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« December 2002 | Main | February 2003 »

January 28, 2003
Lomo at last

Got the first of the Lomo photos back today. They turned out, for the most part, better than I thought they would.

Check it out.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 26, 2003
Chuckie Baby

This weekend was a bust. I got nothing accomplished. And next weekend will also be a bust. Oh well. Not accomplishing things can be okay sometimes.

On Thursday night I met Chuck Barris, producer and host of The Gong Show, author of a truly great autobiography (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which has just become a movie and which prompted this book signing), and inventor of numerous great game show ideas, most notably Three's A Crowd, which in the late 1970s pitted secretaries against wives to see who knew their boss/husband best. Chuck said he decided to stop making it because no one was having fun, but man, is it fun to watch.

Stephen and I waited in line for awhile to get our books signed. Here is the conversation Chuck and I had while he wrote: "To Beth, Chuck Barris" on my book. (Warning: I became an awestruck, tongue-tied little kid upon meeting this very cute, very clever 73-year-old man.)

Me: Hi, Chuck.
Chuck: Hi, Beth. (My name had been written on a sticky note inside of his book in advance.)
Me: I love your television shows and I love your book.
Chuck: Well, I hope you love the movie, too.
Me: I'm sure I will.
Chuck: I'm sure you will, too.

Then he looked up at me and smiled. Then I smiled and walked away and felt simultaneously giddy from meeting Chuck Barris and stupid for saying such a lame thing (and in such a lame way, too). Stephen has mimicked me more than once. I don't care. I think I made Chuck happy. And it isn't as if I was lying. Okay, I don't love the $1.98 Beauty Show, but still.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 17, 2003
[this week has been...]

This week has been long and sad. My grandfather died. All the other negative stuff doesn't seem worth mentioning. But I wrote an update early Wednesday morning detailing my angst. I'll post it, probably. It was the first thing I've written in bed with my brand new laptop. My dream in life is to work in bed. Not all the time, mind you, but whenever I want. I need a breakfast tray so that I can use the mini wireless mouse I just bought. In bed.

The bright spot of the week is that WOVO has been getting some press, and in turn, I've been learning about some cool sites I didn't know about. So, thank you. I finally have a reason to wear my famous sunglasses, as I expect to be harrassed for autographs at the market now. I must say, though, I'm rather embarrassed that dorkist has been so boring lately. It's like if a bunch of friends and strangers were to stop in to see you and you were in your bathrobe and hadn't brushed your teeth yet. But I've only myself to blame for being lame.

I am unbelievably broke right now.

Also, someone beat Super Mario Bros. about 15 years ago [correction: Super Mario World, about 11 years ago]. I found the evidence last night. I thought everyone should know, just in case Nintendo Power isn't accepting photos anymore.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 15, 2003
1:30 a.m.

I couldn't focus today. I have a meeting tomorrow (or, later today) with an important client, and I had to turn out a few impressive designs for him. But I couldn't. It wasn't in me. I cleaned my desk and installed software on my laptop. I looked around, annoyed, for a copy of Adobe Photoshop 5.5, because I need it to install the 7.0 upgrade. It's not in its box. It's nowhere. That annoys me.

So I left early, hoping that at home, I would be inspired. Instead, on the drive home, I grew depressed. I had wanted badly to watch Three Days of the Condor at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and I knew I'd be working instead, trying to push out a product that didn't seem to be inside of me. I felt on the verge of tears.

When I got home, I found that I'd gotten my grade from the Illustrator course I took last semester. I got a B. It did not encourage me.

I IM'd Stephen and whined about my lack of talent and general self-dissatisfaction. Twice he told me I'm "not untalented," which is similar to telling someone they are "not unattractive" or "not unintelligent." When I pointed this out, he changed his phrasing to "I think you're talented." It didn't help much, but a conversation about a perfume called "le wronge attitude" cheered me somewhat.

Then I went into my room and cried loudly and hoped that my neighbors downstairs couldn't hear me, because I can always hear the guy upstairs doing, uh, things, and I don't always want to.

I called Greg. We talked for awhile, and toward the end of our conversation I was starting to feel normal again. Then my mom called.

"Gampy is dying," she said.

My grandfather has been in the hospital for the past week or so. He has been dying slowly throughout that week, but he had a stroke last night, and he is probably not going to make it to January 16.

Greg was still on the other line. "I think you should visit him," he said. "You don't want to think back to how you spent the last night of your grandfather's life doing work. People will understand." He was right. But I needed to work, too.

I punched out a couple of designs and made a small frozen pizza. I dropped a slice of the pizza on my dirty kitchen floor. It was sad. I wrote to my boss, telling him I was working on the project but that I'd have to cut it short to visit my grandfather. I gave him a link to my first new design. I really like your new design, he wrote back, and I wondered if he said it partly to make me feel better. It did.

Then, around 9:30, I started driving to the hospital to say goodbye to my grandfather. Traffic on the Schuylkill was horrible. There was construction. I sat. A minivan with a television in it pulled in front of me. Disney's Peter Pan played on the screen. I thought about dying.

