Tag Archives: England

You Are Vibrantly Pretty!

Recently, my brother and his girlfriend set up an on-line dating profile for me. While I was in the room and fully aware of what they were doing, I did find it amusing and fun to set one up.

Normally, though I’m not very into the whole on-line dating thing. Then again, I’m very bad at regular dating to begin with. Online dating, though, just seems a bit more overwhelming than normal dates. Firstly, I have no clue who the people messaging me are, despite what their profiles might say and what pictures they might have posted.

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I am especially bad at the private messaging aspect of the whole thing. For instance, I am not used to being called “hot” or “cute” or “adorable”. Sure, I hear it from my father all of the time: “You are a beautiful young woman and any guy would be lucky to have you”, but he has to say that, right? He’s my dad, after all. So, when other people tell me that:

“You are really cute.”

“You are beautiful.”

“You are the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen.”

“You are vibrantly pretty”,  and so on, I tend to become very nervous.

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To be honest, I don’t see myself as cute or beautiful or gorgeous or vibrantly pretty. When I look in the mirror or at photos of myself I see a goofy dork who looks averagely average. So, when other people say otherwise I become very bashful.

I think it would be safe to conclude now that on-line dating is not for me and I will continue to struggle on alone through the actual real-life dating world (although it is just as awkward and embarrassing when I hear these things in real life, too).

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Just, Right Now….

Sometimes I get teary when I realize that I’m almost 26 and the longest relationship I have ever had was six months.

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And that I have had a pretty lousy date/relationship record so far, including an obsessive controller, a liar, and a cheater.

Personally, I think it’s rather hard to find someone to actually be in a relationship with. I live in a very rural area so it’s not like there are many guys around to choose from. When I’m in my university classes, my classmates are always much younger than I am (the downfall of being a 25 year old college student).

All I’m asking for is someone who understands (and if they share it, that’s a bonus) my appreciation of art, writing, and history. Who will actually want to sit and watch the same shows and movies as me (yes, I’m the girl who still likes to go to Disney and other animated movies because they’re cute and I adore them and animation is what I want to do for a career, so it’s cool to see animation in action) and who accepts that reading tons of books is a very fun hobby for me. That I like to watch anime and BBC and that I’m a Whovian through and through (PS. My favorite Doctor to date is Matt Smith as Doctor 11)! That I enjoy Sherlock and think Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic as the consulting detective (Martin Freeman is an excellent addition and they compliment each other very well, talent-wise). That I want to travel and find inspiration in new places for my art and writing (I truly believe an artist cannot survive creatively stuck in one place)! I mean, I don’t think I’m asking too much.

But sometimes…I’m just lonely and I’m getting awfully tired of waiting for Mr. Right.

Sincerely Yours,

Soleil

 

Recap and Ramble

Recap on my last post “A Café Encounter”: I got the illustration job!

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Seriously, though, that is majorly exciting! I cannot wait to get started on this project.

In the meantime, I’ve started binge-watching the CW‘s “The Flash” on Netflix today.

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I’m already about halfway through the first season. And, you know, Season Two starts soon. January 19th, to be exact. The exact same day I resume my college classes. I think I can watch all of Season One by then. Downright easy.

Now, please, let me gush over the Sherlock “Christmas” special that aired New Year’s night and be a good fangirl. (Ahem, spoilers ahead).

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It was pure gold. A beautiful merge of classic and modern without missing a beat concerning wit, snark, action, mystery, and adventure. I’m sure that by now it is common knowledge that the episode is a flip-back between the modernized Sherlock we know and love and the Victorian-classic of the stories origins. I especially loved the mix of three Sherlock Holmes stories in the episode. I laughed at the orange pips because I knew exactly what they were, which story they were from, and what they meant. It was excellent! Truly.

I really don’t want to give a full recap because I don’t want to ruin the episode for anyone who missed it and is waiting for the second showing on January 10th (again on PBS). However, if you really want to read a full review, the Den of Geek has a fabulous article: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride Review.

