Day 0001: An Average Day for an Above-Average Guy

Don’t you love those moments where you see something that you just HAVE to draw? This happened on the subway this morning with me, with a dude sitting down who definitely had his style coming correct. Black dude who was well-groomed, dressed well and reading a pamphlet on managing money. Mad cool. But it was morning rush hour, so I couldn’t take a seat and sketch him out there and then. Instead, there I was staring like a fool as I tried to memorize as many details about him as possible. Facial hair. The style of links his chain had. Did his shirt have a pattern to it or not? This is what I came up with in the end:

Day 0001: An Average Day for an Above-Average Guy — Black Man Sketch
Dude with afro from the TTC

This is going to be one of my longer days. As I’m typing this, it’s 5:30 at work with no light at the end of the tunnel. But I will eventually go home in the hope that I can work on some more OLA-related stuff. You guys might not realize it, but there’s a LOT going on in the background that a team of us are trying to accomplish in the name of OLA so that we can make a big name for the group in 2010. I feel I’ve gotten a bit off track with my fair share, so I’m looking to get back to putting some things together there. This will include some infrastructure for future OLA projects, some work on my own personal projects and just trying to help others get to the point where they want to be. The more I can get life to calm down, the more time I can spend getting my OLA stuff to the place where I’d like it to be 😉

[Doomz Note: I left work at 8. 11 hours! Woo!]

Hm, note to self – we’re going to need to make the site mobile-friendly if I’m going to be posting stuff daily. I’m not always gonna be around!

Anyway, that’s all you’re getting for now. I didn’t do anything too elaborate today art-wise. I went to work, sketched a little at lunch, came home and crashed. Yeah, that’s right. That was my day. Ha!

Have a good one peops,

–case p.

The Importance of Reference

Whassap y’all – I hope the long weekend was productive and that y’all weren’t relaxing TOO much! It’s just after Labour Day, and we all know what that means – it’s GO TIME! Back to school for some of us, the last cottage weekend for others, but for me , I took the name of the holiday rather literally and busted my ass on trying to get a lot out of the way.

This involved things such as:

  • scanning in a ton of half-completed, likely-never-to-be-finished sketches
  • uploading a number of photos that have just been sitting around doing nothing
  • using FreeMind to develop a mind map of all the random ideas that I often seem to have floating around
  • sketching like a fiend so that I could get rid of a ton of reference material that I seem to carry with me EVERYWHERE

And then Damn Terry Dam went and said, “Reference material is always a good thing to carry”.

Okay, yes, I totally agree with this statement, but what I think Terry didn’t realize is who exactly he’s talking to. When it comes to getting a job done, I tend to get a little OCD at times and really go over the top.

A couple of years ago, I’d put the word out to a few communities that I was part of online that I was looking for that I was looking for donations of old magazines so I could slice pages out of them for reference material. This was gonna be on TOP of the magazines I was already getting rid of for the same reason! I figured I’d just be able to draw things out one page at a time to improve my skill and the range of things I’d know how to draw.

Great plan, but I severely underestimated the response I’d receive from my peers!

This is the box that holds all the reference material I gathered from that exercise:

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The Big Ol’ Box of Reference Materials

So as you can see, it’s quite a bit. In fact, I had problems even managing to squeeze it all in said box. So I’ve got my work cut out for me as I’ve now gotten to a point where I’m actually attempting to go through the box and USE the reference. My method goes a little bit like this:

  1. Grab handful of sheets from box
  2. Stuff in whatever knapsack I’m carrying with me that day
  3. Pull a sheet out on the subway/at the girlfriend’s/during lunch
  4. Sketch like a madman
  5. Recycle reference page
  6. Return to step 3 until all sheets are gone
  7. Then, return to step 1

Eventually, I will get through this box, and at that point, I’m hoping that my work will be far more awesome. But until then, I’ll follow Damn Terry Dam’s advice.

–case p.

Return of the Mack

Hey y’all – sorry to be absent for a few days; I was helping my girlfriend move into her place – one that is currently lacking in both electricity in most of the house, but more importantly, lacking in Internet. I spent much of my Monday evening catching up with the affairs of the weekend so that I would stay current.

One thing that I definitely need to catch up with is OLA – there’s been a number of things going on, and I definitely need to fill in the gaps on some of them on my end. In fact, just to show you how dedicated I am to finding time for OLA, I should tell you that I actually brought my laptop with me so that I could work on this blog entry on the GO Train in to work. It’s only a 30-minute ride, but I plan to make them 30 minutes well-spent!

One thing I’ve noticed is Achievements – I’m totally an Achievement fiend – or rather, should I dare to day, an OLAchiever? Now that I’ve got my fix of time-wasters and social media out of the way (as well as about a month of laundry), I think OLA deserves some attention. So I hope y’all are prepared for a blitz of Doomz, ’cause that what’s coming to you!

