Growing up.

I’ve gotten to the point of resisting posting. Not only am I avoiding broaching huge family issues here, but there are things other than jewelry, art, and the blog which are happening or should be happening, which have bigger realistic payoff. I’m also losing direction without the structure of University. Normally, classes would have just started.

A big part of this is my ambivalence towards spending large amounts of time at the computer. I know that I want to spend more time In Real Life, but at the same time I think I’ve begun to forget how to do it. It doesn’t help that for most of the last two and a half years, I’ve been tied to technology, for the sake of the possibility of economic mobility and healthcare.

I do have my coding and Japanese language study to get back to, though these courses are presently relatively unstructured. That is, no grades, no deadlines: I may need to make some of the latter. I also scheduled a Cataloging class (also no grades, but more structured), and have enough free time to practice driving — and cooking.

It isn’t like I’m not doing anything. I did submit a job application for Hawaii, including sending supplemental documents. Today I remembered that I had photos on this computer of Waikiki…which made me miss it a bit. Particularly, I’m aware that none of us are getting any younger, and that each moment together thereby is precious. I’m also missing my sibling, on top of knowing that things aren’t going to stay this abundant forever.

By June: I hope to have successfully completed my Cataloging class, to have made reasonable progress in my coding, to have obtained better-compensated employment, and to have some kind of clarity as to whether we’re staying in California or moving to Oahu.

A more extended goal is to figure out whether I’ll be happy in Public Library work, or whether I want to work in an Academic Library environment. As I become more comfortable in my own body and situation, I feel much more at ease in dealing with Public Service.

This is particularly as I’ve realized that I don’t have to give away personal information, that I can handle it when people overstep their bounds, and that even if I am mistaken for a woman, I don’t have to accept random misogyny and disrespect. Enmity I’ve experienced has been a consequence of attempted social control, particularly attempted control over everyone who isn’t a cisgender, heterosexual man. But at this point I’m an adult, and have been one for a while. I’m not anywhere near as vulnerable as I once was.

It is interesting, however, to have been in Oahu and to feel…not weird, for once in my life. At this point I feel I’m reclaiming the part of myself which is Black at the same time as I’m reconnecting with my Japanese ancestry. I’m not sure, but maybe since I visited, I’ve felt more like an entire person, and like it’s okay to be an entire person. That it’s okay to be different, because everyone is different, and we just need to meet each other where we are.

I also feel like I’m becoming far more capable of being independent; like I’m progressing on that path, and like I am able to preview a bit of what life could be like.

Maybe one day I’ll even be comfortable enough to share pictures of myself online, instead of being as anonymous as I am…

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Images

I finally took and processed images in regard to the last two posts. Because I’m using GIMP 2 instead of Photoshop (the latter of which I’m relatively familiar with), I’m toward the beginning of the software’s learning curve. I can get it to work, but it takes a little while of looking around to figure out what I can do and where the tools are located.

Of course, that doesn’t help if you forgot that photographing something white against something black might mean that the white gets washed out.

Pearl, glass, brass, and gold-fill earrings
Trial run.

Above is an image of the more-successful earrings I made, the other night. Of course, that’s way enlarged; the earrings themselves are only about an inch long. I’m thinking it’s evident how I could imagine these as drops from a chain necklace.

The next image (sorry, I can’t yet figure out how to insert text with an image in the same block) is the second pair of earrings I made. Apparently, I didn’t trim the cord at the bottom equally on each side, which makes one earring look significantly longer than the other one. It’s not noticeable on wearing them, though.

blue macrame and crystal quartz earrings

So the spherical beads are titanium-fumed crystal quartz beads. The metal vapor causes the beads to have a bluish-brown sheen. Without the titanium, the beads would be completely clear like glass.

I should have checked these more closely when I got them; one of the beads has a damaged edge along the drill hole, and possibly an internal fracture. However, using them in this way should minimize the possibility that the edge will saw through the stringing material. There’s not much chance of it moving.

The biggest issue I have with these earrings is that the macrame ring — because of its hue — reminds me of “blue ribbon” awards. I may have to cut this apart and remake it (again). The base ring was from a gold-plated chain. It’s easier to tie one of these, by the way, while it’s still attached to the chain and then cut it loose, than it is to cut a link loose and then put knots around it. The attached chain gives one something to hold onto.

