Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Drink some water, you'll feel better.

Of course, at night when I'm exhausted my brain has ALL THE IDEAS. But when I get up in the morning and want to implement one, just one, for a blog entry, my brain says, nope. Nope, what were you thinking? Nope.

I wanted to take one of the pages I have open on tabs either on the laptop or on my phone and link to the page and then discuss said information. But they're all either too short or too long to discuss this morning. I need to get a hundred other things done today.

I don't want to just blow off my blog for the whole of November. If I go too long making entries it's hard to get back to them.

I really need some time off. Away from everything, everyone. I wish I could take a vacation all on my own. I might plan a whole vacation on my own. It may never be taken, but it would be fun to plan it. Where should I go? Let's start small. Yeah, I could plan to go anywhere, but I want to start with someplace close. Let's make the goal realistic, okay? Some people say, "Dream big! If you're not going anyway, just go crazy! Or maybe, "You don't know you'll never go, visualize!"

But I find planning for a big trip overwhelming. Like...I'd like to go to China to see the end of the Great Wall, where it meets the ocean. But that's insanely expensive and I don't even have my passport. So why don't I plan a small vacation. Like...a weekend. No, I want to plan a week. But a weekend is more reasonable. No I don't want to be reasonable! I want to have fun! If I plan for a week I'd have to take off work! Okay fine, plan for both. Do one plan for a weekend -- maybe a four day weekend -- and one plan for a week. We'll plan for some place close, within a two hour driving radius from where I currently live. And it's me and only me. What will I do? Go hiking? Maybe. I've heard Starved Rock park is really pretty and I've seen pictures from my friends' trips, so I know it's true.

Image result for starved rock
Looks like a good choice.

And I think Starved Rock is only a few hours away. Let me check. Ooh, they have a lodge! That's pretty much perfect for the first time. Dude, they're only an hour away. Not even that much. I am soooo going to Starved Rock State Park.

Or at least elaborately planning a vacation BY MYSELF to said park.

I don't know who Brene Brown is, but I'm feeling this.
Only it's not a midlife crisis, I've felt like this for a long time. But yeah, midlife seems to be the tipping point. I hate thinking about the idea that I'm at midlife. Fuck that! I want at least a hundred more years to do stuff! I've only just now figured out who I am! I refuse to go out in my nineties, I'm not going anywhere. Fuck you guys and your stupid "aging". I refuse to age anymore. I won't do it. 

In fact? I'm going to un-age. De-age? Instead of gaining a year on my birthday, I'm going to subtract a year. I'm going to tell myself I'm a year younger until my subconscious believes it. Then I'll do the same the next year and the next year until I reach...twenty-seven. That's a good age. Young enough to still look great and have lots of energy (unless you were me at twenty-seven, I looked like shit, but all the more reason to hit the reset button) but old enough to have a better car insurance payment and decent credit rating if you've been careful.
Image result for twenty seven
The ever-watchful eye. I like the single eye symbol, but I can do without the pyramid.
I should do a Zentangle of this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stand together.

Bang. Bang. Bang. BANG. BANG.

Slow and steady and terrifyingly LOUD.

I sit in a room with a group of people. The floor beneath us shakes with the force of the blows we hear. The walls shake, the windows rattle with the force and we can hear the creaking of the joists. 

We can hear the roaring outside, the terrible roaring. It’s getting louder.

There’s a monster pounding at the door. And it will get in. That cannot be stopped.

I look to my left and I look to my right and I look all around me and see that I am not alone. We are shaking and crying and scared but we are each stronger than we know. I reach out my hand on either side and I can feel that I’m not alone. I have my friends. 

We can face this monster down. It may wreck our house and all that we’ve built but we’ll face the monster down and come out the other side.

And we will find new friends along the way. You will find friends in places you never thought to look. REACH OUT TO THEM. DO NOT LET FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN KEEP YOU FROM MAKING A CONNECTION.

While searching for images for this post, I found a picture of a sixteen year old boy living in India. The boy has neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition which causes uncontrollable growths along the nerves. He's a modern day medicine man, half his face is grown larger than the other, it looks bloated and swollen and melting.

I have food, shelter, money...privilege. I am scared of the monster at the door and what will happen to my friends, but I have gratitude for all I have as well.

Image result for gratitude
Find your gratitudes.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Comic Misdirection

Image result for kung fu panda 3 chicken bear crocodile
Master Chicken, Kung Fu Panda 3
Today's entry is just a picture of Master Chicken from Kung Fu Panda 3. And these sentences, stating that this picture is all the entry consists of. Because MASTER CHICKEN. I am giggly about the idea of a Kung Fu Master chicken. 

Technically he's a rooster. But they don't call him Master Rooster. Because roosters are badass, why do you think they have cock fights? And now this picture of a kung fu chicken will show up in some odd keyword searches.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Future Tense

It wasn't a "one morning" thing. It was a slow realization.
Word Porn needs to get out of my fucking head. Seriously. Yes, my life has changed. I changed it myself, though I didn't even know I was doing it. By making changes that I knew I really wanted, by taking on things that scared me (which really, does it even count when FUCKING EVERYTHING scares me?) but I really wanted -- I created some sort of fundamental shift in my core. Or maybe it was there the whole time, this person, this being, this life but the path just needed to be exposed.

