Take A Walk With Jan #2

Daisies

Daisies in front of the high school.

Today was absolutely gorgeous. This is my favorite time of year, when summer is coming to an end, and autumn is just on the horizon. When the weather is no longer miserably hot, but you can still comfortably wear a t-shirt outdoors. Since the temperature has been dropping over the last week or so, I’ve been trying to take advantage of it by going for as many walks as possible. I also managed to get in a mini workout this afternoon while the baby was taking a nap.

I’m trying, guys! I will be healthy! Eventually.

Anyway, we went on another walk today, and it was fantastic. Of course, no walk that I’m on is ever 100% perfect (I honestly attract the rudest people, I swear), but it was pretty damn close.

We left the apartment a little after 3:00, so most of the high school kids had already vacated the area around the school. The park was completely empty, and peacefully quiet. I brought a large blanket to sit on, and we sat right in the middle of the park, beneath the trees. I bought an apple and some water for myself, some Cheerios for Li, and we had a little photo shoot to celebrate him turning 8 months old in a few days. We stayed at the park for about an hour before heading home to eat dinner. It was so much fun!

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Along with him destroying his stash of Cheerios, I also shared a bit of my apple with him, because who can say no to those eyes? My goodness.

So that was fun. But as we were leaving, some random women had to try and ruin it for us. Now, I know I shouldn’t let random, rude strangers affect my mood… but I’m only human. I did pretty good this time though, it was only irritating for a moment. We got up from the spot we were sitting in, I strapped the baby into his stroller, packed up our little picnic, and headed back toward the main road in the park. I was passing by one of the gazebos, where two middle-aged women had been sitting and watching us, when I heard this:

Lady 1: [loudly] Look at the baby! He’s so little! I miss when Sarah and Emily were that small.
Lady 2: [loudly] Huh, should be wearing a sweater or something though, right? Don’t you think? Hope he doesn’t catch a cold.
Lady 1: [loudly] Oh, no, that wouldn’t be good. She really should put a sweater or something on him…

I should point out that Li was wearing long pants, socks and shoes, and a long-sleeve shirt. He also had a thin blanket on his lap. Not to mention it was 76 freaking degrees outside, and really sunny. Hell, I was wearing a t-shirt and capri yoga pants, and was sweating in the sun. He’s also not a newborn, he’s 8 months old. He can regulate heat better than a newborn. Trust me, I live with him. He was fine. He wasn’t cold at all. Both of these women were wearing heavy sweater cardigans, which they clung onto as they spoke ill of my parenting. I don’t know what temperature they thought it was, but it definitely wasn’t cool enough for my furnace of a son to be wearing a coat of any sort.

This exact same thing happened when Li was around three or four months old, I believe it was back in April. We were walking home from the park, when a woman who was walking her dog approached us and scolded me. Sort of. It was around 68 degrees out at the time, and Li was dressed in layers, since he was still so small. He had a heavy blanket over him, fleece pants, thick socks, a long-sleeve shirt, and a heavy, fleece sweatshirt with the hood up. He was not wearing a hat, because he was so tiny, and we couldn’t find any that fit him without constantly falling over his face. But the sun was shining, and his hood was up. It was not freezing out. Honestly, I was actually worried that he would be too warm!

Lady: Oh, what a sweetheart! He’s so cute.
Me: [smiling] Thank you!
Lady: How old is he?
Me: Almost 4 months!
Lady: Oh. A bit cold out today, isn’t it?
Me: It’s not bad! We’re having a nice walk, we don’t get to go outside much.
Lady: [leaning down to talk to the baby directly] You should tell your mommy to put a hat on you! Yes, you should! Poor baby, you’re going to get an ear infection!
Me: [frowning] Oh. He’ll be fine. It’s not too cold, and we’re almost home…
Lady: [still talking to him] I always put my babies in hats in the spring, don’t want a sick baby. No, we do not!
Me: … Okay, well it was nice to meet you.
Lady: [looks at me finally] Bundle him up next time. Babies don’t like getting sick.

Then she walked away. I was stunned. I was pissed. I almost cried. And then I worried that my son was actually freezing to death in silence and that I was the worst mother ever.

Of course, I was not a terrible mother, and he was perfectly fine.

Not only should she have minded her own damn business, but the fact that she was addressing my baby, talking about me, instead of addressing me, was really… weird. Also, as I mentioned before, she was walking a dog, who was trying to jump up onto the stroller the ENTIRE time that she was harassing me about what my son was wearing. And she did nothing about it.

