Taking Time for Some Serious Business

I normally keep things pretty light on this blog. It’s more of an account of general things and a highlight of the best times. Because let’s face it, when we do anything online, we’re showing the world the goods things, even if things aren’t always bright and shiny. I will say that most of my bright and shiny stuff is completely legit. On a regular basis, I’ve been blessed and/or lucky enough to lead a great life. Even the bumps aren’t as bumpy as they used to be or could be.

These past couple weeks have dealt me a higher dose of stress than normal, and I’m feeling it hardcore. I also don’t think I’m handling it well, which in turn causes me to evaluate not only every little thing I say or do, but it causes me to dwell on everything everyone else says. It’s strange to have a constant paranoia of “What did they mean by that?” Normally, I let those things slide off, but it’s hard to do when I feel like I’m not doing things as well as I want.

Most of this stems from work. We’re at the end of the year, and this year is bringing the transition I’d talked about in a previous post. While I’m still excited about making this transition, the training and the new duties have thrown a wrench in my routine, so I’m struggling to maintain my current duties while still proving I can do the new ones. When I first started this changeover, I felt unstoppable. But each day seems to chip away at that positivity. I know I’ll eventually embrace this job and find my groove, even with a high workload, but until that happens, I’m having a hard time dealing with all the feelings of being incompetent and of letting people down.

But it’s not just work, it’s things outside of work, too. For one, I’m not a holiday person. I’ve definitely tried not to be a humbug this year, and in some ways, I’ve succeeded. I went and enjoyed the heck out of myself at our work holiday party. I wrote a fun holiday mad lib for my mom to share at her work party. This weekend, I plan on going to see the town’s light displays and maybe stop for a hot chocolate treat somewhere. But everyone else is sending Christmas cards and buying gifts…and I’m not. I never do, not really. I don’t know why…maybe I’m selfish, maybe I’m lazy, but I’ve just never been a big gift giver or card sender. It’s never bothered me before, either. But this year, I feel like a Christmas failure.

Now that Jon is out of school (after his last exam tomorrow), I’m apprehensive about what’s going to happen for him with regards to jobs. I’m also losing interest in things I usually enjoy, and I’m considering dropping some of my regular social engagements because my heart isn’t in it. I know this all sounds like depression, and I’m sure that has something to do with it, but it’s not a permeating sense of not wanting to do anything. I’m still enjoying exercising, though even that’s sometimes overshadowed by my desire to do things my body is not yet ready to handle. I love visiting with my friends, I love spending time with Jon, and besides finding a book that I’m completely into right now, I’m super excited about my January reading project. Heck, I’ve actually done revision work on my novel. I’ve never gotten far with revision work.

It’s difficult to have moments during the day that are so high with frustration that I have to try really hard not to cry. I usually fail at this, by the way. Even when these are followed by a moment of satisfaction when I realize I’ve figured out something new, or solved a problem, it’s still kind of a crazy roller coaster, and it’s making me tired.

Having put all that out there, I do want to say that I know this is all going to blow over, and I’ll eventually have control over things again. All these dramatic moments are really just that…moments. In the scheme of things, I know that in six months, all of this will have been forgotten in lieu of another drama, another stressor, and other good and happy things that happen. Until then, I’m going to roll with it as best I can. I apologize now to anyone I may “let down” over the next few weeks. I swear, I’m not doing it on purpose. And even though I’m a humbuggy Christmas fail, I’m going to do enjoy each day of the season and beyond as best I can.

Thanks for listening.




Crabby and Crashing

The day was busy but not as intense as I expected it to be, at least not in my corner of the office.  However, the day as a whole was pretty boring.

Jon registered us for the MtG tourney in OKC at the beginning of October, so I’m committed now. It’ll be fun.

The night took a turn for the lazy when we went against our previous plans and called tonight a rest night. So no gym. Which would have been okay, except Domino’s messed up my pizza and gave me cheese, not ham like I ordered. They credited us for two free larges next time we order.

Doesn’t make tonight’s dinner any less disappointing. I know, I’m being bratty about it. I’ll get over it like I’ve gotten over all my other recent disappointing meals.

I’d better go to bed and sleep off some of this crabbiness.


