AmericanShorthairTabby_Napping

I had a Nightmare!

AmericanShorthairTabby_Napping

Nunzio, the fearful, napping.

This is one of my cats, Nunzio.  He is not the bravest of cats.  He hides when the door opens, at loud noises and at quick movements.  When we moved into our new house he managed to get himself stuck behind the refrigerator.  When we got him out he hid in the bathroom for a week. He is one of the largest cats I have ever owned, proportionally large, not fat by any means.

I also want to point out that there is NO television or any similar thing in the bedroom.  My music shuts off at midnight and it is instrumental stuff.

I am telling you about Nunzio because he is an intricate part of my nightmare.

– – – – – – – The Nightmare – – – – – – –

My spouse and I were packing to go on a trip to see a house we were looking at buying.  It was over a day drive away, so we were going to make a mini vacation of it.  We brought one of our two cats.  Nunzio.

Nunzio was fine in the car for the drive to the town the house was in.  He was his normal self as we checked in and put our bags in the room.  We got back into the car to check out the house, with Nunzio hunkered down in the back seat.

When we got to the house we started walking around looking at things.  My spouse was carrying Nunzio like you would an infant.  Nunzio had is paws on my spouses shoulders.  He was not happy, but he was not freaking out like we would expect.  As we checked out the rooms and pointed out things that needed to be fixed, my spouse put Nunzio on the floor, to open up the attic.  Instead of running and hiding (like usual) he just hunkered down like someone was holding him in place.  We were not really paying attention, but we did think it was a bit odd.

Once we were done looking at the house, we picked Nunzio up and went back to the car and to the hotel for the night.  We were not going to be able to stay in the house as dirty as it was.  The real estate agency would have some one clean it the next day or two.

We made several more trips to the house over the next few days, each time we brought the cat.  Every time he was put down he would just hunker down and not move.  No hissing, growling or fur flying.  It was definitely odd.  Being distracted as we were, we did not pay attention.

Finally the house was habitable and we would be able to spend the night.  We put a change of cloths and an air mattress in the car and went to the house.

Since it was clean we decided to record the house on our cellphones.  Nunzio was hunkered down in the kitchen.  On the camera you could see the grey head with wings (like an angel statue, but only the head and wings,) about a foot away from Nunzio.  He was not looking at it, it was just there.  Looking away from the camera, you did not see the head or wings.

Weird…

Similar things could be seen around the house on the camera.

Regardless we set up the air mattress and contemplated what needed to be done.

I am not sure why we decided to leave and stay at the hotel.  Thankfully we did not check out.

Late in the night, we packed up our bags to leave the house.  We brought as much as we could to the car and my spouse went back to get the last of the stuff we left.

I was making sure everything was in the car.  Nunzio kept poking his head out of the car door so I decided to get in the car and wait for my spouse.

As I closed the passenger side car door I can see Nunzio standing looking at me in the back seat.  In a creepy movie style possessed voice he starts saying “I LOVE LUCILLE BALL.  I LOVE LUCILLE BALL.”  He also starts moving towards me.

I freak out and scream at him, “NO YOU DON’T, YOU’RE A CAT!  NO YOU DON’T!”  I frantically start to try to open the door to get out of the car as Nunzio comes closer to me.

… and I wake up in a very dark room.  Seven minutes before my alarm goes off.

I am not able to close my eyes for the last seven minutes of sleep.  I am really freaked out.  Nunzio is just on the other side of the door… He lives in the house.  The house is dark….

I turn on my bedside lamp.  Nunzio is just a cat.  Cats cannot talk, even if possessed.  They do not have the correct vocal cords.  Cats are bridges between death and life, you cannot posses a bridge.  That would be silly.

I am trying to calm myself down.  I have to feed the cats in 3 minutes.  Nunzio is out there.  Waiting for food… in the dark…

Flying like the Moon, Acrylic on Canvas.
I apologize for the terrible photo.

