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  1.  (10576.1)
    A short DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW affair, before the regular three-act speakeasy thread returns.

    Go.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.2)
    The world should be glad, GLAD, that I do not possess the ability to explode heads with the power of my brain.
  2.  (10576.3)
    @Ren
    -if you didn't make my brain/skullspace/head explode, then who did?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012 edited
     (10576.4)
    @Root is a guh-guh-guh-ghost!!! (Sorry, I'll leave now.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012 edited
     (10576.5)
    Hi, Whitechapel. How are you? I'm sorry I haven't written much....I've been busy. That is what I like to say, at least.

    I'll just cut right to the chase - I'm looking at either splitting up with my wife, or moving to Oman*, within the span of about three-four months. I do work in I.T.; I do have a job I may be able to do remotely, or may be able to find a similar job.

    I'm not really taking this as a fun opportunity for life change and growth. I'm shit scared, and I don't wanna go. I want to stay in this city I've come to know and love, keep on working the job I more or less loathe but have come to accept, and get a bit more coin in my pocket by doing so. I rather want to develop my Hobbit-like tendencies to enjoy a comfortable and well-appointed hole.

    Or, possibly, I want to live a madcap gypsy lifestyle where I tool around the U.S. and/or Europe in an Airstream or similarly smartly equipped vehicle that lets me claim not to be 'homeless,' but rather nomadic.

    I'm not sure I'm quite up to the whole Hunter Thompson-ness of having no job in particular (because we'd be living rent-free while the wife works) and schlepping down to the International Hotel to down Westerner-only beer and liquor while staring across the water at Iran and wondering when the Scuds/mortars/icbms are going to start flying. Anyone's Scuds, not Iran's in particular.

    On the other hand, if I do stay here, I know my future lies in an unrewarding toil in a particular segment of I.T. that I simply cannot envision existing 15, 20 years into the future. My entire career so far is based on people who have trouble clicking on things in Windows with a mouse. If that situation still exists in 15 years...I'll shoot myself out of sheer ennui. But am I really going to be 55+ years old, and trying to troubleshoot the 3D telepathic interface, while my health care costs 19200x the national average?

    If it turns out that Oman is a Western expat party paradise, I'll eat all these words.

    ---
    * from Boston, MA, USA. So I'm already living in a Major City and not really lacking for civilized amenities.
  3.  (10576.6)
    I found out yesterday an old girlfriend and coworker (yes I dated her while working with her) beat her 11 year old daughter to death then killed herself.
    The person I knew would never have done such a thing. I have no where to go with this information, no place in my head to put it. Grief, confusion, anger why would she do that.
    I understand being so depressed you want to end it all (she lost her job and her girlfriend was moving out) but why kill her daughter? why so violently?
    why why why. What happened to her mind to turn her into something she isn't.

    I honestly don't understand human beings.
    •  
      CommentAuthordorkmuffin
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.7)
    @Bunny, oh god, words can not express how horrifying that is, and must be for you. With everything you are already going through... Ugh. We're here, pretty lady. Take care of yourself.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012 edited
     (10576.8)
    @comicbookbunny OH JEEZ...I'm so sorry that you have to go through that...fuck...

    Me, I'm...I dunno. I'm going through a point, which I do every now and then, where I go to the web site for Niagara College's Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management course and stop myself from hitting the "apply now" button. I won't need to worry about actually deciding whether or not to go for at least another year (which will give me time to make more homebrews and explore the industry more), but even then...moving (most likely on campus residence at first), the cost (tuition + residence but minus books and other expenses = about $10K a year, but then...student loan?), being in an area where I need a car and can't drive, wondering if it's something that I actually want to DO...I don't know.

    I've been told, by the teachers and facilitators of the school that I've met, that I'd be a shoe-in. Primarily because I initially know my shit when it comes to beer, through my blog I've gained at least a basic knowledge of the beer industry and because..well...I'm a woman and the college is trying to encourage more females to join in on the course.

