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The Way Life Moves

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 23, 2010, 4:57 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
Hello, deviantART. It's been a while! I see some 6k messages and artwork and such waiting for me ... you my friends are so very productive and talented! Hopefully I'll be able to look through some of them soon.

So, life. My last update was in April; much has happened since then. I found summer love that ended entirely too soon, but was full of happy memories, good friends, and self-realizations. I passed my qualifying examination (barely), so I am officially a PhD candidate in the field of Computer Science. I began a new semester of university; I have three jobs now as an academic -- student, teacher, and researcher. I'm experiencing the joys, sorrows, and initial strangeness of being "Professor Boston". I'm facing again the hardships of balancing life and work and expectations. My four-year roommate moved out to be closer to his job in NYC, leaving me facing new living arrangements. Money is tight. Yet through it all, life moves on.
Art
My art has not progressed much recently. I've got a few projects; one involving my coin collection and finally making proper mounting plates for them. I've got most of the tools I need now to get the project under way, now I just need the time. I've still got my 35mm vs. digital project to embark on. I want to get some lamps and some boxes and do some DIY projects on photography gear for lighting and shadow control. I'd like to do more carving. I have some sketchwork projects I'd like to start/complete, including some gifts for family members. So far, though, all I have done is an impromptu-photography event with members of the Star Wars costuming group the 501st Legion. They are wonderful people, and a blast to photograph and hang out with. I've begun posting a few selected images from that event here. A few selections:
Atris Attacks by TheBishounen55 Young Darth Vader, Sith Lord by TheBishounen55 Tusken by TheBishounen55 A Balloon For Vader by TheBishounen55
Academics
I'm teaching a largely freshman class all about the joys of programming. They are a good crew; by and large dedicated, interested, and sincere. It's been quite an experience, however. I can remember the first day of class, someone shouted out "Professer!" and it took me a good thirty seconds to realize they were talking to me. Quite a paradigm shift. I gave them their midterm recently; it's fascinating being on the other side looking in. I can only hope that my instructions and example is a positive influence in their lives, and regardless of their grades they can look back on the class and say "I learning something useful."
Work
I've been doing some tutoring and consulting work on the side when I can, although nothing regular yet. I may need to find some more regular work for a while, at least until I can secure a new roommate. We'll see what happens.
All Else
I wish you all the best, and those of you who still remember me and bother to read this, I thank you. Say a prayer or send a good thought my way, if you think of it! Life is ever moving on, and while sometimes the directions it leads aren't what you would initially have picked for yourself, there is always the room for self-determination. These next few years are going to be intense and full of change, I can feel it in my soul. So I face each day with a smile and a renewed sense of adventure, and look forward to where life will move next.


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Lifehouse: You and Me
  • Reading: The Myst Reader: Book of Ti'ana
  • Drinking: Coffee

Moving On

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 7, 2010, 11:32 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
So, life is ... looking up. I've been sorting through some personal issues, both internal and external, and consequently my drive, focus, and even ambition has returned. Certain almost-events have also inspired additional motivation that I hope sticks around, because I've missed the level of activity these past few weeks have encompassed. It helps that I've got some awesome things and people to look forward to this month, and the hardest crucible of my early doctoral career is looming nearer every day (Think of me on May 24th, if I recall correctly). Good things, terrible things, all are motivators, and I've stock in both! For the first time in a while, I'm really looking forward to what the future holds, even if it's full of unknowns, half-glimpsed possibilities, and dramatic shifts in landscape.
Art
I still haven't had time to sit down and set up my 35mm comparison series -- not to mention that finances make it a less-than-ideal time to embark on that adventure. We'll see. It's still on my "to do" list, just no idea when! In the meantime, I'm capturing snapshots and the like where I can. I've got several hundred photos to sort through from recent adventures; what I posted tonight is just from the Easter weekend. I've got a baseball game, a bunch of random candids, and who-knows what else sitting around in my "unsorted" folders. Keep your eyes open! As for viewing all your, my friends', deviations ... that will likely remain delayed. I keep catching tantalizing glimpses whenever I visit my message box, but for now I'll let them wait. It's a project that is not high on my priorities, and I hope you will all forgive me this failing for the time being!
A few selections:
Above: Waterways by TheBishounen55 Enveloped by TheBishounen55 Frills and Ripples by TheBishounen55 Sacred Vessel by TheBishounen55
Academics
Things are looking up on the research front. I've got a paper deadline for April 15th, and it's looking ... likely ... that we'll meet the deadline. Of course, the conference we are applying to has a less than 10% acceptance rate, meaning the likelihood of our paper being accepted is very slim. We'll all put our best effort into it, however! Classwork is weighing heavily on me -- projects are piling up, deadlines are getting closer, and regular homework is browbeating me. Still, I've managed to keep abreast of it so far, and my examination scores from before Spring Break are much better than I expected.
Work
The company that I and four of my friends started a few years ago is officially terminated. We decided to do this in January (can't remember if I mentioned that here already), and paperwork is in process. On to the next venture! While I'm sad it didn't work out, I've gained a valuable glimpse into what to do better next time, and I don't intend those hard-won lessons to go to waste. Subsequent to my PhD, I'll probably be moving towards starting a new company. In all likelihood it will be based around my thesis, although that remains to be seen. For the moment, I'm looking to pick up odd jobs to make some supplemental income as the stipend (living wage) I receive from the University is not sufficiently matched to the cost of living in the area surrounding the University. Such is life!
All Else
Taxes are coming due soon! For all my United States resident friends, I wish the best to you each on your submissions (if you submit taxes), and I hope you get an extra large refund! And with that, I bid you all good night.