I came home and bitched about it to Kyle, who was just as annoyed with this random stranger as I was, and had a nice little rant about it on Twitter. I was really angry, haha. I’ve always been a bit self-conscious when it comes to my parenting, being a first-time mom and doing it all pretty much by myself, but I’ve gotten a lot more confident in my parenting abilities (and my insane Googling skills).

If I felt as insecure today as I did just four or five months ago, those rude old women would have gotten under my skin. But I didn’t let them. Because despite the hand I’ve been dealt in life, I do the best I can with what I have, and I’m an awesome mom.

The rude, old ladies of the world can suck it.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

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Dream Journal 9/20/15

I was carrying Liam on my shoulders while walking down a beach. He was a little older, probably around 18 months old or so, and his hair was longer, and had more of a coppery/red tint to it, like my hair gets when I’m in the sun. I looked the same as I normally do in my dreams, a few inches taller, about 50 pounds thinner, longer hair, clearer skin, etc. Basically, didn’t look like myself at all.

The beach looked similar to the beaches from my hometown, but I don’t think that I had ever seen this specific one before, if it even exists anywhere in the world. It was endless, covered in light tan sand, littered with rocks and seaweed, with the occasional shell. Even though I knew it was a beach on the ocean, the ocean wasn’t moving. It looked like an endless lake, sprawling out to the horizon. The sky was a dark gray, almost stormy, but there was no wind. It was really calm, an dark.

We were just walking in silence, except for Liam’s random giggling as he pulled my hair, which made me smile. And as we walked, there were people walking past us in every direction. The further we walked, the more people there were, as if we were walking toward a really populated area. I don’t think it was summer, because there were no bathing suits, just jeans and t-shirts and other normal clothes. No one was talking though, it was just quiet, with baby noises.

The far end of the beach turned into a busy road, and we were waiting to cross the road with an older man, who was talking to me, but I wasn’t listening. He was smiling at me and talking, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying, and I wasn’t responding to him. We crossed the road and we were in a city. Liam was walking next to me now, holding my hand, and we went into a Starbucks (or similar coffee shop, I’m not sure), and we both god hot chocolate. The old man was there, and I was watching him meet with a younger woman, who he kissed on the cheek and sat down at a table with her. Then we left the coffee shop, and it was sunny outside. We were still in a city, but it looked different than from when we went in. Liam was holding my hand, and he had one of his socks in his other hand, and we were walking behind a young, gay couple on the sidewalk, who were arguing about something that I couldn’t hear, but they were both really angry. There were people stopping to stare at them, and then they stared at us walking behind them. It made me anxious.

Suddenly we were back in our apartment, but it wasn’t the same apartment. It was big and bright, with shiny wood floors and big windows, and there were vases with tall, decorative plants everywhere. I was in the kitchen, and Liam was sitting on the counter, eating blueberries while I cooked something. I don’t know what I was cooking, but I was throwing a bunch of stuff into a ridiculously large pot on the stove.

I put Liam on the floor and walked to the bathroom, but I tripped over a pair of boots on the floor and fell. I scraped my elbow, and Liam was laughing, and I felt embarrassed.

That’s the last thing I remember before I woke up.

Thanks for reading.

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan

Hello, friends! I took a nice walk around the park today with Li, since it happened to be absolutely gorgeous outside, and I decided to sit down, now that he is asleep, and tell you guys about a few things that I encountered while out on our adventure. Some are negative, some are positive… well, most are negative.

Okay, all of them.

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Oh, hey, tree. What happened? You okay?

In the background of that picture, you can see the new high school, which has been under construction for months and month and months. While the school itself is finished (it was finished just days before school started), the front and back parking lots are not. The front and back of the school are still blocked off, and are nothing but gravel and mud, meaning that all of the teachers, students, parents, etc. have to park on the street, on the residential side roads, or in the park/field’s parking lot up the street. Because of this massive clusterfuck, walking or driving anywhere near the school at the start of the school day, after school gets out, or whenever there is a football game (like tonight), is super dangerous.

Did I mention there are no sidewalks? Yeah. No sidewalks.

So, on top of the massive amount of cars parked on both sides of the road making it very narrow (because it is usually a no parking area), I swear, the only people who drive on these roads are teenagers, who can’t drive for shit. It is awful. No matter what time of day it is, I almost always get hit by some little shithead who is driving WAY too fast around the curves, and blaring their music. They usually shout something stupid out the window, or make an obnoxious noise. Not to mention, there is a football game going on tonight, so there were kids, teens, parents, the parents from the other team, etc. all over the road. It was awful.

You could hear ‘Bad Blood’ playing from several blocks away.

