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  • Tinker’s Journal

    Posted by Tinker on March 11, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    A little bit about myself:

    • Pronouns: She/They
    • East-coaster who has spent too long in the midwest and is desperately missing the ocean
    • Graduate student studying mechanical engineering
    • Hobbyist of all sorts, but recently a lot of sewing, crocheting, and bookbinding
    • Always down to learn a new DIY too though
    • AKA Flinterforge through and through (I’m one of your community leaders!)
    • Avid reader – favorite books include The Night Circus, Song of the Abyss, and recently added Legendborn
    • Speaks Chinese (though it’s getting rusty) and learning French (and at a snails-pace, learning Irish Gaelic)
    • Dancer
    Tinker replied 3 weeks, 1 day ago 8 Members · 28 Replies
  • 28 Replies
  • Tinker

    Member
    March 11, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Thoughts after spending last weekend sewing several dance costume pieces: if you ever think to yourself “hm, stretch panne velvet seems like the perfect fabric for this project”, that’s the devil talking. Say no. Will you turn around 10 minutes later, having accepted your fuzzy, annoying fate? Probably. But for one shining second, sanity will have won out.

  • Tinker

    Member
    March 15, 2021 at 3:22 am

    So this weekend I tried (for the third time) to do the tiktok baked cherry tomato pasta…and I think my experiment is over. I tried ricotta cheese this time – I’m doing curbside pickup of groceries and haven’t been able to get feta recently – and it tasted really good…but the texture was just not very nice. I think I might look into other sauces that would start with a roasted cherry tomato and garlic situation, but doing the tomatoes+cheese simultaneous roast…probably a no from me in the future.

    • CJB

      Administrator
      March 16, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Oh yeah, I imagine the ricotta got pretty grainy. :grimacing:

      • Tinker

        Member
        March 16, 2021 at 7:08 pm

        I had definitely seen a couple people recommending it as an alternative to feta…and I do feel a little betrayed about that :joy:

        • Skylad

          Member
          March 16, 2021 at 11:31 pm

          I’ve seen a lot of people do this… I’m still stuck on wrapping Camembert up in pastry and walking it in the air fryer :drooling_face::drooling_face::drooling_face::drooling_face:

    • Augustus_Octavian

      Member
      March 17, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      If you can get the feta though, I would TOTALLY recommend revisiting. We’ve had it twice now since the first time I made it, and even my “choosy” 7 and 5 year olds liked it!

    • Sapphire

      Member
      March 22, 2021 at 11:52 pm

      I had that for dinner tonight!

      I think the best version I’ve had so far is when I added a couple tablespoons of creme fresh. It really improved the texture and tamed the feta flavour a bit so it wasn’t overpowering by the end of the portion.

      Mixing the baked feta/tomatoes then adding pasta seems to help too, otherwise it seems to clump together.

      It’s not a dish I’d eat every week, but I do like it as a back up meal, the ingredients tend to have a pretty decent self life.

  • Tinker

    Member
    March 22, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    In a stunning turn of events, I had enough of a stash fabric for an impulse dress pattern I wanted to make! I’d had the fabric for…many moons…so this weekend I was only able to iron it and get all the pieces cut out, but I’m deeply excited!

  • Tinker

    Member
    March 24, 2021 at 5:59 am

    Life achievement unlocked: trimmed my own bangs! Usually my mom helps me trim my bangs…I wear long curtain bangs that routinely confuse hairdressers (yes, I do need them that long; no, I don’t want them to frame my face – they need to be able to go into a ponytail for lab/machine shop work), so my mom does them for me when I go home. Given the current circumstances though, I haven’t been home in over a year and my “long curtain bangs” were just…too long. I didn’t do anything drastic, just 3 inches straight across…someone looking at me probably wouldn’t even notice. BUT I cut them pretty straight and level and I don’t think I wrecked them! So that’s all a plus all around.

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      March 24, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      Congrats! I still have nightmares about trying out bangs in high school…my parents wouldn’t bring us to hairdressers, and I couldn’t afford to go on my own…

      • Tinker

        Member
        March 25, 2021 at 7:52 pm

        Oh I feel that…I used to have like, traditional bangs through early high school and it was not a good look for me. The way I wear my hair now, “bangs” is a stretch since they’re so long, but there’s just not a better word for it :joy:

  • Tinker

    Member
    April 17, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Oh man…it’s been a hot second. Things have been…a bit all-over in the last few weeks. The good: I’ve gotten my first vaccine dose, with a second one scheduled. The less-good: I’ll be moving in the summer, and the property manager of the house that I’ve been renting with a friend for the last few years scheduled a LOT of showings, so there were many, many strangers in my home which is less-than-ideal at the moment.

