Thursday, December 19, 2002

Off to France tomorrow early am.

This went way too fast, but it was good.

If questioning would make us wise
no eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
if all our tale were told in speech
no mouths would wonder each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
and love not bound in hearts of flesh
no aching breasts would yearn to meet
and find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
the secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
to thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the "If" and "Why"
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.

-Bill Archer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The grass is still covered in frost, and it's past noon. It's still crunchy spearmint grey, I watched Fezzie, one of my cats, pick his way across the lawn, imagining his bare paw pads burning from the cold. He looked distinctly unimpressed with the situation, I could practically hear him swearing under his fishy breath. (Cats always have fishy breath, even if they live on Science Diet)

Inigo is much more sensible, he is curled up next to the base of a radiator in the hallway, in a patch of sun from the big window in the stairwell. The sun doesn't make much difference to temperature outside in the freezing air, but behind glass it is a little warming. Inigo knows how to weather through the winter.

As I human I have the advantage of being able to resort to clothing to keep my paw pads warm. Fuzzy woolly socks and equally fuzzy woolly gloves, no tiptoing barefoot through the frost for me thank you very much.

Time to get dressed and head back into town. Only one and a half more days in Scotland, then it's on to the south of France. I wish I had a little more time here, but I'm pretty sure if I were here for the whole two weeks I'd have just ended up leaving everything until the last minute, at least this way I've been pretty efficient in my usage of time. I have bought most of the Tartan Tat (scottish-themed souvenirs) I wanted to take back, and located a gift for everyone on my list. All I need to get are the foody items I promised to take for people. I can get those tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Now I know why I didn't get in the habit of wearing high heeled shoes of any variety while I lived in Edinburgh. Cobbled streets. And hills, steep hills and steeper little closes (alleys) that make shortcuts between streets on different levels.

CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP. This is the sound of me striding down Fleshmarket Close in my chunky red boots. CLOMP CLOMP CL-stagger-OMP. This is the sound of me narrowly avoiding: a - twisting my ankle; b - falling on my arse; c - staggering into oncoming traffic; or d - all of the above, while crossing Cockburn street, which is cobbled and steep.

It was well and truly cold today, only just above freezing in fact. It made a nice change for me. I have a warm jacket, having added woolly hat, scarf and gloves to make it draft-proof, I was able to stride about town all day, blowing misty air from my mouth and feeling my cheeks going bright pink from the sting of the air. It was lovely and still today, wind would have made the cold much less fun, and the sky was a clear icy blue, allowing the sun through to paint everything yellow (but not affect the temperature one little bit). Unlike the perma-grey that has been in force since I arrived, today there was real daylight and everything! For several hours.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

24 hours till take off.

It is officially winter. The duvet has been released from its cramped confinement in a duffel bag under my bed, unfurled from its summer hibernation and draped across the bed to insulate my winter slumbers. It remains as yet uncovered, because wrestling with a king-sized duvet cover in the dark at midnight is not my idea of a good time.

Suddenly all is warm snugglies, with the squishy weight of feathers keeping us cozy. I find it much easier to sleep with the feeling of covers over me, so much so that even in an August heat wave in New Mexico I couldn't sleep without at least a sheet over me.

Tomorrow I'll be going home to an even heavier duvet, a super fluffy construction deep enough to get lost in, highly necessary in the drafty long nights of an Edinburgh winter. Besides which, it's excellent for hiding under and surprising people. Not to mention watching the cats wading across it, with their feet sinking in as though it were an indoor snowdrift.

Cats! I haven't seen my two furballs for a year and a half. I wonder if Inigo will remember me and fall back into the routine of dragging me off to bed at 11pm so that he has access to my room. I wonder if I'll smell like a stranger to them and get ignored. I realize they're they closest thing I have to children, not very close at all really, but I planned their existence and talked my parents into letting Annabelle have just one litter, I've known those two little animals since they were a couple of hours old. I can talk to my parents over the phone, and that compensates for the distance somewhat, but interaction with an animal is wordless, and you can't do that over the phone. Even if Fezzie's purr has occasionally carried down the wires.

Most things about "home" can be replaced or substituted in a new place, you can make your own home. Pick furniture, plan art projects to personalize the place, develop comfort food habits revolving around local specialties, find a new café to inhabit…but it'll be home anew, nowhere can ever be the same as the first place you called home. Not even the original place itself.

I know that when I go back, there will be moments when I'm walking down a street and it could be any point in time since I first walked down it ten or even twenty years ago (though twenty years ago it would be more toddling than walking for me). More often than not I suspect I'll be noticing how different it is, how much more like I remember London being, all the hoards of thirteen year olds with mobile phones and the snazzy sandwich places having replaced the less cosmopolitan teenagers I remember, and the cheap little bakeries that used to sell wonderful greasy pasties and pies for the local workers' lunches.

My parents house will still be both cozy and drafty as hell, but now the kitchen's actually painted, and the shabby beige living room set got sent away and came back after some major reconstructive surgery as a lovely new three piece suite in a nice burnt orange color. Not a single cat claw mark anywhere on them! I'm not even sure if the cats have been allowed to sit on them yet.

I'm going back for a visit, this is the first time it's really been so clearly just for a visit, this is the first time it's going back to where I grew up, not going home. I suppose it isn't even my second home any more, it's "back home" and my flat in North Park (A Community Of San Diego) is "home". I'm making and finding my own traditions and habits, my own signals of the changing seasons. I still can't help hoping that some day I'll live in Edinburgh again, so I can share the things I remember with Matt, and discover together new things about that city, recreate home there for myself with a different perspective.

It may never happen, I won't be distraught if it doesn't, for now it's merely a pleasant idea. A way of keeping homeclose to my heart.

Home is... Cold air and warm sun shining through bare trees. Sparkling frost on the concrete sidewalks before it gets trampled and melted by passers-by. Gusts of cold rain thrashing through my hair as I trudge up Dundas Street towards my bus home, cursing the long skirt of my school uniform that offers no protection against being soaked to my skin. The dreamy near-silence of the summer air, in which everything seems to echo slightly, the sound of my Dad trimming trees, or a car door slamming on the street, that damn bird who's call sounds exactly like our phone, or maybe it is the phone this time. That spot on the edge of Brighton Park that alwayssmells of dog poop, and nobody's ever been able to figure out if it's dogs, or just a really stinky shrub…


Tuesday, December 10, 2002

I had some potentially interesting thoughts about gender identity on Saturday, or rather, spurred by Saturday night's hanging out and shooting the shit. I'll probably save that till I've got more time to compose something properly.

I've solved the problem of the generic new and shiny furniture, or at least formulated a plan to. I found an untreated pine table and I'm going to stain it very lightly, and decorate it with both a pyrography wand and some little painted designs, and paint similar designs on a couple of wooden chairs to go with it. It will be very plain furniture, but the decoration will be entirely personal and idiosynchratic. This also turns out to be a pretty darn cheap option, which is always a plus. Especially after paying double rent in December, and funding Christmas presents. I figured out I can get additional storage for my kitchen, the table and two chairs all for about $160, which is a lot less than I was expecting to have to shell out. Of course that doesn't include the cost of stain, paint and lacquer, or the time investment of the decoration, but the cool part about personalizing my kitchen furniture is that it's a project, a creative passtime, and a money saver all at once.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

In about 169 hours I'll be on my way to the airport to head home. One of my "homes" that is. I confuse myself saying things like "I'll bring stuff from home when I come home". At last count three places qualify as "home": my flat, Matt's place, and Edinburgh. This is a nice change from not to long ago when the internal wail of I wanna go hoooome was met with the realization that I meant Scotland, my parents, the beat up old loveseat under my loft bed and my supersized laid back tabby cat. Now I'm starting to establish a homeyness in my new place, the main thing it's lacking is that "shabby genteel" thing made up of drafty windows, semi-threadbare carpets and junk store furniture that makes my parents' house feel so well lived. I may never get used to how new and shinyeverything is here.

I think the hormonal whirlygig might be starting to wear off. Finally. Today it seems that my biggest quandary is whether or not to return those low-rise jeans I bought online, since they don't actually reveal anything untoward, just threaten to. I need more fashion advisors.

Yeah, I'm definitely shallow today, it's a relief though.

Today's the 8th luniversary too, I don't know how the past two months have gone by so fast, it seems like we only just had our big landmark 6-monther. I suppose that's just more of the whole running along smoothly thing we do so well. It seems silly to count the months now, we're just together, actually looking at the timeframe the numbers seem awfully small.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

I have absolutely no idea where to start on the past week. I guess the most important thing to say after that last post is that I'm fine, healthy and as sane as I ever get, all that rot. Well, I've still got an occasional stabbing pain in my left temple, and interesting mood swings taking me from hyper-silly to hyper-depressive inside about 10 minutes. That's not entirely unusual though, migraines and PMS are all par for the course here.

