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    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2013
    Fuck that: My father's days may be numbered. Liver cancer and cirrhosis. We think he has less than a year. He's being vague about it, but it looks like he's wrapping things up--resigning from his job, travelling around visiting relatives, shit like that. I'm surprisingly zen about it. I need to finish at least my first draft and get him to read it so he doesn't die thinking I'm a disappointment.

    Fuck yeah: I fought an armored knight with zweihander boffers yesterday. It was the most fun I'd had in ages. I busted my knuckle open on his mail.

    Fuckin' A: rachael--I'd like to hear your happy. Allana--I've been playing Magic on the XBox after not having played since...geez, '95? Is good.
  1.  (11154.2)
    Fauxhammer: egad. I've no idea how I'd even handle that. Good luck? I mean, it's awesome that you have the time to think about what is important to you in your relationship and accomplish it while you still have time. A bit creepy and maudlin impetus perhaps, but better than regret and missed chances.

    Ok. The happy.

    One of my oldest friends is visiting from San Francisco, so on Thursday we took the train out to NJ, he rented a car for his family visiting purposes, and we drove to our favorite comic book store The Jokers Child. I started going there was I was 12 or so, and it remained my primary comic book store until my mid twenties. I still visit whenever my SF friend visits this coast. He used to work there, so he's got a bit more of a friendly relationship with them than I, but they still ask about me. It's a couple that owns the store, and shortly after we arrived, the wife owner, who wasn't working that day, arrived just so that we could all go out for lunch together. She introduced me to a new employee she has, a girl she said she hired because of how much the young lady reminds her of me. When we met, she said "Oh, I've heard so much about you!"

    I'm.... I'm liked out there. They like to see me. It's weird.

    But here's the super warm fuzzy happy part:

    The couple that owns the comic book store, a jewish pair from Brooklyn of old, had a young man they'd grown fond of over the years. A fellow who, like my friend and I, they'd known since his adolescence, and had grown very close to. His parents and he had an estranged relationship, so the couple had filled the gap in his late teens and early twenties. For ten years, they'd been looking for a lawyer who was willing to take on the task of handling an adult adoption, and just this year, the young man now in his early 30's, they found one. So this comic book couple have legally adopted a Chinese young man, and are excited about his upcoming wedding, and the idea that they now might have grandkids.


    Also, then on Friday I went in to WFMU and got to record some voice work for one of the DJ's upcoming shows, and then hung out at the studio until after midnight with awesome people, one of which was a lovely young man visiting from Norway who was so excited and moved at being AT WFMU that he wept when trying to explain how important it was to him. He and I took a similar route for most of the way home, and had an interesting conversation about politics.

    TWO DAYS IN A ROW that I didn't end up having terrible social anxiety!!! No awkward weirdness!!!

    the less happy:

    Well, I was going to go out AGAIN on Saturday (three days in a ROW leaving the house!), and had plans with a WFMU friend (how exciting!) but I realized that this eating gluten free and automatic payments coming out of my bank account has me at $24 to my name until October, so I'm too broke to leave the house, essentially.

    Anyone want to buy some bikes?
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2013
    It's Sunday night and I've been on here for a few weeks, so I think that now is the best time to get things off the old chest....

    The BOO
    - Like many people here, I'm fighting the perpetual battle against skintness. Having to pay all these taxes and bills for things like new fridge and passports has totally bled me dry, And I now have no money in my account till October. I constantly get the feeling that I´m busting a gut in a job i completely hate now just to keep my head above water. Meh, it's the same for a lot of people up here. All our wages have decreased in real terms while the costs of things from food to utilities have risen by double digit figures. It´s the grind that gets you to be honest.

    and speaking of jobs I hate, it looks like I may have to stay there fro longer than I thought as my plans to go back to school have taken a big knock. After spending 3 weeks going back and forth between course professors about the the course I wanted to take, I e-mailed them to say i wanted to apply sorting in the new year, only for them to come back to me saying that they've just changed the admission rules and won't allow new admissions till the fall next year.... a year away!


    Naturally all my Icelandic friends are saying not to worry "Just go and see the guy. He'll let you in on an exemption," except I i know form a few people that

    A whole year! I honestly don't know if I can sty in my job that long. Try to get another job? Well I could if it weren't for the fact that the language barrier means that my options are severely limited. Sigh.... something will turn up i suppose....

    The GREAT
    - Despite all of this and the crushing lack of self worth, I have to remind myself that I've got a great wife and lovely friends, who have been giving me a bit of teea and sympathy recently. One of my friends, a fairly well known writer in Iceland, told me that he really admired my writing this week over tea. I told him to knock it off, but i had to admit, it certainly gave my ego a much needed boost.

    - It also looks as if I may have acquired some gigs in Glasgow for another mate who's a musician early next year! Looks like I may be going back to Scotland. Look out people!!


    @fauxhammer - Man that is a real wrenching situation you're in. It's fairly amazing the way that you're handling it

    @flecky - Top notch willpower there my good man!

