Saturday, August 18, 2018

Personal Digest Saturday: August 11 – August 17

Life news this week:
  • Saturday I spent a bunch of time on the phone! I hadn't talked to my sister P since before she went to Japan, so we had a nice catch-up talk. Then I went shopping with Jeaux because I unwisely did not shop last week, and went with him to his haircut. Then I took a nap, got up, and talked to Victor about our upcoming adventure with his family visiting. I cleaned my living room's entertainment center and made great progress!
  • Sunday was another Day of Productivity. I had coffee outside with my e-mail, but it looked like it was going to rain so I brought it inside early. Did karaoke and cleaned the bookshelves in my living room. Then I moved all the furniture, rolled up the carpets, cleaned the floors, vacuumed, and steam cleaned the carpets! And then finally I got to take a shower and start laundry. I also slept on the floor for a while.
  • Monday had to do some paperwork, and we sent out a letter of response at work and did a bunch of printing. My co-worker drove me home and it was pouring. I got my last Mystery Mini plush so I have a complete collection for now, hooray! Then I cleaned a bunch of stuff up and finished my laundry. Man I love my house!
  • Tuesday I had a busy day at the office because I was taking the next day off to go out with Victor's family. Had to do a bunch of coordination with utilities again and talked to my sister briefly. Sent my package of info to District 6 for a project we're shortlisted on (yay) and met up with my friend Arthur. He took me to a Thai restaurant and we ate the food and watched a few cartoons. After he left I talked to Meggie on the phone--she's having a tough time. I cleaned the entranceway of my house. I think I'm stress cleaning.
  • Wednesday I had off work to go to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS WITH VICTOR'S FAMILY! Yay! They picked me up in the morning and I got to meet his sister Alaina, his brother Ross, Ross's girlfriend Jahira, and his nephews Sumir and Amari. The younger folks fell asleep in the back of the minivan on the way there, haha. We did some rides, ate food in the Harry Potter land, and had a tiring and hot but fun time! I had a good time playing with Amari--I get along great with little kids. We also went to the wand store to get Amari a magic wand, but you have to go to a demonstration and the actor picked me out of the crowd to demonstrate wands, so that was fun. We got home really late, like 11 PM, and I was able to just take a shower and fall into bed.
  • Thursday was back to work. And it was busy because I missed a day. I was running around all day doing stuff and then Jeaux picked me up because we moved Jeaux Day to Thursday this week. We went to University Mall because we heard Hot Topic had a Steven Universe toy I hadn't gotten yet, and they had it! So we each bought one! (It was a life-size Pumpkin.) We ate at Five Guys and did grocery shopping too, and then at my place we listened to Night Vale and watched Wrecked and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I worked hard to get Negative One drawn early because of potential plans with Victor's family Friday night, but I didn't completely finish.
  • Friday I worked and it was another busy day. Wow. At least I got a ride home! Jeaux and I got invited to Victor's family's vacation house for dinner, so I quickly finished my comics, cooked some biscuits, and went over there with Jeaux. We had a pretty good time and watched a really ridiculous movie calledFather of the Year. It was so nice to finally meet Victor's MOM! Then Jeaux took me home and I collapsed. Really exhausting and stressful week.
Reading progress:
    New singing performances:

    This week's song was "All of Me" by John Legend.

    Stuff Drawn:

    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0692: "Sister Species."

    New videos:


    New photos:

    On the way to Universal Studios with Victor's family, his nephews
    and his sister fell asleep in the back seat, all three of them.
    Amari played a video game at Universal Studios' arcade.
    We met a fish lady at Universal Studios.
    Posing with the fish lady and a car.
    Victor's nephew Amari is playing with a penguin at Universal Studios.
    It was pretty hot out.
    Hanging out at the fountain with Victor.
    Simpsons stuff at Universal Studios--hanging out with Chief Wiggum.
    Victor's in Springfield.
    Victor and his nephew Amari with me and some Duff ads at Universal Studios.
    Horsing around on the railings with Amari,
    in line for rides at Universal Studios.
    Alaina, Victor, and I are criminals about to get
    arrested in Springfield at Universal Studios.
    Alaina, Jahira, and I are criminals about to get
    arrested in Springfield at Universal Studios.
    My heart glasses are cute.
    Me with Victor's family at the Harry Potter Gringott's ride.
    I'm at Platform 9 and three-quarters.
    Look, it's the Hogwarts Express.
    Victor and my selfie at Universal Studios.
    Victor looks afraid that he's about to
    wipe out on that motorcycle.
    Victor and his nephew Amari with a motorcycle at Universal Studios.
    Jeaux and I got SuperCute Plushies Pumpkins.

