Welp, took the test. They put you in a monitored room that is fit for an FBI surveillance hold.
My math score was in the 30s, which is par for the course of what I expected, but for the English related tests, I had 88 on one and 107 on the other. The tests were a little more challenging, too. I was ecstatic to do that well. This means I bypass any remedial writing classes and jump straight into the college stuff. I’m going to retake the math portion within the month.
As a bonus, I was told to meet with a counselor to discuss my results, and it turned into meeting with my adviser. She thought I was right out of high school (I still got it ;) ), but I told her it’s been 7 bloody years since I last did anything. Anyway, I now have 4 classes lined up for next Spring (Jan-May). My entire Monday from 1:30 to around 8:30 is 3 classes, with an hour break in between one of them. I have other classes on Wednesday, too. One of them is over 3 hours long. So basically, 2 days a week, long days, but that’s what I wanted starting out.
I got my picture ID for the school taken today, too. All I came for was the test, but this suddenly became a lot more real. It’s been a slow crawl to be reintegrated into the living world, but I’m finally doing it.
Taking my accuplacer test in ≤ 12 hours. It’ll be my first real test since my senior year of high school. And as I recall, I had to bribe my ICP teacher in order to graduate, so that’s not very reassuring. I’ve come to realize that I’m terrible with anything technical involving numbers. I’m just gonna bend over and take math’s obtuse 163 degree rod up my ass since there’s no way I’ll ever be able to do well in it after all this time.
I’ve been studying on-and-off for the past week, and some of this stuff is coming back to me…but not enough to actually give me hope that I’ll be able to score highly enough to avoid remedial creditless classes. But you know what? I’m okay with this for a few reasons. One, I’d rather take a couple refresher courses if it means me not struggling in the big boy classes. Two? Surprise, bitch - most of this is being paid for by my great Uncle Sam.
I will, however, be PO’d if I don’t do well in the reading/writing sections. I’ve kept on it since unlike more complex math, I actually needed to know this stuff in real life. The sample questions have given me faith in this area, but I know that they’ll sometimes use their black magic trickery in order to throw you off from the actual test.
If I want to privately send my three-dimensional shlong to friends of legal age on my 3DS, I should be able to. And if said recipients don’t want that kind of material - and I have a hunch most of them don’t - they should be able to block me and report me for unwanted shlongery.
If Little Jimmy wants to do the same, he should be automatically unable to due to the parental control communication lock that has been enabled by his parents.
Are most parents informed? Probably not….hell, most parents let their 7-year-olds play Call of Duty and call strangers faggots via headset. But it’s not Nintendo’s place to raise anyone’s kids. They provide family-friendly entertainment and the means to protect your children from unwanted communication. They did their part. Now, let the kids have restrictions and let the adults show each other their 3D butts, okay?
In all seriousness, I didn’t even know such a thing was going on. It probably isn’t en masse. I take it someone threatened Nintendo with a lawsuit for failing as a parent, and this is what happened. Very lame.
This is pretty much exactly what I want to do if this college thing works out.
Photoshop / Illustrator: You’ll spend a decent chunk of any given day in these two programs. Knowing your way around Indesign is a nice bonus!
Print/web design concepts: Grids, whitespace, layout/composition, typography, etc. The more varied your design experience, the better! In addition to designing product packaging and images for the store, we need someone who can help with our myriad side quests, which often involve websites, books, logos, illustrations, apps…
Games: You don’t have to be obsessed with any specific genre/era of gaming, we just want someone who loves and understands games.
Apple Tolerance: We’re an all-Mac shop. If you’re a PC-devotee we can work on a transition plan, but you’re gonna have to drink the kool-aid sooner or later.
Heat Tolerance: We’re looking for someone who can work with us in our office in Tucson, AZ. (It’s a dry heat.)
"Production Design" is kind of a nebulous job title, so here are some more concrete examples of what kind of stuff you’ll be doing day-to-day:
Create product/store images: Touch up photos, cut out products from their backgrounds, tweak colors with adjustment layers, add subtle drop shadows, whisper sweet nothings to smart objects. Example:
Design packaging: Work with the mailroom to figure out what kind of packaging makes the most sense, design graphics (usually with elements from the product itself), format designs into print-ready files.
Design newsletters (and other marketing stuff): Work with the team to figure out what’s going in the next newsletter, insert/arrange all the products, design vignettes for special events. Example: Black Friday newsletter
Prepare designs for print/production: Work with the art director to prepare product specifications (imprint size/locations, Pantone colors, ink types, etc), prepare print-ready files, review/approve proofs.
Work in the mailroom: If you’re working with us in our Tucson office, you’ll find yourself putting plenty of time into the day-to-day activities of the business: folding shirts, organizing the warehouse, processing/fetching orders, and shipping packages.
(None of these are part of the job requirement, but they’re all helpful and hopefully convey the kind of peripheral nerdery we’re seeking.)
Websites: We design a lot of websites for ourselves and our partners. Web design/development skills are a huge plus.
