New clothes on Black Friday

Although I hadn’t really been looking forward to shopping — at least, for clothes — I’m feeling pretty good about what I came away with, this year.

For those not in the know, yesterday was a holiday that is probably specific to the U.S.: Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving is, “Black Friday,” which is basically a kick-off to the holiday shopping season. It’s essentially an unofficial commercial holiday.

I’m fairly certain that many “Americans” (I’m aware of the messed-up global politics of this term, which is politicized even between groups within the U.S.) have mixed feelings about Black Friday. However, this year it was my best chance to get clothing at reduced prices. Given that I am planning to get a better job, it seems (or seemed) important to be able to, “dress the part.”

During the last month, I’ve only been going to work twice a week, in order to give myself time to complete my ePortfolio (now done). This has meant that I have not needed a great number of work outfits or clothing…but I’m about to increase my hours again, and even just that requires professional clothes.

Or maybe I should state that I’ve gotten professional clothes because I’m seeking upward mobility. (No jeans, this time; it goes against dress code for paraprofessional and professional employees.)

The next step, for me, is practicing my driving so that I’ll be able to take a job which is not necessarily accessible by public transit.

I also have about two weeks of school left before the semester is completely done with, so I need to be doing some research and other stuff which I’m reluctant to think about, at this point. But it’s only two weeks, and the rest of my grades are good, so I can deal with it. The major issue is that the Final paper is self-directed, and I’m decompressing, right now.

I think it would be different if this class were continuing education, rather than specifically affecting my academic standing in the eyes of the government and University.

It is coming time to trawl for better employment, though; and I’m not convinced that I’ll be happiest in my current system (even though I think that Upper Management might want me to believe that).

Given that…I know I’ll have to deal with my transcripts. My field is one of those where academic records actually matter, and I’ve attended three Universities and two Community Colleges. I know I don’t remember how to access all my accounts. It should be in my papers, though.

Not having listed the number of credits which I had taken, might have been a reason I haven’t been called in for an interview for the Library Assistant position I applied and tested for. That, and I didn’t take the interview with enough gravitas the first time around (last year; I was afraid to be offered a job and have to turn it down because of University commitments. Three declined offers, and I get kicked out of the system. I’m not sure if there’s any coming back from that).

Anyhow…I got some pretty clothes. 🙂 For about half as much as they’re probably actually worth. I think that I’m finding a personal style, and as such am not hating the selection in Misses’ sizes, so much as I used to.

It’s also kind of nice that my size is a popular one, so I didn’t have too many problems with finding pants. My shape is now distinctly female, though. (I don’t think I have the option of wearing Men’s pants, anymore.) I think I’ve said this before, but I don’t so much have an issue with being female, more than I have issues with being tried by other people (mostly older men) because they think my appearance means weakness is one of my inherent personal qualities.

That is, I have to deal with misogynist idiocy being thrown at me, regardless of whether or not I view myself as a woman. Sporadically, but still.

I’ve started wearing my old glasses again, too. They are distinctly feminine (rose gold), but they fit better, they have large lenses, and they’re sturdy. (The sturdiness was what caused me to select these frames over everything else.) When I get my next prescription, I’m putting the lenses into these.

It’s kind of nice that I’ve found (over the years) that clothing and accessories for female people don’t have to be cheap and throwaway. It took a while of searching, though. It’s not something that’s obvious from within the Junior’s department, or from looking at Fashion Jewelry, but quality clothing for female bodies does exist.

Aside from everything, there’s a lot I have to do. Like: take a shower; wash my hair; dust and vacuum and organize my room, my office, and my craft areas; wash my old clothes; take the tags off of, and wash my new clothes; and work on my last two weeks of Collection Development. I also need to work on driving, and hygiene. And, right: water my plants.

I don’t think there’s anything else.

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Still working on that assignment

I’m writing, right now, to get me back into the mode of writing anything. Last night, I was up working on a Marketing assignment, and didn’t want to stop. Now, I’m having a slight bit of trouble in getting back to it.

I did get a good idea about what to do with it, last night — so I have a plan. The thing is, I spent yesterday (almost all of it) rereading the chapter and rewatching the lecture and taking notes. I doubt I will end up promoting the databases I initially chose…they just aren’t the best fit for the people I want to invite into the Library.

