And the Piece de Resistance......
Either way, I have my toy. Tomorrow, we write. No ifs ands or buts.
So much for getting writing done today. I took a break at noon to check on the status of my prize, the new iPad, even though yesterday the Fedex website said it wouldn't be here til Monday. You know how it is when you are excited to get a new toy. So I checked the tracking number, and for some reason it was put on the truck this morning, to be delivered before 4:30pm. I was at the place I am housesitting, which is across town from my house. I threw on my shoes and grabbed the next bus over there. Fortunately it didn't arrive before I got there. Both it and the case arrived today. So yes, I spent the afternoon playing with my new and frustrating toy. Wanna see it??
And the Piece de Resistance......
This makes me so happy. Happy and frustrated. It doesn't want to do anything I want it to do. For now I am going to mark that up to not knowing iPads very well. As I couldn't commit nor have the credit to get the cell model, it only has a wireless card. And as there is no wifi where I am right now, I can't transfer files from or to it. I have tried by bluetooth, but it keeps saying I don't have the services, and then does not explain which services they mean, and I can't find it anywhere on the intertubes. I took some pictures and video with the new iPad. Also would like to transfer my ebooks over. The camera, in spite of all the rave reviews I have read about it, took grainy pictures in indoor light and mushy fuzzy in outdoor light. I can't find any kind of controls for that. I am hoping that it is because I haven't learned how to use it properly yet. Or there is an app I can buy that will give me more control.
Either way, I have my toy. Tomorrow, we write. No ifs ands or buts.
Oh my have I ever fallen down on my RL-RPG. A mild bout with depression has caused me to stop writing anything. Somethings are still happening, but lots of it is not. I am not giving up, though. I still haven't found the task manager app that will work for me. At least one that is free. There may be some out there that you have to pay for, but until employment happens that isn't going to happen. Wow, I keep using that word. Negative points for redundancy. :)
So it is just 10 short days until the winner of the Douglas Adams Video Contest is announced. I wish it were over already. I hate limbo states, and this is the limbo-est. Not that it matters either way, I just want to know. I notice that although votes no longer count, they are still taking them. My video goes between #1 and #2. And I am not voting for myself, nor have I tweeted or posted the link since the list was published. I guess that means some people out there like it. :)
So now I am aching for another project. I have had to concentrate on getting bill money, so I haven't done much. It is killing me. I am still housesitting so I don't have my sets and guys and other stuff. I am considering developing a little show to pitch to those that have You Tube channels. You know, like Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry, Chris Hardwick's Nerdist, Kevin Smith's S.I.T. I could create my own You Tube channel, but if I could get it successfully on one of those I would get a wider audience. And mine wouldn't be a CHANNEL channel, just a regular one like most people have. It would be really fun. Maybe I will set a goal for myself to have developed a set of characters and a premise by the end of the day today. If I make this, even if I don't get it on one of the famous people's channels, I can create my own or pitch it to another site like Cracked or something. Producing something might also help me kick my butt out of the depression I have settled into. Let me tell you, it is hard to stay positive when every single job you apply for is a rejection and you have NO way to pay your bills cause you are out of savings and have nothing left to sell. I have managed to raise $50 of the $500 I need. Go me.
Now I feel the need to go rest my head on a wall Charlie Brown style and yell.
Why is this so hard? SIGH
I have been asked to write a 50-ish word blurb about myself to be posted on the Douglas Adams Video Contest site. This should be easy, right? I mean, I know about myself. I made the video. So why is is so hard to talk about myself?
I guess part of the problem is not knowing what to put in, and what to leave out. I can do this for anyone else. I have done it for other people. But when it comes to myself, maybe there is just too much information. I am never sure quite what should be included and what is TMI.
I am leaning toward a humorous approach. That would be right in line with a Douglas Adams event. Argh. This deadline is looming and nothing is coming. Ok...this may be apropos. Mr. Adams was known for missing deadlines and needing his editor to sit on him until he produced pages for his books. One of my favorite quotes of his is "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
I also have to come up with a picture, which is harder than you might think. I haven't had my picture taken professionally since 1995. I know this is going to shock you, but generally I don't take pictures of myself. I have several pictures that friends have taken, but they aren't exactly flattering. I mean. they aren't bad, but they aren't exactly the type you'd put up on a website next to a blurb about yourself.
Enough procrastination. I mainly wrote this post to get myself in the mindset to write this thing. I think I am ready. I shall get to it.
