Thursday, August 18, 2011

At a Loss

Yesterday was the last day of my parents visit. Today is the first day I've had mostly to myself since they arrived, and I am finding myself at a bit of a loss for something to do.

This visit with the folks was great. They arrived last Thursday and over the next week we did a great many things. We ate out at some great restaurants, we went to the Point Defiance Zoo, we went to the Renaissance Faire, we went on an Underground Tour of Seattle and walked around downtown. We did a lot, and that is not even counting seeing Les Mis, which they didn't see with the BF and I, or the party the BF and I went to. I have been running around like mad the past week and yet now, with the parents gone and the BF at work, I'm just sitting here going "Well, what next?"

And the problem is not that I don't have things to do. I have a long list of projects and tasks that need to be completed. I just keep waiting for someone to pop up and for us to go off on some trip.

Sitting around at home is going to feel weird for a couple of days after all the activity.

And I will miss having the folks around. Normally after a visit I'm 1,000% ready to get away and get some time to myself. Whenever we travel in their motor home or I visit them in my hometown I'm surrounded by them 24/7. They are there when I wake up and I'm around them until I go to sleep. But this trip they were staying in a campground 30 minutes away from the apartment, so at nights and in the mornings I had a couple of hours time without them around. And just that little buffer made things so much more relaxed and nice. I actually would have been fine with them hanging around a little longer.

I suppose that was my vacation for the year. Now I have to reorient myself and get back to the grind of job hunting and whatnot. Blech. Can I go back to the zoo instead?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some Days I Hate Titles

Well most days I hate titles. I am so very not good at summing written works into just a few words. It takes more brain power than I have.

I feel that I haven't had a lot of brain power lately. Yesterday and even today I am feeling very blah. Part of it I know is due to the fact that I have a couple of different events coming up this month that I am looking forward to (PAX and my parents visit) and I'm stuck waiting on them to happen. I wish they would just hurry up and get here already.

Especially PAX. Not that I am not looking forward to my parent's visit, but at PAX I get to play a bunch of shiny new video games, which I can't wait for.

And speaking of my parent's visit, they will be here on Thursday. I don't know yet how long they will stay, but I know it will be at least a week. I've been coming up with a list of different things we can do and it should be fun having them around. If nothing else it will give me something to do, which I seem to be lacking lately.

I should rephrase that statement. I have plenty of projects to work on, but none of them are calling to me. None of them feel like they are worth working on, if that makes sense. I know I should just shake off my listlessness and tackle something, but it is easier said than done.

And I fear this entry is beginning to head in the direction of mopeyness, which I want to avoid so I think I will wrap it up. Short and sweet today, with not much said. Like many TV shows on the TV these days. Ha!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last Class for the Summer

Last night was the last session of the Professional Editing I class I was taking. It marked the end of the second class I took this summer and the end of the last class I am taking this summer. I wanted to start with two just to get a feel for the classes and see if this is something I want to continue with.

The Fundamentals of Technical Writing class I didn't really enjoy. Part of that was just the nature of the class. A fundamentals class is going to cover just basic stuff and I already know a lot of basic writing stuff. I found myself bored for parts of the class. Part of it was the teacher. She was nice enough and was knowledgeable about the subject, but there were times I felt like she was trying to be my friend and not teaching. And part of it was that we had a group project to do. I hate group projects. I understand that they are a part of any job and a large part of being successful at your job is knowing how to work well with others. But in a class situation I think they are more of a hindrance to learning than anything else. Though the class was suppose to be about Technical Writing, after we were split into groups it almost became about doing the group project. Every break we got we spent talking about the group project and we were even given the last 40 minutes of class each night to talk about our group projects. Add that to the fact that the class was only 5 weeks long AND we weren't able to get together outside of class and the whole thing just became a nightmare. We got the project done, but I don't think it was very good nor do I think it was a successful use of my time.

And don't even get me started on the fact that we had to pay 80 bucks for a book that we pretty much never used. >.<

The Professional Editing I class I enjoyed much more. For one, it was a topic I was very much interested in. I've discovered through taking these classes that I enjoy editing. It can be a little monotonous and time consuming, but it is also one of the few activities in life where I lose track of time doing it. That is very very rare for me, so it is significant whenever it happens. The class itself was more structured, had a teacher that was teaching rather than trying to be friendly and engaging, and best of all, had a project that was solo AND a good learning tool. I learned a lot about the process of editing just from working on the project. The class was a bit boring at times and the teacher seemed a little shaky, but it was still much better than the fundamentals class.

Now I'm left with a little dilemma. Originally I was torn between whether to go for the Technical Writing certificate or the Editing one. I liked the Editing class a lot more, but I think it would probably be easier to get a job as a writer. However, I was informed halfway through the editing course that Bellevue College is getting rid of the Editing certificate and is only offering a writing one. If I want the editing one from them I have to decide right away and have to commit to getting it finished in a very short amount of time.

In addition, I am also no longer sure I want to continue on with this educational track. The classes are expensive, and I am unemployed. I don't know that I will have the funds to take all the classes needed for the certificate. Plus, I'm not sure that the certificate will help me get a job. It can't hurt, but while I am learning things, I don't know that I am picking up the skills I need.

I know how to write and the basics of editing. What I don't know are the different programs used for these practices. For the editing project I had to use Track Changes in Microsoft Word. I had never used it before, and rather than cover it in class I had to figure it out myself. It wasn't hard, thank goodness, but it would have been nice to have had a class on it. Because that is what I need. I need classes on how to use Framemaker or InDesign or something like that. I don't necessarily need classes on sentence structure and grammar.

I also need classes on graphics. Apparently graphics are a large part of technical writing and design these days, and I am completely out to sea when it comes to them. So I almost think it would benefit me more to take classes on these skills instead of taking the classes for the certificate.

So I'm left with a thorny decision to make. And for those that know me, you know that I suck at making decisions. Ugh. >.<

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Visit

So this time next week my parents will be in town to visit. Eeeeeek!

It is always a little stressful when they visit. My mother is a clean freak and no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to get the apartment clean enough for her. And they always comment on my weight, which I struggle with. I know it is just out of concern, but pointing it out and saying I need to work on it does nothing to help. And then there is the BF issue. This is the first time they've been out for a visit since we moved in together and I'm still not sure my Dad has any clue that the BF is more than just a friend. >.<

All that aside though, I am looking forward to seeing them. The last chance I got was in January and I do enjoy being around them. It has been two or three years since they last visited Seattle so it will be very nice to have them out here for a change. I love travelling, but sometimes it is fun to show off your hometown too. I've been busy coming up with a list of things we can do and places we want to eat. Since I'm out of work still I should get plenty of time to visit with them. And that is a very good things, since I'm not sure when I'll be able to visit them again after this.

So yeah, even though I have a bunch of other things on my plate, this is what I'm focused on now. My parents visiting. There is so much to do, and such little time to do it. I suppose I should start on this cleaning then. Ugh. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Scottish Highland Games

Saturday the BF and I got out and went to the Scottish Highland Games. In some ways the event is almost like a Renaissance Festival, only instead of people wearing generally medieval costumes you get a bunch of people in kilts. And instead of various performers putting on random skits, you get various groups of children in kilts doing traditional Scottish dances, lots of bagpipe music, and burly giant men in kilts throwing sacks of hay around. But the vendors are about the same and the food trucks are about the same. There were still lots of swords and shields to be had.

The weather was beautiful for a change. We hit one of those rare sunny days we get out here in the Pacific Northwest. It was hot, but not too hot, and there were occasional breezes. The BF and I got our obligatory meat pies and scones and walked around looking at the vendors and listening to the music. We discovered a new band we had not heard of before and avoided spending any money, though we did see some pretty things amongst the vendors. The BF almost got some canned haggis, which sounds vile. He was curious to try it, being a professional chef and all, but opted on the side of caution and did not get it. Which is to say he chickened out.

I wish I could say the trip was cheap, but it wasn't as cheap as I would like. The Games were an hour or so away from where we live, so we ate up a lot of gas getting there. And then tickets were 15 bucks a pop. Then we had to pay for parking and food. So even with not purchasing anything, we spent a fair amount of money we shouldn't have. But it was nice to get out and enjoy the weather and walk around the festival. And the food was delicious, and something we can't get anywhere else, so that was a plus. I don't regret going, I just wish it wasn't as expensive as it was.

Later this month will be the actual Renaissance Festival which I plan on us going to as well. What can I say, I'm a sucker for medieval events.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aches and Pains

I woke up this morning with the muscles around my collarbone aching. I have no idea why. I'm not the most active person in the world. Yesterday the most I managed was walking around Target and Costco. The only thing I can think of is that I had an intense dream last night about dancing. I was part of some dance class and we were doing this rigorous routine with lots of twisting and twirling around. So maybe I was flailing around in my sleep?

Either that or it is just old age pain, which given that I'm only 30 I find hard to believe. At least I hope 30 isn't when you start getting old age pain.

