::: paeneultima ::: create ::: 

 Curiously Strong 

archived:  09 April 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

My arm bone is completely healed. I can't believe it! My doctor even said I can start lifting weights again. "Start with 10 pounds and work your way up from there." Like what??? I was afraid to lift more than 3 pounds yesterday. I'm excited tho because she said I am cleared to do things like push ups and yoga and this will all help me get my tendons and muscles back to being stretchy like before THE ACCIDENT. So that's nice.

Our shit ass governor still won't do a statewide stay at home order, so my spouse's non-essential workplace is still open, and everyone is working shoulder to shoulder. Cool to know your spouse is expendable in the greater pursuit of money. We have got to get out of here. Maybe move to New Zealand. Their PM is astonishing.

I was going to say more but I'm so angry I can't brain.

You know the drill:

Keep social distancing.

Wash your hands.

Wear a mask.

Stay safe.

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 Rain-Snow Mix 

archived:  08 April 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

The weather is peak!April right now, which means 80F one day and then 40F with snow two days later. My poor head. I get pressure migraines and it's dumb and I hate it. My poor poor brain meat.

In other news, I took today off from making masks. I was so fucking bone weary yesterday. I powered through making 5 masks and it was exhausting. I am making these free. I feel like charging for them would be war profiteering. However, it makes me so damn angry when someone says, "Oh yeah I'll take one" like DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THE LABOR THAT GOES INTO THESE? Fucking rude. And I can't NOT make one because that's cruel, but also you better believe these folks get deprioritized in my list of folks who get a mask. Like what the hell are people even thinking? I'm not a vending machine. Fucking hell.

Tomorrow I go to the doctor to check in on my broken arm. I hope they say I can move into doing more regular exercise. I wish I could go to physical therapy. I know my muscles aren't strong enough to lift real weights and I don't want to hurt myself trying to do a push up, but I'm in atrophy. My joints pop all the time and that doesn't happen when I'm doing daily yoga and HIIT routines. Sigh. Everything is such a pain in my ass. Or my arm, I guess.

I'm off to go force myself to eat lunch so that I can drown this headache in ibuprofen.

You know the drill:

Keep social distancing.

Wash your hands.

Wear a mask.

Stay safe.

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 Around the Corner 

archived:  07 April 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Well I'm halfway through making masks for spouse's department at work. His workplace is non-essential, but we are in one of that dwindling number of states that refuses to put into place a stay-at-home order for non-essential workers. So I'm trying to help out as many people as I can as much as I can. I'm also making a mask for our neighbor across the street.

I'm still deeply in brain fog mode. I am trying. I am trying so hard. So I'm setting tiny goals. And masks take precedence over everything because I don't want people to fucking die. I think that's fair and that makes sense. Next I have to work on my degree. Period. I think it's finally becoming real to me how pressing this is. I know I'm like a broken record on this, but if I don't beat myself over the head with it I'm never going to get anything done. My brain is not my best ally at times.

I'm trying to decide which films I'm going to watch today while I work. I should listen to all of our music so that I can start thinking about lyrics, but I need to not split my attention. Like I really need to focus on focusing. I'm so goddamn distracted all the time and it is making me a mess.

Anyway, I have a departent meeting at 10 and I am hoping to at least have all of the masks cut out by then, if not also have one sewn. That's about 3.5 hours, and I got 3 finished in that time yesterday, cutting and sewing. If I can split this into two batches that would be pretty nice.

I feel like I was going to say something else, but I can't remember so that's fun. Bleh. Anyway, you know the drill:

Keep social distancing.

Wash your hands.

Wear a mask.

Stay safe.

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 Close the Doors Behind You 

archived:  06 April 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

The depths to which I am overwhelmed are catching up to me. I have 7 masks on the docket for today, and I am gonna do my damnedest to get them done as well as all of my actual work work. I want them done so tomorrow I can work on my doctorate. I actually want to do that right now. Shocking how spreading myself thin makes me want to work more. *shrug*

I have a remote meeting for work at 11 and all I've done is fuck around on Animal Crossing. Well, I guess I did shower. And I did all of my morning chores. I always do those. I really need to file my nails down. They're so long that I'm typing with them more than I am with my actual fingers. I am measuring my time in isolation by how long my un-dipped nailbed gets. Haha.

I've been watching the Alien movies while I work on masks. I'm gonna have a write up on them after I finish 4 later this afternoon. I don't know what I'm going to watch next. I was watching Hannibal, but I owe that show a more dedicated rewatch. I've put it in the background too many times and I want to fully appreciate its beauty.

I think the ramifications of being indoors all the time except to buy groceries is finally hitting me. I guess it just takes longer when you enjoy a certain amount of self-imposed isolation as a matter of emotional security. We went to drop off 3 of the masks I made (contactless delivery, of course) and I felt like I was getting out of prison. (I have not been in prison, I am not making light of prison, this is just my personal approximation.)

I also need to work on lyrics. I wish there was a way to watch movies and listen to songs at the same time while I'm working on masks. I know a brain can't even actually duo-multitask, but I'd really like to be able to do all of those things at once. Please and thank you.

Ooooh MSTeams finally added backgrounds. I can't upload my own YET but SOON. SOON.

Anyway gonna do this meeting and then do a bunch of stuff. Or be so overwhelmed that I just stare at the wall. Whichever.

Keep social distancing.

Wash your hands.

Stay safe.

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 Altruistic Acts 

archived:  03 April 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Working on drying a new batch of cloth so I can get it pressed and then start working on more masks. It's kind of funny cos I have been putting off my doctorate stuff because I'm an idiot and now that I'm pressed on these masks I am now in panic mode about the time I've wasted not working on my degree. Way to stay on brand, my brain.

I am kind of spinning my wheels in animal crossing because I don't want to sink in the work necessary to get my rating up but then if I don't get my rating up I'll never be able to terraform my island. I should just focus on organizing my flowers and trees. I think that will destress that particular part of the game for me, and allow me to think more clearly about the rest.

I also need to work on figuring out lyrics for our band and also how I want to sing and that second part is so hard because I'm not a trained music person and I always just want to sing to an instrument. I dunno. I don't actually even know if I'm bad at it so much as I lack confidence utterly in this artistic arena.

Allow me a moment to divulge in what might seem narcissistic. I am very good at....everything I put effort into. Monday I had never sewn a thing in my life, and that same day I bought a sewing machine and made my first coronavirus mask. I put out an EP of electronic instrumental music with zero musical training. I taught myself html and css. I plant whole huge vegetable gardens because it seems like A Thing To Do. I change car parts and put in light fixtures and fix plumbing. I make midoris from scratch. I crochet. I paint. I write. And none of this is extraordinary. It just needs got done, or I get an itch, and so I do it. I decide I want a terminal degree and I make it happen. I am just SCARED of singing. Scared I'll be actually Not Good at a thing. Hilarious that my terminal degree thesis is about how people who always succeed at everything without effort at the ones who completely collapse in the face of a challenge.

A doctor who treats herself has a fool for a patient.

I'm gonna go make more face masks.

Please consider making yourself and your loved ones some masks if you can.

Keep social distancing.

Wash your hands.

Stay safe.

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 Cover Your Mucus Membranes 

archived:  02 April 2020 
tagged:  Crafting 

I began making non-surgical face masks yesterday, in light of more and more authorities saying that not wearing one is a bad idea. NOW let's be clear:

Anyway, you can get the patterns I am using  here at CraftPassion . Also here is her silent  YouTube tutorial , which is thorough and easy to follow.

I like this mask for several reasons.

  1. The shoelace tie off makes it so that the mask fits snugly (IT MUST FIT SNUG TO YOUR FACE) and since you can adjust it you don't have worry about elastics being too loose or too tight.
  2. The pocket for a removable nose-wire. I wear glasses and I hate when they fog up. And this way I can remove the wire before washing so it doesn't get all rusty and gross.
  3. Different sizes for different faces.
  4. Fourth: The pocket allows the user to insert additional interstitial materials. The creator suggests a dried out Lysol wipe in lieu of an accordion medical mask.

And believe me when I say this is easy I mean it is EASY. I've never used a sewing machine before. In fact, prior to yesterday I didn't even OWN a sewing machine. My first mask came out perfectly. My second one....I fucked up putting the bobbin in, and then I forgot to anchor the nose-wire pocket. BUT that was me rushing, not anything to do with the pattern.

Mask Front
Mask Side
Filter Pocket
Nose-Wire Pocket

I'm working on making 3 for spouse's boss. I gave her my first one and she wants one each for her husband and two sons. I'm not taking money for them because I think mutual aid is important. It's only a matter of time before we're in shelter in place, and when that happens no one will have an income from which to pay me. Meanwhile my pay is protected by law, so I can afford to do this.

Please consider making yourself and your loved ones some masks if you can.

Keep social distancing.

Wash your hands.

Stay safe.

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 I Know They're Dead 

archived:  01 April 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Well I've attempted to sew masks by hand. It's terrible. I'm going to try to use our ancient hand-me-down machine because I can't find the one I want available for curbside pick up from Michaels. I'll probably still need to order thread and bobbins, but that's okay. I did get my fabric washed, shrunk, and ironed, and I cut out my first mask pieces, so really the only thing left to do is sew. I suppose I could cut out more masks, but I'm waiting because if I need to buy a machine having a bunch of pieces waiting is only going to make me frustrated. I should also snag some fabric scissors. My "good" scissors are great, but not for cutting cloth. Woof.

Today is full of things I have to do, which is annoying. I have to do an online meeting with coworkers at noon, a phone interview about virus mutation at 4 pm and sometime in between a different call to help a different coworker troubleshoot some software. I'm already exhausted.

Woof I forgot I had this update open! This day is a flurry of doing nothing but not being able to relax for having so much to do. Not my favorite situation. I'm calling it a day for this entry. I am going to try to clear my head and refocus.

Stay safe and wash your hands!

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 A Story You Told 

archived:  31 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Canceled my physical therapy appointments for the foreseeable future. Just not a good time to be a human outside of the house. I have a follow up with my surgeon next week and I don't know how I'm going to proceed there. I'll have to call his office and ask what they recommend.

And speaking of recommendations...  we should all be wearing (non-surgical, don't be a dick and compromise already limited supplies for healthcare workers) masks  It would appear I need to 1) learn to sew, 2) procure a sewing maching, and 3) procure supplies for said sewing machine. Woof. I'm researching patterns and machines. Maybe I'll just buy one of those handheld sewing machines for like $20? Idk

I don't really know what to do with myself today. I mean, I should do thesis work but I'm kind of off-kilter cos I canceled my PT and I dunno. This is and the fact that UNMC is  putting up surge tents  and I need to go buy bread but I don't want to go out without a face mask (I'll probably just wear a scarf around my face in the meantime) and it's just a lot. I don't mind the social distancing. I think that's part of my problem. Aside from not going to work nothing in my life has changed, and so I haven't felt it in the way more social people have. It's weird. I've also been playing the Cassandra for so long that I feel like I've been in the shit for so long that it's become an abstraction.

Anyway I have 4 options today: play Animal Crossing all damn day (tempting). Read a book (probably more worthwhile). Work on music (this will make spouse happy and also I like doing it). work on my thesis (most important and holy fuck do I not want to AT ALL).

I'm gonna go ply my trades in AC for a bit and then settle into a book, I think.

Stay safe. Wash your hands.

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 Wasn't Easy 

archived:  30 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Welp I got the keyboards finished on all of the tracks for the album we are going to be putting out. BUT. We're going to be releasing a 7" first, so I have one song to put keyboards to on there before anything else. (I already have keyboards done for one of the two songs that are going to be on the 7".) THEN is the part I'm most worried about: MOUTH WORDS. I haven't written anything resembling poetry in...23 years. And my poetry was BAD because I was a teenager and of course it was. Ah well. Time to get back on that horse.

Other things: I have reached that point in social distancing where having to interact with anyone at all, for any reason, is driving me fucking bonkers. Just kidding, I always feel that way when I'm around anyone for too much time at a go without reprieve. Like, even being around my spouse and MiL is DRAINING because I apparently require at least 8 waking hours alone a day. Or if I have to spend time around you I need it to be in no more than hour-long chunks, MAX. This is true even if I go on vacation, although new environs do make it easier for me to spend extended time around folks because the novelty of the experience IS a thing that I like to share, specifically with the spouse. Not really so much anyone else.

