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: [Closed] OPEN MIC -- the Three Act Speakeasy Thread (March/April/May)
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Mar 1st 2014
Welcome to the bar.
You can think of myself as a bartender, keeping the place clean while the boss is out of town if that helps. And Taphead is the local musician who will play a song to match your mood. Or...you know, whatever.
Here's the place for you to tell us how you've been and what you've been up to.
Here we go.
The THREE ACT SPEAKEASY is here for you to vent, to express, and to learn. This is your chance to perform -- but you're also in the audience, guv, and are expected to behave as such. So your skits at the steely Whitechapel microphone will ALL and ALWAYS be divided into three sections:
1: The Boo. The Get-It-Off-Your-Chest. The "I've-Had-A-Shit-Week-And-I-Need-To-Vent". Your chance to scream silently into the face of Internet apathy, and trepan your pressurized consciousness. Deposit your spleen here.
2: The Huzzah. Wherein you tell us something which goes just a teensy way to mitigating the effects of the psychic turd you just laid on our heads. Perhaps it's a tiny hint of hope in an otherwise bleak situation. Perhaps it's an unrelated Thing Which Happened which made you smile rather than frown. Shit, maybe it's just a silly joke. Show us you can cope as well as carp.
3: The Applause. You will choose one of your fellow whitechapellers, from this same thread. Doesn't have to be the person who posted before you - just someone whose story touched you. And you will offer them a word of advice, or comfort, or support, to help them with their own SECTION 1 Whinge. Doesn't have to be much. A sentence, a word, a bloody emoticon - whatever. Just a paltry donation to the art of Thinking Of Others. And try to avoid schmaltz, please, or the Urethral Maggots will feast anew. Circle of life, kids.
ALSO, because we need to do it more often and because I am old and forgetful, show me a picture of yourself if you want. I'd like to put a face to the words. And no cross-posting from the SPIT thread, either. I'll know.
Naturally, the first person to respond here is excused from Stage 3.
Mar 2nd 2014
In physical pain/strain from working out in a different way. See fitness thread.
Family is driving me nuts. It's a little bit more of the same with having to live so damn many people in a house. But just... argh. Sister/BiL/niece/cat & dog moved in last Sept. Things started going missing - particularly cash. From on top of desks, from inside of purses, from shoeboxes closed with rubberbands. Sis has had her own money go missing. Dad has, niece has. It's distressing. Niece is but a child so it's faintly worrisome, but not shocking that she's been caught stealing before. She was duly punished... I am convinced we all have to go through that. Is this her again? I don't know, I doubt it but... My parents want to blame either my sister or BiL. Especially BiL. It really frustrates me. Sister is hardly home with how much she works and BiL practically taking care of the mundanities around the house by himself. He washes dishes, he mows the lawn, etc,
without being asked.
Way more than I can say for my brothers. But my dad notes this stuff didn't happen before they moved in. I have an abiding suspicion against my asshole schizo brother, OB, because anything he can rationalize to do as he pleases, he will. He's rationalized walking into other people's rooms when the door is closed and then blamed them...
Most lately BB, who works at a liquor depot brought home 10 bottles of wine. In two days five went missing. FIVE. Weirdly, four of them were whites, leaving only one bottle of chardonnay. But...WTF? Why would anyone in the house disappear that much wine? Only BB, Bil and like wine that much and we tend to prefer reds. Since we're home most of the time, why would we take away so many bottles? And where would we put them? I kind of almost wondered if OB might have taken them and given them away. Maybe he's trying to impress a girl? He doesn't drink and from time to time tries to lecture us about our drinking. Parents... immediately fell to blaming sis and BiL. It was gross. I mean. What the flying fuck. Mom started speculating that BiL might have taken them to sell for money because they need cash. I had to walk away from her while she was talking to keep from telling her what horseshit she was spewing. It doesn't fucking make sense. Why steal half an order of wine? BB told us to open whatever we wanted. I could take a bottle with me when I went to LA. They were here specifically for us to enjoy. So why take five? Just not to share?
I hate the suspicion flying around, but the crap going missing is a gigantic pain and (esp the cash) severely impacts people. One of us is a thief? That really freaking sucks. But will being suspicious help make it stop?
Other bitching: Sister gets stressed out. Sister makes everyone around miserable by bitching them out, screaming about what they've done wrong, talking over them when they say anything back, turning and walking away and never, not one letting a conversation happen. But in her view, she handles stress like a pro, it's everyone else who is weak. I try. I try, motherfucking hard, I try. I try to really solve problems like this, and the key to that is not to let my ego get in the way. Being right, insisting on being right, will NOT HELP. Figuring out what's really wrong and solving it will. But FUCK SHE MAKES ME SO GODDAMN MAD. Before I can even think about killing my ego and trying to hear what's really going on, I'm off day dreaming of the physical harm I could do to her if she bitches at me and bullies me one more time.
Sleep got totally fakatka while I was staying up all night writing or watching videos and then getting up during actual morning hours to go do stuff. So... right now it's nearly 8am on Sunday and I haven't had any sleep from Saturday yet. Although, I got so tired I crashed out last night around midnight for a couple hours. Around 2hrs/day is what I've been getting except for where I've crashed here and there. Blech. I really just wish I didn't have to stop and sleep. Seriously.
