textualdeviance: (Default)
I really wish I could get rid of the Mean Girls who live inside my head. Problem is, there are just enough of them out there in the real world, and they are just rotten enough, that it takes a few dozen nice people to bandage every wound they've ever left me with, and that's left me incredibly gunshy of doing anything that might put me in their sights.

There are a lot of reasons why I often stop just short of true success in one area or another: getting bored, distracted with other stuff, not wanting to commit myself 100% to just one thing, etc. But probably the biggest one is that I'm desperately terrified of tall poppy syndrome. The higher I rise up a given ladder of success, the more salient I am. And the more salient I am, the more of a juicy target I make for people who consider any successful woman fair game for abuse.

Pardon the ego for a moment, but this isn't a matter of lack of confidence in my own skill. I know I'm good at what I do. Not world-class, and I'm always trying to improve, but I know I'm a better writer and singer than a significant percentage of people who already do those things professionally. Problem is that I'm not quite good enough to make it past the initial gauntlet of bile one has to pass through in order to start getting those paychecks, and I don't have any other advantages helping me along. Someone who is utterly mindblowing at this stuff can blast right through the first layer of hate and quickly earn herself enough of a posse to fend off the dogs (see: Adele.) And someone who already has other advantages, from a trust fund, to connections, to a pretty face, to being the pride and joy of a small town, can survive the onslaught long enough to get a toehold.

Me, though? I'm basically an army of one, and if I go riding out on the battlefield, proudly waving my banner around, I'm going to be an arrow-filled pincushion in about 10 seconds. I don't have the thermonuclear device of talent to strike fear in the hearts of the orcs, and I don't have shiny armor or a well-armed cavalry surrounding me, either.

If I wasn't so emotionally invested in my passions, I'd probably take the risk anyway. Truly, there's very little even the most determined orc can do to me at this point in my life to make things genuinely awful for me. They'd have to resort to actual criminal behavior to do that. But I have such dread of the idea of my work being torn to bits, even by people utterly unqualified to do so, who are motivated only by jealousy or a fear of competition, that I'm just not yet comfortable throwing it out there for them to piss on.

Obviously, there are some things I do put out there, but the confidence that leads me to do so--quality and knowing there's already a (small) army of support within that field--is what allows that. I can post fanfic and vids, and know that most people who are interested in the subject matter to begin with are probably going to like my stuff, and that anyone who doesn't is going to be in the minority. Likewise, I can do a bit of solo singing here and there, knowing that I'm generally supported by the rest of the group and a positively-predispositioned audience.

But I have no such reassurance for the other stuff, yet. I don't know for sure that higher-level music or writing folks are going to approve of my stuff. And because I've seen how easy it is for the snark brigade to lay waste to someone's work, I'm just not yet ready to go primetime with it. Maybe soon. I hope. I can see the light at the end of that tunnel, I think.

I just wish this fear didn't get in the way of me doing the work in the first place that will get me there. Getting past the voices of the mental mean girls to just sit down and write something, or hammer on sight-singing or vocalise work is a chore, and I wish it wasn't.
textualdeviance: (WTF Tasty Bite)
So, you're minding your own business, hanging out with some folks in various online places. You sorta get to know them, and get a general picture of them in your head. You become friends, really, and establish a baseline for that interaction.

And then you finally see a really good picture of one of them.

And she's fucking gorgeous.

Suddenly, that casual, fun interaction evaporates into a big puff of ZOMG I CAN HAZ? And it's weird. Because that potentiality hadn't even been considered before. (Of course, in my case, it's not generally a potentiality anyway. Still.)

Yes, she's the same person she was before I saw the pic, but now my thighs go up in flames when I talk to her. It's like creepy stalkerville or something, because I'm all "yeah, yeah, funny, funny pop culture babble bad pun, blah" and then I suddenly want to bury my head in her crotch.

