Saturday, August 30, 2014

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I've gotten back into the game again, so I wanted to post my Dream Address here, as well as some tips I came across from playing for so long. I finally have a Perfect Town, with all 4 houses paid off and remodeled (each house has a different exterior, and my townsperson Law has a Gold home as well)! Now I just need all the furniture for certain sets inside them and I'll be done with that.


Are you tripping a lot in-game? 

You're either:

having "bad luck"
 Luck is random per day - if you visit Katrina, the Fortune Teller, 20 times, she'll open up a shop on the strip and you can ask her. Or, if you buy Redd's Fireworks Cookies 4 weeks in August, there is an item called the "Lovely Phone" you can win that you place in your home. You can then call it every day to hear your fortune and lucky item.

are wearing the King Tut mask
The mask is an item that is cursed.

don't have rain boots on when it's raining
Seriously, buy a pair and either use 'em all the time or save 'em.

OR are inappropriately dressed for the season
 If you, say, have long sleeves in the summer, etc - you're wrongly dressed. You can see this if when you come out of your home your character does a little animation, like 'OMG I'm hot' (wiping sweat from brow).

Brewster won't let you work? 

work time is only 11 am to 11 pm every day

is it a festival/holiday?
He won't let you work.

is there anyone in town
(Sabrina, Redd, Joan, etc)? He won't let you work.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Furry FAQ

This is a list of all the stuff I've written about being a furry. I'll constantly be adding to it. 

My fursona is (and has been for more than a decade) a nekomata, which is a split-tailed demon cat from Japanese lore. Not common to many furs, as she is a demon, she can take human form and often does to mess with people (mostly men).

*click for larger image. 

Growing Up Furry
A small essay about how I grew up without the internet and without any support of my furry identity. How families react when they don't understand.

Those Stupid Furfags
Why is "furfag" and furry-bashing acceptable? We're the new "it's okay to mock" lifestyle, and I want to know why, since we're not doing what the public thinks we do.

Am I Really a Furry?
My thoughts about who/what I really am, since I don't slather fur-porn around. Does this mean I'm not a furry?


Growing up Furry

This is the story of a 38 year old woman that is a proud "furry".

"Furry" refers to folks that express themselves by creating anthropomorphic animal character personas with human characteristics.

I was born in 1976 and lived my childhood through the Eighties. That said, you have to understand that the internet, although early message board systems were up in their most basic form, was not available to most people. We just didn't have it back then. You grew up with your neighborhood, your classmates, and your family as the only people to get in touch with and talk to about things.

I remember as early as I began to speak I would bark at people, or growl. When they would lean over me and say, 'What a pretty little girl', my response was 'I'm a dog!' When I was able to walk and play I quickly found that placing a crocheted "snake" my mother made in my pants made a fine tail. I would prance around for hours, pretending to be Scooby Doo at first, then just random creatures as I got older. My family was not supportive of any of this.

I do have family issues in general. For one, as soon as I reached what mom thought was "the right age", I was discouraged to stop "being a baby" and put away all my toys and fantasy dreams. Even as a small child I was scolded for telling people I was a dog because it embarrassed her.

My furry self retreated as a young adult growing into a woman. For one thing, my "playing" days were considered over by all the adults in my life. For the other, I was involved with growing up and boys (along with school and health problems, but that's another story). But I found out that who you are is not to be denied. At around age 16 or so, I started growing very fond of wolves, tigers and foxes. It always seems to start there for furries, and even though I loved all animals in general, I did the norm and focused on those. I gradually became obsessed with wolves - werewolves in particular. Looking back, I can see that the werewolf was a good avenue for me to fantasize about. I was controlled strictly everywhere, in school and at home.

I had absolutely no rest. At the bus stop, the two neighbor kids teased me. While riding the bus, I was pelted with rocks, weed-stickers and anything that was disgusting or could possibly hurt. During school, I was ignored whenever there were match-ups, and left every single time as the last one when there were choices to be made for any type of teams. When I came home, it wasn't any better. It was no surprise when I had a mental breakdown (I was bipolar and no one knew it until I got tested).

When I finally returned, school teachers and counselors blackly stereotyped me when we told the schools I had mental problems. My mother and stepfather just thought I was "faking" all my illnesses. The werewolf is ostracized by their fellow humans as well. I could relate to that. Also, the wolf is a pack animal, and creatures that run in packs have strong bonds with each other. I wanted this from my family and fellow classmates. I needed it; I  craved it. When I didn't get it, I turned to becoming a wolf myself. I played with the story, read a lot of literature, painted werewolves in art class. That sort of thing.

Then I heard from people that my single "friend" had ;always talked about me behind my back to gain status from others. See, they wouldn't speak with her since she was a nerd. Real nerds are not glamorous, as today's media interprets them. We are pariah, and many do not have friends. But if she told gossipy stories about me, they would pay her attention. This hurt deeply. I took a chicken's heart from the soup we were having for dinner one night and ate it in front of her.

Yes, I eat chicken hearts. More about that below.

That's when I realized that I had perhaps taken it a bit too far, seeing as she was wholly American and didn't get that sort of thing anyway. I had shocked her, certainly, but for what reason? I told my mother, very calmly, that there was talk about people saying I was a werewolf at school. I said that they might be contacted about it (I had a feel for the school system doing this to me by now) and that I had it under control. I was going to try and not be open about what I believed and wanted. All I wanted was something that wasn't possible - to be a furry half-human creature, loved by others of my pack and accepted. I didn't understand why or how humans could be so cruel to others. And I didn't know about furries. There was nowhere I could turn to see that there were others like me. The school did contact my mother, who in her turn didn't listen to me and went there for a conference. They called me in like an intervention with a slew of counselors and my art teacher lied in front of everyone. I think I know why she did it now; she wanted my mother to think things were serious and "fix" her "mentally unstable" child.

I like rare - even raw -- meat. I always did. When I was little my mother would let me eat some of the meatball mix when she made them. I always ask for "blood rare" (or "blue") meat when we go out, and I enjoy eating parts of creatures that Americans think are weird. I was raised fully Italian. Eating the giblets, like the heart and gizzard of a chicken, is not strange when viewed by another culture. And the fact that I liked my roast beef sandwiches bloody rare was translated into "she's eating raw meat". Everyone was predisposed to think this because I was "weird", I didn't do "normal" things, and anyway, I wanted to be a wolf! Of course I was fucked up!

But I wasn't.

Sadly, I allowed myself to be, once again, beaten down. And when the internet became huge, I went online and discovered I wasn't the only one that felt this way. I developed a fursona and kept things small, just drawing and writing a bit about her, through which I discovered an amazing fact.

She was the real me.

After many years I now have a wonderful and supportive husband. With his love it still took me six or so years before I opened up and began buying, making and wearing tails again. He doesn't understand, but he knows it makes me happy. We've been married nine years as of 2014 and I own several tails and sets of ears, as well as a necomimi (sic) set that I wear when the fancy strikes me. I dye my hair wild colors at my age and stand up straight when people get angry in public because I don't look "normal". I have started to realize that my happiness is just that - mine. It shouldn't affect you in a negative way. It should be the opposite! When you see someone so happy and being pleasant to you, you should react in the same way back. If you do not, then I wash my paws of you.

You dislike me because I'm different? Because you see only the negative aspect of furries? Every group, by the way, has its "crazies", the extremists. They don't make up 100% of the culture. Just because "that one" does this or that doesn't mean other furries do. I choose to be part of a group that is supportive of all its members. One that has hugs and pack acceptance. If you are judging me badly because you think being furry means something disgusting without really learning about us, or because I'm different, then you have a flaw that I don't care for.

You're too human.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What has the highest shit content in this picture?


...that's right, it's the article!* Danedri Thompson from The Gardner News has managed to do it again, like she does every time she types something up that has her personal opinion in it.

"Calling Hitler a socialist shouldn't be controversial" was the article. G'head, read it if you'd like. It's hilarious.

I wrote: 42 percent of Millenials call themselves socialists, according to a Time Magazine survey. Only 16 percent of those know what the word means. You know who else was a socialist? Hitler.

That is indeed what she wrote**. And now, she is either playing dumb (ha) or being snarky by saying "well, excuse me, of course Hitler was a socialist"...

1) there are arguments that he was not a socialist
2) even if he was one, you are comparing people to Hitler, a big no-no

Let me break it down in another statement.

"(blank)% of creative people call themselves artists. You know who was also an artist? Hitler."

This has now compared artists to Hitler. And this will very rightly piss people off if said in earnest (I'm nothing at all like the man, for instance).

Simple, clean, quick. Maybe Hitler was a socialist, but then again, many claim he was not, like in this thought-provoking article. But taking that aside and even assuming he is for argument's sake, do we condemn all artists because he wanted to paint? No. Hitler was a deranged man that had many mental problems.

Socialism: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
The proper definition is there. If it's not what you agree with, that's fine, as this is America. But don't be so moronic as to use it to attack people and say they're like Hitler. For shame, that demeans everyone and everything that happened during the Holocaust. So many innocent people died, so many were inhumanly tortured and experimented on, treated like animals... and you're flippantly using the name to poke at people who like something you do not.

* by the way, this is what I always do with her expressions of "thought". My lovely, cranky parrotlet Penny adores pooping all over them in her cage.

** also wik: millenial = millennial. Do you have spell check? Because I'm dyslexic and I do.

*** also also wik: ha ha, people dumb, "only 16% know what the word means" - hypocritical much?


He-Man vs PETA


...just because.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stephen King Movies & Series

Husband saw this today about one of our mutually favorite King novels. Upon peeking at the comments (something that proves I am stupid) I see tons of folks tearing up older King miniseries/movies, etc.

I'm just going to say what I posted there: should we even try to make mini series or movies based on epic King novels? Because it seems ridiculously hard. It's impossible to get them "just right", ever, because you can't please everyone. And because of how difficult it is, budget and time constraints, the actors at your disposal, etc., I think everyone needs to chill the hell out on all previously made series/movies. It's so hard - you should be happy that you at least got something to watch. To be excited about, even if you're a hardcore troll and you're gonna pick apart every difference between the book & movie/ TV series.

There were a lot of parts about the original Stand miniseries that I didn't like. But I focus, instead, on what I did like. There were gasps and "aahs" and those moments of "Yay! A favorite character is on the screen!"

