Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Check Out This Thing I Found - YouTube Edition #2

We like science in my house. A LOT. And while I had a rare moment to troll Youtube the other day, I discovered lots of lovely sciency goodness on there along with one of my old faves (which I probably linked before but whatever, she's awesome and I do what I want).
But first, allow me to show you my offspring currently.
She is quite adorable. We spend a lot of time together, since I'm Mom and I stay at home now to take care of her.
I love Mom and Evie time.

She seems to be teething already, poor girl. :(

I am fairly sure I've told you of my love of Vi Hart before, but just in case not allow me to link a video of her to you.
If I had a teacher who could've explained the maths to me in this fashion, I probably never would've had a problem. I also particularly like her anti-Spongebob's-house rant she goes on.

A few others I found:
SmarterEveryDay with this gem -

Veritasium with some awesome bits -

And one of my fave finds, MinutePhysics, which teaches you concepts of physics with short little videos. Thusly -

So there you have it, internet. Go get yourself smarter for the New Year!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Then This Happened

One week ago yesterday, actually. Everyone say hello to Eve, whom I adore even though she caused me the most pain I have ever experienced in my life.

Born 8 lbs, 4 oz. and 21 inches long with a full head of white-blonde hair, she was the talk of the maternity ward. Nurses would sneak in just to take a look at her after hearing about her. In fact, during delivery, the doctor and nurses stopped what they were doing to stare the second her head started showing because of that shock of blondeness. Everywhere we go people stop and stare and comment on it, because it's so rare to see a newborn with hair like that.

I love to stroke her head and her cheeks while she nurses and I actually love burping her because she just collapses over my arm in a warm lump, sometimes falling asleep that way if it takes too long.

Right now we're working on getting her mild jaundice down and figuring out why she screams for 3 hours every night -although an experiment last night with a hall light on and some white noise looked really promising, she slept the whole night without the banshee shrieking of the previous 3 nights.

I love this small thing. I knew she was coming for 9 months on an intellectual level, but there was something about seeing her in person that just took my breath away. I have urges to hold her and I miss her if it's been too long since we hugged. It's all so new for me, and it's amazing how comforting she is even at a tiny 1 week in age.

Anyway, I wanted to share. This is my project round up. All else are on hold for now, for very good reason.

I love you, Eve.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stuff I Did Roundup.

So it's about that time where I remind myself everything I've done in the last week or so by posting it for y'all to see.

There was some serious knitting action.

Started a spousal warmth cover.
Started and finished knitting an alpaca kitty baby cap to match the alpaca sweater I made her. (Kitty ears form when you put it on her head and the corners stick up straight. Very adorable.)
Started another sweater for myself, yet another Shalom.

Helped with the construction and organization of multiple shelves and bookcases for the basement and the front room so there were spaces to put things that had been just haphazardly piled up or were still living in boxes... no photos for this, as it was an all-day endeavor and we were SERIOUSLY exhausted by the end of it. Either way, the basement feels far more permanent and the front room feels less empty courtesy of all new furniture. Also, a new chair for the art room that has far more support for my back and doesn't leave me sitting so high in comparison to the art desk. WIN.
Oh wait, I kind of have a picture of that last one somewhere...
It didn't stay this way, obviously.
The husband and I took a class on childbirth, so we now have a much clearer picture on what to expect and just how much it could potentially suck but probably won't. No pictures for that because we were supposed to keep our cell phones turned off and pay attention to the teacher.
That class basically confirmed every instinct I had about fighting against C-sections, episiotomies and epidurals. For that, I am grateful.

Pulled out the Buddha Board to paint for a bit with no real aim, the goal being to clear my mind and allow my creativity to just go nuts. It was a LOT of fun, and I've discovered I may be perfecting my technique, to boot.
Behold, FINALLY, the perfect sumi-e kitty! It only took me 10 years!
During the massive furniture assembly of 2013 I also managed to clean and reorganize the art room after having the guys who washed hte house traipse in and just dump everything in the middle of the floor in order to try and get to the water main. I thought it was slightly rude of them to not even attempt to put things back, especially after they also just dumped clumps of crap in to our yard and broke a light with their pressure hose, but I might be kitchen-sinking the incident. ANYWAY... I eliminated multiple boxes from the room, reorganized the bookshelves, and got 98% of the stuff off the floor that had been cluttering it previously. Everything leftover is either there for the cats to play with, or is a package waiting to be shipped off somewhere. It feels generally a lot more awesome and inviting in that room now, too.

In a not-so-fun side note I was also diagnosed with EMF sensitivity, which thankfully doesn't seem to kick in unless I'm in a huge retail store or I've dosed myself with more than 5 hours straight in front of a computer. 

There were other things in terms of organizing and cleaning that got done that I've either forgotten or didn't take note of to begin with.

Plans for this week are to organize and start sewing items for the baby, get the warp started on my next weaving project, finish my current Shalom sweater and move on to the next one, and get through the last of Sherlock on BBC, which I finally started watching but don't feel really qualifies as an "accomplishment", per se. I'm also going to do my best to wake up at an acceptable hour for the rest of the week since I've had unbalanced sleep hours and resulting insomnia at night. Starting another small baby sweater, as well, and we'll be going to see MST3K tearing "Starship Troopers" apart live on Thursday.
I've also had horrendous heartburn, for anybody still tracking that.
Somewhere in here we're also having a baby shower, too.
But more on that when it happens. I have knitting and weaving and artz-ing to get to.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wrap Up-date Type Thing

Here it is Thursday already and the weekly wrap-up idea kind of went to pot this past week, BUT... I have an excellent excuse as to why!
You see, I was having a baby-moon with my most amazing spouse. In a most amazing place. And I met some amazing people. And I was not cranky, or forgetful, or upset or anything but laughy and giggly the entire time.
Let me show you the place! Behold, this is Shirakaba:

