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    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2014 edited
    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. 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 Rules:

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

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

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

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

    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.

      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2014
    Because I'm a goddamned rebel, I'll do the LET'S MAKE LOVE IN A FOREST OF PASSION part first :

    Met a new lady-friend. She seems to like me. (Which is good because online dating is not for me. At ALL.) So we've had a few dates and things seem to be going well. She read my tarot cards and it was very positive. We went out to an art-show that she was featured in. Yes, I left the house!

    Writing's going well. I'm turning into a slightly more foul-mouthed David Sedaris (if David Sedaris talked about Batman all the time).

    I judged a poetry slam for kids from Grades 4 to 12. It was fun and the kids were really good. Got to read a few poems and banter a bit and it was good.

    I seem to be settling in to my new role as Domestic Goddess With A Goddamn Mustache. The kitchen doesn't look like the wreck of the Hesperus, I can cook, I even make salads. Been drinking less, smoking less weed (not ... entirely by choice but whatever). Taking care of things as they arise. Even planning things.

    Plotting things.


    My dad's health is stable. I secretly wish it would just crash or end. He's not happy, he cries all the time (in addition to coughing more than me and I smoke a pack a day, on a bad day). He also hacks and retches and even the sound of his breathing pisses me off. He's a vortex of negativity - I put condiments on my hamburger. He said "I wouldn't do that." DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE BEING CRITICIZED FOR HOW I LIKE MY HAMBURGER?! ASK ME. (Not at all, is the answer.) We fight about politics (he takes it seriously; I think it's a joke), religion (he told me I'm going to Hell because I don't go to church. I asked him about my mother - she didn't go to church for the last fifteen years of her life - is SHE in Hell? "I wonder about that all the time." I said "When I die, I'll probably go to Heaven and see my mother. When YOU die, you'll see your mother, too. But it won't be in Heaven.")

    I am completely stressed out on the whole care-giver thing. Not really a role I'm suited for and I get no relief from anyone. I need fucking therapy or a vacation and I'll never get either one. My sister is infirm and my other sister will eventually get mauled by me for not lifting a finger to help him or me or even asking if either of us needed help.

    I desperately need someone to help me learn to use technology and I'm too proud to ask, too stupid to do it myself and too poor to afford a teacher. I need a few things (some software, a decent mic, a scanner, a camera and an editrol) and short of Kickstarter or pistol-whipping old ladies, such things I shall never possess.

    Despite my new love interest, I'm still pining for the old one.

    A lesser man than me would have gone mad by now.
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2014 edited

    Well, a lot of you folks who have been following me on twitters and facebooks know that it's been a really awesome few weeks. Visited my family in England and got to meet a lot of the lovely people on Whitechapel in an incredible London meet up. It was my first proper, longer-than-a-long-weekend holiday in what feels like four or five years. I learned about the craft beer and real ale movements a bit more, but the important thing was that I was able to decompress, spend some time with my cousin in Sheffield and go for many long walks along the beach at Cleethorpes. Really decompressed me.

    Then I went to Vegas to pick up my Best Food Blog Award and, well, there's one half of my experience. It was pretty awesome!

    Got back and have been hitting the ground running. Cider Week is this week. Did a talk to women in Guelph about being a woman in beer. I went on TV to talk Cider. It was nice. Managed to squeeze some time in to see my best friend (Seriously, she's my anchor a lot of times), see a few people, and catch up on my evergrowing reading list.

    At the Guelph thing, it was amazing to see so many queer women interested in beer, and even a few in the beer industry. Up till then, I only knew of myself and one other woman who liked ladies and she had left the job. So yeah, kind of mind-blowing and got me thinking.

    Developed a taste for good scotch in Vegas. Nothing huge, just less than a finger in a glass (neat, thankyouverymuch) to nurse over the course of an hour or two.

    The humour is coming back to me and, once I warm up, I'm starting to be more okay with strangers. It's a process.

    Fun to find that I actually lost weight on my holiday.

    On my way to Boston on Monday and will be in NYC on Wednesday night. Just got informed that my boss will be advancing me some pay so OH HOLY CHRIST THANK GOD FOR THAT.

    Coming back from an amazing holiday to a low-paying job, no columnist job, my parent's house and my love life as it is has been...pretty fucking depressing. What's more a lot of the theme of this week, especially after my blog awards win, is that "blogs are shitty and terrible things and are the hobby of people who fancy themselves published writers" (this was said a lot by, surprise, published writers), so what should have been a high point ended with me feeling a tad kicked down. Mind has been kicking me a bit, today especially. Basically, professionally I've been doing incredibly well, but personally I'm not doing too great.

    I hate that I'm like this and have been for the past couple of years. I hate that my default is spent not relaxing or being happy, but pushing off bad thoughts about myself because they keep growing and I keep thinking about them. I hate cancelling on plans because I know I'll just be sitting listening and trying not to say something stupid. I hate having to NEED more time to myself to feel more in control with my emotions and self. I hate being afraid to make new friends because I'm worried that they'll betray me. I just...argh. I'm getting better bit by bit, but I fucking hate this. Still struggling with the whole therapy thing because money is a constant issue and I can't take time off work. I don't know. Whatever.

    A comic I'm relating to today.


