crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)
December 27 – Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Morning cup of tea. Mornings I have time to do this before work are best, but even at work it's very soothing.

December 28 – Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

Enlightenment. I want to get a sense that things are moving forward. I don't like holding patterns, or waiting without a sense of where things are going (this has been the past month at work for me... people need to get off of vacation already).

December 29 – Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

Asking for a raise! Never done that before. All the jobs I've had previously just sort of increase income on a scale. Ended up with benefits and a phone. That's pretty good!

December 30 – Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

My nook. Which was completely unexpected. I had been talking about them in order to buy one for my mom and they turned around and bought one for me. XD

December 31 – Core Story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?

Always a maker to the core. And well, you're seeing me share it!
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Young Doc)
Hello again world! That was a nice vacation. Best Christmas in years, because I think my family finally gets that my issues.

I also have a NOOK now, which means I am now a part of the eBook scene officially. What I like best about the NOOK is it doesn't force me to read just Barnes and Noble provided books, and has a lending option. I also happened to get a B&N giftcard, so I totally bought myself two of the Princess Series by Jim Hines, because I was kind of intrigued by it. So far The Stepsister Scheme has been a lot of fun and I really want Snow and Talia to make out, because they are basically Cendri's Favorite Femmeslash Type Ever.

And Back to the Future: The Game continues to be amazing. Gangsters are not helping me to not write slash.

reverb10 prompts 21-26 )

And now links:

- A TED talk about how few women leaders there are, and advice for that.

- Math class doodles... to teach math! Um, yes.

- #mooreandme conclusion

- New Zealand based industrial folk

- Videogame without the video: a game based entirely on sound.

And some Yuletide recs, as I've done a little reading:

- A Dance in Iron Shoes (Fairytales, Snow White) So I'm kind of obsessed with reinterpretations of fairytales, Snow White being a favorite to see people rewrite, for reasons I'm not entirely sure why, especially considering her typical pop culture Disney image does nothing for me.

- Honey Pie (Telephone Music Video/Pushing Daisies) Yes, this is a Telephone/Pushing Daisies crossover. It's kind of amazing.

- Some of Jacuzzi Splot's Acquaintances Are More Reluctant To Intrude On A Friendly Outing Than Others (Baccano!) Oh. My. God. So this was my ladyfriend's gift story, and it basically perfectly captures the crazy huge cast of the show, highlighting some of our mutual favorites (Jacuzzi, Nice, Chane, Claire, Isaac, Miria) and just. omg. Yes.

- First, Second, and Third Opinions (Baccano!) A LOVELY Claire/Chane, which was my gift. I love how they integrated some of my other favorite characters. Oh me and my love of semi-romantic psychos.

- Designate: Cindi (Archandroid Album) A lovely Yuletide Madness ficlet for the album that kind of ate my entire brain this year. I love how the write does android emotions.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (succession of witches)
December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

Next year I'm going to try making more costumes for other people! I'm pretty familiar enough with making things for my own measurements, I guess I want to up the challenge. And I even have the opportunity to do so.

This year I tried traveling more. It did and didn't work. While I've had several weekends where I just took the car and went, I didn't do as much flying as I wanted to. The takeaway from this is I need to plan things better if I want to travel to further places. I'll take this into account next year.

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

Ginger. Seriously. There has been nothing better for my stomach and general ills. Except maybe lavender chamomile tea, but when there's no time to brew something, some ginger candy or pieces of ginger root does the trick.

Next year I hope that I don't need much healing and that my stomach issues stay manageable and small like they are now.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

I should have gone to a ladyparts doctor this year. Yes, I'll get on it soon as my new insurance kicks in (which it should in January). My family history is just so full of suck in that regard that yes, I am nervous and found ways to put it off and avoid it completely. Yes I will stop doing this.

Not to be TMI or anything. Surely I'm not the only one really intimidated by this (you don't want to know how long ago it was since I've been... really).
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (yukari)
Skipping 15, because I don't like time-dependent prompts much. XD

December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

The more people I meet and befriend, the less of an asshole I am.

