Archive for March, 2007

A Day To Celebrate!

March 24, 2007

Soooooo. My sister is ENGAGED! Finally! Yay!

Her boyfriend of three and a half years is now officially my future brother-in-law, and I am so happy for them both. The proposal went fantastically well, and not only was it a surprise (thank god, since everybody and their brother knew it was going to happen), but it was also rather memorable.

It was Amber’s 26th birthday, to begin with. Jon had been teasing her and dropping hints all month, but she was still entirely oblivious. They went out to dinner for her birthday, and although Amber had a one point wondered to herself whether he might pull out a ring, the meal went over rather uneventfully (barring the singing waiters who took it upon themselves to sing Happy Birthday merely because it was mentioned that it was her’s)… So anyway, the two return to my house afterwards. He told me last week when he and I went suit shopping together that he was thinking about asking her in our basement, the site of their first kiss. At first I wondered if it was a terrible, horrible, no good very bad idea to do something so special in out terribly ugly basement, but it was his version of a romantic gesture. So me an my mom held our tongues, strung up some fairy lights, hung a red curtain in front of the door, and hoped for the best. And the best happened.

The plan was that Jon was going to ask me if they could go down to see the painting of their cat that I was working on for a gift for Amber. I was instructed to then tell them they could go see it and then say that I’d meet them down there. This plan ALMOST didn’t work because Amber, bless her heart, was very adamant about my being there to show her. She just about refused to go without me, but I had already run upstairs to “get the frame.” I could here her in the kitchen telling Jon that she wasn’t going to look at it without me there. But somehow he coaxed her to the basement and followed through with his plan.

Back story: A while ago Amber had a dream in which Jon proposed to her with a terribly ugly, no good very bad teeny tiny ring that she hated. She told Jon the dream, so of course he had to honor her nightmares in his real life proposal. So when Jon purchased the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING 1 KARAT+ DIAMOND RING of her dreams, he also bought a tiny chip of a diamond ring.

So he placed both rings in the pool table inside the ball holder thing, and when they went down to the basement, he stopped at  the red curtain, got down on one knee, pulled out the tiny diamond ring, and asked her to marry him. Then he quickly said “Oops, wrong ring!” And then pulled out the ridiculously sparkly whopper instead. Amber was of course delighted and surprised and happy and laughing and crying hysterically. And a “Yes!” was given in reply.

So a few minutes later, up she comes. Her happy, tear streaked face gleaming, and her hand overwhelmingly glittery in the dim kitchen light.

The End.

P.S. Amber was quite satisfied with how it all happened, which I think is a very good sign indeed. She said it was certainly memorable, and didn’t even mind that it happened in our ugly old basement.
Now that’s love.

Oh.

March 23, 2007

Sometimes you just need a hug.

Sometimes you just need to cry.

And sometimes you cry because there is no one to hug.

My heart hurts. It’s filled to the brim but it’s stopped pumping.

When will it end so it can begin?

I feel stale.

Headline News

March 12, 2007

I am delighted to report that I finally made it to Providence to spend a full weekend with Adamantium. Now just about fully recovered from the plague (apart from some extra nose-blowing and oozing pustules encrusting his entire body…oh wait, wrong plague..), I decided it would be okay to remove him from quarantine and actually get in some quality visitation time.

I have to say that this semester is not exactly going to be my favorite in terms of scheduling, as I will probably only visit him every other weekend from here to etern– I mean until he graduates in June. BUT already we have reports coming in from the front that indicate this will be a kick-ass finale to Adam’s RISD career, as he was (get ready to applaud) accepted to The Society of Illustrators’ student competition for his Little Mermaid piece (commence standing ovation)! Oh, the successes that await this talented boy… dreamy sigh…

In other news, the weekend was great. Our sources tell us that I spent all of Saturday cleaning/organizing Adam’s already relatively clean room. Let me tell you how much I loved doing this, and how much I love him for even letting me. Wait, wait– don’t think me crazy. Here’s why it made me so happy: I was actually able to condense his multiple stacks of whatnot scattered through out the room and reorganize so that there is more space than I think even he realized was possible. Truly a miracle is the fact that he can now access each and every book and dvd he owns, he has clean clothes actually put away in his closet, his computer desk is no longer blocking his closet, and he has a cute little desk area now. Honestly, I love organizing and cleaning people’s rooms…it brings me such happiness and feeling of accomplishment. Plus, now you can actually walk around in there without tripping over scattered clothes, which to me is THE BEST. (Oh crap, now you’ve gone to get the men in white jackets so as to take me away so that I might never clean other people’s rooms again.) Hey, No! Wait! I liked it! I really liked it!

