Over the last week away from home, I’ve had Twitter on my phone, and because I was so bored, I added everyone to a list that I’d peruse every once in a while, about 100 people.
I saw a lot of BS that it’s not worth my going on a pissy tirade about, but there is one 🔥 hot take 🔥 of my own that I want to share.
Last 48 hours I’ve seen several tweets about how awful a commissioner is if they dare contact you within a week to a month (!!) from the date of commission purchase. You know what the thing is though? I almost never, EVER see artists say something like “this is your delivery date/deadline and past that date you will get a refund”. The fact that most artists refuse to do this (something that never would fly in a professional, commercial setting) is part of the reason I rarely commission anyone.
Clients are seemingly expected to fork over money and wait for weeks/months without having any idea of what the artists’ queue is like, and if they do, what is the max deadline for their art. God forbid that, after a week or two or a month of radio silence, they ask for progress! 🙄 A simple question, that probably they are already anxious about asking, and shouldn’t have to be.
You know what? I almost never get asked. You know why? Because I provide deadlines. You HAVE to be able to provide a deadline. There seriously isn’t an excuse. Give an unreasonable deadline, if you have to. Five months. A year. Two years. Whatever. Say a date by which you will provide a refund no matter what. In a community where years-long waits are not at all unheard of, if you gave a commissioner zero inkling of what sort of wait might be in store, there is NOT a wrong time for them to reach out to you, because they just don’t know. That’s 100% on you.
Of course, context and tone matter. An “Is my art done yet??” message 48 hours after payment is obviously uncool. An “I was just wondering if you had an update on my commission” two weeks after payment if you provided absolutely no rough estimate of delivery, is polite and more than reasonable, and it is shitty of you not to have provided an estimated deadline in the first place.
A client deserves an estimated deadline from the get-go. No excuses. If you give one, you won’t have the stress of these messages because your client knows what to expect. Don’t leave them in the dark. They don’t deserve that. You’re doing what you love because of them.
I’m not saying it’s bad to give a long deadline if you must… I certainly do, and most of you know three months is my average. If your client is patient and considerate, they will understand that unexpected health issues might cause you to take up to, say, a year, if that is the deadline you must give (and I’m saying that as a kind of ridiculous deadline. If you can’t promise the art within a year, you shouldn’t be taking commissions, because at that point, that’s more like a donation, or an interest-free loan.)
Maybe it’s because I come from a primarily commercial art background, where a missed deadline is a big BIG deal. It’s also stressful –I do furry art because if I go a little bit past my deadlines my commissioners (often friends) are very understanding. To me, bristling at reasonable requests for updates is unbelievable.
You owe communication. You don’t owe speed beyond what you transparently promised on the onset –if you promised nothing, that’s a problem. Art is a business. Is money or goods changing hands in exchange for your art? It’s a business. Someone worked really hard for the money they gave you to receive a product in a realistic timeframe. It pisses me off to see tweets take traction that will make commissioners feel the process is even more unfriendly to them, when sometimes I don’t know how they keep throwing money at artists after getting continually burned by non-delivery or incredibly late deliveries.
Anyway, shitty takes aside, Twitter sucks ass as always, I don’t know how people manage to use it posting so many unhappy and hateful things every single hour lol, I already deleted the app and the follow list I made.
(Still doing my crossposting thing, nothing is changing from how it was before I left for the trip… I’m just stunned at how toxic it became again, once I made a list to follow people. Just. Holy shit. It’s seeping into FA, too. There is no escape, lol.)
Alrighty! Here’s the summary of the rest of the week. I’ve separated each day in sections while including everything in a single post. It doesn’t include the couple of days I already blogged about, so this is from Sunday 27th and onwards.
Looking at it all, photos, etc, it really should have been more enjoyable for me… It was a trip full of fun things after all… I wonder if I would have had a much better time were it not for my period, which came on the third morning. Then again, Christopher believes stress triggers my periods to come early, because they always seem to come when I’m anxious or stressed out. So it was this time. 😞
(CW for fairly detailed period related talk below.)
I don’t know though. Last 3-4 months my period has been slightly abnormal. It’s regular, but comes on very suddenly –no physical warning other than bad mood, and it’s like BAM it’s there 😳 without the usual mild few days of spotting. It also leaves very suddenly, whereas it used to be gradual.
