Four and a half years later, I have finished my degree.
Mostly, I’m just really tired and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. I don’t think that it’s really hit me yet that university is over.
Back to real life tomorrow, ho hum. I came home to my mother’s house to do some pet-sitting, and attend my uncle’s birthday lunch, and now that’s all done, I’m headed back to Sydney.
It’s going to be one of those very long weeks – class on Tuesday from ten til noon, then again at five til seven, plus lunch with friends, and a coffee-date with another friend. Then on Wednesday, a haircut on the other side of the city finally (I’m beginning to look like some kind of fluffy marsupial; I love my fringe, but gosh it takes a lot more upkeep than layers), and a class from one til two. Thursday is my day off, but I have a paper due next Monday, plus half a ton of work on my honors project that it’s more like a study-day. Friday, my mother is coming down for the day; Saturday, I’m headed to a knitting workshop, and Sunday I have to finish my paper. It’s an exciting life, that’s for sure
I know I just finished my summer break, but I wish I could rewind time, just live in a happy bubble, where I could write and swim and draw and read. I don’t feel like functioning yet. Though behaving like a functioning adult isn’t something that I feel like doing much of the time. I kind of have a level of functionality that works for me, but isn’t really sustainable for earning a living or socialising, sadly. But I made a promise last year, that I would put myself out there, would try some new stuff. And it worked! I definitely got out of my comfort zone; same verse this year, definitely.
And now I have to go and somehow cram all my things into a single suitcase and backpack.
So, I turned 29.
And I finished my last Semester 2 as an undergrad.
I’m not sure which makes me more nervous, to be completely honest. The last assessment for my first semester project nearly killed me, I swear. I think, all up, it had to be 30,000 words, and took me until 3am to finalise. And then 10 minutes before I was going to present? I got an approval for an extension due to illness. I went ahead and did it anyway, because no. I did not want to wait another week with it hanging over my head.
I think I left my body during it, actually. But it’s done. And I can’t have screwed it up too badly. I don’t think.
My birthday was on November 7th, and a very quiet day. Mum came down and we had an amazing lunch, and Mum brought me some small gifts. The rest of my gifts (most of which are books! ) and my official birthday cake will occur when Mum and I can coordinate (pizza, salad, champagne and cake!)
Right now, I’m taking ten days off to relax – something I sorely need to do. Maybe write some bad fan fiction, and do some bad fanart? Something with no academic or profitable value
It’s been a very long, and very short, month.
The last two weeks, I had to present my plan for my honours year (a YA story), a backup essay, and a group-presentation in another class. I used to be the queen of the last-minute dash. All-nighters were a breeze. This semester? I’m relatively organized, and haven’t had to pull any all-nighters, but the stress of so much of my academic future weighing me down resulted in my jaw swelling, and my neck twisting up so badly, that I needed an emergency dental appointment (complete with x-rays) and three trips to the physio to unknot my neck.
Is this me getting old? Or am I finally taking my academics seriously enough to do myself harm?
As terrible as it is, I prefer the latter. I’m only twenty-eight!
So, I’ve been at my mum’s for the week – I don’t have a dentist or physio in Sydney – and heading back to Sydney tomorrow. It’s lucky that my classes last week were flexible, though I was sick enough that I would have come home anyway. But yes, back to Sydney tomorrow. I’m looking forward to Sunday more, though – after a trip to Apple to replace a busted charger, there’s a little shopping to be done, and then I’m finally going to go see Suicide Squad. By myself, sadly, but my sister is busy (and has the flu), and none of my friends have a burning desire to see Suicide Squad. I actually enjoy going to the movies alone.
And on Thursday night, I have tickets to Allen and Unwin’s YAFest evening – hoping to get some of my books autographed by the guest authors, and have lots of fun (book-themed manicures! Chocolate! Books!)
Tragically, I still have to update my phone, update my mum’s phone, pack my suitcase, have a shower, and wash up before bedtime, so I’m off to snag some of mum’s chocolate cake and get started.
Today was a very strange day. Like, it wouldn’t have surprised me at all if I had walked outside, and discovered that the sky was green, the grass was purple, and it was raining jelly beans. There wasn’t anything specific, just a feeling I had.
My lecture was a dud, though I was hunting for a specific pair of shorts (for those playing at home, Gorman x Walala’s It’s All Rice shorts – I regret not hitting that collection like a damn asteroid), and Mum called the stores, tracked me down a pair, and purchased them for me. They’ll be waiting under the Christmas tree for me this summer
I’m making the pilgrimage home tomorrow morning, to see my mum, since I have no other classes this week. Though, those plans were made last week – right now, I’m wishing I reserved tomorrow for lazing around like a sloth. I think it’s the weather.
I have anxiety and depression; and when I have bad periods, time seems to disintegrate. I can spend weeks doing little more than reading and basic functionally. The weird thing is that I don’t actually notice I’m doing it; it takes me weeks to realise it and everyone around me is ‘…duh.’
So, my uni break consisted of watching Archer (definitely been added to my favourites list), doing a little fic writing, and generally over-thinking my entire life. So, not exactly the relaxing break I was hoping for. Now I’m back at uni, and I’m trying to piece myself back into a functioning human being. I mean, I’ve started a sort-of bullet journal for my honours year at uni (let’s ignore the fact I graduate next year. It scares the living hell out of me), and I got a super cute haircut. No, seriously, I had my fringe cut and I was so worried, but I actually kind of love it.
Now I am going to go crawl into my bed, which is currently obscured by a giant pile of clean washing, and sleep with the hope that when I wake up tomorrow it won’t be Monday and I won’t have a 10am lecture.
That time of Semester again, when I have to head-down-tail-up on all my projects. Especially this one – a multimedia ebook of the first part of one of my short stories. It’s projects like this that make me very, very grateful for my new laptop. My old computer was not fond of InDesign, let alone multimedia publication.
I think Autumn is dead. Like, I think it’s being dragged away kicking and screaming as Winter cackles in the background. It started off as a nice day, but after lunch, I realised I needed some groceries – fun things like milk and cheese. And it was fine when I hopped on the bus.
