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...looks like I may have a job.  Both places offered to hire me on the spot.  Now I just have to decide WHICH ONE I should accept...

First interview was at Party City: $8/hr, part time, temporary through end of October (but if they think I'm good at the job, it's almost a given that they'll keep me on in some capacity), schedule boils down to "whenever we need bodies," manager seemed like a fairly decent dude, starts almost immediately, and I'd have to buy khakis and black polo shirts to fit the "uniform."

Second interview was at Joann Fabrics: $7.25/hr, part time, temporary through January (but there are always a few long-term positions that open up around then), schedule would be four 6-7 hour days per week, I REALLY liked the manager (BS-free, funny, similar philosophy, and seemed genuinely pleased by the thought of having a costume designer on staff for Halloween), starts a week from Wednesday, and I already have clothes that fit the white collared shirt/hole-free jeans or other pants dress code.

In other words:  Going strictly by the money, I should go for Party City, keep applying other places, and leave for a fancier/better paying job come November.  BUT.  I think I'd be much happier at Joann's (oops, Jo-Ann, have to start spelling it right if I end up working there), having more than a month to figure out the Next Thing would take away a lot of stress, and there are rumors that the employee discount is FANTASTIC (which is highly relevant to my interests).
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Have been at my folks' place conducting a two-person jobhunting retreat with my mom since Wednesday. El came over last night, planning to bring me home sometime today...

So, after filling out job applications for a day and a half solid, I finally close the computer. Phone rings almost immediately, I ignore it because I don't recognize the number and who the heck follows up on an application on a Sunday?, and start packing stuff up. Sit back down after a bit and listen to my voicemail... the call had come from a manager at [location redacted for luck], wanting to schedule a job interview.

...I'd submitted that application less than 20 minutes before the call. O.o   I guess they liked me?

The manager who called had headed home for the day by the time I got the message/called back, so no interview scheduled yet, but I guess I'm going to be staying with my folks for at least another day rather than worry about adding "commuting on expressway whilst out of practice" stress on top of interview stress...

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Things have been improving. Haven't had a Big Talk with my fiancee yet, but we did have a tiny talk in the evening of the day I made my previous post, and that seems to have helped... he's been a lot more appreciative of the things I *do* manage to do, less cranky about the things I don't, and generally seems to be putting more effort into being understanding. Heck, just knowing that he finally realizes there are problems takes a big weight off my shoulders - I think that the contrast between my angst and his apparent cluelessness was stressing me out almost as much as the relationship problems themselves. It's not like I hadn't TRIED to communicate that there were problems to him several times over the last couple months, it's that until Wednesday, I think whenever I said "I'm super stressed out and think our relationship is in trouble," he misidentified the cause & effect... ie, he heard that I was stressed, and that I was worried about our relationship, but assumed that the stress was caused by prep for running an event GenCon and setting up a vendor booth at Deeplight (a LARP event run by friends of ours), and that it was making me overreact to rather small relationship issues... not unreasonable, and that added stress didn't help matters, but not an accurate assumption.

Also, the car is officially FIXED! So that helps a lot, too, just knowing I have the option of transporting myself to things on my own. Now, I just need to remember how to drive and find a thing to drive TO...

Also also, I spent much of Thursday/Friday rejiggering my resume and writing a nice cover letter and sent in an application to a job I genuinely WANT... they haven't gotten back to me yet, so I'm pouting a bit, but it's a start.

Between these things and spending most of the weekend at my folks' place to unwind and destress, I feel a lot better about things. There's still a lot to be done, and it's not going to be fun doing it, but at least I feel like I can breathe. Well, mostly... I'm still overwhelmed by day-to-day To Do list (sewing, non-sewing business stuff, cleaning, jobhunting, cooking, study for GREs, basic personal hygiene), because I can only make a worthwhile amount of progress on two, maaaaybe three of the items on the list over the course of any given day, which means I'm never caught up on ANYTHING and it's driving me insane.

And my Big Worry about the whole situation is still there... Part of me is pretty sure that the core of our relationship woes boils down to having very different ideas of what a happy, successful life looks like. I know I'm drawn to episodic high-pressure situations and being able to touch the lives of strangers (and am perfectly fine with financial instability and working very weird & inconsistent hours in the service of that). I suspect that my fiancee's ideal runs more toward a low-stress, consistent work life and a stable income that allows for expensive hobbies without concern (ie, roughly what most normal people are supposed to want)... If this is the case (it may not be), it is going to take a phenomenal amount of work for both of us to live up to an approximation of our respective ideals, if it's possible at all - these two ideals may be mutually exclusive. So that's something we're going to have to spend some serious time figuring out.

However it pans out though, I've at least gotten some perspective. If this relationship is salvageable, it will be easier to approach stuff if I calm down and remember to enjoy his company instead of dwelling on where things have cracked. And if it turns out that we aren't compatible in the long run, then I might as well calm down and enjoy what time we have left together. Either way, I'm focusing on taking deep breaths and addressing the things I already have half a clue how to resolve, which seems like a good start.

Thank you guys so much for all your advice, kind words, and YouTube links. It's really helped a lot, and knowing I have such awesome friends in the midst of this drama means so much to me... I love you guys.
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I really, really need advice, guys.

My relationship with my fiancee might be on its last legs.  Dying a death of a thousand cuts from tiny little frustrations that we haven't talked about because we thought they would pass.  We're finally talking about them and working our way to fixing our problems (it's taken me  weeks to write this, because we keep having good days and I fool myself into thinking I was overreacting), so if we DO manage to work this stuff out we may end up better than ever. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love him, I still enjoy his company when we're doing the things that brought us together in the first place (games and nerding out with mutual friends), he still gives me warm fuzzies when he holds my hand or snuggles up to me in the morning.  But the spaces in between the good moments are getting... not longer, but definitely harsher, and I am very afraid it might already be too late to save us.

The grand narrative, at least from my standpoint, is this:

I've been deeply unhappy with how my life has been going for something like two years now (momentary distractions that fool me into thinking things are getting on track notwithstanding), and every time I try to talk to him about it he gets really angry because all he hears is me laying a guilt trip on him.  To what end I'd be doing that, I don't know.  Usually, I'm just trying to explain why I'm being lethargic and weepy, although I admit sometimes I'm explaining why I want him to fix my car...

Related: One of the big reasons I moved in with him when I did, rather than staying in Madison to sort out post-college me and get my career started before I tried to learn how to cohabitate with someone, was because he promised to fix up his car so I could look for theatre work in Madison AND Milwaukee, seeing as he lived halfway between the two.  Nearly three years and an entirely different car with my name on the registration later, I still don't have a functional vehicle.  I spent well over $1,000 and declined to return to a seasonal job so I could go to the 2013 USITT conference in an effort to kickstart/breathe life back into my theatre career, and was completely unable to follow up on that investment because no car...  And, of course, he seriously resents that investment, because from his perspective I just spent over a grand on a weekend of nothing in particular instead of continuing to pay off my student loans without his help (understandable, really - in hindsight, we probably would have been much better off if I'd just taken the money and bought a car that worked).

