Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween :D! And Learning to Do Our Best

Hello there! Ali here again at 6:40 a.m. after another busy week of school and work :).

This week has been especially trying on my health and emotional well-being, but I'm here, doing my best to stay on top of things. Luckily today is my "relax and enjoy" day, even though I plan on going and exercising after I get this post finished :).

This past Saturday, I went with my step-mom, Jewell, to go see my Dad perform at this event up in Sandy called "Witchapalooza." They have a show every year, and this year's was absolutely fantastic! The actors were hilarious (one of them went on his own unscripted monologue for a good 15 minutes!! This included lifting up his shirt to show off his six-pack-abs. The director of the show seemed shocked, but responded fairly well. It was hysterical!!), and the band--the one my dad plays in (being a drummer and all)--was awesome as always.



Here's an image of the stage before the show started. Jewell and I got to sit up in the booth where they keep the spotlight because all of the seats had actually been sold out :).




Every seat looked like it was filled, that's for sure! Jewell and I kept joking about going down and sneakily stealing the pumpkin pie and salads from the tables where people hadn't shown up yet XD. Luckily, we were able to snatch some bread and pumpkin pie after the show was over and everyone had left :).



This was during the show :). It's always a romance story, and this one was really well-written :).



I'm pretty sure this was intermission. You can see my dad's head poking up just above that stool on the left-hand side of the stage. You can also see his two good friends Rob Honey and Rich Dixon on the right-hand side of the stage. They perform so well!





These were actually taken before the show started :). I was just playing around with my camera and showing Jewell how to use hers since she just got an iPhone that day :). OMG, my hair looks so LONG D8!!!



I went and visited my dad on Sunday (since Jewell had left to go and see my step-sister Amber and her family), and this is a picture that I took while I was there. The view from up there really is breathtaking. I'll have to try and get a better one next time I visit, which should be tomorrow! (Sunday, November 6th)



I also did some Japanese homework while up at my parent's house :). I used my newspaper that I bought for class to do some "extensive reading." As students in that class, we're expected to read about 100 minutes a week, and I didn't have anything else on me at the time, so I decided to do my best to read it ^^;.



This is the specific article that I decided to read. It was insanely difficult and I didn't understand the majority of the words in it. Thanks to my handy-dandy iPhone Japanese dictionary application, I was able to find all the words I didn't know and put them into a vocabulary list to study. I have yet to really study them hard though >_>;.

I was also able to work on my music a little bit while I was up at my folk's house :)! Sometimes it feels like I'm not making any progress when I really am. It just takes a lot of time to figure out what kind of sounds go well together and it takes a lot of time trying to find the kinds of sounds you can hear in the song that's playing in your head. It can be very frustrating, but it's so rewarding when you finally find what you're looking for!



I actually fell ill Sunday night and was so sick during the night with stomach pains and the like that I couldn't work Monday morning (Halloween :D). After getting some good rest, I was able to go to class without feeling like my body was eating itself from the inside out.



I also made some soup to help settle my stomach during the day. It really helped, and it was absolutely delicious! I followed my step-mom's soup recipe, but added some turmeric to it just for fun. I was very pleased with the result :)!



Happy Halloween to everyone by the way! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Love the darkness and spookiness of it :).



This is how I looked on Halloween :D. A girl in my Japanese class asked me if I was from the Matrix XD. I kind of looked like I was with my trench coat and such, but! I wasn't ^^;. I just put some clothes together and told people I was a "fighter."



Another look at my make-up! I used liquid eye-liner to do the little scar-looking thing on my eye. It was really fun :). Everyone looked at me like I was crazy at school, but I definitely wasn't the weirdest looking one there XD.

On Halloween night, I planned on getting together with Dan and a couple of his friends, namely Zach and Mara. They planned on getting together somewhat late (7:30 p.m.), so I had to leave early to get to bed (around 9:00 p.m.) in case I felt well enough to go to work Tuesday morning. We had a blast while we were together! We drove to Mara's friend Lisa's house and started watching Secret Window which I hadn't seen in forever. I forgot how amazing that movie is! Since I had to leave early, we didn't get to finish watching the movie and Dan's never seen it before, so I plan on watching the rest with him sometime soon :D.

