Experiments in Loving Life

Life is journey, let's enjoy it.

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I don’t know what to say.

So there’s that. But is that really that terrible of a thing.  I spent the entire day watching a T.V. Show. I got drunk on a Sunday night. And before that a Friday. And before that a Thursday.  This is not who I am. I am falling apart and I can’t figure out why. I do not know what it is that has got me acting like a total – well, to use a word from How I met your Mother – a floozy. I’m acting like a total floozy. I’m not exactly contributing to anything and am not exactly making progress on anything either. and I tell myself even while I am feeling this way, that I’m just going to finish this season and a half of HIMYM before I even think about starting to be productive anyway. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME I SAY?!?! Hey, at least I’m not doing that secret thing I’m not even going to blog about anymore? It’s something I’ve been wishing I wasn’t doing for a while now and since I promised Mme. R. I wouldn’t do it anymore (last Wednesday or maybe Friday) I haven’t. Even though I’ve wanted to. I  find that it is much easier to stick to a resolution when you are following that resolution for somebody else rather than yourself. So far anyway. That combined with remembering that what I was doing essentially tore our relationship to shreds. Also, I don’t ever want to leave Oregon. More on that later?

 

~Austin

Just an Update

I think it’s been awhile. Sorry about that. But I can tell you it has definitely been a wonderful but super super crazy couple of weeks. I don’t really remember where I left off but up until last week, I was working 80 hours a week and barely having enough time to sleep and eat. Hence the whole dropping off the face of the planet thing. And then last friday I traveled down to Boise to train the new Web Content Specialist for Boise and the College of Art and Architecture over the short week and spend some time with my family over the dual weekends. It was, as I said before, definitely wonderful but we ended up incredibly busy. Sunday I went out to visit Grandma, the cancer drugs have her all puffed up which is really hard to see and not be super sad, and I just helped out with some gardening chores around the house and whatnot. I took some pictures but my camera is holed up in my car right now so I’ll get to posting those later. Tuesday I went to a Lumineers concert (for free!) and Wednesday evening I played pinochle with granny and poppy all night. Pretty sure I won 5 or 6 out of 7 or 8 games. Thursday morning I woke up to learn that Grandma was back in the hospital and they had taken her off her all of her medicines. So Thursday and Friday both I visited her at the hospital before work, at lunch, and after work. But then Friday we all went Camping up at Cascade. And I assure you, that was a blast. Canoeing, Hiking, accidentally finding fresh Morel Mushrooms. Overall a very good time. And now I’m back in Moscow and Homeless until Tuesday. Before I left I was doing some reflecting on what failure and success mean to me so I’ll be sure to get that post out this week. I’ll get some more pictures up here soon!

~Austin

Space Pen

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I’m loving playing with codepen. The practical use of this pen here is pretty small but I think this may just be headed somewhere exciting. What does it look like to you? You can view the code here.

Education and Debt – where to draw the line.

Well I had another one of those weekends with absolutely no creative outlets.  But, what do you expect when I worked 29 hours this weekend. 29 long hours delivering Pizza.

That being said, I did something totally unexpected of myself! I asked my Boss for one weekend day a week off. And she said that it would probably be totally okay 🙂 That means I might have a whole 1 day out of 7 where I don’t have to work! I’m so excited!

I also may be lining up a really fantastic job-like opportunity for when I move back over to Portland. So, things are looking up for me! Not that they were ever really down to begin with. I’m just super super busy.

And as Zen Pencil’s Newest Comic, and most other things I read and believe in are pretty good at pointing out, we should make a significant effort to do the things that we really believe in and really love  and not work ourselves into an unhappy death.

I’m working on slowly backing off of working too much but It’s going to be  a long challenging journey for me. I put in 154 hours in the last two weeks and unlike most, it’s not so that I can buy that new car, house, or round of golf, it’s so that I can pay for my education without sinking any deeper into debt than I am already headed.

How do you make the decision of where to draw the line? Where it becomes okay to take on an additional couple thousand in debt to get an education vs. working your ass off, being miserable, and not being able to focus quite as hard on the things you believe in? Where do you draw that line?

Any advice?

I have way too much stuff

 

This is a slight continuation from post the other day regarding how quickly things can accumulate.

I ended up not really doing anything creative this weekend except for giving the plants that I was going to put in my garden to an old man that was actually going to have the time to keep from dying. With two jobs, that definitely wasn’t going to be me. And on the note of my second job,  I got scheduled for about 29 hours of work next weekend. Gross right. I probably won’t be doing too many fun things then either.

