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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2013
    You ever have one of those days where everything you do just seems to disgust you? Not like you feel depressed or anxious or embarrassed, but more like a day where you feel like you're watching yourself from behind a soundproof window, and you just keep screaming "do better, you moron!" but you (on the other side of the glass) don't hear it, and just keep acting like a moron? That's been my day today. It's not that I can't seem to do anything right, I just keep feeling like I'm being an asshole to the people around me without meaning to be. It's been going on like this for a few days, but today just seemed to be the day that the levee broke and all my stupid just fell out for all the world to see. Mean, thoughtless things kept falling out of my mouth, I had no energy to do the things that needed to be done, and for whatever reason I felt like the Wolf in Red Hot Riding Hood every time a girl passed by me, and I hate guys who do that. I'm glad I've got tomorrow off to just hole up for a bit in the apartment and hopefully let my shit evaporate out.

    Also, my head looks like a watermelon that someone stuck about forty rubber bands around the middle of. So you know, that's cool.


    I've got a new story idea that I'm really excited about, and amazingly, this one doesn't want to be an HBO TV series or a long-running comic book. I'm pretty sure it just wants to be a 500-page novel or so, which is refreshing to me. I have a bad habit of dreaming too big, so it's a nice surprise to get excited about something small. Also, the pen-and-paper game that I've been fiddling with for a long time just went through it's first round of real play-testing, and it was just as much fun as I wanted it to be. There's still a lot of work to be done in ironing it out, but I feel like if I work hard enough, I could have a salable game by the end of the year, maybe even something I could put up on Kickstarter. So that's got me feeling like I can accomplish something, and that's a feeling I haven't had much of this last year or so.


    Fox: For what it's worth, and I know I've said this before, but you're seriously one of the strongest people I know, just for persevering through all the medical shit you've had to put up with. And you're right, from the photos you've put up on Tumblr that I've seen, you look fantastic, and you weren't hard on the eyes to begin with.

    Chris: Cutting out dumb, unhealthy crushes is hard as hell, and I may have to do much the same before long, so I have a decent idea of what it's like. I guarantee you did the right thing, though.

    Dextra: I feel you completely on the art block. I know I said earlier that I'd just gotten a new idea, and that's true, but having the idea and having the energy to work on it are, some days, diametrically opposed. It'll pass, though, all blocks do in time, and when you next put pencil to paper it's going to feel amazing.

    Littlepurplegoth: Yay for not having to hold yourself back! I'm not exactly the most intimate guy on the planet (lo-lo-lo-la Lola?) but I know what it's like to have to keep your instincts in a shell for other people, and it's complete bullshit. I'm really glad you don't have to worry about it anymore!

    oldhat: FUCK YES THIRSTY WENCH! Also, while my first wish is that stalker dipshit would just disappear and never return, my secondary wish is that I get to hear what you do to him if he Crosses The Line.

    Hex: Glad to hear you got your guts cleaned out, even if it sounds like it wasn't a pleasant experience. Keep yourself healthy, man, I want to see you the next time the winds blow me up north!
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2013
    Alan, I like your titles so much I'm stealing them.

    Tomorrow's the fourth anniversary of my dad's car accident. I have a bottle of Bombay. I'm maybe going to open it right now, because today was a total wash. I started an almost-full-time-job last week and it's cool but I forgot how drained you feel, or how the weird anticipation of the weekend just makes it tense and awkward. It's too hot to do anything and we mostly just drank and watched teevee for two days running. If there was actually anything to get done (of course there is, I'm a damn grad student, fuck) I did not do it. I just hate my sense of motivation most days.
    And money problems means my boyfriend still doesn't have his own computer, so I still feel this sense of obligation, like, it's the weekend, I should let him have it, but then I never get anything without it to hand. So I'm sort of casting about feeling useless and sweaty (the humidity of this third-floor apartment is pretty bullshit) and thinking I should try to stay sober long enough to get something done. But fuck it.

    It's cool to have a job? That looks great on my resume? I guess. Nothing's particularly wrong in my life, I'm just in a funk. I have great music on and as soon as I'm done here I'm gonna play Tetris for like two hours. Positive!

    Toronto people: I want to hang out for serious. I wish I was coming home for Pride. But maybe we can do something the first week of August? I'm planning to spend serious time in town.
    Alan: I feel you on "those days." Fuck.
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2013
     photo image.jpg

    I got to help out with the local arts festival and got paid to do so again this year. The extra bit of income will be nice. It was a blast. I was working in the kid's area, and it's always a joy to see children running around exclaiming their enthusiasm because they can draw on EVERYTHING. I dig kids. Everything is still magic to them and it's wonderful to see.

    Moving time is drawing near, which is good. Got pushed back a little so I can attend a friend's wedding, but not too far into August, I'll be out of Salt Lake. This place has been good to me in many ways, but I am definitely ready to move on with my life post graduation.

