My brain has been jumping all over the place and my sleep has sucked, so this post is going to meander more than usual. I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit on how I write posts. Not on the writing itself because that’s usually just put down whatever is in my brain. No, it’s about how I decide what to write about. Normally, there’s something pressing on my brain and I let that flow from my fingers until I’ve said all I need to say on the subject or until I lose interest. Sometimes, it’s both, but sometimes it’s one or the other.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with my concentration for reasons I don’t want to get into. Suffice to say, it’s not as easy to get shit done as it used to be. Most of the time, I just grit my teeth and force myself to write the post. It may not be as long as it normally is or very good, but I get it done, damn it. Today, however, I’m going to write about whatever is on my mind with no attempt at coherency. Here we go.
Lil Nas X. I didn’t know he existed until yesterday when I read something about Satan Shoes, his new kicks. That he’s selling. Oh, and he’s a rapper? Singer? Both? Anyway, there are 666 pairs and they contain drops of human blood. That’s all I knew when I made this tweet:
*sees ‘human blood’ and ‘Satan shoes’ and Googles*
*immediately feels old and tired*
I’m not offended or shocked. Just embarrassed for him.
By the time this is posted, it will have been a week since the sitting president–
Had a real life interruption and don’t feel like writing about this right now. So I won’t! One thing about my new schedule is that I can write what I want when I want whenever I want. I mean, that’s always been the case, but I’m trying to give myself permission this year to be not as rigid.
So, for today, have a video of….Maru! With a brief appearance by kitten Miri! Middle sister, Hana, can be seen as well.
I’ve been struggling with a migraine all last week. I woke up Saturday morning (afternoon, really, but why quibble?) and it was 90% better. I went about my morning routine then checked the news. I caught my breath and tears filled my eyes as I read that Biden was projected to win the election. No jubilation. No excitement. Just a deep and abiding relief.
Four years ago, I believed the pundits and watched the incoming results of the election with a sense of dread, despair, and surrealness. I was thrown into a deep depression in part because I was not prepared for it. This time, I wanted to believe and trust the pundits, but I just couldn’t. The memory of 2016 was still too vivid. Also, I went numb on Election Day night because I couldn’t handle it, but under the numbness was…a deep fear. I couldn’t live with another four years of this president. I didn’t think our country could survive. He’s already did so much damage and if he were in a lame-duck situation, imagine how much worse he would have gotten.
I joked on the social mediums that my migraine went away because I was psychic, but it’s partly true. Stress is a big trigger of migraines and this whole week has been stressful. I don’t think I was psychic because I truly was not suspecting that the election would be called Saturday. I talked to my BFF, Kat, later that day and she said the same thing. We both thought it would be at least Monday.
The one thruway I’ve seen/heard is relief. Everyone I talked to about it said that was their initial response. Most of that was followed by the clarification that everything was not roses and champagne, but at least the country wasn’t going to spontaneously implode.
That’s the thing. All the jubilation and elation really didn’t have anything to do with Biden. Personally, I don’t like him. I was not enthused about him. He’s too centrist, too handsy (and possibly more than just handsy), and too ‘aw, shucks, I’m Uncle Joe’ for me. Although that probably was to his advantage because he could appeal to some of the same demos as did the current president. Harris was my candidate and let’s talk about her for a minute.
We cannot understate the fact that we now have Vice President-Elect who is a woman, South Asian American, and African American. I would have preferred if she was the president, but that may still happen in the next four years. Joe’s old is what I’m saying. Anyway, she’s warm, caring, intelligent, and she means so much to me. I don’t agree with everything she’s done (she was a prosecutor in the past), but she’s head and shoulders better than–I don’t even need to go down that road. She’s quality is what I’m saying.
I’m writing this on Election Day and I’m stridently ignoring that tidbit until later tonight. I already voted a few weeks ago by mail so I don’t have to do anything today. Four years ago, I was pretty sure that Clinton would win so I watched with eagerness. My excitement turned to dread as the returns came in. Ian was with me and we both were stunned. I sunk into a deep depression when I realized the results and it was doubly terrible because I had been so sure Clinton would win.
Fast-forward to this year. Most of the predictions including Nate Silver (the one who called it for the president and got pilloried for it. I am ashamed to admit I was one who decried him for fearmongering for clickbait) are overwhelmingly pro-Biden, but I am not going to let that happen to me again. I’m hopeful it’s going to be Biden-Harris (though I have no love for Biden), but I have the growing dread that the president will somehow manage to get away with it. I don’t know what it means, but that it’ll be four more years.
So let’s not talk about it. Let’s talk about NaNoWriMo instead. Or NaNo Rebel. Or whatever. In two days, I’ve written 8,000 words. To be fair, I started at midnight on the 1st, which I count as the 31st of October in my brain (day doesn’t start until I get up), but it feels good to have almost 10,000 under my belt. It’s me writing a thousand words at a time–sometimes forcing myself. I had been trying to be kind and allowing myself to take breaks whenever I wanted. That led to me writing for five minutes, breaking for ten minutes, taking a smoke break, then back to writing for five minutes. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Now, I’ve told myself firmly that I have to write a thousand words before I can do anything else. Then, I take a small break and do a thousand more. It’s not been easy, but it’s been invigorating. It really has changed my writing habit and drastically. In addition, I feel better about this project than I did when I was babying myself.