    @ Rachæl - Do the comic it'll be aweXsome!

    @Trini & David & Peter - hey lets be broke and happy together!
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2013 edited
    What the hell.

    - Work has been destroying me and removing any semblance of a social life there is. Getting pressured to start my own PR company. Guess I may well go that way.

    - Attempts at shutting down my emotions and going numb to deal with depression have failed.

    - Toronto Beer Week just finished and I think I did good. Got to see lots of friends, made some wonderful new contacts, and now there's talk of putting together a beer event with me at the helm, which...kind of blows my fucking mind.

    - Losing weight.

    - With the shit-ton of work comes a shit-ton of money. All going towards the savings account. Mom is kind of pressuring me to put a down payment on some property in the city. May be a thought. Rent it when I'm out of town, sell it when I need some money, have a stable place to live in between. Hm.

    - Slowly starting to come to terms with my trust issues, anxiety, and depression. Also, at least acknowledging, that me saying that I'll be seeking help for it is along the same lines of "I'm going to the gym this week, I swear". I'm not 100% sure if this goes under the good section, but....there we are.

    - This weekend has...actually been really awesome. For the first time left alone on a weekend I haven't ended the night in a dark void. I've been sipping some quality beers, watching an anime that's been making me laugh (Princess Jellyfish) and spent Saturday evening with my best friend. Was a lot of fun.

    - I'm going to England in May to visit family. Haven't been since...fuck, 2008 or so. Will also be taking a boat to Bruges (and maybe take a train to a few Belgian breweries). Am going to try and also head on down to London for a WC meetup, if anyone is game.

    @fauxhammer, aw shit...I'm really sorry to hear that, man.
  2.  (11154.5)
    @Fauxhammer : Sorry to hear your news.
    @Robin : Beer event helmed by you?! Get down with your bad self.

    Bad : The standard love life shambles, blah blah. I spent the end of last week & all weekend sick. Novel is going super slow. I was going to spend most of the weekend at my writing bar working, but illness.

    Good : I managed to record a song and a half. That means I put my last album (3.5 years in the making) out in January & since then I recorded rough demos for 6 tracks totalling about 30 minutes of music. If wanted to, I could put out an EP of all new material before year's end.
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2013 edited

    The novel went to print yesterday. Finally. I'm not going to relax and really believe it until I hold that little bundle of ink and cellulose in my hands. The pre-orders are out and there's been a few. Sort of sad that a few it will probably be, since the domestic market of new weird isn't massive up here, but I hope to make enough to get the novel translated by a proper translator, and see what happens in the English speaking world. There is also a book trailer. The publishing party is in Helsinki, Cafe Mascot, in October 5th. If you happen to be around... :)

    Had an awesome, yet very taxing week at the dive school. River diving, which meant stuff like hopping in to rapids, diving up and down the stream, even walking upstream under water wearing double-7 tanks, then walking 100 meters uphill in full kit to the staging area. I was fucking bushed after that. Oh, and one of our papers was accepted for a presentation in an international conference. This is just so weird: spent a couple of years as a researcher back in the time, no publications - now I'm in what's essentially adult education in a trade school, there are four papers in the pipeline... And one down, apparently.

    It's been a while since I've been a house party in here, but last Saturday did exactly that. One of those parties where you're just having beers and run into Max Payne and Alan Wake chatting next to the punch bowl. Like the actual guys behind the likeness of the game characters. Had good time chatting with pals, some of whom I haven't seen in years.

    Life continues great with the Adventure Girl. I just wish I'd finally have more free time, but the school and the book will be over at October 16th. I'm looking at a calendar and todo list that hasn't been this gloriously empty since the mid-90's when I was unemployed.


    In these final weeks the past couple of years and a change are really getting to me, and I'm really running on fumes. The schedules with the day job, the dive school and other projects are damn hard. Getting easier, but still utter crap to hold on to. I've started snapping awake a hour or two in advance again, brain abuzz with plans how to handle the following day's schedule, usually with a realization that I've forgotten something. Things aren't going particularly smoothly, there's been annoying crap with the book printer, the work schedules, almost everything that requires action from me. Last autumn almost broke my back with with its schedules, and although life's been really good, I haven't really had any rest since. I'm going to need some soon.

    Dreading the bill that's coming in from the dive school, and living in constant background fear of a surprising expense. The money situation is creeping up towards the light, but oh-so-slowly. It requires just one little prod of a surprise bill to knock things down - but I guess this is a familiar feeling to many people around here. Just hoping my luck, that's stretched thin as hell, will hold up for a little while more.

    Speaking about the research diver school, although it's been a huge pain in the ass schedule and money-wise, I'm really sad to see it end. Only one week left plus the exam. I'm really going to miss that dose of learning, adventure and science, and our group of students. That has been one weird and awesome bunch and I'm going to miss them. Massively melancholy about the whole business.


