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Meaningfulness managed in a not so meaningful manner makes meaninglessness.

Cory F. MacNiven @Quarl

Age 32

Horticulture

Alfred University

Dolores, Colorado

Joined on 5/30/05

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Sudden introspective moment of anxiety and self doubt. This message will self destruct in five seconds.

Posted by Quarl - 1 month ago


EDIT [9-28-21]: If you've noticed the new banner, it's a recent commission by the talented Garnet-Frost. I'll blog about it soon but I have also commissioned some album art from another artist and when they're both done I'll make a joint front page post about their work. It feels incredibly vain to ask for portrait commissions but I'm so happy with the work that I'm feeling silly about it. Thank you Jackie, I'm in love with this ridiculous thing.



In regards to the blog title, I wanted to focus this specific drawl on the paradoxical nature of life.

Everything is amazing right now. My life is at a certain point where everything feels perfect. I'm living a creative life off grid with a partner that is supporting this crazy chicken-owning life style. We have a beautiful piece of land in the middle of nowhere, hours away from any meaningful civilization, surrounded by mountains. Despite the amount of love I'm receiving from my fiance, I still woke up the other night with feelings of doubt and anxiety.


Was around four o'clock, after midnight, and I couldn't get back to sleep. I'm in a big bed with a snoring fiance, staring into the glow of my Newgrounds account wondering why I'm not a more successful artist. Fuck me, my life is objectively perfect and I still crave notifications and social confirmation from small, ridiculous communities? Let's sequester several minutes to take stock of a few things...


I am basically finished with a new EP, but I'm putting off releasing it for now. There's always more work you can do to an album but I'm experimenting with a couple of artist commissions. I asked two artists for some vanity drawings, something along the lines of "draw a sexy robot quarl, or just draw a quarl :3 idk" and I told at least one of them that I'm working on an EP that could use art. I'm waiting to see if these two get back to me because I'm excited by the idea of paying someone else to do the art for an album. Fuck my expensive BFA, drawing does not bring me any happiness. This is a decent means to funnel that 2nd place Robot Day money back into the community that helped raise me.


Here's a few failed concept arts for the new album:


iu_431026_1231061.png


iu_431027_1231061.png


iu_431028_1231061.png


yeah, I'm just gonna pay someone else instead.


Today, Tom an I are making use of a skid-steer to cover our cisterns with enough dirt to protect them from frost. We're burying enough gallons to last us 6 months. We've also set up a means to harvest rainfall or snow in an emergency. The system currently in place uses our roof gutters and it recently net us 1,000 gallons in one rainfall. We're putting the finishing touches on the solar array by contracting a couple of carpenters to help build wooden mounting units. Our array has been laying on the grass collecting energy since day one. It's also been killing the grass so I'm stoked to get them up off the ground finally. On a similarly plant related note, our hydroponic vegetables are doing really good. We'll be covered in snow this winter and still manage some home grown salads :D :D


Those same two carpenters I mentioned are helping us close off our porch so we have more square footage this winter. We've ordered a pellet stove for heat, next year we plan on installing a redundant geothermal heat source to take some stress off of the pellet stove/propane tank. The house's power grid can be hooked up to a propane generator, again in case of emergency. HEAT REDUNDANCIES!! WOOHOO!!


So with all this in mind, why am I waking up feeling like an anxious failure? Is it because I told my 2007 highschool graduating class "I'd work for Disney one day" and failed? Is it because I'm not some rock and roll legend that died of drugs or suicide when I was 27? Is it because I never found a better platform to share my work than Newgrounds? My working theory revolves around the fact that I'm only human. Life is so fucking good right now but I guess I'll always have a small place in my heart for feelings of self doubt and anxiety.


Fuck me I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


8

Comments (19)

Weren't you a User of the Day not too long ago?? Gee, anxiety is pretty tough, the brain just gets you sometimes! Good luck with the finished touches on your album!

Indeed, I was the USER OF THE DAY a while ago and I used my Fulp given powers to pave roads, educate the poor, and feed the hungry.

its been 12 minutes

"VURB 20 minutes ago"

do you not know how time works
when i posted that comment it was 12 minutes ago

THE FUCKIN POINT IS THAG JTS VEENWN AMORE THATN 5FUCKINW SECONDS FUYYOYFYCJINGBPIEXE N!

"VURB about 3 hours ago"

dude. tradesies. lemme git dat land ;D

also. fuccccckk disney. yer doin a good job, you're heading in the right direction. keep up the hard work.

also I only post on newgrounds. so lessss beee arrrtt buds.