    But I'm nervous about going back to school. Primarily because I already spent my life savings and my parent's stash-away-for-school money on film school and the industry died in the middle of second year making a job in the field impossible. Not to mention that it was SUCH a shitty school, that they did a good job in sucking any love I had for filmmaking out of me. All that money was wasted and I don't like wasting that much money on nothing. SO yeah...I want to make sure that I want this and that I can do it. And I just don't know...just don't know...
    •  
      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.9)
    @bunny HUGS, big, bear hugs. So sorry to hear that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.10)
    @comicbookbunny Good God. Well I guess when someone creates a tragedy like that there has to be outliers like you, survivors, the designated mourners (to steal from Wallace Shawn) who remember and have to suffer those memories, even though you're on the outside of everything that happened. Damn. Just... *hugs*


    Two typical areas of frustration are driving me nuts these days 1. time and 2. money. 1. Time because I'm terrible at time management and thus I keep squandering what I get. I want to do so much and I know I should have the time for it all, yet somehow it gets away from me. I might be able to do without money or connections or some such, if I just had pause and rewind buttons for my days. I need a whole day to clean, a whole day to study, a whole day to practice, a whole day to exercise; and I need these all squished into one day. Today in Japanese class a former JET teacher talked about living in Japan and it just killed me to have to accept that as brilliant as that sounds there's just no practical way to pull that off. I just can't take a year or two (or five) out to go live in Japan and teach English there. I hate putting cool stuff out of my own reach. But that just wouldn't be a prudent use of my time. Now, if I were to go work bilingual (or do I hear trilingual) programs for theatre... that would be straight up awesome and I'd sign in a heartbeat. If it was an adjunct with a university or a sister theatre company to the companies I work with here, I'd be all over that shit. But who knows if such things even exist; certainly none would be as organized (and ubiquitous) as JET.

    2. Money. Obvs. I'm just so sick of everything breaking down. The laptop I use is an ancient POS and my backup is likewise creaky. My cell phone, at six or seven years old, is a relic. The shell is cracking and today it wouldn't turn on for a while, even though the battery was fully charged. My car insurance is going up by a third, gas prices are ridiculous.... I'm just so screwed for money. But I have to keep moving some how if I can ever hope to earn some cash. Gah. I NEED a good, zippy computer with decent memory (and Skype - it's becoming a problem that I can't do Skype, but I'll need a newer laptop for it), I need an updated phone - hell it's becoming something of an assumption that I'll have a smart phone and be able to check my email and certain Web sites on the go, I need a car that isn't a gas guzzler and hopefully doesn't run as rough as my current truck runs these days.

    But things don't magically get better. I just need the bad stuff to hold off while I get around to making some money...for which I need time.

    Other than that, getting laid would be nice, but seems less likely than finding another 20 hours lying around unused in my day.

    Bile. Spleen. There you go.
  4.  (10576.11)
    @oldhat - Maybe you can find a different brewing school that has a location you'd enjoy living at?

    @Renthing - please explode my skull. I've wanted to be trepanned for many years. it might fix something.

    @comicbookbunny - that's just horrendous. I've witnessed old friends turn into many terrible things, but that's.... unspeakable.

    I am sorry I missed the last week long event. I read them all.

    @Bob, @Flecky, hang in there, mates. The terrible will always strike, but the best you can do is drown it out with awesomeness.
    @Dorkmuffin, yeah there HAVE been a lot of subway deaths lately, and it's horrific that your fella had to witness one.
    @Sizer, I enjoyed your comments to Bunny. I've been rolling them through my head all day.
    @Fishelle, I've been on an uncharacteristically daywalker schedule, and today posted facebook links to photo posts on my tumblr. According to the statcounter, I think my dad looked today. Which was, of course, when there were two photographs of me disturbingly topless. I can't care. It's my job to make the art. It's my parent's job to look away if they can't take it.

    Me, I'm in my hometown dog sitting for my best friend while she and her husband go on a belated honeymoon in HongKong and Thailand. My hometown is lovely and pretty and relaxing.

    This is good, because I am freaking out about money and living. My health coverage is taken out of my disability payments, leaving me less than $600 to live on a month. My rent is $500 plus utilities, and my phone is $50. I'm already $800 in debt from previous medical tests that my old insurance didn't cover. At this point I don't have enough money to go to the doctors I need, even though I finally have Medicare. The welfare system here has something called Section 8 Housing, which means you get a voucher towards your rent on a sliding scale so that your rent never exceeds 30% of your monthly income. The waiting list for Section 8 in NYC is roughly a decade long, so they closed down all new applications indefinitely. New Jersey doesn't have ANY districts accepting new applications either. I could feasibly find somewhere, anywhere, in the country that had was accepting applications, go there when I'm accepted, and live there for a year until I can transfer it where ever I like. However, I need to stay near NYC so I can go to The Chiari Institute on Long Island and hope that they can fix my brain, and/or an assortment of fancy Manhattan doctors to unravel the complicated mess of my health.

