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  1.  (10297.1)
    Here is your judgement-free space to vent, rant, show-off, smug-it-up, scream silently into the face of Internet apathy, and generally trepan your pressurized consciousness after Another Tough Week.

    Instructions: Tell us about the last seven suns. Tell us what you hate, what you love, what's pissing you off. Tell us what's broken about the world, tell us what you want. Tell us how you plan to change everything, tell us what you're building in your basement, or, hell, just dance or play a tune.

    I, we, and all of us are here for you. Smash your wordvenom against us.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited
    Hm. Well. Just going to focus on the good for now, I think.

    I finished my first week of gym membership and I'm feeling optimistic about it. Regardless the rush of endorphins after the workout is worth it. I wouldn't say that I've made any "friends" there. There's one or two people I kind of talk to, but since the gym is made up of solidified groups and people bringing their friends along, I've mainly kept to myself, though I'm friendly when approached and those I ahve talked to have been great. Also have been reading up on my coach Savoy I knew about the program which gives boxing lessons to abuse survivors (which alone is awesome), but Savoy's history just makes me respect her more.

    Provided that my folks don't hog the kitchen, I'm bottling my beer today which will make it ready to drink by Halloween, which is perfect since it's a Halloween-themed brew. Speaking of, here's the label done by Whitechapel's own nocuddletime (Robert Burrows)
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited

    • behind on projects

    • car towed

    • out of money

    • work is bad and threatening to get worse

    • Upsides:
    • crashspace still going strong

    • weekend means sleep

    • might get car back today

    • Dezso Molnar wants us to help him make flying motorcycles

  2.  (10297.4)
    OOOOOOOHHHH boy, and here, we, go.
    The Bad:
    So I've been feeling pretty hopeless and drifting along for a long time, probably near to a year. I was laid off last July and have been unemployed since then, sending out tons and tons of resumes and trying to get any job. We [my wife and our 2 kids] were pretty much forced to move to this ass backwards town in Maryland where a friend of ours owns a house and is letting us live rent free. So that was the good. Then my unemployment got shut off and my wife was able to get a job at the mall making just over minimum wage so we've been able to survive. I stay at home and watch our 2 year old son, while continuing to look for work.
    A few weeks ago I did an online application for Pizza Hut, because I was feeling especially self hating that day, i suppose. I get an email saying that sorry, there are no positions for you. Even though there were 2 positions on the site. So essentially I can't even work at fucking Pizza Hut.
    The Good:
    Spurred by that, and the feeling of complete hopelessness in this area, I made the decision that we're going to move to LA. There is literally nothing here for me, I'm 2 hours away from my "home" where my family and friends are and I never see them anyways, If I'm going to be alone and miserable I might as well be alone and miserable where I have a shot at doing something I love. This coming week starts me emailing VFX studios in LA to see if they're going to need summer interns. We plan on moving in March with the tax return money.
    After discussing things with the wife and figuring out budgeting and stuff, we decided to just take the essentials and what will fit in my tiny car and drive. I'm finally starting over, with my family and everything. I'm scared out of my fucking mind but at the same time, I feel like it's my only hope.

    I feel hopeless and trapped so I'm betting it all and moving to LA to find a job in the VFX field.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
    @oldhat I don't see how other people could possibly hog an area required for beer production. That would be like camping in a nuclear reactor - lethally dangerous, and standing in the way of progress!
    @outlawpoet Good luck with projects and work. Glad to see you're still doing your own things even with the pressure, and hoping you'll get both up to speed.
    @RandomEntitiy It would be ridiculous for me to give advice on such an obviously decided course, so I'll join you in in hoping you get the VFXing going. Good luck.

    Before I say anything, because words still work better when you can see people:
    Mocktober has burned me badly

    (even when you're seeing them with a pseudo-stern glare and facial fuzz grown as research for an article.)

    This week has been both good and not-as-brilliant-as-it-could-have-been for the usual reasons: I successfully wrote X but failed to write X times infinity plus everything else I want to. I'm working on it.