Stressing about money. Always need more in order to make more. Gah.
Sad about being alone. Alone and unloved. Wah.
It's been raining like mad, over here in you-guys-don't-know-what-weather-is land. Something like 13 inches since Wednesday. It's raining right now. Sounds wonderful. Yeah, we go a little nuts when it rains. It's been rare this year. A drought even. And all this water all at once is actually kind of not a good thing for the soil. But it's a great thing for the heart, you know? You-guys-who-do-know-what-weather-is don't understand this. We've got all kinds of obstacles and dangers now, thanks to the rain, but we are SO GLAD it's finally raining.
(I'll be a little sad after the storms end today. But I don't want to get bogged down in the black lining to my silver cloud.)
Friends getting more voice over work. Yay them!!
Writing and thinking and working. Charging into a new month. In pain and somewhat sad and broke. *shrug* Mostly okay with a long list of things that could be better and regular prayers that nothing gets worse.
For faithful @oldhat, who turns on the lights, pulls out the good glassware and tells us to make ourselves at home. I always think fondly of you when I refuse to post my picture. }:>
Mar 6th 2014
I am sad. I don't have anywhere to vent, so I'll do it here.
Softimage is EOL
The first seven years of my working life were spent at Softimage. They were some of the most amazing years of my life, and always will be. We had a rough ride, and more fun than should be allowed in a job. We got bought and sold and bought and sold and now, finally, the death rattle for what I still consider one of the most amazing software tools ever written. A tool many, if not most of you, will have never heard of, but all will have spent hours enjoying.
We pioneered and trailblazed, we made dinosaurs happen, aliens, dragons, space ships and explosions. We made sin city and 300 look like the comic, and Gordon Freeman look real, we gave the gladiator a colloseum to fight in and wolverine claws to fight with. We made anime and games and movies and skyscrapers, sailboats and jewelry and comics and toys. We were not alone on that path, but we were there from the very first steps when computers began to do movies, images, design and animation. We were there when the first fur was rendered, the first 3D creature animated, the first crowds simulated. But times changed. When I started at Softimage, a single machine and license cost as much as a car, or a small house. When I quit, you could buy it for the price of a gaming console. Back then, the Abyss was a monumental affair, the short shots of the psudomorph an epic achievement. Now we expect highest order special effects and animation in our toilet paper ads. We can make graphics happen in our basements, in fractions of seconds, on home computers with a quality and realism that was unthinkable when we started, even on the largest render farms and weeks of render times. The big special effects houses can't even pay their electricity bills, but our expectations as viewers mount every year.
It was a tool that was meant to bring the artist and technology together. It was about creating. It did so. For over 30 years, it was used to create entire worlds, epic stories and amazing wonders. When Avid bought Softimage from Microsoft, their motto was "tools for storytellers". It seemed fortuitous at the time, but little did we know that it would be the beginning of a long, drawn out and painful end.
So next time you watch a movie, spare a tiny thought not just for the actors and the artists, don't curse the special effects and animations, remember there is a team working their asses off to produce amazing tools to make it all possible.
For me, it was 7 years of my life, crazy hours, insane travel, wicked parties and great (and awful) memories. It eventually nearly killed me. But it was worth it. For an outsider, it was merely a tool, but for us on the inside, it was so much more, it was a lifestyle, almost a religion. I have been out of Softimage for many years now, but I still have many, many friends from those times. I miss the people, I miss the company, and I miss the tool. RIP.
Mar 6th 2014
Aww condolences Aike... I have a couple of friends who worked at Rhythm & Hues and had to watch the company implode even as it won it all for LIFE OF PI ( the high water mark after a long trail of beautiful work). Animation and visual SF is a hard business and no one knows how to make it better.... and in the end it just shafts really talented, really disciplined people.
I'm sorry, Aike. I wish you all the best.
Mar 6th 2014
Yeah, like I said, its been a while since I left, but it still hit home, and its been a sad week... and yeah it is a shitty business these days - lots of friends formerly at DD, R&H and others are all struggling, I guess I was lucky to get out when I did.
Mar 6th 2014
I seem to have stabilized. I'm done with the Vicodin and Lyrica withdrawal, and the lack of tea and Vicodin combined with the Botox shots a week and a half ago seems to have minimized my migraines. I've started taking Claritin D again, as I read that antihistamines might have some effect on Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I'm not sure if it's the Claritin or the D part, but I definitely feel better than before. Now I'm just back to the usual body hurt and back pain! Which really is an amazing improvement.
I decided to write to my family. After years of having a crap relationship with my Dad and his family unit, I'm not really connected to any of the extended family. So, as it was just Rare Disease Day last week, I wrote a mass email. (I sent a very slightly edited one out to friends email as well, and stuck it on my facebook page, too. I'd appreciate it if you read it.
I've got a big family. My dad was one of eight. I sent it to what email addresses I had, but my gmail was being weird, so I sent it to family members via facebook message, too.
Nobody responded. Nothing.
I got a few really lovely responses from friends, mostly via facebook. But family? Nothing.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm really sad. I don't know what I was expecting, but... I don't know. I always kind of thought that when I got the dire diagnosis, that my family would ..... like me? help me?
