Category: Rambles


On Writing

I am currently impossibly high. No drugs. No anything. My problem is writing. I’d stopped writing fiction for a while– lost the time, lost the inspiration. I’ve picked up the pen again and remembered why I tend not to write around other people.

Writing is both a mental and physical process. We think, we hit the keys, move the pen, the issue is that on top of it, when I’m in the head state of a character, something happens when I’m in a good place. I’m removed from all of this. I feel everything they do, from chill of the air where they’re being kept captive to the scent of the tea and the wool of their coat against their neck. My thought and speech patterns mesh and combine with theirs and physiological responses start to match. You can see where this could be problematic– on the anger side, I look like I’m ready to murder someone. On the sad, I feel as hopeless as they do.

My favorite flavor of this intoxication is young love. Not love between two idiot teenagers, but that sense of affection moving into something that pushes irrational impulses in the most rational of human beings. Those days where you fret about what the hell they think is wrong with you, if they know, if you even know what in fuck’s name is wrong with you. This is especially fun with cerebral characters because I identify with them so– While they’re looking up the physiological symptoms of arousal, I was the person that when someone asked if I truly liked the guy I was dating at the time, I of course said yes… but I also went home and thought for about a half hour, checking my pulse, for pupil dilation with him held in my mind.  You probably don’t believe that anyone could be that dense about their own emotions and responses to stimuli, but I was. I saw pictures of love, I could act the parts just fine, I was happy with this person, but if someone is staring at me going “but you LIKE him, right?” I don’t know how I’m supposed to know without some type of concrete indicator.

I’m better now, granted, but it takes me back to those moments where I tended to be completely oblivious to internal cues of emotion. Depending on the situation, it can take me back to the horror and cursing everything that I was apparently in love with this person because I simply didn’t know what to do. I knew external cues, but I could only know what was demonstrated to me. I didn’t know how to demonstrate any type of affection without being false. I eventually settled on giving gifts– it seemed to work and is one of the most common expressions, almost everyone gets that you like them if you give them a present, correlating how much you like them with how much value they perceive the gift to have.  Even a socially awkward penguin like me could manage that much.

Going back to those moments where one has no idea what to do to show affections, deciding if one should even try to show their affections is amusing, nerve-wracking, and difficult. It’s nice to say “Ha! I know that now!” but it also never fails to show how far I have left to go. Gifts, apparently, aren’t the end all and be all of affection– after a while they become a careless short hand. That leaves being affectionate by other means, words, actions, and when you’re still cripplingly anxious that you’ll do something wrong at times, it just makes you want to hide. It makes you lose hope for your character– how the hell can you get them through this? If the ending is to be happy, shouldn’t they at least be able to stammer that they care for someone, even if it feels like speaking Mandrin? And what if they’re interacting with someone much more normal? What then? What the hell does a more normal person think when the general affection consists of less kissing, hugging, and flattery and more of mutual company, perhaps sitting a bit closer together, and trying your best to remember the odd things that make them happy? What does a normal person think when you’re a writer, you love romance, but when it comes to love letters and poems you come up with “Roses are red, violets are a purplish color, not blue, and I hate everyone in the world but you?”

I’m not sure. Still not, three years into a relationship. All I know is I have an extremely wonderful, tolerant person by my side that acts as a wonderful consultant when I’m staring at a problem like this one. It’s nice having a model when my character manages to find someone that is tolerant of their being as much of an idiot as I am with romance or more:

“This scene isn’t right. All of them end with the other one upset. I know I’m doing some bit wrong– it all feels rushed.”

She’ll listen as I talk through it, and then: “Foreplay, maybe?”

“Uh.”

“Explain?”

“Yeah. Explain it to the person with no concept here. My brain goes from A to B. You know that, and for that I’m sorry.”

The truly fabulous part is that instead of sighing like the long suffering girlfriend with an idiot for a partner, she’ll just start laughing. She’ll explain. Again. She’ll help me with the scene. I’ll file away the knowledge for future reference, forget bits or think I have it wrong, and then it all seems to start again. I’ll write embarrassingly personal fiction and blogs on the internet all while awkward penguin-ing at her any time I try to do any explanation of my own emotions in any form other than indirectly and in text. Joys of being /dating a writer, I suppose. Everything makes sense on the page and in meat-space we bumble about, trying to think of what the hell we had a character do to solve this same problem and looking insane.

To think, this is my drug and passion. Sometimes I think it would be easier and more socially acceptable to have a drinking habit.