    A highlight was burning my own face off with multiple hot sauces for an article, then dousing the flames with alcohol. Which (contrary to propaganda) is not flammable and in fact acts as a cooling and soothing medicine. Another is the cash boost tomorrow from teaching an exam cram session. Many students spend the whole term and thousands of dollars ignoring the course, but if you turn up just before the exam you suddenly have their complete attention and a very reasonable fee. The wife continues to dominate her PhD thesis, now doing battle with citation software and the names of more scientists than SHIELD's payroll.

    I'm also polishing up a Future Shock submission, and excited to even be in a place where I'd consider sending such a glorious thing. Never mind sending it then chugging a Crystal Skull liquor and laughing maniacally, which is exactly what I'll do come Monday.

    I love writing, life, and only hope I can project some of both vibes out to all the Whitechapelers. Good luck with the everything!
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011 edited
    @RandomEntity - here's hoping for the best. Packing up and moving cross country ain't no small thing, and it's gotta be tons harder and more stressful with a family. I'm sure you know there's a lot of competition for anything entertainment-related out here so make sure your work as ace as possible. Do your homework so you know where the average line of talent is and push yourself to be better. Starting out it takes a damn lot of work and persistence and talent to breakthrough. I know people who do VFX and I know many more who *want* to do VFX. So push for your dream, certainly, but plan on it taking it a hell of a lot of effort.

    As for me...that mantra of persistence is one I have to remind myself to say, not just say it! I was just thinking earlier how frustrated I felt that I've posted blogs and things recently and had almost no response. But it's because I forgot that persistence is what I need, not immediate gratification. It's time for the long haul. I'm as eager for it as anyone might be eager to go see the dentist. Only imagine that nearly every day will be a trip to the dentist from here on out for an indeterminate length of time and the only thing that will make it better is that eventually I'll get to know the dentists and they'll know me.... But first I have to actually start. And I haven't yet. Not that I couldn't. I could/should have started two months ago. Instead I've let myself get distracted, telling myself after today is over and I get past this hurdle in front of me now I'll try again tomorrow. For Two Months! Hell even this week I thought I really need to exercise every day and practice my warmups and read a bit more and all told this should take two hours. I can do that! Has it happened? Of course not.

    I guess I have excuses aplenty. My sister is getting married in a little over a week. My father is sick - very sick. Worryingly sick. My mom has taken to calling extended family to see if they can visit while he's able to handle talking to guests. I try to take care of him during the weekdays when mom works but I am supposed to put in community service to pay the fine on a traffic ticket (which infuriates me because I don't mind community service when I pick to do it, but do mind it when I swear I didn't do anything wrong!) and also I'm fighting to keep my head above water in my Japanese class. But like exercising and warming up I'm getting to it every day and so studying maybe once a week is making it nearly impossible to do better than C- work. ACK. No this is not good.

    All in all, everything that I have to do is crashing into everything else so that I'd rather run away and watch videos and write silly stories that no one will see. I don't know how to organize my time to get through everything. I only bulldoze my way and then by the end of the day I'm feeling dull and vaguely angry and not at all artistic or inventive. It really hit me when I went to an improv class on Thursday night and I really sucked because I couldn't think and I couldn't feel and nothing felt comfortable and the teacher had to point out that I was closed off and not letting anything get to me and therefore denying all the possibilities. It's true and it's so bad. I mean, if I'm going to act for a living (and I really want to) I have to be able to be open even on the bad days. Even when everything is going nuts and I'm worried about everyone around me and I don't know how I'm going to pay my bills and I don't know what to say for myself, I still have to be able to pull together when it's my turn on, whether it's on a stage or a mic or on paper.

    *long breath in, long breath out*

    I have a lot of work to do and very little discipline. My dad is very sick. My oldest brother is a trial. My sister is getting married. My friends are having very stressful times.

    I'm shocked to find how, in two months, I've become unable to touch this with a more feeling/artistic/creative approach. I switched into mechanical "doing" mode and can't switch out. Crap.

    Ok and I just saw this and must share. Beyond words. Holy...!!!

