Wednesday, November 25, 2015


This isn't purely advertisement for my photography stuff, honest it isn't. If it serves that purpose as well, then that's awesome, but that isn't the main point of this post.

The main point? I love autumn.

My absolute favorite time of the year is early spring, and spring in general. But fall is a close second. I guess I just like the changing of the seasons.

I love the changing air, the smell of wood smoke, even the chill. Well, if I have warm enough clothing, I like the chill. I wish I could take all of this and stuff it into words to show everyone, but failing that I'm using photography instead.

I also seriously love all the different colors, which fortunately is something that I can share with photography. It's amazing how the changing colors begin so slowly that they're hardly noticeable at first, and then it's suddenly all around us.

Go ahead and laugh, but when I was out with my boyfriend recently I kept saying "It's so pretty! The colors, it's so beautiful!" I just couldn't help it.

And then, I can find a bit of fresh greenery among the dying leaves. It's almost surprising.

Is fall your favorite season? If not, what is it?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Opinions and Facts on Gaming

I was at a performance this evening in which something happened. Well, ok, things usually happen at performances, usually things like music or this case bagpipe music. But what I want to talk about in particular was the MC making commentary on a performer's biography.

The biography shared the expected details, who he studied under and his focus in college, plus of course his interests. He likes reading, which the MC definitely approved of, and saying that's good since the performer is in college after all. Then she got to the bit about him liking video games...and she didn't like that bit quite so much, saying that perhaps that interest isn't quite so good.

Will people please stop treating gaming like it's going to melt brains?

My own interest in video games is limited, since I seem to inevitably lose interest (though I like watching others play), so I know I won't do as good a job as that performer might at defending gaming. But I'll give it a shot.

First, and the most obvious to me, is that it improves hand/eye coordination. I hope that no one needs to ask why this is useful.

Some games involve the use of logic, so I'm just going to call that educational.

Others like World of Tanks are educational in other ways, such as helping people to learn about tanks and whatnot. It's not one I've played, but I've watched it being played, and I know someone who has played it for the educational side of it.

I know that communities are built in games like Minecraft, which help people learn to work together. Heck, there are even competitions (you can find recordings of some on YouTube) where teams have to work together, proof of the game helping players work on team building skills.

And I haven't even gotten to the story telling and sometimes amazing art that can be found in video games, which I think shouldn't be ignored. I know that's part of what I've loved about Dungeons and Dragons. Well, that and exploring. It's surprising how much fun exploring video games can be.

Given all this, I really hope that people can move past the whole idea that gaming is a bad thing.

Slightly a non sequitur, though it is on the subject of video games...I thought this might be a good time to share a video about ban appeals on Minecraft. All true, and quite entertaining.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Flying Free and Vlogging

I had a peculiar dream. I was flying in it, which isn't exactly new. I've had flying dreams before, but this is probably the first one where I haven't had limitations...I could fly as high as I wanted, and as far as I wanted. And that was a wonderful feeling.

While flying I was also thinking about my name. About how I'm going by Raine now, and what my name(s) was (were) before. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it on this blog before, but Sarita never has been my legal name. So it wound up with two sets of people: those who knew my legal name, and those who knew my preferred name.

Those who knew my legal name were people like my health care providers, or people at my credit union. Or, anyone who only knew me through paperwork. Of course I had the option of requesting that they use my preferred name, but would it really get noted down? Would they remember it the next time they went in? They haven't always, and I often didn't bother correcting them simply because I didn't want to be always saying "No it's SARITA." So, my health care providers and others have always called me by a name that I didn't want.

I particularly found it odd when it was my mental health care people calling me by my legal name. Shouldn't they be making me as comfortable as possible, and calling me Sarita? But my psychiatrist was calling me by my legal name the second time I saw him, despite me saying that I prefer Sarita the first time we met, so I just let it go. Because, what was the point?