This time felt so sudden that I got scared and thought something else entirely was happening to me, like, something serious. But no. 🤷♀️ Well, who knows. 😅 I really do have to go see my gynecologist this month so I can be properly examined and make sure everything is okay. 🤔
BTW, PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO DIAGNOSE ME OR GIVE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE GOING ON WITH MY BODY–not even in the form of shared personal experiences. It feels presumptuous and makes me super anxious. Just don’t, okay.
(Period talk ends here.)
🎥 Disney Hollywood Studios 🎥
Sunday, June 27th
We were up early on Sunday. Got to have McDonald’s which was a nice start to the day. Now all of this was several days ago so I don’t really remember everything… 🤔 The ride to Orlando was okay. We went to Disney Hollywood Studios, which, you know 🤷♀️ I don’t do rides, so… I wasn’t exactly excited.
Ultimately, this day wasn’t too bad, it was one of the better ones. I did a bit of shopping, went on more rides than I normally would, including Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge. That was EPIC. Also, terrifying. Mostly because I’m scared of Stormtroopers, and Christopher basically pushed me towards them, I can’t imagine another ride where it feels so much like you are literally inside a movie. I wish everyone who is into Star Wars could experience it, I want to go again.
My interest in Star Wars was always just kinda mildly there, but not fanatically so, however the stuff I experienced in Galaxy’s Edge has me wanting to rewatch all the movies.
Honestly… part of why I’ve always been “eh” about Star Wars is that The Phantom Menace is my favorite movie, because it was my intro to the franchise maybe, and when you’re talking to other fans that’s just kind of a non-starter? People either are disgusted at your taste or make fun of you, so… I gravitated towards Star Trek instead. 😅 But maybe I’ll stop holding back.
Lunch was interesting. They had a “lobster” roll, with quotes on the menu, because it was vegetarian:
The “lobster” was a hearts of palm salad. I love hearts of palm, and I did love this meal.
Everyone else had burgers, chicken nuggets and hot dogs. Here is my mom-in-law and (Christopher’s) Grandma during lunch:
I took video of the entire lightsaber-building experience of my sis-in-law and another family member, Brayden, who is kind of Christopher’s nephew, I think? It was really cool:
Here’s the video, in two parts because I had to stop in the middle of recording to do I forget what:
Made a GIF of this part because it was ✨ SO COOL ✨:
Truly the entirety of Galaxy’s Edge was awesome and I really wish I had not been in such a foul mood. I would like to go again when I’m not feeling like that. I got on Star Tours too, though that was technically outside of Galaxy’s Edge. I liked it.
Other than that, I did end up getting on a number of other attractions and rides. It’s ironic because when I look back it was not a bad time at all. I think it was the knowledge of the immensely packed schedule ahead, the fact that I was still-reeling from the heartbreak of the original canceled plans, and my impending period, that made actually enjoying it so difficult. But, I’m really glad for the things I enjoyed, particularly the Star Wars parts.
🦁 Animal Kingdom 🦁
Monday, June 28th
The next day was Animal Kingdom. I brought my iPad on this day to draw a little more during the queues, and really did try to be in a happier mood. Still, I failed at times, but I think my mood was better on a chunk of this day than on any of the other days.
We went on a Kilimanjaro Safari first thing. Got great seats. I was excited to see baobab trees, but it turns out they are fake. I didn’t know that until we got home. Apparently they used to have a single real baobab tree several years ago, but it died during a cold winter.
I didn’t take photos of the animals but there certainly were many about, as it was early in the morning and they were feeding.
At some point in the afternoon, the biggest highlight of the entire week happened for me: I won a beautiful stuffed animal at a game of chance in Dinoland. This was a big deal for three reasons:
The stuffed animal I wanted was the biggest prize in any stall (well, one of two options, but it was the hardest to win.) It wasn’t even available on every stall, just two.
The game I tried my hand at was ridiculously hard, with a minuscule chance of winning this specific toy.
I never win at these games –ever. So I never try, because I end up crushed and frustrated every time.
I’ll go into more detail about this down below on a different segment since I don’t have photos of this stuffed animal from this specific day. My long-suffering family, already dealing with my shit mood, patiently sat in the baking heat for about an hour until I got my prize. I really don’t deserve them.
