Sunday, April 6, 2014

not amused.

Trying to figure out how to access my billing information for this site was far more complicated than it needed to be. Google made no mention of how to access a Blogger account after it was appropriated and turned into another Google app, so I had to find answers on someone else's blog. I could go into even more detail, but I highly doubt anyone is paying attention, in any case.

Since my last post, I've moved twice. First was from Dillingham to Anchorage, and then came from one house in Anchorage to another. It was a lot of work both times, but my family and I did what we had to do, and got it all done.

Just before leaving Dillingham, I interviewed via conference call for another job in the healthcare field and was hired on despite being on the brink of relocation. My only break in employment was the one week I planned just before the move. I did take a substantial pay cut, especially moving from two jobs to just one, but I'm still doing something I love and with people I get along well with, and the cost of living is much lower here.

This past October I traded in my black '06 Subaru Impreza 2.5i for a white '10 Jeep Compass Limited. This meant an increase on my loan and monthly payments, but not to an amount I couldn't handle.

It has been three, almost four years since I stopped attending college full-time. I've recently collaborated with my supervisors to create an Employee Development Plan, which involved researching requirements for degrees in Human Resources, Human Services, Computers, Information and Office Systems (CIOS), and Office Support. UAA offers an Occupational Endorsement Certificate (OEC) in Office Support, which also paves the way for an Associates degree in CIOS. This is basically the line of work I've been since graduating high school, so this is why this field interests me so much.

As was the case with mapping out degree requirements for Music Performance at UAF, this OEC in Office Support and subsequent AAS in CIOS looks great and simple on paper, but execution will take time and money. For now I'm starting on the OEC by enrolling in a Basic Keyboarding class on my own dime this summer.

Talking about academics, especially where I'm involved, exhausts me quickly, so I'm going to end that there.

I'm racking my brain for more things I need to update everyone on at the same time. I know I need to post updated skin care tips and clothes and style crap because my philosophy on both has changed drastically in the past year, but those are ramblings for another day.

I promise to update more regularly here. I mean, I spend enough time on the internet.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

an ode to my backpack

With a backpack like this, it's probably no surprise
I'm a huge deadmau5/Joel Zimmerman fan.
This is what my backpack looks like: hard-ass shell and decent padding and back support. I keep my life in it: laptop, charger, notebook, pen, gum, lip balm, iPhone cord, forever stamps and an extra pair of shoes.

This morning's dream started when I went to a party somewhere at one of my older brother's friends' houses. It was fun and all, but I moved back to the living room after everyone else moved to another room so I could take my laptop out and use their internet.

Before I knew it, my parents were in the living room with me, talking about how they wanted more coffee but couldn't figure out the setup because the water had to come into the house from outside or something. Not really wanting to help them figure the setup out, I packed up and told my parents I had a work function to get to. And I did, and to that meeting I went.

I got there, put my backpack down and got my work shoes out. The only thing I remember doing at this meeting is standing with everyone and starting to sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" because whoever was presenting was actually doing a presentation on how easy it is to get everyone to do something in unison in a meeting setting. After he told us that, I realized this meeting was bullshit and packed up and left.

For some reason I thought airport-crashing was a good idea; I'd think I was going somewhere myself but I don't remember getting a ticket. I don't even remember going through security, but that's beyond the point. What happened next was, I came across a food court next to some gates. I don't remember getting anything to eat, but the next thing that happened is clear as day to me.

I was walking away from the food court and noticed someone sitting in their chair, legs up so they can work on what looked like a sketch. The jet-black hair, flawless makeup and star tattoo - it had to be Kat von D. Not wanting to freak out or overwhelm her too much, I calmly asked her, like I would approaching any other friend I haven't heard from in a while, "are you Kat?" She looked up, smiled and said, "yes I am!" I told her I loved her work and asked if I could get a picture with her, feeling for my phone in my pocket before I sat next to her. Thank God, the one time I need it for a picture and it was there. She was happy to oblige, and I turned on the frontward-facing camera.

We posed with our heads together, and took me a while to figure out how to best position the camera so my massive head wasn't the main focus of the picture. We took a few pictures to be sure, and somehow posted it to her Instagram from my phone. We spent the next few minutes talking and laughing about different things, and I even got to watch her do a really quick sketch that someone else at the gate asked her to do. she worked fast! What happened next was inevitable, but still beyond description.

"Yeah, what's happening?" Joel hesitantly asked, half-smiling as he saw I was sitting closest to his fiancée. "Joel, this is Nolan." Kat told him before I said hi and extended my hand for a handshake. He gladly returned the handshake, and apparently recognized me from somewhere since he paused for a second before saying something along the lines of "ohhh, right! I haven't heard [names a couple of my songs] in a minute!" I thanked him and told him I was a huge fan of his. We all went on to talk and laugh about different things until they had to board their flight. How I was able to keep my composure was beyond me because to anyone else, it must have looked like we were all old friends.

But anyway, the next thing I remember doing is packing up and going to a park. I had to take a call from someone so I put my backpack down somewhere and walked around while I took the call. After I hung up, I looked back, and perched on top of my backpack was a huge black and red moth. Being an insectophobe, I immediately jumped back and ran away from my backpack. 

