Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blue Is a Calming Color

Into Geek

I had originally planned to write this post about my love-hate relationship with the Internet, but then my laptop decided to inspire me to write on a different topic.  Yesterday I was happily multitasking away like always, meaning eating leftover Subway while listening to Hulu in one Internet window, bidding on eBay items in another window, and reading blogs in another window, while also IMing with G on Skype.  And then this happened.

The same thing happened near the beginning of January and at that time, I restarted my laptop then ran a full scan of my laptop which turned up nothing.  This time I did the same thing but the scan discovered malware called Exploit:Java something something something.  So I removed that and now I'm hoping that my laptop will love me again.

Anyway, like I said, it inspired a different topic for today's post.  So you know how that picture up there is commonly referred to as the Blue Screen of Death?  Yeah, well according to Wikipedia, they made it blue because blue is a calming color.  Now, this may just be my wacky brain, but when I see the words "of death" in anything it sort of outweighs any other words in that sentence.  Blue Screen? Perfectly fine.  Blue Screen of Death? Oh my God, we're all going to die.  My laptop is going to explode and blood is going to rain down from the sky.  Run for your lives!  It just has that effect on me.  That picture up above, instead of making my brain go:

It actually makes my brain go:

The same thing applies to anything imaginable.  If you add "of death" to the end, I don't really care what the first part is.  Whether it's blue bird of death:

Or blue sky of death:

Or blue water of death:

So I don't care how blue it is, I will not be calmed by a screen of death.  That's like a screen of murderous clowns.  That would never calm me down, no matter how blue it was.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where to Go in Seattle: The Ave

Technically The Ave is a street named University Way NE, but everyone calls it "The Ave".

First of all, my nails have been all purple and zigzagged for about a week now.  They're starting to chip and they didn't start out very perfect.  But here's how they looked right after I finished them.

I used this technique.  Next time, I think I'll make it easier on myself and do this two-color variation.  The one thing I will definitely do differently next time is stick my tape pieces to the slippery side of some freezer paper before cutting them in zigzags, because the hardest part was definitely cutting the tape.  I think it would be easier stuck to something that I can peel it off of without it losing its stickiness.

Onto the real post.  Yesterday I went to the Ave to hang out with my best friend Jessica, who I hadn't seen since before Christmas.  We didn't get stabbed or shot or robbed, but we did see a drug deal go down.  All in all, it was a fun and successful adventure.  First we went to get crepes for lunch.  We wanted to try this new crepe place that just opened and got really great reviews on Yelp, but we found out that it's closed on Mondays : (  So we went to a different crepe place, which is located inside a sandwich shop and the crepes were so amazingly delicious and filling.  I got one with strawberries, banana, whipped cream, and Nutella.  It was a little bit difficult to eat with a plastic fork because of the way they serve them.  I could have normally eaten it much like an ice cream cone, but I still can't bite with my front teeth, so I had to use a fork.

Look at all the yummy fillings!

This should give you some idea of how ginormous this thing was.
 After that, we went to the three thrift stores: Crossroads, Buffalo Exchange, and Goodwill.  I didn't find anything I liked at Crossroads.  I found a ridiculously cute skirt at Buffalo Exchange, which fit me perfectly, so I had to get it.  I also found a really cute dress.  The front fit me perfectly but whoever owned it previously had a big butt, so the back was permanently stretched out, so I didn't buy it.  And when I was waiting to pay for the skirt, the girl in front of me was having a problem where the machine wouldn't accept her debit card, so they were trying to exchange numbers so they could hold her clothes for her to buy a different day, but none of the people who worked there could find a pen.  So I let them borrow my pen and then when it was my turn to pay, they gave me a coupon for $5 off my next purchase for being so patient and lending my pen.  That was very cool, and the coupon never expires.  Here's a picture of the skirt.

I'm a sucker for tiers, ruffles, and fun prints.

Look how artsy this print is. I can't help but love it.

And then at Goodwill I found the best jacket in the world, in my opinion.  When I left at 3-ish it was fairly nice and relatively warm weather, but by 6-ish it was getting a bit chilly, even in my leather jacket which is normally too good at keeping me warm.  So I got another jacket at Goodwill, because I have a jacket weakness.  And I found the perfect one.  It fits me perfectly.  It's super comfy, made out of sweatshirt material, but like the really soft kind.  And it's pretty unique as well.  Not to mention in like-new condition with no stains or tears.  It did a great job of keeping me warm during the half hour I had to wait for my bus home.  And while I was waiting in the checkout line, I found some husky earrings, which I had to buy because I went to the University of Washington for two years before dropping out and G is an alumni of there.  We are both avid fans of Husky basketball and football, so these were a necessary purchase.

And I couldn't resist wearing everything at the same time. I'm not going to lie, I would consider leaving the house and going out in public dressed like this.  But I probably wouldn't.  Probably...