This, of course, happens to me on a regular basis anyway, even with meatspace people, but in that case, there's time between that initial meeting/HOLY FUCK GET ON MY FACE reaction and actually creating a friendship for the former to be stuffed back into its dank little cage. Having a sudden rush of lust interrupt your regularly scheduled friendship programming is a mindfuck.

Oh, life. Why must you vex me so?
Aug. 18th, 2009 04:30 pm

Worrywart

textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
We're nearing the end of negotiations on the house--we should know for certain tomorrow.

I should be excited and thrilled, but instead, I'm wracked with stomach-churning anxiety. Partially just worry about whether we'll actually get the place, but also a bit of, "OMG, I've never spent so much money on one thing in my entire life."

The latter is compounded by a few things.

It's always more expensive than you think )

I shouldn't worry much, I guess. Yes, it's a lot of money, it's more or less draining our current reserves and will tighten our budget somewhat, but it's also a really nice house, and it's in a great location, which means we'll be able to see folks more often. And that alone? Is worth the price. :)
textualdeviance: (Cascadia)
The good:
There seem to be a fair number of houses in our price range, and they're getting marked down regularly. There are bargains to be had! (Though a few of the ones we've looked at are also selling fairly quickly at those price points; looks like the upper end of our range is about what many folks are willing to pay right now.)

The bad:
Ehm. The same sort of thing is happening in our zip code. And there's no way we can cover this without at least $100k of equity profit on this place. It's also taking 100 days or more to sell up here. Bugger.

The frustrating:
A fair amount of the uncertainty on this would be solved if I got a job. I still wouldn't count my income toward what we can afford in payments (heck, we're not even going by the 28/35 rule), but it would be a nice cushion for the other stuff, like the upgrades and fixes we need to do here to sell the place.

Am I out of my tree for considering this? )

Barring total disaster, the real worst-case scenario I can see happening is that prices drop even further, I can't find a job and we have to do some serious Vitus dancing to make the mortgage payment for a little while. But I really, really don't see that sort of thing lasting beyond another year, maybe two at the most.

And in the meantime, we're likely to be considerably happier on all other counts because we'll be in a nicer house in a better location, we'll be seeing our friends more, and M will have an extra half hour to an hour in every day thanks to the shorter commute. Heck, that bonus alone would be worth the move, IMHO.


Bah. I still just don't know. In the short term, this is probably crazy. But for medium-to-long term value, I think jumping on these bargains right now is probably justifiable.

What do y'all think? Am I throwing myself off a cliff or making a shrewd wager?
Feb. 24th, 2009 03:34 pm

*breathe*

textualdeviance: (skwirls)
I just sent a short mail to an adoption attorney.

I honestly don't know if that's really the right place to start, but it'll at least give us a better idea than what I've come up with so far, which has been a giant morass of agencies and agents for agencies and useless directory sites and... blah. No way to tell which ones are a scam, or which ones would balk at handing a kid over to a couple of queer atheists or whatever. The whole thing seems like a big pile of Ponzi schemes and snake oil sales drones.

I'm figuring it'll take months to get through all the paperwork and such, so I may as well get going on it now, even though I'm a little concerned about financial issues at the moment, what with the economy being a disaster.

I guess we'll see what happens next.
Tags:
textualdeviance: (maui)
Please stop sending me ads about your fantastic Hawaii deals going on this month. Because I can't take any time off even though I really, really, really would love a mental-health-improving vacation about now.



Yes, I know I was just in Hawaii a few months ago. They've been a fucked-up few months.
Tags:
textualdeviance: (Default)
Clearing out my china cabinet so we could do the dining room floor has proven to be my downfall. I got to sort through all my Willow and realized that I hadn't really added much to that collection in some time.

So I hopped on e-Bay.

Oh, shit.

