Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And on a happier note...

Here's some photos of my ceramics.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sometimes You Need to Slow Down...

Last week I was dissatisfied with the amount of time I spent doing unproductive things, like grinding levels on World of Warcraft, napping, and watching TV.
I really thought that setting goals for myself and trying to work harder would help me be more productive.

You know what?
I was wrong.
Turns out that pushing myself did absolutely nothing, because I was fighting against forces that are simply unbeatable.

When Thursday came around, I managed to get significant work done in Ceramics. At the end of the day however, Jon came and picked me up and everything hit me at once. I was exhausted emotionally, physically, everything.
I was way too relieved to have a shoulder to lean on, and didn't bother doing anything. For once this week I felt like I could just let go.
Even so, the weekend nights were filled with nightmares, 4am wake-ups, and lying awake while my entire body ached. At least two nights I had to repeat my waffle adventure in the middle of the night, because my limbs and muscles hurt for no reason and I'm unable to take an Advil on an empty stomach.
(Last time I had Advil on an empty stomach, I threw up at a family friend's day-after-the-wedding party... into a garbage can right in front of the bride and groom. Not fun at all.)
I managed to spend about an hour and a half on Saturday glazing a shot glass set, but I didn't realize that the school closed at 5pm on Saturday so I had to leave early. Other than that, I didn't really do anything of any significance.

Many people don't realize that stress isn't just an uncomfortable feeling.
Stress is a monster hiding beneath an emotion... Something that affects you emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Only now do I really realize that my recent lack of productivity had nothing to do with laziness, but just me trying to cope with the immense amount of stress I'm facing right now...
...And now that my stress is starting to manifest itself in nightmares, body aches, and lack of sleep, I'm okay with not being as productive as I used to be.
I'm doing the best I can under the current circumstances I'm facing.

What could possibly be stressing out a part-time, unemployed community college student?
I'll try to list off a few causes.

  • I will be in school for AT LEAST 4 MORE YEARS if I want to become a vet tech. As if that isn't stressful enough...
    • I don't know which schools I'll be going to after I get my Associates of General Studies
    • Only certain schools offer American Veterinary Medical Association certified degrees (one is required in most states)
  • I'm graduating with my Associates of General Studies at the end of Fall 2013. Jon graduates with his Bachelors in Criminal Justice at the end of Summer 2013. What Jon is going to do during Fall 2013 while I'm finishing my degree is up in the air. If his summer internship...
    • ...leads to a job, then he will need housing. My house is a zoo, and probably would not be a suitable place for him to get the rest needed for a criminal justice job. Apartments in the area are expensive as hell though.
    • ...doesn't lead to a job, he'll probably have to get a different job here or in Delaware, meaning we're...
      • ...either not seeing each other for about three months.
      • ...back to the housing issue.
  • FAMILIAL ISSUES. Nuclear family, outside family, you name it. I can't go into detail because I have to respect the privacy of my family, but basically things are absolutely maddening. I feel the need to move out, but...
    • ...I'm not graduating until Fall 2013, so that's more time stuck at home
    • ...Apartments here are expensive, remember?
    • ...OH YEAH, I don't have a driver's license yet, so even if I wanted to get away for a DAY, I can't.
  • My YouTube and Etsy aren't making money like they used to. I also don't have the time for a job without sacrificing my schoolwork. Jon doesn't have a job either. We're a young, broke couple basically.
  • I've gotten attached to dog from Bully Breed Rescue, and it's saddening me horribly that I have pretty much a 0% chance of moving out in time to adopt this dog.
    • I have no job and apartments are EXPENSIVE here, remember?
    • He has to be an only dog, so even if by some insane miracle my parents offered to adopt the dog for me until I move out, they wouldn't be able to... because we have a dog.