The fire-polished beads below the quartz are from the same strand of beads I used in the first image. I’m not sure what the color is called, but it has what looks like an AB (Aurora Borealis) coating.

Right now I’m looking forward to dealing with the materials I have laid out for the necklace I was initially intending to make…while trying to figure out whether to skip to a different project (the one the first pair of earrings inspired). The second will actually necessitate some purchases, however; and I have confirmed that Size 2 Griffin silk will fit through the other pearls.

Yeah, maybe work on the silk one first. I still have to do some design work on it, though…

Femme expression

I did get up early to go to vocational counseling. Today was full of travel, including a seminar which I decided to attend at the last minute. Because of this, by the time I had enough time to do much in the line of creativity, the sun was already down. As the point of waiting overnight before photographing my last post’s earrings was to gain natural light, I just had to scratch it, today.

I did get some Griffin silk thread in Size 2 for the pearls. It’s the smallest carried by the little store I went to (which sells two yards for $0.35 cheaper per-card than my normal online place), but luckily, it fits right inside the drill holes I’ve thought to be most delicate.

Yesterday I purchased Sizes 3 and 4 in lavender silk, but realized shortly that Size 3 was much too thick to fit through the drill holes. Size 4, then, which I didn’t even try, is much too large. I can feel the difference in size with my fingertips easily, but it’s hard for me to see it.

The upshot is that now I have samples of sizes 2, 3, and 4, so that I will know what gauge I need to order for semiprecious beads and pearls, next time I get these things that seem like they should be on wire rather than thread.

In particular, I have the seed of an idea for a green and bronze necklace that hasn’t quite come together, yet. A very long time ago, I was working on this. Right now I have a tray full of coordinating browns and greens…and have yet to settle on (or figure out) a design. I do have the centerpiece, though. That much is done.

(I think I just have to stop being overly dependent on the seed beads…maybe a double chain with my square studs will work? I need to stop saying, “oh, that’s too simple, I can’t do that,” because anything is better than this project sitting around unfinished, taking up space in my storage and my mind. So long as this stuff is segregated out, I can’t get a total feel for everything I have.)

I also found in the set of nice earrings I made yesterday, that the drill hole in one of my fire-polished beads is slightly diagonal. This means that the bead is seated slightly diagonally in the center of the design. I’m kind of irritated at this imperfection, but it seems OK…I don’t think anyone will notice, but me. Those who do notice will probably just think that it’s, “rustic.”

Last night I noted that the 28g dead-soft brass wire I used (I just confirmed it, it is 28g) had an ideal combination of strength (enough to pull on), flexibility (enough to take sharp bends), and rigidity (enough to form a self-loop and hold it). It wouldn’t be something I would use as a design element in something where the wire would be stressed, but as a delicate element constellating several other elements into a self-standing unit, it’s OK.

To be honest though, a set of these hanging from a delicate gold-fill chain would be — seriously — lovely. And I don’t use the word, “lovely” very often. It just fits these earrings, and a set of them around a neck (in single or multicolor) would be gorgeous. If I can find something to set off the big white pearl I got in Hawaii (embellishment at the top, maybe heavy planished brass wirework), I can use that as a central pendant to make the profile V-line, instead of U-line.

To make more units around the sides, I’d need to replenish my stash of tiny gold-plated round spacers. Looking at it, I think they’re 1.5mm wide. Gold-fill in such quantities is cost-prohibitive; I would use gold-plated brass.

And it would be a good way to use up my drop pearls. I mean, it could actually be fun. I think I just need to decide what kind of bead to put in the centers of the components — type, shape, or color. It looks like the beads I used were 5mm fire-polished rounds (from end to end)…which I didn’t realize. 5mms are hard to come by!

I’d also need to be careful where I wore these: the necklace would be high-end, meaning for fancy gatherings and nights out, only. I think wearing them just generally…it would be like wearing elaborate jewelry to the toilet or something. 🙂 It would be something that got attention…which I wouldn’t want to wear, say, on the job (I get annoyed when guys flirt with me at work…sometimes people think I’m pretty for them, as versus for myself. This is a reason I’ve marred my own beauty, before).

