Saturday, September 30, 2017

Personal Digest Saturday: September 23 – September 29

Life news this week: 
  • Saturday I got up super early and did more packing. A package got delivered to my new house so Mom and I went over to bring it inside, lay out my rugs, and do more planning on where to put the furniture. After she took me home I did more packing. And I even made an asexuality video--my last video in the apartment. :(
  • Sunday I got up early again and cleaned out my outdoor storage closet, went to breakfast with Eric and Jeaux at Cafe Hey, and went with Eric to my new house to drop off some fragile art and my computer. Then I picked up snacks for the movers and went back to my place to finish the final packing. I got a bunch of closets and the bathroom done finally.
  • Monday was MOVING DAY. I took off work so I could get my stuff done. Movers arrived early and started taking my stuff to the truck. My mom came over and helped me load her car with some other stuff I didn't want the movers to move. And we went to my new house and the movers unloaded everything. These guys were GREAT and got a big tip from me, plus danishes and cute sandwiches. After they left, my mom and I put together the coffee table and relaxed a bit. After she left I talked to Meg on the phone, put together some chairs, and set up my bed and went to sleep.
  • Tuesday I had to go back to my old apartment for the final time and clean it top to bottom. I took a break to go to a training webinar for work, and the rest of the day was spent just cleaning all the rooms. If you want to see how that went, I wrote some detailed stuff with pictures in my earlier post "Empty." My mom and her roomie David came over and picked up another carload of my stuff and we took it to my place, and we all ate at GrillSmith. And then I went home and didn't really have the energy to do any unpacking or anything.
  • Wednesday I mostly stayed home and put away stuff that had gotten thrown all over the house in our carload dumps. Couldn't do much to unpack until that stuff was out of the way. I also ordered groceries with a gift my sister had given me and had a plumber come look at my toilet. Then I did some Internet stuff, later did an errand with my mom getting a guitar stand and a comic book, and put a table together. I went to sleep pretty early.
  • Thursday was back to work. I had a bunch of utility coordination stuff left for me to do. So I spent the day doing that and working on various updates I had to get finished. When I went home I met up with Jeaux and we ate at Alfonso's Pizza and watched the season finale of People of Earth. (He set up my TV for me.) I drew a little bit of webcomic stuff and went to sleep after he left.
  • Friday I worked and it was more of the same utility coordination plus I had to proofread a letter. When I came home I had to hurry through drawing the rest of my comic and it turned out Drink and Draw was that night and I just couldn't finish in time so I missed it. Really disappointed that I missed Drink and Draw!!! I talked to Victor on the phone and got my comic up. I went to bed shortly after. I was really tired. I didn't get much unpacking done during the week but I'm going to try to take my time.

New reviews of my book:

Reading progress:
    New singing performances:

    I was too busy with moving to sing this week.

    New drawings: 

    Drew Jasper from Steven Universe for the first time,
    except I only used Red Group colors from my marker set
    and made her sort of pink. :D

    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0646: "Our Own Worth."

    New videos:

    Letters to an Asexual #50, my last video filmed in my apartment, is out. It's about changing labels--how identity can be fluid or how more thought can lead a person to discovering a different label is more appropriate, and how that's not betraying the asexual community or making us look bad. I also sing a song about changes at the end, playing ukulele.

    New photos:

    New rugs in my new house!
    Ready to move.
    Boxes all set.
    I put a chair together in my new house.

    Went back to clean the old place. Here I am making a peace sign after cleaning the bathroom.
    Time to say goodbye to the apartment where I lived for ten years.
    Leaving was sad.
    A girl's gotta take a couscous break.

    Social Media Counts:

    YouTube subscribers: 5,283 for swankivy (lost 5), 646 for JulieSondra (lost 1). Twitter followers: 886 for swankivy (2 new), 1,333 for JulieSondra (lost 7). Facebook: 295 friends (no change) and 202 followers (no change) for swankivy, 652 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,500 (no change). Instagram followers: 123 (1 new).

    Friday, September 29, 2017


    I moved!

    I know you're probably expecting me to discuss my new place and how I'm settling in, but that's actually a post for a different day. Today I would like to talk about clearing out of my old place. Arrival at the new requires leaving the old. 