I took a sick day yesterday, originally because the brightness of the kitchen light made me feel sick, while my head was still under the blanket, so Matt fed me Excedrin and I went back to sleep for a few hours. Then it kind of turned into the cliched mental health day. Even more so because the only thing I left my apartment for was to go to a counseling session.

Yesterday was the first time I'd been alone with my own thoughts long enough to figure out what I really felt, and why I felt that way. It's pretty rare for me to find it difficult being around Matt, but sometimes you just need to be alone. Completely alone. Alone and free to pull faces and cry if you need to, or stare at a wall for hours without someone asking if you're ok, to sit and think until there is a solid conclusion formed. The conclusion is that I had one of those significant life occurrences, and it was significant, but it hasn't really changed anything. That's kind of new for me, I'm used to these Life Moments being pretty tumultuous, not minor hiccups.

Only one thing still bothers me: why am I so reluctant to spit it out? Why am I still talking around it? So here we go.

I had a miscarriage last Tuesday. I didn't know, or suspect, I was pregnant, nor would I have kept it had I found out before starting on the Depo- Provera shots. It had gone four weeks at the absolute longest. It both shook me greatly and meant almost nothing to me, I suspect the largest part of the emotional response was due to my hormone levels imitating whirling dervishes. That, and my usual guilt-ridden wondering: if it's ok to not be devastated, then wondering if it's ok to be upset at all when it was really a lucky escape…then feeling guilty for thinking of it as a lucky escape, then realizing how silly thatis…

I suppose I'd always assumed that any unplanned pregnancy stuff would involve being pregnant and aware of it, not an " oh, by the way, you were pregnant for a couple weeks, but its' all over now…"

This happens all the time, every day hundreds of women miscarry, some know they're pregnant, some don't, and some never even realize it happens. It's only a tragedy for those women who desperately want a child. There are so many things that we all go through, and yet they seem utterly monumental at the time it happens to each of us. All the love/death/sex/birth stuff.

I was going somewhere with that I swear. It doesn't really matter though, because everyone knows what I'm talking about, and of the very few who read this I'm sure some are shocked, lots are concerned, and a couple are probably disgusted. Every one of them for their own reasons.

It's unusual for me to have something in my life that I worry about the potential reactions of my good friends, worry that they'll think less of me for it. I suppose it's the hint of irresponsibility, of reckless behavior. Especially on something I like to consider myself super-clued-in about. So maybe this has served as a reminder to me that you don't have to be stupid and irresponsible to get knocked up, you just have to be fertile. It's not having a game plan worked out that's stupid, not accepting that there is a possibility of it happening.

Wow, I've managed to boil this incident down to another trite little life-lesson. Go me!

It's not what happens to you , it's the way you deal with it that makes you who you are.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Does it mean it's something serious if the Doctor's office won't let you have a 10 minute walk in appointment and immediately finds you a proper time-slot that day? Bearing in mind that this is the Doctor with whom I had to make an appointment three months in advance...

It isn't like me to be scared by medical type stuff, and I know it's most likely a standard sideffect from using the hormonal variety of birth control. It's the dreams I had this morning that are making it disturbing. I don't remember ever having a dream where I was pregnant before, and in these dreams someone or something was trying to make me un-pregnant. It might even have been me, I don't know. There was this awful feeling of my body not being my own any more, not knowing what to expect from one minute to the next, feeling possessed from within and attacked from without, and not knowing whose side I was on, or wanted to be on.

It could just be because I have "issues" about the ownership of my body, of course I know it's mine, but one of the many many reasons I'm not ready for kids yet is that I need longer to prove that to myself.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: Three weeks...

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Clarification
For those who don't know me, my mannerisms, my goals in life and my personal motivations, (which is a lot of the people on this planet) I feel some clarification may be neccessary.

I moved into an apartment on Saturday. The only name on the lease is mine. The only person who decides when I leave said apartment is me. The only person who checks my mail is me. The only people watching my comings and goings are the little old ladies twitching their curtains. The only person who gets to comment on my housekeeping is Matt.

I did not move to make a statement to anyone, out of spite, in a fit of rage, or any other tantrum-related action you care to name. Nor did I move to indicate anything about the state of any of my relationships. My move was the sole purpose and aim of moving. It really is that ridiculously simple.

I moved because I want to live in my own place. I moved because I have come to value privacy a great deal more than I ever did, and the only way to achive the level of privacy I wish to have in my life is to live in my own place. I was not driven to it, nor was it a horrible undertaking forced upon me by evil adversaries. It was a positive life choice. What is more, the only person whose life it dramatically affects is...you guessed it...mine.

How does it affect me?

Simple. I have a home now.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Soooooo much to do! Here I was thinking moving in would be pretty much the end of it, but there's this stuff called groceries, completely from scratch. I don't even own any spices. Gack. It's all going to cost a lot of money intially, but when it comes down to it it's fun. It's an adventure. I get to figure out exactly how much parmesan I can go through in a month, and how many gallons of cream soda. I have barely been cooking for myself for months, and I have to remember how to do it again, it'll be pretty easy because I won't get distracted by a fridge full of other people's leftovers: the only things crawling around the back of my fridge will be things I put there. Or possibly Matt. Things Matt put there, not Matt crawling around my fridge.

I need a few naps to catch up on lost sleep from the past couple of months. Sometimes I feel it's to catch up on lost sleep from the past 13 months.

So far the only snag is that my mailbox has a label on it saying "R. Burford" I love it when the mis-spelling faeries give me a chance to try on a different surname.

Friday, November 15, 2002

The internet is a wonderful thing. Never mind my finding the apartment listing on wednesday morning, viewing the place that afternoon and being offered it the next morning (speedy credit checks also thanks to the internet), today I have notified my cell phone, credit card and insurance companies of my new address, and added renters insurance to my policy. I also filled out the Post Office change of address form online, then printed the DMV form and filled it out ready to mail tonight. The only one left is my bank.

I was pleasantly surprised by how handily compartmentalized my belongings are too. Though it helps that I don't have a whole hell of a lot of kitchen equipment, and I certianly don't have any foodstuffs to transport. Apart from some tubes of decorative frosting and an unopened bottle of balsamic vinegar. Charmingly picante combination you know...frosting and vinegar...they're serving it at allthe best restaurants in London these days...

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Drumroll...

I am now oficially a cave troll. Though hopefully I won't find myself dragged around a giant underground city by a bunch of awks for the sole purpose of getting beaten up by four hobbits, two humans, a dwarf, an elf and a Gandalf in a pear tree.

Even if the light hadn't been an issue I think I needed to see the place again to reassure myself that it really is a liveable space. Honestly, the only real gripe I have is that it's doors on the shower, not a curtain rail, so my groovy shower curtain will have to go into cold storage. Or be loaned to Stonedragon, for his new abode. Pretty damn small complaint when you really think about it isn't it?

~Ash, the semisubterrenean faerie

I have now been accepted at / offered three different apartments. All right, so the first one was to move in November 1st, and wasn't fantastic enough to justify the extra expenditure of moving in that early. The second was teeny tiny, in a great building, but still teeny. Plus that whole closet being completely open to the bathroom thing, no thanks to moldy sweaters. The third, the one I'm going to re-view today, has little personality, the kitchen isn't a separate room, and it could very well turn out to be a cave. I saw it after dark before so I can't be sure. Besides the troll issue, do I really want to live somewhere that at most said "meh" to me, rather than somewhere that leaps up and down and calls "you could be at home here, this is a YOU place!" the moment I walk in the door?

I have seen three places where I would truly love to live, all interesting and attractive to me for very different reasons. All open way too early, or already taken. Or both. These three places I walked in the door and thought "Yes! I want to live here! This is a meplace"

Of course I'm not going to stay in this new place forever, but even if you manage to coordinate the leases, moving does cost money. There's no escaping it. So I want to minimize moves, therefore I want to live in a place that I feel I'll stay in, not a place that maybe I'll kinda sorta like being there.

Now we come to the real undercurrent to all this: maybe I don't want to find my own place. I've become very used to spending every evening and night with Matt. Not just used to, very much enjoying. We drifted into it because I wanted to be there more than anywhere else I had to go, then it became the routine. I want to change part of the routine, but I don't want to change the part that involves waking up next to him, and moving into my own place will mean that for part of the working week at least I will be staying at my place. In fact I'll make sure I do, otherwise I'm back to spending $10+ a day to store my belongings.

This is why every time I get close to signing for a place I can only think of the negatives. Though when I really think about it that teeny studio was too teeny (not to mention the closet thing) and this one may very well be a cave. I'll find out in about 30 minutes when I go to look at it in the middle of a sunny day.