Kicking Things Into Gear…Or Not

Not a whole lot happened today, to be completely honest.

After work, I was supposed to get together with a friend from work to do some writing and editing, but she wasn’t feeling well by the end of the day, so we rescheduled for Friday. This means I’ve jumped off the “Should we go to the rodeo?” fence into the “Not this time” field, but I’m okay with that. It’s about 20 bucks we’ll save towards Gencon ($18 if you consider the coffee I’m going to buy Friday evening). However, I still ended up Hastings. I’m here with a hot decaf sitting next to me, chess players to my left and a really nice barista to my right.

I hope I’m not giving off a sweat vibe. I hit the gym before coming here. Instead of harder, shorter workouts, I’ve been doing some paced, longer workouts while watching Netflix on my phone. Tonight was “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” and 75 minutes of exercise. I feel good. No complaints.  I may also have a stray hair or two hanging around because I finally went and got a haircut.

I was going to chatter about some of the things I’ve been doing at work to increase productivity and organization, but then I read about something else, and the only reason it struck me was because shortly before I even knew about this, I was formulating a bit of a paragraph on something very closely related.

Let’s talk about Kickstarter. Specifically, let’s talk about the recent debacle over a game “The Doom That Came to Atlantic City.” Not sure if debacle is the right word. Maybe disappointing mess to a mass of internet is a better description. The above link is the post/update that Erik Chevalier at The Forking Path sent to backers of the Kickstarter, a project that needed $35,000 and earned $122,874 by over a thousand backers.

Here was my initial response:  Aw, I kind of feel sorry for that guy. He bit off more than he could chew and completely screwed himself over. I kind of feel sorry for him. 

The internet, though, can be tricky. After reading more from that greatest source of news ever known as Twitter, I read more about it, including this post by one of the actual creators of the game, Keith Baker.  I also read the comments to see what the general consensus was. The answer? Fraud across the board, and after reading Baker’s post, I’m inclined to agree. The first post, seemingly apologetic, feels rather empty once one of the actual creator’s of the game comes forth with more details, a real apology, and the promise to try to make it up to the backers even though this wasn’t their fault and they will ultimately lose money on this.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time this is happened, and I don’t think it’ll be the last, but it’s sad. When people are victims of fraud, it sucks. It’s a crappy thing to do to someone and it leaves the individuals feeling vulnerable and naive. When it’s done through a Kickstarter, the only comfort is that as a backer, you’re not alone. But you’re still out the X amount of dollars you spent, and the situation becomes a dark mark on a program that I believe has done good things for people.

About ten minutes before reading those posts, I had read two of my own Kickstarter email updates and had been struck by the fact that one of them involved a profuse apology for a delay in printing.  I wondered, “Do people really get upset by something like that?” I don’t know. Maybe they do. And maybe they’re in their right to be as such.

Jon and I have Kickstarted many things, and I can’t think of anything we backed that didn’t happen or that we didn’t get our backer rewards for. When I back something, I always do it with a wariness that what I’m supporting may or may not actually happen. It’s with the knowledge that I’m making a decision that might not pan out for me because stuff happens.

That doesn’t mean I think anyone should just casually throw money at whatever. Part of the reason I don’t get overexcited with delays is that I don’t kick in a huge amount of money to any of the projects (the exception being Reaper, but we felt that the company had a good reputation before the Reaper Mini Kickstarter). If I did, I’d probably have more anxiety over the whole thing.

I completely support that backers of this project are taking action, because dude needs to be held accountable. It just sucks that so many people are having to deal with it. It especially sucks for the creators of the game who put trust in a gaming company to make their work a success, only to be told “Sorry, guys. I screwed up. Deal with it.”

Regarding those Kickstarters I’ve helped fund, I’ve never had a problem. They’ve been very straightforward and honest and have delivered on everything they promised. I’d like to think that most of the people looking for funding are the same way, and that the bad apples are few and far between. I sincerely wish all the backers luck in getting their money back and I hope the creators continue to create and that something good comes out of this for them.


“Mama” and Movie Etiquette

A couple Tuesdays ago,  I went to see “Mama.”