I joke with my friends in group texts that I was built for this Covid-19 situation interpersonally and I am actually 1000000000000000% not joking. I HATE being around people. Like, when I was 8 my mom babysat a good friend of mine. And I told that friend one day that I'd rather be alone and I closed my bedroom door in her face. *shrug emoji* I also get really irritated when people spend Too Much Time on my Animal Crossing island. Visit my store and then GTFO plz.

I do feel somewhat bad because I know I'm being bad at comiserating with my extroverted friends and peers but like, they never give a shit if I'm uncomfortable having to Go Out and Do Things as a condition of our friendship so I guess I don't feel entirely bad. But at least prior to SOCIAL DISTANCING I got to make the choice. But getting to make the choice also means I get to be villified for not participating in social garbage. So whatever. I can talk both sides of this for hours.

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 Equal to What They're Fleeing 

archived:  27 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I am proud to say that I completed the keyboards on one of the songs that is going to be on our (my spouse and my) upcoming album. I'm going to start working on another. I'll be pretty stoked if I can pull of finishing 2 songs in one day. Once I finish all of these vocal melodies I will move on to writing lyrics and recording vocals. Here's to me finding my confidence, because I am painfully shy about both of these things.

My Animal Crossing resident center upgraded building is going in right in front of my museum. In hindsight my placement was really silly. But I haven't played an AC game before and didn't really know what to anticipate. Oh well. Eventually I'll be able to move it. My house is looking god damned adorable which makes me happy. I'm gonna try to stay up and catch some dang spiders today. Also gonna try to not get bit. Lol

Not a whole lot going on. My country is still a fucking disaster with no plan and I'm trying to fucking socially distance myself from this ever-expanding shitshow. So working on music and AC are attempts at that. I AM still listening to Democracy Now!, Intercepted, Deconstructed, RadioLab, and Why Is This Happening?, but it still feels less god damned awful than the firehose of CNN's constantly updated live feeds.

Not a whole lot else to say. I was going to take a Xanax this morning, but my choice to settle into a rotation of a couple of hours of AC followed by a couple of hours of writing music is doing wonders for my mental health. Next week I am going to apply this to my degree work. It's all about finding a balance, and at least at this outset it seems to be working okay.

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 Anywhere in the World 

archived:  26 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Got my ass wrist kicked at physical therapy today. I got to use this really cool machine that is basically a giant resistance magnet that my therapist put different doo-dads into to have me practice moving my wrist in a bunch of different ways. I'm mostly doing great, but we figured out today that my pronation of my wrist is not too great, especially if I tuck my elbow toward my side. I'd been working so hard on supination that I hadn't considered doing the reverse. Whoops! Gonna work on that between now and my next appointment next week. Gonna get this damn thing back in working order so I can start working out again. I'll have 6 damn months between now and when I (hopefully) go back to work; that's a lot of time to build in a really good habit/routine in my day.

I'm still fail-boating at doing my degree work. Trying to decide whether to just call this week a fucking wash. Next week should be much more settled. I have such a hard time starting stuff at non-start intervals. Like MONDAY means start. If I try to start on a WEDNESDAY I'm fucking incapable. Idk it's ridiculous. But I also need to provide myself space to be a little bit ridiculous. Stuff is completely sideways right now. Giving myself a breath isn't bad, right?

Here's now I know I'm mentally not as okay as I think that I am:

I woke up at 1:53 am this morning because my phone buzzed. My sleep!panic brain thought it was an Amber Alert style warning that we were going into an actual lockdown. I did not go back to sleep.

And it's not that I'm afraid of a lockdown; it's that I'm afraid we won't. This is NECESSARY to keep us all safe, and it's not going to fucking happen and THAT is the source of my anxiety. I need things to be getting done. And it's just not. And being in such a tenuous state of affairs just compounds my already precarious ability to just buckle down and get shit done.

I'm trying. I'm trying so hard. But all I want to do is bury myself in Animal Crossing: New Horizons until this is all over.

And I need to be more present with my spouse to help finish our record and I'm failing in that area, too. Woof I feel like I'm made of failure right now. It's so hard. I've taken 3 Xanax this week. Normally I take 2 a month, max. I gotta figure out something. Maybe I'll go ride our stationary bike until my brain fog clears. I did manage to nip a pernicious bit of coding that was making my background disappear. Turns out background images like to be anchored. I feel that on an emotional level.

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 Failure to Respond 

archived:  25 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I went in to work this morning to gather personal items. This was not a full clean out, just a quick sweep for anything we may have missed at the earlier date. It was weird. My personal workspace is satellite to the main building, so I didn't even have to go into work itself, which was soothing because honestly it does make me a little nervous to consider going in, even tho only custodial and higher ups have even had access since March 12th. Somehow it just feels more precarious than a grocery store. Probably because it's so deserted.

I didn't get around to any classwork today because of the whole "we're gonna let you in the building" thing and it completely threw me off my plan for the day. I need to build in better resilience for dealing with how little things fuck up my entire day. I don't understand why my brain is like this, I just know it's been like this foever and it's completely ridiculous. Success isn't something that happens only when a preset schedule is met exactly. FFS, brain.

I am NOT going to talk about politics. It makes me physically ill.

I did talk a lot about the new  Animal Crossing  game, so much so that I moved it over to its own  entry  in the consume section of the site.

Other things today...

We went for a walk and I did my civic duty and called in a gas leak. It had already been reported, but better to have too many notifications than to have a building explode, and a bunch of folks end up in the hospital, especially in the time of Covid-19. We snagged some items we were low on and pretty much everyone practiced their social distancing and that is good.

I have an emergency remote meeting for work in a bit over an hour so my complaints about this day being fucked for getting doctoral work done has reached a conclusion where at least it's partly not my fault that nothing got done. Today is just too bananas.

Anyway I'm gonna work on music with the spouse after the meeting and who knows, maybe in the next couple of weeks we'll have an album out! (This is different than my solo  corporate//astrology , cos yes, I have 2 music projects.)

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 Under Control 

archived:  24 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

How time flies when you're off work because of a pandemic and then Animal Crossing New Horizons comes out. If the rest of the world's economy burns, Nintendo will come out stronger than ever.

I joke. I want all markets to fail. I want the market destroyed. I want a post-market society. I am stuck in a loop of anxiety about how Agent Orange is going to force people back to work too soon which makes it hard for me to even conceive of doing work and then that inability to focus productively gets winnowed into an implacable desire to play Animal Crossing 28 hours a day. I am starting to practice social distancing of myself from 24/7 news, because it is killing me as much as any virus.

Anyway, so that is, in a weird nutshell, how I accidentally didn't update here for more than a week. I'm healthy. Spouse is healthy. Live-in Parent-in-Law is healthy, and she's the one we worry about most. But we've been very homebound and stocked up on plenty of food and non-comestibles. I'm not going to order food online because I think it's bullshit to expect a warehouse worker or delivery agent to relentlessly and repeatedly put their lives on the line for my dumb ass. I don't need the guilt of "thousands of Amazon workers infected because they were delivering groceries" on my conscience.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: Wow pollution has decreased a TON in these weeks. It really is phenomenal how quickly the world will come back if we just fucking let it. I'm kind of hoping that a lot of businesses see the financial upside to keeping workers working at home. Save themselves a shit-ton of money on overhead, save the planet a bunch of unnecessary commuting pollution, energy pollution, and just wanton unnecessary energy use. Like, this could be a massive silver lining that I'm trying to cling to in these dire and dark times.

I read 6 books in the opening salvo of our self-imposed quarantine. Right up until ANIMAL CROSSING happened. Whoops.

I think today and tomorrow I'm going to get a daily schedule locked into place. I hate that I need a schedule to be productive, but I NEED to get cracking on my doctorate. I really only need to write 2.5 chapters, and then I need to get my measurement tools (surveys) approved by ye olde workplace. I could, conceivably, have a lot of this knocked out by the second half of April. I just need to get my shit together. I am still getting up around 4:30 every morning. I'm just trying to decide if I'd rather work from like 6 to noon or noon to 6. Either of those would include a break halfway through, unless I hit a good jag. But I think 6 hours of solid work is a good chunk of time. I'm leaning toward the morning so that I can spend the rest of the day relaxing and doing things like working on music, playing video games, and reading more books. I already know that once I start indulging in leisure early in the morning that it's impossible to get my brain back on track to get to work afterward.

Well that seems settled then. Work in the morning. Living for the afternoons and evenings. I'll be damned but  illeism  works. Tho I do recognize that I don't speak in the third person on here, but seeing it written out decouples me from myself in much the same way. So yeah. Tomorrow I will start being a wonderfully productive person. (With a dose of Xanax sleep tonight to quell the anxiety I can already feel rising in lockstep with the looming reality of actually getting to work.)

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 Brighten the Lines 

archived:  16 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I have been doing my due diligence and spouse and I spent the entire weekend indoors. No walks (to be fair it snowed like 3" (7.5 cm) and it was cold. But also no random trips to our "usual spots" out of boredom. Just laid low, worked on our music project, and read A LOT. I'm halfway through the third book in the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemison, and I only just started the entire thing Thursday. I forgot what it is to enjoy reading. Now I don't want to do anything else.

I am doing my best to NOT turn on cable news today. I have a vested interest in watching teevee because one more case of community transmission means I'm out of work for 6-8 weeks. And I would prefer to hear it in the moment than second hand from someone in my social circle. I also just crave information. I've been accurate in every "prediction" (read: hypothesis based on the actual facts of the matter) every step along the way because I've been sussing the firehose every second of every day. Most people don't have the dual skillset of insatiable criticism and a solid background in immunological biology, and so I try to disseminate the information after I filter it the best I can. I mean, it's to a social circle of like 10, but still. That I am a conduit is integral to who I am. And I am loathe to allow misinformation where I can correct it.

In non-Covid-19 related news I am still feeling blah about working on my thesis defense. Okay so somewhat Covid-19 related, cos I feel like until I know that I do or do not have 6-8 weeks opening up in the future I just cannot focus on anything else. I will probably take a Xanax tonight to sleep, if just to clear up some of this brain fog. FUCK. I need to get this refilled. I hope the waiving of refill requirements will extend to a technically controlled substance. Welp, calling my doc will get added to the ol' to-do list today. Damn but everything reaally does revolve around this disaster.

I'm feeling so much regret for not having the opportunity to tell the folks in my charge at work how bad it was going to get, but the corner we turned happened mid-spring recess and that evaporated my opportunity. It doesn't make it hurt any less tho. Bleh.

I'm gonna go read and then get ready to Venture Out. I have a physical therapy appointment, and I need to snag cat food and litter. We have plenty of food and non-comeestibles, but I need to shore up on the fuzzball front.

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 Something to Watch 

archived:  13 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Well I'm out of work for one week for sure now thanks to my country's inability to have a functioning government in the face of a massive pandemic. I am predicting I won't be back at work again for a very very long time. We'll see. This provides me with a lot of time to get my doctoral work caught up, so that's good. Silver liningggggggggggg. I rescued my plants from my workplace because we're not allowed in after today at close of business, which is fucking insane. I have a LOT of plants at home now. So there's that.

Driving around the city is so fucking weird. We went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and it was a ghost town. We're just trying to find ways to make sure we're occupied at home as things get worse but I guess everyone has started hunkering down way before we have. Driving to PT this morning for my arm, the roads were so empty. Like, folks were out and about, but there wasn't traffic, and it was 8:30 am. Fucking bananananananas.

I'm sitting here with a cat on my chest waiting for that orange idiot to get on the news and say something else absolutely full of lies right before the weekend. I hope the stock market crashes. I'm poor. I want those plutocrat fucks to feel it.

I can't think of anything else of note. My physical therapy is going well. My PT person says I'm making progress even if it doesn't feel like it. Since work is on hiatus next week it was easy to schedule my next two sessions at my leisure. I could get used to this.

One thing to add: I am not making light of the situation. If my work had stayed open that would have been disastrous. I am so so so privileged to be in the position I'm in with my position and my salary protections. I only hope that folks in more tenuous situations get provided with the flexibility and support that they need.

