Author Archives: Willow

About Willow

I'm a disabled woman who plays and mods video games to pass the time.

Sharing My World Middlin’ of March Version

I feel no guilt over coffee

Do you have any guilty pleasures? Indeed I do. I lurv me some Diet Coke, and I don’t care, dear reader, if it’s bad for me. So don’t tell me how bad it is for me, my teeth or anything else. I will drink it just the same. It is one of the few “vices” I have. Another guilty pleasure of mine is that I’ll spend hours and hours fiddling with Photoshop on pictures that I have no connection to — just because I can. I’m not selling the pictures, nor do I have a commission to change the pictures. Most of the time, I don’t even show the pictures to anyone else. Hell, I usually delete them after changing them. I just spend my time fiddling with them to learn Photoshop. Learning things like Photoshop, that is my guilty pleasure. It is a guilty pleasure because I’m learning for the sake of learning, and alas and alack in this society, that is no longer a good thing. One must learn something to further their career or station in life. Learning for the sake of learning is simply not done. It’s a luxury that’s kind of frowned upon by many. I mean I’ve been asked why learn something like Photoshop if I’m not going to do anything with it? And the answer is always because I like learning. Keep in mind, dear reader, that Photoshop is merely the last in a long line of things that I’ve picked up over the years. I just like learning stuff, just to see how much of that thing I can learn.

What is the worst pick up line you ever heard? I used to be quite the bar fly, so I’ve heard a lot of pick-up lines, and used quite a few myself, so this part of the question: For the guys: What’s the worst pick up line you’ve used? would apply to me too I guess. I mean, women have sex too, and I enjoyed it. It’s implied, I suppose, that all a woman has to so is smile at their target, and that guy is hers. Not so. Men can be picky too, especially if they are at a bar with friends they’re trying to impress. And, believe it or not, many men have a “type” too, and I’m often not a particular guy’s type. I mean, I’m not what one would call traditionally attractive, and I’m a big woman. I’m still awesome and had no trouble finding partners, but I totally didn’t just have to smile at a guy and he was mine. I used my share of pick up lines. ^_^ So there you go. As for the “worst” of either… I honestly don’t remember, but it the question did bring this song to mind. I used to be a huge country music fan. ^_^

https://youtu.be/SjNuNhJo8kU

What slang or trend makes you feel old? I can’t think of any slang that makes me feel old, per se. But but there’s some that I either have to guess by context or look up the meaning up of sometimes. Like calling someone “fam” — which is (I’m guessing) like calling someone “bro” but gender neutral? I guess? I dunno. But when it started popping up, I was all, “Fam? What’s that?” It was all: “I got you, fam.” It didn’t make me feel old, but I’m usually hip to the new slang, and that one caught me off guard. As for trends… trends come and go. They will always come and go. Everyone thinks that this trend or that trend is here to stay, but nope, things will always change. It is the nature of the beast. Our species — humankind — is adaptive and mercurial. Besides, as I was talking about with a friend of mine the other day, I’m not even considered old these days… I’m just over middle age. When I was a kid, people my age were one foot in the grave, but me? I’ve got a good chunk of my life to look forward to to. Statistically speaking that is.

What do you consider the most over-rated song? Nothing comes to mind. No song is “over-rated” if someone genuinely loves it. I mean I don’t have to like a popular song, but I wouldn’t consider any song I dislike “over-rated” simply because I dislike it. I mean there are a lot of popular songs out there that I’m not fond of. And a lot of songs I like that never made the top 100. So… eh.

Instead of a Tender Mercies question, here’s a philosophical one instead: You find a book and begin to read only to discover that it is your life. You get to the point that you are at now. Do you turn the page, knowing that you will not be able to change the events to come? No. One, as soon as I figure out that this book is the magical book about my life, I would have put the book down and burnt it. I would have never gotten to the point where I am “at now.” I don’t want to know the future and I tend to want to just keep the past in the past. I don’t need to read about it.

