Cats

Trying to shoot some examples of fast shutter speed for a digital photography assignment, I gathered the help of my roomie (http://sakinasai.com) and set about photographing the cats playing.

Pictured below are Rio (calico), Phantom (Russian Blue), and Aya (Black shorthair). Some aren’t the best photos, but I thought they came out well enough for a blog post.

Enjoy!

DSC_0315.jpg

DSC_0320.jpg

DSC_0323.jpg

DSC_0326.jpg

DSC_0328.jpg

DSC_0329.jpg

DSC_0331.jpg

DSC_0332.jpg

DSC_0333.jpg

DSC_0334.jpg

DSC_0337.jpg

DSC_0338.jpg

DSC_0339.jpg

DSC_0347.jpg

DSC_0349.jpg

DSC_0350.jpg

DSC_0383.jpg

DSC_0396.jpg

Long time no see

Since I made the doll blog, and that’s all I’ve really been posting lately, I’ve been ignoring this blog. However, my short attempt at using my livejournal again was cut short by my anger at their new friends feed layout that I can’t seem to undo, so I’ve come back here, and will likely continue to use this for my blogging purposes. I miss the security controls of livejournal, but it’s possible that WordPress has some that I just don’t know about? I’ll need to investigate further.

So, what’s been happening this year?

Dolls and more dolls. Of course, since that’s documented at my Doll blog, I don’t really need to update here. This year started out on a pretty good foot, despite being in a job that still has a lot of free time. My health hasn’t been so great, and I’ve put back on 20 or so lbs since 2011, but I’m maintaining at the moment, and somehow I’m getting by. My doctor retired at the end of June, so I had to start with a new one, and put her to use fairly quickly with migraine issues…

In life, my roommate was laid off at the end of May, and is still in search of a new job. We’re scraping by with my salary and her unemployment checks, but a number of things have been going wrong to make things harder on us. For now I’m holding my breath and hoping a new job comes through before the end of the year.

This put a damper on our wanting to go to Japan at the end of the year, though. At this point, I can’t say when we’ll be able to go again. Will I have to wait until I’m out of school? Hopefully not… I’m trying not to think about it too much, anyway.

I could go on about a number of silly little things that have gone on this year, but they’re likely boring. I’ll leave this here for now, and make another post full of cat photos I took while trying to shoot my first assignment for Digital Photography (including a few of our new kitten, Aya :D).

Whoosh!

Thyroid?

The last time I saw my doctor in October, I explained to him that the depression had gotten better, but was still not perfect. I also told him that I was sleeping deeper on what he gave me, however it didn’t seem to be helping my energy levels during the day. This got him thinking, and he decided to go ahead and order blood tests – primarily to check my metabolic system, my thyroid, and my iron levels (I’ve been diagnosed with anemia in the past, so it’s possible it came back).

I’ve known from a young age that my mother suffers from hypothyroidism, but I never really thought about whether or not I had a chance of developing it. The fact that the doctor wanted to check my thyroid got me wondering, and so I started to investigate the myriad of symptoms that an under-active thyroid can cause.

Boy was I in for a surprise. Little things I’ve noticed over the last few years – My hair turning dry and brittle and easily falling out, my nails developing ridges and becoming brittle, the decline in energy, my skin drying out, depression, gaining weight… just to name a few – are included among common symptoms of hypothyroidism! I hadn’t thought all of this was related – I blamed my skin and hair issues on the water quality in my apartments – but looking at the whole picture, I think we may be on to something here.

My doc requested that I get my blood tests done about a week and a half before my next appointment, the 23rd of this month. I had my blood drawn on Saturday morning, and by this point, I just want to know my results already. I have a strong suspicion that they will indeed show I have hypothyroidism, but I want to know for sure.

If so, then maybe we can start to get me feeling more like a normal person, and not someone who never has energy and wants to sleep all the time….

Then and now

There used to be a time when I blogged regularly. I would update my old livejournal at least once a day, if not more than that. I practically lived there, and I made a bunch of great friends there.