I'm feeling really fucking empty at the moment.
Also, being too sick to volunteer at / to broke to donate to WFMU during the annual fundraising has also really bummed me out.
Also, I actually got called up for Section 8 (which is the housing voucher program distributed by town, most of which have closed waiting lists, or, if open, is a wait of eight years), but I have to go in person for the paperwork and interview, and it's in Spokane, Washington. I'd move there for it (you have to stay in the region that you were accepted in for one year before you can relocate), but I can't get to Washington by then. Frustratingly, I'll be a short drive away in Seattle for the Erotic Art Festival just four weeks later. I can't reschedule it.
Also, my Federal Loan Forgiveness application was denied because I have to pass my first Disability review, which is this year, which I am terrified of. And I was rejected from the Access-a-ride program, which provides auto transport for the disabled, because I'm not disabled enough. Being in terrible pain doesn't fucking count, evidently.
I'm just.... I... I'm drowning. I'm feeling really hollow. I don't know what I am supposed to be doing with myself.
razrangel: egad, like your home life wasn't stressful enough with that many people crammed together, now you throw suspicion into the mix? That's just crazy. Are you good with animals? Maybe you could try being a live-in animal sitter or just a house sitter. It might get you out of the house for long stretches, at least.
aike: I had a job that I loved, and it burned down. I've missed that job ever since, and it wasn't anywhere near as cool at the one you describe. My condolences.
I don't have a picture right now. I'm sorry.
Mar 7th 2014
@Rachael Sorry your family is such a pain. The only thing you can really do about these things is concentrate on making yourself whole and stable without support from others. You can't make other people be good people. You can't make them care, you can't make them act. The only thing you can do is accept. Maybe don't write to them when things are going badly when you aren't really sure how they'll respond. And I do hope things don't keep going so badly for you.
For me - I'm allergic to cats and dogs but I've done some petsitting anyway. I live with a cat and dog and it's not too bad right now. But I do run away every now and then as a friend in Los Angeles let's me crash on her couch every week when I have a class. And I go into her room-closet to record auditions. It's not at all ideal because it costs me money to drive and buy food away from home, and the people here are also up at all hours making noise that gets on the mic, etc, but it does give me a few days away from the madness.
Mar 16th 2014
I just seem to be permanently fucking hamstrung by myriad petty irritations. First World problems all, but hell, I'm in the damn first world… Was doing really bloody well at the start of the year, with fitness, mental health. I was focused, sharp, on it. I hurt myself running, yes, but I got over that and started again. And then I got a frigging virus that I can't bloody shake and I've now had for over three weeks. So no running, I've had days off on leave from work where I've just had such low energy I've stayed in bed, the last three weekends I've pretty much stayed in bed/done nothing,
So. FIGHT BACK! I got myself up yesterday and thought I'd force myself to do something useful/constructive. So I go to the study and fire up my desktop PC… and then:
It goes into an endless Windows Update loop and requires turning off and on for three hours until it's usable.
I plug my guitar in; at least, I think, I'll play… Crackle… buzzzz…. Socket's fucked.
OK, PC's finally back on… let's put up with the buzzing socket and play along to something, get back in the swing… DVD crashes the machine.
Reboot - Ok, let's not bother with DVD, just use media player. What's this? 90% of my music library has vanished…
Right then - the 10% left, there's decent stuff in that… NOW WHAT? WHERE'S THE SOUNDCARD DRIVER GONE?
And so I go back to the house, thoroughly disheartened, and listlessly watch TV.
Get up this morning… let's sort the garden out… pick up the brush, start sweeping the patio, brush breaks… fire up the PC and reinstall the soundcard, plays half a track then crashes. Then the batteries run out in the keyboard in the middle of typing this… try and restore the music library - 'your disc is corrupt and cannot be read…'
My laptop power pack randomly fails - £40 for a new one. I order a replacement secondhand motherboard for the laptop I blew up 18 months ago so I can refurbish it and give it to my partner - it gets impounded by customs who want £35 to release it. I've ripped two suit jackets in the last month. There's a new mushroom growing out of the study ceiling on the side that ought to now be watertight.
And so on, ad infinitum. This kind of relentless, stupid useless bullshit isn't isolated, if it was, I'd be less despairing about it, I might even find it funny. But it's been going on for at least 10 years, if not more. Am I just cack handed? Clumsy? Particularly unlucky? But I've got a week off work, and if I have to spend most of it fixing stuff that shouldn't be broken, I'm going to go back in a more frazzled state than I left in…
…which is fairly frazzled. It feels at times that my brain is like a vast office block. I work in the office block and I have a pass. When things are normal I have the run of the building, I can access all the rooms, do my job, find all the things I need. But sometimes my pass won't let me into all bits of the building. Sometimes it won't let me past reception. I'm left in the lobby arguing with security. I know that in the office block there are things I need, things that I should be aware of, things that I should be worried about, but I can't get to them and I can't really remember what they are. There are things that I've learned that I cannot remember how to do. I read things and they don't stick. I forget what I'm doing from one end of the house to another. I make lists, yes, but I forget I've made them. I spend my free time like a rabbit in the headlights, panicking that I should be doing something but not knowing where to start.
