jinian: (lost sakura)
I keep not posting, because I don't want to just say that I'm still not okay.

Stuff is hard. Someone on Twitter was asking people to say nice things that had happened to them this year, and, welp. I have accomplished some stuff that I worked hard on, but the good things that happen are along the lines of "this thing I worked hard on didn't unexpectedly fail anyway."

The cats are doing all right for being eighteen and a half. I'm enjoying teaching, though it's tiring. I've set up an online store for my pottery, and intend to add more items than one at some point. There's slightly more of a possibility of getting the permanent job I want, since it's on an org chart now. New roommate and I are pretty compatible. I should be able to start allergy shots next month, and the foot that failed catastrophically for no reason is seeming some better. I mostly don't feel scared when I go out. When my computer died I was able to afford a new one.

This is all not as bad as it could be. But I'm not actually okay. I'm not sure I'm going to be.

update

Jul. 1st, 2016 12:14 am
I am nowhere near caught up on LJ/DW because of silly issues in transition between browsers and programs that I need to use for work (and quasi-work like making dragon game festivals happen). However, a lot is happening. The most important things are:

(1) Shiny new baby ball python.

just in case of phobias )

(2) Shiny new trauma diagnosis.

(Secondhand. Usually happens to therapists, so writings thereupon are not terribly useful for my situation.)

Therapist: So I think this is what's going on.

Me: But lots of people have much worse bad things actually happen to them directly, I should be fine.

Therapist: Well, now you sound like a trauma survivor.

Me: >.>


Dragon game festival is going swimmingly, though people are a little less awestruck by our entire book than I was hoping. Managed to goad a friend into writing fanfic of it already, though. :D
jinian: (lost sakura)
Feeling down and having trouble concentrating the last few days. Still being sick doesn't help, of course. Allergist visit May 20!

I had a good time Sunday going to Civil War and Martsa with Beth and Sandry, and I made things at pottery class on Saturday.

Felt discouraged this morning and then pointed out to myself that my past few years have gone:

- Developed severe undiagnosed abdominal pain.
- Finished a Ph.D.
- Worked on a demoralizing project for a year.
- Moved across the country.
- Got dumped in a weird retconning way that gave me trust issues.
- Developed progressively worse abdominal pain.
- Had trouble doing the project I actually wanted to do because of illness.
- Finally got a diagnosis and had a difficult surgery.
- Lost my dad.
- Broke up with someone I liked because the relationship just didn't make sense any more.
- Lost my cat.
- Developed nonstop sinus problems.
- Got dumped in a particularly scalding way by the person I really wanted to be with.

(And, as usual for the litany of woe, I have probably forgotten some shit.)

It is a goddamn triumph that I get out of bed in the morning. So there.
Turns out when you have had sinus misery for about five months, and then you're crying really hard about your loneliness and how bad the world has turned out to be, you can give yourself a nosebleed.

Do not recommend.
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
1. My assistant, whom I have gotten hooked on Hidden Sweets in Harvard Square, went there last week and texted to inform me that the beloved grapefruit gummi candy of song and story has been discontinued, and that HS was already out. After partially recovering from my shock, I went to the internet and ordered a 3-lb bag of them, which has now arrived. Next step: confirm their correct identity by eating a precious single one. Then I can set up a safe-deposit box.

2. I felt really good today. I've been managing energetic or physical well-being or motivated lately, but today I felt like me, pretty much all day. It was wonderful. It's been way too long.

3. Now I just need something to do with this ridiculous upswing of libido. (Total Prince immersion maybe not helping here.)

4. Completed the writing style guide for the Brightshine Jubilee storybook finally! Now I have something to refer bitches to when they try to start with me about whether "archeologist" is misspelled. I'm really excited about this project, even though it's making me stressed about Flight Rising overall. C came up with it and plans to typeset the whole thing, and I wound up lead writer because I got stuck managing the "omg we can't possibly have a pirate theme pirates are evil" drama into "okay we're having seafaring adventures and here is how it ties to the site canon." And of course since I'm the only person involved with the project who can herd cats, that's where all my energy is going. Please can you do the thing you said would be done a week ago, M, thx. But! Style guide is done, all the pages have been claimed by artists and writers, all I should need to do now is a little light whip-cracking and then final edits.

