Saturday, February 16, 2019

Personal Digest Saturday: February 9 – February 15

Life news this week:
  • Saturday I got a much-needed sleep and cleaned up my house a little. My mom came over and visited for a bit, bringing my belated birthday gift: a record player (with bluetooth capability) to replace the system that hasn't been working. Woohoo! We watched some videos and chatted. In the evening I did some sketching and talked to Meggie on the phone.
  • Sunday I did laundry and finished my sketches. Finally got to post this comic I'd been working on. I also did karaoke and did some editing.
  • Monday I had several letters to work on at the office. After work I played DDR and talked to Jeaux because he was considering applying for a sideways move at the job he works at.
  • Tuesday I sent some stuff at the post office and took a paid ride to work. We had a meeting and lots of technical difficulties. I spent the rest of the day cleaning up some of the detritus from the meeting and then after work I went home and played DDR. Talked to Jeaux again--he applied for the position. I also made a video.
  • Wednesday it was rainy so I had to get a paid ride again. I tried to help my mom with a couple things--she wants to meet with her financial adviser again and I helped, and I investigated some mysterious notices she got about her taxes. After work I drew a picture of Garnet and then I took Jeaux out to eat at Carrabba's because he got the position. I also processed the subtitles on my new video and watched a silly show with Jeaux.
  • Thursday was tiring. I didn't get much done anywhere. Victor and I talked and I drew some of my comic. I did share my cute drawing and my new video online because they were associated with Valentine's Day. Also an interview with me was published--about comics!
  • Friday I had to help with computer troubleshooting at the office and update a bunch of reports. After work I got frustrated because my computer keeps doing this thing where it installs an update that makes me unable to use my Microsoft Word, which I needed to complete my webcomic. This time, the uninstall fix I have used many times to combat this did not work. I had to scramble to install the right fonts on another machine and get it done. Barely made it. It's so annoying that this update has been KNOWN to break Microsoft Office programs for the last five months and they won't fix it--just keep forcing update installs and breaking my computer, and apparently the update is mainly to make a needed change to the Japanese calendar (which I don't use).
  • Victor and I decided to start a YouTube channel together. It's called v & V. We only have one extremely long video about Victor trying to see if this alcohol will get him drunk. But soon we will make better videos when we get around to it. Subscribe to us! We have no subscribers.
Articles, Interviews, Mentions:

My diet progress: 

  • Lost another half pound, which is again not as fast as I wanted. Down to 115.5.

Reading progress:
    New singing performances:

    This week's karaoke song is "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb.

    Stuff Drawn:

    My sweet sketch comic "Spend It" was finished this week. It's about Steven Universe, but you don't need to know anything about the show to enjoy it this time. (It's Amethyst trying to teach Pearl to sleep.) 

    And here is a Garnet Valentine.

    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0718: "Smallest."

    New videos:

    Love & Romance: A video with a message for asexual and aromantic people on Valentine's Day.

    The almost two-hour video on Drinking Experiments that Victor and I made together. He has never been drunk and was trying to change that.

    New photos:

    Cool promo cards I got in advance of the Steven Universe trading card set coming out soon
    The bus ads are pretty creepy these days.
    Two of my three White Diamond pins came in!
    (She's a Steven Universe villain.)
    Social Media Counts:

    YouTube subscribers: 5,234 for swankivy (3 new), 673 for JulieSondra (lost 2). Twitter followers: 960 for swankivy (lost 2), 1,344 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Facebook: 295 friends (no change) and 207 followers (no change) for swankivy, 650 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 62 likes for Negative One (no change), 145 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,516 (no change). Instagram followers: 170 (2 new).