At least The Stand miniseries was 100% better than the revamped ST:TOS & TMNT shit. Ripping apart stuff and re-writing stories that have been previously loved is way different than just not being able to fund a good model of a giant spider for the end of a TV series.*


I mean, even Rugrats hailed King at one point. That is epic.

* of course I refer to the "IT" miniseries

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Internet Providers Suck



So, here's this commercial you may have seen on TV from Time Warner Cable. I absolutely detest lying, shitty commercials, so this is at the top of my list now. Not only is their "mascot" annoying - beardy guy with hat -- it's a crock of shit.

TLDR: commercial says Time Warner gives you internet for just $15 or something, without all the "bundles". Try to sign up for it, though, and Time Warner will NOT let you, and the lowest bundle(s) we could find were $80.

Longer rant: Zoro & I have bad internet service from CCI, "Consolidated Communications" (formerly known as "Surewest"). It's spotty and doesn't work, plus, it's expensive for very low service & bad speed. So we wanted to switch to Google Fiber, but even though the bastards tore up our lawn and created a mess for several days on our street they won't let us have it! @#$% it, Google! Zoro checks every few days we want it so bad, but it's always "not available in your area". WHAT DO YOU MEAN, NOT AVAILABLE? YOU TORE UP OUR YARD TO PUT THE CABLES IN!

*ahem*

Anyway, it finally happened to him last night - he was online trying to Skype & play Steam, and it kept cutting out on him. So he tried to switch to Time Warner. Heh heh heh. So, their commercial is all about "buying only what you need". But Time Warner is a hypocritical @#$%. They are the King of Bundles! We couldn't get any internet only service. He chose very carefully, only the lowest of everything it forced him to pick, and it came to $80 worth of crap we don't need. The website would not let him just pick internet. He was forced to bundle.

In other words, he was forced to buy a LOT of "things we didn't need", as their commercial there is making fun of, saying other companies do it. Wait... wait, but so do they!

Augh!

We're going to have to wait for Fiber. Grump.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Unlocked: Zoro Troll!

My beloved husband has finally joined the ranks of those of us that have been targeted by trolls/harassers online.

Huzzah!

Oh, he's overjoyed. Shit like that doesn't bother him. Myself, I get pissed because - well, first off, it's what I do -- and second, I just don't understand mean people. You're revealing yourself as the lowest of the low, a complete idiot that just wants to "attack" others. You want others to feel bad because you said something mean about them. Wait, are you five? Three? The only people I know crueler than trolls are kids, young kids. Because that's about the mentality.

"You're doing something I don't like! STOP IT!"

Um... why exactly? You can post to someone anywhere about how you think they should die because they drew something you were jealous about, for instance (which I get a lot). I am certainly able to post that image, then. I mean, I'm just having fun. You're being an idiot that wants to control someone and fight for kicks. Go do something that will be worth your time!

"This person looks like they'll get hurt if I poke them."

Then why do it? What's the @#$%ing challenge? I forgot, you're a coward that won't face people. That's why you're online, faking who you are/ your gender / name, etc. You can say what you like/do what you like "without consequences".

What if we had consequences?

I like this idea. Trolls get fined $$$ when they troll. Or, at the very least, by signing up with something that presents the place you're posting at with a sense of identity to top staff, if you make a death threat, they will know. Everyone whines in the comments section there about how bad it would be, say, if someone hacks your account. That seems to be a big issue. Well, geniuses, if an account is fine for years and then suddenly changes it's entire tone and starts trolling, I'd say that people would be able to tell. I think we have to go back to being smart instead of whining about our "rights". What rights do we have when a faceless attacker suddenly hurts us constantly, wherever we go? What if they could be taken to task? Wouldn't that be better?


Monday, August 18, 2014

Stupid Medical Bills

So, I have a million things wrong with me. Many serious, so serious I don't work outside the home (and never will). But thanks to the health care system being so shitty, always shitty, I haven't had treatment in more than a decade. I did go recently to a place for my sciatica and a UTI test.

I went to "Pure Health Medical Center" in Kansas.

They gave me 2 tests, apparently one was not covered (too bad they wanted to make sure I was okay, insurance seems to think that's an "extra" we have to pay for). Needless to say, due to me not working and costs always going up without pay raises going up, we have no money. So the bill was $100+.

I've done the whole "can't pay entire amount" before - I've had hospital bills *shudder* -- so I knew what to do. Pay what we can, and then after that pay every month, what we can, until it's paid off. Unfortunately the assholes didn't send us another bill, they just called with a debt collector instead.

Excuse me? I paid $30, and if you would just send me bills, you morons, I could pay the rest! I had to look everything up the hard way to find the address and pay another amount. I am so highly pissed that I'm ready to explode. Not everyone can dump money down like it's nothing. Don't they understand that? Even if they're in a ritzy neighborhood, wouldn't it be better to send another bill FIRST, instead of doing something that nasty?!

Well... I'm not sure, but I think it's a debt collector. There's no reason someone would be calling me at all (unless it's a friend or family member), and this person said "on behalf of..." so it sounds like it is.

Due to my being bipolar, and unable to even call a friend on my bad days, I can't call back. I've been stressed to the max because of this stupid misunderstanding. And I don't want to go back again, especially if they're going to:

1) give me "unnecessary" extra tests we'll have to pay for
2) not have the decency to bill me twice, just sic bill collectors on my ass instantly

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ferguson, MI reboot

So, yet another also also wik for the Ferguson, MI story. Now police released a video they claim is the kid robbing a store, which of course is to show us he was a bad kid who "deserved" what he got. People are so huffed up about this, that they can't think. Some douche on Twitter even screamed 'THINK' at me in all caps because I said,

"...because stealing something warrants being shot like an animal?"

Well?

Does it?

The Twitter person, as so many others are claiming now, states that the fact that since he aggressively robbed a store beforehand this attests to his "state of mind" when he was confronted by police.

Sure. Okay. He did a bad thing, he wasn't an angel. The claims are that he held his hands up and got shot. That doesn't mean he attacked the other officers. And, even so, I still believe it was mostly his color that got him in trouble. I live in Kansas, okay? Cops (some, as in the majority) really do target black people. This happens. Some of our friends joke about it, but that's because how the hell can you deal with such crap? It's either laugh or cry.

We'll never know what happened, because we weren't there. Neither side sounds like it was innocent, but one side killed an unarmed human being. That side was wrong. Can we agree on that, at least?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trafalgar Law Dakimakura

So, I'd say it's Zoro's fault, really...

...hey, wait, it is. Ugh.

He (the husband) & I watched ONE PIECE episodes in a mini-marathon, and dammit if it wasn't a lot of Law action. I know I'm supposed to be saving up money and whatnot, but this just came out, and I might want to give my Zoro one a break now & then (snerk)~


Yep, brand new Law pillow cushion. Here's the link to the auction. If the link doesn't work, just click on their other items they're selling and search for One Piece stuff. He's the only sexy one they sell, apparently, because all the rest are the "licensed-but-not-really portrait-on-a-pillow" types. Huh. Well, he was cheap (no pun intended) and that's what counts!

Now I need to sell some stuff again. Ack.



Anyone want a special, Tokyo Pokemon Center only Suicune blue edition Gameboy Advance? I'm trying to sell mine for the lowest price on eBay, and it's like brand new with all the box, instructions and everything... but no go. Everyone wants it for way less. Even though mine is the cheapest available!







Ferguson, Missouri


New this year - Kraft's mac and cheese TMNT shapes! One box each for me and the hubby. Here are Splinter, Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and (my personal fave) Raphael.

Light-hearted macaroni discussion aside, I'm appalled as any human being should be, at what's taking place in Ferguson, MI. For one, it's close to my home (kinda, I'm in KS). For another, what the hell is going on with cops in the US? They shot that poor boy for one reason: because he wasn't afraid of them. And now they're doing the same thing to the town.

It's disheartening and it makes me sad.

It also makes me sad to see how some media avenues spin the story. Some empathize the violence of the people, which is ridiculous. Obama himself had to condemn both sides to be politically correct, and yet even he had to know it was nuts to say "there is never a reason for people to shoot at the police" (not the exact quote I believe, but that's the gist).

Excuse me? No reason? A cop comes up to me, unarmed, holding my hands in the air, and is going to shoot me. Just because I'm not afraid and I should be in his eyes; I should treat him as a superior being since he's a cop (or racially, because he's what he thinks is a better color, or gender, etc). Whatever the cause, people have a right to fight back against terrorism - even if the police are the terrorists. Especially if they are! Ugh.

Also, for those folks wondering what the name of the cop is that shot the boy, it was released online. If you check, you can probably find it now. Because they'll never release it unless a judge demands it, the chief was quoted saying that tonight.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to be Happy

This is a guide to letting go and not living a life of stress and despair. I found this once on the internet, but the site was taken down, unfortunately. I've since added my own thoughts to it and always kept it posted in places since I feel this is the most straightforward piece I've ever seen on the topic.

Stop Being a @#$%
Seriously. Just stop. Even when other people are being @#$%s. Just stop. When you get a reaction from strangers, they're not actually reacting to you. They're reacting to some stereotype and set of assumptions about who you are based on how you look, how you carry yourself, what they would do, and the kind of person they are expecting to bump into in their current situation. So whatever it is they just did, whatever it is that you think was some great offense to your person, just let it go. It's not worth escalating the situation, because you aren't going to get anything positive out of the situation and you're just ruining everyone's time. So leave strangers alone. As for everyone else, you've got even more reason to stop being a @#$%. If someone says something that you don't like, yelling isn't going to accomplish anything except make everyone else sorry they're around you. Oh, sure, you may get them to shut up. You may even intimidate them to admitting you're right or taking back what they said. But they didn't mean it, and as soon as you leave the room or they think you won't notice, they'll go back to being exactly they way they were before you yelled at them. Congratulations, you've done nothing by being a @#$% except make everyone regret that you were invited to the party. So how about you stop being a @#%$?

Stop Whining
Look, everything you might want to whine about falls into one of two camps: either you can do something about it, or you can't. If you can do something about it, then put the energy you were going to put into whining into actually fixing it. If you can't do anything about it, then your whining isn't going to do anything except continue your cycle of self-loathing and make you a general downer. Reality isn't going to change because you whined at it, so deal with the life you have, not the one you want. Whining is counter-productive to everything you want to accomplish. Save your energy and use it to find a hobby instead.

Get Out, Get Some Exercise, Unplug, and Deal with Real People
If you're in your house all the time, surrounded by your own hand-picked decorations and designs, and you go out only when insulated by your iPod's earphones and something to be burying your eyes in, the it's no surprise you're unhappy. Human beings are social creatures. That means you will be a lot happier if you socialize. And, y'know what's really weird? Most people won't think you're anything other than friendly if you strike up a conversation. We're also creatures of nature and built for movement. Being surrounded by neon and advertisements has been scientifically proven to make you unhappy, so get into nature and go for a walk. Discover a local park. It's a bigger deal than most people give it credit for.

If People Are Treating You Like Crap, Then Let Them Go
There are lots of people out there who aren't listening to #1 ("Don't be a @#$%"). They, for some reason or another, are out to bully you, to passive-aggressively control you, to tell you that you are wrong, to use you as a punching bag (verbally or otherwise) and to generally be a problem. So let them go. Stop hanging out with them, and put plenty of distance between you and them. No matter what that person might say, you know that you don't deserve what they're dishing out, so pick up your dignity and hit the road. There are 7 billion people on this planet. You can afford to not hang out with that one again.

Your Critics Are Always Right
Ever watch the show Kitchen Nightmares? Good God, these people miss the obvious - if 100 people don't like your food, then quit saying "it's good"! If someone seriously says that you are some way – if they tell you you're embarrassing to be around, or if they compare you to someone you hate, or if they say you're not a very nice person, or whatever – then you are that way. You may not be that way in the core of your being, and you may not want to be that way, and it may be a surprise that you have come off that way, but their perception of you is valid, and you need to accept and deal with that. What did you do that made them think that was true? Where are they coming from with their experience of you that made it seem accurate? Ask yourself (and them) these questions, and see if you can take it as an opportunity for self-improvement. Don't do what most people do, which is to take it as an attack that needs to be responded to with anger and yelling. Then you're just taking an opportunity to make yourself better and replacing it with an opportunity to hurt your relationship with them. Now, of course, you need to be sure they're serious: something said in the middle of a fight doesn't really qualify. So you need to be sure they're serious. But if your critic is serious, then your critic is right in some way.

Do Hard Stuff for a Change
For some reason, our society tries to ask as little as possible from you. Don't let it. It's hard to make a new friend. It's hard to vest yourself in a job, or in a project, and to really start to care about it. It's hard to fight for your career, and to do what needs to be done to advance it. It's hard to get out of your comfort zone and draw something difficult for you to draw, experience things or listen to people that are totally foreign. Nothing takes your sorrows away more than thinking about something besides yourself. Give freely and with a smile. Find a new friend or get involved in your old one's lives. See if you can donate some hours to the community food bank, or a charitable organization. Or how about talking to that new employee at your workplace? There's a ton of things that you can do. If you are single and lonely, this is a sure-fire way to help ease that void, though it's not fair to others if you only show up someplace because you expect to receive a spouse. It's hard to demand your dignity, it's hard to submit to humility, and it's hard to focus on self-improvement instead of self-destruction. But, if you do those things, you'll be happier for it. Take the hard road: that's where the good stuff is.

Let Stuff Go/Suck It Up
Most things aren't worth the effort we put into them. We get angrier about them than they're worth, we worry more about them than they're worth, and we ruin ourselves over nothing. Let it go. Not a huge fan of where the RPG you're playing in is going? Suck it up and roll with it for awhile. Try something different. Did someone "blacklist" or "foelist" you? Let it go: the reality is that they probably don't even remember it - or they won't in a year or so, maybe less. Whatever it is that you're all hung up on that's been ruining your decade, just let it go. It's seriously not worth the effort you're putting into it. Along this same vein: you can't control everything, so don't try. Let it go. Have some confidence in yourself: you'll find a way to deal with it – whatever "it" is – when you get to it. Human beings are wonderfully adaptable creatures, and there have been others who have found ways to deal with worse than you will ever see.

Emotions happen.
 Sometimes it's good to really be present in the moment, but you shouldn't always live there. Don't be emo about your life. It's not just you that has a hard time, everybody does. And there isn't a soul on earth who looks as happy and together as you think that they do. Also, I can guarantee you there's always a person that has it worse than you. Take the opportunity to learn how others dealt with the situation, don't just act like you're the only one who has had this happen to you – being self-centered is the fastest way to lose friends. So, cheer up, I'm sorry that you're having a rough time but things are going to get better- if you let them and work a little at it.

Appreciate Stuff
There's lots of cool stuff on this green earth, it's always helpful to find things to keep your mood lifted. Perhaps a pretty sunset, the smell of coffee, your best friend, how much you pet loves you, how mind boggling it is that the universe has no end and no beginning. If you find yourself hating everything and everybody, act like you appreciate something instead, pretty soon, you will. This trick works great for troubled marriages. If you listen/read any kind of media, you will observe that people get hurt and sometimes die. Next year could be your last year. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Or next week, or even tomorrow. Appreciate the time you have here. Tell your spouse you love them, pet your dog a little more. Stop telling yourself "I'll donate blood when I'm not busy" or "I don't have time right now to be happy, I'll do it when I'm married instead", and do it now. I'm not saying that you should spend all of your life savings on a Porsche; act responsibly, but stop putting off the small things you want/like/need.

I will NEVER want children

...continued from my DeviantArt Journal posting a couple years ago, with additions.

Mine you, since everyone takes things so stupidly personal these days, I'll add this to the journal: this is not an attack against those women who love kids or choose to have a million of them. It's perhaps only an 'attack' of words to those asshole educators, GYNs, and every moron who has told me what my mind is, because apparently they are psychic and know what I think better than myself.

I will never want (or have) children.

Yeah. I never will. I'm 36 38 now, have stated this since I was maybe 5 or younger... and I WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND.

You hear that, stupid doctors? GYNs? General populace? I never, ever will.

NO I did not want them after I "grew up".
NO I did not want them after I got married.
NO I do not want them because I need "someone to take care of me" in my old age. (Selfish much?)
NO I will not want them when I'm 30, 40, 50 years old (every decade they just push it back).

I do not want them because I don't like them very much.
I do not want them because they are not "cute" to me in any way.
I do not want them because I am still a child myself.
I do not want them because we do not have the money to take care of them.
I do not want them because I am bipolar with many physical issues, and will pass it to them.
I do not want them because I am bipolar, and would not be able to take care of them.
I do not want them because I don't like humanity, or the way the world is lately.
I do not want them because I had a shit childhood, and other children are cruel.

I will proclaim that I like children better than the idiot that has kids "just because they have to". Know why? Because I factor in everything, even if I like something - before getting one. I'm an animal lover to the extreme, for example. But if I can't keep an animal the best it can be kept, even if it "needs" me, we won't get it. Lately people are popping out kids without a care or thought, because they feel they need to. Well, you don't. Especially if you're just going to ignore the kid because you're depressed all the time, which, by the way, I hear from a LOT of "kids" on the gaming sites I go to. It's a common complaint. And I always think: 'gee, maybe mom should have corked it, or maybe *GASP-shock-NO* aborted, rather than have a child they clearly cannot take care of'!

I'm even afraid of sex, because women are starting to lose every right they have to their bodies. And hell, I live in Kansas now (hate it, I hate it). If I get pregnant by some miracle, what will become of me? They kill people here for daring to try to get abortions (my opinion is that right-to-lifers should call themselves right-to-babies, or "pro-baby", not "pro-life", because of all the death they condone and even cause).

I want my tubes tied - and goddamn it, I will get this procedure done someday. Even if they make it tremendously hard, even if they make my husband have to sign before I can have it (WTF, he can have his procedure done without me signing!) I don't care if I'm too old for kids when I finally get the right to have it done, because make no mistakes, it's my @#$%ing right as it's MY body, NOT yours - I'll do it.

Right now I'm keeping this as a documentary of sorts, to keep for the rest of my life, to be published after my death by my husband or remaining family, that proves I never wanted them right up until I died. That's the only way these idiots will ever believe me, and it's sick that it's what I have to do. I feel the need to - they're so smug about it, they KNOW MY MIND, you see, and they're 100% wrong. They couldn't be more wrong. I dislike children, and not only that, I have mental/physical ailments I shouldn't pass down to anyone else! So not only do I not WANT kids, if you step back and look at all the other reasons, I SHOULDN'T. And all these assholes just parade around squawking, 'you'll want them, you'll want them'.

 By the way, I love responding back to these folks by asking either what religion they are or what political affiliation. If they say "Christian", I'll smile benignly and tell them in my most saccharine tones, "Well, you'll want to convert to Wicca some day."  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

eBay Buyers - please read!

I'm a weary hobby seller on eBay.

I started on a different account back when eBay started (which I gave to an ex when we split up). This usually has its ups and downs like any life experience. But eBay has turned into a nightmare for sellers lately. There are many reasons why it's tough for us now, but this essay will focus on one area: shipping and handling.

Buyer problem: Buyers want to pay exactly what the shipping cost is and nothing more. Seller problem: Sellers need to make money on eBay to continue selling on eBay. Not charging for all the extra costs we incur means we lose money. I mean to show buyers what happens when you sell on eBay. Quick and to the point, here is an item I recently sold where I received neutral feedback because, as the buyer put it, "Shipping too high priced and slow." I will prove here that it was not too high priced, and it was shipped within my limits shown on the eBay page - faster than the highest time estimated, in fact!

SHIPPING & HANDLING





As a buyer, you need to be aware of all the information readily available to you on the auction page itself. Look at the details, because both eBay and I are telling you what you will pay:






#1:  the item will be shipped to you for $9.00 standard shipping, which means first class.

#2: the item has a 5 day handling time, which means it does not ship out immediately. The date shown is when it should arrive at your home. The buyer who left me neutral complained that a single week - 7 days -- was "too slow". In fact, I could have shipped in 10 days and been on course with what the auction very clearly states is normal.

Moving right along, if you somehow missed the bright orange letters eBay has used to show you the handling time I have on my auctions and how long it may take to get to you, there is yet another section within the auction itself.





#1: Click this, and it takes you to the next image, shown below.

#2: click this clearly marked, colorful section, and it takes you to a page where I explain all my seller practices, such as shipping and handling!