    Social Media Counts:

    YouTube subscribers: 5,269 for swankivy (lost 4), 677 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Twitter followers: 960 for swankivy (lost 14), 1,321 for JulieSondra (lost 4). Facebook: 294 friends (lost 1) and 205 followers (1 new) for swankivy, 651 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 59 likes for Negative One (2 new), 140 likes for So You Write (1 new). Tumblr followers: 2,517 (lost 3). Instagram followers: 151 (1 new).

    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    Wednesday Factoid: Early Signs

    Today's Wednesday Factoid is: When you were a child, were there any early signs that you would grow up to do what you do for a living?

    I definitely thought I was going to be a writer at a very early age--and the early signs of that were that I was always making my own books from stapled-together notebook paper. Like, before I even started kindergarten.

    But I don't exactly write for a living; I do it professionally, but it's not currently where most of my money comes from, so I guess I should examine that too. I work as an administrative support person for a transportation engineering consultant. The transportation engineering aspect isn't very important to the specifics of MY job so I'll focus on what I actually do: I organize, I edit, and I keep track of stuff.

    I always liked developing systems and orders to things, whether it was to take my parents' penny collection and sort them by year or whether it had to do with methodically recording my various favorite things in alphabetical order on lists and getting irritated every time I had to copy it over so I could keep the order straight. I was usually the person who remembered dates or specifics about people, so I guess it makes sense that I grew up to organize other people's stuff for them!

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    Money for most people

    I just read through a thread on Tumblr where users were explaining to people in their late twenties that you need to build credit or else you have no credit, which is treated almost exactly like bad credit by financial institutions.

    And there were arguments in the comments where people were swearing it was not true, that credit cards are evil and you shouldn't owe any money to anyone at any time if you can help it, that "get and use a credit card and use it to build credit" must be advice designed as part of a capitalist trap. Several people who know how credit works had to come in and tell these people who'd nearly reached thirty without knowing this, explaining that having an established record of borrowing and paying back small amounts of money increases financial institutions' faith that you're trustworthy to pay back larger sums of money--a.k.a. CREDIT. 

    And so many people were baffled that this is how it works.

    I was taught this stuff well before I was a legal adult. Know why?

    I'm a banker's daughter. My mom got a joint credit card with me when I turned 18 and I've been building credit since.

    I've never taken out a major loan--have never bought a house or a car. The most I've ever done is charge to a credit card that I got many years after my joint one with my mom. I have very good credit. Good enough that I'm instantly approved as a renter. Good enough that when my friend who wasn't bottle-fed with this information couldn't get a loan for a car because he had no credit, I was able to co-sign and get the car loan with him. (Legally, I think it's my car, but I've never paid anything on it; he pays it. Obviously this is something you only do with someone you really trust.)

    I wouldn't say I know a lot about financial management or budgets or whatever. But sometimes I'm shocked by how much I know in comparison to others. I've known for a long time that it's smart to have a 401(k) through your workplace and that it's basically throwing money away if you don't allocate at least the percentage that your workplace matches (if they do that). When I left my previous job, I rolled the 401(k) I had there into an IRA, and I understand what that is. Someone else manages it for me in exchange for a percentage. I own some stock. I have a smallish savings account that I try to forget about.  

    Part of the reason I know about these things is that I came from a family who used these options and opportunities. And what really cheeses me off is how many people in my situation treat these things like they're common knowledge.

    They're actually not common knowledge. We think they are because we mostly associate with people like ourselves who have the resources we have and know the things we know and value the things we value. But the people who don't know about these things aren't lazy, or willfully ignorant. A lot of times they don't know these things because a) the ideas aren't actively "marketed" to them because of their socioeconomic status; and b) the information is irrelevant if you don't HAVE any money.

    Just put some away in savings, they say. Just skim a little out of your paycheck to go to this retirement account that you won't see for decades. Just buy stock, just invest, just do money stuff with your money.