Well, that was more than satisfactory. I received contact from the Douglas Adams Video Contest people. I clearly asked for specifics, and I got clear specifics. They may have been disorganized, but they are now on top of it. I think they may have underestimated my emotional investment in this contest. And also, maybe I need to tone down my emotional investment in this contest. :) Either way, looks like they are publishing a short list. I haven't been to the site yet. I will look at it later today. Also, and this is the exciting part, they want to put some of the better animations on BBC. There are a few other places mentioned, but right now I can't remember them off the top of my head and I still have other things I need to do so I need to make this post a quick one. It is also 6:30am, pre caffienation. Overall, whether I win or lose, it has been a great experience. As a customer service person, I firmly believe it isn't whether or not there are frustrations, but how those frustrations are handled. I am a person who has enough ambiguity in her life. When I ask direct questions, I like and expect direct answers. It impresses me when I actually get that. It has also been nice to push myself and see what I can actually accomplish.
On another note, I still haven't finished the tank top but I am almost done. I finished everything except the bottom part. After my job search today I will finish it and post pictures. I must admit I didn't work on it the whole day yesterday. It probably would be finished if I did. I am not completely happy with it, but it is my first attempt. After I am done I can tweak it and play with it.
Ok...off for coffee, job applications and crocheting. Update later today.
EDIT: Ok....that was frustrating. I got a good 5 inches into the bottom part and tried it on....not wide enough. So I had to rip it all out, which with this yarn was difficult, and I have to start over again with that part. Argh sigh. This yarn is "homespun", which means it has spots where it isn't spun enough and fuzz everywhere, which tangles when I try to undo my work. It is also single instead of plied. I think I understand why this yarn was foisted upon me.
So here is a picture of it before I have the bottom part done. Cause I am putting this frustrating project away for a few days.
I think I want to build up around the straps where they attach to the top. Maybe a little triangle or something there.
But that will be later.
Wow, it is amazing how quickly time can get away from you. I think I say that way too often. The last few days I have been dealing with a personal crisis, so crafting and stop mo have not been my priority. I think it has mainly past, so now I can concentrate again on the stuff I love. :)
Well, the contest is basically over for the Douglas Adams Video Contest. According to the rules a long list of finalists was supposed to be announced today. There is no mention on the site. When I tweeted them and asked when and where I can find the list, I was basically brushed off. The first answer was "Winners will be announced May 25th". When I replied with citation in the rules that there would be a finalist list announced April 30th, I got the equivalent of "Don't call us, we'll call you". I must admit I am disappointed. I worked really hard on that video. I did my best to follow the rules. The least they can do is follow their own rules. The video response was not that big. I am guessing mainly due to poor publicity. I think they also overestimated the number of people who can do that much work in that short amount of time. When Eddie Izzard did his contest, most of the entrants had already done a video and just submitted that. I think I was one of the few who actually started from scratch. But it really does feel like they started this contest and don't really intend to finish it. I don't think there has been anyone keeping an eye on it. There was an anti Obama video up there for weeks, which clearly was not part of the contest. But enough of my whinging. I will let you know if they get back to me or not.
In other news, my room is filled with pot smoke. Yup. And it isn't mine. I don't do that. But there is a small cafe whose back patio butts up against ours, and my bedroom is the closest to it. Even with plastic covering the windows and 2 storm windows, my room smells like Burning Man mixed with old skanky hotel room. I am not happy. Not much I can do about it, though. They are allowed to smoke outdoors. And let's face it, if the police responded to every "they're smoking pot" call they got, they would never do anything else. This is Eugene.....Hippyville. 4:20 friendly. So until I figure out a solution I am not going to spend much time in my room. Which is where I have all my stop mo stuff set up and my crafting area. It made me positively sick this weekend. I will go back to stop mo...I can't stay away for long. For now, I have started a new project. well, one that brings it full circle. One of my first craft posts was about making myself a tank top. Never completed it, then figured out the yarn I was using is silk, so decided probably not a good medium for sport wear.
Yesterday I started this:
It is going to be a tank top. I have researched a bit more about tank top construction, and have come up with a better plan. Now that I am done with job search stuff for today I am going to attempt to complete it by tomorrow. We shall see how far I get. Basic construction is crochet tube for chest portion, crochet strip for straps to be attached to, crochet straps, sew together, then crochet the rest in a tube from the bottom edge of the chest piece down. Sounds simple. We shall see if it works.
So....audio didn't get finished, and no animation happened last night. I got home from my interview so tired that I just crawled into bed and watched back episodes of the Craig Ferguson show. I didn't JUST interview. I also went to the store and got bulk items, which I had to schlepp home on the bus and carry to the bus stop and from the bus stop to my house. It took 4 hours. Today I will do something with it. Promise.
I have updated the crappy infographic, though. You'd think I would be farther along than I am. But alas, not even half way to making it to Level 2 in anything. I have done lots of writing, but not so much practicing or tech review. Le sigh. Oh well. I will work on something today that I can post here....something with actual results.
My video at the Douglas Adams Video Contest has bumped down to #2....again. Seriously, this is getting irritating. PLEASE go over and vote for me again. Please? thanks so much. After the 30th the final list for the judges will be compiled, and so I will stop begging for votes.
