::: paeneultima ::: create ::: 

 19 October 2019 - Ascendancy 

file under:  writing 

Welp, I have officially turned in all of my paperwork to transition from "doctoral student" to "doctoral candidate." The only step left is to become "doctor."

I have felt super sick the last 2 days, but then I started my period AND ALSO I've been taking some meds without water (even tho the label suggests copious water) so clearly I've done this to myself.

Things at work are frustrating, but it's the kind of frustrating that I can either allow myself to be frustrated about or just work through it. It's not terribly inconveniencing, just mildly, so my reaction is all really on me. (I've been in situations where it was all bullshit, and my massive reaction was warranted, so I feel comfortable labeling this as definitely Not That.)

Completely unrelated, and much more positive:

I bought myself a Jazzmaster this week. It's ~just~ a Squier, but it's a Classic Vibe and has all of the specs of a mid-range Fender and it is NICE (sometimes you pick up a guitar and you can just tell you're getting more/less than you're paying for and this is definitely in the MORE column). It's Olympic White, which I think is incredibly dull, but at least it isn't black! (Black guitars are the most boring, IMO.) It has a beautiful tortoise shell pick guard, and I got a lovely avocado green strap for it.

I also picked up an Earthquaker Gray Channel pedal. I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally love fuzz, and while this is technically an overdrive, the green channel on the germanium setting is fuzzy af. Like, peak!Siamese Dream fuzzy. It is so good. I love it.

Olympic White lefty Jazzmaster with Avocado Strap
Earthquaker Gray Channel Pedal

 18 October 2019 - Grifters & Liars 

file under:  writing 

I am always amazed at the lengths that people will go to for a grift. I mean, I guess I get it from an economic standpoint; you are poor and you don't want to be. But I also look at all the people they're bilking and I just think they're monstrous. They are not operating in a vacuum. They are gaslighting and manipulating people in pain in order to be disgustingly wealthy.

I am speaking in particular about all the woo grifters; in particular the Long Island Medium. How this woman turned a massive con into an empire isn't suprising, but it is nauseating. Spirituality grifters are the most foul of them all.

I did find myself wondering aloud yesterday just how much money she'd have to offer me to go on teevee and pretend to be emotionally devastated by her lies on broadcast television. The answer is probably about $250,000. That would cover my student loans as well as the costs of moving out of this country and settling into a home that I would then not owe payments on.

This also makes me a part of the problem. Because I would be perpetuating her lies and her pernicious feeding on the open emotional wounds of others.

Capitalism is a fuck.

In other news, I got into a heated argument with a coworker about the not-at-all subtle white nationalist shooting range on the edge of the city. I'm not linking to or naming them here. Just know they use that classic white supremacist double-8 in their name.

I have a tremendous migraine and I'm having a quasi panic attack thinking about some paperwork I need to finish for school even though it is 100% not a hard thing to do. I did my classic distraction practice and downloaded a fucking idle game again even tho I know better.

I just need to remind myself that being a mess is more work than just getting the work done. Come on resolve, let's kick into gear.

 17 October 2019 - Dig Dig Dig 

file under:  writing 

Hello my poor, neglected, online journal.

I don't even know what happened.

Okay that's not true, I totally know what happened. I fell into that despair pit where I downloaded like 10 idle games on my phone and spent every waking moment making sure I was distracted so I wasn't thinking about anything. I even knew what I was doing when I did it, but I did it anyway.

As compared to the past tho, it only took me a week (10 days) to get over myself and re-delete all of the games and try to make sure that I was trying to be in the present moment.

I still struggle to find balance. I'm more and more seriously considering "downgrading" to a simpler phone all the time. I am pretty sure that when I'm done paying off this one that is what I'm going to do.

I can either allow myself to fall into pits of distraction, or I can do something about it. So I'm doing something about it. That makes me feel powerful; or at least in control. And I like that. I would like to get a LightPhone. It should be available on the regular market by the time this contract is up. I just wish I could get it supported through Credo. Heck, maybe I can?I should call and ask them.

Today is day 2 of parent teacher conferences, and it only just started and I'm already exhausted. I've got a cold sore and I'm trying to be diligent and take my Valtrex 5/day so that it gets gone faster. I've taken 3 so far, so I am doing a good job. I figure another at dinner and then one before bed and I'll be good.

All that being said (and it was a lot) I am actually feeling pretty good. I have to attribute at least some of this feeling to the fact that I typed up this entry. Isn't that weird? Ha.

