Look in my eyes

Well, I said I would post pics from last week's life drawing class, and I finally dragged the newsprint back here and snapped some pics. They're not great, but I really like the progression that you can see in the pictures in order. One of those sets of pics where I really liked some of the stuff that came out - some realistic, some stylistic, even some that convey emotion (which I tend to struggle to do). It really is a shame I was so exhausted that day - it was a good art moment for me. Anyways - onto the pics.

So here they are, in the order that they progressed.




... you've pushed yourself to your limits, you've given everything you could give, it hurts to move on and everything is sweat and tears ...

you've taken your first step of the marathon.



Alright, so I hate that I've been meaning to post for days, and then I constantly either forget or don't have the energy to get all my thoughts out, so they dissipate into nothingness. What fun is that? So anyways - here's some random musings for those of you that are bored reading the internet.

Wed: Alright, another figure drawing class came and went last Wednesday. I can't remember why, but I had barely slept the night before so I was totally exhausted - which is a shame, because that was one of the days where I was just on fire (at first) - the model 'spoke' to me on an a very right brain aspect, and I got quite a few sketches that I really liked out of it. Unfortunately, there were a lot of people, and so I was stuck in a chair instead of an art seat thingy (that holds up your sketchpad, too). So a combination of my arms getting exhausted quick, and my body just being damn tired forced me to leave after only an hour - boo. But, I got some very cool figures out of it, pics to be uploaded next time I take a camera to work. :)

On that note - I added pictures from the last few posts where I said I would put pictures - including lightning and my poor sketch from a week or so ago. Not too good when I look at it again, but I figured I said I would put it up, so I did.

Fri: Got an interesting link at work Friday. An absolutely astonishing website - We feel fine. It's a site made by these two tech guys that made a site that will scan new posts from a variety of blogs and search for sentences that have "I feel..." in them somewhere and capture them. After that, they are all presented in beautiful ways. Truly an amazing place to just dive head first into a sea of the world's emotions - to see real people's real feelings. Truly and absolutely beautiful. I found myself just clicking through all the sets of data and a bunch of the quotes, just to see what people were thinking. It's truly interesting to see one of those feelings and try and guess the context of it. What an awesome application of technology to visualize human lives and emotions. They also made a site called Love lines, which does a similar thing, but with people saying things from a range of "I love..." to "I hate...". I'd strongly recommend that one as well, because you can rapidly click through those one by one. Even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) is that it's constantly scanning - so it's different every time you go back. Remember - it's non-fiction there. Those people are real. Fascinating.

Went out and saw a spectacular songstress in Deep Ellum on Friday (from Austin, ironically). Here's a link to her myspace, which has some of her songs. Very very cool - a combo of old fashioned music, jazz and vocals. Was a really fun time, and the venue was a little cozy cafe - good music and food - fun stuff :)

Sat: I am not impressed by the rock climbing gyms in the DFW area. That makes me sad :(

Sun: Started off the day meeting a bunch of sportbike riders from dfwsportbike.com going through a bunch of country roads way up north on the road to Oklahoma - fortunately the meetup was only a few miles from the house, so it wasn't bad. Once I got there, there were maybe 10 bikes, and more and more just kept showing up - there must have been 25-30 total! So we all rode up the freeway and out to the country roads and stopped at a gas station to get ready to go. I knew I wasn't the highest skilled so I hung out at the back but got caught in the first 5 or so when we left the gas station.

Let's just say I was humbled pretty damn quick. I always felt comfortable on the bike, but never rode close to the limits of it. My chicken strips (for those who know what they are) are huge, and I have no problem with that. Yeah - we got out to the first big twisty (which was a damn long curve), and I've never had the bike that far over - I was really proud of myself for not panicking, and riding through it without incident, but I knew then that these guys were way outta my league, so as soon as the next straightaway came, (had to go through a few shorter twisties with my heart nearly leaping out of my chest) I let the 20+ guys behind me take the lead, cuz I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up without going way way outta my comfort zone and probably wrecking. I was really glad we had a guy who was willing to keep up the rear (there were two of us that were enjoying the landscape but couldn't tear up the twisties - although I was really afraid the other guy was gonna crumple his new R1...), so I was able to 'ride my ride' and do them at my confidence level and catch up at the stops. More than that, it was cool to not be 'looked down' on or anything like that when I showed up at the end of the line - all the people were cool (primarily I think cuz they all know how much it sucks to wreck a bike...).