    Exhausted, sunburned, and I haven't got a weekend without obligations for the rest of my time in Utah. That's no biggie, though. Sort of feels like I've accomplished something. Single, which is also fine, especially since I'm moving so soon. All in all, I should be pretty content. There's just one thing, an I hesitate to bring it up on whitechapel. But I need to talk about it somewhere and this box is here for me to fill.

    I've been Mormon my whole life. I've always been okay with that. Hell, I even embraced it, believed in it wholeheartedly, defended it even when I could understand other people's arguments against it more than the one I was trying to see. But lately, for no particular reason I can gauge, I'm having a really hard time with it. Maybe it's just that life is good so I have more time to question things. I dunno. Whatever it is, wearing "modest" clothing, not drinking, not smoking, all the dumb stuff that used to make sense to me is just getting so much harder. It's not even that I have any interest in doing those things, it's that I feel separate an alienated from the people that I identify with an because I don't. Even though I know no one cares if they're any decent. It just feels like too much to ask of a person, too much of the world I'm not allowed into.
    I'm getting to the point in my life where it's really hitting me how the next thing I'm supposed to do is get married to a Mormon guy and start wearing garment and having kids. And I keep thinking about how if I did that it would mean raising children to believe in the same things I grew up believing, when I'm not sure I believe them myself. And that I would have to marry another LDS person, which really limits my options. I have never been attracted to a solid Mormon guy in my life, with the one exception and he turned out to be an asshole.
    Maybe it will help to move out of Salt Lake, maybe Ohio won't feel quite so much like the people who are religious must be pitted against those who are liberal intellectuals. But maybe it will be worse.
    I feel like I've never been trusted to make a decision about so many things, growing up in a culture where everything that could possibly be bad is forbidden, and it's really getting to me. But at the same time, there are still things I believe in here, things that have made me who I am.
    More than anything else the thing that's keeping me from just quitting on all of this is how I know my family would take it. Leaving the Mormon church seems like an inherently selfish thing to do when I think of my parents and my siblings. Is it fair to make them have to question things that heave held them together just because I am? Probably not.

    I don't know that I really want a ton of feedback on this vent, I just sort of needed to get it out. At least refrain from celebrating and telling me to dismiss the institution simply on the basis that you are not a fan of it, yeah?

    Oldhat - a much as I like having the ability to retweet you, it will be good to lock things down. I am a fan of you in general, which includes your twitter feed, though, so I hope you don't feel the need to hide you're awesomeness too much.

    Alan - I've had those days as well. People will understand and accept apologies where nessecary, I'm sure.

    Flecky - You've been on my mind a lot lately as a friend has been getting back into drugs he shouldn't, and I've become aware of Salt Lake's heroin problem. Keep fighting the good fight, and congrats on the success so far. I want your story to end well as much as anyone does.

    I would shout out to more of you, but I'm doing this on an iPod since my laptop died on me, and it is a pain to try and navigate the site while writing a post on this thing. Know that I read your words, and I love you all.
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2013 edited

    Not much. I could complain, because who can't? But I won't.


    Beginning to get, after many years, the truth behind the idea that to accomplish anything creative you need to just show up, even when it isn't working, and just grind. Beginning to be able to shut distractions out.

    The other thing

    I've returned here pretty much specifically to empathize with Fishelle.

    I was Catholic for my whole childhood, and my family is still pretty Catholic. Crucifix in the bedroom, pictures of the Madonna (no not that one) here and there. I stopped being Catholic in my heart some time around the end of high school, beginning of college. Sort of. I did and I didn't. I stopped being able to believe in the specifics. But I'm sure some of the core of that has never left.

    For example, I really don't believe there is a god anymore. Just not at all. I don't think whoever Jesus was that there was anything supernatural about him. He was maybe charismatic. Maybe he never existed. I could be convinced of that. I just don't know, and it hardly seems relevant to anything to me anymore.

    However, this whole recent switch of popes has been unexpectedly inspiring to me. I know this new one isn't with the gay either, and patriarchy, etc. I get it.

    But then he wears these shitty old shoes. Or says this. Or does this.

    And it reminds me of all the genuine good I encountered growing up with Friars and Nuns as teachers, among people who genuinely believed that the poor should be helped, that no one was above or beneath needing love, that mercy was preferable to justice. There is a shitty vein in everything, sometimes several, but it doesn't mean there is nothing of value there, that there is nothing in the body worth preserving.

    Fishelle: It sounds like more than whatever the core of grace is inside the Mormonism you've grown up with, the thing that is bothering you is not so much that, but the ways in which the restrictions around it separate you from the lives you see other people you like engaging with. I'm not Mormon so I don't know what deeper role those rules might play in the kind of life you might want to build. I tend to be down on the superficial magic of religions but I'm not down on the deeper virtues. There are ways of living you can't achieve without self sacrifice and discipline. Atheists and agnostics tend to accept that when looking at a vaguely understood Buddhism or athletic or academic practice, in which rigorous thought and physical discipline and deprivation are required. But they tend to discount those things when attached to Christianity or Islam. But it's the same mechanism, and there is real value in it.

