Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weight Grounding

I have so much to do! I move out of this dorm tomorrow. Completely out! I still need to find my RA and tell her about a few things, namely that I need to use the school storage. That girl is impossible to find when I actually need her. Tonight, my plans were mostly to study for an exam I have tomorrow afternoon. I'm not studying very efficiently, but I'm glad that I've done what I've done. I still have a really intense part to do to prepare for that final, but I'm trying not to stress about it too much. I don't need to add to the pile of stress.

I really don't like my roommate. Like, a lot. I'm considering giving her an exit interview, because she is truly awful. Well, I guess it's possible for her to be a lot worse. But as she is right now, she is no good, and I feel sorry for whoever has to live with her next semester. I still haven't told her I'm moving out. And I don't think she really knows it yet, either. She's supposed to have gotten a note in the mail, but I know that she is pretty bad at checking the mail.

I'm going to wake up early tomorrow and start packing. I'm confident I can get it all done tomorrow, if only because I've been planning it and visualizing how to move the fuck out of here for the past month. My roommate will probably try to sleep in late. I'm going to avoid unnecessarily loud noises, like a blow dryer or the microwave, but any loud shuffling noises or accidental crashes will not be stifled. And if at any point she complains about loud noises while she is sleeping, I flip her off. Fuck you, roomie, you have been noisy all semester while I try to sleep. But I'll at least take the high horse, and not have people over while she is sleeping.

I should stop complaining. I'm leaving tomorrow, it doesn't matter much anymore. But I just don't like her.

I can't wait to be at home. I really want to see the cat, and sleep in a quiet place on a soft bed. Being at home means all of these things are over and done with and there's nothing more I can do, so I can just sit back and relax. And then like a day after I get home, Griffin shows up. It's a recipe for fun and relaxation. It will be great. Even if things go wrong somehow, they will still be great and fun. Yay, life!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wholly

I am having a lot of problems getting this presentation translated. I'm trying to figure out how to make a sentence with the format "A is replaced by B." We haven't learned anything like that yet in class, and I can't find anything in the book. So I googled it. The only examples I can find of the verb and how to use it say things like "Ah, well I've bandaged it for the meantime but if that's awkward then it's fine to replace it with a plaster when you get home." I don't even get how that's a good example of that dratted verb.

Also, I've been munching on gummy bears all day, and now my tea tastes bitter and under sweetened.

I just want everything to be done so that I can slack off and do something really fun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All For None

Next week is finals week, this week is final projects week. I am so busy! I just got to a good stopping point in my final project for Japanese, so I thought I'd make an entry. It's been kind of a long time, and updates have been sparse. I guess I've been easily distracted lately.

So I'm moving! It's just more added onto my plate. I'm moving into my own room on the other side of campus. Back into the same building I was in last year. It isn't such a lovely building, but the people are much nicer and it is much closer to my friends. Also, the whole having my own room thing will be really nice. I also applied for a job in that building. My interview is this Thursday, I hope it goes well! It'll be nice to have a regularly paying job with a paycheck and all of that fun stuff. And then I can use it to pay off this new, and more expensive room.

There is so much to do this week! I didn't realize that the presentation I have in Japanese has to actually be in Japanese. I've been working on it slowly because I don't really sweat presentations, but now it's going to be a hurried mess. That'll teach me to read instructions poorly. The same day my presentation is due, I have an exam in Sociology. I always end up cramming for that class, so tomorrow is going to be so busy. I then have that interview the same day. Then a final project due in Stats that I haven't really started yet. But I'm not worried about the stats project at all; Once I figure out what he means with his weird terminology, I can do all of the math very easily. I can definitely get that done Thursday night.

I slipped and fell on the ice Sunday night. I'm pretty upset about it, I was hoping I could go the entire semester without falling. So close! I hurt myself kinda bad. I landed on my tailbone, and apparently my right hip. I could hardly sit down for most of Monday, and doing things like stepping up was out of the question. I had to skip most of my classes because I just couldn't get out of the building. At least I got some good work done. I'm feeling much better today. It hurts when I have to stand on my right leg to climb stairs or step over a pile of snow, but I can actually get around. My right leg is also kind of lame, and I can't raise it very high. But I'm sure I'll be back to normal in a day or two, no worries.

Okay, back to Japanese.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whargharble

It is late, and I am the sleepiest, but I cannot go to sleep yet. I was about to go to bed, I was brushing my teeth and everything, when a random girl that I have not met before keyed into my room. And then some other girls carried my roommate in, who was passed out drunk, and placed her on my bed. After a bit of a shuffle as things got moved around and water was placed and trash cans were prepared, they left me to watch her. She passed out in the hallway, or something like that.

So now, here I sit, incredibly sleepy, tasked with the job of watching my roommate sleep. I can't go to sleep until I am certain that she will be fine through the night. I'm not sure how to keep myself awake for the next couple of hours. I'm too tired to do anything productive, so homework is out, as is working on my NaNoWriMo. I don't think I'll be able to focus long enough to draw something, and I don't want to watch a movie because I'm trying to listen to her breathing and make sure it is still happening. I might play some Minecraft, but I get the feeling I am just going to do something stupid in that game, too.

Or maybe I'll just stare at the computer screen blankly for a couple hours. Yeah, that seems good, too.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bastion

My 20th birthday is next week. I normally get all excited about my birthday, but this year I'm having a hard time rallying up some energy. Maybe it'll come to me when the actual day is nearer. My birthday falls on daylight savings this year. I think that means it will be an extra hour longer! I like the idea of having a 25-hour birthday. Even though I have no plans to celebrate it at all yet.

I have no idea what I want for my birthday. I never do. I've been slowly putting together an Amazon Wishlist to prepare for such an occasion, but it seems like all I want are books and sewing machines. I am the most boring person on the planet. My parents already bought me my birthday present, this new computer, and for some reason I doubt that I will be getting many from other family or friends. Ah~ It sucks to grow up.


I really want to make another mask. I am already sort of planning out my next mask. I want to create the kitsune-type mask seen in the Noppera-Bo arc of Mononoke. (That one in the picture up there.) It may be way out of my league, though. Everything about that mask is a challenge, from the shape, to the multiple sections, to the eyes, even the little hairs sticking out. I don't even have a clue how to get the teeth in there, but one of the paper mache sculptors I watch on youtube uses a lot of teeth like that in his work, so I might just buy his book and apply his technique. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if I just follow what's in his book, I'll have all of these difficult parts handled pretty well. Hmm...

I don't know when I am going to make this mask. I would like to make it over winter break when I am at home, but if I run out of time it might become a problem for my parents. But at the same time I think it would be really cool to work with Griffin on the mask. My next option is to make it next semester, but only if I move into a double-as-a-single room in the dorms. I'll have a spare desk I can make it on, and even the option to loft my bed and turn the area underneath into a work area. But then it's also a tiny room with virtually no ventilation (unless I want to freeze to death) so I can't use anything smelly, I won't have a dremel tool so I'll super need to plan ahead, and I have school all semester so I might not have much time to actually work on it. My final option is to wait and make it over summer break. It's the best option because I will have plenty of free time at home, even if I get a job and go through all that dental work. But it's my least favorite option because summer break is so far away.

But no matter what, I am excited at the idea of making another mask.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Puttin

I'm thinking about moving out of this dorm room. I've been thinking about it all semester, but these last 24 hours have put the idea in the front of my head.

It started around 2am, when my roommate thought she'd eat the noisiest bag of chips in the world for about an hour. She does that every weekend morning, and it always wakes me up, but I never said anything because hey, the weekend is the weekend, and she does it at like 8am anyways. But two in the freaking morning? On a school night? Not even a little bit okay.

Then there's the fact that the room has stunk all week. Today, I decided to go looking for the stench. Underneath my roommate's old pizza boxes that had moldy pizza in them, I found the thing that had been stinking up the room: A takeout container of old (and moldy) lasagna, heavy on the garlic. There's also a Tupperware container of moldy nachos rotting by the sink. She obviously doesn't know how to deal with food, or understand that it goes bad after a week and it turns into poison and starts to smell and should have gone in the fridge in the first place and stuff like that.