But by the time I made it into the city, the rain had hit. Nothing too series, just slippery and annoying. By the time I made it back to the bus stop, though, the nice day I had woken up to was dead and buried. And I have found the perfect perch along Hyde Park that allows me to sit with my bags, but still see all the buses arriving. Plus I’m out of the way. Sad to say, my perch does not include any sort of rain protection. And the bus was late. Though, I was admiring the leaves falling as I waited.
Honestly, I’m looking forward to winter. I have two adorable scarf and glove sets, I have new jeans and tees ready to go, a bitchin’ pair of sneakers – I just need the weather to wear them! Plus all my favourite pyjamas are winter jammies. And my most beloved pink Ugg boots. And winter means all kinds of wonderful things – like Supanova, semester break and OzComiCon.
On that note, there’s still a week until mid-semester break, and that means I have uni work to finish, so I shall leave you – hopefully snug inside, out of the rain, wind and dying moans of the season
It’s Week 6 of Semester 1.
Which means I am technically halfway through my last undergrad semester. Trippy. Technically, I don’t graduate until mid-2017, thanks to a compulsory honours year (which I’m sort of looking forward to.) But this is it. Last semester of classes. I feel slightly woozy just thinking about it. Then I feel woozy thinking about how much work I have to get through before the end of the semester.
Exciting news, too, that I’ll talk about next Friday when it’s finalised.
I had a sudden epiphany this morning, when I was finishing off a presentation for uni: it makes a huge difference if you like your lecturer. If you clash, it makes it very hard for you to want to complete the work, let alone have it be your best work. And me and this current lecturer? … Yeah. Not a fan. And certainly not looking forward to our next one-on-one consult, that’s for sure.
I swear to god this week is trying to kill me. Frankly, I hope it rains on Sunday, so I can justify barricading myself in my apartment and watching all of Sailor Moon Crystal in my pyjamas.
Back in Sydney, back home, hooray!
My apartment is very small, and made smaller by the excess of furniture I have (a giant ottoman, named Otto from the Ottoman Empire, that folds out into a bed), a resin cow named Valencia, my desk and desktop computer set up, bookcase, couch, coffee table… the list goes on. And it’s kind of dark – dodgy lights, bottom floor apartment. But it’s my happy place. It’s my sanctuary. And when my mum was staying last week (I was at her place), she tidied up. It’s lovely. I could lie on my couch for hours, reading.
But my iPad battery is flat.
And I do have class tomorrow morning, then I must brave the crowds to grab some groceries (and, um, perhaps a stop at Gorman I think I have a serious problem. But a girl need her matching scarf and gloves sets )
But right now, I have a bag of broken Easter chocolate, my laptop has 34% battery and it’s only 9:19pm, so everything is good.
I came home for a week for Easter, for what I thought would be a lovely time to regroup and collect myself. We planned to have Easter Lunch with my grandparents, and then a casual lunch of Italian Easter Sunday. Mum was going to whip up some gnocchi and veggie lasagna, I was going to whip up a knock-off Sake Miss Blossom cocktail, and I was going to puppy-eye my sister into making rocky road for dessert. Then, after Easter, I was planning on getting all my uni work up-to-date, a few personal projects that I’ve been busting to get started, and helping my Mum with a few at-home projects.
It did not go to plan. Easter Saturday? Well, it kind of helps when you tell the grandparents we are coming for Easter Saturday lunch (dumping the blame and shame on my father for that one. Another for his bag of sneaky tricks). Then, we were all kind of done on Sunday, so we ended up going out for a quick dinner. Then I’m pretty sure I slept from Monday to Wednesday. At least, I really didn’t do much. Sleep, snack, read, repeat. Maybe a little writing? I knew I was sleep deprived, but those days are kind of blurry.
Thursday through to tonight kind of vanished when I wasn’t looking in a series of necessary but boring tasks. And I’m headed back to Sydney tomorrow afternoon, in time for my Wednesday morning class (and I got a spectacularly aggressive email from my lecturer today, telling us to attend our Wednesday night lecture. It’s super pathetic people aren’t attending, but we are adults And, frankly, the lectures are only relevant when the guest-lecturers are speaking about our specialisation. The last one before Easter was okay, but pointless for me since it didn’t focus on my major. And no one really wants to hang around til 5pm for an hour lecture. But I digress.)
So, next weekend, I get to catch up on the work I spaced on, and the new work that will be assigned. The only good side is that, since Easter was so early, I have another week off (well, no classes are held but it isn’t technically a week off) in three weeks, which is lovely. Thinking of petitioning the uni to make this schedule permanent because it is far less stressful than the normal semester structure.
For now, I am going to slump on the couch and watch bad reality TV until bedtime.
God, I love sleep.
Usually for me, life is a parade of disasters. I stumble around like a drunken baby trying to put out metaphorical fires, usually having to settle for a compromise that screws me over. It sucks, but it is what it is.
But for once, things seem to be fitting into place. I needed one course credit and one alternate course to be able to start my honours year in August, so I can graduate next June. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but the one I’m happy to share is that half of my closest uni friends graduate next June, and it would be nice to graduate together.
And I managed it! In less than a week, I got my course credit approved, and I got into an alternate course. I was concerned that the alternate course was going to be very technical and lots of analytical essays. But it’s a practical design course, hooray My other two courses aren’t too bad – both have been rewritten since last year, and one ended up with a completely hideous assessment schedule (instead of weekly ‘blogging’ on lecture material, we all have to put together presentations in pairs. Clearly this course is audited by Satan), and the other ended up dropping the group-project requirement and the strange interview assessment, which is awesome (though, one assessment was based upon our online presence – LinkedIn and Behance et al – which sounded pretty good.)
I’m still suspicious, but things are definitely looking up. I have two whole days off, one day with a one-hour lecture and one class that only requires I meet with my lecturer once a fortnight for ten minutes, since it’s focusing on independent projects, prepping us for honours and post-university life.
Quite frankly, I’m going to stick with being grateful, because I know my family life is going to be difficult this year. It would be really nice if one aspect of my life didn’t look like a trainwreck.
