My webmaster was switching servers this weekend, so my site was down. That is why there is no real post today. Everything is fixed, and the schedule for the rest of the week will be as usual.
My webmaster was switching servers this weekend, so my site was down. That is why there is no real post today. Everything is fixed, and the schedule for the rest of the week will be as usual.
Now that Thanksgiving is done and in the bank, of course the whole nation turns its attention to Christmas.
Before I get to that, however, I want to rave about how adding twenty minutes of stretching to my taiji routine when I first get up and sprinkling more stretches throughout the day has really helped my back and my leg by extension. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s amazing how my back pain has nearly disappeared, and the numbness in my right thigh changed into fiery hot pain in the upper thigh, then fiery hot pain just above the knee, and then back to numbness but to a much less degree. Then, after class yesterday, it was back to fiery hot pain, but only for a few seconds. In addition, we did the whole Solo Form (Medium) yesterday, and for the first time ever, I was able to do the whole form without my back hurting like hell by the third section.
However, my sleep is all over the map, which means I’m probably getting sick again. Which, you know, sucks. I’m so fucking tired from the minute I wake up until the minute I drop off to sleep. I also have this thing where if I miss the window for falling asleep, I’m up for a good long time. I was up for nearly twenty hours yesterday, not for any good reason, but just because I couldn’t fall asleep.
Now, let’s talk about NaNoWriMo. I said before it started that I was going to set my own goal because writing 50,000 words a month for me is not a problem. I was already writing 2,000 words a day for months before that, so yeah, I wasn’t worried about 50,000 words. I said I wanted to look into marketing and publishing, but that didn’t happen. I’ve decided I will set aside a different month to do it in. In that month, I’ll lift the 2,000 words a day requirement and focus on editing, marketing, and publishing. I’ve decided which novels I want to publish (one which is on my other website), but I need to do a little updating.
So, what have I been doing this month? Starting four different novels. I worked on the first one for a few weeks, then decided to shelve it. The second one lasted a few days, I think, and the same with the third. Then, I had a conversation with a Twitter friend, @NotSoSilentMajo, who inspired me to start something completely different. I don’t want to talk about it right now because I prefer to wait until I’m done with a novel before talking about it, but I can say it’s urban fantasy. I’ve never attempted fantasy before (though I love reading it), so I’m excited about it in a way that I haven’t been in quite some time. Thank you, @NotSoSilentMajo for giving me the kick in the (not-so-flat yellow) ass that I needed to get out of my rut!
Now. On to Christmas. Me when thinking about it (apropos because I dressed up as Yoko Ono for Halloween one year):
Hello. I am still sick with sinus issues, so I will not be posting anything of substance today. In addition, I was between phones late last week, which is why I didn’t post anything on Friday*. I’m thinking of doing an overhaul to my website in general, but it’s in the very nascent stages.
Just briefly: I made it to High Rank in Monster Hunter: World (finally!), and things have really opened up. I’m kind of overwhelmed by how much there is to do, and I wished I hadn’t wasted so much time in Low Rank. I fear I’m reaching burnout, and I’m only a third through the game.
That said, I really have to get out of the Dark Souls mindset of thinking that every monster I face is a boss. It’s not. I didn’t get carted once until Anjanath (Anjy), and I’ve only failed a quest by fainting three times twice. Once on Diablos (whom I call Derbler) and once on Kirin. The latter was horrid my first time because I brought the wrong Switch Axe to the fight. I mistakenly thought because he’s an Elder Dragon, he would be weak to dragon. He is not. Also, I glitched once at the precise time he was kicking me and got carted. If it weren’t for those two things, I would have had him.
After I failed the quest, I went back and maxed out my armor (yes, I had Level 3 Thunder Resistance already) and grabbed the proper Switch Axe (the one that does fire damage) and kicked some unicorn ass. That’s it. Actually, I bombed his ass into oblivion, and it felt good. I then watched someone else fight Kirin with a group of four, and I felt bad for Kirin. He’s a beast to fight, though, and he reminds me of the motherfucking ice area of DS II (DLC).
I’m up to tracking the old Rathian, and I’m not looking forward to it. I also still have to do the Power Couple (Rathian and Rathalos) and two other Rathians. That’s a shit-ton of Rathians, and I’m not sure I want to do it. I know the old Rathian turns into Pink Rathian, which is a higher level of Rathian. I probably should fight one or both of the other HR Rathians before taking her on, but, eh. I don’t know. I thought the HR Anjanath was going to be orders of magnitude harder, but she wasn’t.