An ungodly amount of money (largely credit) later, I have probably two dozen new pieces. And I'm watching several new auctions every day. Turns out that there's a motherlode of the stuff I like to collect (unusual pieces, particularly the multicolored patterns) turning up every day. I think one of the sellers actually specializes in this stuff. And of course, I'm not the only one who collects this stuff, so some of it is getting bid up quite a bit. I'm letting a lot of stuff go when it gets to be way overpriced, but some things I do just have to have. And I just now discovered that there was a multicolored Willow pattern called "Chinese Legend" that came out about 15 years ago that I love and want to start collecting. Oi.

Now, it's not like we're dirt poor or anything. It's been at least five years since we really had to worry about paying bills and such. We have a healthily positive net worth, what with all of M's stock and the house continuing to rise in value. But we do have quite a bit of credit debt, especially with my student loans, and our cash flow could be on a higher trajectory than it is. And we also have potential offspring stuff and our cars are starting to show some age, and there's a lot more house stuff we need to do and...

Sigh...

I'm really not high maintenance. I give less than two shits about fashion, so I spend next to nothing on clothes. Maybe $500/year, if that. I don't go for flashy jewelry. I don't get expensive haircuts or spa treatments and I'm certainly not going to drop wads of cash on cosmetic surgery. I'm not picky about having "the finest" of everything. I drive a five-year-old Toyota and have little to no desire for anything fancier than that. Granted, we have some pretty extensive (and expensive) plans for the house we want to build in a couple of years, but that's a joint project and something we've been looking forward to for ages. And I do hope to pay a lot of the credit off when I get a job. I actually hate how much of a sponge I am. I believe in earning my keep.

But I guess I am kind of expensive when it comes to certain things. My fandom madness, for instance, cost a pretty penny. And there's always the upgrades to my computer so I can run my games. And now this. I feel terribly irresponsible for spending the money this way, but I do have to say that it's making me happy to get all this gorgeous stuff. And maybe that's worth it.

But I'm totally not telling M how much I've spent on this. ;)
May. 19th, 2007 12:59 am

AHHHHHH

textualdeviance: (CF)
The draft (and the research log, and the weekly participation summary) es fini! 12 pages of the damned thing, too. Well, OK, so it was really only about 8, if you shave off the biblio and the weird opening pages that APA style requires. It was about 2100 words total--a little less than half of the final size. However, all that's left for me to do on it is just amass and analyze (according to criteria I've set) several more stories. This should take a fair amount of time, but next to no effort.

With all that's left for this class being that, a final essay on my class participation and a presentation, this means I'm officially on the downhill side of this class. Unless he finds something horribly wrong with my draft, it's smooth sailing from here out, and I should have no trouble passing. Yes, I was actually worried about that.

My advanced reporting project, now that's a different story. I'm glad I can kind of sleep through the next two weeks of seminar, because I need to throw a metric fuckton of effort into getting that project in better shape. I'm worried about doing the map (which reminds me: [livejournal.com profile] n8dagr801, are you a GIS guru and can help me with that?) but I'm more worried about getting the last interviews I need. You know me and sourcing. Bleh. I think I'll manage, especially with the wonderful efforts of the lovely [livejournal.com profile] miztiy involved, but I'm still stressing anyway.

For the moment, however, I'm going to take a well-earned break. I am going to do absolutely nothing of academic value tomorrow. Instead, I'll probably spend the day starting to pack up my apartment, since I now have only three weeks left of actually living here (I'll be sleeping in SnoCo during finals week.) M is going to meet me for dinner, which will also be nice.

Early next week, I'll probably do the advanced reporting project stuff, plus herd my kittens to get decent coverage of the GAP nonsense going on. Then I get FOUR WHOLE DAYS at home. More like 4 1/2, if I get out of production early next Thursday and don't have anything other than class to occupy the following Tuesday. I'll probably spend almost that entire time sleeping--resting up before I do my final push to finish my two projects, which are due at the end of dead week. And I may also try to get my LOTRO characters to a level at which they're actually useful for group play. I could use the whole blasting orcs thing to calm me down after all this chaos.