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 Social Distancing 

archived:  12 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Well the world is a wild-ass place. Or a terrible place. Stuff with Covid-19 is a disaster. All because of a bunch of megalomaniacs who refuse to care about anything but $$. So business as usual.

I was supposed to do doctoral work all week and I just cannot get my head into it at all. Which is bad. Like really bad. I don't know how to fix it. Okay that's not entirely true. I can just force myself to get to work. But I'm so DISTRACTED by how wretched everything is right now. A lot because my work (and so many others') is on a knife's edge. Who knows if I'll even be going back to work on Monday, and if I don't, what the hell they'll expect from me. My particular workplace has a lot of mitigating circumstances that other places around me don't. I am extremely lucky that I am unionized and salaried and my pay is guaranteed no matter what happens. My spouse does not have that guarantee. Doubly lucky that I'm the primary breadwinner. If his work goes Very South at least I can cover the bills. Mostly. We will have to dump some non-essentials. And make some serious calls about what we consider essential and non-essential.

Physical therapy is kicking my ass. I have to practice "dart thrower's" movement, which hurts a lot, so it makes sense that that is where I need to focus my attention. I will say that laying in bed and typing hurts less today than it did earlier this week. I do all my flexes and stretches every day. I desperately want to get back to daily yoga and work outs, but I can't do that until 1) I get cleared for weight-bearing exercises for my arm, and 2) I get my mobility back. And 2 takes precedence over 1, so I work and work on my flexes and stretches.

Music work is going well on the project that spouse and I used to do with friends. We're doing it ourselves now because everyone is super unreliable. I don't understand how young folks get anything done when they won't commit to anything (said the woman avoiding her very necessary and important doctoral work), but like seriously when I commit to a thing I follow through. That's important to me. It is frustrating that it's not important to anyone else. *shrug*

Anyway anyway anyway I finished Cyteen, so let me go write about it.

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archived:  09 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Okay so it turns out that laying in bed and typing on my Surface is super painful but also I need to limber up my wrist so fuck it, we're doing it live.

The AdNauseam add-on makes neocities run so slow and I don't understand why. There is nothing to block here and knowing that I even disabled it for this site and still it is bleh. Oh well, I am not going to delete the add-on so I guess I need to just suck it up.

I got my nails re-dipped today. I went to my favored bougie nail place today and I was bummed because their color selection kind of super sucks BUT everyone there is super nice and they do such quality work and the price is the same so why would I go to the less-nice places? I also like that the owner of the nail shop actually works there. I don't trust owners who don't also do the work. Those people are always greedy assholes.

I have this grinding, clicking thing going on with my wrist that I didn't used to have before and it's making me crotchety. Everything is irrritating the hell out of me. I hope that fucking covid makes me have to stay home like all those lucky corporate fuckers on the coasts. No mention of all the wage-workers who haveto go to work no matter what or lese they'll lose their job or their housing or both. The only thing mentioned consistently in the news in the States is the fucking stock market. Good riddance, I hope it bottoms out. I am poor af, and a public employee. These motherfuckers can fucking rot.

Welp didn't mean for this to be a downer but here we are. I finished Cyteen but my wrist hurts too much from writing this to do a review. I'll write one tomorrow. We're also almost caught up on Avenue 5, which is fucking PHENOMENAL. Highly recommend if you're into absurdist satire.

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archived:  05 March 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I don't know how the last week got awy from me. I mean I do. It's a high stakes time at work and I'm exhausted and I've had to do something every damn day after work this week. Today I get a haircut. I'm also skressed because next week I have to buckle down like whoa and get a ton of work done for my doctorate and I'm dreading trying to get back into that groove.

On the flip side of that torment is the fact that DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME IS FINALLY BACK THIS WEEKEND. I want it to never leave again. Nothing makes me feel as good as ALL SUNLIGHT ALL THE TIME makes me feel. I should start planning my garden for this year. I think working in the garden will be a good way to work on my making my wrist more functional. I am doing all of my physical therapy exercises, but I am pretty sure doing something a bit more concentrated on something tat is actually productive in a more tangible sense will be a good thing.

I also want to get back into bujo which is stupid because I know that's just my brain wanting to distract me from things I need to do. I suppose the upside is that I haven't felt the urge to do anything since I broke my fucking arm, so at least I'm feeling capable enough to seek distraction. For what that's worth.

I am trying to decide if I want to build archive-type pages to limit pages to 10 or 20 entries but uuuuuuuuuuugh that would require a fair amount of infrastructure that I don't feel like working back into my tags and legitimate archive page. Maybe I'll do an archive page per month. That would be much easier to fix. I dunno, it's something to think about.

The weather has been extremely nice this week. Like too nice but hey gloabl warming so whatever. We've gone on lots of walks and just spent time together and it's nice. Being outside is so good, everyone should do it.

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archived:  27 February 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I applied for a corporate job at a corporation that I dislike, but I also dislike every corporation. And then I looked at the possible pay an it's not even good. Not good enough to sell out my beliefs and convictions. And I'd like to say that no amount would be enough, but that is untrue. So oh well it is what it is. If they were to offer me 6 figures I would probably take it. *shrug*

Today at work is boring as hell. I have nothing to work on and WORK-work doesn't start until noon. I am just sitting here listening to podcasts and doing some physical therapy stuff for my wrist. I'm going to hunker down and read and maybe finish up Cyteen. I'm planning to start NK Jemison's Inheritance trilogy next. Or maybe no reading while I work to make up for 2.5 monhts of lost labor on my doctorate. Who knows.

I'm also waiti8ng to hear if I'm going to be doing an additional writing project this summer. I 100000000000000000000% don't want to do it, but I also want to 100% pay off my fucking arm surgery because I live in a capitalist hellscape where breaking my arm cost me $4,650, and that's only because I HAVE health insurance. I hate it here. I hate it here so much. I don't understand how anyone defends living here. It is terrible. I'm fucking LUCKY and it is god damned terrible.

I know this time of year is peak!depression due to the season and the dark and the cold and blah blah but I'm having difficulty. The arm doesn't help. And I'm progressing well. My physical therapist tells me every time we meet that I'm doing better than I should be, that I'm ahead of the curve, but it still fucking sucks. I can't let go of how disappointed I am that I am not where I expected to be as though being disappointed is going to erase this experience. Like, dear brain, you are being fucking ridiculous. My hope is that writing this will alleviate some of my mental pain. Name it to tame it, externalize it, etc. I'm still very skeptical of CBT and mindfulness because band-aids don't heal deep wounds. So I'm just trying to build the substrate to make it harder for this building to take root. Strong foundations to allow shallow treatments to have an impact.

I'm off to do some things. Maybe it'll be a two-post day.

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archived:  21 February 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I had forgotten what it was like to get a tattoo. It hurts! But in every way I didn't anticipate and none of the ways I did. But it's done and I love it and now it just has to heal.

I am plugging away at work, trying to get ahead and sort of failing but also not giving a shit about when I am givien unrealistic expectations because life is too short.

I am really excited because spouse and I talked a lot of books with my tattoo artist and I've got the fucking book bug. I want to read all the things! The convo also reminded me that I have quite a few more things that I can add to the consume section of this here ol' website.

Tonight we're recording drums and I'm excited because we recruited someone to do the cover art for our upcoming album. I am really damn excited.

My arm is starting to hurt so I'm gonna cut this short. Monday I get this damn cast off!

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archived:  20 February 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

An update! In the same week!

Typing hurts like hell, but more because the cast is restricting my wrist than because of actual pain. So it's annoying, but atleast I know my arm is healing and ready to get out there and do great things!

Today I get a tattoo on my neck because I'm a little bit self-destructive but also I don't care and if that is something that holds me back then someone who isn't me is getting wrecked. By me.

Tomorrow we're going overto our neighbor's houseto record a bunch of drums and I am very excited because what has been Sysiphean is maybe tipping into "actually getting done" territory. I forget sometimes that I am good at leveraging people because I don't actually like being a pushy asshole. So I'm being pushy. And shit is getting done.

I talked to my thesis advisor yesterday. She said it's okay that I'm a bit behind due to The Arm, so I'm feeling less stressed in that arena.

I'm about 2/3 through Cyteen by CJ Cherryh and it is by and far the hardest I've ever worked to read a book, and that includes a weekend fly-through of Dahlgren by Samuel R. Delany. I'll post about it thoroughly when I finish it. My goal is to get it done by spring break, so I can focus the break on my doctoral work.

More later!

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archived:  17 February 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

I am working slowly at getting my hand back in useable order. It is tedious. I am very very far behind on everything. It makers me so incredibly sad. I'm trying not to be depressed. It is hard.

I am going to try to do some yoga today. A revised sun salutation so that I can work on how stiff the rest of my body is. My shoulder is tight as heccc and my hips are popping all the time and I do not like it.

Thursdy I get a neck tattoo cos fuck it why not and next Monday I finally get to move from this stupid cast to a removable splint.

I don't know when I'll get back to daily updates, but I'm going to try.

Talk soon!

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archived:  20 January 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Wow re-reading my 02 Jan post is kind of triggering af.

Right after I posted I went to take down our outdoor holiday lights. I fell and dislocated the hand on my dominant arm. I also fractured the distal end of my radius in 3 places as well as sending a hairline fracture along the bone. I had a metal plate put in last Monday and it took me a week of protracted agony to recover from my "out-patient" surgery.

I'm looking at 11 more weeks of recovery and it is killing me. And I probably owe $2300 just for the surgery. That's with $400/mo insurance. God only knows how much PT is going to run me.

I managed to pinch the fuck out of a nerve in my neck on Thursday, so apparently this is another never-ending thing I get to experience.

I can't shower or wash my hair on my own and it is slowly driving me absolutely crazy. Most other things I have pieced out on my own because relying on others is dumb as hell.

Anyway updates are probably going to be sporadic because one-handed typing with my garbage hand gives me fits.

I may test out some dictation tools today.

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 Do You Really? 

archived:  02 January 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Well I've been doing a lot today. Or at least I think it feels like I am.

I am busy updating our second desktop computer and putting all of our music software onto it. This is twofold. First: I want a machine up and ready to go in case mine explodes. Second: It would be nice to have a machine at our drummer's place so that we don't have to lug a tower back and forth every dang time.

I went to work out today, but the app I am using wants me to pay an annual membership. Downside: $60. Upsides: cheaper than a gym, I can do it at home, it's super cute. I dunno. I may wait until payday next week. I did do my sun salutation yoga warm up just to work on being limber, so I did SOMETHING which is good! Especially cos I still feel nauseous as all hell and I Do Not Like It.

I am trying to get a couple of bills paid. One is annoying because I can only do it on the phone (medial stuff) and the other is annoying because our credit card changed holders and the website is inoperable even though PEOPLE STILL HAVE BILLS TO PAY. I can do that one on the phone as well but ugh gross.

I also did my morning chores, which is a feat for me cos when I'm not working having a schedule is Very Hard. But I'm doing it, dammit!

I am going to take down our outdoor holiday decorations in a bit here, and I'm going to work on making all of our song files nice and consistent so that when we work on mixing the rest of the drums, and moving foward, things should just be easy. I wonder if Ableton lets you set up whole templates. That would be kind of amazing. I already have racks set up for everything, but a whole song layout for our project would be super convenient. Oh dang just used THE INTERNET and found out that I can set up templates. Shit is about to get Real.

I think I burnt myself out on trying to get all these damn cookies made in Destiny 2. I have like 62 to go, but I also have 2 weeks, so maybe I'll take a break from video games today? I really want to read. And do puzzles. And now that we've rearranged our living space I also want to clean some more. Isn't it weird how Kondo'ing and organizing just does that to a person? Go figure.

I have learned that being without my sunshine replacement light makes me Really Irritable and honestly this is kind of a breakthrough. I recognized the behavior and I've been working to keep it at bay. I mean, I want to buy a light, but I also desperately need to keep our money in order and so I'm doing a little self-correction in the meantime.

Woof I forgot how long it takes computers to update and install software. Maybe I'll just go shower and take down the decorations while this is doing what it's doing.

I also want to do some minor tweaks to the website, but Idk I'm kind of like "I dunno if I acutally want it" or if I just want to do it cos I'm antsy and I go to coding when I want to relax. I'm gonna think on it some more.