Giving it a Go: Planning Stages

Flying like the Moon, Acrylic on Canvas. I apologize for the terrible photo.

Flying like the Moon, Acrylic on Canvas.
I apologize for the terrible photo.
We all have things we strive for. Some of us want to reach for the Moon, others the Sun and still more, the Stars. I am happy with the Moon.

Sometime this past week or so I decided that I would try and sell my art, maybe even try making a living at it.

Like everything that can be considered a “big step” or “big deal,” I am going to do things in some kind of order.

1. Research / Planing

2. Small Gears first

3. Medium Gears / Balancing dreams

4. Go for Broke

I am going to do some research.  I need to find out the costs of getting scans and prints made.  Find out how to protect my art.  Do I need a business license or something of the sort and plan for any financial problems. Figure out how much time I can devote to this endeavor. I can do my own website and what not, woo.

I want to do some small things first.  I plan on starting online with prints, cards and the like.  I am not sure if I want to use Deviant Art’s store and print shop or if I should go with Etsy or Shopify and manage inventory myself.  Questions like this is why planning is important.

I want to go into this with a plan. Plans are good.

I want to start submitting stuff into contests or open art calls.  I think this kind of thing could be really fun (and very stressful.)  I know that I will need to start talking to more people (scary) and promoting myself more.

I really, really want to work my art into web development some how.  Web development is an art in itself.  I it is not something I want to give up on.  At this point I can see myself doing both and being good at it.

I am not sure yet if I want to paint/draw full time or do web dev full time.  They are both very interesting.

The goal, like so many others, is to quit my “day” job and do what I decide is the way I want to go.

Who knows what a year (or more) will bring.  I may fail and be working at a minimum wage job. I may be successful as a painter and share my vision with colors and brushes. I may get some better coding education and take off as a web developer who shares the world in code.

Who knows.

I kind of like the not knowing.

The planning and research that happens when you decide you would like to try something.  Figuring out potential pitfalls or successes.  It is interesting and fun… in a scary way.

Now that I have these thoughts out of my head, maybe I can sleep.

Night!

Sometimes I Dream of … Zombies

This morning I dreamt of zombies.

I have had zombie dreams before.  In those I was on the survivor end.  I would wake up very tired.  It is hard work surviving a Zombie Apocalypse.

Today’s was a bit different, in that it was a 3rd person point of view and ‘we’ were the zombies.

A bunch of people are heading out of the airport.  A father with two kids, one about 12 the other about 5, is having trouble juggling a backpack, duffel bag and the children.  We swing into position a few feet behind the fathers head.

“Dad, I want a piggy back!” says the older child.

“I can’t carry you and your brother.  You need to walk.”  The older child promptly falls on the floor and pouts. “NO!”

The father stops in sight of the doors to the parking garage.  Puts the duffel bag and younger child down.  He turns and gestures the older child to hop on his back, over the rather flat backpack.  “Get, on.  We can’t miss the bus.”

The father grabs the duffel bag and the hand of the younger child and moves out the door to the parking garage.

The father and children are now in different cloths rushing to the back of a department store.  The father keeps looking behind him.  As they near the storage and loading dock area of the store we start to see bodies with grey military issue blankets covering them.  The father picks up the younger child and grabs the older ones hand.   They step over and around the blanketed bodies.  The older child touches one of the blankets, takes a few steps and falls down.  The father lets his hand go and keeps walking.

As he passes through the door way leading to the darkened back rooms a girl in her 20’s hands him a blanket.  Not thinking he brushes it away, takes a few steps and falls to the floor.

As we pan over the blankets and bodies we overhear a conversation between to muffled voices.

“So you read that IM to?”

“Yeah. Who would have thought that it could actually happen”

“Not me. This is so lame.”

We come back into focus over the father, who is getting up.  He looks very disheveled, but other than that looks “healthy.”  He stumbles over to the older child’s body on the floor.  Shakes him and asks “Did you read it?” He gasps for air. “DID YOU READ IT?!”

