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Graphic Design Classes

All registered for the Fall. Registered for 2 classes: Intro to Graphic Design and Computer Graphics I. The Intro class is self-explanatory and the Computer Graphics class is on Photoshop. The book that has been listed is for CS5 in the past but I see that CS6 is out. Either way I figure we will be using the Online version on Adobe's Creative Cloud.

Still, I'll probably try and take advantage of my student status and purchase CS6 (or a new version in the future) for a discounted price.

I'm really excited about the classes and moreover, I'm excited about going into a different field than customer service/secretarial work. I feel like my job is sucking my will to live right out of me. I know. I know. That's normal. But I seriously need something new and different. 11 years doing the same thing is insanity.

I'm excited about maybe meeting new people. Truth be told I don't get out muc...at all. I try to force myself to just go to the coffee shop after work but I'm so tired, drained and moody after working 10.5 hours that I just want to be alone (not have to fake smile anymore), eat something and go to bed. I find myself able to go somewhere on the days I only work 8 hours though.

I don't even have the energy to crack open my sketchbook on the longer days. Unless I do something on my lunch break, nothing goes in there. All of this is the reason I want a new job. Yet I'm afraid to leave the one I have right now because she's working with me on my schedule so I can take classes and I'm making enough money to pay the bills.

I'm seriously thinking about leaving though...if it were not for the bills. Getting to work at 7-7:15 in the morning is killing me. Hate it.


Going back to school

I'm enrolling in the fall at Delgado for Graphic Design. I have 14 classes to take to get an Associates.

After trying to study for the Praxis, I've realized that being out for 11 years is going to make it virtually impossible for me to study and take it in a reasonable amount of time. I would have to take a few years and study, then take a few years to get certification etc and then it may not even be worth it since all the changes that are happening in Louisiana with the school systems. I may not even find a job with my grandiose certification since they don't actually want to hire certified teachers anymore. Not worth all the time and money in the end.

Ah well. At least this way I will be doing something that I enjoy and will more than likely be able to find work whether I stay in Louisiana or not.

More on all of this later.


Me, Date...Really?

I now somehow have dinner date for my birthday.

The girl from OKC that I thought I was not compatible with asked me to dinner. I figure since we never actually met in person and I could be totally wrong based on that...why the hell not?

So maybe whining about it a bit helped. HA!


The Shower or the Bath?

I feel that things in my life are a little bit at a stand-still. I'm not working on any of the things I want to be working on and I'm not accomplishing any of the things I want to accomplish. I have one foot in and one foot out in all things. It's like I'm living in this undecided limbo territory where I cannot find a solid definition of things or finish any project.

The condo sits in half-ass rennovation. Some walls are 1/2 painted. The cabinets are 1/2 painted. etc.

I run sometimes and don't at other times. I'm not completely out of shape but I'm not in shape either. I should be training for the CCC, yet I cannot seem to make myself follow the schedule religiously. I do some runs some days and some times I do them on the wrong days and then I often don't do them at all. I don't know why this is.

I haven't been on a date since April. I text and chat with people online but haven't met up with anyone. The people I meet would make awesome friends but nothing more and the feeling is quite mutual in that. As for getting together and doing friend-type things, well most of them already have truckloads of friends and family that already take up all of their time.

I am also only half-assedly studying for the Praxis II which is the only thing I need to take to get into school to get my certification and get another job. I can't seem to find the will or energy to study.

All of this is ridiculous and reading it makes me feel quite ridiculous. I don't know why I can't get my act together but I'm trying to do so.

Today Is Going to Be Busy

My TO DO List for today:

1. Run 1.5 miles as per the training schedule. (I'm doing the jogger pace).

2. Oil change on car. Which means sitting at the dealership with a book or sketchbook for 3-4 hours, fending off all the people who want to idly chat about their lives because they do neither of those things. I'm trying to be more social but sitting at the dealership is not when I want to do it. I'm stuck there so I'm trying to make the best of it. I might actually have to do this first since I need to be there bright and early.

3. Laundry and cleaning. This place is messy, cluttered, unorganized and as of yet half-painted. It gets to me. I need to at least get it clean enough to where it doesn't drive me nuts. Painting and organizing will ensue again soon.

4. Paperwork. I'm putting all my important papers like insurance papers, birth certificate etc into a waterproof/fireproof file box. I'm also shredding old bills and placing older bank/credit card statements into a storage filebox. This is going to take me longer than I'd like. Seems to me that paperwork takes forever. So this is going to be a multi-weekend project.

5. Shopping. Need a few more things though I did my main grocery trip last night. I'm also considering two decorations for my condo as well: This wreath and a couple of these tealight holders.

That's about it. Guess I should get dressed and head to the dealership. The quicker I'm there, the quicker I'm out so that I can go run.

Crescent City Classic 10k!