I did lots of window shopping while at Animal Kingdom. We went on two rides in Pandora: Na’vi River Journey and Avatar: Flight of Passage. Both were stunning, the latter certainly scared me a good bit but it was incredible. Here’s a POV video someone else took of this ride:
You have to realize this envelops you completely unless you look behind you really craning your neck (which I did a few times to stop myself from pissing my pants) so it REALLY feels like you’re flying. It’s hard to convince your brain that you’re not, and it’s really hard if you’re afraid of heights as I am. But I loved it anyways. The River Journey was also unbelievably gorgeous, with really impressive effects.
On the way out, I ran by the Rainforest Cafe gift shop and bought some baby dinosaurs. Then we went to dinner and finally back to the hotel.
🍑 Savannah, GA – Day One 🍑
Tuesday, June 29th
I don’t remember we did during the morning… I do recall that the afternoon train was more or less on time, and I got to sit with Christopher and had a window seat, so other than my period making me kind of miserable, it was an enjoyable ride. The photo below was taken early-ish during the ride, just past 2:00pm. It was a little over five hours to Savannah.
Truly, I don’t know what delayed us so much, because I know we went from the train station to the hotel, and even as we got there we were desperate to get some food and everything was closing. The photo below was taken at like, 10:30pm, and we’d gotten our food maybe 15 minutes before that at a “hole in the wall” burger place that was literally called “Hole In The Wall”. We were all exhausted.
Went I went back to get a milkshake by myself, the lovely owner of the Hole In The Wall high-fived me over my Pride wallet and wished me a happy Pride Month. Told me about her husband, who came out to her as bisexual, and a few other related things. I told her a little about me, too. I wished I could have talked with her longer. She was so nice, and it was a rare moment of validation for me.
Here are some photos I took of that area, while everyone else ate:
After we got back to the hotel, I settled down to keep reading the first volume of The Hagwood Trilogy with my new iguanodon friend, Femur:
I first saw this guy at the gift shop in the Dinosaur dark ride in Animal Kingdom, under a display case. To my utter dismay, he could not be purchased. I was directed to where I could win him in a game of chance. Normally, this is a non-starter for me. As I mentioned earlier, I just do not do well at these games, and I do not take it well when I lose. But I wanted him too badly, and against my better judgement, decided to try.
Now, to give you an idea of how hard he was to win, see this article and scroll down to the Comet Crashers game. As you will notice, only very few cups have colors. All the ones without colors are losers. Of the cups with colors, I only saw two that were yellow –meaning, the biggest prize, the one I wanted so badly. One at each end. To make it worse, the spots were the third from the front in both cases –near impossibly difficult to get into as they were so close to the edges. Just going by number of slots, according to a redditor who calculated it, it’s roughly a 9% chance of winning.
I used multiple tickets, buying $35.00 worth of them from the get-go, really sure that I would not win him, or that I would win some stupid Mickey or Minnie toy. I just felt I had to try. And win him I did –on my fourth attempt. I remember my utter disbelief. I could have cried! I held him close for the rest of that day, and hugged him every night of the remainder of our trip, even gave him one of my bandanas to wear.
Anyway, with a cuddle from Femur and my book, that was the end of the first night in Savannah –we didn’t do anything but dinner.
🍑 Savannah, GA – Day Two 🍑
Wednesday, June 30th
Ok, so… by this day I was so exhausted, I’d count the rest of the days and just, inwardly cry. Also, Savannah is pretty and all, but a 1 hour trolley tour and a 1 hour boat tour are NOT worth 10+ hours on a train and dealing with a hotel room for two nights, not to me, anyway. Especially not being able to be alone with my husband (or by myself) quietly, at all, at no point (though at the end of this day I really stopped giving a flip and excused myself to be alone, which cost me one of the nicer meals of the trip. I ended up getting UberEats.)
I really would have enjoyed it WAY more if I hadn’t just been to two Disney parks, two different hotel rooms and five + hours on a train AND if I had been able to, you know, walk around and enjoy it which we couldn’t do, unfortunately, because it is not easy for Grandma to get around. From the trolley tour we were told of so many wonderful places to visit, but we couldn’t visit any of them. That made me really sad.
Below are some photos of the trolley tour. The houses were very pretty, but these are the only photos I got, literally nothing special at all in them.
