all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
I started an entry about cat litter almost two weeks ago. I still haven't finished it. (I know you guys are absolutely on fire to hear my opinions about cat litter and litter scoops. Don't worry, they're still coming.)

Work has been a long series of manufactured emergencies. Life has, to some extent, been the same. Lots of hard work. So much cleaning. I'm still living in a landscape of boxes that need to be unpacked.

I'm trying to set myself a routine--I wake up in the morning and take care of one chore that needs to be dealt with, plus feeding the cats before I leave. I go to work and deal with the 3 to 7 incredibly urgent issues that just came up (spoiler: they have not actually just come up, but people have just set their underwear on fire about it and can't find the damn water bucket themselves). I take my lunch break to watch silly youtube videos (thank you, Designing Women, I needed that laugh) or read a book so that I can someday stop renewing my library books and actually return them. I come home and try to make sure I do one thing just for Peter. I also try and do one thing just for me. Then, if I still have any energy and will left, I try to get in one other chore.

I spent last weekend cleaning the old house like a demon, because I want my damn deposit back. The landlord hasn't even seen the place yet and is already making threatening noises about not returning all of the security deposit. Charming man. I long to be shed of him forever.

This weekend... I'd like to visit my parents. There's lots of other stuff to do, too, though. Peter is sad that we didn't make it to Emerald Pointe this summer, and this is the last weekend it's open. I'd kind of like to go, but I also hate crowds. I thought he was going to go with Paul a couple of months back, but apparently they never got it together. I'd like to unpack some boxes, and bring in the lamps and shelves sitting in the carport and set them up. If I can find a place to put my bookshelf, I can empty at least two and half boxes right there.

There's a contra dance on Saturday night, and I know I should go to that. I'm out of shape--I haven't danced more than 4 dances in a night in months, and I've skipped too many dances entirely from being tired and out of sorts. Also, my new ("new"--they were only a year or so old) dance shoes fell apart on me at the Shenandoah Shindig back at the beginning of the year, when I danced right through the stitching holding the soles on, and although I've replaced Peter's dance shoes, I still haven't replaced mine. I've been dancing in my old jazz shoes, which are mostly held together with glue and hope at this point in their extremely long life, and which really don't have any padding. (When I say long life, I mean it, by the way--I think my mother bought them for me when I was in 8th grade. Might have been 9th. They were my contra dance shoes for the many, many dances over three years until I got tired of gluing the suede back onto them.) Anyway, my point is that there have been plenty of reasons for not dancing... but I should still get back into the swing of it.

I guess that's the news for now. We trudge on. I adult. I need more joy.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Tiny, convenient miracle of the morning:

Just got an appointment reminder from my GP, for next Friday afternoon. I don't need to schedule a special visit to be like "So... I'm tired a lot. Is this just an aging thing?"

I should probably call and see if I'm supposed to be getting blood work done, though.

The other slightly miraculous thing? I've already taken off next Friday (and Thursday, and the following Monday and Tuesday) to deal with moving, so I don't have to deal with any last minute schedule juggling because I forgot about the appointment as soon as I made it last year.


Other good things:
Tea with milk and honey. Toast with butter and strawberry jam. Happy cats.
all_strange_wonders: (tea or brandy)
I don't do frivolous sick days. Yesterday, I called in because I was just so incredibly tired.

I'm going through a bit of a tough time right now, really. My sleep schedule would really like to readjust to staying up late, I think, so I'm not sleeping well. And life is just kind of generally exhausting. I'm tired a lot. Usually it's more of a mental/emotional exhaustion (oh god, I am so tired--living with other people and not having much quiet time or private space is hard, trying to deal with my relationship and my depressed/pained/unhappy partner is *exhausting*), but the past little bit it has also been physical.

I should probably go to the doctor, but the prospect of finding the time for the appointment and actually driving out to Hillsborough for it is also exhausting. I'm pretty much just used right up, and there's nothing left for dealing with anything else.

Peter wants me to go see a therapist. Good idea. Peter wants me to go see one of the two therapists listed as kink-friendly in the area. Neither of them takes my insurance. Big upfront expense, extra stress of having to try and file that shit myself? Thanks, I'll just nope my own way out.
all_strange_wonders: (aspirin or death)
Once again in News Everybody Else Already Knew:
Holy shit, moving is *expensive*, y'all. I'm basically paying triple rent for August, because there's the rent for the old place, the deposit for the new place, and the rent for the new place.

