Live blogging the Ritalin experiment: Saturday

Dear Internet,
I woke up this morning, excited like a kid on a day before a big event. Today, my world is/was going to change! Today, I start taking Ritalin.
The prescribing doctor laid out how the dosage was to work: First dose at $time, then up it by another dose every 1/2 hour until I’ve taken up to three pills. He promised, well suggested, the world will get more focused. Things will start to collate and I would be better able to function as the world becomes clearer.
After the morning absolutions, I popped the first dose with water and went down to make coffee and get breakfast. I felt the same as I always have – head fuzzy. Things unfocused. Sometimes this clears up after the first few cups of coffee, others this is how my brain feels all day.
Second dose happens at 9:45AM. I feel some focusing happening, not a lot, but some. Distractions don’t seem to be as prevalent  but I still feel like I’m doing a million things at once, even if that million of things is writing an email, talking on IRC, talking on IM, talking on Twitter, and reading Facebook. An email to someone is left unsent after a few moments. I wonder to the bathroom and start applying varying shades of lipgloss/lipsticks that I had recently purchased (a few of them were on my desk, which prompted the wander). I spend a few moments working on my lips and realize I have to go back to the office to finish documenting this experiment.  And send the email that was left in draft form, though it is ready to go before I wandered off. As I settle back in the my office,  a discussion between TheHusband and I pop up about how to use a gift card we got from his parents for the holidays. We shop on Amazon and I place the order.
It’s now 10:15. I pop the third dose.
Is the drug working? As I write this, I feel focused on writing this even though I see the IRC chat window scroll to the left of my screen, I know there are messages waiting for me on Twitter, and a few other distractions are looming.
My brain still feels fuzzy and I have a very low headache, barely noticeable in the front. This could be a reaction to the drug.
But here is what I have noticed – while writing this, I have just been writing and only correcting spelling as I go (easy when it has squiggle lines underneath to denote the eror). Usually when I write, I have to preview the entry a million times before it is published  so that the entry is just so.  This is why it takes so damn long for me to write an entry here, and why that often seems looming and difficult, because of all the extra work I think I need to put into it.  This is also explains why when I sit down and write a short story, a book, whatever, I can’t just write. I have to do all the same steps I do for writing online and in the case of my fiction, I then just let it go because my frustation overtakes everything else.
It’s now 45 minutes since the last dose. I got five orders yesterday  from my Etsy store that I need to ship today. I got most of the prep work done last night. Now if I can sit here and complete all five orders with minor interruptions then that would be a good way to see if the drug is working. Earlier this week when I had a large order, it took me six hours from prep work to taping up boxes to finish since I got distracted every 10 minutes.
It’s now 8PM.
I did not finish the five orders as planned. The first order, from start to finish, took 45 minutes but I was interjecting quality time on IRC while I worked. The second order took 20 minutes to finish from the start, and that includes the three minutes used to braid my husband’s very long hair. The third order, which had two balls for stuffing and packing, ALSO took 25 minutes. By the time I finished those orders, took a shower, roused TheHusband and drove to the post office, we arrived within minutes of it closing.  I still have two orders left to fill and those now get shipped on Monday.