    @flecky: Hang on there, and kudos to your willpower with the pot thing!
    @Peter: Whoo, massive congrats on the web series stuff!
    @Faux: Condolences :/
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2013
    Ah. Hm. Well. Um... My job isn't terrible and I'm not totally destitute yet. The weather has been unseasonably warm. I... honestly can't think of anything else right now.

    I earn a super low wage due to long long long term health stuff which only allows me part time work. My partner was previously in a high stress job in the city but having quit it over a year ago, hasn't been able to find work since and money is now, finally becoming very tight. We can't afford to move out of our crumbling, leaky south London flat which shakes ominously every time a freight train goes past and lets water stream down the kitchen wall every time there's a proper fucking downpour. I feel utterly stuck and helpless to do anything about anything because we're in this together, but he's the only one who can change anything about our situation right now and he can only do that if someone gives him a break. All I can do is try to be supportive. It's a tough situation not made any better by the fact that I know so many other people in almost the exact same boat. Work is hard to find, money is tight, everyone is struggling. I know quite a few of you in here are in a similar financial boat.

    Meanwhile I'm deep in a depression hole and can't get out. I have no idea what to do about it any more. I try not to snap at my colleagues and I try to pay attention to my family and operate my life like a regular human being. I am trying not to let it settle in and I am trying to be healthy by keeping busy and not dwelling on negative thoughts. It is absolutely not working. I'm either depressed or so powerfully indifferent that it borders on antipathy. I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to speak to anyone, I don't want to do anything and I don't want to talk about it (even though here I am talking about it).
    Having finally admitted all of this to my very nearest and dearest, after months of self indugent morbid self loathing, I had thought that things might change a bit, but of course they haven't. My partner wants me to see a doctor about it but honestly I don't want to go on any drugs or go to fucking counseling or something. Mostly, what I'd really like, is to go and hide in the deepest darkest countryside for a month or two before I hit the point of emotional burnout that I feel slowly creeping up on me. Which is an impossible dream. Soooooo. Life continues I guess. Eventually this will no doubt pass just like everything else.

    Mostly, I'd like to just lie down on the floor and not get up for an hour or so. But I should at least pretend to be working.

    @Faux - I'm so sorry to hear about your father.
    @Flecky - I can't even understand the self control you must have, its fucking amazing. Honestly. A very dear friend of mine is an addict and having watched how he struggles... I can only hope that he one day even tries to give himself the same chances that you have made for yourself.
    @creative achievers: You clever, clever bastards. Well done for doing stuff.
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2013
    Doin' it again!

    I was right about biting off more than I could chew. I got two acceptances this week: a virtual conference presentation that will be a breeze, and a conference poster that will be less of a breeze. Mainly because I'm ambitiously planning a questionnaire that would have some serious data implications were people to actually fill it out, and because I have a lot paperwork to do to get it live in time for the conference (let alone collect any data BEFORE the conference and squeak some preliminary findings into the poster). Mainly also because I just plunked down 200 bones for a single-day registration. At a student member price. Seriously. Are people even aware what a ripoff some of these conferences are? I better be inspired all to shit. And also get a job offer. And maybe a Best Poster award?

    SO is gone for a week. This is, like the above, both bad and good - since I want to get so much writing done this week and not feel silly about watching cartoons when I'm mentally exhausted every night. Not that he makes me feel silly about cartoons, just that I feel the obligation not to watch the same ten things over and over at a screechy volume.
    Other than the stress-meltdown on the horizon, stuff's pretty good.

    Fauxhammer: two things. Heavy first: Father-death is a big deal. I went through it and a loved one has been dealing with a terminal cancer situation for about two years. When the time comes, make sure everyone has closure. That's the best advice I can give. And be supportive if someone wants to go out their own way -- letting nature take its course can be pretty painful. If you want to talk about this more where yelly internet people can't see it, get at me.
    Second, the Magic addiction is resolving itself into me buying a deck. I've been shopping on TGCPlayer, which is a great system that automatically finds the cheapest price for your chosen cards and compiles them all into one shopping order. The catch is I need it delivered to a US address, which I don't have. Any chance someone wants to pick out some cards in return for forwarding on the remainder of the order to me? Won't cost you a cent!
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2013
    Fuuuuuuck. You remember falling in love for the very first time. How completely insane it made you? All the songs you wanted to sing instead of using actual words to describe the object of your affections? etc... Reminded of that love, or in love again, with my first love, theatre. If I broke the story of Shun-kin apart it would but the crap out of me, but together it was amazing, and the stage of it was powerful and the brilliant acting made it... *ecstatic sigh* perfect. That was today. Seeing amazingperfectbrilliantwonderfulexciting theatre. Besides that... Um. I've done a lot of cooking and cleaning. And both have sort of turned out pretty well.

    Tonight I'm at a friend's house because they are kind and generous and I love them. And I've brought spaghetti that I made and a zin I picked out and all is good and happy.

    So. Last week I was living with my parents (I'm 36, recall), my 86 year old dad and 56 year old mom, traditional Catholics the pair of em. My dad a Franklin Democrat, doesn't appreciate social liberties, but believes the whole of a group of people is better than the sum of its parts. My mom became a U.S. citizen in 2008 and immediately registered as Republican. But they're both teachers (well, my dad is obvs retired) and in the union. I lived also with my trule antisocial baby brother, managing to be even more, far more, introverted than me. And my oldest brother, who is schizophrenic. This week my sister, her husband, her kid, their cat and their dog joined us. The kid is rooming with me.

    I don't hate it yet. But is nearly impossible. I can barely think when I'm in the house. Drinking is almost a necessity. I don't know how

    Also, my bits aren't working right. Like, they hurt. There's a bump down there. So. Yeah. Monday, calling PP. Because. Bump. And ouch.

    Dang I love a good zinfandel. and terrific theatre.

    Fauxhammer - Dad's are... I can't even. *hugs tight* Because fuck. Break inside my arms, I wish we could.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2013
    The Win
    Work: I have been doing a few interesting things and travelling a bit. Will probably be going to CCC December with my brother and hopefully another friend.
    Saw RM Hubbert last night, I am mightily impressed and yes yes yes.

    The Lose
    Work: not been seeing eye to eye with my bosses, though I do have a agency to force change, it is still getting to me, mainly because of the power dynamic. Not seen many friends over the last while, I need go visit friends, and put aside the fact that I don't think I will be a positive influence.

    The Consolation
    @badbear: chin up bruv,
    &@all fighting depression: Here is a RM Hubbert vid, he is worth checking out, go and see live if you get the chance.
    'Car Song' by RM Hubbert (with Aidan Moffat & Alex Kapranos)
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2013
    Thank you all for the words--it's really appreciated. We've got more information now: it turns out he wasn't being stoic--he really didn't know his condition. In my defense, his stoic face and his "I dunno" face are the same.

    He's got cancer wicked bad, but it's isolated to the remaining lobe of his liver. He's going in next week to have pellets containing iridium fired up his femoral artery into the offending masses. The side effects aren't as bad as feared, since the radiation is staying in the liver, and nowhere near as bad as the medicine he took to kill the virus which caused the cancer in the first place. After that, rechecks every ninety days.

    It probably is going to kill him, but not in the foreseeable future. So there's time to get our business out of the way. And at least we know the score--the not knowing was driving me bugfuck.

    But thanks again, all. You're all absolute fucking heroes.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2013
    @Faux- Jeez. Sorry to hear that. Jeez. Cheers for time to sort things, I guess? Jeez.

    Haven't done one of these in a while (and last time I tried, it got swallowed by the internet and away it went down the drain) but here goes ...

    I'm not going to break it up into categories because I don't think I can quite separate it all into categories.

    My job is shit. I need a new one. I also need a wholesale life change and that takes work and I am the laziest man y'all never met yet. Prob'ly because I was too lazy to show up. That said, I'm looking at unceasing toil for the rest of my natural life and so far in my life, I've been working like the horse on Orwell's Animal Farm pretty much non-stop. So let me enjoy the last few lazy moments I'll ever have before I go back to being kicked in the ribs until I fall down from sheer exhaustion and have to be sent to the glue factory.

    Home life is ... getting better? Fewer rows, I've been cleaning things all around. But it's still way beyond my capacity to deal with and I'm ever fearful of absolutely losing control. And I'm a firm Burroughsian, in that I believe that Control exists but it's not by its very nature a good thing and yet, living without even the concept of it seems alien and frightening.

    My girlfriend is stressed out by work and life and things (and occasionally me but only very occasionally) but I can sense that there's a feeling in her, that she's saying "Well? If you're so fucking brilliant, and you are, then do something fucking brilliant." And my brilliant can be a simple moment but it better be something good. I need a victory and I'm too fucking lazy to even load the fucking gun.

    I don't see the point.

    Thanksgiving is coming up (YES, YANKS, IT IS.) and it's the first one since my mom dies. Once I get thru Halloween without her, every subsequent holiday will be the second time without her. I miss her terribly everyday. (She went FAST - she was there and then she was gone. I looked down at her hooked up to the machines that were keeping her breathing and she wasn't there anymore. We had to pull the plug. We had no choice. In her life, she herself had told me to do so. So we did. Almost a year ago.) Once it's an actual year, I might be able to be less lazy, more focused on the future. I hope so.

    I hope everyone is well. I hope everyone gets better. Hope is all I have and all I can offer. That and my pure admiration for you all.
  3.  (11154.13)
    A quick one (if that's possible for me).

    I'm moving to a new place (top half of a duplex), potentially making a huge investment that I don't want to talk about until I'm more sure of things, feeling good about work, potentially applying for a second job, feeling slightly creative (though not acting on it - that will be in the boo), feeling well mentally/emotionally, and overall content/thankful for all the things that are going right in my life. I'm thinking of doing some promotions on my etsy (as my 1 year anniversary of getting that going is coming up) but I'm going to have to figure out how (will probably use the ask section soon).

