Underneath my yellow skin

I Can Fly! Oh, Wait. No I Can’t.

I was taking out the trash the other night, and it was dark out. I do it late at night, and my front light isn’t working. I went to check the mail, and I didn’t notice there was a huge slick of ice in front of my mailbox. I noticed when my feet went up in the air, and I landed on my knees and night elbow. If you ever want to feel completely in your body, just fall. You will be aware of muscles you never knew existed before.

The pain was sharply intense, and I’m saying this as someone who slept through a recent root canal. I couldn’t believe how much it hurt–and how quickly the intense pain went away. I admit I stayed on the ground for a minute or so, but I soon got back on my feet and checked all my limbs for possible damage. My right elbow was scraped with a little blood, my left knee felt puffy and sore, and my right knee ached a bit, but that’s it.

Nothing was broken. Nothing was wrenched, twisted, or dislocated. I kept an eye on it the next day, and while I was achy (especially in my left knee. My poor knees. They can’t catch a break), nothing actively hurt. My left knee still feels bruised and a bit puffy, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

I bring this up for a few reasons. One, I’m still clumsy. I still fall on the regular, though not as often as I used to. Two, it wasn’t my fault this time. The last time when I fell on the stairs while doing the laundry (or more accurately, on my way to doing the laundry), it was my own damn fault for reading my phone as I was walking. This time, however, there wasn’t much I could do because I simply didn’t see the ice in the dark. It helps me understand that sometimes, things do just happen. Three, I instantly relaxed as I was falling, and this is something I’ve noticed in the last few years. Yes, I still fall, but I’m more able to do what needs to be done to minimize the damage. It’s not even something I think about–I do it automatically.

It’s the reason I walked away from my minor car accident with nothing more than a big bruise on my stomach (from either the seat belt or the airbag). It’s the reason I only have bruises and aches after falling off ladders or on the ice as I most recently did. It brings me a small measure of comfort knowing that while I may still be clumsy and fall from time to time, I don’t have to take maximum damage from it.

It’s a revelation to me as someone who’s been clumsy all her life. Yes, I’m working on being more observant and trying not to run into things in the first place, but it’s nice to know that when I make a mistake, I won’t necessarily have to pay for it (too much).

That’s Just the Way I Am

nom nom nom!
Shadow lovin’ his almond milk ice cream treat.

Ian is here visiting, and I asked him if he thought Shadow was talking more than usual. I know he is, but I was wondering if it was just a little more or a lot more (my choice). It’s hard to tell when I live with him, even though it was pretty extreme in that it started after Raven died. Ian said yes, a lot more, which just confirmed my belief.

Shadow rarely meowed when Raven was alive. Shadow was also more aloof and liked to spend a lot of his time alone. I used to call them Shadow and my Shadow because Raven was my Velcro cat while Shadow was more paws off. Raven didn’t meow a ton, but he would sometimes get in a chatty frame of mind, and he would meow at me for several minutes. His voice always sounded cross, even when it wasn’t, and he was a very affectionate cat.

When Raven died, Shadow underwent a complete personality change. He became clinging and would be anxious and unhappy if I were out of his sight. When I went to the back porch to smoke, he would reach his paws up on the sliding glass door and meow piteously. I had explained to him what happened to his brother, but I don’t think he really understood. What I can tell you is Shadow definitely changed after his brother died. Instantly and startlingly in some ways, and more slowly in others.

The talking thing has gradually grown over time. I’ve realized it’s his way of making sure he gets his treats because Raven used to be the one to inform me of eating time. I don’t think either of them ever realized that I was going to feed them regardless, or they were just trying to ensure they would get their food. Either way, Shadow has taken over that duty, and he’s pretty definite when he thinks it’s time for food.

He also has a relatively new habit of biting my face when he wants breakfast. Not hard, of course, but just gentle nibbles. If he doesn’t do that, it’s just his face in my face when I open my eyes, or him walking on my face. He’s seemed to have lost his sense of boundaries, at least when it comes to me. He wasn’t a lap cat when his brother was alive, but now, we spend most nights with him warming my legs.