I'm all signed up to run the Crescent City Classic again this year on March 30th.

Worse yet, I've involved two other people in my insanity: Rodolfo, my co-worker and Connor, a girl I met off OkCupid but had found we were not compatible for more.

I honestly hope to do just as well as I did last year. I don't see myself doing better though. Last year I finished in 1:07:04 in 2147th place out of 8937 women. As I said I just want to do near the same since I have slacked off my running this year.

I'm excited about the race just the same though. Last year my parents tried to meet me at the finish line but could not find me and cellphones were useless because there were THOUSANDS of people there all attempting to use their phones at the same time. They were too tired afterwards to even meet me for breakfast or anything...so I went home to my condo to sit around by myself afterwards. It was a bit depressing and anticlimactic.

However, I kind of have a new attitude about these things. This year if I'm alone after the race, I will take myself out to breakfast to celebrate and middle finger to anyone who stares or dares tell me anything.

I read on FB that they were supposed to give medals to finishers this year and it would be my first racing medal. Yet I don't see anything about that on the race's website so now I'm all skeptical and wondering about that. If they are giving them out and I get my hands on that medal I'm just going to lose it in my happiness. It's a goal to start a medal collection.

I want this hook or this one. I really can't make up my mind. I love them both.

This is where I should post the pic of me running the CCC last year, but the picture is absolutely horrible so I'm not going to do it. So there is another hope: please let the picture from this year's race look better!! Oh please!


Some Serious Bad Luck Going on!

While driving into the parking garage at the courthouse to meet the DA concerning my stalker, a woman changed her mind about going in and backed into me.

Lovely. Just what I needed. My poor little car!!

I'm so frustrated right now. And worse yet I truly do not have a release since I twisted my ankle and cannot run. I have so much pent up frustration as it has been a week something like 2 weeks since I've ran.

I also don't have time to run. All of my early days have been taken up with the business of life. Stuff with the stalker business, insurance stuff etc. Today I have to leave work early to get both my driver's license and registration renewed at the DMV.

Sucks! Sucks! Sucks!

I want my life back!
So yesterday I found out that my stalker is in jail. Not jail, prison. He has posted 1/2 his bond but not all of it yet.

That means I have a little while of freedom. I can go to the store at night etc. I'm still having to call my parents or friends before leaving or entering the condo because his son is still around the complex. We don't know anything about the son's disposition but he's probably upset. Who knows if he's blaming dad or the victim?

I also have not been able to get a cop on the phone. They all send me to another cop's voice mail. Once there I leave a message which is then promptly ignored. Promptly deleted, I imagine.  I'd like to know when crazy man is released from prison and back down the block from me.  I realize this may take a little paperwork on behalf of someone who'd rather be eating donuts, drinking Starbucks or whatever cops do for downtime, but I'd still like to know. I'm not asking them to break a sweat, just push a pen around on paper.

After running 50 million errands, I will be painting another set of  the kitchen cabinets this weekend. I'm painting them in sections so that my entire kitchen is not out of commission. That was the plan but if you consider the fact that I'm having to stack the stuff that was in those cabinets onto the countertops and the stove...it's sort of out of commission anyway. I'm living a little like that show Hoarders where I have to move things to get to other things because I cannot put things in the cabinets that are freshly painted.

The paint can says to wait 14 days before washing the painted surface so I'm not sure if I should wait a week or 2 weeks before putting all my crap back in there. I'm thinking to wait 1 to 1 1/2 weeks or so. Until I can't bear it anymore basically.

It's interesting that all this stalker business started now.  Now when I'm back to running. Now, when I'm working on relaxing more and trying to control my stress levels. When I'm cutting caffeine which makes me moody and bitchy out of my diet. Now when I'm cutting alcohol out of my diet as well. Now when I'm getting rid of all this dark, Goth shit I've had in my life (clothes, music, decor, people etc). Now when I'm considering finding new healthy, happy, fun friends who like to do things other than drink in the Quarter and act like pretentious jerks to the rest of the world.

Now this happens.

I don't believe in stuff like "the world is plotting against me" or "fate" etc.  Just don't believe in such things. I'm an Atheist and total skeptic.  Sometimes however, it feels like the world is plotting against you and it feels like you really are Fate's bitch.  I can see where the ancients and people of today come to these supernatural conclusions. It feels that way sometimes. It *almost* makes sense.

Instead of freaking out, I'm still trying to keep a level head.  I'm still trying to *relax* as much as I can. Only now, it's like I'm not supposed to relax. I'm supposed to be keeping up my guard etc.  My fight or flight response has always been constantly activated for years and I've started working on calming down and trying to get it back to normal. It was effed up from my boss who is hardcore OCD and would come in and tell me that absolutely *everything* I was doing was "wrong" every single day. I was constantly on pins and needles trying to do every single little thing correctly and trying to figure out what I may have done wrong.  She would come in and tell me something *new* that I'm doing wrong and inform me that it's always supposed have been done that way and it was NOT new. So I could NEVER do anything right.  I was constantly stressed and freaked out trying to do it all "right".