Anyway, I'm going to work on some stuff for my doctorate, and in the mean time I guess I'm just gonna look for a game or something to play on my computer so that I'm not bored. I don't feel like breaking out a paper journal right now. Mostly because I don't want anyone to walk away with any of my fancy, erasable pens.

So I'm gonna try really hard to be more consistent here. I felt really good in September, and I know part of that was checking in here regularly. So here's to me and taking care of myself.

 09 October 2019 - Death Month 

file under:  writing 

I try so hard during October. If you look at my entries from last year you notice that there's a pattern. September and even August are pretty strong. Then I fall apart in October and who even knows what happens in the 10 intervening months.

This is a season of dying and encroaching darkness and it is just so hard for me. I do not like it. I do not want it. Every year it is harder.

I DID manage to send 2 very important emails this morning, and I'm pretty proud of myself for that. I also need to put together a schedule for completing my dissertation proposal, and my eye is on the end of December as a finish date. I'm going to work on that later this afternoon.

I also need to work on my living space not being in disarray. Key signs to my unhappiness are always untidiness, procrastiation, and a penchant for distraction. I am recognizing these things and rather than being mad about them I am trying to work through them.

The biggest test will be the cross-pollination of October and hormonal upheaval later this month. This is it. This is going to be the time, the FIRST time since I was 14, that I am going to prepare myself for the emotional tumult rather than waiting for it to befall everyone and wonder why the fuck this is happening.

I can do this.

 02 October 2019 - Best Laid Plans 

file under:  writing 

Stuff at work is so frustrating. Not my workplace directly, but from the folks who have dominion over what I specialize in. I tried really hard to do this first unit the way they wanted it done and IT FUCKING SUCKED. I can guarantee you if you asked any of my students what they learned in the last 2 months they'd say, "Nothing" and they'd be right because what we were given to work with was trash.

So I'm not following their garbage guidelines anymore. I'm going to do what I need to do to prepare them for high school and it's going to be fine. I can't waste an entire other quarter running myself ragged while teaching them absolutely nothing. No thanks.

I'm looking at the next unit of stuff and it's trash. Mine is better. Mine they actually learn from. So fuck it.

 30 September 2019 - Upon 

file under:  writing 

It's upon us again. That horrible time of year where the shrinking of daylight hours couples with cooler temperatures to end the seasons of living and move into the seasons of dying.

I am trying so hard. I am always trying so hard. I am just trying to stay afloat. It is so hard.

I want to live in a place of eternal summer. Eternal sunshine. Eternal warm embrace of life-giving sunlight.

I don't know how many more years I can do this. This cold. This loss of light. This loss of life.

It is so hard.

When will it be too hard?

 26 September 2019 - Distract 

file under:  writing 

I got my flu shot yesterday and I spent half of today wondering why I felt so groggy and out of it. Ah, the price of moral superiority, but also ensuring our herd immunity remains intact.

I hate having my period. Though it did occur right at the nadir of my emotions and maybe I'm not so much bipolar as I have really bad PMDD. Who can say? Either way I know that it's a thing I need to get under control cos it's annoying and exhausting.

I tried watching part of the hearing regarding that orange ding dong and his call to Ukraine's president earlier this morning. It did not do much to improve my mood and I'm trying really hard to be better about my mood. I am walking this tightrope of wanting to be informed while knowing that diving too deeply into the news cycle just deepens my own anxiety and anger, both of which are clearly things I'm trying to step away from. I don't really know what the solution is. Trying to find a balance is hard. Who'd've thunk it?

In POSITIVE AF NEWS: I PASSED MY COMPS. My literature review for my doctoral thesis is done barring some edits my committee would like me to complete. But like, that's 1/5 of the damn thing and that is really really exciting. Next week I find out what is in store for phase 2.

 23 September 2019 - Pushing 

file under:  writing 

The A/C in my room at work isn't working, which is...not ideal? I'm trying to just tough it out because it's gonna be cold out soon and then it won't matter. The heat seems to be working fine.

In other news, I'm supposed to hear back about my literature review from my thesis advisor today and I'm terrified. Both for if I do well, and if I do poorly. I have really enjoyed this time off, and I don't want to get back to work, but I REALLY don't want to have to do it all over. I just want to be done.

I'm still in a crabby headspace, which is not ideal, but I'm maintaining perspective well enough right now. I want to badly to be able to anticipate and then actually head off my blow ups. Keep working, right??