Final Fantasy and Familial Groups

Since the first anatomically modern humans were ambling about, they have moved in groups. Small family groups, larger tribes, extended family groups… you’ve all heard the trite phrase “man is a social animal” and it does happen to be true, scientifically speaking.

I’ve been watching Jess play Final Fantasy XIII and all the story lines seem to have something to do with family or a family group. One character’s mom dies. One is missing his son. Another, her sister. Due to all these unfortunate circumstances, a they have a suicidal drive to either avenge their fallen families or reunite them. It makes sense, given that the characters are human based, according to everything I’ve read in psychology and my dabbles in sociology and anthropology. It also makes sense that most people would be moved by these stories as a result, as they should have similar feelings. After all,  “blood is thicker than water” and “family is forever.”

It’s like watching a movie I don’t speak the language of, so I only understand pieces. I do love my sister dearly, and while I don’t think that if I was abducted my family would leave me to die, I don’t quite understand a lot of the emotions and phrases playing out on screen. My family was never the feeling expressing sort. Feelings existed and were there, but were not spoken of. Not the more positive ones, anyway. It makes me wonder about us: Would we have been different in a different time? One with more catastrophe, like in this game? What is it about people that makes them pull together in difficult times, or long for their families? What makes them fear they’ll never see them again?

I can tell you the scientific answer, and it all has to do with genes and the fact that if a species wants to survive, its genes need to be passed on. Best way to ensure the genes pass on is to install a mechanism to force one to take care of genetic offspring and those that share your genetics, even if it is only by 50% or less. I can’t tell you the emotional answer, and that troubles me for a cold, self involved reason: It makes me a poor writer if I can’t synthesize a full range of emotions in my mental alchemy lab.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said that was all it was. You know it, I know it. I’m both fascinated and repulsed by the fact that I don’t understand what seems to be a basic knowledge that you put up with your family because they’re your family. I can vaguely understand tolerating idiotic behavior from someone with 50% of my DNA that I see often or has influence over my life. It makes things a fuck lot easier if those that see you often are happy with you, and I’m terribly socially lazy. A lot of the time it’s just easier to ignore it all than bother to fuss about it. However, when people describe relationships with those outside of the 50% range, things become puzzling. I always wonder if I’m seriously missing out because while family seems to bring a lot of headaches, it also seems to bring people a lot of joy.

As I’m watching with the fascination of someone watching an ant farm, I wonder if the reason this game was so family based is not because a lot of people are not like me, but because they are like me. The world is smaller than ever, and now it isn’t uncommon for kids to move away for jobs, to abandon the lands where their family first set down roots, and rarely see each other in person. It used to be that you were with your family all the time, working beside them, running from predators with them, protecting them, feeding them, and taking care of their children. Now, we see each other through screens and talk to each other with keyboards. Humanity isn’t all that way, but where virtual communication has become more possible, people are moving farther and farther away from their families because they can worry less about “keeping in touch” with the new tech. But what happens when your only contact with someone for years is through a screen? Would you run after them if they were cursed with a horrible disease that could infect you too, just to try to save them? Or would it be easier to just weep for them, far away from them, the problem, and having not felt them elbow you in the ribs in play or ruffle your hair for years?

Maybe that’s why this game seems to be more focused around actual blood families than the Final Fantasy games I’ve known in the past, maybe we need some type of reminder.  Our playmates are taunting us from a half world away, our families are on the opposite coasts, and our friends exist on the internet.

I’m betting more people feel as unsettled and alien as I do watching this dedication to others actually being acted upon and not just paid lip service. Others that feel they’re failing the test of whatever it is to be human. With all this technology working its way farther and farther into our lives, it makes sense that we’re in danger of becoming part machine ourselves.

 

… It’s gotta be a little bit more pleasant than this.

I’m angry. Really angry. I get that way any time I have to take off of school or work due to something like pain or fatigue. Maybe not the most productive way to deal with it, but it’s what I do.

Let me start by saying I don’t like when I am not in control. Thus, this whole gastroparesis thing is making me very, very upset. I’m currently stuck taking a half day off from work to try to harangue my specialist into giving me a test in the vain hopes that a definitive diagnosis, rather than just a diagnosis of exclusion, will give me some leverage at work if push comes to shove and they ask me why my attendance sucks. I’m really hoping that this stupid fucking thing doesn’t cripple me to the point I need something like disability, but if it keeps fucking up my job, I may have to look into that.

I’m upset, I’m frustrated, and some other people in a similar situation might start looking for strength on high. This is one of the few times I wish I had some sort of faith, rather than agnosticism leaning toward atheism. I wish I had some comfort, even if it was a lie. I used to have faith in myself, and that’s failing as my body seems to be failing me.