The confusion between names has even led me to make my signature is illegible. This was the result of an experience I had when I was about eighteen, when a cashier observed that my signature didn't match the name of my debit card but said that he didn't want an explanation. Confused, I explained the reason, and he was pretty relieved. I quickly found out that he'd thought I was using my mom's card, and if I confirmed that for him he would have to refuse that form of payment. Not wanting the same thing to happen with another cashier who wouldn't be so laid back and trusting about it, I decided to change my signature. It now resembles scribbles, which embarrasses me, but it's better than potentially confusing cashiers and being unable to pay for something.

But when my legal name becomes Raine, all that will be past. I'll know what name to give people. My signature can be decipherable without someone thinking I've borrowed my mom's card. And I won't have to be resigned to my doctors and others calling me a name that I don't want. And I was thinking about all this as I flew as high and as far as I wanted in that dream.

In other news, I'm experimenting with vlogging. My first video is as follows.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Makeup Stuff

I caught myself thinking something that shocked me, something that made me take a step back and think. But before I get to that, a bit about my makeup habits and a certain exchange I had regarding them.

For years I rarely wore makeup. When I did start wearing it regularly that was for my first full time job, and because I wanted to look extra good around my boyfriend...even though he told me I was also great without makeup. Even then it was only tinted stuff to kind of smooth things out (actually, does it really do that?) and blush. It wasn't until the last year that I started using concealer, figuring out what kind of eye makeup works for me, or even that how someone does their eyes depends on eye shape. I'm even wearing bright red lipstick on occasion, and it actually looks good on me.

Basically, makeup has become a play toy for me, and tweaking my appearance with it is almost a game.

Among my discoveries is the fact that makeup can take a bit of maintenance throughout the day. For example, since my eyes water easily I have to reapply eyeliner at the edges of my eyes after a few hours. And if I eat while I'm wearing that bright red lipstick (or any other lipstick), I either have to be ok with it being faded or I reapply it. This maintenance isn't always worth the effort, but sometimes I'm fine with it.

One time when I was reapplying my fancy red lipstick Murray reassured me that it wasn't necessary, that I was lovely the way I was. This didn't surprise me since I'd seen him tell another woman that same thing when she was fixing her makeup and hair. This time though, I did say what was on my mind: I know I'm beautiful the way I am, I just want to be a particular and different kind of beautiful right now. I'll return to that point soon. Anyways, I think Murray got it, since he hasn't said anything about me fixing up my makeup since then.

So, the thing that startled me...

There are lots of makeup tutorials on YouTube, and I happened to be watching one the other night. At one point the woman said that because of the way her face was shaped she likes to contour. My immediate response? I wanted to tell her that she looked wonderful the way she was, and that she didn't need to do that.

...and if you'll recall, this was exactly the same conversation I had with my boyfriend. Except, now I was almost saying what he'd said to me.

When I caught myself I was pretty shocked. I don't know if this is just a me thing, or if others who also play with makeup also do it. You know, telling others that we know we don't need the extra makeup and are wearing it because we just like it, but then turn around and want to tell others that they don't need makeup.

Have you found yourself doing this sort of thing, or seen it happen? Thoughts? I'm curious to know what others think or have experienced.

makeup clip art

Friday, November 13, 2015

Name Change Stuff

I started the legal name change process yesterday, and when I realized that those I've talked to about it don't know how the legal name change is done I figured I should share it here. Because yeah, I hadn't known how it's done before now, but I figured that was just me. I didn't realize how many others also didn't know.

And of course, this is particular to the county and state I live in. For all I know, others might do it differently.

There are two times each week when someone wanting a name change goes to an "orientation" in the courthouse. I put "orientation" in quotes because it was really just taking paperwork I'd filled out to a clerk. It's three different pages that all have basically the same info, although one was completed in the courthouse with the exact location and time that the hearing for the name change will take place. Yep, I have to have a hearing.