    But in more important craft-y news! Still nothing super exciting! I’ve made some progress on the spontaneous dress I started, but it’s not quite done yet (button-holes and hemming left…aka the least fun parts). I’ve made a couple books…some gifts, one relevant to a certain TTRPG that was recently announced :eyes: . I have my first non-woodshop woodworking project to do…but the size board I have is juuuuuust too wide to fit in the inset clamps of the portable worktable I have, so I’ll need to order some clamps before I can do anything else with that. So like…lots of projects in the air, nothing done yet :sweat_smile:

  • Tinker

    Member
    May 17, 2021 at 5:36 am

    Just like my actual journal, I’m not so good at consistent entries I guess :sweat_smile:

    Since my last post, I’ve gotten my second vaccine dose. I’m one week out now, so still one week to go to max out those benefits…but also I’m still wearing my mask and being cautious as much as possible. But I have to say, it’ll be nice to be able to go to a craft store or a bookstore and be able to browse a little.

    I haven’t really made much progress on the sewing I’ve mentioned previously…though I did print and assemble a new sewing pattern to help bust some stash fabric before I move in July. And I’ve got another craft going that I’m planning on posting about in the Court of Grandmothers when I get a little further along.

    Talking about the impending move…now that my next lease is signed and showings of my current home are done, the stress of planning the actual move is hitting me pretty hard. But the move is so far away that there’s nothing I can really ACT on yet…I can’t really start packing things because I’ll either need it in the next two months, I won’t be getting the right boxes for a while, and even if I had the boxes, I don’t have a great place to store partially-filled moving boxes until then. I’ve been pondering maybe doing a closet clean-out or identifying some potential spaces for pre-packing declutters, but haven’t really settled on anything yet. On the one hand, I’d love to just get the stressful parts over with, but on the other hand I don’t want to waste the rest of the time that I could be enjoying this current living arrangement. I almost wish my lease overlap were longer…not that I want to pay more double-rent than I’ll already have to, but being able to do a slower move with an earlier start would have been really nice…

    • Ashburn

      Member
      May 17, 2021 at 10:24 am

      As someone who had planned to have most of January to move, and had less than two weeks with only one option for when to move all the big heavy things, I know this pain.

      • Tinker

        Member
        May 17, 2021 at 4:08 pm

        Yea, I’m looking at having about a week to move :sob: I don’t have a car, so I’m getting movers for the big heavy things though…so expensive but hopefully not too much of a pain…

        • EternalHearts

          Member
          May 17, 2021 at 7:36 pm

          Movers are worth every penny you spend on them!!! Seriously, do not feel any guilt about hiring movers and consider it a very worthy expense.

  • Tinker

    Member
    June 3, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I’m now about 1.5 months away from the move and the anxiety-to-ability-to-do-things ratio is still not great. The big anxiety is around like, clothes and furniture and things like that…the stuff I’ll need to be using leading up to the move. Also big things…like blankets and winter clothes and stuff. I don’t need them now, but I don’t have a ton of viable box storage space, so it doesn’t make sense yet to take them out of the closets they’re in just to put them in boxes that won’t fit back in those spaces. I’ve been saving small-to-medium shipping boxes since we decided to move, though, so I’ve been able to start packing up small things that I won’t be needing. I’m sure it will be fine once the time comes – my apartment is only a 10 minute walk from the place I currently live and I’ll have a 9 day overlap between the leases…but I do wish there was more I could do now.

    Otherwise, my dance group is ramping up to start performing at the town street festivals this summer and my feelings are…deeply mixed. On the one hand, I’m vaccinated (as is everyone in my group) and the events are outside…but on the other hand, the vibe I get from the organizers is that they’re not going to be putting any special safety rules in place. And our town dropped the mask mandate a few weeks ago, while vaccination numbers are still just under the national average. Usually our shows are very heavy on audience engagement (both intentional and of the drunk-dudes-getting-too-close variety) but I raised some concerns about that and the people in charge of the group were really supportive of planning some additional safety measures – removing our planned interaction stuff, roping off our area to make a more defined stage to prevent people from getting too close. So I think we’re making our space safe…it’s just coming down to maybe a little bit of reentering-the-world anxiety and a little bit of discomfort in like…being the entertainment at an event that I think isn’t taking public health the most seriously? But also we’re essentially a four person group, and two of our members are pregnant/recently had a baby…so it wouldn’t be fair for me to leave the last member alone on the hook for a 2 hour show. So wrestling with all of that has been…heavy.

