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  1.  (10759.1)
    The Rules:

    The THREE ACT SPEAKEASY is here for you to vent, to express, and to learn. This is your chance to perform -- but you're also in the audience, guv, and are expected to behave as such. So your skits at the steely Whitechapel microphone will ALL and ALWAYS be divided into three sections:

    1: The Boo. The Get-It-Off-Your-Chest. The "I've-Had-A-Shit-Week-And-I-Need-To-Vent". Your chance to scream silently into the face of Internet apathy, and trepan your pressurized consciousness. Deposit your spleen here.

    2: The Huzzah. Wherein you tell us something which goes just a teensy way to mitigating the effects of the psychic turd you just laid on our heads. Perhaps it's a tiny hint of hope in an otherwise bleak situation. Perhaps it's an unrelated Thing Which Happened which made you smile rather than frown. Shit, maybe it's just a silly joke. Show us you can cope as well as carp.

    3: The Applause. You will choose one of your fellow whitechapellers, from this same thread. Doesn't have to be the person who posted before you - just someone whose story touched you. And you will offer them a word of advice, or comfort, or support, to help them with their own SECTION 1 Whinge. Doesn't have to be much. A sentence, a word, a bloody emoticon - whatever. Just a paltry donation to the art of Thinking Of Others. And try to avoid schmaltz, please, or the Urethral Maggots will feast anew. Circle of life, kids.

    Naturally, the first person to respond here is excused from Stage 3.

    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2012
    BOO: My computer is busted, which makes writin' a hard business indeed. I'm finding myself working through lunches, too, which is killing my word time. Money's tight, too, but that's all over. I'm screwing the pooch on publishing Weaponizer stories. All is holding together, and better than in the past, but only just.

    YAY: My cat, who'd lost a significant and alarming amount of weight, is in perfect health; he was just spiting his younger brother who is a dick at mealtime. I'm planning a trip to NYC in September. I'm down 25 pounds and two waist sizes since late May.

    APPLAUSE: For all of you. You're all a boot in my ass, and I wouldn't have made it this far creatively without this place.
    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2012
    BOO: Related to Faux's post, really - Weaponizer blog isn't as busy as it could be (although to be fair, Faux's done a bunch of work, so he should stop beating himself up). I've taken on a new editor, and I know that the quietness is due to unavoidable personal stress rather than lack of enthusiasm from my crack team of blog ninjas... I'll be back in the saddle properly after my Masters course finishes next month, so I'm confident we can turn this BOO into a YAY pretty quickly. I was down in London recently and Vertigojones reminded me that I was still sitting on some of his stories, submitted a while back. I know this is a big ask but if you're in the same position, and are wondering where the hell your story's gone, please do email me! I'll be comissioning for issue 2 of the mag soon as well.

    YAY: Related, again - was super incredibly awesome to hang out with KurtJHanson, Vertigojones, nigredo and Den Patrick last week while down in London. What a fucking brilliant bunch of dudes. I was down to attend The Daggers, a race which I had a horse in... didn't win, but what a great night, met novelist Steve Mosby (also an epic dude) and the venerable Frederick Forsyth, which was fanboy central for me. Am now putting the final polish and last few chapters onto the first draft of my novel, and Steve Toase is up for doing a manuscript swap once we're done, so we can crit each others' work. Looking forward to that. This is a major YAY for me, I really feel (scratch that, KNOW) I am going to finish this book, only the second time I've managed to finish a novel... the first one was horrible. This one... marginally less so. Feels good. Very much trying to abide by a great piece of advice another writer gave me: "Get it on the page.. and make it less worse." The next stage should also be fun - I get to pick the brains of a retired Detective Inspector about police procedure, hopefully clearing up some of my more glaring lifts from CSI and The Bill, and adding a layer of credibility to the story...

    APPLAUSE: Well done on the weight loss, Faux. Good effort. Also, although he hasn't posted here yet, I want to add an APPLAUSE for Flecky, who is about to go into rehab - best of luck mate, we're all rooting for you.
  2.  (10759.4)
    The BOO:

    I mentioned this, I think. A friend I have. Who I'd met in the late 90s. Who I had an instant crush on and who had a crush on me, but we met through his friend whom I was briefly dating at the time. And we'd hardly seen each other in the past ten years, until recently.

    We had an almost kiss, but I kind of .... avoided. I feel so very closed off physically. And first-kissing sober is really fucking terrifying. I thought this was kind of a universal difficulty. So I started asking around:

    "When is the last time you had a first-kiss completely sober? Have you done so as an adult?"