    Last week, a gentleman I've recently befriended tried to offer me money to help me out, but I refused. That'd be a flimsy patch on a leaking ship, and I've no means to pay it back for the foreseeable future. Last night, he offered to let me rent the mostly empty room in his railroad apartment for practically free.

    There are reasons of attraction and age that might make this a terrible idea.

    Also, about seven years ago I ended up in a terrible situation with a fellow who offered me a place to stay "no strings attached", then kept me from leaving by promising me health coverage he never got me. It ended in landlord suits, eviction, domestic abuse, sexual coersion, psychological isolation, and total financial dependance. This makes me quite wary of so similar an offer.

    Also, I really do like my new current roommate, and the creative energy that his apartment exudes. We really do get along quite well, and I do enjoy the vibe we share. It's a very positive environment.

    However.

    My current roommate still gets blackout drunk on weekends, and while the apartment is cozy and has a comfortable and inviting vibe, it's kinda crusty. The idea that I might not want to leave my nice things out if I don't want them to be possibly damaged in some way isn't how I'd like to live, and I find myself distracted by how much I still need to clean things. Like the walls. Also, I'm not so keen on smoking cigarettes in my home anymore, y'know? And a 5x15 room is quite tiny and awkward. But it's .... fun! And there are social visitors often! Which is really enjoyable for me, being that I don't get out much.

    The offering fellow, he lives eight blocks away. He is older, relatively quiet, clean, drinks but doesn't get drunk, and the room he is offering me is probably twice the size of my current room. I really do enjoy his company, and we've some friends in common, but there's not the same kind of vibrant artist lair commune vibe that I've been enjoying lately at my current place. However, living where I could actually afford to pay my debts, go to doctors, get back on meds, get new glasses, fix my old camera, and save up money for a deposit on a new apartment? That'd change my fucking life! And I imagine living somewhere that's uncluttered and clean would ease my OCD prone stress levels in ways I'm not even aware of.

    And this is when I start to wonder how much of me is a naive person who's finally learned basic human rules of interaction, or how much of me has just been battered by shitty humans that keep me from being able to trust people...

    And then I wonder how much it matters which is which, because either way, I still wish I was without suspicion and eagerly yapping forward with enthusiasm.

    And then I think I'm probably being stupid and not self reliant enough.

    Christ, I'm ranting.

    I'm really tired of being on my own, y'know? I don't have family to turn to. I don't have a crew of my own friends. They all hate each other or moved away married or got sucked into a bad drug place. I've got a scattered few old occasional friends, and a handful of new friends who I don't know well enough to know or remember their last names.

    And I don't want to think about how much I am terrified of my surgeries. Not the procedure itself. Sure, it's my brain and my spine, it'd delicate and blah blah blah whatever. What puts the lump in my throat and freaks me out is... the day after surgery. And two months after the surgery. Me, laying in a bed with a scar on my skull and my spine in a cast, and.... who would help me...

    I don't have anyone in my life I'm really close enough to.... ask. Nor is anyone close enough to me to really volunteer.

    I don't want to face that kind of loneliness. I don't want to experience that terrible moment of truth.

    Which is why my momentum towards medical solution so often slows to a crawl.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.12)
    Well, with what @Finagle & @ComicBookBunny are going through, my shit feels like small fry, but here it goes.

    My big worry now is my classes. Well, one class, at least. It's near the end of the semester and I have a sneaking feeling that I'm going to fail rather spectacularly. I thought I had some grasp on it, but the more I try to do with it the less I feel I understand it. I read the text and I try to do the problems with it and it just doesn't click, it feels off, like I'm doing something from a completely different subject. I'm going to talk to my teacher about it tomorrow and see if she can help me, and I'm going to try to continue doing my best, but I'm still on shakey ground and I'm stressing out.

    What gets me is that I feel like I'm supposed to understand more of this. It's a computer programming course, and in my family I'm considered the "computer guy," the smart one when it comes to operating it, and not being able to understand a simple programming language just makes me feel like a sham.

    Well, actually, what REALLY gets me is that while I like computers well enough, and there's a bit of a thrill in creating something in code...it's not what I really want to do. I want to write, and I want to draw. But, I'm still in college for computer programming because my parents want me in college and while I know it's the smart thing to do to have some sort of degree, I just don't have a lot of passion to do this kind of stuff in an academic environment, if that makes any sense. And when I try to talk about it, they immediately go to, "Do you want to dig ditches with your father?"

    I'm just sick and tired of this, and I feel like a failure.
  5.  (10576.13)
    I believe the word for me right now is overwhelmed. I have no really good reasons for being overwhelmed, but that's how I feel. And when I feel overwhelmed, I tend to withdraw and go on full distraction mode. Well, more than my usual distractions. And then I feel guilty because there are people out there with real shitty stuff going on.

