Face + Tree

Back and Back and Back Again...

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.

::hands you a spoon::

The spoon is not for food.  I need to borrow your eyeballs, and scooping is easier than plucking.  Pretty please?

The reason I need your eyeballs is because... the rough draft of my online portfolio is done!  And by rough, I do mean ROUGH.  Hence the need for eyes.

Specific things I'd like your input on (and problems I've already spotted):

  • I know I have too many photos up.  I need to both weed & organize what I've got posted, but I've been looking at this stuff too long to be good at deciding which ones to pull.

  • Lots of these photos need to be cropped & resized, especially the ones from Romeo & Juliet (because the things I designed & made for that show were abut the size of a paperback novel), but I don't want to put the time in on that until after I figure out with more certainty which photos I'm even using.

  • Should I use a different shot for the front page?  I feel like I should use something I designed at least part of, rather than just built, but the Magic Flute shot works so well as a background...

  • I plan to rescan some of the sketches/renderings, especially the watercolors for Life Is A Dream (you try fitting an 11x17 painting on a 9x12 scanner) - the LIAD rescans will include fabric swatches, as well.

  • Should I pony up the $70 (annual) for a premium account on this website?  I'd get my own domain name, more photo uploads (I'm at the limit, and that's AFTER a freebie 25 photo expansion), and a LOT more layout options.

  • Do I spend time making a personal projects gallery now, or focus on trying to get a hard-copy portfolio done in time for the conference?  I feel like a page for LARP and steampunk garb would be good, if only to show that I did do SOME costuming in 2012, but I don't know if it should be included in the main part of the portfolio, ergo maybe shouldn't be on the "in time for USITT" to-do list...

  • Should I work on expanding the about/bio section now, or save that for a post-conference project?

  • Speaking of About, should that be where I put my resume?  And will I be okay just putting it in as a downloadable .doc, or do I need to do a page for it?

  • Literally ANYTHING ELSE you spot as a potential issue.

I'm going to keep working on this off and on today... a lot of the photos I have up don't have captions yet, and they really should, and I need to clarify some stuff with people here and there before I call this thing finished (like, one of the designers I worked under has gotten married, and another may be doing work under an alias now, so I need to verify preferred names).  But mostly I'm going to make hotel reservations and sew things while letting this stew and hopefully gather suggestions from your eyeballs.  :P
Probly the Titties

So, how about them Oscars...

I posted a status on Facebook, and I was going to repost it here disguised as an entry, as well, but a conversation ensued before I could do that.  So I'm just going to put the whole damn conversation here, too.  :P


Me: So, I'm catching up on the usual post-Oscar outrage (I missed the show itself because I forgot and stayed up sewing things instead), and I'm wondering... Has everybody forgotten that Seth MacFarlane is a SATIRIST? That everything he does is pure sarcasm? And that, ergo, if he's doing something horrible, maaaybe he's not saying "hey, this is great!" but instead pointing out how horrible something is? Just, y'know, throwing that out there.

[personal profile] moss : People are silly. If you can find a clip of the boobs song, I highly recommend it. We both found it hysterical...

Me: I'm wondering if E! might rerun the whole thing throughout the week? But yes, if that's not the case, I will definitely YouTube the boobs song. It sounds AMAZING... I mean, I just read a rant about how horrible and sexist it was, and I'm sitting back here going "Yes, there is a strange cycle wherein if a film is to be taken seriously, it has to have an R rating, and to get an R rating it has to show some tits... it's really quite horrible, when you think about it. Thanks for the lampoon, Mr. MacFarlane!"

Me:  Now, one could make an argument that lampooning iffy industry practices is not appropriate at a party celebrating that industry, but if you ask me, that just makes it better.

Renfaire Friend Who Makes Adorable Tiny Basket Things and Amazing Soap (hereafter known as MATBTAS): I did watch the show and I was not outraged. His satire is spot on. The I Saw Your Boobs number was a riot and frankly women who display themselves in movies have no right to then complain about being satirized. He is a comic writer and composer.