If I do turn my nose up at this place there's a couple more prospects, and there's always next week's Reader, and neighborhood walking this weekend. As long as my subconscious remembers it's place and stops pointing out how much nicer it would be if the window were over there instead of where it really is…


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Holy jet-lagged tartan batman!

A month from today I'll be heading home for the first time in over a year. November is going fast, way too fast considering everything I still need to get done.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: 5 weeks.

Rain.

Friday.

Three-day weekend ahead.

Plushe was wearing that fuzzy dark teal sweater this morning.

Life is good.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

I gave up, and replaced the template entirely. I think I've remembered all the people that I had linked on my blog roll, if I think of anyone else I'll add them on again. When I get around to owning a computer other than my jumped-up word processor of a 486 Compaq laptop I'll take the time to figure out html beyond my current cut-and-paste abilities and think up something more originally me.

Currently the server seems to be denying the existance of my blog, but it'll allow access to the archived pages. Go figure.

It accepted the new post on "Past. Present. Future: perfect?" though.

Monday, November 04, 2002

You may notice the template is screwing up a little. I managed to fix it so that the links down the left are the colour they're supposed to be, instead of occasionally teal or magenta as they were this morning. I've gone in an "fixed" the date header and timestamp several times, but it won't save my changes. So I'm giving up for now.

~Ash the non-HTML-literate faerie

Friday, November 01, 2002

No candles after all, we would have slow-roasted ourselves if we lit them all again, it was a mild night and (of course) you can't run the fan when there's candles right next to it. We sat and talked about the future, and a little about the past. I got to ask what one of his songs was about, one that had intrigued me for a while. There's a more solid plan forming for our planned trip to Scotland. Thankfully we agreed not to try to see absolutely everythingat one go. A taster of London, followed by Stonehenge, the train ride north with a stop at York and/or Hadrian's wall, then 6 or so days in Edinburgh exploring local castles and historical sites still covers a hell of a lot if you ask me!

My parents might want to meet us in London and come along for the ride, that would be fun. Matt will get a real picture of my formative years, taking trips with my parents, the way they both approached the opportunities to see new places, is one of the things I feel shaped my world view the most. I get the feeling he'll absolutely love it. He's already got the getting things done but still managing to smell the roses on the way mentality.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: 6 weeks

Whoooeeee!

Samhain in an hour or so. Not that I'll be doing anything particularly special. A bottle of wine, too many candles and probably a spot of divination alongside Matt. Come to think of it that isspecial.

I really am damn lucky. Looking over the last year and a bit, I've made leaps and bounds, internally and externally. No, I don't just mean the fitness and weight loss. The next big step is approaching and I'm getting really excited about it. Nervous too, but mostly excited, because I know I'll find a nice place, and I know I'll enjoy the difference of having my own apartment. I hope I find somewhere that I can consider getting a cat too, but that can always wait.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: 7 weeks

Merp! Seven weeks till I go home for Christmas, I have no idea why but I'm suddenly nervous, the last time I was home was a long time ago, not just chronologically, a lot has happened since then. I suppose I'm still not used to going back there and finding it just the same, and yet completely different, and I can never tell how much is the place and the people and how much is change in my perspective.

On the other hand, maybe it's only merp-worthy because of all that I have to get done before I board that plane.

Friday, October 18, 2002

There's a whole lot of hurry up and wait going on

But that's ok 'cause I've got good people to help me maintain my sanity.

Yet again I have various deep and profound things skittering about in my brain, but not one of them will stand still long enough for me to get a really good look at it and drag it out through my fingertips. Right now the mental pictures I have showing on the viewscreen are of (in no particular order): my man all sleepy and snuggly wrapped in a chenille blanket this morning; an auburn haired baby I've never met stagger-crawling around a house I've never seen with a banana in her sticky little hand, leaving a trail of nana-goo wherever she goes...myself sitting in an apartment I don't live in yet, playing guitar like I know what I'm doing while a young cat tries to eat my toes.

Somewhere in the very bottom corner of that viewscreen there's a girl on a tattered red loveseat, with too-long blondish hair and a forgotten pen and paper in her hand, sitting in the dark trying to figure out where she went wrong. I want to speak to her, to tell her it's ok, not to worry because in a few years it'll have worked itself out, not to think all is lost when there's so much yet to come...but she can't hear me, she doesn't know me yet, she can only find out by living through it until she sits where I sit now and looks back at herself as I'm doing. I can't help her. I can only help me.





Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Most of you already know that Saturday, the 5th of October, was Matt's and my 6th luniversary.

Good heavens, half a year. The thing that struck both of us is "where the hell did the year GO??" There are many parallels between our lives, we both had a large changover and restart on life in early fall of 2001, for him it was leaving the Navy, starting work in a civillian capacity, suddenly moving into his very own place for the first time...for me...well, you already know the story. So for both of us this 6 month benchmark is also surrounded by anniversaries of significant events of our own. There is a huge feeling of achivement for both of us looking back on the past year, both together and seperately. Well, when we manage not to be caught up in stressing about the future.

I'm having more frequent flashbacks and panics than I can ever remember having, they never did cause me to suddenly go foetal and hide under my bed, I had much too effectively internalized it all right from the start. Now they've become a relatively constant backdrop to my daily life. Driving to work, walking 'round a store, sitting reading somewhere, whatever I'm doing, it's there: that feeling of fear, not any specific fear, just FEAR...but I'm still standing, and it's largely due to him, I wouldn't be ready for this yet without him. I'd have gotten there eventually, but it would have taken a lot longer. He sees my strengths and it makes it so much easier to be stronger. Of course he sees my weaknesses too, if he only saw one part it wouldn't have lasted even 2 months, but he sees them in the context of how I overcome and work around them. To him, I am a fighter, not a victim, and it isn't everything, but it helps enormously.

I said a while back that I didn't want to be with another protective man. I was wrong, I didn't/don't want to be with another man who expresses protectiveness as posessiveness. Or confuses the two in any way.

Schiesse, work calls.


Friday, October 04, 2002

Pardon my silence of late…

I feel if I try to write anything for now it's going to turn in to a bland "what I've been up to the past week" opus. So it's not really worth it.

My creative writing brain cells have been commandeered by other sections, so there's very little going into my hardcopy journal either.

They're the important sections though: coping mechanisms, compartmentalization, stuff like that. I've got a bunch of little algorithms running constantly, and a secondary bunch of algorithms devoted to keeping the first set in check, so that they keep running, but don't impinge on daily life.

Yes, this is related to the introspection. With pie charts. This isn't a pie chart, but it's a major breakthrough: ever heard of delayed onset chronic posttraumatic stress disorder? Me either. But it fits. It covers and eclipses all the stuff about generalized anxiety disorder and low level depression. It also means that the one thing I've tried to cut out of my life, the part I didn't want to give any space to because it is so unacceptable to me…that is the part that I have to take out and give voice to. It is the part I have to face down and accept so that it shuts the fuck up and leaves me alone.

I tried very hard not to assign my largest problems to that one little incident, one week out of twenty years shouldn't be allowed to have that kind of effect. But apparently it did. I was traumatized. I didn't get to choose, it just happened to me, was done to me, and I still don't get to choose, I have to deal with it.

Finally recognizing that, however much I don't want to, has allowed me to see that it isn't that I'm fundamentally flawed, no matter how much trouble I had and caused as a kid, it isn't why I nearly crashed out of college. My underlying character kept me from failure, it didn't push me towards it. I had no social support, none whatsoever, and I still stayed alive, I fought with myself but I never drew blood. Furthermore, even though there are some wierdnesses gifted to me by my parents and how they taught me, they are nothing, abso-fucking-lutely nothing, compared to the emotional lesson taught me by those people.

It's not my fault. It's not my parents' fault. There was nothing we could have done in the face of such a betrayal.

Thus spake the algorithms, they're still working away in there. I'm almost afraid of what it's going to be like in my head when they're done running. What on earth will I do with the extra processing capabilities?

Maybe I'll write a novel.

Maybe two.

Even I don't how much of my self has been taken up with this task for the past six years.


Monday, September 30, 2002

Ack.

So much cool stuff to post, brain has shut down.

I won two first place trophies! They're sparkly. Bob won 2nd place in forms, he rocked, and the only reason the other guy got first is he isn't actually human. Humans just can't jump like that.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Level Up!

Testing for Purple Belt Level 1 was sprung on me last night. Master Frazer said that the rest of the class wasn't ready for their tests yet (they have lots more to learn for each level because they are all ahead of me) but that I was more than ready. So I got tested last night, basically they made sure the class covered everything I eneded to know and watched how I dealt with it. Then the regular testing is being delayed to next month, when I will test AGAIN. Merp. I have to master the spinning kicks before then.

