Saturday, January 7, 2017

DIY Grapefruit Toner

I know I haven't been posting pretty much at all, you all know how life gets. I don't always have interesting things to write about. Lately I've had my nose deep in a few books and sites, which isn't really entertaining to read about. I've also been down the dark, deep rabbit hole of genealogy, which probably deserves it's own post, but I'll save that for another day.

Every morning when I wake up, I spray some homemade toner on my face. It helps wake me up, it smells good, and it's good for oily skin. Any of you who know me know that the past few years my skin has gotten worse than that Krusty Burger employee in the Simpsons.

Yeah, That Guy...
Over time I've figured out what helps me most--as much as hormones would allow, that is. This recipe is kind of a spin on what my aesthetician recommended and what I have experimented with.

I use a 3 oz spray bottle and pour everything directly into it. I'm not particular on brands; grab whatever you prefer, but keep in mind that many times you get what you pay for.

Fill the spray bottle about 3/4 full with plain witch hazel. This stuff is magic. Then add a drop or two of vitamin E oil--should be self explanatory. Then add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil, depending on how strong you can stand the smell versus your skin sensitivity. After that, 10-15 drops of pink grapefruit oil. The smell mixes well with the tea tree oil, and citrus also tends to be good for skin. Put the lid back on your bottle and shake. Be warned, this stuff *does* separate when it sits, so you'll need to give it a vigorous shake every time before using it.

Although this toner is awesome and natural and lovely, but it is one step in a whole skin-care regimen. At nights I use Jan Mirini cleanser and a night cream with Manuka Honey.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rough Draft [squeeee]

I am ridiculously proud of this essay... and it's still only in draft mode. Rough Draft 2.1 to be exact. Brought 2.0 to class, took more notes and edits, input the notes and revisions from the last page forward. That is 2.1. Now I am going to take a break, feed my tum [has been bothering me lately], etc. When I come back to my computer, I will read top-down for cohesiveness and clarity, and make adjustments where I can. I know some of the sentances are broken. I know some of the words don't make sense. I have found that the more I embrace myself--in everything--the better the results are. I saw it with biphasic sleep patterns [fighting them means 4-5 hrs a day, vs. 2x4 hrs], I see it when I get the cleaning-ADD [flit around from one mess to the next, randomly do dishes, but get distracted by the mess on the floor, etc]. At this point in life I am learning to a) find the flow within my life and b) roll with the flow instead of try swimming up stream [my spirit animal is crow, not salmon! jk] What I mean is, I have begun embracing my own writing style and process, and I can already tell a huge difference between this essay and the last. I think I understand what Mr. Z meant about taking authority and writing with it. Of course I know what I'm talking about, and I am trying to share it with all of you wonderful people. It's just that at this point, not all the pieces are there yet. It's still rough around the edges.

I make such a point of stating this because I want to share this essay. So badly. But thanks to the culture of trolls, I am skeptical of posting it. I like to think that I have thick enough skin to handle criticism, but trolls don't offer criticism. They offer unfounded personal attacks. I know this isn't perfect. I admit it. But I expect for it to be accepted with a grain of salt, since it is a work in progress. No one looks at a painting that is only background, waiting for the paint to dry, and critiques the lack  of perfection of the subject that hasn't yet been painted. Do people even understand painting these days? Sigh. Here's some stuff to read. If you're ready to go down the rabbit hole, just know the tunnel isn't smoothed out professionally yet and you may have to do a little [brain] work of your own.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cosmic Validation

or, the Universe Provides, when you are on the right path.

So much. So deep. It's going to be hard to convey the exact energy that I'm feeling more and more these days. The past week has been astounding. Ever since the idea came to me... everything has been falling into place and making so much sense.

You may have seen something like this before. I know I certainly have, although I never saw it used with the word or concept of "Ikagi." 生き甲斐, In words, it means, "the Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being". Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. ... In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as "a reason to get up in the morning"; that is, a reason to enjoy life."

I have struggled with this so hard, for most of my life. Nothing has ever made sense to me. Nothing has ever driven me to conquer achievements or challenges. I have always taken a somewhat easy road, kind of mindlessly doing what was expected of me--albeit in my own way, to be fair--but not really sure of myself. Until this week.

It started as a joke. Hubs and I often make jokes about "the impending apocalypse," especially in light of today's politics. As you can imagine, we often refer to the film V for Vendetta, especially compared with the book 1984. Hubs identifies most with the main character V, but I have always had a soft spot more for Stephen Fry's character, Deitrich, the collector.  It's who I identify with. I am a collector. I am a packrat. I find odd value in cultural items that most people overlook. Also kind of like Seymour in Ghost World, with his collection of "Coon Chicken Inn" posters. On deployment, they called me a "data whore" for the many gigs of film, tv, books, and games that I would horde, pieced together from many others' collections. I spent hours organizing, filing, streamlining. It was my zen.

I'm also the go-to for research. For just about anyone. An acquaintance recently got in touch with me regarding wrongful military separations: "Give me ten minutes to get home and I'll send you all the reference numbers you should look up and read." Any time we needed to find information... who came to the rescue? Me.

So here I am, 31 years old, with a BA in English.... taking English 101. I know, right? At first I rebelled against the idea. Then I reluctantly accepted. By the end of the first class I had fully embraced it. I used my AP scores to bypass 101 at my first college. That AP credit doesn't transfer from school to school. I also needed the credits in order to go [close to] full time and get my VA payments. So I figured, whatever, I'll just have a really easy quarter. I can play this game in my sleep.

