Update: Just Alice, Still Alice

Update: Just Alice, Still Alice

This poor, poor neglected blog.

Alice at the Kanji Museum

This face is a pretty good representation of what I’ve been doing in all the months I haven’t written here: thinking about what to write here. It’s not that I haven’t had content to write about—I still wear lolita fashion (more than ever, actually!) and still flail around in ballet class and still spend too much time musing over my thoughts and the various desserts I’ve set my sights on. (My Instagram account shows a pretty good representation of all the silly goings-on in my life!) I’ve gone on some trips that would be fun to talk about it. I’ve bought clothing and drank tea and basically kept on keepin’ on.

But I think what’ve been interfering have been some internal questions from me about blogging as a whole, as an industry.

And I think the answer is that it doesn’t really matter to me what blogging as an industry is doing. I miss writing and sharing, and as much as I adore Instagram and social media, it simply doesn’t allow for the long-winded descriptions I enjoy so much.

Because really, that’s just what I like. ♥ And that’s the whole purpose of maintaining this thing!

Update: Welcome to PinkMilkTea.com

Update: Welcome to PinkMilkTea.com

Pink Milk Tea

I have really missed writing here. I know I’m not the most interesting person in the world, but chronicling the things I’ve done or writing about topics I’ve been thinking about provides a unique outlet for me. I am looking forward to using this beautiful WordPress setup to do so. It is very different from the options I had with Blogger!

There were a few hiccups moving the content and comments here. If you find something that’s not working properly, please take a moment to let me know.

I wish everyone a wonderful week~ ♥

Update: Crème Puff on the Mend

Update: Crème Puff on the Mend

For the past few months I’ve been at the vet every-other Friday. Crème Puff, the one of my guinea pig pair who has unfortunately poor health, was in particularly bad shape. We learned that he has heart trouble, and that untreated heart trouble lead to edema–in his case, fluid in his cavities and in his lungs. His heart was enlarged from the stress. He had an upper respiratory infection. I spent time and money on x-rays, medications, exams, and tests.

After all those weeks, things have settled down. He’s not 100% better, but he’s well enough that his next check up is in three months rather than two weeks. (After six bi-weekly appointments, I’m ready for a break if he is.) He’s on a series of medications that appear to be working, although slowly. He needs to have his heart ultrasounded, so that’s next up on my list. He’ll be on the medication for life, so that’s a bit of an adjustment. I’ve started waking up just before my husband leaves at 4:30am and giving the guinea pig his morning dose of medicine before collapsing back in bed until my own alarm goes off. (Trying to fit that in before I leave for work makes me feel rushed and frustrated.)

The guinea pigs took a short vacation (with my husband and I as chaperones) to visit my parents and enjoy being spoiled by my stepfather.

Taking my pets to and from the vet makes me feel very stressed, which I think is rather expected and obvious. I’ve been focused entirely on my pet’s health, so I haven’t been dressing up, going anywhere, or spending much time with friends. I felt like I didn’t have enough time or money to do fun things, but I also didn’t feel motivated. I’m looking forward to enjoying my hobbies and activities now that I am no longer fraught with worry about my dear piggle.

I’m very thankful that he’s recovering. ♥ I love my pets very, very much–I always want to keep them happy and healthy. He’s happy, and maybe he’ll get to “healthy” eventually.

Update: Pet-Related Break

Update: Pet-Related Break

At the end of January I noticed that one of my guinea pigs, Crème Puff, had a very watery right eye. A few days passed, and his watery eye only seemed more and more watery. He didn’t seem particularly bothered, but it looked pretty awful. We made him a vet appointment and learned–surprise, surprise–that our chronically-ill pet is sick yet again.

He was sitting in a really cute pose, but when I moved in he decided to try and eat the camera.

He has another URI (upper respiratory infection) and internal fluid build up. He also has heart disease.

He currently has several medications prescribed–an antibiotic, a probiotic, an ACE inhibitor, a loop diuretic, eyedrops, and topical cream.