All I will say is that I am big admirer of Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and of Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. The two really do bring the characters from the books’ pages to life and that is what I truly love and appreciate. So thank you both for your time and talent. Please continue to do an amazing and wonderful job.

And that is all for now. Please look for my words again soon!

Soleil

 

 

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

It’s always been an awkward topic for me. My anxiety problem, I mean. When I meet people and they want to hang out somewhere I’m unfamiliar with or that’s out of my comfort zone for driving and I have to tell them I can’t go because of my anxiety, they always give me this funny look. Like I’m a weirdo or something. Of course, they’re always quick to give me a sympathetic smile and an “Oh, that’s alright, we’ll do something else sometime.” Most of them never ask to hang out with me again, but the rare few (who I consider to be real friends because of their actions) do.

I’m bringing this topic up again (read my first post about my anxiety here) despite my awkwardness for it, because today I started a new therapy. It’s called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, therapy. It originally started out as treatment specifically for patients and people who have suffered from trauma (things like bad car accidents or PTSD for soldiers and civilians alike), but because of its effectiveness, it’s becoming a broader treatment for things like anxiety and depression, too. In a way, however it is that it works precisely, it helps you to reprocess memories that may have been processed by the emotional side of your brain rather than the rational side during long-term memory processing.

I LOVE this photo! XD

Here’s a bit of a blurb from the EMDR Institute‘s website: “[It’s a form of] psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

It’s an interesting concept to say the least. “There has been so much research on EMDR that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy. Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.” -EMDR Inst.

All that fancy lingo and information aside, I definitely have to say that my experience with my first treatment today was far from what I expected. To be honest, I don’t know how it works really, only that I ended up sobbing like a little kid about 10 minutes in and going over memories I didn’t even know still bothered me. Somehow, though, I think they’re all related.

Adverse effects? Sure! Every treatment has them. My counselor made a point to tell me at the end of our session today that because EMDR helps memories and emotions that rouse my anxiety and subconsciously affect me so that I end up doing OCD habits, that I may continue to feel “distress during the day, more distressing and unresolved memories could emerge as the processing of incidents and materials may continue, and other dreams, memories, feelings, etc., may emerge.” –EMDR Inst. (but basically she said the same thing. I just like how they wrote it, that’s why I quoted them again. Haha!)

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this and I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable admitting it to you and the rest of the world, but I do feel like I should document this treatment process. I feel like it might not only help me, but can also be used as a learning and teaching experience for you (my readers) and (I hope) give hope to those who suffer from forms of distress-caused anxiety and OCD like me.

Other than that (sobbing for an entire hour pretty much in the middle of the day with my counselor, I mean) my day was pretty swell!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

The Time-Consuming Thing That Is NaNoWriMo!

It’s NaNoWriMo! Let the literary war begin!

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The whole goal of this event is to complete a novel of at least 50,000 words by the end of November. Yes, it is quite crazy to write an entire book in 30 days, but that’s part of the fun!

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So, if I don’t post much this month, I’ll just apologize for that now. Spare time will be spent writing. Extra spare time between the spare time I spend writing will be dedicated to eating and sleeping so I can continue to power through this. Meanwhile, this will be my motivation for the month:

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Haha, a Whovian at hearts no matter what the challenge! Allons-y and Geronimo!

So, look for my words…eventually, haha!

-Soleil

The History of Downtown Charleston, SC!

I’ve made a liar of myself. I never did make that 9/12 post I promised. For that, I apologize. In case it might happen again:

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So, I wanted to finish up my South Carolina trip recap in this post. Let the fun begin!

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This was my dinner at Jestine’s Kitchen in Downtown Charleseton. It includes some awesome Soul Food: Brown Sugar Glazed Ham, Mac & Cheese, Collard Greens, and cornbread with some real Southern sweet tea.
Trying to get to Jestine’s it started to downpour! Since Ant and I didn’t have an umbrella, we got soaked, of course. It was a cold rain, too.

