Monday, October 25, 2010

Paints and ink pads and glitter....oh my!

The arts-and-crafts store I work at had an "employee appreciation week" (the final day being yesterday).

The deal was 50% off ALL regular-priced items for store associates.

God knows I can't stand that job and probably won't be there much longer, so I took full advantage of this limited-time offer while I had the chance!

I easily bought $250 worth of merchandise but smiled as the register marked each and every item down so I ended up paying half that amount!

Look at ALL this stuff!!

Acrylics, watercolors, ink pads, metallic paints, markers, postal paper, packaging tape....and yes, a 24-set of Martha Stewart glitter!

And just for fun, I got this glitter pumpkin for Halloween! (Love it!)

I'd be smiling too if I were made out of green glitter!

While I was already fully stocked at the moment, all of these art supplies (not counting the glitter pumpkin) are things I'll need down the road.

So even though it was a large purchase upfront, I'll easily be set for the next several months, if not more, and won't have to buy anything for a long, Long, LONG time!

Hooray for savings!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Five minutes to spare.

I'd surely be late for my job but I needed to see it!

As usual, while walking to work EARLY in the Loop yesterday, I chose the scenic route, a.k.a. the lakefront along Lake Shore Drive.

The sun had not yet emerged over the horizon but the most beautiful glow spread across the water. Lake Michigan looked like a jewel and I was determined to stop and get a closer look!

The water was a silver-blue, almost prismatic. Highly reflective, like liquid light. Brighter than the sky even!

There was an Asian couple standing on the shore waiting patiently for the sun to rise. Her arm around his shoulder, the two slightly swayed from side to side in tandem.

In the nearby water were two ducks casually swimming together. When one would be too far ahead it would stop for the other to catch up.

And there I was all by always.


Will I always be alone? When will I stop getting replaced, passed up, and overlooked?

But I couldn't worry about that then. I was already late and had to run to make up the lost time.

Running in full stride, my backpack strapped to my shoulders, I cursed under strained breath that I had to go to that stupid, fucking arts-and-crafts job. Just then, the sun arose in the distance almost as if to see me off.

15 minutes later, my dress clothes and hooded jacket clung to me from all the sweat. Feeling lightheaded and short of breath, I arrived to work with five minutes to spare. *whew*

I cut it sooooo close but it was worth it.....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Remember your dreams.....

I used to be an artist.

I would draw and paint and write.

But now I just go to work. Any art projects are just that. Projects I work on here and there when I can find the time. It's become more of a hobby lately and less of a career.

If I'm not working one job then I'm surely working the other but what choice do I have? That right there is part of the problem I think.

My only day off is Thursdays but all I did two days ago was sleep in late, eat, then go back to bed....trying to catch up on the sleep I lost earlier in the week. Before I knew it, it was time to wake up for work early the next morning.

And besides, I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything. Feeling ugly, depressed, worn out, and alone.

I keep having to remind myself what it felt like to create, trying to fan the flames of my artistic goals and dreams.

My love of comic books and nature and color.

Don't forget, Dean. Remember your dreams. Always pounding that message into my head. Like that part of me is getting swallowed up by work.

A quick doodle I did this morning on a post-it-note. Sadly, this will be my only art for the day.

When people ask me what I do for a living I'm quick to mention my city job. I rarely tell them about my art background....that I went to college, receiving a degree in commercial art. After all, that was 11 years ago. It seems like a lifetime now and rather pointless to bring up.

Perhaps I'm embarrassed to let people know I didn't really accomplish much with my schooling.

The disappointing thing is each morning I'll think about ALL the art projects I can't wait to get started on yet once I'm home from work I'm tired and sore and just think about going to sleep.

It's a cycle I'll have to repeat for some time I'm afraid. Don't forget, Dean.....

P.S.:. I left the post-it-note near a random spot at my train station today. I figured once found it could be a visual message to others to remember your dreams.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Running red!

They easily caught my attention.

A cluster of reddish thingamajigs neatly lined up along Congress and Columbus Drive!

I spotted these while walking to work in the morning.

They look like mini concession stands/lifeguard chairs, all with the word "spotter" on them.

They're part of the set-up for the Chicago Marathon which runs (no pun intended) tomorrow in the Loop!

Red signage for the event can be seen strewn ALL over Grant Park.

Good luck to all those runners! Better them than me!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome home, Dean.

I felt like crying but wasn't sure. A bit emotional or maybe just really tired.

Over the weekend I finally worked both jobs together for the very first time.

At the arts-and-crafts store I'm told I'm going too slow and that I still have EVEN MORE tasks to learn (I'm only there for four hours!). It makes me feel incompetent and stupid.

While at the city job (I was rehired, starting this past Friday) I picked everything up instantly as if I never left. I even surprised myself! Going so fast that my supervisor there said, "You're coming back strong."

It's like night and day. At the arts-and-crafts store the managers take no interest in me, at times not even responding when I say goodbye or hello. At the city job everyone was happy to see me back. Lots of hugs. One of my coworkers said with a smile, "Welcome home, Dean."

When I was laid off from my city job over a year ago it was a shock yet a part of me was glad to be away from there since I considered it a dead-end job. But now I'm right back where I started. I'm trying to look at it as not going backwards but continuing where I left off.

It's a challenge working two part-time jobs, taking the 6am train into the city for the first one and getting home after 6pm when finishing up with the second. Long days for sure.

At least now I get to see the sun rise over Buckingham Fountain every week while walking to work!

Last week's sunrise (this made me teary-eyed). So VERY lovely.....

I'm exhausted but in a good way. I'm working, being productive and responsible, and earning money all at once.

On the train ride home were people heading out from a hard days work and now I was one of them. And even though my feet are killing me, it's a good feeling.