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I managed a bath three days ago. It's time for another one. Here's hoping I can find it within myself to do so today.

And yep, Matrixx, that would be one thing if Jesse had planted a big, sloppy kiss on our friend, or if he had made flirty remarks to our friend. But our friend is obviously, outright straight. We respect that. No sexual remarks, either directly or indirectly, have ever such occurred, so the outbreak of homophobia towards us was extremely jarring. And saddening, as it hurt both of our feelings greatly.

Cinema, I am considering posting a letter to him explaining our separation. Whether or not it falls on deaf ears, well...that remains up to our friend. It will at least explain OUR silence.

And Radium, yeah, it still shocks me to run into people who have such archaic and (in the end) self-absorbed thoughts, as if gay or bisexual men are sexual predators who will lure people into a comfortable trust before they lay waste to someone's butthole. Being the Midwest, I shouldn't be surprised. And yet, time and time again, I am.

We are nearing our yearly run of re-watching Babylon 5. I have watched it at least once a year for the last 12 years. I always find something new to relate to, every time. I've waffled over the years, finding myself relating to G'kar and Londo to varying degrees at various times in my life.

I've decided that I don't want to be either of them.

Both of them were ruled by anger, grave calamities, and acceptance in difficult ways. G'kar, of course, comes to a much happier ending (though I couldn't handle waves of religious acolytes pounding at my door. I can barely handle maintenance knocking on my door.) Londo does find peace at the end, in the final books that deal with the Centauri Prime arc. But it is a peace that is like G'kar's, won only through a lifetime of loss and years of well-intended but ill-made decisions.

That is one of the beauties of science fiction and fantasy. It allows to ask and answer questions about our humanity that can only be done so when dealing with non-human characters.

That show, for being over 20 years old now, is still illuminating for me.

I don't know what else to write. I am so tired. I got over 12 hours of sleep yesterday and it still wasn't enough. I remember the last time I felt truly rested - and it took five solid days of sleep to get there. Even then, the "restful" feeling lasted a single day and then WHAMMO, I was back to being utterly exhausted no matter what. Five straight days of sleep is not something I can afford very often, if rarely at all.

The words "chronic fatigue" does not even begin to do justice to what this phenomenon really does to a person.
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Jesse's and I's mutual friend have made a few blunders that are making us reconsider our friendship with him. See, I surround myself with liberal people and sometimes forget that I am living smack dab in "The Bible Belt", where bigotry - overt, covert, and everything in between - is deeply seeded within the mind of the average Midwest citizen.

He's made casual remarks of how he "wished that he hadn't watched that documentary on how Planned Parenthood tortures its aborted fetuses" (I was too tired to fact-check his ass during the conversation so the comments went mostly ignored.) A few racist comments that are along the line of "I'm not racist BUT-". There's been a few homophobic comments that he doesn't get how gay men would want to have sex when lesbians are just "like, so hot, man!"

That homophobia finally entered our personal realm. Last week, Jesse had said that perhaps a few years down the line, we could be roommates.

After that, sheer silence from our friend. As the days went on without any further contact, Jesse and I began to worry.

This man has serious life-threatening health issues, along with deep depression, that could easily murder him. Multiple calls and texts conveying our concern went ignored. Yesterday I finally texted him that I was going to send a Wellness Check in for him. (Basically where the police come in to make sure there's not a corpse sitting in the living room.)

It was then that our friend hunted me down and explained the silence. The roommate conversation had left him worried that Jesse had been hitting on him and he just didn't know how to respond.

I was like, DUDE. SERIOUSLY?! We frantically worry that you're fucking DEAD and you don't respond because you assume Jesse's going to want to nail you at some point??!! I didn't say that, of course. One thing my mother did teach me well was how to be polite. But as the last day has passed, I find myself more and more irritated with our friend's comment.

Jesse was immediately, extremely irritated with the relayed conversation, stating that he is too old for this bullshit. That he is tired of explaining himself, over and over again, to various "no homo, bro" sorts of people.

I'm getting too old for this shit, too. And too old to fight with people whom (either out of lack of exposure or willful ignorance) find it acceptable to not only believe these things, but to spew them out.

I asked Pat yesterday about the whole "tolerating differences between friends" idea. I asked him "Are THESE the kinds of differences you're supposed to tolerate, or is it more like 'I want to go to Burger King and my friend wants to go to McDonald's' sort of differences?"

The latter, Pat said. The latter sorts of things are what you tolerate, NOT remarks that convey disgust at some of your own personal beliefs. Especially, especially when they start interfering with your own personal lives, as it did with Jesse and I.

I understand this is part of the struggle when finding friends in such a conservative part of the country. Our friend was smart enough to say that he "probably misread it", but then followed that with "but I didn't know what to say".

The correct answer would have been a text that said "I'm going through some personal shit and just need some alone time. Btw, I'm also not dead."

It's disappointing. It gets to where I just want to point blank ask new people about their social views and where they stand on "sensitive issues" such as race, religion, and gay rights. It gets to where I don't want to expend the energy of establishing a friendship (which is a FUCKTON of work for adults in general, and especially people like Jesse and I) just to get blindsided by a big-ass dose of bigotry.