5. Currently reading Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney. I had trouble getting into it at first because her style is a little overdone, but by chapter 2 I was on board. She swings from childhood attention-getting antics to reminiscences of queer-liberal-musician callout culture in 90s Olympia, says she can't call herself a musician and then comes out with deeply considered ideas about the nature of performance. I never lived in Olympia or Redmond, but I'm from nearby enough that I have my own ideas about them, so reading about them is a mix of familiarity and prejudice-confirmation (i'm sorry but evergreen college) that has me grinning over the book constantly.
[Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen bits of this before. I had more to say, so decided to rework rather than tweetspam.]

I had never seen Purple Rain before, due to being seven years old at the time it came out. (Good choice, Mom!) AMC brought it out in theaters across the US this weekend in memory of Prince, and I badly wanted to go. Twitter has been mourning with me, but it hasn't felt like enough.

Well.

I loved Prince, but I never loved him as he deserved. That was wonderful and I want to see it on the big screen yearly.

We all clapped at the beginning "dearly beloved," at Purple Rain, and at the ending. Coincidentally also where I cried a little. I dressed lowkey, but the theater was sprinkled with beauty: purple fascinators, glitter shoes, lace.

Some bits of the movie are over the top, and being in the theater detracted from my experience once or twice. (Yes, I get that his father was literally a motherfucker, but you can stop giggling any time.) Some of it was really powerful, though. The part where he physically could not listen to his bandmates' music, a thing which he needed to do to get off the toxic course he was on, because his trauma was happening right there in the room with him: wow. I have my reasons to be interested in patterns of abuse these days, and this was helpful to my understanding without being too on the nose.

I'm bemused and annoyed by the way people seem to have taken the movie as a biography of Prince; I get that it's a little confusing, since his music is woven into it so strongly, but other people wrote that story, it is fiction. For instance, Prince was not biracial, a piece of misinformation that I've seen far too often recently.

Number of times I thought "my god he's beautiful": roughly 70??? I got a hot dog at the theater, but it was WHOLLY INADEQUATE as a sublimation target for the things I wanted to do to Prince in that movie. Damn. He even hit my "smartass/troll" button, though, much like Tony Stark, the character took it rather beyond what I'd put up with in real life.

I was thinking about "I'm not a woman/ I'm not a man/ I'm something that you'll never understand" on the way home, too, and the way our mourning for Prince and Bowie has been all about their gender transgressiveness and our nearly universal lust for them. It seems to me that, generally, women love men the best when they love femininity enough to adopt some of it for their own use. It's not just that they're not threatened by femininity, but that we feel more loved when men are willing to be like us in that way, when sometimes it's even more dangerous for them to be feminine than it is for us.

(Also, you gotta love that inevitable moment when the guy who winds up with the contested affections of a girl is called a faggot. That one got a good laugh from the audience tonight.)



Thus I have a new theory of gender-transgressive transformative works (perhaps overlapping in places with the "we slash because we want to read/write relationships which aren't societally unequal" theory): women and other feminine folks love these male characters so much that we want to share our femininity with them as a gift, and we want to believe that they would love us enough to happily embrace it, like Prince did.
jinian: (pigs ahoy)
I miss having pottery class, but it was nice to be able to accommodate my broken sleep last night by staying in bed rather longer than I'd have been able to if there were class today. (Cats have pointy toes, so I was awakened rudely about 4am.) My plan is to paint some of the bisqueware I brought home, and to make some new newsprint stencils for when I can work with my greenware again.