So here I am trying to lower my stress levels and get this anxiety under control...This was seriously the wrong time for this to happen wouldn't you say?

Oh well. I'm going to keep working on it just the same. Who knows? Maybe having something that actually requires the proper fight or flight response can help me adjust to the rest of the day when it's not required. I'm trying to take that stance.

I"m just going to remember to Breathe...be calm and breathe...

Pictures of my work on the bathroom to come this weekend.
This man in my complex has been stalking me. I had him arrested the other night. I had told him to leave me alone and instead he bought me candy, flowers and wrote me another letter. There have been four letters so far some of them sexual some of them just insane. I won't say too much because this will probably be going to court. I'm pressing charges. He is going to jail, a mental institution or a nursing home. I don't care which but I want him OFF THE STREETS and OUT OF THIS CONDO COMPLEX. Bye Bye. Not going to stop till he's out of here. Going to push, push and push till they put him away. I'm not the first person he has done this to so it has got to end here before it escalates and he really hurts someone.

I called the condo manager to let her know what is going on and she seems very much concerned and non-judgmental about the whole thing so that was a relief.

It feels very surreal. I sometimes think that this is NOT my life. This is some TV show. I'm going to blink and everything will go back to "normal". "Normal" meaning "boring" and without drama, but it has been a long time since I can remember my life being that way. Lately there is always something going on that makes me stressed out.

Let me make things clear: I love my condo. I LOOOVE my condo. I worked really hard to get it. I cried, sweated, freaked out during the buying process for this place. Giving it up would make it all seem in vain. Suffice to say, I don't want to move. Yet, I despise my neighbors (quite a few of them) and I hope they don't force me to sell.

I love the pool and laying out in the sun in the summer in my bikini with a smoothie and a book. I love sitting out on my balcony with a cup of coffee and a crepe.

I love having a herb garden on my balcony in the springs and summers. The smell of rosemary and basil on the breeze while watching butterflies flitter about the flowers in the courtyard is soothing.

I love having flowers and ivy hanging from my balcony. I love watering them and watching them grow. Nurturing them like little children.

I love my little kitchen with it's gorgeous appliances I bought. I love my cathedral ceilings. I love s'mores I make with the fireplace on those rare nights it drops into the 30s. I love my walk-in closet!

There are things about this complex and the location that I do not want to give up.

I love this place. I really do. I love my little condo so much, I'm investing a little cash into it now.  I'm fixing up the place. New paint. New colors. I'm recreating the atmosphere..

I've thrown away the Gothy trappings. I want nothing to do with that scene, look, idea, feeling etc ever again. It's just too icky for me. I no longer even enjoy the music so much because it's all wrapped up in the ickyness that remember from the people in the scene.

Before, I was doing the whole place in Black and White and Silver. I even had bats here and there.

Goth Girl. I kind of embraced that. A friend even used to call me the the "Gothic Martha Stewart".  I enjoyed this kind of home-making with a little dark edge to it. Ok. Not a little dark edge...a dark edge period.

My bathroom was in "Baroque" but to tell the truth since the tub, sink and toilet were Bisque colored, the black and white was truly not working. It was almost ridiculous looking. At least it was in my opinion.  But I was in total denial because I wanted black, white and silver so badly.

All the walls are a pinky-beige.  In the entire condo it's painted a color called "Iconic Column".  It gives the room a warm glow but it has  darkening effect.  I never imagined beige could darken a room but it just has to be that pink undertone that's causing it. In the pictures here of my bathroom, I think you can see what I mean...

This place is too small for warm colors. Period.  It encloses it. It makes it more cave-like and when we are talking about 884 sq. ft., that's the last thing one wants. 

At night and in the early morning, this place is DARK.  There is not a sense of serenity. There is a sense of being entombed even.

I suppose once upon a time I liked this part of it.  But not so much anymore. I don't like this feeling at all.

Given recent events where I'm watching every move I make and I'm a little bit of a shut-in because I'm avoiding running into stalker-man, I'm not liking this feeling of being in a cave.

The old decor with it's pinky-beige and warm tones only adds to the since of losing my freedom.

There is no sense of openness that I seek.  I've gone from running indoors on the treadmill to running in the great outdoors. I've gone from wanting to be safe from the world to wanting to be free to run about in it.

I want run, bike, swim, explore, trek-about.  I don't want to be trapped in a cave.

I want my freedom. I want to be healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.

I want to throw my mountain bike in the back of my little hatchback and go riding on the Rails to Trails on the Northshore again.  Go for a picnic at the drop of pin because I feel like it.

