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RavenWings' Nest
Just a crow shy of a murder, my dear...
...looks like I may have a job.  Both places offered to hire me on the spot.  Now I just have to decide WHICH ONE I should accept...

First interview was at Party City: $8/hr, part time, temporary through end of October (but if they think I'm good at the job, it's almost a given that they'll keep me on in some capacity), schedule boils down to "whenever we need bodies," manager seemed like a fairly decent dude, starts almost immediately, and I'd have to buy khakis and black polo shirts to fit the "uniform."

Second interview was at Joann Fabrics: $7.25/hr, part time, temporary through January (but there are always a few long-term positions that open up around then), schedule would be four 6-7 hour days per week, I REALLY liked the manager (BS-free, funny, similar philosophy, and seemed genuinely pleased by the thought of having a costume designer on staff for Halloween), starts a week from Wednesday, and I already have clothes that fit the white collared shirt/hole-free jeans or other pants dress code.

In other words:  Going strictly by the money, I should go for Party City, keep applying other places, and leave for a fancier/better paying job come November.  BUT.  I think I'd be much happier at Joann's (oops, Jo-Ann, have to start spelling it right if I end up working there), having more than a month to figure out the Next Thing would take away a lot of stress, and there are rumors that the employee discount is FANTASTIC (which is highly relevant to my interests).

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At: The Treehouse
Feeling: pensive pensive
Listening to: Quiet

Eavesdrop (1) or Whisper in My Ear

Have been at my folks' place conducting a two-person jobhunting retreat with my mom since Wednesday. El came over last night, planning to bring me home sometime today...

So, after filling out job applications for a day and a half solid, I finally close the computer. Phone rings almost immediately, I ignore it because I don't recognize the number and who the heck follows up on an application on a Sunday?, and start packing stuff up. Sit back down after a bit and listen to my voicemail... the call had come from a manager at [location redacted for luck], wanting to schedule a job interview.

...I'd submitted that application less than 20 minutes before the call. O.o   I guess they liked me?

The manager who called had headed home for the day by the time I got the message/called back, so no interview scheduled yet, but I guess I'm going to be staying with my folks for at least another day rather than worry about adding "commuting on expressway whilst out of practice" stress on top of interview stress...

At: The Treehouse
Feeling: weird weird
Listening to: Criminal Minds

Whisper in My Ear
Things have been improving. Haven't had a Big Talk with my fiancee yet, but we did have a tiny talk in the evening of the day I made my previous post, and that seems to have helped... he's been a lot more appreciative of the things I *do* manage to do, less cranky about the things I don't, and generally seems to be putting more effort into being understanding. Heck, just knowing that he finally realizes there are problems takes a big weight off my shoulders - I think that the contrast between my angst and his apparent cluelessness was stressing me out almost as much as the relationship problems themselves. It's not like I hadn't TRIED to communicate that there were problems to him several times over the last couple months, it's that until Wednesday, I think whenever I said "I'm super stressed out and think our relationship is in trouble," he misidentified the cause & effect... ie, he heard that I was stressed, and that I was worried about our relationship, but assumed that the stress was caused by prep for running an event GenCon and setting up a vendor booth at Deeplight (a LARP event run by friends of ours), and that it was making me overreact to rather small relationship issues... not unreasonable, and that added stress didn't help matters, but not an accurate assumption.

Also, the car is officially FIXED! So that helps a lot, too, just knowing I have the option of transporting myself to things on my own. Now, I just need to remember how to drive and find a thing to drive TO...

Also also, I spent much of Thursday/Friday rejiggering my resume and writing a nice cover letter and sent in an application to a job I genuinely WANT... they haven't gotten back to me yet, so I'm pouting a bit, but it's a start.

Between these things and spending most of the weekend at my folks' place to unwind and destress, I feel a lot better about things. There's still a lot to be done, and it's not going to be fun doing it, but at least I feel like I can breathe. Well, mostly... I'm still overwhelmed by day-to-day To Do list (sewing, non-sewing business stuff, cleaning, jobhunting, cooking, study for GREs, basic personal hygiene), because I can only make a worthwhile amount of progress on two, maaaaybe three of the items on the list over the course of any given day, which means I'm never caught up on ANYTHING and it's driving me insane.