Which reminds me, if you EVER honk at someone who is walking with a stroller, for whatever reason, you are a piece of shit. This woman honked at me (and the several people around me who were walking towards the park/field area), and it pissed me off. This seems to happen to us all the time. There are NO sidewalks anywhere in this town, so we had to walk in the road. We were all hugging the curb and practically pressing ourselves against the other cars parked everywhere, she had plenty of room, but wanted to be a horrible human being. Thanks, lady.

Moving on.

We went to the park, but couldn’t really stop to rest anywhere because all FIVE of the gazebo/recreation areas were filled with people who were having barbecues or parties, and nearly all the benches scattered around the park had kids climbing on them. We ended up going to the least populated gazebo area and sitting on the opposite side of the people who were there, and sitting at one of the picnic tables so that I could give Li some Cheerios and drink some water. While we were there, a man came over and started talking to me. It could have been a nice conversation, but he ended up being a bit of a creep. Here’s the conversation.

Guy: Hey, that’s a cute little guy you have.
Me: Oh, thanks.
Guy: You guys just enjoying the weather?
Me: Yeah, it’s gorgeous out, so we decided to go for a walk.
Guy: Oh, yeah, it’s good to stay in shape. That’s good.
Me: Yeah…
*awkward silence where the guy stared at me for 30 seconds*
Guy: He must take after you.
Me: What?
Guy: Your kid, he’s cute, he must take after you.
Me: Oh, thank you.
Guy: You’re cute.
Me: Thanks…
Guy: Oh, your ring is pretty. Does it mean you’re married?
Me: Yes.
Guy: Damn, that’s too bad. *wink*
Me: Well we have to go, it’s almost time for dinner.
Guy: You could have a hot dog or something, we have a ton.
Me: No, thanks.

Then one of the girls who he was with started shouting at him about something and I hurried off. I’m sure he was just trying to be friendly, but it was definitely creepy. He stared too long. Thank goodness for his impatient lady friend.

As we were leaving the park, there was a woman sitting on a bench, yelling at a young toddler, probably around 18 months old, to stop playing in a puddle. She wasn’t getting up to get him though. Just yelling to him. He was ignoring her and getting soaked in the puddle, and it was only 68 degrees out at the time! I felt so bad for him. He was just having fun and getting wet, and she was yelling at him. He didn’t know what was happening.

Then we came home and ate dinner. Liam had mushed peas and black beans. I haven’t eaten since I had a few cheesy bread sticks this morning. I’m starving.

Feed me.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Blogception

I’m having some crazy deja vu right now. Weird.

Sorry that I haven’t been blogging much, things have been not so great in my life lately. We’ve been having even more car troubles (it never ends), and now we no longer have a car. Kyle is also in the processing of getting a new job, which will be amazing for us. A lot more money, a lot less hours, and much closer to home. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. More details on that to come later on!

I created a GoFundMe page to help us with our car situation, as we are currently relying on Kyle’s mom, as well a few of his coworkers, for rides. It is not fun. I know a lot of people are against these types of things, so I want to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting us and helping us try to raise funds, whether they donated personally, or shared my posts on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you all so much.

In other news, I finally have a personal Tumblr! Some of you may remember my porn Tumblr, which I recently sort of got back into posting on (not pictures of me, btw, just lots of other fabulous NSFW things), but this Tumblr is all for me, and the stuff I’ve been into lately.

Delicious food things, fluffy animals, nature things, sad quotes, and a whole lot of Dan and Phil from YouTube. Yep. That’s basically what my Tumblr is. I’ve been obsessed with Dan and Phil lately. Oh my god. Just so fantastic. You should check them out!

In other, other news, I’ve been playing with the idea of going vegan for 30 days, or more if I like it. I’ve been looking up a lot of cheap, easy recipes (as I only get to buy groceries once a month, and also can’t cook), and have found some really great ideas. It is something I have been wanting to try for a very long time, but it just never seemed like something I could do. I already hardly eat meat, and love vegetables and such, so it honestly wouldn’t be that big of a change, I think. Giving up cheese will be hardest for me, but I’d be willing to do it if it means improving my health and clearing my skin up a bit.

I’m also going to start running again at night, like I did before I got pregnant, since Kyle will be around a lot more at night to watch the baby. I’ve been missing it.

So, there’s a quick update, for anyone who was wondering what I’ve been up to. I hope to see some more of you over on Tumblr, where I seem to be spending most of my time these days. Time to watch some more Criminal Minds, which we just started over on Netflix.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Why I Chose to Leave WoW

This post is long. Very long. And sad. Apologies.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time, but even now, I have no idea what I want to say. I don’t want to stir anything up, or hurt anyone’s feelings… that is not my intention at all. I get asked all the time when I will be coming back to play WoW, and honestly, I don’t know if I ever will. That isn’t to say that I don’t want to… I just don’t know if I will or not. It is complicated, for so many reasons. And I really don’t know where to start, so excuse my rambling.