The broken sleep was not at all the fault of the Rocky Horror Chiptune Show, which was at 10pm rather than midnight and proved easy to bus to and from. It was also extremely strange. The regular movie of Rocky Horror had been edited to include chiptune versions of the songs, so more than half the callbacks didn't apply and I was too confused to dance to the Time Warp. (Also some lines are different here from when/where I've been to shows before, so I was trying to learn them from a ragged and incomplete version. Failed. And disapproved strongly of the Prince stuff some jerks tried to add in.) There was also an awkward framing story of dudebros playing a Rocky Horror video game, which I could have done without, and they leaned too heavily on Pokemon parodies when I would have liked to see more retro gaming variety.

The most amazing part, though, was that the cast was dressed as NES characters. Frank-N-Furter as Mega Man is kinda perfect to be honest, and the person playing him was great. Brad and Janet were Mario and Peach, and for some reason Riff Raff and Magenta had really good Link and Zelda costumes. The conceptual triumph, though, was Dr. Scott as Pong: LED paddles mounted on some kind of armature, as far as I could tell, and a glowing ball moved back and forth between them by the actor.

Some of the songs and animations were great adaptations, some seemed a bit half-assed, and some were merely confusing. There's a playlist of the whole thing on Youtube, actually, so you can see what I mean. All of them would have benefited from subtitles, since an audience populous and deeply steeped in Rocky enough to completely follow along is incredibly unlikely. I'm pretty familiar with the show, though I haven't gone regularly in years, and I was WTFing an awful lot. Better execution would have been great, though I get that it's hard in a multi-person project like this. (Looking forward to this problem for my latest dragon game cat-herding project now. Yay.) More accessibility, though, could be imposed on the thing afterward by adding in subtitles and balancing the soundtrack better so the parallels could be heard.

Parts I recommend checking out:


Really, all of the songs have one or two good points or are worth checking out to boggle at. :) So yes, I did have a good time, not least because I need more excuses to apply fun makeup!

(I was also amused with myself for playing Sailor Moon Drops all the way home on my phone. No cognitive dissonance here, why do you ask?)

status

Apr. 20th, 2016 11:31 pm
jinian: (garden yukito)
I got shoes! Amazing shoes. They're not the "Elle Woods Astronaut shoes" (akycha got those) but they are sorcery. They also ate almost my entire state tax refund. Totally worth it. (Relatedly, I have a blister on my toe that might be infected. Ow.) It's vanishingly unlikely that I'll win Fluevogs for ten years, but what if I did. What if I did.

Squeak would like you all to know that she is a CAT who PURRS and she is RIGHT HERE.

Tomorrow is my pottery studio's show opening! I don't plan to buy anything, but I do want to go show my support. And Friday is chiptune Rocky Horror, about which I am still ridiculously excited.

Hilariously, I felt like I was about ready to stop seeing my therapist for the time being after our next appointment... until she emailed me a couple days ago saying she'd have to reschedule because her father had died. WELP. Maybe I am not feeling so hot after all. Still overall hopeful, productive, and enjoying the springtime, just a higher screaming-inside proportion than I really prefer.

In completely different news, I've been re-reading SailorPtah's lovely His Dark Materials/Welcome to Night Vale novels, and I spent some time thinking about Dust. There's a bit where Cecil is carving wooden replicas of people's daemons, and Carlos thinks, of course it makes Cecil happy to increase the number of Rusakov particles in the world. So I was contemplating intention and art. Dust accrues to artifacts, because consciousness went into making them as they are. But what I usually do with pottery is more of a dialogue or meditation with the material. My goal is usually not to have a piece of a particular size and shape, but rather developing my skill or moving in a direction and seeing what happens.

I undoubtedly come out with an artifact, but it's a different feeling. Then I wondered what Buddhist potters feel is the point of their craft. I feel like my experience is qualitatively different from making specific pottery to order, but maybe the idea of Dust is... less granular than that distinction. :D
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Last night:

  • Tried and failed to nap, because I kept having interesting creative thoughts, first about work and then about ceramics. Dang it, brain. I eventually had to get up and write them down before I forgot them, so that was the end of that.