Via Melanie’s Share Your World

Messing with Photoshop

So, I’m kinda proud of this one, so of course I have to show it off to y’all. I’m still trying to figure out shadows and lighting, and I’ve got a long way to go, but unless I start over with this one, well, this is as good at it gets for this particular picture.

So, here is the original screenshot:

Original Screenshot

And it’s not a bad picture, but I just wanted to make it more… realistic I guess. As realistic as one can get with a cat-person and an elf. But what can you do? I mean, the scene is supposed to be taking place in the evening and the fire should be the main source of light. And when I glanced at it, I noticed it that there aren’t any shadows at all on the people by the fire. Which isn’t the game’s fault, the game engine can’t dynamically render shadows for light that wasn’t there a moment ago. I guess this is also because there appear to be several light sources — for some reason. So here’s what I came up with…

Photoshopped

So I totally cropped it and added shadows to each person. Y’all have to realize I’m still learning about shadows, so I’m not great at the whole shadow thing yet, but I think I did an okay job with it. Then I added smoke over the fire. I don’t know if the change in lighting is noticeable here, but I tried to tone down the glare on the fog and waterfall. Anyway, thought I’d show off, I mean this is what I’ve been doing these days, so I figure I’d show y’all.

Chasing Rainbows

…or Why I don’t want to sell sh–tuff online.

So little awhile ago I made a post about a dream I have about opening a store when we move again (and we will move again, that much is not in question). A little storefront that will sell to a very niche market and basically just let me live out my dream of having a store. A dream, dear reader, I’ve had for as long as I can remember.

So the initial reaction to my blog post from quite a few people — like all sides, everywhere — was, “Why don’t you just sell stuff online? It would be way easier/more profitable than trying to run a brick and mortar store.” and the long and short of it is — I don’t want to. If profit were all I was looking for, I could be selling stuff online now and I might could be making a profit. I have boxes and boxes of junk just sitting in my house begging to be sold, but… I lack both the energy and the desire to sell them online.

As for being easier. Ha! I’d have to take pictures — good pictures, lots of pictures — of each item. Edit those pictures to my liking because I am a perfectionist when it comes to these things. Then I’d have to list each item on whatever venue I chose to sell them — multiple venues maybe. Then check those venues each day several times a day/hour to see if they have been sold. Package each item for shipping. Go to the post office every day to ship whatever’s been sold and then have to deal with this bullshit:

because people don’t actually read ads, they just look at pictures and buy from there. Or they read whatever they want to read and then get angry when a product isn’t what they want exactly.

Now, y’all might be thinking that what I described above isn’t all that much work, I mean, taking pictures, editing pictures, posting online, &c… That’s not too much trouble, right? It is to me. I would much rather go through the effort of setting up a brick and mortar store than than go through all of that rigmarole all of the time. With a brick and mortar store, well, the items sit there until they’re sold and I don’t have to check constantly to see if they’ve been sold. Or deal with the customer service that comes after the sale. I don’t have to go anywhere but the store, and there’s no pressure to get to the post office in a timely manner. And! I’m not to blame if something happens between the time someone leaves the store and the time they get to their house. You wouldn’t believe how many people leave bad reviews on Amazon because the stupid package was damaged — like that’s the seller’s fault and not the shipping company’s. In a brick and mortar store, most people are sane enough to know what they’re buying, and I get to say whether I will give someone a refund or not. Because, dear reader, it will be my store.

Color matching… amazon “review” of yarn

Another reason why I don’t want to sell online is because much of what I’ll be selling will be color based and I simply don’t want to deal with people who cannot understand that monitors are different and often times one cannot get an accurate color on a monitor. It’s just not possible. I have two monitors in front of me right now, and when no windows are open they both display the same background picture — this one:

