Boo Manor Halloween Party!

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:26 am
cz_unit: (Pretty pony)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Booo to you! Want a little fright in your night? A sweet for a treat? Come on over to the Boo Manor Halloween party!!!!
Date: Saturday, October 21st
Time: 6 pm onward
Where: Boo Manor, MD

Costumes are encouraged, and potluck contributions are always much appreciated. Please drop us a line if you think you can join us & if you need driving and parking directions.

Howls,
Phoenix and Chris Boo
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
Hmmm, I want to watch something fun and comforting. Let's hit up what's on Netflix Kid's.

*scroll*

I haven't watched Anastasia in forever. That might be nice. Oh hey, I've never seen Disney's Hercules, and the Nostalgia Chick loves it, so maybe I'll watch that.

*scroll*

Hey, they even have Nightmare Before OMFG GREMLINS IS ON THERE WHY IS GREMLINS ON THE KID LIST HOLY FUCK I AM GONNA HAVE NIGHTMARES JUST FROM THE THUMBNAIL FUUUCK!!!!

*decide on Hercules*

I seriously need some James Wood's voice acting to wipe away the horror of fucking Stripe Gremlin popping up on my screen. WHY IS IT ON THE KIDS LIST?!!!
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

In case you forgot, I’ll be at Borderlands Books (my favorite place in SF) at 3:00 pm this Saturday to read to you from my new book The Uploaded, sign whatever you put in front of me, and to, as usual, go out for hamburgers afterwards.

(And if you’re extra-special-good, I may do a super-secret advance MEGA-preview reading of The Book That Does Not Yet Have A Name. Not that, you know, you shouldn’t be rushing out to your stores to buy The Uploaded right now.)

I will, of course, bring donuts after my massive DONUT FAIL in Massachusetts, which I still wake up in cold sweats about. I will bring you donuts or die.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Wake up.....

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:18 am
cz_unit: (Default)
[personal profile] cz_unit
Woke up at 6am, old memory stirred, downloaded AAAS' 990 forms.

I wonder: Is it too late to wake up?

Hm.

CZ

Let Life Happen.

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:13 am
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

“I’m not up for sex,” she told me. “I’ve had a lot of medical issues lately. It’s more painful than not to even try.”

“Cool,” I said, and we spent the day going to a street festival.

I woulda liked sex. But life happens.


“I’m in the middle of my seasonal affective disorder,” I told her. “You show up, I might not be able to leave the house. I might just curl up and cry all day.”

“Cool,” she said, and I was pretty morose but we cuddled a lot and eventually managed to go out to dinner.

I woulda liked to have a working brain. But life happens.


“I’m not sure I can make it through this convention,” they told me. “My flare-ups have been really bad this season. I might not be able to go out with you in the evenings.”

“Cool,” I said, and I went out for little hour-long jaunts before heading back to the room to cuddle them, then charging out again to circulate.

I woulda liked to have them by my side when I hit the room parties. But life happens.


I’m a massively flawed human with a mental illness. I need to have poly relationships that include for the possibility of breakdowns. Because if I need to have a perfect day before I allow anyone to see me, I might wait for weeks. Months. Years. And then what the fuck is left by the time I get to see them?

I know there are people who need perfect visits. They have to have the makeup on when you visit them, and they’ll never fall asleep when they had a night of Big Sexy planned, and if they get out the toys there’s gonna be a scene no matter how raw anyone’s feeling.

But I can’t do that.

My relationships aren’t, can’t be, some idealized projection of who I want to be. If I’m not feeling secure that day, I can’t be with a partner who needs me to be their rock so the weekend proceeds unabated. And if they’re feeling broken, I can’t be with someone who needs to pretend everything is fine because their time with me is their way of proving what a good life they have.

Sometimes, me and my lovers hoped for a weekend retreat of pure passion and what we get is curling up with someone under tear-stained covers, holding them and letting them know they will not be alone come the darkness.

We cry. We collapse. We stumble. We don’t always get what we want, not immediately.

But we also heal. We nurture. We accept.

And in the long run, God, we get so much more.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Grace

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:14 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
The day to day is so mild as of late, I have to reach for things other than the daily grind to write about. I miss writing. I miss hitting just that space when I feel my own power, where the words twist like blown glass under my hands.

