This took me a while to decide. Last year my one word resolution was focus; the year before that it was action.
For 2013 my word is diligence.
I’m choosing this resolution because what my life is really going to need this year is prompt and industrious effort. In everything. All the time. 3 months ago
So it’s been 8 months since I finished my car off so I thought it was time to do a post on what it’s like to actually own and use an art car.
In short, it’s odd.
It was repeatedly mentioned in Harrod Blank’s Art Cars how AC owners were startled by just how visible they had become. I didn’t really appreciate this until I was in this position.
Everyone recognizes the car. You can’t sneak around anywhere that you regularly frequent because one glance out at the parking lot will let everyone know you’re there.
It’s an amazing ice breaker; I’ve ended up chatting about it with fellow students who I’ve never talked to before. Likewise, the car is a conversation starter with complete strangers. This doesn’t bother me too much in parking lots (though it is a bit repetitive) but having people decide to talk at me through my open window when I’m at a stoplight really creeps me out. Lesson: don’t make eye contact and use the air conditioner.
Seeing reactions while I’m driving is also somewhat amusing. It ranges from some hilarious looking double takes to contemplative stares. Kids especially love it.
However, it does bother me when people switch from looking at the car to looking at the driver. I suppose it’s a “who would do something like that” reflex. It’s weird to say, but I didn’t actually paint the car to increase my visibility. Yes, I’d do it over again, and probably will with any future cars, but I wish there wasn’t this side effect.
Final odd thing… when I’m in the car I can’t actually tell it’s been painted. It’s the same boring grey interior that it has always been. 3 months ago
I managed a 4.0 in both the spring and fall semesters of 2012! The latter of which truly surprised me as I was sure Botany was going to pull me down, but somehow I pulled it off at the last minute.
Here’s to hoping for a repeat in 2013! :D 3 months ago
41. Went to a colonial festival
At Mount Vernon. The similarities and differences to a renfest were interesting.
42. Drew on vellum
I had to do this for a class. I don’t like using expensive drawing surfaces, because there is too much pressure to get things just right.
43. Turned into a hermit
There was a ten day window last summer where I was not in classes and my housemates were on vacation. Barring walking the dog, I left the house three times and said maybe five sentences or so. And I ate an entire cheesecake by myself along with two gallons of ice cream.
44. Deliberately went out into a tornado storm
Awesome, but not recommended.
45. Went to a haunted forest
This was a lot of fun last October. Of course I didn’t read the warnings until I got there and had paid for my ticket so I didn’t realize that there would be strobe-lighting ahead of time (i’m a photosensitive epileptic).
End result, I can truthfully say that I’ve run through strange woods at night with my eyes shut being chased by a mask wearing man with a chainsaw. 3 months ago
Wow I haven’t posted in this goal for a long time. Off the top of my head I got out for the…
- Smithsonian Garden Show
- Virginia Renaissance Faire
- Koi show at the botanical gardens
- Mount Vernon’s Colonial market & Faire
- Maryland Renaissance Festival
- Halloween Haunted Forest in MD
- DC Capital Fringe Festivals show Rockwell’s Universal seXbots
- Winter Walk of Lights
- CCAN’s Polar Bear Plunge in the National Harbor
I’m sure that I did more that I’m just forgetting.
I seem to be averaging around going out to one big event a month, which is hardly spectacular but is realms better than I was managing before. I’d like to work in some regular, small-time outings, but overall I’m happy with where this goal has led me and am going to mark it as complete. 3 months ago
Here’s the bookend to my before shot. 11 months ago
36. Wrote a resume
I think I need to work on it more because it doesn’t seem to be doing me much good. :P
37. Took part in a public pillow fight
International Pillow Fight in DC! Man, I got a headache.
38. Tried swapping books
I tried out PaperBackSwap and the whole thing is working out rather well for me.
39. Drove with a passenger in the car
I haven’t done this since I took my drivers test… twelve years ago. So the fact that I gave Sarah a two minute lift is actually rather remarkable.
