nonionay: (goddesscross)
Sunday I continued my goal of documenting the spring with a walk up to Volunteer Park and Lakeview Cemetery. This took me through the well-off neighborhoods of people who really liked their gardens.
My telephoto lens is pretty crappy and blurry, but I do like the painterly effect it gives me.

11-IMG_8559

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Musing

Mar. 27th, 2013 08:30 am
nonionay: (goddesscross)
This morning, I realized that this weekend's Norwescon is going to be my first real convention since I had my series of nervous breakdowns last fall, along with the subsequent Wellbutrin treatments, personal revelations and choices and the major personality changes that have come with this. I'm curious to see what this will be like, if nothing, it will at least remind me of the parts of myself that still are. (namely, my hatred of being in a room crammed with hundreds of people like sardines.)
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Hey, I got into grad school. :-) This is assuming I finish my community college classes, but I'm pretty sure that will happen. (I did quite well on my math evaluation, thanks to my cramming. I actually got something like 93 on the algebra section. (43 on the college algebra section, but nobody cares about that.) I'm not sure if that's 93%, or some other arbitrary score, but I'm going to pretend it's a percentage.) So come fall, I'll be a psychology student at Seattle University.
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Life has kept itself interesting. I've been cramming for the math assessment test so that I can take statistics. Math and me, we don't get along so well. But I've been reading a nice, simple book on algebra that served as a refresher, and with every online practice test I get, I get better. Now it feels like I'm hitting my limitations--my tendency to miss stupid details like forgetting to change a negative sign or something. As long as I do well enough to get into statistics, I don't care how bad I do. After stats, there should be no math in my life for a long time.

Other stuff:
I had my interview for grad school earlier this week. No idea how well I did. I'm pretty sure I didn't bomb it, but I'm anxious nevertheless. But hey, that's what Katamari is for! And now we have both the first and second games, and there is much joy in our apartment.

I really need a container to organize my nail polish collection. $1.99 bottles of Sinful Colors are my weakness.

Tonight I went out to a sushi place in Belltown that is way classier than I am. (Once, when Keffy and I were looking for some late night food, we walked by this place and Keffy said, "if we go in there, their rating is going to drop a star.") Nevertheless, tonight we went, smelling variously like car repair, Aberdeen, comic convention, and whatever strange thing I smell like.
I had a nice white wine with a very long name, and pistachio financier with brown sugar buttercream. It was fancy.
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Today's run is from UW, using my telephoto lens. I've only got two lenses, but they serve my learning self quite well.

IMG_7417

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nonionay: (goddesscross)
This weekend is dedicated to recharging after an intense and annoying experience temping at our sister shop in Bellevue--a freezing cold, micromanaging hell.

Today's walk wasn't as satisfying as last week's, but it was still nice. Four miles down Interlaken and Lake Washington Blvd. to Madrona Park in very pleasant weather. The photo opportunities weren't as inspiring as last week, but it was all worth it just for the awesome pink tree fungi I found. I'm definitely getting a better feel for what I need to do to get the image I want. I wish I had my telephoto lens on this run. Alas, no space for it; I'll have to get a bigger camera bag and/or fanny pack.

IMG_7220

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nonionay: (goddesscross)
Saturday I had my first good walk of the year, out to the arboretum. This time of year isn't the most beautiful, but I love it a lot more than some. Imbolc, Candlemas, Groundhog Day. It's a time when the very first buds of spring emerge among the decaying remains of the year before. There is no death, because there hasn't been enough time for anything to die. It is a thin, fragile moment.


IMG_6964-001

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nonionay: (goddesscross)
Last night I blew off my diet to the tune of half a Red Baron pizza and three ciders. Granted, I don't feel bad, since it was a high calorie day, I'm pretty good at sticking to my dieting system, and I had a hell of a work week*, but even high calorie days have limits, and so I'm taking a penetential walk over to the arboretum, since according to my little diet app, it'll only take me about 3 hours of walking to clear out my overage.
In other news, I am so, so screwed if my knees (and left hip) decide to finally give out all the way.

*Also, one of my simpler pleasures in life is watching Keffy play JRPGs, and doing this while tipsy, stuffed with pizza, and embedded in a giant beanbag covered in pillows is really quite soothing.
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Here's some shots from the field at my old church, on Christmas Eve.
IMG_6762

IMG_6755

IMG_6748
nonionay: (goddesscross)
As viewed from my window, I give you, the fuzzy thing in the window across the alley.
IMG_6826
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Well, fricking freaky frack. I just noticed that even though I thought I took Personality Theory, one of the six needed classes for grad school, in fact, I withdrew from it. (It was 15 years ago, I don't remember these things.) Flailing is ensuing. I'll make it through one way or another, but it might mean only working 25 hours a week until March. :-S Not flipping out too badly, though. Hopefully, I'll be able to beg my way into the online class this quarter, or one of the other schools will answers my emails about whether or not they have it in the next two quarters. Failing that, I'll get on my knees and beg the Seattle U psych department to let it slide, because I'm just so awesome and already know this stuff.

