[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Wart on September 3rd, 2012, 9:28 am

Before I pass out for the night/morning and forget...

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I took a picture of the moon over by the state fair. Maybe it was because I wasn't wearing my glasses but I didn't even see... whatever that is until after I got home and was going through the pictures I'd taken.


Completely unrelated- I like this
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Wart on September 9th, 2012, 2:01 am

My recent "Project"


Well, as a commission of sorts, a good majority of my time lately has been taken up by a piece that took a heck of a lot more than I thought it would.
Photoshop crashed quite a few times and I'm sure it is very relieved that I'm finished.

At least... Close enough to finished as I'm going to be.

The only class I ever took regarding digital media only touched on basic filters and motion-blurs in Photoshop. My high school wasn't exactly very big on computers and we were lucky to have even that one class available. (That teacher has since been "let-go" and the class done away with, which is stupid)

So essentially everything I know how to do now with Photoshop had to be self-taught. And I'm still learning, so I am by no means anything close to a professional. That being said,

This is the image I've been working on.

The stock photos are all from Deviant Art.
(All of the providers of which have been credited and linked in my original post on the site according to their own rules and terms of use etc. I'm not posting the link to the Deviant post for personal reasons but if you really want to see it and view the linked stock that was used I'll gladly provide it. After all, if you wanted to you would likely be able to hunt it down anyway, whether I like it or not. :P)
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Minerva Agatha Zipporah on September 9th, 2012, 2:48 am

I said this before, but I'll say it again. That is really damn cool, and I wish I knew how to do that.

I need to get me a copy of photoshop and start learnin' me some of that fancy art-leanin'...
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Wart on September 14th, 2012, 8:03 pm

Customers need to have more empathy.

As I'm sure most know the iPhone 5 just came out. As I'm sure most can imagine this means hoards of people who absolutely positively MUST have it. Which I find sad and hilarious. But that's for another day.

My mother works at at&t. Meaning that when you call the at&t help line she's one of those people you end up talking to. And she has been absolutely dreading this week.

When something new like this comes out, the immediate thing that happens is that thousands of customers call and try by any means necessary to see about getting this brand new phone. Many have plans where they can get upgrades after so long, so many will be able to get the iPhone without having to pay full price (or in some cases anything at all). The thing is, many will not. This may be because they have to wait longer to be able to get this upgrade or because its simply not available to them for whatever reason.

So people yell. And shout. They threaten to cut off from at&t and switch companies, some even threaten with violence. They yell at people like my mother as if they represent the entire company or have any power over all of these things. And what can she do? Try as hard as she can to be polite and keep them happy and get it across to them that she is nothing more than an employee. She's told me that in some cases people called her awful things because "You knew this iPhone 5 was coming out and yet you people sold me an iPhone 4 without saying a word" or "You're all just a bunch of Apple terrorists trying to ruin our lives."

And its the same with any sort of industry like this. Waiters get chewed out because of small mistakes regarding their food. Retail clerks get yelled at because some product or another isn't there. Cashiers at a fast food restaurant get shouted complaints because something isn't fresh, isn't served fast enough, tastes funny. God forbid any of these people make a single mistake. I wish people would get it through their head that These are normal people!! Human beings!!! They're employees they do what they're told and if there's some big issues they're probably just as frustrated and stressed over it as the consumer. My boyfriend works at Kmart and sees first hand the kind of ridiculous crap they get from Corporate, dumb decisions and orders that don't make any sense and only make things worse or harder. But these are things out of their control, things that they have no choice but to just go through with and try to make the best of.

I've always made a point to go out of my way to be polite to people like this. Even in elementary school, I was good friends with a lot of the lunch ladies and janitors. And was all the way up into high school. These people especially get a lot of crap and disrespect from students. And some of them seem to deserve it, they're grumpy and rude, but honestly I can't blame them for what they have to put up with. A lot of teachers too. I remember once in my senior year I got held up in class and got to lunch really late, and was in a hurry because I'd have to take it right back to the classroom to keep working, plus I was ridiculously hungry having not eaten anything that day or much the night before. One of the lunch ladies told the one who was serving my food "Hey, give that girl some extra tater tots." And she did. I ended up with a mountain of tater tots on my tray. All because they knew me as the girl who bothered to say please and thank you, and return a "how are you" when I came through.

I still remember the shock on a bunch of janitors faces when I and another student came through with two huge bags of garbage (we were cleaning out the auditorium and people always leave a ton of crap in there) and asked where to throw them out. They offered to go ahead and take them themselves, but we told them we got it and thanked them for telling us where to go. One of those same janitors later in the year went out of his way to go and open the front doors and the door to the choir room when I had to go back and grab a folder I hadn't realized I'd forgotten until looong after school had ended.