I had a dream once, a long time ago, where I met a version of my future self and cried with happiness because I thought I'd never find her, or never her see her again, I can't remember what I said exactly in the dream. This was a very long time ago. At least twenty-years. But I think I've found her, my future self. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

How do you know that you really know what you think you know?

Image result for inner voice
Does it know where I left my favorite pen?
 Hm. And what if that inner voice is a bitch? Indeed, I have more than one inner voice and some of them think really stupid stuff is a good idea. Like the voice that wants donuts all the time. What about that voice? How about the voice that wants to tell people the absolute truth all the time? While that's "good" in theory, in real-world practice it can cause you a lot of unneeded difficulties. So which inner voice should I be listening too?

I prefer the term "Inner Knowing" for my intuition. Because voices just make noise. Voices are based on desire. My intuition just knows things. The trick is knowing intuition from voices. Intuition is mostly a quiet, assured voice. It tells me which things I should be doing even when they scare me ("Yes, It's scary. And it's hard. It's really hard. And you might even fail. More than once. Do it anyway.") and which things I shouldn't be doing even though I really want them (several very poor choices spring to mind).

Here's the difficulty that arises. things I though I should be doing because I wanted things to be a certain way and I thought certain actions were 'brave' and the horrible feeling I was getting was fear of taking chances. I didn't understand (yet) that particular horrible feeling was actually the "dear god, you stupid bitch, this is a horrible, horrible, horrible mistake and you're just desperate and lonely and YOU WILL REGRET THIS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE" feeling.

Image result for inner voice
How do I discern "bad vibes" from "fear of failure"?
I have had to learn to differentiate. It was difficult. It took many tries. I now have something of a system worked out, a way to know what is "knowing" and what is "wanting".

Image result for inner voice
Accept truth. Listening isn't so much the problem.
Accepting...that's really important. Accepting the truth of what intuition is telling you. Very, very, important. Because sometimes the inner voice, the inner knowing, the something you don't want to hear, whether it's telling you something you should do but you don't want to because it's scary or hard or scary hard, or it's telling you something you shouldn't do (or say, or eat, or buy) but you really want that thing because it will make you temporarily happy because it will taste good or feel good at that moment.

Image result for inner voice
I need an adult?
That's the part that took me a long time to figure out, "I want this because its good" from "this is right for me".

Image result for inner voice
The Happiness in Your Life Book Series consists of 12 books,
each on a different subject that either allow or prevent happiness.

Image result for inner voice
Shel Silverstein was interesting. I think he knows what he's talking about.
Or he did when he was alive at least. He's dead now.
But how do you do you KNOW which voice is the true inner voice. How do you trust the inner voice when it's telling you something that seems so completely impossible? How do you know for sure so that you don't end up doing something you'll regret? Because I also really, really, really don't want to regret NOT doing something, NOT having something good, because I didn't listen to that voice that says, "It's right and it will happen in good time if you let the flow move and all will be well."
Image result for inner voice
I'm not fond of Gloria Steinem as a person. Her personality seems very different from mine.
But I recognize what she's done for women.

By the way, I haven't vetted any of these quotes. I don't know if they're actually from the people they're being attributed to on the pictures. And you know what? Right now, I really don't care. I'm still trying to figure out why my inner voice seems to have quietly snapped.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Keeping afloat.

Found this amazing piece of Zentanglish artwork at this blogspot. They do not have a credit listed for the artist.
If you are the artist of this incredible piece of work let me give you credit. If you want me to take it down, please let me know. It is a perfect representation of my NANO, which is titled Zentangled. I draw Zentangles too.

It's the second day of NANO, don't ya know, and I'm finding my decision to make a personal book of journal entries and essays to be working well for me. Fingers crossed and knocking on wood, I think I will make my daily word count goals easily and win again this year. Next year I can go back to torturing myself writing a work of fiction. This year it's terribly true tales, in-your-face ugly truths and mind-numbing minutiae. Hooray for stream-of-consciousness!

Enough with the hyphens.

Image result for stream of consciousness
Could not find an artist credit for this one either.

I want donuts.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Still beating. Still fighting. Wasn't it glorious?

Each day is a fight. Each day is a glorious fight. If I can make each day a fight (the kind I like, the kind I love) I can make make each day something glorious.

I'm not trying to make sense here. I'm just trying to be me.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I present a collage of words and ideas.

It's Saturday and my fingers are cold. It's October. Nearly November. Yay, NANO is almost here! I sort of tear up thinking about it. Last year was nail-biting, gut wrenching, hair-pulling awesomeness and I can barely wait for this year to start.

I'm going to a Halloween costume party this year! I haven't been to a costume party in...ever. I haven't ever been to a Halloween party, or a costume party -- unless I want to count ren faires in gear and SCA events in kit, which I don't want to count them. Because random pendanticness is my thing. Those two things are not costume parties as defined by ME.

ANYWAY -- shhhhh. Don't tell anyone. I'm going as the Mad Hatter. My version of the Mad Hatter. I found really awesome separate pieces at several thrift stores and decorated a hat myself and my husband has made real leather holsters for my...

I'm not telling what the holsters are for.