    That said, you are also incredibly young still and I think people get more value out of that kind of devotion when they start following it out of an adult decision, something you can't really make if you've known nothing but what you were raised in.

    So, and this is my opinion, a 43 year old grizzled unmarried semi-misanthropic atheist, so take it in full knowledge of it's source, but I think you should step away from your family and your community's expectations a bit. I'm not suggesting you should sever ties or deliberately antagonize them. But you are an adult and it is your life. You shouldn't follow a cultural script unless you are making an informed decision to do that. You should drink coffee (it really sucks ass at first, but keep with it. It rewards patience) and alcohol (but not too much, except sometimes, so you know what too much feels like. But don't do too much right away. Do too much later, and then don't do it too often after that.).

    Move away from home. Your head will never clear until you do.

    Don't ever cut off or resent your family. You'll always need them and they will always need you. But you don't owe them your future. Not even your parents. That's the deal. You get born, they have to raise you, but then you get to be yourself. The core of what they taught you is you, you can't leave that, their stamp is in you, but they don't get to dictate what you do with it.

    Maybe you'll end up a functional non-believer in an open relationship with a Rastafarian software developer. But you'll be one of those with a Mormon moral core, and the virtues your parents gave you.

    Or maybe in ten years (you'll still be incredibly young in ten years) you'll end up back in modest clothes with a Mormon husband. If you end up wanting that, that'll be a good thing then.

    But you are not responsible for your parents or your siblings questions. If you go walkabout, and end up living a really un-Mormon life, and are nonetheless successful, happy and fulfilled, it is not to either your credit or your fault if that causes your parents or your siblings to question choices they made or didn't make. Their questions are their own. It would be selfish of them to guilt you into choices you'd rather not make just so they can stay comfortable. But I'll bet they aren't doing that. I'll bet you are anxious about breaking rules and are putting imagined angst on them to give you selfless reasons to NOT act.

    So I think you shouldn't do that. I think you should move away from home, make friends, try things, and build your own life. I think you shouldn't feel pressured to marry anyone. I think you should do things until you figure out which ones are fulfilling, and do those more. And I think you should go visit your family for the holidays and let them stay in your place when they visit you. Read dangerous books. Draw naked people. Go somewhere you can legally have a pot brownie and ONLY EAT A QUARTER OF IT! (Srsly. Just a quarter. o___O). Sleep with weird sexy boys (but safely!). Don't dive into all this stuff at once, but wade in and try it out.

    When you come out of that I'll bet you are a whole, confident person and this question of obligations to tradition won't even be a thing anymore. You'll know who you are and what you want to do. You'll also know, thanks to your family and your religious upbringing, what is right, what is good, and what is mercy. Lots of people have all the drinking and fucking down cold, but they never learn those things. You learned those things first, so you will be able to do the dangerous stuff better. You'll know when to let up. And you'll still be a good person.

    Don't smoke though. That's for losers.


    The beard is NOT CGI. It just keeps coming out my face I can't stop it.
  1.  (11098.5)
    Oddbill: CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP! Well said, sir. Well said. I heartily concur with everything you said.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013 edited
    The Boo: A scammer stole my visa card numberand I had to cancel that card. It would be so nice to borrow some urethral attack maggots so I could throw them at that scammer.

    The Hurrah: I am discovering the art of zentangle and really enjoying it!

    Chis G: I sure can empathise with you. I know all about how tough it can be finding work!
    • CommentAuthorScrymgeour
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    @Oddbill, good dissection on how to usefully use religion! Although smoking is both big and clever ;)
    @ Fishelle, all the best
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013 edited

    I just looked at the Excel of terrors, where I keep track of my weirdly fluctuating finances, and it really hit home. There will be one totally wild card bill from the dive school on July, but after that... damn. The spiralling finances rebounded in the spring, and starting from August, after I've paid the rent, bills and loan instalments, I'll be left with 2-3 times the money I've had to use in a median month since 2010. From this mont's salary I'm paying back my last "pal-loan" I had to take earlier this year. This means, amongst other things, that I can soon buy another pair of presentable pants, sneakers without holes in them, and my credit cards and account won't be in the red in the end of every month. There were no gimmicks, no sudden windfalls or things like that. Just working up, euro by euro, out of the swamp. One day now I just may be able to relax a bit. feelsgoodman.jpg

    Life and relationship with Adventure Girl is good. Scary good. We do our little adventures from rock climbing through geocaching and dumpster diving on a weekly basis. I don't think I've been physically in a better shape in my adult life than I'm now, even the damn knee has stopped hurting. Mentally also. We also keep finding more and more points where we connect, which I find amazing since I'm a difficult motherfucker. AG is immensely productive and practical, and she's made a good amount of money gathering up clothes and stuff from dumpsters and recycling centers, repairing them and selling them in a flea market. I've sold my stuff there also, and for weeks now that's mostly where the money for food and necessities has come from. I've never been happier in a relationship, and I have the good sense to be grateful for what I have now.