Here is the latest update to the infographic.
Yeah, this is the post of fail. Main reason I am posting is to get myself to actually do something that has visible results today. I am going to go have breakfast, then get going. One thing I want to do today is try to figure out how to make myself a to-do list app that will actually do what I want. I have tried out 15 of the free apps, and none of them work for what I want them to do. I need an app that lets my missed tasks go, but marked as unfinished instead of overdue. I don't want to be bugged by tasks I didn't get done yesterday, but I want to be able to look at the list and see what did and didn't get done when I am tallying my XP. It isn't like these tasks HAVE to be done. I want a way of nudging myself to do them, and to keep track of which of those I did and didn't do. If I didn't do it today, there is another chance to do it tomorrow with the next task list. keeping it on my list until I mark it as completed is extraneous and confusing. Most list apps require you to mark a task as completed before it will let it go. Or it deletes it. Not what I want either.
So there we go. Goals for today.
Edit: So I didn't get anything done yesterday either. I did take several hours and I found a site called Buzztouch that is a platform for developing apps. It has several videos to help you learn how to develop apps for both android and ios. I have completed several of them. At the very least I will know more about app development. last night a friend of mine wanted to cheer me up so he took me to the arcade and let me beat his ass at Mortal Combat 2. It was awesome.
Well, I tried to do a little stop mo the other day. Didn't turn out very well. My joints started to ache in the middle of shooting it, so I kept accidentally bumping the camera. Sunday I was down all day with a migraine, and yesterday I was trying to catch up from being out Sunday, so I have been neglectful in my posting duties.
Today I have a job interview, so cross your fingers and hope for the best. Then I plan on coming back here and seeing what I can salvage from the audio I recorded and see if I can get something to happen with it.
The Douglas Adams Video Contest is still taking votes, so if you would be so kind, please go over there and vote highly for me. I keep slipping to #2, (insert poop joke here), and would like to stay at #1 (more sanitary that way).
I have got to go get ready for my interview. Tonight I will give an update on my RL-RPG points and hopefully have some footage - maybe- to post.
Here is a pic from the one I tried to accomplish Saturday:
Yup...it was a short 20 seconds of Mr. Snail encountering the Dalek and running away from it. Probably not worth watching, even if it was steadier. I have a weird sense of humor.
Wow. Four days. That is a long time to go without a post. It wasn't done deliberately. I have been working on A. finding employment and B. my RL-RPG. It has been very disappointing on both fronts. I was told by my temp agency that I am basically unemployable. I have my networking degree, but at this point it is an employers market and they are asking entry level wages for 5 or 6 years worth of experience. That means I am right out of the running. With office work, I have lots of office experience as that is what I was doing before I went back to school, but now I have a degree so they feel I am overqualified for office positions. Employers see my degree and see me jumping ship as soon as possible. So basically I am screwed. Fortunately I was called yesterday by a company here in Eugene who needs someone to do customer liason/ electronic data management, which means that my experience puts me right in their tiny sliver of a niche. They did a phone interview (without scheduling it first) and I was told that I am on for round two of interviews. Yeay? Crossed fingers and all that. :)
The RL-RPG is kicking my butt in ways I had not anticipated. I have been basically following the regime. I have found, though, that walking 6 miles precludes me from sitting at a computer for several hours afterwards. I am hoping that this is just the adjustment period and that eventually the pain will go away. My joints are telling me they do not like the increased exercise. Downing of the ibuprofen and many hot baths are helping with the pain, but not with my waning motivation. I may need to up the XP points for physical activity so I feel like I am getting somewhere. On the plus side, I have submitted several stories to YMI, though nothing has been approved yet for posting. I have been practicing chords transitions on my uke.
And I am currently working on learning better character development. One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman. I sat down and looked at his work, and I concluded one of the reasons I love reading his stories is because his character development is so rich. They are so real and you get a great sense of who they are, without long descriptors. You get to know them by getting to know them. Which is also something I noticed I like about storytelling. I like that style. So I guess I have found my style, I just need to develop it. I will spare you the shit I have churned out so far, but when I get to the point where I feel like I am getting across what I am meaning to get across I will start posting snippets here.
I have sadly neglected my stop mo. I am itching to get some animation done. That was my intention yesterday. I spend a huge chunk of my day looking for employment, so I decided to give myself permission to flake out and play. I took about an hour to decide what I was going to do. Then I realized I needed groceries. As I never go shopping on Saturday, I had to do it yesterday. I have to walk and the nearest store is 1.5 miles away, so that took 2 hours. Then after I got home I had to put food away and divide up the bulk meats I bought so they could be frozen. That took another hour. By that time I needed lunch, as it was 2pm, so I made lunch. Then I got the interview call, which took nearly an hour. Then there was no way I was getting anything done after that call. So the day was shot. I plan to work on it a bit today. My goal is to have something done enough to post here by 10pm tonight. It is 10am right now. That is plenty of time, even if I only end up with a 12 second thingy.
