Catastrophe Rising

"I'll carry your world"

Category: Misc

A Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

I’ve been inspired by bloggers like Pauline and Georgie and their letters to their younger selves and I thought I would do something similar. When I was 13 (about 7 years ago), I was going through a very hard, awkward time and I ran to my computer for support. As a result, I got into web design. I was hung up over a boy and life was just…crazy.


Buddy in the Blizzard of 2010, taken almost 7 years ago


Dear Cassidy,

Boy, do I have a lot to say to you. I’ll try my best to stay organized, but you know, we’ve never been good at that.

First off, I’m going to say this. Forget about the boy with the shaggy blonde hair that currently holds your heart. No one at that age has their shit together, especially 13-year-olds. You can’t expect anything to last at that age so save yourself the trouble, pretty please. You’ll only regret it later.

Your curiosity for computers is growing, keep it up. Because you’re going to major in it and it’s going to challenging but it’ll be awesome. You’re already learning stuff that you won’t see until your second year of college

You’re really insecure about yourself and that’s ok. You’ll learn to see how amazing and awe-inspiring you truly are and you’ll eventually be comfortable with the person you are.

You want to fit in with the popular crowd but honestly, you’re waisting your time. Think if it like this: you and all of your classmates are a bag of trail mix. You have the pretzels, the nuts, the M&Ms, etc. This popular crowd that you’re tying be a part of: they’re a bunch of nuts. You are a pretzel and no matter how much you try to convince the nuts that you’re a nut too, you won’t magically become a nut. You’re a pretzel and although you might be overwhelmed by the amount of nuts in your bag or trail mix, you need to embrace your inner pretzel.

To put it in simplest terms, no matter how many shirts you wear from Aeropostale, Abercrombie and Fitch, and the like, you’re still going to be Cassidy. Nothing you do will change that. So it is better to just embrace the fact that you’re different and not waste your time changing yourself so that you can gain approval from others. Like Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true”.

You like to read and that’s good. Never underestimate the power of a good book. Especially at your age. A lot of times you’ll look to them to feel less alone and you’ll find lots of information about how to go about this crazy thing called life.

You’re looking to the future in order to find the relief that you need, to know that everything’s going to be ok. And it will be. You’re going to go through a lot of hard times in the next couple of years. You’re going to cry a ton. But on the other side of it, you’ll be stronger. Just hang in there.

Don’t forget to remember the little things. Although this shaggy blonde boy is breaking your heart, remember that you still have friends. Love them for as long as you can and don’t let them go. I wish I could say that those friendships will last into college, but they don’t.

One last piece of advice: although you may want to escape into cyberspace and never come out, don’t. You’ll learn later on that the world isn’t in a computer but  out there (*gestures outside window*) waiting for you. You’ll live a lot more in the real world than on the internet.

Give Buddy a kiss for me (because he’s gone now) and hug those friends for me, too.




Cassidy Currently: 7th Edition

I haven’t done one of these in a while and so I’ve decided to go ahead and do my first one of 2017. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Prepping for the Spring Semester

My winter break is winding down and I’ll be heading back to school the day after tomorrow (Sunday). Classes don’t start until Tuesday but I’d rather get the 4 hour drive over with so that way I’ll have some free time to catch up with my friends, making sure my Mac is able to connect to the university WiFi, etc.

I’ve really enjoyed being at home and all but I haven’t had much to do and it’s been driving me nuts. I’ll be really glad to finally get on a fixed schedule again.

I’m not looking forward to having an 8 am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays (especially with it being winter). I guess I’ll have to start back with developing a taste for coffee again. ☕️

I don’t know how it is for universities that aren’t in the United States but for most of the schools I know, we have a site extension (usually developed by a third-party) where we can access material for our classes, turn in assignments, see our grades, etc. I’ve been checking the site every day this week to see if my Spring Semester classes will come up so that way I can try to get a feel for my classes. That and one of them is online so I’d love to be able to do some work for it.

