First Times

Eerie Indiana - Dash X
Lucy Knisley [pronounced nie-zlee] is my all-time favourite autobiographical comic book creator. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my fall from the comic book world and how I wish I could get back into it. I still like to illustrate, but since getting dumped hard by my former best friend, an increasingly famous comic book creator, I've found myself avoiding the scene out of absolute heartache. This year has been extremely rough for me. I have several friends both on and off facebook who I am only friends with because of this guy, and (on top of the fact that my wall gets flooded sometimes with news of his next big project) about half of them don't really talk to me much anymore, which brings me down (however, I think a lot of it may be my imagination, but I still can't help feeling like they know something I don't, like he's told them the reason he dumped me, which is probably full of lies, considering what little he's told me about his decision to drop me). I just feel like, if I'm not well-known in his world, he doesn't want anything to do with me.

And thinking that made me just give up on the whole 'try to get into comics' thing. I was never good at it. I have character style, I think, but no real comic style, you know? I used to make my panels too detailed, because I thought something would get lost in the context if I didn't. And I hate backgrounds, so doing it discouraged me, which is the first reason I never broke into comics. My heart wasn't into it.

But now I'm thinking, I shouldn't try to start by putting so much work into it. I should just be getting my ideas onto paper, even in sketch form. I do have sketches for one project, the pet project that'll probably never see the light of day.

But at this point in my life, I think I need to start over. I want to break back into comics with what I know. And what I know, finally, after my whole life has been lived, is me.

Lucy Knisley is my favourite autobiographical comic book creator. I was a fan long before I knew who she is. I met her and spoke to her a couple times before I really got to know her work. Even now, I only have a little bit of knowledge of who she is, I only have a little bit of her work. She does a great web series called Stop Paying Attention that's always helped me feel better about myself and the world around me. And she has gorgeous and informative travelogues.

I've always loved autobiographical comics, actually. I never thought about it before, but some of my most cherished comics, the ones that really stuck with me, are autobiographical. Here are some of my favourites:

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These were my first two. I still have A Year In Japan. The illustrations inside are beyond gorgeous. Aimee Major-Steinberger is a staple of American Lolita artists.

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My Lucy Knisley books - the Hogwarts one was my first of hers, only available as an ashcan at conventions (edit: and apparently downloadable from her site). Relish is sticky with ingredients, because a book all about being a foodie must include recipes, and the book is so worn, it automatically opens to the sushi instructions!

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This is the latest in my autobio collection. I met the author a few years ago at my school. He had a gallery setup, and his raw comic images are incredible! He was an absolute dream to talk to, also.



So here's what I'm thinking. I've got a lot of First experiences I've always wanted to write about. I've already written about my First Date. I think I want to make it into a comic theme.

Firsts. Hmm...

I have a list of about ten or so Firsts. I started a new sketchbook for this. I'm hoping winter blues won't harsh this project too badly.

Here's to First Times.

Birthday

Elemental Paul
Not my birthday, but my friend Brendan's. He's 32 now. We had a late afternoon call from his (brand new) wife Casey to say, hey, Old Toad tonight?

I put in a reservation for five of us at 8pm. The funny thing about the Old Toad is they never ever get any name I give them for the reservation correct. The pub is run by sexy-sounding British people. Usually, I give them my name, Fawn, and meticulously sound it out, spell it, say "like the animal," and even pronounce it so it rhymes with Porn (which is what my friend of the Queen's English says it rhymes with), and still I come to the bar with Dawn, Shawn, or last time, Swan. Last night, I tried to give Charles's name, and he thought I said "Chiles." I give up.

We had a few really delicious drinks from Evil Twin Brewing (delectably dark brews), and ate burgers and chips. We talked about getting older, and offbeat religions you can get legally ordained under (Troy officiated Brendan and Casey's wedding as an ordained minister of the Wookie church of Chubacchus (or something)). We kept the evening relatively short, as Bren, Casey, and Troy had to head over to the Vertex Xmas party, which I wish I could have attended - it's my favourite party of the season, but it's invite-only, and I haven't even gone to the club in about a year. Was hoping to change that this year, but then again, I didn't see getting dumped by my best friend at the beginning of the year for no reason (then subsequently becoming a hermitty introvert) coming, so that kinda shanked most of my new year plans of being more social. Fuck. This year, I hope.

