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Home, Time Passing, Perseverance

31 Aug

Currently curled up in bed surrounded by fluffy pillows and small stuffed animals. In the kitchen I hear Jeff cooking fresh vegetables he picked up at a little farmer’s market on the way home from school today. It smells like garlic and onions, delicious flavours I know he’s going to mix together with some peppers and mushrooms and serve over pasta. The only thing missing is a loaf of crusty french bread to make that perfection.

Work has been devouring my soul slowly, Sarlacc style, throwing more long hours and challenges my way. On my worse days I find myself holding back tears from the stress, simply because a combination of insomnia and not eating due to stress has left me a bit fragile. On the bad days. Most days that bad is combatted by audiobooks and caffeine coupled with frequent breaks to daydream or sneak out to way hi to Jeff when he’s walking by my building. He has a second interview at my company tomorrow afternoon. If he gets the job he’ll have the perfect schedule: flexible work hours and two classes. I’m very, very hopeful for him. Long as he doesn’t get promoted like I did, he’ll enjoy it.

I found out that I’m not the only person who feels swamped and overwhelmed by everything at work – an outside advisor talked to my team today, and we spent an hour and a half explaining what we were having problems with – my biggest problem being “I need a bigger desk!” (no seriously). It was somewhat depressing to know my colleagues have it just as bad as I do, if not worse, but also something of a relief. I know I’m not the only one with more than they can handle. Not being alone is the key to survival.

It’s still not enough though. I want to go back to school. I want to be a graduate student working towards a day job that I can at least like, if not genuinely enjoy. I want to move out of this too-hot too-cold hard to live in state, want to study and learn and live instead of dragging myself out the door at too-early in the morning. I miss having the energy to be creative at work. I’ve been drawing, but that’s all I’ve had time for. My novels are gathering dust, my new ideas shoved to the back of my mind to make way for numbers and tasks and drudgery.

I don’t know if I can make it two years.

What keeps me sane? Friends. Twitter. A boyfriend who cooks dinner when I’m too exhausted to move and lots of hugs when I’m feeling down and miserable. a wonderful fanbase of people who read my comic. I love drawing my comic, coming up with new ideas for novels. I’m going to buy a bicycle as soon as my new credit card arrives in the mail to replace my stolen one. In 39 days I leave for a week to visit my wonderful friend Karen in Washington for GEEKGIRLCON and a much needed vacation.

Having things to look forward to is the key to surviving.

It could always be worse. I turn 24 in October. I have at least two ideas for NaNoWriMo. The new season of Doctor Who is excellent. I’m starting to look into getting a Masters in Library Science in a couple of years. I want to be an archivist. I’m eating better (when I eat). My friends and boyfriend rock. Life is pretty good, even if I’m stressed and overwhelmed sometimes.

It still smells like garlic and onions. It’s warm and delicious and makes this apartment, this place Jeff and I have lived in for a month now, really feel like home.

As long as I have that, I can keep going.

Having a place where you feel you belong is the key to surviving.

I belong here.

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Frenetic Waltz

13 Aug

Good day internet friends. It’s been almost a month since I updated here, due to my aforementioned promotion to a new position at work combined with moving. To say it’s been a little frantic is by far an understatement. So here’s what’s been going on:

Work, Money, etc. 

So yes. Promotion. I work 40 hours instead of 28ish, starting at 8 AM every day Monday through Friday, and while it’s quite exhausting, I think I’m getting a handle on it. I’m listening to a insane number of audiobooks these days, going through between two and a half a week depending on the length of the book. Recent books I’ve devoured include Haunted, Rant (Both by Chuck Palahniuk), The Lost World (Michael Crichton), Dreamcatcher (Stephen King), Fool, A Dirty Job (both by Christopher Moore) and I’m currently listening to How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu.

Despite this literary joy (Seriously, I haven’t enjoyed reading this much since before I went to college) I’m rather exhausted. Work is an ever-changing environment and while sometimes I can cope with that, sometimes the mental exhaustion and sleep deprivation drives me to urges to go sit in the bathroom and cry for no reason other than I can’t really believe that this is what I should do for the rest of my life.