That's starting to really get to me. I'm confused a lot of the time and
I calculated how much money I'd need to get out of debt, buy a decent car, a decent new garden office, the guitar I want, and a good audio PC. £30,000. Might take a while. That's on top of the £50k my partner wants to do up the house…
I'm off work for a week. I might get some useful things done. If I don't I'll just spend lots of time cuddling my one year old, which is useful in itself I suppose. She knows I am extremely susceptible when it comes to requests for cuddles.
If I can remember what the hell I'm doing for five minutes, I might be able to go walking and get some pictures taken.
Still enjoying my job a lot, at last.
@Rae, Raz - sorry to hear of family stress. I've always been really lucky on that front (and massively grateful for it), but my partner gets quite a bit of that, and it's not good. Raz- hope the disappearances get sorted.
Mar 16th 2014
I know I just had my turn, but... I just need to...
I hate addiction. I'm genetically non-addictive somehow, and that's the only reason I'm alive. But I've watched the most important people to me crumble and fall. In the span of three months I've now heard stories from two different men who have both, in their own ways, in their own times, held my heart captive. Both have recently gotten so deep into dope that they were living ridiculously dangerous lives, involving guns, debt collecting, wearing a wire, on the run, close to death. And that's just two on top of a pile of junkies that's most of my dating history and close friends. I hate the fucking worry. I hate the pit in my stomach. I hate the fact that I know that I am the one that they won't come to, even though I won't yell, even though I'll accept them, because they know that I will KNOW, and the disappointment they feel in my presence of understanding is worse than having no help or compassion. I'm always on edge for a funeral. And it's been decades since I've been to one, but I see my old friends. They aren't long for this world, the way they are headed. And selfishly, I hate the fact that it's contributed so much to my being alone, to having nobody to turn to, because so many of my old close friends have been lost to dope and drink, and those few who didn't still got scattered and scared away from the excesses and danger of the addicts. Just... seeing people sink into paranoia and double lives and ... listening to the voices in the telephone go slurry ....the rants of self delusion .... wondering why some get junkie voice and others don't... the horrible places they go... I used to go for the drive into Paterson (super ghetto) with a friend of mine, and every time, I'd say that it was a bad idea, but yes, I'd go, because I didn't want 'em to go alone.... I love them all. And I can't help them. And they can't help me. And we're all alone and it's stupid.
@JP: Frazzeled. Yes. That is exactly the experience. I've got so many lists, when I find them months later I still haven't managed the chores.
Mar 18th 2014
Falling behind in school. Unable to focus. Can't sleep. Had something very near a panic attack last night.
I am alone and it is super awful. I'm basically just a big lumbering violent zombie.
Making friends is more trouble than it's worth, especially knowing I'm leaving this city in a month. But I need someone to talk to, and I need to stop cooping myself up in my apartment.
Renting out the apartment is more trouble than it's worth. Lining up a job after graduation is actually going relatively well, but I'm also living on tenterhooks that all the good preliminary feedback is going to fall through. I don't even know where I'm going to live the moment I leave this city, and I'm not really looking forward to the process of finding out and planning for it.
I had a counselling appointment today and walked out after ten minutes. What good is a counsellor when you have nothing to say, no way to express yourself? I said something like "I just want to be able to shut off my emotions because they don't make any sense right now and they're getting in my way" and he just looked at me. Like, just a big ol' robot silence. What the fuck, how is counselling even supposed to work?
I think I need a good solid 24 hours of not leaving the apartment, not leaving the bed. Turning off the TV and just reading a goddamn book. Not checking my email or messages every ten minutes because I'm lonely and crave human attention. Not getting pissed off about perceived slights. Also I need a paranoia pill and a sleeping pill. I wish I was better at homework while drinking.
I've been playing roll up the rim (a national contest in Canada where you can win by buying coffee) obsessively. I'm convinced that my karma right now needs to balance out by me winning a car. I just need something, anything, nice to happen to me this month. So far I've won a doughnut.
Mar 18th 2014
Evening Whitechapel, it's been a while. I am still not dead, some things are good, some less good, so, in no particular order:-
I feel like shit. I ache, i go to bed tired, i sleep fitfully, i suffer odd and agonising little cramps now and then and in the wee small hours my back and legs and arms start to ache like i've done a week's hard labour.Strangely, the longer i stay in bed, hoping it might ease up, the worse it seems to get. I get up at different times according to whether i'm working or not, it might be three am, it might be ten. This probably doesn't help but it comes with the job, i've been doing it for years and i'm used to it. These days the one constant is i wake up tired and feeling like shit. This is not nice. I have a number of other nasty little medical niggles - itchy rashes, dodgy guts, various other things. I have seen my GP a good few times about them. I have been poked, i have been prodded, i have suffered indignities too vile to mention (but as Mr Sizer said, the drugs were nice). Result: nothing. No discernible cause for anything. My doctor looks at me like i am some kind of nutter when i walk in the surgery. She may be a good judge of character but dammit I FEEL LIKE SHIT! And i am getting fed up with it. Later this year, i am going to hunt down a suitable specialist and blow a large quantity of my hard earned savings (i don't earn much but i spend even less - no wife, no kids, no mortgage) on some poking and prodding of my own. Private medical stuff, outside the NHS, is not cheap but it looks like the only option i have left. I'm just hoping i get somewhere with it and all that overtime won't have been in vain. Fingers crossed, eh?