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Breaking Benjamin
  • Drinking: Water

Passings

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 17, 2010, 8:51 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
This morning is a sad one for me. My Grandma Willis, a woman full of love and giving, and with the world's most beautiful smile, passed away around 6AM while in the company of my mom (her daughter) and uncle. She passed peacefully and quietly, but I will miss her more than I can express.

I know many of you my friends aren't religious, but I found these lines from my Grandma's last Christmas letter to be most comforting:

'I wish to leave you with these versus from God's word:

John 14:1-3, 6 "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. ... Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father, but by me."

If I don't see you again, I pray that I'll meet you in heaven where I'll be and you can be too if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart!'


Her love and smile brightened every room she visited; now the angels will have to vie with her as her face joins their choir in eternity.

If you would, just pray for me, my family and her friends during this time, but rejoice for her.




Life and Reality

Happy New Year!

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 1, 2010, 7:54 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
Happy New Year! I hope 2010 is a blessed year for all of you, my friends. Make beautiful art!
Art
Something wonderful has happened! For Christmas, my father gifted me his Minolta XD-5, an older-generation SLR (35mm film). Besides two lenses, it also has an auto-winder and an autoflash -- "Auto 320-X" -- which, amazingly, works with my Canon Rebel XSi. Of course I still have to set the flash manually, which is going to take a good deal of experimentation to get accustomed to its features and abilities. Needless to say, I'm excited. And very grateful -- the camera my father gave me was also a gift from his father, who passed recently. It holds significant sentimental value for both of us, but definitely him more than I. I'm excited to experiment with these two cameras.
Portfolio


Liberty



Life and Reality
  • Reading: The Lonely Hearts Club
  • Watching: Heroes
  • Playing: SEIV
  • Drinking: Tea

Here's presenting

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 9, 2009, 10:14 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
Down to the wire! The first semester of my second year as a PhD student is just about over. Insanity!
Art
I've been working on some series of shots; I figured I'll do something a little different this journal and self-advertise. First, I set up a quick portfolio: Take a Moment to See. Second, some picks from each series:
Coin



Play



Drive



Walking



Girls



Trains





Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Christmas music
  • Watching: LAink
  • Playing: SEIV
  • Drinking: Coffee

Thankful

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 25, 2009, 10:16 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
For those who celebrate, a Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Find a friend and hug them today; and be sure to remind someone you love that you are thankful for them and their presence in your life.