After one week of no classes, and one week holiday from university, I am just really damn tired. Plus I have two essays, a powerpoint presentation and two other assignments yet to be revealed due in three weeks. I’ve been doing school work during that entire time; god, I haven’t been on any of my favourite sites in almost a week. I’ve hit Tumblr a couple of times on my phone, but every time I sit at my desktop, I get to work. This is a fun free zone.
I’m so tired that I’m actually going to the trouble of typing this entry on my phone when my netbook is about a metre away, just so I don’t have to get up. Plus I get to test out the WordPress app on my phone. It’s pretty awesome actually. I can’t wait to get an iPad and install it.
I have, however, been Productive (yes, with a capital P) today. I went into the city and had my iPhone replaced (software issues), nabbed a more protective case and screen protector for it, went to the gym and grabbed some lunch. When I got home, I moved all my furniture to vacuum and mop my kitchen, lounge room and bathroom, plus did all my laundry and hand-washing as well as made dinner. Tomorrow, I need to clean out my kitchen drawers (I swear it made sense to keep pain killers, batteries and spare plastic bags in the cutlery drawers when I did), make some cupcakes, get a decent start on my essays as well as straighten up my bedroom.
Why the sudden cleaning frenzy? My mother and sister are coming up tomorrow night and this place is going to be super sparkly clean.
I had a job interview, a group interview, on Friday. I kind of babble when I get nervous, so I doubt I got it. I have another one in a couple of weeks, and another two resumes to drop off tomorrow. Hopefully someone will take a chance on me. It would be nice to work and save some cash over Christmas. Or, alternatively, blow it all on really nice stuff (I have my eye on the most amazing pair of Chanel sunglasses. Ooh, and there’s a lot of Kumacrafts necklaces left for me to acquire.)
… And unless I can pry myself off this couch, it’s going to be another super late night. Argh.
One of those days that you kind of hate everyone and everything, and want to throw a bit of an adult tantrum for no tangible reason?
It’s not even ten in the morning, and that’s exactly how I’m feeling, honestly.
I spent four hours last night not working on my university assessment, but trying to fix my iPhone after an update left it frozen on the ‘connect to iTunes’ screen. Since it’s my only phone line and my mother is coming down today, I sent them both emails that I couldn’t know they’d both see, and worked on fixing it.
And then discovered that my mother hadn’t even noticed I was AWOL. Great for my self esteem,
So today, I have class (that’s where I am right now, actually) until noon, then I have to write a 500 word assessment for tomorrow’s class, get to the library to print it out, go to the gym, mop my floors, do a ton of washing and continue my pre-assessment freak out since all four of my classes have assessments due in the next week.
I absolutely wish I hadn’t gotten out of bed. That I had rolled over and gotten more sleep.
Just a no-good day and it’s only ten.
I honestly do not know whether I’d give this up if I got a book deal.
I’d apologise for vanishing, but sometimes you just need to take a break from life.
But now that university starts again tomorrow, I guess I’ve returned to the land of the living. Or at least, the land of the active online. Hell, even on Tumblr, I rely completely on my queue for any kind of consistent posting.
So, university. I had a morning class, and then an afternoon lecture that I’m not really looking forward to, based entirely on the fact that I have to go over to the main campus and somehow figure out how to find the lecture hall on a campus that is like a small city in itself. It also kind of blows that I’ve already taken this class before, at a different university, but they wouldn’t give me credit for it when I transferred. I mean, the last art history essay I wrote for my previous university was 3,000 words long. This class? I think 1,500 words will be the longest (based on what I heard from last semester’s class, which I didn’t have to take, thank god). The first class? A compulsory first-year class, not much to say. Last semester’s course resulted in a dodgy mark because I pretty much told my lecturer I didn’t think she understood the course outline since she did such a terrible job of explaining it.
I tried so hard to be organised today – my plan was to grab my groceries and drop into the Apple store to replace my dodgy keyboard before coming home and building my last two pieces of Ikea furniture. Grocery shopping turned into a big deal when I could find a food processor under one hundred dollars across five stores. When I finally did get home, building my Ikea stuff tried to kill me, ugh. I really loathe Ikea.By the time I was done, I had to make dinner before realising that most of the ingredients for my pesto pasta were mouldy, absent or masquerading as other things, so I tried to make pancakes and scorched myself and the pancake so badly that I gave up and had toast, and am going to clean up the apartment and then make tea and go to bed with a book. I never claimed I was any sort of cook
Tomorrow is going to be a long day. I’m kind of edgy about tomorrow – new semester with new class locations? Makes me anxious. But I plan to nab lunch and maybe some new books (I found a 20% off coupon for Kinokuniya when I was cleaning earlier! A bag of books shall ease my nerves and frustrations.)
I guess it is time I started cleaning up. My mother is coming down tomorrow – my grandmother has a hospital appointment on Thursday that my mother has to go to – and she will complain if my place isn’t tidy
I had a great time at Supanova … but then I caught a nasty cold-flu.
I’ve barely gotten over it and I have to go back down to Sydney tomorrow to take down some more gear – winter bedding, a new and totally awesome purple toaster, and some other bits and pieces – and retrieve a few things I need during my uni break – dvds and my drawing tablet. Plus I have a few things to do in Sydney.
I have some great photos and stories from Supanova for tomorrow night, though
I fell in the street, skinned both my knees and upset my bad knee again. :( Ice packs, pain killers and bizarre stretches have become me. It’s very strange to fall asleep with an ice pack against your knee.
New phone <3 I finally replaced my beloved iPhone 4 with an iPhone 5. It’s shiny and new and with an utterly amazing camera (for an iPhone XD). Just getting all my apps on it is taking an age. I haven’t totally discarded my iPhone 4 – it’s just evolved into being my music-and-amusement gadget.
Iron Man 3 was amazing and incredible. We saw The Avengers on the big screen first (so, so much better on the big screen. The details I never noticed before were incredible) and then, at midnight, when into the Gold Class cinema (16 seats, all of them the most amazingly comfortable recliners) to see Iron Man 3. It was so much fun – I was so worried I’d fall asleep, being after midnight and have already sat through The Avengers, but I was transfixed the entire time. But now I totally have to see it again, so that I can write a ‘Avengers come to help Tony out because the shit that went down was way too major for them to simply not care’ fic.