    They literally do not understand what it's like to go through life without anything like that luxury. Where you're waiting for your next paycheck so you can eat. Where you save money for a while before you can get shoes. Where small emergencies like home repairs or minor medical bills can send your budget into a tailspin of missed payments and skipped necessities. 

    Money for most people isn't a game or a puzzle you can move around to get the best deal. It's life and death, and that's how they treat it--as something you never have enough of, and can only use toward immediate goals within your current means. 

    That's why they don't know you have to "build" credit. That's why they don't know what you're talking about if you tell them they're sleeping on good opportunities if they don't allocate a good percentage to their 401(k) to take advantage of price matching. 

    I know so little but compared to most people I appear to know so much. 

    People who know these things make the rules and then everyone else gets screwed by them.

    Saturday, August 11, 2018

    Personal Digest Saturday: August 4 – August 10

    Life news this week:
    • Saturday I had trouble getting motivated! I spent a bunch of time trying to find some toys I really wanted, but nobody had them. I made some deep-fried pizza and pizza bits, but beyond that and blogging I really got nothing done.
    • Sunday was much more productive. I took care of my weekly outside-sitting session Sunday morning, answered my e-mail, and got the porch swept. Then I did dishes, talked to Meg on the phone, did karaoke, made banana bread, and drew a picture of Amethyst for an online friend. I made some pin ribbons in my office (took a ribbon and attached cute buttons to them, and hung them up so people can see the buttons), redecorated the whole house for first harvest, and did laundry.
    • Monday I mailed packages of toys to friends, worked all day on letters of response to the DOT, and got a ride home with a co-worker. Then I spent the evening cleaning my living room! It was fun, which is weird. I was doing a super thorough cleaning, like taking every book off the shelf and pulling shelves out from the wall to clean behind them. I fell asleep early.
    • Tuesday I got up early and went to work because I had a huge transcript to do and I couldn't understand the project manager's speech very well. Then I finished it and it turned out I had transcribed the wrong interview. I checked with my boss and he still wanted me to do the right one (of course) so I had to do that one too. At least that PM was easier to understand, but it still took 3 hours. So basically I typed for 7 hours straight and came up with over 30 single-spaced pages. Ouch. After work I walked to the grocery store, bought some cheese, and went home to make mozzarella sticks. Yum! I talked to Meg on the phone again and did more cleaning. Jeaux found the toys I'd been looking for at GameStop and he bought them for me! Woo! I steam cleaned my furniture.
    • Wednesday I was at work alone for a while. Paid some bills and got some stuff done. Jeaux picked me up after work and we ate at Perkins. We decided not to grocery shop. Ended up watching Wrecked and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, listened to Night Vale, and talked. We also ate the leftovers of my mozzarella sticks and I fell asleep early again.
    • Thursday I was at work early again. I played with forms and updated an Access database. Also, I found a new Rock Potato and have dubbed it Long Potato. Mom came over because she wanted some copy of an old towing receipt. I had it. We hung out for a while and she liked my toys! :D After she left I talked to Victor and drew comics.
    • Friday I beat everyone to work AGAIN. I had to work on utilities again and had to help a co-worker find a rental car. Then at home I finished my webcomic and transcribed a podcast interview. Fell asleep pretty late.

    New reviews of my book:

    Interviews, Articles, Mentions:

    Reading progress:
    • Finished this week: I'm on basically the last chapter of the book I'm reading, but since I didn't finish and review it, I can't put it here.
    • Currently readingNative Tongue by Carl Hiaasen.
      New singing performances:

      This week's song was "Icicle" by Tori Amos.

      Stuff Drawn:

      Amethyst on an index card:
      mailed out to an online friend.

      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0691: "It Happened."

      New videos:


      New photos:

      No, YOU'RE eating deep-fried pizza.
      Meet Long Potato!
      SuperCute Plushies collection is growing!
      My homemade mozzarella sticks!

      Social Media Counts:

      YouTube subscribers: 5,273 for swankivy (2 new), 678 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 974 for swankivy (1 new), 1,325 for JulieSondra (no change). Facebook: 295 friends (no change) and 204 followers (no change) for swankivy, 650 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 57 likes for Negative One (no change), 139 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,520 (lost 5). Instagram followers: 150 (3 new).

      Wednesday, August 8, 2018

      Wednesday Factoid: Secret Identity

      Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Have you ever done anything under a secret identity?