Life and Reality

Uphill Battles

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 14, 2009, 10:43 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
Well, after spending all of September, and all of October effectively spinning my wheels, personally, professionally, and academically, the beginning of November to now has been a period of intense and purposed self-renewal. It's still in process, and there are areas that are falling behind, but in general I have focused on improving, if not the timing, at least the quantity of my sleep (and quality: I purchased a real bed. It cost more than I would ever want to spend, but I can already tell you it was a good investment); I have tried to spend more time with friends, where appropriate and as it fits around my other obligations; I have actually gotten work done, met my obligations to my company and coworkers; I have focused on spreading out the bulk of work for each homework assignment instead of trying to do them all the night before (although this still needs a lot of improvement); and I am still working on, although have made progress, re-organizing my life and possessions in this new house. Some areas that still need work are integrating time for research, reading, and writing into this framework. I have a bit of time here and there that I could be putting towards it that I'm still wasting, so a large part of this process is identifying those times, without sacrificing the necessary time each person should preserve in a day and a week on personal or interpersonal interests not work or academic.
Art
One other thing I've been sacrificing lately is my art. I can't let that keep up; I'm already itching for a nice day spent walking around with my camera, especially in this new neighborhood I'm living. So, hopefully i can do that before the weather makes it impossible, although adverse weather makes for interesting photographs, so I will not complain either way :).
Research
Ultimately, the many plans my team has had to publish a paper have fallen to the wayside in the face of increasing time crunch with homework and other obligations. It's a shame. I'm working hard to slough through the homework dominating my time so that I can add this back in. As a more immediate concern, I have three or four papers to read and write a critical review on (all part of the peer review system of academic paper submission -- if you write, you should also review). I intend to start them this afternoon.
Business
Teaches.it continues to do well -- not a smash hit as any business owner would hope, but progressively improves. We went to the NJEA conference last Thursday and Friday, and sold nearly $450 in direct subscriptions to our service. I expected maybe 5 to 10 sales, and we had over two dozen. That was a huge confidence boost, both in our company and in our product. I can only hope we ride this high into continued success.
Anything Else
Beyond all that, I'm enjoying the new apartment very, very much. It's larger, John (my roommate) and I fit much better, and there are a number of other good things about the place (hard wood floors, plenty of windows, nice neighborhood). So far the worst difficulties have been related to parking, which of course is impossible in an urban environment, more-so in the high-traffic area we are. It's an adventure!


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Random Music
  • Reading: Vampires: Encounters with the Undead
  • Drinking: Coffee

Sometimes not so much

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 1, 2009, 10:23 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
I just read through my last journal post, and had to grin at how positive things were looking at that point. Lots of things have changed since July 15th. I'm now (recently) single -- the positive improvement in the relationship stopped and reversed, until things got to the point that separation was really the only option.

I've got a few positives there, however -- some new friendships and renewals of old friendships.

That's it, though -- September was a rough month. My grandfather passed away after a seven year convalescence. I was displaced (and still am, partially) from my apartment for nearly three weeks due to extensive water damage. My flatmate suffered from that as well, including some material losses. Research work has flat-lined, homework is flagging, and classes aren't holding my interest.

In general, it's been a rough time of it.

So, at this point, I'm happy for each new day that nothing much happens. I'm trying to get myself pulled back together and moving forwards, but it is difficult and slow pulling out of this depression/slump.

Business
My work and company's situation seems to change daily. One day we're fearing the end, and the next we're looking at the potential of 10k income. We're making progress on some projects -- in fact, we released a product in June that is active and may be of interest to some of you:

Teaches.it

It is a simple website solution geared towards teachers -- ultimately, however, we will create companion sites for a variety of other markets.

Another product still in development hits a limited, exclusive public beta in 15 days -- I may post an update on that here as well; it's personally very exciting for me, as I've invested a significant number of hours into this project and hope for its success.

Art
Artistically, I've still been taking photos regularly; I might have an opportunity to do some photographs for a friend and his pregnant wife -- I'm excited about this, and hope it'll work out. Besides that potential, I've been taking photos where I can of various things -- a lot of photos of my rat girls, recently.

Else
Besides that, nothing much to report. I'm focusing on getting myself together, motivated, and moving. I hope you all are doing awesome, and I really hope to find some time to review the more recent art you all have posted. Take care!


