Posts Tagged ‘misadventures’

“I think I’ll wait another year,
It’ll be the best year ever.”

If you haven’t listened to Amanda Palmer’s “Another Year”, go do it immediately. This song is on to Top 5 list of the soundtrack of my life, I swear.

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Now, I have done many, many things in my life. I’ve worked in a haunted house, and a Halloween costume/supply store. I’ve left the country. Twice. Swam with dolphins. Also twice. I attended a writing conference in New York with Best Selling authors and agents and other passionate writer people like myself, and even read part of a manuscript out loud to two agents (both of which were interested in reading more) – before I started my senior year of High School. I’ve been to Orlando four times. I’ve been to Boston and Salem. I’ve been to Chicago, New Orleans, and Nashville for cons. I’ve been to James Marsters birthday party. Sean Patrick Flanery has called my boyfriend and made me blush, and just been an all around awesome dude to me. David Della Rocco kissed my cheek. I’ve met amazing actors, artists, comedians, authors, etc. I’ve met Stan Lee. Multiple times. I met Robert Englund and cried. I’ve been to Batman Live!, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and a variety of other plays and shows. I’ve had VIP passes and been allowed into areas others have dreamed of. I’ve shot fashion shows, had photos and articles published, and occasionally feel like maybe I’m going in the right direction.

And so, so much more. So many people and places I can’t even list them all.

But, I somehow still want more. I have worked myself to death to feel like I’m somewhere, or doing something, and not wasting my life behind a desk at a day job.

It feels like I have been stuck in a state of Almost Something. I have almost been published. Almost graduated with my degree as an Art major. Almost stepped up to the next level in photography. Almost almost almost. But I don’t won’t to fall short anymore. I want to move from Almost Something into Definitely Something.

So, next year, I will try to do more. I will try to top everything I’ve already done, just because I have the drive to do it. I don’t want to live an average life. It will drive me insane. I want to feel like I’ve accomplished things and lived a life I was proud of by the time I’m dead.

I’m working on a list right now of things to do in 2015. Because while 2014 had some very good things, it also had some horrible things. And I want more good days than bad. I’ll post a finished list closer to New Years Eve, but there are some points I will definitely touch on:

I will do something writing related, whether it’s a published novel, or another article. Even a baby step forward is better than a stand still.

I will work on my photography more. Because I miss it. Because I need it. I will do shoots and get my work out there.

I will do something more with my art. It’s improving, though not quite where it was art. I would love to start selling prints and pieces to people.

Travel. Experiences. Health.

There is no point in wasting time, when there are adventures out there waiting for me. I just need to seize the chances I’m presented with.

~Angel

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makenicethingsI could easily admit Sjogren’s Syndrome when I was diagnosed. I was scared, but I could easily say that yes, I have it. And Fibromyalgia didn’t scare or surprise me, mainly just irritates me.
The new specialist I’ve been seeing about my ovaries diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s not something I scream from the rooftop, but I can still admit it.
But I can’t deny the one disease, of all diseases, I have dreaded being told I have. Because Thursday, it snuck up on me, in blood work I never imagined it appearing on. Diabetes.
Mind you, I have not been a diabetic. I have my blood drawn and checked a bizarre amount. I just had it checked right before my dental stuff. But there it was, plain as day, looking back at me. And when the nephrologist that had drawn the labs called me, I hoped he would say it was a fluke. But nope. It’s all mine. A new diagnosis.
And I don’t like it.
I literally fought the diagnosis, denying that it could honestly be happening. But today, I can’t deny it anymore. I started to feel horrible at work, and sure enough, when we checked my blood sugar, it was elevated. Very elevated.
The best guess anyone has as to why I have had normal blood sugars, and now not normal blood sugars, is a combination of horrible genes and my last steroid treatment being such a high dose so many times a day, that it pretty much caused a steroid induced diabetes.
Basically: The medicine to help the rest of me not be sick, woke up another sickness. (Which, I must say, is bullshit. Stupid body.)

But, why am I throwing all this out there? Because I am ashamed. And I shouldn’t be. I don’t want to be. I’m posting this because I need love and support to get me through it, and I won’t have any of that if I pretend I don’t have it.

Diabetes is a disease that, in both Type 1 and Type 2, is frequently misconstrued by the media and society in general as something to be embarrassed of. People suddenly think it gives them a license to be an asshole to you, because you obviously “did it to yourself.”

Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. So, why don’t I want to treat it like Sjogren’s, where I can just as easily say that I have Diabetes as I do with Sjogrens?

I don’t want to perpetuate this idea that I need to be ashamed.

And I am going to fight like hell to turn this mess around, not so people don’t judge me: but so that I can live this fabulous, adventurous life I have dreamed of.