    And most people have. Seems like it's not something that folks take issue with. And I'm really quite flabbergasted at this. It's inconceivable to me. It's not a matter of possible rejection. It's a matter of intimacy and exposure. Someone I'm willing to kiss sober means I really actually like them. This makes contact that much more difficult, because it's an emotional gesture of affection. I literally freeze. Or start talking in a manic uncontrollable manner. Or run away. Or have a panic attack. But drunk fucking, jeez, who cares?! Also, sex and bodies, they are natural and everything, but also, kind of gross. I feel about sober first-kissing the way Bill Hicks feels about not smoking in NYC.

    I've been researching, reading, and thinking retroactively about myself, and... well, it seems likely that I'm on some scale of Asperger's. There's clinically diagnosed OCD, ADHD, Tourette's all over my mom's side of the family, with a notoriously weird aunt who we've all suspected has some kind of Autism or something (she was a scientist but had such mad delusions of romance with her head scientist to the point of being escorted off the premises, has logic that defies logic, but has an amazing memory and a robot brain). And there's a cousin on the other side with Asperger's.

    The more I read, and the more I look back on conversations throughout my life, the more it rather makes sense. This, for example, is exactly me. Thinking back to the many complaints of being too Spock like, of being too naive in sexual situations, that I don't seem to understand that other people don't think the same way I do, of being too literal, of wearing different social faces/facets too easily to the point of partners questioning who I really am, etc etc. I suppose I should be very very thankful for the acting classes I took consistently from ages 6 to 13. And I suppose it makes sense as to why I have such difficulty getting dressed, because in doing so i'm donning my persona for the day, and that's a big choice. And I guess I just get everything wrong when it comes to the more normal side of my family, and why they don't seem to like me or find my questions rude or weird.

    I guess all those social things I strategically navigate or had to consiously learn are things that everyone else really does do naturally. How very odd. Now, even more than before, I guess I've got to get myself to a psychologist.

    The YAY:

    I explained my brain to my friend and he's rather similar so we are still being awesome together. But not kissing. Not for now at least. Maybe later. So that's awesome. But we can't seem to stop talking. Or writing. Or hanging out. Our brains work in the same manners, from the same tributaries. We can speak in metaphor/reference/memory shorthand in so many of the same rare dialects, and not just the same color of geekery, either! We are actually far more similar than I'd ever thought, actually. I don't know if this is dangerous, or rude, but I've been entirely honest about myself, and so has he, so.... we continue. It's weird and fun to laugh this much. Or have someone to talk to that understands EXACTLY why I was giddy at the chance of living somewhere with the street address 16-42 and a zipcode of 11385. It's not just a matter of someone who is hip to the movie references I make, it's a whole manner of metaphorical language. I really do think and speak in whole phrases and ideas, and it gets abstract and hard for me to communicate at times. It's like finding the Darmok to my Jalad. :D

    CLAPPITY CLAP CLAP (from the previous thread):

    @JPCarpenter: Well, at least your partner got in a bit of time with her folks living nearby for a while before his health went straight downhill? I hope the kids are taking it ok.

    @DavidLeJeune: Y'know what? It's not worth it to be miserable. You aren't going to meet people you enjoy while you are in a place you hate location-wise, life-state wise, self-wise. You are biding your time, y'know? And time just keeps going faster the longer it goes. Maybe going back to LA isn't the answer. You've already been there. But as for myself, doing something mad and taking a chance and making myself try at something I wasn't expecting, even if it's miserable and hard, is SO MUCH BETTER than the daily downward spiral of a life that I dread. Then again, I've got absolutely no financial or life security whatsoever, so take that into consideration with any advice I give.

    @Fauxhammer - Go Faux! 25 pounds is no joke! Hooray!
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2012 edited
    @Rachael: I can feel for you because I have been diagnosed with Aspergers myself. When I was diagnosed, one of the first things I did was join the nearest Autism society and find out what newsletters, support groups and services they have for people who are on the Spectrum. A lot of their services were geared towards children on the Spectrum and their parents, but now they're bringing in more services for adults on the Spectrum. They used to have a weekend games session, but lately they have an Out of Sync group that meets every fortnight. Basically, it's a social group and you go there to meet and socialise with people who are on the Spectrum.

    So if you think you're on the Spectrum, how about checking out your nearest Autism group and see what services they can offer?

    @Fauxhammer: Congratulations on slimming your cat down. I know from experience that it is no easy matter. My own cat just seems to get heavier.
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2012
    MEHR GUT: I thought my Concerta stopped working, and I'd need to up my dose. Then yesterday I got very, very faint--turns out my body couldn't supply the energy my brain demanded because I wasn't eating. I ran out, grabbed a quesadilla, and all of a sudden I could hear the bass riff to "Ace Of Spades" in my nervous system. Looks like I'm going to have to eat more. I doubled down on protein bars on my way in.