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 Lonelier Than God 

archived:  01 January 2020 
tagged:  Writing 

Hello new year!

The last few days of 2019 were fine. Actually, yesterday was super-productive! We spent 5 hours using this  great and thorough drum mixing tutorial  for Ableton Live. Like, this is one of the best tutorials I've used outside of  InspirAspir's channel . So yeah, if you're looking for tips on Ableton, I suggest checking them out.

For today I'm planning to properly implement all of my "better myself" plans. So I am going to work out today. I'm also going to make sure I actually do all the things on my to-do list with presence and purpose.

We bought a papasan for me (A LIFELONG DREAM, FULFILLED!) and moved all of our recording equipment to one side of the room for ease of use and more floor space. A three-fer, honestly. We also moved our serviceable-but-uncomfortable-for-long-periods futon downstairs and so now we have a cozy sitting room adjacent to the dining room which we use as our actual living room. (Our house is old and laid out kind of odd. We have a front room which I think is supposed to be the living room/parlour, the dining room which we use as the living room, and another room at the base of the stairs that we use mostly as a library. They're all really open to each other so it's like I kind of wish I knew what the original uses of these spaces were.

I've been feeling nauseous for the past week and I can't tell if it's because I started working out again, I'm actually sick, PMS-related nonsense, or my body is finding new ways to tell me that I'm having a panic attack. I'd prefer it be that I'm just adjusting to being active again.

Anyway, the morning has somewhat gotten away from me, and I want to spend some time not on computers, so I'm going to go eat lunch, work out, and then read a book. Or maybe vacuum. Or vacuum and then read. Who knows.

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archived:  26 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Updating on holiday is hard. Or I keep putting it off cos it's holiday. Either way I've been somewhat remiss.

I did a MASSIVE reorganize of all of my toys and then realized I have a bunch more toys still boxed up and Idek what I'm going to do to get them all displayed. But I got all of my Destiny stuff out and it is glorious. Sorry, I'm too lazy for pictures.

I also FINALLY got off my ass and uploaded my  corporate//astrology  stuff to  distrokid  so that it could be, well, distro'd everywhere. I included all of the capitalist nightmare companies cos why not. But I swear to god if I hear one of my songs in an Apple ad I'm gonna [radio static].

My hips have hurt terribly the last week and I think it's my body's last attempt to get me to exercise before I become just old and debilitated. When I was working out my hips never popped and my gait actually improved. Since I stopped the popping has returned, I'm duck-footed again, and my hips hurt All Of The Time.

This update is going to be short because I'm tired and I didn't work out and I kind of just want to veg out for a bit. I'm gonna go drink some hot chocolate and then take a shower.

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 A Few Details 

archived:  24 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Today is better than the 22nd. Yesterday was also fine. Spouse decided it was time to part ways with his giant collection of AD&D materials and so now we're just waiting on appraisal from our local shop on what we can get in trade or cash.

I did some organizing and decluttering of my own today. Our front room which is also the room where I play video games, do homework, and where we record music was just NOT put together in a way that made any kind of sense. I changed some cords (don't let the fire department come to my house ever dear lord our wiring is so old and my rigging, while adequate, is also horrifying) and moved ALL of my collectibles around. It's hard. I 100% quit all of Blizzard's projects in the wake of their shit-ass behavior toward their employees and with regard to the OWL player who dared speak out against China. But I still have all of my Overwatch pops and my plush pachimari. A friend said it makes sense to remind ourselves of the fun we had, and I am still very impressed by the deep roster of women characters that are playable. I have loads of toys and I'm still missing 4 of the women characters. I won't be buying more, but I am not yet ready to part with what I do have.

I gave all of my Destiny toys much more prominent placement and I love it. I'm just waiting on my Taken King collector's edition to arrive so I can put out stuff from all of the things. I don't have all of the toys, but I have a lot and I love them and I know that makes me a shitty consumer capitalist but I also don't care. This game gives me the same kind of hope and purpose feeling that Hannibal (the teevee series) gave me when I was at the lowest point of my adult life. Not that I'm at a low point now. I am not, but the game gives me those same good feelings and that's okay.

I have got to try to fit in a Hannibal rewatch this break. It's my winter ritual. Also a summer ritual. That show is so perfect. I'll write about it some time. I'll also write about The Mandalorian as soon as the final episode airs cos HOLY HECCC is it great. I think I may forgo Rise of Skywalker altogether and just cherry pick the SW stuff I choose to interact with. Kind of like the only Marvel movies I've seen are the Guardians of the Galaxy films.

Speaking of movies, we're going to see  Tremors  (MOVIE PARTY),  In the Mouth of Madness , and  Santa FUCKING Sangre  in January at the Alamo and I am SO FUCKING EXCITED.

Anyway I'm off to make a dent in  Cyteen .

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archived:  22 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

I have not seen the new Star Wars. I don't know that I will.  Here is the long and short of why . I have NEVER liked JJ Abrams. I tried to watch Lost, made it 3 episodes in, and knew he was a disaster. Super 8 was a onanistic, vapid, uninspired series of homages to films we'd both seen as children. The Force Awakens is the same. And it would seem he squandered every ounce of potential that Rian Johnson fought for. Oh well, maybe for me the series just ends on The Last Jedi, aka, the only other good Star Wars film after Rogue One.

I've been in a bad mood the last two days and I'm trying to fix it but I'm not sure how. I have been waking up every night mid-panic attack and I don't get it. The pressure of spending this time off "well" is a nightmare. I hate that I'm somehow put unachievable expectations onto free time.

I did find a person to order The Taken King collector's edition from, so I'll finally have the full set of collector's editions and that is very exciting. I can't wait to reorganize all my STUFF to properly display all of it.

Keeping it short because I need to be up and active to keep my brain from having The Sads.

OH! And a friend graciously gave us her Disney+ password (she's had our Netflix for eons) and so we started watching The Mandalorian, which I do like. So there's that.

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 Shine On 

archived:  20 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Wow today was a fucking LOT. Like, start to finish.

And by start I mean when I woke up at 12:32 am cos I had to pee and didn't fall back asleep until 2 am cos I was having a panic attack for No God Damn Reason. Like, I talked to my advisor yesterday evening and she said to make sure I actually took the break to do no work. I had everything done at Day Job and so like why was I in a state of panic??? And I couldn't take a Xanax cos those wipe me out for 8-10 hours at a time, and I would not have woken up for work. So that was a bummer of a start.

Then A Thing happened that put everyone at work on edge. It resolved without incident but it was A Whole Thing. (Can't talk about it cos REASONS.)

The rest of the day was pretty easy-breezy. And then the work day ended and ANOTHER INCIDENT happened and it had nothing to do with me per se, but it caused a ruckus that reverberated like bananananas.

Anyway, after all that nonsense and tying up a few loose ends I went home and that was good. I was mindful of unplugging everything non-essential for the break so that electricity would not be wasted. I think I'm going to try to incorporate that into my daily, or at least weekly routine when I go back in January.

Leaving work I felt so weird because I quite literally have nothing work- or degree-related that I need to do for the next two weeks and like whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat even do I do with myself? I guess all of those tidying and organizing things I keep talking about. Now I get to do them because I want to, and not just because I'm trying to productively procrastinate. Weird.

We bought a couple more last-minute xmas gifts cos apparently that's just Who We Are now. And that's fine with me. It makes us feel good and xmas will be that much more cheery for it.

I'm keeping it short today because I want to snuggle into bed with a movie and get rested up before having to spend Saturday evening with (blech) my side of the family. At least they scheduled xmas early this year so I can enjoy pretty much all of my break without them. Hooray!

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archived:  19 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Today is okay. I feel like it should be better, but it's just kind of meh.

I think I'm really stressed because now that the district gave me a mostly green light on my research I have to get to work and I was reeeeeeeeeeeeeally enjoying having just one full time job. Sigh. It's fine. I am so close. I can do this.

On the plus side I got a BUNCH of organizational stuff done in my classroom. Well, really just one thing, but it's a thing I've been putting off cos of The Lazy for a while.

I had gotten a metric ton of manila folders from a coworker so that I could organize all of the papers for my classes. So today I filed everything away. It's not perfect. I didn't label the folders. And I didn't separate everything to the micro-managed extent that I actually want, BUT the mountain of folders that were stacked haphazardly behind my desk is gone now so yay!

I also bought some table caddies for markers, glue, etc, and I got them all set up and organized on all the tables in my workspace and they're super-cute. Will they stay organized forever? No. But now I'll have a lot less movement around my room and that makes me happy.

So my workspace is feeling exceptionally tidy (for me) and I'm excited cos after today I get to put a bunch more things into storage and that will make my brain feel less fuzzy and overwhelmed.

There is a practice called "illeism" I read about  here  that I think I am going to try to employ here. So if you see me writing in the third person on here, it's me trying to force perspective and deescalate my wont to catastrophize. I say this even though I am in the camp of people who thinks that  CBT alone is putting a bandaid on a fatal wound . But I also know that sometimes short-term solutions can get us to long-term solutions. I'm going to be mindful of not letting CBT strategies trap me into NOT making actual progress.

It's funny because one of my favorite ASMRtists, Olivia Kissper, recently quit doing ASMR. She quit because she said ASMR can become a crutch, and she wants to help people, not give them more crutches. And I don't disagree. Her  video about this  was perfectly timed because I am really working to remove the crutches I've accrued in my life. I know she made a lot of people mad, but when you tell people they're doing something that hinders their personal growth they're bound to get mad. It hurts to get called out on how you aren't really trying. And you can either start trying or you can throw a tantrum. I'm just gonna try. (And like I said before, I am interested in slowly cultivating practices that displace CBT, so yes, I'm keeping with ASMR, at least until I'm ready to move on.)

Anyway, illeism here we go:

paeneultima is very scared of everything ahead of her for her doctorate. She knows she's behind on getting her research done and she has no one to blame but herself. BUT she also knows that when she gets to work, her work is really good! So she gets stuck in this loop where she puts stuff off forever and then panics and then has to do everything at the last moment which sends her into having to take Xanax so she can sleep at night.

Recognizing this, paeneultima is going to sit down and do her work a little bit each evening. She has read about the  pomodoro technique  and thinks that this is a good strategy to help her stay focused without going bananas. Her spouse is already a fantastic helper in this area, asking her to take breaks and take care of herself.

It is going to be okay.

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 Intense Pigment 

archived:  18 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Well the meeting with the research division at my work was very good. So as promised here is my second update in one day. I am not going to get into specifics because The Internet is Big and even though I am circumspect here, I don't need a random lo-fi post in the back corner of the internet fucking up my doctorate when I'm so fucking close. So suffice it to say that things are a "go" and hooray for everything.

The potluck at work went well. Half of my enormous crock pot of vegan beef stew got eaten which is way more than I'd anticipated. A coworker made this vegan chili but it had sweet potatoes and quinoa and was the epitome of everything I hate about ~vegan food~ where it has to be so far removed from regular food that it's gross. I ate it and pretended I liked it because the coworker who made it isn't even vegan but she made it thinking of me and even called me to tell me about it. Bless her heart I hate fancy vegan food. Haha.

I lost an ebay auction for a sealed copy of the collector's edition for The Taken King which makes me sad cos 1) it was cheap, and 2) it is the only Destiny collector's edition I don't own. It's fine. I talk so much about not spending money, I should probably just, you know, not spend money. I'm gonna lay off checking ebay for a bit. Another copy will pop up sometime later when I'm feeling more comfortable and our credit card is paid back down.

I really need to work on my spanish because as I come to the end of my doctorate I know I need to get out of the US. It is so terrible here, and I have many [redacted] reasons that Spain is the best place for us to resettle. I just want to be someplace work workers and life outside of work are valued. Banananas, I know, but I want it and I'm sick of not having it.

I'm pretty excited because tomorrow I have nothing on my plate other than filing away a million papers that I keep meaning to file and then forgetting about because everthing else takes a higher priority. I also need to Marie Kondo my storage at work. Maybe I'll tackle that as well.

