Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Factoid: Sunday Routine

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What is your Sunday routine?

I actually kinda have one. Unless I'm on vacation or someone's staying with me, it's usually something like this:

  • Get up when I want
  • Have coffee
  • Play online while waking up
  • Take a shower
  • Have breakfast
  • Play online some more until my hair is dry
  • Record a karaoke song and post it to my website
  • Start the laundry
  • Continue whatever projects or activities I started the day before
After the morning/early afternoon routine, I don't really have specific Sunday plans. (Sometimes laundry gets pushed to the end of the day if I'm lazy or get caught up in something.) Sometimes I'll read, draw, nap, redecorate my house, make a new video for one of my channels, write, do website stuff, spend too much time on Tumblr, talk on the phone, or watch stuff on YouTube. I don't often go out on Sundays. I just like to stay in and get stuff done.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Not about me

I have a short and kind of whiny thing to post about today.

There are people in my life for whom I am a certain kind of invisible because I'll never date them.

I'm not particularly sad about this. Not to sound like a cliché, but it's their loss if I can't be important to them unless I'm their romantic partner.

But it does kinda sting sometimes when I'm reminded that for people who think that way, I don't really count in the scheme of things. A while back, a friend talked to me for a long time about romantic troubles, then immediately afterwards wrote some stuff on their blog about how they have "no one" in their lives and are completely alone, etc. I guess I might as well have been a statue for all it mattered, even though I was being a friend and listening. I've also repeatedly had friends suddenly disappear from my life without explanation when they start dating someone, and then when I'm there to distract them or comfort them after the breakup, I'm suddenly worth paying attention to again (until they meet the next person).

[Sometimes I feel like Patsy up there.]

This is a problem for anyone who has, shall we say, possibly immature and/or insensitive/oblivious friends. I know it's not a particularly rare problem. And to be honest I'm 100% on board for people having their intensely distracted/infatuated phase in a new relationship. I just, you know, expect them to still treat me like I'm important too once they've recalibrated their balances. I definitely don't want to be the disposable friend that you put in a box until you need someone to spend time with. I want to be a person to you, not a convenience or a provider of a service. 

This is especially hard for people like me who don't have romantic relationships. I really don't like feeling like I must have been something amusing to do in between what really matters. And I also hate that when I talk about wanting to be valued and treated respectfully, some people misinterpret that as romantic jealousy. In other words, "You wouldn't be jealous about it if you weren't secretly in love with him." Well, there are different versions of love, and I give my love in ways that sometimes cost me quite a lot. When I'm taught by certain folks that my sacrifice and care isn't even on their radar because I'm not their girlfriend, would you believe it stings a little?

But I tend not to unload these troubles on my friends because when they're talking about their own troubles, they're not going to be receptive to mine. And I don't want to make their issues about me. I might feel used or ignored or dumped, but the reason it hurts is that I care about the person who did it, and when they come back, I so often want to continue supporting them and giving them more chances. They don't do this because they're bad, I remind myself. They don't do it because they mean to. But they do it. And every time they do, I do find myself giving less. Being less invested the second time around. And even though I'm making it about me here on my blog while not invoking any certain person's name, I know better than to make them deal with my disappointment in them. If I ever do bring it up, it won't be while they're having a crisis. I can handle getting treated like garbage without internalizing it. I know better than to believe I deserve to be treated like that. Many people don't. Many of the people I'm talking about here don't. 

I don't need it to be about me. I don't need that from them.

I guess it's just sad that if I did need it, they wouldn't be there for me.