  • Met up with [personal profile] genarti and [personal profile] skygiants at a very noisy, very ironic tavern in Davis. Attempted to convey to Beth the full glory of the dragon-game drama currently transpiring. Had tasty potato tacos (but they could have cut the avocado up a lot smaller than that) and some glorified chicken strips with glorified ranch dressing, plus an Original Sin cider from NY that was dry and pretty tasty.

  • Went to Apple Cinema, pointed out the ice cream flavors, and saw a shadowcast Princess Bride production at midnight. The movie remains really fun to watch, especially in a theater full of people enjoying it, and the shadowcast had some good moments (though the movie was more compelling). Shrieking eel as pool noodle was especially amusing.

  • Found out the MOST AWESOME THING: in two weeks there will be a chiptune/retro-video-game-inspired Rocky Horror, with songs covered and animations made and OMFG. I am surprised I'm not standing in line for this already, I don't know how anything could possibly be more appealing to me.

Today:

  • Got up without enough sleep and went to pottery. Sat outside in the sun when I was too early, very nice day. Trimmed two big bowls successfully and went through the bottom of one so proceeded to convert it into an orchid pot with cutouts in the shape of the Light Flight emblem. Shut up. :)

  • Hung around after pottery for an extra half hour talking to my teacher about pottery ideas and employment and random stuff. I need to bring snacks if I'm going to hang around after class, I get too hungry!

  • Goofing off.

  • Successful napping.

  • Bubble bath. (Lush Ultraviolet. I'm excited about some of their Mother's Day releases coming up, but I should maybe use more of the Easter stuff first.)


Weekending successful so far!
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Sinus CT was pleasant, easy, and painless... except for the part where I decided I should make sure they were inflamed enough to see the problem so I didn't take anything or use the neti pot the night before. Ow. I don't even know if this was necessary. I regret everything. (Appointment to discuss with the ENT is Friday morning.)

2. My pottery teacher was amused by my quadratic formula t-shirt, just like I thought he would be. One begins to wonder if he would bring his deft care, people skills, and nerdy tinkering sensibility to non-pottery tasks. In bed.

3. My home internet is complete shit right now. Most frustrating. However, I finally managed to download Rebuild 3 from Steam, and probably I shouldn't be allowed to play it after 11pm because I didn't get the amount of sleep I wanted last night. I'm not scared of zed, I just want to keep rebuilding Snoqualmie.

4. Std.daff has emerged! Based on my photos from last year, we're running about three weeks earlier in terms of spring bulbs. I'm told that if you average last year's winter and this year's winter, you get a normal winter. Today it's beautiful and sunny and I wore a flannel overshirt on my walk to work, no coat at all. (Possibly some people wouldn't do this in the low 50s? I WOULD.)

5. Currently I'm wrestling with last year's medical bills for my stupid reimbursement thing. I will get hundreds of dollars back, provided I can actually get the bloody hospital to give me a corrected receipt, and of course when I call in either it rings and rings or there's no one available and I should send email they never reply to. Gah.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
In getting-over-my-ex news, I have:
  • Watched a bunch of Leverage by myself.

  • Made waffles (and done some other nontrivial cooking).

  • Gotten to where going to the grocery store merely makes me feel badgerish rather than panicky.

  • Finally thrown out the food that I had made to share with them when they decided to disappear instead.

  • [TMI] Made it all the way to orgasm without accidentally fantasizing about them and veering off into anti-erotic misery.[/TMI]


In general awesome doings, I have:
  • Gotten my bike into rideable shape.

  • Made an apple pie and won work's (very small) Pi Day contest with it.

  • Kept up decently on my job.

  • Successfully taken almost all of my absurd medication schedule on time.

  • Given excellent presents to people.

  • Polled for dragon game festival themes, including having to contact someone I didn't know to check that we weren't stepping on any toes.

  • Managed a fuckton of drama about dragon game festival themes, including whipping up a storyline that incorporated multiple suggestions.