    I lived there for ten years. I've never lived anywhere else for ten years in my entire life. So leaving this apartment meant leaving the place I have lived for the longest. As you might imagine, especially for someone as sentimental as I am, that was emotional.

    First, of course, is the part where you put everything in boxes. That right there is already physically and emotionally difficult. But then also just seeing your life pile up around you in cardboard and knowing you're about to pick it up and plop it down somewhere else in a different configuration, where it will never be the same again . . . while it can be kind of cleansing, it's also very final. 

    I've never been a huge fan of final.

    I started packing relatively early because I do not like to rush, do not like to be surprised, and like to handle stressful situations by overcompensating with meticulous control of the process. For this, for me, that meant labeling the boxes clearly as to their contents (on three sides!), labeling them with which room I wanted the movers to put them down in (on a bright yellow sticker!), and marking them with a number so I would know how many to tell the movers I had.

    It worked out well, but I did have to put in a lot of long hours toward the end just because I had so many setbacks along the way--spending one weekend with my mom in the hospital, getting an entire weekend and then some stolen by the hurricane, etc. But even though I was offered help, I wanted to do it my way, and I did. It just meant I was literally still putting things in boxes the night before I moved. But I did have enough time to get a good night's sleep.

    Saturday was interrupted by going to the new house with my mom--we brought some stuff I hadn't wanted to pack, and she also helped me finalize where the big, less movable items were going to go. I packed all day Saturday except for that interlude, and did a thorough job packing my kitchen and one of my closets. I began posting photos to social media to get some motivation from people cheering me on.

    But when Sunday came--the day before the move--I still had five closets, under the bed, and my bathroom to pack.

    I got up early on Sunday and cleaned out the outdoor storage unit before breakfast. That meant breaking down the cinderblock shelves that were out there and sweeping everything out. It looked weird and empty.

    And then I went to breakfast with my friends, haha. Jeaux took me out to Cafe Hey and we had the Not Just for Omnivores Breakfast, and then Eric took me back to my place and helped me pack my fragile framed art and computer stuff in his car and took me over to my place. That was nice of him. (I bought both of them breakfast for their trouble.)

    When I got back I went into hardcore packing mode. First came the bathroom.

    And I cleaned out under my bed.

    And then my huuuuuge back bedroom closet, which I then started putting stuff in again to hold it for after the move. (Mostly clothes and large or fragile items I didn't want to pack; Mommy was going to help me move them by car later.)

    And I cleaned out another closet too.

    Guess that was as ready as I'd ever be.

    The morning of the move came and I had a bunch of stuff figured out. A bag for my bedding. Food packed up. All-important coffee machine used for morning coffee and then packed. Snacks and drinks set out for the movers. Supergirl!

    My movers arrived in the morning and they were fantastic. I had two guys helping me and they went above and beyond, really--one even unhooked my washer and dryer for me even though I was told they wouldn't be responsible for that, and he hooked it up at the new place too. My mom came over shortly after they arrived to help me get over to the new place and take a carload of stuff.

    It all went more smoothly than I could have expected, honestly. At the house, they unloaded my stuff quickly, I paid them and tipped them, and then I did a few things with Mom--putting together a coffee table, locating a couple missing boxes that had ended up in the garage despite labels, putting away a few things and organizing a few things, and assembling a couple new chairs.

    Look! New chair!
    I went to sleep relatively early that night and got up early the next morning to go over to my old place to clean.

    That's kinda where things get a little sad.

    I knew this was the last day I'd set foot in the place. I cleaned the kitchen first. It does not look like anyone lived here for ten years.

    (I took the food when I left.)

    I had to take a break to attend a training webinar for work, weirdly. And then I cleaned up the dining area. After ten years, obviously they will have to paint, but I still put the spackle stuff in the holes from pulling out nails and screws.

    And then, even though they will obviously have to replace the carpets, I did the whole shebang--vacuumed and stuff in the living room.

    Then came a difficult part: the utility closet that used to hold my laundry machines. There was a LOT of lint buildup. I got in there with the vacuum and sucked it up.