Next on the list is the blogs I promised on financial matters, etc. – I hear that some may be worried that ol’ Doomz has forgotten about them and the questions are never to be answered. Never fear! I definitely have NOT forgotten – in fact, there are other OLA members who’ve already been taking action along the seeds I sowed – but there is still much to do and much to write about, so that too will come.

Keeping on top of OLA 2010: If you’ve been hitting up the Saturday Ssauga Sketch Sessions (and if you haven’t, I hope you have an AWESOME reason, for they are full of WIN), you may have heard about the grand plan that is OLA 2010 (that isn’t the official name, but I figured that it’s cryptic enough to get attention, yet descriptive enough to give it an air of definition). To put it in a nutshell, OLA has a number of goals they need to achieve by Fall 2010, and you’ll be hearing far more about it as time develops. My role in the matter is a mix of acting as a project/business manager, keeping us on track with regular (okay, semi-regular) updates and of course, as all OLA members who want to make something of themselves are expected to do, working on producing something that I believe is at the highest level of quality that I can work at. I look forward to sharing thoughts, ideas and plans with you all as things cement themselves further in the near future.

So, OLA, you are not forgotten – merely put aside for a couple of days while I got a few other affairs in order. But this week I’m back, and I’ll try hard to get things put together in the midst of everything else I have going on.

Have a great day, OLAgents, and GOOD LUCK!

–case p.

Let’s make this a quickie.

Alright, it’s come to my attention that managing finances might not be something everyone’s well-versed in, here. I’m hoping to do a series of blog posts on financial management, but I’ll need everyone’s help.

A little about me before we start:

  • worked at TD Canada Trust for 6.5 years, finishing up as a Financial Sales Representative
  • have an Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University, majoring in Business & Society with a focus in the Economics and Mathematics/Statistics streams
  • spent two years as a Business/Financial Planning intern for the Government of Ontario, currently employed there as a Project Planning Coordinator

With all that said, please fire off your questions, concerns and ideas for financial management. What do you want to know more about? Where can I help?

Let me know so I can start writing to help you!

Thanks,

–case p.

We Be Bloggin!

Hey all,

So it looks like I have ample time on my hands to get dumpin’ all this stuff in my cranium into something a little more… tangible. Currently I’m over at the girlfriend’s scanning numerous docs in that won’t get looked at otherwise and just trying to sketch it up and write a little so that I don’t have so much physical clutter around me. In the name of streamlining, you’ll be seeing a lot of things point back to my site (to be resurrected soon), such as an embedded FriendFeed (which houses things such as my Flickr, Tumblr and Twitter accounts, etc.) and the blog I direly need to put together to express myself.

What am I hoping to get out of OLA? My previous experience with WordPress was when I was still working for the provincial government on a system that was introduced there, so I’ve already had an idea of the possibilities that can be presented with it. I’m looking forward to having a mini-community to really discuss what’s going on in my art life, share my sketches, get feedback from my peers, etc. I think we can make this place as good as we want it to be.

For now, you’ll have to make do with this vague sliver of my thoughts, but I intend to bring more.

In due time, my friends. In due time.

–case p.

Fresh Start?

I don’t really blog that much at all these days. Life got a hold of me and I lost my way. I’ve been relying on others to make my days work for me, and just not really paying attention in general.

Is this the way to lead life? Is that what I’m striving for daily? To just exist and not quite reach a level of contentedness, but instead aim to just make a living day to day?

I think that living that way would be a farce. Who are we without our values, our goals and our dreams?

Reading a Xanga blog I follow, the topic was raised of a blogger that blogs regularly on things that make her happy. I think it’s a great thing to focus on.

Recently, I’ve been thinking of ventures I could segue into in the near future, and the problem keeps arising that for most ventures to be successful, they need to be something that one is passionate about.

I don’t feel that I have passion for anything, but I’m likely wrong. I think I’ve become so hung up on self-doubt and putting up walls between myself and my accomplishments that I’m beginning to believe a fallacy.

So no more. I need to find what makes me happy.

I know for sure, one thing that makes me happy is helping people. In the office setting, I try to assist others with putting files together in Excel, Access or Word, because I know I know a fair bit and believe that I can be of assistance. I’m the type of person who’ll usually stop to help someone out on the street if they look lost. I help friends out when possible because I’d want someone to help make my life easier if it were at all possible. Helping people fuels me. When I worked in banking, I loved knowing that at the end of the day, I’d done everything possible to improve the lives of the clients who I saw on a regular basis.

I’d like to keep helping people. I will find a way.

Thanks for listening, Internet 🙂

–case p.

Day 1: Admitting that there’s a problem.