In fact, I wish I could make a career out of it. Organization and the logical arrangement of spaces and the objects within is one of my favorite things. But just how can I turn it in to dollar signs? Hmmmm…

Enough of that. Anyway, apart from the new awesomely clean and organized bedroom, the major events of the weekend included but are not limited to: getting ice cream and pizza with Mike, Marrissa, Cara, and her brother on Saturday night, going to Smithfield to meet up and have lunch at Uno’s with Adam’s parents Sunday (I think they very much appreciated the visit, btw), running to Staples and Barnes and Noble, purchasing and watching Robin Hood Men in Tights Sunday night, lots of walking in the beautiful fresh air back and forth to Thayer, and getting acquainted with a Pokemon game at long last and to Adam’s great enthusiasm. Interspersed with much quality lounging time and conversation. ‘Twas much needed and greatly appreciated, more than I think he may have realized.

I haven’t really verbalized this next thought, so I feel it is probably unfair reporting it here first, and to that I apologize. But what I want to say is that sometimes I find it really difficult to maintain a relationship from one nightly phone call to another. No matter how great or small the physical distance between two people, it is ever increased in feeling when the daily phone conversations between two people seem to lack the same intense connectivity as a conversation which occurs in person. There is no substitute for the feeling of actually being with another person. Speaking to them everyday is all well and good but can never replicate real intimacy. Especially difficult for me is when I spend all day looking forward to one phone call, only to end it feeling as if we barely spoke to one another. I understand that not every chat will be earth shatteringly meaningful, and I suppose I don’t want every conversation to be filled to the brim with intense discussion, but I think this past week in particular, I grew more expectant than normal. So anyway, after what I felt was a series of a few underdeveloped nightly conversations, I was ridiculously happy to be reunited in person, to talk or not talk, but to feel his presence in its entirety anyway.

And after two and half days of complete vacation in Happyland, alas! I fall back into my sorrowful state of woebegoneness and lameness, awaiting the next voyage from Reality to LalaLand. And believe me, it can’t come soon enough.

But all is not lost, it never is. On the bright side, I will have time. Time to take care of myself and my business. Time to work. Time to create. Time to think and time to breathe this new springtimey air. Deep, full breaths. Lungs filled to capacity with promise of summer and the long awaited sigh of relief it may yet bring.

Grievances

March 3, 2007

I’m probably way too tired and moody to be writing right now but I just felt compelled to let my mind unburden itself….

I hate feeling like I’m doing everything wrong all the time. I hate feeling like my stupid life is being judged, that I’m making mistakes or not being responsible enough. I hate not feeling good enough. I just wish that me, and only me, was assessing my every move. Why do I feel entitled to a little slack? No, I don’t work all that often, and I haven’t saved massive quantities of money, but I DO work. I work two jobs. I do my best at them both. I hate them sometimes, but I care about them, and I am learning from the experiences… I’m making progress and I’m actually proud of how much my stupid turtle-self has come out of its shell. I guess I’m the only one that realizes how difficult it was to overcome these ridiculous fears. Or is it that I’m the only one who cares? Either way I feel entitled to be proud of myself and feel optimistic about my future.

I mean, come on! I would like nothing more than to have one full time job from 9-5 everyday, but I’m sorry. They don’t offer many creative jobs in Manchester, CT. In fact, I may have (quite surprisingly) found the only two somewhat decent jobs in existence here. And if you think for one minute I’ll be able to find any sort of full-time job that I am both qualified for and pays well (rather than overqualified and pays dirt) I highly suggest a clinical evaluation because you are crazy.

So what do I do? Try and get some sort of full time job (already impossible) that offers me nothing creative and pays me minimum wage (and drives me insane at the same time), or continue working two minimal jobs that will allow me to (foolishly) pursue this illustration career in my spare time. Because god knows if I do work a brainless stressful full-time job there’s no way there will be time for art. And as it is there is no way they could pay me enough to make it worthwhile.
As it is I lose potentially productive days by working 4 lousy hours at the mall making squat. In reality, yes, I could get a third small job, but trying to work that into my already fucked up schedule won’t be easy. And goddammit if you think I’m giving up every weekend. I can’t do it. Not yet. I need to have some time to maintain a relationship.

It really sucks when graduating with honors from the best fucking art school in the country means nothing in the culture-less  void of central Connecticut. I can’t even get a job working for the fricken local newspaper making horribly ugly ads because I don’t know how to use the damn design programs, and can’t seem to get my hands on them so as to practice and learn them.