In other news, I added an old friend from college to Facebook yesterday. He posted a bunch of pictures our time at the university this morning and I browsed through them while I ate breakfast. Those were some good times. My memory isn't the best so I don't remember everything, but I remember having fun and how happy I was. As I looked through those pictures I wished for nothing more than a time machine so I could go back to that time.

College wasn't all fun and games, I know that. There were bad times along with the good. But at least at college I felt like my life was full of potential. I had been a star student in high school and with all the various disciplines and courses taught at college I felt I could literally be anything I wanted there.

I've always tried to live my life with no regrets. I never wanted to look back at my life and wish I had done something different. And yet, I do. When I was at college I had an awful time trying to figure out my major. And instead of going for the degree in the area I loved, I decided to go for what I thought was a safe option. I tried to go for a major in something I thought I might like and that I should be able to make money in. Instead I ended up with two degrees in a field that is neither.

It is hard to live with the knowledge that you've made a mistake, a very serious mistake at that. It is hard to look back at your past and wish for a do-over with all your heart. But I have to live with it. I have to move past it. I have no other choice.

And at least I can say that other than career my life is good. I love the city I live in, I love my friends, I love my BF. I am happy with most of my life. And if I hadn't made the choices I had made, I may not have ended up here. I can't say with any certainty that if I had made a different decision my life would be better. I suppose it is more important to focus on making this life better.

Though if I ever get my hands on the Tardis, just watch out. ;-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where Have You Been???

I come back to you today, with my head held in shame. In my defense, I never intended to stop blogging as long as I did. It was just something that happened naturally over the course of events. I'll give you the lowdown on what has happened this past month I've been gone and try to explain why I haven't been blogging.

When last we left off, the BF had just come back from his trip to China. I was so happy to have him back I skipped a few days of blogging just to get more time with him. He had a wonderful time overseas and had lots of stories to tell. A bit more troubling was his talk of wanting to go back and his dreams of maybe moving there. I'm sure China is a wonderful nation and there are some perks to living there, but I can't think of any. It definitely is not one of the few nations I want to move to. Thankfully since then I think the BF has come to his senses and doesn't want to move there permanently anymore. He is still talking about going back though, for a visit, which is a whole other, much more acceptable beast.

The day before I was to pick the BF up at the airport, I got called in for a job interview. For a company where two of my friends work and where I want to work. I was quite nervous but also excited to get this opportunity for the interview. Unfortunately it was set for the day after the BF got home. And did I mention that I started a class at Bellevue College that week too? After all this hit, I found myself stressed to the max. I went from having no balls in the air to having a bunch. But it is better to be busy than bored, right?

The interview was nerve-wracking, but welcome. The agency and the people who work there seemed more amazing than I can say after my last job. Everyone was nice and welcoming, they talked about how much they loved their jobs and their work, they had all these fancy electronic devices and free bottles of water. It felt a bit like a dream. I thought the interview went well, though I know I dropped the ball on a few things, and I left feeling positive and hopeful for the first time since I was laid off. I was suppose to hear something the next week and I looked forward to posting to the world that I had finally gotten a new job.

It was close to a month before I heard anything back and when I did it was that they had decided to hire someone else. The first week of my wait went quickly. I felt very optimistic and was confident that I would get the job. Still, with the job sword hanging over my head and with my new class, I found I was unable to focus on anything for long, much less try to form a coherent blog post. The second week I started to worry and by that Wednesday I called to follow up. I was told they still had someone to interview and would let me know something the following week. I relaxed a little, but was still worried. The third week passed with no call and I had a bit of a small breakdown from the anxiety. It was the Wednesday of the fourth week that I got the call they were going with someone else.

Other stuff happened during that month. There was the 4th of July and the start of True Blood, which is one of my favourite shows on TV. There was a camping trip in which I learned I don't really enjoying camping (I kinda already knew this). The BF had a couple of interviews during this time, which didn't amount to anything, though he has finally landed a part time job working as a teacher/kitchen assistant at his former school. I finished one class at Bellevue College and started a second. It will end next week. But regardless of all these things, the past month has been defined by the interview and the waiting to hear back.

To say I was devastated would almost be an understatement. I had felt so positive about the job, and had looked forward to it so much that not getting it felt like a blow to the chest. In hindsight it shouldn't have been so surprising. I had no experience and was lacking some key skills, which I'm sure other applicants had. Regardless, I was brought low by it. Unfortunately, or thankfully depending on how you look at it, the day after I got the news was the BF's birthday and we had a slew of events planned. Events I had to at least pretend to be happy about for his sake. And because of these events and the general happiness of his birthday, I was able to pull out of my funk after only a couple of days.

So it is time to wipe myself off and get back on the horse. It is time to pick up the things I've forgotten about the past month and dust them off. It is also time to re-evaluate my employment strategy. I was laid off in March and since then I have managed to land one interview that went nowhere. That is not good. That is not acceptable. As much as I wish I could just live without a job, that is not an option. I need one to survive. So I need a new plan of attack.

There is hope. There has to be hope, otherwise what is the point. And there will be blogging. No more blog vacation for me! I must get back to putting word to page. And I will.

But there is what has been happening while I was gone. That is the condensed version of the past month. I apologize for my absence. I hope you will forgive me. I was not myself. I would promise to never leave you again, but I try not to make promises I am unsure if I can keep. I will endeavor to get back to blogging regularly. Maybe not every day, but at least 3 times a week. I am back and I hope you all are too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Return of the BF

Not to be confused with the Return of the Jedi.

So today is the day my BF finally returns from his trip to China. I am quite happy to have him back. As you might have guessed from the few posts I did while he was gone, I was feeling lonely without him. Not that I just sat in the apartment and waited on him to get back. I went to three different social engagements over the past weekend, which is a lot for me. And while it was great to get out and be around people, coming home to an BF-less apartment was still lonely.

With all that said though, it will be an adjustment having him back. For the past week I've pretty much been in bachelor mode. I've enjoyed the silence of the apartment. I've done what I wanted without worrying if he wants to do it or not. I haven't had someone asking me 10 times "So what do you want to do today?" I've just done what I've wanted and enjoyed the freedom.

It will be even worse now that his school is out and I'm still unemployed. We will be together in this small apartment 24/7. One of us might not survive. ;-)

But for all my bluster, I am happy to have him back and happy to share this space with him. Now if only his plane would hurry up and land!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Class

Tonight is my first class in the Technical Communications certificate program at Bellevue College. And I am feeling anxious.

I felt anxious before my Writing Sci/Fi and Fantasy class too. But it was a different anxious. Even though I had no clue what to expect from that class, at least I felt I had enough skills to conquer whatever they threw at me. I know I can write, and writing fiction is easier in some ways. You get to create, you get to let your imagination run rampant. Technical writing, on the other hand, has rules and regulations and a right and wrong way of doing things. And I really dislike screwing things up.

I never know what to expect from 3 hour long courses too. In this case it is a 3 hour long course that only runs 5 days, so you know they will be filling up ever single minute of the class with something. I can't imagine that the teacher would just lecture for 3 hours, which means that there will probably be some form of in class exercises, which worries me. Our class room is not one of the class rooms with computers, so I don't really know what kind of in class exercises we could do.

Worry, worry, worry. I could make a professional sport out of worrying.

I know it will work out in the end and things will be alright. I just wish I could go ahead and get it over with. I hate sitting here knowing that in 7 hours time I'll have to drive out to Bellevue and go to class. It makes it hard to focus on anything else.

That and the yard people outside running their weed whackers. Do they really need to come once a week and make all that racket? It is so annoying.

Anywho, time to get to working on something.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Being Alone

I have a cat helping me write this post FYI. If I devolve into sentences of "meow meow meow" you'll know why.

So the BF has been gone now for roughly 3 days. It is odd being in the apartment alone. I feel I should add a caveat to this. Even without the BF around I have two loving, talkative, furry beings who live with me. So even alone I am not truly alone. And however much they may like to talk, it isn't the same as conversing with an actual human being. They seem to have very one track minds for one thing.

Hmmmm, maybe it isn't that different from talking to a human after all.

Anywho, when the BF was still in school I didn't see him that much some days of the week. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays we got maybe 15 minutes to talk before he had to go to bed to start the day all over. But we had the weekends and even if he was asleep there was someone here.

I can't say being alone has been a bad thing. It is certainly much quieter around here. But I do miss having him around. Doing things with someone else is better than doing them alone.

Okay, so the cat is about to drive me crazy with his begging for something, so I have to go deal with him. Later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vacation Time

Well, it isn't vacation time for me, but for several people in my life.

The BF left today on a week long trip to China. It is a trip funded by his school and part of it will be spent at their sister school in China doing cooking demonstrations. So it isn't a full on, total relaxation vacation, but they will have several days where all they are doing is sightseeing, so it is close enough. This is also the first time in our relationship where he is going somewhere and I am stuck at home. Normally it is me traveling to visit my family while he is left to babysit the kitties.