I think the mutual conclusion between Jesse and I is a fade-out of this person's life. I can handle some conservatism in a friend. Pro-choice but would never have an abortion yourself? Acceptable difference. Being completely straight yourself, but are okay with the fact that gay men exist and have sex lives? Acceptable. Not had a lot of ethnic friends and are confused by their culture? Being as this is the whitest of all major American cities, that is also somewhat acceptable.

Refusing to let your friends know if you're alive or dead because you're worried about some dude hitting on you?

NOT acceptable.
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The car stopped running. Again. Pat is willing to pay for the repairs, which is going to be hundreds of dollars. I couldn't get to work yesterday, which worries me, as I'm walking a thin line with my attendance lately. (Being sick = calling in sick, which I discovered even using sick days gets a talking-to.) This threw me into a Pity-Me-Pity-My-Poverty funk yesterday.

It's not that the car broke down. It's not that I'm precariously balancing over my job. It's not even the fact that I can never pay for my own repairs and have to rely on Pat to do so.

It's the fact that this happens all the goddamn time. It's like I'm stuck on a freaking unicycle, tilting this way, tipping over that way, trying desperately to either stay upright or to get off the damn bike altogether.

Poverty is expensive in many, many ways. I can't pay money for my troubles, but if worry could be counted in a currency, then I'd have paid my school loans ten times over and be retired in the lap of luxury. But worry, however useful it might be in psychic transactions between paychecks, does not pay the bills.

I want to know what it feels like when a stalled car doesn't immediately fling me into a scrambled panic. I want to know what it feels like to not have the knot in my chest that pinpoints every single little thing that has to go exactly right without any mistakes or added expenses because otherwise I'll be homeless. I want to know what it's like to be confident that I will be able to eat two meals a day for a whole week or whole month (or god knows, a whole year.)

I want to know what it feels like when the stress of poverty doesn't rule my every move.

I know such a life exists. There is a whole world of people whom, when the car breaks down, take the car into the shop and then borrows their spouse's car to get to work. There are people who can pay their bills on time, every month, and who can do things like get milk, cheese, AND gas in their car all on the same paycheck. There is a whole world of people who can afford yearly checkups for their pets, and whom can afford to put the pet down when the vet bill spirals out of reach. There is an entire world out there with people who are not trained to react in panic and survival scrambles to every unexpected expense they run into.

There is an entire goddamn world of people who do not live under the endless ways that poverty weakens you. They exist. They are out there.

And I'm not one of them.

The car will be fixed and I'll be able to get around for another few months, another six months, another year before it irreparably breaks down for good. I'll go to my job and work until they fire me. I'll pay my rent and be grateful that my bank allows overdrafts for online transactions. (It's the only way I can afford to pay my rent.) I'll make do until I can't and after that, I'll just learn how to make do with less. I will do all of these things and know that it won't be long before I have to do them all over again. And over again. And over again.

The real price of poverty isn't its cost in the immediate run. The real price of poverty is that it is a re-occurring charge, and god help you if you aren't able to pay it.


Jul. 26th, 2016 11:07 am
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Sometimes I'm afraid to leave my apartment.

Not because of some twisting, psychiatric anxiety. Not because the outside world is too much to bear. Sometimes I'm afraid to leave my apartment because I don't want to get mowed down in a spray of bullets. I want my death to have some kind of relevant connection to my life, rather than just being in the wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time.

Of course, mass shootings are nearly impossible to predict. You can't put a timer on when some insane loser is going to throw a murderous, adult-sized temper tantrum at society. And America is no longer the Wild Wild West - most people will never have to hit the floor to avoid a maniac with an automatic weapon.

But sometimes, it still gets scary. Other countries deal with these unpredictable forces by removing the weapons that make mass murder so easy. America?

There is rarely a place, an establishment I visit, where I do not idly check the exits, or do the calculations of how well I could hide behind a tipped table or cabinet. It's so insidious. I don't even notice how strange it is that preparing for war-time conditions at freaking Subway or my work has become perfectly commonplace.

I manage to leave my apartment. I go into the hall, lock my apartment door, and trundle down the stairs. I get in my car and I drive to work and then I go to the grocery store and I come home. I do all of these things, wondering what it would be like to do these things and not wonder, if only in the slightest sense, where I would hide if some asshole pulls a fucking Uzi out of their coat and aims at the crowd.

America - here there be dragons.

With guns. With lots and lots of guns.
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This whole waking up early thing is for the birds. And thanks to my work schedule, waking up "early" constitutes eight or nine in the morning. I don't even get the bonus of watching the sunrise (which was, for decades, one of my favorite things to do.)

Things I should do: Laundry. Go get cigarettes. Write something halfway meaningful.

Things I'm going to do: Be tired and grumpy and bored with writing. Maybe scoop out the litterboxes.

Jesse and I talked about how writing often seems the most useless thing in the world, even as we are compelled - nay, driven and obsessed - by it. It's a frustration I share. A frustration I think all writers share.

It's not writer's block. Writer's block is accepted as an inevitable part of the writing process. Inevitable, unavoidable, and pretty much the flip side of any word that we pen. Maybe writer's block is where a lot of other people give up. But that's not the problem here.