Inspiration is not a requirement to write. I tell myself this isn't the first lull I've hit with writing - and it will not be the last. It's nice to have the lull emanating from a place of calm. I also feel just the slightest of guilt, as if I am ignoring something. Hard to know if you're "taking a break" or "procrastinating."

I know eventually something will break and I'll be back to the keyboard with typing possessed. I'm not so far out of the woods as to think it will be smooth sailing forever. Not only is that not my luck (there's no "tragedy limit" for me and my life), but that's life in general. At least for me. In this quiet time, I'm settling to accept that.

There's been quite a bit of thought around that idea lately. That for whatever reason - karma, fate, the cold, cold hand of an uncaring Universe - my life will be a battle. Where most people have years and years of calm broken by events of crisis, mine is the absolute opposite. My calm waters are the punctuating events, not the rule that leads from year to year.

But in these glass seas, I can come to appreciate that. It's not so easy to be grateful when the ground cracks beneath you and sends you scrambling for an overhanging rock to keep you from plunging into the earth, but here, now, I can be grateful.

Maybe accepting my life as it has been (and for how it will be) is grace.

I can't bring myself to believe that there is some being out there that guides my hand and heart through the hard times. I can't bring myself to believe that I, as I was born and as I live, am deserving of some kind of divine benevolence. But I can take these quiet moments and reflect on my life, the things that brought me here and the things that propel me further.

I can take these quiet moments and think of things I might be able to believe.

I can take these moments of quiet and comb through the answers that I asked all of you to give me about ritual, about belief, and find ways to bring it back to grace. To an acceptance - a true acceptance, one not borne out of exhaustion - and continue to learn to love the Teressa that comes out of the other side of that acceptance.

This last year has been so hard. Hard in ways that I've never struggled with before. I do not believe there is some cosmic prize at the end of this finish line. I do not get the girl, I do not win the lottery, I do not get a Happily-Ever-After. Maybe no one does.

But I do get to learn just a little more about myself.

A great deal of what I've discovered over the last year has not been pretty. A huge chunk of what's been revealed about me has, in fact, been horrifying and shameful. But I am beginning to realize that there is no such thing as having too detailed a map about your inner self - craggy cliffs and raging torrents included. I know myself, in sickness and health, in ways that I never have before.

To learn those things as positives, as things to learn from...if I have any definition of "grace" that I can believe in, that is it.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I knew musicals could cheer me up, but I’d never heard of one that gave me new tools to deal with chronic illness and depression. Yet when I saw Groundhog Day last Wednesday, I was so stunned by what a perfect, joyous metaphor it was for battling mental illness that I immediately bought tickets to see it again that Saturday.

I would have told you about this before, but it was too late. The show closed on Sunday. A musical that should have run, well, for as long as Phil Connors was trapped in his endless time loop only got a five-month run.

But I can tell you about it.

I can tell you why this musical made me a stronger, better person.

———————————–

So let’s discuss the original Groundhog Day movie, which is pretty well-known at this point: Bill Murray is an asshole weatherman named Phil who shows up under protest to do a report from Punxatawney, Philadelphia on Groundhog Day. He’s trapped in town overnight thanks to a blizzard. When Phil wakes up the next morning, it’s Groundhog Day again. And again. And again.

Phil goes through several phases:

  • Incredulous as he can’t believe what’s happening to him;
  • Gleefully naughty as he uses his knowledge of people’s future actions to indulge all his greatest fantasies;
  • Frustrated as he tries to romance Rita, his producer, but he’s too cynical for her and nothing convinces her to hop in bed with him unless everyone else in town;
  • Depressed as he realizes that his life is shallow and there’s no way he can escape;
  • Perplexed as he tries to rescue a dying homeless man but realizes that nothing he can do on this day will save this poor guy;
  • And, finally, beatific as he uses his intense knowledge of everything that will happen in town today to run around doing good for people.

Naturally, that’s a great emotional journey. It’s no wonder that’s a story that’s resonated with people.

Yet Groundhog Day changes just one slight emotional tenor about this – and that change is massive.