And my Big Worry about the whole situation is still there... Part of me is pretty sure that the core of our relationship woes boils down to having very different ideas of what a happy, successful life looks like. I know I'm drawn to episodic high-pressure situations and being able to touch the lives of strangers (and am perfectly fine with financial instability and working very weird & inconsistent hours in the service of that). I suspect that my fiancee's ideal runs more toward a low-stress, consistent work life and a stable income that allows for expensive hobbies without concern (ie, roughly what most normal people are supposed to want)... If this is the case (it may not be), it is going to take a phenomenal amount of work for both of us to live up to an approximation of our respective ideals, if it's possible at all - these two ideals may be mutually exclusive. So that's something we're going to have to spend some serious time figuring out.

However it pans out though, I've at least gotten some perspective. If this relationship is salvageable, it will be easier to approach stuff if I calm down and remember to enjoy his company instead of dwelling on where things have cracked. And if it turns out that we aren't compatible in the long run, then I might as well calm down and enjoy what time we have left together. Either way, I'm focusing on taking deep breaths and addressing the things I already have half a clue how to resolve, which seems like a good start.

Thank you guys so much for all your advice, kind words, and YouTube links. It's really helped a lot, and knowing I have such awesome friends in the midst of this drama means so much to me... I love you guys.

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Feeling: touched touched

Eavesdrop (1) or Whisper in My Ear
I really, really need advice, guys.

My relationship with my fiancee might be on its last legs.  Dying a death of a thousand cuts from tiny little frustrations that we haven't talked about because we thought they would pass.  We're finally talking about them and working our way to fixing our problems (it's taken me  weeks to write this, because we keep having good days and I fool myself into thinking I was overreacting), so if we DO manage to work this stuff out we may end up better than ever.

Don't get me wrong, I still love him, I still enjoy his company when we're doing the things that brought us together in the first place (games and nerding out with mutual friends), he still gives me warm fuzzies when he holds my hand or snuggles up to me in the morning.  But the spaces in between the good moments are getting... not longer, but definitely harsher, and I am very afraid it might already be too late to save us.

The grand narrative, at least from my standpoint, is this:

I've been deeply unhappy with how my life has been going for something like two years now (momentary distractions that fool me into thinking things are getting on track notwithstanding), and every time I try to talk to him about it he gets really angry because all he hears is me laying a guilt trip on him.  To what end I'd be doing that, I don't know.  Usually, I'm just trying to explain why I'm being lethargic and weepy, although I admit sometimes I'm explaining why I want him to fix my car...

Related: One of the big reasons I moved in with him when I did, rather than staying in Madison to sort out post-college me and get my career started before I tried to learn how to cohabitate with someone, was because he promised to fix up his car so I could look for theatre work in Madison AND Milwaukee, seeing as he lived halfway between the two.  Nearly three years and an entirely different car with my name on the registration later, I still don't have a functional vehicle.  I spent well over $1,000 and declined to return to a seasonal job so I could go to the 2013 USITT conference in an effort to kickstart/breathe life back into my theatre career, and was completely unable to follow up on that investment because no car...  And, of course, he seriously resents that investment, because from his perspective I just spent over a grand on a weekend of nothing in particular instead of continuing to pay off my student loans without his help (understandable, really - in hindsight, we probably would have been much better off if I'd just taken the money and bought a car that worked).

He also seems to resent that my business hasn't become an instant success, and he has straight up TOLD me that he thinks it's ridiculous for me to spend the first half of my day working on my computer (ie, social media wrangling, tweaking price lists, researching construction techniques and new product ideas and sizing standards, writing copy for my Etsy store, etc.) instead of sewing things... as if a stack of premade clothes will magically generate money for an unadvertised custom clothes business.  Although, really, the problem is that he doesn't trust that all those tasks actually take half the day and I'm really just sipping coffee and playing games on my phone and/or computer all morning... I, of course, resent his suspicion, and fear that no matter how successful I become or how hard I work, that suspicion will always be there for as long as I'm working at home (or only working out of home part time).

Needless to say, money is getting tight, and I've been looking for a day job, which is something I wish I didn't have to do, but I accept as a consequence of not being an instant success (I've almost got the business set up to the point where I'll have time for other things/a real job)...  Except I can't apply for anything I might actually be good at or enjoy, because I'm stuck either within walking distance or on a schedule that lets him drop me off.  Which brings us back to the car thing.