Friday my parents leave on a two week vacation visiting the Northeast. Their main reason for going is to ride their motorcycle in the last few states up there they haven't yet. Their goal is to ride their motorcycle in all 50 states, though I don't see them ever getting Hawaii. They did Alaska already, but Hawaii is much harder to get to. I think this also marks the first time in 2 or 3 years that I will not be flying out to spend part of their vacation with them. They like to see me at least twice a year, but with the economy and the price of airline tickets going up, it is getting harder and harder to achieve that.

I am feeling somewhat mixed emotions about all of this. I like traveling. I like visiting new locations and doing the touristy stuff. However, being unemployed means I simply can't travel anywhere right now. I don't have the money. So that means no vacation for me. I get to sit at home while these other people are getting to travel somewhere new. And while I would never begrudge my loved ones their trips, sitting at home alone is boring. And lonely.

On the upside though I have a jam-packed next few days. I have an information session about the new school program I am getting started on, a house-warming party to go to, a gathering of friends on Sunday, and my first class on next Tuesday. Yay for stuff happening!

Still not quite as good as going to China though.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thoughts on Colors

Back in April I took a workshop to help me identify my personality in hopes it might lead me to a new career. The workshop was based around colors. Personality traits were divided up into 4 colors and then everyone was tasked with figuring out what mix of colors they were. Everyone has all 4 colors in them, however generally they have one color that is their dominant color, with another color as a close second. These were called our primary and secondary colors and one of the main focuses of the workshop was finding those colors.

I bring this up because I've been thinking about the personality colors lately and how I relate to different colors. I will admit I found a lot of truth in the workshop and it has explained a lot about myself and my interactions with people.

My primary color is green and my secondary color is orange. Green is the color of logic and analytically thinking. Since green is my primary I spend a lot of time up in my head and I very rarely make decisions without thinking them through. However, my secondary color is orange. It is easy to ignore the secondary color and focus on the primary, but that is a mistake. Orange is fun loving, happy-go-lucky color. Orange people do not like rules, restrictions, or tradition. They are impulsive, free-spirited people. I don't have all the traits of an orange person, but I do not like restrictions, I can be impulsive, and I am definitely fun-loving. Mix the two colors together and you get a deeply thoughtful person who doesn't see the point of following rules that don't make logical sense and who doesn't see the point of performing activities that might not bring enjoyment or fun. You get a person who doesn't like to be tied down, yet who also doesn't like to do anything without a plan first.

One quick note: I am making some generalizations and assumptions in this post. Yes I realize that isn't always a wise thing to do, but just go with me.

In looking at my relationships I have concluded that I get along best with other 'green' people, with one notable exception. I have difficulties interacting with people who are green/gold. Gold is the color of family, tradition, and duty. Gold people strive to be the best at what they do. Gold people like to follow the rules and will do things simply because they are "suppose" to be done. Gold is the color I have the least of in my personality. In general I have trouble understanding gold people, but it is worse with green/gold people. Green/gold people are people who appear to me like they should be logical people, but who do things for what I consider to be illogical reasons. For instance, a green/gold person would defend a family member regardless of what they had done simply because they were family. Whereas I would defend a person based upon their merits and what they had done, not whether there was a blood tie there or not.

Gold primary people I don't have a problem with, in general. My BF is a gold primary person. He does some things I perceive as illogical, but that is okay because his primary motivation is not logic, it is tradition and family. Expecting him to be logical and think everything through all the time would be the same as expecting a dog to meow. That isn't to say that he doesn't think things through or that I don't hold him to standards I shouldn't. But that is another conversation entirely.

Bottom line, I think the only way to understand yourself is to process why you do the things you do and how you interact with people. By looking at myself and how I judge and interact with people, I can understand the reasons I act like I do. And then I can either enforce or discard those reasons. By looking at what is happening behind the scenes, I can learn to understand myself better.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Science Fiction or Fantasy

Random thoughts today folks.

Typically the phrase is Science Fiction AND Fantasy, but most of the time I consider the two fairly separate. The two often share common themes and plots (Hero out to save the world/universe) and it could be argued that Sci/fi is just as fantastical as Fantasy. However, there are striking differences in the two. One is often set in the future, and concerns space travel or some high technology. The other is often set in a medieval setting and most often features magic and/or swordplay.

In the past I have often found myself gravitating towards fantasy. I've always loved the idea of waving my hands and shooting fireballs at people. I like the ideas of riding around on horses and men in spectacular suits of armor and dragons and elves and all that jazz. Science fiction tends to focus on the science and as such there worlds are more grounded in rules and laws. Fantasy worlds have always felt more wild and free, where you can get away with just about anything and call it "magic".

And yet, here lately I have found myself drawn to more science fiction stories in my writing. I blame part of it on the fact that most of the video games I'm playing now are Sci/fi. I'm in Star Trek Online and Mass Effect 2 and how could you not be daydreaming sci/fi after zooming around the galaxy in a starship. Yet I've often struggled when writing sci/fi. I have trouble visualizing what future tech will look like. Half of the inventions we have currently to me look futuristic and strange. And I struggle with the science of it all. I don't want to write a story that is full of bad science.

This has all come up because I have two stories circling in my head. The Sci/fi one is more developed in terms of plot and is on the forefront. The Fantasy one only really has a beginning and I haven't fleshed it out like I need to. I think I should start the Sci/fi one, but I find myself hesitating.

And writing all this down has helped me figure out why. Which is the whole point. I'm sure my wonderful readers like to think this blog is for them, but really it just a way for me to get my thoughts out and help make sense of them. Sorry.

So today is a day to get back to work. I've slacked all week for various reasons but it is time to put that aside and dive back in. Tally ho!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Single word titles appears to be all I can manage these days.

As I sit here and rack my brain for something to talk about, I am struck at how dull the past few days have been. I have not left the house since Sunday. Which wasn't so bad when I thought today was Wednesday but now that I realize it is Thursday, well, it seems bad. And due to it being a major video game week, I've spent copious amounts of time sitting in front of the idiot box.

That's not to say I haven't done things. I finished the revisions on a short story and sent it to my Mom and BF to read. Mom said she was really impressed which made me happy, the BF has yet to read it. I spent an hour yesterday working on various emails to people. Yay for a social life I suppose. And I have done a spot of dusting and sweeping. So it hasn't all been sitting around.

Nothing just feels important enough to comment on. I don't want to get out of the habit of blogging though. I know myself well enough to know that if I go for too long without making a post, then I will just forget about it all together. And I do want to keep doing this. I suppose I need to come up with a list of topics to talk about whenever I don't have anything else going on.

And lastly, on a bit of a side note, on two separate occasions in two separate places in our apartment I have found an ant on me. I have no idea where they are coming from and if it were just the one I wouldn't have worried, but with it having happened twice I am a bit concerned. Is it possible for them to just be crawling out of my skin? Do I have ants inside of me? I would prefer that to them coming in the apartment from outside somewhere. They can be such a bitch to get rid of. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I play video games. I have for as long as I can remember. It started with the Nintendo and Super Mario Brothers. I moved from it to the Super Nintendo, and then I got a computer and discovered the world of computer games. I'm not sure why, but I've always preferred computer games. The computer led me to games like Warcraft 2 and Diablo. I still have very fond memories of Diablo.

Then a curious thing happened. In my senior year of high school I pretty much stopped playing video games. I know part of it was just how busy I was with both marching band and being in the senior play. I went for a 3 or 4 year stretch where I just didn't really play many games. Oh I still had a couple that I played on the computer now and then, like Heroes of Might and Magic (4 I want to say, but I can't remember). For the most part though I was too busy doing other things. I think it was around my junior or senior year of Undergraduate that I picked up games again, playing on my Xbox, PS2, or computer.

The thing I remember sparking my resurgence of gaming enthusiasm the most was a game called Star Wars Galaxies. At the time I was in a Star Wars fan club and several members played. I had always been strongly opposed to games you had to pay a monthly fee to play, MMORPGs, but after watching a friend play I knew I had to at least try it. I was hooked immediately. After a good deal of time in that game I moved to City of Heroes and then on to World of Warcraft, from which after over 6 years of playing I am finally freeing myself.

I mention this because this week is E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo. It is a huge convention in California where game developers meet to talk about what they are working on for the next year or what games are coming up for release. It is a week filled with delicious morsels of gaming news. And like the fan I am, I pull up a chair to the table and gobble up as many of these delicious morsels as I can.

Yesterday was spent glued to the TV watching the broadcast of the expo and today will be spent much the same way. They are also running shows tomorrow and Thursday I will watch too. It doesn't matter that over half these games I will not play and/or have no interest in. I just like seeing the excitement people have over them, see the trailers where characters are doing fantastical things. I like seeing the innovation, or lack there of. I like the experience and enjoy soaking as much of it as I can up.

So if you want to find me over the next few days, that is where I will be. Sitting in front of the TV absorbing as much as I can.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I was unbearably lazy this weekend. It was one of those rare weekends in Seattle where the sun is out and shining bright and the temperature was above 70. We opened all the windows in the apartment and there was enough breeze to make the heat tolerable. There was something so good about the sun on my skin I just wanted to roll around in it. It is rare for me to enjoy the sun, being more of a darkness kind of guy, but I do have those days when I just love it.

