chantico: (Pained)
Been underwater with work lately, hence no updating (nor anything else). We get these bottlenecks, where despite the best efforts of our coordinators, sometimes everything is due all at once, and late nights are the consequence. It's rare! I'm almost through, the last two huge, messy projects are due tomorrow, and then I am in the clear. The the terrible project is waiting for me at the end of the queue . . . lurking. Biding it's time.

Better now than next week, because in two weeks, I have a vacation coming up. It's s stay-home vay-cay, but man, I need the time off. Swanning around my homestead for a week sounds wonderful.

***

Had a long post on religion and spirituality but it needs a lot of refinement and thinking through, so I'm not there yet. But this is a good transition into meditation stuff-- tried a chakra meditation instead of the breath counting, which just . . . wasn't working with me. Chakra work, on the other hand, is one of the easiest things I can do, with powerful result. I understand it intuitively, and the effects are . . . well. I credit it with my nervous breakdown. That sounds a lot worse than it is. Let me rephrase: I credit it with helping pop the cork on my depression and anxiety. What came spilling out was not so much its fault.

Anyway, tried meditating, and, oof. Clogged up from head to toe. Not a one of them would open, and they all had gross colors and were shot through with nastiness, or were very weak, or twisted up. I have some unknotting to do, starting with what bad behaviors/habits are helping tangle them.

****

Sciatica constant, hateful. Compelled to stick long needles into my ass, hip, leg. No idea why. Stretches not helping. I need a massage.

PRACTIVE

May. 31st, 2013 10:58 am
chantico: (Crabby)
This stupid sciatica will not go away. Resisting the urge to slam my back/ass/leg against things just to disrupt the constant, low grade discomfort that never changes. Go away. GO AWAY. SCREEEEEECH.

Went through my novel outline (what I have) and tweaked a lot of the events so that Delilah (and really, everyone) is more proactive. I fall *so* easily into the observer role when writing or gaming, my characters have a huge problem with being lurkers and reactors. I like playing with Delilah's evolution into a more proactive person, because she does start off as a passive individual, but it's a fine line to write. There's gotta be enough spunk in her that people actually *like* her and will stick with the first few chapters as she begins to take a more active role. Chapter 3 is where she makes her first real choice, so up until then, empathy is my key. She's possessed by something that takes her physical agency away from her at any stressful moment-- making internal choices is pretty much all she has at first.

And Dane shouldn't be a reactive character at all; neither should Winston. Arthur, funnily enough, is the most passive out of the group due to his meticulous, watchful nature. I can't wait to dig into this subject again when his stuff finally comes up, being that it echoes this same issue. When you've embraced the role of the Observer so thoroughly that the world starts to forget you exist, what can you do to make it remember you?

Bok booook books book

****

I'm having bouts of anxiety before I go to sleep every single night, and I don't know why.
chantico: (Default)
Daily scene: sit down to write journal entry. How do I feel? What do I want to say?

Sleepy. All is sleepy.

Mostly don't journal because that's about all I can dredge up.

****

Thanks to everyone who left comments and congratulations yesterday! Immediately Jason protracts a cold, because his immune system runs on stress and fear. He gives his thanks to the Dayquil god and is very much enjoying working with the school. Here's the rundown:

He's starting next fall as Pinnacle's new math teacher, primarily for 7-8th graders (cue raving crowds, images of a Colosseum, a victorious gladiator standing over a middle schooler. The Empress shakes her head: "I don't know how he does it." Neither do we, lady. Neither do we.) However, until the end of this school year, he's substituting for several classes, getting to know the students and the curriculum and making a pleasant amount of moolah in the mean time. Over the summer he'll be wearing several hats: tutor, teacher, and administrator. He'll be helping kids in math and English, teaching a few electives, and then The Big Job of reconstructing the entire school's math curriculum so that it functions smoothly from 1st through 12th grade. Real professional, we-trust-you-are-well-educated-and-good-at-your-shit stuff. I am proud as a heap of lions and have all the confidence in him. Go Jason!

I have thoughts about my own career but eeeee not ready to tackle those they frighten me, so bookmarked for later.

My back is finally feeling better! I can stand up straight for more than five minutes without it seizing. I can take *walks*. Very happy indeed. Still keeping tabs on it and taking it easy, because the wrong twist or sudden bend and it tightens up, like a pair of very big hands grabbing my spine. The sciatica has improved greatly, and I can now fully extend my left leg, which wasn't happening for a while there. I'd do my leg lifts, putting both straight up in the air to stretch the lower back, and my right leg would point at the ceiling while my left one was a crooked, misshapen hamhock. Staying out of high heels, though; I tried to wear a pair of four-inchers today and felt the twinge, so retreated to flats. Soon. SOON.

Best of all I can now clean my filthy house. And mow the lawn. I am unnaturally excited to mow the lawn.
chantico: (Relieved)
Back is feeling a whole lot better today! I want to run out into the grass and wriggle and mow my lawn and clean my house and walk to the library! And I still can't, because healing requires patience and this is exactly what happened last week and look where that got me. Thhbbt. I solemn swear to protect my spine and give it the TLC it needs to make a full recovery.

Maybe it feels better because I took care of the gargoyle (or one of them) perched on my shoulders. Anxiety and procrastination are such close bedfellows, and the one has been driving the other for too long in regards to Origins this year. I just can't do it-- I have had too rough a winter and I am too damn poor to manage operating a booth this year. I wish it were just a matter of not exhibiting, but I'm supposed to have done the picture for the Artist's Section of the Con book, and . . . it just ain't happen. You guys, I missed a deadline. I missed SEVERAL. And in my stubborness that no, I WILL go, I WILL finish this piece of art, they're now close to print and have no picture.

