Feeling optimistic.

It’s fairly amazing, how fast things are changing. As has been stated, my Culminating Experience requirement has been turned in, so I know I’m graduating. My paper for my other class, however…has not been. The major push on this is for me to actually learn something with my term paper. I have until Saturday to get that done, which will be…a lot of work. But it all ends, this week, and it looks like it’s going to be all right.

Yesterday…I think it was yesterday, we went and visited J-town, a.k.a. Japantown, a.k.a. Nihon Machi. We had originally intended to go to a Christmas fair, but there was an accident on the freeway, and — to be honest, I wanted to go to Japantown, more. This was largely to visit a stationery store that has pens you can try out.

I didn’t realize for a long time, that the value I put on writing, reading, design, and art, might be related to my ethnic heritage. But it’s weird, in that…I think it is. (I wouldn’t have known why without looking into it, though.) I ended up buying a clear Pilot Prera fountain pen with a Calligraphy Medium nib. I AM NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL!

It’s actually really beautiful, in both form and function. I’m also glad that I took the trip over there to compare and try the pens. I wouldn’t have known that I actually really did want a stub nib, otherwise.

I also got a little Rilakkuma and a Korilakkuma plushie. So, two. They are…entirely too cute. I still haven’t cut the tags off of them, though! I haven’t decided whether to put them away so they retain their value, or play with them like the stuffed toys they are.

For some reason I never got into human-looking dolls, but plushies are different (like that whole Beanie Baby thing I got into, in high school). One of my parents used to animate them for me (given the chance, I think they still would). 🙂

So…I really don’t need Christmas presents, at this point! Actually, I am not sure what, if anything, is happening for Christmas, although it will probably be drama-ridden.

I also have the subject of my final paper selected…which was helped by going to the bookstore across from the stationery store. One book is called Bad Water…I’m thinking it will be interesting reading, when I have time. I’m pretty sure it’s about environmental crises in the 19th and 20th centuries, in Japan; which ties in with my awareness of the itai-itai (an illness from toxic mine drainage) stuff. I think they may be talking about the same things.

I know I have to get through this next week: but that’s more for me, than for anyone else. Then I have to get on finding a new job…and I can rev up to more hours at work, to try and acclimate myself to working more. I can also do some reading to help me out for when I do become a Library Assistant or Librarian (I have two slim volumes I had to take off my desk because I had books everywhere); and I can get back to studying my coding and Japanese language! And I can write stuff that doesn’t have to be written! Awesome!

I’m also intending to read a lot more that I haven’t gotten the chance to, while in school…

I should note that as I was cleaning up the books that were littered everywhere, I realized that having paper volumes let me know what resources I had at my disposal, while digital volumes go unseen. It’s a reason to buy things in hard copy (two of these books I need to buy next year, when their new editions come out), though then there is also the fact that they are not backed up to the cloud.

However, I don’t have to have an e-reader or a computer to read them, so I never have to worry about my device running out of battery, dying, or otherwise failing.

…I’ve been dealing with this in Collection Development (the tension between print and digital)…can you tell? 🙂

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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.

Planning possibilities for time — Fall 2018

My sleep pattern is still messed up from Las Vegas. I took a 7-hour nap, today. I also did a little bit of research, given that Fall registration closes, shortly: I would rather not take an internship this next semester, given that one of the more likely positions I would take, had an application deadline which passed 5 months ago.

I also checked for internships in the place we’re thinking of moving to; none of those are any longer open. There is the possibility of working within my own system…but it’s quite far away.

M also says I should be working on graduating. I’m thinking that it’s possible that I will need to schedule time to work on my ePortfolio and stick to it, like a job. Because it is, basically, preparation for a job. From M-F, I should be putting in at least 2 hours, a day, for a total of 10 hours, a week.

I think if I have a scheduled time to stop, it will be easier to commit to starting. Right now what I’ve been doing is checking things online every so often, as they arise. I did drop the class which would have been my third for Fall, yesterday. This means I’ll only have Collection Development, my ePortfolio project, and a possible change of jobs to deal with, for Fall.

I’m also thinking about what I want to put my time, into. I do want to get back to studying nihongo (Japanese language), and it seems my time online might be better spent, learning Web Programming…though the latter isn’t that appealing right now, obviously. I just want to give it another shot, after Fundamentals of Programming: I have a feeling online tutorials might be better than that class was.