I’m thinking I’m in “femme” space right now, is what I’m thinking. I mean seriously, I get to these places sometimes and I almost feel like an actual member of society who can take a full and respected place. Like someone who has value and is valued. And is a member of a community, or multiple communities.

It’s not something I’ve experienced often, at least in my adult life.

I still feel really at home in non-binary space, though. I can do this stuff (jewelry, embroidery, sewing), but at least in the past it has been predicated on my not assuming myself to be a woman doing it. The term “woman” is just too loaded for me, and before I realize what’s going on, I find myself trying to conform in ways which cause me to give up my own power.

It’s like if I’m going to express “femme,” it’s going to be because I am being who I choose to be, not because of outside pressure.

Conversely, I’m not going to avoid femininity because society says that’s the only way I can be if I don’t take on the identity of “woman.”

And yeah, I’ve been really attracted to/crushing on femmes (of multiple sex statuses) before. It’s something I’m curious about, but…hmm. Maybe I want to explore that?

I suppose there’s no real reason I can’t… unless I’m afraid of being called, “lesbian,” (again,) that is (though the people most likely to say this, in my experience, have been straight women and Assigned-Female-At-Birth men). The thing is that I’ve found a lot of lesbian people to have a really different outlook on life than myself. I kind of have traversed genders in a way that others haven’t. My way has been complex…I actually had to question my gender.

But I do know, now, that people come to identify as gay and lesbian for multiple reasons, and not all of them are directly related to sexual orientation…but that doesn’t mean we can’t care for each other. It just means that life is not always as simple as we want to make it…

Two sets of earrings completed…

…Though one of them I love extensively more than the other.

I do have to get on job applications again, but after work on Wednesday, I was more excited that there was still sunlight (I thought I was working from 9-6, but I wasn’t), and started playing with the beads I got on Tuesday, and didn’t tell you about.

I went to a newer bead store in the area for silk thread, and ended up coming away with $45 in colored glass fire-polished beads (retail, not wholesale; their wholesale value is probably about $20, considering I did get the silk thread). These beads have facets ground into them and then are reheated so they melt a little and get this gorgeous flashy (“vitreous”) surface. Some of these beads have surface treatments, though most are transparent (I am not sure about the little 3mm lavender ones I got; they may be a little milky).

Because I went to a bead store (and not Michael’s), I’m confident that the beads are not just coated in dye. There are online sellers for this stuff too (Czech fire-polished glass beads), but it’s an entirely different workflow than designing in the bead store itself.

So I ended up spending a little more than half an hour in there, making critical color and purchasing decisions (in person!) which worked out pretty well, once I got the beads home and matched them with my pearls (the ones I got in Honolulu for $75 retail, meaning I’ve invested about $100 in the piece I’m working on now [not either of the two sets of earrings]…for which I’m still trying to design a decent layout. It’s going to take some playing around to get to a working conclusion, though).

See, this is why I got a Master’s degree, because this stuff is expensive and not affordable unless:

  1. it’s an occasional indulgence,
  2. I’m selling,
  3. I’m already set up with tools and materials, or
  4. I have a discretionary fund gained from having family subsidize my living expenses while I have a stable job.

Numbers 2, 3, and 4 may be something that come to fruition if I get a gainful Library job, stay with family, and have enough free money to purchase supplies in bulk (as versus groceries, utilities, clothing, incidentals, and rent). It’s really not a big thing to get a resale license; it just means submitting taxes quarterly on any income.

If I became an Adult Services Librarian in a Public Library setting, I could also teach this stuff for free and thus share my enthusiasm, build community, and learn from other beaders. I say “Adult Services” because a lot of these materials are not meant for use by people under the age of 14 — developing brains might be harmed.

From working with paints, I understand that a lot of colorants may be specifically unsafe for use with children. If I were planning on ever getting pregnant, it might also give me pause to expose my own body to these materials, but that is likely nowhere in my future.

Anyhow, I was able to use some other pearls I had from before to make a pair of earrings I really, really like. I mean…these are top-drilled pearls, basically rice-shaped and teardrop pearls (though on this strand, it was the odd teardrop) which are drilled in the short direction, across one end. They’re not easy to use because of the chaos factor; it’s never really known what direction they will point.