You wish you were this awesome. (complete with roommates' clutter in the back)

So I ended up having a fun and successful adventure, and it was great being able to see my best friend.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Business as Usual: Packaging

So I think I excitedly shared with all of you about how I made my first sale for my Etsy shop.  I knew that I wanted to package it really nicely to ship, so I started coming up with ideas.  The package that really stuck out in my mind the most recently was the lovely one from Doubledutch Boutique.  When I received that package, I felt like I was receiving a present, and I knew that I wanted my shop customers to feel the same way.  But I also wanted to put my own handmade and personal touch on each package I sent, so I got the idea to make handmade envelopes to send my orders in.  I found some really beautiful paper at the art supply store recently and it turned out to be perfect for handmade envolopes.  This is not even 1/20th of the lovely selection.

After a quick Bing search, I found this handmade envelope template, which worked great.  I just had to scale it up in size to fit the paper width.  I also changed the black portion to light grey, just to save printer ink.  I cut it out, then instead of tracing it onto my fancy paper, I got my ruler and my cutting mat and my Exacto knife, and carefully cut it out by just laying the template over the top.  The reason I did this was that I wanted to make sure there weren't any pencil lines on the paper and because it is recycled paper, erasing could damage it.  It worked great.  I placed my items on the still flat envelope to make sure they would fit comfortably.  Then I took them out and addressed the envelope before folding it.  After that I scored the fold lines with my Exacto knife.  I folded the flaps, then glued the bottom and sides with an ordinary glue stick.  (It works fine, but you need to press and hold after gluing to make sure it will stay glued shut.)  I put my items in, then glued the top closed.  Next, I walked the 6 blocks in the pouring rain to the post office, waited in line for a while and mailed it off.  I hope that my customer enjoys receiving it as much as I enjoyed making it.  I actually had a lot of fun picking out which paper to use, wrapping it in bubble wrap and tissue paper, then making the envelope.  And I even got to reuse some of the tissue paper from my Doubledutch Boutique package.  Here are the pictures I took of the enelope process.

After addressing: all cut out and scored

double checking to make sure everything fits

right before I glued the top closed

I guess the point of this post is to say that as someone who loves getting mail, I am much more likely to order again from a certain place if I enjoy not only their product, but also their packaging.  I like it when a company puts in an extra effort to show customers that they care, and so I'm trying to embody that in my own shop.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Etsy Love: Owl Edition

I love owls. With their big eyes and their round bodies, they're just begging to be loved.  So here are some handmade and vintage owls and owl items for you to love.  Click the picture to go to the item on Etsy.

vintage cute big belly owl Necklace, with pink flower, the tail can moveable
this adorable necklace is a steal at just $10, including shipping

On sales now Pretty retro copper colorful blue eyes owl necklace pendant vintage style
I own this one. He's only $2, not including shipping.

Owl Messenger Bag
This one is cute and useful.

Gray Tree Owls Pullover Hoody
I love owls, and I love hoodies, so that makes loving this a no-brainer.
This hoodie looks pretty comfy too.

Bright Owls set of two quilted potholders
These adorable bight-colored owls look like the ones on my planner.

I think that's enough owl love for today.  Stay tuned for Etsy Love: Fleur De Lis Edition

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Doodle Day 1

This is a new not-at-all regular blog feature.  It will be happening again, but not like every week or anything like that.  Just be pleasantly surprised when it happens but don't expect is probably what I'm trying to say.

First, some doodles from the past.

from my freshman year of college, a tee shirt design that I later abandoned

this one was the beginning sketches of a logo for an app a guy was making,
he changed the whole direction of the app and no longer needed me to make the logo
I wasn't getting paid for it anyway, so oh well
Now for the most recent doodles.

I drew this whole thig freehand, without a straight edge of any kind

I like drawing people like this little guy, he's floating in white space (pun intended),
it looks like that cloud is attacking him but I like it anyway
 And here are some drawings from the future.  Just kidding. Who do you think I am, The Doctor?  But I seriously hope there are more of these ice cream sundaes in my future.

one of the first things I ate after being told I could eat normal food, just not crunchy things,
terrible picture quality for the win!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Movie Review: Tiny Furniture

Lately I've been having insomnia.  I usually can't sleep until 3 at the very earliest.  Usually I just stay up and watch How I Met Your Mother until I feel sleepy enough to actually fall asleep.  But yesterday I finished the final episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, so I had to find something else to watch while I tried to wind down.  I picked a movie called Tiny Furniture.  The description was something about an artist, so I thought why not.  Other people who have seen this movie may disagree with me, but I found this movie incredibly boring.  The characters were annoying and the storyline was less of a storyline and more just something that happened in someone's uninteresting life.  It's the story of a girl coming home to live with her artist mother and her annoying high school sister after she graduates college.  Pretty much, she ends up having a male Youtube celebrity stay at the house, and nothing happens.  Save yourself some time and don't watch this movie.  Unless you have nothing better to do.  But believe me, you have something better to do.  Watching paint dry would be better.  Even the ending seemed like the writers just got bored of the movie and decided to stop at a random point.  I hated this movie.  I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy.  I give it a quarter of a star out of 5, just because I'm not allowed by myself to give a 0.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Some Sort of Big News