He also seems to resent that my business hasn't become an instant success, and he has straight up TOLD me that he thinks it's ridiculous for me to spend the first half of my day working on my computer (ie, social media wrangling, tweaking price lists, researching construction techniques and new product ideas and sizing standards, writing copy for my Etsy store, etc.) instead of sewing things... as if a stack of premade clothes will magically generate money for an unadvertised custom clothes business.  Although, really, the problem is that he doesn't trust that all those tasks actually take half the day and I'm really just sipping coffee and playing games on my phone and/or computer all morning... I, of course, resent his suspicion, and fear that no matter how successful I become or how hard I work, that suspicion will always be there for as long as I'm working at home (or only working out of home part time).

Needless to say, money is getting tight, and I've been looking for a day job, which is something I wish I didn't have to do, but I accept as a consequence of not being an instant success (I've almost got the business set up to the point where I'll have time for other things/a real job)...  Except I can't apply for anything I might actually be good at or enjoy, because I'm stuck either within walking distance or on a schedule that lets him drop me off.  Which brings us back to the car thing.

I know it sounds like I'm blaming the potential end of a four-year mostly-happy relationship on a car, but I'm not.  That would be stupid.  The car is just a fetish, a bit of phlebotinum that I like to pretend would have prevented the real problems from becoming big enough to break us, a focus for the resentment I feel.

It's the resentment that's the real problem.  The car on my side, the business on his.  There are so many other things, too.  We BOTH resent that I've become totally dependent on him - him because supporting both of us financially means he has to cut back on hobby spending and worry about bills, me because I don't feel I have any agency in my own life, and him again because when I want to do something outside the house (whether it's for fun, or taking my business to vend at an event, or even applying for a job) I have to convince him to come with/take me to it (and there's that damn car again).  He resents that I'm home all day and yet don't keep the place clean or cook dinner more than a couple nights a week lately, I resent the idea that because I'm home all day it must mean I'm a housewife.  His (understandable) baggage from his ex, my resentment of his baggage getting dumped on me.

Those resentments are all in addition to the normal couple stresses.  Personal habits that we thought were innocuous or even cute when we first moved in but now make us want to strangle each other, household budget, different political views, not delivering hugs exactly when needed, not being horny when the other wants to get laid, various "could you help around the house" complaints from both of us.  We're so wound up in our resentments that we can't talk about these day-to-day problems without it turning into a fight.  In fact, until very very recently, that's how this relationship drama has played out - we try to talk about a normal-functional-couple problem, and other-stuff-resentments from both sides explode the conversation into a fight.  ...Check that - because this post has taken a while to write, a new pattern has emerged: he complains about normal problem only loudly, angrily, and at length because ::such and such resentment, usually computer-based work/suspicion of gaming:: that he mentions, then usually apologizes a few hours later, I keep response to said complaint minimal and stay shut up about normal problems because I don't want to fight.  Basically, that "we're finally talking about our problems" thing I mentioned above is fading, because most of our talking was triggered by the aftermath of a fight, and if I don't have the emotional energy to take a rant and turn it into a fight, then the talking doesn't happen.

To top it all off, that baggage from his ex I mentioned above has given him a cut-and-run reflex.  When fights get bad, he goes straight to some variation on "if that's the way you feel, you might as well just leave" (and the threshold of fight badness where this tactic appears is getting lower and lower).  When fights get REALLY bad (and they can turn really bad for tiny, superficial reasons, often semantics along the lines of saying "nice" instead of "affectionate"), he has actually told me to "pack your shit" (always that exact phrase, always multiple times once the fight escalates to that point) and get out... this has happened three, maybe four times total, all within the last six months.  Once things get calmed down, which usually involves me throwing away my half of the argument and apologizing for everything I think I might have done, that order gets recanted, and it usually only takes about 15 minutes for that calmdown to happen...  But I'm not certain how much longer I'll have the emotional energy to drop everything and grovel if/when the next time comes.  I'm pretty certain that the next time, or maybe the time after that, my response is just going to be "Okay, I'll call my parents and see when they can get a Uhaul here."

The stress of all this is seriously taking its toll, to the point of making me physically ill.  (There's also a possibility that I have a quiet case of mono, as well, but the following I'm quite certain are stress symptoms:)  I've had next to no appetite for nearly a month, haven't had a restful night's sleep in even longer, my already chronic heartburn has turned into a daily ordeal of discomfort and ranitidine, my libido is pretty much gone, my caffeine tolerance suddenly dropped to fraction of what it used to be, and my hair is starting to fall out a bit (not in clumps or anything, but I'm definitely shedding way more than usual).  I've started carrying a stuffed animal with me at all times just to keep myself calmed down.  Efforts to keep myself distracted/calm have also made his suspicions about me playing games all morning come a LOT closer to being true than they were a few weeks ago, which does not help in any way...

Something has to change.  Something has to change SOON, because I cannot handle this.

I feel like, if I can pull off the change in trajectory my life needs, get my career going (or go to grad school - I've been out of the loop long enough that might be a better choice), become less dependent...  If I can do that, then that will pave the way to fixing everything.  A couple of the biggest sources of resentment will be gone, or at least faded, we can work through whatever is left as well as the normal-couple stuff, and because I'll be happier with my life I'll also be in a much better mental state TO work through it.  But that's a big "if."

As mentioned before, I've become almost totally dependent on my fiancee, which means that I'll need to either convince him (the full-time worker with an exhausting job who somewhat resents how dependent on him I am) to work nearly as hard as I will toward this goal, or find a way around that dependence... which would probably include spending a few weeks here and there staying at my parents' place so I'm within bus range of my goals and things like that (he says he's going to get my car on the road this weekend, so that'll help if it happens, but still).  Either route, it's going to put a even more stress on a relationship that's cracked already.  It could be like the relationship equivalent of a House, M.D. treatment... it might cure us, but it might kill or permanently maim us on the way.

The way I see it, there are four ways for this to go:

1) I surrender.  Try to forget that I think I already found The Thing I Was Meant To Do With My Life (or at least the general category of Thing), stop putting real effort into my business, get a part-time job that pays just enough to cover my student loans, and spend the rest of my time cleaning and cooking.

2) I pursue my goals for reals.  The financial strain and increased time away from home (or at home, but unavailable) on my part rubs at us and eventually the friction causes a fiery, relationship-ending explosion.

3) I pursue my goals for reals.  The visible action and gradually-increasing independence on my part eases tension between us, we work stuff out and live happily ever after.