    Ok.. I'm trying to post this fan-made Doctor Who animation, which must be seen to be believed, but the embed thing is making me fight with it...and I don't want to.
    Stunning amazing incredible Doctor Who fan video here.
  3.  (10297.7)
    Week things: I've been working more and harder, which is good, but tiring. Aside from the depression, I have no idea why I get tired so easily. I do wish I could get a better answer for that other than that I'm depressed. We have a new guy training in the afternoon/evening shift and his is very very fun to look at. He even knows how to dress himself in nice clothes! (I know that usually that isn't a big deal, but around here, it is. Mind numbingly awful.) It can be a bit distracting, as I really should turn off the running commentary in my head, and try to squash my rather vivid imagination. I think he hasn't noticed, and I'm hoping it stays that way. At least I don't have to worry about getting boners, eh?

    Last night (Friday) I went to a local theater production of Hamlet with my boss (and her husband and father). Dressed in a great outfit but didn't get any photos or get to show it off to anyone besides my boss etc. The theater did a great job with the play, bringing out all the cheekiness and irony to go with all the angst and tragedy. And I had a whole thing typed up that I lost and I'm not going to retype because I don't remember it enough. Ah well.

    Good things: I've been getting more hours (ish). I have multiple plans for Halloween weekend. Did some thrift store shopping and got some really sweet boots that might be used for a costume. Tomorrow I might get a call for a potential roommate situation. While I'd really rather live on my own, having a roommate is still a step up from living with the parents.

    Bad things: My mom's best friend growing up is on her deathbed. She's had cancer for a long time (lymphoma) and she lived way longer than was expected, but it's still hard for my mom and I'm sure the family etc.
    • CommentAuthorSteerpike
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011
    Last week: Hit by a car.
    This week: Kidney stone.

    Whitechapel betting pool on what next? My money's down for either lightning strike or meteorite.
  4.  (10297.9)
    @Steerpike: German Satellite.
  5.  (10297.10)
    Took Wednesday night off of work, and spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at a three-day treatment program with my girlfriend for her alcohol rehabilitation.

    Previously, I had attended a family education class and two Al-Anon meetings.

    The three day family & patient course was made up of a couple married couples, and the rest were sets of parents and their troubled kids. I was the only boyfriend/non-married partner to attend. Apparently, in most drug addiction or alcohol treatment scenarios, not a lot of boyfriends come to show their support.

    Man, you cannot come to things like this and not expect to cry a lot.

    The first day, I came home from work, got about a two hour nap and spent the rest of the day at the group. It was long, and I got to spend about half of it with my girl, the rest I spent learning about alcoholism-as-a-disease. One of the phrases was that the addict is not responsible for their actions while they were using, but they are accountable for them. Also, their addiction is not a choice, but their recovery is. Both of those are very meaningful things for me to learn/deal with.

    The second day was tougher. Patients and families had to act out how the addiction looked to them, including how the enabler acted from the patients' point of view. Ours was pretty much the same from both points of view, excepting some minor details. She used an example of how she would get her paycheck on Thursday, leave work about 4:30pm (except in my version, she leaves work at noon, but tells me she's leaving at 4:30), go cash it, tell me she was going to have a drink or two, and then not come home until after I was asleep (after midnight). When I would wake up for work, she'd be passed out on the couch, and it would be impossible for me to wake her up. Then, after I would have to leave for work; she'd oversleep for her job, which is 5 minutes walking distance away.

    I tried to show another example, of how I would take her out for dinner, and she would ask me for permission to drink, and I would buy her drinks all night, and then later act all self-righteous and blamey. Unfortunately, she misunderstood my example as more, "see how bad you were" instead of it being "see how I contributed to your problem?" The ride home was full of silent treatments and judgements, until we both remembered some of the things we had just started leaning, and by the time we got home, we had made up. Much better than how we used to handle things, with yelling and drinking.

    The third day was extremely powerful. We had to sit facing each other, reading from three lists we had written: Our resentments of the things the other person had done, the regrets we had for the things we did to the other person, and the things we really liked about the other person. We took turns reading from our own lists, and each time we read a list, the other person had to repeat one of the statements, aknowledging that they had listened. This was very difficult and rewarding. I can be a good listener, but I am an even better interrupter. Our regrets were fairly close to each other's resentments, which meant that we already felt guilty about the things the other was upset about. Then, ending with the nice & happy list meant hugs and clapping and everyone being happy.

