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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.

The Artist at Home: Six Months

15 Jun

It’s June. Six-ish months ago I dragged my scared, uncomfortable ass out of bed on a saturday and walked across the stage to get a diploma that took four and a half years of my life to earn. I was living off of my parents kindness for the most part along with a part-time bowling alley job, and didn’t have the slightest clue where I was going.

Cut to six months later.

I have a job. Part time yes, but it involves mostly just typing things in a nice, air-conditioned basement, there are vending machines, low lighting, and all the music and audiobooks I can listen to. I make enough money to get by for now. I have free time coming out of my ears and am only just now getting past the whole ‘what homework do I have to do next?’ mentality.

I have another job too. Also part time, but only because of necessity. I get done with my data entry work, shuffle myself home, throw something together to eat, and sit down at my desk and draw. I have a webcomic that I post here on mondays, wednesdays and fridays. Each page is hand drawn and takes between two and four hours depending on how solid a grasp I have on the concept. When I’m not working on the comic I’m writing, or thinking about writing. I’m working on a new novel, The Heretics, which is science fiction, and I have an idea for a dark humor fantasy novel that I’m keeping on the backburner until November.

Last year I didn’t know what I was going to do. Didn’t know where I was going.

Now I have a better idea.

My comic is a personal project above anything else. I’m doing it to improve my art skills, to tell a story I’m passionate about, and to have fun. Maybe after I’ve been updating for a couple months I’ll put up a donate button or start offering commissions. I draw art for friends’ birthdays and holidays as a personal gesture as well as a relief to my budget. I hope to submit some short stories to places once I get the ideas down on paper. I hope to have both The Heretics and this new novel idea done by December, and 2012 will be the Year of the Nerve-Wracking Publisher Hunt Experience.

So there you go. I work two jobs now. One is part-time and pays the bills. The other is full time and goes on constantly in my head.

It’s difficult, the conundrum of wanting more hours at the Real Job to make the monies but also knowing that this will cut into the Dream Time. I need more money, but I also love having time to sit at home and draw or write. I don’t get more hours for another couple of months though, so I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

And will I daydream about being able to write and draw full-time? All the time. If enough people start donating, I could even go full time. I could also start a unicorn farm.

Hey, when you dream, dream stupid right?

Do I miss school? Somewhat, but only because I miss the familiar. The Real World is still something I’m getting used to, especially the financial side of it. My parents are infinitely supportive of my dreams and my goals, my boyfriend is in the same boat as I am so we hold each other up. I make just enough money to make rent and pay bills, put gas in my car, buy food and squirrel a tiny bit away to save up for things like plane tickets to visit my friend Karen in Washington, a bicycle, my next tattoo.

I’m poor like dirt. My living situation is still a month and a half away from being more than just tolerable. There’s pockets of drama blowing up every which way because people don’t function well during the summer. It’s hot as balls and it’s gonna get hotter. I have to move soon.

I couldn’t be happier.

This is living the dream.

Time to go to work now. Six hours of data entry slaving, but I have techno and books to keep me going. Then I get home and I have a comic page to draw and at least three birthday presents to start work on. It’s gonna be awesome.

Don’t give up folks. The dream is in reach, even if it’s uphill struggle all the way.

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.