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
    FluoritePadparadschaSadieBuckJenny
    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).

    Monday, January 14, 2019

    Undies in a bunch

    I wonder why so many people respond to arguments by assigning their opponent an unreasonable level of investment in the subject matter?

    Or, in general terms: Sometimes I disagree with someone and their main response is "GOD, CALM DOWN" or "SOMEBODY HAS THEIR UNDIES IN A BUNCH."

    Even when there's no indication that I'm emotional and even when my response is measured and succinct.

    I had an interesting reversal of this over the weekend.

    Someone on the fan site I like had written a trivia quiz and I thought it was well made EXCEPT that one question had what I THOUGHT must be a mistake. When a quiz is otherwise decent but has a small error, sometimes I take the liberty to tell the creator in case they want to improve their work. In this case I asked the quiz author "I thought X, so can you tell me where you got the information that it is actually Y?"

    The person responded with a non-answer, "I don't know really, I just saw people saying it was Y so that's what I put."

    Thinking it didn't make sense to offer a correction without proof, I sent them a screenshot that backed up my position and explained why "things people were saying" isn't trustworthy as an information source. And of course, the response from them was this:

    "Jeesuus you don't have to get so heated it was just what I heard people calling her calm the f down."

    To be honest, I wasn't even mad until I saw this. 

    It makes me FURIOUS when people interpret normal conversations as "heated" just because they are disagreements. Mostly because implying someone's feelings are irrational and inappropriate is such a shitty derailment technique, and it pisses me off when people try to distract me from the actual issue (getting the correct information) by reframing it as me having a pointlessly emotional reaction to something that doesn't matter.

    So instead of doing the WTF R U TALKIN ABOUT I AM CALM YOU @#$@#$!@ thing, I managed to turn the conversation around.

    "It is very strange that you're reacting the way you are to getting feedback. There is nothing 'heated' about me telling you why I think you're wrong about something. Though I guess it's pretty common to accuse another person of not being calm if you are yourself upset."

    See what I'm doing there? I'm suggesting they have a problem with me because they can't take criticism. 

    Worked pretty well, too. They got a little defensive and gave me excuses about how the quiz is just for fun you're obsessing too much over a little mistake that I don't really care about and I'm like, well, what is the point of TRIVIA--a pastime that is deliberately about trivial things that don't really matter--if you're not going to have the integrity to correct things you know are wrong? I mean, it's one thing if you want to discuss with me why my information is wrong or yours is right. But it's another thing entirely if we're going to derail into your belief that expecting standards is not reasonable. If it's just for fun, what's fun about taking a quiz where the creator is testing someone's knowledge but knows less than the test-taker about the subject?

    This has happened sometimes in other contentious conversations, and it's always so frustratingly transparent. They really think it's quite a zinger to suggest they touched a nerve or imply that I am UPSET and FLUSTERED if I speak at all. Projection is a thing, and I think I might need to point it out more because of how well it worked here. Tell them their reaction is weird, suggest they're blaming my temperament because they can't defend their argument, and imply they're feeling attacked because they can't take criticism. Their weapon in telling me my undies are in a bunch is implying I have an inappropriate emotional investment in a conversation. Taking that very same accusation and framing it as rooted in THEIR inappropriate emotional investment turns these around in a second. And I'm not out to shame people for getting emotional, of course; I just take issue with it when they use manipulative language to avoid the issue I engaged with in the first place.

    Obviously that pisses me off! But it's very rare I was pissed off in the first place before they told me I was too pissed off to have the conversation. Furthermore, you can completely have an appropriate display of anger in a productive conversation if you need to. It's quite a myth they have there that anger (or emotion at all) immediately disqualifies you from having a rational discussion. I have many times made it clear that I am angry, and it does not detract from whatever my point is. We really need to kill the idea that emotions have no place in arguments. If you are irrational for any reason (including due to emotional influence), okay, but many times emotions come from a completely understandable place. On top of that, rage and grief and fury and emotional determination can make an influential person's point more effective. We do respond to human emotion even for issues we think are divorced from feelings. A speech is more authentic if it clearly grew from lived experience.

    So I reject the notion that I DO have to be calm or display only cold logic if I am to be considered qualified to have a conversation, but I also occasionally get this response because my opponent thinks it is a silencing technique. They're offended, they want to "win," they want to feel that I had no business criticizing them and want me to believe I was out of line . . . but if I was behaving in a completely civil manner offering a correction on misinformation, the appropriate response isn't "act baffled that anyone would suggest this matters, and shame me into shutting up." The right thing to do is listen and logically address the point I made, not projections about how I must be feeling and whether it's right for me to feel that way while I disagree.