The rest of day, shopping to prep for heading up to the cabin for a week, became a mix of patience and high anxiety. TheHusband said I was all over the place, mentally AND driving (which scared the beejeezus out of him). I felt somewhat focused and laid out in my head what I needed to do (I need to go to USPS, I need to go to UPS, I need to go to Hobby Lobby, and so forth) and the follow through of what I needed at each location. But TheHusband says different. Whose opinion matters here? His or mine? Is the drug working here or has it waned? Is this how I am normally? How do I know?
Is the influence of my period affecting my emotions here?
We finished our shopping around 4PM and headed to a late lunch/early dinner, where I quizzed TheHusband on my moods and behaviors. How are was I doing? What was I doing? Can you clarify that? Was that worse or better than before?  See his responses above, he thought I was more scattered and flighty than usual. He’s worried – is this the new me? We run a few more errands before heading home. At World Market, we have a conversation that turns into a rather loud argument. I call him fucking dick in the middle of the store and stomp out.
What’s the argument about? His concern about the Etsy store is taking away the time I could be writing. Am I even making a profit? Is this even worth it? Look, I say, when I started this two years ago I was without a job and it was a good idea because there is a market for it. I made a $1000 dollars the first time around, and about 30% of that was probably profit after costs and my payment to myself. Because the first year I undercut myself, the second year I raised the prices a few more dollars to what the market would bear, did a few craft shows, and did phenomenal. People love my balls.
But this year, I was laid up for a good chunk of the year and my mobility has been off and yes, I haven’t been feeling it on doing the store this holiday season because I was still feeling so worn out from the surgery and the recovery has been exhausting. So, this year I put stock in my inventory and made the store live the week of Thanksgiving. As the last minute shoppers hurry, hurry, hurry to get their orders filled, come Monday the 18th, i’ll shutter down until January where I hope to reopen to a bang.
The thing is, I don’t know. The stuffing of the balls is a seasonal thing. To TheHusband, he feels like I’m sucking up all this time doing the Etsy store when I could be writing. And somehow this comes out when we’re standing in front of the pillow display at World Market (currently 40% off).
As we drive home, a lot more words are said. Some were thrown, in the heat of the moment, and I started crying so hard and my lower lip was quivering so badly,  I had to pull off into a nearby parking lot, lest I do something stupid and get us in an accident. Writing, writing, writing – all he wants to do is talk about my writing. We go back and forth for awhile, and my brain just feels like one huge fuzzball. He asks me what I’m thinking and I tell him, “Orange, purple, goat.” Because that is how I sometimes feel.  He looks at me and he is sorry for the things he’s said, and I’m sorry for the things I’ve said. Orange, purple, goat is what he thinks I should be writing, but sometimes it’s even hard to get those out somewhere where they can be seen. (He thinks I should not give a fuck about writing to a screen because it has no feelings, which is true. But the jumbling of the world when I write is what is the hold up it is NOT for the lack of ideas.)
It is now nearly midnight, and I cannot explain to you what happened in the last four hours since I’ve started writing this. Cookies were eaten, the dog was walked, some chores were done. Was I here? Sometimes, but not fully. That is what it is ALWAYS like inside of my hand. I screamed at him  tonight the problem is that the things here, tapping my forehead, cannot come out through my fingers anymore, waving my hands. It’s not like when I was a young adult and I could write stream of consciousness for hours. In the ways I was extreme on somethings then, I’m moderate now and vice versa.
Yes, okay, perhaps the drugs did work, the dose may be too low, but I think it did work. I cannot focus no, and haven’t been able to for a few hours, and everything is all over the place. On paper, on my desk, on my computer screen.
Orange, purple, goat. Tomorrow we try again.