My bad days are farther apart now, but they’re still REALLY bad when they occur, and I’m still losing weight. I can only keep that up for so long, guys. There’s not much on me to lose. I hate the idea of having a scale in the house, but it may be the only option I have to see just how fucked I am– I’ve already lost ten pounds due to this thing. Gotta say– if any of you need a diet program, try gastroparesis. You’ll dread eating so much that killing yourself sounds more pleasant.

I’m trying to upbeat. Believe me, I’m trying. This is upbeat for me. Angry and seething, but upbeat. If I was being emo, I’d post choice lyrics or quotes on Twitter and go stare at a wall in my room and do nothing. I’m trying to convince myself that this is just a bad flare up– but at the same time, I recognize I need to be prepared for this to happen in the future, along with all my other various little sicknesses I always seem to have. I’m staring at my future and wondering if I can even work a full time job like a normal person. What the hell are my options then? I always wanted to be a writer. Maybe that’s a good thing because maybe that’s my only option. Something where I can work from home and at my leisure. Something where I can go and curl up in the bathroom at a moment’s notice if need be, then resume work afterward without any penalty.

As of right now, my status is that of a Black Parade— I’ll carry on. If there’s one thing I share in common with my favorite wizard, Harry Dresden, it’s that I’m too goddamn stubborn to give up without one hell of a fight and taking at least a few people down with me in the process.

Thank you for letting me process. Thank you for dropping by. I know things can get depressing as shit around here some days, and that ain’t how most people want to spend their time.

Fuck this shit right in the damned ear. I’m finding a hack to get around it and have as normal a life as I can, even if I have to strangle a gastroenterologist to do it.

It’s… it’s… ALLLIIIVVVE!

Yes, I’m not dead. No, you can’t have my vast collection of art books and geekery.

What the fuck have I been doing? What kind of a question is that?! Things, obviously.

A little update on what’s been going on: I have my first real, adult, 9 hour a day including lunch, job. It’s been taking its toll, lemme tell ya. If I didn’t like working with technology, I’d be fucked. Add on that a flare up of my stomach being a bitch, a sinus/ear infection and a course of antibiotics, and my endometriosis trying to kill me. And Viktor damaging/destroying things and generally being a pain in the balls. Not good. Thus, the writing juices, they have not been a flowin’.

The good news: Now I’m out of training for my job and trying to cram my brain full of information visually and aurally, so there’s probably going to be a little more free space in my brain. I’ll be learning by doing from here on out, which has always been a lot easier for me. So, I’d like to ask you all a question:

What do you want to see here?

Yes, it’s a cheap plea for things to write about, but I’m pretty sure you all don’t want to hear about what’s been fascinating me lately. Not a lot of people are interested in The Divine Comedy and listening to me go “Dante, what the shit did… How did you come up with some of this nonsense?” or being amused to find out that one can make “figs” with a fist and it is an obscenity rather similar to flipping someone off. Or my musing upon a point of a friend from college that The Divine Comedy is just one big gay love note to Virgil from Dante.

But, hell, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe ranting on classical literature is something that would amuse you lot. I’m going to go through my draft posts and see if there’s anything worth salvaging, and see what I can do to maybe write on two of my favorite topics at the same time: Playboy Bunnies and Geisha.

Keep out a watchful eye, leave me a note below if you want to see my fucked up take on something, and I promise things should be in order here again soon. Look out for a new post in the coming week of SOME sort.

Post a Week 2011

I haven’t been having much of a problem making my post a week goal, which has surprised me. Usually I have some angry tirade I can go on, but today, I don’t have a lot. My problem from work today is resolved, the asshole I encountered on the way home is in the past and I’m trying to just let it go. Even if I was dwelling on it, there’s not much that can be said other than “people are assholes.”

This Post a Week thing has actually be really beneficial for me in a lot of ways– I never quite realized how relaxing it was to have to pick something each week and go on a ramble about it. It clears up a ridiculous amount of space in my head that would otherwise be taken up with going over a problem or irritation repeatedly.

So, I’d just like to thank you folk that read this blog for wandering by and reading my rambles, and assure you that the ranting and raving will resume next week.

I’m a twenty something. I’ve been in college a few years now and I’m close to getting out. Over the course of those years, I’ve realized just how many of my high school friends were not due to similarities, their better qualities, or actual ability to be a friend– it was due to proximity.

