Obviously, this post is just a break…

I’ve just completed two more essays. Go me! But this post isn’t about them. It’s about the fact that I have recurrent dreams about aquariums and purchasing fish and feeding fish and having fish die because I forget they’re there…this is between dreams, now, all right: I have the dreams and I set up the aquarium and then in another dream I realize I’ve forgotten about the little fish and I go back and some, or all, are dead. 😦

I’ve had a few little fish in my life. Well…maybe just two? I had two goldfish, once: one died early on, and the other lived until it tried to commit suicide and jumped out of the tank. (The tank was way too small, and it needed more space, more plants, and companions. M was not great about empathizing with the needs of an animal, though. Having a fish at all, something that could be contained, was her compromise.)

My experience in caring for my plants has kind of gotten me to the point where I am at least on the verge of wishing to care for an animal. Why? Why would I voluntarily take on responsibility for caring for an animal?

Because I get annoyed with people?

Because I kind of pity little things born into captivity and want to give them a happy, safe and comfortable life?

Because I’m lonely?

Last time I had this dream, I was looking through the cupboards for a teacup to half-bury in the gravel, so that my fishes could hide in there. I only had two, and they kind of were these guppy-type things.

I used to be set on Tiger Barbs, but they’re aggressive fish that need to school. Even though they are, from what I’ve seen, more intelligent than most; I kind of don’t want to witness any fish (let alone my fish) being ganged up on by them. It’s kind of like dealing with crows: they’re really intelligent, but they have a bad reputation.

What’s funny is that in the dream, I keep going back to these one or two pet stores, and I have one or two aquariums in the house which I can use (in the dream); usually, they take up a good amount of table space. (I don’t know yet what that means, but I have an idea.)

Someone else on WP just posted about Zebra Finches. If I weren’t concerned about mites and parasites, and allergies, and the food finches [and other birds] routinely throw all over the floor, I might be more tempted to get a pair of finches. But finches…I don’t think you can even play with finches, which puts them at about fish level, for me.

And…it is advancing towards 2:30 AM, here. I should get some rest.

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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.)

Life happens when you’re trying to study

Well… well. I’ve been here only on and off recently, because I’ve been focusing my energies elsewhere (on schoolwork), but right now I don’t entirely feel like working. I was up until 2 AM last night, working on this stuff, and into the early morning the day before, as well (1:30 AM). I had to take a nap in the afternoon, today; I just wasn’t motivated to get back to it, so soon.

It is amazing, though, how much more I get done by doing work, rather than warming up first by writing about working. I have also noticed, though, the mental difference between writing by hand and typing. I go back and revise while working, much more when I’m typing. It’s easier to rephrase and rearrange what I’m doing, which I’ve noticed happening a lot, recently.

On a different frequency:

My tomato plant…is fruiting. I raised this one from a seed, so I’m a little sad to see it reach the end of its life. It’s kind of just been in the back of my mind, about how it started off so little, grew to be maybe four feet tall, and is giving me little modest presents before it dies. People talk about the tomatoes that “I” grew, but the plant grew them for me; I didn’t grow them. I kept the plant alive for months; that’s my contribution.

It was easier on me to grow an annual, though. It’s less of a psychological burden, knowing that you only have to take care of it for about six months. And if it dies early, it doesn’t seem that big a deal. But it’s another thing to have your baby that you’ve cared for all its life, giving you little things to eat, and you know it isn’t going to be around much longer. (Which seems a little silly when you had to thin out seven other little plants to give this one all the resources it needs.)

We’ve had to stake it up, actually, because it grew so big that it couldn’t support itself. One day I was even sitting next to it and saw a branch almost fall off! We put stakes in and I tied the branches up, and amazingly, that piece that almost fell off, is still alive. It must have healed somehow, or the sap could flow from the main stem to the branch alright, even though it was broken.

It was part of a little kit my folks got for me from a company called Back to the Roots. The kit contains a planter with what’s called an, “olla pot,” which is a terracotta pot that stores water and gradually dispenses it to the soil when it gets dry. I’ve had to water it much more frequently, since it got big.

It actually has been a bit of a profound experience, to grow this. I kind of feel like I connect really well with plants (and I’m fairly sure it has to do with gender and quietness). I need to ease up on watering the succulents, though.

Let’s see, what else:

There is a bead show coming up in about two weeks. I’m undecided as to whether I’ll go or not; I am leaning towards, “not,” but it will be an opportunity to stock up on Czech seed beads and pressed glass beads, in-person. I haven’t been able to do beadwork at all, since I started working hardcore on my Culminating Experience. Not only that, but I’ve cut my work hours down, so I don’t have as much money to spend, there.