I wish I had more to talk about, but I guess this is all. OH I did discover a cute little idle game called "Tsuki" that I'm really enjoying. Just a little bunny running off to live on a farm and indulge in a peaceful, slow-paced life. It's all I want irl. Go figure.

Anyway, the work day is almost over. I'm going to do some focused breathing and then get ready to go home!

 22 September 2019 - Ruminating 

file under:  writing 

I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to get a free subscription to  calm dot com  becuase I am an educator. I'm trying it out but boy oh boy am I terrible at relaxing without distration. I guess that's why it's called a "practice."

I'm trying very hard to follow the  Ring Theory  advice of not pushing my anger and hostility toward things people do onto people who are just trying to do those things in order to make it through the day.

It is SO HARD.

I am such an angry person by default, and I don't know why. Like, my parents are both angry people, but they're not particularly thoughtful. My siblings are neither angry nor thoughtful. I'm both furiously angry and furiously thoughtful all the time. And it is exhausting.

Right now I've gotten myself to the point where I am super-careful about my feelings 80% of the time but that means the other 20% I am blowing up like a powder keg. It is not ideal.

I kid/don't kid about being bipolar. I took a psych inventory which indicated that my inability to land in legal trouble precludes me from that diagnosis, which I thought was odd. However, I do recognize that I trend to the more hypomanic side of things, though this rage.... Idk.

I am going to leave this on the positive note that I got a lot of work done for work tomorrow. I did break my "no work at home" rule, but I did it because I wanted to, I had the time, and I knew it would save me stress tomorrow. Jake is working on finishing up the last song for our new album and I just didn't feel like playing video games. (Yeak, I don't know who I am anymore either. Ha!)

 18 September 2019 - And One More Thing 

file under:  writing 

You ever have one of those days where everything is going really well, and honestly you're pretty set up to be successful but everything also just feels off? Yeah, I'm having one of those.

I'm looking forward to taking Friday afternoon off of work. I made the executive/professionally beneficial decision to play nice at my immediate workplace by coming in the morning, but opting out of our horrifically boring training done at the more widespread level in the afternoon. *shrug*

I can't help but also feel like I'm coming down with a cold and honestly, it's due. I've been working really hard at not feeling stressed out mentally, but that doesn't mean my body doesn't still feel it. Something to keep working at, I suppose.

I feel like I have more to say, but I had to work until 8 pm last night and I'm still recovering. 8 pm is normally when I'm cozied up in bed, and I didn't even get home until 8:15, and then I had to shower and everything just feels off.

And my oldest cat is not feeling eating. She will lick the flavor off of her wet food, but she won't chew. So that's a lot to deal with. Just trying to take one day at a time.

 17 September 2019 - Keeping Up 

file under:  writing 

I'm struggling with the feels today, still. I am trying to get better at noticing my mood cycles. Which is something I feel like I say a lot, and usually in the aftermath of an angry/bad episode. But I really do mean it.

I'm taking my week of no posting as a bit of data. And the fact that I'm still having trouble being consistent as another bit. This will help me to be better.

And today was actually pretty damn good! I got a lot accomplished at work, and things went more smoothly than I'd anticipated, and that was all lovely. I helped out a coworker by having a conversation with a person that was causing them problems, and I think it will all turn out okay.

I'm at work late today because reasons, but that's all right. I have things I can prep for the rest of the week, and that's exciting. Both that I know what I am doing for the rest of the week, and because hey, I've got the time to take care of it and not have to worry about it in the morning.

So I'm gonna peace out and do that, gonna try to keep this good mojo rolling.

 15 September 2019 - Music & Progression 

file under:  music 

Welp, Jake has finished 9 songs for toadlilies next album. I am very excited!

I spent a good chunk of time today recoding a bunch of website stuff on here, for toadliles, and for our darkwave project. I'm pretty pleased with out they all turned out.

I am also stoked because we're finally gonna have a live drummer. They're gonna go back and record new drums for our previous toadliles stuff, as well as the new album. It's gonna be so dang good.

I'm still plugging away at writing lyrics for our darkwave stuff. Maybe I can get some mouth sounds recorded this week since Jake's nearly finished with all of his stuff.

 14 September 2019 - Awake in the Lonesome Cold Deep 

file under:  music 

Hello online journal. I haven't forgotten you.

It's kind of funny actually. I've been a mess all week emotionally. Just angry and irritated and I think it's because I had the audacious notion that putting you aside would be okay because I'm all caught up with outside-of-work work. Turhs out I was wrong.

