Moving to Upstate NY
A week ago I was very cold, yet hot - chills, a fever, throwing up. It was sort of like a sudden flu and a bad hangover. I take a whole bunch of medications and it really seemed like I was just having a bad reaction to one by not ramping the dose up slowly enough. I would feel better in the morning!
Well, sort of. Turns out it was due to the lack of a different medication; I'd been skimping to stretch the prescription out (and being sloppy in taking them). Apparently that's not a good idea. I ended up in the hospital over the weekend where, due to a quick diagnosis by a friend who knows far more about my medical issues than I do and also my bad habits (in this case sloppy in taking pills). I was out on late Sunday.
That's not the only thing going on, just to pick one: the whole lack of a job issue is less than amusing after the first couple of weeks. I've been on a non-positive trajectory for the last couple of years, which got worse when I moved into my own apartment just over 6 months ago, and since the New Year is turning into a free-fall.
I'm not doing to well on the basic task of basic tasks.
So, I surrender. I am going to move back to upstate NY where my parents are and they are going to help me regain a balance in, well, pretty much everything. It stinks because I really like where I am in Reston, VA, although on the other hand being dead doesn't come highly recommended either.
My mood is being thrashed around like an ornithomimosaur in the grip of a hungry T. Rex: I keep bouncing from being somewhat encouraged and hopeful to near total despair and apathy. The move itself is happening extremely rapidly (I'm out of here on March 2) which in and of itself is highly disorienting, but probably just as well.
Maybe this move will help. I hope it does. Not every problem in life has a solution and, well, this may be one of them. But I don't have a lot of choice at this point.
Work / Non-Canonical / Julie Simone
I see I haven't exactly been keeping up with this blog, but then I haven't been keeping up with a lot of things.
Work & Non-Work
After the last entry I was out of work for a bit, then got a short-term contracting position, then was out of work again, and now have a job again. A permanent one, or at least as permanent as they ever seem to be for me. I can't complain too much, well, okay, I can, but I really shouldn't. Being out of work is no fun, but there is a reasonable demand for the sort of stuff I do (Technical Writing) where I live (Northern Virginia, along the tech corridor outside of DC.)
A Messy Apartment!
I now live by myself in a small 1-bedroom apartment. One that is currently a tremendous mess. I really ought to do something about that... but I've been pondering that issue for months now. Turns out that simply by doing basic actual living a lot of debris is generated. Dirty laundry, dirty dishes. Just miscellaneous, random crap on the floor. Okay, I threw it
there, but I'm sure I had a good reason at the time. Or not.
I really need to start getting out, to tell you the truth. Although when I get home I usually just want to take a nap.
In terms of Renderosity related items, when I last posted a blog was crunching away at "Non-Canonical," a weekly digital comic that used to appear on the Renderosity comics page. A few months ago, various stresses and strains, started making it harder to churn it out every week. I missed a week, then another. Finally I gave into reality and voluntarily put Non-Canonical on haitus.
Now, I think I'm going to have to deal with pesky reality again. There are still too many stresses and strains, some old, some new, and I just can't imagine having the time to put anything out unless it was really crappy. By the last few episodes I had built-up a collection of rendered sets -- in particular an underground bunker TV station (don't ask). I upgraded to a much faster computer, which is good, but it turned out to be almost impossible to transfer my rendered sets from one machine to another. It obviously didn't help that I use a different drive letter on the new machine, and also was trying to set up my Poser/DAZ directories in a much more rational manner.
An obvious solution is to simply render Non-Canonical on the old machine... but somehow that seems wrong given my new super-fast fancy Dell workstation.
Mainly I'm either too tired or depressed or both to find the energy. So, I'm going to have to formally resign from the Renderosity comics.
I may still be able to do a few comical essays (or "comical" essays depending on your taste). nickcharles was nice enough to ask me to write some for the front page. I've done two or three under the heading "View From Lobeville." I have ideas, and these aren't that hard to write when I'm in the correct mode. We'll see...
