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mar last cebrigrist
When you're a true-blooded procrastinator, you tend to find all sorts of nifty little tricks to avoid doing exactly what you have to do. That said, I stumbled upon something outside of my usual Youtube videos to distract myself with.

I'm not a political person. I generally feel too ill-informed and out-of-the-loop to have any hard and fast opinions about anything. But when Facebook, one of my haunts, is shuddering with the aftershocks of a bill that has recently been shoved into daylight, you tend to get a bit curious. Especially when there's homework to be done.

I've done quite a bit of research on this. The basic gist is that the government is trying to take away the unions that have been established for teachers here for generations, and wants to cut some of their benefits that would normally be paid for by the state. While this does not begin to cover all of the terms or arguments of this bill, I do know that either way it falls, people are going to hurt. I have friends who are teachers, and they are very dear to me, and I know that they are not doing well enough to be able to handle such a cut to their benefits. On the other hand, I have friends and relatives who work in the private sector, and I am especially familiar with those who are trying to run their own businesses. They make even less than my teacher friends. But if public sector workers are hurt, spending gets reduced everywhere, and my private sector friends are still injured, but in a more indirect way. Yet the choice to do nothing also seems to be unacceptable. My state overspent, and now it has to reign in spending or pay an even greater price later on.

I know where I ultimately stand, but it has nothing to do with me, personally. It doesn't matter what type of job I have. What matters is what I know about how this will affect the important people in my life. But most importantly, all of this has just reminded me why I usually keep my neck out of this sort of thing. It hurts. Then again, it does feel good to be informed, and to know what your friends are fighting for.

But politics aside, I've made an important decision regarding publishing. When I self-publish on Amazon (yes, self-publishing), I definitely want to include a preview. I just stumbled upon another self-published book. And while it had a lot of information on what I'm sure is extensive world-building, it had no actual writing for me to peruse, and next to no information about the characters. I don't want to do that. I just want to keep that in the back of my mind. "Have a sample chapter available."

Gonna Rant About Pokemon

mar last cebrigrist
But just a short rant.

I love Pokemon as much as the next geek, but I'm getting a bit fed up with all the hype surrounding it now that the American release date is fast approaching. Of course, this is likely because I spend all my time on Deviantart and with a friend who likes Ustream, but I digress. Perhaps it is because I've already played and completed the new game, but I suspect it is more due to everyone trying to catch the Pokemon bandwagon while it's rumbling loudly along.

The straw that really broke the camel's back on this one was definitely an issue regarding my favorite artist. (Yes, more Deviantart-related things. I'm a shut-in who lives vicariously through the internet, after all.) After being away from Deviantart for a long time, she finally reappeared, and announced that she would be doing a streaming session. Only this time, instead of art, it would be of Pokemon, even though she's only  expressed mild to no interest in the game prior to this occasion.

So in some sense, you can see why I'm getting just a bit tired of it. I hope the games arrive soon, and that the fandom swells and ebbs as it has in the past. Though, to be quite honest, I am looking forward to seeing the fanbase's reaction to some of the added elements. Specifically the plot. Will they like it or rip it to pieces? Fanbases are fickle things, after all.

Putting Things in Perspective

mar last cebrigrist
I could gripe about the fact that I still have an entire lab report to do, or the fact that my computer has contracted a virus and I must live without it for about a week. I could. It would be quite easy, as griping is something I quite like to do.

But at least I don't have endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer? Where did that come from?

During my freshman year at Lawrence, I was still bright-eyed and flushed with the newness of college life. As such, I had not, as of that time, retreated to my current status as a borderline shut-in. In fact, I was positively outgoing. So, in this brief flight of extroverted behavior, I joined two groups: Tropos, the school literary magazine, and the Lawrence Writing Club. Both of these clubs were attended and run by two seniors, Vanessa and Callie.

I looked up to these people. I will not lie and say they were my friends. I'm far too quiet to attempt to establish something as scary as a mutual relationship between equals. I've always been more comfortable with the idea of admiring from afar. So that's what I did. I listened to them talk to each other and laughed at their erudite humor and read their written work like I was eating chocolate mousse. These were two people that I wanted to be like when I was a senior. Running hopeless little writing clubs that would never get off the ground but continuing to do it because their passion for the craft was so strong.