    Saturday, February 9, 2019

    Personal Digest Saturday: February 2 – February 8

    Life news this week:
    • Saturday Victor and I hung out a little more since he had spent the night. We ate our Universal Yums box and decided soon we'll start a YouTube channel together. We watched some silly shows and after he left I did my blogging, made some silly GIFs, and redecorated my house for the late winter season. It looks all snowflakey.
    • Sunday I did laundry and dishes, cleaned my outdoor table but didn't sit out there because it was a wet day, and posted some photos. I did my karaoke and my message answering. And my friend Kari came over and we caught up, ate pizza, and watched cartoons. She gave me a belated birthday gift which was a Mr. Queasy handmade figure! I was so happy. I spent the rest of the night just responding to messages and getting distracted.
    • Monday I didn't go to work because I had a training class! I had coffee at home and took a Lyft downtown to go to this Excel class. The class was okay. A little tiresome but actually my lunch was really good. After the class was over I walked to the nearby art store and spent too much money. :/ Went home and just fell asleep. I woke up during the wee hours and organized some website stuff to update my collections.
    • Tuesday I went to work on no sleep. Had three coffees and a soda. Not much going on at the office! I drew some pictures to sketch out a comic but it's not done. Arthur picked me up and we had Thai food and watched Twin Peaks. After he left I completed the sketches for the comic but didn't finalize it. I slept.
    • Wednesday I did some mail catch-up and worked. Also edited a comic script for a friend and shopped for yummy cookies at the health food store. I went around offering them to the others at work. There was weird drama on the bus that morning. Jeaux picked me up and we ate at Which Wich?, shopped at Winn-Dixie, and watched The Incredibles 2. Fell asleep soon after.
    • Thursday I finished reading a book on the bus and listened to/blogged the Steven Universe podcast. It was a really good one and my post about it got thousands of notes on Tumblr too. After work I talked to Victor on the phone while drawing, like usual.
    • Friday traffic was weird and I waited for the bus forever, so I ended up taking a Lyft to work. Turned out it was probably the Fair's fault. I worked and got a bunch of stuff done. Critiqued someone's quiz for them and did some doodles. I finished posting the comic and spent the evening playing Dance Dance Revolution and working on my sketch comic that still isn't done.
    My diet progress: 

    • Lost another half pound, which is not as fast as I wanted. 116 isn't bad though.

    Reading progress:
    • Finished this week:  Drunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 by Matthew Guerruckey. Five-star review.
    • Currently readingLittle House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
      New singing performances:

      This week's karaoke song is "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" by Kate Bush.

      Stuff Drawn:

      A boredom doodle from during Excel class

      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0717: "Under Control."

      New videos:


      New photos:

      Universal Yums from Germany
      Some photos of my Mr. Queasy gift from Kari:

      My new dance shoes
      A sweaty selfie after DDR

      Social Media Counts:

      YouTube subscribers: 5,231 for swankivy (lost 4), 675 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Twitter followers: 962 for swankivy (1 new), 1,345 for JulieSondra (no change). Facebook: 295 friends (lost 1, don't know who) and 207 followers (lost 1) for swankivy, 649 likes for JulieSondra (lost 3), 62 likes for Negative One (no change), 145 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,516 (no change). Instagram followers: 168 (no change).

      Wednesday, February 6, 2019

      Wednesday Factoid: Surprises

      Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Do you like or dislike surprises?

      Mostly dislike. Occasionally it's fine, like surprising me with something you know I want or a fun gift, or happening to enjoy something I was not expecting to enjoy.

      Usually I prefer that people not attempt to surprise me.

      Partly because they're not that good at it, and partly because I tend to not appreciate having my schedule disrupted.

      I prefer to be able to plan my time, and even if someone "knows" I'm free (as in, that I'll be home), I likely have plans for the time and may have budgeted it so I can do something specific. Or I may not have a specific plan but still don't want the time diverted to something I now have to be polite about and pretend to appreciate. Even if I really like the thing I'm being surprised with, I will usually be irritated by not being given decent notice.

      The worst kind of surprise involves a demand on my time or unnecessary active deception.

      I have had to wrangle surprises before that required me to have company at a different time or for a longer period than I was ready for, and I don't like when someone just shows up and figures I can drop everything and hang out (and of course it is impolite for me to say that I do not want to hang out). Asking about a hangout will involve a much more cheerful, fully present version of me that wants to be with you. A surprised version of me may be genuinely glad to see you but salty about having to give up whatever I had planned or may just not be in a mood for company and is now grumpy that she must now put on a face.