40. Got a stick on tattoo
At the Smithsonian Garden Fest they were handing out free bug tattoos so I got a blue butterfly on my arm. Despite the fact that stick-on tattoos became all the rage when I was in the target age range I’ve never had one before. Odd that. Also, somewhat itchy. 12 months ago
A lot of these months were lost to school, job applications, yardwork and car painting (and they’re a bit slow event-wise anyway). So during these three months I…
- went paddle boating on the tidal basin during hanami season
- attended a lecture on vermiculture
- went to International Pillow Fight Day in DC
I’m going to try better over the next few months. 12 months ago
Well, I got my book in the mail last week. The whole exchange went fairly smoothy; the book is in nice shape and is trying to lure me into reading it (must… study… textbooks…).
Altogether this was a good experience and I think I’m going to keep swapping books in the future. 12 months ago
Since I started this goal I’ve learned a lot about plant propagation and exactly how hard this goal would be to complete. I’d still love to do it (i’m thinking peach/plum/apricot/almonds) but I’m a long way away from being ready.
So I’m going to shelve this goal for a while. Hopefully I’ll come back in four or five years and dust it off. 12 months ago
Here’s a complete record of everything I used while transforming my car. Some of it I had on hand and the rest was bought for a total cost of $219.76
Things I already had:
- drop cloth (largely useless)
- paper towels
- stepstool/chair (get one that doesn’t wobble!)
- electric sander
- extension cord
- eye protection
- sandpaper, 150 grain (should prolly have been coarser)
- sanding mask
- masking tape
- set of hog bristle brushes in various shapes and sizes
- 136 oz. 1-shot paint in 8 colors (i probably used ~100 oz.)
- 1-shot low temperature paint thinner
- 1-shot brush cleaner
- mixing cups
- plastic spoons 12 months ago
On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless—until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.
I rather liked this one though it had it’s patchy bits. Like the fact that one of the original plotlines completely putters out around two thirds of the way through. I actually think that it would have been better to trim the entire Michael Goodwin arc out and downsize the book to a novella. It would have been a much tighter read.
The remaining story was oddly charming though. Kudos to Kushner for having all three of her main characters be bi/homosexual men, especially since this book was written in 1989. Bravo.
As a side note I just realized that my last entry was in December. Which means I didn’t read a single SF/F book during the spring semester. Hopefully I’ll do better this summer now that I’ve got the whole “back in college” thing down a bit. 12 months ago
The semester is over and I’ve had mixed results on this goal. I did really well in doing assigned readings and work as soon as I got back from class right up to spring break. I started slacking off during the second half of the semester though.
My big problem is that I am capable of pushing certain things off to the last minute and still doing well on them. I know this is a problem some people would love to have, but it is a terrible habit to have.
Hopefully I’ll do better over the summer term. 12 months ago
Yup, I took time off during finals week to finish painting my car.
There were just a couple of fiddly bits left which took a surprising amount of time to do. Why it was surprising I don’t know; there hasn’t been a single step along the way that’s finished as fast as I thought it would.
To finish off I put in the rest of the hanafubuki on the roof and boot, put boy bits in on the flowers (for the record, painting a car with toothpicks is really slow) and touched up all the areas of paint that had been damaged by the removal of the making tape.
One other thing I fixed that had been bothering me was the intersection of the doors. When looking at where the front and rear doors meet a strip of the interior frame covered with the original “lunar mist” paint was visible. It drove me nuts (to be fair, that wasn’t very far) so I painted a strip of blue up along the inside. Now it looks funny when I open the doors, but I can live with it!
It’s a bit odd having finished painting the car. This is by far the largest and most time-consuming art project I’ve ever worked on (if you count the canvas, the most expensive too). It’s been sucking up all of my fair-weather weekends for over two months and I’m not quite sure what to do next.
On second thought, I know exactly what to do. Paint the interior!
Problems and tips:
- I saved all of the mixed paint that I’ve used to this point so that when I got to the end I could go back and do touch-ups without worrying about matching colors. This worked but the paint ate through the containers I was keeping it in (which I didn’t realize until I tried to pick the first one up… yellow went everywhere) and it thickened up quite a bit. Not sure how I could have done this differently
- When I first started painting the basecoat back in March I was using pure colors and dipped my paintbrush straight into the can. To make painting easier to use I added low-temperature paint thinner (part of the time it was snowing on me). The downside to that is that two months later it’s a lot warmer and the paints I did this too are really funny consistency now. So don’t add thinners to the paint sources.
- Seriously. Don’t use a toothpick.
