Saturday, August 27, 2016

Personal Digest Saturday: August 20 – August 26

Life news this week: 
  • Saturday I spent a bunch of time reading and processing Internet stuff. Then Eric came to pick me up for Drink and Draw and first we went to the Mini Doughnut Factory, which was new to me. We got a box of six donuts and each ate three, and then we had a great Drink and Draw! I got so much drawn there--finished my So You Write comic for next month, finished a sketch dump of pictures of Amethyst, and started a sketch of Garnet and Peridot because I'm a nerd. Eric drove me home and crashed at my place.
  • Sunday I went toy shopping, put a bunch of my mom's stuff on eBay for her, wrote a little bit of e-mail, and spent a bunch of time coloring my Drink and Draw sketch. Man, it came out much better than most of my drawings!
  • Monday was back to work. I was prepared for a rough week but in some ways it wasn't as bad as I expected and in other ways it was worse. I had a TON of stuff to do to help my team prepare for an interview and then ON TOP OF THAT I had three proposals to kickstart by myself. (I usually have a lot of help with them and just handle the administrative aspects, but this time I had to organize the content too and it was kinda like being tossed in the deep end.) I came in early and worked late almost every day of the week. All I did after work was clean up my drawing and post it, then be silly on the Internet.
  • Tuesday at work we got a visit from our corporate HR person and I had to deal with ordering lunch for the presentation as well as all the other stuff I was juggling. Was cool to meet Katrina though. We ate PDQ and I struggled with plotting stuff on a map all day. At home I did another drawing for the upcoming Thursday cartoon episode and got some reading done.
  • Wednesday Jeaux had something else he was going to do so I arranged to have Jeaux Day with him Thursday, and had my mom over instead. We ate spaghetti and later ate popsicles together. I drew some of my webcomic and we hung out together. I helped her with some health care stuff and that was about it.
  • Thursday was long work with fixing drawings, finally getting my proposal stuff for the first due date in a workable form, and finalizing a presentation board. Then I met Jeaux for Moe's burritos and to his house for cartoons. I was expecting a pretty emotional episode this week and yeah, I got it. (There were tears, but it wasn't too bad actually. And my favorite character finally had another song, and it was a duet!!! Seriously, even if you don't like/care about this show, this is a really good calm-down-handle-it song.) Then we decided to watch a couple episodes of the show Stranger Things because everyone's talking about it. It's pretty good. Victor called after I got home and I finished my drawings for the comic while talking to him.
  • Friday was a bit of a madhouse. My entire team went to an interview and left me at the office, and then there was a problem with the presentation and I had to do some quick tricks long distance to save the day, heehee. While they were gone I did a bunch of stuff for the proposal that needed to go out, and when they got back my office manager reviewed my work and made very few changes, yay! So I got my proposal out on time, and then on top of that the next one I needed to work on turned out to be inappropriate for our firm so we aren't going to respond after all. Less work for me, whew. I went home, posted my comic, and relaxed.

New reviews of my book:
  • None.
Interviews, Features, Mentions:
Reading progress:
    New singing performances:

    This week's performance was "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston. Sorry, this one's really not good. 



    New drawings:


    Completed at Drink and Draw: Amethyst sketch dump.
    Begun at Drink and Draw and completed the next day:
    Peridot and Garnet. My headcanon: Garnet thinks it's
    cute when Peridot claims to be the leader.

    Here's a side-by-side comparison to the original sketch from Drink and Draw:

    Picture for this week's episode: "Mindful Education."
    A mindful Stevonnie. :)

    I was texting progress on the drawing to Jeaux while I was doodling them. :)

     


    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0589: "The Ones Who Wrote Them Down."






    New videos:

    None!

    New photos:


    Mini donuts with Eric!
    Donut selfie!
    My usual sammich at Drink and Draw: VLT.
    I really like candy buttons.
    Aesthetic of the day: Classy with a hint of cartoon nerd.
    Bee dress with Cookie Cat necklace.
    Tiger Millionaire plushies exist and I got one!