Now, on my laptop, the snow in this picture has a bluish tint, the clouds are gray, and the sky has a slightly purple tint to it. But on the big monitor, which is a tad bit older and not as high a resolution, the snow isn’t *as* blue (it’s still blue, but it’s whiter), the gray in the clouds hardly shows up at all — It’s there, but more subtle — and there’s no purple at all in the sky. Overall the picture on the bigger monitor has a bluer feel to it. So, imagine, dear reader, if someone was trying to buy yarn from my hypothetical online shop, and they’re holding their project up to the screen to “match” it. It matches! Huzzah! But they get said yarn in the mail and it doesn’t match. Now they’re angry because they don’t realize that monitors do not always reflect true colors, and I get accused of cheating them. Nope. Not gonna deal with this again. Yeah, see this is not a hypothetical situation. This is past experience. There’s a reason why I’m disabled, dear reader — many actually — and my bipolar is a big one. Selling online just pushes too many of my “can’t deal with this shit” buttons. I’ve worked retail before and I’d much rather deal with someone face to face than online. Trust me on this one.

Also — to make a long post even longer… I want to address another thing people ask me about. Which is my “goal” in opening a store in the first place. I mean, if my aim isn’t to make the most money in the world, why bother? Right? I mean, most people, they start businesses to make as much money as they can so they can retire early and do whatever it is they do. The rat race is strong in many people, and hey, more power to them, because some people enjoy that kind of life. I’m not here to stop them. You do you, internet stranger, and I mean that with the utmost sincerity. This world is made of all kinds of people and I’m a live and let live kind of gal. However, as I mentioned before — I’m disabled for a reason. Many reasons. My bipolar being one of them. I’ve never been a participant in the rat race — like, ever — because of my bipolar. It just doesn’t jive with me. People’s insistence that I must run in this race has always — always — pushed my manic buttons. I don’t want to get ahead. I just want to make enough to pay my bills and live my life in relative comfort. That’s it. I’m not looking to “succeed” in the conventional sense, not in business, nor in life. At least not by society’s standards. I consider the fact that I’ve lived this long without stabbing someone in the eye with a pencil a major success. So there’s that. But making the big bucks isn’t my goal in opening my store — never has been, never will be. Yeah, I want to make enough money to stay open and enough profit to keep running, but I’m not looking to start a chain store and retire to the Bahamas (do people still retire to the Bahamas? I dunno). My main goal, dear reader, is to have something to do, — something I enjoy doing — and in doing that something, to contribute to the family income because right now, I’m just watching the grass grow. And watching the grass grow just isn’t cutting it for me, and it’s not contributing to the family income at all. Plus, it’s boring. Like, really boring.

Mixed property listing in New Mexico

I believe, with all of my heart, that if I take my time and have Doug to back me up, I can slowly but surely fill a store in and get it open. And if I’m my own boss and set my own rules, I can open this store, run it, and make enough money to keep it open. Since we’ll be living in the same building as the store, we won’t be paying two of everything — mortgages, utility bills, &c… So even if I don’t make a profit right away, I won’t be losing any money either because it will be just like this house we live in right now. We only utilize four of the seven rooms in this house — not counting the mother-in-law suite we rent out. Everything else is simply storage or empty space. Doug and I don’t need a lot of space, y’all. And I, personally, don’t want a lot of space. I hate living in big houses, hate it with a passion. Give me small living areas any day of the week. So having a storefront with an apartment attached that we can live in would be a good solution. Yeah yeah, we’d have to figure out the taxes and the legalities, but I totally think it’s doable if we can find a property that’s within Doug’s income. That’s a bit “if”. But, dear reader, it is doable. The properties I’m looking for are not common, but they are available.