I know it sounds like I'm blaming the potential end of a four-year mostly-happy relationship on a car, but I'm not.  That would be stupid.  The car is just a fetish, a bit of phlebotinum that I like to pretend would have prevented the real problems from becoming big enough to break us, a focus for the resentment I feel.

It's the resentment that's the real problem.  The car on my side, the business on his.  There are so many other things, too.  We BOTH resent that I've become totally dependent on him - him because supporting both of us financially means he has to cut back on hobby spending and worry about bills, me because I don't feel I have any agency in my own life, and him again because when I want to do something outside the house (whether it's for fun, or taking my business to vend at an event, or even applying for a job) I have to convince him to come with/take me to it (and there's that damn car again).  He resents that I'm home all day and yet don't keep the place clean or cook dinner more than a couple nights a week lately, I resent the idea that because I'm home all day it must mean I'm a housewife.  His (understandable) baggage from his ex, my resentment of his baggage getting dumped on me.

Those resentments are all in addition to the normal couple stresses.  Personal habits that we thought were innocuous or even cute when we first moved in but now make us want to strangle each other, household budget, different political views, not delivering hugs exactly when needed, not being horny when the other wants to get laid, various "could you help around the house" complaints from both of us.  We're so wound up in our resentments that we can't talk about these day-to-day problems without it turning into a fight.  In fact, until very very recently, that's how this relationship drama has played out - we try to talk about a normal-functional-couple problem, and other-stuff-resentments from both sides explode the conversation into a fight.  ...Check that - because this post has taken a while to write, a new pattern has emerged: he complains about normal problem only loudly, angrily, and at length because ::such and such resentment, usually computer-based work/suspicion of gaming:: that he mentions, then usually apologizes a few hours later, I keep response to said complaint minimal and stay shut up about normal problems because I don't want to fight.  Basically, that "we're finally talking about our problems" thing I mentioned above is fading, because most of our talking was triggered by the aftermath of a fight, and if I don't have the emotional energy to take a rant and turn it into a fight, then the talking doesn't happen.

To top it all off, that baggage from his ex I mentioned above has given him a cut-and-run reflex.  When fights get bad, he goes straight to some variation on "if that's the way you feel, you might as well just leave" (and the threshold of fight badness where this tactic appears is getting lower and lower).  When fights get REALLY bad (and they can turn really bad for tiny, superficial reasons, often semantics along the lines of saying "nice" instead of "affectionate"), he has actually told me to "pack your shit" (always that exact phrase, always multiple times once the fight escalates to that point) and get out... this has happened three, maybe four times total, all within the last six months.  Once things get calmed down, which usually involves me throwing away my half of the argument and apologizing for everything I think I might have done, that order gets recanted, and it usually only takes about 15 minutes for that calmdown to happen...  But I'm not certain how much longer I'll have the emotional energy to drop everything and grovel if/when the next time comes.  I'm pretty certain that the next time, or maybe the time after that, my response is just going to be "Okay, I'll call my parents and see when they can get a Uhaul here."

The stress of all this is seriously taking its toll, to the point of making me physically ill.  (There's also a possibility that I have a quiet case of mono, as well, but the following I'm quite certain are stress symptoms:)  I've had next to no appetite for nearly a month, haven't had a restful night's sleep in even longer, my already chronic heartburn has turned into a daily ordeal of discomfort and ranitidine, my libido is pretty much gone, my caffeine tolerance suddenly dropped to fraction of what it used to be, and my hair is starting to fall out a bit (not in clumps or anything, but I'm definitely shedding way more than usual).  I've started carrying a stuffed animal with me at all times just to keep myself calmed down.  Efforts to keep myself distracted/calm have also made his suspicions about me playing games all morning come a LOT closer to being true than they were a few weeks ago, which does not help in any way...

Something has to change.  Something has to change SOON, because I cannot handle this.

I feel like, if I can pull off the change in trajectory my life needs, get my career going (or go to grad school - I've been out of the loop long enough that might be a better choice), become less dependent...  If I can do that, then that will pave the way to fixing everything.  A couple of the biggest sources of resentment will be gone, or at least faded, we can work through whatever is left as well as the normal-couple stuff, and because I'll be happier with my life I'll also be in a much better mental state TO work through it.  But that's a big "if."