    Social Media counts:
     
    YouTube subscribers: 5,349 for swankivy (5 new), 588 for JulieSondra (1 new). Twitter followers: 821 for swankivy (lost 1), 1,285 for JulieSondra (5 new). Facebook: 293 friends (1 new, Cheong friended me) and 199 followers (lost 2) for swankivy, 637 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,469 (7 new). Instagram followers: 84 (2 new).

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    Wednesday Factoid: Sunday Routine

    Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What is your Sunday routine?

    I actually kinda have one. Unless I'm on vacation or someone's staying with me, it's usually something like this:

    • Get up when I want
    • Have coffee
    • Play online while waking up
    • Take a shower
    • Have breakfast
    • Play online some more until my hair is dry
    • Record a karaoke song and post it to my website
    • Start the laundry
    • Continue whatever projects or activities I started the day before
    After the morning/early afternoon routine, I don't really have specific Sunday plans. (Sometimes laundry gets pushed to the end of the day if I'm lazy or get caught up in something.) Sometimes I'll read, draw, nap, redecorate my house, make a new video for one of my channels, write, do website stuff, spend too much time on Tumblr, talk on the phone, or watch stuff on YouTube. I don't often go out on Sundays. I just like to stay in and get stuff done.

     

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Not about me

    I have a short and kind of whiny thing to post about today.

    There are people in my life for whom I am a certain kind of invisible because I'll never date them.

    I'm not particularly sad about this. Not to sound like a cliché, but it's their loss if I can't be important to them unless I'm their romantic partner.

    But it does kinda sting sometimes when I'm reminded that for people who think that way, I don't really count in the scheme of things. A while back, a friend talked to me for a long time about romantic troubles, then immediately afterwards wrote some stuff on their blog about how they have "no one" in their lives and are completely alone, etc. I guess I might as well have been a statue for all it mattered, even though I was being a friend and listening. I've also repeatedly had friends suddenly disappear from my life without explanation when they start dating someone, and then when I'm there to distract them or comfort them after the breakup, I'm suddenly worth paying attention to again (until they meet the next person).



    [Sometimes I feel like Patsy up there.]

    This is a problem for anyone who has, shall we say, possibly immature and/or insensitive/oblivious friends. I know it's not a particularly rare problem. And to be honest I'm 100% on board for people having their intensely distracted/infatuated phase in a new relationship. I just, you know, expect them to still treat me like I'm important too once they've recalibrated their balances. I definitely don't want to be the disposable friend that you put in a box until you need someone to spend time with. I want to be a person to you, not a convenience or a provider of a service. 

    This is especially hard for people like me who don't have romantic relationships. I really don't like feeling like I must have been something amusing to do in between what really matters. And I also hate that when I talk about wanting to be valued and treated respectfully, some people misinterpret that as romantic jealousy. In other words, "You wouldn't be jealous about it if you weren't secretly in love with him." Well, there are different versions of love, and I give my love in ways that sometimes cost me quite a lot. When I'm taught by certain folks that my sacrifice and care isn't even on their radar because I'm not their girlfriend, would you believe it stings a little?

    But I tend not to unload these troubles on my friends because when they're talking about their own troubles, they're not going to be receptive to mine. And I don't want to make their issues about me. I might feel used or ignored or dumped, but the reason it hurts is that I care about the person who did it, and when they come back, I so often want to continue supporting them and giving them more chances. They don't do this because they're bad, I remind myself. They don't do it because they mean to. But they do it. And every time they do, I do find myself giving less. Being less invested the second time around. And even though I'm making it about me here on my blog while not invoking any certain person's name, I know better than to make them deal with my disappointment in them. If I ever do bring it up, it won't be while they're having a crisis. I can handle getting treated like garbage without internalizing it. I know better than to believe I deserve to be treated like that. Many people don't. Many of the people I'm talking about here don't. 

