Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Weekend in Review Preview

When I got home from work last night, I had great ambitions.

There were three things that I really wanted to do. Two were creative; one was just plain fun. But I’m not going to get into that last one, so you don’t have to hear about that. And if you could see me, you’d be nauseated by the idea of having to hear about it; be grateful.

The first thing I wanted to do was create a Windows theme. Man, I was all fired up to do it. I was going to go into Photoshop an draw some cool backgrounds, experiment with filters, colors, effects … all that crap. I was pumped. Then I was going to draw some buttons to replace the Windows standard uglies, and make a few new icons too. All I’d have to do then is apply the theme and bang! -- a new desktop look. I was jacked!

The second thing I was going to do was draw. Just draw. In Photoshop, probably, or maybe I’d get off my lazy ass and install Illustrator to have the vector art capability. I’d post to my DeviantArt page. I’d post on my blog. I’d do all kinds of great things with it. It was going to be great.

The weekend was all set, It would really be my last chance to do any of this stuff, because I’ve got some training material that I have to get going on, and study. I have a future to try and get on track. I have a family to provide for, and that means I’ve got to try and get my income up somehow. Training is the only way I know how to do that. Therefore, a-training I will go. For now, though, I was giving myself permission to have one last really lazy weekend doing just what I wanted to do before I commit myself to hard work and studying all the free time I have.
The problem is, my road to hell has been paved with good intentions. I really wanted to get all those things done. The odds of that happening, however, are very slim indeed.

For one, I have done more research and found that there are two things about building a Windows desktop theme that make it kind of problematic. One, it’s time-consuming. Two, it’s expensive. You need special software and access to various utilities, none of which are free. While some of them have free trials, none of them are free. With the learning curve involved with learning the ropes, the trial would likely expire before I could manage to finish one. So I was looking down the barrel of spending hundreds of dollars to accumulate the necessary software. Even if I took the cheap-n-easy route it would have been something like $50 or $100. I just don’t want to do that. I’ve spent plenty of money recently, thank you, and for something I’m not even sure I’ll like? No thanks; pass.

I also figured out pretty quickly that Photoshop isn’t as intuitive and easy to figure out as I hoped. I’ve been playing with it for a while -- more than a year, I think, very on and off -- but haven’t really dug deep. I can’t seem to find a decent tutorial that covers it from a painting/drawing perspective very well. And since I can’t keep up with the times and fork over $600 every time Adobe feels like releasing a new version, I’m likely to stay with this version for some time. On the other hand, since it’s old software, it’s harder to find instructional materials on it. I don’t know if I want to spend money on that, either, so on I go with version 7, and I’ll like it.

As it approaches noon on Saturday, it dawned on me that I hadn’t done either of the two things I was really looking ahead to doing when I left work on Friday. One I’ve lost interest in one altogether, and the other? Well …

When I decided I wanted to draw something this weekend, I really meant it. I meant it from the bottom of my heart. It was a burning desire that’s been growing in me for a while now, but I haven’t picked up a pencil in a serious way in nearly 14 months (!). I need to do that; that’s something connected to me and my happiness, and I know that just doodling has helped, but I need to spend some quality time flushing my system of the hunger to put graphite to paper. I intended this weekend to be that time, and I even had an idea in mind for a drawing to do.

The issue is, all of my art materials are still packed. I haven’t unpacked them because I haven’t had time or space to draw for more than a year. Sure, I can do it anywhere, and even can do it on my computer, but I’m never happy with my work on the PC (even with my half-assed tablet to assist) and I just flat don’t have room on my desk anymore (I used to have a laptop that I could fold up and put aside; not so now). So, I can pull out a sketchbook and any ol’ pencil will work, but I spent a ton of money on my supplies and feel I should use them when I can. And, as I get older, drawing on the floor with my tummy on the carpet just doesn’t hold the same appeal -- or level of comfort -- that it did when I was 17, 25, or even 30. No, the years, the obesity and the kids have seen to it that I need a space to work in, a dedicated art board, or at least an open flat surface. I have none of the above, so it’s either work digitally and just deal with it or break down and figure out another way. By the time I do that, my weekend’s over.

So guess what? I probably won’t get ANY of the things done that I wanted to when I left work on Friday. And it’s getting late; in a couple of hours, the football games will be on, and I’m not one to miss the play-offs. (Although I may not watch the Patriots game just to give my heart a break; I don’t need more stress. If I find out they won, I can always watch the DVR to see how they did it. If they lose, though, I’d rather not be cursing and swearing and angry. Growing up and acting like an adult about it is out of the question, of course, so these are my only two options.)

Ah, me. I did get to do one thing I really wanted to do. I would post that here, since only my loving spouse reads my blog anyway, but it’s kind of personal. The Internet community will have to wonder what that event was; I’m not talkin’.

See ya.


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