I unfortunately became even more sick during the night after Halloween (even though I'd only eaten a small butterfinger candy the entire night). I once again called off work, but decided that I should stay awake so I could keep my sleep schedule stable (wake at 4:00 a.m., sleep at 8:00 p.m.).



For breakfast that morning, I had toast, a small piece of pumpkin bread, and a cracker with peanut butter on it. I would have made myself something a little more protein-y, but toast sounded like it would settle better with my upset stomach, despite the fact I put butter on it ;).



This is me that morning with my food :). I ended up watching Dark Knight to help keep me awake. It'd been such a long time since I'd seen that movie! I forgot how much I loved it :D.

I decided not to go to school on Tuesday and just rest to help speed my recovery, and it really worked. By Wednesday morning, I was feeling much better and was able to go into work and also attend my classes.



I randomly decided to take a picture of the mops that we use at work. When Lauren (the girl on the left) and I first started working together in the Central Heating Plant, we joked about the yellow part of the mop being a face and the actual mophead itself being the hair, and there were different styles and such (side-part, middle-part, etc.). We got a big kick out of it :).

I ended up actually fixing myself up a little bit on Wednesday :)! I did my make-up more fancy than I usually do and put in some nice earrings.





I was really happy with the way that I looked :)! Not to sound arrogant or anything like that :D. Sometimes doing little things like that for yourself (doing a little extra make-up, painting your nails, straightening/curling your hair, etc.) can really make a difference in your day. It does for me at least :D.



I was feeling close to normal on Thursday. I went to work, went to school, etc. In my Shader Programming class that morning, we were reviewing the photos we were going to put a CG object into, and I'd decided on one of my dad's studio.



This is the picture that I'd decided on and I'd planned on modeling/shading that center cymbal that's kind of bumpy. My teacher recommended that I change the composition of the picture a little bit to make things a little more interesting to the eye, so I'll probably go into the studio and snap a couple pictures this Sunday when I go and visit :).

Then in my Character Animation class, we watched a film from Siggraph 2008 called "My Little Angel," or something along those lines and it was actually pretty shocking, in a funny way XD. Basically there was a little boy and his dog playing fetch. The boy would hit the ball with his bat and the dog would fetch it. Well, the dog decided that he didn't want to let go of the ball and so the boy hit the dog with his bat, and suddenly this angel appeared and died right in front of the boy. The boy was shocked, and suddenly another live angel appeared and gave him a card that said "When you do good, your angel flies. When you do evil, your angel dies." So the boy ends up hitting his dog a lot and the same angel keeps dying over and over--it was pretty funny but kind of sad and morbid at the same time hahaha. It wasn't gory at all, just kind of disturbing when the angels died hahaha. Eventually the dog bites the kid's butt and then a dog angel dies. It ends shortly after that. It was an entertaining watch though :D.

I was able to get my character's rig pretty much finished even though when her shoulders move a certain way, they kind of scrunch up like a twisted rag DX. I tried to fix it last night, but was unable to. So, I guess I'll just have to do best on the animation and hope I don't get docked too much for the distortion ^^;.

I decided to animate a really short dialogue-oriented scene from the movie "Ghost." It's the second right before Sam gets shot in the alleyway while walking with Molly. The animation is unfinished, but here's what I've got so far :D. I still have to fix her arms, head, eye, and animate her speaking.



I'm excited to see what the end product looks like! Hopefully it won't be too bad XD.

Also, on Thursday between classes, my mom sent me this incredibly inspiring YouTube video called "Questions that will Stir Your Soul," which was a presentation given by a woman named Lisa Nichols. I started watching this video, not even realizing it was nearly an hour long, but it's well worth sitting there for an hour and watching and listening to all the advice she has to give.



The video was so inspiring that I ended up in tears. I highly recommend watching it, especially if you're feeling down (which I was at the time).