    I'm busy. And mostly broke. As long as nothing blows up on me, I'm fine. And there's a mouse in my apartment that won't die but keeps pooping on counters etc in my kitchen. Gross! I don't know how I'm going to have enough time to get everything moved to my new place in time and might have to pay my landlord an extra $29 so I can have an extra two days. I'm very overwhelmed. I've not been making lunches for myself due to the busy/exhaustion, and that is money down the drain as well. I'm probably going to only do one costume for halloween, and it'll be the less creative (but more expensive) one because I've got too much to juggle right now and I really really can't afford to let anything go wrong. I'm having to play the hurry up and wait game, which is very unnerving. And I'm trying not to worry about my general lack of success with my small business/etsy Renee Ondine, which I know is due to my lack of promotion etc.

    @Racael: Whatever you end up creating I'm looking forward to the results. And I really do hope you can find a creative space. And perhaps a way to deal with your roommate better.

    @oldhat: Glad some good things are happening, and yay weight loss! Super glad to see the good things going in the world of beer. As for making a down payment on a place - just make sure that if you do that, it's because it's something you're excited about doing, not because you're being pressured into it. Whatever you end up doing, I'm sure it will be great, because you're crazy awesome.

    @fauxhammer: Sorry about your dad. Virtual hugs?

    @icelandbob: Wow that's rough. I hope you get some good things going regards to work, school, mental health and money.

    @razrangel: I'm hoping the best for you, and hope things don't get too crazy with your living situation.
  4.  (11154.14)
    Things are getting.... serious.


    My head constantly hurts. I've got a pretty constant headache again, and my neck is in constant agony. The headache specialist has cancelled on me twice, leaving me to wait for over five months to see her. The body pain is on the rise, and I really just want to lay down and sleep most of the time. My right arm hurts or just feels halfway not there. All there is to do is lay down and take it easy.

    A life of taking it easy.

    I hate taking it easy.

    This week my pain doctor was crappy and rude and refused her associate's idea of giving me trigger point injections (which means LESS MEDICATIONS) and just gave me the same ineffective pills I've been taking.

    I was asked to come in to be a guest on the air at WFMU this week, but hurt too much to go. I don't know if you can understand how terribly crushing that is. WFMU has been one of my favorite and most culture-shaping entities since the early 90's. I've been given the chance... and.... mutherfuckingawdammit.

    That same day, a fellow I sorta knew in college decided to tell me via facebook that my problems were just scoliosis and drug addiction/withdrawal, and that I probably needed intense psychological treatment for hypochondria. I attacked in return, and I think I did rather well in defending my case with hard evidence, but.... christ. I know that for every one asshole like him that says something like that, there's another fifty that don't say it but just THINK it. And I can't refute other people's THINKs until they are said aloud.

    Here's the thing. I went to see a rheumatologist a few weeks ago. "Some kind of connective tissue disorder" is a given at this point, it's just a matter of figuring out which one. When I left i had to give 12 vials of blood, as well as some urine. I'm being tested for a whole lot of things. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is the one that makes the most sense to everyone. The symptoms most people think of when it comes to EDS is of super stretchy skin and ridiculously flexible joints, which I don't have. That's because there are other types of EDS. Youthful facial appearance, joint problems, scoliosis, stretch marks, mystery bruises, those are all EDS symptoms I've got. But the Vascular EDS symptoms also include see-through skin, no earlobes, early onset varicose veins, low blood pressure, which I also have.

    A few months ago I'd first seen my geneticist, and the ONLY test she sent me for (due to her fear of Vascular EDS) was an echocardiogram of my heart. When the results came back totally normal, I assumed that meant Vascular EDS had been taken off the table. "No, that just means your heart is ok. You may still have the Vascular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome." she replied. Aaaaand that's all she could do, given my lack of hard evidence of family history of EDS, and the way insurance and expensive testing works.

    And just recently I remembered.... My mother, when going to one of her mad doctors during my teen years, had some CAT scans done by a brain specialist and was reportedly told that her brain acted at though she'd had a series of small strokes. Well, that would lean things towards Vascular EDS.

    So, it's actually likely that I have Vascular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, or at least a form of Ehlers Danlos with some significant vascular symptoms. The life expectancy isn't great, because the gist of the disorder is that your connective tissue throughout your entire body is extra stretchy and just slowly falls apart. The treatment plan is basically to just throw painkillers at it, try not to use any part of your body too much, and hope your internal organs or blood vessels don't rupture and kill you. If it's the Vascular type, you are MORE likely to get a heart attack or stroke or intestinal rupture by the time you hit your mid 40's; if it's not Vascular, then you will probably make it to your 60's. Either way, you'll hurt and be falling apart the whole time.

    I've got an aunt whose neck is collapsing and had to have it fused, and who might have to have her lady parts sewn up so that her uterus doesn't fall out. I'm far worse than she was at my age.

    I'm not equipped to live with this. My life is a mess. I don't have a support system. I don't have people who will look after me of help me. I have a boyfriend who is great, but christ, he's almost as much of a mess as I am. I am terrified to stay living in this country knowing that I'll be relying on government programs for my very survival, probably for the rest of my life.