I enjoyed the movie. It was creepy and had some spooky images. I’m not sure if the most well plotted movie nor do I think much time was spent getting us to really like the characters. But I enjoy the “haunted” quality of Guillermo Del Toro movies. In this one, I appreciated the fact that the “ghost” was subtle at first but eventually had a “reveal.” It’s not every movie where we actually get to see the ghost up close and personal.

The actual theater experience left a little to be desired this time. I think I get spoiled in that I’ve had a lot of good trips to the movies, so when I have one like this, it almost feels like a personal insult. I know it’s not, but seriously…what is wrong with people?

We chose our seats in the middle front part of the theater, not too close to the screen but close enough to get a good view, and pretty far away from anyone else. There were only a few people in the theater, which was awesome. I love being in a non-crowded theater. But just as the movie started, a group of people came in and sat behind us.

A whole theater, and they sat RIGHT behind us.

But okay, it’s cool, sit where you want, it’s a free country. Until the talking started.

Wasn’t there a time when it was considered rude to talk and make loud noises in a theater? Do people not get the fact that when you spend money to watch something, there’s a good chance you want to watch it and not listen to their weird commentary, inappropriate laughter, or…in some cases…strange grunts (not of a sexual kind…I hope).

There was nothing funny about the opening of the movie, yet these people managed to laugh and talk through it. I wondered if they were some of those people who get drunk and go to the movies to make fun of it because they think it’s hilarious (it’s not).

I’m not a confrontational person, so I just told my friends I was moving to the front because I didn’t pay money to listen to that the whole time. All three of us ended up sitting in the second row, and I escaped without a headache from movie screen overload. Moving up made it better, but we could still hear them during the quieter parts of the movie.

The thought occurred to me that maybe I should have moved back a few rows and found something heavy…like a brick…to help quiet things (I have a violent imagination). Of course, we survived the rough movie going experience and enjoyed the movie, but it doesn’t mean that it was okay.

Common courtesy, people. If you’re going to the movies, remember that other people in the theater might actually want to watch the film and not listen to you. If you can’t keep your trap shut, sit far away from others. Or better yet, wait for the DVD and go chat in a coffee shop where that’s welcomed. Because unless you’re in a crowded and fun movie like “The Avengers” where people expect noise or “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” where there’s all sorts of audience participation (also goes for musical movies…please don’t sing out loud when you watch Les Mis), then you’re not cool…you’re just kind of a douche.

The Lows and Lows of Moving

The Felbster and I are currently in the process of moving. It’s a process I hate. This doesn’t make me a special snowflake since I assume most people hate to move, even if they’re moving somewhere better.

We’ve been “preparing” for months, but we’re still feeling rushed towards the end. Many boxes are packed and some already moved to the new place. Internet and renter’s insurance have been canceled. We’ve lined up help from family and friends. Still, it feels like this big ball of relocation is just rolling right over me.

The sad part is, I don’t do nearly as much as everyone else. Sure, I take a few bags up the stairs. But I go at the pace of a turtle and make about one trip to everyone else’s three. Our current place is a basement apartment, so we contend with one set of stairs when taking stuff to the car. Our new place is a second floor apartment so we contend with 2 flights of stairs getting everything into the apartment.

Stairs and I are starting to be okay with each other, but we’re a long way from being BFFs.  Luckily, J is okay with doing the bulk of the unloading as long as I do most of the unpacking.

Besides the physical, there’s also a mental exhaustion. There are things to update: address, bills, driver’s license, etc. At this point, I haven’t even completed my mail forwarding form because I can’t find the address of our new place because I’m pretty sure I accidentally packed the lease document.

I currently have a stack of mail that needs to be handled, but with everything kind of a mess, I don’t have the energy to get them all together and go through them.

Because most of our kitchen stuff is packed up, cooking feels way too hard, so we’re trying to cheaply eat out until we get settled. This is probably not a good idea for so many reasons, but it is what it is, and dollar menus are everywhere these days.

Ever since we signed the new lease, I’ve also had bouts of anxiety where I wonder if we’re making the right move (we will now have a short commute to school and work), if we’re going to be able to afford everything (we’ll be spending more in gas and will have utilities to contend with), and how I’m going to decorate and organize (the space is bigger than what we have now, but it’s still considered small).

Even with all that, underneath the nerves and the work and the stress, I still think we’re making the right move. I’m ready for some small town living again, ready for some quiet, ready for a new space even with it’s challenges.