I want to do something besides watch videos (I don’t really watch the grass grow, but y’all knew that, right?), surf the internet, and play video games. Video games are fun, and I don’t feel anything but good for playing them. But even they get boring after a while. All pastimes get boring after awhile — to me. All of them, even reading. Having said that, I do have a very strong work ethic. If I open a store and have regular customers, I will feel obliged to them to show up and keep the store running for as long as I’m able. Just as I used to put on a brave face and show up to work for as long as I was able to — which was a very long time, dear reader. A very very long time. I worked for over 20 years despite my bipolar, and despite many of my disabilities, I worked around them even as the years kept adding new and exciting physical quirks on top of the old ones until I had a laundry list of things “wrong” with me.. The hyperthyroidism and mystery breathing problem were the straws that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I am to the point were I simply cannot commute to work anymore. I can’t deal with petty office politics nor deal with snippy coworkers, stuffy supervisors, belligerent bosses, or shady corporate shenanigans. I just don’t have the energy to grit my teeth and pretend like I’m smiling. I am confident that I can, however, be my own boss — no office politics. No distant know-nothing corporation to deal with — except the IRS, and well we all have to deal with them. Death and taxes, dear reader, the only sure things in life. But if I have my own store, well, I just don’t have to worry about that sh–tuff anymore. Because I set the policy and I set the rules. I’ll sink or swim by my own self. Doug is on board, and so long as he has my back, I think I’ll be okay. Even if my little business venture fails, we could end up renting out the space to other people who know more about these things than I do. So hey, you never know what the future holds, but I’d like to chase my rainbow first. Just to see where it takes me.

Sharing My World 3/11/2019

Hopefully not this

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? If you don’t think Heaven nor God exists, you might want answer by saying something outrageous, just for fun! Okay, technically as an Agnostic I don’t say that there’s no heaven. Agnostics claim is that there’s no definitive proof one way or another that there is a God or Heaven. Now, I tend to lean towards the “Yes there’s something more out there” side of Agnostic but I still say with absolute certainty that there’s no way to know that there is a higher force commanding the heavens or interfering in our lives. And I am also pretty clear in my belief that we cannot know what lies beyond the curtain of life. So long as we are alive, we cannot know, and once we’re dead, we cannot tell the living, because that curtain cannot be crossed. In my humble opinion. So, does the Christian God and his Heaven exist? I don’t know — I lean towards not. Sure, something might exists out there, but I’m fairly sure it’s not the Christian god as outlined in their Bible. And I’m not a hypocrite to go through the motions of worshiping something (or someone) that I don’t fully believe in. And I lack the faith to simply believe. So yeah, if Heaven, as described in the Christian doctrine, does in fact exist and I end up at the Pearly Gates, I hope that the St. Peter is like, “You were wrong about Heaven, Willow. But that’s okay. You’ve lived a good if not Godly life, come on in.” Because I’d hate to think that the Christian god is as terribly unforgiving as some of his followers proclaim him to be.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? It’s different for everyone, really. I wrote about hope the other day, and I would say that it’s when someone loses all hope. Did I ever tell you, dear reader, that I was locked up in the nut house once? It was a long time ago — back when I was 19, just after the birth of my second kid – first son. I suffered from post-partum depression, mixed with my bipolar, and my (then) husband was out to sea. A perfect cocktail for some serious depression. I made the mistake of getting drunk at a party and that put me in a funk. I called the suicide hotline and they called 911. But I wasn’t in the depths of misery. A girl I met there was. Her mother brought her in and admitted her involuntarily. When I met her, she’d been there a few days and was “getting better”. Her hair, dear reader was down to her knees. She’s spent the last two years in bed because she lacked the strength and desire to get up. I think her mother kept her fed enough to keep her from getting emaciated. But what I remember the most about her was her hair. It so tangled that it hung in one big knot down her back. She’d lost hope. Even though I was in the nuthouse because I was suicidal, I’d reached out for help. I hadn’t lost hope. She’d lost hope. I think she wouldn’t have been alive if not for her mom. I was in the hospital for about 2 weeks, and she regained hope, just a little. I remember trying to comb out her hair at her request, but in the end it was a lost cause. I think they ended up cutting most of it off. But that girl has always reminded me of how low I could go, and my reminder that if I can get out of bed, then I have hope, and I’m doing okay. I can go on.

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? Nothing in particular.

How would you rate your memory? Depends on what I’m trying to remember. If it’s numbers, names, dates, or faces, then it’s piss poor. If it’s quotes, books I’ve read, songs, or a funny thing I heard back when I was a kid, then I’ll remember it. Just don’t ask me when or where I heard it.