Aside from that…obviously, there’s a lot I could do and a limited amount of time in which to do it. Beadwork is what I want to do most immediately, after having spent so long trying to avoid it. Then sewing skills could allow me to make and alter my own clothes, which will be useful. I still have the toile (muslin trial) of that Folkwear monpe (field pant) pattern, to work on. (I’ve stopped because I’ve realized that doing the whole thing by hand is inefficient, especially on long straight seams; I’m not as comfortable with the sewing machine.)

On the other hand, making images would help a lot where it comes to Web Publishing. I can see printmaking, painting, and drawing being helpful, for that. I might want to deal with CGI for that, as well; though regardless, I’ll be using an image editor. I’m just kind of happy about having a Pen Tool — but I haven’t used it, yet.

And then there are the Graphic Design books that I do want to read…I just forget about them because I haven’t read books for anything other than school, in so long.

That’s about enough.

I’m getting a headache right now, although I do also feel a bit fatigued. Part of this is from not wearing corrective lenses. I know what the other part is from.

I think doing some reading on Graphic Design will help me figure out if I actually want to do it as a career or in addition to Web Development. It’s also a relatively passive activity, which may be what I need, at the moment.

Compensation for adulting? (Beads.)

Today I went through my paraprofessional Library qualifying exam, which wasn’t bad. I think I did better than last time; and last time I got an interview, so I think my chances are pretty good. Because I did do that for about two hours, then went to dinner…it’s kind of been a roller coaster, anxiety-wise. Countering that, I received some stuff today which kind of softened the blow.

A lot of this stuff was hanks of Czech seed beads. I think…it would have been easier to pick these if I could have seen them in person before paying for them. I’ve got some interesting color combinations, but not everything was as I expected. I did take some prior-bought hanks out of their plastic bags and just put them into drawers, loose. Because of that, I have ended up tossing some price tags which were just on sticky paper which lost its stickiness long ago — though I think $0.50 per strand (about $6 per hank) is about accurate, for most of them. It averages out.

The tricky part of this is trying to predict what I’m most likely to use so that I can make sure it’s easy to access. I also need to make more of the Czech beads accessible…I’m not sure, though, whether this means to take them off the strands, and if so, how many; or to only disassemble what I know I’m going to use immediately. It’s kind of a pain to have part of my stock readily accessible, and the rest of it somewhere else; but if I purchase beads in large packs…I’ll have to do that.

I basically just bought my first known Matsuno-brand seed beads, which came in a large (40-gram) pack like this. That in itself is kind of interesting, though it would have been nice to be able to see the beads in person (and next to other beads!) to really understand what I was getting. I think I buy more “sophisticated”-looking beads when I can see them next to others and gauge when paying twice as much (or more) is worth it. That said, I’m not sending anything back. I have ideas for them.

I also need to set a date to head to the International Gem & Jewelry Show. One of the vendors I’ve regularly visited at my local Bead Society’s conventions, has a horrible website. The Bead Society conventions have also stopped. If I want to purchase from them, I’ll need to do it either in person or via snail mail. Meeting in person will be a way to pick beads that coordinate, without depending on the quality of the online photos.

The reason I’m even on this is that they have a large stock of Czech seed beads (which are more donut-shaped and less cylindrical) in larger sizes. I’ve actually found this online, as well; but Intergem sounds like a better bet.

And…I did finally get my copper head pins and crystal scarab beads, so I can move forward on updating my earrings and reworking the necklace I posted about, earlier. I also found some Chinese crystal beads in my stock, with which I want to do something now (probably, earrings). Because the bright green seed beads I got almost perfectly match the Crystal Scarabeus 2x coated scarab beads, I’m heavily considering doing a technique such as Chevron Stitch and combining the blue-green Matsuno beads with the bright green.

I also have a bunch of other green beads in different shades, which might work well with those real bright green ones. There are just so many different shades of green!

I also would like to finish the bracelet I began so long ago…it’s almost done, after all. And I did finally find my Erinite-color crystals (they’re a bluish-green), so I can make a button in that shade.

I’d also like to try making something like it, in blue; I just recently got some light blue Czech bugle beads…and am wondering how they will work up with Czech size 11° beads, as versus Japanese size 11° seed beads. They’re bigger than the small bugles I used in this last project, which means that the band will be wider.

The major problem I’m having is that I’m aiming for an LIS career path so that I can have the money to support myself and to have the money to buy, and the time to do, things like this. It’s just kind of hard to focus on the actual job and education bit of it, in the moment — because it is work. That thing about having a job that you love so that you never have to work again? I don’t think that exists, anymore…

Feeling unproductive.

