I just published my third book of collected drawings done during the pandemic. This is probably my last, since I can’t keep on churning the same type of collection every year. The idea for Pseudologia Fantastica was almost a whim, and carrying on that whim for over three years is a little long. That’s not to say that I’m going to stop drawing using my current style, busy drawings that fill the full page, but I’m not going to do them anymore with the purpose of publishing. There are still many ideas that I feel like I need to push, so I’m still going to continue with it.
Also, the pandemic, which was the catalyst to my busy drawing style, hasn’t really affected me much recently in regards to my art. In fact, I’ve been much busier now and I’m finding less time to make art.
I encourage artists to make prints and make books of collections of their art. Not only are they an alternative way of selling your work, they are also an alternative way of showing your work, free from the confines of a traditional gallery. I kinda wish I sold prints much earlier in my career. I always thought that my works were cheap enough as it is, and a Glico print wouldn’t make sense as an alternative purchase. But now I find that prints are just as good a way of driving revenue as much as the original. It’s also a way of meeting your audiences halfway, especially if they don’t necessarily have the resources to purchase an original. The same goes for books of collected works.
Anyway, I hope the people who get my third book enjoy my collection. They’re basically the same images found on my Instagram and featured on this website, but it also includes explanations as well as a list of things found on the page, much like an I Spy book.
The corona virus has come to my doorstep. My wife caught the virus. She had a cold starting on Monday, then come Tuesday, she went to the doctor and they did a test on her. Positive. It finally got her. It sucks because it will affect us financially since she gets paid by the class she teaches and not in a salaried position. It also sucks because she’s in the middle of a yoga certification course which requires a hundred hours of lessons. This puts her behind on her classes and puts us behind financially. And to complicate matters more, we are in the process of moving apartments and we need to get rid of our current apartment. We already turned down three prospective visitors/tenants who could take over the apartment for us due to it being a covid quarantine area at the moment.
What about me? Well, I caught a cold, and it’s not so bad. It’s just that my throat hurts a little.. I’ve had four shots of the vaccine, so I’m hoping that whatever my wife has, I’m already immune to it. See, she only had the two mandatory shots. I kinda resent her for not getting the extra two boosters. Maybe she would still be covid-free if she wasn’t “too busy” to take them. Now she has too much time on her hands. And since we live in a small apartment, I have to get really serious about cleanliness and try not to catch the virus from her. I’ve been dodging this thing for about three years now. And I think if I could just get through a couple more days or so, she wouldn’t be contagious anymore and I would still be a covid virgin.
Living with a covid patient in a small apartment is tricky since there’s really no way to isolate her. Our food has been meticulously separated and I sleep on the couch while she sleeps on the bed, but other than that, there’s no serious separation. My wife sprays surfaces with disinfectants constantly however, which I guess would help prevent me from catching it on surfaces that she touches. We also have an air disinfectant running to keep the air clean, fingers crossed.
My friend suggested that my current cold is actually the covid virus. Well, perhaps, but I’m not suffering from fever, chills, muscles aches, or headaches. I also take a test every day before going to work, and so far each time I tested negative. So I’m thinking it’s not covid, but a something that a bit of Tylenol Cold could easily knock out.
And yes, despite my wife catching covid, I still go to work. It’s probably the safest place for me right now, not being in close proximity with what I know is a certified covid case. I also have no excuse not to go to work since I’m perfectly healthy (despite the cold). There’s jobs and side jobs to do and money to be earned. I guess the biggest test for me will be the weekend where I will be at home trying to avoid catching covid for two days. I figure if I still test negative come Monday morning, I’ll be scot free.
So yeah, here’s hoping I don’t catch the virus. I know it would be a miracle, but hey, I don’t really ask God for much. I just hope that my wife gets better soon and I don’t catch it and prolong our collective suffering. Will be updating this after a couple more days.
Covid got me. No symptoms, but got tested at a clinic and they say I’m positive. Damn it.