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      June 4, 2021 at 2:00 am

      Moving is the worst, and you have all of the empathy and best wishes I have.

  • Tinker

    Member
    June 15, 2021 at 3:40 am

    Ooof…today was a day. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night…I thought I smelled something burning and even though it was probably just dust heating up on the lightbulb of a lamp we don’t use often, my brain wouldn’t let me go to sleep until stupid late just in case the house was actually burning down. Cut to this morning when the movers come for some of my roommate’s big furniture (she has access to her new place now, but she’s going to do a slow move over the next month, starting with some big things today). I wasn’t needed for any coordinating, and I probably would have been in the way if I had been in the living room/my office, so I was planning on staying in my bedroom while they were here…but also they arrived like half an hour before my alarm was set to go off which is, categorically, the worst time to be woken up. So I ended up like, not quite getting up but also not quite falling back asleep and being quite groggy during the day.

    Two of the things my roommate moved today were her sofa and dining room table. We did have an extra table (which we inherited from someone else and are probably just going to try to sell when we move) and a futon (mine, relegated to the upstairs when my roommate decided to buy a Real Adult Money sofa), and both of those needed to come down from the loft to the main floor…and boy, was that a struggle. The table was mostly fine, except that I had to remove all the legs so we could get it down the stairs and some of the bolts did NOT want to cooperate…and the futon was such a struggle. We didn’t think we had taken it apart to get it up the stairs, so we tried just taking it down the stairs and couldn’t get it to work. We ended up taking a sanity break and coming back to decide to take it all apart in the loft and just reassemble it downstairs. None of those jobs would have been too bad except our loft is awful in the summer…it’s all finished off and our landlord advertises it as a bedroom but it is unbearable once it’s the slightest bit warm outside. It gets stuffy and humid and there’s probably no insulation at all…which, given that it has a “fancy” halogen light fixture that puts off more heat than light, means it’s approximately the temperature of the sun up there right now. So the 30-45 minutes I spent wrestling with furniture up there ended up being completely exhausting. We got the futon reassembled, but the table is getting assembled tomorrow for sure. At least now, on the plus side, all of the big furniture things live on the ground floor, so there’s more space for some packing storage up in the loft and the furniture move-out next month should be pretty smooth.

    Silver lining of the day: I decided it was finally the “right” time to open up a nice soap I got in New Orleans when I went in 2019 and it smells so gooooood!

  • Tinker

    Member
    July 15, 2021 at 5:42 am

    Oof…fam, it has been a MONTH, and in that month my life has mostly consisted of work stress and moving stress…and some interconnected work-moving stress.

    Moving updates: I got all the pre-move-in steps finished off so I officially have an appointment to pick up my keys next week! And the moving company dropped off my packing materials at the end of last week, so I’ve been able to start boxing things up. So far, I’ve got all of my books in boxes – the last time I moved, I had never moved my full library before and I just filled medium-sized packing boxes with books…and then felt incredibly bad for the movers I hired when I was unpacking and realized how heavy they actually were. So this time, I’ve tried to spread the books out so the boxes will be some books and then some lighter but bulkier things on top. Unfortunately, at the moment then, that leaves a lot of half-filled boxes throughout my living space. But it’s something!! It’s nice to be able to do something finally so I’m not just stewing in the planning stage without an outlet.

    On the other hand, now my brain has refocused my stress on the post-move-day cleaning that needs to be done in this house. We’ll have about 4-5 days to get it done…I’m just stressed at the moment because my roommate still hasn’t finished her move out (which she had intended to be done with by now) and is currently out of town on a “post”-pandemic trip…and might have at least one more scheduled before the end of the month?? so there’s some things that are stressing me out with regards to that…but maybe once I’ve finished packing and can focus on what all the cleaning tasks are, I’ll feel a little better…and obviously there’ll be some planning with my roommate, but she left town right when the stress around this part had just started kicking in, and I don’t want to spoil her trip over it.

    And lastly…work. We finally have word on when we get our graduate student offices back! Unfortunately, we can’t all just go back to our desks…there’s apparently a pretty big shortage of grad student desk space, so the whole assignment system was revamped. It’s kinda complicated, but the tl;dr is that I won’t have a desk of my own anymore. Since my work has both computational and experimental components, the department says I get 50% of a desk, and someone else will also be assigned to the same desk for 50% of the time. That would be fine…except my experimental station is also shared. The person who’s sharing my desk has lab space in another building, so maybe they’ll be spending more time there and I won’t have to play musical chairs on a daily basis…but we’ll see.

