Winter Break

December 21, 2013

I went to sleep before writing anything last night. I was going to write something this morning, but I was feeling incredibly unfocused. It’s the first full day of winter break, and I just felt like sleeping all day.

Instead of sleeping all day, I made myself do a household chore that I have been putting off for months. I cleaned the stove. Then I made myself run a few outside errands. Then I finished knitting a hat and forced myself to get my shit together and go to a friend’s house for a crafternoon. I wasn’t even out of the house 2 minutes when I got a weird nod from some dude driving down my street. Either my brand new bleach blonde hair was the culprit, or the super short skirt I was wearing. Or, I was just walking down the street and dude was an asshole. Did I mention it’s 60 degrees in Ohio in December? Nope? Well it is, and it’s pretty flipping awesome.

At this point, I don’t have bleach blonde hair anymore, because that was hours ago, and I’ve since dyed my hair a pretty vibrant blue. It’s kind of an Alice in Wonderland blue, though it’s a little annoying trying to get the lighting right in a selfie. I half blinded myself with the flash on my cell phone camera just to get it right.

I have one last thing to make for the holidays, and then I am done with the annoying gifting part and ready to hang out with my family. Another thing I am hugely looking forward to is that some of my best friends in the world (who happen to live far away) are in town, and there’s a chance for two of them to finally meet face to face. They only know each other through me, and they’re such total peas in a pod, it’ll be wonderful to actually see them meet in person. Hoping I can help make that happen! Pretty much the three of us are the Powerpuff Girls. If we ever all end up at DragonCon at the same time, we should totally do that group costume. It would be amazing. Oh, how I have digressed!

I think I have gotten winter break started off all right. I really need to get things more organized in my life right now, so that is what I am focussing on. So tomorrow, my goal for blogging is to do two posts. One in the same sort of blathering vein I have been doing just about all month, and one creative piece. I think more than anything, when I am talking about getting organized, I am talking about my creative endeavors. I need to make a plan and follow it, or at the very least, see where it leads me.

Suitcase

December 19, 2013

A lot happened today. So I think I’ll just do a roundup.

1. I felt like crying all day. Not sure why. Maybe weird lingering closure over the conclusion of Locke & Key. Maybe not. Dunno. It wasn’t awesome. The feeling, that is. Locke & Key’s finale was solid. I had some migraine issues so probably that factors in. Just kept telling myself it would pass, and I’m actually feeling less weird now, so yay for that.

2. Weird awesome luck. Last night at trivia I found a parking spot right in front of the bar. And today I found a spot right in front of the post office where I was mailing stuff to a friend across the state. I am so impatient about those arriving on time. Cannot wait to see my friend’s reaction to the silly things I sent for her holiday party. IF they get there on time. If not, still looking forward to that reaction. My parking luck has been duly noted and appreciated, so the next time I have a hard time finding a spot somewhere, I will remember this awesome streak of luck.

3. Office white elephant gift exchange. My contribution was a knitted scarf that took me like 17 hours to make. I used yarn that my ex-husband picked out for a hat I was never going to make him. Well, neener neener, I can knit hats now, and now I don’t have your stupid yarn cluttering up my stash anymore. And the co-op student scored the scarf. Oh, the co-op student. That kid. Hahaha. So, he apparently has a friend who works at Spencer’s and he asked her to pick something out, which she did. She wrapped it and apparently cackled wildly about it. He didn’t really think much of it. Til the gift was opened at work and it was a COCK COZY (pretend I just shouted that into a megaphone). Oh my damn, how we laughed. He was so embarrassed that he called his friend and told her off for her prank. The dean walked into the office and we rushed to hide it from her. It was like, “Put it in this bag. No, it won’t fit in there.” And then we all laughed our asses off at that while the person who was holding it hid it from sight. Best office gift exchange ever.

4. Yelp event. It was pajama themed so I showed up wearing my unicorn onesie. It was at a salon just down the street from my apartment. I could have walked there in 10 minutes. In the unicorn costume. It isn’t even that cold here right now, so I totally could have. But I drove over for two reasons. One, I am getting over bronchitis, and two, I had a car full of suitcases. I’ll get to that in a minute. The event was neat. I walked in and our Yelp Community Manager saw me in my unicorn jammies and was like, “OMG is that even real?” Got my eyebrows waxed, got my nails did, and chatted with some people. Really nice to step away from such hardcore introversion and mingle a bit.