CAPWiC Plans

I’m involved with a couple of organizations at my school, one which is the Women in Computing club. My friend (and the club President) got me into it last semester since she knew I was an I.T. major and we’re both in the same fraternity. It’s been really cool to branch out and get to know more girls in similar majors and it’s really given me a sense of community as far as being part of the I.T. Department.

Well, before we left for break, my friend brought it to the club’s attention about an upcoming conference in February called CAPWiC. It’s a conference that happens each year that brings together all the women and girls in computing from around Virginia and Maryland. This year, it’s meeting in Washington, D.C. and after thinking it over, I’ve decided to go!

This will be my first time going to a computing conference and I’m very excited to meet other people and go to workshops and make connections.

Learning Sass/SCSS

It’s not secret that I want to learn as much about web development as possible, and after looking through job listings, I found that a lot of employers (at least in the U.S.) prefer that web developers have skills involving Sass/SCSS. So of course, I decided to watch some tutorials and learn about it.

And after spending some time coding with it, I really like it. I find it makes CSS a lot easier to deal with and saves a lot aggravation. I don’t like that it requires a compiler but a lot of good IDE’s (WebStorm, etc.) have one built in.

I’ll definitely use it for future CSS endeavors.

Effective Time Wasting

So what I have been doing with all of the free time, besides learning new coding languages? Well I’ve been Redditing, watching anime, etc.

I recently discovered how awesome Reddit is. It’s really cool how you can chime in with your opinion and have no one know who you are (except for a user name). I’ve mainly been lurking on Ask Reddit but I’m branching out to other sections as well.

As for anime, lately I’ve been watching Naruto and Death Note, both of which I’ve started and stopped over the past six months. Naruto has been better for days when I’ve head enough of the gloominess that comes with Death Note.


Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I hope you guys had a good week!

Far Over the Misty Mountains…

Hey guys. So a lot has happened since I last posted.

First thing is,  I got a new host. I found out on New Year’s Day that my old host was closing. She apparently sent a bunch of emails but they all went to my spam (thanks Microsoft ?). So I went back and found out that the server would going down on the 31st. So without waisting any time, I started to find a new host.  I was hoping to find someone that could host me for free like my old but I’m getting used to the fact that free domain hosting is rare and not widely offered. So I decided to go ahead and pay for it. After doing some research, I decided to go with OfBlue. I’ve heard a lot of bloggers say great things about it and since Nancy is one of the girls who runs it, I decided that it would be the perfect new home for Catastrophe Rising. And their customer service has been absolutely amazing.

Anyway, as you can tell, my new theme is up! I’m so happy with the way it turned out. I had a few issues with CSS as far as links go. I used Underscores  as a framework for the theme but header image and design are all me. Plus, I was able to figure out how to format the comments so they look a lot better than those in plumquotes.  The bad thing, I wasn’t able to make this theme responsive due to a lack of skill and so I’m kind of disappointed; I really want to improve my adaptive web development skills and so far, I haven’t learned anything from my classes. Hopefully I will at some point.

I definitely like this theme better than the previous one. After showing my Web Programming professor the theme, he gave me a bunch of constructive criticism that I took to heart. So throughout the design process, I had his voice in the back of my head and I was imagining what he would say about certain aspects of the theme. I think he would say this one is an improvement. I’ll have to show him when I get back to school.

Anyway, this theme is called Misty after the name of the color scheme that I found on Pinterest. The title of this blog post is excerpt from the song in The Hobbit because I’m such a geek and I have a hard time thinking of the word “Misty” without thinking of “Misty Mountains”. ? ?

Unfortunately, during the move, the WordPress back up lost all of my images and other media so many of the earlier posts will be missing those images. If certain posts become important then I’ll go back and upload new images for them. It occurred to me that since I started off on, I can go back and get an export and restore some of the images, which mainly include posts from my summer vacations and other excursions.

Building this theme has definitely solidified my goal of becoming a full stack, bad-ass Web Developer and I am determine to gain all the knowledge I need in order to reach that goal.