    Real talk, I’m just excited to have office access back. I’ve been really privileged that working from home over the past year+ was an option, but it’s been really hard. Not having my colleagues around and being alone for most of my waking hours, plus having my schedule influenced by when my roommate has been home (a combination of feeling weird doing serious work while she was home and off the clock and also wanting to maintain some social time), has been difficult to manage. And although we’ve had lab access for almost a whole year now, going into the lab wasn’t always the best or lowest-anxiety option for me. On the stress front, that’s switched now…having my roommate packing (and more so rearranging things and leaving unpacked things in shared rooms) over the last month has made my space much less conducive to focusing and working, so I’m feeling more comfortable with the idea of going to the lab and spending more time there and I’ll definitely be going to my office as much as I can as soon as they let me.

    I wish I had more fun news to report but that all has been taking up just about all of my brain space recently. Hopefully the next few weeks will bring some less stressful, more interesting news :sweat_smile:

    • CJB

      Administrator
      July 15, 2021 at 2:45 pm

      Sometimes this: :cjheart: is better than anything else I could say.

    • Ginger

      Member
      July 28, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve had so much stress for so long, but super soon it’ll all be done hopefully :eaveshug:

      As for the book problem, I been there and suffered.

      Even though you already have boxes and such, my pro tip to offer: liquor boxes. I go to the nearest liquor store and ask if they have spare boxes (the staff will always gladly avoid having to flatten more boxes.) The boxes are usually a great size for different sizes of books, small enough that it’s a reasonable weight to lift, and they’re normally made pretty sturdy so that glass bottles don’t fall out the bottom of the box when you try to lift.

  • Tinker

    Member
    July 31, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    The move is, for the most part, done! I am in my new apartment…though there’s still some tetris-ing to do to unpack everything. And some move-in maintenance (my hot water currently doesn’t work which is…unfortunate).

    I just finished the final clean and check of the house I was in…keys are on the counter, door is locked, all that’s left is to wait the month and a half and hope the landlords were reasonable with the security deposit deductions. Which…honestly, a bit of a concern right now. They dropped some stuff on us 10 days before the end of our lease that were…questionable. So I’m in the process of writing a wrap-up email preempting some things we expect them to make note of/blame us for. But hopefully it goes better than we expect and there’s no problems and it ends fine.

    My mom came out for the week to help with moving things, which was really nice. I haven’t been home since the before times, so it was really great to see some family…though I do feel bad that it was under stressful, busy circumstances. I’ll be going home for a bit in October, when it’ll be past peak season at the shore and I will be able to walk directly into the ocean and stay there for 2-3 business days until I feel better.

    But in the mean time…more unpacking, and then back to business as usual.

  • Tinker

    Member
    September 18, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    It has, once again, but the hottest of seconds since I’ve posted here last. It’s been a very busy almost-two-months. I got moved into my new apartment and had lined up some furniture to sell (a small couch co-owned by me and my previous roommate that we procrastinated selling before we moved, and a futon of mine that was just a little too big for the new space and also it didn’t have armrests, which I need because I sit like a gremlin)…and within like, a week of being in the new place I slipped on some wet stairs and banged up my leg real good. I had to bail on a dance performance (which I felt terrible about), but thankfully I didn’t break anything. Remaining unpacking slowed down, and I postponed trying to sell the futon so I’d have a place to elevate my foot. It’s pretty much all the way better now – only a little bruising and a tiny bit of swelling left, though I’ve got another little scar for the collection from some friction burn on my knee. And I did manage to sell the futon, so I’ve been rearranging furniture and actually setting up my decorations. The last thing on my list is to figure out how to hang all my art, and then it’ll almost be like I live here!

    Work has been, honestly, a bit of a struggle recently. Since we got our offices back, I’ve been really trying to avoid working from home as much as possible because I don’t have a separate “study” in my home anymore so there’s less ability to compartmentalize my space. But on the other hand, the department redistributed grad student desk space so my lab has about 1/3 the office space we used to, and all the desks are shared between people. So figuring out how to balance everyone’s routines for using the office and trying not to monopolize the desk if my desk partner needs it too has been…interesting. It’s meant that I’ve been tending to get to the office mid-afternoon and stay later into the evening, which is fine for my work style but meant that I didn’t go grocery shopping for almost a month because my schedule stopped being compatible with the bus schedule. So that wasn’t great. And to really pile on, some really nasty sleep problems cropped back up in June and it’s taken until about this week to start to get a handle on them again…so that didn’t help.