When do people stop seeing their therapists? When do you go, “this is as far as we can go. Please wean me out of my meds and let’s have an amicable end to our relationship?” I’ve been with my therapist for more than a year now. My life has improved dramatically under his care, but I’m sitting here thinking, how long can I do this? How long can I be on meds? When does life become normal?
I do enjoy being able to talk my heart out to someone. And I find both his advice and the medicine very helpful. I was in a very dark place last year around February. Once in a while, I go back to that dark place, too. But our sessions have helped me cope with things and make it through just one more day. But a part of me hopes that one day I could be able to do without him be the well-adjusted individual I imagine most people my age are.
That, plus lately I’ve been hearing about the dangers of benzodiazepines. I know it’s probably not the benzos that made Jordan Peterson a lunatic, but looking at his latest rant, I wouldn’t want to be like him and would like to stray away from anything that might’ve contributed to his current state. He admitted to being addicted to benzodiazepines and struggled getting out of it. I missed a couple of days of my drugs one time, and I ended up with the worst headache ever and vivid nightmares. I take Xanax when needed and I don’t consider myself addicted to it, but I’m afraid that I’ll end up addicted to the other benzodiazepines I take regularly.
I actually keep a list of the changes in medication I’ve been taking just in case, which could be a sign of paranoia or obsession. Maybe I need more anxiety pills.
My wife wonders about my progress, but I think right now I’m in stasis. I’m in a place where I’m generally more okay than not okay. I get bad days where I really despise the person I see on the mirror, but there are more days which are more routine, peaceful, and I just go about with work and life. I’ll be going on a bit of vacation soon, and I’m hoping that it would help. But a part of me is a little anxious about it, too.
I used to see another therapist in Korea years ago, and she didn’t really care much about what I was talking about. She just prescribed me with meds and tried to drug the depression and anxiety away. I believe she over prescribed me because I found myself walking around like a zombie and needed drugs to both sleep and to function in the morning once I wake up. My doctor right now is much better, but I still wonder if I’ve been around for too long.
Or maybe being in therapy too long is more of a Korean thing. That’s still seeing depression and anxiety as a disease that can be healed completely, not a life-long condition that should be treated long-term. I’m grateful for all of the help I’ve received, but when my wife asks about my progress, I can’t help but ask myself, “why am I still not normal after all of this time? Why do I still need to see my therapist?”
I feel kinda guilty about it as well, because I mentioned to her that last week, I had a couple of depressed episodes as well as anxiety. I had to take Xanax a few times. This was a week when she did something incredibly generous, buying me a PlayStation 5, and thinking that would fuel at least a week of excitement and elation. And yet, the depression and anxiety still found a way to squeak themselves in to my life. She tried to make me happy, and yet I’m still in need of meds.
I just wish I was happier and things were better. I try, oh God, I try, but I still need help. But many things around me tell me that if I was happier and if I was content, then I would be crazy.
I guess the weather isn’t helping as well. I wish it would stop raining.
First off, covid has gone up, gone down, and gone up again in South Korea. I got my two jabs and will be ready for my booster next month. Despite the high numbers, I managed to not catch the virus. The tracing and tracking in the country as well as the treatment has been good, so the death rate has been quite low and the numbers are believable. The country also has a vaccine pass rule everywhere, and no, it’s not tyrannical. If anything, it’s liberating to know that everyone in the establishment I go to has been vaccinated and that I will be warned if anyone got covid anywhere I went to.
This year, I started regularly seeing a therapist and have been religious with my drugs. It’s helping and I do look forward to each of our sessions. I feel like I have too much control over our sessions sometimes, but I’m glad that he’s helped with my anxiety, depression, and addictive personality. I had a public nervous breakdown last summer while I was arguing with my wife, and I vowed not to revisit that bar again nor put myself in similar situations. It’s just too triggering.
I also started to study more Korean by myself. It’s difficult, but going to class has been impossible. I miss meeting people and making friends in class, but I guess that’s part of being older. Making friends is difficult.