Deal, I'll get right on that.

is ur husband tom fulp?

You are not the first person to say that. Tom happens to be a very common name.

The solution to existential dread is to be too busy to have time for that. Just go to the nearest disaster zone and you'll be free of that dread in no time.

Come to think of it, perhaps that's why there's so many born-again missionaries. Couldn't handle the midlife crisis and didn't want to be indentured to the military...

Lol, not enough to do out here with all these mountains. Give me a minute, I'll just fly to some random disaster zone and... I dunno give CPR to randos.

@Gimmick @Quarl I hear DR Congo is good about this time of the year. Loads of mysterious diseases infinitely worse than most we know of and plenty of chances to play hero.

Screw playing hero, I got mountain lions in Colorado. I'm gonna tame one and ride it around like some kind of mystical princess that shits lightning bolts out of her finger tips.

As a thrilling bonus to all the other fun and profitable traits of the human condition, we generally seem to thrive on contention, which typically negates any sense of peace in a stable, healthy lifestyle. It's perfectly ridiculous and nonsensical, which of course means that it's a 100% legitimate function within our warped mental faculties. Huzzah!

It's like we simply can't help but want more. Mostly because we can't. Humanity is insatiable, after all. If that weren't the case, social media would not exist. Any and all media in general, actually. We desire to populate the world with our footprints. To leave a legacy and be remembered even after we're gone. And so, here we are. Hard-wired to feel like nothing is ever enough.

The funniest part is that these facts in no way contradict the validity of your personal feelings of discontentment amidst a sea of perfection. In an ironic twist, the more smoothly things seem to be going, the more we - collectively, as a species - find fault with our current situation, and quite often expect the other shoe to drop, the bottom to fall out, the shit to hit the fan, or any one of a million other pithy little bon mots we've dreamed up over the years.

As a side note, I hope you don't feel too broken up over the whole working for Disney thing. Bunch of fucking sellouts, if you ask me. Rich and powerful sellouts, but still...sellouts all the same.

None of us asked for the gift of life, but we have it all the same. And yes, of course life is precious, but it can also be a steaming pile of shit at whiles. Going through adversity can make us tougher, but it always affects us in other ways that don't tend to be quite so wholesome. The world grinds us down like a mill stone, and if that process slows or stills for a even a moment, we just can't help but wonder why.

Hug that sleeping fiance, or punch him in the arm because he looks so contented and carefree when you're busy having a bit of an existential crisis, and do your level best to tell the woes of the world to let you be...for a little longer, at least. Life is too short for all these anxieties, but that knowledge doesn't do a single thing to keep them at bay. Revel in the endless paradox that is existence! At least until the next 4:00 AM punch to the head.

TL;DR, amirite? Seriously.

P.S. I quite like your third album concept image. The idea is great, and it would have looked awesome if the shadows had all been closer in hue. The second one straight up made me LOL.

Fuck Disney, animation can be a cruel mistress. I'm glad I spent my 20s soul searching as hard as I did, was broke as fuck the whole time. Thought I was going to pay bills in my early 20s by trafficking drugs and doing sex work. Spent 15 years landscaping instead. I needed to find the perfect human to harmonize with to escape that grind. No regrets getting conned from a con artist pimp in California because that led me to an amazing friendship in Missouri, an incredible man in Florida, and lifetime friends all over the country.

But damn it all if I don't have 4,000 followers and a trophy that says "best ho."

Emotions, especially grieving and other negative ones, are experienced in a non-linear fashion So no paradox here. Drugs are a temporary fix. Bluepilled, redpilled, greenpilled, they don't work on me anyway. Busyness is essentially running away from the problem. That's why I work 12 hour days to avoid the void I return to. But you can't run forever. Religion is a long-term solution: works well for the non-skeptical. I guess I prefer a combination of fixes. The only solution is to move forward through time, cherishing the non-linear pockets of good vibes and stuff. Until the next trough. Which are getting increasingly larger btw- it's the apocalypse if you haven't noticed. This place is literally on fire, I wake up to a haze of smoke, my car covered in ash, I can't see the mountains, the dusk sun turning the color and ominous shade of red. People are walking around in masks. Dementia-in-chief and companies are creating a line of zombies by forcing chemicals in our bodies. Sorta kidding- see the smallpox mandates of a century ago. This is some drivel that I'm starting to cringe at but I've written too many sentences to stop now. I do wish I could live off the grid...but I'm too wired into the matrix. When the bluepill doesn't work you end up in a purgatory. True, existential dread is a first world white person problem. Doesn't make it any less real. Especially for those where the probable outlook is to die fat and single. RE: success- If I was in the mood for giving a TedTalk, I'd say providing value is infinitely more important than showcasing success. I don't know...I'd go with the second album cover, looks quite neat-o. Sounds like you've got lots of fun activities in the works.

