Frustration

This post marks day 25 of my 30 day challenge. Admittedly, I will be happy when it is over. It is sometimes difficult to make the time to write and I often feel bad when I don’t have the time to write about something in depth. I’m committed to press forward, though, and I’m certainly taking something away from this endeavor.

The time as I write this is 6:24pm. I’m beginning to get sleepy and desperately want to nap before I go into work tonight. But I know I need to post something before I allow myself to drift into blissful slumber. I meant to write something earlier. I also meant to go to the gym today.

I got off work this morning, made my way out to tend to my cat-sitting duties in the snow, and then carefully drove home on streets that had barely been plowed. I intended to get my gym clothes and go in during the morning, but fell asleep. Because I would prefer to sleep days so as to be awake when my boyfriend is home, I went with it. But I only slept for 3 hours (which is why I am tired again).  I checked my email, gathered my belongings, and set out to get things accomplished that needed accomplishing…

My first stop already laid out the tone for the day. I needed to reimburse someone and went to their bank to deposit cash into their account. I had tried this yesterday, pulling $33 out of my own bank to deposit into theirs, but was denied because I did not have this person’s account number. So, I put the cash in my coat pocket. When I went to the bank today (with the account number this time), I reached into my pocket to discover the cash was no longer there. I needed to go back to my own bank to pull out yet another 33 dollars. I still have not found the lost cash. 😦

I’m also anxious and nervous because, despite having all of my other items for grad school turned in by this past Friday’s deadline, I still have one of my required recommendation letters that has not been sent in. I am worried that I will be denied again for not having this 3rd letter. I feel anxiety over whether or not to try contacting this person again – what is the proper number of emails I can send with no response before I am seen as a bother? Should I ask others to write a letter for me on this short notice? If I do, I worry that not having been asked initially will be perceived as an insult and that I would be imposing undue work on them. What do I do? 😦

Right now, I’m going to go to sleep.

What Day is it Anyhow?

When you work overnight shifts, sometimes your days blur and merge. When I woke up this evening, I had no concept of time let alone what day it was. I had to go back and look up previous posts to figure out that this is post 21.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t want to write this today. I didn’t sleep much yesterday and spent all of last night (my night off from Job 1) sorting through and packing boxes of books for Job 2. I was so tired I actually fell asleep sitting in my chair with a barcode scanner in my hand for about an hour. For anyone who is a facebook friend, you’re already aware of this as I had been posting about it at various stages. But, this has pretty much been my day. Nothing glamorous, don’t have time for a think piece, just a factual report of the day.

And some photos from Job 2:

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I start off with boxes like these. I sort through to see what I will sell and what will go on to the community book sale.

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This is where I determine which books will be sold on Amazon, which will be sold to other vendors, and which go on to the community sales.

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These lower shelves are filled with books already listed on Amazon. This is also where I keep my bubble mailers.

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More books listed on Amazon waiting to be ordered. I currently have over 1,300 active listings in my store.

But, it’s not all work and no play. A few months ago, my friend Mike came over and helped me construct this book tower in response to a challenge Hank Green put forward on Youtube. I didn’t win, but I had a lot of fun 🙂

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Please consider picking up something for yourself or a friend over at my Amazon store, AikiFox Books. 50% of the proceeds go to support the Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners program which gives free books to prisoners throughout the state of Illinois.

There I was, in an Epic Battle Against a Legion of Alien Zombie Chickens…

… armed with nothing but a seam ripper and a giant basket of corn grenades when their egg ship beamed me aboard and they held me prisoner for almost 3 months.

Ok. Maybe that didn’t happen. But, I *have* been away for almost 3 months. A lot has been going on with me personally that I haven’t really gotten around to posting until now. Since last I wrote I

  • Spent a month on unemployment
  • Started a new job
  • Moved
  • Have been working lots and lots of overtime at the new job

So, there you have it. I’ve been a busy busy woman. For your enjoyment, here are some photos that I’ve been meaning to post. Also, I’d like to note that I do still have laptop bags for sale in my Etsy Shop.