I can't wait till I get to do jumpingspinning kicks.

Violent? Moi?

Have I mentioned my nickname when I was three was "miss piggy"? Haaaiiiiiiii-YAH!

*watches skinny frog flying across the room*

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

ACK!

I have writer's block. Blogger's block too.

But at least my hair is all neat and split-end free...

Friday, September 20, 2002

FRIDAY!

MOUNTAINS!!

Let's see if I can get the clocks in my head to pause in their ticking for a little while.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: 12 weeks

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I am waiting for 30ml of wash to drip through a filter.

drip

drip

drip...

Molecular Biology folks, it's a crazy world.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Ugh,ugh,ugh.

Cramps suck.

But I have MUFFINS and ICE CREAM and WINE to cheer me up this evening. Not to mention karate, if I manage to find some coordination.

~Ash, the tall faerie (when wearing red ass-kicking boots)

Friday, September 13, 2002

Dammit, he's not back yet, I hope I make it out by 4.30, I really want to make the karate practice. I knew I should have taken my stuff for the weekend when I left the apartment this morning, but I didn't want my guitar sitting in the car getting cooked all day, or getting in the way in the lab either.

Oh well, either way, I have decided to add "wine" to the previous list of stuff I want. Unless Matt feels like breaking out the port. Which I doubt he will.

Time went ridiculously fast up until about 2pm today, I thought I'd be hard pressed to get everything done in time to get to the extra karate practice.

Then.

It.

Stopped.

Roll on 4.30pm.

Please?

Heh, a crazy person just walked past the lab singing really loudly.

That killed all of 30 seconds.

I want: karate, shower, food, nap, snuggles with my boy, nap, chocolate chip cookie-dough ice cream...a nap would be nice too.

And Now For Something Completely Frivolous

Yesterday after work Bob and I ate raw dead animals and smashed stuff.

UG! SMASHING STUFF GOOD!!

In other words: we went for sushi and then I broke my first board. Using hammerfist. I think Bob was more surprised than I was that I did it first try, perhaps that's because I broke it before he'd finished the pep talk.

I'd told my parents I'd send them my first board, but I think I'd rather keep it and just show it to them. Maybe I can break another and send them that one instead. They can have it bronzed and keep it with my baby teeth.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Who Cares About Politics When Their Loved Ones Lie Dead?

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go
Surrender
Dislocate

If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away

I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they'd
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in blood shot eyes

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go...

This desperation
Dislocation
Separation
Condemnation
Revelation
In temptation
Isolation
Desolation
Let it go

And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so to fade away

I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no ~U2


They played "bad" by U2 on the radio this morning, the extended version, and I nearly cried, if it had been the version of "sunday bloody sunday" from Rattle & Hum I would have cried. It's strange, even though it didn't even hit me particularly hard at the time. I find myself mourning every horror, not just this one enormous one. It's difficult not to think of all the terrorist acts that have gone on in my lifetime alone. I was much closer to the Lockerbie Disaster, or the shooting in Dunblane Elementary, the various IRA bombs of the past 20 years. The lone bomber who planted nail bombs in crowded areas three weeks in a row my first year in London.

I think what touches me the most is the incredible solidarity the US is showing in the face of such attacks. Not the gung-ho let's kill the arabs stuff, but the complete outrage and refusal to accept such acts of violence. Zero Tolerance. We need more of that back home. If there was the same outrage and horror at every IRA attack or retaliation against the IRA...maybe there wouldn't be a revolution any more.

People say a lot of things about the US and it's patriotism, many of them none to flattering, but what they miss is that this patriotism is about the people, the citizens, not the government, not about wealth, or politics, but about protecting the american people. That's a type of patriotism we need more of in the world. The kind that makes us all a family, no matter who our parents are. The United Kingdom could stand to learn a thing or two about how to handle terrorist acts if they only looked across the Atlantic. Of course, its' harder to sustain Zero Tolerance when the perpetrators are your neighbors and fellow countrymen. but think of what a villain Timothy McVeigh became, while Gerry Adams still has a voice.

So maybe it's not that appropriate to talk about Northern Ireland on a day that should belong to the United States, but it's the filter through which I see terrorist acts, it's the first thing I knew in that context, and after so many years it isn't getting any better. The people of my first country need to look around them and realise that if every single one of them stood up and refused to accept the death of innocents...maybe the innocents wouldn't get hurt so often.

"Fuck the Revolution. People are dying. That's not a revolution, that's murder."


Tuesday, September 10, 2002

I'm in pain!

Mildly out of shape combined with an intensive karate training session yesterday = ouch.

I got a good back-cracking hug last night, that helped the shoulder tension. But my poor leggys, they need stretched good and proper if they're going to manage a decent front stance.

Monday, September 09, 2002

More on My Hair
(because it's just soooooo fascinating)

My growing-the-hair-long-again learning curve has continued with the revalation that yes, I do indeed need to condition, otherwise Matt'll get his hand stuck any time he tries to lovingly run his fingers through my hair. Hey, at least this is better than last time my hair got to shoulder length, THAT time I'd forgotten what it was like to own a hairbrush.

On a more intellectual note, I have a game-plan to improve my sanity through the next few months: I'm going to be a recluse for at least an hour a day, as often as I can manage it. I need some serious quality time staring at a wall.

Or maybe I can sit and watch my leghair grow...

Friday, September 06, 2002

I've realised the thing I like least about my body. It's not the shape, I can change that, not neccesarily easily, but it's getting closer and closer to a shape I'm actively happy with. What I dislike is the maintenencestuff. Guys have: washing, and shaving their face if they want to. Women have: Legshaving, eyebrow tweezing, bikini area de-fuzzing, making sure they don't have the random chin hairs that make them resemble fairy-tale witches much more than fairy-tale princesses.

Urgh, it's not even maintenence is it? It's just HAIR REMOVAL! I'm not spectacularly furry as people go, it just grows back too damn fast.

I don't carry out these grooming rituals because I fear I will be rejected if I have fuzz near my navel, I do it because I prefer the feel of having shaven legs, and I think my tummy looks better without fuzz.

Perhaps I should look into that laser hair removal thingy. My sister tried electrolysis and said it hurt like hell, she now has a teeny bald patch on one of her calves, the only place they managed to treat before she ran (maybe limped) away screaming.

Good Gods, I just posted about body hair. I must be bored. Or too sleepy to think of anything more interesting to say.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

We had our first almost-argument yesterday, only it wasn't an argument, as there was no disagreement involved, it was an uncomfortableness. We're still finding our individual and collective feet after Lump's departure and got caught in one of those pointless "what's he/she thinking, he/she seems upset, but I'm afraid to ask..." cycles. It only lasted an hour or so, and was very much compounded by my having been harrassed that afternoon.

Luckily we broke through the self inflicted barrier of silence early enough in the day to crash together on the reclaimed futon and watch two movies, and get some semi-frivolous talking in before bedtime. The kind of semi-frivoulous that's actually all serious. That whole "yeah, this is why we're together" thing.

I suppose what it comes down to (if you really want me to boil it down to the essential oil of us-ness) is the words we used to cement that "we" were ok.

Partners?

Yes...partners.

Countdown to Edinburgh: 14 weeks

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Cooking With Power Tools
#1: Creme Bruleee, making use of a blowtorch
#2: Cotton Candy, making use of a cement mixer
#3: ...ummm, we're still working on this one...

One of the above is on my to-do list for Friday. I am debating the possibility of borrowing a face-guard from the lab to complete the welder look while making dessert. As long as I rinse off all the ethidium bromide it should be worth the humerous effect.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Summary of the weekend
-Tenuous peace restored on Friday night, reprieve granted in the form of IHOP breakfast on Saturday.
-Absence of wallet (and thus I.D) noticed after said breakfast.
-Much panicking on part of Lump.
-Much determination to get him on the f***ing flight anyway on part of the reluctant parent substitutes/keepers. (that's me and Matt)
-Found out a police report stating wallet was stolen would suffice in place of I.D.
-Lovely, wonderful, sanity-saving La Mesa police officer named Coffey gave us a police report on the spot, rather than enforcing the usual 8 day wait.
-Lump successfully ushered through airport security and out of our lives.
-Speedy exit from airport.
-Much jubilation
-Followed by…
-SIX HOURS of scrubbing, mopping, dusting, de-grunging, swearing at randomly sprinkled tortilla crumbs and general cleaning rendered the apartment once more homey and presentable.
-The happy couple (that's me and Matt again) proceeded to a refreshingly bohemian café in La Mesa to reinforce the ability to be free grownups without the worry of what they'll come home to, and especially the ability to exist WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE.
-There was further exercising of the joys of lacking an audience after returning home from the café…


Friday, August 23, 2002

Countdown to Lump's departure: 24hrs 40ish min

I had so hoped that he would go through the last week here without new incidents of belligerence, it was bad enough that he continued to steal food when he had supplies of his own in the larder, but rifling through his brothers things, not even just the stuff in the living room, going into the back of the closet and upturning boxes and drawers...