I’ll just be glad when the transition is made.

Thanks for the Diet Lecture. Now Let Me Drink My Shake.

During my lunchtime gym session on Tuesday, I received a lecture from an elderly patron on how to lose weight.

It amazes me sometimes that people have no filter and can just assume it’s okay for them to say certain things to strangers. Don’t get me wrong, the guy wasn’t being mean (I don’t think). He’s a retired physician* who reminded me of the doctor my grandmother used to take me to, and he’s definitely coming from the old school of thought when it comes to diet and exercise and weight.

By old school, I’m referring to the instant assumption that fat=unhealthy and skinny=healthy.

I wasn’t offended. This isn’t something that’s new to me and I can easily accept the fact that there is a prevalent misconception that fat people at the gym are only there to lose weight.  I follow a few body acceptance blogs, and I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that people shouldn’t be bullied for their size and that loving yourself no matter what you look like is key to a healthy and happy existence.

Do I think assuming I was at the gym to lose weight was a fair assumption? Not really. But I’m a non-confrontational person and didn’t feel like arguing the point.** I knew my reasons for being there, regardless of what Mr. Doctor saw;  I just didn’t see any benefit of sharing this for an argument with a random stranger.

My main goal is not to lose weight, regardless of my plussy plus size. I exercise so I can walk/move/feel better and so I can keep my depression symptoms under control. End of story.  I’m not going to say no to weight loss. If it happens, I’m not going to try to put the weight back on. But I’m done making that my main focus, because it obviously hasn’t worked for me during the better part of three decades.

After Mr. Doctor flat out asked me if I’d lost weight from exercising, he proceeded to tell me that exercise isn’t enough, that the best thing I can do is “push myself away from the table.”  While I knew what he meant, that’s not great advice in itself.  Is he saying I should just look at the food then leave? Is he saying to eat what I want but then to forcefully push myself away in order to get a good arm workout?

Sure, I know what he’s talking about, and those responses are kind of snarky. But you know what? A younger me, or another person struggling with their weight, might not get it. They might be so upset and so embarrassed that a stranger would say something like that that they’d just stop going to the gym completely.

I’ll be back in the gym regardless.  But saying stuff like that to people is probably going to do more harm than good. It’s one thing to be concerned about someone’s HEALTH. It’s another thing to assume that a fat person at the gym is not healthy when you’ve likely seen thin drug addicts on the street and instantly assumed they were fine. FYI, I don’t think it’s fair to do the opposite either. Just because someone is super thin is no reason to make disparaging comments or insinuations about eating disorders.

I don’t know if we’re ever going to change the old school way of thinking for the old schoolers themselves, but maybe it’s time to start adopting some new school ways of thinking. If you’re going to get healthy, do it to feel good, not to fit into a size. Diagnose based on real health problems, not just statistics…treat people as individuals, not as a weight. And don’t assume you randomly know what’s best for everyone else in the world based on how they look.

So thanks for the lecture, Mr. Doctor, but I don’t even own a table, I exercise to keep from throwing things at nosy people, and I’m pretty sure I know the actual scientific basics of how to lose weight.  Now excuse me while I drink this protein shake and go grab a taco for lunch.


*I know this because he shared that with me as part of the “discussion.”

**I didn’t feel the need to argue this for my own personal reasons. I did realize after writing this post that by not saying anything, I wasn’t really helping the cause either. But I’ll be the first to admit that my passiveness makes me a really bad activist.

It’s Not the Day, It’s How You Spend It

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 33. The day was pretty horrible.

The fact that it was bad had nothing to do with my age. I love getting older. I’m a believer that age is a good thing in general, and for me specifically, because with each year I know more than I did before and I also let go of more things that mattered when I was younger. Getting older, for me, equates liking myself and my place in life way more than I did in my 20s.

Having said that, I made a mistake this year. I spent so much time asking everyone else to forget about it and not do anything for me that I sort of forgot to give my day the attention it deserved from ME.