Because when Bill Murray’s character gets to the end of his journey, he’s actually content. He’s achieved enlightenment where he enjoys everything he does, toodling around on the piano because he’s formed Punxatawney into his paradise. He laughs at people who ignore him. He’s satisfied.

And when Rita, who senses this change even though she doesn’t understand why, bids everything in her wallet to dance with him at the Groundhog Dance, the Bill Murray Phil is touched but also, on some level, serene.

Andy Karl’s Phil is not happy.

We spend a lot more time in Andy’s Phil’s headspace, and at one point he breaks down because of all the things he’ll never get to do – he’ll never grow a beard, he’ll never see the dawn again, he’ll never have another birthday. Anything he does is wiped away the next morning.

Bill Murray’s Phil gets so much satisfaction out of his constantly improving the town that his daily circuit has become a reward for him.

Andy Karl’s Phil is, on some level, fundamentally isolated. People will never know him – at least not without hours of proving to them that yes, he is trapped in this time loop, he does know everything about them.  No matter what relationships he forms, he’ll have  to start all over again in a matter of hours. There’s no bond he can create that this loop won’t erase.

And so when Rita finally dances with Bill Murray, it’s shown as a big romantic moment. And in the musical –

In the musical, Rita moves towards Phil and everything freezes in a harsh blue light except for Phil.

This is everything Phil has ever wanted in years, maybe decades, of being in this loop – and instead of being presented as triumphant, everything goes quiet and Phil sings a tiny, mournful song:

But I’m here
And I’m fine
And I’m seeing you for the first time

And the reason that brings tears to my eyes every fucking time is because this Phil is not fine – he repeats the lie in the next verse when he says he’s all right. Yet this is the happiest moment he’s had in years, finally understanding what Rita has wanted all along, and this moment too will be swept away in an endless series of morning wakeups and lumpy beds and people forgetting what he is.

Yet that mournful tune is also defiant, and more defiant when the townspeople pick it up and start singing it in a rising chorus:

I’m here
And I’m fine

Phil knows his future is nothing.

Yet that will not stop him from appreciating this small beauty even if he knows it will not stay with him. Trapped in the groundhog loop, appreciating the tiny moments becomes an act of rebellion, a way of affirming life even when you know this moment too will vanish.

Can you understand that this is depression incarnate?

Which is the other thing that marks this musical. Because I said there was joy, and there is. Because when Andy Karl’s Phil enters the “Philanthropy” section of the musical (get it?), he may not be entirely happy but he is content.

Because he knows that he may not necessarily feel joy at all times, but he has mastered the art of maintenance.

Because tending to the town of Punxatawney is a lot of work. He has to run around changing flat tires, rescuing cats, getting Rita the chili she wanted to try, helping people’s marriages. (And as he notes, “My cardio never seems to stick.”)

When Bill Murray’s Phil helps people, it seems to well up from personal satisfaction. Whereas Andy’s Phil is thrilled helping people, yes, but his kindness means more because it costs him. On some level he is, and will forever be, fundamentally numb.

This isn’t where he wanted to be.

Yet he has vowed to do the best with what he can. He helps the townspeople of Punxatawney because even though it is a constant drain, it makes him feel better than drinking himself senseless in his room. He doesn’t get to have everything he wanted – also see: depression and chronic illness – and it sure would be nice if he could take a few days off, but those days off will make him feel worse.

He’s resigned himself to a lifetime of working harder than he should for results that aren’t as joyous as he wanted.

And that’s okay. Not ideal, but…. okay.

Andy’s okay.

And I think the closest I can replicate that in a non-musical context is another unlikely source – Rick and Morty, where Rick is a suicidal hypergenius scientist who’s basically the Doctor if the Doctor’s psychological ramifications were taken seriously. And he goes to therapy, where a therapist so smart that she’s the only person Rick’s never been able to refute says this to him:

“Rick, the only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness.

“You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse. And I think it’s because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it’s your mind within your control.
You chose to come here, you chose to talk to belittle my vocation, just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your universe, and yet you are dripping with rat blood and feces, your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand.

“I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I’m bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass. Because the thing about repairing, maintaining, and cleaning is it’s not an adventure. There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die.

“It’s just work.

“And the bottom line is, some people are okay going to work, and some people well, some people would rather die.

“Each of us gets to choose.