At 10:38, I arrived. Before I went in, I called my parents' house to see if they were home. I feel awkward in hospitals, and I wanted one of them to be at the hospital, too. My mom was home, but my dad was still there. Mom told me to go in.

Gampy was in intensive care. He was sleeping, an oxygen mask giving him air. My aunt Shelly sat beside him and stroked his hand. My uncle Tim sat on his other side. My father stood and looked at his dad. Shelly's girlfriend Sharon was there, and so was my uncle Ted, his daughter Meg, my aunt Denise, and her friend. Most everyone's eyes were red.

My dad thanked me for coming. He told me to take off my coat and invited me to stand with him. He put his arm around me and said, "This is hard."

"I know," I said, and broke down. Dad hugged me. I tried to bring myself under control.

"You don't have to stay long if you don't want to," he said.

"I'll stay for awhile."

I stopped crying and looked at my grandfather, an 81-year-old man sleeping peacefully. Without him, most of the people in that room would not even exist.

My uncle told a story about Gampy pouring a bottle of water slowly into a toilet at a dinner party as a joke. Then someone told a story about the brothers making a fake cake out of styrofoam and dissapointing one of their girlfriends on her birthday.

At one point, my dad told me about the last photograph taken of Gampy at a car museum in Virginia. "He has a band-aid under his eye and kind of a black eye, do you think you can touch that up?" Gampy had fallen on a trip to the restroom in the middle of the night. It wasn't the cause of his decline, but it wasn't a fair thing to happen to a man in his last week of life.

"Yeah, Dad. Just email it to me."

At 11:30 or so, Dad told me to kiss Gampy goodbye. I mouthed, "Goodbye, Gampy," and kissed his forehead. The kiss made a louder sound than I would have liked. Dad and I walked out into the waiting area and sat down among other relatives.

"I just don't want you to remember him like this," Dad said.

"Of course I won't." Of course I won't. I'll remember the time he took Chris and Liam and me to the pool and told me about his brothers and sisters. I'll remember him telling jokes to his sons in the kitchen at family parties. I'll remember him saying, "Hello, Lover," and "Good-bye, Lover," to me, every time we saw each other. I got quite a kick out of that.

At 12:15, I began the trek back to my place. When I got to the entrance for the Schuylkill, I found it closed due to an accident. So I drove to Germantown Pike, figuring it would lead to Germantown, where I live. Eventually, it did.

And now I'm in my room. And it's 2 a.m. And I'm exhausted and have a meeting tomorrow. And my grandfather is about to die. And someday my father will, and someday I will.

But first: there's a lot to do.

File under DAILY. Posted at 01:30 AM

January 11, 2003

I can't believe I forgot to put this link up over Christmas break. "Easy Lover" is the first song from Chris's and my recording project entitled With Our Voices Only. Our song list keeps growing, but we rarely see each other, so we won't get to record another tune for awhile. Maybe by 2010 we'll have enough songs to make an album. Then our undeniable vocal talent and sense for what the people want to hear will skyrocket us to stardom and wealth.

* Here it is. *

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

January 08, 2003
Boring recap of goals, then listing of new goals, which are similar to old ones

So, it's a new year, and I have goals. But first, let's look at last year's goals and see how I did.

What I planned to do Whether I did it
Get in shape, girl! This will provide energy to achieve all other things on list. Sort of did this. I exercised during the summer, and it felt good. But it's been awhile.
Visit doctors for "healthy" check-ups, including dentist and eye. Bleh. Hmm.
Invest/save responsibly. I've hooked myself up with an ING Direct account, and I like it. I should probably start thinking about other ways of saving, though...
Figure out what to do about continuing education. Nope, not yet.
Read physical things, not just things on the web. Yup. I read more last year than I had since college.
Write. Sort of. I should have written more.
Spend more time with friends. I did do this, and there's more friend time to come.
Try not to sponge off parents so much. I still sponge. It doesn't bother me too much right now, as long as it doesn't bother them.
Make a meaningful (not half-assed) effort to help people. Ha. Does Artsy Magazine count?
Create art (not necessarily good art), and be somewhat prolific about it. I did create some not very good art, but I wasn't prolific. That's okay; something is better than nothing.

Here are some goals for this year:

  • Redesign this web site.
  • Keep making art, including short animations.
  • Make new friends (and keep the old, one is silver, la la la).
  • Volunteer.
  • Apply to grad schools. First, though, I have to think hard to make sure that graphic design is truly a passion and not just a whim. I care about it, but I'm not sure I care about it as much as other areas of study. I'm afraid money is too big a motivation. Maybe instead of going to grad school I'll just move to Stockholm.
  • Take better care of myself physically.
  • Write.
  • Make the most of independent womanhood. How's that for specificity?

I'm sure I'm forgetting things. Whatever. The list is all for the sake of reviewing it next year, which, I'm realizing, isn't necessarily that entertaining for either of us. Oh well.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM