Typically, before I post any lengthy reading online, I pre-write it in a word document. As I was scrolling through this document, I came across an old, unfinished post that I believe I started writing the same day or the day after the event it was referring to. I just decided to share it before it either gets lost further down the line or I delete it entirely.
I had the greatest opportunity of attending a conference for one of my social justice heroes… and it’s still so surreal to me.
I found out about Jane Elliot around a year ago. It started with a simple video that circulated my Facebook page, but I wanted to know what I was watching, I wanted the full story. Jane Elliot is best known for her “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment she did with an elementary school class she taught. The videos I found myself watching while looking her up involved her replicating that experiment with groups of older people. I listened to her explanations on why she continued to do the experiment and why she does her work. After those moments, I made up my mind that should I ever get the chance to see her work in person, I would take it without hesitation.
And I lived up to that promise. My psychology teacher told us that he and a committee of others worked hard to make it happen, but Jane Elliot would be presenting at campus. “Jane Elliot? At our little community college campus…” Surely, she was there. And so was I. I was anxious to see her when presentation day came; I was both nervous and excited. I loved every moment of the event. I’ve always thought of Elliot to be a considerably strict, “business” woman on a mission. But she’s charismatic, entertaining, and very informative all at once.
I’ll admit, however, it was difficult listening to and believing some of what she said. It wasn’t the factual things or the more obvious things that I knew to be true; it was those anecdotal moments where I couldn’t bring myself to believe that she had those conversations and that people are actually as nasty as she depicted…
And those moments are what makes the whole experience so surreal.
I don’t allow myself to be happy enough. The more I feel my own joy in doing the simplest of things, the more I realize it. I have been taking steps to better myself in many respects lately and I don’t give myself credit for any of it. So I’m making myself take the time to do so. If I can’t acknowledge my efforts, it’s hardly worth anyone else’s time to do the same.
I hate talking about school, but it always seems to play an important role in my stability. It’s only been the first month of classes but I am happy with how I’ve been maintaining myself. I mean, I have been doing work on the day it’s due, but I’m getting them in. That’s way more than my known academic habits. Perhaps it’s because I only have three classes right now, one of which doesn’t give homework, but I still want to commend myself for the efforts. I do aim to make better time in completing work, however. Waiting until the weekend to complete it is so unfair to me. I can name many Fridays where I just wanted some me time; I just wanted to wash my hair, do a face mask, watch YouTube, and twist my hair into the next morning. But I was too worried I wouldn’t get my homework done. Of course, I got it done but it’s the situation that’s bothersome. I feel I have been through the works over the course of these last two years and I think it’s time to care for me, and just me.
I have been more assertive in my crafts as of late and I forget how much I love these things. I downloaded this app called Recolor (for Apple) a while ago. I downloaded solely for moments when I’m too emotion-high and needed to de-stress. And it was a great decision. I don’t at all believe that coloring is exclusively for children, for a number of reasons. In 10 days, I’ll be another year older and I’ll still feel comfortable coloring. Aside from coloring, I have also been making efforts to put more time into writing. Today alone, I have written three pieces (this one makes four) and saying that aloud just makes me giddy. I missed writing so much and I’m so happy to put effort back into it. I look forward to much more work and, well, maybe I’ll even recommission my Wattpad…
My head has been in too many places to sit down and write about the things I’ve wanted to, but now that I’m slightly more leveled, let’s just get into it.
Almost three weeks ago, my family and I went to Arizona for a little more than a week. I’ll avoid certain details as to why we chose such an estranged place, but I will say I enjoyed the picturesque opportunity. When I wasn’t between my headphones, most of my time was spent looking for scenes to capture, particularly on my Polaroid. Yes, I finally had a chance to use it and I learned a few things about it. Nonetheless, I loved the products I came up with (the good ones at least). We stayed at quite a few hotels so pictures are a lot more scarce than I usually tend to report but I still have a select few to present. Of the many hotels we booked, our collective favorite was Windmill. There were a few things about it that I liked actually, not at all to reference its amenities.