There are also two things I asked her not to do; I explicitly stated them when we put together the roommate contract. The first was to never touch my pens or pencils without asking. That's just because I'm crazy and those things are my breaking point. The second was to never have friends over while I am sleeping, and especially not to bring them around in the mornings when I am still in bed. I had a roommate that did that last year, and it turns out that it is an awful thing to do and I hate it. And I don't know why, but my current roommate keeps doing it. Sometimes I bring it up, and she says it'll never happen again, and other times I don't and I just seethe away into my pillow. This didn't happen today, but it still pisses me off.

I'm in the state of mind right now where if she is noisy and wakes me up again, or brings someone into the room again while I'm asleep, I'll just flip out and jump out of bed and tackle her. She can definitely take me down, but I've got crazy on my side.

Come to think of it, I don't have a problem with this room exactly, I just have a problem with the person living in it... And also I have a problem with its location. I would like it to not be on the other side of campus from the three friends I hang out with the most and the one parking lot that always has parking.

Either way, I got a letter in the mail today from housing asking me to verify that I am going to be in this same room this spring. So now is my chance to meet up with the lady behind the desk and arrange a new living situation. I already know of an open double-as-single room in South Hedges, and I have heard from a good source that there are going to be more open soon. And it just so happens that South Hedges is on the side of campus I want to live. I'll have to pay a lot more for housing, but I will be so much happier. I think this is going to work out well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cactus

To dearest Greg, who commented on my last entry,

I feel for you man, I really do. Also, who are you and how did you find my blog? You're blowing my mind over here.

Sincerely, Me!

My pathetic Halloween costume could be doing better at this point in time. It's never been much, but just now I've decided to ditch the outer sweater in the name of fashion, and I'm not entirely sure how to get the sword to attach to my back. It's also gone from being a knife in my back to being a sword in my back. I'm also running out of time to put the entire thing together, since Anime Club decided to bump out Halloween event from Sunday to Friday. I object to that because of the costume thing, and because it nows means I have no plans for Halloween, and no backup plans at all. How very sad.

So there is this drawing I've been working on. It involves a guy with his head completely tilted back. It's a difficult angle to draw, and it's impossible to find any references of a head at such an extreme angle. It's also been really hard trying to take a picture of myself with my head so far tilted back with only the camera on my phone. It's not like I can see what I'm doing. But I will persevere, because I really like how this image is turning out and I am having fun with all of the fiddly detailing that takes hours and hours to do. I'll consider showing you if I can ever find a way to get it onto my computer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anosmia

I tell people a lot that I don't have a sense of smell, but that is a lie. I do have a sense of smell, it is just really messed up. I know what things are supposed to smell like. Nine times out of ten, they smell completely wrong. I mean, my sense of smell used to be just fine, I haven't forgotten what things smell like. So it's not like I'm just confused about what things should smell like...

Here, let me give you an example.

I was melting some chocolate in a microwave with a friend. She went "Mmm, melted chocolate always smells so good," and then I held my nose because I thought it smelled horribly like burning rotten meat. Once the chocolate had cooled down, I took a sniff and it smelled like chocolate again.

There are some things that I can no longer smell: Cheddar cheese, certain flowers, and really random food items. Their scent is just completely gone to me. There are some things that I can smell correctly all of the time: Citrus, engine exhaust, poop, garlic. Everything else it seems like complete chance what will happen when I smell it. Usually it comes out really weird, "Your soap smells like duct tape," other times it smells completely normal, and sometimes I just can't smell it at all.

I don't know what caused my sense of smell to be like this. I don't know when it happened, but I do know it used to be just fine. I don't know what triggers it, and I don't know why some days it seems to be back to normal. I can taste everything just perfectly no matter what my sense of smell is doing. It is only a hindrance on days when everything smells extremely awful. And because of those days, I travel with a perfume stick and some spray that I can always smell that seems to covers up other bad smells just fine.

Anyways, I bring this up because I plugged in a cucumber melon scented thing, and it smells like peanuts and Chinese food to me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Live Yesterday

I'm considering taking up a religion. We've been discussing Buddhism a lot in my Japanese Literature class. One basic idea of Buddhism, it seems, is that life is suffering, and suffering is caused by desire. Therefore, one should try to live life without desire. I like the way that works out--It encourages you to live simply and within your means. It causes you to take on a different view of life. It does not tell you what is right or wrong about another person, it just tells you how you should govern yourself. That is what I want in a religion, a way of thinking that will make me see the world in a different light, and will cause me to strive for something greater. In Buddhism's case, the something greater is enlightenment.

Unfortunately, I completely disagree with the idea that suffering is caused by desire. Desiring things is fun and healthy, there is no way I'm going to cut it out of my life. So Buddhism is not for me.

... But I might limit what I desire. Material things are pretty worthless in the end, so maybe I'll just desire more fulfilling things. Like earning my degree.

I was considering just sticking to Christianity, since that is what I was raised with and a lot of its values are just common sense to me. Plus, I already own a copy of the Bible. But there is so much stigma with that religion, and there are too many disagreements about how it should be practiced. I do not want to be associated with the people that have taken the religion too far. I just want to follow the ideas like "Turn the other cheek," and "Love thy neighbor." I feel like the actual stories and words are irrelevant, and the morals and ideas behind them are what I should listen to. But I don't know of any flavor of Christianity that thinks like I do.

I don't know enough about other religions to form any sort of idea about them. I'm thinking I'll just go out and buy some Dummies' Guides to a few popular religions, and see what they teach. I want to research old and possibly dead religions, and see what sorts of values they had as well. I'm probably not going to do any of this, though. I'm pretty lazy about these things.

My biggest problem with finding a religion that suits me will probably be that I pretty much reject the idea of a God. (I hope I don't accidentally offend people in this paragraph.) I have never been much into idol worship. Yeah, Jesus was a great guy and he did good things, and I'll do what I can to be like him, but I am not going to devote my life to worshiping and loving him. Or his dad. I find the whole idea of his dad to be absolutely baffling, but that is something for a later day. I just can't get into a religion where the whole point is to worship some being that may or may not exist. It's cool to admire strong figures in a religion, but worshiping them shouldn't be necessary.

In that same vein, stories of a supernatural being strike me as more of a bedtime story. The story where Jesus turns one fish and one loaf of bread into many fish and many loaves of bread is a good example of this. It's impossible, and I don't think it happened, and there is no reason why I should go about life as if it actually happened in the past. But it is a great story, that shows how Jesus was a good person that cared for others and did whatever was in his power to help. The story should be used to teach people what they should be like, as another example of how Jesus is a model Christian and you should try to be like him. The morals behind it all are just great, but asking me to firmly believe in it is akin to telling me Superman is real and he's saving people as we speak.

I think I will just stick with being agnostic for the next few years. It seems like the least offensive thing I can be. The popular religions have huge wars and crazies making the news, a lot of people find atheists to be morally offensive (But I do not understand why), and smaller religions tend to have to explain themselves to every person that is unfamiliar with them. So I am agnostic, with a chance of starting my own religion. (I'd really love to start a religion.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cafickle

My life has been reduced to sitting around and doing homework. When I'm not doing homework, I'm thinking about homework. Usually thoughts about which homeworks I don't absolutely need to do, and how I can get out of the ones that are required. That game I was programming last month? Dropped it. My knitting hobbies? Ignored for months. Video games? I allow myself to play for maybe 30 minutes at a time a few nights a week before I go to bed. If I want to play more, I risk getting less sleep than I need to feel alive. My life is so two dimensional right now that it horrifies me. I also haven't been eating so well lately, because my schedule has become so erratic. Even though I'm eating dramatically less than normal, I think I might have put on some weight. I can't really tell, though, I'm so skinny that any weight I put on just makes me appear more normal. My skin has been breaking out horribly, though, probably from poor nutrition.

Anyways, despite this sudden turn of stressful events, I believe that I am still a very interesting person. I'm getting all jazzed up about my Halloween costume, for example. It's really nothing special, but putting it together will be a lot of fun for me.

The idea for the costume is just me, but with a knife sticking out of my back. I want there to be blood stained all around the wound, and well as blood dripping form my darkened eyes and mouth. There are going to be three parts to this costume: The clothes, the makeup, and the knife.

The clothes:
Halloween here is notoriously cold. I can't simply attach a knife to my shirt and be done with it, I need a jacket if I want to survive outside. Even a kinda thick sweater will work. As it just so happens, I don't have a single jacket or sweater that I am willing to ruin, so a trip to GoodWill is required. I'm going to cut a slot in the jacket for the knife to fit through, and possibly a slot in the shirt too, depending on how I decide to attach the knife. The idea is that I will be able to remove my jacket (albeit with some difficulty) and still have the knife in my back. Both the jacket and the shirt will have blood stains around the knife. I want this to be gruesome.