    @Patrick, for your own mental well-being, remove the ex from social media stuff and go to low contact. The more you talk or engage with her, the more you'll pine for her and you need to move on. I'm glad writing is going well and the poetry slam for kids sounded fun as hell and more than a little uplifting.


    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2014
    At Allan Gardens yesterday. I'm not sleeping well but I AM wasting whole fuckloads of unemployment time on various summery things.

    Patrick, you know I'd teach you techie things. Over beer, no less.

    Robin, thanks for the update (as I have neither the FB or the T). Don't let "published writers" get you down. OR. Write for Hazlitt, they pay decent money and would love to hear you rant about women in the industry, or some cool historical tales, or whatever.

    Me, I'm cool. Kind of dormant. Joining a softball league for queer and queer-supportive females. Maybe next week someone will offer me a job (the interview at least was much more pleasant than usual, based on the actual tasks that the job entails rather than a bunch of "Tell us about a time you provided extraordinary customer service" soft-skills bullshit. Going to send them a thank-you note just for their interviewing style).
    Takin' photos, doin' crafts, workin' on my tan. Gettin' paid quite rarely. I'll be working the election next week (GO AND VOTE, ONTARIO. DECLINE YOUR BALLOT IF YOU MUST, BUT FUCKING GO).
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2014
    Not feeling a pic. Feeling anti camera. Group photo was taken of me with family yesterday and it's on facebook and my ego is screaming who is that fat fucking bitch. So. No photo.

    Fat. I might have mentioned. But it's getting uncomfortable. And I feel the lack of discipline settling like blubber on my hips. I hate this. The lag after working a show. Running hither and yon and not making time for the gym and existing on fast food...when it's going on I don't notice. But I pay once the whole shebang is over. And here I am, paying. Simple enough to get back on the horse somehow, but first I have to face all the self hatred and disgust.

    Part of depression, I guess. I've been coasting over it for a while, which for me is good. But I'm aware it's there. If I look down I'll sink right in. So I don't look down for as long as I can.

    Other boos, the usual with money & love, or lack of these. Living with family, including asshole schizo brother and niece who acts out and then lies about it because she's stressed and none of know how to do or say anything constructive. We've spent the last year trying...

    Really need some kind of a freaking break in the career. Not just some money but people willing to talk to me, connect me, just...freaking take me seriously. At the very least I would love to meet with someone instead of playing tag, namely I send an email because over Twitter that's what they said to do - and then they ignore the email. *sigh* I don't know. I don't know where to go and I'm wallowing and that is the worst fucking feeling. I need money because the world tells me I do, but I need contact so I can feel like I'm actually doing something productive.

    *shrug* Not in the throes of depression at the moment, that's nice. (*knock wood* Mentioning that feels like daring the universe to throw me back in the pit.) My very pitiful pay from the last show I did was spent entirely on repairs for the truck. However, they were done by a friend and worked out really nicely. If I had gone to a garage it would have cost at least twice as much. I'm glad it wasn't something even more costly, just new spark plugs, wires and a filter.

    Hanging out with family has been nice. Forced away over key events thanks to show and it made people (my mom) unhappy. So I'm back and doing stuff and the lectures can take a rest now. Missed my jury duty but a quick phone call fixed me up. I think it should be simple enough. Whew. I don't mind serving, I just lost my summons and didn't write the details anywhere (uncommon for me).

    Some good VO classes over the past couple weeks. I don't know how to parlay them to something really useful, but it's nice to touch base and know I'm not expecting miracles - I do have some game.

    HUZZAH: Oldhat - I sooooo feel you on the BOO feeling like you can't enjoy good because bad is lurking around, waiting to trip you up. I just want to GO, I just want to get shit done, but if I don't take my time my own fucking brain chemistry will put me off my game and I'll be useless to everyone. And damn, that comic is correct. Just goddamn.
    Hex - *saucy wink*
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2014
    The Good: I bound up some of my old stories, tweaked 'em up, and uploaded them to Lulu. I've made almost a crisp C-note off of it! My partner and I are cleaning up That Weird City for rerelease, in print as well. Novel's taken a backseat a bit, but it's coming along.

    The Bad: Not looking forward to Father's Day. I might send my wife to celebrate with her family (what's left of it, her brother and sister are insane) and mope around the house.

    The Beautiful People: @oldhat: Congratulations again! It sucks coming back to Earth after a time of good fun and honors, but you've always got that. @Hex: g'wan GIT IT. @allana: Love your photography. Nuff said. @raz: Hang in there.
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2014 edited

    It's summer and the summer is glorious. We've been having BBQ in the back yard, I've been biking to work through the beautiful islands and shores, and the world is just so beautiful. These lazy breakfasts on the balcony watching a crow mother bring a healthy dose of morning puke to her kids in a nest in a pine in the yard, hares sprinting away when I go get my bike in the morning. I love this.

    The Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg comic anthology is doing really well, it's about halfway funded and done. Seeing the story I wrote turned into incredibly pretty illustrations is just magical. Furthermore, it's the kind of project where people are very active and they just keep on producing good stuff, doing marketing, etc. You can never be sure about an indie project, if it's one of those where there's a lot of talk and nobody actually doing anything, but this was completely the opposite, and I'm loving it.

