arkratirma: (m16)
It's been a while since I last posted, so I felt I should update quickly before diving into my Creative Writing revisions for my chapbook (which is due on Tuesday).

I'm registered for my classes - finally. Thankfully, none of them was completely full, so I got all the classes I wanted. Here's the thing: each of them is a night class. Four night classes, four days: Monday through Thursday. It's going to be expensive on gas again, but I think I'll enjoy my classes. They are Illustration on Monday; Lighting & Texture I on Tuesday, with Grace; Storyboard on Wednesday; and Biomechanics on Thursday, also with Grace. Each class runs from 6:00-9:45 PM.

After class yesterday, I came home, got Draco's heat lamp set up for him, took a shower, fed Draco some dandelion leaves, and then took him to The UPS Store in Oregon City, by the Fred Meyer I frequently shop at. He was completely calm on the ride there in his little plastic storage container; Uncle Larry had drilled holes in the lid for ventilation. Draco took it all in stride and simply looked around at things from inside his box. I'd lined it with a towel to make it soft and more comfortable for him.

When I brought Draco inside the store and said I needed to have a pet mailed, a young girl - probably around Maddie's age or slightly older - saw him and said, "Whoooooa!" Two sisters working at the store were stunned with his size and kept complimenting how beautiful he is. An older woman, whom I'd spoken with over the phone last week, was also impressed with Draco. She called her uppers to confirm that they could mail Draco; small reptiles are really the only pets that can be mailed via UPS. Draco was just as calm in the store and I kept stroking his head and back and offered to let the sisters pet him, too. Their brother recently got a baby bearded dragon, and I had fun answering all of their questions about Draco.

Draco's clear box was set inside a slightly larger cardboard box filled with packing peanuts (they're breathable) and punched with holes. The total cost was... a lot: $115. This is due mostly to Draco's Saturday delivery to Mom and Dad's. The price I had initially been told was $65; Dad had been told $40. Whenever I mail Draco back up here (I may have him stay with Mom and Dad for my summer term, but I'm not certain yet), I'm going to mail him on a weekday.

But hey, it's my money and Draco is worth it. <3

Dad got a new, used terrarium for Draco and filled it with red Calci-Sand. Beardies test their surroundings by licking: this sand will supplement his calcium intake. Dad also got a giant hissing cockroach for Draco to eat; at the pet store he went to, an employee told him that they're highly nutritious for beardies. Draco chomped its rear off and then finished it off with huge bites. Mom and Dad watched him and Dad was yelling delightedly as Mom gagged. XD

I talked for a while with Grandma and Grandpa yesterday. I let them know that I'm taking good care of the Park Avenue. Grandpa is so funny: he still wants to take the Park Avenue back and give me the 2008 Buick Lucerne. Aunt Pam said "[That car] is too sporty for old people." The back window is difficult to see out of.

I love my Park Avenue. I thanked them again for the car.

Grandma and Grandpa are going to visit during the last week I'm home, and then they're going to come up to Oregon to see Katelynn. I can't wait to see them again!

Well, enough is enough. I'll try to get photos up of recent artwork when I'm off.

Also, I have decided that I am going to keep all of my Brainsick work OFF of deviantART. I may even keep my art off, period (or just post school work?), but stay to keep in touch with friends. After reading about a friend's wrongful banning from the site (even though she was going to leave anyway) and the "artwork" she found, I feel all the more disgusted with that site. It's been going downhill for a long time. I admit it would be hard for me to leave entirely, simply because I do have several friends I want to keep talking with there.

It's not just what happened to my friend on dA that makes me want to keep Brainsick (at the very least) off of dA; Lee began Quick Sketch on Thursday with a fantastic discussion on copyright laws, including the infamous Orphan Works Act. If passed, this bill would allow any company to use an artist's artwork if they could not locate the original owner of the work they wanted to use. Bascially, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you publish on the Internet is in danger of this bill.

This article describes the Orphan Works Act in a nutshell.

Besides, with Dad's friend, Erik Petersen, building me a professional website while I'm home, dA is going to fall into periphery. Mr. Petersen can encrypt my work, disallowing anyone to copy it. If saved, the artwork would show up as a pixel. ...That doesn't stop people from using Print Screen, but I could also watermark my work.

Maybe I'll leave Elfwood, too. Hell, my art has been on that site since I was in seventh grade!