The makeup:
I want to have super pale skin, so I'm gonna need to find some really ridiculously pale makeup to dust onto my face and hands. White face paint will be too stark and too messy and too difficult to apply evenly, so hopefully I'll find something. Maybe a pale creamy base makeup with talcum powder patted into it. I don't know, that sort of thing is not what I do well. But I also want to darken my eyes and make them look all sunken in. I'm going to mix up a tiny batch of fake blood and have some dripping from the corner of my mouth and one of my eyes. Because, c'mon, I was stabbed, I am bleeding internally.

The knife!:
I am excited about the knife because I want to make it out of my favorite clay. You know, for durability. I'm going to start out with a thin cardboard base, wrap up the handle part with some masking tape, and just go at it. I haven't decided on what type of knife or how big I want it to be yet. I might go for your average kitchen knife, or I might try a dagger with a pretty handle. I'm thinking I'm going to either paint it with metallic paint or use a glossy top coat, or both, to get it to look kinda like metal.
I also haven't decided on how I'm going to get the knife to attach to me. I'm thinking about wrapping bandages around my chest, and something from that knife is going to be held in place by those bandages. If I do that, then I will absolutely need to cut holes in the shirt and jacket. I'm also looking at really strong magnets embedded in the knife (unlikely, but it would be awesome if it worked), or wires from the knife that can poke through my shirt and then be secured to me by the bandages. The best solution would be the magnets, but the likelihood of finding magnets strong enough and in time is very low.
All I know is, the knife needs to be connected to me, not the shirt. Otherwise it'll sag and flop about.

Putting this costume together at home would be simple and easy, but trying to put it together here in the dorms is going to be where the fun and challenge comes in at. I don't have any of the supplies I need at all. I don't even have a workspace. Just trying to make the clay will be exciting. How many of the materials can I check out at the front desk, and how many materials can I borrow from friends? Will I have to buy all of it? I hope the front desk has drywall compound back there that I can borrow. Otherwise I don't know what I'm going to do with the leftovers. Probably donate it to them. Will they also have a clear finishing spray that I can use? Or... flour?

I can't sculpt the knife here in the dorms. It will take a long time for it to dry, and there isn't enough room in my room for it. I could use one of the little kitchens in the lounge, but I won't be able to sit there for a few days straight to make sure nobody messes with it while it dries. I think I will have to make it in my friend's apartment on her counter. I super hope she lets me.

Then there will also be spraying the outer coating on it. I might skip that part to save space, time, and money. But if I put expensive and strong magnet in it, then I want it to last, so I will have to spray it, and find a place to spray it. There are a lot of fields to use, but which one am I less likely to get yelled at for spraying stuff at?

Anyways, this entry is turning out really long because finishing it means going back to homework. Which, I guess, I'm gonna have to go back to now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Waikiki

The next person that refuses to go to a dance with me because they think they can't dance will be forced to watch me dance for a solid ten minutes. If they still think they can't dance after that, then they must either be blind or have terrible judgement.

(I'm saying I can't dance, but I still enjoy doing it.)

I have been so busy lately. Dad says it's because I'm starting Real College, no more of this Freshman introductory stuff. The only reason I've had so much work lately is because I've been trying to get ahead in all of my classes. I want my grades to go up, so that my GPA can get better. I have no reason for wanting a higher GPA, so I'm ultimately driven by nothing. Also, I'm noticing that all of my classes above the 100-levels are much more interesting, and I'm doing way better in those classes than my only 100-level course. I kind of hate my 100-level class. Sociology 150, you remind me of all of my Freshman classes, therefore I think you are boring as all get out.

I've decided that I want to write a text adventure! Do you like how I revealed that as if it were an exciting fact? I had Griffin come up with the premise for a short game, and now I am trying to make it happen. It's slow going, because I can only work on it when I'm not doing homework, playing video games, hanging out with friends, keeping up with my club duties, or goofing off on the internet. I also don't really know how to work the programming language, so I'm figuring it all out as I go. I've been referring to the in-program documentation a ton, and I recently downloaded a sort of handbook that has been super helpful. I'm hoping to have it done in about a month, and the game should take about 5-10 minutes to play if you don't get distracted doing things like hiding in the closet or checking your phone for the time every few moves.

I want the game to be very modern. It's set in Now, inside of a house built Recently. It's all contained in a house, with maybe a front yard or a backyard if I can find a use for them. The house has the world's wonkiest floor plan because I have no idea how to design a house. I think Griffin will appreciate that, though, because the premise of the game is inspired by Slenderman and House of Leaves. A house with an unusual floor plan makes sense in the context of those things. The player carries around a phone that he can use to check the time (current time is important in the game), and I'm hoping I can figure out how to make it possible for him to receive texts. I want there to be random electronics in the house he can interact with, like a digital camera, a TV, a laptop, all with optional things that will help to further the story. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on the time, windows, lighting, and the stupid floor plan. I hope it all works out well.

I gotta stop writing this entry and continue with my homework. But I really don't want to.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Account Approval

Have you ever asked somebody if they have ever done a thing that is so weird and so oddly specific that you must have done it yourself, and then when they say they have not done it you respond with "Yeah, me neither," even though it is a complete lie?

Yeah, me neither.

I am back at school! Living on campus again. My friend was supposed to move over from Washington with me and be my roommate, but she backed out at the very last second. So I'm living with Mystery Roommate X. She seems pretty chill. She's spent a lot of time this weekend out of the room hanging with her friends, which is fine. She says she will probably be spending a lot more time in the room once school starts up. I'm hoping we'll get to be good enough buddies that we can go and grab dinner together and and watch movies and talk in general. She's not into geeky things like I am, and she is certainly more active than me. But so long as she doesn't mind my homebody habits, I think we'll be fine.

I also got a new computer! I am back to using a PC, and I am pretty jazzed about it. I still have my Mac with me so that I can get everything moved over. Dad wants me to bring it home and give it to him, but I don't know if I am ready to give it up yet. I was really excited about using Scrivener again this November for NaNoWriMo, and it's only available for Mac. But we will see what happens.

What I'm really excited about it that I've got my full version of Photoshop CS2 on here now. This means I won't have to fight with the program anymore to do simple things, like resize. I also have MSPaint again for really simple picture edits, like resizing. As you can see, I'm really excited about resizing my pictures. I can also finally go back to using all of the programs I learned to rely on all of those years ago. I put Noteworthy Composer on here almost immediately. Before iTunes, even! Every time I've complained about how a Mac can't run all of the programs a Windows machine can, that is the program I was thinking of. I'm so very, very happy to have it again.

Class starts tomorrow. Mondays and Fridays are my busiest days, with four of my five classes happening. I think I will be fine, so long as Philosophy doesn't prove to be too boring. It's my last class of the day, and it's a lecture. That is a recipe for disaster. But it's in a very small room (The same room anime club was held in), so I will probably be forced to pay attention and participate.

Okay!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Editing Papers

I decided I don't want to talk about my drawings today, so I guess I lied in my last post. Oh well!

Instead I want to talk about college. I move back to MSU next week and I'm pretty excited. I keep having dreams where I move in and things are all wrong, but I try to fix them anyhow. Last night's was a lot of fun in particular, because after deciding I wasn't going to fix the room, I went wandering around the dorm halls. I kept finding people I know and interesting things that I remembered, and I'd bust out laughing every five second or high-fiving some person. All the while Amber followed behind me completely bewildered. I was totally in my element, and she was being left behind.

I'm excited just to move into my dorm and get everything set up. I've sort of got it figured out in my head, but I don't know if it will really work. I want the desks facing the window, the beds on the wall with the door, and the TV against the big open wall. I don't know if there's enough room for the desks, though. Amber will figure something out, she moves in first. And then I'll show up, put my stuff everywhere, and go to class like a day later. It will be great.

While I was spazzing out and trying to find some solid evidence of the underground tunnels at MSU, I looked up some stuff about University of Hawaii. The plan is to go there the fall of 2011. It sounds like the suckiest things about UH are the costs of living and the price of their meal plans. Hawaii is expensive to live in general, so apartments near campus aren't such a great deal. I'm having a hard time figuring out their dorms. It looks like in Frear you can get a pretty good rate and even have completely your own room if you do the four-room, four-people thing. But all the other dorms are one room with either one or two people in them, like at MSU. But even the cheapest rates at UH are more expensive that the most expensive rates at MSU. And Montana has much better options for off-campus housing, too, with large neighborhoods of tiny houses right next to the school.