I'm not sure if you guys remember how I decided to put my graphic design dreams on hold to focus on selling jewelry.  I was browsing Craigslist gigs today and I found an ad for a band that needs a new logo.  They are based in the Seattle area and they're a rock/metal band, which is one of my favorite music genres.  So I sent off an email, expecting never to hear back.  I was very honest with them and told them I'd never really designed logos before, but I am very artistic.  I provided a link to my DeviantArt gallery and told them that I would do their design for free, to gain some experience and start my portfolio.  Imagine my surprise when about an hour later I received an email from the band's manager saying that they would love to have me design their logo.  They want something original, without skulls and wings that screams metal, looks good in color or in black and white, and will go on a variety of items.  She linked me to one of the band members to bounce ideas off of.  I haven't emailed him yet because today I am very sleep deprived and as a result my brain isn't working to full capacity.  But I will email tomorrow and see what the band is called, for one, and listen to some of their music and try to get a feel for it.  My dream job is to design album art for bands, so this opportunity is sort of surreal.  While it's not exactly album art, it will go on albums.  And later this afternoon, at 3, I have another appointment with the gum specialist.  I have a feeling I'll be getting more stitches instead of getting my stitches removed, since the portion of gum stitched in front of my center front teeth isn't being stitched down enough to heal.  So that should be fun. *sarcasm*  But at least I get 40+ extra minutes while waiting to transfer buses, in which I can read my book, which is getting really good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Etsy Progress

Yesterday I made a legit banner for my Etsy shop and soon after I made my first sale!  It was so exciting.  It took 725 shop views, but somebody finally bought something.  It isn't really such a long time from when I opened my shop, but it feels like it to me.  And then I spent all of today (I'm writing this at 10:01 PM on Tuesday) taking apart old jewelry I no longer wear and sorting so many beads that my eyes are tired.  And I watched some How I Met Your Mother, because let's face it, it makes time pass faster.  Here's my new Etsy banner.

In case anyone else wants to download the first font I used for the main text, you can do that for free here
Just download and then right click on the font name in the downloaded file, and click "Install".

And this is the piece that I sold.

In other news, I'm saving up my money now for a really great camera so I can take better product photos.  So far I've saved $2, but every bit counts.  And at some point in the hopefully not too distant future, I'll be making my first legit design for this blog.  Everything so far has been thrown together in an hour or less.  So my life is good right now, busy but good.  And productive.  Also, I just had Hot Pockets for dinner, which I hadn't eaten since college, and I'm about to try a new limited edition ice cream flavor, coconut macaroon (Update: that ice cream is so delicious that I want to bathe in it, so everyone should definitely try it before they stop selling it, since it's limited edition.  Like my old favorite: caramel apple pie flavor: RIP.).  And I'm going to catch up on my blog reading.

And finally, a friendly reminder, Google Friend Connect will be going away March 1st, so make sure you follow my blog and all of the blogs you enjoy by some other method before then.  I really like Bloglovin', which I just joined a few days ago, and while it's sort of a hassle to find all the blogs you read and follow them one by one, it's really great after you get that all done.  You can follow me by Bloglovin' by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Happens When you Let People Walk All Over You

Today's post may seem cynical, but I assure it is not.  It's just true.  When you let people walk all over you, they will.  It's as simple as that.  Back in the days when I couldn't walk and when I was still going to that one horrible church with the people who acted so nice, before I realized that the church was horrible, I had two people in my life who for all intents and purposes seemed like my great friends.  They were both tiny Asian girls.  One of these girls, T, asked me if I would help her dye her hair, because I dyed my hair a lot and she had never done hers before and was too scared to do it herself.  I, being the person that I was, said that of course I would.  I said this despite the fact that I couldn't walk, and had to navigate the 6th floor of the dorm building where I lived, either in a wheelchair or on crutches.  It was impossible to get into our bathrooms in a wheelchair.  The girls bathrooms were on our floor and the boys bathrooms were on the floor above.  The girls bathrooms had locks on all four of the main doors, locks that were high enough up that the shorter girls had to stand on their tiptoes to unlock them.  To make things even more difficult for myself on crutches, the doors were also really heavy, so after managing to unlock the door, I had to push it open as far as I could, then wedge one crutch in to hold it open, swing my legs forward a bit, open it as far as possible again then scoot my crutch forward, then swing my legs forward again and then pull away the crutch and lean out of the way so the door didn't hit me when it slammed shut.  I inform you of all this because my what I thought at the time was a friend, T, was too small and too weak to open the door for me, so I had to do it myself and then hold it open for her to come in.  She had really long hair, so it took about an hour of me standing, propping myself up on my crutches, to cover her hair completely with dye.  by that time, my arms were thoroughly asleep.  When T got some dye on her skin, instead of wiping it off with a paper towel like a normal person, she used my light colored bath towel, to wipe off brown DYE.  Which obviously dyed my towel.  Then we sat on the shower benches for 20 minutes for the color to work, and then came time to rinse it out.  And instead of T hopping in the shower and rinsing it out herself like a normal person, she said that she would prefer for me to rinse it out for her at the sink.  Looking back on it, I don't know why I didn't refuse.  Instead, like a doormat, I agreed.  Then followed an hour of me rinsing her hair in the sink waiting for the water to run clear.  As previously mentioned she had very long hair, so it kept going over the drain and blocking it and I would have to hold it out of the way and wait for the sink to drain before continuing.  All of this while propping myself up on crutches, which let me tell you, was no easy task.  Anyway, after that whole thing, she dried her hair on the bath towel that she had already stained with hair dye.  She thanked me and then she left.  All I got out of it was a permanent stain on my light green bath towel and a waste of two hours and 20 minutes of my life, give or take a few minutes, and a thank you.  Oh, and a month or so later, the worst heartbreak I have ever experienced when I kindly explained that I no longer wished to go to their church but I hope that we can still be friends.  They said of course we can still be friends.  And then all 30 or so people who had pretended to be my great friends turned their backs on me and disowned me.  When I would say hi to them on campus, they would act like they could neither hear nor see me.  But that towel, which is one of only two that I own now, serves as a reminder to me not to let people walk all over me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