It's the act of churning out a product using our own words. Having to navigate the description of what is all around us in a way that allows us to dive under the words. It's a tall order and some days it just feels stupid to even try. My fingers are tired, I wish to remove them, to get under someone else's hands and keyboards and write something completely new.

But I don't write like someone else. I write like me. Jesse writes like Jesse. A person can sympathize with someone else, but it will always be your own voice reaching out. Everything you digest and spit back out will always be in your own voice, as there is no other place for a human being to live other than inside of ourselves.

Sometimes this is sacred. Other times, it is maddening.

In other news, I've got to stop antagonizing the Universe. All that ranting and raving about how I must never ever again have my period landed me with starting my period. It's odd, as my last Depo was only a month and a half ago. But then stress, diet, hormones, barometric pressure, the placing of the stars and the feng-shui of my apartment...the female body is a hysterical thing and bleeds at the slightest provocation.

I'll take "Not Being A Ridiculously Psychosomatic Person" for 200, Alex.

I'd not thought of ISIS that way - or in a way that would explain why people join ISIS. I guess it really is a terrorist/freedom-fighter deal. Or maybe like a cult. Even the smartest of people can get roped into a cult.

Young people want to feel as if they are doing something for a cause. That, too, like you guys said, is probably a huge part of it. And youth and extremism can go hand in hand. I just don't understand the kind of extremism that requires you to kill yourself or others for the cause.

There are some acts of murder that I can understand, at least intellectually. Crimes of passion, mostly. Come home and find your wife and best friend in bed together? Grabbing the gun and blowing both of them away while they're still in your sheets? I can understand that. Unplanned, unmediated murder that comes in a fit of human emotion? I can sorta get that. Murder for a cause that promotes genocide?

I don't get that. My mind just slides right off that, off any kind of explanation that could even be nominally satisfying. I guess it's a good thing I don't understand. It's probably one of those things I NEVER want to understand.

It is now 10:30 AM. My day will not be done until midnight. And as I didn't sleep well enough or long enough for my meds to finish doing the voodoo-that-they-do, I'm guaranteed to be exhausted within the next hour. Medicinal grogginess is SUCH a bitch.

SUCH a bitch.
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On the subject of emotional labor. (WARNING: TWO THOUSAND + COMMENT ARTICLE. LONG THREAD. IMPOSSIBLY LONG THREAD.) I'd heard the term in passing, but it wasn't until you said the words the other day, Peskipiksi, that I sought out the Google Machine to learn more about it. Emotional labor is the work of managing the emotions of those around you, the anticipation and expectations of what one partner will be responsible for in a relationship, and the psychic expenditure included in these tasks.

Who does the cleaning? Who does the cooking? The shopping? Who knows where things are in the house? Who delegates all of this? Who reminds the other people in the house to do these things? The remembering of birthdays, coordinating family events, attending to the small but daily machinations that keep two people in a relationship chugging along in a functional manner...all of these things typically wind up square on the woman's shoulder. All of this thanks to the swallowed bullshit that this sort of thing comes naturally to women, and thus we are somehow able to execute it without burden or complaint.

That part was super easy to recognize in my own life.

There was another part of it, though. I'd once heard that if you can get a person talking about themselves, they will walk away thinking YOU are the most fascinating person they'd ever met. As a general rule, this is true. So I would get people talking about themselves.

But after years of doing this, there was a creeping dissatisfaction that came of it. I couldn't put my finger on it. At least not until I read this thread, the title of which was On dates, I feel like I am making all the conversational efforts.

I remembered that I had this problem, in spades, in frustrating, giant-sized spades, with both David's and I's relationship and then later with WG and even further back. There would be hours - days - weeks - in which I would ask the other all sorts of questions about themselves. Single word questions (what's your favorite color? Where is your dream vacation located at?) and open ended questions (who is your hero and why? What keeps you going in the hard times?)

All questions that could have easily been gently turned towards me, as a chance for me to share my own answers. A chance for them to get to know me as I wanted to know them. A chance for reciprocal interest.

But time and time again, either the returned question was never delivered or my answer was responded to with one word, non-committal "cool"'s. Silence would then fill the conversation until I asked another question about them.

And you know what? That kind of conversation, trying to keep a back and forth afloat when you're doing the heavy lifting in trying to get to know someone is fucking exhausting. Beyond that, it also has the effect of making you feel unwanted, unneeded in any sense except to make the other person feel interesting, and then FURTHER makes you feel guilty for interjecting your own answers in place of that returned silence.

Because damned if I didn't feel guilty when, after asking several questions without the ball being bounced back into my court, I would go something like "Non-sequitur, but I've found that owning pets is a wonderful way to stay grounded. Do you like dogs or cats?" Always prefacing facts about myself as being random, as if I were being impertinent by letting some interest of mine slip through the things I wanted to know about them.

I'd always thought of this as the natural struggle of someone who used to live in The Overshare. That of course I'd be neurotic about the trading of personal lives, since I was so damn crazy, talkative, etc etc. But reading that Capt Awkward thread, I realize that it's not just me. It's a lot of people.