We almost didn’t make it in time for the boat ride, but we did get on.
This was one of the times I excused myself from the family for a long period. They wanted to be inside in the AC which to me felt like a total waste of being on that boat in the first place. I wanted to look at the river, so I spent the entire hour standing, and watching, even when it rained on me a little.
The sun was blistering, but if you stood at the right end of the boat you could feel the wind in your face, at it was refreshing.
It was after this that everyone went to dinner and I just couldn’t force myself to leave the hotel room again. I showered, got some Japanese food ordered to the room, and finished reading my book with Beanie.
This book would also be a highlight of my trip, it was incredible, my favorite of Robin Jarvis’ books so far.
🚂 Intermission 🚂
Thursday, July 1st
And now we come to my lowest point. By 5:30am we were at the train station. I’d run out of painkillers, and of coffee. I was just a bundle of pain and misery, with a bumpy and painful train ride and like, four more days of not being home to look forward to.
At least, I told myself, I’ll be sitting next to Christopher, the seats are fairly comfortable, I can just put my head on his shoulder and I will feel better. Every moment I had alone with Christopher would raise up my HP by a few points, so I was eagerly looking forward to our “alone” time on the train, even in as much physical pain as I was.
Well… we ended up in the cafe car, four to a table, which doesn’t even have full-back seats (so you can’t sleep) and this would have been temporary, but my mom-in-law wanted to play cards or something and asked if we could be left there for the full FIVE HOURS. At this point I just lost my shit so much that I hid my head for a while and cried, there was nowhere for me to go.
Eventually I asked to be moved; it meant not being with Christopher, but I physically could not take the ride otherwise. I was moved to sit with a stranger, on an aisle seat. I begged to be moved to a window seat and eventually was moved to this…
It was kind of hilarious at this point, but at least I could lay against the side and try to sleep my pain away. But I was so lonely and miserable without Christopher. I felt that I hated everything, the train, the entire trip, just everything, but more than anything, by far, myself –for not being happy, for not handling well being tired and in pain the way everyone else did, for crying, for just being the way I am. I really wish I could be someone else, someone pleasant and easygoing, someone not selfish or whiny.
Though I don’t think my family would believe this, I really do fight against these sides of me constantly, but they are so bad, that none of that effort is noticeable. When my unpleasantness shows, it’s because my effort is finally cracking. I feel so much guilt for being the way I am. It really was the worst moment of all.
I felt better when we reached the train station. We went to Olive Garden for dinner and it was lovely. I felt my spirits lifting a tad.
Maybe that was just being next to Christopher again. He truly is the one single person in this world who doesn’t drain my energy, but replenishes it. Literally the only one. Just by being there. My appreciation and love for him was increased by the experience of this trip.
Later we just relaxed in the room, watched TV, I had some sweets and worked on this illustration which I’d also been working on during the train ride:
It’s a two-page spread for Meganeea featuring young Gideon, as well as the new chapter banner, since things have entered a new stage story-wise, the banner of little Faahvrigüo is a tad outdated.
That marked the end of the day.
🏰 Disney Springs / Florida Mall 🏰
Friday, July 2st – Saturday, July 3rd
Friday it was just Grandma and me. While everyone else went to Universal, we went to Disney Springs (Downtown Disney). Our Uber was really something, I appreciated this guy’s passion:
I wanted to get a photo of the outside of the car but it was raining and I had to make sure Grandma stayed dry and didn’t slip.
At one point I saw this huge canvas print –while it is not my style, I know Christopher would have loved it. It’s a dream of his, to have a print like this, by this artist, of this character. It was $500, and if I had had the funds on hand I would not have hesitated. It broke my heart to not get it for him. But I got him a $10 magnet of the same image. 😅
I had to get a photo of Stitch. Always makes me think of Christopher and of Mwako.
The next day we went to Florida Mall, this time it was me, Grandma and my mom-in-law while everyone else went to Universal again. I mostly ran off on my own. The Florida Mall gives me funny feelings because it’s where I had my biggest “Shit! I’m kind of gay I guess!!” moment, and it was so intense that just walking by the spot where it happened I have to take a moment, and just stop. It was like a lightning bolt at the time. Very bittersweet even to this day.