    I've looked into the 23andme thing, and it's only $100 for a DNA workup. It seems that they don't test for EDS themselves, but you can download all your raw data from their site and find secondary apps that will crunch the data for you, to see if you have any of the faulty genes that indicate a form of EDS. It'd be great, but I ran out of money for food this month and my boyfriend had to pay my phone bill again.

    I can't live like this, but I don't even get the chance to fight for something better for myself.

    I can't take it.

    I'd emailed my dad a week ago to ask about some family medical history, and he's not bothered to write me back.

    the good?

    Well, the one night I managed to drag myself out in the world (and paid for it quite dearly for days after) was for a farewell party of a wonderful fellow. I got to sip drinks on a Williamsburg hotel rooftop chatting with comic book and cartoon artists, and at some point in the evening got to ask Jackson Publick what NJ comic book store he'd worked in during his teen years. (I think he and I would have gone to highschool together had I not moved when I was 10.)

    Also, my boyfriend bought me a proper bed!!! which means I'm no longer sleeping on a foam mat on the linoleum floor of my bedroom. I am sleeping so much better these past few nights!!!


    @badbear: this might sound mad, but before trying any pills, you might want to try gardening, or just BEING outside. There are microbes in dirt that have an effect on the brain that is nearly identical to that of prozac. There is a theory that depression is so widespread in modern times because of how little modern humans come into contact with natural dirt. Seriously. It's SCIENCE. I've been having a really rough time lately, but I have been trying to just get my laptop and sit in my back yard. Just to BE there. It really does help lift my mood.
  5.  (11154.15)
    Hello all.

    The Good:
    Mostly everything. I've been in a creative place lately and have churned out several songs that I think are really pretty good. I've also tweaked some of the others that I'd gotten done-but-not-quite-done so that they are better. To top it off, I've got an idea for what would be my most ambitious single piece of music ever. The nice thing is that it's crazy complicated, but for reasons that fit thematically, so it's not just wankery (unlike most everything else I do on the music front... but it's wankery that makes me happy, so fuck you all!).

    I'm going to NYComiCon in a couple of weeks. That should be fun and it looks like I will have a chance to meet some more Whitechapelers in the flesh.

    I'm moving in a couple of weeks to a much nicer place (get the keys the Monday after ComiCon). I'll have a dishwasher, like a fucking boss!

    The Bad:
    I had to fire someone last Friday (like a fucking boss). He is (was?) a friend of mine, but hadn't really been doing his job ever since I got promoted. I've been working for over a year to try and find a way to get him to care with no luck. It had to be done, but shit, not the most fun bit of my job. Speaking of... I'm working too much and exhausted all the time. I should be working more right now and will go do so as soon as I finish this post. I swear. It would probably help if rested during my weekends when I don't have my daughter, but that's the only time I have to be creative and time keeps slipping by.

    My ex just switched the weekends that I have my daughter on me so that now I have her the weekend I'm getting help moving and not this upcoming weekend. It's good that I'll have a bit of extra time to pack, but bad that she'll be underfoot while I'm trying to haul stuff. She's not keen on moving away from where we live now since she has friends who live across the hall. The new place will have a pool so she'll be much happier next summer, but that's a long way away and future goodness is far less exciting for a little kid than present bads.

    The Meluvyoulongtime:
    @Rachael - It sounds like you've got some circumstantial evidence to suggest you may be getting close to a diagnosis. Is that enough to get a test? Would one test do it if you know what you're looking for? Good luck. I know this has been going on for far too long.
    @Trini - at least the mouse is going to be staying at your current place. You are planning on leaving the mouse, right? If not, that's my advice.
    @Hex - Sorry about your mom. Anniversaries can be hard. Hopefully once you get over that hump, you'll find some motivation. Inertia can be a bitch.
    @Faux - I'm glad to hear it looks like you're going to have time to take care of business with your dad.
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2013
    Up - good friends. Always. Got me into LA's Burning Man Decompression. Wandered around looking at the pretty and bobbing my head to the oontz-oontz-oontz... My best friend had fun on stage singing and playing sax, and I got to watch. Chillin at her house now.

    Down - everything else. I really don't know how I'm going to survive this housing situation. I can't concentrate on a goddamn thing when I'm at home which, shockingly, makes it hard to make any headway in the career front. I've spent most of the last week in a depressive fugue and/or panicking. Money is super squeezed everywhere for everyone. If one more thing goes wrong for any of us we're all fucked.

    That made Decom hard to enjoy. I was silent, empty and nearly catatonic through long chunks. I know I made my friend worry. Yet being numb at a gigantic park party was better than being at home on the verge of hysterics. Difficulty secondarily by big winds kicking up the dust and then people dancing in said dust and thus my allergies have been redlining all day long. Ugh. I miss breathing deep.

    Hugs - Everyone. I mean, seriously. Doc and Chris and Patrick and Renee and Rachael and Mike... Fuckin shit is hard. Getting up every day to try again, all by itself that's a win. You guys and the rest of this board inspire me. Thanks.
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2013 edited

    - Looks like a UK trip on May 21st. I want a Whitechapel meet up in London if anyone is game!