    Adventure Girl and me are looking for an apartment actively. A nice three roomer with a balcony for the cats and me. It's actually going to mean that we'll be left with more money on a monthly basis, which means we can get a car. VW Kleinbus, maybe, or some unsexier van which we can use for adventuring and an emergency accommodation on the road.

    Two months and I've repaid my debts-due-to-stupidity, then it's just a little bit of red on the credit cards, and I'm done with that. The hole the size of 10 000€ filled up in a couple of years, in addition to paying for the dive school. It took dumpster diving, borrowing quick loans from pals and living on scraps to do, but fuck I'm happy I did it. Smells like independence.


    The busted arm is starting to really get to me. Lateral epicondylitis. It kind of hit a big nerve, since me finding something fun to do and my body giving up is something that's recurred not once or twice. There's kind of a deeper fear here, I used to be a rather sickly kid, and when something like this happens, it seems I'm kind of expecting my body to give up in an "welp, that's the end of the adventures" way. What bugs me here is the no climbing thing, not only because I lost a great sport for now, but because I lost something I loved to do with the GF. It was also a relationship thing, it was awesome to unwind with that stuff together after work. The shit thing with tennis elbow is that it can last a month, or ten months, or it can get chronic.

    I'm still in the weird position where I've fallen into my CV and I can't get up. I'm building a better and better career in a field which I've wanted to get the fuck out of for ten years, meaning media and PR. It's absurd since right now at work everything is better than good - the salary, benefits, the team, the work environment - everything but the actual stuff I'm doing. It's not just about me divaing around that I didn't get my dream-job as an astronaut-condomtester-candytaster, but a job that's mainly about constant task-switching every 5-15 minutes, bothering people who are trying to work and clawing out information as the last link of the chain, putting out dozen fires a week, having everything you do be highly visible, all this for nothing concrete, in the end having nothing tangible in your hands, no actual concrete "I made this" - it's not a bad job, it's just not good for me. It winds my big brain flywheel up in a bad way, and in a personal level in the best days it's tolerable. And yeah, I'm good at it. Unfortunately I don't see many exits, since all of my other experience is getting obsolete and what would be the things I can do? Writing fiction for a vocation? Well, writers up here are mostly below the poverty line, literally, and with one published super fringe scifi novel under my belt I don't have much of a realistic career there. Research diving? A seasonal job for 3-4 months per year, good for a secondary vocation but that's it. Something else? What would that be, I don't even know.

    This doesn't seem to be something I can just make my peace with and rationalize away, ie. to think that the dayjob is there just to pay for stuff that's more meaningful or whatever - and boy I have tried. I need to work on something that has an endpoint, that I can concentrate on and give my contribution to, instead of just whackamole. Or, alternatively, something that's whackamole but routine. I'm afraid this trapped feeling is starting to show, I feel I'm "with a face like an elephants cunt" at the office far too often these days, as the local saying goes. Welp, I'll stay in for at least a year, in order to get a good nest egg, and then try to have a summer of research diving next year and see what happens then. Also, a year is a long time and there's no telling what can happen meanwhile. Maybe I'll get the surprise chance to go to the production side of games that I've been looking for, or something else pops up, I don't know. Plus, after the money shit is dealt with, there's more room to maneuver.

    (boohoo, look at the golden boy being unhappy with his well paying job, sigh)


    @mister hex: Holy fuck, that's a lot to handle on so many fronts. I can only echo oldhat about the ex thing.

    @razrangel: Yeah, trying to find the energy to go and exercise after you've been running around the whole day and stressing over work stuff etc is disheartening. It's always made me feel better if I have managed it, but the threshold is so. fucking. high. at times to go :/

    @oldhat: The writers with opinions like that about blogs are pretentious shits, that's massively annoying. It's kind of a common comment, but it's still shit. Just kicking someone down so you can reach a tad bit higher yourself, in your own eyes.

    This is me in a Free Candy Cave in our climbing trip to Åland.

    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2014
    <3 thanks fauxhammer
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2014 edited
    Attendum: I got annoyed at how whiny I sounded there and decided that enough of that shit, time to start doing things. My aim: a production job before the end of the year. Already have some promising leads and opportunities on the burner, will know more in a few weeks, plus some consultation arranged with people who know what I should know. The shit is on.
  1.  (11363.10)


    Kids reading poetry sounds like a lovely time! Drinking less and smoking less fills a person with wistful want, but it IS almost always a good thing. Congrats! The easiest way to stop pining for the old one is to remind yourself everytime you think of her that she didn't want you. It's that simple, y'know? I think about my previous fellow, miss the way he did things, think about how awesome things could have been, but then I remember how he didn't choose me. It doesn't matter how perfect in every other way a person might be if they don't want you. Remind yourself daily how awesome you are, and her decision to break it off with you will become her most glaring flaw, and one that you will want to avoid. Because a woman who doesn't see how fabulous you are is missing some important critical thinking skills, and why fawn over someone who can't see the obvious?!


    Drat! I missed you in New York! The struggling with bad thoughts thing? Well, most people I know who've had that chronic problem end up with hard core addiction issues, so as frustrated and down on yourself for falling into the rut of negative thinking, know that you are the badass who is undergoing surgical pain without anesthetic! You are actually feeling it, and not sedating yourself stupid! That's impressive, lady!


