Monthly Archives: July 2016

Honey, Let Me…

I’m reasonably certain that there is a happy medium between a Mr. Fix-It and a Slacker in our hetronormative culture. Sadly, I don’t seem to be finding them.

Slacker Boy

a.k.a. Man-Boy, Gamer-Boy, Sluggard, Lay-a-bout, Drone…

Now, this isn’t a complaint about gamer types who actually are responsible adults. This is about the 40 yr old still living in the parents’ house (not to take care of their elderly parent(s), but simply because they can’t be bothered to be an actual adult). Or the 30 yr old who takes you on a date to Burger King, and thinks that is a “fine dining experience.”

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The Other Side of “Silly”

I do have to admit, many of my choices for a silly pick-me-up tend to be rom-coms. Not that it is at all a surprise, given my long-term love of fairy tales, legends and myths.  Even if you go back to the older – more dark and scary – versions of many of the fairy tales in the world, you still have stories in which good always overcomes evil.  And often, the reward for the hero or heroine of the story is to “live happily ever after” which at least for modernized versions of the story usually means that the hero/heroine finds “true love.”

Just as an aside, most of those stories while involving the “happily ever after” rarely if ever actually come out and say (particularly if it is a male hero) that they are in love.  Essentially, with most of the stories where it is a hero, the local princess or whomever is simply given to the hero regardless of their own feelings.

But it’s essentially what we are told by society.  If you work hard, do your best to be virtuous and pure, and have compassion for others, why then you will not only be rich but you’ll also have this perfect love who will be absolutely everything you ever needed or wanted.

And it is a myth that has been slowly killing people on a daily basis.

Why do I say that? No, it’s not because the man I married was not what I thought he was. I knew what I was walking into.  But, I expected far too much of myself.  I expected myself to save him from himself. I expected “love would conquer all.”

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Categories: Non-Monogamy, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Depression Chicken Soup

I’ve been watching a number of my favorite movies lately, in an attempt to get me out of the painful, bottom-out depression I’ve been having on and off for a few weeks. I know some of it is purely and simply what is called “con-drop”. This is matter of both physical and mental responses to being at a convention. Physically, particularly if it was an enjoyable time, you are essentially going from an endorphin high to your normal, every day life. This essentially means for however long you were at the convention, you are now going into endorphin withdrawal. Emotionally and mentally, besides the total exhaustion, you are also experiencing a sense of loss. Being at a convention – whether it is a fan-based convention or any other kind – essentially means you are interacting with people who are essentially JUST LIKE YOU.

It’s hard to go back to normal life when you have been immersed in that feeling of “belonging.” In fact, it becomes so difficult that people will often try to find ways to attend multiple conventions (even if they can’t afford it) or become involved in tangential experiences. By which I mean, hobbies or jobs that tend to allow a person to mix with either the same people or similar people. For example, locally there is a lot of cross-over between CONvergence and the Minnesota Renaissance Faire. Now, I’m not putting down people that are involved in both. In fact, I’m friends with quite a few people who are involved in both. And I was fairly well involved with the Bristol Renaissance Faire outside of Milwaukee for about 5 years in the early 90s. It’s simply the fact that many of the endorphins you experience at conventions can often be found on the renaissance circuit.

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Categories: Mental Retraining, Silliness | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Quote the Tick: SPOON!!!!!

The Tick

Since the convention, I’ve mostly been recovering from the serious spoon deficiency.” This convention is essentially my vacation from the world, and like many other sci fi/fantasy geeks, I tend to try to squeeze all the fun I can in the 4 days the convention is going on. Plus, this year it included me needing to be there early to ensure I got space in the Art Show for my debut as an artist – so it wasn’t just for fun, it was also technically a “working” convention (which pretty much meant I was there from midday Wednesday to Sunday evening – a total of 103 hours. Don’t ask me how many of those hours I spent sleeping, because I have no clue).  It’s also why I spent money and time on costuming, because if I want to garner attention for my art, it behooves me to be more “visible” as well. In the past, I’ve tended to allow myself to fade into the mass of humanity and spend time people-watching. It’s only since 2014 that I have chosen to actively “let my freak flag fly.”