*NOTE: as of now, eBay has dismantled the "me" page system, because it gave sellers and buyers too much room to explain themselves and ridicule eBay itself for its bad practices. Thus, this is no longer valid.




After clicking the "Shipping and payments" section, this is what you find.

#1: this is the shipping and handling price I have listed for the item.

#2: I ship within 5 days after cleared payment, which means if your payment did not clear (meaning, I didn't get any money yet), I don't ship. Sometimes credit card payments do not go through right away, and if you pay by the dreaded e-check, it can take up to a week before the payment clears. You can't walk out of a store with an item without paying - it's the same with my items. I wait until the money is in my account.

#3: "estimated 6-10 business days" means Monday through Friday, not the weekend or on any holidays! I've had buyers complain when I didn't ship on Sunday or a Holiday - and no, they weren't International buyers. They knew it was a Holiday in the USA. They just didn't think because they were too focused on themselves. As you can see, eBay even lets me have Saturday off. And c'mon, now, you get days off from work. I know you do. So why can't I? Erase weekends and holidays, then, from the timeline for shipping. It's perfectly legal and says so right there. #4: certain times are slow for the USPS. I can ship fast as I can, but during the Winter holidays, for instance, the items are not going to ship as quick as they usually do. This isn't my fault. I do not control the shipping of your item in the USPS' system, I do not work for them, and I do not personally deliver it to your door. If it says on eBay that I sent the package within the time that I should have, then I have done my part and should not be penalized for something I can not control. #5 once again, the handling time is shown, in case you missed it the bunch of other times it was shoved in your face. It even tells you that "the seller has specified an extended handling period for this item." This means it will take longer for me to ship it to you. I've now shown that I sent the item within the time estimated on the auction page, which says I did my part of the bargain well - better, in fact, than the 10-day estimate. In my book, 7 is a smaller number, right? Always, always, count the days and make sure what the auction tells you. I get a lot of complaints about "slow" shipping when I ship within my allotted times. To a buyer, "yesterday" is too slow. I say that if you get an item that is rare for less, one you couldn't find anywhere else, and it's in good condition - who the hell cares if it isn't there the second you paid for it? Patience is a virtue, and a week is not "too long" to wait!

SHIPPING COSTS

Let's address the "shipping too high priced" part now. You will almost always pay more than the exact cost for shipping on eBay or any online store. Inexperienced folks may not charge a fee or not care, but someone selling for profit needs to do this, and I will show you why now. I charged $9.00 shipping (and handling). Standard shipping (first class) was $4.30 for the item. The buyer knew this (perhaps the price was stamped on the outside of the box), and quoted it, saying the extra was "unnecessary" or something like that. $9.00 minus $4.30 = $4.70. They thought that the extra $4.70 was "too much" and they should be refunded the amount. Let's show the world what I paid to earn that $4.70, shall we?




As you can see, I paid $1.50 for eBay's "final value fee" and then, $.90 cents for daring to charge shipping. (This equals $2.40 cents so far).




Paypal time! Paypal then charges me $1.00 for using their services. (Now this makes what I have paid $3.40 cents). After this, I need to pay for tape and boxes that I pay for. Yes, I use as much recycled items as I can, but I do pay for items myself. This means I must charge for them in every auction to make that money back, otherwise I'm just bleeding costs and I will not make any money.


Here's what I usually buy - small boxes. As you can see, on sale they cost $22.94.

But as #1 shows, I normally buy them for $25.43. And yes, the screenshot is taken from the shop where I normally buy them! 25 boxes, 25 dollars. This means 25 buyers will pay $1.00 extra for their new, sturdy box. (Now this makes what I have paid $4.40 cents). Add in packing tape (not including the time I put in doing all of this!), and it goes over $4.70 in fees I have paid to make this item available to you. I have clearly not overcharged. I need to recoup that money, or I'm paying out of pocket for it! eBay is about me getting money back for the items I am selling. I need the money to keep listing. If I don't make money, I can't make the items available to you to buy. In most cases, I'm selling the items for less than what I paid and less than what everyone else is selling them for as well. So I'm losing money anyway, and then I need to lose more because you want to pay even less for something you paid less for anyway? And sometimes, for a rare thing you can't find anywhere?! You should be happy you found it! Please think. The next time you go to give a seller neutral or negative feedback over shipping times and costs, give it a second thought. Think about it. Think, look, read. If it wasn't the seller's fault, don't just blame them. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

If your crafts suck, suck it up!

Why the @#$% are all these Etsy sellers begging me to "reconsider" my negative feedback?

You made an item that wasn't worth it. If it was crappily crafted and has holes in a sewn plush, black thread where there is white fabric (WTF seriously), etc. etc, then it's not your customer service I have an issue with. You wrapped it prettily, for the most part everyone does, with frills an confetti and freebies and crap. BUT I DON'T CARE if the item arrives and it's shit! 

You're the artist - if you feel an item "isn't good enough", then don't list it or say that you feel it is an inferior piece. Don't feed me excuses and try to guilt me into changing my negative feedback!

So, back story. I recently gave negative to someone after their plush toy was shit (popped seams, heavily hot-glued plastic nose, black thread where white fur was, etc.) It was hideous. The seller tried to beg me on Etsy to retract, and when I did not they sent me a hideous "free gift" in the mail, once again begging me to retract the feedback. They're now trying to guilt me into doing it, saying I hope I have a "change of heart"!
@#$%! No! 