To make a long story short, nothing is certain, I'm trapped in a place I no longer want to be, doing things I no longer want to do, and not doing things that I wish I could do but can't.
It's taken such a toll on me that I think it's honestly best if I just keep doing what I'm doing, because for now that's good enough. No productivity week, no goals other than just getting to school, doing my work, making a new video every time an event hits, and bringing home good grades.
It's good enough.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Productivity Week: Day 3 - Allergies and Sleep

I got up early at 8:15am today to get ready for my 10am class, Art Appreciation.
Let me tell you... that class is the WORST.
I love art. I love making things, being creative, and seeing other people's work. This class, however, is the most annoying bombardment of useless information possible. Basically the whole class is looking at styles and techniques of art, which wouldn't be half bad if we didn't have to hear all of three times over... Once in the reading, once in the homework, and finally all over again in the lecture. The third time through, you kind of want to throw something at the teacher just to get her to shut up.

Today we were looking at how churches were designed. I've already had a feeling that my teacher is Jesusy just from some of the language she's used in past classes, but today really took the cake.
Seriously, WHY do I have to know about all these different parts of churches? And you're going to talk about churches for AN HOUR?
Yeah, no thanks.

So yeah, I was pretty much nodding off in class as it was, but then I slowly started to feel my breathing becoming heavier and my eyes itching...
This seems to happen every damn year. I miss summer so much during the winter, and completely forget about that little stretch of time called SPRING.
Allergies, sleepiness, AND sitting through an hour-long lecture about flying buttresses? 
Once again, no thanks.

After class I checked to see if the kiln was open (which it wasn't) so I pretty much decided that between allergies and not having anything to glaze, I'd just go home.
I took some Benadryl, passed out until 6pm, and then started PRODUCTIVITY!

Today I...
  • Made a 35 minute Blood Brothers video, updating information from my previous vid and answering some viewer questions
  • Put together a quick twitch.tv streaming set-up (sadly I had to scrap some of it because I made some wrong measurements)
  • Streamed about an hour and a half of World of Warcraft while practicing non-stop blabbing (because you have to talk to be an interesting streamer... It's a LOT harder than it sounds)
So... I really didn't get much done today at all.
I blame allergies.

Tomorrow will be an AWESOME day however, and I say this because THE KILN OPENS!!! Nonstop glazing for 3 hours, YYYEAAAHHH!
...Don't look at me like that, it's damn fun!

Anyway, that's it for now.... Now SLEEP TIME.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Productivity Week: Day 2 - Ceramics and Derp

Leave it to me to let my stress spin out of control.
Last night I went to bed at 1:30am, only to toss and turn until 3:30am. I was cold, stressed, and hungry, so I did what any sensible person would do...
I made myself a waffle.

Aaand then I proceeded to do something a sensible person WOULDN'T do, such as searching the web for apartments, colleges, and job requirements.
Needless to say, I didn't get back to sleep until 5am, but not until I had a sparring of words with my dad before he left for work. He basically told me that I'm aiming too low in my career choice and that I'll never be able to live off of the wage it pays.
(I've decided I want to be a vet technician after the realization that if I don't do something involving animals, I'll be shooting myself in the foot because I won't be following my passion. But that's a DIFFERENT story.)
Imagine not being able to sleep because of stress, and then being told you're pretty much going to be baggage to your boyfriend because of your low yearly wages. 

Well, enough of me bitching and griping about the future and all the stress that comes with moving towards it.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my busy days, so I don't really have much time or strength to do things outside of class itself. Because of this, I tried to get as much done in Ceramics class as humanly possible. Unfortunately my teacher, Joe, didn't fire up the kiln since last Thursday, so I didn't get to glaze anything new. Ah well, he started it up today, and I'll have 10 new things to glaze on Thursday!