    I don't need it to be about me. I don't need that from them.

    I guess it's just sad that if I did need it, they wouldn't be there for me.

    It makes me appreciate those who reciprocate comfortably and value me in their lives even more.

    Saturday, August 20, 2016

    Personal Digest Saturday: August 13 – August 19

    Life news this week: 
    • Well this week has been weird because my friend Jeaux had surgery and I was there helping him and as a result of this saw him every single day this week. Beyond that I haven't done much besides work and be tired.
    • Saturday my mom was supposed to come over so we could go pick out glasses frames for her, but it turned out she didn't feel up to it, though she eventually came over and took me to Michaels to get my new Steven Universe poster framed. (Jeez! The framing cost more than the poster, and the poster wasn't cheap!) I did all my blogging and picture processing stuff before my mom came over. And she brought a frozen french fry meal that we ate together! After she left I just reveled in laziness.
    • Sunday was actually pretty productive in contrast to Saturday. I made a new video, did some karaoke, edited the video, did laundry, subtitled the video, processed a new writing comic, did dishes, redecorated my house, and sent a couple short stories out for submission. I also posted a few drawings, texted with my friend lil Ronni, and prepared my house for Jeaux to be there for a couple days because he was planning to stay with me while recovering from surgery.
    • Monday was pretty weird to be honest. I had the day off work and didn't sleep the night before. My mom was going to take Jeaux and me to the hospital but I worried she wasn't coming when I couldn't get her to answer the phone or any texts to make sure she was on her way, and we were going to be late, so I got us to the hospital in an Uber and then found out my mom showed up a little later. (And she was mad that I hadn't waited.) So at the hospital I waited with Jeaux and helped him pass the time until they dragged him off to the operating room. Then I did some reading in the waiting room until his operation was over.
    • Jeaux did pretty well in the surgery and my mom came by to take us to my place. There I set him up on a mattress on the living room floor so he could play video games on my TV. (He'd brought his PlayStation.) I just hung out with him and observed him to make sure he was okay. He would have to have a big piece of gauze taped over his nose for the next week and he had to change it when it got bloody. I made his dinner and helped get stuff he needed because he wasn't allowed to bend over or do much activity. We had some good times hanging out except that he had just had surgery and had to keep changing the nose thing, heh.
    • Tuesday Jeaux stayed at my house while I went back to work. I brought home some more stuff he needed and we ate pizza together! We also listened to Night Vale and watched cartoons. He decided to go home that night and we got an Uber again. It's pretty cheap and convenient! I helped him take his stuff up the stairs (he's not supposed to climb stairs but he lives up there, so). And then I went home and drew a picture.
    • Wednesday I made my own extremely nerdy test on Sporcle. It's a quiz to test you on your knowledge of Steven Universe storyboarders, and no one is ever going to play it because it is the nerdiest thing in the world. Maybe I should make a more general quiz that people will actually want to play, haha. After work I brought some PDQ food and some soda to Jeaux, and we had a Jeaux Day in his apartment. He had set up his futon cushion just like the mattress I'd given him in front of the TV to play games. We didn't really do anything, just talked and saw a few silly things and I drew pictures.
    • Thursday work was busy, and it's probably going to be busy for a while to come--hope I don't get overwhelmed. Then I went to Jeaux's for the new Steven Universe episode, "Buddy's Book." We're back to weekly! Kind of a relief really. That's a lot of emotion to deal with when it's every day. :P When I got home I discussed the episode with friends online, talked to Victor on the phone, and got some webcomic stuff done.
    • Friday was more busy stuff at work. Jeaux needed mustard and bottled water for one of his treatments and more soda and paper towels, so I brought that stuff to him after work and went home. Finished my comic and did some relaxing.