(No one is reading this. For gods' sake, you can tell. You can even post a picture, none of your friends...check that, NO ONE is going to see this. Now or ever. Stop thinking anyone is reading your rambling nonesense.)

Fuck you, BotBB*. You're not the boss of me. I'll do as I like. Stop pissing on my delusions. I'm trying to have fun. I'm whistling in the dark. SHUT IT!

Image result for jai courtney
Jai Courtney
I don't like his beard in this one.
Okay, CinemaSins guy, what is your deal with Jai Courtney? I like him.

Hm. Upon searching for an image Mr. Courtney does seem to have a limited range of facial expression. He's Australian. Russell Crowe, another stone faced actor I like rather well, is from New Zealand.

Ooh, I haven't seen The Nice Guys yet. Let's put that on the list of stuff I want to do.

(which should really be titled Stuff I Will Never Get Around to Doing Because I Can't Stay Off Facebook.)

Just ignore her. She's not in charge here. She may possibly be correct, but she's not in charge.

So that's my five minutes for today. I want to write more but I'm actually leaving the house today to do several things that will be lots of fun. Tai chi and karate classes, lunch, Intro to SCA archery, going to see a friend's first competition MMA fight (modified, no head shots).

It will be fun to see my friend compete, he lacks confidence in himself. I hope, even if the fight does not go his way, that the accomplishment of going through with it will help him. Also, I get to see what I'll be going through next spring. Then after the fight we're all going for pizza. I will have to be careful there. I'm trying to get down to at least five pounds below allowed fight weight -- which is 135 -- so I can put on a bit more muscle and have some leeway if the fight happens to fall during a time of the month I don't want to say out loud, or even in print, because let's not jinx it, 'kay?


*Back of the Brain Bitch - that mean, hurtful, hateful voice of my own anxiety, fear, and self-loathing. But she is also very strong and will say just about anything. I draw from her strength and use it fuel my bravery. I've tried getting rid of her, but that took more energy than it did to figure out this other solution.

Friday, October 21, 2016

NANO is coming...Holy November, Batman.

  • MA Class: applications and advanced techniques
  • Lunch with Dexter
  • Tai chi class
  • Karate class
  • beginners SCA archery with barony friends
  • fight night for my classmate, his first fight and my first time going to a fight -- seeing what I'm in for next spring
  • Grocery shopping?
  • Meal planning for the week and ideas for November (training for a fight AND working AND doing NANO...I may need my head examined)
  • Meal prep for at least a week

...of dumbbells, of course. Totally means dumbbells and
not referring to primary sexual characteristics at all.
Which women have by the way...we simply keep ours INSIDE our bodies.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Drops of Silver

I have figured out how to set up the perfect set of nested playlists on this randomly acquired, totally free, second hand iPod. I am a fucking genius. At least I think I have figured out the playlist setting up of.  I haven't transferred the music to the iPod yet so I can test it.

I only figured out with much frustration after several hours how to delete the music from the previous owner. I'm still getting all the importing the music from the stack of CDs I have, which were also randomly acquired second hand and free. Cheap at twice the price.

First, there is the master "Massage Music" playlist. Which you can put on shuffle and get all the different styles of relaxing music. Then from that playlist there will be the option to choose differently sub-genres such as classical, nature sounds, Native American, Enya, guitar, piano, and so on. Each of those can be put on shuffle. And lastly there is the option from each playlist to put a specific album on shuffle.
Image result for ipod 4gb
I rule. Though I have no Nelly Furtado music.
That makes me sad. But not too sad. Just a bit sad.

HOLY BALLS! This iPod nano is still going for forty bucks on Amazon. And that's the cheapest price! I'm glad I didn't know that before now or I might have sold it and not had a nifty little 4GB music maker for my massage music at my awesome new job. Though I doubt I could really get $40 for it, it's all scratched up. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Call me Lopez La Pesado

Friday 5 for April 15: The Middle
Here I am...stuck in the middle with you...let's see if we can't get some fucking motivation before I go to MMA class for the first time in two weeks.

Oh. I am gonna be hatin' life after. I haven't even done any strength training. I sorta had a...bad brain day, that turned into a bad brain two weeks. I'm trying to get up again and here we go. 

What's something you're in the middle of?

Writing my fiction book that I started last NANO, planning the learn-to-cook cookbook that I'm going to write this NANO (I'm not pantsing it again...too stressful for me), research for my SCA persona (9th or 10th century Norse woman Valdis Skjaldardottir--I really must pick a settlement time and place...I'm leaning towards an Irish one right now) making a basic tunic and pants for SCA heavy weapons fighting practice (because damn it, if I have to wear loaner gear at least I can have the proper garb on underneath), and any one of thirty or so unfinished crossword puzzles in my Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle book. I'm in between pleasure reading materials right now, other than my persona research books.

This list would imply that I'm some sort of busy person. I am not.

What's in the middle of you?

Mostly useless guts and slimy goo. I'm thinking of having them replaced with the no doubt superior guts and oily goo of a mechanized droid. Then I can fix Sheila!

No, it's not nearly that interesting. My breakfast consisted of cooked spelt (because who the hell would eat uncooked spelt?) mixed with dried apple bits and fresh banana and homemade almond milk. Also I had coffee with a packet of Sweet Leaf and more of the aforementioned almond milk.