 

 

 

 

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To the left we have me, soaked, and to the right we have me with my hair dried off and with an awesome flip to it now! Yay!  IMG_7881

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also took a really cool historical tour through a portion of Downtown Charleston in an open-carriage pulled by two mules.

St. Philip's Episcopal Church

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

It leans slightly to the left because of the earthquake that happened in the 1800s. Also, John C. Calhoun is buried here. In case you’re wondering, he’s the man who created the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. Also, Edward Rutledge is buried here, too. He was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence and eventually became the 39th Governor of South Carolina.

Powder Magazine

Powder Magazine

The Powder Magazine sat on the edge of the original Charleston city border, which was surrounded by a 17-ft. wall made of mud and palmetto logs. They built a wall around their city because 13 prior attempts to colonize the South (one of which was Roanoke) had failed. The Powder Magazine dates back to 1713 and has walls that are 2-3 feet thick, made of brick, and the roof was stored with sandbags in the case that if there was an explosion, the sound and impact would hopefully be muted. This same wall was very successful during the Revolutionary War. Charleston was able to hold out against the British for four years (compared to Boston and Philadelphia, which fell in under a year), because the wall was built from palmetto logs, which are very absorbent of water and so are very spongey. This sponge-iness allowed for difficulty to surmount and destory and/or invade the city. Since the British couldn’t break the fort walls, they retreated back North. This victory for the city of Charleston is why South Carolina features the Palemetto as its State Tree and on its State Flag.

Charleston had five major fires in its history, and the fire of 1861 wiped out a good portion of the city.

I also learned that in 1704, the Spanish sent several hundred men from St. Augustine, FL to Charleston o wipe out the southermost English colony, which at time was Charleston, SC. The Spanairds attempt failed but the English sent back a retaliation force and burnt St. Augustine to the ground. This allowed English domination in the South.

Then there is King’s Street. It’s the main shopping street of Downtown Charleston. Our tour guide informed us that King’s Street is the highest point in Charleston, at 11-ft. above sea level. Also, it’s named King’s Street because it was owned by the King of England. In fact, it is still owned by Queen Elizabeth II today, so if you live on or do business on King’s Street, you have to pay taxes to the Crown.

Other Fun Facts: Charleston is known as the Holy City because it has so many different churches and was one of the most religously diverse cities of its time in history (in the American Colonies, anyway). In fact, the oldest Synagogue in the country is here and was established back in 1750.

St. John's Lutheran Church

St. John’s Lutheran Church

St. John’s Lutheran Church was established in 1734 and is well-known for it’s great iron-work gates with date back to 1822. They are so signifigant because these gates are one of the few original iron-works in all of Charleston. That’s because during the Civil War, a lot of iron was taken from around the city to melt down into weapons for the war.

The Unitarian Church in Charleston.

The Unitarian Church in Charleston.

The Unitarian Church was made in 1722. (For the record, I took this photo off of Google because my photo wasn’t nearly as good as this). I’ve never heard of Unitarians before this carriage tour. Unitarians believe that everyone goes to Heaven and that there is no Hell. Thomas Jefferson didn’t share their beliefs, so during the Revolutionary War, the Unitarian Church was used as a stable for the soldiers horses.

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These brick homes were built by the US Navy during WWII for soldier housing barracks. After the war, the Navy donated the buildings to the city to be used for whatever they wanted. The city ended up making them public housing.

Extra Fun Fact: All of the bricks used to make these homes, plus all of the old historic buildings in Downtown Charleston were handmade by the slaves on Boone Hall Plantation, which I featured in a previous post.

Old Marine Hospital

Old Marine Hospital

The Old Marine Hospital was designed by Robert Mills. After WWII it became the Jenkins Orphanage. One of the orphans who ended up living here created a dance that caught on and became well-known, even to today. It’s known as the Charleston, and was named after the city it came from.