I found myself aching to capture some of the scenes more than I wanted to enjoy the hotel itself. There was a water feature just beside the main building with a fountain in the middle. At one angle, there was flora that I wanted to capture as well… and I tried, but the sprinklers preferred otherwise… Outside of my disagreement with “nature”, there was another floral feature of interest about the hotel.
There were bushes with oranges growing and I just needed to pick one for the satisfaction of it. So one evening, when my parents were returning to the room, I met my father outside. And he risked his well-being for my oranges. Up until then, I never knew orange bushes had thorns. He picked three oranges for me and I took them inside, rinsed them, cut them to check for any unhealthy signs, and put them in the mini-fridge. I did take a bite of one of course… a very bitter bite. Perhaps this strand of oranges aren’t the sweetest; maybe tree-grown oranges are sweeter?
We did, of course, participate in traditionally tourist activities of course. Tusayan was one of our stops; we visited the Grand Canyon.
I hadn’t known what to expect when the decision was made; I just knew I would be looking at a lot of rocks. It was a breathtaking experience. The adventurer in me could have gotten into dire trouble; I wanted to walk the crooks I could see from where I was standing but that’s not the most recommended idea… Instead, I enjoyed it and took pictures of what I saw… and whatever else caught my eye.
There isn’t much more to highlight that I have pictures of other than a dear site to our family. For those who are or were avid N64 users, perhaps you’ve heard of the video game Vigilante. There is a certain level where a meteor leaves the players to not only fend off the computer but also a giant ant. Yes, we had the opportunity to see the ant crater.
For the first of two times during this trip, I bought a bag of rocks (yes, you read that correctly). Seeing this in person was interesting; it’s a lot bigger than the video game depicts… After this stop, we began our extensive, cross-country journey home. And my post-break panic kicked in heavily. Instead of going to school the next day, I stayed home frantically trying to catch up on the homework I didn’t do over the break.
School will be ending soon, as I only have a few weeks left until finals. I don’t particularly look forward to what summer brings, but I’m interested in what unfolds. Until then, I’ll put forth my best efforts to shape things to my benefit and press on.
All of my polaroids I took, featuring cheap frames from Dollar Tree
One of my favorites: Orange
Mohawke Duck Love
It looks like the mountain point in the background.
I haven’t been open about this to many, but for a few weeks or so, I have been working on a little project (if “project” is what you could call it). But now that things are set up, it’s time to share: I have an Etsy Shop.
If you haven’t heard of it, Etsy is a place where artisans can sell and share their creations. Currently, I have one item listed, which is my signature Hair & Body Butter. I’d like to sell prints as well but all in due time. My shop can be accessed via any Etsy links within this post or here.
In terms of tracking KraftyCat (my nickname for my shop), I will make another tab under the Posts tab for all things Etsy. If blog tracking is perhaps a bit much (or you know you’re not one for emails), you could follow my Twitter page as well. Among the many crazy things I share there, I do post about my shop as well. But if that’s too informal for you, following my blog directly or via email is my suggestion.
I recently compiled a small ePortfolio for all things KillerCatZiller™.
One of the perks about having a tech class is finding out about all of the cool online tools I’m exposed to. This time, I learned about Pathbrite. It’s a simple set of portfolios; each one has a different theme. I’ve included a set of written works, a photography set, as well as all of the main places around the web you may find me. Some of the photos you may recognize if you have been following this blog for a while. The written works include four pieces, one of which can be found in the archives of my Wattpad page.
This post is rather short, but there isn’t much else to say for these announcements. I hope you support me or continue to if you already have. Doing as little as sharing any links around is support enough.
Occasionally, I find old and interesting things in my room. Today, I found my seashells I collected from the last time I visited my grandmother. Here’s to a post consistent of poor quality photos a shorter text than I’m used to:
It’s been a few years since I grew this collection and today was the first time sifting through them all, removing leftover sand and old broken off shards. I didn’t realize how large a collection it was until I decided to do so, but I carried on since I had already began. I placed them according to a mental gradation of color, texture, or shape, and tried my best to keep that consistent.
