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Hello deviantART,

It's been quite some time since I posted here -- and my, how life has moved on, and on, and on. Three years and a few weeks since my last journal entry, and in that time I've left the PhD program with a Masters (decided I was tired of school, wanted to move on with my life, needed a change of pace, and the concentration was not inspiring me -- in short, I lacked the passion to complete the PhD in the topic I was studying, so I left), started dating and married the love of my life (Katie!), had my first child (who is now over a year old!), took on a full-time job in New York, moved to a nice neighborhood, upgraded cars, ... in short, literally everything about my life is transformed.

It also explains in no small way the lack of time I've had for the DeviantArt community, although there are many here that I still think of and remember fondly. I'm sure if you stumble on this journal and recall my name you'll be surprised by what I've said!

Regardless, of course no guarantee I'll be back in any capacity, but I'm up and sleepless and figured what better use of my time then to drop a line to my old friends and colleagues on DeviantArt. I trust you are all hale and well, and that the transformations in your lives have been equally full of happiness as mine.  Good night, and take care.

Deepest love,
Daniel (TheBishounen55)
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Thoughts and Ideals

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.
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
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."
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
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Did anything memorable happen to you on April Fool's day? (Leave a comment!)

14 votes
I was scarred for life!
Almost peed myself, I was laughing so hard.
It was good times.
Was pretty meh, but I guess an A for effort.
I think someone tried to prank me? Didn't notice.
Nothing happened, and I did nothing.
What is April Fool's day? Did that happen this year or something?
You don't want to know. (YES I DO)
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Moving On

6 min read
Thoughts and Ideals

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.
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
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.
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
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3 min read
Thoughts and Ideals

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
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A Brand-new World by TheBishounen55, journal

The Way Life Moves by TheBishounen55, journal

Moving On by TheBishounen55, journal

Passings by TheBishounen55, journal

Happy New Year! by TheBishounen55, journal