Hipster

Stop Being Ironic, Austin

Hipster

MUSTACHE TATTOO


Tracy Chan’s Austinist article, Stop Being Ironic, Austin (summarizing a NY Times Article articulates what irritates me about a lot of hipster culture. While there’s nothing wrong with silly for silliness’s sake, I think the irony is an attempt to deal with the self aware shallowness.

Christmas Lights

The Day After Thanksgiving

Christmas Lights

What we do after thanksgiving…

I never thought this would be me but here I am on November 23rd, listening to Christmas music while Annette decorates the house with lights. I’ve never liked Christmas much, except for advent calendars, which catered to both my obsessive-compulsive and chocolate-loving nature.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Hanging out and drawing for my comic about substituting.

GoldieBlox: Engineering toys for girls

While I really dislike how many childhood activities are gendercoded a single way, it’s probably a good idea to get balance and at least code it male and female both. Go future female engineers!

"As with most friendships it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space." Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

What are the characteristics of a good friend?

"As with most friendships it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space." Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

“As with most friendships it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space.” Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

As a GED Instructor I would teach essay writing. We’re talking straightforward, vanilla 5-paragraph essays. Now the thing about these hyper standardized essays is that they must ask something that anyone at all could answer without having to read anything (it’s seperate from the reading test). The unintended result is that the questions can often be very personal, ranging from “Who was someone who changed affected your life and how did they affect it?” to “What’s your favorite _____ and why?”

The prompt “What are the characteristics of a good friend?”, led to an interesting class discussion.”You can always depend on a friend, no matter what.” said one student. “You can always call them, even at 2am and they’ll listen to you.” said another. “They will always lend you money.” said a third. The class got a little quiet and stopped calling out characteristics. “Who here has a friend?” I asked. Silence. “No one here has any friends?” I asked again. “Fuck friends. They stab you in the back!” said a girl and the class rumbled in agreement. “Yeah, I’m better off without friends. They’re liars.” said another girl.

What followed was a long discussion about realistic expectations. The students had an unrealistic expectation of good friends (they, of course, didn’t want to receive 2am emergency calls any more than their “friends” did). Instead of seeing friendship as a negotiated understanding between two people it was a monolithic junior high school ideal that they could never have. We will never have the same type of BFF friendship that we had as teenagers because situations and resources change.

Honestly, I was in the same boat as my students, not seeing myself as having more than a friend or two at any given time. My experience left me wondering, are we all unrealistic or simply lower expectations and retitle aquaintances into friends? Are they people one facebook who like our updates, essentially a mix between passing notes in class and cooing over a baby?

As an adult, what are the characteristics of a good friend? I’d like to know.

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

Daily Creativity

A BEAST OF A PROJECT

THE DAILY DRAW: A BEAST OF A PROJECT

Starting January 1, Jeremy the Artist and I made a pact to draw every day and post it on the Daily Draw Tumblr for one year. Some folks have joined us for part of this year. As Jeremy reminds me when I miss a series, it’s a beast of a project but, if you can’t get better without practice it’s essential to show up and work every day just as you would at any other job you take seriously.

I feel like, in the spirit of the Artists Way, writers have been onto this for some time and a lot of people journal every day. I know I have. It’s tiring to fill journals only to store them in the upper reaches of my closet, taking them out only when I move to another apartment.

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

So I’ve tried a few different programs for typing my words into the computer. I’ve settled on FocusWriter, an excellent fullscreen writing app, but I wanted all my posts in the same location and also available on any computer. Then I remembered this excellent website Annette had recommended to me called 750 Words.

750 Words Screenshot

750 WORDS in classic green on black

750 Words is a free web app that does everything I need a daily journal to do including providing a customizable, full screen distraction-free interface. It tracks your days and you can access your stats of how often you wrote. You can also see what other users made their goal for the day and month. If you ever get sick of th site, you can easily export your posts. One of these months I’m going to do the challenge where if you write 750 words every day for the month your name is put on the Wall of Amazingness. It’s not without risk because if you miss a day during the month you go on the Wall of Shame until you successfully complete a month of writing every day. I love the idea of taking a person’s goals seriously and adding consequences, however trivial they may be.

Writing a comic

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I’ve started writing a comic book. It’s going to be about 20 pages long and its about my ill-fated first day as a substitute teacher. Often with creative projects coming up with a useable workflow can be a substantial part of the battle. Currently I’m using Scrivener to outline and the ipad app Noteshelf to do the page thumbnails and rough outlines. Noteshelf is great because I can have a customizable background page template. I’m not sure what program I’ll use to draw the final artwork.

What’s your workflow? I’m very open to suggestions!

Camping at Palmetto State Park

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Had a great time camping this weekend with Jericho. Nature is so healing.