Also, i probably need to get out more. Actually no, not get out, but get a bit more human contact. As the years have gone by i've become more and more isolated. People move away, get married, disappear or sometimes die, and truth be told i've never been great at social stuff. It's got to the point now where i see people at work but when i'm off there's no one apart from the occasional expedition with KK, who is, in her own special way, sweet and precious and possibly the single most important person i have these days but... Well, i could probably do with a few other people to call friends. I know, it sounds pathetic and whiney and truth be told i do have a couple of old friends still alive and on speaking terms, but they live bloody miles away and they're not about to spend evenings chatting with down the pub except on rare and special occasions. It is, really, all down to me, i probably could do something about it if i made a bit of an effort, thinking about it, i only ended up like this because i didn't. It does bother me, i feel like i'm losing something important, the general ability, the skills needed to interact with other humans on a day to day basis, i am headed out past eccentricity into the territory of the rambling nutter, sitting on the top deck of the bus, mumbling to himself and occasionally shouting at nothing at all. This bothers me, it does, but truth be told i'm not sure it bothers me enough to do anything about it. Ghurrh, Buggrit!
And i've just been told that 'comment is 88 characters too long', so...
Mar 18th 2014
I shall have to do it in two parts...
Anyway, there's no crying in Whitechapel, so on to the good:-
I was listening to a bit on the radio yesterday about , well i suppose you could say it was about scarcity, how people under pressure from not having enough make poor decisions, how not having enough time or money can actually effect people's performance like a drop in IQ (this is
the place to start arguing about the value of measures of intellect) of around thirteen points. That's a lot. And i sat there, listening to them and remembering times when i was
far away from living in a cardboard box at the side of the road, and i thought 'i am so damn glad that's not me'. Because it's not, not any more. I work three days a week, that covers the bills and puts a little in the bank, the rest of the week is mine, reading about the things some of you are struggling with, even just remembering the things i've been through myself, i feel a bit guilty saying this, but oh my, it does feel so damn good. The simple little pleasures of day to day living too, when you have the time to pay attention to them. I sometimes find myself out on the motorway in the quiet early hours, taking a lorry from somewhere to somewhere else and just watching the world go by, the cars and the lights, the bridges and the concrete and the architecture, and just being glad that i'm alive and seeing it all while it's there and working, of being here in this little window of time and space where everything is as it is, and not somewhen else, where it's not. So there you go, stick at it, don't let it kill you and you may, you may just, through luck or perseverance or just being too bloody stupid to know when to stop and give up, you may just get to where you wanted to be after all. Just try not to forget what you were going to do when you got there, eh?
And so, on to the applause, the wee small effort to lend a hand to the other poor souls swimming around in this bucket of turds. Again in no particular order:-
Mr Carpenter, because of that scarcity thing, and because computers are bastards and so is the rain, because the little things are sometimes the biggest problems, because keeping a relationship going and bringing up a family is sometimes the single most heroic thing in the world.
The Razrangel because stressed and tired and aching and living in an insane asylum and family and yep, that damned scarcity thing again. And alone. You wouldn't think it was possible, would you? It is though, and you better believe it. You hang on there, and you keep hanging on until you're sitting there thinking 'well, i'm glad that's all over and life is good again'. Because it will be, provided you can hang on long enough.
Rachael because of so many things but mainly because family is a bastard and so is being ill without a good diagnosis to chew on. Stick with it and stay as sparkly as you can, there are still good bits to enjoy.
Allana because i will NOT have one of my sources of inspiration dragged down by circumstance. Look around Madam! This shit will pass, it is a temporary thing. Also counselling is often bollox. Do you have spring up where you are? Can you get out to somewhere quiet and springy? Even an hour or two in a park early in the morning when it's quiet and no one's about, that might help a bit. Well, maybe. Whatever floats your boat really, just keep bailing and don't let it sink, eh? And i'll have that doughnut if you don't want it...
And Flecky for showing the beast who's boss and generally being a hero.
And Oldhat and Bob and all of the rest of you because really, and i know you might find it a bit hard to believe at times but really it is true, the world is a better place with you in it, so stick with it and be there and be as bright and sparkly and amazing as you can, because i need all the inspiration i can get, and it's not just me.
Dear Lord i'm a twat, aren't i?
Mar 18th 2014
Hi. I feel like I have to re-introduce myself every time I post; I don't know why I don't come here more often. It's quiet, but that's a good thing. Consider "being more active on WC" on my list of things I need to work on...
I'm having an existential crisis of sorts. I feel like everything I do right now is inconsequential, and that I'll never achieve anything that will be enough to distract me from the fact that I'm gonna die someday, and it's honestly more annoying that depressing at this point. I had to walk away from twitter and tumblr, because dicking around on the internet feels like I'm going through the motions. What is even the point of twitter? What does it matter what I'm eating or what jokes I can make about the tv show I'm watching or what my cat's doing? Who the fuck cares? Why do we all accept the idea of yelling mundane shit to any stranger that happens by? And it's like, I feel like maybe I should earn the right to faff about online, talking about sandwiches and reblogging pictures of other people's cats, by having a real, fulfilling life to immerse myself in the rest of the time.