Today, I wasn’t able to get done what I wanted, to. The most obvious and most mechanical point of action I have is to create a set of hyperlinks to my different classes for each of my required Learning Competencies…so that when working on any one, I won’t have to search around through all my archives, trying to find something which fits.

Luckily, I already have my competencies-to-courses, mapped out. I just need to create a shorthand to each folder in my file system.

I did move outside of what I had thought I would do, to get a notebook and …ponder starting to write out my Statement of Professional Philosophy. I had a better idea of what I would write, last night at 2 AM. I’m hoping that writing here will make working up to this, a bit easier. I need to write, something.

While I wouldn’t say the day was totally wasted, I did end up not going in for extra hours at work. Also, biological imperatives stated that I sleep for a while…and I still need to shower.

People around me say that I’m doing really well, though for me it’s hard to see, when I have days like this.

I guess I just have to remember that not everything has to be done NOW NOW NOW. But if I get a Library Assistant position and I’m doing that as well as my capstone class and Collection Development…I might be better off as regards future jobs, but it might really be tough for the next semester.

Which is why I’m trying to mitigate it, now.

I wasn’t expecting for the call to go out for new Library Assistants, though I see that last time it happened, it was around the middle of July, last year.

There’s some more going on now — actually, a lot more — that I think is stressing me, a bit. We’re considering moving out-of-state, in addition to everything else…which is tough for me when my proficiency at working with the community is contingent on knowing the community.

There’s also some family business to attend to, which I think is coming up because we might not be in this location for much longer. Not to mention that I have questions about my great-grandmother which may go unanswered, unless I actually get up the nerve to ask.

Things are just feeling a bit unstable for me, at the moment. Especially knowing that I may not be able to get a library job in the place we may move, to; at least, not a gainful one, and at least, at first.

I guess a lot is heading up to change in my life, really quickly. And I’m not in control of most of it.

That could…possibly be a reason for a little bit of distress.

The upshot of this is that I’d be moving to an area with a larger Asian population, which will make it immensely easier to learn Japanese, and not lose it. There also might be a lower cost-of-living, considering that prices have inflated so much here that it’s ridiculous. I’m looking at an average $10,000/year pay cut by moving, though…but unless the housing market changes, we may not be coming back.

I suppose that with so much of my life being based around the internet…maybe that would be something that would hold stable. But my friends and work, being part of this community; I think I’d miss it, at least at first.

It’s just, what a time to uproot, right?

I’ve had some internal conflict about my reasoning around learning Japanese. Hmm. But it would go better in a different post.

Balancing business and personal life

Last night, I realized something: I was using a lot of jargon. That is, the problem I was describing in my last post is directly related to my using jargon in regard to beadwork which I’ve grown up with, but which is unfamiliar to most.

The word for it didn’t come to me until early this morning when I was trying to get to sleep, though.

And…once again, I find myself considering the impact of having my online life linked with my physical one. If I did start selling again, for example, do I link my online presence here, or start a new blog (or new website)? The latter will be easy enough to set up…but there are also some drawbacks, primarily related to the possibility of using a database.

I think Etsy is a better first option.

And…the person I am now, at core, isn’t going to change. I have been talking here about things such as gender identity and presentation, and mental health. This is because this is a personal blog — not a professional one — and this stuff isn’t talked about enough in regular life. Also, if I’m going to do creative writing, that stuff’s going to come out, or I won’t be able to write. It’s just that a business presence would likely not have those things, kind of like how I try not to bother you all with my politics.

If I started selling online, it would make sense to start an actual website for a business presence (aside from the one I’ve had to start for school).

Then I could post about beadwork, there! 🙂

I have noticed that there are alternate venues to talk about this stuff, largely going off of what other bloggers have linked. There are also the more obvious routes…going by offline word-of-mouth to find both places to sell and places to talk to other beaders.

Yeah. I’ve had that information for a while, and just haven’t followed up on it. Sounds good. I would need to network.

In other affairs…I’m leaning about 70% towards not taking a third class in my last semester. This is both because I might have a 20-hour job then, and because I like having actual time for myself. If I have extra time, I can put it into a side business.

Sounds good.

And life resumes.

Tonight I turned in the last of my assignments for Summer. I don’t think they were perfect, but they’re off my plate, now.

