I'm gonna be a bit quiet for the next several weeks, so I figure I'd put in one last gigantic journal entry. I'm starting work today at a local Boy Scout Camp as an ecology counselor. That's right, I'm being put in charge of chilluns to teach them about nature an' shit.
I'm super-stoked to get started- this will be my first paid job, and I get to be out in the wilderness to boot. I've been involved with Scouts for much of my life (earned Eagle rank a few years back too), so to be paid for this is just icing on the cake. Plus, the staff members now have cabins and bunk beds instead of the wooden platform tents we spent all of last Saturday setting up. Regardless, I'm taking my box fan, since I am not counting on the cabins to be even close to being that modern.
I heard some of the other staff members talking about bringing a TV and Xbox, but to me that seems to be missing the point. I'm taking a sketchbook and a couple of the books I got for my birthday- Moby Dick and Tales From Arabian Nights, aw yeahhhh. I decided I need more literature of the classic and less-than-classy kind, so I ended buying a bunch of books at Half-Price Books' Memorial Day Sale- it's 20 percent EVERYTHING, people! I found a tome of Russian fantasy and sci-fi which the cashier highly recommended, along with the Zot! compilation (by Scott "Making Comic" McCloud), Jarhead, and a collection of modern pulp-adventure stories. The packaging promised boxing with flesh-eating ghosts, so this had better be good. I couldn't resist picking up a few games, though- I found Starship Titanic, an adventure game written by none other than Douglas Adams, along with one of the installments in the hyper-addicting lawyering series Phoenix Wright. Seriously, it took the entire Destructoid gaming board's ranting and raving to get me to try the first game, but as soon as I finished the first case I was hooked. It's terribly melodramatic, but the cheesiness makes it all the more fun, especially when your moral certainty permits you a cheeky grin as you slam down the smoking gun and watch your opponent's balls shrivel with fear. Was that too vulgar? I hope not.
I've been recovering my hands this whole time. It's been almost two months since I learned that I did not in fact have carpal tunnel, and instead had what was called "impingement of the median nerve". Basically, this nerve on my forearm was being pinched whenever I did tasks with my arms palms-down, including guitar, drawing, typing, and of course videogames. This pinched nerve basically made my life a living hell last semester as I was trying to figure out why it hurt so damn much to draw my DeviantDead Round 1 comic. That being said, I'm glad I understand now what's going on, so that I can actually do something about it. Apparently I can restore the damaged nerves with a healthy dose of Vitamin B6 (commonly found in green veggies and blueberries, of all things) and stretching out the median nerve every once in a while. After just a couple weeks of vitamin supplements, stretching, and relaxing the arms in a supine position (palms-up), I'm already feeling far better, and the doctor said that I would be able to recover within several months. Considering that the first person I went to diagnosed me with carpal tunnel, handed me a bag of painkillers and basically shoved me out the door, this is a vast improvement. Even so, I want to thank all of you for being so supportive- it was a really dark time for me, and I'm blessed to know so many wonderful people who also happen to be talented artists.
I must say it again, DeviantDead and all of the artists involved have been a great boon to me. Even since October of last year my art has been improving so much, and it's due to you all encouraging me to push myself further. I can't wait to make more comics and start my foundations classes in the fall- if I'm lucky, I'll have just enough time to start participating in another OCT. I'm terribly proud of Bean and Vaughn- they're like my sons now, and the fact they've been so well-received makes me even happier. They're the first characters I have ever received fanart for, and for that alone they'll always have a special place in my heart. My fondest hope that I will be able to make more characters that readers will love in stories that they will be entranced by, in worlds that they will imagine themselves living within. For now, it's only a dream, but I am determined to make it work.
This is probably the happiest my life has been in quite some time, and it's at least partly due to my new love. Caeli, if you're reading this, know that you have been so good to me, that our relationship has been my happiest and healthiest by far. Even though we are still miles apart, every night when we talk I feel like you're curled up right beside me. We've made this last for almost six months now, and I'm sure we can continue on for six months more and still further. I know that we'll meet again in person one day- scarcely an hour goes by when the thought does not cross my mind- and so long as we're patient, we'll make our dreams come true. I love you more than anyone else in this world.
I look forward to hearing from all of you when I'm done with camp- I might be able to come home and drop in for a little bit, but it's unlikely I'll be able to get much art done and uploaded. That being said, I hope you all have a splendid summer, and I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors!
(Oh, and I'll be turning 19 this Thursday. Yaaaaaaaay~)