I get the feeling this state of mind isn't that unique for someone in their mid-20s.
Also, work is draining. It's not all that stressful, or negative or anything. Just draining.
I am doing things. Little things, but they matter. I've been doing okay keeping the apartment clean and cooking dinner. The fella invites our friends over to play card games and stuff. Most the time they're busy, but at least he's asking. His job at the comic shop is going well; Adam WarRock did a show there last week, that was a very fun time. Dude's a cool guy. The fella and the folks he works w/ on the weekends are putting together a webshow for the store, I'm very proud of them for that. I did some volunteer work just yesterday for the local botanical garden. I helped cut down saplings, bundle them, and load them onto a truck for
this year's artist-in-residence
. I'm very sore, but I love helping them out. Cheekwood is such a beautiful place, and I wish I could be there all the time. I am working on figuring out if I can be a regular volunteer, and not just show up for installations.
Things really aren't that bad. I feel like if I can just figure some stuff out, I'll be okay. I keep talking about seeing a counselor, but I still haven't made that jump. I'm going to. I think it would be good for me.
allana- Speaking of counselors, wow. Like, nothing from them at all? That's fucked up. Seems like the entire point of their job is to be able to react and respond and maaaaybe counsel you. Hope you figure out something or someone that works.
JP: Getting useful things done is good. I bet cuddles are good too. I'm sure you can fit both into your schedule. :)
roadscum: That... that last bit was very inspirational. Thank you.
everyone: You're all still Whitechapel, and Whitechapel is still a family to me. I'm glad you're all still hanging in there.
Mar 19th 2014
Adventure Girl finally hit a jackpot. After a year of studying new technical stuff, going through a shit ton of effort to break into a new field that's quite hard to break in, and living totally hand to mouth, yesterday she landed exactly the kind of work trial thing she's been looking for. It's not a traineeship, but something different, one of these government subsidised employment programs that's perfect for cutting your teeth on new stuff doing real world work. It makes me incredibly happy to see all the damn hard work she's put in to pay off, and I'm holding everything up and crossed that goes that way that the trial will result in employment down the road.
Yesterday I also booked a holiday for us for May. The first proper holiday I'll be having since the summer of 2012. There was the Christmas, but it's not… well, it's like playing a modern FPS shooter, running and gunning through a level, health bar flashing at 10%, no time to let it regenerate - and then you find that one safe corner and that's a pause for the action, you'll have the time to breathe in for a bit, until it's the time to run for the next savepoint. That's Christmas holidays for me, except with more ham, candy and soul-crushing darkness. But in the coming May we're going to get some boulder climbing done in Åland, which is this semi-autonomous island off the Finnish coast. Never been in an outdoor bouldering trip like that before, looking forward to new stuff.
Last week I finally got my Advanced European Scientific Diver card in mail. That's the final piece of closure for the school. Now I can relax on that for four years, until it's the time to start wondering how to renew the certification ;)
The money situation continues aiming for the awesome. Totally paid off one credit card, and the five year tyranny of the Excel of Terrors is ending. I've splurged on such frivolous stuff as nice new clothes, such as new hoodies from Last Exit to Nowhere and Jinx, and new pants where the pockets aren't mended 10 times. Nice to look good for a change.
Oh, about looking and feeling good, almost hit the 5kg mark of weight lost this year.
I have to vague… err, whitechapel a bit, but there might be a big change coming my way. I applied for something and it's under consideration now. The chance of it happening is unfortunately very small, but the chance exists. This would be something I've really wanted to happen for almost 10 years now. Can't talk more about it quite yet, but I'm cautiously jittery.
About looking and feeling good, the diet has now officially stalled. Morning weigh-in was 77.2 kg and it should be 76.1 kg, so I'm two weeks off course. Need to catch my second wind on this, seriously. Part of the reason for the weight-loss stall is that I'm still quite tired and not quite settled in to the new life, and being tired it's hard not to cram your face with comfort stuff, although I am counting the calories.
In the beginning of the year I entered an awesome place in my life that's also kind of scary in the sense of… well, if you build a massive military-industrial complex for dealing with enemies and disasters, when they're all dealt with, what you have left is a massively expensive and efficient organisation and a whole lot of idle soldiers, who start to get antsy and start looking for trouble. I'm now in a place where things are kind of stable and, say, getting 200€ more per month doesn't change my life massively, as it has done especially for the last couple of years. What this means I mean that if I'm not happy, there are precious few external things to point at, and a whole lot of looking into a mirror in order. There's the palpable reflex to rock the boat just a bit so there would be something else to look at, but I'm trying my hardest not to give in to that impulse. Getting there.
There is an anthology deadline in the end of April. I have two great ideas. Great ideas are not stories, and these ones are really fighting my attempts to make them ones. I've missed so many awesome anthologies in the last two years I had a very good shot at that I don't want to let this slide. Arrrgbkbgkbg.
@roascum: About sticking with it, word. It's always good to keep the negative may-have-beens in a little box in the back of your head and trot them out occasionally, just to keep perspective on the present.