  • Appeared to have an actual immune system -- still not all the way better but quickly recovered back to generally-crappy instead of getting a bad cold.

  • Designed and drawn lineart for an elaborate (representational-plus-celtic-knot) mythical snake design on a bowl, to be further painted in underglaze.

five things

Mar. 2nd, 2016 12:03 am
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
1. Home from work today. Good thing I got a specialist appointment for Friday: this sinus thing is definitely swinging toward super shitty again.

2. Music mix for friend has consented to be cut down to three CDs' worth but no more. It is possible that I have some feelings of my own that I'm working through here.

3. Came up with a fun minigame for dragon game tomorrow. It's Applejack day of a My Little Pony-themed money-making event, so: profitbucking! Inspired by my teammate's amazing gif magic.

4. I really hate it when I feel too crappy to do things that are fun. I tried to play Necrodancer today but was not smart enough to make decisions in rhythm.

Actually, I also hate it when I feel too crappy to do things that aren't fun. Still badly need to shop for jeans and bras. Can I just stop feeling crappy in general, please?

5. At least the cats are happy, or they would be if there were at least one of me per cat who didn't want to do anything other than sit in the one position they find the most useful and gaze at them lovingly.
jinian: (zoomy sakura)
I woke up in a good mood on Friday (sushi aftereffects?) and then had therapy. Therapist is onto me, as I have complained to Twitter already -- she refuses to hear only about the things that are going well now and directs me back to how the one terrible thing is getting its miasma everywhere. So that was hard but probably a good idea.

Saturday I had pottery as usual, and while the kiln is getting a lot slower since it's the end of the quarter I did get my Hallucigenia bowl back! It's ridiculous and great. I glazed the trilobite-stenciled bowl and another one, so hopefully those will be done by next week, and threw a couple more bowls that I was very happy with. One quite big, with lovely thin walls that really wanted to buckle downward, and my teacher was finally not being monopolized by Miss Working-On-Commission for the entire period and showed me how to save it and a less accident-prone way to do shaping. Always nice when I get instruction from my instructor!

Then [personal profile] genarti picked me up for our small hiking trip. It wasn't warm at all, but dry and clear was good enough for us. We drove out to Rocky Woods Reservation, which turns out to be adorable and very well maintained, with nice flexible trail options that don't doom you to an hours-long loop if you don't want to commit. There was an orienteering event that we both agreed we probably would've wanted to join in if we hadn't come at the end, but instead we had quite good sandwiches and a giant pickle from an aggressively quaint deli in the nearby small town. (How quaint were they? So quaint they had three kinds of store-brand soda bottled for them, bearing labels printed with an image of their storefront, complete with printed sign pointing to it in case you forgot who and how cute they were.)

Hiking with Beth is great. We climbed rocky hills! We saw a beautiful vista! We got distracted by trees and rocks! And also a weird nut (diagnosis after rock-based dissection efforts: one of these bare trees is a young walnut). And part of the trail being paved with compressed shredded roof shingles.

Then we joined a bunch of people downtown to watch Mermaid, which was hilarious if disturbing in parts. The cops! The shoes! The ceiling fan! The slingshot! The cranky assassin auntie! The badass magical grandma! (We could all have done without the teppanyaki scene.) We got food at a good Vietnamese place, which I'm about to have leftover clay pot rice from, and went by a bakery on our way home too.