Saturday we went out with a group of friends to a local park and enjoyed the weather. We went to St. Edward's park, which is near a local college. I had never been before and found the park nice. It wasn't the best park I've been to, but the grass was soft and green and there was plenty of shade so I didn't turn beet red. What more could you ask for? Getting to the park was a bit of a nightmare, as the local college was having a festival so parking was nonexistent. But it all worked out and it was a delightful day.

Sunday I mainly sat by the open window and played on the computer. I had several other projects I could have worked on, but no, all I did was play games. It was relaxing. The BF had a school project that took up most of his day. And he baked a cake which we took over to a friend's place for our weekly Game of Thrones episode. I truly love that show. It was a good night with good friends.

Today I need to get some work done. I told my mother that I would send her a short story I did for class, which means I need to actually get one revised and ready to go. Revision is harder than you'd think. Often times it is more than just changing words and cleaning up sentences. The story I am working on now needs some structural work, and I am not convinced I won't have to completely re-write the whole thing. But this is part of learning and part of becoming a better writer, which I want to be. So I just need to knuckle down and do it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Art Overload

So yesterday was the big trip downtown to go to the free day of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). All in all the trip was a rousing success.

The first step was to jump on the bus and head downtown. I have mixed feelings about the bus. On the one hand, it is nice to be able to travel around the city fairly cheaply. The bus ride downtown only cost 2.25, which is much less than I would have spent on gas and parking. And it was nice to be able to sit back and look outside as the bus rumbled down the street. I got to see places I wouldn't have if I had taken my car. On the other hand, I dislike being crowded into spaces, surrounded by smelly people. The bus ride started out with just a handful of us, but by the end the bus was packed with people, some of which had to stand because there was no seats. Ick.

Overall the bus ride down was fine. I hoped off at Westlake and proceeded inside the mall there to have lunch. Now the food court there at Westlake really isn't all that. However they have an Emerald City Smoothies there which makes a great peanut butter and strawberry smoothie. Normally it is one of the best things I put in my mouth, however this time it was somewhat watery and bland. I was disappointed, but what can you do eh? Normally they are quite tasty.

Having been fed, I walked over to the SAM and stepped inside. I wasn't sure what to expect. From the outside it looked smallish, especially next to the mega tall buildings in the area. The lobby was neat, with these white cars suspended from the ceiling with blinking rods of lights shooting out of the sides. Being free day, they just handed out tickets to whoever walked up and ushered us in.

The SAM's exhibitions are divided amongst two floors. The first floor was their more modern pieces with their native american art, glass work, and some colonial pieces. The second floor was where their special exhibit was, their renaissance art, the porcelain room, Grecian art, and Egyptian art. The place is huge. I just kept finding rooms upon rooms with art in them. The outside was very deceptive. One of the first things I noticed was how eclectic the SAM was. They had at least one example of every art I could think of, and not just paintings. They had some beautiful cabinets and wardrobes, some fantastic silverware from colonial times, some fancy chairs, even an entire wooden robe that was a replicate of a room in Italy. And the porcelain room was an entire room filled with porcelain bowls and statues and knickknacks. The variety was delightful.

The special exhibit was by an artist called Nick Cave. He specializes in wearable art by making what he calls soundsuits, The different types of suits are named for the different sounds they make when people move in them, hence the name. The suits were amazing. They often had very tall headpieces attached to them and were made from a variety of furs, buttons, twigs, and sequins, normally in very loud and extravagant patterns. And there were an army of them packed in the exhibit. After looking at them for a while I had to sit down and close my eyes because my senses were just going into overload.

I was at the SAM for roughly 2 hours. I barely got to see all the pieces. The only reason I left when I did is because my brain just quit on me and I couldn't process another piece of art. I literally felt like someone had poured art into my brain and it was leaking out the top and dribbling down my head. I was in art overload. Plus my feet hurt. So I trekked back to the bus stop and managed to catch up to the BF who was busing his way back home.

The bus ride back home was less pleasant, due to having to sit near a drunk mentally ill woman who was loudly talking to herself. It was a stark reminder of why I will never ever ever ever work in the mental health field again. But thankfully she got off quickly and the rest of the trip passed without comment.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend the SAM. If you have never been go. I know I will be going back on the next first Thursday of the month. I still got pieces to see and process after all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seattle Art Museum Ho!

That is Ho as in "Onward", not Ho as in "Prostitute."

Today is the first Thursday of the month and that means that the Seattle Art Museum, known after this as the SAM, is free for whoever wants to go. Or at least that is what I have been led to believe. I have never been before, so I can not confirm or deny this statement. I am going to be changing that today.

The plan is to hop on the bus this morning, head downtown, have lunch at Westlake, then make my way to the SAM and browse around. Having never been I have no idea how long I will be there, or even if I will enjoy it, but I want to try. Ever since becoming unemployed I've turned into a homebody. I suppose the tendency was always there, but work forced me out of the house. Now, most days, I have no reason to leave so I just squat here in the apartment. It gets old quick.

Though I have to say that it isn't as simple as that. Staying home means not spending money, and since money is tight that is a very good thing. And I have lots to do at home, from writing to cleaning to playing with the cats to more writing and then let's not forget the multitude of video games I have to play. So it isn't like I sit here just twiddling my thumbs. When your daily world becomes a small two bedroom apartment though, you start to feel cramped.

Getting out will do me good. I could stand to be a little more adventurous and to get around people. The more I sit in the apartment the more I feel like a hermit crab, clutched up tight in my shell never doing anything. I need to change that.

So I'm off for an adventure. Wish me luck and that I shall see something amazing at the museum. I'm sure I shall have lots to talk about tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Last Class

This is the last class....the last chance....for loooooooovvvveeee.....

A little Donna Summers to start your morning off.

So last night was the last meeting for my Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy class. I was sorry to see the class end. When I started the class I was in a bit of a dark place. I was struggling to find my path and coping with the feeling that I had no skills and was not good at anything. Through the course of my class I learned just buckets about writing, such as what good writing structure is, how to avoid traps, and how to make my stories more interesting. And more importantly I learned that I do have some skills and I am good at something.

I wish I could say that after presenting my last short story in class everyone jumped to their feet and proclaimed it the best story they had ever heard. I can't. I liked the story I had written, but it had flaws and while everyone else seemed to like it too, I did get some much needed, but disappointing criticism. I think what I wanted most was someone to say "I can tell you are improving as a writer." I truly believe that I am improving with every piece I write. I know a lot more about the editing process now and I feel I am churning out better manuscripts. But even though I believe it to be true, it would have been nice to hear someone else say it. Sometimes validation goes a long way.

That is one of the downsides to writing I suppose. You do so much of it in a vacuum. You may think you are doing great work, when in reality you story has flaws that you just can't see. Part of that is training yourself to see the flaws. Learning self-editing is important. I also believe that finding a good writing group is important. Getting other people's opinions and perspectives can be invaluable to a writer. That isn't to say that your own opinion isn't important, just that other people can sometimes see what you missed. There is another end to the spectrum though, and taking everyone else's opinion and not listening enough to your own voice is just as bad as never listening to anyone else's opinion. As with everything in life, there is a balance.

I can't say taking this writing class helped me figure out my path completely. I can't say it healed all of my wounds and gifted me with the knowledge of the ages. But I do feel better having taken it. I came out the other side with more ideas and more knowledge than before. I think I have a path to walk down now. I have some direction to go. And for now, that is enough for me.

(As a sidenote, I would like to point out to my mother that I did not use the word "really" once in this post. :-P)

Monday, May 30, 2011

It is Done

My WoW subscription is officially cancelled. I went ahead and did one post about this already, so I won't rehash the whole thing. I just wanted to say that I finally went ahead and bit the bullet. I'm sure I'll come back to WoW one day, if for no other reason that curiousity. But for now I am done. It is time to move beyond the game.

Being unemployed and having limited money can be hard. It didn't really hit me how limiting it was until today. The BF and I went out and did a little shopping today and while there were several things I wanted to go, I realized that I couldn't really buy whatever I wanted. I really had to limit myself and what I purchased. I've been doing that already, but today was the first time I cam across something that I did really want that I couldn't really afford to get.

It was really a downer.

Overall I think this experience has been good for me. I have always been both an impulsive and compulsive shopper. I have a tendency to just snap something up when I see it and want it and I feel the need to go shopping and buy something on a regular basis. Neither aspect is good. And being unemployed is helping me to curb those twice desires. But it isn't easy.

No words of wisdom today. I don't know if I ever have any words of wisdom actually. Just some blah words for a blah day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Aaarrrrrr! Shiver Me Timbers!

Yesterday the BF and I had a date. We've been together for over 3 years now, but still feel it is important to go on date when we can. So yesterday for our date we went to Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides.

I feel I should give a caveat. I love movies about pirates. I love movies that have big sailing ships. I own all of the Pirates movies and even own the Geena Davis pirate movie Cutthroat Island. One of my guilty pleasures is the movie Captain Ron, not because of the story but because it features a beautiful ship. I'm not sure where this love of Pirates and sailing ships comes from. I grew up in a completely landlocked town and even though we went to the beach a lot on vacations, I don't think I've ever been sailing. So why I respond so strongly to the notion of sailing a ship and being a pirate I'll never know.