The end of our night, we discussed having an old-fashioned Jay's Night Out (before our best friend Paul died, we'd all go out to Jay's Diner almost every night for coffee, and chat, and smoking, and hackey-sack in the parking lot while we sing the tunes of 80s video games, and playing multiple games of chess at once, and taking breaks for a few of us to sneak off to dumpster dive). We thought about who isn't part of the group anymore, and considered inviting them for old time's sake. I always tried getting us together again during my birthday, but my birthday's the day after Paul's, and I think that kind of kills the mood. But man, I'd love to get the old gang back together.

That'd be amazing.

Assorted

Lex - fierce
I got my very own copy of The Legend of Candy Claws from Voltaire earlier this week. It's delightful, and has very gorgeous illustrations!

Sadly (pathetically, more like), even counting short books and comics, I'm still 5 books behind in my quest to read 30 books by the end of the year. I'm trying to knock out a few by this weekend. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish one novel I'm working on today.

***


I made a holiday music mix! This is my first music mix in a few years. This year's holiday mix is called As White Snow Doth Fall. It's got a zip file to download, as well as a link to my last holiday mix Waiting Beside the Tree. Also, both links have track lists!

***


Some friends on Facebook decided to look up their name + "meme" into google images and post their favourite result. Mine doesn't really give good insult, but I did find a lot of adorable stuff, namely this cute one:
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***


I went to the dentist's yesterday, and if dentists freak you out, or if you get freaked/grossed out by accidentally eating human flesh, then you may want to skip this (you know you're curious now).

I love my dentist! She assisted the resident who worked on me at the university clinic a couple of years ago, and now she's my regular dentist. She always chats and explains things to me as she's proceeding, and she pokes fun of me when I whimper as she's giving me a freeze shot ("It's like I have a kitten in the office, so cute!").

Yesterday, we decided to not work on the front of my mouth and let it have a little break (I've got a lot of cavities), so we agreed to work on a deep cavity on one of my molars. She stuck me, and then said, "since it's so deep, I'm going to start drilling, even though the numbness hasn't completely set in yet." I felt myself shaking, but I don't think I shook enough to cause a stir (probably, my heart just pounded so rapidly that it felt like I was shaking).

I didn't feel the drilling, but I did feel it a bit last time (after the freeze did set in fully), so I got pretty nervous that I'd feel it. It's a tiny twinge of pain when it happens, but when someone's got a drill in your mouth and you can't move, that tiny bit is amplified pretty big.

The last two visits, we worked on the front teeth, and the numbness didn't last too long after, despite more freeze being used for front jobs. And I was able to eat without much difficulty.

This was not the case for the molar!

My bottom lip and left cheek went so numb that they felt very swollen and I couldn't move them one bit! Okay, I thought. This is probably normal. At this point, I was starving, as I'd accidentally skipped breakfast. So, as I had after the other visits, I walked to Java's for a bite to eat and some tea. I got a grilled sandwich, and a cup of pasta salad to tide me over in wait of the sandwich. I had very little difficulty eating the salad.

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Accidental zombie mode warning...

I had SO MUCH difficulty eating the sandwich. I managed to eat half of it, but since I couldn't move my lip and cheek, it also meant I couldn't move them out of the way of my teeth. Tonguing it now, I don't think I did too bad against the inside of my cheek. My lip, however... Oh god...

At one point, I wondered why my bite wasn't pulling apart from the rest of the sandwich, and I bit down harder as I realized THAT IS MY LIP. I don't know how I know what biting ferociously into live flesh feels like, but I am glad I figured it out before drawing too much blood. So if it wasn't swollen before, it sure is now! No, it's not swollen now... it did puff up a lot in that one spot, though, but it's gone down now, and it's just white and a little bit puffy.

The numbness didn't even let up til halfway through the evening. That's the longest I've ever been numb (including when I've had dental surgeries and extractions).

***


Lastly, I'm working on something digital! It's been a really, really long time since I did any fancy digital illustrating. I hope I get to finish it. Here's what I've got so far:

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THAT'S IT. No immediate future plans right now.