    The novel is coming back to what I hope is the second-to-last round of corrections - this time mostly language and grammar. AG did an incredibly cool cover for it, exactly the kind I've been thinking about for ages. I set up a Facebook page for myself to anticipate the novel coming out. It felt surprisingly icky, which is weird since I'm certainly not averse to self-promotion online. I use it to plug my other art and stuff, such as Viihteen Uusi Aalto, which has been publishing an album per month as promised.

    I also got the first paying assignment from the research diver side! This is paperwork, but after that there will be some actual field surveys. Making money from diving just feels... weird, since usually it's a massive money sink. But damn. Actual science that interests me for money. Daaaaayum.


    The weight loss is now a few kilos behind the schedule. Turns out that ironically it's hard to diet when you are low on funds. I've bought my lunches on vouchers I get from work, and when I burn a voucher for 9,70€, I sure as hell won't be getting just two pieces of lettuce for the money. Plus the constant background stress over money and the need to schedule and juggle a dozen things makes turning food into something difficult a thing I just don't have energy for.

    Speaking of energy, that's kind of running low. Not for the adventures and sports, but getting work type of stuff done. I'm in a serious need of an holiday, a retreat to a cabin in middle of the woods with good books, fishing gear and the woman, but sadly I won't be having any before the Christmas. All my paid and unpaid holidays are eaten up by the dive school, and I'm still facing an autumn where I'll have to shoehorn in three weeks of school, and to do all of those hours back. It's been a great ride, but frankly I'm waiting for it to be over already. Well, at all other times except when I'm actually at the school, doing something awesome. :) I'm having visions of next year when it'll be just the one dayjob, eight hours per day, and maybe some diving work in the summer. I almost believe I can swing that ;)


    @Fishelle: A crisis of faith is a difficult but I think in the end a healthy thing to go through. Had mine, actually a couple of them. You end up coming through to the other side refined, or at least that's how I feel. It's not a black and white thing in the end, but a process.

    @Chris G: No problem - letting go is sometimes a bit hard, and sometimes one needs if not a kick on the arse, at least a prod :) Good luck for the job hunt, that shit can be nerve wracking...

    @Flecky: During the years I've been here and followed your posts, I've found myself wondering a few times about what the future will bring for you. This is what I hoped it would. Congrats man, you are a fucking inspiration.

    @oldhat: HAIL, weißekapelleassistenüberführerinne! And yay for the Beer Wench stuff, go go go!

    This is me on a horse. My horse is amazing.

    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013 edited

    Hello everyone

    It´s been a while hasn't it? I kind of lost track of this place for a long while, but decided to venture back after Robin announced that she was wielding a mighty Mod battleaxe to the place. I thought to myself "OK, this has become interesting. Maybe I should come back, like the prodigal son."

    There has been a lot of shit going on in this world over the last couple of months. I suppose i best get everyone up to speed.


    Where to start

    - Friends of WC will already know that My wife, Sigga, and I have been trying a kid now a a couple of years now. But to no avail. We managed to save up the $4000 for the first round of IVF proper in May. I can tell you it's not walk in the park. Numerous tests, a LOT of daily hormonal injections, and the harvesting procedure... well let's just say that the needle used to the internal anaesthetic is HUGE (And it still hurt like hell, according to Sigga).

    After all that.... and it didn't work. you're very much aware that it's a crapshoot (Odds are 40% at best), but it devastated both of us. Sigga was in tears for days. Didn't help that one of her "best" friends marched over to our house the day after the news to cheerfully announce that she was pregnant. thanks for that.

    - As for me, well things have been..... hard. they have been for a while now. Last time I was one here I talked about I was having some real problems with sleep, rage, about how I was fraying at the edges, etc...

    Well it's been all downhill from there. Since I last spoke, I got screwed by my boss at work and tricked into transferring to the worst department of the Company (This has to be done, or we'Re going to have to let people go, etc). Of course it was all bullshit and now I'm stuck in a job that i utterly despise, with no prospects attached to it. Think of the job that the Eminem character was doing in "8 Mile," and you can get sense of the crushing drudgery of it all. My current boss speaks very little English and it´s hard to communicate with each other. She was surprised to find that I was not a newcomer, but had been with the company for 6 years. I have been looking for other work, but nothing has been suitable, apart from minimum wage factory work. Right now, I seen no way out from this.

    And then at the beginning of May I received a tax bill for $1200. This was for all my work with my local paper over the last tax year. This may not seem like much, but the fact is that in Iceland i count as working poor, and I now have to work overtime in a job that I hate to pay it off. But i came to the horrid realisation that, despite at times it being a 2nd full time job with all the stress and hassle it entailed, writing and managing for the paper has meant that i was paid less than minimum wage. It became completely unviable to keep on doing it.

    So I ended up quitting the paper. The only thing I had going for me that I actually had a fair bit of professional pride in, the thing that gave me the urge to try things and possibly move to other publications, was gone.