Then Twitter and Facebook came along, sucking away many of the friends I had made. My friends feed went dormant. I even found my normal musings that I would post to my LJ were being thrown at Twitter, since it seemed like a better format for them. I’m not sure what many of my LJ friends are up to these days, aside from the few I followed over to the newer social media formats.

In a lot of ways, I miss the old LJ tight-knit community. It was easy to find others that liked the same things as you through communities, you were able to get a better sense of what your friends were doing day to day, and since it was separate from things like news sites, it was easier to pay attention to the people that mattered to you.

These days, on Twitter and Facebook, it’s just chance. Most people I know don’t go through every tweet or post that happened while they were sleeping or away, and so a lot gets missed. For example, last year I had been planning a trip from Japan from February on, and one of my friends didn’t even realize I was going until the day I left. Something that I felt was obvious – I had only written about it everywhere – had gotten missed completely.

In today’s world of social media, it can sometimes feel that we’re closer than ever. Despite that, I often find the opposite is true. People develop casual relationships, yes, but so rarely do people take the time to delve deeper and really get to know someone. Exchanges that used to take place via emails or instant messages are replaced with quick replies on Twitter or comments on Facebook. I feel like because we’re so inundated with information from so many places, the average person is too busy and too distracted to really pay the kind of attention to their friends that they once did. The world has become self-centered, with each person caring more about their likes and retweets than to one another.

I’m not saying things are bad – in a lot of ways I love how things are – but I do tend to miss that closeness, that feeling of having a tight knit circle of friends who were there for me and on whom I could depend.

The internet has gotten lonely for me, and perhaps that’s why I find myself engaging less and less. Fewer tweets, fewer blog updates, fewer messages.

I want that intimacy back.

What a difference two months can make

My life is on an upswing.

I had thought that the job opening I applied for within the company would go to another coworker, as she had already had an interview while I had yet to even receive a call back. I brought up to my boss that I had applied as well, and he mentioned it to the powers that be when he had an opening. Within the week I had my first phone interview, then after another week or so of waiting, got set up with a call with the man in charge of the position.

Phone interview on a Friday, and Monday I was called to say he would be in town the next day, along with a job offer.

Wait… what?

I hadn’t been expecting it to move so quickly, but as soon as I saw the number written on that piece of paper, I was in. A chance to do something new, get away from the dead end that was my position, and make more money.

It was a bit of a rocky transition, with my final day of the job I’d held for seven and a half years being rather anti-climatic (my boss wasn’t even there due to family medical issues), but I’m in the new position.

I celebrated by buying myself a Prius C and selling my Scion xA. I was able to use money from the Scion to pay the taxes and pay off some bills I had been way behind on, and I think that from now on, things will start to get better.

unnamed

I’m still unsure of this new position, as even the ones in charge don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing exactly… it’s the kind of job that will build as time goes on, but for now I’m in waiting mode, just trying to jump in where I’m able.

I had one business trip already for “training” (touring a printing plant, basically), and more are to come. I’m new to the world of business trips and business lunches… but it’s nice to be treated like more than just some flunky data entry employee.

Doing a little better in Calculus now, have my induction to Phi Theta Kappa next week. It’s a breath of fresh air to be getting recognition for my hard work.

I added one more AD to my mix, which I’m still adjusting to, so it’s too soon to tell if it’ll help, but based on the bouts of start-up depression I’ve been fighting, I’m realizing just how much my first AD is helping me. To think that I used to feel like that daily… no wonder it felt like things were falling down around me.

Here’s to a good end of 2014 and an even better 2015.

