Everything All At Once

May 27, 2008

Let me talk about myself for a while. (But really, what else do I talk about?)

I have not been taking enough photos lately. I need to sit down and put together something, some kind of general direction to lead off on. I would love to continue one of my previous projects, but I hate to change up the camera used (since I cannot check any equipment out from school at this point). I need to get some new equipment for myself, but I need to also not let that bar me from working.

I have been running again. Something about it is really therapeutic to me. It is more of a mind game to me than it is working out. It seems to be about competition, about winning. Whenever there is someone running anywhere within sight, I tend to run harder until I overtake them. I have some issues with being the best.

The guy I have been dating and I ran into some issues the other week. He actually broke up with me and did not give me any real explanation. So a couple days later I asked him if he would clear that up for me. He stopped in after work, and we talked… for almost three hours. He was very open with me, as I was with him. And through it, he realized that we should not have broken up, but we had even more in common. The main argument was over how we both are not sure if we should be dating yet, since our last serious relationship was not that long ago (his ended in December and mine in January). I said something along the lines of how I think about it every time I see him, but I also realize that I am happy at that moment, so why spoil something that could be so good?

Everything that he brought up, as things that could be problems in his and my relationship, were things that I already knew. But it was nice to hear him actually say them. One of the other, which potentially has more weight, issues, was about substances. I smoke. I drink. I am twenty-one and live a fairly regular life of a twenty-one year old. And he is in recovery. I do not know exactly what made me figure that one out, but I knew. But I also never smoke or drink around people that do not. I guess that classifies me as a “social” drinker or smoker. And I never ask people to do either… I do not want to feel like I am pressuring anyone. We talked it all out and he left. There was no real resolution, and no kiss goodbye. The next day at work he stopped in to say hello and see if I wanted to hang out sometime this week. The day after that he stopped by my place on his way to his parents’ house to kiss me, “I just had to kiss you before I left.”

I am moving again. This time back to the West side of the city. I loathe the South side. It is totally segregated and I miss the tree-lined streets in the West. I have to do that by July, makes me nervous.

Memorial day was awesome. I woke up early, finished painting this apartment, went for a long run, went to lunch with my old roommate from the dorms, hung out all afternoon with various friends, bringing people who do not know each other in one room. Came home and the boy came over. We went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It fucking sucked. I love the originals, but I was by no means ready for what the new one brought. Some of it was cool, but most of the time I was just thinking to myself “really??” And I was not the only one, I saw a whole family just up and leave in the middle, and if it was my decision, I probably would have left too (except I have a thing about finishing things that I start…). Then we came back here. And I will leave it at this…

Oh. My. God. Amazing.

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Just A Taste

May 18, 2008

I have an addictive personality. I am well aware of it, ever since high school. I first realized it with caffeine. We had a three-day weekend for whatever reason, and it was the height of ski season. I would wake up at five in the morning; hop in the car and stop get a chai on the two-hour trip to the mountain. Day two was the same routine, but I was tired on the drive back, so I would stop for another chai. Day three was two more. I woke up for school on Tuesday with a horrible headache, one that led to me having to leave school. I deduced it to being caffeine and I cut it out of my life. And now I control when I have a soda or something. Either when I need to stay away in class for a bit (and just understand I will have a really hard time sleeping that night) or when I have a headache (weird how that works, huh?).

Something about the idea of being addicted, the need of something, just freaks me out. I do not want to have to have something. I want to want it, merely for entertainment purposes, not because I need it to function normally.

But I get severely addicted to people. Mostly when I am interested in dating someone, I want him to want to spend every free moment with me. I want him to call me, much like I like to text him when he crosses my mind. But then I have to worry if I come across as too needy. I do not want to be annoying, I just want him to know that I am thinking about him… keep me in his mind, I guess. But I always feel like I come across as crazy and force myself to stray away from it. Make him come to me…

But I do not think that works every time…

They Only Want You When You’re Seventeen

April 30, 2008

Birthday shenanigans were pretty intense. Fuzzy days and nights with lots of work that need be done. But even with all the stress from school I still managed to keep up with it all. And now the year is coming to a close…

Last week I hung my work for an afternoon to be juried for the “big fucking deal” scholarship. I did not win, but it was still nice to just have my work up and looked at. The following day I had to bring my work back to the same place and hang it for the Junior Photography Show. I find that the work I hung is kind of boring, but it is smart, so I will not beat myself up over it. Saturday is the opening and we have arranged to share an open bar with the Crafts show which is happening on the floor below our show. (Well, our show is more or less on the balcony of their show.) I am hoping that I can sell some work, I could use some extra money, but I do not know just how marketable my photos in the show are.

