After spending the morning scrubbing my toilet for Brian and his buddies next week, I headed out to the lumber store for more home improvements (on Guri's home) The fence no longer holds her in, and I don't know where she escapes from yet. I hope she would learn that if she escapes in the morning she can't get back in to get to her food until I get home in the evening, unfortunately she prefers the wallpaper more than her seeds anyway.
I bought a couple pieces of wood and hinges to make a nice door for it. I don't know how much a piece of wood costs in the US since I wasn't into the whole lumber scene, but $4 for a thin piece twice as long as my arm sounds expensive to me. (The lumberman seemed frustrated too when I described it like that, but what can I do... I have no tape measure).
Around afternoon o'clock I went to Kichijyoji for a friend's art exhibition. I should have counted, but I think there where about 40 different painters' paintings on display. Although I am far from an expert in art, I was still able to enjoy them, but I don't like the feeling of "not knowing" and in this case I didn't know what to look for in a painting. What makes one painter good and another average? Luckily the was an art sensei there so I asked him, unfortunately, despite the fact that it was a very interesting conversation, I still don't know what to look at when I look at a painting. Of course I know that all that really matters, and that what gives it value is if the viewer likes it, but still, there must be something more... why do more viewers like a certain painter's work than another's? I know I have heard art snobs say things like "blah blah blah powerful brush strokes blah blah blah..." What is that? Maybe someday I will find out, but not today. Anyway, Dr. JJ and Kazuyo showed up, and we wound up hanging out there until closing time drinking sake and beer and talking with the artists for a couple hours.
The cost of the painting materials is amazing. The frames and canvases are worth more than some of the paintings. It's no wonder I am not a painter now. I was talking today aobut how different my life would have been if I had had access to paints and such, and more importantly an art "mentor" as a kid. I spent so many countless hours drawing with paper and pencil, but never branched out into different media, never used chalk, pastels, or paint. I don't think that mom and dad would have refused to let me try it, I just didn't know about it. The only thing I knew was paper and pencil. I thought that the only people who could have an artistic job was an "artist", and I thought artists where crazy and only a few ever became famous, and only famous artists can sell a painting. I had no idea there was such a thing as graphic designer or illustrator.
Tomoe's dad is an illustrator, as a result, she grew up around so many different artistic tools and supplies, not to mention a professional artist to give tips and show her techniques. Of all the different influences I did not have when I was a kid, (because each kid only has a few) I think the one type of influence that would have really made a huge difference in my life would have related to art. I can't even imagine what I would be doing now... Please take note that I am in no way complaining. My life is pretty dang great as it turned out so far.
I do however feel I have a responsibility to a high-school friend who saved every sketch and doodle I did during class. I hope for his sake that there is still a chance that I'll be famous someday and all those doodles will be valuable. Even if I never become famous for art, as a last resort I'll do something terribly evil and perhaps they will be valuable for that.
As I scrubbed the toilet today, I was listening to Fresh Air. Dr. Mel Levine, author of a book I ordered immediately after hearing the interviewListen to the interview with Dr. Mel Levine,, A Mind at A TimeRead about his book, talks about how people learn.
There are really some interesting comments in this interview. As I listened, I though "That's me!" in more than one point. I sure don't feel that I have a learning disorder, but one thing in particular that made me think was something he called "mental energy control" This is basically the ability of knowing where to focus your mental energy, what to spend it on. I didn't think anything of it until he started explaining what to look for in a child (or adult) who has trouble with it. Basically, people who can't concentrate during the day, and can't sleep at night. I think it must be what most people describe as "my mind is running a million miles a minute". I don't always have this problem, and I haven't figured out just what causes it to come and go, but sometimes for a month at a time I will be much less productive during the day, because I just can't seem to concentrate on things as well as I can other times. Now that I have listened to this interview, I realize that these are the exact same times when I can't get to sleep at night... according to what he spoke about, it seems I am having troubles making myself stop exerting mental energy so I can sleep, just as in the day I am having trouble exerting my metal energy on a specific task at hand... instead I exert it all over the place.
Listen to it... it is only a few minutes, but even the smallest level of understanding about how we learn can save you hours, days, or years worth of time (depending on how much time you have left on earth)