Wet And Rainy

Our wonderful streak of warm, sunny days has ended and today is wet, rainy and dreary. Not the least little bit conducive to getting my camera out past the overhang on my porch.

It is a good day to go hole up in my studio and see if I can actually manage to get that little project finished. I’d love to get it done and get that mess put away so I can start on the next item on my to do list. At the very least, I need to get a photo or two because I’ve promised and haven’t pulled through just yet.

Also, it would be good to take a few steps away from the books for a bit as I’m getting rather frustrated with what I’m reading lately and I’m not entirely sure how to fix that. I have a few books coming out this month that I’m looking forward to, but there are still a few days before the first one hits my reader.

For now, I’m off to play with metal clay.

Now I’ve Done It

I finally caved.

I’ve been using an old version of Photoshop. In software terms, it could probably be considered an antique because of how many new versions have come out since my version was released. I had originally bought the suite when I had intended to do graphic design. It had all the programs I wanted to play with, but any Adobe products are expensive as hell. Worth it if you are going to be doing that kind of work.

Years later and I’m not doing graphics work. I have still used many of the products to work on any number of projects over the years, but almost all of them were for fun stuff, not make money stuff, so I’ve never been able to justify upgrading. What I had still worked great and the version of files I was using didn’t matter, so I saw no real need to fork over the cost. Especially since they moved to a subscription model.

With the work I’ve done for Envie! and as into photography as I’ve gotten lately, I’ve been incredibly tempted, but still couldn’t justify how much that stuff costs. Especially because there are 3 different programs in particular that I’d really want, so would be forced to do the entire suite of programs for the full price.

I’m beginning to think that Adobe can read minds now because I got an email offering an incredible discount for a year and I absolutely caved. I now have the latest and greatest products.

I haven’t had a ton of time to play just yet, but the little I’ve seen, especially with Photoshop… I feel like I’ve been trying to create a masterpiece using crayon. It could probably be done, but with a crap ton more talent and work than really necessary. I’m really kind of blown away. I knew it was different to an extent, but not to this extent.

I’m crazy excited to dig in deeper. I haven’t even had a chance to look at the other programs yet. It is going to take me a bit to figure out all the differences and all the fun new things I can do. The photo above was just me messing around trying to learn some of that. Below is the one I posted before so you can see the difference.

Dried Up Maple Leaf
Dried Up Maple Leaf

Brittle Winter Veins

PSA from a whiny, wimpy girl:

Whiny, wimpy girl cannot recommend attempting to repierce your own ears. Especially if you are whiny and wimpy, cannot handle pain (at least in odd areas that aren’t used to feeling pain) and may potentially faint in circumstances like getting your blood drawn.

No. Seriously. Just don’t.

Except, this whiny, wimpy girl is also an idiot and did just that yesterday.

Somehow, at some point, I must have scraped the inside of my earlobe and when I didn’t wear any earrings for an extended period of time, one of my holes closed to the point I couldn’t get an earring in. Over the last several months, after I realized this was an issue, I’ve tried to see if I could manage to get various different earrings in, but was never able to.

Idiot that I am, I really didn’t want to try and go somewhere and spend money to have someone poke that hole back open. I was also pissed that I have all these amazing earrings, many that I’ve made over the years, that I couldn’t wear. With MC’s scholarship ceremony (which was really cool, BTW), the ballet and a whole list of things coming up in the next month or two, I was determined to figure out exactly how closed off it really was.

I grabbed a pair of small studs that I’d be able to leave in for a while. In all my attempts, I’d never gotten the post to go much past the opening. Yesterday, when I tried, I had this immediate “pop” and that sucker was in farther than I’d been able to get it. It didn’t even really hurt much, though there was a little blood, which I was handling decently at the moment. I thought “Awesome! This is going to be easier than I thought!”

There was still some resistance past that point, so I pulled the earring back out, cleaned it up really well, coated it in alcohol and tried again. It would NOT go any farther. I twisted my earlobe to see what the backside was looking like and I could see that there really only was a small layer of skin to get through. No big deal right?

So wrong!

Did I mention I’m a whiny, wimpy baby when it comes to certain pains? And yes, I have been known to pass out getting my blood drawn.

I was now feeling a bit lightheaded after that little bit of blood and the longer it took to finish, the more my stupid brain focused on it and the worse I got. It didn’t help one bit that this tiny piece of skin was stubborn and I think holds about 95% of my entire body’s nerve endings, every single one of them telling my brain “This shit hurts!”

I’m in the bathroom off my kitchen having decided that right before the kids get home was the perfect time to do this. The pain and queasiness got so bad, I felt like I was either going to throw up or pass out, so I had to lay down on the floor. I’m laying there and imagining MC walking in from school and freaking out to find his mom half in and half out of the bathroom on the floor like an unmoving blob, so I forced myself to get back up not wanting to scar the kid for life.

Nothing I did got that paper thin layer to break. Each time I took the earring out to clean it and reposition it, I got queasier. My brain convincing me that breaking through that skin was going to create a gush of blood. I did get a little smarter at that point and started using some ice on the lobe to numb it up, but that only dulled it down a little.

The earring wasn’t doing the trick with a dull post end, so I got a pin and did the same thing. Cue even more pain. And still no break through. I resorted to putting pencil eraser against the back of my earlobe hoping to give it some leverage. This between breaks of me sitting on the toilet lid with my head between my legs trying to get the room to quit spinning while yelling at myself in my head for being an idiot of extreme proportions.

