Sunday, October 31, 2010

I did a thing on the internet

If there is one thing I'm passionate about, it's critical thinking. If there's another thing I'm equally passionate about, it's not paying attention to what I'm doing while I'm at work. Fortunately the Internet has given me a way to combine both of my loves: skeptical podcasts.

And now, in gratitude for the countless hours of thinking-but-not-about-the-task-at-hand they've provided me, I'm paying it forward. Last week I did a bit for the Amateur Scientist Podcast. Check it out; it's pretty awesome. But don't take my word for it. (Seriously, don't. I haven't listened to it because what if I'm terrible? And what if I hate the sound of my voice? And anyway, I haven't synced my iPod yet.) And when you're done there, go to the home page and check out the back catalog. I can definitely vouch for the awesomeness of the shows that don't feature me.

Regardless of how it actually turned out (and really, I'm sure it was fine) I had a ton of fun recording it, I learned how to use Skype, and doing research for the sketch forced me to learn more about the WikiLeaks scandal (guys, it turns out things in the Middle East are not going so well). So thanks, Brian, who does not read this blog, for having me on your show. I look forward to providing you with a short bio for your website in the near future.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The less serious update post

Contrary to the bitch-fest I just posted, I have been having a decently good time at life lately. Read this bulleted list to find out more:

  • I'm teaching myself how to use CS5 because for some reason my Document Design class is not. Which is weird, becuase you use the programs in CS5 to design documents. State school education; what can you do? Anyway, I like pretty things, and I love being a perfectionist, so I'm really digging design. I'm not very good at it naturally, but it seems that a good portion of design is seeing things you like and incorporating them into your own work in a manner subtle enough to not be considered stealing. Oh, and Before & After Magazine is awesome. The smiling, soft-spoken man in the videos has taught me more about design in the last week than I've learned all semester.
  • Halloween! I was going to go as a sexy octopus, but then Paul the Octopus passed away, so I think any sexiness in the costume would be in poor taste. Now I'm going to be a somber, introspective octopus who spends his days contemplating the capricious nature of Fate. While getting drunk and not wearing pants. Obviously.
  • I'm making these travel jewelry bags for my church's craft bazaar. I am a crafty church lady now. I think we all saw this coming. 
  • I made what was supposed to be a business card in Photoshop but it may have ended up as a masthead for this website instead. And next semester I'm taking a web design class. So look forward to that, alright?
  • Not two hours ago I recorded a thing for a podcast I listen to. It was a little strange, like talking back to my iPod (not that I don't do that already "Awww, Prince, that is so sweet of you to say. I would die 4 U 2, you know.") But fun. And, of course, hilariously out of character. I am KICKING ASS at my New Year's Resolution this year, guys.
I think that's it. Soon everything will be in a finished enough state that I can post pictures.

Oh, one more thing: Last weekend I went to a 20s-themed birthday party (actually, it was a Great Gatsby-themed birthday party, which was bullshit because the birthday girl was NOT turning 30, like the main character did in the book and it was kind of a huge deal plot- and character-development-wise. But whatever, don't worry, I'm sure Nick Carraway had a bunch of really cool stuff happen to him when he turned 25, too). Anyway, I made a flapper costume out of a little black dress from Kohl's and a bunch of fringe. Now, when I was young I loved Kohls. Probably 2/3 of my wardrobe was from their juniors section. But 10 years, a set of hips, and a desire not to look trashy later....man, you can't go back. You really can't. I don't think I've ever felt older than I did standing in the middle of a "Britney Spears for Candie's" display full of clothing for skinny 14-year-olds with daddy issues. Okay, now I feel older, now that I've complained about "kids these days." :)

The serious update post

It's that time of year, the time when it gets cold and dark and shit starts getting real in school and it's somehow already time to start thinking about Christmas music even though it isn't Reformation Day, and oh shit, is that this Sunday already? Where did I put that postlude on Ein' feste Burg that I played last year for Reformation Day? Yeah, the I'm-freaking-out-under-the-stress-of-it-all-and-thinking-in-stream-of-consciousness-rants time of year.

Or as some people call it, Autumn.

I like being busy. But I also like being un-crazy, and it seems lately that the two have been at odds. Also, I've been a bit miffed about the whole anti-bullied gay teens killing themselves, for reasons I can't fully explain without sounding like an asshole. It's a little bit like how I felt when the American public magically transformed Obama from a biracial man to a black man, except substitute "understanding what it's like to not know which ethnicity box to check on a survey" for "attempted suicide"and "so that we don't seem racist" with "so that we don't seem homophobic." Again, complex and asshole-ish. But basically, watching an issue close to my heart being reduced to a cause célèbre is tricky. Maybe that makes it sound more reasonable. I should probably write something more well thought out about this later (and the fact that I haven't written anything yet makes me simultaneously mad at myself and really grateful that I deleted my LiveJournal blog).

Seriously, Barack, you were raised by your white relatives and everything. Show some love for your high yellow brothers and sisters!

So, back to trying to remain un-crazy. Turns out it's way easier to go to a mental health professional now than it was the first time I was depressed. Thanks, Stimulus Package! (Seriously, that's how little this country values mental health, the only way we could get the insurance parity bill passed was to sneak it into the bill designed to keep the country from imploding.) It also turns out there's a ton of psychiatrists in Uptown. Hipsters got problems. So now I just have to find one that's taking patients. That's my goal for tomorrow, along with getting my car tuned up and finishing my Halloween costume and one of my class projects, etc..

Also, if you think you have a mental illness: get help, but STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THE INTERNET. I thought I was being smart, I only went to reputable sites like Mayo Clinic's and NIMH's, but you start reading things, and you start clicking links, and all of a sudden you're not just wondering if maybe you have ADHD, you know you do. And you have Borderline Personality Disorder too, and you might be bipolar, and holy shit AM I AUTISTIC? I THOUGHT I AVOIDED EYE CONTACT BECAUSE I WAS SHY!!

So where I am right now in a nutshell: possibly depressed, probably not anything worse, still sane enough to blog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Internet, I am back

Although in a way, I never left. Because I have The Twitter on my phone. And absolutely no filter.

PHOTO MONTAGE BEGIN!

IVEYS! This is my homemade dress. Check it out! At some point I will make a tutorial for the dress, but I'm taking this instructional design class about e-learning, so posting an online tutorial that won't affect my GPA is pretty low-priority right now. However, the dress did lead to some pretty interesting conversations about the role of underwear in a women's life and wardrobe, so it's already doing good.


Oh, and you're seeing that right; that's Miss Freaking Minnesota we're all talking to. She wore her crown the entire night. It was weird.


DISNEY! Don't look now, Ryan, but there's something magical behind you.

God, I hate myself for typing that. Seriously, Disney is a cool place, and a lot of fun, but it takes a lot to suspend disbelief. I mean, how magical is something that gets replayed day after day? And I'm sorry, but fireworks get less cool with each passing night. Who knew blowing shit up could have diminishing returns?


FOOD! All different types, in mass quantities. This is me eating a cloudberry horn from the Norway pavilion in Epcot. A brand new berry! It kind of tasted like, you know, every other berry.

BOOZE! This is me drinking a black and tan. It was a real stretch for me, as most beer I consume either looks/tastes like piss or has a slice of fruit in it. So really, this photo could also be called LEARNING!

I think that catches us up to speed. I am in the midst of learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. Maybe I will blog about that in the future. Until then, I'll be around Twitter, probably talking about where my pants are (spoiler alert: not my body).