Illustration: Simple illustrations (characters, backgrounds, etc) frequently come in handy for things like packaging and newsletters.
Fonts: The more obsessed you are with fonts, the better.
Printing: We do lots of printing on lots of different materials. If you’re not already familiar, prepare to learn about different types of printing (screen/offset/giclee), color systems (RGB/Pantone/CMYK), and paper (weights, coatings, etc).
Fashion: We produce lots of clothing — mostly t-shirts, of course, but we’re always looking to expand into new territory.
Relocation assistance: If you don’t live nearby, we can help cover the cost of moving you to Tucson. We can also help you find a place to live and give you a temporary place to stay while you’re looking for an apartment.
Flexible work hours: You can generally schedule your hours/days as you see fit as long as you’re putting in about 40 hours/week (though there are a handful of times each year during which everyone is working at least some overtime: before PAX, and before Christmas).
Generous vacation time/schedule: 2 weeks of paid vacation per year, and you’re free to take unpaid vacations as long as things won’t fall apart without you.
Insurance: We cover 100% of health, dental, and vision premiums for you and your family.
Computer: We’ll provide you with a Mac laptop or desktop (outfitted with an SSD and/or RAID array, if you like).
I’m having a hard time deciding what I want to do. I’ve always considered myself more a manipulator than an ‘artist’. I take your ideas, mix them with my own inspiration, and I make them more presentable. I enjoy designing things like logos, banner graphics, video intros/outros and simpler original graphics. I just love presentation. My weakest area is what I’d want to work on in college - original designs. I just hope it’s more learning how to design via computer than ‘fine art’ full painting stuff…I’m worried I’d get outclassed in that area since I only do computer design work as a hobbyist/free-lancer. I love designing logos and laying stuff out, deciding what goes where, which colors compliment each other, how to stand out while still being intuitive, etc.
Honestly, if someone came up with me for a good month or two and helped me settle in and figure out my life, I’d actually be okay with moving out of reach from my hometown. Aside from my few friends who have their own schedules to worry about and my core family, there isn’t anything left for me here. I just know I normally wouldn’t move on my own that far away…but I’d actually do it for a dream job like this. The Fangamer staff always seem to be positive and passionate about what they do - I would love to contribute to that kind of environment. I have a million design ideas floating around in my head all the time and nothing to apply them to. I’d love to layout music albums, choosing the font and figuring out how to blend different photos and backgrounds and artwork together in a way that stays true to the concept of the album. That’s what I originally had in mind for myself…but this sounds just as good to me. It’s not all that different when you think about it.
I hope this position opens up again in 5-6 years lol *sigh*.
The family and friend’s of Maddux are coming together to raise money to help Maddux beat cancer. Any support helps! Maddux Hescock is a loving, funny and smart six-year-old who is in a long, up-hill battle against rhabdomyosarcoma. He has one large tumor that is inoperable at this time, as well as many other masses. Life changed very quickly for Maddux when he was taken to the hospital on Thursday October 24th and given an x-ray to check for bronchitis or pneumonia. They were transferred to a children’s hospital for more tests and Friday morning they were given the diagnosis of sarcoma. Because the mass has invaded one of his lungs, his airway is restricted so, chemo was started Saturday night in hopes that the tumor will respond well and start shrinking. Things are progressing quickly and aggressively but we remain optimistic that he will be on the road to recovery in the frame of a year. This is every parents worst nightmare and any help is appreciated and will ease the burden so that Stacie and Josiah can focus on staying strong for Maddux as they all fight to beat this. Donations will help with medical expenses and other things involved in care such as travel. unfortunately because we are at the end of the year, their deductible will have to be met both this year and next as care continues. We appreciate all of the love and support and we know that Maddux is a strong little boy that will do all he can to beat this!
A good way to not get followed - if you follow me and threaten to unfollow me if I don’t follow you back.
In that scenario, I don’t care about you and you don’t care about me. You’re only looking for people to notice you for absolutely nothing. Let’s cut the bullshit and stop begging for attention from strangers. If I like your stuff and we have things in common, I might follow you. If you post too much and/or clog up my feed with random gifs, SJW naivety and daily selfies, I unfollow you. I’m not giving your ego a stroke just because you’re attractive. I’m not pacifying your unhealthy means of ‘communicating’ with people just because you’re offering me a new follower/subscriber.
We need to teach people how to have humility again.
Replaced the bulk of my candy, chips and cookie consumption with organic whole grain granola, a variety of fruits, hummus/pita chips and seeds/dried fruit.
That’s not to say I won’t have a ‘bad snack’ here and there (you’ll never stop me from plowing through my Friday Night Nachos), but considering I’m going from once a day bad snacking to once or twice a week bad snacking, that’s an improvement. And you know what? When you supply alternatives and have a goal to work towards, the transition isn’t that difficult.