    Your life sounds quite beautiful. I'm sorry about the injury, it's frustrating that bodies can really wreck your life momentum so easily, and take from you what you enjoy. Could your frustrations at work be alleviated somewhat if you used your PR powers for good? Perhaps you could lend your talents to a non-profit, or someone who was really deserving of a good media guru. I know that doing probono graphics/illustration work has really helped my fellow hate his job far less, with the horrible corporate clients he usually engages with.


    Your photography amazes me. It's always so serene and quiet.


    I went to the Seattle Erotic Art Festival! I had pieces on the walls! I just uploaded an ass-load of photographs of the performance artist who brought me out there to film/photograph her, and got oodles of views!

    Seattle Erotic Art Festival 2014

    I got my website done just in time for SEAF (though it does still need some work).

    Two photographers at the show whose work I really dug liked my stuff in turn, which was amazing and unexpected! My pieces didn't sell, but I didn't really expect them to. I gave them to the lovely couple I met out there (who had invited me to witness their "play session" which was quite an experience).


    My Dad's 60th birthday was last weekend; the day after King Crimson tickets went on sale. So, since my fellow let me slide on rent this month to repay me for all the months I've been covering him with my measly stipend, I blew over $200 on Crimson tickets, then emailed my Dad on his birthday to let him know! I bought a brie and blue cheese torte thing (looks like a cake, but it's just layered cheese covered in berries and nuts), and the one Aunt who is sort of on my side was kind enough to deliver it to him at his birthday bar celebration. I had money to do awesome stuff for my Dad!


    I attended a wedding with the fellow, which was a punk wedding at a farm in Queens. So much fun!

    I'm gonna sing the doom song now! DOOM DOOM DOOM-DOOM, DOOM DOOM DOOM....

    That awesome present I bought my dad? No reply. I emailed my Aunt to ask if he knew the cheese thing was from me. He did. He also read my email about the tickets, because he told her about it. But... didn't bother to respond. It's been a week now. I'm rather crushed.


    I recently caved after five or so years of not speaking to my narcissist Mother, and was going to have lunch with her this month. After the death of my paternal Aunt, I wrote to her and told her that I needed some time. Two weeks later, the day before we were scheduled to meet up, she wrote this:
    HI Rachael,

    How did Aunt Mary's service go? How did she die?

    Anyway can you schedule something with me now that is past?


    Which I found to be callous and dickish, so now we are on the outs again.


    My maternal grandfather, a super rich fellow who spends his time repeatedly circumnavigating the globe on expensive cruises, is having a weekend-long 95th birthday party in a few weeks. He's putting everyone up in a fancy Bed & Breakfast. I'm already getting crazy emails from my mother and crazy aunt, telling me that I'm being rude about my communication when, once again, I wasn't included in the mass emails and had no idea when or where the weekend was.
    you are 37 yrs old at this accountable for yourself

    My Grandfather won't let my boyfriend attend, even if he pays his own way. I am not looking forward to this.


    Last night my Cages print (signed by Dave McKean) fell off the wall, the glass shattered, and now it's covered in holes and slices. It was one of my few possessions I've managed to keep throughout the years of instability and repeatedly losing almost everything I own. It's one of the few nice things I own. I got it while working at St. Marks Comics in the late 90's. I badgered my abusive ex for TEN YEARS to return it to me before I finally got it back just a few months ago. And now its ruined.


    Last week I discovered that the test for the connective tissue disorder, the one that would establish an underlying cause for things, the one that makes my tissues fall apart, had been cancelled. I was waiting for the test results for over a month.


    This week a doctor explained to me that I probably didn't have Lyme Disease, but instead have been suffering Intracranial Hypotension / Spontaeneous Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak. Now I have to figure out where to get this tested.

    It might be leaking out of my ear.


    Depression. Or maybe it's just being sick.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2014 edited
    I probably won't be able to do this right:


    I won't beat about the bush - I'm struggling. Pressure around housing, not having a guarantor, and trying to take some initiative with the council, led to some wanker there accusing me of fraud. Just 'cos I was trying to help myself. This lead to a foul feeling of powerlessness and rage. I cursed and shouted on the docks where I live. Trying to get off fucking antidepressant Mirtazapine has spun me out. I'm going to see a doctor this week.

    I see weird shapes when I close my eyes - white circles bleeding against the black-holes of inner space; very disturbing. I keep having foul headrushes when standing up too fast.

    My mother is very ill. There's little I can do. I'm not even up to do the little I can do.

    I resent people around me, and I'm tired of the sickness. Fucking children. Adults acting like sick children.

    All this shit - and more - boxed me into a corner of emotional relapse pain. I felt like I had no recourse but to go on auto-self-destruct. "It" kept telling me I had to relapse. There felt like no-way out. No matter what anyone said to me - fucking pointless. A goddamn walking "dry" addict, trying to deal with intense feelings I don't even understand.

    FUCK NO!

    I don't know how, but I managed to survive that shit. I didn't pick-up the fucking drugs. I'm even struggling writing this. Who do I think I am coming on here and dumping this stuff? Anyway, I live to fight another day. I'm stuck now. I don't know what to say. I need a cigarette.