I haven’t gone to the gym for two years now. I miss it. I try to work out more at home and climb stairs more, but it doesn’t compare going to the gym. But it doesn’t matter really. It’s not like I’m going to the beach anytime soon. I’ve eaten way too much Burger King this year. My favorite Subway Sandwich place has closed down, and now due to laziness and me often eating lunch at my dek, I just grab a burger from the Burger King next door. In other food news, my new favorite place for dining is this Japanese lamb place in Yeonnam-dong. Good food, good price, great Japanese ambiance, friendly staff, decent sake. One of the servers is a kickass tattoo artist as well.
I used to not be a driver, but this year I became a motorist. I can’t travel outside of the country so I might as well travel outside of the city. I got a car, it’s an Audi A4. It’s already in need of some body work, not my fault, but I’m going to ignore it for now. I think it adds some character, plus, I can sense that it won’t be the first scratch my car is going to get in the next few months. In a country filled with Hyundai Avantes, it’s a bit slicker than the average 4-door sedan. But in the words of Marv from Sin City, “Modern cars- they all look like electric shavers.”
I didn’t travel outside of the country but I did go outside of Seoul and had the worst sashimi ever. Never eat machine-sliced sashimi. Aside from a lack of TLC, it’s simply disgusting.
Artwise, I’ve been consistently producing works. It’s therapeutic and very calming. It’s been very difficult to get my work shown and I imagine it’s going to be the same next year. I didn’t apply to too many shows this year, which was disappointing, but it doesn’t make much financial sense to me to send my work overseas with the way covid has devastated postal services and made sending works exorbitantly expensive if not impossible. Sales have been dismal as well, but that’s the same throughout my art career. I don’t really care much about sales. I did publish a second book last February, a plan from 2020 which I actually followed through on. Now, I’m contemplating publishing another book next year. And no, I’m not making nor buying any NFTs. The only people who are saying NFTs are good are usually ones who are already invested and shilling NFTs. It’s rare to find NFTs actually uplifting artists. And even funnier, I found a post asking, “What is a good way to print or display NFTs on a wall?” Haha!
Unfortunately, I’ve stopped gardening. I moved to a new office and I no longer have the space to cultivate plants. I’m glad to have maintained it for a while and even given out several seedlings to people. I’m hoping at least half of them are still alive. Oh, and I also learned that cherry pits are not toxic. Not two cherry pits, not thirty, not sixty. They are simply not toxic.
Family’s been okay, but I haven’t been seeing eye to eye with my dad this year. I haven’t called that often and when I do, he often frustrates me. I really should try harder, but I keep thinking why? Why do his children have to try harder to get along better with him? Why is the effort seemingly always from our side? What about him? I don’t see him making things better for himself? This is the year I gave up caring too much.
It’s late but I think the ‘The French Dispatch’ is the best movie I’ve seen this year. Wes Anderson is a treasure. I’m still upset that my bestfriend back in the 90s couldn’t appreciate the genius of ‘Rushmore.’ Other movies I enjoyed; I was surprised with Nicolas Cage’s ‘Pig’ and delighted by “The White Tiger.” I couldn’t think of anything too remarkable on television. I’ve see quite a few Korean dramas but nothing stands out. Everyone was raving about ‘Squid Game,’ but frankly, I didn’t think it was that special. Videogame-wise, I enjoyed ‘Persona 5 Strikers’ and ‘Resident Evil: Village’ the most. Otherwise, I haven’t played too many video games this year. Also, I’ve yet to get a PS5. I wish I could read more books, but most of the books I’ve been reading are Korean learning books. No fiction this year. I’ve fallen behind on Chuck Palahniuk. Music, I’ve given up on anything new. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sparklehorse and Vic Chestnutt, which I realize is not really the best for my mental well-being.
There’s been a couple of close calls, but I almost died twice this year. Each day, I’m grateful that I’m still breathing air. Tired of living, but grateful that I am. Dying is scary. Here’s to 2022, which I suspect is going to be exactly like 2020. I’ll be moving houses, renewing my contract at work, trying to get into a Speedo before summer, get into more art shows, and hopefully improve my relationships. God help me.