I also, however, do plan to celebrate my birthday a bit early in some way that weekend. Not sure how or when or what, but something other than the usual.

And now, bed--and a few chapters in the latest Redwall book I'm devouring--awaits. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....
May. 18th, 2007 02:17 am

O_o

textualdeviance: (80's hair)
It's quite disturbing to suddenly realize that the majority of the people with whom one has recently been associating were born within a year of losing one's virginity.

Technically, had I been an irresponsible teen and gotten pregnant, these people could be my children.

Excuse me, I need my Geritol and a walker...
Tags:
May. 4th, 2007 01:04 am

Ahh, home

textualdeviance: (Default)
Have a doc appointment tomorrow, so made it home for that. Sadly, M is not here, as he's still in Portland dealing with the family stuff. Still no real idea of how much memory loss she has. It seems to be coming in fits and starts, at least. Some of that may be sedation, since she's been under that frequently for various tests, including an angiogram.

I still feel behind, and tonight's production was punctuated by me screwing a few things up, which annoyed me. However, I must point out the piece by our columnist this issue. He's written a bunch of other stuff, but this is definitely one of his best. Makes me laugh right from the first graf. He has the makings of a Gen Y Dave Barry.

In the next three days, I must:

*Work up a presentation for my SPFH workshop. This may be challenging, considering that I have no idea what I'm doing for it.
*Study for my midterms (one Monday, one Tuesday)*Write my weekly participation notes for seminar (not hard, just time-consuming.)
*Finish an Excel exercise for my Adv. Rep. class (could sleep through that, considering I had to show the prof how to save time when selecting ~6700 rows of data...)
*Try to get caught up on my Adv. Rep. project, since I've done jack with it all week and the first draft of it is due two weeks from yesterday.
*Write up an outline for my thesis--due a week from today. May be challenging, given that I have done very little beyond gathering the sources from which I'm writing. The rough draft for it is due the day after the draft for my Adv. Rep. project. Oh, joy.
*Prep for and attend the Sunday budget meeting for the SPFH.

...in addition to the doc appointment, setting another one, doing laundry and dishes, trying to not go completely insane...

Yeah.

Five weeks left of the term, plus one final. While I'm glad the term's going by fast so I can come home (I put in my move-out notice this week! Gah!) I'm not glad it's going by fast so I can't keep up. Gah.
textualdeviance: (maui)
We got a little bit of info tonight about M's mom: She's already started to wake up somewhat, and they've started warming her back up. While she's still sedated and hypothermic, she was able to respond to some basic questions and appeared to recognize family members in the room.

We'll know more tomorrow, when she's fully warmed up and the sedation has worn off, the full extent of any brain damage. But so far, it looks like the immediate risk--her not waking up at all--has passed. We'll see how things go from here, and hope that whatever caused her to collapse is fixable, too. We're mostly worried, now, that she'll stress out over being in the hospital and having more tests, and thus make herself worse.

There are several more things complicating matters, meaning there isn't really a bright, rosy dawn on this anytime soon, but at least it looks like the huge crisis has subsided at least a little.

I've been keeping myself busy, doing a heck of a lot of homework and the usual stuff for the SPFH. I think I'm in good shape for my advanced reporting class--all that's really left is to do a few interviews, assemble some data into reader-friendly packages and get through the midterm next week. All those things should be relatively easy for me.

My seminar class poses some more challenges--I'm rather behind on data gathering--but I should be able to catch up with that now that my AR class is sort of on simmer.
Apr. 5th, 2007 12:42 pm

Frazzled

textualdeviance: (pennybitches)
I've really hit the ground running this term. My position with the SPFH is going to be far more work than I had thought, and both my other classes are equally intense. I get the feeling I won't be going home many weekends this time around.

I already have a headache from lost sleep and stress. And my head photographer just had to go out of town for an emergency, so I'm even more swamped. I'll probably relax a bit more once we're a few issues in and I have a rhythm set up, but for now, I'm scrambling and have to remind myself to take breaks to eat and do something mindless.