See? Boring. Just go back to me being a freaky cyborg. It totally works for me.

What is your residence in the middle of?

A small town. It's...picturesque. There's cornfields and beautiful skies. But...I wish we lived closer to one of the two larger towns up the road. I do a lot of driving. A LOT. Nearly everything we do is in the college town up the road or the town right next to it. The two towns sort of run together. All my martial arts classes, my NANO group is there, my SCA group meets up there, the grocery stores, the Walgreens, the different doctors for the whole family, the UU church, the two movie theaters, the big library, all the great restaurants...

What's a great food that features something in its middle?

Chocolate frosted doughnuts with whipped cream filling. NOT BISMARCKS!!!! I hate that pudding glop! That is pudding! Pudding is not a fucking cream!

I haven't had one of those whipped cream filled chocolate frosted doughnuts in soooooooo long. I miss them. That's the first thing I thought of when I read the question, but really, is the whipped cream a feature? It's not like the doughnut is showcasing the whipped cream somehow. It's just there. It's not a surprise. It's not all like, "TA DA! Whipped cream! Bet you weren't expecting that! Like the Spanish Inquisition!"  Unless it's the surprise that you bought a doughnut expecting creme and got pudding glop. 

Okay, the idea of my doughnuts making Python references is making me dizzy. Moving on.

What's the nearest you've been to the middle of nowhere?

Image result for kansas wheat fields
Northern Kansas:
Now featuring even more wheat.
Driving through the upper portion of Kansas. Or riding rather, as I was a kid and not participating in the driving. Wheat fields for miles in every direction. The one road with almost no other cars and the very occasional boarded up Stuckey's. As a child I had never seen that much nothing. It was scary. We were driving to Colorado to visit my grandmother. Damn, was I ever glad to be out of that creepy-ass state.

Fuuuuck. I have to get ready for class now. I need more coffee.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Counting my stars...

MMA class this morning was killer. For me at least, it looked like it was for the guys too. Dripping with sweat, so beat you can't talk for about five minutes afterwards, lots of aches tonight.

I fucking love this stuff. I may be the oldest, the slowest, the weakest, and least experienced but I want to do this forever. If I could find a way to do this seven days a week I would do it. Hell, if there was a class tonight I would go.

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive.

I feel younger and stronger and more powerful now than I ever have in my life. I feel about twenty-seven years old. I get really shocked when I look into the mirror and there is not a young woman standing there.

I get anxious thinking about how little time I really have to do this. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Indispensable Me?

"Write about the last time you felt indispensable." -- The Pocket Muse, Monica Wood.

Eh. Hmmm. Indispensable?

I'm going to have to start with a definition of the word. Because if I'm not absolutely, positively sure what it means, I can't tell you for certain when I have felt such a word that describes a noun or pronoun.

From Merriam-Webster: Indispensable - adjective -  in·dis·pens·able \ˌin-di-ˈspen-sə-bəl\

1: not subject to being set aside or neglected
2: absolutely necessary : essential

Okay, that's certainly an explanation.

Image Credit to ME. I did it.
I made it with my little Paint program.
I don't know that I ever have felt indispensable, not as that definition goes. I have never been in a situation where I felt if I was an absolutely necessary participant. I have had people say, "What would I do without you?" Well, they'd find a different way to do it or they'd do without. But the other person's feelings and opinion of the situation does not make me feel indispensable.

Perhaps I am too pragmatic to feel indispensable. I'm hungry now.  I want to go eat something because I'm riding along on an errand with my husband and the destination is at least 45 minutes away (and because I'm pragmatic I see no reason to buy something to eat along the way if I have perfectly good food in my kitchen). I don't know if I've spent fifteen minutes writing this. I spent a ridiculous amount of time make the above image in Paint, so I've spent over fifteen minutes making this post suitable that's not fifteen minutes of writing.

I'm cold. It's cold here. I need to go put on my flannel shirt. Also I have to go to the bathroom and I am seriously hungry. This is, as posts go, mediocre. But practice is practice.

Hey, it's kickboxing cycle again in my martial arts class. I must, must, must develop my blocking and ducking skills this cycle. Learning how to look for openings and setting up combos and not just throw anything out there would be good too, but blocking and ducking are the goals for this cycle. Can't really get my combos in properly if I'm getting slammed around by my opponents. Especially in my Friday applications classes, where the fine young men are far more experienced than me.

I love my new Century Tegu sparring helmet. When we were told we had to start wearing headgear for sparring (both for insurance and safety purposes) I was very annoyed, because the foam headgear we wear in my Karate class makes me very overheated very quickly and reduces my hearing. But this new helmet is sweeeeet. Much more breathable, adjustable, and I can hear much better. Expensive, but worth it. Tegu all the way, baby. It's difficult to grapple in, but we'll get used to it. Now I can wear it for Karate class too. 

My stomach is making those sounds and my husband wants to leave soon, he's warming up the truck. That's definitely my fifteen minutes. Must, must, MUST work on my story today. No excuses, bitch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A good effort after so much slacking.

But it changed. Now...stuff still aches but it never stops me, it's the good pain. My body is strong now, the strongest I've ever been and I have two genetic hurdles that cause physical and mental difficulty for me to work around.