Originally we were thinking of going to Savannah, GA as we'd both wanted to see the city when I suddenly realized I was going to be 6 months pregnant and willfully inserting myself in a VERY hot and VERY humid environment.
That was not a very good idea. So I changed it.
Instead, I Googled "ryokan", figuring someone had been clever enough to recreate one here in the US. Lo and behold, the only one within driving distance was Shirakaba!
Now, I could (and probably should) dedicate an entire post just to it and its awesomeness, and I probably will later. The people that ran the place were so damn awesome that I would love to get them some good press. But there's this entire trip I wouldn't be discussing. And the knitting I worked on. Or the photo I took. And it was all just amazing! So let's focus on that.
Shirakaba is in the Berkshires on the Massachusetts side, and is apparently rather popular in the winter months, but not so very much in the summer. Yay for us, at least partially, had there not been a heatwave that week.
We had the great luck of getting the entire place to ourselves for 5 days, meaning we could come and go with little chance of disturbing anybody. On top of that, one of the owners was super-psyched that I was there and pregnant. She even embroidered several gifts for the baby. Behold! The awesome hoody-towel!
She was sweet enough to go look for a cherry blossom embroidery pattern specifically when I mentioned it would be lovely. This is currently folded up in the nursery awaiting Ms. Eve's birth.
Because it was more on the way there than anywhere else we would normally travel, I talked Bob in to doing a quick dogleg in the trip before we got to the guest house that let us stop at WEBS. This is awesome because WEBS sells yarn. Lotsa yarn. And lotsa things to make yarn and lotsa things to do with the yarn. Everything from spinning wheels and spindles to looms, knitting needles, crochet hooks and lucets. Just about anything you can think about doing with fibers, they have there.
And yes, I fully realize I'm treading on old-lady territory getting excited about yarns and things, but screw that. Because I can make super awesome sweaters and scarves and BABY SWEATERS from that shizz and I can have super unique mittens and hats while the rest of y'all stumble to Target come November. Nyah. :P
Anyway, this is the front of the store:
Very unassuming, as well as its location. They've basically converted a giant warehouse in to a warehouse/retail store for people to come in. I should've taken some pictures inside, except honestly it just looks like another yarn store.
I DID, however, take a picture of the warehouse. There was a lot of reorganizing going on so a ton of people were working and I felt weird and espionage-y snapping photos, BUT... this is what the bulky yarn aisle of the warehouse looks like. There are 15 other rows:
Impressive, non? I sorta kinda maybe went on a yarn-petting spree while I was there.
Also, BE PROUD OF ME. I went in to get just ONE type of yarn, and I left JUST WITH THAT ONE TYPE OF YARN. I wanted to get sooo many other things, but I managed to stop myself!
So we moseyed on from there to Shirakaba, where they prepared specialty ice cream for us, as well as cookies, and we had us a delicious 6-course Japanese meal. We got to nosh on it while in a traditional Japanese tatami-mat room, wearing gorgeous and comfy yukata.
I have a few dozen pictures from the meal, but I'll spare you guys that and just show the sukiyaki. The rest of the food shall be saved for another post!
Does that not look amazing? It tasted fabulous, and we were so full from the previous 4 courses that we ended up saving the leftovers for another night!
We decided to spend a warm evening outside in the hot tub just talking about all we wanted to do, and I just let the water roll over me and loosen up my seriously tight shoulders and back, which have been bothering me for quite a while now. Had we been able to, I think we would've had glasses of wine and made a VERY late evening of things.
For our Thursday it was VERY hot, as in 94 degrees in the shade. I was hesitant to go outside because any heat makes me instantly nauseous these days, but I also didn't want to waste an entire day hiding in our room with the air conditioning.
So Bob said look, let's go to one of the small towns and see X, and if it gets too hot we'll come home.
And I couldn't argue with that because it meant all I had to do was feel a little sick, and we were out of there. Sold.
We ended up heading in to Wiliamstown, about 10 minutes down the road, and stopping in one of those super-awesome toy shops that sell lots of things like science kits and ant farms and art projects and puzzle books... we ended up with 2 books and a wooden rattle for little Evie, some puzzle books for Bob, and a copy of the Tao of Pooh. I'd read it once when I was 13, and I have since decided that I just wasn't old enough to fully grasp what they were shooting at even as much as I like the idea of Taoism. So I thought I'd try to re-read it over the summer.
Needless to say, we had a good time, and I got excited to see that they still sell chemistry sets, butterfly domes, and snap-circuits to teach kids how to put together things for electronics. If Eve even shows the faintest interest in ANY of those things, she will get them.
I don't honestly know what we'll do if we don't get a seriously nerdy, science-y kid, y'all. We're kind of banking on it.
After that we wandered around town a bit, I got incredibly hot very quickly, and we ended up seeking shelter for a late lunch in a place called the Purple Pub, down a back alley. It was just a little place with a bar and several TVs tuned in to sports channels, but they were serving lobster rolls and that was suddenly very attractive. We hunkered down and cooled off there, then made a dash for the car and came back to the guest house. Once there we did some serious napping, some cleaning up, and some dressing up. Then we were out the door and down the road to the '6 House Pub (yup, more pubs) for dinner. Which was pretty good, despite taking forever.
Back to the guest house and we decided to try out the pool, since I was hoping to relax my back and shoulders even MORE so... when one of the owners advised that they could turn the lights out, turn on the color-changing LCD in the pool, and we could PUT ON GLOW BRACELETS AND GO SWIMMING. They had already put glow bracelets in the room for this very eventuality:
This was a super-popular idea with me, and I made sure both Bob and I were properly glow-ified before we hopped in the water. We spent about an hour playing around and talking again before once more crashing.
Friday rolled in and since it was going to be the hottest day, we decided that would be the day to hit up MASS MoCA (aka the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.) since they would probably have the AC running. This was one of only two things I had absolutely decided we had to do when we got to the Berkshires, so I was especially excited. I was even more so when I read about one of the exhibits, Xu Bing's Phoenix. It was fascinating to me to see two ENORMOUS sculptures comprised entirely of discarded construction equipment.
Accordingly, I took a few billion photos and I could link all of them here but... I think I'll just include my two favorites for now and set up a small album for later for people to live vicariously through.
A double high five next to the second Phoenix... FTW!
Well how about that? Have Goals! How'd that get there? >.>
At one point I got a chance to really test my mettle and decided to walk UNDER both phoenixes to see the full details of the construction. I noticed people were walking all the way around them, or up to the side and dipping down to look underneath... and I decided I was just going to walk between the legs, under the belly, and see what was up. I'm glad I did, because the colors underneath were insanely bright, and it brought a whole new perspective to the sculpture that you wouldn't have seen gazing in from the side. I was rather proud of myself.
There was some other stuff going on, like a guy randomly wandering around playing a ukulele out in the blazing hot parking lot with a straw fedora on (heavy hipster presence here, go figure) and two kids walking around with Minecraft swords and picks who didn't hit each other or anything else. Well done, parents!
I did love it there, but we didn't take a few things in to account; first, that the museum was inside refurbished industrial buildings and therefore there was no modern AC and two, that it would be as busy as it was, so I was waddling along with the semi-sweats among giant towering walls set up in just such a way as to block absolutely all airflow within the gallery while surrounded by mostly very slow-moving elderly people. It became a necessary mini-game to gauge when to juke around them to get through a doorway so I could get a cool blast of air movement before being stuck behind them and throwing up on the gallery floor.
Either way, I really enjoyed seeing everything, including some of the really obviously trying-too-hard modern stuff they had in some of the side galleries. I would totally go back again once they turn over exhibits and it was a bit cooler, because we didn't get to a lot of the outlying buildings courtesy of the heat.
Meanwhile I had been working with the yarn I bought at Webs to start creating a "kangaroo" style sweater, and I just wanted to include that because I'm fairly proud to have just decided to just go with it once I'd picked out the pattern and carpe that diem. It's MUCH further along now, up to the neck, but this was the start of it:
Those are size 19 needles, y'all. There's no way to appreciate the chunkiness.

The evening was spent eating our sukiyaki leftovers and heading out to the gazebo on Shirakaba's property that overlooks the valley below. We did just a touch of stargazing, and a lot of relaxed talking about what we'd seen, how much we'd like to come back, and things we wanted to do once we got home. When the lightning from an oncoming storm started to dance in the sky, we broke away and went back to our room to crash for the evening.
Saturday ended up equally awesome, though I was debating driving out to Vermont when it might be hot still... it was blessedly cool, and by blessedly cool I mean it dropped down to 86 and there was a breeze.
We had discovered there was an alpaca farm just over the border that advertised tours and a little shop to get stuff from. I had decided I wasn't going to make Bob go because alpaca and yarn is pretty thoroughly MY thing and I'd already made him sit through an hour of me browsing through WEBS. Bob declared he absolutely HAD to go see alpacas, though, and that he was excited to try it, so we hopped in to the car and drove to Shaftsbury Alpaca Farm in Vermont.
At first, things were okay... it was beautiful and scenic and we were laughing and joking and not really paying attention too much because we were under the impression it was a straight shot to this place. But then we tried to follow the tourist map and the roads listed on it were not the same as those we actually saw. So we got lost.
Then we came back and tried to input the address of the place, and our new GPS obliged us with a tour of Bennington, VT that included insisting we drive through a dead end with a stone wall to get to the cul-de-sac on the other side, and noting that all of the data input for the area included dirt roads and footpaths as surface streets for some reason.
We ended up driving down a very shallow set of stairs on a gravel footpath and across a footbridge over a creek just to get closer to somewhere that would stick us on a main road again. There was nothing to do but laugh because it was so ridiculous, and thanks to Bob having worked at Navteq he knew exactly what was wrong. There was no way to fix it. So we improvised.
25 minutes later we were back on a main highway, cruising down 67 with very little issue. We found the alpaca farm and there met a woman who has so much character, if you cut her in half she'd survive.
She was originally from the Bronx, fell in love with alpacas about a decade ago, and moved out to Vermont to raise them on her little farm. She also had a firm dislike for the Dutch and multiple stories about her ex-husband. But best of all, she talked non-stop about all of her alpacas as she let them move from pen to pen, and allowed us to pet them. Suuuuper soft bunny-horses for the win!
Lady alpaca makin' sexy-face at my man.