My godawful landlord had damn well better return my deposit on the old place. We're going to leave this shitty house cleaner than we found it, probably. The fact that his deferred maintenance left the place in a state where shit kept breaking while we were here isn't our fault. (See: oh god we're all going to burn in an electrical fire, why is there a pond around the toilet, was that stain on the ceiling there before or is the roof leaking?). Doesn't help that dude lives in NY and is terrible about getting repair people in a timely manner. That toilet leak took like 3 weeks to fix, and then he tried to pin the damage on me for "not informing him sooner". I'm not sure how I was supposed to know that the leak would happen before it started, so... I maybe have given him some very polite and Southern shit for that.

Yeah. Expensive, but probably still worth it to be dealing with a real property management company with experience. Also probably worth it to be able to leave a shitty Yelp review if they suck at this as much as he does.
all_strange_wonders: (tea or brandy)
I fell apart a little today.

When Peter and I started dating back in 2012, I didn't realise just how stressful and exhausting it would be to be in a relationship with someone with chronic pain and increasingly severe depression. It made me understand my ex's decision to break up with me while I was going through a severe depressive episode a lot better. Goodness knows I've been tempted more than once to just throw up my hands and say "Enough! I can't do this anymore! I'm tired, I'm tapped out, and I'm just plain done."

But sometimes I do start crying and talking about how tired I am. Today was one of those days. It's been a stressful few weeks, what with dealing with the landlord (oh god just make it stop, I am so fucking done), finding a new place to live (there goes all my money!), and trying to do all the usual chores and priority juggling without much success.

(We have a new place to live. I got a promotion and a raise at work, so my finances won't be quite as tight as I thought. And of course recognition for my hard work is pretty nice, too. It's not all bad.)

And I miss my parents. Maybe it's all the stress. Maybe it's the fact that I've ended up spending more time with Peter's parents than my own recently. Maybe I'm just homesick for the simplicity of being someone's child, instead of my usual feeling these days of being the maid in a madhouse.

I usually try to keep shit together. Keep calm and carry on, etc. But today I just sort of lost it and started crying.

I hate that it gets to that point, but I really don't know what else to do.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Well, I definitely haven't managed three sentences every night. I tend to forget if Peter isn't here to remind me (and usually he checks to see if I've done it right as we're getting into bed, so sometimes even when he does remind me I opt for sleep over writing...).

I am making progress though, a few sentences at a time. I'm definitely not going to break any speed records, and I've written myself into a corner, but there are 1000+ more words to Happy New Year than there used to be. Not a single one of them has been written in a hail of inspiration--just 3 or 4 or 5 sentences at a time, with occasional inserted ##Hey, come back and explain this thing later, when you know what it is##.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
I was chatting with my friend J the other night. She's studying for the bar and having 3 different wedding celebrations this summer. She's also going to try and write a novella.

Why no, I don't feel like a slacker at all. Why do you ask?

Soooo I'm trying to reboot my writing practice once again. 3 sentences a night. That's all. They don't have to be good sentences, they don't have to be long sentences, but I have to add three sentences every night to something.

So far, with my boyfriend's help, I've managed to remember for three nights running. We'll see. Historically, I'm not good at sustained writing efforts. The only things I've ever actually finished are one-shots. Anything longer than that tends to sort of... get away from me. I'd really like to finish Happy New Year someday, though.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Still here. Still kind of drunk. Completely fucking inundated with ants.

My comment upon viewing?

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and all the little baby angels. And the motherfucking donkey."

Ants like you would not believe. The cat food has turned black with them.

I hate this house.
all_strange_wonders: (delightful and delicious)
I made my first margarita today!

And now I'm a little drunk, because I put a shot and a half of tequila in and drank it on an empty stomach. Don't do that, kids. It makes it hard to type.

Peter says my shoulders are more relaxed than he's ever felt them without someone (usually him) working on them first.

Reading and appreciating some of my old fanfic. Maybe someday I'll pick it up again. For now, I've made and corrected a typo for at least 50% of the words in this post, so I'm going to stop.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)


Dammit, Bowie.

Miss you. Mean it.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
David Bowie is dead, and somebody broke into my house today.

That pretty much says it all.

(But it doesn't say nearly all. I stayed calm. I called people and talked and answered questions. Nothing of mine was stolen beyond my sense of security. My roommate lost that and a lot more, including her dead mother's jewelry.)

Fuck cancer.
Fuck housebreaking thieves.

Tomorrow had better be better.
all_strange_wonders: (aspirin or death)
Have you heard of my new apocalyptic Christian rock band, Boogying Towards Bethlehem? (This has nothing to do with the rest of the entry. I just thought it was a funny phrase.)

