed with a religious textbook, which is at times both fun and frustrating. However, during one of the more scholarly discussions, the aforementioned quote caught my attention.

In my job, I caption telephone calls for the hard-of-hearing, and I am exposed to a lot of people from a lot of different places in the country. Though I can’t say much about what I’ve heard (damn you FCC, you ruin all the fun), I can say a lot of people are angry, frustrated and scared. And most of it is caused by money–not having enough of it and/or being held at the mercy of people who have more of it. The natural line of defense against such frustration seems to be acquiring more money, but…does that ever really work? Do people ever think they have enough? Does it ever make them feel safe against all that anger?

So…what if instead of accumulating more, more money and status and STUFF…what if the opposite is actually true? What if limiting your wealth, or your need for wealth, is what makes you free?

Let me be clear: I’m not advocating actual poverty. I’m certainly not going to sell all my stuff and go live in a cave somewhere–I don’t camp. This is probably a very easy position for me to take personally as a relatively young, relatively healthy person who only has to support herself, a cat and a turtle. And I think the fact that starvation, homelessness, malnutrition and lack of medical care can live just down the road from the Kardashian residence is an evil, evil joke.

What I am saying is think about your financial troubles, all the stuff you can’t have or can’t afford, and try to see it not as sacrifice or oppression, but rebellion. Really think about what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from before you make a purchase. Cut out expenses whenever you can. I know everyone is doing this already, but here’s the trick: find ways to not only live with this, but be happy about it. Be creative with your limitations. Enjoy your self-sufficiency outside of material things.

If I’m being unclear, maybe this will do the trick:

“The things you own end up owning you.”

That’s Fight Club. And 10+ years later (1999), it’s still right on. The less you have, the less you owe, and the freer you are.

Hypothetical Question of the Week

This is not a review post. I just realized I haven’t been keeping up with my daylog posts. Which is probably for the best: if you know me personally, it’s all old news, and if you don’t know me you probably don’t care. But this week, it’s not just about what I had for breakfast (a delicious bacon-egg-French bread sandwich). No. This week, I pose a question.

Happiness: noun. 1. The quality or state of being happy. 2. Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Ambition: noun. 1. An earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.

Based on these definitions, I ask you: is it possible to have happiness and ambition at the same time?

The reason I ask is because I’m not sure it’s possible to have both, but only because it has not been historically possible in my life.  Last year at this time I was in my third term in my video motion graphics program, and I was very ambitious. I took every opportunity I could because I wanted to stand out and be the best. Though I was successful, graduating with a perfect GPA and glowing recommendations from all my instructors, it came at the cost of most of my free time. What time I did get to myself I spent attempting (and mostly failing) to sleep, or lying on my couch trying to shut off my brain. I never got to see my friends and basically lost contact with my family for the program’s 18-month run.

Now, I’ve graduated. I’m still working in the data entry job I worked to put myself through school, though of course I’ve bumped up the hours to full time. Outside of that, I hang out with my friends, I lend my skills out to people who need them (usually free of charge), and I write this blog for all twelve of you that read it (you’re welcome). And the job is not exactly a brain-melter, by the way. I go to work, I do my work, I come home and I don’t think about it until I go back. I don’t worry about how I’m going to finish all the work left on my desk or whether or not my latest project will be well-received. It’s comfortable. It’s nice. And I’m happy. Until…

…until I think about what I went to school for, and that maybe the life I have now is not really happiness, but a trap leading to a slow decline into mediocrity, blinding me to what I really want. I still have all the same dreams I did when I was in school: I want to make films, I want to express my ideas, I want to be heard. But I don’t want to work a job that eats up my life and cuts me off from everyone I love.

Therefore, it appears that the things that make me happy (friends, free time, less stress) are at odds with my ambitions (expressing my ideas through film). It’s a problem. So…if you were me, how would you resolve it?

I don’t really expect any answers, but feel free to leave comments if you have something to say.

Week 6: Unfortunate Lull, Awesome Football

Well…I’ve been completely ignoring my writing responsibilities lately huh? This is what happens when you go on vacation, come back and dive directly into an unfamiliar full-time work schedule. Therefore I’m dispensing with my Week 5 entry and moving straight to week 6, with a promise that I will focus on getting new stuff up on time from now on.

Regardless of my shortcomings, it’s a great week to be back. Not only did the Packers absolutely murder the Broncos yesterday (49-23) yesterday, but they did it with style. We’re talking “successful onside kick in the 1st quarter,” “Rodgers runs in not one but two touchdowns by himself,” “interception in their own endzone with about a 70 yard return” style. It was not a football game, my friends–it was a SHOW. And even though they lost by about a million points, the Broncos played with flare too, most notably the short pass-backpass-long pass move in (I believe) the second quarter.

If you're wondering how the game went, this pic pretty well sums it up

Honestly, I think this is the first game I have no real criticism to offer. They did give away a couple touchdowns in the mid-first half, but I don’t really blame them–they were so far ahead, I almost want to thank them for at least making it look like there was still a game going on.

I will say this though: before I moved to Wisconsin, I lived in Minnesota for 18 years. If you know football at all, you can imagine how hard it was to transition to the pro-Packer camp when my entire nuclear family are diehard Vikings fans.

At first, I was a fan of convenience: I wanted to watch football, the Packers were the most available team. Problem solved: I could enjoy football without betraying my family loyalties. Even when the Packers won the Super Bowl, I didn’t really have much of a feeling about it, other than relief at the thought of the hundreds of housewives that wouldn’t wake up with black eyes in the morning (just kidding…kind of).

But now, especially in light of this game, I’m starting to get that “real fan” feeling. I want them to win, not just for the sake of winning but because they are my team. I feel that trust and pride in Rodgers that you’re supposed to feel for your quarterback. And…this may sound stupid, but they seem to have so much fun playing the game. When I watch games, so many other teams seem so heavy-hearted, almost miserable, when they play. But the Packers are so light on their feet and often you see them smile during their games, even though the are winded and their bodies must be absolutely burning in pain. Maybe it’s easy to smile when you’re at 4-0 so far this season, but it makes me wonder: does winning bring the joy, or does being joyful bring the wins?