Calm

FLCL - Space Pirate
I had the most productive weekend I've had in a very long time, and I did very little in the actual weekend. It was so relaxing.

I had made a list, and declared that I would finish every damn thing on it by Friday (list made on Thursday). After I decided to leave the computer-related stuff for Sunday, I wailed on the list and got it all done.

Most of the things on the list had been started already, but nothing got finished during my week of unruly sadness which involved my general depression mixed with S.A.D. (not having seen the sun for two weeks straight), mixed with massive PMT (unbeknownst at the time, but I should have guessed by how much my tits hurt). Once my period hit, the sun came out again.

Everything got better, as if a huge weight lifted off me. I was seriously hurting. one short paragraph about my depression, plus optimist stuff, which is cut because I just don't want to see it when I scroll around my journalCollapse )

Weather control had better not be my uterus's superpower, because if so, then we are going to have a problem. Also, this is the second time in a row I've been in the hot seat at the dentist when I've started my period. Fuck you, uterus.


MOVING FORWARD, the list. I finished it by Friday night, which is what I'd hoped for. The sun didn't actually shine til Saturday, but enough weight lifted from the pmt being over that I was able to drudge up the energy to just do it. And wow. It felt good!

cleaning stuff which is probably boringCollapse )

The cleaning frenzy began due to the fact that I have a new violin tutor now. Lauren got a new job in NYC and left town immediately. I'm still keeping in contact with her, though. This new tutor is named Hanna, and she lives right down the street from me! The only downside is that she is $10 more expensive than Lauren, but I am going to try to make it work. I think I can make it work. I hope I can. She likes a month's pay up front, but she's okay with us going week-to-week. I dream of the day when I can shell out $180 all at once - that's more pricey than my & Ch's phone bill!

Had my first lesson with her on Saturday. She is delightful, has a cute side-mullet, and reminds me of a roller-derby girl. We are concentrating on my right armpit and left elbow movements. Very... bionic method. I love it. :)


Saturday afternoon, sun poured into the window, but I needed to do computery stuff, so instead of sitting in the dreary bedroom, I moved my computer out onto the living room coffee table and basked in the glow. Holy shit, I needed that. And repeat on Sunday (and briefly on monday). This move was the best idea ever!

Then I realized something.

With the living room clean (and staying clean now that I'll have a weekly guest), with nothing on my list to do, I felt very relaxed! I can't remember the last time I felt truly relaxed in my own home.

Shit. I could get used to that.

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If you read the list, the top is stuff for "Lydia's Display" Lydia is my ball-joint doll, and I have decided that I need to change her up every month, plus it'll give me good practice for set-building. What follows is the December set. I made everything except the tree (I did make the ornaments), and the doll + her attire. That fireplace was a bit of a pain.

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I also did a "family" shot. Don't go looking for my photoshop mistake ;)

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And here were a couple of teasers I posted while setting up:

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Tech Types

Transmet - HALT
These are the types of people I deal with at work, as a student technology help desk rep.

1) HOLD MY HAND.
These people need every single action validated for them before they can proceed. "Where do I go when I'm done with this?" "It says to enter my date of birth, should I do that?" "I had an email that walked me through this process, should I go find that email and read it?" "I put my username here, right? [points to field that says 'username']"

2) BUT IT'S HAAAARRRRRD.
They can't believe how many hoops they have to jump through just to get their shit straight (when they have a checklist that was mailed to them for convenience). And "SO many passwords to remember" (yes, a PIN for your records, and one single password for literally everything else).

3) LOST THE ABILITY TO EVEN [AKA: CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE]
Why do they even have to set up an email when they'll never check it?! (Answer: it's how we tell you your class is canceled, but more importantly, it's how you log into the campus computers and onto the network) These students (or parents of students) also can't be bothered to read documents sent to them in the mail, and assumes everything is hunky-dory until they realize they should have read things after all, and all I hear is "TL;DR so I threw it away! Why didn't anyone tell me I needed to learn to read!" Oftentimes, they're not even at a computer when they call, because they think we'll just magically do what needs to be done for them.