University is okay. Finished Nightmare Group Assignment #1, onto Group Assignment #2, with a group that works way better together. On a not unrelated note, the next person who tells me they have a domain, when yes, they have a domain named but its re-routed to their tumblr page/blogspot/facebook, is getting punched in the face. It. Does. Not. Count. Seriously, before I finally mastered WordPress, I coded all my pages in HTML in Notepad; all of my blog posts were written in HTML by hand, and uploaded by WS_FTP; definitely a labour of love. I also ran 10+ fanlistings the same way. Dedication, thy name is Alexandra. I get so frustrated how easy it is for people to ‘have’ a website these days and yet have no idea how it works.
And on a totally unrelated note, I am actually totally prepared for Mother’s Day – I have three amazing presents, ready to be beautifully wrapped, and it’s going to be a weekend that my father is working away, so we get to have a nice, quiet all-about-Mum day. This has to be the first Mother’s Day in years that I’ve actually be organised, which is so both depressing and embarrassing. Living in Sydney has made gift shopping a lot easier.
And now I’m off to make tea and have a shower
:: It’s been full-on drama at university. One teenage girl with control issues who borderline-bullied me (I know, I’m 25, I should have put her in her place. The anxiety prevents it). Thank god it is done and I can resume my peaceful existence in that class. There’s more to it, but I’ve already documented it twice on Tumblr, and cannot bring myself to type it all out again tonight.
:: Iron Man 3 tomorrow night! Well, technically, Wednesday morning. My sister and I have tickets to The Avengers at 9pm, and then Iron Man 3 at 12:05am Wednesday morning. The cinemas in Sydney are showing The Avengers first as a promotional thing, and I never got to see it in the theatre the first time around, so I jumped at the chance. Super excited! Especially since our Iron Man 3 tickets are Gold Class (like 16 seats in the entire cinema, and they are squishy, huge seats too. I’ve never been to Gold Class, so I’m doubly excited!)
:: My apartment is slowly coming along. The books are on the two shelves I have (long story) but I plan to replace the bookcases anyway. Hopefully getting my couch, my desk and chair, and maybe one bookcase next week. Crossing my fingers. I did order a crescent-moon bottle opener and hedgehog measuring cups from Anthropologie (the shipping to Australia is completely ridiculous, fyi) that I’ve been eyeing for months. Plus I got a fancy, brightly coloured bedspread. Nothing like frivolous items to make everything better! Next pay, hopefully a print or two for the walls.
:: More online shopping pursuits? Okay! I scored two Kumacrafts Sailor Moon necklaces – the Star Locket (omg, yes!) and the Season 1 locket (a girl posted a picture of herself on Tumblr wearing the two together and it looked awesome.) Next on the wishlist? Chibiusa’s Time Key and the S locket!
:: I have the week off from university, so unless something comes up, I plan to spend Wednesday night onwards at home with my mum, doing totally ridiculous things like playing the Sims and working on my novel on my desktop. My kingdom for a laptop, I swear to god. It’s so lovely to be home with my cats and my mum. And now, I am going to snuggle into my lovely bed and get some sleep – 8:15am train tomorrow :(
My apartment is kind of awesome. I might complain about how dark it is, how there isn’t enough room to start some kind of art studio turned bat cave but it’s all kinds of awesome. A modern kitchen and bathroom, a crazy-awesome wardrobe and it’s so close to my university.
A dream first apartment, really. Except it’s kind of empty.
I mean, I have a bed, and bar stools for the bench, a killer TV… but no modem. Or couch. Or a laptop. But to get those things, I need a job. Plus I need to bring more of my stuff. My books, my drawing tablet, my shoes…
University is still disappointing. I want to learn how to draw and colour, and bring my characters to life. Instead, I’m forced to deal with unpleasant, snotty people younger than me with superiority complexes, and a total lack of sleep.
But next week, next week is my week off. Next week is half-way through semester; I’ve almost done it. Made it through the first semester, and that’s one thing that I’m clinging to.
Things are happening.
So, I started university again. It was rather a shock.
First of all, in a city two hours away. And I haven’t been able to find an apartment yet. It’s kind of cut-throat in Sydney. So I’m still looking. I’m commuting and staying near by the university for three days each week. I’m so, so tired each week.
The last seven months has been really hard at home, and it all kind of hit me. I was a mess for the first week; ridiculously enough, when I mentioned how miserable I was, my doctor gave me Xanax. I took half a pill, and yuck. I will never understand how people get addicted to such a dreadful, dreadful medication. What a horrid feeling. I’m trying out herbal remedies for stress and anxiety now.
At this moment, i’m sitting in a room surrounded by things – my drawing tablet (after three-four years, I’ve finally started to master drawing on it; maybe I’ll post some of my efforts) is balanced on my desk, clothes piled in a suitcase (roughly triple what I actually need to pack for Sydney this week), books and bits piled on my bookcase, and a bit of everything piled on my desk.
Easter Holidays will be nice. I’m going to sleep and write and draw and maybe even clock in some time with my Sims.
I’m a simple girl at heart.
So, radio silence around here. A lot of drama and tension and relief and frustration because my family has a lot of issues.
But the good part of the silence? Well, I kind of got into my first choice university, studying Media Arts (thinking about it still makes me feel kind of ill, honestly.)
However, the university in question is in Sydney. Two hours away.
And I had no money to find an apartment. Now I have money… there are no apartments left, unless I happen to win the lottery. So the plan is commuting, at this point. It’s going to be dreadful and awful and miserable, but I don’t have a choice. I worked out that renting in Sydney will cost me around $20k for a year. If I am committing to that much money, I want to be really happy in that apartment; I want to love my days off because I’ll get to hang out there. It has to be – or have the potential to be – home.
So I start Wednesday.
Seven years older than most of the students, and I’m me. A lot of people, family members, have told me I’m scary. Because I’m so serious-looking, I guess, when I’m the goofiest person you’ll meet. I am crazy, silly, happy and so utterly, utterly childish, I should fit in great. I laugh all the time, loud and stupidly because the tiniest things are frelling hilarious.
But then, I’m also kind of a so-done-with-that snarky, judgemental bitch with trust issues that we can thank my final year in high school for.
