Saturday, 17 March 2018

Visiting Daddy #03

It's my third visit to daddy in as many months. I almost can't remember how bad this used to be before, in those ancient days before January 2018. It's  many things now, but all of them are pleasant, and none of them is frustration or fear. And that... makes all the difference.

We enjoy each other's  company. We enjoy the similar level of intellect, and our shared absolute fascination with nature, history, archaeology, science - We sit hand in hand, watching the National Geographic channel and stopping every few minutes to discuss it, share awe or reflections; we enjoy music together. He's  not a very good listener, my dad - that is, I know he used to be amazing at it with his patients, but with me, or maybe with the years and the ADHD, he's less so. Still - for the fee days I'm here I can handle the frustration, I think, and besides - I feel how much he's trying with every sentence; with the respectful way he apologizes and stops when I say something about it. I'm no longer treated as a voiceless child; my feelings and thiughts matter here, now. it's... invaluable.

I wouldn't  be able to enjoy this if I didn't have the tablet though, the option to take a break for an hour or so and just be alone a bit - or be not-daughter me, gamer-artist-wife me, Adonis a different person with a different set of priorities. I never thought a tablet would mean liberty, but it does. It is.

He was really depressed when I arrived. I don't  know how to handle it; he raised me to think of him as all powerful and absolute everything; a god. What do you do when your god is sad, or scared, or growing dad up with a body too damaged to use and a mind that might start faltering? If I think about it I'll end up useless. So I don't; I just came here to be with him a bit, and that seems to cheer him up quite a bit. That feels so nice.

I know there's the inevitable coming, at some point. It's  been my biggest fear for the past 12 years. But it's inevitable, and I'll have to survive it, and we speak of it openly, without drama, guilt or impractical feelings,  and I'm proud we can talk about it this way, but I'm alsopetrified of the day I'll look back on those talks and the tragedy will feel as if it's too much to bear.

They say nothing's too painful to bear; that fear is worse than the thing itself, that when then shit hits the fsn we always have the emotional and mental resources to survive it. I disagree with that; what good is surviving a trauma if you end up too damaged? Clinically depressed, perpetually triggered, socially incapable? Is that even called surviving, if the traumatic reaction doesn't fade? And what I'd we find out that no, the pain is too great  to bear and you'd sincerely prefer to make he choice to end all pain rather than keep living? Those are unavoidable questions if you're a sane, intelligent adult. It doesn't  do any good to delve and dig them, though, I think; I thinks I'll just find out by living, and hope that I don't end up on the unbearable depression  side of statistics.  And until then, I think sits best to enjoy whatever time we have together, now that we found each other again, and simply focus on the improbable wonder of that.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Two friends  - about 50% of the people who read this journal, I think - told me I almost only ever write about Blender. It's true, and I feel a little bad about it. But it's silly for obvious reasons. And this blog having turned into Bell's Blender Blunder really represents how my life transformed, and anyone regularly reading here knows how crazy excited and happy I am about doing what I do with Blender. I suppose it fits.

It also doesn't change much; I find a challenge, I spend some time on it, and if I manage to break through I get explosively excited, write a wall of text about it, then do exactly the same next time it happens, and it's all so very technical and I wish, I wish I could get excited about it with someone like minded. But since that girl fucked me up, I haven't been able to bring myself to trust people anymore. I tried - even with Lucky, who is my best friend, the one lesson I gave him was so hard. I didn't enjoy any of it; I just kept feeling tense and a little sick and I was impatient and - no, I just can't. 

But I miss rambling about it, so much. And she's copying so many elements from me - whenever I come up with a new cool feature or visual idea, I see it in her stuff a few days later. Copying really is a form of flattery, but when it's done to you by someone who intentionally deceived you and used your kindness, you just end up feeling used again.

It wasn't like that before what she did; I had this student whom I called at four in the morning because I realized he could make a bit of direly-needed money on the side if he made wow pictures, and for a while he was my Blender buddy and I'd excitedly tell him everything every time I made a discovery. And now... I tried, but I simply can't anymore. It just makes me sad and anxious.