    Since then I've just sank further an further to the point where now I can't seem to/want to get out of this mire that I'm in where I veer between utter self hatred and the idea that life is meaningless, and a total numbing of the senses. If I try to write anything down, I now find it almost impossible without me deleting it going "what's the point? what's the point of anything??" I just find no joy in just about anything i actually like in life, and can't bring myself to muster up disdain for anything that deserves it. I feel utterly hollow and burnt out with it all. And when i look at all the cool, brilliant stuff that the likes of Bram, The Outer Church, and so many other people seem to write with such verve, I feel like a total fake and just pretty much want to smash my head against a wall until it stops.

    All I want to do is hide away from the world. Have signed off most social media with people I know as I just can't handle it right now and have no desire in me to go out into the world and see any gigs, people, or any of this festival nonsense. For example, there are major festivals in Iceland over the next month that i could/should be covering, but I'm not going to any of them. I spend most days/evenings in bed. Sometimes i just wonder if it would be better if i didn't exist, like James Stewart in "It´s a wonderful life." Take today - I'm typing this when i should be at work, but I've been in a gloom for nearly 3 days now and I couldn't face it, so I called in sick. I've spent most of the morning staring at the wall.

    I saw my therapist on Thursday and he was a bit shocked at the state of me, which was a little bit unnerving (He had a car accident so we hadn't met for over a month). He's basically going, yup you are definitely depressed. He's holding off medication for now, but if things don't pick up this summer then this may be an avenue I have to go down. Sigga is trying to get me to engage with people and friends, which is good i think, but just the thought of speaking to oxygen thieves that pass for the cultural scene in this country just makes me even more miserable.

    So yeah - no baby, writing is pretty much down the pan, shit job, depression. No prospects. the works


    Despite all this, i still managed to go to the UK for a holiday a couple of weeks ago. It was fun at times. As he mentioned I did meet Mr JP Carpenter for a beer and a chat. Nice guy. He needs to make more music. And I managed to actually get a small bit of joy out for Listening to the new Boards Of Canada while taking the family dog for a walk in the park.


    To all the peeps out there, try to stay strong.
    @Rachæl Tyrell - How the hell you keep your head about water I will never know. The stuff you have would have felled a supposedly stronger person a long time ago. If i win the lottery I'll shove a several thousand $$$'s your way.
    @razrangel - I get that feeling of being hemmed in with a difficult situation. I suppose it doesn't count for much but the fact that you are aware fo the need to do something is a sign that you are getting somewhere.
    @Alan Tyson - I get you man. you almost feel that you can't have friends, because you're always thinking to yourself "Sooner or later, I'm going to say or do something stupid, and then it's over" you end up being so hard on yourself, that you actual friends get worried about you. Then you end up saying something stupid. It´s a ball-ache. And no your head does not look like a water melon.
    @flecky - you keep at it man, or so help me god, I will come down there and bore you to death with my stories.
    @Chris - Don't give up hope with your job prospects. It will happen for you.
    @Oldhat - The Ghostbusters Firehouse in TriBeCa?? Jammy Cow!
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    @Bob, welcome back! We've missed your face around here.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    it's a pretty face isn't it?
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    @Bob: Yes it is!
    @Vorn: And your one of the people who encouraged me to get through the darkness. Cheers!
  2.  (11098.13)
    I'll do this the other way round...

    Here's looking at you, kid

    @oddbill *claps* as a pretty atheistic agnostic type, it took me a long time to break away from the militant Dawkins-esque attitudes I had to religion, especially Christianity and Islam, to a more rounded view of their virtues, as you've described... guess you came from the other direction, but think you're absolutely right that you can't and shouldn't dismiss the positive aspects of it out of hand. Doesn't mean I believe any of it to be literally true, and there is a great deal I find repellent about organised religion but I can admire Jesus as a revolutionary figure and enlightened person and I get that many religious people have a genuine desire to be good and compassionate. But that was a beautifully written post.

    @Bob dude, I'm so sorry to hear some of that and my heart goes out to you and sigga. I know I've been really fortunate in that area, but not without a lot of pain and heartache along the way, and I can imagine what you're both going through, especially if someone was insensitive enough to announce a pregnancy of their own on that manner. My partner cut people out of her life entirely for that kind of thing. If you ever want to vent, happy to have a beer via Skype, you know where I am. Meanwhile, hugs and warm vibes to you both.

    And the other stuff... fuck, no, don't believe it. I've met many bullshit artists in my time, you are not among them. No way. You've got a passion and verve and knowledge around music that just pours out of you, I could listen to you share that for hours (and have!) and not get bored, and you're safely one of the warmest, most genuine people I've met in the last few years. You may not feel that, but it's true. And hell, when it comes down to it, everyone's winging it to a degree, the most successful people are just winging it on a slightly different plane and on a higher pay grade. Anyone who doesn't doubt themselves, doesn't question, has an unshakeable self belief, I'd bet anything that that person's an insufferable tosser.