In the past few months, he’s slowly become more independent again. He’ll disappear for hours as he used to do, but we still have our nightly ritual of chilling on the couch together. It’s been a year and two months since Raven has died (has it really been that long??), and I’d say his personality now is a blend between his old personality and his more recent one.

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Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is Not a Love Match

love is in the air.
Ready to match up lovebirds!

I heard of a game called Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker, and I don’t remember how. All I can remember is that it had positive reviews, and I’m always here for more queer-positive games. It’s done by a drag queen (or at least she’s lent her name and voice talent to it), and the trailer looked like campy fun. It got positive reviews, and it was on sale last week because the sequel, Kitty Powers’ Love Life, was released on February 8th. Now, I’m not much into sims, especially not dating sims, but I was willing to give it a go.

From the start, it was slow-going. I had to fill out a questionnaire about myself so that my avatar could go on dates in other people’s games. The character creator is limited, but I really didn’t expect much from this quirky, obviously low budget game. Then, I was quickly shoved into the game, and we were off to the races.

The tutorial is minimal, and it’s not really representative of the game. It gives the best-case scenario, which rarely happens on the dates. The basic premise is you’re helping Kitty run a dating service. Clients come in, and you match them with potential dates. You send them to restaurants where you’ve installed hidden cameras (ew) and give them advice as the date continues.

From the beginning, the dick jokes fly fast and furious. The beginning restaurants are Jerk King (Jamaican), Route 69 (American), and The King’s Helmet (British). Kitty Powers is British, btw. Most of the comments she makes in the game are sexual innuendos, and they are limited in number.

My favorite thing about the game is that there are bisexual clients. You can have a female client looking for a woman, one who’s looking for a man, or one who’s looking for ‘anything’ (I’m sure that’s an ‘I’d fuck anything that moves’ bisexual joke). It sounds stupid, but as a bi person, being able to match someone with a person of any gender is refreshing. You match up your client with a potential date to your best ability, based on criteria such as astrological signs, interests, professions, types (sporty, hipster, geeky, etc.), and different personality traits.

I have issues because it’s not easy to tell what type of person the potential dates are. Supposedly, if you look at their interests and what they look like, you can tell, but it’s not always easy. The graphics are cute, but not really definitive. I can’t tell, say, sporty from hipster or hippie from geeky just by eyeballing the person. Plus, the makeup for the women isn’t all that distinctive except for the natural look. Frankly, it all looks like clown makeup to me.

Then, you have to pick the restaurant. Once that’s done, it’s off to the date. There are mini-games you have to play, and most of them range from annoying to tedious. In one, you have to help your client hold in their flatulence by…get this…playing higher/lower with cards. A card is shown, and you have to guess if the next card will be higher or lower. If it’s a one-star restaurant, you have to do this thrice (I think. Or more. I can’t be stuffed to remember). If it’s a two-star, it’s more times. Probably more for a three-star. That one is juvenile and annoying. The memorization ones are tedious, and the pachinko one is infuriating. There’s a math mini-game as well for figuring out tips, which just seems out of place.

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Almost Recovered

I am pleased to say that I’m mostly recovered. My flu/fever symptoms are gone, and my sleep is shite again (a clear indication that I’m getting better). However, I’ve been having the chills on and off over the last couple days, so I’m keeping an eye on it. My knees hardly ache at all, and going to taiji class yesterday really helped. I have to remember that gentle movement on the daily is a good thing, even if I have no motivation to do it at the time.

This is the problem with having depression. Even when I know something is beneficial to me and that I’ll probably enjoy it at the time–it’s difficult for me to actually force myself to do it. The inertia is strong within me, and I can sit on my ass for hours on end without even thinking about it.

On a side note, I did a testing of all the new Diet Coke flavors and live-tweeted it. Take a look if you want a good chuckle. They’re not all linked because I included pictures, but just trawl around that time, and you’ll find them all.

TL;DR: Twitsted Mango is the shizznit.

Oh. I just remembered tomorrow (today when you read this) is going to be Valentine’s Day. Here’s my valentine for you.

Minding My Mindfulness

Ed. Note: I am not starting my bad movie live-tweeting this week. In fact, I probably won’t do it ‘live’ when I do start it, but I’ll discuss that more in the first actual bad movie/live-tweet post. 