As mentioned before, I've become almost totally dependent on my fiancee, which means that I'll need to either convince him (the full-time worker with an exhausting job who somewhat resents how dependent on him I am) to work nearly as hard as I will toward this goal, or find a way around that dependence... which would probably include spending a few weeks here and there staying at my parents' place so I'm within bus range of my goals and things like that (he says he's going to get my car on the road this weekend, so that'll help if it happens, but still).  Either route, it's going to put a even more stress on a relationship that's cracked already.  It could be like the relationship equivalent of a House, M.D. treatment... it might cure us, but it might kill or permanently maim us on the way.

The way I see it, there are four ways for this to go:

1) I surrender.  Try to forget that I think I already found The Thing I Was Meant To Do With My Life (or at least the general category of Thing), stop putting real effort into my business, get a part-time job that pays just enough to cover my student loans, and spend the rest of my time cleaning and cooking.

2) I pursue my goals for reals.  The financial strain and increased time away from home (or at home, but unavailable) on my part rubs at us and eventually the friction causes a fiery, relationship-ending explosion.

3) I pursue my goals for reals.  The visible action and gradually-increasing independence on my part eases tension between us, we work stuff out and live happily ever after.

4) I leave.  Figure out how to fit all of my stuff into my parent's basement, get out while I still have enough good feelings that maybe neither of us will have to give up a hobby just to avoid each other, and try to get my life on the track it was when I graduated from college.

Clearly, the one I WANT to happen is #3.  And I hate to say this, but I'm pretty sure the one that my fiancee wants now (possibly has always wanted, even though he loves the idea of Art Chick Wife) is #1, which... I can't do that.  I'm pretty sure Life Choice #1 is a variation on how my paternal grandmother became the bitter, dream-crushing old bat that she is now, and I've already seen hints that I could go that way in myself (ie, having difficulty being happy for my friends/family that are doing cool stuff in the entertainment & archaeology worlds), so going further down that road is just...no.  Anything else.

Unfortunately, #2 and #4 may be the most likely options.  Which REALLY sucks, because 2&3 are the same choice, only with different outcomes that may be beyond my control.  No reasonable person would want #2, but if I want any "happily" along with some "ever after" with my fiancee, that's what I'll have to risk.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.  But I'm just so tired.  Tired of being unsatisfied and unhappy.  Tired of fighting, and of keeping my head down to avoid a fight.  Just plain TIRED tired (although that last is probably the quiet possibly-mono).  And I don't know if I have it in me to handle it should option 3 turn into option 2.  So option 4, leaving, is starting to sound like an oasis in the desert - it's a long, long way from what I want, but at least it would be a cool place to stop and rest.

So, please.  Help.  I don't know what to do.

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Feeling: scared scared

Eavesdrop (5) or Whisper in My Ear
Hello, all! 

I finally migrated my work blog over to Blogger, and there's a shiny new post up there, in which I:
  • Give an overview of my quest for internet saturation, and talk about related web-design things... I'll post links to all of my shiny internet selves (an official Facebook page and a Pinterest, mostly) once I have enough pictures and stuff up to make them worth visiting, rather than being empty husks of social media.
  • Mutter about how I need to design a company logo but am kind of crap at drawing.
  • Ponder the various cool, expensive things that I can't afford but would be great business investments in the light of doing this Amanda Palmer-style and maybe putting up some sort of donate button or GoFundMe link...  Think of it like crowdsourcing a small business grant.
The full post is HERE (if you'd like to read it and give some feedback, especially on the donate-button thing, that would make my day), and there's also a short projects list post I forgot to link to when I posted it HERE.

In other news, I have a companion cube.  It's an old-school-style tin lunch box, only a companion cube, and I use it as a purse.  I got it with Geek Points from ThinkGeek (ie, for free) as a reward for completing my holiday shopping.  :)  And El came home from a hardware store run bearing a Grumpy Cat plushie as an early Xmas gift for me.  And we saw Desolation of Smaug with a bunch of friends and it was pretty great - a couple things that made me go "hmm," but I could see their basis and reasoning, so all was good... and once again, it seemed really rushed, so I'm looking forward to the extended edition.  It's the little things that make the happies happen.

