journal / week 7 + week 8

Just a moment ago I was frantically searching for my pen. I have my scanner to the right of my computer, on my desk and there's a part that slightly juts out and all of my pens disappear under there. And I always forget about that secret spot until I sit at a certain angle and recover three or four missing pens. I'm sure that grabbed your attention, so now we can move on.

Today, I will write various ironic captions under each of these photos instead of laboring over the details of this week's (and last week's) endeavors. Let us start. The one directly above: why don't you take me seriously when I'm about to break a ceramic cup with a horse encased within it and emerging from the side--a cup that I use to water my plants--by placing it atop my head and attempting to keep it there because I'm actually really an expert at balancing things atop my head?

Of course I wouldn't waste time writing captions for photos, I can hardly do that for Instagram, let alone here. But now that I've truly captured your attention with the prospect of poetic captions, let's travel back in time to July 10th. It was a hazy, humid day--maybe. Because I hardly remember that day. Two weeks ago feels like two years ago. All I know is that it's been unbearably and unrelentingly humid for an eternity (or two-ish weeks). And that I've been engulfed in work and the frustration that online shopping is so time consuming and generally displeasing.

So, let's start with Tuesday instead.

I jumped out of bed to the ecstatic thought of replying to e-mails that I hadn't replied to from the weekend and quickly hashing out pin card designs to re-print, but not before hitting snooze once or twice; e-mails are quite alluring, but not as much as sleep is. I pressed the button behind the monitor and woke my computer from its slumber. Ha, you have to wake up early too, I thought. After I got dressed I finally noticed that I had actually slept for too long and that the clock read 9:17 and not 7:17. At that revelation, I decided to instead begin packaging and trimming some prints and preparing shipping labels. Packaging takes a whole lot longer than you would think. And it's simultaneously fun and dull. It also comes with the reality that you actually have your own business and upon roaming over that thought, you become impossibly excited. It's always crazy to remember that you're doing what you had always dreamed of doing. Also, the paper trimmer I purchased a few months ago is a gem to use. I ate a very late brunch before returning to my room and sitting down at my computer. I proceeded to re-design my pin-backing cards. By the time I was done, it was too late to head to the print shop, so I organized my packaging supplies and prepared the files for the next day.

On Wednesday, I was convinced it was Tuesday. I headed to the print shop to order my cards. I requested that they be ready Thursday. I drove home and then realized it was Wednesday, which meant I'd only given them a one-day turn-around for two sets. I worked on a commissioned portrait. More e-mails. More packaging. The next day, I met with a friend and later picked up my cards. They were perfect and ready on time. Amazing. I ran some errands and hurried to re-make one last batch of cards for my cactus hand pin (the ones pictured). By the time I completed the design, it was about 5 PM--which meant I'd only have two hours to re-package a few pins, paint the background on the portrait and finish packaging a few things. Somehow, being the diligent worker that I am, I finished with a half hour to spare--or just enough time to arrive at the post office. I carefully drove (didn't speed at all, of course) to the post office and as soon as the car was parked, I ran through the doors. I made it. And with ten minutes to spare. Everyone would receive their packages on time.

Friday was groovy. I did homework all day. By all day, I mean I literally woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and sat at my desk and didn't get up until about ten pm. I turned in my weekly essay about two hours before it was due--a shocking hiatus from the two-minutes-before-it's-due slack I usually allow myself. I really do enjoy my art history class, though, so it's a labor of love. When that was over with, I listened to some records and tried to plan new pieces for my project before drifting off to sleep--which instead ended in me scrolling through Pinterest boards until two. The next morning I let myself sleep in, which isn't actually too rare this summer because one of my talents is sleeping through anything, including my alarm. I went on a mini-roadtrip, destination-less. Upon my return, I realized I had forgotten to finish one more thing for my other class so instead of completing that, I trimmed a set of pin cards, re-backed and re-packaged a batch of 100 cake enamel pins, and then posted my playlist. After doing everything possible to avoid the assignment, I sat down to complete it. Finally, I headed out to catch one of my favorite bands, BRONCHO, with Billy Changer. I had such a great time. Billy Changer opened and sounded terrific (it was so wonderful to finally catch them live). And I got to witness BRONCHO bring their infectious energy to a room of eager people for a second time (I saw them in the fall too). Of course, I was caught in the birth of a mosh pit and I instantly regretted my decision to wear mules, but I danced a lot and was left in awe at what a good night it was. If you have the chance, definitely go see BRONCHO; they put on quite a performance every time. Sunday was relaxing. I headed out to watch my favorite horses and later, I did some sketches.