They were just as soft as I had hoped, and while we were moving to another section to see the boy alpacas, another car load of people showed up and made us feel far less like we were imposing suddenly.
I snagged some black roving that actually came from her black alpacas, some natural white yarn spun from her personal alpacas, and a scarf made from baby alpaca to give to my Mom, because it had a beautiful woven pattern and I knew she would really dig it.
On the way back we found a local place to grab food courtesy of a tip from the alpaca farmer and I had one of the best cheeseburgers I'd had in memorable history.
Having made it home we crashed for just a bit, then got all dudded up and headed to the second highlight of the trip - Tanglewood!
I'd snagged tickets for us for a performance of Wagner, seeing as he's a very well known composer thanks to Bugs Bunny. I'd also heard Bob talk about Tanglewood, as he'd had a roommate in college who'd composed music that was performed here. I thought it would be neat to give him a chance to finally see the place. We also bought a picnic lunch with waaaay too much good food and got there early to picnic and listen.
I didn't realize that we were only listening to the Third act of Die Walkure, and that it was the complete opera and not just the orchestra playing the music, but everything turned out just fine anyway. We had a great time, and it was neat to see everybody bringing blankets and chairs and crashing out on the lawn outside the amphitheater with picnic dinners to listen to the music.
We even saw a guy in sweats and sneakers with a fully lit candelabra ready to go for the evening.
The cross-section of people was actually really cool. Lots of hipsters, lots of yuppies, but also a lot of people who came with children and older folks. Most of the older folks had purchased seats inside the "Shed", where the music was performed. The younger, more flexible ones were out on the lawn with their chairs. Also? More bottles of wine than I've seen in a loooong time. I even saw two people with 6 bottles of wine and a teensy weensy plate of strawberries and cheese. So yeah... my kind of crowd.
By the time we got home we were exhausted but blissfully happy and crashed accordingly.
On the way home we took an entirely different route and stopped by to say hi to my Mom and drop off her gift.
This is one of the best vacations I've ever taken. It was romantic, it was comfortable, there wasn't pressure to run around a lot, and there were lots of opportunity to laugh and joke around. The food was pretty much always awesome, and we got to explore lots of new stuff. We also firmly established that it was a place we wanted to go back to whenever we next got the chance.
I know it probably won't ever be as cool as the first time with all the discovery and excitement of just the two of us exploring, but I'm glad to know of such a cool place we could go back to if we needed in the future, after Ms. Evie is born.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

All The Things

It is rough when I want to post a lot of happy and find myself equal parts not happy and also forgetful.
The problem lies in the fact that my hormones are doing things to me that are highly illogical and also not deflect-able, reprogrammable or ignorable. So basically I spend a portion of my day crying over something I would've glided past previously, and gotten on with things.
I want to NOT focus on any of that.
So instead I'm going to do a roundup of all the things I am making/doing currently.

~We painted the nursery, it is now a color the manufacturer calls "Pistachio Green". It looks like celery to me, but I wasn't paid to name it so whatevs. The room went from being a grayish light-suck to a really warm area. I go in there now and just sit and think about what it'll look like with the crib and everything in it. And owls everywhere. There will be owls.
Meanwhile, behold it's greeny-ness (and pardon the obvious mid-work mess):

Because painting trim along the floor while 6 mos. pregnant is a glorious idea.
~I completed the knitting on my first ever baby sweater. It's made of gorgeous burgundy alpaca, and now I'm currently messing with my lucet/pitchfork of awesome to work up the ties for the sides.
Allow me to insert a picture of my handiwork because bragging:

It's "kimono style", which hopefully means it'll fit her a little longer than some of the sweater patterns I've seen.
I have leftovers, so I'm going to be making a matching kitty hat and leggings so she'll be super warm this winter. For some reason the thought I've done something directly like that instead of just buying her stuff makes me feel all squishy inside. Damn hormones.

~created a baby wishlist over at Target, which looks about as scattered as my brain right now. I know I've forgotten stuff, and I'm just accepting it. The really important things, the things that people will call child services about if we don't have, are on there. So we're cool.

~FINALLY finished the first half of a project I started many moons ago called the Tantric Puzzle Top. It's 2 strips of 42" long fabric sewn together strategically to form a wrap. I couldn't wear it right now if I wanted to, so the fact I"m only an inch and change in to the second strip is just fine. If I get it done in time to wrap around my post-partum immenseness that'll just make my day.
My claim to fame with this is that I'm knitting the entire thing out of single-ply recycled sari silk yarn. It was not a good idea, as it's a notoriously temperamental setup to work with. But Oh Em Gee am I loving the colors coming out of it. Not only that, it'll be seriously warm in the winter at 100% silk and I can wear it over a long sleeved shirt with a skirt and look fairly rockin'. It can wait. I just like making progress on old projects that got stuck in a rut. Sorry, no photo because mine's not constructed and it's an interior page to Ravelry. If you're curious, clicking this link right here will give you an eyeful.

~I have acquired yarn to make baby blankets for the small one. The first I will be making is based on the Strawberry Tunisian Stitch tutorial over on the glorious Moogly Blog. I already ran a test-patch and it looks awesome:
This is just made from some Lion Brand acrylic Homespun that was gifted to me after my grandmother passed out of her stash (an interesting but unrelated side detail). It's hard to do on a straight Tunisian Needle, but I suspect when I move to a shorter needle-and-cable setup that it'll be easier on the hands. I have some gorgeous Cascade superwash wool planned for this in basically the same red, but a more lime green for the tops. It'll be too adorable for words.
In the meantime, I'll be coming back to this and finishing it with the plan to make it the cover for a throw-pillow to be donated to an auction they hold seasonally at my Mom and Step-Priest's church. I just couldn't let all of that hard work go to waste.
The second blanket is another inspired by a post to the Moogly Blog, this one the Blackberry Salad Striped Baby Blanket. I have some awesome summer cotton ready to go for this thing. No picture because I haven't even attempted a test-crochet yet for the "bobbles". But it's going to be in nice, cool colors. And it'll give Eve something to grip and play with and flop on.

~I dyed my hair lavender. Because it had never been lavender before:

It has started to fade to strips of platinum blonde and lavender, but I still like it. It's unique. When this is done with its semi-permanence I'm going to dye it rose pink to get it back on the warm side of the color spectrum (plus I love having pink hair), let THAT fade, then put it back to its semi-normal reddish blondish brownishness.

~I joined the informal street team for Have Goals out of Milwaukee:

(This was thrown up at Molly Pitcher on the NJ Turnpike.)

~I decided that as much as I hate branding, I hate stereotyping more. And even more than all of that, I love creating things that use traditional techniques for unexpected results. And because of THAT, I decided that I was going to make a superheroine quilt for my daughter... but since she'll have to be bigger to enjoy it, I'll, um, break it in and stuff. Yeah. Because we also have a "no pink for as long as possible" rule, but all of the current superheroine fabrics are in pinks and purples and lavenders... strangely, with bright gold and yellow added in. (Also... only DC superheroines, no Marvel. What gives, Marvel??) I don't get the thought process on that. But whatever.
Anyway, I've been bashing through videos on YouTube like a fiend, and as soon as all of the fabric arrives, there will be a super awesome totally cool and one of a kind superheroine quilt starting on the Hello Kitty sewing machine in the dining room. A quick sample of one of the fabrics:

I have always adored Wonder Woman, so I'm especially psyched about this.

