Geeks, Luck, Skills, Aspirations, and Being Somewhere Else.

Questions from Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing Workshop (@STMSBmore), held online.

• Are you a geek? What it something your are completely passionate about?

I’m a complete geek about design. And honestly it’s hard to turn off sometimes. For the past 20 years or so, I’ve been completely immersed in design, and it means that everywhere I look, I see things that are designed. Virtually everything that people have created has been designed in some way. But that also means I also see a lot of things that are designed badly, which can be a kind of torture. In design classes, you learn about something called kerning, which is the study of space between letters. And now, I see bad kerning everywhere I look. Before I learned about it, I had just walked around in complete ignorance, and it didn’t bother me at all.

• Is love luck, or is it designed? Explain why you think so.

I think love is luck to start with. The person you happen to meet, a friend of a friend, someone you’re randomly paired with on an app, but I think it rapidly becomes more and more designed as you go on. I think that some people have a natural inherent connection, but I also think that it’s something you have to work at as well. Love that lasts a long time takes work and effort. You take the skills you’ve learned, and apply them to a person. I think there’s beauty in that.

• What is one skill you already have that you’d like to improve this year?

I really want to be a more dedicated artist. I feel like I’m a good artist that has flashes of inspiration and episodes of art. I want to be more consistent about it.

• When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? How do you feel about what you wanted to do now?

When I was young, I wanted to own a junkyard! My father and I used to go to junkyards when I was kid, both to pull parts of the old cars so he could fix our aging Jeep Wagoneer, but also to explore.

The junkyards would have lots of really old cars, with gigantic chrome bumpers and huge tail fins, and to me they looked like spaceships. Owning a junkyard seemed like the perfect place, because people would drop things off for free, and I would get to sell them!

I don’t think I’d be terribly happy doing it now, junkyards are dirty, polluted places. I really love having trees and woods and fresh air. Junkyards are still fascinating places to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live in one.

• Is there somewhere else you’d rather be right now? What are the good parts of where you are right now?

I’d really like to be on a beach right now. Somewhere with warm soft breezes, with water I can swim in, trees to string a hammock up in, and doze.

There is some really beautiful parts about where I am now, though. Spring is coming to Baltimore, and everything is budding and blooming. The weather is warm but not yet hot, and the nights are still nice and cool. I can have the windows open, which I love, and the scents of all the flowers blooming in my backyard are filling my house. There is always somewhere else I could be instead, but being here is pretty nice right now.

• What is something that makes you smile without fail? What always brightens your mood, no matter how you’re feeling?

Sunsets always brighten my mood. No matter how I’m feeling, how tough my day has been, or whatever I’m going through, taking a moment to watch the sunset is always something to makes me feel so good.

I have an app on my phone that reminds me when Golden Hour is approaching, which is when the sun dips low right before sunset and turns everything to gold. It’s been wonderful watching that time get further and further back into the evening as spring comes sweeping in.

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