      It's really hard to say what counts here.

      When I first started accessing the Internet, it was the late 1990s and everyone was afraid of Cyber People. Users were encouraged to be secretive about their real names and only give their photographs to trusted people (by e-mail--graphics on websites had to be small or they would never load). Usually, we picked a name and that was who we were to everyone.

      That name could be anyone.

      I never cooked up a ruse and actively pretended to be someone I was not, but I didn't regularly use my legal name online until my writing career happened. Before that, I mostly used a screenname developed out of a title I created when I was 15, and an associated nickname became the name I actually used in person with people I later met from online.  

      Me with some online friends and our screennames airbrushed on our shirts
      I never used my relative anonymity to do anything bad or sneaky or even anything that was harmless but not true. I never lied about myself, never misled anyone or tried to get them to do things for me based on untruths, and was generally pretty forthcoming about who I was when asked. 

      When I was in charge of some chat rooms on America Online (an opportunity offered to members in good standing who wanted to get their service for free and were willing to volunteer time), I used to have to use a separate hosting name which was not traceable to my main screenname. In that sense, I did have to play a role, be a grownup, and not talk about myself with full disclosure. But that's a pretty typical course of action when you're in charge of kids. You can't get too personal with them when you're in an authority position. 

      Years down the line, as in, uh, now, I have done something new online that I haven't really done before. I made a blog on Tumblr--in addition to the blog I already had on Tumblr which is under my long-established pseudonym--and I use it for my fun fandom stuff for cartoons. What's different about it is I don't use my name, I don't disclose much about my identity besides very vague statements of my age, gender, pronouns, and background, and I almost never talk about myself on it. I don't leave any links to my other social media presences and I don't connect them together. 

      It would be easy for anyone to link them together if they were LOOKING to, since I do post the same art and the same essays in multiple places, but I am not actively trying to avoid "discovery." I just wanted to have a place where nobody really had any expectations of what my content would be like, and to both be honest and sound weird, I wanted to start something where I wouldn't be riding my own coattails; I wanted people to follow me there because they liked what I was making, not because they knew me somewhere else. That way I would know my content was being appreciated for what it was, not because of who I am.

      (A lot of who an artist is leaks into what they make, of course, and it reflects on them, but that's another story.)

      That's about the closest I've ever had to a secret identity, though, and it's not much of a secret. :P

      Tuesday, August 7, 2018

      Cleaning house

      The house I'm renting is extremely big.

      It's way bigger than what I need, which is a sentence I didn't think I'd ever say.

      First off, since it has a garage, some of the stuff I want to keep but don't need to have inside is storable in there. The washer and dryer hookups are also in the garage so I don't really have a choice to have those machines take up space in the house.

      I've begun a project to finally Clean My House. It's an ambitious project because a) house is big, as mentioned; and b) I haven't really cleaned it since I moved in last September.

      Here's the thing. I'm extremely tidy.

      I also don't have kids or pets.

      So my house basically gets three kinds of dirty:

      1. Dust
      2. Hairballs (from me, shedding, because I have long hair)
      3. After a party

      I don't have that many parties and when I do have them I clean up straight away so there's not like, this lingering party grossness.

      I figured at least the dust and hairballs, and assorted potential spider webs and dead bugs that inevitably appear behind and under furniture, would have manifested themselves at this point and I'd be running into them. But despite having gotten through three fourths of cleaning my living room yesterday (it's a big room, I burned out), I ran into ONE very small dead bug and ZERO spider webs.

      And I mean. I'm pulling furniture away from the wall and sweeping the baseboards. I'm cleaning the blinds. I'm taking all the books and doodads off shelves and dusting everything. I steam-cleaned my freakin' chair. How the heck isn't it dirty really? 

      Tonight I'm planning to do the final wall (which is where there are a ton of books and media to sort out), but I'll also probably get around to the sweeping and vacuuming. Hopefully. I'm hoping I can steam clean some other stuff too. (I own a couple different kinds of steam cleaners. One is so cute and little! You can use it to do all kinds of neat stuff, but it's made for small upholstery and steaming random stuff. It's really not for carpets.)

      After the living room, I am planning to hit the kitchen. I am expecting there will be some appreciable grossness there, right? RIGHT??

      If not, I swear maybe I am being followed by fairies.