    I've learned that my instincts when dealing with my partner's addiction have been way wrong. I've also learned I need to seek help on my own. While I may not have had a drinking problem, my relationship was not getting better while I drank and judged and yelled. I have stopped the first one, and am working on the other two.
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
    @ gov spy- great to read of your and your partner's progress, long may it continue, which I can also say for the other tales you've been sharing. I've been enjoying them and it gets me in a mood to trawl through some of my experiences with a view to trying to stretch my writing muscles, thanks.
    @ everyone-sympathies and good luck with your worries.
    @ flecky- where you at mate? not seen you here for a week or so . all ok?

    nice things for nice people-shit sandwiches for the shits.
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
    I've been having horrible stress and anxiety dreams of late. I know I've been pushing myself a lot lately & taking on way too much responsibility, which of course results in a bunch of dropped plates. I need to learn not to overreact when things just don't work out. But I always have the dread that every mistake is The Worst Thing Ever.

    Yesterday I had to have my teeth deep cleaned, which is a cleaning procedure below the gum line and that requires anesthetic. It apparently took over 20 shots for my mouth to numb up to where it only felt like getting tattooed inside my gums in some places. I decided that was good enough and just meditated like I would if I was getting a tattoo. Then spent the rest of the day with my face numbed up and freaking out that it would stay like that forever - it took 7 hours for it to go away. Apparently food & massage was key as I hadn't eaten in a good 20 hours before I managed to get a protein shake down my throat. I've been forgetting to eat a lot this week.

    Which all culminated in taking a couple of pain killers for the pain/to try to get to sleep early and had a shitastic time with it. I have a bunch of pills from an old prescription that sometimes makes me go insane. It's about a 1 in 20 chance, but I crit failed this time. It starts with having a weird body high and then falling into waking dreams and audio hallucinations - if you've ever taken a low dose of mushrooms, it's basically like that. I laid like this for hours - uncontrollable daydreams & audio hallucinations - until I fell asleep and proceeded to have a series of vivid dreams about being inadequate and people rejecting me "for your own good".

    I'm incredibly listless today and the most frustrating thing is I know it's just that it's all chemical. I've fucked myself up this week barely sleeping, barely eating and then putting my body through an incredible amount of mental and physical stress. But I still feel on the verge of tears and I have things to do today that don't involve indulging my emotions. Sigh. Eating & sleeping & laughing are all the prescriptions I need to indulge in for the next few days.
  6.  (10297.13)
    @govspy - good to hear that you're working through things - must be tough though, hang in there.
    @all - peace to everyone

    It's been a bit of an odd week. Things have been getting better with good days and bad days, my partner has been trying very hard to pick yourself up and get organised, getting the girls to bed on time and sorting things out that she's been putting off for ages. Every so often the veneer cracks though and she ends up in despair, which makes me upset too again so it's not really been a bed of roses.

    I've been trying very hard to break out of the cycle of depression by taking positive steps. On a couple of days this week I managed to walk to the office from the station, which helps a great deal - also been eating less and trying to make sure I'm taking vitamin supplements. I've also made an appointment for a telephone assessment for a local cognitive behavioural therapy counselling service. Which I'm hoping might help break the cycle of going on and off antidepressants every few months that I've been trapped in for the last three years - I get sick of the tablets' side-effects, come off them and find myself getting ill again. Felt pretty rough over bits of the last week though and now have a bastard cold so am doped up on co-codamol and trying to make my head stop throbbing.

    I also bought a large beanbag for the bedroom which lease gives me somewhere to go in the house that is not in front of the telly and is away from the kids. That means a lot because it means I've got somewhere to go and read quietly. I'm up there now, it's calm, I have Mahler on, the lighting is low and it's comfortable. Need a reading lamp mind, but otherwise, all cool.