Me: Oh, it's not the women who were satirized who were outraged (apparently any scandalized reaction shots shown during the show were prerecorded), that I could understand... I mean, there IS a horrible cycle where in order to be taken seriously (or get very far in your career), you have to be willing to show some skin if you're a woman (which is totally fine)... but if you're a woman who's shown some skin in a movie, there are going to be douchebags who *only* watch the scene with boob and then proceed to make your life hell by making fun of you. Which, while it seems that is EXACTLY what was lampooning, I could understand not wanting to *continue* being the butt of the joke for the sake of satire... But no. The people who are complaining are armchair critics who just don't understand sarcasm, and apparently think Seth MacFarlane's whole oeuvre is targeted to people who wish real life was like that, rather than the opposite...

MATBTAS: A lot of the feminist organizations I belong to have been extremely outraged but like you said, the lampooning of the whole motion picture industry which promotes the sexist attitudes is what was afoot. The industry needs to examine itself and a little lampooning goes a long way. Did they miss that he also lampooned himself with William Shatner and the newspaper headlines? Be sure and catch the entire first production number.


In other news, El and I finally got new office chairs for computering from!  We'd been settling for an office chair whose back had broken off, turning it into a stool (him), and a fancily ladder-backed metal dining chair (me) until now... I am, by comparison, SO COMFY right now that I can't describe it.  We also bought a new mattress (because the old one is ancient and causes me to wake up all sore and ::sadface::, and I'm the one with an intact spine in this relationship), which we won't actually get until sometime this week, which will be AMAZING and also maybe fend off this resurgence of insomnia I've got going on...
  • Current Music
    Bonnie Bassler: How bacteria "talk"
Good Luck

Do you even portfolio?

My search for a patch of internet to call my own is not going terribly well.  Also, my spellcheck seems to have decided I should be writing this in Russian.  Again.  ::fixes::

That's better.  As I was saying, there are not as many free portfolio-hosting sites out there as I was lead to believe.  At least not good ones.

Here is what I need to accommodate: Most of my work is building costumes from other people's designs, but some of that is little bits of work on multiple garments, others I built a full look for a character... so that's at least one page, preferably two.  Then I have crafts/leatherwork, which gets it's own page.  Stage makeup makes 4.  And then we have design work, which is three unrealized looks for Life Is A Dream (ie, sketched and swatched, but never built) and almost every costume that went onstage for The Producers (but no drawings, and research images far enough away from the finished product that I don't want to post them).  I'd love to have a sixth page for LARP/convention garb and my better Halloween creations, especially since I'm doing more and more stuff for other people, and a seventh page for non-costuming stuff wouldn't go amiss (although is not immediately necessary).

Here's what I've come up with so far... anybody have any thoughts?

Carbonmade appears to be the best reviewed, and it certainly looks like a friendly sort of site.  Downsides are that pretty much all you get is a photo album and a bio/contacts page (ie, minimal caption space), and a free account is capped at 5 galleries and 35 images.  I can make a 35-image cap work, but five galleries may be tough. 

Wix is my current frontrunner, mostly because the end result should come out looking like a real website.  Downsides are the little "created using Wix" thing in the corner of a free page, while relatively unobtrusive, is still pretty annoying, and I'm not sure how much freedom you have to add extra pages... I'm pretty sure you can pretty much do whatever, but I'm also pretty sure I won't know for certain until I actually start making a site. :/

I also just started looking into Porfoliobox, which may turn out to be the one I actually want... you can customize the shit out of it, and if I want I can eventually upgrade to a paid account with a for reals domain name for less than $6/month... frankly, it's nice enough that I feel like I need to do a LOT of digging to make sure there isn't some sort of horrible, horrible catch.

::sigh::  Really makes me wish I'd bought Dreamweaver and kept working on my web design-fu... if I had, I'd probably already have a polished website sitting on my hard drive, just waiting for some bandwidth...  Alternatively, I could just wish I'd become a photographer.  Or a painter.  Whatever other problems a non-theatre artists may have, they have got it MADE when it comes to entry-level portfolios.
Needs Coffee

Now is not the time to be sleepy...

So, there's apparently an unexpected downside to soft-shoeing my way out of this funk... it means I am now together enough to be stressed!  Or maybe it's just that the unexpected upside of being perpetually down on myself and freaking out every time I needed to deal with things was getting to live a little while without the looming juggling sensation that trying to keep my shit together brings...