      Saturday, August 4, 2018

      Personal Digest Saturday: July 28 – August 3

      Life news this week:
      • Saturday I processed my photos from Metrocon finally and did the subtitles for my new video. Pretty time-consuming. I also talked to Victor on the phone because we were both opening boxes of new toys and we're into that. I got all the plushies from San Diego Comic Con and they're great!
      • Sunday I had a weird sleepy day. I did my outside sitting and got through laundry, karaoke, and showering periodically throughout the day between naps. I ate a lot of crap and watched YouTube, and drew a picture of Garnet that I like.
      • Monday I took care of some dangling ends at work regarding utilities and documents other firms needed from us. After work I grocery shopped and made a monstrosity at home: an "everything pizza" based on a cartoon. I had to make a fish out of bread.
      • Tuesday I somehow got lost on the bus despite it being the same bus I always take. Rode it too far haha. Got to work and ate pieces of my everything pizza for lunch. Met up with Arthur and let him eat my everything pizza too. We watched cartoons and got from episode 70 to episode 78. Then he went home and I finished my webcomic.
      • Wednesday I got up early to read comics before work. Then at work I did applications for minority business status for our new Tallahassee office. Whoo! Ate everything pizza for lunch again. I was too full for food with Jeaux so we ate at a place where he got a burrito and I got chips. Then we went grocery shopping and watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
      • Thursday I worked and just put out small fires. Then at home Victor called me and I finished my webcomic, put together a new set of shelves, and rearranged some toys.
      • Friday was busy! I edited a paper and sent reports out, and then I was supposed to meet up with a new friend for coffee but he canceled so I went to the mall anyway and went shopping for stuff I never found. I brought home some french fries and made a french fry pizza.

      New reviews of my book:

      Interviews, Articles, Mentions:

      Reading progress:
      • Finished this week: I didn't finish any books, but I did give a four-star review to Steven Universe Harmony #1, the first of the five-issue miniseries that just started.
      • Currently readingNative Tongue by Carl Hiaasen.
        New singing performances:

        This week's song was "Around the World" by ATC.

        Stuff Drawn:

        My super adorable chillin' Garnet

        My doodles of the Steven Universe figural keychains, which are weird looking

        Webcomic So You Write Issue 86: "No Guarantees."

        Webcomic Negative One Issue 0690: "No Guarantees."

        New videos:


        New photos:

        My new SDCC buttons
        My collection of SDCC plushies
        Me wearing my new shirt that says "Have You Seen This Ruby?"
        My complete collection of Figural Keychains
        My "everything pizza"
        Eating the everything pizza with a spoon
        My figure collection with the figural keychains added
        My new Supercute Plushies
        My toy hutch is getting crowded now

        Social Media Counts:

        YouTube subscribers: 5,271 for swankivy (lost 15), 678 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 973 for swankivy (5 new), 1,325 for JulieSondra (no change). Facebook: 295 friends (no change) and 204 followers (lost 2) for swankivy, 649 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 57 likes for Negative One (no change), 139 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,525 (1 new). Instagram followers: 147 (no change).

        Wednesday, August 1, 2018

        Wednesday Factoid: Kid Collections

        Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Did you collect anything unusual as a kid?

        Yeah, I'm sure I did!

        One pretty old memory I have is various attempts to collect money. I didn't want it for spending purposes; I liked the different designs and wanted to own examples. I made a wallet out of paper that had a bunch of different compartments and went around asking relatives if they could give me a 50 or 100 dollar bill so I could complete my wallet. (They weren't willing to play that game.) I also attempted to collect a penny dated every year since I was born, and taped them onto a piece of paper with placeholders for the ones I hadn't found yet. My parents had a huge glass jar full of pennies and I once went through it comprehensively trying to find the dates I was missing.

        I collected Pocket Popples. But there were only 10 of them and I managed to get them all, so that isn't a very good story.

        I collected bottlecaps for a while because Bert on Sesame Street did and I thought that was cool. But I never really did anything with them.

        I collected Baby-Sitters' Club books when I was in middle school. I read them all up to a certain point but I was more into having the collection than the stories in them.

        And I collected four-leaf clovers. I used to find them all the time! I was taught how to press them in a book (between sheets of plastic so they wouldn't damage the book) and I kept them in a big heavy Black Beauty hardcover. 

        Monday, July 30, 2018

        I wish you would

        It's weird how adamant people are sometimes about making someone else try their favorite food.