4) I leave.  Figure out how to fit all of my stuff into my parent's basement, get out while I still have enough good feelings that maybe neither of us will have to give up a hobby just to avoid each other, and try to get my life on the track it was when I graduated from college.

Clearly, the one I WANT to happen is #3.  And I hate to say this, but I'm pretty sure the one that my fiancee wants now (possibly has always wanted, even though he loves the idea of Art Chick Wife) is #1, which... I can't do that.  I'm pretty sure Life Choice #1 is a variation on how my paternal grandmother became the bitter, dream-crushing old bat that she is now, and I've already seen hints that I could go that way in myself (ie, having difficulty being happy for my friends/family that are doing cool stuff in the entertainment & archaeology worlds), so going further down that road is  Anything else.

Unfortunately, #2 and #4 may be the most likely options.  Which REALLY sucks, because 2&3 are the same choice, only with different outcomes that may be beyond my control.  No reasonable person would want #2, but if I want any "happily" along with some "ever after" with my fiancee, that's what I'll have to risk.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.  But I'm just so tired.  Tired of being unsatisfied and unhappy.  Tired of fighting, and of keeping my head down to avoid a fight.  Just plain TIRED tired (although that last is probably the quiet possibly-mono).  And I don't know if I have it in me to handle it should option 3 turn into option 2.  So option 4, leaving, is starting to sound like an oasis in the desert - it's a long, long way from what I want, but at least it would be a cool place to stop and rest.

So, please.  Help.  I don't know what to do.

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Hello, all! 

I finally migrated my work blog over to Blogger, and there's a shiny new post up there, in which I:
  • Give an overview of my quest for internet saturation, and talk about related web-design things... I'll post links to all of my shiny internet selves (an official Facebook page and a Pinterest, mostly) once I have enough pictures and stuff up to make them worth visiting, rather than being empty husks of social media.
  • Mutter about how I need to design a company logo but am kind of crap at drawing.
  • Ponder the various cool, expensive things that I can't afford but would be great business investments in the light of doing this Amanda Palmer-style and maybe putting up some sort of donate button or GoFundMe link...  Think of it like crowdsourcing a small business grant.
The full post is HERE (if you'd like to read it and give some feedback, especially on the donate-button thing, that would make my day), and there's also a short projects list post I forgot to link to when I posted it HERE.

In other news, I have a companion cube.  It's an old-school-style tin lunch box, only a companion cube, and I use it as a purse.  I got it with Geek Points from ThinkGeek (ie, for free) as a reward for completing my holiday shopping.  :)  And El came home from a hardware store run bearing a Grumpy Cat plushie as an early Xmas gift for me.  And we saw Desolation of Smaug with a bunch of friends and it was pretty great - a couple things that made me go "hmm," but I could see their basis and reasoning, so all was good... and once again, it seemed really rushed, so I'm looking forward to the extended edition.  It's the little things that make the happies happen.

I've been doing my best to continue my cleaning binge - the big bathroom and much of the dining room got cleaned up, too, although there is still much to do - while juggling sewing projects and business preparations, although the last few weeks have seen a distinct drop in productivity...  Between the simultaneous occurrence of Furnace Trouble (think the filter just got killed by bunny fluff - will have to keep a closer eye on it in the future) and a cold snap, and the stomach bug that won't quit (I think the germs are actually gone, now, but massacred my gut flora on their way out - that, or I may be developing lactose intolerance.  Probably both.), I was definitely more inclined to hide under a blanket and poke at the internet than accomplish stuff around the house.  Getting Fallout for free from didn't help, either.  ;)

Finally, straight razor shaving is awesome.  El started right after TeslaCon, and I started stealing his razor for my legs shortly thereafter (eventually, we'll each have a nice razor, but we're restoring antique razors, and so far only one of them is up to the task).  It takes me like an hour and a half to do the full shower-shave-lotion process with a badger brush, that just makes for a nice excuse to hang out in a nice warm room listening to audiobooks and whatnot while playing with fantastic-smelling soap... it's like a private badass spa treatment (and if your blade is properly sharpened, you get WAY less razorburn than with a cartridge razor in the shower).

Now, I suppose I should get to accomplishing things... I have declared today to be the day I put up decorations and wrap presents. :)

P.S.  Oooh!  And I started playing D&D again, after a 14-year hiatus!  One of my friends started up a 3.5 campaign, and it's been hilarious, and I really missed rolling a proper dice set. 

Take Two...

Nov. 7th, 2013 02:23 pm
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Okay, work-blog post recreated, lunch eated, grumps grumped.  I swear to internet gremlin overlords, the new version of said post is nearly identical to the original fail!post, but where the fail!post seemed to me to be a charming missive, the new one seems rambley and meh.  Probably because I'm still grumping some grumps about it.

Also, after all that fussing around with important internet stuff, it's too late in the day to start the crock-pot potato soup I was going to make for dinner.  :(

Anyways, cleaning.  In preparation for the fancy new sewing machine, I went on a major cleaning binge in the sewing room.  Wobbled the couch (aka Throne of Handsewing/Blogging) a couple feet and about 35 degrees, shuffled the bookshelves/stacks, shifted end tables and drawer units, sorted & organized the trinkets, removed the doors...

Yes, removed the doors.  The sewing room was, in fact, so overstuffed that getting out a screwdriver and taking down both the entry and closet doors freed up a lot not just visual but usable space.  Now that it's all clean in here, I'm tempted to see what happens if I put them back, but I don't think I will.  There's a lot more light in the closet, now, for one thing.

The point is: IT IS SO PRETTY IN HERE NOW.  This room is the cleanest it's been since before I moved in, and the cleanest it's going to GET until I can build a set of proper shelves into the weird alcove and clear space for all the extra trinkets in other rooms and work through my Ongoing Project Pile, and it is just lovely.  Okay, it could use a vacuuming, but hauling the big vacuum up the stairs is a pain, and the little battery-powered vacuum would most likely be killed by all the fluff and miniscule thread scraps.  But still, it's my art cave, it has by far the highest concentration of visible books, baubles, trinkets and other happy-making shinies of anywhere in the house, it smells the best because it is both dirty-laundry- and litterbox-free and is where most of the incense lives, and now it's been magically transformed into an efficient workspace, too!

Okay.  I feel better now.  Dwelling on how awesome my sewing room just got and listening to calmingly epic movie songs was what I needed.  Now, I'll just pretend my cup of diluted PowerAde has something stronger in it for a couple more minutes, while I figure out what project to tackle next...

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Well, really I haz a break from cleaning in which I am sitting in the Throne of Handsewing/Blogging, surveying my domain, drinking coffee and writing two different blog posts at once.

Okay, since I wrote that first sentence, I finished the post on my work blog.  It's about half a rewrite of Monday's post, and half me waxing poetic about my sewing machines + a picture of my new business cards (and some muttering about blog and website maintenance).  ...EXCEPT THE WEBSITE LOGGED ME OUT AND IT DIDN'T POST OR SAVE.  ...Fuck.  It was a long post, too. I spent like two hours on it. :,(

::sigh:: Here's a link to the corset I almost bought: and the place we got the soap from: and the fancy writing box:
They have good stuff, you should ogle it.