Today my first paycheck arrived. The first thing I bought? Three volumes of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. One of my goals is to expand my graphic novel collection, and Sandman is a good place to start in my mind. Other things this paycheck will go to include groceries, savings for a new bicycle (or my next tattoo, whichever one I want to get first :3 ) and probably some art supplies.

Art

Comic is still updating, and it’s going well. Not to give spoilers, but we’re rapidly approaching the end of Part I, and I’m excited to continue drawing it. So don’t worry folks, I may be exhausted, but I’m going to keep drawing Thursday’s Child until my limbs fall off. I am debating making a ‘real’ website for it over a tumblr feed, so if any of you nice folk have tips for starting up a comic website, please send them my way, as I’m a complete noob and haven’t the foggiest clue where to start. I’ll give you bragging rights, cookies, whatever. ❤ I just want something easy to navigate with cast pages and other pages. Like comicpress. Can anyone teach my how to use comicpress?

Yes, I am a noob. You had to ask?

Writing 

I’m getting there. Still have half-a-dozen novel ideas battling to the death to get my attention. I’m hoping to get something done before NaNo this year, but it doesn’t seem likely. That said, I’ve deliberately set aside time from my comic schedule to write this november, so I WILL get a novel written. It’s gonna happen, it’s gonna be awesome.

Apartment

We moved two weeks ago. Our new apartment is glorious and wonderful. We’ve seriously cooked every single night we’ve lived here, which is a huge HUGE record for us since we used to live off takeout and restaurant food. I’ve put pictures up on Google + for the curious/nosey. If you don’t have G+, I have invites 🙂

Future

*sigh* this… this will probably need a separate post. I’ve been doing some insane soul searching lately and I have a lot to say about it. So hopefully i’ll get that up here later today or tomorrow. Needless to say, things are happening.

Other stuff

I no longer have a car. The car is now my sister’s. This is a wee bit inconvenient, but the fact that I’ve walked a minimum of two miles a day for the last two week compared to the zero miles of the past is huge for me.

That’s the quick update. Now it’s time for me to throw together some breakfast and bake some bread.

Freedom, Friendship, Chips and Dip, Worth It

5 Jul

It’s about 2 am. I have to get up for work at eleven, which isn’t awful but could be handled better. Jeff’s across the room reading comics on the internet, Morbo is asleep in his food bowl, the roommates are derping around with anime and I’m covered in bug bites.

Tomorrow I go back to work, which is a bummer that I’m dealing with. Things like seeing my sister next week and Ben Folds in concert on Friday are what are keeping me going. That and the new apartment, which feels so far away right now, a million years and countless hours of packing and work between now and then.

JulNoWriMo is going okay – I’m behind because today I decided to hang around with friends and cook instead of write. That’s okay. I’ll catch up.

Today I made a seven layer dip and a six layered cake. This amused me. It was pretty delicious stuff too – thank Nathan Fillion’s twitter recipe he posted a good six or seven months ago. Turns out you can be a brilliant actor and a genius cook too.

The comic continues, fairly well. I occasionally have spasms about the quality of my art and storytelling ability, but I figure I have what I have, I”m improving as time goes by, and I love doing it, so fuck the rest.

Sometimes I wish I could fast forward a few years and be able to live off my art and my writing. Somehow that feels like cheating though, so I suck it up and go to work for six hours and then come home and work another six hours drawing and beating my head against my novel. It’s all worth it. Fuck plan B.

Friends are friends. Still mostly a hermit, but had a great time tonight with folk, first with Jeff, Dan and Brandon watching movies and grilling and eating and conversing, then with Sam and Jess setting off fireworks while being chewed alive by mosquitoes, then going back to their apartment to play with their adorably spazzy kitty and watch The Emperor’s new groove.

I may be a hermit, but I love the friends I have. They remind me there’s something in the real world worth sticking around for.

Back to work tomorrow. I have a Carl Hiaasen book on audio to listen to, havarti cheese and cucumbers in the fridge to make sammiches with, enough money to survive frugally for the next two weeks even though I blew most of it on food and concert tickets.

Totally worth it.