Holy shit guys, moving is hard. This is probably not actually news to most of you, who I imagine have changed your mailing address at least once since the age of nine. I, alas, have not. When I went to college, I took a seasonally-appropriate selection of my clothing, my stuffed animals, some linens, and a carefully curated selection of my books, and that was it. Now I'm trying to move all the clothes, the furniture to store them in, the bed, ALL THE BOOKS oh god all the books so many books, the bookshelves, and every other tiny, random piece of shit that I have.

I swear, I am going to lose my fucking mind. Also, it turns out that the electrical outlets in my future bedroom need to be replaced, so I can't really put a firm date on moving large furniture until that's done. That doesn't make me anxious or stressed out at all, let me tell you.


I've been catching up on Captain Awkward over the past couple of days, and somehow I got from there to a great article on emotional labor from The Toast which I somehow missed when it was published back in the summer, and an associated metafilter thread. They are so, so worth reading (article linked at top of thread):
http://www.metafilter.com/151267/Wheres-My-Cut-On-Unpaid-Emotional-Labor

I have been doing a lot of unpaid emotional labor for a long time. I'd love to talk about it, but it's complicated and exhausting to parse it for words, and I don't have the energy because... unpaid emotional labor. It eats a lot of spoons. Anyway, I am 100% in sympathy with so many of these commenters. But this one especially struck me, this morning:

"A while ago I decided I would never date anyone again where their friends and family were so happy that i was "so good" for so and so, not "you're so good together" . Because I realized it meant they were happy some woman was going to be taking care of him and not them anymore."

I wouldn't know anything about that, right here and right now, when I need a therapist because I spend so much time being my boyfriend's therapist.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
So I'm having what I guess you could call an acute attack of depression (as opposed to my more usual low-level spiritual malaise that I can generally manage without medicine). I had forgotten how it can manifest as a profound irritation with almost everything, and nearly as profound desire to Avoid All The Things. You know, things like my boyfriend, talking to people, work, leaving the house...

I can work. I mastered at least that in my early twenties, the knack of forcing myself to go to work or class. But it's still incredibly stressful and distressing and exhausting.

I'm not sure I can manage anything else but the bare minimum of sustaining myself.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
I may have spent the night reading Cracked, and now it is technically past my bedtime.

This is how I always end up going "I never have any time for writing, but I just don't know where all of my free time goes!

It goes to Cracked, and computer games, and watching shit on Netflix. On the other hand, it also goes to sitting with a cat in your lap or on your belly. Some of these things are more worth not writing than others. (Although Cracked actual does some weirdly reasonable journalism these days? So that can sometimes make up for the hours and hours of reading Cracked. Also, it's entertaining brain fluff, and god knows I need that right now.)

My boss noticed that I've been quieter than usual. Awkward. "I'm tired and grieving and depressed even when I'm not grieving" isn't a great answer. Neither is "Well, our office is kind of horrible and people won't stop talking about guns, so I just live inside the noise-canceling headphones now, thankyouverymuch."

They're great headphones, though. I can almost concentrate over the conversations around me sometimes now, and I experience substantially less noise-related rage.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Today:

Largely unremarkable, thank goodness. Had too much sugar, but tomorrow is another day, so I'm trying not to beat myself up.

My mother and I hit a deer on the way home from choir practice. That was pretty miserable. And now I've written (a little, so very little, but it is an entry) and I'm tired, so bed.
all_strange_wonders: (tea or brandy)
Today at work was... hellish.

I don't like being bad at things. I don't like not being able to solve problems. I don't like not being able to find the cause of problems. I hate failing.

That said, you'll never guess what I did today! Unless you guess all of those things, with a healthy side of spinning my wheels and getting terribly frustrated and stressed at a time when I have no spoons for being terribly frustrated and stressed. My main triumph of the day was not crying in public. When that's what you're holding up for yourself as your big success, you know it has not been a good day.

On the other hand, I also played with a baby and a toddler, and had a tasty dinner with friends and boyfriend. I sang this Linda Thompson song to the baby:


Oh, and I got fancy hot chocolate from the fancy chocolate place in Hillsborough. The day wasn't a total loss. I just kind of want to hide in bed instead of going to work tomorrow, that's all. Days like today really exacerbate my fear that I'll be fired for incompetence.

***

In other news, Tillis got around to "categorically denying" any connection to the KKK. Apparently somebody decided it might be bad PR after all. (Source here. Warning: autoplaying video.)

We also had municipal elections today. Well, I say "we". The cities had elections today. I live in one of the few parts of our county that isn't part of the eponymous city, so I didn't get to vote for anything, even though the city elections still have definite effects on those of us in the county. Someone asked me this morning if I'd voted, and I briefly panicked, thinking maybe there were some county elections in this batch after all. It turns out that sort of thing is surprisingly hard to figure out, and you can't look up whether you're eligible to vote in a particular election very easily, since precincts may be partly in the city and partly outside the city.