Here's a pic of all (most?) of the bikes.

Turned out to be a really fun ride, and I got a lot of good practice on the bike. I also realized that although I ride a sportbike, I dunno whether I'll ever ride it like a sportbike. I love taking the bike out and making trips on it and enjoying the scenery and the rush of being outside, and although there is something exciting about leaning hard into the turns and taking the bike to those limits, I think I'd rather keep the bike as upright as possible. =P I think my poor sportbike has a cruiser-minded owner.

Shiny side up is more important than thrills, methinks.


End of the world!

One thing that the deck at the new house is great for is thunderstorms. There's a pretty bad one that's coming through this area, but isn't quite here yet, so I decided to go out on the deck and watch the sky (Vincent, of course, wanted to accompany me).

Wow. It is absolutely gorgeous watching the lightning tear across the sky and light up the landscape - almost as if it wants to get a glimpse of the world below by lighting it up momentarily. It was in many places over the landscape too. I even managed to get some pictures - with my digital camera, no less! (those of you who have ever tried to capture lightning - especially with camera with no configurable shutter speed - you know how much of an accomplishment that is).

Quite the sight, definitely. After a while, there was one blast of lightning that stretched across the full sky, covering my entire field of vision and lighting up the area almost to the level of daylight for a moment. It was so visible that I managed to react, raise the camera and take a photo of the tail end of it before it disappeared. Now what happened about half a minute later was an earth shattering barrage of thunder - the kind that literally moves the earth, makes you lose your balance and feels like the end of the world is coming - ala War of the Worlds or something. (I don't know if I lost my footing because of the deck shaking, or my legs just got wobbly from the sounds of the buildings shifting all around me). It was about this time that my cat ran and cowered by the door, and promptly got distracted by a bug and starting rolling around with it. It's nice to know that if the world were to come to a violent end, my cat would be thoroughly distracted by a small bug. =P

I ended up sitting outside through about five of these massive streaks of light and earth shattering thunder until it started to rain noticeably and it was time to go inside. Really makes you realize how large and massive the world really is around us. Truly beautiful, no less.

Edit: pictures! the first massive earth-shattering crash of lightning, a freaked out kitty, the last massive crash before I retired to the inside

Plus, rain would be good right now, since there's a drought in the area. :)


Kittens solve all the world's problems

Ok, so a coworker recently saved a litter of very young kittens, and was trying to find homes for them here at work. Turns out that Matt is going to be able to take one of them in! Yay!

Here's a picture of three of the little guys - the middle one is Matt's new kitty - he is bobtailed and is only 6 weeks old. Karen (the coworker who found them) is currently calling him Stubby, although I think his new name will be Innocent XIII (because we all know cats are never innocent...). He was also apparently the first out of the litter to purr :)

Now I dare you to look at that picture and not smile (and probably go "awwwwwwww") :)


All at the same time

So I was tossing back and forth whether or not I had the energy to stay after work tonight for the figure drawing class. I felt pretty bad since I had to miss the last two weeks, but still decided I was way too tired (I haven't been sleeping recently - don't really know why, my body just doesn't wanna sleep), and as I was walking to the elevators to leave, the art lead of the team I'm on (great guy, heads up the drawing classes) saw me and called down the hall asking if I was leaving. So, I decided to stay.

I was a little late in, and today was a long pose (one of the reasons I was thinking about not going - it's been too long, and I'm not comfortable enough with the base figure to do a confident long pose), so we spent a little time warming up with gestures before getting down to the 2.5+ hr pose. I tried to sketch during gestures and what came out looked more like alien abominations than the human form - especially since they gestures were quick enough that I never got a full body sketch (only a few minutes on each). And once we got to the main pose, my heart just wasn't in it - which is a shame, because today was the first male model we had, and I was really looking forward to it (I find myself able to stylize the female form more easily - so even a picture that is slightly inaccurate can still be an interesting piece - I need more work with the male form). So away I go, trying to take what I see and translate it to the massive newsprint in front of me.