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Coworkers Talking
  • Reading: Vampires: Encounters with the Undead
  • Playing: Evony
  • Eating: Candy Corn
  • Drinking: Coffee

General Update

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 15, 2009, 6:47 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
I suppose I'm due to update this gosh-darned thing :D. Life's actually ... kinda good right now. There are some things I wish were going better (like my PhD research program and certain aspects of my corporation), but other things that have been rocky at best of late (various friendships and my romantic relationship) are looking up and perhaps ... stabilizing? It might be premature, but I'm very happy right now, and just trying to hang on to this contented feeling. It doesn't hurt that I've had some opportunities to make some half-decent art recently, and that's got me in a good mood as well. Hurray! Anyway, that leads us to...

devART
I'm really in love with my camera, now. I probably said before I was in love with it, but it's for real, now.

My parents got me an absolutely beautiful Manfrotto prosumer camera tripod for my birthday -- it extends up to around 7 feet tall, has all sorts of movement/angle options, and tons of other features I can't hope to enumerate. In short, I love it, too, and it's really enabled my photography of late. With this stand, I can get certain shots to be stable that I couldn't hope to do freehand, nor could I hope to do with my old stand (which wasn't very stable).

Excellent! I hope you all enjoy the results as well ... speaking of results, I'd like to highlight a few photos I particularly like (and maybe you will, too?):

Flowers



Buds



Bugs



Enjoy, friends!

Everything Else
I just wanted to say "THANK YOU!" to all the people who've recently added me to their watched list; feel free to leave me comments and such, I'd love to get to know you! Either way, I appreciate very much that for some reason, you felt led to add my art to your incoming art-stream. :hug: Thank you!

And with that, this update on the Life of Dan (tm) is complete :). Good night, friends.


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Buzz of my computer
  • Reading: Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind
  • Watching: Random Folding@Home visualization

High Dynamic Whatcha-ma-call-it

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 17, 2009, 6:56 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


devART
So, I must confess. I played a lot today. Played with images. Before I came home, I took a bunch of imagesets intending to make a stab at some HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery. I can't say I'm universally happy with the results, but it was interesting, to say the least!

Here is each set. I beg you to look them over and leave feedback! I'll post some other images later -- I took some more of my pet rats!

HDR


Rosebush



House



Clover



Single Blade



Flowers



Bug



Enjoy!


Life and Reality
  • Reading: Why Nations Go To War
  • Watching: Freeman's Mind - Episode 2 (Youtube)

Tiny Update (Must be a theme!)

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 16, 2009, 2:53 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life

MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED!


That's right. As of Saturday, my older brother is a taken, signed sealed and locked away, man. :D. I'm incredibly happy for him; the woman he married is a lovely lady, and I'm certain they will make a happy life and home together. Awesome! I'll be posting a few pictures, not of the wedding itself, but of the day before during the set-up and rehearsal. That is, once I get them onto my computer and sorted out. I have a lot of pictures I haven't posted. Speaking of ...
Every Party Needs a Favor by TheBishounen55 Simple Elegance 1 by TheBishounen55 I choose you by TheBishounen55

Violin Love by TheBishounen55 Passion at the Cello by TheBishounen55 Hold that pose by TheBishounen55

Am I Ready? by TheBishounen55 The :blushing: bride by TheBishounen55 Hold Me Close by TheBishounen55
devART
I posted a bunch of pictures of my pets tonight! I need to take more recent ones, so you can all see how they have grown. They are adorable, and I love them very much -- I have three rats, Q-Tip, Fidgit, and Oreo. They are all nervous little sweethearts. I couldn't ask for better behaved rat friends.
So, why the names you might ask? Well, Q-Tip, before she had a name, exhibited a rather curious tendency to stick her nose into my ear. The name followed quite naturally :D
Fidgit just won't stay still, ever, and absolutely loves being in a large rolling ball, so she can explore my apartment (and usually get stuck in the bathroom!).
Oreo -- well, her mom's name was Cookie ... yeah.
So there you have it! Pet pictures and a brother married. That's it for this update! Sleep for me.


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Computer fan
  • Drinking: Water

Small Update

Journal Entry: Thu May 28, 2009, 4:14 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
So, basically, life is rough. I'm in the midst of a series of important exams, that I must pass if I am to remain in the PhD program. Two are done, two remain. Besides that, there's a lot going on ... but I'll not get into it just now. Figured I'd post an update, just in case anyone still remembers my name and wonders what happened to me. Haven't died, just got a lot busier. Take care, my friends!