We managed to finish the cisterns today, got all the post holes dug for the solar array's mounts. We also had time to help a neighbor with his batteries, Tom has been improving his solar array. Gotta wake up tomorrow and help him move a center pivot irrigation.

In all honesty, the identity crisis was probably caused by sex, drugs, and rock and roll, or two out of three of those things.

@VicariousE @Cyberdevil
watch out...looks like you guys got some competition for best gardener on NewGrounds...

Hydroponics are the future. Automation is awesome.

@theOve @Quarl I can attest to the exceedingly commonplace nature of the name Tom. It also happens to be mine, though I often prefer to go by Thomas these days--in a professional setting, at least. I've even met the occasional Tommy. :3

My fiance's name is Tom, my dad's name is Tom, his dad's name is Tom, we both have grandpas named Tom, Tom, Tommy, Tom, Thomas... Tom is literally always short for Thomas. Tom asked if he could have my last name when we get married and I looked him in the eyes and said "bitch I'm never calling you daddy like that."

@ChronoNomad @Quarl @Quarl I had a really weird boss who used to call me "Thom." She even pronounced the silent H, like that was a thing. When I told her that Thom was not my name, she actually proceeded to try and justify it by citing some wonderfully convoluted logical argument. Then again, her name *was* Karen, so...no real surprise there.

its not too late to still push your music making career forward. there are no limits hahaha! good luck with finding a cover. uhh these suck ass. worst part of releasing.

There is a very small echelon of examples for what I would financially consider a "successful musician." Most artists kind of flub their finances and boast about minor things like releasing albums, going on tour, and getting publications. The reality is that most artists are broke as fuck, funneling more money into their dreams than they make flipping burgers or teaching piano.

There is nothing wrong with that though. IMO, an artist can be successful in other ways. If I didn't bust my ass in my 20s trying to figure it all out and become Skrillex, I wouldn't have such an amazing life right now. I didn't get what I wanted but I got what I needed and I consider that a complete success.

NG a small, ridiculous community whaaaat?! It's a BIG ridiculous community now don'tchaknow. We blew up! We're taking over the world! Anyway: the constant craving of social and interactive acceptance and reward is what drives me offline a bit each year. Among other things. It doesn't feel healthy, and it feels like there's a 1-2 week span of time you have to bridge to get back to the real world entirely and appreciate life offline in full without it, it's such a powerful drug. The more you use it the more you need it. Come back reluctantly every fall but once you're back it's so easy to stay here. It is rewarding. Our neurons all fire up. Endorphins start flowing. I understand why the world is stuck on the cusp of this technological craze and commonly called evolution, but at the same time I feel like we're really just cheating ourselves. This doesn't make us truly happy. Living like a true hypocrite. But back to the essentials and now and all...

lmao at that first album cover. XD And is that Tom in the third one?

In regard to hydroponics and all that sounds awesome. We just store our rainwater in barrels, and use a submersible pump via the lake when that dries out. Simple but functional, but not as environmentally sustainable if more people start using that lake. And no winter sustaining capabilities! Arr! That's an awesome setup! Snowfall came early here this year too, September 14, though melted away in a couple days, we covered up everything beforehand and everything but a slice of the salad survived till season finale.

"I'd work for Disney one day" implies a goal without set deadline doesn't it? As long as you're alive: no failure there. :) And NG's irrevocably the shiznit.

Someone once said as long as you're at least 65% happy then you're good. Feels like almost especially when everything's awesome you can fall into those bouts of doubt again too, cause who knows how long it'll really last. Hard to live in the moment.

But what a great read still.

Sounds like you and I are on about the same page with social media. When Facebook's top programmers come out and say "get off social media, go do real shit" it kind of resonates.

The third album cover is actually a photoshopped rock classic "Absolution" by Muse. Feels weird calling a band I listened to in Highschool a rock classic but hey, we're getting old now.

Lol, I didn't realize you harvested rainfall. Colorado limits you to two 55 gallon barrels but we automatically pump ours into our underground 17,000 gallon cisterns when they fill up. All the water feeds in from roof gutters. The winter system is still a WIP. It's just gonna be a small open structure, similar to a car port but the roof will sit at a steep angle. We'll get a small fire under it, melt snowfall, and gutter it down into a 300 gallon tank that can then be pumped underground.