Total time: 58 hours 12 months ago
It’s been a couple of months since I’ve started this and there have been mixed results.
I’ve reached a point where I’m good at waking up when I need to. The vibrating alarm on my mobile phone works wonders when I have to use it, which isn’t that often because I tend to wake up naturally in the morning now. The downside to this is that I’ve completely lost my ability to sleep in, even when I have have the time, desire and sometimes even need for extra sleep. Bummer.
My biggest problem though, is actually going to bed. I’m really terrible about purring things aside and settling down, even if what I’m doing is utterly banal. This tends to lead to headaches the next day from lack of sleep, not to mention general lack of function.
So that’s what I’ll be working on for the next few months. 12 months ago
I’ve invested quite a lot of time in painting my car so obviously I’m rather enamored with art cars. However, I have never actually seen an(other) art car in my life. My exposure to them has been entirely virtual, books/television/internet/etc.
So kudos to the art van I saw on Georgetown Pike today! You are made of awesome and I wish I’d gotten a better look. 13 months ago
It started pouring this afternoon, so I didn’t quite manage to finish off what I wanted. I did manage to add a third color to the flowers which really makes them pop nicely. I also started working on the hanafubuki, but didn’t get a chance to finish on the boot. If that cloudburst had waited just twenty more minutes I could’ve finished.
Ah, well, next week.
Total time: 53 hours 13 months ago
School. Finished my stupid fitness class with an A (and have never referred to it without that epithet). I’m having trouble with one of my classes but the other four are going quite well. I’ve registered for summer classes and have a tentative plan for autumn.
Finances. I’m striking out a bit here. I’m currently waiting for a response to an unpaid internship that I’ve applied to that will do great things to my future resume but doesn’t do much for my financial situation right now. I’m thinking…
Health. Despite the fact that I’m regularly eating brunch and have added a couple of snacks to my daily food intake I haven’t seen any weight gain. Quality-wise I’m also not eating as well as I used to. Late afternoon and evening classes seem to impede my ability to cook.
Spirituality. I’m a bit trepidatious but have decided to face this one head one. We’ll see how it goes.
One thing that I didn’t put on my original list of ways that I’d like my life to change (but really should have) would be picking up artwork again. After a half-decade dry spell I’ve started up again and am currently working on two large and long term projects. :) 13 months ago
Zip, zilch, nada. Things keep falling through. :(
There is one more internship that I’ve sent an application into today. It actually sounds terribly fascinating. Two problems though… it’s unpaid and in a questionable neighborhood.
I’m a bit iffy on the location. The quality (or lack thereof) of the area depends entirely on who you talk too. Additionally, I’d have to commute into the city. Bah.
The unpaid thing is also a bit of a downer… but I wouldn’t really expect otherwise from a charity internship. It wouldn’t be a full time things so I might be able to find a little something on the side. This is starting to look complicated
Still… something just clicked when I read the internship description. It’s also a great way to get my foot in doors that I’d love to have open in the future. I really rather want this. 13 months ago
Two weeks ago I said “Each time I added a line it exponentially increased the amount of time I’m going to spend on stage three.” Major understatement.
I started on the flowers today. Like a lot of the rest of the car they’re going to be tri-colored to give them some depth. I ran out of light when finishing up the second color so I’m going to have to come back to them tomorrow. Rain is forecast, so I’ll only have half a day which means I probably won’t be able to finish off the car this weekend like I planned. C’est la vie.
Problems & tips:
- The weather has warmed up enough that trying to paint the upper portion of the car while sitting on the rooftop has become rather like being on a baking sheet over hot coals. Yeowch. Bring back the snow!
- Leaf blowers are evil, try to avoid painting when they’re around. Right after I washed the car and started painting the people next door started up. Half an hour later and the car was coated in grit. Gah.
- Masking tape: it so so much easier to peel this stuff off when it is wet. Why the heck didn’t I think of this a couple weeks ago?
Total time: 49 hours 13 months ago
It’s been a little over three months since I started driving regularly and I think that I’m done with this goal. Looking back at my original list of skills I wanted to improve on I still haven’t covered them all (namely parallel parking and highway driving), but obviously it’s not an overwhelming priority if I’ve gotten by without them for so long.
Maybe someday… 13 months ago