It's a lot of WOMEN. It's a lot of women who are trained to not only take up as little physical space as possible, but as little conversational space as well. That we are magically nurturing creatures who consider making someone else feel important as its own reward, as if we require nothing else to sustain us.

Bull. Fucking. Shit. Not only bull-fucking-shit, but now I'm angry at all the times I felt as if I were asking far, far too much by wishing the other person would just ask me a goddamn question back once in a while. I'm resentful towards all of the years I spent agonizing over every word in conversations, wondering if I was talking too much or being too open or was too random. I'm upset by all of the times I tried to couch the sharing of my own life as an afterthought, as something not nearly as important or interesting as whatever the other party might say.

I have a tendency towards self-persecution in these matters. If someone isn't asking questions back or allowing a natural discussion of what should be a two-person-conversation, I immediately castigate myself and wonder what the hell I did wrong. Wonder what words I can use to soothe over the spots where the maybe I was just too much, wtf Teressa, why do you have to talk so much, jesus, why can't you just rein it fucking IN, terror comes in.

I am so, so done sacrificing myself on the alter of puzzling out what teeth I have to pull to get words out of someone else's mouth. If they want me to get to know them, they're gonna have to think that maybe I'M worth getting to know, too.


Sep. 11th, 2015 07:16 am
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It's 9-11. The only thing I can think of to write on it is how different it must be for Audrey and Julien's generation, to those whom 9-11 was a distant thing, something they came to know only through textbooks and school. And their children, what it will be like for them.

So different than us, who were there, who saw it, who watched it unfold on live television - and god save the souls who watched it with their own eyes right in front of them.

It's the jumpers that always get to me. I still can't watch videos of that day. Of anything about that day. But the ones with the jumpers - those still give me nightmares.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, it must be something like that, even as the last of the WW2 survivors are quickly dying out. That is something only learned in textbooks, though. We don't have nightmares. I know some of the Japanese people still do.

Do children in the UK, in other parts of the world, learn about 9-11 in school? Or is it something they find out through listening to their parents? It was an American tragedy, but it is no stretch to say it changed the world. I'll admit to some early, knee-jerk nationalism. Some "You don't FUCK with America. America fucks WITH YOU!" and "You wanna see why we are the world's superpower?! We are going to DESTROY YOU!" sorts of things. You would hope as the years roll on, that would have faded for the nation as a whole.

But we never really did recover. It's like you said, Gonzo, America came down with a wicked case of PTSD that we never treated and it has become rabid. With the war in Iraq fading, the bloodthirst eases. But the fear still lingers.

I wonder if it always will, or if it will take our generation dying out like the WW2 survivors for the fear, the terror, to dissipate. If the next generation will be the first ones that hear a plane and don't immediately look to the sky and see if it is heading for them.

Only time will tell. Some other national tragedy will, ten years from now, fifty years from now, a hundred years from now, eclipse 9-11. Something will happen that will give a brand new generation another reason to fear the skies, or the ground, or some other machine of war. But this is ours and some days, even 14 years later, it seems inescapable.

It is interesting, frightening, and saddening to note that America may not be around in 100 years. Certainly not as the slavering-dog-straining-on-a-chain that we are today. Our economy cannot sustain itself as is. Toppling is inevitable. What consequences will that have for the poor? For Audrey and Julien, or their children, or their grandchildren? What will the average American lose by that time?

What stories will we tell ourselves about the good ole' days, and will those stories be in any way accurate?

Never let it be said I'm not a patriot. I love this country. I really, really do. I love our brashness, our insane reliance on individualism. I love how loud we are. I even love how we run, laughing and foolish, towards some finish line, our health at risk (even I'm technically hovering on 'obese'), the cliff within sight. It's a bizzare sort of naivety and in some ways, I would never want that taken away.

9-11 took that away - or at least made us unable to turn away from it. We are not invincible. We are not infallible. The death of 5,000 + Americans inside a few hours span brought us into the fold of the rest of the world, which knows it is at risk of the lone madmen, the small splinter group of hate and horror.

The rest of the world has known this for a very long time. We were insulated, still riding high on the WW2 boom. Now we are still insulated, but we are also surly, afraid. We've drawn in on ourselves not because we think we are the greatest or because we think we don't need the help. -We isolate because we don't trust anyone TO help us.

An island unto ourselves, a 300 million populated island - all unto ourselves.

You know there are still identifying some of the dead? 14 years later, there are a handful of labrotories still combing through the dust, the powder, looking for DNA strands that match the missing persons reports.

Some of the lost will never be named.

I don't often commemorate 9-11. It's a subject that I feel is written enough on and my words never seem enough to do it justice. But with Audrey and Julien now being such a large part of my life, I can't help but look towards the future. Towards their future, and wonder what it holds. Wonder if the past is anything we can learn from, or run from, or be anything other than a point of national outrage and fear.

Wonder what it is they will live through, that they will shake their heads at as a generation younger than them buoy forth, learning about these things only from words in a textbook, and not as lived experience.
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I did not have nightmares. I thought I might, after talking about Jerry. They weren't bad dreams, either. Just...serious. I, of course, can't remember at all what they were about - just the lingering feeling of somber words, somber deeds. But still, no waking up screaming. Small favors of the universe.

