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Row 2 finish!!!

First off, thank you to everyone for your support as always. I did make a pros and cons list, but what it all boils down to is what I want and what I need. I don't want to go through the struggle of this education, but I need it. I can't ever make a pros list for things I "need". There is just no motivation for needs, but if this was something I wanted, I could write and epic novel's length list. Which is why, despite all the odds, I'm going to at least give school a few weeks. Worse comes to worse, I'm only out a couple of hundred bucks and have struggled through a couple weeks of extreme stress (it wouldn't be the first time). If I make it, then I'll be the better for it and I guess I'll go through the same discussion come next semester, and the one after that, and the one after that and maybe, if I keep it up, I'll eventually graduate and I'll won't have to do this anymore!

But, on the stitching front, I'm hoping I will still be able to manage to stitch this semester, although I'm not counting on it...I sure as heck didn't have time last semester and this one will probably have more work to it, so we'll just have to see. I left off here last week:
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And I worked my butt off this week to finish the second row, which I managed to do late Saturday night at 142.78 hrs in:
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And both pages together:
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Obviously, the bottom two pages are going to be boring as sin because there is no faces or fun parts, but I still started on row 3 anyway, just to avoid dealing with all the things I needed to do to prepare for Monday morning (which, as of 7:39 pm on Sunday night, I still haven't obviously done). But alas I stopped here:
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Again, since I'm leaving off at a weird place, maybe that will be enough to keep me going on this project during the semester. I have a bad habit of only being able to focus on one thing at a time, so either I'll make time for stitching in my free non-homework time, I'll not work on school stuff because I'll be stitching (like I ended up doing at the end of last semester with watching Once...which I'm still doing by the way), or I'll continue my bad Once habit and do nothing but sit and stare at the TV. Who knows how this early morning school schedule will affect me. I'm not the typical person that, if I get up earlier, I'll go to bed earlier. Wake time matters not in my world. I could still stay up all night given the chance and could sleep all day given equal opportunity. Wake time only affects my mood (as work shall soon experience...HA!).

Oh well, guess I'd better start doing all the prep work I've been delaying...or I'll continue to watch Once. Not sure yet!

Need a little "help" from my Blogger friends

School starts back Monday. I'm only not mentally ready, but it's brought up some questions that I'm not sure are just me being a chicken or if they are legit concerns, so I'm asking my impartial and extremely supportive friends for help. Work wants me to quit. I get little to no support from family because they expect me to fail anyway. The school obviously wants me to stay because they need students like me to fill a quota. And when it comes to "in person" friends, well, I just don't have any.

I'm still working 50-60 hours per week and that's never going to change. I tried finding another job, but truth be told, I'm just too comfortable here and they make a LOT of accommodations for my disabilities that other places wouldn't (basically, they deal with my bad behavior). But they are also HORRIBLE about accepting my class schedule and fight me at every turn. It's the reason why I have to take an 8 am class this semester. It's also the reason why I will NEVER be able to take more than two classes per semester...ever. I will NEVER graduate at this rate.

Right now, I'm only $2500 in debt. If I continue on, it gets worse. This semester adds another $2600 (because apparently tuition went up in five months) and so on. I'm not doing so hot in Computer Science, and obviously I've decided it's not the major for me, so even if I switch to C.I.T. and stay in my current job, it's just a piece of paper and I seriously doubt it would be that much of a pay increase. Basically, the only good it would do is if the company goes under, I'd be able to get a job elsewhere whereas now I'm not qualified.

This whole school thing started as a "life changing" need after my visit to the lovely Hotel California. I've dealt with that trauma and am now over it. I'm not sure I "want" to change my life anymore. I wish I just would have stayed on the house-building path. At least that was a goal I might actually finish. I need a bigger house. I need to get my credit cards paid off, not create more debt. And let's be honest, moving away and having a better life is probably never going to be in the cards for me. It's about as likely as me finding my prince charming. Some people just aren't destined for certain fates. I've accepted that.

But, and there is a but to this whole thing, am I just scared to go back to school again. There is an extreme build-up of social anxiety since I have technically been back to "normal" life for a month. Starting an entirely new routine with new teachers, new kids, new hours, new classes, etc...doesn't appeal to me in the least. It's one of the reasons why I always had issue with staying in school before.

