#NaBloPoMo – When Barbie Went Digital

NaBloPoMo Blog Her prompt: What was the one toy that a friend had that you wished you had when you were little?

I met Melissa the very first day of kindergarten. We were best buddies through grade school. We are still friends today. I see her every time I go back to Toronto for a visit.

Growing up, she had everything. We would play in her basement playroom where one wall was floor to ceiling shelves of toys and games. She had an older brother, I have no idea where his toys were kept because these shelves were all Melissa’s things.

Melissa was the first to have the baby dolls that you could actually feed and have to change the diaper. She had the cool board games that incorporated VHS tapes. She also had Barbie Fashion Designer. She was the only one of us who had it, so of course we all wanted to play whenever we were over at her house. She must have been getting sick of it.

I have always liked designing clothes. Just the drawing part though, I couldn’t sew a bag if my life depended on it. I loved to draw and I would draw characters in all sorts of outfits.

Barbie Fashion Designer was a computer program that came out right around the same time as CD-ROM. It was great because you got to pick the type of clothes, you got to design the fabric and then Barbie would model the outfit you created in 3D. That was my favourite part, seeing what it looked like on Barbie. The software even went a step further and allowed you to print the outfit on specialized fabric-paper so one of your own Barbies could wear your creation.

Melissa let me print one once. It was kind of flimsy. It kept falling off and didn’t fit my Barbie nearly as well as it did the digital Barbie. That part was a little disappointing, but I didn’t care. It was all about the design and seeing digital Barbie wear it for me.

My parents never bought the computer program for me. I was getting to the age where Barbies were no longer considered cool. They figured there was no sense in buying it and then having me lose interest. Little did they know, I was the type of kid who didn’t pay attention to what wasn’t cool!

In fact, I am so uncool that I got a brand new Barbie just this week! Hubby did the groceries and came back with this for me. She is still in the box because I haven’t decided if I should keep her, or give her to one of my nieces.

2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie

Yup, that is Scientist Barbie! The back of the box says “Scientists study oceans, space, the Earth & even animals!”. She comes fully equipped with her lab coat, lab safety goggles and a microscope.

2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie goggles 2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie Microscope

Although it is very cool that Barbie is showing an interest in science now, she’s not quite there yet.

2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie Safety Code Violation

Those legs! Those Shoes! Clearly a safety code violation!

Good job Barbie, you’ll get there one day.

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Trying NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo_2015

Why not right? So many of you are doing NaNoWriMo, I’m feeling like I am missing out. I can’t handle a novel at this point in time. I’ve got a grant deadline in early December, so that is where all my writing should be going. I don’t think I could write a novel anyway. Blog posts are more my speed and what better way to get back into the habit of writing, right?

Actually, I should have been a little less impulsive in signing up yesterday. Considering this is the 4th post since I went MIA 7 months ago, this may be too big a commitment. I want to be writing again, but I am still having trouble managing depression. I was really looking forward to doing A-Z last April. I even prepared ahead of time! It didn’t matter though. Depression took over and it was a spectacular flop. At least it was spectacular right?! Glass half full. 🙂

Since this whole thing started yesterday, Halloween (I must have been possessed), I have no idea what I am doing. I did sign up at BlogHer, so I will probably be using the prompts over there most of the time. Outside of that, I’ll babble about depression, grad school and life in general. Sometimes the scientist in me just has to share something cool I learned. That has been rare in the last while since I am mad at my Ph.D. and everything related to it. Maybe I’ll try to doodle again, no promises though!

NaBloPoMo is really hard to write without typos. Does anybody say that out loud? I keep messing it up when I try to say it.

I will leave you with Ewok’s discovery of the Lego Express.

Happy NaBloPoMo everybody!

If We Were Having Coffee on Halloween….

Jack Mug Halloween coffee share

If we were having coffee, I would be using my Jack mug. No other other mug would be more appropriate today. I would ask about your week and your plans for Halloween. Are you dressing up? It’s so much fun. I haven’t done that in a while though.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you Hubby and I are heading to his mother’s place for Halloween festivities. She usually has a Halloween themed buffet for everyone. This year, “everyone” is just her, Hubby and I. The rest of the clan has either moved away or is away on business. We’ll have a nice dinner and watch some vampire movies. My MIL is very picky about her Halloween/horror movies. Vampires have been approved, so we’ll bring our set of Underworld movies with us. She hasn’t seen any of them. I lent her “The Witches” last week, a movie based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same title. I’m looking forward to hearing what she thought. It was a favourite of mine as a kid…once I got over my fear of the Grand High Witch and figured out that real witches weren’t trying to kidnap me.