No really! Think about it; one of the major techniques of training someone so they can say, kill or do something terrible to another person is to de-humanize them. It's harder to ignore injustices if you not only have a face to associate, but an actual emotional connection to someone.

I'll never expect any of my friends to be my GUIDE TO NOT BEING AN ASSHOLE (not your job, your job is to be awesome/content as possible), but being in your lives in some capacity has always enriched mine. You help keep me squishy. And hopefully I can be a positive presence at times too.

The internet needs more friendship and less wank, essentially.

December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

I learned that I need to stop fighting my tendency towards leadership.

I'm really not sure entirely what got it into my head that I was not cut out to lead anything, and that putting me in leadership positions was doomed for failure. Because actually, when I am in that kind of position, things get done, and usually get done well.

I started to notice this in Senior Design, because I kind of stepped up as the Person-Handling Leader, as the actual group leader was more the Knowledgeable-In-Things type leader. And we both worked well together, because I didn't step on his expertise and he listened to me. And at work this year, when I stepped in and took responsibility for the interns, there was a lot less shenanigans and stranger still, they seemed to like what I was doing for them.

My take away from all this is that I should ignore that voice that tells me I suck and step up when people are just kind of waffling about what to do. Cause I totally have this. I don't know how or why, but I'm good at being in charge of things and should just accept it.

We'll see if I can keep it up if I get into grad school. XD
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)
December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

My next step is to finish my grad school application (I'm waiting on 2/3 of my letters to come in...) and then wait and see on that. I've heard that most grad schools get back to you quickly, so that's what I'm hoping for. In the meantime of waiting, though, I will be looking around for apartments around here (in case I don't get in) and those up in the college town I'd be going to (in case I do get in).

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Having a family that is willing to help no matter how badly I might fuck up. I should probably find more ways to show my gratitude for this, actually.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Christina face)
December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

I wear a lot of hats.

December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

Any time I get to hang with EBCJ, or the walking ruckus is a good party. I'm less of a party person than a "hanging with friends and possibly booze" person. But SevCon was a pretty awesome time to be had, much more awesome than the Halloween party I went to.

I think I posted a few pictures that really summed up this party, but if I were to pick one, it'd be this one:

Tonberry vs. Angry Dilaphasaurus

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Not moving into my own apartment as soon as I graduated. Sure, it's lame sounding living in your parents' basement, but hey, I've got a retirement fund started and managed to take care of a lot of other things by waiting. Plus they're very respectful of me having my own life.

Though, if I don't get into grad school, I'm moving out in the Spring.

December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

the list )

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

Not really.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (here for you)
December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Well, I'm happy to be in the company of other weirdos. The first major community is the most enduring, which is the fandom community; as I add new fandoms, I seem to collect new people. And that's always fun. The other is the dreamwidth community; first online community since I was a 13 year old blindly wandering into chat rooms that I've been a part of that doesn't specifically have to do with my geeky interests. Sure they help, but it's nice to have some friends I met while just talking about my life, and not just because I happen to be wandering around with a big sword.

Ok, maybe that helps even there.

And the last community is one I'm really on the fringe of, and still feeling my way around. And that's the people of my age and general professionalness in town here. I have to admit, it's a hard community to get into. I'm not sure what to think of it entirely.

For the new year, I hope that provided I get into grad school, I can feel welcome there. I may not be the most social person around, but I have to say that my undergrad campus was always very welcoming. I hope that stays the same as a grad student.

Oh and more cosplay friends are always welcome. XD
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (tifa/aeris thinking)
December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I let go of a lot of my pride.

I don't necessarily think pride is a bad thing, so more specifically I let go of my destructive, divisive type of pride. I just graduated college, it's not like I cured cancer. Had to dial back my pride related to that in particular before I started hurting people (and I still managed to on a couple of occasions).

It was a good thing to let go of.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Well the most recent thing I made was another apron (for a coworker). I'll take pictures after I do some final touches. Before that was an uncommon angel ornament.