No farewell breakfast at IHOP for this boy, my only objection to Matt's new idea of dropping him at the airport at 8am is that we will have no way to be certain he's actually ON his plane!

How can someone who has clearly demonstrated possesion of a workable intelligence be so excruciatingly stupid in his behaviour? He is alienating every person who could possibly give a damn what happens to him, one by one he drives them away by refusing to treat anyone like a human being. Then he rails about the unfairness of being treated like a child, or a misbehaving pet.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: 16 weeks

Countdown to Lump's departure: 53 hours

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Immunoprecipitation precipitating? [check]
Eaten breakfast? [check]
Coffee? [check]
Emailed everyone I can think of? [check]
Twiddled thumbs? [check]
Twiddled them in the other direction for variety? [check]

*sigh* I guess I have to go transfer stuff back to our freezer now then.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Did I ever point out that I've now had this journal over a year?

Well, um, I have.

Which means there's a whole heaping helping of anniversaries of last year's significant happenings on the way. The first would be the day I left Edinburgh for Atlanta; followed by Sept 11th, then the day I left Atlanta...

I most likely will not mark these dates, it may not even occur to me on the day itself when there is one. Samhain will be big, though it's not an anniversary of anything other than the last Samhain. It marks the end of my first entire year in San Diego: my fresh start year. It felt like much more of a dividing line than the day I arrived here. When I landed I still had to find a job, sort my head out, remember who I was and what I was looking for, clear up the last vestiges of bullshit with Loki. Well…ok, tell him plainly that by moving 3000miles away I was, in fact, breaking up with him, not just taking a little space to clear my head. Admittedly I'd assumed (or hoped) that message was implicit in the whole moving 3000 miles thing, but I suppose some people don't take hints. Especially if they don't want to believe them. No, this is not meant as a dig, I am thinking out loud, it's a journal after all.

It was after last Samhain that I got my job, my driving license, my car…saw my family again with most of my mental faculties restored (as opposed to when I left them in August, when I was just about functional, but that was it) moved into the new apartment, turned 22, took up some activities again, started dating, made new friends, fell in love. November is when my life started movingagain, this life I have now, it all took off after that blue moon.

I'm sure there will be some startling changes over the next 12 months as well, but somehow I don't think they will be quite as dramatic or fundamental as these have been. It will be a continuation of a path, not the forging of a whole new one.

I'm looking forward to my first Autumn with Matt, our summer got eaten up with business and crisis after crisis. Even if it isn't a peaceful last quarter, it'll still be nice to watch the seasons change over together.


Tuesday Boredom strikes again.

Last weekend a distant memory, next weekend too far off to do any good...

More coffee, that'll help. *twitch* Yeeeessss... more coffeeeeeeeee... perrreeciousssss coffeeeeeeeeee...

*looks around in dismay for the source of the Gollum voice in her head*

Monday, August 19, 2002

*happy dance*

Lump goes home on Saturday. I plan to arrive with a bunch of cleaning supplies and help Matt blitz his apartment after the departure, both a cleaning and a cleansing ritual combined.

Right now I'm starting the dreaded defrosting of the -20C freezer, the top half of which is almost a solid chunk of ice...and it's all grey and overcast outside...and I have cramps...but that doesn't matter because I got pouncedthis morning.

Me? In a good mood? Whyever would that be??



Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Progress Report
Agent: Ash
Mission: Introspection
Subject: Why so many shitty relationships?

I'm afraid the pie charts will have to wait a little longer: I haven't quantified it all yet, but I do have a great deal of qualitative evidence. It took only 45 minutes with Dr Baker to crystallize it too. He's that good at his job.

Or I'm that obvious.

Anyway: I keep coming back to two main underlying factors, which are most likely closely related, or at the very least one of them feeds into the other. The first, most fundamental one is the dependency "issue", which encompasses so many of the problems and repeated patterns in my bad relationships and friendships it isn't even vaguely funny. The secondary one is the feeling that I'm somehow damaged or tarnished by my experiences. Not that I'm dirty: for some reason I never had that, more that I'm fractured, broken, the teapot with a chip in the spout that makes it pour wonky, in desperate need of spiritual superglue. It's not even so much the worry that others will view me that way, the problem is that I do. It needs to stop.

No question about it, there is hope, I feel much more myself when I'm being independent, I just need to practice getting to that feeling. Matt is helping enormously, contradictory though it may be to have a boyfriend help you figure out and minimize your dependent tendencies…I think it's because I trust him to be there for me, and I know him to be entirely accepting, even if I he doesn't feel the same way, he believes what I say and that it is important to me. Since I know I can completely be myself around him, there's none of the temptation to change things just to please him.

It's so refreshing to have more friends now who can say "I'm happy for you", or "well if that works for you…" and not have it be a backhanded way of telling you they think you're fucking insane, and stupid to boot. In many ways those other people suffer from codependency just as much as I do, they cannot separate themselves from others, cannot allow someone to be utterly different and not have it be a comment on them. This is why I want to rid myself of it: I don't ever want to be that girl.

Yargh, my life has become a series of countdowns.

Not true really, there's only one that really affects me directly, the Lump's departure will be much more important for Matt, I'm able to pretty much ignore him now. It takes an awful lot for me to really give up on someone, to stop wanting to do nice things for them, but this lad has got to that point. Every time I think of something nice I could bring him, even if it's just handing him some sudafed for stuffed sinuses, I realize that this is reinforcing the idea that if you wait long enough and act pathetic enough, someone will hand you what you need. I have less and less patience with that mentality the more I'm exposed to it.

I've had a lot of things handed to me in this life, my parents are in the middle class income bracket and generous people, but I don't remember ever expecting it. I'll know that I can ask for this or that for Christmas, or that my parents will help me fly out to visit them, but I don't get mad or pouty if they can't afford to, or decide they'd rather upgrade their computer. More often than not I feel as though I've been spoiled, and I feel guilty for having been given some things that others have to work their asses off to obtain. Then I realize that sitting about beating my breast because I'm a poor little not-quite-rich girl would be a waste of all the gifts I've been given, both material and intellectual, by my parents, and that would be ungrateful. The best way to repay it is to improve myself, and build myself up so that I can pass on to my children what my parents gave to me: safety, comfort, travel and intellectual freedom.


Countdown to Edinburgh: 17 weeks

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Countdown to Lump's Departure...12 days. Otherwise known as too bloody long.

Monday, August 12, 2002

I have recieved a new toy, a life-project, a morale booster, and a challenge from Matt all rolled into one package. The package is in the form of a shiny new Epiphone [>] acoustic guitar, which now lives on a stand at the foot of my bed.

The challenge was delivered in the most agressive tone he's ever used to me and was something along the lines of: I dare you, get better than me, I challenge you to out-play me in two years...I bet you can't do it... Which is horribly cute, because he's teaching meand he immediately followed that statement with a kiss and tacit acknowledgement that he wouldn't have challenged me if he didn't believe I really could overtake him. I don't want to overtake him, but that's only because I don't want it to be a comparison between us. I greatly look forward being able to jam with him. Being able to jam, period actually.

So I have two (fairly) new good friends who are also my teachers in one way or another, and both of them are telling me that in a couple of years I'm gonna be kicking their respective arses, and they revel in that fact. These guys are just natural born teachers, to take such pleasure in the thought of being out-performed by a bunch of whippersnappers. As a method it sure beats the crap out of "well...I'll TRY to teach you...but I'm afraid I'll be so limited by your natural incompetance that you won't ever get very far..."

DAMN my fingertips hurt now.


Friday, August 09, 2002

Countdown to Edinburgh: 18 weeks

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Having wrestled with my childish urge to pout at delaying getting to see Matt directly after he finishes his last class for the summer session, I have a plan: Tonight I am going to inflict my utter lack of artistic merit on a penguin themed, candy-covered farewell cake for a girl named Pinguino. Yes, she actually changed her name.

Ping is one of the assistant instructors at karate, and is moving away this weekend...wagh...I didn't get a chance to get to know her well enough. To make up for it Bob and I are going to spend this evening playing with candy and frosting that we might present her with a cake to end all cakes tomorrow.

She's involved with flippersmack [>] among other things. I hope someday I can be as good at karate as she is, though I'll never have the waist length black pigtails for the cool whiplash effect. Waist length blonde pigtails just aren't quite as cool somehow.