I just have to keep chanting the "last term" mantra to keep going. If I had more ahead of me, I'd probably have a nervous breakdown. As it is, I expect a few nights of being curled up in a sobbing ball, just trying to take the edge off.

Making matters worse, our e-mail server crashed this past weekend, meaning I'm getting mail at my two main addys slowly, if it comes at all. NOT good when my whole life revolves around that. I'm having to make people cc my alternate addy so I can be sure to get things within some sort of reasonable timeframe. I'm looking at at least two weeks before things get resolved, and that's going to make an utter mess of things.

The good part is that I'm heading to SF for a few days to do this. It looks amazing. I'm planning to pull some info from that for my senior project. I haven't completely nailed down a topic, but it'll probably be something about how news orgs need to shape their content for delivery in multiple methods and on multiple platforms. Call it the XML of news media or something. Or I may just go lazy and do something specific about the adoption rate for news content on mobile devices.

Oh, and the first half of my advanced reporting class is going to be learning this. Heh. Of course, it may kick my ass, but I suspect I'll have an easier time with it than some folks--the prof included, considering he's a Luddite who's still on dialup. Poor thing.
textualdeviance: (avatar)
I'm officially done with finals, after sending off a report today. Got two of my grades in: a B in psych and a C- in jazz. I feel shitty about the C-, but it's a passing grade, which is what I needed. Unless I completely cock up spring term, I should graduate with a solid B+ average, and I'm comfortable with that. I kind of feel that the B+/A- range is really where I am with most things, and it's nice to have a GPA that reflects that.

I've enjoyed the last couple of days of doing next to nothing. After being away from home for three weeks, I needed the downtime in my actual home, instead of the bachelor pad. It's a bit frustrating to not be able to do much, though. I keep looking around and seeing projects I need to work on here, and I just know I won't have the time or energy for any of them. We're going to SD for a few days starting Friday, and then I'll have five more days here before spring term starts. Really not a lot of time to work on big things like filing the stack of old bills sitting on my desk, or sorting through the contents of the closet where things go to die. Time isn't really the issue, I suppose. It's more a matter of energy and mental bandwidth, both of which are in short supply. I'd rather play video games and fuck around with memes. To wit:

Gacked this movie quote meme from [livejournal.com profile] markxiii

I do feel like a zombie these days... )

I'm also still working on the life soundtrack meme. Should have another installment of that posted tomorrowish. It's been quite the nostalgia trip so far. Running into that pic of my ex just kind of capped it off. I'm in this really weird drowning in regret headspace right now. I know I don't have a lot longer to live, what with my various illnesses, and so now that my life's half over, I'm regretting the time I wasted on stupid things like getting married at 19 or spending endless hours in flamewars about petty, pointless shit.

But then I also have to remind myself that wallowing in regret is itself a waste of time. Looking back and evaluating one's life and learning from one's mistakes--and one's triumphs, too--is good. And it's also good to remember some truly fun times and wonderful people I've had the privilege to share time with. But really, I can't go back and change things like getting on the wrong meds or picking a fight that ended a friendship with someone I loved.

Sometimes I do wish I could get in touch with some old friends again and try to repair some of the damage, but life has moved on for all of us, and there would be no picking up where we left off, especially with bitterness and resentment being the most recent memories. The best I could hope for is that we'd both grown up and learned from our stupidness and somehow manage to bury the hatchet and start over or something. But that's unlikely--and near impossible in some cases. I did some really stupid, awful stuff back in the day, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are still plenty of people who would like to see me twisting in the wind.