Which is not to say that my shit or my head is entirely together yet, but I'm continuing to make progress... I'm writing this from the comfy papasan couch in my sewing room, which I hadn't just curled up in since I moved it out on my apartment a year ago, on account of how it was so buried as to be unsittable.  The sewing room is still a bit of a mess, because it's where all the random knickknacks landed, and there's really not enough usable space for everything... But all the fabric is rolled up and stacked in the fabric closet rather than spilling loosely out of said closet and over a three-foot swath of the floor, the ironing board is hanging in its place against the wall rather than perched on top of a small sewing machine console/table (the machine in it is crap, I don't really use it), the tv is on the recently-vacated table with a dvd player connected to it rather than sitting in the exact middle of the floor as a lifeless obstacle, and I can access pretty much all of my sewing/drawing/musical supplies quickly and without moving any furniture.  In other words, it looks like a very over-cluttered office/art cave, now, rather than a poorly-planned storage room.  I may set the "finish unpacking the sewing room" project aside once I get a couple more little things dealt with in here... maybe see if I can get the big curio cabinet in the living room cleaned and organized enough that I can port some more of my knickknacks into it...

Of course, I also found a couple boxes worth of stuff in here that migrated into the bedroom, so I'll have to get some cleaning done in there AGAIN.  >:(

^But yeah, above is the good of things... the rest (other than having an excellent day of LARP two weeks ago and making a pair of fabulous furry cloaks) is not so much bad, but more just a stressful variation on neutral.

I have to schedule another batch of student loan payments for tomorrow, and make hotel reservations for the USITT conference, and I have the feeling that between the two of those, my tax return is pretty much going to disappear into the aether and then some... We're fine financially, when it gets down to it, but there are enough expensive things we want or need (new mattress, office chairs, maybe some dentistry, a less crappy main tv, possibly a new washing machine, insurance...), that I'm a little afraid we might over-splurge in a way we'll only notice if I'm still unemployed three, four months from now... and although I'm fairly hopeful, I'm not exactly expecting to have a job by then...

The real stress-causer, though (on top of general "grownupping is HARD" house maintenance), is trying to get this damn portfolio ready for the conference.  I've Googled my ASS off, yet I still can't find any sort of software that is designed for putting images with brief captions on a printed page (admittedly, I've been mostly looking for free software, but I haven't even seen recommendations for buyable software).  Apparently, everybody that still uses a physical portfolio goes at it cut-and-paste style... which results in fairly ridiculous advice like "figure out where on the page your pictures go, then print out a page with the captions in the right place to glue the pictures to."  ...WHY CAN'T YOU JUST PRINT OUT A PAGE WITH THE PICTURES AND THE CAPTIONS?  And right now, all the materials I have to put in the thing are either digital-only right now, or on three different sizes of paper, or need to be cropped (usually 2 out of 3)... so really, doing all of my layout work in the computer is kind of a necessity.  As I said before, I should be able to do it with a graphics program like Gimp or Corel... I have both, but neither of them are particularly intuitive *or* designed for page layout, so it will take a lot longer.  Since I only have five weeks (and still need to do some material-gathering), I'm worried that I won't have anything polished enough to be worth having reviewed by a professional panel, which is sort of the whole point of this exercise...

So, I think I'm going to start with Plan B on this one - ie, a web-based portfolio.  There are a lot of web-hosting services that are designed to host portfolios, a lot of them are free, and some of them are even geared specifically towards theatre.  I get that done, so I'll at least have something presentable to show (even if it isn't ideal and will require taking my laptop into the interview), and then try to get the hard copy done in time as a finishing touch.  I know that I'll need the website eventually, anyways, since a lot of places apparently ask for an electronic portfolio before they even decide to interview you now, but a hard copy still seems essential for taking to an actual interview... trying to talk a group of strangers through your work while you all cluster around a computer and fight over the mouse sounds just unbelievably awkward and unprofessional.

In other news, I've felt like I've just gotten up and still need a cup of coffee in order to function ALL DAY.  It's after 5pm.  I've been up 14 hours.  But I am still SO TIRED and have gotten next to nothing accomplished today.  Pretty much I got that student loan payment in somewhere between paragraphs, and that's it.  I was supposed to go to the butcher's shop next door and get tasty meats for dinner... I even had El text & remind me to do that...  But I didn't.  Look's like prefab food AGAIN.  :,(
Zombies & Walter

In Which our Hero learns to Do Her Own Damn Taxes (and her fiancee's, too!)