This was the “ideal” or typical group of shells, the commercial type ones that are often depicted when you see a seashell on TV shows or commercials. These shells were predominantly white and had the classic seashell shape. There were more that I grouped a little differently because they weren’t consistent with the bulk. Can you see the really small one in the middle? Doesn’t it look more like a baby tooth?
These shells were closer to a thin gray-charcoal color. The deeper gray ones are small and more towards the middle of the group; the shells on the outer circle were the ones I decided not to put in the “ideal” group, because their bottoms were more this color. It made a nice little color grade in the group (which most likely isn’t well depicted with such bad lighting). This group was mostly interesting for the amount of smaller shells it had.
This was perhaps my favorite selection of shells to look at. The photo quality makes them look more deep brownish or red, but these shells are littered with pretty magenta colors and thinner purples. Patterns like that of the color on these shells would do great for a shirt or dress, some piece of clothing. I also noticed a lot of these shells were broken but I refuse to throw away something so pretty because of a little damage (cue Tumblr quote post). Did you notice that one of the shells blend into my carpet a little? I didn’t either…
These were all the shells with a more interesting texture of topical shape or form. These shells were on a scale of really rough and atypical to pleasurably soft. The shell in the middle looks like a dumpling of some kind, so it’s sort of the robin among the crows, ironically. The one just above it felt more like a rock than a shell when I first picked it up. But it didn’t have the weight to match, so I put it here as well.
I wanted to include these shells with the gray pile but the color value and shape contrast was so drastic, I had to give them their space. I have a theory about this pile, actually. Notice all of the broken, long shards? A few summers after this visit, my uncle found a clam shell that he had cracked open (and, yes, there were pearls). These remind me of the inside of that clam shell. Perhaps these are shards of another clam shell? Maybe it wasn’t dismembered in the same way, but it would make sense to me…
Lastly, these two sets are my favorites out of all of my shells. On the left are the smallest shells out of all of them. They look almost like teeth, they’re so precious; I was scared I’d crush or lose them if I held them. On the right is a shell from the abnormal pile and a shell from the magenta shells. The top shell reminds me of something like the Magic Conch Shell from Spongebob (and it tickles me to think about). The second of the two is a really pearly, smooth baby pink. Not only is it pleasing to look at, but much like its friend, it’s smooth to the touch.
Yes, I did have to clean some sand and shards from my carpet, but I didn’t mind. I also have a smaller collection of interesting rocks that I kept, but I didn’t care to take more poor-quality photos. We’ll save that for another post, when I have more of them and a better camera.
The more I think about it, the more complex the idea becomes – the more anticipant I become… I’m not particularly one for “New Year’s Resolutions” because, for me at least, they tend to be unrealistic. I won’t lie: I have made a dietary or “weight loss” resolution once or twice because it sounds nice of course; who doesn’t want a hot summer body? But I’ve come to a point where there are bigger, more accomplished goals that I really want to work toward (not to cast my health aside). I want this year to be different, I’ve wanted the New Year to be different for the past few years should I be honest. But this is one that I want to work towards, even if I have to force myself to.
Since this is the easiest one to talk about, let’s address the obvious facts. It’s nothing new that I’m ready to “leave the nest”. The only new thing is that I legally can, all my own, and no one can stop me. And no, this isn’t an “I’m 18 so I can do adult things now”; it’s more of a breathing and recuperation type of deal. I won’t detail all of my driving forces but more or less, it’s more of something I need to do, ready or not. So, even though I’m still financially dependent, one of my goals is to change that. I want a small little place that I can come and go as I please, where I don’t have to worry about much other than bills, I guess. A car would be nice too I suppose but whichever comes first, I’m willing to adapt. The only thing I have going for me financially is Etsy*. I’m still working on a few details and preparations but if I can sell enough products on there and put it into savings, maybe I’ll get somewhere. For now, however, we wait on a magic phone call.
If possible, I really desperately want to get back into my various hobbies and passions and crafts and every other pass-time that I love and hold dear… I have so many that I miss so much because either I haven’t had the time, haven’t had the means, or just haven’t been in the state of mind to do so.