I just read a nice  research article  about how exercise reduces your body's response to stress, and  another  about how it an increase cognitive flexibility. I felt really alive this summer when I exercised every morning. I need to get back to that. I have a simple workout routine that I might start from day one all over again. I think I'll just do it at work before the day starts. I get there so early that I'll have plenty of time as long as I stop putzing around and actual regiment my time and stick to a plan. I want to do and feel better all day every day and so I gotta just do it already! No more looking for ways out, or distractions. Just pure, unadulterated feeling damn good.

If you're interested, what I was doing before, and what I will be revisiting is a work out plan on  darebee , specifically the  90 Days of Action  program. I loved it. I am probably just going to start over. I made it 45 days before the school year started and I immediately retreated back to being a slug. My hips hurt all the time again, my knees hurt, my gait is awful. In the 45 days that I did these workouts I felt fantastic, my hips didn't pop at every turn, and my gait was correcting itself. Time to get back to that.

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archived:  18 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Today is a reckoning day, for today I go to plead my case to the head of research at my work regarding my doctoral thesis proposal. Pray for Mojo.

Aside from this guillotine blade hanging over my head this day is pretty okay.

The spouse and I prepped everything for the vegan beef stew last night. This morning I cooked the mirepoix, and then I took like 7 tupperwares of chopped veggies to work and assembled the entire stew in my crock pot in our lunch festivities room. I am antsy because I want so badly to hover over it and stir it constantly, but it is SO FAR from my workspace. Which is good because otherwise I'd ruin its cooking by constantly letting all of the heat out of the crock pot. I'm a smother mother sometimes (all the time). I just want things to be perfect and I have a hard time letting things sit. It's something I'm working on, but it is hard.

I just realized I have a load of free time the last 1.5 hours of work and I might take that time to swing by Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase a couple of  Happy Lights  for home. I actually might just take my work light home and just buy one and save myself the $40 I would spend on a second one for home. Why spend money I don't need to spend? (Yes, I am working on being more thoughtful about spending as well as everything else.)

I am pretty excited about winter break because while I do plan to work on whatever my proposal ends up being, I also plan to FINALLY finish reading Cyteen by CJ Cherryh. It's not a bad book, not at all. It's AMAZING. There is SO MUCH going on. But there is SO MUCH going on and her writing is dense as well as spare. She makes you work for the reading and I love it, but it's hard to settle in with her writing when I have so so so so so much going on in real life. With work being on hiatus for a couple weeks I think I can carve out some brain space for deep reading.

I might update twice today. It will depend on if this afternoon's evening goes well or not. I suppose if I update twice you'll know it went well. If I don't it'll be because I'm contemplating quitting my degree entirely. So that's fun!

I don't want to end on a dour note, so I will close with re-recommending  Pocket . I might even get the subscription. It's that good! I tried and tried and tried to use Evernote and it was just so clunky and counterintuitive and every change to their layout to "streamline" things meant I had to relearn the entire damn app. No bueno. So yeah. Pocket. Good stuff.

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 In Picture 

archived:  17 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

I did a few kind of big changes in my life today.

First: I deleted my  Habitica  account. It's not that I didn't love it. I thought it was great! It was that to get what I wanted I needed to be in parties with other people, and other people are super inconsiderate. I had to leave one party because an IRL friend was so awful about keeping up with their to-do list that it kept wiping our entire party. The second group I joined wasn't much better. I also realized that I didn't really need the gamified aspect as much any more. I'd earned basically all of the pets and trophies and it just felt like treading water and I was just so angry and frustrated by everyone else being unwilling to do their fair share for everyone else. So I unsubscribed and deleted.

I picked up a new to-do app,  Todoist . It's very minimalist, and while I don't necessarily embrace all of the white-people ideas of how minimalism is the road to salvation, I do appreciate that it is not something that can lead me into infinite distraction. I even sprang for the paid account. I was paying $5/mo for habitica just so I could get more in-game goodies. I'm paying $3/mo (in a once-a-year charge of $36) for pure functionality. And I'm okay with that. I even downloaded the desktop version. One less tab to have open and pinned in a sea of open and pinned tabs.

I finally got my  Pocket  account set up through Firefox. I know some folks deride it, because it offers suggested reading material based on readers, and well lots of readers are.....not well-read. But I don't care about that. All I wanted was a place to save and store articles and it does that. I can tag them, I can highlight particularly relevant passages, and it syncs everywhere! Unfortunately it doesn't have a desktop app, but beggars can't be choosers and I mostly use it on my phone, which does have an app, anyway. I don't go in for any kind of social media, but if you have a Pocket account and want to reciprocally follow each other's feeds, send me an  email  and I'll make it happen!

A thing I've had for a minute but hadn't really looked into its versatility is the  Enhancer for YouTube Firefox extension . I really like it because, well YT is ugly, and I hate the limitations to settings. (I mean, YT is evil, but no one is displacing it any time soon.) Anyway my favorite feature is being able to do "picture in picture" which means I can have a tiny pop-up of whatever ASMR I'm watching in the bottom, right-hand corner of my browser while I'm on other sites. I fucking love it!

It's kind of been like a Marie Kondo of tech stuff for me today. Keeping things I wanted, prioritizing things that matter. Eschewing things that I was holding onto for sentimental reasons. I feel really fucking good. It's wonderful.

Now I need to go prep a bunch of food for a potluck at work tomorrow. I'm taking a vegan beef stew that the spouse and I have been perfecting over the last month. Tonight I gotta get the mirepoix ready so I can cook it in the morning, chop up some potatoes, and make sure I have everything else I need bagged up and ready to go so that when I get to work tomorrow I can just throw it all in the crock pot and let it cook to perfection. I'm already so so hungry just thinking about it.

I will post about Steven Universe Future soon, I am just waiting for the limited series to wrap up this upcoming Saturday.

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archived:  16 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

I kept meaning to update over the weekend, but weekends have a way of making it So Hard to find a moment to actually update!

I got my Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Collector's Edition and it is glorious. I'm eyeing a collector's edition of The Taken King cos then I'd have all of them, and I think that's pretty cool. All that said, I am thinking of paring down a lot of my toys. I want to keep most of it, but I'm going to eschew my Overwatch toys (fuck Blizzard) except for my pachimari cos I just love it so much. But idk maybe that, too. I have plans to reorganize my work/gaming/music recording room and I think that will help me to decide what I do and do not want/need in my life anymore.

Other things... we got our xmas shopping completely finished. We got the money for the sale of one of our old bass guitars. Waiting on a couple of other music-related items to sell. They Live was great on the big screen. More on that later probably in detail under consumed media.

I am planning to go by Bed Bath & Beyond tomorrow to pick up a couple of happiness lights. They're $40 apiece which isn't cheap, but I want to make sure I get my allotment of sunshine one way or another over my two week break from work. I also think they'll help my spouse out, cos hell, everyone is ruined by this time of year. I know that by the end of a regular weekend away from my light at work I'm at the end of my tether regarding my own moods and ability to stabilize my emotions/responses to stimuli.

I'm supposed to be completing a document for my school work, but I'm feeling salty and petty cos the head of my program takes forever to get back to me all of the time. So I'm gonna work on it tomorrow and fuck it. It'll get done when it gets done and he can suck an egg.

I'm making our vegan beef stew for our work potluck on Wednesday. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to cook the mirepoix the night before, or just do it quick the morning of. Probably the night before. It'll be fine.

I don't know I'm in this weird headspace where all I want to do is be productive, but not on time wasters. Like, I'm still in love with Destiny 2, but I think I wore myself out on the grind at the end of the Season of the Undying. Thinking about logging in to keep up with the Season of the Dawn stuff makes me feel so tired. I don't like when relaxation becomes a job.

I did buy a puzzle and a puzzle roll over the weekend, and it's honestly all that I think about. I just wish I had a better space for doing puzzles. Right now I just unroll it on the bed. What I really want is a space where I can lay out the roll and spread out the unused pieces so that I can strategize better. Yes, I am definitely the person who does the entire edge of the puzzle before working on the middle. It's just who I am.

Anyway, wow this was long. I'm going to work harder on updating daily. I am kind of sad right now, but I'm pretty sure it's cos I'm in PMS territory, and I'm still recovering from the weekend away from my light. I'm gonna watch some ASMR and then head to an early bed time. I've got more Steven Universe: The Future to watch.

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 Holding Patterns 

archived:  13 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Waiting waiting waiting. Waiting for that meeting with research next week. Waiting for the head of my doctoral program to email me a document I need to complete. Endless waiting. But it's okay. My spouse said it's kind of like a forced vacation; I can't do any work because all of my work hinges on these things being done, and them getting done any sooner is out of my hands. So I'm trying to enjoy it.

I did our budgeting for the next two weeks and either I've grossly underestimated our circumstances, or we're in really good shape. I am hoping it's the latter. I use  You Need A Budget  (YNAB for short) and I love it. Here's a if you're interested in signing up! It's $84 a year, but that works out to $7/month, which is less than Hulu or Netflix.

I am really excited for the weekend. I'm not worried about money. The holidays are mostly sorted. I now know my side of the family is doing xmas way in advance of the actual holiday, so I can rest easy at home with spouse and his mom instead of worrying about spending time with my less-than-awesome relatives.

My Destiny 2 Shadowkeep collectors edition is en route to my house right now and I am so damn excited I can hardly stand it. The hardest part is going to be deciding whether to wait for xmas or just open it now. Just got a text update saying it should arrive about the time that I get home yesssssssssssssssssssss.

I have a few different media posts planned, one about Mike Birbiglia, one about Dragon Prince season 3, one about the first few episodes of Steven Universe: The Future. Spoiler alert: they're all glowing. I may sit down this weekend and bang them all out, since I have nothing to do work/doctorate wise until next Wednesday at the earliest.

I'm also excited to get to work on Techs Arcana over the winter break. It's been a while since I've done any bleeps and bloops.

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archived:  12 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Well got a few things squared away yesterday. I'm meeting with the head of research at my workplace NEXT Wednesday in order to plead the case for my doctorla research. So yay on that. And the head of my doctoral program FINALLY said he'd send me a document I need. So yay on that. AND I got my student loan deferment reinstated so YAYAYAYAY on that. Hecc, I did a lot this week!

Saturday we're going to a screening of THEY LIVE, which I love so so so so much. John Carpenter is my favorite film auteur. I miss when studios were willing to make films that seem so off the wall and barely held together. I miss messy films. I mean, we still have them in perpetuity, but I wish they were still getting made. The last really messy movie that made it to the big screen that I can think of is Southland Tales, which is a Philip K Dick-esque story come to life with no holds barred.

I got my pile o' goodies from Bungie yesterday, and I'm wearing my Xur tights today. They are amazing. Now I know what quality tights feel like. Smooth and cozy and actually fitted to my tiny human body.

I've been thinking a lot about how men are basically garbage, and how being a woman is hard and I have been thinking a lot about transhumaniism and biohacking and gender and I think that we women should reclaim plastic surgery as a transhumanist endeavor.

Can you imagine how quickly men would line up for plastic surgery if it was called "transhuman transformation."? All of them, probably.

I am still on the feeling good all of the time train, which makes me nervous cos I don't want to not feel good. I think I am going to take my happiness light home over the two week work break so that I can maintain consistent levels of good feelings. Or maybe I'll buy one (or two) for at home. Wouldn't hurt to have one in my work area and in our bedroom. Feeling good is for everyone!

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 Will I Feel 

archived:  10 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Today has been a really good day.

I realized today that I've felt not-depressed for what I can only say is a really long time. I do not doubt for a second that my little happiness light has had a lot ot do with it. I just feel...good? Like, all of the time? Even though I am super-stressed about all this bullshit with my doctorate and my dumb workplace being dumb I'm not like completely broken up about it? Idk it's really nice.

Other things that are nice that happened today include me winning my first and probably only ebay auction. I really wanted that Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Collector's Edition that I missed out on and I won one! Hooray! Pics and all that good stuff will be in a post when it arrives.

My Destiny 2 goodies order that I made (completely unrelated to the auction) should be arriving at the house tomorrow. I'm sort of irked because it's been sitting in my city since yesterday but whatever. I don't need or want to be complicit in the same kind of toxic convenience culture that gave us Amazon. No fucking thank you.

I'm currently awaiting (impatiently) for my PlayStation to update Destiny 2 for Season of the Dawn and trying to not be irritated that it didn't do this automatically while I was at work. Stupid technology.