THEN I'll go see Matt and exchange my tale of a first counselling session for the latest episode in the saga of Lump Does San Diegoand help him plan what to do with all the free evening for the next three weeks, while he's without school.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I forgot to comment on Lughnasah.

A lot of things came together, some of them I didn't even know neededto come together. The festivals can have a habit of doing that. In retrospect, especially the past few cross-quarter days. Beltaine springs to mind...

As soon as the sun set, the beginning of the festival, I knew I should be out in La Mesa with Matt. I didn't know why, I didn't have a feeling of anything being wrong, just that I should be with him for the sabbat.

We were actually marking the day at our apartment, which was the first time we've done that, and it was a really nice idea, I just couldn't settle into it, at the time I thought that maybe being there was wrong, but it was most definitely the not being with Matt, rather than the being around the people who werethere that was causing my unease. So after I'd said a couple of blessings I changed into a skirt and headed out, buying sunflowers on the way. When I got there it turned out that he'd had an argument with Lump, and in the ensuing conversation I learned some more about Matt, and the way he thinks, things that he was worried would put me off…yes I'm being nebulous. Deal with it.

What it comes down to is this: we found yet another thing we agree on, it wasn't something that lack of agreement had really bothered me on, but it still adds another level of connection, another level of comfort. For both of us.

I was meant to be there that Lughnasah, it cemented things for both of us. Especially when added to coming to peace with a few decisions I've made, both recently and in the past. On some levels it bothers me that a high day or a holy day can really have that much effect on my life, but mostly it makes me feel more rooted in my developing faith.

Friday, August 02, 2002

I have been added to the roll at blog sisters [>], I suppose the means I'm oficially a member of the online international villiage, about time considering I've had a presence [>] for over two years now. Go check it out, lots of good debates going on there. Sorry guys, only women get to start threads, but everyone's free to add comments.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Wow. There's just some things I never thought I'd find cute. Unusual? Yes. Sexy? Very possibly. Cute? Hrrmmmm...

I guess I must be in love.

He told me last night (and this morning) that I keep amazing him. That's the second person I've heard that from recently, and it's even better hearing it from him, because he's been amazing me since the day we met.

Countdown to Edinburgh: 19 weeks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

What does it say about me that I feel more like a genuinely grown up fully functioning person now that I own a complete set of pots and pans? Well, ok, not a comprehensiveset, but more than a lone skillet and a crepe pan (of all the things to buy before I even own a toaster). All hail the stainless steel and black silicon wonder of snazzy cooking equipment.

Many things have been on my mind recently, unfortunately most of them just go with the whole independent existance thingy. Stuff like what I want to do with my life, and when, and how...is my car going to die in the forseeable future (define "forseeable" first)...what will I do if it does die (besides panic of course)...will I be able to afford a computer this year (probably not)...why is my belly-button fluff green when I don't WEAR green???

Regarding the previous entry: culmination of many pressures, worries, tensions, and unresolved questions in my life, plus hormones, plus it hadn't happened for a long time so I guess I had it coming. Natural mood cycles and whatnot. Even at the absolute pit of it I wasn't anywhere near as bad as I've been in the past. The main difference is that the unhappiness feels false now, whereas before it was happiness that felt like a lie.

Good God Higgins, I think she's got it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I've got that taste in my mouth again.

Tears and cigarette smoke, too much coffee and not enough sleep.

This is so pathetic. I can barely do my JOBproperly with all this bullshit. It's gone beyond reason and I'm just upset with the unfairness of this miscommunication, and the fact that I know there isn't any solution to the unfairness other than leaving, which I can't do. It's like all my energy is being sucked in just by keeping on my feet and remembering to breath, not blubbering at my desk is an optional bonus. I'm left with nothing to spare to be genial, let alone supportive to any of my friends, I'm left with very little of ME remaining.

Yet again I am being penalized because I stand out, sure I step on some toes, everyone does, but I know that I don't step on them to any extent that can justify this utter rage from someone I barely know and barely ever see.

So what can I do? Stop being me? I tried that before, unacceptable option.

The last time I was caught in this kind of situation I only had to hold out for a couple of weeks. This is a lot longer than that. But I also have much more support than I did then. It seems that I'm to be taught not to run from a bad situation to a haven that has been offered, but to walk calmly away and build my own damn haven. If I build it myself no one can take it from me.


Countdown to Edinburgh: 20 weeks.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Heh heh heh. Innertubing down river rapids...

Much more fun than skidding down on your knees. *ouchie*

Very odd weekend, lots of fun, and a couple of really important realizations mixed in. I found another pattern and I'm working on it.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Have you noticed that everyone needs to hear a slightly different thing when they're upset?

For some, they just need to be told that everything will work out ok. That doesn't do me much good, because I knowthings will work out, I'm an optimist after all. It makes it worse to be told that when I'm unhappy because it merely emphasizes what's going on in my head: you fucking idiot, what the hell are you crying for? There's NOTHING WRONG…are you such a pathetic little freak that you can't even let yourself be happy any more?

Even though I know it's counterproductive, I still fight it, even though I know it's a part of me, and that it will go away: I 'm still learning to ride it out. Knowing that it willgo away makes me want it to be gone, right now, no loitering, no excuses. If it's going to go anyway, why does it need to happen at all?

It seems horribly calculated that I know exactly what goes on in my head when I have a crying jag, or anxiety attack, or whatever you want to call it, and yet I can't talk myself down. It makes me feel as though I'm putting it on. If I really wanted to I could just damn well stop blubbering. But of course, its' exactly that mentality that makes them worse.

So how would you take it if I walk up to you perfectly calmly and said "it would probably help if you knew this: I get these anxiety attacks sometimes, I might shake, I'll almost certainly cry, and I won't really be able to tell you what's going on…the best thing you can do is hold me really tight and tell me it's ok to be upset, tell me to relax, tell me to let it out, tell me you understand, but don't tell me there's nothing to worry about, because that's part of the problem…"?

Is it just my paranoia that tells me most people would respond to that by thinking I'm angling for sympathy? I know a couple of people have responded to something similar by telling me I’m fucking crazy and why don't I just snap out of it?

I'm still learning to ride it out.

Hold on tight.

Just. Ride. It. Out.


Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Yesterday was both my Dad's and Mikey's birthday. I called my Dad before going to work in the morning, and got the voicemail, so I left a message and reminded him that Matt and I were going to take him (and Mum) up to the mountains and feed them buffalo burger and apple pie the next time they were in California. That took care of the 61-year-old…now for the 19-year-old…

After work I made a cake (from a box) and went over to Matt's place, with an obnoxious helium balloon and a present, to throw said cake at Mikey and sing him happy birthday. He didn't deserve it. But he deserved even less to be ignored on his birthday.

On Monday night Matt had found yet more food missing, he exercised great self-restraint and talkedto Mikey about it, as yelling at him would only make him switch off his ears (and brain) even faster. When I heard about the incident Matt was hopeful that something had actually sunk in... Until he came home from work last night and found yet more food gone...and we had cake and presents and had to sing to him like he was the star of the show. It wasn't fake, we both wanted him to have a happy birthday, but even more than that we both want him to grow the fuck up,for everyone's sake. My refrigerator is chock-full of food that doesn't belong to me, there are probably a couple of things that are mine that I've left uneaten because I'm not sure if they're mine or not. Just how difficult is it to not eat something? Just don't open your mouth. Don't open the sodding refrigerator if that makes it easier.

It's really hard to watch how stressed this is making Matt, he's banging his head against a brick wall, and he can't bring himself to send Mike home early, because he knows "home" isn't there any more. Especially if Mike's sent home early for bad behavior, his Mom will kick him out ASAP, because her boyfriend presented her with a "him or me" choice and she chose the one she didn't give birth to. So Matt is putting up with him breaking the rules and continually stealing food (food that Matt can't really afford to replace) in the hopes of being able to convince the Mom that there's been some improvement so that Mikey will have a place to stay back in PA for a month or so. Of course, if he gets the month grace period he'll spend it sleeping in the basement, eating all the food and sampling the grandfather's old booze stash that he discovered down there, and when the time is up he won't have any more of a plan than he does now. He'll storm and rave and rail against the unfairness of it all...and he'll be right, but he won't be righteous.

Because it really isn't fair, but it's not going to change, and he is doing absolutely nothing to improve his situation. He won't be able to change things much at home, but he would be able to change them enough to give himself a start if he just got his head out of his ass.

I'm half tempted to drive over there right after karate and corner Mikey on my own, and see if I can wallop (verbally) some sense into him, but I know it won't do any good. He'll switch off his ears, and give me a dopey grin and a shrug because he doesn't get just how thoroughly he's screwing himself over. He may never get it. Nor does he realize how much I really do understand, because I've beenthere and pulled myself through. He doesn't seem to see anyone as a real person, we're just two dimensional game constructs that make a lot of noise at him: I'm the nice lady who made him a cake, I'm the nice lady who understands his depression, I'm the nice lady who keeps trying to talk like his mom, but he can ignore that because I've got the accent, so he can just listen to that and look blankly at me.