Angel Ornament
by ~Litheba on deviantART

Oh and the SevBag (pic taken with phone, hence the less awesome quality).

The SevBag
by ~Litheba on deviantART

There are several things I want to make that I need to clear time for/keep working on throughout the next couple weeks:

- Presents. ^^ This includes a polka dot dress for my sister, hats for a couple people (reminds me I need to go get some fleece), a bug box, and a couple more aprons. Thankfully all those projects are forgiving if I'm slightly imperfect.


- Probably another scarf for myself. I've got some lovely colorful sari-like fabric that I need to cut in half and re-sew together for a scarf. Colorful things like that help me not get bummed out by winter.

- Cards? I need to make a post about this holiday stuff.

crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Stark Rainbow)
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Nothing besides opening my eyes. We're living in exciting (and also scary) times. If I can't wonder, then what the hell am I doing?

I know this one's short, but there's no secret formula or practice for me to be considerably excitable about a lot of things. It's just who I am. And even though I've not been myself before, when I am it's as natural as breathing.

So really, I cultivate being myself?
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (reverb10)
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

So, it was all about food.

I'm one of those people that eats lunch alone a lot. Not in the sits in the bathroom and eats a sandwich way, but I go out to eat lunch. Not always economical, but food is one of those things that I pretty much do not budge on when it comes to finances; there's being EXTRAVAGANT about it, but I think it's been very good for my well-being to go eat out at places if they fit under certain parameters (McDonalds is not eating out properly). I would sooner sell all my earthly possessions than give up up eating well or at least interestingly.

It was a day in May or June, I'm not sure, and I had decided it was my go out and eat lunch day. Very bright and sunny outside, but not oppressively hot, the kind of day that makes me wonder if I can somehow manage to live in one of those climates that is like that nearly all the time. Since I work downtown it's a pretty comfortable walk to a lot of very good local restaurants where I have time to sit and eat without having to rush back to work and ruin the mood.

I ended up on the sidewalk portion of my favorite restaurant, the Uptown Cafe, which serves Creole inspired food in a very nice atmosphere. But the best place to sit is out on the sidewalk when it's warm enough, so that you can see down the street and the people walking by.

I'd ordered one of my favorite cheaper items on the menu, an eggless Caesar salad with capers in it that is simple, but very delicious and a green tea. I'd brought a book with me, as I tend to, hoping to get chapter read but I hadn't touched it. Time slowed down as I ate my salad, the saltiness of the capers and the sourness of the vinegar-based dressing making my tongue tingle while the crunch of the lettuce hit my teeth as Parmesan evened the taste out. I took a sip of warm tea and then breathed in the warm air, which was clean despite being urban, smelling a little leafy with a hint of lightly fragrant flowers.

My town can be exceedingly beautiful, especially in spring. Everything was saturated in color, and even the artist types that tended to walk by in sober black had decided to take a break that day. I thought about the fact that I should be there in that moment, to have the freedom and the means to be sitting in that moment, eating my food and having the time to pause and it felt very profound.

Someone in high heeled shoes clicked down the sidewalk and the false silence was broken, and life started again.

Some people sky dive, some people surround themselves with friends to feel alive. But there is probably nothing better to me than to be able to sit down to a good meal on a nice day, and take the time to taste everything, let the setting soak into me. Everywhere I go I try to find a moment like this, and everywhere I've lived I've managed to find one, if it's not outside on a spring day, then it's inside a somewhat pretentious coffee house in my old college town having a crepe and a specialty tea, while philosophy majors get into arguments around me. Or in a crowded Irish bar with corned beef and some sauce with mayo and horseradish, drinking a dark beer and waiting to launch into a discussion about Communism. Or sitting down with my family in an Italian restaurant in Texas, eating Pasta Carbonara that was prepared right at the table before me, sipping a white wine and being glad for one of the few times in my life to be in air conditioning.

It's good to engage all the senses, I suppose.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (typewriter)
December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

Procrastinate! I am incredibly good at procrastinating. It's what I'm doing RIGHT NOW concerning some work stuff I don't want to do (which involves writing, but not FUN writing).