Anyway, to the meat of the post: writing lyrics is hard.

I'm working on lyrics for the darkwave project that Jake and I have been tinkering around with in our spare time from both  toadlilies  and  corporate//astrology . I love it so much. I even have lyrics finished and recorded on one of our 9 tracks. 6 of them I have put moody keyboards to, and 3 I am working on. I love it a lot. But daaaaaaaaaaamn words.

I'm not terrible at it, but it does not come easy. I have words written for 2 other songs, I just need to find time to put them onto the tracks. I think they're good? I mean, I don't care if they're works of art. What I care is that they'll fit the tone and sound of the songs.

I am not going to post any of them here or anywhere. I'm closed off a bit in that arena, I suppose. This is a profoundly personal thing for me and while I like stretching myself I also don't actually want to talk about them? I suppose presuming folks were to find the music good and whatever someone might ask me about them, to which I would say "Sorry, none of your business," or I guess more kindly, "Take and give whatever meaning to them you want. Unless it's something nice about Nazis. Then go fuck yourself."

 08 September 2019 - Sisyphus and the Rock 

file under:  writing 

I did it.

The literature review is dead. Long live the literature review.

This was after I had a massive panic attack because I misread the instructions for my paper and thought it was 40 pages IN TOTAL, not 40 pages JUST FOR THE BODY, and I had undershot the requirement by a good 12 pages. Thankfully my advisor said it wasn't a hard and fast rule, and that as long as the content was sound, I'd be fine.

Right now Jake is giving it a once over, and then I'm sending it off to be destroyed by my thesis committee.

(I hope they don't hate it.)

 07 September 2019 - I Don't Feel Tardy 

file under:  writing 

I am happy to report that today is going very well in paper-writing land. I am up to 32 pages from 17, and I still have 2 sections left to complete, not to mention revising the damn thing.

But hey it's only 4:30 on Saturday. I'm planning to get one more section finsihed, and then I'm going to do my conclusion and revisions tomorrow. The last section I plan to do today is one that should be fairly straightforward. I have a feeling that I'm going to fall probably 3-4 pages short of 40, but that's where the conclusions and revisions for tomorrow will come in.

Mostly I'm amazed at my recovery time mentally from how awful yesterday was. I am doing my best to let anger be anger and then be well the fuck on its way. I'm not letting myself post a lot of things that I am angry about because dwelling makes you angry longer. Which hurts your mental health and by proxy your physical health in the long run. I know I sound like a broken record, but this is So Much Easier without all that fast-web noise and interference.

And hell, when I say "this" I mean both getting this damn paper done AND managing my assbutt tendencies toward negativity. I have way less places to fuck around and be distracted from this paper. And the things that do distract me now feel more bad, but in a way that gets me back to work instead of reinforcing a negative feedback loop of task avoidance. Which then means I'm being less of a negative assbutt cos there's no one to listen to me scream into the void about my crabby ass feelings, which is a whole other feedback loop.

So yeah, I think I've earned another break. I'm gonna go take a walk, eat some vegan ice cream, and then settle in to finish off this last new-material section of this paper.

Can't wait to be 1/5 done with my doctoral thesis by this time tomorrow!

 06 September 2019 - Heccccc 

file under:  writing 

I am tired as heccccc. And today pretty much just sucked.

It's weird because my work day didn't actually suck, per se, but every god damn thing that didn't include my actual work sucked farts.

I'm trying to let it go but meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

That being said, I made big strides on one of the longer pieces of my lit review I have left to finish. I am not going to finish it tonight, though. My eyes are crossing, and all of my printed copies of my research are in a different room. I am too emotionally exhausted to pull an all-nighter, and I want to get cracking earlhy tomorrow to see how far I can get. I'm a morning person by nature, and I know that early riser energy will get me through the remainder of this.

What I'm REALLY hoping is that I can get the whole damn thing finshed, rough-draft-wise, tomorrow so I can focus on refining the fuck out of it on Sunday. I really don't want to take Monday off for it, and I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to ask my advisor for an extension.

Honestly, I think I'll be okay, but I'm gonna go ahead and hit the hay now before I accidentally stay up too late and end up blowing my entire Saturday by being tired from the jump.

 05 September 2019 - All Aboard 

file under:  writing 

Took yesterday off from writing cos it was my 20th relationship anniversary. More than half my age at this point. Heccin' cool.