    Have been on a 'getting organised' type of kick, ordered a top notch microphone for voice recognition as I can talk faster than I can type and had it working really well some time ago, want to persevere this time and get it set up properly.

    The real problem, though, is the sense of being all dressed up and nowhere to go. For some reason I've made it a mission to be prepared for anything, any creative endeavour I might choose to turn my hand to. I'm surrounded by brilliant things and fantastic tools - I have great software, great books, cameras, beautiful pens, music making equipment, lovely guitars. I have an awesome working environment, but when it comes down to it I just don't know what to do with it all, I spend all day with great tunes in my head, loads of ideas, and then they're all gone. I suppose it's lack of time - I spend so long out of the house at work that when I do finally have time to do what I'm interested in I just panic, like a rabbit in headlights and don't know what to do... Bugs the hell out of me...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
    Tomorrow will be the end of a thirty day experiment for my wife and I. For the first time in my life I have tried to diet and was largely successful.

    A friend of ours has been doing the Paleo Diet with a ridiculous amount of success and we decided to give it a shot. Over the last year, especially since the boy was born, our eating habits have gotten kind of shit. Between being tired from work and adding the Spawn to our lives, the desire to come home and cook a full, well-rounded dinner every night has been rather low. My wife has wanted to do more to get healthier and after talking to said friend decided she wanted to try this diet. After reading about it I decided to go along with it to be supportive and, well, no harm in eating healthier right?

    We took a look at what the diet calls for and had honest talks about what we could manage to do without and what we couldn't/didn't want to give up. Butter, during the first thirty days, is supposed to be verbotten for instance and while we did make the switch to cooking with olive oil instead, we still used a little butter for taste. I hate eating salads plain so I didn't give up ranch nor BBQ sauce. However, I've gone thirty days without having fast food other than a deli sandwich and I haven't had a soda of any kind a month (thankfully caffeine is ok so I've been drinking coffee and tea more). End result? I'm eating more fruit and veg, I've dropped six pounds just by changing my eating habits, and I'm honestly feeling better. Tomorrow is the end of the thirty days when we can technically expand our menu options to include some starches and what not but I'm thinking of mostly just staying as is. Again, can't hurt, right?

    Other than that, life's been ok. Got a promotion at work, family is healthy, and the only "bad" thing is I've been largely uninspired in my writing. I think fatigue and a couple of rejections on some stories I'd submitted recently knocked me for a bit of a loop but I need to suck it up and get back on the horse.

    Be well everyone.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    Hi guys! Sorry for not being around so much these past couple of weeks. Things have been really busy the past couple of weeks with work and home life. Have only just felt like i've begun to catch up.

    So this past week has been..... tough

    Those of you who also speak to me on twitter & FB will know all about this, but for those who don't a Recap...

    Last weekend saw the end of the Iceland Airwaves festival. It was a massive fun time (which you can read about here if you want). It was also doubly fun in that my brother came up for the weekend and we pretty much burned Reykjavik to the ground, pissing off half the populace in the process. I eventually managed to get him on a flight last Sunday and managed to finish partying and writing up the whole weekend that night.

    Last week was supposed to be be all about decompressing, relaxing and considering my next moves. But then on Tuesday, the really horrible happened. I let my cat, Stalin out in the morning as per usuall. He's usually by the door when i get home from work, but this time he wasn't there. Not a problem i thought. he's just out having fun, but as the day turned into night and there was no sign of him, we really began to worry. By Friday things were looking bad. I looked averywhere for several square kilometres, but no sign of him. I was up every night sick with worry. I'd put up posters all over the area, and i was so miserable and distraught, i started crying to Björk songs. And i never cry to music!

    On Saturday i had to go to a friend's Stag do. The night itself was lovely and it was great to get away from it all with several really good friends at a nice country cottage with a massive hot tub and a speaker pumping our massive tunes. However the amount of booze and psychedelics consumed meant that at 2am, i was hugging our main speaker while Sunn 0))) was playing at full volume Crying "I WANT MY FUCKING CAT!" Needless to say it wasn't one of my finest moments...