For this kind of convention, each of us “pays” for it in different ways. For myself, I originally thought I had gotten away with only a small amount of energy exhaustion.  That’s why you saw a spate of posts two weeks ago.  Then, on top of it, I was able to restart my vitamin and mineral supplements again (as well as the additional ones my doctor has been wanting me to start taking). And, sadly, I had a fairly deep depression bout that has been kicking my ass.  Trying to do something like write these posts was just too much, and all I could do was sleep. I didn’t even want to think about doing creative work, because most of my artwork is frankly emotionally draining.  Why? Because it comes from my subconscious and puts a face and a feeling to those “monsters” hiding there.

Maybe that’s why I love the absurdity of The Tick. I know damned well that I can get quite serious, and lose the ability to spontaneously be silly. It’s one of the reasons my ex thought I had absolutely no sense of humor. I do have a sense of humor, I just don’t go out of my way to be silly 100% of the time.  And often, because I have a very dry sense of humor, some people don’t always get why I think something is uproariously funny.

I think it is also why I tend toward two entirely separate art movements for my art.  The Photoshop photo manipulations I do tend to be darker and has definite Surrealism leanings.  The work I do in Illustrator is more hopeful, more idealized and tends to be more Art Nouveau in style.  While I am keeping a list of ideas for art, I have more items for the surrealism work than I have for the other.  It’s not that I don’t have ideas for the Art Nouveau-esque work, it’s that I have about 4x as many of the surreal than the more hopeful work.

Given how much of my life that I have hidden the more chaotic feelings, the out-of-control feelings, it’s not in any way surprising that I have more inspiration for the darker themes.  There are all of those repressed and suppressed “monsters” wanting to be seen and heard. On top of that, since my therapist wants me to “sit with” those emotions, being able to spend hours visually communicating those emotions helps me to exorcise the ones that need to be released, and learn how to deal with the ones that are useful.

Categories: Creativity, Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alright, Out of the Gene Pool!!

I don’t care either way about this whole “Pokeman Go” thing.  If it gets kids off their butts, hey good.  But, the company has been responsible.  Every time the game starts, it gives a reminder to pay attention to your surroundings.

Yet, when a teen playing it gets hurt the parent blames the game.

Look, there have been people out in parks (because not all those playing the game are kids) refusing to leave when those parks close for the night.  There have been people playing the game in and around police precincts.

There have been people literally not giving a shit that they might be in danger, expecting everyone else to take care of them rather than them taking care of themselves and being responsible.

Essentially these people are making themselves candidates for the Darwin Awards.

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The Poor Will Arise

via Ultra-rich man’s letter: “To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming”

Finally, a part of the 0.1% (those even more rich than the simple 1%) that understands history AND the human condition.

I have friends on both the liberal side of politics and on the conservative side.  I have noticed that on both ends, there seems to be this complete ignorance that our current economic situation is nothing new.  The rich have always tried to influence their government to allow them to keep the bulk of their wealth, and pay little to no taxes on it.

Even in feudal times, the taxes on the rich were more often than not passed on to the poor – with little or no money coming out of the hands of the aristocracy.

Now, on the other side of the coin, there has also always been SOME of the rich who felt a strong sense of noblesse oblige, which placed an obligation and duty on the rich to care for the poor.  It is no different than Spiderman’s motto – with great power, comes great responsibility.

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the rich began to assume that they had no obligation to those less fortunate than they. Exploitation of the poor was the agreed-upon activity of the robber baron capitalists.

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Categories: ethics, Political Opinion | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Beauty Isn’t a Size

When the original version of Hairspray came out in 1988, I had only turned 19 the year before.  I was just starting to develop my adult personality and strengths. There was a lot of those that I struggled with, including the ability to look the rest of the world in the eye and tell them I am beautiful, even if they didn’t think so.

I was introduced to John Waters’ films by friends at the time.  Yes, these were also the friends who introduced me to Rocky Horror. The films I watched were this one, Crybaby,” and Serial Mom.” I have refused to watch some of his earlier movies, not because of his satire and outrageous view of stereotypes, but because even for me some of the older movies just turned my stomach.  “Hairspray” was also the first introduction I had to the concept of a drag queen.

But, particularly “Hairspray” and “Crybaby,” both of which starred Ricki Lake as a central character, impacted my life heavily.  Her characters in both of those movies were unashamed of their bodies (or, at least, from my perspective they were), and offered a view of a larger girl that did not match the typical fat girl stereotype.  Their personalities were just as in-your-face that I wanted to be, and frankly some of which I chose to integrate in myself.