I cannot begin to express how much I miss writing: how much I miss critiquing my work because it doesn’t flow logically, how much I miss griping about being unmotivated, how much I miss brainstorming – all of it. I have mounds of half finished or incomplete planning for various stories I started; I haven’t even thought about poetry since last year. The only place I can open a blank page and actually have something to say is this blog, where there is no particular format, where I don’t have a perfectionist standard (not entirely at least). I can remember moments, staying up until the break of dawn, tiring my wrists with frantic typing because I was worried if I didn’t write it down, I won’t remember the idea or thought… and so many more things that I miss. Anyone may be reading this and thinking, “Well, if you miss it so much, why not just start writing again? Write right now in fact!” And my response is, it isn’t so easy… I haven’t been in a mentally stable place for just about a year. My writing didn’t particularly stop during then, but the mood of it changed drastically. The last “happy thing” I can remember writing dates back at least a year and a half. In short, I guess I’m trying to say I don’t think I’m able to anymore… But, I also said I’m not cut out for college either… Writing and authorship may not be right now, but I don’t see it disappearing entirely from my hobby list.
Next to it, however, I want to get further into photography and videography. I’ve always had an interest in pictures, picturesque scenery, the cameras, video editing, “capturing the moment”, and any and everything else relevant. Ever since my last birthday, I’ve been a little sad in terms of this passion. For my birthday gift, I had gotten a Fujifilm Polaroid* camera, one that I’ve had my eyes on for the better half of a year. I haven’t had a chance to use it since and it breaks my nerdy little heart a bit. It’s why I can’t wait until the summer or any time where I may be traveling. I hope to have a scrapbook or something that I can put my pictures in; I’d like to have a decent camcorder that I can record bits and pieces of the entire experience with as well, and allow myself to be tickled with humorous but cute amateur video edits that usually surface on YouTube or something or another. But until I get those opportunities, I’ll work on other things in the mean time.
Nurturing my Career
The last and perhaps the most important goal I have is to take more steps along my career path. As is obvious and repetitively mentioned, I am in school. My science major is for Veterinary Technology so my goal is really to have more accomplishments related to it. For example, the biggest accomplishment as of last year was becoming a volunteer with the SPCA. I consider my role minor but I know it isn’t. Whenever I’m on my shift, there’s a certain therapeutic calm that flushes over me when I take the shift after someone else’s, greeting customers and helping in the adoption process, or even having to clean cat poop. Animals have a big, special place in my heart; no matter the service, I’m always ready and willing – even at the olfactory sacrifice of my precious nose. As I have been, I’ve been working to get employment at places you’d expect that handle animals, like pet accessory stores, grooming shops, et cetera. For now, even if employment doesn’t work out the way I’d like, I’ll keep reaching for my best in school.
I look forward to how this year will play out; I feel it’ll be interesting for some odd reason. Whatever the future holds for me, I hope it’ll be only good things. If not? I will make the best of it all.
*Etsy will be linked once all the details are finalized
This post is long overdue, so it will probably run long. Nevertheless, here’s how I’ve been.
School is usually the biggest priority in my life and is equally as stressful (if not, more). My first semester as a college student was rocky but it went by and ended on a relatively good note. It was the first time in perhaps five or more years I was content with my final grades. The funniest class to me was English. It always felt like a waste of tuition and time to me but I held my peace and just allowed it to blow over. In summary, the professor believed I was an A student but didn’t show it very well in the classroom – which is a fair statement. For some reason still unknown to me, I fall asleep in class and all the sleep and bedtime schedules in the world haven’t been able to change it. I told her that but she still held a tone of mild disappointment in the behavior. She couldn’t stop asking about whether writing comes easy to me, however… I couldn’t stop thinking about the first day of class: we did an exercise where we shared facts about ourselves, one of mine being my passion for writing. C’est la vie… In short, my work paid off in large amounts unexpected and I am – for once – proud of it all.
School ended about two weeks before Christmas. So I had two weeks to myself, to relax, mentally detox, and simply breathe.