On another brighter note my roommate moved out today! I finally have the house to myself! And until I meet another minimalist Vegan who doesn’t own a T.V. and doesn’t do drugs, I will have the house to myself. I’m super excited! Since I’m moving in ten days I moved all of my things into the living room thinking that I would need to start preparing for cleaning and needing to stuff everything I own into my car; a task that I honestly didn’t think was going to be particularly difficult. However upon moving all of my things into one room it looks like I have WAY more than I though I did. Oops. I took pictures of all my worldly possessions except for my bike and my car. If you had to fit all of this in one vehicle what would you get rid of? I’d love to hear in the comments!

~Austin

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Hugs and Human Contact

Since becoming single on the first of January, I’ve been spending a significant amount of time trying to be wholesomely alone. Embracing the benefits of alone-time and trying to figure out what I value, and how I want to spend my time. It’s been good, and I definitely as though I have grown over the past month. However I would be lying if I was to say that I didn’t miss being with somebody.

I have heard, many many times, that it is essentially impossible to be entirely happy and healthy if you do not get at east 12 hugs a day. While the number 12 is almost certainly incredibly arbitrarily chosen, I feel as though there is definitive merit to the idea that without a certain amount of human contact on a daily basis, we are not meeting our human needs as completely as we should be.

And upon consideration, the idea makes sense.  We are, after-all, social creatures. And if you subscribe to any sort of psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs place love/belonging below only our biological needs and our need for safety. Seems like a pretty high indicator that physical contact with other humans is pretty significant.

And after almost two months of having not received a single hug, I have definitely begun to feel the lack of human contact.

So this week will be dedicated to making plans for the coming weekend. To do what, I honestly don’t know. With who? I have a couple of ideas. 😉 I’ve got a friend I do calc with who is newly single, a co-worker 11 years older than me that I might have a chance with, and, beyond that, I’ll figure something out 🙂

So here’s a question,

Is it wrong, to be seeking human contact just for the sake of human contact?

The Value of Work

I am absolutely amazed at how much my drawing skills have increased over the past 4 weeks. It just goes to show how much of a diference a little bit of consistent work can make.

I mean seriously. If you do something for 30 minutes a day, every day for a 4 weeks, then by the end of that 4 weeks you will have put in 840 minutes (14 hours) of work. And while that certainly doesn’t sound like a whole lot, the results can be astounding. As you can see by my last post displaying my improvements over the course of what had been about three weeks. I will post a couple more photos today to round off the last month.

But I look at this and I can’t help but apply it to other portions of my life. What if I spent 30 minutes a day. Just 30 minutes. Coding. And coding anything really. It hardly matters. Working through problems in one of textbooks, working on a personal problems. Writing for loops. Anything is better than nothing right?

Anyway, here are some images that I drew over the last week. As an aside, I would just like to mention that none of these images are fully my creation. For  most of these drawings I was referencing somebody else’s art.

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The ship is by far my favorite of the above images but hey, I have a thing for ships.

If there’s any chance you are an artist and reading this, feel free to jot down any tips for improvement that you might have for me.

~Austin

Drawing

I’m still getting used to this weird thing where I sleep for ~7.5 hours every night and have a significantly smaller amount of time to get everything done, but I find that it has forced me to prioritize (read: I’m still trying to figure out how to prioritize) all the things that I do. And I am definitely more alert to do the things that I love / want / have to do. And in the case of the last one, I get those things done faster, which still means that I find I have more time to do the things I want to do.

Take for example: Learn to draw.

I may have mentioned that I would be dedicating 30 minutes a night to drawing. And over the course of the past almost-month, I have found that my “skills” have increased dramatically. And while they are still nothing to be proud for the average person. They are definitely something for me to be proud of. I am going to make an effort to start posting my nightly drawings at least 2 times a week, maybe more. And to start that off I will post a variety of images from over the last month.

Very first Drawing:

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And Day 2:

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These are the two images that I will be using as a baseline for the year. On January 1st and 2nd of 2014 I will be drawing once again, a glass and a face and measuring them against these images to see how ,much I have improved.

And if you think that those are hideous I can’t exactly argue with you. Just look a little farther down the page. Some of the images aren’t quite this bad…

Following is an eye, and a face.

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And a few renditions of  a house that I drew from a painting I purchased while in China.

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What I like to call the Umbrella Man, I took the idea from a CD cover.  The band’s name was Radical Face. I happen to love their song Welcome Home. The link posts to their song on You-tube. Despite the wind-chimey strange opening. It’s actually a very soothing song.

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Following that, I had a day where I just sketched a bunch of random things:

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And in the above picture you can see a preview of the drawing I am most proud of:

The Ship.

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I will admit, that I have a fascination with ships. I just love the way they look with sails billowing in the wind. And as I get better and better at this, I’m sure that you will see more ships. And Well-Drawn ships at that.

Anyway, like I said, I’m still getting the hang of working with only 16 hours in my day so while I’d like to be able to assure that I will post again this coming weekend. . . The likelihood is actually quite small what with my jobs, and school, and homework, and bike-training.

Until next time,

~Austin

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