5. Suitcases. After work today, before the Yelp event, I had to drive way to the east side of town and pick up some suitcases I won in an auction. This part of Ohio is so weird that I had to drive to Kentucky and then back across the river to get there the simplest way. I bid on these suitcases so I could clean them up and turn them into containers for crafting. Bonus on scoring an entire tower of suitcases is that at least one friend was looking for 1 or 2 for the same reason, so now I can share this cool score. I totally thought I was going to get outbid at the last minute. That didn’t happen, so I had to pay up and pick them up. I want to fix one up for zine supplies, and I have this weird idea about turning another one into a roving tea party case. Not tea party in the terrible jerkface politicians who have sullied the name “tea party” sense, but awesome, with tea to drink, and snacks and stuff. Some lady told me that some old guy who is a known local re-seller said that one of the cases was worth some actual cashy money, so I’ll have to look that up and figure out if I can turn a profit on it. If so, more funds for crafts and for ye olde DragonCon fund.

So it was a bit of a whirlwind of a day. I like days like that, but they also can be so exhausting. I am glad I only have one more work day and then it’s winter break (don’t have to be back to work til Jan 2nd) and I can take some time to make some project progress and get more organized.

*editing to add- I woke up this morning and realized I hadn’t really clarified my lame excuse for needing to drive to something that I could have walked to in ten minutes. Trust that it has everything to do with laziness. The idea was that every time I drove somewhere, I could grab a couple of the suitcases from the tower and bring them inside. Which was what I did. Had to make a third trip just to get it done, and now my apartment is filled with 6 suitcases that need cleaned up, and one thing that turned out to be a wig box. Neat.

First Zine

December 18, 2013

I made my first little zine-like book last night. It was really more of a holiday card, and kind of more like a song book. I was going to write the whole thing out, but I forgot that Sharpies bleed through (especially on plain copy paper). It was a good lesson on technique, though, that I will have to be mindful of in the future. So, content-wise, this was basically just a re-writing of the “12 Days of Christmas,” so all I really needed to write were the the 12 things, which is the way I ended up doing it. Simplify!

It only ended up being a few pages long, but still, I’m calling it my first zine. One of a kind! Small project, successfully completed, in an evening. I think once I get into a groove on making these and work out some of the kinks, this is going to be so freaking awesome. It’s a really fun outlet for my creative energies, and I really like the idea of being able to reproduce a bunch of them, once I get some templates made and such.

I was going to write a little more about this, but today was last issue of Locke & Key day, and I really want to just read it and cry myself to sleep. I have only looked at a few of the pages, and already it is looking like I am going to be a bit upset with the story. I don’t often get that tied up in a storyline that I have that kind of reaction, but this has been such a beautifully crafted and illustrated story, that I am not sure I can really help it in this case. And I’m cool with that, because reading this story has been an absolute joy, even at the times it was like getting my heart ripped out. I might make tomorrow’s post about that, actually, not the icky emotional stuff, but about Locke & Key.

Thick-Skinned

December 17, 2013

Someone recently told me to make sure I have thick skin, so that I can deal with fallout that is almost certain to happen. This person paused for a moment and then continued, “You’ll be fine. You’re good with rolling with the craziness around here.” I think things are about to get a bit tenuous for a bit at work, but it will all be okay. There’s a transition that needs to happen, that is well overdue to occur, and I think it’s finally going to happen soon. It’s not a bad thing or anything like that, it’s just something that has been handled less than awesomely, and my patience is waning.

I am not sure at what point in my life I became someone with a thick skin. Kind of like I am not sure when I became a person who makes her bed every morning. And I am not sure when I became someone who sleeps better when she says goodnight to certain people. Or when it was that I became a morning person. In a funny little way, behaviors become habit, become a part of us. We change, we grow, we adapt to our surroundings. We evolve.

Sometimes I wish I could make things easier for the people who are giving me a hard time. It’s something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I think that even more than being thick-skinned about this weird work situation, I need to figure out a way to create solutions to the problems (real and imaginary, because there are totally both of those going on here). I think I ruffled a few feathers in the past week, as my patience has begun to falter, but I think, vague and boring as this post is, that I can turn this around into something positive that will change things for everyone for the better. At least, that is what I am going to try to accomplish. Hopefully not until after winter break, though, because there’s only 3 more work days til I am free for two solid workweeks.