Dramatic story time.

Leaving WoW has been very personal for me. While a lot of people chose to leave because of content, or lack there of, I chose to leave for other reasons. I was fine with the content. I do mundane and repetitive well. What I was not fine with, was how the game made me feel, specifically, how it made me feel about myself.

I used to be someone. I used to matter to people. I used to have friends. I’ve been playing WoW since I was 14 years old, and I always had a group of friends to play with. In high school, when I started playing, it was my best friends who got me into the game that I always played with. But within just a few years, we went from sharing accounts, to getting our own accounts, to getting into our own guilds and raiding without one another… but even as we grew apart, I always had new friends in my life to fall back on, even if it was just through a computer screen. I always had someone.

I don’t feel like that anymore.

I’m a long-term kind of person, I guess. The very first guild I ever found myself in was called Defiance. It was a Horde guild on Dethecus. I think they’re still around. I was 14 years old, and this was over 10 years ago, but I can still remember my guildmates’ names. I’m also still friends with a chunk of them on Facebook and talk to them regularly. I remember my GM’s name, and I remember both of his sons. I even remember when his oldest son came out as gay to me, the first person he ever told. I remember my Shaman class officer, and how he and the GM always took good luck bong hits before boss pulls in Molten Core 40. I remember all the gossip. I remember falling in love with a boy, who I dated online for a year and a half, and then traveled to Missouri to meet, and later to Canada to go to school with. I remember everything. I was in that guild for 4 years, before the guild started to fall apart, which was right around the time I was leaving for college. I started playing much less frequently, and lost contact with a lot of good friends.

When I started playing regularly again, about half a year later, I decided to start fresh with a large group of friends as Alliance on Dark Iron. Our guild was called Eternal Fate, and I have some really great memories from there, as well as many friends whom I still talk to. Unfortunately, my relationship and my college life fell apart shortly after my first year in college, and I moved in with that same friend, who then became my boyfriend. He was very competitive, and pretty elitist. I was never as “hardcore” as him, and it made me feel bad whenever we raided or played together, because I wasn’t good enough. So we decided to go our separate ways within the game, which ended up working out. I casually played with this group of friends for a long time, farming mats and gold, helping out raids when I was needed, but it never felt like I belonged. In real life, these people were my friends, and we clicked so well… but in the game, I dragged everyone down, and wasn’t taken seriously. So I left.

I spent some time on Zul’jin, playing as Alliance with a nice group of friends that I had met on Twitter. I got to see a bit more raiding, but the play was a bit too casual for my liking, as I had developed the taste for progression after playing with my last group of friends.

By this time, I had started my podcast journey, which some of you are familiar with. Something Suggestive was just a few months old when I made my way over to Zul’jin, and people were starting to notice me. I gained a bit of popularity on Twitter, booked a few guests on my show, and played the role of guest and guest co-host on several other, larger podcasts. Things felt amazing, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I had friends and belonged somewhere. I transferred my main character, a priest, to Kul Tiras, to play with some fellow podcasters, and left my hunter on Zul’jin where I played her just a little while more before abandoning her, and my old guild.

Kul Tiras is where everything changed, and for the sake of the community, I won’t be naming names, or guilds… but things got bad. I started raiding immediately with a guild that I loved, and people that were even better. I was getting gear, improving my skills as a shadow priest, and making friends. It was great. I moved up through the ranks in the guild, eventually becoming an officer and a huge voice within my raid team. My show was gaining popularity, I was making friends, I was getting gear. Things were great.

And then they weren’t.

My GM and I got into a random, heated debate on Twitter, that all started from a stupid joke. It spun out of control, causing a lot of tension between myself and the GM, as well as the friends I had made within the guild. Two days later, I received an email from my GM telling me that I was being stripped of my officer rank in the guild, and was being put on probation, despite the fact that I had done nothing wrong. In the middle of the day, with a hundred guild mates online, I was demoted. I noticed that people were treating me differently after that. I was being ignored, and not getting invited to raids, despite still being a core member, and good raider. I also noticed that almost all of my “friends” from the guild had unfollowed me on Twitter, and that Ventrilo would get quiet when I joined.

Around this time, my GM’s podcast soared in popularity, as did our guild. The numbers grew fast, and there was a lot changing within the guild. I kept my head down, stopped talking in guild chat, and farmed mats to help the raid, which I was no longer getting invites to. And then I saw other people, new members, being made into officers. And I quit.