The Sign of the Four

A Wordle I recently made of the entirety of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Posted to Tumblr AND Pinterest, natch.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly vivid and that may have to do with the following in no particular order:
Battlestar Galactica
TheHusband and I began watching Battle Star Galactica several weeks ago and we’re almost finished with S3. He has remarked BSG is “…like Downton Abbey, except in space,” which I can totally get behind. When I almost accused a student recently of treason when they asked for books on Cicero AND I had been mildly hallucinating the parking lot elevators are Cyclons, I told TheHusband we needed to take a break from the action, though for the last few BSG-free nights he’s been a titch antsy in not getting his fix.
Continue reading “The Sign of the Four”

[Contest]: Pick the literacy foundation for donations from Excessively Diverting!

[This entry originated from my crafts blog, Excessively Diverting.]
Back story:
There is a strange phenomena in my family where the men not only don’t read, it is almost always because they CAN’T read. My brother has pretty severe dyslexia. My father, when he met my mother in the late ’60s, had a fifth grade reading level and was working on his high school diploma when he died in 2000. My maternal grandfather, who grew up on a dirt farm in Detroit, had a reading level and education of a third grader. It is also my understanding that tracing back the men in both maternal and paternal lines, the pattern continues for generations.
What makes this a “strange phenomena” is that the women in my family (my mother and grandmother being the most recent examples) were college educated. One could also argue that it continues with me as I have a multitude of degrees (BA. MA. MLIS.) and my husband, who is one of the most educated and well read men I’ve ever met, doesn’t technically have a high school diploma as he was home schooled.1
Watching my father and brother struggle with what I seemingly have always taken for granted has pushed me in recent years to get active in the fight for and access to literacy for all. The ability to read (and by extension obtaining education and comprehension) should not be something available only for the few, but should be easily and readily available to all, regardless of who/where. In the past I have volunteered as literacy tutor2 but I want to do more. It was then I decided that one of the first things I would do is donate 10% of sales from Excessively Diverting to a literacy foundation. I would also keep a tracker of some sort on the blog page to show how much money was raised and donated for that charity.
Because there are so many great literacy foundations out there, I decided to crowdsource for suggestions and turn it into a contest. Here is how the contest works: From now until December 5, suggest the literacy charity or foundation you think should get the donations. I would prefer a U.S. or Canadian based (as my father was Canadian) charity. Contest is open to anyone, domestic or international.
Ways to Enter:

  • Like Excessively Diverting on Facebook: Comment on the wall with your foundation/charity suggestion AND comment below with your FB username.
  • Follow Excessively Diverting on Twitter and tweet your suggestion using #dvrtngcontest: Be sure to ALSO include your Twitter username/suggestion in your comment below.
  • Subscribe to the blog: tell me you’ve subscribed in your comment below and don’t forget to include your suggestion.
  • Comment directly below with your suggestion with a legitimate email address.
  • Blog about the contest, the store, or interview me. Leave a comment below with your suggestion, link to the entry or contact info to set up the interview.
  • Link back to main page of Excessively Diverting blog on your blogroll: If you link back to blog, post your suggestion for literacy foundation/charity in the comments below along with the link to your blog showing the link back.
  • Favorite an item or store on Etsy: You can either favorite single item OR favorite the store. You cannot do both. Do not forget to comment below.
  • If you have already done one (or more) above prior to the contest, please comment below along with your suggestion for the charity/foundation.


  1. You may enter up to 7 times (one for each task above) but you may only suggest ONE charity/foundation.
  2. You MUST absolutely, positively leave a comment IN THIS ENTRY with what you’ve done and your suggestion for the charity/foundation. If you do not comment below, none of your entries count. For example: there is no way I can track who has subscribed to the RSS feed of the blog, which is why it is utterly important you comment below. Just doing the above doesn’t count if I don’t know about them.
  3. You may comment individually on this entry as you complete them or consolidate them.
  4. You MUST provide a valid and current email address in the comments for contact in case you’ve won.
  5. Cut off is December 5th. As long as the date stamp on anything you do has 12/5 on it, I’m satisfied.
  6. Rules are subject to change without notice.

You’re probably wondering, “Okay, I’ve promoted the hell out of your store and the contest, what is in it for me?” Good question!

  • Winner will be announced on December 6.
  • Winning charity/foundation, based on most votes, will receive donations quarterly from Excessively Diverting.
  • The winner of the contest will receive a completely customizable gift pack from Excessively Diverting! So far this includes a pin and a ornament, but will also include other goodies that will be completely customizable on quotes, colors, everything. Keep this for yourself or customize it for your favorite lit geek, the choice is yours. Gift pack will be shipped by 12/13 to arrive just in time for the holidays.

Okay, that should cover everything. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to comment below or email me.
Good luck!

P.S. Thanks to Bewhiskered for the contest entry suggestions!
1. My husband is the exception and not the rule as he has a rather high-up position at global corporation we jokingly refer to as TheMan. It does pay, seemingly quite well, to be a geek.
2. I’ll be getting back into this once we settle in a definite geographical location.


[Excessively Diverting] Excessively Diverting is open!

[This entry originated from my crafts blog, Excessively Diverting. ]
My store opened this evening, a day earlier than planned, and I’ve been spending the evening uploading stock to the store. No one ever tells you this stuff takes FOREVER, but it does. I don’t think I’ve moved from my chair in hours.1
I will have more writerly-type content in the next day or two on what I’ve been doing. But in the interim: Check the store often as I will be uploading new stock for days to come! Convo me if you’re interested in a different author/book/ quote pin or ornament. To promote my shop, I’m offering FREE SHIPPING until December 16. Also, if you use the promo code JASNA in the “message to seller” area, I’ll take 20% off your entire order.
You can also find Excessively Diverting on Facebook and Twitter.
Now I slumber.
1. Erm, I sat down at 8am and it’s oh, now? Midnight.

