Inconvenience

Why is it that the heater always breaks st the coldest part of the winter? Truthfully, it’s not much of a mystery. That’s when it’s running the most, so that’s when everything has a chance to break down.

It’s an inconvenience, sure. But you would never know if it broke in the summertime. Sometimes things have to be an inconvenience for you to notice something’s wrong.

This would be the part where you would expect me to go off on some philosophical bunny trail, but today all I’m trying to say is this: The heater broke, it is cold, and that is all the inspiration I had to write about today. I’m not that deep.

If You Don’t Expect Too Much From Me

This time of year is very resolution-heavy. After being sloths and eating junk for the entire month of december, we feel the need to completely change our lives. You know, for the next week or so.

While some people resolve to be better, others use New Year’s resolution time to set themselves goals for the year. I’ve tried that, a couple times. And one thing I’ve learned from the experience: I don’t like expectations, even when they are self-imposed.

It always goes well for a while, until I make the first mistake and/or just get tired of having to do those things. THe former comes from a sense of, “It’s already wrecked, why bother?” apathy while the latter just seems to be my nature.

You see, I just started reading Harry Potter. Like, for the first time ever. And, holy crap, it is really good. But I categorically refused to read it or watch the movies when I was younger because they were so hyped and popular. I also refused to listen to Good Charlotte for a year after “The Young and the Hopeless” was released. That’s how much I tend to try to avoid bandwagons.

I just don’t like being told I’m supposed to do something, even if it is something I really want to do and I am the one telling myself to do it. So I’m ditching resolutions, goals, or whatever else you want to call it in hopes that I will get more things done. Mind you, I still have my numerous to do lists, but those just help remind me what I had started doing in the first place.

Hello, Old Friend

I have so many projects to share from the past few months, but, since it has been so long, I just want to ramble a bit today. I think it has a lot to do with the rain, really.

You see, while I was fording the rivers that have taken over the streets of the valley today, I was thinking. I love the rain. I used to share that love of rain with my best friend, despite the fact we lived in the desert and rarely saw any. When we went our separate ways for college (ok, I went and he stayed), we would tease each other when it started to rain in our respective locations.

Unfortunately, it has been years since we last talked. But I still get the urge to pick up the phone and send that text when it starts raining. Heck, I could even send pictures now…

So the rain gives me a melancholy feeling more than anything. And it tends to make me wish that I didn’t have to leave everything behind to move on. But you can’t move forward if you hold on to the past. One day I will really get there. Like the rain washing away the dirt (and trash, which is why all the streets are flooding), I need to let go of the past and forget about it so I can keeping going.

Sorry for the sap. I know it’s obnoxious. But I sometimes get tired of just thinking these things to myself and have to get it out of my head. Plus, this line of thinking goes along with all the, “It’s arbitrarily a new year so we all need to change ourselves now!” that goes on at this time of year.

3/4 Finished

Three months left in 2015 (and only 86 days to Christmas. Not to induce panic in anyone who may be ill-prepared for the “making season”…I should start some things), so it’s a good time for me to start panicking taking stock of where I am sitting with my goals for the year.*

You can read all about the original list here, but I’m just going to jump into the ones I have actually done something about.

Videos

IN nine months I have filmed and uploaded a grand total of…one video. Not looking very good for hitting my goal of ten videos this year. The videos I am wanting to make are going to take time and thus keep getting pushed aside for my other projects that keep coming up and take priority.

Projects

I am doing much better on this goal because the quicker projects average out nicely with the longer ones. Official count is 51:

  • 10 Sewing repairs of clothes/toys
  • 8 Baked goods
  • 7 Knitting projects
  • 6 Newly sewn items
  • 5 Beading projects
  • 4 Cross-stitch pieces
  • 2 Rubberband loom guys
  • 2 Paper projects
  • 2 Crochet projects
  • 2 Painted shirts
  • 2 “Building” (as in furniture-putting-together) projects
  • and

  • 1 Set of Woven coasters

I think next year I will break that category into its sub-categories. It’s obviously a lot quicker to patch a shirt (most of the time) than it is to make a new one.

Posting

This is the easiest one to keep track of, especially with the handy new chart on the stats page:

I’ve done well for a couple months at a time, then basically not posted for a month at a time.

All this reflecting brings up the question: How do you stay motivated to try to finish a project as the deadline approaches? Specifically when you are pretty sure there is no way you will meet the deadline?

*In case you haven’t noticed, these posts are my way of putting something up when I can’t really be bothered to write something. Or when I don’t have pictures for what I wanted to write. Because they are stuck in the computer that is currently unplugged and my laptop doesn’t have the right program to use that library.