Over 700 words this morning on my story. Nuance and depth, I love that stuff. Making my characters real, full people. They are transforming.

I cannot deny it. I've been slacking. I had true writer's block for awhile, from the stress of the holidays, but I broke through it. After that it was just fear of the huge task ahead of me, writing my story. Because every time I sit down, it just gets bigger. While I am doing some reshaping of what I have now, it's more of adding nuance to the plot. I guess that's what I mean. The plot is growing and changing and developing much more depth, the true depth of the down to the bone story I want to write.

But damn, there's so many freaking words. How will I ever finish this in a respectable amount of time and this is just the second book! How am I going to write the first damn book, the one that establishes everything? The second book is...the second! I wanted to do this within a year. It's going to take at least two I think. Two years of writing every single day. This brings in zero salary. Then, after it's done, I have to get an agent.

I can do this. I can. Other people have done it. I'm strong. I started martial arts at forty-three after a lifetime of mostly not liking extreme physical expression and competition and now find myself totally changed in mind and body. I only started martial arts as a means to self-defense. I had no idea I would love it this much. So if I can do that thing I didn't know I loved, shouldn't I be able to completely and totally...go...somewhere...somehow...with lots of success (whoa...that sucked) with something I've wanted to do forever?

Yes. I can do this. I can do this. Even when I think I can't do this. When I first started martial arts my whole body would hurt after class. I only took the Monday/Wednesday class back then. There was a rest period of four days, I'd feel almost human again by Sunday, then Monday went right back to "my god, everything, everything, EV-ER-Y THING hurts.

I can do this, I can make this story and share it with people and they will like it and feel transported by it just like good writing should do. I will make this world and it's people and not give way to fear and I will believe in myself even when I don't believe in myself.

God I'm hungry now.

Monday, February 15, 2016

There was some recent stuff. It had to go because I need room for the GOOD stuff.

Self: I've forgotten everything. Almost fucking everything.

Myself: See? This is what you get when you are away from your story for too long. You've forgotten all the proper names and places. Your thinking is all muddled and you can't explain the subtleties of this character and this is very important for the story-line. This wouldn't have happened if you'd kept up a little each day.

Self: (incoherent cursing)

Myself: Just like exercising the body. You like all those pretty new muscles, don't you? You exercise every day in different ways to keep those up.

Self: "I told you so," isn't helping. Fuck off and help me figure out how to explain this.

Myself: I can fuck off or I can help you. Can't do both.

Self: FINE! Will. You. Please. Help. Me. You. Pretentious. Bitch.

Myself: Yes. Let me get the stuff out.

Image result for stuff
Like this, only it's piles of papers
and notebooks and sketchbooks
and scrolls. Oh, my.
I hate asking for help. I hate admitting I can't do something myself (er...for self? On Self's own?). I have the most awful trouble asking for help. Even from my higher higher...Myself. Bitch.

Release the past. This includes not beating yourself up over the fact that your three months of writers's block and dragging feet because you're afraid of the huge task you have set for yourself has caused you to forget names and ages and dates. Good thing I made maps and timelines and a metric ton of notes. That's 'the stuff'.

My brain is muddled. I have a thing I'm trying to explain enough to give a hints to the plot, carefully woven to the coming story and glimpses of personality and character to two mains and my muddled brain is not saying it right. I'm afraid I'm going to lose the idea. It's a far better opening to this part of the story, just before the catalyst, and I'm not getting it right. I'll have to write it out by hand, for some reason that works better when I'm muddled.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sometimes a whisper is all you need.

Today a voice whispered "Release the past. Release the past and make way for the changes of the future. Make way for tomorrow."

I don't think it meant the actual tomorrow.

But I did it. I'm doing it. Releasing the past. A little bit at a time. I pick a thing, a thing I've been clinging to because I hold on to bits and bobs and doodads. Scraps of this and that, amassing these bits because my memory is poor. But the bits don't really help my memory, not most of them. The bits don't make me smile. There are certain things I'm keeping. Movie ticket stubs and fortune cookie slips, in a little box. Those still make me smile. They make me think. But a LOT of stuff is going.

I've been holding on to clothes too, clothes that are either worn out or way too big now, or both. Partly because I'm cheap and don't want to buy new clothes if the old ones still work, but also partly because I'm a little afraid of the new me. I'm a medium now, working steadily into a small. Ten year old XL t-shirts do not need to be kept. Except for the purple ones, until I can replace them with purple ones in my size. Because purple.

I've been picking up things in my bedroom now for three hours, looking at them and thinking, "You have no power over me. Not anymore." Yes, I'm well aware of the connection to Labyrinth, thank you. I watched it (for the hundredth time) a few weeks ago. It's probably been percolating in my subconscious, because I've been feeling stuck even though I'm working really hard.

I've been doing some personal spiritual work as well. I had asked (very, very respectfully) for a clear and unmistakable message. And now I've been answered. I didn't ask for miracles. Just a bit of help. Just, "I've lost my way. I can do it myself but I'm so confused I don't know where to begin. Can you show me where to begin?"

It's not any great epiphany. Just a whisper in my head. But it's made me feel better, less stuck, more determined. Sometimes a whisper is all you need. You just have to listen to it.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Links of Interest

These are links of interest to me. You mind find something you like here too, but this page is mostly so I can clear out the 71 tabs I have open on my phone. They're still open because either I don't want to lose them or I haven't read them yet.