    MEHR SCHLECHT: Office skulduggery is going on. I don't like it.


    @texture: I just don't want you to think I'm not committed, is all. SHIT I still owe you an email! ARRRRGH

    @Rachael: Getting diagnosed with shit like that is a new lease on life. Once my shrink put me on the Concerta and the Zoloft, I felt like Fauxhammer v2.0; still me, but better. If you can swing it, I highly recommend it. And hanging out with somebody awesome is never a bad thing! Just because you don't feel like mingling essences doesn't mean you can't have a mutually fulfilling interaction, and don't let anybody tell you different.

    @dnewling: I wish it were that kind of weight loss--we brought him in for leaving pissdrops on the rug and a slight tremor in his forelimb, but the vet took one look at him and said "That is one skinny-ass cat", and that's why she ordered the ultrasound.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2012
    @Rachael: Have you heard of the book 'All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome' by Kathy Hoopmann? This book uses cat photos to illustrate the symptoms (and advantages) of Aspergers syndrome. Yes, there are advantages to Asperger syndrome. You can even make a career out of them if you utilise them correctly.
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2012 edited
    The Bad: I'm in a game on RPoL and was in a scene with another player who was making me wait. After a week of this I complained to the GM. Today I found out that the person I complained about for being slow to respond in the game had died. So, along with being at least a little sad, I now feel like an utter shit for complaining in the first place.

    The Good: I'm getting extra hours at work so, yay money.

    The Applause: Good on you, Rachael. I have no idea who Darmok and Jalad(*) are, but I think it's awesome that your Jalad has found a Darmok.

    (*) At least, not yet. Figure in just a little bit, I'll look it up on Google and be told there.
  3.  (10759.9)
    Boos -- Got nothing. Life is good.

    YaYs -- Life is good. House is awesome, cat isn't scratching the wood, work is going really well.

    Apple Sauce -- JohnJones -- There is no way you could have known that he had moved on. Did you even know that he was sick at all? Don't beat yourself up over it. You took appropriate steps based on the knowledge you had at the time. That's the best you can expect from anyone, you did nothing wrong.
    PS: Star Trek, "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra". (Just in case you're still wondering what Rachael is talking about.)
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2012
    @ Warped Savant I know I shouldn't, but I still feel bad. One of reasons I feel bad is that I see a kind of horrible, Louis CK kind of humor in the situation. The game I'm in is a kind of Battlestar Galactica offshoot using the Game of Thrones rules. So, there's a lot more emphasis on political and social intrigue than on physical confrontation. My character and this other person's character were about to get sexually intimate . So, there's not just an element of "why is this person late" there's also the "why is this person late For The Sex." On the other hand, it's not as bad as it could have been. The GM in the game offered to take control of the character in order to finish the scene and I said I'd prefer to wait a few more days. So, I could easily have been in the position of having sex with this dead person's character - necrophilia by proxy, I suppose.
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2012
    Got a new roommate. This is both good and bad.
    Lost a job. This is both good and bad.
    Waiting to hear back about an apartment in Montreal. This is, well, pretty fucking sketchy, right now.

    Trying to get some creative-type-stuff going with all this newfound free time. But really, it's too fucking hot, and I just wanna watch Battlestar Galactica. So, fuck it.

    Applesauce for everyone that has something genuine to complain about. Also, johnjones, I am totally going to write a short story about your experience. That is an unfortunate yet deeply intriguing scenario.
  4.  (10759.12)
    Made my first Cafe Press site, at the request of some co-workers. I'm pretty pleased about it; and amused. It makes me giggle, just knowing it exists. Also decided to try to make a graphic novel mostly out of printer paper and crayola markers. About Fragonard and Body Thieves and whatnot, while working on scribblies for the Apartment of Horror stuffs. feels like I'm getting back into being artsy and more myself.
    I'm also getting into the habit of putting on sunscreen in the morning, which seems to be working well for preventing the dreaded itchies of doom.

    -I am WAY behind in my knitting; working on a group project for my mom's knitting group, everyone else is nearly done and I haven't even cast on. The heat's also been making it hard for me to keep my liquids and salt balance right so I've been having way more stupid moments than I should. Why did I leave my iced coffee randomly on the hallway floor? Hell if I know. There's definitely a learning curve going on with my medication and depression and how they interact with everything. :P

    It's been stupidly hot here, too. Total saps one of the will to do anything.
    Sounds like a bit of an awkward moment. But it's not like you intended for it to occur, or could have prevented it. Things happen. Granted, you don't generally think of death in a situation like that.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2012
    The Boo: Way too hot in America while it is cold and wet and winter where I am. And I've got a head cold, but I still have to work.