4) LET ME TELL YOU MY LIFE'S STORY
These people will spend the next 10 - 20 minutes of my time explaining all events that lead up to their problem, what extra problems they're having now because of this problem, as well as side-stories they think I should know for some reason as some kind of double-back-story, before I can ask them what their actual problem is (which usually entails me asking what the error message says to finally match up what they're trying to do). These are often re-directs. Transferred to someone who can also hear their life's story.

5) I'M LISTENING
These can go a number of ways. Sometimes they are good listeners and all I have to do is get them to the form they need to fill out, or explain what a certain error means, and how to correct it. Sometimes they turn into HOLD MY HAND students, or they just want me to stay on the line while they fill out the form themselves, because they probably won't read the error message they get and want me to read it for them (I can see the error messages they get on my end). Sometimes they aren't at their computers, but have a pen and paper ready for detailed instructions (which, from me, will just be the website to the proper form and what details are needed). The satisfying part is that they listened to the directions, even if they didn't read the directions.

6) I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING
Another that can go either way. Some are related to the CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE students, and refuse to listen when I tell them what they need to do, because they "already tried that ['that' being some completely different process than what I am telling them]". "You need to click on the-" "I AM CLICKING!" They're also, often, not even at a damn computer when they call.
Then there are the rare birds... the ones that ACTUALLY DO know what they're doing! They are tech-savvy and their problem is usually real, and not just some PICNIC error. They state their problem immediately, without filler, and have the error message already at hand (and they read the whole thing). These are the precious few I love to help, but also hate to help (because it means there's an actual issue, and that's bad).


7) THANK YOU SO MUCH
99% of the time, everyone from each category above are very grateful, and that's the part I like about my job. It'd otherwise be very soul-crushing.

The Write

Night Vale
I can't remember if I'd linked my writing journal diellowrites or not, but there it is. It's an old journal, and I've locked (almost) all old entries, and am using it currently to post first chapters of some stories I'm tinkering around with. The latest one is a sci-fi story, and the previous is a young adult (girls) story that comes with a trigger warning.

"Friend"

Pam
I don't know why this one girl ever asks to hang out with me. She used to ask me to join her for coffee all the time last year, and I go to that coffee place anyway, so why not... But she'd always be too busy with homework to talk to me, or she'd say "let's catch up real quick before I have to leave," and she'd rattle off some details about her life, and then leave.

We were better friends back when I'd regularly attend lolita gatherings, but she does not treat me very well. Much like any social group, there's at least one person who causes a lot of drama, or trash-talks people behind their backs. Lolita groups tend to have about 80% these types of people. It's literally "Mean Girls" in frilly dresses. You can get past the bullshit with some of them, but others are more catty.

Anyway, my big falling-out with this girl happened a few years ago. I'd spent all night working on her costume for a local convention, as a favour for giving me a lift there in the morning, and when morning came, she did not. She messaged me 3 hours after pickup time, and told me she was already at the con, and sorry, she forgot me.

On top of that, I've done several things for her with promises of payment, even exchanges of dinner or dessert. Nope. And so, when I open commissions for portraits, or ask to draw people for free, I ignore her when she requests I draw her, even for pay, because I just know.

She says she feels really bad about these things, but I just can't believe that feeling bad is that high on her priority list.


However, today, she sent me a text, "so do you only work tuesdays and thursdays?" I've given her my work schedule a hundred times. I work every day. Tuesdays, I work two shifts, so I only can go to the cafe between certain hours. And I replied this. And I also said I will be at Java's from 1ish to 4ish. She replied back, "I just got out of class [this was at noon], do you have a break?"

I just told her 1-4. So why am I so nice as to still go out to coffee with her when she can't even be bothered to read my goddamn texts??? I don't mind getting coffee with her, since we go to the same cafe anyway, but come on.


*end rant* I just wanted to get that out.

Edit: Why am I locking this? Unlocked. If she sees it, she sees it, and she'll know.

EDIT: Surprise!!! She canceled last minute. It's almost an amusing game at this point.