I had some round gold-filled spacer beads in my stash — two sizes — which I used to fill the gaps between the top-drilled pearls, and bent the thread line so that both ends came out through another bead at the top. I ended up, however, using brass wire (I think it’s 28-gauge, though there’s an off-chance it may be 26) to go through the thread path, then bending that top bead over, looping both open ends of the wire around the first established wire loop, then threading both ends back up through the top bead and finishing with a wrapped loop.

The finished item has some movement to it, but not enough to really detract from the overall design-as-worn. They’re actually super-cute, and a creative way to use a bead that is not meant to be inherently symmetrical.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out whether I want to buy a decent amount of gold-filled round wire so that I can do more stuff like this, without using something that will tarnish. Fine gauges of wire are actually surprisingly affordable (for anything containing precious metal), as they don’t use a lot of material.

You still want to practice first with the cheap stuff, though. I have brass and copper; and hardware-store material is fine or even preferable, here. Silver-plated wire, I just avoid; even “non-tarnish” wire will tarnish, and badly; or you’re dealing with, “Nickel Silver,” which I take to mean, “white metal with nickel in it,” and I’m allergic to nickel. Then there’s steel, which is an entirely different animal.

I use gold-fill wire and beads instead of gold-plate (when I can, or in projects I especially care about) because I don’t want the gold on the outside to flake off from applied pressure. I’m very familiar with the latter on gold-plated findings (metal bits used in jewelry) and focals, though usually cheap gold-colored wire is just brass (or brass-plate, if we want to get cheaper; I’ve even seen copper-plate wire. I mean, how cheap does it have to be?! I can get pure copper wire at the hardware store, and it’s not expensive!).

The reason to use gold instead of brass is the fact that brass will tarnish, and polishing something like this (with tiny tiny hooks from the wire ends) with a polishing cloth, will likely damage it. Ultrasonic cleaning will likely damage the pearls. Gold-fill wire will not tarnish, eliminating that variable, and making the piece harder-wearing.

As for the cost of gold itself…it’s so expensive that it’s out of the question to use solid gold wire (at least until I get my own atelier and sell in Nordstrom or something; at which point I’d likely be using something more expensive than glass [think Cubic Zirconia or lab emerald], for that center bead).

The economics of this did become clear to me today, though. If I used gold-filled wire, those earrings wouldn’t really cost me that much to make, and all of the gold would be gold-plate or gold-fill. Aside from that, I used three pearls and a firepolished glass bead for each earring. That’s not a lot of money I’m putting out, but I could easily sell them for at least $25-$35/pair, as I’m using real gold (even if it’s not solid) and real pearls. (I should remember, though, the wasted 28-gauge [28g] wire that is just used to hold onto the rest of it. There are places to recycle this, though. With the amount of damage gold mining does to the environment, it’s a little bit of relief.)

The fragility of 28g wire isn’t even an issue here, because earrings don’t get bent up like necklaces, bracelets, and rings, do — especially if the bottom edge has no jagged ends sticking out to get caught in something like a knit sweater.

I did come to the realization when first considering selling, that I’d have to move a lot of earrings to come out ahead, financially. This is because earrings don’t take a long time to make or design, relatively; they also use a relatively small amount of materials. On top of that, the personality of a set of earrings changes greatly depending on their color scheme, meaning I could use the same pattern in different ways, and thus save some time on the design aspect.

At this point, it is 1 AM my time. I will wait until tomorrow to photograph my work and upload images, but being the instant-gratification-yearning person I am, I will post this and then go to bed. Someone on the other side of the globe will like it. 🙂

I also made a pair of earrings using a macrame technique and some titanium-fumed Crystal Quartz…which I didn’t even get around to. Tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

And, right, there was the realization that the seed beads were no match for the fire-polished rounds in sophistication…I just don’t want to forget that I noticed this…

Craft books, and priorities.

The last two days (prior to today) have been spent going through my personal library. I hadn’t realized how many books I had. Nor did I realize the content of all of those books. When we move, no matter where we move to, I’ll have to pack some of this stuff up.

The task is reminding me of my Collection Development class, though much of what I’m doing now is basically what we call, “weeding,” in the Public Library sector — more of a Collection Management thing than specifically a Development thing.

