Venting, Whining, Whatever…

Today was challenging. So much bad news to absorb. My own bad news, my friends’ bad news, and even the bad news of my friends‘ friends… it’s just been a lot. ๐Ÿ˜“ After spending half the day useless and frozen from all of that, I finally pulled it together and started working on all of the laundry that has been building up over the past several weeks. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Yes. Weeks. It wasn’t gross or anything… I could just never find the time to get to it, so I basically went through almost everything in my closets and dressers – which has gotten me to this point. Doing laundry at 3am on a Tuesday night. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Is it Tuesday night? I honestly don’t even know what day this is/was. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

It makes me feel better to finally start catching up though. ๐Ÿ™‚ While helping Cassi through their move, my stuff went on the back burner. Another instance of doing the best that I could, but my best not being enough to help her and keep my own stuff going. I’m just tired of not being good enough or able enough or around enough or motivated enough. So it seems dumb, but being able to start and do almost all of my laundry so far tonight… I pat myself on the back for that. And tomorrow when I pay my bills I’ll pat myself on the back for that too. And despite my carpets being completely covered with fur, I’m actually almost done grooming Maven already, and I only started yesterday. ๐Ÿ™€ It’s not a quick process… shaving a cat. It’s kinda up to her what that schedule will be like.

Fuck… this is another entry that sounds like whining, and I hate doing that. ๐Ÿ˜’ I’m just not operating like a normal human right now, and most people aren’t going to understand my physical and mental limitations or why they exist… so I just have to take these small accomplishments as tiny little victories towards being better able to emulate the humans… because that’s what everyone expects. ๐Ÿ˜ I swear if I have one more person tell me that I should be doing this or shouldn’t be doing that. Meh… like I said… today has been challenging. ๐Ÿ˜”

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Comes At You Fast

So, just since this morning I’ve learned that I’ve got some kind of growth on my thyroid that I need to have checked out, one of my best friends… I’ll save the gory details, but his mom’s cancer has progressed to where they’re pretty sure the time is coming soon, and then another one of my friends flipped her car and is in the hospital as we speak. ๐Ÿ˜” And that’s just the bad stuff that I know about. I hate to think about whatever awful news I’ve missed due to not being on FB for a couple of weeks.

Goodies

I wanted to brag about my new toys for a second. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I dumped all of the Hershey Kisses out of my stocking, which I could tell were concealing other non-kiss-shaped things inside, and slowly started pulling out the other stuff. A pocket sized Simon game, a teeny Stretch Armstrong (which works surprisingly well), lots of unusual candy bars for my wrapper collection, and then a miniature replica of Dumbledore’s magic wand from the Harry Potter movies. ๐Ÿค“ There were also a few squishy catnip ball toys for Maven.

Then in the regular presents, there were two particularly neat things. The first is a “do it yourself” music box kit. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ It looks like it has the hand-cranked music box mechanism, and then several long bits of paper for holes to be punched into, player piano style. One is pre-punched, and looks like it’s a demo reel to give you an idea of what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s gonna be challenging to see if I can come up with something original on my own. ๐Ÿค” Pretty sure I’ll end up using the laptop to plot and test my punches before they are punches.

The second thing is a full-sized wand, which is very nicely made/packaged and would make a great gift even if that’s all that it was. But it’s also a universal remote control, and you can program it with different commands based on what motions you make with it. ๐Ÿ˜„ Point it at the TV and it turns on, flip upwards and the channel goes up, rotate it to the left and the volume goes down, etc… I only glanced through the manual so far, but when I figure out how to get it working properly it’s going to be exceedingly nerdy and cool. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Merry Christmas, Ya’ Filthy Animal

After watching a couple Christmas specials last night, before it reached midnight I got into the shelf with my DVDs on it and dusted off “Home Alone” for us to watch as well. ๐Ÿ˜Š Surprisingly, and I have no ideaย how she managed this, but Cassi said that she remembers watching it within the first couple of years of it coming out – but that she hadn’t seen it since then. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ At least not as in sitting down and watching more than a few minutes of it at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that was kinda neat, watching a movie that me and everyone else on the planet have seen dozens of times, and seeing her experiencing it with new eyes.