[Excessively Diverting] First it begins with an idea…then all hell breaks loose

Oh, what a mess.

[This entry originated from my crafts blog, Excessively Diverting. My Etsy shop of the same name opens up this weekend. ]
A couple of weeks ago, I got this brilliant idea of repurposing used books, specifically books that were in the open domain1, into a variety of different ways. After discussing this with several friends of mine who are huge crafters/Etsy sellers and doing research across the intarwebs/Etsy, I realized my idea is awesome and that I had definitely hit upon a niche market. The response from my friends, from conversations and showing them prototypes, was overwhelming – not only were they enthusiastic about the idea, but they were also future consumers. The timing was also perfect since it is the beginning of the holiday season and as such, was a perfect time to test out the idea.
Isn’t it interesting that an independent woman is often referred to as being obstinate?

The one thing no one told me, however, is that having a great idea is awesome but pushing it out to fruition is a lot of damned hard work. Not only did I end up creating various batches of the first product to nail down the process (an example is shown to your right), but I also have to do my own business plans, marketing and support.
For the last week I’ve been working during the day on the marketing and promotion aspect and at night, on the actual crafting. The other interesting thing is that each of my friends that I spoke to about their own Etsy shop, all do their selling and promotion differently. So tips I’ve learned from one, I’ve reiterated to another and so forth while streamlining it all in my own head. While our apartment is currently a mess as we’re in the midst of packing for our move, I’m also in the process of streamlining everything and getting the Etsy shop up this weekend.
The purpose of this blog, then, is to document my process, talk about crafting in the 21st century, use it as a forum to announce new products and services, and last but not least, keep the customers engaged with the me about the shop. More details coming soon. Welcome to Excessively Diverting.
1. Books in the open domain are books that were published before 1923 and/or have lost their U.S. copyright. See Project Gutenberg for more details.

To: Make: Knitting – iTardis, an iPod cozy (v1.0)

iPod, iTardis, iPhone

Roughly about 18 months ago, Lindsay sent me a link to an Etsy page of a seller showcasing their knitted Tardis iPod/iPhone cozy. Lindsay, in her infinite cuteness, said, ” Make me this!”
The design and concept of the Etsy version was pretty poor: The person essentially knitted (with acrylic yarn no less) a tube, unseamed, and then cross-stitched Xs in for the white/shadow on the doors. I was more appalled that the seller wanted $20 for the thing, even though essentially it was wrist cuff, just slightly longer. I knew I could do a lot better version that would also be much cheaper.
When Lindsay came to visit a few weeks later, I had constructed the pattern (more or less) and all we just needed to get needles and yarn. I also guessed, based upon my knitting speed, it shouldn\’t take more than a few hours to turn out. Since Lindsay was going to be in town for a few days, I figured we could leisurely get this going and have it done at a later time.
Little did I know that it would be fits/starts spanning 18 fucking months, not a few hours as intended. The design, implementation,needles, yarn weight and colors: Everything was frogged and ignored by me for months only to beredone and then frogged again!
With all that being said, here is the iTardis (FINALLY), HUGE thanks to Krazy Kate, this really only took me a few hours from start to finish as I had predicted all those months ago. Krazy Kate showed me the path of how to streamline and design the cozy, and yet there are improvements to the design and construction to already be made and thus, this is a prototype. Lindsay was so excited about this being finished before she left today, that she left with the prototype on her iPod. This version fits my iPhone (seen above) better than the classic iPod above (it’s slightly longer).
If someone can give me measurements to their iPad, I would adore that as I want to knit up a prototype for it.
Whomever helps me out with the iPad version, will get the prototype for free when I’m done (shipping will also be on me).
Leave contact information via comments or the usual locations.
Pattern for all versions, with tweaks, coming soon-ish. Image above, however, will take you to the Flickr set showing the entire thing in-progress.

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