    @Pooka - from previous thread. Good to hear from you; it's been a while. I was wondering how you are. Hoping to see you back on here soon.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2014
    Flecky, can't promise but may be able to help a bit with the housing. Give me a shout if you're interested. I'm working a lot at the moment, so it might take a little while for me to sort out.
  2.  (11363.13)

    Yep, I have the good sense to be very grateful where my life is at now, compared even to 2011 when I think I wrote the first of these open mics. There's still a little bit to mop up, feels like. And yea, I've been doing PR and media relations to other things I've been involved in, but by and large, I'm… just done. There's a certain amount of "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" for me in working in media or PR. You go through the huge amount of hassle and effort just to tell about something awesome someone else did, and in the end what you're left with is just the paycheque. Don't get me wrong, I am fucking grateful to be getting a paycheque, but the pampered old me wants something more. In press I'm pretty proud of a few articles I did, but I just went hunting for some of them a few weeks ago, and it was sad to realize that although still topical, they are buried behind a paywall somewhere. Reminded me of an older colleague who was lambasted by the boss about some minor mistake in an article going "who the fuck cares, in two weeks this is hamster cage lining".

    There's really nowhere I can progress with the field, I can't think of a place where I could go from here to do this sort of thing that wouldn't feel like trading down on some important metric. I find myself reminiscing about my half a year working in the National Library of Finland, helping build the national database of libraries that will soon encompass all the governmental and civilian libraries. Nice unhurried workdays where you could really concentrate on creating something. So, it's either something where the amount of hassle is equal but I'll be actually creating something, which sounds like a production job, or downshifting to something less intensive that leaves time for the brainmeats to settle down. So, I guess it's the time to do something to effect that then. There are a few interesting lines in the water now, I'll be hearing about them in a couple of weeks...
  3.  (11363.14)

    Need a root canal on my front tooth, apparently. Insurance will only pay half of it, so that's a £500 bill unless I can find a way of getting it on the NHS. Then we were told yesterday that the work we wanted to do on the house to make it suitable for us will cost £50k, which is massively more than we can possibly afford - we're now having to consider whether to cut our losses and sell up (which I'd be really, really sad to do, and anyway, we can't borrow much more money even if we wanted to), or stay put and try and make the best of it. Neither of which holds much appeal or is really viable for us. Basically the loft conversion that makes up two of our rooms is apparently a cowboy job and if we wanted to bring it up to a standard which would accommodate dormer windows and a shower room it has to all be ripped out and started from scratch, which is going to cost far more than if it hadn't been there in the first place. So we've royally stitched ourselves up with this house and don't have a lot of wriggle room. Middle class problems, I'm aware, just not particularly fun. Partner very upset about it all, kicking herself for not doing more research when we bought the place.

    Have also been very flat, mood wise - plus an awful lot of bleak, cynical despair. It'll pass, it always does, and I manage to get through it as a high-functioning mess, but it's not a great deal of fun.


    Off to Brighton for birthday festivities for the sinister Mr Norton. Chinese food and dancing at Spellbound. My preparation checklist:

    Black mohair suit
    Fifties gabardine shirt
    New insoles for boots
    Many painkillers
    Hip flask of whisky
    Phone in its otterbox to prevent drunken mishaps
    mind geared up to channel St Iggy...

    Work: veers between despair and euphoria. Really full on, but quite fun. Have to watch my anarchist tendencies especially as I'm meant to be leading a team in a, ahem, professional manner (playing the Monty python fish slap dance on a conference call causing a colleague to have to go on mute to stifle her giggling probably didn't count as such)

    Partner is scattering her dad's ashes next week, off a boat in the Solent, on the Cowes week race start line. It was where he was happiest.

    @flecky, sorry to hear about your mother. Sure you're doing what you can. And sorry that you're struggling, doesn't seem fair after all the stuff you've gone through to stay clean

    @oldhat I went on one of those team development day things last year, and we had a pep talk from a senior director, who I massively respect. She talked, really openly about her own massive self doubt and how she questioned herself and her abilities and her perceived right to be working a particular level at every stage of her career. That helped me see how I'd been hamstrung for years, and finally gave me the courage to talk about my aspirations and where I wanted to go. And understand better that in every "expert" there's someone fighting the same battles at a different level. The only people who are important are the people who read your work, not other writers. And getting that award means you have not got a damn thing to prove to any of them, wherever your career takes you.

    @Rae, great pics, you and the fella are looking fab.

    @vorn... that kind of breadth in your experience should indicate that you're able to pick up and run with all sorts of things, guess the trouble is choosing which one...
    • CommentAuthoratavistian
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2014
    The Boo: Going through quite a lot of shit at work, as my dispatch center gets regionalized (read: absorbed) by the next town over. Will still have a job, but between the conditions and some of the agitating I've been doing to get this regionalization done right I may be in a spot of trouble.

    Still looking for a brand new gig to get me out of that whole business. Ah, well.

    The YAY!: Recent glut of activity as far as writing goes. Blogging a little more frequently, and just in general taking care of more stuff as I should be. Not even close to where I want to be right now but I'm moving toward it rather than away at this point and that's worth celebrating.

    Also, feeling the pull to be back on WC a bit more actively, and that alone is YAY!