We were supposed to go home the next day, but one of our petsitters left the back door open, plus I ran out of pads, plus I ran out of epilepsy meds, and between one thing and another, we drove home one day early. My joy knew no bounds! 😭✨💖
✨ My Vacation Haul ✨
I… did a lot of shopping… well… what can I say, it kept me sane. 🤷♀️💧
I already showed off Femur, so I’ll proceed to the next thing I absolutely loved and which rekindled my desire to scrapbook. A beautiful book-bound journal from a delightfully cringy favorite of mine:
The cover looks a lot like the original featured in the movie:
Another favorite find was a Mandalorian pencil case with adorable stationary –this was my souvenir from Grandma, she insisted we all pick one:
Third favorite find was also Mandalorian related, another journal, smaller than the first but no less luxurious:
Those are my most favorite things (well, minus a MAJOR one, but it’s my birthday present, so I guess I won’t show it here yet, since I’m not allowed to touch it until then.) Here’s everything else:
(I think this is the first time I’ve found something with my name at a store!)
And that’s it. That’s my vacation. Made a few good memories, still would have rather stayed home. Divided into three or even two trips, everything we did would have been far more enjoyable and less utterly exhausting. I’m still in so much pain just from sheer exhaustion. Definitely would have been without my period and without the massive disappointment of the cancellation hanging over, but it is what it is… at least I am home and I’m so grateful for that.
Because we were gone for such a long time, we had three different friends care for our pets and house –one came two different days, another was supposed to come just once but came twice a whole bunch of time because our AC had issues that were super annoying to fix, and a third stayed almost an entire week for work-related reasons and in the meantime took excellent care of our pets too.
This last friend, Bert, was also nice enough to send me photos and video. This was a big deal to me because I missed the cats so, so very much. He even sent me video of the snails, but I didn’t include that in this post because it’s just the tank. I wanted to make a post for the rest though.
Here’s three of the kitties (Rosemary, Elliot and Kotoko):
And now for videos… first, Elliot:
Then my beloved Rosie…
Finally, sweet little Satan Tomoyo:
It’s so wonderful to be back home with them. I missed them more than I can put into words!
Looking at this slightly damaged photo, I cannot remember that day at all –or even the place. It would have been a school play at either late kindergarten or early elementary school. I picked it for today’s Memory Monday for a different reason, however.
My smile here, admittedly, is a little dumb-looking. Keeping my lips together, it shows a hint of my teeth in the corners. It’s not a very cute smile. The thing is, at that time, I didn’t know that. So it’s a completely confident and happy smile, with no worries about how it looks. And even as I had less reasons to smile as I grew into a more taciturn and worried child, I still smiled without any self-consciousness until I was maybe ten years old.
One day, long after the taking of this photo (maybe five or six years later) my mom was taking a different photo of me, and, I’m sure trying to help me have a better picture, she said something to the effect of “smile properly, you look dumb like that”.
It’s one of those moments that stay seared in your mind forever. I remember the thoughts rushing one after the other in my ever-anxious young mind: “How is it possible to smile “wrong”? I’ve always smiled like this. Have I always smiled the wrong way? How does one even do that?Who else noticed that I look dumb when I smile? Why didn’t my mom tell me sooner that my smile looks dumb?”
I remember the picture being taken as I felt as if I’d swallowed a rock —and I still had to smile for it, somehow. I remember my voice, helplessly choking out “I don’t know what you mean, I don’t know how to smile any differently.” I’m sure my mom forgot about this comment in less than a minute; it was without any malice, but I was a very sensitive child.
Eventually I’d learn how to smile “properly”, which meant not keeping my lips pressed together. Still, the self-consciousness never did go away. I think about it every time I take a photo, even selfies, and I’ve become self-conscious of other things now, like my gums showing too much.
In reality, I don’t think my genuine childhood smile is ugly. I wish I could have been given this tip in a gentler way —my mom meant well, and was trying to help me, and was frustrated, I imagine. A lot of years of my childhood were spent in a state of constant stress for my mom. She probably doesn’t even remember saying such a thing.
I think a bunch of my Memory Mondays have grim or kinda sad memories, but I’m writing them from a happy, contemplative place, so I hope they aren’t depressing. 😅 I don’t think this small snapshot of my childhood is anything special, most people have moments like these, right? I still like revisiting them.