Good evening, one and all – my name is Casey Palmer, and I have debt.

Granted, it could be a lot worse – as I used to work for a bank, I’ve seen tons of people who’re way in over their heads when it comes to the credit beast, but it should’ve never come to this.

I suppose you could say that I grew up as a very naïve young man.

[title]

I was given my first credit card at the age of 18, when I was still finishing my last year of high school. What it meant to me then was that I had a no-strings attached method of being able to buy all the food, clothes, video games and such that I wanted. I was having a great time as I went on trips to other provinces and out with friends after school. I had no problem paying off more than the minimum payments and generally staying out of financial woe.

But then university came about and changed things up.

Having spent so much time in high school focusing on everything but school work, I got accepted to York University with no offer of a scholarship, something I could have likely attained if I’d just focused. So here I was with my dismal savings habits and tuition to pay for the next whoever knew how long.

So in came limit increases, overdraft protection on my chequing account and the introduction to the magic of the student line of credit. Really, this would all have been fine…

…if I’d been more conscientious of my spending habits.

If I remember correctly, I bought my laptop on a Future Shop card.

I know I had a Best Buy card.

There was a Sears card somewhere in the mix.

I have a Macy’s card and I barely ever go over the border into the United States.

And so on and so forth…

The years of school would progress, and though I would always be in the midst of a good job – nay, a BANK job which gave me access to low interest rates, for some reason, I always believed myself invincible and never having to worry about tomorrow. The next bill. Or anything that was coming.

Upon recently graduating, I was left with:

  • A student loan, locked because I was no longer a full-time student (and hadn’t been for some time – I was taking part-time courses)
  • A TD Gold Select Visa with a very shameful amount racked up on it for no decent reason
  • Overdraft on my chequing account
  • A Henry’s card for several pieces of camera equipment I’d bought over time

A month or so after this, I sat down and really started to look at my finances. With the job I had at the time as an intern for the Government of Ontario, the monthly minimum payment for the Visa ALONE was eating up somewhere around 15-20% of my take-home pay per month! And even my monthly expenses were getting ridiculous:

  • $100 for a monthly pass for the subway
  • $90 for passes for the train in from the suburbs
  • $220 to my parents for “rent” (one should note I’m rarely at home)
  • $270 tithe to my church (though I only started in November)

Plus food and entertainment.

Something had to give and give QUICK.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that I’d reconsidered a trip to Africa in 2009 due to the fact that I had all of this debt and it seriously needed paying off. After severely disappointing my girlfriend with this news, I decided that serious action needed to happen. I’d been working on a new plan for about a month before said discussion, but now it was time to commit to an approach to get rid of this issue. The three things I’ve committed to doing are as follows:

  • Taking a more aggressive stance to monthly payments – I plan to use a larger percentage of my pay cheque to pay down my debt — especially the Visa, so that there’s less interest to set me back
  • Thinking up new ways to generate secondary income to go towards paying off the debts – whether I have to sell my stuff on eBay, draw commissions like a fiend or find another avenue
  • Change my spending habits so that there’s less to worry about at month end when the charges come and it’s time to pay the piper

I hope you choose to follow my journey and I also hope that I present you all with a better situation as time passes.

Thanks, y’all.

–case p.

Long Overdue.

It’s definitely time for a comeback. While I work away at that, here’s a recent Doomz sighting for y’all:

–doomz

Entry 0001: Genesis.

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

So I’ve promised for a while that I’d start a new blog with a new direction. But I had to stop and think about that one—there’s how many blogs on the Internet already about people and their lives that nobody really care about? I mean, sure, many people of “Generation Please-Attach-a-Letter-Here-so-Social-Scientists-Can-Better-Label-Us” probably have multiple blogs:

  • The blog they use to keep up on downloads from other blogs.
  • Or the blog they use to trick their parents into thinking that they lead a wholesome, trouble-free life.
  • How about the blog they keep on lock down to get all emo with—whining, crying, moaning, groaning, all the fun stuff!

This won’t be any of those.

I was looking at my bank account balance one day, and found myself trying to figure out where the hell all my money had gone. It really doesn’t help that I do enough of my transactions in cash so I can stash the change away for a rainy day.

So then it came to me! It was a glorious moment in the shower, and I nearly slipped and killed myself, but I’m okay, I swear! I need to make a blog about my life. A blog where I can rate and track what the hell happened, since I obviously don’t know. All the crap I buy, the places I eat, the stuff I read! Yes. Yes, this will be excellent.

Stay tuned, all!

–case p.


P.S. Mom and Dad, as you’ll probably come across this blog as I grow in popularity and stature, yup, it’s pretty much all true. But don’t worry. If you have come across this, I’m probably reasonably wealthy by this point, so you don’t really have to worry.