    The hallways were reasonably easy, but there were a bunch of holes in the wall to fill.

    My bedroom was next. That took a long time because I shoved bags and plastic packing material in the closet there in case I needed it, and I didn't need it, so I had to make a bunch of trips to the dumpster before that room was done.

    Next to last on the agenda was the bathroom. I spent a little too much time peeling the sticky ducks off the bottom of the tub. Other than that, it was a relatively quick experience.

    And finally, the room where I spent the majority of my time while living here: the office. 

    It was all done. I went and turned in my keys.

    Time for a few last selfies.

    By the last one I was sad. :(

    My mom came to pick me up to take the last junk and my cleaning supplies over to the new place. I locked the door and never came back.

    Fun fact: The shirt I'm wearing is the same shirt I wore to clean my last apartment ten years ago. (It says "I should be in the kitchen!" Sometimes I wear it as a joke when I must engage in domestic toil.)

    Flashback photo! 2007!
    And another fun fact: I had a computer recycling company pick up some old electronics for me so I could dispose of them responsibly and not have to move them, and the representative came to my apartment while I was cleaning it. When he stepped inside, the upstairs neighbors' stomping was SO LOUD that he flinched and cringed and looked up in alarm. I pointed up and said "this is why I'm moving." Haha.

    Said neighbors stomped the entire time the night before and the entirety of the time I was there cleaning, and after I'd swept the porch, the kid from upstairs threw a bunch of Minions sticker wrappers off his balcony so they scattered all over my porch and in my bushes. Awesome. When I left, the kid was in our shared hallway, shirtless and dripping from the pool, throwing a ball very hard around the stairwell and not caring what he bonked it into. His inconsiderate guardians are training him well to become an inconsiderate adult, I'm sure. (Kids will be kids, of course, but considering how those folks move furniture and stomp all the time, and considering it goes on until 1:30 AM EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. . . . I don't think this is a case of just a kid being a normal boisterous kid.)

    Anyway, THAT I will not miss, but I gave some very good years of my life to that apartment. I played tennis. I wrote books. I got a book published. I drew tons of webcomic pages and learned to play ukulele and had a bunch of parties. I decorated it and furnished it so nicely, and it was home.

    I'm on to a new home, but I will miss it.


    Wednesday, September 27, 2017

    Wednesday Factoid: Procrastination

    Today's Wednesday Factoid is: How much of a procrastinator are you?

    Oh, goodness. I am not a procrastinator AT ALL.

    I was actually just talking about this with someone. I absolutely hate having something I must do hanging over my head, especially if I do not know how long it will take or whether I could be interrupted. I hate it to the point that if I have something I have to do sitting there taunting me, I have trouble having fun or enjoying whatever I elected to do instead. 

    I'm more likely to "procrastinate" if it's something that has no deadline; I have projects I've been planning to do "someday" for years, but nobody's waiting for me to do them and other things are always jumping in front. It doesn't actually matter if I ever do them. If I have a deadline, I'm on it. If I don't have a deadline but someone is waiting for the thing--or I want people to see the thing--I'm on it. I give myself a LOT of self-imposed deadlines, too. 

    When I was a kid I used to do my homework on the bus on the way home (and finish it at home as soon as I got home) so I wouldn't have it dangling there waiting for me to do it. It got me in trouble sometimes because I HATED things like semester-long projects because they were intended to be unfinished for a long period of time, by design. I learned early on that if I jumped the gun and tried to do the whole project, I'd end up going in the wrong direction because the teacher would give guidance and milestones along the way. Group projects were always the worst because everyone else would be procrastinating and I'd be that ass ragging everyone to get their parts done so I could relax.

