Category Archives: Not Writing

Notes on sleep

If I’m staying home for the day/don’t have a real schedule or anywhere I need to be, I need somewhere between 9 and 10 hours to feel rested and awake. Less sleep than that, and I’ll have an increased tendency to get sick.

If I have to be at work, or have somewhere else to be, I’m usually up-too-late anxious and sleep for 6 or 7 hours, but I’m not tired during the day, and I’m not any more susceptible to picking up an illness (that I’ve noticed).

Stupid human construct. O_o

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I hate money :(

My savings account balance is low, my checking account balance is low, and my credit cards are nearly maxed out. Thank the old gods for seasonal work, amirite?

  • I have a freelancing ghostwriting job in progress that pays what seems like a sort-of low rate, but from what I understand, all ghostwriting pays poorly when you get it through glorified content mills. The upside is it has the potential to become steady work, and since I have more time than money right now, any steady work seems like a good idea.
  • I’m in the process of interviewing for a political advocacy remote job. It’s pretty much just ghostwriting letters to elected officials under the names of people who agreed to talk about how a political decision is going to impact them and then they accepted the advocacy group’s offer to “help draft a letter based on our conversation.” This seems interesting,* and I can write, and it’s work I’d do in my own shiny new home office.
  • I have an interview tomorrow afternoon for a seasonal retail thing. I can do the work. I can show up on time, and not call out, and not bail in the middle of the season. Black Friday will suck, because this is a popular retailer, not an out-of-the-way cell phone store that most of the valley doesn’t even know about like last year, but I can handle it. (I can handle most things if there’s a clock on it.)
  • I am also in the process of interviewing for a remote seasonal customer service job with a major call center.** No idea who the client is or what the actual job responsibilities will be—it was all vague nonsense like “show concern” and “resolve issues” and “meet goals.” I think I would like this job the least, because I’m not super-into the idea of going back to phone work, but I’m good at it … and being able to roll out of bed and have a 30-second commute sounds appealing. And it’s seasonal, but with the potential to apply for more jobs with the call center.

This is weird, because even though I’ve been pretending to be a real, grown-up adult for over a decade now, I’ve never done multiple hiring processes at the same time before. Usually I throw applications like crazy, and then someone calls me for an interview that ends with “So when can you start?”*** I’ve rarely been involved in a hiring process that has a real interview, or more than one interview.

I hope I get something that can pay the bills, with enough left over to start to make a dent in my credit card debt. (#adultinggoals?)

ETA: I got an offer for the seasonal retail thing. Waiting on a background check, then I have the job.

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*I’m not discussing politics irl or online for my mental health (especially after reading this post by The Oatmeal) but I think this work would be distanced enough, and I could refuse to work on anything I’m ethically opposed to, so whatever.
**Not the shitty one I left, a different one. They, um, won’t hire me back again, because I’ve left 3 times (over the 10 years I worked for them).
***Fairly sure this means I’ve never had a real, grown-up adult hiring process before.

I’m struggling

SCHOOL
I did not learn snek.* I do not understand snek. I understand snek so poorly that I can’t even explain what I don’t understand, which makes it impossible to get help from a tutor because they have to know what I need help with to give me any kind of help. I am learning snek through 2 free websites better than I’m learning it through the class I’m taking, but I’m not learning it fast enough to pass this term.

That’s a problem, mostly for financial aid reasons, which I need because I don’t have enough money laying around to pay for college classes on my own—whatever isn’t covered by financial aid has been going on my credit cards, which is terrifying** and I want to avoid accumulating debt as much as I can, except student loan debt (I guess?) because that’s just the reality I’m living in (goddamn it).

I’m taking next term off to think about what exactly the fuck I think I’m doing, and refocus, and try to go through a couple of free programming introduction things to make sure I am capable of learning the material. It’s probably stupid to say this, but I’ve never found something that I can’t do if I really try, so this is new to me.

WORK
My savings is getting a lower than I like to see it, so I need to find a job, at least over the holidays (ohgodretail). That means I can’t get facial piercings*** or dye my hair a color I like, which seem like immature concerns (because they are immature concerns) but I feel more like myself when there’s some metal in my face and my hair is a cartoon color, so that’s where I’m at. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that part of my switch from accounting to computer science is because accounting is typically a very conservative industry and computer science is typically … not that. I can handle covering my tattoos for bullshit job interviews to get by while I’m in school, but I don’t want that to be my life within my chosen career, you know?

I’ve been hustling to pick up freelance assignments (on Upwork—yes, I know) and I got one to ghostwrite some blog posts for a company through a marketing agency. Hopefully this is a good sign that I can write and am employable. Even if I have to work 60 hours a week for a pay rate that comes out at less than minimum wage, I would like proof that trying leads to results. I’m also applying for all kinds of work from home customer service things, anything that doesn’t cost money to start/have unpaid training**** (which cuts out a lot of supposed opportunities, but I’m pretty okay with that). I should have a decent office space set up in the house by the end of next month, hopefully I’ll be able to put it to good use.