And the second but is that Aspers are notorious for getting bored extremely fast and I'm already bored with school. It's not interesting to me at all. If I was taking Astronomy or Geology or Forklore Studies, sure, but Precalculus and yet another programming course that I barely scraped an A by last time? Ugh. And none of the "interesting" classes are going to get me finished with a degree anyway (the precalc isn't even going to do it...yet another class I have to take that doesn't "technically" count).

So is this a chicken thing or a "I'm just over it" thing? Is it an age thing? Is it a demons are resolved and I'm ready to get back to normalcy thing? Guess I have until Monday to figure it out, but what do you guys think and be honest. I know most of you guys want me to succeed and I would love to succeed too, but considering all the external forces, should I bother or is it even possible and why am I bothering in the first place? Is a piece of paper really going to change my life when I'm 55 or so (which is probably what I'll be when I graduate)? Tech is a young person's game, I know this and I'm not a young person. I don't like working in I.T., I'm just good at it, but everything I know, it's self-taught. Maybe I'd be better off just taking a course here and there rather than trying to get an actual degree (but then again, nothing like that is offered here).

New Year's Stitching-Will I make row 2 before school starts?

That is the question, now isn't it? I don't think I'm going to make row 2, but I've got one more full week and a weekend to try, so I'm going to give it my best shot. I left off here last week:
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And managed to barely make it here by the end of last night:
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This second row is proving quite difficult with all the confetti. I got tired of all the blue (again), so I hopped into facial territory and, as of now, it's a bit on the scary side (especially Snow's face), but considering how the top row worked itself out, I'm sure this one will too. I'm still holding on to that never-waving Snow White hope though!

My Supernatural plans to distract me from Once lasted all of three days. Ever watch a show and notice an actor that you never noticed before, but is now someone you know and you are now like "oh yeah, THAT'S where I know them from"? I knew that Ruby/Red had an episode role in a later season of Supernatural, but it was teenage Lily that threw me off course in S2E2 and got me craving Once again, especially since I left once Once only three episodes from the Lily intro (and Lily's adoptive father also played a demon in a later season of Supernatural, so there is that too). I tried hard to avoid going back to Once and went back to Sabrina first, but she was young Emma and I got distracted again. Then, since Colin O'Donoghue's newish movie is on Netflix, What Still Remains, I thought I'd watch that, but not to give any spoilers, but I don't like him as a character like that (and seeing him kiss ANYONE but Jennifer Morrison just doesn't work for me). I knew him before Once because of a horror movie called The Rite (which is also on Netlix now), but he was a priest in that movie, so no kissing. But something else I noticed, I thought that maybe he got a nosejob after The Rite because his nose was smaller in Once, but in What Still Remains, it was bigger again, and then it occurred to me that apparently guyliner makes a man's nose look smaller! Go figure! Not that I mind the size of Colin's nose in any circumstances, I just found it an interesting tidbit! I hate when actors get typecast, but I'm afraid Colin will henceforth and forever be Captain Hook.

So, alas, I gave in, and am back to watching Once. Since I just finished the Frozen half-season and started the Heroes and Villains half, then we are in Hook and Emma romance territory from now to the end of season 6, which means it will distract from stitching quite a bit. Then it will be Hades half season, followed by Gideon and marriage and final battle and separate 7th season, and then classes start next Monday. Ugh. 8am classes. I'm really gonna regret that decision, but I guarantee that by the time this semester is over with, my job will NEVER ask me to take an 8am class again! I am NOT a morning person and they will NOT be able to live with me for the next five months if I have to get up two hours earlier...so, the next five months might suck, but at least I will never have to go through it again!

I am also rethinking my whole summer school plans. I thought I wouldn't be able to go back if I was on break that long, but considering how short Christmas break was, I'm not sure summer will hurt me that much. I think I might need some "normal" time again. We'll see if I can even come up with the money to go to summer school since I have to pay for it out of pocket.