Not everything in my life is consumed by Destiny 2, I swear. It's just it's damn Dawning and magic and faith aren't real in real life, but they're real there and so I pretend for this brief window that it's real for me to. I send up my wishes to the Traveler every day it's silly but I don't care.

I feel the best I've felt in years during this non-summer time and I can only say that if you are able, get yourself a happiness light. They make a world of difference.

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archived:  09 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

The weekend was kind of a lot so bleh.

Today has been ridiculous.

We had a power outage at work, and my boss said we were closing and all of the necessary transportation showed up to get folks home and then her bosses decided it wasn't her call to make (it is 14°F/-10°C outside and there's no power, but yes, let's keep work on) and said that unless folks found their own rides that they were at work for all of the work hours.

The power came on 3 hours later, when we were down about 90% of our regular workforce.

Mostly I'm sad cos I thought I'd get to go home and finish up my last 2 levels in Destiny 2 before the server reset for Season of the Dawn. Now I have to do it tonight which is fine, but I have less time so it's a bit more stressful.

I got my student loans put back into deferment, so that's good. They still say they're due today, which is annoying but I'm ignoring it because the lady promised me I wouldn't have to pay today.

I am also getting a massive push back from my district against my doctorate thesis proposal. Which is fun after they told me to wait until after my university gave the greenlight on my research. Think if I'd actually waited until after my proposal defense to find out I can't do my research? I fucking hate these people.

ANYWAY everything is either great or terrible and I don't really like it because it's hard to feel any kind of way when everything is so extreme, and so much is so extremely opposite of everything else. It's a lot.

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 The Other Side 

archived:  06 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

I had a very stressful day for no good reason and my shoulders feel like I've been carrying a water yoke for hours with 20 gallons of water on both ends.

That being said I think it was a very good day. I got my hair cut and it looks cute. I'm working on growing my undercut back and my stylist is amazing and so it should go well (I currently have a chelsea, I'm just bored of it).

I informed our (now) former singer that they are in fact our former singer. I'm disappointed that there was zero remorse or acknowledgement of their responsibility as to why things worked out the way they did. Which, I suppose, is why I had to send the damn text in the first place. I don't know what I was expecting. Some level of self-awareness I guess. Or maybe they just wanted me to be the one to pull the trigger. I don't know. I'm not a psychologist and I don't claim to be. I'm just tired.

I made a pretty big breakthrough on some personal stuff this week. I don't like holidays cos they're inevitably disappointing. I have been focusing on how other people enjoy them and doing the things that they like. This also preoccupies me and keeps me from being a grinch, which is both stupid and more work than just enjoying the small moments.

Anyway, I'm all tucked in and ready to watch the first installments of Steven Universe: The Future, so I'm signing off for the night.

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 Not Waving But Drowning 

archived:  05 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

This week is too much.

I don't know how people get off work and then spend all damn evening having to Do Things. Like, I have had to Do Things every god damn day after work this week and it is so fucking much and tomorrow I have to Do A Thing after work and I might scream. Stop making me Do Things after fucking work!

Things that are good:

I brought one of my plants to work that was very sad at home. It was sad because the window I was keeping it in was Too Cold, and the pot I had it in SUCKS. So now it has a nice pot and it is in a cozy, very humid space, and it is happy. I have to remember to bring some cuttings of my string of pearls for a coworker because she brought me a rubber plant cutting and I want to return the favor.

I fucking love plants, you know?

And I spent time trimming and loving each of my plants at work today and it was really nice. Sometimes I get so caught up in everything else that even watering my plants feels like so much work, but whenever I settle in to really love of them I am just really fucking happy. And they're happy cos they're cared for and growing and everything is good. Speaking of which, I think I have a little shoot starting at the base of one of my cacti and I'm really excited because I've never had that happen before. I'm kind of a smother mother, and cacti have always been very difficult for me. So yay progress!

I'm gonna go play video games and relax before going to bed.

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archived:  04 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

This week has been a fucking lot.

I don't know how it happened, but I have to stay late nearly every night this week at work. And then I had to finish putting up Xmas lights on the house. And then I forgot I'm supposed to meet with my advisor in....16 minutes online. And I am waaaaaaaaaaaaay behind on work stuff. And doctorate stuff. And just everything.

How did this happen?

The usual. I was so caught up in being anxious that procrastination kicked in to eleven and I did nothing but play phone games and wonder why I have no time.

AND I forgot to license my car until the last minute.

Like I said it's been a lot.

That being said, it hasn't been bad. Work is going well, at least the portion of it that I am a part of. I helped out a coworker who was feeling overwhelmed. I bought gifts for a different coworker who had an EXTREMELY terrible day yesterday.

Even just now I got distracted by distractions on my phone. Good god my brain is a fucking problem.

I am going to let this month be the month I tame it. I am going to get down to brass tacks and actually create a to-do list. I might even enlist a coworker to help put the proverbial screws to myself in order to make sure it all gets done. I have goals and I need to meet them.

Just because they are far away doesn't mean that they don't exist. *repeat ad infinitum for my approach-avoidant brain*

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 The Christmasing 

archived:  02 December 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

After all that talk about November ending you'd think I'd have updated the first day of December. BUT I didn't because I was Really Damn Busy!

It started off with the normal grocery run. Spouse's mom has been saying for a while that she really likes the neighbor's holiday lights, and so we decided to go buy lights. And then I wanted Some Other Stuff. So we went to Lowe's and they had an AMAZING deal on an electric fireplace. His mom has also been kind of sad about how she bought the house without a fireplace and she's always missed having one. So we bought it.

Then we had to (HAD TO) buy a bunch more Xmas decor for the fireplace. And anyway it was a whole deal and we didn't get home until 6 pm which is not only late as fuck for us, but also TWO HOURS AFTER DINNER TIME. So I was very tired.

I haven't put up the lights yet. Sunday was very cold, and today I got home so late from work that the sun was practically down already. Tomorrow though it's supposed to be in the 50's F, and I am supposed to get home at a normal time. Barring breaking my neck I should have them all done and up and operating by 5 pm tomorrow (hopefully earlier cos the sun will be down by then.)

And now I have an excruciating headache after a long day at work, so this entry is gonna be short. I am very grateful that in a couple more weeks I have two weeks off. I need a real recharge.

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 Expert Expectations Management Systems, LLC 

archived:  30 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

We made it through November! Hooray!

Yesterday I ordered.....a bunch of stuff from Bungie for myself for Xmas. I would have ordered a lot more, but a lot of items were temporarily unavailable. That's okay, that means I saved some money (for the meantime anyway).

I have been very lazy this break from work, which was by design. I am very tired. On the upside, I am feeling pretty refreshed. On the downside, I haven't really done a lot of work on anything for my doctorate, and my living space is kind of a disaster mess. These are both easily addressed tho, so I'm not too concerned about it.

I'm really distracted and I think it's because I haven't done a whole lot this weekend. My brain is trying to keep my in protestant work ethic mode, and I am trying very hard not to live that kind of life.

Anyway, I am going to go clean now. Spouse had to work today because capitalism is bad and he works at a garbage factory (only somewhat not literal) and everyone is ordering loads of stuff from them cos ~holidays~.

Speaking of holidays, I've been super down on Xmas and I've decided that while I do think it sucks, I need to do two things:

  1. Learn to manage my expectations better.
  2. Get into the spirit, at least superficially, cos everyone around me enjoys it.

Neither of those things is difficult. I grew up watching Lisa Simpson and I am Lisa Simpson, so managing expectations comes with the territory. I am in continuous need of keeping a lid on my negativity, and so this can help with that as well. This is not to say I've bought into toxic positivity, because I have not. But it does mean that I know what my tendencies are, and if I name it I can tame it. Save the anger for the people and things that deserve it.

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 Techs Arcana II 

archived:  29 November 2019 
tagged:  Art 

It has been A MINUTE since I've worked on anything creative (outside of this website). Yesterday, aside from cooking for The Foodening, spouse and I got a bunch of music recordings sorted into tidy new folders, and prepped for drum recording. Which of course made me want to work on my own music some more. (For reference, I am  corporate//astrology .)

I thought of the name of my next album/ep (I haven't decided on length yet) a couple of days ago, and I really really love it. So I dug through a bunch of my old pixel art that I made back in 2015 for this new set of songs, just like I did for my first EP.

Want a sneak peak? Let's go through the process.

Here's the original piece (there are actually 5 flame repeats, but 3 was sufficient for what I wanted). Followed by the animated gif I made using  PHOTOMOSH , and finally with text.

Animated Gif
Finalized Art

Anyway I think it turned out pretty awesome, and I like how different it is from the first release while maintaining the same feel. Me gustale mucho.

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 Techs Arcana 

archived:  27 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Wow. I caught myself about to post a really vindictive and petty thing about a person that I barely knew and haven't interacted with in probably 10 years.

Now, the "wow" is the "I caught and stopped myself" part. I am vindictive and petty as a matter of upbringing, and I am working to not be. It is not easy, but hey, that was a huge breakthrough just now!

Today I washed all of our pillows from our bed. It was An Endeavor. I used  this blog post  as my how-to and it worked really damn well. The only thing I changed was using half a cup of bleach instead of a whole cup. I bought concentrated bleach, and the bottle said "1/2 cup per load," so that's what I went with. I haven't washed our pillows in a disgusting amount of time, so I'm feeling pretty god damn domestic right now. Between this and cooking for 3 hours tomorrow, I'd call myself a regular Emily Post. Minus all of the dumb etiquette stuff like thank you cards.

I got a filling replaced today, and I finally got all of the glue from my defunct retaining wire removed and my mouth feels like a million bucks. Or like a regular, not-full-of-garbage mouth. Whichever, I'll take either one. I talked to my dentist and he steered me clear of Smile Direct for teeth alignment and suggested  clearcorrect  instead. Apparently Smile Direct has been the subject of many lawsuits, and he personally doesn't like them because you never actually interact with a doctor. So I'm going to be persuing that soon cos my teeth aren't perfect and it makes me sad.

Nothing else to report. I'm almost childhood-still-enjoys-xmas levels of excited to cook tomorrow? I think the spreadsheet I made is making my brain turn this into a bigger deal than it is. As my brain is wont to do.

I'm still mulling the idea of adding a "now playing" feature to posts. I'll probably do it. The main thing holding me back now is that I don't want to link to YT, and linking to spotify is problematic cos not everyone uses it. Or I could just list it and then if y'all wanna find it, go dog go. I'm also considering adding a "here are some interesting articles I read today" section. Cos I read lots of articles and then they get lost to time and that makes me sad.

More on that (by which I mean, those ~features~ will roll out when I'm ready, but they'll probably be set at the bottom of the post, since they aren't about intra-site organization the way the archive and tags are.

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 Shake Shake Shake 

archived:  26 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Two updates in one day? I guess that makes up for missing yesterday.

Anyway today was good. I got my Dr Martens and they are oxblood red, vegan, and super cute. I have to relearn how to walk in shoes that go over my ankles tho, so that's a whole thing. I am going to order the chrome blue pair after payday so I can pretend I'm being fiscally responsible. (Also because I'm keeping an eye on some ebay auctions of a collectible thing and I'm willing to drop Too Much Money on one that is ending on thanksgravy day.)

Tomorrow I have to figure out how to gently tell a friend that their obvious lack of commitment has delivered them from being a part of an artistic project. Or I have to decide if they deserve gentle. Because we've been being dicked around for over a year and I'm too old to wait on someone who never once ever has prioritized this thing, which is the single most important thing to my spouse.

I'm trying very hard to not be angry or vindictive, but angry and vindictive are all I have left to feel.

I am not going to end this on a down note, so I will instead talk about how our drummer has been amazing; working his ass off to finish recordings, and pouring a lot of time into helping to mix down drum tracks so that we can get this first album off to the proverbial presses and get cracking on the next set of songs.

It reminds me of how, when I got a new boss I said, "Sometimes you don't realize you're in an abusive relationship until you are out of one." Meaning my old boss was a terrible person and my new boss isn't. Working with our drummer gives me new-boss feels. Working with the other member of our group gives me old-boss feels. And that isn't okay.

Time to cut some cords.

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 A Hurricane in All Kinds of Weather 

archived:  26 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Yesterday was such a whirlwind that I didn't get a chance to update. Because I guess I'm officially in the headspace where I want to/look forward to making a post every day. It feels good!