How Not To Be A Jerk While Filming

Listen, I get it. Your movie is going to be the greatest story ever told. Sure, it’s the same old trope of star-crossed lovers, or missed opportunities, or whatever you happen to have fallen asleep watching on TCM the night before you got your “brilliant idea,” but your’s os told in a completely new way. It just HAS to get made, whether you can pull together the budget to shoot it properly or not.

I also understand that filming on the big lots is really expensive, so if you want to be able to pay the catering bill you have to film somewhere else. Your cousin (or grandparents, or distant relative’s friend) has a great house in a great location that they are willing to rent to you for dirt cheap, so you are all set to roll. You pull the permits with the city and then put out tiny notices on the neighbors fences that you are going to invade their space in three days.

Here’s where it becomes annoying. You put out your little cones announcing to everyone that they now have to park down the street. You harass the UPS driver- who frequents the cul-de-sac so often he knows the names of all the dogs- with, “We’re filming here, you can’t go through right now.” You decide to film outside in the morning and tell the neighboring kids that they can’t play in their own yard because we need to, “Keep the noise level down.” (And you have the audacity to come up to those who are already sick of your crap and ask to piggyback off their Wifi connection because the house you are filming in doesn’t have one.) You take up every available parking space in the street from before 7 to after 10 every day, making those of us who actually live here and are trying to get things done have to park around the corner.

These are the behaviors you want to avoid, unless you particularly desire the hatred of those surrounding your filming location. If you want to film in a noiseless environment without paying for a space on a lot, go film in the country. If you really want to film in a suburban neighborhood, pay the neighbors, too. It doesn’t even have to be half as much as the place you are renting, just something to say, “Pardon the inconvenience.” Heck, when my friend turned 30, she gave all the neighbors a bottle of wine and said, “We are having my birthday party on this date. Please don’t call the cops with a noise complaint.” Just something to acknowledge you are being a pain in the ass, but also that you know you are and you feel bad about it. Even having someone personally come up and talk to the neighbors beforehand would be better than walking up every time you had yet another request. I would be more likely to encourage the kids into the backyard if I was asked nicely instead of flat out told, “Um, we are filming over here. Keep the noise down.” Especially after you have pissed the whole neighborhood off for the past week.

In conclusion (or, in Internet lingo, tl;dr): To avoid being a humongous jerk while you are filming your “masterpiece”, be kind to the neighbors. Otherwise, they will end up laughing maniacally thinking, “Serves you right,” every time a giant airplane or helicopter flies overhead and inevitably messes up your take. What, you didn’t know you were filming in a flight zone?

Unintentionally Spoiled

I never really understood the hype about spoilers. I mean, so what if you find out something that is going to happen on the tv series you are currently watching? Does it really make it that much less surprising when a character dies or some major twist gets thrown into the story? It’s still a surprise in the fact that the characters are experiencing it as such and if you are really sucked into the story it will get you the same way it would have had you not known.

I do see now, however, how a spoiler could affect you before you get to see the episode in question. I’ve been going through a series on Netflix recently and was looking up a bit of info on the actors when I found out one of the main characters was going to die two episodes later. You get caught up in a bit of, “Do I want to hurry up and get there, or do I want to avoid it for a few weeks because it will be too sad?”

Of course, I’m the type of person who says, “I’ve got to get to that one to see what happens.” So maybe that is why spoilers don’t affect me so much. Reading about what happens pales in comparison to actually seeing it for me, so I don’t care if I know someone’s going to die or get pregnant or arrested. And I’m just talking about teen shows here. Teen drama is some messed up stuff.

The Liebster Award

liebster2

For those who don’t know, blog awards are kind of like YouTube or Tumblr tags. Someone nominates you and you follow a set of instructions and then tag a certain number of other people. It’s intended to create more community for bloggers, who are more “separated” than users of other social media platforms. Not that we don’t use those, but this is a way to interact more within the actual blogs.

A little over a month ago (because I am really slow about these sorts of things), I was nominated for the Liebster Award by The Very Special Blog. Without any further ado, my answers to her questions:

  1. What is your guilty pleasure TV show?

    Not having cable, I mainly watch my (mostly Simpsons) DVDs. But, if I happen to be babysitting when it is on, I do like to catch episodes of Branson Famous. It’s so cheesy, but addicting.

  2. What’s the weirdest, most random thing you’ve ever found in your pocket?

    I’ve only ever found old money in my pockets, but I routinely find random, dismembered Lego people in the kids’ laundry.