Oh, which reminds me...my missing programming teacher is alive! She emailed me thanking me for the well-wishes and said she'd see me in the spring! Then she managed to get on to me for stitching instead of studying my book for next semester, so she's obviously feeling better. Yes, I probably "should" be studying for next semester like she suggested, but I'm pretty sure that my next programming class is going to suck, I'm going to struggle through it, and I'm not in that big a hurry to deal with it until I absolutely half to. I want to stitch right now and not deal with it. It is, after all, my vacation, and I intent to enjoy it. Besides, I'm pretty sure my next programming teacher already doesn't like me, so what difference does it make. This is my deciding class on whether I stay in this program or change majors, and I'm pretty sure a major change is settling in the back of my brain as a very real possibility. We'll see I guess! I just hate that between programming and precalc, there won't be stitching time. Ugh.

Final Year-End Stitching

I held off on my weekly post since it was just one extra day before the end of the year. I left off last week here:
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FINALLY finished row 1 for a total of 77.92 hrs (which is quite shameful for a three page row, but I guess acceptable considering how long it has been since I've stitched):
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And decided that "operation row 2" is a go for the final two weeks of school break. Why not at least try to get in another row before the spring semester starts up again, right? So on New Years Eve, at 11:58, I stopped here:
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It's a pretty lofty goal, but I figure that's my 2019 overall goal...loftiness! To be honest, up close it's not very pretty, but from just a short distance, I'm surprised at the level of detail that is coming through on this. I did find the original picture of the Snow and Charming art, which led me to a Hook and Emma that would make a matching set if I charted it myself, but then there would be continuity issues unless I recharted Snow and Charming too and I'm not willing to do that, especially since it was a gift. But it did make me realize that digital art is really not that difficult, if you know how to use Photoshop, so it's not like I can't find another pair of pics of the two couples and make a matching pattern set and chart it up if the mood strikes me. Besides, I have enough WIPs going right now as it is.

TUSAL-wise, this has also been the worst ORT year since I've been keeping up with it, but it goes to show how little stitching I did this year. Compared to all the years since 2012, it's pitiful! Next new years goal...stitch more, school or not!
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I made the comment at work on Monday (another one of my "vacation days"), that hopefully 2019 will be better than 2018, but I got to thinking about it tonight, as I was stitching and watching NASA TV for the Ultima Thule pass by and something kind of occurred to me...2018 wasn't that bad, especially compared to 2017! Yeah, worked sucked, but it's getting better (and hopefully will get a LOT better once the bad doc is gone), I started back to school and (at least so far) am doing pretty good for an old lady, I didn't have any major medical problems this year, and my mental health, despite still being of the major hermit status, is still on the mend although I'll never be the person I was before my visit to Hotel California. The more I thought about it, 2018 is probably one of the best years I've had in a long time, even if it maybe didn't feel like it most days. It was a quiet year and I haven't had a lot of those.

I did take a break from Once last week to watch Sabrina (my that show is DARK!) and also got caught up on Riverdale (well, Netflix caught up, which means through season 2) and now I'm back to Supernatural to see if I can break the Once habit, which I figure will be back in full-swing once school starts back, but I'm OK with that. Whatever it takes. This semester is gonna suck, but it's also going to determine whether I stay in this major or switch to something else. I am curious to know if I'm just really bad at programming, bad at math, or I just had a bad teacher last semester. Might be a combination of all three...guess we'll find out soon enough! No matter which computer major I switch to, I have to suffer through Structured Programming anyway, so it's a burden I have to bear. And I still have a couple of science basics left that could distract me for a few semesters until I make up my mind anyway, so all my options are still wide open!

But anyway, I hope everyone has a happy New Year and that all your hopes and dreams come true this year! I think we could all use a happy one!

Just a touch more stitching

I keep trying, but something is blocking me from being able to stitch...be it work, be it work-related headaches, be it worrying about the next school semester, or just be it my OCD with Once (which is ironic considering I'm stitching a Once stitch), I just can't bring myself to work on Snow and Charming. Most nights I've been getting home so late, I have no energy for anything but staring at the TV. But I did get two more days in last week. I left off here last week:
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And I cleared out most all of the blue and started on their hair again:
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I does kind of look like a lot of work, but considering it's such a small project, it really isn't much at all. I could probably easily finish the row in a week, if I had a week of regular stitching time. I would really like to finish at least the first row before classes start back up again. Maybe this week I'll knock it out.