    The Shout-Outs: @Rachæl: So glad to hear that both SEAF and the wedding were fun for you! I hope the medical test gets sorted and works out for the better for you.

    @Fauxhammer: Awesome about the Lulu upload and subsequent success! Keep up with it. Is there a link kicking around anywhere?

    @Vornaskotti: Let's both burn our CVs and become supervillains.

    And ohgod the picture, taken just now, after about five minutes of consciousness:

    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2014
    unwinding after another professional conference. my ... fifth? since I started on this career path? in a year? I'm exhausted. Socializing is so fucking difficult. And I've sort of a written a note to my future self about presentation style: no matter how large or small the audience, or how great my presentation is, my throat still starts to close up after five minutes of talking straight. Even when I pause for audience laughter. From now on, I'm holding discussions, not giving presentations.
    Good future prospects for work. Lots of positive feedback on my presentation, no matter how crumbly-voiced I was. Excited to hear a lot of my "revolutionary" youngster thoughts echoed in the closing plenary, by a thirty-year veteran of the profession. BUT I always feel like I could've made an even better impression, by doing the actual "networking" thing and talking about my need for a job.

    back to Toronto tomorrow night. Back to unemployment and four writing projects (and three volunteer gigs). Gonna look for some catering / bartending work to round out the summer. I also find out on Monday / Tuesday if I have a job lined up for September -- paid internship, not lucrative, but an amazing opportunity. Fingers crossed, again.

    I'm not taking selfies these days. no face photo, but here's a fantastic-but-far-too-polyester dress I tried on in the Sally Ann. Victoria really has the best thrift stores, ever, period.

    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2014
    The thing about me And a thing about me that I wrote.

    A lot of the same old. Poor as dirt. Living with family - and they are all crazy and gross in ways incompatible with my own crazy and gross. Spent the last two days doing All of the Laundry and when I pulled the top sheet from my bed (which I share with my 11 year old niece because that's the way life is) out of the washing mashing I realized it had blood stains on it. The sheet had been bunched at the foot of the bed for who knows how long so I almost didn't even wash it. But I did, and then I washed it by hand and then I put Resolve on it and washed it by hand again and then applied full strength detergent directly to it and washed it in the machine again. The spots faded but they're not gone.

    UGH. I don't know how to deal with this child. I know the kid noticed it but she told no one, just let me come home to a puddle. I've asked her to help me out and she's never come through. ARRGGGHHH. It's all I can do to let it go at she's just 11, that happens. But What. The. Fuck. I tell her over and over that I won't get mad if she tells me that something isn't working or she needs help, her parents tell her this over and over (usually related to school/home work). It's so much better if we can help before the problem is really bad. But always, ALWAYS ignores us. OR nods but says nothing and NEVER follows up. And then the really bad happens and... UGH. I'm getting mad here because I can't get mad out loud to her. I always hold back with her. But this is bullshit. It's not like she has to do the laundry or fix the plumbing; it's not like she has to work out the household budget or write science theses, but she does have to do some kind of minimum. Sooo frustrating.

    Internet at the house is shitty. It's in mom's name; she refuses to upgrade eventhough there are a good dozen devices, from computers to smart phones to the TV cable, drawing from it at any time. She considers it a pointless luxury and does not give one shit about our complaints about how it takes a while to load a site, never mind to try and watch a video or download a game. (Not one shit. I very clearly remember when MTV went on the air. I remember watching a Michael Jackson video through the neighbor's window. We would finally get cable when my baby brother bought the DirecTV package more than 30 years later. The house I grew up in NEVER had Internet access. Mom only got a cell phone three years ago because her work basically insisted. Not one shit.)

    Fat. The decent clothes don't fit. Have I-don't-know-what bump on the bottom of my foot that hurts when I step on it. Keeps me from the gym. Shortly going to just ignore it and try going again. bEcause FUCK this flab. Jesus.

    Behind on everything and not catching up. I can focus somewhat on easy or straight forward things but I never really see through the harder, bigger stuff, even though that's where I want to go. *sigh* so I'm stuck largely at where I was say, last February, with no plan to move ahead. In fact, the next month will be spent doing something else. Ostensibly for a little bit of cash, but not remotely an actual livable amount, I'll be stage managing a festival. The thing is I know that the hours are actually completely nuts, over 50 every week for three weeks NO STOPPING. I've been nervous about this since I agreed. And the pay? The pay is pathetic. It'll cover gas and a couple bills. Yay.?won't push my career OR improve my finances. Theatre is my lover and fuck she bleeds me dry.

    Generally bummed that I'm not pushing the VO career more, bummed that I don't have any opportunities in front of me that can make that in some way possible. Can't record auditions at home because it's always loud and crazy here. Can't catch up with coaches or talk to pros to get advice because all of that costs money, and I have none. I haven't just sent out my demo everywhere because I'm nervous that it isn't as good as it ought to be (and I'm hiding behind that & the approval of coaches). I haven't reached out to more and more casting directors, agents, managers etc to figure out what I could do next. And all around me VO classmates - and friends who picked up VO after me - are charging right ahead with their careers. Ugh I feel like a down right dumbass. Because just when I go and think, well! that's enough of that! I'm going to turn this thing around, I remember I have a fuckload of work I have to do elsewhere - for the theatre/stage managing, at home/cleaning, working on myself & my health. Fuuuuuuuuuu....

