Sunday, March 26, 2017

Personal Digest Saturday: March 18 – March 24

Life news this week: 
  • Saturday was Drink and Draw, and also a few popular people on Tumblr shared my several-week-old fan comic about Opal and I just kept getting all these awesome encouraging comments. (I'm making a collage of them.) I prepared for the art event and Eric came over early to get me. We hung out a bit and then headed out to the café, where we had some new faces but some significant old ones missing because the event invitation didn't go out properly. It was a good night. And also, for the first time in literally years, no one owes me any money.
  • Sunday was music day as usual. I played a ukulele song that was pretty hard for me and a new karaoke song. I hit a milestone on my cartoon blog (500 followers!) so I drew a piece of extremely ridiculous fanart to celebrate it. It's really not good but I don't care, it's funny.
  • Monday involved a LOT of design stuff at work (and I kept monitoring nice comments on my blog, awww). I ended up leaving a little later than usual and the buses were hellacious. I had to wait for one for over an hour. It is not any fun at all to leave my house at 6:30 AM and not get home until AFTER 8 PM, and then my noisy upstairs neighbors stomped and screamed so I couldn't even sleep. Awful.
  • Tuesday I had to take a paid ride to work because I was so exhausted from the bad day yesterday that I didn't get up in time to get the bus. It was a good day besides that! A co-worker had brought donuts that I enjoyed heartily, and then later we had a sandwich order because we had a meeting. And then a co-worker drove me home! I had Mom over and she took me shopping, and before that we hung out a bit. I had a chat with Meg on the phone. Her husband is in the hospital, boo.

  • Wednesday was a good day too. I did graphics and e-mail at work, and then Jeaux and I met for Best NY Pizza. At my house again we just chilled and then read the new Steven Universe comic issue together. It was a really, really good one! Maybe my favorite yet! (It was about Stevonnie. Dang. They are a severely underused character and we need more.)
  • Thursday I learned something called plus stations in the design program and spent a bunch of time putting them on a plan sheet. I got to draw at lunch and after I got home I talked to Victor and drew the rest of my webcomic. It really sucks going to bed at a "reasonable" hour.
  • Friday I woke up late again. Not doing so hot on this. Got to work without issue and had an okay day, but there were some server issues that impacted the office's productivity and I got an assignment to learn a program (Access) that I'm really unfamiliar with and doesn't really seem intuitive to me. Not sure I can learn to get it to do what my boss wants me to do with it. Oh well, I'll try. Finished a book on the bus ride home and then when I got home I gave a phone interview to a student doing a story on asexuality. Then I posted my comic and fell asleep.

    Reading progress:
      New singing performances:

      This week's performance was "Romeo and Juliet" by Indigo Girls.

      New drawings: 

      Ridiculous fanart I drew for my cartoon blog hitting 500 followers: it's Garnet in human clothes that Steven picked out for her and approves of mightily, and also he gets to wear her glasses.

      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0619: "The Present."

      New videos:

      My latest unlisted ukulele video is "It's Over, Isn't It? from Steven Universe. (This is a pretty great song but not so great on ukulele sadly.)

      (And if you're wondering, yes, it's a lady(ish) character singing about losing the lady(ish) love of her life to a man, noting that this is a single-gender alien race and they all use she/her pronouns but they are technically not women even though that's how most people who watch the show process them.)

      If you'd like to hear the song accompanied by piano, like it should be, watch this clip from the show. It's really gorgeous and the voice actor is a Broadway performer.

      New photos:

      Quality plating at Drink and Draw--Cheong was not a fan of Eric's off-menu order.
      Such a tasteless, tasteful drawing.
      First of two donuts at the office.
      Second of two donuts at the office. Seeing a pattern?
      Comic #2, awww yeah!

      Social Media counts:
      YouTube subscribers: 5,299 for swankivy (6 new), 621 for JulieSondra (3 new). Twitter followers: 848 for swankivy (2 new), 1,323 for JulieSondra (lost 2). Facebook: 292 friends (no change) and 206 followers (no change) for swankivy, 649 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 127 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,490 (lost 2). Instagram followers: 104 (1 new).

      Wednesday, March 22, 2017

      Wednesday Factoid: City, Suburb, Country?

      Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Would you most like to live in a city, a suburb, or the country?

      Honestly I feel like the city is the best fit for me. It sounds a little weird because I do like nature and I do appreciate solitude, and actually I think some time out in an isolated cabin sounds pretty nice, but I like being in an urban center. I like being in one of the cities touring bands and acts come to. I like having a lot of choices when it comes to entertainment or shopping opportunities, and I like that I can get to most areas of my city on the bus. I like that I'm not far away from lifesaving care if something awful were to happen, and I like the mood of cities and the flavor of quirkiness they inspire. 