It isn’t often that I worry about work at home. This didn’t use to be the case. I used to get so caught up in it that I would take such stupid emotional work baggage home with me. I am not sure how that happened, how I was that person, but I know I learned to shake it off when I finally got a job that wasn’t soul-suckingly horrible. Nothing changed my life for the better like the last time I got laid off. Sometimes I think about what a beautiful day that was, not just because it was an oddly warm sunshiny November day, but because it was so momentous. Everything since that point, for the most part, has been about me heading in more positive and awesome directions. So now, even though I am thinking a little bit about work tonight, and I think I had a little seed of worry in my gut over it, I feel better now that I’ve tapped out some words about it. That act helped to remind me that I can turn the negativity that has been happening lately around simply by how I react to it.

Clothing Swap

December 16, 2013

clothingswap

Making one of those faces that makes my mom say, “Oh honey, can’t you smile?” Yes, I can, and I do, quite often. Smiling is the shit, yo! Speaking of things that make me smile, check out my sweet poster from that time I met the awesome ladies of Shonen Knife.

Anyway, this dress was my favorite score at the clothing swap I went to yesterday. I almost didn’t take the sweater, but I liked the look of it with the dress, so I figured, what the heck? One of my favorite parts of the swap is liberating items from my closet that will look great on others. I actually brought the item most lusted after, that would fit none of us who were present, sadly. Curses to stretch-free fabrics, right? I think we’re doing another swap in a few months. Certainly, I will be ready to part with some more stuff by then. Yay, less closet clutter, and double yay for when my old clothing looks even more awesome on other people than it ever looked on me. Actually, that part is extra fun because usually it’s not something someone else would have even tried on in a store, so it makes it extra awesome when they find something that suits them well. Oh, and another awesome thing is that my friend planned to take the un-swapped clothes to the “Dress for Success” program at her institution.

Moving on from that, I had some more ideas today for making some progress on some writing projects. It’s funny, sitting here wearing someone else’s clothes, I think about writing from that frame of mind. Which, honestly, that is kind of a ridiculous idea, but it’s really just more fiction. Haha, I like how I contradicted my own line of thinking mid-sentence. Oh, writing, you sultry minx. Clearly, I’ve gone from pensive to silly in no time, so I think I will just stop right there, with a picture and a messy rambling thought.

Late Post

December 16, 2013

I climbed into bed last night and realized I hadn’t made my daily boring post. I decided I would rather sleep and make two posts the next day, so this is the first of those. I am finally starting to feel better since I fell ill. I haven’t been taken out by sickness like this since my slipped disc issues last year.

Yesterday afternoon, I managed to clean my sick, sad self up a bit and head over to a clothing swap that a friend organized. Maybe this evening’s post should be of the cute dress I got there. Or maybe I’ll bundle up in all the things and post that. Haha. I think at one point I was wearing three dresses and two cardigans, just trying stuff on.

I was glad I cleaned myself up and went to this event. Met some neat folks, and might have even networked something awesome for the future. I definitely felt like I gained some more confidence for some of my ideas, too. Even if I was just sitting there, barely propping myself up on the couch, trying to listen to the conversations going on, because my own voice was still raw from being sick.

No symbolism in my loss of voice, here, really! I promise.

It’s that time of year with yearly best-of lists and reflections on the past. I tend not to be much for reflecting on things, I think because I’d rather focus more on continuing to make improvements. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t look back and try to figure out instances where I messed up, so I can correct for it in the future. And that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t also look back at successes, the biggest of which being graduating from NKU in May. That took a lot of hard word and determination, and I think if I want to succeed on my future projects, I need to remember how hard I worked to get my Masters Degree so that I can throw that kind of energy and time into it.

What does any of that have to do with the folks I have been hanging out with lately? For me, it matters a lot. The idea of building community and creating art and projects together, about speaking up for women’s rights and all kinds of equality, it all connects. And if I want to do these things, every little burst of confidence I get from the community reminds me that the hard work and everything is worth it, that ultimately, what I am doing is worth the effort. Sometimes I hear a terrible little voice that tries to talk me out of awesome ideas, and there’s no reason it should ever drown out the support. I mean, if it’s going to be a constant little annoyance, and another little hurdle, I think it loses power from acknowledgement. See it, face it, get past it, and move on to the awesome thing. And the real ultimate goal here: see a project through to completion. That was an amazing lesson my thesis project taught me. And I knew I wanted to learn that going in, so I designed the project in a way that would help me learn it. I still want to take that project a step further, produce it and put it out there, and I think through some awesome networking and getting my words out there more, I will figure out what step I am missing to make it really happen.