Anyway, in the end I decided that I couldn't remember ever voting for a mayoral candidate before, and let it go at that.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Shit I Need To Do To Be A Writer:
1) Write.

***

In other news, Thom Tillis may or may not be a member of the KKK. If he really is, it... won't be surprising. Welcome to North Carolina, home of So Many Embarrassingly Awful Politicians. If he's not... well, he'll still be an asshole. Welcome to North Carolina. Did I mention home of So Many Embarrassingly Awful Politicians?

I'm still waiting on a moderately legitimate-seeming news source to report on this, so actual details are a little thin on the ground. Anonymous is busy talking about how they aren't going to release the info from their KKK hack until Thursday, and it will be rigorously fact-checked and verified and etc etc etc. So far, most of the accused officials have made denials of varying levels of vehemency.

Tillis hasn't. Make of that what you will. Here's my take:

As an elected official accused of being a member of the KKK, there is only a couple of good ("good" is a very relative term here, as you'll see) reasons not to issue a firm denial. In reason 1, you are a member of the KKK, and you're proud of it, and you don't care who knows, and you don't care that it should be political suicide. In the possibly even more depressing reason 2, it doesn't actually matter whether you're a member of the KKK or not, because you believe it will do more harm to your image with your electorate to deny membership than it will to be silent and thus tacitly affirm the accusation.

In other words, I think that Thom Tillis hasn't issued a denial because he thinks that the people who put him in office will like him less if he says he isn't in the KKK. Otherwise, issuing a denial is just good political sense. That says something pretty sad about the people of my state who put him in office.

I hope he's wrong.

I'm not sure he is.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Oh hey right, it's NaNaWriMo.

One of these year's I'll at least actually manage to make it NaNoFiMo.

(Probably not this year though.)
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
My great aunt died this morning.

And now I'm sitting on the couch we inherited from my grandmother, her sister, next to our old cat--who might be 13, or 14, or 15, but definitely old--and not quite crying. Because no matter how much I might want them to, death and aging are never going to go away, and I don't really like change all that much. I don't cope well with it. I know some people love it, but all I really want to do is get settled into my peaceful little bubble of routine--the same people, the same places, the same things--and stay there.

It's a good couch, and I like it (even though it has rather unfortunate pink-and-blue chenille upholstery), but right now I almost wish we didn't have it. Having it means that Mamaw is dead--and Papaw, and Buba, and Gene--and that they are never coming back.
all_strange_wonders: (tea or brandy)
Oh, hey, right. I have a blog.

How long has it been since I last wrote here? Like, actually wrote and posted. I have several draft entries about various (US-centric) political events that I started but failed to finish since I didn't have enough time to research them the way I wanted before they became irrelevant.

Dreamwidth tells me I last posted in... April! That's actually more recent than I expected. *facepalm*

So, what's the news?

I have not been writing. Didn't get anything prepped or finished or submitted to Lightspeed. Not too pleased about that. I feel like I've lost my writing mojo and don't know how to get it back--I look back at things I've written, and I dig them, but what little I do produce is terrible, because I'm so out of practice. And I don't really have spoons for writing these days, or the right kind of headspace, sad as that is.

My old car did indeed go to the Great Highway In The Sky. One of the columns was bent in the accident, and it deformed the frame. I drive a Prius now. I don't love it as much as I loved the Mazda (mostly because it's not bright blue), but it's a pretty cool spaceship car nonetheless. I rack up pretty serious mileage these days, but I still only have to fill up once every 8 days or so, and it usually runs under 20 bucks.

I got hired on as a salaried employee at the place that gave me the apprenticeship. That's good, in terms of making enough money to live like an independent(ish) adult. Unfortunately, it's also super-stressful. I don't really know how to be a salaried employee. This whole thing of not keeping track, really, of hours worked per week, is just too strange. It's too easy to constantly feel like a slacker.

Things with the boyfriend are also stressful. He's depressed, he has chronic pain, his disability claim and appeals (for the chronic pain and depression) have been denied, and he's in a very bad place a lot of the time. For someone with my propensity for making themselves responsible for other people's happiness, it's... problematic. And it wears on my own mental health. We're hanging in there, but I try not to look too far ahead right now. I can't really picture spending my whole life with someone in the state he's in at the moment--it's just too exhausting to imagine. So it's one day at a time, and hoping he does get better.

All super cheerful, right? Maybe I forgot to mention that it's been cloudy and raining here in beautiful North Carolina for something coming up on two weeks now. I moved back down from the mountains because I couldn't deal with the constant darkness and clouds you get up there in the winter. I want a refund or something.

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