In other "art" news -- and please note I put that in quotes -- I bought a new camera, a Nikon D40. Its expensive compared to a typical digital camera, but at the very low end of the SLR-type which are capable of much nicer pictures. I then bought a couple of extra lenses for it, and then a low end set of photolights which take 500W bulbs are on nice extendable, stands, as well as two photography umbrellas for diffusing the light. Oh, also a speedlight which fits on top of the camera and is much better than the built-in flash.
The result is that I have a set of "real" photography products. It's all inexpensive, at least when compared to higher-end equipment, but gives me the potential for being able to take nicer pictures.
Of course there are plenty of people who have enough talent that they can take great shots with a $100 digital, while there are other people who can't do anything with a fancy SLR.
Hopefully I'm somewhere in the middle, there.
My big break in photography came in the begining of November when I was able to shoot Julie Simone, a talented, professional model, as well as a photographer in her own right. I dragged my lights and various other things into the middle of Washington, D.C., and over the course of a few hours took over 1000 shots. (That would be a lot if i was using film, but it's not hard to do with a digital camera.)
Since then I have been taking some of the images I like and doing post-processing on them, spending most of the time tweaking the color balance, tone, etc. and changing things in the background to make them go away or be less distracting.
It takes me anywhere from fifteen minutes to several hours to get a shot done. The long times have been when I have messed around with different color spaces and channels to create desaturated and black & white images.
As i go along I am picking up new skills here, which is good, and so really should go back and re-process some of the first shots I posted.
Coming Soon! (maybe)
Ultimately, and I hope it isn't an extremely long ultimately, I want to make my website look a lot nicer and put my Julie Simone pictures there.
I'd also like to expand the range of my photography to other models. I haven't looked into yet, really, but, there are quite a few experienced models in the area. Right now I can't see anything happening before the spring, but I would like to work with some other people and getting a wider range of shots.
I don't want to leave digital imaging, though. I have a couple of ideas for combining digital and photography, which I'd like to try. I don't think I have the skills in either area for these to work now, but, perhaps someday.
But all of those plans are just ideas. Right now, I'm continuing to post pictures from my November shoot with Julie Simone. I freely confess that it is nice to get good comments, and even nicer to find myself on the Renderosity art charts. At some point, though, I'd like to switch to a different project, probably working on a new version of my web site or a new sets of photos to put on the site.
I'm still having fun doing the post-processing so I figure I will keep trying to add a new Julie Simone picture each day for the rest of this week, maybe the week after.
And, if you actually read this far (or even took the time to skip to the end), I thank you.
on the plus side I'll be doing more rendering...
The biggest problem with my new job has been the commute from Northern VA to Rockville, MD. The traffic around DC is terrible to begin with and the route I take includes the bottleneck at the bridge over the Potomac. It was becoming painfully clear that this wasn't going to be sustainable - that I would have to get something else or work a few days a week from home. My original plan was to deal with this in 2007.
The second biggest problem with the new job -- although it isn't a terrible problem -- is that they really don't have any work for me, which in my case would be technical writing. I was hired because the Sr. VP liked my resume (or something, it wasn't clear) as opposed to being hired for a specific position.
Well, now both problems are solved! The self-same Sr. VP has come to realize that there just isn't enough work for me. So I've been "laid off" after 2-weeks.
This wasn't quite the way I wanted to take care of this issue, but there it is.
On the plus side I can get a lot more rendering done! At least until the electricity gets cut off...
Just to make if official (I think) - I now have a job. I was out of work for about 4 months, 5 months, something like that. I guess that isn't too bad.
There is a long commute through the traffic in and around the Washington Beltway, but I am hoping that I'll get used to that. Thus far I have essentially nothing to do...I'm assuming that will change at some point.
The Renderosity web ring?
I've done it before - putting my little web site (http://www.anteriorlobe.com) on the Renderosity web ring. I seem to recall just clicking on my username or something...
Anyway, I moved the site to it's own domain, did some redesigns, and, um, lost the link thing for the web ring.
So, does anyone know what I need to do in order to sign up for it? Or, in a zeal of reorgs have a lost my place in that sacred order forever?