Then I came home to find that pretty much everything we needed for our Flight Rising event was done to my satisfaction, and got a lot of very nice sleeping done. This morning (now that the push has started and we have some dragon data to play with) I made spreadsheet wizardries happen, took another nap, and have had time to just relax. I'm reading the weirder novels of Andrea Host, and can definitely recommend The Pyramids of London for wacky steampunk vampires and gods. Very eventful days are fun, but my health is still not great, and lying down a lot today has also been excellent. I also watched a bunch of Leverage, and I'm working on a music mix for a friend.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Ate many sushi for [personal profile] heavenscalyx's birthday, which she quite incorrectly paid for, and then amazing hot chocolate at Burdick's. A good time was had by all despite the singular lack of available booze, and the promise of punitive bowls will be fulfilled at a future date.
jinian: (lost sakura)
After two months I expected to feel better rather than more traumatized. Nope. It's worse than when Dad died -- I lost him and was very upset that he wasn't in the world any more, but I knew about death and realized it was going to happen even if I hadn't felt the loss yet. To an extent I support the existence of death: it's needed for change, evolution, progress, for life really. The thing that happened between me and L is not a thing that should exist. I'm unlikely to ever not feel that the world is now a more terrible place.

I need a very considerate lover to take me to bed a lot, and I need to have nothing to do with humans for approximately a year. Since these are mutually exclusive as well as individually infeasible, I am stumbling along trying to enjoy friends, pottery, work, reading, and games, and just coping with the part where I'm scared to go to the damn grocery store.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Want to join me this Thursday night? If you haven't just gotten an email, respond here or contact me for info!
When I say I'm interested in local candy, people keep trying to give me Necco wafers. I know they're from around here, but you can actually get those anywhere for some reason, and, more importantly, they're terrible.

Zagnut bar
Hershey Co., Hershey, PA

Hershey is distributed all over, of course, but this one isn't found in the West for the most part. I've heard of it a few times in books, so I was interested already.

Okay, I admit that on opening this I was completely expecting chocolate. Nothing about the outside of the package says anything about chocolate, but it's a candy bar! They have chocolate! Instead there's a malty-tasting, slightly crumbly coconut coating over... what is this stuff? It's like a mildly coffee-flavored version of the inside of a Butterfinger, only in plates instead of thinner layers... with salty peanut butter in between. This is all so confusing.

Confusingly delicious. Yum. Gonna buy this again sometime.


Clark bar
New England Confectionery Co., Revere, MA

This is also a Butterfinger, but a weird Butterfinger. Chocolate coating, peanutty crunchy sugar interior, more like one hard crunchy layer than multiple layers at all. This is too close to one of my favorite candy bars and as a result just tastes off. I'd rather have the usual, thanks.

potshots

Jan. 31st, 2016 11:58 pm
jinian: (black and white)
Been making things! A few people have asked about how pottery is going, and the answer is, extremely well. I'm very happy with my instructor and the fact that he's now teaching on Saturday mornings instead of when I ought to be at work. Last term I lost a few pieces in new and interesting ways, but I did come out with one pie plate of the three I threw, plus a few other things I liked pretty well.

This term I'm focusing on wall thickness, which I thought was my weakest point during the last class, and experimenting with some new decorating techniques. It's entirely possible that I'll demand my birthday-dinner guests take bowls away with them, since I am making many ramen bowls! So far I'm happy with their improved lightness, and I'm making them in some shapes that I wouldn't otherwise have explored. I tried a stenciling technique yesterday that worked extremely well, so that's exciting too.

Some photos of the many glaze interactions )
jinian: (grumpy)
I've had sinus stuff since at least the beginning of December. Two rounds of antibiotics, ups and downs (a norovirus is actually great for clearing your nasal passages), but still a problem. I'm on the verge of getting an ENT consult, but I realize that what with feeling terrible most of the time I haven't actually managed to do all of the palliative/slow-healing recommendations at the same time, and that that might be important.

I now have a 13-item checklist of what to do daily. I'll try this for a week and then get the probably useless referral. (Lots of stress and worry in having recurrent sinus ick for me; this is why I had to leave undergrad the first time and I'm very scared of it now.)

checklist for future use )
Hey locals, any interest in going on a snowshoe expedition? Weekends are best for me, but I have no particular plans. Some nearby location ideas.

And is anyone free for dinner on my actual birthday 2/18 (Thursday)? I want to have a movie/game party too, maybe the following weekend. Let me know availability if you're going to be close enough!

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hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

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