A book I attempted to read in my early 20's but never quite got into has been on my mind lately: HOW TO BE GOOD by Nick Hornby. I turned to it on the strength of Hornby's other immensely popular novel, HIGH FIDELITY, but despite the enjoyable writing style, I found the subject matter of divorce to be way far removed from where I was at the time. Now that I'm going through a divorce of my own twenty years later—one that is getting evermore sour by the minute—I am considering taking another look at Hornby's book, because I remember its take as being fun and humorous, which is a miraculous feat if the developments of my own divorce are anything to go by.
Attempting to codify how my week goes as well as pinpoint areas that could use improvement. The thing I'm proudest of the most is managing to maintain a regular exercise routine; everyday at noon. I've also managed to incorporate a morning walk 3 days a week (which doubles as my grocery run), in addition to the bike ride to and from my former place of residence to care for my son 4 times a week (that ride will now be 5 times a week though as he's just started soccer practice). It should be noted that a typical day clearly does not end at 7:00 pm. More like midnightish, but the 7:00 to 7:00 is the part I feel requires the most structure.
The things I'm not entirely proud of:
1. Only two days a week for writing/drawing, amounting to no more than 8 hours in total. Presently, this is the time I dedicate to working on THE SOLAR GRID which explains why it is moving at such a slow pace. Not entirely sure how to carve out more time for it when I also absolutely need to block out time to handle things like: other art stuff, fulfilling online orders, email, and accounting on top of newslettering and social media posts.
Would really like to make blogging a daily habit too, just one post a day if I can muster it.
Need to work in some time for website updates, which I haven't done in a very long time. Best if worked into the weekly routine to avoid updates becoming this big time-consuming ordeal.
Reading; Right now I read whenever I can steal a moment. It works alright, but I'd prefer a more codified timeslot.
Meal prep: I'm terrible at figuring out a good meal-prep routine. I cook every night of the week, and it does take it its toll. Need to figure out two days a week where dinner prep is intended for 3-4 days' worth of meals, but also need to come up with the sort of meals best suited for that kind of lifestyle. I enjoy devising scrumptious dinners—sometimes elaborate—a little too much.
I try to reserve the majority of Saturday as a “Day of Rest” if I can manage it; Soak in a bath, shave my chest, clip my fingernails, that sort of thing, but it rarely works out that way if I'm being honest. This Saturday I'm attending an art talk and also a birthday for example. The first half of Sunday is mostly about spending quality time with my son. Following that, there's only really enough room to cook dinner, tidy around the house, do some laundry, and get ready for the week ahead!
Sim Kern's THE FREE PEOPLE'S VILLAGE release at Brazos Bookstore the other day went superbly well. It was a full house, and their conversation with Ehigbor Okosun was engaging, funny, and informative. The best part for me was for sure getting to see Sim in person (and also editor Irene Vasquez!) who despite living in the same city and getting to design their book cover, I actually don't really see much of at all.
So, the above photo bringing Sim, Irene, and myself all together in the same physical space is in actually a very rare occurrence indeed.
Time-blocking didn't quite work out for me yesterday. The epoxy resin I was planning on using on an art piece had yellowed due to less-than-ideal storage, so I put in an order for some but until it arrives, I have to keep the setup I have in place for it undisturbed because it took a while to prep (artwork perched on plastic on table, everything leveled—not easy to do because the entire house is in fact somewhat tilted). So when I switched to taking care of fulfillment instead, the occupied tablespace made it a little less efficient and it took way more time. As a result several other things I wanted to do never got done.
So, in the future, days where I do fulfillment shall be dedicated entirely to fulfillment and nothing else. If it is really terribly necessary to squeeze more in there, it'll only come after fulfillment is taken care of, just to ensure no potential mishaps lead to an unusable table.
And the same goes for artmaking, better to reserve specific days for that and only that.
And today I am with migraine. There go all my time-blocking plans now.