    Also just…since the beginning of the year, I’d pinned a lot of hope for feeling better/less stressed on having my office back (and especially in the spring, on moving to my new apartment). And like, I do feel a bit better I think, at least not having two big things quite so up-in-the-air, but not as much as I’d been expecting. So I’ve made an appointment with the university counseling office. It’s definitely one of those “the best time to do it would have been when I started feeling like there was a problem, but the second best time is now” sort of situations. But my appointment is Monday, and I’m hoping it helps.

    And hopefully now I can be a little more active on here again…I’ve been lurking on the forums, but it’s not been quite the same and I’ve missed it here!

  • Tinker

    Member
    October 23, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Hello friends!

    It’s been about another month which feels…fake.

    Starting right up where I left off…I did have that meeting with the counseling office, but it turned out to be more of a screening to see what kind of services would be the best fit. It was good, in a way, because I’d been telling myself I was being dramatic about some things and whoever I ended up speaking to was going to pretty much tell me that. But they didn’t do that, which was nice…but then it was about 3 weeks until I could get an actual full appointment after the screening. So…less than ideal. That’s happened now though, and it went better than I thought it would. Unfortunately, the school counseling center doesn’t have the resources to do long-term individual counseling so I’m in the graduate student group program for now, and once I get a little further in that I might start looking for individual help off-campus.

    In happier news, I got to go home for the first time since the start of gestures broadly at everything. Which also meant going to the shore for the first time in two whole years (too many years). My family’s preferred shore town was originally built as a Victorian resort, and a lot of the old houses and inns were preserved, so I did very much feel like an elderly Victorian person going to the seaside because “the sea air would do me good”. But it did, so I’m embracing that aesthetic.

    image

    Work’s been busy but a bit better since getting back. Sleep’s bad again, but I’m working on it so hopefully when I remember to post in a month, I’ll have good news!

  • Tinker

    Member
    January 19, 2022 at 6:59 am

    It’s a new year and surprise! I’m still a disaster! It’s been a long time since my last post and I feel like so much has happened but also October could have been yesterday.

    I think in a lot of ways I feel better than I did when I last posted…sleep is still less than ideal, but I’m trying my best not to beat myself up about it because, spoiler, that doesn’t help. I’m also letting myself take steps to help feel less bad generally, and I’m trying to give myself time to start doing things that will just make me feel good. In November, I started a pottery class at the local art museum. I did pottery in high school, but wasn’t able to keep it up through undergrad (an engineering schedule isn’t super conducive to taking studio art classes for fun). I had been thinking of taking this class in 2019 but it was sort of expensive and then…ya know…2020 happened. But the museum opened classes back up and I really needed something, and it has been amazing. I’m continuing with it this month too, and hoping I can keep swinging the finances so I can keep going. The people are amazing, and it’s so good to be back in a studio.

    On a more…mixed note, something came up literally the day before I flew home for the holidays that’s been weighing kinda heavily on me. It’s not really a bad thing (though it felt like it at the beginning), but it’s been occupying most of my brainspace for the last month. Big picture, I’m going to be fine, and once all the pieces fall into place and I have a plan that I can be genuinely excited about, I will report back! In the meantime, I would appreciate any good vibes you can spare.

  • Tinker

    Member
    May 6, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    I’ve been thinking about how long it’s been since my last post here, and while I’m not 100% ready to share anything too in-depth I wanted to check in. Things have mostly been “a lot” since the start of the new year. A lot of bad, a lot of stress, though on the road to “better”…but hopefully in the next two-ish months there’ll be some good that comes out of all of it that I can share.

    All this to say, I’m still alive and here and very excited for things to come!

  • Tinker

    Member
    September 2, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Hello Mounties!

    So…it’s once again been months, and many many things have happened. I’ve been a little (very) cryptic in my last few entries here, but now that things are done I think I can finally share – At the beginning of the year, I had a major change in degree objective – switching from a PhD program to a Masters program, with the goal of finishing in the summer. January through June were pretty much a blur of research and experiments and writing to get a thesis together and defend it, which I did on June 30th. At the risk of being cryptic again…it’s also been a very mixed bag of emotions…the process put some things in a different perspective for me and generally I’m just glad to be leaving that behind. I’ve had so much support though, since I first started telling people what was going on, and I’m so grateful for that.

    I graduated with my Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the beginning of August, packed up my entire life into a storage unit, and am home with my family while I job search. I’ve been taking the time to focus on some health things that I couldn’t address in the last few years – sleep problems, bad brain times, etc. I’m getting back in touch with hobbies that bring me joy, and spending time at the shore and I’ve submitted my first set of job applications!

    I’m so excited for what comes next, and I’m especially excited to share it with my Mountie fam!