September/October: The year is flying past…

I almost always never get anything done in the latter months of the year… 😅 September, as expected, flew by. I’m always really distracted in this month because it’s my birthday month! And I start counting down to it from the beginning of the month. 😁

Auld Lang Syne: Chapter 16

I did want to try to finish writing Chapter 16 of Auld Lang Syne so that I could go off on my birthday mini-vacation in peace, but that (sadly) didn’t happen. I did get in over 2,000 words, though.

Here’s a little snippet from what I have so far:

I’m still working on it! The new self-imposed deadline is now mid-October. đŸĢĸ I’m determined to finish it so that I can focus on my fifth rewrite of Something Better for NaNoWriMo in November.

Cricut Maker 3

With birthdays come birthday presents! And for this year’s birthday present came… a Cricut Maker 3! 🤩

I’ve been eyeing one for a while now, since I developed a whim end of last year. I was thinking of getting one for myself maybe sometime next year, when I move to a new/bigger place. But when I had the choice between a Splatoon 3 Limited Edition OLED Switch and a Cricut Maker 3, I ended up choosing to get the Cricut for my birthday. 🙈 I couldn’t resist.

The first thing I made with the Cricut was a simple vinyl sticker, made out of the design I created last month for my Shirt Design Project — the one featuring the two dolphins (a.k.a. the Corn Creatures). It was the only design I had on hand and I really just wanted to try out the Cricut machine. It turned out pretty well!

A black vinyl sticker of two dolphines on a Cricut machine.

Here’s a quick Reel I made of the process as well.

I’ve also been buying a lot of other materials so that I can try making other things with the machine. For now, I’m focusing on cutaway cards and some other vinyl stickers. I’ve made my very first cutaway card — a thank you card for my friend, which includes a little holographic iron-on of the Corn Creatures sticker. 😆

Green thank you card featuring a dragon on the left, holographic iron-on of two dolphins on the right

Next up: another cutaway card for yet another friend’s birthday! This time, I’ll be using some new metallic markers that I just got (and haven’t even taken out of their packaging, haha).

Cricut materials: cutaway cards, metallic pens, and holographic vinyl.

I’m also planning to get the foil tool for the machine, possibly to get some foiling and embossing done. Heh, I’m quite excited about all this. 😎

Oh! And I got a second birthday present that I really loved, which was a cute whale mug. It’s now my favourite mug. 😆

A mug with an open lid and a whale on the body

the birthday week

I spent the week of my birthday just chilling and eating. I also went on a little vacation and spent the whole time there eating even more. 😅

And then something happened. On the night of my birthday dinner.

Or rather, I should say… Something almost happened. And I’m so glad that it didn’t.

So — story time. For my birthday dinner, I wanted to go to an upscale Japanese restaurant for their 12-course Omakase meal (basically, “I leave it up to you” in Japanese — the customer leaves the menu entirely up to the chef). I love Japanese food and I enjoy the Omakase experience, having been to a few, but this was the most expensive and upscale one yet.

We started out enjoying the food — they were presented delicately and the ingredients were fresh and we marvelled at every dish, despite how slow it all went. (The whole meal ended up taking 3 hours.)

Here are the courses of the Omakase:

Despite how strangely empty and quiet the restaurant was on a Friday night, I might have really enjoyed this meal had it not happened.

Sometime during our 6th course — a cute dish of raw shrimp, salmoe roe, sea urchin, and caviar topped with gold flakes served in a cocktail glass — my partner found something unwelcome in his food. He was chewing slowly (for once!) to savour the flavours of the dish when he bit into something hard. Thinking it was a shell, he retrieved it from his mouth and discovered that it was a large, jagged piece of glass. And I don’t know why, but he didn’t even tell me when it happened! He only mentioned it to the chef when the chef started speaking with us to apologise for the slow progress of the meal.