I've been doing my best to continue my cleaning binge - the big bathroom and much of the dining room got cleaned up, too, although there is still much to do - while juggling sewing projects and business preparations, although the last few weeks have seen a distinct drop in productivity...  Between the simultaneous occurrence of Furnace Trouble (think the filter just got killed by bunny fluff - will have to keep a closer eye on it in the future) and a cold snap, and the stomach bug that won't quit (I think the germs are actually gone, now, but massacred my gut flora on their way out - that, or I may be developing lactose intolerance.  Probably both.), I was definitely more inclined to hide under a blanket and poke at the internet than accomplish stuff around the house.  Getting Fallout for free from GOG.com didn't help, either.  ;)

Finally, straight razor shaving is awesome.  El started right after TeslaCon, and I started stealing his razor for my legs shortly thereafter (eventually, we'll each have a nice razor, but we're restoring antique razors, and so far only one of them is up to the task).  It takes me like an hour and a half to do the full shower-shave-lotion process with a badger brush, that just makes for a nice excuse to hang out in a nice warm room listening to audiobooks and whatnot while playing with fantastic-smelling soap... it's like a private badass spa treatment (and if your blade is properly sharpened, you get WAY less razorburn than with a cartridge razor in the shower).

Now, I suppose I should get to accomplishing things... I have declared today to be the day I put up decorations and wrap presents. :)

P.S.  Oooh!  And I started playing D&D again, after a 14-year hiatus!  One of my friends started up a 3.5 campaign, and it's been hilarious, and I really missed rolling a proper dice set. 

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Feeling: chipper chipper
Listening to: NPR online stream

Whisper in My Ear
Okay, work-blog post recreated, lunch eated, grumps grumped.  I swear to internet gremlin overlords, the new version of said post is nearly identical to the original fail!post, but where the fail!post seemed to me to be a charming missive, the new one seems rambley and meh.  Probably because I'm still grumping some grumps about it.

Also, after all that fussing around with important internet stuff, it's too late in the day to start the crock-pot potato soup I was going to make for dinner.  :(

Anyways, cleaning.  In preparation for the fancy new sewing machine, I went on a major cleaning binge in the sewing room.  Wobbled the couch (aka Throne of Handsewing/Blogging) a couple feet and about 35 degrees, shuffled the bookshelves/stacks, shifted end tables and drawer units, sorted & organized the trinkets, removed the doors...

Yes, removed the doors.  The sewing room was, in fact, so overstuffed that getting out a screwdriver and taking down both the entry and closet doors freed up a lot not just visual but usable space.  Now that it's all clean in here, I'm tempted to see what happens if I put them back, but I don't think I will.  There's a lot more light in the closet, now, for one thing.

The point is: IT IS SO PRETTY IN HERE NOW.  This room is the cleanest it's been since before I moved in, and the cleanest it's going to GET until I can build a set of proper shelves into the weird alcove and clear space for all the extra trinkets in other rooms and work through my Ongoing Project Pile, and it is just lovely.  Okay, it could use a vacuuming, but hauling the big vacuum up the stairs is a pain, and the little battery-powered vacuum would most likely be killed by all the fluff and miniscule thread scraps.  But still, it's my art cave, it has by far the highest concentration of visible books, baubles, trinkets and other happy-making shinies of anywhere in the house, it smells the best because it is both dirty-laundry- and litterbox-free and is where most of the incense lives, and now it's been magically transformed into an efficient workspace, too!

Okay.  I feel better now.  Dwelling on how awesome my sewing room just got and listening to calmingly epic movie songs was what I needed.  Now, I'll just pretend my cup of diluted PowerAde has something stronger in it for a couple more minutes, while I figure out what project to tackle next...

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At: The Throne of Handsewing
Feeling: calm calm
Listening to: Hoist the Colors (full lyrics)

Whisper in My Ear
Well, really I haz a break from cleaning in which I am sitting in the Throne of Handsewing/Blogging, surveying my domain, drinking coffee and writing two different blog posts at once.