The sad part is that I'm comparing the cheapest rooms at UH minus meal plans to the most expensive rooms at MSU with meal plans.

It feels like I'm only just getting started in Montana, and I'm already planning on leaving to go to Hawaii. Over this summer I've realized that I really like MSU, and I'm excited to go back again. But it will be cool to be able to fully experience a different university. I'm a little worried about getting into UH, if only because I don't think I'll have enough credits transferred over for them to look at my college performance when considering me. They'll have to look at my high school performance, which really isn't so great. But there's nothing I can do about it now, and I have a pretty good feeling about this. My GPA may be a bit low, but my last few years of school my grades were pretty good, and my test scores were high. This past summer I've caught up with a few friends from high school and found out who went to college and who did not. The kids that did go are the ones that seemed like they had any chance at all to make it into a school. The kids that didn't get into a school were the ones that made you question what the purpose of education was if it was only going to fail so miserably. So I think I have a good chance, because I know how to write a five-part essay and when to use its and it's.

I can also spell definitely.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chandelier

I will forever be interested in the way an artist prioritizes their techniques.

... Wait, that sentence made no sense. Let me explain.

When I was little and still mastering the art of holding things, the only thing I cared about when drawing was making things look like things. If I drew a cat, it needed to be easily recognized as a cat. If anybody thought I drew a koala or maybe a mouse, then I had failed.

After I had learned how to read and write, drawing things consistently mattered. Especially since I was into drawing comic strips. It has to be obvious that the person in all three panels was the same person, and they they weren't randomly shrinking or growing.

In ninth grade, when I thought I knew everything there was to know about art and drawing, I got really persnickety about my process. It went like this:
- 0.7 Papermate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil with 0.7 Ain H pencil lead and Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser (With the plastic still on below the red line)
- 100lb paper desirable, but anything will do that isn't lined
- Sketch basic shapes for the body very lightly
- Add wire framing, also lightly
- Check proportions and make sure everything is perfect
- Body outline, slightly darker but still very light
- Guidelines on head for the face and hair
- Face and hair detail
- Draw hand skeletons about 5 times until it looks like a hand
- Draw hand blob because my style is to cut that corner
- Clothing with "perfect" folds
- Other details, like clothing accessories and shoelaces
- Pilot Precise Grip Extra Fine in black for fine lines and Uni-Ball Vision Elite Bold in black (Something like 0.8 thickness) for thicker lines
- Ink thin lines first using fast, fluid, and accurate movements (Use arm and shoulder, not wrist and fingers)
- Ink thick lines next to add variability (Wrist and fingers, since these were usually small lines)
- Wait for ink to dry, and then erase all evidence of pencil
At that point I would either add shading in a persnickety way, or scan it into the computer which starts off a whole new list of things that needed to be done. I never strayed from my process, and having perfect details and lines was only possible to me if I did the process right.

Now days I'm obsessed with making big areas of black look completely solid, and not like I tried to fill it in with my tiny pen. Everything else is optional.

You see, the thing was, back in 9th grade I thought that what I strove for was what every artist strove for. I thought everyone was insane and touchy about what materials they used, and that perfectly proportioned people were key, and that you had to do everything a certain way Or Else. I thought I could achieve any sort of art style perfectly so long as I followed a similar process. I guess I've grown out of thinking that way, because now I don't even want to draw people. In fact, I'd be happy if I never had to draw another person again.

Enough about me. What I was getting at is that different artists strive for different things in their art, and I find it fascinating. I was just reading the blog of an artist that goes to great lengths to make his drawings look like they were dashed together in a minute. He spends hours sketching and planning and practicing how to draw his lines slowly but still make them look haphazard. It goes against everything I believed in back in the 9th grade, and it's really really neat. And then I was just reading about how another artist thinks it is incredibly important to use as many different materials as possible in his artwork, and there was this other artist who thought the most important thing was to have a generic style that could get her a job working in the manga industry.

I like knowing what is important to an artist in their works, especially since most don't see it as something that they want to do, they see it as what they are supposed to do. It makes me wonder what caused them to think that there is a wrong way and a right way to make a pretty picture.

I've drawn four new pictures in my sketchbook. They are different from how I used to draw, and I like that. I think my next entry I will upload a bunch of art I have made, and maybe talk about why I stopped drawing for a few years. Mostly I just want to show off these new pictures because I had fun making them.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lid It Up

Every time I glance passively in the mirror, I give myself the most flirtatious look completely by accident. I don't know what it is, but everything about my expression will be so perfectly balanced and brimming with such joy and confidence that I... Well, I think I may have fallen in love with my reflection.

I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I can sing, but only when nobody else is there. I mean, I think I can sing really well, but as soon as there is somebody within earshot my breathing messes up and all of the lovely stops coming out. Which is a shame, because I think I could come out with an album and make money. I'd just never be able to do live shows... Or record with anyone listening.

My register must be low for a girl, or something, because I find myself singing low notes the best. But I can still sing high, don't get me wrong. I'm a lady, it's what I do. I can't sing very many pop or rock songs, though. I'd be pretty useless in a band unless it was a jazzy sort of band. Because that's what I can sing the best, jazzy sorts of music. Jazzy and lounge stuff and things that are usually better suited to a man. But I sound great singin' it anyways.

Man, it's hard to believe I have about a month of summer break left. Hard to believe because it feels like school got out forever ago! Holy cow, this is a long break! I'm used to two and a half piddly months of summer break that start the week it rains the most. I still haven't finished cleaning my room, though. I pretty much took July off. But I am starting to get the urge to get rid of everything I own again. What I want to do is get rid of all of the things underneath and next to my bed, and then I can push my bed against the wall. And finally, I will have something to rest my back against when I watch TV! It will be great. It's also more or less the last big place I have to clean before I deal with the small piles.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Product Facts

Last night, around midnight, I had this sudden urge to draw in pen until my hand fell off. But I didn't want to draw in my tiny sketchbook, or on a loose piece of paper like I have been for the past few years. So I broke out the last sketchpad I ever used, wrote in the date and went at it. The night ended when I drew on my leg and I guess my skin oils blocked up my pens.

I then had a dream that I drew a picture, and someone else sent it off to an Automatic Inker, which turned out to be a computer that guesses where your lines are and tries to ink your drawings for you. It was horribly inaccurate and ruined my lovely picture. I woke up angry.

Today I went out and bought a couple new sketchpads. I'm horribly picky about these things. I want heavy paper, spiral binding on the top, perforated pages, and a lot of pages. It also has to be around 9x11 inches, but I'm a bit loose with the numbers there. I got mostly what I wanted, except medium heavy pages and there are only 24 of them. The best sketchpad I ever had I bought at a Kinokuniya's. It had pages as thick as bristol board, and there were at least 50 of them. So lovely!

I'm stressing paper thickness because I want to use a lot of pens and ink, and I don't want them leaking through. I decided that I'm too fiddly with pencils, and I need to just belch it out with pens. Then I can't take back anything I draw. This made everything I drew last night look completely horrible. But the sharp contrast between paper and ink is too delicious for me to stop trying.

I want to draw full page comics again, but that's not going to happen until I can get my art style under control. You need to be able to plan if you're going to draw a comic, and as it is right now, I don't know what I'm drawing until an hour after I've finished it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stars On Your Toes

I have rodents on the brain.

My parents have two girl cats that love to hunt. When I lock them in at night (which is prime time hunting) so that they don't become coyote food, they verbally abuse me. Being yelled at for a solid hour by the tiniest and angriest cat you've ever seen is a lot less adorable than you'd think it would be.

They're also very good hunters. On average, I'd say they catch 1.5 critters a day. Some days we get no animals at all, other days there will be three or four little rodents awaiting our approval. They always bring their catch inside, but I haven't figured out why yet. At first we thought they were bringing us presents, but they've stopped announcing it every time they bring something in. Then we thought they might be bringing them into an enclosed space so that they don't escape, but there are so many places for the little animals to hide. All a mouse has to do to be free is hide behind the piano for an our or two, and the cat will forget they even brought it inside.