I like to pride myself on my multitasking abilities. I try to do two or three things at a time, and I find my brain going to bad places when I concentrate on one thing. It’s one reason I don’t like meditation even though I know it’s supposed to be good for me. Currently, I am eating breakfast, watching the Olympics, and typing this post at the same time. I have about one-third of my attention on eating, one-fourth on watching the Olympics, and the rest on typing this post.

This started back when I used to have really bad demons in my head, and I needed a white noise option to drowning them out. I found out that by splitting my attention in several directions, I was able to keep them to a dull roar. I used to read a book as I was walking home from school (not a smart idea. For the children at home, don’t do this!), so I guess that was the prototype to the current multitasking me.

My taiji teacher likes to say that we are not as good at multitasking as we think we are. While I might bristle at this, she’s right. The only way it really works for me is when the things I’m doing don’t really need my concentrated attention. Or, if one thing needs my attention, then the other things have to be suitable for background noise.

I bring this up because I fell on the stairs twice Friday night as I was doing the laundry. I was reading something on my phone as I walked down the stairs because of course I know how many stairs there are! I don’t actually need to pay attention, do I? Apparently, I do because I missed the last step two times in a row. When I went to put the third load into the dryer, you can bet I made damn sure not to be looking at my phone.

Let me back up. I had a root canal last Tuesday, and the process itself wasn’t bad at all. I had a nice nap, and it was done before I knew it. They gave me pain meds and scrips for more pain meds and antibiotics with instructions on how to use them. When I told my dentist it wasn’t bad at all, she told me to wait until the Novocaine wore off. I did, and it still wasn’t bad at all. I dutifully took the antibiotics, but I didn’t need the pain meds.

I was fine the next day as well. Then, that night, I started feeling feverish*, but not bad enough to take the pain meds. I felt like I had a low-grade flu the next day, and my mouth ached. I still didn’t take the pain meds, but I definitely was not at optimal health.

I mention this in relation to my tripping because my sleep has been really shitty since my root canal. Shittier. Why? Because I have to take the antibiotics every eight hours, and my sleep is so weird, it’s hard to take them on a rigorous schedule. Ideally, you take the pill at the exact same time for maximum effect, which meant setting the alarm to get up at five to take the third pill of the day.


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The Real Winners and Losers of the Super Bowl

So the round-shaped vessel of the pointy-ball happened last weekend, and I watched it because I’m a casual sports fan, but I was really there for the commercials (as was most of the people watching, I assume). The commercials have gotten increasingly bad over the years, but for whatever reason, I remain hopeful that there will be good commercials. There were a few, but by far the vast majority were bland and boring. There were a few terrible ones, too, but really, most were just forgettable. Here’s my list of winners and losers.

Winners

Patriots haters. Like me. The game itself was actually exciting for once, and having the Eagles pull it out at the last moment was the best! Watching Tom Brady get sacked instead of throwing a last-second touchdown pass was a thing of beauty.

Commercial-wise, my favorite commercial was the Peter Dinklage & Busta Rhyme/Morgan Freeman & Missy Elliott Doritos/Mountain Dew mash-up. It was funny; it was fresh; and Missy Elliott is QUEEN. I like the concept, and I love the way it was shot. Also, I would not kick Peter Dinklage out of bed for eating Doritos.

I’ve watched it and the other videos with the foursome several times, and I think they are the best.

However, Doritos had to erase all that goodwill by talking about how ladies don’t like crunching loudly in public and are too delicate to like Doritos dust off their fingers in front of other people, so they were considering ‘Lady Doritos’. The CEO of PepsiCo was saying this ish, and it’s a woman, y’all. They frantically walked it back, saying it was never being considered, but the quote from the CEO was still out there. She actually said they were planning a low-crunch, less sticky version of some unnamed product, but come on. We all know it’s Doritos. We’re not fucking stupid.

Look. I wasn’t going to buy Doritos because of the ad, anyway, but this certainly makes me less likely to buy any Pepsi product. The crunching loudly is the best goddamn part of eating chips, and I’m going to do it regardless of if I’m in public or not.

