Wow its been awhile. Updates Galore

Hey Guys,

So its been absolutely forever since I posted to this blog. About 2 years I would say. Its been one busy time away from blogging.

Main reason I have been so busy is I have been a full time web development and design student at NAIT here in Edmonton, Ab, Canada. The other reason being that I am developing another blog site currently (www.michaelajudd.com) and will be eventually merging these together.

What brings me back today other than to promote my new site, but also to ask dear readers a favour of you. I am working on an SEO project where I had to make a small site that I can create some traffic too. I chose a topic that interested me because well if you have read my blogs in the past I’m a huge cat guy. So my site is a Maine Coon Health and Wellness page. Its not to sell anything or to even encourage medical advice. Its more a general fact page about how to keep your Maine Coon Cat healthy and happy.

I would super appreciate if it you guys could check it out, share my page and generate some traffic my way. I know its annoying to link to lame pages, but I swear its for a good cause (Plus you’ll score awesome Karma points).

So please visit http://sweb1.dmit.nait.ca/~mjudd3/maine-coon-health/ and let me know what you think. I encourage constructive criticism so let me know if you see any way I can make improvements.

As mentioned at the beginning of my post. I am currently working on launching my own professional blog site. So definitely feel free to visit http://www.michaelajudd.com over the next few months if you wish to see my work in progress.

Thanks for reading and stay classy folks.

Mike

 

Being an adult is probably the dumbest thing anyone could do ~ Calvin

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“Difficult to see. Always in motion the future” – Yoda

Yoda’s words really ring true for me, especially on international Star Wars Day.

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I had time to sit down and write here, over a year actually which is crazy. It really doesn’t seem like its been that long, but with how whirlwind my life has become it makes perfect sense.

I guess I should begin with explaining what’s happened while I’ve been M.I.A. So much has changed in my life. After much hard work and some luck I am now completing my first year as student in web design. I can now proudly say that I am officially a college student which in my family is a rare feat.

While it’s been a hard year, I had some success and some failure. For example in my first semester I made it onto the Dean’s Honour roll (which was one of the proudest moments of my educational experience), this second semester was much more difficult than I had planned and while I likely won’t make the honour roll this term, I still managed to kick some ass and show that I can succeed even when overcome by work and stress. I’ve learned so much this past year, and not only about how to build a high quality website but about myself as a person and what my strengths & limitations are as a student are.

The other big news in my life, which is one of the biggest moments I’ve ever experienced is that I proposed to my longterm sweetheart Jodi back in January during our trip to Iceland. It was a magical moment in the fog of the Blue Lagoon hot springs that ended up being more perfect than I ever could have planned. Haha I was such a nervous wreck for months before I asked her and to have it all come together as perfectly as it did was something I’ll never forget. The staff was amazing and helped me in every way they could in making the moment a surprise and I couldn’t be more grateful.

So while I’ve been away for some time and I’m sure not many people still follow or read this, I hope those of you who do understand that sometimes life gets in the way and that finding time for writing isn’t as easy as it may seem. The work involved in ensuring a successful school experience has eaten up pretty much any free time I have had for the past 12 months. That being said, Now that I am done for the summer and am currently on the look out for a summer job. There will be a more active presence on here and possibly some changes (Considering upgrading so I can personalize the site and utilize those web design skills) so feel free to follow me along as I re-integrate myself into the wordpress community.

May the 4th be with you,

Mike

My artistic “eye”.

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing recently. Having been enrolled in an art class certainly has helped encourage my desire to put pencil to paper. I know I should be writing on here more but I’ll admit I’ve been putting my creative energy into my artwork. That being said I thought it would be nice to put my most recent piece of work up for anyone who still reads this (or stops by) to view, critique and/or offer helpful suggestions.

Anyway below is a first attempt at drawing a realistic human eye. It’s been years since I put any shading skills to use so I’m pleased how well this turned out. Came out pretty sweet I think.

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Anyway thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog/work. I hope to find a balance between drawing/writing and start posting more frequently.