Live mice and shrews are fun but tedious, because they need to be caught and released before they poop anywhere. Live birds are exciting and terrifying because they fly all over the place, but they don't last long because they fly into windows. Live moles are pure horror, unless they're just babies. Dead everythings are probably my favorite, because I can just pick them up and throw them out, and sometimes the cat will even take them out themselves because they want to play with it still. Dead birds are a pain because they leave feathers all over the place, and the cats will fight over them like dogs playing tug of war. Half-dead everythings are sad, because they are too alive to throw out and too dead to release outside. Either I or the cat has to kill it all the way.

The worst so far, though, are live field mice and rats. They're too big and scary for me to catch in a little box. And rats are really smart, so they escape very easily (and they can also jump at you!).

One of the cats brought a rat in yesterday. I thought at first it was just another field mouse, which meant it would be a pain and poop and eat, but it would be too afraid to confront us. But then I saw it in all of its glory today, eating the cat food. Definitely a rat. And it lives under the fridge, which currently reeks because of what is probably a dead field mouse. It's not afraid of me, and it pokes its head out a lot to watch me, and isn't afraid to come out even if I'm only 15 feet away.

I put Stormy by the fridge and then started waving a yard stick underneath to try to flush it out and have the cat catch it, but the smell was so horrible that I could only crouch there for a minute or two. It doesn't smell like dead things or even animal droppings, but it is still very putrid.

I refuse to go downstairs unless I put on my heavy winter boots. I don't want it biting me or running up my pant leg.

I hate rats.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bliff

Here are some finished pictures of that mask I toiled over for so long.


I actually didn't notice how much the details on the mask were crooked until I look at this picture. But it's waaay too late to fix anything.

I ended up gluing the strap down with white glue to the inside of the mask, and then taping it down to the extreme. I also drilled holes into the sides to pull the straps through. They only just fit through the holes. In fact, before I glued everything down, I was pulling on the straps to see how much force it would take to get them to loosen, and the mask flexed before the strings slipped even a little bit.


I used a glossy waterproof coat, on request of Griffin. He says the mask is shiny in the art, so it should be shiny in real life. I kind of like the glossy coat, it makes it look a bit more professional.

If I were to do this again, I would cut the edges and the eyes out while it was still wet, but dry enough to not be tacky anymore. Then I'd be able to get nice and smooth edges with minimal trouble.



I glued the felt in with watered down white glue. At that point I didn't even care if it stuck in well. So long as nobody pulled on it, it stayed in well enough.

You can also see that I didn't put very much effort into making the thickness consistent. Around the ears it must have been over an inch thick, but some places around the snout were so thin you could see the light shine through them. It was still absurdly strong.

I like how the eyes turned out. They're far from perfect, but I expected them to be absolutely terrible and ruin everything. They were a success, and perfectly functional. You can kinda see the black cloth I used behind the eyes in this picture. Even close up, it blended in very well. I have a lot of that stuff left, maybe I'll make about a hundred more masks like this to try to use it up.


Here we are, two attractive people dressed up as two attractive yet conservative people. The mask photographed well, I don't know what I was so worried about. He was able to tie the mask on without problem, but it would take forever and then he would put his hand on it anyways for photos, so he started to just hold it on.

I also want to point out that the vest and skirt I am wearing are the first two things I have ever sewn by myself. Everyone says they turned out well. Hooray!

It took on some damage after traveling to the other side of the country and being carried around a crowded convention, but it still looks lovely. There is a small paint chip on the very tip of one of the ears, and a mysterious dark fingerprint on the other ear. Griffin and I were using a lot of dark fabric paint on his costume, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was that paint that stained the mask. It's hardly noticeable, though.

I don't know if I've even mentioned this yet! The recipe I used for the clay for the mask is based off the one on Ultimate Paper Mache, for Paper Mache Clay. I say "based off" because I am really bad at following recipes, and I ended up with something similar but very very different.

I'm playing Assassin's Creed 2. In case you didn't know that already. I'm doing a mission right now where I have to deliver a letter. I pressed select to look at the map, but instead got to read the letter. It's telling the receiver that he is in trouble and should turn himself in. At one part in the letter, it says "If you are not aware of the charges against you, read Leviticus 18:23." So I thought I would break out my trusty Bible and find out what this guy did wrong! (Other than attack people with his sword.) Leviticus 18:23 says:
Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

Oh, AC2!

And on that bombshell, I leave you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Right Now

Man, I have been so busy doing nothing all day that I have completely forgotten to update Ubiquity! But that is mostly because I update Ubiquity at night, and my nights have been so busy. It's like I sit around all day, waiting for nothing, and then all of a sudden it gets dark outside and I go "Yeah! Let's get to work!" and then start doing things.

I finished that mask. Forever ago. I'll post final pictures of it next time, I promise, along with a picture of Griffin wearing it in costume.

I have decided that I will start up an Etsy shop. I am always making things, but there have been a lot of projects I put off because I don't know what I'd do with them once I finish them. But now, I think I will sell them! I will sell them for real money to (hopefully) real people. So I have been spending a lot of time making things to sell in the shop. I have nothing listed yet. I want three to five items finished before I list anything, so that my shop doesn't look super sad. Right now, I have one item 100% completed, one in the works, and about fifty other ideas of things to make that people might like to buy.

The item I'm making right now are, essentially, fingerless gloves. I am putting a lot of stress into the way these gloves feel. They have to be super soft. I could crochet them in a day or two, but crocheted fabric is bumpy and kinda rough. So I thought I would try my hand at knitting again. It would take one or two weeks just for me to knit two gloves, but they would be smooth and soft and wonderful. I even bought a special yarn that is particularly soft, and also thinner than my usual yarn, just for this project. Knitting was going very well, much better than last time by far, until it came time to increase stitches. I couldn't remember how, so I Googled it. The technique I used did not work at all. It left huge holes in the fabric and made the stitches all loose or tangled--It was a terrible mess!

So I tried to undo it back to the part that was nice, but... Well, that is why I don't knit. I'm very slow, and I make a lot of mistakes. When I try to fix a mistake I end up tearing the whole piece apart. All these hours of gorgeous work, gone! Now I'm attempting to crochet them. I'm using a very tiny hook in the hopes that a tighter knit will produce a smoother fabric. But I suppose to get a truly smooth fabric, I have to find the right balance between tightness and thickness of yarn (there's a That's What She Said in there). I wonder if anybody has done research on that.

It probably isn't good that I am staying up this late, I have someplace to be tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shivering Blimps

Today we have a very picture intensive post as I practically give a step-by-step how-to guide of this mask I am making. I've been taking lot of pictures along the way, pretty much because I live my life as if it were a how-to guide.

Here goes!
(It's cool because everything was uploaded in the opposite order I wanted.)

Light behind the mask to show the cut out eyes.

I took that dremel tool to the mask and cut out the eyes. It was hard work, and actually kind of scary. Almost right away I lost control of the tool a bit and nicked the side of the eye on the right. It seemed like after that, nothing would cut as smoothly as I wanted it to. The eyes turned out quite a bit shorter than I wanted them to, since the dremel couldn't make holes small enough to reach the very edges of the design. I think it still looks pretty great.

Close-up of my handy work, showing the nicked eye and mask thickness.

I decided that I wanted to paint the inside edges of the eye holes black to reduce any glare on the wearer. Doing that turned out to be an awesome idea aesthetically, because it made it seem like there was no edge to the eyes. They were just black shapes on the mask, but with an eery feeling of depth...

Tape around the front of the eyes, ready for painting.


I put tape on the front of the mask over the holes to make sure I wouldn't accidentally paint over the edge. It worked really well, but any little nicks or chips I caused with the dremel got filled in a little bit with black paint. It was nothing too serious, though.

Detail of the opposite side of the mask, with freshly painted eyes and tape still applied.


In that last picture there are a lot of deep crags in the mask. That's because I covered my mask form with plastic wrap to make sure it would pop out without problems. You can also clearly see the yellow spots that plague my mask. Next time I'll use the right kind of flour.

The otherworldly abyss of the keaton's gaze.

I hadn't marked where I would paint the ears yet, so I did that after I painted the eyes. I love this clay material because it is mostly just paper. I can use a pencil to draw on it no problem, and so long as the area is smooth it will erase pretty well. I just have to be careful not to touch the pencil markings, because it will smudge off.

First coating of yellow paint.