It’s funny, these thoughts were on and off my mind all weekend, while I was drifting in and out of feverish sleeps. In a way, taking that break because I had to kind of helped to reset my mind on what really matters to me. I feel like I have new goals and better defined old goals, and this all fills me with a sense of hope for how much I can get accomplished in the next calendar year, and beyond.

Continuum

December 14, 2013

One of the problems with trying to write a blog post every day is trying to come up with something interesting to say. Since I am incredibly ill and haven’t done much but sleep all day, other than the hour I spent at dance class, despite probably not being well enough to be there, I am really not sure what to post about.

I needed some background noise this morning and saw that there was a sci-fi show on Netflix I hadn’t seen before, so I clicked on it. It’s called Continuum, and, for me, it falls under the category of super problematic science fiction. The tech seems kind of silly, but it’s fun to think about it… even if it’s incredibly intrusive and bridges a gap between people being spied on 24/7 and actually being controlled.

The first episode had a moment that was so racist, I think my mouth was actually hanging open for awhile. Then I realized, all the “good” guys were white, while many of the so-called bad guys were people of color. Later episodes have some serious flunking of the Bechtel test, and many instances of the female lead needing to have her assed saved by a man. Lines grey a bit more about the good/bad guy thing later on, and the female lead seems like a metaphor for “the system.”

Anyway, at this point, I am almost through the entire first season, and I feel compelled to keep watching in case the story actually takes an interesting twist (kind of like how Fringe did in their first season). Current overall assessment is that it’s the kind of show that is probably best to watch while feeling like twelve kinds of hell. And if it ends up getting worse, at least I can warn friends off from wasting their time with it. I guess.

Bronchitis

December 13, 2013

I finally caved into actually believing I am sick. I decided to go to work, even though I spent half the night tossing and turning because my throat hurt so badly. In my head, in and out of consciousness, I was conflicted between going to work to get some last-minute papers from my students or calling in sick and going to the doctor. I ended up doing both, realizing after a meeting that I needed to call the doctor and see if I could get in. Luckily, they had an opening at the doctor’s office, so I left early.

The doctor said from my symptoms that I most likely have bronchitis, so that was that. Went to the pharmacy for some meds and such. I got some cough drops and a few other things while I was there. While waiting for the automated text to let me know that my prescription was ready, I went to the awesome Indian restaurant across the street, which ended up being the only thing I could get myself to eat today. Other than some sketchy “Pecan Pie” flavored Pringles that I found at the Walgreens.

The rest of the day was kind of a blur. I knitted some, listened to Science Friday, tried and failed to nap. I think I was almost asleep when my little orange cat decided the thing that would make me feel best was petting her. Who could resist (ignore) her insistent cries and headbutts?

After that, I listened to the new BeyoncĂ© album that the Internet was exploding about. It was pretty damn amazing. Can’t wait to give it some more spins. While I was listening, I made some art. Getting closer to really being able to visualize a project I started earlier this week. Hopefully, I’ll make some more progress on that this weekend. At the moment, my head is so fuzzy, I can barely remember what day it is.

I had to bail on an open mic tonight, since I have almost no voice. I really felt gutted about missing it, and will probably have to miss the one going on tomorrow night as well. By 9pm, I needed to decide whether or not to bail on my dance class. I decided what the hell, might as well attempt to go. Worst case I either pass out or cough so hard I barf. Though for the time being the coughing is under control, I expect it to get worst before it gets better. So, I guess I had better rest up for class, but more importantly, I hope the rest helps me heal faster. I am such crap at being sick, and the slight fever I have been running all day makes everything all squishy and weird. <-likeso