Now, if you excuse me, I have a post to go reconstruct, I'll be back later with the rest of the post I meant to write here...


Nov. 4th, 2013 08:35 am
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Well, once again, I get my butt to a convention and totally forget to check with my internet peeps beforehand to see if they're also of the con-going persuasion...  Actually, what with basically ALL of my hobbies having their big end-of-season events and stuff in the space of like a month and a half, I pretty much dropped off the face of the internet again (not to mention neglecting the housework... it's getting kind of gross up in here).

Anywho, it was an epic convention, had a great time, enjoyed some very informative panels, ogled all the pretty costumes (because TeslaCon is an immersion convention, meaning EVERYBODY is dressed up), and had quite a few people asking for pictures of my coat... well, and of me, but mostly of the coat.  Which is very encouraging, considering the long Facebook conversation I ended up having during the week before the con...

Basically, I was trying to figure out how to estimate & quantify my income from garb commissions for my ACA insurance application, and after a great deal of time poking around on the internet, I decided FB might have better answer.  Somehow, this turned into a quick how-to lesson from a couple of my business-owning friends on how to start and run a business out of your house.  So, sometime at the beginning of 2014, I intend to file for sole proprietorship, get a state sales tax number, and make Unpronounceable Designs an official business, rather than just an occasionally lucrative hobby.  :D!

So it was extra fortuitous that among the many very, very awesome vendors at TeslaCon were the lovely ladies at Raky Press, with their beautiful antique treadle-operated flywheel printing press, making Victorian-style calling cards while you wait.  I got 50 printed (picture later, maybe), and people wasted no time asking for one.  It was pretty great. 

In other news of the con running headlong into business-y things, El nearly bought me a $300 underbust corset (it had a map on it!  It was so pretty!  I forgot to ask the price before I tried it on, then I was put under its spell!), but fortunately his debit card freaked out over getting processed through an iPad that belonged to business based out of Ohio.  In the time it took for the card to get reactivated after talking to customer service, we managed to calm down and realize that you could get a fairly decent sewing machine for that much (thus preventing further abuse of my 60-year-old Featherweight machine)... so, yesterday morning before garbing up and heading to the con, we looked through craigslist, and I did a quick comparison/price check on Amazon, where I discovered that this beauty (which I'd been ogling from afar for a while) was on mega-sale.  It'll be at my doorstep on Wednesday, we're going to see if we can replace the craptastic old Kenmore in the sewing cabinet with it.  :)

Anyways, con stuff.  Even having escaped from spending way too many monies on a fancy corset (I should add that said corset was top-notch quality and probably worth every penny), or an adorable Froud-esque stuffed goblin, we still spent way too many monies at the dealer room.  We got a pair of absinthe glasses and a spoon, and a three-glass tea timer (purchased because the middle sandglass is a 5-minute timer, which are strangely difficult to find, and we need one for gaming reasons), a pair of super-comfy black-and-purple-striped cotton stockings (I got a green & black pair from the same vendor last year and I <3 them), a clever folding writing box with a removable-nib dip pen and a stick of sealing wax, mocha-espresso soap for me and nice lemongrass shave soap, bay rum aftershave, and mustache wax for El (he'd been thinking of switching to straight razor for a while, and a panel on Victorian grooming gave him the final nudge.  The wax he actually uses on his beard...), and the usual array of cheap posters, pins, and stickers.

The panels were great, I learned a lot of cool things, including how to shave with a straight razor, how to saberage a champagne bottle (ie, safely whack it open with a sword), how to make fully articulated wings out of a patio umbrella, and roughly how to summon a spirit of Mercury using a mash-up of Victorian ritual magic (hey, I didn't say the things I learned were useful).  One of the great things about TeslaCon is that it's largely fan-sourced.  The creator of the con, Lord Bobbins, is very aware that steampunk is largely a self-made fandom - it's basically inside out from a typical fandom, where someone does something awesome and then a fandom forms around it... with steampunk, the fandom formed first and then sometimes people do awesome things and become famous by drawing on it.  This year Bobbins decided that we needed a little reminder of that this year (because the flame wars had gotten bad, and this was his way of telling us to play nice), and so there were a lot more roundtables, more writing workshops, and fan-sourced pretty much ALL off the panels.  There were a few authors and stuff (not surprising when there's a writing workshop room that appears to have been sponsored by Tor Books), but they were all of the sort that were fans first.

That, by the way, was a segue.  Although Lord Bobbins is planning on bringing a couple more celebrity-type guests back on next year, most of the panels will still be fan-sourced, as they have always been, and none of them have been booked yet - Bobbins won't even begin accepting submissions until January.  Which should give El and I enough time to cobble together an outline and maybe a basic PowerPoint for the panel that we want to do.  :)  We're thinking that it will be something to the effect of Grownup Scissors: Demystifying the Scary Tools.  Basically, it would be an encouragement/basic shop safety seminar for people who already are or would like to be crafters, etc., but are afraid to up their game because they've heard too many horror stories about people running their hands into sewing machines and table saws and whatnot.  Specifics may be subject to complete revision, as we've only been talking about it for a day yet, but we're quite certain we want to do this, and it should be fun.

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Just finished the first post for the "professional" blog on my website!  It's here:

I have a couple questions for y'all, if you would be so kind:
1) Is this introduction post too serious/casual/self-deprecating, etc.? 
2) ...I'm not sure I like portfoliobox's internal blog.  :/  Should I delete it and go over to an external client?  Probably blogspot or Tumblr - blogspot seems more... bloggy, but I think portfoliobox has built-in Tumblr support.

P.S. I've only been gone a month this time!  It's almost like I'm actually here!
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Hello!  Five months is a little better than my previous absences, right?

I swear, I'll try to be fannish maybe sometime eventually soon, but here's the quick update on Life Stuff:

The USITT Conference was an awesome experience, and I saw a few people I hadn't seen since graduating (or longer ago) while there.  Unfortunately, it hasn't turned into any career opportunities yet (partly due to the ongoing vehicle woe), and the couple new connections I made there I was unable to follow up on because I lost their business cards as soon as I got home (I just found them again last week - it's probably been to long to email them a "thank you for the talk" message, yes?).  So there was a bit of a lull where I ran out of career-hunting momentum, looked around, went "Well, now what?" and didn't find an answer.  But I've recovered somewhat, and am spooling back up to start again.