So this is going to be awesome, mind-blowing and the happiest I’ve ever been in life, so far…
Or an unmitigated disaster.
Luckily, with a new laptop and iPad pending and a lot of commute time waiting for me, I’ll have a lot of time to blog all about it.
I got into university!
But, yay university! It’s kind of crazy, I never expected to be accepted into this course – it’s seriously one of the top courses in the state.
Other than getting into university, it’s been quiet here. My father got a new job and left for camp (viva la mining industry!) last week.
Oh dear god. What the freaking hell, November? As if you aren’t enough of an asshole, with NanoWrimo dominating, year after year. This November is ridiculous.
So, I have NanoWrimo to write, daily, especially since the gap between the word goal and my advance has closed over the weekend. I’m maybe 900 words ahead of the official goal. The I have my art school interview, so I have to print and mount my portfolio today and tomorrow. We leave for Sydney Thursday afternoon (which actually pissed me off; I was hoping to get up there early, but once again, everyone else takes priorities over me. Ugh), and return Friday sometime. Plus I am actively trying to get a Christmas job which, quite frankly, is going terribly.
Then combine that with my usual internet and person commitments (1.5 hours at the gym or training every single day, Neopets, Deviantart and my favourite trading card game just reopened online, and various writing commitments I’ve made) and the things on break (written-word.org, Livejournal, all my fan fiction, twitter) plus uni and general life stuff, I am just so… screwed. Seriously.
I absolutely know that next year, I’m going to have to prioritise everything, but I loathe to think what I’ll have to give up, since I really love doing everything on my list. It’s just… there are only so many hours in a day!
Anyway, before Thursday, I have to
– print and mount my work for my portfolio
– pack my suitcase
– hit 35.5k on NanoWrimo
– tidy up my room so it’s not a bomb site when I get home from Sydney
Seriously. I have no idea when I’m going to get everything done.
So, we went to Sydney today for my Portfolio Review at Sydney Uni. We being my sister (she graduated from Sydney Uni this year!), my father (Driving Monkey extraordinaire) and me (partial degree princess). We left after 7 a.m, and Mia and I slept the entire way down. We are hardcore party people. We made it to Sydney for breakfast at the best coffee bar in the city, Workshop Expresso. I, of course, don’t drink coffee. But Workshop iced chocolate? Like liquid crack. Seriously, I can’t think of a drink more addictive.
Then we headed off to Sydney University. Wow, that school is gorgeous. It’s basically in the buildings of an old mental asylum (which would be awesome… if I hadn’t been watching American Horror Story. Okay, I’m just kidding XD), and is gorgeous. Old sandstone buildings, beautiful green grounds. Or rather, on my University Comparison Scale – I – This place sucks, it’s like a prison and you need hiking boots to get around vs. 10 – There are hotels that aren’t this fancy, and I can safely wear heels, or go barefoot!, Sydney Uni ranked a charming 8.
I managed to wrangle a Review with one of Mia’s favourite lecturers, S, who was awesome and super enthusiastic. Some of the advice he gave me was a little different than Mum’s friend T gave me, so I’m combining all the ideas. The best thing is that the updated guidelines say any A2 sized works – or bigger – can be photographed, so I don’t have to lug a giant artwork to Sydney.
I also got a look at some parts of the end-of-year show, and some work was incredible. An artist named Sarfa (i’m not sure that’s the spelling) has drawn the most incredible lifelike portraits. Another one of my sister’s friends did these two amazing portraits of a character from Homestuck, and another girl – Bridget – did a series of stylised images that were screenprinted – using up to seven colours. For anyone not familiar with screen-printing, it’s very precise work, with no room for error. As well as the printmedia works, I saw this incredible glass work, with glass ‘bubbles’ littered all over the floor. It was incredible.
After the uni, we went into the city, and Mia and I hit David Jones. They had an awesome Ted Baker display. in an old-fashioned sweets cart, and I am totally in love with Ted Baker’s Tishaa laptop case. I can’t seem to find one online, so hopefully when I get my new laptop, they’ll still have some left. We checked out the shoe department – it sucks – and the Christmas department.
Where I totally inquired about the price of Valencia. Who is Valencia, you ask? Valencia is a Christmas cow that stands about knee-high. Hand-painted and airbrushed with golden hooves and horns, the first year she was there, she was apart of half-a-dozen other animals, all worth several thousand dollars. They all sold, except Valencia. Valencia has been there for roughly six years, now, being stuffed into a corner and covered with lights and/or tinsel. She’s been seriously damaged and, as of today, one of her ears is missing. I adore Valencia, so I asked how much they want for her. They no longer have her on the books, so they’ll be calling me. I really hope they give me a reasonable price, because she’s awesome and I’d enjoy trying to fix her up.
My father took us to the sushi train for lunch, which was delicious and amazing and awesome – tempura prawns, sashimi, scallop and veggie roll, eel… I could go on I just love Japanese food. We hit Kinokuniya afterwards, and then Gorman, where I tried on the most amazing, awesome, wicked pair of wedges that must be mine. I have no idea how, but I need them. They were so comfy and amazing-looking. They come in pink and silver, and I don’t know which colour I want!
We left after that, since it is a two hour trip home. Hopefully when we go back down next week for my formal interview, oh dear god, we can hit the Wii U demo store, Gorman and Kinokuniya again… I’m a simple girl at heart It was a good and fairly casual day. Except now I’ve fallen behind on NanoWrimo. I’ll have to catch up tomorrow!
So, I had a meeting with one of my mother’s friends today. T is an HSC art teacher, which means that she helps students, every year, to compile their portfolios for university, and she was nice enough to look over mine for me.
I was so, so worried that she’d flip through my books and tell me that I needed to pull some new stuff out of nowhere in the next five days – still life works (which I loathe, they are so boring) and such. But T was so nice – she gave me some amazing advice and suggestions, plus helped me identify the sort of works I should be presenting. I’m only allowed to present ten, but I’ve found a way to arrange my examples to put the most and best possible examples forward.
They will be a total bitch to transport on the train, though.