I looked back after running and saw someone else at the park that was walking, and asked them to tip my backpack over (meaning towards them) so the moth can fly away and they can pick it up and bring it to me, but apparently they were just as insectophobic since they tipped it over like I asked but ended up jumping back and running from it like I did after the moth flew off. After they did that, a couple of stray dogs came running through and somehow carried it off somewhere.

I hollered across the park at the person I saw, asking if my backpack was over there, and they answered it was right next to them, so I started towards them. Somehow, all that was left behind was one of my backpack's back support beams. "I think I saw those dogs that ran off with it head for the beach down the hill," they told me. I thanked them and ran to the beach.

Once I got there, I saw tons of people playing in the water, and the waves were littered with silver-colored beach toys. Perfect.

The last thing I remember doing is trying to maneuver myself into an inflated kiddie pool, with an elongated sand shovel in hand. My raft and oar. 

I looked out over the water for my backpack, and never felt more lost in my life.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the reluctant activist: why so reluctant?

Most, if not all causes, are formed from emotions surrounding an event - whether on a personal or global and historic scale. Causes often go unadvertised or unfulfilled because these emotions are expressed only to be marginalized, written off as something else, or ignored entirely.

I've seen a quote from Hank Green, one of the Vlog Brothers on YouTube, floating around online saying something about how the emotions and other things he experienced as he was growing up were just as real as anything as he experiences today as an adult, and age shouldn't have anything to do with how seriously anyone takes anyone else.

Basically, I now consider "you're just a kid" and "it's just a passing phase" to be cop-outs.

Emotions are nothing to be marginalized, regardless of age or other identity factors. Nothing is to be marginalized.

Words are more than sounds or shapes. What you make of them is up to you, but shitting on what someone else makes of them is a dick move in general.

Sometimes the most anyone can do is talk, ask “why,” or even just listen, but sometimes that’s all people need to get things back on track, whether they’re just passing feelings or an entire life or entire lives and welfare on the line.

I’ve participated in online petitions and worn colors on certain days, but can’t help but feel judged for not personally ending world hunger, personally bringing world peace about, or personally finding or funding entire researches for cures for incurable diseases.

I’m just one person, and all I have are words. And a computer with internet access and strange tastes and preachy opinions I MUST pollute the world with.

(Accurate) knowledge is power. Know and love who you are as a person, or be the change you want to see until you do. And above all, never be afraid to ask for help, or to help others.

Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are, and as much as you like. Someone, somewhere is bound to appreciate it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

to my parents on my birthday

my mom and me, circa 1989-90?
originally my profile pic for mother's day 2011

I already acknowledged on Facebook that it's my birthday on December 28th. In addition to establishing that, I invited my friends to congratulate my mom on 24+ years of amazing parenting on me instead of writing on my wall because it is just as much her day as it is mine.

On Twitter, I went on to acknowledge that my dad gets just as much credit because he was an equally important role model and mentor. What I didn't point out is, my dad doesn't have his own Facebook.

Anyway, from there I mentioned how my brother Ricky would always get our mom flowers on his birthday. I was never gifted with that kind of considerate foresight – because with my birthday being so close to the end of the month, I always managed to spend what was in my account before I could think of getting any kind of gift for her. Looking back, I am mildly disappointed, and always was each time I realized that, but she didn't ever seem to mind.

To most, birthdays signify just officially aging another year. As far as I can see, 24 means just another year until I have to buy my own health and car insurances. For me, the 28th of December, however, just as much as any other day should be, has become a day to be thankful – for the gifts and the well-wishing from everyone, but also being blessed with everyone in my life, including my parents. Especially my parents.

Thank you, Meem (and Didee) – the person that I was, that I am today, and will continue to become, I owe to you both indefinitely. As gifted as you insist I am with words, I cannot express enough how much I love you both.

With how much we've faced, especially in this past year, and with the big changes all of our lives have in store especially in the near future, it has been and will continue to be a team effort. Thank you, again, for everything.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

it needs to be said.

I can already feel my college friends drifting away and losing touch once they graduate in the spring. I probably am just missing the crazy party days, but the thought of eventually going back to college without them there is killing me.

Like, why make new friends when these ones were just fine? Better than just fine - they were a huge part of my life for over three years.

And of course I’m back to feeling like I’m not worth waiting for, but this time it’s mixed in with feeling like I’m not worth keeping around. As much as I'd rather not, it’d probably be for the best that I learn to replace people as they come and go in my life.

I feel like I make a lot of things about me and probably sound like I can do just fine by myself. A lot of my actions can be seen as selfish. And at this point I probably sound like I’m seeking attention or fishing for compliments, but this is how I feel.

No matter how I come across, I’d rather not do anything alone that I can do with friends. In my case, they’re fairly difficult to come by.

Also, it's probably some unwritten rule somewhere that how you think other people feel about you is just as much how you feel about them as it is how you feel about yourself. Trust when I say I don't want to lose them, though. 

