• cabin fever.

    Hot take:

    I don’t like working from home 5 days a week.

    My office is under construction and so there is no place for me to sit until that’s done, so I was told I could work from home until then. I know a lot of people who would be absolutely thrilled for this – but I’m not. I’ve learned a lot about myself since 2020, and one of the things I found was that I DO NOT do well mentally when I’m cooped up at home 24/7. My anxiety spirals, my depression is harder to stave off, my frustration and anger starts creeping up on me and is harder to control, my stress levels skyrocket and I want to run screaming into the sunset, as far away from where I am as possible.

    During the pandemic it wasn’t THAT bad – mostly because since I was the IT person in the office, I was considered an “essential” employee, so I had to go to the office twice a week in the mornings to handle tasks. No one else was present, I didn’t see or speak to anyone since everyone else was working from home. I rolled in and took care of what I needed to take care of, and then I left. It allowed me some normalcy during that crazy time. I would get up, get dressed – makeup, hair, and all – commute the 30+ minutes to the office, do what I needed to do, and go home around lunch to log in the rest of the day.

    But now the best place to do my job is at home. 5 days a week, all day. With doing support, it’s harder for me to work with only the single laptop screen. I’ve become accustomed to using two monitors both at work and at home. Also, since I attend regular meetings and have to get on calls for support issues, sitting at a coffee shop all day is difficult. So I can’t really go anywhere to work other than my house, and I’m steadily feeling more and more down.

    This weekend has been helpful – my brother came to visit yesterday so we took him and his girlfriend to lunch, and this morning I went to have breakfast with my friend K. Tomorrow afternoon I have a therapist appointment across the lake, Tuesday I have a nail appointment after work, and Wednesday I’m meeting K for dinner. So I’m trying to find things to do and to look forward to, which is helping.

    But I am still counting down the days until my full week vacation at the end of July, when I’ll be going on a road trip to Atlanta for the ATEEZ concert. That’s my saving grace, my big thing to look forward to this summer. The big thing that’s helping me hang on.

    A full week of not this house, not these walls.

  • never enough.

    I mentioned on Mastodon yesterday that I’ve got a craving to just completely wipe this blog and start over. I don’t want to do that, though, because I don’t want to lose all the work that went into my other sites and this one.

    But I do feel the need to change some things up. Maybe it’s just because the season has officially changed, maybe it’s just me procrastinating so I don’t have to study. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but I want to mess with something.

    I added a “now” page yesterday to talk about what I’m doing in life these days, and I’m probably going to add an “ideas” page with things I’d like to do with this site or just tinkering online in general. I also want to do a redesign, but I’m not sure what I want to change – I like this site style, but maybe the layout just needs some adjusting. I may move most of my sidebar stuff to separate pages, not sure yet.

    But the biggest thing is that I’ve been eyeballing Ghost as a new blog platform. I know, funny how I’m looking at that since WP’s birthday was just yesterday. But I really want to streamline the CMS I’m using, without having to go to a full static site build. (Although learning how to make a site with 11ty is on the ideas list.)

    I guess site ownership is like home ownership – you’re always working on where you live.

  • happy birthday wp

    I find it hilarious that I woke up today wanting to do something with my site and then I find out that it’s WordPress’ 21st birthday.

    Let me think…I’ve been using WordPress to blog since…maybe like 2003-2004 or so? I originally started truly blogging with Greymatter – before that it was all just built in MS Frontpage and uploaded with FTP. I know I switched to WP before Katrina in 2005 because I was updating the site pretty frequently while I was evacuated.

    Anyway, happy birthday, WordPress. You’re legal now, go have a drink.

    (pictured, Wapuu, the official WordPress mascot)

  • A+.

    I started studying for my CompTIA A+ Core 1 class this weekend. This is harder than I thought. Lots of discussion about cabling and voltages and connector types and speeds and such. All good things to know in the IT field, sure, but realistically…do I need to know ALL of these details? Sure, if I was building an intense gaming desktop system, I may need to be aware of these things, but when it comes to connectors and the like, I don’t really need to tell a Molex from a Molex KK connector, I just need to know where it gets plugged in to and what it’s connected to.