Sorry that frost is killing off you plants. I've watched videos of high altitude Colorado farmers extend their grow season into snow fall by covering everything with tarps but if you have any hydroponic shops near you I'm starting to realize how amazing these little systems are.

As for that Disney thing, fak'em. I applied for a job with them when I was 23 in Oakland. I wasn't even qualified enough to get them coffee as an unpaid intern. Disney can bite my frigid tits.

Thank you for the commentary CyberD, it's always great when you stop by and post. I can be pretty reclusive :D

Regarding the Tom/daddy name thing btw: maybe have him change his last name to Fulp instead? :P

wtf, nu. Everyone makes this joke and I love it.

Also really liked that middle album cover. Seems usable for something.

I'm just now getting around to reading your comments but I wanted to answer this one immediately. The middle picture is one my mom took maybe a year or two before she passed away. I made a backup of all her digital photographs. I believe that balloon expo happens annually in Albuquerque NM :)

They did that? :D Somebody at FB actually saying something sensible huh. it does yeah... feels like the more you partake in 'real' activities (like say these hydroponic ones you're involved with these days) the more you realize how superficial so much of this is too. And the more you feel a benefit with the real stuff. Physical level emotional response/reward and all.

Ah that's interesting. Hadn't seen the original there. Less props on idea then but you really nailed appearance. I wonder if any of the bands I grew up on are considered 'classics' now hmmmmmmmmmmmm... might've gone with the wrong bands!

There's a limit on how much rainwater you can save up?! Man that's crazy. That sounds great though. Of course you have to take care of that stuff. :) A lot of our rainwater just runs away though, barrels fill up quick (so tiny compared to yours - 8 x ~80 gallons). How cold does winter get over there?

Mmm winter seems to coming earlier and earlier now actually, those theories of a miniature upcoming ice age don't seem all that crazy anymore... but we did get a pretty good harvest anyway! Just gotta start compromising at the start of the season and get everything setup faster, we could probably be at least a couple weeks earlier than we are. Finna have to wait with the hydroponic stuff, this is still a small scale vacation type thing, some day maybe. :)

You actually did work there for a bit though? Just read about how they apparently fired Gina Carano from that Star Wars series for some conflicting political views, so yeah, resonate sentiment!!!

Hey I can be way more reclusive than you can y'know. :P Good to be back here though. These some inspiring projects you're working on too.

- I forget which interview, I wanted to sample it. The guy that spoke up about the dangers of social media was one of the original programmers, left the company ages ago.

- I understand the rain water rules a little better now. Technically your limited to 110 gallons (we use two 55 gallon drums via our gutters on opposite sides of the house.) From there we immediately pump them into our underground cisterns (60,000 gallons.) The entire process is automated to pump as soon as enough water collects into the 55 gallon drums.

The limit only comes from the outside of the system. We can collect as much as we want but only using those two 55 gallon drums. Don't ask, the water laws are stupid.

- There are little gardening techniques to extend your grow season. A cold frame in the early spring can get seeds started earlier outside. Covering your crops with a blanket/tarp when it snows can nab a few more weeks of growth. I've watched so many gardening videos on YouTube :)

- Disney, never worked there. I mentioned applying for a low level position and never got it. Sorry if that wasn't clear dearest :(

-Thanks for popping in from time to time. Responses like yours makes me feel slightly guilty that I don't check in on my friends here enough. I noticed your commentary on an old post from S3C and thought "if only I could be more like cyberdevil. That mofo is invested in his peers."

Ohh, that balloon one seems like something to maybe save for a truly special album then? Could really work with any kind of title...

Ah. Curious now, is it legal to sample interviews in general? Do you ask for permission for that kind of stuff? Gray area? Interesting...

Sounds like a loophole in the law. :) But good there is one! Wouldn't manage as much with that water otherwise. Makes me wonder if there's any sort of restriction over here, it'd be unexpected but...

Cold frames huh, if we really get serious that might be worth trying. Thanks. :) We kickstart things indoors around March too usually, grow seedlings for anything that's going to the greenhouse. Transport space is our main issue though, 1200 km between summer/winter residence, can't prepare too much beforehand. Or stay long enough to REALLY get the most out of these crops.

A-ha! Ah no worries Quarlies. If the dream persists though possibilities can spring fro!

That thing about social media and affirmation needs and all though hmm. XD I don't know if my checking in on everyone but myself is all a good thing, but do appreciate the appreciation! You seem focused on the essentials though. That off grid hydroponic chronic(le).