I'm technically "supposed" to be on vacation from Christmas to New Years, but since I can't take vacation because there is no one to cover me, I will have to come in every day and work some...at least do my daily duties (because no one else can). I keep saying that they are going to be in trouble when I drop dead, but no one takes me seriously. There are things that only I can do and since they aren't major duties, they aren't in any manual, just in my head. Job security, yes, company security, not so much. Despite it all, I am quite loyal to this place (obviously, because I do put up with a lot), I just wish that the feeling was mutual.

But on a happier note, I'm not a Christmas person at all (Halloween is more my bag), but for those who are, I hope you enjoy your holiday and have a great time with your families! I plan to spend the day alone with my pups, stitching and watching Once. It probably sounds sad, but it makes me happy and that's all that matters. And I'm not big on spending time with my family anyway, at least 97% of them. For an Asper, Christmas was always my nightmare...all those people, food I hated, people staring at you while you opened presents and having to react to things you didn't want (and my mother was the WORST gift giver...still is). And because I came from a divorced family, as a child I had to go through it multiple times with parents, grandparents, my aunt...ugh. Now, I just don't participate at all, although my mother still asks every single year, just like Thanksgiving (another holiday I don't like because of the food). Home alone is best for me. It's just another day off work for me.

Stitched Again - But Don't Get Excited

I had all these fantastic stitch plans last week which, of course, work ruined magnificently! They must have secretly decided, that since I'm not in school this month, I need to "make up" for all the hours I missed (technically, since I never dropped below 50 hours per week, I don't think one could say I missed anything), so I've been working my hind-end off and, by the time I got home, I had no energy to stitch. But I did get some done Saturday. I ended up with a headache on Sunday, so unfortunately, nothing to report there.

So here is where I left off last week:
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And, as paltry as it is, here is Saturday's progress:
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Here's hoping this week will be better. I don't have many weeks left before school starts back up again and I'd like to at least have row 1 finished.

But speaking of school, my programming teacher is still M.I.A., but someone else graded the final, it got dropped from 100 pts to 90 pts (not sure why), and I got a 67.8 on it (yep, you read that right, I got a D on the final! I'm still not sure how THAT happened...I figured that whoever graded didn't give partial credit like she did). It dropped my G.P.A. down to an 89.0 (which is a B). But I knew I still had those two bonus point problems that weren't graded, so hope wasn't lost. They only got one graded before the cutoff, but it was enough to bring me back up to a 90.0 (which is back up to an A, thank goodness!). Granted, if the other bonus point problem would have been graded, it would have been higher (and it kind of makes me mad considering the hours we worked on that mess), but still, I'm not complaining, I got my two A's in the end!

Surprisingly, I did find out that my English teacher just nicked my paper on citations and not content. It's hard to make them understand that I am of a certain age and of a certain ilk and have acquired a certain amount of knowledge from life that came from reading, watching and absorbing. I didn't need any information for this paper from sources because it all came from my brain. She had trouble buying that, but it's true. I have more knowledge of animation than the average bear because I wanted to be one for half my life and I can talk technical details about Sleeping Beauty like nobody's business! I figured she'd have a field day on content considering my subject matter. I am an "old school" Disney princess girl after all and she's the middle type. But she even said I had some very valid points. I was shocked! I know a couple of you guys mentioned you might want to read it, just drop me a message and I'll send it to you (I don't mind, what am I gonna do with it now?), but just know you might get offended if you are a middle type Princess person and definitely is you are a "new style" Princess person...or maybe not. She mentioned she wasn't offended at all and that I was focused more on the Princes than the Princesses. I hadn't really realized I was going more in that direction until she pointed it out, but I guess she was kind of right.

I did come to a realization though, I was beginning to think that maybe I'm just not cut out for programming (and I thought I'd take to it like a duck to water), but I think it's because all we are programming are math problems. The "real world" isn't like that. I will NEVER understand why colleges don't teach "real world" situations. What good does it do to teach us how to program trig problems when we will NEVER use them? It is SOOOO frustrating! But I will know better next semester whether I stay in this program or switch majors to either C.I.T. (which is basically what I do for a living now) or maybe computer-aided design (where I could use some of my old art hours as electives and not lose them). Time will tell. I would love the design, but there is no money in it. I still have my science classes to get out of the way (my only remaining basics), well besides Oral Comm and apparently now Philosophy (I've always said I would be HORRIBLE in a Philosophy class because I'm too opinionated), so I might start working on getting those out of the way and take a "computer break" for a while to "think" about things and decide on the best path. The whole Astronomy thing was a nice idea, but at my age, it might be too lofty of a dream. And I do have to admit, I enjoyed the writing in English a HECK of a lot more than the computer stuff. That's not good when you are a Computer Science major (but it's not like I can do anything with an English degree, so there you go).