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Database Textbook
  • Drinking: Coffee

That Grand Transitory Known as Life

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 8, 2008, 7:29 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


DeviantArt
So, I go away for a month (or has it been two? Good God, I've been so busy), and DeviantArt is totally different. I guess it's been due for a change, but given my spotty attendance I had just finally gotten used to the last version and knew where to find things. Now I must start all over. Ah well, it's pretty to look at, so at least I won't be unhappy while finding things!
Life
I'm still with Stephanie, and things are going just grand. It's rough in spots, since we live at a distance and that's a great pressure on the both of us -- her since resources and time are too constrained to come see me often, and me since obligation and responsibility weigh on me more powerfully than a set of cement shoes. As well an exciting and amazing and awesome note that I have moved into a new apartment. This is an actual apartment, and for the first time since I began living on my own, not a hole in a wall somewhere. It's a two bedroom suite that I share with John, my ever faithful and awesome roomie. We have a full kitchen, full bathroom, and living room. It's great! I finally feel relaxed and at ease, and I'm even eating right again.
Work
It was a rough drive to the finish, but I worked my butt off and so did several others, and I have officially submitted my first paper ... well, at least my name was on it (and represented a significant contribution of several pages). This is an excellent first step towards my doctorate. My advisor also heard from the NSF that all of his recent grant proposals were approved, for varying amounts, which is amazing. I'm covered, money-wise, for my entire PhD track, provided I stay with my advisor (which I intend most strongly to do). As well, my other work with my father is progressing, although somewhat slowly of late due to the move. But I've finally began the transition into the new project, although it's terrifying in scope. It's not a total start from the ground sort of thing, which is easy ... I have to merge into a project that's pre-existing and evolving at lightening speed. No tricks on this one, it's a doozy. That's the way I love 'em, though. I also got a pay-raise, which is amazing. And a wonderful incentive to keep working into the new school year. Tricksy fellers, The Man.
Everything Else
This probably falls under Work, but what the hell. I've also been told by my advisor that I might have an opportunity to spend a month or two in Finland next summer. I cannot express my excitement properly! This is an incredible opportunity ... not only will I be doing research, but experiencing a different country, different people, places, and such. I'm very hopeful this opportunity pans out and I can go -- It'll entail a lot of work for me, but no matter, it'll be worth it.
And I think that's all for now. I might have pictures to upload at some point, but I doubt it will be soon. There have been various travels recently, but no idea how the photos came out (it was a rough terrain area, so I did not bring my new, nice camera that I would prefer not to have fall off cliffs into rushing water). I'll keep you posted! Toodles, my lovely friends.

Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Snow Patrol
  • Reading: Pieces of Eight
  • Eating: Nothing ... kinda hungry
  • Drinking: Coffee

When sitting on hard objects one's rear h

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 4, 2008, 5:25 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
Three cheers for still not having my desks built. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished product; perhaps some development photos, if I take a few tonight. Doubtful. Makes working hard, but I'm resourceful; I'm sitting on a pillow which is on a wood board which is balanced on an eggcrate. My monitor and such are on an end-table type thingy. Hurray for back strain as well.

Also! Stephanie and I are now dating. Hurray for relationships as well. She's awesome. And smart. And beautiful. I win!
She's also trying to learn the violin, and I am trying to teach her. It's an adventure, but she's a great student.

Alright. That's about it in the life of Dan for right now; nothing more to report, really.


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Weezer
  • Reading: The Dragon's Nine Sons
  • Eating: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Drinking: Coffee

What's a semester, anyway?

Journal Entry: Mon May 19, 2008, 2:46 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


School
Wow. It's been forever since I updated, and so very much has happened. Where do I begin? I suppose I'll start with the nearest and dearest, namely school.