Anyway, that’s all for now. If you find any errors with this new theme, let me know.


My 2016


So obviously it’s the last day of 2016 which means it’s time to do a bit of reflection. I don’t plan on doing anything crazy tonight. I’ll probably just eat lots of pizza and cheese bread ? with one of my best friends, before watching movies and then finally ringing in 2017 by watching the ball drop in New York on t.v.


While there may have been a series of unfortunate events that 2016 brought with it (the deaths of many icons in the entertainment industry, the election of Trump, etc.), my 2016 was pretty awesome.


A year ago, I was having a lot of emotional trouble. I had basically failed one of the basic classes in my major and I was really mad at myself for that. I had set really high standards for myself that year and I was so frustrated at not having lived up to those standards. As a result, I took it out on people who didn’t deserve it and it left some important relationships in need of repair.


This year, however, I was able to pull myself out of that rut and I was able to get back on the path toward graduation. And in the process, I repaired those damaged relationships and I grew stronger. And I was reminded that I’m only human and that it’s ok if I don’t meet the standards I set for myself. I just have to make sure I don’t lose sight of my overall goal.


Finally, after a 6 year hiatus, I decided to return to the blogging world with a new name, new insight, and new goals.


Top 5 posts from the year:

  1. Hello World!
  2. Day 1: Savannah
  3. Day 2/3: Apalachicola, FL
  4. The Lost Girl turned Web Designer
  5. Motivation: Jump start on the Future


These are just my favorites and I would love to hear of any blog posts that you liked.


I’d do a play by play for each month but I hardly remember what happened in the earlier months of 2016 and since my blog was non existent at the time, I have no way of going back and looking. So I’ll just list my overall highlights.


Highlights of 2016:

  • I was able to move forward in my major
  • I started my 20s
  • I made a new theme for Catastrophe Rising
  • I made some friends in my major
  • I set foot in the Gulf of Mexico, the third major body of water I’ve seen, after the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Next stop, the Pacific Ocean.
  • I got through one of the most difficult semesters I’ve had so far.
  • I got a MacBook Pro


There are a few things that I hope to try and do in 2017. I hope try and get an internship so I can gain some experience in my major. I hope to learn as much as I can in my future classes. I’ll be celebrating my 21st birthday in May. And finally, at some point this year, I want to do a cross country road trip to Southern California. It is a bit ambitious, I know, because I’m all the way in Virginia but I think it would be really cool to see more of the western United States. I’ve already planned out the stops that I would make to break up the trip and my brother has expressed some interest in going. So that’s something that I’ll try and do in either the summer or during next Winter Break.


Anyway, that’s a wrap on my 2016 blogging. Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2017! ??




Month in Review: December


I’ve decided to go ahead and do a review of the month ahead of schedule so that I way I can post a reflection of the year on the last day of December.


This month has definitely been eventful and it was definitely one of the better months of 2016, at least for me.


My Highlights from the Month were:


  1. Christmas! ?
  2. Getting a new MacBook Pro!
  3. Finally finishing the fall semester
  4. Getting to go home and spend some quality time with my family.


Some Lows from the Month were:

  1. Having to take finals
  2. Not doing as good on some of my finals despite studying hard


That’s Ok because I accomplished:

  1. Getting a B on a class when my professor said it was unlikely.
  2. Getting an A in Web Programming I
  3. Started to learn Ruby
  4. Started on a new theme for Catastrophe Rising


I also:

  1. Started reading Cress by Marissa Meyer (I’m almost finished!)
  2. Picked back up the anime Death Note


Next Month, I’m looking forward to:

  1. Starting the Spring semester (my classes won’t be as difficult) ?
  2. Going back to Radford and seeing all my friends


Next Month, I hope to accomplish:

  1. Publishing Catastrophe Rising’s third theme
  2. Starting the Spring semester off strong
  3. Starting my new job successfully


And finally, a song from this month:



I hope your December was just as good as mine. Keep an eye out for my final post of 2016.