In the days that followed, I would read subtweets that I knew were about me. I lost nearly 60 followers within 48 hours, and people started leaving anonymous, horrible comments and reviews on my website and my podcast’s iTunes page. I later found out who was behind all of it, and that they had been saying very unkind things about me, for no reason, despite our past friendship.

I packed up all of my characters, and transferred them to Earthen Ring, where I joined the AIE guild. Best decision I could have ever made. Though I was only there for a few months before my entire world started to fall apart, it was some of the best times in-game that I had experienced in years. I made some amazing new friends, joined an kick ass raid team, and found my voice and my confidence again.

Unfortunately, that ended as well. Incoming real life shit.

A few months after joining AIE, my 4-year relationship came to an end. I was broken up with two days after Valentine’s Day, completely out of the blue, and kicked out of the home that I shared with my ex and our roommate shortly after. The next few YEARS were absolute chaos.

I no longer had internet. Within TWO YEARS I moved 4 times between shitty apartments, and changed jobs twice. I had been fired from my job just as I was being kicked out of my ex’s house, and things were only getting worse.

No job.
No house.
No car.
No money.
No phone.
No internet.

But I did have Kyle. Kyle and I met at the job that I had been fired from. We talked every now and then, but our friendship didn’t really happen until he quit, preparing to move away. After my break up, we started hanging out, and eventually started dating. Blah blah blah, skip to the present.

We have been together for two and a half years. We moved away from that town filled with shitty memories, and now live together with our amazing 7-month old son. Yes, a lot did happen between then and now, but this post isn’t about that. It is about my return to World of Warcraft.

A month before my son was born, we finally got internet. We were both working full-time, and could easily afford it. The day it was installed, I put WoW back on my computer, and jumped back into the game. My two main characters had been removed from AIE, but were back in within a few days. I also transferred my shaman from Dethecus, who had been untouched for years, and leveled her to 90. Unfortunately, my graphics card was shot, which made raiding, even on the lowest graphics settings, completely impossible. I had two years worth of content to catch up on (goodbye farm, hello garrison!), and spent the majority of my time leveling my characters, skills, and garrison. It was fun, until it wasn’t.

I caught up with some old friends, and started to feel like my old self again, until the realization that they had all moved on to bigger and better things set in. They were all raid leaders, big name podcasters, etc., and I was just the old friend who needed up play catch-up. It hurt. I don’t know why I thought that I would just jump back into the game and that everything would be the same as it was before… but it definitely wasn’t. It felt like everyone was too busy for me. I’m sorry if that hurts anyone, but honestly, that’s how it feels.

But then my son was born, and I had ZERO time to play the game anyway. I ended up having to quit my job, and even with all my extra free time, I still couldn’t find the time to log in and get anything done. I sat at my computer, with a baby on my chest, and leveled my battle pets. That’s it. That’s all I could do.

Eventually, I ran out of money, and my game time ran out as well. I had been trying to farm gold to keep my account active, but when you can only play for an hour or two a day, it is hard to get anything to sell. So I let my time run out. It hurts, being gone for so long, and being so excited to come back, just to have it be completely different. To have your friends all move on to bigger and better things.

To be replaced, and feel like maybe you never meant anything to anyone in the first place.

So, that’s why I don’t play anymore. I treated the game like it was real life, and put too much of my heart into it, as opposed to treating it like a game, and it ended up just hurting me in the end. Just like it has in the past.

I lost my most of my WoW friends, I lost my podcast listeners, I lost my Twitter followers. None of this has helped with my postpartum depression. I’ve been a total mess for months and months.

Once you stop being of use to people, you are forgotten, I suppose.

No podcast.
No WoW.
No friends.

But hey, at least I have a cute kid, and some great stories… right?

But hey, thanks for reading and being there, for those of you who are still here. Sorry for being so depressing.

Jan

a.k.a.
Zesprite/Zoastriia/Zuljan

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Supernatural Adventures In The Sims 3

Hello, friends! As many of you already know, I have been taking an extended break from World of Warcraft for quite some time now. I was really excited to get back into playing after having to wait 2 loooong years to get my internet back, but when I was finally able to log back in, things weren’t as great as I had hoped. This, coupled with the demands of being the stay-at-home parent of a very demanding infant, brought me to the decision to continue my break from the game. But don’t fret! I may be back. Some day. Maybe.