A RISD degree should and would equal a decent creative job IF I were in the right place. I need to go where it is appreciated, where my skills will be nurtured, where I will be challenged, and where I can learn and grow. Because I do have something to offer the world. I just need the opportunity to prove it.

And right now I’m feeling really good about myself as an artist. I’m determined to make better work and to get myself out there. Because now more than ever before this exposure to the real world has enabled me to see what sets me apart from the general public. It would be the dumbest and most inexcusable thing if I turned my back on myself and my potential, especially so early on in my life. That’s why I feel like succumbing to the pressure of making money and getting another job would set me back. Now that I have my heart and mind set on pursuing illustration work, I just need a little bit of time to get myself on my feet with it. I just need some slack. From you. From everyone. Everyone but me, because I certainly won’t be letting go of myself anytime soon.

An Dream of Dinosauric Proportions

March 1, 2007

Wow. I just had the most intense dream I have had in a very, very long time.

I don’t exactly remember how it all started, but here goes.

I was in school, it felt like an elementary school, but it was actually RISD I guess, because we were in Providence and there were RISD kids around. Everywhere there were frightened whispers and murmerings that dinosaurs were out and about the city and that many people had already been taken down. So all of us knew that when the time came, we’d have to make an escape and run for it. So I’m in this classroom and we know there are all sorts of dinosaurs outside, secretly and quietly sneaking around, ready to invade at any moment. The entire class prepares themselves. I try hiding under a booth/seat thing in the corner of the room, but I feel very vulnerable, and after waiting a while, I decide that should a T-Rex come trampling through the school, I’d rather not be trapped and unable to escape. So I decide that hiding and waiting isn’t the answer. I get a group of RISD friends together (I can’t remember who) and we all bravely set out side to find shelter.

At first, we find ourselves outside in some wooded area, The trees sort of arch over us and create a grassy path for us to walk down. We see other students doing the same as us, forming groups and running through the trees to find some sort of safe haven. But then it happens. Velociraptors flash by us through the trees, we can’t see them, but some people are violently taken down. My group sticks together and runs for it, clear out of the wooded area and into the open city streets. And as much as we like being able to see all around us now, walking undefended is extremely nerve-racking.

So now we are in “the city,” but it really feels like the dumpy residential sections of Providence, lots of duplexes and houses… The entire time we have the fear that raptors are lurking around corners, that T-Rex steps will be heard in the distance, but we know we have to find shelter. And fast. So we make for a chosen house. It’s on a hill and the back door  can be reached only by climbing many steps. We get to the door an knock– relying now only on the hope that someone will answer, and that that someone will be both kind enough and crazy enough to let a group of college kids into their home. We hold our breath as the door slowly opens. A middle aged woman opens the door with skeptical eyes. We tell her our story. “We are college students from RISD and we had to escape the school and we all need to find a place to hide because no where is safe–and that includes you, lady, and this house. But we have no where else to go…can we please hide here?” The woman tells us that her daughter went to Brown and that we could come in. She turned out to be a very maternal figure to us all, and we quickly pour in and size up the place, looking for any hiding places and potential dinosaur entrances. We find that the front door to the house is on the other side, and that door is open and has front steps that lead all the way down to the street below. I note to myself that we will have to keep all the doors in check and make sure that every door and window is shut tightly.

As I go to shut the front door, I see a group of recognizable faces walk by on the street below…one of which is Emily Haines. Her face is red and puffy, as though she had been crying. I tell my group that there are others outside. We wonder if one of her group members has been killed. There is a very sad and terrifying feeling around us. We’d like nothing more than to yell down to the other group and invite them in, but we know it could jeopardize our safety, so we have to let them silently pass by us, safely hidden in the house.

At this point my dream gets a little foggy. I think what happens is this:
Me and some others go down into the “basement” of the house to check it out, but it is actually more like some sort of assembly room, like a fancy room with nice carpet where different sort of events are held. It turns out that the house is connected to this other building, and that building has not been made safe of dinosaurs. I think this is also where I meet up with my family. Somehow my parents are there and I join up with them instead. We can see a raptor walking around in this room, and knowing that the security of the house has been comprimised, we all high-tail it out of there.