    New reviews of my book:
    • None.
    Interviews, Features, Mentions:
    • None.
    Reading progress:
    • Finished this week: Nothing, but I'm almost done reading the book I'm reading. I'll probably finish tomorrow and stop being such a slacker!
    • Currently reading: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy.
      New singing performances:

      This week's performance was "Asleep" by the Smiths



      New drawings:

      My old-timey Gems doodle from "Buddy's Book."



      Webcomic So You Write Issue 62: "Slipped Through."









      Webcomic Negative One Issue 0588: "Time Away."






      New videos:

      New video on my writing channel, "Misunderstood Genius," is about people who think they're not getting published because the world is not recognizing their genius.

       

      New photos:

      Me with my first love: candy.

      Jeaux's game at my house while he's recovering.

      I LOVE ROCKS

      And the haircut comparison photos:

      Front, February 2014
      Front, August 2016
      Back, February 2014
      Back, August 2016
      Social Media counts:
       
      YouTube subscribers: 5,344 for swankivy (lost 8), 587 for JulieSondra (4 new). Twitter followers: 822 for swankivy (1 new), 1,280 for JulieSondra (7 new). Facebook: 292 friends (1 new, Tia came back to Facebook) and 201 followers (no change) for swankivy, 636 likes for JulieSondra (lost 1), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (1 new). Tumblr followers: 2,462 (lost 2). Instagram followers: 82 (no change).

      Wednesday, August 17, 2016

      Wednesday Factoid: Back to the Land

      Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What "Back to the Land" skills do you have, or wish you had?

      Oh, that's easy! I have basically none!

      I'd be, like, the WORST person to do one of those wilderness challenge things with because I'm completely useless outside a city with the comforts of home. I don't really even do camping that well.


      To be honest, I don't actively wish I had any "back to the land" skills. I know that developing them takes work and experience, and those are not the things I want to devote my life to. I think it's good that some people enjoy them and can take care of themselves outside the city and with no electricity or whatever, though I tend to be a little skeptical of interacting too much with people who look down on city living. I'm really thinking of a particular subset of them who believe that "the end" of urban life is coming and that when everything explodes, only they and people like them will be able to survive, and they love talking about and yearning for the death and destruction that will wipe out modern conveniences and crown them the knowledgeable, competent ones. Them and their guns, you know.

      People who want to live in more natural, connected-to-the-Earth communities don't bother me that way at all. Especially since most of the commune people recognize this is a choice they've made, not a superior lifestyle that they wish people would be forced into.

      As for skills I'd like to be able to have, I think the one I'd like most is to be able to competently grow my own food. I've had very little luck with this even with trying to grow herbs, and I think it would be cool to have a vegetable garden. As such, I've just raised a few things in pots.




      It would also be kinda cool to be able to start a fire cuz that's awesome. But I very much doubt I'll be doing that without a lighter anytime soon. :)

      Tuesday, August 16, 2016

      A person

      My friend Jeaux just had (minor-ish) surgery and I'm helping him out in a few ways. I went to the hospital with him, sat with him before the procedure, held onto his stuff (someone's gotta keep your glasses and your phone, you know?), helped him get dressed after (well, just his socks and shoes), and let him recover at my house. It's not that he couldn't be alone or needed anything, but a) his apartment is a second-floor apartment and he's not supposed to climb stairs, and b) it's always good to have someone around to help you with stuff and observe you to make sure you're okay after something like this.

      I got him a couple things at the store, cooked his dinner, hung out with him while he played video games, watched some silly videos with him, took his temperature when we were worried he might have a fever (probably not though), and bothered him with a bunch of questions about how he's feeling. He seems to be doing great, even though the recovery stuff is Very Gross and I won't go into why. (I have given him his own trash can for bloody things, and that's all I'll say.) He's taking care of his own Actual Medical Stuff so I don't have to do anything really except help him with little things, but if he did need help with something, I'd try even if it was pretty gross.

      I don't mind helping at all, but he keeps saying thanks for all this and even gave me a hug last night. (We don't really hug much, though we don't have a policy or anything. We're just both not cuddly people.) I just say I'm glad he trusts me enough to be there for him during a sort of vulnerable time. We trust each other and can depend on each other. He's not my boyfriend, my partner, or my husband, but he's sort of my Person.

