When Life Gives you Lemons and Limes

Posted August 10th, 2012 by Thalia

Car still dead, but biking is making up for it. So much exercise! Pretty soon, I’ll be doing my own modeling for Thalia’s action poses.

Bedbugs…. err, so far found a few dead and really took the room apart again. Haven’t been waking up with bites or anything and none have appeared on the duct tape traps on the frame, but those little buggers are crafty and I’ve been remiss in my cleaning. Just so tired when I finally decide to go to bed that the mattress-flipping and vacuuming is more than insurmountable, it’s darn near impossible.

Got paid. YAY! Making tokens. I’m at 30/100 and getting ready to go make some more. I’m doing about five per day but have hit a stalling point in my flow ’cause of sleep schedule mishaps and day-job conflicts.

Will be posting up a price list/commissions page soon. Still feeling a little odd about pricing my work. On the one hand, I really enjoy doing it and it’s not too labor-intensive, but on the other I don’t want to be selling myself short. (Grumble, grumble….) Not to worry though, apparently there’s a site where there’s a kind of standardized price list somewhere. Really need to look into that. I’d like to be competitive, but also be able to pay the bills with the hours I can realistically work on commissions.

Hubby and I have been making noises/plans for moving to New Orleans sometime within the next 6 months. Exciting and Scary and dependent on a lot of factors… but I think this might be the best thing for us all told. I haven’t said anything to the Boss Man at the coffeehouse, but I did broach the topic with one of my business partners for the Webcomic tonight talking on the phone. Just need to get them on the Internet and we can do everything remotely.

Doing lots of cooking these days, too. Fresh produce and healthier foods all told. My husband is a goddamn genius when it comes to seasoning things. So when life gives you lemons and limes? You zest those bitches for all they’re worth!

All in all, things are looking up despite the recent stress. Happy despite adversity. Upcoming Anniversary #4. Going to the amusement park for the day. Really looking forward to it!

All righty, then. Back to work.

Must be dinner time….

Posted July 26th, 2012 by Thalia

So, life just keeps sending crap my way.

Car? Dead.
Money for newer vehicle? Gone to pay for extermination of bedbugs.
Oh, and a dryer. Because in the midst of dealing with the bugs, that thing crapped out, too.
Had a possible full time position, but, ah. Again, NO. I was really looking forward to that, too.
Trying to get some things hammered out for freelance work I did and am yet to get paid for. It’s been more than a month, now, and yet I hear back that they’ll pay me for it *after* I do more work for them. Uh, No? No. I’m gonna have to put my foot down about this.
This Far and NO FURTHER! I will not devote 60 hours of my time to something I prroooobably won’t be seeing any money for.

It’s a matter of good faith, people. If I can’t get a measly $25 for something I seriously underbid on, I doubt I’ll be seeing the rest. Trying to make a diplomatically-worded email isn’t cutting it. Trying to talk to them on G+ isn’t happening. Must be dinner time.

Bitchy? Yeah. I am feeling the rage right now.

I graduated!

Posted September 15th, 2011 by Thalia

I’m gonne be on somebody’s published work!

Posted August 24th, 2011 by Thalia

Thanks go to George ‘Loki” Williams for forwarding this job to me. I have had a great time working on the logo for World of Calliome, and Hans has been the most awesome client ever. He’s exactly the kind of client a Graphic Designer wants to work for: he knew exactly what he wanted and he knew how to communicate it.

You can check out the project details at his site: Visions of Fantasy & the Future

You might have noticed that I added the new logo to my gallery.

The music player is here again!

Posted August 8th, 2011 by Thalia

Thanks go to my sweet husband for putting the music on the site. I guess it’ll get me to write more, as I haven’t written a whole lot over the years…

Piano is on and the software is up to date. Gotta keep plugging away! My newest challenge: Write something that can be made into a Goth/Industrial song. Hubby tells me to go with simplicity and make the tempo faster. My style thus far has been triphop/trance/remix-classical stuff, so I’m doing my best to come up with something that will work. It has been a real challenge.

I am my own worst critic, so getting something publish-ready is going to be a chore. I’m very happy with my new song, Hollow, short as it is and even though it doesn’t meet the criteria for the Industrial stuff. Would you believe that the riff just hit me all at once while I sat down at the keyboard? It just evolved from there.

The songs that are older, if you are familiar with them, go under the album title: “Forces and Flowers,” (Orchid, Dahlia, Storm, Soulless, Something Else, Thorn) and any new songs will be under the album title: “Reawakening,” as I feel as if I’ve woken up again to writing music.

Other random thoughts: I have to get to bed earlier than I have been because I have an appointment tomorrow. Here’s hoping I can bang something out before I go to bed.

There is one mother of a storm going on

Posted August 7th, 2011 by Thalia

So I’m sitting in my basement, writing music on my computer, when all of a sudden I start hearing thunder. Now, I’ve just exported my new song to iTunes and am wondering if the power’s going to go out and then the lights will shut off, leaving me in total darkness. I’ve got a good three hours on my laptop’s battery, but if we lose power, so does my external hard drive (no music) and so does the Internet. So that would really suck.

