Category Archives: Not Writing


If you happen to get sick with this year’s plague/flu, and you’re curled up in bed, shaking with chills, half-wake and in and out of fever-dreams, trying to prevent your lungs from evacuating your chest—and your soul from evacuating your mortal coil—you know what’s a really, really fun movie to watch?



“I’m a (Snow)Flake (Changed My Major (Again) Remix)”

First, I wanted to get an AS in accounting, because it seemed safe and stable and like something that wouldn’t eat so many braincycles I wouldn’t be able to do creative work on the side. (I’m terrible at math, so I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea.) The further I went, the more obvious it was that everyone in accounting was only getting their AS as a first step to getting a masters or doctorate, because an associates degree doesn’t qualify you to do shit except keep going. The people with the accounting jobs I thought I’d be able to get didn’t have their degrees in accounting, they just sort of stumbled into accounting jobs. Wtf.

In between terms, I changed my major from accounting to computer science, because all the computer science classes sounded really interesting and I’m interested high-level science fiction concepts like “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning,” and there were courses on how to make apps, which is currently a reliably in-demand skill set. My (not well thought-out) plan was that if I could learn enough to make apps on the side, I could do that while I finished the degree. Right? Right. Except all the courses are just programming boot camps, even the one that said it was an intro course that didn’t require programming knowledge, the one that was listed as an overview of the subject in general, so I thought that would be a good place to start—and then it was just Python boot camp. Wtf again. This tanked my GPA (which was already on the borderline), so I took a term off to try to learn the subject on my own.

Over the next 2 months, I learned my brain isn’t wired for coding, so it would be kind of stupid to keep bashing my head against that particular brick wall, but I wanted to do it anyway. I was signed up to take the next class, a class that (again) sounded more introductory, that my program advisor said was more introductory, but did have some coding, and I’d been studying while I was off and I thought I could handle it. On the first day the course opened, I checked it out and it was just another Python boot camp. The curriculum was almost exactly the same. I freaked out and started frantically looking through all the online course offerings—exactly everything because I was desperate to find something I could do—and of course I landed on an art degree.*

I’m cynical enough to believe that one of the most important functions of an art degree is that it forces you to 1) produce work, and 2) have that work critiqued. Another value is the networking with other students and professors who may have connections in the industry and/or become valuable connections over time. Like any other skill, you have to invest the time, and one of the best ways to invest time is to pay for some time to be blocked off for that specific purpose. That’s kind of all a college degree is to me at this point, just a series of blocks of time I’m paying to have carved out for a specific purpose. Could I do that myself? Yeah, probably. And also, no, not successfully.

Tl;dr: On March 5, I’ll start classes for a BA in Game Art and Development. The first class I’ll be taking is World Mythology, followed by Intro to Creative Writing, then I’ll get into actual art classes. This feels like one of the least stupid decisions I’ve made since I’ve gone back to college again.

POSTSCRIPT 2/1/18: My financial aid appeal was approved. I will have funding to take classes starting next term. I will be able to continue deferring my student loan payments. I won’t have to enter bankruptcy because I can’t afford payments on an unfinished degree that I can’t afford to finish without financial aid. O THANK THE OLD GODS.

*Back up here to explain my issue with art degrees: They’ve always been presented to me as a waste of money, since they don’t qualify you for a job like a technical certificate or teach you “real skills” like a STEM degree. There’s also the assumption that creative people will be creative whether they have any formal training or not (and formal training is kind of low-key discouraged if you’re poor, since you’ll be wasting resources by following a path you can’t afford to walk on your own). The thing is, I know logically that’s bullshit. I know there are a lot of people making money off of their creative work. I read their blogs, I follow them on Etsy and Tumblr. This isn’t impossible.

This is an arbitrary annual temporal marker post

2018 drink

I don’t know whether I’ve ever made a New Years post here before* (and I’m too lazy to check). Point is, a lot of things have changed since I started this blog, and New Years is the traditional time to think about changes, etc.



  • Not fail any more classes
  • Find a part time job
  • Keep freelancing
  • Pay off my credit cards
  • Save up to travel
    • Go on (at least) 1 trip***
  • Write a novel****

*The birthday angst posts are intended to fill a similar function, so.
**See: any Best Laid Plans post for 2017.
***Feel free to tell me allĀ  about how stupid/unrealistic it is for me to prioritize travel while I’m drowning in debt—I’ll nod and watch your lips move if you need that to feel superior or whatever.
****Except for real this time.


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


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.

*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

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.

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.

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.

*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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