    People often say they wish they had my drive and my ability to actually complete things, but to be honest? It's kind of stressful to feel like you HAVE to. :P


    Saturday, September 23, 2017

    Personal Digest Saturday: September 16 – September 22

    Life news this week: 
    • Saturday I spent too long on a silly food post for Steven Universe Amino and spent the whole day packing. I organized my stuff pretty nicely for someone who's in a huge transition, too. And then my mom and my sister L came over and picked me up and we went over to my new house, where we ate lasagna and hung out. We talked a little about where my stuff could go, and then at home I did more packing and fell asleep early.
    • Sunday I spent too long on a silly analysis post for Steven Universe Amino, posted karaoke, and got a bunch of good packing done. I also ate leftover lasagna all day, talked to my friend Sarah on the phone, and drew some Sapphire fan art.
    • Monday I worked, and it wasn't as long a day as I feared because we ended up being able to turn in a delivery digitally instead of in hard copy so I wasn't as involved. I made a crappy out-of-scale model of my house and little mini furniture to put in it! Then I went to Lowe's to have keys made and bought some spackle stuff for all the holes in my apartment walls. I talked to Mom on the phone and got more packing done.
    • Tuesday I worked, bought some more furniture for my house, and spent too long arranging my Steven Universe merchandise in a single set of shelves so I could take a picture of it before I packed it! I fell asleep early.
    • Wednesday I wrote to Ronni, worked, did some packing, and went to IHOP with Jeaux. Then we hung out at his house because my house is full of boxes. We watched People of Earth and listened to Night Vale. Then I spent too long writing up a series of Steven Universe podcasts, planning to get up early to listen to the last one in the morning.
    • Thursday I got up early before work to listen to the season finale of the Steven Universe podcast, which was awesome because a song from an upcoming episode got released on it. I wrote a post for the Amino and went to work. I had an unexpected two-hour training session on making boards from aerials. Interesting but some of it went over my head. At home I talked to Victor on the phone and drew most of my comic.
    • Friday I went to work, wrote up a massive post for my boss to help him submit a proposal on Monday when I will not be there, and did some address changes associated with my move. My podcast writeup on Amino got featured on the front page of the app so I guess the effort was worth it! At home Mommy came over and we played with the paper model of my house and paper furniture I had made, playing dollhouse deciding where to put my stuff! It was fun! And she brought me candy, which I ate. :3

    New reviews of my book:

    Reading progress:
    • Finished this week: Sorry, was very busy packing, but making progress!
    • Currently reading: Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen.
      New singing performances:

      This week I performed "Memories" by Within Temptation.

      New drawings: 

      Sapphire as The Moon Tarot card.
      Ruby as The Sun Tarot card.

      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0645: "For You and For Them."

      New videos:

      None. Didn't even get around to playing ukulele.

      New photos:

      All my Steven Universe merch.

      Social Media Counts:

      YouTube subscribers: 5,288 for swankivy (1 new), 647 for JulieSondra (3 new). Twitter followers: 884 for swankivy (6 new), 1,340 for JulieSondra (2 new). Facebook: 295 friends (1 new--accepted Erin's friend request) and 202 followers (lost 1) for swankivy, 653 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,500 (lost 3). Instagram followers: 122 (no change).

      Wednesday, September 20, 2017

      Wednesday Factoid: Roommates/Neighbors

      Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Have you ever dealt with objectionable behavior from a roommate or neighbor? Tell your horror story.


      First of all, I'm moving on Monday and the ENTIRE REASON I'm moving is that my upstairs neighbors are obnoxious. They stomp and drag furniture and slam doors until 1:30 in the morning, have kids that run down the hall all the time, play loud music sometimes, and create unexplained loud thuds that shake my house with astounding regularity. However, weirdly enough, even though I'm moving BECAUSE OF THEM, they are not the worst neighbors I've had!

      I think my worst neighbor story is the chick who lived behind me in Gainesville. I shared a wall for a while with someone who would begin blasting music around 10 PM on weeknights. And I'm talking about LITERAL WALL-SHAKING BASS here--there was nowhere you could go to get away from it, my glass knickknacks that weren't even touching the wall were audibly VIBRATING, the whole place was shaking, I could hear it with my eyeballs basically.

      I tried banging on the wall and there was no change, so one night I called the cops. The noise actually stopped a little while later.

      I mentioned to the apartment manager that I'd had to call the cops on someone in case there were any incidents. They said if it was after hours then that was what I should do, and if it was during hours the office was open, I should let them handle it. But of course since this woman only blasted music starting in the late evening, that never happened.