The fact that you said it was one of your "first" pieces and "I'm doing much better now" WAS NOT SAID IN THE LISTING. In fact, you wanted 60% more for the damned thing when you first listed it! And then even at 60% off it wasn't a bargain. I'm doing you a favor. You think I'm a terrible person, but I'm telling you, your work wasn't good enough to stand up to other artist's standards. 

My mother has made me plushes throughout my life. None of those ever popped a seam or had any issues - even though a five-year-old played with them really hard (I loved stuffed animals back then like I do now of course!) But my mother won't put anything of hers up for the ridiculous prices you were asking, even though she is an immaculate seamstress. It sickens me. If you KNEW the listing was for "your very first" piece, if it wasn't "really all that good", then MENTION IT, or don't freaking sell it. Don't make excuses!

Also, Etsy... why can't we upload pictures of an item when we're dissatisfied with it? Why can we only do that on feedback if we're happy? You'd think, that would be a GREAT way to show what a shit item the person sold you, y'know? Proof. But nope, they don't allow it if you post a 1-star rating.

Also also wik, this shitty seller might be sewing better now, but their feedback is all great, even on items that I know looked like butt (and came around the same time frame as the one I bought). People, people, have some standards. Just because you can't sew for shit, doesn't mean someone that sews like shit is good. Why do I get all the picky a-holes that want $100 worth of GOOD work for pennies when shitty crafters get the ones that don't care and think crap is good (and consequently buy shit for $100)?

My eBay Sales Pages

Thanks for taking the time to look at my auction!

DESCRIPTION:

[description here]

Stop by my other listings! Thanks and happy bidding!

About me as a Seller
Please read the following carefully, as they detail my selling policies. Also please be kind and think of the person who is the seller. I'm not a big store. I'm just trying to make some desperately needed cash to pay bills and be able to eat this month.

Item Condition
All items come from a smoke free home with non-allergenic pets (we own 2 toy poodles - poodles do not shed, the items are kept stored away from them, and they're trained not to touch what is not theirs). Items are described very well with many photos.

PLEASE LOOK AT ALL PHOTOS AND READ THE DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY. I sell collectibles that I know a lot about, but I can make mistakes, so please double check. Please note that if you are a buyer that wants a perfectly 100% mint packaged item, I respectfully request you look elsewhere. I can not guarantee that items are 100% free of any damage at all. There may be tiny things about the item(s) I don't notice because they're small. Most folks won't, either, but there are those that collect certain toys that have ridiculous standards (many times because they are greedy resellers!)

Payment
I do not do "holds", and I must have payment within the standard time eBay gives buyers. I accept PayPal only. If payment is not received, I will re-list the item.

Shipping
Orders are shipped out ASAP - which may take up to 3-4 days depending on availability of our single car, bad weather, holidays, etc. PLEASE BE PATIENT. All of the folks that have left less than excellent feedback about me complain about shipping time when, if you look carefully, their item arrived well within the eBay time estimated (or sooner).

All orders are shipped via the USPS within the United States only. I do not ship internationally. Tracking information will be emailed to you once it is generated. Tracking numbers sometimes take a very long time to register. Please contact me if anything seems amiss and I'll look into the matter at once!

IF YOU ARE NERVOUS ABOUT YOUR ITEM(S) ARRIVING SAFELY, please request insurance. I can tack on an insurance fee depending on what the USPS charges for value of the item(s). I use newspaper, magazines, recycled wrap, mailers and boxes to pack. You may not receive a brand-new box or mailer, but it will be mailed as safely as possible.
Returns

No returns are accepted. I give each item a very thorough description, providing details on any flaws or imperfections, as well as take multiple pictures of each item. I pack my items very carefully as well, sometimes going as far to double-box or wrap every single one individually in a lot. If you don't request insurance (see above) and it arrives in any condition other than what the listing stated, it's because of the Post Office, not me. Although quite rare, it does happen, I understand, and it's terrible when it does.

Take pictures of any damaged mailer(s) or box(es) BEFORE OPENING THEM to show me if this has occurred. If you do contest a refund with eBay, I will need the item(s) mailed back at your cost for a refund of the item(s) original price only. You will not be able to keep the item and receive any refund at all. It must be mailed back and I must receive it before the refund in condition in which you have shown it was sent to you.

Feedback
Feedback is very important to the eBay community. I appreciate very much the positive feedback I receive from my customers. Please remember to leave feedback after you have received your item(s) and are happy. I will do the same for you!

Friday, August 8, 2014

ONE PIECE Sanji "Film Cell"

Honest to god, I'd forgotten about this. My sister in law sent it over the last time she was here, and I was shocked to see it again! So yeah, the photos are crap, but it's a film cell I did of Sanji from ONE PIECE.


That's the finished one ... yeah yeah, I don't have PhotoShop on this computer or anything and I'm getting pissed, so I didn't mess with it. It's dark. Deal with it. Oh, and some of the layers:


Whee. I remember it was a hassle and a half (especially the watercolor BG, as I hate watercolors and am not as comfy with them as I should be), but I'm glad I did it.