Assorted Updates

FLCL - Guitar
Inktober & NaNoWriMo
A few photos from my Inktober/DrawMo sketchbook, of which I filled only 13 pages, and then began using for NanoDrawMo, a title which doesn't make much sense, as I don't think the creators know what the No in NaNo stands for, but I'll be magnanimous here, since I'm attempting to participate after all. Will not get 50 done, though. I've got barely 3 so far.
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I am participating in NaNoWriMo, but am already at the point where I'm toggling between stories. I never intended to write a full novel, but instead many short stories, or even a sort of vignette. Now I'm not sure if I'll write a novel, a vignette (both of which would be loosely based on my experiences growing up and being homeless), or a sci-fi story - which will be an extension of the one I wrote several years ago and submitted to Weird Tales Magazine. Anyway, I'm trying to do a lot more than writing, so I'm scheduling my time to write as being after work at Java's cafe. I've always had to walk home after work, but spending a few hours in the cafe every day after work will give me a good buffer of time so that Charles will be able to pick me up instead. Plus, it's getting dark earlier, and I don't like walking downtown alone in the dark.

Halloween
I dressed up at work - minimally, but literally. I decided to be a Fawn this year, but I made the horns too long, and everyone called me a reindeer. I clipped them down to size later, but for work (and violin lesson), I looked like this:
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The others in the group shot are co-workers Ana and Dennis - Dennis, who was one of the main directors for the amazing 90s show Gargoyles, by the way (one of the new guys here just found out, and was totally star-struck all week)!

I had a quiet Halloween in, with no intention of going out for the first time in many years. I got a bunch of candy, enough to fill a big chips bowl with some spillover (into my mouth). But, I live in a transient neighbourhood, which means, not many kids. So when I heard a ring at the doorbell, I got so excited that I told them to take as much as they wanted, since I didn't think anyone else would come. I didn't realize the adults were also hording candy. They took handful after handful, as they said "now let's not clean her out!" And then more handfuls. They DID nearly cleaned me out, the greedy bastards. I only had about five treats left, did not even cover the bottom of the bowl. I'll never make that mistake again.

Glad I had enough for one more little trick-or-treater, so tiny and precious and excited and melt-my-heart adorable!!! The parents stayed at the foot of my stoop as their little Spiderman cried "ticka-tweet!" Made up for the price I had to pay for my earlier mistake :)

But those snot-nosed bastards also kicked in the teeth of my pumpkin! I don't hope for poisoned candy, but I hope they get what's coming to them. Cavities, at least.

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Entertainment
Began and finished playing Bioshock, and woah! Awesome. It was my first shooter game, and I really loved it. I played on the PS3, as PC games have always proven to be too difficult for me (and I am on a PC all day at work). I'll probably make it through Bioshock 2 next month, during vacation. And maybe Batman Origins, if I've dropped enough hints ;)

I'm currently reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson, who I thought I heard of via The Moth podcast, but I'm not finding a connection in my research - maybe I heard of her through someone else on the Moth. Anyway, I'm really loving her story! It's a laugh-out-loud read! In fact, I read another chapter on my lunch break today, and immediately began holding in my laughs at the cafe, as she described the time her fiance met her father for the first time, when her father snuck up behind him and threw a live bobcat on his lap as he yelled "HELLOOOOOOO VICTOR!"

Speaking of books, I was lucky enough to decide to leave the house and head to Barnes and Noble on a day that Laurie Halse Anderson was giving a talk and signing books! Holy shit! Laurie Halse Anderson (discovered 15 years ago, while thinking she was Laurie Anderson, wrong, but not disappointed) is the author of the widely banned book Speak, among others. Speak was the first book I'd willingly read after high school, and the first that I couldn't put down. It made me aware of the Young Adult genre as something real, dangerous, and helped shape me into the writer-wannabe I am today. I got there at the tail end of her meet-and-greet, and I wouldn't have known we were in the same building had I not decided to go upstairs to see a poster with her face and that date on it. I almost fainted on the escalator, which would have been quite a site, a blubbery puddle of a human, tumbling forever down the up escalators. Gladly, I made it, and she was so nice. I bought Wintergirls because I hadn't read it yet, and had her sign it.
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My Only-Horror October was kind of a bust halfway through, but I think I made an impressive haul, nonetheless. It was my own fault, because a lot of the films I chose were foreign, and I'm terrible at setting aside time to only watch a movie (for the sake of the subtitles), rather than watch a movie while crafting or drawing or something, and when I got tired of sitting on the couch, I'd switch over to binge-watch episodes of Leverage, and realized I could be binge-watching Todd & the Book of Pure Evil while still maintaining my Only-Horror stance (and lucky I watched as much as I could of that because they took it off Netflix once Halloween was over, the bastards (but yay, they added Snowpiercer and Addams Family Values). After October ended, I watched some "suggested by Max" movies on Netflix (Detention, The Shock Labyrinth), plus watched some new-to-me series (Deadman Wonderland, Land Girls, Ripper Street). Pretty good stuff!