      The second time it went on long enough for me to call the cops, after the noise stopped SHE CAME TO MY DOOR AND FRIGGING CONFRONTED ME.

      I opened the door because I thought it might be the police, but it was her. And she told me to stop calling the cops on her. That instead of doing that, I should just come to her door and knock and ask her to turn it down. (Lady, do you think you will be able to hear the door over that? You sure didn't hear the bangs on the wall I made.) She explained, extremely indignantly and aggressively, that they have to make that noise and it has to be at that level because they are artists recording their album and they cannot afford to rent a studio so they have to do it in the apartment.

      And on top of all that? She was holding a cigarette, and she walked into my house holding it and smoking it while telling me off.

      She acted like she just wanted to make peace and resolve the issue, but the entire thing came off like she was way more interested in taking me down a peg for daring to request enforcement of noise regulations. In any case I actually never had to call the police on them again, but I wasn't intimidated by what she said. I knew damn well that I would have been happy to call the police on her again if I'd had to. You aren't entitled to create situations where other people are forced to tolerate your extreme noise in their own homes.

      As for roommate stories, I guess my worst roommate story is probably JW from college, about whom I wrote my very first Internet rant in 1998! (Great honor, huh?) He was messy, but that's not even the right word to describe the scope of it. He left his crap everywhere of course, but the peculiar thing was that he would also kidnap other people's belongings and leave them in his disgusting room or bathroom. I'd find my books swiped from my spaces or the common areas, sitting on the back of his toilet. His bathroom and room had dead bugs just lying around, and he would leave literal half-eaten food on the FLOOR in his room--I actually ONCE STEPPED ON PART OF A CHEESEBURGER while going in there to find out what was happening to all my coffee cups.

      On top of the mess, he was also super irresponsible. He would use my dishes and not wash them, promise to wash them and then "forget," never take the trash out, borrow and lose my laundry key, and ignore his part of our collective bills. Back in those days, phone bills were itemized with long-distance charges, and I was the eldest and had seniority in the apartment so the bills were in my name but I would ask my roommates to identify their long-distance phone calls and pay for those themselves plus a third of the local bill. JW would just mark random stuff, as if he could bullshit it like one of his English tests. I found phone calls I had made claimed by him. Eventually I'd just identify mine and my other roommate would identify hers, and then I'd assign the others to him. He never disputed that.

      I worked with our other roomie to write him a letter once and he totally ignored our complaints, so it was really frustrating.

      When he moved out and I got two new roomies, they kept his part of the deposit because the incredible deep cleaning they had to give his bathroom was beyond the typical scope. 

      I wonder what ever happened to him.

      Monday, September 18, 2017

      The Real MVPs

      I just wanna say something about a group of people who don't get enough recognition and really really deserve it.

      Sanitation workers.

      This morning I was crossing the parking lot and the man driving the garbage truck came through and waved at me. I was thinking about how driving a garbage truck is very rarely a coveted position and people who do it probably sort of fell into it when they found that it pays better than some other jobs they can get. They spend their work day hot, stinky, and dirty, and they come home smelling like garbage. Their work is rarely respected, and sometimes it's even used as a joke (like kids teasing each other that they're going to grow up to be a garbage man).

      There are many other jobs in sanitation besides driving a garbage truck that are low glamour, high importance. Some work with utilities, or repair drains and gutters, or provide pest control, or do disaster recovery, or clean buildings in a janitorial sense, or work in positions associated with landfill or recycling or sewage treatment. Some deliver equipment that will be used in these industries. Some get hired to repair and clean machinery that is necessary for our lives to continue the way we're used to.

      There is so much need and not much recognition. Most of them probably don't want "recognition" any more than the next person wants to be hailed as important and necessary in their job outside their actual work space, but I think a lot of what these sanitation folks do is invisible to most of us. 

      I wanna say thank you to the Real MVPs our sanitation workers, especially with regard to how overworked they must have been in my city picking up yard waste and dealing with unusual schedules and weird trash. I'm really glad we have these services and that people are able to provide them. I hope they are rewarded with good pay. They deserve it.

