John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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One's Never Truly Alone With a Rubber Duck

Time for some random thoughts to come pouring out of my head, just whatever my mind is chewing on, at the moment. Don't say I didn't warn you...

I'm at the receptionist desk at the moment, since the usual receptionist is apparently at an unexpected doctor's appointment. She's preggers, as they say, so I imagine I'll be filling in like this a lot over the next few months.

The Operative Word is "Fire"
Last night's Fourth of Julaaaiieee!!! ceremonies were thoroughly mediocre. They took place at a high school across the street from the famous Rathbun residence, and they had no less than three of the fireworks go off fooosh! on the ground, rather than, y'know, a few hundred feet in the air like they're supposed to.

Oops.

Still, it was pleasant. I love fireworks shows, even though I'm often the only person among my usual crowd who actually wants to go.

Nekosqueemikun
nekomimikun has started going "SQUEE" for no readily apparent reason. Somehow, I have a hard time picturing him squealing like a cheerleader, but it's an entertaining image nevertheless. :)

Martial Morals
Martial morality has always been a required discipline in Chinese martial arts. Before you learn any martial techniques, you should first understand this subject. In Chinese martial arts society it is well-known that a student's success is not determined by his external appearance, or by strength or weakness, but rather by the student's way of thinking and morality. Chinese martial artists have a saying: "A student will look for a teacher for three years and a teacher will test a student for three years."

A wise student knows that it is better to spend ten years looking for a good teacher than to spend the time learning from a mediocre one. A good teacher will lead you to the right path, and will help build a strong foundation for your future training. Conversely, unqualified teachers will not help you build a strong foundation and may even teach you bad habits. Good teachers will always set good examples for their students with their spiritual and moral virtue. Good martial arts teachers teach not only good martial techniques, they also teach a way of life.


--excerpt from "Martial Morals" by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, in this month's Inside Kung Fu


Actually, this is a good point about lots of other stuff besides martial arts. I suspect that a lot of my own problems with various things I try to accomplish stems from the fact that I am more or less self-taught in just about everything I do. I have never really had anyone I would consider a mentor when it comes to my artwork, my graphics work, and so forth. I've had the occasional class, the occasional bit of helpful feedback from people I admired, and so forth, but most of what I know about just about everything comes from reading books and groping around in the dark using trial and error.

In some ways, I'm kinda proud of that. I can look back at the progress I've made and know that it's my own true ability, hard-earned and real.

On the other hand, it's something of a liability. How do I know if I'm developing good habits or bad? Is there some better way for me to do things? And how much potentially-productive time have I wasted going down dead-end paths?

I think this may be one reason I crave feedback so much about my work all the time. It's real, external verification of my progress, without all the baggage of personal subjectivity. If somebody tells me they liked a sketch or enjoyed an essay or something, that means that what I have been doing has been successful, at least to that degree.

I suppose in the case of martial arts, I'd know self-training was successful if I got in a fight and kicked the bejeezus out of someone ... but I don't think I'd like to learn that way unless I can't avoid it.

Not counting sparring, of course, but I'm nowhere near that level of training yet. ;)

Amazing How Goals Shift
Regarding the other day's post about budgetary goals, I hope I didn't leave anyone with the impression that I was whining about not being able to get stuff, because that's not my intention. Just being able to know that I can definitely pay the rent is so far above where I was just a few short months ago, that I'm pretty much seeing everything I get now as a bonus.

Got a roof? Yes. Got a job? Yes. Got food? Yes.

Cool. The rest is gravy. :)

What I'm doing now, is trying to make sure I get my favorite flavor of gravy. ;)

So don't let my kibitzing fool you into thinking that I'm not a happy guy, because I am. :) The things that I truly have issues with I can count on one hand, using fewer than half the fingers. ;) That I probably can't make MFF is still so far above, say, not being able to make the rent, that I really don't see any room to complain.

Not without being a spoiled whineyboy, anyhow. ;)

From the "Yeah, Baby, Yeah!!!" Department
This has been the fifth consecutive week of SJ running with no outages! I came this close to being out on Wednesday because of my big emotional meltdown, but I knew that getting the strip up would make me feel a lot better -- and it did!

I sorta feel like I'm at an AA meeting. "Hello, I'm The Gneech, and I'm a wayward cartoonist. I've had regular updates for five weeks, now."

LiveJournal Readers: "Hi, Gneech."

Life's good, folks. Life's good. :)

-The Gneech
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