This boy thinks I'm an ally, he'll tell me he's eaten some of Matt's food with a "naughty little me" chuckle, and I'm supposed to giggle along or something. This boy doesn't understand that someone can be your ally, and want the best for you, and still tell you off for being an idiot. He doesn't understand that we can genuinely want him to have a happy birthday, give him cake and a gift certificate and a half-tacky Hawaiian shirt with palm trees on it…and still be mad at him.

I guess thats it, he just doesn’t understand, he doesn't take the time to think about anything,so of course he doesn't understand.

There isn't going to be a resolution, some people just can't be helped, they've got to come to it in their own time or not at all.

I just hope it doesn't turn out to be not at all.


Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Mondays suck, but Tuesdays seem to drag on forever.

I've run an acrylamide gel, failed to locate the DNA pellet in a centrifuge tube because the plastic is cloudy and thus hard to see through...set up the finished gel to transfer overnight...done the dishes...kicked my heels...

Time to go home?

Not for an hour or more.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

All the anger management stuff in blogland is extremely interesting to me. Mostly because it has frequently boiled down to people saying either that anger is "good" or "bad". This seems to me to miss the really important point: anger is so what are we going to do about it?

The thing is, we don't really have a choice about feeling anger or not, it's there, so why fuss about being a bad person for feeling anger? For feeling anything for that matter? There are no truly negative emotions, but there are most certainly negative behaviors. What is important is not what you feel, but what you do about it. Even hate can be positive as long as you recognize that it is hate, and as such is probably a slightly irrational emotion, and then direct the energy into a positive thing. Even if the positive thing is merely avoiding the person you hate so that you don't end up fighting with them.

There are emotions that have more of a tendency than others to lead to negative behaviors, and anger is one of them, but without anger, or fear, or contentedness (or the lack thereof) many of us would have trouble telling when something is wrong, or if they're being hurt. If I find I am inexplicably angry at something or someone I will try to figure out WHY I'm so angry: is it the specific situation, or is it that it reminds me of something else that angered or hurt me in the past? Usually it's a combination, and I can work from there.

There are a lot of people who will beat themselves up for having this or that emotion, saying it's not right to feel that way, that they're weak for having such feelings…but they're emotions. Ya know? From the subconscious? The Id? NOT DIRECTLY CONTROLLABLE BY THE CONCIOUS MIND.

That's another thing. "control yourself woman, don't let your emotions run you" When we talk about "controlling ourselves" we can't possibly control what we feel to the extent that seems required; it's actually controlling how we act on emotions that's important, and through controlling our actions we will end up with some small level of control over our emotions. I've found over and over again that it serves me better to question an unwelcome emotion and figure out what's causing it than to immediately attempt to quash it. Quashing it will only result in it popping back up in a less controllable manner later on. I am learning to listen to my emotions, because they are there for a reason. They are my early warning system that things might not be going as I think they are, my instincts.

We need only look at the many interesting neurobiological case studies where people have lost their ability to experience emotion, either through strokes or injury, to see that we were not designed to function without emotions. People with no emotional responses whatsoever, do not learn from their mistakes, because there is no negative feeling associated with things going wrong. They can lose their shirt gambling, then go out and to it again, because it didn't bother them the last time they were broke, even if they will state that they don't want to lose their money. It's exactly like someone who cannot feel physical pain, they will end up damaging themselves in the extreme because it doesn't hurt.

Pain. Happiness. Lust. Fear. Love. Anger. All of these are hardwired into our brains, you cannot separate emotions from logical thought, they are processed by the same thing, our brains. Our minds are made up of the combination of analytical information processing and emotional response, that is not something we have a choice about.


Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Interesting debates on the legitimacy of anger going on, linked through the ovaltine decoder ring [>], if I get a chance I'll put up my thoughts.

I couldn't link to the exact post, permanent links and archives and such seem to be messing up. It's in the July 9th postings somewhere...



Friday, July 05, 2002

Eight terminations on Wednesday. We get tissue samples shipped to us automatically. Eight little slivers of chicken breast floating in pink lemonade gone flat and syrupy, masquerading as something scientific like cell growth media. Eight little pancreases in a row. All we get to see of the lives that won't happen now, lives that maybe never would have been anyway. They might have miscarried, been stillborn. Been left to drown in the bathtub while mommy entertained.

Eight women recuperating on the 4th of July. Independence Day. Independence of thought, word, and action. Independence. Not something you can have with a child, not really. Well, you can, but baby can't. Baby needs changed. Baby needs burped. Baby needs fed. Baby barely has the motor control to suck on her own big toe. Design flaw there I suspect: making us all start out so utterly helpless, dependant on an unknown being for almost everything short of breathing.

Eight lives irrevocably altered by this procedure (ever the medical euphemisms, typical doctors)

I wonder if the fathers knew. If they agonized with their lovers, held her hand, paid for the taxi...made them do it?

What if it was me? Would it feel like murder? Even though I know it's just a ball of cells; a highly organized growth; a semi benign tumor: my beliefs make it difficult to forget that everything has a spirit, makes it harder to think of them as tissue samples. How many tissue samples have the potential for independent life? Independence. There's that word again. Independence to write a sonata; paint a landscape; paint your toenails cherry red white and blue, get a tattoo. (Nice little rhyme that)

Eight tissue samples standing on the wall… and if one tissue sample should accidentally fall…there'll be a biological hazard spill kit on hand to clean it up.

Free flow free flowSPLAT. Got distracted, my boy walked in.

*sigh* No babies here please. It would go the way of the tissue sample; and I can't be sure I wouldn't hate myself for it. I'll serve medical science for now by processing other people's split condoms and missed pills. Tissue sample. Tiny scrap of flesh in a tube. Not a person. Trouble is: none of us really knows when that transition occurs, though I'd like to think I've progressed past the stage of being merely a benign growth. Lord and Lady let it not be a progression to being a malignant one.


Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Brain overload has been dealt with.

Yet again I was falling foul of the beastie that tells me I'm tainted/damaged. Yeah, yeah, I know, its' a pile of poop, but it's a hard thing to shake when you've been told it for over 5 years by the words and actions of various different "friends".

9 hours solid of sleep helped too.

Now it's time for a workout! I'm testing for the next level in karate next week!

Monday, July 01, 2002

Wow.

I have a lot to think about.

I have nothing to worry about.

That's why I have a lot to think about.

Sometimes it scares me how much more grown up than me he is, even when he's using me as a free weight for leg presses. Not quitewhat I meant when I said we should work out together...

*sigh*

Suddenly it's all ok, I am loved. And it makes me want to cry.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Roll on tomorrow.
Roll on posh dinner cruise.
Roll on getting to be all dressed up and stylish together.
Roll on the weekend.
Roll on showing him off to my family.
Roll on yet more wonderful time together just beingtogether.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Message recieved from mother unit in Edinburgh in response to my statement that I absolutely want to be in Europe for Christmas. Or else:

"Ok got the message. Glad that someone is decisive in this family. We'll have a European Christmas. Dad is on the phone now and says he fancies the south of France with Aunt Julia and the Bontouxs. Look forward to having you at home. Bye for now ducks, love from Dad and lurve from Ma"

Oh. My. God.

I thought I was being an unholy whinging bitch when I emailed her back...and it turns out I was being *ahem*DECISIVE. I really must try this more often...Mum...I've decided...you're going to buy me a new car, and it's got to be an Audi...
Or maybe not.

But it is nice to be listened to, she probably recognised the signs of a daughter on the verge of a nervous tantrum.

Monday, June 24, 2002

I feel really homesick; at least I think that's what it is. My Mum is pushing for their visit this year to be at Christmas, rather than in the fall, with me going back to Edinburgh for Christmas as we have been discussing. I've been in the US for 9 1/2 months now, already the longest period of time I've ever been away from Edinburgh. Planning to be back there around Christmas meant it didn't really bother me, but if I don't get to go back then I probably won't be able to until Christmas 2003, it's when I can take the most time off in a block.

It's not just getting to be home, when we see each other at Christmas we don't get the chance to talk like we would at other times, everyone's busy with it being CHRISTMAS. I'd asked them to come out sometime in fall so that they could see the family here, and I could take them around San Diego a little, we could actually spend the ubiquitous quality time with each other and then be together again at Christmas anyway. There was also supposed to be a family do comprising my Dad's side of the family then, which would be the first time that side's done Christmas together, I don't know when that got dropped out of the running.