      I remember when I was in high school I asked permission to throw a graduation party and my mom turned me down flat. I was actually startled as hell because I thought of course it would be cool to plan a party for something as big as graduating high school, and I wasn't being told that was a bad day or whatever--I was just full stop told that I was not allowed to have a graduation party. And though I don't remember fully what we said, I do seem to recall my mom saying I would be taken out to dinner to celebrate and "that should be enough."

      I was really upset.

      I called my friend to talk about it and she was silent for a moment, and then she was like "Okay, I have to tell you something." Turned out my mom had already started planning a "surprise" graduation party and my friends all knew. I was going to be taken to a restaurant as a distraction so everyone else could go set up at the house, so we could have the whole big walk-in-the-door/yell-SURPRISE! thing.

      I was relieved after that, because it explained why my mom was acting so weird about it and being so unnecessarily firm, almost making me think I was being selfish or greedy asking to have a party, when really she just didn't want to ruin the surprise.

      But after thinking about it longer, I was angry. I didn't tell anyone, but I was. And I continue to be angry about the principle. For this situation, my mother was willing to deceive me and even respond to my being dismayed and upset by shutting me down very hard, just so the surprise wouldn't be ruined. Is a surprise worth that? Who is this celebration FOR? If I have to feel like my mom doesn't consider my graduation worthy of celebrating for a while before we actually celebrate--if she KNOWS I'm feeling rejected and weird about it--if the preservation of the surprise is way more important than the preservation of my feelings--then how is it worth it to keep me in the dark?

      A better way to handle that would have been to try to talk me out of it and then tell me they had been planning to surprise me. My friend sensed that immediately--knew that if someone didn't tell me, it would cast a dark shadow on what was supposed to be a good day. And because of her, I knew what to expect; I was prepared for it emotionally and physically; I had the opportunity to clean up my room and not look like a giant pig; I knew in the weeks preceding that my mom DID care about the milestone. It could have been such a disaster if nobody had told me. I probably would have been really irritated about the surprise if I had spent those weeks swallowing disappointment and probably being kind of bitter on the day of.

      All things considered, it's just a high school party, but more than twenty years later I still think about this when people ask me if I like to be surprised.  

      Years later, my mom tried to surprise me with a party to celebrate my book release. I had told her I didn't want to socialize on that day and I just wanted to hide, and she was dismayed; "you have to do SOMETHING," she said. I said I preferred not to. When she asked if I was going to be home on that day, I figured something was happening, so I basically conceded and told my mom okay, okay, for these designated hours I will be home and I won't die if you come bring me a cake or something.

      And then two friends and my sister spilled the beans to me that my mom was inviting people to my house and organizing food and gifts. I understood she was just trying to do something nice for me even though it wasn't in line with how I wanted to spend release day, so we reached a decision to limit the time they would spend there and it was honestly just so, so much nicer to not be startled by unexpected stuff and suddenly expected to socialize on a day that was emotional for me.

      (Seriously, whatever an author wants to do on her release day, even if it doesn't make sense to you . . . support her, really.)

      In retrospect I'm glad she made it possible for me to have a memorable mark of the occasion, and buying into it being a surprise meant I didn't have to worry about any of the planning (score!!), but I doubt I would have felt the same way if I had been honestly surprised.

