Saturday, 6 February 2016

2016 books 1-3

I'm a person who reads a book and instantly forgets it. I have an overactive "delete" function in my brain. Try talking about the first season of the podcast "Serial" with me. I dare you. I definitely listened to it. I was enraptured at the time. But ... uh ... what happened again?

So I know I've read a few books so far this year. I can only remember three. I'm going to start mentioning them in this blog with numbers to see if I can hit my 50 book goal without forgetting any.



Book 1: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey 

It's a YA novel, first in a series. I grabbed it because they've made it into a teen movie and I like reading the book first to feel all superior about it. The protagonist is a teenage girl who survives the first four "waves" of an alien invasion and is trying to save her brother from the fifth wave.

There was a romance bit stapled on to the otherwise cool story. Of course. Because they can't not ruin it with stupid love triangle bullshit. It doesn't take over the narrative too much but come on. Just have a girl being awesome without some handsome boy intervening for once.

It was a quick read (I finished it in two days over the Christmas/New Year holidays) and I enjoyed it the way I enjoy all "pretty ok" YA novels. I wouldn't tell people to read it because I'm slightly ashamed to have been reading YA books, but it was a good time passer.

6/10
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Book 2: How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

I've heard a lot about this "feminist" novel and really wanted to give it a whirl for some time. I loved it, but it was not what I was expecting. It's a truly awkward coming of age novel, but also so dark and gritty. It doesn't make you feel sweetly nostalgic for your youth, it makes you go "Oh no! Don't do that!"

So there's a teenage girl growing up in a very poor family in England who figures out a way to become a music reviewer for a magazine in London, inventing a new self called Dolly Wilde, Lady Sex Adventurer, in the process.

For real, grow a thick skin and then read this book.

9/10
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Book 3: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I was on a bit of a roll with the female protagonists I just noticed. It's working for me. Wild is an autobiographical novel about Cheryl, who is struggling with the death of her mother, a heroin problem and her divorce in her late 20s, and decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (1100 miles) completely alone, and with zero experience.

The book is very well laid out, there are occasional flashbacks to her life, but they always merge seamlessly back into the trail. You can feel the pain in her feet and her heart as you read. I cried ugly tears at one point (do not read this book if you've recently had to put a pet down).

It's a weirdly refreshing book to read, I truly enjoyed it.

8/10

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What have you been reading lately? Give me some suggestions!!! 

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Thursday morning free-write

Okay well I opened up a new blog post and the white screen just sat there for like ten minutes before I decided to put my hands on the keyboard. I can't think of what I want to talk about but I want to write something so here it is.

Somebody is getting out of bed. It's too early, get lost! Oh they're going to the bathroom.

Mornings are my alone time. I can eat my stupid delicious bran muffin and let the coffee warm my insides one sip at a time. I have started taking the majority of my pills at night before bed, and in the morning sometimes I can still feel them. They make me SO SO SO SO SOSOSOSOSOSOSO tired. I've learned that even if I stay up until 11 I need to take them at 9 or I will be nodding off on the bus all morning.
And it's not a cute "kind of sleepy yawning" tired. It feels like when you wake up after your alarm goes off and you are the most comfortable and if you allow yourself you will fall directly back into a deep and pleasant sleep. So tempting! Even when I'm at work at my desk!

So yeah the warm coffee thing is rather necessary these days.


Yesterday in my script-writing class we watched The Play by Samuel Beckett. That may have been the worst thing I have ever watched. It's just heads sticking out of pots speaking so fast you can't understand them for fifteen entire minutes. I wasn't struck by the metaphor of purgatory or the hell of repeating past mistakes for eternity...I was just thinking about how fucking pretentious and horrible it was. There's fifteen minutes of my life I'll never get back. Of course, it's likely the case that I just don't "get it". I doubt I'm the target audience.

Here's what I'm talking about: 



Just skip to the middle or something and try to watch it for one minute without shrieking in agony. If you can make it through or if you find this a piece of palatable art then I commend you. I hate it.

My next assignment in that class is to write a ten-minute play. Maybe I'll write something inaccessible like this and be touted as a genius for generations to come. (More likely I will write something vaguely funny and semi-autobiographical, as usual.)


I'm learning to color things digitally in another class and it is SO cool. I can't wait until I'm good at it. This is my first try:


Right now we're just learning flatting (blocking colors in) and once that's all done we're going to learn how to "paint" in Photoshop. It's all fairly easy once you learn how to set it up. And I'm learning that I am going to need a drawing tablet in my life.

In general life is fine. I'm trying very hard to find freelance work, because working 20 hours a week is not cutting it to say the least...I may have just landed a transcription job but it's so hard to tell online whether things are happening. I use Freelancer.com, which has some security measures in place to ensure both parties don't get scammed, but sometimes people will be like "You're hired!" and then just not even reply to anything ever again.

So that's happening now.

Yup. Anyone have any other Freelance job-finder tips?????????????????





 Please share!






Friday, 29 January 2016

writing for the sake of writing

Over the last few weeks I've had some assignments that included writing and it made me remember how much I love it. I LOVE writing. I'm one of those weirdos.

A bunch of people in my comic book program have staunchly announced how much they hate it and I can't understand how they like making comic books but hate writing stories. Actually I can't understand how anybody can hate writing stories.