The post you are on now was accidental and I don't feel like deleting it. The permanent page, with lots and lots and lots more links is here.


Hollow Body Position Importance - Antranik: Shows why the hollow body hold is important and how to do it correctly. Includes anatomical information and video.

How to Do Pushups Properly - Antranik: Includes video. This guy is super cool. I like him.


First Female Army Rangers Say They Thought of 'Future Generations of Women' -, Brakkton Booker. Capt. Kristen Griest, MP platoon leader, 26, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, are the first two women to graduate the U.S, Army's elite Ranger School.

Norse Viking Age - Garb and other links:

Lindisfarne - "In 793, a Viking raid on Lindisfarne[31] [d] caused much consternation throughout the Christian west and is now often taken as the beginning of the Viking Age." - Wikipedia

Viking Age Clothing: Taking measurements - Clear information on taking measurements specific to making Viking age clothing.

Viking Women: Aprondress - A long, scholarly article by Hilde Thunem. Discusses archaeological finds in-depth.
"This article focuses on the garment that was worn by Viking women together with the characteristic oval brooches. The garment has often been referred to as an aprondress (hängerock) by the archaeologists, but Thor Ewing points out that the term "smokkr" used in the Viking poem Rígsþula may be the contemporary name (Viking clothing p. 37).

Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA): 

Rules To Period Games - SCA period (6th to 16th centuries) games. Helps round out your persona. Good times.

Archaeological Interest: 

Prosthetic Leg with Hoofed Foot Discovered in Ancient Chinese Tomb - Livescience, Owen Jarus

The Haunting Origins of Horse Culture - National Geographic, William Taylor

Casting Light on the Darkening Colors in Historical Paintings -, F. Da Pieve, C. Hogan, D. Lamoen et al.


How We'll Live On Mars: Q&A with author Stephen Petranek -, Sarah Lewin. Discusses
Petranek's book, How We'll Live On Mars
A Manned Mission to Mars Is Closer To Reality Than Ever: NASA Chief -, Mike Wall

Private Moon Landing Set for 2017 -, Mike Wall

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

So far, so meh.

The lack of story writing continues. I do have the damn thing open in my Word program right now. It just sits there. Mocking me.

I'm going to explore some of the many tabs I have open on my phone in Chrome.

The Cairo Post: Earliest case of scurvy found in 5800 yr old child skeleton in Egypt

"Excavation work at archaeological site in Egypt’s Aswan have revealed a 5,800 year-old skeletal remains of a one-year-old child strongly believed to  be the world’s earliest case of scurvy..."
 "....The new discovery suggests the diet of people living at the time was poor, despite living in an area that was at the centre of the agricultural revolution, according to the statement." --The Cairo Post, January 23, 2016

What is scurvy, you ask? Or maybe you don't because you know all about scurvy. I don't know you. You could be a scurvy expert. Like...a doctor, specializing in scurvy.

Ohmigod, the Google images for scurvy were so stomach-turning. Just the teeth pictures were bad enough and then there's the anemia and edema. I can't use one of those, here's some kittens instead.

Half guard is the perfect position for the upper
combatant to move into a leg bar submission hold.
The lower combatant may also do an escape into the
backpack hold and apply the rear naked choke.
That's my favorite.
But most people, I would venture to say, only know that scurvy is something sailors get. Or they used to get. Or maybe some still do, I don't know any sailors. Well, I know two people who used to be seamen but they were in the U.S. Navy and I don't think scurvy was a concern.

What precisely is scurvy? I don't know. Let's find out! When sailors have been at sea too long and aren't consuming enough ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C they can develop scurvy. Well, anybody who isn't consuming enough of can get it, but it was very common in the sailors of the 16th to 18th century, because they neglected to stroll on down to the Walgreens and stock up on EmergenC. Perhaps time was a factor, I don't know. My favorite flavor is Acai Berry!

Here we go: Scurvy is caused by insufficient intake of vitamin C. This vitamin is found in found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and a few animal sources, although the plant sources are more easily digestible. We are probably most familiar with the vitamin C in citrus fruits but there is a wide variety of plant sources.

What does vitamin C do inside our bodies? Boosting the immune system is the effect most people are familiar with. There is a high concentration of vitamin C in immune cells. Immune cells are quickly consumed during infections, that's why people are encouraged to increase their intake when they have a cold or the flu.

The blog entry was brought to you by the letter P
 and my need to do some sort of writing today so
I'm not a complete writing slacker.
Vitamin C plays a role in other processes too, like the production of collagen (keeping the skin nice and firm from the inside!) and iron absorption.

I didn't know absorption was spelled with a "p".

In closing, scurvy is gross, eat your fruits and vegetables, practice your leg bar hold, and don't become a sailor in the 16th century. That's just a bad idea.

That's all the tabs we have time for today because I just realized it's almost four p.m. and I don't have dinner planned.

Aargh! Got any rose hips, matey?
Me teeth are comin' loose and I got the trots somethin' fierce!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Breaking up the block, did I bring my sledgehammer?

Here I am at Starbucks. Took forever to just get out of the damn house.

