The Literary Feline 


Today was not one of my better days. I've forgotten to take some of my medication this past week, so that explains some of the reason why I've been under the weather. On the plus side, the word finally came down that I got into the program to which I was applying. Now, all I need to do is come up with just a few hundred dollars and I will be a student again, albeit at decidedly lower stakes than before. I am really hoping to pick up some career skills that will help me climb out of the black hole of debt I am currently in. Nothing like the prospect of being compressed into an impoverished singularity to motivate one to earn money.

By now, most people know that I unofficially have a cat. It has a balance problem due to a brain defect. According to the vet, to which she was taken a few weeks ago, the cat is known as a "mild cerebellum" something, something. Some injury or disease early in its development affected the cat's brain, specifically the part that controls motor skills. Therefore, the cat frequently falls over, misses jumps, and generally acts like the chief doofus of the feline world. Sometimes, it looks like she is constantly pouncing on things, but I believe that is because she compensates her jumping problem by leaping several inches higher than necessary to reach her intended target. But, beyond her brain issues, I think the cat is just plain weird. She chews on a cardboard box; her favorite cat toy is my hands (which she has scratched and bitten nearly all to hell). And despite her jumping compensation, she still misses. There is nothing like sitting in your chair, and having a cat leap up as high as your head in order to sit with you, but either miss the chair entirely or plain fall out of it. This is in addition to the normal cat issues like fish breath or sitting on my laptop as I am using it. (For instance, this blog post has been interrupted at least five times already.)

Aside from school, and the cat, I think I am doing generally okay. I've been reading for pleasure again. Right now, I am reading Storm of Steel, essentially the diary of a German Soldier during World War I. It has been interesting to get new perspective on the war that launched the 20th century. I finished reading Jimmy Corrigan about a week ago. Generally, I liked it, but I think I turned to Storm of Steel for something more classically literary. I am not sure what I will read next, but I have a paperback copy of Freud's "Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious" that I picked up in a used book store in Salem. I read his "Psychopathology of Everyday Life" for class last year and enjoyed it. Tomorrow, after depositing my paycheck, I'm going to try and take care of a few errands. I may or may not take more pictures.

31 August 2006


Fort Hoskins II

After making a breakfast that consisted of three eggs and reheated coffee, I spent most of the morning cleaning things up and straightening the mess that my room had become. The piles of paper that had been on the floor were thrown out, the books that were strewn everywhere had been restacked, and the dirt on the floor was swept away. I took my time doing all of that since I've been trying to cope with the loss of my previous career path: English scholar/teacher. I get the sense that most people who know me want me to get over my moods already and move on with my life, and to be really honest, I am doing the best I can. I'm trying not to let it get in the way too much, but I can't help feel some loss about it.

The overview session that I went to today, the one I mentioned in my previous post, the overview session for the graphic design program I am applying to, was somewhat underwhelming. I think the main purpose of the meeting was to dissuade the unserious and errant dabblers from enrolling in the program. If you saw Art School Confidential, you got to see the arty stereotypes that make up these sort of classes--unserious, errant dabblers being one of those stereotypes. I'm afraid that my nervousness and anxiety about the program was manifested in my nerdy questions after the main presentation. "Did I submit the portfolio in the proper format," "Does the program make use of wacom tablets," and "How soon do you need to buy the (very expensive) digital camera" all were questions that could have at least have waited until August 30th, about the date when I find out if they even accept me. The question that was really on my mind is "How am I going to pay for this," and of course that is a question that, eventually, only I can answer.

After the presentation was over, I went to Circuit City and looked at some several hundred dollar cameras, with so many buttons and screens that it seemed obscene somehow. None of the clerks there appeared to want to answer any of my questions because they all ignored me. Perhaps they somehow sensed I was the essence of poverty. I then went to the gym and worked out for about half an hour, because...well because I sometimes feel like a "fat sack of crap." (Not really, but it's my new phrase.) My last stop was at the pet store to pick up three cheap fabric mice for the cat that lives outside my door to chew on. I am going to try and take the next couple of days easy as far as my worrying about this graphic design program. It is not worth getting heartburn over. Besides, I got over things to work on in the meantime.

22 August 2006

Dreams and Portfolios 

Fort Hoskins

I slept most of the day away. After waking up at 7:00 a.m. or so, I went back to bed around 10:00 a.m. and slept until 3:00 p.m. It was just barely enough time to turn in my portfolio to the Visual Communications program at the local college. I spent all day Sunday taking photographs, filling out forms, and taking photographs of art that I had already drawn in my previous art classes from years ago. The deadline for turning in the portfolio is on Tuesday, but I wanted to get mine in a day early to beat the other last minute people, especially since the college accepts people in the program on a first come, first serve basis. If space is short, I might be able to beat out a handful of the other last minute applications. Tuesday, I go back to attend an informational meeting that discusses the program in more detail.

Except for driving into the neighboring town to turn in the portfolio, the only other big thing that I did today was the sleeping. I had a couple of dreams though. In the first one, I was on another planet that looked like a large city, like Portland, while other parts of the planet reminded me of California. I was in the parking lot of one of the big box stores looking for my lost cat, a cat that was the size of a large dog. When I got out of my van to look for him, the people I was with drove away leaving me stranded. I spent the rest of the dream trying to navigate my way through some suburban neighborhood in order to find the van and the cat.

In my second dream, I was re-visiting my old University for some reason. It was the end of the term, so all of my former colleagues were attending some large meeting. I was checking where my old office was, when the director came by and asked if I needed a key to clear it out. (The office in my dream was much smaller than the one I actually had last year.) I told her "no," since I had already cleared out the office earlier. I don't remember much else of the dream except that I was walking around campus and trying to avoid the people who knew me. Thinking about the dream made me a little pensive for most of the afternoon.

I'm not going to stay up too late tonight since I need to get back on a normal schedule. On Tuesday afternoon I attend the informational meeting, which even if I don't get into the program, should be interesting.

21 August 2006


I've been neglecting my blogs for awhile, partially because I haven't really had anything new to say. Nothing has inspired me to get back to writing either. I think--and I haven't really admitted this to anyone yet--that I still feel somewhat demoralized from the loss of career and apartment at the beginning of the summer, so it has been a little difficult to find a new path and be excited about it. However, I have made a lot of changes since then, so I suppose I should try and keep some perspective.

For example, I am applying to the visual communications program at my local college to gain some practical skills that should help me get a freelance illustration career going. I've thought about also doing some freelance writing since I already have the training for that, but I worry that I am not creative enough to find topics to write about. Heck, if I can't figure out things to say in this silly blog, what makes me think I could write some kind of article and be paid for it. The nice thing about school assignments is the fact that the instructors pretty much guide you through what they want to see in a paper. Anyway.

The above picture is from a trip I took to the Finley National Wildlife Refuge. The environment there is supposed to be comprised solely of authentic native plants. It was sort of interesting to look out over the prairie and see what the country might have looked like about two hundred years ago. However, as you can sort of tell by the fence, there is also an original Pioneer farm house that was built in 1850's in the refuge as well. It was nice to reflect on how those people might have lived all those generations ago, but the building isn't that much to look at. Yes, it is authentic, but it is still just an old farm house.

19 August 2006