Trivia

December 12, 2013

Trivia was pretty cool last night. It was a different format than what I was used to, but that didn’t really matter. I was third-wheeling it, which was fine. That sort of thing tends to have its awkward moments, but when you’re a perpetual odd-numbered wheel, it’s easy to just roll with that. <- And no, I did not even intend that pun, but damn, that is awesome. We ended up winning the game, which was awesome, and a bit unexpected, due to a few frak-ups here and there. I think the fact that the venue was so near a college campus helped, because we were all at least 10 years beyond the undergraduate experience. I tend to feel relatively unhelpful at trivia, because my knowledge base is so eclectic and strange. However, I can usually back someone up with an answer by verifying I believe it to be correct. That worked against us in one round, but we came back at the end. Our team name is Mall Goths, which I think is an incredibly fun name. I told them next time I will wear some thick eyeliner to look the part. It is definitely awesome to be part of a trivia team again, even though I don't feel like I'm the most useful contributor. Better than that was the idea of having a feminist trivia group in the first place, which happened because my friends attend a rather dude-bro based game on Monday nights. I used to play on a team like that so I definitely know the feeling. It would go like this: when I spoke up, they wouldn't listen to me, and then when I was right, they'd tell me I should have fought for my answer. It was a bit of a different vibe at feminist trivia night, and I think we should invade this space with even more of us next time. Before trivia, at dinner, which was at the dining hall at UC, I met some pretty cool people. We talked a lot about feminism and nerd-stuff. For me, I think that was the highlight of my night. I definitely need more feminism and nerd-stuff in my life, which is kind of a weird statement, because I am all about those two things anyway. Seems like there might not be room for more, but nah, remember, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside. Hehe. I mean, you gotta love a conversation that takes turns like, "Do you think Eddie Izzard is sexier as a man or in drag?" Or, "My friend told me to watch the Doctor Who episode about some kind of crying angel things." And, oh, people who haven't seen/read Game of Thrones saying, "Ooh, what is this Red Wedding thing? Who gets married?" And then talking about so-called selfie culture and how frakked up the patriarchy makes everything. So much packed into dinnertime chatter, I can't even remember it all. Plus, it didn't help matters that my brain was feeling somewhat fuzzy as I have been coming down with something ever since I donated blood on Monday morning. I think I would have been more excited and maybe even more animated at trivia if I wasn't getting sick. But I have given up on being well for the time being. Nothing says sexy like rubbing vapo-rub on your chest and crying because you are tired of feeling like crap. On that less than awesome note, I must retreat to slather on more foul-smelling goo so I can sleep tonight. Rawr?

Quick Post

December 11, 2013

I was trying to think about what to write about today. Usually I think about it for a bit either while I’m at work or after I get home, and then I churn something out right before I turn in for the night. Today, I have a little get together with some friends, old and potentially new ones, yay! So I figured I would write something really quickly before I need to leave to go there… because I am not sure how late this trivia thing will run tonight.

We were going to go to the Greek place that we missed out on a few week’s back, but one of my friends works at a local university and has some free card swipes (like a lot of them, actually), for the dining hall. So I got to thinking about how I kind of missed out on that kind of college experience, not that I am sad about it at all, and why.

Simply put, it was most frugal for me to live at home and go to a branch campus. I am incredibly lucky that my parents were down with this plan. I started college early because I was sick of small town high school drama, and I wanted to get college credit for free, so I enrolled through the PSEOP program, which I guess is what they call the program in Ohio that allows high school students to earn dual credits to graduate high school and receive college credits they can transfer wherever. It was a damn sweet deal, and I loved the entire experience.

One of my favorite parts about the branch campus that I attended was the non-traditional students. I learned so much from the older students, because the questions they asked based on their life experiences were so much better than my 17-year old brain could even fathom. I feel like my English classes were more enriched, and even my study group for chemistry was a better match for me, all because of the benefit of experience. When I ended up as a tutor (for calculus, chemistry and English) and working in the writing center, I learned so much from assisting older students. One, they were always determined to pass. Kids my age would stop coming to tutoring sessions or just give up, but not the older students. They were going to pass, and I damn well was going to help them. It was a great sense of achievement.

I guess that really brings me up to this week, when I got to tell one of my students, “Remember when you got a warning you might fail? Any other student might have given up and dropped the class, but you worked hard, were determined to pass, and right now, you’re getting a B in this class. That’s your final grade.” The student high-fived me and told me that I made her feel so proud in herself. “You should be proud,” I told her. “You worked really hard to earn that.”

So while I want to take some of the credit for helping that student along, I suppose I can a bit, just by being there, encouraging her, answering her questions, she made that awesomeness happen for herself. And I guess for me, getting to be a part of that, seeing the look of triumph on her face, is one of the most rewarding things I have had happen as an instructor.

So yeah, this post kind of took a turn, as I wasn’t really sure where I intended to end it. I am fairly happy with this entire train of thought, though. All really nice positive stuff, which is something I have been trying to be all about lately. Feels much better than dwelling on anything that’s broke as shit or beyond my control, that is for certain. Hopefully, I will return tomorrow with some notes on how the evening went. I am expecting very little but some fun times and awesome conversations with some awesome folks I am lucky enough to know.