I’ve also got a plan. If the worst happens and I don’t get into either university, the Tafe has some amazing graphic design and art courses that many high school teachers recommend for high school students wanting to go into visual arts degree, as a way to be taught the skills, as well as getting university credit. So, I’d spend next year at Tafe, working, writing my novel and maybe trying to get a small business of hand drawn cards going.
And I was sticky-beaking at the Sydney Uni website, and they have some amazing stuff going on. It’s actually kind of exciting, honestly. There are clubs for every possible thing – Disney-fans, costume-fans, two clubs for cocktail afficianados – plus two magazines, a campus one and a yearly-literature magazine. I definitely want to get involved, if I get in.
And on Saturday, I’m going to Sydney to the Open Day and portfolio review (and maybe, just possibly, duck into Gorman to try on some shoes I can’t afford this week
At least now I’m feeling a little more confident about my chances of getting in based on my portfolio. My formal interview is one week today. I can totally do this.
(And 29, 365 words. Bamf.)
As of tonight (about ten minutes ago!), I’ve made it halfway through NanoWrimo 2012! And I’ve learnt two very, very important things.
One, is that I’m estimating this story, completed, will hit around the 150-200,ooo word mark. I expected that, since most entry-level chapter books are 50,000 words. I’m both shocked and not, if that makes sense. I knew the story would take a lot of words to tell, it’s that sort of story. But 200,000 words is just such an investment of time, and devoting. I’ll absolutely do it, but at 27,000 words right now, that just feels enormous and incomprehensible.
The second things I’ve learnt is that, wow, the rewriting that this is going to need. I’m going to look for a massive white board or corkboard online – probably Craigslist or something like that, so I can plot it out in massive blocks, and rework the smaller plot threads. Plus, I wrote a partial overview of the entire story, and enough scene outlines to get me through NanoWrimo, but the entire overview and a proper chapter guide need to be done and finalised for me to make this book everything it can be.
It’s actually kind of exciting.
I won’t get a lot written tomorrow, since I have a meeting with a friend of my mother’s who happens to be an HSC art teacher, and has very kindly offered to look over my portfolio for uni – my interview is a week tomorrow, yikes! -and I need to organise all the work I want her to look at. Plus on Saturday, I’m going to the university for a Portfolio Preparation and Tour Day with my sister for some last minute clarification and guidance. Plus, you know, see the university I might end up at next year!
I have this weird thing, where I have invisible barriers that keep me safe from things that are happening.
i know, it sounds crazy. But just listen. It’s like, my major barrier before Real Life kicks in (getting into Uni, moving to Sydney by myself et al) is Christmas. And Christmas is still effectively ages away, huffah! Plus, I have tons of little ones leading up to Christmas. So magically, by the time I’m faced with Real Life, I’ll be ready for it and everything will have fallen into place. I know that’s complete garbage, but it’s how I work.
My birthday was a barrier to my Day of Reckoning – my Interview and Portfolio Presentation at one of the universities I’ve applied at. Oh dear god, Yikes. i have to pick out ten pieces of my artwork and present them to a panel of lecturers – who will be MY lecturers if I get in next year – and convince them that I am someone they should let in.
My interview day is November 23. And all I can think is how much I have to do. I have buckets of art I need to go through and decide whether or not to include, I want to do some new stuff, I have to get my damn scanner working (HP Multifunctions suck, fyi. Brand new and the scanner refuses to connect to the computer), and I really want to get two copies professionally bound at the local print store. I also need to work out what I’m wearing, even though I think I have a pretty good idea (a skirt my mother made me with fabric from Liberty, a pink gap top, pink Bloch ballet flats and my newest bright pink handbag I still need to work out what to do/wear with my hair and jewellery. My sister, who is about to graduate from this university, said that the panel are reasonably conservative, so I’m trying to look nice but memorable.)
Plus, there’s a Portfolio Preparation day on next Saturday that I am hoping to go up for, if I can come up with the money (train tickets, lunch et al), plus I have to work out how much stuff to lug up on the train. I’m seriously considering one display folder and my mother’s iPad with the rest, otherwise it will be too bulky and awkward to carry around all day.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a lot of my art pop up lately. I’ll start posting some here as well, just to motivate me. Plus, I have NanoWrimo to work on (500 more words until 20k, and then I can go and play my newest Sims expansion!), take photographs of our newest family member who is so gosh darn cute that it’s more of a chore not to take photos, keep training, keep blogging, keep cleaning and find a job… whilst trying so, so hard to get into University again.
Oh god, I am so screwed.
I cannot frelling believe that it is already the end of October. How did that happen? I have three days until November. Three. Days.
For me, November is crazy.
And I still have to find some sort of job. I’m marching my resume into the local supermarket this week. I desperately need the money for Christmas and moving to the city for Uni next year – especially if I have such a hard time finding a job in the city.
So for the next three days, I have to move my television and install my super-brand-new digital box (I will have more than five channels, and it will be glorious!), finish off the NanoWrimo Binder of Doom (my personal guide to my novel), add another shelf to my bookcase, vacuum my bedroom, empty and wipe every single surface, drop my resume off, work on my portfolio (it desperately needs updating!) and try to design two brand new website layouts – one for this site, and one for written-word.org, where I’d like to blog and keep notes about writing my novel. And I still really, really want to read just 19 more books (my goal for 2012 was to read 50 new books; 19 more will take me to 100 Ideally, 104, which would mean I was reading two books every week.)
Oh god, there’s definitely not a lot of time left. I have a distinctive feeling that some of these jobs are going to be half-assed.
I have spent a delightful almost-week suffering from the flu. I will never complain about being sick in winter again, because having the flu in 29 degree heat is miserable.
I also reached two milestones – I applied to two universities for next year (COFA and SCA – Bachelor of Visual Arts) because despite having my self-esteem regarding my drawing systemically beaten out of me during my last three years of high school, I’m not a bad illustrator and with a bit of training, might be able to do something with it. (High school also tried to squash my belief in my writing abilities. However, years of fan fiction writing has resulted in my writing-ego being of titantium strength. I can write rings around anyone. I blame all the adults praising my Buffy-writing 11 year old self. I was a precocious little scamp.)
I applied for a retail job I never ever thought I’d get… and I got an interview. On one hand, yay, job! Money! Independence! On the other hand, I hate stupid people, and someone who treated me pretty badly in the past works there.