On Saturday, I walked with my graduating class, and received my diploma -- I am now officially full of B.S. ... err, I mean I am now the proud owner of a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. I only got an hour of sleep the night before and slept through half the ceremony, but I walked across the stage with pride and firmly shook the Dean's hand. Hurray! So, that's done. Four years. Four long, hard years ... busy, too. And this semester has been absolutely crazy. Just crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I started working for one of the Professors here at the beginning of the semester; I was his undergraduate research assistant on a few projects he and his PhD students were working on. So I did random coding, testing, and helped use a variety of devices, projects and the like. Well, at one point in the semester he asked me to cover for him in giving a talk to some prospective students, as he'd be out of the country. Seeing an excellent opportunity, I agreed to do it. After I previewed the speech to the Dean of Computer Science, the dean followed it by offering to sponsor me in a Fellowship application. And if the fellowship fell through, he'd give me a research assistantship, guaranteed. Just like that, I was headed for graduate school. I was so shocked at the time I told him I'd have to think about it, but a day or so later I responded most enthusiastically "YES!" Over the next few weeks, the fellowship bid worked out, and I am now the first recipient of a very awesome new fellowship at my school, which will give me a whole bunch of money to study computer science at a PhD level. So here I was, about ready to enter the job market, when SIKE! Now I'm headed back in the fall as a PhD candidate.

I am so excited. I'm registered and everything. The fellowship covers tuition and fees, and provides a stipend for living expenses. I'll be working with some absolutely awesome people (especially my faculty adviser, who I already work with) and as soon as I figure out what I want to do, I'll be working on my own research. Very cool.

Also, I graduated with a GPA of above 3.93, meaning I received Summa Cum Laude -- highest honors. That's been my goal since this whole process began, and I am so excited to have achieved it. It's really a huge personal goal that I met. The future is rather exciting, folks!
Work
Since I accepted the fellowship, I had to contact the company I was to work for and inform them of a change in intent. I was sorta sad about that, but to be honest, the closer I got to the 9-5 grind, the less excited I was about it. I'm not ready to be done with the education scene just yet; the work-a-day world and I have unresolved issues, and we are not ready to move in with each other just yet.

So instead, I'll be working two or three jobs this summer; two officially, and the third I'm working with a group of friends on a variety of self-interest projects we have on the back-burner. As for the other two jobs, 24 hours will go to my father, and 24 hours will go to my adviser. It's going to be a busy, but hopefully productive, summer.
Life
As for life, I took a semester off from women. For the most part, anyway, I've been successful. But it's time to move on, and I think I'm re-centered enough to consider myself "back in the game" so to speak. It was the best idea I've had, though, to take a whole semester off from the dating scene. It's been invaluable to focus on my work, on my interests, and on rediscovering some of what I'm all about. I've been crazy involved on campus, doing tons of clubs, activities, and taking on new and bigger responsibilities, and I love it.

My main man and close friend John and I are being roommates again; this time just off campus in one of the fraternity houses. We aren't brothers; we're just boarding at the house. The guys of the frat are good peoples, so there won't be any problems there. I'm excited about that too, especially since we'll have a full kitchen and are getting a bigger fridge to store all our lovely foods and desserts.  I'm also upgrading from a twin size mattress to a full size mattress, another thing I'm very excited about, to say the least. It's going to be a crazy summer.

Also, there is possibly a woman in my life. Maybe. We'll see what happens, there's no pressure and no rush. I'm certainly in no hurry; I've got another four years minimum of schooling, and plenty of time to live life and enjoy life. And I intend to.
Art
I wish I had more to say, but I do have exciting, very very exciting news. My parents got me a Rebel XSi for a graduation gift, and it is so very awesome. They also, knowing me so well, got me a macro lens. I spent almost two hours last night just laying on the living room floor, playing with settings and taking pictures. It's amazing, and I've fallen in love with it. I can't wait to take some awesome pictures in the near future and share them with you. It's going to be a process getting used to the camera and it's settings, but I'm very excited about the whole thing. Hurray!

I'm also going to try to get back into music, perhaps even into composing. But I have some prospects for teaching the violin again, and I'm very excited about that. It'd be great to have a student again, it really forces me to focus on improving myself as well.



Well, I think that's about it for now. If I think of anything else, I'll update again. Adios and good luck to you all. Have a great summer!

Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Air conditioning
  • Eating: No-bake chocolate cookies
  • Drinking: Coffee

A few thoughts

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 10, 2008, 9:00 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life

I don't really have anything profound to update on. I should, after last night. I kept my parents up way into the night ... 2 am, in fact ... discussing life, my cousin, my feelings, perspectives on religion, church, people ... it was amazing. Intellectually stimulating. Tiring. But I'm going to keep those counsels close. I have some different approaches, different thoughts to work with now. Or at least to allow to affect my decisions. Make better ones, yanno? Especially with my cousin, because I'm teetering too close to enabling, which isn't what I want.