    Yes, it does sound like depression, recognising it for what it is is a crucial step to beginning to deal with it, but man, sorry you're having a hard time and again, you know where I am if there's anything at all I can do.

    @fishelle, that's all pretty heavy going, I don't think I can add to what Bill said, but I hope you can find a good way through.
    @vornaskotti - cool on the money front. Think I've got about 2 years to go before I get to that sort of equlibrium unless I can stop myself being so sodding high maintenance...
    @alan - yeah, I had a few weeks like that. It passes. Thank fuck. And good news on the story.

    Round up the usual suspects

    Just frazzled. Work has been mental, I'm out 14 hours and then I get home and my partner's been really struggling to get the kids sorted and to bed, and dinner made so it's basically juggling children, trying to wash and tidy up, keep my garden alive, if I'm lucky get a bath, and get to bed for ten, which gets me six and a bit hours sleep (assuming the baby sleeps) and then I'm out again... so the week is just a solid blur, with no room to do anything other than more or less cope. Writing this on the train, not much else I can do in the narrow (ergonomically horrid but apparently just the right side of legal) seats... I made the decision not to fight it, and to roll with it for the time being because being angry was killing me and all, but physically, I feel shattered and burned out even if mentally I'm doing much better. Desperately need to order a new mattress as well, ours is broken, and killing my back... but had no time.

    Here's to the start of a beautiful friendship

    I'm still managing to remain a calm and mostly pleasant human being. This has lasted nearly three weeks. I like it. My partner likes it. My daughters like it. We're doing ok.

    Have slowly, gently, started mending things and sorting stuff out. Ordered a cable to wire up my study to the broadband, bought a tarpaulin to patch the roof, began work on getting my music back online after its demise, started playing with music software again just to get the feel for it, made plans for the garden (I want to make some sculptures to make up for the lack of plant stock-stylised birds and animals made from wood, wire and metal). Also finally booked some leave from work and a chalet in Wales for a week so I get a chance to decompress. And had a good talk with my boss on Monday, stated my career frustrations and how I felt about stuff, and felt a lot better for it.

    So yeah, and it's nearly the weekend. Nearly the weekend. If I can get up early, throw myself at my workload tomorrow morning, I might just head into the weekend with a sense of being nearly in control again, which would be blissful even if transitory and probably not fully true. But I CAN DREAM.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    THE DAFFY DUCK TRIFECTA (this is the good one because they're crazy)

    I'm due to leave sometime tomorrow for Mah Ladyfriend's house in Quebec, with my nephew driving. (We might go at three in the morning, as we're both night owls who hate traffic and it's a five hour drive.) This will be awesome, as it is Canada Day weekend and it will be nice to see a Part of Canada that isn't all covered in shit, like downtown Toronto. Vacation, all I ever wanted and all that. So that'll be fun. It's only for the weekend but it'll be fun.

    Health seems proper. Rode my awesome bike a bit when the weather's nice. I used to go for long rides. I should start doing that again.
    Drinking less, enjoying more.

    Been doing some writing and have been getting weird flashes of creativity, like my brain sets a stopwatch and says "Go" and then it's a Mad Minute, all gunsmoke and explosions and when I cease fire, there's something there that's at least interestingly destroyed enough for my liking. Submitted a couple of things to a friend of mine and am working on a couple of others to send out.

    THE LEONARD NIMOY TRIUMVIRATE (this is the bad one because logically, I'm completely fucked.)

    I'm worried about leaving my dad alone for three days. I'll miss my cat. I fooking HATE travelling and long car rides are the WORST WAY TO TRAVEL other than a fucking trebuchet. There are other things I could be doing than drinking in the sticks with a bunch of French Canadians, swatting mosquitoes and listening to the clangerous filth called "the radio". Lovely a place as it is, I can't help but feel out of place there, even though I'm very much wanted there.

    I have ... (counts) ... FOUR cigarettes and almost eighty-five cents to last me until Four A.M. , when my pay comes through. I'm on the wagon today, as I have no money to buy beer. The beer I bought when I had money is in my girlfriend's fridge and she's in Quebec. (I'd break a window but she has an alarm system.)

    I got more problems but I'll address them below :


    @depression - my thoughts on this are so scattered right now, I can't force them to make sense. Does that make sense? Bob, stay in there. You're my reason to go to Iceland one day. (Not really.) JP, glad to hear things are moving along. Keep going, mate. Alan, remember me? Yeah, I'm the king of Saying Stupid Shit. I'm saying it right now! (I guess what I'm trying to say is I empathisize and I want you all to feel better.)

    @employment - Jesus, I need a new job. One of my coworkers threatened to punch out another one. To everyone feeling the employment pinch (and that's pretty much everyone). I need to upgrade my computer skills, like, SERIOUSLY. Anyone willing to help would be greatly welcomed and showered with kisses or something.

    @faith and such - militant atheists should be crucified and loudly, in my opinion and I say that as a weird agnostic Zen Fascist. Don't ever mess with other people's beliefs. I also think that Holy Rollers should STFU already. Keep searching for answers, Fishelle, keep asking questions, be true to yourself.