      Saturday, September 16, 2017

      Personal Digest Saturday: September 9 – September 15

      Life news this week: 
      • Saturday was, like, freakout day. The hurricane was coming and it was looking more and more like it was going to be a strong hit right on my hometown. Jeaux and I followed through with plans to go to my new house to meet the cable guy (installing Internet!) and cooking a meal there, but we were pretty distracted and considered skipping town while it was still possible. Eventually we got talked down and decided to spend the hurricane at my mom's. After the cable was installed and food was eaten, we went to our respective homes to pack up and protect our dwellings, and then we dropped Jeaux's car at my new house's garage and had my mom pick us up to go to her house. We slept there.
      • Sunday Hurricane Irma hit us. Right around the time it started pouring, we were about to have breakfast (my mom made eggs!) but then Mommy fell down in the kitchen and was unresponsive, so we called an ambulance. They took Mom to the hospital, where she was found to have a broken nose. (We don't know why she fell.) She called me later and told me she didn't remember anything about the fall. Jeaux was intensely great supporting me and letting me cry on him. I spent the day updating my friends and family on the situations, tracking the hurricane, and drawing digital art (so at least I got something done!). We didn't lose power at the house but stayed up all night until the hurricane had finished its worst.
      • Monday was off work because we were in the storm, but it wasn't too bad and we were able to get a paid ride over to my new house to pick up Jeaux's car. My new house had power but neither of our apartments did. After some errands, we went back to Mom's to spend the night and watched American Ninja Warrior. I did a little drawing.
      • Tuesday we elected not to go to work because things were still so messed up. Jeaux had power in the morning but I did not. We showered at his house and went out to breakfast, then picked up Mom from the hospital, yay! She was okay but kinda shaky. I lost her paperwork somehow so I had a nice freakout about that. We went to my new house because the air conditioning repair guy was there, and I cleaned a bathtub. Then back to Mom's where I gave her a birthday present because it was her birthday. After that I went home and had power, so I showered again and tried to eat some vegan macaroni and cheese but it wasn't very good so I went to bed.
      • Wednesday I went back to work. My boss wasn't there and there wasn't much going on, but I got some productive time in. Then I went on a couple errands after work (got some food to replace what I had to toss after not having power!), and met Jeaux. We ate at Zaxby's, went to my mom's briefly to help her with something, and went back to my place to watch People of Earth. I was too tired to do anything after that so I slept.
      • Thursday I went back to work and was busy all day. And I bought some rugs for my new place! But I still need a bunch of stuff and I probably need to cool it because I can't afford it right now. (I need a kitchen table, a couple chairs for the living room, and some bookshelves, plus a mattress--Mom's giving me a queen bed frame and box spring, but doesn't have a mattress.) After work I went to the new house because the owners wanted me to check for hurricane damage. While I was there I measured a bunch of stuff and cooked a meal. When I got back I was tired but I talked to Victor on the phone and drew comics.
      • Friday the office was busy again. I did a bunch of work, came home, and posted my comic. I had thoughts about getting a bunch more stuff done but to be honest I was just completely out of energy and fell asleep very early.

      Reading progress:
      • Finished this week: Sorry, was too busy hiding from the hurricane to read.
      • Currently reading: Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen.
        New singing performances:

        Was too busy hiding from the hurricane to sing.

        New drawings: 
        "Cover" image of "Work on the Love," a digital comic I did
        about Steven and Amethyst's Smoky Quartz feels. It doesn't
        make sense if you don't watch the show, but click through to read it if you want.

        A doodle of younger Garnet and Amethyst.

        Webcomic Negative One Issue 0644: "Pretty Different."

        New videos:

        None. Didn't even get around to playing ukulele.

        New photos:

        The sky being a troll looking nice even though it was about to be a mess.
        Sky looks a little more appropriately stormy.
        Back at work after the ordeal.
        First cooking alone in my new place.
        First eating alone in my  new place.

        Social Media Counts:

        YouTube subscribers: 5,287 for swankivy (1 new), 644 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 878 for swankivy (no change), 1,338 for JulieSondra (lost 2). Facebook: 294 friends (no change) and 203 followers (lost 1) for swankivy, 654 likes for JulieSondra (lost 3), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,503 (lost 1). Instagram followers: 122 (no change).