It makes me appreciate those who reciprocate comfortably and value me in their lives even more.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Personal Digest Saturday: August 13 – August 19

Life news this week: 
  • Well this week has been weird because my friend Jeaux had surgery and I was there helping him and as a result of this saw him every single day this week. Beyond that I haven't done much besides work and be tired.
  • Saturday my mom was supposed to come over so we could go pick out glasses frames for her, but it turned out she didn't feel up to it, though she eventually came over and took me to Michaels to get my new Steven Universe poster framed. (Jeez! The framing cost more than the poster, and the poster wasn't cheap!) I did all my blogging and picture processing stuff before my mom came over. And she brought a frozen french fry meal that we ate together! After she left I just reveled in laziness.
  • Sunday was actually pretty productive in contrast to Saturday. I made a new video, did some karaoke, edited the video, did laundry, subtitled the video, processed a new writing comic, did dishes, redecorated my house, and sent a couple short stories out for submission. I also posted a few drawings, texted with my friend lil Ronni, and prepared my house for Jeaux to be there for a couple days because he was planning to stay with me while recovering from surgery.
  • Monday was pretty weird to be honest. I had the day off work and didn't sleep the night before. My mom was going to take Jeaux and me to the hospital but I worried she wasn't coming when I couldn't get her to answer the phone or any texts to make sure she was on her way, and we were going to be late, so I got us to the hospital in an Uber and then found out my mom showed up a little later. (And she was mad that I hadn't waited.) So at the hospital I waited with Jeaux and helped him pass the time until they dragged him off to the operating room. Then I did some reading in the waiting room until his operation was over.
  • Jeaux did pretty well in the surgery and my mom came by to take us to my place. There I set him up on a mattress on the living room floor so he could play video games on my TV. (He'd brought his PlayStation.) I just hung out with him and observed him to make sure he was okay. He would have to have a big piece of gauze taped over his nose for the next week and he had to change it when it got bloody. I made his dinner and helped get stuff he needed because he wasn't allowed to bend over or do much activity. We had some good times hanging out except that he had just had surgery and had to keep changing the nose thing, heh.
  • Tuesday Jeaux stayed at my house while I went back to work. I brought home some more stuff he needed and we ate pizza together! We also listened to Night Vale and watched cartoons. He decided to go home that night and we got an Uber again. It's pretty cheap and convenient! I helped him take his stuff up the stairs (he's not supposed to climb stairs but he lives up there, so). And then I went home and drew a picture.
  • Wednesday I made my own extremely nerdy test on Sporcle. It's a quiz to test you on your knowledge of Steven Universe storyboarders, and no one is ever going to play it because it is the nerdiest thing in the world. Maybe I should make a more general quiz that people will actually want to play, haha. After work I brought some PDQ food and some soda to Jeaux, and we had a Jeaux Day in his apartment. He had set up his futon cushion just like the mattress I'd given him in front of the TV to play games. We didn't really do anything, just talked and saw a few silly things and I drew pictures.
  • Thursday work was busy, and it's probably going to be busy for a while to come--hope I don't get overwhelmed. Then I went to Jeaux's for the new Steven Universe episode, "Buddy's Book." We're back to weekly! Kind of a relief really. That's a lot of emotion to deal with when it's every day. :P When I got home I discussed the episode with friends online, talked to Victor on the phone, and got some webcomic stuff done.
  • Friday was more busy stuff at work. Jeaux needed mustard and bottled water for one of his treatments and more soda and paper towels, so I brought that stuff to him after work and went home. Finished my comic and did some relaxing.

New reviews of my book:
  • None.
Interviews, Features, Mentions:
  • None.
Reading progress:
  • Finished this week: Nothing, but I'm almost done reading the book I'm reading. I'll probably finish tomorrow and stop being such a slacker!
  • Currently reading: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy.
    New singing performances:

    This week's performance was "Asleep" by the Smiths

    New drawings:

    My old-timey Gems doodle from "Buddy's Book."

    Webcomic So You Write Issue 62: "Slipped Through."

    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0588: "Time Away."

    New videos:

    New video on my writing channel, "Misunderstood Genius," is about people who think they're not getting published because the world is not recognizing their genius.


    New photos:

    Me with my first love: candy.

    Jeaux's game at my house while he's recovering.


    And the haircut comparison photos:

    Front, February 2014
    Front, August 2016
    Back, February 2014
    Back, August 2016
    Social Media counts:
    YouTube subscribers: 5,344 for swankivy (lost 8), 587 for JulieSondra (4 new). Twitter followers: 822 for swankivy (1 new), 1,280 for JulieSondra (7 new). Facebook: 292 friends (1 new, Tia came back to Facebook) and 201 followers (no change) for swankivy, 636 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (1 new). Tumblr followers: 2,462 (lost 2). Instagram followers: 82 (no change).