Have you seen it? Read the book?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I still get chills whenever I see Angelica Huston. She played the Grand High Witch so well. I have a clip below, but before you watch it, you have to know a little about real witches. They hate children, they can’t bear to be around them because they are disgusting and smell so bad. Children are taught to spot witches by a certain set of characteristics. Witches have no toes, they have stumpy square feet and must always wear square ended shoes. Witches have purple irises. Witches are also bald and always wear wigs.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have gotten over the frustration my MIL caused me last week. She wanted us to go out to visit her last weekend, she was lonely. We didn’t want to go because we were strapped for time and knew we would be spending a lot of time with her this weekend. Hubby felt guilty not going because his father was away and his sister had moved out recently. I came up with a compromise. She could come to dinner with us and my parents. This way she would get some company and Hubby and I would still have the rest of the day to run around get stuff done. Hubby thought this was great and called her to invite her. He gets off the phone and it turns out she was thrilled for the dinner invite, but she has also invited herself over to our place for the day. Not only can we not get anything done (which was the purpose of this plan to begin with), I have to get up extra early and make the place spotless before she comes over. *face palm* I was frustrated. Hubby lets his guilt get the better of him sometimes. In his defense though, she doesn’t listen. Her hearing isn’t good, but I think this is more of a selective hearing issue. She doesn’t hear “no” most of the time.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how frustrating DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) has been. In group I told them the MIL story and how I handled it. I thought I did a good job, but apparently not. They keep saying that I need to think more before I speak or act. I understand this and I think I evaluate the facts and my emotions before I do or say anything. If I spent anymore time doing so, I would never react to anything. I know they are trying to help, but they label me. It isn’t fair and it is not helping me with my issues. They assume I have borderline personality disorder (BPD) and assume that I react a certain way to the events I tell them about. Me telling them how I actually react seems to make no difference. It actually feels like those scenes in the movies where the character is sent to a psychiatric hospital and the more they insist they do not have a psychiatric disorder, the more they get treated as if they do. I suppose I could just smile and nod to whatever they say. It would help the others in the group that actually do have BPD, but it doesn’t help me. Isn’t that what I am there for though? Help?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the emerging theme I see here. Between my MIL, the DBT and my supervisor, it seems no one is listening to me. Considering there are three different situations, I would think the problem would be me. Maybe I am not being assertive enough? This is usually the problem. Since I am aware of this, I am consciously pushing myself to be more assertive than I usually am to get the message across. Maybe I am not being clear enough? What I say to them makes perfect sense to me. I have told my husband and a friend I work with about what I’ve said in these situations. They seem to understand the message I am trying to get across. So it is not that I am inarticulate. I suppose I could just stand firm and keep repeating myself, or say the same thing in a different way for them to understand. This is what I did with my supervisor. She is starting to listen now, but that took a year. A whole year! Ridiculous! Sometimes I feel like the only way to get people to listen is to be rude, aggressive or just yell at them. This is not the way I like to handle things. It creates resentment and in the DBT case, it would only reaffirm their labeling of me. I would like to give them all the benefit of the doubt and say it is not that they are choosing not to listen to me, but I don’t know what else to do. What do you do when being assertive is not enough?

If we were having coffee, I would say thank you for the chat. It helps to get my thoughts out of my head. I’m going to try to forget everything for the rest of the day and enjoy. I hope you will too.

Happy Halloween!

This post is part of a weekly link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster, join the fun!

Share Your World 2015 — Week 43

share your world

It is nice to be able to participate in Cee’s Share Your World again. The last one I did was week 13…and here we are at week 43 already. I’ve been gone for 40 weeks!? Eek! Time flies. Here are this week’s questions…

If you were on a debate team, what general subject would you relish debating?

I would probably never be on a debate team. I’m really not a fan of having an audience and when I do, I would rather present to you what I have learned and have you interpret rather than persuade you of my view. Debates are fun to watch, but I think I get more out of hearing others’ interpretations. If I had to pick a topic, maybe it would be mental health or low vision rehabilitation.

What’s your strongest sense?

I think it would be vision. I have always been a visual learner. Listening to a lecture never really worked for me. I always had to make notes or draw diagrams to really get the information to sink in.