Lee also told us about Photoshop's tagging ability, which allows an artist to add descriptive tags to his or her work, identifying it as copyrighted to that artist.

...Okay, NOW enough is enough.

I hope you're all doing well! I look forward to seeing lots of friends when I come home! :D


Instant edit: I deleted my Elfwood account. It was a fun site, but I rarely used it anymore. My last post, besides one recent post a few months ago, was in 2005.
arkratirma: (m16)
The first week of this term had left me stressing about my workload.

This stress was rather unwarranted, because I am doing very well so far.

All As on my Creative Writing assignments; a 100%, 98%, and 83% on my first three Intermediate Modeling assignments; a current 94.5% in Quick Sketch (which I know I can raise); and a 15/15, 8/10, and 10/10 on my museum paper and first two quizzes in 19th & 20th Century Art (I feel pretty good about my midterm, too).

Classes will get more intense from this point on, but I am going to make this term a good term.

Julia gave us a break in CW: we're turning in our assignments in class on Tuesday. We usually turn them in on Thursdays before 5:00. Also, Lee gave us a huge break by assigning no new homework for this week ("the calm before the storm," as he said). We spent Thursday sketching in the Portland Art Museum, which was fun, but tiring. I'd walked to the museum with Grace and Jacob (Jacob was flabbergasted when he realized we could have taken the streetcar to Jefferson, heh), and then ate dinner with Aurora and Whitney at the Rock Bottom Brewery on 2nd and Morrison. They had me try a sip of Whitney's porter to see if I liked it: it was bitter as hell and made me react as I had when I mistook a beer for apple juice on the beach when I was little.

I delivered our leftover nachos to Grace, who had to head back to AIPD when she realized she'd forgotten her Astronomy study packet. Wonderful day, Thursday.

Friday, I grabbed the CD mix Kat had made me for my 19th birthday and played it in the car. I printed three copies of my study packet and vocab list for me, Grace, and Melissa, and brought biscottis for us to share. Melissa brought The Golden Compass and was watching that when I arrived at the Commons. Grace came shortly afterward and we had a blast trying to study while rooting for Iorek as he battled (and PWNED) Ragnar.

Our midterm wasn't terrible, and we learned that Kate is actually a pretty easy grader. She let us out once we'd finished our tests, then Grace, Melissa and I eventually went to Noodles for lunch. Laryssa and her mom joined us later. GREAT time laughing and sharing stories and eating good food!

At home, I got Draco situated in his big cage, then set about washing the Buick. I cleaned it with TurtleWax polish, and LORD does that car SHINE. It had been incredibly dusty and was covered in a film of pollen before the wash. I also removed the floor mats and washed them with L.A. Awesome cleaner, but unintentionally left new stains because the concentration was too strong. Damn. But the Buick is shiny and beautiful and clean, and I will likely take it to Jiffy Lube to get it checked out tomorrow or Monday.

Watched The Dark Crystal last night. Hadn't watched it in AGES. Fun to watch, but DAMN is it slow. XD

Is it just me, or are the Skeksis strangely sexy?

...Yeah, I guess it's just me. [/lolwhut]

Uncle Larry called during the movie to let me know that Jessi was moving right along in her labor, which had to be induced with drugs as she was a week overdue. My brand new baby cousin, Katelynn Abby Lawson, was born at 12:30 this morning. Aunt Pam called me past 1:00 after I'd gone to bed to deliver the news.

She, Uncle Larry and I went up to Washington today to see the baby, Jessi, Maddie, Mitch, and the family. Jessi gave birth at the hospital she works at: Southern Washington Medical Center, which happens to be one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

Katelynn is a gorgeous little baby, and I held her a few times and stroked her cheeks, which are as soft as barn owl feathers. Aunt Pam had suggested I bring my laptop so Mom, Dad, and Cammy could see her via my webcam, and the video call worked like a dream. Jessi gets to take the summer off to be with Katelynn, Maddie, and Mitch. Katelynn is going to love Maddie SO much.

Oh, and to wrap this entry up, Dad let me in on a wonderful surprise last night when I called: his good online friend, Eric Peterson (whom he was met with in person a couple times), is going to build a professional website for my artwork! He can also get me set up with a PayPal account. This is so exciting; I've always yearned for my own website, and now I can focus on it for my break in addition to being with my family and friends.

Love to you all!

January 2012

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