I should write stories.

Yeah.

One of our assignments that was due on Monday was a monologue. I started mine with no idea what to say and googling "how to write a monologue". Alll the websites said the first step was have a hook. So I started with "You don't understand, I didn't do anything!" and ended up with a flirty office idiot lady who accidentally burned down the office by forgetting to put water in the coffee pot. The monologue is her talking to the police. I have no idea where that came from ... is my subconscious trying to tell me something?

The worst thing about writing a monologue is the FORMATTING. It could be that I don't understand Microsoft Word as well as I thought I did but damn, getting all the headers and margins correct was a huge pain.

Guess I don't have much time until school's out to bring out my inner writer again, but when I do she's gonna be so happy!




Thursday, 28 January 2016

my first ever sculpture - super sculpey fun

My character design class is so fun! I was honestly not sure about it on the first day, but once we started getting our hands on some foil and clay I was all in.

Our first assignment was to crate a character design sheet ... but it had to be a self portrait in a cartoonish style. Ugh. That was actually really hard to do. I don't like drawing myself, as it turns out. This is what I came up with.



Then the next class we jumped straight into sculpting. I thought it would be funny to super exaggerate how grumpy I looked in the drawing and got some help making a pouty lip. This is how far I got in those 3.5 hours.


The white circles are my eyeballs. We had a blow dryer in class so we could harden them separately and then push them into our soft clay faces.

The next class we were told we had to try and finish them. The pressure was on!


I struggled with the eyelid/brow area for probably an hour, until my instructor Joan came over and handed me a piece of paper with cartoon faces on it. As soon as I saw what a cartoon grump looked like I was able to get the frown right immediately. 

I miraculously was able to bring this thing home, carrying it in a dishwasher detergent box, on 2 buses and a 1.5km walk, and only smushed the nose a little bit. It's baked now, and I'm going to bring it back to paint it in next week's class.

Anyway it's pretty ok for my first try ever at the stuff! My mom is a SUPER talented sculptor and I felt really natural using the clay. I'm so glad I was forced to try it, because now I know it's something I can add onto my list of crafty shit I can do. With some practice I'll be able to make busts of ANYBODY. (haha)


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Not this time.

Wow ok so I was really fucking depressed the last couple weeks. It's weird, I only know it because my general ...me...is getting better and I can look into the past and see it. I didn't know when I was there.

Depressed me started a couple projects in school that I have to finish now.  I wrote a pretty gritty story to hand in for an editing class. It wasn't even for a creative writing class, I was just feeling like "YOU WANT A  STORY? I'LL TELL YOU A STORY."

I am writing a comic about when my brother died and making a self-portrait sculpture (does that have a name? can you google it for me, I don't want to) of me with a sad face. It's ... well I was going to say it's "funny" but not like funny ha-ha, more like funny interesting. It's funny (interesting) that I was so obviously, yet completely unintentionally, putting all my down-ness into everything I was making. Check out this self-portrait I posted on instagram.


Come on. Could I BE any more cliche? (Said in Chandler Bing cadence.)

I am using that character of me in my comic. When I went for approval of my pencils my instructor said basically I'm not allowed to just put that me into it because that's only one part of the whole, and I have to show a better part of me too. He called that image "monolithic". Glad he said all that, I think that may have been the thing that threw me back into an upward trajectory.

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Outside of that I have been keeping up with my "draw something every day" dealy. Here are some I've done recently.


I'm allowing myself to post unfinished things for this challenge because fuck it, I'm not a machine. I am REALLY into Faber Castell super duper teeny tiny fine pens right now. My hands and eyes beg to differ.

Those giant mandalas sure are crowd-pleasers. I think I'm going to do one on 11x17 paper and use it in my final project, and maybe make prints too.

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This blog really has turned into a "look what I drew"/mental health check-in space. Sorry about that, I wish I was more interesting. Let me see, let me see.

What else can I talk about?

Pop culture? Well ok.

NETFLIX:I watched the first 2 episodes of Making a Murderer and didn't like it. So there's that. What I do like on Netflix right now is F is for Family and the Mike Tyson Mysteries. Both are cartoons, and both are pretty weird. Especially the Mike Tyson ones, but they're both great. And I'm on my second round of watching every single Friends episode. Hence the Chandler reference earlier.

PODCASTS: I'm still listening to the Pete Holmes podcast You Made it Weird literally every day. I'm starting to run out of episodes...I need a new one to get into. I think I will give WTF another shot, I wasn't sure about Marc Maron but everyone always says he's the king so maybe I'm missing something there.

BOOKS: I'm reading Orange is the New Black. The show is better. I started reading The Martian (Ryan got the book for me for Christmas) but then I watched the movie when I was halfway through the book and...stopped reading it. Yeah. Cool story, me.

CRAVE TV: I just signed up for Crave TV so I'm probably going on a Seinfeld/South Park binge in the near future.

MUSIC: I've been basically repeating the song The Wretched Tide by Draconian over and over for weeks now. I got the new Ghost album but don't like it very much yet. I'm trying. Other than that it's the same old Graveyard and Nick Cave over and over. If we still used cassette tapes these would be worn right out.

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I want a hair cut so bad, but I am not willing to make an appointment to do it, so this is what I look like right now.





The end.