Anyhow, my (hypothetical) plan would be to visit the Art studios with some little handouts, and a card about a few of the databases to which the students have access. The target audience (to be narrowed down) are college students who are visual thinkers, like to work with their hands, and are a bit alienated from computers (particularly, the use of computers for research) and the Library (which most people think is just for text). I realized that I would be marketing digital resources to on-campus students, which requires different tactics for reaching them (as versus distance-education students).

And yeah, I did think of putting posters of that Duchamp piece, “Fountain,” in the bathroom stalls…but that may be in poor taste!

(I’M NOT GOING INTO IT.)

The thing is, since I started reconsidering the path of becoming an Art Librarian (likely in an Academic setting)…I’ve started dreaming again, and it’s distracting me.

Not to mention the fact that I went to an art store and found a new Prussian Blue watercolor (Sennelier brand — in a tube) and now I want to do the freakin’ art but I have to finish my work for this semester, first!

But yeah…watercolor + gouache + pastel…there’s gotta be some great uses I can put those media to, together. I look back on some of my work which I’ve done in ink and watercolor…which, I’m still really curious about, but I may have to try a way of working that I witnessed another student using, which is to do a grisaille (greyscale) underpainting in sumi ink, and then layer color over it. That should be much more flexible than using Microns, like I’m making a coloring book or a comic.

Eh…yes, the sooner I get this work done, the sooner I can stop worrying about it!

And…I actually have been considering going back for an MFA in Art History or Studio Art, to use both for personal fulfillment, and as qualification to be an Academic Librarian specializing in Art…but I also need to earn gainful employment, sometime.

(I also wonder if it would be worth it to get one good natural-hair paintbrush…and see where that takes me.)

Time crunch.

So it seems we’re ramping up to the holidays, faster than (at least) I expected. I’ve decided to skip the bead show, this year. I already have too many beads, and I haven’t really been using them at all. Hoarding more beads, I think, would just make me feel bad.

Especially knowing that I’m not intending to go into beadwork as a money-making venture, at this point. Cost-recovery is something else, but beadwork is an expensive habit, and I don’t even wear much jewelry and I haven’t been crafting. I would be more encouraged to sell on Etsy, but even that isn’t really worth it unless we look at how much money I’m losing for not being otherwise employed (plus I am not sure whether or not the last computer bug I got was from Etsy).

The alternative, it looks like, is to start my own website or find a better sales platform, and I’m not doing the first until I can take a serious cybersecurity class.

It also seems that I forgot to mention in my last post that we went out with my Godmother on Wednesday, for lunch. It was supposed to be a little meeting, and ended up lasting until 8 PM. I likely would have done better to stay at home and work, but then again, I did get to try a really good frozen drink at the Vietnamese restaurant we frequent.

The drink itself, I hear, is like the Philippine halo halo, or…well, you can look it up. I don’t really know much about it! I got it because it was listed as having three types of beans and coconut milk. It did have coconut milk, but the other two, “beans,” aside from the azuki beans, were sweetened plantain (so far as I could tell) and slightly sweet agar.

I don’t know, either.

But since I like plantain and coconut and azuki, I was pretty happy. 🙂 Until M almost drank all the coconut milk out of it. That was unfortunate.

There’s something else happening tomorrow that I am wondering whether to skip. It’s basically a festival where stuff is sold. I know I really don’t need to go and I kind of don’t want to go. I mean, it’s just a chance to spend money. The thing that’s giving me pause is whether to go in order to share the experience with my family — which I’m also leaning against, because I have an assignment due Monday night which I haven’t really started yet.

If I were looking to go into business and work shows like this…that’s something else, but that’s kind of not where I’m headed at this point in my life.

I’m really not sure. If I don’t want to go, my family may not see the point in going, either…which isn’t the outcome I want.

I suppose the best thing I can do now is get to work on my homework so that I can complete it on Monday…and if I have an extra Sunday to work on my portfolio, so much the better…

And then, I just realized: it would be different to go to the bead show to see the current state of the market, if I wanted to go into Jewelry Design. That …is an entirely different angle.