The surprising thing is how many of my beadwork and jeweling books are still of use, though I was able to find duplicate content from many of my older and introductory books in later, newer and more complex publications. I can also tell from the collection, how much I was looking for books which would assist me in the “design” portion of jewelry-making.

There are a few things I do really well. One of these is beadweaving. I’ve also found silversmithing to be something I’m competent at, though it’s not something I’m overall drawn towards. However — I can use basic pick soldering skills to work at silver filigree.

It’s something I haven’t tried yet, mostly because it does require the use of a torch, now outside of my past studio environment (though it uses a smaller flame than heavy-duty hard soldering). It also requires a way to polish the final product…which, to the best of my knowledge, can only be accomplished through a gentle method like tumbling (tumblers are expensive), or the use of 3M rotary discs with something like a Dremel or Foredom flex-shaft.

I mention filigree, as a lot of what I’ve wanted to do has to deal with the use of specific shapes I want to emphasize (and right now I’m still used to working in 2-D). It shouldn’t be difficult to make a shaped frame, if you know a bit of wirework and how to pick-solder. The rest of it requires bending wire to fill the frame, and soldering or fusing those pieces into place. I know I bought a book on wire filigree, but right now I have no idea where it is, or if I had it and got rid of it.

The main drawback would seem to be the fact that filigree is usually flat, though with the right shaping tools (like a dapping block and punches) and some creativity, that’s not necessarily how the final piece has to turn out. I’m thinking about things like flower petals, and arcs…though the first seems as though it would be difficult to do cleanly if it’s a hot connection instead of a cold connection (such as wire-wrapping).

That’s mainly because a connection has to be flush, clean, hot, and in-contact to solder; I’m not sure if the same is the case for fusing. All of this also requires some specific start-up costs, though…I’ve had handmade filigree earrings, basically from a street vendor before, and they were (are) pretty much, beautiful. (I actually bought them at a table in the Student Union, in my undergraduate University.)

I did realize, though, that I also wanted to deal with sewing and embroidery: it’s just a newer thing to realize that I can alter and change patterns. I also realized that not all patterns are stereotypically excessively feminine, even though the main companies like Butterick’s and McCall’s, I remember as…not made with myself in mind. I’m not sure that’s accurate, though, because it’s been a while since I looked in either of their catalogs.

The main issues I have are restrictive and constricting patterns, and the lack of masculine wear. However…in my mid-thirties, now, my clothes are kind of encouraging me to move on into skirts and dresses, because they just fit better and are more comfortable. As long as I can move enough to fight or escape, I’m fine. The issue arises when I try to run in a pencil skirt and clip myself; or lift my hand above my head, and my shirt exposes my belly; or lean over, and others can see down my collar; or my dress is made to stay up only by clinging to my breasts. That’s when I have issues.

But the first time we went to Oahu, we went to a muumuu factory…and I got some really nice, comfortable, lightweight dresses that fit. It’s amazing to me. If I lived in Hawaii, I would without question be wearing skirts and dresses. It’s just really sticky, otherwise.

Both beadweaving and sewing are methods of fine hand-work that can have a lot to do with color, but they aren’t the same thing. In one form you’re working linearly; in the other, with joining two-dimensional flat pieces.

In sewing, I just need to learn when to use which stitch, and when it’s actually smart to switch to a sewing machine. I’m interested in hand-stitching, which came from manipulating a needle and thread in beadweaving. After a while, you just get used to sticking yourself; but for some reason, I get pleasure out of manipulating a needle and thread.

The other tangent I intend to continue on is working with beaded micromacrame. I’m just not certain which of these — sewing, embroidery, wirework, beaded micromacrame, beadweaving, or beadwork more generally — I’ll end up dealing with most (maybe I should rate how far I have progressed in each, in my Bullet Journal?). I do realize now, however, that all of these skills will likely be in-demand if I become a Public Librarian. I know enough to be able to teach or co-learn, and I have the interest.

I should get some rest before I stay up into the early morning again: I have work tomorrow, and need to pick up some fresh produce, afterwards. Luckily, I don’t have to stay there long, and the work should already be underway by the time I get there; the tough part of resuming work after a holiday closure, should be either done or in-progress.

I’m also considering getting a lucet (for interlooping) tomorrow. Like a crazy person. But we’ll be in the area…

If I ever get these interlooping things in hand (har har), I can show you what the chains are supposed to look like… (Hardly anyone knows what interlooping is, like hardly anyone knows what tatting is. Don’t feel bad…)

Japanese-language skills.