I think half the reason that I am so into educational gaming is that tricking my brain into doing things is basically how I function. I like instant feedback, I like points. This is why is so good for me; not only does it send me reminder emails, it gives me POINTS for writing!

In fact, I've gotten so much better about writing (though I'm taking a break from my novel this week, though, in order to try and get my grad school application done, heh...) by having points that I kind of want to apply it to other areas of my life.

It's not perfect, and there are quite a few evenings when I'm exhausted creatively. The only problem about having a problem solving creative type job is some days that you just use up all your reserves and can't use them for other things (like writing for fun and profit). On those days I tend to do sewing related stuff. Or sit and watch movies/shows. Because some days I just really have nothing left.

I try not to have that happen too many days in a row. Then I need vitamins and sunlight, because it's not just being unable to brain things, it's probably some SAD or mood issues.

So, basically, what gets in the way of writing is my general tendency towards complacency, which despite all the things I do is actually my natural state of being. How I can eliminate it is by tricking my brain, and making sure not to make it too regular so that it turns into a chore.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (reverb10)
Hey, so, I'm participating in this Reverb10 thing to make up for my kind of absentness during NaNoWriMo and I like reflecty things anyway.

Today's prompt:

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

My word is creativity. Despite my relative lack of writing fanfic compared to some years (2005-2006 being VERY heavy fanfic years, but also my real life was awful then), this year has definitely been my most creative. I've done things like:

- Completely sewed (and designed!) a cosplay costume for my Daryl cosplay. This may not seem like a big deal, but previously I'd only altered clothes or had people sew things for me.

- Did a lot of content and supplemental work on a computer game, including developing out of game activities and a card game to go with it (AstroEngineer: Moon Rover). This was the bulk of my creative work this year, and I'm proud of it.

- Wrote 25k of my first novel (anything else I've written has basically just been shorter stories or series). Sure, it's not the 50k that NaNoWriMo wants, but it's certainly 2.5 times what I'd ever written for the month previously. And I fully intend on finishing this story, I've got OUTLINES and set aside time to do so.

- Sewed my first clothes for myself from scratch ever (previously I'd only altered clothes). A skirt and a shirt! I've also been sewing vintage-y aprons, and a dress for my sister.

- Put in three game design concepts for grants where I was the creative lead (so far one didn't get funded though D:). Sure it's just the grant stage, but this was a big deal to be given this much control creatively.

- Found a way to teach a 16 year old three programming languages with no prior experience (I had to come up with some creative ways to do this). I AM KIND OF SHOCKED THAT IT ALL WORKED TO BE HONEST.

May seem like a short list, but everything on there was time consuming. And pretty much sealed that if I'm not making things in life or doing something a little different, well, my life is lame.

I'd really love for 2011's word to be either invention or innovation. Because that's the direction I'm heading in. At least I want to head that way. I think next year will be a very exciting year if all goes well.

And here's some links of stuff I've been reading, in case you're bored!

- PhD Gender ratios. Totally not surprised.

- New Dress a Day Photos. Since this project (a chick buys $1 dresses from thrift stores and makes them awesome every day for a year) just ended, she put up the pictures from all the days. I rather liked following this project, and some of the changes are pretty awesome.

- Mushroom Soba and Miso-Braised Mustard Greens recipe. Ramen is kind of my comfort junk food, so finding alternatives is always good.

- A 1920s Atlanta Bungalow that I rather like.

- Quinn Dunki of One Girl One Laptop Productions is my hero. Really.

- THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE. Something from my nanotech research for work (yes, we're making a nanotech game).

- Bioluminescent clothes. Interesting!

- Fooducate. This app is REALLY fun to use on gas station foods. Did you know spam is the worst food in its category (...which I guess is meat product?)

- Huge list of specialty size resources. Yes, not every place make clothes for a size 2 only, or shoes for tiny calves.

- Transformable unisex clothes. Huh. The model looks so thrilled.


crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)

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