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The Seeds of Advocacy

This week’s therapy session was extremely difficult.  I was speaking to her about my feelings in regards to a recent argument with my GP doctor.  I was very angry, and very hurt.  The day it happened, I discussed it with my sister, and she reminded me that my doctor is a human being, and therefore can have bad days.  I do most often attempt to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I have a more difficult time of doing that with my medical providers.

Looking at it from a more objective viewpoint, there were a number of subjects in that recent follow-up appointments that my doctor has very clearly stated a differing opinion than my own.  Since most of them are more about subjects that aren’t a trigger point for me, I can for the most part agree to disagree with her – with no rancor.  But, those subjects that I do have some past history about (and which have been part of my advocacy for myself and my own physical health), even though this doctor is still the best partner in my own health, I still react with far more anger and betrayal than necessarily the situation requires.

And, looking back on Monday’s therapy session (because I wanted to give myself some space about it, so I could look at it more objectively), I noticed that she used a tool that I had attempted to use with my ex-husband.  While I do not have the level of rage in my psyche that he does, certain subjects almost automatically bring out a horrible level of what I consider to be “righteous rage.” After some discussion, in which my therapist tried to distill my communication down to just the feelings (regardless of the thinking behind them), I stated that when it comes to my interactions with medical practitioners I feel vulnerable, then betrayed and then enraged.

She asked me to stay in that state of vulnerability, fear and betrayal – before it moved on to rage.  It’s not a place I ever want to be in, which is why it moves so quickly from those feelings to anger/rage.  Those emotions make me feel helpless and hopeless.  I’m not sure I was completely able to sit in that state of pain, because while I felt like I was going to cry (not something I normally allow other people to see) it never reached a point where crying was unavoidable.

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Self-Reporting Is Important

I am realizing that there are a few issues that could be related to the cognitive issues Ive been fighting with over the past few years. Thing is, I have never really given them as information to a doctor (even my GP), because I simply have always thought they were just a part of how my brain works.

But, after taking the vocabulary test that has been making its way through my Facebook friends, and having two entirely different results (one last night, just before bed, and again less than an hour ago [relatively early in my day, since I slept in until almost 1:30 pm]).  Last night’s test gave a result of 17,700 words, while the more recent one gave a result of 30,150 words.  Now, I am fairly sure that this is a test meant for entertainment, rather than a particularly rigorous medical or psychological test, but the numbers are somewhat significant to me.

As usual, I started looking for medical or psychological articles relating to cognitive issues being more likely when tired versus being awake and alert.

Except, as I started reading, there were other issues that started being discussed in those articles.  Things like the word deafness I have experienced for most of my life (which has become more noticeable the older I get) which isn’t completely just the issue of not recognizing phonemes (but, tends to change the word from a  simply innocent word into something dirty or vulgar), as well as some other auditory processing issues. Or the fact I experience phantom smells, which can often make my sense of taste wonky. This isn’t at odds with the fact I seem to be highly sensitive to taste, which often means I need more bland food than the people around me.

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Derailing Gender Discussions

I’ve been noticing a trend recently. It’s not that the trend is recent (it’s happened for ages), but my awareness of it is. It’s someone focusing on gender matters (which were only tangential to the discussion at hand) over any other kind of discussion.

I would like to assume the best of those who are doing this (because they are both males and females), that they are unaware of this trend in their discussions. But, in some cases, I find that “innocence” questionable.

Recently I posted on Facebook a comment on an interaction between an African-American man and a police officer. I didn’t point any fingers at anyone in particular, simply reminding people that we cannot judge every police officer or every person of color by a single stereotype. We’re all human, and we have to stop polarizing ourselves by setting up these straw men of stereotype. An old friend posted a comment, saying that the person in the article had a military ID, and therefore was probably given a pass simply because he is in the Armed Forces (National Guard, but still part). He made a reference to the “blue brotherhood.”

My response was mostly about the ethics of giving certain types of people a “pass” simply because of who they are. It’s not that much of a jump from forgiving a military person or sweeping the issue under the rug for someone who either is a police person, or who is related to one, to forgiving crimes for someone who is wealthy and powerful. It’s an ethics issue.

I made a side comment about the fact that the police are still called the “blue brotherhood” even though there have been patrol women since the year I was born (late 60s, if anyone cares).

His response to my response? Focused on the tangential gender issue.

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Categories: ethics, Feminism | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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