~About 2 years ago I managed to nalbind a red winter hat for my husband, which was quickly dubbed the "Zissou hat" because it was bright friggin' red and looked exactly like the ones out of The Life Aquatic.
I stumbled across the leftover yarn from it yesterday and have since started working to recreate a tinier version of it for Eve so she and Daddy can have matching hats. Daddy thinks this is the best idea ever.
I have no good photos of the project currently because the lights are so poor in the office where it currently resides. I'll post it later.

~I helped my buddy Heather (aka digitalnabi) with a lot of really time-consuming spreadsheet work, and moseyed up to her house to hang out and work on inputting some new info on her StitchSprouts website. This meant I got to learn a little bit about the inner workings of Wordpress, something I'd never encountered before. I also got to work on a Mac, which tickled my inner geek girl. And, of course, there was tiara-wearing to signal to my brain we needed to Get This Shizz Done which is always win.

What's awesome is that in the course of doing all of this I'm realizing a lot of things that I was fixated on, like that I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything, that I don't get out a lot, that I'm not learning anything new and I'm wasting my time now that I'm not at work... are pretty much contradicted by every photo and link posted here. So maybe this should be a weekly thing, to keep my head on straight about exactly what I'm accomplishing.

Also, in regards to previous posts, I had one of those moments where I enjoyed being wrong regarding what was going on with my friend. Everything's fine and I let my own mental crap get in the way. Both embarassing and amusing.

Let's do this again soon. And you guys can feel free to tell me about what you've got in the works, too, because I LOVE seeing what creative people can do.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


So I'm gonna wax moody for a bit, because that's what's going on right now, and hey... this isn't a specialty blog, this is just my Internet Brain Dump, so welcome back to it! It's not like I'm off topic since I'm pretty good about not specifying topics to begin with.
Friends, though.
Let's talk about that.
And about how Tumblr has mounds of posts about how hard it is to make, keep, or be calm about having them.
And about how Facebook has all of these inspiration black and white professional photos with pretty fonts talking about how they're so valuable and they make your life better and....
And basically it seems there's only slight less effort put in to worrying about friends as being worried about staying alive. Or perhaps getting laid, depending on the demographic.
I am not good with friends. I try very hard to talk to them and keep in touch, but I get forgetful or sidetracked or into this REALLY FREAKIN' COOL PROJECT and sometimes they don't hear from me for a while. And then comes a "Hey, are you mad?" text or IM out of nowhere (because I don't actually live near any of my friends, further awesome complication) and I'm baffled as to why they would think I would ever be mad. I'm not mad, I'm just forgetful.
But even despite this, I have noted that there is literally not a single person who has been my friend for longer than perhaps 10 years. I don't have a single high school, childhood or college friend that I am close to. Even adult friends don't tend to stick around for more than a few years before Some General Weirdness kicks up.
It happens so often, in fact, that I pretty much just talk to people, try to be nice to everybody, and don't really look for friends. It usually goes that people decide they are MY friend first, and then I chat them up a lot more often.
I guess because, at some point, I am expecting them to disappear on me. Which is probably sad, and probably affects how I interact with people on a basic level. I'm just not sure how much.
At the same time, I'm deathly afraid that I'm hyper-aware of that possibility, so I go waaaay overboard in interacting with people and come across as seeming needy, or just generally in peoples' grills. I also want to help, I want people to NOT feel alone, or sad, or upset, or like they have no help, so I throw a lot of stuff at them to try and keep that from happening to them; it makes me wonder if I seem like I'm invalidating their feelings, or acting like a Know-it-All. So the very act of talking with people and sharing info and hanging out... it can become pretty stressful pretty fast.
What brought this entire mental revisit to the forefront was a strangeness trifecta with some friends I talk to every week on a regular basis. They are people that I actually take my problems to, and feel like maybe it's not a huge sin to ask their thoughts on things. Not like they should feel special for it, I don't mean it that way. They're people that I've talked to long enough that I know they've got a good head on their shoulders and would be rational, not resorting to "Oh, it'll pass" sort of platitudes. They're good people. I would seriously contemplate taking a bullet for them.
But for some reason, they all went weird at the same time, and in entirely different ways. One I knew would probably end up upset by the end of the weekend. Another was very stressed and felt like they had the entire world on them in the hour they told me about everything going on. Yet another.... just... stopped talking.
None of this actually calls in the necessity of ego. I know it was just a perfect storm of People Doing Life. But in the middle of it I was at a loss to help anybody, and with one of them I just had to watch the car wreck happen and be there for the aftermath. Which blows, and I'm sure a lot of you have been there.
As far as the silent one... I have no idea. Eventually they might say something and give me a clue as to what's going on. They might not. I'm struggling really hard to be at peace and just roll with things, because we can never know exactly what's going on in the head of another even if they explain it to us. We shade our words with meanings too deeply to ever really convey what's happening in our skulls.
This resulted in dragging up everything, though, about me wondering if I'm a horrible friend, or generally clueless about things. And people. Fun stuff.
*** STORY TIME! ***
In my mind I rocketed back to when I lived in Seattle. I had become really close friends with a gal who seemed neat (albeit very opinionated). We were friends for perhaps 2 years. At one point I even slept on her sofa to get away from a bad relationship.
Then for some reason she started to slowly grow sour and more negative. Right about the time she found out she was pregnant, in fact, although really I think a lot of stuff was under the surface and she was using it as an excuse to be rude and selfish.
At the time I was trying to plan my wedding, and she had agreed to be my matron of honor. But every time we got together she would start out by telling me what she had done for her wedding, belittle everything I had picked out for mine, then took over the conversation and started talking about her baby. Non-fucking-stop. It got to the point where I would go home and do all the work myself because nobody else in the area volunteered and my parents were 3,000 miles away. The groom, also, was not particularly helpful (a sign of things to come).
At one point I was attempting to discuss locations with her, and she kept interrupting with more shit about her baby, telling me stuff she'd already told me before.
~PLEEEEEASE be assured this also makes me hyper-aware that I'm babbling about my pregnancy and boring the shit out of people who don't give a damn that I've managed to not keep my legs shut, btw.~
When I finally turned to her and said "Hey, could we NOT talk about your baby for a bit? I'm trying to get stuff done."
There. I was finally honest with her, I asked for her help directly. I thought I was being an adult, in fact.
Except that apparently you didn't Question Her, because she got REALLY pissed off and snapped back "Having a baby is a huge life event."
"So is getting married," I shot back, surprised at her lack of ability to realize that fact.
And then she actually completely refused to talk to me the rest of the car ride. Being that we were going somewhere SHE had suggested, that made things awkward as hell. And to further be passive aggressive so she didn't have to stop talking about what SHE wanted and help me out, she refused to talk on the way back either. As if we could only talk about her baby or nothing at all.
Should've been a huuuuge warning sign, honestly, but I wrote it off to her being an only child and her first pregnancy.
Then suddenly I get an email saying she can't be my matron of honor because she won't be able to stand for the duration of the ceremony. Because she would be a whopping 3 months pregnant and couldn't stand for 15 minutes or some bullshit. Whatever. It was obviously an excuse.
I offered to let her have a chair, stating people would understand. She never responded to that offer.
Then she was 15 minutes late for the ceremony. And made a point of stating she couldn't have the alcohol being served because she was pregnant. And then hugged me and left.
I only saw her once more after that, and that was at her baby shower. She was right where she needed to be, center of attention. I left early after talking with a few mutual semi-friends and smiling at her while dropping my gift on the gift mountain near the front door. We maintained email contact infrequently, and all conversations were pretty much always dominated by how her business and her baby was doing. I asked her for advice on a few things going weird on my end and was basically ignored in favor of what she wanted to talk about.
When the marriage fell apart and I needed help packing up all of my belongings, I did the entire job by myself. Including guarding the luggage after I discovered my soon-to-be-ex-husband going through it to pull out things that I owned prior to us even being married that he thought were valuable and wanted to sell after I left. I moved it to my car and locked it every evening for lack of a safe place in my own home. I cried by myself, I packed by myself, I put up with him importing his mistress and letting her sleep in the bedroom while I enjoyed my college futon in the spare bedroom... by myself. And during this time I was completely abandoned and ignored by this person who had been more close to me than anybody else had been in the past 8 or so years.
She did give me one parting shot, advising me that I was "too obsessed with money and very self-centered" in a final email before I left the state, as if she had to get the last word in. Which is amusing, because I had actually thought that described HER very well, especially the self-centered part. But then again, what's that quote? We despise in others what we hate most in ourselves?
The worst part is that when I read that, because I was in such a miserable space mentally, it shot straight through all of my logic centers and lodged in my brain. To this day I am constantly checking to see if I am, in fact, being selfish and unempathetic. Because my two greatest fears are of letting people down, and being alone. And that hit both of them squarely.
If you've read this far, I'm impressed. Beyond impressed. And grateful, because time and attention are valuable things.
I am hoping this leads people to see why having all of my friends go odd on the same weekend would be incredibly stressful. I was afraid I would let them down. I was afraid I would come from a place of ego and not truly help them. I was worried that I was so stuck in my own crap that I couldn't intuit what was going on with them.... and I had to do that figuring for multiple factors and multiple vectors. It was a pretty lonely place. And probably not even a necessary mental state to be stuck in. I do this shit to myself.
I've talked with some of them since then and they're doing better, thankfully. I was able to be an ear when they needed it, and I was happy to be able to help even beyond my own satisfaction.
As far as the one who has gone silent... I'm just hoping everything is okay, and if I've done something they'll mention it eventually. Hopefully not as a parting email shot that ends things, as I'd like a chance to make amends ("Are you mad at me?") I am also way too familiar with that method these days and it grows quite old. If it happens again, I think I'll just consider people to be generally neat... but not advisable for approaching on a deeper level.
Thanks for listening again, vast void of the internet.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pulling it out afterall.