I just consulted with D, who says that if I get ahead on my work by that time, I might consider going to it.

Right now, I know I have a paper to turn in by Monday night. It shouldn’t be too hard, but then again I need to review the prompt. On top of that is my portfolio work, which I can likely say that I’m more than halfway through, at this point.

It’s basically the case that I can get through one essay roughly every two days, give or take. But I don’t want to leave all this work to the last minute, which is why I gave up the extra work hours, and why I’ve been working so hard on my essays.

Today…I visited a fabric shop. M had to get some fabric for a new project; in turn, I was able to see some garments which were made using patterns that the store apparently carries? It actually made me want to try my hand. The thing is that I need more clothes that fit, and will especially need them after I begin to work more days out of the week.

It’s been brought up that instead of the Misses’ pants that I’m currently wearing, most of which tend to fall down without a belt, I might need to move to a smaller-numbered size in Womens’ Petite. Womens’ sizes are cut for larger bodies, and Petite would be shorter and more curvy.

I am very strongly considering wearing more clothes cut for female bodies, basically because of fit considerations. The thing is that I may need a smaller size number in a larger cut. The reality is that I’m now in my mid-thirties, and I’ve, eh, been growing into my body.

While I did lose a good deal of weight recently (about five pounds in three days, if I recall correctly) because of a bout of food poisoning, I’m gaining it back. And I don’t hate it. I’ve known people who have had eating disorders; what I’ve learned from them is that it’s better to be a little heavy than it is to be anorexic or bulimic. Another thing I’ve been learning is that right now, I look fairly…Polynesian, even though most of my genes are a mix of Asian and African.

I’ve also reached a level of security with my body, where I know that what conclusions others draw about who I must be because of what I look like, are generally wrong. It could also be wrong that my doctor assumes I’m overweight because of my height combined with my weight; I have potential tendency to heaviness on both sides of my family, even though (like M) I was very thin, as a youth. My sibling has also filled out as they have aged, though, so that’s another cue that my doctor may be wrong about her supposition that because I’m heavier than average, that this needs correction.

So this knowledge makes me a bit more secure in being okay about my weight. I know that some of it is definitely coming from medication, which is leading me to be more moderate in how much I eat. (Two of my medications tend to delay satiety.)

After graduation, though, I can try again to get off of the medication which is causing most of the weight gain — the problem is, it is rather notorious about being difficult to stop, without causing symptom relapse. But if I can cut down the dosage or get off of it, the slow, incremental weight gain should reverse, and from my last attempt, I know that my abdomen should slim a good bit (abdominal fat is basically the side effect I am most annoyed/concerned about, due to the fact that it can have adverse health effects).

But yeah; if I became a Library Assistant or Librarian (the latter of which, I should be able to very soon), I could wear dresses and skirts without worrying about getting them on the floor. The thing I know about dresses is that the ones I’m more comfortable with, actually don’t show too much of my body. On top of that, I’m more comfortable now with earrings and long hair — I got most of the damage cut off, recently, and the existence of a certain Samoan football player with hair like mine (Troy Polamalu), does make me feel a lot better about having and keeping long hair.

So…I guess things are more alright than they have been, at least where it comes to me and my feelings about my embodiment. I’m not sure whether this is due to age and maturity, or what…I am actually glad, though, that I haven’t so far opted for testosterone or surgery, because in my own eyes, I look really nice right now. I have no ill feelings toward my chest (except for feelings of exposure when too many details show through), and I’ve basically ceased to want to be male…especially since I’ve started settling as gender non-binary. I’m not entirely sure why it’s stopped, except I know now that what I am now is easier for me to live with, than who I was when I was upset that my body wasn’t someone else’s.

It also helps to have birth control. I feel less vulnerable on it, and it makes my body give me less trouble. The thing about it, though–! is that I’m pretty sure it’s making my chest bigger. 🙂 I’m…not totally opposed to this! But especially since I’m growing, I should really start checking more regularly to make sure I don’t have cancer. Not doing self-exams is just one of those things that I got used to when I was ignoring my chest. Now I see it as kinda special (probably helped by the fact that I call them “my dudes”). ;D

Yes, it can be a little difficult to balance this with wanting to use an eyebrow filler to see what I would look like with a beard 🙂 but…it’s OK. Wanting to play around with that is OK, I mean. 🙂 I think maybe it has to do with seeing and getting to know a lot of “normal” people, and realizing that most of them have back stories and inner lives I know nothing about and can’t predict from their appearance. From that, I’ve gotten to kind of realize that I’m lucky. I have my flaws (some of which I’m growing out of), but to myself, I’m still beautiful.