Seriously, these people, anyone working in anything service related or otherwise, deserve a lot more respect than they get. And honestly it pays off. People are much more willing to go above their standard job to help someone who they know to be polite. So next time you're out thank the person who checks out your stuff or serves you your food. Make nice small talk. Don't be creepy, let them do their job lol, but even a smile makes a difference. They're people and they like to have nice days too.

And for those who do work in these kinds of jobs, as I'm sure there are many here, I'm sorry. There's some horrible rude people out there and they make me angry. spit in their food.

But know that there are still some polite, respectful people out there. They may be few and far between, but we're here and we're trying to spread the word.
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Paragon on September 14th, 2012, 8:14 pm

I work in tech support/customer services in an electrical retail store, so I know all about this, and just how your Mom feels. I can speak up for everyone in our industry. We get paid minimum wage, or thereabouts, for literally putting up with shit all day. You get the odd genuinely nice customer, and they really make the job worth it, when you successfully help them. But so many people are impatient, bitter, downright nasty, and like to make their own problems personal. You certainly grow a thick skin in my line of work!

And yes, Corporate/Head Office are idiots. Absolute numbskulls. They come up with idea after idea, with no clue about how an actual store works. Recently they've reduced us to skeleton staffing (minimum staff levels) but pile more and more jobs on us. We're at a stage where I have to single handedly run a 3 till cash desk, customer service desk, repair bay, deal with the paperwork and admin, cash the tills and check the safe, deal with complaints, answer phones, and deal with store maintenance. That is genuinely no exaggeration. At least we're busy, eh!
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Minerva Agatha Zipporah on September 14th, 2012, 9:52 pm

First off, I think that anyone who is thinking of buying an iPhone5 should read the undercover report about the working conditions of some of the people who MAKE these phones. The conditions were so horrible that the reporter quit the job early because he couldn't handle it anymore.

As for customer service... sixteen years working in restaurants, I know exactly what you mean. I've been screamed and cursed at. I once had a woman so mad that when the phone lines were busy, she drove down to the store to scream at me in person. One time when a customer misheard the price and thought it wad something different, I had a pizza box nearly thrown at me and was told to "Get the fuck off his property".

And I don't spit in people's food. But, I remember the nice customers and the good tippers versus the mean ones who stiff me. Who do you think gets their food first while its hot? When I have a mean customer I will go out of my way to shuffle their order down to the bottom of the list so it gets taken last, even if they're right around the corner and I'm taking another order to the far side of town before I come back to the jerk.

Good customers also sometimes get free desserts and extras.

Now there are sometimes when the customer doesn't mean it. Maybe they had a bad day, got hassled at work, are sick of dealing with noisy kids, etc. So they say, "I can't deal with cooking, let's order out." And when THAT goes bad too, its just the last straw and they snap. I get that, to a certain extent. But that doesn't excuse either the REALLY nasty people, nor the ones who stiff me every single time I go there.

/rant
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Wart on September 19th, 2012, 7:24 pm

A long while ago I wrote my very first scrap post. It was all about my feelings on the fires going on in Colorado Springs. I didn't expect the responses I got, in fact I honestly didn't expect any responses at all. I simply wanted to get my feelings and thoughts out there. Sure I could have kept them inside and went about other Miz-related business, but I didn't. It's an interesting thing we humans do. We share our opinions, our thoughts, our feelings, things that matter to us with the world, whether through a journal, a blog, or even a scrapbook on a forum site full of total strangers.

Sometimes its kind of scarey. The last verse to one of my favorite songs, Breathe by Anna Nalick, goes
"2 am and I'm still awake writing a song,
if I get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me,
threatening the life it belongs to.
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
'cause these words are my diary screamin' out loud,
and I know that you'll use them, however you want to."

That's the thing about writing things out physically or digitally. Once they're out there, they're out there. You can delete it or rip it out and throw it away, but once it's been seen by someone else... There's no taking it back. You've taken a piece of yourself and you've put it out there for others to see.

And really they can do whatever they like to it. Hack away at it with knives and cleavers. Poke at it curiously. Or perhaps add a bit of themselves to it as well.

Because really we're all of us very different. We come from different places, different backgrounds, with different upbringings and different opinions and beliefs formed by different events or circumstances.

So sometimes, we write about something random, perhaps mundane. I've seen a comic based blog that was simply about some guy's day to day life. He wasn't anything special, he wasn't a spy or a hero or a politician. He wasn't documenting his struggle with some illness or huge problem. He was just some nerdy college kid, going through plain boring life. Even though it seemed kind of boring, it was interesting. He was good at drawing and he had a pretty cool sense of humor. I went through a few of his pages, and when I got bored I simply went onto something else.