All Pictures Update

These are all from the last trip I took to the Ave.

First, the mural outside the art supply store (While the dinosaurs mural was cool, I think this one is much cooler):

I especially love this part, because it reminds me of the movie S. Darko

And I got these four shirts at Goodwill, each for less than $5.  The purple one was only $1.29!

And finally, here is what I got from the art store:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lovely Shop Love

I was lucky enough to win $50 shop credit to one of the loveliest online boutiques I've ever seen.  The shop is called Doubledutch Boutique.  After looking at all of the lovely items, I picked out three that I really wanted.  I just paid for shipping and my purchases arrived within a week.  Not only were the items even more adorable in person, but the packaging was just as lovely.  It inspired me to do something similar with my Etsy packaging.  Of course I snapped some pictures to share.

I love both of the necklaces so much that I am wearing the maple seed pod one right now.  And I wore the arrow necklace for the past two days straight.  I haven't had an outfit to wear the belt with yet, because it's the size of a hip belt and not a waist belt, and I don't wear hip belts as often as waist belts.

I especially adore the maple seed pod necklace because growing up, we had a maple tree in our backyard and my brother and I would throw the seed pods in the air and watch them spin like crazy to the ground.  We called them helicopters because they spun so much.

Basically, I just want to say that I would highly recommend Doubledutch Boutique to everyone.  They have so many cute things.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Simple Photomanipulation



G likes to use galaxy pictures as his desktop wallpaper on his computers.  He wanted one that was purple and gold, but the best I could find was purple and pink, so I Photoshopped it.

Update: Since this is the most popular post of all time on my blog, I'm going to start making downloadable galaxy backgrounds.  If you would like me to make any specific color combinations, let me know in the comments.

Working on My Bucket List: Part One

Some of you have noticed my bucket list.  It's part bucket list and part New Year's resolutions, but I always fail at things if I call them New Year's resolutions, so I refuse to call them that.  Anyway, one of the things I am working on is conquering my fear of my sewing machine.  So far, I managed to make a tee shirt into a pillow.  And that went so smoothly that I decided to kick the challenge level up a notch.  I want to try making things that I will wear on my body.  Because apparently I'm insane.  Because I anticipate probably a few failed attempts, I am not going to start out by buying fabric and trying to make it into a skirt.  I am going to start out by buying a skirt  on eBay that has already been made but is much too large for anyone to probably buy it before the auction is over.  I have picked out a few of these skirts in patterns that I would wear and have placed a maximum bid of $2 on them.  Because there is free shipping and for $2, even if I do mess it up, I'll still get plenty of fabric out of it to use in my jewelry, if nothing else.  So that's my plan: take large skirts with plenty of extra fabric in case I mess up, and turn them into skirts that actually fit me and are cute.  And of course, I'll share whether I succeed or fail.

Friday, February 17, 2012

One of Those Days

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know the ones.  The days where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  It started out like any other day.  I got up and planned all of the things I would get done today.  Then I started catching up on blogs I follow.  But then my laptop started what can only be described as, by me anyway, tweaking out.  The screen would go black then seconds later, portions of what I had been looking at before it went back showed up and the rest was just white.  It did this 6 times at least, in a matter of a few seconds.  Then it regained stability just long enough to pop up a notice that the display driver quit working unexpectedly but it had been recovered.  And then came Ye Ole Blue Screen O Death.  So then my computer shut down and I texted G.  He said to do a system restore.  So I set that up and went to take a nice long hot shower.  And I came back and my computer informed me that it was unable to work system repair.  So I clicked the button to send the error report and then everything seemed to be fine again.  I started a full system scan, and it's been running for an hour and 5 minutes now, and the progress bar isn't even a 20th of the way full.  In other news, I have a bladder infection, which you're probably saying, "TMI", but I don't care.  The other thing I won't tell you about, because I don't want to gross out the guys, but other things made my day worse as well.  And now my web browser seems to think it needs to open 6 browser windows when I click it only once, and then close them as soon as it opens them.  But I am trying to focus on the positive things here: I have orange juice, my nails are pretty though nowhere near perfect, and I get to hang out with G tonight.  But seriously, this day has been ridiculous.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What We Did for Valentine's Day