So I was right about June 22nd being a better day.
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I totally managed
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To find ways
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To keep myself busy
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And creative.
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I feel much more human for it.

Enjoy that awesome Supermoon in the sky! If anybody develops powers as a direct result of exposure, let me know!

Friday, June 21, 2013


It is the Summer Solstice, and I used to be a pagan so I used to celebrate this as a holiday. Even sitting here now it makes more sense to celebrate a regular, mathematically calculable point in time based on what the planet is doing over some arbitrary religious or cultural day because, well, science. The sun is out a loooong time, just seems like a good thing to me. Being warm is awesome. Celebrating things is awesome. The earth staying in its regular orbit around the sun? Awesome. And necessary for the continuance of life.
Except today I didn't celebrate, like, at all. When I was at work I would bring in oranges or clementines for everybody and it was a cute little thing. I maybe lit candles or something. I haven't been pagan in at least a decade at this point, so any specific rituals are completely gone from my memory. And being Buddhist, there's just really not much of a call for it.
But still, it feels... sad. Empty. Like I was the only one slightly excited about today even though it's just a measure of time in the earth's rotation around the planet. And then I didn't do anything. Like I have no personal holidays, or if I do I forget to celebrate. Or I don't have the energy to celebrate.
I keep going back to "Maybe it's the baby, she's taking the energy out of me." because that is really a pretty damned good explanation. I just remember reading articles saying the second trimester is the one you're full of energy and running around, so it feels like maybe it's not the kiddo... maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just being an energetic slug and if I'd gotten out and about more I would have this 2nd trimester energy everybody's talking about...?
Or maybe I'm still recovering from 2 years of being in a dark cave under stressful conditions. It's only been 20 days. There's not a big chance that I've reversed it in that amount of time.
Anyway, getting back on track I just feel right now like life is spluh, and I'm not accomplishing anything, and at this particular moment I don't even have the mental energy to be excited about and come up with a way to celebrate the solstice. I got excited seeing some fireflies flipping around in the sky earlier, because I adore fireflies. But that's all I could muster.
I think, to quote a comic I saw recently, that my fish may be dead.Or dying. Or at least, the unholy ghost has swung by and is gearing up for a good sit on my chest. I get this way sometimes, where I just have a dip in everything and can't be bothered to care or have much energy. If I were honest with myself I would say it probably happens once a month and lasts for a day or two. I'm not a fan of them, but I've lived with it long enough to know that it does eventually go away and I'm okay again.
I just wish it weren't happening when I'm trying to create a new rhythm to my life. And I'm honestly surprised it hasn't gotten worse with all the hormones and mood swings I'm supposed to be going through.
The funny thing is, I realized my spouse saw it coming. He's been asking me if I'm okay this morning, saying that I just seemed like I was off, or upset, or frustrated. I wasn't. In fact, the first time he asked me I was enjoying a short story I found online and it caught me off guard. So maybe it affects the physiology first and then worms its way in to my brain and makes me want to wear sweatpants and sleep forever and not do anything.
I do know one thing... people being utterly awesome helps drag me out of it faster, and when I find that someone has been incredibly clever, or mind-blowingly creative, it makes me realize that things are okay, there is air to breathe, and the hole isn't so deep to climb out of.
I'm just having a very hard time finding my People-Being-Awesome ladder out of this stuff tonight, and I'd like to not worry my spouse if possible. Maybe a solstice is just a solstice and it can pass no harm done. Maybe June 22nd will be an awesome day for me instead. In fact, I think I'll be totally arbitrary and have fun on the 22nd instead and that will fix things.
Thanks for putting up with me emptying my head.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When You Don't Miss It Afterall.

