Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24, 2012

The last entry to my blog was made a few hours after Jo's mom passed away. Since then, a lot has transpired, and a lot remains to be done. Things have been insanely busy and a bit stressful at times.

Along with Jo's brother and his wife, and their daughters and their husbands,  we have been working our butts off every weekend to get the house cleared out, repainted, needed repairs done, so we can get it on the market. We've hauled out van-loads of clothes, furniture, and.....well, stuff that's been stashed away in that house for decades. Right now our house is in such disarray, it's unbelievable. The place resembles a warehouse. It's complete chaos. The photos give a hint of what the rest of the place looks like:

 "Spare" Room

 Dining Room

 Garage

I am working the 'mid shift' now (2:30 - 10:30 PM), which makes it a pain to try and get anything done beyond the daily errands, settling of the estate, paperwork, and more paperwork, and so on.

It also seems that relations between Jo's brother's family and us are degrading - again. We've never really been very close to them; not because we haven't tried. It could just be me, but I get the impression that the whole bunch of them (they're church-going Christians, you know..) regard us as little more than 'white trash.' I could be wrong, but that's the vibration I pick up every time we're around them.

On top of all this, my dad's declining mental state continues to deteriorate. He still remembers who I am, and who Jo is, and he also remembers his remaining siblings, and friends at the Fountains where he lives. But he cannot remember what day it is, or what hours I'm working. He consistently calls my house (he remembers my phone number) to talk to me while I'm at work.

Last Saturday he called me all upset because his phone bill was $72.00. He didn't understand why it was so expensive. Of course, he's been paying that for months - he had DSL, and that's about $30 a month. He said he didn't use it anymore, and he wanted me to help him cancel it. I told him I'd come over Monday and get it taken care of.

I helped him get the DSL canceled, and he said I might as well take his computer with me, as he doesn't use it anymore. I brought it and the computer desk here - I needed a good XP machine anyway; all my others are Windows 7, except the HP laptop, which is Vista.

Anyway, in a nutshell this is pretty much what my life has been like since the beginning of February. I hope things start to settle down before long, but I don't see much hope of it for the foreseeable future.

I have very little time for my 3D artwork, photography, or work in my shop. I'm trying - in the few minutes scattered in between all the chaos - to learn a lot of new software. DAZ 3D has been giving away some awesome software for the past couple of months. DAZ Studio 4 Pro, Bryce 7 Pro, and Hexagon 2.5 are all free to download until the end of March. That's about $800 worth of software! Right now, I'm concentrating on learning how to use Hexagon - it's a 3D modeling application that allows you to make all kinds of things - from vehicles to buildings, even clothes for 3D figures; anything you can imagine, if you know how to use the software.

It's something I think I might be able to make a little money with - creating props and such to sell in CG art marketplaces like Renderosity. But I have to be able to use the software effectively first.

I'm also trying as best I can to keep going with my CG art. It's been too long since I've posted anything in my gallery on Renderosity - but I keep plugging away when I have a few moments. I also need to update my website with some of my current artwork and photography. So many things, so little time!

A few months ago, I upgraded from Poser 8 to Poser Pro 2012 - it's completely awesome! I'm planning more as well... I've been saving up, and I will very soon be adding Vue 10 Complete to my CG toolbox. This is an amazing application that - if you know what you're doing with it - allows you to create photorealistic environments. That's not really a description that does it justice, though. If you've seen Avatar, or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the sweeping jungle scenes in those films were created with Vue.

So, that's pretty much my life such as it is up to this point. I'm hoping things settle down a little once we are done with Jo's mom's stuff. I'm pretty sure we'll be going through all this with my dad before long, sadly. But this has been a long post, and if you've read through all of it, I thnk you for letting me vent a bit.

Hopefully, my posts will be more frequent and less depressing in the very near future!

Rod