Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm still pretty shaken up

The semester is almost over and I think I made it out with three A's. It was difficult, the most difficult semester I've had since My last in undergrad. I don't think I have ever been challenged this much in the field of academics. I learn all about social research and just how research is done in general. I learn about cultural diversity and how it effects every part of my view on social classes. I learn about French philosophy and how much I don't understand it. I also learn about friendship and collaboration. How to develop an advanced idea and get it out of my head. I couldn't list all the lessons I learned right now because I can't remember them all right now. It was very production semester but I'm tired now. It's not quite over because I still have a paper to write but that's pretty much done. I was feeling really good about surviving the semester and making some new friends until this morning.

I got to sleep late because I was having one of those conversations I have with friend M (that's how I will refering to her from now one). You know the ones where you share some very deep things and then you feel really good that you have a friend you can share that kinda depth with. My mom came in my room and started talking before I was awake, she does that. I didn't really hear the first part and started to wake up around the, "your glove compartment is open, the light is on, and it wasn't that way last night." I soon realized I was going to have to go outside and look at what she reporting to me. I still wasn't coherant but I put on my house shoes and robe and went outside.

When I got there, the light was on, the driver's door was left open and papers where falling out of the glove box. I thought maybe my brother went in the car to get the insurance papers, why he would need them I had no idea but that was the only idea my foggy brain could fathom. I walked around to the drivers door and noticed the ashtray was open, the compartment under the CD player [and all the items in it] had been thrown on the floor. I knew at that moment that the person who had done this was nobody I knew. I felt violated, taken advantaged up. I went in the house and laid in the bed. I need to feel safe and for the first in a long time I didn't.

I live in a relatively safe neighborhood or so I thought. Over the years, the demographic has changed. It was full of families with small children, now I'm not sure. I no longer know who my neighbors are and that is just as scary as someone rifling through my car and not taking anything because now I don't know if it was one of my neighbors who did this or someone passing through. I'm not sure how address this problem other then to make sure my car and house are locked up tight. I think this only adds to the problem dividing a community into individuals who don't know or trust each other. I wouldn't say leaving your house open all the time would be a solution to that problem but being afraid and never leaving isn't either. I guess I'm looking for a solution to keep from losing my community.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Time: To Shop or To Make?

Two years ago I fell in love with the hand made challenge. I didn't take the challenge per say because I knew there where things that I wanted to buy for my family that were made in a factory. Things like socks and underwear and furniture. As much as I would love to buy some custom furniture thats something that's way, way out of my budget. So in 2008, I made all the gifts that I only gave to my friends. For the ladies in my small group I made small purses. They where adorable, I wish I had taken a picture of one so you could see just how cute they turned out. They where square with a single handle that you put your hand through. Just big enough for a wallet, keys and a cell phone. The ladies loved them and I instantly wanted to start an Etsy store selling them but I'm lazy so I never made another one of those bags. There still lives the possibility that one day I'll start that Etsy store.

The other thing I made were small note books. I got that idea from some website that had a tutorial. The lady makes photo wrapped journals and I fell in love with her website, like I do all website that have ideas I wish I came up with. It was my favorite website for about a month and honestly I haven't been back since that Christmas two years ago. So I made these small journals for my friends. I used some of my own photos and others I thought where appropriate. I pick a special picture for each person and on the back I hand wrote a message that said, "Made especially for you by my hands". My signature was signed at the bottom. When I gave them out everyone was surprised. They loved them but I have no idea if any of those books got used. It dawn on me after Christmas that I'm the one who likes journals, I have no idea how my friends feel about them.

That's part of my problem, I get so excited about the idea of the gift and how much I would love it that I don't stop to think if anything else would love it. I think I might have already done that with this year's Christmas gifts. I some how came across Jennifer Strunge's website and again I fell in love with her imaginative creations. I wanted a cotton monster for myself. No, I wanted all the cotton monsters. I wanted to fill a ball pit with them and jump into the pit and swim around. I instantly decided I was making everybody I know a little monster. "They will love them!" I told myself. Again reason came knocking and I thought What if no one liked my monsters? What if they just think they are ugly? What if they took my hand made gift for granted and gave it to their dog as a chew toy? Terror gripped my mind.