His right eye is no longer watery and he looks very good, but unfortunately he doesn’t really seem to be getting all that much better. His breathing sounds terrible and the internal fluid has lessened but not disappeared. None of his behaviors have changed; he still eats well, torments the other guinea pig, and wheeks for attention and food. He’s been sick so many times that I fear he is resistant to the antibiotics.

Since the end of January I’ve been making very regular trips to the vet. What should have been handled in one or two appointments is stretching on further than I would like it. I’ll be heading there again on Friday for yet another follow-up, and I wish I could be surer that there would be good news rather than more medications and more check ups yet to come.

I’ve have a few posts that I started writing and didn’t really follow through on, so I’ll try to get some of those posted soon. However, I don’t really expect to be writing very frequently until I’m spending less time at the vet and more time involved in my local lolita community again. ♥

Update: You Can Say That Again

Update: You Can Say That Again

I haven’t forgotten about this place, not in the slightest. In fact, I think guiltily of the fact that I haven’t posted in months on a very, very regular basis. Usually when I’m very close to a keyboard. I chide myself and think, “Bad, bad Alice! You haven’t written anything in so long. You should do that soon!” and immediately procrastinate it away. More than writer’s block, I feel like I’ve had “creative block” since November.

I tried my hand at participating in NaNoWriMo this past November. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve often entertained the thought of writing some kind of work. Not necessarily a novel, but something complete. I’ve started many stories and other writing projects, but other than assignments from school I’ve only ever finished one story. It’s embarrassing to think of how many times I’ve failed at something that is merely a personal goal. I don’t want to be published in any way; I would just like to have a finished product. My husband writes much more seriously than I ever have, with dreams of being a writer. He’s finished entire epics. I thought that maybe if we both participated, some of that determination would rub off on me and keep me on track. I think I fail because I actually get scared of succeeding. Isn’t that silly?

We were actually both doing pretty well when we tried. I plotted the daily targets necessary to hit the 50,000 word goal and worked diligently towards them. I aimed to write a certain amount per day to allow myself a cushion for a few days off if necessary, and it worked. For several days I was well above track, then a few days of no input. I had even managed to make up the “days off” and get back to a word count as if I had worked through all of the passed days at my intended pace. On day 16 I was right on target.

Unfortunately, November turned out to be a month with quite a few unexpected things happening with my extended family. I stopped paying attention to the writing goal when I tried to focus on everything else. Honestly, I don’t really regret this–the other things were much more important. I do wish I could have kept up with both NaNoWriMo and the other important things, but I picked the one that was much dearer to me. When I stopped, I knew that I wouldn’t make the goal at the end of the month. However, I didn’t quite expect to entirely stop most of the creative things I had been doing. I never seemed to catch up after that.

Admittedly, I hadn’t exactly been writing here before November, either! If I’m going to blame something–and I am–it would be my camera. I like having pictures to accompany my posts unless I’m going to write some kind of essay. Photos are fun, particularly for something as visual as lolita fashion~ ♥ In the late summer I finally upgraded my camera to something new; I’d been using the same camera since 2006. I’d been borrowing a DSLR from a friend, but as much as I loved it I wasn’t able to upgrade to one of my own. Instead, I was lucky enough to receive a new point-and-shoot camera as a present. Unfortunately, the camera and I just don’t get along. It isn’t a terrible camera, and many other people are using it without experiencing the intensely frustrating ordeal that I do every time I turn the darn thing on, but the fact that I am makes me never want to use it. I’ve had months to get used to its little quirks (my previous camera wasn’t exactly devoid of odd little “requirements”), and I just can’t handle it. I can’t exactly replace it, because I’m still holding out to get my very own DSLR. (Still saving, little by little!) At the same time, I can’t really live with it. I’m trying, but every time I turn it on I feel like I’m being taunted. I’ve tried going back to the old camera, but I’m reminded that the new camera sometimes behaves and has better focus. So I go back and try again, only to be irritated when every picture I’ve taken is so out of focus, blurred, and awkward that everything on the memory card is trash.