Okay, since I wrote that first sentence, I finished the post on my work blog.  It's about half a rewrite of Monday's post, and half me waxing poetic about my sewing machines + a picture of my new business cards (and some muttering about blog and website maintenance).  ...EXCEPT THE WEBSITE LOGGED ME OUT AND IT DIDN'T POST OR SAVE.  ...Fuck.  It was a long post, too. I spent like two hours on it. :,(

::sigh:: Well, here's a link to the corset I almost bought: http://www.got-steam.com/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=41 and the place we got the soap from: www.mkecandleapothecary.etsy.com and the fancy writing box: http://www.spencersmercantile.com/
They have good stuff, you should ogle it.

Now, if you excuse me, I have a post to go reconstruct, I'll be back later with the rest of the post I meant to write here...

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Feeling: crushed crushed

Whisper in My Ear
Well, once again, I get my butt to a convention and totally forget to check with my internet peeps beforehand to see if they're also of the con-going persuasion...  Actually, what with basically ALL of my hobbies having their big end-of-season events and stuff in the space of like a month and a half, I pretty much dropped off the face of the internet again (not to mention neglecting the housework... it's getting kind of gross up in here).

Anywho, it was an epic convention, had a great time, enjoyed some very informative panels, ogled all the pretty costumes (because TeslaCon is an immersion convention, meaning EVERYBODY is dressed up), and had quite a few people asking for pictures of my coat... well, and of me, but mostly of the coat.  Which is very encouraging, considering the long Facebook conversation I ended up having during the week before the con...

Basically, I was trying to figure out how to estimate & quantify my income from garb commissions for my ACA insurance application, and after a great deal of time poking around on the internet, I decided FB might have better answer.  Somehow, this turned into a quick how-to lesson from a couple of my business-owning friends on how to start and run a business out of your house.  So, sometime at the beginning of 2014, I intend to file for sole proprietorship, get a state sales tax number, and make Unpronounceable Designs an official business, rather than just an occasionally lucrative hobby.  :D!

So it was extra fortuitous that among the many very, very awesome vendors at TeslaCon were the lovely ladies at Raky Press, with their beautiful antique treadle-operated flywheel printing press, making Victorian-style calling cards while you wait.  I got 50 printed (picture later, maybe), and people wasted no time asking for one.  It was pretty great.

In other news of the con running headlong into business-y things, El nearly bought me a $300 underbust corset (it had a map on it!  It was so pretty!  I forgot to ask the price before I tried it on, then I was put under its spell!), but fortunately his debit card freaked out over getting processed through an iPad that belonged to business based out of Ohio.  In the time it took for the card to get reactivated after talking to customer service, we managed to calm down and realize that you could get a fairly decent sewing machine for that much (thus preventing further abuse of my 60-year-old Featherweight machine)... so, yesterday morning before garbing up and heading to the con, we looked through craigslist, and I did a quick comparison/price check on Amazon, where I discovered that this beauty (which I'd been ogling from afar for a while) was on mega-sale.  It'll be at my doorstep on Wednesday, we're going to see if we can replace the craptastic old Kenmore in the sewing cabinet with it.  :)

Anyways, con stuff.  Even having escaped from spending way too many monies on a fancy corset (I should add that said corset was top-notch quality and probably worth every penny), or an adorable Froud-esque stuffed goblin, we still spent way too many monies at the dealer room.  We got a pair of absinthe glasses and a spoon, and a three-glass tea timer (purchased because the middle sandglass is a 5-minute timer, which are strangely difficult to find, and we need one for gaming reasons), a pair of super-comfy black-and-purple-striped cotton stockings (I got a green & black pair from the same vendor last year and I <3 them), a clever folding writing box with a removable-nib dip pen and a stick of sealing wax, mocha-espresso soap for me and nice lemongrass shave soap, bay rum aftershave, and mustache wax for El (he'd been thinking of switching to straight razor for a while, and a panel on Victorian grooming gave him the final nudge.  The wax he actually uses on his beard...), and the usual array of cheap posters, pins, and stickers.