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My friend Julia helping to set up the booth we shared at the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Doctor Who and Star Trek pillow plushies that my friend, Julia, makes. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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A 2 headed rat I crocheted some time ago (the pattern came from The Anticraft) and a little chicken my friend Julia made. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Various barrettes I’d made from recycled denim. And yes, some of those are the Starfleet insignia. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Beautiful cards that my friend Julia makes. Each one is hand drawn and colored. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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Laptop bags and purses I had made. At the Race Street Bash back in May.

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A close-up of one of my laptop bags.

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A skirt I recently altered. At the start, this was a plain khaki skirt. I embroidered the lower skirt and dyed the upper skirt.

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A close-up of the embroidery on a skirt I recently altered. At the start, this was a plain khaki skirt. I embroidered the lower skirt and dyed the upper skirt.

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The backside of a skirt I recently altered. At the start, this was a plain khaki skirt. I embroidered the lower skirt and dyed the upper skirt.

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Playing around with denim and bleach this afternoon.

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Playing around with denim and bleach this afternoon.

Productive Procrastination

It’s the middle of the afternoon on a beautiful Sunday. I have 2 loads of clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away, my kitchen is a mess from all of the dirty dishes that have not only filled the sink, but have also piled up on the counter and stove, and one of my couches is still covered in various balls of yarn, purses and other odds and ends. I *should* be taking the time to clean this place. And I will, eventually, sometime before I go to sleep tonight. But for right now I am putting it off.

There is a lot to be said for procrastination and it isn’t necessarily all bad. Sometimes, when we put off doing one thing, we’re still being productive, we’re just not doing what we feel we are *supposed* to be doing. Walter Chen wrote a fantastic post over at 99U on this very idea. You should read it. It’s marvelous. Basically, what it boils down to is that, when you feel the urge to procrastinate, do it – but do it in such a way that you are still accomplishing something. If you’re not keen on doing your homework right now, what else needs to be done? Do that. I did a hell of a lot of that in college. For quite awhile when I was in school, my apartment was actually clean almost all the time. Why? Because I would put off finishing a term paper in favor of doing the dishes. I made a pair of denim bell bottoms, entirely hand stitched, in a matter of 3 days (less than that if you subtract sleep, work and classes) because I was putting off something else.

Of course, you still need to eventually get around to doing whatever it is you need to do. My boyfriend, who always has 5 million tasks that he has to juggle, frequently uses something called pomodoro. Basically, you work for about 25 minutes, then you break for 5 minutes, work another 25, etc.. and every 4th break is a longer one, about 15-20 minutes. I think this is great if you can get it to work for you. It apparently works for him. I haven’t been able to get it to work for me. I just don’t work that way. I generally start off at something slow, but then I get into a zone and I’m entirely focused on nothing else but what I am doing. While I was in college, this was often how I did my papers. I would agonizingly struggle with an introduction, but after that, things would flow, and I’d crank out 4-8 pages in a single night, and not even realize it was 4 AM and I’d stayed awake all night. It’s how I still do some of my artwork (although now that I work full time at a physically demanding job, I have to force myself to get some sleep, or pull most of my all-nighters when I’m off the following day). I want to note here that getting into a zone does not necessarily mean the day before a deadline. That will get you into trouble.

So, what am I doing instead of washing dishes and folding laundry? Aside from writing this post, which is in itself productive, I have been watching episodes of Fringe on Netflix while taking my seam-ripper to a vest and a jacket a friend has asked me to repair for her. Take a look at this jacket:

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As you can see, this isn’t exactly a simple repair. The back of the neck is damaged badly enough, and so close to the seam, that it has to be replaced. The cuffs too are pretty bad off. If one were interested, the other edges could be made raw and the cuff could be left as they were, and just re-fashion it to be intentionally fringed. But, I’m not going to be doing that GEhere. Instead, I will be replacing those cuffs and that back panel with sections from this vest, which my friend also gave me to use. I really like the colors and patterns in this vest and I think, if I do it right, it can look quite nice with the well-worn jacket. Now. To fold that laundry…