I would like to say that having been out of my job for the larger part of 3 full weeks now that I find myself restless and in need of constant stimulation, the likes of which one can only get with a job that requires constant thought and coworkers to interact with.
But if I said that, I would be a big damn liar.
Like I keep sleeping in and hitting "snooze" on the alarm I set to wake me up for that time of morning I've found I'm most productive. And I nap in the middle of the afternoon. And I drink lots of soda even though I haven't really touched soda in the last 3 years. And I watch pointless TV and forget my To-Do list that I've been rolling over and re-writing every week.
And honestly I don't think of work or taking phone calls or teching anything at all. I think of busting in to some new project that involves me using my brain or my art skills and I leap at that, causing me to do things like create really awesome networks over LAN of computers with different operating systems, and deciding to renew my education in Arduino and Unity that I dropped initially because I couldn't get a big enough block of time to really settle down and practice concepts on.
I learn about awesome things like hitori kakurenbo and Kay Nielsen and red-tailed black cockatoos. I find plans on how to make a Solar USB charger from an Altoids tin and $25 worth of parts.
I keep in touch with friends via text or Facebook, I hug my cats a lot, and in general I am the happiest I have been in recent memory, minus the fantastic lower back pain that creeps up on me from time to time lately.
I don't miss being in tech support, and having spent an entire day down in the art den churning out sketches to be colored later, and taking on challenges from friends for art content, I am in love with being creative and learning constantly once more. The only thing keeping me from getting down there more often is the constant power outages as of late courtesy of daily thunderstorms (the art den has no windows) and the poor choice of chair. That shall soon be replaced, however.
A lot fewer people followed up on contacting me after I left than I had planned, and surprisingly many of them were not ones I'd anticipated. I guess as always I misjudge the ebb and flow of peopledom. One on one I'm pretty good, but in large groups they're an annoying and confusing amalgam of "barely paying attention past 5 seconds before an aft."
It's probably for the best that I am now safely ensconced within my happy house churning out everything I've been missing out on for the past 2 (3? I keep thinking 3 years but the math may not bear out) years. I don't do "people" well. "Person", though, well, I'm getting better at.
I also certainly don't miss doctors advising me that not being able to view their stock portfolios from their work PCs is somehow magically "patient affecting". I don't miss being talked to as if I've been a victim of head trauma all my life, either.
I'm listening to lots of music, and sharing it with my little girl via a splitter and a second set of DJ headphones that go up against my belly. I'm watching horrible B movies, and I'm knitting up many baby items. It's fun. It's restful. It's what I needed to help my brain heal and start behaving in a mostly linear fashion again.
There is a part of my brain waiting for the other shoe to drop, like there's going to be some horrible consequence for deciding to take care of myself over Getting Money. I'm not to the point of looking over my shoulder yet waiting for the boogieman to steal all the happy away and bring back All The Stress. Maybe I get to postpone that until fall, maybe until after Eve is born and I get a chance to get in a rhythm with feeding her and taking care of her and the house and finding ways to get the artz done during nap times.
For now, though, this is awesome. I could live this summer forever.

Friday, May 31, 2013

On the topic of proto-humanoids currently in my vicinity...

In non-pun related update news, it would appear I am gestating a very tiny human female.

I was not ready for that. I've been using male pronouns for 5 months now. The fact that I am going to have a daughter literally blew my mind. All I could do was cry from happy when I found out.

We're naming her Eve. Not a single person has made a suggestion that it should be otherwise, and I am happy for that because I'm at the skull-ripping stage of "I don't give a crud what you think I should do regarding my offspring." And this really is a seriously happy occasion.

I realized this evening the one thing I look forward to most about the baby is that I will get to explain things to them and teach them about the world, and that is gonna be hella fun.

A girl. Wow.

Actual Conversation #117 - It's Not Pun-ny.

*Chaucer starts by laying on my mouse hand, which goes numb*
Me: Nope, you gotta get up, honey.
Bob: Everything okay?
Me: Yeah, the cat was laying on me, and now he can't. Now he's.... *pick cat up to my chest and begis to "strum" his belly* Cat guitar!!! DUH NUH NUH NUH NUH NUH CAT GUITAR...
Bob: ........
Bob: I love this family.
Me: Wanna know what kind of guitar he is?
Bob: What?
Me: A Strato-CAT-ster.
Bob: ....Well, I did ask for that.

Friday, May 3, 2013

It's my Birthday!

From here on out I am over the age that people just consider it okay to let health checkups slide, and people would look at me with disapproval if they knew I was dressed like THAT at my age.
Thankfully, though, I don't look like I'm my age and I'm going to work that heavily.

Hope everybody else out there has happy birthdays and unbirthdays as appropriate.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My 666th post

...will probably seem just as banal as the previous 665, but we're going to do it anyway.

I am still pregnant and it looks like this is probably going to persist for another 5.5 months or so until my body forcibly ejects the thing and it begins to breathe on its own. I sit here and marvel at how the changes are taking place, and yet how slowly it all seems to be going.... and then I realize I'm really, seriously delusional and if I had any idea what kind of chaos was going down in my womb I would not be impatient for new developments.
At one point I was wandering aimlessly in the corporate kitchen at work feeling the tendons stretch out in a really unnerving and aching fashion and thinking "God I wish this would go faster."
Then I realized what I was saying... and immediately mentally kicked myself in the head.
Wishing time away is really just about the dumbest thing ever. And I know this. I know that everything I am, sitting here typing these things out, is because of alllll the crap I waded through to get to this point. Future me will be the result of all of this PLUS whatever is coming that I am not psychic enough to brace for/change. At some point I'll start to realize, as I am with everyting else everybody just repeats endlessly, that I'll blink and the baby that's sitting inside of me now will be off to college, barely calling, and occasionally remembering to ask for money.
There's some space in between where I can really screw him up, yes. And I can't possibly imagine what sort of person will come from my parenting skills and moral decisions, but really I'd like to be as mindful as possible for the whole thing.
So I just sit there and moan a bit when the tendons hurt, or when I can't digest something well, or when I can't sleep because I have the Martian Flu and the doctors won't prescribe me anything for it (true story, I've been sick for 9 days now). When I can't sit up because the tendons hurt and the muscles in my back are so tight that it seizes, that's a part of the process too. When I just want to come home and have a bubble bath, and my spouse is there to pour it for me and is sweet enough to remember my tiara and the really good bubbles... there is that. It's all just moments that we can give meaning to or not. I don't want to hurry any of them along if I can help it.
There is SOME good news... the nausea that plagued me is mostly gone, although I have discovered that if I stand in the hot sun and bend over a lot, it hits me like a mother f***ing MAC truck and it takes me half an hour to cool off enough that I don't want to hurl my guts.
Have I mentioned that I'm currently proud to have not actually thrown up once? Yup. Just extreme amounts of nausea. In hindsight it probably would've been wiser to just go and throw up, then the nausea would've died down for a bit. Oh well.
In addition to that, I'm finding that yes, my energy IS returning to me finally, and my drive to make stuff is about to drive me bonker-nuts. I wish I weren't so damn sick still, because I would turn this to good use. Just more hurrying up and waiting until I'm all healthy again. Blah.
In other non-entity-creating news, I learned how to weave last week with my mom and my buddy Heather. It was actually really fun and I'm glad we did it. I ended up buying a loom and bringing it home, and I'm currently in the middle of screwing up my first unsupervised project. I had set it up to weave an alpaca baby blanket, and accidentally cut a few of the warp threads too short.
I can fix it, thankfully, because I was shown how to do so during the class. But it really took the wind out of my sails and made me realize I was putting it on the loom wrong. Somehow I remembered it being totally different from what we seem to have been shown (at least on the videos I looked up on YouTube.) So I'll fix it tomorrow, and probably not get to actually do any weaving until next weekend.
Next weekend, btw, is my natal day. I requested off and was granted it off thankfully. We have a day of many shenanigans planned and I am looking forward to it. It also starts to really mark the final countdown to my exit there and entrance in to the world of the arts.
Bob and I talked finances, and... no pressure.... but basically anything I make would be wiggle room. I'm also going to have to cut down my comics reading by a LOT. I can manage it, there are a handful I really want to stick with. It just makes me feel kind of selfish to want to keep any at all, knowing we'll be having a really thin budget. Like... this is our last big bang, this summer. Everything after this will require a lot of budgeting and constant planning. I've been very lucky up until now.
I'm a little worried, yeah. But I think once we're IN it, we'll see that it isn't so bad and I'll calm down a lot. At least, this is my hope. Meanwhile, I am thinking of 80 million things to make or do to help make money and give us more wiggle room. I did pretty damn well when I was on unemployment, I think we'll manage again. It's just scary as all get out. And I feel a touch selfish for wanting to do this, in case it doesn't work.
I can always go back to work after the baby's born, I guess. I just want to be the one to take care of him instead of paying some total stranger. *sigh*
On that note, I should go to bed. I'm stressed and in need of sleep. My brain will work things out overnight and in the morning I'll have a subconscious game plan and be calmer. I have decided this.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What is Unsaid