But for now, Work!

Take care, my friends.

Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Various Rock
  • Reading: Les Miserables
  • Playing: Space Empires IV
  • Drinking: Contemplating Coffee

New Beginnings

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 2, 2008, 8:19 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
It's been a while, hasn't it? I survived the semester -- barely, but I did. Scholastically, I managed to squeeze in another 4.0 -- but this was definitely purely on the curve, and we all know how little I like "succeeding" because others did not, and that's what a curve is. Sigh.

Thanksgiving came and went. I missed Grandpa ... it's been four years, now, I think. I'd just like to give him a hug, I think.

Christmas came and went, too. But Christmas morning was wonderful -- my brother was there from Ohio, and Grandma, myself, he, my mom and dad all sat around and enjoyed each other's company and the gifts we'd gotten. It was great. Of course, then we had to go over to Grandmom B's, and mingle with the larger family group.

Me being who I am, I ended the night with my shirt off, covered in dust and dirt, hammering in wood pieces to mount a projector and speakers.

My cousin's latest project, or his eternal, lasting six months so far project, has been to completely re-imagine my Grandmom's basement. It is transforming from homely and mildly chaotic relaxation spot to bare, spartan, and heavily steeped in technology theater. I'm hoping it will get some "life" touches at some point. The wallpaper might help, but I really don't like the pattern that's been chosen. It'll be okay, but ... maybe I'm just being too picky, hah.

Anyway, the overriding difficulty is that, to a large extent, my cousin doesn't really know what he's doing. So far he's succeeded in driving all of away with his know-it-all attitude. He's gotten into arguments with my father, frustrated his own dad into avoidance, and the latest is he's driven off completely one whole part of our family that is sensitive to offense to begin with. Something that he'd originally hoped would bring the family together is instead tearing it apart.

Hence the reason I'll be over at my Grandmom's every night for a while, in a mostly vain attempt to get this project finished, so that these divisions and jealousies and hatreds can go away.

The next time my cousin wants to do one of these projects, I hope my Grandmom has the sense to say "No."

I was dating a girl by the end of the semester. It wasn't working for me -- no lack of trying on her part, but my heart is still hurting. It just wasn't fair ... I couldn't get into the relationship or give her the attention she needed, heh. It's just as well, I think it might be best to spend some time single, but we'll see. I ended the dating relationship last Saturday. It seems like we're still going to be friends, which is great.

I've been working while on break between semesters. I also accepted a solid job offer in North NJ, so with any luck I'll have a job waiting for me after this next semester. I may also have a research assistantship during this next semester -- there's been an offer made, now I just have to follow up. It's even with a professor I respect and seems to be universally appreciated, so there's a good deal of potential here.

Thoughts
The heart is a strange thing. When you miss someone, it can pop up suddenly and without warning. Turns out that's pretty inconvenient. Who'd'ah thunk it? So my goal for this new year -- Happy New Year, by the way -- is to work on healing. Not replacement, not distraction, but healing. That will probably require some forgiving, too, and that's what I'm hesitant about. Still, it's what I'm going to have to do, eventually, if I ever really want to move on. My heart's too soft for me not to forgive, and I don't want to become something else. I am bitter enough already. And tired. These things have a way of wearing you down. Well, I guess it's a goal, right?

The other thing I'd like to do is take better care of myself. I don't eat right, I don't sleep right. I don't take vitamins, and I exercise sporadically. These need to become regular if I'm going to have a healthy life. I'm not sure how to do it, just yet, but I'd like to fix some of these more pressing issues.

I guess that's the closest you'll see from me concerning "New Year's Resolutions" ... just general goals, no hard resolutions. I wish you all the best on any goals or resolutions you've decided on!

Art
I sadly have little to add here. Perhaps that will change soon. I've been thinking a lot about getting a decent camera for myself, a decent digital camera, so that I could start taking pictures again. I miss it. Development costs for traditional film are just too much -- I can't afford it. Oh well! We'll see.



Anyway, take care, my friends. I've missed reading about you, talking to you, and looking at your art. Happy New Year, and I sincerely wish only the best for you all.


Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Various Rock
  • Reading: Blood Bound (Patricia Briggs)
  • Playing: Space Empires IV
  • Drinking: Contemplating Coffee

Positive Spinning

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 28, 2007, 12:54 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
I was getting tired of seeing the last journal. So here's a nice clean new one. Hurray. I think we all know what's happening in my "social" life, it sucks, it happens, I'll live. Thank you all so much for your support, it's been truly extraordinary, and I appreciate it more than any of you could know. This next year could hold any number of interesting outcomes, but I'll try to remain hopeful.
(deviant)Art
Some new "fun" additions to the gallery for you all to check out. iKid stamps for profiles -- apply liberally where appropriate in forum posts, news posts, as comments on especially obnoxious devArt profiles, etc. It was a collaborative idea between myself and shadowed-light-waves ... check out their awesome art :D. I have a bunch more taglines to prepare and post, although I think I might post some only on request. Haven't decided ... I don't really want to fill my gallery with them, but they are so fun! :D.
Work
Making progress. 'Nuff said.
School
Starts in 7 days! I'm ... looking forward to it. Lots fewer complications, I guess, without a girlfriend 2 hours away. Lots more complications, without a girlfriend. We'll see. Should be interesting. Most interesting, though, is that it's my senior year of college, and after this -- the job market for Daniel. Wish me luck!

Good night, friends!

Life and Reality
  • Playing: Simcity 4

W. T. F.

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 25, 2007, 12:05 PM
Thoughts and Ideals


Well, I guess that's that, then.

In 2 1/2 hours, I'll be single.

Go me.

Least I convinced her it's something that needs to be done face to face.


In transit, she decided she wasn't coming, and said the fateful words "We're done" to my voicemail ... since my phone hates me and everything about me, and didn't ring.

Thus ends Alison and Daniel, the "always and forever" couple, heh. 3/27/2003 - 8/25/2007.

I'd cry, but I can't find the tears. God only knows if this is really the end, heh. But what f'n amazing timing ... just before a new semester of school. Who knows what's in store. I suppose I'll find out!

Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Portishead
  • Playing: Simcity 4

Turning Points and Moving On

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 21, 2007, 9:19 AM
Thoughts and Ideals


Life
I'm tired of life, and it's constant no-win scenarios. You know what, Life? Screw you. Yeah, you. ... sigh. It's not official ... in fact, it might not even happen, but chances are around 80% that soon I will be, for apparently the third time in as many years, single ... but I have a feeling, if it does happen this time, Alison and I will be over. Maybe not forever, but ... every time we've split it's harder to get back together again. And this time was scary, since it was awesome, then suddenly bad. We've both been in turmoil since ... although for different reasons.
Anyway, I'm tired of talking about it, and I know you all are tired of reading about it.
DeviantArt
I've been hanging out in #devart a lot. Hello and 'sup to all the new folks I've met in the chatroom and who've added me as a friend -- I should have some new art to share with you soon. Also, I feel like I really need to go through my gallery and weed out some of my ... less inspiring works. I have a lot of junk in there, and some of it is going to end up in the scraps, as soon as I can figure out which is which. It's long overdue, for certain. Anyway, for those of you who've just added me -- I'm a comment whore, I love to receive them, I love to give them ... basically, I just like hearing from and sharing with my friends. Feel free to browse my gallery, and comment on whatever pieces pique your interest. I crave your advice, your disgust, admiration, whatever my art inspires. :D Feel free to share. I'll try to give a pass through your galleries as soon as time allows!
Work
Yeah, work. I need to do that, like, asap. There's some major stuff that I'm stalling on because it's still very intimidating. But, I know what i need to do now, it's just all prototyping and cramming from here on out. I foresee some longs nights soon.
College
Only two weeks left until College begins to end. That's right -- Senior year. And not a moment too soon, as I'm definitely getting rather tired of the whole shtick. I'll miss the people though, just as I've missed my friends over the summer... but life moves on, and so do friendships, relationships, jobs, and selves. I'm excited -- and scared -- to see what lies ahead for me. But regardless, I'm facing it with my head up and my eyes forward, b/c after all the thousands of dollars I've put into my education, I had better be ready by now! :D.

And with that ... back to work. I hope you all are well! Take care.

Life and Reality
  • Listening to: Rain
  • Reading: #devart Chat
  • Playing: Space Empires IV Deluxe
  • Drinking: The all-powerful Coffee