Got here and had to get set up. My computer takes forever to start up from being shut off. I went to the bathroom before I set up. Twenty minutes later I finally get started on this entry to warm up before the story writing...and I think I have to go to the bathroom again.

Self: think? You're not sure? How can you not be sure whether or not you have to go to the bathroom. WTF?
Myself: Shut the fuck up.

I shouldn't have worn my jeans. That doesn't help. Squishes my bladder.

Also the ten ounces of coffee I managed to drink while waiting for my computer to decide it was ready to type things made it's way through rather quickly.

Christ. Do NOT search for "need to go to the bathroom" images when you're at the Starbucks. I just wanted a squirmy stick figure! Rule 34 strikes again.

The following cartoon is the artistic property of xkcd. It's not about needing to pee. But it does have stick figures.

Rule 34
Intellectual property of xkcd. You should buy one of their books. What if? is a good one, a dear friend gifted it to me.
Now. Crossing my fingers and my toes that this change of venue will work. But first, damn it, I really do have to pee. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

You should probably move back a few feet, don't wanna catch the crazy.

Facebook tells me that on January 20, 2012, I posted this status:

This morning DB said something distinctly ridiculous and then said, "I can't believe I just said that. I'm hanging out with you too much, Mom."
Me-"What?! I'm always telling you to go hang out with your friends! I don't make you hang out with me." 
"Yeah, but now I've caught your crazy. You have your own special brand of crazy and it's like a virus, it's catching." 
And you know how I know that's true? Because I laughed like a hyena and told him that was the bomb. 

I love that Timeline feature. I had forgotten all about this. I wish I'd included what he said. 

Gunpowder, gelatine, dynamite with a laser beam...

...guaranteed to blow your mind.

But will it blow my writer's block? 'Cause I'm getting desperate here, people. Maybe some C-4?

This. Not even a whisper. Not even a tiniest of ideas, even for back story.

Finally I thought, "I need a change of scenery. That will probably help." I had planned on Monday to get up to Starbucks and try there.

That didn't happen. I did write that day, but it wasn't at Starbucks and it wasn't my story. It was journaling. I had some dreams the night before that seemed significant. That needed to be worked through. I thought they might be about my block. I decided they sort of were, from the standpoint that I'm having an extreme unrelated brain distraction that all my usual tricks aren't fixing. It just keeps roaring through my mind like an endless bullet train, every car filled with the same thing. Except being on a straight line track, it's circling me. My characters are on the other side. I can't get to them and they can't get to me.

Neither dream was about a train. But actually the second dream may be related. I was being circled by cobra, trapped. Just before the end of the dream it struck with gaping fangs, it was inches from my hand. In that blurry millionth of a second before it hit I knew many things (which I put into my journal but don't care to include here). I woke up just before the fangs sank into my hand. I just thought of that because I just came up with that train analogy.

I'm writing. I've been typing this entry for over half an hour. It's just not my story.

Some writing is better than no writing,
Keeping the habit, hearing those keys firing like bullets.
It does improve my mood.
Monday was journaling. Tuesday was a scheduled appointment which took a fair part of the afternoon, but I had the morning and I was just there as support and driver. I could've made notes. I even had my notebooks. No excuse there. Today I'm going to have lunch with my son, that's an hour drive there and back and then make dinner and then go to MA class. At least I'm doing this blog entry for today.

Thursday. Tomorrow is another day. This too shall pass and let's hope tomorrow kicks it into gear.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cake...instead of other stuff.

Getting really tired of writing about the same two things.

Those two things are insomnia and writer's block. Because it's all I have right now.

It seems they are all I can write about. And I'm really tired of having them and of having them be the only thing I can be productive about. It's not really productivity if it's FUCKING BORING.

How about I tell you that I remember to take back the Redbox DVDs on time! Yay! I won't be charged an extra day for Pixels. Because fuck that. Don't look at me like that! It wasn't my idea. And I did not watch it.

I also remembered to buy the waxing strips I wanted. Go me!

Tomorrow I have to call the prescription insurance company and...well, deal with them. The story for that is boring.

I wish I had some cake.

I wish.


Maple Pecan.

Red Velvet Cherry.

The type isn't as nearly as important as the quantity. There'd better be lots of it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Insomnia can lead you to read books. I didn't sleep at all last night.

At the Massage Envy where I used to work, we had a break room. In this break room was a small collection of books and magazines. Most of the books were reference materials, pertaining to things massage therapists might need to look up, the better to formulate a treatment plan for their client.

Also, there was this book. "The End of Eve" - A Memoir by Ariel Gore. It showed up on the break room table one day, nobody knew who left it there. It was published in 2014. But I don't remember precisely when it showed up on the table. Our break room table was not that big, so the book got stuffed in with the reference books. 

Not this Eve.

Nobody ever did anything with it. It just sat there in the break room, hanging out with the reference books. A few times over the year and a some months it sat there, I considered reading it and picked it up and read (and reread) that it was about a the last days of a slightly crazy woman dying from cancer. Okay, more than slightly crazy. The author, her daughter, doesn't really go into the rest of her mother's life in great detail. 

So I would remember that I didn't want to read this book and I'd put it down again, back with the pathology reference book and the trigger point chart. On my last day of work there, at the Massage Envy in Algonquin (in November 2015) I just appropriated the book and took it home with me.