We all have, and/or had, friends like this. Co-workers, high school friends, people in our classes or studies programs. When removed from the situation we originally befriended them in, too often their shortcomings become clear and just why you befriended them does as well: You needed companionship and a mutually beneficial relationship to get through a situation, nothing more. They don’t fit into your life, and the more you see them outside their original friend-habitat, the more you wonder why you ever liked them in the first place.

Now, this is not to say that all friends met in these places are this way. You can meet your best friend and/or soul mate in school or on the job, no one denies that. However, it is not the norm. Not from what I’ve observed.

The reason I’m rambling on this is recently, more and more people from high school that fall into this category keep contacting me. I’m not sure what it is– they felt no need, or little need, to talk to me, nor I to them, before this. Often what I discover on their end is that they have run through all the friends they had after high school due to one circumstance or the other; Either they have made a stupid ass decision and their friends left them to screw up their life after trying too hard to save them too many times, or they are in the same position I and others I know are: we realize our high school friends are still mentally in high school, even if they haven’t had an epic childish screw up to prove it. What matters is who is dating who, what’s on TV, what the hippest phone is. Some people never leave that stage and that’s fine, if that’s all you really want out of life. I think you should want more, but that’s just me. You want to stay there, fine, but don’t expect me to humor you.

Let me be frank: If I am friends with you, it is because you do not bore me and you’re not a pain in my ass. One can sugar coat the reasons they are friends with people all they want, but it comes down to two things most of the time: you are either useful or a pleasure to be around. That is why you have different “classes” of friends, they each have different things they are best for. The same person you cry to when your boyfriend/girlfriend dumps you is probably not the same person you go and discuss high philosophy with or go on spur of the moment trips to Canada with. If it is, you are damned lucky and I hope you realize just how rare such a thing is. Very often, there are certain things that are utterly off limits with some people for whatever reason (sexuality, gender, politics, religion, the list goes on), and if you want them to accept all of you, that’s often a problem. They may tolerate the fact that you’re Islamic and they’re Christian, but they’re probably less accepting it and more ignoring it exists so they can still use you for whatever end you suit. If you’re looking for “true friendship” that’s not it, even if that person bends over backwards for you on a daily basis.

In any case, I don’t like making people upset if they were once friends with me by telling them precisely why I have no desire to be friends with them anymore. I’m not going to tell them “Leave me alone, you’re bloody obnoxious, YOU are the reason your life is in the shitter because you refuse to keep a job because it’s ‘hard,’ and keep making the same pattern of mistakes because you refuse to believe the world isn’t your oyster.” Instead, I’ll just not answer some of the time, then most of the time, then almost all of the time, then never. It avoids all the melodrama. It’s a coward’s way out and I fully admit that, but again, if you were once a friend to me, I’d much rather avoid a melodramatic blow up and crying and carrying on. I’d rather keep up the pretense that we just naturally drifted apart because we’re both busy. Everyone’s happy, and it leaves the door open for contact to resume in the future, and maybe by then things will work out. I’m uncomfortable cutting people totally out of my life unless they do something to deserve it.

Unfortunately this approach’s upside is also a downside: it leaves the door open to resume contact, and often the dance begins all over again. Thus, I keep getting contacted by people whom I simply have nothing to say to. I feel awkward talking to them and the conversation frequently stalls. When we do speak, it usually becomes apparent quickly that there is little to talk about, yet they keep initiating conversation. I’d like to think that when I realize conversations with an individual are going nowhere, I give up and politely excuse myself. Sometimes, people just don’t have much in common and that’s really okay. Really. It is. Trying to force conversation repeatedly is not going to change our differences.

For some of these people, it may be that they are trying to get their high school days back and by forcing contact with people from those days. They felt safer and more in control then than they ever do now, and they mistakenly associate it with the people they spoke with during that time when really, it has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with the fact that the way high school and childhood are set up now, with layer upon layer of protection from accountability and responsibility, the real world is a very nasty shock. The real world has a very different set of rules than in high school in the fact that even if it does have any, they’re certainly not static. No one is going to write out a rule book and hand it to you upon the end of high school, college, or whenever mom and dad cut you off. Even if they did, by the end of the day the rule book would be obsolete, so there would be no point. Who wouldn’t want the days of when you knew exactly what was expected of you and how to accomplish it back? I can’t exactly blame them. I don’t think it’s my place to tell them to wake the hell up and realize high school is not only not all it’s cracked up to be but also not coming back– the universe will do that for me, there’s no need for me to rub it in.