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

Agh, the titles I come up with are usually so underwhelming. Writing an autobiography was a project I had to do in the 5th grade. I came up with the totally original title of “Me, Myself and I”. Perhaps “The Misadventures of Somber Scribbler”. It sounds like a kid’s picture book, lol.

List your favorite flavors or types of tea.

My favourite tea is the “Birthday Cake” tea from David’s Tea. It has rainbow sprinkles in it which is fun and it’s a nice alternative to dessert and the associated calories!

birthday cake tea

I am also a fan of “Coffee Pu’erh” from the same place. Obviously, it tastes like coffee.

coffee pu-erh tea

Looking at their website now, they have one called “Oh Canada!”. It has a hint of maple to it. I’d like to try that one.

oh canada tea

In terms of the less fancy types of tea, it’s green or mint…or mint green, even better!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last Week: I got through all the things I was dreading unscathed. I am grateful for this and part of me knew I would get through, but it is always good to remind myself. I tend to forget and start dreading everything again when the next week starts up.

This week: The last few weekends have been really busy, so I am looking forward to this coming weekend which is going to be quieter. I’ll still have to drive out and spend a day with my mother in law, but at least there wont be a crowd. We’ll watch Halloween movies with her.

If We Were Having Coffee — Return to the Blog

coffee beans

If we were having coffee… I wouldn’t really know where to begin. Maybe a cup of coffee, a treat and a “Hi. How are you? I’m still here and I’ve missed you.” would be a good place to start.

Really though, what do you say when you disappear without warning for nearly 7 months? I have been wanting to start writing again for a while, but just didn’t know where to begin. I think the only way to do it is to just jump in. I thought Part-Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share would be a good place to get the ball rolling again.

If we were having coffee… I would say that I never intended to disappear. It just sort of happened. Things were not going well, I was not well and I didn’t think sharing my misery was worth it. I planned to wait until the fog lifted a bit. Well, the fog hung around. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and well, here we are, 7 months later.

If we were having coffee… I’d want to know about all the adventures you had while I was MIA. I would hope you’d have some good memories and news to share.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you about my adventures over the last while too. I’d tell you my sister got married in May. It was a small wedding, just family. She seems pretty happy. I’m glad.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you Hubby got hired by a fancy private school. It was a big relief. Since enrollment at the school board he is tenured at had dropped, they didn’t have a position for him. The private school has taken some getting used to, but he has not been sworn at, spat on or shoved by any of the students yet. I’d say that’s an improvement already!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you I turned 30 in June. I was not happy to hit the big 3-0, but my birthday cake was pretty yummy, so maybe it was worth it.

If we were having coffee… I’d show you some of the pictures from our trip to Costa Rica. It was my first time in the Pacific Ocean. Being the low season, we had the hotel pool and beach garden to ourselves most of the time. We also took a few day trips; snorkeling, hiking a volcano and swimming in natural hot springs under waterfalls. I was in complete awe. Living in a big city you sometimes forget these magical places exist.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you I missed the latter half of the summer. I got the flu/pneumonia/sinusitis from hell. It ended up sending me to the hospital where they quarantined me. They thought it was meningitis at first. The only way to diagnose that is a spinal tap. That was an adventure all on it’s own. It is nothing like you see on House or Grey’s Anatomy. Anyway, to make a long story short, it was scary, it lasted about a month and I feel much better now.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I started dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) last month. It consists of group therapy and an individual therapy session every week. I am trying to keep an open mind, but I’m not sure it is what I need.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you that the situation with my supervisor got worse. Much worse. I was going to quit, but, then it got better. For the last year I have been talking to her about problems we are having in the lab and the communication problems she and I have. I don’t know if she wasn’t understanding me, or if she wasn’t listening or what. I thought I was pretty clear. Anyway, I took one more stab at it and for some reason, this time I got through. This time she heard me. We were both in her office tearing up. She apologized for everything, especially not listening to me. I really appreciated that. Things haven’t gone back to normal and I don’t think they will, but I am so relieved. It is so much easier to go to work now.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I am still stuck in terms of the research I am doing for my Ph.D. I am trying to focus on the positive things. Speaking of, I had another publication come out this month. It is good for my CV, but the excitement of being published dies pretty quickly when the people who matter don’t read it because they have no idea what you are talking about. I guess I can’t blame them for that.

If we were having coffee… I’d apologize for keeping you so long! I hope you have a great weekend. I am looking forward to next week.

This conversation coffee post is part of a weekly link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join the fun!

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