God, being a grownup sucks.  At least I'm currently unemployed, so I can do this without disrupting my weekend.

Right now I'm poking around the internets to try and find decent Idiot Guide software... TurboTax has a free online version for simple Federal returns, and moss6886 has been using their software for years, so I feel confident in them, but they hammer you with fees for State returns... I'm looking through the IRS' FreeFile list now, though, and I'm getting the impression that free federal + expensive state is sort of the norm with tax software...  So I think maybe the thing to do is either bite the bullet and pay for it, or find something that pulls payment out of your return (rather than charge directly) and use it to organize information then copy it over to state forms to file the hard way... 

Hmph.  Do any of you guys have any suggestions?  I'll probably update this post with my decisions and frustrations as I go...

UPDATE: Decided to just pay the $30 each for state filing with TurboTax.  I'll get El's tomorrow, but mine are done, and I think I've scored a WIN in the "First time doing my own taxes" column.  And I did it both legally and ethically!  I look forward to the IRS fairies visiting my bank account in the next couple weeks, because they will be materializing substantial monies there...
Out!  Out!

Computery Mayhem!

Well, El's new computer got built (even though his fancy new hard drive was a DOA lemon and we had to use the refurb he got for my old minitower - Newegg is pretty decent about customer service, so it shouldn't be a big deal) and mostly set up last night... I still need to get ZoneAlarm installed on it sometime today, and get files (photos, etc.) transferred over - that'll probably happen tonight.  But in the mean time, this means I have his old desktop to futz with over at my desk!

...To which I can only say that I feel like I'm conducting a delousing.  Only I keep finding different kinds of critter that I need to Google so I can determine whether they are beneficial or parasitic or just sort of skittering around being critters.

Seriously, the man has me beat hands down on hardware workings, and his foundational computer usage is solid (decent anitvirus software, albeit out of date, pretty good about sticking to trusted download sites and avoiding add-ons that a chock full of viruses), but good grief... software is clearly NOT his forte.  Freeware all over the place, mostly things like a half-dozen different programs that all do the same thing (A/V file converters, etc.), clearly all downloaded and installed at roughly the same time so he could find out which one worked the best, but then he never got around to uninstalling the crappy ones.

And the file structure... dear god, the file structure.  It's all fucked up, as if a vaguely intelligent ape just randomly clicked okay on every auto-install setting without any thought about wanting to maybe find out where those files are living later.  I mean, there are THREE Program Files folders.  Three.  One of them doesn't have anything in it except software for a printer that hasn't even been hooked up in a year.  HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?  I had hoped to just corral the install files for the programs he'd want to install over on his computer, but if I can't find them, then he may be on his own.  Also, while I admire the utility of keeping his pr0n in a neatly labeled "Smut" folder, I am rather perplexed as to why it's floating around in the main directory rather than in the documents folder where it should be... <-wanna-be librarian problems :P
Modern Lab


Note to self: Roundy's brand generic Froot Loops are a pale imitation of the real thing. 

Various fancy boxes from Newegg have been arriving all week, containing most of the bits for El's new computer (and a refurbished hard drive for my mini tower/future media server).  We attempted to cannibalize the video card and RAM out of his current computer so he could start installing stuff, but the RAM slots were incompatible... so he'll have to wait until a friend of ours can bring over gift parts on Wednesday before gaming mayhem can begin (WHY Kraids just happens to have four gigs of RAM and a high-performance video card just kicking around in his desk is beyond me, but I'm certainly not going to complain...).  And, by extension, my own gaming mayhem will most likely begin on Thursday, when I get El's hand-me-down computer to monkey with.  :)

My laptop stopped doing the glitchy sound things a couple weeks ago, so I'm just going to cross my fingers, back up regularly, and live with combination desktop + smartphone for a little while if it craps out.

After spending not-quite-entirely four days working, I've aaaaalmost gotten the bedroom unpacked and organized.  It's starting to look really nice.  Which is good.  I sometimes have a kind if a cognitive dissonance-type experience with this house, where I'll definitely feel like this place is Home, but at the same time feel sort of disjointed because there's still a distinct aura of "man's bachelor pad" about the place.  I'll probably post pictures when I'm done.  One more part-day of work, then it should be done, then I'm onto the sewing room.  Which is much much more tightly packed with crap, but with the bedroom cleared out, I'll at least be able to move a few boxes into there temporarily so I can have space to work.

