13 December, 2012

No more stress! Huzzah! Wait...

I had the last final of the longest, hardest, most rewarding, most tearful semester ever today.  I AM  DONE.

This was taken during a low point in the semester when I went around half the day with my sweater  inside out, and then after realizing this, removing it, and putting it on right side out, I went around for the rest of the day with it buttoned very wrong. The arm is my boyfriend holding me so he could send a picture to my mom. They tell me they love me, but I'm beginning to wonder if that's really why I'm kept around.

10 December, 2012

there is no such thing as free

Okay.  So, I've never actually been paid for any design/arty work I've done.  In my defense, I've only been doing arty stuff for like a year, and only with moderate confidence for like a month.  But!  I've had a slight disappointment today in regards to some free work I did and what they are (or more specifically, are not) doing with it, and I've realized that I need to make some rules for myself if I'm going to keep doing free work.

(And these rules apply after I've consulted the "Should I Work for Free" flowchart and it's a YES.)

1. You may not agonize unduly over the work.

2. You may not let free work get in the way of normal work you have to do.  Free work is the lowest priority, unless it's for something extremely important or a lot of people will see it.

3. You may not spend lots of money on free work.  Strive to spend no money, if possible.

4. You may not spend an unreasonable amount of time on free work, unless, again, it is extremely important or being viewed by many eyeballs.

5. Because it is free work, you will not subject yourself to too much direction or interference. If they want you to do work for no pay, regard it as a chance to have complete freedom with what you make.

6. Free work should be completed as quickly as possible. The more time it is left undone, the more time you have to think about it and let it worry you. Fast turnover is required.

7. Even if it's for a good cause, or a family member or some other deserving person, you are allowed to say NO.

04 December, 2012

okay... thanks mom

After seeing all the work it entailed, I decided a while ago that I probably wouldn't do scrapbooking. Ever.  I'm too self-critical and changeable, and I thought I'd always be making a page and then hating it and ripping it out. I told myself it was cheesy.
But when I started flipping through our family scrapbooks the other day, looking for a picture to draw for illustration class, I ended up sitting on the floor for like an hour and a half. 

 I never looked nice as a baby.
 Odd bonding between enemies over the automatic cat litter box.
 Bowling league. I thought that headband-scarf (the kind you tied round your head with little strings - remember?) made me the hottest thing on the planet.
 Sewing gone wrong.
 Childhood triumphs.

Actually, scrapbooks are great.
Mom? I'm about to say your favorite words:

You were right and I was wrong.

30 November, 2012

Magic Mouthwash and bleh.

Glorious, isn't it?

You know, you'd think being sick for a long, long time would have a great number of benefits.  Lots of nice food.  Parents and boyfriend waiting on you obligingly.  Lying in bed and daydreaming that you're a consumptive poet whose greatness will only be realized after your tragically young death.

But there are a surprising number of cons.

1. People don't wait on you.  Nor are you allowed to stay in bed for long. Very selfishly, people forget that you're ill and give you homework  or make you contribute to the communal living experience and do things like clean up after yourself.

2. You're all weak and tired and then all your relatives and friends who aren't weak and tired go to the rock climbing gym all the time without you and get WAY better at climbing than you.  Which just makes you feel worse about yourself.

3. You wear the same pair of socks like five days in a row because you're sleep deprived and forget to change them. And then you loose friends (the definition of friends being people willing to come within a ten-foot radius of you).

But, quite seriously, I've been ill for over three months now with a tenacious and sometimes dreadful viral infection.  I shan't go into details, but let me just say that cold sores (or whatever they are) can do fantastically hideous things to you if they want to. Keep on their good side.

The only really enjoyable part of the whole ordeal so far was when during a visit my doctor said, "Okay, I'm going to prescribe you some magic mouthwash." I started to grin but realized he was perfectly serious.  And when I got the prescription? Printed on the side was:

24 October, 2012


I'm beginning to suspect that people ask me to cook solely for the entertainment value.  These:

were supposed to be pancakes.  And, quite honestly? They look better in the picture than they did in real life.

15 October, 2012

Painty clothes and bruised knees, essentially.

It's been too long.  I feel an agonizingly long-winded UPDATE ON MY LIFE twitching in my finger tips! Can't... can't!  Too laaaaate!


Hello, my name is Kelsey.

I am 22 years old.  I go to college, which is fun about 57% of the time.  I think that's not a bad percentage, really. Lately I have been making things like suits made of dried-out sanitizing wipes and fake wooden moose heads (like the sort hunters mount on their walls after they've, uh, shot them.)
This is art, apparently.

(This shoe made of wire is art also, from what I understand.)

Recently I realized that I will never make good art if I try to force myself to be all serious and deep about it.  I like funny things. And if, by some chance, the stuff I make gives somebody else a laugh... well, I can't think of a reaction I'd enjoy more. 

One of the weirdest things that's kind of happened, and which I have not even mentioned here, is that basically I rock climb now. 

See? That's me a few months ago. Climbing (not particularly well, but climbing) at a fancy schmancy gym in St. Louis. 

