pandemic diaries: Twitter as public record

This is it, y'all. This is, at the risk of jinxing it, my final pandemic diaries blog post. As the frequency of posts has dwindled, I've relied on my tweets to recall what happened over the past weeks or months. But I'm not posting on Twitter much these days and I'd like to spend more time here writing about specific topics, not just making lists of things I did or articles that caught my attention. Before I do, here are some random things I found interesting since my last pandemic diaries update (not including the 3-year recap here) in November 2022:

I will likely delete my personal Twitter account (I typically only use it to complain lately, later deleting those tweets), but I'm torn about my podcast account. I'm also really itchin' to get back in the studio to record interviews for season 2! I should just do it, right?!? In related news, The Blanton Museum has a show up right now all about artists and day jobs, including work by Lenka Clayton (because caregiving is most definitely work). I was hoping I could finagle a work trip to Austin in time to see it but, alas, I'm feeling less and less confident about that happening before the show closes in late July. It's refreshing to see the reality of life as an artist getting more attention (see also Kelly Reichardt's latest film Showing Up).

This is me after recent trips to Brighton and Copenhagen for work, Seattle for fun, and every trip to visit family in southern California and central Oregon. On the other hand, however, as Austin Kleon recently reminded me, as the saying goes, wherever you go, there you are.

In anticipation of the publication of Jenny Odell's ‘Saving Time,’ I reviewed my notes from ‘How To Do Nothing.’ I love this quote about David Hockney’s view of painting with respect to time & perception.

I'm reminded that I bought this book months ago, but haven't read it yet. Adding it to the summer reading list now. Speaking of, I recently finished Susan Orlean's The Library Book, which was amazing, started Jenny Odell's Saving Time (so far even better than How To Do Nothing), and picked up a used copy of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (referenced in The Library Book and found in the banned books section of a used bookstore in Bend, Oregon). Earlier this spring I read Michael Pollan's A Place of My Own and thought a lot about my MFA thesis while reading it. I've been thinking about the book again now as we have recently embarked on a pretty ambitious home renovation project (redoing some stuff on the first floor and adding a second floor).

What was my 14yo's room for nearly 13 years will provide an extended living area and stairs to a future second floor.

Anne Helen Peterson wrote about a thing she calls "layoff brain" shortly after a January RIF at my day job. There's since been another, the third in less than a year and the largest so far. My job still seemingly safe. For now.

I wrote about books about creativity here. Perhaps, instead of more books about cultivating creativity, what we need is more writing about what I think of as creativity-adjacent topics, such as paying attention and handling criticism, as Maria Popova writes here about "Walt Whitman and the Discipline of Creative Confidence."

I've also since written a thing about visual artists who use Unity software (where I work) as a creative medium, collaborating with developers/programmers to make work that doesn't quite fit into any of our existing categories (the role of the artist, after all, is to imagine what doesn't yet exist; see here and here). Not surprisingly, while I've received positive feedback and general enthusiasm about what I've written, the folks in charge of things like the blog are having a hard time figuring out where it should live. If nothing else, I'll plop it here. It's also very much about the intersection of art and technology and touches on the history of corporate support for creative work since the 1960s and 70s. If you're into that sort of thing, you might enjoy the writing of Lucy Hunter (see here). More to follow (hopefully). 

I write a bit about past day jobs I've had in this ongoing series (nearly 20 if you count gigs like TAships and paid summer internships) but here I recently compiled a list of 25 jobs I applied to but didn't get. Fun! In the event I delete my Twitter account, here's the list:

  • Graphic Artist for Alameda County
  • Museum Program Coordinator at Art.com
  • Undergrad Design Program Manager at CCA (I eventually did get a job at CCA but not that one)
  • Special Projects Coordinator at OMCA (I think I at least got an interview for this one)
  • Program Manager at PRO ARTS
  • Grad Center Manager at SFAI
  • Exec Assistant to the Director of YBCA
  • Entertainment Designer at Chronicle Books
  • PT Print & Craft Maker at Dandelion Chocolate (dream job??)
  • Associate Curator at Depict Inc. (yeah, OK, so some of these were a stretch)
  • Education Program Manager at Kala (I was super stoked about this one)
  • Learning and Development Specialist at Playworks
  • UCB Extension Open Call for Faculty (I think I proposed my mail art course)
  • Education Community Program Manager at Adobe
  • Podcast Operations Manager at KQED (hey, man, I created my own podcast from scratch...)
  • Education & Public Engagement Officer at SFMOMA (yeah, OK, another stretch)
  • Climate Change Arts Contractor for Culture Strike
  • Adjunct Faculty in Visual Communication at USF (I actually got this one but had to turn it down because the commute and childcare costs were more than I'd make from one class)
  • I applied to a TON of other teaching gigs, too, incl places like Art Center in Pasadena and PNCA in OR
  • Exec Assistant to the CEO at Minted
  • two more OMCA roles (Design Assistant + Membership Manager)
  • Community Engagement Manager at AXIS
  • Regional Coordinator for calmuseums.org
  • Print Production Coordinator at Williams Sonoma
  • Program Manager at Create CA

Anywho...can't wait to see the Barbie movie (big Greta Gerwig fan here). And in other Indigo Girls news, we have tickets to see them and Neko Case at Stern Grove Festival! So excited.

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