I put very little effort into staying inside the lines when I painted the very first layer of yellow. I knew it would go on thin enough that I could still see my pencil underneath, and that the black paint would easily cover its color. Unfortunately, the paint was also thin enough that you could still see the yellow spots underneath. I ended up with 2 and a half coatings of yellow paint. The third coat I just kind of put paint wherever I thought the spots still stood out without any regard as to whether the paint had dried there yet or not.

Black parts all painted.

The black was fun to paint with because it went on with such a solid color, but that also meant I had to be really careful to make nice edges. If there's one thing I learned from painting the garage however many summers ago, it's that a wet brush will make the sharpest lines. If there isn't enough paint on your brush, your edges will get thready, and your lines will be wobbly as a result. A steady hand was important to make good lines and edges on this mask, because I couldn't use painter's tape. The surface had far too many imperfections.

Black cloth stretched and taped over the eyes.

When you put the mask on and breath, all of the air comes rushing in through the eye holes and right into your eyes. I found that out shortly after cutting out the eyes and I sucked an nice big cloud of mask dust right into my eyes. I also didn't want the flashes of any cameras going off and illuminating the face behind the mask, ruining the illusion of painted-on eyes. So I put a black material behind the eye holes to catch most of the wind and block most of a camera's flash. The material is really opaque, but very stretchy. If you stretch it tightly both ways, you can see through it well enough to read the expression on a person's face, but text messages and digital clocks are a different matter.

Felt lining in place.

I spent a lot of time cutting out pieces of black felt and getting it to fit snugly inside the mask. Then I used a felting needle to make it one nice, big, form-fitted piece of felt. It fits pretty well, except I couldn't get it to go all the way into the deep nose. It'll be fine, so long as nobody tries to punch a finger through it. It won't be a big deal if they do, though. I'll just be irritated because it was a lot of work.. I also made sure to cut out eye-holes in the felt. Those were seriously last second, I forgot that sometimes people need to see.

I haven't glued the felt in yet, which is a really good thing because I have just now realized that I haven't sealed it yet. I'll want to do that soon, because the felt will collect moisture from your breath, and then hold it against the mask for a long period of time. That might make all of my handy work mushy and terrible. I'll have to take the black cloth out, though. What a pain, it was difficult to get in there, what with the stretching and the taping.

I need to figure out a way to attach the strap. I decided on this nice length of black suede I've got, which goes nicely with the theme of black I have going on inside the mask. What I want to do is glue it so that it runs as a band along the inside of the mask, just above the eyes, but I can't find a glue strong enough that will be safe to breath. What I don't want to do it drill holes, because that will mean that I have to make ugly knots on either side of the mask with the strap. There isn't enough room inside to hide the knots, so they would have to go on the outside.

What I think I will end up doing is taping the strap down nice and firmly where I want it along the inside, maybe with some white glue underneath, and then drill holes and thread it through there. I'll loop the strap through the holes a second time, to give reinforcement and prevent it from getting so tight that the tape lifts out. If that gives me trouble, then I can just pull the strap out and do the big ugly knot thing.

Alright! I am almost done. Just a little bit left to go!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Strange Settings


You can see how much the ears have improved in this picture, compared to the last one. That's from all the "filling" I did. Unfortunately, I think I might have ruined the perfection of the face part a bit trying to fill it all. Oh, well, I am done fussing so much over smoothness. I'll just have to apply a thick layer of paint, I guess.

I can safely say that the clay has completely dried by now. I thought it was dry a couple days ago, when I took the form out of the back. But I have since learned and grown as a person. Back then, I was afraid to lift it by the ears. Now, I think I could swing it around by the ears and use it to kill zombies and it won't so much as chip. This clay has dried to be really, ridiculously hard. I talked to my dad about it a bit today, after using a really pathetic and weak grinding tool I have to determine some eye holes. All he could do was say "Drywall is really hard. Drywall is hard." and then pull out his proper grinding tools and show me how to use them, so my work might go a little easier.

I think they are called dremel tools, actually. Not grinding tools.

Griffin more or less requested that I make it possible to see through the mask, and I told him I'd see what I could do, but no promises. And that's exactly how I went about determining eye holes--No promises. I first made a sort of bad attempt and figuring out where my eye are on the back of the mask. I marked it with X's, and then drilled part way through the mask on top of those X's. This way I could shine a light through the holes in the back of the mask, and the front would glow in those spots, but there would be no actual markings on the front. Then I marked on the front of the mask where I wanted the eye holes to go, using the glowing spots as guides. You see, earlier I wasn't sure if my eyes would in any way line up with the eyes on the front of the mask. I thought the mask sat too high on the face to do that. But the spots I marked are at just about the thickest part of the mask's eyes, so everything worked out perfectly. It just won't offer a very wide field of vision, or a very clear one for that matter. So I wouldn't suggest wearing this while driving, or crossing traffic, or while standing in a place crowded with people whose eyes are at the same level as the tips of the ears.

Tomorrow I want to even out the design of the eyes a little more, and then use the dremel to cut them. Then I will use the dremel to smooth and even out the edges of the mask, to give it a really nice and professional (and not absolutely shoddy) look to it. Sand it, paint it, waterproof it, line it, strap it, done. Oh, I guess I'll also have to drill holes for the strap. I guess it's time to get that part figured out.

I'll tie a strap around it tomorrow and see if I can whip my face about without it sliding off. Your face goes really deep into it, so I'm not too worried about balance and things like that. Just a way to make the strap nice and tight and still be comfortable. Maybe a ribbon. Maybe elastic attached to a leather belt-like thing, like my monogoggle. Maybe just a thin leather strap that you tie, because I have a lot of that lying around. Maybe Velcro. So many choices!

Okay, maybe not Velcro.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Peridontiphobia

I didn't get to work on the mask at all today because it was raining (boo). All I want to do right now is sand it with the fine sand paper, and then decide where to cut it and stuff. Then sand it more. Paint it. Finish it. Love it. Cuddle it. You know the drill. I need to go out and buy some thin black fabric to put on the opposite side of the eyes. I don't really know what sort of fabric to use, so I hope that whatever I choose works out well. And then dad wanted me to get a gift card for a friend of his, so I guess I will go do that tomorrow. Especially if it is rainy.

You know what? Google is my worst enemy when looking up mask making technique things. Unless I want to make a mask out of a paper plate, that is. I feel like there is a lot of information out there that just isn't accessible unless you are willing to spend a lot of money or apprentice or are just super serious about it in some way.

I went to the dentist today. I don't think a trip to the dentist has ever taken so long for me. It was over two hours long. To be fair, it was a new dentist for me, so I guess there was a lot of stuff they had to do as first time patient things. But looking back, most of it seemed really routine. I hope it doesn't take that long every time. Anyways, I went in because of a pain in my tooth. It's been there for a really long time, but I haven't been thinking about it because for the past few years I've associated all dental pain with my braces. But my braces are off now, and the pain is still there. As it turns out, the root of one of my teeth has deteriorated and broken, and I will probably need a root canal. She referred me to another doctor who is better at this sort of stuff.

It makes me a little sad that there are even more problems with my teeth. Most people just have to worry bout keeping them clean to avoid cavities. Me? Pfft, keeping them clean is the easy part. In fact, the dentist wouldn't stop talking about how rare it is for her to see patients that actually take care of their teeth as well as I do. No, my worries come from expensive surgeries and rare problems. I just have to endure some serious pain and drugs, everyone else just has to remember to floss and maybe get braces. Uncool, universe, way to screw me over like that.

Today has been full of a lot of emotional ups and downs, and thinking about my teeth has put me in another down. I think I will go eat some ice cream and curl up with a happy TV show. Let's see if I can't get myself out of this funk before I go to bed tonight.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Duvet

No new images of the mask today. But that's because there has been no significant visual improvement on it. I sanded it down, kinda, and found out that it sands down to be so smooth you almost think that it is made of silk. It's pretty neat. But the surface of the mask is a little bit lumpy, so there are a lot of divots that are rough and horrible and keep the mask from looking like perfection. I tried to fill them in today, but not with much success. I sanded it down a little bit, but there is a lot more to go. After I finish sanding I will cut holes in it for eyes and for tying on the strings that hold it to your face. And then I will paint it, and then I will line it. And then it will be done.

I foresee a lot of problems happening when I try to line it.

I also haven't put any thought into how it will be attached to a head. Hmm...