The Saturday following, my friends had planned a hangout. In my opinion, it couldn’t have been better timed. There was a little stress following but in the moment, it was nice and a much needed breather. One of those present came all the way from down south for their winter break from school as well and it was nice to see them for the first time in a while. We mainly spent the time watching YouTube or Netflix, someone’s video gameplay, lying around, and just plainly enjoying each other’s company and the soothing, relaxed atmosphere. At one point, I followed Panda downstairs to accompany him in making brownies. I didn’t directly assist in the making part but it was a little fun to watch him stress over the way the brownies were going (and then gloat over the second batch). I was given more than I was able to eat – which doesn’t imply a lack of attempt; I was determined to eat as much as I could. Later, we all played Uno – by which I mean trying to figure which rules were in play and rethinking our collective relation to each other. Once all of my energy had gone, I went into kitten mode and curled up to Panda’s warmth, slowly falling asleep.
I was given a curfew to be home before or by but things didn’t go according to it. Despite that and the yelling that came with it, the relief of being in such a soothing vibe was enough to hold me over.
Our holiday was Christmas. It fell on a Sunday this year and it was such a crazy morning. Christmas felt different this year, not as jolly, not quite magical. Christmas felt like a Monday morning on a Friday and I wasn’t sure how to feel about any of it… My mother wanted everyone to be in some church service. She wanted us to go to our church but, as always, we were late. She wanted us to go to my aunt’s service but, we ended up missing that one as well – er, we being her and I. Two of my brothers went to catch the last 30mins of service at our church while my youngest joined my aunt. Me and my mother went to their house and waited on them to come home. I was in high spirits Christmas morning. My father surprised us with two small Christmas trees and presents. I was wearing an outfit that made me feel confident in my masculine side and I wanted to be out of the house just to show off. My mood was kind of thrown off with something I read my aunt say to my mother when she asked me to read her a new text she’d received. In that moment, I wanted to go home because I figured that wasn’t the only thing that would be said or done. And, of course, it wasn’t. When she got to her house, she had asked me to take a picture of her and my grandmother – oh, but not without asking where my outfit came from. I sat to the side and let the provoked dysphoria have its way with me. I just wanted it to pass so I could try and enjoy the rest of the day.
Luckily, the evening perked up and things went smoothly after. Once all of the family had shown up, we blessed the food and had dinner. One thing that I did notice is how little I eat. That is to say all of the filler foods and fast foods really haven’t had much content. And I noticed it when I realized how much food I had eaten and how much I packed into my to-go parcel. Jamaican dinner is divine especially in the cold and in the midst of family. Once everyone had eaten and had their belch, my cousin’s “White Elephant” game went into play. By the end of the game, everyone is supposed to have a gift, whether they pick one from the lot of take someone else’s. I was not at all pleased with my gift. My first two gifts were taken and my third was very unsettling to the touch. It was a poorly wrapped, toddler’s-forearm-sized bottle of Niquil. What was I supposed to do with it? Yes, I was very upset; yes, I had many regrets; yes, I tried to trade with everyone. My uncle was kind enough to “buy” it off of me for $10 so I left happy.
When I had gotten home, I had to pack because my family and grandmother would be going to Canada the next day to see my great-grandmother. Before I did, me and my siblings opened the presents my father had brought us. We all got a speaker tower. I tested mine out immediately and I was instantly pleased. It packed it back in its box and went upstairs to start packing. I wasn’t entirely for going all the way there only to come back the very next day, but I also didn’t have much say in it either (as per usual). The one good thing that came of the trip personally was that I had the opportunity to put one of my Christmas gifts to the test. I’ve always wanted a pair of Axent Wear cat ear headphones and I got them in green. I was pleased to have them, I was pleased to use them, I was pleased with their quality, and I will protect them with my life. As we do whenever we see my great-grand, we played the piano and sang a few songs for the rest of the seniors at her center before leaving.
We got home Wednesday morning at about 3am. I did nothing more than set my bag down, turn my heater on, strip, and go straight to sleep. Later in the day, I did my personal chores but only after lying in bed for an hour after I woke up.
The New Year is right around the corner and I have a few resolutions I need to (re)establish. But I’ll save that for another post. It’s still dreadfully cold and the only thing I can think to drink is hot chocolate or tea. There are a few other things I need to update on but I’ll save those for their completion. For now, I bid everyone an overdue Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays to everyone else.