    More than a week ago a friend from the theatre called me up with incoherent thoughts about doing a play built around industrial music. Honestly, I can't figure out what he had on his brain that brought it up but I was happy to run with a conversation about industrial, the themes, the feelings, the general sounds, what performances I had seen built around Really Loud Music, etc. We kept mentioning Nine Inch Nails, but it was only when we got off the phone that I wondered if he hadn't meant a more metal sound. So for the heck of it I started curating a playlist featuring industrial and metal acts, with plenty of prog rock thrown in because I like it. I posted a lot of what I had from the industrial and prog side on facebook, metal and NIN-specific stuff still to come. And so far it's one blog entry with hopefully more to come. No one gives a shit but it's entertained me.

    Saw a ridiculously wonderful play a couple nights ago, a mishmash of stuff by the Soviet weirdo Daniil Kharms. Super duper surreal with a heavy dollop of abstract on top and it made me bouncy and happy like you wouldn't believe. Yay! Yayyayyay! }:>

    A week ago I sent my demo to a casting director I met and she wrote back that she thought it was great.

    Been enjoying watching the World Cup I guess I sort of want Mexico to win. Or USA. Or Brazil. I do wish this could springboard help for the poor and disadvantaged in Brazil. It's way more to hope for, I know, but I wish. Because I enjoy soccer and other sports when they're shared in a really community-fashioning way. I dislike that the media I've seen basically make this an issue of either being a bourgie jock or a saintly wet blanket. But folks trying to see differently-politically-inclined folks as fellow humans? I probably have better odds finding a bona fide unicorn.

    JP - *hug*
    atavistian - good writing to you! chug chug!!
    Allana - that is a great dress
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2014 edited

    Adventure Girl and I got a new apartment! And not just any apartment, but a nice 76m2 three roomer with a balcony that's literally bigger than my first student room in Helsinki, in the 14th floor of a high-rise with a kick ass view. We are really goddamn stoked about this! It wasn't the cheapest choice but we can hack it, and it's just perfect. Also, you know how you can get a certain measure of someone when you travel with them or move with them. We managed to find that place the first day we started looking, the next day we heard from the agent that we got it, and a couple of days later we had a couple of shared spreadheets, todo-lists and colour coded semaphores to organize stuff, half the bureaucracy of the move done, a small loan for the deposit arranged.... I've come to consider myself to be a bit unreasonable since that's the speed and style in which I'd like to do things like a move, and now it felt purely heavenly to Get Shit Done Fast with someone who is exactly on the same line and at times pulls ahead. This is lurve <3 We got one key yesterday, today we'll be going to scrub the place, and in a little shy of three weeks we'll actually move. I have a distinct feeling that I'll soon have a Home, not just a place, which is kind of a big thing. And furthermore a place with a proper kitchen and a toilet that's not so small that when you turn around sporting morning wood, you end up sweeping your toiletries off the shelves.

    My arm is getting better. I've been so wrapped up in other shit I hadn't even noticed that grabbing things isn't hurting that much anymore. Maybe in August I'll get to go back and climb finally!

    Next week AG and me will be on holiday, which is sorely needed. We'll visit my (step)family in middle Finland and then go to her old stomping grounds in the north. Geocaching, fishing and geekery to follow.

    Oh, also, it looks like our comic anthology Torsobear: Yarns from Toyburg got funded in Kickstarter! Unless someone downgrades a couple of hundred of pounds, we're going to have a graphic novel in our hands! This means a damn lot to me.


    There's a huge huge hassle with certain things thankfully not related to the move, and I'm deathly tired. The holiday can't come soon enough. One reason is - well, it's trite to complain about the weather, but this summer's been mostly cloudy and rainy. It wasn't until today when I read an article on the newspaper that people are getting seasonal affective disorder symptoms because of the dark summer that I realized that's what's going on with me as well. Last week the afternoon was sunny on one day and last Saturday was nice and bright. Outside of those I've felt so cranky I could't drop-kick a puppy four times before breakfast. Okay, there's a component of overworking etc in there, but looks like nowadays I'm being a total fucking mental weatherwane dependent on the lighting conditions.

    IFcomp interactive fiction game competition opened today and it closes in the end of September, when I should deliver a finished game. The game I was planning is not out of the first room yet, although I've been working on under the hood mechanics a lot. Before that there's a week long work trip, one holiday trip, tough time at work… I'm having this sinking feeling that I'll miss it once again. Shit. I really need more games in my portfolio to plan any sort of escape.


    @Rach: Hah, the punk wedding looks awesome! :) The grandmother's party, less so :/

    @flecky: I'm trying to send energy rays to you with my brain.

    @JP: Root canal, argh. Dentist: going to get tortured and paying through the nose. >.<

    @ata: d__ O_O __b at the more writing!

    @razr: The industrial musical sounds damn good and intriguing - keep us posted if it takes off!

    This is us in the new balcony. Reference picture: feeling very very very happy :)

    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2014
     photo image-3.jpg

    Here's me holding my niece, as that is more or less my life lately.