G and I went to Safeway to get some ingredients.  Then we went back to his place and made a thing called chicken pillows.  They were super easy to make and turned out absolutely delicious.  G told me he had a bottle of tabasco sauce out just in case, but he didn't need it : )  We used vegetable flavored cream cheese and also roasted and chopped up some green peppers in the filling.   If you decide to make them yourself, I would recommend only making half of the filling and of the sauce, because we have half of each left over.  But the filling is pretty much awesome chicken salad with cream cheese instead of mayo, so if you do end up with extra, you can use it for sandwiches the next day or put it on crackers for a snack.  And the sauce is basically just a really creamy and rich soup, so you can eat that with your chicken salad sandwich for lunch, which is what I'm doing today (February 15th; this is a scheduled post).  I baked G a dozen banana chocolate chip muffins earlier in the day and made him a Legend of Zelda valentine.  He ate one of the muffins for breakfast this morning and said that they're perfect, and G tells it like it is, trust me, so that made me happy.  And he really loved the Valentine, especially after he had a pretty bad day at work.  He bought me some Scratch tickets for my Valentine's gift and I won $3.  We both agreed not to spend a lot of money on each other and our Valentine's Day was really great anyway.  Also, it was my first Valentine's Day ever not single, and I couldn't have asked for a better one.  And also my mom sent me a huge package, which contained chocolates and some jewelry she made for me to sell in my Etsy shop, among other things.

I went all out on my makeup and my outfit even though we weren't going out. I even did eyeliner, which if you don't know, is a thing that I will readily admit I am terrible at. I even ordered a plastic guide off eBay to help me. But I can't even use it because it makes my eyelid twitch even more!   Here are some pictures of what I wore.

the makeup

the outfit, all thrifted/ebay except the skirt,
which was on sale at a real store,
and the jewelry; bangle is DIY from a water bottle!

the lovely necklace which I bought after I won a giveaway to Doubledutch Boutique
I haven't taken it off since I got it; I love it that much

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stuff I'm Still Learning

Some of this is pretty specifically tailored to myself, because that's why I wrote this, so I can read it and remind myself that these things are all true for me, and hopefully after I read them enough, I'll begin to believe them at some point.

#1 Just because you failed, that doesn't mean you're a failure.  Even if you failed at 10 things.  You're still not a failure.  Even if you failed at 20 things.  You're still not a failure.  Even if you think you've failed at everything.  You haven't.  You have a place to live and you have food.  That's two things you've succeeded at, and there are plenty more.

#2 Worrying isn't worth it.  It's just not.  Worrying sucks.  It sucks away your joy of living.  And worrying about things doesn't help.

#3 Sometimes it's okay to spend money on things you don't need.  Don't go buying a Nikon or anything, but a manicure would be okay to get. Even just once. And it's on your bucket list, so do it.

#4 Schedule time for yourself.  Quit making amorphous plans to sometime spend the day shopping for painting supplies and selling CDs (Yes, I still have CDs.) and going to thrift stores and just do it already.  And check out that new crepe restaurant on The Ave while you're at it.

#5 Stop feeling guilty.  This goes with the above part.  Know yourself and your issues and that getting a real person job probably isn't going to happen for you right now.  Because of reasons.  Mostly social anxiety.  And don't feel so guilty about it.  Just use your time wisely.  Make jewelry when you feel like it, and don't cut yourself down so much when you don't.  See if you can volunteer at the library one or two days a week and get used to being around people and gain work experience at the same time.  Boom: two birds, one stone.

#6 "Can't" isn't a word so stop saying it.  Give yourself the opportunity to succeed and don't worry if you fail.  (See #1 and #2 above.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stuff's About to Get Real

I don't think that I've ever actually talked about the reason I started this blog.  For one thing, I've tried writing about my feelings in journals but can never stick with it past a few days.  And the really big thing is that I suck at talking about my feelings.  I am the kind of person who just holds in all my emotions until I explode, usually in lots of tears.  I started this blog as an effort to not hold in my feelings.  My theory was that I would be able to write for longer than I ever did in a journal, if there were people reading it.  And there have been.  And my theory has proven true.  I've had this blog for over a year now.  But I tend to avoid writing about certain things, because I feel like people don't want to read them.  After discovering and reading some of Jorah's amazing blog, I have realized that I should write about whatever I want.  If you don't like it, don't read it.  If it offends you, leave.  I am a real person.  I have flaws just like you.  I have feelings too and I have issues from the past that I'm still dealing with, or rather trying not to deal with.  From now on, I write for me, and if you like it, great.  If not, oh well.  I'll still do movie reviews and share my art and stuff.  After all, I'm writing this as a record of my experiences in life.  The good times and the bad.  And for those of you who stick with me through the thick and the thin, I appreciate you.  And trust me, there's about to be some thin.