So I'm slowly letting my family know of my plans to stay home and take care of my kid and try to start up my illustrating/art business from there. My Dad was enthusiastic as all get out, although I cannot remember the exact details of the discussion. Conversation bounces around a lot because we all have ADHD in this family and we cover a LOT of topics in a short amount of time. But the general tone was not one of negativity, as I recall.
The first time I tried to tell my Mom, she assumed I meant when I said I was leaving my job that I was talking about the recent trip out to PAX East in Boston, so the conversation moved over to that. Something about the fact that it didn't literally mean to her brain what I thought it meant sent off warning signals, so I just went with it. Not huge "OMG abort!" signals but... you know... I made note of it.
The second time, I just flat out told her, then followed it up with the happy news that I was going to be focusing on producing and selling my art while staying home with the kids as a way to provide supplemental income. It was something I had always wanted to do, and I was excited about it.
A few seconds later she says "Maybe you could get a part time job to help out with expenses."
And I explain that's what I'll be doing with the painting and drawing and what not.
At which point she persists in declaring that I could MAKE MONEY at a part time job and that Bob would probably help out watching the baby, etc., etc....
And in that moment, I reminded myself of what was always pretty obvious... nobody actually thinks I can make a living off of painting and sketching. At least... Mom didn't.
There was a previous conversation last year where we were talking about move moving in to the arts and she said "See, I always told you it was good to aim for that goal, don't you remember me telling you to keep aimed at it while working at other stuff?"
Nope. What I actually and precisely remember is being told that I should train in the sciences because art was not a realistic goal, and that it would only ever be a hobby. From my dad? I heard that I should go to journalism school to learn to be a writer.
(Watching the slow death of printed news makes me not regret one whit ignoring his imploring that I do that.)
That is not to say that my Mom is not a sweet and awesome person. We went on to have a great conversation about how she loved being able to stay home with us as children, and of what I could expect for the first little while (needing help cleaning everything). I am just struck more and more as I get older how often her thoughts on "reality" have come rattling up to the surface and I realize.... that stuff just doesn't work in my world or with my Confluence Of Events In General.
It also makes me wonder how much I have let myself be limited by things I picked up subliminally from my parents.... or how I decided not to get in to things because my father loudly and derisively declared it to be "incredibly stupid" or "asinine". (He declares anything that he doesn't distinctly like assinine. If he doesn't understand it, it's asinine.)  I have multiple childhood memories of trying to talk to my Dad about things I thought sounded cool, only to have him bite in to me and tell me I should be interested in something else instead, and it was stupid to want to know about X if I didn't know about Y.
....and he is wrong.
Yet again, my father is not a horrible man. He gives to charities, he's very active in his church and community, and I have just as many happy memories as kids as I do sad ones. Maybe more, if I were focusing on those instead of when I was knowledge cock-blocked by my parents as a kid.
So here I am, already with the thought in my head that I am 10 years behind others of my generation in getting my shit together, and I realize that my original perceptions about my family not believing art was a viable living were 100% true. I don't believe for a second that they didn't believe in ME, they know me and they know if I want something I will fucking do it. I think they bought in to the idea at the time that I would end up starving and unappreciated and maybe cut off my ear and send it to a boyfriend in a misunderstood gesture of love.
I am, more than anything, mad that I was so un-introspective as to realize these prejudices before now, and to realize that I could get around them and that it was actually WITHIN MY POWER to just ignore what everybody else believed and go for it. Blindly leaping at things with nothing but a warp core of passion has actually gotten me through quite a few things. Constructing our compost bin without following the instructions earlier today, for instance. It looks dandy.
Going forward I'll be listening more intently to what is said, what is not said, and hearing what people are saying when they aren't speaking. I had thought I was pretty damned good at this, but apparently in my exhaustion and general anger over my job situation, I had let that entire skillset slide. I'm bring breating and observing back en force.
You should try it. Smile, nod, but don't think about how you want to respond. Just listen to what they're saying, watch their body language. Note their word choice and what they specifically DON'T say. You'll learn far more about a person doing that then by engaging them on one hundred topics of interest, I assure you.
Meanwhile... I'm off to see Evil Dead with the spouse. Following that I will be painting with my watercolors experimenting with some new styles (I have never tried mermaids before, but I wanna!!) and maybe do some figure sketching. We shall see. I love that hte possibilities are wiiiide open for me these days. ^_^

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Turning over New Leaves and Stones and Whatnot

Recently I pretty much kicked someone out of my life, and I am finding that this has strangely helped things out with my stress levels.
You see, I worked with someone who was always just a little ~too~ interested in what I was doing, where I was going, etc. And I wrote it off as being socially awkward because hey, that happens. A LOT. I was one of those people (and I still socially derp from time to time) so I understand sometimes you just cannot be on the same wavelength as those around you.
The problem came in when I, against my better judgement, allowed him to become Facebook friends with me; this on a site where I mostly just stick with friends and family. Shortly thereafter he started commenting or liking every single status I posted, and making comments that were ginormous non-sequiturs that were only funny within his own personal reference and lexicon. It got to the point that he commented so often and so much, I threatened to unfriend him because it.
That was about 8 months ago, and he had gotten better, only "liking" damn near every single post.
He had said on multiple occasions that talking with me was the best part of his day at work. I have no doubt that he was sincere, and meant it as a compliment, but it came off too heavy, too filled with import for me to really be comfortable with. I joked about it to downplay it, but he said it multiple times without changing his tone. Alas.
He had physically exhausted me with the sheer volume of storytelling/sharing when I sat next to him, so that when I moved to night shift I was actually grateful for the quiet that filtered in. It also meant that it was easier to handle the IMs, the likes, and all the other small intrusions.
But when we moved back in to the main room, I discovered him constantly looking at me, IMing me a bit more ferociously, and demanding that I friend him on other social networks, and that he find out my username so he could friend me.
It just became too much, so I slowly started to back away from it all, hoping if I just toned it down that perhaps he would relax in a month or two and get used to me being in the same room again.
But then my husband told me a story of when this guy was at our housewarming party and his wife was with him (Almost exactly a year ago). When she realized he and I were somewhere else (in a group of people touring the upstairs, but I don't think she knew that) she yelled "Where are X and Y??" and went bowling up the stairs to see where we were.
So his wife was concerned. Apparently he had talked of me often enough that she legitimately thought something might go down. And that threw up all of the warning signs and red lights and stuff like that.
I unfriended him immediately from anywhere that our social networks touched, and when the inevitable text message came asking what he'd done, I explained in detail over 6 lengthy text messages exactly why.
He never responded. He barely looked at me at work. He never asked for me to refriend him again.
I know that he's mad at me, as I was promptly taken off of the only special project I had training the new employees on how to speak with customers on the phone. (This coincided with me saying I could not come in on my day off to train someone because I had a prenatal doctor's appointment during the time they wanted me. If they took me off the project because I wouldn't chose my job over my unborn child, I will raise almighty fucking hell, because it looks like that might be the case).
Either way, when he talks to me he is stilted, and recently when he overheard I'd been on a trip and he asked if I'd enjoyed it, he was obviously mad that he found out about it second hand. But for the most part he has not approached me again, has stayed a respectful distance, and has kept professional while at work. It's about all I can hope for.
I thought the guilt of doing this would eat at me for weeks, but I am actually finding that in speaking my mind I got a lot of anger and fear out of me and out in the open. I could free up that mental space for something productive. It's been so useful, I'm about to do it again to other people in my life who have been extremely negative and self-focused but continue to try and maintain a friendship with me.
If I told you I had one of them in my house checking the expiration dates on my food and telling me my dog and husband were a complete idiot while I was trying to talk to them about things that were driving me to consider suicide, but that not one moment was really given to anything I wanted to talk about...? I'm betting you would not think it cruel of me to do so.
In fact, that one's lived in my belly for about 7-8 months now, and i think that will be my next cleansing act.
This is, after all, the Year of Living Fearlessly. That includes pissing off people who think they're being your friend when they really aren't so you can get on with your life.
 The mere thought of it actually makes me breathe easier, actually. There may be a post, there may not be. I'm trying to keep things positive here. In fact, I'll be following up with something rather nifty shortly so you guys can be rewarded for slogging through my emo!
And thank you for listening, you cold, giant, dark void of internet.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Check Out This Thing I Found - Youtube Edition

I've been wanting to return to Sharing All the Neat Things for a while now, since I've felt like my life has been slanted toward the negative lately. I need something to make me feel happy again, and I always feel happiest when I am sharing with others or helping people out.
SO... to that end, I have a few awesome YouTubez to share that maybe people don't know about. I'm hoping it'll make someof you smile or laugh or git lerned a bit.