“No.”  The older son replies, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.

“Liar.  You would be outside with your brother if you hadn’t.”  He turns away in disgust and looks at the others that are milling in the area.

“Why doesn’t anyone look at us!”  We here a shrill voice shout.  “They are not looking!”

We move from behind the father to stand by a girl in her mid 20’s.  She has long wavy brown hair and is wearing a light top and jeans, also looking disheveled. “They will not look at me! Why wouldn’t they look at me?”

We shift views to see twenty to thirty disheveled looking individuals moving to intercept customers walking through the store.  The disheveled people jump in the paths of the customers, shout at them, try to trip them and grab them.  The customers show little to no response.  The most noticeable is that one customer changes course to look at a product instead of heading towards the registers and another swerves around the person blocking his path.

As we watch we see the girl has changed her cloths and is wearing a skirt.  As she walks around the main aisles something dark slides down her legs, like he pants are falling off.  A voice shouts “That is a shirt, moron!”  The girl looks up, smiles, steps out of the shirt, and puts it on.  Then she laughs and runs into a side aisle.

A group of disheveled people gather together and slowly but steadily a buzz of voices can be heard.  They consolidate into a chant “We are the Dead.  We are the Dead…” 

The disheveled, self proclaimed dead line up down the aisles, chanting.  They slowing move out into the main aisles trying to gain attention.

“We are the Dead.  We are the Dead. We are the Dead…”

A click from the overhead pager system can be heard…

… And I woke up.

That was my crazy zombie dream.  I wonder what happens next.

Cutting the Dead Wood

Today is just like any other day.  I got up, wishing to go back to bed.  Finished my morning routine (mourning the loss of my freedom routine) and went to work.  I have not felt optimistic about work in a long time, very long time.  I went to the gym after work, came home ate, read for a bit and went for a walk.

A book inspired me to ask myself a question.  What is your dream?

follow-your-dreams When I was a child I envisioned myself as an artist.  Drawing everything under the sun and making worlds with my pencils and crayons.  People would travel far and wide to see my work.  I did not conceive of making money of my works, just sharing a new world with everyone.

Now my dream is to make stuff.  I dream of making art in a variety of forms. I want to make useful things, pretty things, things so ugly they are cute.  I want to paint images so big that you lose yourself in them, you see the tree within the forest, the light when blinded by the sun.  That is my dream.

SIR-MELIAGRANCE-KNEELING-BEFORE-THE-QUEEN-1-K3582

The desire for fame and fortune can enslave us all. Sir Meliagrance Kneeling before the Queen by Helen Jacobs.

Today I decided that I will stop LOOKING for a job.  I will stop minimizing myself to one page, Arial, 11pt.  I will stop defining myself in keywords and buzz words.  I will no longer prostrate myself before big businesses that cannot see and employee as a person, an investment instead of an expense.

I will make things.  I will suffer my day job, to pay for materials for my dream.  I will paint the tree in the forest, the light that shines from the sun.  I will knit a scarf, a hat, a blanket.  I will build a website, bird house or cat tree.  I will stop wasting my time one an endeavor that is not going anywhere.  I will use my energies on  making things.

I will make them because I want to and because I can.  I will make things for friends and family.  I will make things because they sound interesting or fun.  I want to share the bit of my ‘soul’ that went into making the thing.

If someone wants something I have made, they can have it.  If they want to pay for it, so be it.  But it was not the reason the thing was made. It was made so I could share the world.

No more dead wood blocking my path.  I am going to work on my little dream.

🙂

picture-quote-your-life-story

We measure ourselves off the successes and failures of others. We forget that we are not on the same path and our successes are meaningless to someone else, just as their failures are meaningless to us. I will start following the path that works for me and I will enjoy the journey.

A Problem with Vision

VisonI have 20/20 eyesight.  This post is not about that kind of vision.  That is a small ‘v’ type problem.  I am talking about Vision.  The thing designers, PM’s, Managers and Directors have when working on a project.  It is also known as a goal if you are not a visual person.