 

~Angel

I was overjoyed most of this week because of good news. It was finally looking like things could actually be okay, and I could move forward with my life and get out of the rut I’ve been in. Until yesterday.
Yesterday was a bad day. Today hasn’t been too swell, either. A lot of it has to do with health reasons. Bad tests. Bad news. News I don’t need.
The worst part of it all is that I felt like I was finally getting somewhere, I finally had a direction to go. And then I hit a wall just as I started. And I’m staring at it, unsure of what to do. Unsure of what I can do. It terrifies me.
Last night it left me so lost and scared, I didn’t know if I could function.
Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was done. Done with everything. Because I took one step forward, and it launched me three steps back. Suddenly, the things I wanted to do, the things I had set my heart on, seemed like they weren’t worth it. And yet, they seemed to also be the most important things in the world.

I considered buying a one-way ticket anywhere but here.

I considered things much, much more permanent. Because I am scared, and I am human, and I am overwhelmed.

But instead of giving up, instead of running, I’ve decided I just need to work harder, and save up faster, and just use this all as fuel to get me somewhere I need to be. Whether my health gets better or worse, I need to continue forward.

It is time to change my stars.

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I’ve decided:

+ I’m paying off my medical debt ASAP when my check comes in.

+ I’m going to save up for a new car, if I can’t fix mine.

+ I’m saving up for England, and going in the next few years, even if I have to go alone.

+ I’m quitting NaNoWriMo to focus on the project I had been working on, because I want it ready to go by February to agents.

+ I’m going to begin selling my artwork, and taking it more seriously.

+ I’m going to take my health back. My life back.

+ I’m going to break away from all the negatives in my life, and start fresh. New home. New work. New life. No more toxic people slowly killing me.

 

So I will work harder to earn more. I will write, make artwork, sell Scentsy, do photo shoots, sell my own stuff, save birthday/Christmas/bonus money.

I will not be dust. I will burn up in a brilliant blaze and be ashes.

I am not done yet. There is so much more I have to offer the world, and myself.

 

~Angel

Inspired by posts from Sky at Sky vs World:

Saving for Travel – April Spending Freeze

Saving for Travel – September Edition

Saving For Travel – No Spend November

travel

 I get a lot of questions on how I manage all these trips I’ve been going on, and sometimes these are less intrigue than people trying to remind me I need to be saving for other things. But, more and more, I’m getting people genuinely interested in how I do it, because they want to embrace the idea of seeing more of the world. And when I was reading the new post on Sky vs World about saving, and it made me decide to post my own ways of saving for travel.

Now, the type of traveling that I am doing usually requires different types of saving methods.

When I’m preparing to travel for a Comic Con, I figure out the exact amount of money I need and keep that number in my head. Then, I will put away random amounts of money in a jar behind my computer that I regularly forget about, so unless some sort of emergency comes up – I don’t touch it. Then, the actual paycheck or two before I go, literally every cent aside from what’s needed for bills goes straight to that trip: Be it for the con itself, or for travel expenses, or whatever. Usually, I hit over my goal and have random spending money. Sometimes, I have a desperate scramble last minute because I’m a bit short. One time, I spent my taxes right after I got them back, and was both relieved and heartbroken that I did.
For other travels, I do a similar jar-behind-the-computer concept, and I have some sort of end goal amount in mind, and then write down every dollar I put in the jar and keep that log inside of it. Sometimes, I decide one month that every single $1 bill I have goes into that jar. I’ve had a lot of success with deciding to save every $5 bill that comes into my possession. I am a change hoarder, and separate dimes into one jar, quarters in one, and a huge jug for nickels and pennies (this particular jar I plan to leave alone until it’s absolutely full, then use it for whenever I move away from home for whatever expense I need.) And then, again, the paycheck or two before I leave becomes devoted to my trip aside from bills.
I also sell Scentsy products, which brings me a little extra cash I forget about every month and leave alone until I use it for trips. A few months ago, I started doing surveys on a site called InboxDollars, and was surprised it actually paid off when I made $30 from just doing surveys and random junk, and that went to my most recent Orlando trip. Plus, I’ll save any gift money, do some extra photo shoots, maybe sell some random junk I really don’t need, etc. I always find a way to make it work. Currently, I’m (attempting) to start saving for a road trip to New Orleans in January. It’s always rough around holidays though, and with all the medical nonsense being extra awful lately. But I’m working on it.

Plus, on top of that, I’ve decided today to start planning a BIG adventure. Quite possibly the biggest one I’ve been on, if it works. No details yet. But I’m ready to figure out the financials and a solid game plan so I can pick a date.

But, basically, that’s how I do it. Not a millionaire. I just work hard at it.

~Angel

Please Note: All photos in this post are mine, and I haven’t had time to properly watermark any. Don’t take any without my consent or proper credit, please.

On that note, prepare for A LOT of photos.

I’ve been going to Orlando once a year for the past three years now, since I first started to get sick. It’s been my happy little escape from the chaos of the world I normally inhabit. But, I normally go in late Spring or Summer, so this was my first trip down when the Halloween festivities are taking place at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

I’m going to break this up into at least two posts, starting now with Universal Studios (which was the beginning of and best part of the entire trip.)

So, let’s begin, shall we?

I cannot talk about going to Universal in fall 2014 without mentioning that I FINALLY GOT TO SEE DIAGON ALLEY! And it was breathtaking.

King’s Cross Station, which is where you could board the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade.