Unfortunately I am still struggling mightily with this paper. I don't know quite what to do. I mean, I do in theory, but getting it out of my head is awful. Every time I sit down to work on it I putz around and give myself a thousand excuses to "just do it tomorrow" but I'm running out of tomorrows. Even now I'm like "you have all weekend. How can you not write 23 pages in 72 hours? You can do that easy peasy."

This week has been stressful for a lot of reasons, but really only one reason which is that through the weekend and up to about now I've had my period and I suppose "duh" this is obviously the source of my short temper and lack of clarity or focus. I've been really cranky this week and it is not fun and it just makes everything 100000x harder.

I already skipped 2 days of work on this, one I don't remember why, and yesterday because it was our anniversary. And I feel guilty as hell, which is not helping me to be calm and focused at all.

I hate being stuck in a hole like this because it's my own making and I'm feel like every attempt to get out just digs me further in. Do I take a break tonight because I'm in such a toxic headspace I know that I won't get anything done? Do I force myself to stare at these fucking word documents for hours fruitlessly cos then at least I can say I didn't avoid trying?

I could cry, but that's not productive.

Mostly I'm just so god damn ready to be done with this degree. In my head I'm done. And that doesn't help anything at all.

I think I'm going to sit back, watch some ASMR, try to calm down, and make a plan for this weekend. Making a plan is productive, but low pressure, which I think is a good middle ground for the headspace I am in.

I need to remember that I bought myself an extra day before I have to do Things next week at work, so I don't really need to worry about anything other than this paper until Tuesday.

Just writing this all out and considering the calendar has made this whole thing less blech. Still a lot of blech, but it's workable.

I can do a weekend with less sleep than normal. And honestly, if I get a lot done tomorrow and Saturday I can still pull off a mostly-restful Sunday. I can do this.

 03 September 2019 - When to Trust Yourself 

file under:  writing 

Yesterday was really rough.

I couldn't get anything to go right for my lit review. I had gotten SO MUCH done on Saturday that I thought for sure I would maybe even finish it yesterday. As it was I didn't get anything done.

I am trying not to be mad at myself about it, but it's hard. My plans for how to go through the next 6 days kind of went out the window because I had presumed I'd be farther along than I am.

It's not the end of the world; the paper isn't due until the 9th of September, but it also sort of feels like the end of the world because it just does.

I will say this: I am glad as heck that I am not on the fast-web anymore. In those times I would have taken all of my frustration and irritation and blown it up on things that have nothing to do with my feelings all over the web and in everyone's faces. This time I had to just kind of swallow it all down. But that's actually good!

Why is that good? There's a lot of research about how venting your anger actually makes it harder to realign back to a neutral or positive feeling. This isn't to say that bottling up feelings is good, but wallowing is also bad. And that's what fast-web does to me, it lets me wallow. It lets me dig up every perceived slight I've ever felt about anything, even things I'd let go ages ago, and lets me dig right back in to those feelings of anger, frustration, and injustice. How ridiculous!

I've also been working a lot at mindfulness and I've been thinking a lot about Susan Silk and Barry Goldman's writing about  Ring Theory . There are a lot of things that I want to gripe about but there's really no point often, and as often as not the person I'd be griping to would be in a circle interior to mine, and so complaining to them would be a really shit thing to do on my part.

So anyway I took yesterday off from writing (after failing at it for 6 hours, and at Jake's behest) and here now I've given name to my feelings and let them go and I did it without hurting anyone's feelings.

I think, maybe, now I can write.

 01 September 2019 - Brain; Melty 

file under:  writing 

I got over half of my lit review finished. I have 5 sections to go. I think I am going to call it a day on this. It is 16:00 and my brain feels like it is going to leak out of my skull.

I'm not worried about getting it completed in the time frame. As it stands I can get 3 sections done tomorrow, one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and that leaves me Thursday-Sunday to do any edits. I am worried about hitting the requisite page count. I'm looking at 5 sections left to complete and I'm only at 17/40 pages. That means roughly 4-5 pages per section. I know that isn't going to happen. I am thinking I can maybe average 2-3 pages per section, which is going to put me around/slightly over 30. I am waiting until I am done with my first rough draft and round of edits, but if I'm not looking at 35 by Friday night I'm going to have to email my advisor and find out just how deadly it is to be significantly below the strongly suggested 40 pages.

For now I think I'm gonna scrounge up a snack and then maybe start on the  Dark Crystal series on Netflix .