    The awful thing is that I’m semi-familiar with these things. I’ve never built a computer from scratch, but I’ve watched Doug so many times and he’s showed me what is what so I have a good general basic idea of what goes where. Although I will say that reading up on this is really making me consider building something, maybe a Linux box? I do need to become more familiar with Linux and I have been considering moving my laptop to a dual-boot system to work with it, but I’m hesitant to do so in case it may cause more problems than solutions later.

    I also am noticing that the majority of the things discussed in this class is building DESKTOP PCs, NOT laptops. I wonder if they’re going to get into the internals of laptops. Desktop PCs are becoming less common and most people are moving to laptops, so it makes sense to familiarize what the parts look like in a laptop as well if you’re going for a support certification, which is what the A+ is.

    Also…would be nice to see some women in these demonstration videos. Just saying.

  • some awesome things!

    I GOT TICKETS TO SEE ATEEZ IN ATLANTA WITH TWO OF MY BEST FRIENDS. Managed to snag them in today’s presale! I’m looking forward to seeing them live again, they put on such an astounding show and they’re my absolute favorite K-Pop group ever. Not only that, but some very dear friends from my Discord server are also going to come into Atlanta for that week, which means we’re going to have an amazing time seeing each other and hollering about our respective blorbos, biases, and other weird fun things.

    I have not only completed all four courses I had in this school term, but I also added a fifth class and passed that exam today! I have eight weeks left in the term so I’m going to focus on my IT Foundations class, which is the first half of the CompTIA A+ certification. I’ve got some good momentum going and I’d rather not lose the drive to move forward I have going right now. Plus, finishing these courses early means I may get to graduate earlier than I expected.

    I like this feeling of accomplishment and having things to look forward to over the summer. It’s an enjoyable change.

  • three good things.

    Three good things that happened today that I am happy about:

    • I passed my Fundamentals of Cybersecurity course, which means I am completely done with all my first term classes, and passed all four of them. I’m very, very proud of myself.
    • I stayed up late last night to watch ATEEZ at Coachella and it was SO GOOD. They also announced their latest comeback today, their new mini-album drops on May 31!
    • After running errands today, I came back home and took a REALLY GOOD NAP. I normally can’t nap during the day but I was OUT (probably because of the two above things). I woke up feeling very refreshed and in a good mood.

    What good things happened to you today?

  • an awesome find.

    My friend K and I were poking through a vintage market this Saturday when she pointed out a cabinet with some film cameras. In there was this Olympus Mju Zoom 400.

    Not only did it come with a case and the original manual, it was TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. Cleaned it up a bit, popped a fresh battery and roll of film in it, and it works! I’m excited to see how the pics come out.

  • running from things.

    I’m exhausted. Bone-deep, utterly exhausted.

    The past few weeks have been really good. I’ve seen friends, gotten chores done, met up with people, etc. But I cannot shake this complete and total wiped feeling I have when the end of the day comes. I can barely drag myself out of my chair after I clock out from work, much less bring myself to read and focus on school stuff.

    I’m tried of doing chores. Incessant, forever, non-ending chores. Washing clothes, vacuuming dog hair, putting things away, cooking dinner and cleaning up from dinner, making lunches, making breakfast, organizing and shifting and picking things up. I’m so goddamn tired but I can’t live in a dirty house.

    I love my friends. And to be honest, I haven’t seen most of them since I met up with people from DivaCon. My best friend is coming over tomorrow to sit around and read/study and we’re gonna eat crawfish and as much as I’m looking forward to seeing her, I’m SO TIRED. Oh, and husbando wants me to help him with installing a split-unit AC in the garage tomorrow. Why can’t he call his brother, or his cousin, or a friend? I don’t know. So there’s that, too.

    I just feel like the weight of everything is piling up on me lately, and it’s driving me bananas. And when that happens, I want to do one of two things:

    • Dig in my heels and bury myself away from everyone
    • Run. Leave and go somewhere. As far as I can. Disappear for a week or two. Travel, get on a plane, and don’t look back.