At which point my partner said, “I found this in my food.” It took me several moments to realise it was glass, and I was so startled that it didn’t even occur to me to feel horrified until the waitress had (quickly and quietly) cleared it away. Maybe it was because my partner was so chill about the whole thing, but the chef didn’t seem overly concerned (though he did apologise for it — apparently he had broken a glass previous to preparing our food and it had probably fallen in without him knowing).

After that, I could only half-focus on the food, because I kept thinking about what could have happened. What if my partner had swallowed it without knowing? What if he had thought it was just a fishbone or something? What if he had bled out right there before the ambulance came? I started thinking about all of this as the meal continued, and by the end of it, I was feeling quite nauseous and dizzy.

The incident seemed to bother me much more than my partner (who said that it was “lucky” the glass had been in his food instead of mine, because he would have been much angrier and more upset had it been in mine). I started feeling some kind of stress, which then ended up manifesting as physical symptoms — a constant headache, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia despite feeling very tired, anxious thoughts about death and loss flitting through my mind most of the time, heartburn, and shortness of breath. They persisted for the next week.

It wasn’t until I spoke with a friend of mine who had experienced Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) that she pointed out my symptoms sounded a lot like symptoms of GAD. I mean, while I was suffering through the worst of the symptoms, I did think to myself that if the symptoms didn’t go away in a couple weeks, I would consider starting up therapy again. (Even though I’d just ‘graduated’ from it last year!) It’s been slightly over a week now, and I still have some of the symptoms (headache, lack of appetite, heartburn, and shortness of breath), but they seem to be getting better. đŸĢ° I’m hoping they will fade away altogether in time.

Unfortunately, I now have some hesitancy towards Omakase. 😅 I haven’t been deliberately avoiding Japanese food, per se, but I haven’t really had the craving for it either. Which is uncommon for me, because I used to always want sushi.

On the bright side, I do feel that we were lucky, because my partner detected the glass shard and didn’t swallow it. I shudder to think what might have happened. On my birthday too, and at a restaurant I had picked out. ☚ī¸ Ever since my dad was suddenly diagnosed and died in 2017, I’ve had a huge fear of losing loved ones to death. And this Glass Incident definitely triggered that.

I’ve been taking it easy (not doing much aside from going to work and all) last week, so I haven’t been very productive. But since I’m feeling slightly better this week, I’ve started writing again. I’m hoping to finish the design for my next cutaway card and also start making my Shirt Design 3 (the last of my Shirt Designs) into a vector to prepare for printing.

I’ve also been working on a little personal project on the 3D-modelling software Blender… which I might or might not finish. 😅 It’s a half-hearted little thing I’m working on while learning how to use Blender. There’s is a whole Expectations vs Reality sort of thing going on here with me and this software. 😂 I want to make something I don’t actually have the skills to make right now, considering I just started dabbling in this software last month. It’s still fun, though.

The October Goals

Now that I’ve rambled on enough, it’s time for the October goals. I’m going on yet another vacation at the end of the month, so I’m hoping to finish everything I want to finish before then.

  1. Update Auld Lang Syne Chapter 16
  2. Finish and mail out cutaway card for friend’s birthday
  3. Finish vectorising Design 3
  4. Work on little Blender project

And, of course, try to finish reading the new writing craft book I’ve just started — The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt. I’ve been on a bit of a reading spree in September (no writing craft books though), mainly my usual crime novels as well as Before The Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. That book made me feel so sad but optimistic at the same time — I highly recommend it. It’s part of the Before The Coffee Gets Cold series, which I absolutely love. Another book that stuck out was One Small Mistake by Dandy Smith. It’s a crime novel about a pair of sisters, but what struck me the most was how much I related to the characters (the sister). By the end of the book, I felt like the author was someone I would like to befriend. 😅 That’s how much I related to the book and the characters. (Here’s a secret: the author’s note also made me cry. 😆)

Right, this has been a long post. I’ll check back next in November when I’m back from my vacation! Hopefully I’ll be all ready for NaNoWriMo by then. 🙈

All writings, stories, and illustrations – unless otherwise stated – copyright Š 2021 Kassie N (dear-llama). All rights reserved.

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