        You've seen this. Even if the person historically doesn't like the thing, doesn't like something IN the thing, or is otherwise resistant to eating the thing, some people won't let up. They're sure that you just don't like it because you've never tried it the way their brother cooks it, or they had it in a different country but not here, or they surely like something in the ballpark but maybe not that particular variety.

        And then they won't. Stop. Pestering. Sometimes even to the extent that if possible, they will attempt to trick or pressure the person into eating the food.

        Of course, this extends beyond food. People do this with their favorite books and movies, their favorite activities, introducing each other to their favorite people--humans are social and that's how it works. But instead of respecting each other when invitations to participate in someone's favorite thing are not received positively, it's very common to wheedle, beg, harass, pressure, and propose.

        I get it, on one level. You enjoy the thing. You want the people you like to enjoy the thing too. It baffles you that they do not like the thing or have reasons for not wanting to experience the thing. So you default to assuming their reasons for not wanting to participate are not very important in the face of how good enjoying the thing is.

        But the big issue with insisting and being persistent on an issue like this is that you're ignoring the damage you can do with your refusal to respect "no." 

        If someone proposes something and the other person says no, the person who won't take "no" for an answer is either assuming the "no" isn't firm or assuming the "no" isn't reasonable. Either way, that person has decided that the pleasure that COULD potentially arise from experiencing the thing is worth risking any negative fallout. And because that person may not be listening or taking the other person seriously, it's easy to be insensitive or even cruel about downplaying that person's objections. 

        I've had this happen on occasion. An example: A couple years ago, someone I know began describing a television show they enjoyed--a documentary series from another country in which viewers can actually watch patients get surgery. This is very, very far from my interests and I'm also sensitive to looking at images of blood and guts. When this person asked me to watch this program with them I declined, and then they began harassing me about it almost immediately--claiming the images were not or should not be unsettling to anyone, accusing me of having a complex, eventually telling me I needed therapy to "get over" this ISSUE I clearly have with looking at cut-open bodies because it's a normal thing to enjoy, and even accusing me of having a problem so pathological that I probably can't even get blood drawn for health reasons at the doctor. (This is not true. I have never declined medical treatment or testing due to my own aversion to blood and guts. I just don't look at the needles.) I was also told I was selfish for not trying to desensitize myself to such images because they wanted to watch the show with me. (They, of course, were not selfish for expecting this of me. My feelings are unreasonable; theirs are not.)

        This is a common path for arguments like this. I left this conversation rattled that someone I otherwise had a good relationship would use such underhanded techniques to push me into watching a television show, of all things. I've seen other conversations that involved openness to entertainment, food, or experiences go the same way--the invited person is expected to stop having the sensitivities, tastes, desires, or preferences that are inconvenient for the proposer, and the invited person is portrayed as unreasonable, selfish, or pigheaded if they will not be "open-minded" to something they may actually have very strong feelings about. Those strong feelings, including aversions, moral obligations, and even allergies, are sometimes disrespected by people who just plain don't believe other people's convictions or feelings are as important as their own.

        Before you project your wishes onto someone else and try to make them feel obligated to accept your expectations, you should think about the trade-off. If pressuring your friend or loved one results in their acquiescence, and they do indeed realize they enjoyed what you suggested, that's . . . a best-case scenario, I guess. And I won't deny that sometimes people who are resistant to an idea because it's unfamiliar can be led to enjoy a new experience because someone they loved encouraged them. 

        But? Usually if you ignore what someone says about their willingness to try something (or even ignore that they've had the experience needed to say why they don't want to engage this content or experience), you're doing it at the risk of making your loved one feel harassed, pressured, cornered, maybe even unsafe, and most likely disrespected.

        It really depends on your relationship with the person and also the other person's stability; some people will react to "come on, try it" with "okay, okay, FINE" and it won't be a big deal. But especially if there's a power differential (e.g., you are the person's parent, boss, or superior in some way), insisting that the other person defer to you is also potentially abusive, and it can be so even if you're not in one of those roles if the other person is vulnerable in some way. I'm not a particularly vulnerable person, but I was blown away by how awful it was to have someone take my refusal to watch actual footage of surgery on television and turn it into aggressive conversation about how I am exhibiting disordered thinking and need therapy. That's a bizarre reaction to someone not wanting to watch a TV show for a very common reason, right?