      It's nice to have a Person to trust. But what's weird is that people think if we have that sort of confidence and trust in each other, we must have (or just probably have) a physically and/or sexually intimate relationship. At the hospital, they told Jeaux to get in his hospital gown and then just shut the curtain with me in there with him. Like it was obvious that if a girl was with him for support, she belonged in the room with him while he was naked.

      I just stepped outside the curtain and waited 'til he was done. I don't need to see him strip. Like eeeeeew.

      (Just kidding, kind of, because we don't mind like changing our pants in front of each other or whatever, but it's mostly because neither of us care to look. It's hard to explain, but I guess neither of us is uncomfortable doing stuff in front of each other that you don't do in front of strangers or acquaintances partly because we really have no desire to put those actions into intimate/sexual context. If that makes sense.)

      Jeaux reminded me that if I ever have to have surgery he'll be there for me too. But besides that, we can sort of expect that each other will be around for such things as having a plus-one for things to make them less boring, having someone to ask for advice or help, and having someone there for the things you need a Person for--someone who knows when you don't want them there, too. We understand each other's boundaries really well. We both prefer low amounts of social interaction and enjoy our weekly hangouts partly because we're so well prepared for how long they'll last. Neither of us is clingy or sullenly expecting more time or attention than we get from one another. We just really found a balance that works, and we fulfill each other's needs really well.

      But even though he's an important lifelong friend, the flavor of our feelings isn't romantic and never has been. And he has never once tried to move our relationship toward something more traditional--not even when we first met and men are most likely to interpret any feelings they have for a woman as sexual/romantic. He never presented me with those desires or acted like I was supposed to deal with them. He never acted like it should just be expected that a heterosexual man will desire an attractive woman no matter what and just expect her to live with knowing he would like it better if they were romantically/sexually involved. Jeaux has never, not once, treated me like my asexuality and aromanticism are some impediment to our closeness.

      And of course there are still people (including some who should know better) who insist that he is surely hiding these feelings from me, or that inevitably he and I will just decide to stop being special snowflake friends and get married like everybody else, or that there's something inappropriate about us being each other's Person if we're not romantically involved. I've even heard people say that without that romantic bond and/or stated romantic commitment, you can't trust that the other person will be there for you. It is this bond and only this bond that guarantees that support.

      Funny, since I've seen declared commitments (up to and including marriage) get violated and fail to hold up under stress all the time, and yet we seem to be handling "in sickness and in health" pretty well for people who aren't married. True, this is minor and will pass, and I can't guarantee I'd be in a position to help him if he, say, became permanently disabled and needed a caregiver, but I can say with certainty we'd both help each other to the greatest extent we could if we ever faced a really bad situation. We've already proved that we step up to the plate for each other.

      I'm rambling again but I guess my point is a) partnerships you can trust can come in flavors other than sexual/romantic and b) Jeaux's pretty great and I kinda resent that people don't respect our relationship's depth because we're not involved that way.

      I hope I never NEED to have a Person step up to help me, but I like knowing he's there.