      Tuesday, March 21, 2017

      17 years

      Whoa, how did that happen!

      In a couple of days Jeaux and I are "celebrating" 17 years as friends.

      It's not a nice round milestone or anything. And we don't really do anything special on our anniversaries, though sometimes we call it our 'versary and go to a slightly nicer restaurant or something. (This week we'll be shopping for comics. But we always do that.)

      But it's pretty neat to think about. This person has been in my life for 17 years. We've had a predictable schedule of meeting about once a week and doing fantastic friend things together. We can help each other out in times of need. We can text each other frustrations and cartoon theories. We can have someone to go to things with if we want a someone.

      I have a lot of friends who don't really have longtime friends. And they find it AMAZING that I have some friendships that are over twenty years old. My friends Meghan and Victor have been in my life even longer than Jeaux--for Meg we met in 1993, and for Victor we met in 1996. I have friendships that are more than two decades old.

      I've said this before and it's probably starting to get tiresome now, but I'll say it again as Jeauxversary approaches: I find it obnoxious that people assume those who don't have a romantic partner do not have meaningful partnerships at all.

      My connections with these other people are not romantic, and they are not committed with any ceremony, and they are not what you'd call "partnered" relationships, but they are worth celebrating on anniversaries and worth celebrating daily. We have such a weird fixation in our society on relationship permanence only working in one particular way, even though everybody knows tons of divorced people. And if you asked people, of course they wouldn't say friendships can't/don't last or that lifelong friends don't exist. So, if marriage is not a guarantee of permanence and there are other types of relationships that are known to last a lifetime, why is it that when I say I'm single and/or not married, people immediately respond with pity and thoughts of "oh wow, she's alone/lonely"?

      Jeaux and my other couple of lifelong friends make certain I'm not lonely if I don't want to be alone, but furthermore, they understand my boundaries well enough to know when they're needed/wanted. Jeaux has been known to say it's nice to have a friendship where the other person isn't needy and clingy but is reliable and available, and with whom outings and visits are predictable. We both value being able to know what to expect, and so we fit very well together.

      Hooray for Jeaux. :) 

      Saturday, March 18, 2017

      Personal Digest Saturday: March 11 – March 17

      Life news this week: 
      • Saturday was a nice break from a hectic week. Woke up at 10 AM which now feels late to me, and that's hilarious. I made some important phone calls and got nowhere, and did some Internet stuff. Made an asexuality video and did some fan art.
      • Sunday we had Daylight Savings. Blah. I processed Saturday's video, made my karaoke and ukulele videos, and cleaned up my house a little. And I organized my new markers and administered some refills on my Copics that needed them, which took like an hour.
      • Monday it was back to work. My computer had been worked on over the weekend but was still unusable for me, and the computer guy acted confused as to how that could be but it had no programs or anything on it. So I had to work on someone else's most of the day while he fixed that. I was asked to become a notary for work so I took the education and did the application. Neat. Did some edits on marketing letters, then went home and didn't really get stuck in the rain that had been annoying all day. I just kinda chilled for the evening, though I also made a silly asexuality/aromanticism-related comic and posted it on Tumblr.
      • Tuesday I finally made some successful phone calls and did a bunch of design work at work. Went home on the bus and had Mommy over. I made some really gross soup that was basically inedible so I made us sunflower seed butter sandwiches instead and Mom actually ate a little bit. And I played my ukulele a little.
      • Wednesday I had a weird day of very small things going wrong all day. I got up early and biked to the bus stop so I could leave my bike there for picking up at Jeaux Day, but I had trouble getting it locked up to the fence. :P And it was really cold all day. I also accidentally left my keys in the bathroom and had to borrow my boss's keys to get them back. :P I met up with Jeaux after work and we ate at Applebee's and also did some errands at the AT&T store, Staples, and Target. We listened to Night Vale at my house and hung out.
      • Thursday I wimped out and took a paid ride to work because it was too cold. I spent like two hours at the office by myself and kinda failed at updating some memos for my boss because I just don't have enough information. I worked on design stuff the rest of the day. I had a really nice day for some reason though. One of my art posts on Tumblr (the Opal comic I made a few weeks ago) started getting really nice positive attention and people were privately messaging me to tell me how good it was. I cried on the bus because of that, haha. I'm weird. Victor called me but we didn't talk for long because I was sleepy.
      • Friday it was cold but I managed to tough it out and went to work. It was kind of a slow day and I did a bunch of design stuff. Did some drawing during lunch and continued to get really nice comments on the Opal comic. I was really lazy and almost didn't get my webcomic up in time, but I managed. Then went to sleep.
        Articles, Interviews, Mentions:
        • The Buzz Barr quoted my book and discussed asexuality and demisexuality in the context of a person the author knew in high school.
        Reading progress:
          New singing performances:

          This week's performance was "Winter" by Tori Amos.