Because of my work in my grad program, I realized that drafting a set of rules as to what I would and wouldn’t buy, would help me not overspend. This is with an aim to end-use. I want to do stuff with macrame and size 6º (Czech) and 8º (Czech and Japanese) seed beads, possibly with small (3-5 mm) druks (round pressed glass beads) and fire-polished faceted round beads. The thing is, what is seen in person are often limited-run specialty glass…

Ehh…I’ve got to think about this, some more…

Myriad forms of frustration? Or just with tech…

I feel like I should be doing something useful, or playing with beads or colors. What I’m doing is watching a “lost episode” of Doctor Who. It’s reminding me of Archer and Venture Bros., from the animation. I’m thinking that there was missing footage and they filled it in with CGI.

I’ve been on the computer for way too long, today. I had to spend a large amount of the last two days trying to get things working properly on my machine. There was an error that didn’t make sense, that somehow didn’t resolve until I ran an anti-adware scan.

Apparently, there’s a lot more to worry about, now, than just viruses. I’m thinking that I somehow must have picked up an unwanted program somewhere on one or another e-commerce site. This is on top of running a script blacklist, and verification that sites are OK. I’ll have to take another look at it after I feel like I’m again up to dealing with this.

Right now…I need to get ready for bed. I just had to call for help because my machine locked itself up on an update, and at least I know enough now to know that something had loaded and not executed. Then there was a critical update that we had to restart manually, which I’m just glad worked. (Why there are two different locations to check for updates, I don’t know.)

The irritating thing about this is that it seems like whenever I want to do something on the computer, I have to spend at least 15-20 minutes just booting up and making sure things are secure before I do anything. It’s incredibly frustrating, and one of the reasons why I’ve been trying to move offline for more hours of the day. The thing is, I think the more time one spends online, the harder it is to move offline. For me, it’s like I forget how to actually live.

Tomorrow…I may take a trip out to the plastics store to get some containers…but I can’t promise that. I’ve found some neat little things at the fabric store, and a certain type of container that fits near-perfectly in my toolbox…

Ehhhhhhhhhh….

…spending money. There are better ways to spend my time…

I started this post freaking out over school, now it’s just over weight.

Yeah, there are things more important than classwork…

I suppose it wouldn’t be too much to admit that I am now somewhat seriously freakin’ out over the workload I’ve set out for myself.

It is, however, a good thing that I stayed home today to listen to the three hours (!) of lectures I had for one class, or else I’d really feel like I was drowning. Today, what I got done was that (yeh, I’m kinda changing up my writing voice, for now), and a good set of abdominal exercises (aiming for 60 reps balanced per exercise, 30 reps to either side per exercise) plus over a mile clocked on the Exercycle (where I actually surpassed [!] 9 MPH, tension level = 6 [that detail probably won’t matter to anyone else]).

So after I listened to the lectures for my database class, I then went through all four of them (the classes, that is) and noted everything due this next period. I’m kind of getting irritated (that’s not the word I’m thinking of) at being expected to schmooze for part of my grade. I just don’t do that, well. And I’ve got serious “stuff” to attend to, like analyzing freaking websites.

And…yeah, I’m kinda getting “dark” here, like not “dark” as in “lost” but “dark” as in “angry.” It’s likely due to stress and a reduced amount of medication (which would normally help me deal with the stress).

My weight is still going up, by the way, but I’m pretty sure that little bump on the scale means my muscles (particularly my thighs and abs) are building, not that I’m taking on a bunch more fat.

(My belly fat is continually shrinking, by the way. Yay for resetting metabolisms! I wouldn’t be concerned except for the fact that Prozac use is linked to Type 2 diabetes, which in turn is linked to abdominal fat. And I just lost someone from diabetes [ongoing kidney failure, necrotizing bacteria] and had a friend who also lost someone [if not two people] from diabetes, not to mention others I know who have to live with it.)

What I need to do, really, is likely just stop drinking juice like I restarted doing when I stopped the Prozac. That was the big thing that caused me to stop gaining weight when I was still taking it, and…realistically, I’ve got 35 pounds to drop before I’ll be at optimal weight (I did actually break the 170 barrier yesterday, though that was after food and drink, not first-thing-in-the-morning stuff; at minimum, I’m at 165, meaning 30 to drop).