I got my Thanksgiving food prep guide completely set up, which allowed me to put together a shopping list of things I was missing. This turned out to be super fortuitous because the weather is supposed to go to shit starting today, and originally I wasn't going to shop until Wednesday morning.

So we ran and got groceries. Then we went to our drummer's house to grab our computer stuff so we could work on music things this weekend. We saw a nasty wreck on the way back; I hope everyone involved is okay.

Lastly, we went to Dietz to get "one last" guitar pedal and somehow I lost my lime green erasable fineliner. Woe betide me. I tried to survive it, but I ended up running to Target this morning to replace it cos I was so bereft. I'm kind of a mess, but that's okay.

All in all we didn't get home until 6 pm which is suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper late for me. I usually eat dinner at 4, in bed by 7:30, asleep by 9. But that's okay. I like that we got a lot of things done and that everything was productive and successful.

I'm also super hype cos my red vegan Dr Martens are gonna show up today and I'm gonna finally have nice, long-lasting boots that fit right! If they work out as well as I hope then I'm ordering the blue chrome pair.

I've made massive progress on getting a bunch of work prepped for after the break, and I'm super stoked about that. Having less to do later by planning now is really nice, so it turns out. I gotta apply that to my doctoral work. Speaking of which!!! I got my enrollment codes yesterday so NelNet can suck it, they're not getting my money this year! Muahahahahahahaha!sob. I owe so much moneyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

THe weather is supposed to get really shitty really fast this afternoon and my workplace decided not to call off work early and I'm really hoping that was the right call cos I just want to get home and snuggle up and not have to worry about the drive home. And I'm worried about ye olde spouse cos he drives waaaaaaaaaay farther than I do and I just want us to be home.

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 My Hope 

archived:  24 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Not only was today a really good day, the whole weekend was really good.

Yesterday we worked on a preliminary mix on the drums for our first album and in a couple of weeks we'll finish the job. I'm really excited to get it sent off to get mastered! And we've got a general notion of the art we might use for the cover, so that's good, too. Wheeeee!

Today we grocery shopped and tried making a vegan beef stew for the first time, and let me just say it turned out AWESOME. Tho damn having to wait 8 hours to eat it (we made it in the crock pot) was TORTURE.

We used celery, leeks, carrots, potatoes, onion, stewed tomatoes, some fancy jarred red peppers, this pretty wicked vegan broth, and some gardein beefless tips. Seasoned lightly with celery seed and parsley. And like, I'm pretty sensitive to when stuff needs salt (*cough* the entire menu at Modern Love *cough*) but this was perfect just with the flavor from the broth, the stewed tomato juices, and the jarred peppers (their infusion included garlic).

I also ordered a pair of vegan Dr Martens. They're red. I ordered them because Journeys gave me free shipping and a $5 off coupon. If they fit right (which they should, I tried on a different size 5 in the store as well as a 6 in the vegan pair. The 5 was snug, but workable. The 6 had my heel slipping the whole time) I'm ordering those amazing chrome blue ones straight from the Dr Martens site. It's bougie, but like I need decent boots and I know these will last forever. Plus VEGAN DR MARTENS.

We also Marie Kondo'd our roleplaying games again and came away with almost $200 in cash. It feels so good to get rid of stuff. I'm gonna do another Kondo mini-sweep of our living space Wednesday when I'm off of work while Jake is at work. And probably Friday as well.

Tomorrow I'm sitting down in the kitchen after work and taking stock of what I still need to be for Foodsgiving: The One Day A Year I Cook. I feel like I have 75% of everything I need for everything I make, so I might as well make sure so I can do a super super early morning run on Wednesday before the stores get completely bananas.

I'll post about Dragon Prince season 3 later, but let me just say it was DAMN GOOD.

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 Retaliate First 

archived:  22 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Today was weird.

Like, I went to bed last night SUPER manic. I don't think I'm bipolar, but I do think I'm hypomanic, and I was definitely in an upswing.

Today I had that same energy, but I also had a hair trigger. I got into several arguments at work, all of which I was in the right about, but arguing is not something I usually do because 1) it undermines relationships, and 2) I feel like an ass afterward.

I don't know what's going on with me right now. It's harder for me to gauge my moods than normal because my IUD is making everything weird cycle-wise and I don't actually know where I am, which means anticipating my mood swings along with my hypomanic swings is a bit like trying to hit a gnat with a toothpick from 200 meters away.

Wow. I just legit fell asleep for an entire hour just sitting here. I think I'm going to cut this update short and go to bed.

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 Reactionary Movement 

archived:  21 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

I'm working on keeping it positive today. I've got everything prepped for working with some fire today. Yep literal fire. Good times!

I'm feeling pretty good about the next 3.5 days of work (the rest of today, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday). Everything is also prepped in that regard, and I tried out a new thing yesterday that went over well.

That being said today is my toughest day of the week, and I've already got my de-stressor neck wrap on, but I'm doing it as a preventative so that I can be chill when the work actually starts (right now I'm still in my plan segment).

Saturday we're gonna work on mixing a bunch of drum tracks and I'm super super excited and it's gonna be good. I'm gonna finish shopping for the one day a year I cook. Not out of a sense of holiday, but because I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally love cooking the vegan feast version of comfort food. I bought a pre-made vegan pumpkin pie, but I don't trust it, so I'm gonna make a from-scratch sweet potato pie as well. And let's face it, sweet potato pies are like 100000000000000000x better than pumpkin pies, that's just facts.

The weather is colder today, but hey at least it's not raining.

I'm excited to get home and get snuggly. I think I might actually settle in early so Jake and I can chill (real chill, not slang chill) and watch a movie. I want to relax and spend time with the person I like the most in this whole world. I'm emotionally weary and while my happiness light has been helping, human contact helps more. It's part of my love language, I suppose.

Completely unrelated, Jake sent me this amazing article about  childhood psychopathy  and I'm linking it here because I don't want to lose it.

I don't know that anyone actually reads this, but if you are, I suggest you check out the article. It's mindblowing.

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 There Are Some Things You Can't Hide 

archived:  20 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Holy shit today has been an amazing day.

It makes me sad that I have such a hard time with some of the people I work with. Wednesdays I don't have to see them, and as a result it is SO damn chill. I'm not hurting physically, I'm not exhausted mentally. I'm just in a damn good mood.

My good mood might also be attributable to the fact that I got my chapter rough drafted and sent off to my advisor yesterday. It's not great? But it's done and edits are way easier than working from scratch. I already know about 10 things I would fix, but I'm gonna let sleeping dogs lie until she gives me her feedback.

I was able to just sit back and work on all those things I need to get done and never have time for during most of my work day today. Fuck it was so nice.

Tonight I am going to make sure that I go for a walk with Jake. We haven't gone on a walk in so damn long and it is so damn nice out and this is supposed to be the last nice day before autumn starts behaving more like late autumn, which I suppose is fair, we're two months in now.

I've been a bit more lax with my Xanax use. That isn't to say that I take it all of the time, but that I'm being more mindful of when it would just be helpful to wake up feeling refreshed and without a stone on my chest. Which means I'm also forming the ability to look beyond the current moment and plan ahead, and emotionally this has never been a strong suit for me.

I've been toying with the idea of adding a "now listening" tag to my posts, but I'm hesitant because I can't, in all honesty, go back and put it on my old posts, and I have a hang up about uniformity. It's silly. Maybe I'll start doing it and damn the torpedos. People update and redesign all the time, and this could just be a new addition and that's okay.

This weekend we're getting together to mix the drums for our record before sending it off to be mastered and I'm super-bummed because Jake has to work Saturday beforehand and if the other two members of our little musical quartet flake he's gonna be crushed. I hope I can rely on them to follow through. It's really hard to have it in the back of your head that someone is just not going to be reliable. It makes me not want to do anything with anyone ever. Because what's the point when people flake and always prioritize everything else over you?

SO I've resolved to stay positive and go forward believing that everyone will just do the fucking thing because they said they'd do the fucking thing.

Tonight after our walk I'm gonna play so many video games and I am so excited. Destiny 2, I haven't spent time with you in like 4 days and I am SO SAD. Lemme fix it.

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 Take Precaution 

archived:  19 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Some days the only thing that gets me through to closing is knowing that June through August I get to pretend I live in a post-capitalist future where the only things that drive me are creative endeavors I'm actually interested in.

Today is one of thoes days.

I feel like I started strong, but my energy sapped really quickly. I'm not sure why. I have my happiness light on. The weather is frankly 10x more gorgeous than it should be for the back half of November. I am all caught up on bills. I ordered a t-shirt from Bungie that I got as a reward.

I'm just stresssssssssssssssssssssssssssssed.

I mean I know why. This doctorate is killing me. It doesn't help that I read a massive research study on how crippling doctoral work is, but how we all think it's good that we're killing ourselves in this pursuit.

It doesn't help at all.

I'm redoubling my ASMR tonight.

Right now I'm going to re-heat my neck warmer/destressor and crossing my fingers that that will help.

Pray for Mojo.

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archived:  18 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Today has been good so far. I got all of my grading done, and I'm pretty far on my rough draft for my methodology chapter for my thesis proposal.

Tonight I'm going to work on finishing up my rough draft for my advisor so she can take a look at it before the long holiday weekend next week. I think It's shaping up to be pretty decent. In other haps, I'm just trying to keep my head above water. Getting my classes ready for some projects, and finishing up work in that arena.

I'm irritated because I was reading the side effects of Valtrex and two of the most common ones are irritability and an inability to focus. This sucks because I super need to focus. But I also super need to take my Valtrex because one of my body's lovely tells for overwhelming anxiety is cold sores. And I'm overwhelmed and anxious because I can't focus on this fucking paper. Hooray for feedback loops. Getting that chapter's initial dust off done tonight is going to help tremendously, I think.

I'm still trying to keep up with practicing mindfulness. I don't really like  calm dot com , it's too regimented and I feel like garbage if I don't "keep up" with daily practice. So I'm back to my own practice techniques of just taking moments to breathe, posting here more regularly, and burying myself in ASMR videos. And honestly? It works pretty well. Those little 30 second breathe in/breathe out videos are phenomenal at getting me to just calm the fuck down without my mind wandering or my attention being dragged off, which feeds back into my negative feelings of being unable to focus blah blah repeat ad infinitum.

I am trying to decide whether I want to ditch Hulu or not. I know that it's owned by Disney. I've always known that. I guess the separation of names has made it easy for me in the past, but that's not really a good excuse. Right now everyone is so obsessed with stupid Disney+ and it just reminds me that I'm not living up to my own ideals. So I have to remind myself that I need to watch stuff when it airs. I mean, there are worse things, right? Or I can just go back to the old days of yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. I don't know. All I know is that I don't like being a part of the machine of letting terrible people do terrible things.

So many of my friends have resigned themselves to "that's life in capitalism" and they just don't care. And I think so much about that line from Deep Space Nine when they are trapped in the 2010s and everything is awful and Bashir comments on how he can't imagine how people forgot how to care, but here we are. And it makes me so sad. But mostly angry.

I have some soul-searching to do. I have a lot more unimportant physical things in my life that I need to purge. I need to do some digital housekeeping as well.

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 In the Wings 

archived:  17 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

We sold a bunch of stuff that was just sitting around gathering dust. Adios to my PS2, a bunch of video games, a bunch of ancient toys, and a bunch of dvds.

I'm doing pretty bad at focusing on my work because I just don't care. Which is not good. I'm watching a short ASMR and then checking a load of laundry, and then I am getting to work whether I want to or not.

I settled on a kind of peach-y color combo for the "back to top" links and I think they look nice. So yay, I got that done.

I deleted a bunch of game apps off of my phone, and I'm probably going to delete a couple more. Honestly all of them except for Egg, Inc, which takes almost none of my time, and the Mario games because I never feel burdened with having to play them to "keep up." Tho maybe that is a sign I should delete them as well. Who knows.

I missed the opportunity to buy a Shadowkeep collector's edition box on ebay for $330 yesterday and I'm salty because now the ones that are listed are all well above $500. I'm trying to be patient, but I want it SO BAD. I'm hoping some more will get posted on Monday and this time if I see one going for less than $400 I'm snagging it.