Mike

(Photo/Artwork above is credited to me and is not permitted for reuse)

A vicious cycle of self doubt.

I sometimes wonder if I’ve learned from past mistakes or if I’m doomed to repeat them. Previous experiences have taught me that risk often outweighs the reward and has left me risk averse. I feel like I live in this constant fear that no matter how hard I try I’m inevitably going to fail and success will continue to elude me. I know in reality that failure isn’t predetermined and can be preventable. But for some reason no matter how much I succeed I can’t seem to shake this fear.

I know it’s holding me back from achieving greatness. Even when faced with the opportunity to succeed, my inner self immediately questions if I’m making the right choice, and fills my mind with “what if” scenarios.

Let me give you an example. I recently attended an info session for the Design program I’m interested at NAIT. I learned that my skills and existing credentials as they are currently are competitive enough to be accepted into the program full-time. I also learned that the costs associated with this program are completely within my reach of affording. Great news for any prospective student to hear right??
This new information, has shown me that I’ve made the right choice about where to go to school and build my career. But immediately my first concerns are “I’ve found the perfect program so it must be too good to be true”, “am I sure this is where I want to go in my career?”, “what if I burn out and fail?”. It’s like the inner pessimist in me can’t shut up when positive situations arise.

I know that these are all valid concerns that most new students feel, but my problem is I can’t seem to get over them enough to take the next step and begin preparations for enrolment. I just want to avoid discussing it, or even thinking about it because it’s stressing me out. It’s depressing really as I stand here at the threshold of opportunity and can’t muster up the courage to step over it. Like what’s wrong with me?

I don’t know maybe I’m biased because past experiences in my life have proven to me risk often outweighs the reward, either that or I’m just afraid to succeed. It just frustrates the hell out of me because I want nothing more than to succeed in life and to do so I’ve got to be able to take risks and embrace opportunity when it presents itself.

Its a vicious cycle, I swear. And I can only blame myself.

Reigniting my creative spark

So drawing has always been an interest of mine. I was often doodling and cartooning when I was a kid and started really finding my interest in it through my teens to my early twenties. But somewhere along the way my drawing began to slow down, finding myself not able to put my imagination to paper. I hit my peak it feels like and my well of creativity seems to have dried up.

When I decided to go back to school and embark on a career in Design and Illustration, I started getting nervous about my lack of creative inspiration for these past few years. Maybe I’d lost my focus, maybe I just hit the apex of my creativity. It’s frightening to think that something I’ve treasured about myself since childhood has disappeared. This roadblock has me deeply concerned that I’m choosing the right career.

So I’ve been debating enrolling in a drawing course of sorts for months now. Thinking it would be a good idea to maybe go back to the basics and attempt to reignite the creative process. Though I’ve been hesitant to spend the money on it because my actual schooling required the investment more. Now that I’m finished upgrading and working a well paying job I’m in a position to consider it.

This Christmas my awesome girlfriend gave me an amazingly thoughtful gift and bought me an 8 week/class course in drawing fundamentals. Including all my necessary supplies. I haven’t been this excited about a gift in a long time. I attended my first class last week and had a blast. It was crazy just how much of the basics of drawing I’ve lost over the years and how my skills have been shaped by the fundamentals I retained growing up.

Even in my first class I’d relearned a few important skills regarding perspective and observation. I know it’s only been one class but I’m encouraged at the possibility this will be a serious boost in regaining my creative spirit. While doing my assignment for this weeks class, I noticed I’m finding drawing fun again and not as much of a frustration/disappointing experience. It’s really good to feel this way.

At most I’m hoping this course will help me branch out from the cartooning I usually do and improve my portrait art. At the very least I hope that I find the fun in art again and stoke my creative fire till it burns brightly.

A Geeky T-Shirt Trifecta!!! Santa came through!