    Why am I talking about myself anyways?

    @Comicbookbunny: That's horrific, I'm sorry to hear it.

    @Finagle: I wish I actually knew something about the culture of Oman and could give you useful information aside from the obvious. You could always try it out and leave if the place really sucks? Actually, this much I do know. Living in a place like Oman will be complicated, and unlike anything you've ever experienced before. It could be amazing, it could be like hell, it could be both, but regardless of what happens, you'll change, and if/when you move back to the US, you'll have to start over, because everything you thought you knew about the US will have turned on it's head, and everyone will have seemed to have changed and... everything will be so much more complicated than you ever could have thought. It won't, and it will, be boring. Research the hell out of the place, and then make a decision. Find out how much you will be interacting with the locals. Find out what the expatriates are like, and what they do to assist new arrivals. Find out what structures are already in place to take care of the expatriates, and especially ones who don't know what they are doing. Because trust me, you probably won't know what you are doing. If the expatriates there don't seem to be interested in hand holding the new arrivals, then chances are you are going to have a very hard time starting out, unless you aren't even interacting with the local culture at all.

    @oldhat: Aww hugs. I wish I could help.
  6.  (10576.14)
    Life's actually pretty good right now. Lots of projects are all on the slow train, but they're moving and that's the important thing.

    @everybody
    Holy shit, good luck you guys. Like Jay Kay, my stuff seems microscopic in comparison. I'm toasting now to your eventual success.
    • CommentAuthorKoltreg
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.15)
    Yesterday my mom and my sister both got in separate accidents. My sister got hit by another that was car backing out onto the highway and that totaled her car but she's fine (minus losing the car and her laptop). My mom on the way to get her winged a car but only did superficial damage. It has been a weird day since the last time my family had a car accident my dad's car died (literally having a wheel go horizontal) and my mom ran into a garbage truck doing just enough damage to kill the old van.
    Life is weird and stupid.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFishelle
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2012
     (10576.16)
    Just got off the phone with my old boyfriend. Finally being on friendly terms again has made me so happy. With parental situations, art I've been making, and being in a place that doesn't really feel like home, I haven't been really happy for a long time. But after I talked to him and we were finally okay, I went through my sketchbook to try and find something to make art about, which is generally things I'm struggling with. For the first time since we were together, all I could find or think of were the things that made life worth living.

    Apparently his plan is to kill himself on his birthday. July 18th.

    Fuck.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2012 edited
     (10576.17)
    It's all a bit weird at work for me at the moment. We're coming to the end of the project phase where you're actually making the game and about to start the part where you fix all the bits you can that don't work before someone comes along and tells you it's going out the door. This is usually a really stressful time, as people desperately try to get 'one last thing' in before the doors slam, but that's not why it's weird.

    It's weird because people keep leaving the company. People I know well and will miss, people I don't really know at all, people I never thought would ever leave (like the Boss, who left last month). They're all off to do the small company indie games things, and I really do think I should probably do the same, but I still have this fear of failure that always stops me. It's irrational, and everyone tells me it is, but that doesn't make it go away.

    But still, the sun is out and has been for a few days now. After a fairly drawn out but not too cold winter we seems to be skipping Spring altogether here and going straight into early summer. It's lovely, and my mood has been much the better for it.

    Even tripping over in a pub carpark the other night and faceplanting into a flowerbed, leaving my self with a lot of grazes and bruises, hasn't taken too much out of my general mood.

    @Jay Kay - Is this course any particular brand of coding? I'm not much of a teacher, but I might be able to point you at something that could help? (although I haven't done academic computer science stuff for a while now, and my day job doesn't exercise more than half of what I did at uni)
  7.  (10576.18)
    I put my two weeks' notice in at a job I should've quit two years ago. I don't have a backup plan or another job lined up, but the only way I'm going to make myself get out of the rut I've been in for too long is to forcibly change it. I've been hungry before, i can survive it again.
    In other news, this rather attractive woman who is both socially and financially way out of my league keeps talking to me, despite having a pretty good idea of how much of a train wreck I am. I'm interested in seeing how it goes.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2012
     (10576.19)
    Book selling well, much better than I expected. We're beginning work on the follow-up (which, to avoid looking stupid, I'm not going to crow about until it's done), and it feels fine.
    •  
      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2012
     (10576.20)
    I'm doing good I guess, not much to really complain about, certainly not compared to the routine 'llife kicks your ass with bizarre, unexpected vile shit' scenarios that everyone's got going on here.