I’m not sure if all of this is really progress– perhaps it is just my becoming more selfish with my time and energy. I don’t necessarily believe this is a bad thing, but I could also be wrapped up in happy clouds of denial. Maybe I should be more grateful that someone wants to talk to me at all. But as it stands right now, I’m taking the position of Ditchwater Sal: “I don’t deal with time wasters.” Talking to someone that makes you uncomfortable, whatever the reason, is a waste of both your time, neither of you are getting what you want out of your company. Life is just too damn short for that kind of thing.

…I don’t believe in fairy tales…
…In love with a zombie…
…Love like winter…
…No one suspects at all…

So, I’m sitting up, feeling sick. Curled up on cold porcelain, my insides revolting from CHICKEN, of all things, NOT the bloody Taco Bell I had earlier, I’m going into one of my states of catatonia.

This will be another one of those posts rather akin to my “Watson, using only musical theory…” post, so those of you that didn’t like it, do feel free to skip this one.

Music is said to have a curious effect on people unlike any other stimulus. It can evoke emotions with nothing more than sounds– not so much that the sound is connected to an event, like with scents triggering memories, but that sound itself is a language our brains seem coded to understand on more than one level.

Some people say music keeps them alive, but usually it is those that actively produce music. I rarely hear someone say that simply listening is what saves them, it is the creation of a tapestry of sound from nothing that seems to be most cathartic. If you ever get in the same room with a great musician, watch them as they play their instrument. They may connect to their audience, they may look at you, but they don’t really seem to see you, and if they do, fuck is it uncomfortable. The intensity they possess while doing their passion is positively unnerving.

Occasionally, however, I do meet an individual that is like myself. Massive music connection, seemingly random things thrown in here and there, and an inability to go through a day without listening or your life just feels empty. I sometimes even meet them on another level: we each have music that simply does something to us. Sometimes, even despite our best efforts to dislike it.

For example, take “Wonderland” by Natalia Kills. I’ve never been one for Alice In Wonderland, save for Zenoscope’s take on the tale. In many ways, the ideas have been said many times before, and probably said better– after all, it is a love song. Yet, after I heard it for the first time, something stuck. Something under my skin itched, something was missing. I watched the video. I then watched the uncut version of the video. I’m back to listening to it. Something in it simply settles into my head and lulls me into a state akin to being tipsy, or to being under the influence of painkillers… my eyelids get heavy, my eyes pass out of focus and my mind runs off to make its own connections to what the lyrics mean. For this particular song, my mind climbs all over the jungle-gym of connections that makes up my ideals and thoughts on love and partnership and my relationship with Jess, and how a relationship is like a type of fucked up dope that makes the world go away. If I’m not actively guiding my attention back to reality, I’ll stay wandering around in my red cloak with the Jabberwocky threatening my bodily integrity until the song ends.

At times, it can be a bit dangerous, let me tell you. Hell, it’s sometimes songs that start the trains of thought that tend to eat me and make me stay awake for hours– Hell, it was Judas’s fault that this particular post was written. Despite my wanting to look at Gaga and go “I really don’t care about you reconciling yourself with your religion” there’s still something in the song that hooked those velcro barbs to the nerves in me. Even gritting my teeth and going “DAMNIT, GAGA, YOU’RE GOING OFF THE DAMN RAILS!” something is bothering me about that damn song and won’t let me go. I hate the style, and yet here I am stuck listening to it. Maybe it’s my perverse fascination with the hypocrisy of religion and what is considered “blasphemous,” but I doubt it. If that was it, I’d snicker at it a few times, but I wouldn’t have a compulsion to listen to it again. And again.

It’s sometimes days or weeks later that I discover why it is that a song clicked so well with me and why it won’t leave. Sometimes it is because it reminds me of something so strongly, sometimes it’s because it evokes an overall feeling, sometimes it’s a piece of the lyrics. It was only fairly recently I discovered why “Prelude 12:21” and “Miss Murder” stuck so well:

“This is what I brought you/This you can keep/This is what I brought/You may forget me/I promised you my heart/Just promise one thing/Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep”

“…Hey Miss Murder/Can I make beauty stay/If I take my life?/”

Other than those two songs making you think I’m seriously depressed, they also carry expressions of my depressing/sociopathic views on love. I do carry the belief that should the only one for me, my person, my match leave me, all I ask is one thing: Do come back once more to see me, even if it simply is to close my eyes on my death bed. Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep. Then you get into my mania with Miss Murder: Okay, so you’re murdering me by leaving and destroying the thing I care about most, you and my relationship with you, and while it makes me a selfish prick, I’m eying that knife over there and wondering if I can avoid feeling the loss by stabbing myself in the chest. If you’re dead, technically, your love was just interrupted. No one broke up with anyone, another circumstance broke you up. So I didn’t fuck up and drive you away. YAY!