They are long gone from Lawrence, but their Facebook statuses update every so often. Tonight I actually took the time to go through their pages (I had a lab report to procrastinate on, after all). I found a link to a blog on Callie's page. Curious about what one of the writers I had so admired back in my freshman year of college was up to, I went to the site.

Apparently, she was up to endometrial cancer.

I won't go into detail, but I can safely say that I have not stopped shaking. Apparently she was diagnosed the summer of her graduation from Lawrence, right before she had planned to go to graduate school. She was twenty-three. The following year was spent in chemo. She looks like she is doing great now, for which I am grateful. People like her deserve long lives.

But it has made me realize that I should be thankful that the only things I have to gripe about are a lab report and virus-infested computer.

On Crappy Birthdays

mar last cebrigrist
I just have to remind myself that the day itself doesn't count. It's the celebration. This weekend is the thing I really have to look forward to, and I shouldn't put so much stock on a crummy, lab- and homework-filled Wednesday. Besides, all I have to do to cheer myself up is look at the post below. Birthday cake in the cafeteria, come on! That's just awesome.

Birthday

mar last cebrigrist
I'm going to pretend that the cafeteria chose today for Birthday Night (in which the dessert tray is replaced with a long table of cakes) because they knew it was my birthday and I'm awesome.

Who Are You Again?

mar last cebrigrist
Maybe I find this happening to me because I'm so grossly antisocial, but oftentimes people will greet me by name or comment on some other personal information ("You just came back from studying abroad, didn't you?") when I have no idea who these people are. I sometimes am quite certain I've never met them before in my life. Sometimes the answer makes itself clear, where the person indicates that they're a distant relative, a friend of a family member or the friend of someone else who's close to me. Other times it's just a simple greeting by name without any explanation, and I'm just left to sit and wonder who the stranger that I supposedly know was.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaah

mar last cebrigrist
Close call this morning with a virus on my computer. My heart was in my throat the whole time. I have to be more careful about the websites I visit. And I should probably put my Account Control settings back on.

Oh my god though. I tried everything! I knew exactly which file it was and I knew exactly where it was. But even then I couldn't get it off. I tried everything. I tried to delete it, but it wouldn't go into the trash can until it was closed, and I couldn't close the program with the task manager because it had hijacked the task manager from me. Hell, it had hijacked everything. I couldn't even take control away from it using permission settings.

Finally I just did the ol' tried and true force shut down. Worked like a charm.

Still. Haaaaaaaaaaaah. I can't believe how close that was.

Dengon

mar last cebrigrist
That is a good writing song.

I've been thinking about giving the ax to my dA account. Well, not completely. But I do sort of want to discourage myself from drawing and getting on those "Holy cow, look how good these other people are, I want to improve!" kicks. It's just distracting me from writing. And it's not that I'm trying to deprive myself of drawing forever, because I know me, and trying to do that would be akin to trying to deprive myself of chocolate forever (e.g. It can't be done). However, I do want to take away those desires. It's just like getting rid of most of the junk food in your fridge. If it's not there, you can't eat it. If my dA's not there, I can't get urges to update just for the sake of updating.

Granted, I'd like to keep watching the people I watch. So I think I might just clear the ol' gallery. And by that I probably just mean putting everything into storage or at least a photobucket account so I can still hold onto my old drawings, many of which only exist on dA now. So, we'll see. Again, I don't mean to be dramatic, so perhaps the best thing is to just let it sit as-is and just not update anymore. Hell, I know me. Perhaps I just want something final so people will look and go, "What happened here?" Perhaps.

But again, truly, the reason for this is to put more focus on writing, and sort of give that drive to improve my art a rest. What do I really draw for anyway? I certainly don't want it to be from some desire to become popular on dA. So yes. That would be another reason for putting the account to rest.

Is it too early to start a Lynn Whitney lj account? Haaaaah, I think too far ahead sometimes. Back to spindling.