    @EVERYONE - you people are a huge inspiration to me. Everyone of you, so unique, so special. Strange, compassionate, eccentric and wonderful. Please everyone stay safe and amazing.
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    @icelandbob Dude, sorry to hear things have been going bad for you. On the journo side of things, if its any help at all (and it probably isn't), my job is also sub-minimum wage and I could well be facing a similar tax bill at the end of my first year unemployed and earning. This shit goes in cycles. You're an incredible writer and I have always looked up to you as a bit of a journalistic hero... if there's anything I can do, up to and including finding places for you to write, or just listening if you need a pair of ears, I'm here. Will hit you up in a PM with my Skype handle. Solidarity, brother.
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013 edited
    All right, third time typing this. Fuck the post-eating Internet.


    Just crossing the finish line on a painting which has taken thirty-three months to complete. Enjoying breaking out the special brush which I use solely for signing my name.


    There was another suicide in our building on Monday. Someone jumped off a balcony on the 28th floor after a standoff with the cops, and the body landed in our front courtyard just as my wife was leaving for work. It's the second horrifying splattery corpse she's seen up close in two years. Management always hushes this shit up when it happens, and I've heard stories of other jumpers that we haven't seen. We need to get out of this neighbourhood.

    And if you're ever contemplating killing yourself, and if you care anything for the people close to you, don't jump off a high building. You'll end up looking like a ten-foot deep dish pizza, and your mum or your spouse or kids will have to try to identify your selfish, sloppy remains.


    @Fishelle: Preacher's kid here. Quit going to church as an adult.

    Yeah, being part of a religious community is a pretty big deal. People with a secular background largely assume that you can just uproot yourself from your church life and move on without a ripple, so I hope you're able to hear the phrase "Why don't you just leave?" for the hundred thousandth time without committing bloody atrocities.

    Bill's already said all the smart and relevant things about family and friends and one's moral core. I'll add that as an artist you might find weed enlightening, but don't let anyone force a joint (or anything else) on you. And don't smoke the synthetic blends that're sold as incense. They're made from artificial psychotropics sprayed onto dried herbs, and the high is nasty, paranoid and psychotic.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2013
    First off, so many hugs to all, seriously. Extra hugs to Bob.

    @Fishelle - Oddbill speaks wisely. All I want to add is - don't be afraid to step out the box a bit, and just do what feels right. I was raised Catholic, embraced it when I was younger, and then left it when I got older and started doing things that I earnestly felt in my heart weren't wrong, but that the church wanted to make me feel absolutely guilty for just for thinking about it. Experimenting is okay, in moderation, like Bill said, and you might find that things you grew up believing were totally wrong, are actually okay.

    You also might find out you're not okay with them, and that's okay, too. I'm kind of stuck in that middle ground where I did have an experimentation phase, so I'm the wild child of the family, but didn't experiment nearly hard enough or early enough in my life to be as wild as some of the people I know, so I still have that "late bloomer" thing about me when I'm with those people. But some of those people are really just the other extreme of the uber-religious people I once knew.

    Point is, it's okay if you want to branch out and find out what it is you want. It's okay if you don't. It's okay if you leave the church, and it's okay if you end up embracing it again.

    GOOD - I have a job doing something I like. I actually fall asleep quickly most nights and no longer have insomnia (ie: it was never really insomnia, I just had too much free time).

    BAD - There are some awkward things going on at work that I'm too tired to write in detail about at the moment, also I'm still adjusting from going to unemployed and largely sedentary to working a physical job 5 days a week. I still come home tired but at least I'm not being cranky at Edgar anymore.

    Also I'm seriously considering seeing a therapist about medication because at the moment, nothing major is wrong with my life (not like the last two years, at least), yet I still find myself wanting to cry sporadically most days, dwelling on minor things for days on end, and filling up dead time with suicidal ideation. Not wanting to actually act on it, but you know. I read a blog post by stephen fry about his depression and he mentioned that medication made his suicidal ideation go away, which is a vast improvement even if he still gets sad some days. I'm hoping that by expressing that here I'll have made a first step to actually doing something instead of waiting for the "blue spell" to go away, which is what I usually do. I know there's no magic pill, but I'm at a point where I really feel like I've done what I can to improve what I able to improve, and I still get extremely sad, so I wonder if I just have a chemical imbalance. Especially since multiple of my family members are on meds, so, genetics might be there, and I know a low dose of prozac has done wonders for my mom's anxiety. I'm otherwise still functional, getting stuff done at the new job and what not, so we'll see.
  3.  (11098.18)
    Hey everybody. I'm going to try to stick with the three acts, but I might get a bit overly spleenventy.