I paid the money to make a for reals domain-name-having website happen with Portfoliobox!: ; I still haven't finished all the tweaks I was advised to do during my review session at the conference, but its full of pretty pictures.  You should look at them.  Also, Portfliobox introduced a blog function about a month or so ago, so I'm planning on maintaining a sewing progress/process journal over there... it should solve both the problem of finding a good way to document the stuff I've done since graduating, and fulfill one of the suggestions I got during my review (which was to find a way to convey what I learned working on each project, which I haven't really figured out how to do in pictures).

I am officially unemployed and have been since March... Well, technically I haven't worked for reals since December, but late March (actually the day before the conference started) was when I officially declined to return to my old seasonal job at the lab.  But I'm now making some LARP garb on commission, which is nice - it at least means my sewing-skill maintenance will pay for itself a bit, as well as being able to maybe soon pay some student loans without pestering El for money.

Basically, I keep on doing my thing and prepping for games and trying my best to stay sane, all with varying levels of success. 

Oh!  And I started computer gaming more.  Finished Portal 2 in about 13 hours playtime, and keep going back to both games to achievement-scrounge.  Also, my latest addiction is a free MMO called Atlantica - I'm playing on a Mycenae server as the character athPasiphae (and yes, I feel like kind of a douche for not realizing that the reason I couldn't just straight up name myself "Pasiphae" was because she appears as an NPC), guild Telemachides.
ship_go_boom: (Homework)
The spoon is not for food.  I need to borrow your eyeballs, and scooping is easier than plucking.  Pretty please?

The reason I need your eyeballs is because... the rough draft of my online portfolio is done!  And by rough, I do mean ROUGH.  Hence the need for eyes.

Specific things I'd like your input on (and problems I've already spotted):
  • I know I have too many photos up.  I need to both weed & organize what I've got posted, but I've been looking at this stuff too long to be good at deciding which ones to pull.
  • Lots of these photos need to be cropped & resized, especially the ones from Romeo & Juliet (because the things I designed & made for that show were abut the size of a paperback novel), but I don't want to put the time in on that until after I figure out with more certainty which photos I'm even using.
  • Should I use a different shot for the front page?  I feel like I should use something I designed at least part of, rather than just built, but the Magic Flute shot works so well as a background...
  • I plan to rescan some of the sketches/renderings, especially the watercolors for Life Is A Dream (you try fitting an 11x17 painting on a 9x12 scanner) - the LIAD rescans will include fabric swatches, as well.
  • Should I pony up the $70 (annual) for a premium account on this website?  I'd get my own domain name, more photo uploads (I'm at the limit, and that's AFTER a freebie 25 photo expansion), and a LOT more layout options.
  • Do I spend time making a personal projects gallery now, or focus on trying to get a hard-copy portfolio done in time for the conference?  I feel like a page for LARP and steampunk garb would be good, if only to show that I did do SOME costuming in 2012, but I don't know if it should be included in the main part of the portfolio, ergo maybe shouldn't be on the "in time for USITT" to-do list...
  • Should I work on expanding the about/bio section now, or save that for a post-conference project?
  • Speaking of About, should that be where I put my resume?  And will I be okay just putting it in as a downloadable .doc, or do I need to do a page for it?
  • Literally ANYTHING ELSE you spot as a potential issue.
I'm going to keep working on this off and on today... a lot of the photos I have up don't have captions yet, and they really should, and I need to clarify some stuff with people here and there before I call this thing finished (like, one of the designers I worked under has gotten married, and another may be doing work under an alias now, so I need to verify preferred names).  But mostly I'm going to make hotel reservations and sew things while letting this stew and hopefully gather suggestions from your eyeballs.  :P
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I posted a status on Facebook, and I was going to repost it here disguised as an entry, as well, but a conversation ensued before I could do that.  So I'm just going to put the whole damn conversation here, too.  :P


Me: So, I'm catching up on the usual post-Oscar outrage (I missed the show itself because I forgot and stayed up sewing things instead), and I'm wondering... Has everybody forgotten that Seth MacFarlane is a SATIRIST? That everything he does is pure sarcasm? And that, ergo, if he's doing something horrible, maaaybe he's not saying "hey, this is great!" but instead pointing out how horrible something is? Just, y'know, throwing that out there.

[personal profile] moss : People are silly. If you can find a clip of the boobs song, I highly recommend it. We both found it hysterical...

Me: I'm wondering if E! might rerun the whole thing throughout the week? But yes, if that's not the case, I will definitely YouTube the boobs song. It sounds AMAZING... I mean, I just read a rant about how horrible and sexist it was, and I'm sitting back here going "Yes, there is a strange cycle wherein if a film is to be taken seriously, it has to have an R rating, and to get an R rating it has to show some tits... it's really quite horrible, when you think about it. Thanks for the lampoon, Mr. MacFarlane!"

Me:  Now, one could make an argument that lampooning iffy industry practices is not appropriate at a party celebrating that industry, but if you ask me, that just makes it better.

Renfaire Friend Who Makes Adorable Tiny Basket Things and Amazing Soap (hereafter known as MATBTAS): I did watch the show and I was not outraged. His satire is spot on. The I Saw Your Boobs number was a riot and frankly women who display themselves in movies have no right to then complain about being satirized. He is a comic writer and composer.

Me: Oh, it's not the women who were satirized who were outraged (apparently any scandalized reaction shots shown during the show were prerecorded), that I could understand... I mean, there IS a horrible cycle where in order to be taken seriously (or get very far in your career), you have to be willing to show some skin if you're a woman (which is totally fine)... but if you're a woman who's shown some skin in a movie, there are going to be douchebags who *only* watch the scene with boob and then proceed to make your life hell by making fun of you. Which, while it seems that is EXACTLY what was lampooning, I could understand not wanting to *continue* being the butt of the joke for the sake of satire... But no. The people who are complaining are armchair critics who just don't understand sarcasm, and apparently think Seth MacFarlane's whole oeuvre is targeted to people who wish real life was like that, rather than the opposite...

MATBTAS: A lot of the feminist organizations I belong to have been extremely outraged but like you said, the lampooning of the whole motion picture industry which promotes the sexist attitudes is what was afoot. The industry needs to examine itself and a little lampooning goes a long way. Did they miss that he also lampooned himself with William Shatner and the newspaper headlines? Be sure and catch the entire first production number.


In other news, El and I finally got new office chairs for computering from!  We'd been settling for an office chair whose back had broken off, turning it into a stool (him), and a fancily ladder-backed metal dining chair (me) until now... I am, by comparison, SO COMFY right now that I can't describe it.  We also bought a new mattress (because the old one is ancient and causes me to wake up all sore and ::sadface::, and I'm the one with an intact spine in this relationship), which we won't actually get until sometime this week, which will be AMAZING and also maybe fend off this resurgence of insomnia I've got going on...

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My search for a patch of internet to call my own is not going terribly well.  Also, my spellcheck seems to have decided I should be writing this in Russian.  Again.  ::fixes::

That's better.  As I was saying, there are not as many free portfolio-hosting sites out there as I was lead to believe.  At least not good ones.