I never would have imagined that someday I'd get into this sport. Heck, I didn't know it was a sport. 

But I think I can consider myself into it. I have shoes and a harness and a chalk bag and a carabiner from when my dad climbed in the 80's that makes a horrible "skree" sound every time you open and close it (and, as a result, is never actually used).  I'm getting better at it. I go at least three times a week when I can.  I rattle off jargon. It's bizarre. Mainly because I'm, quite honestly, a deeply lazy person.  

I think one of the key factors in the quite miraculous way I've stuck with climbing, besides that it's not competitive and doesn't require spandex, is that climbers are fantastic. And when I say "fantastic" I mean WEIRD.  Climbing is kind of a fringe sport, and so it seems to attract the oddest array of characters. At the local gym I climb at, we have a 16-year-old yoga instructor (who only began yoga because he broke his back playing serious football), a linguistics-anthropology major who talks like a moronic surfer, and a 40 year-old Frenchman named Jose.  Basically, it's marvelous.  I'm becoming intimately acquainted with the "lower leisure class" as my boyfriend calls them - people who work just enough to fund weekly trips to climbing areas and the purchasing of gear. They're a remarkably happy lot. 

And it seems to be doing me some good. Besides climbing with a fair amount of frequency and going vegan a few weeks ago, I've changed nothing, and I've lost 20-ish pounds.  Today I wore pants I haven't fitted into since I was 15. They were a little tight, but it was worth it. 

SO! That's where I've been lately. It's been very, very good. 
What about you, mate? 

15 August, 2012

No Nose-Picking

A little ways back, I was in an art rut.   I was whining.  I said I didn't think I could do it, blah blah blah. But! Jessica suggested a project to do that would make me feel better. And guess what?  I did it! And it did make me feel better.

This is a cruddy screen-shot of the completed poster, but if anyone desires, I would be more than happy to send a high-quality PDF whizzing through space to their inbox. It's your typical poster size - 18x24, if I recall correctly.

The lesson to learn from this:
I SHOULD WHINE ALL THE TIME!  Commenting makes people feel good (which means I should do it more often, because I often want to and don't) and can help them more than you'd think.

28 June, 2012

Thank you! I think!

So here's the deal:

I was born in (the most glorious of months) May, on the 31st, to be precise.  My boyfriend was born on June 2nd, a mere two days later.  If we get married we have decided to do it on the first so the collected weight of so many things to remember will make it impossible to forget.

But!  On my birthday, I realized that people were probably putting things on my facebook. While turning on my laptop (it makes the most wonderful grinding and moaning noise when I switch it on, as if it is upset that I want to use it) my sister came galloping into the room.  "Have you seen what Craig put on your page??" She asked, grinning manically.

"No" I said.

I went on my page.  This is what I found:

Yep! That's my baby! He's a scruffy drummer studying film who likes hiking, depressing music and cheese.

To explain the "ghost", It's actually a black Santa tree topper that I bought for him (back before we were an item, thank you!) when the Christmas stuff at my place of employment when into really deep sale mode.  We enjoyed that all the white Santas and angels had the traditional red outfits, but the black Santas and angels had these shiny leopard and cheetah print costumes.  Craig imagines that he will be able to sell it to some museum one day for millions of dollars, proving that blatant stereotyping still existed in large-scale chain retail shops in 2011.

But! I was, as you may imagine, touched and possibly a little disturbed by this gesture.  And, obviously, I knew I needed to reciprocate.  With only one evening to throw it all together, I set about making my own birthday tribute.
I knew I couldn't top that for creepy - no one could - so I decided to go a different route.

We're an odd pair.

25 June, 2012

Music Dept., this is Kelsey.

Guess where I am RIGHT NOW?

Before you guess some place that's actually cool, like Iceland or Colorado, I will tell you.
I am currently sitting behind a rather unattractive reception desk in the dinky, freezing office of the Music Department Division of Performance Studies at my beloved university.

Yes! I am one of those lucky, lucky students shamelessly availing themselves of fellow students' tuition money by doing almost NOTHING and calling it work-study.  I started last week and I can already say that this is, without a doubt, the smartest employment decision I have ever made.

The fact that I am writing a blog post while "working" is a pretty clear indicator of how dull and free this kind of job is.  I have spent a large majority of my time working here reading A Walk in the Woods for the millionth time and sketching band logo ideas. No joke.

Here's how a typical day might run down:
  • Arrive, and sit reading for an hour, waiting for something to do.
  • A small task, such as shredding a stack of paper, is given to me and I am happily occupied for about fifteen minutes. 
  • I sit some more.  Maybe check facebook or sketch for a bit. 
  • A phone rings.  I transfer a call.
  • More sitting. 
  • I go home. 
I'm not kidding! This is what it's like!  I can hardly believe my luck.  Once I got to deliver an inter-office memo envelope across campus.  What an adventure it was! 

Oo.  The boss just came in.  I might get to go get a paper from Purchasing! (What is Purchasing, anyways? I haven't the foggiest.)