Which reminds me, I have a LOT of sewing projects I need to get cracking on, too...

Aww... the bunnies have decided to stack themselves together like sardines for a nap.  <3 

Sleeping rabbits make me think I should crawl off to bed and read for a while... I think I'll go do that.

P.S.  Why, yes, I did start this entry over breakfast and then get distracted, why do you ask?  Was it the Froot Loops that gave me away?

Smiley Dean

Progress. Also, a Request.

So, proving I am and always will be six years old, I got all excited when I learned that Reading Rainbow lived on as an app.  But I discovered something horrible this morning... It's not a smartphone app.  It's not even an Android or Windows tablet app (I don't have either of those, but may eventually).  It's an iPad app, and ONLY an iPad app.  DAMN YOU, APPLE TAX!  I don't judge people who prefer Apple products (they're great graphic design platforms, if nothing else), but between the arbitrary price hike, an excess of proprietary non-compatibility, and complete lack of transparency/tinkerabillity to their OS, I doubt I shall ever own an iAnything... Dammit.

Oh, well... if you own an iPad, and would like to be six years old (or, y'know, if you have pet kid wandering around your house ;P ), here is the link to the website.  Check it out: http://www.rrkidz.com/

I did things yesterday.  Mostly laundry, but since I had a large backlog of clothes I'd washed but not put away, that was some hours worth of project... it also cleared the way for some unpacking to be done in the bedroom - I have somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four plastic garbage bags full of fancy clothes and jackets I like too much to get rid of but never wear just sort of piled in a corner and blocking the way into the closet, and one similarly-sized bag of shoes to deal with.  (Downside of being a costumer by trade AND hobby: "won't wear it in real life" and "doesn't fit at all" cease to be valid reasons to dispose of clothes.  Because you never know when someone with size 6 feet will need a sweet pair of 1930s-looking shoes.)  So once I finish this entry, I'm going to go work on that some more.

Although I should set some sort of alarm so I stop at around 3 o'clock or so... I'm getting sick of prefab food, so I should actually cook dinner for once (also, I have an idea for a garlic herb buttermilk biscuit recipe percolating in my head), and some cleaning needs to be done in the kitchen before that happens.

I'm feeling a lot better today, and yesterday afternoon even though the morning was pretty blergy (getting started went sort of like THIS).  Mentally, anyways... getting up and actually doing things brought this cough back to full force, and a fever may have made a brief appearance yesterday, as well (I had to take a few breaks to lie down and play phone games while the DayQuil kicked in... seriously, fuck this cold.  Fuck this cold SO HARD).  But I think just letting stuff out and not trying to pretend that everything is okay anymore helped all on its own.  Pretending I don't have problems took a lot of energy that is better spent finding solutions.  So thank you, internet people, for being a sounding board.  Free internet hugs for everyone!

Also, my grandfather read my last post (I linked to it on Facebook), and promptly pointed out a family history of anemia on his side.  Which, given that that's the sort of thing that could be exacerbated by the change of diet and lack of sunlight (ie, vitamin D) brought on by my recent bought of employment, makes a lot of sense... certainly not the sole source of my problems, but it could be a major contributing factor to the persistent fatigue.  So I'm not sure if a broad-spectrum blood panel is in my near future to confirm (wouldn't be a bad idea), but adding a vitamin D supplement to my diet may be a place to start, and maaaaybe a weekly iron or B12 supplement, too.

One last thing before I go - do any of you know of a free (or at least very very cheap) portfolio design software?  For a traditional hard copy portfolio, not web-based (I would like to do an online portfolio eventually, just a book to whip out at interviews seems like a better starting point).  If I need to, I could probably make something workable with my current photo-editing software, but I'm hoping that there's an easier solution... ie, something designed for printable page layout, with customizable page sizes.  Any suggestions?

Okay, time to get stuff done.  Seriously, this button would help my productivity a lot...