      Saturday, February 2, 2019

      Personal Digest Saturday: January 26 – February 1

      Life news this week:
      • Saturday I cleaned up some junk lying around and then went out with Dad and Connie for a belated birthday lunch! They took me to Which Wich? and we all had tasty, healthy food. We got to catch up a bit and hang out, and I showed them my animatronic Yoda, and then after they left I got my blogging done and updating some Internet stuff, plus some slacking off.
      • Sunday it rained all day so I couldn't go do my outside table stuff. I got a lot of stuff done; I wrote and recorded a video, updated a bunch of subtitles that were displaying incorrectly on my videos, and drew a new issue of my writing comic. Did some laundry and website updates too.
      • Monday I had to handle some small business certification stuff at work. I also communicated with my agent about future book stuff, though I don't know if she'll be interested in repping the books I have lying around. At home I played DDR, took a shower, and tuckered out.
      • Tuesday I did more conversation with my agent and some answers to YouTube comments. And work involved more small business research. My friend Arthur picked me up and we ate Thai food and watched Twin Peaks. I did some reading for one of my old manuscripts and draw a picture of characters hugging.
      • Wednesday I had a slow day at work, did some reading for the book I'll send my agent, and went to dinner with Jeaux at Applebee's. We shopped at Target and hung out at my house after. I went to sleep and woke up early to blog a podcast.
      • Thursday after I did the podcast blogging I slept a little before going to work. Another sort of slow day there. Also helped my mom with getting some paperwork signed, hooray. When I got home I played DDR again and yet again it wiped me out and I fell asleep early, though I did get my art done for the webcomic.
      • Friday was uneventful again at the office, though we had someone interview so that is cool. After work I hung out with Victor and we made a dish from an episode of Steven Universe which is referred to as "the finest steak and brie." (He made the steak, I made the potatoes and prepared the brie.) We had a good time! We ate our stuff, watched cartoons, and chatted until I got too tired.
      New reviews of my book:

      My diet progress: 

      • Down a whole half a pound. I'm weighing in at 116.5 these days.

      Reading progress:
      • Finished this week:  I was mostly focusing on reading my own stuff this week so I didn't spend much time on my in-progress book.
      • Currently readingDrunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 by Matthew Guerruckey.
        New singing performances:

        This week's karaoke song is "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler.

        Stuff Drawn:

        Pearl and Garnet after the war is finally over

        Webcomic So You Write Issue 92: "Minor Mistakes."

        Webcomic Negative One Issue 0716: "Underestimating Me."

        New videos:

        Letters to an Asexual #56 is about people who think asexuality or asexuality activism must be my entire life if it's most of what I talk about on . . . my YouTube channel dedicated to asexuality . . . where I upload one video a month . . . yeah that's it. . . .

        New photos:

        Pretty nice sock collection, eh?
        New hair bows: I have bows inspired by Garnet, Amethyst,
        Pearl, Steven, and Cookie Cat! (I can't find the Rose Quartz one.)
        Our "finest steak and brie" experiment
        Victor and me with our food! :D

        Social Media Counts:

        YouTube subscribers: 5,235 for swankivy (lost 5), 676 for JulieSondra (2 new). Twitter followers: 961 for swankivy (2 new), 1,345 for JulieSondra (1 new). Facebook: 296 friends (no change) and 208 followers (no change) for swankivy, 652 likes for JulieSondra (no change), 62 likes for Negative One (no change), 145 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,516 (no change). Instagram followers: 168 (no change).

        Wednesday, January 30, 2019

        Wednesday Factoid: Opening Night

        Today's Wednesday Factoid is: When a movie you want to see is released, do you scramble to the theater on opening night, or do you wait for it to be released for home viewing, or something in between?

        Ugh. This applies to so few things that I don't really know how to answer. In practice almost all the time, there just ARE no movies that come out that I MUST SEE ON OPENING NIGHT, and in general I will refuse to enter a theater on a movie's opening night because it's unlikely I'll even have a good experience watching it if it's full of enthusiastic viewers.

        But the thing is? The only reason I am responding this way is that I can't imagine being in a situation where I Must See It Now. If there WAS something I was super into and I didn't want to get spoiled and wanted to be able to talk about it immediately with other fans, I think I would brave the crowds. It just so happens that the main thing I'm into with that level of enthusiasm does not HAVE theater releases, and if I try to imagine that it did, I have to admit I'd be there.

        In general, if there's a movie I really want to see, I MIGHT go ahead and see it in the theater but it's rare. If I see two movies in the theater every year, that's a lot. And most of the time movies are someone else's idea, so I'll end up seeing them when someone comes over and logs into their Netflix account to show me something I never got around to seeing. 

