Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with my current job. They actually just gave me a pretty chunky raise that I’m thrilled about. The sad fact of the matter though is that the company isn’t currently allowing remote work from the state of Kansas, which as you all know if you’ve been keeping up for a while, is where I’ll be moving to in a little over a month. I’ve discussed the matter with HR, and they seem to be discussing whether or not any kind of exception can be made, but they aren’t sure if a decision will come before I’m already gone. So at this point, unless I hear otherwise, I’m pretty much under the impression that I’ll be jobless by the time we move.
I’ve been searching for new remote opportunities since receiving that news, but it’s hard to find anything remote that isn’t a call center, something I’m vastly not qualified for like software engineering, or just an outright scam listing entirely. I would love to find something in social media or community management, but I’ve got no experience doing either of those things outside of my personal social media reach, which according to MediaKits reaches less than 700 followers across all platforms. That’s pretty small potatoes in the internet world, all things considered. My last week of school here in Indy was last week, and part of a final assignment was to start an online portfolio of our work. So I did just that! I created an account on Behance and included items to showcase that I created for school projects in Photoshop and Illustrator as well as two photo series from my Photography class. I also marked the option that I was “available for hire” should anyone really surprise me and find themselves interested in those offerings. I’m definitely a novice but I’m more than happy to take on any graphic design needs! I’ve also got a little bit of web development experience (hi, I made this website you’re reading right now!), layout experience with InDesign, and video editing in Premiere Pro that I would be happy to work on with anyone!
Mostly, I’m hoping to find a job where I can use some of these new skill sets a little bit more. The closer that we get to the move to Kansas and my need to find anything that will pay me may wind up taking precedence, but I’ve been creating things on my own and went to school for a while to learn how to do these things that I enjoy and would really love to be able to do them for a living, too. If you happen to have any leads or know someone in an industry who might take a chance on a total newbie, please let me know!
American Thanksgiving was a couple of days ago, and it occurred pretty quietly here in our household. We feasted upon turkey and mashed potatoes, as I’d say a large majority of Americans do on the day, and just generally had a nice time without any of us having to be anywhere else. The most important thing was that Dad came home from the rehab facility on Monday and was able to spend the holiday with us here at home as well. That’s probably what I was most thankful for this year. He’s doing well and is able to walk again and fully function more or less like he had prior to his hospitalization. The only difference now is that he’s to be permanently using his BiPAP machine and taking his medication regularly.
The photography class that I was enjoying came to an end and my raster graphics class is underway. This is my last class of the semester and likely the final class that I’ll be taking at Ivy Tech. Since it looks like we’ll be moving out to Kansas at the end of January, I’ve put school on hold yet again and plan to enroll at a community college or university out there once we get settled. Raster graphics have been pretty cool though. Photoshop has some incredibly powerful tools that I didn’t even know about. Our project for the third week of the class included restoring and colorizing old and damaged photos. I was impressed with how well my restoration project was turning out that I even told my friendly co-workers about it. One of them, Sheila, asked if I would try my hand at restoring a photo of her father. I was more than happy to do so, especially once I blew my own mind with how well the restoration turned out! Granted, most of the work here was done by Photoshop’s neural filters, but I still couldn’t believe what happened! The new version is so much clearer and cleaner and almost looks like a photo that could have been taken recently. Just like the photography class that I took at the beginning of this semester, I’m thankful to be learning this new skill set that’s truly opening my mind.
Though my ability to live stream lately has been hindered by a multitude of other things going on in the world around me — work, school, holidays, packing for the move, etc. — I have to mention that it has been a fun hobby lately. Though my viewership is nowhere near where I’d like for it to be, I know that I need to provide more consistency and dedication to the craft in order to truly grow. Once the move is finished and I’m able to get set up in my new office/studio space in the new house, I hope to start really putting my best foot forward with my digital presence and get where I want to be. So hey, if you aren’t yet following me on Twitch, make sure you do that so you don’t miss a thing!
Lastly, I just want to say that I’m thankful for the most essential parts of my life, too. I’m thankful to have somewhere warm and dry to live and sleep. I’m thankful to have food in my belly. I’m thankful for the clothes on my back. And I’m perhaps most thankful for my family, my friends, and my kitties, all of whom I would be lost and lonely without.
Well hello. It’s been a little while, and let me tell you, that’s because this month has been rough.