I only bring this up to show that I am biased. If you make a movie and put in some swashbuckling adventures, a nice ship, and/or a healthy dose of fantasy magic and I'm going to like it.

As for On Stranger Tides, I really liked the movie. I loved the costumes and the sets, including the ships that they showed. I enjoyed the characters. I liked that they added a bunch of new characters instead of relying on the same old ones. It was definitely time for some new blood. I really enjoyed the character of Blackbeard, who was just a great villain. I really enjoyed the special treasure he kept in his cabin. The story was action packed and had a good pace. For the most part I found it easy to follow along with, though there were a couple of elements I didn't quite get. I thought they had an interesting take on the mermaids, but I would have liked to see some mermen too. Overall, I thought it was a good film.

It is getting some pretty poor reviews unfortunately. I think people for the most part feel a fourth movie was unnecessary and weren't really willing to go along with the adventure. If you like pirates movies and are willing to go along for the ride I think you'll enjoy the film. If you go into it with a negative attitude and aren't willing to go along with it, you will not be satisfied.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Clearing Out the Clutter

I don't meditation as much as I need to. Now I know, some of you out there think meditation is something only hippy dippy tree huggers do. Or something only those crazy Asians do. Or some combination of the two. But I have found that meditation is a great way to center the mind, to get back into balance. Studies have shown it is a great way to relieve stress too. Just stopping for a few minutes and clearing out the mind can be of great benefit to just about everyone.

Unfortunately it is easier said than done.

My mind seems to be constantly running. It is like a refrigerator. It's cooling tubes and frost making doohickeys are constantly in motion, constantly running around make sure everything is staying nice and cold. Or in my brain's case making sure there is constantly some thought rumbling around in my head. And since part of meditation is letting go of all those thoughts in your head, well, sometimes I struggle with it. It takes forever to get my brain to calm down and stop running.

I don't like to tell people what to do. I spent most of my childhood being told what I needed to do and I resented it. I still do resent it. But I will offer advice and my advice today is to give meditation a try. It is hard to do at times, but the simple fact is that we need to clear out the clutter from time to time. If we let our brains get too jam packed with thoughts and half remembered lists and regrets and wants...then we will lose track of the important things. So try to take a moment and do some brain cleaning. Just close your eyes, relax, and try to put all those thoughts out of your brain. And let go of all the clutter in your mind.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I have played World of Warcraft since the game launched in November 2004. That comes out to be over 6 years. Not once in those 6 years did I cancel my account. Even if I didn't play for several weeks or a month, I kept the account active. Now, however, I am thinking of cancelling it.

I could rant on and on about the many reasons I have for cancelling. This current expansion has flaws, at least in my opinion, flaws that have sucked the enjoyment out of the game for me. From the extremely overused villain group, the lack of new zones, boring has all lost its spark. I would like to dump all the blame on the lackluster expansion. But it is more than that.

I think after over 6 years of the game, I'm just tired of everything it has to offer. I don't want to raid anymore. It takes up too much time and the current raids, well, they don't thrill me. I don't care about achievements. I can't stomach the repetitiousness of daily quests. I actively hate the PVP in WoW. And I don't care anything about doing the questlines anymore. Yeah they got changed a lot in Cataclysm, but not enough. It is still the same old, same old. I've done it all before, or at least it feels like it.

I used to play WoW to see what new thing they were coming up with. And as of this expansion...well...I don't really feel like I have anything new left to see. Even the "new" mounts I see in game just look like reskins of mounts I already have, or have seen.

As much as I would like to blame the game and its faults, it may also just be that I've changed. WoW used to be a big social outlet for me and I don't use it as such. I have friends and plenty of social things to do outside of game. And as nice as my guild mates are, I don't have any personal connections to them. Not anymore.

I haven't cancelled my subscription yet. Given all I have said before I don't know why I am having trouble doing it. I made it to the actual page today but I didn't click the button. Breaking up is hard to do. This game has been in my life for a long time now. Even though I know it is time to leave, it is hard to press that button.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

7 AM is Early

Back when I was employed, I normally got up around 7am, sometimes earlier, to get ready for work. Since becoming unemployed I have developed the habit of sleeping in till 8am. Not a big deal. I mean, that's only the difference of an hour right? Well this morning I had to get up at 7am to make it to the Worksource office so I could go to a training. And let me tell you, I missed that extra hour of sleep. I'm sitting here now and I feel tired. I slept fine last night, so I know it is just the fact I had to get up early.

Because 7am is so early.

Last night was a very good night. I had class, which I just love, and I got to present a short story so we could workshop. I got a lot of excellent feedback. I think I'm a bit of an odd duck, because I love getting criticism. I really want to improve and to be a better writer, and getting feedback is one way to do it. So I just can't get enough.

Next week is our last class and I am already sad about it. Hopefully though I will be taking more classes next month and will get started on the program I want to do for my career change.

And so life progresses. We continue to have a shitty spring here in Seattle, with today being in the high 50s and rainy and overcast. Joy. I hope things are better where you are.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Work work work

I have been writing my ass off today. Tomorrow is my writing class and I volunteered to workshop a second short story. I didn't get a chance to work on it over the weekend so today has been a major day of work on it. I started working on it at 10am, took an hour and a half break at lunch to eat and brush his Highness, Prince Smudge, and then worked on it again. I think I have averaged 5 hours working on this one story today. And I have loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it. ;-) I still have to finish the current changes I've made, then do a second read through to see if there is any more tweaking I need to do. I'm really liking it so far so I am hoping for a lot of positive feedback.

I already went over all the work we did this past Saturday. Sunday was a little lighter on the work front. We slept in till 8:30am, then Michael made breakfast and we relaxed for a bit. Then we went to have lunch with friends and that lasted till close to 2pm. Then we came home and made sausage balls, since I had some sausage I needed to use up, and I played some Star Trek Online. Then we went over to our friends' house for dinner and to watch two episodes of Game of Thrones.

I love that TV show so much. I knew HBO did good TV, but each week that show just blows me out of the water. It is one of the only shows I can think of where every week, after the uninterrupted hour of show ends, I go "OMG, has it been a hour already?" I literally lose track of time and can not believe that we have already been watching the show for an hour. That is how good it is. I find it rare these days that a show can absorb me to the point where I don't look at my watch to see what time it is ever so often.

I can not wait for the next season of True Blood too.

So yeah, busy busy busy. Thankfully this coming weekend we have no plans. I may try to talk the BF into seeing Pirates of the Caribbean, but we'll see.

And that's that. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Desk Renovation

This weekend has been a super busy weekend, which is not what I had thought it would be. More on the weekend later though.

Saturday was taken up with the Desk Renovation project. I had thought it would take a couple of hours in the morning. I was very wrong. We started around 9am. This is what the desk looked like:

I set to work cleaning everything off and moving the computer components into the living room. That took a good thirty minutes after which both the BF and I moved the hutch portion of the desk off and into the living room. We moved the shelves into the computer room and moved the desk and began marking on the wall where we wanted to install the shelves. Once we got it marked out we removed the wrapping on the first shelf and laid out all the needed bits. That is when we discovered that Ikea, in their infinite wisdom, decided not to include the screws needed to secure the shelf to the wall.


So we quickly got ready and loaded up and headed to Lowes. By the time we got there it was already 11:15am. The BF conferred with a Lowes employee to deteremine what screws we needed, then we paid for them and left. We ran by Wendys on the way home for nummy fuds, and got home around 12pm. The BF had to leave by 12:30, 12:45 because he was going to help friends with some yard work, so we quickly stuffed our bellys with our food and set to work. By 12:50pm he had both shelves up, but they were not fully screwed into their supports. He left and I set to work finishing the screwing.

Now I freely admit I am not one for manual labor, so it was probably 1:15pm before I finished with the screwing. My hands and shoulders were throbbing from the effort, so I paused to take a quick break. After about 15 minutes I went back to work. I vacuumed around the desk, dusted off the computer, dusted off the desk, moved the desk back into position, reassembled the computer, and slowly began loading the desk and shelves back up with stuff. I finished at 3pm and this is the result:

I am very happy with the way it turned out. I think it looks very crisp and clean. However, it took far longer to accomplish than I anticipated. I blame myself for that. By trying to be cute and calling it a "renovation", I ensured that it would take longer than expected and cost more too, since we had to buy screws. I mean, what renovation do you know of that ended on time and came in on budget?

So that was my desk renovation. Like I said I am very happy and am enjoying my desk space a lot more.

More about the weekend tomorrow!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

So some random things that are floating at the surface of my brain today. Enjoy the variety!