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Wednesday Factoid: Back to the Land

    Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What "Back to the Land" skills do you have, or wish you had?

    Oh, that's easy! I have basically none!

    I'd be, like, the WORST person to do one of those wilderness challenge things with because I'm completely useless outside a city with the comforts of home. I don't really even do camping that well.

    To be honest, I don't actively wish I had any "back to the land" skills. I know that developing them takes work and experience, and those are not the things I want to devote my life to. I think it's good that some people enjoy them and can take care of themselves outside the city and with no electricity or whatever, though I tend to be a little skeptical of interacting too much with people who look down on city living. I'm really thinking of a particular subset of them who believe that "the end" of urban life is coming and that when everything explodes, only they and people like them will be able to survive, and they love talking about and yearning for the death and destruction that will wipe out modern conveniences and crown them the knowledgeable, competent ones. Them and their guns, you know.

    People who want to live in more natural, connected-to-the-Earth communities don't bother me that way at all. Especially since most of the commune people recognize this is a choice they've made, not a superior lifestyle that they wish people would be forced into.

    As for skills I'd like to be able to have, I think the one I'd like most is to be able to competently grow my own food. I've had very little luck with this even with trying to grow herbs, and I think it would be cool to have a vegetable garden. As such, I've just raised a few things in pots.

    It would also be kinda cool to be able to start a fire cuz that's awesome. But I very much doubt I'll be doing that without a lighter anytime soon. :)

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    A person

    My friend Jeaux just had (minor-ish) surgery and I'm helping him out in a few ways. I went to the hospital with him, sat with him before the procedure, held onto his stuff (someone's gotta keep your glasses and your phone, you know?), helped him get dressed after (well, just his socks and shoes), and let him recover at my house. It's not that he couldn't be alone or needed anything, but a) his apartment is a second-floor apartment and he's not supposed to climb stairs, and b) it's always good to have someone around to help you with stuff and observe you to make sure you're okay after something like this.

    I got him a couple things at the store, cooked his dinner, hung out with him while he played video games, watched some silly videos with him, took his temperature when we were worried he might have a fever (probably not though), and bothered him with a bunch of questions about how he's feeling. He seems to be doing great, even though the recovery stuff is Very Gross and I won't go into why. (I have given him his own trash can for bloody things, and that's all I'll say.) He's taking care of his own Actual Medical Stuff so I don't have to do anything really except help him with little things, but if he did need help with something, I'd try even if it was pretty gross.

    I don't mind helping at all, but he keeps saying thanks for all this and even gave me a hug last night. (We don't really hug much, though we don't have a policy or anything. We're just both not cuddly people.) I just say I'm glad he trusts me enough to be there for him during a sort of vulnerable time. We trust each other and can depend on each other. He's not my boyfriend, my partner, or my husband, but he's sort of my Person.

    It's nice to have a Person to trust. But what's weird is that people think if we have that sort of confidence and trust in each other, we must have (or just probably have) a physically and/or sexually intimate relationship. At the hospital, they told Jeaux to get in his hospital gown and then just shut the curtain with me in there with him. Like it was obvious that if a girl was with him for support, she belonged in the room with him while he was naked.

    I just stepped outside the curtain and waited 'til he was done. I don't need to see him strip. Like eeeeeew.

    (Just kidding, kind of, because we don't mind like changing our pants in front of each other or whatever, but it's mostly because neither of us care to look. It's hard to explain, but I guess neither of us is uncomfortable doing stuff in front of each other that you don't do in front of strangers or acquaintances partly because we really have no desire to put those actions into intimate/sexual context. If that makes sense.)