Hey, stop looking at me like that. Van Gogh cut off his ear and gave it to a prostitute. I admitted I’m being a selfish, psychotic prick with that previous bit. Van Gough thought it was just fine to give a severed limb and was annoyed when the chick ran away screaming.. Of course, that was probably due to the long term effects of lead poisoning, but that’s neither here nor there.

The point is that due to music’s ability to do this to me, it makes for a fantastic way for me to cope– the only problem is that only certain songs manage to have the full effect, the rest are just distractions. It is at that point I turn to other things to help take my mind off things more completely… like blogging nonsense at three in the morning about my musical listening habits and the meanings therein.

Also, for those of you still concerned for @DrHowl’s safety/sanity, do feel free to warn her to leave before I lock her in a closet and start calling her “my precious.” However, if you’re one of those people that takes something like that seriously coming from me, this blog may not be the best of places for you. Take a spoonful of salt with what I say in regards to violent outbursts, and for maximum effectiveness, take said spoonful on the rim of a tasty margarita. Do that and suddenly, things will start to make a lot more sense around here.

I realize my blog posts keep veering steadily toward the insane lately. You know what? It’s my goddamn blog. You don’t like it, get out. I got good reason. Wanna know why?

I went to the doctor today, after two months of having so many problems with food I cannot eat, save in small doses maybe once or twice a day. It causes me physical pain. It makes me unable to focus, unable to walk, unable to do anything. I have to plan after attempting to eat something to feel as though there is a basketball wedged under my ribs and deal with the pain that pressure causes, like it or not, because I just had to break down and eat some crackers. The audacity I have, making my stomach serve its goddamn purpose. Horrifying.

No medications help. Heat doesn’t help. Rest doesn’t help. I finally got to the Gastrointestinal Specialist today. Here’s what I learned.

1. I lost ten pounds in the past two months without trying. The look on the nurse’s face when I told her that one was impressive. “Oh fuck” is generally not an expression you want on your medical provider’s face when you tell them something.
2. None of my symptoms, surprise surprise, are anything that the doc can go “A-HA!” and diagnose.
3. In the words of my doctor: “No twenty something should be losing weight from a gastrointestinal problem. You should have an iron gut like most kids your age, and be off drinking beer and eating pizza. Not this.”
4. There is some debate in the medical community if they should continue to have pagers or just use cellphones instead (hey, I saw he had a pager, I was amazed they still existed, and we talked a bit. It made the horrible pain and sick feeling go away for a minute, so he humored me.)
5. I get to go for a endoscopy and a colonoscopy on Tuesday of next week. Most people don’t have a colonoscopy until they are 50+ years old. I’m a wee bit concerned.

Actually, no. I’m not a wee bit concerned. I’m very concerned that they don’t know what’s wrong, and that they have to do expensive fuck tests to even try to have an idea of what’s wrong. And if there are any of you paranoid fucks out there going “THEY JUST WANTCHA MONEY! DON’T DO IT!” Fuck you. Fuck you in the face with a baseball bat with a sprinkling of go to hell. When a doctor I just met is visibly distressed at what is going on, telling me that while he’s doing bloodwork, even if he finds something there we’re still doing the tests to make sure there’s nothing really really bad going on, I FUCKING LISTEN TO THEM. I’m an arrogant little shit, but I don’t pretend to have a medical degree.

I get back from all this fun and games today with some new drugs to tide me over until Tuesday and maybe make my sad little life more bearable. Then guess what? I got hit with a migraine. I tried sleeping after taking some ibuprofen and lots of fluids, it got worse. I had to grope my way to the bathroom with one hand over my eyes because I was so light sensitive, and try a hot shower because the leftover narcotics I had resorted to taking because the pain wouldn’t stop didn’t work. I’m finally okay, but nauseous and still light sensitive after that.

And guess what. Come on, guess. 😀

I have a biology test tonight. I’ve already accepted I’m going to fail it because I can’t study for fear my migraine will come back and I won’t make it to the test at all, and as they say, 30% is still better than a zero.

So, yeah. I’m worried, I’m upset, I’m trying to find my way out of my dead-end job and need to fill out things for that, I’m having tests no twenty something should be going through, I’m scared I’m going to fail this bio class and have to take it again, adding another semester onto when I’m supposed to graduate, and on top of that, I know my parents and I are sitting here looking at the fucking bills my being sick keeps racking up and going “fuck.”