No pictures, coupled with little inspiration, equals no updating. The worst part is that the longer I haven’t updated here, the less and less inclined I am to do so. It doesn’t seem so bad to wait “a little bit longer” when it’s already been so long! It’s really terrible behavior. x_x I’m trying to procrastinate less. I’ve got a new planner and I’m trying to jot things down and check them off. (I do so love checking things off~!)

Oooh, look, an actual picture. This was from a brief moment of collaboration between the camera and I. I’ve become a huge fan of Shinzi Katoh’s design work.

I have so much that I really do want to write about. I haven’t taken a heck of a lot of outfit snaps lately or even in the past few months, but I’ve still been wearing, thinking, watching, enjoying, and purchasing. I wore lolita on the first day of the new year to start it off right. I bought a lucky pack that wasn’t terribly unlucky–usually lucky packs and me are nearly enemies. I’ve encountered many more strangers who actually know in some vague way that what I’m wearing is a fashion, not a costume. I’ve been thinking about the friends I have who have moved on to other styles and how that impacts our friendship when it started in our local lolita community. Those are only a few things that I’ve been meaning to sit down and sort through.

Rather than thinking about doing it or dreaming about doing it, I’m going to actually do it. Starting now. Not really as any kind of resolution for the new year, but because I don’t want to waste any more time. ★

I hope that everyone has had a really wonderful 2011, and that 2012 is even better! ♥

Update: Thank You

Update: Thank You

I’ve been reading through the comments that I received on yesterday’s post, and I have been absolutely floored and really touched by all of the kind words of encouragement and support. When I was writing the post I never imagined that there would be even one note from anyone–after all, I haven’t updated in a while, nor is this particularly widely-read. It’s so reassuring; I am very grateful.

Whether you just left a comment because you enjoy reading what I write, whether you know me on a daily basis, or whether you wanted to speak up because you know how I feel, every word is acknowledged and treasured. ♥ Thank you all so very much!

Victorian artwork used in image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Update: Lolita Not Dead

Update: Lolita Not Dead

With much guiltiness I return to posting here; if I had a tail it would be between my legs like a scolded puppy, despite the fact that I haven’t actually been scolded. I’ve been really terrible about maintaining any kind of schedule of posts this year, despite the fact that I really like writing here. I was posting less frequently because my program was coming to a close, and I needed to focus on my schoolwork before May. When that term came to a close, though, I wasn’t particularly busy with anything, but I didn’t start posting again even though I thought about it a few times.

The truth is that I’ve been somewhat confused about how my relationship to lolita fashion may change; in some ways I’m concerned that I’m getting “too old” for it, although I’d prefer there to be no upper limit on age. I’ve been trying to focus on how it may have an impact on my career. Additionally, I’ve just been somewhat unlucky when it comes to the interactions of random strangers, to the point where I’ve been questioning whether I really want to wear that frilly dress or if it would be easier to just blend in.

I’d like to think that I have more self-confidence than that, but it’s hard to always be so visible. Although wearing lolita fashion gets easier with experience and frequency, there are still moments when you get reminded how difficult it can be to stand out. Rude or threatening comments are inexcusable regardless of what you are wearing, but if you know that you caught someone’s attention because of how you are dressed, you can start to think that if you looked “normal” it wouldn’t have happened.

I haven’t loved lolita fashion any less. It’s still my number one interest, something I hope I can always be a part of, and an important part of my life. I haven’t stopped going to meetups or seeing my friends, but I will admit that I’ve likely gone to fewer of them. I still have worn my favourite clothes…but not as frequently as before. I follow the communities that I’ve always followed, but I haven’t commented very much. I’ve been worried that, for a myriad of reasons, I should be less of a lolita.

Due to that, I’ve been putting off updating, which really wasn’t much of a solution. It certainly didn’t make me feel any better, and it absolutely wasn’t something that I wanted to do. I don’t want to wear lolita any less or have lolita relegated to a lesser position in my life.

