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).