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Remote = Control: Taking Back My Life with Remote Work Opportunities

Despite putting on a brave face about it, and knowing in my heart that leaving behind my career in the games industry to focus on my health was absolutely the right move for me, admitting that I'm too ill for traditional employment has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

A lot of well-meaning people express envy over my ability to spend the day in my pajamas and binge Netflix. On the surface, this does sound admittedly great -- for about the first two weeks. When you're someone who's used to being the smartest kid in her class, or the standout employee; when you're the person who technically started working before they were even old enough to do so legally, selling crafts and original fashion designs or picking up odd jobs here and there; and most of all, when you live in a society that emphasizes how much you can produce over everything else, the switch from doing something to doing nothing destroys your self-esteem and feeling of worth.

As unhealt…
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New Year, New Stream

I've been on hiatus from streaming for close to a month now. My next stream is slated to go live on Wednesday, January 10th now that we're past the holiday whirlwind; typically that time slot is dedicated to my World of Warcraft guild's Ret Pally Rehab raid team as we blast our way through whatever dungeon is hot right now (Antorus, at the time of this posting). I love my guild and I love the community and I love the privilege of gaming with everyone live and on-camera.

I hate that damn stream.
It sounded like a great idea at the time, and I think a lot of people even consider streaming in the first place because on the surface it sounds incredibly easy. Step one: open broadcasting software, step two: open game, step three: pewpew with an audience, right? Anyone could do this all day!
But a big part of streaming is keeping up your energy. Part of that is making sure that you have people in your channel to chat to you while you play and give you something to do, an audience …

Finding Your Zen for the Holidays in Spite of Everyone Else

I'm really fortunate in that this year I will be spending another Christmas with my amazing significant other, and doubly so that his family is joining us for the New Year. There's even a good chance that my parents will be here, too, and while in the past this may have been something of a mixed blessing, I'm proud to report that we are all in the process of checking ourselves before we continue to wreck ourselves, so this is now something to celebrate, although it's slightly terrifying that my mother and I are now each other's Sane Person.

In short, it's shaping up to be a good holiday. A busy one, and I'm trying to avoid thinking about what it's going to be like to make menus and cook and clean for that many people without incapacitating myself, but as the anxiety starts to rise it really helps to remind myself that they're good folks, Brent, and they're not like my first ex's family who hated me largely because I was Jewish.

...Let's …

Wrangling Ghosts and Fighting Evil

Good lord, has it really been almost two months since I last updated my blog?

There's been a lot going on -- mostly good stuff, thankfully. I found accidental success with my CppCon trip report, raised $800 out of my $1000 goal during Extra Life for All Children's Hospital, and tried to get started with NaNoWriMo. I'm sorry to report that the last one on the list has not been going particularly well. It's just too difficult for me to write on a deadline, especially with my current schedule. At the moment, plans are to write that darn book for sure, but to do so bit by bit and on my own time. 
In addition, I managed to unlock Affiliate status with my Twitch channel! This means that viewers can now subscribe to me for a couple of bucks per month, and in doing so they get exclusive emoji, immediate access to my past broadcasts, double entries for giveaways, and my undying love. Originally I was on a three-a-week schedule, but literally the same day that I got my Affiliate…

A Beginner's Guide to CPPCon 2017

When we last left our heroine, she was just stating that although she'd be accompanying Ben to Seattle for his talk at CPPCon 2017, she wouldn't be attending the actual conference...

There were a few reasons I didn't intend to go. For one thing, I'm very much a C++ novice, just wading my way through the beginning of my education. I assumed that there would be nothing there for me, and although the conference is quite reasonably priced -- less than $1k for a whole week of content! -- I was unsure as to whether it would be a waste of money for my skill level. Plus, there's that pesky impostor syndrome that sneaks up on me with a less-than-friendly reminder that I'm highly unintelligent and that should I dare darken their doorstep I would be swiftly exposed as the fraud I really am.

Indeed, I had planned a whole week of excursions and exploration in Washington State when Ben invited me to dinner with him and a few colleagues from the conference.

My experience as a…

Streaming for Good and Other Scheduling Tidbits

The first of September kicked off what is almost always my busy time of year -- hence my blogging has been sporadic at best for the past couple of weeks and may or may not continue to be that way through the holidays. In the past, it was due to the extreme content push that accompanies every BlizzCon. This year, it's all stuff that I actually want to do and enjoy doing, so while I'm still unbelievably exhausted, I'm at least falling asleep with a smile on my face!

At the beginning of the month I visited my parents in Northern California and got a brief tour of the Super Evil Megacorp offices in San Mateo. If you're not familiar with the name, they're the masterminds behind the mobile-friendly MOBA Vainglory which is starting to make some serious waves in the esports scene. It was great to see a studio full of such passionate individuals and see all of the growth they're currently experiencing! They were also kind enough to give me this incredible T-shirt to com…

Still Sick, Still Living Well

I've been mulling over a polite way to talk about something that really distresses me: the assumption that just because I'm open about my chronic illness and because I stay home instead of having a "real job" my life is somehow less fulfilling or sad or that I'm just laying around on the couch all day eating bonbons and whining about my joints.

These are all things I've heard in some form from strangers, yes, but also from family and friends -- thankfully, those I'm close to fall more into the concern category than the accusations of laziness, so in a way I'm grateful that they're worried about me, but regardless of their intent, it basically invalidates all of my small victories that I do accomplish.

In general, I am extremely content with my life, even if it has deviated from the norm a bit more than I ever accounted for. Sometimes I feel like maybe there's something brutally wrong with me because of that. People are telling me "oh, you…