So I’m not going to. ♥

Tea for Mr. Milk
For a while I’ll be making my way through a backlog of events, outfits, and other thoughts, so there will be activity in the near future as I do so.

I’m back, and I’ll try not to disappear again~ ♥

Update: Tumblrin’

Update: Tumblrin’

EDIT: I’m still too out-of-touch to really understand Tumblr, at least in the extent that most people seem to be using it right now. I stopped using the Tumblr mentioned in this post, but I have found a use for it that suits me pretty well–I’m trying to take a picture every day this year, and so I’m collecting them on Tumbrl~

I just wanted to share that I’ve jointed Tumblr~

I tried it before, but my issue with the service itself has always been that promotes an atmosphere of uncredited sources. It seems to me that most people are posting and re-posting images and other content that is not their own and that they don’t link back to the source. I think that people have a right to their creative property, and when I see something that piques my interest I want to know who made it. Tumblr does provide a field for source, but it is inconsistently used–most people don’t really care. I know that if someone were re-posting my photos, writing, drawings, or anything else that I’ve made, I’d be flattered that they liked it so much, but also disappointed if they didn’t note somewhere that it wasn’t created by them. I try to extend the same courtesy.

One of the reasons I re-joined, however, was that I realized that this would be a suitable place to share pictures or sketches. I tend to doodle on any available paper, and although I don’t usually turn any of these drawings into “finished art,” it always makes me a little bit sad when I toss them away. My phone has a camera, but it isn’t a very good one, and while the pictures it takes aren’t something I want to add to Flickr, they aren’t completely terrible. Sometimes.

I haven’t really decided what I plan to share on, but I’ve been amusing myself using it as place to collect pictures and links related to lolita fashion, pokémon, knitting, and other things that catch my attention~ You can expect a lot of pokémon at the moment, because Pokémon Black and Pokémon White come out in only 4 days! I am so excited~ ♥ I’ve already fallen hopelessly in love with Minccino (Chillarmy). I can’t wait to add one to my team~ ♥

Do you use Tumblr? What do you use it for? How do you think it ought to be used? I’m very curious! ♥

Original image is from Shabby Blogs.

Update: Hearts Abound

Update: Hearts Abound

I really love Valentine’s Day~ ♥ Even before I met my husband, it was a holiday I enjoyed. I like leaving notes for the people I care about–just a little extra something to let them know that they’re on my mind and in my heart. It’s something that I enjoy preparing for, and I hope that it brightens the days of my recipients~

I’m at work today and I have class this evening, so my ability to really go over the top for this year is somewhat dampened. I exchanged gifts and cooked a fancy dinner with my husband last night, and I’ll be attending a Valentine-themed party over the weekend, though~ I’m going to get in as much fluff and love and hearts and ribbons and bows and happiness and cheer as I can manage for this year!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful day today~ (Even if you don’t do anything “Valentine-y.”) I’m sending my love and best wishes out to everyone~ ♥

Old-fashioned artwork used in image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Update: Christmas Wishes

Update: Christmas Wishes

I’m a little bit behind on posting and adding new content, but that’s something I rather expect during this time of the year. It’s busy at work, my courses are wrapping up for the break, and there’s simply so much-so much-soooooo much to do for the holidays! I’ve been knitting constantly; during the commute to work, while waiting in line at the post office, as I wait for cookies to bake in the oven, and during Christmas movies. It worked out just in time–everything was ready for its recipient on Christmas day.

I had a wonderful Christmas with all of my loved ones, and I hope that everyone else was as lucky or much luckier. I know that my holiday wishes are a bit belated, but I tend to side with “better late than never” rather than “too late.” Even though it’s over now, I’m still full of cheer and good spirits–probably enough to last me for a while~

I hope that everyone else is having a lovely holiday season, regardless of what or how you celebrate! I’d like to think that it’s the season to be merry no matter what~

And a new year is quickly approaching! I wonder what it will bring? ♥

Victorian artwork used in image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.