Awoken at 3:30 AM today for no comprehensible reason, after getting all of 3h-47m of sleep. This despite yesterday being a wonderfully productive day. Got some scriptwriting in, along with thumbnails, and also some painting. Did a grocery run, exercised for an hour, cooked a slamming dinner with enough leftovers for today while managing to keep the kitchen tidy. Took care of business email (inbox: zero), got some reading in, and even got to socialize later in the evening. And look at me, back to blogging again. I'm liking this time-block method.
Spending this week developing my timetable as each day progresses because the nature of what I do doesn't quite allow for identically plotted out days. Today for example, there will be much fulfillment of online orders from my shop, newsletter-writing, possibly some very belated website-updating, in addition to looking after my kid in the late afternoon into the evening. And my personal email inbox has been taunting me with the number 71.
Let's see what this timetable looks like by week's end and whether or not it could be reapplied to next week.
There are a bunch of things I haven't been doing enough of, and a few things that have been moving a little slower than desired, so rather than my usual to-do-list method of going about my day (where often times many items on the list don't end up getting checked off and are relegated to the following day's list), I'm attempting to implement a stricter time-blocking method. Essentially, a timetable. Like the kind they used to give us in school (which I imagine they must still be using in schools today).
It is for this reason and this reason alone that I managed to work in a blog entry this morning; I had it time-blocked.
Let's see how the rest of the week goes.
Spent yesterday doing kitchen things: filling the jars in my spice cabinet and extracting all my groceries from the packaging they came in, emptying them all in reusable containers. What the latter activity does (which I'm realizing is a highly unusual practice by most peoples' standards) is completely de-brand my kitchen. No longer is my fridge or pantry an eyesore, and no longer do their contents constantly scream a cacophony of brand advertisements whenever I make use of the kitchen. A de-branded home is one of the ways to ensure your place of residence is a true refuge from the constant corporate messaging of the outside world.
Of course, they still tend to reach you through screens, but there are ways around that as well. Ad blockers for your browsers, and streaming services instead of standard television for instance.
Some friends have asked me “But why?”
Because every one of those things is a tug for attention, even if very minor, they all add up. Upon elimination, you'll be surprised by the serenity caused by the mental alleviation—and thus mental clarity—of this sort of cleansing.
An assortment of summer vacay doodles:
#sketch #doodle #journal
Got the latest “booster” the other day and my body did not take too kindly to it. Out of commission for the day which frustrates me to no end. Trying to read and failing, may end up having to be a slutty TV day. Let's see what I can find.
On another note, my latest piece:
It's called POWER DANCE PATTERN, hand-stamped on 300 gsm acid-free paper, 9”x12”. The variation in stamping makes each one completely unique.
#journal #art #work
Quite into Amazon Prime's adaptation of William Gibson's THE PERIPHERAL despite it standing on a rather shaky premise that demands a huge suspension of disbelief: That people in the future would easily be able to transmit data to the past, to the point where they could transmit the data necessary for the manufacture of devices that allow for the transmit of data from the past to the future. The how is never explained, and all the characters in the show seem to just buy into it. When confronted by this information, the characters from the past (which is still in our future) do have a holy shit moment, but that's the extent of it. Even the obligatory “nerd” doesn't seem to geek out about the science involved or anything. It's kind of frustrating.
But there was a bit that resonated hard; when it is explained to the main character from the past inhabiting an artificial body in the future what “the jackpot” is. Or was rather. A mass extinction event resulting from a trifecta of severe climate change + global pandemic + nuclear war. I watched that particular episode just one night before the Arctic Blast hit Houston, weather plummeting to well below freezing temperatures and losing power and all form of heating in the house. I had also just read a report on recent pandemic statistics; an all new high with something like 400-related deaths a day? You wouldn't know it because of the lack of pandemic-related restrictions/precautions though. Seems like the only thing missing is a nuclear war, which I guess we're far from actually living through. Although this batshit crazy headline appeared on the WSJ not long ago: The U.S. Should Show It Can Win a Nuclear War.