    I’m beginning to get those feelings now, and I need to do something about it. I don’t know what. I guess the first thing is to talk to the husbando and tell him that I need him to step up and start helping out more, start getting groceries and washing clothes and running the vacuum and cooking dinner and picking up after himself.

    Ugh, the more I think about it, the more frustrated I get, and the farther I want to run.

  • cleaning green beans.

    I slept poorly last night.

    I did all the things that should dictate that I would have a good night’s sleep. I wore my C-PAP machine. I went to bed early, around 9:00 PM. I sleep in a dark room. I have two fans, providing a copious amount of white noise. The dogs were curled up next to me, like little weighted blankets or stuffed animals. I didn’t take melatonin or Ambien or any other meds, I simply drifted off. I slept almost solidly, with very brief wake-ups, until my alarm went off at 4:45 AM. No getting up, no tossing and turning.

    I’m sitting here, could practically fall asleep on my desk this morning. I don’t feel bad, but I am tired.

    I dreamed of my grandmother – Maw-Maw – this morning.

    It wasn’t a bad dream. I was at my grandparents’ house, sitting with her on the swing outside, watching as she cleaned green beans picked from the garden. She was smoking, as always, and humming a little song, as always. She didn’t say anything, she just sat, and cleaned, and smoked, and hummed. But she knew I was there. I was the age I am now, and we were just sitting. I watched her. She was built like me, round and thick, wide arms, short hair, round belly. She had her glasses on. She was always so much more tan than me, but that came from being outside all the time – feeding chickens, cleaning the above ground pool in the backyard, picking things from the garden and the blackberries in the woods out back, feeding the cats and the dogs and the kids, swimming in the pool outside. She would slather me in sunscreen when we went outside, preaching about how I didn’t want to get a sunburn, but she was always so tan.

    I said something to her in the dream – I don’t remember what it was now. She laughed, and the fact that I got her to laugh made me laugh too. She still didn’t look at me, she was focused on those beans, but she smiled, and she laughed, and the little wrinkles on the sides of her eyes moved, and I was happy to see her happy. I wondered what she thought of me now, what she would say if she could see me in my late 40s, with my tattoos and piercings and purple hair, back in school, working a good job, married to a good person. I wondered what she would think of my brother, getting ready to have his first child. But I didn’t ask, I just watched her clean the beans.

    The big tree that she had in that yard – an oak, maybe? – swayed above us in a light wind, providing shade to us on that swing. Her big blue car that she never drove anywhere sat in the driveway. The propane tank, gray and streaked with rust, sat across the yard surrounded by overgrowth – Paw-Paw was gonna have to trim it back soon, but he wasn’t home yet. The above-ground pool was bright blue in the afternoon sunlight. It was summer, because the school bus that she drove wasn’t there in the yard.

    She just sat there, smoking, humming, cleaning green beans.

    My alarm buzzed and woke me up, pulling me out of her yard, out of the dappled sunlight on the ground, out of the creak of the swing as we moved back and forth, out of the rustle of leaves around us.

    I’m tired because I just spent an entire afternoon with my Maw-Maw, who passed away in 2007, right after I returned from a 2-week trip to the UK. I’m tired because I woke up and the contentment I felt in that dream was gone. I’m tired because I miss her, deeply, even after all these years. I’m tired because I want to cry for the loss, but the dream was so calm and serene that I can’t bring myself to.

    I love you, Maw-Maw. I miss you.

  • hashtag gamer girl.

    My friend K grabbed this shot of me playing Area 51 at the #DressCult arcade gathering last night. Area 51 was my GAME back in my college days.

    I had 45% accuracy last night. Not bad for my first time playing in probably 15-20 years.

    Two women bathed in blue light at a arcade, holding red and blue guns and playing a shooting game.

Karen Avatar

Hello, I’m Karen!

I’m a Gen X eldergeek, currently working in IT and going for my degree in cybersecurity. I’m passionate about photography, vintage inspired fashion, K-Pop, gaming, sci-fi cons, my two doggos, and lots of other assorted oddities. I’m a proud bi liberal feminist, I support LGBTQIA+ rights, believe that Black Lives Matter, and am a firm believer in mental health support. BE NICE OR LEAVE.

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