Neglect Recovery

17Jun08

Yeah so I should mention that I died from that upper respiratory infection I wrote about in January. I died and lived a whole life in the intermediate time, let me try and sort it all out for both our sakes.

So I had that for about a month, and I read The Fountainhead cover-to-cover during that time. I wouldn’t say that it changed my life so much as validated the crazy ideas that I already had; not about objectivism, mind you, but about the highest goal of any man being to exert his will on the form of the world. Now I’m reading Atlas Shrugged, which seems to have some great sentences about earning success. I’m not too far into it. I hear there’s a speech that jumps the shark at some point. As an aside, it’s a shame that Ayn Rand never wrote any porn. Or maybe this is it.

Two quarters of classes came and went and now I’m done with the art school foundations. I can say now through experience that art students have to work like fifty times as hard for a third of the credit and ridiculous subjective grading of engineer saplings, but it’s a labor of love and nobody would trade it for anything. I’ve come to accept and respect myself as an artist, and starting in September I’ll be able to prove myself as a designer. I’m not sure what my parents think about my throwing a lucrative computer technology career away to be an urban coffeehouse beatnik hippie conceptual artist, but man, this is me. It’s a shame I spent so many years pretending to be something else. My grades went up for spring quarter. My professors love my work. I might have a shot at changing the world after all.

Fall quarter classes are going to be brutal, but a real blast. Two days a week start at 8 in the morning, two more start at 9. At least I get Thursdays off, though I’ll likely go to work for the man during that time, and weekends. I’m going to live closer to campus – unfortunately in the wrong direction, farther from the city – which will be nice. I’ll be able to bike to campus and back. I fear reliance on a car, because I don’t honestly think anyone will be able to use them much longer. And hell, I really do care about atmospheric carbon.

For the time being I’m subleasing a one-bedroom apartment downtown. This is the way I’ve always wanted to live. I can ride my bike to the organic natural food cooperative for groceries. I can ride anywhere else I might want to go, and take the bus to places way out in the suburbs if I need to. Being this close to everything makes me realize how both wonderful and terrible this city can be. I love the communities and neighborhoods around me, but what has happened to the core of the city and the way so many people here live is nothing short of tragic, and criminal – both in that their conditions are criminal, and it has driven them to crime. But that is part of the magic of a city, you get the whole gamut of humanity at once, even the uglier parts of the spectrum. I would not trade this for the monotonous safety of a cul-de-sac. That said, my apartment building is wonderful; it’s very old, and has real marble in the lobby. Channel 15 is CCTV of the front vestibule. Getting around by bike is a little scary, but I’m aggressive. There’s not much more satisfying than breaking a speed limit without motor assistance. After riding in a car for so long, I feel that transporting myself effectively on my own power is supremely liberating. I can’t really explain it. 

For the moment I’m looking for a job on the East side. It’s unbelievable how many places I’ve applied to and then have never heard back from. I have to wonder if it’s me, sometimes. I have applications pending at no fewer than 15 places, and it seems that no employers call back, ever. I’ve been tenacious, and some have been gracious enough to explain that positions are no longer available, but being told “someone will get back to you in a few days” for weeks just seems like bad form to me. Thanks to the modern credit establishment, I’m in no immediate danger, but I’m going to start chewing through the insulation if I don’t have anything constructive to wake up for in the morning. I’d rather do and make wonderful things simply for the satisfaction, without pay, than sit in here on facebook all day. I could get hired so fast telling people this if only they would grant me an interview. Can’t get discouraged.

Unexpectedly, I’ve gained a few more prominent threads in my life recently: smoking and dancing. I convinced myself for the longest time that I’d hate these things but here I am, skanking my white ass off at a moe. concert, dragging on kreteks and contraband. Luckily for me, I’m no stranger to moderation and don’t have an addictive personality, but it’s no longer a mystery to me why people have been lighting things on fire and breathing in the vaporization for thousands of years. And god, I just want to go dance at another show. I might try another shot at a dance club, even.

So that’s my life. There’s a lot more to it, and I have so much more to say, but I guess that’s everything new and worth telling. The reflection was nice.

Remain positive.

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