 01 September 2019 - Strive 

file under:  writing 

I probably shouldn't be updating here midday. I can feel that I'm kind of using this as an excuse to avoid working on my lit review. BUT I am making some headway, and that is good and important!

As it stands right now I have 6 sections entirely finished and 8 sections to go. I am already decided on which section I am tackling next, and I'm looking to be halfway done (7/7) by 13:00 today. If it takes me 1-2 hours per section I could conceivably have it done this weekend. I will DEFINITELY have it done before next weekend, which is a whole 2 days prior to the due date.

I'm trying not to think too much about how much time I have left to get it done (both a lot of and not enough time) because I know that will convert into a procrastination behavior.

Instead I'm thinking about all of the things I will be able to do once I'm finished and I have loads more free time. I want to get back to my clarinet. I want to get back to working out. I am going to be finishing up the workout program I started in June, back when I had all the time in the world to take care of myself. I have to remember to make a section for that in my tags. I think it's an important enough goal and topic to add to my tags. I also can't wait to get back to making more music.

I am going to be concentrating on making each post on here topic-specific, both because I don't want to have entries with multiple tags, and because I'm really buying into the idea of intentionality. I really like that I have to take the time to enter new lines of code on my archive page, my tags page, and my main page (where you can find links to my most recent posts in both the "create" and "consume" categories. It makes me consider what I want to post, if it's valuable enough to merit more than a fast-media style post (which I am working hard to move away from), and honestly whether it's worth writing about at all.

Honestly the fact that I've been writing as much as I have each day, with mostly deliberate, single topics in mind, has been such a relief. I feel more like a real person than I have in a very long time. I'm piecing together ideas for my lit review more easily because I'm not trying to hold 15 small thoughts up at once like so many spinning plates.

I know that not everything works for everyone, and that everyone hates that white girl who does a thing for 30 days and then says it changed their life, but every day away from social media is a day I am so profoundly grateful for.

People aren't sound bites. I'm glad I'm not a part of that economy any more.

 31 August 2019 - Keep Moving 

file under:  writing 

Today has been a busy day, but one that has been productive and I think overall good.

I haven't made visible headway on my lit review, but a lot of behind the scenes things have been accomplished.

  1. I finally verified all of my sources on my references list with the bulleted list of notes I made
  2. I have 47 sources, 12 over the minimum requirement
  3. I have them all tagged with which sections of the lit review I need them to appear in (some of them more than once)
  4. I finished rewriting my abstract, my organization section, and the section about how I obtained my data
  5. not a whole lot else, but it should make the rest of this go a lot faster. I hope.

Other news: we found a copy of the Eclipse Phase GM screen at Half Price Books, and we didn't even know it existed. And we got it for $4.

Other other news: Jake Marie Kondo'd the fuck out of his guitars. He now has his Jazzmaster, his Bass VI, his bass, and a second, back up Jazzmaster pending some commission sales. It feels so nice to be rid of things that we aren't using that someone else could benefit from. And to not have to spend any actual money on that back up is a godsend.

Another thing I've been up to, and entirely unrelated to the happenings of the day is cutting out my OTC allergy meds. I have been having horrendous ringing in my ears for the past few months and I recently read that one of the side effects of Claritin is ringing in the ears. I've been taking it for almost a decade, and so I doubt I'll be able to reverse the damage, but also maybe???? All of the research said it would be at least 3 weeks before I would know for sure. If not, my doctor said I just need to be mindful of when the ringing goes from "annoying" to "I am not hearing things" because the sooner you get hearing aids after that, the better. (Apparently the longer you wait, the harder it is to adjust to aided hearing.) Getting old is a fuck, y'all.

In the vein of updates today that are all over the place, let me just say I think I'm finally out of the woods regarding breaking with social media. It's been over a week (has it been 2 already???) and I feel really fucking good. I'm still having a helluva time not going to my phone constantly, and so I'm reevaluating if I should maybe delete all of these games on it. I think I might just keep Egg, Inc and ditch the rest. Idk. It's distraction that's turning into work (I have a lot of games that have rewards on timers, and it makes me stressed to think I'll miss getting items and that's a BAD WAY TO GAME). It's triggering all of my addictive tendencies. Hell, just thinking about it, it's obvious that they've got to go. That was actually easy.

Anyway, I'm gonna try to crank out at least one more section on this lit review before I go to bed.

 30 August 2019 - The Eternal Struggle 

file under:  writing 

I am staring down the barrel of a 40 page paper. It is due in 11 days. I have been struggling because I am at 0% urgency, but 95% dread.