The night ended up being a lot more interesting than I expected. There were only 4 of us there and the model, and we all (all of us and the model) ended up jamming to the music and taking movies, music, comics, all kinds of random stuff (speaking of which, I am going to have to dump the money into buying the whole Sandman series at some point). We eventually went into things like passion and how people live their lives, from seeing them to imagining them, from good to bad. It was truly inspirational, beautiful and painfully gut-wrenching all at the same time. An insanely amazing experience. At the end of all of it, I looked down at the long pose I was working on, and I can see the different parts I worked on as different topics came up - and weirdly, some of the parts I am usually terrible at, came out decent, while some of the stuff I'm usually good at weren't so hot. Very very strange. It's not a good piece by any stretch of the imagination, especially since when I started the base sketch I really didn't 'feel' like drawing (and that never goes well), so I was building off of that base. Anyways, I've said that I'd post my pictures once I did them, and I'm going to - I'll take a camera into work tomorrow and snap a picture.

On that note - I am working on 3 other pieces at home (digital), just trying to find the time to do everything at night - working out, drawing, going out, reading, setting up stuff at home, and city trips - lots of stuff to balance. Once those are done, they'll be up here. On the plus side, one of the pieces that I was just blobbing paint onto, I decided to do a little detail work, and it came out really well, which is probably going to help me finish it up.

Right now I have the strongest craving to jump on my motorcycle, pick a direction and drive until I'm out of gas or exhausted, park the bike and fall asleep under the stars, without caring about getting back or anything else.

Edit: link to the picture from that night



Stumbled across this myspace group while poking around on the internet. Looked pretty interesting, so I kept reading and came across this quote they had on there. Very cool.

This is a shout out. To all the Moto-Folkers out there. The ones who want to experience the world through wider eyes. Who are willing to sacrifice the safe walls of steel that surround us in our vehicles everyday. Who love to wander with the wind by their side. Who welcome the butterflies every now and then and who's hair stands up naturally on the backs of their necks. Who thinks of life and not death. We are men, woman and children. We are pilots, nurses and students. We are people. We are colorless and oh so colorful. Borderless and cross every border we can. We are free spirited and wild. We are Sport, touring, cruiser and off-road warriors. We are Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. We are free to choose. Free to live...and free to ride.

For people that question that phantom "group" that you become part of once you own a bike - this is a pretty good manifestation of it.


Uninhibited inspiration

Alright, so I've decided to sell the house and move...


to Ikea! Because they have all the coolest stuff in the world! I've got it all figured out... I'll just move from one showcase room to the other every day and noone will be the wiser. *evil grin*

Anyways - holy crap! I went there today since it's time for their "summer sale" and I figured if they had anything I really liked, now would be the time to get it. Good lord... I went up to the showcase area and started looking around at ALL the different pieces of furniture, colored walls, entertainment centers, kitchen setups. Wow. Just wow. The totally nerdy creative interior designer part of me that watches Trading Spaces was having a mental orgasm. I quickly realized that I totally couldn't buy a thing because I had NO idea how everything should look yet. I think it's time to approach this properly - with diagrams of the rooms and a sketchbook. :D

I was disappointed with the selection of specific stuff... since I needed some silverware and dishes and outdoor furniture and such. And then I found the second floor - the marketplace. Holy crap pt. 2! Again, just a total mental overload. I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera to take pictures of all this so I could look it over at home... which is why I think I'm going back tomorrow with a camera and an empty memory card. O:-)

I think for once I may actually have to start worrying about money - not in the way where I have before, but more in the way of not spending more than I have... It's really nice to be able to see a lot of this stuff and know that I can afford it, but I need to be careful to check "can I afford it" as I go along. It seems like it's really easy to just say "well, I have the money, may as well enjoy it" - just have to not let that get me into trouble. I mean, the only real thing I've ever indulged on was my motorcycle, and I still take really good care of that and try and be intelligent about spending money on it (comments on the first bike blowing up are not necessary...). Hopefully I can keep to that. I just find myself looking at a lot of that stuff and saying to myself, I really want it - I should get it. We'll see what happens once I actually start buying some of the stuff...