I just went ahead and searched up the definition for "divot." I realized that I had never heard the term used by anybody other than me, and I wasn't even sure that I was using it right. I was not. It is what you call the bits of ground that are torn up by a golf club when you swing too low. Now I know. And now I should stop saying divots to describe small impressions in things, because divots are actually dirt.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Driven Sane


Oh man, those ears look so crappy in that picture, how have I not noticed before.

It's dry enough now that I can pick it up and hold it, and that is just plain lovely. The reinforcements I've added to the ears seemed to have worked very well. They stay up without any problems, and I think you could even hold the mask by them if you really wanted to. I wouldn't suggest it, though. Not until it is completely dry, at least.

The clay was taking forever to dry, and I was getting to get a bit worried it would take me a month just to finish it. But then I had a brain wave (the kind that makes you slap your head and go "OH DURR") and started pointing a fan at it. Within just a couple hours the surface was dry enough that I could touch the mask and not stick to it. It is a very tacky clay. I let the fan run for a few hours, but I turned it off when I went to bed. Might as well save energy, y'know?

I was going to put it outside this morning and let it dry in the sun and the wind, but I got very paranoid about the weather. Google says it is supposed to rain a lot today. And there are wet spots outside everywhere. And then I started to notice just how humid it was outside... Yeah. It was outside for maybe 20 minutes before I freaked out and brought it back in.

I just spent some time adding clay to the edges of the mask to smooth them out a little bit. I can't decide if those are going to be the actual borders of the mask, or if I am going to cut into it a whole bunch. I think it'll all come down to how close I want the ears to be to the edges of the mask. Because really, I could go either way right now. The fresh clay has been drying long enough that I can touch it now and not get stuck, but it's still very pliable. I think I will take it all outside in a couple hours once the fresh stuff is ready, and try sanding it a bit. I hope that part works out well, I have never been good at sanding things.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yellow Coffee

Masks! I tried to make one today. It's drying right now. I'm pretty sure it will take a couple days for it to dry completely so I can paint it. It turned out pretty big! Here, let me show you a picture of it.



This new paper mache clay material is very interesting to work with. I messed up the recipe a little bit, so there are all of these really big yellow and orange dots in the clay, but I'm planning to paint it all yellow anyways, so it's not a problem. I hope it sands down smooth enough, because even in its 'smooth' state it looks pretty rough. The ears look like they're going to be too heavy for the dried clay to hold... I just went back to add some more support to the base of the ears (Which has also made their shape a bit nicer), but I worry that won't be enough. And resting the ears on bowls like that is causing some major indents to show up on their backs. I'm thinking that once everything is completely dry, I will flip it over and work more on the ears. And then wait another day or two for it all to dry. And then finish it. And then maybe do something productive for once.

If this material isn't to my liking, then I want to try plaster strips. It will be very interesting. But I like how I don't have to worry about little bumps or wrinkles in my mask form, or if I decide that the shape just isn't up to snuff, I can change it right then and there. So long as it isn't too dramatic of a change.

Whee! I hope this mask turns out well.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Agreement

I'm making an entry because I know nobody is watching. I think that entitles me to say whatever I want about whomever I want. But then, I've always been able to do that. It is my own blog, after all. So I'll just go ahead and talk about myself and ignore everyone else.

I don't feel like talking about you. I feel like talking about me.

It must be summer because I want to make masks again. I found this exciting recipe for what is essentially a paper mache clay. I've never really put effort into making something out of clay, but I don't think I'm very good at working with it. But it has got to be easier to deal with than ripping paper into strips and smoothing it and watching it dry for hours before adding more of it... Yes. I am excited to try this cheap clay made out of paper. I am also able to sand this paper down once it has dried, which makes me really excited. I really hated the ridges caused by the edges of paper strips, but there was no way to deal with them. Now I'll at least be able to sand down any small globs or bits that I don't like on the mask.

Anyways, to get me into the mood (and because I am overly excited to get started again on this) I made another mask base. It's a lot like the mask base I made last summer that I still actually have, except better. It starts with one of those white masks from JoAnn's, but this time I used masking tape instead of paper mache to cover up all of the features on the face. This is an obviously better idea. I don't have to deal with drying and waiting and fussing about moisture. I can also pick it up and add more tape to it whenever I please. I'm not afraid to poke holes in it or modify it or ruin it. It's just a pile of tape on top of a plastic mask. I could make another one in less than an hour, if I needed, and I'll bet the next one would be better.

When I don't feel like I am shirking off a bunch of responsibilities, I am going to make my first batch of that clay and my first mask out of the new materials. I'm excited for it, but I really feel like I should wait. I'm supposed to get a job this summer, but I haven't been trying very hard. (I'm so nervous about applying for jobs it isn't even funny.) I'm trying to remain productive during the day and not just lie around all the time to make up for my lack of a job. Maybe I should set a goal for myself--No hobbies until I have done so many hours of productive things in the day. To maintain a balance.

I suppose that means I should stop cuddling the cat and writing Ubiquity entries, and start cleaning my room.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lotion

I have to make a bunch of graphs for this science paper I am writing (as we speak!), and I think this one is my favorite. It's so clear, obvious, and redundant. It just screams "Average Temperature Over Time!" It is even very literal; the points of average temperature are actually over the time line! How cool is that?!

On a more serious note, I've locked myself in my room all day to write this paper and I may be going a bit odd. Also, why does the temperature go up so steadily? That is really weird. Maybe that's why the experiment failed every single week, the temperature couldn't even remain constant.

Anyways, I am really angry at the world right now, including this assignment, so I think I will go and be angry somewhere else.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Absorb and Abort

Ugh, I just spent like 30 minutes trying to stop a nosebleed. Today has not been a good day for my health.

I don't know what the Hell is wrong with me today. I seriously woke up to blood all over my face, because my nose decided it had too much blood in it and thought it would let it all out. I got up to fix it and more or less fell over because of a splitting pain in my head. I really hope the headache and nosebleed aren't connected. After 15 minutes of stopping the nosebleed (longer than normal, but fairly effortless), I take some Tylenol for the head ache, but it doesn't help at all. The aching persists, but now my head is all stuffy from the medicine.

I ate breakfast and got nauseous. So on top of it all, my stomach hurt, too. I skipped my first class to sit on my floor and make 'euuugh'' and bluuaarhgble' sounds and drink some mint tea for my stomach. I was feeling better after the tea and funny sound making, so I went to the rest of my classes for the day.

But then my stomach started doing that thing again where it hurts wicked bad when I stand, medium bad when I sit, and perfectly fine when I lie down. I have no idea what caused it last time, and I still don't know about it this time. I can't even symptom check that one on WebMD because you can't select the area that hurts on their checker thinger.

The rest of the day went by and I more or less started to feel better. I drank a lot of tea and water and pretty much took it easy.

Then, not even five minutes after I lie down to sleep for the night, I notice a warm dripping/trickling in the back of my throat. I get up to see and yep! My nose is bleeding. And it doesn't stop with my normal means. It takes me a good half hour to get to a point where I don't need to hold a tissue to my face. I got blood all over the floor and I freaked out a girl in the bathroom pretty bad when I went to swap tissues above the sink. Everything's all cleaned up now, but holy cow that was a ton of blood.

I'm a bit dizzy now, but I'm not too worried since I'll be going to bed soon. I don't have anything to eat other than candy in the room, so I don't really know what do to restore my iron or whatever. Maybe I'll just go ahead and eat sugar. And drink water. Gotta be better than nothing right now.

I also shouldn't lie down so soon after a bad nosebleed, but I am really tired and I have an exam tomorrow. So I'm gonna risk it. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Evil Clowns

I got my braces off yesterday! It was such a momentous occasion. I took a bunch of pictures of myself eating foods that I haven't been able to eat in forever. It was pretty great. I have been eating so many things these past couple of days that I'm pretty sure I will pop in my sleep tonight. I'm not completely done with dental appliances, though. They glued this small wire onto the backs of my two front teeth because they started to split apart a bit at the very end. It's really frustrating that those two teeth were having absolutely no problems keeping together until the very end. So now I'm stuck with this wire for forever, they said. I'm not okay with that, though, because I technically still have the same limitations on the foods I can bite down on with this thing, and it's really cutting up my tongue and it's giving me a lisp. They said they can tke it off in a year if I really hate it, and I think I will take them up on that offer. I haven't had an appliance-free mouth with all of its teeth since like, third grade, and I would really like to get back to that point soon.

I also have my invisalign retainer. It's a bit of a pain and I lisp really bad with it, but it's not so bad. I hate the way it feels, and it's a lot more intrusive than that little wire, but it doesn't annoy me so much for some reason. Probably because I can take it out whenever I want.