The funniest thing about all of this is that the behaviors I am exhibiting are 100% exactly what my paper is about: approach-avoidant behaviors in smart students. Or it WOULD be funny, if my identifying the emotions and patterns was translating into any particularly powerful output of work.

I keep telling myself that there are a litany of reasons, and by reasons I mean excuses, and by excuses I mean the flimsiest of lies about why it isn't getting done.

I wish there were cognitive behavioral therapy for this kind of thing. Right now I'm trying to put into place all of the interventions I've researched for my own students for myself. But the problem is that even though I know I'm approach-avoiding, and even though I'm assiduously putting strategies into place, I am still deeply in the fallacious headspace of "I have loads of time and I work better under pressure."

As though I didn't take a day off last year to finish a paper at the last minute.

All of this being said, I'm not going to work on it today.

Today was rough at work for myriad things that in and of themselves were not annoying, but in totality were A Lot. And I got new shoes ( bougie new shoes ) in a bisexual color scheme, and I'm still getting used to them. And I got a haircut and I don't know if I like it or if I even care if I like it.

Today has just been a lot.

I do feel enough about the paper that I know I'll just feel guilty if I play video games all night, so I guess there's that. I think that setting myself up to definitely work on it starting first thing tomorrow will be good. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain all day, so I know I'm not going to want to go outside, and that will help a lot with my inability to stay indoors when it's sunny and nice.

 28 August 2019 - corporate//astrology 

file under:  music 

I suppose now is a good time to mention I make music!

I actually have 3 music projects, but this is my solo endeavor. It is called  corporate//astrology . It's, I dunno vaporwave-y, gloomy, drone-y, synth music.

I love it. I hope you do, too.

 27 August 2019 - End of a Long Respite 

file under:  writing 

It has been a very very very long time.

I am rapidly approaching the end of my doctorate. After what feels like forever (3 years), I am in the closing phases. My lit review is wrapping up in the coming weeks, and then it's all research, writing, and hopefully a successful defense by this time next year.

I have taken stock of a lot of things in my life, and I've done a lot of  KonMari  with the things in my life. I purged and donated a LOT of clothing. Jake and I purged yet more books from our collection. And I did something I never thought I'd do: I quit all of social media; or as I've decided to start calling it "fast web."

You can only be so tired of people behaving so poorly for so long before it is all just too damn much. I thought I could weather it, that I'd be one of those "I fought the bastards and I won" but the more I thought about it, and read research about social media in general, the more I realized I was not only inviting an endless stream of toxicity into my life, I was literally breaking my brain.

I'm still in the opening stages, where I keep reflexively picking up my phone and then wondering why it is that I am looking at it when I no longer have a reason to be compelled. I come from a wealth of addicts and while I was lucky enough to sidestep the physical addiction arena (for what I know. Cigarettes never "did" anything for me, and a healthy fear of what I've seen my relatives go through has kept me out of the rest), but damned if I don't fall hard for digital addictions. I still have to suss out what this means for me and video games, but honestly for the most part I start to feel really disgusted with myself when I know I'm playing video games as a distraction, so I think I am doing okay there.

So, why aren't I working on my literature review that is due in 14 days? Well, part of it is that I do still miss an online outlet for my thinks. I have a physical journal, but I'm bad at keeping up with it. THIS I was bad at because I'd just post what I was thinking every five seconds to mastodon without taking the time to craft coherent or cogent lines of thought. I miss that. I miss being able to write longform, and doing it for pleasure. Part of overhauling the site today as well as making this post in the face of a looming big project was to stretch my attention, focus, and writing muscles. And I think I'm doing okay.

I'm going to be okay. And you are, too.

It feels good to feel this good.

I've made a lot of changes in the past two weeks since returning to work, and almost all of it has been focused on how to redirect my frenetic, manic energies into immediate actions that will spare me long-term stress and anxiety. It seems so obvious, but goodness was it not. Not for a long time. Not since I had a nervous breakdown and spent five years recovering from PTSD from a year in hell I could not back out of without incurring massive financial penalties and protracted financial loss for myself and my family.

But I really am feeling okay now. For the first time in almost a decade. My chest doesn't hurt. My heart doesn't hurt. I'm moving at my own pace, and I don't feel like I'm letting anyone down.

Tomorrow I am going in gangbusters on my paper. I've got a strategic plan for it. I'm EXCITED for it. I am going to be okay.

 01 October 2018 - Trying 

file under:  writing 

October is such a fraught month for me.