It was Pat who put to words why my experience with Jerry is more embarrassing today than traumatic. I was a mess at 19. I was at the end of my rope with my addiction, cutting almost everyday. I was sleeping with anyone and everyone that I crossed paths with. It wouldn't occur to me until years later that I was finding ways to hurt myself, just to have something familiar. Something like the abuse at home.

I had signaled for help at 15. I had taken immense steps towards health, faith, and recovery as a teenager. But as teenagers are wont to do, I got it all mixed up and at about the age of 18, hit the ground running in a desperate attempt to annihilate myself.

After having worked SO HARD at being a champion of getting out of abuse, that turn-around mortifies me. It makes me feel a bit of a liar or weak or otherwise that I did not do the work I said I did.

It's not fair of me to judge these things in hindsight. I was doing the best I could at 19 with the resources I had. I had managed to get away from the abuse. I did not yet know that there would be "getting away" that would need to be done inside, as well.

Pat also once remarked that this is something that must be difficult for me concerning David, too. THAT is on target. I was 27 when I met David. I knew better. So having found myself enmired in a web of lies and excuses, for years on end..it becomes a very real source of shame sometimes.

No one around me judges me for that. No one around me judges me for any of the abuse that I stuck through with. But sometimes, just sometimes, **I** judge me. This is normal in these situations. It does not always make it easier to wade through.

The positive news with all this is that I've learned from it. I've taken the bad parts of these relationships and have moved them on up in the world. The bad parts of my relationships NOW are not the same horror show they were then. I know what to look for now.

It really is better late than never.

For the random, I finally broke down and bought some sole-inserts for my work shoes. It was a little overwhelming, actually.Feet, Boobs, Poverty and Part Time Work )
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My hands hurt. Every morning. I'll get used to it, as one does with manual labor jobs. I imagine it'd be worse in an office environment, what with having to type all day. Carpal syndrome and all that. As it stands, every day I am a little less sore than the day before.

And yeah, Morningsong, I don't mind him being on welfare. Hell, I'd be on welfare myself, except that I don't qualify. I have no dependants, I am not disabled (or in the process of filing for Disability) and I am not pregnant. This job pays well enough as to where I should not be scrambling as much, but I don't believe it comes with benefits.

Or it may come with benefits, but not until I'm officially hired on permanently. I have to work 425 hours as a temp first. That's roughly 11 weeks, or three months. And it may wind up being that I have to wait longer STILL for benefits, as many companies will not give you health care until you've worked a certain amount of time for them officially. Usually an entire year. Pensions? 401 K's? Things of the past. Hell, at this rate, I'm pretty sure Social Security as a government program, to qualify for at 65, won't even EXIST by the time I reach of age. And I'm paying roughly 60 - 80 dollars a WEEK into that program. So with all that, health care itself is a shaky thing.

I actually don't mind paying Social Security, though, even as I know I won't get my money in return. There are those out there, poor, elderly, infirm, who need the money. That's who the chunk taken out every week is going to - and they need it. I'm okay with that. I'm able to work, I don't mind helping to shoulder those who can't.

(Kansas did not expand Medicaid with Obamacare. Thank you, conservative-up-the-ass-without-lube Governor Brownback. There is no extra help, no discounts, no nothing out of the whole deal.) The only reason I'm able to get meds at the mental health clinic is because I was grandfathered in after some vicious government funding cuts for the poor and mentally ill. I fear for the day when they can no longer afford to give me even that.

Thus no health care. I haven't had health care since I was 18. Jesse has no health care either right now, as the Social Security office screwed up his app and he has to re-apply. (They filed his application under the wrong name.) Without health care, prescription medication is impossible to obtain and weed would likely be cheaper anyways, even if he did have health care.

A fine day in America, where an illegal substance is easier to get and more affordable. As my friends overseas have noted, were we living in a more generous state, we would not be left such adrift. The poor are not as punished in other countries.

Don't get me wrong, I love America. I'm a patriot. I love our culture, as problematic as it is. I love how loud we are, how brash we are, how our national identity hinges on personal individualism. I love it all. I just don't love what we do to the poor. That maaaay have something to do with being a member of that particular group. Oh well. Outside of voting and writing letters, there's not much to be done about it.

I understand that lots of people believe in bootstraps, but I've also found you can't survive on them. They are chewy and nutritionally void. (That's a terrible analogy, but it's all I've got this morning.)

Y'know, being as I haven't worked full-time in, like, ever, I thought the press of 8 hours a day would be more difficult to adjust to.

But the job is so self-contained that it's not an issue at all. There's always something to do - and now I'm well enough trained to do the more complex bits of work here and there, I'm kept busy enough. Thank god, as boredom is killer in manual labor jobs.

This type of job really does suite me. I like the physical work. I like how I don't have to deal with the public. I like how my coworkers are rough around the edges. I like how sequential the work itself is, how ordered it is. I like how self-contained the work is. I like how I can see the results of my work at the end of every day, packed neatly in boxes that I filled and taped up.