    My problem is focus. I do so many things at the same time that none of them really gets me anywhere. This year was supposed to be about writing, and I AM now sitting on a short stack of pieces which I will try and sell after my course ends in August. And honestly, I feel blessed to be able to do this course, even though it's gotten me into debt, because it has taught me a lot and I've got a TON of friends in shitty jobs who would give their right arm to study full-time for a year. I count my blkessings every day, I really do.

    But I still can't seem to just pick ONE thing and stick to it. Here I am thinking about trying to get a session drummer so I can play gigs... meanwhile I'm buying ISBN codes to publish books by other people... and stocks of the magazine to sell (all coming out of my pocket... I'd have to spend a LOT more time filling in forms and writing proposals to get funding or investment - that's a project for next year, ANOTHER one)... I have three albums by other people to release, push, and promote, all for zero return for myself, other than personal satisfaction (and that's a biggie, because again, I ain't trying to sound ungrateful)... Three tracks sitting waiting on vocals which are collabs with overseas artists... My own gigs to fund, plan, design flyers for and promote, again with little likelihood of a profit anywhere.... A stack of really exciting journalistic assignments, which again, only net me an hourly rate of about £3.80 an hour, not even minimum wage... putting together playlists for the two radio shows I'm co-presenting, and then we've got to actually record the fuckers.... all of which takes my focus away from actually WRITING, and hitting the three deadlines I have for Uni in the next three months. Which is what I'm supposed to be HERE FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    People have been telling me to FOCUS for the last twelve years and you know what? I've completely ignored them. What the fuck is wrong with me? All the artists I know with any degree of professional success have picked one or two things and stuck to them. I've tried to pick writing and stick with it but here I am, involved in a million different projects, none of which are really earning me any money, and none of which I'm giving 100% attention to. And it's a fucker. Because for instance, the Weaponizer Magazine looks banging, and I'm hugely excited about it (I even get course credit for it), but the site has been pretty much dormant since last year because I've been getting that together... so you see what I mean, a lack of focus means a lack of consistency, means a lack of progress, means people see you as unreliable, means no job for you at the end of it Sonny Jim. If you try and juggle too many projects some of them get dropped and smash. I'm fucking terrified of that happening.

    I know this has something to do with the fact that everyone and their dog makes art of some kind these days. I mean, I actually LOVE that about the culture / era we live in. I think it's a good thing. I'm not one of these self-employed artists who makes a living wage and bitches about all the 'bloody amateurs' ruining it for the 'real, professional' artists. Far from it. That would never be me. Neither am I a militant outsider who doesn't want to get paid,m or doesn't see that artists SHOULD be paid for their work. I'm also a realist - I know that these days you don't make money from art unless you can MARKET your PRODUCT. And although that may suck, it is a fact. But I allso understand we're going through a cultural paradigm shift which is repositioning the role of creative expression in people's lives, and I celebrate that. I love bedroom produced-music, free online comix, open-source fiction. I also buy books from Amazon and Waterstones, I buy comics from Marvel, I pay for music downloads. Commerce and free culture coexist for me.

    I also realise that my own work is FAR from being at a 'lets pay you a living wage' level of quality. I have a TON of work to do if I want to get paid for music, writing, or publishing. So this isn't a 'life's not fair, where's my goddamn break' rant either. And I'm more than happy and prepared to go back to some form of paid drudgery when my course finishes, if the recession hasn't swallowed every single job in town. I'm not being precious.

    What I am is pissed off with myself for having such an ADHD attention span. Why the fuck can't I follow through on stuff? I'm thirty-one now, you would have thought that I'd be able to pick a goddamn horse. At this rate it's more likely that I'll pack it ALL in in frustration and just take whatever job I can that allows me to get married, start a family, all that stuff I've put off, to the detriment of my relationships, for the past few years. I can see a possible future where I'm trying to juggle all of these projects, and sustain myself as a self-employed lecturer, all the while investing my own money in a bunch of different projects.... And you know what?

    I don't know if I have the stomach for that. At least, not today. Ask me again tomorrow and I'll probably have changed my fucking mind. AGAIN.

    Anyway, I feel much better after venting all of that, so thanks Whitechapel for providing the judgement-free rantspace. ALL ENGINES NOW AT FULL - MAGAZINE INCOMING - LAUNCH DATE, END APRIL.

    Huge love to all of you going through the heavy heavy shit. Remember: You are beautiful at all times.