    - Went on a two day, all expensive paid media familiarization tour of this region in eastern Ontario. So much food, so much drink and I got to pet a water buffalo calf. Although we were on an itinerary that was pretty firmly packed, I enjoyed myself. I later found out I made the front page for the region's local newspaper.

    - Hung out with my good friend on Saturday where I opened up some special beers for her to celebrate her getting a job. The beers were a 2.5 year-old bourbon barrel aged dopplebock, a weiss made with new zealand hops that was pretty damn good and a 2011 double chocolate cranberry stout aged for a year in kentucky bourbon barrels (that last one made her weep it was so beautiful). Then I introduced her to Plan 9 From Outer Space. It was nice hanging out with her.

    - Money money money. Big bonus last week, still have invoices to send out and have a few giant jobs to do. Seeing that bank account grow is giving me hope for the future.

    - A friend talked me out of the scariest, darkest downward spiral since 2006. This got me coming to terms with my issues. Mainly HUGE trust issues that aren't allowing me to bring someone in past arm's length and some pretty horrible anxiety/depression. I dunno. I'm seeing my doctor this month and I'll be getting a referral for...something.

    - Trying not to let the shit be an excuse to stop me doing stuff. I'm chugging along writing, taking photos and have some thoughts of ambient experimental music that I'll bring to life soon.

    - My all time favourite beer festival is coming up.


    - I've become more withdrawn and aloof. My folks seem to think I'm smoking pot (I'm not) and acting incredibly strange. While I like company, I'm also getting more comfortable with being alone, which although not totally a bad thing, is something that is alienating a lot of my in-person friends.

    - Have some kind of allergic reaction. My left palm is covered in welts that hurt like hell. I have a glove over it now to stop be itching and provide some comfort. Feel like a villain, which is fun, but otherwise OW MY FUCKING HAND.

    - ...and that's it, I think.


    - Vorn, congrats on the book launch! And the clearing of some debts! Really happy for you. :)

    - Faux, The situation is horrible, but I'm glad that your dad will be able to get his affairs in order. Hope things go as well as they can.

    - Raz, Really hoping things improve for you.

    Picture, because THAT'S A RULE NOW.

    Alright, going to lie down and listen to chopin mixed with Al Jazeera audio.
  6.  (11154.18)
    Sorry for writing again so much so soon. I'm not doing well.


    I've spent the last 36 hours in bed. Hardly eating.

    Over a week ago I'd written to family to find out family medical history stuff. My dad didn't bother to write back until I wrote him a second time a week later. The email he finally sent me was brief. He didn't bother asking me about my health, or anything for that matter, just gave a quick description of family deaths.

    I got an email back from my aunt on my mom's side, who explained that not only she, but her mother and her sister also had suffered prolapsed uteruses (well isn't that terrifying), that my grandmother and BOTH my uncles and one of my cousins has Tourette's (ok, the silly notions of maybe someday reproducing with my bf who has Tourette's is definitely not happening), and that she herself is suffering a lot of the same symptoms that I have, only hers started in late adulthood while mine has been going since my teens and involves more body parts.

    And then she started in on the other stuff.

    "Rachael, why don't you reconsider communicating with your mother. She really loves you and misses you. Holding a grudge against her is not benefiting either of you. You can't blame her for being an imperfect mother since she was so young when she became pregnant. Furthermore, her parents were not very loving or supportive of her so she did not have a good model to follow. She believed that what she was doing was best for you. Nobody is perfect. Your mother is having a difficult time dealing with your stepfather's dementia right now and she is financially strapped as well.
    You should behave more maturely and consider other people's issues. There are people with worse situations than yours. I hope everything works out for you."

    I responded:

    This is not, by any means, "holding a grudge." I have decided, though much deliberation and self exploration, that having contact with my mother is not healthy for me. Distance between us might not be benefitting either of us, but being in contact with her causes me far more emotional and psychological harm. I have tried repeatedly, and it always ends up the same: damaging to me.

    Things go far beyond being "imperfect". I cannot maintain a relationship with anyone who has caused the damage that my mother has in my life without the capacity to take responsibility for those actions. These actions did not change when she grew older; she made the same selfish decisions when she was in her thirties and beyond. The pattern of behavior remains.

    Things might be different if I actually DID believe that she thought what she was doing was best for me. I don't. I don't think she was thinking of me anywhere near as much as she was thinking of herself, and I suffered for that.

    I understand that she is having a hard time in life right now, but I don't think that would be aided in any way by having a daughter come into her life who has little to no compassion for her, nor any means of helping her whatsoever. I've ended up rather emotionally burnt out, and have difficulty feeling anything towards her aside from weary avoidance. I wish it weren't the case. If I had money, I'd probably help her out financially while keeping my distance, but I don't.