But! This is meant to be a fun, silly list, so let’s go to my second-favorite commercial (which is second by only a hair). Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. dancing to a song (you know the one) from Dirty Dancing during a Giants practice session with other members of the Giants getting in on the fun.

This made me completely revise my opinion of Eli Manning. The video is joyous and goofy, and it’s done with such passion by everyone involved. It makes me laugh in happiness every time I see it. Odell Beckham Jr. is such a cutie, too!

The reason I like it so much is that they’re all just having a blast, and there is absolutely no whiff of ‘no homo’ in the ad. Seeing all these big burly dudes getting their groove on is so refreshing.


Give me more of this and less of Peyton Manning shilling crappy pizza any day!

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Canal of the Root Variety

I’ve been  dealing with dental issues in spurts, and I just had a root canal today (yesterday by the time you read this). It wasn’t bad (it’s the third I’ve had, the first with this dentist), but I have an insanely high pain tolerance, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. It was booked as a two-hour procedure, but I felt as if my past root canals took half an hour. This time, I would have said it was about an hour, but nope, it was two hours.

You want to know my secret? I sleep during the procedure. No lie. I did the same when I got tattooed. There’s something about the steady drilling/pressure that puts me right to sleep. Granted, I had Novocaine this time, but I could still feel the pressure. Also, when the nerves were actually being removed, it did hurt, but it was like a distant hurt. I know I fell asleep because one of the times the assistant asked if I was OK, I jerked awake in time to hear her question.

There you have it. My lifehack tip to making it through a root canal. Now, I’m bundled up on the couch (by the way. I didn’t realize it was going to be so cold today or that I would have to run and get antibiotics after the root canal, or I would have actually worn a coat), Shadow on my legs, watching a video of First 4 Figures talk about making this amazing Sif statue. I have drugs if I need them, and we’ll see how the pain is once the Novocaine wears off.

Transitions are Hard

I posted the the third chapter of Trip on This over at my fiction writing blog. You can read it here. As I’m focusing more on my fiction, I find I have less desire to blog. It’s not that I don’t still have strong opinions–I do. It’s not that I’m not writing blog posts in my head–I am. It’s just that I don’t see the point. I’m but a tiny voice shouting in a vast ocean. Yes, I’m feeling hopeless at the moment–and burnt out.

In addition, I have an idea I’ve been toying with for a while, but I haven’t actually done it (story of my life): live-tweeting bad movies. I do it on occasion, and people really seem to enjoy it. The last time I did it, it was to the RiffTrax version of Stone Cold, a hilariously bad cop movie with Brian Bosworth, and they actually followed me because of it. Unfortunately, they don’t any longer, which is a shame. Maybe if I do another of their movies, they’ll follow me again. Know hope!

Anyway, I’ve been kicking it around in my brain for several months, and I’ve decided that since I’m changing everything up with my blogs right now, anyway, it would be a good time to start. I’ve decided on Monday because Movie Mondays is alliterative, which is appealing to me. I’ll take this week to figure out the logistics, and then we’ll start next Monday. I want to put this out there so I’ll be more apt to actually follow through. As I get more established, I’ll start asking for suggestions. For now, I’ll stick to movies that appeal to me. So, grab some popcorn and watch along; I’ll make sure to link the movies in the posts.

Here’s a claymation short from Mazzy. She always makes me smile.

Nioh V. Dark Souls: An Unfair Comparison

I recently tried out Nioh again after a long period off from it (because I was sick and did not want to sit at my desktop. It refuses to run on my laptop. At all) because I read about a Jutsu (magic spell) that supposedly trivialized bosses. I didn’t have it, but I ‘bought’ it and equipped it. I went through some old sub-missions, and I can’t say it made a noticeable difference. I encountered a ‘boss’ in one of the sub-missions, but she’s not the same as an actual boss, obviously. In fact, she becomes a common enemy in another mission.

I like to do old missions in order to farm and to brush up on my skills. I have to say going from Dark Souls III to Nioh (and back again) is not easy. I am so used to the DS controls (right bumper and trigger for weak attack and strong attack respectively, B for roll/run, A for interaction with items. X is for using the consumable item in the down position on the D-pad, and Y is to two-hand your weapon), that when I play Nioh, it takes a good half hour to adjust to the buttons. X and Y for weak attack and strong attack (like The Witcher 3 and apparently most games), A for dodge/run, B for interaction with items.