Anyway, other than that, storms are pretty damn awesome. I think I’m going to go on my porch and watch it.

Brain won’t shut off

Posted August 5th, 2011 by Thalia

Post removed.

Winter Quarter at Antonelli College is in session.

Posted January 27th, 2011 by Thalia

At the end of last quarter, when my instructors told me I wasn’t scheduled for any studio courses and instead would be taking only Gen Eds, I thought “That’s not so bad. At least this way I can save the money I’d be spending on all that mat board and acetate. And besides, all my previous gen eds were pieces of cake!” (No disrespect to the English, Math, and History teachers meant.)

I was so wrong. The money I would have spent on mat boards and acetate will now be going to pay for business card printing, entree fees into networking events per my Professional Development assignments. I bought two new one-subject notebooks and matching highlighters for Psychology. Entrepreneurial Skills will cost me reams of printer paper as well as ink from my own personal stock with all the business proposals, company motto’s, and market evaluations. Public speaking will require note cards and more of my precious paper (Not much more, mind you. It’s only speech outlines, not 10-page research papers.) Come to think of it, I DO have a 5-page paper due for Psychology at some point. (Where’d I leave my syllabus???) Anyway, the only class so far not to prove to be much of a drain on my financials is Customer Service, but there may yet be some way for me to fritter cash away. Maybe a downtown lunch once a week or something. Call it research, I guess.  Parking, ah yes. The one true way to waste all your money is to have to pay for parking downtown where even the meters are $2 an hour, every day, for classes that meet for about two hours before the instructors are able to set us free. I find I miss my 8-hour block days. At least then I could justify paying $6.25 for the covered lot next door. All the meters within short walking distance are one-hour limits and I just can’t fathom running out in the middle of class every day to pay another two dollars before they tow my car away or give me a $40 ticket. I hear this is the plight of everyone who works downtown and tries to drive themselves. Cincinnati needs better parking downtown, in my opinion, but that would just contribute to horrible commuter traffic jams and the like. There’s always the public transit system (shudder) or carpooling.

So back to what’s going on this quarter. I find myself without an artistic outlet to break the monotony. Each of these classes aren’t ‘difficult,’ just very time-consuming. (Not hard work, just a lot of it).  Multiply ‘a lot of work’ times 4 and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve joined Antonelli College Online course for Professional Development where we (on top of our regular assignments) must contribute to the weekly discourses on the message boards and receive our reading assignments and homework which we must complete and put into the drop-box before the day before class. I’ve also been given the assignment to join Linked In, complete my profile, get 10 contacts, upload a professional photo, join 5 groups relevant to our courses of study, and get 2 recommendations. I’ve also added the WordPress App to my page. HELLO PEOPLE ON LINKED IN! (waves enthusiastically). I still have to attend a networking event and complete a list of assignments relevant to this task, get an informational interview with someone in my field (ditto to the list) and shadow someone in my field (again, tasks). Also I must write a one-page report on the experience of each. Admittedly, Networking is a very important part of the job search process and each of these steps will help me once I’ve started my own search upon graduation. I’m just finding the time-management issue compounded by feelings of inadequacy and shyness. (When did I become shy? I have no clue.)

I feel like my brain is going full-tilt all the time. Psychology has me being introspective while attempting to memorize facts about the forefathers of the discipline and their respective theories. I’m worried about how I’m going to pull off the projects in Professional Development. Entrepreneurial skills has me wondering about my own business that I hope to start. I *really* need to talk to my business partner for the next section of assignments. (I got the business plan on my own, but the company message and values are eluding me). Public speaking has me wondering whether or not I can write anything worth listening to and then have the gall to make a classroom of 24 adults listen to me prattle on about what I think is important. Matti emphasizes good listening skills, so I’m sure when the time comes, I’ll have a receptive audience.

But underneath it all, in these five classes, there are common themes running through that will make me a better professional and a better person. Some of these threads got lost along the way during all my high-minded art classes. I’m hopeful that once I make it through this quarter, I’ll have a better understanding of myself as a person. I KNOW that once I’m out the other side, I’ll be better prepared for what lies ahead after graduation. I’m just hating that my head is spinning around and around with facts, questions, and a massive to-do list.

So, here I am, almost at midterm and I’m feeling the pressure. I’ll shoulder through it (maybe losing chips of bone on the way) but I will get out the other side, alive and intact (for the most part). Wish me luck!


Posted June 21st, 2010 by Thalia

The site is going to be undergoing some changes.
The music player is up and running again. Soon I will be able to post some of my artwork.
For the moment, I am willfully depriving myself of sleep so I may man-handle my sleep schedule back into acceptable patterns.
I’m still on break from school for another couple of weeks. I’m reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries.