Oh! Also, I’ve done almost everything solo so far, but I know I’m reaching the point where I probably won’t be able to do it any longer. I’ve been watching videos of people fighting the Elder Dragons (the real ones, not Kirin), and, yeah. Each fight is going to be epic. Also, I’ve come across Beetlejuice (real name Bazelgeuse) once, and he’s a dick. The Angry Pickle (Deviljho) was recently added in a patch, and I cannot wait to run into him (I can wait a very long time, thank you very much).
Hello! I am going to Malta this week, so there will be no posts. I hope to come back invigorated and rededicated to blogging after a week of sun, good eating, and relaxation (I hope!), so see you then.
I’m getting better, but I still feel I’m on the cusp of a relapse, which is no fun. I’m also musing over my writing life because, well, to be frank, blogging isn’t doing it for me any longer. Or rather, blogging every day isn’t doing it for me any longer. I still enjoy writing blog posts, especially the POOG posts, but it’s becoming to feel more like a chore given the political climate of the country right now. Plus, I’m beginning to think that shouting on the internet isn’t really doing anything meaningful, but I don’t want to give it up completely.
On the other hand, I have been neglecting my fiction blog (minnahong.com), which–good lord. I just checked, and I haven’t touched it in over three years–doesn’t feel good at all. minnahong.com used to be my blogsite, but then I decided I wanted to use it to promote my fiction instead, and I switched it over. Obviously, I’ve been letting it languish, and I’ve recently decided it’s time to change that. I want to state it out loud because I’m terrible at actually implementing change. I’m hoping that by letting it be known, I’ll be spurred into action.
To that end, I’ve decided on a 3/2 split with three days of blogging here and two days of posting fiction there. I’ll continue with my old novel, Trip on This, and I may start up another old novel I wrote (haven’t quite decided which or if I actually want to do that. I may just want to focus on Trip on This and then the sequel which I recently wrote–sixteen years after the original).
This is all tentative right now, but I’m planning on doing blog posts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’ll keep to the current topics (personal thoughts, health, and popular culture/fun/POOG posts, respectively), but I reserve the right to change that up in the future.
Then, I’ll post chapters from my fiction on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday will be Trip days (I’ve already posted two chapters), and Thursdays will be, well, we’ll see what I decide. That’s the tentative schedule for now, but again, I reserve the right to change it later if I feel the need.
Personally, I’m in a foul mood, and I don’t know why. I’m hoping that changing things up with my writing will help with the general ennui I’m feeling. By the way, that Google art thing matched me with a painting called Ennui by a Japanese artist (can’t find it right now), which is a lounging woman in a kimono. It doesn’t look like me at all (to be fair, it was like a 40% match), but I love that it’s called Ennui. I changed my name on Twitter to M’Ennui Hong for a few days because it amused me so much.
My sleep has been astonishingly bad lately. Not as bad as it was twenty years ago, but astonishingly bad for me lately. Which means I’m getting better. But it also means my depression is hitting particularly hard right now. The only positive thing I can say about the depression is that I know it’s not rational, which makes it slightly easier to believe.
Hello Gentle (and Not-So-Gentle) Reader! This is your friendly blogger here to inform you that changes will be coming to the blog. I have been dissatisfied for some time with the blog–not because I haven’t been doing what I intended to do. I have. I’ve written a post every weekday, and I’m mostly satisfied with the way they’ve turned out. The problem is, I feel like I have said pretty much all I want to say on certain subjects. I know I circle around to my pet issues over and over again, and I’m fine with that. However, I don’t want to write something just to have written something.
I still have sit to say on many subjects, and I’m not going to quit writing, don’t you worry. However, I would like to change things up a bit for several reasons. One is the aforementioned one. Two is to get myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve been writing longform pieces for some time now, and while I’m good at it, it’s something I can do in my sleep. I’ll still do it, but I want to mix things up. Three, video is where it’s at these days. All the kids are doing it, and most people would rather watch a five-minute video than read a two-thousand words pot.
The question is, what do I want to do for those videos? One idea is to riff on the topic of the day, similar to the posts I write. I probably would write the script out ahead of time because the way I circularly write about these issues isn’t as viable in video form, but it would still be loose and casual. My second idea is to do Twitch streaming, except in a funny way. Either playing video games where you can’t see the game being played, for example, or me sitting on my couch with my cat while I’m drinking my coffee. That’s it. Nothing more. I’ve had people tell me in all seriousness that they would watch me do that.
Another idea I’m tossing around is a cooking show. But, Minna, I can hear you say. You don’t cook. Details, shmetails. Neither does half the people on The Food Network, so why let that stop me? It would actually be part of my shtick I went down this route. I could either do recipes only for ‘dummies’ or make foods that don’t actually require cooking (such as egg salad sandwiches, for example). Another gimmicky idea is to have my face hidden the whole time I’m cooking. By a cupboard door, by the oven door, by a grocery bag, etc. My favorite idea, however, well, I’m going to keep that to myself for now.