What’s one song that always cheers you up, no matter how blue you’re feeling? There’s not one particular song. No, I’m not being persnickety. I mean it. But if I’m feeling bluer than blue (sadder than sad), I can usually watch musicals and feel a little better. I like Paint your Wagon because it has this one:

and this one:

Both of which I relate too. But I like a lot of musicals. This one is way old. Like, I was three when it came out, but I still like it.

Brought to you by Melanie’s Share Your World

About hope…

Melanie over at Sparks from a combustible mind nominated me for this “quote” challenge. I’m a good sport. I’ll play. Kind of. I’m not the nominating type. Especially since I don’t actually follow that many people, sorry y’all, I just don’t have the energy to actively follow people on social media. However, if you want to take part, consider yourself nominated.

So anyway, here’s the deal, I’m supposed to post some quotes about the topic of the day which is “Hope” and then nominate people, also thank the person who nominated me.

Iron Man Eye Roll GIF

Thanks a lot, Melanie. 😛

Just kidding ^_^

Mostly. I mean, I’m okay with being “nominated” once in a while for things like this — so long as it’s not an “award” (see side bar). I am. Just so long as people are okay with me ignoring them when they do so. Because a lot of the time I just don’t have the energy to do things in a timely manner.

So anyway, I can’t just plop down quotes and call it a day — another reason why I don’t play along with these things as often as other people would like. I have to dust off my Photoshop, find pictures and paste quotes on them. And I had a whole big blog post written in my head — it’s still there, but I’m just too tired to write it all out for y’all. So I’m just write the gist of it.

Hope, dear reader… hope is what gets people up in the morning. It is the spark that moves people. Even in the deepest, darkest depression, if someone is going through the motions, they have hope. Those without hope, they stop moving, stop living because hope is the flame in the dark. It is that spark of life that everyone has. For some it is a beacon that lights the way for other people and for others it is a single ember that struggles against the overwhelming darkness.

But everyone, and I do mean everyone, dear reader, who goes through this life has some kind of hope. Because without it, there’s no point in going further. Even those who protest that they hate life and hate living have hope, hope that it will get better, or hope of a better afterlife. Something keeps them living day to day.

I see a lot of negativity on the internet, and even among the hate and vitriol I know that there is hope for humankind because, dear reader, I also see everyone simply living from day to day. I see them seeking out laughter and music. I see them helping and sharing good things. That, dear reader, is hope. And it is everywhere. I’ve shared this one before, but it’s still true:

And I always see helpers. Everywhere. People sympathizing if nothing else. People sharing what they can when they can. That is my hope. I carry it with me everywhere. This, is my favorite “hopeful” saying, it’s my mantra, and it’s carried me through many a dark time:

One more, about living in the Now, I’m too tired to write a good segue, but I spent a lot of time making these, so y’all will just have to deal with the abruptness of it all. ^_^

And that’s it. Thanks Melanie for nominating me. I really mean it. Hope y’all enjoyed my showing off my mad Photoshop skills. hahahaha! Hey, it gave me something to do today and yesterday. You know? I’m still coughing and wheezing. I’d go back to the doctor, but we are between insurances. Maybe next month.

Sharing my World 3/4/19

What’s the first thing you notice about a person? After I notice the all of them, I will look at their hairline, then their eyes. I have difficulties recognizing people because I’m kind of face blind. I mean, I can tell that this person looks different from that person, but if you say to me, “Do you know this person, have you met them before?” I can usually say with all honesty: “I don’t know.” unless I have met them several times, know them by name and have met them consistently for a while — there’s been no time lapse in our meeting. I mean, if it’s been a while since I’ve seen someone I’ll forget what they look like and I won’t recognize them immediately upon meeting them again. But I digress. I look at someone’s hair because that’s how I recognize people, by their hairline. I then look at their eyes because, as the old saying goes, the eyes are the window to the soul or some such.