@brittanica: That sounds like something I do to get myself to write or do whatever I feel I really should be doing. I sit down, browse pictures on imgur until I absolutely loathe myself and just rip myself through whatever the tiredness is weighing me down to get something real done. :) Then again, I don't think that's a rare way to feel in your mid-20's. Or late 30's, for that matter. The feeling could work as a fuel to start something new you've never tried before. Adopt an alpaca. Participate in a pop-up kitchen. Get so angry at the perceived waste of time that you'll just jump into something. Then come back and browse cat images with a new-found sense of reward and justification :)
@allana: Shit, sounds like a properly draining phase and a bad fit as counsellors go. Weird and wonderful mofos need to find weird and wonderful counsellors. That, unfortunately, may take a couple of tries, but when it works, it works. They don't really advertise the fact that sometimes a little bit of shopping around may be needed.
@Rachæl: One of the hardest damn things is to see a friend go to a dark place and to have to admit to yourself that there is nothing you can do to help. Giving up the responsibility and the feeling that you should be is… brrh. :/
@JP: Fuck, you do have a case of the gremlins with your gear, and a half :) It's incredible how electronic gear seems to sniff out when you're frustrated, and gang up on you. Almost, but not quite enough to make one believe in all that
Mar 19th 2014
-Anniversary of little brother's death was last week, with the anniversary of the funeral this past monday (another reason to hate St. Patrick's Day). The pain on that never goes away and as much as I was doing my best staying busy during that time, it still creeps up.
- Just a couple of days ago, my brother's "roommate" from his home (bro was severely disabled and lived in a 24 hour care home, where we would visit every week and take him up to the cottage on weekends), died. Funeral is on Friday.
- Threw my back out a couple of weeks ago and it still hasn't recovered. Can walk around, but can't sit upright or stand for too long.
- Been getting too much shit for deciding to give people the option to throw in a buck or two for my site. Writers that are part of established publications are doing their best to remind me that I'm just a fucking blogger and not a pro, which pisses me off because there are a few of them I know I'm better than when it comes to writing. Part of me is seeing it as petty insecurities that several freelance writers seem to have, but jesus fuck the more I'm treated like an infant who likes to play writer the more it's getting to me.
- This morning my computer froze and now won't boot up, only getting a weird screen. I can boot up in safe mode and it looks like my files are still there and available for access, but I don't have a backup. While I'm sure it can be repaired, I'm looking at rates for places and seeing the money I spent over a year saving up going down the shitter. It was essentially "rainy day" money anyways, but I was hoping to use that money to help me get a place to live because I'm 29 and still living with my fucking parents.
- I suspect I'm going to get fired at my dayjob. I went from back of house copy editing and release drafting to front of house tracking and I am just not good at it in the slightest. My boss recognizes this, but doesn't have the time to train me. She's also getting increasingly frustrated by my little results on the job.
- This god damned month can fucking die in a fucking fire and I need cigarettes, hard alcohol, and chocolate because fucking hell.
- I set up a Patreon account for The Thirsty Wench and I couldn't be happier with it. So happy and grateful for the patrons I have on there and relieved that I'm starting to see something back for all the work and love I've put in to that site.
- Gaming is proving to be a good refuge from the shit.
- I went on TV again last week and had what was probably my best segment yet. It was timed perfectly, I looked fucking fantastic, and I had a lot of fun. Bit by bit I'm really getting used to this stuff.
- Lost weight and am KEEPING it off. Back problems have prevented me from going to the gym lately, but hoping to get back to it by Thursday.
@JP, Shit moments are cowards and attack in packs. I know exactly how days like that are. Hopefully you're doing better on your time off.
@Allana, Argh I really hate counseller shopping. If you decide to look for a new one, make sure to tell them you need feedback and responses before either of you potentially waste your time. I'm so sorry you're going through all this shit.
Mar 20th 2014
Thanks, team! I am definitely going to cancel my appointments with that guy. I guess I was at fault for thinking that counselling would be an immediately helpful space -- turns out you have to lay a groundwork for being able to spill your guts, and when you don't have spill-ready material for someone to listen to, it's not a great environment (booking two weeks in advance is also not a great system). They don't have "How To Prep For Counselling" instructables, do they?
Oh well, too little too late. Sayonara, university counselling team. Hello, whining on WC.
~~ On that note, I'm gonna redo this quick:
Job interview tomorrow. Busted a gut this morning putting together a little one-sheet of resources and case studies relating to the project. It's a phone interview (due to my distance) but I'm not sure if this is a first-round or final-decision interview. But I'm pertty sure I'm gonna do well. (And the job is INSANE.)
Made some action plans about my school stuff. Told one editing client that I can't help her out as much in the next two weeks, but that also seems to be a non-issue. Dropped the apartment-showing, mostly, for now. I don't mind having this place until May 1st, I guess, although I'd rather get out of Montreal ASAP. The timeline was just too squishy for my stress levels. (That said, if anyone wants an apartment ....)
The boy set a date for a quick visit next week. Have plans to cook delicious ribs and lay in bed getting fat all day.
Bought a tinted moisturizer that I really like.
Still haven't won a car. Won a coffee, though.
@roadscum, no spring yet. But if we're ever in the same town together, the doughnuts are on me.
@Robin, fuck the haters. What's the difference between a Patreon and the tip jar you've had forever? (That said, you should sell ads on your site forrealz.) And you DEFINITELY need to sit down with your boss proactively and announce that you could be doing better work in another department.