Here is what I need to accommodate: Most of my work is building costumes from other people's designs, but some of that is little bits of work on multiple garments, others I built a full look for a character... so that's at least one page, preferably two.  Then I have crafts/leatherwork, which gets it's own page.  Stage makeup makes 4.  And then we have design work, which is three unrealized looks for Life Is A Dream (ie, sketched and swatched, but never built) and almost every costume that went onstage for The Producers (but no drawings, and research images far enough away from the finished product that I don't want to post them).  I'd love to have a sixth page for LARP/convention garb and my better Halloween creations, especially since I'm doing more and more stuff for other people, and a seventh page for non-costuming stuff wouldn't go amiss (although is not immediately necessary).

Here's what I've come up with so far... anybody have any thoughts?

Carbonmade appears to be the best reviewed, and it certainly looks like a friendly sort of site.  Downsides are that pretty much all you get is a photo album and a bio/contacts page (ie, minimal caption space), and a free account is capped at 5 galleries and 35 images.  I can make a 35-image cap work, but five galleries may be tough. 

Wix is my current frontrunner, mostly because the end result should come out looking like a real website.  Downsides are the little "created using Wix" thing in the corner of a free page, while relatively unobtrusive, is still pretty annoying, and I'm not sure how much freedom you have to add extra pages... I'm pretty sure you can pretty much do whatever, but I'm also pretty sure I won't know for certain until I actually start making a site. :/

I also just started looking into Porfoliobox, which may turn out to be the one I actually want... you can customize the shit out of it, and if I want I can eventually upgrade to a paid account with a for reals domain name for less than $6/month... frankly, it's nice enough that I feel like I need to do a LOT of digging to make sure there isn't some sort of horrible, horrible catch.

::sigh::  Really makes me wish I'd bought Dreamweaver and kept working on my web design-fu... if I had, I'd probably already have a polished website sitting on my hard drive, just waiting for some bandwidth...  Alternatively, I could just wish I'd become a photographer.  Or a painter.  Whatever other problems a non-theatre artists may have, they have got it MADE when it comes to entry-level portfolios.

ship_go_boom: (Not Awake)
So, there's apparently an unexpected downside to soft-shoeing my way out of this funk... it means I am now together enough to be stressed!  Or maybe it's just that the unexpected upside of being perpetually down on myself and freaking out every time I needed to deal with things was getting to live a little while without the looming juggling sensation that trying to keep my shit together brings...

Which is not to say that my shit or my head is entirely together yet, but I'm continuing to make progress... I'm writing this from the comfy papasan couch in my sewing room, which I hadn't just curled up in since I moved it out on my apartment a year ago, on account of how it was so buried as to be unsittable.  The sewing room is still a bit of a mess, because it's where all the random knickknacks landed, and there's really not enough usable space for everything... But all the fabric is rolled up and stacked in the fabric closet rather than spilling loosely out of said closet and over a three-foot swath of the floor, the ironing board is hanging in its place against the wall rather than perched on top of a small sewing machine console/table (the machine in it is crap, I don't really use it), the tv is on the recently-vacated table with a dvd player connected to it rather than sitting in the exact middle of the floor as a lifeless obstacle, and I can access pretty much all of my sewing/drawing/musical supplies quickly and without moving any furniture.  In other words, it looks like a very over-cluttered office/art cave, now, rather than a poorly-planned storage room.  I may set the "finish unpacking the sewing room" project aside once I get a couple more little things dealt with in here... maybe see if I can get the big curio cabinet in the living room cleaned and organized enough that I can port some more of my knickknacks into it...

Of course, I also found a couple boxes worth of stuff in here that migrated into the bedroom, so I'll have to get some cleaning done in there AGAIN.  >:(

^But yeah, above is the good of things... the rest (other than having an excellent day of LARP two weeks ago and making a pair of fabulous furry cloaks) is not so much bad, but more just a stressful variation on neutral.

I have to schedule another batch of student loan payments for tomorrow, and make hotel reservations for the USITT conference, and I have the feeling that between the two of those, my tax return is pretty much going to disappear into the aether and then some... We're fine financially, when it gets down to it, but there are enough expensive things we want or need (new mattress, office chairs, maybe some dentistry, a less crappy main tv, possibly a new washing machine, insurance...), that I'm a little afraid we might over-splurge in a way we'll only notice if I'm still unemployed three, four months from now... and although I'm fairly hopeful, I'm not exactly expecting to have a job by then...

The real stress-causer, though (on top of general "grownupping is HARD" house maintenance), is trying to get this damn portfolio ready for the conference.  I've Googled my ASS off, yet I still can't find any sort of software that is designed for putting images with brief captions on a printed page (admittedly, I've been mostly looking for free software, but I haven't even seen recommendations for buyable software).  Apparently, everybody that still uses a physical portfolio goes at it cut-and-paste style... which results in fairly ridiculous advice like "figure out where on the page your pictures go, then print out a page with the captions in the right place to glue the pictures to."  ...WHY CAN'T YOU JUST PRINT OUT A PAGE WITH THE PICTURES AND THE CAPTIONS?  And right now, all the materials I have to put in the thing are either digital-only right now, or on three different sizes of paper, or need to be cropped (usually 2 out of 3)... so really, doing all of my layout work in the computer is kind of a necessity.  As I said before, I should be able to do it with a graphics program like Gimp or Corel... I have both, but neither of them are particularly intuitive *or* designed for page layout, so it will take a lot longer.  Since I only have five weeks (and still need to do some material-gathering), I'm worried that I won't have anything polished enough to be worth having reviewed by a professional panel, which is sort of the whole point of this exercise...

So, I think I'm going to start with Plan B on this one - ie, a web-based portfolio.  There are a lot of web-hosting services that are designed to host portfolios, a lot of them are free, and some of them are even geared specifically towards theatre.  I get that done, so I'll at least have something presentable to show (even if it isn't ideal and will require taking my laptop into the interview), and then try to get the hard copy done in time as a finishing touch.  I know that I'll need the website eventually, anyways, since a lot of places apparently ask for an electronic portfolio before they even decide to interview you now, but a hard copy still seems essential for taking to an actual interview... trying to talk a group of strangers through your work while you all cluster around a computer and fight over the mouse sounds just unbelievably awkward and unprofessional.

In other news, I've felt like I've just gotten up and still need a cup of coffee in order to function ALL DAY.  It's after 5pm.  I've been up 14 hours.  But I am still SO TIRED and have gotten next to nothing accomplished today.  Pretty much I got that student loan payment in somewhere between paragraphs, and that's it.  I was supposed to go to the butcher's shop next door and get tasty meats for dinner... I even had El text & remind me to do that...  But I didn't.  Look's like prefab food AGAIN.  :,(

ship_go_boom: (Default)
God, being a grownup sucks.  At least I'm currently unemployed, so I can do this without disrupting my weekend.