        If the other person doesn't like milk, has issues with spicy food, hates horror movies, doesn't like crowds, is afraid of heights and doesn't want to ride the roller coaster, can't handle flashing lights, says they have a food intolerance or allergy, or isn't comfortable in that outfit, you should consider letting them set their limits and giving them the space to do so. You should want to communicate the following perspectives to them:

        • I accept your reasoning.
        • I am listening to you when you describe your experience.
        • I do not believe my experience is the same as yours.
        • I do not believe my desire for you to enjoy something trumps your objections.
        • I will not treat you like you cannot have a justified reason for avoiding this experience.
        • I will not risk my relationship with you over this.
        • I do not feel entitled to your humoring me and will not judge you or shame you if you will not.
        • I respect you as the arbiter of what experiences you would like to entertain.
        • I am not in charge of what thresholds of discomfort you are obligated to tolerate before I will treat you like you're reasonable.
        • I will not create a dynamic in which you must regard my preferences as the default or your own as a less reasonable alternative.
        • I will not accuse you of "overreacting" or "being too sensitive" if your thresholds are not the same as mine.
        • I understand that people have different senses, bodies, experiences, and backgrounds, and that these differences do make us able to enjoy and tolerate different things in the world. I will be respectful of those if you communicate to me how I should do that.
        • I will not use manipulative language to make you feel unsafe or disrespected.

        I love when people enjoy my favorite foods, favorite television, favorite experiences. But I don't take it personally if someone has a reason for declining. And--this is key--even if that reason is that they just plain don't want to. Sometimes my friends are vegan and don't want to eat the butter in my cake, or sometimes they are allergic to soy and can't have the tofu dish I made, or sometimes they just plain DON'T LIKE STRAWBERRIES and won't eat my strawberry cake. That's okay. Sometimes my friends are epileptic and triggered by flashing lights so they can't play my favorite video game, or hate epistolary stories so don't want to read one of my favorite books, or find it difficult to watch my favorite show because it includes regular references to a dead mother. Yes, I wish I could share the thing. But do I want to create a gross atmosphere of pressure and disrespect on the off chance that they're wrong about themselves?

        No. Never.

        Sometimes they don't want to eat the strawberry cake because they can't stand seeds, and if I'm respectful enough when I ask about it, they might disclose this to me and I am able to give them a cake made with strawberry flavoring, not seeds. Maybe I can recommend the books or TV episodes that don't contain the content they have trouble processing. Maybe I can make suggestions or--here's a concept--just say it's actually okay if they go the rest of their lives not experiencing one thing I enjoy.

        Get some perspective, y'all. Do you really want to be the person who causes anxiety, ruins or poisons relationships, or sets up a gross power dynamic over wanting the other person to have a POSITIVE experience? Are you prepared for how negative that experience may suddenly become because you failed to offer respect?

        Saturday, July 28, 2018

        Personal Digest Saturday: July 21 – July 27 [GIF Warning]

        Life news this week:
        • Saturday was the second day of Metrocon for me! I was supposed to go with Jeaux but he was sick. So I dressed up in my Stevonnie costume and went to the convention without him. I spent the whole day there alone enjoying costumes and checking out the dealer room. It was SO MUCH FUN. Also people who came up to ask if I could really play my ukulele got to ask for song requests, and I actually knew every single song they asked for so I looked cool! I came home and relaxed. Boy did my feet hurt.
        • Metrocon happened at the same time as San Diego Comic Con, so all day I was also getting little bits of news regarding announcements for Steven Universe. They played a whole new episode, announced a movie, and announced a crossover. WOW!
        • Sunday I did my usual household chores and sitting outside to answer e-mail at my table. I could have gone back to Metrocon but I was too exhausted. Took a shower, did laundry, did karaoke. And then Cartoon Network took pity on the people who did not go to San Diego Comic Con and actually released the new episode of Steven Universe on their app for us, so Jeaux and I got on Skype and watched it together. (He was still sick.) It was great! I also opened a bunch of keychain toys and drew pictures of them. :) I didn't get the whole set but I got pretty close.
        • Monday was a pretty productive day at work with three letters going out. I also was setting up trades online to get the keychains I'm missing. Hooray! I got a ride home from my co-worker and spent the evening watching panels and drawing little pictures to go in my trade packages. I fell asleep very early.
        • Tuesday I mailed my stuff at the post office in the morning and took a paid ride to work because it was rainy. I had to do a bunch of utility coordination and printing at the office. Then my friend Arthur picked me up and we got Thai food and watched cartoons, episodes 63 through 69. We had to stop at 69 because there was a song in it and Arthur wanted to drop everything to learn it. :) Then after he left I got in an online fight with a confused person who disagreed with a Tumblr post I made because they thought I had remembered details of an episode wrong. (I had not. But they kept telling ME to go rewatch it. Uh. They finally gave up when they realized they had it wrong.)
        • Wednesday we had more rain. Very busy day at the office printing and dealing with utilities. I didn't get to hang out with Jeaux because he was STILL SICK. Also made a video of my new color-changing mug!