Here is what I did today:
  • Made two pinch pots
  • Made two more poison mushrooms (one "replacement" in case the other comes out wrong, and a mini mushroom)
  • Made an oddly shaped vase, kind of like a triangular cylinder thing with a stretched top and weird texture (it's hard to explain, blah)
  • Started my slab project, which I'll talk about more in another post... It's going to be something special!
After Ceramics, I had to read for my next class, Individuals in Society. The book is called Disposable People, and it's probably one of the most depressing books I've ever read.
Basically put, it's a book exposing modern day slavery by giving examples, retelling the experiences of the author on his mission to gather information to write the book, and explaining all the different motivating factors behind each country's system of slavery. 
I haven't even finished the book half way, and I already find it nauseating.
Apparently in the hilly northern regions of Thailand, families sell their daughters into prostitution so they can afford a color TV.
This, of course, is not seen as immoral to their families, because of religious and cultural attitudes towards women there. According to their form of Buddhism, if you are born a woman, you have sinned badly in your past life. Not only that, but you have to repay your parents for birthing you. In some cases, this means being sent to be a sexual slave in the city.
Terrifying stuff.
Anyway, I struggled through the book for an hour and a half, and then went to class.
I somehow managed to get a solid A on my essay, which I literally wrote the day before it was due, and the day of. 
(I know I'm a slacker, but hey, I got a damn A.)

At 7pm I finally arrived at home, had some dinner, and officially shut my brain off. I watched mindless television for about three hours rather than do anything useful. (Seinfeld, Hell's Kitchen, and Unusual Suspects, if you really need to know.)
Maybe not the best end to a day that's supposed to be part of a "Productivity Week," but taking into account that I'm sleep deprived and stressed out of my mind, I don't think it's half bad.

Anyway, it's time to go do my Art Appreciation homework before I pass out.
Let's hope the kiln opens tomorrow!

Productivity Week: It's BACK.

Well, I've realized that I have a shitload if things to do, and I'm not managing my time and stress very well.
The only thing I can do is do what I did before... declare this week a "Productivity Week" and GET THINGS DONE.
Every day I'll list the things I've gotten done, so that way if I slack off I hopefully embarrass myself and feel ashamed.
(Hey, if it means I'll get stuff done...)

  • Stayed after class to work on Ceramics
    • Scraped down hard edges of unfired pieces
    • Glazed poison mushroom for my mom
    • Glazed drinking goblet with dinnerware-safe glazes
    • Constructed another ikebana dish
  • Made a Blood Brothers video for my YouTube channel
  • Managed finances
    • Sent refund request for broken external iPhone battery
    • Paid Etsy bill
    • Paid credit card bill
  • Blog work
    • Scheduled updates for Demented Doodles until August (click here to visit)
    • Updated -this- blog
Aaaand there we go. I hope I can be as productive tomorrow.

How to Make Holy Powder, Cure Water EASY! - CURRENT VERSION

Since a lot of people are still visiting this blog looking for my original video, here's my updated version.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It angers me when people say "ADHD isn't real"

This is a response I wrote to a discussion about whether ADHD is real or not. I think it's important to get this out there, because these days psychologists are quick to label children that have active imaginations or disciplinary problems as having the illness. Over-diagnosis and false diagnoses are rampant, but that doesn't mean that ADHD doesn't exist.

"ADHD is very real, I live with it every day. I have "inattentive type" ADHD, and it's a complete pain in the ass. When two people talk, or someone talks during a movie or tv show, it's as if both become white noise and I can't focus on either. I always have to make people repeat themselves in crowds because of this, and sometimes I just can't even hear myself think in situations most people can handle. I forget things easily, and often will go to a room in the house to find or do something, think about something on the way there, and when I arrive I've completely forgotten what I came there for. It's not life-breaking, but its a daily annoyance and something the people who are close to me have to deal with. I am not "slow," "mentally challenged" or haven't been disciplined enough as a child. I have a 3.86 GPA in college thusfar, and excel at many different things. I just usually have to take a smaller workload to make up for the loss of focus I experience."

That being said, depression is very real too... But I've said enough about my experience with it on this blog already. Look it up if you have to.