Since neither of us had any obligations to wake up to, we both ended up sleeping in. I slept unusually soundly in the bedroom, while she slept out in the living room – where Maven decided to wake her up just a couple of times, probably like “Hey. I know who you are, but why are you in my house right now?”ย ๐Ÿ˜ผ We didn’t set any alarms, and just figured that I’d end up taking her home whenever we got up and around.

But before we really had a chance to put that non-plan into motion, her grandma decided that she was going to do a real Christmas dinner in the evening and asked if I’d like to join them as well. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though Cassi and I aren’t together anymore it was nice that her grandma thought enough about me to include me, and since I’d be taking Cassi back up there anyway I accepted the offer. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป So we spent much of the afternoon just watching Netflix until it was time to go up and get the evening started. By the time everything was said and done I didn’t end up getting back home until almost 10pm.

On the way home I was thinking about what a difference time has made. When Genesee and I were together, my family had gatherings for nearly every other holiday on the calendar each year. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐ŸŽ‰ And for Genesee, it wasn’t something that she was used to, but in a good way… my family became her family and she looked forward to every gathering we had. This year… this year was the first year since I’ve been alive, I believe, where there was no multi-family Christmas get-together in our family. ๐Ÿ˜ (I’m sure it was killing Toni. She tries so hard to keep things like they’ve always been.)

Now, folks in Cassi’s family don’t always get on well. ๐Ÿ˜ I don’t mean it in a bad way, but just in a way where I wouldn’t necessarily count on them having a family gathering for Christmas. So that’s what made me smile, originally thinking that it was just going to be like any other Monday today, yet there I was eating an awesome dinner with all of them. For a moment it made me think about how Genesee appreciated our family doing that sort of thing, and now that my local family is no longer doing it, it was me that was appreciating being invited to someone else’s family holiday thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

But I’m ending Christmas Day feeling better about things than I thought I would. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I had company for the eve and day that I hadn’t expected, some neat presents from Genesee (๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป)ย that I’d never even seen before but were perfect for me, I got to sleep for about 10 hours straight, and then I was surprised again with the family dinner when I had projected that I’d be back home and just moping around the house by myself by that point.

‘Twas The Night…

A little bit of down time here on the evening before Christmas, so I figured I’d go ahead and throw up a blog entry. I’ve currently got “Twas the Night Before Christmas” playing via YouTube on the TV (Frosty is next) and Cassi is napping in the recliner next to me. ๐Ÿ˜‹ Surprisingly I don’t have that one on DVD, so I’m stuck with the slightly sped-up, angle skewed version here… but it’s one of my “must play” shows, so I’ll take what I can get with only a few hours left until Christmas.

Having company wasn’t in the original plan, but it’s nice to have her here. While I’ve been able to help out with their move and then run back home away from the stress, she’s basically been stuck in it… so Athena decided to spend time with her boyfriend, Leona went to stay with her mom, and I went to pick up Cassi so she could spend time with me and vice versa. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m hoping the current nap status isn’t a reflection on me, but rather just relief of getting away from the chaos for a while.

It’s nice to have someone in my bubble for today and tomorrow, because like the past several years – I’ve just been struggling to grab hold of any Christmas spirit. I don’t feel awful or even bad… I just miss how I used to feel, but I suppose the older everyone gets the harder it is to hang on to the feeling we had as kids. ๐Ÿค” In fact, I’m probably lucky to have held onto it as long as I did – probably longer than most, because I think my Christmas experiences as a kid were better than most. ๐Ÿ˜€ Yes, I’m probably biased, but they really did it right when I was little. ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

It’s been difficult this year to listen to our traditional family holiday music. I still haven’t figured out how to not let it make me sad… sad that things are so dramatically different than when I was a kid… but the way it goes is a) listen to old carols, b) feel good for a few seconds, remembering, then c) feeling shitty because this isn’t how everything was supposed to end up. Yes, everyone in the family is getting older, and getting older brings various forms and levels of suck – and it’s something that should be expected and therefore able to be prepared for, but yeah… that’s not how it goes for me. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

It’s okay though… like I said, I’m not miserable… I’ve got surprise company that I’m glad to have with me, and Genesee made sure that Santa didn’t forget me and Maven when it comes to having some little surprises on Christmas morning. Things could be a whole lot worse, and I have to remember that. ๐Ÿ˜Œ I don’t wanna seem ungrateful for what I’ve got, but it’s hard not to feel selfish when I think about the things I wish were better/different. But at least I’ve got lots of “good” to be sitting here missing, eh?