“That’s our time.”

And yes, Groundhog Day the musical is – was – about that lesson of maintenance, as Andy comes to realize that “feeling good” isn’t a necessary component for self-improvement, and works hard to make the best of a situation where, like my depression, even the best and most perfect day will be reset come the next morning.

And yes. There is a dawn for Andy’s Phil, of course, and he does wake up with Rita, and you get to exit the theater knowing that no matter how bad it gets there will come a joyous dawn and you get to walk out onto Broadway and so does Phil.

But you don’t get to that joy without maintenance.

And you might get trapped again some day. That, too, is depression. That, too, is chronic illness. We don’t know that Phil doesn’t get trapped on February 3rd, or March 10th, or maybe his whole December starts repeating.

But he has the tools now. He knows how to survive until the next dawn.

Maybe you can too.

—————————–

Anyway. There’s talk that Groundhog Day will go on tour, maybe even with Andy Karl doing the performances. He’s brilliant. Go see him.

The rest of you, man, I hope you find your own Groundhog Day. I saw mine. Twice.

Perhaps it’s fitting that it’s vanished.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:05 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
It is storming. Heavily, heavenly, beautifully. It is the first storm this year I have been home for.

Every time it has stormed this year, EVERY. GODDAMN. TIME. I have been stuck behind the soundproof wall of triple-paned hospital glass, hanging six stories above in the psych ward. I couldn't hear the thunder, could not open the window to hear the rain falling, could not smell the ozone of lightning strikes, could not feel the thunder rattling the floor under my feet.

I can now. The window is flung wide, Nature rebels, and I am home to revel in it.

Sweet, sweet sanity.

Sweet, sweet freedom.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
This is an issue that while I try to keep quiet, has come up frequently in the last year. As of late, it's been spurned by Jesse's and I's binging on the show Supernatural.

It can be difficult to discuss it with Jesse, as his spiritual beliefs are well-structured, complex, and very well defined. My questions and ideas about spirituality are anything but structured, complex, or defined. There are times he will even allude to having experienced spiritual experiences around and/or about me while I've been in dire times, but I always shut him down before he gets into explaining it.

While hospitalized, I have spoken to a few chaplains about it all, but they tend to be Jesus-centric. (It's a Seventh-Day-Adventist hospital). So half of those conversations wind up with me trying to steer the conversation from accepting Jesus as my savior and into something more generic. This is more than mildly frustrating for both the pastors and myself, so I no longer seek them out.

My hardline beliefs are that I do not accept the existence of ghosts, angels, demons, or spirits that would otherwise have any interest in my tiny, tiny little life. But now that I've had a little time to look back and see just how easily any of my sidesteps could have resulted in a bloody, projectile-vomiting death, I am beginning to wonder.

Chance and coincidence, along with a stubborn as fuck willpower, can carry almost any explanation very, very far. But does it carry it over the finish line? How far does the belief in Luck stretch until it smacks into a belief of faith?

What IS faith and does it have to be connected to a structure of beliefs about the spiritual realm? I find Paganism to be just as annoying as strong Christianity. Ditto for Buddhism, general New-Agism, Unitarian beliefs, and anything else that requires letting go of any personal reigns in order to trust a Higher Power.

But there is ONE thing I do miss about all of those beliefs, and that is ritual. The closest thing to ritual I've come to in the last several years is wearing a locket of Santa Muerte, and even that, to me, is more about the power of symbolism than an actual belief in a Death God.

But lighting candles, saying specific prayers, having a thing-to-do that follows steps and instructions in order to connect with the Universe as a whole...I do miss that. But how does one create, let alone follow, a ritual when you believe there is nothing there to hear it?

Jesse has said that he saw the spark of faith flare up over the last year. I respond by telling him that I was scared - terrified - and that faith is a pretty common refuge for the frightened. But even in that fear, I didn't come to any conclusions, find any beliefs, that comforted those fears. I just barreled through the fear until I didn't NEED that comfort anymore.

Except maybe I am still scared, because the idea of wanting to believe in something (something small, that doesn't have assloads of minor and sub-beliefs that have to be built as a foundation UNDER the belief itself) is still there.