Monday, February 13, 2012

This is What I Do

Today I went to the Ave. I managed to sell some old CDs for $12. Score! Then I got lost trying to find the art supply store I used to go to when I lived in the area.  I finally found it after walking about 20 blocks out of my way.  They have a new mural outside, which of course, I photographed.  Pictures will be shared once I feel like uploading them.  I got stuff to begin painting with.  They were having a sale on canvasses, so I got 4 in various sizes, from tiny 4 inch by 4 inch to 8 inch by 10 inch.  I also bought a pound of handmade paper for $12.  Which is 50+ sheets of beautiful paper, which I'll use to make envelopes for mailing items people buy from my Etsy shop.   So that means that I managed to buy a pound of beautiful paper with the money from selling my CDs.  I was delighted to discover that the art supply store now sells beading supplies!  I used surprising restraint and only bought some pretty ribbon and brightly colored wire that was ridiculously low priced.  I also bought another bag of dyed feathers for earring and other jewelry making.  Because that's where I buy them and they're cheap.  Also, sort of related, if anyone has any rings that they don't wear or want anymore, could you please email me for my address and mail them to me.  I need them for some jewelry projects I have planned.  To email me, click the picture of the envelope on the big blue star in the sidebar.

After that, I went to the thrift stores planning to look for dress and skirts for daily wear, as well as colorful tee shirts.  I found four colorful tee shirts for $14 total, but no dress or skirts that I liked for daily wear.  And I managed to talk to two strangers that I didn't even need to, working on my social anxiety.  One was a girl around my age in a thrift store looking at dresses.  I just commented that I always end up buying really pretty dresses and then never wearing them.  She said she does the same thing.  So it wasn't a whole conversation but it's a big step for me.  The other was a guy who said that I'm awesome and then tried to get me to donate to his non-profit.  We talked about art for a little bit and I told him I'm unemployed, but good luck.  He told me good luck too.  And then I came home and I have mail, including a Valentine card from my grandma, who only recently recovered the ability to write after having strokes, a large package from my parents, and some jewelry supplies I ordered.  So all in all it was a good day.  Tomorrow I plan to go to the library and see if I can be an unpaid volunteer there from time to time.

And tonight I plan to trim my hair, then put on a good movie, and paint my nails using this technique.  We all know how I fail at nail painting patience, but I figure if I have a good movie to watch, as well as nothing I need to touch, I should do okay.  If I succeed, I'll share pictures, and if I fail, I'll share pictures anyway : )

Living with OCD and Social Anxiety

OCD makes it hard for me to get things done sometimes.  Just on my laptop alone it's constantly check email, check other email, facebook, twitter, pinterest, etsy, my blog, 20sb.  And by constantly I mean a routine that can happen 5 seconds after it just happened.  I literally did it just after typing that.  I feel especially neurotic lately.  The social anxiety certainly doesn't help.  I can't bring myself to leave the house most days.  I have a package today.  I know that I have a package because the mailman knocked on the door, waited 20 seconds at the most for me to answer, and when I got to the door nobody was there but there was a note on the door saying they left my package in the office.  And I love mail.  I think you guys know how much I love mail.  I'm pretty sure I even wrote a post not too long ago called "I Love Mail", but not even the desire to obtain mail is enough to make me leave the house today.  The office is only half a block away.  The distance is not the problem.  I just am not capable of forcing myself to interact with human beings today, at least not ones who are basically strangers.  I never liked meeting new people as a kid and I still don't, only now it's much worse.  I just felt like giving you guys a peek into my perhaps crazy mind.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Sort of Announcement

I have been gaining so many followers lately that I can't keep greeting and welcoming you, as well as linking to your blogs.  So greetings to all my followers, old and new, and ones I don't even have yet.  And I hope that you are all readers and not just followers.  Thanks for thinking the things I write are worth your time.I appreciate it so much.

Is Anyone Interested in Trading Ad Space?

First of all, greetings to my lovely new followers, (followers number 39 and 40!) Claire and Carman.  Claire has a blog over here and she likes pretty things and zombie movies, so she's a winner in my book : )  And Carman has three blogs.  This is her profile, so you can check them out.

I know that there must be some other bloggers who are poor like me. I have been attempting to sell ad space on my blog, but nobody seems to buy it.  But it is for sale if you're interested and if you buy my ad space, I'll include you in a monthly sponsors post.   I just opened up an Etsy shop selling handmade jewelry and need to get it more exposure. Would anyone be interested in trading me ad space on their blog for putting my ad on their blog? No money involved, just an even trade.  Note: if we trade, I won't put you in a monthly sponsors post and I don't expect you to put me in one either.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

When People Comment: I Followed You, Follow Me Back

This is a huge pet peeve of mine. For me, anyway, I click on the name of anyone who comments to see if they might have a blog I would enjoy. And if I like their blog, I follow it. I actually am way less likely to check out someone's blog if they comment "I followed your blog, follow me back!" Especially if they don't say anything else or just comment something generic that makes me wonder if they even read what I wrote. It's not like my not following your blog means I hate you. I'm probably just not interested in the topic. It's not even that I think you're boring, but I am just not interested in tech blogs, for instance, that talk about crazy concepts I can't even begin to understand. And it also makes me a little bit angry that people who comment to follow them back because they followed me somehow feel like they have forced me into a contract to follow their blog just because they have typed 6 words.

