Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holy Cow

Back in 2000 and 2001, I had two laminectomies. Both of my surgeries involved removing bits of offending disk material and bone from around the irritated nerve root. Sounds terrible, right? Well, after the first disk blew, I was out of work for almost 4 months (before and after surgery). The second surgery had a slightly shorter stay at home. Oddly enough, both surgeries occurred within a year of each other.

During the time that I was homebound, I did everything I could to not go out of my mind. Stir-craziness seemed to be always lingering around the doorway. At this point I could probably blame it all on the narcotics they had me dosed with. At the time, I figured if I wasn't sitting at my desk at work, the least I could be doing was learning something while I was at home.

To that end, I began teaching myself Photoshop. There have always been things I have wanted to be able to do in Photoshop... things like layers, masking, transparency, fun stuff with text... the list goes on and on. So I began reading every book I could find, then following along with online tutorials every chance I could get. From then until now, that learning experience hasn't slowed one iota. Each day I read about some aspect of this software I had never explored.

At some point, about five years ago, I stopped playing and experimenting in Photoshop. I had more "photography" related things to worry about. Plateaued, you might say. I knew enough to be able to do what needed doing... but time in the studio was too precious to waste sitting in front of the computer playing with ideas that might not produce an immediate monetary reward.

So I closed my books and turned off my tutorials, assuming that I would get back to them within a few weeks... months... and now it has been years.

Fast forward to this past week.
My diet has changed pretty radically over the past seven days. My goal is to smack my pancreas into doing what it is supposed to be doing [We'll dig into this idea later]. As my consumption of food has taken a new path, my thoughts have gone down a different route too. The past year has seen me lethargic in ways I have never experienced... but in the past week that has been replaced by an intense level of energy. In addition, my sleep has been filled with imagery from years past.

This evening I closed my eyes momentarily, and my brain flashed back to a book I was reading about five years ago. In the book of tutorials was a section on using layer masks to create text with texture. I never got around to finishing the tutorial. I am not even sure I ever finished reading the how-to portion. Somehow tonight, it all made sense. Just completely fell into place and worked. Makes me excited to see what else has been locked up in this stagnant noggin of mine!


  1. I'm glad you had this epiphany. Maybe your brain has been working on this the whole time and the puzzle just clicked! Are you gluten-free now?

  2. Not quite gluten-free... but pretty close. Dairy, meat and wheat have dropped off radically. More importantly, my veggie intake has gone up a TON! Feels great.