    But come Sunday, i wake up to find a text from Sigga. Stalin had turned up! He was a bit messy, his face was a bit bashed up and he was a little traumatised, but apart from that, he was fine! I was so happy, i consumed 5 massive vodka cocktails and was completely smashed when i returned home. Needless to say, Sigga was not too happy with me when i fell through the door.

    Last week was fucking horrible, stressful and utterly depressing. This week starts anew.

    Oh, and here's a pic of my brother and I slamdancing alone to a local band...

  7.  (10297.16)
    @RandomEntity - Go you! That takes balls.

    @governmentspy - Also, that takes balls. You are a good man.

    @SingularityJones - Fear. That's what keeps me from making things. What if it's terrible. Or worse, what if it's really good? then I'd have to make sure the next thing is even BETTER! god. And if I finally produce all that stuff that I keep telling myself is why I have to stay around, if I finally create all that stuff, then what will be keeping me here? I'll be done. But really, it's mostly fear of failure, and being far more comfortable to be able to blame it on the million legitimate reasons for not getting art done. Which aren't reasons to not create whatsoever, even if they ARE real and legitimate.

    @glukakke - if I weren't sick with death cold, i'd take you out for fancy sushi or something.

    @icelandbob - I'm glad Stalin is back.

    As for me, seems it might be Lupus.

    Ha ha ha ha ha.... hah.... fuck.

    The other possibilities are rare weird immune disorders or genetic issues that seem to point towards renal failure. Low C3 levels but normal C4 levels in "complement components" don't seem to have that many causes to choose from. I think. Maybe Lupus. Or something else even wierder and rare.

    I'm so tired of this.

    I was thinking of buying a google deal thing I got in my email box about a 7 day drip to Cairo for just under $2,000. It's irresponsible to do with my money, It'd eat up most of my funds, and probably dangerous to go alone as a female, but... I just want to DO something instead of just pissing my life away with this search for medical answers that might never ever get answered. I'd like to live a bit while i can, and use this money for something worthwhile, instead of just living slightly less poor for a number of months.
  8.  (10297.17)
    Oh shit, Rachael. DId the doctor raise this as a possibility, or are you self-diagnosing here? Whatever the case may be, I really hope it's not (some quick googling on my part indicates that C3 and C4 should be low for lupus, but only C3 for septicemia, fungal, or parasitic infections).
  9.  (10297.18)
    @GovSpy I feel for you man. I'm glad you're standing with her and helping her through this. I was legally bound to go to AA after my DUI. I don't consider myself an alcoholic, I can say I'm only having A BEER, or A DRINK and I'm fine. And after going to those meetings, I count myself very, very lucky. Alcohol is no joke and can be just as crippling as any other drug, if not worse, since it's available EVERYWHERE.
    it's not lupus

    @EVERYONE Things get better, they do. At least that's what I keep telling myself anyways.
  10.  (10297.19)
    Yeah, the doc was the one who'd mentioned the Lupus possibility in the first place, then told me about the difference in C3 and C4, and yes, I found the same basic information "septicemia, fungal, or parasitic infections" as well as things like rare auto immune things. So.... I remain a mystery case. What I asked him was why, then, do I still have the brain swelling headaches that I got when I first got the Lyme, and why antibiotics make them better, to which he said that it was likely not an infectious disease, but an immune issue of some kind. So. Lupus is likely? The basic Lyme tests of ANA and such are the same with Lupus. My C3 levels aren't CRAZY low, just... kinda low. All the rheumatic tests came back negative, all the inflammatory tests came back negative. The C3 was the only thing that was off. So... more tests!
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
    Rachael, i am just a daft old git, don't listen to me, ok? Got that? Right, parasites, nematodes and their filariform larvae to be precise. I can barely remember what i'm thinking about here but i think there may be some correspondence between your symptoms and the effects of some of these evil little beasties. Nematodes can be notoriously difficult to detect sometimes, rather like fishing you need to have an idea of where and when to look and even then there's no guarantee of a result, even after repeated tries.
    We have some clever people around here, perhaps someone could have a think about this and come up with some suggestions, 'Roadscum is daft, don't listen to him' being one of the more likely ones.