And I realize that everyone is beautiful, to someone.

Recovering.

Right now, I’m just writing so I’m not in bed. For the past four days, I’ve been dealing with food poisoning (and the course of recovering from food poisoning). This morning when I weighed myself, I had lost almost five pounds — though I’m not sure how much of that is due to dehydration and how much is because, until about 24 hours ago, I couldn’t digest food.

I was going back and forth between writing this out by hand, and writing this out online…I guess you can see which won out. I intended to journal last night and ended up dropping off to sleep by accident — twice!

Last night was a little worrisome, too. Because I couldn’t keep anything in, I hadn’t taken my regular medication. So when I realized I had double vision at about 8:30 PM, I didn’t know if it was from dehydration, lack of food, reading things too close for too long, electrolyte imbalance, or withdrawal. I took medication early last night and tried to drink as much water as I could, and it did self-resolve (thankfully).

I also realized that the wedge pillow I got to do computer work in bed, also works really well to allow me to read in bed, and to prevent me from experiencing what might be the beginnings of sleep apnea. (I think I’m snoring, that is, and I think the snoring is leading to anxiety while asleep, about not being able to breathe — though that might better be categorized as a panic attack.)

So basically…Tuesday night I started feeling sick, and Wednesday was just a wash. If I hadn’t taken the time off of work previously, I would have been (seriously) sick at work. Yesterday, I did manage to work on my homework for Collection Development (the Prof finally put up the correct link, and I read through the assigned chapter). Nothing much else has happened, except I realized how much of Intro to Marketing I had forgotten, while reading about Marketing. (I need to rework that section of my ePortfolio.)

Except — I did start reading in this book I got a while ago, called The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web is Changing What We Read and How We Think, by Eli Pariser. I think it was copyrighted in 2011, and it’s regarding the Web, so I’m kind of surprised it’s still accurate. It’s about how Web search algorithms have been designed to show us what it predicts we’ll want to read, and how that isolates us from ideas outside of that.

Immediately when I was reading it, I started thinking about the widening political rifts going on in my own country, and how much of it may be due to people never being exposed to ideas outside of what they already think. I’m pretty sure Pariser isn’t saying we should stop using the Internet, but rather as with any form of technology, we need to be aware of the hazards inherent in how it works (which are largely hidden from us, and the workings of which, none of us entirely understand).

And yes, I do want to get back to my art, but it looks like I’ll need to be working on completing this degree for about the next month, pretty seriously. I’m just glad I’m not drowning in assignments, yet.

I’m also glad I allocated myself enough time that I could just forget about my work for a day, and it’s probably going to be all right.

For the rest of today…I should get on finishing my other two readings. One of them is 53 pages long, so I doubt I’ll get much else, done. Tomorrow, unless I get sick again, I should be going in to work. Then there is a Discussion Post to do, and the rest of that time — unless I start working on my Collection Development paper early, I should be able to work on my ePortfolio.

The anxiety’s easing, a little bit.

I think the only thing I’m really going to have to watch out for is devoting too much time to Collection Development, over my Culminating Experience requirement. That, and not getting sick. Today I spent a little time outside, picking up more food and, incidentally, highlighters. (I get tired of having to look for one that isn’t 15 years old.)

Yesterday, I was able to complete most of one new section (F) to my project. I’m still not halfway done, but it’s comforting to know that it doesn’t take me forever to get one of these, completed. The day before that, I completed and submitted Section E. I likely would have gotten more done last night if I hadn’t been tearing through my archives, looking for evidence (while I had the motivation and nerve to do so). I wanted to deal with finishing Section F more today, but I had to turn in an assignment for Collection Development. Two points. (And…I wanted more trail mix.)

I just would hate not to turn in anything, especially as I lost three points for not following standard format in my last paper. That narrows the gap as to what I can avoid turning in. But of course, it probably doesn’t matter, so long as I don’t get a D or F in this class (I’m uncertain whether that would cause graduation to fall into jeopardy, though I’m presently in good standing).

Good news: I’m now caught up for the weekly turnover, and the Marketing assignment is coming up shortly. I should be able to use this for my incomplete Section D, and then move on from there. Once Sections D and F are turned in, I’ll be over halfway done.