This blog is my only outlet for a lot of this because I don’t want a lot of the people that know me in meatspace (thank you, @patrickcentral) to know what is going on because I don’t want to deal with that. So I’m really sorry if it gets depressing for a while.

On the upside, at least all this miserable shit will probably be sprinkled with videogame references and morbid humor?

Or, you know, if you wanted the funny-ranty to come back, you could always try esunaga. I can’t find my white mage staff at the moment.

Okay, that was forced and sad.

I’m just going to stop now.

Thanks for reading, you guys. And whoever keeps searching “I, out of musical theory, have created order out of chaos” to find my blog? Leave a comment. I’m fascinated by your existence. No, seriously. I am. Please?

… I’ll stop for real this time, now. Bye, guys. I’ll keep you posted as I can.

The Burning Giraffe

Once upon a time, there was a girl. “Sometimes,” she said, “I feel like I’ve been somehow torn out of a surrealist painting.”

Normal is relative, she knew. What is normal for one person is not for another– however, she concluded that we can all agree that there are some things that there is a sort of agreed upon definition of.

This girl feels she is taken from a surrealist painting because her perceptions, compared with others, are abnormal. This girl’s normal is made up of giraffes on fire.

What brought all this on for her was seemingly innocuous: her class was discussing birthdays as a child what they entailed culturally. She followed everything they said at first, knowing what “should” happen: There’s cake, a party, everyone gives you presents… but then she nearly laughed out loud at another condition that is supposed to be in place that seemed absurd to her mind.

“It’s almost impossible to get in trouble on your birthday, isn’t it?”

Everyone around her nodded and agreed. Her laughter quickly died, and she slid down in her chair.

This was not an isolated incident for the girl. Another one, brought up by a web comic one evening:

“Hey… your parents go through a few different names before they remember yours, right?”

The confused expression said it all. It was confirmed by the response of the girl’s new shrink.

“Occasionally my parents, who are in their 70s, will call me my brother’s name, but it’s always followed by ‘Oh! I’m sorry, Scott.'” He said.

“So it’s not normal to go through your mother’s name, your sister’s name, and whatever before they get to yours fairly regularly.”

“No.” Not in the way described.

“Okay, well… when you talk to me, you have to tell me that shit isn’t normal. I don’t know.”

The Burning Giraffe doesn’t stop there.

She watched a youtube video of a director throwing a fit on set, guided there by an article on the insanity of the film industry. Most people watched it and laughed at absurdity of the reaction: it’s a grown man throwing a temper tantrum like a five year old. She was amused and disappointed in humanity, just like every other viewer, at first. However, she also had the addition of a knee jerk reaction of sick terror at the point where the director comes back into the set, through a side door and seemingly out of nowhere to resume his tirade. She honestly and truly felt, for a split second, someone was coming through her bedroom door to do the same to her. And this was in her room, in her house a city away from where this could have happened. She had to wrestle that stupid fear to the ground with logic before the sickness would leave, and even then, a lesser form lingered.

That disturbed her. She didn’t mind being unusual, that was her common state. Perhaps her family is just a little strange. Auto-immunity on your birthday not existing and almost no physical contact can’t be that unusual. Not all families are huggy. Not all parents will let you get away with setting the couch on fire just because you happened to be born that day, expecting the same standard of behavior they always expect. That seemed reasonable.

What doesn’t seem reasonable is a grown woman, in her own house an hour away from her parents’ house, terrified her father is going to come through the door and start screaming, complete with exactly what the director said at the end of that youtube video.

“I DIDN’T FUCKING YELL AT YOU.”

… off runs the burning giraffe. It’s normal to the giraffe to be on fire, and it’s normal that it is running around a desolate setting with strange people without faces.

It’s normal for the giraffe to be on fire here. Most giraffes would be grazing or chilling at the waterhole. Now, what is truly normal: to be on fire, or to be going about life?

She never used to know it was abnormal to live in this world of zoo animals aflame. She used to say “Well, my home life sucks, but so does everyone’s.” Apparently it doesn’t. Apparently other people’s birthday memories don’t include hysterically sobbing on the couch while being screamed at as a teenager and not being allowed to move or leave until their older sister forcibly rescued them. Apparently other people don’t have the recollection of being spanked so hard as a kid a handprint stayed there for the rest of the day, possibly longer, they just can’t remember, and are terribly frustrated that interferes with the comforting lie that “Well, at least they never hit me.” Apparently other people don’t rationalize away that pesky, interfering fact and say to themselves, “everyone was spanked when they were little,” leaving out the fact that other people don’t have stories like that one (or have problems with anyone touching their ass with an open palm to this day.) Apparently other people never had to deal with their clothes being yanked on, or inappropriate comments about their body. Apparently most people don’t have the disturbing realization that some of the shit that has been said to them falls under the definition of sexual harassment. Apparently, none of this was normal, and no one bothered to tell her.