So what does everyone else think about asking people to follow you back? Do you do leave comments like that? Do you follow people back just because they borderline order you to?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Overcoming Adversity Like a Boss

I just realized that I never got around to posting the all too true tale of my not being able to walk from October 2010 through May 2011. I told bits and pieces, but never all of it in one place. So here it is, copied from the chat box on 20 Something Bloggers, where I told it to an enthralled and awesome audience last night. That's why the sentences are in fragments and some of them are not capitalized. I'll insert random pictures so it doesn't seem like an overwhelming wall of text.

It all started out in the summer but I only stopped being able to walk for a week and then I got better. I went to tons of different hospitals and nobody could figure out what had happened. One doctor implied that he thought I was insane. They all agreed that it was probably just some freak thing that would never happen again. Anyway, everything is fine and normal. And I'm back to hacky sacking four hours a day. Until October. I wake up one morning and I get ready for class, like always. I go to class and everything's fine. And then I go to my next class, which is physics. And everything is fine... Until I try to leave at the end. I stand up but I can't lift my feet off the ground to walk. It's like they're made of lead. So I get two random guys to carry me up the stairs out of the lecture hall. And then I call my friends and they get their friend to come pick me up and carry me to his car and drive me back to my dorm room. Luckily my mom is always super over-prepared and she made me take a wheelchair to college in case I ever stopped being able to walk again.

Oh hello Mr. Ferris Wheel. You're looking quite sepia today.

At that point, I'm pretty much confined to the sixth floor of my dorm building. My resident advisor assures me that if there's ever a fire, I'm on a list of people that the firefighters will carry down the 6 flights of stairs and to safety. Because during fires the elevators don't work. I see a neurologist and he does all sorts of scans but finds nothing wrong. I try to get help getting to class from a van service for disabled students, because my campus has ridiculous amounts of stairs. But they tell me they can't help unless I have a diagnosis. So I'm stuck in my room and can't go to class. The professors all worked with me and gave me makeup work so I would still pass their classes. Except physics which I would fail since I couldn't do any labs. So I dropped physics.

Oh look, it's a robot. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Also, my dorm totally sucked as far as being accommodating for disabled students. I couldn't eat in the cafeteria style thing downstairs because my wheelchair didn't fit through the line. And I couldn't wheel my chair and balance food on my lap at the same time. A few times a friend came from all the way across campus and had dinner with me, but the rest of the time, I had to rely on my roommate to get me groceries that I could make in the microwave. Or just snacks and I had to live off that for 9 months. Anyway, the quarter ended and the next quarter began. I didn't register for classes because I had to meet with a school advisor first. And then the disability assistance people finally contacted me and said if you still need rides to class, we can do that. And I told them I still didn't have a diagnosis. And they said that's not a problem. And I wanted to say then why the heck was it a problem two months ago and I had to drop a class because of it. But instead I asked them politely that question. If I could punch them through email, I would have. And they said, Oopsies, we had a mixup, our bad. More or less, not a direct quote. And I wanted to strangle them. But I did not, since I couldn't through a computer. So then I started getting rides to class.

Hello Mr. gloomy building.

And everything was going as well as possible... until one day I woke up and I couldn't talk. I was so freaked out. and i texted my roommate what was going on and she let the reident advisor know and they sent an ambulance. and they scanned my brain and drew blood. and said we don't know what's wrong with you. and then after ten hours of being monitored i could talk again. out of nowhere. but before that they didn't feed me or give me anything to drink that entire time. once i could finally talk again i asked the nurse why i wasn't getting anything to eat or drink. she checked it out and apparently they had accidentally written on my chart that i had a stroke. so i wasn't allowed to eat or drink because people who have strokes are very likely to choke. which didn't make sense. and it was after the hospital had given everyone dinner. so she managed to find me peaches and a pudding cup. and a glass of water. then they had my wheelchair ride people take me back to my dorm. at 1 in the morning.