          New drawings: 

          Fan art of Pearl and Garnet's dance from episode 63:
          Drawn for my cartoon blog hitting 400 followers.

          Webcomic Negative One Issue 0618: "About to Burst."

          New videos:

          My latest asexuality video is Letters to an Asexual #44, which is about someone stressing that we should pursue a cure, and that conceptualizing asexuality as a disease is based on an understanding of healthy biology, not bigotry.

          My latest unlisted ukulele video is "Try" by Nelly Furtado. (This is really sloppy, sorry.)

          New photos:

          It's a mystery who my favorite character is.
          I may have gotten a little enthusiastic with buying Copics.
          First of three coffee selfies this week.
          Mom wanted to borrow this DVD so I was showing her I had it.
          Second of three coffee selfies this week.
          Third of three coffee selfies this week.
          My head looks like a mushroom when I wear this hat.

          Front, February 2014
          Front, March 2017
          Back, February 2014
          Back, March 2017

          Social Media counts:
          YouTube subscribers: 5,293 for swankivy (lost 13), 618 for JulieSondra (5 new). Twitter followers: 846 for swankivy (no change), 1,325 for JulieSondra (2 new). Facebook: 292 friends (no change) and 206 followers (no change) for swankivy, 650 likes for JulieSondra (no change), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 127 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,492 (1 new). Instagram followers: 103 (lost 1).

          Wednesday, March 15, 2017

          Wednesday Factoid: Hard or Easy?

          Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Are you hard or easy on yourself?

          My first inclination is to answer "hard."

          Most people who know me have heard me groan about not being productive enough, and no matter how much they reassure me that I do x and y and z, I never feel like it's really enough. I know how much I goofed off. I know how I didn't decide to fill my down time with up time. I have incredibly high standards for what I should be capable of. I think I should be able to meet those standards and I get pretty mad at myself when I don't.

          But overall, I'm probably pretty easy on myself.

          I say that because unlike some people I know, I don't hate myself, don't let expectations of society define what I should be doing or how I should think, and don't feel much of a need to seek validation. This is probably just an extension of my nature--I accept myself and most of what I want to do to be better is unrelated to feeling that I, personally, am a failure. I sometimes take this for granted and forget how rare and important it is to like myself and to not need other people's instructions or permission to exist how I like.

          So . . . both really. But yeah I'm pretty hard on myself because I know I can take it. :)

          Tuesday, March 14, 2017

          Taking Lunch

          I started taking lunch at work.

          Let me explain. See, at my old job, which I loved, I was on a part-time schedule so sometimes I'd work like five hours a day. I'd come in around lunchtime and leave before dinnertime, so it seemed like a goofy thing to do to take lunch. I got used to just working the five or six hours and sometimes eating at my desk if I was hungry, working through whatever I was doing. It seemed reasonable.

          So I wasn't quite sure how I was gonna handle it when it became clear my new job wants me to be there at 8-ish in the morning and leave at 5-ish in the evening. I wasn't used to taking lunch and was initially reluctant to do it. I wanted to just eat at my desk and go home after 8 hours, not 9. And I did that my first day. The second day a co-worker took me out to eat. The third day I worked through lunch again and left around 4. And then Thursday and Friday, I took lunch.

          Thursday I wandered down the street and found a cute French café that served breakfast and lunch. I had a breakfast plate and a glass of juice, and just relaxed.

          It was REALLY nice.

          Going back to work after a break, it just . . . it was nice. Good.

          I didn't want to develop a habit of eating out for lunch every day, so Friday I went behind the building and found a picnic table. After eating my lunch I did some drawing and reading and enjoying the outdoors.

          Again, REALLY nice.

          I thought I wasn't going to like having to take lunch because it forces me to be out of the house and "at work" longer, but having a break is way better than I thought. In the morning you're getting stuff done and working up to lunch, motivated by knowing a breather is coming (not that my work has been unpleasant--it's just, you know, it's work!). And then you come back with only a few hours left (I like to take lunch around 1 PM), and you're relaxed and chillin'. 