This is NOT the link I was looking for
, but I like reading that lady's column and she has good advice somewhere about calling yourself out in a way that sounds like you still have the organization's best interests at heart.
Here's the cranky-old-lady face I've been rocking all week.
Mar 21st 2014
@allana: How to prep for counselling/How to find the right counselor for you... that would be super useful information for just about anyone who needs that stuff. Actually, a good therapist would make prepping for counselling part of the first session. Any good therapist/counselor etc would find out what experience in therapy you've had, what you are struggling with (overall & currently), and what you'd like to accomplish as a result of the therapy. I've only skimmed through it, but
seems to be fairly useful in what to look for. And from you reaction to the session you had... your counselor wasn't any good. Unfortunately, it seems like one has to go through a bunch of shitty counselors before getting one of the good ones. But that just might because the crap ones have more open schedules (it's a good sign when it's hard to find a spot on their schedule).
@oldhat: I have a suspicion that the haters are realizing that not only are you good, the more successful you get, the more likely it's going to be obvious that they kind of really suck. And everyone will know it. And they don't want that. Because, let's face it, you being able to live off your writing means you getting better at writing, and better chances at being successful. And while I don't drink beer (I only drink things that taste like dessert that happen to have alcohol in it), my boyfriend does occasionally, so I want to do a Patreon thing for him. I can't say I can do put much more than a couple dollars, but I want to support you because I believe you deserve it.
@Vornaskotti: I really enjoy reading about how you're getting shit together and getting things better. Maybe instead of worrying about how you're going to mess shit up, focus on the fact that you've plateaued, which is scary, it also means you can level up. But mostly: good shit yeah!
@brittanica: The existential crisis sounds like depression. That volunteer thing you are thinking about - that is a good way to beat that stuff.
@roadscum: I've read the article about scarcity and decision making, and that stuff is so spot on. When I think about the decisions I make as a result of those external circumstances, they're often worse and more about surviving. Let's be honest with each other - how can we use our minds best when there's all this other crap competing for our attention? And you're not a twat. It's easy to go the easy route. It's hard to do some easy and some hard. It's super hard to be going all hard, and very few can manage that (and never without consequences). So don't beat up on yourself!
I'm getting super tired and talking to my boyfriend and stuff, so gonna get back to the rest of this tomorrow. So more @ and yay/boo tomorrow! When my brain is all functional and stuff.
Mar 21st 2014
@trini: try a Lambic. It's beer, but it tastes like fruit!
Mar 21st 2014
Continued from Yesterday:
@Rachael: Oooh! I'll try a Lambic the next time I'm at a bar. And I hope things are getting better for you, and at least some of your friends from your past have gotten their acts back together for the time being. Also: could you find a basement level apartment to make summer easier? At least here in Wisconsin, no matter how hot and humid it is outside, basements tend to be really cold.
@JP Carpenter: I don't even know what to say. Does your partner work? If she doesn't, could she possibly work, even just super part time, to help out with the expenses?
@aike: I'm glad you're working elsewhere, sorry the industry is going that way.
@razrangel: FYI, it's snowing again. Soggy slushy stuff. We wouldn't mind it so much if it was 1)less exhausting, 2)less expensive (aside from heating bills, there's the salt on the road and needing to get tires more often), and 3)not getting in the way of Spring actually happening. And you can visit the mountains to get your snow fix if you really really want to. And yes, he's a bonafide read boyfriend. And I wish I knew what to say about things going on in your life, but I hope you find ways to make things better.
Still poor, still tired, still not getting a ton of my paperwork stuff done. Dad being douchey. Not enough motivation to do the grown up stuff I should be doing. Depression is rearing it's not so lovely head. Boyfriend has a back injury from a different store location and it's acting up and he needs to deal with it but I'm worried he's going to continue overworking himself.
Had first session of the drawing class today and it was a treat to get back into drawing again. The class ends tomorrow, but hopefully I'll get some good drawings in by the end of it. Also, some of the ladies were talking about getting together to rent the space/hire models. Dunno if I can afford to do that often, but it would be nice. Amusing fact: my downstairs neighbor (the wife), is in my class. But mostly: figure drawing omg!! It's the kind of art that feeds my soul the most, and it's also the hardest to arrange/make happen.
Mar 21st 2014
Boo: Two weeks and still no sign of Flight MH370. The most intense search for a plane in history has so far yielded nothing but grainy photographs that may or may not be wreckage. Worse, it has been revealed the plane lacked decent recorders that can tell us what really happened. I still think it's a hijacking gone wrong, but I know there are other possibilities.
Yay: A breakthrough in one of the welfare animal cases I have been following very closely. Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia has become so rundown and its animals so neglected and even abused that it has been dubbed The Zoo of Death. But now, after years of lobbying, frustration, delays, difficulties and cutting through Indonesian politics, there has finally been the breakthrough that could turn not only the zoo around, but animal welfare in Indonesia as well!
@Trini Naenae: I'm so pleased about your drawing class. Keep it up, and it'll help with the depression too. I've had depression as well and know how ugly it can be. I found that meditation helps. I've been using plenty of meditative videos on Youtube for meditation and positive thinking.
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