I never want to be unable to eat something really tasty. I just want to resist the urge to eat poorly whenever I’m down or hungry without alternatives. Eating healthy or having healthy proportions was never really a thing in my household (veggies with dinner was about the extent of it), so I never really had the proper guidance in a lifestyle change such as this. I developed a bad habit of eating to deal with negative emotions in my later years. With a sedentary lifestyle and up until this past month a lax workout plan, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. But with school on the horizon, I have an opportunity to present the best version of me to a brand new audience. I didn’t have that chance when I was in high school and still going through awkward phases and a lack of self-awareness. This is me figuratively starting over with my life with the advantage of being a little older, a little wiser, and with a laundry list of lessons learned that you could never teach inside a classroom.
Back on topic, fruit kicks candy’s ass anyhow. It’s not as an ‘intense’ burst of flavor, but it just leaves you feeling more satisfied. Nothing beats biting into a really juicy peach or pear. Or as I discovered today, my new friend the rambutan.
After I met up with my childhood friend, Lisa, whom I hadn’t seen in 16 years, it made me snap into reality. She was amazing in every way, with a bright future, a house, a steady job, a wonderful personality, and so much going on in her life. She was a year younger than me to top it all off. The following day after she left, I atrophied in her absence. As the collective days began piling up, I found myself losing it more and more, day by day. Everyone in my life was getting married, in long-term relationships, having kids, starting their careers, or moving away entirely. Several people I know just moved, my ex is moving to Japan, and people are living life. I’m not. I had absolutely nothing. I saw the writing on the wall, though sadly it was far too late - the window had long since shut.
Everything went so well, we had great chemistry, and she was the one who made the plans to see me the following week. When the day finally came - and it took what felt like eons to get there - she forgot about me. She’s insanely busy, so it was nothing personal, but I couldn’t help but feel absolutely crushed about it. I looked forward to it more than a kid on Christmas. She made me feel wanted again. Like I mattered. She didn’t judge me; she was still the genuine and sweet, smart & sarcastic girl I knew back in 3rd and 4th grade. She was just about perfect for me - and that’s not even considering our cute lost-and-found story of me trying to find her after all these years.
As the weeks and months went on, I lost the feeling of complacency in my life. My purpose was completely gone. I was no longer happy doing nothing. I wanted to do something so that one day I could meet someone like her and have the confidence and foundation to be worth someone’s affection and investment of time. As it stands right now, I’m not. And that hurts.
I made real changes to my diet, picked up weights again, and starting working out consistently for the first time in over a year. I’ve never eaten this healthy before in my life. This is one of the few things I have real control over, so I might as well do whatever I can to feel better about myself.
But the biggest step of all is that at age 26, I will be attending college for the first time in my life starting early next year. I got my approval letter in the mail today - wanted to make this announcement when I knew for sure it was going to happen. I’ll be working towards general studies for my impending Associates, and the plan after that is to transfer over to IUN and get into the design field. I don’t want to really get into fine art, but I’d love to design logos, posters, covers, color layouts, fonts, and web pages - things like that. I realize it’s competitive, but I’ll get there when I get there…I think I’m kinda-sorta good for a hobbyist right now anyway. Oh yeah, almost forgot - I qualify for a nice grant!
The biggest immediate challenge is learning how to go to school again after 7 complete years.
I wasn’t ready for this in 2006 when most my friends began schooling. I didn’t even drive, so the thought of going to the big scary college was compounded with my irrational fears of driving. I seriously hate driving new places. But I hate being alone and without a future even more than that, so I’m just going to have to get used to it. And with my social anxiety, even that has been muffled with the prospects of meeting new people who I may gel with. I’m a pretty likable person I think - had plenty of acquaintances between class in high school - so I’m not even worried about that as much as I thought. The stuff I’m worried about is just getting back into the motions. I don’t even know if people still use pencil and paper in college, or if laptops are allowed wherever, or to be embarrassingly honest, how credits even work. I need to be informed about all these things among others. I’m the kid who brought all his folders and books in a backpack that literally broke at the seams in high school. I don’t know what’s what!
Special shoutout to my friends Bry & Erick for helping me (and their continual help). Here’s a plug for Bry’s fund to help her school get better supplies/books for her students. They need it, so if you have a few bucks to spare, please consider!
It’s amazing how one person can be someone’s North Star. Lisa did it twice for me without even trying. As kids, she inspired me to ignore peer pressure and stay true to myself, and as adults, she inspired me to aspire for more. She reminded me that your past doesn’t necessarily seal the fate of your present, and that there are great things to be found if you push yourself to discover them.
My favorite songs on this album are Lightbulb Sun, Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled, and Russia On Ice. This album has been dear to my heart ever since my mom gave it to me for Christmas a few years back, the year I pretty much only asked for porcupine tree CDs.
Lightbulb Sun brings me back to my own childhood, where your only worry about being sick is just being completely bored out of your mind, and where all you want to do is run outside and play. It is one of my favorite openings to any PT album.. the guitars are just so warm, and then all of a sudden it becomes a rock song. Also, it’s just plain catchy. The way the track is put together is perfect and I have no complaints. It is just another example of how great of a producer Steven is. It really is just a perfect song.