Stitch Progress

Yes, you read that title correctly, I stitched this weekend, although not much! I also didn't finish working on my new blog either, but with school out now, it was the first weekend in forever I didn't have to spend the the entire weekend on a stupid computer in the first place! But I also didn't spend it cleaning either. I think I just needed a "decompression" weekend.

But anyhoo, last time, I left off on Snow and Charming with just a touch:
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And got a bit deeper into it.
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I was getting bored with the blue, so I hopped around a bit, but I figured I'd get back into the blue just to keep it cleaner. I also took my Once needle minder off of Hook for this project and bought a new one for Hook...a swan. Very apropos, I thought.

And once I got caught up on my new-found YouTube Once Upon A Time Response obsession, I was able to stop watching OUAT for quite a while this weekend (although not completely). I haven't been able to do that all semester. I think my OCD must be stronger when I'm more stressed. And, considering my Programming teacher has gone MIA, I should be more stressed than ever. Our last two assignments (which were IMPORTANT bonus points that I desperately needed) and a really crap final still haven't been graded and the deadline for final grades to be posted is the 13th. My GPA for CompII is already listed. No responses to emails, no responses from department heads, no one will tell us what is going on or when (or if) we will get our grades for programming. Wonder if I'll get lucky and they will just go with the midterm grades...at least then I'll keep my A.

I did realize something though...one of my teachers had a stroke mid-semester and got replaced, the other got a mysterious illness and disappeared at the end of the semester and, as a side note, every single new coastal location I visited this year got wiped off the face of the Earth by a hurricane. I wonder what that says about me?

Oh well, maybe I'll have time to dink more with the blog next week.

Pardon my construction

I've decided to jump on the "new theme" bandwagon and give them a try.  It's BEYOND time I upgraded anyway...I just have to tweak a few things to get them the way I like them.  Honestly, I was going to change my background picture to something similar to what I had, but the blue forest reminds me of Once, so I'm not too much in a hurry to fix it, at least not now!

So stay tuned, things they are a'changin while I'm on school break!  Oh, and if anyone has any ideas, doesn't like anything (you CAN'T hurt my feelings, so be honest), or actually likes it, let me know!  I'm all ears!

Done, Done, Done!!!!

I am done for the semester! I managed to get through English II with an "almost" perfect score. She docked me on my final paper because of citations, but I still had a 99.6 average, so it didn't hurt there.

Programming was a whole other ball of wax. Our teacher got sick last week and still hasn't graded our last two bonus points, so I'm not sure how much of my A is there, but our final was today and I blew through the first three pages like a pro, but the last three problems, the ones that counted the most points, were complete Greek! It wasn't something we had ever covered and, if I had to guess, I'd say someone else had to finish the test for her and didn't know what level we were at.

No one that I knew of in the class, even the brilliant ones with perfect scores, could work those problems, so we'll see how it goes. If our teacher gets better and grades the test, it might save us and I might manage to keep that A after all, but if another teacher does, at least my current score is high enough and the final counts less enough that it could do it drop me to a low B, even if I failed it. But a B is a B, and I can live with that. It kind of sucks that held on to that A by the skin of my teeth all semester only to lose it at the last second, but I'm just glad to be finished for a few weeks!

As a side note, I found a new "world" on YouTube that I never ran across before...viewer responses to shows. I checked out a few before I landed on this one guy, who is sooo NOT the Once Upon A Time kind of person, and it is HILARIOUS watching him watch each episode of the show! It's not the whole episodes, you have to pay for his Patreon page for that (which I might do if he finishes the entire series), but it's enough of a taste on YouTube to keep me interested. He LOVES the show and exclaims after each episode "this is my new favorite episode!". I figured I'd be bored to tears watching someone else watch my show, but I'm not sure why it's so cool watching a newbie to the world gets so obsessed with it, especially the "not" Once type, but sometimes he gets me laughing so hard, I just about pee my pants! It's just neat watching someone else from a different world enjoy the show the way that I do.