The Old City Jail

The Old City Jail

Front of the Old City Jail

Front of the Old City Jail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Charleston chose the location of Potter’s Field for the Old City Jail because for the first 150 years of Charleston’s existence, it was the farthest end of the city’s limits. Potter’s Field was settled between Franklin and Archduke Streets and was where the poor and the people of no faith were buried.

Fun Fact: The College of Charleston tried to build a new library not too long ago, about a block away from the prison, and they dug up over 500 bodies. So, the area known as Potter’s Field still had bodies below the homes and streets and old city prison built on top of it.

This being said, I’ve definitely decided that if I EVER moved to Charleston, I would NEVER EVER live in the area known as Potter’s Field.

 

Moving on….

The Memminger Auditorium was once the Charleston high school, but before that it was a middle school. While it was a middle school, cannonballs were dug up on the school grounds, during a renovation project, that dated back to the Civial War! When the cannonballs were found, the bomb squad was called in because during the Civil War, some cannonballs were explosive rounds and they were worried they might still be live.

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The Daughters of Confederacy

The Daughters of Confederacy building hosts many Cival War artifacts, including some of Robert E. Lee’s hair.

Philadelphia Alley

Philadelphia Alley

This is Philadelphia Alley and it is where all of the Gentleman’s Duels took place. John Luke Wilson, a laywer of Charleston, wrote a book of 28 rules for the duels.

Fun Fact: The most common profession for a majority of the duelists were newspaper editors.

Extra Fun Fact: Charleston was once held captive by Blackbeard in the 1800s. His demands were that the townspeople of Charleston give him a chest of medicine in return for him to leave town. They complied. Our tour guide joked that their city is the only one in America who can lay claim to Blackbeard holding their city hostage for healthcare, haha!

Wrapping up, this trip was lots of fun packed into a quick 3-day weekend. If you’re ever heading to Charleston, South Carolina, I highly recommend doing any of the Historic Tours or exhibits. Have fun and look for my words again soon!

Cheers!

-Soleil

What I’ve Been Up To (An Update)

Guys! I have totally failed in my upkeeping this “daily entry” thing for you on my blog here. It’s just…I’ve had a busy few past couple of days.

With school starting next week (-gasp!-), I’ve had to get my school supplies and text books. I’m taking some pretty interesting classes, yay!

  1. Anatomy for the Artist
  2. Elementary Japanese
  3. Public Speaking
  4. Intro to Astronomy (Online!)

I’m still trying to figure out how I’m supposed to take an Astronomy class online, but I did sign up for it myself, and it is a college course (since I’m in University and all), but I’m curious how they’re going to structure it. For example, will I have to meet on campus some nights to go to the observatory and look at certain stars and planets and such? I don’t mind, I’m just curious if that will be a thing.

Ah...DW quotes...and Van Gogh! -sigh-

Ah…DW quotes…and Van Gogh! -sigh-

Oh, um, also, I hurt my ankle.

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Yeah…. You see, I was babysitting a 4-year old. Well, I let the family dog outside and when I heard him barking, I thought maybe there was a gate in the fence in the backyard that might have been open, so I went to check while the 4-year old watched “Spiderman”! So, I ran after the dog, and there was apparently this hole in the yard…that I didn’t see, and my foot went into it…and my ankle went POP! Yeah…it hurt a lot after that. So to the ER I went (after babysitting of course), dun dun daa! I was there until 2AM!

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This was my result:

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My poor ankle and leg, all wrapped up and held together with a stirrup splint. Woe is me! Well, I mean, it could have been way worse! The good news is that it’s not broken and there were no fractures in the bones. The bad news is that I may have torn a ligament, tendon, or muscle. The doctor at the ER told me to keep off my foot for the next week, use the crutches they gave to me, and keep my foot wrapped. Keep it elevated, stay off of it, nurse it, be kind to it. Basically, (don’t) run. -wink wink there, Whovians-

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Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

P.S. This has secretly really been a big Doctor Who-themed post, hahaha!