So so haven’t posted anything in a really long time. Life has been a little ridiculous and crazy over the past few months.
I don’t (or haven’t) had the time or energy to write here like I used to, and that bothers me a bit because it’s kind of nice to look back on and see what I was doing or thinking months ago. And I’ve been at this since high school, so why should I give up now? I think I might start photoblogging or something. I’ve been traveling a lot in the past year or so and taking a lot more pictures, so that’s an idea.
At some point I’ll post more, but for now that’s all I’ve got.
It’s the end of the semester and I’ve been doing a bunch of work for that lately, among other projects. One big one is a series of illustrations for a children’s book in Spanish called “Chico el Lagartijito,” which may or may not be in print someday.
chico el lagartijito
For whatever reason I’ve been learning a lot about Illustrator lately, which is odd, since I’ve used it for years and have always felt that I had a pretty good grip on it. Mostly it’s been the realization that a lot of tricks that work in Photoshop also work in Illustrator, like sketching on a layer and locking it so I can vector on top of it. Why this never occurred to me sooner, I’ll never know.
One image from a series I worked on several years ago has seen a lot of interesting action lately.
The poster from my net neutrality campaign has been making the rounds of the internet, turning up on various blogs from all over the world if you google it. I get more comments and notes about that design than anything else. (Granted, most of the stuff I put up on deviantart is sketchy and just for fun anyway.) But most excitingly, I got an email a little over a month ago from a publisher who wanted to use it in a couple of college textbooks, specifically in a chapter about internet law. That’s neat in and of itself, but it feels good to know that I made something that is in some way socially and culturally relevant.
The semester is ending shortly, and I’m already diving headfirst into getting application stuff together for grad school. It was around this time last year that I started to seriously outline all my plans for all this. And a year or so before that that I actually decided to go through with this. It hardly seems like it’s been that long at all.
I’ve always been kind of a nerd for Nine Inch Nails. It’s electronic, the guy works with a Mac, and has lately been anti-record label. Now that’s something I can support. Even though he was giving away downloads for half of the tracks on the Ghosts album a few months ago, I paid the $5 or what have you and picked up the printed CD edition as well, because, heck, I support that business model, and it’s good music on top of that. So in a moment of sheer brilliance back in April or so, I hopped online to check and see if they’d be touring anytime soon and was pretty shocked to find that they were, so when tickets were finally available we were online and grabbed some right as they were released. This has been one minor thing on my mental list of things to do and see before I die, so naturally I was pretty excited.
Months went by and eventually it was concert day. We packed up and drove to Cleveland – listening to Nine Inch Nails for the entire four hour trip, mind you. After some wandering around and checking into the hotel, we made our way down to pick up our tickets at the arena.
The tickets alone were an awesome souvenir of what would ultimately be an epic night.
We got there early in time for the warmup act. I can’t remember the name, but I want to say it was Nicholas Matalis or something like that? I didn’t love him, didn’t hate him, but whatever. After what seemed like eternity that ended and we waited around some more for NIN to show up, which felt like forever. We watched them rearrange the stage and were totally amazed by the sheer quantity of speakers and lights stashed behind the big black curtain that came down after the opener. Soon enough, the lights went out and it was on.
I’ve been to a handful of concerts in my life, but this was by far the most epic thing I’ve ever seen. The visuals were just indescribable, and being the tech nerd I am, I wish I knew how the whole thing worked. I saw a fair few Macs in operation, which pleased the Mac geek in me. By far the most impressive things were these three massive curtains of LEDs. They raised and lowered in different combinations and did all kinds of different things, some of them interactive. The effects were incredible.
This part with the rain was unbelievable. It almost looked like real rain.
They played every song I was hoping to hear, short of “Perfect Drug,” but I guess you can’t have everything. It was close enough that I can’t complain.
This is the way to end your summer, that’s for sure.
“All good things must come to an end,” they say (who is this “they,” anyway, and why do they get to decide these things?) and I agree that that’s a wise thought, but all the same I sometimes wish it weren’t true. I find myself now well into the last week of summer break, possibly the last one I’ll ever have, and all I can do is stop and sit back and try to figure out where the time’s gone.
At the beginning of summer I felt like I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish. I don’t remember what all of them were, but I know for certain that I didn’t get to as many of them as I’d hoped. But strangely, I’m not really upset. By the end of last summer I felt disappointed by all the things that had happened, and all the things I hadn’t gotten to do. This year I feel like I’ve at least done some things, even if they weren’t always the things I set out to do in the first place. I did and saw more than I probably have over the past few summers combined.
I think I’ve come to the realization that I don’t necessarily have to be constrained by everyone else’s wants. Maybe it’s the realization that “hey, I’m an adult now,” but I think that’s part of why I’m not so completely disappointed by the end of summer as I have been in the past. The nice weather and the boatloads of free time might be over for now, and I might not necessarily be looking forward to every single class I’m taking between now and when the snow flies, but it doesn’t mean that I’ll be stuck at home forever, either. I’m starting to work on my goal of “seeing the world,” one weekend and one little bit at a time. And maybe that’s enough to satisfy for now.
So the semester is really finally over. It’s technically been over for a few weeks, but it never really feels over until you have grades in hand, and as of yesterday, I do. Nothing much worth disclosing on that other than I am pleased with what I got; hard work is never for nothing.
I think the best part of all this is having free time again and not feeling guilty about not applying every spare moment to the project of the week. Sleeping in a little, going to work all day, getting things done. Sometimes even things I want to get done rather than have to get done. Life is satisfying, as breaks (particularly summer) tend to be.
I put together my schedule for the fall, and came to several conclusions about that. After the fall semester, I’ll technically be “finished” and I could just be done right there, but I think I’m going to stick around until June. It will be another semester in which I can hang onto my job, take a couple of classes I’ve always wished I’d had time for, and get things in order. Besides that, and this is the least important reason, I think it would just feel very odd to be done with school in the winter. It just doesn’t seem right. So I guess we’ll see where things go from there.
Other than that, not much has been going on. Work, sleep, relax, repeat.
So I was thinking last night, randomly. I think it would be really interesting to work somewhere that sells CDs, just to see what kinds of things different people buy. Of course there’s always last.fm for that anyway, but yeah.