All right I'm almost out of "relax" time before grind time so I'm gonna finish this ASMR video and then get back to it.

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archived:  17 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Overhauled the ol' website.

I decided that having the date in the title line was ugly, so I moved it to a line below, and reflexively linked it back to the archive. I also did this because I wanted to give more of a reason to view the archive. Before the only mention of the archive was the sidebar link, and it seemed odd that the tags were linked on each post, but the dates weren't similarly formatted. So that's fixed.

I also added a "Back to Top" link at the bottom of either every post, or archive/tag section. I am not married to having them be the same link color as the page, because it makes it look like the "Back to Top" link is just text, but I also don't know what colors I'd use for those links. I used pink, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple already, as well as using brown for the 404 page, and I don't like red, and I don't think black and white would look good. Idk Idk, I'll probably end up going with red cos it's the only thing I haven't used yet. We'll see.

I'm still hung up on how I have formatted each post in the archive and tags. I don't mind that they don't match; there's no reason to list the tag when it's in its proper tag section, and the archive needs the actual day date. More I'm just not sure if I like that the tags posts are separated by commas while the archive gives each entry its own line. BUT I also kind of really like it that way? Like I said, I'm hung up because I don't necessarily think the formatting needs to be identical on both pages, and I do feel the archive is more formal than the tags list, and I think that the way the entries are separated give credence to that feeling.

Anyway, I've wasted 2 hours of time that was supposed to be dedicated to my methodology chapter for my thesis proposal, so this afternoon (after we take a walk cos it is SO NICE OUT and eat lunch) I am going to have to buckle down for real real, because I promised my advisor I'd have it done by Monday.

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 Flat Circles 

archived:  15 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Posting the same series of complaints, trials, and tribulations every day is boring. So I'm not going to do that. I don't like reading it and why would anyone else? (Though I guess reality teevee is a bajillion dollar industry, so maybe I'm just the oddball here.)

Today the weather was beautiful, reaching almost 60°F/15.5°C, which was super welcome indeed, if about 20°F/12°C below my preferred baseline temperature. When we had a week of barely reaching freezing, I'll take this mere sweater weather with grace and gratitude.

I am sorting out some stuff at work that I don't like. Sometimes I forget that there are things that I do not like that I am fully in control of changing. So I'm going to change them. And I am excited for it. This is me, taking the reins and fixing a problem. Bueno.

I want to work on my Spanish more, and so I'm trying to set aside some time to work on that each day. If I can throw away a good 30-60 minutes a day on something as mind-numbing as Idle Miner (don't ask, I go to bad/wretchedly inconsequential places when I'm overwhelmed and procrastinating), I can put that time to good use.

I struggle tho. I struggle against this really awful and pernicious Protestant mindset of deriving self-worth from work. I don't want to be that person. I think this is a huge part of the reason I'm drawn to predominantly Catholic countries for The Future. The pace of life will be slower because fucking Protestants haven't convinced everyone that the only way to salvation is to work yourself to death. If I have to live in a country with a religious bent (which is all of them, basically) it might as well be one whose ethos I don't find intolerable and cruel. (In this specific instance. Plus there are way more Catholic-leaning countries that also lean socialist, and why am I making an argument against an imaginary reader. Ha.)

I have friends that are trying to get me to join dreamwidth and I am just not interested in social media of any kind. I didn't throw off that yoke to take up another. I don't care if the motivation is good, in the end it's all the same blah blah blah and grouping of people and I don't like people grouping.

So why keep an online journal at all?

I like honing my coding skills. I joke and call it "artisanal hand-coding" but I also kind of mean it. I would never trade on that tho, because it sounds like some hipster appropriation of a thing that other people have worked long, hard hours and years on and that is gross.

But I do like being able to look at my growing list of entries with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. I like being able to look at posts and say, "Oh right, I meant to talk about/do a thing, I should get on that."

Record keeping is nice and good and I'm really proud of this little site I built. The art is mine, the coding is mine, the words are mine. And it makes me happy. It's for me. That it's online is merely a receptacle. I suppose I could just save this as a series of html and css files on my computer, but I do enjoy the ease of being able to access this anywhere so I can update it or even just do edits. And if I ever did want to share it with anyone I can send a link. So win-win.

It's 7:15 pm here and I am god damned exhausted because standard time is the suckiest of the time systems and I will hold to that until it is once again the superior daylight saving time, where the sun and I get to be besties for up to 15 hours a day. Keep those days close and sacred. At least until I move someplace closer to the equator, where daylight is never in short supply. Fuck off winter, fuck off darkness, fuck off cold. No me gustale nada.

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archived:  13 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

My meeting with my thesis advisor last night went really well. She's good at helping me to keep things in perspective. Today was very peaceful and I made some mental progress on clearing space for my doctoral work. I can do this. I can get it done.

I then met with my grant advisor and got all worked up all over again. Turns out my workplace is....a pain in the ass when it comes to approving and allowing research. Which is fun??????? I need to start reaching out and making contacts now before I'm fucked out of a whole 'nother year of work. And by work I mean "getting the hell out of this country."

I didn't do a whole lot today outside of work. Which seems silly when I'm thinking about everything I need to get done outside of work, but like, I just need a damn break sometimes. Or all of the time. Or to never ever ever do work ever again. Idk. I just want to rest. Permanent rest.

A writer I greatly admire recently moved to France and her experience of the slow life there makes me so jealous.

I think I'm going to gift myself some Xanax sleep so that I can come at tomorrow, my least favorite day of the week, refreshed.

Sometimes popping pills is self-care, I suppose.

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archived:  12 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

I am working diligently on my proposal. Well, I am trying to. Now that I'm forcing myself to look at it I am still painfully overwhelmed, BUT I am trying to make tiny inroads in as many places as I can. One thing is for certain I have so much god damned work to do. It's my own fault. But I don't feel like I'm drowning anymore?

I have a meeting with my advisor tonight and I'm going to tell her how overwhelmed I am with everything, but that at least I have a plan now. She is so understanding and kind, I hope she won't hate me for this five-week impromptu mental sabbatical.

I am still feeling a bit of a malaise, but it is a malaise that is more melancholy than world-ending. And that is nice. I can deal with that. I mean, I would prefer that I am just happy, but that isn't going to happen in any real sense until I am finished with my doctorate and firmly ensconced in a country that isn't this one, and that doesn't have winter. At least, not where I end up living. No more dark dark dark days. No more cold cold cold cold.

In the good news column: I won access to the grant that paid for the first three years of my doctorate, so I won't have to pay for next semester. Well, aside from the late fees that always accrue because my district refuses to pay for stuff on time. Not ideal, but I'll take $80 over $3,000.

I suppose I should look into additional educational funding opportunities, but honestly the idea of writing Yet Another Paper makes me nauseous. Maybe this summer. Maybe not. Who knows.

I am going to keep this brief because I do need to get more work done before I talk to my advisor tonight. Mostly scraping together random bits and pieces to create the shoddiest of frameworks (What's the rough draft of a rough draft? Garbage draft? We'll call it that) to show her that I've done SOMETHING, if not much.

I promise to check in again soon!

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archived:  10 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Somehow November is already 1/3 over. Not quite sure how that happened.

Turned 39 on Wednesday, which was honestly lovely. Had a tremendous amount of avocado rolls, inari, agedashi tofu, edamame, and sasadango that evening. The weather was nice, which I always appreciate at this time of year.

Overall the week did that thing where it was both interminable but also way too fast. The stuff I wanted to be over just dragged, and the stuff I needed time for didn't get touched. This pattern is not sustainable.

I have tried all day to make headway on my proposal and all I've done is work on formatting. Which, while important, is clearly just me wasting time.

It is supposed to snow tonight, preceded by freezing rain. I am trying not to get my hopes up about a snow day, and realistically I know it's not going to happen, but I so very desperately NEED the time to work on my paper that I'm getting irrationally hopeful for one.

Tomorrow we're going to the Galaxy Quest movie party, which I am excited about, but that also means I will have zero hours to do more work on my paper after today, and I am so tired I don't know that I'll get anything done today AND I am meeting with my advisor Tuesday night.

I dug this hole and now I have to deal with it and I do not like it. Blech.

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 The Diving Bell 

archived:  04 November 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Well October is finally over. Thank goodness.

I am dealing with the suffocating pain of having Daylight Saving Time pre-empted by "Depression Hours Cos The Sun Is Going Down At 4 PM Time" and it is not the best?

I wake up every morning feeling like I can take on the world, and by the end I am so damn tired I can't bring myself to do anything useful or productive. I am getting farther and farther behind on my doctoral work and it is not good. This morning I was gungho about putting together a timeline to make sure everything is getting completed and now I just want to curl up and die. Tho that could be the nascent migraine I can feel behind my eyes. Who can say for certain?

I am trying to find equilibrium and it is hard. It is always hard. I already know I am not going to work on anything tonight because I have a meeting after work and I'm gonna be too tired to do anything by the time I get home.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are going to be here on Friday and I can't make it to that because I know there's going to be a line forever and I get off work right when the doors open. Plus doing the whole crowd thing seems like a lot. I don't know. I don't know what I want. Everything seems like a waste of time except the things I purposefully waste time on which definitely means I am depressed and overwhelmed.

If you can name it you can tame it, so that's half the battle, right?

I have a small goal to try to post every day, and I kind of failed at it from the "start in November" standpoint, but dates are arbitrary markers of time, and going forward if I do it every day starting now I still started and then did the thing. So that's good.

I think tonight I am going to delete all of my games off of my phone. Good riddance. But like, maybe after I play them for a couple more hours. Baby steps.

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 Close Out 

archived:  29 October 2019 
tagged:  Writing 

Dang I reeeeeeeeeeally hate October.

I have been a disaster, as usual, this entire month. I have gotten nothing done on my thesis proposal. I am behind on lesson planning anything meaningful. I have once again downloaded like 4 idle games onto my phone.

I cannot seem to get a handle on any of this! Ugh!

I asked my thesis advisor for a two week extension on the meeting we were supposed to have tonight and she was totally fine about it, but I still feel like garbage. I have also decided that I'm going to embrace my oppositional defiant tendencies and refuse to partake in a particularly redundant work requirement*.

Wow, I am so distracted I forgot I didn't finish writing this update. I am in such a messy headspace.

I want to disentangle these feelings from this month, but I think at this point it would probably be more useful to just throw it in the dumpster and start fresh with November 1st on Friday.

*This requirement is not actually in my contract. So I'm not going to do it, and I'll go to my union if it becomes a fucking problem.

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archived:  19 October 2019 
tagged:  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
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 Grifters & Liars 

archived:  18 October 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Dig Dig Dig 

archived:  17 October 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Death Month 

archived:  09 October 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Best Laid Plans 

archived:  02 October 2019 
tagged:  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.

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archived:  30 September 2019 
tagged:  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?

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archived:  26 September 2019 
tagged:  wWriting 

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.

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archived:  23 September 2019 
tagged:  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!

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archived:  22 September 2019 
tagged:  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 tre target="_blank"nd 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. (Yeah, I don't know who I am anymore either. Ha!)

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 And One More Thing 

archived:  18 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Keeping Up 

archived:  17 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Music & Progression 

archived:  15 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Awake in the Lonesome Cold Deep 

archived:  14 September 2019 
tagged:  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."

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 Sisyphus and the Rock 

archived:  08 September 2019 
tagged:  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.)

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 I Don't Feel Tardy 

archived:  07 September 2019 
tagged:  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!

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archived:  06 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 All Aboard 

archived:  05 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 When to Trust Yourself 

archived:  03 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Brain; Melty 

archived:  01 September 2019 
tagged:  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 .

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archived:  01 September 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 Keep Moving 

archived:  31 August 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 The Eternal Struggle 

archived:  30 August 2019 
tagged:  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.

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archived:  28 August 2019 
tagged:  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.

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 End of a Long Respite 

archived:  27 August 2019 
tagged:  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.

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archived:  01 October 2018 
tagged:  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.

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archived:  25 September 2018 
tagged:  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.

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 25 September 2018 - The Story Behind the Background 

archived:  25 September 2018 
tagged:  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
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 Indoor Gardening @ Work 

archived:  24 September 2018 
tagged:  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
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