So, some of you may be wondering what I have been up to, right? Well, when I’m not binge-watching show after show on Netflix, enjoying a marathon of my favorite YouTubers, or rolling around on the floor with my rowdy 7-month old son, I am usually playing The Sims 3. I love The Sims! I’ve been playing the various Sims games since I was little, and I’ve been playing The Sims 3 for… well, basically since the beginning.

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I have most of the major expansions for the game, and have collected quite a bit of goodies from The Exchange, as well as the online store, in my many years of playing this game. I wish I could say that I owned more of the seriously awesome bundle packs and worlds from the store (Midight Hollow, Dragon Valley, and Lunar Lakes specifically), but honestly, I’ve spent a lot of money on this game already, and don’t intend to buy any new content for a bit… unless someone wants to be really awesome give me access to their Origin/Sims 3 account and let me download your stuff? Yeah, thought not. I haven’t spent nearly as much on The Sims 3 as I have on World of Warcraft (thousands of dollars over the course of 9 years)… but definitely a nice chunk of change. It makes my wallet very, very sad.

Lately, I’ve been playing around a lot more with scenarios and stories involving the Supernatural and the Into the Future expansions. I also toyed around a bit with the University Life expansion and found it fun. I love the Supernatural expansion the most, for obvious reasons. Witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies,  faeries… what’s not to love? I would have to say that my favorite Supernatural characters to play would be witches. As you level your magic skills, you can do things like conjuring poison apples, blasting things with ice or fire, casting some neat curses and charms on Sims, and eventually… raising zombies. Pretty cool, right? It also comes with new skills, such as alchemy, which are really fun as well.

I should preface the following by telling you that I’ve always been really awful when it comes to using cheats in The Sims 3… if the cheat exists, I’ve probably used it at least once… if not 1,000 times. But as many of you know, when you enable and use cheats in the game, you have a much higher chance of corrupt save files, glitches within the game, and your game unexpectedly closing. All of which really suck when you’ve been spending an hour or more building a mansion and never took the time to save. Believe me, it’s happened to me many, MANY times. After losing and breaking games that I had put so many hours into, I finally decided to start a game using no cheats… except for teleporting. Sometimes. It’s kind of a must have for me, haha. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun! In the very beginning, I enabled the roommates option, which you can get in the University Life expansion, to help with living expenses and cleaning while I focused on making my Sim be the best she can be.

My “main” Sim (pictured above) is a badass redhead with dreadlocks and freckles, as well as a love for books, candles, and alchemy. She is also a witch. My Sim has never had a job. Instead, she busted her butt learning alchemy, and became a self-employed alchemist, selling her potions (and extra bits) at the consignment store. I had her complete the chain of events so that she could go to the future, where she obtained winning lottery numbers, and won the lottery. Twice. I went from having almost nothing, to having 1.6 million Simoleons. I built her a massive mansion, and created a few more supernatural roommates for her (I created and placed them randomly in town, then asked them to be my roommates manually so that I wouldn’t have to add them and control them myself).

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My witch now has a few million Simoleons, a mansion with a huge garden and cemetery (with wandering ghosts), 3 other supernatural roommates (another witch, a faerie, and a vampire), and 2 dogs. She has max skill in alchemy, magic, gardening, and cooking… those were really the only ones I was concerned with. When she isn’t training her dogs to sniff out valuable collectibles, throwing potions at unsuspecting Sims, and transforming people into toads, she also enjoys walking around her massive plot of land in sexy lingerie. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t though?

Started from the bottom, now we’re here!

I’ve been having a lot of fun not using cheats. I thought it was going to be a boring drag, but it has been the exact opposite. I enjoy the challenge of not using cheats, not to mention my game runs smoother, and I haven’t had any crashing or buggy issues since I started. You may have noticed that I also play with my graphics ALL the way down… well, that is not by choice. I received this computer 3 years ago from a dear friend after he upgraded, and it isn’t holding up so well these days. All of my drivers are painfully out-0f-date, especially my video driver. So out-of-date, that no updates are even available for my model anymore. Ouch. This is also one of the several reasons I stepped away from World of Warcraft.

So I play The Sims 3 on the lowest settings. It’s not so bad though! It’s been a fun way too kill time when my kiddo is taking naps, or when I’m the last one to go to bed in my house at night. Even if my Sims always look smudgy and pixelated… and gross.

Do any of you guys play any of The Sims games? What are your favorite expansions? Do you ever trap and kill people just for fun? Have you upgraded to The Sims 4? I want to know!