WRITING
I have been stressed, and I have been slacking. I keep feeling like I could write, but then I have something else taking up my attention, and I don’t get around to it, or get distracted, or feel guilty(?!) when I start writing so I stop. It isn’t like it used to be. Not that it always used to be fun, but at least even when it was hard, it was still satisfying. I might try NaNoWriMo again this year.

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*By which I mean “Python” (previously discussed here).
**My entire family has had a bad history with credit cards, so I didn’t even get my first credit card until I was … 31? I think? Yeah, just checked, I was 31.
***I’ve been wanting a vertical medusa lately (is that a thing?), and more tattoos. Lack of funds has kept me from following through.
****Whenever companies advertise that they have “paid training” I read it like advertising that the building has breathable air inside. My understanding (not a lawyer) is that if the training is 1) required by the company/mandatory, and 2) specific to that company (as opposed to a degree or certification), and 3) they dictate the schedule, it has to be paid.*****
*****It wouldn’t surprise me if this was completely wrong, because labor laws in the States are a gooddamn joke, but it’s been my experience that when a company tells me what to do with my time, they pay me for that time.

Thoughts on Happy Death Day

I liked it. I honestly wouldn’t have gone if the marketing had been honest about what the film is (comedy) instead of trying to emphasize the horror elements, but I liked Happy Death Day and I’m glad I went.

This is not horror. Not even a little bit. Yes, there are jump scares. Yes, there is violence. Yes, there are bits that are genuinely unsettling. What’s missing is the pervasive sense of dread underneath it all, because you can’t do that effectively in a comedy film.

The main criticism I have with the story is that once the novelty of the premise wears off, it doesn’t feel like anything has meaningful consequences: Tree dies; Tree wakes up to relive her day; Tree dies again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

***SPOILERS (I guess)***

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PSA: Daniel Graves is on Patreon

On the off chance that I have any followers with similar musical interests (also on the off chance that I have any followers), here’s a link to Daniel Graves’ Patreon page.

Daniel Graves is a musician whose main project is Aesthetic Perfection, which I know I’ve mentioned… pretty much any time I talk about what I’m listening to. He’s amazing, I love his work, he’s super-into squids, and I’m stupidly happy to be his 13th supporter* on Patreon.

If anyone else is into this, and can afford it, you’d be supporting a very talented human being who can do really good work if he has some time and energy to focus on making new music.

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*At the $1/month “Vampire Squid” level. I wish I could pledge more, but I’m a broke, unemployed college student right now.

Marilyn Manson is the soundtrack to my life

When I was 14 years old, I saw Marilyn Manson’s music video for “The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell,” and I realized I was into girls.

When I was 15 years old, I moped a lot and listened to Mechanical Animals on repeat. (Mechanical Animals is when I really got into Marilyn Manson—with all the gender-bending, and future dystopian trappings, how could I not?) I would take that CD into school on days when I had computer lab, because the teacher let us have headphones as long as we got our assignments done.

When I was 16 years old, I found Holy Wood on a filesharing network before the release date under the album title Dogsled Racer (artist also listed as Dogsled Racer).

When I was 22 years old, I was working an awful call center job, and I met my best friend (online, obviously, I can’t talk to real people). The Golden Age Of Grotesque had come out two years before, and the Manson discography is one of the first things we bonded over, besides writing.

When I was 24 years old, I had moved across the country to live with my boyfriend at the time, and spent weeks/months/(years) chatting online with my best friend and listening to Eat Me, Drink Me on repeat.

When I was 28 years old, I had ended that relationship and moved back across the country to live closer to family, and spent weeks/months/(years) chatting online with my best friend, and listening to The High End Of Low on repeat (at least until Born Villain came out).

When I was 32 years old, I found The Pale Emperor months after it released (because no one told me!), and got brave enough to reach out and start a conversation with my best friend, who I hadn’t spoken to in years, because music is one thing we have enough of an overlap in preference on to make it a safe topic.

I am 34 years old, and I’m listening to Heaven Upside Down on repeat, and trying to learn Python, and deciding whether I’m brave enough to reach out and start a conversation with my best friend someone I haven’t spoken to in years again. (Spoiler: probably not.)

Some things don’t change.

Fixing Flatliners (2017)

We went to see Flatliners on Monday, with the advance knowledge that it was going to be terrible*, and we were not disappointed.¬†Or we were disappointed.¬†Whichever one means the movie wasn’t good, that’s the point I’m making.

The biggest problem I had is that the film seemed confused about what it was trying to be. First it wanted to be a medical thriller, then its latent cliche horror tendencies started showing in the form of constant unearned jump-scares, and it tried to wrap things up with an ending that felt hollow (probably because it didn’t make a fuck of a lot of sense).

I also hated every single one of the characters the audience was supposed to empathize with. (More on that below the spoiler warning.)

As a literary thought experiment, I’d like to try to fix this mess. Note that the remake was mostly-faithful to the original film (made in 1990) and I will not be faithful to the original at all because the original had all the problems the remake has (if you’re going to remake a movie, why not try to improve the story along with the upgrade to current-level CGI, modern film techniques and contemporary actors?).

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

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