Dick move, Avery.

Guilt aside, admitting defeat is the best decision I could have made, and I feel so much lighter for having sent that email off.

****

Random thought of the day: Pinterest and I have a complicated relationship. I like it, and it is pretty, and easy to visit, but I don't do so very often. I get this little trickling dread-stream moving through me when I'm there, despite the pastel mochachino feel-good flower madness of the place. Tumblr, on the other hand, I am on *all the time* despite a design team that seems to hate users and the most unintuitive, nonfunctional operating system I have had the displeasure of using. Why do I relax there?

Because, I realized, I only want to visit Pinterest when I have money. It is a site about consumerism, aspiration, *wanting*, the pursuit of perfection in all things. Pinterest is about the life you'll never have (and can't afford). Underneath that polished exterior it reeks of a sort of dishonest, competitive desperation, even if the people who use it don't fit those adjectives. For the most part what are people pinning? Products, or places that you need lots of money to visit, or projects that you need the luxury of not working to do or maintain. Recipes with expensive ingredients or for parties that are hard to afford. Clearly not *every* pin falls into this, and I don't blame the users-- I don't even blame the network. It's like . . . Pinterest is the garden, all of the toxic societal expectations of women and affluence are the fertilizer, and what has bloomed is a beautiful flower that I'm allergic to.

Tumblr, for all it's structural faults, is full of ridiculousness and messy fandom stuff and people circulating lots of art of *all* kinds and funny things and dumb things and it's just . . . fun. Once I got the hang of it, popping in over there is entering the coffee shop where my favorite geeky, arty college friends hang out. We squabble and talk deeply about things and are interrupted by someone doing a break dance routine to a dubstep Legend of Zelda cover. But most of all, it's *earnest*. Pinterest is about the life you want to live. Tumblr is the life you're living now, in all it's stupidity.

Though I still miss LJ the very most.
chantico: (Weak)
My back is *so* fucked up. On Sunday night I had to sleep upright in our armchair, because the muscles were spasming so hard I was vomiting in my sleep, and I'd wake up choking on stomach acid. It gets a little better with massage and an adjustment (and Flexeril/a massive dose of Ibuprofen)but that doesn't seem to last. And of course, this is the week I have to get the apartment sparkling clean before our move-out inspection, which *should* involve all the nasty, hard work chores like scrubbing the floors. I don't know what to do because it ain't happening. Though the pain and stiffness is markedly better today, for stupid reasons: laying in bed last night, I had the misfortune to sneeze. Under the high tenor of my screech, I heard (and felt) a pop in my lower vertebrae. Immediately felt like a pressure valve had been opened. Go figure.

***

Been listening to audiobooks as a way to keep myself moving throughout the day-- Cat Valente's Habitation of the Blessed and Les Mis are the two on my iPod right now, both of which work better for me as a recitation than as text. Habitation is not Valente's best book. It starts off very slow, and the language, while pretty, has a lot of "this thing is like this thing" repetition. The poetry of it works better when read aloud. I don't know if it's eminently rude to muse on how I'd "fix" the narrative to make it work better for me, so I'll refrain, but I'm thinking about it. Les Mis is good background noise. Dumas is so frickin' wordy (talk about a long set up!) that I can tune in and out and not feel like I've missed overly much as far as plot goes. I'm enjoying it, mind you, just not hanging on every word.

***

Projects at work are mind numbing. Lots of specific layouts (that don't work in the format and style requested), lots of nitpicky authors changing their minds about what details should or should not be included, lots of instructions that are nigh unreadable due to bad spelling, bad handwriting, and bad faxing. Also, lots of flat out crazy. And requesting impossible scenarios/styles. And asking for too much to be packed into one page. I have had a personal breakthrough about my cotton-stuffed head at the end of the day: that is not a failure on my part, either mental or physical. It is an expected result of doing some serious creative heavy lifting. It's okay to be tired after translating semi-literate babble into english, and then into a cohesive visual language, and to do not one, not two, but around 10 illustrations like this every day.

I need a vacation.

****

Money sucks. Send winning lottery ticket.
chantico: (Pleasent)
FFFF OH GOD some of the TF2 sound file names for the movie were leaked and SJKFBMJSF SCOUT AND PAULINE ALL OVER THE PLACE DEATH CRIES HEEEEAVVVVYYYY I'm flailing.

****

I got a big dose of Momma time yesterday evening, in which she made me a grilled cheese sandwich and rubbed my back. It was painful at the time, and resulted in one of the bizarre pains I've had: a shooting spasm in my sternum, up to my throat, and inside my ear. Very weird, and wouldn't let up. Getting to sleep was difficulty and had to be accompanied by a muscle relaxer. This morning, though, I'm feeling dandy. We are not yet at 100%, but I'll take 75%. I can stand up!

Though trying to do some of the exercise to stretch the back reminded me that I have a kinesthetic intelligence score of zero. Or whatever number comes past "able to walk and breathe at the same time". Isolating muscle groups is . . . not my thing.

Still very sleepy from the muscle relaxer.

Energy check yesterday still small. Noting that for future reference; will compare it to other times in pain. Meditation was a distracted bust, between back and cats vying for my attention.

While brushing my teeth, had an observational epiphany about my creativity. The hardest part of sitting down to write is leaping off the fear cliff: to put my hands on the keyboard, I must vault an incredible surge of terror. Noting that helped me get past it last night, when I started making excuses. I wondered if it wasn't something unique to writing for me, but, no, I get the same burst of fear when I sit down to draw. My art fear is a pond stone, smoothed by years of washing over it; my writing fear is a sharp crag clearing the ocean. I must generate great waves to wear it down.

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May 2014

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