August 1st, 2008

Guns Don't Kill People - Ties Do

Obligatory Post Of The Month?

I wanted to write something on here documenting the last few weeks, but to be honest, I think that a lot of my writing energy is gone, as far as putting my thoughts up and around. I know I'm not talking to anyone in this house enough for them to feel I'm getting everything in my system out. I started this post with the initial plan of putting some links from b3ta up for some people to appreciate, otherwise I wouldn't have started writing here.

So, what is happening?

As far as being a consumer, I've been buying games that involve customisation. One game will let me create a fighter, one that lets me create a golf course. Maybe this is where my energy is going. I'm having ideas about horrific golf holes and ideas that verge on crazy golf, and this ability to create is my release from... well, from whatever pressures show up in life.

But I'm feeling that this is negative - to have so much range to create in places away from games, but yet I'm not. But therein lies a problem. I have game-related ideas in parts of life that don't need games to be involved. When I wanted to design t-shirts, the designs were all games related - wanting to make the face of a Pac-Man ghost on my shirt, or the Pac-Man silhouetted shirt from Penny Arcade. I could make badges like the pins in The World Ends With You, even if the badge maker we have makes badges that're too big. I'm sure I had other ideas for t-shirts, but I'll be honest, the other ideas faded out while these gaming shirt ideas remained.

I fear I may be losing a dimension or two.

I was talking to Stephanie about my career - where I expect to be later on in life. Can I really say that working retail is what I want to do in my life? I enjoy my job, because it's the closest I feel I can get into games right now - the creative jobs are some of the most difficult jobs to find, and I don't think going back to education to try to get into games is worthwhile for me - I'm sure there are people with more interest in the subject and are more technically gifted at putting their ideas across. But what happens when I remain at the job long enough that I get promoted further? At some point the job stops being about something I like and becomes a business, with talk of profits and losses and specific numbers that detract from the fun of it all. What then?

So, what's an alternate plan? Accounting? I can handle numbers, though I've lost the prodigal talents I was told I had - I have an above average mathematical skill, but talented enough for accounting? Maybe. Would I bore myself? Maybe. Would I then rely even more on creative outlets to feel better about a job that might restrict any ability to have creativity involved? So many maybes.

I always wanted a simple lifestyle - to work at a job that made me happy and would offer me enough money to survive on, to keep myself around things that were happy, or kept me happy. As I get older, I have to realise that isn't a lifestyle of someone that intends to be in a serious relationship - so, what's going to change? I think that I'll steer towards the option that I feel keeps me happiest.

I had a co-worker back in Tacoma. He's in his mid-30s and used to be a manager, but he had to leave to battle through cancer. His cancer went into remission, and he argues the biggest weapon he used against it was positive energy. He lived each day to have fun in it. Between his insurance payouts and stocks in some good companies, he can survive alone on what is given to him, but he came back to work at GameStop, just because he enjoys it. He works as an assistant manager and he doesn't need or want to be promoted any further. I'd like to know when I felt enough was enough, and when I may cross the line into being greedy and putting money before personal welfare. I don't think I earn enough to worry that's happening now, but I've got to expect something will crop up in the future to make me think about this more.

Finally, is saying I want to be happy the same as settling into what I enjoy without trying to experience new things? I can say if I like what I like I don't have to push myself further, but I try to, so I don't think it's the same, but it's definitely something I need to be mindful of. Is my co-worker settling? He has the control to go further but he believes this is exactly where he needs to be, and this leaves him most fulfilled. Damned rhetorical questions that need hindsight.

The Blissful Ignorance Of Knowing Too Much

One of my favourite items, in fact, I'd go to say the most important possession I've acquired since I moved to America, is this multi-coloured "painting" created when Jamie and I went to see the Blue Man Group in New York. It was produced by one of the Group; he consumed a ball of some non-toxic paint in his mouth, and spat the paint back out whilst spinning a piece of canvas around. This piece of art was created in ten seconds; it went from a blank canvas to a multitude of colours, sprayed in each direction, and it was all put onto the canvas using his mouth alone. And I know how it was made, and I think if I explain how it was made to someone in enough detail, that it might not sound as impressive. It might be a little bit disgusting, actually. I don't know what you think.

But I love this work of art, because it came from nowhere and it became something that I enjoyed so instantly. I remember New York vividly if I look at the picture, but might not recall so much otherwise. I recall the methods we had to use to get this slightly wet piece of art home in what could be described as a monsoon-like patch of weather in New Jersey.

I want to make something like that. Just produce something, get some gratification for something bizarre and unique. Doesn't have to be made in ten seconds, but I do need some kind of project... it used to be livejournal icons or designing levels on video games, but can I make something outside of the realm of the technological? Am I actually going to learn some craft in the near future? Gosh. That sounds substantial. I wonder if I can handle doing that. I could become the next Grozart.

I also wonder if I'll find something tangible that makes me enjoy Seattle as much as I did these excursions to NYC.

Update: I'm feeling a void because I stopped taking photos! How did I forget?

I stopped because my camera is kind of broken, and because Jamie needed my memory card. Her pictures are better and have more meaning, and so I never asked for the card back, to put into my fritzing camera. But damned if that wouldn't be a fun bit of instant gratification. There are some shots of graffiti I see every time I take the bus to Tacoma that I want to have kept on this computer.