Normal people probably don’t worry about libel when talking about their lives, she knew. She knew names in true stories were often changed to protect the innocent, but that wasn’t what would occur should she tell someone. It would be to protect the guilty. Having a strong sense of what is just, that made her sick. Angry.

So, instead of writing it herself, she asked her friend if she would tell her story on her blog. Looking at the words there in print, identity hidden, she felt better. No one had to know, but the process of it being written down made her heart lighter, even if it did make her cry a couple times in the process. She asked her friend to add a last note as to why she wanted her story told.

“Some people don’t know what normal love is. Or what normal life is. Be patient with them.” She paused a moment in her dictation. “And don’t feel sorry for me. That’s not what I want. If anything seems weird in your friends’ or families lives, if they seem not to know what a normal family is, reach out to them. Adopt them into yours. Help them find someone to talk to that will help them realize that even after years and years of not normal, things can be okay.” She lost her voice for a moment, then continued: “Tell them they don’t deserve this.” She turned away and it took her a few moments before she could finally say the last, most important part of all her tale: “Please-” her chest jerked, forcing a pause, “please tell them it’s not their fault.”

And with that final statement, she wept.

****

Sort of a PSA, but not really, considering it’s true. If you know who the girl is, please don’t mention it in your comments or responses. She’d really rather not have her parents find this and sue her ass for libel, no matter how unlikely that scenario is. Leave responses or well wishes to her below if you want, but if you really wanna help, go talk to that person you know whose life sucks balls. They’ll appreciate it.

*ahem* Now, if this sounds like you, or someone you know, call 555-…

The Limits of Kindness

Okay, I know you’d never frigging guess it from some of the ranting I do here, but I do try to be nice and help people out when I can. I do. But damnit people, I do have limits.

All right. I helped out a friend with her journalism project once, doing an interview for her. APPARENTLY you cannot do interviews over the internet or, really, even the bloody phone. And then, even when the first damn interview is done, you get harassed again for a follow up interview. Each of these take about an hour. And have to be in person.

I work two jobs. I’m on spring break now, but I have work every single damn day and I have projects to do for school. I’m being bothered again for another project and another interview. I’m tired when I get home, and I have chores to do so that I can, you know, have clean clothes to wear and food to eat. Then I have projects I have to do for my own classes. My point is, while I could go and try to find the hour in the day, it is possible, I really don’t feel like being probed again. I need that time to hunt for another job for the summer (one of my two jobs only occurs while school is in session) or just to finally have some time to myself. I’ve been nursing some form of a cold or flu for the past damn week. I don’t want to have to get up and drag myself to campus or wherever she wants to meet and then play twenty questions.

I’m writing because I feel guilty, I suppose. I’m that person that actually answers the grad students that need surveys for their projects in the psych department e-mails. I know people don’t respond and it screws these grad students– and I know that no one wants to be interviewed, and that there is, of course, the possibility that I’m this friend’s last hope.

The thing is, there ARE other people she can interview. I’m not the only college student in existence. And furthermore, what the hell did she do before I gave her that first interview? She should go back to those sources. For the last interview I gave her, it was on how little time I have due to school and my jobs. She cannot exactly claim that she figured I “wasn’t doing anything.” And then, on top of that, the last time I was interviewed, the “follow up” questions hinted toward her writing taking a slant that I did not appreciate, even if her professor is the only person reading her work in this case. It also doesn’t help matters that this project is another one on the subject of my finances, and frankly I feel very uncomfortable discussing my finances in any more detail with her. She went into some very personal detail last time. Mayhap it is because she goes into such uncomfortable detail she’s having problem finding subjects, but that is not my problem.

It’s a relief to write that. It isn’t my problem. My projects, my work, my health, those are my problems, not saving her academic ass.

What does it say about the strange wiring of my brain that I had to reason through this this way to relieve my guilt for something that was never my problem in the first place?

P.S. If you want to interview someone about their pets, it helps if you bother to remember their pet’s name and sex correctly. It just seems like a common courtesy to me. Especially when my cat’s name is Ginger and you decided she is male and named Chester. Otherwise, I might just feel that you’re using me.

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