Uni has really got me very prepared for just about anything at this point. The sheer flurry of activity that constitutes each semester has proven to me I can handle a fast-paced environment full of pressure and deadlines. Especially this year, having instituted trimesters, each subject is several weeks shorter in length than it used to be, and that’s really compressed the assignment time. It hasn’t been easy, but so far I haven’t failed.
Having said all that, I am looking forward to completing the course so I can have a moment to relax. It takes a toll, you know?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in this blog yet but I had to give up on the caravan, for a number of reasons. The main reason was that I was unable to keep it on the land I was renting for it, and there was nowhere else I could put it. The other main reason was that I was just out of money. I’m back in with the parents until I can get back on my feet financially.
As those of you who know me know, I’ve been working very hard on my Master of Animation course at UTS. Two semesters in, and I’ve got a range of High Distinctions, Distinctions and Credits. Needless to say, I’m pretty chuffed at my results. But of course, as you may also know, assessment time meant many late nights, and even early mornings at uni. Takes a bit of a toll! Since my uni year ended a month ago, I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping.
But while I’ve been awake, I’ve been working on a new project. I’m learning to use Unity and developing my own video game.
I probably should have started with something small, but instead I’m going all out and making a Japanese style RPG. Fortunately, there is ORK Framework to take care of most of the stumbling blocks that would otherwise have made me give up.
So far I’ve made pretty good progress with the basics, though I still haven’t been able to start on the game proper. Still much animation and 3D modelling to go. This is a long haul project. Probably, in time, I’ll need to attempt a Kickstarter so I can hire a programmer to help me with certain things. But by then, I’ll have plenty to show.
Living below the poverty line these past three years have taught me a thing or two. I’ve been forced to learn some lessons, while others have come after reflection on my woeful situation.
LESSON ONE: Debt is cancerous
A month before my last fulltime job went away, I purchased a car on my credit card. That debt has not gone away, 3 years down the track. The interest, combined with the auto insurance and various other bills, is stopping me from paying off anything, since I’m only getting welfare while I study. So I’ve spent all of my time since being gainfully employed with a huge added burden. I could have sold the car, but that would have only been a temporary fix. I have needed a car many, many times these past years. The only safety net I have is living here with my parents. But they still charge board.
LESSON TWO: Apparently, nobody gives a moderately educated mid-twenties gal a job.
This one was a surprise, but in retrospect I understand it – despite it making me quite angry.
Turns out over-qualification is a real thing. And I have it. Plus, low-skill jobs always overlook the adults for the fresher faces that cost less, regardless of their work calibre.
It also turns out that I’m either under-qualified or under-experienced for the jobs on my career path. This one I’ve been working really hard to overcome, but so far it’s been no good. This is why I’ve been looking into getting a Masters degree after my Advanced Diploma: like our favourite treasurer, Joe Hockey, says: “Earn or Learn” – and earning is evading me continuously.
LESSON THREE: Wollongong is good and bad for being unemployed
Jobs? What jobs?
But at least the housing is… almost affordable.
LESSON FOUR: You have to get creative in how to survive on very little, while still investing in your future… somehow
A wealthy person may well stick their nose up at the fact I am frequently buying parts or accessories for my computer, or buying coffee while I am out and about.
Okay, I can’t justify the coffee except that I NEED IT FOREVER… but, as for the computer equipment: I can’t just sit by and watch my computer succumb to age and obsolescence. For someone like me, whose very future depends on her ability to use the latest design and video software, how am I supposed to work on a core duo processor and 2 gigs of RAM? How can I market myself as a photographer if I don’t have a DSLR? As an artist if I don’t have a graphics tablet?
So how can I afford it?
Well, I tread a very delicate path. I give up a LOT. Buy a beer at the pub? Psh, who am I, Richard Branson? Go shopping? Uh no, I have important being at home to do, where my money stays safely in my bank account.
Haircut? It can wait another few months, right? Shoes? Bro, I am wearing these sandals until they turn to dust under my feet. Clothing? Thank goodness for hand-me-downs and Millers sales.
Go to the movies? Ha, I don’t think so. I’ll borrow the DVD from you when you get that. Music? Uh, my Beatles collection is good enough for now.
LESSON FIVE: You gotta get thinking about how not to be homeless
Homelessness is an actual worry for me. I mean, I live with my parents today, but they’re getting on in their years. And what if they both died tomorrow in a car crash? They haven’t come close to paying off the mortgage on this house. There is no inheritance.
This has been the most recent lesson I’ve learned. I’m still working it out, but there is only one realistic way I can currently start living away from home…
Getting a cheap old caravan, and finding someone who’ll let me park it on their land.
So it’s come to this. I’m gonna be trailer trash.
Okay, I am a highly educated young person with a potentially bright future, so I can’t submit to boganity just yet. However, it just might take some years living like a retiree in a shoebox to get my finances back in order. And that’s okay.
In fact, it could be a smart move.
As I live in a spartan manner, I am sure to save money, after paying off my debts that is.
Eventually, I will be able to buy land.