I rather miss all this freedom I once possessed.  Right now, I'm waiting to see what is going to happen. I call my mother, father or friend before leaving the condo to my car so they can call the police if something happens to me while I'm trying to get in the car.  There is not enough time to "throw the bike in the hatchback".  I have to take the wheel off the bike and fold down the seats etc.  That takes too long and HE can catch up to me in that time...

I have to get home before it's dark or have someone follow me home to make sure I got inside safely.  My alarm system is constantly armed. Either in "Stay" mode when I'm home or "Away" mode when I am at work.  I do my shopping on my lunch hours because by the time I get off work it is dark...

I cannot do what I want. I cannot go where I want. I cannot run outside. I cannot go biking. I cannot be out at night even.

Right now. I'm imprisoned.  I'm not the one that did something wrong but I'm the one being punished.

* Pictures of the new decor to come. *
Not sure if anyone reads this so I'm leaving it public to find out. Comment or throw a rock at me or something since I'm trying to decide whether to keep this journal or not.

No one really reads it (I don't think) and I'm having trouble with feeling "on display". The whole online journaling experience has been 95% negative for me to be honest. The really nasty side of people I had once thought of as my "friends" came out and I don't think I ever got over that.

I'm thinking about going to blogger...a new platform with a new group of people maybe the key to it all. I would like to make new friends.

So what's up with me?

Lets see... I'm running again. I'm up to a mile and 1/2. It's going to take a while. A very looong while for me to get back to 4 or 5 miles a day. But I'm working on it. I got cleared by the chiropractor to start again. I started walking at first and then found myself strong enough to do a 1/2 mile, then a mile and then a mile and 1/4 and finally Saturday I did a mile and 1/2. That's where I stand right now.

I'm running at the park more and less on the treadmill.

I bought myself new running shoes for Christmakwanzakah. I went and got them fitted at Louisiana Running Company on Canal. It was kind of interesting watching myself run on the TV (well my feet anyway). The girl that is part-owner of the place, Jennifer was really nice.

The store has group runs 2 nights a week. I'm thinking about joining them when I'm able to run 3 miles straight again. I'm still too weak right now. Not recovering anymore but having to build from scratch.

I want to make new friends. I want to do things with those friends that doesn't involve alcohol or standing around judging whether someone is cool enough to exist or not. I don't mind being pushed to work or try harder but I'd prefer not to be around people who do nothing but criticize. Positive people. Positive friends. People who are actually on my side is what I'm looking to meet.

Besides running, I'm renovating my condo. So far the bathroom is redone. Pictures possibly to come. The horrific wallpaper in the kitchen is almost completely down as well. I have one small section left of the 2 layers. Yes 2 layers of wallpaper! Under the xmas-y red, green, white and blue striped wallpaper in my kitchen was a layer of beige paper with what? Wait for it...roosters on it. Not kidding. This place was built in 1983 and I keep finding frightening little reminders of that.

My mother was quick with the quips: "Well the holidays are over so I guess it's time." She was referring to the top striped layer of course which indeed looked xmas-y.

I'm staring at sheet rock now. It needs to be sanded before it can be painted. I'm painting the cabinets first though.

In my decorating, I'm kind of...well...unGothing the place. No more black and white and gray. After much thought and more thought and further thought, I've come to the conclusion that I'm done with it. DONE. I'm done with the whole scene and everyone in it. I still like the music and clothes but I find myself unable to listen to it or wear the clothes without thinking about the horrible people I have come to know and dislike immensely. The 2 have become inseparable in my heart and mind.

Music-wise I've been listening to a lot of Enigma, Orbital, trance, electronica and the such. Stuff that I listen to to mellow out. Sip tea and watch the rain.

Tea. I'm cutting back on caffeine big time. I'm down to 1 cup of coffee a day. Next is to go 1/2 caff. I love coffee so much! I really do, but it makes me jumpy, jittery, moody etc. I drag ass until 9:30 AM because I'm not awake enough. That's probably not completely coffee's fault but it is definitely a factor. This is hard. Today is Day 6 with 1 cup of coffee. Detox apparently takes 2-9 days. I'm starting to level out now to my 1 cup a day, but after I finish this bag of coffee I'll have to step down again...Yikes!

So I quit smoking. I'm cutting back on coffee. Cutting back on alcohol (really should just cut it completely). Where have all my vices gone? Well I'm not strictly vegetarian anymore so there you go. I have one. LOL! But I still don't like red meat overmuch and I still like tofu. It's tasty goodness. Deal with it. :p

Teaching. Still plan to get certified, but I needed a break. I about burned myself out and found that I couldn't not study for the Praxis so I'm putting it off for the moment. Will pick it up again soon. Very soon. I want to get my running routine normal and some more renovations done before I dive back into my books.

Ok. That's about it. Time to go run and start my day.

Here's a song from my running playlist:

Enjoy! Have a beautiful day everyone!