Fishy! He looks like G's fishy. I named his fishy Porkchop because it's such a fattie.

i was okay again for a while... and then that quarter ended and the next one began and one day i was in the most boring class ever, the geology of national parks. ugh. and everything was fine. until the class ended. and i wheeled myself into the lobby of the building, which was right outside the door to the class. no wait, rewind. i got to the point where my arms were strong enough that i could swing my legs on crutches and sort of walk that way before this part of the story. i got pretty fast at it too. but anyway i was on my crutches and i sat down on a bench in the lobby to wait for my ride. because it was way too far to travel on crutches. and then i had what i could only imagine was a seizure. i was so freaked out. the t.a. from my class saw and called an ambulance. they asked me a million questions and then drove me to the hospital. which was only about ten minutes away. but by the time i got there i had lost my ability to speak again. which i managed to text to them on my phone what was going on and communicate that way. i told them the speech thing had happened before. "told". i mean texted. and then when they got me into a hospital room my arms stopped working as well. i couldn't move any part of my body at all except for opening and closing my eyes. and i was so freaked out. and they did tests and stuff and found nothing wrong. and then they had a social worker come in and yell at me. basically she treated me like i was a three year old and i was throwing a temper tantrum. i was 19 years old. there was nothing i could have gained from that. she left after saying "Well if you won't talk to me, I can't help you." And I was thinking what the heck is wrong with the hospital. Why would they send a social worker in to talk to me when I clearly can't talk. And that social worker was so lucky I couldn't talk or move my arms. I would have punched her in the face and cussed her out. And then I got monitored. Which basically means they left me in the room all alone and ignored me while I was freaking out. But at least they had hooked up an iv with fluids this time. And then that night I got better again. for no apparent reason. and i called my parents and told them what happened and i was audibly freaking out. and my dad yelled at me, because somehow now he thought I was faking the whole thing too. and i hung up on him. for the first time ever. i didn't talk to him for a few months after that.

Greetings, Mr. gate to nowhere.

anyway, the disability resources people at my school had me start going to physical therapy and it was going pretty good-ish. and i hadn't had any seizures besides that one unexplained one which didn't even show up in the brain scan. Okay, good, I did post about the one thing I wanted to share at this point in the story. One time that I went to physical therapy, I had a substitute physical therapist and he thought it would be a good idea to try to shock my leg muscles into working with electricity. Dr. Psycho. Anyway, physical therapy went pretty well and I even started being able to do what I called the Zombie Shuffle by time for Spring Break. which is where i could lift one foot about a half an inch off the ground and step with it then drag my other foot up beside it. It was ridiculous but it was a huge improvement. I went home for spring break. which means my parents drove four hours up to get me. and on the way back my neck started twitching uncontrollably. like a tic in a person with Tourette's syndrome. and it wouldn't stop. and then it got faster and faster. and then i had another seizure. and my mom stopped at a rest stop and had me get out to get some fresh air because she thought it would help. and i had another seizure. i collapsed to the pavement in the parking lot. and she tried to put her leg below my head to keep me from cracking it open. she drove to my brother's apartment in Portland. and i hadn't had any more seizures for a couple of hours. and then i was visiting with my brother and showed him how I could do the zombie shuffle and then i had another seizures. and then i just kept having them nonstop. my dad and brother carried me down two flights of stairs while i was having seizures. and they put me in the van and drove me to the hospital. and i had seizures the whole way there with only about a minute in between them. and i get there and the lady is completely clueless. she sits me in a wheelchair and walks off to fill out paperwork. and then i have another seizure and almost fall headfirst out of the wheelchair. i would have if my dad didn't catch me. she sees what happened and moves me to a bad with iron bars around it, sort of like a giant baby crib. and i keep having seizures and my arms and legs are knocking hard against the metal bars. and it's so painful. and then my brother and my dad try to hold my arms and legs away from the bars so i don't get any broken bones. and then they strap me down and do an mri or cat scan or something. and the seizures aren't showing up again. so they tell me these aren't seizures. they're "tremors". what the difference is i don't know. and they give me anti-seizure medication and it makes the tremors stop. so that doesn't make sense but they're doctors and i'm not.

Umbrellas, you're so high up and colorful!

anyway to wrap this up more or less, i keep taking the medication whenever i have seizures and they stop. by the end of spring break, i can walk again. although very slowly. and i can't lift my feet very high.. but about a month later i'm good as new. i can wlak fine, no more seizures. i'm hacky sacking again. and then two months later i have a seizure when i'm taking a shower in the morning before class. so i take my medicine and i'm fine. but then i start having them every day. usually just one a day. but i have to stop going to class. i tell my professors what's going on. and they are very nice about it. i do a complete withdrawal from my classes. and somehow i still managed to pass one of the classes without going for a month. i don't know how that happened. and then as mysteriously as the seizures started, they stopped. and i haven't had one since. but i'm not going back to school. it's not a good fit for me. plus i have social anxiety so a school with lectures of 400+ students is not my idea of fun. if i was contantly worrying that it would happen again, i wouldn't be able to live my life. i just have to say okay that's done now, hopefully it will never happen again. but if it does i'm prepared. my wheelchair and crutches are in the hall closet. and now i'll be all optimistic and say that I hate that I had to go through that but it did give me a new outlook on life. I never take a single thing for granted anymore, especially not my ability to walk. Oh yeah, and after I regained my ability to walk, I became my school's Hacky Sack club president. but yeah, no superpowers were gained. except I do have abnormally good luck with scratch tickets.

That wasn't so much text, now was it? Nope, of course not.