# Having Fun with Ellipsoids!

We are currently working on understanding strange things like ellipsoids and hyperbolic paraboloids and all sorts of strange things like that in my Calc 3 class. It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard, but it is pretty hard to draw these things correctly! This week we got a take home quiz! Thank goodness! I’m posting one example where we are supposed to name the shape and then draw it and talk about the plane sections that intersect it. I don’t know if I’m doing it correctly or not. Guess I will find out!

Basically, how you know it is an equation for an ellipsoid is that an ellipsoid has a standard form for the equation which is basically (x/a)^2 + (y/b)^2 + (z/c)^2 = 1. Now there are many variations on that, so that it might look a bit different, but if it is too different it will be a different shape, like a hyperboloid of one sheet or something else like that. The a’s give you the ellipse size along the x-axis, the b’s give you the ellipse parts for the y-axis and the c’s give you the ellipse information for the z-axis. It is kind of hard to explain in words! lol I guess what you first need to know is that a regular old ellipse is drawn on the x and y axis where the a number gives you information on the number of steps away from the origin along the x-axis and the b number gives  you the number of steps away from the origin along the y-axis. I guess I better post an example.

In the example below #1b, you look at the bottom numbers to give you the size of the ellipse. The x-axis number is 5, so it is five units wide on each side. The y-axis number is 10, so it is 10 units wide on each side of the origin. The x-3 and y-3 has to do with shifting the graph away from the origin up and over 3 units each.

Anyway, from what I can gather, to draw the ellipsoid (not ellipse) like in example 2a, you need to draw the various ellipses that make up the ellipsoid in order to get the final shape, so you set x, y and z equal to zero for three different cases to get your ellipse equations. Blah blah blah. This probably makes no sense to anyone, but I thought I’d share! lol

Hyperbola (top) and Ellipse (bottom)

Ellipsoid Example

# Superhero Cats!

This is my latest cat project. I’m working on two superhero cats for two different little boys. I’ve finished one of the big cats and two baby cats, but I still need to make the capes for the baby cats. Update: I finished one baby cat cape! Adding pic now. :) I got the supercute superhero fabric from Hawthorne Threads. (Here is a link to the Superhero Fabric) They have some of the best fabric around in my opinion, but I am also glad that the Joann Fabrics near my house has a big selection of fleece! :) If you click the pics you can see an enlarged view. :)

Baby superhero cat with cape (front view)

Baby superhero cat (back view)

Superhero Cats!

Superhero Cats in Production!

# Mental Health Update: Monday, May 28, 2012

I thought I’d do a little mental health update, since it has been quite some time since I’ve blogged about my overall mental health. As some of you dear readers may know, I have schizophrenia. I first had issues with it when I was about 15. My first hospitalization was when I was 16. Towards the end of 2000 I got mostly stabilized with my Haldol injections and Zoloft. I haven’t been in the hospital since then! Yay! Quite a long run I’ve had and I hope it continues! For quite some time I had problems getting things done, being motivated and feeling down…that sort of thing, even though I was mostly fine. I think it was last year that I started taking Abilify and it has made a HUGE difference! I’m still taking Zoloft, Buspar, Haldol and some non-psychiatric meds in addition to the Abilify, but the addition of the Abilify was great. I’m doing really pretty well these days. Sometimes I have anxiety, although I think it might generally be related to performance issues with school. I also tried taking Topamax to help with weight loss, but I thought it might be making me stupid and giving me more anxiety, so I quit taking it. I think overall, the Topamax was not helping. It seemed like I was becoming less motivated and more sad with it. I also had that bad anxiety day that I wrote about recently.

So, I think I was just hoping for a magic weightloss bullet with the Topamax. It didn’t work. Boo. I have lost about 90-100 pounds though which is good, but I still need to be less sedentary. I’m also a believer in fat acceptance, but of course it is hard to say that I never want to try to lose weight. I would be an even bigger believer in fat acceptance if I wasn’t actually fat I think!!! hahaha. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is kind of true. I can accept the hell out of everyone’s fatness, but my own! lol.