The book itself, as just a book, is slightly intriguing. It has a sticker on it. It says "in lieu of galley". I don't know what that means. It's also been read by someone, because it has sporadic underlining. But the underlining doesn't seem to have any reason behind it. The underlined bits don't really seem connected to each other and don't appear significant in any way to me. But I guess they must have been to who ever read this first.

Ah. I looked up "in lieu of galley". If you submit a book for review somewhere and send the actual finished book instead of a bound manuscript or a galley proof, you put that sticker on it. 

There's an inscription in the front. It's difficult to read, the handwriting looks rushed. It sort of looks like it says, "Dear June - Jan. 28 or feb 11 rebs!" with an unreadable scribble of a name (I'm assuming) below that. I have no idea what that means. I don't think the name is the author. The first letter of the name looks the same as the "D" in what I think is "Dear".

It was an interesting book, not a hefty read. But odd, very odd. I'm not reviewing the book. I'm not coherent enough to do that, given my insomnia of the past few days and my raging writers block. Also, I'm not really sure how to review books in the manner that people who know how to do these things do these things. I'm also not good at synopsisizing or summarizing or anything that needs to be concise yet informative.

I still have fucking writer's block and I'm damn sick of it. It's making me crazy. I miss my characters but they won't come out and play with me.

copyright Sathis Ragavendran
Copyright Sathis Ragavendran
Baltic Amber Cognac Necklace

These two things will make more sense later. Trust me.

I'm going to the Friday morning MA class. Hopefully that will wear me out enough to sleep. Also, I just need more than two classes a week if I'm going to show any improvement. I was supposed to be on call for the chiropractor on Fridays, but he hasn't texted me or called me in over a month. I'm not sure if I even work there anymore. I'm going to have to deal with that soon because I'll need my 1099 for filing our taxes and also I have some supplies there that I paid for.

I'm going to class. It's at nine am I think and it's a two hour class. That should work.

Or perhaps not. I was sitting here, having a snack before class so I wouldn't faint and I'm crashing. I doubt I'd be able to get up to the dojo without having to pull over. No class for me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

That's BETTER! Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf

Turn on the car to leave for martial arts class, what's on the radio? Hungry Like the Wolf, baby. Works for me. BUT...our instructor decided we needed to do a shit load of calisthenics instead of kickboxing rounds. I didn't get to punch anyone. I was a little mean to him about it after class, I feel bad about that. He's just doing his job. He's a kid, hasn't even graduated from college yet. Yes, he's plenty qualified to teach the class. It's a family owned place and he's been taking various martial arts since he was four.

Seriously, Fee. Ya gotta go.

Fiona Apple is stuck in my head.

Specifically one line, none of the rest of it is relevant. To me at least.

"Heaven help me for the way I am..."

Out. You're too slow to run to.

Sense? You want me to make that? And I do

Wishing I had a heavy bag. No punching of anything for two weeks has me crazy.

I'm currently blaming my two weeks of writer's block on the holidays. Because fuck those things. I don't even celebrate the damn things myself, but there were gatherings that needed to be attended and it took a lot out of me.

I know how lame that sounds. Trust me, I know.

Today is whining day.

So my martial arts studio was closed for two weeks for the holiday. Turns out not getting to punch people twice a week is detrimental to my mental well-being. I knew this in the back of my head, but this past few weeks really drove it home.

I have a green belt test in possibly twelve weeks. I had a nice training plan set up and then the holidays happened and I got sick. Actually now it's more like eleven weeks. I wonder, if I ask nicely, if my instructor will let me wait an extra cycle. That would give me another six weeks.

I just now connected my illness lasting over a week (Normally two days, three max. I'm a quick healer.) to the holidays.

Makes sense. Christ, they aren't even that bad. I don't have any toxic relatives.  They just require a lot of socialization and that is very hard on me, being a 200% introvert with social anxiety and a permanent case of the awkwards coupled with my "I'm over forty, I'm running out of fucks to give, you don't get any," syndrome.

Leaving my regular job is still playing havoc with my brain as well. I was hoping it wouldn't but it has.

It'll pass. It'll pass. This too shall pass. It always has before.

It only FEELS like forever.

I really hope we have second class tonight. We don't always have it. Depends on which instructor is there.

The image search for catharsis was too chaotic. I couldn't choose. 
The image search for sense was, surprisingly, sort of dull.
Except for one picture. Which I'm not sure about using.
The image search for pummel turned up this.
Second class is where the shit gets real. Second class is where I get to pummel the boys. Yeah, the boys pummel me too. Good, clean, violent fun.

None of them are over thirty, so they're all boys to me. Even the one that made the police force last year. 'Course I don't call them that, but I can't help thinking it. I call them all "sir". Or "gentlemen" for collective address.

Just because it's fun.

This entry is going nowhere. Yeah, I'm typing, but I don't feel I'm accomplishing anything. Not even the catharsis I'm seeking. Sometimes if I type long enough, genius rears it's head. Genius is giving me a pass today. I don't even get the courtesy of a single deuce. I'm just being ignored.

Damn, I really want a cigarette. Or a drink. No drink before class. No drink after class either. Water and bed.