Yet another idea I’m thinking about is, well, some backstory. I used to write one-woman shows that were social commentary mixed with stand up. I miss it a lot, and another of my video ideas is to do these acts (after I create them) for the camera. I’m still in the musing phase, but it’s something I really want to try.
Do not worry. I will continue to write posts in the meantime, but I may not adhere to my own schedule (though I’m pretty loosey-goosey with that as it is). I will keep you updated as I implement the changes. I’m excited about this, and the possibilities are endless.
As I stated in a recent post, I’ve been thinking of changing the categories on this blog. Brief history: I used to blog about whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted because you are not the boss of me. Funny thing is, I had planned on replacing the ‘Topical Politics’ category, but I continued to write about politics. Instead, I’m going to change ‘Myopia’ to ‘Musings’. It’ll still probably be all about me because it’s my blog, but it’ll be like peeking into my diary, only more interesting. I’ll leave the ‘Myopia’ posts as marked because I can’t be stuffed to change the tags, but from now on, Monday posts will be categorized under Musings.
I’m also considering making POOG the permanent category for Fridays and moving the other ‘Fun’ topics to Thursday. I’ll have to come up with an alliteration for it, something like Topical Culture. Topical works with pretty much everything, really.
Anyway. That’s it from the management. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled program.
Recently, I had a situation in real life where I had an intensely negative reaction to something someone said. It was instantaneous and visceral, though I tried to restrain it as best I could. Later that day, I started thinking about cutting back on social media, and, yes, the two are connected. One thing I’ve noticed about spending a lot of time on social media, specifically Twitter, is how it’s made me more reactionary. If I see something I don’t like, my body flushes, my heart starts racing, and I feel as if I want to punch someone. Part of that is because people tend to be declarative on Twitter, leaving no wiggle room. There’s a lot of name-calling, putting other people down, and negativity in general, and that’s just between Democrats–which is arguably worse than some exchanges between Democrats and Republicans.
It’s also because when something starts trending, everyone has to throw in their two cents, even if they’re not knowledgeable on the subject. So, much of my TL becomes a wall of the same ill-informed, not-nuanced opinion, and reading it over and over again has had a bad effect on my brain. In addition, my attention span has shortened, and I’m not happy with that. I can still read a long form piece, but it takes more concentrated effort on my part than it used to. When I write, I find myself thinking, “Let me just check out what’s happening on Twitter/Facebook” about every half hour or so. I’ve recently muted my notifications on my phone so I still get them, but I don’t get the beeps. That means I’m not constantly checking to see who’s said what to me, which really can wait until I’m done with whatever I’m doing–especially writing.
There have been studies on what overuse of the internet has done to our brains, but it’s still too early to say a lot about the results definitively. This article on the negative results match what I’ve found to be true in myself, though I will add that I’ve always skimmed portions of novels, even before the internet. I don’t like pages-long descriptions of scenery, so I always scan those or skip them completely. I prefer to visualize the environment in my own mind, and I don’t like flowery purple prose, anyway. The point remains, though, that when I read, I am more apt to check my social media than I am comfortable with.
Back to my IRL situation. The problem isn’t that I had a reaction to what was being said because my reaction was not out of line–it’s the intensity of the reaction that bothers me and how it was instantaneous. I’m not making the civility argument; I’m making the, “This is not good for my health” argument. I’m also making the, “This is not a good way to have a discussion” argument. I’ve already written in the past how I feel worse about myself since ingesting social media as a steady diet. I used to think I never should speak up about anything because my opinions weren’t valid or worthwhile to state. I also thought, “Why would anyone want to hear anything I had to say?” With the help of taiji and therapy (the title of my self-help book!), I’ve been able to work through it to the point where I was spouting my opinion all over the damn place. Hell, it’s what I do here all the time. But, ever since I’ve started using Twitter on a regular basis (and to a lesser extent, Facebook), I find myself biting my metaphorical tongue more often.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was thinking about rejiggering the format of my blog. Now, I’m formally announcing that Topical Politics will no longer be a category*, meaning I’ll have to come up with something else to write on Thursdays. I haven’t gotten that far in the planning yet. The reason I don’t want to write about politics any longer is complex and layered. I’ll try to dissect it so you can understand why I’m putting the pen down during these turbulent political times. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I made the decision after Ian told me he loved my POOG posts (which you really should read because they’re pretty damn funny, if I do say so myself, and I do) because I got to write like me. I never thought about it that way, but it’s true. I love writing the POOG posts because I can just let ‘er rip and not care too much about how I’m coming across. It’s satire, so I can say whatever the fuck I want! It’s exhilarating and freeing, and my true voice shines through.