          I've been sort of spoiled by working part time, so eight-hour workdays were definitely a whammy for me. It probably sounds really silly to people who are used to working eight hours and more and they're thinking "of course you take lunch, you goof!" but for me it is definitely a lifestyle change and a perspective shift. The last time I had a lunch break was more than ten years ago working at the bookstore, and our breaks there were not only only half an hour but were strictly monitored and you had to rush back onto the floor to cover so someone else could get their break. This is just . . . I think it's what I need.

          I wonder what I'll do on my break today? Hopefully it's dry enough outside for me to chill at the picnic tables again.

          Saturday, March 11, 2017

          Personal Digest Saturday: March 4 – March 10

          Life news this week: 
          • Saturday was my last driving lesson. I drove for twenty-four miles on real roads and my driving instructor said I did great! But we didn't get around to important stuff like backing up and parking and doing U-turns, so I probably need at least one more lesson and definitely more practice before I am ready to take a driving test. After I got home on the bus, I was just processing online stuff and doing some e-mail.
          • Sunday I took it pretty easy for my last day before starting work. I did do some videos though. Mom came over for a few hours, and I talked to my sister on the phone for a while, and I got my stuff packed for work and wrote some e-mail and played online.
          • Monday Mom drove me to work and I had my first day. I got a temporary office space but it turns out I have to work in the main room once they get me a desk. That's okay. I spent my first day helping my new boss with two letters of response for the DOT, which is very familiar work to me, so I was able to help quite a bit with some sort of advanced administrative stuff like submitting associated paperwork for the letters and fact-checking some things. Beyond that and new employee stuff, the day went very fast! But it was also very cold in that room. Had to wear my jacket all day. Mom picked me up after and we were supposed to go to dinner but she didn't feel good so I made macaroni instead and we ate it and she fell asleep on my couch. I watched some cartoons.
          • Tuesday my mom asked to take me to work again so I said okay. I met one of the designers who usually works from home, and he taught me the beginnings of what I'll need to do some labeling stuff on their designs. It's kinda hard for me but I'm getting it. The same guy took me out for lunch at Chili's! After work Mom took me grocery shopping and dropped me off at home. I researched bus stuff so I could take the bus in the next day.
          • Wednesday was Lindsay's birthday--happy birthday sister! Successfully rode the bus in to the office and had computer issues all day long, argh. Did more design stuff, then took the bus back and met Jeaux, where we ate at Flipper's and hung out at my place. We were both sleepy so we took a nap for most of Jeaux Day sadly. After he left I did a drawing for Friday's episode and posted a book review.
          • Thursday was a good day! Bus again, and more design instruction, and I took a lunch break to walk to this cool French place near my work. I had an excellent brunch and the break was super nice to have. I am not used to taking lunches at work and I think I'm going to dig this. When I got back I helped my boss with some resumes and went home. Victor called me and I drew all the frames for Negative One.
          • Friday was also very good. This time I didn't want to go out to lunch because I don't to spend money and eat extravagantly every day, but I did like taking a break so I went out behind the building and found a little picnic table! I ate an apple and a snack mix there and read a book and did some doodles. I'm going to like doing this! At work they finally put a desk for me in the main room but I didn't get to occupy it most of the day because my computer was still messed up so the computer guy came and took it. I worked on design in another person's office for the rest of the day. Then I got a ride home, posted my comic, and went to Jeaux's for new cartoons. "Room for Ruby" was a good episode. And then I got to go home and relax!
            Reading progress:
              New singing performances:

              This week's performance was "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush.

              New drawings: 

              Fan art for "Room for Ruby."

              Webcomic Negative One Issue 0617: "His Kind of Pretty."

              New videos:

              My latest unlisted ukulele video is "Peace and Love" from Steven Universe. (It's a duet and I do both parts.)

              New photos:

              My new workplace has a tiny cone!
              My first foray into labeling plan sheets.
              Some of these plans are REALLY complicated-looking!
              I finally bought all the Animaniacs Funko Pop! figures.
              I have to wear a jacket and gloves because it is cold at work.
              Trying to get used to early mornings at the office.
              Lunch outside! Doing some drawing!
              Jeaux was wearing his Rubies shirt.

              Social Media counts:
              YouTube subscribers: 5,303 for swankivy (8 new), 613 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Twitter followers: 846 for swankivy (no change), 1,323 for JulieSondra (lost 4). Facebook: 292 friends (lost 1, don't know who ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) and 206 followers (no change) for swankivy, 650 likes for JulieSondra (no change), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 127 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,491 (lost 2). Instagram followers: 104 (no change).