    Jeaux reminded me that if I ever have to have surgery he'll be there for me too. But besides that, we can sort of expect that each other will be around for such things as having a plus-one for things to make them less boring, having someone to ask for advice or help, and having someone there for the things you need a Person for--someone who knows when you don't want them there, too. We understand each other's boundaries really well. We both prefer low amounts of social interaction and enjoy our weekly hangouts partly because we're so well prepared for how long they'll last. Neither of us is clingy or sullenly expecting more time or attention than we get from one another. We just really found a balance that works, and we fulfill each other's needs really well.

    But even though he's an important lifelong friend, the flavor of our feelings isn't romantic and never has been. And he has never once tried to move our relationship toward something more traditional--not even when we first met and men are most likely to interpret any feelings they have for a woman as sexual/romantic. He never presented me with those desires or acted like I was supposed to deal with them. He never acted like it should just be expected that a heterosexual man will desire an attractive woman no matter what and just expect her to live with knowing he would like it better if they were romantically/sexually involved. Jeaux has never, not once, treated me like my asexuality and aromanticism are some impediment to our closeness.

    And of course there are still people (including some who should know better) who insist that he is surely hiding these feelings from me, or that inevitably he and I will just decide to stop being special snowflake friends and get married like everybody else, or that there's something inappropriate about us being each other's Person if we're not romantically involved. I've even heard people say that without that romantic bond and/or stated romantic commitment, you can't trust that the other person will be there for you. It is this bond and only this bond that guarantees that support.

    Funny, since I've seen declared commitments (up to and including marriage) get violated and fail to hold up under stress all the time, and yet we seem to be handling "in sickness and in health" pretty well for people who aren't married. True, this is minor and will pass, and I can't guarantee I'd be in a position to help him if he, say, became permanently disabled and needed a caregiver, but I can say with certainty we'd both help each other to the greatest extent we could if we ever faced a really bad situation. We've already proved that we step up to the plate for each other.

    I'm rambling again but I guess my point is a) partnerships you can trust can come in flavors other than sexual/romantic and b) Jeaux's pretty great and I kinda resent that people don't respect our relationship's depth because we're not involved that way.

    I hope I never NEED to have a Person step up to help me, but I like knowing he's there.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016

    Personal Digest Saturday: August 6 – August 12

    Life news this week: 
    • Even though it was no fun going back to work after vacation, it helped that I had awesome cartoons to watch. :) Like, imagine you're a football person and the Super Bowl is a huge exciting event for you. Then imagine it goes on every day for a month. Except it's only 11 minutes long. That's what this month has been. It's weird and distracting.
    • Saturday I had to pack up my stuff and leave with my friends. We did some toy shopping, and then Meggie and Katelyn had to leave to go visit her mom and go back to Jacksonville. I processed pictures for most of the free time that day and did my blogging. Then just watched cartoon reactions on YouTube.
    • Sunday was a nice lazy day, though I did a bunch of stuff too--laundry, karaoke, drawings, unpacking. I talked to my sister and Mom, made some tofu, and just decompressed, I guess.
    • Monday I dug myself out of a ditch at work, but it wasn't too bad at all--I finished my backlog of stuff the same day. Then I went shopping, went to Jeaux's house for Steven Universe double episodes "Beta" and "Earthlings" (holy crap, "Earthlings" was intense!), and then watched Jeaux play the new video game No Man's Sky over Skype. He has been excited about this game for more than a year and now he can finally play. YAY! Also a poster I special-ordered came--a limited edition Steven Universe art print. Gotta get that framed.
    • Tuesday was kind of a joke. I played a bunch of silly online quizzes. At Jeaux's, we had more pizza and watched "Back to the Moon" (another really good episode!) and the season finale to the first season of Wrecked. Then I went home and hung out with my mom. We had some pasta and I put some of her cool dishes up for sale on eBay. Oh, and I bought some toys online.
    • Wednesday I bought more toys and had more down time, ate at PDQ with Jeaux (I had a grilled cheese!), watched the episode "Bubbled," and hung out with Jeaux longer than usual because he was on vacation so he didn't have to run off to work. I did some more drawings.
    • Thursday was a little busy at work. At Jeaux's I ate popcorn and watched him play his video game until cartoons came on. We watched the episode "Kindergarten Kid" and I went home, talked to Mom, and talked to Victor on the phone while finishing up the comic.
    • Friday I did a bunch of business development stuff at the office, then watched "Know Your Fusion" at Jeaux's while eating an entire bag of cheese popcorn. Then I went home and posted my comic and didn't do much but talk about cartoons online and hang around being a dork. I have gotten tired early every day this week, and I keep waking up early too. Isn't that the opposite of what vacation is supposed to do?