I went to Ikea yesterday. I know amongst some Ikea has a bad reputation. It is said that their stuff is poor quality and not worth the money. I personally love Ikea. I think walking in their warehouse is a bit like going to the Disneyland of Home Decorating. I love their little room mock-ups and I find simply walking around the warehouse to be inspirational. And I disagree that all of their stuff is low quality. I love getting their bookcases, which do seem to last a very long time. I think they have good desks and some of their kitchen wares looked great too. I doubt I would use them for beds or couches, though their couches looked alright. So I've never understood why people are so down on Ikea. I think they are just great.

The night before last was writing class and instead of having class we all went to listen to a sci-fi writer speak. Friend Christy and I went and had dinner beforehand, which was great fun. And the talk was interesting. He read some from one of his brand new, not yet released books and then answered some questions from the audience. I took away some good ideas from his talks about his writing methods, though I am still not sure that his books are quite for me. I may pick one up and try it, but since my shelves are overflowing with books for me to read, I may not.

I can't remember if I've talked about it here or not, but I am seriously thinking I'm going to be taking a technical writer certificate course soon. This writing class has really reminded me how much I enjoy the craft and from what I've researched technical writing is a good way to write and make money, which I sorely need to do. I am quite hopeful it works out.

We are finally getting to the end of the "Fall" TV season. I put Fall in quotation marks because it seems sort of ridiculous to call a TV season that starts in mid-Fall and stretches through winter and into mid-Spring a Fall TV season. I also find it ridiculous to call a show that runs through Fall, takes a 4 to 6 week break in Winter, and then resumes one season of a show. If you are taking that long of a break you might as well call it two seasons and be realistic about it. Regardless, our main shows are winding down which means having a nice break to get caught up and get ready for new shows this Summer. I am actually thinking I want to cut down on some of the TV we watch. Some of it just isn't that good and I have so many other things I could be doing.

Oh and one final note for those that might be curious as to the previous debate. For now I will continue my writing in the living room. That may change once I finish the desk renovation, but for now the laptop is winning out on the desktop. Part of it is the keyboard but also part of it is due to the fact that I like to have all my writing saved to one machine, instead of having to worry if all of the versions are the same across multiple machines.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I'm still experimenting with where I prefer to do my writing in the apartment. It may seem to be an easy decision, but it is actually more complex than you might imagine.

For example, we have the keyboard issue. My laptop keyboard is softer, and made of a metal finish. It is quite easy to press down on the keys and makes a particular clicking sound when I type. In contrast, my desktop keyboard is harder and made of plastic. I am required to exert more pressure to press down on the keys of the desktop keyboard and they make a more obtrusive noise when I press them. Based on those issues I prefer my laptop keyboard, however the desktop keyboard is wider, which means my hands fit on it better.

Then there is location issue. My desktop is located in our computer room, which is a somewhat small room. There are only two small windows in the room, which means less light. And while I am planning a desk renovation coming up, currently my desk is a mess and not very pleasant to sit at. By contrast, the laptop sits in the living room, which is wide and open. It is located next to a huge window with lots of light, but not enough to cause problems seeing the screen. However I often find the huge window a distraction and as I've noted before, having the giant TV staring at me from where I sit gets distracting.

Then there is the cat issue. The cats like to bother me from time to time during the day, either asking for love or attention or both. When at my desk this means them jumping up on it, trying to lay on my keyboard, smacking me in the face with their tails, or meowing right in my face. When at my laptop in the living room, however, I can manage them a little better by pushing them off to lay on my legs on the ottoman or pushing them to an arm of my chair. Much easier to deal with them in the living room, though it should be noted that I think they bother me more when I am in the living room.

And yes, I have been accused of over thinking things before.

So now you see my dilemma. Or perhaps you don't. If that is the case, then maybe you see how my brain normally works through issues and can get a sense of how I function. Every angle is considered and processed before a decision can be reached.

And yes, I know full well that I am crazy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Warm Cat on My Feet

Pumpkin is currently laying on my legs sleeping. I know for a fact I should not let him sleep. If I do it will mean that tonight, when I'm tired and just want to relax, he will be awake and full of energy and begging me to play. If I let him sleep now I will pay for it later. And even though I know this for a fact, I can not bring myself to wake him up. He is too cute and it is so nice having this bonding time with him. He is definitely not a lap cap, so having him sleeping on me is a very rare and special thing.

Today it seems as if the weather can't decide what it wants to do. It started out overcast and cold, and there is still a 30% chance of rain all day, but currently it is sunny out. I doubt it will stay that way long.

So far my big accomplishment for the day, other than bathing, was to update my passwords for my various online services to more robust and secure ones. For those that are gamers, you may have heard of all the problems Sony has been having lately with the PSN. The more I read about what was happening, the more concerned I was about my own internet security, so I felt it was time to do some updating.

I highly recommend everyone take the time to make sure their passwords are secure. You can never be too safe.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Just a disclaimer, but most of this post is going to be about the movie Thor. I don't think I will be saying anything that is a huge spoiler, but just in case, if you haven't seen the movie realize you are reading at your own risk.

First off let me say that I really enjoyed the movie. Was it the best comic book super hero movie I've seen? Probably not, but it was really good. The director did a top notch job,as did the actors and set designers and just basically everyone involved with the movie. I loved the visuals, I was rooting for the actors, and this was basically a world I wanted to live in.

I'm a huge sucker for mixing the magical and the technological together. As the famous quote from Arthur C. Clarke says "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." And Thor was a movie that embraced that quote fully. The Asgardians are shown to be more technologically advanced than us, up to a point that what they can do seems like magic. The rainbow bridge, Odin's staff, even the giant Destroyer robot, all appear to be some advanced technology and mystical creations at the same time. I can only marvel at how well the two aspects blended together. I want to watch the movie again just so I can take in all the details more.

I also really enjoyed the character of Loki. I thought the writers and the actor did a great job of portraying him and giving us enough details that we got into his skin. I empathized with him and by the end I felt more concerned for him than I did glad that he got defeated. Of course like all good villians he will be back, and that makes me happy.

My only two quibbles with the movie are that whenever the focus shifted to Earth the movie seemed to slow down a bit and I thought the whole romance sub plot felt a little unnecessary. Don't get me wrong there. If I had a smoking hot Norse god fall into my lap I'd be all about him too. But they seemed to be forcing them into this romance that just wasn't there, especially in the end. I can buy that the two of them were in lust, that they thought the other was cute and wanted to try dating the other, but I don't buy that they suddenly had this connection and they became completely infatuated with each other. At least they didn't start throwing the "love" word around.

Over all, I'm going to give this movie 4 stars out of 5. It was good enough that I will probably purchase it again when it comes out. I doubt I will go see it again in the theaters, but that is mainly because funds are tight at the moment.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sun in the Sky

I feel like today's title is part of a song lyric, but I have no clue what song. I like the phrase though, probably because of the alliteration. I love alliteration. I use it as much as possible. Just something about stringing similar words together just causes such happiness in me.

Today is one of those rare sunny days here. The weather channel says it will get up to 65 today and I believe it. I'm not normally one for sun, which I think I've posted before, but there is just something about a nice sunny day like today that you have to like.

We only have two events left in this week and then we are done. Wahoo! Last night's get together went very well and the apartment looked great. I will freely admit I confined my cleaning to the living room, kitchen, and bathroom and didn't touch the computer room or bedroom. We can just close the door to the last two rooms and nobody has to go in. Lazy of me, since they really needed cleaning too, but I don't care. They will get done eventually.

I haven't done any writing since Tuesday. Horrors! Wednesday I was just too lethargic and yesterday I was too worn out from cleaning. The plan is to do some today, but the sun is trying its best to distract me. *shakes fist at sun*

One last note: I love the Vampire Diaries. I just got done watching a episode and was just blown away. Every episode the writers find some twist, some completely unexpected thing to make happen and I'm left with my mouth gaping open wondering where the hell they are going to go with this. And I love it. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a good show about vampires and supernatural beings. And who isn't watching True Blood, which is also a great show about the same subject. Vampire Diaries is for the teen crowd though, which means marginally less blood and sex. Just marginally though.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Switching It Up

I'm trying something new today. Instead of sitting in the living room writing out my post on my laptop, I'm sitting in the computer room writing it on my desktop. I'm switching it up, trying new things. Living on the edge.

I am such a rebel.

While I enjoy sitting in the living room and using my laptop for writing, it is not exactly a place free of distractions. I sit next to a giant open window and I often find myself gazing out it as I post and losing my train of thought. Sitting in front of me is our TV, which I try to keep off while writing, but even in the off position I still find it distracting. It is like some looming black monster that is begging for me to turn it on and use it. It is very co-dependent like that. It lives to be used and abused by me.

Maybe changing my writing location was a mistake. Only two paragraphs in and I've veered dangerously close to S&M territory.

Moving on, last night was writing class and it continues to delight and inform. I spent two hours yesterday going over my story and cleaning it up and I was fairly pleased with it by the end. It was still rough around the edges but it was better than when I first wrote it. And it was pretty well received, at least in my opinion. I got some really good criticism and I know what places need work now. I am a little torn as to whether to work on it anymore or not. I think it is a good story, but not the best I am capable of and I don't want to spend too much time on a story I may end up doing nothing with.