The next thing I remember is being at home (my real house), with my family. It is sunset, and I have to let my little dog Zoey outside…. But I fear that if I do, a dinosaur is going to run up and eat here like bait. But I have to do it anyway. So there is my poor defenseless little dog in the middle of my front yard. I just stare at her the whole time from the front door, praying that she does not become an afternoon snack. But she finishes her buisness and comes bounding back over to me, I quickly let her in and shut and lock the door. Phew. That was so intense. The next thing I remember is that the sun sets and it becomes dark outside, so now we have to light-proof the house. We block off all the windows and cover them so that we can move around the house with flash lights without being seen from outside. Just as I go to carefully close the curtains to my back door, I see a shadow fall over the back yard. A giant, T-Rex sized shadow. I gasp. My heart drops to my feet. I am absolutely terrified. And then it gets worse. A beam of light from upstairs shines outside and onto the T-Rex, illuminating his face and most especially is eye. I know instantaneously that it was Brittany foolishly shining her flashlight on the beast. I am so pissed. We might have been safe! But alas. The T-Rex is blinded by the light and releases the most awe-inspiring and earth shattering roar I have ever heard. Brittany comes flying down the stairs. My parents, Amber, Brittany, and myself make the only move we can. We fly down to the basement for shelter. When we get down there, again we light proof the place. Luckily there is only one very small window to cover.
But I can’t reach it or find anyway to cover it. Nor can I get the lights nearby to turn off. I am panic stricken. I look around the basement, which is different than my normal basement. The cement walls are the same, but the ceiling is much, much higher. There are no beams holding the first floor up, rather there is an intricate and complex system of root-like wooden structures that come out from the ceiling and entwine together to form a massive clump, and it is this that now supports the entire house above us. I fear that should the massive T-Rex decide to come stomping, it wouldn’t take much to break the supports and send the whole thing down to crush us to death.

I look around the basement some more. There are two out croppings on either side of the cement wall that house two very heavy duty metal doors that lead to the outside. There is also one door right behind us. Surrounded by doors that could easily let the creatures right in, we are defensless and beyond all hope. It is at this time that the saddest thing that has ever happened in any dream occurs. My family says goodbye to one another. We prepare ourselves to depart the world. We hug each person, tears streaming, but we are all trying to be strong. It is the most tragic feeling. Knowing that we will die together as a family, yet also very alone. For death is ultimately the loneliest and most solitary act we can endure.
And then it happens. The first creature breaks down the door right behind us. It is not a raptor, not a T-Rex, but sort of a combination of the two. It does not make quick movements, it does not lunge. Rather it slowly and very deliberately makes its way right for us. My dad is closest to the beast. And it seems that at any moment he will be its first victim. But right as the creature prepares to move on him, the other doors in the basement come blasting violently off their hinges- making way for a running stampede of huge men in black army uniforms, carrying hulking guns and other weaponry. They have no hesitation in quickly shooting the bastard beast in the face and save the fucking day!

My family is absolutely numb. To have just faced the inevitable only to be saved at the last moment in such a Shaun of The Dead fashion is too much to take. We have never felt so alive. And so thankful for it.

And that’s it. It’s over.

I leave my dream state and enter back into the realm of the living. But I think that those overwhelming feelings of helplessness and hope will resonate in my waking life for days to come.

Courtney A. Martin, Photographer at Last

March 1, 2007

Oh yeah! Who just had a great day taking pictures of really cute kids? Oh it’s me!

Today was a very eventful day for me at the Picture People because I did a baby shoot all on my own, processed the film, and made a sale! (They bought two pose packages and an extra 8×10–a $77.00+ sale w/coupons! ) I was super excited because my manager Liz said my photography was really good, and the people were very pleased with the pictures! Yay! And then I did another sit with a young boy and his baby brother, and that went very well too! They also really liked the pictures and bought a framed 10×13 and one pose package… I didn’t actually make the sale myself because I was on break when they came to see the pictures, which kind of sucks since I could have had even better numbers for the week… oh well. I’m feeling better with the photography thing and I had my 30 day review with Liz, who said I’m exceeding expectations in the photo and lab portions, and doing just fine in all other areas. I just need to work on my sales and customer interaction whatnot. So phew. I’m finally feeling like I can take nice pictures!!! What a fricken relief. I’m actually excited to go back to work Friday afternoon, imagine that!

Well, that’s basically it.

I’ve been collecting songs featured on Grey’s Anatomy, and am currently listening to them. Good stuffs. And tonight is LOST, I must not forget. And tomorrow I have the day off so I’m going to finalize my new class schedule as that starts next Monday (geeeesh, my third focus course already!) In addition to that I’ll be illustrating! Oh, new work. New style. New things of which I can be proud.

Life is so good to me, constantly.