Also, some random videos I've seen that are amazing:
Leslie the Pony Had an A+ Day!
Too Many Cooks (trust me, you'll want to watch this one all the way through. It gets nuts after 3 minutes)
Interesting Ball
The pony one's fine, but just to be safe, you may not want to watch these with a workplace audience (depending on who you work with).
And most importantly, most beautifully, there is Over The Garden Wall. It's like Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time), Thurop van Orman (Flapjack), and Miyazaki all wrapped into one lovely show. More animation on TV needs to be like this.

Better Myself
I've been learning three pieces for violin this past month, and my tutor admitted, during my last lesson, that she'd never have dreamed of teaching any of them to a student who has only been playing for under a year. It's crazy to think I've been playing for just 6 months, but I have run into so few challenges so far that I am glad I have these difficult pieces to study. They are DAMN complicated (but they looked easy when I picked them)! The first piece I picked (which I chose over the summer, but haven't been at the level to practice til now) is the Lullaby from Pan's Labyrinth. She promised we'd try to break it down by the end of the year, but that time is getting pretty close, so I picked out one that seemed easier earlier this fall: Saint-Saëns's Le Cygne, which I hadn't thought about til I rewatched Welcome To The Dollhouse and heard it. We have practiced this a little bit, and broken down the beginning, however we are far from progress on it, so to prepare me for the many new notes in both these pieces, my tutor has decided to throw a fiddle piece at me, called Bellamy's Jig. Holy shit. It's taken me the better part of the month just to memorize the first line, and I still can't connect the notes as well as I want. So awesome!

I fell off the bandwagon of health for a month, and finally picked back up yesterday, and I am SO SORE. Tomorrow, I start a new regime (the third in a series of 7). I got lazy. I got my period, then got sick, then got my period again. So a month down the drain for exercise (though I did still walk at least a half-hour every day). Then came the sweets. Charles bought me gummy vitamins, and the sweetness sent me on a downward spiral that ended with pizza. I tried to curb it as best as I could, so I'm hoping the damage isn't too severe. I seem to have still lost weight (down to 218!), so hopefully I'll be okay if I keep back to my exercise routine and go back to paleo eating.

Buys
I bought the Handbag of Holding while it was on sale, and I LOVE it! I'll have to install a zipper at some point (it has none, and that's pretty much its only real drawback).

I also went on a mission with my former neighbor Linda that we called The Great Brazier Caper, where I finally got myself fitted by a pro at Von Maur (which, by Linda's description, isn't as amazing an experience as this one store in NYC, probably because it's NYC, of course). She's a school nurse, and a mom of two chesty women, so I didn't feel that awkward being topless in front of her (I've got stage 3 sagging due to a childhood trauma, so on top of that...). I'm thankful the bra I picked out (which still needed an extender, because they don't make my cup size in that style with that sized band) was a nice price ($40), because my second-favourite was $70 (which I still would have paid, but I really needed the flesh-tone one more. Now to search ebay for more of the same.

The Future(tm)
Going backwards: This Saturday is E.A.T. Feast (Early Annual Thanksgiving) which Ron hosts at his house. I promised to make raspberry zucchini muffins (because I came across that recipe and have never baked with zucchini before) and stuffed mushrooms (because the appetizer menu so far is very lacking). Friday, I have another lesson, and have to buy all the ingredients and bake. Thursday, I have a dentist appointment!!!!!!! I was so excited that I got an appointment within a week of requesting one, that I completely forgot I had a lesson at the same time (thankfully, tutor needed to reschedule to Friday, too).