That's actually a big deal to me - being able to see immediate (or near immediate) results of my work. That's something you get less of in an office environment and damn near NONE of in a retail environment. Those jobs are so fluid, with constant interruptions from customers. Harder to wrap up a day and see it all neatly stacked in a corner.

No matter how early I set my alarm (5 AM, for leaving at 7 AM), it never seems enough time. I always want to write more, or want to clean more, but it seems ridiculous to get up any earlier than two hours before it is time to leave. I am not one of those people who can roll out of bed half an hour before they climb into the car. I require wake-up time. A lot of it. Timing the alarm to accomdate that is responsible.

(That was one thing that drove me nuts about David. He'd set his alarm either way too late and could never get ready on time, or else too early and then would NEVER get up when it went off. He'd spend two hours hitting the snooze button every ten minutes. After which, of course, he'd still be waking up too late and could never be ready on time. Drove. Me. INSANE.)

Thankfully that is not an issue now. If Jesse has A Thing he has to be awake for, he wakes himself up at a reasonable time for it. That's way, way awesome.
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Terrible sound quality, as usual. Highlights: Hair, Depression as the Prince of Lies, Cassie (durrhhh), and being too dead to notice how I died.

The words are there this morning but they are about the mundane. The morning routine. Nail polish. The snap of the lighter, the first draw of a cigarette. Things that aren't terribly interesting to write about - and even less interesting to read about. But I know enough about writing to know that if that's what's there, then I ought to write it.

The morning routine is simple enough.Time and Chance come to all men )


Jul. 12th, 2015 09:53 am
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I am receiving comments. Receiving, pouring over, and gaining hope. I'm sorry I haven't gotten to replying - the net center here is hit or miss with hours. But I am receiving. And maybe...just maybe you guys are right.

Except I know you guys are right. That's what I'm holding onto right now. If you guys can be right, then I can hold on. Second chances, early dreams - late dreams, even. Digging through lies of isolation that depression uses. These things I know - but these things I also forget.

Last night I was talking with Jesse about what a difference a year makes. A year ago today, he was burying his mother. A year ago, I was writing about the nuances of being on Lithium. Neither of us knew the other even existed. And yet, as happens, this person whom I had no concept of, of whom I had no idea was alive, let alone leading their own life, has changed my life in a significant manner.

There are people we meet who, for better or worse, inevitably wrench us from the path we'd been walking onto another path altogether. People whom reshape the plans of the next year, the next five years, the next five decades. And we never know who these people are, nor do we know their significance until the old blueprints have been flung aside and the new ones pressed into our hands. We do not know who these people will be, whom change the course of our entire lives, until such change actually happens.

I find that both beautiful and frightening. Each new person welcomed into the fold - will they be one of those people? And if so, where will it all lead?

How will my life be different a year from now and to whom will such change be accredited to?

Will it be as dramatic as meeting David, whom for both great ill and blessing, changed the course of my entire, literal life? Will it be more comfortable, such as meeting Jesse and our current relationship, leading into something healthier and wise? Will it be a death, a birth, a new friend, the loss of an old friend? Will I, for that matter, even be alive this time next year, to experience any kind of change at all?

I do not know. I know well enough to not be overly excited, as the Universe has a funny way of punishing eagerness. But I do know that such change WILL occur. It is simply a matter of waiting, of living Life in between.

Still, I have to admit...I'm curious to see what tricks Life has up its sleeves.


Jul. 8th, 2015 06:10 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
There are things I do not understand. I don't understand how Jared, Subway's Jared, who looked so normal, so cheery, could be so evil as to have child porn. I don't understand how Bill Cosby, who for decades was a literal stand-in for the concept of good, wholesome, family fun, could be a serial rapist. I don't understand. I can only believe, as each of these cases become more and more documented. I can only believe, as each piece of paperwork becomes more and more public.

I did not have a strong emotional attachment to Jared, though I always thought his shtick was a very cool one. An admirable one. It made me happier to eat at Subway. He made me feel good about patronizing that establishment - and now I feel as if I've been made a bit (or a lot) of a fool for it.

Cosby, on the other hand, cuts deep. I have said before that he was one of the few bright, shining things of my childhood. His stand-up comedy routines were one of the few things my family and I shared in laughter, in affection. I, like hundreds of millions of us, grew up watching the Cosby Show, wishing I could have a family like that.

Turns out I kinda did.

It sometimes feels as if there are no giants left standing in the playground. As if there are no public figures that are as decent as they seem. It's an unfair accusation but good god, it feels like that sometimes. People say everyone has skeletons rattling around in their closets. I understand this. But these are not skeletons. These are ghostly, angry armies of wound and bone marching forth from these closets. They spill forth, swallowing the entire room. The room they've been locked in, in silence and fear, for decades.

They deserve their time. They deserve their voice. They deserve justice.

I was one of the Cosby deniers at first. There's no way that could be true, I said. She must be lying for the money. There must be a mistake. It's incredibly sad what we want to hold onto, to the point where we will take victims who have already survived terrible things and accuse of them of even more terrible things. It's even sadder that I was one of those people.