The first is the Unknown Cameraman's channel. He's an urban explorer that goes in to abandoned buildings and documents what is seen there. Even moreso than that, he gives a detailed history of thelocations he visits so you can learn about why it was important and now suddenly it's not.
I have always been fascinated by abandoned buildings and the history of what might have happened, so this is right up my alley.
I also like that he is very respectful of the places he goes, and he generally decries all of the graffiti and vandalism visited on these places by bored people and teenagers.
A sample of his work:

If that's not up your alley, and you're more of a cooking show type of person, let me recommend My Drunk Kitchen to you.
Basically the channel is Hannah Harto attempting to cook while getting progressively more drunk. She herself is adorable, as well as very positive and caring. If you can take the pu s, it's good for a weekly laugh.
Hannah at some of her best:

Now, this isn't a channel of it's own, but a series ON a channel. In this case, the channel is SoulPancake. SoulPancake can be funny but honestly I'm not so much in to their stuff. Some of it is just random and not very fun or funny. But what I DO love is KID PRESIDENT.
He's funny, he's maybe all of 11, and he's currently on a campaign to make 2013 an awesome year.
Best par? That the kid is SO positive, despite being a "glass boy"; his bones are very brittle and break easily, but he still belly flops on things and giggles like mad.
Here, for your edification, is Kid President:

Anyway, these are some of the videos I look forward to seeing every week or so as they come up. I'm always looking for new and cool things, so if you've got suggestions, comment below! (Please no ball-shot videos or stupid foreign music videos, though. I'm tired of that stuff.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Little Scare Today...

I am an overweight middle aged female on her second pregnancy (the first having ended in a miscarriage when I was a tender 18 years of age) and therefore every single article and website out there regarding age and pregnancy is fond of saying:


Which is actually retarded because it's no longer so unusual for women to have babies in their 30's. It just usually takes the world 2 decades to catch up with what's actually going on culturally and adjust its old wives' tales and general misinformation accordingly.

Let me tell you, second to masturbation I have NEVER come across anything regarding the functioning of the human body so wrapped up in superstition, 50 year old medical advice, and general bad ideas. Really. Like someone decided all of the old crap that wasn't really accurate should just be moved on to the net anyway because reasons. And half of it isn't true. In case you can't tell, it's making me angry because it means people are reading this without necessarily verifying it independently and it's just the continuation of bad information. It's already scary enough being pregnant, it's just cruel to perpetuate some of this stuff.

But all that said, we come back to the simple fact that I am NOT a good specimen of health, and now with the pregnancy and the sleepiness I am actually putting on a lot of weight. So it's gotten uncomfortable for me very quickly. I need to lose weight. And hey, let's be honest, I need to be younger.  But that ain't gonna happen (the last part, that is) I could have complications. Life is unpredictable.

I had a horrible night courtesy of a nagging cough on the tail end of bronchitis where I got utterly no sleep. I actually fell asleep for all of 5 minutes around 4:30 or 5 am. During that time I had a dream that somebody texted me and asked "How's your second heart? :D " (I've been refering to the baby as my second heart a lot) to which I texted back. "Gone. I have no idea what to do with these baby clothes now."
Yeah. Shockingly morbid.
And any other day I would write this off as just being something strange, because I have been having a TON of bizarre dreams since pregnancy has hit me.
Except that I woke up abruptly after that, and promptly experienced a very sharp cramp, followed by a dull pain.
Thinking it was just my body being irked at me for laying weird, I got up and went to the bathroom.... where I promptly found blood.
And then I freaked out.
I jumped on the internet and read through forums asking about bleeding at 2 months... and of course, all of the horror stories are front and center about horrible double miscarriages and painful ejections of fetuses and all of that glorious stuff that honestly they should have a filter for (Google? There's an algorithm for you. Return information ONLY and not blind supposition with anecdotal "evidence". That'd be pretty hot.) But the over-arching theme was "You need to get to the doctors or the ER and have an ultrasound immediately."
I actually stopped and debated, courtesy of a childhood where I was guilt tripped for crying when my ears hurt or I needed to be taken to the ER (a product of lack of money, not moral character, I am coming to realize) whether or not I should wake Bob up. After all, if it was just spotting then I was about to cause us to spend a LOT of money over nothing. I actually sat there and cried, and the dog heard me and came downstairs to curl up with me while I debated.
I finally went upstairs around 5:30 and told Bob, decided I needed to see the ultrasound and I needed to be informed if I was about to experience a miscarriage.
I think we were at the hospital perhaps 20 minutes later, including dressing time. We held hands and kept reassuring one another it was okay, we just needed to be sure.... but we were both fairly messed up and scared. I did my best to be calm so as not to upset Bob, but in a moment of awesomeness when I said "I am okay," he turned to me and demanded "NO. HOW ARE YOU REALLY?" and I got to admit I was scared. Because he is awesome, and we are partners and I think he knew it would be lonely to feel like you might be worrying on your own.
We filled out paperwork on arrival, then I was asked if I needed a wheelchair. Twice. And I had no idea, but told them I was ambulatory, so in we walked.
While we waited for them to run the bloodwork and finish wiring me up for heart rate and other fun stuff, we held hands and repeated back and forth to one another "Everything is okay." "Everything is okay." like a small mantra. We held eyes, too, because I needed to see that he believed it, and he saw that I believed it. This was fucking important.
About 3 hours, several nice people and a thorough ultrasound later and we had no answers, but they told me there was no reason for the body to try and kick the baby out. It was still growing furiously and the heartbeats were much stronger than on Thursday, plus everything was in the right proportion. The overnight PA informed me that all looked well and to just take it easy. Then the shifts changed, he told us to have a good day, and the dayshift doctor came on.
Shit bedside manner. He just rattled off what the PA had told us already, but without the gentleness. "Sometimes miscarriages just happen in the first trimester, there's really not much we can do about it but watch it happen. There's no signs as to why this started." Now, that doesn't sound too harsh, but it was his delivery. Rushed, as if having been there 10 minutes he suddenly already didn't have time for us even though there were only 2 other patients in there at the time.
Thanks. Ass. You're the kind of person people tell sour stories about. Seriously.
Anyway, we went and had pancakes and talked, and I am following the doctor's advice... lots of rest (not bed rest, just no jogging or heavy weight lifting or anything of that sort) and 3 weeks with no "relations" of any sort. That will not be a problem. I feel so incredibly unsexy right now, it isn't even funny.
I am scared, yes. We have no idea what caused it and there was a brief return of the spotting later on this evening, but it seems to have calmed now. I am just hoping nothing weakened.
Medical science is great, but just useless sometimes. Thankfully insurance covered this little side trip.
I've had enough of health things for now. I want this bronchitis totally gone, and I want to be healthy enough to exercise and lose weight. I am horribly uncomfortable and none of my pants fit me anymore, which upsets me to no end. That's no good. I need to be healthier for this kid.