Today I played the idiot, artist, & web designer (Thursday, August 20th, 2020)

“We're idiots, babe
It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves”

So sings Bob Dylan in his song “Idiot Wind”

“I cannot rise above my lazy habit,” as Cesare Pavese wrote in his diary on October 11th, 1935. And just the day before he wrote: “there is a blind spot in my work…a material limitation that I do not want but cannot succeed in eliminating.” In an undated entry just before his first dated entry he writes: “In response, therefore, to my present feeling of impotence, I bow to the necessity for cross-examining my own mind  [1]see pages8, 11 and 13 of the English translation by John Taylor titled This Business of Living. I can relate with this ironically sharp sense of awareness of one’s short comings.

I drank too much last night.

How much did I drink? I don’t recall. I do recall failing to recall to take my Mirtazapine. Hopefully I do not succumb to a mix of alcohol hangover and Mirtazapine withdrawal. (I guess on the plus side, I did not mix the two. It does not come recommended that one mix alcohol with medications designed specifically to treat anxiety and depression. In fact, my psychiatrist specifically, explicitly, and emphatically urged me NOT TO MIX alcohol with my medications. She emphasized how alcohol being a depressant naturally counteracts the anti-depressant effort. Plus, I fail at times to demonstrate a capacity to drink responsibly.)

I do want it on record that I should not have taken any shots of whiskey last night and that drinking whiskey sets me up for idiocy and self-destructiveness. Not wise at a time when I am specifically seeking to get closer to my wife and dog and experience deeper sense of family with them. Instead, I risk sneaking my drinks in and thus growing less transparent, undercutting my sense of RESPONSIBILITY (to value being part of a family I believe requires responsibility). Among the stupid things done last night after having my drinks was a strange episode of late night eating. (I almost never do this). Last night I had a handful of nuts and then a spoonful of peanut butter and I may have had a piece of bread—that I can’t recall.

It seems that I’ve stumbled upon an explosion-phase of anxiety that I need to subdue.  

Furthermore, I’ve been enduring bouts of dissociation recently. Alcohol calms it in the short term but also worsens it in the longer term. Some of my worst dissociative episodes, I note, happened to occur around the same time of drinking binges in my past. Not always but often enough now that I recall  it.

My psychologist recommended I explore why and how these dissociations might arise, so that goes on my to do list.   

… Grad School and jobs-that-currently-pay (as distinguished from jobs/work in general. Some people, when I discuss my writing and blogging with them, they say, “yes, but what about your WORK? Your job?” This here diary blog is my job and work…my number one job and work and I believe it will in the extremely near future pay me generously so that I might indeed make it my “full-time” job—splitting “part time” work between a little teaching and… we have been thinking, dreaming of perhaps exploring the prospect of beginning…creating some sort of dog-related business.)… grad school and non-diary blog jobs start back up next week…looking through related emails (syllabi, required texts, dates, mode of meeting – online or must we congregate 6 feet apart from one another?; et cetera). I mentioned yesterday how they pile up and how this email and that email really do quite get away from us.  

…I feel so guilty working while my dog Yago seems to be looking at me sad eyes.

I called him to the couch and sat him in front of the TV and surrounded him with his toys in hope that it would amuse him. Reading from an article by The Dog Bakery by Rocky Kanaka (undated but has comments from 2018 so perhaps that’s when it was published.  **[2]

To what might I attribute my recent uptick in drinking alcohol and bouts of dissociation? On part of it, I would describe as the awkwardness of being an artist. What do I mean by this? Let us compare how the culture tends on average to think about healthcare with art. Healthcare is a viscerally desired NEED. My wife works in healthcare. As did my mother (nurse) and father (psychotherapist) and step-father (produced and filmed surgeries for a medical school). Healthcare is a life or death “service” or “product.” The problem in healthcare is NOT trying to get business for your hospital. The problem is that many people who WANT AND NEED access to healthcare can’t afford it. In other words, medicine by and large misses a fine opportunity for money were it to promote, invest in, brainstorm for ways to get those who are ready and willing to PAY THEM to be ABLE to pay them.

Who, on the other hand, do I know that talks of a NEED FOR ART?

My father did. He was as avid in his academics/intellectual reading on psychology as he was on art, from photography to even acting. He had to have the Catalogue raisonnés of Picasso, Van Gogh, Frida, Klimt, et. al.

My sister, Debbie Camba is a photographer—a passionate one at that— yes, yes,  proudly tout my sister’s work and suggest you give her website a look. Speaking of my own interest in expanding my web-design capacities… which I hope to take from using flex-box containers as my most basic unit of web design to that CSS I dread dipping my feet into. Then again, I used to feel that way about philosophy…until I actually read a philosophy book – I started with Nietzsche while perusing the Boston University Library when circumstances brought me there.

My maternal grandparents had an appreciation for art. Wide ranged at that, with collections of music, paintings on the wall, Dostoevsky in bookshelf…even a rare and extremely old collection of Shakespeare’s works in tiny index-card sized books…I was so lucky as to inherit.  

… idiot though I felt earlier today I also feel somewhat accomplished…a completed concrete creation I can share—far from perfect but at least thought out…yes…this blog itself…it’s home page, it’s table of contents page, my introductory essay, my contact page…

So I admit… another short-ish entry because my mind is a bit tired and it wants to walk Yago and then maybe read if time allows.

But before I close today’s entry, I do want to thank WordPress and Elementor for giving people like me who can’t do web design the fundamental way, via coding, but may be able to navigate when using coded website customization tools. Does my creation of this page “COUNT” as “web design?” I can I refer to myself as “web designer if I don’t know code and thus don’t create the digital web construction tabula rasa from pure “scratch” way?

Reading: article on difference between web design and web development.   [3]

From the article:

“What Tools Do Web Designers And Web Developers Use?

“Web developers work with programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript to create websites and web applications. They will also most likely utilize other languages to set up email services, user authentication, databases, and other technical aspects of websites. To do this, developers use software like text editors, command line interface, and version control to build the technical information (the code) that will present the data.

“Web designers are not primarily responsible for knowing how the code works— but making sure it’s aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly for website visitors. They will utilize graphics design software—including products like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape (an excellent alternative to Photoshop), and GIMP. Ultimately, they will design the layout of the website through constructing prototypes and wireframes. Designers control the flow of information and can even be responsible for website analytics.”

From Web FX [4] :

“Web design refers to the aesthetic appearance of your website and how the different pieces and parts work together to create a successful online space for your business.

A web designer doesn’t build your website — rather, they use programs like Photoshop and Illustrator to create a prototype of your home page and unique internal pages.”

And from graphic design degree hub, [5] “Some other responsibilities include:

* Using appropriate underlying technologies for website functionality

* Designing navigational elements

* Translating needs of clients and users into concepts

* Turning brand into graphics, colors, layout, and fonts

* Using HTML coding to layout the website

* Presenting content

* Designing to search engine optimization and rankings

* Updating the website as needed”

The only thing on that check list I do not routinely do is use coding.

Perhaps I ought to learn some? So…I think I may have become a web designer. Not necessarily a good one (I just did what I could with what I was able to pick up that could please my eyes) but maybe in time if I stick with polishing this diary blog and adding to my knowledge…maybe I could qualify as decent or sufficient.   

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