But there's no denial now. I was wrong. I was wrong to think that she must have been lying, wrong to voice that thought, and even more wrong about what the facts actually were.

It really does feel like I'm cutting out a piece of myself, now that I have to cut out Bill Cosby, Himself.

New trees

Jul. 6th, 2015 07:46 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I awake to a cool, overcast morning. I don't really want to be awake at 6:30 AM, but as I am, I took my first morning cigarettes outside. I stare at the trees, thinking I've been staring at the same damn trees for six years now. The same damn trees in the same damn run-down apartment complex. The complex that randomly shuts off water for hours, the complex in which police raids and drunk teenagers, coke and meth dealing, and a general sense of "We are all sinking" permeates every resident, every wall.

I catch myself, tell myself that beauty does not wane, even in the things we take for granted. I look out at the trees again. They are beautiful. They are also old to me.

I want to move out of these apartments. In six eternally long years, I have never really wanted to. I could never trust David to hold his end of the financial bargain and I found some kind of comfort in the small room, in the cramped spaces of a studio apartment.

I'm not sure if it's Jesse's influence or if I'm just reaching that point, but I want to leave this place. Find something better. Find something that has more locking doors than just the bathroom.

My writing seems useless to me lately. I write pages on Wordpad and cannot bring myself to post it, so trite it all seems. Maybe it's because I cannot easily, from the comfort of my own home, post it. Maybe I'm stuck in what I write about. Maybe it's just one of those time. But whereas the words previously simply sang forth, pressing to be shared, it does not now. It will come back. Just not yet. Maddeningly, not yet.

There's been an existential question plaguing me the last few weeks. THE existential question. The one that comes to all humans at some point in our lives. The one that has no answer - no answer at all.

What is this worth? What am I doing? Am I wasting time?

I bat the question away. I tell myself that it's just age creeping up. That I'm feeling my own mortality, that it is normal to feel this way from time to time. I tell myself that we make our OWN answer and that our time is ours to waste. I tell myself that the precious things in life are not a whirlwind of activity, but instead in our day to day lives.

My cats. The smooth feel of warm water over my hands when I do dishes. Jesse. The pleasure of the first draw of a cigarette with my morning coffee. My friends. Good meals. These are the things that make life worth it. I know this.

There has been a saying I so very much love. It says "Freedom is not to be without chains, but rather to be able to choose which chains surround you. I imagine the answer concerning Time is much the same, that it is our choice to feel time wasted or not that actually marks it as time wasted.

And yet, all of the platitudes I held so dearly in my 20's, the phrases and meditations that used to answer this question no longer seem any answer at all. Each year passes faster and faster, each stroke of the clock slicing off another possibility, another thing I don't have energy for, another thing that I wasn't prepared for, another thing that I don't want to do, another thing that I'm not sure if I CAN do.

We are all on borrowed time. Brandon Lee said that Time is the most finite thing we have, even as it seems the most infinite thing we have, simply because we do not know when we will die. I always found that beautiful.

As I get older, I also find that frightening.

I know this is all quite normal for someone in her mid-30's. I know this is all quite normal for someone in poverty. I know this is quite normal for human beings all around. I know there is no great answer, as every answer is as varied as each of the 7 billion people currently on this planet.

And still, when I look at those trees, all I can ask is what have I done with the last six years? What will I do with the next six years?

I don't know. But I do know I want to move out of these apartments. It might not be much and I might later look at this goal and shake my head, wondering why I didn't aim HIGHER, why I wasted my energy on such a tiny, tiny goal. But I want to move out. Maybe that will be wasted time, too. But at least it will be wasted time in better surroundings.

I want a new set of trees to stare at, even if it takes another six years to do so.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
So I'm rewatching the Stargate series with Jesse. And, y'know, between having to conquer the G'ould, who pass themselves off as gods, and having to defeat the Ori, who also pass themselves off as gods, I'm beginning the think the sole message of Stargate:SG1 is that religion is evil.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
This week one of Capt. Awkward's letters was about a woman who's inlaws are chronically late. I sympathize. David - and his family, from whom he learned it from - were always late. Why? Over the years, it came down to a mix of two things.

1) Not waking up on time and giving yourself ample time to do the things you need to do - despite knowing yourself and your internal body schedule for something like DECADES at that point and -

2) having to dig through the piles and piles and piles (and more piles!) of hoarded mess in order to find Whatever We Needed To Take With Us.

With that in mind, I continued to read the letter. The original, letter response was spot on, but what shocked me was that the response thread was closed when someone suggested that YES, it actually IS rude to make people wait on you.

https://captainawkward.com/2015/02/19/664-665-666-and-667-four-questions-from-people-who-are-basically-fine/#comments (2cd letter, and some odd comments down in the comment section below)

I get anxiety. I get mental health disorders getting in the way of getting out the door. What I don't get is the insistence that making others wait for you does NOT in any way affect the person waiting for you.

Cuz wtf? Uh, huh? Yeah. Yeah, making others wait for you totally, actually, yeppers and damn straight actually affects the person waiting for you. It may not be a REFLECTION of how you feel about the other person, but it does mean that the other person is missing out on doing Whatever You Guys Were Going To Do while waiting for you.