Summary of lately

1. My father shattered his shoulder about a week and a half before my moving date, rendering him unable to help
2. My father had shoulder replacement surgery the first day of the move, rendering my mom unable to help due to helping him out
3. Due to overtime at work/helping dad with things before his surgery/etc, we were no where near fully packed on moving day
4. Paid brother and a friend to move the furniture (thank god) but everything else was up to us. We are two weak-ish out of shape girls. Cue tears, exhaustion, and copious bruising
5. Still got out of the old place 2 hours late.
6. Started school immediately after move, so haven’t had time to fully unpack
7. OT at work has meant 1 day weekends, on which I am too tired to do much homework or unpack
8. Haven’t been sleeping enough lately due to life BS
9. Have been dealing with the worst breakout of my life
10. Have been having to seriously juggle finances, constantly flirting with overdrawing my account and praying that my phone doesn’t get shut off before I get my student loan refund to help pay the bill
11. I have a calculus test on Monday (which I’ve barely studied for), plus a chapter to read, quiz to take, and three page paper to write by Sunday for Politics
12. Despite being exhausted and having calculus tonight, my dad insists I come over to help him get 20 boxes of long, heavy porcelain tile from his truck to his house. Despite having a hand truck to help, it still took all my energy, since dad couldn’t help much due to his shoulder (why he didn’t ask my STRONG brother to help is beyond me)
13. He wants me to help mow the lawn tomorrow
14. I’m on the edge of losing it due to stress and worry
15. I’m out of vacation days at work so I can’t even take a damn day off

There you have it.

Summer Semester

The summer semester officially ended yesterday, but I was done with all of my class work on Friday once I took my music appreciation online final. I’m still waiting on the official grades to be entered in the system, but my online reporting for music appreciation shows I received an A, and for oral communication, I received As on every assignment except the first test (a high B). I think it’s pretty safe to say my 4.0 GPA is in tact.

I’m still surprised I was able to do this. Not just to get back to school, but test right into calculus and receive an A, as well as get As in all of my other classes. I’m proud of myself, and it’s motivating me to want to keep doing my best so that I can graduate near the top of my class.

Now, I only need to get a handle on other aspects of my life. There’s a new job opening in my company that I recently applied for, and if I were to get the job, I would get a nice pay increase. I’m not crossing my fingers, though, so at the moment I’m still pretty poor, and still asking for help. Best to assume things will just continue as they are.

Please help if you can. I won’t get listed in the public search until I reach $100 in donations (which may never happen) but I want to give it a shot.

http://www.gofundme.com/gallbladderhelp

Thanks again!

Getting help

Wow, I haven’t written here in longer than I thought. Sorry about that.

Early in the morning on May 19, I woke up at 4am and had a bit of a meltdown. Everything just hit me hard, and I ended up confessing how I’ve been feeling to my mom in a long email. It was kind of a slap in the face. I needed help, no matter what it cost me, or else things were probably going to end badly. That day I called and set up an appointment with my doctor (earliest was June 9th, so I took it). Just that step felt good.

Since then, my tuition reimbursement was approved by my company, so I was able to finally catch up on some bills. My roomie and I went apartment hunting and found a nice place, and she was able to get a small loan to pay off the rest of our bills and make all the deposits. We’re set to move in mid-August, which isn’t soon enough if you ask me. But the financial burden being lifted a bit helped me to justify spending money on seeing my doctor.

So last week was my appointment. After asking a bunch of questions, he started me on 60mg of Cymbalta (well, I’m on the generic, but w/e). It’s only been one week so I’m not positive if it’s working yet or not, but then again, I’m still working through the initial side effects. The first 48 hours were the worst – extremely dizzy, nauseous, bad headache, dilated pupils (which probably led to the headache), fatigue, trouble sleeping, bloating. Right now I’m just dealing with the occasional dizzy spell, occasional headaches, and semi-dilated pupils (though no where near as bad as that first morning). I’m yawning a bit more frequently, but that could be my cutting back on caffeine as well. My appetite has greatly diminished as well. Not craving bad stuff nearly as much, and what would normally fill me is too much now. That is a very good thing – I was eating way too much before. Oh, and my skin is starting to clear up (!)

So, we’ll see where this goes. It’s an expensive medication and it sucks that I need it, but if I can feel human again and have the passion for my hobbies that I once had, I think it’s worth it.