Both games have systems that are almost impregnable. I think the members of FromSoft (devs of Soulsborne games) pride themselves on their menus being counterintuitive and byzantine. They change their stats every goddamn game, and there’s always one stat that just doesn’t do jack or shit. One small example of needless obfuscation*–in every game, there is a consumable item (souls in the Souls games and coldblood in Bloodborne) that if you crush, you get a large quantity of souls/blood echoes. The thing is, they all have these weirdass names and refuse to tell you exactly how many souls you’ll get for crushing it. So you might pick up a Soul of an Intrepid Hero, a Large Soul of a Proud Paladin, and a Soul of a Great Champion (all names of consumable souls in DS III), but you probably wouldn’t know they give you 2500, 1000, and 50,000 souls respectively.

They decided that wasn’t opaque enough and went even weirder for Bloodborne with the consumable blood echoes. There are categories such as Coldblood Dew and Thick Coldblood, for example. Then, in most of the categories, they are numbered. Therefore, Coldblood Dew (1)  is 350 blood echoes, and Kin Coldblood (12) is 20,000. I’ve played Soulsborne games countless of times and still cannot tell you how much each consumable soul/coldblood is worth without Googling it.

Nioh is obviously influenced by Dark Souls, and I feel as if they took a look at DS’s menus and saw it as a challenge. “You think that’s obscure, mate? Take a look at this!” I don’t know why I made Team Ninja British when they and FromSoft are Japanese, but so be it.

Another reason it takes so long to reacclimate to Nioh’s control buttons is because there are so many things to do with the buttons.

*taking a deep breath*


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The State of My Mind

It’s time to come out and say it–I am depressed. I’ve alluded to it before, but now I’ll just say it. I’ve been low-level depressed for a few months, and I don’t know why. I think it’s partly because of the anniversary of Raven’s death, partly because of being physically sick (though maybe I got physically sick because my depression lowered my immune system. It’s hard to say), and partly because it’s just how I roll.

The thing is, in the past, when I was depressed, it literally incapacitated me at times. I remember losing countless hours to depression because I simply didn’t have the energy or the wherewithal to do anything other than sit on the couch and stare into space. It was chronic, and it was serious. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it out of my twenties, and it’s still somewhat unbelievable to me that I have. There were periods of higher activity, but in general, I was barely functioning.

Now, I am doing the things I need to do. I am productive every day whereas in the past, brushing my teeth was an accomplishment. In addition, the depression isn’t a part of me, and it’s really strange to feel it coming at me from the outside. Back in the day, I felt as if I was just a ball of depression and it was the only thing that defined me. Now, it’s more like an annoyance such as an ingrown toenail. Persistently there, infected, but not paralyzing me.

In addition, when I had chronic depression, I was numb most of the time. I’ve described it as being frozen, and I couldn’t identify an emotion if my life depended on it. I was really good at pretending emotions, but it was because I’m adept at quickly reading other people’s emotions. It was a bitter irony that for many years, I felt other people’s emotions more intensely and immediately than I did my own. I had no idea what my own emotions were as they were buried under layers of depression.

Now, I have emotions, and sometimes they’re out of whack. I have anger issues, and while I normally keep an iron tight grip on it, when I blow, it’s quick and ugly. It’s difficult because I don’t know all my triggers–well, to be more accurate, I know the broad topics in which there are triggers, but I don’t know exactly what will set me off. After years of not being allowed to express my anger, I still have difficulty expressing it appropriately. It’s all or nothing, and the times it’s all are terrifying to me.

I’m also feeling a lot of sadness. There is no specific reason, but it’s there. I’m grieving, and I don’t even know why. I’m sure part of it is Raven–I’ve been missing him intensely lately, but that’s not all it is. It’s also the feeling that I’m wasting my life and if I die today, what do I have to show for it? I have put so many obstacles in my own way, I feel defeated before I even take a single step.

Also, I’m still fighting a relapse, and my sleep is shit, and everything is difficult. Here is the latest The Mazzy Show; she never fails to make me smile.