      Saturday, August 13, 2016

      Personal Digest Saturday: August 6 – August 12

      Life news this week: 
      • Even though it was no fun going back to work after vacation, it helped that I had awesome cartoons to watch. :) Like, imagine you're a football person and the Super Bowl is a huge exciting event for you. Then imagine it goes on every day for a month. Except it's only 11 minutes long. That's what this month has been. It's weird and distracting.
      • Saturday I had to pack up my stuff and leave with my friends. We did some toy shopping, and then Meggie and Katelyn had to leave to go visit her mom and go back to Jacksonville. I processed pictures for most of the free time that day and did my blogging. Then just watched cartoon reactions on YouTube.
      • Sunday was a nice lazy day, though I did a bunch of stuff too--laundry, karaoke, drawings, unpacking. I talked to my sister and Mom, made some tofu, and just decompressed, I guess.
      • Monday I dug myself out of a ditch at work, but it wasn't too bad at all--I finished my backlog of stuff the same day. Then I went shopping, went to Jeaux's house for Steven Universe double episodes "Beta" and "Earthlings" (holy crap, "Earthlings" was intense!), and then watched Jeaux play the new video game No Man's Sky over Skype. He has been excited about this game for more than a year and now he can finally play. YAY! Also a poster I special-ordered came--a limited edition Steven Universe art print. Gotta get that framed.
      • Tuesday was kind of a joke. I played a bunch of silly online quizzes. At Jeaux's, we had more pizza and watched "Back to the Moon" (another really good episode!) and the season finale to the first season of Wrecked. Then I went home and hung out with my mom. We had some pasta and I put some of her cool dishes up for sale on eBay. Oh, and I bought some toys online.
      • Wednesday I bought more toys and had more down time, ate at PDQ with Jeaux (I had a grilled cheese!), watched the episode "Bubbled," and hung out with Jeaux longer than usual because he was on vacation so he didn't have to run off to work. I did some more drawings.
      • Thursday was a little busy at work. At Jeaux's I ate popcorn and watched him play his video game until cartoons came on. We watched the episode "Kindergarten Kid" and I went home, talked to Mom, and talked to Victor on the phone while finishing up the comic.
      • Friday I did a bunch of business development stuff at the office, then watched "Know Your Fusion" at Jeaux's while eating an entire bag of cheese popcorn. Then I went home and posted my comic and didn't do much but talk about cartoons online and hang around being a dork. I have gotten tired early every day this week, and I keep waking up early too. Isn't that the opposite of what vacation is supposed to do?

      New reviews of my book:
      Interviews, Features, Mentions:
      Reading progress:
      • Finished this week: Nothing. See above notes about comparing cartoons to the Super Bowl.
      • Currently reading: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy.
        New singing performances:

        This week's performance was "Walk This World" by Heather Nova



        New drawings:

        Did a bunch of more-detailed-than-usual drawings to celebrate the last week of Summer of Steven episodes. These were each drawn as sort of "guesses" about each episode's content focus, so I could use them in my Facebook posts to talk about episodes.

        Day 16: Peridot and Lapis being nerds,
        with Amethyst and Steven in the background.
        Episodes: "Beta" and "Earthlings."
        Day 17: Rubies going to the moon!
        Episode: "Back to the Moon."
        Day 18: Steven in a bubble.
        Episode: "Bubbled."
        Day 19: Peridot determined to conquer a monster in the Kindergarten.
        Episode: "Kindergarten Kid."
        Day 20: Garnet and Pearl opposite Amethyst and Steven,
        with their Fusions silhouetted behind them.
        Episode: "Know Your Fusion."



        Webcomic Negative One Issue 0587: "Not For You."






        New videos:

        None!

        New photos:

        My shirt for Day 16 of the marathon, watching "Beta" and "Earthlings."
        My new limited edition poster.
        Jeaux playing No Man's Sky while I watch on Skype.
        My shirt for Day 17 of the marathon, watching "Back to the Moon."
        My shirt for Day 18 of the marathon, watching "Bubbled."
        My shirt for Day 19 of the marathon, watching "Kindergarten Kid."
        My shirt for Day 20 of the marathon, watching "Know Your Fusion."
        Social Media counts:
         
        YouTube subscribers: 5,352 for swankivy (no change), 583 for JulieSondra (4 new). Twitter followers: 821 for swankivy (9 new), 1,273 for JulieSondra (1 new). Facebook: 291 friends (lost 1? or maybe a certain person deactivated again?) and 201 followers (1 new) for swankivy, 637 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 55 likes for Negative One (no change), 125 likes for So You Write (1 new). Tumblr followers: 2,464 (lost 3). Instagram followers: 82 (2 new).