To be clear–I’m not putting down self-care. I think it’s important to know your limits and to honor the fact that it’s a really difficult time right now. There are days when you simply cannot (this seems to be one of them for me), but at least for me, it’s time to be a bit more strict with myself and only myself.
In addition, I set the goal of writing 100,000 words this month. I’m still sticking to it, but I’m toying with a few twists to my goal. For one thing, I want to do a short bio of each of the main characters. Or rather, a backstory for each. Especially each sister and the aunt because they are so important. Like a snapshot of each. It wouldn’t be included in the novel, but it would be a good addendum to the trilogy.
Nothing big. Just 5,000 word snippets of each character. There probably wouldn’t be one for the main character because all three novels have snippets of her life. Plus, a few of the besties. Maybe seven in total? That’s an extra 35,000 words. If I do that, then I really won’t finish by the end of the year. But it intrigues me. Therefore, I may do it. One of my issues is being very rigid in my thinking and once I get something in my head, I have a hard time bending from what I said I was going to do.
I’m still sick and tired, though I think I’m on the mend. I can tell because I’m grumpier than usual, which is the hallmark of me recovering. I’m at my grumpiest when I’m around eighty percent recovered in part because I’m so fucking tired of being sick. It’s also because my sleep starts getting jacked again, which sucks. I hate that I only get decent sleep when I’m sick, and it gets worse as I get better. I’m also fighting off a relapse, which is no fun at all.
When I’m out and about in this state, I have no patience at all for other people. Not that I have much in the first place, but my filters are not as firmly in place, and I have to work harder not to let the frustration show on my face.
I decided to give into my mood and list all my pet peeves and minor irritations/grievances. Most of them are not really worth talking about, but because this is my blog, I’m going to talk about them ad nauseam. It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to. I want to reiterate that I know most of these aren’t a big deal, but they still bug the shit out of me. Yeah, taiji has made me less irritated in general, but there’s still plenty frothing under my skin.
Blocking the aisle in the grocery store. This one enrages me beyond what’s reasonable, but it’s because it’s so needless. How hard is it to see someone standing next to you or behind you and realize they want to get by? I’m someone who’s constantly scanning the environment around her so it’s almost unfathomable to me to not be aware I’m impeding someone’s movement.
Tailgating. This is a bigger deal, and it causes me to clench my teeth every time. It seems to happen more and more often lately, and I think it’s because of texting and forgetting that cars are lethal weapons and not just mobile homes. Also, I attribute the horrible driving in Minnesota as a way to blow off steam from having to be Minnesota Nice in real life. It’s the anonymity, much like trolling online.I try to keep at least three or four car-lengths between me and the car in front of me, but most people don’t bother. I get really antsy when someone behind me is less than a car length behind (especially since my car accident), and I’ve found much to my amusement that if I hard stare in my rearview mirror (even while wearing sunglasses), the person will back off nine out of ten times. The charitable part of me says that they’re just distracted and my staring at them reminds them to follow proper road rules. The nasty part of me wants to just scream at them for being dickheads.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of sexual harassment complaints pouring out of Hollywood–and politics as well. The pace seems to have slowed down, but it’s still soul-crushing to realize how many predators there are out there and how much we accept it as a given in our society. I’ve heard the variant of ‘men are dogs’ and ‘that’s just the way men are’. I heartily protest because I’ve known plenty of men not like this, and I think more of men than many men do. In addition, it gives an excuse for the horrible behavior. If we shrug our shoulders and say, “Men are trash,” well, then, there’s nothing we can do about it, is there?
I don’t disagree that men (and women, too!) have biological urges that can be powerful at times. However, I most heartily disagree that men can’t control these urges. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeing a comely person and thinking, “I’d tap that ass.” I, myself, have done it many times. But because I’m a woman who has been heavily trained that one simpy must not think those thoughts, let alone speak them, I can keep them to myself when it’s inappropriate to share them. I heard an interesting interview on NPR with a transgender man, and one thing that really bothered him was how once he started taking the T (testosterone), he was driven almost cazy with lustfully thoughts. If I remember correctly, he was given two to three times the amount of testosterone of the ‘typical’ man, and it became difficult for him to control his desires. He said he was so conflicted about it because when he was a she and a lesbian, she prided herself on being a feminist of the utmost order. Once the T was coursing through him, if he saw a pretty woman, all he could think about was fucking her.
Even so, he never attacked a woman, which is my point. No matter how powerful are the urges, it is up to the person to control them. I’ve had powerful sexual attractions to the ‘wrong’ person, and I’ve sublimated them, sometimes with great difficulty. The thing is, you have to set firm boundaries with the object of your affection in order you don’t tip over into grossness. I’m wandering far from the intent of this post, though.