After learning when/where the hearing will be and sorting out the paperwork stuff, the clerk kept two pieces of my paperwork. I got the one with my hearing info, and posted that along with other name change notices. It will stay posted there until my hearing, and I'll retrieve it on my way to the courtroom.

The last thing I had to do yesterday was pay a fee, which was $111. Now I just wait for the hearing, which is in December. Oh yes, and I also have to fill out more paperwork in the meantime.

I think that the hearing should be as straightforward as yesterday, though hopefully with slightly less getting lost. (Finding the first clerk was easy enough, but then I got lost both finding where to post my notice and pay, and again retracing my steps to leave. I genuinely don't know if the clerk gave me a confusing map or if I'm just easily confused.) Basically I retrieve my posted notice to bring to the hearing, plus other paperwork I have to fill out in the meantime. It will be asked if anyone objects to my name change, and when no one speaks up it will be granted. Then I'll get more paperwork proving my name change...and thus will be the fun process of going to places like my credit union and bank to tell them about the change.

I'll write about the hearing after it's taken place. :)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Earth Worshipper Photography

Earth Worshipper Photography
I'm selling photography now. And I'm blaming it all on Amber and Murray.

It was with their encouragement that I started thinking about how to sell my photos, and that led me to opening a CafePress shop. Only a day or so later I signed up with DeviantArt. I've been so focused on this that one might say I got a tad obsessed. As in, forgetting to eat obsessed.

You can already buy my photos, and visit my Facebook page or Twitter account for Earth Worshipper Photography, but I feel like I'm still in the process of setting everything up. I bought a domain name for a central website (since I'm going off in different directions with CafePress and Deviant Art to sell the photos), but it isn't up and running yet. I'm also planning on setting up an Instagram account, though I know nothing about beyond the fact that people use it to look at pretty pictures.

Oh yeah, and I need to buy a camera. I do already have a digital camera, but it's a tad old and my iPhone camera seems to take better photos. Which is kind of just sad.

I'm sure I'll share tidbits here about my photography adventure, but if you want follow keep up to date on what I'm doing I'd recommend checking out my Facebook page. I've been sharing everything there. Plus it's a convenient place to admire what I've done. :)

Oswego Lake

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Tattoo

It was last spring when I started considering getting a tattoo. Actually I suppose my mind was pretty much made up soon after I realized what I wanted and why, but I decided to give myself until fall to get the tattoo, and I waited that long for two very practical reasons. One is that a new tattoo shouldn't be exposed to sunlight while healing, and since I love wearing sleeveless shirts whenever possible I didn't want to get inked during the spring or summer. Also, I wanted to sit on the idea of a tattoo for a while to be sure that I wanted it. It is a fairly permanent alteration to my body after all.

To briefly sum up why I first decided to get this tattoo: I wanted a permanent reminder on my body that I can work through any anxiety or depression. After my anxiety meltdown (as I'm now calling it) last year this seemed pretty important...especially given that I've had this anxiety disorder my whole life, and I know I lean towards depression too easily for comfort, so it's a given that I'll have tough times again in the future. That's not all the tattoo came to mean to me, as I spent time thinking about it, but the rest of its meaning is for another post.

I knew I wanted a sun, and spent some time looking at various sun designs. I had planned to find a few examples containing elements I liked and then ask my tattoo artist to mash them together, but then I stumbled across something that was almost exactly what I wanted. After asking the artist's permission, I brought in a copy of that piece when getting my tattoo. :)

Getting the tattoo was a surprisingly fast and simple process. I walked into a tattoo place that I had already decided looked good, said I was interested in getting a tattoo, and to my surprise the tattoo artist there was in between appointments. After I filled outsome paperwork we got down to it, and it was amazing to watch the tattoo grow on my arm.

my tattoo

Different topic, but wanted to mention briefly...I've got something I'm working on with photography. I've already got the ball rolling with it, but want to work on it a bit more before I really write about it. You can take a look at what I've got so far, however, here. :)