Surviving in Society

Posted November 20th, 2009 by Thalia

This is an essay for my Personal Development class. I thought about it, and decided to post it here.:

I am an intensely private person, although I have not always been. It has taken me many years to reach this point, the point when I hesitate to relate anything I’ve thought or done to another person, convinced that somebody else wouldn’t understand. Years of conditioning have brought me to this point; acclaiming myself to be a Pagan to my third-grade classmates when asked had them calling me a ‘penguin’ for the rest of the year. If growing up has taught me anything, it is that people who will surround me on a daily basis are essentially stupid and will misconstrue, misunderstand, and use anything I say against me out of malice or ignorance if I give them any chance to do so at all. So, please forgive me if I hesitate to be forthcoming with many of the experiences of my youth. It is merely because my experiences as a child are so far outside the realm of ‘normal’ that anyonewould be hard-pressed to empathize with anything I might have felt on the matter. Still, in terms of persecution, perhaps others would understand the impotent fury that I still feel over what I would relate now.

My community had been holding gatherings for several years on a piece of property in New Richmond, Ohio, called Trusty Pines. We held them during the festivals that coincided with the times of the year that were considered very powerful and holy by the ancient druids: the First of May, the Summer Solstice, the Vernal Equinox, or as close as we could get to them on a weekend. During these festivals, we would camp, tell stories around the fire, have a feast, and at night, we would drum and dance in the larger fire circle that sat far back on the property. Bardic circle was my favorite: each person who sat around the fire was encouraged to perform or share something to entertain those assembled and would be showered with the applause of “Stone the Bard,” and would partake of a mead horn, in the Viking tradition. I love mead. It’s made from honey and often other spices, and it’s sweeter and more poignant than anything else I’ve ever tasted.

Bardic circle would generally happen on Friday night, right after most people finished setting up camp. Saturday morning would dawn, and people would come straggling out of their tents to attend workshops, cook lunch over fires, or begin preparation for the main ritual that would happen that night. There was always an air of anticipation that would begin as a low hum, and finally grow to a frantic buzz of excitement for the main event. We’d make our way to the main circle either in a procession, or some other manner. We’d hold the ritual—the invocation or evocations, the working, the banishment—and then we’d party until dawn. When I say ‘party,’ I mean that the drummers would pound on their congas and their djimbes, and the dancers would dance in a circle around the fire.

If you’ve ever danced around a fire, you would know that between the radiant heat of the flames and the heat your own body produces from frenetic movement, you would become quite uncomfortable quickly. In my community, nudity doesn’t hold any of the same social outrage as a sexually repressed society. It is absolutely nothing to us if a woman walks around topless, or even completely nude. It loses its shock value when no one takes the slightest offense to the sight of naked people. It is the same in nudist colonies, where clothing is the exception and nudity is the rule.

Well, these gatherings had been going on for a few years, on private property, far away from the sightlines of the neighbors or the road, when a few of the locals decided that we were Godless Satanists and had to be stopped. It started one night when a ‘concerned’ neighbor called 911, and supposedly told the police that we were sacrificing babies on a bloodstained altar or some nonsense like that. The cops showed up en force, drove up to our back circle, demanded the women put their shirts back on, shined their flashlights into the fire (where some KFC bones had been tossed) and held my family at gunpoint until they ascertained that they had been called out, essentially, to bust up a party of hippies. All of the kids were already in bed, snug in their tents. The police had no reason to be there, so feeling quite chagrined, they left.

This didn’t stop the neighbors. They then tried to bring us up on charges of ‘noise pollution,’ which sparked an investigation with decibel meters and lawyers’ and the whole nine yards, because, even though we weren’t Satanists, and we weren’t hurting anyone, it still got their goat that our right to practice a religion different from theirs was being legally protected. Eventually, having no other recourse, they had to give up. That didn’t stop the chain-saw guy from revving his chainsaw at 5 a.m. the Sunday after. Also, there were rumors that we worshipped Colonel Sanders that circulated for years afterward. The bigotry and ignorance of these people were astounding, and I see this echoed to this very day in the behavior of the willfully ignorant and the obstinately bigoted people I have the misfortune of meeting. Over the years, I’ve had to water down the strangeness just to get through daily life without hearing something that makes me cringe.

It is a lonely existence, feeling distanced from an entire population by nothing more concrete than a conviction, reinforced over a few decades, that the real me has little to offer the majority that rules this country. I have learned to hide behind a mask of banal respectability until the mask became indistinguishable from the person I am inside. I find myself coming to the conclusion that survival in a social environ hinges entirely on the ability to conform—to compromise—oneself so that a common ideal or experience may be shared with a wide cross-section of society. It is not pretty. It stinks to high heaven of the death of personal conviction, but this, too, is how one grows up. Dreams die. Idealism gives way to practicality. Naivety becomes jaded mistrust. We build up armors and behaviors that get us where we need to go and keep us intact in the process, safe from ridicule, from persecution, and from the pain of disillusionment.