And when I'm exploding with excitement like I am now, I really want to write it all here like I used to; explain and splurge, why I'm so excited - and it's usually because I'm proud, because I managed to come up with a working solution for some challenge. I'm saying 'come up with' because it's no longer a question of googling it - that was the basic stuff - now it's combining and tweaking a few techniques into something that works uniquely for what I do, or even - and those are the best ones - experimenting in Blender and coming up with a method, or a fix, which is entirely my own; not anything I could find on google. Those make me feel the happiest; capable. 

All those workaround solutions; control particle hair with a rig even thought I was specifically told it's impossible; stains, tattoos and spells done in a crazy impractical, convoluted manner - but they are done, I manage it; just like, before I could import the Warcraft rigs, I found a solution to make facial expressions after all - I used to freeze the character in a close-enough expression during a Blizzard-made emote, then bring that into blender and stitch only the face unto the body I had manually rigged. It's unorthodox but it works, and that kind of thinking is what I enjoy most. It's as if managed to kick Blender (or ignorance) in the nuts against all odds, despite its best attempts to dishearten me. That; that feeling - it's a wonderful thing to get up in the morning to.

So on a less QQy note, the last ten days or so have been a blurry bliss of frantic Blendering. I made a few huge breakthroughs which enable me freedom I needed; I can make clothes and new parts from scratch, without relying on anything Blizzard-made; I can tweak body shapes quickly and easily and I finally figured out the old rig problem and the solution to it, rather than the workaround I used for the past year; I got a better grasp on hair (again) and can make it look far more natural now, and found a solution enabling me to pretty much rig it; I re-made my thinner human and it took 15 minutes and looked far better than before, and I'm looking forward to an excuse to making more such thing; Having fixed the female goblin model, I want to extrapolate on that - in short, I'm bursting with ideas and eager to see what challenges Blender brings and if I can solve them; the challenge really is the best part. 

So, to finish with a high note, three happy thoughts of the day:
  1. I'm grateful we might have found the source of husband's current allergy spree!
  2. I'm grateful daddy and I are so close and on good terms now.
  3. I'm grateful it's so bright and sunny outside. 
There, done. Also done rendering; I might post it here and go nuts with excited explanations later. 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Too much inspiration gwhakjhskdfjh

I can whine about so many things - the childhood friend who turned out to have real shit happened to them, the current friend with the same, the mold that grew on all our cloths (and damn that was one expensive laundry round), husband's scary allergy, the argument we had the other day - those are severely lacking in catharsis since I stopped yelling some three years ago, so we sit there and have a reasonable, loving, respectful discussion at the end of which I just want to sleep for two weeks - or about plagiarizing backstabbing liar bitch central, I can't believe it's been almost a year and I still can't teach because of that - but, but, I'm still exploding with so much inspiration it literally makes my heart race (no, really; it feels like a panic attack, only a good one) - and there's never even enough time a day to make all the art I have gushing in my head, and I'm like that 85% of the time. It's awesome; I love having grown to be a proper crazy obsessed artist by the book; I just wish I had a time turner or Ritalin or whatever the drug that makes you crazy focused and crazy fast is, because my brain is on self-produced heroin half the time now and chasing that all the time is kind-of-really-frustrating-never-get-it-all-done-chase-chase-chase and those are really rich people problems. I'm amazingly lucky? Yes? Yes. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

Eilat, February 2018

This is so odds it's almost alien to a write. It's  been twelve years since mom passed away, and twelve visits to this house, my dad's  house, where his will is absolute and mine does not exist, where tempers rise over trifles and you end up with yells (roaring, really, like in the movies; it's normal here) and tears and - We all do that violent yelling, not only dad; and the reason hated coming here since mom passed away is that nobody wants to spend time where they feel their words, needs and requests are ignored, as if irrelevant. If you're tired, hungry, want to be alone, feeling ill - it doesn't  matter. You will do what daddy says, even if you're  really hungry now and dinner is in two hours. You are loved, but you are also a child whose wills are invalid and subject to ruling out.