Man oh man its been a lil while since I posted to my blog last. This past week has been crazy. I completed my first aid/CPR training and am now qualified to assist people until help arrives. I also attended my company christmas party this weekend which was pretty awesome. The food was amazing which I was fully expecting it to be seeing as I work for an Italian Grocery store. The girlfriend and I had a lot of fun and certainly enjoyed the delicious buffet. I also found out one of my all time favorite punk bands Good Riddance is making its return to Edmonton this year. I’ve been waiting ten years to see them and thought it would never happen when they split up a few years ago. So glad they regrouped and have decided to come back here its been too long.

But the best part of my week was that my Reddit Secret Santa gift finally arrived. I mentioned before that my previous Santa basically was more of a Grinch than a jolly fat man, so I signed up to be rematched. Man did my rematch Santa ever spoil me and sent me 3 geeky t-shirts. Not only did they take the time to read my profile to figure out what I would like but they couldn’t have picked it any better. Was definitely a thoughtful gift from someone I’ve never met.

I’ve included some photos to check out. My fave shirt is the Halo Spartan one. So geeky. Plus I’ve been meaning to get a T-shirt in that colour.

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All 3 Shirts

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Zombie Heartbreak

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Bomberman cleanup Aisle 1

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SPARTAAAAAAN!

Despite having to be rematched because of my first santa’s scrooge like spirit all in all my experience in the exchange has been an excellent one. My matchee loved his gift and my rematch santa nailed my gift right on the head. I can’t wait to participate in future exchanges.

Now I must admit recently I have been struggling through a writers block of sorts. That’s part of the reason my posts have been so random recently. I have a few exciting things coming up over the next little while including taking my first art class since high school starting this week (YAAAAAY!!!) so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of excellent things to write about over the next while. Though for any of you still reading this I would appreciate any advice you may have at combating writers block and how you keep your own creativity flowing. I’m going to keep on trying to post more and more frequently though and see if I can power through this creative dry spell. Wish me luck all.

Happy 2014 everyone!!

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It’s been a lil bit since my last post. The lead up to Christmas was pretty busy at work and then of course the holiday itself was pretty hectic. I ended up ringing in the new year at home suffering from the flu. So writing had been put on the back burner.

Christmas was great this year, I was spoiled yet again. The GF bought me a drawing course I wanted to take and all the necessary supplies needed for the class. Definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received (which is hard to do seeing as every year she gets me a very thoughtful gift). We spent the morning together at home and had a wonderful brunch, then spent the day with her family. Her nephew celebrated his first Christmas which was adorable(babies and wrapping paper = cuteness overload).

My Christmas came out pretty awesome, although my experience with the reddit gift exchange hasn’t been as awesome as I hoped. My original Secret Santa missed the shipping deadline and has messaged me a few times to tell me that they keep on intending to ship my gift but still haven’t followed through, which has been frustrating. Rather than continue to wait on them to follow through, I signed up to be rematched with another exchanger. My rematch seems less flaky and pretty excited to participate in the exchange, so hopefully I see some positive results. The girlfriend took part as well and received her gift on NYE. It came from Japan and was a nice assortment of Japanese candies. I’ll admit I was a tad jealous.

Otherwise NYE was pretty much a bust for me. The flu bug hit me pretty hard on Monday and has kept me down and out for most of the week. It was pretty bad for awhile and I was concerned I’d need to visit the ER due to a fever I just couldn’t shake. Fortunately the fever broke and I’ve been on the slow road to recovery, though I’m still not fit to return to work. Haven’t been this sick since I caught H1N1 back in 2009 which was brutal.

Anyway this year may have started on a shitty note but 2014 has a lot in store for me. I started off the year with some savings for the first time in forever. I’ve got a good job, and I’m hoping to take big steps forward in my education. My optimism for my future is pretty high for once and I’m in a position to start the year off strong. I have little doubt that I can obtain the goals I have set for myself.

So happy 2014 everyone. I hope that you all reach whatever goals you have set for yourself no matter how insignificant they may be.

Mike

Image courtesy of http://www.ibtimes.com/new-years-eve-around-world-how-arrival-2014-celebrated-across-globe-photos-1522748