Moving=Done

Jan. 1st, 2013 08:39 pm
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Well, I have just had quite the weekend. Not the best moving experience, but possibly the most interesting. last time I moved, I was dreading it, but my friends made it a marvelously smooth event. This time, however, I moved on the last weekend of the year.

I was skeptical about my mom coming along (she has a tendency to freak out and/or decide she needs to leave NOW) but she manned the door, and it was nice having her company.

Dad cut himself at some point and bled on everything until [livejournal.com profile] kehrli finally noticed. I myself got a lot of bruises. And aches. But in a satisfying way; I'm in better shape than I expected.

This was a matter of moving two apartments into one, with pretty much the same group of people for both. We had three days to do it, one of those with a U-Haul. We got a load each with the U-Haul, and then a friend's van the next day. Sunday I just rented a U-Haul cargo van and did the final bits myself, with some unloading assistance from friends. I've never driven a van before, and I was happy to learn that everyone who tells me it's perfectly easy was right. Granted, I had some terrifying moments involving I-5 in rush hour traffic, but I survived, and so did my stuff.

I still had a bunch of stuff left on that third day, and not all of it was properly packed. I had no space in my cramped apartment to put boxes once it was packed, so a lot just got left for later. I got into this great zone where I could just go, go, go and stay focused on one things at a time. Having to do the entire apartment on my own would have been too much, but doing the last, substantial load on my own was good for me.

For so long, I've been stuck in this mental transitional space, where I was waiting for adulthood--good job, house, savings, two weeks vacation, etc., would come along. I felt like I was still a kid. This last year held the painful process of me pulling out of that and actually feeling like a grown-up, like I'm actually living in that far-off world that we dreamed about as kids. This was one of those little rites-of-passage that have helped me through. I possibly offended my family, and I'm sorry that happened, but I needed to do things this way.

Now we're settling in, and had a nice, relaxing New Year's Day just puttering around, alternately goofing off and unpacking.

Tomorrow, I start my Psych Research class, and I'm a little anxious about figuring out the bus system and campus maps to get where I'm going in time. (I'm aiming for an early arrival time. We'll see if that happens.) But I'm also excited.
nonionay: (goddesscross)
I'm looking for folks to help me and/or Keffy move on the 29th, 30th and/or 31st. Anyone?
nonionay: (goddesscross)
Today, I was talking to my dad about my school plans, and he asked the inevitable question: "What sort of job do you plan on getting after this?" He's particularly curious about this in regards to my interest in theology. I'm trying to figure out how to explain my desires in this. I'm approaching the idea of being a therapist like being a priest, guiding people through the irrational realms of mind and spirit. I even ponder the possibility of joining some heretical Catholic sect and getting ordained, or maybe even starting my own, unique church.

These are just ideas I play with. Heck, part of the reason I want to study theology is because I like the irony of an agnostic studying it, but in all seriousness, I approach religion (which I define as the external and communal expressions of spirituality) pragmatically. If something works for you (and doesn't hurt anyone) then go for it. Just don't act like your way is the only way.

And frankly, I'm inspired by the Sisters who are speaking out against the Vatican, and trying to reform the Church into a more progressive, social justice-oriented entity. I've been putting a lot of energy into Catholicism lately, and I see at least two reasons for this.

First, I miss the community. Being independent has its perks, but one of the things I lost when I left the Church was the sense of belonging and emotional safety. The lack of that is the main reason I left, and I've been searching for it ever since. I tried a Unitarian service once, but it just didn't click with me, even though they were obviously a great group. The closest I've gotten has been in the sf community, particularly at the old Talebones Live readings, which were basically a church service where our commonality was love of sf, and we made up our own scriptures instead of relying on a single old book.

The gatherings I went to during the fight for marriage equality gave me back that feeling. I learned that there were people out there who shared my beliefs and were part of the familiar world of Catholicism. (Thank you, Stephen Colbert!) The sense that the Christian God would only value bland, passionless women, and would punish those who didn't conform, all that finally blew away, and that leads to my second reason.

I want to help other people like me, who feel isolated and exiled from the land of their birth. I think the Catholic Church is an institution worth saving, and I want to help save it, or at least create a space that is safe and familiar for lost people like myself.

I found that space standing outside St James Cathedral, attending a rally that was basically a mass led and attended by women and gays and people who refused to abandon a Church that neglected them. I stood there, still isolated, but not alone.