I've got to go. Important business is afoot!  Papers must be carried! Things must be signed!  Sticky notes must be stuck!

I love this job. 

02 May, 2012

rest in peace.

Every time I add an image to a blog post from my picasa web albums or whatever they are, I am filled with remorse.  Because on picasa web albums I see the ashes of the blogs I once have had and which have been deleted.  Black holes of the interweb.  Far too many.  I have 116 files in my "blog titles" folder.  I am ashamed.  But! I am also in a confessional mood.
So, for your consideration, the headers.
Let's not discuss the dozens of times I switched the title of this very blog from "Amateur Idler" to the more appropriate, but slightly ambiguous "We Ate Tuna Sandwiches".  Because it pains me.
Ah, yes!  Now, this here was a private blog on which I was meant to track my progress on a travel book I tried to write.  I know, right?  It's laughable!
Here we have one of the few worthwhile blogs I've made - a book review site.
And an entirely awful blog is up next.  I had this curly image under the header of "The Skinny", another private tracking blog, this one for weight, on which I posted pictures of slim famous people as motivation.  Not particularly healthy, but moving on!

After this a style blog ("yet another style blog") and a Deep Thoughts blog ("think think think") were born and died before I could give them custom headers.
A blog I still own but which is largely stupid and abandoned now - idelheart began as a repository for pretty pictures and quotes - basically just stuff I found and liked.
Another one that is yet living, if just barely - shared with my sister, meant to be a place to dump all the fashion-y pictures I had cluttering my laptop.
Possibly one of my best.  V for Victory, entirely devoted to writing on idling.  I was very proud of the look of that blog.
Frankly, I have no idea what this one was. The sub-heading was "The Austen Project" from what I can find.  I think it had something to do with eating well and taking long walks, but I really don't recall.
Another blog still cluttering the inter-web.  At this time, the peak of my Audrey obsession, I began collecting an alarmingly large number of pictures of her and needed somewhere to put them.
Had more headers made for it than it did actual content.  Seriously, there are like twelve variations for this one.
Meant to be, like, a big collective of coolness where I'd get tons of contributors.  A cool idea, but never particularly feasible.

A personal favorite, about attending community college.  I could still write this one. I have more than enough material.  And I'm still rather keen on that header there.
This one is particularly melancholy.  A fairly long-lived style and design blog.  I like the name still and am tempted to re-use it.
Pullover 365 - I was supposed to draw something and then upload said drawing every day.  There are literally five pictures in there.
More idling.  This post is getting way, way too long.
Recently deceased pretty stuff depository blog.
Still barely living.  Book reviews.  Briefly housed a project where I tried to read a book every day.  I didn't get much sleep during that period of my life.
Lived like one day, seriously.  Visually nice stuff was the intended subject, I think.

And, last but not least and also still living:
An "art" blog.  Heavy emphasis on the quotes there.

Oh man.  I knew this was going to be bad - but this bad?  I am almost too ashamed to say anything.
This is why I can never get a tattoo.  I can't make up my mind.  I'd like it for ten minutes and then curse myself for a fool as soon as I got out to the car to drive home.

Goodnight.  I'm going to go hide under a rock now.

21 February, 2012

yes no maybe

I intend to see this.  Like, the day it comes out. And I'm dragging as many people as possible with me.  At least, people who I think will be appreciative.  

And here is my burning question: WHAT on EARTH is that font? I love it. I need to learn my typefaces.

LATER: Just googled "Moonrise Kingdom font" and found that nobody seems to know what it is and nobody seems to be happy about the change.  I may be the only person who likes it.  Don't get me wrong, I ADORE Futura.  But I like that he's branching out, and it was time to do so, and I think it adds.  So there.

17 February, 2012

Currently, I am enjoying:

With every arty hipster kid on earth, Wes Anderson's asthetics.

Analogous color palettes.  The last three projects I've done for school have all had analogous schemes, or been as close to it as I could get 'em.  I really enjoy wearing this one outfit I've concocted that literally consists of pink pants, an orange shirt, a pinky-red sweater and yellow flats. I get weird looks.

30 January, 2012

should odd acquaintance be forgot

So! I was re-reading bits of this here blog this evening. (Did you notice me speaking the way the natives in my adopted state do?  I also accidentally called a "cart" a "buggy" while working at my dreary retail job the other day, and almost had a sort of soul aneurysm right there in the scrapbooking department.)  And, anyways, I came across my new years' resolutions from last year:

Be less negative.
Enjoy idling again.
Give myself a break.  When I've done my best, leave it at that. 
And be a happier, more cheerful person in general.

And you know what?  I had completely forgotten that I'd made them at all. Which is so incredibly true-to-type of me that I almost can't bear it. So! I might try again.  Though I would also like to add:

See the rest of Wes Anderson's movies.
Read my Bible every day starting now, not tomorrow.
Do things for other people as often as possible.

It was an excellent year, last year.  And this year has come in with a bang like no other.  A very deeply contented boom, more than a bang.