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Resale Woes: 7 People NOT to Be When Buying/Selling

I’m all for saving money. I’m all for making money. I’m not ashamed to admit that lately I’ve been buying most of our clothes and baby items from thrift stores, clearance racks at Target or Walmart, and from local resale groups on Facebook (these are great for baby clothes and items especially). I almost never pay full-price for clothes, unless it is absolutely necessary. Especially when it comes to baby clothes. What’s the point? My son has been outgrowing clothes before he’s even gotten to wear them! But because I enjoy saving money and buying things secondhand, I spend a lot of time on Facebook browsing through various local resale groups, buying and selling used items (mostly baby stuff these days).

I’m fair. I’m nice. I’m accommodating. I’m patient. Because of I am all of these things, you would think that the majority of my interactions with people when buying and selling would be positive, right? No. Nooo. Not at all. I get it, most of us are short on money these days, and we join these groups to save time and money, so that we can take better care of our families. But there are some incredibly rude, inconsiderate people in these groups, who are solely looking out for themselves, and not willing to be a part of the community. Here’s a list:

1) The Re-reseller:
This person is a snake, and I see them all the time. Luckily, most of the Facebook groups that I’m in have strict rules against these types of people, but sometimes they slip through the cracks. For those of you who don’t know what a Re-reseller is, they prey on people who list very cheap/free items (usually posted specifically for people who are in need of them), buy the items, and then relist them back in the group with higher prices. Most of the groups I’m in have rules where you can relist an item you bought from the group, but only for the same price that you bought it at. It’s sad that rules like this even need to be made for groups like this, but, you know. People suck. I should note that there are people who make a living doing this type of thing on eBay, Craigslist, etc., and that’s fine. More power to you. But when you are doing it in a Facebook group for needy families, you’re an asshole. Period.

2) The WIC Fraud Fools:
This one seems to be a touchy subject for people, and it also seems to vary by county and state. In my county, it is against the WIC program rules to sell any formula, food, or baby food that were purchased with WIC checks. This should be self-explanatory. You got these items FOR FREE from a group that exists solely to help supplement families in need, and you then sell them for profit. Sketchy. I see this ALL the time. And the groups I’m in don’t really have rules against it. But, for those of you who are in the WIC program and are guilty of doing this, the rules and consequences are listed VERY clearly in your WIC folder/pamphlet. It is a real offense, and it is called WIC fraud. Don’t do it. Now, this varies by county as well, but there are rules against giving away your formula and food bought with WIC. But it really can vary from office to office. Our local office does allow you to donate your formula to a food pantry, church, etc., but it has to be given away, so you’re not getting anything in return.

3) The Haggler:
I’ll admit that being able to haggle well is a useful skill to have when it comes to saving money, but you really need to know when to quit. This is probably one of the most common types of people I seem to interact with. As I said before, I get it. We’re all trying to save money, that’s why we’re here on these groups. But, while you’re trying to save money when buying used baby clothes, I’m trying to make money by selling used baby clothes. I can not even tell you how many times I’ve had this exact conversation while selling things:

Me: Selling ______ for $4, bought new for $35, pick up only, blah blah blah.
Person: Will you take $3.50?
Me: I’d really prefer to get $4 for it.
Person: Really? It’s 50 cents. What are you going to do with it?
Me: What are YOU going to do with it?
Person: Uhh…
Or:
Me: Selling ___ for $5, ___ for $3, ___ for $4, and ___ for $7.
Person: Will you take $9 for all of it?
Me: Um… no…

So. Irritating.

I can be really flexible, within reason. Recently, I listed a baby swing for $85. After a few weeks of it not selling, I added “OBO” (or best offer) to the post, as well as dropped the price to $75. The first offer I got? $40. I rejected and said it was too low. Her second offer? $42. Seriously? I eventually sold it to a VERY nice lady, who was more than happy to pay $65 for a practically brand new swing, which retails at $160. Done deal.

4) The Vulture:
Luckily, I’ve only encountered this type of person a few times, and in ALL of the groups that I’m in, this type of behavior usually results in getting banned. Recently, I listed a TON of baby stuff on Facebook, including baby clothes, a baby bath, stroller accessories, some shoes, etc. I woke up the next morning to see that several people had commented on various posts stating that they were interested, or asking additional questions. But I also saw this commented on half my posts:

Person: I AM SELLING SIMILAR ITEMS FOR MUCH CHEAPER, SEARCH FOR MY NAME.

Or some variation of that. So, so rude. We are all just trying to sell our stuff and make some spare change. If your stuff really is so cheap, people will buy it. You don’t need to spam other peoples’ posts to advertise it. Why you gotta be like that?!

5) The Unwanted Advice Giver:
I’ve seen this type of person comment on both buying and selling posts. While not against the rules, it is super annoying:

OP: Looking for a Britax stroller!
Person: Britax sucks, don’t get one.
Or:
OP: Selling a Baby Bjorn carrier!
Person: I had one, hated it.