Hey, if I could be stable at 165 and hourglass and strong and lose the fat from under my jaw, I’m not sure I’d have a problem with it.

Then there is the entire grad-school stress…thing. That also contributes to the weight gain.

Why am I in this? I am in this because it’s important to M that I get a Master’s degree. I don’t know why; it has something to do with some nightmare couched in the phrasing of not, “working at McDonald’s.” Which, you know, I never had to do, but the same can’t be said of others in my family. So, you know, maybe it’s something they “know” about that I don’t.

But also, how many other people do you know that go through grad-school horrors because their parents want them to?

Well, there you go. A’ight. Who wants to do this? (or be a doctor or lawyer [or banker or teacher]?)

Oh, right, the other people in my program…

…well…why?

I did have the option with Voc Rehab of choosing a blue-collar job for my “vocation,” (electrician!) but I just didn’t. I can’t even really remember why I chose this line of work anymore, except that I already had an English degree and wanted to monetize it — and, right — that I was considering work in Publishing. Library work keeps you around texts, at least for the present day. And I thought it would be quiet.

Ha!

Well, that, and I didn’t (and don’t, still) feel entirely comfortable taking money from people. But in Capitalism, that’s what you’ve gotta do if you’re gonna survive; the money has to come from someplace, even if it’s going into your old coffee cup (which I’m sure we wish it wouldn’t). And even if it’s coming out of taxes.

I have dreams for Publishing, but they’re probably about 15 years in the future. Pearson is doing some work on it, last I checked (interactive books). Though I’m thinking interaction paired with social media, that (due to abuse of the system, which is fairly likely with college students) could become a Public Relations nightmare fairly quickly.

And, right: I didn’t want to enter a majority-male field and have to deal with the, “but you have the wrong ‘bits,'” for the rest of my life. HOW CAN I LOVE METAL IF I HAVE THE WRONG “BITS?”

Okay, I’m going to stop now.

Hey, at least I’ve still got a sense of humor. That’s something.

I should likely schedule some time (no, I mean really, schedule) to work on something creative. I’ve just got to determine what exactly that’s going to be, and when it is going to be. And when I’m going to do everything else.

Also, I’m a bit concerned about what kind of food my parents did bring back from the produce market…I sacrificed those hours to work on readings, today, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve got a ton of apples and nothing else…

Yeah, I…I should get to bed…

Sewing…? who knew I’d have fun at that…

I’m still getting used to the practice of writing in multiple different places, online.  It’s kind of hard to keep track of everything.  It seems that I’ve been able to keep up decently, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do within the next two days, for one of my classes.

Anyhow, this is the art and design and creativity blog, so…yes.  Well.  What have I been doing as regards art and design and creativity?

Recently, a lot has fallen by the wayside.  Out of all the things I listed before which I wanted to do, three four things have I continued doing:

  1. Sewing/Embroidery
  2. Homework
  3. Work
  4. Blogging (not so much, here, but for classes)

And I looked up the statistics on income levels for tailors and dressmakers, which has again…gotten me a bit ticked off with the economy.  It seems that people who do work which actually is important on the level of survival and necessity, in this country, are the people who are least compensated for their labor.  I have a feeling that if I investigate why this is, I’m going to come up with something ugly.

But I’ll try not to get into a diatribe.  It’s too late/early for that.

One of the things which I really enjoyed doing, over the weekend, was re-teaching myself how to sew by hand.  I found a good source on sewing methods…and have found some of the differing behaviors exhibited by different needles and threads to be — actually — interesting.  For instance, fine perle cotton thread — like the kind used for lace — makes an edging with a really nice sheen, when worked as a closely-spaced blanket stitch.  (Cotton embroidery floss, on the other hand, makes a dissheveled mess.)

And hand quilting thread plus a Between needle pulls through fabric (muslin, in this case) much more easily than embroidery floss plus an Embroidery needle.

I did both blanket stitch, and an actual buttonhole stitch, early Saturday morning (say 1-3 AM).  I find copious misinformation about buttonhole stitch, online; and even in some books.  I’m not entirely sure why, except people haven’t learned in person from someone who knows what they’re doing, who has in turn had the skill passed down to them…in any case, I can try and post a tutorial at some point (and/or a review of my source), but right now I’m running low on steam.