Sometimes life just is.

Hope everyone else had a good 4th, even if you aren’t American and celebrating by blowing shit up. Hopefully today was freeing for all of us.

All the Updates

18 Mar

Because I’ve been neglectful, here are various updates regarding the state of The Uncomfort Zone:

General Life Update:

I just finished week 2 at the new job, my parents are out of town on alternating weekends meaning I’m spending a lot of time keeping both my mother and father company. And by that I mean eating them out of house and home. Jeff’s about to go on Spring break, which he will spend gaming and studying while I work. It’s Friday, I have a beer in my hand, and I”m gonna make fajitas for dinner. After I clean the kitchen.

Work Update:

Like I said, it’s the end of week two at the New Job, and things are going well. I’m still typing up comments on surveys, and passing the time listening to the Drunk Tank podcast from the guys at Rooster Teeth. Other than that, I’ve been spending my breaks reading Jim Butcher books (currently reading Furies of Calderon) and fighting the possessed demon vending machine. Also, I’ve been occasionally taking the bus to save gas.

Money Update:

I am poor. As dirt. Assuming dirt is as poor as I am. I get paid for honest reals a week from today, so I get to experiment with stretching my meager money resources until then. At least I still have beer.

Social Life Update:

I joined a new D&D group, which won’t start until the end of the month. It’s a Pathfinder game, and I’m playing a half-elf druid, who doesn’t have a name yet, but I’ll get there. Other than that I’ve been a complete hermit.

Art/Writing Update:

Due to the abject poverty I’m hoping to start trying to get some of my stories published, work on my novel and start offering commissions on DeviantArt. That stuff’s all in the works anyway. I’ll get to it… eventually.

Health and Food Update:

Well, I’m walking more. I’m hoping to get back into actually exercising next week now that I’ve got something resembling a work routine. I’m eating as well as I can on a poverty budget, but taking sammiches to work definitely helps with that. That and cooking more, despite the constant state of disaster our kitchen is in.

TV Update:

I finished watching Ugly Betty. It was cute, and I really enjoyed it. Now I have a void in my life where TV should be. Any suggestions folks?

Gaming Update:

I’m not done with Pokemon Black yet, which is why I haven’t blogged about it yet. Sadly, I think I burned myself out a little playing HeartGold for a week straight before Black came out. But I’m almost 4 badges in, and started with Snivy. I promise I will write a real review when I’ve finished. I’m also playing Oblivion on the 360, which is definitely fun. I’ve been blogging about my gaming habits on my new side blog, Not Your Gamer Girlfriend, over here. You should check it out. It’s fun to write 🙂

Trimming Fat, Cutting Costs

8 Mar

In case you haven’t noticed, gentle readers, I am poor. Unemployment lasting almost two months and having to wait for my first paycheck until close to the end of the month will do that to you. What with the cost of gas and food rising exponentially with every passing day, it’s a wonder any of us in entry-level wage-slave positions can afford to exist in this climate. Thus, as I look at my sad bank account desperately trying to keep afloat in this depressing time, I look at my budget and consider various things I can do to reduce costs in my daily life. Here are three small ways I”m trying to cut costs, some comedic and others in all seriousness:

1) I’m being Less Picky

I’m a foodie at heart. Food hates me and my finicky digestive system, so being able to eat food that tastes good is the only joy I get from sustenance. This is definitely difficult when good food costs you an arm and a leg. I’ve managed to save myself a good twenty bucks a week by cutting soda out of my diet, but that doesn’t account for how much juice costs (almost as much if you want stuff that’s good for you), or how much the rest of your grocery supply costs you. So I’ve been reducing everywhere I can. I just keep telling myself that when I start getting regular paychecks, I’ll have enough to eat well, and should resign myself to PB and J for a month or two for the sake of my bank account. Much as I want to shop at my local co-op and buy perfectly fresh organic foods all the time, my wallet can’t take it. Thus, it’s off to the trenches of Hell-Mart for a dose of cheap bulk and scary people.

