It’s been a while, eh?
I’ve actually been posting regularly… just not here. Most have my ramblings have come from the inexhaustible source of being in a new land. It’s still Canada but seems so foreign at times. Of course I can just babble on and on about the sights I see, people I meet and delicacies I try but in the end my life comes right back to where I dread – this bloody computer. It’s not even my work station. It’s Suzanne’s manic depressive Dell laptop. I’d like to say I’m a victim of my own choices but the term victim implies circumstances that are beyond one’s control. I’m just a guy who’s stuck in an inescapable rut.
It’s a sickening feeling for a creative person to not feel creative. I used to draw a lot. Constantly even. It didn’t matter what the content was, I sketched, inked and colored any kind of content. Lately however I’ve been losing that urge more and more. Last month I forced myself to draw something for Halloween. Something for myself. A project for my own delight and to see if I still “had it”. It was somewhat difficult to get back into the driver’s seat. Doing creative work for others for the past decade or so almost made me forget how to be creative for myself. I produced a piece of digi-art that I (of course) wasn’t all that impressed with despite many compliments from those who saw them. Yes. I’m one of those temperamental artists who is never satisfied with anything I make and always strives for perfection. Since perfection is an unobtainable goal, I’m forever overly critical of myself and bust my hump harping on even the slightest details. Some say that’s a good thing because it always forces you to put out quality work. I say it drains the very life out of me.
I guess I lost my motivation with the advent of Flash. Flash and I have always been at odds with one another. I’ve been using it casually since about 2000 or so. I remember I was on a long train ride to Buffalo, NY sitting next to an older gentleman who had his laptop out. I couldn’t help but glance over at his screen. He knew I was looking and casually introduced me to Flash animation. It was smooth. It was fancy. It’s was flashy… hence the name. It was unlike anything on the web at the time. I remember him saying to me “this is going to change the web in less than 5 years”. I didn’t think much of it at the time but in hindsight he couldn’t have been any more correct. It did change the internet. How? It gave number nerds and people with otherwise no ability to create anything from scratch the ability to dazzle and delight simply by learning how to use the scripting language the program used (called Actionscript). Yes, all those tech-heads who were stagnated doing back-end coding for e-commerce websites and such suddenly had an outlet for their uncanny ability to program and crunch numbers. That lead to the second coming of the ghastly .GIF Nightmare of ’98 which I so aptly dubbed the Flash Abuse Agenda. Traditional web programming was cast to the wayside in favor of the new hip and happening Flash-heavy websites. I like Flash. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a very useful and powerful web element that has it’s place. Unfortunately when any yokel can bust out some awesomeness simply by being good at math, it kind of took the passion out of it for me.
Who needs creativity when you can program, right?
And so I sit here, in front of this crappy laptop, learning new things in order to keep pace with the ever-changing Net world. I complain, bitch, moan and vent but I get the job done. I made my bed and I’m sleeping in it. It’s when people stop working expect the world to stop and hear them whine where I draw the line. I criticize and vent towards the faceless masses because if I didn’t, I’d be on the front page of some local newspaper with my jacket covering my head as I’m lead away in handcuffs. Everyone bitches to someone about their job. I just do it here so I can get it off my chest and move on. I guess my animosity can be construed as jealously or resentment towards those who simply adapted to the changing times and took advantage of what was in front of them but it’s not about that. I harbor no ill feelings towards anyone who can earn a dollar by doing some work. How can you? I’m more pissed with myself for falling into this inescapable pit of net advancement. Sometimes I just wish I didn’t get so dejected when I got turned down by Marvel at the tender age of 16 for being too young. I couldn’t process it at the time that they only said I was too young, not untalented or unworthy. I just took it as plain ole’ rejection and got it into my mind that I’d never be able to do what I love to do and get paid for it.
If only I knew then what I know now. Isn’t that the story of life?
Something must be afoot. It’s been days since my last post. I know, I know… all of my millions and millions of fans must be waiting with bated breath wondering what new and incredible insights I’m going to grace WordPress with. Okay so there’s nothing true about anything in that statement other than “I’m” and the only thing I have to say is in regards to the lovely men and women at the United Parcel Service.
So I had a discussion with my father last week. Years ago, when I was last in NY I had started building a computer. It was a great system (at the time). It was going to be my new weapon to inflict massive amounts of graphic design damage upon the world. But as life would have it, certain circumstances arose where the construction of that computer had to be put on hold. Pressing real life matters forced me abandon my project in mid construction. Flash forward to present day my father and I came up with the idea of him shipping the partially constructed monster beast to us before we leave for Nunavut. It made sense. I could put it together and have it shipped up to our new frozen home with all out other belongings. Who could handle such a task? Certainly not the conventional mail systems. We’ve had nightmare encounters with the United States Postal Service and inviting Canada Post into the mix is a recipe for disaster. Who then, dammit? Who?
What can brown do for you?
Of course! UPS! I’ve used their postal service for years and have always had good results. They’re quick and reliable. It seemed like the logical choice.
My father brought everything down to the UPS Store and did the right thing – or least what we thought was the right thing – and had them pack up the components. He explicitly told the dedicated worker that it was a computer and needed to be marked fragile and handled with care. He was met with a warm smile and the classic reassurance of “No problem.”
The packages arrived very quickly. Heck I don’t even think it took more than 3 days (and that wasn’t express shipping or anything). When I heard the knock at my door I was jazzed. I was finally going to be reunited with my Frankenstein. When the driver handed me the packages I saw that they were a little dinged but that’s expected with long distance travel. Lo and behold when I opened the box containing my hard drives and case I was horrified…
Yeah… my case was wrecked. The entire front panel had snapped off from the case itself and the top portion was completely shattered. With the aid of some Krazy glue and a bungee chord (yeah I MacGuyver with the best of them) I managed to glue the pieces back together. My hard drives were in an sorry state as well. I had three mounted in it… securely mounted I might add. The one in the drive bay was totally jarred from it’s spot and was inside the case acting like a battering ram to the motherboard. Apparently one of the mounting brackets was bent so severely during transit that it quite literally fell out of its spot. Whatever volleyball game they were playing with my rig must have been a good one because the hits that rattled the first drive loose must have been so violent that they broke 2 of the 4 screws that had one of my other drives mounts. It dangled precariously as if holding on for dear life.
So the what’s final prognosis? Well my monitor works at least. I have to wait on my CPU cooler to arrive before I can assemble everything and test out my board and drives. So it’s the waiting game once again. I should be livid at this point in time but the move has me properly distracted enough. There’s a disturbing annual trend that’s starting to develop every October now. I seem to be destined to have something screw up in the spooky month. Last year I had tried to get some custom t-shirts ordered for my wedding but that fell through right at crunch time. Long story short, I was out $350 four weeks before the wedding and had no shirts. Ironically I’m four weeks away from another big day so I’m hoping that this counts as my bad October event so that we can get to where we’re going without any major mishaps.
What can brown do for you?
Put the kibosh on your property apparently. Welcome to my shit list UPS.