That isn’t to say that it hasn’t had its fun moments. In fact, I think a lot of the “rough” moments that I’ve had so far this moment have been a direct result of going out and doing something fun. You see, over the last couple of years, I’ve adjusted to a schedule of working and playing from home, which has meant that I don’t get in a whole lot of movement. As a huge homebody, I tend to prefer it that way also. I love being at home. It’s where all my stuff is, it’s where my cats are. It’s where I can be ugly in peace and don’t have the anxiety of there being someone potentially watching my every step. Despite this, it also means I’m drastically out of shape when it comes time to actually go out and do stuff. And that has caught up with me twice this month.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to GenCon this year! I was accompanied by my nephew and we had a great time traversing the convention floor as well as seeing all the art and cosplay. We bought some beautiful metal dice from Metallic Dice Games, which makes me very excited. Unlike most people in attendance at GenCon, I’m not very into tabletop or board gaming as much as I am into video games, but I’d very much like that to change eventually. I want to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons one day if I ever find a group of friends willing and interested in doing the same! Attending GenCon was a little bit of dipping our toes into those waters and while we found that we were a little out of our element in the board game/tabletop gaming world, we still had a blast and were very glad that we went. It was my very first convention and I’m eager to do more! We’re hoping that something like a Comic-Con might be more in our wheelhouse. But seriously, if anyone wants to teach me D&D one day, let me know!
But as I mentioned before, post-GenCon was not fun. Not only were my legs sore for a few days from all the walking, I also felt a little sick for up to a week after the fact. GenCon had COVID-19 restrictions in place (masks and proof of vaccination were both requirements for entry), so I felt relatively comfortable in the environment, especially since we didn’t interact too closely with anyone else who wasn’t also masked up. By the Friday after though, I felt so bad that I wound up taking a COVID test just to make sure that I didn’t have it, especially since I had read on Twitter that there were quite a few people at GenCon who did contract the virus. Thankfully, my COVID test turned up negative and I started feeling better by the following weekend. I’m guessing I just encountered the regular ol’ “con crud,” which I’m told is cold and flu symptoms that people commonly develop after conventions anyway, even before COVID times.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and now school has started back up! Yes, I’ve re-enrolled in my local community college, as I mentioned I was going to try to do in yet another previous post of mine. This semester though, I’m taking a Photography class, which is very cool and has me very excited. I even bought a brand new Canon EOS 2000D (Rebel T7) DSLR camera for the class. You might think it’s a little bit of a hefty investment for an eight-week community college course, but I’ve been eyeing a really nice camera for a while now anyway, and this baby should last me a few good years. I’m excited to learn more about how to shoot in modes that aren’t just automatic, which is pretty much all I know how to do at this point. I’ll be learning more about Photoshop and raster graphics this semester too, so I’m hoping to get some pro skills in photo editing as well as taking the photos themselves. We already went on our first outdoor adventure around campus taking photos on Thursday, and that’s when my next “old person” incident happened.
While getting down on my knees to get this shot of a bee on a flower, I found myself in one of the most awkward positions of my life — I was totally and completely unable to get back up on my feet. It’s like my knees and leg muscles had entirely seized up and didn’t want to work like they should. I wound up crawling over to a nearby bench to try and use it as leverage to pull myself back up onto my feet and, in the process, wound up falling back on my butt instead. A very kind fellow student who was walking by at that exact moment asked if I was okay and if I needed help. I declined out of embarrassment, but at the same time, I was sort of in a panic wondering if I was going to need a damn ambulance. After a few moments on the ground, I finally rallied myself back up enough to get up onto the bench where I could sit and collect myself some more. Finally afterward, I was able to get back on my feet and go about continuing the photo shoot, but not without my legs feeling completely wonky as I tried to walk. They felt like they could go out on me at any given moment.
Today as I write this, I’m still recovering from my legs feeling weird. I can walk on them fairly confidently now, but it still hurts to get up and down from a sitting position. My short time as a photographer has clearly taught me that getting down on my knees to get the shot is not going to be something we can do going forward. I’m starting to feel old and out of shape. I need to start walking more in what little spare time I actually have between work and school. That would probably help a great deal, especially since I’m really not that old. Certainly not old enough to start feeling this crippled. But hey, the most important thing is: I got the shot!
I’m hoping for a change as we move into September. More fun, more learning, and preferably a lot less pain. Be on the lookout for more photos and graphics from me too as this semester evolves!