What I did find interesting, though, was that constructing something (edging a crease, which allowed me to envision seam allowances) seemed to be more engaging than just decorating something (though that’s fun, too)…

I should really get some rest…

Wait…you mean…I have free time?

I’m not totally sure that writing this at midnight is the best course of action, but I’ve just been going through my archives.  I actually found a very significant pattern:  the work that I had been doing which I find myself most drawn to, in the present, was work done using fineliners and watercolors (transparent ones).  Only one had any kind of pencil work over it, and at least one had opaque white gel pen.

I’m relatively not drawn to most of my monochrome work, with the exception of a couple of studies done for a painting, a while back.  Even work that I disliked at the time of creation so much that I didn’t present it, holds power for me, now.  And now I am wondering about the other elements of the series I began in Spring 2016 which I did not complete.  What would they look like, finished?

Now that Summer 2017’s semester is over, I have time to actually devote to art without worrying about keeping up a homework schedule in tandem.  It’s not something I’m used to.  And I do think that it will be short-lived.

Actually — now that I’ve checked — I only get a week and a half, off.  Well.  At least I’ve started the Bullet Journal — I’m hoping it will help me keep on top of assignments.  It is also time to deal with collecting books and supplies…not the most fun thing, ever…and I’ve got to see what to do about my work schedule, though that will likely not be finalized until the end of the next pay period.

But holy ****, I will be entering the next phase of seeing where I want to fit in, in Information work!  I’ve applied for a new position…and will have to figure out whether I want or need to take a class on Reference service because of it…otherwise…it’s kind of exciting, and kind of scary.

As long as I keep on top of my work, it shouldn’t be a problem, though…you know, there’s the stress of grades.  And there’s the question of where to fit in my own interests, in between Library work and Library school, which together make up more than a 40-hour work week (or so I’ve been cautioned to expect).

It will be weird if I end up being a Library Assistant so soon…but I think I’m ready for it.  It will just be kind of psychedelic to think I’ll be advancing on my chosen career path!

I really do still need to learn how to drive, though…and I need to figure out how to prioritize work, school, and caring for myself (which includes art).  I do have so many interests, though, outside of the Library, that I’m …trying to figure out which to drop first, if it comes to it.  The Japanese language practice has been lagging, as I’ve tried to get out of this Summer class with good grades.  If I want to work in Hawaii, however, it would help to have at least a working knowledge of the language.

On the other hand, maybe that’s best learned, there.  It’s a life goal of mine to learn this language, but on the other hand, I only have five more semesters in which to prepare myself for exiting Library school.  And if I want to get another degree after that…if I want to stay in the program, as well — I need to keep my grades up.

I didn’t realize that I only had a week and a half!  Is it even still as relevant to get art supplies, now?

What I will do (this may only be legible to me, apologies):  I’ll replace/back up my Line Painters (I may want to see if any need replacement other than Snow — if not, Snow only costs about $3), replace my Gelly Roll pen, get a white Supracolor and maybe a couple of other colors (light ones?) to test at home.  I’ll need to take in my waterbrush, a grey paper, a white paper, and a black paper, to see the quality of these.  I’ll bypass the grayscale stuff, unless it’s really outstanding.

And I’ll get the black Line Makers, because they’re on sale at 6 for $14 — they could be useful for drawing on top of waxy media without clogging.  That should be around $45, if I get the Line Painter set instead of just Snow — and around $32, otherwise.  The latter feels very reasonable.

And I think I’m set.  But I will need to get a few notebooks from the dollar store.  I think I can reuse my folders from Spring semester, and just transfer the contents of those into manila folders.  I have enough index cards.  I don’t think I need any additional dividers or lined paper or pens or expanding files (yet)…just the notebooks.

Alright, I’ve got tomorrow planned…and, right, I need to email my counselor, as school is about to restart, and make a date to go down there.  It wouldn’t hurt to set up communications with the person in charge of Graphic Design and Marketing, either.  And I should let IT know about the issue messing up what I can see of the course sites…

…then just chill until the test on Tuesday.