  3. Are you a coffee person, tea person, or both?

    At least one cup of coffee in the morning and at least one cup of tea in the afternoon.

  4. Who is your favorite member of The Baby-Sitter’s Club?

    You know, I don’t think I ever actually read the Baby-Sitter’s Club books and I don’t remember much from the TV show, but I was obsessed with the “Little Sister” series, so I guess I’ll have to say Kristy. Mostly because she is the only one I remember. Also, can we talk about how the teenagers in these series have the trendy names like Kristy and Stacey while the elementary-aged kids were named like 80-year-olds with names like Karen and Nancy?

  5. What’s the farthest place you’ve ever travelled from home?

    That would have to be the time I went to Paris. Which is the only time I’ve ever left the country.

  6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

    Getting to write whatever I want to write. I’ve always felt weird writing in a diary, but having an “audience” makes it seem less weird.

  7. If you could go to any concert at any time, anywhere in the world, what would you see and why?

    Foo Fighters, anywhere, anytime. I love passion in music, and it seriously doesn’t get any more passionate than this: (Language warning at the end. Because, hey, it is Dave Grohl after all.)

    Seriously, what other rock stars would let themselves get this giddy about playing in concert with legends and not being trying to act cool? Screw reputations, get on with the rock!

  8. If you absolutely had to change your hair into the style of one of the original Charlie’s Angels would you pick The Farrah, The Jaclyn, or The Kate?

    Probably The Farrah. I mean, let’s face it, she always had the best hair.

  9. What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

    I’m just going to refer this question to my post about “A Talking Cat!?!”.

  10. What is your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?

    I can’t really recall reading more than one actual book last year (all the way through, that is), but the one I did was fantastic: Make Up: Your Life Guide To Beauty Style and Success – Online and Off. You can read my review of it here.

  11. If you could only write with one item for the rest of your life, would you choose a pen or a pencil?

    Being mainly left-handed, I’d have to say pen, as long as it is one of the felt-tip kind that works for either hand and dries fast enough not to smear under my hand.

And now for 11 Random Facts:

  1. I am left-handed, but I chose in kindergarten for one reason or another to learn to write with my right hand. I’ve since gone back to mostly writing with my left hand, but I never learned cursive left-handed. This mean that when I fill out forms I write the printed parts with one hadn and have to switch hands to sign at the bottom.
  2. I can play piano, flute, guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and violin at varying levels of competency.
  3. I was a baton twirler for 9 years (8 years competitive), and I still pull the sticks out every once in a while.
  4. I have an AA degree in fashion design. This is a thing that even I forget most of the time, since I have been working childcare pretty much since I graduated.
  5. I have ridiculously blonde hair. Like, this stuff is transparent at my temples. It makes me look like I’m going bald when the dye grows out of my hair. That is, when the hair actually takes the dye at all.
  6. I did one day of background work on Disney’s movie Prom. This is the closest I ever got to attending a high school dance.
  7. I watched enough Degrassi: The Next Generation in middle/high school to develop a faintly Canadian accent. Well, that and (by my completely un-scientific guessing) approximately 50% of US children’s TV is made in Canada.
  8. I still watch VHS tapes. Not just keep them around, I actually watch them frequently. Turns out baby loves the same limited animation eighties books on film that I grew up watching.
  9. I have reached (as my mom pointed out) “Norm” status at the Starbucks on the corner. Because I am in there every other day for breakfast…or lunch…or a snack…
  10. I have had at least 5 different blogs on at least 3 different platforms since 2004 (not counting MySpace, because those “blogs” were just bulletin board posts).
  11. This is the post that has taken the most thought and work ever. Out of all of those blogs.

This is the part where I have to nominate other people, so I am choosing:

And here are the 11 questions I’m going to ask:

  1. If you could live in any fictional “universe”, which would you choose?
  2. Where is one place you would never go?
  3. If you weren’t born in the decade you were born in, in which decade do you think you would have been born?
  4. Would you rather be famous for no particular reason, or have an incredible talent that makes you happy and is recognized by no one else?
  5. If you had to listen to one song on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  6. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? And, is it still a goal if it isn’t what you are now?
  7. Which talent do you not currently possess, but wish you did?
  8. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
  9. Warm, cool, or neutral colors? (For what is up to you to decide, or just in general.)
  10. What lead you to your current job?
  11. The Ultimate Question: Digital, CD, or Vinyl?

And here are the Official Rules of the Liebster Award:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)
  8. Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

  9. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)