This past month has been busy, so busy that I have not had time to think about a post.  I have a consulting client and and actual web development client.  In addition one of my previous clients moved his site to WordPress (you are welcome for the recommendation.) I also am rebuilding my spouses website since he is changing focus.  That is quite a bit on top of a full time job.

What does that have to do with Vision?

I have a Vision…  Not a dream, those are less concrete and not always based in reality (they are fun sometimes, I have awesome dreams.)

These Visions are of completed projects for myself, clients and friends.  Some of the Visions include a “how to” guide and others do not.  If I think about things enough I can figure out the steps, best methods and problems I will run into. Things that are good to know and will speed along a project. Some of the Visions are so clear and complete I can See and Hear them, like they are completed and working.  It is really incredible.

NeedAGuideThe problem is with the Visions that some are BIG and do not come with “how to” guides.  I am not experienced enough in some areas to know exactly what steps to take to get to the end of the project.  Some times I cannot See where to separate a section of a project into smaller steps or phases. I have had this problem in previous projects and had to abandon them for various reasons (usually time.)

Projects where I have little or no Vision do not always go well.  They have a tendency to get put on the back burner while I wait for the Vision to clarify itself or just get dropped all together.  Others just end up mediocre and I do not learn anything.  I despise those kinds of projects.  They are boring and almost a waste of time.

Projects that have a clear Vision with little guidance are hard to work on, but usually rewarding (because I learn something.)  They do not always turn out as planned, that can be good or bad.  I always do the best I can to get the desired result.  Often I run into time constraints and have to rush things along because I spent to much time researching.

There is a pretty easy solution the problems with unclear Visions.

Learn!

The internet is full of information, guides and tutorials to show one how to do things.  Always do research.  Someone out there has probably documented their journey through a similar problem and you CAN use it help you succeed.  It may not be the fastest solution but it is going to be the best.  You will have this knowledge and experience to use on future projects.  Your Visions will come to fruition and the clients will be happy (we can hope.)

Do not let your lack of experience make you fail.  I am not going to!

Autumn, season of change

Every fall my thoughts fall to the next year and how to prepare for it.  I start planning the changes I need to make for myself and my family.  Changes that maybe as simple as making sure the flashlights have batteries or harder ones like planning a healthier lifestyle.  I do not think of these things much during the other seasons, only autumn, the season of change.

I kind of wonder why autumn makes me think these things.  If you go through the seasons and attach a “mind set” to them fall usually comes out as “change.”  Winter is “sustain,” Spring is “rebirth,” Summer is “fun,” and we come back to Autumn as “change.”  Maybe this has to do with the colors we associate with fall.  Oranges are uninhibited and extroverted colors, reds are passionate and yellows comforting.  It could be the changing of mental gears.  The end of summer fun and starting to prepare things for next year.

This year my autumn is full of change.  Buying a house is the biggest change and brings with it many smaller changes.  The new daily routines have the biggest impact.  I still do not know all the turns in the halls or places where the floor squeaks.  This things take time to learn and will change as we make changes to the house.

My favorite new routine is how close to work I live.  Instead of getting up 2-3 hours before work, walking to the bus stop and then taking the bus to work. I now walk to and from.  This is really good because I need the exercise and it has already inspired a few ideas for paintings.  Another bonus is that I am not spending hours playing games on my phone.  I do not get to read either, but I usually wasted my bus time with games.  Now I listen to some music and think about things.  Things can become so clear with a little walk.

Change brings on hope and dreams.  I hope I will be healthier in 2014.  I dream of being able to fit into some of my nice cloths.  I dream of the good times my family and I will have in our new house.  I hope that things will go smoothly in the year to come.  All my hopes and dreams are started by changes.  Changes in the seasons.  Changes in circumstances.  Changes in attitude.  The new year does not start in January for me.  It starts in autumn.

Why not plan a change this autumn.  Maybe it will turn out better than a New Year Resolution.Image