    Saturday, January 12, 2019

    Personal Digest Saturday: January 5 – January 11

    Life news this week:
    • Saturday I spent most of the day organizing photos for my new photo site, though I didn't really end up with much to show for it. I did my blogging, played Dance Dance Revolution, and did some dishes--nothing exciting.
    • Sunday I sat outside at my patio table but it was too cold to do it for long so I finished my e-mails inside. Then did karaoke, laundry, dishes, and drew a picture for the next day's new SU episode. And I drew some concepts for Funko Pops I would like to see. And drew a picture of Mr. Queasy.
    • Monday it was back to work. I had to spend most of the day wrangling an expanded letter of response. I did an awful lot of paperwork. Then Jeaux picked me up and we went to his house for soup and to watch the new episode "Escapism." We had a good time and then he took me home. I had a weird bump on my head that was bothering me.
    • Tuesday we had an office meeting and had to take stock of everything. I guess my boss decided now that we're in a new year, we're gonna try to keep up with meetings. We did all that and also I had another weird bump on my neck and so I figured it was probably swollen lymph nodes. I asked Meggie whether I should see a doctor since she's a nurse, and after she asked me a couple questions about it, she said yeah, I should go ASAP. Talked to my mom on the phone while finishing laundry and doing more doodles.
    • Wednesday I went to the doctor. He said he thought I had an infected hair follicle that was draining to my lymph node. He prescribed antibiotics, and I dropped off the prescription on my way to the office. I worked the rest of the day, and when Jeaux picked me up we bought comics, ate at Perkins, and picked up my medicine while grocery shopping. Then we watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine at my place.
    • Thursday I helped my co-worker on some charts and took my medicine. Things seem better. My co-worker drove me home and I stayed up super late doing drawings and mostly nothing.
    • Friday I did some more work on letters we're turning in on Monday, and we had a minor toner emergency, and I did some photo tagging. Meggie got surgery and she is okay. At home I finished my webcomic, drew a cute Garnet picture, and spent too much time looking at Internet crap.
    My diet progress: 


    • Well, at the end of the week I'm weighing in at 118 pounds, so it looks like I lost 3 pounds this week, but I kinda doubt it was ACTUAL weight loss. I did work hard and did very well on not overeating though.

    New reviews of my book:


    • Beatrix gave it a four-star review on Goodreads, liking my sources but not my style.


    Interviews, Articles, Mentions:


    • My Geek Blasphemy blog included a book superlatives list that highlighted several quotes from my book in its honorable mentions.

    Reading progress:
    • Finished this week:  The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca by Kerr Cuhulain. Four-star review.
    • Currently readingDrunk Monkeys Anthology Volume 3 by Matthew Guerruckey.
      New singing performances:

      This week's karaoke song is "It's Oh So Quiet" by Björk.




      Stuff Drawn:


      "Escapism" promo
      Mr. Queasy
      Garnet chillin'




      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0713: "Trust Us."






      New videos:

      No new videos.

      New photos:


      Flirting with my friend Yasmin using a tiny cone


      Social Media Counts:

      YouTube subscribers: 5,236 for swankivy (lost 3), 676 for JulieSondra (lost 2). Twitter followers: 966 for swankivy (no change), 1,344 for JulieSondra (lost 5). Facebook: 295 friends (1 new, new friend Marty!) and 208 followers (no change) for swankivy, 653 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 62 likes for Negative One (no change), 146 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,515 (1 new). Instagram followers: 166 (1 new).

      Wednesday, January 9, 2019

      Wednesday Factoid: Earworm

      Wednesday Factoid: Do you have an earworm at the moment? What's the last earworm you can remember having? Note: an earworm is a song you can't seem to get out of your head.

      Unsurprisingly, my current earworm is "Escapism" from the recent Steven Universe episode, but what's funny is I had it stuck in my head for days before the episode aired.

      That's because this is a song that was actually released and played by the creator of the show on a podcast that aired September 21, 2017. More than a year before it showed up in an episode. (???)