ETA: I just noticed that my Bamf mood theme isn't working. Probably something to do with not being a paid account anymore... I miss my li'l blue guys, though.  :(


A Very Grand To-Do List, or, Blogging for Sanity vol. Wherever-We're-At-Now

So the blergs have finally seized me... it's been waiting to happen for a long time now.  In that light, I appear to have gone and made New Year's resolutions... I NEVER do that.  I mean, I've made half-hearted lists because that's supposed to be the Thing that you Do around NYE, but never actually resolved to do anything.  So, here follows my grand Plan for the next year, with Background and Explanations... I hope someone other than my mom still reads this, 'cause I'm going to need cheerleaders:

Operation: Get Cerys' Life and Head on Straight

Collapse )


Item 1: Get Off My Butt and Back Into Shape
This is only partly because my butt jiggles like I need a second bra for my backside whenever I run... I'm actually still a skinny bitch (5'7", about 140lbs, with a bone structure that hides any "extra" weight quite well), but I miss being bendy, and it sucks how easily winded I am.  Basically, I hate it when I'm out of shape.  It makes me feel weak.  Also, it occurs to me that maybe one of the reasons I was able to keep myself pretty upbeat at school, even when I was averaging 5 hours of sleep a night and forgetting to eat from stress, MIGHT have had something to do with how even on my laziest weekday, I still put a mile or two under my boots, and generally spent a couple hours a day in the dance studio, as well.  Endorphins are amazing things.

I've already talked about getting back into fencing, but that's not just easier said than done, but also only once a week.  A friend of mine started a Facebook group called "Simply walk into Mordor," because his goal is the just-shy-of-1,800-miles-in-185-days that Frodo pulled off, and he would like company (there's talk of holding parties when his mile count reaches specific landmarks)... I'd love to get in on that, although having missed the start of the journey on January 3rd due to illness will make motivating myself to start a bit tricky, as does the snow and ice everywhere.  But yeah, I've been looking at GPS run/walk tracking apps for my phone (aside: I have a new phone!  It is smart!  My mom got it for me as a Xmas present!  I <3 it.), and hopefully I can get started walking or eventually running somewhat seriously soon.

Item 2: UNPACK
This is one of the ones I haven't been able to bust up into neat little considerations... I got the essentials (most of my clothes, my books, etc.) unpacked ages ago, but everything else... I've been living half out of boxes for a year, so now everything is so disorganized that I have no idea what is where or how to begin.  I really need to just spread everything out and go through it, but I can't do that because I have pet rabbits (imagine three fluffy termites the size of small corgis), and the only rooms it's safe to spread my belongings out without them being destroyed are the ones packed too full of boxes to do anything in.  I guess I should just pick a corner and start there, but that approach hasn't really worked so well thus far...  Any suggestions?

Item 3: Keep up with the simple cleaning
Another one I've been trying at all year without success... You'd think it wouldn't be hard to put dishes in the dishwasher when they're dirty, or put bottles and cans in the recycling when I'm done with them, or vacuum once a week, but shit still keeps piling up to the point where cleaning it up is not only a few hours worth of work, but gets in the way of other projects I should be doing.  I guess all I can do is keep trying...

Item 4: Become a Theatre Professional
This is the big one, the one that needs things that are actually out of my control, the one that nobody actually tells you how to do even when you spend nearly six years training to do it.  I made some progress on this one yesterday... tiny progress.  I finished revising my resume yesterday.  :)  And I dug up my sketchbook with most of my portfolio materials in it (still need to find my disc of Producers photos, and figure out how and where to get pictures of a bunch of UWEC productions).  And I ponied up the $75 for an Early Career USITT (United States Institute of Theatre Technology) membership.  The world may be with me making this fly... this year's USITT conference is in Milwaukee this March, I'll buy a ticket for that in the next couple days.  So I should be able to get some professional feedback on my resume and portfolio there, and do some networking.  I suck at networking, but if I'm lucky, some sort of career opportunity will show itself at the conference... so that's phase one of this goal, with a deadline two moths out: get myself together and prepared enough that I can maybe impress a few people, and if I can't find myself a job there, I should be able to make a few connections and have a better idea of where to go afterwards.  The biggest potential hiccup is that because the conference is mostly during the week, if I don't have a functional automatic transmission vehicle by then, I'll need to get a hotel room for at least three, probably four nights, and the hotels hosting this thing run $130-plus per night.  Which could be a problem if I can't find friends who want to bunk up with me.

Okay, there it is.  The State of the Cerys.  I've spent nearly all day on this damned post.  So I should just call it good, and go fold some laundry or something.  Here goes nothing...