    The Hurrah: I'm knitting as well; I'm making puppy jumpers for the puppies at the animal shelter with wool that I spin myself.

    @Rootfireember: I'm not sure how anyone can knit in that heatwave.
  5.  (10759.14)
    Okay. I totally want to see the puppy jumpers when you're done. I might have to ask for the pattern when I get a dog next year. :o)
    I'm currently working in sock yarn. It helps, some. But most of my stuff is worsted wool. Oi.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2012 edited
    @Rootfireember: Here is a link to the pattern, which I found after more searching on the web. But you'll have to copy and paste it; for some reason the link function won't cooperate.
  6.  (10759.16)
    -invisible link is invisible. :( What site are you using?
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2012 edited
    The Boo: I'm going to the doctor; these persistent illnesses and sore throats are getting beyond a joke.

    The Hurrah: Work is still coming along nicely despite illness.

    @John Jones: Mentally send lots of loving thoughts to the person you complained about. I find this meditation useful if I upset someone.

    Update: I'm back from the doctor with antibiotics. And we've just seen a rare sight - a kereru (wood pigeon) in our street. Now that is really something! Kereru are endangered and are on the protected list.
  7.  (10759.18)
    the rubbish

    Was a really hard week last week, but I don't think I've actually got anything done, I've been really under the weather with a nasty cold but I've not been able to take any time off. And the weather here has remained absolutely dreadful, I try not to let it get to me too much because people who moan about the weather all the time are intensely boring, but to be still wearing winter coats in July is taking the piss more than a little bit. Because I've been trying to keep my head above water in the office, I've been going in really early, and getting up at 4:15 in the morning – it's nearly worth it for the two hours of focus that I get before everyone comes in at nine, but it's an insanely long day. Spent all of Saturday trying to resurrect old computers and not succeeding.

    The huzzah
    Partner's father is out of hospital for now, they finally found a drug that got his heart rate down from 220 to something approaching normal. Mother in law is really struggling with him though, he's not an easy patient and I think she really resents being a full time carer as well as having three dogs and two cats to look after. Older daughter seems a bit happier - still having a few problems, but some of them are self inflicted; she doesn't seem to be able to integrate well with other kids or see things from another perspective.

    Was my youngest daughter's 4th birthday yesterday and we managed a cold, windy, but at least not rainy, day out for her. Still think she's the cutest thing on earth.
    And I'm on holiday for two weeks from this Friday. Have a mountain of stuff to do this week but nothing I'm really stressing over, unlike last year when I got so fraught it took the full two weeks to calm down, and by the time I went back I was in a worse state than I'd left.

    @johnjones - gawd, that's a weird one...
    @Rachael - har, the last time I first kissed anyone I don't think I was ever sober, but I think I might have been less drunk than normal... h
    @dnewling - head colds are evil. hope you shake it soon
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2012
    @JP Carpenter: thank you. It now looks like the root trouble was a throat infection. Antibiotics are on it now, but it may be a little while before they take affect. I see I'm not the only one who's been having trouble with illness either.
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2012 edited
    My weight is really getting to me. Well, not so much the weight, but the appearance. I actually haven't gained any weight and am in fact losing, but due to travel, work, emotional stuff, the heat and downright tiredness I haven't been to the gym in a few months and all the hard and firm parts of my body that made it look like I was 10-15lbs lighter are getting squishy and spreading out again and it's been causing me some distress. Have been intentionally wearing baggy clothes lately because I don't feel good. And of course I made it worse by attempting to get some new clothes. Nearly broke down in tears. "KANEDAAAAA" etc.

    Also starting to feel like some beer industry folks are regarding me as some kind of pathetic joke and have been questioning my worth going in to brew school, as I know lots about beer, but still have much to learn regarding the making of beer. Know it can be solved with homebrewing, but money is an issue (ingredients and needing a $189 brewpot to make the strong beers I want to make). I dunno. We'll see...

    Well, the good news is some people definitely don't see me as a joke regarding beer stuff and I was honoured to get two bottles of a champagne beer and a Kwak glass. And the television appearances have been doing me some good regarding publicity.

    Got a cheque I've been waiting for in today, and will be picking up new earphones, as both my earphones cacked out on me.

    Been spending time with someone that makes me smile.

    The pool in our backyard will be good to swim in this week, thank christ.

    @JP, glad to hear that your partner's father is out of the hospital. And have a great holiday!
    @allana, fingers crossed on Montreal apartment!