      Here's the original version Rebecca Sugar played with her ukulele:



      And here's the nicely remastered final version with gorgeous guitar intro and lead vocals by AJ Michalka (backing vocals by Zach Callison and Grace Rolek):



      It was weird being able to sing along with a song as I was seeing it air for the first time, but that is a thing that happened! I love both versions and I hope it turns out to be easy enough to play on ukulele so I can cover it with my amateur skills. :D

      Saturday, January 5, 2019

      Personal Digest Saturday: December 29 – January 4

      Life news this week:
      • Saturday I got a li'l bit of alone time. I used it to bike to the Asian market and buy food for some weird recipes I'm going to make for cartoons. For the recipe of the day, I made a Salad That's Mostly Cheese. Then I did my blogging and tried to do some organization with my new photo page.
      • Sunday was another free day. I did laundry, cleaned my patio table, did karaoke, and drew a picture for the new Steven Universe episode that is coming. Also made another weird recipe: Sugar Shock Shutdown. Woo! Also tried the Apple Sidra I bought at the Asian market. Yum. I worked a little on my 2018 year-end survey.
      • Monday I had to work even though it was New Year's Eve, but not much was going on. I just did some updates on records I keep and beyond that I worked on my survey and finished it. Jeaux picked me up and we went to his house but had trouble finding a restaurant that was open or not charging a billion dollars so we just made food at his house. We watched the new episode of Steven Universe, "Together Alone," and it killed us. We are dead. Then he took me to Mom's and I celebrated New Year's Eve with my mom and my sister's family! We had sparklers, ate ice cream, played Uno, and watched the ball drop. Exciting!
      • Tuesday was New Year's Day so I had the day off. I spent the morning making quiche and banana muffins, and then I had Arthur over for Twin Peaks and new episodes of SU. After he left, my family came over for breakfast for dinner! I had everything all ready to go and it was super fun and delicious--everything came out perfectly. We also ended up playing Dance Dance Revolution! Silly us. After they left I did a little drawing and slept.
      • Wednesday was back to work. Jeaux was sick so no Jeaux Day. I worked on resume stuff and then it turned out I forgot my wallet so I had to take a Lyft home. Patricia, Yusuke, and Ash came over because my mom was supposed to watch Ash for a date night for them but she fell asleep. We had some of the wine P gave me for my holiday gift, and we did some silly drawings. It was a good night but I got pretty drunk, which is something I don't do.
      • Thursday things were picking up at the office. I wasn't able to have a substitute Jeaux Day 'cause I wanted to hang with my family. Patricia picked me up and we went to Mom's to make pasta and hang out one more time before they went back to California. It was a chill night. I fell asleep shortly after getting home.
      • Friday I started a new diet--I joined a thing called HealthyWage with Meghan and some friends, and we're gonna try to lose weight to win money. I had to submit a weigh-in video so I did that before work. I weighed in at 121 pounds and I'm supposed to try to lose 12 pounds in 3 months. So I didn't eat much during the day. It was also a super packed day at work--doing background research for one job, helping with forms on another, plus the boss asked me to set up his new TV. Did it all but didn't have time to do my biweekly report. Boo. I got a ride home, worked on my webcomic, and slept early.
      Interviews, Articles, Mentions:



      Reading progress:
      • Finished this week:  Time for reading was scarce, so I did not read.
      • Currently readingThe Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca by Kerr Cuhulain.
        New singing performances:

        This week's karaoke song is "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel.




        Stuff Drawn:


        A promo drawing for "Together Alone"

        Stevonnie Camping



        Webcomic Negative One Issue 0712: "Less Expensive."






        New videos:

        No new videos.

        New photos:


        Salad that's mostly cheese
        Sugar Shock Shutdown!
        Sparklers with Ash

        I look nervous about my sparkler

        Ash's sparkler

        Sparkle kid
        Yusuke's New Year's ice cream

        Patricia's New Year's ice cream

        Mom's New Year's ice cream

        My New Year's ice cream

        Ash's New Year's ice cream
        Patricia made vegan marshmallows that ended
        up roasting well in Mom's fireplace!
        A family game of Uno!
        Breakfast for Dinner on New Year's Day!
        Drawing at my house!
        Ash's self portrait features a ninja
        Pillow driving game?
        More pillow driving!
        Jam Jar wine!

        Social Media Counts:

        YouTube subscribers: 5,239 for swankivy (3 new), 678 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 966 for swankivy (lost 1), 1,349 for JulieSondra (2 new). Facebook: 294 friends (no change) and 208 followers (lost 1) for swankivy, 652 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 62 likes for Negative One (1 new), 146 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,514 (1 new). Instagram followers: 165 (no change).