Right now I'm poking around the internets to try and find decent Idiot Guide software... TurboTax has a free online version for simple Federal returns, and [personal profile] moss has been using their software for years, so I feel confident in them, but they hammer you with fees for State returns... I'm looking through the IRS' FreeFile list now, though, and I'm getting the impression that free federal + expensive state is sort of the norm with tax software...  So I think maybe the thing to do is either bite the bullet and pay for it, or find something that pulls payment out of your return (rather than charge directly) and use it to organize information then copy it over to state forms to file the hard way... 

Hmph.  Do any of you guys have any suggestions?  I'll probably update this post with my decisions and frustrations as I go...

UPDATE: Decided to just pay the $30 each for state filing with TurboTax.  I'll get El's tomorrow, but mine are done, and I think I've scored a WIN in the "First time doing my own taxes" column.  And I did it both legally and ethically!  I look forward to the IRS fairies visiting my bank account in the next couple weeks, because they will be materializing substantial monies there...

ship_go_boom: (Default)
Well, El's new computer got built (even though his fancy new hard drive was a DOA lemon and we had to use the refurb he got for my old minitower - Newegg is pretty decent about customer service, so it shouldn't be a big deal) and mostly set up last night... I still need to get ZoneAlarm installed on it sometime today, and get files (photos, etc.) transferred over - that'll probably happen tonight.  But in the mean time, this means I have his old desktop to futz with over at my desk!

...To which I can only say that I feel like I'm conducting a delousing.  Only I keep finding different kinds of critter that I need to Google so I can determine whether they are beneficial or parasitic or just sort of skittering around being critters.

Seriously, the man has me beat hands down on hardware workings, and his foundational computer usage is solid (decent anitvirus software, albeit out of date, pretty good about sticking to trusted download sites and avoiding add-ons that a chock full of viruses), but good grief... software is clearly NOT his forte.  Freeware all over the place, mostly things like a half-dozen different programs that all do the same thing (A/V file converters, etc.), clearly all downloaded and installed at roughly the same time so he could find out which one worked the best, but then he never got around to uninstalling the crappy ones.

And the file structure... dear god, the file structure.  It's all fucked up, as if a vaguely intelligent ape just randomly clicked okay on every auto-install setting without any thought about wanting to maybe find out where those files are living later.  I mean, there are THREE Program Files folders.  Three.  One of them doesn't have anything in it except software for a printer that hasn't even been hooked up in a year.  HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?  I had hoped to just corral the install files for the programs he'd want to install over on his computer, but if I can't find them, then he may be on his own.  Also, while I admire the utility of keeping his pr0n in a neatly labeled "Smut" folder, I am rather perplexed as to why it's floating around in the main directory rather than in the documents folder where it should be... <-wanna-be librarian problems :P


Jan. 12th, 2013 09:11 pm
ship_go_boom: (Default)
Note to self: Roundy's brand generic Froot Loops are a pale imitation of the real thing. 

Various fancy boxes from Newegg have been arriving all week, containing most of the bits for El's new computer (and a refurbished hard drive for my mini tower/future media server).  We attempted to cannibalize the video card and RAM out of his current computer so he could start installing stuff, but the RAM slots were incompatible... so he'll have to wait until a friend of ours can bring over gift parts on Wednesday before gaming mayhem can begin (WHY Kraids just happens to have four gigs of RAM and a high-performance video card just kicking around in his desk is beyond me, but I'm certainly not going to complain...).  And, by extension, my own gaming mayhem will most likely begin on Thursday, when I get El's hand-me-down computer to monkey with.  :)

My laptop stopped doing the glitchy sound things a couple weeks ago, so I'm just going to cross my fingers, back up regularly, and live with combination desktop + smartphone for a little while if it craps out.

After spending not-quite-entirely four days working, I've aaaaalmost gotten the bedroom unpacked and organized.  It's starting to look really nice.  Which is good.  I sometimes have a kind if a cognitive dissonance-type experience with this house, where I'll definitely feel like this place is Home, but at the same time feel sort of disjointed because there's still a distinct aura of "man's bachelor pad" about the place.  I'll probably post pictures when I'm done.  One more part-day of work, then it should be done, then I'm onto the sewing room.  Which is much much more tightly packed with crap, but with the bedroom cleared out, I'll at least be able to move a few boxes into there temporarily so I can have space to work.

Which reminds me, I have a LOT of sewing projects I need to get cracking on, too...

Aww... the bunnies have decided to stack themselves together like sardines for a nap.  <3 

Sleeping rabbits make me think I should crawl off to bed and read for a while... I think I'll go do that.

P.S.  Why, yes, I did start this entry over breakfast and then get distracted, why do you ask?  Was it the Froot Loops that gave me away?

ship_go_boom: (Uhura smiles upon you)
So, proving I am and always will be six years old, I got all excited when I learned that Reading Rainbow lived on as an app.  But I discovered something horrible this morning... It's not a smartphone app.  It's not even an Android or Windows tablet app (I don't have either of those, but may eventually).  It's an iPad app, and ONLY an iPad app.  DAMN YOU, APPLE TAX!  I don't judge people who prefer Apple products (they're great graphic design platforms, if nothing else), but between the arbitrary price hike, an excess of proprietary non-compatibility, and complete lack of transparency/tinkerabillity to their OS, I doubt I shall ever own an iAnything... Dammit.

Oh, well... if you own an iPad, and would like to be six years old (or, y'know, if you have pet kid wandering around your house ;P ), here is the link to the website.  Check it out:

I did things yesterday.  Mostly laundry, but since I had a large backlog of clothes I'd washed but not put away, that was some hours worth of project... it also cleared the way for some unpacking to be done in the bedroom - I have somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four plastic garbage bags full of fancy clothes and jackets I like too much to get rid of but never wear just sort of piled in a corner and blocking the way into the closet, and one similarly-sized bag of shoes to deal with.  (Downside of being a costumer by trade AND hobby: "won't wear it in real life" and "doesn't fit at all" cease to be valid reasons to dispose of clothes.  Because you never know when someone with size 6 feet will need a sweet pair of 1930s-looking shoes.)  So once I finish this entry, I'm going to go work on that some more.

Although I should set some sort of alarm so I stop at around 3 o'clock or so... I'm getting sick of prefab food, so I should actually cook dinner for once (also, I have an idea for a garlic herb buttermilk biscuit recipe percolating in my head), and some cleaning needs to be done in the kitchen before that happens.

I'm feeling a lot better today, and yesterday afternoon even though the morning was pretty blergy (getting started went sort of like THIS).  Mentally, anyways... getting up and actually doing things brought this cough back to full force, and a fever may have made a brief appearance yesterday, as well (I had to take a few breaks to lie down and play phone games while the DayQuil kicked in... seriously, fuck this cold.  Fuck this cold SO HARD).  But I think just letting stuff out and not trying to pretend that everything is okay anymore helped all on its own.  Pretending I don't have problems took a lot of energy that is better spent finding solutions.  So thank you, internet people, for being a sounding board.  Free internet hugs for everyone!