    I should also mention that her financial situation is laughable. They went out to $300 dinners a few times a WEEK throughout the 80's/ 90's, drove a Jaguar and Mercedes, lived on a lake with a boat, had a home that was literally in Better Homes and Gardens, and regularly vacationed to Italy twice a year. They never EVER thought to put aside a college fund for me. I've lived below the poverty line my entire adult life, and have had times where I had to eat out of garbage bags (and that was when I was working). She has NEVER helped me out financially. It is really difficult for me to feel for her right now.

    There's the whole thing about her keeping my stepbrother's sexual abuse a secret when I was 6 so my dad wouldn't take me away. And sure, that could be blamed on youth. But 6 years ago when I was living with an abusive fellow who physically attacked me, my mom knew. I told her. But the notion of having me stay in her house in the guest bedroom wasn't even a consideration to her. My presence would have been uncomfortable for her lifestyle. She's a light sleeper, you see, and her stairs creak.

    On Monday I decided I should go to the ER because of a worrysome symptom. I did, and spent over 5 hours in the hospital to get an ultrasound to find out, hoorah, it's nothing. On my way home, my special Disabled Metro Card not working and the machines at a bus stop not able to generate Disabled fares, I hopped on the express bus without paying. I was ambushed by MTA cops when I got off the bus. I showed them my Disabled card (which was inpsected suspiciously for fraud), and explained, with my eyepatch and cane, that I'd just come from the freaking hospital, here look at my wrist band, and I'm about to pay to get on the subway anyway, I' m still PAYING, but nothing swayed them. I was given a ticket.

    So I cried my way home. Because I'm already so broke it's stupid.

    I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I've been fighting it really really hard, but I'm falling into the sad broken place in a serious way.

    I just want to lay in bed in the dark, holding my bladder until my roommate leaves for work, and eating just enough so that I can take my pills without hurting my stomach. Which is what I've been doing.


    I might find a way to get into the comic con. I might get some cash selling off some of my belongings. I might end up back on WFMU again this month.

    My boyfriend is awesome.

    I am saving money by not wanting to eat.

    People have actually been donating to the Tip Jar on my tumblr, which is a fucking lifesaver, and at least gives me some much needed faith in the idea of any humans besides my boyfriend giving a fuck about me.


    Oldhat: Is music and Al Jazeera a thing that exists, or are you just mixing them yourself? Because long have I wished for news and music as one. I'm really glad that things are getting a bit better for you.

    razrangel: I understand how hard it is to shake off life even when you get out. Is there a library or nearby college campus you could escape to during the day? Just a quiet place to BE for a while? You could make that your daily office, a nice routine that might help battle the chaos of home life.

    sellmeyoursoul: Good luck with the move. Yeah, I'll get a bunch of test results at a doctor appointment this week. I hope it's something conclusive. Maybe I'll see you this weekend!

    And, because this is a rule now (again):

    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2013 edited

    Not really that much: I still got the foul headaches that feel like insects are crawling around my head, stinging my brain with nettles and then numbing it with Novocaine. It's just fucking weird, and I've got an appointment to have a scan in a few weeks. I had to do a main-share at a big meeting the other week, and it was playing-up bad; at one point, people looked like they were negatives from photographs.

    I've got to get my shit together about making a decision to return back to London - my council flat is standing (hopefully) empty, and the arrears are building up. Badly.

    My life seems like one big recovery fest at the moment, and I seem to have been doing meetings everyday for weeks now. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. I do all the shit your meant to do with it - sponsor, service, step-work, etc. I have my own take on the steps now, which cuts through the generic wording of it all.


    Eh, I dunno: I seem to be going through some sort-of paradigm shift, where I'm existing in the same reality, but everything is changing. This is a good thing. I'm also a firm believer of that phrase from Milton, about the mind being it's own place - it being able to make a hell out-of heaven, and vice-versa. I have moments of intenso-super-dread on some days, but I'm tired of questioning it, so I just accept it, knowing that it will pass.

    I will add the empathy stuff in a bit. Needless to say, I love and respect you folk (Vomitus Maximus!)

    EDIT: Christ! Running support groups at the local treatment project can be REAL hard work. I got to show compassion for people, even when they're talking utter bollocks. Two hours of it, and I'm drained. People are looking to me to hold it together, and I got to know when to pull individuals up who are cross chattering, being disruptive, etc. I'm winging it half of the time. And I don't even get paid for it. I guess it's character building stuff.

    Saving this planet: One fuck-up at a time!

    Sorry, no photo from me. I don't have a head anymore.

    EDIT2: Another women I knew from rehab, who was only in her twenties, died the other day. That's two I've gotten to know over the past year that have overdosed and gone-over. And the number who've relapsed - shit! Some make it back, and some don't. I guess that's just the way it is. It doesn't make it any easier, though, when your living in the same house as them. It's pouring down with rain outside, and I'm feeling cold and a bit miserable. Life can be pretty harsh at times. But I'm OK.
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2013 edited
    Rachael, I just stream the audio of Al Jazeera and play Chopin in the background. It's been pretty awesome.