So loathed having to come here for the memorials, and I stayed as little as I could, until three weeks ago when I came to visit daddy solo for the first time ever, because it broke my heart to think good him feeling lonely. And in that visit he realised something and everything changed, so this memorial visit - with bro but nobody else, three days already - is actually really, really nice. I'm treated nicely, brother is actually watching my back, and - really, it's like magic. And I think it's all because Rachel taught brother and I how to better understand people, to communicate and to phrase ourselves, so I, at least, am no longer aggressive when I explain to dad what bothers me; so he can actually hear it and not bristle and tell in return. Feedback is given, and is accepted. And the other night dad apologizes for how he behaved that day two years ago, with the cintiq and the phone calls. He apologised for a fault of his, which he did less than ten times all my life.

This visit is different, and I don't only tolerate it - I enjoy it, and this is so weird and new and nice,

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Three Happy Thoughts, Feb 04

  1. I figured out a way to get feather-lookalike stuff on birds and then found out some professional artist uses the same for his bird. I feel proud and accomplished, and if my mind works the same way as this guy's then I might reach where I hope to, in terms of Blender, aka be able to make pictures of anything I want.
  2. Lolla was here again today. That's more than 'happy thought', it's a big thing; being able to freely tell her how highly I think of her, which I think pushed her away when we were 17, is magic. Having that love sincerely reciprocated, is magic. Seeing her reaction to The Last Ship and Luc Arbogast is... it's... something I've been hungering for for a long time. Still do, even after tonight. 
  3. Four people around me feel happier, recharged and hopeful! 
  4. ...My husband is so awesome
  5. I'm stopping now, yes

Friday, 2 February 2018

Three Happy Thoughts, Feb 02

  1. Rigging was the bane and failure of everything I tried but I made a huge leap there and there's some things which are really easy, even rigging fingers! That makes me so happy.
  2. While I had the heater tightly close to my legs for a month until I got burns (seriously, red, peeling, the lot) husband came up with the advanced technology of a blanket and suddenly I'm not freezing when I work anymore! I took the heater and prepped it up on a chair next to me, so now I'm working on getting burns on my arms instead.
    1. ...Or I should just get myself a cool slowly-rotating chair and then I will be slowly evenly roasted on all sides, like a shawarma. That thought on its own makes me laugh.
  3. The goblin model is ancient and low-res and annoying and can't do expressions but I needed one for a roleplaying picture so I huffed and puffed and doggedly made it work and now I both have a cool looking goblin model and I'm proud to boot. Oh, the Flow, the Flow, would that I believed in some god so I could thank them for feeling so accomplished.
I got so excited with the goblin I made two pictures, just to play with it. So here's my updated warcraft female goblin model:

And the picture for which I made it:

And now! Back to try and finish that competition winner prize before the next guild event blows my mind full of inspiration and renders (!) me unable to do anything but guild pictures again. 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Three happy thoughts, January 30

So one friend was stressed and I helped her smile and laugh a bit; and another friend was... taking feedback better than I could imagine and it ended up being a really unexpected and rather amazing talk and I meant what I told him, that I can't imagine a greater privilege than helping someone tackle a bad within and nudge it in the direction of fixing, and I'm so, so happy about that. I can't say 'proud' because I don't know if it holds in the long run (I really hope it does) but it really falls under 'happy thoughts of the day', and only breaks from the requirements for such in being anything but mundane and small. 

Aside from that - today I solved the irritating Blender 'display cracks in render regardless of the lighting' issue, which made me all chirpy; then I tackled a horribly scarred back and a huge splash of blood on a wound (we're having a voodoo expedition, the images will likely be gory) and fixed both in a much cleaner, elegant way than before. It also works better, and I think I learnt a lot in the process.

And I ordered flight tickets to memorial weekend, and in past years I came and fled but this year I made sure to have an extra day to spend with daddy and hopefully have a Beatles marathon or something. You know? Thinking about that, I think that miracles do happen. Maybe just a little.