Emotionally, nostalgically, historically I love this month. I love Halloween, I love all the spookiness.

However, psychologically this month has been a disaster for me for the last....10 or so YEARS?

I have finally come to terms with being seasonally affected, and I think my love of spookiness has permanently and irrevocably been superceded by the trauma of losing so much sunlight and being trapped with darkness surrounding me metaphorically AND literally.

I am going to order one of those fancy emotion stabilizing lamps, and I am going to try to keep busy. Busy has seen me through a lot. I am hoping it can help to see me through this.

More than anything, I am working on being self-aware about the entire process.

It might be weird and it's probably psychosomatic, but I have been taking my vitamin D every day, started taking a multivitamin, and been consistently following a simple self-care routine both morning and night and it's done a lot for my awareness of my emotional states.

Here's to more of that in October of 2018.

 25 September 2018 - Unveiling 

file under:  writing 

I've built websites before, but never in this scope, or in this service. Prior to a website I've had spaces like livejournal to write out my thoughts longform.

Fast-forward to the introduction of twitter. I got really good at brevity. Who needed paragraphs when I could be insightful and incisive and witty in 140 characters? It broke my brain for writing for quite some time. I neglected livejournal like everyone neglected livejournal. It took me YEARS to realize my error, and by then we'd all commited livejournal to the soil.

I'm not including f*c*b**k here because I only really ever used it as a way to post my tweets there and I deleted it back in 2007 and so I don't really consider it a part of my online journey.

I left twitter for mastodon 10 months ago and haven't looked back. It is not perfect, but it is better.*

I am still lonely for that deeper level of interaction that livejournal gave me. I considered tinyletter, but I'm not SOMEBODY, and tinyletter is for peopler who are SOMEBODY.

Years and years ago I dabbled in html and coding and if you're an old using brinkster for free server space. Before that I had the requisite geocities site. I called it "Sahler's Moon" after a street in my city that I'd never driven on, and a show I've never, to this date, watched. I built some pretty ugly websites which have long since disappeared into the magical ether of Olde Tyme Internette. And I enjoyed all of it.

So I've put together my love of The Olde Webbe aesthetic with a stripped down, hopefully immersive experience, both for myself, and for you, dear reader.

*author's note: I quit mastodon in August of 2019. It is not better. I'm leaving the entry up with this editorial note.

 25 September 2018 - The Story Behind the Background 

file under:  art 

I spent a lot of 2015 working on pixel art by way of spreadsheets. It was a good way for me to both push myself artistically and to compartmentalize a very stressful year of work. I enjoy the levels of micromanagement involved in making the images Just Right.

I spent as much time working on iterations of the pieces as I did on creating the original images, sometimes more. It's really soothing to just make patterns and see how they can work in a larger setting.

Below is the background image of this website, as well as its iterations. It's one of my favorites, tho definitely not the only thing I've made. This was originally produced on 30 January 2015. I have them in order of creation. Grid Loom Love, the background of this site, is the final iteration.

The iterations, named, in order are: Grid Lock Love // Grid Love Lost // Grid Loom Love. What can I say, when I'm on my sad!shit I'm on my sad!shit.

Grid Lock Love
Grid Love Lost
Grid Loom Love

 24 September 2018 - Indoor Gardening @ Work 

file under:  plants 

I trimmed up my plants at work and thought it's as good a time as any to get cracking on adding pictures to this page. I used to work in a greenhouse, and I love having living things archive me, especially with winter encroaching and the days getting shorter.

Some Close Ups

The first plant is my Dieffenbachia. She's made it through summers outdoors (in a shady spot) and winters indoors and is looking extra sparky at the moment. The second is my Monstera. I am sad to say that she's struggling and I'm still not quite sure how make her happy. Third is my Jade and one of the two babies currently growing in her pot. I usually overwater my succulents (I can be a smotherer at times), and I'm really excited that she's doing so well!

Jade & Baby

One More Close Up & My Indoor "Garden" Table

The first plant is my Polka Dot plant. She WAS about 70 cm tall, but the flowers were waning, and she was getting leggy. So she's trimmed down to some nice, new growth back at her base. The remaining pics in this row are of my entire table garden. I don't remember what all of them are, but drop me a line and I'll do some digging/identifying.

Polka Dot Plant, trimmed
Left View, Top Down
Right View, Top Down

More Indoor "Garden" Pics

More views and angles on my table garden at work. :D

Center View, Top Down
Side View