They grow, they do.

One thing I can say about having been to Oahu recently is that it gave me ample opportunities to read Japanese language — and overhear conversation, which isn’t of much use at this point, except for distinguishing regional dialect.

I read the name of what is likely my family’s dialect [chugoku-ben] in one of my books (Okamura, 2014), based on the region my ancestors came from, combined with the historical context (that is, why and when they came). It’s fairly clear to D and I that there are some speakers (mostly older, at this point) who are easier for us to understand; this likely has to do with both dialect and generation. That is, if it is chugoku-ben that we recognize and understand, it’s likely the chugoku-ben of older generations, not as it is moving on (as many things continue to do) in Japan.

I can only read nihongo partially right now, due to the fact that I don’t know a lot of kanji as things stand. However…if we do move to Oahu, it’s a pretty sure bet that I will have the resources and immersion necessary to actually learn the language. That, in turn, should give me greater access to one of the cultures which has been likely key in my formation. (Most of my adult life has been spent seeking out my own identity; so to be able to recognize the influences on me, would help.)

As stated prior, there are a good number of kanji that I see and recognize, but of which, I just don’t know the corresponding meaning or reading. I was reading through the Table of Contents of a Genki textbook the other day, and found a bunch of these. Because I have so many resources, I’m thinking of hacking it and taking bits and pieces from multiple sources to hasten my learning.

Right now I’m trying to figure out if and where to get rid of my old Japanese-language manga (these are tankoubon, not like an issue of Shounen Jump [I don’t know the technical term for one of these: zasshi?], which would be more akin to a large phone book with multiple individual installments of various running manga published by Jump Comics).

I’ll probably end up taking them to a comic-book store or a used-book store. The thing is…I would give them to the library, but I suspect they’ll be sold at $1 a piece in the bookstore, which is far below their value. I also am not certain they would sell Japanese-language books. However, I’m not sure they’re worth packing up and taking to Oahu (especially given that these series are so old).

Not that I think I’d ever really get back to these, but for the sake of records:

  1. Bastard!! #5 (this is the actual title, I’m not randomly cursing)
  2. Inu Yasha #22
  3. Last Final Election, The (a collection of YYH slash doujinshi)
  4. Rurouni Kenshin #1
  5. Tenshi Kinryoku (Angel Sanctuary) #1
  6. Yuu Yuu Hakusho #7
  7. Yuu Yuu Hakusho #14

When I got these, I was so young that I may have colored in some of the graphics, but I honestly can’t remember in which of my manga I may have done this…

And yeah…my Japanese instructor from college told me that it’s best not to learn Japanese entirely from manga and anime, or your frame of reference gets distorted (that is, you end up talking weird, and thinking it’s normal).

Nevertheless, these (like my Sailor Moon books which compiled screenshots of the multiple series that never made it into official English translation) did provide me translation fodder when I was a kid.

Now if I found something like Urusei Yatsura, or another classic, that would be different…(come to think of it, a lot of the anime we had [like Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer] was on VHS, and is thus unreadable without a working VHS player…HELLO OBSOLESCENCE).

Then again, it’s what — seven books?

And holy…I just opened to a random page of Inu Yasha and knew what point the story was at, because I could read most of the words with the help of furigana. I also knew who the characters were, and what the time period was, in which the story was taking place.

I still don’t want Rurouni Kenshin or Tenshi Kinryoku, though. That latter one is super depressing, and the former…just too silly. Though Samurai X (the movie), which was the precursor to Rurouni Kenshin, was good.

So now I’m down to what — five? (I’ll just have to cut something else out.)

I picked up Bastard!! because I liked the drawing style, though seriously, that manga is basically adult, for the U.S. I have one of the videos, too, which is kinda soft-core. Not kidding. Don’t try to watch that one with your parents in the room. Not even if you’re an adult. Just don’t.

And…yes, I actually would be okay with giving away Tenshi Kinryoku and Rurouni Kenshin to the Friends of the Library…

…but not the other ones.