        I also like to buy things I enjoyed on DVD though. :)

        Saturday, January 26, 2019

        Personal Digest Saturday: January 19 – January 25

        Life news this week:
        • Saturday was Meggie's birthday. We had plans to go out to a flea market with Victor but we didn't feel like going anywhere because in the morning Meg got a text saying our friend Steve, who we knew for more than 20 years, had died from a heart attack. We still saw Victor and opened gifts and tried to make the best of it--but we ate a bunch of stuff we "shouldn't have" and were really sad and tired. I got an animatronic Yoda as my gift from Victor. We listened to podcasts and hung out playing games and drawing that night after Victor went home.
        • Sunday was another pretty sad day and we tried to distract ourselves. We went shopping at the mall and bought a bunch of crap, including me getting some shiny, light-up shoes at 70% off! We also ate at BJ's and I got cool new lights for outside my house. My mom said she would stop by to see us but canceled, so we went out to eat Japanese food that night and came home and watched the Mister Rogers documentary.
        • Monday we went out briefly to get some goodies at a bakery, but mostly just stayed home and hung out until it was time to go to Jeaux's house for THE SEASON FIVE FINALE OF STEVEN UNIVERSE, which was an unprecedented 44-minute special. We brought some food and ate together, and then got our faces blown off by the cartoon. We watched it two and a half times in the same night. We basically spent the rest of the night talking about it.
        • Tuesday was my last day of vacation. Meghan and I hung out a bit in the morning but she left pretty early. I got some stuff updated after she left and did a little cleaning up and laundry. My friend Arthur came over in the evening and we watched Twin Peaks and also HE wanted to rewatch the finale of Steven Universe even though he had already seen it. It was great. After he left I stayed up until a comic came out and read it before I went to sleep.
        • Wednesday I had to go back to work. Boo! But I caught up on all my missing work and things were good. What was bad was the infestation of gigantic flies in the office--hundreds of HUGE flies everywhere! They were clustered up in the lights. I reported it to the building manager. Then after work I went to a mall with Jeaux, where he gave me a birthday present (a cake pan!) and bought me dinner. Then we went grocery shopping and home. We didn't get to watch anything because I was sleepy. I took a nap.
        • Thursday I woke up from my nap in the middle of the night and listened to a Steven Universe podcast about the recent finale. My power went out a few times while I was trying to document the podcast for Tumblr! (I always do this for the podcasts. Both to have a version that can be searched and for people who can't or won't listen to the podcasts.) Then I went to work very sleepy and fell asleep a couple times in my chair, whoops! The flies were still there and my co-worker was spraying Raid which gave me a headache. I went home and slept until Victor called me and then I drew comics.
        • Friday work was uneventful and when I went home I got a bunch of my comic done. My mom came over and brought me a bunch of food my sister had left there, and I gave her some clothes my co-worker had given me. We hung out and enjoyed each other's company. Then she left and I finished my comic.
        My diet progress: 

        • It was an unusual week with a vacation, a surprise death, and birthday goodies, so I didn't lose (or, happily, gain) any weight.

        Reading progress:
        • Finished this week:  I have been on vacation and didn't take the bus at all, so I didn't finish the book I was reading, BUT I did finish a Steven Universe comic! I gave Ongoing Comic #24 a five-star review.
        • Currently readingDrunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 by Matthew Guerruckey.
          New singing performances:

          This week's karaoke song is "Oh Father" by Madonna.

          Stuff Drawn:

          Promo art for the SU Season 5 finale, "Change Your Mind."
          Doodle of Garnet when she was brand new, with Rose and Pearl.

          Webcomic Negative One Issue 0715: "On Our Guard."

          New videos:

          No new videos.