/BEGIN sad blah.

Yesterday was also a fairly rough day for me emotionally to be honest. The beginning of the day went well. I went to work and was surprised to see that one of the employees at the Central Heating Plant had filled this trash can halfway full of coal (which is actually insanely heavy!). I tried to lift the bag myself and ended up spilling some of the coal on myself and the floor because the bag tore ^^;. I called Lauren over and together we were able to lift the bag out of the trash can and into the trash container that I roll around to pick up all of the garbages every morning. I happened to get more covered in coal in the process ^^;! But it was all right :D.

I went home from work and showered and tried to do my Japanese homework, but the website where my assignment was posted was experiencing some technical difficulties, so I was unable to get my homework done :(. Despite that, I went to class and still had a good time talking and learning about what our homework had been about.

I went to physics and then headed home. On my way home I remembered that the junior class (my class) was pitching the idea of Chasm to Sony at 1:15, and it was about 1:10 when I got home. I wanted to go, but decided that getting some food in me was more important.

I feel like I made a big mistake.

I ended up coming down on myself emotionally and really just tearing myself up, which is something that I need to learn to let go of. I have this negative pattern that I live sometimes where I'll tell myself things about myself that aren't true. For example, yesterday I told myself that I'm lazy, that I'm big (in my stomach area specifically. I felt that way because I ended up eating a lot for dinner), and that I'm incapable of reaching my goals, being successful, or doing what I want with my life. This often times feels true with school being so crazy busy and feeling like I have so much that I want to do and never enough time to do it (this includes exercising, finding time to cook meals, and find time for myself, which usually gets taken up by one of the previously mentioned things). I find myself feeling so overwhelmed that I just give up and do whatever I want instead of taking one small piece of the work at a time and getting it done, which is what I'm trying to teach myself.

It's hard trying to be a perfect person, and it's unfortunately not possible. I can try my best, but that's all I can do. So here's to doing our best when things get tough. Trying to find the good in things or remembering good times is something that I try to do when I feel like the world is crashing down on me, but sometimes even that doesn't help. Just have to do our best with who we are and what we've got and think about the future in a way that helps brighten ourselves up.

I find that thinking about my future home really helps me feel better about my current, not so pleasant situation.

If there's anything that I do well, it's dreaming BIG, and I think that's important. It makes you work harder so you can actually reach whatever it is that you're aiming for.

WOW, sorry, I didn't mean to get so preachy and personal there, but I really do think that dreaming and living your life like it's your dream is the only way to live.

/END sad blah.

This morning I made myself the most awesome breakfast!




I was thinking about trying out Jillian Michael's steel cut oats recipe that she has posted on her website, but I don't happen to have any soy milk I could use for the recipe, so I decided to do my own twist on the recipe.

I took 3/4 cup quick oats, microwaved them, put in some pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, cut up a small Gala apple, put the apple on the oats, put on a little more cinnamon, then sprinkled some almonds and flaxseed on top of all of it :). I would have put some syrup, honey, or agave nectar on it, but I don't happen to have any of those at the moment either ^^;. I ate half of the bowl plain and then used a stevia packet on the rest to sweeten it up a little bit. It was just the right amount of sweetness. It tasted wonderful :D. Apple and cinnamon were meant for each other :).



In a little while I'm going to go grocery shopping and then go be with Dan for the rest of the day :). We're going to go get a treat together somewhere--not quite sure where yet though ^^;. This week is my turn to choose hahaha and I've debated between something rich and sweet or something that I haven't had in forever, like a hamburger and fries. Either way, it's bound to be delicious!

Anyway. Whoever reads this, thank you for taking the time to read and I apologize again for the sad blah. Sometimes things just get difficult and finding ways to cope with it can be hard, but I'm doing my best. And you should do your best too so we can all live life to the fullest and really enjoy our existences :).

I hope that you all have an amazingly enjoyable weekend! If there's anything that you want me to post in particular in the future, please let me know. Whether it's work-out advice, recipes that I use, etc. Just tell me :).



Love to all of you!

~Ali~