But once this week is over with, I'm SERIOUSLY cleaning my house from top to bottom, and then it's cross-stitch city until January when classes start again. Oh boy.

Breaks are bad!

I've been looking forward to Thanksgiving break for a while, even with double work duty, just to have time off school. What I didn't count on was loving it too much! Yes, I did work my butt off at work with double shifts, but I went home and did "normal" things. I watched TV (well, OK, I do that every night anyway, but without doing homework at the same time), I rarely turned on my computer at home, and I even started my new stitch project! I did finish my last three English assignments, so technically, I'm finished with that class for the semester. I just have to turn them in as they are due and I can finish the semester focusing solely on programming, my hard class.

I am worried about my final paper because it was supposed to be 3-5 pages and I couldn't get it below 7 (shock, I know, me being overly-wordy). I rewrote the paper five times, from five different points of view, and each one ended up exactly 7 pages. My topic was the backlash against the original Disney Princess Model and the lack of a Disney Prince Model and basically how I think both are really bad things. But you guys know how I feel about that. I'm old school. I like happily every after and true love and all that OG stuff. Ever since a certain actress/Disney princess herself, had her little Twitter rant about it (and another one flat out said she refuses to let her daughter watch Cinderella because she doesn't want her to learn that girls should wait around for a "rich prince to rescue them" - sorry, did she watch the same movie I did?), this comic has been making the rounds and I find it pretty apropos for the issue:
Granted, I get why parents want to teach their girls to be strong and independent, but still, what about the boys? What are we teaching them? That they are just side pieces or villains? They no longer need to slay the dragons or fight the monsters because the girls can do that themselves. They no longer are held to a certain honorable, chivalrous, valorous code, one worthy of a princess because they simply aren't needed anymore. And trust me, I've noticed the difference in the generations of boys since the trend started. And if you wanna exchange stone-throwing, didn't Anna fall in love in five minutes with a total villain who tried to kill her and her sister, and then fell in love the very next day with a total waste of space (cuteness aside)? Yeah, SUCH a better role model there. I will never understand why everyone thinks that movie is such a good role model for girls just because of that whole sisterly relationship...I can't be the only person in the world that noticed that it was Anna's bad decisions that caused all the problems in the first place. I sometimes wonder if the people who complain the most about the OG princesses have actually watched those movies since they were kids. But I digress and I can rant about this topic all day.

But doing "normal" things reminded me how much I miss my "normal" life. This whole school journey started for many reasons, but one of the main ones being because I hated my job so much, especially one doctor in particular who is now leaving the practice. Now that he's leaving and work is getting better, it makes me wonder why I'm putting myself through all this struggle. I have to go back to class today and my nerves are all wound up. I'm terrified like it's the first day. Breaks are bad things! It broke my routine and now I feel like I'm starting all over again. Christmas break will be even worse because, after it's over, I start all new classes. Then there is summer. There is no way I can not take summer classes now, I see that, or I will never go back in the fall. I knew I could scrape up enough money for one summer semester (because I didn't take out enough loans for summer, not knowing how school would go in the first place), but I don't know how I'll come up the funds for a second one too, but I have to find a way.

But anyhoo, stitch-wise, I went out last Friday night and got thread and started winding it afterwards, but I fell asleep. So, I got up Saturday, started winding again, and midday I fell asleep again and didn't wake up until Sunday! I think I must have just been catching up or something. But, by Sunday, all thread was wound, the fabric was stretched and gridded, and Snow and Charming:
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Went from a blank canvas:
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And started it's long week of a journey. Granted, I didn't get to work on it much, like I said, it was a rough work week, but 7.33 hrs in, I at least made it here by the end of the week:
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Considering I haven't stitched on anything since about March, not bad for my return, if I do say so myself! I also thought I had a needle minder bought for this, so I guess I need to find one by Christmas break, since I probably won't have time to touch it again until then.

It's going to be small, about 7 x 10 on 28ct, and I'm still questioning the detail that the pattern promises, but I'm hopeful! It was originally supposed to be stitched on 18ct anyway, so that accounts for mine's tiny size, but I'm still a bit worried. I just wish I had a Emma and Hook to match, but that's OK. I'm just grateful for this gift and hopefully I can do it justice!