It's my spring break! Whee. I'm at home for a week, and I have very few plans to do anything. So I'm doing a lot of vegging out and lazing about. I have a few things that I need to get done this week, but I kinda doubt that I will have the will to do any of it. I'm excited for the few plans I have, and I guess I enjoy the fact that I don't have to fuss with homework or exams. But I left all of my entertainment things in Montana, so there isn't anything fun to do. Just some knitting and a couple boring books for class. At least I have my piano for a week, I can try to learn that one song I've been wanting to learn for forever. Too bad this week is already like, half over. Eugh.

I ate a lot and now I am feeling lazy. I guess I will go to bed now.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stratigraphy

Yikes, I have an exam in a few hours. I don't feel all that ready for it. I don't want to go you can't make me go!

I get back the exam I took on Friday. I think I did pretty well on it, so I'm not so worried to see my grade. But there's still that niggling feeling that I might have completely bombed and just not realized it. That has happened to me so many times before, but usually only in math classes.

I get my braces off in a week! Woohoo! I am so excited. I can hardly wait! I think my braces know it's going to happen, too, because I've like four brackets that have broken off. I don't even know how they came off, I think they just sort of unattached themselves overnight or something. I don't mind very much, since most of them are on my lower jaw, and my lower jaw hasn't had any changes made to it in over half a year. Maybe even closer to an actual year. The only thing I worry about is them moving about while I'm eating and scratching up my teeth. I'll be so angry if my teeth are all scratched up.

Speaking of one week, I am excited to go home for spring break. I'll finally have a chance to go to Seattle for a day, and I plan to buy all the chewy candies in Uwajimaya that I haven't had since my braces got put on. I'm also excited just to have copious amounts of free time that do not involve homework and writing papers and whatnot.

Oh, shoot! I forgot to do my Japanese homework! It's all due tomorrow. What a pain.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tails

Oh, hey there, Ubiquity. I was actually going to go write my midterm paper for a class that I don't give two shits about--Hm? What's that? You say you miss my entries, and would like me to stay and talk for a while? Well, alright then, Ubiquity, I'll put off this paper for you (and probably stay up all night because of it), because you've been such a good friend.

So I'm in this class, right? It's called CLS. It has no direction and no real curriculum, but it does involve a lot of reading, writing, and really tense discussion. The discussions are tense because we are being graded on them, and it's really important that we all pass this class. It's a US credit (whatever that means), so it's required to graduate, and it can only be taken as a Freshman. Once you're done being a Freshman, I don't really think you can get a US credit anymore. I don't understand why they did that, but whatever.

Okay, so this CLS class. It's a bullshit class, and I'm pretty angry that I have to pay to go to it twice a week. My patience with this class is really beginning to run out. Today I had an interview with the professor of that class, to see what I think of the class and if I have any ideas to improve it. I told him that this class was my lowest priority class, and I am upset with its obvious lack of direction. I tried to avoid the term "Bullshit Class," which was really difficult for me. I tried to tell him that the discussions are too narrow to warrant any real participation, and none of the reading can be connected together without serious stretching. Even if you do find threads to connect them with, none of them tie into what might be the greater theme of the class itself. And then I told him that the reading schedule is whacked out, requiring us to read 111 pages within five days, and then 111 more pages from the same book in only two days. He told me he would look that over and probably adjust the reading schedule for the rest of the semester. So I know at least one complaint I had about the class made it through alright.

Anyways, I have to write a mid-term paper for this class, and the rough draft is due tomorrow. I decided my paper would be on religion, morals, and ethics, because those are the only things that tie all of the readings together except the stupid one about Eureka moments. And I have to make a claim that a reasonable, sane person could argue against. My first claim was, essentially, that separation of church and state is a good thing, but I doubted that many people could argue against that. So now my claim is that separation of church and state is horrible. Any red-blooded American could easily argue against that. And it isn't hard to come up with good ideas for my argument. But it does take some true artistry to find support for it in the reading, especially since the reading better suits the opposing claim. I am pretty much making this more difficult for myself than I need to, but I hate this class enough that I really want to write something outrageous that will make at least one person in the class uncomfortable. Did I mention that I have to give a presentation on my paper? Yeah. I hope the word "intense" pops up again.

On Monday, we were supposed to put some Daphnia in a tank and poison them, right? Well, we all went in there to do just that, but there weren't any Daphnia in the stock tank. Actually, there were maybe five in this one corner, but we needed at least forty. We have no idea why there was a sudden extreme lack of Daphnia in the stock tank, but it kinda threw a wrench in our experiment. So we decided that we would start running the experiment on Wednesday, and cut the length from four days to three. Wednesday happened to be today. We didn't even have the lab in the lab today... Well, no, we had it in a lab. The computer lab. The Lab TA decided to teach us how to use Excel. So we had to go in after our lab to go run our lab. It was pretty ridiculous, and frustrating, and really boring.

Why are all of my classes suddenly stupid?

I am going to flip a coin. Heads, I turn this mid-term paper from an outline into a rough draft before going to sleep. Tails, I go right to bed because it is half-past one in the morning and I am sleepy. Here we go.

Monday, March 1, 2010

D. Pulex

So this morning my roommate thought she would come in, open the windows all the way, remark about how beautiful a day it was, and then kick me out of bed so we could go eat breakfast. I'm still not really sure how I felt about all of that. I mean, sure, I was awake and contemplating getting up anyways, but I could have been in bed for a whole five minutes more. This roommate thing is just nonsense.

Last week was week seven of the semester. There's this superstition about week seven. Pretty much, it's a bad luck week. It has yet to fail to be a shitty week for me. Unfortunately, I think this week might also prove to be a shitty week for me. Already I've got some things lined up in my schedule that I'm not too excited about. But at least this Friday my roommate's parents will be coming over to buy her food at Costco. And when I say her, what I really mean is us, because I've gotten really good at muscling my way into things. I can't wait to have bulk Swedish fish again.

My seamonkeys had babies again. Last time they had about twenty, but they all died pretty fast. This time they had only four, and they're surviving. I really hope they grow up all the way this time. Scratch and Sniff have been going at it for like a week now, fertilizing eggs and such. I have never seen Sniff with such a full egg sack before. You can actually see all of the eggs in it! So I guess there are a lot more baby seamonkeys on the way.

We've been growing (and attempting to poison) live Daphnia in my biology lab. They're a lot like seamonkeys, I've noticed, except they look bloated and swim all creepy like. The experiment didn't run well at all the first time, and we don't know if it's really our fault or not. The Daphnia in the stock tank were really unhealthy, and there were almost no adult Daphnia we could catch. All of the jeuveniles had turned red, which meant that they were suffocating from lack of oxygen, and they would periodically go into these spinny death throes and freak me out. We put different levels of salt in the tanks to see how much it would take to effectively kill the Daphnia, btu instead of population decrease we experienced massive population increase in all of the tanks except the one with the lowest salt level. Something unexpected happened, and we don;t know how to deal with it.

We're setting up the experiment again today. Here's to hoping the Daphnia are full gown, and the salt actually kills them off.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snorzel

I'm supposed to wake up early tomorrow and go to the orthodontist. And then I come back, pack up my stuff, and sit around until about dinner time. And then I go to the airport and fly back to Montana. If I'm awake during the flight, I really need to read about 40 pages in this book for class. If not, then I'll be really fucked in class on Tuesday. I'll get back to my room sometime around 1 in the morning, so I won't have any time to read that book unless I read it during the day tomorrow or on the plane. I think I might hate that book a lot.

Today I decided I would mix up my already solved Rubik's Cube, and then solve it. It took a few hours, but I got it. And then I mixed it up again, and solved it again. I did that at least three more times, before I lost count of how many times I solved it. I'm pretty much an amazing person. I'm putting it down for good tonight, because I think it might be giving me a headache. But that last time I solved it was pretty awesome; I hadn't even made it to the really complicated part when I found it was finished.

Somewhere hiding in my bedroom is my Death Note knitting bag and my copy of Shadow of the Colossus. They aren't in my dorm, so I assume they got left here after Christmas break. But my inability to quickly glance around and find these items really worries me. What if I left them in my old dorm with Ali? Then I'll never see these items again, and these things are pretty important to me. Let's hope I remember to scour my room searching for them before I fly back to Montana tomorrow.