And now my life has completely changed because I accepted this. We just finished our first essay, 5-6 pages on Paulo Freire and the film Dead Poets Society. My title was, "Splitting the Difference: Escaping Extremes Through Pragmatic Application of Freirean Pedagogy." Mouthful, huh? I haven't been so proud of something I've written in a long time. And apparently that showed!

My English instructor asked to see me after class. He opened the moment saying, "Tell me about your background, you obviously don't need to be in a 101 class. Why are you here?" I giggled; I had decided to try and keep my BA a secret until the end of the quarter. But he had read my paper that morning, and called it "practically graduate level work." When we turned in rough drafts he was a little concerned, because I had used Word's Track Changes feature to leave myself notes; I guess one time a student paid someone to do this, and it was considered plagiarism. But once he realized I wrote both the notes and the paper, he said it was "higher level thought, meta-analysis."

I explained to him that I had a BA and was now going to school for Electrical Engineering. He flat out said, "You know, I think that would be a mistake." I grinned. Because as of this past week, I have come to agree with him. I love electronics. They're neat. But it's not really where I belong. I enjoy the theory and ideas, but the math is killing me. Instead... I have decided to pursue a Master's of Science in Library and Information Studies.

YES I KNOW!!! For some reason, this is HILARIOUS. And I don't know why! Other than, it is exactly what I need to do with my life. Finally. I figured it out. I am concerned at the way print media is dwindling, but as long as we have colleges we will need librarians. They are projecting a 2% growth rate as a career, which is a little less than average, but again... It's something that will never fully go away. There are even some really cool ways to synthesize this reality, hence the "Information Studies" part--for example, Digital Stewardship. Finding ways to ensure data and information is preserved for the future... without necessarily knowing what sort of technology the future will hold. I am on Cloud NINE with this stuff!

The exchange with my instructor today was just validation that I am finally on the right path. It's taken me 20 years to figure it out, and 10 years of stumbling around ignoring it, but I've always wanted a Master's degree. Never wanted to teach, not big on writing as a career. But this... this is IT.

I'm still looking into programs, but I mean it when I say nothing has ever felt so right. And to think of the opportunities. I haven't been this excited about something... well like ever, I think [except maybe developing this relationship, which has also been an amazing journey]. I might even have the opportunity to study in Europe for this. Which would be so awesome.

 I never knew what this was. I did not understand. But now I do. As a side note, the other thing that really pushed me towards this idea is my belief in genetic memory, combined with the book, How the Irish Saved Civilization. Briefly, the book is based around the idea that had it not been for the Irish Monks who insisted on copying, hoarding, and borrowing information, rewriting everything they could, and so had "backup copies" when the Library of Alexandria was destroyed. So not only do I feel this as a personal calling, but it resonates on a deeper, ancestral level for me. We must preserve information. We must pass on as much as we can--we've already lost so much. I feel this, straddling the ancient times and future times, feeling uncomfortable with the present. Things I've never had words for, I'm suddenly able to explain. Or at least get closer to doing so.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Just Workin' for a Livin'

Well I haven't been doing much working, so I have been actually doing a surprising amount of living. Have not posted in ages. We know this. I couldn't get the summer classes to work out with the VA so I have basically been floating in the wind all summer. We did go on an epic half country road trip though, which was a lot of.... stress.

I'm very exhausted with having great ideas and the spark of inspiration and then ending up with so many half-done projects. This applies to crafts, arts, business ideas, freelancing, hell even blogging... I'll get such a great idea and then obsess over it for a couple weeks and then... drop it. And then get bored. I don't understand but it is definitely an established pattern in my life. I don't call them failures. Because if I had kept the drive and continued to follow through, it may have worked out. But I have a very low patience threshold, and if I don't see results quickly I'd rather walk away than "fail." So that was a very long way of saying I am trying not to get super excited about this and throw a lot of premature effort into it. BUT. I have been sending friends prints and originals of my artwork over the last year. I am displeased with the quality of scans and prints that I have been getting recently from FedEx, so I have enabled the print option on my DeviantArt account. I have not been attempting to meet their upload standards, so for a while a lot of my stuff won't be accessible. But. I hope to keep a closer eye on this account, and if I actually start getting enough attention, I may set up an Etsy account as well. A lot of my work is commission-based, because I need a little push to get started usually.  Here's my latest, which is the inspiration of this post.

I don't exactly have a "strong online presence," and I'm not sure I really want to put the effort into establishing one. I know myself fairly well, and I could easily screw up by focusing too much on that, especially while school and work or chores are an option. So basically I don't know if this is going to pan out or not, but I'm going to put it out there and play it by ear.

Have you ever realized how much of what we say is based on metaphors and euphamsims?

Side Note: Have been primarily studying Old Norse myth and religion. Need to remind myself to write about Ask & Embla, and Lif and Lifthraisir and the cyclical cosmos theory. There's a lot of writing that I need to get done.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bink-182 Was Right

It really is the little things.

Cash must have levelled up again.

"Hey Bubba, are you hungry?"
*wagga wagga*
"Would you like to eat lunch?"
*hops off bed*
"Okay, bring me the Wooba for lunch."
"Yeah, bring me that."
*picks up food toy*
"Okay, give."
*gives toy* !!!!!!! <--this is a big step for him
"Good boy!! Good boy!!"

"Mom, not while I'm eating! GAWD!"

Holy crap. I am so proud of this little 4 legged child right now. I can't believe what a good boy he's turning into. All we gotta do now is just work on his barking problem and we'll be golden.