I used to be able to write about politics in that way, but somehow, I no longer feel able to do so. Let me recount the reasons why. One, I’m having a hard time laughing at the current administration because they scare the fuck out of me. Not just because they have no compassion and don’ t give a damn about anything other than themselves and their wealthy compatriots, but because they are so fucking inept and could bring about World War III. Fortunately (if sadly), many of our allies are more into mocking the president rather than trying to take him down, but that could change on a dime.
By the way, I’m so not into macho alpha/beta shit, but the video of my political bae, President Emmanuel Macron, owning our president with that handshake is a thing of beauty. He said it was to show our president that he wasn’t going to concede on the little things, and it’s one way of dealing with a bully. I would not kick President Macron out of bed for eating crackers, I’ll tell you what. You can have your Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; he reminds me of a grown-up frat boy, tbh. That’s neither here nor there, so moving along.
It’s almost seven months since the election, and I’m still not over the fact that so many of my fellow Americans wanted this man as president. I know there are more of us than there are of them, but it doesn’t really matter right now. All of our collective id is on display, and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s not that he’s a (nominal) Republican; it’s more than that. If we had ended up with a President McCain or President Romney, I would have been pissed, but not as scared as I am now. I would have understood why someone voted for them (though, obviously, not agree). I do not understand voting for a failed business man who has no experience in politics, and that’s the least of his problems.
I also don’t like how in focusing on this president and everything he’s doing wrong, we’re not paying enough attention to Congress. That’s where the real deals get down, and the Republicans are doing some nasty shit.
The biggest reason, however, is that I hate the endless infighting between progressives and pragmatists within the Democratic Party. It’s like being a kid whose parents are going through a horrible divorce, and you just want to disappear. I don’t like how each side is hunkering down and and demonizing the other side, and it’s making me sad, tired, and weary. I don’t find much humor in the situation, if any, and I find myself writing about it in a very tepid way because I have friends on both sides of the divide.
I’m not giving up on politics completely, but I just don’t want to feel as if I have to write about it every week. I don’t know what’s replacing it yet, either, but I have a week to figure it out.
*The irony being that I’m using it as the category tag for this post.
There is one upside to being sick: It’s given me a lot of time to think, albeit morbidly, about this blog, my life in general, and the direction thereof of both. I’ve had a hard time writing every day, and it had me questioning whether it was even worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I want to keep on blogging; I’m just not sure it’s worth it. To be brutally honest, I feel as if I’m shouting into the void for many reasons, and I don’t like doing things that aren’t beneficial in one way or another.
If I do continue blogging, I’m most likely going to change the format. Initially, I decided to choose one topic for every day of the week to give myself some structure. And, to be honest, so readers would know what to expect every day. True to my nature, I soon said, “Fuck it. I’m going to write whatever I want whenever I want and just label it under each day. It’s my blog; I can do whatever I want.” I felt restricted by the constraints I placed on myself, though I do feel it helped me over all. One of my biggest flaws when it comes to writing is that I’m undisciplined, and forcing myself to write about a certain topic every day actually got me to write.
Now, though, I’m finding myself more frustrated than not when I try to stick to the schedule. In addition, I’ve pulled way back from writing about politics, which is my Thursday topic. Not because I don’t care, but because it’s overwhelming. I started using Twitter and Facebook in earnest during the 2008 campaign, which means I have a ton of political people in my TL/feed. I’m grateful to have so many intelligent, conscientious people in my social media, but it becomes crushing to read post after post about the fuckery of this presidential administration.
In addition, so much of the reporting on it is political theater, and it’s depressing to watch the media cavil at calling this president exactly what he is: a narcissistic, petulant, childish, tyrannical, deeply ignorant, idiotic, dangerous despot. We don’t need any more, “Can you believe this president is doing this?” articles because unless it’s something positive, yes, I can believe this president is doing something terrible, ignorant, self-destructive (country-self, mostly, but also self-self), and petty. That. Is. Who. He. Is.
What we need are posts about how to stop him and the cowardly Republicans who are supporting him. We also need articles constantly exposing the president and the Republicans for all their shenanigans, holding their feet to the fire, and demanding that they do their goddamn fucking jobs.
Breathe, Minna, breathe.
This is why I need to pull back from politics. I can’t deal with the constant (righteous) outrage over this president and this congress. I’m not talking about checking out because I think we all have a moral obligation to stay aware of what’s happening to our democracy, but I don’t think it’s helping anyone for us to make ourselves sick over it. Let me be clear. You and I can only individually do so much. Collectively, we can do a lot, but not if we run ourselves into the ground. One of my problems when I get overwhelmed is that I get depressed. When I get depressed, I get paralyzed. It’s a trite trope, but it’s true–if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone (or anything) else.
I’m not going anywhere, but I just need a shakeup. I’m not sure what, exactly, so I’m going to make it up as I go. Join me in the journey.