I don’t like to publicly make a big deal of my birthday. While I’m grateful for the well wishes of my friends and family, I didn’t want a workplace thing because I think that’s awkward for the people who don’t know me. I’m also not a fan of being the center of attention.*

I wanted to celebrate my birthday inwardly though. I wanted to do something nice for myself.  I wanted to reflect and enjoy my existence. Instead, I got depressed and angry and irritated. I took everything personally. When plans changed for something later in the week, I instantly went on the defensive and took it as a slight against me (it wasn’t). I spent the day wanting to cry (and did cry a couple times).

There was no excuse for it. Yes, certain things on a daily basis irritate me, and I have at least one bad day a week (this one is a two-day stretch), but I think so much of what was “wrong” with me yesterday had to do with the whole birthday concept. I went from not caring to caring too much, from not wanting people to do anything for it to suddenly being mad that no one did. I knew I was being unreasonable, but I think people do that a lot. Even though we know we’re being whiny/angsty/overemotional, we just keep doing it. I wallow in my emotions more than I should, and I think I was just taking that to a new level.

I did end the day on a good note. The Felbster and I went out for dinner** then relaxed at home. I had a good conversation with my brother and played on the internet until bedtime, and I had some nice texts from my family wishing me a good day.

And, to be completely honest, I’m actually planning my “Me” day for this coming Friday when I take my day off work.  I’ve planned a gym class, a dentist appointment,*** and a trip to the theater to see “The Avengers.” So while part of me feels like I wasted yesterday, I know in reality that I still get to have a day where I connect with myself in the way I originally wanted to.


*The exception to this is when I’m in “comedian” mode and I want everyone to laugh at me. But in that case I get to decide when and where I want all eyes on me. Also, I’d like to think I can tell when people want me to shut up. I guess I could be wrong about that, though.

**Dinner was good, though the fryer broke while we were at the restaurant, so I didn’t get fries. The salad I got instead was delicious, and I got a free birthday dessert, so it all worked out in the end.

***Most people would consider a dentist appointment a bad thing, but I love going, so it’s really just another perk to the day.


Fun Facts About Knitting, Jerk

Last night I was in a situation where some comments about knitting really kind of irked me.

Normally I don’t get worked up about things.  I’d like to think that most people aren’t trying to be jerks about knitting or crocheting or any other hobby they may be commenting on.  Most of the time they aren’t familiar with it or they just speak before they think (I’m guilty of this habit, so I’ll be the pot to the kettle).

Once in awhile, though, someone comes along who’s entire manner is condescending and rude.  It’s okay if you don’t understand knitting, but it’s not okay to assume that it or any hobby is beneath you simply because YOU don’t do it.

First point, knitting and crocheting are not the same thing.  I really don’t it when people make this mistake. It’s okay if I’m knitting and you think I’m crocheting because you don’t know the difference. It’s an honest mistake and both yarn work methods are awesome.

There are people who will be annoyed,  and most people will correct you, and if they correct you, just roll with it. You’re learning something new.

Whether you know the difference or not really isn’t the issue. It’s acting like yarn work is low just because you don’t do it.   We’re not going to force a pair of needles or a crochet hook and some yarn into your hands, but have respect for the fact that we’re enjoying ourselves and we love what we do. Also,  if you don’t watch your tone, you might get one of those needles or hooks through the eye.

Another misconception is that you can’t knit and do something else at the same time. Knitting is a social sport/event/hobby/way of life. You can talk about anything while you knit and neither one detracts from the other.  Most people can also watch TV while they knit, some can read, and I know one woman who can walk on the treadmill and knit at the same time.

Don’t assume that just because someone is knitting in a social setting that they don’t know what they’re talking about or are not actively engaged in the discussion at hand.  If you’d take a second to actually listen to what’s going on, you’d realize that even when someone is doing yarn work, they are very likely still part of whatever else is going on.

Whether we’re talking about knitting or crocheting or any other hobby, everyone’s got their “thing.” Show some respect, and in the immortal words of Bill and Ted, be excellent to each other.


Video Game Rage

Last night, I threw a temper tantrum over a video game.

The only reason I’m admitting to this is because I’ve witnessed other people havethese tantrums, and I always wondered why they got so upset. It’s just a game, right?

Friends, I now know your pain. The power of the game is strong, and as the kids are saying these days, I completely just lost my s***.