    New reviews of my book:
    Interviews, Features, Mentions:
    Reading progress:
    • Finished this week: Nothing. See above notes about comparing cartoons to the Super Bowl.
    • Currently reading: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy.
      New singing performances:

      This week's performance was "Walk This World" by Heather Nova

      New drawings:

      Did a bunch of more-detailed-than-usual drawings to celebrate the last week of Summer of Steven episodes. These were each drawn as sort of "guesses" about each episode's content focus, so I could use them in my Facebook posts to talk about episodes.

      Day 16: Peridot and Lapis being nerds,
      with Amethyst and Steven in the background.
      Episodes: "Beta" and "Earthlings."
      Day 17: Rubies going to the moon!
      Episode: "Back to the Moon."
      Day 18: Steven in a bubble.
      Episode: "Bubbled."
      Day 19: Peridot determined to conquer a monster in the Kindergarten.
      Episode: "Kindergarten Kid."
      Day 20: Garnet and Pearl opposite Amethyst and Steven,
      with their Fusions silhouetted behind them.
      Episode: "Know Your Fusion."

      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0587: "Not For You."

      New videos:


      New photos:

      My shirt for Day 16 of the marathon, watching "Beta" and "Earthlings."
      My new limited edition poster.
      Jeaux playing No Man's Sky while I watch on Skype.
      My shirt for Day 17 of the marathon, watching "Back to the Moon."
      My shirt for Day 18 of the marathon, watching "Bubbled."
      My shirt for Day 19 of the marathon, watching "Kindergarten Kid."
      My shirt for Day 20 of the marathon, watching "Know Your Fusion."
      Social Media counts:
      YouTube subscribers: 5,352 for swankivy (no change), 583 for JulieSondra (4 new). Twitter followers: 821 for swankivy (9 new), 1,273 for JulieSondra (1 new). Facebook: 291 friends (lost 1? or maybe a certain person deactivated again?) and 201 followers (1 new) for swankivy, 637 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 125 likes for So You Write (1 new). Tumblr followers: 2,464 (lost 3). Instagram followers: 82 (2 new).

      Wednesday, August 10, 2016

      Wednesday Factoid: Childhood Creations

      Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What things did you create when you were a child?

      All kinds, guys!

      I used my construction toys to make a robot family and conceived their various evolutions from one form to another (long before Pokémon existed). I made a weird board game out of paper that caused a babysitter to call me "The next Steven Spielberg" (which irritated my mom because she didn't want me to be "the next" anything). I (with the help of my sisters) made a juice concoction from all the drinkable substances in the house and named it Wee Punch. (I do not remember why, but we had a list of the ingredients and sometimes begged Mom to let us buy them even though the punch itself was kind of gross tasting.) I made a game with my friend about a kidnapper who made us cook for him, whom we escaped by feeding him a bomb. I made macrame, finger-knitting ropes, and friendship bracelets. I made illustrated stories about girls who did things. I made dollhouse furniture and holiday cards with poems in them. I made tacky earrings from beads. I made taped recordings of music I made up or attempted harmonies to existing songs. I made time capsules. I made hats out of paper.

      Mostly, though, it was probably drawings. 

      Age 5, self portrait
      Age 5, representation of my dad reading the paper on the toilet

      Probably first grade or something, self portrait

      Age 7 or 8, random braid girl

      Age 7 or 8, random ballerina

      Age 8 or 9, Popples fan art
      Age 8 or 9, depiction of my youngest sister's face whenever she got her way
      Age 10, a mermaid
      Middle school, attempted realism
      Middle school sometime, random market square
      An adorable cover for what became my very first completed novel