I just got an email from Mum which she signed off saying that it would, of course, be the "right" thing to do to see Granny at Christmas, and to let her know what I think. What I think is that I've told both my parents about four times that it's really important to me to get to be back in Edinburgh around Christmas, and if they come out in Fall then we get to see each other twice instead of only once, with the whole Christmas chaos making it harder to talk and catch up.

Home is not a place, it's people, but sometimes I get homesick just for the place. The city has already changed a great deal since the first time I came out to San Diego in 1999, it will never be how I remember it, that's just what happens with cities, but is it really that terrible to want to know I'll get to see it after two years, rather than after three?


Random Thought For The Day
I miss my black sheep mugs: it's only a set of plain and ordinary white stoneware mugs, each one with a sheep painted on it in monochrome, cute, fluffy white, innocent little sheep, with flowers next to them. Except for the sixth sheep, who is entirely black and spikey, with a cheesy demonic grin. He was MY mug.

I guess I'm having a somewhat domestic streak, and feeling the need to have all my belongings around me, unfortunately some of it still lives in Edinburgh. Perhaps this has been brought on by the realization of just how long it might be before I can actually afford to rent a place that is entirely my own, and is larger than your average broom cupboard that is.

Friday, June 21, 2002

If anyone reads this, and actually cares, please keep your fingers crossed for a certain Matthew M to get a certain position as a Navy Technical Instructor, he most certainly deserves the promotion, and it would mean he'd be able to get that nifty offroading bumper for his Xterra...

I read this article [>] yesterday, and it is still resonating with me, so I'm linking to it, and to the blog it came from.

Depression is something that doesn't just go away, but we learn to live with, around and through it.

~Ash, the depressive {but coping} faerie


Thursday, June 20, 2002

Well, if I was glad we were limited to the weekends before, I now know I was justified in my reasoning: it would be way too easy to fall into living in each other's pockets, and neither of us needs/wants that to happen. Having seen him both Monday and Tuesday evenings, yesterday I felt like there was something missing. I got the impression he was feeling something similar too, though maybe not in the pathetic "I need a hug" way I was. I spent Monday night and much of Tuesday sorting through some of my own ghosts. It left me feeling scattered, and very grateful for his presence that evening, even though I spent a large portion of it talking to his Mom on the phone, trying to glean additional information, make sure she understands that Matt and I can't work magic on this one, while simultaneously reassuring her that all is not lost…

The past week and a bit has tired me out more than I thought it would, all in all the brother situation seems to be a LOT better that it could have been from what we'd been told, but the revelation that we hadn't been told everything at first threw both of us into a panic for a while. Neither of us can take responsibility for this young man's life, we don't have the time, energy or training to do it, all we can do is share our stories and hope that he sees his own way forward. I'm glad that my own experiences with depression can potentially serve to help another work his way out of the hole, but if he can't or won't do it himself there is nothing I can do to fix that. If there's one thing I have learned from the past few years it is that the only person I can look to for happiness and success in life is me, and that she's actually pretty good at getting me there.

A friend said to me last night "this will either make or break your relationship"and I agree, I've been continually pleasantly surprised by all our interactions, and how we've dealt with these new developments, both separately and together. I'm optimistic, but not counting my chickens. So far I've been maintaining an attitude of hopeful caution, and it's working pretty well for me. I don't know where this will all lead, I hope the path is long, and remains so scenic, but I do know that wherever it leads, I will be ok, and chances are I'll be more than ok. That girl in the mirror seems to be figuring out the dance steps pretty well as she goes.


WOOHOO!!

I get to go see the breeders [>]

Long live the LoFi semi-punks! Yeah, yeah, LoFi's a UK term for music, but it just fits.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Have been saved from black mood by entertaining and intellectual conversation with a fellow blogger.

Have been told that is's sexy when one says "vituperative"

Have also somehow reverted back to Bridget Jones style of writing.

I must be having an "English" day...

I need medication.

Good strong medication.

No, not for that, just a little muscle relaxant to convince the knots in my shoulders that it's not really a good thing to spend the day impersonating bad tempered bricks.

Monday, June 17, 2002

After a week of pointless b******t, what better than to give some exercise to the uninhibited side?

Inviting myself to stay over at Matt's, laughing like a maniac while barely escaping thwacking my head off the roof of his Xterra during an offroading trip (he likes to try to turn his passengers into giant human milkshakes by the end of the day) running through every random accent I can possibly think of in an (almost successful) attempt to make the Brothers Morrison die laughing...curling up by the fire ring on the beach until 1am...inviting myself for a second night, spending a good few hours flaked out on the floor reading/conversing.

Sometimes it's good to take a holiday from the ridiculousness of it all and escape intoreality.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Blah.

Yet again outside tensions took over the dynamic in our apartment. Here's hoping I get better at remembering to keep objective, and not let it get to me.

Still, considering the past couple of months, only getting affected once out of three is pretty good going for me, the incredable "it must be me" girl.

I may be a bug under glass, but it doesn't do me much good to continually worry about the eye above me, much better to get on with it and only worry about the eye when it become attached to a bug-squishing device.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

It's generally not a good idea to bring up sensitive subjects at lunch, when people have to go back to work and be productive. I suppose it all needed to be said, eventually, but did you really think it WOULDN'T affect me? Am I over-emotional or numb from ignorance? I doubt I'm both. Just because I stopped crying to you about my past doesn't mean I no longer weep.

I guess maybe you hadn't noticed the slight distance I purposely put between the two of us, I'd be surprised if you didn't agree that it was needed.

I am glad you chose to bring up your side of things in person this time, it's very important to me to hear it first from the horses mouth when someone has a problem with me or my behavior; just don't assume you've seen the whole of my picture. Some things cannotbe displayed until they are nearly completely processed and settled. I learned that one from you, and it was a valuable lesson. You say I need to learn what MY part in all of this has been, I agree wholeheartedly and I already have some of it: my tendency to look to others to mend my problems. I'm trying my damndest not to do that any more, so it stays internal until I feel sure of something. People are sounding boards, nothing more, and I need to figure things out for myself and by myself, and that's just what I have been attempting to do.

So tell me when I hurt your feelings, but think really hard before you make a comment on my coping mechanisms or general mental health. Even if it just means waiting till the end of the day when I can have some down time after the conversation, that can make all the difference. Otherwise it leaves me feeling as though in your mind I really don't have any true emotions at all, I'm just a construct of behaviors in a noisy foreign packaging.


Having read Who Me?'s [>] post for yesterday, I feel the urge to add my own first memory, well two of them actually.

My first definite memory is from the summer when I was three years old, of the 3 month family hiatus in Davis, NorCal, which is the source of my terminally confused accent, after a summer in California I never shook the slight American accent that has been the source of many people's disbelief of my Scottish upbringing. Little snippets of being put down for a nap in the middle of the day, and my parents trying to make me submit to this childish indignity by telling me it was really a "siesta" which is something all sensible grown-ups do at that time of year. Hearing the older members of the family splashing about in the pool outside my window and thinking that sounded suspiciously un-siesta-like to me...

The other memory is of a song, and this is music pure and simple with nothing accompanying it, because this song was sung to me before I was born. My mother would curl up around herself and sing Summertime by Gershwin to her "bump". So I can't remember a time when I have not heard that song, it always speaks to me, and it explains my addiction to swing music in general, and Ira and George in particular.


Tuesday, June 11, 2002

I'm not entirely sure what this feeling is, but I think they call it closure.

The moment I realised I was hanging around for an apology that will neverbe forthcoming, I knew it was time to close that door.

I finally reached the point where I could determine between willful denial of the past and ridding myself of unneccesary weight, all it needed was a couple of hours tending to a fire.

It seems an oddly random time, though it actually makes a lot of sense to me, if you can't figure it out for yourself: you know where I live, and if you don't know where I live then you probably don't get to find out.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Funny, I didn't expect my bed to suddenly be firmer once it was hoisted onto a frame. I kept thinking I was sleeping in a hotel, only with my sheets. It finally felt like mybed this morning. I suppose I should have put my cards back under my pillow after construction but that might have led to some confusion on saturday night.
Dead horse.

Stick.

It can be fun.

Honest.

Friday, June 07, 2002

FRIDAY!!

Go faster damned slow clock. Don't even think about that whole going backwards thing, I know you've done it before...

Fitting rooms are bad for one's mental health. Being forced to examine myself and the fit of various items of underwear and/or sleepwear in great detail, aided only by poor quality fluorescent lights almost always leads to my body ceasing to look like a body, merely a random collection of unaesthetic curves and bumps.

If you stare at anything, eventually it loses an element of cohesive reality, who needs abstract art when everythingcan look like a piece of modern sculpture if you gaze at it long enough?

Yes, yes, I did attempt to buy a new bra yesterday, how did you guess?