Now, getting back in touch with old friends that I just kind of accidentally lost--that I'd love to do. I'm actually kind of hoping that I can have the summer off after I graduate, because I want to focus on getting some sort of a social life back together (among other projects.) At the very least, there WILL be some sort of Thank God I'm Home Again party. Hopefully uninterrupted by power outages this time, dammit.
Mar. 2nd, 2007 12:16 pm

GPA woes

textualdeviance: (Default)
So, it looks like this term's grades are going to be the worst since I started this process, mostly thanks to my jazz class. Some of that is my fault, some of it I can blame on the prof.

Utterly failing the last quiz was my fault--I wasn't in class pretty much all of the previous week and a half, and I blanked out on what I'd studied. Getting a shitty grade on the quiz prior to that I can blame on the prof. The quiz was three pages long. I only completed two pages of it because the quiz was printed front (no back) on page 1 and front and back on page 2. As there was nothing printed on the back of page 1, I had no reason to check the back page of the quiz to see if there was anything there. So, even though I did well on the rest of the quiz, I missed a third of the questions, which knocked my score down to a 64. He throws out the lowest quiz, but that's going to end up being this last one instead of that one. So, assuming I study my ass off for the final (half of the grade) I miiiight pull a C. Bleh.

I'm doing ok in my other three classes. I haven't been to my psych class at all and I still managed a 90 on the last quiz there (Scantrons, how I love thee.) So I should manage at least a B out of that. I haven't been performing up to my personal standards in my features class, but I'm running about on a B/B+ level there. So my GPA really kind of hinges on what grade I get for the SMFH. I think there should be no problem with that, since I'm going above and beyond what's usually expected from the position.

Still, I'll be lucky to pull a 3.0 for the term, which is kind of depressing. It won't drag down my overall GPA too much. I've done well enough the last four terms that I'm sitting at a 3.48, and even if I got the worst-case scenario grades, I'd still be at least at 3.3. And the GPA for my j classes is certainly high enough--it's close to 3.7 so far. The major does require 15 credits in another concentration, though, so I'm not sure how they're going to figure that. I suppose they may just take some of the credits for my psych minor and figure it that way. Which would kind of suck, because those grades aren't great. They only require a minimum 2.5 in all classes for the major, and I'd probably at least end up with a 3.3, but I wish it were higher.

I shouldn't complain, I guess. Unless I completely fuck up my last term, I'll still have a higher overall GPA (probably about a 3.4) than the one I graduated with last time (a 2.93.) And it's not like I'm going for any honors or anything (I can't; post-bacs don't qualify.) The only thing that GPA would matter for is if I decided to apply to grad school later, and after this exhausting experience, I don't see myself doing that for a looong time, if at all. I've kind of been a perpetual student since I was in diapers, so it's time to actually apply that knowledge instead of gathering more of it.
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textualdeviance: (punky pee)
The good news: my car is safely tucked into the parking garage. Took me an hour to fetch it, but I managed. I also realized I have it pretty easy. Waiting at the bus stop was a very nice guy with an adorable wee child and a large stroller. Apparently, he and his wife are both students--at different schools--and they also have a two-year-old. Dang. I can't imagine how I'd handle that, even in good weather. I helped him get the sprout and stroller on and off the bus, and worried. Poor guy.

The bad news: M is stuck in Redmond for the near future, and will probably be staying in Kirkland tonight, if they can even get that far. I don't want him driving in this stuff without chains, especially after his 8-hour commute a few weeks back. He still has flashbacks of a near-miss on the freeway entrance from that. Only problem with this is that he won't be home to give the old lady her evening squishy food. She has dry food sitting out, so if she gets really hungry, she might go for that, but I'm afraid she won't because she may not be able to smell it and recognize it as food. I just hope M can find some way to get home safely so she can get what she needs. It's times like this that I really, really hate being stuck up here with no way to contribute to solving the problem.

I have power, food, hot water and heat, so I'm good for the night's hunkering down for now. I hope classes are cancelled tomorrow, but with just the one, I'm not too stressed about it. I also feel well-prepared for it, which has taken a big load off my mind.

Time to curl up with soup, video games and a book.

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