2) The Commute

I now work downtown. Downtown Lincoln is a parking ordeal, and if you have to go there five days a week, you end up spending thirty to fifty dollars on parking. Awful. Balls-ass awful. Thus, I’ve come up with other ways to deal with my commute. Including taking the bus, which will work for me at least once or twice a week when I don’t have immediate post-work obligations or I get done with work early enough (the last chance I have to catch the bus is 5:45. Won’t help me on a day I work until six). The bus plan has the double benefit of saving me gas money, since gas is definitely about $3.60 a gallon in my neck of the woods. My other commuting option is parking in one of the nearby neighborhoods where parking isn’t restricted and then walking the rest of the way downtown. I could use the exercise, that’s for sure.

3) Be a hermit

I don’t eat out. I don’t go out, or if I do I don’t drink. Going out costs money. Eating in nice restaurants? Also costs money. Going to movies? I already pay for netflix (well, Jeff does, but you get my point). I remain sequestered in this tiny room, occasionally lonely, but not spending money. Of course, I also have incredibly generous friends, who insist they pay for everything when we go out. They are my heroes, and I owe them my life.

Those are the start. Hopefully I’ll find a few more to add to that list as my money supply shrinks and shrinks.

Marching Ahead

1 Mar

March is apparently going to be the month of awful puns, so you’re welcome in advance for the groan therapy you will experience.

Other things March is going to be good for:

1) Rediscovering my local libraries. I dropped by there this afternoon to pick up the next Dresden Files book and also grabbed a few other fun reads (A Meg Cabot book and the first in the Scott Pilgrim series). That and the facilities are crazy shiny awesome and modernised. I think I know where to go to study for the LSAT next time.

2) New job! I start this Friday, and I’m crazy excited about it. Call me a dork, but I’ve been unemployed since January 16th and that’s made me just a little on the crazed side. I don’t react well to a large expanse of nothing on the horizon. Plus the job involves things I rock at: data entry, computer work and copying.

3) Pokemon. I already babbled about my HeartGold team earlier this week (and they, plus or minus a few team-members), and this Sunday I get to run to the mall like a six-year-old on Christmas and get my brand-spanking new copy of Pokemon Black! Which I will then play obsessively and blog about incessantly.

4) Income. There are no words for how much I miss being able to go to the grocery store and not obsessively try to do math in my head and give up my favourite things for the sake of being able to put gas in my car. Rest assured, my first paycheck will mostly be spent on grocery items. I’m cool like that.

5) Body art. It’s been almost a year since I got my first tattoo. I very much hope to have another one in the not too distant future. ❤ I’m thinking it’ll be my Star Wars tattoos.

6) Friends. I owe a lot of really awesome people a round of drinks, since my friends have been here for me every step of the way during my little unemployment stint. So, crazy amounts of thanks to all my awesome friends: Sam, Jess, Kelsey, Karen, both Dans, Caryn, Andrew, Paul, Adam, Beta, Clay, Heidee, Steven, Mark, all my other lovely and amazing friends, and of course my ever tolerant, somehow-hasn’t-murdered-me-despite-my-whining, awesome boyfriend Jeff. Thank you all for being fantastic and awesome and putting up with my unemployed rambles. My first paycheck comes out, and the drinks are on me. 🙂

7) Writing. I’ve got novels coming out of my ears, short stories flailing around for attention, sketches to work on and a huge music library to inspire me. It’s a good month for creativity folks.

8) Health and well-being. I’m on day eight of no soda, and even though it’s getting a lot harder to keep that going, I’m surviving with cranberry juice and delicious green tea. Exercise is also still going all right, as is eating better, though I still have miserable cravings for pizza.

Onward to March! Here’s hoping it’s gonna be a fun month folks! New chapters in life abound for all!

 

Weekend Update

26 Feb

So it’s the weekend. I don’t start my new job until next Friday, which is kinda awesome but also kind of a bummer since I’ve now got a week stretching ahead of me with a whole lot of not much floating around in it. I’ve got Pokemon to play (and blog about, since it’s apparently a really popular subject – my pokemon post got a lot of hits today and I wrote it almost a week ago), Ugly Betty to watch and friends to hang out with. That and today I started writing a new novel on a complete whim and I’m now almost 6000 words in, which is great progress for me, especially considering I haven’t exactly been writing a lot in the last few months.