How in the hell does someone instead insist that it has no affect on the one waiting? I mean, like, this is basic "The movie starts at 1 but waiting for you means we don't get there till 1:30 and god I hope the previews were long on this film, elsewise I missed the start of the movie and may as well get tickets for later instead and can I get a refund on the show that we missed while I was waiting for your ass?"

Or David's parents, who were once DAYS late to the start of a vacation. Like, literally. They were supposed to leave Wednesday. They left Saturday. Thankfully, it wasn't one that David and I were scheduled to go on with them.

But, like, srsly folks. It IS rude and it DOES affect other people. How does one even begin to deny that????
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I should have clarified yesterday - it annoys me when women politicize their body hair. (Thank you, Immemor, for that phrase!) That's what I meant. I get not shaving because of lack of time or energy. It's when women - and it's usually young ones, because youth naturally comes loaded with barrels of The Pompous And Ridiculous - crow about those sorts of things for the sake of bucking social norms.

Men who wear makeup for the same sake also annoy me. But being a feminist, the former is what I see more often. This is in part the backlash of a backlash. It irritates me to no end to be told - if only in implication - that being interested in traditional girly things betrays the feminist cause.

I bought a tube of lipstick, not a goddamn yoke and leash.

It feels as if there should be more to write about. I got only four hours of sleep last night. I've been drinking more than enough water. The room temperature was agreeable. And yet, two mornings in a row, the pain in my skull is what propels me from the sheets. Damn headaches. Cyclical as they are, no less.

Nothing to do but wait them out. They'll recede. They always do.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
You ever have a group of friends that was SO large and SO promiscuous that eventually it became impossible to keep track of who slept with who, and whose fighting with who, and who to blame for the endless outbreak of gonorrhea?

That is pretty much my impression of how the Middle East and all of its fighting factions came to be.

Except with bombs.

(This segment brought to you by an average American student who just can't keep track of this shit.)
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* Wincest.

* Supernatural fandom in general, especially the ones who write explicit underage fic.

* Especially the ones who write explicit underage fic about the actors themselves.

* How being sick can make you ravenous and yet utterly disinterested in eating altogether.

* How sometimes I can write a million posts but struggle to comment on anything else on Livejournal.

* Alpha/Beta and dog knotting fic. And here I thought I had weird fetishes.

* Why my cats pile into the bathroom while I'm showering, as if to gape in wonder that anyone would voluntarily subject themselves to that much water.

* How fevers wire you up and exhaust you at the same time.

* Why I think Steve Buscemi is hot.

* Why I treat my stuffed animals as if they might be, when I'm not around, real or at least sentient, as if my Bunny Rabbit might Velveteen Rabbit itself at any moment.

* Why the human body has to get sick at all. Your body makes you feel awful so you can not feel awful. It's inefficient.

I took some allergy meds. Maybe I can sleep this thing out.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* Alternative women (those who identify and look alternative like crazy hair color, piercings, tats, etc) knit. They knit a lot. They knit as if they will be dragged to hell and their only tether to the heavens will be their well woven yarn.

It's a skill I admire, as I have not the patience for it. I always love the yarn section of a store because the colors are so pretty - and if you're able to touch the yarn, the textures are wonderfully soft and pleasing.

But as I don't knit myself, I have to wonder what it is about knitting that attracts so many women in my subculture.

Does anyone have a theory?

Pamela (Pat's mom) once said that in the early 80's she had been very afraid of Goths. She would change sides of the streets whenever she came across one. Then she ran into a Goth sitting at the bus station, knitting. That's when she realized that Goths were regular people just like anyone else.

So apparently knitting is also a universal sign of "I come in peace".

Does anyone know why?

* In science fiction, it's pretty common for AI's to download themselves into bodies, be they mechanical or cybernetic. What I don't get is how they come to call themselves male or female. (Or else adopt gendered roles in interactions with organics.)

Often they will go with whatever the body they've inhabited looks like, which makes sense. But an AI has no assigned gender, nor would they generally have any preferences for assigned gender.

So why and how do they choose?

* My cats are endlessly entertained by me doing the dishes. I don't have a dishwasher, so I do them all by hand, and half the time I'm swiping at the cat with the dirty dish to keep them from crawling into the soapy sink.

But they also HAAAATE baths.

Does anyone know why they do that?
quirkytizzy: (Default)
So in reading a bunch of scary stories about things that identify as demonic, as related to Satan himself, I notice that they are always scary. They are always full of scary shit that terrifies the humans into running away.

That confuses me. If the Devil is about stealing souls, or converting to sin, or making you sleep with your Nicole Kidman shaped half-sister, wouldn't you think the Devil would be smoother than that? Catch more flies with honey and all that.

People are ridiculously easy to seduce, no matter the gain they are aiming to achieve. So why would Satan go the full-blown Exorcist route and chase OFF his customers, especially when he could just show up and go "Yo, man, I got this golden fiddle for ya"?

I know I have some Christian friends here and many others who have also spent a good deal of time researching this.

Anyone got any ideas? (Outside of the whole 'it's a ploy made by man to scare and control you, blah blah blah. Take it t r/atheism, willya?)


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