Painting. I love it.

Fired up some classical music, made a cup of Earl Grey from leaves, and got to work.

I made up a controlled palette with various colours, and started roughing in and blending for the underpainting layer of a painting of a rose I started a while back.

The underpainting is still rough, but it's starting to come together and look like a painting. Painterly. I like it.

I'm using Graham colours, made in the Portland, OR area. They're ground in walnut oil, so they're GORGEOUS. I use Gamblin products as well, also in Portland. I think the only solvent I use at all is in their Neo-Megilp product. But the painting here is totally oils in walnut, as Vassari suggested. It glows.

I'm really impressed. Both companies are committed to environmental concerns. With Graham, whose oils I will exclusively use now (they glow, dude!) there's only walnut oil used, no solvents. Likewise, with Gamblin, they have a commitment to renewable stuff, and they make a grey from their leftovers. Their air traps filter out dust from their pigments, which they put into the aforementioned grey, which changes year to year and is rich and multidimensional.

Webcam pics and a painting journal entry here but for the record, it looks WAY better in person.

I painted til my eyes crossed, then I went to wash up, and firing up the computer noticed a kind email back from Graham thanking me for using their products. It's a two-person operation and they appreciated the feedback.

This weekend I continue with the main painting. Excuse me, my tea is getting cold.

Happiness is a fleeting moment.

Upon feeling empty I often look back to the last time I was happy. Was it last weekend when I went to Reno and met a beautiful girl from online? Well, I had a good time, just dinner and the golfing range on a hot dark night. No sex. No kiss. Just a long lingering hug, that and 1057 miles without AC in a 1993 Blue Eclipse, driver’s sun burn, and dehydration.

Was I happy when I saw Iron Man? Or will tomorrow bring me happiness when I see Indiana Jones?

Maybe over coming addiction brings happiness, when two days ago my World of Warcraft account was permanently disabled for botting. In fact the following day the only thing I planned on doing as a direct result was cooking. I started the morning cooking crepes, not just any old breakfast item at 2pm in the afternoon after sleeping in. Crepes that took a couple of hours to make, that I put chicken, celery, and cream of mushroom soup inside of and baked them in the oven. Right as I finished that meal an old friend came over that I used to date. But my heart was not interested in anything more than a hug, yet again. Later that night I bbq’d up some ribeye’s , my favorite cut of steak. But the next morning I was hungry.

Today I went to my internship at the local top news station, and later in the evening my father who also works there (but did not help me in any regard get that internship) shared praises from his own bosses who run of mill ”Don’t give a shit about nothing.” But yet they said good things about me. So I’m well on my way of securing a job in the news career, as I graduate in the fall with a Bachelors in Communication with an emphasis in Electronic Media. I even cooked a mighty tasty self concocted vegetable soup that consisted of everything you’d put into soup plus some wild rice, lentils, and ground beef.

And yet, I feel empty.

I haven’t recovered from a breakup that wasn’t even my latest breakup. Yeah, the girl that I threw away because I was stupid. The one that was probably THE ONE. The girl that touches you without touching you, and you feel her touch deep inside your heart. But she doesn’t love me anymore, who could after what I did to them. I threw her away, and now she won’t answer my phone calls.

I only told of my last week, because the month before that was a blur of escaping into World of Warcraft. Which I started the day she said the final final goodbye to me, so gently but so difficult to accept. She didn’t do it the same way I did it to her, she didn’t walk away coldly in the night, she kissed me goodbye. I don’t know if it was harder for me or harder for her. I guess it doesn’t matter. Let the reader note that running away to a game, virtual game even, is the exact same thing as popping pills, getting drunk, or rebounding. They are all the same thing, emptiness on hold.

Active as I am, ever empty do I feel. I never could keep happiness for long, I threw it away. That’s why happiness is a fleeting moment.

I've been on and off E2 for a while now, and I expect to keep popping in for years to come. It's a cool site filled with cool people. But I think you all have gotten one thing wrong. You need to give your users a 'hook' right from the start.

Hindsight may change my mind, but I think I would enjoy this site more if I could vote. And I think if I enjoyed this site more, I'd spend more time noding. I know that you might not see an increase in Poot nodes as a big incentive, but bear with me. The problem is that the thing that would (probably) do the most to increase my noding output will only appear after I have inured myself to noding without that thing.

Maybe this was intentional. If new noders need a hook to become interested, you don't want them here. Maybe noding should be its own reward. But if you really want to increase the number of new noders who stick around, you should give them the vote. This would make the whole experience more engaging, and would be educational too. Let me explain.

When I look at the New Writeups sidebar, I see all kinds of things. I see poetry of various quality. I see daylogs and dreamlogs. I see 20 page essays of the history and practice of underwater basket weaving. I see things that look like Wikipedia entries, and things that look like Jargon File entries. I can only see one of three things about these writeups. I can see if the writeup was deleted. I can see if the writeup was C!ooled. And I can see nothing. I see nothing a lot. I gather that the only way to see what reputation a writeup gets is by voting on it. I have no idea how well the average daylog is received. I can see how well my daylogs were received, but I don't know if I'm above or below average, except by counting C!ools. So I won't know if people are having a problem with my writing style until after I've posted 20 writeups. I can't see if the encyclopedia entries get more or less than the poetry. All I can do is node random stuff, and see whether or not I can do that sort of thing in a way that most noders like. If I can't, I don't know if that's because that I can't write that sort of writeup well, or if everybody hates that sort of content on E2.

So, it would be motivational and educational to give new noders 5 votes -- or maybe one vote per node, for their first 5 nodes. Or maybe even give them 5 'null votes', that don't count as a for or against the writeup, but just let you see the score. It's demotivating to have one of E2s biggest features hidden from you for 20 long nodes.

I see all the FAQs that say that newbies shouldn't node about E2. I hope they were all just kidding.

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