I’VE MADE STRIDES! 😀 😉

I’ve also found that letting go of the desire to create a graphic novel has paradoxically made it easier to play around with paper, pens (I’ve recently discovered [non-desiccated] Posca markers), and Washi tape, and make some interesting stuff.

I’m thinking of trying to write letters (physical ones) to family on the island, now. It would give me motivation and an aim in getting back into Art Practice, though it would likely be Art Letters or something, where I’m doing something that’s between an art journal and a letter. I’m thinking back to Van Gogh here, but I’m sure that illustrated/designed letters have existed elsewhere in the past.

Anyhow…I’ve got way too much to read, especially if I’m going to be dumping a lot of this stuff. I won’t be able to tell what’s worth keeping without looking at it, that is.

Maybe I should set aside things that are on my shelf which I have never read…

Works Cited:

Okamura, J. Y. (2014). From race to ethnicity: Interpreting Japanese American experiences in Hawai’i. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

Gathering myself.

There’s a lot I want to talk about, especially in relation to Hawaii. The big thing right now is, though, that not only am I dealing with jet lag (causing me to be sleepy, and the bed to be incredibly comforting during random stretches of the day), but my stomach hasn’t been agreeing with me since I tried to go back to work on Tuesday, which I had to bail on at the last minute because of nausea. Yesterday was okay, but today–? Today, I couldn’t even go out.

Of course, while I was in Hawaii, it wasn’t great either, but aside from one bout of food poisoning, I was mostly okay. Right now, it’s hard to eat or drink anything without feeling sick, and I woke up at maybe 5:30 AM today with the worst nausea I’ve had in a while. I’m hoping right now that I don’t get vomiting and diarrhea. I did just try to drink some apple juice, and felt little bubbles moving all around in there. I already know my guts are mostly empty.

If it’s “Traveler’s Diarrhea,” which I’ve read can strike right after one returns from a trip (which this did), it will probably be over in three days. Meaning it’s questionable if I’ll be able to work on the weekend, or if I’ll lose even more pay.

And yeah, I did just get out of bed maybe half an hour ago, and am sleepy again. This is annoying.

I did keep a log of offline personal journal posts which I made while in Hawaii, but there are only seven entries for the 14 days. Mostly, this is because I caught some kind of cold (likely from work) before we even got there, and so was too sick to do much, for the first six days. (Because I had used a special discount to book the room, we couldn’t back out of the reservation without a sizable penalty.)

By New Year’s Day, I was all right, mostly. I think that I was non-contagious by that time, so we visited family to meet and share osechi (New Year’s delicacies).

The trip ended on the 11th — or, at least, that’s when our flight got in; I didn’t get any sleep until after 2 AM, on what was technically January 12. In the house that was 55° F.

It’s kind of a shock to go from 78° F, balmy and sunny; to 52° F, cold and rainy.

But I did get to see the people at work again. I guess that’s something. 😛

Speaking of which, I should follow up on the leads I got from visiting one of the libraries at UH Manoa. IF, that is, I can find the paper…!

Ah — just found it. I apparently wasn’t using a pen with high-enough contrast, so it didn’t register that there was writing on it. I’ve now bookmarked the sites on the browser I normally use to come to this blog, so I shouldn’t have to worry about losing the paper, anymore.

I need to remember that I don’t have to have a Library job as my first job out of Library School — especially if I’m relocating. I need to look at all of my skills…and maybe see which ones I want to develop further.

That ties in with the Bullet Journal thing that I’ve been wanting to start. I’ve been writing down activities that I want or need to participate in, which will help me not waste the time between now and the time I find a job which fills more of my hours.

I know that I want to get back to studying Japanese language; I can do that via my books, and my Library’s access to Rosetta Stone. I believe I also set aside a special notebook for this.

I also want to get back to reviewing/learning HTML5, CSS3; and get back on learning JavaScript (at least!). I have a place where I can do this, online; and it’s free, until I’m significantly advanced.

I also should, at some time, retake Cataloging and Classification.

On a more basic level, I need to work on my driving skills (which I may need, in order to establish residency in Hawaii). I also want to get back to reading what I didn’t have time to read in Library School (both for classes, and not). I also need to be walking off some of my calories.

I’ve written further on what I wished to do immediately upon exiting the Master’s program in some of my backposts (notably, there was an entry with a bulleted list). This is enough to keep in mind, for now.