Don't get me wrong - the show Supernatural is not enough for me to start stockpiling salt and buying silver tableware. This is TV-land we're talking about, and as fun as it is, I recognize that it's fantasy and adapted-folklore.

I just have to wonder if there is a way of not-believing that is somehow a belief. I've never had a paranormal/spiritual experience that wasn't easily explained by mundane things (or else experienced while flying high on mania), and maybe I'm looking for that. Maybe I envy people who seem to experience that all the time.

But I can't just make myself believe things that I don't believe in. This is, however, starting to get in the way of wondering if there, actually, things TO believe in, whatever those things might be.

Maybe, in the end, I just want there to be some kind ghostwriter to this narrative that is my Life. I don't know. I am still vehemently opposed when Jesse insists that he's seen my lack of spiritual beliefs shift, because while I've questioned, that does NOT mean I've settled on an answer.

I guess even having the questions is what's throwing me off.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 05:54 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
Despite having taken an extra 25 mgs of my sedative, I am up well before dawn. I'm also about to start my rag, so sleep disturbances are par for the course. God, how I miss the Depo shot. But it turns out heavy-hormonal treatments don't play with lupus, so back to monthly misery it is.

Speaking of lupus: Good news: The stomach problems came and went inside four days. Bad news: Afterwards, the lupus rash showed up again. This means my kidneys are not properly processing my food (thus leaving my body to desperately start shoving stuff through my skin) and I've had too much sun exposure. The renal diet does help, it'll just take a few weeks. And while I loathe sunscreen, it's a hell of a lot better than needing to put on two coats of foundation to cover the red spots.

I've finally figured that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of the cure. I'd just gotten so used to feeling better than I forgot that I am, now and forever and ever amen, actually sick.

I've decided I'm going to be less of a dick and start referring to David as Rachel and use female pronouns. Not so much because I think she deserves the courtesy, but because I realized I don't want to be on the wrong side of history when it comes to transgender rights.

Besides, it's a change of, like, two (three maximum) words. If I can't manage that, then I've got some serious laziness issues that go waaaay behind disliking my ex. Now to change my tags that deal with Rachel....

Erggh, does anyone know how to rename tags on the LJ side? All it's giving me is "Add new tags". Attempting to create new tags and then merge them (by pressing "Enter" like it says) just reverts it to the old tag name.

What I WANT to do this morning is go down to the treadmill and take a long walk. What I DON'T want to do is aggravate my cramps into turning from annoying to "let's curl up in the fetal position and pray we can fall asleep through them." I did go down and put a mile and a half on the treadmill. Ha, take THAT, reproductive organs!

As for everything else in the life That is Teressa, it's All Quiet On The Western Front. No wild ups, no wild downs, no intrusive thoughts, no compulsive urges or behaviors. It's slowed down my writing, but seeing as the slowdown is coming from a place of peace, not writer's block, it is infinitely easier to handle.

All in all, things are good. Even with the ultimate suckiness that my period looming, inside feels well. I'm becoming less and less shy about saying things that would previously make me feel like I'm jinxing things. These are all good things.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

As a reminder, I’ll be at Pandemonium Books and Games (which is an awesome store even in the absence of me) at 7:00 tomorrow to read to you, sign whatever you put in front of me, and probably go out for drinks and/or ice cream afterwards.

I hope to see you there! These donuts aren’t gonna eat themselves.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So this fall I’ll be premiering my “You’re Far Away But Your Hearts Are Close” class on running successful long-distance relationships. And to make that work, I gotta ask y’all:

What would you like to see taught in a class about long-distance relationships?

Some of the questions I’m planning on answering to the best of my ability are:

  • How can you tell if someone’s genuine online?
  • What are the best practices for transitioning from an LDR into a “real life” relationship?
  • How do you handle arguments when you’re not able to cuddle and heal properly afterwards?
  • How does New Relationship Energy affect LDRs?
  • What sorts of relationships can LDRs offer?

But the classes I teach are for you (especially if you’re attending The Geeky Kink Event, Beyond The Love, or Indegeo Conception this fall – so I ask you, “What issues with long-distance relationships would you like to see covered in an LDR class?” I can’t promise I’ll bring it up, but in the best case you might inspire an essay or two later on.

So. What sorts of long-distance relationship issues are you curious about?

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

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