Anyway, enough about fatness for now. What I want to say is that I’m doing well on the whole. My sleep patterns have improved with my sleep apnea machine, and while I’m not sleeping on any kind of normal schedule yet, I’m getting sleep every day and mostly at the same time! I still tend to be somewhat paranoid, but I’ve found that opening up with people over the years on the internet has really helped me to realize that I don’t need to be afraid of everyone in the world. I still have some delusional thoughts that blow through my brain now and then, but I consider them to be more of a slight annoyance than a big deal right now. But seriously, it is because of the medicine. If I wasn’t taking my meds, and doing so faithfully, I would be in and out of hospitals and massively psychotic. Some people don’t believe me, because I “seem so normal,” but I have to wonder what THAT means anyway? And, I don’t know, it seems like I should be insulted when people say that to me, but I’m not sure why I find it so insulting! I don’t necessarily want to be abnormal, even though I pretty much am, but I think it just bothers me that people attach a kind of value judgement to the term “normal” as if “normal” is superior. It is definitely easier to live in the world if you are “normal,” but it isn’t the only way to be in the world, that’s for sure. Normal is just such a peculiar word, no?

So, I’m doing fine. Some anxiety here and there, some weird thoughts here and there…a depressed mood now and then, but mostly just good. Which is nice. Thank you meds and thank you lucky stars! So, that’s my update after living with schizophrenia for 24 years. Wow! 24 years! Man am I getting old!!! LOL.

# My Very First Skirt Alteration!

My new skirt!

So, I had this long, black skirt that I rarely wear and I’ve been itching to use some of my fabric designs, so I decided to shorten my skirt a bit and add my fabric (http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1125222) at the bottom of the skirt! For a total newbie, I think it turned out pretty well! I’m quite excited to wear my new skirt now!!! :) Yippee!!! :)

# New Calculus Fabric Arrived Today!

More Calc2 Fabric

Orange Chevrons with Balloons

I made another Calculus fabric through spoonflower (http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1187406), because I was so excited about my first Calculus fabric. Well, the material arrived in the mail today! How exciting!!! I also got my design of balloons on orange chevrons, but I have to work on perfecting the chevrons and getting it how I like it. So fun to get fabric in the mail! :) Click the photos for a larger view. :)

# Yellow-Backed Calculus Pillow

Calculus Pillow

I just finished making my yellow-backed Calculus pillow. It has soft fleece on the back and my Calculus fabric that I made on the front. Here is the link for the Calc Fabric: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1147427. It took a lot of stuffing to fill it, and I probably should have made it with an insert instead of filling, but meh! I love it anyway! Should help me get comfy when I need to do my Calc homework! haha. And yes, it is made from actual Calculus homework! :) Yay!!!

# It Is About Math and Cats People! LOL

Yes, my life is all about math and cats. Here is another cat I’ve finished making. This one is for a friend of mine who likes green. :)

I have one cat for sale in my Etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtByKristinBell.

And I’ve made a new Calculus fabric out of my math homework and uploaded it to spoonflower.

Here’s my shop on spoonflower: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/kristinbell

OMG I was so excited when someone bought one of my fabrics! You have no idea how thrilling it is!!!

I’m quite a boring person…obsessed with making cats and doing math homework! hehe. Thank god the anxiety has calmed down quite a lot, so I can go about my business and get stuff done!!! What a relief! :) :) :)

# Terrible Anxiety

Sometimes I get terrible anxiety that I can’t seem to make go away. I try my usual coping mechanisms like eating (bad idea), and obsessing on the computer (bad idea), but those don’t help. Sometimes I plop down in bed and try to relax my way out of the anxiety. It probably doesn’t help that I drink a lot of coffee, but I really feel like the coffee doesn’t do much to me. It feels more like a different kind of anxiety than a coffee-induced jittery type anxiety. Lately, I’ve tried focusing my anxiety into doing productive things like making cats and cleaning and doing homework. Sometimes I can harness it and actually get stuff done. Other times I’m too agitated to concentrate. The making cats thing seems to help a lot, because it involves using my hands and my imagination and I can sort of zone out on it. I also have to focus on details which is helpful. I feel guilty that I’m making cats instead of doing my math homework sometimes, but there are times when I just can’t motivate myself to do math–like tonight. I really really need to do my math, but I’m not doing it. So, I could either start on a new cat or just fritter away my time doing nothing. I think I might start a new cat despite the guilt of not doing my homework. I do take Buspar, which is an anti-anxiety medication, but it doesn’t seem to do all that much. I think part of it is that I need to figure out why I’m so keyed up. I know that part of it is that I’m worried about my school work. Perhaps another part is that my parents just came back home after being gone for three months to Arizona and I’m having to go through some adjustment having people back in the house again. It is just an adjustment I think I need to get used to. Anyway. Writing about it has helped a little I think.

# Two New Kitties (Plus Babies) For Friends

I just finished the pink kitties and I finished the purple kitties a couple of days ago. These kitties are going to some very special friends. :)

Purple Pineapple Kitties for Chille

I attempted to make a cape for the little kitty!

Like me, my friend Brandy M. likes pink and cupcakes!

A construction shot!