          • Thursday was busy AGAIN. I also got to listen to the Steven Universe podcast and made a highlights post about it, which was very popular online. My mom came over to give me a paper she needed scanned, and then she fell asleep on my couch for a while and said some hilarious things in her sleep. After she left I talked to Victor and did some drawings for the webcomic.
          • Friday was very busy at the office. We finally got the resubmissions done for the utilities. After work I was ready to settle down and finish my webcomic but it turned out Drink and Draw was Friday instead of the usual Saturday, so I scurried out there and finished my comic drawings at the event. Got to talk to Joy, hooray! Came home and finished the comic, uploaded an asexuality video I made last week, and fell asleep on the floor.

          Interviews, Articles, Mentions:

          Reading progress:
          • Finished this week: Nothing this week, sorry!
          • Currently readingNative Tongue by Carl Hiaasen.
            New singing performances:

            This week's song was "What Can I Do (For You)?" from Steven Universe. It's a duet with another member, and I do the man's part!

            Stuff Drawn:

            Greg Universe razzing Amethyst
            Cookie Cat index card included in a mailout
            Pink Diamond index card included in a mailout
            Ruby and Sapphire index card included in a mailout

            Ruby and Sapphire index card included in a mailout

            Webcomic Negative One Issue 0689: "Where You're Going."

            New videos:

            Letters to an Asexual #60 is about a jerk who habitually sends judgmental e-mails to queer activists and has targeted me twice.

            New photos:

            Ready for this? Here's all my Metrocon photos.

            Getting ready at home: Stevonnie from Steven Universe
            My cute belly Gem: Stevonnie from Steven Universe
            Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen: Adventure Time
            Blue Pearl from Steven Universe

            Popuko and Pipimi from Pop Team Epic
            Rose Quartz from Steven Universe
            Me as Stevonnie with Rose Quartz from Steven Universe
            Lapis Lazuli, Ruby, and Sapphire (in creative outfits) from Steven Universe
            Lapis Lazuli and Rainbow Quartz from Steven Universe
            Opal and Rainbow Quartz from Steven Universe
            Opal, Rainbow Quartz, and me as Stevonnie from Steven Universe
            Past Pearl from Steven Universe
            Rainbow Quartz, Past Pearl, me as Stevonnie, and Opal from Steven Universe
            Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender
            Battle Steven (a fan concept) from Steven Universe
            Peridot from Steven Universe
            Pearl from Steven Universe
            Sadie and Lars from the specific episode "Island Adventure" of Steven Universe
            Steven in wedding clothes from Steven Universe
            Blue Diamond from Steven Universe
            Two Stevonnies from Steven Universe
            Bad Pearl from Steven Universe
            Holly Blue Agate from Steven Universe
            Me as Stevonnie taking a selfie with Steven from Steven Universe
            Musical Steven, musical Stevonnie from Steven Universe
            Mystery Girl from Steven Universe
            My feet
            Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph
            Wendy from Gravity Falls
            Mystery Girl from Steven Universe
            Cowboy Ruby from Steven Universe
            Nerds fighting with lightsabers
            Nerds fighting with lightsabers

            Social Media Counts:

            YouTube subscribers: 5,286 for swankivy (lost 1), 678 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 968 for swankivy (7 new), 1,325 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Facebook: 295 friends (no change, but I figured out who disappeared last week: a friend deactivated his Facebook) and 206 followers (no change) for swankivy, 648 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 57 likes for Negative One (no change), 139 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,524 (1 new). Instagram followers: 147 (1 new).