    I'm planning a trip out to Utah all of next month. I wouldn't have chosen to have it be such a long trip but my mom had to help pay for the plane ticket so I let her pick the travel dates. I am both looking forward to it and dreading it immensely. I have some friends I'm looking forward to seeing, and I definitely need to get out of this house and away from these kids. It has gotten to the point where holding a baby feels like more of a chore than a treat.

    I keep thinking back to how absurdly baby hungry I was a couple of years ago and thinking, this is good. I need to get sick of kids so I don't want them before I actually want them anymore. But I am very tired of it at this point. I could not be a stay-at-home mom like my mom and sisters. I keep staying up late and sleeping in later in a desperate attempt to find quiet time. It is not enough, and it just makes me feel guilty and keeps me from getting anything done.

    I was asked to do an exhibit at BYU in August, and it's coming down to the wire and I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing. I also have a comic project due tuesday. That at least is going well. But that little installation/exhibit is definitely eating at me at the moment. Though, when it comes to what I'm dreading about this trip, it's not on the top of the list.

    I've been trying to leave the Mormon church without emotionally destroying everyone who loves me for the last year. I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible. Every week I go to be a good example to my sister's kids, because they don't ask a lot of me as I live here, and because I consider that a good enough reason. I hate it so fucking much. I have tried to keep myself open to the possibility that my feelings on it were temporary, but I find that hope dwindling. I've tried to talk to my mom about this, but all our conversations are just me crying while she spouts emotionally manipulative bullshit in any attempt to keep me going to church and to get me to stop saying I want to leave it. She refuses to even consider the possibility that I am really going to stop being Mormon, because she finds it too heartbreaking. Thus the dread. I have a month of that to look forward to.

    I was hoping I would be able to go out and enjoy friends for much of the trip, but considering my funds, I might just be trapped at my parent's house the whole time. Though I know sitting around naked is not the most stable career, I was led to believe that I would be needed this month. Turns out, there's nothing that matches my availability of all day erry day. So no work until fall. Which means staying home with children all day erry day instead.

    I have it good, honestly. I don't have to pay bills and I have at least one good friend here and I live with a bunch of people that love me in the best way. I' just need to remember that.

    Internet hugs to all. In general, this thread is pretty positive, which is heartening. I'm glad to see you folks hanging in there. Keep fighting the good fight!
  4.  (11363.20)
    Me pretending to be a serious explorer type:
    Brave Explorer Pose
    (I had another one with pointing but since my mom was taking the photos, it ended up blurry and unflattering.)

    I'm actually putting money into my small business yay! Granted, it's by doing art projects with children during church services (I'm friends with a minister who is very non-fundamentalist), but it's art related and it's money going to art stuffs. I even sold a print and will sell two more shortly (to distant relatives). I'm getting involved with a Sketch Club and trying to steer that into drawing more, maybe even drawing with clothed models (it seems everyone in this region is too prudish for nudes). And occasionally I'm even going through my files of digital photography and trying to organize stuff a little. If I can manage it, I've got a project coming up that involves backing up my photos onto cds with little cd booklet/proofs that will go into a special binder/cd case for another layer of backups and potential organization. I also got to go to Minoqua (a tourist town in Wisconsin that people from Chicago/the Chicago area go to vacation) during the weekend of the 4th to do some work but got to stay in a hotel for free, and got refunded on gas mileage (profit for me) and expensive food.

    I'm tired and overwhelmed and so is my boyfriend and trying to make time to be a couple and healthy is near impossible. There's a mouse that has invaded my apartment and it is really fucking smart. And I refuse to use poisons, but it's already outsmarted the traditional trap and the sticky stuff. Trying a live trap now. I've also discovered that mice really love chocolate. Especially the expensive stuff. So there's that. Putting away dishes (except for silverware) seems like a pointless endeavor because unless it goes into a sealed off space (like a drawer), it will get in. I am also gaining weight, partially because all I really want to eat is sweets, especially ice cream. Also there's the entire wedding drama because my sister is getting married, but I don't have the energy to get into that. Fuck.

    Everyone Else:
    @Fishelle: It's hard to navigate not believing in sometime while staying connected to those people who believe it wholeheartedly (and think it's wrong to believe otherwise). A couple thoughts: if you can, ask your sister if it is ok if you no longer go to church. Say you need the day for rest and that the church is no longer a source of that. As far as I can tell, she seems to be a supportive type. I suspect that just playing along when you are in Utah is probably the safest bet. Is it kind of giving in? I guess so, but it might give you more freedom later on when you're farther away.

    And ultimately, what you might have to do is state your intentions and not allow any discussion of it. Tell them that this is what you are doing, and nothing they can say will change your mind, and that you aren't even going to discuss it. I've found that with my sister and father (the ones in my family that tend to not respect boundaries), discussions simply aren't worth it. It is what it is, and if they bring it up, state your intentions simply and then change subjects. If you must, state that you aren't willing to talk about it at this point. Maybe there will eventually be a point where they have accepted your decision (whether they like it or not), and maybe at that point, a discussion about it is feasible. But at this point, your goal is to set boundaries around the one thing you absolutely can't please them with. I hope this was helpful.

    To everyone else, I'm hoping the best for you. It would be nice to address you all individually, but I just can't. I've just got too much going on. But I've read all of the posts and have been thinking of you all.