When the news about Harvey Weinstein broke, I was completely disgusted, but not entirely surprised. Then, the other perps were revealed at a fast and furious pace. I noticed that I was having a different reaction based on who the perp was, what he did, and how he reacted to being found out. Oh, and also how I originally felt about him.
I’m so tired of being sick. I was feeling slightly better yesterday, but I’m exhausted today. My sleep has been slowly getting better over time, but it’s been all over the place while I’ve been sick. One of the only benefits of me being sick is that I sleep for extended periods of time. It’s the only time my body allows itself to completely let go, which, yay for sleep, but boo because it’s when I’m too sick to enjoy it. The other side effect, however, is that on some days, I’m back to sleeping as little as I used to. The difference is that I’m not young enough to coast on four or five hours of sleep any longer. I can survive on five, but it’s hanging on by my nails survival.
I’ve scaled way back from politics because it seems hopeless to me, and it’s displaying America’s worst traits in all their glory. Egotism, confirmation bias, nationalism, willful ignorance, fame fucking, striated classes, boastfulness, all the isms, and just–yeah. It’d be difficult to deal with at any time, but especially right after President Barack Obama, who has been the best president of my lifetime. He represented the best of America, all that we aspire to be, and to go from him to our current president?
Ugh. It’s more lemon honey ginger tea and Poirot while snuggling with Shadow on the couch. That’s all my little grey cells can handle right now.
So, I love to write. A lot. Prolifically. Garrulous. It’s the equivalent to a chatterbox who cannot keep her mouth shut. I can’t keep my fingers from banging away at my keyboard, and I have many broken keyboards to prove it. In fact, this one (on my laptop) is on its last legs, and I should replace it pretty soon. The problem is, people are reading less and less. Rather, they’re reading less of actual longform pieces and novels. I’m old woman shaking my fist at the clouds, but I also acknowledge that it’s probably not going backwards any time soon.
What’s the new big thing? Videos. Streaming. It’s all the rage with the kids these days, an it’s something I’ve thought about doing myself. The problem is, first of all, I hate the way I look on camera. Now, of course, I could stream a game without face-cam, but from what I’ve seen, you get more views with the face-cam on, especially as a woman. Which, therein, is my second issue. The world of video games is still a man’s world with a very bro-y culture. I don’t watch streams on Twitch (except Ian’s! twitch.tv/eenbou) because the chats are fucking toxic. I don’t use that word lightly, but it’s sadly true. Anything over ten viewers, and it’s ‘fuckbois’, ‘faggot’, and ‘i’d fuck that ass’ all the damn time. There’s a streamer I did watch occasionally when he wasn’t too big yet, and I already felt not included by dint of being a woman in my forties. I watched a vod of a recent stream, and he’d changed from being low-key and lovable to low-key and ‘fuckbois’, and it really disappointed me. I’m not naming him because it’s not him–it’s the ethos of chat. I’m stil working on my Theory of Dudes in which the more dudes you have in one place, the grosser the culture becomes.
Anyway, I watched a podcast with four female streamers, and they were emphatic about not being just boob jigglers, but one of them is known for that, and another is known for being bro-y in her chat. They were all young and conventionally pretty, which is another double standard for women who stream. Dudes can be any age, shape, size, or look, but the women have to be young, not fat, and hot. In addition, most of the female streamers are even bro-y-er than their male counterparts as a way to overcompensate. It’s the same with streamers girlfriends/wives. They put down women, make sexual innuendos, and are pretty jerky. They also feed into the stereotypes of the nagging wife, which is annoying as hell as well.
I don’t like being sick for many reasons, some obvious, some not. The actual sickness, the lack of energy, the no motivation to do anything–all of these things are pretty obvious. The worst part, though, is that I become incredibly selfish when I’m sick. My whole life falls away, and all I can think about is how miserable I am. When I am at my lowest (most sick), all I do is the basics, and sometimes, not even that. Hm. Once I write it out, it reminds me of when I was depressed. I’ll have to think about that some more, but at any rate. needless to say, it sucks.
I’m holding steady from yesterday, which is better than feeling worse, I guess. Still tired and exhausted, and that’s another thing I hate about being sick–it’s fucking boring. You can probably tell I’m really grumpy right now. Ugh. But, hey, Alabama didn’t elect an asshole who preys on teenage girls, so win??? Republicans really are showing their asses right now. They rather elect a sexual predator–and by the way, that’s not a pedophile. I don’t know when this started to change, but it’s really annoying. A pedophile is attracted to prepubescent child, but it’s slowly morphing into someone who likes teenagers. I have a big problem with that, but even news sources are using it that way, so I think the ship has sailed on that one. Anyway, it’s still gross and disgusting that Republicans would rather vote for a man who had been banned from a shopping mall for pestering the teenage girls there too much than a Democrat. Family values, indeed!
Anyway, here is Sir Mix-A-Lot with the Seattle Symphony doing ‘Baby Got Back’. Dance like you’re the woman in the front row with the black dress on.