Last week. Monday, I woke up early and headed out to run errands. I stopped by the print shop to drop off some files. At home, I did some office work and packaged more prints. Then, I drove back to the print shop to pick up my prints and other set of pin cards. Then, I drove back home to package some of the prints I picked up. More packaging ensued. 

Tuesday, I repackaged another batch of pins. I cleaned the house. I went to the post office. Pretty much a repeat of the week before. I also tried to take product photos, but the sky was really dark, so the natural light wasn't ideal. Before I knew it, the middle of the week had arrived. This time, I did realize it was Wednesday. I took the day to run more errands and photograph my pins. And I treated my dog to a very long walk. Despite the repulsive humidity, we had a lovely time and he even enjoyed running through various bunches of neighbors' flowers. I got home right as dusk blanketed the neighborhood and I thought I would take a shower and go to bed early. Instead, I became incredibly inspired and sat down to complete an illustration. I worked on it well into the night. And it was well worth it. 

Thursday was the day to begin the research essay I had been dreading beginning. I loved the topic--I chose to research and write about Matisse's "Oceania, the Sea"--but I was more interested in continuing the piece I had created the night before. Despite an infinite number of distractions, I hesitantly embarked on the journey of consulting my many books on Matisse, as well as the vast resources of the Internet. And the day passed and I was left with pages of notes. I always take notes by hand. I guess it does take more time, but my hand-written notes tend to breed idea after idea, unlike my absent-minded typed notes. I showered, scrolled Pinterest, and fell asleep.

Friday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and quickly completed the regular morning routine before heading to my desk to spend the day writing. Because I avoided writing about "Oceania, the Sea" for so long, I was left to write two essays in one sitting. Hours later, I emerged from the confines of my four walls to eat dinner. On my screen, I had a neat five page essay about a beautiful and revolutionary work of art. It felt great to have it done. After consuming my meal, I hesitantly re-entered my room to sit down to watch an hour-long video and to write another essay. I turned it in two minutes before it was due, just as usual. 

Saturday morning came and I coaxed myself to begin the day with the completion of more homework assignments. After which I rewarded myself with a Target run. I ate and then it was time to leave for the Sheffield Garden Walk and Music Fest. I couldn't wait to walk through strangers' gardens. Actually, I couldn't wait to see another one of my favorite bands, Foxygen. After a week of intense humidity, the afternoon air became cooler and breathable. I was able to wear jeans without melting as soon as my legs met the sticky air, as they would have just the day before. With perfect weather, and a pale blue sky, occasionally spotted with drawn out clouds, I left the house. Jessica Lea Mayfield took the stage and pierced the air with a beautiful voice reaching an eager crowd before Foxygen appeared with a jolt of energy. The show was breathtaking and left me speechless. It was nothing less than I expected of them. It was nothing less than an incredible experience. They played "On Blue Mountain" (one of my favorite songs ever) at the very end and there couldn't have been a more perfect way to conclude the night.

Hope you enjoyed this very long journal post, littered with lots of photos of me displaying my daily routine as a companion. Also, my dog wanted to say hi. Go out and pet a dog. Enjoy summer. And come back for another journal or playlist or anything else that might appear here. xx

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