Also, my grandfather read my last post (I linked to it on Facebook), and promptly pointed out a family history of anemia on his side.  Which, given that that's the sort of thing that could be exacerbated by the change of diet and lack of sunlight (ie, vitamin D) brought on by my recent bought of employment, makes a lot of sense... certainly not the sole source of my problems, but it could be a major contributing factor to the persistent fatigue.  So I'm not sure if a broad-spectrum blood panel is in my near future to confirm (wouldn't be a bad idea), but adding a vitamin D supplement to my diet may be a place to start, and maaaaybe a weekly iron or B12 supplement, too.

One last thing before I go - do any of you know of a free (or at least very very cheap) portfolio design software?  For a traditional hard copy portfolio, not web-based (I would like to do an online portfolio eventually, just a book to whip out at interviews seems like a better starting point).  If I need to, I could probably make something workable with my current photo-editing software, but I'm hoping that there's an easier solution... ie, something designed for printable page layout, with customizable page sizes.  Any suggestions?

Okay, time to get stuff done.  Seriously, this button would help my productivity a lot...

ship_go_boom: (Default)
So the blergs have finally seized me... it's been waiting to happen for a long time now.  In that light, I appear to have gone and made New Year's resolutions... I NEVER do that.  I mean, I've made half-hearted lists because that's supposed to be the Thing that you Do around NYE, but never actually resolved to do anything.  So, here follows my grand Plan for the next year, with Background and Explanations... I hope someone other than my mom still reads this, 'cause I'm going to need cheerleaders:

Operation: Get Cerys' Life and Head on Straight

Read more... )


Item 1: Get Off My Butt and Back Into Shape
This is only partly because my butt jiggles like I need a second bra for my backside whenever I run... I'm actually still a skinny bitch (5'7", about 140lbs, with a bone structure that hides any "extra" weight quite well), but I miss being bendy, and it sucks how easily winded I am.  Basically, I hate it when I'm out of shape.  It makes me feel weak.  Also, it occurs to me that maybe one of the reasons I was able to keep myself pretty upbeat at school, even when I was averaging 5 hours of sleep a night and forgetting to eat from stress, MIGHT have had something to do with how even on my laziest weekday, I still put a mile or two under my boots, and generally spent a couple hours a day in the dance studio, as well.  Endorphins are amazing things.

I've already talked about getting back into fencing, but that's not just easier said than done, but also only once a week.  A friend of mine started a Facebook group called "Simply walk into Mordor," because his goal is the just-shy-of-1,800-miles-in-185-days that Frodo pulled off, and he would like company (there's talk of holding parties when his mile count reaches specific landmarks)... I'd love to get in on that, although having missed the start of the journey on January 3rd due to illness will make motivating myself to start a bit tricky, as does the snow and ice everywhere.  But yeah, I've been looking at GPS run/walk tracking apps for my phone (aside: I have a new phone!  It is smart!  My mom got it for me as a Xmas present!  I <3 it.), and hopefully I can get started walking or eventually running somewhat seriously soon.

Item 2: UNPACK
This is one of the ones I haven't been able to bust up into neat little considerations... I got the essentials (most of my clothes, my books, etc.) unpacked ages ago, but everything else... I've been living half out of boxes for a year, so now everything is so disorganized that I have no idea what is where or how to begin.  I really need to just spread everything out and go through it, but I can't do that because I have pet rabbits (imagine three fluffy termites the size of small corgis), and the only rooms it's safe to spread my belongings out without them being destroyed are the ones packed too full of boxes to do anything in.  I guess I should just pick a corner and start there, but that approach hasn't really worked so well thus far...  Any suggestions?

Item 3: Keep up with the simple cleaning
Another one I've been trying at all year without success... You'd think it wouldn't be hard to put dishes in the dishwasher when they're dirty, or put bottles and cans in the recycling when I'm done with them, or vacuum once a week, but shit still keeps piling up to the point where cleaning it up is not only a few hours worth of work, but gets in the way of other projects I should be doing.  I guess all I can do is keep trying...

Item 4: Become a Theatre Professional
This is the big one, the one that needs things that are actually out of my control, the one that nobody actually tells you how to do even when you spend nearly six years training to do it.  I made some progress on this one yesterday... tiny progress.  I finished revising my resume yesterday.  :)  And I dug up my sketchbook with most of my portfolio materials in it (still need to find my disc of Producers photos, and figure out how and where to get pictures of a bunch of UWEC productions).  And I ponied up the $75 for an Early Career USITT (United States Institute of Theatre Technology) membership.  The world may be with me making this fly... this year's USITT conference is in Milwaukee this March, I'll buy a ticket for that in the next couple days.  So I should be able to get some professional feedback on my resume and portfolio there, and do some networking.  I suck at networking, but if I'm lucky, some sort of career opportunity will show itself at the conference... so that's phase one of this goal, with a deadline two moths out: get myself together and prepared enough that I can maybe impress a few people, and if I can't find myself a job there, I should be able to make a few connections and have a better idea of where to go afterwards.  The biggest potential hiccup is that because the conference is mostly during the week, if I don't have a functional automatic transmission vehicle by then, I'll need to get a hotel room for at least three, probably four nights, and the hotels hosting this thing run $130-plus per night.  Which could be a problem if I can't find friends who want to bunk up with me.

Okay, there it is.  The State of the Cerys.  I've spent nearly all day on this damned post.  So I should just call it good, and go fold some laundry or something.  Here goes nothing...

ship_go_boom: (Bird Golem)
So, it appears the volume controls on my laptop have fried.  Poor Ballantine thinks that someone is continually tapping the "Volume Down" button, complete with annoying electronic clicky noise... I can turn the volume back up through the desktop interface, but it clicks right back down again.  In related news, the mute button still works.  :P (And no, nothing is touching the button.  That's the first thing I checked.)  This, coupled with the garbled alien Morse code it was blipping at me on... Monday? Maybe Friday, but I'm going with Monday... leads me to believe that this poor beast is dying.  Slowly and painfully dying.

At the same time, my desktop has forgotten how to drive.  Click for rambling, in which I either sound like I sort of know what I'm doing with computers, or demonstrate that I really, really don't... )

Any thoughts, suggestions, or dirty limericks from the aether?

Oh, well... I suppose I should accomplish some stuff.  I had planned to pay the water bill and go to the bank, but... well, there's a small blizzard.  I don't care if these errands are within walking distance, I'm not going out there!  Maybe I'll do some more laundry...


ship_go_boom: (Default)
Cerys, The Great Whatchamacallit

September 2014

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