Then I remembered that I was no longer concerned with meaningless gifts that fill our houses and push out our hearts. We have fallen into the For Sake gift buying, just buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts. I think the only thing worse then forgetting to give someone a birthday present is giving them a thoughtless meaningless gifts. At least when you forget someones birthday you try to make up for it by doing something thoughtful. usually the question, "What do you want to do?" comes into play. When you buy that gift set of potholders because it was on sale and then give it to a single man who doesn't cook, it says you didn't care enough to think about who you where buying the gift for, you just bought a gift and would figure out who you would give it to later. This is one of the side effects of For Sake gift buying, thoughtlessness. Debt is another side effect but that's another post.

So I'm going to make my adorable fish monsters and give them to my friends. If they don't like them, I don't care. What they should thinking about is while I was cutting, pressing and sewing these cuties I was thinking of them. By name. And how much an adorable monster would cheer them up on a rainy day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So I can feel accomplished...

I've already forgotten what I wanted to say in this post. After about an 2.5 hours of wanting to write, I've finally sat down at my NEW laptop and started to write. I remember now, I wanted to feel somewhat accomplished so I was going to talk about everything I have done this week to distract me from the mile long list I have to complete by Sunday. Now we are back to the laptop.

After talking about it, thinking about it, researching and waiting for something better to come out, I've finally purchased a laptop. It's one of the things I wanted to do with the finAid money I borrowed. Side note, I hate owning the government money. I feel like i might get called into an Eagle Eye kinda situation and I would end of dying cause I wouldn't jump from a 10 story build. What i discovered in researching laptops is there are two categories, Macs and Not Macs. I didn't have Mac money so I'm in the other category. If you aren't spending $700 or more, the brand really doesn't matter in the Not mac cat. And netbooks are ridiculously over priced for what you get.

What I ending up purchasing was a MSI A6200 blah blah. Truth is, it doesn't matter.What does matter is that it has 3 gigs of ram, 320 hard drive (which they partitioned into two drives?!? Why?!), and a DVD burner. An actual dvd-rom was important to me because so much of what I watch is still in the format. All this for less than $400, not bad. There where netbook twice the price and a third less ram. I did buy the warranty but it's only for two years. I hope i get to use it when it's totally convenient to me and not when I have a major project due that is only located on my laptop. I only plan for this to be my major laptop for that long, two years. I need to buy a mac so I can do video editing. Say what you will, I'm loyal to FCP and Apple. I bought this laptop to replace an EIGHT year old powerbook that couldn't download pdf's from the web anymore. How many windows laptops can run for that long reliably? Most windows desktops don't live eight years let alone a laptop.

Something else I accomplished this week is realizing I never should have taken this Emac6372 class. I won't go into any details, but I will say when you say, "I said my class would be a lot of work" that doesn't excuse you from giving 4 major assignments due in one week. That's just arrogance. Like your class is more important than any other class in the depart because the class is new. I can't wait for this to be over and I might need extra paper for the end of the year course review.

Another task I accomplished, I got to see my grandmother this past weekend. While I was there, I was inspired by Story Corps to interview her and I found out some very interesting family history, none that I will share here. It's not what you think, it's just boring family history.

That's all I have for now. Another Side note, haven't worked out since school started but I hope to get my schedule together soon. I really miss my pool time, my bike time and my weights.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's been awhile and a lot has changed

Wow, I've really neglected this blog. Over two years without a post, one might think I didn't care about sharing. That is completely untrue, a fallacy even. The truth is so much has changed in my life in the last two years that this blog got lost in all the changes. I've been fired, held two part-time jobs and started back to school. I've been working out recently and have had some success, to date from my heaviest, I've lost a total of 35 lbs. So that's 10% of my body weight. Not too shabby.

In other news, I quit my second job today. I was supposed to quit about two months ago but got lazy and didn't quit and then needed a summer job. But now that school is in for the kids and school is in for me, I don't have time to do all three. I'm quite aware I'm going to make less money but I don't want to waste the money I do have on trying to keep a job I don't particularly enjoy. I've come to know a few truths these past two years and one of them is knowing how much you handle and not putting too much on your plate. I could have kept the job, not had any weekend time to myself and been miserable but I don't want to do that and frankly, I don't have to.

I have to be at work in the morning so I'll write more later about everything I've learned in the past few years. All of it has been difficult but all if had to be learned.