Section D is going to be kind of a pain, though. I was an editor for the major class I’ll be using for evidence in that section…which was needed, because we wrote about 80 pages in our final drafts for that class, combined.

Right now I’ve got approximately eight sections to work on and approximately two weeks before Halloween, which is my soft deadline to get rough drafts of all these sections turned in. After seeing what happened with my first few drafts, though (in which none were reviewed until I fixed the first one I submitted), I may want to take my time on them as versus turning in, “just anything.”

The final due date is in mid-November. I have five weeks. 35 days. But I want to do my best to get all this turned in, in two. 14 days. Hopefully, this will allow me a little bit of extra time, to edit anything that needs work, to fill any gaps which may exist, and to complete incidentals like my Introduction. I’m getting confident with the format, though.

Seriously, the sooner I get this turned in, the sooner I can relax.

Adjusting

Yesterday I finished the majority of work to be done before early next week, for Collection Development. Today, I updated everything I could think to update, in lieu of working further on homework and my project.

I also went out to the produce market and retrieved a bunch of stuff which will be nourishing for me to eat, while I study. I did get some time off of work (a benefit of being part-time), to be adjusted after I get my project turned in.

I also took a shower and washed my hair…and slept. I probably shouldn’t be up now, but I didn’t wake up until 7:30 PM, or something. (I guess D did tell me I’d fall asleep in the recliner, though at least I had the presence of mind to go to bed. I thought to look for that crochet blanket I’d been working on, but was too tired to think of where it might be, and dig it out.) I’ve been trying not to get sick, which is why I’ve been letting myself sleep so much.

Tomorrow is another appointment, which in addition to the appointment I had today and the training day I had earlier this week…kind of explains why I felt pushed to reduce my hours at work.

I have 20 pages to go before the end of Chapter 5. I found that one of my Professors likely hadn’t reviewed my more recent work because I hadn’t updated my first page with her suggested edits; so now that I know this, I should be able to get my stuff reviewed more quickly.

And I am feeling anxiety about this, but I’m probably going to feel it until it’s out of the way and done. It’s better now that I have three pages approved…I didn’t know if I was doing things correctly. But apparently, it’s good enough to pass.

Just, tomorrow…I need to take in a list of questions to my doctor. I may also want to take another shower. Aside from that, the day should be free to work on either chapter reading, or my culminating experience project.

I kind of feel like the latter needs my attention, more…if I fail Collection Development, I just get an F. If I fail my ePortfolio…that’s one shot down. I have two chances. If I waste them both, I won’t graduate — which is obviously much more important than a class that I don’t totally need.

Yeah; it’ll be better to work on the ePort than read. I’ll just read if I can’t think straight…because the thing due this week is only a two-point assignment. Priorities, right?

Burnout? Is it burnout?

I can’t think very well, right now. I doubt turning off the television is going to help. I think it’s just fatigue. So…I’m writing here. Maybe thinking about something other than work and school, will help.

Though that is…fairly hard.

I have 25 days left before my self-imposed deadline to have the first draft of everything done, for my culminating experience. Nine barely-touched essays, though I have been successful in rustling up supporting evidence. Thirteen full days left. I’ve got to rely on trying to complete one essay almost every full day I have, off.

And…yeah, that’s some more of that. But this is a Master’s project.

I did get the idea, last night, of making a practice database project, using the provisional scenario of pretending I run an art gallery. As I’ve been going through my work, I’ve realized that I may not have to retake everything. But…

I left at this point in this entry to see whether I could drop one of my classes, and I don’t think I can. So I had to drop some work hours.

It was unnecessary for me to sign up for Collection Development. Not only do I not have to retake everything, I didn’t have to take what I did. I think I will be able to go back for Open University courses, meaning I could have taken it at any time after graduation.

Dang! It’s 12:45 AM!

Gah…well…I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, at least. I do need to work on a paper for Collection Development, which I guess I can focus on, now that I have initiated the process for not having to go in, as much. It’s at least nine hours saved per week; maybe more, if we factor in getting ready to go out, and the commute.

I should get ready for bed. I wasn’t thinking well before, and I’m sure not thinking well, now.

One of the things I’ve been meaning to write down is the question of whether drive to learn something is more important than initial skill at something. I basically want to work in Tech, but Database Management was the hardest class I’ve ever taken. And Fundamentals of Programming was not fun. But I still kinda want to do it, and I’m not entirely sure why, except that I know that I can make awesome stuff if I do know how to do it.