Oh, and there is a Mini Maker Faire next weekend. Might check that out.

And now, if you'll excuse me, there's a new Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast to hear...

Creepy Music and Bike Tossers

Michiru
My violin tutor Lauren had a damn complex piece of music on her stand when I arrived at her apartment for my weekly lesson (this was two weeks ago). She told me about a free performance involving her and a bunch of other professors of Eastman for a Computer Music Center concert, and mentioned she'll be performing this solo piece alongside a computer-made score by a German composer of the late 50s, as well as performing with the Switch~Ensemble in a similar fashion. I had her write down the details, and when I got home, I immediately told Ron and Charles and they agreed to go with me.

This event happened last night. Ron and I met at Hatch music hall and Charles joined us soon after. The first performance, Lauren's, blew us away. The programme led me to believe the music was of a romantic nature, which traditionally, I suppose is true, but that sound that came from the speakers, the computerised score, which reminded me of a waterphone... that erratic bowing and plucking both with and without rhythm... it sent shivers down my spine. So spooky. It set the tone for the entire concert. Each performer had a subtle computer-made backing track, which sometimes didn't sound real, tricking the ear into thinking it's just an echo, or a ghost or whisper of something else besides the performer on the stage. The next two performers played piano, and flute (and then the Switch~Ensemble came on), and they all sounded like something out of a Lovecraft novel.

We walked to Java's after, and talked about the concert, computer music, Cory Doctorow's Maker, and the book Feed, over coffee afterwards (I gave Ron my copy of Feed last year, and he loved it so much, he tells people about it whenever he gets the chance. I hated it for personal reasons, but I don't deny the book is superb, if you can get past the txt-talk).



Today began like any other asshole Tuesday. I have weekends and Mondays off, so Tuesday's the asshole day that wakes me up earlier than I had for the past three days. Reminder: I work tech support at a community college. Most of the calls I received came from parents of high school students looking to pay their bill or activate their accounts, or people who think this is the default number to call for all their bullshit problems. In short, most of the calls I received involved listening to life-stories before they said what they needed, and redirected them to the right number they should have called so they could tell their sob stories all over again.

Otherwise, my morning was so slow that I actually helped students on the floor (I work in a computer lab), even though it's not my job. The one time I did, it was to explain how the ENTER button will move your text down, and so I decided I don't get paid enough to find examples of how I work for a college with literally zero standards for their student body, and didn't help anyone on the floor the rest of the day. *staples palm to face*

Lunch break. This is where it gets interesting.

I walked over to Java's. No, wait. I walked down Main Street, and one street from Java's, I almost got RAMMED by a bicycle!

Now, I'm downtown fairly often, and I'm used to seeing shitbags who don't know the laws riding their bikes through the crowds of people on the freaking sidewalk, and I've gotten pretty good at hearing the sound of bicycle spokes coming up from behind me. I didn't think much of it, just move over a little, but I could hear this guy wasn't slowing, or swerving to go around, and when I looked behind me as I slowly started moving to the side, I realized I needed to HOLY SHIT, JUMP! FUCKING JUMP NOW!! And I let out a scream as I did, just as the guy jumped off his speeding bike, and it came crashing right at my heels (clipped my boots as I leapt just far enough to evade injury). I swore up and down at that piece of shit as he laughed, explaining that he didn't see me, and that his jumping off his bike was an act of courage on my behalf (are you FUCKING kidding me?!) and picked up his bike to speed off. I'd have called the cops if his bike didn't look like most city bikes, and if he didn't look like every other cracked-up asshole downtown.

I almost decided to just pack it in for the day and not go back to work after lunch. Because this is the kind of day I've had.

Fuck.



In other news, I'm playing Bioshock for the first time! It's my first shooter game, and I love it. It helps that there's a beginner mode, and it helps more that it's steampunk'ish, and it helps most of all that I LOVE that music! I've had the soundtrack for about half a year. The Ink Spots are one of my favourite groups! I'm already pretty ace with the shotgun. It's my favourite weapon, though I use the machine gun more often.