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If you look around in London, whether you’re a fan of the books or films, you can find a certain grumpy house elf peaking out of one of the windows. This was one of my favorite little details. You had to know he was there to look for him.

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It’s a dream come true to get to ride the Hogwarts Express finally. It’s a different experience depending if you ride it to Hogsmeade or to London. To Hogsmeade was probably my favorite.

Then, there is Diagon Alley itself:

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

I don't think I've seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

I don’t think I’ve seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

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I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I've heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I’ve heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

Now, Universal Studios does something at their parks in September and October called Halloween Horror Nights. It’s basically where they set up somewhere around eight houses and, this year, four scare zones. They also have a few shows special for the night. And I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass to get into three of this years houses before the event itself. The houses I visited: Halloween, Dollhouse of the Damned, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

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Halloween: This is, indeed, based off oh John Carpenter’s horror movie, Halloween, about Michael Myers. It’s specifically focused on the first film, though there are nods to the other movies in the series – including Halloween 3, surprisingly enough.

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This seems like a random weird image, but it's from a section of the house that makes you feel like you're in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger's sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface's white shirt.

This seems like a random weird image, but it’s from a section of the house that makes you feel like you’re in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger’s sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface’s white shirt.

I was having a horror-movie-junkie fan girl moment in the entire Halloween house, but the next house – Dollhouse of the Damned – was probably my favorite house, because it was so visually stimulating. This house was a concept house rather than a house based off of a film.

Also: enjoy Universal's dumpsters.

Also: enjoy Universal’s trash cans.

 

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

 

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

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Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

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There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child's Play.

There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child’s Play.

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The last house we visited behind-the-scenes that day was From Dusk Till Dawn, based off of both the original movie, but also very heavily inspired by the newer TV series. While it was a very cool house, it was probably my least favorite of the three.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

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Someone isn't having a good birthday.

Someone isn’t having a good birthday.

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So, that night, after all the house photo-taking goodness, my mother and I got to attend Halloween Horror Nights 24. There are two shows, one is a Bill & Ted Halloween show, which we didn’t attend. But I did go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show live, and it was AMAZING. I love RHPS and the show was incredible. Probably one of my all time favorites I’ve seen.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

There were also the four scare zones set up in the streets:

The Purge

The Purge zone

The Purge zone

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The Bayou of Blood:

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FACE OFF: In The Flesh (Make-up looks from the show, recreated by some of the artists from the show!)

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One of my favorite parts of Halloween Horror Nights was the MASKerade: Unstitched zone.

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I think it’s super underrated, because a lot of people were claiming it was boring. But I loved it. Yeah, I wasn’t shaking in my Stormtrooper Vans over people in gowns, on stilts, wearing masks. BUT it was so beautiful and eerie at night in such a fantastic way. It sent my artsy brain into overdrive. I was sketching a day or two later when I was doing laundry:

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

 

So, there you have it. The epic wonderful highlights of my two days at Universal. I will have a post in a few days about Disney World itself. Plus, lots of health updates – not the best of them, either. So stay tuned.

~Angel

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….Heading to Orlando in the morning! It’s pretty exciting because 1.) I LOVE ORLANDO, 2.) New Wizarding World of Harry Potter section, Diagon Ally, is up, and 3.) I’ve never been during the Halloween stuff, so I’m going to take in what Walt Disney World (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party) and Universal Studios (Halloween Horror Nights) have to offer me.

See you guys around October 10th!

~Angel

alice

“My life’s all I got, and Heaven is all in my brain.
And when I feel I’m in Hell, my ideas are what get me through pain.”

 It’s been a crappy health related week or so. Not too horrible. But there are some scary things happening and some procedures and ASAP referrals to new specialists for test concerns. I broke down crying yesterday, having a childish “why me/not fair” fit. Honestly, you deserve those sometimes when health stuff gets stressful, but not all the time. I can’t be broken all the time. Too much to get done.

But with the 5 billion things going on, I didn’t finish up my chapters for Brittaney (slipped my mind, can’t imagine why) and so now I feel like an extra super failure for not writing like I was supposed to. And with me being gone for two weeks, I’ll be even more behind on my writing, unless I take a laptop or notebook and some printed stuff with me to work on while I’m gone. But then I have to do a lot of hoping that I don’t end up too exhausted to write.

And I honestly am so freaking ready to just pack up and leave for Orlando. So ready. But I have a little over a week until I actually leave, so there is still waiting to be done. Luckily, not much. But the stress relief will do wonders for my health, I’m sure. If not physically, then at least mentally. I need my happy place.

 Despite the bad stuff, I am sketching more, and obviously the desire to write is there. Even with the chaos of the week, I did some writing. I just didn’t make it to my goal. I even worked on some outline stuff for NaNoWriMo to prepare for November.

 My creativity is willing to jump in and distract me from the pain and stress and everything else until I can escape for a while to refresh my mind, body, and soul.

Hopefully soon I can start sharing some art with you guys regularly, and possibly even have some to sell. But for now, I just sketch and practice and work away at being better.

Until next time,

~Angel