I’m debating what to go with for dinner tonight. The urge to order delicious pizza has never been more tempting, but we have a house full of food, so pizza would be silly. We also have beer, so I’m going to enjoy another one of those and probably whip up some pasta or something equally delicious. For I have been writing for the last three hours, and that makes me hungry.

So, off I go to hunt for food. I’m still not drinking soda, and it’s still going surprisingly well. Green tea is what’s doing it for me, I swear it. That stuff is incredible for preventing the caffeine headaches.

Hope everyone’s having an enjoyable weekend. That’s all from me.

The Little Things

17 Feb

I have two job interviews tomorrow. One is for a cashier position at a grocery store, the other is a data entry job. I’m hoping for the second one, even though both are part time. It’ll be nice to get out and do things for a change. To have money.

I’m drawing comics again. Slowly, but definitely surely.

I’m going to run to the store and pick up some new sauce and dumplings to make some amazing noodles and rice for dinner in a little bit. After I take out the trash. Something smells unpleasant.

Tomorrow night I’m going out dancing for the first time in a couple of months. I’m excited.

My new haircut continues to be flattering. I missed having short hair.

Homestuck keeps getting more and more awesome with every passing update.

Things just keep getting better. 🙂

 

I Crave Sushi

20 Jan

Clearly this is why I need to get a job.

So I can have sushi.

That is all.

Things I’ve Learned Working in Foodservice

9 Jan

1. The customer may always be right, but that doesn’t mean the customer isn’t dumb as a box of rocks.

2. The smell of fryer grease gets into everything. Clothes, hair, shoes, even my glasses. Somehow. It takes multiple long showers to get it out, and even if the smell comes out of clothes, the stains stay on your pants until the end of time.

3. Whenever the menu stresses that something is ‘homemade’, it is going to be a bitch and a half to make. Like ranch dressing. Doesn’t sound difficult, but when you make it by the gallon and the slightest miscalculation of balance means you’ll pour the stuff all over the sink, your clothes, even in your hair, it becomes a bitch. And then some.

4. There is a special level of hell reserved for people who come in five minutes before closing and order something complicated. Like multiple bacon double cheeseburgers. Or a pizza, which takes 20 minutes if you’re quick about it.

5. The cooks get paid more than the waitresses because they don’t get tips. The waitresses make more money, but have to deal with people more. A fair trade-off?

6. Chili must be at least as hot as Mt. Vesuvius if it’s going to satisfy the customer.

7. Bowlers have no originality. Neither do sorority girls. If one bowler orders a large fries, ten other bowlers will order the exact same thing. This principle is also true of girls in sororities, but it’s usually ice cream. They’re also more likely to cry if you run out of something, though that depends on the bowler.

8. If you do dishes enough, your fingers will become permanently pruny.

9. Cleaning out the ketchup pumps once is enough to put you off ketchup for a really long time. Scrubbing ketchup off of plates will push that into forever.

10. People are at their most anal retentive and dickish when it comes to their food. I give myself five points every time I don’t snap and tell someone ‘if you don’t like how it is, go the fuck home and cook it yourself you bum.’

11. Meth heads play a lot of poker. This is so they can pay their phone bills since they can’t get real jobs. They also eat a lot of cheeseburgers.

12. The later in the evening it gets, the more people order extremely greasy food. Especially wings.

13. The pain starts in your back after about two hours. it slowly moves down your legs and into your feet after another two. By hour six you’ve become completely numb to it and only feel it again when you finally sit down in your car while driving home.

14. The bartenders make more money than you too, but they definitely deserve it. Anyone who has to deal with that many drunks does for sure.

15. Children are satan. No, children make satan look like a fluffy bunny in fairy land. Children are almost as bad as drunkards, they’re just louder and more whiny most of the time.

16. Don’t breathe in if you’re heating up hot sauce. you’ll lose nose hair.

17. Ditto above for grilled jalapenos.

18. No matter how well a place is managed, they will run out of everything when you need it the most. And you’ll have to deal with crying sorority girls again.