Monthly Archives: March 2011

nothing stops your heart quite like the White Screen of Death

oh Mac...why must you hurt me so?

In an attempt to be organized (Stop it. Stop laughing. Right now.) I’ve made these huge elaborate lists of goals and timelines and things I want to get done in the next year, art-wise. I figure since I’m not currently enrolled in school, and won’t be again until the fall, it’s time to quit slacking. So I have plans to rebuild my website, price out some paintings, do more blogging, blah blah blah etc etc. The problem is, that although I’m an awesome list MAKER, I’m not so much of a list completer. I’m not a person that thrives on schedules (ask my kids). I’m more the type who feels compelled to write things down simply so I don’t forget about them, and so that maybe in two weeks when I go to do laundry and find said “to-do” list in my jeans pocket, that I might actually feel guilty enough to spring into action and accomplish one or two things on the list.  I realize that I’m making myself seem like a lazy blob. This is not entirely true, but considering between kids and work the only “me time”  I get lately is the drive to and from work, I have a semi valid excuse. It’s difficult to get any artwork or marketing done in the car (see my last post). Ideas…yes.  Execution….not so much.

But, as always, I digress. I went home the other night, went to “wake up” my Mac and…..nothing. Uh oh. My first thought is that maybe the power had gone out (I never bother so set the clock on my microwave, so there was no telltale blinking “12:00” to clue me in on whether or not this actually happened) so I turned the power strip off, then on again, then tried to restart. After an uncomfortably long time, my Mac settled on a white screen with a blinking folder with a question mark.

The White Screen of Death. Ohhhhhhhhhhh………SHIT.

Not good.
NOT good!!!
In fact, very VERY BAD.

So I did what any normal person does when their computer crashes.

I burst into tears.

Now, I’m not entirely stupid and I DO back up my stuff from time to time. All of my music, art projects, and photos are backed up to an external hard drive. The problem is, that I probably don’t do it as often as I should. The other problem is that I tend to save works in progress to my desktop, then file them into the appropriate folders later. I racked my brain trying to remember the last time I backed everything up. It might not have been since December.

  started to panic. What if, for some reason, the backup is bad? What if the stuff isn’t on there like it should be? What if I lost EVERYTHING?

That’s too scary to even thing about. I will literally flip out. Screaming and throwing things will probably happen. It would not be pretty.

So, I took my poor crippled Mac to the Apple store last Saturday afternoon. Of course, the mall was RIDICULOUSLY crowed that day, and I had to park my car in one of the LAST spaces in the parking lot. And carry it. And all I could think is “thank God this computer was built in 2007 and not 2000” because then it would be some crazy-heavy-bulky separate tower/monitor combo. Which would have been a LOT heavier. Even so, when the dude at the Apple store asked if he could carry it to the back of the store for me (after I had lugged it through the parking lot and across the entire mall) I was quick to hand it off.

There IS a bit of a silver lining to this story. Even though my Apple Care expired over a year ago, since I’d never used it they said that they would replace my hard drive for free. Plus, when they reinstall the OS, I’m getting a new one since Tiger is so old they don’t even reinstall it anymore (by the way, although I love all things Apple, I hate their stupid system of naming the OS after an animal. What are they going to do when they run out of sleek, cool sounding jungle cats? Apple OS 12. 3…..Wombat!) So, I’m getting an upgrade on that too, which would have cost me over a hundred dollars. Finally, they’re going to try to recover my data, but I only have to pay IF they’re able to do it. So that’s a win too. At least there’s a positive side to this story. This could have cost me several hundred dollars to fix, and it didn’t, so for that I’m grateful.

Back to the original point of my post….my computer is out of commission, and my elaborate to-do lists and timelines are most definitely NOT getting done. Plus I’m moving in the next few weeks, and most of my art supplies are packed away.

*Sigh*. Que sera, sera….I guess.