Myself, on the other hand, I can do without this existential meltdown BS.

I'd do a better job of keeping in touch with everyone if I didn't feel like a huge inconvenience. Actually going back to college would make a difference in that respect, but so much depends on my family's move this coming spring.

So I suppose there's nothing I can do but hope nobody is getting tired of me yet.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

i came. i saw. i left in less than five minutes.

there was an attempt

Halloween this year felt like a huge fail. Let me elaborate on why, exactly.

I had to close at my second job which took me until about 3:30. As soon as I got home, I had to organize my family's pantry to make room for the COD of food we just got in. By 4, I was free to start on my face.

Now, I had to be ready in time to help "take gate" at the Halloween Carnival, which meant I only had two and a half hours to do what I originally planned to do.
an overly-elaborate plan, as per usual.
I watch more than my fair share of Halloween tutorials on YouTube, so naturally I feel like if I watch the videos enough, setting out to re-create them shouldn't take much. Unfortunately, it does.

I made mistakes, smudged dark colors where light ones were supposed to, tried to smudge light colors over the dark mistakes which made everything look muddy, caked glitter on when it was supposed to be diffused lightly, and the spider web on my forehead didn't get to dry before I tried to do what I did so it ended up smeared all to hell.

Ten likes and seven favorable comments in an hour after posting that picture on Facebook, it's obvious that my shiny sugar skull mask turned out pretty decent for someone who's really out of practice as far as makeup goes. Unfortunately, my insecurity over what I knew was a rushed job outweighed my bravery to go out in public "in face".

On top of that, the people I was supposed to help out looked like they were handling things just fine without me since I actually showed up a half-hour late because I thought I'd be able to do black nails with a white crackle topcoat in under five minutes. Most girls or most anyone with experience with nail polish can't even get their dominant hand to look as good as their non-dominant hand, so mine turned out disastrous.

I could go on and on about how I felt my "costume" (which I feel stupid calling it that because all it is is makeup) fell short this year, but I hate rambling because I know I can't hold anyone's attention for long at all.

The long and short of it: I felt rushed, and I didn't have anyone to spend tonight with. I'll bet things would be different if I was back in Fairbanks, or pretty much anywhere else.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

another "another year at home"?

I really need to post here more often.

As of next Wednesday, it's officially been one year since I started my "another year at home" album on Facebook. With no prospective classes lined up this semester, it looks like another year is about to become another-another year.

Believe me, I'm just as angry with myself as you are, if not more.

I don't want to lose anyone. I still love to hear from everyone and care just as much as I did three years ago. I just feel like each time I reach out, it becomes a one-sided conversation that always comes back to my coming back - so if it's not a declaration of my return, I just feel like an inconvenience.

My open invitation to unfriend me still stands. I really don't have the emotional energy for anyone unwilling to wait for me, or support, discuss or even hear out my decisions.

If you missed my last post, it's been a loaded year (which is putting it unnecessarily lightly) - not just for me, but for my whole family. As much as I value my friendships, my loyalty lies with my family, and we face more than we share.

Clearly, whether I'm returning to college or not has been a touchy subject for me since I first came home three years ago. I know I have the potential to retake the classes I'm missing because neither money nor free time is an issue, but - since we're all adults beyond mincing words - I'm lazy.

I mean, if you want to call wanting to travel places and meet new people outside of an academic setting and work on other things about myself before pursuing a degree, lazy.

(Aside: I forgot what my resolutions for this year were, but I've recently remembered what they were - trying new things, speaking up more often, and calling things like they are. PROGRESS.)

I spent last weekend in Seattle - the first trip I've taken out of state by myself (pictures here). I met new people, reunited with an old friend, shopped until my whole body was sore - and didn't have to worry about money being an issue, which is an indescribable feeling - and (there's no way to put this without sounding irresponsible) got to have a few drinks. It was a much-needed getaway, and as much as I look forward to my next adventure, it was good to come back to my regularly-scheduled duties.

Also, today I just ordered a Personal Microderm at-home microdermabrasion kit and a four-week Medifast weight loss package. Detailed posts will follow after I start using them. The food and grooming aspects of this blog will be revived!

On that note, and getting back to the prospect of resuming my studies, the fact that I'm already ridiculously well-paid at two jobs while having very little in obligations each month has sort of dampened my enthusiasm toward formal education.

I still listen to old concert and Music at One recordings once in a while, and really miss playing. I might pick up on playing again soon, but I'd pick back up on playing sooner than I might pick back up on taking classes.

With Gram gone, my family and I really don't have much keeping us here other than the extended family still here. Jobs, we can find anywhere. If it came down to it, I'd be all for moving back to Fairbanks and just working a lame job and playing in a few ensembles now and again, but from where I am today, that would take a lot - more than I have the energy to think about, at least for now.

As my Gram pointed out once, I already have two jobs and a car. For anyone asking if or when I ever plan on "going back to school," I'd really rather not say. I recognize the need for an education in today's economy and job market - as well as my ever-present craving to get out of Dillingham and back to my friends - but not yet. Not never, but not right away, either. Just not yet.