But when I remember that, I also remember I’m an ironclad bitch these days, in comparison to five years ago, so I’ll be fine. Somehow I evolved from sad-kitten-person to honeybadger.
I just wish I had enough money to buy myself some ironclad-bitch shoes to wear to the interview. It would make me feel better.
I think maybe the cold is restricting oxygen to my brain. Just FYI.
I’ve been focusing on a lot of negative stuff this last week – more uni work, uni applications, family drama, job hunting (why do all the web design jobs dry up at this type of year?) and all that.
The good things are happening bit by bit – Mum and I are headed to Sydney on Thursday (she’s getting her hair cut, and I’m swapping my iPhone; during my last replacement, they gave me a 32GB instead of a 64GB. Very frustrating when you’re paying extra for the larger memory) and I’m hoping Sailor Moon #7 will be available at Kinokuniya. If not, I’m going to nab Book Two (and maybe Three) of Carole Wilkinson’s Dragonkeeper series. And I read Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer yesterday (I am a ridiculously fast reader) . It’s really original and an awesome read – and I’m only one book away from my Goodreads Challenge :D.
Plus, I’ve got big plans – I’m hoping to write a wallpaper app for iPhone and iPad, plus I got invited to join Yelp as an Elite member, and I have to get my portfolio for uni done this week. Plus I need to redo my livejournal layout and I have an enormous stack of art to scan in.
I spent yesterday sitting in the sun with my legs in the pool, drawing and listening to loud music. It was such a nice way to spend an afternoon.
I really love being busy.
Every year, I think to myself that life has to get better. That I can’t be more unhappy, that my home life can’t get more miserable, than it already is. And every single damn time, I am wrong. Things can get worse.
In August, we lost one of our rabbits, Domi, but also our 18 year old beagle, Molly. That was like a suckerpunch, honestly. I’ve lived more years with Molly than without her. She came to us this sad, neglected little two year old beagle who didn’t understand toys, bones or why there were three excited little girls crowding around her; she arrived the day after my 11th birthday, and one of my friends was staying over.
And she came with us, across two states and at least half a dozen moves, if not more. She was a beautiful, wonderful dog and she just… wore out in the end. She had various medical problems but in the end, she was just old.
Plus, my dad is living with us at the moment. He is really hard to live with. Like, he gets really angry and nasty when he can’t find specific things to eat. He doesn’t ask us to buy them or buy them himself, he just expects them to appear. It’s sure as hell not helping my depression. I’m getting worse again.
And my sister moved home from Sydney. Wow, that’s been a shock to the system. On one hand, we are really similar, which causes us to clash but also bond. So similar, I find myself saying things with a similar inflection to my sister and not realise it until I’ve said it. Or I’ll make a gesture that she makes.
On then other hand, we’re different. Very different. She’s lived away from home for five years – two years at boarding school, three years at university – by herself. We’ve both got different experienes, different ‘codes’ of behaviour, and I just feel very hunted and crowded with her home. `
So, yes, August has been hard. And my sister is home indefinitely, my father has no jobs coming up that will take him away from home, so I’m stuck in this horrid environment, making me sick and sadder.
On one hand, I’m so ready to live by myself, by my own rules and have a life after being stuck in an unhappy place for so long. On the other hand, I am so goddamned terrified. I like to plan and outline and prepare myself and every little detail. That’s way harder to do when it’s just me by myself.
And right now I’m tired, angry at my father (it has been a very long night) and waiting for my mother and sister to get home and waiting for my naughty, evil little cat to come home.
Tomorrow’s another day, I guess.
The last week has been completely ridiculous.
I missed my website’s tenth anniversary since my domain registrar botched my renewal last time (I paid for three years, they charged the credit card twice and then only charged me for two, apparently. They, of course, admitted no fault at all. Combine that with the fact that despite repeatedly changing my email in the management panel, they didn’t. So it was a panicked and frustrating two hours on Thursday night, trying to renew it and a long, long list of other fuck-ups and I can’t wait to transfer, honestly).
On Saturday, I went to the Sydney Manga and Anime Show (SMASH). It was awesome, and I got a ton of photos this time, mostly of the Cosplay Competition which was so much fun! I even bought a few things – including a black cat ear headband; I’ve wanted one of those for years
I have an essay due on Friday that I had to start tomorrow, so I’ll process and post my photos this weekend, along with the couple that I salvaged from Supanova in June.
I also have to go to Sydney on Wednesday for a haircut despite the uni work and the fact I am exhausted.
So exhausted that I’m headed to bed with a cup of a tea and a book any minute now
Well, needless to say, I was super duper sick. The bug bites on my legs, well, some of them had gone black with infection and I saw my doctor on Monday. Now I’m on extra strong antibiotics (that are making me feel terrible) and bandaging up my leg twice a day. I’m still quite ill, honestly, but my leg is so, so much better but recovery is slow, which sucks because I was hoping to go to Sydney to see Vivid this weekend, but it seems like I might have to have a quiet week at home.
I’ve also fallen behind in Nanowrimo, as well. Roughly 6,000 words, I think. I’ll have to get stuck into my Nano this weekend I catch up, plus get ahead since I have one university assessment due on the 20th, plus Mum and I are going to Sydney for one day around the 27th.
And that’s really it. Life is pretty dull when you’ve been as ill as I have been
I cannot believe that it’s June already. Or almost June, at least.
June is a lot of things. On Sunday, my mum’s birthday. Plus university has started up again, finally. And I’ve discovered Camp Nanowrimo is run in June and August, plus the main event in November, and I really, really want to participate in all three events, so I have at least one manuscript done and ready to prepare for sending out by this summer. I guess that means that blogging might be rather thin for June. I haven’t even written out my outline yet, argh. I have so many ideas that just don’t quite fit together. I need a mental hammer and chisel, honestly.
On the topic of getting things done, Mum and I went to pick me out a new mattress yesterday. I was hoping for an opportunity to bounce on something like the seven year old I really am, but the showroom less factory and more shop than I expected. And I was stunned – everyone raves about how awesome latex beds are, how comfy and long-lasting, plus hypo-allergenic. I thought they were super uncomfortable – like I was stuck in place and couldn’t more! I did find a super squishy spring-mattress that will be coming home when the pay-day gods and the bed frame suppliers’ timetables align. Tis very exciting I can’t imagine what a double bed will feel like – I honestly never thought we’d be able to get one into this room! I expected a day-bed set up, especially since I’m headed to Sydney. Nope, an utterly beautiful double bed!