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frazzled, overstimulated, and in creative hyperdrive

Why is it that when life gets chaotic and even the idea of spare time is a joke, that’s when all the creative ideas come pouring out? It’s never on a lazy Saturday afternoon when the kids are napping, or one of those rare (exceedingly rare, actually) days when someone else is watching them and I have the day to myself. Nope…it’s when I’m stuck at my desk at work, wading through a sea of emails and desperately plowing through my “to-do” list…that’s when inspiration strikes. Or when I’m sitting at a stoplight in the car with the music on full blast, and I hear some song lyric that strikes a chord and turns on the lightbulb above my head. It’s when I have my little sketchbook in my purse but can’t a single pen. Or pencil. Or highlighter. Or crayon. Ideas just LOVE to pop us when I have no time to actually execute them.

Life has been slightly insane over the last few months. Between looking for a new house, packing everything to move, sick kids, sick babysitters, crazy work…I’ve barely had time to breathe. Yet, oddly enough, I’ve been bombarded by idea after idea for art projects. Maybe my brain is so frazzled and overstimulated that it’s just gone into overdrive and started firing off ideas like crazy. I’ve filled the little sketchbook in my purse with 30 second scribbles I HAD to get out between emails at work. I have a list of words and phrases scratched out in a notebook that I’m just SURE have the potential to turn into something. There’s that fear that if I don’t get the seeds of these ideas OUT and physically recorded somehow, that I might forget about them and I’ll lose them forever.

I’ve redesigned my website in my head but haven’t had time to pick up my Dreamweaver book to refresh my memory and really dig into the project. I painted over a half-baked canvas on my easel that just wasn’t working out and sketched out the framework of my newest idea over it. I started a new marker piece, thinking it would be easier for me to work at that for minutes at a time (because sometimes that’s all I get) than working on a painting with all the messy supplies involved.

What gives? In a way this rush of creativity is awesome, and in a way it seems horribly unfair. I just want to get these ideas OUT, bring them to fruition, and get at lease ONE completed piece out of this whirlwind of creativity. But so far, I haven’t. And I almost feel like I need to build myself an arsenal of ideas to come back to later, for when I do actually have time (ha!) but I’m feeling somewhat uninspired. Because I guarantee, as soon as I have the time again, this gush of ideas is going to slow down to a trickle.

All I want is a day to lock myself in a room and paint for ten or twelve hours, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. So I guess the best I can hope for is for those ideas to just keep coming….

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toys and art and fun and whatnot (or why Spirograph is one of the coolest toys ever)

Spirograph - the old school 1980's version

I had a blast from the past yesterday that left me wondering…how much of our artistic future is seeded in our childhood toys?

My mom got my daughter a Spirograph for Christmas. Remember those? You probably do. I even vaguely remember my mom saying that she had one as a kid. I remember the one I had as a kid had this little clip with spikes on it that you used to keep the ring from sliding all over the paper. No matter how cool your design was, you always ended up with these two holes punched into the paper…an ugly scar on your beautiful creation. You got an assortment of various sized rings, circles, and other various oddly shaped gears that could be rather difficult to trace around the ring. Sometimes the gear got stuck, or your pen slipped, and you ended up with an ugly imperfection in your design where the lines no longer lined up in perfect symmetry. You also got a couple of colored pens that dried up almost immediately, and it was always an ordeal to find another colored pen that fit into the tiny hole on the gear. Crayola markers were usually too big to fit, and who wanted to make an awesome drawing using only black or blue bic pens? Not this girl!

...and the slick new 2011 version

Despite all it’s flaws, that toy was nothing less than awesome. I would spend HOURS experimenting with the infinite combinations of shapes and patterns that could be created. I filled out page upon page with beautiful kaleidoscope like circles, each completely different from the next, just by altering my technique in some slight way.

Fast forward to the present. I’m working at a painting at the kitchen table, and my daughter digs her Spirograph out of her arts and crafts cart. I’m immersed in my own work and don’t really pay much attention to what she’s doing, until I look up and see that she’s just tracing her pencil inside the stencils that came with the kit (they didn’t have that when I was a kid) and around the various sized circles. I don’t really think she understands how it’s supposed to be used. So I show her.

She was AMAZED. Intrigued. SO PROUD that she can create something so intricate and complicated all on her own. She played with that toy for the next hour and a half.

Until she got one, I had completely forgotten that Spirographs ever existed. Now that we have one in the house, I can’t help but think it might have had just a little influence in the artistic direction I embarked on. You be the judge.

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Filed under Inspirations, musings