Yes, this a very long and rambley post. No craftiness or stop mo goodness. Sorry. However, you can still vote over at the Douglas Adams Video Contest. New videos can't be posted, but it looks like they are still taking votes. I keep slipping to #2, and I suspect it is because the person who keeps creeping over me to #1 is stuffing votes. Not because her video isn't good, but because no one else is moving spots at all. So...help needed. If you wanna head over there and give me a 10 bookmark rating it would help a lot. Thanks! :)
As I have been working on gaining XP points for my RL-RPG, one of the things I have been researching is storytelling styles. This has really fascinated me. There seem to be as many styles as there are people who tell stories. There are basic similarities, but each one has their own spin and thier own way of doing things.
Tonight I listened to the story The Mayor of Mitchell garden told by Danny Lobell for the Risk! podcast. This was a story about his time working at a retirement home as the person who kept tabs on the kosher kitchen. I liked his style of storytelling, though I don't know that I would adopt it for myself. This story was more of a fond recollection story than one that had a point or a moral to it. He told it well, and you could tell in his voice that he really did care for those people. That is what made the story enjoyable for me. I liked that instead of describing the people, as in how they dressed, what color hair they had, etc, he told about who they were as people- the mean old man, the WW11 veteran. He helped us see them through the stories they told him and the things they did. He told enough detail without overburdening you with too much flowery speech. I like flowery speech, don't get me wrong. But like everything, flowery speech has a time and a place. I also liked how it felt firmed up without feeling rehearsed. It didn't feel like he was telling the story for the millionth time, though that might have been the case.
It also didn't feel like he was reading. One thing that brings me out of a story anyone is telling is when it is stilted and sounds like it is being read. Even if someone is reading a story to me, I want it to sound like they are talking to me, not reading to me. In storytelling that feels very unprepared and unprofessional. If you are going to do this you need to learn how to go without the notes. Yes, that does sound harsh. But storytelling is a performance art. If that person was a professional musician we would expect them to take hours and hours to practice the piece, to be able to play it without stumbling, or at least be familiar and comfortable enough with the piece to be able to hide stumbles. We forgive them the music on the stand, but still expect a practiced performance. I recently listened to a story telling podcast where all of the storytellers (supposed professionals) sounded stilted and like they were reading to a child. I might give them a few more episodes, but seriously, don't present them as practiced if they are not. I can forgive a newbie or someone still getting their feet under them to struggle with that still, but someone who should know better? I will expect no less of myself, which is why I will be recording myself telling stories and listening to them. I have not yet found anywhere in Eugene that does this kind of storytelling. They do children's storytelling at the library on some Saturday mornings, but that is all I have been able to find. Maybe after I get myself going a bit more I will see about possibly organizing a group here.
OK, that is enough about that for now. I spent my hour listening and analyzing. It looks like the voting is still going on at the Douglas Adams Video Contest, so if you feel up to going over there and giving me a vote or two I would appreciate it. The judges will compile a long list of final candidates on April 30th. I am guessing that maybe that is the voting deadline? The rules are really too ambiguous. So if you go there and can vote, please do. If you go there and you can't vote, well, I appreciate the support.
If you have been around a while, you know that I created a little stop mo video for the Douglas Adams Video Contest. The rules are a tad ambiguous. As it doesn't really list a date on which voting ends, but it does list a deadline date for April 15th (today), I have been assuming voting ended today. Still not clear on that point, but it looks like they are still allowing votes. I worked really hard on this project, and I keep seeing it slip to the #2 spot. This is heartbreaking for me.
SO - If you have time today (or several times today) PLEASE go by and vote for me. Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top? I need a win terribly bad right now. Not a "win" win, but something that feels like a win.
I don't even know if I can win this thing for real. There is no way I will be able to afford to be at the Towel day event in the UK. As much as I really, really want to, there is no way. I don't even have a passport. There is nothing in the rules that say the winners have to attend, but it doesn't say you don't have to be there either. The way my luck has been going lately, even if I do win they will say I have to be there to win and I will be cut out of the running. And that's fine. It is their right to do so (or not do so - crossing fingers). So for some odd reason, just in case this happens, I have put more weight on the page votes than in the final announcement.
So please...help me feel like a winner. Help me prove to the fear monster that it is a lying sack of shit. Help me accomplish something that I can tell people I did with pride, instead of a mumbled "Oh, I entered". You will make a fat nerd very very happy.
Eleanor is an aspiring writer, stop motion animator, crafter, musician, and anything else shiney that might cross her path. She is a geek, nerd, and all around weird person.
If you feel like contributing to help me upgrade equipment or pay for building supplies, feel free to click this button. Anything you contribute is appreciated muchly.