The good thing is that I got full marks on the first two assignments, so I had 55% going into the last two weeks. This class is also only 1 credit, so a low grade isn’t going to ruin my GPA. (I am already in an Honors society, too, and can’t have that revoked…)

What can I say, but, IT’S OVER!

That class was so frustrating. At least if we had used a real programming language, I could have looked for help from someplace other than my Professor.

I also realized that my love of making things doesn’t necessarily extend to Programming, which is more like, “delivering instructions to a computer.” Not design or writing or crafting; because I’m not doing the work myself, the computer is doing the work.

Now I can return my attention back to work and my e-Portfolio, though to be honest, I’m thinking about doing some jewelry work (likely incorporating leather: I got the idea to make button loops with this so that the buttons wouldn’t be abraded by glass beads. There is also the option of knotting button loops (when using upholstery thread), though I’ve found that braiding them makes a more secure connection).

If I take out my 14g jewelry in the morning and put in light earrings; at the end of the day, I can still put the 14g jewelry back in. I am planning on exploiting this. 🙂 I also have a lot of earwires, so I can toy with designs all I want.

I am not sure yet what heavy earrings will do to my piercings (I’m thinking of a set of sunstone earrings in particular — my first attempt at chain tassels), but I would probably be in danger of losing them, from having the piercing stretched out. Luckily, I have a lot of earring stoppers (plastic stoppers to secure the backs of standard earring posts or earwires).

I am also not sure as to whether my piercings will in fact close up to a more normal size if I take the 14g earrings out, entirely. The problem with doing that, is that then I tend to miss them, and have to go through another cycle of wearing 18-16-14g, which takes at least 12 weeks to get back to the point at which the 14g earrings will again fit and not damage my lobes. It takes longer than that to get them to be able to move freely again.

No, I do think I’ll stay at 14g — but this is as thick as I’m going.

As long as we’re on the subject of appearances, I ended up trimming my hair instead of cutting it short; but I don’t know how long I’ll keep it like this. I mean, I actually look fairly pretty to myself, right now. I don’t know what changed except for beginning to use a different skin treatment. It also looks like my weight shifted. I don’t know what causes that.

At this point, the major issues I have with my hair are ongoing scalp health, and damage from heat styling. The heat styling is to prevent damage from snarling (which happens often enough with my hair wavy).

The only reason I know the heat has damaged it is that when combing it out in the shower with some kind of lubricant (it’s often difficult to comb, dry), I can feel it stretch when I hit a snarl. It’s not supposed to stretch. However, if I straighten it, I can keep it rolled up in a bun when I need to, out of the way and relatively clean. It’s also long enough to put the bun on the crown of my head, which minimizes pulling and discomfort (I often get a sore scalp if I even wear a tightly bound ponytail).

What’s good about this as well is that if I twist my hair down, I can wrap my hair in a scarf, and not worry about getting dust into it from my work.

On the employment front, I have a short amount of time to apply for a higher position, which I’m thinking is now appropriate (I’ve been getting a little antsy at work from not using my skills to their fullest potential). I still can’t drive on my own, though, and I need to get on that and get my license. If I had a license, I could be a substitute and not have to worry about balancing part-time work and full-time school along with having to arrange for transportation. But I am going into my last semester, so if I get hired next year, that will be cake.

I’m thinking that power issues may be tripping out some people I work with. It is probably past time to move up a rank.

I also spoke with someone today about support around getting back into creative writing. The meeting went really well.

The big thing for me about writing (particularly, fiction) is that it brings up a lot of issues that I still need to process, and it tends to bring them up all at once. So having someone to talk to about them, is really good. From what I heard, working through past issues with the writing is likely better than avoiding them by not writing.

It’s also something to take into account that the problems which bothered me before when I was writing, may not necessarily bother me now.  I mean, my last major extended experience in writing fiction was in undergraduate work. I was a lot less stable then than I am now, and beginning to write again now, doesn’t mean I’ll be going back to being like I was, before.

And, yeah…the person I was talking with did bring up the, “method acting,” tangent that I had also wondered about, but never looked up… In specific, the fear was that I’d get into character and then forget who I was. But I think for me, it times out after 3-4 days, even if I do lose my grip on myself.

Also, that mediumship thing about ending a session, I’m told, sounds applicable.

Alright, I should get some rest — I just realized that it’s now after midnight, and I’ve got stuff to do, tomorrow.

(and it’s not going to be graded.)