Dance like nobody's watching - especially when people are. :) Was a lot of fun to blast the music and dance in place in the car - lots of people look at you and smile - it's kinda fun. Dunno why, just was in a fun mood today. Maybe it was the 100+ degree heat sending me into delerium. :P

The negative side of the day was cramps. :( Went to the gym to work out today and after about 25 mins on the bike, my right hamstring cramped a whole freaking lot. To the point that I couldn't move my leg at all for a few minutes, and then had to sit and stretch on the bike for another 5 minutes just to be able to get up and walk away from the thing. Now I'm limping my way around the house because it's sore. BOO! >:-O

It's time to let go of the handlebars, throw my arms up in the air, and ride the roller coaster we call life, screaming all the way. :)


Talk about a fun weekend

Taking the bike long distances and just being with yourself out in nature on the road is beautiful. Turns out that driving down to Houston for no specific reason other than to meet up with friends was a great idea. I got to put a good 400+ miles on the bike (I ended up getting a ride from College Station to Houston, otherwise it would have been 600+ miles), and got a chance to meet up with everyone from the area, most of which I haven't seen in a really long time. Really made me remember how wonderful the friends I have are. :)

I learned a whole bunch this weekend too - remembering growing up, who I was, who I've become and who I'm going to be. I also have learned a lot about my friends recently - their hopes, dreams, fears, joys and sadnesses. It's an enlightening experience. However, the one tangible lesson of the weekend: riding a motorcycle through a thunderstorm is quite a character-building event. One I hope I don't have to do again. o_O

Also, I started to remember how much my friends mean to me - it turns out that the majority of my friends are either doing really well right now, or they're on the way to doing really well, which is a great feeling. There are very few of them that seem personally lost or in limbo. It makes me really happy to see them doing well, and for some of them - really happy and excited. :) I had forgotten how much that affects me.

I finally started drawing again. It's been ages, but yesterday after I got back from the trip (totally exhausted), I started doodling stuff while relaxing and I think I'll finally be able to finish a piece again, which has been many years coming :) I'll be sure to post it up once I'm done.

And for the random book recommendation: if you never have seen Found, it's a book full of random things that people have picked up and sent into a Davy Rothbart, who collected them all and put them in a magazine. Once there were enough of these random notes, love letters, doodles and sometimes just receipts, he made this book. Anyways, that book was completed a few years ago, and he just recently released Found II, which has more of the same interesting stuff. It's a beautiful view into random people's lives. Have you ever looked around and people watched and wondered what's on different people's minds? These books answer that question by showing little slices of random people's lives from all over. Its truly fascinating. Well worth getting down in Sugar Land and hauling back up to Dallas on the bike :)

So yeah - for all of you that I was able to see this weekend - you rock! Hopefully there will be more get togethers like that more often. Stay happy! :)



Live each day as if it will be your last. Leave each day with a smile. Leave every goodbye as if you might never see each other again. Live every moment with happiness. Live each day to dream. Dream each night to strive for life. Live to hope, live to love, live to laugh.

Live life - you only get one.


Drunk people are funny

Especially when you get random drunk IMs. The whole conversation was funny, but for some reason, this made me laugh.

him: i am so drunk right now
me: really?
me: that's fun :-D
me: how much have you had?
him: hahaha
him: i dunno
him: firm event
him: they were paying for drinks
him: i had some champagne
me: haha
me: niiice
him: and couple glasses of wine
him: e
him: and then
him: to top it all off
him: i had some whiskey
him: lol
him: i also got my paycheck yesterday
him: i took one look at it
him: and said
him: if i was me
him: i wouldn't hire me for that much money
him: i'm totally milking them for all they're worht
me: lol