But apparently that didn’t help. I was still a frickin’ idiot. A stubborn and determined one because I WAS going to get to wear my earrings again, dammit! After more ice, a really numb earlobe, MC getting home and laughing is butt off at me then hightailing it to his room so he doesn’t have to see his mother lose her lunch, I manage to get the tip of the pin to finally break through. Yes!

Uh, okay. Nope. The skin is now broken, but it refuses to open up enough to let the post of the earring through. This starts another round of fighting off passing out or puking.

More ice, more wimpiness and lots of whiny whimpering later, I finally manage to get that damn earring all the way through, shockingly, with no more blood. So yes, I did what I set out to do, but damn! That was such a bad idea. I’m so lucky I didn’t actually pass out and crack my head open on the toilet.

It wasn’t until it was all over and I was still fighting of feeling queasy hours later that I realized that part of why it was so frickin’ hard to break through that layer of skin is because it was probably a thin layer of scar tissue.

So, no. I really, REALLY don’t recommend this method. Just go somewhere and have a professional do it. It is over in seconds, not nearly an hour. And if it hurts, you can blame their technique and not your own personal idiocy. But hey! I can now wear all those amazing earrings I have sitting around collecting some tarnish.

 

 

Functioning Technology

I’d had my doubts that all my issues with my computer would be solved simply by replacing the power cord. I never knew that a laptop with a bad power cord could impact the speed of your internet connection to the point it was worse than trying to connect through dial up. Apparently that is absolutely what happens if your laptop recognizes that your power cord is bad and attempts to preserve battery through lowering performance. Now I know and I’ve given you a little tech tip for the day.

Thankfully, I’m now back up and running and I no longer feel like I’ve been banished from the world. The short time away did give me some time to think (not always a good thing) and I’ve decided that since I don’t have any review obligations (no open requests or NetGalley books due) through the end of the year, I’m going to just read to read until after the new year. If I manage to pick up something that strikes me as something I just really need to talk about, then I’ll post a review. For now, I’m going to take a reviewing break.

Part of the reason for this is all of the stuff that will be going on around the holidays. I really don’t want to go into the season already stressed with the pressure of trying to get too much done. It wouldn’t take much for me to just not want to put in the effort to do the fun stuff right now and I really don’t want that. I’ve still not been able to completely shake the crankies lately. The last thing I want is to make it worse.

We are also in full on “focus on college” mode with MC. He has been invited to interview for the top scholarship at his #1 school choice (and most likely where he is going to go even if he doesn’t get the scholarship), which I am crazy proud of, by the way. That means I have to take him to get a suit in the next week, something he has never even come close to wearing, so that is going to be so much fun. The kid that has spent his life in jeans and t-shirts with video game characters on them is going to have to wear a suit. He is probably more nervous about that than the interview itself.

I was a little frustrated with the information in the invitation as it also specifies it is a day for the parents to come, but doesn’t give any kind of timing or agenda, only the day. You have to RSVP that you are going to the interview and how many parents will be coming. Since it is a Saturday, it means that I’ve got to balance BG’s dance schedule with the interview schedule, but I don’t have a schedule for the interview day. It is also her last rehearsal before her Christmas program and she can’t miss it. There were too many unknowns for me to figure out if I could drop her off and still make it to MC’s thing (yes, the school is that close), we opted to just have Hubby go with him. I really hate it because I want to be there with him as well.

We don’t see too many conflicts with the kids activities and events often. The times we do, it stresses me the hell out and makes me feel like crap because I feel like I’m having to choose between my kids. When OC first started high school and we started paying attention to when graduation was held, I nearly had a panic attack over what would end up happening a few years down the road because, for a while there, graduation always fell the same day as recital. Thankfully, our district has pushed graduation from Saturdays to Sundays, so we will not have that as a problem this year. We will just have an extremely FULL weekend with Friday rehearsal, Saturday Recital and Sunday graduation.

Yes, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself and starting to already stress over it a bit, but when I’m having to think about all the college stuff now and MC hasn’t even graduated yet, my brain is just going to go there.

Can you tell I’m going to be kind of a mess through all of this?

 

Yes That Is Snow

We got a little snow last night, which is unusual enough. The fact that it is still there today is even more so. It also doesn’t look like we are done with it just yet because they are calling for more tonight and again on Halloween.

I’m really hating it for a number of reasons, but a big one is the fact that our poor dog Izzy is already struggling. We had to get a harness for her so we could help her up the stairs and back in after she goes outside. Her back legs are either experiencing extreme weakness or severe arthritis, but it makes it really hard for her push off with them to get up or climb steps. The early cold and now snow is going to make it even harder on her. Between that and struggling to get her interested in eating… she is just having a really hard time. It is a little better for her when the temps aren’t too cold and it is dry so seeing this so early just makes me mad on her behalf.

Starting to Fall

Or it would probably be more appropriate to say “starting to get blown off” because the last 12 hours or so have been insanely windy, knocking off a lot of newly changing leaves. It has also gotten frigid. Almost overnight. Looks like this is going to be a “skip open windows” year where we go straight from AC to heat. This fact hasn’t done much to improve my crankiness lately, but I’m working on crawling out of it. Hopefully, I’ll be back to normal posting in another day or so.