And later, a proper home to put there.
A crummy 1977 Millard might be my ticket to freedom.
Last week, I adopted a feral kitten from a family member. She’d found a litter under her porch, and the kittens were terrified. I rescued one of them, thinking they might all be put down if taken to the pound. Luckily, the kitten’s siblings will be socialised and adopted out. Still, my little Twinkie is quickly becoming the absolute best thing in my life. She is so cute, so sweet and she’s really becoming tame fast. Below is a slideshow of her adorableness.
I’ve just started a new list on Day Zero – 101 Things in 1001 Days. I had one going on my old website, but I’ve decided to start again with fresh goals. This will keep me motivated to do interesting things, I think. I’ve even vowed to write at least 1 blog post a fortnight. We will see how long THAT lasts…
Do Sutherland to Surf
Write a blog post at least every 2 weeks for min 6 months
Attend a drawing class
Make a 30 things by 30 list
Write a song
Do work experience at WIN
Get a pair of shoes that doesn’t give me blisters
Win NaNoWriMo twice
Have high tea
Have a Eurovision party
Win a photography competition
Go to Teppanyaki
Draw a portrait
Escape debt spiral
Make an animated short film
Get a full time job that I like
Learn Adobe Encore
Read a novel
Make a live action short film
Exercise every day for two weeks
Get a better camera lens
Have a spa day
Stop working on a checkout
Buy something from ThinkGeek
Visit Coffs Harbour
Pick 3 things to start and finish on Instructables.com
Get Liver Bird tattoo
Learn to make a basic Android app
Document one month of my life in photographs
Watch 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet
Make a new friend
Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days is over
Write a short story
Write a poem
Write and illustrate a children’s book
Sing karaoke at a bar
Make a wish on 12/12/12 at 12:12
Design and name a cocktail
Watch a movie from every year since moviemaking began
Take a free online class
Attend a live taping of a TV show
Learn 50 new things by clicking the random articles button on Wikipedia
Attend a film festival
Go through closet and get rid of old clothes
Beat 5 video games.
Create a budget and stick to it
Update my website
Finish my “A Rapunzel Story 2012” animation
Fill a sketchbook with drawings
Make my own WordPress theme
Sell one of my photos
Watch every Disney animated classic
Host a movie marathon
Watch all films by Miyazaki
Cook dinner about once a week or more
Save $1 for each completed task
Go a month without buying anything that isn’t a necessity
Design my own t-shirt
Learn 50 new words
Create a Little Big Planet 2 level
Attend a wedding
Create a photographic series of my own design
Practice drawing poses and expressions for 10 minutes every day for 2 weeks
Spend a day making art with a friend
Try rotoscope animation
Get medication for my anxiety
Buy no more than 1 lunch per week at TAFE except in an emergency
Go a month without eating hot chips
Refrain from buying alcohol for 2 months
Watch and try all tutorials for Toon Boom Animate Pro
Submit a film to a film festival
Get paid for doing something I enjoy for once
Spend a whole day in a good mood
Buy PS Move
Play a fitness video game every day for a month (min. 10 minutes)
Spend a day wearing makeup
Go a day without caffeine
Use CalorieKing for at least 2 months
Make a loaf of bread from scratch
Make a simple video game
Create a pixel artwork
Get off Centrelink
Think positively about the future for once
Practice animation by copying a few seconds of an existing cartoon
Make a list of 50 places I would like to visit in my lifetime
Lose at least 2kg for every 1kg gained
Spend a day exploring and photographing my neighborhood
Digitally paint a scene from a fairy tale
One year, instead of NaNoWriMo, storyboard an animation
Complete a course
Cook a three course meal
Take a photo of each task completed
Cancel my Quickflix account FOR REAL
Do something awesome with pleasedonthurt.me and bestwebsiteinhistory.com
It’s been a strange year, and a lot has happened. I’ve had many clients, some of which disappeared off the face of the Earth before I could get any money off them for the design mockups I sent them. But those ones paled in comparison to one client I (nearly) had early on. Continue reading →
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you know this already. But, I think it will be good for me to announce this publicly, without anonymity.
A couple of years ago, I had some tests done because I had never had a period. I was 20 at the time and didn’t really care too much. I mean, no period? Yay! I never considered that a bad thing.
But, it was time to find out what was wrong with me. Having scoured the Internet for the past year, I had ruled out a lot of things, though there was one thing in particular I had not ruled out. And that was Swyer syndrome.
Well, after the tests, it turns out that I was right. It was Swyer syndrome. This is an intersex condition that is not detectable unless chromosomal tests are done or puberty is stunted, whichever comes first. In my case, it was not until February 2007 that my diagnosis was given.
Here’s my brand new site, with an improved interface. The previous design was brilliant (well, in terms of my own design capabilities it ended up looking better than I could have hoped at the time), so I kept the colour scheme, mostly, as well as the hieroglyphic owl motif which, incidentally, is also the tattoo I got at age 18.
But, my previous design was maybe a little too quirky and not user-friendly enough. So that’s why I’ve created this new design. I hope you like it.