However, writing is a process and the best way to improve is to go about the process. I could only learn more by editing it further and even trying to submit it. Plus I have a tendency to be really hard on the stories I write, so it may be that this story does have merit.

So in the interest of being decisive and proactive, I have decreed that I will edit the story again and see if I can find a place to submit it. There, done.

Something tells me that is easier said than done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

That Old Feeling

Today was the first day since I was laid off that I woke up feeling stressed out. Now don't get me wrong, there have been other days I have felt anxious about various things. But today was the first day that I can recall that I woke up with that feeling that I have this 1,000 pound weight sitting on me and I don't know how to get it off.

Tonight is the class where I have to present a short story to workshop. And while I have the story finished it is nowhere near where I want it to be. I still have all afternoon to work on cleaning it up, which I will, but I can just hear the countdown clock clicking down behind me. We all have a bit of a delusion that writing is easy, but it really isn't. It is a time consuming process that takes a lot of effort. And never has that been more apparent to me than now. I am fairly confident I can get the story fleshed out and ready in time, but it is definitely worrying me. But I'm telling myself that the whole point of taking this class is to be a better writer and they aren't really expecting the story to be amazing and that I can only get better. So it won't be bad.

On top of all that though I also have a fairly socially packed week. I have class tonight, and then Thursday we have friends coming over to hang out a bit. And while that doesn't seem stressful, the problem is they are coming here which means we have to get the apartment cleaned and ready for visitors by Thursday. So that means cleaning on Wednesday and Thursday on top of the job hunting I need to do those days for my unemployment. And then Friday we have our gaming group, and Saturday we are going over to another group of friends for a little mini-party. And all that is on top of any writing assignments I'll have for my class. Yikes!!

Thankfully nothing is life threatening and all of it will be fun to do. It just feels like I won't have much time to do anything else. I do not miss this feeling of being stressed out. It is nice to be busy I suppose. Having a social life is better than not. I just wish it wasn't all crowded together like it is this week. Feast or famine folks, feast or famine. >.<

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Enjoyment of Silence

When I was growing up, my parents were never much for playing music in the car, Dad in particular. Even to this day he does not like listening to music in the car. Mom I remember listening to some music on the car rides into school when I was little, but for the most part our family car rides were silent. When I was a teenager and in college I resented this. I was really into music and would not drive anywhere without music blasting in the stereo.

The older I get the more truth I find in the adage that we become our parents as we age. These days I very very rarely put on any music in the car, or even at home. Something that used to be a huge part of my life is now only a small fraction. In fact, I rarely listen to any music that I don't hear on the TV show Glee first.

I have come to appreciate the value of silence. I don't listen to music in my car because I like to listen to my thoughts. When it is silent my mind is free to roam and I am able to focus, free of distractions. And I think that is the key for me. I like music, but I find myself almost enthralled by it sometimes. I get caught up listening to the beat and to the words and I can not pay attention to much of anything else. I have too much going on in my life to be like that for long stretches of time.

I know some people write to the sound of music. I have never tried and I just don't think it would work. I think I need the silence to get the words flowing. My brain simply works better when there is silence.

I was thinking of this topic today because the BF is back at school and I am left as the only human here in the apartment. And even when he is being quiet or in a different room, there is like this background hum to the apartment. Something about him just disrupts the silence for me. I have to get him out of the apartment to achieve the total silence that I like.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Back when I had a job I used to look forward to the weekend. I was so unhappy where I was and one of the only things that made the job bearable was knowing that the weekend was coming.

Now that I am unemployed, Saturday doesn't really feel any different than any of the other days. The magic of the weekend is gone. I no longer wait with baited breath, hoping that tomorrow will be Saturday. In essence, every day has become Saturday for me now.

Well there is one big difference I suppose and that difference would be the BF. During the week I don't see him much because of school. He leaves before I get up and at least two days a week doesn't get home until 10pm, which means he promptly has to go to sleep. On the weekends, however, I see him from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed. It can be a bit of an adjustment.

Sidenote: I currently have an orange cat cuddling against my leg, sleeping. I know I shouldn't let him sleep. I know I will pay for it later. But he looks SO CUTE that I can't help myself and I let him sleep. /sigh I am such a soft touch.

Today has been a good day. I won't say that today has been very productive, but neither has it been a complete waste. I did manage to get things done today, but not as much as I probably should have. But some is better than none, and I definitely did get some done.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Sadly I won't get to spend it with my own mother, but we will be going to the BF's mother's for a late lunch and some hanging out. I may not get to post tomorrow, so if I don't I'll see you tomorrow.

Good night.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Cool, Crisp Fall Day

In May, here in Seattle, we are currently having what I would consider some nice Fall weather. The skies are overcast, there is a hint of rain in the air, and it is cold enough that I have to sit here wrapped in a blanket to keep warm. In May. Apparently we have just decided to skip spring all together. I am finding myself very curious as to what this summer will be. We don't normally get any heat until around August, so it will be awhile before we can tell.

Yesterday got better. I went over to my friend Christy's to write and chat and it ended up being a good day. I really enjoy going over there, even if we don't get as much writing as we need to done, because Christy has such a different point of view on some things than I do. It is very refreshing to pick someone's brain and get new ideas and a new outlook on things. And it is always fun to gossip.

I feel very calm today. I'm not sure why, but my mind just feels relaxed and, honestly, fairly blank. I don't feel excessively stressed or worried about anything and I don't have any major issues rolling around in my head. I suppose this is a good thing.

I feel I am close to figuring out what I want out of life. This has been difficult for me for several reasons, but I feel like I am getting close to figuring it out. At least for right now.

I think that is all for now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bad Day

You know you are in for it when you wake up at 8 and after only an hour of being conscious you are already having a shitty day.

So I get up, feeling groggy and a little out of it, start my microwave breakfast, and then go to check my email. That is when I discover something is wrong with our internet. I try to go to Facebook and get sent to the Comcast page asking for our account number. Which I don't have because the BF takes care of the cable and he has gone paperless with it. >.< So I decide to watch TV with breakfast only to realize that it isn't just our internet, but our whole cable is screwed up. And I can't do anything to fix it until I talk to the BF because I know none of the account information.


Thankfully someone who lives near us has a wireless router signal I can borrow to use briefly, so I was able to get on and check email. Only to discover a friend I had on my list who I had always considered to be very high-minded and considerate of others posted a comment where he was spewing derogatory terms against overweight people. This completely floored me and pissed me off all at the same time.

The comment was in regard to a video he posted were a woman was talking about obesity as a civil rights issue. I won't comment about the video. I did not watch it and my problem was not with his viewpoint about obesity, for the most part. I problem was the fact he used the phrase "Own it fatties".

I do not understand, and have never understood, why people use such hate filled, mean spirited language towards other people. I understand being angry and calling someone else names. It is done with the intention of hurting them, of making them feel pain. But what I don't understand is when people do it in an off-handed manner, which is what I assume the incident in question was. Do people not stop and think "Well, if I use the word fattie, overweight people might be hurt so I better not"? Do people not care how their words affect other people?

And I don't understand why it is okay to poke fun at overweight people. I have struggled with my weight my entire life and I can tell you first hand how hard it is for some of us to control our weight. It has very negative effects on our feelings of self esteem and self worth, effects which are only increased when people make fun of us. And yet people think it is okay to say such words just because being over weight is a "choice" (which I think is a debatable opinion in itself).

It frankly just boggles my mind. And to have the issue throw in my face first thing in the morning was very unwelcome.

I hope the day improves. It should since I am suppose to go hang with my friend Christy and do some writing this afternoon. But right now I just want to push the fast forward button and put this day behind me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Writing Class

Last night was our second writing class and in my opinion it was just as great as the first. We did less writing in class, but we got a lot more notes and we had our first story workshop. I didn't present a story, but it was good to hear the other stories and pick up notes from them. One guy that presented had an interesting world, but he was lacking on description and threw a lot of new terms and ideas at the reader right from the get go. It really made me realize that it is important to give readers some kind of point of reference. Don't just make everything alien and throw it all right in their face from the beginning. You need to give them something they understand as well, so they don't get so lost.

I almost can't describe how much I am enjoying the class so far. I really like the teacher, I think she has good information to present. I like how small the class is. I like the subject matter most of all. Not only is it a writing class, but it is a writing class about writing Sci-fi and fantasy stuff. That is so my genre. I can come up with the most off the wall idea and nobody would really bat an eye.

There is something to be said for taking a class where you actually care about the subject matter too. When the BF first started culinary school and started taking his classes he talked to me about how right it felt to be there, how he could feel in his soul that he was doing what he truly wanted and needed to do. I kinda feel that way about this class. Of course, having never really felt that before I can only assume this is what it feels like.

Next week it will be my turn to workshop a story. Thankfully I already know what I am doing and have the story mostly planned out. All I have remaining to do is write it.

You know, the hard part.