For the past week I’ve been playing American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns, and I’ve really been enjoying it.  It’s been challenging but not so much so that I can’t figure certain things out after a few tries. I like exploratory games but I like combat too, and this game has both. It’s been awesome.

Then I got to the Colossal Ruin, an enemy who proceeded to own my face at least 50 times.*  He shoots things from a cannon, he grabs Alice and chomps on her head (mmm…tasty tasty Alice), and he creates showers of burning things. You have to hit his weird baby faces and all I have to do that with is a Pepper Grinder.** My controls never seem to work, so even when I try to flee/dodge from him, I end up going all over the place and he still grabs me. To be fair, that’s probably on me. I’m not really the best video gamer in the world and my fingers don’t always do what I think they should on the controller.

I’m fine with challenges, I really am. I don’t mind having to take a few tries to defeat harder enemies because I like the learning curve. But in this case, I can’t find the learning curve and it’s frustrating because this one encounter…in Chapter freakin’ 2…feels a hundred times more difficult than anything I’ve done so far.

I should of just stopped playing and waited until I was less tired and less frustrated, but instead I played to the point of being so mad that not only did I cry, but I screamed at my poor husband, I kicked something, and I took the trash out and put laundry away (that’s probably a bonus of a temper tantrum…domestic stuff gets done). I did not vomit pea soup, but I think I may have come close.

While the game itself was frustrating, it wasn’t just the game. It was the reminder that I had just been wasting time when I have things I really need to get done, like packing for our move or cleaning or finishing my knitting projects. And since I hadn’t made any progress in the game, I felt like I pretty much hadn’t made any progress at life either.

I’m still angry at the game, not going to lie, so I’ve laid down some ground rules for myself if and when I decide to try it again.

1. I’ll play when J. Felbs isn’t home so he doesn’t have to deal with my meltdown.

2. I’ll limit myself to a half hour of play time if I’m stuck and an hour if I’m making progress (I realize this is harder than it sounds, but I’ve done it in the past and I can do it again).

3. I will not let my ability to beat a game enemy reflect on my own self worth.

Beyond that, I think I just need to start getting myself together again. I need to get some cleaning done every day, I need to get back to the gym, and I need to start limiting video games and computer time because they are a complete time suck.

I feel dumb for throwing a fit, but I know I’m not the only one to ever have done so, so I’m going to suck it up and move on. Tonight I’m going to read and knit and watch some Supernatural on Netflix. Eventually I’ll be back to normal and ready to keep calm and game on.***



*That may or may not be an exaggeration. It felt like 50 times but it was probably only 10. That doesn’t lessen the frustration level, though.

**I keep reading about a Teapot Cannon, but I don’t have that weapon. This makes me sad, unless it’s a weapon you get if you play a harder game. I’ll admit it, I’m just sticking to easy mode right now.

***Ha! That’s such a cheap meme shot, but I’m glad I got to use it anyway.

Accidents That Happen

Today, I saw a bicycle accident.

On my way to work this morning I passed two cars on the side of the road near Aggieville. In front of them was a bicycle that looked a little crunched (it was hard to tell) and a person sitting on the road. If I hadn’t already figure it was an accident, the cop cars and ambulances would have confirmed it. It didn’t look fatal but it was still  jarring to see.

In this area, I’m actually surprised I don’t see these types of accidents more often. And before I bring down the wrath of any readers who are cyclists, let me disclaim that I’m only referring to my own observations in the area where I live. Bicyclists in this area drive me nuts. Not all of them. It’s mostly college students who don’t signal, cut cars off in traffic, take the middle of the driving lane or come close to running down pedestrians on the sidewalk (to be fair, the students who barely hit the crosswalk signal and refuse to look both ways before walking into the crosswalk anger me as well).

I don’t know all the rules of bicycle etiquette. What I see is people who pick and choose to follow the rules of automobiles and the laws of pedestrians as it suits them. It makes me nervous to drive around cyclists (children on bikes scare me even more). I feel bad for the person sitting on the ground this morning, and I hope that he/she wasn’t seriously hurt, but I can also sympathize with the person driving.

I’m all for saving money on gas, getting exercise, and reducing your carbon footprint if that’s your thing. Just be careful and considerate to those you share the road with. And if anyone does know the rules and etiquette, please share them so I too can be on the know.