    The BooYay

    I quit my job of the past three months today. I'd met with a recruiter yesterday in hopes of finding a better job and what he told me boiled down to "My company has video game company clients, but we don't really help them with QA recruiting, and unfortunately, your years of game QA experience will not be considered relevant to regular software QA unless you can get some certifications, so I don't think I can help you." Which got me thinking more heavily about where I am, and where I want to be, and how working at the job I just quit was going to help get from here to there, and the answer is: It Won't. It will only make it harder. Which is something that I'd basically known since about the second week I was there, but I kept hoping that the problem was more me than the job, and that once I started doing the compliance work that I'd believed I'd been hired to do that it would turn around and I'd enjoy it again. But I was wrong. I had thought they'd hired me for my compliance experience to help them with their processes (my compliance experience was pretty much exclusively with the Xbox 360, and they're responsible for testing a PS3 and PS4 SKU. My processes were the only relevant thing.) To build a more efficient, more effective internal compliance team. After meeting with the QA Manager today and expressing some of these thoughts he came back with "It was never intended that you be giving feedback on our processes. You were hired to do the test plan, and that's it." When I asked about things like SCE Devnet access (a necessary part of testing Playstation stuff, since you sometimes need to ask Sony for clarification about what certain requirements mean, or for risk assessment for certain issues) the response was "Your lead has Devnet access, the programmers have Devnet access. You don't need it. You're just here to run the test plan. If you can't do that, you should try and find work elsewhere." I said I'd have a response by the weekend. Five minutes later I sent an e-mail to the staffing agency representative giving my notice, and asking for my last day to be tomorrow. About 30 minutes after that, the QA Manager comes in and asks for my badge, and says they'll be letting me go at 6.

    So that happened. I still haven't told my dad, in whose house I've been living the past few months (and many more months than I had originally planned, thinking that my experience would net me a solid job relatively quickly) and I'm not sure what his reaction will be. I'm expecting disappointment, but not anger. He's seen how this job has been effecting me emotionally over the past couple of months (I've been skipping work pretty frequently because I just can't muster the energy to get out of bed and go there; and he doesn't know this, but I full on broke down crying in my car over not knowing what the fuck I'm even doing any more a couple of weeks ago), and I've told him more than once that it's a dead end that I hate working at. And I have something of A Plan...

    The biggest problem for me is that I recently signed up for a health insurance plan that I'm going to pay out of pocket for due to the health plan offered by the staffing agency being essentially worthless. It kicks in on Monday, at about $300 a month. I have more than enough savings to cover it until the end of the year (when it'll switch to an ACA Silver Plan that I'll be able to get largely subsidized, if necessary), but the combination of that, rent on my storage unit, car insurance, phone bill, internet bill, and other expenses means I'm going to be burning through my savings much more quickly than I'd like. And I'm not eligible for unemployment since it was a voluntary termination.

    The YayBoo
    I quit my job! No more with the crushing depression (at least not about having to go to work at a place that I would happily watch burn to the ground), the awful eating habits, the limited exercise, the severely limited ability to see my friends or do the things that I enjoy in life, the brain vitrification that has made it harder for me to think creatively or take the time to act on those occasional sparks of ideas when they happen. I'll probably need a couple of days, but I think I'll be able to get my head straight and give that android game I've been working on since October the attention that it's been lacking since I started working again.

    I have A Plan! I am going to try and get one or two of the certifications recommended by the recruiter I spoke to and make myself a more enticing hire (ISTQB Certification is recommended, and appears to be very easy to get. I did a sample exam blind and got 60%. A pass is 65%. The exam has 40 questions, so I only needed to get two more right (arguably only one more. I'm fairly certain that one of the questions I got wrong was wrong about me being wrong). An hour or so of study and I could probably get 80% or more without issue.) I'm going to start going to some of the monthly IGDA-LA events and get my face known. I am going to start more aggressively contacting recruiters. I have skills, I just need people to notice me.

    I wrote a DevBlog
    of sorts for my android game over on the G+ page I set up for my indie gamedev project, Whisky Neat Games. (Please follow it! Tell your friends! I am terrible at marketing myself! Also I need a logo!). Once I get another thing operational in the game I will do another one that won't be a mass of re-edited tweets. I also have an idea for another game, but I'm going to have to learn Unity to make it, and 'from scratch' game takes precedence over middleware heavy game.

    The YayYay
    @Argos: Having a job that you like is the best thing, isn't it? Or at least ranks amongst them.

    @Alan: I know that screaming behind the glass feel. I feel it much of the time.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2013
    @David - omg yes, it's amazing. It sucks up most of my time, so it's nice that I'm spending the majority of my daily hours doing an activity I like rather than doing something I hate just to pay the bills (for those curious, I work with seahorses at an aquarium. Fun fact: the sea dragon display is apparently a nice hub for creationist chatter).

    On that note, good on you for quitting a job that was causing mental deterioration. Having to use up your savings for everything will suck, but you're free! Best of luck with the certifications :)
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2013
    I just got back from a surprise camping trip and am now at my cottage for the weekend, where Internet is cell phone-only and I can't respond at length to people.

    I'll be giving big responses (and my own open mic contribution) later, but for now all I have to say is this:

    This is Whitechapel and you are all amazing.