I hope the writing class continues to meet my expectations. We've only had 2 classes and the sad part is that we only have 4 more to go. I wish it were longer. I really enjoy having the opportunity for feedback and having a reason to push me to write. If the class were free I would just take it over and over again, but alas. So I shall just make the most of it while I am there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Human Jungle Gym

My cat Smudge has been in rare form today. Ever second he has been awake he has spent meowing at me, begging for attention. First he had to rub his face all over my hands, getting cat snot all over them in the process. Then he had to be laying in my lap, forcing me from the computer desk into the living room so I could sit with him. It takes him a while to get comfortable, so he had to move from my belly to my lap to my outstretched legs and back again several times before he was satisfied. He then settled down for a nap.

Enter my other cat Pumpkin, aka the Troublemaker. He decided he needed cuddling too, so he comes up to be petted on and I pet on him. Then he decides he wants to lay between my legs where Smudge is so he moves down and cuddles up next to him. Sometimes, some very rare times, they will lay there together. Most of the time though Pumpkin starts cleaning Smudge, which then escalates to biting Smudge, then the two of them end up "playing" for a few minutes. This is what happened today.

After "playing" Pumpkin runs off, mission accomplished, and Smudge is back to meowing at me and wanting attention. However the recent bout of playing apparently upset his tummy and he paused to barf a little liquid on the carpet. After that, he meowed a little more, then settled on his pad in front of the window for a little sun. Cue the Troublemaker, who is sauntering back into the living room as I type this.

Is it any wonder that I have trouble focusing on anything at home? The only quiet time I get is when they are both asleep, however if I let Pumpkin sleep during the day he will keep us up all night. Smudge will sleep 18 hours a day. Pumpkin only seems to need 4. The other 20 hours he spends finding new ways to make noise and bother his parents.

I suppose all this searching for meaning in my life is pointless. I have a job already, and it is to be jungle gym for my cats to play with. I exist to amuse them and they don't let me forget it.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go get Pumpkin and keep him from opening the hall closet and laying on all of our clean towels.

Monday, May 2, 2011

There is a Price to Pay

This weekend I was completely and totally lazy. I had a list of things to work on, and beyond getting out a couple of times to visit with friends, did I do any of them? No. I spend the entire weekend glued to my computer playing Star Trek Online, since it was double experience point weekend in the game. I managed to get my character from Commander to Captain in that time, but that was about it.

Normally I justify my lazy days. We all need days where we just veg and don't think about life. Our lives get so hectic and stressful that without these days we would just collapse into a quivering pile of goo. So I don't think you should feel guilty about having lazy days. However, as I am currently unemployed and not really busy during the week, I don't know that I really needed to be that lazy.

Regardless, the damage was done. And as nice as it was to be lazy those two days, I had a price to pay for it today. Since I didn't get anything I needed to done during the weekend, today was spent scrambling to clean the apartment before the inspection people came, get caught up on emails, get rent ready and paid for, put away laundry, and get my homework for writing class tomorrow done.

Procrastination is great until you run out of time.

I also squeezed a trip to Target in there so I could pick up some curtains for the bedroom. Our cat Pumpkin loves to play with the blinds at 4am in the morning, so we are putting curtains up so he won't be able to anymore.

And one final comment before I go. This weekend, beyond being a lazy weekend, was simply gorgeous. Yesterday it got up to around 65 and it was sunny and beautiful. Normally I am not a sun person. I like it overcast. But after so many gray days it is nice to have a bit of sun. Of course it is back to overcast and rainy today. This is the Pacific Northwest after all. We can't over do it with the sun.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Where the Hell is Spring

I like cold weather. It is one of the reasons that I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I don't necessarily like being cold, but I far prefer it to being hot. It is far easier to add layers than it is to remove layers. Eventually, you run out of layers to remove and you end up sitting there naked, sweating to death in the sweltering heat.

As you may guess, Summer is my least favourite season.

All that being said though, I am SO ready for it to start warming up. We are in the midst of what I refer to as a Cold Spring. Here it is at the end of April and we have had exactly one day where it got anywhere near 60 degrees. Most days lately the high has only been 50 to 52. Brrrrr!!

Now granted, that doesn't sound too cold, but for some reason our apartment becomes an icebox when it falls below 50 degrees. I'm guessing that we lose a lot of heat around the windows and that the apartment probably doesn't have the best insulation in the world. They are definitely older apartments and while that is part of their charm, it does come with some negatives. Like those days where it is warmer outside than it is inside, and it isn't because of A/C.

I didn't blog yesterday. I spent most of the day over at my writing friend's house (who I need to come up with a name for since I don't really think I should use real names), writing and talking about life. It was really nice and gave me many ideas to roll around in my head. It is especially nice because she is someone who has been in my shoes in the past and who managed to come through it and be successful, or at least what I would consider successful. So she has a lot of insight about my situation, which I am often sorely lacking.

In other news, I think I have finally figured out how to make my blog entries appear on my Facebook. Exciting!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Day After

Isn't the title just ominous today? "The Day After"...You can almost hear the "duh duh DUH!!" playing in the background. Have no fear though, this is a good Day After post, not one where you wake up hung over next to some stranger whose name you can't remember.

Yesterday was my first class in the new writing course I'm taking. I had high expectations and I am happy to say I was not disappointed. The class was small. There were only 4 students, and at first I was worried about that. In retrospect though I think it actually made things easier. Fewer students means fewer egos and more time for actual writing. The teacher was very knowledgeable, at least in my opinion, and very engaging. We did several writing exercises there in class and talked a lot about the actual process of writing. I actually figured out some of the problems I've been having with my writing and came out of the class refreshed and ready to go. And this was just the first class! So I am quite glad I am taking the class and hope it continues to be worthwhile.

I rode over to the class with a friend who is also in the class with me and we talked some. She reads the blog and mentioned how depressing my blog has been lately. And she pointed out that the world isn't ending and that I am still young, with plenty of time to make a turn around and improve things. Which is entirely true. I've been wallowing lately. I feel like I've gotten myself into a pickle and I'm not sure how to get out of it. But just because I don't know how to get out of it right now doesn't mean that I won't figure out a way soon.

I have been lucky in my life that I have always been able to figure out a way to move forward. Sometimes that way isn't exactly what I want, and sometimes in hindsight I realize that it might not have been the best way. But I have always moved forward and I'm sure I will again.

Being in class made me realize just how much I missed that sort of thing. I really loved being in college and going to classes. I love learning new things. And taking a class on writing...well that was just icing on the cake. Because I was learning something I really wanted to learn, and that made the experience all the better.

I feel good after last night. I feel more positive and a little more hopeful. I can't guarantee I won't wallow some more though. Life is still tough right now and will be until I get some things figured out. But as I firmly believe, you can't expect positive things in your life if you are filled with negative thoughts. You have to think positive and believe positive if you want good things to happen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Start of the Writing Class

Tonight is my first class of the writing course I'm taking. The subject is Science Fiction/Fantasy, which is right up my alley. Not only is it my favourite genre, but it is pretty much the only genre I read. Well, having said that, I suppose it depends on how you define the genre. To me Sci/fi-Fantasy is like a broad, catch all category and encompasses not only Sci/fi and Fantasy, but also Paranormal (Romance and otherwise), Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and anything in between.

However some people I've noticed like to push Paranormal stuff into the Horror section, which I disagree with. To me, something should only be in the horror section if it is scary, hence the name Horror. And being a reader of several different types of Paranormal Romance books, I can tell you without a doubt they are not scary. I've felt different emotions while reading Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake books, but never have I felt fear.

But before I journey too far down this tangent, I want to wander back to the original topic. I am very excited about the class. The teacher appears like she will be cool and interesting, from what little I've seen of her blog. I'm taking the class with a friend, who I consider to be much more knowledgeable about the whole writing process. And it is in a subject I just adore. So all in all, I have high expectations.

At the same time, I also feel like this is just a waste of time and money. As much as I enjoy literature, and as much as I would love to write a book and have it published, or even have anything published, I feel like that goal is just completely unrealistic. I am unemployed, as is my BF. I am thankfully getting unemployment, but it won't last forever. Instead of spending the time and money on this class, which more than likely will not result in any increase in income, shouldn't I just be focused on finding a job that will? As much as I think I would enjoy having my job be writing and to work in the literature field...doing so is no way to make money. It would be different if the BF was going to be working in a high paying job, but he is working on being a chef. So shouldn't I take my heads out of the clouds and just focus on something that pays the money?

I hate thinking about this stuff. The more I think, the more convinced I am that I have screwed my life up into this crumpled mess and I have no idea how to get it smoothed out. I fell into a major in college that ill-suited me, graduated and went into graduate school studying something that suited me even worse. And then I moved across country to work in this field, only to discover after several years that I hated it with the burning passion. So now I'm left with not enough money to go back to school, two degrees and years of work experience in something I don't want to ever do again, and an economy and job market that, to be frank, has still not recovered and I'm not sure ever will.

But I'm going to stop there. I have a class tonight that I am really looking forward to and I don't want to go down this spiral of self doubt and anxiety I seem to drift in these days. Maybe this will be a start to something really great. Maybe I will get it all figured out soon. I want to be positive, so dammit all, I will be positive.

So suck it world. Everything will be alright in the end.