One time I ran into this random woman's blog. I vaguely knew her from church but we weren't close in any way. The whole thing was about her family. Pictures and stories, long bragging posts about their accomplishments and her own, and long rants about issues she was dealing with. Frankly it was kind of annoying. I didn't care about her or her family or what they ate for dinner two weeks ago. I didn't care or relate to what I saw as major "first world problems" that she blew up to sound like world-ending deals. I saw comments and contributions from friends of hers or other family members who sympathized with what she talked about and supported and congratulated the things she wrote. I thought "Man, this is stupid. These people have no idea what real problems are, why can't they talk about something interesting, intellectual for goodness sakes. Yeah you have a family big woop thousands of other people have families that wish they could spend time blogging about the things you do."

But then it hit me.

This was her blog. These were things that mattered and interested her. It didn't matter what I thought or what I cared about. This wasn't my blog. What she was talking about didn't encroach on my life. It might have been different if she were pushing the whole thing on me or forcing me to read it all. But she wasn't. It was my choice to even look at it. So I did something so much simpler than going off on my own little tantrum about how I apposed the subjects she wrote about.

I closed the window.

Opened a new one.

And went on with my life.


We're all dealing with our own stuff. People talk about personal opinions and experiences, but those things don't solely define them or their lives. Someone could be talking about something like a shirt they bought that they really really liked. And someone else may see that and think "Wow. You have nothing better to talk about than shirts?!?! You ignorant lucky little brat. I have so many problems you couldn't even begin to imagine, the world has so many problems you obviously don't even realize."

You know. This girl who went to my high school committed suicide a couple weeks ago. The last thing she talked about on her Facebook was a shirt she got at Wal Mart.

Unless you knew her really well personally you'd have no idea the magnitude of the things she was going through at home.

It is impossible to know everything that someone is or isn't going through simply because of something they wrote. I hate the phrase "The grass is greener on the other side." But seriously that's a natural, default mentality human beings seem to have. Unless someone blatantly states some horrific thing going on with them, then they automatically must have it better. Then they automatically must not care about anything else in the world or have any sort of concern with the huge problems that are plaguing it.

My history teacher my senior year taught us something I'll never forget. And that was to be an Open Minded Seeker of Truth. The first step to that was empathy. Try to understand what others are feeling and what they're going through. He showed us video after video about people who had been raped, beaten, killed, driven to suicide, tied to trucks dragged until decapitated. All because of things like sexual orientation. Race. Beliefs. Appearance.

Everyone is suffering. Everyone has something to say. Whether its about shirts, dinner recipes, or a comic depicting a day of missing the bus. Thing is no one told you to listen. If you can't have an open mind and contribute, if you simply don't care, then fine. Don't care. Maybe you think people are whining trying to get attention with problems that don't concern you or the rest of the world. Maybe you have apposing opinions and disagree. Okay great! Share your thoughts! I love having intellectual discussions where differing opinions can be shared maturely. But simply calling out what someone else speaks about, in their own space, on their own time, is nonsense. I said it before in a past post. Its the internet. No one said you had to be here. No one said you had to be on that page. There's a beautiful red x up there in the corner that some designer/coder specifically made, just for you.

Edit: Speaking of recipes, this is my favorite. I'm not a huge fan of almonds, but I made these once for a birthday party and everyone, even the little kids, ate it instead of the cake.
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Cascade on September 19th, 2012, 7:58 pm

Thanks for sharing. Personally, I hate it when people say "your issues are meaningless". But, ironically, when you think someone isn't being open-minded... that's being close-minded to their opinions as well. It always goes both ways. When you judge a person for judging, it becomes an endless cycle. :)
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Wart on September 19th, 2012, 8:03 pm

See I was just thinking about that point so thank you for saying it. :)

We had a joke about that same history teacher, saying that he was so open minded he was closed minded. He used to tell us "If your parents are bigots, tell them to come here so I can call them an idiot." I loved him and the stuff he taught but sometimes it does go a bit far lol.

I hope I didn't sound too terribly judgmental in there, if I did I didn't mean to. If anything I threw myself in there to show I'm guilty of the same kind of judgement as well.

Plus I looked back and realized it was a probably a bit of a paradox to care about people not caring that people care. >.>
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[Wart's Scrapbook] Under the Looking Glass

Postby Cascade on September 19th, 2012, 8:11 pm

A paradox is exactly what it is! :P Heck, I think it's fine to be judgmental. Makes us human. I'd be a hypocrite if I said being judgmental is stupid... because that would just be me being judgmental in itself. See the paradox? Stupid paradoxes!
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