          New photos:

          Universal Yums "Everywhere" snack pack, with snacks
          from various countries. Victor, Meghan, and I ate these.
          New shoes require a charger!
          Jeaux, me, and Meghan about to be murdered by a cartoon

          Social Media Counts:

          YouTube subscribers: 5,240 for swankivy (2 new), 674 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Twitter followers: 959 for swankivy (lost 4), 1,344 for JulieSondra (1 new). Facebook: 296 friends (1 new, new friend Lily!) and 208 followers (1 new) for swankivy, 652 likes for JulieSondra (no change), 62 likes for Negative One (no change), 145 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,516 (no change). Instagram followers: 168 (1 new).

          Sunday, January 20, 2019

          Personal Digest Saturday (but posted on Sunday!): January 12 – January 18

          Life news this week:
          • Saturday I did a little house cleaning but that tapered off into procrastination. I argued with someone about trivia quizzes and played with drawings a little before getting my blogging done.
          • Sunday I sat outside at my patio table and did my laundry. I decided to finally make Durian Juice based on the Steven Universe juice boxes, but durian is pretty smelly, so I did it outside. It was an adventure. Talked to my sister on the phone for a while during the aftermath of that, and also sent e-mail to people, did a bunch of drawings, and talked to Victor on the phone.
          • Monday I went back to work for a day. We had two letters of response to deal with but we got them both in in time. I set up everything for me being gone for a week, and then when I got home I did some art and played DDR. Fell asleep after my shower.
          • Tuesday was my first day of vacation. I finished some cleaning/preparation and then just drew pictures until Meghan arrived. We chatted while I did some inking, and then we went out to get food, came back, and she watched me color. I finished my drawings, which were fun representations of what Funko Pops might look like of some Steven Universe characters I wish existed as figures.
          • Wednesday I had a nice leisurely breakfast and coffee with Meg and eventually dragged my butt into packing for our trip. We got into Orlando in the afternoon, got some lunch in a restaurant, and checked out the Orange County Regional History Center where we saw some great Florida history. Then we headed to our hotel, got settled, and went back out to shop at Downtown Disney. We got pretty tired by the time we left. We went back to the hotel and crashed.
          • Thursday I turned 41! We got up early and went to EPCOT center after having breakfast in the hotel. We had a blast eating the special food, exploring Future World and World Showcase, shopping, riding rides, relaxing, seeing cute mini-movies, and enjoying each other's company. When we got back, we decompressed, listened to a Steven Universe podcast, and slept.
          • Friday Meg and I had hotel breakfast again, headed out of town and hit an outlet mall before getting back to Tampa, and had a visit from the pest control serviceman. I finished my webcomic and posted it online, and then we went to Drink and Draw. We chatted with the others and enjoyed the food there (I had my usual VLT). Great night!
          My diet progress: 

          • Went down one pound, so my last weigh-in was 117. Woohoo.

          Reading progress:
          • Finished this week:  Been on vacation all week and didn't make time for reading!
          • Currently readingDrunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 by Matthew Guerruckey.
            New singing performances:

            This week's karaoke song is "River of Dreams" by Billy Joel.

            Stuff Drawn:

            I did a series of Funko Pop designs for the characters I wish existed as figures:

            BismuthGregEarly GarnetRuby and SapphireJasper
            The DiamondsThe PearlsLarsRhodoniteThe Rutile Twins
            Sour CreamOpalSugiliteSardonyxRainbow Quartz
            AlexandriteSmoky Quartz

            Webcomic Negative One Issue 0714: "Hard to Hear."

            New videos:

            No new videos.

            New photos:

            My Durian juice
            Attempting to drink Durian juice
            In a spaceship! At the Orange County Regional History Center.
            Teacup girls at Downtown Disney
            Meg's tasty cookie
            Birthday Girl Buttons!
            Below the ball

            Social Media Counts:

            YouTube subscribers: 5,238 for swankivy (2 new), 675 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Twitter followers: 963 for swankivy (lost 3), 1,343 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Facebook: 296 friends (1 new, new friend Lily!) and 207 followers (lost 1) for swankivy, 652 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 62 likes for Negative One (no change), 145 likes for So You Write (lost 1). Tumblr followers: 2,516 (1 new). Instagram followers: 167 (1 new).