Merry Christmas everyone… make the best of it.

Latest Animation Rendering

Well, here’s the finished product. I’m pleased with it… all of the added touches are there to be seen – it’s just a shame that animation is sort of an afterthought with this modeling program, so the camera movements are a bit jerky and unnatural looking. But for anyone who had visited this house prior to me moving in, I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty faithful to the original… particularly the living room. ๐Ÿ™‚

These are the things that I believe I’ve improved since I made the first animation:

  • Fixed paint colors, correcting walls and making the ceilings white
  • Adjusted color and texture of all the doors
  • Updated the textures of the floors for more natural hardwood look
  • Changed sizes (particularly in the bedroom) of furniture for more accurate scale
  • Added lamp, clock, and ceiling fan w/light in bedroom
  • Added lighting, shower curtain, curtain, and changed bathtub/fixtures in bathroom
  • Also added more accurate texture for vinyl flooring and shower tiles in the bathroom
  • Picture window changed to wood w/more accurate sheer curtains in living room
  • Changed lamp on round table and square coffee table changed to oval in living room
  • End table lamps changed / now functioning, cuckoo clock now present in living room
  • Console record player under big mirror changed, vase/flower and newspaper added

In each room I also tweaked all sorts of things when it comes to object shading, colors, levels of reflection (matte/glossy), and lighting levels (spot/ambient)ย in a way that I think makes the whole thing look slightly closer to realistic and accurate to the way things were here in the past. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things that I changed or adjusted, but yeah… there ya go. ๐Ÿ˜

Oh, and I know – both times that I’ve created one of these animations, it’s been done where the house is assumed to be lit by dawn / pre-dawn light. I do that because I prefer to see how the internal man-made illumination sources and shadows are handled by the program, although I suppose one day I could render it out in broad daylight with fake ceiling lights (just a source light w/no visible fixtures) being activated in every room. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Catching Up (More Later?)

Okay, I’ll put some effort into this entry. Things have been rough lately. Cassi and her family moved to a new apartment, and I was asked to help out where I could – and that’s all I could do, help out where I could. But basically what you had was a rag tag crew of broken people, trying to move an entire apartment’s worth of stuff as quickly as possible. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I didn’t do much more than move boxes from the basement, up the stairs, and into the kitchen (what feels like 100 times) and then I did help Cassi with the actual packing of her room and taking those boxes downstairs too. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ So even though what I was doing was mostly lifting dead weight, which doesn’t kill my neck and shoulder when done in moderation – of course I’m still dying today just due to the scale of what we were trying to do. (I wasn’t there for unloading day, handled by Cassi, Athena, and Athena’s new d00d.)

But anyway, I’ve done enough bitching on Twitter. We did have some other help for the bigger items, so everything that needed to get done got done. Of course we all wish we didn’t have to kill ourselves like we did, but it had to be done. One good thing though is that I’m pretty sure I’m still going to feel horrible by the time I get my MRI done tomorrow. Yes, thankfully it seems the scan has been approved – although now I’m remembering that I have a voice mail on my phone from the risk management company associated with my claim, so I can’t guarantee anything until I check that later. ๐Ÿ˜  But the extra pain that I’ve been having, the random seizing that my neck is doing, the “different” noises it makes – I’m just really concerned that something is going bad in there. And I’m torn, because I want them to tell me that yes, it’s worse, and that it’s not just a coincidence… but of course I don’t want it to be something so bad that they start talking about another surgery. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Oh, and in order to not stress Z out while they were getting ready to move, I decided to be cat-sitter again. ๐Ÿ˜บ I had her for several days, which was long enough this time for her to really start taking to me. No more hiding when I’d go down to the basement to see her – which was probably due in part to the liberal sharing of catnip and the regular “paper wad flipping” sessions. ๐Ÿ˜Š It’s nice to see that she hasn’t lost her excitement for that game.

So with all of that out of the way, after I get done with my MRI on Wednesday and hopefully get over to Aunt Sharon’s sometime today to help with her computer – then my life can maybe start going back to its normal boring-ness for a few days, and I can put my new vacuum together to see how she works… and do my laundry… and dishes… and bills… and continue packing away “get rid of” stuff… etc… ๐Ÿ˜ I’m sure I’ll still pop up to Cassi’s a couple times in the near future to help her unpack things here and there, but thank God all of the ass-busting work has been done.