This is the last week of actual classes, followed by exam week, and then critique week. And I have a couple of projects that are in progress, and one that needs to be completed start-to-finish. But I know I will get it all done.

This summer is bound to be interesting. New people in my life, new opportunities. Actually, let me elaborate on the latter. So I wrote some e-mails to a number of photographers regarding internship options over the summer. I waited two, maybe three weeks and still had no responses. My summer plans changed to moving to Rochester, NY for the summer to spend it with my brother. Then I got one response. From an artist here in Philly. He was my first choice and he said he has all these things that he could use help on. Changed my summer yet again. The following day I recieved another response from an artist in New York City. He said he did not need much help and that he tends to work alone and slowly, but I was more than welcome to come lend a hand whenever. I e-mailed him back saying that I was taking the internship here in Philly, but to let me know whenever he needs any help and I would gladly go up and help him out.

I figure this may be totally overwhelming, but I could use a busy summer with a lot of learning from actual photographers. They both are really conceptually driven, so I am bound to learn a ridiculous amount of who-knows-what. The one here in Philly is actually a gay artist as well, so working with him should be another way to learn more and more about myself along with the community.

All in all, I am psyched. And Ladytron was way wrong… twenty-one is more fun.

Try to keep up

April 15, 2008

Everything in the past couple of weeks has been overwhelming.

School has gone from a feeling of “I got this, I can handle this,” to “Holy shit, I’m fucked. I’m fucked!” about once a day, everyday. And in the midst of drowning, a dingy comes and there is a glimpse of hope. Last Tuesday I got pulled out of my class to talk to a teacher that I did not know. She told me that of the entire junior photo class that I was one of the three selected to receive this scholarship. The way it works is that you get a 50% discount for attending these summer workshops at Peter’s Valley Craft Center in New Jersey. I was floored. The teachers selected me for some reason. I know my work is pretty good, but I feel like this semester I have struggled so much and have nothing really good to show for it. But hey, they see something in me and I will be damned to not take them up on every opportunity they allow me.

By Thursday I had fallen back into my stressed out, crazed state of mind that comes with when I feel like I am not being productive enough. I went to class where we were having a guest speaker come and demo for us some really neat alternative printing processes. I was the first student there, so I got to meet the artist and talk to him for a bit on a personal level (always a good thing, networking). So class begun and I was floored. He is an amazing digital printer (the one thing that I feel I am really weak at). I remembered where he was based out of and realized that he would be a great internship for the summer–with him personally or with his studio/gallery. I made sure to leave with his contact information and e-mailed him over the weekend. Now we just have to wait.

But while he was demoing, I got pulled aside again and handed an envelope that read “Urgent” in bright red letters in that really lovely stamp text. I started freaking out. I thought it had to do with some paper I found on the Lost and Found rack and took since I saw it sitting there for almost a week (hey, that shit is expensive, and if everyone is just going to walk by it, I will at least put it to good use). I opened the envelope. It read, “I am pleased to inform you…” blah blah blah. Another scholarship opportunity. This one, even more exclusive than the other. During our break I asked my teacher (who happens to be my advisor as well) what it was all about. She said, “Is that the Alexander? Yeah. Yeah… that’s a big fucking deal, Steven.” Only two people get selected from every department from the school and then there is a jury to look at our work and ONE person from the entire school gets this award. But you receive it after you graduate. Amazing.

But the issue with all of that is that the deadlines are all next week. That means I have to make final prints, mat them, frame them, and hang them for jurying. I also have to make a digital portfolio for another grant for this Friday. And hang my work elsewhere the day after the jurying for the Junior Photo Show… Too much! But I will get by.

But. Thursday is my 21st birthday… My brother is coming from Rochester, NY for it and I still have to manage to get all this real-life stuff done. “I got this, I can handle this.”

Thought #3

April 12, 2008

Spring time means renewal.