What three habits do you feel would improve someone’s life? Eh, Everyone’s different and there’s not one thing that applies to everyone. Well, except that we’re all alive at some point and we will all die. What happens in between those two points is different for every single person. For me? I guess it would be to get a bit more exercise, a little less internet time, and I dunno, stop being so negative about things. I’ve kind of fallen into a negative mindset this past year, and I’m trying to break out of it. Someone told me a long time ago: “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance” or something like that (hold on, let met look that one up). Okay I was close. It’s called Hanlon’s Razor and it goes: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Now stupidity and ignorance are two different things, but the saying can be applied to both. And I haven’t been using this philosophy when I should. I totally should. People aren’t being malicious, they’re simply being ignorant or stupid. It’s easier to forgive someone who doesn’t know or can’t comprehend the rules than it is to forgive someone who breaks them knowingly and with spite or hatred. But I digress. My main point is that I should honestly stop being as negative as I’ve fallen into being. I don’t like thinking this way. So yeah…

To lighten the mood.

What takes up too much of your time? Would you stop that if you could? So, I posted a bit ago that I play a lot of video games. Whether they take up too much of my time… well, I enjoy playing them. I do. But they do take up a lot of my time. I will admit, dear reader that I sometimes think I should be doing other things, and I’ll put aside the computer to get up and attempt to do those thing but those attempts often end up with me either in pain or breathless (like, I can’t breathe breathless) and I generally end up back in my chair in front of my computer again, playing video games, watching videos on YouTube, or just surfing the internet. You know… stuff.

Video game hours

Let me tell you something, dear reader. While I like playing video games and the other stuff I do while on the computer, I’m still bored out of my mind most of the time. So yeah, I totally would stop if I could. Well, not stop exactly but cut back and do other stuff. I’d still play video games and write in my blog on my downtime, but if I had other things to do and the energy to do them, I’d do those things and play Skyrim as well. Because I don’t think that I’m wasting time with my video game playing ways. It’s not wasting time if I’m having fun. I’m using my time as I see fit. One does not have to be productive 24 hours a day, or even every waking hour of the day. I don’t care what anyone says. If someone wants to spend all of their time being productive, good on them. More power to them. That’s not my way. I’m not hurting anyone by what I do (or don’t do) so… phooey on those who think I’m wasting my time. Live and let live. You know?

Pastries

Cookies (biscuits to those elsewhere), pastries, pie or cake? If not, what does your sweet tooth crave? So, what kind of pastries are we talking about? Bear claws? Honeybuns? Scones? Donuts? Cannoli? Bagels? I like bagels… But even then there are tonnes of bagels out there. Then again, bagels, as a general rule, aren’t sweet. They had this thing at the bagel shop in my university called a “Power Bar” that was kinda sweet. It had dried frutt in it, but it wasn’t a bagel… I’m pretty sure. It was a kind of bread I think. I liked it. I do like me some cookies — and again the choice of cookies are endless. Not to mention that the line between cookies, pastries, and cakes can often cross. I mean look at some types of brownies. They’re basically little cakes, right? And where do cupcakes fit in all of this? or muffins? In the end though, it really doesn’t matter in regards to the question. My sweet tooth craves what it craves, and that differs from day today. Like last week I wanted cookies, but tomorrow it might be chocolate cake, and next week could be ice cream. Right now, I could really go for a Little Debbie Swiss Roll. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. It’s just what come to mind when I think of sweets.

contentment

Gratitude? Are You Happy? If so, why? If not, why not? I’m… content. I have a roof over my head, a husband whom I love and who loves me, and enough of the basic needs to be satisfied. I’m still coming to grips with being disabled. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I’m not — and that’s frustrating to me. I’m trying to look forward to the future with the dream I posted about yesterday. But all in all, I’m content — for the moment. I won’t be truly happy until my mind accepts the fact that I am no longer able bodied. I mean truly accepts and understands it. And that, dear reader, is just something I, myself, have to learn to live with. But I’m okay with content — for now. I’ll work on happiness as time goes on.

Via Melanie’s Share Your World