The panels were great, I learned a lot of cool things, including how to shave with a straight razor, how to saberage a champagne bottle (ie, safely whack it open with a sword), how to make fully articulated wings out of a patio umbrella, and roughly how to summon a spirit of Mercury using a mash-up of Victorian ritual magic (hey, I didn't say the things I learned were useful).  One of the great things about TeslaCon is that it's largely fan-sourced.  The creator of the con, Lord Bobbins, is very aware that steampunk is largely a self-made fandom - it's basically inside out from a typical fandom, where someone does something awesome and then a fandom forms around it... with steampunk, the fandom formed first and then sometimes people do awesome things and become famous by drawing on it.  This year Bobbins decided that we needed a little reminder of that this year (because the flame wars had gotten bad, and this was his way of telling us to play nice), and so there were a lot more roundtables, more writing workshops, and fan-sourced pretty much ALL off the panels.  There were a few authors and stuff (not surprising when there's a writing workshop room that appears to have been sponsored by Tor Books), but they were all of the sort that were fans first.

That, by the way, was a segue.  Although Lord Bobbins is planning on bringing a couple more celebrity-type guests back on next year, most of the panels will still be fan-sourced, as they have always been, and none of them have been booked yet - Bobbins won't even begin accepting submissions until January.  Which should give El and I enough time to cobble together an outline and maybe a basic PowerPoint for the panel that we want to do.  :)  We're thinking that it will be something to the effect of Grownup Scissors: Demystifying the Scary Tools.  Basically, it would be an encouragement/basic shop safety seminar for people who already are or would like to be crafters, etc., but are afraid to up their game because they've heard too many horror stories about people running their hands into sewing machines and table saws and whatnot.  Specifics may be subject to complete revision, as we've only been talking about it for a day yet, but we're quite certain we want to do this, and it should be fun.

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Feeling: sleepy sleepy

Whisper in My Ear
Just finished the first post for the "professional" blog on my website!  It's here: http://mcerysjenks.com/blog

I have a couple questions for y'all, if you would be so kind:
1) Is this introduction post too serious/casual/self-deprecating, etc.? 
2) ...I'm not sure I like portfoliobox's internal blog.  :/  Should I delete it and go over to an external client?  Probably blogspot or Tumblr - blogspot seems more... bloggy, but I think portfoliobox has built-in Tumblr support.

P.S. I've only been gone a month this time!  It's almost like I'm actually here!

Feeling: accomplished accomplished
Listening to: Have to Drive by Amanda Palmer

Eavesdrop (1) or Whisper in My Ear
Hello!  Five months is a little better than my previous absences, right?

I swear, I'll try to be fannish maybe sometime eventually soon, but here's the quick update on Life Stuff:

The USITT Conference was an awesome experience, and I saw a few people I hadn't seen since graduating (or longer ago) while there.  Unfortunately, it hasn't turned into any career opportunities yet (partly due to the ongoing vehicle woe), and the couple new connections I made there I was unable to follow up on because I lost their business cards as soon as I got home (I just found them again last week - it's probably been to long to email them a "thank you for the talk" message, yes?).  So there was a bit of a lull where I ran out of career-hunting momentum, looked around, went "Well, now what?" and didn't find an answer.  But I've recovered somewhat, and am spooling back up to start again.

I paid the money to make a for reals domain-name-having website happen with Portfoliobox!:  http://www.mcerysjenks.com/home  I still haven't finished all the tweaks I was advised to do during my review session at the conference, but its full of pretty pictures.  You should look at them.  Also, Portfliobox introduced a blog function about a month or so ago, so I'm planning on maintaining a sewing progress/process journal over there... it should solve both the problem of finding a good way to document the stuff I've done since graduating, and fulfill one of the suggestions I got during my review (which was to find a way to convey what I learned working on each project, which I haven't really figured out how to do in pictures).

I am officially unemployed and have been since March... Well, technically I haven't worked for reals since December, but late March (actually the day before the conference started) was when I officially declined to return to my old seasonal job at the lab.  But I'm now making some LARP garb on commission, which is nice - it at least means my sewing-skill maintenance will pay for itself a bit, as well as being able to maybe soon pay some student loans without pestering El for money.

Basically, I keep on doing my thing and prepping for games and trying my best to stay sane, all with varying levels of success.

Oh!  And I started computer gaming more.  Finished Portal 2 in about 13 hours playtime, and keep going back to both games to achievement-scrounge.  Also, my latest addiction is a free MMO called Atlantica - I'm playing on a Mycenae server as the character athPasiphae (and yes, I feel like kind of a douche for not realizing that the reason I couldn't just straight up name myself "Pasiphae" was because she appears as an NPC), guild Telemachides.

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Eavesdrop (2) or Whisper in My Ear