Folks, this is not Amazon. We’re not looking to read your review. All that you’re doing is making it harder for that person to buy/sell the item. Unless you are their mother-in-law, or partner, or they are buying the item for you, lay off with your opinion. Chances are, if they are looking for a specific item, then that’s the item that THEY want, regardless of what YOU think of it. Same with selling. There are people who are looking for things that maybe you did not like. What works for one person may not work for you, and visa versa. So stop it.

6) The Unwilling to Travel:
I don’t drive. The only time I am able to travel to meet people when buying things is on Kyle’s ONE day off that he gets a week, as long as it is within a reasonable distance. But also, because I do not drive, it means that when selling things, I am unable to meet people to sell them the things that they want to buy. I always make sure to specify in my posts that all of the things that I sell are for pick up only in my town. If someone is interested, I message them and ask if they would mind meeting at my apartment, where I would meet them outside. Generally, people are pretty okay with it. It’s just like a store, if you want the item, you have to go and buy it. Right? Right. I know that if I see something I want, but the post specifies that it is for pick up only in a town I know I can’t get to, then I just move on. Sometimes, people really don’t understand thought. Just this morning, I had this conversation with a woman who messaged me about some baby clothes I’m selling:

Her: Interested in buying 3-6 month baby boy sleepers, do you ever come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t, it’s all pick up only. I’m actually only selling those clothes as a lot also, not separating. It’s $35 for the entire thing (both of these things were also specified in the post).
Her: Okay, if I buy the lot will you come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t drive. That’s why it is pick up only.
Her: Well, that’s too far.
Me: Okay, sorry.
Her: How about I give you $30 and we meet in ___?
Me: No… I don’t drive. Sorry.

First of all, her message was wrong for all sorts of reasons. She disregarded everything from my original post. I looked up both of the towns that she wanted me to meet her in, the first was 40 minutes away (where she actually lived, she wanted me to deliver them to her), and the second was 30 minutes away (and she wanted me to lower the price because it was inconvenient for her). That is not how this works, honey. If you really want the stuff, come and get it. Oh, and join a group for YOUR county while you’re at it.

And finally…

7) The Liar:
The worst of the worst. This person flat out lies about the items that they are selling, whether it be condition, brand, size, etc. I actually just went through this myself very recently. I was buying a crib bumper from a woman, and she only sold me one panel of it, which we did not discover until we got home. After two weeks of messaging her back and forth, she agreed to meet me to give me a replacement crib bumper. And she never showed. She stopped responding to my messages. I contacted the admin, who messaged her and was also ignored, and had her banned from the group. So now I have half of a crib bumper, and I’m out a few dollars.

Recently, in one of the groups I belong to, a woman was busted selling VERY damaged goods to people. She advertising that all of her items were in good condition, but the pictures she posted (if she even posted pictures) were from the manufacturers’ sites, and not of her actual items. What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

* Bonus *
8) The (Nearly) Full-Pricer:
It really does suck when you have to spend $249.99 on a crib, knowing that you will never get your money back. I get that. I’ve been there. But people certainly do try. If something is open, missing product, or used, you should not be selling it at full retail price. Ever. If you can’t return it for whatever reason, then I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. No one wants to spend the same price that they could be getting it at in the store, but getting less of the item/poorer quality. Listing a crib that you bought for $249.99 for your child 3 years ago for full-price is just wasting everyone’s time. No one wants to pay full-price (or nearly full-price) for something that has seen poop, pee, spit-up, drool, and teeth for the last 3 years. Heck, it probably also sat in your garage for a little while while you were trying to sell it. So add dust, dirt, and spiders to that list. No. Just no.

The same thing goes with designer clothes. People in resale groups typically can’t afford to go out and buy brand new designer clothes for their newborn, that’s why they are there in the first place. So selling a large lot of clothes and jacking the price WAY up (like $150 for 40 pieces of used clothing) because a few of the pieces are from such and such designer, is silly. Sell them separately if you want that much for them. I see this a lot with Jordan stuff. We just bought a pair of Jordan sneakers for Liam for $10. I didn’t want to spend $10 on used sneakers, but Kyle insisted, because they were Jordans, and $10 isn’t that bad. Ugh.

So there you have it, a nifty list of some of the worst people that you can run into when buying and selling used items on Facebook. Or Craigslist. Whatever you use. Please, don’t be one of these people. If you are one of these people, please know that what you’re doing is not okay, and that you’re a dick.

Thanks for reading!

Jan