And how does that translate into a job that will pay off my soon-to-be-massive student debt? Hell if I know. This is just the direction I'm pointing myself in, because I think it's important.
nonionay: (goddesscross)
So yeah, I'm looking at 3 quarters of Community College, two years of grad school (assuming I get in, but I feel good about my chances) with an extra nine months if I feel like getting a Pastoral Counseling certificate from Seattle U's Theology School. We'll see how sick I am of school by that point, and how towering the debt load is.
nonionay: (goddesscross)
So I'm giving myself a night to sleep on it, but I'm pretty sure that tomorrow's going to be the day I actually, like for realsy reals, give notice at my job. I've tried to make this leap before, but I've never had anywhere to jump to. Well, now I've got school, student loans and some promises of assistance from my dad. I've got a roommate situation set up. I've got my health. I figure, at this point, it's better have a lifetime of debt with a fulfilling job than to be debt-free in a dead-end job I suck at. Having more money during school would be nice, but work would add its own stresses, too.

Update

Nov. 16th, 2012 08:27 am
nonionay: (Default)
My life is usually pretty interesting, but lately, it's been more interesting than usual. Here's a sum up of the past few months.

I've been feeling stagnant for a few years now. Working in the printing industry is a losing prospect, and I haven't had enough writing energy to push myself fully into that career line, as I'd been hoping. My current job is pleasant, but between the economy, the city, my union and my boss, I'm not making as much money as I should.

In August, I had something of a nervous breakdown. I tried to quit my job and go back to being a janitor, thinking that the only way I could free myself for writing, and since I wasn't getting any benefits at my current job, I might as well have a benefit-less job that let me write. Thankfully, I came to my senses, realizing that my elderly knees are in no shape for crouching before toilets. Instead, I realized I was feeling like I did back before I went on Prozac, and therefore my anti-depressants weren't working anymore.

So I signed up for therapy, visited the doctor and got the medication thing sorted out. For varying reasons, I had to wait a while before finally starting therapy (I had my first official session three days ago.) But I did have an intake interview, where I realized that I probably knew more about psychology than the master's student who was working with me.

I also looked into volunteer jobs, saw one for art therapy that looked interesting. I didn't think I was ready to run a full class, but it put the idea of being an art therapist into my head.

At work, I cut back my schedule so I had two free hours in the morning, when I knew I'd have the energy to get things done. This was excellent, but only lasted a week, since work suddenly picked up. Earning money was nice. Missing my productive time wasn't.

I started filling my time with things--films and museums and music. Joined the zoo and the art museum, bought a fancy camera. I signed up for a free online class through Coursera on public health and communities. I went to a gathering of Catholics who supported marriage equality, and discovered a church that I might have stayed in if the entire Church was like it. Later, I walked in a march with them, and felt the need to show others that it was possible to belong to a traditional religion and still be a social liberal. Marriage equality was passed. Woo!

Prompted by my experience with the therapy intern, and my curiosity about art therapy, I started looking into schools. I've been avoiding the psychology field because I spent my early life around mental illness, and I was tired of it. I didn't like working with people, I sucked at writing papers, and I didn't have the money for it anyway. But now I started to rethink those obstacles, and decided to go for it. Student debt, here I come!
A quick glance at UW's psychology master's program didn't show it to be appealing. It seems mainly geared towards research, rather than therapy. But Seattle U's program looks perfect. It focuses on Existential Phenomenological Psychology, which looks at people as unique individuals, and not as examples of a mental condition. It takes a deeper look at psyche and spirit than some other practices.
So now I have a goal. I've already joined a community college to clear out the few classes I need, and I've put out requests for letters of recommendation.

Last night, I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert, my first big concert that was more than just a band on a stage. (Whoa cool lighting effects and strobes and giant screens! I am so fucking glad I don't still have seizures.) Now I'm pooped.
nonionay: (Default)
In other news, I just got back from an info session on the counseling grad program and Seattle U. The time has come for me to give in to the inevitable, and become a shrink. I suspect I'll be more interested in the Masters of Psychology than counseling, but the meeting did make me think that I just might be able to be a school counselor, since I've met a few teenagers who didn't make me want to tear my hair out, and I love them to death. (Granted, they might just be more mature than average kids). I'm definitely interested in Seattle University. They actively promote all the values I wish wider Catholicism promoted: social justice, tolerance, diversity and all that. When a guy asked about how pervasive the whole Catholic thing was, the presenter basically said, "dude, we're on Capitol Hill, and we have openly gay faculty." So that wipes away the last traces of worry I might have had on that front.

Assuming I can get past all the academic hurdles, (My GPA sucks, math skills suck, ability to write analytically sucks) and don't decide next week that I'm bonkers, I think I have a good shot at getting into one of their programs. There are more info sessions in my future. (I'm looking at Counseling, Existential and Phenomenological Psychology, and Theology. I must say, I would be highly amused to become a Doctor of Divinity, and you know what? I'd make a damned fine ethics advisor. YOU WILL NOT LIE! AT ALL!!! NOW GO STAND IN A CORNER!!)

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