I really have to get my butt into gear tomorrow. My bedroom still looks like a war zone and there’s no way I can write or study with drawings, books, dvds and clothes stacked on every surface. Winter always makes me sluggish and slack.
And speaking of sluggish, I am off to tuck myself into bed with a book.
It’s been a long week. But aren’t they all? And yet, not much seemed to happen.
I made the decision to excavate my bedroom before university starts on Monday, and it took a lot longer than I planned – it’s really more of Extreme Tetris, trying to fit way too much stuff into half the space. Hopefully this weekend, I’ll get a chance to measure for my new double bed, a wardrobe and chest of drawers. I hope I can make them all fit, because I really want a double bed, and I really need the storage of both a chest of drawers and a wardrobe.
I finally ordered new sneakers for Mum and I! Well, actually the problem was that I had to wait for the online store to get the right sizes in the right models to come into stock. My mother’s pair are awesome, but I’m pretty thrilled with mine, too. They’re bright blue and yellow :marryme:. My current pair are pretty beat up.
And over Saturday and Sunday I still need to …
I also need to outline a new piece of art, but when I went to the local art shop, they wanted $7 for a fineliner. They’ve gone up two dollars in less than a year. SO not happening. I already have to pay a $25.00 mark-up on my drawing books :pissed:. Seriously, in the US they go for $8. I swear, I have to find someone who stocks them cheaper.
What ever happened to relaxing weekends? I think I might relax tonight by loading the Kindle app on my Mum’s iPad and reading until a ridiculous hour.
… and it’s November in Australia. Seriously. November is meant to be almost uncomfortably hot. And yet, I’m sitting here in leggings, socks, ugg boots, a skirt, a tank top and a cardigan :crazy:. Looking at our fourth day of rain and grey skies, It’s terribly strange. I’m not complaining though; I don’t enjoy the stifling, angry heat we normally have.
I’m halfway through my final essay for the year, for university. I decided not to study over Christmas; the study program I’m apart of runs their program year-around, with only two days between semesters (except at Christmas/New Year, where we’re given an extra week between assignments that function as our holiday break), so I figured I earned a break. And my health is still completely wonky, combined with obscene heat and the fact my whole family will be home … well, that’s stressful without having schoolwork to do.
Mum and I are starting our Christmas shopping tomorrow – Pay Day! I’m super psyched – I tracked down a Nintendo 3DS for only twenty dollars less than Amazon is selling it for (unheard of in Australia) and it’s even in pink! I also finally get to order my ‘big’ birthday present – my beautiful DSLR. Mum and I have spent the last three days putting up the Christmas tree (more on that another day) and I can’t wait to post photographs. I’ve already found some camera accessories to add to my Christmas list
Time to get back to essay-writing. 1500 words down, 1000 to go.
I am getting ready to throw things, honestly. Technology seriously hates me and, honestly, I’m not fussed with it either right now. Why do I say that? It has a lot to do with the fact that I’m currently on my mother’s laptop.
Last month, I discovered my very faithful, almost five year old Toshiba laptop was riddled with viruses. No matter how many virus scans I ran, Trojans kept showing up. My uncle took it and wiped the harddrive (taking with it all my music and television – I managed to salvage my writing and picture files) before returning it. Which is great!
Except its taken to shutting down whenever it feels like it, cuts out the internet until I reboot and gets super hot super fast. Highly irritating. I think it is time that I look into a replacement for my Toshiba, but I don’t really have $1,500 lying around (I’m considering another Toshiba Satellite Pro, but then my current one has had a few problems so maybe I should go back to Sony Vaio… ).
When the virus problem became known, my very kind and loving mother purchased me an MSi Wind netbook. I’ve wanted a netbook for ages – I’m an online uni student and portability would make studying way more interesting. I was super excited once it was ordered, but it didn’t arrive until my Toshiba had been returned, free of viruses.
Why aren’t I using that shiny new netbook now? Two hours after I unpacked it and set up Windows, I picked it up again to customize my desktop and get it hooked into our internet, the screen was friend – lines going across it, rendering it and the entire netbook useless . Mum called the company and they won’t replace it, but repair it. We’re pretty ticked off about that, but we’ll take that up with them once it’s been evaluated. It’s currently boxed up by the front door, ready for the courier after Easter.
Why couldn’t I afford my own netbook? Well, back in February, I found a Mac Mini in JBHifi that had been scratched up, reduced by 50% (down to under $AU500) . I’ve wanted a Mac computer for awhile – I’m hoping to go to art school next year, and will definitely need a Mac for that. So I put it on lay-buy. And went to make the last payment and pick it up on Tuesday afternoon. Well, at first I had to wait for the assistant with the key to the storeroom to return. Then they had to find my package. And then they went through the package to make sure all the parts were there…
… You guessed it. Something was missing. The power cord. One of the shop assistants had taken the power supply from it for some reason, ignoring the ‘lay-buy’ label. They didn’t have another one in stock, nor at any other store. So we left with a promise that they would call Apple and see what they could do, and call me the next day.
Well, my mother ended up calling them two days later to find out that the Mac Mini is discontinued, so they can’t get me one (really nice of them to call me and tell me that). But apparently if I go in on Monday, the guy who sold it to me in the first place will do me a deal … Mum was a little iffy on how or what they plan to do, but they have promised me a refund if I so choose (which they should. Actually, I personally believe they should provide me with any sort of Apple computer they have in stock, since this was their fault. But that will never happen.)
So, I’m down three freakin’ computers, and an essay due tonight. But maybe this shouldn’t be ‘technology hell’, but rather ‘retail hell’ since almost all my problems seem to be the fault of the vendor. I’ll definitely post the follow-up with both JBHifi and MSi.
Speaking of the essay (which I should definitely be writing instead of this rant!), why is it that computers always throw a fit when your academic standing is at risk?! :whoops: